Friday, November 30, 2007

A Little More Info on Effusion Lamps.....

More Info on Effusion Lamps

I just want to thank everyone for visiting my site! I'm glad I could be of some help with the effusion topic. It just happens to be something that I have spent a lot of time researching.

A few people wrote to me and I wanted to address their specific questions.

Marilyn wrote: Ditto what Cathy just wrote! Your instructions ( with pictures!!) are very clear and concise.I think I would like to try this myself and was curious as to which fragrant oils worked best for you, aroma wise. Does it perfume the whole house or is it contained to basically the room its in?Again, thanks for doing such great research!Marilyn

I can tell you this Marilyn: These will smell up the entire house within one hour of lighting. My house is around 3500 square feet. When lite on the main level you can smell it upstairs. I have purchased a number of small bottles of essential oil and fragrance oils. I try to stay away from the dark colored ones because they tend to clog the stone. If I do use them, I dilute them further adding more alcohol to the mix.

I mentioned that I purchased my fragrances from
I ordered from them and was very happy with the oils and also with the delivery, so I am sticking with them. Here is a sample of the type of scents they sell:

Red Apple, Arabian Spice, Sandalwood, Vanilla Pumpkin Spice, Almond, Cranberry, Musk and Woodland Pear....they have plenty more too. Each scent has a full paragraph describing it. It also guides you in what scents are strong and which ones are soft. I suggest you start with a small amount (1 oz) because it's the cheapest. That way if you don't like it, you haven't spent a fortune.

I personally have used:
  • Arabian Spice-too spicy for me
  • Lemon Verbena-soft, not very strong
  • Herbal Essence-just like the shampoo
  • Fresh Linen-wonderful and fairly strong
  • Beach Breezes-one of my favorites
  • Coconut Lemongrass-love this, but it is a dark color and clogs my wick
  • Applejack Peel-great around the holidays
  • Drakkar-holy cow, it's like filling your entire house with men(Ok, don't know if that's good or bad!)

I'm getting ready to place another order with them. Just read through the descriptions to see what you would want to try.

Kristine wrote: Hi Christy,
Thank you for sharing your experience and recipes! I had never heard of soaking the wick, so am off to do so! I work from home in my basement grooming dogs and I love useing the effusion lamp down there with lavender in it. However it does get expensive buying the oils. So thanks very much!

Kristine: soaking the wick will keep it clean and working well. The stone gets clogged from the oil. Soaking it cleans the oil out of those pores. I have also read that if your wick will not light you can burn pure 91% isopropyl alcohol for a few hours without adding any oil and this will clean the stone out.

Someone from The Garden Web also asked what Lampe Berger is. It's just a "brand" of effusion lamps and oils. She wanted to know if she could burn any other oil in them. The answer is yes, but the company wouldn't advice it. That makes sense for the company. Buy their lamps and buy their oils.

I'm too cheap!

01 02 12

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Effusion Lamps

Effusion Lamps....
and how they can scent your home

I admit it........I am a scent hound. I have spent too much money and time looking for the perfect candle. With two dogs, a cat and three kids I want the house to smell good and that's not always easy. Over the years I have found candles that really have left a delicious aroma in the house. The problem is that they burn out too quickly and when I go to buy another one...................discontinued!

A few years ago I found effusion lamps. I read up on them and decided to buy one. The lamp cost around $20.00 but I used a coupon and got it for $16.00. I bought mine at Kirkland's (one of my favorite stores). I have seen them at Hobby Lobby as well (if you go to their web site, they have coupons for 40% off one item). These lamps are also available all over the Internet. Just put in a search word: effusion lamp and you will find plenty.

I then had to purchase the effusion oil. I got mine at where they also have a large selection of the oils and lamps.
The problem was: I burned through the oil in no time. One bottle costs: $9.95. At the rate I was using my new effusion lamp, at the end of the month there wasn't going to be money left to pay the mortgage, so I thought I could try and make my own. The bottles have ingredients on them which include Isopropyl alcohol and essential oil. The question was, how much of each and was there something else added that they didn't list?
I really got fixated on this and was convinced that I could find a recipe out there. It took a long time to find a recipe, try it, move it around, change the measurements and finally come up with the right ingredients. Much of the information I got came from a Canadian web site.
I was floating around the Garden Web yesterday when I came across a post about candles. Some folks had mentioned the effusion lamps, so I figured I would share all my research.

