Tag Archives: inspiration

Misfit Chairs

mismatched chairs1

I have eight mismatched chairs around my dining room table.

Don’t get me wrong, this is exactly what I wanted, but they all look like this and BORING!

So I think it’s time to mix it up, a good project during Holiday break,

but I can’t decide which way to go { all one color or different }??

Here’s some inspiration for my misfit chairs:

yellow chairs 2

{ p/c A Beautiful Mess }

red chairs

{ p/c Dreams & Happy Things }

turquoise chairs

{ p/c Better Homes & Gardens }

mismatched chairs

{ p/c Never Without }

What do you think??

If this has inspired you to get yourself a series of super cool misfit chairs,

we { Stuff Etchave OPTIONS!

Check it out:

chair Collage

This is a tiny sampling of what I found in our Coralville location, and the other four have a whole lot more.

Even misfit chairs need a home for the holidays. 🙂

Happy Monday!


Is Your Weekend Costume Ready?

costumes simpsons

It’s the Friday before Halloween and there’s a whole lot o’ stuff  happening from this day forward and I don’t know about you, but I have yet to have my costume(s) ready!!!

{ scary }  

I have two of the six kids confirmed and (mostly) outfitted, but the others we are piecing together and pulling it out of our arse.   Heck, we have a collection of costume wear, bits and bobs that date back 15 years … surely we can frankenstein something!

If you are still looking for ideas, here’s a few cool ones (and far less lame than my leftovers) I spotted on I Spy DIY:

costume pop star

costume katniss

costume honey boo boo

costume katy perry

costume fab 5

And let’s not forget another movie that gives us plenty of costume inspiration …

costume magic mike

{ get more movie costume ideas via Screen Crush }

And it you’re still not sure, visit this post for other Halloween costume winners  {hint: anything Zombie is a definite bullseye}.


If you find yourself less fortunate than my lucky children to have their mother’s box of costume glory circa 1989, then head over to any of our Stuff stores and pick up what you need – all Halloween is 50% off!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN from all of us to all of you!

Stay safe and have a blast!


p.s.  I’d L.O.V.E. to hear/see what your costumes are!

Weekend Wardrobe Challenge


I think we’ve had this conversation before, so please forgive me if we have, but this time …  I.  Am.  Serious!

I lost count after six, but I’m pretty sure I changed my clothes at least 10 times this morning before settling on something not so desirable before heading to work this morning.

* sigh *

This does NOT make for a good start to the day people.

I know I cannot be alone in this.

For some time now, I’ve been toying with the notion of settling on a two-color palette for my closet.  Mainly in effort of helping me decide which pieces to eliminate in order to down-size my desperately over-crowded closet.

But I have yet to make myself go there.

However, after this morning’s escapades, I don’t think I can muster enough strength, or time for that matter, to do it again.  And I think I have finally found my inspiration.

Somewhere along my social media stumblings in and around my day, I came across this “10 Piece Wardrobe Challenge” over on Polyvore.

Now THIS is a challenge I can accept!

{ maybe not the red pants for this curvy girl, but something similar? }

What’s even stranger AND sweeter is that these 10 pieces alone can create a minimum of 20 different outfits together! Throw in a few accessories and you easily have a full months worth of combinations!

I know!  RIGHT?!

Sorry.  In case you are unable to sense my excitement, I am elated at this possibility! Do you have any idea what this could mean for my daily dressing routine?!  Not to mention my psyche? Seriously. I am so in love with this idea.

Ok.  Enough gushing.  I’m sure you get it by now.

Check out these other 10 piece possibilities:

I’m pretty sure I already have one or two of these items in my closet.  Those will dictate my direction .. { as long as they fit well …  and fit well today.  Not 10 lbs lighter …  today }.

First thing on my list, is a really nice fitting, tailored, black blazer.  This can be somewhat of a challenge for a girl who was blessed in the upper torso region { if you catch my drift } but the blazer is a necessary and very versatile piece.  And I look forward to spending hard-earned cash on this.

The rest of it I will piece together this weekend as I make the rounds to our five Stuff Etc stores.   THIS is going to happen friends.

And I look forward to the day that I can { enthusiastically } empty my closet of all the other unnecessaries.  You can take that to the bank!  Actually, I will … after I cash the check I get for selling all of my no-longer-in-my-wardrobe-wheelhouse stuff at Stuff.

Happy Happy Weekend!


Clashing is Cool

Who knew?

Once upon a time in a land far far away two completely opposite prints fell in love, got married and lived a crazy cool life together! And there you have it….a love story to last …. through 2012 at least.

Mixing and matching prints is all the craze for this season. And believe it or not, there is a right way to pull it off.

1. The easiest way to incorporate different prints into a particular outfit is to focus on a main piece and match a different printed item that is within the same color family. The combination could be as simple as combining a black and white abstract-printed skirt with a black and white striped sailor top.

2. A more advanced example would be pairing items that are complementary in color: blue and orange, yellow and violet and red and green. Choosing to mix patterns and prints that are complementary in color will make each item appear brighter when worn together.

3. There are also some prints and patterns that look effortlessly chic when styled together. Pairing stripes and florals is one of the easiest ways to pull-off the mixed print look. A bold striped blazer would look impeccable over a flirty floral dress, but if you’re too  timid to make such a statement, opt for a pairing of a floral scarf with a sailor-striped tank.

