My New Theory on Birthday Money Spending

Last year, as you may recall, I received a birthday chair with an ottoman for my birthday.  It is a lovely sage/olive-green color that matches my bedroom decor perfectly.  That was the first year that I was given something other than stuff that is used up…. by that I mean, scrapbooking supplies, clothing, books to read, etc.  And I must say that I sit in that chair almost every single day.  I love it.  I love the light that comes in from the window behind it.  It is comfy and cozy and perfect.

So when this year rolled around and I was asked what I would like for my birthday, I couldn’t think of anything…. because in the back of my mind I was trying to come up with another non-use-up-able item… and I couldn’t.  THEN I went and got my hair cut at my friend Donna’s house… this is not an ordinary hair-cutting gal… this is an uber talented seamstress, tile laying wonder, gardener extreme, decorator magnifique and truly a creative inspiration to me!  I drooled over her back yard.  It is an oasis in Phoenix… flowers and vegetables and vines and fruit trees and stepping-stones and a pond and a covered swing and curtains outside and on and on.

THEN came 50% off day at Goodwill…. the day after my birthday.  Thank you, Jesus! I had a fist full of birthday cash that was burning a hole in my wallet.  (Darla bombed out on me and I had to go alone!)  The first Goodwill I entered… was, well, disappointing.  I left empty-handed… except for my fist full of money. Absolutley nothing to get my creative juices flowing.

Upon entering the SECOND Goodwill store, I didn’t even get a cart because I didn’t really expect to find anything.  Well, after seven minutes in the store, I had a pile of things on the floor… and no cart.  I spied a large plastic tub that was for sale… I used it as my wheel-less cart to drag my goods to the front while holding various other items in my free hand.

I have been admiring outdoor “rooms” for years.  I have pages and pages that I have ripped out of magazines and saved for such a time as this.  The time had come.  Goodwill was a shabby chic gardeners house of glory that day!  I stuffed the back of the van and still had half of my birthday cash left over!  Sweet mercy, I was thrilled.  Of course, to the untrained eye (which is MOST of my family) it looked like other people’s junk …. at 50% off.  But NO!  I have visions of grandeur coming!

This was my favorite find… a vintage mirror with a carved wooden frame.  And I paid $4 for it!  Unreal!  In an antique mall it would be over $100 I’m sure! Yes, I plan to hang it outside.  It was $4!  Why not?

Next we have the top of what will be my garden hutch.  I’ve already sanded it down to shabbier chic and I’m painting the back wall green. A table is needed for it to sit on….. and the next 50% off day is only 10 days away!  The plan is to put hooks for my tools, baskets for my gloves, cutesy jars for seeds, etc.  Just you wait!

This next item was a GOLDMINE!  Shutters are so hard to find… and in the window casing is just icing on the cake!  $8!!!!  My plans for these have been varied and not finalized at this point.  But in the backyard they will go for all to see and admire.  Donna hinted at planting herbs in them…. ohhh!

I’ve always been drawn to candles in the garden and when I spied this baby, I grabbed onto it like a flea on a fat coon dog.  (We are reading Where the Red Fern Grows right now.)  There were also eight votives that fit it… unmatching, of course.  Yes, the leaves are mirrors…. $2!  I know!  $2!

Several times I’ve seen shabby wooden ladders used in the garden… and lo and behold, my shabby ladder was at Goodwill when the birthday money was in my fist!  $5!  Shut the front door!  $5! I’ve already painted it white!  I’m gathering pots and birdhouses to set on the steps.

Soon I will have photos for you of my boring block-walled backyard that was transformed into a sweet sanctuary of delight that draws you from the house, no matter the soaring temperatures.  Really.

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9 Responses to “My New Theory on Birthday Money Spending”

  1. Kristen Says:

    Can’t wait to see it all finished! I’ve actually given away EVERYTHING (okay, not the same candle holder but close). Seriously wish we were neighbors!

  2. Barbara McLeod Says:

    Linda, you are an awesome inspiration to me. Even if I am not creative enough to do something like that I will enjoy seeing you do it. Thanks for sharing.

  3. connie Says:

    Donna must be amazing…if someone can inspire you, I am impressed! I can hardly wait to see pictures!

  4. Jennie C. Says:

    Fabulous idea. Can’t wait to see the outcome.

  5. Lynnette Fellin Says:

    Linda, I love your little pretty model, and your ideas. We did something like that in Washington and it was always a joy to even look out the window.
    I had to giggle a little at the mirror-it might confuse the birds?

    And I just finished readin “Where the Red Fern Grows” again. I didn’t know I would cry again too. I knew how it ended. Was I hoping the ending changed?
    It is a great book, though. Your kids are Blessed!

  6. Stan and Val Rober Says:

    Your expressed interest in having candles in your back yard energized a very old memory cell in my brain as to a method of displaying/using candles in a back yard setting. Since pictures are so descriptive compared to just words, I will try to draw a of picture, scan it into my pictures file, and then put it on an e-mail page so I can send it to you, or perhaps scan it right on to the e-mail page. (wish Jennie were here to do the button pushing) P.S. Don’t hold your breath.

  7. Coral Siddell Says:

    I have a front yard once again full of snow,..only three, maybe four days ago I could almost see all the grass. Don’t you miss it here? Your yard draws me already!

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