What is an effusion lamp? They are decorative lamps (glass, blown glass, mosaics) that come with a snuffer cap (to put it out) and a decorative diffuser cap. They come with a wick. The cotton wick attaches to a stone. This lamp has effusion oil in it. It is then lit for 4-6 minutes and then blown out. The stone is now heated, hot and red. This porous stone stays hot for 12-16 hours and the scent is drawn through the wick/stone into the air.

Here is what I have found out through lots of research: Facts you need to know to properly use them.
  • always use 91% alcohol. NO OTHER % WILL WORK. It has to be!!!!! I buy mine in Walmart for about $1.00

  • After you use your lamp and it has cooled off, place the wick into a sealed, small tupperware that is filled with 91% alcohol. Let is soak overnight or longer. I always have two and alternate. One is burning and one is soaking.

  • Please be careful with them. Alcohol is flammable. If you have little ones around, place your burner WAY out of their reach. These lamps are very, very safe but like everything else (even candles) use common sense. They should never be knocked over.

  • Use good essential oils or fragrance oils in your mixture (I'll show you the link later on in this post).

  • Take good care of your wicks. If you don't soak them, they "croak". They are $10.00 a piece and should last between 6-12 months. If they are burning out on you and you can't light them, you are doing something wrong.

  • never, never fill your effusion lamp greater then 50%. That's right. Fill it with oil less than half way.

  • one effusion lamp is plenty for my house (3500 square feet), I can smell it all the way upstairs. They are great in a basement too.

  • Experiment with the oils. Some are very potent and some are not. If it's too strong, add more alcohol.

  • I have used many types of wicks. Lampe Berger makes the best!!! Don't waste your money on others, they burn out too fast. These cost around $9.95 and if you put it into a Google seach you'll find plenty out there. I believe I have seen them on Ebay as well.

  • They claim there are health benefits to using these lamps. When you consider they burn alcohol (which kills germs) it makes sense. Effusion lamps give off negatively charged ions that kill mold, germs, odor particles and other allergens. One thing for sure, they do not produce soot like candles do.
  • Unlike candles, they can be left alone while you are out or sleeping. Wow....that's great. I come home from being out and my house smells wonderful.
  • They do have a long history. I'm not going go into that, but if you are curious:
Here is the all important recipe. Follow it "EXACTLY" as written and do not substitute.
  • 16 FL OZ. (473) ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL 91% VOL.

  • 5 ml OF ESSENTIAL OIL (about a teaspoon)

Mix it up. I place all of mine into the plastic alcohol bottle. Remember, use Isopropyl alcohol, not rubbing alcohol. Use distilled water, not water from the tap.
Let your lamp burn up all of the fluid and then cap it off.
I've noticed that the longer my mixes are around, the better they get (kind of like fine wine).

Pictured here is an effusion lamp, the diffusion cap, the snuffer cap, the wick with stone attached and a tupperware that holds the wick over night.

To the right is the effusion lamp after being lite. This stays lite for 4-6 minutes allowing the stone to heat until it turns red. Then the flame gets blown out.

Here is a photo of the Lampe Berger wicks that I use.

