Saturday, February 9, 2013

More Home Improvements and Fun Finds

Happy Saturday!

Down with a stomach bug today and had to cancel clients, so I thought I'd take the time to blog a little.

I've been having so much fun renovating cheap furniture lately and trying to upgrade our home.  We've purchased badly needed new/old furniture for really great prices and have "made them over" in a rustic, shabby chic sorta way, and it's really been fun.  The thing is, you can't mess up the paint if you're going to distress the piece anyway!

The first was our living room table that we found in the trash.  It had been a beautiful Pier 1 type table which had been totally carved up, so we had to deeply sand it down and then refinish it.  I WAS really happy with it until we purchased new sofas which were about the same color.  Now our living room is all coffee/cream color and I need to re-do this table.  Here's some pics!

Yes, this says POOP!

Narly heart

After two coats of paint and distressing

We are going to stain the top espresso and paint the bottom a robins egg blue and distress... new knobs, too... something similar to this pic:

The second project was a brown dresser and end table from Cort Furniture.  This was a little more expensive at $250 for the set, but we were looking for a long dresser for our bedroom, so it fit.  I chose not to paint the end table shown, as it'll go in Mike's man cave eventually, and he liked the color.
The original color and knobs

First coat

Painted and distressed

All done!

Love glass knobs!

The third project was a Habitat for Humanity find.  Mike found this cute corner desk and chair for $40!!  After renovating it, I looked up the brand and info, and it's an old Ethan Allen piece that was selling all fancied up for $450 all over ebay.  I love it and don't want to sell it, so it's ours!  It fits perfectly into the kitchen corner.  We have some renovating to do in the kitchen, so it'll look even better after we're done.  :)

At the store

Mike sanding it down

One coat of paint...

Two coats, distressed and glass knobs added!

How cute in the corner!

Shutters were $4.00!

As I type, the husband is cursing in the bathroom trying to put floating shelves up.  Apparently, the stud finder isn't working and the wrong screws came with the kit, so he's improvising.  We are adding the same shelves just like this lovely woman did in her aaaaamazing blog post.  I am infactuated with her easy DIY ideas and she even does the leg work letting you know where she got the items and how much they were.  She's a sale hound, too and doesn't spend much with her projects.  This is what we're attempting to do.   I want to add much of the sweet little additions that she has, as well.  I just hope the shelves stay... never used invisible shelves before!  Either way, they are MUCH nicer than the disgusting rusty white over the toilet thing we had.  Nasty!

I'm not sure if the husband will agree, but we have a large black chest/coat hanger thingy in the hall.  It's an eye sore because everyone piles crap on top of it instead of using it for a shoe stasher/coat hanger.  It's black, too, and I'm tired of dark colors!  It looks much like THIS one, but imagine it with three huge backpacks, dry-cleaning, leashes, piled on coats and shoes.  Ick.  So, I really want to do something just like the good people at 320 Sycamore Street.  She has TONS of ideas... and this one is super easy and cheap.  It would open up my foyer and would be so much cleaner looking.  The problem is finding something cute and small for shoes... no baskets because Mr. Sam LOVES shoes, so we have to hide them.  :)

The bathroom shelves are up and there's no more cursing.  Haha!  I'm going to load these up with LIGHT but cute things!

UPDATE:  OK, I'm wondering if these shelves are meant to be more decorative than functional, or we may need to get larger or longer screws.  They look pretty, but I wouldn't put anything very heavy on them.  Maybe I'm just paranoid, though, as they are meant to hold up to 30 lbs.  Hmmm.  Anyway, I kept it on the functional/light side.   I just have to add the TP in the large basket, and some rolled up pretty hand-towels in the two middle baskets  Here's an updated pic:

Cute, huh?

This is the look I was after on the right... think it's pretty close!  What do you think?  I'm going to look for those magazine baskets, also!  TJ Max!

Ok... must go paint a few things.  One is an old hope chest with a heart which I received as a gift but can't stand anymore!  It's going to be painted and distressed and put on Craig's List.  LOL!

Will post pics soon!  Happy Saturday!


Monday, January 28, 2013

No, You're Not Crazy...

Does this sound familiar?

"I think I'm losing my mind!  There are crazy things going on in my home and I don't know what to make of it.  My child's toys go off by themselves, the TV goes on and off by itself and I just feel like I'm being watched.  It is really scaring me.  Is there something negative in my house?  Or, is it one of my passed family members trying to warn me about something?"

I get emails and questions about this constantly, and unfortunately, some of the first thoughts people have when whacky things happen in their home are, "it's eeeeevil," or "something bad is going to happen to me, and they're trying to warn me.”

Truly, more times than not, it's just simply spirit people saying "hello.”  They won't try to scare us; however, if we aren't used to typical spirit activity, it can be rather spooky. If you feel you have any energy in your home (spirit people OR something more negative), the first thing to do is to tell it to please stop.  I always prefer to treat them with respect and to ask them to stop (or leave) in a loving, but firm tone.  If it's a spirit person, they will not want to scare us and will normally comply.

