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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Thrifty Tiny Trees

Just taking a little break from the holiday madness to show you a little tree display I whipped up a week or so back.  I saw these expensive mini potted trees in a catalog that shall remain nameless (hint- rhymes with bundt cake).

You are reading it right- just under $100.  I wonder if they will throw in some free shipping??  

I spotted a group of mini trees at Hobby Lobby this season for 50% off of $3 each.  Now you're talkin'.....

I used a few cans I had cleaned and saved- a soup can, a large size bean can, and an International Coffee can.  I covered them with black and white damask wrapping paper and finished them off with some ribbon I liked.  I did have red velvet ribbon and the crystal buckles but for my vignette I decided on something a little different.  

It took less than an hour and total cost was conservatively less than $10.

I think they turned out cute!  

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Vintage Rocking Horse Redo

vintage rocking horse, originally uploaded by ticklish_moose.
Latest upcycle- this vintage rocking horse was found in pieces in a barn set for demolition. Since I found all of the pieces the owner let me have her!

My husband put it back together for me, and I refinished it using Annie Sloan chalk paints and chipping creme. It was my first experience using the chalk paint and I have to say I'm sold!! Currently for sale in my space @ The Antique Gallery.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Trash to Treasure!

Trash to Treasure!, originally uploaded by ticklish_moose.
Seems I can't get enough of upcycling chairs!

Like a lot of things over 50 yrs old, this pair of Danish Modern chairs had some creaky joints and were a little rough on the surface. We gave them a complete overhaul (original finish was not salvageable) and instead of being headed for the landfill, they are now headed for my space @ The Antique Gallery of Lewisville!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

walnut chair refurbish

walnut chair refurbish, originally uploaded by ticklish_moose.
picked up this well worn walnut burl chair for $10 at a garage sale. The seat was covered in some darn ugly green fabric, which I removed and recovered with my own embellished design. I painted the seat frame black and just refreshed the rest of the chair with some Old English.

I think it turned out great!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Grammatically Different Plates- Fresh Ideas Tutorial

Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions.
Albert Einstein

'I Hope You Dance'
OMG! I am LOL because it has all just gotten so ridiculous, IMHO....

Is that what life has become- someone else's catch phrase?  Does it really reflect your thoughts and wishes for the day?  I am thinking "we can do better than this".  

By now you know I love quotes and Bible verses.  I find great inspiration and comfort in many of them.  I think words hold great meaning.  You probably know someone that has a favorite verse as well.  So wouldn't it be great to give someone (or yourself!) the gift of a word phrase that actually has some deeper meaning?  I'm going to show you how with just an inkjet printer and a few inexpensive supplies.

For this project you will need:
  • A few ceramic plates (or tiles)
I pick them up all over.  You may have a few lying around, but each of these were purchased for anywhere from .49-$2.00 ea.
  • Denatured Alcohol* (find it @ the hardware store)

*flammable- please use in well ventilated area away from flame
(click on above link to see where to buy)

 Lazertran has a TON of applications, but for this project we are applying it to a ceramic surface.  I used black type, but you can print colored images if you choose. Don't worry- We'll have more fun with it another day.

  •  Spray Polyurethane* (gloss or satin/matte)
* note: MUST be a urethane- acrylics will not dissolve film! 

  • a few cotton balls
  • a pan of water about 1" deep large enough to hold transfer
  • inkjet printer
There are basic instructions that come with the Lazertran, but believe me- it is nothing compared to the voice of experience here.  A few things to consider:

Choose a plate with a specific rim/edge detail to ease the transition from the Lazertran to the edge.  You can see a faint line of the transfer on some types of plates more than others, especially with a curved inner edge.

 Try to make your image a large enough size to come close to the transition line.  It just looks neater.

I thought the gloss urethane gave a better result on my ceramic plates, but consider the original sheen of your item to give it a authentic look.

If you need to sand out any imperfections in your urethane finish- be sure it is fully cured and use a scotchbrite style sanding pad (fine grit) and lightly sand the surface without putting any real pressure on the pad.  Then apply a light final coat. You may also need a sharp pin/needle to prick air bubbles in the transfer.  

