wood back

Friday, February 28, 2014

Top 10 Reasons Why I Suck at Crafting

( GIFs courtesy of pandawhale.com)

1. I lack self esteem (as evidenced by title)
Picture on the right was taken over the summer, as I was starting this blog. The one on the left was snapped as I feigned satisfaction with my charm necklace.

2. My "studio"
 That's my living room coffee table, at night with a cup of coffee and every thing that I just might use all spread out. Let's see...a ruler, some chains, spool of ribbon, spool of rope, tweezers(?), a tin of miscellaneous things (including Styrofoam for holding stuff in place), an organizer with beads/findings, another organizer/drawer thing with old necklaces and little trinkets, pliers, buttons, thread, a little white tin of the buttons I plan on using, a pincushion, and coffee. Shouldn't I just take out a few things at a time?

3. I cut corners
Before I owned a sewing machine, I didn't wait to borrow my sister's or anything. I just used fabric glue. That's an entire hem that I added lace to because I thought sewing was too damn hard.

4. I have too many supplies.
Oh yeah, I need to keep all of the vintage zippers, what if I need three pink and three yellow zippers? I wear those colors all the time...

5. I don't have enough or the correct supplies
See those jump rings? They look like mini key rings. Except they don't open. Little jump rings that aren't really jump rings.
6. I have ADHD.
Yeah, you're rolling your eyes. I'M NOT SAYING IT'S AN EXCUSE! I'm saying it's a reason that I started this post an hour ago, then got up and got a snack and just a second ago, realized I was three articles deep on Huff Post.
Remember that time I was about to paint these wood things and then I didnt?
7. Too many projects.
I think I can multitask. You know, while the glue is drying on a necklace repair, I can start pinning a shirt refashion, and --  how to clean a lamp
I stopped writing this post half way through and started this boat necklace. I'll be sure to share the finished product by summer time.

8. I like to "wing it" and jump in without a plan.
There's a nice blog post about using mod podge to decorate furniture. Look how well planned it is, with all those little cut outs. When redo-ing wood furniture, tutorials will tell you to clean, sand, measure, wait an hour between thin layers of paint/decoupage...
When I first moved in, I bought a fabulous vintage, 60s, coffee table for $5.99 from Goodwill. I saw it; left it behind; and then ran back for it a few days later. The top was all damaged, like so:
I happened upon some perfect atomic scrap paper and decided it would be perfect for the top of my table! Quick, just throw it on there!
Nailed it.
Should the paper not be overlapping like that? Seriously, I don't know what I was thinking. Did I do this in my sleep? After coming to terms with my fail, I somehow learned to live with it.

Whatever. From a distance one can hardly tell. Also, it has a TV on top of it.

