Monday, June 27, 2011

thrift junky finds & a sweet treat


I’ve been thrifting again.   My last trip was a big success.  Maybe it is because my man was kind enough to keep the kiddos and let me do errands by my lonesome self = with a clear mind.  =)  Before I had kids I never would have guessed that doing errands by myself and/or having a clear mind were such valuable commodities.

Sorry - before I get to the thrift store finds, I forgot to share a successful recipe with you - my friend’s Lemon-licious Biscotti


I made them before our ladies’ trip and they were very successful in adding inches to our waistlines.  Thanks for reminding me, Esther!  =)

And also, look what the little diva wore this week while stomping on the kitty…

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I showed you all three of those stomping pictures because it was not just a coincidental shot – it really is her goal in life to squish the kitten somehow.  Anyway, she saw that swimsuit in the laundry pile and had to wear it.  I might have drawn the line if we were going somewhere, but I tend to let her wear whatever she wants when we are around the house. 

And the latest breaking news is that Susie has started talking!!!!!  Yes, actual words!  Halleluiah!  Phew!  She says: please, thank you, eat, uh-oh, help, up, ow, drink, juice, go… I’m surely forgetting a few… oh yeah, ‘cheese’…


She is constantly jumping into my camera frame now yelling “CHEESE!  CHEESE!  CHEESE!” until I take some shots and then show her the image on the camera.  It’s okay because sometimes I get ones like this…


And then there’s Mark, of whom I only get these…


He requested I take that photo, and that is what he did.  Boys.

Okay, so without further ado --- my latest thrift store finds:


All for $66!  I consider that a good deal.  That quilt alone would have cost me that much new, and I really got a lot…

First off, that cart on casters was only $4.99!  Reminds me of the industrial goodness at the State Surplus store.  I plan to use it at a sale I’m doing this winter, and it will surely land some place around the house and look cute in the meantime.

And Leah, you probably already noticed this, don’t kill me okay…


Top and center in that picture are two old loaf pans with the funny bumpy shiny finish.  Leah found one at Farm Chicks and used it for organizing kitchen gadgets.  I got the pair on top for $4.99 and the big one they are sitting in for $3.99.  I completely copied her organizing idea…


Now I want every drawer in my house to be completely full of them, creating all different sized compartments to keep my stuff from flopping all around.  And I noticed they are all numbered by size…

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So cool.  Easy to collect a certain size.  Loaf pans are now on my routine thrifting list. =)

Okay, more in that pile…


…inside the large loaf pan is an old english plate ($0.99; project coming up soon), a couple vintage tea cups  ($0.69/ea), cute juice glasses ($0.69/ea; juice glasses are on my routine thrifting list – I am creating a mismatched set), a huge pickle jar (I stole the lid off one marked $5.99 and got this one with the stolen lid for $0.69 because it didn’t have a tag =), and the mirrored vanity tray I got for $6.99 - I saw some cute spray painted ones on Etsy recently.  Same project as the little plate… can you guess?



I got all this yardage for mostly $0.99 each (the two yellow florals were vintage pillow cases) and one or two were $1.99, and also the vintage embroidery hoop for $1.99 (I want to make hoop art like Ashley made at Meg’s!). My mom recently gave me a similar hoop that was my grandmother’s, so I am holding on to them until I come up with a couple more, and then I’ll tackle a hoop art creation. 

I got this huge basket for $6.99 which I badly needed to hold our lincoln logs – looked better after some parts formerly known as handles were snipped away…

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It once looked scraggly but now looks loved and aged.  There are a few missing weaves but they don’t bother me.


The kids like having the lincoln logs handy.

Lastly, a sweet tin with a gingham lid for $0.69 and this pretty quilt with scalloped edges…


It was marked $19.99, which I thought was a little high, and then I found a small hole, so I got the manager to mark it 20% off.  Still I hesitated, but I felt like I could fix the hole, so I went for it.  It was cute and simple and feminine and will be a great layering piece  for my room if when I ever get my quilt done.

Kids are stirring and that is all I got, besides one last “CHEESE!”


Friday, June 17, 2011

silhouette how-to & tutus


My bedroom is far from finished.  Case in point: There is a sweet little profile I made of Mark that sits by Ty’s side of the bed tugs at my heart every time I see it…


My side of the bed?  No tugging at the heartstrings – just an empty frame… for like a year now.  Partly because I was waiting for Susie to get past baby stage, and then just because I haven’t gotten around to it the past couple several months (I told you, it’s the story of my life).

So I thought I would do a two for one: fill the frame and share a tutorial with you, all at the same time. 

Now, for supplies:


I used:


cream cardstock paper


calligraphy pen with fine tip

calligraphy ink, black

small paint brush (not pictured, oops)

profile photo

Here is the profile photo I took of Susie…


The background doesn’t matter and it doesn’t even matter if it is blurry, as long as you can make out the profile.  At the time I was running out of printer ink and erased some of the background to save ink and that is also why my profiles below are psychedelic...

