Tuesday, November 30, 2010

'Twas the Week Before Craft Show...

'Twas the week before craft show and all through the house, the projects were scattered ... there was probably a mouse!

[I can’t help myself … knowing that my first craft show and Christmas are right around the corner, I can’t stop making things ... Christmas things. For example, I had these little wood block scraps from some leftover home project. The wood was way too thick to create signs, so I decided to use them as little, wood desk toppers.

I’m in the Christmas spirit (although my house doesn’t look it yet – I still have pumpkins in my family room), so I decided to make some Christmas blocks. I primed them all with Krylon white primer, hand painted a few in this really pale green, and stamped them with Christmas designs in a red ink. I didn’t like how they turned out, so I started over. I decided to decoupage them and then distress them with a paint and glaze mixture. 

I painted over all three sides with this cool bluish green. Then, as I was decoupaging one of the blocks, another block fell over and ended up getting paint splotches all over it.] 

“Darn it,” I thought, as I cleaned off the spatter. And my kids came running to see "what's the matter?" 

But, what to my wondering eyes did appear? Absolutely not eight tiny reindeer! 
Instead, my eyes twinkled and my heart gave a start. What I saw before me was a cool piece of art! 

I sprang to my feet and began to whistle and then flew down the stairs like the down of a thistle. 

And you probably heard me, as I cleared up my doubt. "It's just so funny how these things turn out."  I'm linking to:
Visit thecsiproject.com 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Flea Market Finds and Craft Show Prep

Wow! Where did the time go? We just said goodbye to my parents who came down to spend Thanksgiving with us. We had a blast. Dad and I went to the flea market this morning (didn't get much, except for a picture frame and this cool old stove thingie). I don't know what it is actually, except my Dad said it's from an old coal stove. Does anyone know what it is?

Mom helped me set up a dry run for my craft show booth in my living room and boy, am I glad we did! We found lots of things that didn't work just quite right. For example, I planned on hanging all my hand painted signs on shutters so people could see them. It worked fine until I hung one that was a little heavier and then the shutters closed on us, sending everything to the floor ... oops! We worked it out by nailing the shutters in place. That would have been a disaster! We also found that even with plenty of my hand painted furniture, we still didn't have enough table top space for all my jewelry boxes, so I'll be bringing one of my end tables. I'm still working on it, but my Mom was a lot of help and so was Dad, as he got one of the vanity drawers unstuck!

So, if you are doing a craft show for the first time, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND, setting it up first.

I hope you all had a great holiday. In addition to my parents, we had another family over for Thanksgiving and we ate tons of food. It was so good. My son goes back to school tomorrow. His flight leaves at 6:30 AM ... guess who's going to bed extra early tonight?!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving and Shop 'Til You Drop!

Here's wishing you all a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving! I'm taking a break to clean and cook for Thanksgiving. It's at my house this year (well, it's usually always here). I just picked up my oldest at the train station and I'm so excited to see him! Of course, as soon as he walked in the house, he ate and went to sleep -- ahh, the life of a college student. It's also my sweet dog, Stoli's 10th birthday! She's off getting "a day of beauty" at the groomers. 

And now ...  a little shameless self-promotion: Both of my esty shops will be having great sales to jump start your holiday shopping! Country Tag Sale will be featuring 15% off all items from Black Friday through CyberMonday. My other shop, Where the Grass is Green is having a ONE day 20% off sale on anything in my shop. That sale is on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving until midnight. 
You must enter a coupon code at checkout to get the discount! 

For Country Tag Sale the coupon code is COUNTRY15.

For Where the Grass is Green, it's SAVEONGREEN2.

So, if you've been eyeing a vintage find or work of art for yourself or for a gift, now is the time to act!

Now, go and have yourself a wonderful turkey day!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Soccered Out, But Lovin' It

Yep, the tale of the soccer mom. I’m tired. Two games yesterday and heading to flea markets and garage sales in-between can wear a gal out. Top it off with two games today and a lot of work to do and I’m now officially a bobble head. 

But, I thought that I’d share a few fun finds with you from the Brumwells flea market – it’s an outdoor flea market in a huge gravel parking lot. Some of the vendors are straight out of American Pickers – some downright scary -- but I did score some cool stuff. First, this really cool old baby buggy wheel. I’ll figure out something to do with it. Also, got this wonderful old shoe mold. I’m going to use it as a doorstop (until it sells, that is). And that giant, gaudy gold frame you see in the background, well, it’s going to be gorgeous useful … just you wait and see!

Also, scored a plethora of old wood boxes to paint and refurbish – they are all stacked in my craft room waiting for a fresh look.

By the way, my son’s (and husband’s) team won the tournament so it was a happy day at the Z’s!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I’m Santa … how cool is that?