9. I always think something will be easier than it actually is.


10. Because I never finish what I st

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

More of the same: bird embellishments dress

This refashion is a lot like the last one I shared, only way easier. I pretty much just fixed the sleeves and added dun things. Oh, but here's a fun feature: It's all temporary and can be changed again. Because I hate to commit.
It's so much like the tan shirt dress that I'm even wearing the same belt. Out of all the damn belts that I've acquired, I must really like this one. Anyway; the black dress before:
That's my awkward limbo pose, where I lean back with my hips out. It makes me look legless. This might be after I fixed the little sleeves.
That's nice, clear pic of the neckline in back. A tag that's all smooshed into elastic. I think this dress has already been refashioned by whomever donated it to Savers. I'm refashioning a refashion.
It's hard to tell, but the sleeve is all puckered and frayed. So, I sewed that. Oh, and long story incoming...I actually made this one about a month ago. As you see, the dress was missing one button at the middle. I took the button from the top and replaced it, thinking maybe I'd put a different one up there. I decided against it and went to grab a medium, round button. I didn't have one. The next day, I stopped at the fabric store near work and grabbed a medium, round, black button, even though I didn't have the dress with me to compare.
I got home and got ready to attach; not a good match. It's a pretty damn basic item, I don't know how I was so off. Annoyed, I went and exchanged the $0.99 item the next day, with the dress in hand. I also grabbed some big-ass green colored beauties for decoration. What a completely unnecessary pain in the ass. Because, just a couple days later, I was gifted with an incredible button stash and will never have to buy one again.
Wow, that story took up space. As you might be able to tell from the before picture, this dress has a cute little middle area and that long, midi-length I'm so fond of. I envisioned a fun, pin up style dress, only one that was comfortable and appropriate for school. I was insistent that I needed bird appliques along the neckline. Some inspirations...
find sources
That last one is anchors, but you get the point. I love the image of the swallow-in-flight-tattoo-style bird. It's actually kinda cliche, but I'm ok with that. Yup, the bird print is a favorite of mine and one I'll surely revisit again. What I needed for this dress was a couple of iron on birds, like these:
find sources
You know, something one can easily find on Amazon, Ebay, Etsy, everywhere, etc. But, I didn't have any of those. I'm really trying to use the vast amount of materials that I do have, rather than wastefully purchasing things that I think I need. If you use old scraps, it's like you spent nothing. Here's what I did...
1. Google "how to draw a swallow."
2. Carefully draw a swallow (because I don't have a printer) and then cut out drawing from paper.
3. Trace cut out image onto thick, turquoise fabric.
Not bad, huh? Oh, and make two of them, facing in the opposite direction. I used Fray Check around him, I don't care if he's all stiff. Actually, I thought to myself....maybe he should be more 3 dimensional. I used fabric glue and attached the birds to a piece of matching felt and cut around.
Before attaching the birds, I thought of other ways I could add some crap to this piece. Yeah, don't just "put a bird on it", put two birds! And those big ass buttons!
Instead of sewing them on, I wanted to make them interchangeable.
Ta da. Button, glue, felt, more glue, pin back. See what I did there? I made big button pins. Also, I decided to use a different color, I don't need all that turquoise. After pinning my buttons to the dress's pockets, I went ahead and hand-stitched my birds to my dress. Then, I put that same old striped, elastic belt on. And it was cute.
How about a bunch more pics to crowd the internets? K.

So, basically...the birds can come right off should I decide to get some appliques; the belt ain't attached, and the green buttons are like brooches. I can change this thing up, if I'm feeling the urge.
Look how much taller I appear when I'm in heels and not slouching (actual height-5").

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Thrift Hoard: My cup runneth over...

I have so much stuff. So many craft supplies, so much "merchandise" to list, so many posts I want to write, and so many ideas. It's like my brain has too many tabs open. 
This image of a pile of belts is like some kind of mataphor
I'm overwhelmed. It's the eve of February vacation for the kids and grownups who work in schools here in NH. I work hourly and I'm broke, so this week off is really gonna hurt my wallet, but I sure can use the time to catch up on listing. I've got a million projects on my mind. And how could I possibly be doing worthwhile projects, I've only had a bunch of snow days and holidays to put them into action.
When I click on the "beautiful life" blogs about the miracles and treasures of the blogger lives, I wonder how it goes so smoothly. I'm always starting and stopping projects, or procrastinating because I'm indecisive. Certain creative pursuits have to be put on hold because of time conflicts, I guess. 
See this fabric bird? It's part of a dress refashion that I'm almost done.
I love my refashioning, but I wish I could finish more and keep up with the growing pile of stuff. Speaking of piles of stuff...During my last post, I mentioned picking up some spare belts for the dresses I take home that are without. I got the idea to go through my own large belt stash, and search a thrift store or two for some. I could use these cheap, but awesome vintage belts to dress up otherwise boring clothing items to help them sell. Go ahead, scroll up. See that big, red button belt? I've had that in my collection since summer, and I can't find an outfit to pair it with properly. Make me money, lovely accessory...
Last Monday was 50% of clothes, accessories, and bed/bath. I couldn't resist checking out the deals. Found some good stuff, too. Here's what I've taken pictures of, which means I have more stuff to share next week.

Sorry about the lackluster picture, there. It's actually a pretty nice Jonathan Logan vintage dress. See that thing behind it?

That's a dressmaker's pattern board, I think. Is that what you call them? That should come in handy when I'm ready to do more advanced sewing, but I was thinking it could also make an interesting backdrop for my photos. Most of my apartment looks like that table on the left of the picture, that cardboard piece I spent $2 on is quite helpful. I like the red and blue color, too.
How does that work? Sewing is hard

Here's another great dress. I really just wanted to show off that cool green and black harlequin pattern and square button. It's a shiny, silky material that seems to be hard to capture.

 This one of my favorite scores. It's such a cool, ruffled, novelty print blouse. At first, I just saw the safety pins and thought that was pretty punk rock. Then, I saw office supplies, so it lost some street cred. I don't think those pins belong with the paperclips and tacks...junk drawer shirt?

