Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Second Hand Treats

I think something is wrong with me. I like thrift stores better than the mall, and almost as much as a I like Target. Almost. Here are a few of my recent finds.
This mirror was a big ticket item: $1.00. I didn't even blink twice before it was in the cart. There was a lady on the same aisle who gave me a weird look when I did so. A why on earth would you buy a gaudy pink mirror like that, look. I love it when the other people shopping at the thrift store look at me like I'm the crazy one. Entertainment + bargains galore all at once = good times. I'm sure once I get at this with a can of spray paint (NOT pink) it will look AWESOME!

Also found a couple of beautiful vintage sheets ($2-3.00 each). The linen section is always the first place I look. So many possibilities . . . but I am thinking sundresses for a couple of wee little ladies I know. Maybe a quilt like this one.

Also picked up this sheet, although this one isn't vintage. It's an almost new, queen sized Waverly ($3.00). I am thinking of making slipcovers for the toss pillows that came with our red sofa's, just to mix things up a bit. If not, perhaps the backing of a future quilt.

This little green urn was $1.oo. I want to make a pin cushion to go inside. How cute will that be?!

And lastly some vintage Pyrex. I am pretty sure my grandma had these. As soon as I saw them I thought of her, and thinking of her makes me happy. Just look at those cute little roosters, in my favorite color to boot. I paid $1.50 for both. I think for everything it was no more than $12.00. To quote my 3 year old, "That's what I'm talkin bout!" Can't wait for garage sale weather!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Makeover Madness

I like myself a good furniture makeover. Actually that is understating things a bit. I LOVE it! I love the whole transformation process. Jen, over at Sanctuary Arts at Home is the queen of furniture makeovers. She’s having a little show & tell. Since the subject is one of my favorite things, I just couldn't resist. For those of you who have been to my blog before, you’ll probably just want to skip this post, otherwise you might feel like you are having an obnoxious déjà vu experience. I have linked to the original posts where possible.

These makeovers were for one particular room: The Craft/Sewing room. They're a little colorful, but that's how I wanted this space to be.

This table was a hand-me-down from my in-laws. We tried selling it in the classifieds, but there were no takers (wonder why). I am so glad, because it is now my wonderful sewing table - a space I use ALL the time.

A little paint and a skirt was all it took to turn this into a piece I love.

This dresser is my FAVORITE transformation yet. It's the same one you see in my header, and is where I store much of my fabric stash.

A couple of freebie chairs. I didn't even paint these, I just did a quick reupholstering job.

This is what I am working on now - hopefully it will be done soon:

I also have an antique writing desk waiting patiently in the makeover queue, as well as a trio of mirror projects, and a coffee table. I just wish there were more hours in the day.
I am excited to see all the other makeovers!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I dream in Color

I dream in wildflower color...

Domesticated flower color...
And, I dream of the days when our flower beds looked like this, and the above flowers were in bloom...This bout of daydreaming has been brought on by the abundance of colorful seed catalogs in the mailbox of late.
My favorite is Wildseed Farms, where you can buy seeds by the beefy ounce (& even pound), not the usual flimsy envelope...

After gazing at all of this floral eye candy, I felt prompted to take a little walk around our own dreary yard. This is what I found. Hold on.... Do you see it?

A miniscule splash of breathtakingly, fresh COLOR, and this time I’m not dreaming.
***Beautiful photo at the top of this post found here***

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Little "Loo" Re-do

Not much going on in my neck of the woods, so on a whim, I decided to link up to the Nester's "10 Minutes to a Room you Love" Linky Party.

Our kid's bathroom is growing up. It went from fishy . . .

To beach house chic . . .

Amazing how much it improved just by changing the shower curtain. The new colors are some of my current favorites: soft aqua's and coral pinks (bet you never would have guessed). I LOVE this fabric!

I threw into the mix some photos of my favorite little beach bums (there were fish pictures in these frames) . . .

Spruced up some beachy knick-knacks . . .

Found a friend (she was in the bedroom) . . .

Added some cottonball storage (I found this one at the thrift store for $1.50 - matches perfectly!) . . .

Pilfered an iron basket from the kitchen to house a few rolled up towels (just trying to spa it up a bit) . . .

