Artsy fartsy

In the last few years I have found some cheap and easy ways to decorate our MANY places we have lived. A few things have carried over from place to place and few things have been tossed. One thing that will stay with us for a while are these canvas paintings that I painted.

I am by no means an artist. I took a couple of drawing classes in college and then got to the drawing naked people part and got very uncomfortable. I would draw bathing suits on my drawings…the teacher did not like that. For some reason I am VERY uncomfortable with nudity. Needless to say, I didn’t continue in art. BUT trying to create some unique pieces in our homes has brought me back to the drawing table…sorry.

These canvas prints were SO easy and cheap to make that anyone could do them to make a room look unique and all your own.

Luckily I had these canvases donated to me by my friend Katie, a kick butt real designer. They had some awful cityscape on them and they just needed to be painted white. If you look closely (in person) you can see the texture of whatever was on it before the Sykes masterpiece.

This actually didn’t cost anything at all because I happened to have all paint, canvas and supplies. Why can’t everything be free?

canvas prints

For all you fools who want to try this on your own here are some easy steps.

1. Find some inspiration. Look in catalogs and magazines for that flare to hit you. The inspiration for the tree was from a West Elm catalog and I am not sure where the daffodil came from – I think fireworks morphed into daffodils.

2. Get some paint. Now that you have your inspiration and hopefully your colors head to Michael’s and buy some paint and paintbrush (don’t forget your 40% off coupon that comes in the weekly paper)

3. Draw whatever you want with pencil ( I did not do that with these paintings – I was a gambler)

4. Paint your canvases white (if there was something there before) and get to paintin’

Whatever the size or the fashion; anything can look good. Here is a link of some more steps from Young House Love that are very inspirational. This blog actually encouraged me to get to painting again. I think I am going to do the pears for our bedroom next. I love the colors!!! But this time I think I may have to buy the canvases – boo. Maybe they will give me a canvas if I bring a Camaro?


In an effort for free pizza

I am always trying to save a few pennies. Today when my friend Kris sent me this article I knew it was for my benefit of free food.

I love food – I love free food even more. My husband can attest to my absolute love of free food. On Saturdays when we go to The Home Depot I will wait outside until they begin serving hot dogs (occasionally on Saturdays a bank will hand out free hot dogs at The Home Depot).  At KSU I would attend many religious meetings just for the free food. I once went to Catholic mass just so I could get a free burger…I am not Catholic and I didn’t even know anyone there, but damn the burger was good. I sat on the picnic bench and carried on Catholic conversation and ate my wonderful burger. I LOVE FREE FOOD!

So, I came across this article and considered buying a Camaro for a free pizza – because nothing is better then free pizza! Thanks for the heads up Kris! For those of you also considering the idea of a Camaro let me know – we can have a pizza party!  PIZZA PIZZA PARTY! Chomp. Chomp.

An Ode to the Blogosphere

Over the summer I have become addicted to the blogging world.  I have spent many wasted hours on my new favorite thing: Google Reader. I have all my blogs set up and I just stroll on down reader lane and find anything that captures my imagination.

Of course I have my blogs organized and if I could continue to folder my folders I would do so. The sections I have on my Google Reader are:

Design, Exercise and Eating, Friends, Fun, Teaching, Writing

I want to share my favorite blogs that occupy my time.  I hope that you will enjoy these as much as I do.

Favorite Design Blogs:

Design Sponge Since buying a house Greg and I have been doing a bit of nesting. This website gives me inspiration to make things look pretty. Everything from file folders to plants to old vintage homes look amazing on this website. Design Sponge takes many before and after pictures. This continues to inspire me to buy old and grungy. I can fix anything up and some things just look better grungy…it is called vintage right?

Young House Love: This has been another website that has inspired me in my cheap decorating ways. It is always fun reading about these two update an old ranch. Greg and I hope one day to have a sloppy old house that we can fix up to be our own….one day. But in the mean time – we love our home now and these guys are an encouragement to keep thrifting! Thanks to Bethany who introduced me to this blog.

Favorite Health Blog:

I am mildly obsessed with food and exercise. I spend a majority of my time obsessing over what I get to eat next and where I get to run. I always try to make the food I eat to be holistically good for me – what I mean by that is I always hope to put enough of each food group into my body.