I've never bought vintage shoes, and these will be the first I plan to list in the shop. I saw those lightning bolt zig zags and that green color and I was in love. I'll have to do some research on how to sell shoes.

I gotta sell handbags, too. I'm like freakin' Al Bundy or something. That one was a buck, so I figured I would polish up the old leather and see if anyone else likes that rope design as much as I do.

You know what else was one dollar? This set. That's right, both of those pieces of vintage luggage for $1!
I feel like it's been forever since I've done a fun craft project. I need to make something. My sewing lady gave me even more stuff!
I got lots of ribbon, binding tape, zippers, velcro, and even more great buttons! I also got those lace-y items seen above. Those off-white collars need a good bath, but they look so antique-y.
 Some lace pieces that I want to use for jewelry making...
 Some necklaces I want to take apart and reuse with other supplies for said jewelry project...
Some stuff that I want to attach to clothing!
See what I mean? I'm all over the place. No work tomorrow, but I need food, have a dentist appointment, and can't even pose for blog selfies until my roots are touched up. (I'm vain, what of it?) No more grown up chores!
I plan on inking up at Sir Thrift A Lota living space and where ever else I can find a link party.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Thrift Hoard: Some Thrift Fails

First, I'm late to do up this post, this is part of my usual Sunday night routine. It's not like I've had a bunch of snow days, a weekend, and today (a holiday.) I neglected to check my email informing me that Savers was having a 50% off sale, and honestly, I don't know why I didn't think of that myself. They even had a pre-sale for club members. Why was I not informed?! Because I didn't check my email, that's why. And none of this stuff is listed yet.
Here's a few things I did grab.

I got this adorable carved out of wood whale key holder! $0.99! You know what's bothering me? What is with that hook in his blowhole? he looks a little dirty, but he should, he's vintage.

Chalkware! I love vintage chalkware, and I love lighthouses and other nautical themed stuff. I may or may not have made a discovery regarding its age, upon returning home. Jailbait lighthouse, you look old! Please don't report me to the etsy police! I'm just kidding, this is an old timey, vintage piece, ok?

Melamine bowls, eh? I've collected a few plates for my kitchen, surely I could sell these. I'll just buy them without consulting my smart phone... I can make a few bucks, I see. Except...see that bowl in front? That's the one that was taped to the bottom of the stack of four taped up bowls. That's the only one with that nice logo on the back. The others are not in shape as well as that one.

There's a picture of a lovely, 70s, black dress after it's steam bath (that's why it's on the shower curtain rod.) The price was right ($2) and it's a simple, flattering style. All it needs is a belt to make it sale-worthy. I found a scarf/sash that looked to be of the disco era and bought that for $1. Let's see.

Love the sparkly purple, but it's not cutting it as a belt. I took a belt from my own collection that I never wear.
That silver belt works. The dress is laying down on the measuring area (my bed) because I didn't do the dress form pics yet. I didn't do them because I planned on going thrifting and would look at other belts. I made a note to buy a buttload of cheap belts to use on dresses that have lost theirs.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Yes, more refashions...fifty cent shirt dress!

I really like shirt dresses. You know, the ones that look like a button down shirt, except they're a dress? Weird, because I don't usually wear those type of shirts. I bought this tan dress at the little Family Outfitters thrift store off the sweet $0.50 rack.
 It's tan. I really don't do colors from the brown family, but I had an inspiration...
click for source
That would be Marissa, one of the Interweb's most famous refashioners. Here's her awesome post. I wanted to make that sweet bird print. Novelty prints/swallows on flight are good.
I wanted to make this big sack looking dress fit like a 50s style shirt dress. It's a size 8 petite, and that's too big.
Ooh, it's from Talbots. They're not exactly known for their hip, edgy fashion for the young folks, but their stuff is made well. For instance, these gorgeous cuffs on the sleeve.
 Sadly, I had to hack them off. There was just no way I could properly edit those sleeves at that length. I wanted to go with short sleeves.
By the way, hemming those damn sleeves was freakin hard. They came out kinda puckered and wonky, I don't care.
I took in the sides quite a bit, as well as the sleeve. Do you see how I used safety pins for the armpit area? That's to avoid pin injury when I try it on to see if I like it before sewing. There's got to be another way, right?