Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Target Marathon

The dresser is almost finished, like 95% done, so I hope to take pics of it soon.  I have design ADD (and a boyfriend who reclaims his garage space the second I take a break), so when I ran into a hiccup with repositioning the top drawer pulls, the project got sidelined and I moved on to my son's room.

I've been wanting the gray Striped Duvet Cover from West Elm for awhile now - mentioning it back in June of last year.  I love the modern wide stripes and the color.  It's regularly $59 for the duvet cover and $19 for the sham, but I knew I could wait for a sale.  Last week I got an e-mail that all bedding is 20% off and I took that as my sign that it was finally time to purchase my set (I needed two twin sizes).

I planned on going downtown to the West Elm store to avoid shipping costs, but after noticing the twin duvets were backordered online, I decided to call first in case they were sold out in the store as well.  I was informed they don't stock the twin duvet covers - any of them - which it says plain as day on the website, I just never noticed before.  (Now, let me take a moment and address the geniuses at West Elm who made this decision - I live in Austin, Texas, a college town if there ever was one.  In what world does it make sense not to stock twin duvet covers - especially during back-to-school season?)

Obviously, the only option was to buy my duvet covers online.  However, West Elm, like its sister company Pottery Barn and countless others retailers probably, charges shipping by the price of the item, not by weight/dimension/logic.  So the "shipping and processing" charges were an additional $17 on top of the $97 for 2 duvet covers.  I'm a girl who loves the words "free shipping" or at least a reasonable rate.  $17 for about 2 lbs. of material seemed fairly outrageous.  I put them in my cart, but kept hesitating.  Maybe I should just reconsider the stripes and find something else.  I did see one I liked at TJ Maxx recently...

So I pulled up the Target website.  And what do you think I saw there?

Now, I know for a fact that I've looked at Target's bedding several times over the past year and never saw this set.  But since I've been known to overlook things (like West  Elm's twin bedding policy), it's possible that it has been around for a while.  And anything at Target has a very short shelf life - they move product like no other retailer.  So when I saw it, I had to have it.  Only, now I ran into the reversal of my previous issue - the twin size is only available in store. was acting up ("No Target stores withing 100 miles of Austin, Tx"), so I couldn't check in store availability myself.  I jotted down the product information (including the store item number) and headed to my local Target.  I easily located the Full/Queen version and the King version, but there wasn't even a space for the twin version.  I found an associate and had her look it up - no luck.  It seemed to have been clearanced out.  Worst nightmare, right?

However, the god of good deals continued to shower favors on me.  The lovely Target lady looked up local stores and found out there were about 5 twin duvet covers left in the Austin area - maybe.  Each store had 1, but the systems are updated once nightly so there was no guarantee it was still there.  I took the chance and headed to the next nearest Target, and breathed a sigh of relief when I found one.  Another lovely Target lady told me I could call ahead to the next Target and if they had it, they would set it aside in customer service.  Yay!

So, after visiting 3 Targets in 1 hour, I was able to finally secure my striped duvet covers.  Here's the kicker - for the duvet covers alone I was looking at $120.16 after tax from West Elm.  I spent $42 (and a little gas money) on my Target knock-offs and they include pillow shams (which would have been another $40 from West Elm).  For a total savings of at least $118!

Have you found any great deals lately?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Little Lady Dresser - Before

I did a little thrifting during my lunch break and picked up this tall dresser for $20.

It probably should have been cheaper.  It's missing two knobs, one of the drawer bottoms needs replacing, and it's definitely beat up.  In fact, I passed on this exact dresser earlier in the week.  But I know it will look oh so pretty in a couple of days and I needed a project. 

The curves are definitely sending me to a girly place.  We'll see what inspires me at the paint store tonight.  I'm hoping to have it finished by Monday (the boyfriend is skeptical).  Check back to see.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


So far, I've stayed on point with my color inspiration for the living area.  However, lately I cannot get this lovely purple/magenta/pink color out of my head.

 I'm on the fence whether it will be too much in a room which already features indigo, ochre and red.  I have beige walls, which I think gives you a lot of leeway to use lots of color, and they're all rich, saturated colors.  But, let's face it, I'm not Miles Redd.

I'm looking for a vintage wood secretary to double duty as our correspondence center and an end table next to the sofa.  Something like this (which was a steal on Craigslist for $80 - can't get over it), but a little larger to fit the space better.

Cup of Te via Pinterest

Then paint the inside only for a lovely, contained shock of color.  Look how great it looks with leopard print chairs.

Bona Fide Amor via Pinterest
Then in the dining room, doing a large piece of artwork on acrylic.

I find that whenever I live in a house with beige/white walls, I go crazy with color.  I do believe that all colors are wonderful and can work together, because they do in real life.  However, I want it to look intentional, which is the hard part (at least for me).

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Goodwill Hunting

I stopped by my favorite Goodwill yesterday looking for furniture.  I struck out in that department, but picked up a couple of decor items.

These woven baskets were 99 cents each.  I think they're the perfect size for toiletry storage.

This urn was $3.99.  Not super cheap, but I think it will pair well with some other vessels in a nice little vignette someday.  It might get spraypainted yellow. 

And the find I'm most excited about...

An illuminated globe!

To understand my enthusiasm, you have to realize that I posted about wanting one of these back in January of 2011!  And on that post, I was looking at laying down around $85 for this type - and illuminated black globe.  I got this one for the bargain price of $13.99.  Even after adding $2.50 for new lightbulbs, I'm still at only a fifth of the cost of one new.

