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Checking out the lighting section in thrift stores, is something I always always do!  Usually, there seems to be a fair number on display, and I even like a lot of the styles (often ceramic’ish) but I don’t often see the right color,  something that sets it off a little from the rest, or just really catches my eye enough to say to myself ‘hmm….if I don’t get this, I might regret it’.  In the past, when I found I was in need of a table or floor lamp, that’s the wrong time for me to go out looking.  Either I simply cannot find anything I like – new or used – or the price is more extravagant than  care to spend when it is not necessarily any more beautiful than ones I see in thrift stores from time to time.  Would I buy one I really liked even if I had enough already?  You betcha – just in case.  Either donate the now least favorite back to a thrift store, or keep one or two away to rotate for a fresh look now and again, or for when another one might break.  I really liked this one – it was $18.00.

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Although thrift stores – at least the few I go to – have a plethora of candle holders, I don’t often see any that fascinate me, and I would candle holders to do that for me.  Now this little puppy – for $3.00 caught my attention for a few reasons.  I like the gold tone in the base and on the holder, not just because it is not shiny and reflective, but it is a lovely complement to the ivory color.  The color is neither iridescent or frosty, but it hints at that.  Not overtly whimsical, the flower designs are pleasantly happy and uplifting!  The funny thing is though, I don’t burn candles, and never have,   Ah, but have you seen the wondrous candlescapes that can be put together?!  Now that seems like a fun creative time – an art form even.  I thought the candleholder looked right at home slightly tucked under the greenery, with it’s vines lovingly wrapped around!

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Or perhaps they are not mutually exclusive!  Probably everyone reading this knows what this beautiful gold glass container is (liquer?) but although I may not always know specifically ‘what’ it is I’m buying, I do know whether I like it or not 🙂   I suppose some may have looked at this in the thrift store, and viewed it as an ‘elegant’ item and through their minds they worked out whether or not it would fit in their decor, within that framework.  When I looked at it, I immediately thought magical!  Although it is transparent, it reminded me of a genie bottle.  I also remembered seeing miniscule versions of designs like this at boutiques that sell items from India – for fragrances perhaps? essential oils?  (here I go again not knowing what those were for, just knowing they were adorable!) only this is a giant version of those adorable little works of art.  

In this particular vignette, it seemed more ‘right’ to have it a little unbalanced with a small but striking object to the left of two taller, larger ones.  The jug with greenery is acting more as a prop for the glass decanter, and the butterfly ‘book box’ is somehow a flirty image that draws the eye around the vignette.

What is magical for you?

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I was out browsing in a trendy little area of the city, and came across a new little Bali boutique, and needless to say, I pretty much galloped in!  So many interesting and unique items!  I happened upon this cute little change purse, and since my decor is eclectic and global, I thought I should be too, and this would be a good little catch.  When I got home, I put it in my purse, and pulled it out as if to pay for something to see how handy it would be.  What I discovered was that, while I adored this item, it wasn’t right for me as far as fashion goes.  Disappointed and confused, I went to set it down, but the plant was in the way so I just hung it on the lampshade.  After looking at it awhile, I grew so used to the look, that it is now a part of my home decor!  It adds a little whimsy to the table arrangement, and I’m now wondering what else might look good hanging from a lampshade!  ps it was $9.99.

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I’ve written before about setting decor items into trays – it looks polished, it pulls everything together, and brings attention, focus, and life to the objects.  Using a framed ‘picture’ has a lot of benefits, as well as versatility.  First of all, the availability of styles of frames is virtually limitless, never mind the fact that you can embellish them in your own creative way!  Then you’ve got the matte.  In the photo above, the ‘picture’ is actually a page I pulled out of a book I have on the history of carpets, but I have also used lovely scrapbooking paper, fabric, and pages from a book on the history of textiles.  Possibilities end only when your imagination does!  Finally, I adore the reflection of the bowl on the glass.  Then, when you are ready for another unique creative expression, put the picture on a wall somewhere to enjoy that way, and slip another one under your decor!

