Thursday, July 30, 2009

Seriously Awesome

I think it was last week that I teased all of you with my "most awesome find ever". I have finally had a chance to spend a full 90 minutes photographing all of it for you!

I DRUG myself to the flea market one Sunday morning right after my grandpa died because I needed something to keep my mind busy. (And I do mean drug myself, I have had the worst stomach the past few weeks.) I was feeling so poorly that I was really rushing thinking I would not be able to last very long out there and I had wandered really far ahead of Jack and David.

I spotted some interesting looking fabric from nearly 50 feet out, LOL, and went rushing to it, only to discover that the vendor had gone off to the bathroom and I was left to wait for what felt like FOREVER for him to return.

In my typical flea market fashion I was trying not to appear overly excited even though on the inside I wanted to just *die* with joy.

He returned, quoted me an insanely low price, scooped it all into a bag and off I went thinking I had bought some fabric and some grandmother's flower garden quilt blocks.

Except inside the bag it was *so* much more than just that.

Let's look, shall we?
There are pieces still waiting to be cut out, grouped by color with the solid she was going to use with each print...
There are some interesting prints that are missing their solid...
There are her templates, including the original store bought template...
There is the receipt (!!!) for the fabric, purchased January 31, 1938...
There are beautiful blocks...
already assembled in every color of the rainbow...
There are super yummy scraps...
And there are hexes waiting to be assembled.

And I SWEAR that as soon as I do not have an uber demanding small person to look after every single moment of my life, I am going to finish her quilt.

It's all so wonderful it just takes my breath away! And all carefully stored away, together, for all these years.

Fantastic. Really.

It makes all those craptastic yard sale time wasters worth it.

The entire purchase is photographed and on my Flickr account, just click that Flickr badge on the right and it will take you there. If you love old fabric it is NOT to be missed.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

String of pearls

Awhile ago I picked up a wooden wreath form at a thrift store that had a scalloped edge. I let it kick around the craft room while I debated what to do with it.

Shells? Papers? Doilies? Buttons?

Nah, been there, done that.

Dig deeper.

Aha! Pearls.

So I took apart a few pearl necklaces/bracelets that I have had kicking around (some since I was a kid), and start gluing.
The pearls actually went a really long way, but I soon realized I had run out of the mid size beads.

When I went to the flea market this last Sunday I was on the hunt for pearls. Dave stumbled on this giant bear that was full to the top with junk jewelry and offered to buy it for me with his $10. (We usually try and split whatever cash we have between us so we can all buy something.)

After sorting through it when we got home I realized it had been about 1/3 of the way full of pearls.

Nice score Dave.
Yesterday I finally finished the gluing.

Well, I think.

I *might* add a second layer for some dimension. It's done for now though.
Even the leftovers look pretty.

Monday, July 27, 2009

On the wings of an angel

Ever since Grandpa died I have been finding feathers at least once a day in the most random places. Feathers on the countertop, in the hallway, in the bathrooms, on Jack's rug...

Is Grandpa is leaving them for me?

Feathers from angel wings.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Happy Christmas

Dave and I have celebrated "Christmas in July" ever since our first summer together in our tiny little apartment. Back in "those days" we lived on one very small salary and I went to college. In December we were lucky to have $20 to spend on Christmas for each other. (Although we don't spend a whole heck of a lot more than that now either, but mostly because we use the thrift store heavily now.) By the time July rolled around we ready for a little treat.

And so, our Christmas in July was born!
Jack is totally into it.
Does he look excited yet?
How about now? LOL
My present...the most awesome Halloween fabric ever. (And it is getting hard to find.)
The tree this year is a big ficus that was sent to us at my grandfather's funeral. I plopped every single vintage millinery fruit I own on it.
And a toadstool or two too.

In previous years the trees have included paper drink parasols, summery stickers on pretty cardstock hung with ribbons, a bird themed tree, etc.

Want to start a Christmas in July tradition? A few ideas:
All but one of Jack's gifts are from the thrifts/garage sales. I always buy toys I know he will like when I see them and keep them in a special place. Aside from a special Lego toy we bought him I have all of $10 invested in his presents. It needn't cost a lot if you plan ahead a little. (Goodwill is excellent for Target salvage toys, but don't overlook things like craigslist either.)

Break out the Christmas music!

If you have a tabletop sized Christmas tree that works well, or do like we did this year and use a houseplant. (Coincidentally our very first Christmas in July tree was a ficus also.) You can find all kinds of summery decorations from flowers to plastic bugs at dollar stores (or if you are like me in your own closet). Don't forget a strand of lights.

Jack was curious about the Santa aspect, I simply told him this is a family day and the presents are from mommy and daddy.

Have a turkey in the freezer from a winter time sale? Make a special meal.

Never have enough money/canned goods/new pajamas/etc in December to make the kind of charitable contribution you'd really like to? Do it now.

Always talking about working for a charity near the holidays but never find the time? Life is certainly slower right now...

Happy Christmas in July! :-)

Friday, July 24, 2009


So I bought this quilt at an estate sale last weekend. I am feeling completely and utterly burnt out on life right now, I've been with Jack by myself all week and last weekend around 1 in the afternoon I was just feeling so fried that I decided to pop into the estate sale even though it was really late in the day.

Underneath a table in the basement were two quilts wadded up in a pile. No prices.

Scoop them up, find lady in charge and ask for the price. $15 for them both? Sold.
Except that in my totally fried state I didn't really look at this one. I was just totally smitten with the lavender and the green together and the 1930's prints in the plates.
And this part of her sashings. Such a sweet touch.
I've tried washing it with my baby swimming pool method. I had to take the bleach pen to a section that had some mildew. And what do I have left?

