*Pardon the poor quality of these photos – I realized much too late that my camera was set to the lowest resolution. Like super, super low. Doh! *
Spring has officially (officially!) sprung in Michigan. Forget the groundhog. The undeniable, 100% veritable sign of spring is when Mike D bids farewell to his ceremonious winter beard.
Shout it out! The beard has been stripped!
The sun is shining, the windows are open, and the spring cleaning has begun. No closet or drawer is safe from my reign of purging. The garage? I’m coming for you. The basement? YOU ARE MINE.
Which brings us to this suitcase I purchased at Value World for $2.40. I used it as a prop in my pop up shop over a year ago and it has sat unused in our basement ever since.
This thing is NAS-TAY. I didn’t open it while at Value World because, well, it was $2.40, so whatever. I grabbed it and ran. The outside looked fine, a little dirty, but nothing terrible. I brought it home, scrubbed the outside, then popped it open.
Were they carrying around dead bodies in this thing?! My eyes were permanently scarred. And now yours are too!
Part of me would rather snort bath salts than mess with this thing, but the crazy part of me became determined to give it a new life. Because despite it’s filthy insides, the outside is still pretty cute (like me).
I enlisted the help of Pinterest and queried “What can you make out of a nasty old suitcase that makes you want to barf?”. To which Pinterest replied, “How about this?”.
Well played, Pinterest.
And so it began, the making of something cute out of something barfy in under 30 minutes. That should be Pinterest’s tagline. YOU’RE WELCOME PINTEREST.
Here’s how it went down.
Firstly, I ripped out all the nastypants fabric, carefully trying not to catch hepatitis.
Hey-oh! I found a pill hidden in the liner. LET’S GET THIS PARTY STARTED.
Next, I drilled some holes for drainage. Drainage is important.
Then I added an inch or so of top soil.
Lastly, I began adding my flowers, layering them from the tallest in the back to the shortest in the front.
After some fluffing and styling, one can hardly remember her checkered past. Can you believe this thing used to carry around drugs and dead bodies? (Allegedly).
Every time I step out my back door, it instantly makes me happy. I’m saving landfills, people. One foul drug infested suitcase at a time.
Wouldn’t it be so pretty to display several of these throughout an outdoor party? Perhaps a bon voyage party, or an outdoor wedding reception?
How about a round of applause for that Mike D garden gnome look-alike? Thanks mom!
Have you saved anything from a landfill lately? I’d love to see your projects!
(Please ignore the spackle situation and I’ll address that empty frame later in the post).
We’ve been living without a rug in the living room for the last year thanks to an adorable, yet destructive, puffball named Eleanor Rigby. After two accidents in the first day of bringing her home, we decided it was best to store the rug until she was housebroken and out of her chewing phase. I reintroduced the rug a few weeks ago, and so far so good! Every now and again she decides to give the corner of the rug a little nibble, to which I simply spritz some bitter apple spray and kindly explain to her how many chihuahuas that rug costs (technically I think it’s less than one, but who’s counting?).
Yay! Yellow! Rug! I forgot how much that rug warms up the space and makes everything feel happy.
Once the rug was in place, the black and white floral drapes that were previously hanging in there had to go. The pattern on the drapes clashed with the pattern on the rug and the combination of the two colors made the room look like a bumble bee had thrown up all over it. So one Sunday afternoon during a trip to Ikea (side note: never do that again!), I picked up these inexpensive drapes. I cut off the tabs, gave them a quick hem (using this method), and attached hook rings. They’re hefty enough to provide some privacy, but still allow sunlight to filter in. I love the subtle touch of the thin dashed stripes.
It was also time to replace the white chair that never quite fit the room. I bought it many years ago at a deeply discounted price, so I was happy to pass it along to my mom and replace it with something that fit the scale of the room better. Finding the right chair was difficult because it is such a tiny space. I had been coveting the Mrs Godfrey chair by Johnathan Adler for a while now, but the price was way too cost prohibitive. I trolled craigslist and ebay hoping to find a used one to no avail, but eventually stumbled upon this very similar chair for a fraction of the price.
Hello chair of my dreams!
(Cute chairs make you happy. It’s a scientific fact.)
That little brass accent table above is from West Elm, and the other brass table next to the sofa is from Target, which I’m pretty sure was the last one on planet Earth. I called five (five!) Targets. Shit got real.
After rearranging a few things and doing some overall sprucing, the space is really shaping up.
Sometimes creepy ghost dogs show up in my photos. NBD.
That little rapscallion.
Regarding that empty frame in the first photo, I want to fill it with something bold and graphic and slightly kitschy. I looked at about 90 million movie and music related art prints on Society6 and Etsy, until my eyes nearly popped out of my head, and I’ve narrowed it down to a dozen favorites.