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In this case, I paid a llitle more than you should expect because I found it at a store that sells crafty upcyled items.  It came with the two side windows taken out, and vintage lace skillfully inserted into place.  I also liked that it was ready to hang, using what seems like a ribbon rather than a wire, but is probably something stronger.  Windows from old houses of varying sizes and styles show up at flea markets, restores, and antiques stores and they are an easy way to add old-house or shabby chic character.  One could even use good glass paint to design a faux stained glass decor element – but it is probably best to keep these handicrafts in a shaded window.  You can even get little clear glass pebbles and other embellishments to glue on.  You might automatically think that the best place to display this would be in the window, and that would be a good place, but if you have a door opening with enough space above, you could also hang it from there, mimicking a transom window!  hmmm…..I remember seeing a larger window with mini-frames at a store – it might look great in a bedroom window!

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I saw this lovely teapot set at the thrift store, and picked it all up for $18.00.  hehe….I saw a tag under the sugar container for $9.99 and thought the whole set was $9.99 until I went up to pay for it, and voila, another tag under the teapot!  C’est la vie – I I’m hopelessly attracted to all things of creamy colors and I love the cut-out trim.  I had the set sitting on my kitchen counter for quite some time as a decorative feature, since I don’t really drink tea :-/  but it just looked like more clutter, and disappeared into the off-white counters and backsplash.  Tidying up one day, I gave a second glance at this wicker tray that wasn’t being used for anything, and while I was cleaning the counters, put the trio tea set in, and a transformation occurred before my very eyes!  I’m not sure why I was so surprised because I’ve seen this happen time and time again.  If you have a surface where you have a few things on display, try putting them into a tray and see what happens.  It is often amazing!   You would think that thrift stores would be overflowing with trays of all kinds, but I don’t really see them very often, so if you recognize the difference they can make, and want to collect a few to change up your vignettes, if you see one that you like, I say tuck it under your arm and head for the cash register!

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Moving to the city of Calgary last year, imagine my surprise when I came across this gorgeous and special place, right within the city and only 5 minutes from my home!  I had to pinch myself!  Well, we are only 1 1/2 hrs from the breathtaking scenes within the Rocky Mountains, but what a delight to have something so close to home.  Even before discovering this though, there were many places within the city that stirred my soul, grounded me, and restored harmony, and these special spots  exist in every city.  Perhaps there is just one spot that you like to return to time and again because of the unique elements that speak to you – the specific trees and plants, manicured vs untamed, cobblestones vs dirt paths, the character houses that surround the park or highrises in the background,  whether there is the sight and sound of water, people milling about or solltude.  Whatever and wherever it is, BREATHE it in, SEE it, FEEL it, smile because of it, and return to it!

Lampshade Embellished with lace cutouts

Embellished Lampshade

I can see already that using the imagination where lampshades are concerned could become addicting! And what a fun way to change out the look of a lamp; and thus, the ambience of your room. At the thrift store, I found a nice square ‘tablecloth’ for $4.99. A small one that might fit to cover an end table or just the centre area of a dining table. Sometimes they have these in the tablecloth section, other times they are with the doilies. The centre was – for the most part – plain cotton, but the edges were lovely. I singled out this ‘motif’ and simply carefully cut them out. You should see it when the lamp is turned on in the evening – enchanting!! These would look nice on drum shades too, of course! As an aside, I want to mention that I was in a shop that upcycled vintage’y’ objects. She had a beautiful decorative umbrella that was made by sewing together a plethora of similar motifs from various lace tablecloths, and probably clothing articles too. So much to do, so little time 🙂

Inspirational wall quote saying If you are confident, you are beautiful

Inspirational wall quote about confidence and beauty

Yes, this does sound cliche, but it is also a very strong and true statement. Likely all of us have seen someone literally blossom as a result of gaining confidence. We carry ourselves differently, it is noticeable in our stride, how we communicate with others and express ourselves, it enhances our motivation in setting and achieving new goals, and … we laugh and smile more, to name a few! As we move through life, our level of confidence can mature and expand as we amass and refine our abilities and talents, through our experiences, and our awareness and intelligence. Witnessing others successfully achieving their goals or completing tasks, and receiving reassurance and trust from others I’m sure goes a long way, but we can also set ourselves on this journey by being mindful of the good traits and talents that we possess, and by congratulating ourselves on a job well done as we move through our daily lives making decisions, being kind and considerate to others, helping, preparing a meal, learning a craft, or spending some time consciously practicing that which we would like to improve upon. So, the next time you find yourself curiously watching someone you don’t even know, because there is something ‘special’ and alluring about them, could it be confidence?