Latest….

…not alot of words, just photos of recent work!

I cut up an old leather jacket that didn’t sell on etsy, and got lots of great leather pieces….this was just something quick:  THE CUFF:

(I had to try out my two snap putter-onner-tool-thingys that I got at a garage sale for FREE.  yup, FREE  along with a couple of quilting square / triangle measurey things, and elastic and binding and I figure it was about a $70 haul FO FREE…!!!)

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 HBI has been spending time in the studio with me….using the sewing machine, making what he plans to be ‘flags’.  The top one has already been modified and is hanging on the studio wall with a chain attached to it.  “Mom, I like it MUCH better with the chain.”   I’ll have to get a picture of it….

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I’m encouraging him to look at texture and patterns and find interesting combinations.

This next one is a little stroller quilt I made for my friend Kahla.  It is made out of men’s dress shirts for her new little baby boy!  I left one shirt pocket on so there is a place to put his pacifier…!

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oh man…I have like 4 other things on the go out there…just haven’t photographed them….I’m sticking mostly with fabric it seems, but this little project only took a few minutes…:

Remember way back last year I started to get a love on for those covered cheese trays?  Well I did find one this year for the love-of-a-quarter ( didn’t even bargain!)

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…started up with a bit o black paint I had kicking around:

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and ended up here:

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Perfect for my artistic philosophy:

Projects should #1) take less than an hour, #2) take no appreciable skill to complete  #3) that I don’t have to measure or follow a pattern to do, and #4) that I don’t have to spend any $$ on….

Here’s just a sneak peek at something currently on my table:

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Repurposing a sweatshirt with a broken zipper….

One downfall, I suppose, of volunteering a day a week in a thrift store is all the the treasure I come in contact with that really needs saving.  I see it all….all the wastage and excess that most of us have come to live with as normal. 

There are so many possibilties for items people have discarded as trash…

For instance…today I happened upon this Quiksilver sweatshirt that had a broken zipper.  

sweatshirt1Now, it would not have been that complicated to replace the zipper….a little time consuming and about 8 bucks.  No doubt the person donating this item didn’t have the time to try and figure it out in order to avoid having to go out and buy another sweatshirt.

So….I begged to take it home and repurpose it.

…..for those of you new to my blog, you need to know I have a propensity for projects that #1) take less than an hour, #2) take no appreciable skill to complete  #3) that I don’t have to measure or follow a pattern to do, and #4) that I don’t have to spend any $$ on….

First I sewed the zipper together by hand….just used brown thread and a needle and sewed that sucker shut.

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Then I eyeballed and  I simply cut out what I thought looked rectangular.

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Then I looked over the rest of it and decided on interesting pieces for the back….I also cut out one of the pockets and sewed it onto what would be the back panel…

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Now, I’m not into changing my machine thread just because ( it takes time, and cuts into my hour), so I thought the current color I had on there…an orangy yellow, would make a nice contrast and I just used that to stitch on the pocket.

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I don’t know much about adjusting the tension, so on most of my projects, the stitching comes out a little wonky, but that to me, just goes to show that it doesn’t have to be perfect…it just has to work.

After that I took out my handy dandy rotary cutter…( oh, now don’t you go thinking that I went out and spent $$ on this…oh no…I put it on my Christmas list last year and hubby’s equally crafty aunt, saw the value in purchasing it for me…I love her I tell you..!)  …anways, I took out my rotary cutter and matched up the back and front and somewhat tried to even out the edges ( right sides facing together…)

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Then, I started stitching the back and front panel together.  Also note the wonky stitching here.  I’m not one to go out a rip it out when that happens…I just go back and sew over it again.  After all, this IS going to be on the inside….if it were on the outside, I probably would reconsider, but maybe not…:)

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Ok, we are almost there now…by now, you may have figured out what we are making, but maybe not, so I’ll break the suspense for you…we’re making a shoe bag, or a little carry satchel ( which my 9yo has already claimed as his gym bag for next year…)

So, once you’ve stitched twice with right sides together, you turn it right side out and turn over the edges about an inch, and then slice into it twice so that the string will have somewhere to go.

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At this point, I did use pins to pin down the channel all the way around….and I (gasp now..) changed the thread color since I kind of wanted it to disappear on the outside of the bag….

finishing9and the measurement thing on your feed plate does come in handy for this job….helps you keep the channel size somewhat consistent as you go…

Next, you feed through your string… ( and make a mental note to change out your badly chipped nailpolish!)

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et voila….front and back!

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Now, my next dilemma…I’m pretty much left with scraps except for the arms….what can I do with them…?????  ideas????

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Did I spend 5 bucks or save 300?

One of the benefits of always being on the lookout for cool stuff to sell, is that I’m always out and about in thrifty places and have the side benefit of finding cool things for myself.

So when I saw these brand-new-never-been-worn shoes  for $2.00, I thought to myself, “self, that’s a good brand, your out-and-about-casual-shoes have just about had it, and it’s probably a good deal….

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When I got home I looked up the website for FEETFIRST, and discovered that at full retail, these would have been around $100 new…. score 1!

Then I found this handbag.

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I’m always on the lookout for nice handbags because a girl can never have too many y’know….

It was made by Danier Leather, and again, I don’t think it’s seen a day of use.  For 3 bucks I figured “sure!”..

When I got home, I looked up the website and again…a similar one with same number of pockets / detailing on their website was regular retail priced at $199.99!

Pretty good day I’d say, getting top quality goods that sold for 300 bucks at retail, and it only put me back a five-er.

So….does anyone else struggle with this?…….I got a great deal sure, but if I didn’t need those items and wasn’t really LOOKING for them, did I save money or spend 5 bucks I didn’t need to spend?

The life of a scrounger…

Holiday House Tour

I know so many of you have a different philosophy on decorating than I do.

My philosophy = see how little I can spend….( of course, it would be easiest to just spend zero and don’t decorate at all, but there’s no challenge in that!)

Not that there is anything wrong with spending money to make your house beautiful and inviting….me, I just get the heeby jeebies when I think about spending  money on things that once I’m gone, have no value….it’s just the way I roll.  So my little tour will highlight some of the fun, interesting and creative things I’ve done around our home for the holidays!

First of all, welcome to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

That is directly north of FARGO, North Dakota.  yup, THAT Fargo.

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That’s lookin outside my dining room window, and no, I’m not going outside to get a shot of the house from there….this obligatory front door shot from inside the house will have to do ’cause I’m not going out in the minus-something-freezing cold tonight!

This is a recent acquisition for 99 cents.  It is VERY plastic, but for some odd reason, looks oddly 'real'....

This is a recent acquisition for 99 cents. It is VERY plastic, but for some odd reason, looks oddly 'real'....

I highlighted this beady wreath in last year’s tour….I was even more excited to see a similar one at the Craft Store this week for $24.99.  I paid a buck for the beady stuff at a yard sale last year and just wrapped it into a wreath-sort-of shape.  The bow I added this year….it came on a gift I got last year.

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From there, I’m highlighting a new little corner that I’ve set up over my buffet….normally the cat eats on there (because the dog eats all her food if I leave it on the floor, that’s why…) but in recognition that my shots would certainly need to be much more staged, I removed it (the cat food… yes we are a long thought away from that already, I know…).

I found the snowman last spring at a GoodWill store for $4.99

I found the snowman last spring at a GoodWill store for $4.99, and the smelly sticks were a birthday gift from my sister...( oh, you can probably see some of the cat food on the buffet...oh well...so much for staging!)

Where was I?  oh right…In a previous post about my new mistreatments, I did say that I would get a shot of the dining room all prettied up, so here it is.. (so, the wall color is going to magically become that soft taupe color like you see in the carpet and the bottom of the drapes…mmm that’sa gonna be nice…!)

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The sideboard on the right side is adorned with this little Christmassy display

The Santa and his mailbox were in an auction box, so technically, they were 'free', the Santa Stars I made, the garland was free from my dad when he moved, and I do believe I paid 50 cents each for the votive holders

The Santa and his mailbox were in an auction box, so technically, they were 'free', the sled was a gift from my sister-in-law, the Santa Stars I made, the garland was free from my dad when he moved, and I do believe I paid 50 cents each for the votive holders

Moving along, I have had this garland (is that what it  is called?) for years…I hosted a party-lite party and I think I used up some ridiculous hostess ‘credit’ for like 50 bucks on the thing…it found a home this year over our kitchen chalkboard…

(yes, I still need bulbs for the office..now 3 out of 4 are burned out, it is getting dark in here...)

(yes, I still need bulbs for the office..now 3 out of 4 are burned out, it is getting dark in here...)

I gone and done did spoil myself this year…..these towels were $6.99 at Home Sense, so I treated myself!

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I updated my hallway display this year….

The garland was purchased at Salvation Army for $4.99; I made the two stockings last year; the fishbowl was a 10 cent garage sale acquisition...the fluffy snowman was a secret santa gift.

The garland was purchased at Salvation Army for $4.99; I made the two stockings last year; the fishbowl was a 10 cent garage sale acquisition...the fluffy snowman was a secret santa gift. I don't really remember getting the Christmas Tree balls, but in all liklihood they came out of an auction box at some point over the past 10 years...

My previously featured Garland:

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has been updated with some gold ribbon, and a couple of feathered birds that I thrifted for $2.99 this week:

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I picked up this ceramic carolling family at GoodWill for $2.99

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And our tree. …

Every year I pull this tree out of the rubbermaid tub and I HATE it.  But every year, I tell myself that there is no good reason on earth to go spend money on another one when we ALREADY own one.  We start hanging the decorations and the lights and the shiny garland, and bit by bit, OUR tree emerges.

If you squint and turn your head sideways, it does quite nicely!

Notice the REPURPOSED tablecloth being used as a tree skirt; and my Mother in Law was getting rid of some fabric, so FOR FREE, I whipped up a few drawstring gift bags as our first attempt to stop using wrapping paper this year...

Notice the REPURPOSED tablecloth being used as a tree skirt; and my Mother in Law was getting rid of some fabric, so FOR FREE, I whipped up a few drawstring gift bags as our first attempt to stop using wrapping paper this year...oh, and we've also wrapped some paper and ribbon around a PRINGLES can, and it's ALREADY holding dad's gift from #1 son!

So, there you have it from WINTERPEG.

If I owned a nicer camera, I would take alot more overall room shots, but I don’t, so this will have to do….

Just a reminder, it’s SO NOT about the gifts, it’s SO NOT about what you spend, it’s about the memories you create and the remembrance of the one who came over 2000 years ago….I’m SO NOT religious, I’m SO NOT into cramming this down anyone’s throat, but I do challenge you to look at the season a little differently this year….

I spent alot of time thinking God wasn’t relevant because RELIGION kept me blinded.

If you don’t believe the documented history of Jesus Christ, is it because RELIGION is in the way?

Don’t let that stop you from exploring a personal relationship with HE WHO CREATED ALL…and that includes you.  He made you, and loves you … in fact he loves you too much to leave you where you are today.  Don’t let me or anyone else get in the way of exploring what that means.

All righty then….in the interest of keepin’ it real, because that’s what we do around here, I need to get off my computer and get back to real life which looks more like this on a regular basis:

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Fabulous finds!

Here are some of our more recent fabulous finds that have sold on ebay in the past week:

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A fabulous retro sparkly green Christmas tree – on it’s way to California!

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A super funky metalflake motorcycle helmet – ohsoretro!

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and this funky ball shaped transistor radio – LunaLit – the ball glows with a light inside.

Just some of the fun and interesting things popping up in and around snowy, cold and wintery Winnipeg!

My attempt at Mistreatments – the PERFECT PHILOSOPHY!

I love the philosophy over at Nesting Place – she sounds like my kind of gal!

I have been putting off the ‘decorating touches’ in our Dining Room for a few years now, knowing that we are getting closer and closer to a MAJOR renovation, but the windows have been DRIVING ME CRAZY!!!  We have basically been living with a set of sheer panels in there with nothing else for some time now.

