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August 31, 2012

Today's post is quite self-indulgent so please bear with me.  A few weeks ago, Darci, at Harlow's Exclusive, nominated me for the Liebster Award!  I was so surprised and honored - yes, giddy that someone liked my blog enough to bestow an honor on it. 
Although I technically made a feeble, one-time attempt at blogging in 2009, today
is the One Year Anniversary of fleaChicLike most things in life, blogging is a discipline and requires time, patience, and practice. I've enjoyed the challenges and 'mind travel' that blogging allows and I have used this site as an outlet for my creative energies.
Okay, back to the Liebster Award.  As I understand them, the rules are as follows:
o  post 11 facts about myself
o  answer the 11 questions that my nominator (Darci) asked
o  I get to nominate 11 bloggers with under 200 followers, let them know of the award and ask them 11 questions which they will answer on their blogs
Here goes.
11 Facts about Me in random order:
1.  I have been a college student off and on my entire adult life.
2.  I am an accomplished cross-stitcher and have created and gifted over 50 samplers to family and friends.
3.  Alexandra Ripley, author of Scarlett, the sequel to Gone With The Wind, chose one of my short stories as the winner of a writing contest sponsored by The Tennessean newspaper several years ago.  My story was published in the paper and, with a readership at that time of over 500,000 subscribers, I felt quite honored and made a copy of the prize winning check before cashing it!
4.  Although I lean toward conservatism, I  am politically Independent and feel that it's my duty to educate myself on candidates, their platforms, voting records, and values, then make my own decision based on those facts.  No one party has all the answers.
5.  I rarely get mad.  Being a Middle Child, I learned to be tolerant and how to compromise.
6.  I have a serving spirit and am happiest when I am of use to others.
7.  I am an insomniac.  Rarely do I get over 6 hours sleep a night and, some nights, don't sleep at all.
8.  I hate to be idle (see #6!)  Watching television without stitching, knitting, or crocheting is torture to me.
9.  I collect recipes but hardly ever cook.  My husband, Bob, is the chef in the family.
10.  I am a chocolaholic.  Seriously.  Even though I do not smoke, to quote Kirstie Alley, "If there was a chocolate cigarette, I'd smoke it."
11.  My family is everything to me. 
Are you bored, yet?!  Now, for the 11 questions that Darci posed:
1.  What made me start blogging?  A love of writing and the need to try something new and challenging.
2.  How do I spend my spare time?  Blogging!  Seriously, if I can't be with family I enjoy stitching, reading, and, of course, flea marketing-ing.
3.  Favorite Food?  Chili dogs!
4.  If you could do anything and money was not an issue, what would you do?  Travel
5.  Where would you like to travel to?  Scotland - having recently starting researching my family, I discovered that we immigrated to America in the early 18th Century from Wigtown, Scotland.
6.  What's your favorite season?  Fall
7.  Are you afraid of anything?  Yes - spiders, snakes, and generally anything creepy and that can bite me.
8.  What can't you live without?  Besides my family that would be my Cairn terriers, Boswell and Archie.
9.  Coke or Pepsi?  Pepsi but occasionally Dr. Pepper
10.  What is your favorite color combination?  Navy, yellow, and white.  (Not very Fall-ish!)
11.  Any pet peeves?   Archie and Boswell? ha, ha  Actually, this is a HUGE peeve:  narrow-minded people who are so stridently committed to an ideology or cause that they refuse to listen or consider others' opinions. 
Now I am so proud to present to you my chosen nominees to receive the Liebster Award in alphabetical order:
Please visit these sites and look for their answers to my 11 questions:
1.  Following Darci's lead, I'm also asking, "Why did you start blogging?"
2.  Other than your parents, who has had the single, most positive influence in your life?
3.   When your back is to the wall, who do you call?
4.  Favorite vacation destination?
5.  What's the worst decorating-related purchase you've ever made?
6.  Who is your favorite author?
7.  Are you a dog person or cat person?
8.  Best childhood memory?
9.  What is your favorite holiday? 
10.  How far away do you live from where you were born?
11.  What is your favorite post that you've ever made on your blog?
Friends, thank you so much for sticking with me this past year.  It's been a journey of growth and awareness and I appreciate that you've been along for the ride.  What does the future hold for fleaChic?  More bossy, opinionated posts, of course!
Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend.

August 29, 2012

Oh.  My.  Gosh ! ! !

