I love a homemade Halloween costume.  I guess it feels like “goin’ old school” to make your own costume.  Remember when you were a kid – foraging for parts to cobble together into a costume?

Don’t me wrong – when I was a kid, all I wanted was a store-bought costume.  But now, as a mom, for some reason, buying a costume from a Halloween superstore somehow feels like cheating. I’m totally NOT judging anyone for buying their costume.  We’ve done it in the past and will again.  But there’s something about being able to say “I made that!” that I especially love at Halloween.

This year I made both my son’s costumes.  Well, not made…restyled.  My ten year old (he just turned double-digits last week, so I’m still not used to saying that) wanted to be a “sheet ghost.”  He felt that would be a very unique costume.  I tried to point out that it is probably the least unique costume he could have chosen, but he advised otherwise.  So off to the Goodwill I went to acquire a white sheet.  I found one for $2.99.  Luckily for me it was 50% off!  His $1.50 costume probably set a record for the least amount I’ve ever spent at Halloween.

We decided our five month old would be a turtle shortly after he was born because he sorta resembled a turtle.  It was something about the way he stuck his neck out.

About a month ago I found a reptile (snake?) costume at a children’s consignment sale for $5 and hoped I’d be able to restyle it into a turtle.

BEFORE

First I cut off the head and the long tail.  Then I sewed shut the head (keeping the hood) and reattached a shorter version of the tail.

Next I painted a child’s bike helmet that I found at a yard sale a few months ago.  I freehanded some spots to look like a turtle shell.  I had planned on working on this after my son went to sleep that night.  But he was so fussy and was only consoled in my arms.  So into the sling he went.  And out came the paintbrush.

 

This is what you call “multi-tasking!”

So here’s what we ended up with.

BACK

FRONT

Both boys wore clothes they already owned under their costumes, so both of them combined cost me less than $10!

I know I’m biased, but I think he made a pretty cute turtle.  Don’t you?!

It’s been a Gray Morning around here.  Not because we’ve been holed up in the house hiding from the “Frankenstorm,” Sandy, but because I’ve painted everything I could get my hands on this weekend with the paint color “Gray Morning” by Behr.

It is a very soft turquoise blue – think of a Tiffany jewlry box – but lighter.  It kind of reminds me of a Robin’s egg. Anyway, I mixed up a batch of paint (yes, I make my own DIY form of chalk paint – I’ll explain in a future post) and painted a few items from my stash.

You may remember my trip to the Goodwill Outlet a few weeks ago.  Well, I realized that everything I painted this weekend came out of that Goodwill haul.

See the ugly rooster picture in the back, the wooden magazine rack on the left, and four black pinecone finials down in front?  They were all “restyled” using Gray Morning.

To the magazine rack I added a few decorative wooden flourishes and a coat of paint and clear wax.

I love its curvy lines!

Wouldn’t it look adorable in a kitchen with your most-used cookbooks or in a nursery with your favorite children’s books?  And I’m sure it would be useful in another room that, um, requires  “reading material” close-by.

 

The picture doesn’t do the color of these cuties justice.

The pinecone finials and the rooster frame got a coat of paint, clear wax, and then dark wax which gives them that great antique look.

Here’s the frame up close. You can see how the dark wax gives it that antique look.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the finials yet, especially since one of them broke when they were drying.  I could have cried!

Finally, the frame!  I just love the way this turned out.  I took out the rooster print and added a piece of burlap.  Once you add the glass back in and an erasable marker, you have a great message board to write notes, grocery lists, and to-do lists.  Plus it just looks super cute!

 

 

The magazine rack and message board will be going into the shop for sale this week.

I hope your mornings are not gray, but if they are, maybe Gray Morning will brighten your day.  I know it did mine!

And please let me know if you can think of something creative that can be made with 3 finials!

 

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Have you ever been shopping at the Dump?  If you’re from Richmond, you may know the store The Dump.  It’s a discount furniture store that’s only open on the weekends.  They buy huge closeouts of furniture and then “pass the savings on to you.”   One of these days I’ll go and report back all the bargains to be had.  But not today.