Which one would you pick? They’re all so good! Seriously, I can’t decide. Tell me what to do.
You’re probably thinking I should ask Mike D which one he likes, right? Because he lives in this house too, and his opinion matters?
Hahahaha, you so funny.
Let me tell you a story. I once hung one of my own photographs in our living room. After a year of it being displayed in the room where we spend the majority our time, I plucked that very photograph from our wall and hung it in a gallery art show. My darling beefcake of a husband arrived to the gallery, looked upon said photograph and exclaimed “Wow, I love that piece. I’ve never seen that one before”.
I rest my case.
I’m pretty sure I could hang this in there and he wouldn’t even notice.
Which is tempting…
I swear this will be the last post about my dog for a while. And really, it’s not so much about my dog as it is about Mike D.
To fully understand the colossal aberration of what I am about to show you, you must know one thing.
Mike D sucks at giving gifts.
I’m not joking. One year he gave me a dish drainer for Christmas. Another year he gave me a t-shirt (three sizes too small) that said PUNK BITCH. And once, for my birthday, he got me the ultimate homerball - a gas outdoor grill. Since then I have strongly encouraged Mike D to shop strictly from my Amazon list.
I know, I know, he is a great husband. He cleans the kitty litter. He always pumps the gas and takes out the garbage. He listens to me complain about everything. He builds Celia a blanket fort every morning. Why? Because he is a goddamn treasure. HE IS THE BEST. Except at buying gifts, in which he is the worst.
Cut to Valentine’s Day 2013. Mike D presented me with a little box.
“You shouldn’t have! We said no gifts! No really. You shouldn’t have.”
I prepared my best don’t-look-disappointed-face as I apprehensively peeled open the box.
A custom paper action figure of my little love nugget, Miss Eleanor Rigby.
IS IT NOT THE CUTEST THING YOU HAVE EVER SEEN AND OMG I ALMOST DIED.
IT has REMOVABLE BAT WINGS.
The bat wings were such a good touch! We dressed her in bat wings for Halloween and often refer to her as bat-face. I mean, the likeness is uncanny, right?
The action figure was made entirely of paper by our talented friend Austin Shyu of AusGerCo. From the white mohawk on top of her head, to the little white hairs around her nose, and the black spots on her back and tail, it is PERFECT. My photos don’t do it justice.
When I picture Mike D wrestling with Eleanor to photograph her at each angle so he could capture every detail for Austin, it makes my heart explode.
From now until the end of time, Mike D shall be known as The Husband Who Once Gave The Best Present in the History of the World.
You guys should all be requesting custom action figures from AusGerCo before he becomes super famous. He can do anything – comic book characters, kids, animals, you name it. He even crafted the likeness of Conan.
Now I just need one of Celia. hint hint. wink wink.
If you don’t recognize that lyric, then stop what you’re doing & watch this immediately.
If you follow me on instagram, then you are aware that I am thrifting all the time. And by all the time I mean all the time. Whether it be at thrift stores, flea markets, antique malls, estate sales or Craigslist, I just love sifting through other people’s dirty old crap. And I like the hunt. And a good deal. And I like STUFF.
Here’s a peak at what I’ve found lately.
Vintage lucite tray, Abe Lincoln photograph, light up Santa head, and a brass rolling record stand, all from Oddfellows in Berkley.
Vintage lucite trays are usually quite expensive, but this one was a little scratched up so it was only $30. I love it so much I want to PUT IT ON MY FACE.
But instead I put it on my coffee table with some art books, vintage milk glass vases, and an anthropologie bowl filled with polaroids. I can also envision it on our dining room table, the bar cart, or the dresser in our bedroom. It’s quite versatile and open to change. Like Taylor Swift’s lady parts.
This creepy Santa head is just too good. A little scary… yet also jolly. Like your dad.
The Abraham Lincoln photograph is dated 1891, has the photographer’s name on it, and is still in the original frame. After chatting with the dealer for a while, he offered it to me for much lower than it was marked because he was happy to see it go to a good home. I can be very charming to old people.
Here’s Babe-raham in my dining room. I imagine him reflecting deeply on the emancipation of slavery and how cute my no-sew drapes are.
I found this necklace at a vintage consignment store in Indian Village. I’m digging the 70′s vibe. Also, it kind of looks like a jelly fish?
Old lady bingo set from Etsy. Holla bitches!
Milk glass cream & sugar set from Russell Street Antiques in Eastern Market. For sipping tea at my sexy bingo parties.
Acrylic table from Craigslist. $25!
TWENTY. FIVE. DOLLARS.