Eat, Live, Run: What I love about this chick is she is usually eating real food and enjoying it. She is also a runner and encourages me to get on the road in the morning. A lot of the girls who maintain these blogs are vegans and eat rice, which is not something I can do. But this chick eats lasagna and wine. I love that!


These are the websites that make me laugh and remind me that I am not the craziest person in the world – even though my husband may think I am the craziest of the crazies 🙂

Emails from Crazy People The website name is self explanatory. Usually hilarious!

Passive Aggressive Notes The author of this site doesn’t update all that often, but it makes me laugh.


The English Teachers Companion Jim Burke writes this blog. He also writes a handful of wonderful books for English Teachers.


The Rabbit Room The Rabbit Room always contain wonderful stories and reviews of books and music. This website is one I often get lost in.


Desiring God Desiring God always makes me think. I believe this is a ministry by John Piper ( I could be wrong).  But I love this blog/website.

I hope you enjoy some fun trails in the blogosphere!

Jesser, Jesser, quite contrary how does your garden not grow

Mini Greenhouse

Mini Greenhouse

In my last post I showed my little greenhouse with Chamomile, Mint, and Lavender.  They are not growing. Above is a sad picture of them. This is how they have stayed for about three weeks.  I have watered them, kept them in the sealed container, and I may have even resorted to talking to them….THIS IS HOW DESPERATE I HAVE BECOME.  It makes me very sad. Also in my outside planter I am having trouble growing rosemary. Come on herbs!

I am very sad about this growing quigmire. Why won’t they grow? I have started the ones that said they need to start inside, inside -as well as the ones that said should be started outside, outside. Any help would be appreciated.  I think I am going to dig up what is barely growing now and start anew.  They aren’t rooting or growing any more. I am also interested in growing Jasmine. I wonder where I could find a Jasmine seedling. I have a lot of questions this evening. Anyone advice is welcome!

I leave you with these fun images of Contrary Mary.

Mary Mary 2 Mary Mary

I thought those images were fun. I wish I could find these images and get them framed for a garden area. I’ll have to look around. Greg thinks I have the design style of a grandmother in a trailer park. These images may support his thesis – but I love ’em.

Fun things going on

This is not a cohesive post. I have no theme or topic, but just wanted to post some updates of my life and the life of living in Canton, GA.


Last weekend Greg and I went to Savannah for the weekend and it was wonderfully hot. What I mean by that is that it was a wonderful weekend, but man was it hot. We spent some time on the beach, on a boat, at a zoo, and playing rock band. We stayed with our friends Kimberly and Steven Lucas and were like 10 year-olds playing with our neighborhood friends. It was very fun.

Oatland Island

Oatland Island

The Sugar Shack

The Sugar Shack

Canton Farmers’ Market

Downtown Canton is still doing  a wonderful job of putting on a fantastic farmers market with fresh produce and boiled peanuts week after week.   OH and I could never forget some FREE fancy bags. Our church, Isaac’s Keep, is handing out bags because we love the farmers market and we love Canton. They are free bags and very cute! They are useful for not only produce at the farmers market, but for produce at the grocery store or to put some clothes in to go to the gym. Please come by and grab a FREE bag!

The Carneys and the Fleees

I have been up to my regular thrifting and fleaing.  What I mean by that is searching out cool things at the thrift store and the flea market. I have to say out of all the things the thrift store is my favorite. I have bought some great lamps and a retro library catalog. I am having a hard time with finding good deals at the flea market – although I have found one…a cool retro stool. While in Savannah we went to Keller’s Flea Market and I found some cool old license plates that I liked. There was no price tag on them and they are old license tags, so really how expensive could they be.  We could frame them and they would look great on a wall. There were like 10 of them and Greg and I decided that $1 a piece would be reasonable – or at least I could haggle a little. I approached the two little old men that were running the farmers market and offered them my deal.  WHOA did they get sassy.

Me: Hey, there isn’t a price on this. I will offer you $1 a piece for all of these.

Old man: No, those are antiques and collectibles. How could you offer me $1 a piece on them? Do you know what they are worth?

