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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Word Love

I've been *slowly* redoing the strange room on the side of our house.  I call it the is a "room" that was added onto the side of the house to allow access to the basement without going outside..four stairs down, landing and door to the outside, and 6 stairs going back the other way to get to the basement.  There's a homemade shelf and cabinet.  When you have an 864 square foot house, storage is at a premium...I'm sure that's why there's a shelf and cabinet out there.

Anyway...I love all of the "word" art going around.  I knew my hubby wouldn't appreciate anything too gushy/mushy...a definite "NO" to "You Are My Sunshine."  I thought and thought and I decided on the first few lines of "All Together Now" by the Beatles.  I thought that wasn't too gushy.  However, when I showed Trevor, he wasn't too impressed because it said "I love you" twice.  Oh, well.

It didn't turn out as cute as I had envisioned.  I had originally thought I would cut out all of the letters from computer printouts and Modge Podge it.  After cutting out one word, I decided that was for the birds!  So I waited for scrapbooking letters to go on sale at Hobby Lobby. 

After I painted the cabinet door in the new colors, I removed the door from the cabinet and applied the letters.  I don't think it is an epic fail...but it is just "Ehhh...okay..."  Just like life, not all projects turn out golden; and that is okay.

Hope you are having a great day, and remember to take care of you!

Friday, January 27, 2012


For some reason, I haven't been finding great things at the thrift shops lately.  People really need to do some spring cleaning so the selection is better.  : )

Here's the goods I did pick up:  a butterfly pin, a key pin, a Go Big Red bracelet, and a beautiful beaded coin purse.  I guess it isn't a bad haul for $8.50:
Most of this week has been spent working on a snowman embroidery quilt (finished up the embroidery on this) and on my nephew's T-Shirt Quilt.  While I've been slaving away in my craft room, here's what the dogs were doing:
Shiloh sleeps approximately 98% of it's not really that shocking for him to be sawing logs!  Of course, if I were 100+ years old, I would probably sleep most of the day away, too.
Lola was snoring (so unladylike!) until I turned on the camera...she has a true aversion to the camera...

I'm not sure why everyone was curled up on a pillow, but that seemed to be the theme!  Hopefully I will make some good discoveries this weekend when Trev and I are in Omaha.  Wish me luck!

I hope you are having a wonderful day, and don't forget to Take Care of You!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Yo-yo push pins

I was cruising through the Anthropologie website when I saw these yo-yo pushpins for your bulletin board.  Here's the link and picture:
I thought that this would be really, really easy to make.  So, here's how I made my own:
I cut out 8-1 inch circles (I traced a quarter) out of an old notebook cover (thin plastic)--I just wanted something to stabilize the cotton fabric used for the yo-yo.  I used super-cheap flat-head push pins that would "disappear" in the middle of the yo-yos.

Next, I chose a colorful cotton fabric from my stash.  I traced 8-2 1/2 inch circles onto the wrong side of the cotton.  (I used the bottom of a spray paint can...I know, really scientific!)  I cut out the circles leaving about a 1/4 inch extra ring around the circle, making the circle approximately 2 3/4 inches big.

Don't worry about that pencil will disappear when the yo-yo is complete.
Next I used just a little bit of glue (from a glue stick) to tack the plastic disk into the middle of the yo-yo's wrong side.  Then I stuck a push pin through the middle of the plastic disk.
Now the hard work is done...time to make the yo-yo.  I used the pencil line as my guide as to how much to fold the edge of the circle.  You will want to fold the edge in toward the plastic disk.

Then, you just pull the string to form the yo-yo, tie-off your thread.  You could add small beads or buttons at this point if you wanted to add a little something-something. are done!

The finished push-pin is just slightly larger than 1 inch around.
 These go together really fast, and they are cute!  How fast you ask?  I got three done in less than 20 miles on a two-lane road while my husband drove 70 mph in a snowstorm...they are quick...especially once you are just sewing the seam.  I made mine all out of the same fabric, but this would be great for those little pieces you have left in your stash. 

If you haven't done yo-yos before, keep in mind that you want a pretty thin fabric--preferably cotton.  This would not be a good project for denim or fleece!

Wouldn't these make great little gifts?  I hope you are having a wonderful day.  Take care of you!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Quick Update -- Grandpa's "New" Chair

We got up at 6 am this morning (not my choice...) to take Grandpa his new chair.  Here's a picture of me, Booger, and Grandpa.  He looks pretty happy with his new chair, don't you think?

Reminder: hair and clothing were done at 6 am...SIX AM!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Finds...

My husband and I decided to spend a day together just going to thrift shops in Lincoln, NE.  I hadn't ever been to thrift shops in Lincoln, so I went to the thrift store shopper website ( to see where the thrift shops were. 

We had a blast!  We lucked onto a bag sale at the ARC Thrift Shop.  I got $34 worth of stuff in my $10 bag.  How awesome is that!?!

Here are some of the goodies from my $10 bag--some wooden spoons, a lavendar pitcher, a cute bag, a couple of silk scarves, and some boxes--one of them wooden!
We also stopped at St. Louie's Catholic Thrift Store.  This is by far the nicest thrift shop I have ever been in...the clothing was sized and separated, the dishes were awesome, and the furniture!  If I ever want "new" furniture, that's where we are going first!  We did pick up a La-Z-Boy rocker/recliner (that looked like it hadn't ever been sat in) for $89.  We will be delivering this to my Grandpa soon...he is so excited.  Maybe I'll add a picture of him with his new chair.

Lola -- kickin' it in style with a silk scarf from my $10 bag
 Have a super day, and take care of you!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Have Yourself a Very Vintage Christmas by Susan Waggoner

I believe it is never too early to think about Christmas...don't believe me?  Just ask Trevor!

Anyway...I checked out a great book from our local library called "Have Yourself a Very Vintage Christmas:  Crafts, Decorating Tips, and Recipes, 1920s-1960s" by Susan Waggoner.
Ms. Waggoner has compiled information about Christmas decorating trends for each decade.  She has also included ideas on how to recreate some of the  vintage cuteness for your own Christmas collection.  She even has an "art portfolio" at the end of the book with retro Christmas designs that can be copied and used as you wish.

Have a wonderful Wednesday, and take care of you!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I got my new Keepsake Quilting catalog today!

I'm a quilting catalog junkie!  I love getting a new catalog full of new, beautiful fabric and quilting ideas.  Here's some of my favorites from the Almost Spring 2012 Keepsake Quilting catalog:
Gentle Nature (#9071)  This picture doesn't show it, but there are bunnies, raccoon, skunks, in addition to the deer.

I adore butterflies!
How cute is this?!?  I buy this stuff at auctions any time it goes for a reasonable rate.  Love it!
Kit for $79.99?  Oh, no!  I am sure I can do something even cuter for a heck of a lot less!
 The greatest thing about quilting catalogs is all of the inspiration I get for all kinds of projects.  Free fun from my mailbox!  Hope you are having a great day!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Monday Makeover...PAINT!

My husband is a little concerned at my sudden uber-interest in paint!  A little paint can make just about anything look new, or at least, better.  I've been working on painting the shelving in our mudroom and I told Trev I planned to paint pretty much every room in our house this year.  He just grunted disbelievingly and lifted one eyebrow as if to say, "Yeah, right..."

I did paint that cute pair of end tables I picked up for $8.  Trev wanted the tables to be black because of the quilt and quilt runners we have in our bedroom.  I used Clark + Kensington Flat Enamel paint in the color Cannonball.  This is a paint and primer in one.  It still took two coats and a touch up coat.  To finish, I used a Krylon paint pen in silver to put a few dots and squiggly lines for character...plain black was just too boring.

Obviously, one thing I need to work on improving is my picture taking.  I'll work on'll just have to believe me that they look really good and fit in our very limited space in the bedroom.
I'm working on all kinds of projects.  I'm working on Valentine's Day presents for my honey, a t-shirt quilt that I really must get finished up, and some projects using potato chip bags...lots of fun stuff!  I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Booger and Lola...just lounging around...

Friday, January 13, 2012


I've been seeing a lot of inspirational "dream" quotes all over lately.  The one thing they all seem to have in common is the directive that we must act, do, move, in order for any dream to come true.  That was somewhat the reason behind me starting this blog.  I have tons of books, ideas, and materials to craft to my heart's content.  But, if I have the stuff and never actually do anything to complete crafts, then the stuff is really quite worthless and just a waste of space and money.

I truly considered getting rid of all my "crafty" stuff--my sewing machine, my material, my thrifty finds I planned to remake into something special to me.  However, I always feel better if I am crafting.  It lifts my self-esteem--even if the project turns out so-so or yucky.  I just feel good when I am *doing* rather than sitting on the sidelines saying, "I could do that..."

Remember the little train that could became the little train that DID.  So whatever your dream is...being crafty, a clean house, a stronger relationship, fitness, better eating habits, better job, and educational goal, a spiritual goal, etc.  Make the time to do something to make it happen!

Okay...enough of my soapbox for today...

I found a great pair of end tables that were perfect for our bedroom last week.  I paid $8 total.  I've been repainting them this week, and I'll have before and after pictures for you on Monday.  I also bought a few more old suitcases...I really must do something with these soon.  I have quite a collection because in December, on a very cold day, my husband indulged me and went with me to an outdoor auction.  Within five minutes of the start of the auction, I had purchased a pile of around 10 hard suitcases in all kinds of sizes for $1.  I felt like I'd hit the jackpot!  Trevor was a sweetheart -- hauling them all to the pick-up; I only heard him mutter something about using them to pack my stuff up once.  He's SO funny!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Green Produce Bags

My grandma used to wrap her iceberg lettuce in cotton dish towels.  When I asked her why she did that, she said, “It makes the lettuce last longer.”
To a young child, this seemed like an odd answer.  I wondered how the towel made the lettuce “last longer”…I mean, did it make more lettuce grow?  Now I know that it wicks excess moisture away which helps keep lettuce crisp and free from decay longer than many other methods of storage.
I remembered this little happy memory about my Grandma when I was flipping through the book “Sewing Green” by Betz White.  This book has 25 projects made with repurposed & organic materials.  One project she had was “green bags” for veggies and fruits made out of linen instead of using plastic bags.   If you can, this is worth the trip to your local library to check it out!  If you want really great instructions for green bags that are cut out, these are good.
Anyway…I had this project on my mind when I happened to be at a thrift shop and saw a set of six linen place mats.  “How great is that?”  I thought.  Since these already have finished edges, these would make quick and easy green bags!

I wanted to embroider fruit or veggie designs, so I started looking through my collection of embroidery patterns.  I came upon some great vintage iron-on fruit transfers…they would be even faster and cuter.  SCORE!

I ironed on the transfers and sewed up the bags.  I honestly spent more time at the thrift shop and looking through all of my embroidery patterns than I did on sewing these up.  .  I think they turned out cute, and they are useful, too!  What do you think?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday Finds--Ties, Plastic Frogs, and Sheets!

I love, love, love to go to thrift stores, garage sales, and the ultimate fun—AUCTIONS!  Since I have a great job that gives me every Friday off, I’ve made this into “Me-day.”  I do things that I enjoy and I usually hit a few thrift stores to see what great things I can find…unless I know of a great auction on the weekend.  In Nebraska, though, most auctions are not held in the winter time, so thrift store hopping I go.
Here are some great little things I found on a recent trip:

I was SOOOO excited to find the plastic frogs...which I hope I can turn into a bowl.  I was also glad to find CHEAP ties...bought lots of ties, so I hope I can turn them into something neat and different.  The "purple" in the back is a "bakery" for a doll by Melissa & Doug.  It's all wood and has a magnetized closure.  It won't be a bakery when I'm done with it!

Sheets and Pillow Cases!  What great canvasses for creativity!

I'm a sucker for bed sheets and pillow cases because you can turn them into so many different things.  When I buy a whole bed sheet for $1, I feel okay if I try something that doesn't work out...I mean, I'm only out a dollar and some time, right?

My aunt said that she knew someone that had turned this same vintage Peanuts (c) sheet into a blanket by quilting it ... maybe I'll do that too.  It may just be too cute to cut up into pieces.  I especially like the motif with Snoopy thinking to Woodstock, "It's hard to feel sorry for yourself when you're happy!"  Charles Schultz was an absolute genius!

And some things you just get because they are so cute!  What librarian could resist the little gnome reading??

You’ll probably see some of these pop up again in my attempts to be crafty!  What do you do to have a little economical fun?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Makeover Monday -- Doily Potholders

I love vintage doilies!  My great-grandmother made beautiful doilies, and it’s a talent that simply was not passed down to me.  I have tried to crochet, and it has always ended up as a disastrous mess.    I was so excited to find some crocheted (thread) potholders.
I knew I didn’t want to use these at potholders…I value my fingers too much to rely on two layers of thread for heat protection…but these were just so cute!
So I got to thinking that these would make cute coin purses.  I didn’t think I needed to line the inside since they were “lined” with that second layer of crochet intended to protect fingers.

What I used:
·         Crochet Potholder – green/pink potholder (about 6" around) was $0.29 and the green potholder (about 5" around) was $0.65 at local thrift shop
·         Closure – 4” zipper was $1.49 and coin purse clasp was $3.99
·         Thread, Needle, & Scissors
1         Hand-wash the potholders and dry
2         Attach the closure.
Pink & Green/Zippered purse:  I tried adding the zipper with the sewing machine.  However, I decided to take that out and attach the zipper by hand using a blind stitch.  Since there was such a distinct backing (white part that was becoming the inside of the purse), I decided to just blind stitch the whole thing.  It really didn’t take very long because the item was so small.

Green/Clasp purse:  I hand-sewed the clasp on (there are holes around the edge to attach the purse to the clasp). 
3         I looked through my button collection.  I decided to add an old key to the green purse.  I thought it just needed a little extra somethin’-somethin’.
Total time:
I made them both in about two hours—while I was half watching TV.  It really was a super simple project.  I think that they are cute.  What do you think?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

I believe that New Year's Resolutions are a great thing.  We all need to evaluate how we want to improve our lives from time to time, and what better time to do that than at the beginning of a new year.  I decided that blogging might help me stay on track with my New Year's Resolutions as I want to continue to grow with the positive changes I have made in the last few years.

So, let the blogging commence...

Makeover Mondays will focus on the 3-Rs:  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and my favorite, Upcycling.  Occasionally, I'll throw some quilting in as an added bonus!

Weighty Wednesdays will focus on fitness and healthy eating.

Friday Finds will focus on cool things I've picked up at thrift stores or projects I found in my closet or whatever I find to talk about on Fridays.

I'm planning on taking lots of pictures.  I'm so happy to be starting this journey!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!