Below are some of the scents I have used. There are plenty of Internet sites that sell essential oils and fragrance oils. I purchased mine from:
I have used both fragrance and essential oils.
So now you know what to buy, how to put it together (they usually come with directions) and how to take care of the wick.
Now...Directions for use.
  • Fill you lamp a little less than half with the oil that you have made.
  • Put your wick in. Let it sit in there for 20 minutes to absorb the oil.
  • Light it. Let the flame burn (it will burn high up there 5-6 inches)
  • Let it burn for 4-6 minutes (don't leave it unattended and be careful where you are lighting it)
  • Blow it out
  • Place the diffuser cap on it (that gets hot too so be careful)
  • leave it and it will scent your entire house
  • Let the lamp burn until all the fluid is gone if you want. If the scent is becoming too strong, then use the snuffer cap. This essentially turns it off.
  • When it has cooled, pull the wick and place it into the tupperware container that is filled with 91% alcohol. Leave it in there until you want to use it again. Next time you use it, take it out of the container, place into the lamp and light it up.
You can mix up your oils and create your own scents.
Occasionally you will go to light up that wick and it won't work. That means that you need to soak you wick longer. When all else fails, take the wick apart and cut off the black part (it looks burned) and put the wick back together. It's a delicate procedure, but it works very well and your wick will be like new.
I'm sure I probably left something out, so if you have any questions please don't hesitate to email me at or just post a comment on this site.I will gladly answer any questions you may have. These are wonderful lamps to use but as you can see, they do require some knowledge and little work. You will be happy with the results.
I would love to hear back from anyone that has found a really great scent. Maybe we can all share that information.
I wish I could remember the name of the Canadian web site (it was very much like Garden Web) where all the folks gave me such wonderful information about these lamps.
Good luck!
Christy01 02 12

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Floating Frames.....

Floating Frames

Floating frames are a simple way to display art work. Basically it's two pieces of glass that sandwich your print, photograph or picture, with a frame around it. The wall you hang it on will show through the perimeter glass. Not fancy, no matts....just your photo.

They are available in many retail stores. The three in the above photograph were purchased in Walmart for $5.00 each. The prints inside came from the clearance aisle for $1.00 each. Total cost $18.00.

What makes these particular frames nice is that they really focus on the art work, not the frame. If you have something you want to highlight, this is a great way to do it.

Although they have a contemporary look to them, old world prints still look fabulous. I've seen them in black, wood tone and white. Remember, if you can't find them in the color you need, paint them the color you want.

01 02 12

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thrift Store Makeovers........

Goodwill Hunting....

My first stop in the thrift store is the aisle with "wood" items. Many people throw away great wood pieces. For the most part wood can be repaired, sanded and painted. This gives you the ability to make your thrift store piece into a real treasure.

The candlestick holder pictured above was a plain, dark wood piece (total cost .50 cents). It was painted with acrylic paints, which was relatively easy because I only painted dots, squares, stripes and a few very small daisies on top.

The final step was to apply several coats of high gloss polyurethane.

If you aren't comfortable hand painting things, there are so many other ways to paint your item.

Here are a few examples: Rustoleum as a great variety of spray finishes.

  • Hammered
  • Antique
  • Crackle
  • Leather
  • Metallic
  • Natural rust
  • Sandstone
  • Terra Cotta
  • Crackle
I have tried several of these finishes. The hand hammered spray I have used on hardware for a great looking finish. In fact, my kitchen cabinet hardware was in such bad shape that I landed up removing all of them and spraying with the"hammered" product. They look great and I saved myself about $400.00 in new hardware. I used the brass finish, but they do come in several different colors.

Some of these finishes also work great on metal. Just take a good look at the directions and check what finish will work best for what you are painting.

For more information on Rustoleum spray paints check their site at:

Their site includes tons of information. They show you all their products, colors, different finishes and the types surfaces that can be painted.

So many times you will find something in the stores that you like that just won't match your decor. With so many different products on the market now you change the color without changing the item.

Happy Shopping!

01 02 12

Friday, November 23, 2007

More on tabletops

Creative Tabletops.............

I just can't help myself. I love to create tabletops. At some point I'll have too many and won't know what to do with all of them.

Here is just another idea.

The set pictured on the right was purchased about 20 years ago in Fortunoffs. I was single at the time and this was my kitchen set. It is made of fiberglass and has lasted so many years but still in great condition. It's been painted three different colors over the years. This table and chairs now inhabit my porch. I just felt like I wanted to do something a little different with it.

The table had a plain glass top that sat on a fiberglass stand. I found a round wicker rug ($3.00)in a basket store in South Carolina. It just happened to fit exactly "under"my glass tabletop. The hardest part was cutting out a perfect round circle out of plywood which I happened to have hanging around my basement. My jigsaw worked great for that part. That is one of the most versatile tools in my collection. A must have!

