A new series was kicked off this month at Under the Table and Dreaming and I immediately wanted to give it a try. Every month, three crafts inspired by Martha Stewart's site will be featured. Followers are encouraged to try one.
The picture pillow caught my eye. Our house is for sale and it is somewhat staged - I say "somewhat" because we are still living here. All the personal photographs and clutter have been removed, (well, I try) but in some areas I think it looks a little too sterile. For one, I've been looking for a throw pillow for my bed, but they can be so pricey, and I haven't found anything I like anyway. I try to play up the surf/beach/California theme, and what better way to achieve it, than to make my own pillow!
The instructions on Martha's site are found here. But, honestly, they're not very clear, so instead I used Stephanie Lynn's tutorial and printed the pictures directly on the fabric.
The photos were changed to sepia tone using Paint Shop Pro, then printed on muslin ($1.98 a yard) in 8 x 10 inch sizes, and stitched together. I sewed braid over the seams, added a fringe ($12!), stuffed (with the stuffing from a 99 cent Ikea pillow) and voila! I've got a one of a kind surf/beach/California pillow.
Everything was half-price today at the Assistance League Newport Mesa, so this little wooden duck and rabbit were only 50 cents. I have the feeling they were once part of something larger; Mrs. Duck has a small hole on the bottom that looks as if maybe she was attached by a peg to a base, or ??? ... or maybe she once had feet!
Not long ago I stumbled on to a blog, creativebreathing, and fell instantly, madly, completely in love. This super-talented woman makes the absolute cutest stuff on the planet! She makes everything look easy, and shares her instructions and tips. There isn't anything on her site that I don't want to try make for myself.
I decided to start with a Valentine. I wanted to make it from materials I already had in my stash, so I looked through my computer files - I love greeting cards from the 40's, 50's and 60's, and I often google images of "vintage Valentine" or "vintage Christmas card", etc and save the files to my computer. Plus, many crafters share their files online. I don't remember where I found the original card with the kids in the car, so I can't give credit. I also googled "license plate generator" and found a site here where you can enter whatever you want on a plate of your choice, so I have a California plate on my car. My original plan was to have some trees, from an Easter card I have on my computer, in the background, but I could not find a good paper to go behind it. (mental note: pick up some cute, small patterned papers next time you're in the craft or scrapbook store!)
And that's how I ended up with a blackValentine. Adding some more hearts in white and red, little flowers made from hearts, and some little gems, it really was fairly easy (cutting out those white hearts with the scallop scissors - not so easy). Looking at this little pile of components, I can't believe this little card took me two days to complete! I still need to add my personal message on the back... that may take another day. (I tend to over-think things... really slows me down!)
You can't tell in the picture, but the arrow and the kids are raised up off the card. My only regret is the glitter. I always want a little glitz - and the arrow needed something - but I did a terrible job with the glitter glue. I don't think my husband will mind too much, though.
Through Creativebreathing's blog, as it so often happens, I've wandered here and there and found many more bloggers that I now follow, and I can honestly say I'm addicted to reading blogs! There are so many talented women out there.
Okay, this really is getting ridiculous. I KNOW I shouldn't be, yet, somehow, I just can't stop. I keep finding things that are too good to pass up.
I was googling Goodwill stores in my area and discovered there was one, very close, that I never knew existed! I had to go check it out.
Six over-sized plastic Christmas ornaments... I mean who could pass that up? They're brand new, still with the Target tags on them. They were 1.99 each.
I'm really not looking for these, but I found ANOTHER Revere pot. I know what happened there... the previous owner made a mess of it and just couldn't face the prospect of cleaning it and instead gave it to Goodwill. It's 3.25 quarts, and the lid and inserts I found earlier fit this pot, too. After a bit (okay, a LOT) of scrubbing with Barkeeper's Friend, it came clean. It looks great. $4.00
That cool wooden corbel... from Indonesia... I don't have a place for it now, but I'm sure I'll find a place in my next house. $6.00
And just because it cracked me up. The ashtray.
We don't smoke, but it's got that oddball kitschy look I'm always attracted to.
After last week's great finds, I had high hopes this morning when we set out for the South Bay area, where we'd never gone 'thrifting' before. We struck out though, except for this... a cute little lamp, in perfect condition, for $15. It will be a nice addition to our small Delft Blau collection.
The last thing I should be doing is buying more stuff! We'll be moving in the not too distant future, hopefully, and I should be lightening my load, not adding to it. But I can't help myself... I'm addicted to thrift stores lately.
We hadn't gotten more than a few blocks from the house this morning when we spotted some garage sale signs. Wouldn't you know, I found a little ziploc bag of Christmas cuties for $1. I really only had my eye on the little clip-on Santa... the angel (who needs a new hanger) and those trees are an added bonus.
Next stop, the Assistance League where I found this bag of clothespins for $1. I don't know if that's a deal or not, but I want to try to make some peg dolls and I don't see clothespins all that often anymore.
The Salvation Army did not know what they were doing when they sold this little Josef Originals (stickers still on) Christmas angel for $2.88. My lucky day!
A couple of weeks ago I found the 3 qt Revere pot and lid at a thrift store for $2. It was filthy and was missing a screw in the handle, but it cleaned up very nicely. I sent away for a replacement screw and it's as good as new. Today, at the Goodwill I found a strainer insert ($2) , AND a 1.5 qt pot with lid, again for $2. I'm going to have to replace the handles, but it, too, cleaned up beautifully.
Last stop of the day was at another Salvation Army, where I found a double boiler insert for the unbelievable price of 50 cents. From the stamped markings on the bottoms, these kettles date back to the 40's! Plus, I've been wanting to get a couple of pans that did not have a non-stick finish. You know what they say about "one man's trash"...