Wednesday, November 23, 2011 | By: My Great Finds by Linda

Know When To Fold Them! Know When To Walk Away!

"The Gambler" by Kenny Rogers, those lyrics where in my head as I was doing this cabinet.

Let me back up a bit. I'm moving 2 hours away from where I currently live and have decided that most of my furniture, pictures, knick knacks, etc will not fit in my new place. This cabinet was one of those that got the pink slip. It actually was the table that my soap melter rested on for my other business.  So those items that did not make the grade ended up in my booth at Knot On Main Street. This cabinet need a bit of work before I could send it over there and I was up for the challenge.


As I was scraping the peeling paint from it I discovered that it was actually a laminate cabinet that had been painted over, which explained the peeling paint.  I literally had to scrape almost all the paint off the sides and top. A bit of a big job.

So once that was done my idea was to paint the outside a chippy black paint and the inside a burlappy beige color that would look great with the baskets I had for the bottom.

Besides the paint job I also had to do something with the bottom tracks that was used for sliding doors that today are probably still trying to decompose in a landfill somewhere. My idea for the tracks was to get some wood trim at home depot for a cover up.


First paint was a primer (I used Kylz) on the formica to ensure it would stay put and not peel. I did not prime the inside thinking that it was not  laminate and it would be okay.. Here's a picture of the inside after one coat of the burlappy beige primer built in paint. It took three coats of paint. 

I could go on and on with the other things I did to this cabinet and I wonder why it took so long to come to the realization that it was time to walk away.  Here's what I learned.
  1. If you are going to resell start with quality and a formica type cabinet doesn't fit my idea of quality. 
  2. I love to paint especially the chippy paint technique but I realized that I really am not to crazy about doing it on large pieces.  So keep it small and simple.
  3. It's a bit difficult to make something look like something it isn't. Laminate will not look like an old wooden cabinet with chippy paint.  Though it could be that knowing the truth clouds my judgement.

So after many hours of scraping, priming, painting, fixing etc I decided that it was time to just walk away and let it go.  It served me well for about 5 years first as a display cabinet in my store, then as a work space for my melter for soap making. Here's where you might be asking why not use it again as a display piece? My philosophy for my booth is that everything is for sale and this isn't sale worthy.


I'd hate for this to go to the landfill but in back of my development (I live in a condo community) I'm sure someone will find it and give it a new home.
Thursday, November 17, 2011 | By: My Great Finds by Linda

What To Do With All This Stuff!

I love thrift store shopping and when I shop, I buy. So, I do a lot of shopping, a lot of buying and a lot of bringing home stuff. But there is just so much stuff I could personally use

So the idea was born, BUY, FIX, SELL, MAKE PROFIT.  (not an original idea of mine)

Last year I had a booth at an antique mall called Knot On Main Street, but because of some conflicts with my other business I shut it down.  Then in June there was a major fire there and the whole mall closed down until repairs could be done.  This past Tuesday they opened half of their 10,000 square foot space and I rented a small portion of that.  

Here's Bob the owner of Knot On Main Street
Out front of the store



Here's my space already painted but bare
My only job to get it ready for customers was to paint the walls an olive branch green and put up some green shutters I already had for architectural interest.  Oh yeah and bring in merchandise of course.

So here are some shots of my booth finished and waiting for shoppers.


Here's a shot of that wreath I made from the men's shirt collars and also a fabric covered magnetic board that I'll be doing a post on soon. 


Those pillows were such a great find, the quality of craftsmanship is really evident. I got those at a church run thrift store and that thrift store is one of my favorites. I can spend hours there.

A wall of pictures and also my wreath chair.

Here you get to see those napkin pillows, my bon appetit dish and more pictures. Also my ammo box tops turned farmhouse chic chalkboards.

More pictures, more magnetic fabric covered bulletin boards.

Last but not least my men's shirt pillows.

So everything is priced, displayed and waiting for customers, cause as soon as some of this stuff is sold you know where you'll find me.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011 | By: My Great Finds by Linda

Fabric Napkins Take On A Whole New Look!

I've had these linen type napkins for quite a few years stashed in my fabric pile . Originally they were my aunt's and I think her plan was to embroider on them. I confiscated them because I loved the feel and look of the fabric and always thought they would make really cute little pillows. Plus you know they were like a blank canvas waiting to be something else. They measure 14" x 14"

Napkins waiting for the day to become pillows

But you know how you have these great ideas and they (the napkins) just sit there until tomorrow or the next day or maybe even the day after that. Those tomorrows became years.