I used a Sharpy marker to draw the large flower onto the wicker. It wasn't difficult, just a round circle in the middle and eight petals. The flower was then painted with acrylic paints. A quick clear coat was then applied to protect it. Actually the glass that was placed on it really protects it, but I'm big on clear coating everything I paint.

I get plenty of comments on this tabletop now. It's definitely unique and only cost $3.00 to complete.

01 02 12

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Check Out The Clearance Aisle?

Damaged Goods?

It pays to look in the clearance and damaged goods section of your favorite stores. I spotted the chair pictured below on the sidewalk of a Pier One Imports store. Retail price originally around $375.00. Sale price as is: $60.00.

So why would Pier One sell this chair for $60 bucks? Well, it had some minor damage to the front legs, the arms and some of the wicker but nothing that could not be fixed with a little work.

This is what I did to make this $60.00 chair look like a $375.oo chair.
  • Sanded lightly all of the wood and concentrated on the damages areas.

  • Sanded the small areas of wicker (very carefully) that were damaged.

  • Found stain that closely matched the color that was previously on it. Then stained the wood and the wicker.

  • Clear coated the entire chair with spray polyurethane to protect it.

Several months later I found the chair pictured below in the very same place as the first one, out on the sidewalk in front of Pier One. This one again was marked $65.00 as is, originally over $400.00.

It basically had all the same issues as the first one. I did exactly the same in terms of repair. I found the ottoman at Target and stained it to match the chair.

Pay attention to items that are on the sidewalk, clearance or sale area. You never know what they want to get rid of cheap and how easily you can fix something with a little work.

I was very lucky. These two chairs are very beautiful and happened to look great with my decor. It didn't take a lot of work to repair them either.
01 02 12

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Free Samples......


If you are like me, you love a free sample. I am always surfing around the Internet for companies that are willing to send me something that I don't have to pay for. How often do you buy something, pay good money for it and then don't like it? Isn't it better to get it for free and try it first?

Most of the time to get your free stuff you simply have to fill in your basic information and occasionally fill in a brief survey. Sometimes it is a scam!! You fill in the info and you are asked to sign up for something that is GOING TO COST YOU MONEY.

I stumbled upon this web site this morning. Now you don't have to spend hours looking around for samples and weeding through scam.You can subscribe to this site and get frequent updates on what's out there "free".

With many of the free samples the company includes a coupon. So if you like it, you can buy it.......just a little cheaper.

Sign up for your updates from Heather and start getting some free stuff. Think about it: all the money you save on freebies puts more money in your pocket for decorating (oh....and extra money for your gas tank too).

Here's the site:

Check it out, she has some great offers on there right now.01 02 12

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thrift Store Finds..........

Thrift Store Finds........
Every once and a while you find something really unusual in a thrift store. A few years ago I found these three items at a local thrift shop. I really didn't know what they were when I saw them but I was sure I had exactly the right place to display them at home. They looked old and slightly crooked but I just loved them.

Three other ladies who were shopping at the time, asked me if I was absolutely sure that I would purchase them. They followed me around for quite some time until I convinced them that "they" were coming home with me!

This is where I decided to display them, on top of a cabinet.
Later that day my daughter came home from school and asked what "those things" were. I told her that I really didn't know. She stared at them for a while and finally said, "mom....they are upside down and happen to be candlesticks!"

She was right of course, but I couldn't get over the fact that I never realized it. I kept them upside down anyway and never looked back.......

01 02 12

Thursday, November 15, 2007



I love to create tabletops. I have several around the house that I will post from time to time. I've used tile, glass mosaics and seashells to decorate the tops.

The first one is this game table that I created for my kids. Both Home Depot and Lowes carry wood "pine rounds". They are reasonably priced and come all sanded.

I found the center of the circle first and then measured out a large square. I then divided the large square into 64 two inch squares (for the chessboard).

I found a pattern for the lizards on a stained glass web site and printed it out. I cut it out of the paper and used it as a template.

