Dickey's Decor

Home, Garden and More

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lucky Star

I'm a fan of stars. I admit to gravitating towards them. A few weeks ago while at IKEA I found some paper stars with a battery operated light dangling in the middle for a song. I am kicking myself for not buying more. Shucky darn.

Here is what I created:

 A closer look. This side is covered in vintage sheet music. I embellished it with tinsel garland, old lace and cream buttons.

 This side has light blue scrap booking paper with brown stars. I added blue and brown polka dot ribbon accents, tinsel and buttons as well.

I am going to list this on Etsy since as of right now I have no idea where to place this in our house so I guess I shall set it free.

I thought I would share this creation as well. I started it before Christmas, but never finished it. It is made with coffee filters. It is now hanging on our fireplace wall. I admit I am not sure how I feel about it. What else should I do with it? It is fluffy and full, but just a little lonely. Mmmmm. Ideas?

Hearty Fun, Finds and Give Away

I had some luck at estate sales this weekend. I am toying around with the idea of renting a spot in an antique store. We shall see. Here is a peek at my goods:

We aren't sure what Matrons and Patrons is all about, but I loved this picture. I bought it at an old house about a mile from mine. It has to be one of the orginal homes in our area. Unfortunately I am sure it will be torn down and replaced with apartments since it sits on a very large lot on a busy street. If I am arressted for sneaking in and stealing moldings, columns, etc. will you bail me out?

The suitcase (opps forgot to take off the tag) will be transformed in an upcoming episode of Dickey's Decor. The lamp also will be transformed. I saw it on Friday night at Salvation Army and took a gamble it would still be there today when they had a 50% off sale. It was! The watering can will be sold and the iron brackets? I have some ideas. I picked up a few other things, but didn't want to haul them out to the garage for pictures. Overall I am a happy girl!

We had four basketball games for my son and as a result were busy. I managed to finish this though:

I picked up the frame at Salvation Army for .99 and covered the cardboard backing with scrapbooking paper. Next, I hot glued velvety hearts on. Badabing badabang.

Since I am trying to drum up some readers I thought I would conduct my first give away this week. I will send a lovely burlap LOVE banner to one lucky winner. Simply become a follower and a random winner shall be chosen this Saturday.
This is an awful picture, but these babies are long...

Renovation Rumblings and Puttin' My Feet Up

Last January I painted and "redid" my laundry room hall. In February I added some tile accents, crown molding, wainscoting and repainted my daughter's bathroom. This February I am planning on doing a mini-renovation of my entryway.

As it looks now (I didn't even pick up for the before pictures)...

When we moved in this was one of the only rooms that did not boast really "awesome" wallpaper. To be honest I can't even remember what color it was when we moved in, but it was the first "room" I painted. You can see the one side has clear sidelights. The other side is waiting to be finished (it might get done for my reveal!). I love the warmth of the current color, but after six years I am over it. We have darker wood doors and trim and I think a lighter color will brighten this darkish area up. Here is a view from the other direction:

The only thing that will be staying is the Jew Pew (This is an old pew from a Brooklyn Synagogue. Don't be thinking I am anti-Semitic, my name is Leah after all). I LOVE it. I am currently looking for some baskets to put under it. This is where we put backpacks after school etc. It looks like they didn't make it there in time for the picture though. We will also be keeping Harvey, the dog. The one door leads downstairs and the other is a closet designed to store hanging linens (if I don't iron do you think I would hang linens?). It currently has some makeshift shelves, but I am planning on adding better shelving to store my larger kitchen appliances and big pantry items.

Here is my list of things to do in this area:
Paint (thinking of a light grey or light sea blue)
Add board and batten OR wainscoting to one wall
Add crown molding
Finish sidelights
Purge both closets
Add a shelf in the coat closet (near the floor to add more storage)
Add shelves to the pantry closet
Polish all woodwork
Find baskets for under bench
Paint half table for wall opposite the bench
Hang mirror above bench
Decorate (Rug, framed chalkboard, new lamp)

One thing I forgot to share is the great light fixture...

Gearing up for this month's project! Until then I will be putting my feet up on this:

I found this at the Goodwill bins. It had a nasty pleather cushion. I ripped it off, painted it with Ralph Lauren metallic paint (leftover from my living room wall) and recovered the cushion with blue hounds tooth fabric. Looks lovely in our family room. Unfortunately Mr.Dickey uses it all the time.

