Wednesday, March 24, 2010

~ Happy Spring ~

Happy Spring everyone! wow, I can really say that now!..... it's official!.... Yippee :)

I'm stopping in for a quick post and to get some opinions :) What a busy time of year getting the Cottage all ready for the warm weather to come! Last week we hit 72 degrees! Oh how lovely! :)

I freshened up the Cottage with some new pillows... I adore the french grain sack and ticking looks! So I added a few to my new chair and the Sofa! Do you all love ticking and that soft grain sack fabric too?

I love a little French.... The blue and white one is so soft and vintage! And I adore the one from Heidi's shop too! It means French Bakery , gotta love that :)

I didn't get this yet, but ordered one for the bedroom.... Do you like a little floral with your ticking?
Veranda magazine did such a pretty job with these vintage looking pillows, don't you think?

Ok now onto my tiny little question :).... My chandelier needs a little spruce up, which shade would you pick?

1. Is a pretty sage green check 2. Is a little burlap and gingham and 3. ? Well, 3 means I make them myself out of blue and white ticking?? Hmmm, any tips on getting it to line up on the plain shades I'd buy , or should I angle it ? OR scratch the idea of 3 altogether lol ?? Or ....if anyone has seen any blue and white ticking shades for sale anywhere I'd be eternally grateful if you could let me know, where?? :)

Well friends, Thanks for helping me out in advance!! I hope you are having a wonderful Spring!!

Love ya lots!!!


~ Cynthia ~ XO

Saturday, March 13, 2010

~ Garage sales, flea markets and a Winner ~

( Country Living )

Hello Friends! Last night we set the clocks ahead and that means an hour more of sunlight! I could not be happier with that :) Spring is almost here and it's the perfect time of year to do a post about Garage sales, Flea markets and great finds! If you've never shopped at one, its a must this season. With the economy and everything being so expensive these days , this has always been a favorite way for me to shop for that perfect little something, or even those big ticket items that you can take home and add some paint to! It used to be that I'd get up on a Saturday, newspaper in hand, a nice hot coffee and off I'd go for an entire day of driving around and seeing what treasures I could find. But last week I was contacted by this great new site called Garage Sales Tracker. I am very careful about who and what I highlight on my blog and what I think is valuable to my readers, but this one was fabulous so I jumped at the chance to share it with you!

( Country Living )

This Flea Market above is in Brooklyn, NY and I just love going and seeing all the incredible deals and seeing what great vendors appear each year! Country Living magazine does a fantastic job of showing us what we can do with the pieces we find too! It's important to look at everything and sometimes what you are looking at , doesn't have to remain what it is either. For instance, last year I came upon a torn up book , it had some good images from the 40's and that fabulous type that is just so vintage too! But it was a mess and the binding was broken too! But I looked beyond that and for $1.00 I brought it home and used the pages in it to make a beautiful collage background to the insides of one of the shelves on my hutch. Just a little glue, a finish coat, and it was done. For penny's I transformed an entire piece. Point being, think beyond the item. :)

( Country Living )

Then sometimes, you spot something far away and make a beeline for that perfect piece, I love that feeling, lol, will I get to it in time? I think , " Oh Please, nobody love that as much as me"... And sometimes items require zero work and for $10 you come home with the perfect end table :) It's just part of the fun seeing how little you can spend and how much you can get! I'd love you all to go over to Garage Sales Tracker and try it out, its so much fun! All you do is put in your zip code and it tells you all the sales in a radius of your area! They are also working on this fabulous App for your cell phone too! How convenient to be out garage sailing and be able to find out right then, where to drive next! They even have a map feature too!

If you're new to Garage Sales and Flea Markets, a little research never hurts! I've found these books below to be so valuable in helping me get a feel for how to do it all. And to make sure I am getting something worth bringing home, they have great tips too!

( This book below is the garage sale bible to me lol)

And of course Martha has wonderful ideas on what to do with our finds and turn them into treasures too!

Here is the link to Garage Sales Tracker below, just click and give it a try! You can sign up too and become a member or feature your own Garage or tag sale on it also! ( I also have a link to it on my side bar )

Here a few of the steals I've found over the years... I love hats but rarely wear them , so initially when I saw this I thought, nope, I'll never wear it. Maybe when I garden a few times, but not enough times I thought, but as I walked away from the $ 2.00 straw hat, I thought , Hmmmm, I love hats on walls though!! So thinking outside of it's normal use, I brought it home and hung it up :)

I love Vintage table cloths and glass milk bottles, but it seems when I see them for sale online or in stores, they are too expensive for my taste. So a few years back I went to a local Flea Market on a pretty spring day and there in the corner was a sweet friendly lady and her booth filled with "me" stuff :) I knew I was going to love all the Vintage items! So my "beelining" went into action as I saw a hint of a rooster showing through one of the table cloths :) I was even more thrilled when I got up to it and it was $10.00! From the 1940's and soft as spun cotton itself! Oh happy Day :) Then on another occasion I went to a garage sale a few miles away and once I got there, I saw a bunch of clothes and children's toys and figured, argh, there's nothing here, bummer! But just as I was waking away , I saw 3 glass milk bottles and so did someone else, lol, so since we got to the table together, we figured it fair we both should walk away with one , so for 75 Cents, I took the little one home :).... and... bought some lemonade from the little girl at the end of the driveway :) That, mind you was my most expensive item of the day, LOL, $ 1.00 for a half glass, but it was cold and delish :)

Old Vintage books are a favorite of mine, especially if they are about Housekeeping , cooking , or fashion! They are such a steal at most sales and sitting down and reading them is like being transported back in time. The ideas in the books still work today for the most part! And seeing the type, smelling the pages, and knowing that someone used them as a housecleaning reference or fashion reference or whatever makes me feel connected to the women that came before me....

