Great Goodies from Goodwill!

Lately, my Goodwill has had a lot of neat things. If I had a lot of money I would probably be bringing home a bunch of  goodies, but since we are on a pretty tight budget I have to choose a few special items. Here are some of my latest finds:

This lovely Japanese teapot was only $1!

I think the blue and brown Herons match nicely with the rest of my kitchen. :o)

This cute cork sculpture was only $1! There is a small missing piece of glass in the back, but I don’t mind.

I love all the detail in cork sculptures! I have a couple of small ones, but could never bring myself to spend the money on a larger one.

See how pretty it looks on the shelf over one of my windows in the kitchen?

This heavy wooden tray was a real bargain at $2.50!

And I knew I had to have this vase when I saw it! The glass is blueish and I love the woven bamboo around it! Someone hid this behind a bunch of junk. I saw it peeking out and pulled it out to get a better look. I would’ve paid full price for this ($4.99 at World Market), I only paid $2.

And it’s “Made in Vietnam” just like my husband! 😉

They make a nice addition to my living room decor, don’t you think?

And Robyn, I did think of you when I dropped by Goodwill this week! 😉 For those of you who do not know, Robyn is a lovely lady with a sweet blog called Forest Hills Road. She has a really positive and uplifting outlook on life. I hope that you will stop by and visit her! :o)
Forest Hills Road  has had a “blog not found” message for the last few days. I’m not really sure what has happened to my friend and I hope that you will all keep her in your prayers!

Thanks for visiting! :o)

I’m linking to these fun parties:

Tropical Bird House

I found an old wooden bird house in the basement a few days ago. Just a plain craft one from the Michael’s store that  had been sitting on my craft shelf forever. I decided to dress it up a bit and use it on my porch. In case you haven’t noticed by now, my husband and I prefer Asian and tropical style decor. So I thought maybe a tropical looking birdhouse would go nicely.

First I primed it. It had a few splotches of red on it from one of my kids. He was going to paint it, but then lost interest.

Then some chocolate brown spray paint.

Next I thatched the roof with some bamboo pieces that I saved after having the blinds in my kitchen cut down to size.  Then I wrapped it in twine. Sorry I didn’t get any photos of this…It was too hard to glue and snap pictures at the same time, especially with my sticky fingers. :o)

I painted the posts red and added a couple of yellow flowers for color.

A little taste of the tropics. :o)

Thanks for visiting!


P.S. Don’t forget to check out my GIVEAWAY

Linking to these fun parties!

The Girl Creative


Keeping It Simple


Show and Tell Green

Transformation Thursday

Decor Mamma
Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Autism and Decorating – A Few Tips

In February I posted about my oldest son’s room and some of the decorating delimmas I’ve faced raising a son with Autism. Click here to see that post.
Today I want to expound on that subject a little. I’m no expert on Autism, but I have been raising a child with Autism for the last 18 years, so I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve learned over the years.
1. The experts say to choose calm, soothing colors for your child’s room. Don’t assume that those colors are going to be pale or neutral colors. More than likely they will be colors that are the most familiar. My son has always loved bright yellows, oranges and blues.
2. Make sure that any furniture you put in your child’s room is sturdy and easy to clean. Try not to have too many things for your child to climb on. If you have any question about whether or not to use a piece of furniture, use it on a trial basis. If, after a month of close observation your child has either ignored it or used it properly, than it is probably OK.
3. When decorating, try to buy things that are easily replaced or very inexpensive. This way if your child gets creative and takes something apart or throws a tantrum and breaks something, you won’t go broke trying to fix or replace things.
4. The most important thing is to know your own child. I know that sounds kind of silly, but every child is different and this holds true for Autistic children too.
For example, my son rarely bothered little knick knacks. I was able to trust him not to (purposefully) break them. However, he doesn’t exactly understand that extra caution is needed to keep them from getting broken. That is why most of his little breakables are from the dollar store and up on a shelf over his chair where they are less likely to have an accident.
4. Life stages are important too. My son functions on about the level of a three year old. That does not mean that he hasn’t matured or gained new understanding of how things work. Three year olds are pretty smart and figure a lot of things out, so imagine if your three year old had 18 years to figure things out. Does that make sense to you? It’s sometimes difficult to explain this to people.
When my son was little he interacted more with people, didn’t throw many tantrums and didn’t need much in the way of medications. When he went through puberty everything changed. He began throwing more tantrums, biting himself, hitting himself in the head and interacting less and less; he couldn’t be trusted with very much in his room because he would either destroy it or hurt himself. Now we are through with puberty and the hormone levels have stabilized. He doesn’t have as many tantrums, has more interaction with family and he can be trusted to have a few things in his room.
Trust your instincts – most of the time they will be right. If you have any questions or would just like to chat, feel free to email me I would love to hear from you! :o)