And Wa-La . . . a whole new look! Wonder how long it will last. Now I need to quit playing around and go fold some laundry. To see more 10 minute makeovers check out the Nesting Place. I am sure that is what I will really be doing.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It’s a woman’s prerogative…

To change her mind. I wish I could say I was done with this project, but my kids are off track from school and with the four of them running around, I’m not about to get the paint out – at least not without reinforcements. Right now it’s only wearing a couple coats of primer, yet I am completely smitten. I’m afraid the lovely antique-ish looking blue paint I bought will have to grace another item - this piece was destined to be white.

And after running into a few other shabby beauties online (the photos are links), I'm convinced . . . I think.

Etsy: $395.00
Shabby Chic by Rachel Ashwell: $925.00

After seeing how much these are going for, I am realizing just how much money I am saving by doing the work myself. Bargains make me happy - the painting mess, not so much.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Garden Party Carrying Case

Sometimes the similarities between my life and famous (best selling in fact) literature are simply uncanny. My six year old daughter LOVES the pink Nintendo DS she was given for Christmas, she just isn’t the best at keeping track of it. A few weeks ago it completely disappeared. We couldn't find it anywhere, so of course major drama ensued. As we were searching high & low, I came upon this literary masterpiece:

Like any good read, I was immediately drawn in by the title and the picture on the front cover. The similarities between the main character and someone in my own life were amazing.

I devoured the entire book in one setting. I also managed to solve the mystery a few minutes later. Although I enjoyed my little reading break, I did NOT enjoy hunting down the missing (& expensive!) DS. I decided it was time to make a carrying case. It turned out so well I also made one for my son, and for my friend Mindy (yes the same one who talked me into singing Eye of the Tiger), who evidently shares many of the same interests as my 6 & 9 year old kiddos. Time to set up that playdate.

This is the one I made for my friend, & my personal favorite - probably because I LOVE the Garden Party fabric line (the 2 floral prints) by Anna Maria Horner.

When you unfold the case, there is a large pocket for the DS on one side, and three rows of pockets for storing games on the other side. Kind of makes me wish I had a DS of my own.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I'm a Quilting Machine!

Or rather, I am a machine quilter! The quilt I first started, ohhh about 4 months ago, is now finished. It was the first time I tried free motion quilting and I am so HAPPY (giddy in fact) with the results! Happy enough to make a wacky motivational playlist just to celebrate. Gotta love Eye of the Tiger. I actually sang this song in the 4th grade talent show. . . waaay back in the day. My groovy friend Mindy was the pianist who coerced me into doing so. We were so cool. And, dancing around in the kitchen with your kids while funky music is blasting from your computer speakers makes for a pretty good workout.

The fabric is Peace on Earth, by Three Sisters for Moda. Unfortunately it has become pretty hard to find in quilt stores, but you can still find it on eBay. Before getting started, I read/watched some great online tutorials by Camille, Sarah & Amandajean. If you are thinking about trying this, check them out - SO helpful! I also checked out a machine quilting book at the library so I would have a good visual of what I was trying to do. . .

The stippling itself came pretty easy for me, but I had some frustrating technical difficulties with thread breakage. Fortunately, Des came to the rescue with some helpful advice. I changed everything from needle, to bobbin & thread and things improved. I was using my mother-in-law's sewing machine because it had some of the necessary features, such as drop down feed dogs & a darning foot. I've decided that her machine is a little fussy, and a little bit of a thread snob - only likes the pricier kind, BUT it worked!!!

Here's a little peek at the back. I found a sheet (still looked new) at the thrift store for $2. Can't beat that! The little black fur ball is Jasper - he kind of likes it too. I think when his face disappears altogether it's time for a grooming.

This fabric compliments the family room so well, which is kind of a good thing, because I still have this left over . . .
And now that I CAN do this, I'm gonna use it!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

In The Works

I have finally figured out how to do something I have been wanting to try for a VERY long time...
Machine quilting - stippling to be exact. So exciting! But my hubby said I should probably finish the other BIG project I am working on before I finish this quilt. Last week I found a real treasure in the online classifieds...

Here's a little sneak peak. It's on a drop cloth and half way primed as I type this up. Can you guess what color I am thinking?
BTW, if anyone reading has done free motion quilting before, my thread keeps on breaking and I am stumped (& frustrated). Sure could use some advice.