Goodbye, Hobby Lobby. Hello, Estate Sales!

I love Hobby Lobby as well as the next gal,
but nothing can compare to the selection, variety, creativity, and prices
you can find by shopping estate sales, garage sales, and flea markets.

In my opinion, mass-produced items from China or Taiwan cannot measure up
to hand-crafted, love-infused, timeless furnishings.

In fact, some of my most favorite pretties were designed and created 
without duplication or imitation.
These things are one-of-a-kind.

Like a set of 6 watercolor and pastel paintings I spotted and snagged for $12.50
while out and about with my friend Ann (her amazing home HERE),
for our upstairs landing which was in-between redesigns and B-O-R-I-N-G.

Here it is the area the other day before I decided I'd had enough of this space being a catch-all.
(This area is terribly hard to photograph because there are no windows. )

(Luggage, a fan, and a heater box wait to be put up into the attic.
Why is the phone on the floor?)

 The attic stairs are right above this table, 
and I have been searching for what seems like forever, for a piece of furniture
narrow enough that the stairs might come down beside, rather on top of it
(because this means that every time we need to get into the attic, 
we have to move the furniture and all its accoutrements.) Sigh.

To the left is our office, which I will be talking about in the
And to the right is our bedroom.

The door to the left below is the girls' bathroom.
Three females share this bathroom everyday and live to tell about it.
But, that's another post.
The door to the right is the laundry room.
Two other bedrooms and a linen closet share this corridor/landing,
so you can see that it is a well-used (and seen) space.

And like I said, it was BORING.
Until today.

Thanks to a beautiful homemaker artist named Muriel, 
who is now 93, we now have a cozy space to greet us as we ascend the stairs.
I had a table that fits this spot in our very own house!
It came from the dining room and is just narrow enough that
the stairs slide down in front of it, and to get into the attic,
I no longer have to move anything beforehand! Yippee!

We just love the happy colors and cheery paintings she made
from her own imagination.
She didn't have Pinterest, or Pottery Barn, or blogs, or Ballard Designs to peruse.
And Muriel didn't go buy art, she created it!

Since this is also the location for the land line phone, the chargers for three cell phones,
a Koren/English translator, and an iPhone,
I put baskets on the lower shelf to contain these gizmos and gadgets
to keep them out of sight.

Inside the right basket is the power strip.
Handy, but hidden.

So, thank you, estate sales and garage sales.
And thank you, Muriel.
For your time and talent, which has now become a treasure.

Just for fun, I made this (very simple) graphic for those of you, like me,
who love the thrill of the hunt for unique finds.

Do you do estate sales?
What have you found recently?


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  1. Looks amazing!!! perfect spot for your table, and LOVE, love, love the artwork! The baskets work well there, also...good job!

  2. I absolutely agree. Love Hobby Lobby but it's so typical and everyone has it or has done it. Estate sales, yard sales, flea markets, thrift stores - now that's where I love to shop. Unique, unusual and economical - that's the way to go.

  3. I love those paintings and what you have done--just wonderful!

  4. what a pretty wall arrangement you made. I too love finding items for my home that I dont see in everyone elses.. plus we are saving the land fills and beautifying our homes.

  5. Oh, and don't forget antique malls.....there are plenty of "sleepers" there if you look one can know the "value" of everything they sell.

  6. That looks fantastic! The artwork works so well together and the table is perfect! Estate sales rock!

  7. Oh, Leslie, what a DARLING, CHEERY, SPRING-LIKE area you have created. Love it.

    Are you kidding me? I LOVE estate sales, yard sales, and flea markets. LOVE, LOVE,LOVE them.

    Let's see. The last thrifted things I got were tops for "moi." One white one with sparkles, one tangerine colored one, and a periwinkle pullover in fleece that is as warm as it is pretty.

    Thanks for sharing, Leslie. You are a sweetheart. Susan

  8. Oh, how I miss thrifts, fleas and the like. We're en route to Phoenix, then Dallas, then Wisconsin, so while we're on the mainland, I'M GOING!

