Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Never fear, I got plenty of other good stuff and a potential "kitchenette."
Prior to seeing this ad, I had planned on sitting out this week's Trash to Treasure share at Reinvented. However, when good junk calls I am there!
This Christmas card wreath was among the free stuff.
I removed the ribbon and put that in with my gift wrap supplies. Then I bent the angel over. This created a pocket of sorts that perfectly held the little flag pole. Some red ribbon and an homemade flash card and I was done. Patriotic trash to treasure in the nick of time!
The chalkboard was a garage sale find from my parents back in '76. It's very old and has seen a lot of play. I am so glad that as a kid I never scraped that label off!
Speaking of chalkboards...have you entered the Living Rooms Direct chalkboard giveaway? The drawing will be Friday! Now, off to Reinvented for more Trash to Treasure!
Monday, June 29, 2009
Most of the time when I go to thrift stores I don't buy things I really need. Usually I buy decor items. While I get them at a fabulous price, I am not actually saving money because I never would have bought the item at full price. At $28 originally, I would have lived without an Anthropology dog dinner sign.
One area I have truly saved a ton of money is with greeting cards. I used to love shopping for greeting cards and really enjoy finding the right card for each occasion, but I found that it really added up quickly. I think inflation has hit the greeting card industry the hardest.
Several times since I have started thrifting in the past two years, I have found bags of greeting cards for a dollar or two. This weekend I was busy with a retirement party, but I managed to sneak into my favorite thrift store for a quick run through. I found a bag of greeting cards for $1.29. I could only see the top card through the bag, but I liked it well enough. At the current price of greeting cards, just using one card would still be a good deal. Turns out there were about 30 cards in the bag and most of them were keepers. I feel like I actually made money!
What practical items do you regularly find at thrift stores?
Did you enter the Chalkboard Giveaway? Living Rooms Direct has offered a sweet chalkboard prize! I will be drawing a winner on Friday.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Here is my chalkboard fridge!
1. We love it! Both Cliff and I are so glad that the wallpaper is gone and love the dark color. Since our kitchen is open to our living room it is important to us that it look nice.
2. Suddenly, that hunk 'o junk refrigerator we hated is making the rest of the room look really dated. Unfortunately, as renters, there is only so much we can do about the '80's cabinetry.
3. The refrigerator has a "leather" type texture and even with 3 coats of primer and 3 coats of chalk board paint, it still has that texture. So, there is some dust involved in writing. I don't imagine using it as a chalkboard daily. I think I will update it monthly.
4. There is a bit of upkeep. Already we can see how fingerprints and grease spatters show up really well. You can not just chalk over the grease, but it did come right off with a Mr. Clean Sponge. Extra erasing eliminates finger prints. I use a micro fiber towel from the automotive section as an eraser. It works really well.
5. **On a side note, I washed a Mr. Clean Sponge by accident and it came out of the dryer like brand new!! That was such a happy accident! I don't think I will try to wash it twice for fear of disintegration, but I sure was pleased to recycle it once!
6. I only painted the two sides that show. It took all day because I needed to let it dry between coats of paint, however each coat only took minutes to apply with a foam roller. I used low VOC paint and the chalkboard paint was pretty low VOC as well. I have almost a full can left over for other projects, but I can foresee wanting to freshen up the paint once a year.
OK, how about a fun chalkboard give away!
Living rooms direct sells all kinds of beautiful living room furniture and accessories. (I was especially impressed because they have a whole apartment living section!) I have selected three potential prizes. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling me which prize you would like and I will select one winner next Friday.
First up, Apertif & Boissons 9.5" porcelain chalkboard. This would pretty up any kitchen counter.
Next, this is the Wall Candy Arts RoCoco Chalkboard Removable Wall Decal. I can think of so many fun applications for this. I would put it in a guest room with a welcome note to the guest on it.
Finally, I like the clean lines of this modern notNeutral Light Blue (comes in green and orange too) Chalk board panel. This is fresh and sleek.
