Friday, October 22, 2010

Winnings, foldings, and meetings!

WOOHOO!! Now don't get me wrong, I look in the mirror every day and tell myself, "Girl, you're a WINNER!" Somehow it helps me get through the day. But today, I was a winner in another sense: I won part of the fab junk giveaway over at Funky Junk Interiors! I'll soon be receiving a few of these wonderful "picket tops" from the legendary pallet desk! Can't wait to have their chunky, faded, woody goodness in hand so I can figure out something fun to do with them!

In other junky news this week, I recently (finally!) joined the cloth napkin club by winning this delightful auction on Ebay - a set of four lively "Vera" napkins with a wonderful butterfly-and-foliage pattern! They are about 15 inches square - this photo doesn't do justice to the colors, which are bright without being overblown or too neon-ish:

Of course, I opened them up immediately upon receipt and tried out the artichoke napkin fold shown over at Between Naps on the Porch:

Looks lovely, can't wait to set the table with them!

And finally, I wanted to be sure to mention the delightful lunch I had a couple of weeks ago with Beth from Food As Art! In reading her blog I had discovered that Beth and I have several favorite dinnerware patterns in common, and that she lived close by! We got together for lunch and had a great time chatting about her work, my work, her volunteering efforts (on behalf of animal shelters!), gardening, and of course - thrifting! Beth, it was sheer delight to meet you and I hope we can get together again soon!

More soon -

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Vintage graphic magnets

Just a quickie little project totally stolen from inspired by the skeleton version tutorial over at Sew Woodsy. Used some 1-1/2 inch glass beads and graphics courtesy of The Graphics Fairy, and of course Mod Podge. I love the way the glass distorts the image, kind of like a monacle:

More soon!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mail call

I’ve been on the lookout for a tin wall pocket to use as an outgoing mail caddy in my home office (because I really AM trying to write more letters!), and finally found something this week at Goodwill that would work (99 cents - hooray!):

Not a bad little piece (though it must have been “crooked day” at the tin-folding factory!), and even the finish had some depth to it. But, of course that dark blueish green had nothing to do with where I was headed.

I gathered some home-made paper elements (using graphics from The Graphics Fairy)...

…and some romantic adornments…

…and set about figuring out how everything should be used. I knew I wanted a label on the front, and also had the idea of incorporating some vintage postcards. (My “postcards” are only partials because I was having trouble with printer settings. I decided I could still get the look I wanted of having them tucked inside the pocket even if they weren’t full-size.) I first glued them together at a jaunty, “just tossed in” angle…

… then glued them into the inside back of the pocket.

I layered my pink ribbon and ivory rose by wiring them together, and further layered by tucking in the hanky as a backdrop for the ribbons.

Here’s a peek at the "Mail" label:

I actually tried several different arrangements of all these elements, and this was my favorite. So, here's the finished piece, ready to hold my letters (or, more likely, bills)!

More soon!

Update March 2013 - Just popping back in on this post to link it to a lovely blog linky party called "An Oldie But a Goodie" where you can see fabulous past projects! The party is co-hosted by Nancy at Do Small Things with Love and Jessica at Cutesy Crafts. Thanks to both of these wonderful gals for the opportunity to showcase an older project! 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Use what you have: The charming farm

At the end of yesterday's post I started to think about what little vignette I could create using my new pink lazy Susan and shabby off-white tray. I discovered that the glass top from a cheese dome I'd nabbed recently fit perfectly in the well of the tray.
Our dining room table doesn't lend itself well to centerpieces - we do eat meals at home, but the table has to be cleared every evening to make room for the table setting because it's loaded up with two laptops, papers, homework, etc. So rather than make a centerpiece, I decided to just create a little scene under glass for the kitchen table - which is used as an island. (Confession: I've been trying to think of a way to sneak some "vintage" into the kitchen as well. My hubby really likes the woodsy 70's thing we've got going in there.)

So - first, here's the table as it was when I started, including my furry assistant Tiger:

I really love that table - it was a gift from my neighbor over at our old house and was made by her grandfather. To this day I don't know why she didn't want it, but I welcomed its well-crafted goodness. It's one of three pieces of wood furniture that survived the flood, and that's because it's so well-made. (It has an empty spot on the other side where the drawer used to be, but that part did not survive the flood. So I turned that side to the wall and installed a towel bar for front-facing detail and utility.)

I started by putting down one of those pretty, colorful vintage tablecloths which is more of the era I want the kitchen to reflect, eventually, after I work on hubby a bit. :) I added the pink lazy Susan and white metal tray, and decided to do a farm theme for the cloche. Here is what I came up with:

What I love about this is that because it's on the spinning base, you can rotate it easily to see all the treasures inside! The picture below shows my mother-in-law's rose lapel pin, the floral hanky used as a base, and a bit of the pretty label which proclaims "charming farm."

Here are a couple more close-up views, showing off the happy hen (rooster? can you tell I'm not a native farm girl?? LOL), pattern glass toothpick holder (not farm related but it adds sparkle and height, and goes nicely with the hanky), tiny porcelain kittens, and romantic butterfly brooch.

I think the little hand-painted farm scene, found while thrifting many years ago, gives it just the right backdrop.

It needed a third element, so I used a pattern glass spooner and added our most casual flatware for easy grabbing. I think it all looks rather sweet - now I just need a way to hide that unused switchplate on the wall!

