A Sweet Carousel Horse

Who recalls the fairs and town squares of yesteryear with the magical Calliope – or are some of us are known to call it “merry go ’round”? Or those bouncy horses from our youth that did no more than being turned into someplace Springy Horse we threw clothing?

I started this piece a very long time ago, when I saw one of those bouncy horses in a thrift store. Remember them?

photo 2 copy 3I have wanted to do just this kind of project for a while. I had picked up plushy type horse a while back thinking I could it with that and it had some sort of weird plastic skeleton but when came right down to it, it wouldn’t work. So I turned into a unicorn trophy, like you see hunters do.

photo 2 copy 2Unfortunately – or fortunately – I never got it hung up for lack of wall space. I also thought that maybe might get the wrong impression if they came into my house and saw poor Charlie!

So, I had seen the bouncy horse and of course had to scoop it up. It had been in the store for some time and one of the springs was missing so I got it for a super good price.

Now he sat in the garage for some time before I got around to working on it. Of course removing it from its ‘harness’ was the first step. Then giving it a good cleaning.

I then used a magical color of spray paint I found at HomeDepot (hi guys!), called Pearl Mist. It was kismet I swear.

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Several coats of spray paint later, it was ready for more detailing. I paint the mane and the tail with Martha Stewart’s line of paint that had glitter build right in.

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Then it was onto the other bits, and step one was the saddle. I hand painted it with a medium shade of pink, a little darker pink ‘behind’ the details and added a violet to make the ‘blanket’ stand out. I mean, really, what little girl didn’t love pink and purple?

Once I had added a few more coats of the gold glitter, I then sprayed a clear finish to seal the paint for a longer lasting finish.

I then glued pink ‘jewels’ onto the saddle and small gold rhinestones in the mane and tail to make it sparkle.

Then he sat for a while. First in the garage but I was worried he’d get bumped or knocked over, so then he came to live in my office. I finally got into the “let’s get things finished mode’ and the horse was the first to be completed.

I knew he would need a base, so using a prepared oval plaque from Michael’s (hi guys!) and built a base holder from some scrap baseboard wood I had and painted with the same pearl mist color.

I used 2” PVC pipe for the pole painted and again, painted to match. There are actually two pieces of the pipe with a connector in the middle so that he had something to rest on and not fall to the floor. I filled the cavity around the pole inside the horse (he was hollow) to add to the stability of the horse with spray foam.

And that was about it. I fussed around with build a fanciful top to disguise the top blunt end of the PVC pipe with ribbons and bells and I like the way it turned out.

So, without further adieu:

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I hope you liked this and come back soon!

julie

Eye Glass Case, Pin Cushions

First off, here is my shameless request: A quilt I made was the basis for an Instructable โ€œibleโ€ for the โ€œSew Warmโ€ contest that they are having. If you haven’t, I’d appreciate it if you would vote for me. If you have voted, you can vote again! I know that this is a shameless plug again, But I really want to win! Please go here and vote!

I have under the weather for some time, each time I thought that I was getting to feeling better, I’d have a relapse later in the day from trying to do too much. But, I did turn to my needlepoint (or cross stitch) to make the time pass while recuperating.

I ran across the pattern on Pinterest (don’tcha just love that site?) and thought it would be something that might be relatively straight forward and not take too much time. Something I could pick up and put down easily. It did go pretty quickly.

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Here is the piece almost done. About two thirds complete, I decided what I was going to do with the final piece and made the curve along the top edge.

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And here is the finished piece: an eyeglass case. I lined the inside with those microfiber cleaning cloths, so it will never scratch the glass. Other than my stitching the two edges together seeming a bit wonky, I think it turned out pretty good.

I also ordered sewing pins from the internet… I am one of those people who sew over pins although I am sure my first HomEc teacher would be out of her mind to hear this! The biggest problem I have is bent pins and I always throw those away. I do seem to go through them at a pretty good rate.

So, another thing I could do while laid up in bed… put pins from cute little containers into pin cushions.

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The majority of the pins went into two very large tomato pin cushions that I use religiously, but this was enjoyable. The Kid thinks I am a nut!

I have been working on some more pieces, I hope to write a couple of more posts for them. For now, the headache has returned and it is about all I can do to keep my attention on the writing on not on Russell Crowe in this movie I am watching. ;-o

julie

A Miniature Miniature

Hopefully that title grabbed your attention!

I am finishing up a lot of bigger projects as my garage has now been turned into some kind of storage place for cars! Go figure!

I am planning on working on the dollhouse that my Dad built for me many, many years ago. I had always begged and pleaded for a dollhouse and when my Dad became ‘sorta retired’ and started to work a lot more in his workshop, he finally built one. And it was huge! And, I found out later, it went to my oldest sister. Sigh.

I had heard something about it as I was living in California and my parents were in Iowa. My sister lived in the same town. Made sense.

Later, my sister wanted to return the dollhouse to my Dad but I jumped in and claimed it. My Dad would later drive his van with the dollhouse out to California. It was the only way he felt comfortable delivering it. And then when moved from California to Missouri, I had a shipping company build a professional crate to hold the dollhouse when we used a moving company to move us.

