Tag Archives: thrift shop finds

About that “1 Year” thing…

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Started writing this on Sunday, but life went a little funky and I stalled before I got pictures uploaded/posted:

Yeah, I think I’m going to be extending the deadline on this “year” of crafting thing. (Actually I’ll probably keep this up as long as I have crafts I want to write about.)

So today I had a relatively large list of stuff I need/want to do. But things went a little sideways when I got a robocall from the pharmacy at FIVE THIRTY ON A SUNDAY MORNING. ::seethes:: I got up about an hour later, but still kept feeling very sleepy, so at noon I finally gave in and went to take a nap. It was more cat-cuddling than napping, but still very nice, but the moment I sat up my head just whirled. So I’ve got a headache and vertigo, so nothing that needs to be done while standing upright is going to happen today.

So. I guess this is the perfect time to show off one of the things I did during my last massive spray paint extravaganza. (Ironically, there was going to be a massive acrylic coating spray event today, but that ain’t happening now.)

A few weeks ago I found a sinktop shelf at the thrift store for $6. It has MDF shelves and metal pedestals with curlicues and metal tomatoes and eggplants on them. It was one of those with a high central shelf that’s supposed to accommodate a kitchen faucet with the big inverted U-bend. I tried it out and it was wobbly because part of the base sat on the sink edge, and part sat on the counter. And it limited the movement of my faucet. Turns out, though, that it just fits the leaning desk I got for my craft room, so I put it there instead. (I’d been wondering if one of those would work for that purpose anyhow.) But before I put it there, I spray-painted the shelves with hammered bronze-effect spray paint and the metal pedestals with that shiny-penny copper paint, which as I’ve said before I’m totally in love with.

So here’s the project:

sink shelf

So there’s a faux oak finish and the supports are painted hunter green with (hard to see here) purple eggplants and red tomatoes. I don’t know why I dislike hunter green so much, but I do. Plus EVERYTHING is improved instantly with a shiny copper coat!

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And a process pic here.

sink shelf painted

See what I mean about shiny penny colored paint?! See?!

desk shelf

And now here it is in place at my crafts desk, though not entirely set up the way it’ll eventually be when I get time and my brain back. And, by the way, if it had been just that little bit too long to rest on the desk, I was going to hoist it on a pair of glass bricks I got at ReStore a while back, but those now are waiting for another opportunity to become a thing.

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Pictures or it didn’t happen–Project 30

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Pictures or it didn’t happen–Project 30

I’m still deep in the middle of a writing project I thought would be done by now.

But here’s pictures of my gradient painted chest — it’s got some imperfections (NATURALLY) but I. Love. It.

I now want to get some other stuff painted before it gets too cold. So here goes….

The pink version that was Just Not Me.

Front view.

But I really liked those colors played off the glossy grays and black.

Still some pink, but much more me.

The sides of the drawers show off a bit more of the imperfections of the finished piece. The top drawer is much lighter because I forgot my plan to paint the sides all with the unblended burgundy, then I painted it over with another coat of burgundy. Since it’s not going to be on display in its opened state, really no one’s going to see it who doesn’t already know. And let’s just say I am rather disinclined to mess with paintbrushes again when spray paint is so much fun.

Right in the chest

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I made it through most of the frame and 2 drawer-fronts on the chest of drawers before I didn’t feel I had enough light to continue. (And oxygen was an issue.) I probably won’t know until I can haul them out of the garage into daylight to get a good look whether or not the coverage is good enough to do it in one coat, but it looks good at this point. I hope so! I really need gloves and a mask to do any more of that. (Stupid not to in the first place.)

I have one drawer-front left and the rest of the frame, where I ran out of flat black paint.

I think the gray/pink and black/burgundy of the front/sides are going to look kind of cool together, when the drawers are open.

Now I’m off to continue writing a story I’ve been working on. Deadline is Sunday, and my Saturday and Sunday are kind of packed.