Still a hot mess.

Stains everywhere, quilting half ripped out, and it is leaking bits of cotton wadding (batting, except at this point it is all just wadded up) EVERYWHERE. As in all over my stinkin filthy house, lol.
These are the decisions that I HATE to make on my best of days...what to do with it?

In my mind the best case scenario would be that I am able to take it apart, salvage the top as a quilt top, get rid of the cotton wadding mess and try and salvage most of the backing fabric for other projects. It's possible that once it is apart I can do something about the stains more effectively.

In my worst case scenario I take the whole darn thing apart, discover I can't do a damn thing about the stains and end up only being able to cut out the plate sections for use in other projects.

Ladies, I *might* have bitten off more than I can chew...

What would you do?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Waiting on the sun

I am waiting on the sun before I can show you THE most amazing find ever.

In the meantime, here is more stuff I have managed to dig up lately.

I did say the junk is flowing freely again right? (This isn't even all of it, and it is ALL good. Oh my.)
A pretty tablecloth.
With a pretty big hole in it. And when I washed it another pretty big hole developed. Ugh.

Oh well, put them to the back of the table and carry on. Life is messy anyway.
These are new but I love them. Mercury glass candle holders. Still searching for the perfect way to use them. I am thinking toothbrushes and stuff.
I *think* this is a chocolate mold. My husband is the one who actually spotted it. It was the kind of yard sale that is so close to being great, but most of the stuff was more rustic primitive (think dark red, wood tones, big metal stars, etc) than my stuff.

I've been wanting to buy this book and try my hand at some papier mache crafts and this will be perfect for that.

Jack and I have been working like dogs at getting our to do list whittled down. There have been haircuts and groceries stores and mail pick ups and bowling leagues and vacuum cleaners and toilet bowls and on and on. It's time for me to forget about Mt Tide (aka the laundry) and have a lemonade. :-)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Seriously Stinky

We went to several garage sales on Saturday morning which were depressing. Nothing good in sight! And then at the very last sale I spotted a box of fabric marked "25 cents for box".
One quick dig and I scooped it right up.
Vintage fabric galore! It was SERIOUSLY STINKY though. There were some little girls dress patterns in there and I am pretty sure it had all been shoved in the box around 1950 and never touched again.
This one is my favorite, be sure to click to enlarge it. The pattern is not what I thought it was on first glance.
There are several yards in this piece.
There were some feedsacks too, including this full sack...
with clovers! Arggggggggggh, the cuteness kills me.
This might be the most curious piece. Shabby chic nylon rip stop type fabric?

I am not sure what I am going to do with it yet.
And another feedsack.

After a gentle hand washing and a nice dry on the line it is mostly stink free now. And *that* is a good thing.

My to do list is also seriously stinky and I had better get on it. See you soon with more weekend finds.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Weekend in review

If you live anywhere near St Louis you are well aware that our weather right now is AMAZING. Mid 70's in July! Unbelievable.

So we have been keeping ourselves plenty busy outside.
We went to the local baseball game.
And Jack refused to show you his face.
He also refused to make nice with the mascot. (Who is pouting in that photo.)

And refused to sit Or follow directions. Or act like a human.

But whatever. He is completely full of anxiety right now.
And today he and Daddy spent 3 hours building a giant K'nex roller coaster.
Which was mostly fun and not mostly tense, and Jack loves the finished product.

I also found a metric TON of good junk this weekend, which I am anxious to share, but we are seriously mired in some nasty stuff over here right now. This has been a bad year for us all around, and we are getting tired and quite frankly near the edge of insanity ourselves. We ALL really need to find ourselves on the other side of this black cloud and sooner rather than later. :-(

Be back soon with other stuff I hope...

P.S. The contact paper is vintage. Ever since I found it two years ago I have spent a little time every month or so trying to find more good vintage contact paper with ZERO success. The brand is magic cover, if that helps anyone. Sorry I can't point you to a place to buy some. You can see some of the other places I have used it here . (I also put it in some of my kitchen cabinets but for some reason that isn't showing up in the search.)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Everyday canisters

I've done this idea once before with an old jar I bought at the flea market (it already had a painted lid though), but after I bought a bunch of jar at a garage sale recently they sat on my counter so long that I decided they would make cute new everyday canisters in the kitchen.
These are just those anchor hocking jars you can buy at both wal-mart and target, with pieces of contact paper stuck on the front and spray paint on the lids. I think the roses cut out gives them more of an old fashioned look, like water slide decals. But the scallop cut on the small jars was too cute to resist.
I still like my old blue Martha canisters...
but this way I can easily see that we REALLY need flour. LOL

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A quarter to five

Lately Jack has been saying to me, "Mom, I am a quarter to five." Which at first sounds awkward, but really, he is dead on, isn't he? (He will be five in October.) How does a 4 year old have such a big grasp on fractions (and decimals and rounding too) already? I know every mom says this, but that kid of mine, he is *seriously* smart!

Anyway, I hope you can stand a week filled with junk. Somehow I have managed to find plenty of it the past few days and frankly it is a welcome distraction.

More flea market finds:
Another bread box for the "tin kitchen stuff" collection;
an awesome bird canister (I oogle these on Ebay) that I got for FREE because the vendor went and sold the smaller ones and had misplaced this one, the largest one (psssttt universe, I need more of these);
a rather cheap Jadeite mixing bowl that has already been used for dinner's cucumber salad;
and a super cute tablecloth...
with pink clover.

Hopefully the junk Gods will keep smiling on me.