I’ll be at these fun parties:

                             The Shabby Chic Cottage


The Girl Creative

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

From Junk Mail to Wall Art

Today I went to check the mail and found the usual…bills and junk. One of the pieces of junk had a pretty little picture on it and I didn’t really want to throw it away so I decided to turn it into free wall art for my kitchen.

I started with this old frame and matting.

Here is my Arbor Day Foundation junk mail.

After a couple of coats of paint on the matting and frame and a little distressing, here it is now.

Not too bad for free, right?

I made a little flower to cover some writing that the matting didn’t hide.

Thanks for stopping by! :o)
Linking to these fun parties:

The Shabby Chic Cottage

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special


Beachy Hanging Candle Holder

It’s that time of year (Spring…Yay!). OK…well, almost. I look out at my front porch and realize how neglected it has been throughout winter. Since it’s still too cold to tackle any of the big projects I have in mind, I’ll start small.

First, I took a picture frame from the dollar store (an old frame would work too), and drilled four holes in the middle of each side.

Then I took an old horseradish jar and glued it to the glass from the frame with a hot glue gun.

I also removed the stand for the frame (is there another word for that?).

Put the frame back together the way it came…except now there is a jar on the front. Pull twine or ribbon through the holes and tie them in nice sturdy knots.

Tie the top together with two knots to make a loop to hang on the hook.

(Please disregard the beads on the jar in the picture..hehe…changed my mind on those!)
OK, I ended up painting the frame white. I guess that would have been easier in the beginning, but I had trouble deciding how I wanted this to look.
I ended up with this.

I sanded it a little to get a little bit of a distressed look.

Then I glued on a few seashells.

I also glued a white ribbon and a seashell on the jar.

It still needed something…my husband suggested colored water and I liked the idea. So I added seafoam green water and a tea light.

Here is my little helper.

Another picture of the candle holder.

Thanks for stopping by! :o)
I’m linking to these fun parties:

The DIY Show Off


Sumo Sweet Stuff

Keeping It Simple

It’s So Very Cheri – It’s So Very CreativeThe Persimmon Perch – Made it Monday

The Girl CreativeDIY Day @ ASPTL
Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Autism and Decorating

Eighteen years ago I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, who happened to have multiple disabilities. When he was born, I was told he was profoundly deaf. At the age of three (he still couldn’t walk) he was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. We suspected he was Autistic for quite a few years before he was formally diagnosed at the age of 8.
When he was young, decorating was the same as it would be for any little boy. As he grew, it became a much greater challenge. Especially during puberty!
If there was anything with mesh he would obsess over it (or eat it). If it had wheels, he would spin them all night (or break it up…and eat it). If it was wooden he would either climb on it or break it apart (or eat it…I’m not kidding! He once ate 30 wooden beads from an abacus that he broke up!).
I wanted him to be able to have a cozy little room, but was limited in what I could put in there. Plus, all of his toys have to be locked in a closet at night for safety concerns and his sleep issues (he was staying up all night every night obsessing over toys). So, he spent the next few years with very plain walls and an empty-looking room (except when he pulls the entire contents of his closet out onto the floor).
I’d tried all sorts of ideas out, but never considered painting a mural since I wasn’t blessed (like the rest of my family) with a whole lot of artistic talent. One day, after drawing the same little bird on his hand (he loves birds) that I’ve been drawing for him since he was a baby, I thought, “Why don’t I put that on his walls?”
I got out my craft paints and paint brushes and went to town. 
These are his walls now (sorry, didn’t think to take a “before” picture…so just imagine emptiness). I’m not such a great artist but, he was very happy with his new birds and that’s what matters the most to me! :o)
Big tree in the corner with birds, butterflies and dragonflies.