Grey With a Pop of Red

January in Oregon is grey. January in Oregon is rainy. This year, however has been an exception. In fact, this past fall and early winter have been dry. ( I can't count last week when we had so much rain it flooded in places.) Typically I won't be able to do anything in the yard until late March. (Play music here) This past Friday and Saturday were beautiful; cool, dry and sunny. I seized the opportunity to do some yard clean up and after the yard debris bin was full decided to start on a project that has been on my mind for awhile.
I love the deep overhangs on our house. They allow us plenty of space to keep dry and DECORATE for holidays. One thing that has always annoyed me though  is a flowerbed that sits right next to the house. No water will ever reach it and the dirt in it is lifeless. When we first moved in there was bark dust and cat poop. As soon as spring hit I removed it and replaced it with river rock (How ya like me now cats?). This was fine for awhile, but after a year I realized the wind blew all manner or leaves and debris into it. It was impossible to keep clean. Over the past two years it has been on my list of things to address. I had a collection of recycled bricks and decided to use them.

Here is a look at what this area looked like before....



My dad  brought me an ugly green plastic Adirondack chair last spring. I spray painted it red to match our front door and decor.

The red rocking chair

And finally the red wooden tool caddy I picked up for $3. I painted it red of course. I figure I can use it for Christmas, Valentines and Fourth of July decorations this way...plus it matches the house the rest of year too.

It started POURING again today. I think I might sit and relax in my rocking chair.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Failure and Finds

I am a middle school Language Arts teacher. I teach kids to read, however I often find I am a skimmer and it gets me into lots of trouble. Yesterday my son and I headed out to an estate sale that was about fifteen miles from home. I plugged the address in my phone and off we went.We parked and ran to the sale drenched from the deluge. Once inside I found a ton of treasures BUT what I failed to read was the sale only accepted cash and I had none. Back to the car we went in search of cash. I looked on the trees, but found none.We came back twenty minutes later, and of course one of my finds was gone. Sigh. Here is what I did score for all of $11.30.

You can't see the plastic bag, but inside is some fabu lace. Lots of bias tape and such for my projects. The fabric is two yards of pristine cream wool and two yards of this fun stuff. I am sure I will find some terrific things to make soon.

I wrapped up a few projects today and had an EPIC failure. Beverly at http://www.flamingotoes.com/ sent me some awesome downloads to make LO VE pillows. Now, I have never had luck with iron on transfers. I admit I am impatient and don't READ directions. Soooo this time around I took a deep breath and read them carefully. The end result? Failure. No matter what I just can't seem to figure out those suckers. I need someone to help me. Maybe it is my iron. I admit our iron is cheap (and if you read my last post you know we never use it). Anyone? Anyone?

Here are the projects that were somewhat more successful...

 This is a yarn wrapped wreath with chenille rosettes. I glued vintage black buttons in the center and wrapped some muslin "ribbon" I bought off of Etsy a few years ago. I have to say I am really  not in love with this piece. I think it is the color of red yarn I used. It is just a little too...clown red? Primary red? Not sure what you would call it, but I'm just not into it.

I also finished two LOVE banners. I may throw them up on Etsy, but it is really hard to get a good picture. I would love to take an outdoor one but, we are expecting nothing but torrential downpours for the next week. These pictures also put me over the edge in terms of my kitchen wall color. I painted it six years ago and it needs a new color bad. We are in the beginning stages of a kitchen remodel, but I don't think I can wait until summer because I am almost throwing up in my mouth over the color in the pictures.

I made this a few years ago, but I still like her. I made it with felt and stitched the letters with embroidery thread then glued everything on foam core board.

