Friday, August 29, 2014 | By: My Great Finds by Linda

What You Can Find At The Thrift Store

I'm always up for a thrift store run and yesterday I did just that with two of my favorite thrifts right here in Clermont, Fl.

It's always about the hunt and sometimes you hit it big and sometimes it's a bust, yesterday was a good shopping trip.

The first shop I went to is a bit of sloppy type of thrift store but it's here that I get the best bargains.  I found this vintage silver serving tray sitting out just waiting to be bought. It's a very heavy piece and it's stamped on it  FB Rogers Silver Company  My research on Ebay showed me that I'll make a nice profit from this piece.  You can see my listing on Ebay here.

I love to look at the linen section of thrift stores. I might find curtains, or throws, or tablecloths or napkins and think wouldn't this make a nice........  pillow or fabric bag.  My eyes usually just skim the racks to see if anything catches my eye and that's all I do. Yesterday my eyes found these great lookers staring back at me. Two of them resembled bark cloth of days gone by and were made into valances and there was enough fabric in them to make some pretty pillows. All they need is some deconstruction, a good wash, then some thinking on what they should look like.

 I also found about a yard of the black and white toile fabric for a great price and I knew right away that the black and white fabric will become the ruffle on a burlap pillow. 

Thrift store shopping accomplishes two things for me. One I get to find something that I can list on Etsy or Ebay and make money on that item. The second thing is I find things that get my design juices going that brings new life to something I find there. My pocketbook is thankful and my creative urges are so appreciative.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 | By: My Great Finds by Linda

How To Dye Fabric

I'm hoping my subject line is not too misleading I'm no expert on the subject of dying fabric but I've done it and want to share my experiences.

For a few years I've been making pillows out of men shirts I find at the thrift stores. They are cute and I do well with them. You can find the tutorial here. One day I'm surfing the net and come across someone who also sells the same pillows but dyes the fabric first. I loved the idea and wanted to try it.

So I tried some dye I bought in the supermarket and wasn't too happy with the look. There was missing a vibrancy that I was looking for.  Called my friend Sharon who is a textile artist and she recommended I visit Dharma Trading web site and get their dye.

Dye arrives and as you can see from the picture it comes in a paper packet. Easy, peasy, no fuss, no mess with a dissolvable plastic bag that just goes right into the washer.

One of the dyes I bought was a pumpkin color and that's the one I wanted to do. So I picked out some men's shirts I wanted to dye and also some white linen fabric and got started.

Now I know what you're thinking some of these shirts are of an orange hue already why did I want to redye them. Well..... I wanted a more consistant look from them because I was going to create a collection of pillows and wanted them to look the same but different if you know what I mean. One or two of them really didn't change too much but you be the judge from the after pictures.

Whether you are tea dyeing or fabric dyeing you must first get your fabric wet through and through. So what I did was filled my washer up with hot water for a small load without the dye, dumped my fabrics in, aggitated it for a few seconds then by hand rung them out. Added the packet of dye to same water and some non-iodized salt got that agitated and then added my fabric.

 Pumpkin Dye Water
Use gloves

It's recommended that you agitated your fabrics for about 50 minutes but I think that's subject to how deep you want your color. I did have to keep resetting my washer because 15 minutes is the longest wash cycle I have and for this batch of orange I went about 40 minutes. Make sure you are there to reset before it goes into spin.

So here they are the before and after.  Haven't gotten to the pillow making part yet. So what do you think? Is this something you might like to try? If so give me a holler and let me know how you did or if you have any questions I'll be sure to get back to you.

Monday, August 18, 2014 | By: My Great Finds by Linda

Get Inspired!

It's hard to get inspired to start a new business when you've had one business that wasn't such a success (I'd call it a failure but others would disagree with that)

I'm a creative person who just loves to make things and then sell them. I've loved the idea of doing this as far back as I can remember. Today I'm doing just that with items that I find at thrift stores and giving them new life along with making accent pillows for the home. It's not easy to get a business going especially when the ghosts of past ventures rise up and sound off  causing a defeatism that starts to sink in.

What I realized is I need inspiration to get me going and keep me motivated.

The dictionary says this about the word inspire: to produce or arouse (a feeling, thought, etc.) 

 That's it! I need a feeling of "You Can Do it" to replace those ghosts I spoke about.

So where do I go to get inspired? 

 Les Brown's  posts on Facebook inspire me. Below is yesterday's post from him and it was exactly what I needed to hear.

"Are you overworked and underpaid? You don’t have to settle for this. Choose to develop your mind, your skills, your personality and your relationships. These are the keys for unlocking a world of possibilities and opportunities. If you’re feeling stuck, cast aside, inadequate, don’t just complain about it…make a conscious decision to develop yourself.

