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Showing posts from January, 2012

New Purses In The Etsy Shop

Braving wind and temps in the 70's today, I finally got my new purses and bags photographed and listed in my Etsy shop .  Just joking. . . it was a beautiful day. I'm really excited about these new bags.  They were a lot of fun to make. This first one was made from an upcycled child's dress.  I cut the top part off and added an insert (to hold stuff) as well as some embellishments and a sturdy strap.  It would make a perfect ballet bag for some special little girl. This next bag was made from an upcycled child's skirt.  I love the hearts, especially so close to Valentine's Day.  Here's a fun purse for a grown up ballerina (or even a non-ballerina).  Fluffy and Festive. This purse has great flowy (is that a word?) fabric.  Orange is a hot color right now for accessorizing.  This bag comes with a special removable flower pin.  You'll have to check out   the listing to find out what I made it from .  Thanks fo

My Newest Milk Glass Container

One of the rules I set for myself when I go thrifting is that I must find a use for each item I find.  I don't allow myself to hoard things just because they are a good deal.  Last week I showed off my latest thrifting finds and promised to share what I decided to do with the milk glass pedestal dish. I thought it would make a great holder for many of the small items I use next to my sewing machine. The small scallops around the dish are the perfect size to hold small scissors, seam rippers, and threading helpers ( because I'm old and can't see the silly needle slit to thread it - ack!).  The sweet heart fabric is a ballet bag I'm making for my Etsy shop .  I hope to have it photographed and listed tomorrow along with a few other bags.  I'm enjoying collecting the milk glass containers   to use as accessories on my studio work surface. I'm still using my grandma's old red tomato pin cushion.  My sewing machine was my other

Thrifted Finds To Cheer Up The Kitchen

I was supposed to be shopping for a bedside table.  Ahem. . . a bedside table. . . not dishes.  See, if I went to a regular furniture store instead of a thrift store, I wouldn't have this problem.   They don't sell dishes in furniture stores, but they also don't have very interesting bedside tables in furniture stores (at least not the ones I'm interested in).  Apparently I have a disease called "dish-itis".  I think it's contagious because some of my friends have it too.  Some of the fun things I found are an amber pitcher (to replace one I broke before Christmas), a mortar and pestle (to grind spices), a yellow glass tray (I think I'll use it in the bathroom to hold bottles), a milk glass pedestal dish (wait until Monday to see what I did with this cutie), a Villeroy and Boch rectangular tray (I need this to serve Stromboli on), and a handmade creamy floral vase (it matches the one I use on my spring mantel).  Oh,
It's amazing how God works through His people to get a job done. A few weeks ago at my Bible study, a friend mentioned that she and her husband were going to Honduras to help with an orphanage there.  She was asking us to donate small stuffed animals or "lovies" to take with her to the orphaned children.  My thoughts immediately went to a pile of fabric that a dear family friend had given me.  I hadn't been sure of what I would do with the fabrics. . . but now I knew.  White flannel on one side and children's cotton print on the other.   But what else could I add?  Silky tags on the corners.  Children love to rub silky things.  The purple ribbon came from wedding gifts my daughter and son-in-law had gotten last year - thank you Bed, Bath, and Beyond for adding plain purple ribbon to your gift wrapped packages.  I didn't even have to take your logo off of it. I had been told by my friend that they were worried that the gifted it

Wrensday: What's Blooming In My Garden In January

It's been unseasonably warm here this winter.  Only a few days (and nights) with frigid weather.  I'm loving having some blooms around the yard to cheer me up. Yellow Violas in the window box on the deck railing. Pyracantha espaliered in the courtyard. Carolina Jessamine on the arbor gate in the courtyard. Beautiful pink Camelia near the front porch.  (I bought this bush for $3.00 two years ago at Lowe's  during their fall clearance sale.  I make it a point to shop there every fall to pick up shrubs and trees.) Buds are starting to form on the Forsythia.  I'll bring a few branches in next week to force.  Then I'll have yellow blooms inside and out. What's blooming in your garden?

How To Make Clay Tags

I've been up to my eyeballs in clay lately. Rolling and stamping.  Poking and shaping.  Baking and Sanding. It's a bit of a process, but the the Fimo clay is very easy to work with and I've been having a great time trying out a new medium.   I bought mine at Walmart in their craft section. We've got a lot of new mommies at our church, so I thought I needed to make some tags for gifts.  I also made some tags to use with my Etsy orders.  Little birds are always my favorites.   To make the tags:  Knead a hunk of clay to make it softer and easier to work with.  Roll out the clay with a rolling pin.  I rolled it out on freezer paper to make it easier to pick up.  Use a rubber stamp and ink to stamp your image lightly into the clay.  Punch a hole into the top of the tag (I used the top of an old mechanical pencil - the part that hides the eraser).  Place the tag onto a cookie sheet that is lined with parchment paper.  Bake according to package d

Fixing Up A Plastic Bakery Cover

 While thrifting one day last week, I came across an old bakery cover like you would have found covering cakes and other types of pastry goodies at a diner. What I liked about the cover was it's size - nice and big.  I have an old aluminum cover that was my grandma's but it is pretty small.  Whenever I've made a 3 layer cake or an angel food cake, the cover would smoosh the cake and that's NEVER good.  What I didn't like about the cover was that it was plastic - not my favorite.  It also had a few scratches and smudges from being used over the years.   At $1.99, I decided to take my chances and see if I could fix it up.  Here is a photo of what it looked like before: I used my Gel Gloss which is made for fiberglass, marble and acrylic finishes.  I figured the plastic could be acrylic so I gave it a shot. . .   The Gel Gloss definitely gave it a shiny luster and buffed away some of the scratches and other marks.  I got the Gel Gloss at Lowe&

How To Recycle Ribbon

We received a beautiful fruit basket from Harry & David for a Christmas present.  With the whole gang at the house for several days, the basket was emptied pretty quickly.  All that was left was the basket (which I'm using on the kitchen island) and the grosgrain ribbon.  You know how I can't stand to throw perfectly good things away - especially ribbon!  Well, I had to brainstorm an idea of what to do with the ribbon.  I kept thinking "if only it didn't say Harry & David".  And as I thought that, I started scraping at the writing with my fingernail.  Hmmm. . . the writing started to come off a little bit.  See how the last part of the name is disappearing? I got out a scrub brush and some "Sparkle Cleaner" and went to town.  A few minutes later and the names were gone.  There's only a faint shimmer of color every now and then. I washed it in the washing machine and it came out great. I'm not sure where this ribbo

Wrensday: I'm Dreaming Of A Veggie Garden

I've been browsing through my seed, plant, and bulb catalogs this past week and I'm so ready for spring.  I can't wait for the tiny sprouts of green to start popping up through the brown dirt.  It makes me giddy. Speaking of giddy - get a load of these tomatoes.  Couldn't you just drool?  I want a tomato sandwich.  Now!!! What will you be planting in the spring?

Fun New Etsy Items

I've been working on several items for my Etsy shop and I finally got them photographed and entered into the shop. This was a fun project.  An upcycled evening bag got a punch of color from a floral skirt and several men's dress shirts (the rolled flowers).  This next one is just a preppy little wool purse with vintage buttons on the front and back.    This utility apron is unusual because it is a full size apron. Useful in the kitchen, classroom, or while running a craft show or yard sale.  Lot's of potential.  I love that it is practical but feminine too. These next two aprons aren't in the shop because they were a custom order, but they certainly are adorable.  I couldn't show them off before Christmas because they were being ordered for Christmas presents and I'm pretty sure the recipients read my blog (at least I hope they do). 

My Word For 2012

I've been contemplating what my word for 2012 would be.  2011 was quite an amazing year and I've been thinking that 2012 would just sort of be a shadow year.  You know, one of those years where you just live - nothing big happens.  You live in the shadow of what happened previously  because it was so bright and shiny that everything else paled in comparison.  Well, as usual, God wouldn't let me live in a shadow.  He reminded me that he healed me from kidney disease and paralysis for a reason -  for a PURPOSE.    Source: via Lorraine on Pinterest (Sarah Jane Studios has some adorable artwork - ) Selfishly, I wanted a year to rest.  A year of sabbatical.  A year of just hanging out.  But do you know what happens to you when you rest for a whole year?  You turn flabby.  Your mind turns to mush.  You stop going forward and start to drift backward.  That

Monday Motivation - Your Home's Entrance

If you've been following this blog for awhile, you're familiar with Monday Motivation. Monday Motivation was a prompt to help you clean and organize your home - one room/area at a time. By the end of the year, we had gone through the entire house (including the car) and purged, sorted, and organized. I've decided to include these posts, once a month, for those who want to continue through their home again. I'll be doing this in my home too. I've already started on my foyer closet! The first Monday Motivation post of 2011: This is this first post of 2011 that deals with decluttering and organizing our homes. Since we're moving in an organized fashion, we'll start with the front door. When people enter your home through your front door, what do they see first? Piles? Shoes? Stacks of Papers? Maybe you don't even have a real entrance, like a foyer, in your home. If you don't, can you improvise by placing

Ten Things I Got Rid Of This Week

Ten things I got rid of this week: 1.   3 pairs of shoes that hurt my feet.  Remember, life is too short to wear shoes that hurt your feet.  One pair got thrown out and 2 (almost new) pair were donated. 2.   1 worn out make-up brush.  In the trash can. 3.   14 books I'm never going to read again.  Donated. 4.   Christmas wrapping supplies from my wrapping bin that were too wrinkled or smooshed to use.  Trash. 5.   Several pens that were out of ink. 6.   3 worn out towels.  Put in the garage to use as car washing towels. 7 .  6 coffee mugs.  We got 6 new mugs as Christmas gifts, so 6 old ones go out.  Donated. 8.   1 warm blanket that we didn't need anymore.  Donated to homeless shelter. 9.   1 half dead plant.  I have fought to keep this plant alive, but I'm over it. The return on investment was just not there.  Compost pile. 10.   1 pot holder with holes.  Trash.  So here's a challenge for the weekend - can you find 1

Wrensday- Bloom where you're planted

Wrensday has always been my favorite day here on the blog.  I enjoy taking photos around "The Wren" as we call our home.  I decided to make a "wrensday" button and it will be featured every Wednesday (Wrensday) to announce the photo(s) of the day.  I love that this little Black Eyed Susan was still blooming on New Year's Day.  It's starting 2012 off on the right foot (eh, I mean root).  Bloom little girl, bloom!

A Few Ideas To Inspire You In 2012

I think most of us look at the beginning of a new year as an opportunity to do better.   Do a better job at taking care of our bodies, our jobs, and our homes.  Work on our relationships with our Lord, our spouses, our family, and our friends. Learn new skills, new words, and new knowledge.  After the Christmas decorations were packed up I spent a bit of time on the computer looking for ideas for the new year.  What new things would inspire me?  I bookmarked a bunch of sites and thought I would share them with you.  Let me know which ones you like the best.  Spiritual: I'm not the kind of person who usually says the "C" word - but I love this quote and this is how I want to live. Source: via Kelly on Pinterest I would love to get a new Bible, but I'm so comfortable with my old one and I love reading the notes and dates I've added over the years.  See the notes in the margins?   (PS. . . this is not my Bible - I