You only wish I were talking about that Dump.

Nope.

I mean, the actual dump – as in – the landfill.

I don’t know about your local landfill, but the one we go to in Glen Allen has a “Too Good to Waste” section.  You know, the place you’re supposed to leave items that have more life left in them when you’re too lazy to make an extra trip to donate at the Goodwill.

Well, last week, my son and I were going out “antiquing,” and my husband asked me to drop some things off at the dump.  (Remember he is on a campaign to “lighten the weight” of our house.)  We could have gone either on the way to or from our destination.  Well, something told me that there was a treasure waiting for me at the “Too Good to Waste” area and that I better go first.  Well, that, and I figured I needed to empty the back of the van in case I found something and needed the space.

So off we headed to the county landfill.  I paid my $3 and then drove around to the “Too Good to Waste” area.  (Don’t you just love the name?!  Whenever I come home with something from there, my husband always begs to differ.)

As we pulled up, I saw it….an adorable little vintage baker’s rack complete with chipping paint.  It was sitting all by its lonesome, and amazingly, no one else was flocking to get it.

There was only one other woman in that area, but I keenly observed that she was ignoring it, not like me, who had started to pant.  As soon as I stepped out of the car, she came by to see what was in my trunk.  I was happy to give everything I had to her, and in return, she helped me load this little beauty into my van.

It is so shabby- not at all chic!  There are about 4 coats of old (lead?!) paint on it, and it looks like the prior owner started to peel it off and then gave up.  His lack of sticktoitiveness is my score!

Do you see the beads hanging in the front?  Adorable!  Can’t you just picture this sitting in an old kitchen with cookbooks on the shelves and a pie cooling on the top?  Best of all…it was F.R.E.E!

So I’m looking forward to spending some time with a stripper.   Wait.  That came out wrong.   But you know what I mean!  I’ve never stripped paint before, so I’m sure that will be an adventure, and I’ll be back to report how the project went.

I had intended on putting this little cutie in my booth at Odd Balls Antiques or even leaving it on my porch, much to my husband’s horror.  But alas, my friend saw her potential and has already claimed it as her own.  So having saved it from the landfill, and soon to be painted yellow, it will most definitely be a worthwhile restyle!

(Thanks for reading!   If you enjoy my blog, be sure to enter your email on the right so you’ll get updated every time there’s a new post! )

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Every time I find an amazing piece of furniture for my antiques booth with the intention of painting it, I pause and ask myself, “Should I paint this, or not?”

I love wood!

(Go ahead and insert joke here.)

I think it must be the tree-hugger in me coming out.  I mean, I do own, not one, but two pairs of Birkenstocks!

Seriously though, I really do love wood.  I love how furniture acquires more character over time.  I especially love dark wood.

Our house is full of it.  Every time I think I’ll move away from the dark-stained wood that fills our house, somehow I still end up with it.

Last year when I was planning my son’s nursery, I had the perfect opportunity to introduce a new stain into our lives.  I searched and searched and finally settled on a crib and dresser combination that I loved.

We loved the way the finish looked in the pictures online.

I bypassed my usual choice of “cherry” (progress!) for the finish they called “Tuscan.”  Well, I’ve always wanted to go to Tuscany; I hear they have good wood.  Oh, wait, that’s wine.  Whatever, I like them both.

The reviews said it had a beautiful well-worn, hand-distressed finish. Right up my ally.

So we took a gamble and ordered it online.  And we waited.  And when it arrived…guess what?  It matched all the other dark wood in our house.  So much for branching out (pardon the pun!).

 

Here it is in my son’s room. It’s a little darker than we expected, but we still love it!

I guess the one good thing about sticking with the same finish is that we can mix and match the pieces in other rooms as needed.

So what’s a girl like me doing painting over all this wood?  Well, as much as I love wood, I also love bright colors.  And frankly, I just love to paint.

