F June 2010 ~ Critique of the Unique

Featured Video

Welcome to Critique of the Unique

We are in the process of updating the format and will be making the big switch to a dot com address soon. Please be patient during our transition!

In the Kitchen with Amelia

Welcome Amelia to the Critique of the Unique! Join Amelia in the kitchen for great down-home cooking ranging from appetizers, to tasty main dishes all the way through to awesomely delicious desserts!!

"Winnie the Pooh" in Theaters this July

Return to the Hundred Acre Wood this July and revisit your old time favorite characters!

This is default featured post 4 title

Go to Blogger edit html and find these sentences.Now replace these sentences with your own descriptions.This theme is Bloggerized by Lasantha Bandara - Premiumbloggertemplates.com.

This is default featured post 5 title

Go to Blogger edit html and find these sentences.Now replace these sentences with your own descriptions.This theme is Bloggerized by Lasantha Bandara - Premiumbloggertemplates.com.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Road Side Mayhem

A few days ago, I convinced my husband to stop at a flea market located on the outskirts of town. I had been there prior, many years ago, and I thought it would be fun to share the oddities this little place has to offer. It could be considered a roadside attraction of sorts as it has been featured in newspapers, locally and afar, and travelers often stop in to gander at all the nostalgia. There is a little bit of everything, but it is a paradise for anyone who collects...well, anything!

The main attraction would have to be all the signs! From road signs to old advertisement signs to common street signs. What you can't see is that behind these buildings, there are piles and piles of these signs and who knows what else!

I am on the hunt for several items...old watering cans, shabby fence post tops and unique frames.  I find none of that here, but do enjoy the look on my husband's face as he takes it all in. There is so much to see that it isn't possible to grasp it all in one visit (well, not unless you can take your sweet time, of which, I cannot do with husband in tow). I mentally check in my head the things I want to return to get "in the future".

Straight away, my husband spies a cement stepping stone that has a Maltese Cross inlay. Since he is a volunteer firefighter, he gives me that look (you know the one--the one that tells you he wants it) and I start a tally in my head of our "purchases".

1 Stepping Stone of the Firefighter Variety = $7.95

We make our way to the entrance and we are greeted by a man sitting behind the counter. It's a hot day and he seems to be appreciative of the air conditioned atmosphere in which he spends most his days. The shop inside is a little crowded, but there is absolutely no wasted space. The shelves are lined from floor to ceiling and several things are even attached to the ceiling!

I go one way, and my husband goes another. Of course, I am admiring the old milk bottles, glassware and kitchenware, and when I finally catch up with him, he is in room with all the tools (sorry guys, I didn't take a picture of all the tools...isn't one wrench the same as any other wrench?)

There is a huge selection of steins, glasses, bottle caps, car emblems, agriculture and early automotive remnants. However, what catches my eye is two iron Mr. Peanut banks. There is a small one and an identical medium size one. I already own a large one and have it displayed as a door stop in my living room and I really really wanted these two as then I would have a small, medium and large Mr. Peanut family!  They aren't that attractive (and definitely not old), but hold sentimental memory for me. I used to live across the street from a grain factory where someone had climbed to the top of the grain factory and painted a huge Mr. Peanut man.  It could be seen from a great distance and I remember following that visual home from school each day! Every time I see a Mr. Peanut man, it reminds me of my roots and I am just sappy like that!

1 large Mr. Peanut bank = $9.95

1 small Mr. Peanut bank = $4.95

There is a room full of collector edition Hot Wheels, Matchbox, Johnny Lightning and other brand collector cars ranging in size, most new in the package. There is also a room for the girls with collector edition Barbies and it is at this point that I am thankful we do not have the children with us!

At this point, I've completely lost the hubby. After venturing through a set of doors that led me out of the main store building and into a stream of oddly connected buildings, I find room after room filled with an assortment of collections. From old oil cans, to farm implements, to old telephones and of course Pez dispensers... and everything in between.

Remember pop (a.k.a soda) in a bottle? My mother had an addiction to Pepsi-Cola in the bottle and I was allowed two a day! They just tasted so much better from a bottle than a can!
 It isn't long before my husband catches up with me and informs me that he has found a firefighter vest that he needs to carry in his vehicle. It is the kind with the reflective tape to keep him all safe while directing traffic in automobile wrecks and is identified on the back as "Fire Dept". I know he needs it and it is new and at a fair price, so....

1 Stepping Stone of the Firefighter Variety = $7.95
1 large Mr. Peanut bank = $9.95

1 small Mr. Peanut bank = $4.95

1 Firefighter Safety Vest = $9.95

We head back to the front building and pay for my husband's great finds (and I am pleased that he found something, as it means he might agree to stop at the next flea market we come across). Back outside, we admire once again:

With everything we looked at, there are a few things that I feel stood out for their unique factor.  The prize for the "MOST UNIQUE" goes to these:

NUMBER ONE: I absolutely love this display with empty bottles on it. I don't think I'd want one in my own yard, but something about it just appeals to me. I can't quite explain why.

NUMBER TWO: I am not even certain what this is, but it looks like something from the Flintstones! It is even decorated with the Bedrock curtains! Very original and I so wanted to be able to take a peek inside, but alas, the fence made it clear that it was "off limits"!

NUMBER THREE: In the same regard as above, I have absolutely no idea what this is supposed to represent, however imagine pulling into your favorite campground with this!

All in all, a worthy stop! Until next time....


Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Link Ups!

Loving the blogging community? Want a way to learn about more awesome bloggers? Then join up for any of the following blog hops! It's a great way to meet new people and show your support to the blogging community!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tuesday Link Up (6/22)

Come join on these blog hops and meet other fantastic bloggers!!! If you are a new follower, please leave a response here and I will follow you back!! Happy Blogging!

Familylicious ReviewsLittleYayasTuesday Tag-Along


Friday, June 18, 2010

Frogs will be Frogs

The swamp, as we have so nicknamed the pond that sits on the far right side of our property line, is void of two residents with the possibility of a steady decline in population. Is it due to the dry weather conditions? Or is it possibly from the two large dogs that think the pond is their personal playground? Has the frog population decreased due to frog poachers? What has caused the frogs to disappear??

Just like George and Weezie Jefferson, they are simply moving on up!! These frogs have gone from pond scum to pool side!  Ever since we set it up, the little fellows have been hiding out beneath the top ring of the pool. Occasionally they can be seen taking a dip in the water and sometimes they serenade us with a song!  But never fear, these little guys are harmless....

 AHEM!! I mean, these little fellows would never purposely attack an innocent bystander. They fear you more than you fear them.  Ignore them and they will go away. They would never hurt a fly.                  

On the other hand, wouldn't a frog be kin to....GODZILLA!!!!

Run...run for your life!!! 

Oh wait....it's all good! Just checking things out from a different view!

Have a safe and Happy Summer....and remember, never leave children unattended with frogs. 

No frogs were harmed in the production of this article.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tatouage Designs.com Review and Giveaway (CLOSED)

A winner has been chosen!!
That winner is.....

***"Crystle H.".....signed up for newsletter***
Congratulations Crystle!

I am sending the email out and she will have 5 business days to respond or a new winner will be chosen!
Thanks to everyone who entered. We had a total of 62 entries...and Crystle's entry #9 was chosen as the winner through Random.org.  Be sure to check out my other great reviews and giveaways posted now or upcoming soon!!

I am a country girl. When I say that, I mean I could live out in the middle of nowhere, away from all the luxuries of supermarkets and dry cleaners (and neighbors) and far from the hustle of everyday life, and be completely happy. The closer I am to nature, the more alive I feel. That is why last October, a prayer was answered. My husband and I were able to purchase our new home on the outskirt of town on five acres. It was a dream come true!! At night, I can sit on the front porch and listen to a chorus of tree frogs and the occasional whippoorwill. It's sweet bliss!

One of the challenges a new house brings is the decorating. I sold all my previous decor items so that I could start afresh and I am slowly finding the pieces I want to match the new decor theme (which in all honestly, is a compilation of all the things I love...trees, butterflies, botanical, and shabby chic all mixed with a taste of Tuscan).

My first big challenge was my daughter's room. It had been previously decorated for a boy, therefore was dressed in a blue paint. Even though my daughter is a tomboy at heart, I wanted her room to be a little bit more girly, so I presented several options to her. I suggested a 70s decor theme, with the lava lamps and the beaded curtains and so forth, which she thought was an okay idea, but I could tell it didn't truly please her taste. We didn't want to have to repaint the walls right away so I tried to think of an idea that would incorporate the blue. She suggested we paint clouds on the wall. I liked that idea but had no clue of how to even go about painting such and I knew that if I messed up, I'd be back to having to repaint the whole room as we had no idea the exact shade of the existing paint. Therefore, I scoured the web attempting to find cloud wallies (wallpaper cutouts that apply with paste)that would be easy to apply. While doing my search I came across a site that offered something similar but a bit more appealing.

The clouds I found were in the form of a dry rub transfer that were inspired from a hand-painted design and required no skill at all to apply. I knew this was my answer. However, a funny thing happened. After I discovered Tatouage Designs, I fell absolutely in love with their willow tree transfer.  As soon as I seen it, I knew I had to have it, and therefore, my daughter's room design began with a large willow tree in one corner of her room (we still have not purchased the clouds, but they will be our next project).

Completed Project
Close up of detail
 Putting the tree up took a few hours, mainly because it is 7.5 feet tall and I was working solo. It comes in several sheets that have to be matched up, yet it is easy to match up because each sheet is marked with registration marks which line up to the next piece.Even when I got a bit off center, it still looked great and my errors blended in.

 We found this hand-painted "fire screen" at a flea market and after I modified it by removing the stand it sat in, it complemented the room quite nicely. It hangs over her bed by the wire hanger I installed on the backside.  When we do finally purchase the clouds, they will go around this picture.

I found this curtain (it came in a set, but I only put up one) at a yard sale for 25 cents. It still had the price tag of $29.99 attached. What a bargain!  We had also purchased a duvet off Ebay.com, but unfortunately, it didn't hold up well to its first washing and so we are on the hunt for another.

Of course, as soon as we finished my daughter's room, my son started complaining that his room didn't have a Tatouage Designs as well, so I had to find something to put in his room.  We opted for the Horse Farm Window as it would go with his Cowboy themed bedroom (of which, we haven't completed as of yet). I ordered it when Tatouage Designs had a special sale, so I saved quite a bit of money (be sure to sign up for their newsletter as they hold sales all the time) and was able to purchase the beautiful Sedona Valley Window transfer as well! It will go in the spare bedroom/computer room/game room once I get that far.

 What to expect: When you place an order for a transfer, it will come prepackaged. With a larger transfer, it will come in several sheets. These sheets are labeled and will alert you to any sections that will need to be cut or separated from the sheet. (This is the Sedona Valley Window)
 Find the place you want to place it on the wall. Remember, this is a rub on transfer, so it is not removable. It will become like a painted on mural and will need to be painted over in order to cover up if you change decor. For this reason, pick the spot you want carefully. Make sure the wall is clean, dry and free of nails.  Position the design where you want it and tape the top to hold it on the wall.  Once you get it where you want it, remove the protective backing (as seen in the picture).  Don't worry, the design will not come off until you use the applicator EXCEPT if you were to accidentally forget to secure your design with tape, in which case, it has the chance of folding over on itself, which will remove the design.  So be certain to secure it before removing the protective backing. 

When it is securely in place, all you have to do is use the applicator tool to rub off the dry transfer.  I found that if you change angles of the applicator stick (it looks just like a large Popsicle stick) it makes it easier to get the rub on to transfer to the wall. You can tell when you have rubbed properly, as the design will lift from the sheet and then you can go on to the next section. You continue this same pattern until all the sheets have been applied.

That's it!!! You're done!! Seems too easy huh? I promise you, it is this easy! One of the best things about this is that it looks like you hired someone to paint it on your wall. I assure you, the compliments will pour in and don't be surprised if your guests get up to touch it and run their hands over it. It's hard to believe that it's not wallpaper!

I chose Tatouage Designs.com as my first review as I truly love the products they offer. They actually offer much more than just dry rub transfer. They just introduced a new line of removable designs that can be positioned and used over and over. This is great if you are indecisive or change decor frequently. It saves from having to repaint.  They have many more products and seem to always be expanding their product line.

WHAT MAKES THEM UNIQUE: Tatouage Designs lets everyone be an interior decorator! Why pay the big bucks for someone to come paint you a mural in your home, whenever you can have the hand-painted design in an easy to apply format that you can do yourself!!

THE GOOD: No messy glues.  No artistic skills required.  Great selection. Multiple product line allows you to customize your own mural. Fast shipping, excellent sales and specials. Great customer service! They even have an opportunity to become your own independent contractor!

THE BAD: The dry rub transfers are permanent until you repaint over them-- which I don't know if that is good or bad as those living in apartment buildings can now personalize their space and simply repaint over when moving out. However, if you change your decor frequently, it might be considered a con. It would be nice if each transfer contained transfer swatches of the main colors on the transfer so that if you mess up a tad, you can simply patch your error with the corresponding color.

HOW CAN I GET MY OWN: You are in luck!! Since I love these products so much, I am going to offer one lucky reader a chance to win a $25.00 gift certificate to Tatouage Designs.com 


***Mandatory Entry***
Visit Tatouage Designs.com and link back to me the one product you love the most!

***Extra Entries***
(one entry for each one)
  1. Follow me on Google Friend Connect 
  2. Subscribe to my Newsletter
  3. Grab my button and link back to where it is located
  4. Follow me on Twitter
  5. Tweet about this giveaway. 
DETAILS:  This giveaway begins June 16, 2010 and ends at midnight (Central time) on July 16, 2010.  For further rules, please visit the Reviews and Giveaways page!

I did not receive any compensation for this review. All products have been purchased by myself, including the giveaway gift certificate and therefore Critique of the Unique is responsible for prize fulfillment.  All opinions expressed herein are my own. Others opinions may differ. I have no affiliation with www.tatouagedesigns.com but did receive written permission to use their logo for the purpose of this review.  

SIGN UPS FOR THIS GIVEAWAY HAVE ENDED. A winner will be chosen shortly and will be contacted via email. The winner will have five business days to reply to email or another winner will be selected. Thanks for all the entries!!


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Winners Circle

We have a WINNER!!

I want to thank everyone for the terrific feedback to the first giveaway hosted on my blog. The "Welcome to my Blog Giveaway" was a huge success, with 184 entries and a vast array of suggestions, comments and critique. From these words I discovered that although the site was easy to navigate, the navigation buttons were too dark, so I have lightened them.  I learned that although I spell words correctly, I sometimes use the wrong variation of the word...so "peaked" has now become "piqued" and many other grammatically incorrect woes have been addressed (although I am uncertain I will ever be able to grasp the concept of one space behind a period instead of the two as taught back in high school typing class. It's now a habit and although I am trying to break it, don't place any bets).

Not everyone was crazy about my blog design, and although I still love that adorable, whimsical bird (for those of you just tuning in, it was the same design as my blog button), I have opted to make the design more personal. The new header is actually inspired from a photograph I took one day while shooting photos of old cars. There's a story behind it and more photos in the collection, but that is another post and not at all about what you came here to find out!  So on with the show, so to speak!

The winner, who has already been notified and responded, was chosen by random.org.  The winning number was 105......FALON!!! Congratulations Falon!

Be certain to check back soon as another giveaway is in the works! I will continue to fine tune things here, so don't be surprised if it's a different view when you visit next.  Be sure to sign up for my newsletter (another great suggestion) so that you are "in-the-know" as to when new content has been posted!!

Thanks again and Happy Blogging!



Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites