Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Front porch makeover

Why is it that some spaces just seem to get neglected? The front porch is one of those places. There's a deck off the porch that is one of my favorite places to sit. You can watch the sunrise in the morning and the moon rise in the evening. And you can lounge in a chair with a glass of something cool and refreshing, your latest book being your biggest concern. :)

But sitting there you have to look over at the porch. What happened here anyway? It had sortof become a potting shed and dumping ground for weird things (and was actually worse than this I forgot to take a true "before" photo). This door only gets used by people that don't know any better so I guess it was never a priority. Until now!

I cleaned away the things that didn't need to stay, which included this frame which once had glass and a print inside but after a windstorm it got knocked down from the top of that black shelf and shattered the glass and ruined the print.

I spray painted the frame gloss black and while I was waiting for it to dry I went and cut the seed heads off my oregano. They're a lovely green and I needed some greenery.

I tied it into bundles and dangled them from the cup hooks on this garage sale find from last summer.

These pots had the perfect sort of patina I was looking for. I dug them out of the garden shed but they were originally a find after the neighbors moved and said they'd left a bunch of garden stuff and to help myself. Woohoo! :) The rocks were some my brother found hiking. I'm a bit of a rock hound and he knew I'd like them.

I straightened the chairs, added cushions and a table runner to the garage sale dresser that holds decorative seasonal items.

Oh and made myself a little sign. ;)

While the second coat of paint on the frame was drying I scouted out a thin rectangle of wood from the shop. A couple coats of chalkboard paint gave me carte blanche. Since it was too small to fit in the frame I needed a mat and made one from the cardboard I took out of the frame when I painted it, covered it in kraft paper and stamped it. Cheap, easy, free. Not weatherproof though so this will have to come in when the weather changes.

"Joy of life" (a phrase I learned reading some classic literature) - is how I see it, sitting here admiring the flowers and watching the rising of the sun and moon.

I tried to mirror the swirls on the shelf

With the swirls I stamped on the mat

Now it looks rather like an inviting little stop in the shade, sipping a refreshment and watching the bees flit about the flowers.

And to think I had all the supplies just sitting around the house. I love projects like that!

From blech
To inviting

Linking to:

The Shabby Chic Cottage

Creations by Kara

My Romantic Home

The Shabby Nest

Funky Junk Interiors

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Great Aunt's Bead Stash

On several of the items I sell on etsy I mention "my great aunt's bead stash" as the source of my vintage beads so I finally had the bright idea to show her stash so people can see what I'm talking about.

My great aunt made beaded jewelry for several years between the 1950's and 1970's.

This is a lone earring I've saved. No idea what's happened to the other.

But I do have quite a collection of the rings she made. I love all the color!

I inherited her stash and it sits in the unassuming little orange tackle box.

But inside? Pretties! :)

Matches were only two cents but she still re-used the box to store some beads.

I absolutely love the fun color in these acrylic beads.

This package only cost 29 cents new.

Not sure what it came off of or what I'll use it for but I do like this little cherub.

Faux pearls galore.

There are quite a few of these labels (and the box it's resting on) but I'm not sure what they held.

So there you are - finally! A peek into one I not only inherited beads from but also a desire to create.

Linking to:

My Romantic Home

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mosaic Monday - summer in the country

(click image to enlarge)

Bright full moons and ripening fruit, tall dried grass stalks and sweet red clover - yep! It's summertime in the country.

Hmm looking at those raspberries has got me hungry for some, better go pick myself a handful. ;)

Be sure to visit Little Red House to see all the beautiful mosaics!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Simple pleasures

I went out to the garden to pick myself some raspberries - the ones that are dark burgundy and the sweetest of the bunch.

But sometimes I feel like the Pied Piper of Hamlin. I seriously can't go anywhere on this property without three tag-alongs. They usually follow me in a line, or wait for me to get a little ahead and then run past me like maniacs.

Izzy loves raspberries but I make her lay down at the end of the row - otherwise she's in and out of the rows knocking the really ripe ones onto the ground...or picking her own - she gets in trouble for that! This way she just lays there and I throw the bird-pecked ones at her. She thinks it's great.

It always seems like the best and sweetest are always under a big leaf so I usually look pretty funny, practically standing on my head while I pick to fill up my bowl.

I was SUPER surprised to find some blueberries as well! Usually the birds get them all well before they've ripened enough for anyone to eat. The ones that were ripe were big and so sweet!

And then most surprising of all was this sunflower I found. I was so saddened by having to have the oak tree cut down - it was my favorite tree and I've been avoiding that part of the yard because it makes me feel bad. I happened to wander over anyway and discovered my favorite flower sprouting up next to it, where sunflowers have never been planted before.

Needless to say I was a bit speechless and absolutely delighted.

It really doesn't take much to make me happy. Simple pleasures always seem to be the best. :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Mosaic Monday - The Three Sisters

(click image to enlarge)

Sisters, Oregon is the residence of a trio of mountains (there are actually several mountains in the region) that I grew up calling Faith, Hope, and Charity. Of course the one day we stopped at the viewpoint (a few miles outside of town) it was cloudy, but you get the idea. :)

Sisters, the town, is a fun spot for visitors because of a town...umm rule? Something that requires all the buildings (except the retro Sno Cap) to look like Old West buildings.

You can visit the city's home page here. Although this page, ironically, seems to have more relevant information.

Be sure to visit Little Red House to see all the lovely mosaics!

Friday, July 16, 2010

The under sink cabinet nightmare

Way back at the beginning of June, I visited House of Grace and read her under the sink makeover. I was so inspired that I went immediately from my computer and tore everything out of my own under the sink cabinet. Here's what I found:

First of all...people who make coffee should also have to clean up the coffee grounds they spill everywhere when cleaning out the filter. I don't make the coffee so I have no problem with this. :)

Also? I discovered the instant hot water tank was...

SUPER corroded! Look at the leak and the corrosion to an electrical outlet! Ahhhh!!!!!
I commented on the post at House of Grace and told her I was pretty sure she just saved my house from burning down. I was wondering why the instant hot water had just stopped working a couple weeks before. So scary. If you have one go check it right now! Back? Okay.

I forgot to take a "before" shot - you know how you get all excited about a project and just go for it? But I did take this photo of everything that was in there as it was all spread out all over the kitchen floor.

Do you notice how most of the mess is bags? This is why I bought my nifty foldable shopping bag from CraftyTokyoMama.

Then there were three super short, super useless baskets with a bunch of weird cleaning stuff in it. Like this.

See the kitchen floor? Yeah...wood floor cleaner really needs to be in the kitchen.

I recycled all the plastic bags and folded the paper ones into this vintage crock.

It's hiding behind the middle post but there's a smaller basket with only a FEW, necessary cleaning goods relevant to kitchen things.

I actually washed the inside of the garbage can before putting it back in. That was so gross but I feel so much better about it now. And you can see the back of the cupboard! Which you couldn't at all before. Not joking.

I was so inspired I decided to also tackle the cabinet next to it. The cabinet that holds things that get very sporadic use but they need to stick around. Look at that. How does that even happen?

I found this wooden crate in another room and filled it with canning supplies - lids, spices, etc.

Also found a thrifted metal shelf on legs to use. Granted the after isn't THAT much better, but at least I know where things are and I can get to them. There is something to be said for that!

Now I'm eyeballing every cabinet. Which shall be next to fall under my cleaning craze? Muah-hahahahahahahaaaaa! ;)

Linking to:


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A thrifted shirt should not look like a thrifted shirt

Some people have a problem buying used clothing. I am not one of those people. :)
I bought two shirts at Goodwill and while they were the light and airy summer type stuff I was looking for, they just lacked...everything that would make this a better looking shirt.

Let's start with this one. The dedangle-jazzled tank that had a section of bedangle-jazzle missing. Niiiiiiiice.

I cut all those off and was left with a very plain tank.

Until I saw this tutorial at Along for the Ride and made myself some rosettes! I pinned them on and then hand-sewed them. Let's just say it's a good thing no one will see the back side. Since the tutorial was for hair ties I, of course, made one to match my shirt! :) (and didn't photograph it? no cookie for me!)

The next shirt I bought because I was desperate and needed something lightweight and comfy and this seemed like it fit the bill. What I didn't know, because I didn't try it, on was that this doesn't fit anything.

I didn't photograph me wearing it so I tried to recreate it with a pixel drawing...I do not have Allie Brosh's skills for communicating feeling through drawings so forgive me.
It was loose and sacky, had three-quarter sleeves that came to just above my wrist (what?) and an insane plunging neckline. What to do with this mess?

For starters I cut it down the middle in the front.

I measured an inch in on those cut front pieces and pinned it so I could run a stitch along it - like a cardigan front.

And then I sewed. I am not a sewing fan, but Disney gave me the confidence to try it so I went ahead (with plenty of troubles, don't get me wrong)

Then I needed to massively shorten the sleeves so I stitched two rows on the top and bottom...

And pulled them into a ruffle/ruche thing. Looking at it now...I think I might add more ruffle / ruche things. But the sleeves are perfect length now!

And then I bought these super cute button earrings from Lovie and Boo to match my shirt re-fashions. :)

All in all, I think I need MUCH more practice sewing before I get good...or even...ENJOY it, but I did have fun fixing and designing the shirts. I shall try it again I think!

Linking to:

Creations by Kara

Today's Creative Blog

The Shabby Chic Cottage

The Shabby Nest