Hm. I want some ice cream, but I don’t want to have to go out to buy it. :(

Not-quite project post

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Is there anything more tragic than realizing 80% of the way through a DIY project that you really want it to go in a completely different direction?

Absolutely correct! The answer is “about a million things.”

But it is a large pain in the ass.

I bought this 3-drawer chest for $15 at St. Vinny’s, planning to use it for a night stand. It’s old and beat up, but real wood and the whole deal.

It’s going to be AWESOME!!

My bedspread is burgundy and I’ve got some burgundy accents around, so I decided after obsessing over various ideas at Pinterest that I would do the ombre paint thing that looks so cool here (http://poppytalk.blogspot.com/2012/06/love-is-like-apricot.html), starting with burgundy. I further decided that, instead of buying 4 different shades of paint, I would get a quart of white and blend the tints myself so I’d know they would work together.

Tints of burgundy are pink, yo. I am not so much a pink girl anymore.

And I realized early on that my medium pink was coming out a putrid shade that reminded me of my grandmother’s habit of getting humongous rocks when she and my grandfather would travel in the southwest, then bringing them home and painting them an obnoxious pink, then in gold paint label them with where she’d found them. Urgh.

But I couldn’t think of what else to do or what other color would go with the room, so I kept going. Yesterday I painted the drawers, and today I started on the frame early enough that I could get the second coat of everything in today, but halfway through the frame it occurred to me that I really really wanted to do a black and gray ombre thing. Which made me very sad.

But the idea of starting the whole project over with several coats of paint made me even sadder, because I am profoundly lazy and this project is already stretching the boundaries of my tolerance for painting stuff. So I kept going.

Painting, however, is a very meditative activity — thus the big epiphany about what I wished I were doing instead, and several smaller epiphanies like I suck at wielding a paintbrush and always have visible brushstrokes. I played with various ideas on what to do to improve the chest, like decoupage Victorian crap on it (gag! Plus I am creeped out by a great many bits of Victorian ephemera), or seashells (blah).

See what I mean about, well, everything?

When I was almost at the end of the second coat on the drawers, it occurred to me that I could repaint the fronts of the drawers and the whole frame in the ombre thing, but leave the sides and interiors as they are, for what the magazines call (far too damn often) a pop of color.

The knowledge that I can fix this with little effort, and not have Mexico-rock pink in a visible spot in my bedroom, has cheered me up substantially. So I’m done for the day. I may even get spray paint to finish the job, because boy does my brushwork suck.

Even my helper Harriet got paint in her hair.

It was on Pinterest, so it must be a craft; Project 27

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It was on Pinterest, so it must be a craft; Project 27

I must now confess to my terrible habit of divesting myself of socks and … ahem, such … and leaving them in little sock balls on the bathroom floor. So I perked up when I saw an incredibly simple DIY on Pinterest. It was so simple, in fact, that I don’t even think I pinned it.

Someone had taken a large embroidery hoop and attached it to a long pillowcase (a king? a body pillow? Not sure) and then hung it on the wall. I already had a big embroidery hoop (which I’d just barely avoided ruining some jeans with when I started to do a bleach pen craft on my lap but stopped myself just in time) that I’d bought at a thrift shop. A few days later, I’m checking out the flea market where I have my stuff, and there’s a whole rack of old cloth feed sacks from somebody’s farm. And my brain actually makes the connection on the spot.

If you’ll look close, you’ll see the Archer representing Archer Daniels Midland (a name I cannot help hearing in my head in the NPR-guy’s voice. Their slogan refuses to come to mind, but that’s totally okay with me).

Hung it on the bathroom wall with a nail, and there you go. Craft. Done.

I went back and got a few more of the feed sacks, in slightly less awesome condition because they were selling like crazy and the farmer was down to his last few. They washed up pretty well, though not perfectly, so I will be doing something or other with them — maybe tote bags, maybe something else.

Aspic is not a thing to do in public

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I have been very social this weekend, and now I am tired.

