Monday, May 23, 2011

knots and knobs

About a month ago, I bought a 60" long piece of knotty pine wood that had once been a wall from a barn in Kansas. It had Great Stuff filling the knots and it was pretty ugly.

Perfect! Just what I was looking for.

We loaded it into the backseat of my little sedan, along with my daughter. The ends of the board hung out of both windows, and my poor teenager had only a few inches of wiggle room for the next 45 minutes while we drove to Paris to visit my folks.
It sat in my dad's shop for a month.

Over the next month, I pieced together some old, oval doorknobs and assorted backplates. I Gorilla-glued these together. Then, I screwed them all onto the board. After attaching some hangers to the back and digging out the foam insulation that was clogging up all those beautiful holes, I was ready to hang my new headboard in our bedroom.

Total cost: $26.
I love it!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Great Things

For the next few days I'm gonna be giving some shout-outs to some great fellow Etsy entrepreneurs.
There are hundreds of thousands of shops on Etsy. You can find anything you want there--handmade or vintage. They even sell sweets and vegan treats. Yummy!

So, today I'm singing the praises of: wish it was sunday. (Yes, that is a link. Try it!!)

This shop is all about protective cases.
For the Kindle, Nook, laptops, iPads, phones. You name it. Handmade. Customized if you ask

She made me a padded case for my new Macbook Air. It's amazing!! The fabric on the outside is nature-themed with vines, a stag, spiderweb, birds, butterflies, etc. The inside is contrasting fuschia white little white polkadots. And since I didn't want the button-clasp that the original came with, she made mine with a zipper. It has a sweet pink ribbon sewn on to act as a zipper pull.

I had a fear of crumbs and junk in my purse getting into a button-closed side and destroying my new baby. Can you really blame me?

Here's mine:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I'll Procrastinate Tomorrow

After a loooooong hiatus, I am back to my blog.

I missed you, blog.

I have been so busy lately! I lost my job after taking care of the most adorable boys for 3 and half years, found a new one (love, love, love this family), traveled with the new family for a month, and now I have finally settled back into a normal routine!!

Oh, and we have been going through the process of being approved for an exchange student!!! (Can't wait to meet her through Skype in the next few weeks!)

I've been planning out the next month's worth of posts, so I am going to start tomorrow.

Nothing like a little procrastination!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Today's post is not for the squeamish.

Or the kind.

It's only for those of you with control over your gag reflex and a devilish streak.

I was making dolmades this afternoon for our dinner tonight. If you don't know what dolmades are, they're a ground meat (usually lamb, but I Americanized them with beef) and rice mixture rolled up in a grape leaf. Good eating!! Anyway....

I had 1/2 of the ground beef in the mixing bowl with the rice and various other ingredients. The other 1/2 of the meat was still in the syrofoam tray beside me. As I was squishing the mixture with my hands, some of the rice flew out of the bowl and onto the beef on the kitchen counter.

Later, as I was putting the extra, unused beef into a ziploc to freeze for later use, I noticed that the rice kinda looked like maggots in there. Ewww. Then, the first thought in my head was to leave the rice in there. Why? Because I am leaving for a month next week and my hubby is going to be the one cooking dinners. And wouldn't it be funny if he got this bag of meat out to use for the spaghetti sauce one night while I'm gone, and he noticed what appeared to be maggots in it!!! *Evil grin* Of course, I won't be here to set him straight and he would freak out!!

But I didn't. I picked the rice out like a nice wife, and let out a sigh of disappointment as I was putting it in the freezer.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Happy Valentine's Day!

I am not into buying big presents or store-bought cards, so I made Mr. Rust Magnet and Baby J my own cards on Photoshop. I love heart-felt, homemade sentiments. I hope they do, too!! I wasted so much cardstock trying to get these printed just right--I am ashamed to admit it. (All those test sheets did at least make it into the recycle can. That has to count for something....right?)


