Friday, June 29, 2012

Treasures Of The Week

It was a good week... a good week indeed for treasure hunting. And admit it, we "re-purposers", "thrifters" or "treasure hunters" (whatever you want to call yourself)... get a rush from the hunt and great pleasure from discovery.

I was certainly pleased to find a wonderful ornate mirror tray at Goodwill for $4 - something I have always wanted. At that same store I also found the tres-cute bunny for a dollar, a silver creamer (I can always find SOMETHING to put in these, no matter how many I have... I think this makes three) for $2, and the curious trinket box with "Japan" embossed on the bottom for only $2 as well!

Mirror tray, bunny, vintage spools, silver creamer, two sets of doorknobs
and a Japanese trinket box
The two doorknobs I finally brought home from my local antique shop; I have picked these up a few times previously, but had always put them back. After continuously thinking that they, along with my other brass Victorian knobs, would make a great display rack one day, I was happy to see them still waiting for me. My friend at the shop also threw in the three vintage wooden spools gratis; to go with the antique toy Singer sewing machine I got there for Mother's Day.

Covered silver tray

This tray was also a Goodwill find - not bad for $5! The staff at the store was just setting it out when I was there; good timing to be sure! It is heavy and quite large; I think it could be a wonderful way to store old lace... hmmmm.

Here is a closeup of the trinket box.

A closer look at the Japanese trinket box

Inside it is lined with red velvet fabric... I can't really tell how old this is; but regardless, I love it - a perfect addition to my Victorian Studio.

Inside the box - must find something special to keep in here!

Sharing with:

The Thrifty Groove

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ten, Count 'Em, TEN Cards!

With all my updates on the progress of my studio, I'm sure it seems like I never actually DO any creating in it.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, over the past few weeks, I have been impersonating a Card-Making-Machine. From Father's Day to co-worker's birthdays, I have made the following TEN cards:

A Magnolia (Tilda) going-away card for a co-worker

A wedding shower card for a secretary at work

Another co-worker card: this time for someone going for surgery

Birthday card for a secretary who loves cats (like me!)

Yet another birthday card for a secretary at the office

Tilda card for a friend's birthday

Swap card to the US: had to have a lion on it
I used TH Distress Ink with water for the background

Another swap card to the US: had to have a Western theme
These are 2 Magnolia mini stamps: Tilda and horse

Father's Day cards for Grandpa and Hubby with sentiments inside
"In the game of life, you're the King!" and "You're the King of Hearts!"

So there. Proof I DO actually use my studio to create something besides staining drawers, painting shelves and re-decorating the room.... ;P

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Less Than $5

This week I ventured out twice during lunchtime at work to see what I could find at the corner thrift / antique shops. The first day was disappointing; this will happen now and again - days when NOTHING grabbed my attention and I returned to work empty-handed. Oh well, at least I got some fresh air and a bit of exercise.

Then yesterday the day was so glorious, I just had to get away from the computer screen and feel some sunshine on my face, so I wandered back outside. To my delight, I found the following for less than $5!

The teeny tiny cribbage board is too cute; it looks handmade and old.... I have never seen one so small! And at 49 cents, I just HAD to bring it home from Goodwill. Then I went to the antique shop, where they had a table sitting out on the sidewalk with a "FREE" sign on it! Low and behold, underneath the paperback books, was a heavy silver platter just waiting for me to rescue it!

Of course, I wouldn't feel right taking something for free without going inside and purchasing something. So I was pleased to find this old chippy green handled cheese slicer for a mere $2. Then I spotted a display of old tins - something I have never collected before, but thought would look really nice in my Studio. This one wasn't priced - they only wanted $2 for it too!

Yep, all four items for less than $5.

Fridays are good.

A beautiful, sunny Friday - even better.

A beautiful, sunny Friday with deals this great - the best!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Crowning Achievement

While decorating my Victorian Studio, not only was I concentrating on making the desk / work area functional with vintage goodies, I also wanted to ensure my seating area across the room fit into the whole theme. One of the best things about moving my art studio downstairs was the extra room... I now have a small couch to relax and watch TV. So, after covering it with a dark brown throw and a really beautiful crocheted piece I found at the thrift store for $6, I wanted to cover the new black pillows with burlap. I had found a large piece at the thrift store for $2, and for the first time wanted to try my hand at printing something appropriate on them.

If you haven't visited yet, I would highly recommend Karen's "Graphics Fairy" blog to find all kinds of wonderful artwork that is perfect for just this type of project. Karen also has great tutorials and recommends "Lesley Riley's Transfer Artists Paper", but I couldn't find it in Canada or at Archiver's at the Mall of America. Looks like I will have to order it online.

However, being the patient (*cough, cough*) person I am, I couldn't wait to try this technique, so I went over to Michael's and with a 50% coupon in hand (okay, really it was on my iPhone, since I forgot my flyer...) I purchased this for about $7:

I chose a very classic crown graphic from Karen's site and printed a mirror image out onto the transfer paper using my Epson printer. Then I carefully cut as close as I could around the image and pressed it onto the burlap using a hot iron:

So simple! Next, I cut and sewed three burlap pieces for each pillow: one with the graphic for the front and two panels for the back, slightly overlapping in the middle to allow the pillow to be inserted and removed easily.

I also went online and researched my maiden family name crest for the second pillow. This time it was imperative to print a mirror image; otherwise any type would end up being backwards after ironing it on. So here's my super-comfy seating area in my studio; a great place to watch movies and contemplate my next project.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Turning Plastic Into Wood

When I began scrapbooking in 2006, I came up with a design and hubby provided the manpower to create an 18 drawer cabinet with a shelving unit on top to store all my meager craft supplies and 12" x 12" scrapbooking paper. We began with six three-drawer Sterlite drawer sets I found at Walmart, stacking them three high and two across. Hubby built a sturdy wooden cabinet around them, adding wheels on the bottom for ease of movement. It was perfect; more than enough room for all my scrapping tools and supplies (er, at that time, that is...).

My "scraproom" circa 2006 - with the then, red cabinet
Yep, life was simpler then, and Dakotah was already my office assistant

Four years (and a major population explosion of supplies) later, daughter moved her bedroom downstairs and I set up my craft space in her larger room. I redecorated the room from purple and green to beige, brown and black. That's when the cabinet got it's first makeover; painted black from it's former deep red hue. 

My "scraproom" circa 2010 - the cabinet was now dressed in classic black
Along with nearly everything else I could paint - other than the walls

Then in late 2011, daughter returned to her room upstairs and I began to decorate my new basement art studio with an antique theme. I was determined to replace as much plastic as I could with old wood and metal -- which meant that the Sterlite drawers of my favorite cabinet now stuck out like a sore clear-plastic thumb.

Something had to be done...

So once again, thanks to hubby's help (and power tools), this past weekend we transformed it to better fit in a Victorian Studio. My trusty cabinet received a facelift of stained wood fronts and antique brass and porcelain handles. A total $24 investment (for the antique handles on eBay), as the wood and stain were already on hand.

My cabinet today - yep, it's still a plastic organizer on the inside,
but pretty vintage-y on the outside
A side view


I'm linking this project to:

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Mirror, Mirror

While at the thrift store last week, I was going through the picture & frames section and came across this classic "pub mirror":

Do you remember these? A few decades ago, anything popular from TV shows to sodas seemed to get the "mirror treatment"... and were usually prizes at local fairs / exhibitions. Even though I love the iconic image of Nipper who lived during Victorian times, I didn't think the mirror itself would really suit my studio decor. But I did love the detail of the inside scroll work, so I laid down my $ 3 and brought it home.

Now the decision: do I replace the mirror image with a paper one of Nipper, or of something else?

I perused the incredible selection at my favorite online graphics site The Graphics Fairy and came across this sweet vintage painting of birds. With a bit of adjustment to make the image fit the oval (I painted in the top, bottom and one side) I printed it out and coloured it in with sepia-toned Copic markers.

I think it looks so cute hung behind my old bird cages in my Victorian Studio!

Since she provided the super cute image of the birds, I am entering this project in Karen's Brag Monday for the very first time!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Last Week's Finds

Here is what I treated myself to last week after a couple of trips to local thrift stores.

The old French - English translation dictionary will be perfect for some collage projects. The green garden tote I passed on at first - I thought about it all day, went back the next day and to my delight was still there waiting for me. This is going to get a new coat of paint, distressed and stenciled.

Even though I have enough salt and pepper shakers for all my embossing powders and glitter, I just couldn't resist picking up the single shaker.. it is so tall and lovely! A few doilies are always welcome in my studio, but the large one is now displayed beautifully across the back of my loveseat.

I also couldn't resist the twig basket... a steal for $3! And the sheep figurine just SPOKE to me (okay, not literally... that would be weird). I knew he would fit right in on my desktop. Has anyone seen one like him? I searched and searched online and couldn't find him anywhere... I have no idea who made him or when.

I added the silver tray to my desktop too.

The little wicker case is so cute; I already have a place just right for it:

A funny thing about the framed picture: I got it simply for the frame.... but the image has grown on me so I have dubbed her simply as "The Lady of the Studio" and shall keep her as is.

The 12" vintage ruler was something that made me laugh, so I HAD to buy it, for on the back was a list entitled "Rulers of England"! Ha!

Well, what a perfect addition to my Victorian Studio, no?

Oh yeah. I also bought some great burlap fabric to make two pillow cases.... however when it came time for the photoshoot above, it had already been spoken for:

Well, at least I know it's soft enough to cover those two couch pillows with...

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