There is just something about a lime green table that makes me smile.

And in my defense, I only paint bad wood.  Well, that and ugly wood.  Actually bad, ugly wood from the seventies doesn’t make me feel bad at all.

Here she is “before.”

Take this little Queen Anne-style end table.  When I found it, it was sad and lonely sitting in a cold storage locker.  Well, it wasn’t actually lonely because it has a twin.  And come to think of it, it wasn’t really cold either because we’ve had a very mild September.  But she and her sister were gouged and the crevices were covered with glitter.  Glitter? Don’t ask.  I have no idea why.

But here she is now in all her painted and distressed glory.  She’s for sale in my booth, waiting for the perfect home.

I’m still waiting to paint her twin.  They’re tired of having the same identity, so we’re going to switch it up and paint her a different color.  Any suggestions?

Here she is “after.”

My latest acquisition that has me wondering, “Should I paint them or not?” is a pair of mid-century cane-back chairs.

I just love this chair! So glad there were two of them.

Don’t you love the soft sloping arms?  The purist in me thinks they should stay dark, but the creative side of me wants to paint, paint, paint them – slate grey perhaps – and cover them with a super-fabulous fabric.  I’ll let you know what I decide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week I went to the goodwill outlet in Richmond.  I’ll pause a minute while you take that in.

The. Goodwill. OUTLET!

Did you know such a place existed right here in Richmond?

Now, if you’re like my husband, you’re probably thinking, “Isn’t Goodwill in and of itself an outlet?”  One would think, right?  But no!  There is an outlet for the outlet.  And I went there. But not alone.

I asked my best friend, Halle to come along to help carry all the crap to my car, er, I mean, to help with the baby.  The place is not located in the best part of town (think: strip clubs and hourly hotels), so I was glad to have her with me.

So, you walk through this windowless door, up a ramp, and into a huge warehouse. Looking up, you see a huge sign hanging from the ceiling with pricing. Most everything is sold by the pound.  You heard me right.  By the pound. Textiles are $1.29/lb and housewares (basically everything else) are 59 cents a pound. Furniture, electronics and a few other things were priced as marked.

So, feeling a little overwhelmed with the whole thing, we grabbed a cart and started shopping, otherwise known as, digging through crates.  On one side of the room are just rows and rows of tables with crates filled with housewares. On the other side were rows of giant bins with clothes.

Halle had heard that people can get a little pushy here looking for bargains, so I told her to keep a close eye on the cart as we shopped.  I kept my hand on the stroller, lest someone want to get a bargain on a baby.  I didn’t personally see any brawls, but I could easily see how it could happen, like if somebody wanted to get the mirror I spotted.

I love the arches at the top of this mirror!

It was the first thing I saw that got my heart pounding.  I am a sucker for beautiful mirrors. I’m not vain, but can you really have too many in your house?  I loved the mirror on sight and for just $9.99, I couldn’t pass it up.  I can’t wait to paint it some great funky color.  Any suggestions?

We trolled around the housewares bins for a while and then headed to the lamps, my latest obsession.  I found a super-great vintage yellow lamp for only $2.99!  It’s in such good shape, I didn’t think it was too old, until I saw the plug. Oy!  Note to self: learn how to rewire lamps.

I’m pretty sure this would be a fire hazard!

We weren’t in the mood to dig through the bins of clothing – that would be a whole other thing – but we did do a quick stroll-by.  And that’s when I found it…the most amazing (read: tacky) Christmas sweater ever!  I say “Christmas” and not “holiday” because it truly was a Christmas sweater – it literally has baby Jesus on it!

Let me describe it to you, because I know the picture is not going to do it justice.  Not only do you have the entire nativity scene, (Mary, Joseph & Jesus), you have an angel, some livestock, and a shepherd.  Of course the scene wouldn’t have been complete without the three wise men and the “yonder star” they were following.

