Category Archives: Bargains

Two Different Ikea Pillows

Back here Charlie and I took a trip to Ikea and bought all sorts of things.

I also bought 2 feather throw pillows for less than $8 each.

I  bought 2 feather FJADRAR throw pillows for less than $8 each.

I bought the above 20-inch-by-20-inch pillows thinking they would work with the shams I won from Crane and Canopy.

I won a gift certificate with which I purchased 2 Crane and Canopy pillow shams banded in Monaco blue.

I won a gift certificate with which I purchased 2 Crane and Canopy Euro pillow shams banded in Monaco blue.

They did not. Then I was in Ikea last weekend and saw two pillows that I thought were larger and also might work. (I thought they were larger in the store but I couldn’t actually remember what I had purchased in the first go-round.)

These pillows are 26 inches by 26 inches.

These pillows are 26 inches by 26 inches.

The larger Gosa Tulpan pillows for $13 each are a perfect Euro pillow fit.  I’m still saving the shams until the master bedroom is livable but now at least I have pillows to fill them and at a reasonable price.

Is life as confusing for you as it seems to be for me?

 

Diminishing Returns

Even before our formal renovation began Charlie started to demolish our stone terrace, concrete porch, and brick walkway.

The demoed terrace which ultimately became our new kitchen

The demoed terrace which ultimately became our new kitchen

The result of all that jackhammering was a 40-ton pile of rubble.

Tons of rubble at the back of our driveway divided the cottage from the house.

Tons of rubble at the back of our driveway divided the cottage from the house.

Both our excavator and contractor thought I was crazy when I said I would get rid of it by listing it on Craigslist.

Our ad on Craigslist has elicited some interest.

Our ad on Craigslist has elicited some interest.

Over time the pile has reduced

Using the grey stones as a size gauge the pile was once enormous.

Using the grey stones as a size gauge the pile was once enormous.

and reduced

The volume of rubble is definitely diminishing and we haven't paid anyone to take it yet.

The volume of rubble is definitely diminishing and we haven’t paid anyone to take it yet.

and now I would estimate half a ton left — almost nothing.

Now the rubble pile is much smaller than the gravel we're saving to spread on the driveway.

Now the rubble pile is much smaller than the gravel we’re saving to spread on the driveway.

I think I’ll list it one more time before we call it gone.

What have you given away for free?

 

 

 

 

Above the Caffe Bar

I’ve been searching for something to hang in the small space – 27 inches wide — space on the wall above the coffee bar.

We keep the espresso machine and small toaster oven on the stainless steel topped peninsula.

We keep the espresso machine and small toaster oven on the stainless steel topped peninsula.

I tried a variety of small cabinets I already own: 2 handmade cabinets and one antique cabinet.

I was hoping to use this cabinet but it just didn't work in the space.

I was hoping to use this cabinet but it just didn’t work in the space.

On a stroll through Home Goods I saw this little wire shelf with 2 drawers and hooks for $30.

Grey painted metal shelf with hooks from Home Goods.

Grey painted metal shelf with hooks from Home Goods.

Even though I wasn’t sure if the color  was quite right (I can always paint it) the dimensions were perfect.

A perfect fit.

A perfect fit.

Here it is on the kitchen wall.

I'm leaving the tags on until I'm sure this is the right item (meaning "does Charlie approve?")

I’m leaving the tags on until I’m sure this is the right item (meaning “does Charlie approve?”)

On the top shelf I put a little espresso set we bought in Rome.

We bought this little set back in 2005 -- the colors are perfect.

We bought this little set back in 2005 — the colors are perfect.

Hanging from 2 of the hooks I added 2 cups we found in Paris (the matching snack plate/saucers are in the drawer).

I'm not quite finished accessorizing yet.

I’m not quite finished accessorizing yet.

Now I’m working on a little graphic or picture for the adjoining wall.

Where do you search for just the right something? Do you shop your house first? Or go straight for retail?

 

Low, Make That No, Energy

I told you here that I have a box of spare batteries. So while I was cleaning some odd items this past weekend I came across a battery-operated refrigerator freshener with no batteries.

A 6-inch tall refrigerator air purifier.

A 6-inch tall refrigerator air purifier.

I went to my trusty box of batteries and took out 8 C batteries figuring at least four of them would power this small machine.