Measure your plate ahead of time to determine the size of your phrase.  I like to use Publisher because it has a handy ruler on the side of the page, but use whichever program you are familiar with.  You do not need to "mirror" or flip your image!  Also, I do at least one 'test' sheet on regular paper to be sure I have things the correct size before I print on the Lazertran sheet.  I would much rather waste a cheap piece of copy paper getting things right.

When you have things the way you want it- print on the white side of the Lazertran.  I'm cheap, so I try to get 2 or more projects per sheet.  Allow it to fully dry- 30 mins or so.  If you are impatient you can try a heat gun, but no promises- OK?

I like to find a circle 'template' to use to get the size/centering correct.  You may have a circle cutter.  I do.....somewhere!  If your plate is square, measure twice, cut once ;-)

Use a pencil to mark your cutting line- then cut just inside the line.

Gather your materials on a covered surface

It's good to check the back of the plate so if there is a logo you get it orientated correctly with what will be your finished product.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Custom Stamps- The Way To Go!

Just a quick post to give you a heads up on a favorite product I have recently purchased- They are custom Trodat rubber stamps from!  I use them on all of my merchandise hang tags for the products in my booth, as well as return address info on packages and letters I send out.

With this being Breast Cancer Awareness month an easy way to help the cause would be to order your custom self inking Trodat stamp with the Breast Cancer Awareness ribbon so the profits go to help cure this horrible disease.

It seems that every woman knows at least one other woman affected by breast cancer.  I hope that none of you has personally suffered this kind of loss, but I have lost 3 people in my family to cancer and it is so hard.

With Christmas right around the corner, many of us will be sending out cards, and it makes it so much easier to be able to stamp the signatures or return address- and you can truly get so many designs now, why not?   Trodat stamps are made in the USA, and I am such a big supporter of all American made products and companies.  I think it is hard to complain about the state of the economy if you are not doing all you can to support small businesses right here. 

Thanks for taking time to make a difference today!  I always appreciate all that you all do!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bad Blogger is Back With a New 'Old' Lamp Project!

What can I say?  It's been a busy past few months!!  My son returned to High School and so we had to get back into the 'school routine', my Rheumatologist had me try a new medication which did not agree with me at all.  As a matter of fact, lets just say short of my anaphylactic reaction to a few other medications I have had in the past, it ranked right up there on the 'bad experience' scale.

I also got a new great-niece!  After 40 hours of labor (yes- you read that right!)  beautiful (and not just because she is 'ours') baby Arwen was born!

Then I went on an 'antiquing' trip to MI, got some fabulous things, got sick from being stuck in that sardine can they call flying coach, and just barely had time to whip up a fall project!   I tend to decorate for fall, not Halloween.  I don't have any small children and the fall theme takes me through Thanksgiving.

Lately it seems, I have had a 'thing' for lamps.  I don't know why.  Possibly because they are plentiful and inexpensive.  One thing for sure- I will never pay full price for a lamp or shade again!

So here is my 'latest' new 'old' lamp project:

But- as usual- we gotta get there, right?  

I recently bought the barley-twist lamp in the photo at our neighborhood garage sale for $3.  I switched out the shade for a narrower one I had on hand from a different lamp I was not currently using so I could group the lamps together.  I think it makes for a kinda neat display  :)

The 'project' lamp is an old, sad 8" tall (minus the shade) glass lamp I got at the local thrift for $4.49.  You know the kind- popular in the 1980's.  Depending on your age, you may already have one around the house  ;-)
Be sure to look at the bottom to see that it is easily taken apart by undoing the wing-nut that holds the threaded rod that goes up the middle.  Just undo it, loosen the cord up through the lamp and you are ready for spray paint.