    Loved this post! Good on ye!

  9. I love it! Your space now looks so inviting and colorful!

    Love those pics! They remind me of these little cards an elderly lady made for our family. She would draw a picture on the front, in colored pencil every time she sent us a little card. The style is so similar. What beautiful artwork to grace your home with!!! So much better than HL! fer sure!

  10. Leslie,

    I love what you've done in this area. It looks beautiful. I'd much rather have pre-loved items too!

  11. The new look is wonderful! I love going to yard sales and estate much of our decor is from those places!!

  12. So purdy and cheerful, like you. :)
    Why is the phone on the floor? Because Mr. E. was probably there...somehow, looking up and sticking his bubble gum underneath the table at one point or another. ;)

  13. You're a girl after my own heart-nothing can beat the look of vintage, "real" stuff! I do a lot of estate sales and auctions for my business and have been totally into bird paintings/prints lately. It is such a "spring" vignette you created - lovely!

  14. As always, you have created a warm, welcoming space in your home and now have a gallery wall of one featured artist. How tres chic of you...simply divine. Love the collection and that the artist was inspired by her own imagination, in turn you have inspired me to get off my butt and go makes some gallery magic in my ugly hallway!

  15. Leslie, I'm so glad Marcia sent me over today! I totally agree with you about the "cookie cutter" pretties we get at Hobby Lobby, etc. these days. While I DO like some of them, there really is nothing like the things I find at auctions (my very fav!) or estate sales. You found the perfect solution for your BORING (your words!) space. :-) I'm so glad you and Muriel became friends!

  16. Hi Leslie Sweetie...
    I am so happy to meet you. I am coming over through
    Marcia's blog. So happy to read your blog. It is gorgeous
    amd has so many beautiful ideas.

    What a beautiful share. I love this gorgeous table and the
    bird photo is sooo pretty. What a beautiful welcome at the
    head of the stairs. Thank you for sharing.

    Have a gorgeous evening dear one. Many country hugs, Sherry

  17. So very beautiful. I was directed to your blog by Marcia, so glad I visited you.

  18. I do love estate and garage sales, but I rarely go anymore. Saturday is the one day all week that the husband is always home (except Sunday), and I hate to hop up earlier and head out.

    I love what you did to the top of your stairs. You've inspired me to rethink the dud area at the top of mine.

  19. Hi Leslie, Visiting here from Marcia's blog. What a delightful place to be, love your background colors, clean and welcoming. What a transformation in your hallway. You must be so pleased with it. My husband and I were avid estate sale shoppers, auctions, etc. as we were in the antique business. We no longer sell antiques, but the thrill of finding something exciting at a thrift shop or sale still makes my heart go pitter patter. Have a delightful day. ~ Abby

  20. Your so right on!! Give me an Estate sale garage sale, thrift store and I'm almost in My post today and tomorrow's pretty much shows that I've decorated my house with 90% yard sale finds..My goal this year once yard sale season starts back up is to get me a whole punch of those paint by number pictures that people get rid of already done, and floral pictures. Of course many other things I'm planning on getting..aprons of course. never enough of those. Blessings and nice to 'meet' you. From Marcia's blog I hopped over.

  21. What beautiful art! I love seeing it displayed together...very cheerful and welcoming! ♥

  22. Leslie, I love your new space. I'm going to try to get to some of those sales this spring. Joyous Wishes, Linda

  23. Love it, Leslie! This is wonderful!! I'm guessing that Muriel would have been one precious lady to know. I like the way you grouped things all her artwork. Fun and folksy and cheerful and cheerING!

    Okay, now for a question. Can you tell me how you made your simple graphic? I have a Mac with fairly old software, so it may be that you have something much more sophisticated than I do. But if you can tell me how you made the graphic and how you included it on your blog, I'd be so grateful!!

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  25. Those prints are awesome. I'm with you, give me garage sales, flea markets, antique shops, etc. to any run of the mill retail store. You have gorgeous taste in design. I don't have a decorating blog, just love decorating.

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