Monday, September 28, 2009

This Little Piggy Went to Market

Fresh out of morning preschool,
my little dude found a way to amuse himself
while I shopped for vintage fabrics and other treasures.

Too cute not to share!!

I found a set of my old bed sheets from when I was a girl and they are in near perfect condition. Who could resist?
Do you ever find yourself buying up memories from your childhood and then you begin wondering what in the world you are going to do with it? Maybe they will be transformed into another quilt, this time made entirely out of old bed sheets or perhaps a sweet retro sundress for my daughter.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Finally!! It's done!!!

Finally the sweater quilt is finished.

It is the first and perhaps the only one I may ever make - at least using this method that is. The quilt is backed with quilters flannel and there is a thin layer or warm and scrumptious batting in the middle. The whole quilt was then quilted by hand - that was the time consuming part. I now am keenly aware of the reason why thimbles were invented.

If you don't mind me saying so I am super pleased with the way this turned out.
So thankful it is done....
and so happy to move on to something new!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Why I Love Garage Sales!

You just never know what you'll find when you head out the door, cash and maps in hand. Sometimes it is total bust, but usually I 'll come home with at least one thing I really love.

Yesterday I went to what I thought would be the lamest garage sale only to find a crock for $1!!!
Who would sell a crock for only a buck?

This frame is one of my all time favorite scoops. Only $5 if you can believe it. I'm so thankful for people who don't see the value in the things they have. This large and lovely frame may eventually become a chalkboard or a mirror. I'm leaning towards it becoming a chalkboard for my kitchen.
Awwww! A kodak brownie for $3.50, and I even found a vintage Brownie ad to frame. I've been wanting one of these cameras for a while. Do you ever catch your self bartering for miniscule amounts? I catch myself all the time - man that's embarrassing - just give them the 25 cents already!

These old stamps are soooooo beautiful - I love to decorate with letters. Another favorite find.

This little shelf always makes me happy to look at. My husbands Grandfather owned a grocery and ice cream shop in Manitoba called "Randall's Red and White", an old photo of that completes this vignette. What's your best ever find?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Busy, Busy, September

September is such a busy month. No sooner do I finally get all the school supplies organized and bought, the kids settled into their new classes and then the activities start. I am now running around trying to find a cub scout uniform, ice skates for three kids, and soccer cleats for our four year olds mini feet.
Garage sales are great for finding used sports equipment. I once bought three hockey helmets, and two pairs of skates for $1 each, I brought them into the local sports consignment shop and walked away with $100 a week later! I love it when that happens.
It has been a good week with the kids in school again. I have enjoyed having a few hours each day to finish a thought, tackle a few patiently waiting prijects, and catch up on all those little summer neglects.
Making a sweater quilt is no simple task - or so I am finding out. Since I have never actually quilted before I find myself wondering if these sweaters actually would have preferred to be a blanket instead. Either way I love what is becoming and I know I will be happy with the end result - I just had not anticipated this much work.
My felted sweater quilt project, when it was just a mere blanket.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Just Incase You are Wondering.....

A quick up date for you - sweater strips are a no go for now. Knitting with sweaters cut into strips proved to be too much for the knitting needles to take, one actually snapped in half. So I'm thinking that I might unravel what I've done and I'm leaning towards making a braided rug
or mat with them instead. Or I might just I'll invest in some metal knitting needles.
I worked on the tension on the road side industrial sewing machine and I miraculously nailed it. It works great now. Also, I have mastered the bobbin winder (no easy task on this machine) and have spent the entire weekend working on Sweater Quilt No. 1. I am happy to say that it is now complete except for the backing which I have yet to decide on. Did I forget to say , "I love it"? I will take photos soon - am waiting on better light.
The kids are fine - they had all day play dates, I gave them cuddles and made them healthy cookies - all is well.
On another note I would like to say Thank you to the lady who donated her Matt & Nat bag to Value Village and also thank you to the VV employee who priced it. You have both made me very happy and I plan to have a great fall with my new bag.

As well I'd like to thank the lady who sold me this wonderful Lululemon bag for only $3 at a garage sale. Even though I will probably never use it I really do appreciate it and will happily sell it some day to help support my decorating and craft additions.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Sixty-One Pounds of Wooly Love

Did you ever wonder what 61 pounds of sweaters looked like? Well you're looking at it. My new washed and felted finds from yesterday!

