Dickey's Decor

Home, Garden and More

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Golf Wreath Revealed

Finding baseballs has proven to be difficult. I have resorted to telling kids I will pay a buck per ball. Angels sang when a fellow teacher brought me an entire crate of old baseballs. He said it was payment for my bathroom during the strike.
This week I had two baseball wreaths to make so I decided to try a golf wreath.

Since golf balls are much smaller you can see a bit more of the wreath frame. I think on the next one I will paint the frame silver or white to make it blend in a little better. I covered the back of the frame with ribbon to make it look a bit neater. I used hot glue, but also a super glue for added strength. I will list it on Etsy to see if making more will be feasible. The good news is golf balls are much easier to find.

I finally decided on a fabric for my wicker bench. I love it and if it doesn't sell I have the perfect spot for it!


This bench is currently for sale on Craigslist. I have a few projects I have started and hope to finish up this weekend. It is good to be back in the groove!

World Lit & Big News

I took this class my Sophomore year in college. World Lit. It wasn't one of my favorites. I think I might dig it now. Anywhoser (how do you spell that?) I found myself with two Southern Hemispheres after my globe lights were sold on Etsy. Both were a little rough, but luckily they fit together with a little help from my glue gun. I wish the world could come together like that!
Next, I decoupaged strips of various pages from some books I had that were falling apart. I painted the ugly wooden base with some Annie Sloan and presto I have a funky decoration perfect for those who have taste like me. I am going to list this on Etsy but if it doesn't sell there you may be able to pick it up at wait for it...my Trunk Sale.
Yep, after attending a tent sale a few weeks ago I decided to hold my own. My sale will take place on July 12th. More details soon!

I am recouping after the strike. Life is finally getting back to it's normal chaos. We ratified our contract and I am happy with what we fought for. This weekend we were able to escape to the beach for a few nights. We relaxed and simply enjoyed each other's company. The dogs even had a good time!

 Howie plunked down right in a shallow pool after chasing the ball.

Drexler and his Mohawk. We only allow him to choose his haircut on the last day of school. This year we allowed him to get it the day we began to strike. We were that convinced it might go for the rest of the year. I am happy we went back, but the Mohawk isn't my favorite look for him!

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Striking House

No crafting, creating or blogging has been done for the past two weeks. Last week was one of the longest of my life. It was awful and now it is over.
My husband and I both teach. I teach middle school two blocks away from home. My kids go to the elementary school behind my building. Our campus also houses an alternative high school and the district office. Over the past year we have been working without a contract. Without going into a lot of details we voted to strike beginning last Monday.
The weeks leading up to the strike were gut wrenching. I hated the uncertainty for my family, my students and the community. Last Sunday we had a slice of hope as the school board, and our union, met in a last ditch effort. We had a vigil at a nearby park. I went to bed with negotiations still going on. I woke up at 5:45 to a text that read, "We are striking".
Since teachers weren't allowed on campus I knew there would be a need for restrooms. I decided to open our house as the potty house. A stream of people started coming in at seven fifteen. I made coffee, put out some food and got the house ready. All day long it rained. My daughter became the "coat dryer". She would ask people for their coats as they came in and would run them down to the dyer. People came, sat down for a few minutes and left. The weather was awful and people were tired that first day. The second day came and it was the same. Late in the afternoon we were told the school board would not negotiate again until the following Tuesday. Hearts sank and people were weary. The days blended together and hours ticked by slowly. Wednesday and Thursday all schools in our district were divided between "my campus" and the high school campus. More people learned about the potty house. I can't even count how many people came to use our facilities. My table was covered with food for the stikers. There were times when there was a line four deep for BOTH of the bathrooms we opened.
My emotions were everywhere. On one hand I was thankful I could open our home to everyone, but on the other hand I felt guilty for not "walking the line" with my co-workers. I was always dry and warm. They were wet and miserable.
My children were stellar. They were up early and used their manners, for the most part, with the teachers walking in and out of their house.
While it was hard there were some wonderful things that happened this week as well. My daughter's teacher woke her up one morning. She was so happy! "No one else in my class can say Mrs.Nguyen woke them up." I was able to talk to so many people from around our school district. Tough times bring out the best in people and we were able to bond. My son's teacher posed for a picture "napping" on his bed. My daughter's Kindergarten teacher posed under her crown. There was a lot of laughter and camaraderie. My neighbors were wonderful and patient with the stikers. They brought food for them and allowed them to park on the street. It made me even more grateful for our little street.
I have grand intentions of writing a book called, "The Striking House". I have so many snapshots in my mind.
 I am thankful our home became home to many last week. Friday the school board met informally with the union (we had been asking for this all year) without mediators and lawyers. In the wee hours of Saturday morning they came to an agreement. The strike was over.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Currently For Sale

I am a teacher that refinishes, repurposes and "fixes up" furniture to give it new life. I also sell items on Etsy http://www.etsy.com/shop/DickeysDecor. This hobby helps to fund the numerous projects needed on our nearly fifty-year-old home and travel with my kids.

