Monday, June 30, 2014

Trash or Treasure?

My husband and I had planned to go to a local art fair – but that plan was foiled when the heat and humidity made it unbearable to be out in the sun.  Instead we drove around downtown - air cranked, music loud - and ended up in an architectural salvage shop. 

A really old architectural shop that was filled from floor to ceiling with an eclectic mix of candelabras, urns, statues, hardware, and all sorts of architectural goodies...

... a  visual feast to thwart my cravings for all things rusty and crusty.


I’ve been told on occasion that some of the things in my home look like they have been “just dug up from the earth.”  Lol!  I love this!

But really, who could resist rummaging through a giant pile of architectural material that has patina, chipped paint and a thick layer of dirt?  

Relax - this is why handy wipes were invented.

I know - it's sad but probably true that some may see just a bunch of junk or trash in these items.

But... others see beauty and are inspired by these treasures and the potential to make them into useful items once again. 

Take for instance these Corinthian capitals - for a mere $12 grand, I could purchase one, flip it over, add a glass top, and make it my dining table – gorgeous!


Just look at the beautiful muted colors on these spindles.


Old mailboxes grouped together make for an interesting display.


Piles of vintage corner molding blocks.


So... if any of the stuff in my home looks like it’s been recently excavated during an architectural dig, I’m okay with it.  You can chisel that in stone.

Have a great week!


Monday, June 16, 2014

For the Graduate

You’re hosting your first graduation party, you say? 

Whether your graduate is heading off to college this fall, entering the workforce, joining the military, or not ready to leave the nest just yet, you’ll want this day to be a special one – one that will bring happy memories in years to come.  Sorry, no pressure…

We had the pleasure of hosting our first graduation party this past weekend for our niece.  With some careful planning and organization, you can create an event that your guests and your grad will enjoy.  Here are some things to consider when planning your event:

Paper lantern chandelier for the main tent

1. Invitations
Families receive many invitations throughout the summer months and calendars fill up quickly.  Be sure to mail invitations at least one month prior to the party so your guests can adequately plan.

Tropical theme food tent and buffet

2. Location
Will your event be indoors or out, at your home or another venue?  If you’re planning an outdoor event, be sure to have a way to provide guests (and food) shade from the summer sun.  Have a pergola, umbrellas, a canopy, or consider renting a tent.  

Watch the weather closely leading up to the party, and always have a Plan B for rainy or stormy weather.

Beachy centerpieces for the dining tables

3. Décor
The party should be as unique as your grad.  Think about the grad’s interests when choosing a look or theme.

We chose a tropical theme because our grad wants to travel in her future.

Beverage bucket for iced drinks

4. Food
When deciding what to serve, think about the number of guests you’ll invite.   For a small crowd, grilling may be a great option - but with a large crowd, the poor chef may get stuck hanging out over a hot grill all day.  
Catering works well for a large crowd, but it depends on your budget. 

We chose to purchase frozen BBQ and side dishes from a bulk outlet ahead of time.  Everything was heated in the oven then transferred to racks with Sterno cans to keep it warm.  The fruit and veggie items we assembled the morning of the party.  Doing it this way, we were able to spend more time with our guests and cleanup was a breeze. 

Paper lantern chandelier at night
5. Music
Don’t forget music or some type of entertainment.  Background music gets the party rolling and helps with that sometimes awkward silence when people don’t know each other well. 

We created a simple playlist of Mambo tunes to accompany our tropical theme.

Caddy for silverware and plates

The last tip I will leave you with is to keep the details as simple as possible.  Plan ahead, but don’t overload yourself.   

After all, the most important thing is that you enjoy this special day along with your graduate – for that is what he or she will remember.
Have a great week! 



Monday, June 9, 2014

Unexpected Treasure

One of the things I love about living in the Midwest is the abundance of old farmhouses and historical homes. 

As I was out and about on a recent Saturday, I unexpectedly stumbled upon a lawn sale at this awesome old home in Bedford Township.

Historical cabin in Michigan

Must stop for lawn sale……..

Pretty window with lace curtains

I parked my Jeep and grabbed my camera because this place was even cuter up close. 

The lawn sale was actually a fundraiser being held by the local historical society to benefit the continued restoration of the home. 

Side view of the cabin's addition

After speaking with one of the volunteers, I learned that the structure was built in the 1830s.  

And it once served as a summer home of Ina Duley Ogdon, a poet, hymn writer, and author, who was most noted for her composition “Brighten the Corner Where You Are.”


Window on original cabin

The home was not open for tours, but I did sneak a peek into the main cabin room which had a massive stone fireplace. 

I heard that the house is decorated for the holidays and is open to the public, so I will be making a return visit later this year. 

Treasures I found at the lawn sale

For today though, I was able to snap a few exterior pictures, find a few treasures, and learn about a little piece of history of our region.

So glad I stopped…


A story about a female spy - written in the 1800's

Have a great week!
Love this apple green and orange red together