Friday, December 16, 2011

Interview with a Creator

I saw an interview with Stacie Bloomfield, a friend-of-a-friend artist on Etsy recently

Stacie is very talented and very fun to watch.  She has an amazing sense of design. 

The wonderful photo of her was taken by Natalie Noack  Freeman who I am lucky to know (but not as well as I would like!) and whose husband I got to watch grow up. 

Check out her website, "Natalie Creates" at  Just don't hold it against me that she takes such amazing photos and I take really crappy ones!

Anyway... I LOVE this interview!

I also loved the way the questions made me think about my own life. So, however self-centered it may be, this is me:

And here are my answers to those same questions:

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I'm a 45-year-old mom of three amazing daughters.  I have a bachelor's degee in English and Communications/Journalism and a Master's degree in clinical psychology.  I am a former property owner, landlord, renovator, and house flipper.  I am an adoptee and a former adoption search/reunion consultant.  I am a blogger and an author.  I am guilty of serial careers because I am interested in EVERYTHING (well, almost)! 

Apart from creating things, what do you do?

TOO MUCH! I am the church secretary and graphic designer in the mornings. I have two flea market booths that I try to focus on in the afternoons before it's time to pick the kids up from school and make dinner. I am always looking for furniture to paint or stray objects to optimize. I have an evening job as a caregiver.  I am the mother of three daughters (18, 14, and 10), the step-mother of two boys (19 and 11), and the caretaker of a herd of dogs and a bevy of cats.  I work, drive, cook, clean, do never-ending laundry and dishes, and then squeeze in the things that I love when I can: writing, decorating, and creating.

What would be the title of your memoir? Why?

"Leap of Faith".  Because, when I was born (and before I was adopted at the age of ten days), the nurses in the hospital named me "Faith".   And because all the best things in my life have come from taking the biggest leaps of faith. There is so much God in every leap!  My current book is tentatively titled "Honeysuckle Hill". 

Where does your inspiration come from?

I get lots of inspiration from magazines and, most recently, from Pinterest (  I store what I see in magazines and that magazine way of thinking in my head and then project it onto things I find.  I am extremely visual and I love color.  I can just look at something and envision it's potential and what it will look like when I'm done with it.  Blessedly, my projects actually DO come out looking at least as good as my vision. I love elevating something that was headed for the trash (or already in the trash) to something that someone would enjoy and want to keep (and buy out of my flea market booth or off craigslist!).  

What does handmade mean to you?

To me, handmade means: resourcefulness, the concept with which I am most enamoured. I love making something out of nothing, making trash out of treasure, finding the good in everything and everyone!  To me, handmade things embody resourcefulness, creativity, color, art, and love!

Who has been most influential in your craft?

Nancy Ernest Ingram -- my parents' high school friend who grew up to be the editor of Tulsa Home and Garden magazine and then a field editor for Meredith Publishing (Better Homes and Gardens magazine, Do It Yourself magazine, etc.) and, later, author of Modern Country: Reinterpreting a Classic Style (  I've known her all my life and she has always inspired me with her interest in decorating, flea marketing, old stuff, and just plain being fun, positive, and interested in the world around her.  Her husband, Terry Ingram, is a close second!
When did you know you were an artist/maker?

I have always wanted to make things.  My grandfather gave me a little mini sewing machine when I was about 4.  I guess he could see me trying to sew even then.  When I was 15, he gave me the sewing machine that I still use today.  As a child and teenager, I dabbled in every kind of sewing and needlework (knitting, crochet, cross-stitch, embroidery, etc.).  I was also always fascinated with houses and furnishings. 

 I believe that what you play with most as a child relates directly to what you should do occupationally as an adult.  I played with doll houses, drew houses, built lego houses, loved play houses, dreamed of tree houses, and adored "playing house".  I am still all about houses and the things that go into them.
Also, I decided that I wanted to be a writer when I was 10.   I just didn't have anything to write yet. But now I do! 

How would you describe your creative process?

Channeling! Projects find ME.  Creativity and writing seem to come THROUGH me rather than coming from me.  Weird, but that's how I experience it.  My projects seem to come together via a life of their own.  I love watching this process unfold.  I believe that creative flow is part of the greater life force that is God. 

If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?

I was so fortunate to grow up sitting on the steps of the sunporch art studio of our family friend and neighbor, Joey Baker, watching her paint.  She later married Joe Baker (, also an artist, and then I got to watch BOTH of them in action as well as the way they influenced and escalated each other.  They were wonderful role models of creativity for me! 