I just finished creating a custom ballerina jewelry box for a little girl in Texas. The little girl asked Santa for a Cinderella blue ballerina jewelry box. Her mom contacted me through etsy. 

I just so happened to have one working, but very beat up, ballerina jewelry box in my stash. (You never know when there will be a need for a ballerina jewelry box.) Anyway, she told me that her three year old was very specific about wanting it Cinderella blue and I said “No problem.” Then I searched the craft aisles for Cinderella blue …amazingly, and I mean amazingly, there is no Cinderella blue. There is of course, pale blue, robin’s egg blue, regency blue, paradise blue, Bahama blue, winter blue, super blue … you get it. We decided on Regency blue by Plaid Enterprises, and I went to work. 

The box was made out of chip wood covered in paper and the paper was in bad shape – peeling, etc. Thank goodness she liked the shabby chic look because that’s basically all I could do. I used Mod Podge to decoupage a lacy specialty paper (have no idea where it came from but I had it) over the ripped parts and then roughed up the edges all around to match the other roughed up edges. The little girl also told Santa that she wanted her name on top. That was easy. 

Me and her mom decided on using little wood letters instead of script, so she could read it. I painted and then stamped the letters with a beautiful French script, but it looked too grown up, so ... I redid the letters with sweet little flowers and butterflies. Then embellished the top with a few fabric flowers and used Gorilla Glue to fasten down the Swarovski crystals (so little hands can’t pry them off). A pretty lacy ribbon hides the imperfections along the top. And well, here it is! Since it was from Santa, I stamped  “from the North Pole” on the bottom and left a little handmade gift inside just for her.

The result: I got this little note from her mom and that was more than I ever could ask for

"So gorgeous.....and such great detail (From the North Pole? Fairy Wand? Awesome!!)! 
This is going to be Lucia's very favorite gift this year, I'm sure of it." 

 ...well, I certainly hope Lucia likes it, too!!

I'm linking towww.theshabbychiccottage.net.png

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It’s All About the Vanity

Warning: This may be a little text heavy, but the story is worth it – especially for all my frugal friends. My bathroom before...not bad, just blah...

When we built our house, we ran out of money by the time we got to the bathrooms. We were fortunate that my husband worked for a builder so we purchased most things at cost – and we got some free upgrades – like the big bathtub. However, everything else was builder grade, right down to the fixtures and plain white tiles. TIP: never, ever get white tiles when you have well water unless you are really into rust stains!! Fortunately, (and I mean fortunately) three years ago, the tiles began to come loose because the builder (ahem, my husband) picked the wrong board to go behind the shower walls. 

Since it really wasn’t that bad, I needed another excuse to change the bathroom before it got worse (me falling through the floor and into the kitchen below while showering is not a pretty picture).

Then it happened… a friend invited me to a“going out of business sale.” When the doors opened and I saw it from afar and I ran (literally) through the store and leaped (literally) onto this incredible wood and marble vanity. My friend went to get a salesperson and yes, you are going to be so jealous, I got this incredible vanity, sinks already installed, for $50!

Why? It had a crack and a chip in the marble top and a broken leg. When it was delivered and it took up half our bedroom, my husband had to agree to finally fix our problem bathroom. How’s that for a bargain story? Anyone else have a good one to share? I just bet you do. 

Here are some more pics of my new bathroom (notice the tile is now a rust, brown color ... no more wories about well water).

The only thing I’m not extremely happy with are the window treatments, but for now they serve their purpose as I keep looking.
La Toilette...

 And gotta love this candelabra I got at a tag sale for $15!  Linking to:

Monday, November 15, 2010

Giveaway Time at A Little Knick Knack!

I'm thrilled to be featured on A Little Knick Knack today and she is hosting a giveaway from my etsy shop all week. Check it out in photo above, too!

If you haven't seen her great blog, be sure to check it out right now! She has some really fun, creative ideas and I especially love when she posts her thrift store finds (and transformations).

By the way, I have some other good news, friends. My little star trinket box was featured on etsy's front page (a big deal in the esty world). Woo hoo! (The box on left.)

Anyway, head on over to Meg's blog and enter to win. Oh, and you all probably have a head start if you already follow me!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Wine and Wreaths

Our monthly wine & design group just met last night and we created wreaths. Everyone did something different and they were so cool! I was going to give you a tutorial on making my wreath, but it was so easy, I can sum it up in four steps:
1.    Purchase a wreath form. I used a 12-inch stick(?) one I purchased at Michael’s.
2.    Look through your fabric stash (I assume everyone has a fabric stash) and find something pleasing to the eye. I had some muslin leftover from a project that I never even started and some other utility fabric that I found.
3.    Start ripping the fabric into strips. I played around until I found the size that would work best. Snip with scissors and then rip these strips into different lengths (just make sure that you can tie them around the wreath form.) If you want a neater look, you can cut them, but I like the frayed look so I just let’er rip!
4.    Attach to the wreath form by tying each strip on – the more the merrier! Twist them in different ways to create interest!
  And you can add embellishments – after seeing Cassie’s felt rosettes, I decided to make some myself and attach them. She taught me how to make them in a matter of minutes, and after a couple tries, I believe I got it! There are dozens of tutorials online about how to make them.
And, there you have it! Take a look at all the other fun wreaths we creative gals completed, er, almost completed.

First, Cassie's wreath:  She found that cool little bird at Target's ... gotta go grab a few myself:

Then, Emily's, eerily similar to Cassie's -- and they didn't plan it that way!
For some reason, Cassie's mom's wreath didn't make it in my first post...I swear it was there at one time. It's gorgeous ... so now you know where Cassie gets some of her talent genes.
 Julie and Jasmine didn't get too far (they tried!!). They will finish or embellish at home (well, maybe Jasmine may just eat her's)!
I'm linking to Freckled Laundry:

freckled laundry

Friday, November 12, 2010

Repurposing Christmas

I collect things. For example, I found these little hanging signs at a garage sale this summer and just stashed them away.  I just found them again and thought, “these would make great holiday signs or even ornaments.” 
So, I went to town and this is what I came up with! It was fun poking through my vintage jewelry, using scraps of paper, burlap and different stamps. It took me about an hour to make all four … I’m selling them at the craft fair, but if they don’t sell, that’s okay, I’ll just keep them! 

I’ll be back tomorrow with a look at some creative wreaths made at our monthly Wine & Design!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Shedding Light on Lamps

Remember that old lamp I showed you way back when (well, about a week ago)? Here it is again and it's outdated pleated lampshade. The lamp had a very pretty base, but I really wanted to get rid of the gold, so got my trusty can of heirloom white spray paint and sprayed it. Too white. Took my black/amber glazing medium and wiped it on and off until I got the desired effect. Done!

Now to find a lampshade. I scoured the thrift stores, yard sales and even Target, but couldn't find one I liked (under $3), so I thought, "I'm stuck with the pleated one, and there's not much I can do with that." BUT, then I discovered this awesome lampshade treatment on Funky Junk Interiors. If you click, you'll see she even provides a tutorial -- easy peasy! I had some scraps of muslin laying around  (from a wreath project that I'll reveal on saturday) and went to work. However, since my lamp shade wasn't as pretty as Donna's, it didn't look as sweet as hers.

I took it one step further and stamped some botanical designs on some of my muslin strips and I love the results! This little lamp will go in my craft room (closet) ... perfect size for that little space.

And, here it is all illuminated! Since I do write a safety column, I have to add this piece of advice: make sure that the strips of fabric don't touch or hang too close to the bulb. My strips are relatively close, but since this is a task light for me, I will always be in the room when I'm using it -- it won't be a light that I leave on and walk away. I'm still looking for another lamp shade, just because I want to add something with crystals and beads to it (I tried on this, did not work with the lightweight muslin), but this will do just fine. 

I'm linking to:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Yard Sale Finds ...

Not much, dear friends. Only made it to two yard sales in between dropping off my son, grocery shopping and a soccer game. My friend, T and her sister, had a garage sale with all sorts of wonderful stuff from their now ex-store (is that what you call it?). Beautiful things, great deals, but still too much for my empty wallet (unless of course I saw something that I really needed, not wanted, but needed). I did manage to spend a total of $6 on a couple pieces of jewelry for my magnets, a cool bucket (which I'm going to use in my master bath) and four sign hanger display thingies (above with bucket). They will be going in my craft show booth somewhere to hold my handmade signs. Actually, I think I may use one of them on my mail box.
And, I'm afraid that's all I got. Spent the rest of the weekend walking around Annapolis while my son was in Sunday school (gorgeous day), making a magazine wreath to enter into the Chesapeake Arts Center's WreathFEST  (I'm creating this for What'sUp Annapolis Magazine) and visiting some friends at the 2Hands Indie Craft Market ... beautiful stuff!

Busy couple of weeks coming up, but stay tuned for a tutorial on my magazine wreath, an update on my lamp and candelabra makeover, and my finally finished master bathroom (a before and after).

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I say Joe-Pa, You say...

Terno!!! Joe-Pa, Terno! Congrats to Joe Paterno for 400 victories as head coach of Penn State football! Joe Paterno, head coach of Penn State football since 1966, has won more games in Division I than any other head coach and tonight achieved yet another milestone, winning his 400th game. I'm proud to have gone to Penn State and privileged to have interviewed him as a journalist. Way to go, Joe!

Headed Out and About!

Headed out to yard sale. I'll come back with a list of my finds. And, stay tuned to see how I transformed this little lamp.

By the way, have you noticed that my background keeps changing? Can't find one that I truly love yet, so I'll just keep experimenting. (I do this with my house, too).