Friday, September 10, 2010

Upcycled Transformation

Every fall our chuch has it annual parish festival. It is our biggest fundraiser of the year, and it is next Saturday.

Many years ago I started a "silent auction" as part of this event.  Calling local businesses and other parishioners asking for donations and organizing the entire event.  I am no longer in charge of it (by choice!) but I always dontate something to it, 

Here is my donation for this year...


It started out as these bits and pieces... 

... an old school desk that was originally in our parish school.  The school sold these for $5 each a few years back.  My neighbor was done with hers, she put it in her trash - and I took it! 

I am not too proud to take something out of the trash for a good cause!

... this stool, that I picked up at a local thrift store for $1 yesterday.  It was covered in rust and quite dirty, but I saw it had potential as a chair for my little desk.

... metal desk accessories, I found at Dollar Tree for... you guessed it... $1 each.

... some regular yellow pencils I covered with oragami paper (had both of those things too!) based on this tutorial I found Omiyage's blog (you can check it out here) ...

... some cute school supplies,
... a couple cans of spray paint (half of which I already had in my stash!)...

... some buttons and magnets (once again, I already had these too!) to use to hang paper and what-not from the metal sides of the desk...

... some ric rac around the bottom of the legs (had it)...

 ... and some fabric and batting (guess what... I had those already too!)...

Total out of pocket cost for this project:  $19!

I think it turned out quite cute!  

I hope that it will find a home and bring in some much needed cash to our church and school!  

What little girl wouldn't love doing her homework at this?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What to do, What to do?

I currently have an etsy shop where I sell some of my handmade items, and more recently some vintage items I have picked up here and there while "junking", "thrifting", "garage-saling"...  This portion of my shop has done much better than my handmade creations, and I think I have finally found my niche. 

I have recently been thinking about opening a physical resale shop.  However, that takes more time and money then I have to invest right now.  So I am not thinking about renting some booth space at an antique mall to sell some of my treasures. 

I would love input anyone has done this - pros, cons, costs, what would you do differently, what worked, etc...

Thank you for sharing your secrets with me!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Where Does the Time Go?

Summer is always a hard time for me to keep up with my creative projects and therefore to have something interesting to blog about.

This summer it was harder than ever.  My 15 year old daughter got her first part-time job.  She was a lifeguard at a local country club.  I know it is a right of passage, good experience, etc... but it was a lot of work for me, and I didn't get paid for it.  Add to this 2 sports, 2 other children to shuttle about, and two 50th Anniversary parties for both Dave's and my parents,  left no time for crafty endeavors.

Everyone is back in school, and things are still busy with with school and sports, and life in general, but I am excited to get back at it. 

Here is a brief look at the fun times of the summer...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Before and After... Well, Really During!

This is the front of my house.  It really needs a new look.  It has 30+ year old aluminum siding that has chalked and faded in stripes (look at the second story - that is not shadows, that is siding that has changed color, but only in some places!).  The whole thing really needs resided or painted.  Neither of which is in the budget for this summer.

It also has a reddish roof (which I have always hated) and a hard to color coordinate - almost white washed - brick on the front lower center section.  It had, I say, "Terracotta", most say "peach" color shutters - which I never really liked, but they were suggested by the landscape architect we hired to design our front gardens and porch addition, and they matched the brick and roof.  So they have stayed for the past 13+ years!  I guess I needed to get my money's worth out of that suggestion we paid good money for!
So, in light of all of its challenges, I have and decided to make the best of it...

The easiest, quickest and cheapest way to change the look of a house... shutters!  I got on Benjamin Moore's website and uploaded a picture of my house and played around with different shutter colors.  (warning - this can be addictive!).   I have kind of gone out on a limb with the color, but I was so tired of the "matchy/matchy" color we had, and it really did look the best with what I had to work with.
Can you say... "purple shutters"!  I know it is quite a statement!

But they really do look good against the brick, and they make the roof look redder than it actually is and I don't hate it so much!
I still have the problem with the vertical siding fading/chalking on the second story, which my hubby says he is going to paint this summer - just that section - we'll see how that turns out!  I guess it really can't look worse than it looks now, so "what the heck" - a couple gallons of paint - just don't fall!
But all things considered, I really do like the change!  I can't wait to have it all finished.  I have shutters on every window of my house, and the front door.  26 shutters to be exact, and right now I only have 12 finished!  And to make matters worse, most are really tall - like 6' tall shutters!  I still have a ways to go, but will be happy when it is done!

Now I need some suggestions for a new door color and maybe even something for the garage door.  If you have suggestions, please leave them in a comment!  I really am stumped on these 2 items and need some help!