Thanks Suzanne for offering such fun prizes!
Now, I am off to The Shabby Chic Cottage to get more ideas for my leftover paint!
And, for more fun, check out Hooked on Houses for some Friday fun and another giveaway!
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
I stumbled on your photos when doing an Internet keyword search. I thought I would write because I think you can help me on a project I am working on.
I am a product label historian doing some work on glue products, specifically Elmer's Carpenter's Wood Glue. I note in your "Drawer to Shelf Transformation" photos, you show an older design bottle of the Carpenter's Wood Glue that Elmer's made years ago. The out-of-production bottle and label you show is the ----exact variation---- I was looking for to preserve in the archives.
Since production of that label, Elmer's has now "completely redesigned" their labels and bottles to a solid orange plastic type bottle. Current inventory sold in my area only shows the newer design in stock. The only way to find older out of production examples is to contact consumers who may still have the bottles in a basement, attic, cabinet or workshop. Thus, you can see they are hard to find.
In short, since I found your photos, I thought you may still have that bottle. If you are willing and still have that bottle or one like it, I will make an offer of $20 for it, and/or buy you a new full bottle. Let me know. Thanks much and pardon this rather odd request, lol.
He sent me a gift certificate to Home Depot and I sent him the glue! The funny thing to me is that my father hordes old tins and all sorts of promotional/packaging stuff with the hopes of one day selling it. And, here I just blogging away and I get an offer for packaging!
You just never know what will come out of blogging!
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
You can click on any of these pictures to see them larger! So much fun!
Also included were some beautiful photos of different American cities. Both Cliff and I love those so much we are going to frame them. They will have a post all their own one day soon.
Really you can not go wrong with Sweet Goodness Swaps. They have fun themes and the nicest people participate! I get lucky every time. Thanks so much Mandi!
I participated in the Sweet Goodness Swaps "Hurrah for the Red White and Blue" Swap this month. I made some of my usual things- a bag and an apron, but I also tried some new things. This was my favorite project.
I was inspired by these lights at The Crafy Chica. However, I was too lazy to climb up on a step ladder to take down the Christmas boxes in search of lights. So I improvised and created this folk art frame and you can too!
-A scrap piece of thin plywood or thick cardboard cut to a size you like.
-a few soda cans (I promise no models were encountered while I dug through the building's recycling bin!)
-Modge Podge and scrapbook paper or paint
-strong scissors- I have Pampered Chef kitchen scissors and they worked great
- Hot glue gun/glue
- Picture hanger thingy
- clear plastic magnetic or velcro photo frame ( I got mine at a dollar store, but I have seen them at Rite Aid too.)
-star tracers- I used cookie cutters.
1. Adhere the scrapbook paper to wood or cardboard with Modge Podge. I only used one coat since the frame is mostly covered. You could use paint instead. This is a whatever is on hand kind of project.
2. Wearing gloves, carefully cut the cans starting at the open mouth (cut on the side where the boring health info is.) Cut around the lid, cut down the back, cut around the bottom until you have removed both top and bottom. You should have a rectangle of metal.
The Crafty Chica recommends flattening the metal. I tried that, but later found it unnecessary. (The groovy gloves are cut protection gloves. Cliff got them from my brother as a gag Christmas gift two years ago. He cut the tip of his thumb off the day before we flew home for Christmas!) I wore the gloves to cut out the cans, but found that I didn't need them when cutting out the stars. Just be careful!
2. Hold the metal rectangle flat on top of the magazine. Trace the cookie cutter tracer with the pen pushing hard to leave indentations. Cookie cutters are great because you can really see the graphics within the shape.
3. Cut out stars
4. Hot glue the picture frame in the middle of the wood.
5. Use thumb tacks to stick the stars all around the frame. I hung the frame, looked at it hard and kept arranging until I was satisfied. If you think you can do it in one shot you could just hot glue the stars down too. I also kinda pinched them a bit to give them some dimension.
6. Use the hot glue gun to adhere a picture hanger to the back.
Of course if you are of the Pepsi Generation, that's fine. Those cans are just as patriotic.
More Trash to Treasure inspiration over at Reinvented!
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Jaime's list is pretty comprehensive (as of 118) but I thought of one to add:
Learn to make pizza.
I come from Northern New Jersey. (Yes, near those housewives, but please don't judge.) I thrived for many years on pizza from Nellies and Kinchleys. While down the shore I ate pizza at Panzones and Slice of Heaven. The pizza part of life was exceptional, but I didn't fully appreciate it at the time.
There is a sad truth that I have learned the hard way: good pizza is not universal. You may find yourself in a pizza poor land. Best to be prepared.
LA is known for it's beautiful weather, beaches and people. Pizza not so much. So, 9 times out of 10 I make my own. Many times it's quicker than delivery.
Currently we are enjoying my Trader Joes version of this Paula Dean recipe that I found reading the very funny Big Mama.
Blackened Shrimp Pizza (Inspired by Paula Deen Made So Simple By Trader Joe)1 good shake of some Cajun seasoning
1 bunch of frozen shrimp thawed
4 tbs. butter, divided
4 Trader Joe's frozen garlic cubes
2 tbs. all purpose flour
1/4 cup white wine, cooking sherry, or a splash of white wine vinegar depending on what I have
3/4 cup milk
3 cubes Trader Joe's Frozen Basil Cubes
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves
8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup or less grated Parmesan cheese.
1 tomatoe seeded and diced if you like
Trader Joe's Herb pizza dough
First prepare crust as directed. It needs to breath a bit so plan ahead. I also pre-bake the crust for about 6-8 minutes to make it crispier.
1. Melt the butter, garlic and basil over a medium heat.
2. Add a sprinkle or two of Cajun spice to taste.
3. Cook the shrimp in the butter, garlic and basil and then set the shrimp aside.
4. Add the flour and stir.
5. Add the milk and wine stir until sauce thickens
6. Add parm to taste. I like more than Cliff and vary from a generous sprinkle to a 1/2 cup.
Now, layer sauce, spinach, cheese, bacon, tomatoe and shrimp and bake as directed for the crust. It's about 15 minutes at 450.
Friday, June 19, 2009
First I took it from early 80's mismatch (cleverly disguised as a file cabinet) to colorful wallpapered conversation piece. The best thing I did was remove that ugly handle. While it was an improvement, no handle took it's toll on the wallpaper. I was never in love with the wallpaper anyway. So with company coming this summer I decided to change it up.
Now it sports two coats of low VOC primer, three coats of chalkboard paint, and chalk!
Not too sure what to write on it, but I am glad it goes better with my mid 80's stock almond and pine laminate cabinets.
Must get busy formulating plan to transform those beasts.
Linking to Nester's Chalkboard Party!
Thursday, June 18, 2009
You know that expression "getting caught with your pants down?" Well, that was me literally the other day and figuratively today. I can't believe I am unprepared for the junk party!
Oh sure I have lots of junk projects in the works, but nothing that is show and tell worthy at this point.
I did however, get a lucky feeling in the pit of my stomach the other day as I drove past my thrift. God Bless! This new Goodwill store is in a swanky neighborhood (within spitting distance of an Anthropology) and it shows! I keep finding great stuff!
I guess green is the color of luck.
Here we have a full box (1 dozen) of never been touched awesome smelling Bayberry green candles from Mole Hollow. $1.99 normally $22!
A very cute wall tin thing from Anthro. $1.99
A little green vase. $1.99
And, my favorite another Urban Outfitters canvas with the price still on it! ($30!) $9.99
If you are looking for ideas for junk rehab here are a few from my past:
Old sweaters made into baby sweater and scarf
Magazine wrapping paper and bridesmaids dress gift bags
Framed Christmas Records
Cabinets into play kitchens
I am looking forward to seeing everyone's junk!
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
That would be me- standing in only a t-shirt and underwear painting the fridge... when our building manager walked in. AKKK!
Fortunately it was a big shirt. Fortunately he was distracted by the fact that I was painting the fridge and Cliff jumped in front of me pretty quick. It was so awkward! If I could have crawled into the fridge I sure would have!
I decided to paint the fridge. (The wallpaper was good, but it really started to get frayed around the edges at the one year mark.) I figured I would paint in just the old t-shirt before I showered. Less clothes to ruin with paint spatters.
The building manager called to say that a package had arrived. Cliff went down to get it, but Ernie had the box on a dolly and backed right into the apartment before Cliff could do anything.
Embarrassing as it was, he was there to deliver a box of Omaha Steaks from my in-laws! That did help to ease the pain a bit.
Finished fridge reveal on Friday. Say that ten times fast.
Monday, June 15, 2009
I had a fantastic weekend! My dear friend Lisa celebrated her birthday by treating a bunch of her girlfriends to dinner at the Melting Pot. It was my first time there and -YUM! I felt so blessed to be spoiled on my friend's birthday! Thank you, thank you Lisa!
Lisa's parties are always awesome and she is always the giver on her birthday. Last year's party was an Oprah style "Favorite Things Give-Away" theme. My gift to her followed the theme and was a basket of my favorite things.
This year, due to her hectic schedule*, her party was planned kind of last minute however, inspiration fell into place with this gift in such a perfect way.
This was my thought process for this year's gift:
1. Lisa is a big believer in the power of positive intentions and was the first I knew to have an inspiration board.
2. So, when I saw this post on Maya Made about a family Garden Wish Flag it caught my attention, but alas, Lisa doesn't garden.
3. Then, I remembered seeing a post on Junie Moon about her Prayer Flag Project. At the time I was deeply touched by the idea of this project.
4. All things considered I decided that the gift would be a make your own Family Wish Flag Kit!
I sewed a very simple banner with seven rectangles. I simply sewed along the edges to control the fraying a bit and sewed them to ribbon. They are about 5"X 7".
I cleaned up my chocolate bunny packaging. (I had tossed this in with my gift wrap thinking I could use it somehow. Forever trash to treasure!) I typed up a logo on Word and used contact paper to adhere it to the box.
I included package of fabric markers and a small note of "directions" that gave a brief history of Tibetan Prayer Flags.
You can click on the photo to enlarge the text.
What was really a very inexpensive and simple gift seemed so much more polished because of the packaging. Having a small stash of old packaging to work with at home made it easy to put together a nice gift in no time.
More Trash to Treasure at Reinvented.
*PS- Why was Lisa so busy? She tripled her business in May! In this economy! If you need any marketing help- Lisa is your go-to-guide!
Sunday, June 14, 2009
I rushed to get my cookie gifts ready and they arrived a week early. Oops!
Needless to say, the dad's were surprised! And, the Bacon Chocolate Chip cookies were a hit.
More time this week to work on things in my project basket.
Friday, June 12, 2009
First Up: I made an assortment of chocolate chip cookies for the dads this year. I used the basic Toll House recipe for two kinds- Trail Mix (just trail mix and chocolate chips) and Bacon Chocolate Chip. I got the idea for bacon at Pete Bakes. They turned out pretty good. Definitely different. The third kind was Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip from My Little Gems.
Truly, neither dad *needs* anything and this assortment will be a surprise.
Second, Darci, my husband was very happy to provide the Monkey Mix Playlist
Theme Song from The Monkees - The Monkees
Monkey- Counting Crows
Monkey Man- Rolling Stones
Chimp in a Three Piece Suit - The King Blues
Attacked by a Monkey -The Crank Yankers
Too Much Monkey Business- Chuck Berry
Punish the Monkey - Mark Knopfler
Mickey's Monkey- Smokey Robinson & the Miracles
Wildflower _ The Blow Monkeys
Tweeter and the Monkey Man - Traveling Wilburys
Monkey Around - From Suessical
Shock the Monkey- Peter Gabriel
The Smartest Monkey- XTC
505 -The Arctic Monkeys
Monkey Gone to Heaven - Pixies
Third- Today I went to my mailbox and found a lovely surprise, African Kelli had sent me a pup t-shirt!
It was such a fun surprise for such a dreary day. LA is knee deep in June gloom. While I can really appreciate the respite from high temps and the break from air conditioning costs, I am beginning to miss my friend Mr. Sun. Straight from AZ Ms Kelli is like a ray of sunshine!
Last, but not least Meridith nominated me for this award. Thank you Meridith! I am out of school now, so I decided to be a bit of a rule breaker here. Instead of nominating 15 blogs for this award, I am going to share few of my favorite posts from Meridith's blog. She truly has a lovely blog!
1. I love this tassel she made for her daughter. Nostalgia!
2. I like this Easter tree because it is not pastel. Easter colors don't mesh with my red couch!
3. Having just dodged the swine flu bullet in my classroom, I can attest, this is a teacher gift that would make my heart sing.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Mini Molly Monkeys made at 25% of the original pattern. These little guys are wearing pajamas because soon they will be jumping on a bed. Just a little project for the Christmas list.
This week I had a big deal thing and I was kinda nervous about it. (More about that in the future.) So my dear husband made me a mix CD of all monkey songs to cheer me. It was quite fun predicting all the monkey songs and thanks to the magic of itunes he found several that I had never heard of before. I don't know about you, but I love a good mix CD.
In other monkey news, my cousin recently posted this picture on facebook.
Since he tagged me, I was notified and I tagged Lady Monkey just for fun. Several of his macho friends left comments teasing him about his teddy bear. Well, it got my goat a bit. I am sensitive about Lady Monkey's appearance. But, I didn't comment because I am a grown up.
A day later I was notified that my brother commented on the same photo. He wrote, "It's a monkey not a bear!"
It made my day! Sticking up for my monkey, now that's brotherly love!
Exhibit A: This is the ally behind our apartment. What do I spy? A neglected bit of turf.
As I drive off to do my errands I am saddened to think that this little patch of grass will be run over, peed on and trampled in no time.
I am reminded of my first day at Our Fair School when I asked the children to write something about our school and one boy wrote, "There is no grass at OFS."
I start to think of ways I could rescue the grass. I decide that if the grass is still there when I return, I will take it home with me.
Upon my return, I get some cardboard out of the dumpster (again) and head off to claim my turf.
Can I get an elevator alone? No. A model gets on with me. This young, hip, Hollywood chick comments on my awkward, barely balanced cardboard tray of grass. I make some feeble joke. Sometimes we trash to treasure junkies must endure scrutiny.
It was quite something to manage and I nearly drop my lawn as I come into the apartment. Of course, Cliff senses the impending project and quickly answers the door. (Rats! I was hoping he would be so deeply engrossed in writing that I could sneak in.)
Predictably his head spins as he says, "Your going to make something of this!!"
I tell him I am going to plant it.
"I am going to call my mother" he says.
Thankfully, my mother in-law wasn't home. I'd like to have executed my plan so that it is cool and not crazy before she hears about it.
I used some kitchen scissors to cut the turf into a circle and planted it in this pot of dirt that I already had from failed flower attempts. Then I added the rest to a tray and quickly cleaned up the mess.
The funny thing about being cheap and thrifty is the timing. Last week I had been at the thrift and admired this little lawn chair. It reminded me of the chairs up at the Thousand Islands. But, I didn't buy it because I didn't have a use for it.
Happily, it was there waiting for me and my new lawn.
A week later, Cliff loves our lawn too. He said, "After 7 years together, there's always something new." He has fun making jokes about the new watering restrictions in LA.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
I am so excited about this dress giveaway at Grosgrain. I am also really excited to discover a clothing store with dresses that are young and fresh, but not too young.
