Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Uber Shabby NOT Chic

I shouldn't even be admitting this was in my living room.

I made this pillow about 20 years ago and, trust me on this, it was really neat once upon a time. I spotted this fabric framed and hanging on the wall in a thrift store. When I got closer I realized it was vintage barkcloth. Well, of course, I had to rescue it and give it a loving home! I took it out of the frame, added cotton fringe, and made it into a throw pillow. It lived happily there on my sofa until it finally succumbed to the husband's relentless elbow. Truth be told, it succumbed about two holes ago but I just couldn't let go....
I made up my mind I wanted to recover the pillow with an animal print to give the room a pop of something that wasn't flowers but I hadn't made it to the fabric store yet. Yesterday I stopped at K-Mart for a quick errand on my lunch hour. K-Mart is 5 minutes from my office and they have lots of stuff you need, you know?? So I'm dashing and here is this big, heavy terrycloth bath towel sitting there on an end-cap [imagine picture of light bulb here] ON SALE. Plush and perfectly cozy and $6.99. I rummaged around in my stash and came up with a 14" metal zipper - not really the right kind - but I made it work. No, it's not very creative and certainly not "artsy" but I think it will be pretty sturdy and comfy for the husband and checked off the to-do list.

Now about that old barkcloth pillow cover... I should probably take it straight out to the trash can but there are still some good parts... you know? Plus I have about 1/3 of the big towel left!

I'm going to link up with Frugal Friday over at The Shabby Nest. I haven't joined in on that blog party before so click along with me and let's meet some new friends!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Makin' My List and Checking It Twice

What? Yes, I know we haven't even had Halloween yet but, but...
About this time every year I get crackin' on my Christmas gift list. I put my ear to the rail and start listening for those little clues and start planning what we will gift to our family and friends this year. I'm not a big shopper so the planning is key for me. Once I figure out what we are giving I'm cool with the shopping part.
Each year I put together some sort of little list system to keep track of the ideas, items checked off, sizes needed, coupons, receipts, etc. Some years it's as simple as a stack of index cards in a pretty envelope. Other years I have decorated the cover on a little spiral notebook. Whatever I make will be pretty battered by the end of the year from dozens of trips in and out of my purse so I consider them ephemeral in nature.
I always save the holiday cards I receive in case I might make something out of them someday (big sigh) so this year I pulled out a pretty Christmas card to use as the covers.
I cut some vintage ledger paper to size, folded them in half, and used a simple three-hole pamphlet stitch to bind them into a little book.
The inside of the card had writing so I glued a piece of scrapbook paper inside the front cover and sewed a red envelope inside the back cover. I used the text boxes in Microsoft Word to create small name labels with red borders and glued them to the inside pages.
An easy little project that took about an hour and I'm ready to start making my list and checking it twice!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Magazine Organization

A little battle with a head cold sidelined me for a few days. I didn't even make my Sunday trip to the VofA for crying out loud. I'm surprised they didn't come looking for me!
Since I was bonding with my recliner chair I decided to do a little magazine organization and replace some of those every-which-way sticky notes. It seems like every magazine has at least one article or picture that I know I want to return to someday. This is what I came up with to help me keep track of them. Pretty simple really, I just used random scraps and tags, punched a hole and tied on a string. Then I wrote a title or something to remind me of the article and hooked them to the page with a paperclip. Easy peasy!
Even though this is posted on Wednesday I thought I'd hook up with Show and Tell Friday in case someone else could use the magazine organization tip. Be sure and check it out for lots of great ideas!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Few Little Birdies

I have mentioned before that I collect birdie figurines so I thought I'd share just a few for Show and Tell Friday over at My Romantic Home. So much inspiration all in one place!

Three little birds, not by my doorstep but watching over my kitchen sink singing... Don't worry about a thing 'cause every little thing gonna be alright... Don't you love the expression on the one farthest to the right - ha! I think maybe the other two talk too much.
This is the complete shelf. I have one on each side of my kitchen sink. I found both of the shelves on the same day from two different sellers on eBay - serendipity!

When they arrived they were both in various stages of disrepair and painted (if you can call it that) two different colors. I cleaned and sanded and cleaned and sanded and painted them in a color I call "Grandma Green". The color goes nicely with my small collection of vintage jadite. It wasn't an easy rescue but the results made it worth it in the end. Don't count things out based on the way they look at the moment. Think past the first impression to what they CAN be!
According to family tradition this figurine was a Mother Day gift from ME to my mother when I was a baby. Two little love birds sitting in a tree... K.I.S.S.I.N.G.... !