But I digress. It has been sitting in a special place in the basement for about ten years now. The most I have done is paint the house white and buy tons of materials for it. Now I want to spend this winter completing it. I am getting The Kid and his buddy to carry it up from the basement to a space here in the living room.

So, on to today’s activity. I’ve built a dollhouse for the dollhouse. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Going through all of the ‘stuff’ that I had purchased over the years was miniature furniture, scale 1:24, whereas the big dollhouse was 1:12. So, while watching television, I worked on the little dollhouse.

I started with a little cabinet that I had bought. It was a piece that had two levels and an “attic”. I removed the doors and the front facing piece that was in place of the attic’.

I used scrapbooking paper for the walls, floors and ceilings. I was fun to try different patterns together and it was simply a matter of gluing the paper with white glue.

Most of the furniture was brown and I did little to alter it. I did paint the stove and the old fashioned telephone black and I cut down the toilet from one that had an overhead tank to something more modern and to get the sink it there, I had to shorten the base. All of the little pieces such as the lamps and the pitchers, were glued down. Well, the pieces are glued down, since it isn’t for active playing.

I also added “siding” to the house, using Popsicle sticks and painted. The back roof was done with the larger rounded edge of ice cream sticks and stained.

img_3902It is to go into the little girls’ room in the larger dollhouse. This one? Stands about five inches, which in 1:12 scale, it would be about five feet tall.

Happy to answer questions, if I can. I will leave you with more photos:

img_3898Many of the pieces had to be placed into the house using long tweezers and some of the smallest pieces didn’t have much space for glue… the little towel rack kept falling out of place and even… I think it came out okay.img_3900There are more pieces available and I may be looking to create another mini-miniature dollhouse.img_3904The bedroom has a blue blanket (included in the set) but I added pillows – just a couple of very small pieces of white felt. There is a mirror setting on top of the dresser.img_3900The kitchen boasts a water pump and a sink vessel. A lamp sits on the dining room table.img_3898The little dining room table was actually two round tables. I removed the tops and cut a very small oval table from the end (the thinest part) of a wood wedge and just glued the two sets of legs to it.dscn4864Some of the wonderful touches are the roll of TP in the bathroom, as well as a towel rack.dscn4863I wish I could tell you the brand or where to buy these sets, they must have been in my storage for some time. I really don’t recall at all. My son thought that I had picked them up an estate sale… over the years, I have always been on the look out for pieces, materials and supplies to complete the dollhouse.

julie

Antique Thread Box

Okay, so I want to clear this up from the get-go… its the thread that is antique, not the box. ๐Ÿ™‚

A while back I was the lucky recipient of a massive CraigsList haul of fabric. Pieces that ranged from scraps to full bolts of cotton and upholstery fabrics. Stuff that clearly ranged as far back as the seventies – lots of gold/orange/avocado green/brown combinations and newer. Such great stuff! I’ve already put some of it to use after spending nearly a week to sort through it all.

Well, in that load, there was also some other accessories. Thread, zippers, bias tape and ribbons. The thread is what I wanted to talk about.

These few spools of thread came from an era where the spools themselves were made of wood. To be perfectly honest – and I had a mother who sewed – I don’t recall the last time I saw a wooden spool. I’ve not really researched it, but I think there is some history there. And they are cool looking.

So, I wanted to be able to display them in my sewing room. I searched eBay for an antique or vintage thread holder, and one not too large, as I didn’t want this to be another one of those collections that I went out and bought a few hundred spools! (Trust me, I have been known to do dumb stuff like that!)

Well, I never did find one that I really liked, but seeing all of those on eBay and other Google searches, I had an idea of what I wanted.

Out came my trusty paint stir sticks. It is a simple enough design and I think I had everything measured and cut and the clamped to allow the glue to dry in less than an hour. I added the back, gave it a good sanding and then painted it.

DSCN4254Cute, huh? I love the simplicity of the design and there is some room to add a few spools. Down the road. ๐Ÿ™‚

Now to find some wall space left in the sewing/quilting room!

Addendum: Second Life for One of My Quilts

Just a little note. I received a note from a reader who asked if they could purchase one of the quilts that I showcased in this blog. Wow. Nice.

Strippy Sash QuiltShe even offered a very respectable amount for it. But then I heard what it was for. And then, I realized that there was no way I could sell it to her.

She wanted to use it as part of a project for some local (to her) kids in seventh grade that are making a “Peace Quilt”. And I just wanted to be a part of that whole thing. So, I donated the quilt to the kids. I am hoping that some photos will be snapped and some words written about what they are trying to achieve and what Peace means to them. Mostly, I hope they win! LOL

I have always been a staunch supporter of public education and have always tried to help in whatever way I could – mostly around my son, but inevitably to benefit all students in their class or school. Now that my son has finished his primary studies, it tends to get a bit tougher to do that, although I do have a quilt that I made for him that I am going to donate to his school (since he has graduated):

DSCN3118Along with the quilt, I have a TON of school supplies that I am going to deliver as well… as cheap as school supplies get, there are always students who never get what they need or want. And if I have more than I need, why not?

Okay, hopefully Claire will be sending me updates soon. I am anxious to hear more!
julie

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