Other than the LOVE pillows I still may attempt, I think I am all crafted out on Valentines. I may lay down the glue gun for a few weeks and begin planning the kitchen remodel and my daughter's bedroom in earnest. Or I can plan the shed, the storage-room-to-bedroom transformation, or the bike shed, or...maybe I should just read.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I Don't Iron Which Is Why I Love Linen

I hate ironing. I actually really don't know how to iron (the right way). I will admit I have only ironed clothes for my own job interviews and my husbands...maybe a wedding or funeral (that we were part of). The worst thing is we actually purchased a steamer over a year ago and it is still in the box because I forget we have it and I can generally ignore wrinkles. This is one of the reasons I LOVE linen. People understand that linen wrinkles and as a result they don't judge you. Now I have aired some dirty laundry. I will get back to the reason I brought up ironing in a minute (I promise).
Tonight we are anticipating a snow day tomorrow. When you have two teachers in a house this is a HUGE thing. I should have cleaned bathrooms, but decided they can wait until tomorrow (unless I have to work).  I decided to finish a few projects and one thing lead to another...you all know how that goes.
I bought some towels at IKEA right before Christmas. I needed some new kitchen towels and I liked these. I think they were $2 for two towels. I had thought about using them to make something for Christmas, but alas time slipped away. Tonight I dug them up and decided they would make good faux European linen looking pillow cases.

Here is what they looked like before (this is why I held the confession on not ironing):

The finished product:

A closer view...

I had two pillows that fit these cases perfectly. These are old bed pillows that are smashed down and are sitting in our closet. I really like the way the look. I think they would look great on our bed as well. I can also see them used outdoors this summer with my red Adirondack chairs. Fourth of July?

My second project tonight was a vintage paper garland. I saw this in my FAVORITE antique store (http://camasantiques.blogspot.com/), but they used circles. I bought a heart punch at Micheal's yesterday for $6 with my coupons and began punching. I started sewing two hearts together with the help of Ms.Delia.

Sew easy!

On the mantel (these do have a tendency to tangle)

 A close view. Don't you love the handwriting in this vintage grammar book?

I am selling these on Etsy if you don't have a lot of snow days in your future.
Finally, I made this last year, but because my old Blog vanished I thought I would reshare. It was inspired by Jen at Tator Tots and Jello. I heart it still.

I am hoping to have an epic snow storm tonight so I can continue on this crafting binge. If it keeps up I might even get the bathrooms cleaned.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

These Dreams

I am a list maker. At night when I can't sleep I visualize all the things I want to do around the house. I can edit the "dreams" and change things a lot easier than I can in real life. I just finished my physical list this week of all the things I want to get done around the house this year. I went room by room and began writing. Let's just say we have multiple pages. Even them I look at it and sigh I also think they make the dreams seem reachable.
My daughter inherited my listiness. She asks us to write down lists of things we need to do with her. Here is an example:

Delia Mommy Day
Go to Target
Go to the cat shelter
Get a snack
Go to pet store
Go to ice cream shop (the previously mentioned Troutdale General Store)
Mystery place

Her lists can be exhausting, but I find them charming...I wonder why?

The house is decorated for Valentine's Day. I purged several things and am happy to say I may have my decorations for the holiday of love down to only one plastic container (unless of course I continue making new stuff!).

Finished a few projects this week.

Dream Sign (For sale on my Etsy sight soon)

Vintage Valentine Buckets

Here is a glimpse at the front window...

I found these golden cherubs last year and packed them with the Valentine's stuff. I need to think up a fabu creation for them!

 Ideas anyone?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bethany Lowe Inspiration and the Target Decorating Generation

