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.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

King of the Castle

When we had our booth at McKinney Trade Days, I bought an old flour sack from one of the vendors. It was stained and dirty, and I had plans to turn it into a pillow. Unfortunately, it was necessary to wash the stains out, and the dyes bled a bit when I did. Despite that, after a good washing, it looked better any way.

So, I sucked it up and ironed the sack until it was crisp and wrinkle-free. Then it sat on top of my washing machine for a few weeks.

Today, I finally found a soft feather pillow (fairly large at 19" x 19") that fit the width of the sack.

So, after some pinning and cutting and sewing, I finally have a pretty cool, one of a kind pillow!!

As with just about everything I make, this one is for sale in my Etsy shop if you are interested!

Monday, January 3, 2011

My Latest Hang Up

I bought this old pulley at Canton Trade Days. It was dry and ugly. But I had big plans for it. I brought it home and sanded it down to bare wood. Then I stained it using Minwax brush-on stain in dark walnut. When it was dry, I polyed the entire piece, wood and metal.

I found a bracket at WalMart that is meant to used with hanging plants. The small wheel on the bottom of the pulley (where a rope would normally wind) was a perfect fit.

The large hook is now where I hang my hand towel by the sink.

Thinking outside the box for your household decor is fun and unusual--try it!