Category Archives: Bling

Urban Sophisticate on a Disco Budget

I swear, one day I will be completely happy with my interior design aesthetic.

But today is not that day.

As some of y’all know, I tend to be a thrift store maven. I love going to thrift shops. I don’t care if someone’s grandma spilled tuna casserole on a table as long as the table is solid and has good bones. Some time back, I scored a pair of Lane Acclaim tables for $20, thinking they were a good size for the living room. I restored them and now they look like a million bucks.

Of course, that means I am on the lookout for the matching coffee table. It also means I am now, once again, redecorating the entire living area. The tables just do NOT go with a farmhouse chic style (sorry, Joanna. I still lurv you). They are definitely mid-century modern, and so am I. Goodbye, traditional Persian-style rug with fringe. Hello urban shag rug with bold stripes. Goodbye chippy paint. Hello metallics. Goodbye farmhouse antiques. Hello atomic retro.

The one thing in this house that has always stumped me is the fireplace. It is a dull grayish taupe brick, with the standard gray cement mortar. I am very leery of painting the brick, but lightening up the mortar would be a vast improvement to it. At least you could see the bricks! And it is a far thriftier option than having the bricks painted or even covered with tile. So that was a quick and very thrifty update to the fireplace.

You can see the difference. All I used was chalk paint in an off white shade to match the mantel. Though it wasn’t difficult, it took a couple of days because I was using a tiny brush and had to wipe the brick edges with a damp rag as I went along. I chose chalk paint because of its matte effect, which lets the texture of the mortar come through. Using acrylic or latex paint would make it look too smooth, and also, the clean up wouldn’t be as easy.

Ok, time to head off to Lowe’s. This place ain’t going to caulk itself. 😀

Cole Portering Over Velvet

One of my favorite songs is I’ve Got You Under My Skin, by Cole Porter. It tends to describe me well when it comes to……well, me going to the thrift store. I see something all dusty and in disrepair and it gets under my skin until I bring my vision to life. Y’all have seen my other blog, Junk and Glue, and know what I mean.

And now, it’s all about velvet. But not just any velvet. Velvet used to be a very expensive fabric. Back in the Middle Ages, it was made solely from silk, which gave it a lustrous sheen and lasted forever. With the advent of industrialization, velvets were made from other fibers such as cotton. And then came synthetic fibers and nowadays velvet is something you can now find off the rack at Target™. Good quality velvet is usually made from a mix of rayon and silk. If you want all silk velvet, you will pay hundreds of dollars per yard. And I am neither rich nor insane, so that’s out. But you can’t compromise on the quality of velvet. Cheap velvet falls apart rather quickly, but the good stuff wears well over time, adapting a soft, rich sheen with age and use.

So, now that you have a primer on velvet, you are wondering why I even bring it up. Well, A) it’s my blog and I write the fluff I like, and 2) I want velvet in my life. And I don’t mean a jacket or a shirt, or even a pillow. I mean I want it ALL OVER THE PLACE: furniture, drapes, accessories, rugs, and PJs. I understand I can’t have everything in velvet. But I really, really want a sofa in soft, luxurious velvet, with some feather alternative-filled cushioning (real feathers are good and all, but I don’t want to trigger anyone’s allergies, nor do I want quills sticking my skin).

Isn’t she absolutely gorgeous?? Yes, that’s a pink velvet sofa and I want it with the burning power of twelve Betelgeuses. Look how plush it is. I want to be able to sink into the sofa, and the big plus with this is one solid cushion, nowhere for remote, socks, or change to slip between. I want to be Great Garbo and tell people I want to be let alone with my sofa and a cocktail and Netflix. In short, I am old enough to want to luxuriate while I watch “Flea Market Flip” and plan on upcycling a ratty old suitcase into a coffee table.

I am full of contradictions, I know. But I also know me, and I doubt I will ever have a sofa like this. It’s wonderful and classy and feminine, and impractical and  high-maintenance and over-the-top. So I will just admire her from afar, and dream of the dreams I could have enjoyed while napping upon such luxury.

But a velvet chair? Oh, yeah….That I can justify 😉

I’m a Jewelry Jinx

I’m one of the most minimal people y’all will ever know. About the only constant piece of jewelry I wear is my wedding band. But like a magpie, I do love, and I mean love to own bling. And mostly the fashion stuff. Who doesn’t love a huge neon pink rock on their finger, right?

That’s why the Ring Pop lollipop is so popular, my friends.