2007 and 2001 expired batteries

2007 and 2011 expired batteries

The newest battery in the bunch was dated 2011.

One old battery I can understand but 8.

One old battery I can understand but 8.

Three of the batteries were “best if installed by January, 1998.”  Seriously, I’ve had these batteries since I moved into the house in 1997. Do I need to save everything?

What do you save beyond usefulness?

Very Little Thought

I had been searching online for a striped runner for our stairs but hadn’t really seen anything the perfect thing.

I could find the right colors but the price also has to be right. Right?

I could find the right colors but the price also has to be right. Right?

I often read Cottage and Vine and seeing Rene Zeig sitting on her runnered stairs I wanted a runner, too. And now I knew stripes were not my only choice.

Lots of color choice and sizes.

Lots of color choice and sizes.

I wanted a stair runner like hers for my narrow staircase at The Glade so without even taking measurements I ordered the exact same one from Ballard Designs only in blue.

Blue Navarre rug from Ballard Designs.

Blue Navarre rug from Ballard Designs.

Blue’s my color.

Lots of blues in my color palette

Lots of blues in my color palette

The 2′-7″ by 8′-2″ runner was $30. I bought 2 so I also received free shipping (over $50).

These are the stairs that really need rejuvenating.

These are the stairs that really need rejuvenating.

I’ll also be buying a grippy pad for under it when I actually get ready to paint and cover the stairs. Maybe this will be the kick in the pants paints I need to get going.

Have you got a new discounted project?

Suppose It’s Not My Style

I’m all about planters.  I made a rustic one from recycled wood here.

A rustic planter made from salvaged wood.  FREE!

A rustic planter made from salvaged wood. FREE!

And a pair of smaller cedar planters here.

Green planter boxes with boxwood stand guard on either side of the potager iron gate.

Green planter boxes with boxwood stand guard on either side of the potager iron gate.

Recently someone gave me a pair of cement planters that are very heavy.

These pots came pre-planted and were placed near our side porch.

These pots came pre-planted and were placed near our side porch.

Unfortunately they’re just not my style.

I could probably live with the Greek key motif but I'd like to obscure the grapes.

I could probably live with the Greek key motif but I’d like to obscure the grapes.

Do you think I could augment them and paint them so they would look more like a jaune Anduze pot?

Naturally I adore this ochre planter from Provence.

Naturally I adore this ochre planter from Provence.

Suggestions on how to do it are welcome.

How do you say no to a heartfelt gift?

I Didn’t Know I Wanted It

I went to our local Ace Hardware yesterday because I had a $10 off a $50 purchase coupon and they were giving away free one quart of Clark and Kensington flat paint, a paint that Consumer Reports rates well.

The quart in the front was free; the Minwax stain is for another project.

The quart in the front was free; the Minwax stain is for another project.

Since this hardware store also sells Benjamin Moore I asked for the quart to be made into the Affinity recipe for “Head Over Heels” which I used on the walls in our small bedroom and want to also use on the ceiling in the upstairs hall.

Head Over Heels for the upstairs hallway ceiling.

Head Over Heels for the upstairs hallway ceiling.

While I was cruising the aisles I found the mistint paint stash. Lo and behold an entire gallon of BM’s “Sparrow” in the Aura formulation.

A gallon of Benjamin Moore Aura paint in the color "Sparrow" for $5.

A gallon of Benjamin Moore Aura paint in the color “Sparrow” for $5.

$5 (normally over $60). And I have a place to use it.

Sparrow added to the palette.

Sparrow added to the palette.

I didn’t actually know I wanted it until I saw it for $5.

Would you call this an impulse purchase? Would you fall for it?

A Matched Pair

Every couple of weeks I stop by Home Goods, Marshalls, and Ross looking for kitchen rugs.

I snapped a picture as soon as I got the rugs to the car.

I snapped a picture as soon as I got the rugs to the car.

Yesterday was my lucky day.  I found 2 exactly alike at Home Goods made by Safavieh to use in front of the kitchen counters.

While I would have preferred a longer runner I was glad to get 2 rugs for the kitchen.

While I would have preferred a longer runner I was glad to get 2 rugs for the kitchen.