The shutters repainted, a new front light fixture and some new house numbers to be installed, hubby painting the upper portion of the house and I will call this "make-over" done for this summer!

I'll post more pictures when it is done!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I was Featured in an Etsy Treasury

Someone used one of my listings in an Etsy Treasury today.  It was fun to see my photograph being promoted.  

So, I decided to try my hand at making an Etsy Treasury.  It was lots of fun searching for things I liked.  It was so much fun that when I finished one, I went on to make two more.  Here are the three Treasuries I came up with.  The title of each is a link that will take you to the actual treasury and from there you can check out the individual products if you are interested.

In the Kitchen
(this was my first one, and my favorite!)
All in the Family
Livin' the Lake Life
I made a fourth one late last night...

Seeing Spots in the Kitchen

I have to say this is rather addicting.  Go to Etsy and make your own treasury of things you love.  I'd love to see what you come up with. 

So which one is your favorite?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Imagine the Possibilities...

I shared with you all the Christmas presents I made for friends and family this past year using photographs I took of old building and other city scenes in our downtown.

Now I have made some individual wooden block letters...
These can be stood on a shelf, put above a door frame, used as a paperweight on your desk, hung on a wall, used as place cards at a special dinner, use them as kids blocks (teaching the various letters of the alphabet) - imagine the possibilities - they're endless.

I have them available in my Etsy Shop

They are all special orders, and you can customizine them however you like.  Thick or thin wood block - no problem.  Want a special color - no problem.  Want one for each letter of the alphabet - no problem.  Want a smooth finish as opposed to a distressed finish - no problem.  Just tell me what you want, and I will make them for you!

With the upcoming "wedding season" keep these individual blocks or custom name plaques in mind for gifts for the special couple!

Friday, May 7, 2010


I am the thrift store queen.  I love scouring all my favorite stores and garage sales and finding a diamond in the rough or forgotten treasure that others have cast away.  

That being said, I have accumulated a lot of "stuff" - all of which were great bargains but a lot of them are now just taking up space.
But I am trying to reduce the clutter in my house and part with things that I don't want, or need any longer. 

So I have been listing some of my vintage treasures in  my Etsy Store.  Truth be told, I have also purchased a few solely for listing on my site!

If you are looking for something in particular, send me an email with a description of it (pictures are helpful too) and I will see if I can find it for you!

These and many more treasures can all be found on my Etsy Store - please stop by and take a look!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Blue Canning Jars

I love old blue canning jars.  Ball, Atlas, Ideal, Mason, doesn't really matter the brand or the age.  Most of mine are Ball jars - probably because they are the most common, and I live in Indiana (the Ball factory was in Muncie, IN).   I just love the color and the functionality of them.  I started collecting them a few years back, all bought from garage sales and thrift stores.  I think the most I have paid for any one is about $2; most were bought for less than $0.50 each.

 I don't collect them because of any real value they may have or with the plans of selling them and making big money in the future.  I collect them because I like them and I use them.

I use them as display pieces...

I use them to store things...
I have one I use as a table lamp...
... and even used 3 of them to make a chandelier for our home office...

I probably have about 30 of them and have often wondered about the different marking on them.

So just for fun, I bought this book recently...
1000 Fruit Jars
It has drawings of all the different canning jar markings, descriptions, and estimated values (as of 2007 I believe). 
It has been fun looking at all my jars and figuring out which ones are worth what.  I won't get rich on my collection should I tire of it and decide to sell (most are worth about $3, a few are worth $10, and I have 2 worth about $35 each),  but the book is fun and interesting.

If you have a canning jar collection or are thinking of starting one, it is definitely worth the $6 as a handy reference guide.  I even picked up an extra copy for my "junking buddy" Lori at Fresh Picked Whimsy.  I think I probably scored 1/3 of them with her one day when she and her family were visiting at the lake and we went to a barn sale.  They had boxes of them and were selling them for $0.50 each!  But SHHHH  don't tell her I got her a copy - its a surprise!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

New Listings in my Etsy Store

In the last few days I have listed some wonderful vintage items in my Etsy Store!  
Please stop by and take a closer look...

This is a beautiful piece of mid-century California pottery.  Can be used as a relish tray or chip and dip platter.  Beautiful aqua/turquoise blue on one piece and a speckled off-white and tan on the other!
Small, hand painted Fire King serving bowl.
Cute depression glass bowl, great for storing odds and ends on your desk, keys or to actually use in the kitchen.

This is a gorgeous hand crocheted bedspread made of very heavy cotton thread.  I love the 3 dimensional ball on it!  I was going to keep it, but didn't really have the right place for it so decided to give it up.