Scene with a bird trying to fly.
One giant bird.

Linking to these fun parties:

The Girl Creative

Bathroom Luxury on a Budget

Doesn’t everyone want to be pampered a little? Don’t we all want every room in our home to be a place we can relax and unwind in?

Up until recently my bathroom had been sorely overlooked. I mean, it looked OK…it was functional and nothing I was ashamed of, but I felt like it could be better. So I marched into the bathroom and put all the toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs, brushes…you know, all the functional, everyday items into the closet (of course, that meant a little re-organizing).

I realized that I don’t have to spend a fortune to get a little luxury for my bathroom.

First, I looked through what I already owned. It’s amazing the things that sit in your house everyday, unnoticed and unused, isn’t it?

I found these:

I inherited the bell-shaped bottle from my grandmother and found the other one when we moved in. If you don’t have anything like this you can usually find them at thrift stores.

Candles are great! They look good just about anywhere and they are cheap and easy to find.

I think interesting soaps are great for decorating in a bathroom! 
Hand made soaps in an old Mason jar.
Or interesting store-bought soaps in a wide mouth vase.
This particular soap is a Chinese brand called Bee & Flower. They are very inexpensive and are sold in most Asian markets.
I found some nice cork-lid jars at Goodwill for .50 cents each and filled them with interesting textures. Bath salts in one, seashells in the other. I wrapped them in twine to add to the texture.
A basket with rolled hand-towels or wash cloths looks nice, too!

It doesn’t have to cost much to look great!
I am linking to:

The Shabby Chic Cottage

Beyond The Picket Fence

Decor Mamma

Bamboo Table Runner from Dollar Store Placemats

Yesterday I was browsing at The Dollar Tree when I found these cute, multi-colored, bamboo placemats.
I bought 3 of them to make an easy table runner for an old trunk that my husband got when he was in the military. We’ve been using the trunk as a table ever since we got married.
I lined the placemats up end-to-end.
Then I used a needle to pull some neutral toned cross-stitch floss through the ends.
After, threading down the sides I tied them off, then trimmed off the extra string.
I got out my hot glue gun and glued some ribbon on.
And, now I have a nice little table runner! 🙂
I am linking to:

The Girl Creative


Disposable Chopsticks Wall-scroll

What do you do with those disposable bamboo chopsticks that they give you with your meal when you go out to eat at an Asian restaurant? Do you throw them away? Stuff them in a drawer somewhere? I imagine most people do.
Recently, someone gave me a a whole bag of disposable chopsticks…still in the wrappers. I saved them because I figured I would find a use for them. So far I have used some of them for cleaning out hard to reach places, mixing paint and Christmas crafts.
Today I thought of another use for them…decorative scrolls! 🙂
First, I took an old dress that I was saving for just this sort of project.
Then I cut it into the approximate size and shape of a small scroll.
I got out some black fabric paint and my paint brushes.
I painted a simple bamboo design…If you are not the greatest artist (hehe…me) then you can print a template off the internet to use for your design.
Here is my painting…very simple as you can see.
Next, I sewed the seams up then folded it over to make a place for the chopsticks.
And here it is. Now to find a nice place for it. 🙂
I’m linking to:


A Window in Red

Up until recently I had pink curtains that I found for $5 at Goodwill hanging in my living room. Those curtains served me well, but I really wanted something red to fit the rest of the decor. I shopped around and found plenty of red curtains that I liked, just not in my budget.
So, then I tried looking for fabric. No luck there! It was either the wrong color, texture, cost too much…you get the idea.
Then I had an idea that totally fit my budget. I bought an inexpensive (mostly cotton) flat sheet for $4. I also bought two bottles of Rit dye and a couple spools of ribbon.
I dyed the sheet the color of red that I wanted, then cut it in half and sewed it into two matching panels, and added ribbon to the top (look here).
Next I added white lights, an old white shawl, a lantern and a couple more of those bamboo fans I mentioned before.
Here is my new living room window! So cozy!
I am linking to:
Finding Fabulous for Frugalicious Friday
The Shabby Chic Cottage for Transformation Thursday