What handmade possession do you most cherish?

I love the things my daughters make. All three of my daughters are very creative.  I only regret that I don't have a good method for displaying all their creations!  Must remedy this!

I also cherish the christening dress and blanket that were handmade on the Texas prairie for my grandmother when she was born in 1908 .  I was so touched that, of all the grandchildren, she chose to give these items to me because she believed I would appreciate them the most.  I do.  I'm not sure who they were made by but my grandmother's mother died of typoid in 1910.  If she made them, they are all the more precious to me. 

How do you get out of your creative ruts?

Magazines! And decorating books!  And, most recently, Pinterest! But also, patience. I've learned that, if I just wait with an openness to the process, the solution will come to me. Often, it's that I haven't yet found that piece that's been coming to me that completes the project. Sometimes it's an idea or a color or a picture or a fabric or a piece of something. I love to watch this process unfold even when I'm frustrated at being stalled out.

Where would you like to be in ten years?

Right where I am. Minus the financial problems, the delayed projects, the absence of my husband (who, for work reasons, lives in Oklahoma), and the constant stress and feeling of being overwhelmed. I just want to be in my house that I adore. After 16 years (and lots of tweaking), I love this house more than any other (and I've seen a lot of other houses as a realtor). I would like to have my husband beside me and my kids nearby (hopefully, having the University of Arkansas less than a mile away will help with that!), and I would love to have caught up with projects, repairs, maintenance, and optimizing around here so that my house can be at it's best.  My fondest secret aspiration is to have my house pulled together enough to be chosen to be on the neighborhood elementary school's annual home tour -- and to be the house that everyone loves the best! 

Beyond that, I would love to be writing and creating full-time -- hopefully in a bigger way than I am now and with my husband involved in a big way.  I am always at my best when I am creating and "projecting" and we have so much fun procuring projects together!

I would also like to write a book a year.  I 'm usually not a traveller, but I think it would be so much fun to travel and write on the road with my husband. He's promised to drive the RV while I write in the back. DEAL!


Camera Envy

So, kind of half selfishly/half as a public service, I entered to win an really nice digital camera at

But, if I won it, you wouldn't get to hear me whine about all my crappy photos anymore.  I suspect you wouldn't be all that disappointed.  So wish me luck!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Map Desk

I found this desk at the thrift store. The price tag said $24.96. I waited it out until it was 50% off and the price was $12.48. Then I bought it (well, actually, my sweet Emily went and bought it for me because I was out of town on the date of the price reduction -- bless her!).

I knew something that most others did not: that the pieces to the missing pen drawer were inside one of the other drawers -- thus making the desk complete. I knew how to put the drawer back together. And I knew how to save the desk from worn ugliness:

I decoupaged maps over all the worn and damaged surfaces. 

Out of consideration for my wood-loving friends Jeff and Barbara, I did not cover any un-damaged wood but, instead, let it shine in its own natural beauty:

I love the little pull-out work surface! Wasn't that where the principal taped his passwords?

The top is a collage of many smaller maps of U.S. cities and states. A kid could learn a LOT from this desk! Ok, so could an adult. That blue spot with the green around it is Crater Lake (in the top right portion of the dest top). That's my favorite spot on the whole desk!

Total cost: $12.48 for the desk plus 29 cents for the glue. I had the maps and the sealer (all free). Now listed on Craigslist for $225.00.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Curbside Seating

I found this chair on the curb. 

Its finish was all scraped up and it had stickers stuck to it and the seat was irreparably stained.

So I painted it.  And recovered the seat with fabric I've had sitting around for years.  It transformed into this:

And then I made a back pillow for it.  So now it looks like this.

Total investment: $4 because I had to buy spray paint (HATE that!).  Now listed on Craigslist for $35.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Chalkboard Desk

Bless Mark.  He supports me in every crazy endeavor I get into.  He was dumpster diving on my behalf when someone offered him this desk for free.  Of course, he took it.  He knew I would have wanted him to. 

At the time, it was all white with no knobs. 

I added some detail to the desk with black chalkboard paint.  

And added some knobs that I had on hand.

And, honestly, I really don't like it much.

But it was taking up precious space in my project room.  So I put it on Craigslist for $75.  Immediately I had three buyers -- all of whom LOVED it! 

I wish I could sell it three times over. 