These are some of my favorite Shabby Apple Dresses:
The Rosie the Rivetor
Some Like It Hot
Sure hope I win!
What brand and model do you have? Singer 132 Featherweight
How long have you had it? About 6 years
What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?
I started out with basic home decor projects-pillows and curtains. Now, I have done many crafts, softies, aprons, bags etc...
How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?
I sew to relieve stress. This featherweight gets a weekly work out during the school year and a near daily workout when I am on vacation.
Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name? I bought this machine thinking that if I really used it and got good at sewing I would eventually upgrade. I really, really use it! I think I am ready for an upgrade, but right now financially, it's not a priority. I am fairly satisfied with sticking with this machine for a while.
What features does your machine have that work well for you? It's easy to use and easy to figure out when there is a problem.
Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine? Heavier fabrics or thicknesses can be a challenge.
Do you have a great story to share about your machine? Nope and given that my best stories are usually a comedies of errors, I am thankful for that!
Would you recommend the machine to others? Why? Yes, I would recommend this as a beginner machine. It does a lot for a low priced machine. It's lasted me well under heavy use. I do get it cleaned and serviced about every other year for about $80. But, considering that I sewed all my Christmas and nearly all my birthday gifts for the past two years out of cheap/ thrifted materials, this machine has earned it's keep. I am certain that this was the right starter machine for me.
What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine? I look at price and reviews first.
Do you have a dream machine? I would love a machine that did monograms. I would like to work my way up to a serger eventually. I am really interested to read others memes.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Fun with the self timer on my camera.
I did it! A real (small) I Spy quilt! I machine pieced the whole thing and machine quilted wavy lines in between the rows. There are 120 little pictures to spy.
I used a thrifted sheet for the back. It is so perfectly worn and soft.
It took me about a week to make in the evenings. I used the striped bias tape I made last year for the sides. The bias tape was a bit wonkey and not perfectly even, so I machine sewed the front and hand stitched the back. Hated it! Then I made another binding (not on the bias-sneaky!) and used Angry Chickens No Swearing method to sew it on with the machine. It worked out pretty well.
This one is going to a family at church. Both daughters need surgery in the next few months. I figure this will keep them cozy and hopefully entertained during their recovery.
I am really feeling like I have come to the other side of a big learning curve with my sewing lately and it's so nice!
Monday, June 1, 2009
Ebay has a bunch of awesome TV trays but the shipping might be a hassle. I saw this Retro TV Tray online, but c'mon! This is the kind of thing I should be able to get at Walmart for $19.99!
Goodwill's got it!
This table was only 99 cents! But, the best part is that there is an address label on the back giving me some clues to the history. I love thinking about the previous life of my junk.
God bless Ester, who loved this tray table enough to put her address label on the back and keep it for a long time. So long in fact that the zip code for her LA address was simply "26." I quickly Googled this and 5 digit zip codes started in 1963.
This little orphan table was was rusty, stained and scratched up.
When the building all but cleared out for Memorial Day, I set up some cardboard from the recycling bin and painted out on the balcony. Not going to let my "penthouse in the sky" keep me from my crafty ambitions!
I wonder how many of my neighbors think I am nuts digging through the recycling dumpster for cardboard?
Here it is painted the most lovely green- RustOleum American Accents Seaside Green.
It is the exact green of Jadeite pottery, or for locals, the chairs at the farmers market on Fairfax. Love it!
I haven't sealed it with any kind of varnish yet. I still haven't decided if I want to decoupage the top. If I find the perfect paper I will. In the meantime, it fits my small scale living to a tee!
Oh, and Ester, just for you, I saved that label and I may just add my own.
Be sure to tune in next Tuesday. Today I found a little trash on the curb that made my husband's head spin! He actually said, "I'm calling my mother!" Cliff really thinks I do this just to get a rise out of him. I can't help it though. My former room mates Piper and Kate would tell him, I have always "shopped" the curb!
More Trash to Treasure Tuesdays at Reinvented.