hearth and home

Across from the windows on one side of the dining area of our kitchen is this (false) fireplace.  We found it trashed and brought it home where my husband repaired and painted it.  EVERYTHING you see in this photo was purchased at thrift stores or garage sales except the "PEACE" sign hanging on the mirror.  It was an after-Christmas clearance item.

My clothes, too, were all thrift store purchases...

This picture was in the background when I posed in our library/music room.  It's large and in an attractive frame.  I found it at an auction (it's not a painting - just a copy).  If anyone knows its title or the painter of the original, I'd like to know!

At the time I bought it, I was giving piano lessons to two sisters.  The girls in the painting reminded me of them SO much!  Don't you like how the light of the candle seems to LIVE on the painting?

musically inclined

This is the "Music" corner of our Library/Music Room!  I spent quite a few hours at the piano yesterday practicing for this morning.  I will be leading the worship service at our church.  I'm wearing the same skirt I wore last Sunday with a lace blouse and herring-bone jacket.  All thrifted (again, nothing lately).

re. minimalism

This morning, I'm in our living room.  You can see that it's not quite light outside...but I'm dressed and ready for ANYTHING!

All clothing and accessories are thrifted.  (Nothing new though.) The rocking chair belonged to my grandparents.  It is both comfortable and comforting.

Whether a trend or here-to-stay, minimalism is "hot" right now.  On the one hand, simpler and smaller and slower are attractive concepts to me.  In reality, they are very DIFFICULT for me to achieve.  I was somewhat relieved to read the following quote from a decorator while browsing through magazines earlier this week:

$1 at a garage sale yesterday.
"I tried living a pared-down life for a while.  I fell prey to the idea that it was morally superior.  But I got back on track when I bought this house and started filling it up with the things I love" (Peter Frank).

Alas!  I believe I belong to the Peter Frank School of Decorating!

red, white and blue

I purchased the BLUE one first - to carry my laptop.  It was perfect for this use!  So perfect that when I saw the WHITE one at a good price, I carried it for awhile.  Later I stumbled on the RED one!  Now, I seldom carry my laptop anywhere and my thrift store bargains are sitting out in my hastily-arranged garage sale.  Three for $10.00!

This is what I'm wearing today to run in and out as customers trickle in...Picture taken from the kitchen end of our kitchen/dining area looking through French doors into our library/music room.

you can't tell a book by its cover

My outfit is really boring today, but I'm proud of a simple covering I made for a hardback Bible I bought at a thrift store and plan to give to an acquaintance who expressed an interest in having one.  I'm pretty sure the book had never been opened until I bought it.  Since it's going to be a gift, I will not divulge the incredibly low price I bought it for!  Let's just say it was far less than a candy bar!

I used to cover our children's school books with brown paper bags--cheap and sturdy.  The kids decorated them variously.  For THIS project, I stenciled the recipient's initial and coated the entire cover (front and back) with a couple of coats of ModPodge.

an everyday outfit

 Does anyone use that word (everyday) to describe clothing anymore?  
I can't remember hearing it in a l-o-n-g time.
I know what I mean by it--just wonder if anyone else does...
 Above, a closeup of a piece of pottery I strung on a black ribbon to wear...
below, one of a HOSTof black walnuts falling from the tree today.

today...new way

Old "Limited" knit dress worn a new way - with a brown tee shirt over it...dressed up with a strand of brown and black beads doubled up...

porch "posts"

Our front porch on a quiet Sunday morning...
 These are the jewelry pieces I'm wearing with the basic black velvet skirt and white cardigan.  
(Who says you can't wear the buttons in the back?)

lo and behold!

Lo and Behold!  My cell phone camera has a 10 second timer!  Things will never be the same here! Fortunately I have the weekend to practice and figure out a way to position and steady my phone. Meanwhile, I am posting  
my very first attempt.  
Obviously, I didn't dress for the occasion.  I surprised mySELF!

 Yes, the robe is thrifted (and well-worn)!
I've had it for years and am reluctant to replace it.

I took this picture of one of the reading corners in our house to place on the "books" page of my main blog.  Thought I'd show it here.  The chair and pillows were purchased at garage sales or thrift stores, as were a few of the items on the bookshelf.

Thanks to all of you who made suggestions re. my photography! I'm eager to see how I can improve the pictures on this blog.  I'm pretty proud about the ones I take of our grandchildren, etc.  You can get a view of them on my "family" blog listed in the sidebar of THIS one...  If I want "hardcopy" of any of them, I download them and either print them off on our home printer or have them done at Walgreens or Meijers.

We do have an inexpensive digital camera but I never seem to have it with me when I need it - AND the batteries seem to always need charging.  The phone is a workable option for me.  I DO need to be more intentional and remember to change the settings (which I forgot to do when I went inside for the book/chair photo).

Plain Jane

This is how I do it....then I crop.  The mirror is a cheap one.  And if I set it at just the right angle, it makes me appear slimmer!

Today I'm wearing the OTHER staple of my wardrobe...a black shirt.  And denim capris.  I might throw on a denim vest later...