Today's agenda:  Find more crappy vintage desks.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The "Freesourcefull" Christmas Tree Expedition

I am a complete Scrooge. And a Grinch (I even wire a Ginch on the front of my car every year and then I forget he's there and wonder why people are looking at me funny.  Grinchy loves thrill and the constant wash and blow-dry cycle he gets on the front bumper!). I hate Christmas. I hate the whole month of December. Christmas carols make my furious. The pressure of it all is WAY too much for me. BUT, like Scrooge and the Grinch, I always come around on the 24th and manage to enjoy Christmas once all the pressure is over. So I guess I don't hate Christmas. I just hate December 1 through 23.

Last year, Christmas shopping for three daughters on a total of $200 started out as a terrifying prospect and ended up being a huge, satisfying victory.  The girls each got 12-14 gifts (many of them designer clothes) plus gifts from Santa.  All this was detailed in a blog post if you care to go back and read it.  Somehow, I pulled it off.

This year is scary again.  I am selling painted furniture to have money for gifts ($65 so far).  Sara-Grace has informed me that clothes are lame as gifts so I will have to be more creative for her this year.  I'm hoping I can pull off a Christmas miracle similar to last year.  I DID start Christmas shopping in JULY this year.  I am very proud of that.  It did alleviate some stress -- but not enough.

I have come up (again) against that annual Christmas tree issue.  I HATE spending money to kill a tree and I hate buying something that I'm going to throw out in a month.  But the girls feel strongly about having a live tree.  I can't blame them.  I felt the same way as a child. 

We had a wonderful free-from-a-dumpster, pre-lit artificial tree at the house in Enid last year but we ended up selling it because it was cumbersome to store (and the girls prefer a live tree).  I'm wishing I had the dumpster tree back about now.

I scouted the tree prices at Walmart: $40 for the size we like (though last year we got a smaller one and put it up on a table.  But even $30 felt like a burden to me.  The $20 trees were just too small to stand up to my 9-foot ceilings (even WITH a table beneath).

Inspired by friends who cut down a tree off their own property every year, I decided we would find a "freesourcefull" Christmas tree this year.  After all, wasn't that how it all got started?  "Back when" people could just take an ax and walk outside and cut down a tree.  ALL Christmas trees were free in the beginning.  As were greenery and wreaths.  The whole point was to make use of the bounty of the season that was available for the gathering.  How did we get so far off this freesourcefull simplicity?

After allowing the girls plenty of time to shower, dress, and fix their hair and makeup (because the trees have eyes and care about the details of grooming of teenage girls, you know), we piled into the car and drove out of down with visions of pine trees in our heads, making a joke about how we could just pluck a bush from in front of the courthouse as we went.

Well, pine trees must not be indiginous because the only ones we saw were part of someone's landscaping.  Next, we looked for anything evergreen.   Not much to choose from.  All the evergreens were scrubby and spindly.  Most were cedar to which Tessa is allergic.

Finally, after several miles of back roads, I spied a nice, full, fairly-symetrical (spruce?) tree about 10 feet on the other side of a barbed wire fence that was, conveniently, broken at just that point, leaving only the top two strands of wire.  The girls rejected it, saying it was only 2 feet tall. 

I jumped out and climbed through the fence and stood beside it to reveal that it was, in fact, taller than I am.  Trees are deceptive that way in their native habitat, you know.  So here's "our" tree:  good size, great location, perfect for snatching and making a good, clean, quick getaway.  But NOOOOOOO!  The girls had to go on looking. 

We ended up at a small lake (that shall remain nameless to protect the guilty) that, though rural, is city property.  No one was around and we were the only car in the little dirt parking area so I decided to just go with the location because it was easy and no fist fights had broken out among the girls yet.  I was still hoping for the Norman Rockwell Christmas tree expedition, you know. 

We spied what looked like a towering pine tree in the distance and, concluding that big pine trees give birth to little pine trees, we got out and treked over to it -- not as easy a task as it sounds as distances are deceiving and forging an unseen small stream on wobbly, slippery rocks was required.

