CHEAP WEDDING WEDNESDAY: Goodwill and a sister. . .

If you’ve been reading my blog nonsense, you know that I am planning my daughter’s wedding with the goal of spending as little as possible to have the prettiest wedding she could imagine.  Last week in Indiana between trips to the deer stand, my sister Brenda and I squeezed in a couple of shopping trips and a scavenger hunt through her barn.  These are some of the things I brought home.  She will be bringing more when she comes to Texas in November for the wedding.  (Eek!  That’s next month!)

This pretty vintage veil will look good hanging from an old door as part of a vignette.  You can’t see them, but there are pearls along the edge of the old lace.  A Goodwill steal!

The wreath below will enhance a vignette or be a pretty addition to a gate or bench.  It was found in Brenda’s barn.

Brenda loaned me this metal basket full of lace, fabric, and old doilies and gave me license to use them as I needed.  Then she piled a cake server, white top hat, acrylic candle sticks dripping with crystals, and other goodies on top!  Maybe she will forget about that basket. . .

This pretty metal wall art will look pretty on the side of the barn near the wedding site.  It will provide interest for wedding photos, and it was in her barn!

This is a favorite Goodwill find:  a train case in ivory damask!  Won’t it be beautiful with doilies and lace spilling out of it, along with framed vintage photos, flowers, and an antique doll?  Love it!  $4.99 at Goodwill!

I will spray paint this $7.99 Goodwill chandelier white, add crystals, and hang it in the reception tent for a touch of 

Last but NOT least, is this antique wood and metal ironing board with the company label at the bottom!  And it was only $4.99 at Goodwill!  We will use it as a beverage stand or to hold plates and cutlery at the wedding, and then it will find a permanent home in my future craft room.  (I hope to get started on that after the wedding–it will involve paint and much rearrangement of furniture and junk!)

I did good, didn’t I?  Even if I do say so myself!  Now to sit down with my list of materials and sketch out how and where things will go.  I can see the wedding and reception in my head, but I need a written plan so others can help me on that last day of setting up and decorating.  It will be a busy, busy day but I will be sure and take pictures of everything before the event.

It’s only one month from today!  Eek!  Will we be ready?  My darling daughter and her fiance are counting on it!


P.S.  Thanks, Brenda!



AT HOME MONDAY: It’s Fall, Ya’ll!

Even if it doesn’t feel like it!  Go away, 90 degree temps–we are ready for some cool!  I usually wait until October 1 to get out my fall decor, which requires a trip to the storage building and sorting through all the plastic tote boxes to find it all.  Last year I got it down to five boxes.  This year I want to downsize to four.  Hm. . .I wonder if that is possible?

But I didn’t wait to haul everything out this year.  As soon as the autumn solstice was announced by the calendar and weatherman, I dragged hubby out to help me gather the boxes.  Taking each item out one by one is like seeing old friends again.  But I will be ruthless.  If it doesn’t make me smile, out it goes. . .

That said, I just love seeing all the new fall decor in the stores and find it difficult to restrain myself from collecting more and more!  But my favorite things are always the vintage, well-loved finds that I discover while foraging at antique shops, flea markets, and garage sales.

Here is one of my favorites–a grinning little fellow I found several years ago at an antique shop in Waco, Texas for only $4.00!  I stopped there to stretch my legs during a business trip.  

That kind of stop is SO much better than a convenience store. . .you just have to hope they have a restroom as well.

Back to the cat–is he not the cutest thing?Don’t you love his Cheshire cat grin?  He’s either REALLY happy or he is hiding something!

I’ve almost finished my scaled-down fall decorating now. I just need to purchase some pumpkins and gourds and mums and such, and hope that the weather realizes that fall is here.  In a few days I will be traveling to Indiana where the weather did get the message:  It’s Fall, ya’ll!




Cheap Wedding Wednesday: THE Gown

Not only am I a retired schoolteacher who loves to decorate and hunt, I am now officially a wedding planner!  Since my daughter Natalie became engaged to her fiance Bryan, I have jumped in with both feet, scouring the web for bargains and tips.  Because, my friends, this wedding will be one of the coolest yet cheapest weddings on record!  At least, I hope.  
Natalie chose a Victorian steampunk vintage wedding theme, which is going to be great fun to shop for and decorate.  I have already amassed quite a collection of decor items and we have already shopped for and chosen the wedding gown.  If anything breaks my teeny budget, that dress will.  But our search of vintage and pre-worn dresses turned up absolutely nothing, so we headed to David’s Bridal.  Of course, she fell in love with the most beautiful gown which was completely over the dress budget.  We will save elsewhere.  
She bonded with that gown.  There was no way I could say no.  
Unfortunately, THE dress can’t be revealed until after the wedding on November 10!
However, I WILL share some of the contenders. . .enjoy!
The quality isn’t the best because I used my phone camera, but you get an idea.  We had a blast.  My personal favorite was the bottom dress, but it wasn’t her pick.  We both thought the top dress–the first she tried–was the one because she felt like a Disney princess.
But no, not her pick.  
Sorry, you’ll just have to wait. . .
April  xoxo

AT HOME MONDAY. . .organizing those files. . .

Though I pride myself on my organizational skills, it seems my kitchen counter mysteriously and spontaneously accumulates piles and piles of stuff.  Where does it COME from? (I have my suspicions.)   In an effort to corral the endless trail of papers, mail, keys, change, pens, pencils, I placed a pretty tray on the countertop.  Of course, somebody had to then clean out the tray periodically or it became a mountain itself.  And, of course, it did.  Did I really mean to create yet another chore for myself?
I guess I actually thought the piles of paper would magically sort themselves into “keep,” “pay,” and “toss” stacks, but for some reason that never happened.  When the pile of paper threatened to take over my kitchen I finally relented and separated the mess.  Although it didn’t take as long as I had anticipated, I thought there had to be a better way to “git-r-done.”
My file cabinet is in the back of the house in a bedroom often occupied by my grown daughter when she comes home on weekends (that is another decorating issue), making filing even more inconvenient, which of course, gave me an excuse NOT to deal with the paper pile.  But one day a light bulb went off in my head and I realized that I had the solution to filing, at least, right under my nose!
I collect vintage suitcases and train cases, and I just happened to have an empty train case I had recently purchased at Canton’s First Monday Trade Days. (That is another blog post, or two, or three!)  I suddenly realized that file folders would fit into that little train case, and I could set it in my living room–just off the kitchen–as a decorative way to temporarily file papers until they could be 
assimilated into my larger file cabinet!  

The train case:  I love the two-tone leather!  It only set me back $20, too!

Receipts and other papers stop here before being shredded or transferred to the “big” file cabinet at the end of the year.  It is so convenient to file papers when I finish paying bills now!

I haven’t gotten around to typing up nice labels yet, and I would like to get some 
new patterned folders, but for now, this works!  How do you tackle your paper clutter?