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February 27, 2015

Tank Top Beach Bag

1-DSCF8763cover                              

I’ve had about enough of the snow. And cold. And ice. So I’ve started my spring cleanout which in my mind is the equivalent of a rain dance. Logical right? If I spring clean, spring will come? Please don’t tell me otherwise.

As often is the case, with one project comes another and pretty soon I’m turning one of the girl’s outgrown tank tops (plus a pair of jeans) into a beach bag and a tag. For the complete tutorial, click over to Stencil Girl. Spring cleaning and ocean themed stencils? Yep, spring is sure to come sooner rather than later. You can thank me later.

DaleySignaturelowres  
May 3, 2010

Rack refurbishment

An antique luggage rack has been on my rummage/yard sale radar for a loooong time. When I spied this one two weeks ago (priced at $4), I grabbed it immediately. Luckily, there were no injuries. I had plans for this rack to live in our guest bedroom so suitcases would also have a nice place to rest.

I didn’t even think twice about those worn ribbons.

Instead, I saw a beautiful and functional piece of furniture that was perfect for an easy makeover project.

I happened to have this ribbon in my stash (also purchased at a rummage sale in a box like that one.) It was exactly the right width and had the same charm of the original luggage rack ribbon. I knew it was meant to be.

It took about 30 minutes to transform my find including the ribbon replacement and a good polish. A project that was finished up just in time for our guests over the past weekend. Suitcases are now within arms reach at this hotel. And we don’t even charge extra.
Filed Under: projects, thrifting
April 27, 2010

The box under the rummage sale table

Over the past weekend, I managed to find time to squeeze in a couple of rummage sales. This is my absolute favorite way to find materials for mixed media paintings and sewing projects. Supplies purchased like this are a mere fraction of the retail price. Besides you can’t find trim from the 1940s at your local Michael’s.

While wandering the second sale of the morning, I spied a box under the table in the “craft/sewing section.” (ALWAYS LOOK UNDER THE TABLE. This is where the really good stuff hides…trust me.) I didn’t need to spend much time weeding through to know I had struck gold. I added a few other things to the box and then asked the nice lady if she could give me a price for the whole lot. She looked through my stash and consulted with her coworker. Then she turned back to me, smiled and said, “How’s $2.50?” I told her that was more than fair. So are you curious as to what’s in that box?! Here’s a sampling…


Yards of fabric…

Lace and trims.

Hundreds of buttons…

A rainbow of rick rack, seam binding, bias trim, elastic (most unopened)…

Charming wooden spools of thread, measuring tapes and old sewing notions. The box also contained half yards of colorful fleece (perfect for kid projects), unopened ribbon spools, crochet thread and tulle.

Never
underestimate a rummage sale as a source for materials. And you’ll probably get a better deal if you collect a box of stuff and ask for a price on the entire lot. Have fun and let me know what treasures you find!
Filed Under: thrifting
September 29, 2009

Finding JOY

When I entered the scene of a particular yard sale a month or so ago, I almost turned around and walked right back out before doing a thorough investigation of the goods. At first glance, the sale seemed to have an abundance of overpriced Tupperware and plastic novelties. But since I had taken the time to stop the car, I figured I’d at least check out the pile of books on a back table. And that’s when I saw it. A small box shoved to the side. I gulped. Vintage scrabble?! My heart skipped a beat. There wasn’t a board, but the letters and letter racks were enough for me. With the asking price of 50 cents for the set, I realized that some people value Tupperware, while others prefer vintage letters. Absolutely nothing wrong with that.

I knew those little blocky letters would be great in a mixed media piece, but I also realized they were cool enough to stand on their own. So I spelled out our name and let them rest on the light switch plate in our entryway. Hubby please stop reading…

(actually they are attached to the wall with a little dab of hot glue. Yes, I was aware that the painter of the house would not be happy with the decision to take a glue gun to the walls, but at least it’s not hay or plastic flowers, right? …anybody see those Trading Spaces episodes??!)

Hubby continue reading…

I also came to the conclusion that my fabric covered studio switch plate could benefit from letter additions so I “attached” more tiles. I love spelling out the obvious.

Less daring I suppose is choosing to display a word on one of those charming, old wooden racks. The X is on its side on purpose. You get it right?!

