See that finished edge at the top of the (above) photo? I strategically cut my fabric pieces so that part would be on the edge of the two overlapping back pieces, so I wouldn’t have to hem them myself. Here’s a complicated drawing to explain a simple process:
Here’s a (before) photo of a little letter opener I found at a thrift store a couple weeks ago:
I spray painted it black when I got it home. It works like a charm and looks nice sitting on my desk when it’s not in use.
Also by my desk is a shadow box that I have a few blocks of wood type displayed in. I buy type blocks at antique stores here and there whenever I find some that I like.
Faux metal letters that spell out “EAT” hang on another wall in my kitchen.
The letters were cheap paper mache ones that I bought at a craft store, basecoated in black paint, then drybrushed some silver over, letting the black peek through so they’d (hopefully) have a vintage industrial vibe (without the vintage industrial price).
And speaking of vintage…
A few old glass canisters with words or letters on them sit on my kitchen counter. All were thrift store finds. (And, yes, I know the “P” jar is supposed to have pepper in it. I swapped it for some sea salt so the contents would contrast with the black letter for the photo.)
On the far wall of my kitchen is this ampersand that I showed off in a previous post.
I have a gallery wall on the stairwell going up to our second floor, where this “etc.” sign hangs.
It was originally a stained knotty pine piece with lots of straw flowers and bunches of wheat attached to it (somebody’s craft project from 1985, I’d guess). I bought it from a thrift store, ripped off all the embellishments, sanded copious amounts of glue off of it, painted it black and then Mod Podged houndstooth-patterned paper onto it.
I bought it from a vendor at Cranberry Fest in Warrens a couple years ago. (If you’re ever in western Wisconsin the last full weekend in September, check it out; the whole town turns into one giant flea market/craft sale.) The letter is cut out of a Reader’s Digest Condensed Book, which I thought was very clever.
Also in my living room: a group of pillows bearing the date of my wedding anniversary.
I made them last summer. (Tune in tomorrow for a post detailing how.)
A few of the letters are noticeably crooked (Exhibit A: the letter B). It drives me a little crazy every time I look at it, but it was such a time-sucking project, I decided I’d rather live with its imperfections than go back and redo any of it.
When we added on to our deck a few years ago, my husband cut a hole in the lattice that hangs underneath it to allow Calvin (the cat) and Steve (the dog) access to the area. Then Jim (the husband) asked me to make a sign to hang over the top of the hole, so people would know it was intentional, not the result of some shoddy carpentry work on his part.
Clearly, he’s lonely.
So I decided to make Roger a companion.
Building a robot requires high-tech, precision-calibrated instruments. Or a glue gun. And lots of electronic components, computer parts and rusty Jell-O molds.
Luckily I had everything on hand.
I sorted through my table of junk until I found the perfect chassis for my new robot: a mini-lantern.
My little robot was shaping up nicely, but I wanted her to look a little more girly, so I started crafting a tinfoil skirt for her.
This time my inner Tim approved.
In the end, I sent my model down the runway in this rather futuristic-looking chapeau:
Yes, that is indeed a toilet paper runway.
Aww. What a cute couple. I think they were made for each other.
Now all that’s left to do is to give my new robot a name. As she appears to be a sterling companion to my little Roger, I was thinking maybe Joan. Or Mona. But definitely not Jane.
The good news is: There are tons of old jewelry boxes out there. The bad news is: Even the most mild-mannered-looking ones on the outside generally look something like this on the inside:
This was my birthday present from my husband last year:
No, not the cat. The wall.
While I absolutely loved my new wall, I thought it looked a little naked. And I started getting twitchy at the sight of all that empty space.
I had a couple things that I wanted to hang there, starting with this vintage Wisconsin plate that my sister had given me…
… and our son’s senior picture (taken by a friend and former co-worker of mine, the talented Cory Schaefer).
I scoured thrift stores for frames, mats and anything else that I could hang there.
Two of the buildings are incense burners, and the third is a Christmas ornament. They’re not particularly old or valuable, which makes them very easy to find and collect.
I see cabins like these at thrift stores all the time, but I was able to resist the temptation to own one until last fall. In a weak moment, I gave in and bought one. And then another. And before I knew it, I had three.
Of course, three of anything is a collection and all but begs to be displayed together, preferably under glass. The closest thing I had to a glass museum case was this tabletop greenhouse.
The greenhouse’s frame had been stained a delightful (and by “delightful” I mean “hideous”) orange color when I bought it years ago. A few months back, I finally decided to paint it white. Unfortunately midway through the painting process I realized that I couldn’t get at the inside of the frame where it pressed up against the glass (and by “glass” I mean “clear plastic”). So now the greenhouse is white on the outside and orange on the inside. Sigh.
On the outside, Case No. 2 looks like a plain wooden box. It’s got a surprise inside, though — actually a couple of surprises because it opens on both sides.