Come on Over!

24 May

I have a new post up on the NEW SITE!!!! Come by and check it out!

http://www.yearofserendipity.com

Now that the new site’s up, I won’t be posting anything exciting here.  Update your bookmarks and feed readers to follow me at my new home!

It’s ALIVE!

22 May

The brand spanking new self-hosted Year of Serendipity site is now LIVE!!!

http://www.yearofserendipity.com

YOS-new-siteCome on over and say HI and tell me what you think!

I’m still working out migrating e-mail followers and a few other kinks, so I apologize if you receive multiple posts… (and if you have any other issues, let me know at karen@yearofserendipity.com) but I’m so excited to get this new site and design up and running!  If you follow me with a reader like feedly, make sure you switch over to the new feed!

I hope to see you over at my new home!

Brimfield Eye Candy

21 May

Brimfield has such an amazing collection of amazing stuff of all proportions.  (Did you see me haul in yesterdays post?)

If I was a photographer, I could just spend the day taking pictures of history, pre-styled vignettes, and bizarre oddities.

How amazing are these doors??

brimfield-doors

I would love to see a toddler riding this, but it would lose character if someone restored it.

brimfield-trike

Dapper or creepy, I really can’t decide.

Brimfield-mannequin

Remember how I mentioned the bizarre conglomeration of items for sale?

brimfield-dino

Dad was endlessly amused by this one-armed-bandit… literally

Brimfield-one-arm

I so wanted to adopt these chairs for my porch… but not for $500.  Don’t you worry, though I have a replacement up my sleeve.

brimfield-chairs

This was definitely my favorite pic of the day.

brimfield-roulette

My attempt at photography was even captured by the other photog (Handy Dad)

Brimfield-photog

So have I inspired you to check out the Brimfield Antiques Flea Market next time around?  (July!)

What a Hoot!

20 May

Sorry for my lack of post on Friday- I got a little overexciting about getting up early to go to Brimfield and I totally forgot to blog.  I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me eventually.  Maybe this picture of me with the Jolly Green Giant will help. (check out those amazing industrial storage units behind us!)

jolly-green-karen

So, Brimfield.  Going to Brimfield each year is like going to an amusement park for me.  Lots of crazy characters to watch (with the exception of ourselves of course), some awesome stuff for sale, some beyond ridiculous stuff for sale, and amongst all that is the challenge of trying to snag some amazing deals.

Since I still always get the question “What’s Brimfield?”, Brimfield is the largest outdoor antiques flea market.  It takes place 3 times a year in the tiny town of Brimfield MA and there are over 6,000 dealers set up on either side of a mile stretch of rt 20.  It’s treasure-hunters Meca.

And amazing deals I did get!  My haul includes:

Metal sphere: $20.  I plan to add plants to the inside of this as an awesome architectural feature for my porch or patio.

metal-sphere

Child’s shoe mold: $4.

shoe-mold

I also got an amazing deal on a gift for someone, but since I don’t want to spoil the surprise, all I’ll say is that I love cool vintage pieces for awesome prices (shocker!).

My absolute favorite find everyone else thinks I’m completely nuts for even buying.  Before I show you, there’s a back story.  For more than three years, I’ve been drooling over one of the owl cookie jars from Anthropologie.  Not long after discovering that jar, I found out that it’s a reproduction of a vintage piece from the 40s.  So why buy a new repro when I can dream of owning an original?  Over two years ago at a tag sale, I spotted the coveted hooter, but the price was higher than I wanted to pay- and I’ve been wishing I had just sucked it up and bought it ever since.  Brimfield to the rescue!