If you have furniture pieces you want modernized, refreshed or redone contact me and we can discuss ideas and pricing! Free delivery within ten miles of my home. Let me know if you have any questions.

I am selling these on custom order basis. They are $30 for one just like this or $40 for one with your family name (Dickey's Est. 1996 for example)

These are done with paint and receive a waxing when finished. Pottery Barn used to sell one's like them, but no longer do. Theirs were over $100 and weren't hand made!

These items have recently sold...


 Oceany Storage Cabinet

Corner Cabinet

Chalkboard Table


Cabin bench

Portlandia styled table

Television console

China cabinet

 Funky chair

Dainty corner shelf

 Beach style desk

 Musical dresser
 Pink nightstand
 Monogrammed chair

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Weekend Finds

Here in Portland we have been having a string of BEAUTIFUL days. Typically our average temp this time of year is mid-sixties and cloudy with a sun break occasionally. This weekend we had temperatures in the high 80's. The forecast predicts warm weather for at least another week. I decided it was the perfect time to get the pool ready.
Pools sound glamorous, but unless you have $$$ to hire the work done they aren't. They require a lot of work to get them up and going. First, I had to sweep the pool deck, then I had to power wash the pool deck. After that I had to sweep it again. Then, I had to scrub the pool furniture. Ugh. I still have the fun "decorating" stuff to do, but it will have to wait because tomorrow night after work I GET to power wash the deck to prepare it for staining and sealing. I have to take advantage of the weather while I have it.
Before I worked my little tail off I enjoyed some time with my dear friend Denise. Her former hairdresser was holding a tent sale at her home. Friday night there was a pre-sale. For $5 there was wine,  cheese and chocolate. She had great taste and had many Annie Sloan painted pieces. She also had some great deals. Here are three of my finds:

 This lovely piece was only $12. She measures almost 20". FABULOUS.

Locker basket $15. I also got a lead on a place I can pick up some more. Yippee.

This baby was also $12. It is a large one. About 2' long and 16" wide. Not sure what I am going to do with it yet, but I am sure I will find something.

Saturday I ran up to Camas Antiques for a sidewalk sale. I almost got out the door without anything, but at the last second I spotted some amazing "curtains". They are a vintage pink "barkclothy" tropicalish pattern. I am so excited to use them. I also got a lovely piece of dusty pink vintage upholstery fabric. I forgot to take pictures of them, but they are great and destined for something even greater. I am still thinking about this awesome quilt they had and I may have to go back up and get it. Should have bought it.

Later that day I had to go to a baby shower out in the boonies. I drove by a odd junk shop. I passed it on the way there, but on the way back I stopped. The two old guys who run the place are characters and I have a feeling it will be a new haunt. I didn't even ask to pay less for this piece, but they charged me less than the sticker price for it. I am going to paint the ugly brass in either a silver or black.

The top is real marble. I love it, but don't need it so it will become someone elses.

After I loaded it up into the car I stopped by a man selling hostas on the side of the road. Holy cow. His one gallon hostas were 5 for $20. That is a remarkable price. I am going to head out to his nursery this next week to pick up some. You can never have too many hostas.

I have been very busy and with our impending strike things aren't looking better. This weekend was a good one and I was able to focus on other things for awhile. I have also been selling a lot of these:

Have any balls you want to give me? Let me tell you they are hard to come by. Who would have thunk?

I'm Trendy and I Know It:Maps

I just realized I like use song titles for my blog titles.

I  LOVE the trend of using old school maps (double meaning there) for decorating. Here is one for sale at Pottery Barn (with hooks) for $179.

 This one is of unknown orgin

This one is from Steven Gambrel designs (trendy Pearl loft below!).

My living room is in transformation mode. Slowly it is metamorphisizing (is that a word?). We have always used our living room to read the paper in and to sit around and talk, but lately with the addition of the television in the fireplace we use it a lot more:

I know you are thinking, "A television in the fireplace?" I could not bring myself to defile my mantle with a flat screen. I use the mantle for decorating too much. We don't use the fireplace except for at our Christmas Eve open house. It sits empty all year long. When my mother-in-law moved in with us (oh I haven't told you about that yet have I?), we wanted to add a television to this room and the only one we had was an old box style. A spark ignited and now we have a television in our fireplace. You should try it sometime.

I wanted a piece of art for a big wall in the kitchen and so I borrowed my beach picture from above the couch and moved it into the kitchen. I liked the way it looked there so I left it. Now I had this empty space. It dawned on me that I had a huge map hanging in the storage room. My aunt had given it to me because she thought a school teacher might appreciate it. Oh yeah. PERFECTION.

I had a hard time getting a picture without a glare. Photography is something I need to improve at.

When I hung it my husband looked at me and said, "We aren't living in the Pearl District. Whatever". He didn't get it. The Pearl, by the way, is a uber trendy Portland neighborhood of double income loft dwellers. I thought this was a complement because our neighborhood is the exact opposite of the Pearl. I am thinking this room is beginning to take shape. I am beginning to have a vision. I won't show pictures yet, but here are two more things I have added recently.