I found this plate at a garage sale too! I have a feeling I could have found it at Home Goods ( it wasn't old, lol ) for a few bucks, but at the garage sale, it was $ 1.50 , and my favorite pattern too, so home it went :)

A Vintage Tupperware find, and a pink top from the 50's, couldn't resist!

A Glasbake mixer bowl from a Vintage Sunbeam mixer, oh la la !! I had to fight for this one :) Now it's my pancake mixing bowl :)

Well I hope you are all ready to hit some sales girls! It's really so much fun and such a great way to shop too! Bring a friend and make a day of it!! If you've found the perfect item, let me know, I love hearing what you have found on your hunts too!! ...

Now.... onto the Give-Away Winner!! First: Thank You all, so much for your encouraging and wonderfully sweet comments!! I wish you all could have been winners, truly I do! I also wanted to say that for those of you who didn't win, I have 3 different price ranges for Consultations and while you don't get the full color picture at the end of the $30 consult, that one is a great package if you need all the help you can get for 1 room! So if you didn't win and are interested and are on a budget, I think you'll find that service something you'll love! Ok, lol, now on to the winner!

The winner is.... ( using the infamous Random Generator ) ... Judy from Just a little something for You.!
Congratulations Judy!! And I just realized as I typed this , how funny that your name of your blog is what it is , cause I have something for YOU! :) Judy is the sweetest person, I am so happy for her! Go over and say HI if you don't know her yet, she is a wonderful , kind and inspirational person!

You all are so sweet and wonderful too! Thank you so much for stopping in and joining in the give-away and for always being such great friends and making me smile every day! I hope you have a wonderful Spring week ahead and many blessings! Oh yes, and happy Garage sailing :)

Hugs ,

~ Cynthia ~ XO

Saturday, March 6, 2010

~ A Big Give-Away ...and a new look ~

Hello everyone! As a do my post today, it's a balmy 52 degrees and sunny! Well it's about time! :) And it's time for a new look too! Notice anything new? ( he he ) I decided to update my page and add a new background, it's pretty much how I do most things, when you get tired of something, paint it new :)! Anyway, I so enjoyed visiting blogs last week, I didn't get around to everyone but I certainly will soon! I could not be more thankful for such wonderful friends and followers, you all have blessed me more than you'll ever know. Having a blog expands your world in so many wonderful ways, I consider each and every one of you a good friend! And because you have all been so wonderful in visiting and being so kind, I wanted to do another ~ give away ~ to show my appreciation! And to also thank you for sharing so much of your lives too, either in a comment or in your own blog, you inspire me on a daily basis! If you've visited my other blog ( The Design Studio ) you know I do Online Design Consultations... and for those of you who have purchased them , I am so grateful and enjoy being able to help you get your rooms to a place you can love! So on with the give-away...hint hint :)

This give-away includes:

1. A one room Online Design Consultation valued at $150... all you do is send me pictures of your space you'd like to virtually see changed, tell me how you'd like to see the room , what styles you love, what things you'd like to change etc. Then there's a few emails exchanged to help direct you and to give me a few ideas of what to develop the space into. Then I send back your pictures with the changes made directly on your photos and an inspiration board too so you can have it with you when you're ready to do the room and shop for the elements yourself and on your time schedule. I can also provide references as to where to get things too if needed!

2. The give-away also includes a few more goodies :) This pretty little Flower sign...

3. This Country Living Apron ...( From the Country Living Collection )

( Up close )

4. And last but not least , this sweet Mary Engelbreit book with scrumptious cottage style decorating ideas!

Inside, the book is packed with inspirational ideas on how to use plates almost anywhere! But it also has some fabulous decorating ideas too... Like this one below: lining the backs of your hutch or cabinet shelves with something other than paint or wood! How great is that?!

And you can't beat the pictures in it when you're looking to do that extra special something... Like this gorgeous floral arrangement with scattered pretties!! I am in love with this picture!... :)

Ok , so now the rules :) Well I decided life is complicated enough sometimes, so I'm gonna try to keep this simple :) I also re-designed my Studio page this weekend, so I'd love you all to visit it and tell me what you think. So that's the place to leave your entry and comment....

All you have to do is click on this link and
leave me a comment at Cynthia's Cottage Design Studio. Its a short blog that just has information of my Design Consultations, so you can leave a comment anywhere you'd like, there are only 2 posts on the blog so either one is fine. Then on March 14th I'll pick the winner! You can also get to the blog from by button on the side bar. If you include the give-away in a post of yours, let me know in your comment and I will count you 2 x !! ( You can use the first picture in this post if you're going to include the give-away in one of your posts ) That's all there is to it :)

I hope you all are enjoying a wonderful week!! And Thank you so much for being YOU! I appreciate you all so much!!

Hugs and love,

~ Cynthia ~