Cut out your profile, then trace it with pencil onto the paper, whichever way you want it facing.  This is the time to add things like alfalfa hair, curls or eyelashes to the outline if you want…


Now, be careful not to spill and have to start all over like I did…


I dip the fine tip pen in the ink and go around the pencil line, then make the line a little thicker, tracing around the inside, then take over with the paintbrush dipped in ink to fill in the whole thing faster...


After it dries (about 5 min.) I do another coat with the brush, to even out any visible brushstrokes.  Then I let it dry for a bit and put it into the empty frame and do a happy dance.


Ain’t she cute? 

Now Ty’s (left) side of the bed and my (right) side of the bed look complete…

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Well, if complete means both sides have my children's’ profiles and neither side has an empty frame.  I still have a lot of ‘finishing’ to do in this room, including getting rid of the plastic crafting table.  =)

If you want to tackle the profiles but don’t want to get a pen and ink, here are two other ideas for you.  You could use fine tip and blunt tip Sharpies instead of pen / ink / paintbrush.  I think most people in blog land probably use the Sharpie method, but I feel like the lines show and I don’t like that.  Another method would be to cut the profile out of contrasting paper and glue it onto your background paper.  And to spruce it up, you could have the background be a printed wrapping or scrapbook paper or even fabric.


Time for the family update… Susie’s been sporting ponytails…


…and pigtails!…


Also, maybe I should do a whole body profile so the tutu could be represented…


Yes, she wore it to the store yesterday.  It is her uniform and she thinks it goes with everything.  Especially with sparkly pink shoes.  Can’t argue with her there.  What has happened to my world?  My tomboy world has been turned upside down with girlyness!  =)

Oh, I almost forgot, this is what happens when your husband gets your daughter up from her nap and thinks that the tutu hanging on her dresser (it has been hanging there for months ;) is supposed to go under her summer dress…


She looked like a lady out of a period movie with the huge poufy booty under her dress!  Awesome.

As for Mark, he has been featured less here on the blog as of late.  That is because he will hardly ever take a photo without having his hands in front of his face in some distorted manner. 

I have to catch him when he can’t hear my camera shutter…

Dirt bike riding!  That I can capture!


He was a little timid that day, and then he almost wiped out and became more than a little timid…


Almost wiping out can do that to a person.

Then Susie stole his thunder again…



Little thunder hog.  She is tomboy and diva in one.  She has no fear of motorized things and always wants in on the action.

That’s all for now folks, more soon! 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

new lamp love and quesadillas

Remember when I made a lamp out of a tripod I found at a thrift store? Well I have a really hard time finding lamps that I like via retail, but I guess I’ve found my groove in making them. I had a weird, thick, glass beaker thingy that I got back when I went to Surplus, and just now got around to making a lamp out of it (story of my life).

I was not able to find a lamp kit at the big box stores that would fit my beaker thingy. My recommendation for a great place to get supplies is Hansen Lamp & Shade in Seattle. They specialize in restoring lighting, so they are experts at every little part and piece you might need for your project.

In this case, I took my weird beaker thingy in and plopped it on the counter and said, “I want to make a lamp out of this… can you help me?” I wonder how many people have said that and plopped weird things down on their counters? The lady was super helpful, took some measurements and ordered (and shipped to me) a special lamp kit that would be able to customize to fit the top of my beaker…


But I ended up realizing I could just forgo the cork all together for an even better fit/look…


Time for a little tweaking (so far tweaking is a common theme in all my lamp-making endeavors)…


…I stripped the cork and gathered some supplies left over from the last lamp redo…


…used one of the short threaded tubes and added a nut…


…put them all together…


…tested the fit…


…perfect! Aleene’s Jewelry & Metal Glue seemed logical (though something like epoxy would certainly be stronger) since I was gluing metal and glass and they are both listed on the glue, and a little tape to hold it all in place while it dried…

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…a little waiting…


…here was the finished product with a shade I borrowed from my bedside lamp (this pic gives you a good view of the ‘weird beaker thingy’)…


…I picked up a bigger burlap shade from Tarjay for a little more drama, and here is the final before and after…

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The new lamp is much more interesting, unique and textural, if I do say so myself! And it doesn’t need to be propped up on books to make it look bigger! Yay!


What do you think? Too weird for you? I’m digging it.

I’m also digging me some quesadillas, now that my Mexican friend shared with me the secret to a good quesadilla. Mine always tasted oddly sweet or something and I wasn’t that into them. I would like to introduce you to…

Mexican Quesadillas



See the salt? THAT is the secret.

Fold your tortilla in half, open and add the cheese, and a good sprinkling of salt to one side.


See all that salt? That is what makes it good. =)

Close it back up and cook on medium/high heat until brown spots show up and then flip it…


Cook until brown spots form on other side and then I like to cool them for a minute or two to make the cheese less stringy…


Then cut.


And serve.



I am tempted to make some guac and pico de gallo to plop on top of mine, but so far have been too lazy. I’ve been eating them almost every day for like a week. And now I need to go running more. =)