Finding this sweater literally gave me chills. As I pulled it up and out of the bin, a light shone down from above, and I think I heard a heavenly host of angels sing Alleluia! Right then and there we decided to make Halle’s annual Christmas party one of those “tacky Christmas sweater” themed parties.  Now, I don’t want to brag, but I have a pretty good idea who’ll be winning this year.  And we’ll have the Goodwill Outlet to thank for it.

I would have left a happy girl with just the sweater, lamp, and mirror, but for $26, here’s what else I got:

4 pinecone finials
Oak clock
Velvet dress I’m going to salvage for the material
Wooden frame I’m going to make into a tray
Wooden magazine rack (my next project!)
Vintage salt & pepper shakers (so cute!)
Medium lampshade and small black lampshade
2 small frames with scary needlepoint clowns – gonna toss the clowns and use the frames on the pegboard in my new workshop/studio (Pics of this coming soon!).

My haul!

If you’re in the mood to treasure hunt, I highly recommend a trip to the Goodwill Outlet.  If you go, call me.  I’ll meet you there!

 

A few people have asked me what’s the meaning behind the name “Worthwhile ReStyle.”  I’d love to say I came up with it, but my amazingly creative husband thought of it after I told him what I had in mind for the business.

So let’s break it down.  First (well, actually second, but I want to talk about it first, is the term “ReStyle.”  What does this mean to me?

“Restyling” is taking something old, outdated, or that you might not like anymore and with just a little creativity (and usually paint), changing it into something you love.    Like when you score a tacky coffee table from the 70’s and then paint it and add new hardware like I did to this table in my son’s cruise-ship themed nursery.

I don’t have a picture of the “before,” but trust me, it was BAD. Now: I love it!

Since I get most of the items in my shop at yard sales and thrift shops, I restyle most, if not all of my finds.  Let’s face it: thrift shops are full of crap that people no longer want.  Sure, there are some perfectly in-style home accessories to be found.  But more often than not, these stores of full of garish brass, outdated furniture, and tacky tchotchkes.  The challenge is not to see the items as they are, but to see their potential.

Currently my four favorite things to restyle are:

1- Brass – so ugly in the 80’s – so awesome now painted and distressed so just a little gold shows through!  I love the peacock blue of these lamps.

Still a work in progress, but these brass lamps were in bad shape when I picked them up at a yard sale.

2 – Picture frames and mirrors – lots of great things you can do to these, like turn them into trays and chalkboards.

Cute frames with chalkboard paint are perfect to write notes around the house.

3- Vintage fabric – I love to make pillows out of old vintage sheets and curtains.

4- Small furniture (shelves, end table, stools)  – a fun, bright coat of paint is all they need!

As this little blog o’ mine progresses, I hope to inspire you to look at your things with a new eye and give you tips on how to restyle accessories around your house.   Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll share with you in detail what you can do with your thrift shop finds and show you some of my favorite projects.

Which one do you want me to show you first?  Leave me a comment below!

Now, on to the “WORTHWHILE” part of the name.  Well, to me, there are a few meanings behind this word.  First, it just makes good sense to reuse what we already have and keep perfectly good things out of the landfill.  I’m thrilled that consignment and thrift shops have grown in popularity with the whole “reduce, reuse, recycle” movement.   “I go green” sounds so much better than “I go cheap!”  Don’t you agree?

The second, and most important reason I call my business “Worthwhile” is what I do with the proceeds.  My sister, Barbara, passed away four years ago from diabetes.  In honor of her, I give a portion of what I make from the sale of items in my booth at Odd Balls Antiques & More to the Juvenile Diabetes Association – a very worthwhile cause!

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At least once a week I find myself at a thrift shop or Goodwill store.  I love that you never know what you are going to find.  Same thing with yard sales.  Sometimes I think that things find me.  Ever had that feeling?  You find the perfect item, at the perfect time, and if you’re lucky, at the perfect price.  That’s what I call a Thrift Store SCORE!