So I'm here to tell you I finally got them made. What explanation do I have for finally getting them done?  I think I heard them calling to me from the fabric stash begging to be the promised pillows. When napkins start calling it's time to listen and do.  Sorry folks that's the best reason I can come up.

The edges were already hemmed so my idea was to just sew two together just below the hem line and then stuff with some loose fill. 

Plain white little pillows are just...... plain and I wanted more pizazz  like transfer image pizazz. I love the vintage french looking black and white images and the graphic fairy has some really great ones. So I went browsing on her web site and came up with a few that I thought would be perfect for the pillows.

This brings up the point of transferring images onto fabric.  Browse the web and you will find all these different techniques on how to do it.  It can be a bit overwhelming. After much research I decided that Lesley Riley's Transfer Artist Paper would be my method of choice. It does a wonderful transfer and it's so easy and I'm all for easy.


So I had enough napkins (10) to make 5 pillows. I used 5 different images from the Graphic Fairy.


Black and white pillows with a french flair
The above picture is just 4 of the 5 pillows and you only get to see 2 of the images I used from the Graphic Fairy . Below is a close up of another image.

This one is my favorite.
I think these little pillows make a great accent up against some larger pillows, maybe on a bed.
Thursday, October 27, 2011 | By: My Great Finds by Linda

When Things Go Wrong!

I found this wooden basket at a thrift store for $2.00. It was an unfinished wooden piece that you would find at a craft store and I thought it was worth the $2.00, plus I had an image I've been wanting to use and thought it would be perfect for it.



Mistake #1 I didn't sand the piece before I painted it. Those poplar wood pieces tend to be a bit rough.

Mistake #2 I primed it with a white primer. I realized this was a mistake when I started to sand the piece after all the paint colors were done and got the white primer showing thru on my edges where I wanted it to be down to raw wood.

Mistake #3. I used my trusty Vaseline trick to give me the chipped paint look but went a bit too far with it. So I had to do a patch paint job to rectify it.

Mistake #4 The Fresh Eggs image wasn't big enough to make a statement at the bottom of this basket so I pondered what to do. Dictionary pages, yup that was the ticket. The dictionary pages wasn't the mistake, the mistake was I was in a rush (like that's something new) and didn't take my time making sure that the edges of the dictionary pages that butted up to the sides of the basket were straight.  So I tried to fix it with some black paint to make it look, oh I don't know maybe right? Didn't work. It looks sloppy.

So I added some more paint to the edges and then went over it with some antiquing polish and it looks better, but not good enough.

My choices for this piece, keep it as it is or redo the dictionary pages and image so it's right. I opt to redo it.

BTW I got the Fresh Eggs image from Playing with Brushes.
Thursday, October 20, 2011 | By: My Great Finds by Linda

Before Blogging What Did I Buy

Before this blog surprisingly I use to shop thrift stores, loved thrift stores but if you've read my posts you know that about me. It's an addiction!

LaxSupermom is having a Before Blogging Throwback Link Party  and I thought I'd write about my before times purchases.

On a very small scale I use to buy and sell. Sold on Ebay and also at a booth I had in Dunedin, Florida. 

This sunflower was purchased during one of my visits to a Salvation Army store in Holiday, Florida.  I believe it was back in April 2010. This quite interesting looking sunflower set me back $1.49

Sunflower made from coconut shells
After a purchase like this I am such a happy camper, it's the thrill of the hunt and then the find! 

BTW I sold this guy for $9.95 at a show.


Monday, October 17, 2011 | By: My Great Finds by Linda

I Love Love Thrift Store Shopping!

I was on a fast.  A deprivation fast. You know the kind of fast where you are not allowed to have something you love?

Oh this was a fast that would not allow me to visit my local thrift stores until I got thru a majority of projects I designed from previous purchases.

The fast lasted 2 weeks and then I cracked, I just had to go and see and buy and I did. So glad I did cause look what I found.




These lovingly made white crocheted flowers for $2.00. There are 3 flowers and three leaves to each part.  I already had planned on making a black and white fabric rose wreath and oh  I thought wouldn't these look fantastic on the wreath.
 


I separated the flowers and used only two flowers and 2 leaves for this wreath. As you can see I added some little mini buds with coordinating fabric to the center of the flowers.



Black and white flowers look so good up against a burlap wrapped wreath.  Fabric roses are so much fun to make. Do a google search for tutorials on fabric roses if you haven't  made these yet.



