The Great Experiment Continues!

The last post I made, I explained how I was conducting a little experiment to see if it would be possible for me to simply live off the money I make “creating”. This week the experiment continues.

I had just the most awesome luck last week in running across quality pieces from a number of places. In addition to furniture pieces, we really made out with our ‘thrifting’ trips as well. I found a ton of old quilting books, one that dates back to 1949! Its really neat to see the way that women used to quilt before the adventure of rotary cutters and our fancy-schmancy sewing machines! Gives me a new perspective on just how good we have it!

IMG_8502And one of our favorites just happened to be clearing out their inventory of clothing. $1 for every stitch of clothing in the store. Couldn’t pass on that deal – so yes, I snagged another ten pairs of jeans. I have about a hundred projects going on it seems, but deals like that cannot be passed over! By now I am sure that I have enough denim to make a rag rug at least 20 feet round!

IMG_3254The Kid and I have been steadily working, but with days in the high 90’s and temps reaching into triple digits, it isn’t easy to spend too much time in the garage with heat and the paint and glue fumes. We’re made a lot of progress on quite a few projects in that time, though. I expect to have at least three or four ready for reveal this coming week, but until that I will just leave you with some parting pics!

DSCN3682Who said garages were supposed to be for parking your car?DSCN3685Part of our week long bounty. And I have ideas for all of it!

DSCN3686And yep, you’re looking at a pew! Lord only knows (pun intended!) where this will go, but it is solid wood and gorgeous! How could you say “no” to something like that?DSCN3690Projects have even spilled back into my kitchen! I can’t wait to show you this piece… it started out looking like this:

00t0t_heezBoCqAMt_600x450Prepare to be amazed! Or not. You decide! 🙂

julie

Oh The Treasures You Can Find!

I don’t think that it is any secret that I love thrifting. That is, perusing and shopping at thrift stores, secondhand shops, yard and estate sales… just about anywhere you might find a bargain. I have some great collections that I constantly search for more pieces: china, pyrex, fabric, furniture hardware, old sewing notions and pin cushions, old Macintosh computers and accessories, crystal, interesting old jars and liquor-type decanters for my planned chandelier in the entry way… yadda, yadda, yadda. It is so true that one person’s trash is another’s treasure. Even The Kid has a couple of collections that he looks to add to, including his love of older technology and electronic gaming.

Today, we headed to one of the thrift stores that we love. It is heads above many of the other shops we go, in that it is so clean and well designed and has a lot of merchandise turnover, so that you rarely see something two visits in a row. In fact, not so long ago, I had run across something that I really wanted, but for whatever reason, I decided not to buy it. A few hours later thinking about it, I decided I did want it and was worth the asking price, but by the time I got back, it had been sold. Lesson learned.

So, today’s visit was particularly good. Just one more collection for the sewing room are quilting and sewing books – regardless of when they were printed. I have picked up quite a few for pennies and they are almost always awesome. I purchased a quilt book not so long ago printed in the 70’s that featured quilts with the big color schemes back in the day – how many remember avocado green, harvest gold and burnt orange? I certainly do, my mom’s kitchen was of just these colors. I believe the refrigerator and stove were avocado green, but the wallpaper – these giant leaves on a background of ivory in those three iconic colors.

But if you can imagine, those colors together in a quilt were, well to put it as nicely as I can, were a massive color saturation and over abundance. They even talked about using knoits, poly- and polyblends in a quilt! Wow!

Well, today’s find was a bevy of beautiful books. Most are fairly current; I’d say within a decade or so.

photo 4But the prize was the 1969 first print titled “Singer Sewing Book: The Complete Guide to Sewing”. From the funky graphics on both the front and back covers to the instructional information, it just oozes awesomeness! I can’t wait to sit down with it and really go through it.

imagesI also managed to find a huge amount of Pyrex, although not my collection, but rather pieces I actually love to cook with. I collect Pyrex in the red and orange color titled “Friendship”. Its a tricky 16132915804696ppattern to find, which makes hunting for it all that much more fun. The clear Pyrex, on the other hand, is fairly common and still being produced. These pieces are workhorse bowls and pans and I use them often. I have bread pans, cake pans, mixing bowls and a whole lot more. I learned to use glass  – rather than metal – for baking and I just love the nice evenness that it affords. And all this stuff is dishwasher safe, no hand washing for me! I do have a couple of very high quality cookies sheets that have never been touched with soap nor anything that could mar or scratch the surface. Sometimes, it can be a real pain.

I did find six pairs of men’s jeans size 50 and 52! Let me tell you; THAT is a lot of denim! It was a tough inner battle, but in the end I feel like I need to work on using what I have before I decide that I don’t have enough and need more. I have a bad habit of over buying in anticipating a new project. I need to remind myself of that and often.

Tomorrow brings the unveiling of the most recent completed waterfall-style dresser. Just screams luxury and style and elegance. Again, one more piece I wish I could keep!

julie

Tiered Baking Plates… They Present Cupcakes!

Woke up this morning not feeling the best. You know how that goes. I am thinking that nothing is going to get done today, except making my way through the third (or is it fourth?) season of “Mad Men”. But I thought I would get at least one more post out of activities completed so far.

Yesterday was a bake-fest. The Kid was essential, he is going to make someone very happy in the kitchen. We made two and a half dozen cupcakes, a double batch of bread pudding (mmm my favorite) and baked cornbread muffins. I figured while the kitchen was a mess and the oven was hot, we might as well take advantage of it. The cupcakes were done specifically to show off something that I’ve been working on. Hopefully it will be successful.

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I’ve been collecting these clear plates and short candle holders from thrift stores and making these cupcake tiered plates. I love the elegant way it makes the cakes look and especially the four tiers.

Here are some more shots of the different tiered plates:

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It is what is wonderful about making these, the different styles and weights and diameters of the plates and the candle holders.

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I have endeavored to avoid holiday themed plates (like Christmas and Easter)  but there are so many styles to choose from.

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And the wonderful thing is that they can be as large – or small – as you may want. They can be two, three, four – even five – tiers and the taller they are, the more elegant they become.

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As you can see, the patterns couldn’t be more different. The largest plates, I have found, are the heaviest and therefore make a great base or anchor.

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The candlesticks are also different styles and heights. They all work well with the plates and they provide enough height between the plates to allow for cupcakes, pieces of cake or other candies or even sandwiches.

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I’ve done these with my own china pattern as well as collected a set much like the ones above. Sometimes I wished I did more entertaining, just so that I could use this!

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So, you’ve seen three and four tiered, aren’t they just fabulous? Oh, and while I do my thrift shipping I am always on the look out for certain things: clear platters and plates, candlesticks, any and all kitchen things in red; utensils that would work for chimes, sheets that work well for drop cloths, picture frames, decorative jars and cut glass, someone else’s craft materials (always a good deal) and the unusual items that would work well for other projects.

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Like these two square plates I just managed to see… I don’t know if they were once part of a larger set or someone else had found them and put them together. And just a few inches away sat a little while candlestick that screamed it wanted to be paired with the plates.

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Another quick snapshot with cupcakes this time.

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For example, I found this large jar that just called my name… I don’t have a use for it just now, but it was so cool and priced right. I have a similar jar, not quite so angular, that holds the matches that were collected for years – especially when we were smokers and did a lot of traveling. It used to sit on one end of the  fireplace and I always wanted a second one to balance it out, although the fireplace has different items now. What to put in it is still a question (if you have suggestions, lay it on me!).

Well, still have plenty of work to do and we have our neighborhood garage sale next weekend, which means I will be doing plenty of organizing and cleaning while figuring out what to sell. A fantastic opportunity to get rid of some things, maybe sell some of my finished projects and, of course, some American Girl accessories that I’ve made. I’m planning on setting the dollhouse out, just to see if I get any offers or interest. I would SO love to get this behemoth out of my entryway.

julie

Taking the “Pane” out of Making Stained Glass

You can thank the Kid for the title of this post. I just love his quirky sense of humor… gets that from me, I suspect.

I promised to give you some tips and hints about using glass paint to make faux stained glass. I have been using the products from Plaid, their Gallery Glass line. Of their product line, I have used both the glass paint and the “leading” strips. I stumbled onto their products at an estate sale, purchasing a large box of craft products ostensibly for the beads and paint and some other items. But since I now had the supplies, curiosity got the better of me and I set off to figure out how to use it.

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After much trial and error – including the mistake that the paint was to be brushed on – I finally got the hang of using the paint. I’ve gotten quite adept at using it with some very nice results.

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DSCN1996This particular glass contained was a 99¢ glass vase from a thrift store. I liked that the edges were rounded. I started with the leading strips, these particular ones are an eighth319OU8-c8+L inch wide. They are adhesive that once applied are able to be adjusted for a few days. But once they have been on the glass for a few days, they are permanent. I started but running lead around the top and bottom and then divide the space with an additional one or two lines. Then as it appeals to me, I make vertical and diagonal lines. I use a razor blade or exacto knife to get the joints very tight. I continue until I am satisfied.

DSCN1997Then it is time to add the color. Don’t be afraid to fill into the blank spaces with a lot of paint, the thicker and wavier you make the paint, the more distorted and “stained glass-like” it will appear. I like to lay the piece on its side and fill in all of the areas that are presented. The glass is dry to the touch in a few hours but can be disturbed if touch or scratched. I like to let the paint set up for at least 24 hours before applying any real pressure.

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DSCN1999Continue with random color selections until you’ve completed all sides. Allow to dry. It’s that easy!

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I’ve done a number of pieces, round, square and even flat panes of glass. I am working on a piece that is almost finished that will decorate the top portion of a arched window in my kitchen, of course in my favorite colors: red and white! The paints are almost fully cured and then I have to install it. And of course take some photos. I hope you will come back and see my results.

julie

PS – For those interested, I am not being paid for nor sponsored in any way for the mention of any products in this post. I just like the way that these particular products work and want to share with you my success.

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