One day a few years ago I was perusing one of my favorite haunts, The Troutdale General Store (http://troutdalegeneralstore.com/) . It is a place to  waste  spend my "alone time". They do an amazing job gussying the store up for holidays and have an extensive inventory of beautiful decorations. The store is newer, but was built in the fashion of an old time general store complete with an soda fountain (the bar is authentic), ornate ceiling fans and new and old fixtures. One half of the store boasts an excellent candy counter (where my daughter can pick up her $3.00 Godiva chocolate mice...good taste for a six-year-old), vintage inspired toys and of course decorations. The enormous basement is well stocked with holiday decorations year-round. Halloween in March anyone?  I digress.
While in the store I found myself gravitating towards a certain style of decorations. They were "old" looking and had so much charm. I loved them, but I didn't like the price tag. I soon learned about an amazing artist, Ms.Bethany Lowe. Lowe has a cadre of artists working with her to create scrumptious decor. I admit to purchasing a few pieces here and there, but most of the time I have to pinch my pennies because these items are spendy.
This brings me to my point. People my age love Target. I love Target, my sister loves Target and a lot of my friends love Target. However, I don't find most of my holiday decorations at Target. Over the last few years I have started to invest in one nice piece each year. I am mainly talking about Christmas decorations here, but it applies to all the other holidays as well. I realized that I wanted timeless, classy pieces that would could be used year after year and weren't trendy. I wanted pieces I could pass on to my kids or perhaps enjoy for a few years and resell. You can't do that with most Target decorations (insert fight with my husband here over my holiday decorating ADD). I realize this is making me sound like a snob, but I have been called worse.
Recently one of my favorite home decorating stores went out of business. The owners, in their early sixties, shared that one of their biggest struggles was attracting the Target decorating generation (ahem that would be my peers). They felt women in their mid-forties to sixties were now done shopping for holiday decorations and this left them without customers because the  younger set wanted a new style each year (so that is why I grew to dislike my penguin decorations). I agree with them. Their store was lovely and had new things each season, but it just didn't have the lure of Target.
Now my friends know I am cheap. I have champagne taste on a beer budget (Actually, I have beer taste I'm not a fan of champagne). My dream day consists of looking in expensive shops on trendy streets.  and then going home to make what I saw. As with most of the home decorating/crafting/lifestyle blogs I stalk I know most of the people that write them are of the same mindset. While I love Bethany, I just can't spend $35 on a box, with a glitter putz house and a catchy phrase. I can make it though and now I present the reason I wrote this entry:

The Chapel of Love. I used a Christmas decoration I purchased for 75% off at Wal-Mart (didn't talk about that place), a box I had on hand was painted a pale pink, my Wal-Mart mini-alphabet stamps, and various buttons and baubles I had laying around. I think it is cute...do you think the Chapel on the steeple is a little much?

This is my Queen of Hearts plaque. It looks very short and sqautty in this picture, but it is actually pretty large. The crepe paper edge looks weird too, but I promise it is adorable.

Another chapel with a different twist.

Headed to a Blazers game tomorrow night with Mr.Dickey and then I am supervising two games on Thursday night so I don't think I will get my other projects done until this weekend. I have two or three fun projects to share and of course I will do my Valentine decorating. Maybe I can share that soon!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Dog By Any Other Name

I don't brag about my cooking too often, but I have to admit my Dickey Dogs are doggone good. Dickey Dogs? Well I didn't come up with that name (any of my friends remember who did?). Wiener wraps, pigs in a blanket, whatever you choose, but at my house we call them Dickey Dogs because our last name is Dickey and we like alliteration (ahem, my blog title, my kid's names, my dogs).
Anyway, these babies are great for a crowd and aren't hard to make. I make them in the fall a lot for Halloween and Harvest parties and for big football games.
I remember eating these back in elementary school. I had not had one for ages. One day my friend asked me if I wanted to go eat lunch at her grandmas. Of course, I love grandmas. I went and she served wiener wraps. My mouth watered, I was in heaven. Grandma gave me the recipe and I have been making them ever since. Her dogs are still better, but then again she has had years of practice on me.

Here is the recipe:

1 Package yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/3 Cup warm water (105-120 degrees)
6 Cups flour
4 Tablespoons melted butter
2 Teaspoons salt
1 2/3 Cups Milk


1. Place yeast, sugar and water in measuring cup for five minutes to activate.
2. Put flour, butter, salt and milk in KitchenAid (you can use a Cuisinart or other mixer too) with a dough hook and mix.
3. Mix for a few minutes.
4. Let the dough rise for about 90 minutes.
5. Take out a chunk of dough and flatten out.
6. Place a dog in on the dough and wrap that baby up.
7. Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

This recipe will make about 12 large sized wraps. It all depends on how much dough you use on your dogs AND how much raw dough your kids eat before you finish.

Here are some pictures:

Dough flattened out. Do you see my Demarle (aka Silipat)? I love their products. They do in home sales and I really should sell it, but I'm not into that kind of thing. Maybe I should blog about that one day.

Mmmm. Good.

A final word of dogs. You get what you pay for here. These babies work best when I get the good dogs. I suggest Nathan's, but they aren't cheap. When I know I am going to be making a lot of them I will go to Cash and Carry (our restaurant supply store) and buy a case. If we are feeding a bunch of kids I will go with whatever is on sale, but they really aren't as good as Nathans. I often will make an "adult" batch and a "kids" batch. By the way the dough can also be used for rolls or bread. Here is my Ode to Nathans. We visited there last summer.