Let me set the stage: I went with the parents and it was the end of a long day out in the sun and dust, we were losing steam fast.  Out of the corner of my eye I spotted him, blurted out “I know what I’m buying” and beelined across the isle and picked up the cookie jar.  By the time my parents caught up, I was already haggling with the vendor.  Originally priced at $150, it had already been slashed down to $75 and I got her down another $10.  The vintage 40s Shawnee winking owl cookie jar also came with 3 (?) matching salt and pepper shakers for $65.  My parents thought he was hideous and I already knew Hubs would agree- he’s scoffed at the Anthro one as long as I’ve drooled over it.  But I don’t care what they think, he’s awesome and makes me grin ear to ear!!!

shawnee-owl-jar

The shakers on the other hand, I do find creepy, so they’ll probably be finding themselves listed on e-bay. They have shifty eyes and I don’t trust them.

owl-shakers

Since Hubby’s convinced that my beloved owl’s going to come to life and haunt him (crazy boy), I’m sparing him by keeping the owl in my office.  I’m secretly (or not so secretly now) hoping the owl will grow on him and eventually it can migrate to another room.  eventually.  maybe.  doubtful.  Oh well, I’m still so excited about this owl!!! AND the deal that I got for him!

Shawnee-winking-owl

I’ll pop in tomorrow for a rare Tuesday post and share some cool Brimfield pictures from Handy Dad and me.  If I put them all in today, this post would never end.  It’s already a bit long since I’m apparently rather long-winded.  It’s part of my charm, I hope.

So do you love my vintage owl as much as I do, or do you think it’s creepy like apparently every one else does??

Design Target: Porch

15 May

In the past 2 summers living in this house, we’ve done a lot to our postage sized outdoor space.

Our tiny front porch always escaped the project list since it was in decent shape.  Until now.  The floor is suddenly (or not so suddenly) in desperate need of new stain and there are spots on the trim where wood rot is daring to show it’s face.  Really, the porch decided to put itself on this summer’s to-do list.  It was sick of being neglected.

I haven’t yet tackled this project since the weather is still flip flopping from gorgeous to cold (make up your mind New England!), but I’m working on the plans.

porch 2

porch 1

porch 3

Hubs still thinks nothings wrong with the porch.  I, however, know once I spruce the porch up a bit, Hubby will see what it could have been all along.

My plans for this space include

  • new seating for 2 (either 1 bench or 2 smaller chairs)
  • side table- most likely a ceramic pop of color
  • new light
  • repaint trim & ceiling
  • stain floor
  • new mailbox or mailbox makeover

I’ve been keeping my eyes open for the perfect seating.  Nothing yet, but once I find the seating, I think it’ll catapult the rest of the space forward.  Maybe I’ll find some gems for the porch at Brimfield this week!

I’m excited to get this project started!

Monday Recovery

13 May

So it’s Monday, huh?  I turned my brain off this weekend, so I guess it’s time to get it back in the game.  Sorry, no exciting post today.  Since I don’t need to spend my day at Clark, instead I need to dig through the mess and find our other house- ya know, that one we actually live in.  It’s somewhere here under the piles of laundry and displaced tools and DIY supplies.  Somewhere.

I also have some gardening to do to clean up my yard.  Mom and I ran to the flower nursery yesterday, although it looks like I should wait a few more days to plant- the weather is threatening frost over the next few days (?!).

flowers

We’re a little behind on the garden and veggie garden this year.  Weeding and mulching are high on the catch-up to do list.  I also have to figure out a way to make our garden guest, the chipmunk (see his hole), decide to relocate to a new home.  Any suggestions?

planter box

I just hope the weather’s back to being warm and sunny by the end of the week, because I’m excited to go to Brimfield on Friday!  A gigantic antiques flea market is my idea of a vacation.

Clark has his second showing today, keep your fingers crossed for us!

Meet Clark 2.0

10 May

(aka “Clark: Week 12”, aka “Clark’s Big Reveal”, aka “OMG Did I Just Do That?”)

If you’re new to my weekly progress posts, Clark is my first ever flip house (named for the street that he’s on). Check out my previous posts here.

Twelve weeks ago, I introduced you to this misfit of a house.  He wasn’t quite an eyesore, but he had been neglected for years and foreclosed on and just needed to be shown some love.

clark before

Twelve weeks later, Clark has been given a new life and is ready for a new family to love him.

clark ext complete

It’s just beginning to really sink in to me- I flipped a house in 3 months.  I flipped a house.  In 3 months. ME?!