More soon!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Spray paint before-and-afters

I've been playing with paint this week and while I seem to be getting pretty good at keeping the drips to a minimum, I'm kind of at a loss as to what to do with some of my newly-painted treasures. Still, thought it would be fun to show you some before-and-afters.

First up, I nabbed this at the Goodwill this week for $2 - tested it in the store to see if it was a lazy Susan, and it wasn't. It was a pedestal, so I thought I might eventually find a stray glass top to make a nice large cloche.

Got this baby home and - oops! Turns out it IS a lazy Susan, the ball-bearings just needed a little breathing room! Gave the mechanism a little WD-40 and loosened the bolt from the bottom, and voila - spins like crazy! I painted this one a soft pink:

Contestant Number Two is this nifty metal serving tray - quite a few scratches, but thought I would paint it shabby off-white, maybe paint some flowers on it, and make a magnet board from it:

Got it home and - oops! Turns out it doesn't hold magnets! So for now it's just shabby off-white:

Contestant Number Three is this white plastic two-some - a throw-away vase from my mother-in-law's recent funeral, and a Dollar Tree plate:

I used a can of "hammered" texture bronze paint for both of these:

Originally, before I dug the vase out of the cupboard, I bought the plate because I had the idea of making a hammered bronze-looking "treat tray" or cake stand out of the two pieces together. Alas, when I got the vase out - oops! It was really the wrong scale (or shape, or something) and didn't look natural with the plate on top:

Now, with all these "goofs," I did happen upon one possibility: I paired the white metal plate with the pink lazy Susan, added a small glass top, and just *might* be able to come up with a centerpiece that can be rotated to show itself off to everyone at the table:

We shall see... for now, back to the painting station!

More soon,

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Shopping notes

I spent some time at our area's largest craft show this weekend; I hadn't attended for a few years and it's nice to know folks are still going strong with their crafting. It was interesting to me that I saw a lot of the "primitive" style of decorative painting, but absolutely nothing that I would put into the romantic/shabby style. I don't know if that means there's room at the show for this type of stuff, or if it's a case of "been there, crafted that, didn't make any money from it."

What eventually caught my eye, though, were the items made by a lady from Bayard, Iowa who repurposes stray pieces of silver flatware. I purchased a dinner knife in the Queen Bess pattern that had been honed down to become a letter opener, but she also had used the decorative ends of some pieces to make key fobs, rings and other small treasures. ("Spoon rings," of course, have been around for decades - but, I'd never seen these other ideas before.) I couldn't get a very good picture, but here's a bad picture of a really pretty letter opener:

On another note, I'm curious if anyone besides me buys garments at the thrift store just because they like the fabric and intend to use it in a craft project?

I recently bought a sweet little lavender skirt with a violet pattern...

and then this week purchased a blouse that's way too small for me because of the red toile pattern of the fabric.

And, although it's not a garment, I also bought a single curtain panel because of the soft, buttery yellow corduroy it was made of.

For some reason I'm envisioning pillows from each of these - it will be a matter of putting them each with the right coordinating fabric.

More soon!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fab thrifty vintage clock

I'm probably over-reacting just a tad, but I was practically beside myself to find this nifty vintage electric clock at one of my favorite (super-cheap) thrift stores. It is almost all plastic, and I'm thinking it is probably from the late 60's or early 70's because it resembles some of the stuff we had in our home when I was growing up during that period. I am thrilled to report that I paid all of 49 cents for it - and that it works!

I love the scrolly detail of the frame...

I especially love the fancy numerals and hands. Even the sweep-second had has a sweet little finial on the tip.

Besides a quick color change to shabby off-white, I also added my own embellishments: a simple bow made of filmy green wired ribbon, and a little rhinestone brooch from Grandma Verdie's costume jewelry collection.

More soon!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Vintage christening dresses

As a follow-up to Sunday evening's post about the wall-hook rack that I painted, I thought I would just share a few pictures of the sweet little christening dresses that now hang from the hooks.

I will need to look for some photographic evidence to confirm, but I believe that this would have been my own christening gown. (My older sister was born premature and it would have been way too big for her.) I think that the little piece on the right may actually be a slip, worn under the piece on the left, because it is sleeveless.

A few photos showing some of the details...

I purchased these darling little hangers just for these dresses - hand-made embellishments on baby-sized plastic hangers. Very sweet!

More soon!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bits and pieces

It's been an interesting week so far, and it's only Wednesday! LOL For starters, a stressful situation that's been dogging me for awhile was finally resolved in my favor, and I truly feel like a bit of a weight has been lifted.

Then, I attended a college-prep planning session Tuesday night with my daughter, who is a high school junior. Her school has a really good program that will walk her through every step of the process, from selecting schools to filling out financial aid forms. It is going to be an invaluable process, but it left me a bit weepy, thinking about how quickly the next two years are going to pass by.

And finally, it took me two years and three months but I finally got the last of the items removed from our rented storage unit. These included two antique cabinets with marble tops that were refinished by my grandfather, two rocking chairs that he also refinished (and for which his wife, my Grandma Verdie, re-crafted the caned seats), and a bit of memorabilia from the 1979 Des Moines visit of Pope John Paul II. It's a relief to finally have everything out of there, and it will save us almost $100 a month! I should have done it long ago, but - well, you can imagine how time gets away from us!

Hope you are having a lovely week!

More soon,
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