Easy Fall Decorations

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Handy Boy has been anxious to put up our fall and Halloween decorations.  Since the first “official” day of fall is coming up, and it’s been getting cooler outside, I told him that we could. To make things look less cluttered, after I took out our fall decorations, we tucked away some of our “everyday” decorations into storage. Those items will come back out again after New Year’s.

I like to put up small groupings in the kitchen and the living room.  The glass jar is something that we found in an antique store recently.  It’s dark colored glass, with a slight red tint to it.  Rob said that his grandmother used to have a jar just like this.

The shelves in the kitchen.  We bought them ages ago in TJ Maxx.  After Thanksgiving, I put Christmas decorations on them.  Before I put the fall things up, I had displays of other items; but I was never satisfied with how things looked, so I never took a picture of them.  😉


I bought these two scarecrows this year.  Aren’t they cute? I love scarecrows.  I feel like I can leave them up past Halloween and through Thanksgiving.  I purchased these decorations over time at craft fairs, yard sales or on sale at retail stores.

Even Handy Boy decorated his room.  I give him little things to put on top of his dresser.  He is so cute, arranging and re-arranging things.  I found the little “Boo” skeleton and the little scarecrow at Michael’s this year.

So, who is ready for fall?  It got down into the 30s last night here in New England…brrrr!

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Decorating with Antique Glass Jars

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I wanted to show some of the antique glass jars that we have.  We use them to hold our collections of white rocks, sea shells, and sea glass that we’ve found at nearby beaches.

I took these first three photos outside, since it’s so cloudy here today, and my inside photos were coming out too dark.

White rocks…

…sea glass…and even a ring that we found (can you see it?)

It will take us a while to fill these up, but I think they are pretty to put on a shelf or windowsill.

Since our house is new-ish, we don’t have wide windowsills.  This pass-through from the kitchen to the family room is the widest “window sill” that we have, so that’s where they live.  I think they would look even prettier on a window sill that gets lots of sunshine.  Our jars are light blue, but they come in other colors as well.  You can usually find these jars in antique stores for around $8 – $20 apiece.  Some styles and colors cost more than others.

Two of our jars are labeled “Atlas” and one is labeled “Ball.”  Jars like this are commonly referred to as Ball Jars, even if they aren’t that specific brand.  If you are interested in looking for more information about Ball Jars, check out The Ball Jar Collector’s Web Site. He has a huge collection!  He also shows Ball Jars in different colors, and explains how the different colors of glass were made.

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Do you collect anything?  Tell us about it.

Antique Hand Mirrors

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After we renovated our downstairs bathroom…I was looking for something to place on this wall.  We decided to hang up these antique hand mirrors that we had purchased over the years.  We originally saw the idea years ago in Country Living Magazine.

We found some plastic mirrors in green and ivory, and also some wood mirrors.  I also have some silver plated hand mirrors that I am going to use in another room.

Once I figured out where I wanted each mirror to hang on the wall, Handy Man hung up screws.  He then put plate hangers on the backs of the mirrors to hang them on the screws.

I liked the idea of having them hung at all different heights.  I used seven of them here, to take up a good amount of space, but so that they wouldn’t overwhelm the room.  We get lots of comments from guests about the mirrors.  I think they are a bit unexpected, but fun.

These antique hand mirrors aren’t usually very expensive; most sell from $15 to $40, depending on condition and material.  We collected these over a long period of time, without even knowing what we would do with them!  I was just drawn to them, and after we saw the Country Living article, we put them up in a grouping in our last house.  We did the same here.

I still watch for antique hand mirrors when we go to antique stores (along with vintage Fiesta dishes, of course).  Is there anything that you watch for, or collect, when looking in antique or consignment stories?

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$3 Pillows!

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We have a sage green couch that we bought when we moved into this house (late 2005).  Over the last few months, I decided that I wanted to buy some pillows for the couch. I felt like it needed a little “something.”

I looked in several different stores, but couldn’t find much that I liked.  I did find some nice pillows in Target, but I didn’t feel like paying $20 EACH for pillows.  No. Way.

One day, Handy Man came home from Lowe’s with some supplies for the shed project.  He also came home with these cranberry color pillows.  Just the size and color I wanted!  They have just the right amount of softness and fluffiness.

I keep forgetting that Lowe’s has some Home Decor items, since it seems like we are always in the hardware or lumber aisles.  Keep that in mind next time you are at a Lowe’s.

Upon looking at the receipt though, Handy Man discovered that he had been overcharged for the pillows.  They were originally $15 each, but marked down to $7.50.  He thought they charged him $7.50, but they charged him $15 instead.  Since we needed something else at Lowe’s (we spend half of Rob’s paycheck there, I swear), we went back.  We asked them to refund us the price difference.  The customer service desk person called to check the price, and they had been marked down to $3 EACH!  I guess they had been marked down even further during the day.  So we ended up paying just $6 for the two pillows.

I love a bargain!  Have you found any great bargains lately?  Tell us about them.

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The Book Case is Now White

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Here is the new/old book case we bought at the antique store.  It was painted green, was very dirty, and had a wobbly board on the back of it.

Remember what it looked like before?  Handy Man put two coats of white glossy latex paint on it, and we moved it to the guest room.  He also removed the board on the back of it.  I started to put some pictures and trinkets on top of it, and moved some books into it.  I don’t have all the books moved up there yet, but I like how it looks so far.  I really love how it looks next to the light blue walls and the white trim.

And yes, that is the Twilight series on the second shelf.  I am still on the first book!  (Don’t laugh, I have been super busy blogging, and I just got the set for Christmas.  Never mind that its after Valentine’s Day now!)

We have quite an oddball collection of books.  We have new and old books of all subjects.   On the same shelf as the Twilight books, you may be able to see some light blue books.  Those are my Little House on the Prairie books.  They are paperback and I have had them since I was a child.  I suppose I could buy nicer hardcover copies; but I like the worn paperbacks.

On the top shelf are books that I have already read.  I bought several of them at Goodwill for 25 or 50 cents.  Sometimes it takes me a while to get around to books that I want to read (as you can see, with the Twilight books!), so I like to just buy them and have them around for a while.  If I don’t love a book, when I’m finished with it, I will pass it on to someone.  If I love it, I’ll keep it.  Most of those paperbacks are books I probably won’t read again, but I wanted to check them out.

Do you have a lot of books around?

Posting this on the great web site, Tip Junkie/House of Grace/Funky Junk Interiors/Domestically Speaking

Ye Olde Changing Table

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Handy Man and I bought this changing table waaaay back in about 2000, for the impending arrival of Handy Baby.  We found it in a consignment store that sold used and antique furniture and collectibles.  We liked it for several reasons:

– it was cheap

– it was sturdy, not flimsy like the changing tables we had been looking at in department stores

– it had nice, deep drawers for storage of all that baby “stuff”

– it was a project.  Handy Man painted it white, and we bought a nice pad to put on the top of it for baby changing.

– it was cheap.  Seriously, I think we paid less than $70 for it.

The old changing table has now turned into a storage dresser in our guest room upstairs.  I loved the changing table, its so cute and charming…but we’ve decided to put the new/old book case in its place.  We no longer have a baby that needs changing, obviously; and there is another dresser in that room for storage, along with an ample closet.

I’m not sure where the changing table will travel to on its next journey…perhaps we will sell it on Craigslist?  Maybe we’ll find a friend or family member who needs it? Farewell, ye olde changing table…

Paint Coat #2 on New/Old Book Case

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We interrupt this program to bring you the status of our recently purchased new/old book case.  Remember how it started off green?

Here it is, with two coats of white paint, so far.  Handy Man will put a third coat on it soon.  He also decided to take the back piece off; it was kind of flimsy.

We’ll probably leave the back piece off it.  There is a brace piece on it (see on the shelf second from the bottom?)  The book case is sturdy anyway, it will have loads of books on it, and it’s going to be up against a wall.  I’m thinking it can stay open like that.

What do you think so far?

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