I go through stages of being really creative and then, because of the nature of the blog, I open my big mouth via the keyboard and talk about being creative which in turn means I’m not actually creating anything since I’m so busy talking about it.  Clearly, I’m not good at multitasking.  July, my month offish has been good for me to begin to get my creativeness back.  I thought I’d share what I did to start those juices flowing.

I allowed myself to buy a few things even if I didn’t know where I’ll put them or how I will use them.

A few months ago I wrote about my crackdown on thrift store purchases and I’ve followed through.  But, I realized that suddenly I have no projects, no parts to inspire making a whole.  It’s all about balance.  So yesterday I spent $29 at a thrift store on pure inspiration.  It was money well spent.  Here are a few things I’ve purchased over the last month or so…

This big blue painting.  Angela is the queen of painting collections and she has really inspired me.  I bought that tiny painting up there for $1 a few months ago.  It’s yet to look right anywhere in my house and I realized it needed some friends.  So I paid $2.50 for a buddy and I hope to collect a few more over time.

I’ve noticed lots of pendant lights made of this stuff recently.  Maybe I’ll try to make one. Two dollars.

I bought $8 worth of doilies at #ilovethrifting day.  I pinned them on my drapes to see if I like them there.  So far, I do, so that might turn into an upcoming mistreatment.

I also bought random sheets from the thrift store.  Gross, right? No worries, I wash them in the sanitary cycle in my machine.

I also bought some of these dishes, not sure were they’ll end up.

Five pretty bowls for 80 cents each.

And I bought this pair of cafe curtains just because I love the bottom three inches of each of them.

Want to jump-start your creativity?  Maybe you could use a venture into a thrift store without a plan.

Angela also wrote about Creative Inspiration  today but I hesitate to link because she showed photos she took of my house and I don’t want you to think I’m forcing you to look at more photos of me and my big plate wall but, her post is so good, just ignore the photos of my house if you need to.



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  1. No matter if you have non creative -itus…you will {always} be creative….way more than the rest of us1

  2. Oh, I’m curious about all the lovely things you will make. Great thrift store finds. And I absolutely love those bowls!!!

  3. oh my goodness. love those teal bowls. that was definitely money well spent. you found some great treasures! =)

  4. I find that when a person constantly lives in a state of creativity, every now and then that well needs to be refilled and refreshed….a trip to the thrift store was a great idea!

    Also, I’m a dork for telling you this, but I follow you on Pinterest and I saw the photo you posted of the tablecloth with doilies and I’m totally looking forward to how your curtains turn out. :~}

  5. wow! i am in love with those gold dishes, and let’s be honest, i am pretty in love with those little bowls as well!!

    great finds!

  6. I like the small painting and the blue bowls. Not sure about those doilies on the curtains. LOL

    We don’t have very good thrift stores here. We do however, have a new antique store – it’s kind of an antique/thrift store mix. I bought a huge copper “thing” (big oval container with handles) that has a wonderful old patina. Thought it might go on the hearth with birch logs but I might get creative and make it a planter for the front porch.

  7. Melissa says:

    Those blue bowls are very cute! Great finds!

  8. I agree…Nester will always be more creative than most! I loved the bowls, the dollies & paintings & am interested to see what you will do with the sheets! I love the aqua color you use, but most of my color is in an antiqueish looking green….I liked the photo of dishes over window mixing aqua & green pieces….I guess my brain is still stuck on it must be perfect….although my house is NOT perfect. Love your blog! Cindy LouWho

  9. What super finds! Lately I have been heading into the thrift stores and talking myself out of most things since I’m trying to cut back on the number of things I bring into our home, too. But a little now and then is fun. It’s a lot cheaper than going to Tar-jay and buying a few things!

  10. I love the idea of putting the doilies on your drapes! It adds such a great textural surprise! I have a million doilies my grandmother made and I’m always looking for creative ways to use them. And I love the dishes you bought – those blue bowls are lovely.

  11. You should be proud to link a blog that is showcasing you! I never tire of seeing photos of your home and your fabulous ideas! I’m new to the Blog world but I check your site EVERY day!! You inspire me.

  12. You found some winners!! I especially love the blue bowls. Soooo pretty. You inspire me to find some cheap lovelies.

  13. i’m always amazed at how much good stuff everyone gets at thrift stores around the country. i hardly ever find good stuff. mine is over priced and often sells chipped dishes at full cost and never bargains. i could get something brand new at Home Goods for the same cost, especially since i don’t really mind repro’s.
    life in a NYC suburb…

  14. Glad you’re finding some time to recharge your creative batteries. Because, you know, we have great expectations. Come August, we’re gonna be expecting great things! Honestly, though, your case of non-creativitis still looks like great creativity to me. All the rest of us are learning to see the world through Nester-colored glasses. Keep teaching!!

  15. Those blue bowls are beautiful! What an amazing find. I also love those white compotes/planters next to the blue bowls. I just so happen to have one that looks like it would be the size right in the middle of your two. If you ever want to get rid of yours, let me know. . . seriously.