4. Another easy pairing is to combine artsy polka dots with stripes, something as simple as wearing a polka dot top with a striped sweater, but remember to vary the scale of the print to add more visual interest.

5. And DON’T FORGET TO ACCESSORIZE!  Anything goes these days and the more you layer the better and whatever you do …. don’t match!

Need more inspiration?  Go HERE to see how others are mixing prints off the runway. And how about these lovely combinations:

Now go …

and be fruitful in your mixing print endeavors.

We’d LOVE to see what you come up with … hope this helps!


It’s the Simple Things

OMG!  I am sooooo doing this:

and when I followed the links for the “how to”, I found this:

and if you go here you will find even MORE do-it-yourself ladder inspiration…

which I couldn’t WAIT to tell you about … this girl is so excited!

Like I said …

it’s the simple things!

How Does Your Garden Grow?

I love the idea of using recycled items as planters.

It’s green. It’s creative. and I think it looks cool.

{ p/c via apartment therapy }

Sometimes it takes a little thinking outside the box like these awesome ideas…

{ p/c via curbly }

I found these items in our stores that I think will be PERFECT!

That little chef hat dude …

YEP! He’s going home with me .. I envision some rad hair growing outta that hat!

Here are some other ideas I really like:

The following upcycle ideas aren’t really MY style, but i guess you gotta give ’em some credit for creativity:

What are your garden plans this year?

Hope you found a little inspiration!

Obsessed With Doilies

WHAT the?

When do you ever hear “obsessed” and “doilies” in the same sentence?

I know!  Right?!

But check out these ways others have recycled doilies:

{ above / below }

( unconventional but gorgeous, i think )

below  I’ve shared this one before, but it’s too awesome not share twice }

{ stunning!  above / below  someone’s dedicated doily pins }

Are you feeling the obsession yet?

Ok … maybe not obsession, but how about inspiration?

Doilies NEVER looked so good!

And we can help you get your doily on at all of our Stuff Etc locations!

We get them often and they turn over quickly so check back regularly.

{ p.s.  I’d LOVE to see your recycled doily creations }

Ugly Sweater Christmas Party

Maybe you haven’t heard of it yet … the Midwest is generally slower to catch up with the latest trends … but the latest, greatest, hottest type of Holiday party is the Ugly Sweater Christmas Party.

HOT!  Right?  I think HYSTERICAL is the best word for it.

Last year, our Iowa City store had an ugly sweater Christmas party at the bowling alley … talk about a motley crew! But it was a BLAST!

All of our Stuff Etc stores are loading up on all the best and “ugliest” holiday sweaters for everyone to sport this year, the majority priced at $3.99.  That’s cheap enough for your entire family to throw one on and a get a priceless snapshot for your 2011 Christmas card!

Thinking of hosting your own sweater party?  Make the attire mandatory and give out prizes for the “ugliest”, “most embellishments” and the best “head to toe ensemble”.  Set up a holiday scene perfect for a party photo op.   Have some snacks and beverages on hand and let the hoot of the sweaters take over!

I hope I have provided enough inspiration to get you excited about this hot new trend.  I know that I am!

(I’ve already sent out my invitations!)


Gotta Get Me Some Plaid!

I don’t know if it’s my Scottish roots coming out,

but I can’t wait to get my hands on a few of these pieces….

(that I find at Stuff – these prices are insane – but great inspiration)

Check our stores for displays of all the hot plaids we have collected!

AND watch for our posts of plaid pics on FACEBOOK

Inspired by Allie…Everyone Needs a Little White House

When I was a little girl, I had this little white playhouse. It was a replica of the actual house we lived in at the time, just a much smaller version. My absolute favorite thing to do in there was to take my dolls and play “house.” Some of my favorite memories were through that white door where my imagination went wild. My dolls and I would “fly” in our cars to Subway (seriously, that was my favorite place to eat as a kid), paint our nails and have tea parties with cookies. My little house was so many things to me: but mostly it was a place where I felt safe and I could really be myself. I was in a totally different world when I was in there. I didn’t care what people thought of me and I told Peach, my doll, all about my life.

But, like they all say, I grew up in the blink of an eye and I could no longer fit inside my little white house… so we had to get rid of it.

This past year I wanted to try to create a “little white house” for big kids. I thought of a few ideas – forts, tents, tree houses, etc., and finally decided to make a cozy hideout deep in the woods.

As I started to dig out a nice patch to put a bench, that imagination I had as a little girl jumped out my back pocket. I added seat cushions, a table, lanterns, a burn pit, a rug, curtains and some frames… and all of it I found at the Coralville Stuff Etc.  It was such a fun process too. Each day I added something new. Nothing matches in my hideout either – I picked out totally random items. The rug, seat cushions and curtains were a grand total of $4.46.

Even though I’m a “big girl” now, I can have a quiet little place, tucked deep in the woods where I can be “me.”  Usually, I grab my coffee and a good book and take a seat. Other times I strike up a conversation with myself with the light from the lanterns in the trees above me.  So thank you Stuff Etc, for helping me build my new “little white house”.  It’s allowed me to regain my childhood imagination, enable me to dream big and accomplish much. It may not be small, or white, or even have a roof, but it does the same thing for me as my little white house did…. help me paint a big, beautiful picture of my life.