Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Rain Boots Repurposed

Today's project just screams "spring is here!" with its bright colorful makeover.
And it didn't even cost me much of anything at all.  My favorite kind of project!

Now, I know that many of you haven't seen any sign of spring yet and are still having cold and snowy days.  I feel for you.  I really do.  We lived in northern Ohio for 2.5 years while Hubby went to school and I have been SO glad to be back in Florida!  But hopefully today's post can put a bright spot in your day and have you looking forward to your very own warm spring days.  

My mom found these rain boots at a thrift store a couple of years ago and gave them to my daughter.  She wore them and played in them for a good long time until she outgrew them.  You can see they had become really faded and cracked and even had mildew on them.  I had a project in mind though, so I didn't toss them.  

Instead, I gave them a few coats of spray paint that I already had in my stash (bought for $1 at the Habitat ReStore a year or two ago) and gave them a new purpose in life.

A bright and cheerful spring "wreath."

The only cost involved was buying the fresh flowers ($4.88 at Walmart). 

 Tulips are my favorite!   I grew up in Illinois and experienced my own fair share of long dreary winters.  Tulips were always one of the first flowers to poke up through the cold ground and bring a promise of spring.  

And for that reason, their bright cheerfulness has always held a special place in my heart.

I love giving old worn out things a new purpose and another chance at life.  
And of course, I love doing it on the cheap!  : )

(I simply filled the boots with water and used them as the vase, since they're rubber they hold water quite nicely.  The paint color is Watermelon by Krylon, and I used a long double length of string over the door to tie them up.)


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Friday, March 21, 2014

Fun Friday Finds #20

Happy Spring everyone!  

Welcome back to another edition of Fun Friday Finds.
 I have some great things to show you this week.

Hubby ended up having to work this past Saturday so the kiddos and I headed out for some yard sales and a local quilt festival.  It was a fun day and I made a few good discoveries.

First up is this large glass cookie/candy jar I found at a yard sale for $2.

It's really big.  I set my phone up next to it so you could get an idea of its size.  I haven't decided yet if I want to keep this or sell it.  Either way I'll probably give the lid a coat of paint to freshen it up.

There were a few booths at the quilt festival that had vintage and antique items.  Some of the booths were charging antique store prices, but a couple of them were affordable.  I got this stack of vintage towels for $7.  So it came out to $1 each.

This set is a soft thin flour sack type material.  Isn't that red edging just the sweetest?!?  It feels sort of Swedish Farmhouse to me.  I might keep one and sell the rest.

This French linen towel looks like the real deal to me.  No faux wannabe's here.  Just look at that texture!  Gorgeous!

Also at the festival I found this German license plate for $6.  The man asked me if I had a German car I planned to put it on.  I said, "No, I'm planning to hang it on the wall."  I'm not sure if he knew what to think of that.  : )

The next fun find was totally unexpected.  If you'll remember back in my post about the DIY Grain Sack Shower Curtain, I used a homemade overhead projector to trace the image.  Even though it worked, it was still kind of difficult to do and the lighting had to be just right.  I had considered going ahead and investing in an actual projector to have for future projects, and maybe to make some things to sell, but decided against it when I saw they were running around $50 plus shipping on eBay.

Well, guess what?  I now have one of my own!  The kids and I were running errands one day and I stopped by the Hospice thrift store to drop off some things for donation and I spied this projector sitting right inside the door.  I asked if it had been a donation (yes), would it be for sale (yes), and could I buy it right then before it ever went out on the sales floor.  They had to get a manager to approve this, but long story short, they let me buy it right from the back door and for only $10!  It works SO much better than the homemade setup!  Now I just have to come up with some projects to use it for to justify its purchase.  :D

Now, on to the finds from today's adventure.  

I wanted to get a few groceries at Publix (LOVE Publix, but it's 35 minutes away so I don't get to go often), so the kids and I just made a morning of it.  It took us all morning to get there because we stopped at every yard sale we saw plus one thrift store and a small flea market, lol!

I got this selection of kitchen items at a yard sale for $2.  There were also some shower curtain hooks in the mix as well, but I didn't think you'd care about those.  : )  I thought the old ice cream scoop would make a cute scoop for something else, maybe in a big jar of oats or something.  The honey swirler thingy (technical savvy lingo) is to keep as well.  My husband was given a big jar of fresh honey from some local beekeepers after he helped them out, and I thought this would be so cute sitting down inside it.  (Well, until we eat it all that is.  It's some good stuff!)  And aren't those little measuring spoons just the cutest?  I already have a metal set for myself, so these will probably get listed.  The copper mold will be listed as well.

I found this great old antique brass hotel counter bell for $2.  It's solid brass and very heavy.

It even has a cast iron knocker/ringer thingy-ma-bob.  
(I'm very knowledgable in antiques lingo as you can see.)

This little silver plated dish caught my eye too.  It needs cleaned up, it looks as if it was used as an ash tray (oh the horrors!).  At first glance it might not look like much, but what drew me to it were the intricate details that lay beneath the grime and ash.

