I Like your Shirt. I’ll Give You 20 Bucks for It!

Today Blackbird has asked to see some decorations. Here it is:

snow globe mania

Just kidding! That still cracks me up until I cry…in a good way.

My favorite kind of decorating involves taking ordinary items and making them look festive. For example, our ever famous train picture. I seem to post it all the time, not because I love it (although I do), but because it hangs over the fireplace in the main living area of our house and it’s just always there in the background….. watching us. Come to think of it, that kind of freaks me out.

train pictureAnyway, here’s what we did to make it Christmassy.

rain paintingNotice the small red flower in the smokestack. I was not always so subtle in my Christmas decorating. In college, I would just make little Santa hats and put them on all the people in the photos in my apartment, The Lady of Shallot, my grandma, the dancing in the rain rich people who don’t give a hoot that their poor servants are freezing in the cold (I still love that picture).

I think it is time to share how I got the train picture. It is a super-cool street vendor creation using ordinary household/garagehold items to create a train. If you look closely, you’ll see the spark plugs, flashlights, keys, washers, hinges, etc.

Dan fell in love with this when he saw it hanging on the wall of my college roommate’s sweet parents’ home in Seattle shortly after we moved up here. I fell in love with it because he liked it so much and never expresses an interest in home décor.

Several months later, the couple was moving to a much smaller home on their way to retirement and wanted to get rid of a bunch of stuff. They told us to come by their garage sale and start thinking of stuff we wanted because it would probably be out there for sale.

I took this literally. So a few weeks later we were over for dinner, they were talking about the garage sale and I said, “If you sell that train picture at the garage sale, I’m calling dibs on it.”

They sort of looked at each other and said, “We….weren’t planning on selling it….”

Awkward silence.

Me: Oh, that’s cool. I was just kidding. We just really like it.

Nice Lady: I guess we could sell it to you if you really want it. Right, hubby? We don’t need that picture anymore. We’ve had it forever.

Me: (oh my word! It’s a freaking family treasure) No seriously, it’s okay.

Nice Lady: I’ll sell it to you for $20.

Me: (writing a check) If you’re sure…….

We left our free dinner that night with a $20 painting and a huge blank spot on the host’s wall. Have you ever gone into someone’s home, seen a wall-hanging or piece of furniture you like, pointed to it and said, “I like that! How much do you want for it?” Well I have. You should try it sometime. Then every time someone compliments you on the item once it’s in your home, you can tell them the story of how you got it……or I guess you could ask them to make an offer…..

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17 Responses to I Like your Shirt. I’ll Give You 20 Bucks for It!

  1. blackbird says:


    you really scared me with that inflatable…there are two of them on my block!

    very subtle you are…with the decorations – apparently not with the purchasing of artwork.

  2. MommyMaki says:

    That is VERY funny. LOL.

  3. Sarah Louise says:

    what a great story!! in some cultures if you say you like something, people are obligated to give it to you…this is a different approach. Anyways, Merry Christmas!!

  4. Karli says:

    I have that dancing in the rain painting. I think it is very romantic.

  5. Cee says:

    I love the train photo, the bow is very subtle. Great story too.

    My dh has a train carved out of a railroad spike, I keep it under my pillow for a weapon. Actually, it is very clever.

  6. Very funny story!

    I like how you make your regular pictures look festive!

  7. Mylamos says:

    I love the fact that I know who you’re talking about, and I love even more that my mom has done that! She gave me a ballet slipper poster thing that used to be some other girl’s poster. She told them she liked it, asked where they got it because she’d love to get one for me, and they took it off the wall and gave it to her. It still has the little holes in the corners from the pushpins.

  8. Catez says:

    I fell in love with it because he liked it so much and never expresses an interest in home décor.

    Lol. I’d invite you guys over for dinner but who knows what I’d end up selling?

  9. Brooke says:

    Please come to my house for dinner–I have a really ugly sofa I would be GLAD to sell you.

  10. The train made out of bits and parts reminds me of a little wall ornament at my grandparents’ house. It’s a fisherman made out of watch parts and is a perfect represenation of both of them – my grandfather is an avid fisherman, my grandmother fixed watches.

    I know I want that when they pass away, but I haven’t hinted that strongly about it. Maybe I should bring some cash next time and give it a try? 😉

  11. RGLHM says:

    Love the part about people buying it back from you! SO great! Reminds me of the E-Bay commercial where the wife sells her ugly lamp and the buyer is her husband who thinks he is a hero for finding the matching lamp for his wife.

  12. jak says:

    I love your decorating style and I really love your “shopping style”-that story is Funny!

    I love the the train picture comes with such a great story-all nice art needs a good story behind it.

    Have a nice weekend

  13. I’ve bookmarked your blog and will be visiting often. Love your humor. 🙂

  14. Heather says:

    This post has me snorting with glee. (Don’t imagine that. It’s not pretty.) I can just picture it now. Hi, Cute wall-hanging. Do you take Visa?

  15. elliespen says:

    Just wanted to let you know that I really enjoy your blog. It always gives me a good laugh.

    My college roommate, J, had a brother on a mission in Samoa, where if someone admires one of your possessions, it is customary to offer it to him. Every now and then she’d come into the room and say, “Let’s play Samoans. Hey Red, I really like your computer…” Red was not as culturally open as J was, though, so J never got the computer…

  16. Pam says:

    I love you, DYM. You ARE the best! I am so proud of you.

  17. I love it when the comments are funnier than the post itself. Hee Hee Hee.

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