This wreath was made to hang on a wreath chair which will be an addition to an entry way. Right now the wreath is just sitting in the seat of the chair. Chair is missing it's wreath hook. (I'm working on that)


So glad I gave into my urges to shop and found these so very pretty flowers. It actually made my day.
Sunday, October 16, 2011 | By: My Great Finds by Linda

Pine Wood Tops Turn Country Charm Chalkboard

Remember those pine ammo boxes I got a couple of weeks ago? Well I started doing something to a few of the tops.
BEFORE

So originally I thought the box top could be repurposed into a wall hanging. My idea was to give the top a chippy paint look and then decoupage a nice vintage image in the middle. Then I also thought it would be a good project in making this top into a chalkboard hanging. 

So I decided on doing 4 tops with the chalkboard idea.

Step one I sanded off all the rough edges on the top and sides.
Next I knew this raw pine needed a primer and I used Kylz2 latex primer.

I decided my paint color choices would be a chocolate brown with an off white top coat and the black chalkboard in the middle.
 
So after the primer had completely dried I applied the brown paint on all parts but the chalkboard area. Luckily it only needed one coat, Hooray for primer.

After the brown coat was dry I used a crackle medium in a few scattered spots and then also using a brush painted on some vaseline on a few more different spots.

Years ago I read somewhere that to achieve that chippy paint look to put some vaseline over the first coat of paint where you want the look of chipped paint. The vaseline will  inhibit the second coat of paint from adhering.  It's a bit messy but it's my technique of choice to get that look.
 
After preparing the brown paint for the old look I applied my off white paint.  After the white paint had dried I used a damp rag and wiped off the paint where the vaseline was. Next used a sandpaper pad and lightly went over the painted area. Then applied a  umber glaze  with a brush and wiped it off with a rag and repeated until I was happy with the effect.

After the paint technique was finished I then did 3 coats of chalkpaint in the center using the FolkArt brand from Joann's




Add two pieces of chalk wrapped in twine and it was done.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011 | By: My Great Finds by Linda

Dinner Platter Turned Decor Accessory!

There are so many things that I love, like paint, notebooks, fabric and I wrote about those things here. But to tell you the truth I love so many things it would be hard to list them all so as I come up with new items that I declare my passion for just understand I have many loves .

So now that you know all that I can safely say to you that I love dishes, loads of dishes and if given the space I'd have tons of them. Which is silly cause it's just me and the dog and how many dishes can one person use.

Don't know what it is about those dishes that I love,  just know that I do.

So one day not too long ago I was thumbing thru my Somerset Home magazines and came across an article about "Decorative Vintage Dinnerware" by Sandy Faccini Berry. (Somerset Home volume 2 page 44)  She called this Altered Dinnerware and they are stunning!.   Here's her blog.  I was in love (again) and now I could start collecting some nice vintage dinnerware and make it altered.

So that idea was sitting on the back burner waiting patiently for the perfect timing when I read a DIY on the Graphic Fairy blog about some platters gone altered. Again I was inspired. The ones on the Graphic Fairy were done by the the sisters at Nice and Easy Antiques. You can see the tutorial from them here.

Okay so here's the platter I started with. There are some chips but I thought it would add to the look of vintage I was going for.



I had picked out some scrapbooking paper that went really well with the dish and decided it would be my background piece.

So to get a shape that would look good inside on the platter I turned the dish upside down and used the lip as my guide. The lip is the piece that the dish sits on and is shaped around the flat part of the platter. You'll know what I mean when you turn your dish over.

So my first piece of paper was cut out and now it needed to be enhanced.  

I wanted the dish to say something and designed it for a dining room/ kitchen so my words had to be about food, and I wanted to say it in French.  Born Bon Appetite. Not original but it would do. I found the perfect free font for it on Dafont.

I knew that the image of the fork, knife and spoon over at the Graphic Fairy would be part of the collage along with 3 other images. This collage was done digitally on photoshop elements. Images came from the Graphic Fairy and Playing with Brushes. Below is the digital collage I did.


So now that the above image was done I had to free hand cut it so that a border of the first paper (scrapbook paper) would show all around the edges.
From the tutorial from the two sisters I knew my first piece of paper would be glued with spray glue. The second piece I did with mod podge.  I am happy with it and it will be going with me this weekend to my first show.

I added a platter easel and it's done. Hope you like it.
Monday, October 10, 2011 | By: My Great Finds by Linda

Men's Shirt Pillows

A few days ago I showed you how to deconstruct a man's shirt and you can see that tutorial here. Now lets get to the pillow making.