I am really happy that so many of you hang with me faithfully!  Compared to most of you, I am Plain Jane.  No matter how I try, my outfits seem to all look the same to me.  Your friendship via this blog is VERY much appreciated.  And your fashion choices and extensive wardrobe magic continue to inspire me!

In our music/library, topped with horses & reindeer...
We have a couple of Plain Jane wardrobe cabinets in our house, too.   We obtained them at very little cost to us, but the hours my husband invested in repairing and finishing them were many!
In our living room, topped by blue pottery pieces...

this too shall pass...

...the pounds must go (not YOUR problem) and when they do, I'll have the rest of my wardrobe to wear!  I'm determined not to buy clothes to fit me at this weight.  This is not self-punishment.  Just motivation.  So, please.  No lectures about loving myself and treating myself less harshly, etc..

Meanwhile, I found a different top in my closet - a white blouse - one of MANY.  I really enjoy white blouses and have a variety of styles waiting for me.  All from thrift stores or garage sales.

My life isn't too exotic, so this works.  Meanwhile, I created a simple and delicious dinner from leftovers yesterday.  You can read about it HERE.

These are MOST of the white blouses  I own...not quite.

another ladybug luncheon

 In my new role as chairwoman of our Lady Bugs Club (formerly a Red Hats group) I need to carry a little bit more "stuff" to meetings.  Thus, a GOOD excuse to carry this toille bag - which I adore!
I THINK I've got the colors right for being a "Lady Bug"!
Of course, you may guess that I found the bag at a thrift store along with everything else I'm wearing...
except the necklace and matching earrings created by Jane.

dressin' up the denim

 If it gets TOO hot, I'll just remove the jacket.  
The gold of this blouse really doesn't show on my cell phone generated photos. 
In reality, it looks like 18K!
After church, I'll change shoes and blouse, and we'll be on our way 
to finish the House Walk we started yesterday!

historic neighborhood housewalk

 Today we went on a housewalk in a historic neighborhood of a nearby city.  Here I am standing on the steps of the first (and smallest) house--a former "workers'" cottage.  Inside it was completely remodeled, bright and charming!
 I felt more comfortable taking pictures in the yards and gardens.  There were so many beautiful outdoor "rooms" to see.  Rain interrupted our walk.  We plan to return tomorrow to finish. 
Seeing so many incredible interiors inspired me to rearrange and repurpose some of our furniture.  I moved a large recliner away from this window and set up a couple of thrifted chairs around an end table that had set elsewhere.  I'm enjoying the window view as I work at my laptop here!  The mug, books, table and chairs were either garage sale or thrift store finds as were the curtains, curtain tiebacks, and floor lamp!

surprise in a shoebox

This whimsical stick pin floated in the bottom of a shoe box containing multiple bottles of craft acrylic paint and some fabric paint.  After sorting through the $1 box (garage sale), I only had to throw away 2 bottles!  And I really enjoy wearing this pin...

For awhile, I'm stuck with these jeans -- so I may as well make a game of it!  Today, worn with my green and white striped shirt and denim vest.

It's below 50 degrees!  Another beautiful autumn-feeling day.  A friend is coming over for early coffee or tea.  Then, if I make progress on my research project, I MAY search out a few estate sales advertised in our weekly small-town newspaper.

I know.  I SHOULD go "saling" early...but there's really nothing I need and it's good incentive to put it at the END of my project rather than procrastinating further.


I was quite amazed to find this picture in a beautiful book of 18th century homes  while at Borders a couple of days ago!

Earlier in the summer, my husband and I were on a house walk in the city nearby.  On a trash pile as we strolled from one home to another was THIS:

I had no idea exactly how to use it, but now that my husband has primed and repainted it, we will look for a glass to put on top before placing a lamp and/or some other items we want to spotlight on it.

Do you have any other ideas?  Originally, I thought it might have been an outdoor/patio piece...

Decided to "allow" this picture in...This morning I'm off to run some errands.  I'm wearing some (stretch) black jeans with a white top.  The clothes as well as necklace & matching earrings are all thrifted items.   (Visit my health & fitness blog if you're interested in why I said "allow".)

gwampa, whose boots r dose?

I picked the boots up at a garage sale just because they were so cheap (10 cents a pair).  They were too big for any of our grandkids and sat on a shelf in our garage for a l-o-n-g time...Until this weekend when T asked my husband, "Gwampa, whose boots r dose?"  The rest is history.

september days are here

My husband recently bought these earrings and a matching necklace for me.  He knows my "taste" runs toward simplicity, black and silver. 

Thanks to Jane for helping him select these--her handiwork!  I've never had this kind of earring before...their lengths can be adjusted.

A jacket feels good today!

"By all these lovely tokens, September days are here...With summer's best of weather and autumn's best of cheer..."

All thrifted - denim jacket, black skirt and shirt,
black belt with silver buckle...

was this rash of us?

Only "HOME FASHION" today as my face still bears traces of the rash I've been dealing with the past week.  It DOESN'T look quite as bad as the rust rash found on this metal cabinet we purchased at an estate sale yesterday for $2.50.
My husband will be working his magic on this and a few other pieces we've found lately.  
If interested, you can see them here.