When one has "activity" in their home, it's typically something called "After Death Communications" or ADC's.  ADC's are very common, but again, if we aren't used to the activity, it can be a bit unnerving, to say the least!

What constitutes typical spirit activity?  Well, before I answer that, anything mentioned below should be checked into; i.e., rule out the physical reasons these things could be happening before deeming it spirit activity.  Many times, folks will have plumbing problems which makes thumping sounds in the walls, or electrical issues that need to be looked into, broken thermostats, and so on.  :) 

Back to typical spirit activity:  Because spirit energy is electromagnetic energy, they can easily manipulate electrical things such as the volume on your TV or the channels, computers, light bulbs or lights, clocks, radios, etc. You may notice a light bulb dimming or flickering when talking about a deceased loved one, or your cell phone may suddenly ring with no one on the other end and no caller ID (it would sound different than a typical hang up). Spirit can give you a waft of a scent you would associate with them such as a specific perfume, flower, cigar or cigarette smoke, etc. If a spirit person cooked eggs every morning routinely, you may smell eggs out of the blue. You may catch streams of light or mists in photos you've taken at family gatherings or even around your home.  You may hear his or her voice in your head suddenly as if you're reading a book to yourself, or you may hear your name being called (within your head or even outside of it - everyone hears them differently). You may FEEL someone behind you or even catch a form in your peripheral vision, yet turn around and no one is there. You may feel them go "through" you. You may even have small things move or fall off of counters, or, (and this is the most common), you may dream vivid dreams about your spirit people. Dreams which are clear and vivid and "feel" as if they really happened are very many times connections. 

Our spirit people will give us many little subtle signs to let us know they're around us; we just have to be aware enough to catch it, and most importantly, not chalk it off to our imagination (or worry that it's something eeeeevil!).

On that note, this is not to say that negative and/or stagnant energy doesn't exist; it does, but it's much more uncommon.  If you do feel you have an negative energy in your home that you've asked to leave but it hasn't, remember YOU are always in control. Deal with it non-emotionally and firmly (they can feed off fear). Put your foot down, and respectfully insist they leave - it's your home.  My suggestion would be to do a spiritual home cleansing/blessing which I would be happy to send you if you add your email info below (or, you can write me at

Hope this helps!

Have a great evening!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Playing with Stones, etc.


Well, I haven't been very good at keeping my blog up... and a few friends (ahem, you know who you are!) have been nudging me to get back to blogging, so since I have a few minutes, here's a little update.

We've been able to do a little upgrading of our home because of an unexpected financial boost for Mike.  We are carefully budgeting and fixing up the things that a family of two teenage boys, two dogs and ratties have helped, emmm, ruin.  LOL.  We started with our couch, which was literally destroyed by our rattie and doggie friends over many years.  The ratties loved hiding behind the cushions and we found out they had chewed little holes... which become bigger holes with the new pup!  So, out went the old, stinky couch and in came a new couch and love seat that the dogs are NOT allowed on (our rattie friends have all passed away). We moved the OLD 52" TV down to what is going to be the "man cave" near my studio and are getting a smaller, more manageable one to hang on the wall; it'll be nice having everything so open in our living room again! Next, we need to hire plumbers and electricians to fix two of our four bathrooms that are unusable and then some other things.  I haven't felt very comfortable in this house because of how it's been falling apart, so I'm excited about the little upgrades!

I've been back in my workshop more, lately and have been primarily working with larger cabochons.  Beautiful moss agates, dalmatian jasper, rutilated quartz and rutilated amethyst.  I'm learning how to add unusual touches to the pieces and not just hang a stone on a chain, so it's been fun.  Check out my newest additions in my Etsy shop!  Here's a couple of my favorites...

Rutilated Amethyst

My wide JOY ring!

Moss Agate Necklace

Besides that, our new puppy Sam is now around 60 pounds... he's a beast and we absolutely adore him.  Maggie gets irritated at him constantly, like he's the little brother who won't leave her alone.  He is great with commands, smart as a whip and lovable.  We need to find him a good doggie obedience school to get him more socialized and trained.  Right now, he's just a little fearful of other people and dogs, so that's next on our doggie agenda!  Here's a picture of our sweet pups:

As far as work goes, I've been super duper busy, and I think the busiest I've ever been... knock on wood!  It's funny, but the show The Long Island Medium has really helped in bringing mediumship back to the forefront again!  I also have to thank all of my clients who refer me to their friends and family... I LOVE seeing so many clicks on "referred by Barb's client" on my scheduling form!  THANK YOU!!  The only downside is that I haven't had a lot of time to make my jewelry, but it's ok... those stones aren't going anywhere!  And look at all these I need to set...  :)  If you like any of them, let me know!

Ok, better get going!  Need to clean up a bit before some dude comes to put some kind of bracket thingy on the wall for the TV.  LOL... I have no idea, but lots to do before he gets here!

Have a wonderful rest of the week!