Here is a condensed and paraphrased version of my running conversation with Sara-Grace as we tromped in the woods:

S-G: "Are there bears in Arkansas?"
Me: "Yes.  But not around here" (I hope.)
S-G: (now clinging to my arm) "Let's go back!"
Me: "You can see the car right there.  We are safe."
S-G: "What are those foot prints?"
Me: "Labrador." (Or mountain lion).
S-G: " Let's go back!"
Me: "Let's find a tree."
S-G: "I'm scared of animals."
Me: "You're the bravest kid I know. Why are you scared NOW?"
S-G: "I just want to go."
Me: "Sara-Grace, please let go of my arm.  When we walk side-by-side, I always end up in the mud" (Wishing I'd worn socks.  And boots.)
Tessa: (Returning from where she'd followed Emily-the-rebel in the opposite direction.) "Emily found one!"
S-G: "Let's go home!"
Me: "Let's go see what Emily found."
Me: "Sara-Grace, all you have done is cling to me and whine since we got here!"
S-G:  (Bursts into tears.)
Me: (Thinking: "I am truly the worst mom ever.")

Somehow, Emily's find gave Sara-Grace the courage to tromp up the hill after her sisters to where there stood a semi-decent tree -- a bit too tall and kinda spindly and asymetrical but not worth arguing over.  It was a tree that they all agreed on which is a blessed thing.

Since all three girls agreed that this was "our" tree so, (grieving MY tree down by the road) I pulled out my battery-powered saw and began to cut the trunk.  The battery gave out about half an inch into the process.  So we tromped down the hill, across the creek, and back to the car for another battery.  And the reversed the process to get back to the tree.  Just then, about a dozen people appeared out of the woods from three different directions.  There I am standing there with my bright orange power saw looking all guilty (which I am). 

We let the people pass by (as Tessa-the-law-abiding retreated to the car to hide) then went back to cutting down the tree even though I knew the sound carried.  Battery two sounded all zippy until about 3/4 of the way through when it, too, gave out.  Emily manhandled the tree onto it's side and it was done.  Then my cell phone rang.  It was Tessa calling to tell me that the police had arrived.  Great! I'm going to jail!  At least they feed you there.

Call #2 came to say that the police car had left.  Maybe I'm not going to jail after a tree that no one would miss after all? 

I grabbed the trunk of the tree and began pulling it down the hill, and through the mud, and across the creek.  Just before I got to the parking area, someone said they thought the police car was waiting down the road.  So I ditched the tree off to the side of the path and piled everyone into the car.  If worse came to worst, I could come back for it later.  Or get the one by the fence that I'd wanted in the first place.

We drove down the road a couple of miles and, finding no police stake-out.  I turned around and went back for that darned tree. 

Of course, when we arrived back at the parking spot, there was a truck with a couple of men and a bunch of kids there.  I waited and they began to walk off into the woods.  As soon as they were out of sight, I grabbed my tree and hurled in on top of the car.  Just as the bungee cords came out, one of the men came back to his truck (probably to make sure we weren't stealing his stuff because we were acting so suspicious!).  Committed, I continued to secure the tree and then drove off. 

On the road out, everyone one had a meltdown.  Tessa balled me out for being a criminal and said we never do anything "HER WAY"!  I made the mistake of giggling (because I was already composing this blog post in my heard).  BAD idea!  Emily growled at me for having grabbed her phone off the car seat to take photos with without her royal highness's royal permission (without regard to the fact that the big people pay the phone bill and, thus, it is not good to yell at the big people).  Sara-Grace was just glad to be safe from bears, I suspect. 

I was thinking as I drove that maybe the Grinch wired to the front of my car and the stolen tree strapped to the top made me pretty darn conspicuous -- but were were also, very much in the spirit of Grinch-ness because, as the girls pointed out, the Grinch DID steal the Christmas tree, you know!

We got the tree home, cleared a path to the living room, dragged the tree in, dragged out the skill saw to trim the tree down so the top foot of it wasn't curved up onto the ceiling, shocked myself stringing lights into it, managed to keep it from toppling over several times, and finally managed to hang enough ornaments on it (for now) before I had to run off to my evening job. 

Somewhere in there, I was even able to cut the branches off the trimmed-off bottom section of the trunk which were just enough to adorn the mandle, swaddle the manger, fill a planter box on the front porch, and fill the two big flower pots the flanked the front door.  LOVED that part of the freesourcefullness of it!  THIS is what Christmas is supposed to be!

Later in the evening, as I was pricking my arms on the tree placing more ornaments while trying to hold the tree upright lest it topple over (again), Emily wandered in, laughed, and told me I was cute.  That's the same thing she said when my fiasco gingerbread house collaped. Perhaps "cute" = "pathetic"? 