First off let me tell you what I've learned from trial and error. It's best to buy a man's extra large shirt. If the shirt goes by neck size I would go no lower than a 17" neck.  This way when you cut off the sleeves and collar you have enough of the front to make a large pillow that places the pocket in a good place.  Second when placing your pattern onto the front keep the cutting and sewing lines away from the buttons. If you can't do that then you'll need to remove that button


Okay so now decide on the size of the pillow you want. I opted to buy  pillow forms, just because I think its neater looking and also because I wasn't sewing closed the button area and I thought the fiber fill could leak out. I purchased my 16" pillow forms from Joanne's and was very lucky that they had them at 50% off plus that weekend there was a 20% off coupon on top of that, score!

I always have a roll of kraft paper that comes in handy for making patterns and did so for my pillows, making  it  a 17" square.  I added the additional 1" all around to give me enough sewing allowance plus allow a loose look to the pillows. .

I place my pattern  on the shirt front (making sure that the shirt is totally buttoned up) paying attention to where the button line would be and also the pocket. Most of the ones I made the button line is center but I also liked the look of the button area being a bit off to the side. The pocket looked best if it's down a bit from the top of the pillow. I then traced the pattern onto the fabric and then cut. I used a sharpie marker for my tracing figuring it was going to be cut off so it was okay to do that, maybe?

Okay sewed all four sides, snipped the corners so they wouldn't bunch up, unbuttoned the shirt, turned inside out, pressed and inserted pillow and viola!. It's pretty easy.

The first pillow I made looked like this right from the sewing machine. Yawn..... it was boring looking to me. It looked clean, crisp, like a well dressed man, but it didn't fit in with the decorating scheme I was going after.


So I tea dyed it and the coloring was better but there was another problem.  Not sure if you can see it in the photo but there's a streak down the side of the buttons that makes the pillow look dirty. My guess is that no customer will want to buy a pillow that looks dirty no matter how cute it thinks it is. Luckily I can just bleach it out and start again.  Since then I've learned what not to do when tea dying and will gladly share that with you on another post.

So after the tea dye I'm still yawning........ though not so much. Just didn't have that zing I was looking for. So I then did one more thing and made up some small covered buttons with some contrasting shirt material  and glued them on top of the existing buttons.  Now it's better, not perfect but better.   Love to hear what you think about it .Juror is out if I'll make buttons for the rest of  the pillows. Oh yeah I took away the button on the pocket that was a bit of over kill. 





My hope is that when I get all 15 pillows out on display at the craft show they all will look great!
Saturday, October 8, 2011 | By: My Great Finds by Linda

Getting Ready For A Craft Show!

This upcoming weekend will be my first craft show. I've been working hard re*cycling, re*designing and re*purposing items I've purchased from the local thrift stores.




This white container is a  left over from my soap business. I used them as gift basket containers. So to have it come with me to the craft show I had to do something crafty to them. I remembered a tutorial for a large burlap flower that might work and I thought I give it a try.



I was inspired to do this from Tatertots and Jello So I had some toile fabric just hanging around that I thought would be a good match.  My top measures 6" and per the tutorial I was to cut a square double the size. Now the instructions was for a burlap flower and my fabric is a little less stiff so I decided to iron on some fusible interfacing to give the fabric some body.  I cut the points off of the square to give the shape of a circle. Now to attached the fabric to the container I used a hot glue gun and just turned the ends under and hot glued like crazy.

So after the fabric was attached I then started making folds going all around the container and held it together at the center with pins. As soon as I was happy with the look I hot glued the center to get the folds to stay in place. I then made a matching fabric rose and put that in the center to cover the glue.

So I'm thinking this will pass the crafty judges at the show.

Tip Junkie handmade projects
Tuesday, October 4, 2011 | By: My Great Finds by Linda

Shirt Collar Fabric Rose Wreath


Collar Roses Wreath

FIRST THE BASICS:   The wreath is a 12" straw wreath purchased at Joann's for $1.80 ($2.99 less a 40% off coupon) Wrapped in burlap that I also purchased at Joann's for $3.99 a yard and also applied a 40% off coupon to that. I purchased 4 yds so I would have quite a bit of length to my strips. I cut one strip about 3" wide then hot glued one end of my strip onto the wreath and started wrapping the burlap around the wreath overlapping about half of each strip so that there wouldn't be any see thru of the straw.


