Monday, December 29, 2008

Big Fan of Big Lots

For those of you who think I shop at all the fabulous antique places and have a home filled with unusual rarities, I have a confession to make- I am currently addicted to the Big Lots discount store. If some of you do not have a Big Lots in your town, I am sorry for you. If on the other hand you do have one, run don't walk and challenge yourself to really dig for great, inexpensive but stylish items.

From the Big Lots 'stationary' department: red stripe Xmas wrap, assorted tags, punch out letters, scalloped tissue, spools of cotton ribbon and from a rub-off template are the borders I applied to the red box. ($1 - $3.50)

I have wandered into this store in the past but not until this summer did my addiction really begin. It started when I went there to buy plain white candles for a friends wedding. I found 6" pillars, two for $5, as well as bags and trays of votives for much less. My friend needed inexpensive but creative centerpieces for her reception so we opted for different sizes of glass hurricanes using lots of candlelight. So from Wal-Mart to Big Lots I was buying simple glass vessels for less than $8 a piece. Remember this shot? (Who says we don't recycle?)

After my third visit to Big Lots to stock up on more candles for our own Christmas season, I started to do what most women would do, I started to walk the store and investigate every isle. I was amazed at what I found and even more amazed at the price. Focusing on the good over the sea of bad is crucial and as with anything, shopping with a color palette in mind makes things easier to edit. Remember these things because at first glance you may want to turn around and run.

I pulled all these great colors of ribbon from the bazaar assortment of purple and pinks they had. Xmas wrap, more labels and I love the bows made from dull textured paper. ($1- $3.50)

So now I find myself searching for Big Lots in any neighborhood I may be in because each one has something different. Since I sold most of my possessions at the Estate Sale last summer, I have been searching for the perfect white dishes and water glasses (harder than you might think) and many other replacements for my home. Big Lots has enough generic things to return my home to normal while making me feel like I am shopping at a flea market!

A $5 frame with my own antique illustration, mottled light and dark grey candles ($3), thick towels in my bathroom palette ($6.50) and the ticking fabric ($5.00) underneath may soon cover a small chair.

Among their swirly and checked rugs I found these neutrals. Throw ($8), 5' x 8' shag ($30) and runner ($12).

Above, my new simple dishes ($1 each), flatware (four piece set $12) and glasses (set of 12 for $8). The round shallow bowl is my new favorite size for everything. The grey wood-print fabric (3 yards for $5) was also found there buried under something plaid.

I also scored some great hardware items which are my favorite thing to dig through.

Cordless drill ($24), hammer ($1), camouflage duct tape! ($1.75), reading glasses ($8) and my new favorite writing pen (3 for $2).

My staff laughs every time I carry in a bag of supplies from Big Lots but they're catching on and always surprised at what I find. I also decided what a hoot it would be to design products for them. To heck with the Isaac for Target or Martha for K Mart, it's Deb at Big Lots!

It's all about the hunt and don't we all love a bargain. Remember- money can't buy taste!


Sunday, December 07, 2008

A French Holiday

The front door adorned with a large antique feed sack.

Outside, glistening candles in old mason jars lined the brick path, fresh garland hung loosely around antique leather trunks and guests huddled together waiting to experience history in the making. A dramatic description? Perhaps, but no one could have imagined what eight local gals were up to this brisk December night. When the creaky barn doors opened a slight "ahhh" filled the air along with pine candles and the scent of the fresh lavender that was being sold. With sparkling chandeliers overhead and French music playing in this rustic barn, customers suddenly knew they were in for a Holiday treat.

It is amazing where determination (and a deadline) will get you. Three weeks ago, four of us were hauling product in and out of an Omaha ballroom and now we were doing it again, from a scratch of an idea to a complete event. Miss Frenchie's European Market was born on December 5, 2008.

Over 100 people came to the opening night benefit and we were thrilled to see them. Over 200 came the next day. None of us knew just what to expect as this was thrown together so fast but in the end we were- well I must admit, patting ourselves on the back that it was successful. Who knew? We knew we would have the goods, we knew we had the audience, we knew we could create something magical but you NEVER know if they will come especially on such short notice- but they did. In fact, this blog is dedicated to three special people who drove 13 hours straight with no sleep from New Mexico to see us just for this event. They had read about it last week and decided to hit the road. Now that is what the blog world can do. We were humbled.

Elizabeth brought all these French postcard posters formerly used in her store.

Elizabeth pulled up her 16' truck to my house Wednesday at midnight, we talked until 2 a.m. and at the barn at 10 the next day. After working out the kinks of where we were all setting up the mayhem began: Boxes, merchandise, dollies, electrical cords, tools, wire, garland, glitter, a dog, a cat, burgers and fries, cold hands, wool scarves and sore backs... did Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland go through this?

As always, forgive my soft pictures as I hate to use flash but this will give you an idea of the festivities. By the end of the week the other gals may have their blogs up too and better pictures. My images are tight as this was toward the end of the show and things were a bit picked over but Elizabeth shot some wide, professional shots so she will hopefully post soon. She may also get this event published in a national magazine. Until then, enjoy.








APRIL 17 & 18, 2009