I almost played it safe with another pair in grey, coffee, and ochre colors but decided I would like some bright blue to tie the kitchen colors to the future dining room colors and the pantry.

Charlie's rug is in front of the sink while mine is centered on the counter between the sink and the stove.

Charlie’s rug is in front of the sink while mine is centered on the counter between the sink and the stove.

The rugs have a bold pattern of bright blue, greyish blue-green, and cream bordered by navy blue.

The pattern is bold.

The pattern is bold.

One consideration was that the color of the rugs shouldn’t be too light since we ‘ll be standing on them multiple times a day.

I'm still going keep my eye out for longer runners.

I’m still going keep my eye out for longer runners.

At $30 each I think I got a bargain.

How are you celebrating the summer solstice?

Mirrors We Have

I have inherited or purchased or been gifted a lot of mirrors.  Unlike art work they always seem to be in a style I can work with.

I bought the mirror over the mantle at a house auction for $90.  I love the unusual shape.

I bought the mirror over the mantle at a house auction for $90. I love the unusual shape.

Even the most ornate mirror has a place in our otherwise provincial home.

I have this French gilt mirror hanging on the wall for safekeeping until I decide where it should go.

I have this French gilt mirror hanging on the wall in the back bedroom for safekeeping until I decide where it should go.

Mirrors don’t need to be perfect either. I’ve saved 3 for the future master bathroom.

This approximately 9' by 18" mirror would be perfect over my sink.

This approximately 9′ by 18″ mirror would be perfect over my sink.

This slightly larger antique mirror would look great over Charlie's sink.

This slightly larger antique mirror would look great over Charlie’s sink.

To go with the two above, this mirror can go on my dressing table which is also slated to be in the master bathroom.

To go with the two above, this mirror can go on my dressing table which is also slated to be in the master bathroom.

Unfortunately you really can get a sense of scale until the mirrors are hanging in their proper places.

I'd also like to repurpose the mirrored top of the sideboard whose bottom we used to create our one-of-a-kind kitchen island.

I’d also like to repurpose the mirrored top of the sideboard whose bottom we used to create our one-of-a-kind kitchen island.

I can’t wait until the walls are painted so I can hang up my mirrors.

A small mirror hanging on the shed reflects the green plants and gives some relief to the grey siding.

A small mirror hanging on the shed reflects the green plants and gives some relief to the grey siding.

I even have a mirror hanging on the shed.

What are you reflecting on today?

My Most Searched and Pinned

The number one searched and pinned item on Let’s Face the Music is easily my posts about bamboo trellises. (Click the photos to enlarge the detail.)

Two years ago we had really tall trellises.

Two years ago we had really tall trellises.

A couple of years ago I gave the details on how we accomplish this.

Last year cucumber vines climbed right up the trellis strings.

Last year cucumber vines climbed right up the trellis strings.

Since the organization of the garden changes every year, we also change the trellis configurations.

The garden is totally planted and ready to be trellised.

The 2014 garden is totally planted and ready to be trellised.

This year in particular Charlie has added a bamboo cage for the sugar snap peas to climb. It began as a corral for the French filet bush beans.

The bamboo cage around the strings beans was overkill.  Generally we just enclose the square with wire fence.

The bamboo cage around the strings beans was overkill. Generally we just enclose the square with wire fence.

Since the bamboo is light and sturdy it was fairly easy to move this contraption.

This is the first time we're trying bamboo for the sugar snap pea trellis.

This is the first time we’re trying bamboo for the sugar snap pea trellis.

After the bamboo structures are built Charlie strings them with jute twine on which the climbing vegetables can wrap their vines or tendrils.

One of the cucumber squares is trellised and strung.

One of the cucumber squares is trellised and strung. (Radishes in the foreground.)

Cucumber vines climb up the string and the cucumbers hang in mid-air (off the dirt) ready to be picked.

From the entrance of the potager the cucumber trellis is fully visible.

From the entrance of the potager the cucumber trellis is fully visible.

Not only do the trellises serve a practical purpose in the potager they also look great giving the garden structural interest.

A second tall trellis is started on the right-hand side of the picture.

A second tall trellis is started on the right-hand side of the picture.

Wait until the end of June when the plants are hugging the trellis with all their might. It’s so beautiful.

What frugal project are you up to?