Me: No, there is no price tag – how would I have any clue what they are worth?

2nd Old Man: A dollar a piece? Do you know what those are worth?

Me: Again, there are no price tags – how would I have any clue what they are worth?

Old Man: These are worth $15 or $20 a piece. You can’t offer me a dollar a piece for these.

Me: Alright. Well thanks.

2nd Old Man: What are you going to do with these for $1 a piece? Do you know what I paid for these?

3rd Old man (who wasn’t even there when the haggling/arguing began): She’s probably going to sell them.

Me to myself: Yes because there is a HUGE market for grungy old license plates.

Me to the old men: Here – I don’t want them for that price. Good luck selling them. You can’t get mad at a price I offer if you refuse to put a price on them.

Sassy. I wish I had a picture of the plates – they were cool (for $1 a piece). Who knew fleees (like carnys, but fleees) could be so sassy?But we did find a cool old stool for crazy cheap. Sorry no picture right now. It has been added to the project pile.


I found a couple of great lamps at the thrift store. The first one below is a lamp I found at the thrift store for $12. I went to West Elm later that day and found the exact same lamp  for $149 – awesome. The picture isn’t that good, but I promise it is the same lamp! And the white lamp looks similar to another lamp at West Elm for like $50. I am very excited.

Picture 105

Price $149.00

Price $149.00

-maybe I should have turned the light on before I took a picture of it!

Lamp #2:

Picture 104

West Elm for $59.00

West Elm for $59.00

What do you think? Similar? Anyone else find any fun used goods?


The last place we lived our wonderful neighbors let us start a garden and the have helped us keep up with it since we have moved. It has been very fruitful. At least twice a week I am coming home with veggies.I will be sad when summer is over and I will no longer have access to fresh maters.

Here is my yield:

How does your garden grow?

How does your garden grow?

Also at home I am beginning to do some small gardening. We are going to have to wait until next year for the good stuff.

Tiny Greenhouse

Tiny Greenhouse

Herbs in my greenhouse - they are growing VERY slowly!

Herbs in my greenhouse - they are growing VERY slowly!

Basil, parsley and dill

Basil, parsley and dill

'bout time for some pesto!

'bout time for some pesto!

That’s about it over here! Any gardening tips for my little greenhouse? Any fun finds at the thrift store or flea market?

Findin’ a deal

Oh the places we will go and the things we will do. Today Greg and I went on a tour of the western side of Georgia.  From Cherokee County, to Bartow County, to Cobb County – we covered it all. But mostly we circled one intersection for about an hour in indecision.

Our goal today was to save some bucks and buy cheap. We are both handy people, so we figure we could buy some crap and make it look pretty, so we went to flea markets and thrift stores to find some goodies. I am not sure if I have quite the artistic eye, but I tried.

Our first stop was in Cherokee County – the local farmers market in downtown Canton which has turned into one of my favorite parts of the week. If you have not been to Downtown Canton’s  farmers market, I highly suggest it. Amazing produce, wonderful community, and free bags to put your wonderful produce in! We got the biggest zucchini and tomato I have ever seen.

After an hour circling the downtown Canton square we packed up our goods in our faux rope bag and descended upon western Georgia. To the flea market we go. I had two addresses to find and typed them in Lula Humps (our TomTom) . She couldn’t find the exact address, but they suggested one instead. Lula usually knows what she is talking about and we are followers, so off we go.  Lula clearly did not know that this flea market was the best around because the road that this  flea market was on ended and no flea market.

Our car circled downtown Acworth twice and finally found the second flea market. Many moons ago I had been to this flea market had spotted Elvis. Also, this was not the best flea market around unless I was looking for a flail (yes I did say a flail -a weapon commonly attributed to the Middle-Ages) -pictured below, stun gun (as I walked past the merchant selling the stun gun he tells me that this is the way to keep my man in check…I thought that was what the flail was for…), cheap lingeria, or stolen goods. This may be an assumption, but how else do these business people possess these used Apple computers, books full of used CDs with names on them, and little children (WHAT? no not really).