But my own disbelief in my abilities isn’t why you’re here.  You want to see the big reveal!!!!!

Photo shoot day (yesterday) was dreary and gray here in Massachusetts and I wasn’t about to make you wait any longer, so the lighting in the pics was a bit challenging.  You’ve been warned.

But, without further adieu…..

Come on it, take off your shoes, and enjoy the tour!

w12 ext 1

First room on the tour is the living room.  The formerly burnt orange living room.

Clark before living2

I bid farewell to the burnt yuk color and welcomed a creamy color called Canvas.

w12 living room

And I opened up the wall between the living room and kitchen.  It makes the space feel enormous (which is paramount in a house under 1000 sf)!

clark before living1

The textured ceiling is still there in a crisp new white.  I swear the room is a cream color, not green.  It’s the only room without an overhead light, so it’s suffering from the dreary day outside.  (someone also needs to take some photography classes- hint: it’s this girl)

w12 living room 1

Once upon a time there was a closet in the living room, but it was sacrificed for a good cause: the kitchen.  Speaking of which….

front door before

Oh hai kitchen.

w12 living room opening

Remember what it looked like when we bought it?  Not enough room for modern appliances and cabinets that were about 25 years past their usable life.

Clark before kitchen1

How do you like dem apples??  Now that’s a kitchen!

kitchen after

How about another?

w12 kitchen 1

And another.  If this kitchen doesn’t sell this house, I don’t know what will!

w12 kitchen 2

I guess there are a few other rooms in this house too if you ever decide to leave the kitchen (and really, who would blame you if you didn’t).

w12 hallway

The three bedrooms didn’t get any drastic changes- paint (trim, ceilings, walls), new light fixtures, and a good carpet cleaning

Bedroom #1- The artist formerly known as the red room.

Clark before redbed1

The murder red was thankfully covered up with a new color, Cloud.

bedroom 1 after

Bedroom #2 didn’t undergo such a drastic color transformation.  It went from very badly painted gray…

Clark before graybed1

…to a lighter, neatly painted gray (also Cloud)

bedroom 2 after

The master bedroom (or at least the room I deemed as the master because it was marginally the largest room with the largest closet) started as another burnt something color.  Here’s a good tip for picking colors- if you find it in a diaper, it’s probably not a good color for a wall.  Rule to live by.

Clark before master1

Now it’s always summer in here.  Literally.  That’s the name of the new color, Summer.  It’s a nice soft, buttery yellow to distinguish it from the other 2 bedrooms.

master after 1

master after 2

But aside from the kitchen, there’s one other room that I spent a lot of time and effort in.

The bathroom!

The former owners (prior to the foreclosure) tried to put lipstick on a pig and had the gall to advertise this as an updated bathroom.  I’m sorry, if you have a cracked plastic shower surround and moldy linoleum, an updated bathroom it is not.  I don’t care if you put a new pedestal sink in it or not, it was still disgusting.  The picture really didn’t show it in all it’s gory glory, you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Clark before bathroom1

Remove the disgusting and add a boat-load of charm and that’s what we see today.

w12 bathroom 2

Are those some sexy floors or what??

w12 bathroom 1

Only the pedestal sink and the tub remain from the original room.

w12 bathroom 3

I have a few very minor things left on my to do list, although most won’t be noticeable to potential buyers… which is good because…  this guy is officially LISTED!!!  And he’s going to charm the pants off of any potential buyers!

The listing went live on Monday (I know some of you peaked already), but we aren’t doing any showings until the open house Saturday.  So if you’re in the market for a 110% move-in-ready house in Worcester with more charisma than you can handle, come on by!

I’m like a proud parent with this house.  I didn’t realize how attached I’ve grown.  I guess when you spend 40 hours a week pouring your soul into a space, you’re bound to form a bond.

me clark

I just hope he finds a good family who will love him, and care for him, and feed him, and take him for walks…… did I take it too far?  I think I’m getting punchy at this point.  I need a vacation.

So, what do you think??