I then painted the rest of the table black except for the edges where I used yellow and did a random scallop. I used durable high gloss enamel paint for a sturdy finish.

This was an old kitchen set. I just replaced the existing top with a wood pine round. I spray painted the entire set with a high gloss black. I sprayed the entire table with polyurethane with four coats. The seats I recovered with some discounted fabric I bought at the fabric store.

The kids use it for playing games and for doing homework.
It's bright, functional and fun.

Painting a checkerboard on a table is a great idea. Not only does it look nice but it functions as a game table.
Great for kids and adults. Total cost under $50.00.

01 02 12

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Attractively convenient..........

Something New..............

I recently came across this new item made by a company called Wallies ( It's a peel & stick chalkboard that goes on most surfaces. The best thing about this is that it is removable! A few years ago someone came out with chalkboard paint. At the time I really thought that was a great idea. Paint it on and you have a chalkboard. But what happens when you don't like it anymore or want to move it to another area? You'll be painting again!
Wallies chalkboard goes on and comes off. What a great idea! I couldn't decide where I wanted to put the chalkboard. The entry hallway on the side of the house seemed like a good idea but so did my kitchen cabinet. I decided the cabinet was the way to go. If I change my mind later, I just move it. It is also repositionable so don't have to worry if it doesn't go on straight. It even came with chalk! I tied a string to it and fastened it next to the board. The package includes four 9"X 12" boards and comes in four great colors.

With three teenagers in the house and so many things to remember, what better way to keep track of it all. Wallies make a number of great wallpaper cutouts. I've checked their web site and found plenty of ideas that I can expand on. They also have wall murals. Check it out at:

I do most of my painting by hand, but for someone that is not artistic or doesn't have the time these are a great alternative. They can be used as a wallpaper border, on furniture, lamps and more. Let your creative juices flow and you'll find plenty of uses for them. I am currently working on some projects using more of these items. I'll bring them to you soon.......

Wallies web site is very comprehensive. You can order a free catalog, order products from them and find out where you can buy them locally.

01 02 12

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Thrifty curtain rods

Thrifty Curtain Rods
Curtain rods are expensive! A few years ago I needed rods for my kitchen windows. I have five windows, two on one wall and three on the other where they meet in the corner. So basically I needed two long rods. I shopped around for the rods and just couldn't believe how much it was going to cost me. I decided there must be another way, and there was. I went to Home Depot, purchased 3 inch PVC pipe (the type used for plumbing) 1 can of spray adhesive and a few
packages of twine. I took the pipe home, cut it to the size, sprayed it with adhesive and wrapped twine around it. I bought some finials and attached them to each end.

When you go to the plumbing aisle and take a look at the PVC you will notice they have all sorts of connectors. That's what I bought so my rods would form a 90 degree angle where the walls meet (see below). I made tab top curtains with some marked down fabric. They were cheap next to what I would have paid in a retail store.

There is so much you can do with PVC pipe. First you must buy it big enough so it doesn't sag in the middle. If you like the thinner PVC then buy brackets to support it. Think about what you could apply to the pipe to cover it. I used twine, but you could use fabric in the same way, cover it with wallpaper or another type of decorative paper and lastly you could spray paint it. Krylon has come out with a great paint for painting plastic. Here is the web site:

Here is a close up of the PVC rod covered with twine.

Finials you can find at thrift stores, discount stores and also craft stores. They carry all sorts of wood objects that can be made into finials. It's best not to make your finials permanent by gluing them on or you won't get those curtains off and on easily. I glued a small wooden rod onto mine so they would slip into the PVC pipe.

Other Ideas:

Here is another idea. Use a large, beautiful and as straight as possible tree branch as your rod. This looks especially good in a southwestern motif or a masculine room. It takes a while to find the perfect branch, but the completed look is great. Look for a branch that is dead but in good condition. Dry it out for a few days, sand it well, stain if you desire and apply polyurethane. Just drape a piece of fabric and you have a very unusual curtain rod. It's free too. You just need some nice hardware to hang it from. Here is a photograph of a branch that I found and made it into a hand rail. You can imagine the same set up as a curtain rod. Don't you love the fact that it's not completely straight. That's what makes it unusual and unique.