Isn't that pretty?  I forgot to take a picture, but it has an insignia on the bottom for Middletown Plate Co, Middletown, Conn. with the number 200.  Not sure what the number means, but I hope someone will appreciate this beautiful little piece as much as me because I plan to list it in the shop.

I came across this old Royal typewriter at a yard sale for $7.  I already have one of my own that I found last summer, so I plan to list this one.

Ok, now for my favorite find of the day.

This was the very first sale we stopped at this morning, at a local ranch a couple of miles from here.  I had already paid for my other items and was about to walk away when I noticed a section of boxes that I hadn't looked through before because they had just been setting them out.  When I moved away some paper towels and a few old musty sweaters I discovered this beauty.

A very large yellow enamelware bucket.  How often do you see yellow enamelware?!?  I'm not sure I ever have.

I love its sweet wooden handle!

I set the phone up by it again so you could see how big it is.  Awesome sauce, am I right?!?
And how much do you think I paid for it?
A big ol' whoppin' $2!!!  
I left there with a huge grin on my face!  I'm really in love with it so I think I'll be keeping it for now.

Well, that's all for this week!  

Be sure to share a picture of your Fun Friday Finds over in the Facebook Group.  We all love a good deal so come share what you've found!


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Friday, March 14, 2014

Fun Friday Finds #19

 Can you believe that it's been close to an entire year since I've done a Fun Friday Finds post?!?  Well it has.  I looked back and last May was the last one.  But never fear my junk lovin' friends, my yard sale-ing adventures will begin again!  Now that we're settled into our new home I'm ready to get my Etsy shop up and running again which means I'll need some new inventory.  Yay for an excuse to go shopping!  Am I right?  :D

So here's a few things I've found in the past week or so, and one big find that is actually from months and months ago, but I've never shared it.  

This first one is a cute little train case that I found at a yard sale this week.  The kids and I were headed home from story time at the library on Thursday when I spied the yard sale sign and whipped that van around, much to the aggravation of my kids.  (Aggravating them is so much fun!)  We followed the signs and ended up at a storage unit that was being cleaned out.  They weren't really all, but went ahead and let us adventurous type dig through the boxes.  The train case cost me all of 50 cents.

I also found this big ol' enamelware pot.  I searched and searched for the lid, but never could find it.  It also cost me .50.

Next up is this silver plate on copper vintage serving pitcher.  It's not really my style, but I've been seeing similar items popping up all over blogland recently so I thought it might sell well in the shop.  It was also a whoppin' .50.

This great set of retro canisters came from my new favorite thrift store.  I've been wanting to stop in this place every time I pass by it, but never had the chance until last week.  They had some great stuff there for really decent prices.  I will definitely be going back.  These canisters, which are in basically perfect condition, cost me $12.  They'll be going in the shop.

I also found this old flag at the same store.  It was flown over the Capitol in 1981 at the request of an Alabama congressman.  I have no idea of its resale value, I just thought it was unique and might be a good eBay sale.  I like to sell unique things just to say I've sold it, ya know?  

 Now this last one is actually a find from last November.  You've probably seen parts of it in some of the pictures I've shared on Facebook, but I've never shared the entire thing or the story behind it.

For a long time now I've wanted to own a set of antique theater seating.  I don't really know why exactly, I just think they're really neat.  It was rare that I ever came across any for sale and when I did they were SO expensive there was no way I could ever afford it.  But on this particular day, my birthday to be exact, the kids and I were on our way over to what is now our new house to do some work.  On the way we stopped at a couple of yard sales.  

At this sale, the old guy had some really neat and unique things for sale, but the seats totally captured my attention.  He had 3 sections of them.  I held my breath as I asked him the price and when he said, "Awww...if  you'll take them all I'll let ya have 'em for 40 bucks," I almost passed out.  I could NOT believe he was selling them so cheap.  I knew my husband would not be happy with me (and that's an understatement) if I came dragging home 3 sections of theater seating, so I asked him what his price would be on just this section.  He said $15 and even though that was a beyond awesome price, I was still torn as to whether or not I should actually get them.  I mean really, what would I do with them?  Where would I put them?  Would Hubby threaten to cut off my yard sale-ing days?  So I offered him less.  This is usually my "sign" when I can't decide on something.  If they'll take less, then it's meant to be mine.  If not, then I walk away.  So I offered him $10 and he accepted! was meant to be!

The funny ending to this story is how when I went back the next day to pick the seats up he answered the door in a shockingly skimpy state of disarrayed dress with his badly dyed red hair sticking up everywhere (at 2:00 in the afternoon), and how the sight of his wrinkly pale thighs and parts of his fuzzy chest totally threw me off my game and made me forget that I was supposed to ask him if he knew where the seats came from.  

So, if anyone ever asks me if I know the history behind them I'll have to say no, all the while the mental image of an old man in a barely-there bathrobe will be coming to mind and I'll be trying not to giggle...again.


