Sunday, February 28, 2010

Crafty Thrift Store Finds

Last week was a busy one. We had to go to Austin twice, which meant I got to go to Savers Thrift. Yay, Savers!

All I found when we went Monday was five chenille upholstery samples. 
They're large, approximately 26" square. And they're luxurious. These pictures aren't the best, especially the last one. I took them in a hurry while out in my studio this afternoon with the light from a clip-on. Believe me, they're the kind of colors that make you want to snuggle up in them.
I've made them into so many things in my head since I brought them home. I've mentally clipped them to curtain rings to make a semi-valance over my curtains; I've sewn them into a valance for my dining room/kitchen windows; I've covered the 24" pillows at each end of my sofa; I've made seat cushions for my six dining chairs. Oh, and I even mentally used each of them as backing for the b'day pillow I made for my SIL!
I'm thinking though that they'll probably become chair cushions. I was wavering on that because they are five and my chairs are six, but my friend, whom I talk with every Sunday, suggested I use the leftovers from each sample to patch a cushion for the sixth chair. That'll work!
Two of the swatches are the same pattern. I thought at first they were different colorways, but checked the label when I was photographing and found they're the same colors too.

In these photos the first four appear to be similar--they are--with the last looking very different. It's much the same as well. Actually, the next few pictures gives a better representation of the color.
These five swatches were $2.99 apiece. All in all it wasn't a bad buy, though maybe not a great one. But I love the pieces! And the way they've kept me entertained all week long, they've probably more than paid for themselves.
This though was a great buy. The funny thing is I bought it from a thrift store that's quite proud of its stuff--and I almost didn't buy it. It's a bolt of felt that cost $4.30. Since I prefer using wool felt and couldn't tell what this was made of, I really hesitated, finally convincing myself that at the price I could find some use for it.

But guess what? It's wool! I tried the burn test on it and couldn't tell much from that. It didn't crinkle up like synthetic, but it didn't smell all that much like burning hair either. (Notice the color of the sample it's sitting on--that's the true color range for that last fabric I photographed.) But I read online that if you put a fabric into bleach and leave overnight, whatever's wool in it will melt. Mine melted. Yay! I don't even know how many yards I have of this--36" wide--but it's all pure wool. And I've never seen pure wool felt for less than $20 a yard. Doncha love bargains!
My final pics today are of the pillow I made for my SIL's birthday. That birthday's a week away, but Sunny doesn't do computers so I think I'm safe. See how the colors in her pillow don't go with the ones in my samples? That's why I nixed using one as a pillow back.

This was her fabric--she just had window treatments done--and her pillow form; all I did for the gift was sew the pillow and make the tassels.
Here's a closer look at one of the tassels. I made each a bit different. Hey, why not? The yarn I used is something I picked up in Washington state about five years ago, a textured thick and thin yarn with all kinds of fibers--and all kinds of colors--in it. It's got burgundy and purple and turquoise. So one tassel has a wooden bead with red and gold dots and the other end has a painted purple bead with white and black dots. I like it--I'm hoping she does too.
I guess that's all for today. (I really am working on my office, y'all. I started cleaning out the bookcase today. I hate giving up books, but I think it's time some of them blessed someone else! The writing ones are hardest for me to give donate--and some of them I won't even now, even knowing I'll probably never write again.)

I'm also linking this post to Coastal Charm's Nifty Thrifty Tuesday.

Ta, y'all.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Room a Month

Recently as I wandered through blogland, I came across a post where a blogger planned to redo a room a month in her home. I'm thinking that might be a good way to go. I'm always all over the board when it comes to decorating, never concentrating long enough on any one area to make a difference. So...for March--don't ask about January and February!--I thought I'd focus on my office, mainly because I'm close enough to being done in there that I might actually manage it!
This is looking into the room from the hallway. Treadmill's gotta stay. I actually use it--though not as much as I should.

So for what we see in this picture, I need to 1) hang the window treatment (or rather mistreatment) I've already made, 2) change out the lampshade, 3) put the slipcover back onto the desk chair. (I took it off for the picture shoot, cuz it was part of my redo, but was done way earlier than the rest. I told you; I have no focus!)

Lastly, the wall looks a bit bare behind the chair. I'm trying to decide whether I want to hang something back there.
Another view from the doorway. Biggest thing to do for this area is declutter. (Aside from the afore-mentioned slipcover.) I'd like a shelf over the desk...I think.
Bookcase mostly needs decluttering too. I intend to get rid of most of the books. Some I haven't looked at since we moved here five years ago.
This area's not so bad. I picked up the boxes a couple of years ago at Hobby Lobby and they keep the shelves pretty neat. (The painting is the one done for the cover of my first romance novel. Not what I'd usually choose but it has sentimental value.)
Another shot of my desk, which emphasizes my need to declutter and also how much I need something to hang over the desk. A shelf? A picture? A pinboard?

In a perfect world, there are a lot of things I'd do with paint in this room but it's not a perfect world and the Hub is not a lover of paint, so I'll pretty much stick with the things I've outlined and report back on this matter in a month. (Suggestions/comments appreciated!)

Ta, y'all.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Of Cabbages and Kings

"The time has come," the Walrus said, "To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--And whether pigs have wings."

No boiling hot sea here today, nor wing-ed pigs, but I thought I'd share with y'all a couple of pics of the gifts I made for our GG (gym girls) January birthday girls.

My sister Ginger had a luncheon for the ladies last Friday and did a bang-up job. We met around eleven and left about four. I love these ladies and could spend forever just talking to them. (Actually I talked far more than I should have. I can't believe myself when I do that! I always try to salve my conscience afterward by saying I'm a natural born storyteller, but the truth is probably far south of that.)

As a note, I made PW's apple dumplings for dessert. OMG! Those things are so easy and so scrumptious. And yes, being diabetic, I only had half of one--well, truth is, I had the other half when we were getting ready to leave, but yunno, that was four hours later.
Both of my gifts were much the same. I picked up the gift bags at Dollar Tree--aren't they cute! The needlefelted cashmere heart is a sachet with lavender from my garden, the small jar is filled with that lotion I made a few weeks back--doncha love those jars!--and the unfinished bag is made of reclaimed felt. (It was unfinished cuz I had no pink ribbon in my stash. The finishing touch is to thread two pieces of ribbon--approximately twenty inches or so--through the pockets made by the buttons--one ribbon goes through two pockets, the other through one. The ribbons are then tied in a bow on top.) It's similar to this one, though I used a triangle instead of a square. I think maybe next time I'll do it differently.
And this bag was for Mary. (I forgot to mention the felt brooches on the handle. I'd never made that style before, but I think I like 'em!)

Now, as an end note--and truly the reason I'm posting at 6:58a Monday morning--Etsy Texas Crafters are having a First Monday Sale! Check here for a list of the participating members and the terms of the sales for each. In my SumpnSassy shop, I'm offering 15% off every item with free shipping--that's continental US and Canada--and 25% off buyer-paid shipping items. I'd love for you to check out the shop--I've added some new items and hope to add another, maybe two, before the day's done. (Finishing is the easiest. Then comes photographing and listing. Sheesh!)

Take care, y'all. And thanks for stopping by.