 I used black satin spray paint and put a little blue tape around the cord to keep the paint off.  Paint the base, and the brass-colored threaded rod that goes in the center.  Of course, you can use whatever color suits you and your project.  Clean the glass and get ready to fill it up!  You could use pine cones, acorns, candy corn.....I chose these cute mini pumpkins and threw in a few small pine cones from my stash.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Owlies- A Free Owl Pattern and Tutorial!

I am one of those people blessed with great family members.  Not to say we don't have our issues, fight now and then like families do or have a weirdo or two (which I am convinced is NOT me).  But all in all, through thick and thin we love each other to pieces.

So imagine my delight at finding out that one of my nieces was expecting a baby.....and a girl at that!  You know, I do love all things girly.  And who can resist a sweet little baby?  Unfortunately, my niece is full-term and has been in the path of Irene, but baby stayed put (whew!) and the power is back on in their area.  You know how the end of your pregnancy is.  And you can imagine she was thinking "Seriously?!? A freakin' HURRICANE?"

Well, enough of that.....back to me.

I wanted to make something special for baby, and much to my delight the 'theme' was owls, and the color of the nursery was to be green and brown.  I had seen a cool mobile some time back and had been wanting to try one- I just knew it was the project for me!  Originally I was going to attach the owlies by ribbons to a wooden embroidery hoop, but soon became obsessed with making it musical as well.  I scoured all of the local thrifts for gently used baby mobiles to no avail.  I was running out of time when I stopped into a Kid to Kid store to see what they had.  And wouldn't you know it- amongst  the pink Care Bears  and blue Cars mobiles I found this:

The perfect base for my newest creation!  
Couldn't wait to cut those sports figures off!!

I could not find an owl pattern anywhere that was exactly what I needed, so I made my own.  Feel free to download and use it, but please give a link back or shout out-K?  

Download Full Size Pattern Here

Suitable materials for this project are felt (wool or poly), suede or leather (I upcycled some old jackets), suit weight woolens (once again, I upcycled), quilt weight cotton for the tummy, and whatever buttons, embroidery threads, ribbons, etc. you would like to add.  I stuffed mine with a high quality poly fluff filling and sewed it on the machine, but you could easily also sew these by hand with a blanket or back stitch.

Cut out the pattern pieces from whatever fabrics you have chosen.  I used fusible web on the back of my cotton tummy piece to hold it in place while I stitched it on, and used a decorative stitch, but that is your discretion. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Finally- Folding Chair Re-Do is Re-Done!

The heat must be getting to me.  

Not that I don't feel justified- after's temps hovering at 107 degrees sets a new *high* temperature for today's date, and ties us for 2nd place in number of consecutive days over 100 (now at 31) with no end in sight.  With August being our hottest month, we will give many old records a run for the money.  

Somehow these awful wooden folding chairs called out to me while I was at my local thrift.   In a moment of weakness I purchased them and brought them home, with a revitalization plan in mind, of course.  And for the record- I don't even need folding chairs....


I seem to have a weakness for rooting for the underdog.

  These chairs fought me every step of the way!  From the filth and split wood to the *mysterious disappearance* of the black and white toile fabric I had to use for the seats it was one thing after another.  But here it is- VICTORY!!  

This is a Lazertran decal I made and applied to the back of the painted chairs (image from Graphics Fairy)

Oh well, all's well that ends well, right?  These are now for sale in my booth at Antique Gallery of Lewisville  :D

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Odds and Ends

In all my years of thrifty finds- this is one of my all time favorites!
It is 40" x 40" square and still has the World Market tag on the back!  I think it is going to look great in my daughter's new apartment.  

I am having a melancholy day.  My little doggie is at the hospital getting oral surgery and my nephew may or may not be in the people hospital after a nasty car accident on the freeway.  My oldest sister does not seem to have the ability to use any modern methods of communication including but not limited to the phone, texting, email or smoke signal.  So I am sending out a little prayer for you Tim and hope you are doing OK.