However, I can't take credit for the find.  My son was the eagle-eyed shopper who brought this one home.  (I'm raising quite the bargain hunter.)  It hadn't even made it to the shelf yet, but was haphazardly tossed in a shopping cart of stuff waiting to be put out. 

I love that it is educational, but still cool looking, and even functional as a nightlight.  Atticus is already having a good time finding various countries and cities.  And it won't hurt me any to study up on geography.  Don't you love when you find yourself completely ignorant about things like whether Bolivia is a country or a city, or where to even start looking for Tobago on a map.  Oh, I'm the only one?  Yet, I am probably also the only one who once insulted a geography Ph.D. student by completely refusing to understand how that is a subject you can get a doctorate in.  I think my exact words were: "It's not even a high school class, you take it in seventh grade!"  Blissfully ignorant, that's me.

Anyway, if you keep your eye out, what you want will almost always show up on sale.  Although it might take 18 months.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Bookshelves Behind the Bed

I'm thinking of doing this behind my bed. 

Mostly because I have a ridiculous amount of books that I cannot bring myself to clear out.  I have always loved the idea of having a home library.  Unfortunately, I'm running out of places to stick them, so I think having one massive set of shelves will easily replace the five smaller bookshelves scattered throughout the house.

Coco Pearl
 Plus I want to visually darken up the space behind the headboard.  I think some nicely filled shelves will add dimension and texture.

Currently, I'm reading the Complete Stories of Sherlock Holmes.  I'm completely in love the the BBC series Sherlock, have you seen it?  It's a modern spin and has Benedict Cumberbatch (not even joking - that's his name) as the iconic detective.  It used to be on Instant Streaming from Netflix, but I haven't checked lately.

Anyway, I realized The Hound of the Baskervilles was the only Sherlock Holmes book I had read, and that was back in sixth grade.  So I picked up this massive tome from Half-Priced Books.

It's a ridiculous 1400+ pages long, so I haven't been toting it back and forth to the pool.  However, it does have pictures, so I think it still qualifies as "light" summer reading.

How about you - love some Sherlock Holmes, in any of his varieties?  Or just books in general?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Birthday Shopping

I was sick yesterday and stayed home from work.  After catching up on my blog reading, I did a little online shopping for Atticus's sixth birthday at the end of the month.  Since his birthday and Christmas are six months apart, we rarely buy him toys except for those occasions.  Don't get all sad - he gets stuff pretty frequently.  The other day I was picking up some free chairs (yes, chairs - theme of my life) and the lady gave me 3 boxes of kids' books, so of course those came home.  My mom is constantly sending him stuff "just because" and the boyfriend can be counted on to bring home random stuff like a six foot indoor basketball game which currently takes up a third of his bedroom.  He's taken care of.

Since he has grown into bigger boy toys, it's become a little harder to shop for him.  He doesn't outgrow things like he used to and I don't want his room to resemble an aisle at Toys R Us.  I gravitate towards purchases that are educational and well-made, and of course I want the best deal possible.  I tend also to do themes - like pirates, or dragons, etc., and buy him a couple of items so then I know he's set in that department.  

This year, the theme was narrowed down to Space Station or Wild West.  So I ended up going with Egypt.  Yep, Egypt.

You've heard of Playmobil, right?  If not, they are amazing.  They are a German company that makes quality plastic play sets with themes like "Future Planet," "Life in the City," "Zoo," etc.  You don't have to worry about crazy Chinese lead-based paint, or that something is going to fall apart the minute your kid touches it.  It also appreciates in value, even after you've taken it out of the box, because people all over the world collect them.  Playmobil is hands down my favorite toy company, so it was a no-brainer that I was going to check with them first.

Luckily, they're running a really good deal right now on an Egyptian Bundle that has been retired.  It includes a Sphinx with Mummy, Egyptian Soldiers, Tomb Raiders with Camels, Egyptian Chariot, and Tomb with Treasure all for $52.49 plus free shipping.  That's over 50% off.

I couldn't add it to my cart fast enough.

I'll find a couple of books to go with the set for his birthday to  help introduce him to the coolness that is ancient Egypt.  Maybe something archaeology related, as well as a more historical look at the pharaohs and pyramids.  And once it gets here I'll have to buy a tub large enough to store all the pieces together. 
If you're interested in other Playmobil toys - I cannot recommend the Pirate Treasure Chest set enough.  We bought it for Atticus a couple of years ago and it's always been a huge hit with him and his friends.  I love that when it's done, it folds up into a convenient storage case.  Amazon has it for $76.99, but I found mine new on Ebay brand for half that price.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Leopard Print Chairs - Finished

I finished the leopard print chairs last night and couldn't wait to take pictures this morning, so please excuse the somewhat blurry pics.

It took me several days to finish the first one, working about an hour at night after work.  I was terrified I was going to royally mess up, so I tried to go as slow and methodically as possible.  The second one was much quicker.  I couldn't figure out the tension on my sewing machine, so I ended up hand stitching the welting which took up the largest part of the project.

Originally, I didn't think the leopard would work at all.  I was looking for a much more colorful print.  However, I couldn't find anything, and since I already had the leopard, I decided to try it.  After all, if it was awful I could always stop and keep fabric shopping.  However, I don't think I could have found a better fabric.  To me, it looks like how the chairs should have originally looked.  I like it much better than the stripes.

Proof positive that leopard print is a neutral.  It's also a very forgiving pattern for the inexperienced reupholsterer.

Now I'm on the lookout for a Docksta table on Craigslist to finish out this corner.

TDC Before and After