Friday, December 23, 2011

Last minute gifts that have a personal touch!

Need a quick, easy and inexpensive Christmas gift?
Walmart has some great holiday towels on sale for $.98.

With about 20 mins.,a little applikay wonder (or wonder under) some coordinating fabric and your zig zag stitch on your machine turns these towels into a personalized gift!

FOr these ones I cut out a poinsettia from some fabric..
And these were just some free hand trees..
 Easy peasy, and cute as can be :)

Till Later!
Michelle

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Birdfeeder? Planter? OR, maybe a candle chandy tutorial

We've all seen them, those cast off glass shades in various shapes, colors and styles. Sitting dejected and rejected on the shelves at the local thrift, or in a box of junk at the yard sale or flea market. I always look at them, and think I should do something with them, but end up leaving them behind...Until last week.


This glass shade beckoned to me from 2 aisles away, the color, the shape..it has this romantic Victorian, art deco, glam Hollywood vibe happening and I immediately thought..Ooh! I can use this to make a bird feeder for  our  weed-bed  flowerbed next to the porch, and hey, I should post a tute so that more of these can be saved and given new life.

So, ready?

We're going to start by gathering our supplies.
1. hanging light shade  (mine was $2.92)
2. 24 gauge wire (Home depot) $5.50 ish
3. Jewels- I got mine at wally world, in the floral section For $3.00
4. Crystal beads- I used Darice brand from Joanns. $4 ish

Start by measuring out and cutting about 3 (or more/less depending on your shade) lengths of wire about 28" long.

Choose your crystal dangles and thread them on to the halfway point and bring the ends together so that the crystal is dangling.
Repeat for each wire strand and crystal dangle.

 From this point on we will be threading both ends through each bead. There are no real instructions for this part, just 1 "rule" repeat the beading order on each of your wire strands. On mine I used 4 additional beads.
Thread the wire through one of the holes in your shade, continue beading, I used about 15 or so. Repeat for the other wire strands. At this point, you are going to bring all of your strands together. this is where buying the jewels comes in double handy, the round beads that come with the dangles have very large eyes, 6 strand of wire was fed through with no trouble at all.

I used 6 of the larger beads for this part. To finish the beading off, twist the strands together, then bend a loop over and wrap the ends around the twisted strands right at the top of the top bead, making sure to not leave any stray ends poking out. Hang and enjoy!

Isn't it pretty? Of course once I finished it I got to thinking, it's really too pretty to put away for the winter, how could I use it inside? And I am now flip flopping between a plant hanger and a LED candle holder..

What do you all think?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

No sewing

For me right now, my back is out of order again :( Which really bites as I have 3 of my new clutches, 2 shoulder bags, a quilt and a slip cover waiting to be finished at the shop. My doc gave me some scrips though so hopefully I will be able to get back at it before too much longer :) In the mean-time I am just taking things easy and trying not to aggravate the situation ;)

I do have some new stuff to share though, before my back started screaming I had gotten a few new designs whipped up and in the shop, and also a couple of other items finished and gifted.
These key chains are collaborations with my Mom, she crochets the fronts and backs, then I sew them together, stuff them and bead them. They are in the shop, and will be on etsy soon!


Cute little patchwork baby blanket, 32" x 32", no batting, but has a fleece backing. lightweight, but still snuggly warm.

Pleated shoulder bag, Also in the shop, and will be available on etsy later in the week.

 The butterfly bag in the picture was a narket bag I made to wrap This special young couple's housewarming gifts. The apron I made is actually for Alyssa, but Todd is a good sport and let her try it on him LOL!.

A better picture of the apron.

This is a quilt for my Doctor, she is expecting her second baby boy. I am using the no triangle zig zag pattern by AmandaJean of Crazy Mom quilts.

 My newest bag design. I made this clutch to match the outfit I wore to the housewarming party, I've 3 more almost ready, they will hopefully be in the shop soon!

Friday, September 9, 2011

wow, a month since my last post!

my only excuse is just that, an excuse. We've been extremely busy getting my quilt shop up and going. and while there is still bolt shelving to build, and fabrics to moved in to place, the rest of it has come along nicely!