  16. You know I have those yellow flower dishes in the cottage (downstairs bedroom)! :)

    I think creativity is the most mysterious thing ever. Ever. I never know when it will strike; or when I think it is so elusive, it creeps up and surprises me. I LOVE that I can be part of the mystery.

  17. those 80 cent bowls are amazing…take that, anthropologie!

  18. I bought a whole set (8 settings plus serving pieces) of those yellow botanical print dishes at a thrift store last year for $12. I use them EVERYWHERE. My kids use them daily, I use them to hold soap and beads. They have been on the walls and have staged other people’s tables for open houses. LOVE THOSE PLATES. I hope you find good use for yours.

  19. I’m loving those blue bowls!

  20. Love the blue bowls……I’ve been thinking the same thoughts lately. I cannot even find the time right now to get to projects for the blog far less to ones that I want to do just because. Perhaps I need to schedule a thrift store day.

  21. It looks you are getting your creative grove back, not that it appeared that you lost it. Isn’t it funny how simple inexpensive items can be such an inspiration! Have fun in your creative adventure, can’t wait to see what you come up with.

  22. Love the doilies! I may have to try that!

  23. I love those blue bowls and the cafe curtains! Great finds

  24. Virginia Mom says:

    On Sunday, I stepped back from the eleventeenth drawer front I’ve deglossed, sanded, primed and painted in the past few weeks and put my brush down. I stared. I sighed. I swallowed. And I decided that I have Burnout. Burn. Out. I LOVE to paint, rearrange, remodel, renovate, reupholster, re-purpose, recycle and reinvent. But I also love to walk, ride, swim, sing, drive, laugh and eat. We all need a break once in a while from Creating and Inventing.

    Go out and waste an entire day — no, an entire week — just BEING. I promise you’re allowed to do this. (Someone wise told me so.)

    Warmest wishes!

  25. I love those blue bowls as well.

    It always cracks me up when people say that second hand sheets are gross. Hotel sheets are way grosser!

  26. I hopped over to Angela’s post and I have never seen your pot rack before! I love that you hung your colander and white pitcher…adds some pop of white amongst all the black pots. Why didn’t I think of that!

  27. Pretty diishes!

  28. You never fail to inspire me, Nester girl, even when you are feeling inspired.

  29. I love the dishes! This morning I realized I needed to start a hunt for white antique plates for my blue walls.

  30. aren’t, I meant aren’t.

  31. I so know what you mean about the balance between having “stuff” sitting around and having the “stuff” to get creative with…I definitely have the same thing happening at my house. I’m glad you got to feed your creative spirit. Love your oil paintings…I collect them too. Way fun! I saw this cool art work idea with doiles and wanted to share it with you.

    Your mistreatment would be neat, too, but this just more creative inspiration!

  32. Caroline says:

    Hi! I am new to Charlotte and am so glad I found you blog! Where are you favorite thrift stores? I’ve been to a couple, but not really impressed (other than ReStore on Wendover).

  33. are you crazy? you are SOOO creative! those doily drapes = pure genius! love love!


  34. Skull sheets?! So jealous!

  35. judy h. says:

    Thanks for your inspiration. I have been in a long dry spell, creatively. I’m desperately needing a project and just feel empty headed. Your tips will hopefully get some juices going.

  36. Wow! The plates with mustard-colored flowers and white background are fantastic. Nice find!

  37. Sometimes simply being IS creative. I’ve been on a year-long non-creative-itus stint before, and you know what? It’s totally OK. Creativity and inspiration keep finding their way into life anyway. Maybe not necessarily in an intentional way, but in quiet ways like finding a new recipe to try, exploring new herbs and spices, or just wearing your hair in a new way.

    And I LOVE the doily idea. Who’da thunk?

  38. Sent you an email about local area thrifting. Wondering what your fav stops are. I live local to you and “need” a good selection of places to hit… By the way I painted my main living area Comfort Grey and I’m in love.

  39. I love those bowls! Such a pretty color!!

  40. I’m sure you have more creativity in your little finger than I have had in my whole life. That said, my creative bug always comes out when I DON’T go buy something; I have about 16 thrift store’s worth in my house alone. I just need to get off the computer and DO something with it all. Maybe you’re better about un-cluttering than I am…

    Look forward to seeing what you do with some of those things.

  41. Second-hand sheets are gross? Surely they are washed before sale…
    Thanks for mentioning them. I am going to need temporary curtains, and I forgot about op shops (as we call them) selling linens.

  42. i would love to have some of those skull sheets!
    you & angela are big time inspirers! {is that a word?}

  43. Nester, let me just say right off: you crack me up, make me LOL, and inspire. So with that said, thanks so much for your awesome blog.

    We recently had our kitchen redone. But hells bells, if I didn’t mess up on the painting. Bottom-line I hate the texture work the painter did in our kitchen and powder room. One window molding is chipping, so I am thinking of calling them back. As our mom’s have always said, doesn’t hurt to ask..

    Anyway back to positive note, think I will head out to Goodwill for a little thriftin… :)

  44. LOVE the crochet on the curtains!!!
    I’ve had a dogearred pic for years wanting to do that in my bathroom. Had it in my head that i’d crochet my own…what was I thinking?! duh!
    I want in on the thrifting day with y’all!!

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