Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tuesday’s Thrifted Treasures


So, I am pretty happy with what I came home with on Tuesday. I could have got more, because I set myself a budget of $20, but didn’t end up spending that much because my bag was getting too heavy to carry. Let me tell you that shopping with a baby attached to your front, a fairly heavy baby, is not easy and I will not be doing it again in a hurry. I think I’ll stick to using the pram, no matter how hard it can be to manoeuvre around places.

The picture shows my finds from the 3 thrift stores I went to (I missed one because I didn’t want to cross a busy road carrying my little man, and it wasn’t a particularly great thrift shop anyway, mostly just overpriced clothes). Most of the stuff is fairly boring:

* a green gingham cot sheet, I thought the colour was nice, so I’m not sure if it will be used as a sheet.

* some clothes that were really cheap (total $2.50 for 6 items) that will be repurposed into clothing for my daughter probably.

* a pillowcase with a cute pattern also for repurposing.

* a cute toaster cover that my husband thinks is hideous, so it will never be used as a toaster cover in our house, but I’m sure I can find a use for it.

* an embroidery hoop, which may be used for embroidery if I ever get around to trying it, otherwise it will be a frame for fabric wall art.

* a mini wreath, because I saw a tutorial the other day, no idea where, but when I saw this it reminded me, so now I will have to scour the net to find the tut again.

* Some kind of napkin or something with green polka dots, it was 10c and I liked the colour, it looks cute with the sheet, so might have to combine the two somehow….I’m thinking a plushie/softie.

* some MORE placemats, but these are different from all the others, they have square corners!!!! This will make recovering them so much easier! (these were what made my bag so heavy)

* and, the most amazing find, the most perfect and wonderfully retro discovery ever, a Super Stitch. This is a mini hand held sewing machine from the 70’s. I haven’t tried it to make sure it actually works yet, but if it does it will make things a lot easier, because my sewing machine hates me.

* Oh, I almost forgot the magazine. Just an old parenting magazine with some interesting stuff in it, came with a few free reward charts which may be useful one day, it was only 30c, and I can not leave the house without buying a magazine (no seriously, I have a problem, one that takes up lots of space).

Total spent = $14.70

Most expensive item = $5 for the Super Stitch.

So, wow, really long post. Oh well. Still working on altering my coasters and placemats, they are coming along ok, have to have them finished by tomorrow night if I want to sell them this weekend.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A very exciting discovery something different

I am totally bouncing off my chair, dancing around the room excited about the site I just found!! I had no idea such a thing existed in New Zealand!! America has Etsy, Australia has Madeit, and now I find out we have Felt. I will be looking into listing some stuff on there soon.

Also, I am very excited to be venturing a bit further from home for my thrifting today. I have a parents day to go to at my daughters daycare, so on the way I will be stopping in Greerton, where there are several thrift shops AND a dollar store.

And another thing to be excited about, we vaguely discussed the possibility of driving to Rotorua in the weekend to go to spotlight. I haven't been there since before my little man was born, almost 6 months ago, so I'm excited!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

This weeks project is...

This week I am on a mission to finally do something with some of the coasters and place mats I have been collecting from thrift stores over the last few months. As you can see from the photo, I have quite a collection. Some of the things I will be doing with them:

* Magnetic notepad holder.
* Magnetic clips for putting artwork etc on the fridge.
* Desk organiser with mini cork board.
* Post-it note holders.

So watch this space for photos of the finished product. I am making these to possibly sell at the Easter jazz festival.

Tomorrow is thrift store day. I almost always go to my local thrift store on a Tuesday. I can't help it. And I really don't need more junque. But you never know what new treasures may be waiting to be discovered. Some things I will be looking out for this time:
* Teapots - for my daughter's birthday party in June, we are having a mad hatters tea party.
* Glass salt shakers - I have seen a few altered salt shakers on some of the blogs I've been browsing and I want to give it a go. You can see them here and here. These are xmas ornaments, but I have other ideas.
* Knitting needles - to make these or these.
* Cheap Clothing that can be turned into cute outfits for my daughter for winter.
* Anything that I can add to our living room to update it a bit, because we are getting a bit tired of looking at the same vases/candles etc but all our home decor "stuff" is in storage.

This is my daughters favourite toy at the moment (and she took this photo herself) - A packet of red plastic plates that I bought for a project but they were too small. She loves lining them up. I often wonder why we bother getting her toys, when she would much rather play with simple things that we have around the house.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

In the beginning....

I want to start off by saying that I have just recently decided it is time to conquer my fear of sewing, and finally make some of the things I've been putting off for years.

So last week I got my hand-me-down sewing machine out of storage, downloaded the instruction manual and gave myself a crash course in sewing 101. I mean, it's not like I have never sewn anything in my life, but after several failed projects in sewing class at school, I just kind of figured that was one of the skills that didn't come naturally to me, like driving and cooking.

Now having two kids and living on a fairly tight budget, I figured this would be a good time to be able to make things for my kids to wear, use and play with.

So, last week I successfully made a few softie baby rattles for my son and a mini crayon roll for my daughter, but this week my greatest accomplishment has been successfully making a dress that my daughter can actually wear!! And I wanted to share that HUGE accomplishment here (because I am so proud of myself!!)

So I found a project in Australian Homespun magazine, vol 11.2, for this gorgeous pinafore dress.

And I found this gorgeous woman's skirt (which is WAY too small for me) at my local thrift store.

And I immediately thought that skirt would make the cutest dress for my daughter, and that's how it began.

I didn't take photos of the process, because I was just obsessed with getting it finished before I lost interest and gave up. But I used the lace feature at the front of the skirt for the front of the dress, I tried to use as many of the original seams as possible, because there's no way my seams were gonna be anywhere near that good, and I used the lining as well. Towards the end I realised that buttonholes were required to do up the dress, and I freaked out a bit, because I have never sewn a buttonhole in my life, and even after reading through the sewing machine manual I still had no idea how to do it. I did a couple of practice runs on a scrap of fabric.

But, as you can see, they were disastrous. So I rummaged through my craft supplies and my junque supplies and finally found a couple of those little metal dome thingies (I don't know what they are called), that just needed to be hand sewn onto the dress, easy peasy.

There you have it, my first wearable creation!! And it fits and looks cute and it's just like I imagined. Can you tell I am just a little bit proud of myself ;-)