Anyway, like all women I have my favorite jewelry lines. Depending on the occasion my taste in bling changes. If I have a formal to attend (and those may be in my near future again, much to my feet’s chagrin), I tend to pick very bold pieces. If I’m going to a tea, I favor more whimsical items like flowers. If I’m going to lunch with Hubby, then I opt for just earrings. Even if the occasion is cleaning the bathroom, I do wear something blingy, like a tiara. Don’t judge me.

kirks folly dragonfly necklace

A few weeks ago, I was shopping for upcoming birthdays and decided to get my nieces some pretty fantasy jewelry. They loved my dragonfly necklace and I thought it would be nice to get them similar necklaces. Kirks Folly™ is my favorite jewelry for whimsy. So I go to their website…. and there is a “Thank You” posted to all their customers for a great 35 years. Undeterred, I go to QVC, and find it GONE!! As if this wasn’t bad enough, my favorite jewelry company, Lia Sophia™, declared bankruptcy a few months back! I’m in a total panic now. I do a search for Nolan Miller’s line, and….. gone. Kenneth Jay Lane? Discontinued. And with the passing of Joan Rivers, I worry that her line will also go the way of the dodo. I love her bee pins, and I am angling for her grape cluster pin before they discontinue it.

Now I have to go shop around for whimsy. Again. Which is fine since shopping is one of my gifts.

I just hope that Lolita™ never, ever retires.

Spinning Round

I’ve been a little morose and serious lately, and forgot that my job is to entertain my captive audience with Aggie’s exploits. Nothing so exciting as regaling y’all with stories of how I managed to be in three places at once while baking cookies.

Anyway, one of the things that has seriously gotten under my skin lately is home updates. I blame my sister Reno Queen for that. You see, she has been updating the finishes in her home, like lighting and wall decor. That means that she needs to dispose of the stuff she no longer needs, which in turn means I get to enjoy new stuff!!! So I will be updating the light fixtures in the house soon. Of course, since I am getting new lighting for the main areas of the house, I decided I had to get an updated fixture for the bedroom. But as y’all know, Hubby is adamant in having a ceiling fan. I wanted some glamorous bling and set up a fan on his side of the bed, but no. It needs to be a ceiling fan. He really meant NEED. So I looked into a new ceiling fan, and found one with an acceptable amount of bling.

a+r ceiling fanSee?? I love the drum shade that does NOT expose lightbulbs, and look, just LOOK at the glass sphere that gives it just the right amount of bling. I showed a picture of it to my sister, and her response was….. lukewarm. Not her style, she admits, but she agrees that it’s a good compromise for Hubby and me. And if I can’t have a chandelier in my bedroom, at least I have something pretty to look at when I dust it.

Next on the list? The carpeting. Whoever said Berber carpeting was awesome was either drunk, or selling it. So now the new battle begins: tile, or wood? In truth I’m fine with either, as long as I get to set the carpeting on fire 😀

Weekend Hijinks, and Why I Can’t Have a Chandelier

This past weekend was the sort-of-annual Rott Fest™, where members of the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler blog get together to catch up and have fun. This year was no different. As we do every time at least two Rotties get together, we went to a gun range to expend a healthy amount of ammunition.

Actually this happens whether or not Rotties get together.

Anyway, esteemed K.o.R. Crunchie brought his Israeli friend Uzi for us to meet. I had met her before in Florida, but I needed a proper introduction in order to enjoy her charm. Boy howdy, was she fun. She ate 9mm with all the gusto of a coloratura soprano at a Thanksgiving feast. I almost needed a cigarette after that. Almost.

After the range, we retired to the hosts’ compound to enjoy a BBQ repast. Ok, we enjoyed an alcohol repast supplemented by BBQ. I finally got to meet long time FIF LC Staci so that was definitely a plus for me. She and I share an uncommon bond, especially when it comes to Urban Decay™. And jewelry, even home jewelry. Talking about non-weaponry items caused the gents’ eyes to glaze over, but it was still nice to talk about other things besides 9mm versus .45. She and I see eye-to-eye on the NEED of having a chandelier somewhere, anywhere in the house, but that is something Hubby will just not allow. Why? Because the room I want to put a chandelier in is the bedroom, and he is adamant on having a ceiling fan. But I may have found an acceptable compromise.


Yep, a floor lamp. I saw it on an HGTV show and now it is under my skin. Where I would put it, I have no idea. How I would buy it, no clue either. I foresee a project in my future.

So yes, we had a great time visiting old friends and making new ones, and once again I was foiled in my attempts to glamorize my bedroom. I will have to stick to the cursed ceiling fan. It’s a small price to pay for harmony 🙂


It’s a Heartache

No, I’m not talking about drama. I’m talking about Valentine’s Day. It’s not my favorite day of the year, but I figured I would give y’all yet another shopping guide. I’m magnanimous that way.

Jewelry is always good. But sometimes men don’t pay too close attention to significant details like ring size, or even whether or not their significant others have pierced ears. No matter. That’s why the Good Lord gave us necks.

loveheart pendant

The Loveheart Pendant from Swarovski™. Very affordable, and you’ll be gifting her your heart all over again! Or a reasonable facsimile, I guess.

Sometimes you wish to give a gift that says, “I care about you and wish to protect you always”. And since not everyone can afford to get a permanent security detail for their sweetheart, there is always an alternative.

pink stun gun2

A pink 6.8 million volt stun gun!! Let’s face it: not all women feel comfortable carrying a gun, but NONE have a  problem frying a perp. And did I mention it’s 6.8 MILLION volts? Yeah, it’s cute AND effective!!