The piece I'm most proud of so far has to be my sales counter.
Here's the before (the one with the new wood added):
My antique General store counters!!
Sorry for the bad picture, Had hubby not reminded me I wouldn't have even this picture to show for the before!! This is after the base was cut down by about 4 inches. These had been sitting in a basement for years and had some extensive water rot all along the bottom. The new wood being added is for an open shelf all along the bottom for some vintage knock off wood crates we are going to build. The second piece on the other side of the picture is an identical unit, it just needed more work and isn't completely finished yet.

the back is real tongue and groove beadboard with the pretty side facing in, and the dilemma of restoring versus painting was resolved by the time factor. I couldn't decide what color to paint it, So after much debate I decided I was going to white wash it. Unfortunately, it made it just look dirty
But then I thought, what if I added some color and went with a beachy look? It worked!!

and here's my sales counter now:
as you can see, I need to touch up the white washing inside the shelves, but I love it. On the top I used my Silhouette to cut stencils in different fonts for all words crafty in nature, Fabric, quilt, craft, sew, thread etc., but I don't have a close up picture of it right now.

I can't wait to share more of the pictures of the shop with you all, we did open last weekend, but the "Grand" opening isn't until October 1, and I will be sure to take a lot of pictures of everything being finished!

I'm linking up to Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Friday
Furniture Feature Fridays

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The BEST mashed potatoes EVER!

As promised on facebook yesterday today yesterday, here is my recipe for what we have decided is the best mashed potatoes I've ever made!
Let me preface this with a quick note. This batch was HUGE. The first time I made them I used locally grown baby reds, I wasn't so lucky this time, and got carried away and cut the whole 5lb bag! On the bright side, Hubby makes a mean potato cake and now we have plenty left over for him to work his magic with ;)

I started with these ingredients:


Red potatoes (baby reds are best!) with skins left on, washed and quartered.
Garlic powder
1 pouch of real bacon pieces
butter
splash of milk
salt and pepper

Instructions:


 In a large pan, cover your potatoes with water, bring to a boil and boil uncovered until tender, drain. Transfer potatoes to large mixing bowl.

add butter, garlic powder and a splash of milk and using a masher (these are definitely not mixer potatoes due to the skins.) mash potatoes until still mostly lumpy.

add salt and pepper to taste.

Finish mashing potatoes until lumps are gone (or as close as possible)

open pouch of bacon pieces and remove freshness packet. empty the pouch into the potatoes and mix well.


 Serve warm.

They were the perfect compliment to the ribeye and sweet corn. The best part? even with the bacon and butter used, without the gravy (traditional mashed potatoes) or sour cream (baked potato) we were able to cut out a bit of fat, which is always a good thing.

I'm thinking of using greek yogurt in place of the butter next time, baby steps!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Quick Tutorial

While doing some blog reading a week or 2 ago I was reminded of a small inexpensive little doodad I had been meaning to order and found it at LaurieAnna's. The price was certainly right ($5.95) so I popped it in my cart and started to pay for it only to be disappointed..There is a $30 minimum to order online :(
String w/Scissors
So I did a bit of searching, and found it on another website for $8.95, but with $6.00 shipping..um no. and found it again on eBay with a whopping $18.99 (free ship)price tag. Now, normally I would consider the $14.95 including shipping not bad, but after having been going to get it for half that price at LaurieAnna's if I'd had enough in my cart I just wan't going to go there. So, I made my own, and now I'm going to show you how I did it!

This literally took longer to gather the supplies into 1 spot than it did to make it!

What you will need:


1.A drill and drill bits (I used a 5/16 for the scissors hole, but would have used a larger one if we had it!)
2. a dowel rod (I bought 3/4" dowels, but discovered a scrap end of a 1" dowel from a previous project I ended up using..didn't have to cut the dowel down that way LOL)
3. Screw driver
4. Long screw (mine was a 2")
5. sand paper
6. saw to cut the dowel.
7. Unfinished wood plaque. I got mine at Hobby Lobby for $0.50 regular price.


Steps:
 1. Cut your dowel to 4.25"
2. Sand off the sharp edges of one end, creating a slightly rounded effect. This will be the top.
3. Drill your hole for the scissors. Find the center of your dowel and drill straight down. I just used my scissors to gauge when to stop.

4. Drill pilot holes. You will want to drill straight through the plaque, and about a half inch through the bottom of the dowel.


5. assemble. From the bottom of the plaque, screw your screw through until the top 1/4" is showing on the top of the plaque. Twist your dowel onto this tip so that the screw grabs hold. Holding the dowel piece firmly  finish screwing the 2 pieces together.

Place a spool of twine on the holder and insert your scissors in the hole and that's it, a nice little caddy that keeps your twine and scissors together neatly.



Monday, July 18, 2011

An evening with Jan

After having had such a long week with painting down at the shop and then a trip south for a birthday party on Saturday, I decided I deserved some play time with my Janome last night.

Armed with some great images mostly from The Graphics Fairy  , vintage ticking (freecycle Baby!) and other fabrics, various vintage laces and trims I whipped up 4 slouchy bags last night!





I'm linking up to:

Monday, July 11, 2011

Some thrifty finds and Shop updates

Well it's been a non stop whirlwind here lately! The boys and I have been working on getting the shop and some vintage furniture (they will be fixtures) painted. I'm both nervous and excited about opening up, and really expect to awaken any moment to find it's all been a dream.



There is still a lot of work to be done, but we are making progress :)

This is what the dresser looked like before, bronze nail polish and all..

And here it is with a coat of a beautiful soft french blue...It's actually a color place color called Cloud formation.


I also managed to fit a bit of thrifting and a yardsale in whilst on my weekly grocery trip, I know, BIG shock right?



My favorites from this week are the pink footed bowl for 75 cents and this hand embroidered Ballerina Runner for $1.  At some point someone spilled what looks like it might be red pop or koolaid on it, but when asked, the owner told me she had never laundered the (2)pieces because her MIL had starched them so well and she hadn't wanted to have to restarch them, so I am hopeful that I can get the stains out. If not I will repurpose both ends as the stain is in the center that is not embroidered.


Here's a bit of sewing for the week!
 I am working on this cradle set for a new Mom to be and it's going so well! I just love her color choices!
I hope to finish it in a day or 2 :)


well, that's all from me for now, I'm off to get some more painting done down at the shop!

Later,
Michelle


Linking up with:

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Some vintage finds and the week in review


Warning, this is a picture heavy post, even more so than usual!

This has been a strange week, I feel like I've not accomplished much of anything. Probably due to the holding pattern I've been in waiting for the key to the shop, which has me stymied on getting other project done.

For the 4th, we drove down to my MIL's to hang out for awhile, then joined her and my SIL and family over at Nelsonville's Thunder in the Valley. The fireworks were ok, although it is paling in comparison to previous years. Still, we had fun, the boys enjoyed the show and the company, and that is all that matters.

I did manage to get one long overdue project completed with a bit of help from my hubby.

While it wasn't anything that I needed help with, We actually Enjoy working on these projects together. Maybe I will start an "I made it WITH my hubby" club? There are many times that Bill has helped spread paint, sand, staple and build to fit the visions in my head. And I'm lucky in that if it is something that I just really want to do myself, he doesn't get all touchy and offended about it.

Anyhow, this was finally completed after over a month of just needing the base upholstered and the legs painted. (Please Don't mind the stained cutter quilt in the background..I've been working on repurposing it 1 little bit at a time)
<--Ooops I still need to cover the staples..

This was a freecycle gem, and was in not so great shape when I got it. I used a very light pearl grey vinyl for the upholstery, and the inside got a good cleaning and a fresh coat of Krylon Jade. The legs also got the Krylon treatment, in Smoke grey.

The before pictures:
 Yeah definitely much better now :) This will be going to the store to hold some toys, books and coloring books/crayons to keep little ones occupied while Mom, G'ma etc shop.
The next project lined up for the shop is this vintage stool I found in Athens Oh. for $12.00. It was higher than I would normally spent on something that looked this rough. But it is solid..It's all cosmetic!

Last Friday when I went grocerying, I stopped at a yard sale, and then one of my favorite thrift stores was having a 50% off everything sale. I cleaned up my friends!!!
My finds:

  The deer planter..the dog I had from a previous flea market trip, I've already turned them into pincushions for the shop.

sweet vintage ribbon!

Wood candle stick and a holiday cheese n cracker or cake plate.

Old snooker table top ($1!!)

40 vintage harlequins, 5 cents a piece!

These vintage suitcases were a real steal at $0.50 each! They both still have their keys, and as you can see, the top one has most of the bottles and the original mirror!

I couldn't pass up the vintage bicentennial bottle and the 2 cup percolator for $0.50 each.

most of my favorite vintage items are kitchenware. these will all find homes in my kitchen, although I may take the carafe and coffee filter holder to the shop. 



 a few odds and ends to craft with. the owl will become another pincushion probably, the curtain tie back will become part of a wreath stand, and the candle sticks? who knows?

So there you have it, really it was a very good week!