Saturday, July 16, 2011

Fabbie Finds

Woo to the hoo - it's Saturday. I've got another round of fun, less-than-25-dollar stuff for ya. This week's theme is multiples; all items come with at least 2 pieces! 'Cause more bang for your buck is always better, right?

Up first...

1. Muffin/Cupcake Pan Scrubby
Casa Bella via Real Simple
$7.99 (for a set of 3)
I bake a fair amount of muffins - especially corn muffins. My boyfriend actually likes them too, which is both a good and a bad thing. However, while I love eating muffins, I despise cleaning the pan that's left after the corn muffin feast. I've got a non-stick Wilton pan, but no matter what, I end up cleaning the little bugger at least twice; I think I get all the little nitty-gritty crumbies and oil slicks the first time around, and then I take it out of the dishdrainer only to feel that tell-tale slickness, or see some little browned bits. I've often wondered if there was something that would make life easier when it came to cleanup duty, and then I happened upon this little guy. Not only is he cute, but he also looks like he'd do a great job during pan-scrubbing thanks to his unique shape and size. With two sides to choose from, how can you go wrong?

2. Vinyl Lace Placemat
$12 (for a set of 6)
Yes, you read that right; these lovelies are only $2 a piece! But despite their tiny price-tag, they certainly don't look cheap by any means! Lace is definitely an "in" item right now, from clothing to light fixtures, and these are no exception. (Check out these super cute over-your-bathing-suit shorts here, and this amazing idea for a light shade here. Plus, if you really wanna get your dining area lacy and racy, you can DIY a lace doily table runner, like the one seen here). The color above is "stone gray," but they also come in other classic colors (like black or white), in addition to fun colors (like lime or turquoise). You can see all the colors here. I personally like the organic, soft tones of the stone gray (I guess I like the classic off-white look of antique doilies), but could certainly see these adding a great pop of color to some fun tablescapes. And honestly, at 6 for $12, even I would consider buying more than one set to mix things up. The chosen material (a nice pliable vinyl) makes clean-up a snap so that you don't have to worry about dainty fabric, while the delicate cutting gives a nice air of sophistication - a perfect balance!

3. Sea Glass Toned Nature Bobby Pins
Liz Hutnick's Etsy Shop
$15.85 (for 4 pins)

When I saw these, I just about died and went to heaven. Yes, they contain a bird (my weakness...*sigh*), but they're also in sea-glass tones, which was like super sweet icing on the cake. The other organic motifs (in addition to the aviary creature) are so chic that these guys could be paired with a work outfit in a neat French twist, a date night with sexy waves, or even just a quick updo for hanging around the house. At nearly $16, they're not particularly inexpensive, but I think they qualify for a little splurge, or a cute gift for a sister, girlfriend, cousin,

4. Mug-Sized Teacup and Saucer
Ok, you're probably wondering why this counts as a multiple. While it is technically 2 items (a cup and saucer), the thing I liked about this little guy is that it comes with a snazzy box that many reviewers said they saved for reuse.

So it's a two for one! Plus, the size of the "cup" is actually a bit deceiving in the image; most reviews liken it to the size of a coffee mug. Ergo (yes, I said "ergo"), you could use this little guy for many different purposes: a very large spot of tea that doesn't require refills from the pot; a nice big cup-o-Joe that allows you to stay put at your desk without fiddling with your sugar and creamer proportions once you get it right for the whole shebang; a nice mug of steaming soup (especially chicken-noodle if you're sick - eating from this little gem would instantly make anyone feel better)...It's really so much more than just a tea-cup. So in addition to a cute storage box, you actually get a very versatile item, ergo (yep, did it again), making this item count for a multiple. You just got lawyered (HIMYM reference, in case you were confused).

5. Beddy-bye Coasters
$23.99 (for a set of 4)
*Note: this is a sale price, down from $39.99; not sure how temporary this may be!
I've gotta admit - I've never seen anything like these coasters! What an original idea! I think the bed frame adds an air of unique interest, and could even give height to an artfully arranged coffee table, side table, or living-area bookshelf. Despite its delicate-looking nature, reviewers commented that these little guys are actually quite sturdy. They even appear to have mystical powers over the y-chromosome when it comes to using a coaster (at least according to one reviewer). Plus - they're white. White looks nice everywhere...especially under a glass when it's saving your precious woodware. (But let's face it: it would still look nice no matter what. You know it's true).