Not only has the last week been deliriously fun (playing with my 18 month
old twin grandkidlets) but tomorrow -

       I'm going to the Minnesota  State  Fair!!!
Sure, I've been to a few county fairs in my time but never a big state fair.
       Check out the fair's website here to see why I'm so excited.
         And, of course, I promise to post pictures and give you a
                    full description of the delicious experience. 
P.S.  I don't want to let the cat out of the bag but look for a very special
post here at this Friday, August 31.

August 28, 2012

Feeling a little extra Earth-friendly today?  Me, too.
So let's take a look at a few clever repurposing projects.

I'm going to start out with my very favorite -
a succulent garden growing in a snail shell!
Whether you happen upon abandoned shells on the beach or
purchase them in the craft shop, they make darling little planters.

You have to admit - this IS the cutest
hanging garden you've ever seen!

Just can't get enough ideas for repurposing shutters, can we?
You know how disappointed you are when you run across
an antique or vintage book that's too damaged to salvage?
Buy it anyway and make a bookmark out of the beautiful spine.

 Bump Smitten
The next time you catch yourself in need of pretty and
inexpensive centerpieces for a casual get-together, cover
tin cans in gift wrapping paper and plant a few blooming
flowers in each one.  This is a great craft project for the
little helpful hands in your family.

Classy Miss Molassy

Many thrift shops sell needlecraft hoops for less
than a dollar each.  Using bright and colorful
fabrics it's easy to create inexpensive wall art.

Garage Sale Gal
As much as we love them, antique claw-foot bathtubs
just aren't practical in most of our bathrooms.  But, what's
to stop us from using one as a planter or coffee table,
especially on a porch?!

I hope today's post inspires you to take a look around your house
and repurpose every day items in new and useful ways.
Our planet thanks you!

August 27, 2012

Want to know a secret?  I'm small-minded.  No, not in my opinions or values.  In an I-like-small-spaces
kind of way:  elevators, closets,
MRIs, attic eaves.  Whatever is
opposite of claustrophobic, that's
me.  I feel completely comfortable
in small spaces.




I have pantry-envy every time I look at this photo! 
Small bathrooms can pack a big punch.


What tremendous dreams a little girl
could have in this cozy cubby.

A Vintage Summer
This studio apartment underneath the
eaves is charming and efficient.

My Nottinghill
You're probably thinking, "This isn't small."
Well, it's actually a photograph of half of a house!
That's right - it's a 700 sq. ft. cottage that really
packs a lot of design into a small space.

The Little Corner

Yes, little spaces can accommodate big dreams.

August 24, 2012

Are you Blue?  I'm not talking depression, sadness, or feeling down.  I'm referring
to the beautifully versatile colors of Blue.  

According to Color Wheel Pro, blue is considered beneficial to the mind and body and is strongly associated with tranquility and calmness.   

Many shades of blue convey feelings of trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, and truthWould I lie to you?!





Whatever your favorite shade, most of us can agree that
when we think of blue, we often think of the sea. 
Seascape by Henry Villierme
Keep Florida in your prayers this weekend as tropical storm Isaac comes ashore.
If things get too rough Bob has promised to pack up the boys and evacuate.
Hope he has room to stow my flea market treasures, too!

August 23, 2012

Through the marvels of modern technology I'm posting from the beautiful
State of Minnesota.  Wait - wasn't I just in Maryland?!   Drove back home
to Florida on Monday then caught a flight to Minneapolis.  Have family,
will travel!

                      So, what do we feel like looking at today?
                            How about some Befores & Afters?

Most of you know that one of my favorite blogs is Better After.   Lindsey
does an incredible job of posting her own projects and as well as those of
her readers.  Here are a few transformations that she recently featured:

A blank wall, regardless of its beauty, is a torture to a creative person. 

Interior walls aren't the only ones that can receive a 'faux' finish:

What can $7.50 buy at a thrift store? An old metal cabinet that was artfully
turned into an Industrial Chic bathroom sink!

               Oh, dear - from barely salvageable to divine polka dots!

From the street to the parlor; from the trash heap to a family treasure!

We all know that you just can't beat garage sales for spectacular finds.
Here are four painfully plain chairs and a mis-matched, desperately-
in-need-of-TLC table . . . . . . . .
Gretchen's Garage


                                 . . . . . . that are now ready for any cottage decor.

Look at the beauty that Meg Schmitt, at Never a Dull Day, brought out of this dated hutch:

And, it's hard to believe that these two 'before' kitchen photos . . . . . .

                . . . . . .  are of the same 'after' kitchen:

                                                   The Haws Family Blog

I hope these amazing transformations will inspire you to tackle your own remodeling project soon.