Home Decorating-What To Skip and What to Splurge

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Everytime we watch "Design on a Dime", we crack up. While we admire their creativity, some of the stuff just look absolutely terrible. Seriously, do you want an ottoman made from empty Coke plastic bottles? Sometimes cheap just look...cheap!

We think there is a better way. Your home can look nice without having to spend a lot of money. Here is a list of what we would skip/splurge on.


-New furniture that is not well-made or well-constructed.
-Cheap home accessories-plastic flowers, pink flamingos, gaudy fabrics fall into this category.
-Expensive remodeling jobs that are hard to change, like built-ins, hardscaping and the likes...


-A good house cleaner-a clean house is a relaxing house.
-Quality pieces that don't go out of style and will last for life. Focus on quality and not quantity.
-Luxury things that don't cost a lot but make you happy-like fresh flowers, scented candles and bubble baths...

Just like everything in life, there are many choices when it comes to your money. Spend it wisely...

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Making Your Home Life Comfortable--Even During Hard Economic Times...

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If you read newspapers and watch TV lately, you'd think the world is coming to an end. Seriously, the housing market is tanking, the stock market is spiraling downward, and every one is acting like we're all be heading for the soup kitchen soon.

While we don't deny that the economy is terrible--believe us, being in the luxury industry that is absolutely dependent on extra disposable income, we feel it. But here's the thing, is it all that bad? We can all eat a bit less, spend a bit less, drive a bit less, no?

We can't really do anything about the big issues, such as the budget deficit and the national debt and the housing crisis, but you can make your home life more comfortable without spending tons of money. You can, and you must--because a comfortable home life will protect you from all the craziness that' s going on.

Here's how:

1) Keep the house clean. A clean house makes you more relaxed, keep you organized, and just makes you feel better.

2) Plant a garden. Yes, grow something. Anything. Plant flowers so you can have fresh flowers in the house, keep an herb garden. You'll be amazed on how therapeutic it is...

3) Learn how to cook. Cooking is a creative process and it can be a lot of fun. It is also a lot healthier and more cost-effective.

4) Spend less. You'll be amazed of what you can find on Craigslist, the local consignment stores and the local classifieds. It's a great feeling to get something at a fraction of its original cost while saving the environment at the same time.

5) Be creative. Take some time to explore the inner creativity in you, and yes, everyone is creative in some ways. Sometimes just re-arranging the furniture can give a room a whole new look. Move your artwork to a different room. Group your accessories differently. Get a fresh coat of paint. You'll be amazed on how little things like this can change how you feel.

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Hollywood Regency-Vellum New York

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Have you ever met people that you instantly like? That you can tell the first time you talk that you'll love them for life? The people at Vellum New York are like that. Not only that their company makes great products, the people there are so awesome, so sweet. We hope they will do extremely well...

Vellum New York products fit into the Hollywood Regency look perfectly. Here are a few examples:
This elephant status is large in size and looks very pretty in person...

We love these ginger jars...

This greyhound statue is our best seller. It's very Kelly Wearstler-ish...

All of Vellum products are made in Italy.

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Modern Asian Decor-Jardins-En-Fleur

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Asian decor is one of those things that can get cliche really fast if you are not careful. Really, how many Buddha statues can one take?

Today, the trend toward Asian decor is a lot more modern, more colorful, more fresh...

At the New York show a couple of months ago, we found a great vendor that does this look wonderfully. They are so pricey, oh my god! But their products are very pretty...

Here are some of our favorites:

This pair of foo dogs, which supposed to bring you luck, is pretty large in size and come in white, blue and orange. It's just fun to look at...

We love this pair of hand-painted silk. Can you just see them in Elle Decor?

This is a nice new twist for an Asian stool. It also comes in a variety of colors..

This marvelous Chinese Pagoda breakfront is so pretty, we can hardly stand it...

You can see most of these products on the Jardins En Fleur web site. They are available for purchase through our home accessories store.

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Candlestick Admiraton and a Preview

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Many of you have admired my chunky candlesticks. Before they held candles they sat for about a hundred years as part of a balustrade on a neighbors' front porch. My neighbors replaced them with the vinyl stuff that doesn't need to be painted. I volunteered to take the old porch parts. They were happy to give them to me. I've made four sets of these candlesticks. A pair for my neighbors as a memento of their old porch, a pair as a Christmas gift, and two pair for me.