So there we have it! Another week of Fabbie Finds! I've made it 5 whole weeks in a row. I know - insanity.

Are you guys as smitten with those vinyl placemats as I am? Can you think of any other uses for the giant tea cup? Curious to see if the bed coasters will have mystical powers over certain male household members in terms of swaying them to...err...use protection? (Let's not get too greedy here. Get your mind out of the gutter and start with your coffee table. And yes, I realize there are an insane amount of inappropriate jokes that could be made to go along with this double entendre. But my mom reads this blog, so we'll keep it PG). (Hi, Mom).

*Note: All images via the linked webpage for the featured item.
**Double Note: I was not paid or perked by any of these sellers or companies (pft, I wish they knew who I was--hah!). I just found these items myself and thought I would share them!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Maintaining my Vanity

  So, a while back, a came across this little lovely on Craig's List for a mere $20:

It wasn't even in bad shape. The family was just cleaning out their little girl's room, and decided they didn't need it anymore. The mirror inside the flip-up top was damaged and discolored, but that was something I could work around, and certainly wasn't a deal-breaker for only 20 bones.

Like I said, this little guy (gal?) wasn't screaming "I NEED TO BE FIXED UP!!!!" but the current paint job just wasn't my style; it seemed to be a little frouffy for my taste (very technical term). The original coloring looked to be a DIY job; the white spray-painted coat was done very well and looked practically flawless, but the gold detailing was pretty sloppy in some places (no pictures - sorry!) and just gave the piece a very childish feel. Being a perfectionist, those gold details were screaming "messy Messy MESSY!" in addition to likening the piece to something that should be in Kate Middleton's foyer or dressing room. After finding this piece over at Centsational Girl, I was itching to grey-ify something of my own, and thought that the feminine lines of this piece would lend itself well to a more masculine and rainy-day color.

While the color I ended up picking is a bit more blue than I had originally intended (I'm a newbie at choosing paint colors that match what I want, despite the fact that I was a good student and taped up tons of different swatches to look at in different lights at different times of the day), I still like the juxtaposition of the baby bluish tones (read: boyish) on such a curvy piece (read: girlish). I had originally wanted to paint the inside of the flip-top a bright and complementary color, like coral, or a deep contrasting hue, like midnight blue, but ended up leaving that part alone for now. It just wasn't in the cards yet, as I wasn't sure of how to handle the damaged mirror, and I couldn't make a final decision regarding the color (I'm leaning more toward coral...). As it turns out, we're not even currently using the flip top at all, so it doesn't matter; it's very difficult not to put stuff on top of a flat surface...and once it's there, you can't open it anymore. Sigh. I wouldn't mind if it magically turned into a drawer, but maybe after our move, I'll start actually using the little guy as a vanity. Here's the little bugger in all it's (currently) finished glory!

The color I ended up going with is Valspar's "Rising Tide" color-matched to Olympic Premium No VOC latex paint. I just bought a little sample size for around $3.50, and it was more than enough for a single coat after a nice coat of Kilz primer. Interestingly, when I hold the color swatch up to the vanity, the color on the card does read a little more gray and less blue, but oh well! I'm still happy with the end result. We're currently using it as a little buffet-type-piece in our dining area, and it blends nicely under our wall collage, as we have a lot of photos or paintings that involve blues, from water, sky, and even backgrounds.

While I had originally planned on altering the color of the drawer pulls, I actually didn't think they were too bad once I was all finished. They look a little tarnished or well-worn, which I like better than pristine, so for now, they stay.  I'm thinkin' they'll look even better once I choose some fun fabric for drawer liners that picks up some of the goldish and cream tones. I got the idea from this image that I came across on Pinterest - been looking for something similar ever since!

So to save your fingers from scrolling back to the top (life's tough, I know), here is a comparison image of the before and after. I like the much more subtle single-tone color that hints to the detailing in the wood with shadows, rather than that cheap-looking gold acrylic paint that might call your attention to the details...but not in a good way.

Have any of you guys redone any interesting pieces lately? Do you have as much trouble choosing a paint color that actually looks the way you pictured it in your head when you're done? Found any steals on Craig's recently? Do tell!