But I thought I’d comment on a couple of nice things that have happened lately. My friend/coworker and I went out to dinner Friday after work at one of our local favorite restaurants. One of the owners, whom I’d told about this blog, came over to say how much she’s enjoying it and how funny it is, and that she’d gotten some of her employees reading it too. It totally made my day. And it made me think about the Julie/Julia Project, one of the inspirations for this blog. I would never have known about it if my friend/boss from another job, Susan, hadn’t told me about it as Julie Powell’s year was unfolding. We dug into it every day and chatted about Julie’s latest disaster or triumph or the general insanity of making aspic five days in a row for dinner, especially when you hate aspic. So it’s a tribute to Susan, who passed away a couple of weeks ago, that I’m doing a similar unhinged project. And it’s exciting to think there’s a little of that chatting over what’s going on in this space, just as Julie got us talking about cooking and kitchen disasters and whatever.

(Miss you, Susan. Feeling very nostalgic over those chats and others in your cube, which had the great view of Idaho and mountains behind our campus. And one time, a moose, which I think was the first I’d ever seen.)

Another nice thing: I was wearing my mod-podged shoes last night at the outdoor theater in a nearby county, and was drive-by fangirled. I actually was digging in my purse and missed what the ladies said, but my companion signal-boosted that for me. They are showing some charming wear, but I still get compliments on them. (They could use a little more glue in spots, though.)

Also: My brother, future sis-in-law and her niece met me and my regular theater companion for brunch this morning, and then we went to the thrift shop in town, and after that to the indoor flea market. Future sis-in-law admired and decided to buy a craft item I had for sale (most of my booth is household stuff I’m letting go of, but I put up a few items from the art show I participated in a few weeks ago) before she realized it was something I made. Cool! I also found out I’d had a good month again this time out (after a couple of weeks where I had nothing but crafts up and made next to nothing), so after my initial up-front rent payment, I’ve managed to pay next month’s rent out of proceeds and make a little profit besides. And hey, I got my check from the art show, and it’s the best year I’ve had there, too.

So I’m feeling the love, and am very grateful and happy about that.

East meets vest; Project 17

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East meets vest; Project 17

This embellished denim vest is a project that I’ve been working on for a couple of months on and off. Both the vest and the fabric came from thrift shops in Austin. The print fabric came from a silk tunic of the type Indian women wear, which had some ripping at the sleeves.

It’s certainly proof that my hand stitching doesn’t get any better with practice, though in my defense the vest is a thick and unwieldy piece to sew. And it’s definitely proof that I need to get over myself and start using the sewing machine. This would have been done in a day if I’d done so, and the stitching would have been better, and I wouldn’t have found myself with a big fold of off-kilter fabric as I neared the end, as it would have been easier to pin properly. I took it back and forth to various places to work on, and hand it folded or rolled much of the time, with just a pair of pins to keep things in place right where I was working. I worked on it at art class, once during lunch break at work and carried it around at Wiscon but never pulled it out once.

Not the ideal way of working, but I still think the result is cute and wearable, and I don’t think the flaws will be that visible unless people are up close looking for them.

But yeah. Next big project like this (and I have one), I’m going to get that sewing machine figured out. The only reason I’m being so chicken about it is that I haven’t touched a sewing machine in decades.

Anyway, the result:

Not bad for someone who doesn’t know what she’s doing. But seriously. This took MONTHS. So using the sewing machine next time.

I am wicked tired and almost went to bed after posting just the one photo, but I’m sure the mistakes are what you come for, yes?

Sometimes freehanding not so awesome.

I wanted the gold trim to line up with the bottom of the vest (as much as a straight piece would line up with a curved vest), so I had to come up with something to get rid of the excess material, so I just folded it into a little dart and hand sewed it. Not the greatest solution, but it worked, and the colors and the print hide a multitude of sins.

Yeah, that little tuck.

Okay, I’m thoroughly knackered, so that’s it for tonight.

Oh, and I also sewed a little piece on the front, too. It may need something more, but I’m considering it done for all intents and purposes.

A little freeform circle on the front pocket. Needs salt.