I hope all of you are feelin' the love today!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

a 1000 words

This has been a three-week long project, and I finally got it all put together.

I started with this:

Blocks of wood (maybe candle holders??)

Vintage reflector numbers (a Canton purchase MONTHS ago)

Broken photo holder ($0.99 at GW)

And this is what I made today after drilling and painting and sanding!:

They are for sale in my Etsy shop!

Monday, February 7, 2011

All Keyed Up

I recently bought a huge lot of old keys, and I've been deliberating about what exactly to do with them. A couple of weeks ago--before the ice and snow came, and the weather was in the 70s--I spent the day outside and refinished 7 oval frames I'd acquired. The plan was to sell them on Etsy, but I found a fun way to use them today.

I sewed a collection of keys onto some cotton duck and framed them, using those oval frames. I used batting to make the fabric puff out, and blue thread to bring out the blue paint in the frames.

I like the way they look--I am going to make a couple to keep and use in the computer nook. The ones here are for sell in my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Befores and Afters

Last night, I decided to be creative again! After getting all that sheet music, I thought it'd be nice to actually DO something with it instead of just having it sitting around the house.I started with this:

And ended up with this:
It's the biggest wreath I've made. (2.5 ft in diameter. The opening in the middle is 8" wide!) It was an accident. I didn't trim the music down enough. Oops!

I also used my sticker maker to make labels for these little bottles I found the other day.

Some buttons and muslin to accent, and now they look like this:

No idea what to do with them!! I'm gonna stick them in my Etsy shop.

And, today I repainted a picture frame I found for cheap. It looked cheap! Terrible 70s brown finish, but it had great flowers on the corners, and I could see the potential. I forgot to take a before pic, but here it is drying in the garage.

2 different coats of paint and a coat of glaze and some sanding!! I have big plans for it, but I don't want to reveal what it is to be yet. I will say, though, it won't be framing a picture!!

I hope the rest of the week is as productive as the past 18 hours have been!!
Time to pick up my girl from school!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Choirs of Angels

I happened to be perusing Craigslist this afternoon and I typed in "sheet music" in the search. The top listing that popped up was in the FREE section. It was for 3 boxes of vintage sheet music--most of it church songs--in Haltom City. I called the lady and she had just listed it minutes before. I was her first caller on it, and she promised to hold it for me. Yay!! *Fist pump in the air*
So Mr. and I drove out there this evening--it took us an hour to get there--and lo and behold there were four big boxes of perfect, yellowed sheet music.

I haven't looked through it all yet, but it looks promising. I love this one, La Boheme: Opera in Four Parts

Here is a book of "modern songs," printed in 1939! And it cost $1.50 at the time! Ouch!
The first song in the book is "The Sleep that Flits on Baby's Eyes". *sigh*

And there are some notebooks that someone compiled of favorite songs, I suppose. The notebook paper in the binder is brittle and worn and some of the artwork is very pretty.
I have grand schemes for these books! I hope I have some free time in the near future to work on my projects.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Dirty Little Secret

Yes. I have one. And today I am fessing up to it.

I have an obsession with taxidermy.
Kind of gross, I know.

J got a jackalope for Christmas from me. It's awesome. We hung it in her "living room" ( although I secretly wanted to keep it in my closet to hang my necklaces on its antlers.)

And today, I bought six taxidermied ducklings on Etsy. They are cute and macabre at the same time.
Maybe I can display them at Easter....

And I found this gorgeous blue-throated bee eater (never heard of it before today) in the same Etsy shop just now. Love it!! (Don't feel like throwing down $50 for it, however.)

This is about as far as I am willing to go right now.

I don't think I'll be buying things as freaky as this:
Too macabre!!

Or wearing taxidermy accessories with my nice dresses like so:

And this is a big design no-no in my book:

Yeah....I think I'm done...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Going Once....

Aaron and I love going to auctions. It's exciting to bid on some vintage, unique items; but you have to set some ground rules, or you will get burned.