Every few weeks I’ll post the treasures I’ve scored and how I plan to restyle them. You can be sure they’ll show up at my booth at Odd Balls Antiques & More soon.  That is, if I don’t decide to keep them for myself!

On Tuesday I went to the Love of Jesus Thrift Shop on Lauderdale Drive in Short Pump.  I love Jesus, and I especially love the prices at this new little shop.  See that brass lamp?   I’ve had my eye on that lamp for about a month now.  I loved the shape of it, but $10 was too much to pay for it.  On Tuesday they had marked it down to $2.50.  Score!

I can’t wait to get my hands on that clock I found for $6!  It reminds me of a clock that was in my childhood home.  (See pic below) My mom gave it to me a few years ago when she moved, and it resides happily in my family room.  The mechanism is broken, but I know that’s an easy and (hopefully inexpensive ??) fix.  I’m still waiting for it to tell me what color it wants to be.  What do you think?

The clock from my childhood home

I am totally in love with this lamp!

The old brass lamp was just screaming out for the perfect peacock blue paint I found at Home Depot (Behr’s Peacock Tail).  So I painted it as soon as I got home from the thrift store.  Isn’t it cool?

As soon as I finish it, I’ll post it in the BEFORE AND AFTER section.   I still need to find a shade, but I’m thrilled with how it looks so far.

 

The remaining items will go in the shop as-is.  I found 4 sweet little china plates and a curvy old decanter labeled OLD FITZGERALD COLLECTION.  Embossed on the front in white and gold is, what I thought in the store to be a peacock sitting in a pear tree.  On closer inspection (and mental clarity – duh!) I realized it is a partridge in a pear tree, leading me to wonder if somewhere out there are 11 other decanters!

Finally, I couldn’t resist a sweet piece of vintage fabric full of cherry blossom branches for $2.99.  It will look adorable on my display table at Odd Balls Antiques & More in the spring.

So there you have it.  With tax I spent a whopping $14.43 and an afternoon of fun.

 

Why Did I Start Worthwhile ReStyle?

Well, if you know me well, you know that I love two things:

1)   Bargain hunting at thrift shops, yard sales, etc., and

2)   Everything to do with DIY decorating: painting, sewing (Straight lines only people – don’t be too impressed!)

I have always loved the thrill of the hunt for a good bargain.  I’ve been “yard-saleing” (Yes, that IS a verb!) since I was a kid.  In high school, I scoured the Salvation Army and Goodwill stores for vintage clothing, and I furnished and decorated my college apartment with yard sale finds.

The problem now is that I’ve lived in my house for 8 years, and I’m sorta done decorating it (for now, tee hee!)  And my usually very-tolerant-of-my-thrift-shop-addiction-husband has kindly asked me not to bring in anymore of my “treasures.”  He claims that house is getting too heavy.  Whaaaa?

So what’s a bargain-hunting girl to do to get her fix?  That’s right: rent a booth at an antique mall so that I have an excuse to shop…I mean, so that other people can appreciate my finds.

This past weekend, I set up a small space at a new antique store here in the West End of Richmond.  It’s called Oddballs, Antiques and More.  What I love about this place is that it’s not the usual stuffy antique mall where (in the words of my 9 year old) there’s a “crusty old dude” sitting behind the register.  In fact, the owner is just a bit older than me, uses social media to market the shop, and is even holding an event next month that will be attended by reality TV stars.  Reality TV and antiques?  Could there be a less likely, but more “me,” combination?!

In my booth I have furniture and accessories that I’ve hand-painted and distressed, cute vintage treasures, and basically everything that I like but Justin won’t let me keep in our house!   If you’re local to Richmond, the store is located at 8030 West Broad Street, just east of Parham Rd. in the Big Lots shopping center.   Come check it out and let me know what you think!

As for this blog, I will keep it updated with new projects, my thrift shop scores, and what’s currently available in my little booth at Oddballs.  Thanks for reading, and I hope you check back often!  Or better yet, subscribe to the blog by entering your email at the top of the page.