Later, when Emily and I crossed paths in the kitchen, she said she was glad we had gotten a freesourcefull tree because it had been a good adventure. 

Maybe I'm not such a bad mom after all.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I've Been Up To My Usual Antics!

By now you probably know me.  Free stuff just finds ME! 

And then there's also the way Mark and I escalate each other in this area.  He loves to go to garage sales and haggle for cheap stuff.  I love to paint and revive it.  He loves to sell it.  Clearly, we were made for each other!

We spent last Friday night in Lawton, Oklahoma (long story!).  Here's what we got:

Mark's ornate vintage desk.  It's in much better condition than it looks in the photo.  He paid $10 for it. 
He may have caused a divorce with this deal because the husband was REALLY mad at the wife for selling it so cheap!
It's listed on Craigslist for $75.
My dresser with matching nightstand.  I paid $15 for both. 
They have since been freshened up with a new coat of paint and listed on Craigslist for $125.

The matching night stand (before I put the knob on).

When we ran out of garage sales, we prowled around for curb finds.  We came across a pile of boards in the mud on the side of the road.  I recognized them to be parts of a set of bunk beds or, at the very least, lumber that could be used for something.  We threw it all in the back of the truck -- pretty sure that it was missing pieces and hardward.  It was.  We ended up with three head/footboards, three bed rails, and a toddler rail... and NO hardware.  So I spent $6 on brackets and screws (which gauls me but oh well!) and put it together as a twin bed with an optional toddler rail. 

Before: still pretty ugly.

The remaining pieces (one headboard and one rail) will soon be a bench that matches the bed.  Mark had also found (previously) a free desk that has the same Bonanza feel to it so that will get painted red as well (perhaps with some squares of chalkboad paint) and thus we have a matching set.  The bed is currently on Craigslist for $45.  The desk will be $75 and the bench will be $30.  Which adds up to $150.

After: much better!

I'm trying to restrain myself from whipping up some denim or chambray bedding to complete the look. But I won't. Unless something taht would work lands in my lap for free. 

Mark also did his best "American Pickers" imitation and followed a woman into her shed to find this wonderful gem:

Vintage Coke Ice Chest

He paid $40 (which is a lot for us!).  It's listed on Craigslist for $140 firm.  Similar ice chests have sold on Ebay for up to $350. 

Our goal at the onset of our quest was to make $300.  Adding the selling prices everything up [$75 (desk) + $125 (dresser/nighstand) + $150 (red set) $140 (Coke box)] less expenses [$10 (desk ) + $15 (dresser/nightstand) + $40 (Coke box) + $30 (paint and hardware)].  Total investment $95.  Total selling price $490.  That brings us to $395 profit.  Pretty good.

And then there was all the other stuff we pulled out of dumpsters that's now for sale in the flea market booth...

I'd be in SO MUCH TROUBLE if I weren't married to someone who has the same "disease" that I do!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Next Best Thing to Free!

No, I didn't get these beds for free.  But I DID get them for just 50 cents each which is the next best thing to free, isn't it?  Actually, it's almost better than free because such a low price is an amazing victory!  Who would bother to SELL a bed for 50 cents?

I love cheap, UGLY stuff.  The uglier the better!  I love to have a hideous before picture because that just makes the after picture so much more satisfying!

This twin headboard wasn't so bad before.  It was just boring.

So I painted it with (free) shiny, bright red paint.  

It can be used in it's red form or there is an removable and reversible insert that has pages from a vintage encyclopedia on one side...

and vintage colored maps with some really great colors from the same encyclopedia on the other side.  I can see some little boy learning lots of geography and general knowledge information (all beginning with the letter "A" since that's the book of the encyclopedia the pages came from!) from studying his headboard when he's supposed to be sleeping!  There just HAS to be a globe on the night stand next to this bed!

The second fifty cent project was a really ugly 60's era headboard and footboard.

These were painted with (free) split pea green paint.

This is not my style and not my era because I am old enough to have lived through it, but I hope some twenty-something person will think it is really cool retro!

Next, I am eyeing a vintage desk that will be $12.50 if it's still there on Thursday.

It has a broken drawer, a gash in the back, and a heavily worn (or should I say "beaten"?) surface but I have a vision for it! 

The really neat thing is that my projects always turn out to look exactly like my visions!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Map Dresser

I found this ugly dresser at the thrift store.  The price tag said $19.99. 