I got an email coupon from Cost Plus for my birthday. It was for $10 off my purchase of $10 or more. These candle holders/bottles were $3.99, $4.99 and $6.99. I could have walked out of there with all three for $6, but they had wine and I had to buy a bottle of that as well. I added my little Eiffel Tower key chain because it was decommissioned for stabbing me while it was in my pocket. I found the copper tray at an estate sale for $20. I want to say I paid too much for it, but the rest of my buys were smoking deals so I suppose it is okay.

I just planted this lady up. My brother-in-law and his partner gave me a gift certificate to a great nursery for my birthday. I could have bought plants for my garden, but these spoke to me. I am excited to see them grow!

Now all I need is a deer head. Maybe I should go check out my storage room.

Put A Bird On It

I live on the outskirts of Portland. If you haven't seen the IFC hit Portlandia you really should watch it http://www.ifc.com/shows/portlandia. It is smart, humorous and stereotypically true. One episode follows the main characters (Fred Armisen from Saturday Night Live Fame) as they wander through an independently owned trendy shop. Business is slow and in order to sell more merchandise they decide to put birds on everything. Portland has a thing for birds. As a result a catch phrase with my family and friends is "Put a bird on it." I did just that with this piece:

I bought this table last fall at an estate sale. I hoped to use it as a coffee table in my own home. Our old table (RIP little table) was a favorite. It had a ledge so things wouldn't roll of it and a shelf underneath for storage. My husband also liked to prop his feet there. As a result the table broke several times and finally had to be laid to rest.
Originally this baby was a light carmel color. I sanded it and stained it to match the rest of our wood in the living room,  but alas Mr.Dickey is picky about his coffee tables and this one wasn't up his alley. It sat in my garage waiting for some inspiration. One day Ms.Delia came into the garage while I was working and told me to put a bird on it. So I did.
First, I found some birds on Graphics Fairy and printed them. Next I traced them onto the table using charcoal paper. I was going to paint the birds in, but I was being lazy so I used my handy dandy paint pens instead. Finally, I put a coat of poly on (in this picture it is still a little wet). Now, I have a table trendy enough for even the hippest Portland zip codes.

The best thing about this table is it can become larger..house party anyone?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


About a year and a half ago I entered the world of blogging. It began with The Graphics Fairy when I was looking for vintage images. This led me to Under the Table and Dreaming. After that my life changed. I finally found a place where I could peek into the lives of people like me. Suddenly I wasn't crazy anymore! I was so excited today to find out I was featured on Stephanie Lynn's page because of my baseball wreath. I am beaming. I needed to beam today.
Here is a link:
http://www.bystephanielynn.com/2012/05/creative-reader-projects-crafts-and.html. Check it out!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sit Down & Take A Breath

Lately I have found myself drifting. I seem to float from one project to the next and then back again. Work is stressing me out because we are very close to striking. It breaks my heart to think of leaving my students for a strike. They will suffer. My family will struggle. It isn't a good time at work.
I find joy in my family. I love them and am so happy to be where we are at with the kids. I wouldn't call my lack of focus boredom, but I need something else. I think this is why I have been pouring my time into projects. Many of my friends know this means I am yearning for a change on the job front...not leaving schools just something different.
I have justified my project time in one way...money. I have been selling a lot of my work lately. This one will be up for sale soon. I didn't get a before shot, but it was an ugly 80s wicker color. I think they may have had one like it on Three's Company. I can't decide what to do with the seat cushion. Thoughts?

 The red and black plaid is a wool. It is very thick and lovely. The middle is what is on it now. It is a sage green and coffee brown leopard type print. Not my deal, but maybe someone else will enjoy it. The last fabric is a navy and black plaid. One of my favs, but again this isn't for me.

What to do? I am sure I will decide I am leaning towards the red and black.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Wish I Had A Giant Flat Screen

Around our house we are not techies. We love gadgets, but we aren't the kind that drool over them and rush out to but the newest and best plasma screen or surround sound system. I mean we put an old box television in our fire place to make it look like a flat screen (I should have a picture of that).I wish we had a giant flat screen right now because if we did this piece might stick around our house. I love it that much. Here is the before:

I picked this up off of Craigslist for free. The drawers (the missing ones) were not working (see the parts sitting in front of it?) and a piece of the molding was missing off the front. At first I thought of making it a bench. It is six feet long, 18" wide and 24" tall. I envisioned it with a nice long cushion on top in a cool fabric, open storage and hidden storage. I thought about painting it some fun vivid colors too. One night this past week I was looking through a Costco furniture ad and saw media consoles. A bell rang in my head. This piece was meant to be a media console.
I fixed up the drawers a bit, sprayed the hardware pewter, primed it and then painted it with Sherwin Williams Kennsington White (I think that is the name) and accented it with March Winds. I attached a piece of molding to the front and fortified the open storage area with boards. I really like how it turned out.

This is a great piece and I hope to sell it soon so I can get on with some other fun projects I have taking up room in my garage like this: