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Monday, June 14, 2010

Reap What you Sew

I completed a sewing project about a year or so ago that I am pretty darn proud of, considering that I haven't touched a sewing machine in over 20 years!  I desperately wanted a slipcovered white couch ever since I laid eyes on Rachel Ashwell's beautiful Shabby Chic couches.  Unfortunately, they have been waaaaay out of my price range for quite some time.  It has only been recently that I have started to feel that the eight plus years I spent in higher education WILL actually pay off.  For at least a decade of my life however, the shabby chic look fit perfectly with my low budget lifestyle because you can find such great items to decorate with for a very inexpensive price.  LOVE IT!  Anyway, I thought since I couldn't afford to buy the couch I wanted, maybe I could make my own slipcovers.  When I began to price fabric I  realized that even making it would cost a pretty penny.  I began to research and found a woman online who had made slipcovers out of white cotton sheets.  I thought it was worth a try so off I went to Target to buy my supplies.  I believe it took about three queen sheets to complete the project at about $15.00 each.  Not too bad huh?  I also found a tutorial video online that showed how to make slipcovers step by step.  Want to see the finished product?  Here she is:

They may not be perfect but overall, I am happy with the results.  They are great too because you can bleach them when they become heavily soiled or stained.  They have stood up to it very well. 

That comes in real handy seeing that my four legged children seem to think it makes a perfect doggy bed.  I promised myself when my Yorkies were puppies that I was going to train them to stay off of the couch.  But come on, look at that face?  Could you resist it? 
     One day, I WILL have my dream couch with washable slipcovers.  But for now, this one will work just fine.  Amazing what you can come up with when you put your mind to it!

Check out more great creations bloggers have made to save a penny at:

I am in the process of putting my townhouse together since my husband and I recently moved into it.  Believe it or not, we had just moved into a townhouse about four months ago and then the landlord informed us it was being forclosed on.  I hope that this will be that last move for awhile as I am definately all moved out!  We have finally broken down most of the boxes lying around and now it is time to focus on decorating the place.  I'm excited about a find I discovered in a drawer today that I totally forgot I had.  I found it at a thrift shop awhile back and I thought it would make a great curtain for the living room window. 

It's lace, white, and cotton.  For me, it doesn't get much better than this!  I am always amazed at the great fabrics I have found at thrift stores to decorate my home with.  This one is actually already a curtain so that means less work for me. Yeah! 

The walls in the living room are still looking pretty white and bland and the only other thing that I have attempted to decorate in the area so far is a small table at the foot of the stairs.  It was also bought when my budget was very small.  It was actually a sewing machine table at one time.  

I love the look of candles in a room.  Can't get enough of them!  At times, some of the rooms in my home look a bit more like midnight mass than a home living area.  What can I say?  To me, they make a space feel so serene and calming.  I decided to top this small table with a potted bunch of branches that sport a small string of white lights.  I saw this idea in a magazine awhile back and I was hooked!  I think it adds a romantic bit of flair to a room.   

I will leave you with some pics of a few new finds I recently posted in my Etsy shop. 

Old Tobacco bags at $2.99 each.  I love the aged look of the fabric!

Shabby Ice Bucket, $20.95

Chicken Feeder, $11.95.  These things are so great to hold
various things in any room in the house!

Vintage Large Wooden Beads, $6.95 for 6. SOLD  Great for
mixed media/altered art projects.  Did you see what I recently
created with one of them?  Check out last post.

Vintage Green Flower Frog, $9.95

Vintage Train Case, $17.95.  These things are so great to use as
storage for supplies in your craft studio.

It's getting late so I am off to bed.  Have a great week guys (all two of you who follow this blog.  hee hee).    -Angie

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Something From Nothing

Somerset Life magazine always leaves me feeling inspired to keep my eye out for random, vintage little items I can use to create something neat.  I was at a small flea market this last weekend and I came across this box of little old wood pieces.  I was immediately drawn to them because of the look of the chippy, faded, wood finish.  When I took it up the the gentleman who ran the market he said, "Oh my gosh, you found these old things!  I keep trying to throw them in the trash but my wife keeps putting them back out here."  Sure enough, I bought them.  I had no idea what I was going to do with them but I felt like they were longing to be something. 

The flea market vendor said he thought they use to be pieces of a beaded doorway curtain. 

Later that day, I sat in my craft studio looking at them, asking myself what these little pieces might become.   It dawned on me that I had some vintage scraps of lace that were all disorganized in a Ziploc bag. I thought they would be well used as little spools for my lace.

But I still wasn't satisfied. I needed to create something from them.  I began to gather up various things around the studio such as a scrap of vintage lace, a pic from The Graphics Fairy  (love her), pieces from a vintage book page, the wire that held the wood beads together when I bought them, some linen, and an old bead from a bag of vintage jewelry I purchased awhile back.  This is what it all came together to become:

One of the things that I used in the piece was a small scrap of linen with old music text transferred onto it.

I recently discovered transfer paper. It makes it so easy to transform fabric into something really special to use in art projects!  I especially love the look of old text or pics transferred onto linen.

I guess it is fitting that my little creation incorporates the theme of becoming.  What better way to symbolize becoming but with a butterfly.  As I sat and made it, I thought about the wonderful gift we all have of constantly becoming.  The older I get, I believe more and more that we truly are the authors of our lives.  The choices we make on a daily basis carry our life story forward in new directions.  What a blessing that we are always a work in progress, with room to learn and grow!  

Check out these other creations made with great, random things:

From Somerset Life magazine April/May/June 2010

Are these typewriter keys? I'm not sure but old typewriter keys do make a great item to incorporate into an art project.

From Somerset Life magazine April/May/June 2010

Use some old bottles, vintage jewelry and maybe even some great ephemera to create a beautiful way to store buttons, bath salts and more! These bottles were created at an event called Silver Bella. Its an event in Omaha, Nebraska where people come together from all over to take part in a weekend filled with various art workshops taught by some of the best in the art community. Sounds neat huh?

From Somerset Life magazine April/May/June 2010

I love how this piece incorporates an old playing card and pages from an old book.

Great Etsy Finds
I found some great things on Etsy that are just waiting be used to create artistic treasures.  Take a look.

Petite doilies from My So Called Junky Life 
Only $2.50 for 6!

Love, love, love all of the neat little items found at DK General Store  
23 Vintage number tacks for $25.00 

10 Vintage 45rpm record adaptors $25.00 from DK General Store

5 Vintage drawer knobs for $14.00 from DK General Store

Ephemera Pack for $10.00 from

10 Vintage Flat Keys for $7.00 from Sommer Breeze Antiques

15 Pieces of Rhinestone jewelry for $14.00 from Rusty Charm

Almost the weekend guys!  Yeah!  Hope you have a great one.
  Til next time.   -Angie