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Art and Soul LOOT

This post is a little long but I thought you might like to see the "loot" from Vendor Night at Art and Soul. If you haven't been there, it is an interesting mix. It is targeted to the students attending the classes so it is a mix of the artists' finished artwork and materials for making art. Since many of the students have flown in to Portland, there are no large items. Everything is small for suitcase packing.
A packet of vintage wallpaper, a very vintage lace collar, glass buttons on cards and pink beads.
Vintage lace and trims and more glass buttons - yes those wonderful white buttons are glass! You can also see some tags and library card pockets in this picture.
More glass buttons, a vintage cabinet card, victorian scrap and lots of glass beads.
Vintage greeting cards, more glass beads and vintage Dennison Christmas labels.
And even MORE glass buttons. Okay, I have to tell you about the glass buttons. This vendor had apparently bought out the stock from a clothing factory and she had bags and bags of glass buttons. I started picking up one after another so she handed me a basket. I proceeded to load it up with every single bag of buttons. My DIL's eyes grew wide and she said "you're not going to buy all of them are you??". I mumbled something from my fog about thinking about it. Then I snapped back to reality and told her "Quick! Help me talk myself out of this or I'm going to buy the whole thing. How much is 27 x 3? I wonder what she would take for all of them? Hurry, save me!". All of a sudden I was really glad I hadn't gotten that glass of wine to sip while I shopped!
Well, no, I didn't buy them all. Big sigh. Even as we were walking to the car I was asking her "Do you think I should have bought them all? Should I see if I can still get back in?". I'm guessing she might have been rolling her eyes on the inside and thinking get in the car you wacky old woman don't make me stuff you in the trunk.
But I got her email address. 8+)

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Few Pretties

Whew! Apparently I took a little blogging break after all that work getting my Etsy moved. I did get out for a little treasure hunting last weekend and came home with a few pretties.
This was the first time EVER EVER EVER I found some millinery flowers! I sometimes find ones I call millinery flowers because they remind me of them but these are the REAL DEAL. How do I know that you might wonder? Because they were attached to a HAT. No kidding. I removed them myself. The hat was so dusty and dirty that I headed straight out to the garbage can with it then unexpectedly veered to the right and hung it on the side of my potting shed.
I also found another aluminum "baskets" to add to my collection. I just love those fancy handles and embossed designs. Poor man's silver for sure! The sweet little shoes are not vintage but too cute to pass by. Funny how few little pretties and trinkets nobody wanted all snuggled up together can become my treasure!
Art and Soul is in Portland this week. I couldn't attend because I work full time but tomorrow night a DIL and I are going to Vendor Night. We went last year and had a ball so I'm excited to see what this year has to offer!
I am linking up to Show and Tell Friday over at My Romantic Home. Better late than never!

Saturday, October 2, 2010


I finally finished setting up my BRAND NEW AND IMPROVED ETSY STORE! WooHoo! It's been a long time coming and I'm so happy with the way it turned out and to have it DONE.

I will be activating all the listings Sunday afternoon.

So why would I inflict all this work on myself, you might wonder. Well, me too at times! I opened my original Etsy store on a whim just about a year ago and regretted the name - kluless - ever since. I didn't realize that your Etsy user name would become your shop name. I have used that moniker for about 15 years and it is fine for many things, including my blog, but just wasn't intuitive for my Etsy store. I put what I wanted for the real name - Strange Notions- on the banner but it was confusing for people trying to find me - truely a "kluless" move on my part! For those of you who are wondering about "kluless"... KLU are my initials so it was just a natural progression.

As some of you know, Etsy does not allow you to change your shop name so the only recourse is to open a new shop. That means leaving behind your sales and feedback and hearts. Big sigh. Since I've only been open about a year I finally concluded I should just bite the bullet and make the leap sooner rather than later.

I have listed lots of new items including some of the vintage linens I picked up in my treasure hunts this summer PLUS a couple of my crochet necklaces. My shop has always been about sharing my plunder to fuel others' creativity so offering a finished product is a new adventure for me for sure!

I have changed out my Etsy Avatar and link on the left side of the blog and will add an Etsy Mini preview after I activate the listings. If you are an Etsy user please pop over and take a look and leave me a heart if you like what you see so my new little shop won't be sad and "heart-less". At least it isn't kluless!