The flea market did advertise boiled peanuts and I can’t turn up a good boiled nut, so we were on a hunt.  We went from hut to hut, and finally found the boiled peanut vendor. No go. They had burned the peanuts and they were not selling them. This was NOT the best flea market around. As we leave I can’t help but notice the nice cars outside this dusty old flea market. Who knew? You know what happens when you assume?

I still wanted to find the best flea market around. It said that it was on Highway 92 and Hwy 92 divulged into 3 different paths.  I thought Lula would be of help on this adventure, but she was confused. She continued to tell me to get my white ass back on the interstate…seriously that is how Lula talks to me and she continues to get more angry as we refuse to listen to her directions- we had to turn her off. So we tried Hwy 92 route 1 – this was about ten minutes of circling Hwy 92 to Hwy 41. That was not the correct route.  We tried Hwy 92 route 2 – this seemed hopeful as we were seeing folks on the road who had furniture in their truck. Again, no good. We circled downtown Acworth for a third time. BLAST! Time for lunch and we were not going to best flea market around.

I used to live close to Acworth so we headed to Bar-B-Que street. We saw Cherokee Street and followed this road. Why would there be more then one Cherokee Street close to CHEROKEE COUNTY? Into Bartow County we go and then back to Cobb and then into Bartown County and again we are circling downtown Acworth for the FOURTH FRICKIN’ TIME! Cute town, but dang I was getting hungry.

We stopped at some garage sales and looked at some cute old houses then found our lunch spot. It was delicious.

After lunch we were on our way to thrift stores in downtown Marietta. Value Village here we come. We found 4 amazing chairs  – pictured below. OK they are not amazing – they are disguisting, but salvagable…hopefully. I mean these chairs have quite a hue to them and as we were ripping out off the fabric some grated cheese and a cert fell onto our floor. Gross.

We piled the chairs into the truck and stopped at two more places then on our way home with a Coca-Cola Classic in hand.

If I do say so myself, this was an exhausting day, but well worth the fun we had. Even though we drove in circles and couldn’t find the best flea market around, we had a fun day of laughing at each other and eating bar-b-que.

1 zucchini and 5 giant tomatoes…$4

4 disgusting off white chairs from Value Village…$9

5 ramikins…$5

8 placemats…$4

Bar-B-Que Lunch…$20

A fun day of laughing and getting lost with my husband…SO FUN!

Here are our finds. Let us know what you think about the chairs and if you have any ideas.

Picture 093

Yes that is Greg vaccuming the chair and no that is not a shadow that is the actual dirt on the chair. Don’t worry we are ripping off this fabric and recovering them.

Picture 099

Our finds!

Summer Lovin’

Day 23

Don’t worry I haven’t yelled at the man this week. I received a letter that our mortgage has been transferred.   I know that this is something that normally happens, but I like to think that Todd Blake transferred my mortgage as quickly as he could because I scared him. That probably isn’t the case, but I will continue to believe that. Sucker.

We have moved all our furniture into the downstairs of our house. We look like regular ol’ homeowners.  We have even made a few meals at the house and cooked dinner for friends.

My favorite things about July so far:


I bought 12 pounds of blueberries from a blueberry seller and have made it through half the blueberries. I should have bought 24 pounds.  I also made a blueberry pie. mmmm….

Blueberry Pie

Braves Game:

We went to the Braves game and watched the good ol’ home team. Some highlights from that evening: I did not get sunburned thanks to a concerned fan who loaned me her sunscreen (always a positive), I had a Coca-Cola with the heavenly ice rolled and chopped from the hands of God from the ballfield, I got to sing “Take me out to the Ballfield”, and I got to root root root for the home team even though they lost. I am not sure if I have ever been to a game where they have won. Fun cheering for them anyway sans the obnoxious Mets fans.

Take me out to the ballfield

Home picked tomatoes:

The garden we started at the place we previously lived is now germinating and producing fruit…well right now a tomato. Here is our first crop. Hopefully there will be more to come. It tasted much better then it looks (even though it looks great). Soon to come : a bijillion tomatoes and cucumbers, cantaloupe, watermelon and pumpkin.

Picture 083

These are quite traditional things to enjoy over the summer. Soon enough the kayaks will be on the list because we have lakes in our neighborhood.

As soon as I take some good pictures of the house then I will post. Happy summer!