A couple of days later I decided that $20 was a feasible investment for a piece to paint and sell in the flea market so I went back to see if it was still there.  It was so ugly I thought it was gone because, on second viewing, I was sure I would never pick out something so ugly.  Or would I?  But it WAS the same one.  Even better, the price was now 50% off.  My price: $9.98 (and no tax since it was a thrift store).

(That even uglier 60's dresser that you can see in the corner off to the right may be my next project if it hangs around long enough!)

The dresser had some issues with it's interior structure (drawer supports and such) but I can handle that.  It also seemed to be short a few drawer pulls and it only had two of the twelve little knobs that were originally on the top two drawers.  Upon further inspection and a search inside the drawers, I found all the missing drawer pulls.  And I only needed two of the little knobs to open the top two drawers anyway so it was ok that ten (yes, TEN!) were missing (that's 84% if you want to obsess on it mathematically with me).

Here's a shot of the original wood grain so my manical wood-loving friends Jeff and Barbara can truly suffer.

There truly is God in color for me.  I have this rule about only using paint that I get for free from the city's waste disposal facility.  I go there once or twice a week to see what they have.  Amber, the little blonde 20-something who runs the warehouse probably thinks I'm the biggerst huffer in town.  I usually walk away with the limit of 8 items per visit:  paint, spray paint, car care products, cleaners, spray adhesive, plant food for roses.  Often, they have things I don't even know I need yet but, if I trust the process and my little inner voice, I end up with just what I need (sometimes even before the project I need it for arrives).

For this project, I mixed together a wedgewood blue called "Peacock Plume" (remember that little round pedestal table that I used it on previously?) and a sea-foam green and I think I got pretty close to the "old map-water blue-green" that I'd envisioned.  Close enough anyway!  In the past I was able to fret over subtle nuances of shades of colors for months and months and never get to the project because of the color dilemma.  Now, I just trust God with the color selections and everything goes pretty well (and much more quickly)!  Like most colors, this blue changes dramatically with the lighting.

The paint was truly transformational for the body of the dresser and really brought out the curves.

Drawers in process.

Detail of maps on drawers (before glue).

This was a test to see if I liked the drawer pulls and knobs in their original antique brass color.  I did not.

So I sprayed them with (free) chrome (not silver!) paint. Much better!

Here is the finished product -- all done and ready to go to the flea market if it doesn't sell off Craigslist before I can get it there (things sell off Craigslist SO FAST!).  I'm wishing a had put a globe and some more red stuff on top of it for the photo!

I think it looks really good with red accents!

This time the tag says $125.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Resolved My Camera Issues So Here Are Photos of What I've Been Up To Lately

I am SO proud of myself.  I transferred about 10,000 photos to my external hard drive -- ALL BY MYSELF, I might add!  I am now in the midst of the slow process of individually deleting photos off my phone (because I want to keep some of them on my phone).  My phone now allows me to take a few photos at a time before scolding me about memory space again.  Hooray!  So here are some photos!

In Organizing News:
My recent kitchen OCD spree resulted in the following havens of OCD happiness:

The drawer that was formerly the foil/plastic wrap/ziplock bag drawer
(before I quit buying all of those items)
and then became a giant sloshing tangle of packets and (don't ask me why) stray keys
is now a blissful OCD porn display of orderliness
with a section of each kind of condiment packet.
I will never be completely out of ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, hot sauce, or salt again!
(I know you were deeply concern about that on my behalf!)

My "coffee station" -- coffee maker and filters in a cute bowl below. 
My favorite Fiesta mugs and canisters for coffee, decaf, and creamer on the bottom shelf.
Miscellaneous mugs (including my two beloved 50 cent Starbucks mugs)
and sugar bowl on the middle shelf.
Travel cups and cookbooks on the top shelf.
Now I don't have to walk across the kitchen three times
to gather everything I need to make coffee! 
Why didn't I think of this sooner?

In crafting news:

Halloween banners made out of entirely salvaged materials
(newspaper, brown paper bags, old file folders).
Wishing I'd started making these earlier in the season!

In thrifting news:

I found this wonderful vintage quilt top at the thrift store for a grand total of $1.96!
It contains 1260 2" squares of 30's fabric, partially hand-stitched and completely fascinating!
I could look at it for hours!
Then I found three more quilt tops that I've had stashed away in the project room for YEARS.
I will resist the urge to put backs on them. 
Instead, I will just slam them into the flea market booth as is.

I wonder what's next?