This also spells what to do when you discover how your wife attached scrabble letters to the walls. XOXO : )
May 4, 2009

Making a list

I bet you’ve been wondering if I’ve been thinking about the clipboard that I would transform to match my booth that would hold my mailing list sign-up sheet? No? Well actually, it happens to be bullet point #15 on my “100 Things to Prep for Art Show” list. The scary thing is I’m not kidding. After digging into my closet of waiting-to-be-fabulous thrift store/yard sale treasures, I picked out this particular clipboard purchased for a quarter some time ago. Beat up and abused, but with the coolest metal clip in perfect working condition. I primed the board and threw a palette of paint at it (quite literally really) to make over into this…

tah dah! Now a much happier clipboard which also got a few coats of sealer.

This sign up opportunity will be out for those interested in hearing about my latest work, show schedule, studio happenings and promos including specials just for “the list.” And BTW if you can’t be at this show, notice the new little sign up button over there at the right (i’m pointing to screen.) Just enter your e-mail and presto you’ll too be on “the list.” And don’t think you’ll be bombarded with e-mail. It’s a no-share, no-more-than-once-a-month update. Did I mention the specials?

Now in case you think I’ve gone over the top and become waaaaay too serious about all of this prepping, not to worry…

…here’s the sign-up pen. Who says the pencils should have all the fun?

I’m typing slowly with eleven fingers due to a nasty x-acto knife accident yesterday. I’ll spare you the details. Just a little reminder that I need to keep my mind focused instead of thinking (while cutting) about how I could next transform/embellish the boring looking cash box.

FYI: I’m drawing the line at clipboards…at least for this show.
Filed Under: projects, thrifting
April 22, 2009

Hiding the Table or more 1st Art Show prep

I’ve had my eye out for fabric for my upcoming art show table for awhile now. Nothing uglier than your standard 2′ x 6′ white plastic hotel table…yeah, that baby must be covered. Yesterday on a thrift shop pop-in, I rooted through the fabric/bedding section to find 4 yards of the above for the bargain price of $2 (total). I questioned its busy-ness, but decided that the shade of purple perfectly matched my color scheme. This certainly isn’t bed-in-a-bag matchy that I’m going for with this and this and now THIS, but it’s all working and “matching” in my colorful, patterned world. I also loved that the funky paisley had a nice sense of movement, and was a non-wrinkly-silky kind of fabric that would look pretty good pulled out of a box if an iron couldn’t be located, and ~LOVE~ that it was $2.

After trimming the fabric to size, I decided it needed the other kind of trim. I rationalized that 8 yards of perfect trim probably wouldn’t turn up at a thrift store anytime soon…so I purchased the above ribbon from a craft store for a big $4. Bringing my table investment to $6. With all the other show necessities adding up, I’m being cautious. My goal is to at least break even.

I hemmed the edges of the fabric first and then went back and added the trim. Not sure if there’s a “right” way. If so, my making a trimmed table cloth by the book would have been purely accidental.

Here’s my purple, paisley, polka-dotted table cover all finished taking a test run on our dining table. I’ll also have a white cloth under it at the show which will extend to the floor so I can hide stuff like bins and bags and maybe myself depending on how things go… : 0

Another big check off the prep list….I’ve got the table covered.
February 27, 2009

Upcycling

upcycling: the practice of taking something that is disposable and transforming it into something of greater use and value. –wikipedia

One of my very favorite magazines, Cloth Paper Scissors, included my bottle cap charms in their latest issue and newest column. If you’re interested in the step-by-step click here for my original post back in October (…and how great are those paint tube peeps by the Oiseaux Sisters on the cover!)

I’m thinking that if there’s anything positive about the recession and current environmental concerns, it’s the fact that a whole lot of us are taking a closer look at how we can upcycle. It’s an exciting process. Actually at this very moment, I have 10 thrifted wool sweaters in a variety of splashy colors and patterns drying in the basement. I bought this book and can’t wait to transform them. Stay tuned for felted wool experiments coming soon.

Speaking of trash, check out some vintage beauties that I’ve acquired via estate sales in the past year. I paid under a dollar for each of these heavy metal cans that I absolutely adore.

I’ll have to say it’s hard to put trash in something so charming. That’s a good thing. Double thinking what’s truly trash and what has the potential for an upcycling. February is almost out and that means yard sale season a.k.a opportunity is right around the corner.
Happy Friday!
Filed Under: projects, thrifting
February 15, 2009

a chip off the old block

Congrats to Illustration Friday’s newest proud parents Penelope and Colin. To celebrate, I created this party hat out of a…

…wooden children’s block and bits of vintage feathers, trims, beads, papers and fabrics. I found these blocks at a yard sale last summer. The nice seller had a very hard time giving them up and hoped that my kids would love the blocks as much as hers had. I felt slightly guilty and didn’t mention exactly what I had in mind for those smooth wooden shapes. In addition to the hat above, I’m seeing a plethora of future 3-D mixed media projects. How about you?

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