Monday, June 21, 2010

Nancy Drew....What to Wear?

I had grand plans on making Little K a vintage style dress for her Nancy Drew Birthday Party. I found a pattern, and fabric, but as usual, ran out of time.

As luck would have it - we were able to pull together a pretty good looking outfit from things already in her closet, and a few key additional last minute finds.

Nancy was all about the knee socks - and loafers. As long as we had those covered, I though we were in good shape. Add a little plaid skirt and we're home free.

The Penny Loafers were found on clearance at Walmart, as was the turtleneck knit sweater. It had the sweetest 3/4 sleeves with turned up button cuffs.

The pin is made from stacked vintage buttons and an antique crochet flower.

The Nancy Drew Mystery Book of the moment - The Secret of Red Gate Farm.

My sweet little Nancy Drew - I think she played the part perfectly.

Other parts of her Fun Party included: Invitations, Sweets, Decorations, The Mystery Game, and and Old Fashioned Lunch Menu.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sale Pending......

Well, it should really say SOLD! But, neither our Realtor or I wanted to jinx the sale, so she waited until the final days to put up the Sold sign. By then we had already moved out of our beloved home in Arizona and therefore I missed the SOLD sign photo opp.

Sale Pending made me just as happy! In a very tough Real Estate Market (from what the news reports say, Phoenix is one of the worst in the country) we were thrilled to be able to sell our home after being on the market for just over a month.

Don't get me wrong - this was in no way a profitable sale for us. We listed our home at a price that was almost 30% below what we purchased it for just 3 years ago. And we ended up selling it for even less than that. But in a time when many of our neighbors homes are going into Foreclosure or being listed as Short Sales, I am so thankful we were able to accept an offer that allowed us to move forward with our new life in California.

It's been a little crazy around here these past few months, and I've sadly neglected my blogging duties, but we're on the home stretch now, and I'm looking forward to getting back in touch.

Along with all the usual steps you take when selling your home - De-clutter, Clean, Neutralize and Stage - I'd like to think we did a few unique things that made a difference in getting it sold.

You know that binder that the Title Company provides that is filled with all the Plot and Survey information as well as Maps and Neighborhood Stats? It usually comes with an ugly blue or black plastic cover with basic tabs.

Our book started out Blue. My Kitchen is Green. They didn't match!
Solution: make a cute fabric binder cover to coordinate with the room.

I updated the inside tabs and added a few of my own to include Neighborhood News and Happenings as well as a personal letter from us telling what we love about the home and neighborhood.

Fresh Flowers always help sell a home and I was only too happy to splurge and buy a new bouquet each week. I might have to continue that little indulgence as a treat for myself once we're moved into our new home. They just make me happy.

Next - my agent suggested I find a way to highlight some of the unique details that could be easily overlooked.
Solution: make Tags with a brief description of the features and place them throughout the house.

I have an unnatural dislike for traditional medicine cabinets. I have yet to see one that I like (not even in the fancy design homes where I've drooled over and coveted so many other things) This is one of the ways I disguise them.

It's just a poster - decoupaged onto a board, framed, painted, distressed and then attached to a wood box made to fit inside the existing medicine cabinet space. OK - that sounds like a lot of work, but you could totally do the same thing with a ready made frame or picture.

I've seen lots of homes that still have these old intercom systems that no longer work. But ours still does, and even though it's not sleek or modern looking, I think it's really cool and we use it all the time.

Here's another "tagged" feature. Can you guess what's hiding behind this picture?

I sure hope the new owners like birds - because the framed picture is staying with the house.

Because it's also hinged and attached to a box that's attached to the wall.

Inside - are the thermostat and security alarm control box. The original builder should be shot for installing those controls smack dab in the middle of the main feature wall in the Living Room, effectively making the entire wall unusable and a complete eyesore. Even if the buyers don't like birds, they will probably think it's better than those unsightly controls.

Our yard is fairly large, and it can get pretty hot in Arizona, so I kept the outside mini fridge stocked with water bottles. With a "tag" on the fridge inviting house hunters to "Refresh Yourself".

Each of the bottles had a label with our home address - and a little reminder that "this could be Your New Home!"

When you look at dozens of homes, they all tend to blur together so I wanted to do everything I could to keep our home foremost in potential buyers minds.

Another shot of the tulips - because they are so pretty - and you know they make me happy.

Just to be sure we had all our bases covered. I had my dear friend Jo Ellen send me a St. Joseph statue to be buried upside down, facing the home that you want to sell. If you are not familiar with this tradition you can read about it here. For the record, I'm not Catholic, but I do believe in God and the power of Faith, and my Catholic friends assured me it was OK to partake in this Catholic belief.

Last week the movers came and packed and loaded up all our belongings to be put into storage. We spent the weekend spackling holes, painting and cleaning - getting the home ready for it's new owners. I driven by once since then - to pick up the mail, drop off the keys, and bring in the trash can. But it's no longer our home - it's now in the care of a another family. Our wish is that the new owners enjoy it as much as we did, and make their own wonderful memories there.

We have a few weeks before we move to our new home in California. I'm excited to get started painting, re-decorating and all the other fun stuff that comes along with the not so fun task of unpacking. I'll keep you posted.