A white pair, and a black pair. I have six of these sweet things left.
Well, actually four of them are going to be
part of my next project.
Here's a preview of what we'll be doing this weekend.

What will you be doing this weekend?

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Heads Up

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The trend this year seems to be skulls of glitter.
I had this little skull in the bottom of my Halloween box. He was calling for a glittery makeover.
However, I didn't feel like cleaning up glitter
for days (or years) to come.
So I gave him a coat of sterling silver spray paint.
Once the paint was dry,
I coated him with silver glitter spray.
Now he looks like a new man!
He has the look of glitter without all the mess.

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Emergency Preparedness

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Camouflaged in the midst of my "get around to it" pile was this little item.It was given to us as a gift. I cannot take credit for the creativity on this one.
Inside this little container is enough food to sustain a person for three days. All that is needed is the drinking water to go along with this canister. It's so small that you can keep it in your car or at your office, or in a closet at home.
It was in my pile to remind me to buy the supplies to make one for each member of my family.
Even though it's not decorative, I thought I'd share it with you. In light of all of the natural disasters lately, it's always good to be prepared.
Here's a look at all that's packed inside.

Orange Juice & Nutri-Grain Bar
Peanut Butter & Crackers
Drink Mix
Chef Boyardee & Fruit Cup
Drink Mix
Hot Cocoa & Nutri-Grain Bar
Beef Jerky & Peanuts
Drink Mix
Tuna Fish & Applesauce
Drink Mix
Instant Breakfast & Granola Bar
Peanut Butter & Fruit Snacks
Vienna Sausage & Apple Cider
*Gum & Mints to eat whenever*
Don't store a mint gum or else all of the food will have a minty flavor

No, these are not gourmet meals. It is meant to sustain you in an emergency. This is just an example of what can be done. I plan on adjusting some of the items to fit the tastes of the members in my family. I like that it is so compact and all of the items can be purchased at the grocery store. It is something I can do now to bless my family in a time of need.
If you plan on making these, remember to add the necessary drinking water and put the expiration date of each item on the label of the canister so you can always keep things fresh.
The canister is a plastic 3 quart size. I've seen similar ones at the dollar store. You could also combine the entire family's storage into one plastic bin.

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All About Me

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Okay, okay, I give in! Several of you have given me those awards that require the recipient to tell 6 or 7 things about themself. I thought a post just about me would be a veerrrry boring post, but, I don't want to appear rude to my friends who have so kindly given me the awards. So I'm going to share a few facts about me.

*I love quarters! It's strange, I know, but quarters actually make me giddy. Maybe it goes back to the days when I would place my shiny quarter in a machine and with a few turns the knob out would plop a small surprise. As a grownup I like to spend my shiny quarters turning the machine's knob to receive a handful of yummy pastel mints.
*I am very uncomfortable being the center of attention. Perhaps that's why I struggle with posting blog awards.

*I have only one sibling. I was born three days before my brother's tenth birthday. After waiting ten years for their second child, my parents, thinking they would have another son, were happy to have a daughter. That's why I was named Joy.

*If you gave me $50 to spend, I would likely spend it on as many things as possible. And I would probably spend the money at the thrift store, on white dishes or pottery. My husband is just the opposite. He would spend his $50 on only one item at the regular store.
*I'm a piler! I have a pile in just about every room. I like to pile magazines, junk mail, and the worst pile of all, things "I'll get around to." So now you know, when you see a pretty picture like this:There is probably a pile like this
(an example of the "I'll get around to" pile) close by:
*This last one is an answer for all of you who have asked. I have an area in my basement where I store all my stuff. (Nooo, I won't share a picture of it.) We refer to it as "the unfinished room," or my boys call it "the junk room." My husband lovingly refers to it as "the inventory room." If we ever decide to finish it into a second family room, I'll probably have to build a big ol' shed out in the backyard to store my home's inventory.

Now you know a few things about me.
I promise to have a more interesting post tomorrow.

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I Want Another One

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I liked this one so much that we built another one.This time the legs are spindles that we cut down to size.We built a box for stability and for looks.Now I just need better weather
so I can take it outside to paint.
(It's been raining and snowing here!)
It will stay a creamy white.
It's sofa table height and will live in the family room.
It's going to replace this little guy,

who will likely find a new home
somewhere else in my house.

If you are interested in crafting for a good cause, check Trishia's blog and learn about the Butterfly Project from the Holocaust Museum Houston.

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