I am working on a super-secret project that I will do a tutorial on after the recipient has gotten it and it's not a secret any more  :)   This is a cabin-fever time of year for me because the heat and intense UV rays keep me from being outside too much.  You would think I would get a lot done, but I spend time obsessing on things......Like this chair:
I bought this chair and ottoman 13 years ago at a great price to fill a big corner of the library of our old house.  It is really large, not super-comfy but not bad either.  I just keep thinking it could be more "me".  But look at all of those furniture tacks!  I just don't think I have it in me to completely rip into this, plus the leather is in perfect shape, as the chair has not had any heavy use.  I have been toying with the idea of just re-doing the bottom cushion, the arm pads and the loose back pillow.  I would like to do a foam core with a down wrapped seat so that it had more of the feel my Uncle Charlie's antiques had.  So it would envelop the person sitting in it more.

I am also considering making my own fabric design for the back pillow, and toying with a few ideas:

So now you know my intentions.  We'll see what happens in the end.  ;-)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ribbon Storage Idea- A 1 Hour Craft

Do you ever spend way too much time looking for something to fulfill a storage or space requirement and then think "duh.....I can just MAKE that!" ?

I have had this idea for vertical ribbon storage for some time now.  I kept thinking about possibly modifying a paper towel holder but the bases are typically too large.  Then the other day I was clearing out some stuff from a shelf in the shed and realized I had everything I already needed!  Booyah!

This is what it looks like completed


This is the pile of junk supplies that started the process

I also used some wood glue, a little 220 grit sandpaper, black spray paint, and ended up using a wooden spool on the top.  My husband was nice enough to put together a cute little power tool kit just for me..........guess he got tired of the endless 'honey-do's' and looking for his tools  :)   So I got to use my awesome new cordless drill on this project!  
The 2 inch diameter wooden disc is a cedar block that had lost it's scent.  Any size piece of wood would work as long as it is larger than the wheel.  The hole in the wheel was not quite large enough to push the dowel into, so I used my handy drill to make the hole the correct size, added a little glue to the bottom edge of the dowel and stuck them together.

Then I just glued the disc to the top of the candlestick, and the wheel with dowel attached to the disc.  I let the whole thing dry about an hour.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Dyed to Match Buttons- Who Knew??

Evidently, dye is not just for fabric!!  I wanted to share a tutorial I ran across yesterday that really opened my eyes to some new possibilities.

 This tutorial comes to us from Rit dye, but of course you could probably experiment with some products you had around the house as well.
And- if it dyes plastic and nylon......well, just think of the things that could use a facelift!! 

Dyed Buttons

Whether you are a crafter or a sewing fashionista, you will enjoy dyeing buttons. It’s fun and easy to do. Most white buttons are made out of nylon or some type of plastic. Rit is one of the few dyes that will color these materials. That means you can transform ordinary buttons into colorful accents that match or coordinate with whatever you are making.
Assorted White Buttons before dyeing

Muffin pan doubles as a button organizer when working on craft projects

Rit Dye colors shown:
  • Top: Fuchsia, Lemon Yellow, Violet
  • Bottom: Sunshine Orange, Evening Blue, Scarlet

Buttons add a colorful accent to flower arrangements!

Rit Dye colors shown:
  • Lemon Yellow, Golden Yellow, Sunshine, Orange, Apple Green

 Ready to get started??

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Thrifty Tissue Paper Lampshade (a tutorial)

I haven't asked you to make me young again. All I want is to go on getting older.
- Konrad Adenauer

That quote sums up a lot of my feelings on the process of repurposing and upcycling items and clothing.  I do not like the "throw away society" that we have become.  I guess some of that comes from my age- after all, "back in MY day" when your TV broke you could take the back off, remove the tubes, go down to the corner grocery to test and replace the faulty parts.  I love taking things that still have some life in them, and bringing them into this decade.

I have become obsessed with vintage images and image transfer.  And I especially love bringing those long-forgotten images forward and creating something natty contemporary.  

 Here is the latest and greatest "after"

But ya gotta get there, right?  So- let's do this thing!!