COLLARS BECOMES ROSES:  (if you haven't made fabric roses before do a Google search for a tutorial "how to make fabric roses")
So the above image is the collar and how it looks after being cut from the shirt. There are two sections of the collar, the collar band (the part that wraps around the neck) and the collar points (the other part of the collar)

One Collar Becomes Two Parts

I've separated the collar into two parts and trimmed the collar so that it's cut right up to the stitching on both pieces. So now one collar will produce two fabric roses.  The collar band makes for a smaller rose and I just start rolling from one end to create the inside bud (about 1/4 of the way) and then  twirled and secured. My glue of choice is Fabri Tac. it's tacky right away which helps to keep the rose from unraveling.
Collar Band Rose

The collar point is quite wide and would produce too big a rose for my liking so I folded it in half and secured it with fabric glue to keep it in place. (picture not shown) I'm then ready to twirl and secure.

WREATH FINISHING: So I had collected a number of different color blue collars (as you can see in the wreath image) and was happy with the color composition of them and I just arranged them on the burlap covered wreath and secured them with pins to make sure I liked how it looked before I committed to glue. I tend to leave things to sit for a bit to make sure I'm happy with it and it became apparent to me that something was missing. So I made a few 1 1/2" covered buttons in matching fabric and I think that helped.  So I removed the pins, hot glued the roses and buttons in place and then hot glued some pins into the roses to really secure them so they would stay put. 

My plan is to display this wreath along with the Men's Shirt Pillows at my upcoming craft show. 



Stick around because I'll be posting those pictures of the pillows I've made from these shirts along with a simple How To
Saturday, October 1, 2011 | By: My Great Finds by Linda

Deconstructing A Man's Shirt!

I read in a magazine not too long ago how you could make pillows from men's shirts and I just loved the idea. At the time though I had my soap business and there was just no way I could fit that into my schedule.

Once the business was sold this was one of the firsts things I set out to do. I hunted all over town for the perfect men's shirts for the projects I had in mind. I think I was successful and purchased 18 shirts for $25.00 with a total visit to three different thrift stores.

So today I'll be showing you the deconstructed shirt and my plans for each piece with some follow up blog posts about the individual projects. 

THE COLLAR:  I'll be using these guys once I've collected enough with colors that really work well together and create some fabric roses for some wreaths. I've actually made one already done up in shades of blue and will do a post about that in the next few days.



THE CUFFS:  Right now my plan for these guys is to make some cuff bracelets. I haven't tried this yet but hope to in the very near future. But I have to tell you I'm a bit unsure about that idea so I have these cuffs  sitting out in plain site so that they will sort of speak to me.


THE FRONT & BACK:   Both the front and back of the shirts will be used for pillows. I'll be making the pillows so that the buttons and pockets will be on the front and using the back of the shirt for the back of the pillow.  I plan on doing a 16" square pillow which will take up most of the fabric leaving some for a men's shirt patchwork pillow to also be done in the future. Also some of  the men's shirts have some nice designer labels that I'll be using on the pillows, like Clairborne etc.



THE SLEEVES: Lots of valuable fabric here that could be used for different projects. My original plan was to cut the fabric into strips and create those fabric wrapped styrofoam balls, but we'll see if that is what I'll do. I also liked the idea of creating a men's sachet with a really nice fragrant fill. I love the part of the sleeve that has that little button down the end and will definitely incorporate that into whatever project it becomes.


Okay I'm off to make some pillows and I'll get back with you to show you the wreath I made with the collar fabric roses.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011 | By: My Great Finds by Linda

On A Grey Day, A Great Find

It was the weekend and the day was just so northern grey, not typical for sunny Florida and my mood matched the weather. Had a thought to go to the local Goodwill because that always makes me happy. I get there and it's early grey afternoon and the parking lot is jammed with cars resulting in my having to circle around 3 times to find a space. All these people and just so much stuff to go around, I wondered if I would get a great deal?

I always go to the housewares department and this time was no different. So I stroll over to the dish section and sitting in plain site are these 2 dishes that are so beautiful and I know without picking them up to see the price that they were  going home with me. It was..... love at first site.  Flip them over and my mouth drops open when I see the ridiculous low price.  Into the cart they went.

That's the thing with Goodwill some of their items are priced way too high for people like me who want to resell, but not all of their items are that way.  I can always find a treasure at a great price at each and every visit even when it's jammed packed with people. Goodwill is my favorite thrift store.


So what do you think? Too pretty to be used as a dinner plate, don't you agree. I think it would look fantastic on a mantel or even a buffet table.  I supplied the plate easel that I purchased with a 40% off coupon at Joann's.

I left the store no longer noticing the greyness of the day, and my mood had totally done an about face all because of this great find.

I'll be selling these dishes at my first show.