1. Always preview the items in person. Most auction houses nowadays have an online gallery for looking at the upcoming auction items, but they don't show you the broken bits, discolorations, or any other flaws. You don't want to bid on an awesome-looking piece of furniture only to discover when you're loading into the truck that something is missing. Those mistakes can be costly and, frankly, depressing!

2. Create a budget. Don't spend more than you can afford to--you will want to eat later in the month, and spending your grocery money for the remainder of the month is dumb, dumb, dumb!!

3. Make a "list of priorities".
Decide in advance exactly what you want to bid on. Don't waste your Benjamins aggressively bidding on a chest of drawers early in the day, when you really want an old Coke machine that is near the end of the auction. You're gonna want at the cash possible to end up the winner of that bid!!

4. Don't get into a bidding war! Okay, I am guilty of this one! The last auction we attended, I got into it with a dealer who had a lot more spending money than me, but I reaaaaaallllyyy wanted these lamps!! I spent more $$ on them than I had hoped to, but I was still within my budget. (Thank goodness!!)

5. Never be the first bidder on the starting bid!! Even if it's the one item you can't see yourself leaving without.It's hard, but keep your hand down! If no one else bids, guess what: the auctioneer will lower the starting bid. Score!! Now you can bid!!

6. Keep in mind that most auction houses have a buyer's premium of about 10%. That means that instead of paying a tax of 8.25% on your purchases, you'll pay 18.25% tax. Sounds costly, but if you get some cheap buys, it really isn't much. That ties into your budget....

7. Keep an eye out for items that aren't being bid on!! Aaron bought this amazing double-decker factory cart for a whopping $75. It's now our entertainment center. Restoration Hardware sells old factory carts--just the bottom part, mind you--for $700. Great deal, huh!

8. Don't be too serious. Auctions are a lot fun. I love to watch the bidders when they get all fired up, and the auctioneer's spitting out words so fast he sounds like a Pentecostal on Sundays.

But if you break your budget, I'm seriously going to come over and paddle your bum!

Here are some local auction houses. Contact me if you want to go because I'll take an opportunity to go along! Click on the links to find out more about them.

Bright Star Antiques
Miles Autrey
Pac Shoppe
Sulphur Springs Auction

Thursday, January 6, 2011

B is for Busy

I spent all day today listing things on Etsy!
Like these alphabet cards:

And this funky, industrial kleenex dispenser from the 1950s or 60s:

And these sweet napkins:
And even this painting of our dog that Mr. RustMagnet himself painted!

It takes HOURS to take just right pictures, resize them into smaller files for Etsy, and then upload/list everything!! My booty was getting numb on one cheek, and I think my dogs were sniffing me to see if I was still alive---they were hungry.

And let me tell ya, I'm not gonna make even a 5 figure income as an Etsy seller, so why do I torture myself!!??

There is a certain satisfaction to it. Have a look!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Everything Looks Better Under Glass

One of the things I like to have around my house is an assortment of cloches. Maybe you know them as bell jars. I used to just have them lying around various surfaces of my house with nothing in them. And then one day I thought to myself, That's dumb. Why not display something in them?!
So, I randomly gathered up some items and whichever items fit into each cloche, that's what got the honor of being displayed. It's not rocket science!This old hotel bell was lost on the bookcase. Now it gets the spotlight under a bell jar.

My favorite photograph of my daughter J, wearing the bride's veil at my cousin's wedding several years back, paired with one of my baby shoes and a thrifted silver rattle and a bird trinket. Makes a pretty noticeable display.

This old iron scale used to look out of place on the mantel. Now, it looks a bit more special.

I even use cloches for their original intended purpose: to grow plants in a cool environment. (No watering necessary since the plant creates its own moisture, and the water that collects on the dome falls back into the soil. No kidding!! I haven't watered this plant since I put it in the dome in July!)

You can find cloches for fairly cheap at thrift stores. Or if you really want to spend $20+, find them online.