Do what you need to do so that you will get to do what you want to do. You might have to go back to school; volunteer in a situation where you can learn; or use your imagination to figure out what your next move will be. At any rate, you’ve got to keep moving. Don’t let life leave you behind. Check your ego at the door, and swallow your pride. You can begin again, create a new life for yourself. You have GREATNESS within you!"

I love Les Brown and it's worth liking him on Facebook to read each day his words of encouragement for success.

So where else do I get inspiration from?

My children John and Erica who both believe in me and encourage me all the time to keep at it. They also have so many talents and I'm in awe of them and well to tell you the truth those talents had to come from somewhere and I'm thinking it might be from me so there I go again getting inspired.

I've neglected my blog for a very long time and now I'm back and wrote my first coming back post and  Kathy at Honey Mountain left me a wonderful comment. She inspired me to keep going just by her thoughtfullness to leave a comment, thank you Kathy.

So I'll look all around for inspiration throughout my day. It's the energy I need to produce my products, list them on Ebay and Etsy, talk about it through social media and it gives me the strength to not give up.

Friday, August 15, 2014 | By: My Great Finds by Linda

Hotelware Dinerware Restaurant Ware Love Them All!

Back in the 90's I use to live in Scranton, Pa and on occasion I would take a ride into the city (to me there is only one city) and meet my sister-in-law and go shopping. This one day we happened upon a store called Fishs Eddy (read about it here how they got the name) This is the place that made me fall in love with Dinerware dishes.

It was just the type of funky shop you would expect to find in NYC and it didn't disappoint me. That day I became the proud owner of these dishes.

From that point on I just loved this type of dish. Wikipedia explains way better than I could how these type of dishes came about.

So then in my travels just recently I came upon these cups. Love love these cups! They scream Coffee Shop 1950's

They are a cream color with a brown transferware on them. They are your typical 8 oz size cup and I think it would make a great look displayed in a kitchen.

Then I just happened upon another store that had this dish from Syracuse China and again it's the same style and weight of the dish that makes them what I call Dinerware. This bowl was made by Syracuse for the Navy thus the anchor.

Here's my newest find that I got in a local thrift shop. These dishes are from Royal Doultan and on the underside marking it's called Hotelware. These have been heavily used because some of the gold striping is missing but my gosh how pretty would these plates look in a French Country kitchen.

So it's 2014 and I'm still in love with them and now I'm more on the look out for them to sell in my Ebay shop or my Etsy shop. There are many of you out there who loved them as much as I do.

Now if you haven't started your love affair with these dishes and might just want to then head on over to Fishs Eddy and check them out.

Want to learn more about this type of dish called Hotelware, Dinerware, Restaurant ware then take a look at what Wikipedi has to say about it.

Don't forget when visiting your local thrift store keep an eye out for some of these type of dishes, I'm pretty sure you will love them like I do.

My Salvaged Treasures

Thursday, August 7, 2014 | By: My Great Finds by Linda

How To Say I Love You in a Special Way!

How do you say I Love You to someone other than speaking the words. Do you give them flowers, candy, hugs, kisses, jewelry etc? I know all of these sound good but how about a new and different way?

Many years ago my Mom and Dad went to visit my Aunt and Uncle who lived in Shreveport, La and upon their return they started a new tradition in their home.

My Aunt Angie had made a special dinner for my parents and set the table for my Dad and Mom with 2 red "You are Special" plates. My mother loved the idea it made her feel special and thought it was so great she purchased her own plate to start this tradition with us.

Just recently I gave a plate each to my nephews Danny and John for Christmas.I was pleasantly surprised how much they loved them. John just celebrated his 10th birthday and was excited when his mom made his favorite breakfast and served it to him on this plate.

The tradition of the "You Are Special Today" Red Plate has for generations been present at great and small moments of joy, struggle and growthThis blog The Red Plate Stories is well worth a stop over to read the stories.

Memories of love are created when we start a tradition that conveys our feelings to both the young and old and this red plate has done just that for my family.  With my own family I've used the red plate for birthdays, good grades, graduation or just because I wanted to say I love you.

So on one of my trips to a thrift store I came upon this I Love You plate and at first thought it might make a nice addition to a home on a plate easel. I resell some of  my finds. Then I remembered my red plate and thought why not? How cute would this be as a shower gift to a bride so she can convey her love to her new husband on special days with a special dinner?  We all love to be loved and this is a great way to say it.

Right now I have this plate up for auction at Ebay but you can easily create your own I love you plate with a white plate from the dollar store and some Porcelaine  markers. Here's a link on how to paint on ceramic that will show you the how and what to use all you need to do is come up with your own special design.

So I hope you enjoyed this post and think about adding a new way of saying I love you to those who you care so much for.