Here is an example of a rod made with a plain wooden dowel purchased at Home Depot and stained. This rod (it's missing a finial ) is hung from two large decorative hooks which are actually metal curtain tiebacks. Total cost for this rod including the hooks was under $15.00.

This rod was made from a cardboard dowel found at a fabric store. They use these to wrap the fabric around. It was spray painted brown and small finials were attached.

Buying your rod is the easy way to go, but sometimes expensive. Now at least you know there are alternatives and different creative ways to make your own.

01 02 12

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Thrift Store Makeovers..................

What Will $9.95 Buy???

I am always amazed by what you can find at a thrift store. I mentioned before that you need vision. You need to be able to look at something and know what you can do with it, also how it will look when you're all done with it. Here is a great example. My friend and I visited a Salvation Army many years ago. She found a dining room set with a table and four chairs. It looked tired, old and needed lots of work. Needless to say the upholstered seats had to be thrown away. The entire set cost her $9.95.

This set was solid wood with no veneers. If you look in furniture stores these days the price of solid wood furniture is astronomical.
The set was then stained and polyurethane was applied. She then picked out some beautiful designer fabric and recovered the seats.

This is the dining room set when it was completed. Wow....$9.95! Ok....well it was a lot of work but look at the results.

Years later she invested in a china cabinet that went very nicely with this set. It truly was a great find.01 02 12

Monday, November 5, 2007

What about behind your cabinets?

Behind the cabinet........Most of us just place things into our cabinets or shelves without much thought as to the back of the cabinet. Here is an area that you can really highlight by painting. You can paint it to highlight the cabinet itself or highlight the items in it. Here are some ideas.

The photo to the left is a kitchen cabinet that sits over a desk in the back of a the room. The color that is painted in the back highlights the cabinet, other colors in the kitchen and the wallpaper.

The cabinet above is part of a desk. It had two shelves in it that held....well....a lot of dust. It was white to begin with and very boring. The red color that it is now painted highlights the vase and silk vines.

This cabinet with a brick red background, also found above a desk, does a great job of "punching" out the white cabinet.

This is a wall unit. The back is not painted. What is shown here is a matchstick blind purchased at Lowes Home Improvement Center (cost-$7.00). I tightly wrapped this blind up and cut it with a very sharp saw. I then simply hung it behind the shelf. It gives it a rustic look.

Here is another example of the brick red painted behind a library. Punches out the white shelves and gives the room a very rich, warm color.

  • Take a good look at all your cabinets and shelves.
  • Could you paint them another color to highlight the contents or other color schemes in the room?
  • Are the contents light or dark?
  • What would help show off your collections?
I love painting behind the cabinets because it's easy and you can change it.
Other things you can use:
  • Cork board

  • fabric (very carefully tack it behind the shelf where you can't see it, so it can be removed later)

  • faux finish paint (sponge technique, crackle or antique)

  • lace (can be dyed to look old and tacked carefully to the back)

  • bamboo (cut and glued to the back-permanent)

  • wallpaper (semi-permanent)

  • beadboard or wainscoting (some carpentry skills necessary-permanent)

01 02 12

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Free Magazine

It's Free!!

Lowe's Home Improvement sends out three quarterly magazines entitled Woodpost, Garden Club and Creative Ideas. They are all completely free and all you do is sign up for them. All of them offer instructions on projects and great tips for around the house.

Here is how to get them mailed to you : or call toll-free 1-877-569-3702

If you sign up they periodically offer you coupons and freebies for in store items. Now that's thrifty!
01 02 12

What about that space above my kitchen cabinets....

Above the kitchen

When I had my kitchen done years ago I had space above my cabinets. The kitchen I have now has no space, so I don't have to worry about it. A few weeks ago I was traveling through some design forums and came across a question that asked what to do with that space. I thought that would be a great topic.

My first tip is this: You will find that so much dust will land on the top of your cabinets. Typically the cabinets are unfinished which means they are rough and everything sticks to them, including greese. Do yourself a favor and line them with newspaper. Don't worry, you can't see it from floor level. Every couple of months you take that newspaper down and replace it with new. This will safe you tons of work.