Here’s how the Craigslist transaction went down.
CRAIGSLIST GUY: Hello?
ME: Hi, I’m calling about the acrylic table you have posted on Craigslist for $40. I love it. Is it still available?
CRAIGSLIST GUY: Yes, and I’ll take $25. *scratches my head?*
ME. OK sold! When can I pick it up?
CRAIGSLIST GUY: I have it in my van, I can drop it off right now, no charge. *scratches my head?*
ME. Cool! Here’s my address, see you soon!
10 minutes later he pulled into my driveway, threw me in his van full of dead bodies, and made a lamp shade out of my skin.
Just kidding, that never happened.
After the guy dropped off the table (I met him outside, house locked, pepper spray in hand – cuz you know) I brought it inside and dressed it up with some succulents and a pouf and lived happily ever after.
Mike D and I found this tiki lounge sign at an antique store in Oscoda, MI on our way to Mai Tiki Resort for a tiki themed beach weekend with friends. If that’s not serendipity slapping you in the face, then I don’t know what is.
And now, just for kicks, here are some things I loved, but left behind.
I came across this old desk lamp and tried convincing Mike D to get it for his office. Alas, he felt it was a little too “testicle-y” for his liking.
This Charlie Brown garbage can is cheesy and 80′s but so am I.
This fancy phone would look pretty on my nightstand and would be very convenient for late night calls to my dealer.
I kid, I kid. I would never call my dealer from a land line.
This chair (reupholstered in luxurious velvet) would be perfect in my tea parlor (that doesn’t exist).
When I stumbled upon this glorious rainbow of Eames chairs I yelled “OMG-OMG-OMG SOLD!” And then I saw the price tag of $300 per chair to which I slowly backed away and whispered “Never mind. Carry on. Nothing to see here”. And then I ran away & cried because I’m poor.
This early 1900′s photograph of a little girl is in the exact same frame as my great grandmother’s photograph. I wanted to bring her home with me, but she was very expensive and possibly haunted.
I almost bought this stereo at Vogue Vintage, but after testing it, we found one of the speakers was blown out.
The owner sent it to a repairman the next day but apparently it needs a particular part that is no longer in production. *cries* Everything else functioned perfectly, so the owner said he would hold onto it in case a similar stereo came along that he could steal parts from. I’ve been calling him every 3 days and I’m pretty sure he wants me dead. I want it so bad I would sell Eleanor to the circus for it!
No I wouldn’t.
Or would I?
More thrifty updates to come soon – it’s almost garage sale season!. And I’m headed to an estate sale this weekend! Someone stop me, because I can’t stop myself.
I can hardly believe it, but Miss Eleanor Rigby is now one year old.
THEY GROW UP SO FAST.
Eleanor weighed only two pounds when we brought her home, but still managed to turned our world inside out. She’s been a demanding and challenging puppy, but also hilarious, intelligent, sensitive, curious, and so loveable. She’s an innocent little soul and can convey so much emotion with her little bearded face.
And she cuddles like it’s her job.
We taught her how to sit, lay down, drop it (hello napkins and mail!) and go to her crate & mat on demand. Coming when called is a different story. Let’s just say Mike D and I have become highly skilled at tag teaming a very swift chihuahua.
She’s a tidy little pup, and wipes her feet on the mat when she comes in from outside. She grooms herself like a cat, and her paws often smell like fritos? Such a mystery.
If you follow me on instagram, you are aware that her fashion choices are SO MAJ.
Yet she is also very gangsta.
She once ate a very important old newspaper, so don’t think she’s not well read.
Oh you know, just an original insert from the Detroit News in 1969 about the U.S. landing on the moon. No big deal. Hope it tasted good.
She & Celia are slowly learning to coexist peacefully due to my intense couple’s therapy sessions. We focus mainly on trust issues and how to not be an asshole to each other.
They’re still learning.
And guys, I’m not normally so sappy, but humor me with this one.
A few weeks ago on a lazy Friday night, Mike D and I snuggled up on the couch for a movie. Eleanor jumped onto my lap, burrowed herself under the blanket and drifted off to sleep. Moments later, Celia tentatively and carefully climbed onto Mike D’s lap, curled into a ball and purred herself to sleep. Now. This is a rare occasion for both animals to lay next to each other, so as you can imagine, Mike D and I were doing a lot of whisper OMG’s and excitedly (but quietly) gesturing back and forth between them. Then out of nowhere I pretty much lost my shit. My heart nearly imploded from all the love that was on that couch. It may seem silly considering this family of four is 50% four legged, but they bring me so much happiness.
HASHTAG I LOVE THESE GOOFBALLS.
Happy birthday my little muffin.