Start with one sad old lamp
My lamp is small with a vinyl-covered shade.  This process would work for most any flat surfaced (non-pleated) shade.  I simply downloaded this image from Graphics Fairy 

Karen has 1000's of free images to use- and I go to her site often  :)

I also used this image  (quote) I found on the internet to build on, so to speak:
I also went online and found sheet music for 'bird themed' know, like Rockin' Robin, Black Bird, Mockingbird, etc.   Since my lampshade is just 7" high, I used Publisher to combine/print 2 images per 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of paper.  I wanted the light to shine through the images, so I printed them onto tissue paper.

Here is where the word *tutorial* pays off for you- because I get to spare you a bunch of frustration and cursing sobbing.  

  1. get some 1/2" wide 2-sided tape (you may use this already for scrapbooking)
  2. use plain cardstock paper, not textured (8 1/2 x 11)
  3. use cheap old tissue paper- not the kind with a *nice* glossy side
  4. if possible, print your images with a laser printer or use a copy machine.  The toner-based inks do not run when you get them wet with decoupage medium.
DO NOT BELIEVE the other blogs that tell you that you can somehow stick the tissue paper with spray adhesive to the cardstock and run it through and come up with something usable in the end.  THEY LIE!!!!!

Use this simple, Ticklish Moose Tutorial Tip, which makes it so simple you will laugh out loud....ready??  Bwaa-haaa-haaa!!  

 Tutorial Tip:
Simply adjust the size of your image so you have a decent 3/4" to 1" of margin space outside of the actual image you want to use.  Stick the 1/2" wide piece of 2-sided tape across the leading edge (end that feeds into the printer) of the cardstock.  You can use 2 smaller pieces on the  other end just to keep the tissue paper nicely in place as it feeds through the printer.  You can smooth out (or lightly crumple up) the tissue over top of the taped cardstock.  Flip it over and trim off any excess tissue paper.   Put the tissue paper covered cardstock into your printer so you print on the tissue paper side.  Print your image and voila`...... you did it!!  Carefully tear off your printed page.

Repeat as many times with the cardstock as you need images.
I used 6-7 printed sheets for my small shade (I had a few scraps leftover)

Gather up your printed pages, a foam brush and whatever decoupage medium you prefer.  I used PPA for this application.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions?

Gosh.......I hope not!

Because lately it seems I have the best of intentions to get things done, and they just do not materialize.  I am still nursing a swollen spleen and the fatigue from chronic/remitting Epstein-Barr, but my spirits are good overall.  I do get somewhat depressed because I do not know how many times I can repeat this cycle before I become bedridden, but I do still have hope that the many prayers floating around out there will give me Divine strength and healing.  So don't give up on me just yet! 

Evidently- from several emails I received over the weekend- I did not get something quite right on my Linky and there was an issue with the hook-up, so I will try to remedy that this week and try again.  I had set it up ahead of time since my sister was coming to visit, and did not get a chance to check it out on Saturday as we were a little bit busy.  

On Friday we set out on our annual trek to an event called Antique Alley about an hour South of where I live.  We had a VERY strong cold front blow through on Thursday evening that missed my area, but hit the Cleburne area quite hard.  A lot of vendors get set up the evening before the event, as you can imagine, and they sustained quite a bit of rain and hail damage.  But, to add insult to injury on Friday the winds were exceptionally strong- with gusts to 40 mph!- and we witnessed whole tables being flipped over and numerous glass breakage and VERY frustrated sellers. We did take refuge for awhile at Whipp's Farm that did provide some breaks from the wind and got some great deals as well!  Here are a few pics from Whipp's:

I got several nice items from Whipp's Farm!  My favorite was this sweet little box for $3

The best part came when I opened it!

 Surprise!  It was filled with Bible verses!!

This is the first one I picked out of the box:


I also got some awesome antique books and one new hymnal.  Most were from 1902-1903.  This sheet music is from 1940..Use as ephemera for your craft projects, or just print it out and frame- but this is especially apropos!

Remember the 'reason for the season'.....I consider Easter the holiest day!  Christ is Risen!!  

Have a Blessed Easter holiday! 

All My Best

Telling People What I Think For 40+ Years!!

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