I took the time last week to go through the Nesting Place blog and was inspired – inspired to create something from nothing.

Here’s what I’m all about:

- I hate to measure

- I hate to use patterns

- I have a hard time spending money on anything

_ I like to start and finish a project within the same afternoon.

- I do not consider myself at all crafty, however I am creative.

That means that seams don’t always line up, things don’t close the way they should, and generally, I don’t spend any time ripping out seams if they are not right…I just make it work “good-enough”.  I probably would have been diagnosed as ADD had that been a real diagnosis when I was a kid.  I don’t have a long enough attention span for long or complicated projects.

***

I stumbled on a perfectly, good as new flat sheet in the thrift store that I just had to put in my cart based on the colors…I initially thought that I might use it to recover my dining room chairs.

The sheet was $5.99.

However, once I got it home, some new ideas started to perk.

I measured my window and I ripped….ripped strategically of course, but just ripped it.  I hung it over my existing too-skinny drapery pole thingy, and an idea was born!  I scrounged through the fabric store bargain bin on Saturday morning and spent $9.00 on some beady fringe, et voila!

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The perfect MISTREAMENT!

I plan to add some brownish colored side panels, but I refuse to pay more than 10 bucks for the two windows in there, so I will have to keep watching and waiting at my local thrift stores and discount shops.

**UPDATE**

I wrote this post a week or so ago, and just hadn’t edited or posted it yet.  Would you believe that my patience and scrounging paid off in a big way?

Lookit this price tag…

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Guess what $4.99 bought me???

SIX PANELS   42″ X 100″  - SIX PANELS!!!!

They are only polyester, but I covered BOTH windows and have two panels to spare for under 5 bucks!!

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They are actualy more a dark moss / olive green than brown like they look in the photos……and look how they match the rug in the room:

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You can see the whole room after I clean up the disaster zone that you can’t see right now…(!)

GRAND TOTAL OF TWO WINDOW MISTREATMENTS:

Original flat sheet:  $5.99

Bead fringe thingys:  $9.00

six panels :  $4.99

and I had to run to The Depot to get some of those white drapery bars….I have given all mine away…$9.00

So for 29 bucks, I have covered TWO windows!

I will be watching for heavier valance poles…I think a nice heavy dark wood will work better than those skinny iron things….but dontcha just love how I was able to mount them so high….my dining room looks so much more elegant now…!

but wait, I’m not done there!  There was a tiny swatch left, that wasn’t quite wide enough for my kitchen window, but that’s no-never-mind to me once I’m on a roll….I whipped out some brown corduroy, ripped off some appropriately sizes pieces and sewed them onto the ends.

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And again – voila!  I didn’t even take time to iron these or straighten them out I was just so excited about how they look….quite honestly, the way it goes around here, I probably never will (take them down to iron them…) that’s just the way I roll…!

**

And, with the last little bit of fabric I had left over, I pulled out a painting, covered it up, hung on some ribbon, stitched on a few key rings, and we will also have the perfect accessory to hang fun photos by our entryway!

(and yes…the blue wall will not exist post-reno….but again, I just HAD  to get the photo now…who’s got time to wait????)

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whew – that’s enough fun for one day!

later,

V.

FAB Finds at the THRIFT STORE

I am thinking I’ll take one post per week and share some of the fab finds that I pick up….I’m always scouring for things and even I am amazed at some of the things I find.

Take for instance this:

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Can I get a woweeeeeeeee????  This is a fine vintage leather bomber jacket!  See all details here.

Then, just a mere few moments later, I stumbled on these:

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So 80’s, so UNWORN, so great!  See all details here.

Oh how I wish I could get paid to just scrounge through junk all day….something makes me very happy about finding things that someone else has thought was trash, was no good, was finished.  I enjoy the feeling of helping these things resurface to find other people who are willing to think outside of the Mass-produced-big-box mindset and live on the creative /dare to be different side.

Why do I do what I do?  Read This.

I’ve added a Poll to this posting – take 1/2 a second and answer it wouldja?

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