* Don't forget about the new Facebook Group we've started! *

Monday, March 10, 2014

Bar Stools for the Kitchen

If you follow me on Facebook then you might have seen that I finally found a set of bar stools on Craigslist for our kitchen last week.  I had been looking for months on Craigslist, as well as thrift stores, etc., but hadn't come across a set that were decently priced.  I kept finding one here and one there, but if they were a set then people wanted way too much for them, even just for a set of two.  Then finally I came across these, a set of 4 priced at $85.  Not too awfully bad for a whole set.  I went and looked at them and offered her $60 thinking she'd counter with $75, but she was happy with the $60!  Woot woot!  :D

In a perfect world I'd have something more industrial looking and less honey oak, BUT...since the ones that I covet so very much are about $130 EACH, these will have to make do.  They're nice and sturdy and in good shape, and who knows, maybe I'll paint them someday.  I don't plan to paint them before painting the kitchen cupboards though.  I'd like to get those painted my dreamy white, and then see what to do with the stools. 
 (You can also see remnants of the orangey spackled walls and dark trim that have yet to be painted in the living room there in the background.)

Here's a little closer look at the top of the cupboards.  I have really struggled with decorating the tops of these.  I've tried to find the fine line of not so much that it looks cluttered and tacky, but not so sparse as to look completely plain and lifeless either.  I'm fairly satisfied with this section, but I'm still struggling with the cupboards on the left side of the kitchen.  Honestly, I would love to do away with the open tops and have glass fronted cabinets that go up to the ceiling built there instead.  Something like this.


I lurve this kitchen by the way!  Just sayin.'  But that's another one of those, "I wish/someday though probably never/if only/dream kitchen" kind of projects.

Anyways....back to my kitchen.  There was one more thing I wanted to point out to you that I've never shown before.  Can you tell what the arrow is pointing at?

It's our key holder!

We have lots of various keys for different machines and gadgets around here, so I turned an old metal loaf pan on its side and added magnetic hooks to hang them from.  The pan also helps disguise the fish tank pump that's behind it.  And that's Jerry (as in Tom & Jerry), our betta fish, by the way.  He's a funny little spazola who fights the filter pump quite often and likes to swim on his side when he's mad, lol!

  I think this same key holder idea could be used if you like to hang your keys right beside the door where you go in and out.  You could simply screw the loaf pan to the wall, and the hooks could be attached to the bottom of the pan and then the inside of the pan could be used as a little shelf to hold outgoing mail, cell phones, sunglasses, etc.  

Kind of quirky and fun, right?  
Just my style!  : )


Thursday, March 6, 2014

5 Minute No Sew Curtain

Today's project was so quick and easy, and such a small little thing, that I wasn't even planning to share it.  But after a month of being away from the blog many of you said, "Please don't stay away so long again!"  (Awww, you know how to make a girl feel loved!)  So....small though it is, I decided to go ahead and share it, after all, this blog is all about the ideas I come up with to try and improve my home.  So, without further ado, here is my 5 minute no sew curtain project.

This is the side door to our house, and it leads into the laundry room.  Even though it's the side door it gets used as our main entrance because of the way the driveway leads up to the house.

This curtain was already in place when we moved in, and even though I strongly disliked it I kept it there because I didn't have anything to replace it with.  The fabric was so thick and dark that not even the tiniest shred of light could get through.  And there was so much of the fabric that there wasn't enough room on the rod to push it over and let light in.  The result was a dark and cave like laundry room, even with the light turned on.

It was kind of a dark and depressing view walking up to the house as well, and didn't reflect our personalities at all.  You might think that's kind of crazy to say about one little curtain, but even the small things have a big impact.

The other day I was cutting fabric for another curtain project elsewhere in the house and I looked at the leftover strips of muslin and wondered what use I could find for them.  

And here's the answer.   : )

I just simply draped the strips over the rod and overlapped them slightly, then added another extra strip of checked fabric as the tieback.  The edges are unfinished so it gives it kind of a fun shabby look, and the thin muslin lets in plenty of beautiful light.

Walking up to the house is so much more cheery now!  
And it gives a much better first impression of what you'll find within the house.

My hubby doesn't tend to notice things I do around the house unless I specifically point them out to him, but this one he actually noticed all on his own and made a point to tell me how much nicer it looked when he came home!  Big smiles.  :D

I love how much soft light comes in, and doing laundry isn't so depressing now.  

So there ya go, 5 minutes, no cost or sewing involved, and it made a huge improvement in this little room.

I hope you have a wonderful day!
  I'm off to pick up some barstools for the kitchen that I found on Craigslist.
 I'll be sure to share a picture later.  : )


* If you haven't heard yet, we've started a new Facebook group where there can be more interaction between all of us and you all can share pictures of your projects and thrifty finds with the rest of the group.  Come join the fun {here}!  The regular Facebook page can be found {here}. *
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