Friday, May 22, 2009

Tuesday's Treasures

I had such a great day on Tuesday. I met up with Mr. Crafty World for coffee in the morning, before we had a bank appointment. For once the appointment didn't make my head spin with investment jargon and lingo. Now I actually know what we're doing with our savings, and finally feel in control of it. I decided to head to the bookstore and spent a most delightful hour looking at sewing and craft books and magazines. It's hard to do that when spouses and kids are around. I got some great ideas, mostly from Betz White's new book, Sewing Green, and figured I might as well head on over to the thrift store. It is just across the street you know...
I really had some good luck that day.
I broke my lucite cookbook holder years ago, and have since wanted something a little bit prettier. Prettier usually comes with a price, but luckily for me someone had outgrown theirs:

It's perfect for my kitchen! I don't even have to repaint it.

One of my plants got a much needed new home:

I'm quite sure it perked up after being plunked in here. See my metal plant stand underneath? My dad made it in high school shop class. I can't tell you how many paint jobs it's undergone. Soon it will be time for another one.

I didn't mean to start collecting these, but it just kind of happened. I just love these vintage aprons, and they are practical too. For some reason it seems easier and more casual to tie one of these on than to put the full-covering kind on. I love the purple and green one on the left; it really seems like a first sewing project someone did, using a tea towel and rick rack and piping. I will probably convert it back into a tea towel, because the sewing isn't the greatest.

Lately I have been in love with cheap, pressed glass. Once they're washed up they're so sparkly looking. I bought these two pieces for a couple of dollars; you can see I will be using one of them for practical purposes!

The vintage ornaments came in a bag of mixed stuff. They actually came from the same woman who owned all the cross stitch charts I bought weeks ago, and the tapestry wool and embroidery floss. I know this because there was an ornament with her last name on it in the bag as well. I also know that she passed away at 80 years old before Christmas in a town just north of here. Google can tell you a lot.

I learned the hard way that you shouldn't wash these kind of ornaments with modern day dish soap; it takes the paint off.

My last aquisition, which I almost didn't buy, was this shelf. At first I thought it was for vinyl records, but they don't fit. I need to put a shelf on the top, and most likely paint it. I thought white, but then thought why not duck egg blue? Or soft pinky peach?

What will I use it for? I'm not entirely sure yet. Right now it's housing too many shoes in our front hall. Why did I buy it? I liked the scrolly bits on it. I also didn't want to put it down because a man was following me around the store once I had it. Not in a creepy way, but in that, "If she puts it down I want to be there to look/get it" kind of way. I know because I've done it myself!

What do you think? Plant stand? Cookbook shelf? White? Green? Pink?

On Thursday Mr. Crafty World had the day off. Both kids were in school and it was such a beautiful day. We did a few chores in the morning and played hooky for the rest of the day. We went to our favorite Japanese restaurant for lunch and I convinced him to go to Goodwill, because they were having a 50% off sale. That's another post in itself, and I'm very excited about it. We looked at loungers for outside and had free iced coffee's from Macdonalds. We sat outside and talked about our new purchase, and how we should have picked up the 1960's cabinet when we saw it. We walked to school to collect our Favorite Boy and watched the kids play outside until dinner. We all ate grilled chicken caesar salad for supper and we grown ups enjoyed some lovely cold beer that has been hanging around in our fridge since my birthday. It was just about a perfect day.

Today it's not very warm and quite gloomy. Our Favorite Girl wasn't excited for school and Mr. C.W. had to go back to work. I have a ton of errands to run with My Favorite Boy, so it will be a lot of getting in and out of the car all day long. I think I'll take him out for lunch and then to the library for a book and video, and that will make the day feel a lot more fun.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Rule Britannia

Finally a nice day to our long weekend. We haven't been up to much; a few crafts, some outside work, and a little cupcake decorating. The last time I made cupcakes I had way too many, so I froze the excess. It was so nice to just pull them out and start decorating them once they had thawed. I really think that's the way to go. In the spirit of the day we made Union Jack cupcakes, and my Favorite Girl and Boy had their own interpretations:

We put candy maple leaves in the centers to add our own stamp. Plus, I couldn't resist making the little cutie on the left. We are, after all, Canadian!

I spent a lot of time in the kitchen this weekend. I made two batches of Butter Tart Squares (no fiddling with tiny crusts) and an ooey, gooey caramel-pecan-chocolate chip square. I also made biscotti for the first time too: a double chocolate pistachio kind courtesy of Every Day Food magazine. I still need to take a picture of them; they are quite pretty. I was pleased to use some of my pistachio sugar. I got it in France last year and it has been sitting patiently in my cupboard for 11 months. I'm that type of person: I'll buy something but won't use it because then I won't have it anymore! I am trying to change my ways though:)

As it's still nice out and we have finished our crafts, the kids are wanting to go back outside. Ever tried to type with this background music: "Are you done yet? When are we going outside? Are you done typing yet? You're sure making a lot of mistakes"? Now I know why my mum banned us from her bedroom when she was writing a letter.

Enjoy the rest of your Victoria Day!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Thrifty Crafting

You can tell the weather is getting nicer when I don't have much to post about sewing!

I know it's a little early but I bought a bunch of flowers for outside yesterday. I'm so terrible when it comes to making rational decisions in the plant nursery. I just want everything! It's still a bit cool at night so the new flowers are currently bunking in the garage for the nights and I'll wheel them out during the day. I think this weekend I will plant them if the weather is nice.

I have done a bit of sewing lately, working on my Big Project. I suppose it's not that big, but big enough for me. I'm making a patchwork throw from some charm packs I bought at the Creativ Festival. I just loved the prints when I saw them; they are from April Cornell's Maypole line. Of course now that I have been sewing the things together for a long time, they just don't seem appealing anymore. That's just a given I suppose. I'm calling this throw my "Rx for grey days". We get a lot of those here in the winter and it will be nice to curl up under bright little blocks of chintz and calico. Here's a sneak peak:

The last two times I've been thrifting I have had amazing luck. So much luck that I'm wondering why I'm not there right now! A few weeks ago there were a ton of cross stitch books, leaflets and magazines at Value Village, and rolls of new aida cloth. Last week I found 1oo new skeins of DMC embroidery floss for $2!! Yes, I said $2! So that's 2 cents a skein, when they retail for 49 cents at Michaels.

There was also a baggie of tapestry wool; not my favorite colors, but as I have wanted to try needlepoint out for a while this is the least investment heavy way to go. I'm sure I can find a project in the needlepoint book I thrifted a couple of weeks ago to make with the wool. All the skeins are brand new too. I don't know how much they retail for, since I don't even know where to buy them. I don't think Michaels carries them, but I do know that $3 for all this is a pretty good deal.

The tin the wool is living in was my old button box; here is my new button box:

Pretty huh? The purple is much more bright in real life; I'm just not that great at taking pictures. The linens are pretty, but not in great shape. I'm actually really happy about that because I have been wanting to cut apart some vintage linens for a while and re-purpose them. I get a lot of inspiration from Hen's blog in that regard.

And finally, a new tea cup to drink from while I admire my thrifty treasures. I really need to stop buying tea cups; really and truly.

Today I'm not up to much but sewing and volunteering at the kindergarten. I am trying to stay out of the shops today, but this post is making me think I may have to test my luck again...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Pink Patchwork

Another project out of my inbox! I purchased this table topper as a kit and finally managed to get it done. I had a bit of a brain warp with the instructions at first, but I eventually figured it out. It starts out as a nine patch that you cut into fours, then reverse the top right and bottom left pieces and stitch it all together again. Being a tablecloth of sorts, I wasn't sure if I was supposed to put any batting in the middle. I didn't think so, because it's supposed to drape over the table. As for the quilting part, I just stitched in the ditch where the fabric met. I do like it, because I love the colors - pink and green which is hard to see in the photo - but it doesn't go with any room in my house! I told Mr. Crafty World I might have to re-decorate the dining room in pink. I'm sure you can imagine how well that went over. For now it will just have to go with my pink lustreware cream and sugar I got at Goodwill a couple of weeks ago.

Have a nice weekend!

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