I find that the nicest way to decorate is to group a few objects together and display them leaving the rest of the area plain.

I love the greenery up there but I have to admit, it does get very dusty. You can put together silk flowers, baskets, decorative plates (they better be big or you won't see them very well), vases, art work, antiques, books and pictures. Anything goes. Grouping them in such a way that it makes sense. You're done and the top space above your cabinets look great.

These groupings contain framed art work, greenery, baskets, old olive oil cans and some wine bottles. Just use your imagination and capitalize on your collections.

01 02 12

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Thrift Store Makeovers......

Goodwill Hunting.........

These is going to be my favorite segments and you'll see lots of them! What can you make from junk that you find at a thrift store? The answer is: tons of things. This happens to be one of my favorite pass times. Find a friend, bring coffee to go and make a day of it. Thrift stores are great places to find treasures that others have thrown away. It is hit or miss with these places. Sometimes you have the "best" day ever and sometimes it is a huge disappointment. You have to stick with it and visit as often as you can. I'll show you all the items over the years that have been purchased, cleaned, repaired and made over. Don't worry, I have pictures too.

When browsing for "treasures" consider the following:

Can it be fixed?

How much will it cost to make it into what you want it to be?

How much time will it take you?

You must have vision. Can you see in your mind what it will look like when completed?

Since I now drive a Mustang..........will it fit into my car?

A year ago my friend and I went out on our monthly thrift store hunt. On this trip we stumbled upon some old house shutters. My friend thought these would look great on her screened-in patio, so we took them home. They were pretty bad in terms of condition, but structurally sound. We cut one of them in half, cleaned them up and sanded them down (just enough to make them look distressed). Then a brown glaze was applied. Finished!

well not exactly........

She wanted me to hand paint some greenery on them. I did it and below are the finished shutters hung up on the wall.

After this project was finished it was sprayed with a clear coat polyurethane.

This is now the centerpiece of her porch, total cost was under $7.00.

There are several more things that could have been done on this project including:

a crackle effect
adding old antique knobs

Just use your imagination!

You can check to see if there is a Goodwill Industries or Salvation Army locally by entering the names on Google. Their sites provide you with a locator when you enter your zip code. By shopping at these places you are also helping others.

01 02 12

Friday, November 2, 2007

More On Decorating Mirrors.............

More on decorating mirrors...................

I understand that not everyone has the time to cut, miter, prime and paint wood trim for their mirrors. Some people also love the idea but just don't have the "head" to take on this kind of a project. Florence from Boca Raton sent me a resent email and here is what she said:

Hi Christy,

You did a beautiful job with your mirrors and table. Wanted to let you know that in all the Lowe's stores in their mirror department there is a product called MirrEdge. There are 5 finishes with matching corner and cover plates for mirrors. The wood grain finishes can be spray painted to another finish very easily. You don't have to cut pieces straight, because either the decorative or contemporary corners cover the end cuts. It takes just a few minutes to install and is quite easy. I agree framing a plain mirror changes the whole room while making a ordinary mirror pop out.I love the stained glass corner. Great idea. I am going to try this in one of my rooms.

Thank you.

I took the opportunity to check out this product at Lowes Home Improvement Center. They had a very nice display set up in the aisle where they stock mirrors. The name of the product is Mirr.Edge. You can basically purchase all that you need to frame out a mirror. It's something that is easy to do and install. It comes in Cherry Walnut, Royal Oak, Driftwood, Regal Birch and also acrylic. When completed you will have something that looks a lot similar to what I did, but not so much work!
Based on Lowes prices you can frame a pretty large mirror for under $100.00. Not bad when you consider the prices of framed art work these days. I also checked out and they carry it as well

The web site for this product is very comprehensive and includes a video on how to install. If you have the dreaded black mirror rot (which happens to some mirrors) this is a great alternative to cover up those edges.

Thanks to Florence for this information. Check out her site:

Other sites to check for Mirr.Edge: and 02 12