Of course, no post of mine would be complete without the obligatory Lolita™ glass.

pink panties glass

The Pink Panties Martini Glass!!

There is nothing I can add to that.

So, she can look stunning, while stunning someone, and getting stunned on vodka. I hope you have enjoyed this instalment of Shopping with Aggie™.  Hope it helps! If not just remember: these are guidelines, not rules 😉


This evening I am hosting a wine party, featuring Spanish wines.

You’ll notice I did not call it a wine tasting party.

Anyway, there will be wine, women and song. And by “song”, I mean the music channel will be on. Trust me when I say, no one wants to hear me sing when I am tipsy. Ok, maybe they do so they can record the fiasco and post it on YouTube™. It wouldn’t be the first time. And because I am hostess, I get to use my wonderful gift, courtesy of my sister, Reno Queen:

My newest addition to my Lolita™ collection!!

And the best news? I will not be in need of a designated driver 😉

Have a great Saturday!!

Tacky is the In Thing

It’s that time again. HOMECOMING!!!

This is Eldest’s senior year, and she really, really wanted a tacky Homecoming mum for her last year in high school.

I could not pass up the challenge. I purchased the required flower, backing and ribbons, and added to it feathers, a boa, Christmas strands, and a gaudy chandelier drop I found. I would have used LED lights, but that was sooooo 2011.

And my niece’s will have zebra striped ribbon, huge bells, and glitter!!

Very tacky, and I for one love it. I’m of the opinion that one should stand out. One should not go through Life unnoticed 😉

Do-It-Yourself Fun: Chapter 1

Well, I know I was supposed to have pics up of Eldest’s room today. Unfortunately, she was ill on Friday, which meant “convalescing” all weekend, and by “convalescing” I mean playing Skyrim™ with her dad while her mom finished off the projects.

*Grumble, grumble*

Anyway, one of the things she wanted in her room was mercury glass. I myself love mercury glass. It is so pretty and old fashioned. But there was NO WAY I was going to pay $80 for a small vase at Pottery Barn™. Not. Happening. I thought about scouring the thrift stores, until I saw this tutorial at Katie’s Rose Cottage Designs, and I thought to myself, I can make that!!

You’ll need:

  • cheap glass vases, votives, or whatever you can get at the Dollar Store.
  • Krylon Looking Glass Spray Paint™
  • spray bottle with a one-to-one mixture of water and vinegar
  • paper towels
  • well-ventilated area and plenty of coverage for the workspace

First, make sure you have cleaned the item well. I wiped them down with alcohol on a paper towel. Next, shake the paint vigorously, and apply an even coat, or as even as you can, onto the outside of the glass. I had tried doing the inside, but I didn’t get the old shiny results I wanted. After spraying the paint, just spritz the item lightly with the vinegar/water solution, enough to let beading form. Wait just about a minute, and then take a paper towel and gently blot the bubbles and beads of solution. Voilá!! The spray prevents the paint from adhering! Keep spraying paint and solution in as many layers as you wish. I did only two layers for the results I was wanting. This was the bottle before:

Those pretty bourbon bottles sure came in handy.

And this is the same bottle after:

I have plans for this….

I shall update the post with a pic after the Sun decides to make an appearance. Oh, and don’t think I stopped at just one glass bottle.

Can you say “Christmas decor??”

I didn’t go overboard. I just decided to do all of that particular project at once, so that I could concentrate on the rest of her stuff without distraction. All in all, I spent less than $5 on the spray paint, and had plenty of random glass stuff waiting for a ride to Goodwill, so the total expense of this project was well below $10, which is far better than one small vase for $80.

Best part? It was very therapeutic, sitting out in the hot sun, spraying, blotting, spraying, plotting…. 😉

Continue reading

Aggie Tam

If y’all aren’t familiar with the TV show Firefly, and the film Serenity, then the title means nary a thing to ye. So, to explain:

The character is River Tam, and she is deadly. Especially with a reaver sword.

Anyway, this Monday I was scrubbing dog barf from the carpeting when the doorbell rang, causing said dogs to bark and jump and wag and generally make a nuisance. I had been warned informed that I was going to receive a package from the Lemur Compound™. I thought it might be in retaliation a thank you gift consisting of chocolate or turducken, in return for the gift I had sent. I was so happily wrong.

Behold Serena, my very own reaver sword!!! Yes, I named her Serena, after Serenity.

Look at that blade. JUST LOOK AT IT!!!!

Makes you feel tingly inside, doesn’t it?

Yes, the photos were taken with my iPhone 3 GS, which does no justice to the absolute beauty of the steel. And yes, the blade is very sharp. This isn’t just for looks. It’s for life.

I think this would look great with my Steampunk costume, don’t you? 😉