Sweaters Color Story #1 - Today shrunken old sweaters, tomorrow a quilt!
Today I spent half the day checking out blogs. My gosh you can sure get lost in this world. There are so many incredibly inspiring women out there. I found this morning. I love Candy Allen and have already told a bunch of people about her and her brilliance! It is so great to find one blog that you really click with, then you search through their favorite blogs and before you know it you are riding this amazing wave of inspiration. I am truly awestruck.

Question: How do some of these mothers homeschool their five children, have time to do their crafts, decorate their homes to perfection, write and publish a book about it, bake yummy pies and stews with farm fresh fruits and vegetables they bought at the local farmers market, and then find the time to photograph it and then write about it? (Yes, it is true - I have read your blogs and you know who you are!) This is really a serious question. What do you think about that? Cuz' I had a really fun day, reading blogs, photographing sweaters, and cutting out squares for my sweater quilt (that was the second half of my day), but apart from one game of Uno with my boys I really did not win any parenting awards today. Hopefully I will find a balance soon.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Dumpster Diving - It's a dirty job, but somebody has to do it!

Here is a photo of where I went today. (Don't ask me to tell you where this place is as I have been asked not to reveal my sources. Sorry.) It is an amazing operation and a whole other world, one that I never knew existed. I find it completely fascinating. This place takes our old and unwanted pieces of clothing, ones that can't be sold in the thrift stores due to poor condition, dirty, out of style, etc. Once they receive these items they sort them, grade them, and then sell them by the pound to countries all over the world. I would absolutely love to hang out here ever single day and just pick through these old and unwanted clothing items and linens searching for gems. I had the great pleasure of sifting through two big giant dumpster size boxes of old wool sweaters. What I took home are by no means perfect sweaters, but to me, and for my purposes, they are. It's a dirty job, but it is the thrill of the hunt that I love. I can see potential in each and every one. Decision making can be tough! It is a Garage Saler's dream come true. So many sweaters so little time.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Look what I found!

Ok, remember I told you about spring clean-up? It's when you take to the curb anything you don't want and can't fit in your garbage can, and then the city comes to pick it up. Well, I was driving down the road during spring clean-up just as someone was dragging this big heavy beauty down their driveway. My timing was good that day and luck was on my side. As soon as I spotted it I asked my husband to pull over(actually I yelled), and I jumped out. I was able to talk to the owner and ask her if it worked. It did!! And she even threw in some needles! People are so nice some times. Having just sold the exercise bike that my Husband bought for me on Craigslist two Christmas' ago, I now had the space to put it. We pulled it out of storage, I plugged it in (purrs like a kitten), attempted to thread it (that's challenging), began to sew (tension issues). Darn it, nothing is as perfect as it seems. I'm working on the tension thing, and found a sewing machine repair guy who makes house calls if needed. Even still I am happy about this great find and it will come in very handy for all of my future sweater projects. Who actually throws out a working condition Pfaff industrial sewing machine anyways? Really, who does that? I should get off to bed now as I have a very exciting day of hunting tomorrow - for sweaters that is. I'll let you know how that goes.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My New Garage Sale Find - Chair Project #2

Here she is - can you spot the hidden potential?
She has found a new home. I'm not quite sure if I will reupholster her or leave her as is. Comfortable, stylish and inexpensive - what more can you ask from a chair?

In Love With Edison and the Lucky Dumpster

Tweets - The best little coffee shop in Edison! Excellent coffee and packed with character.

We stopped in Edison, Washington on our way home from camping. I'm not sure if it officially on the Chuck-a-nut DR. or at the end of it. It is a small little place that you'd wish you could live in, 'cuz you know you'd be forced to give up the fast pace of life if you lived there. It is charming, and slow in a really good way. Huge cinnamon buns, great coffee, organic bakery, antiques, and the Lucky Dumpster all make me drool. The Lucky Dumpster is a great shop filled with repurposed pre-loved items and great vintage finds.

Bayview Peaceful Camping

My daughter and I picked these sweet little flowers at the beach on the night when we arrived.

The boys enjoying their ice-cream in Coupville, Washington.
The kids in a driftwood log fort at Fort Ebey, WA.

The abundant blackberries that surrounded three of the four sides to our campsite.
A beach full of perfect skipping stones at Rosario Beach, WA.

I meant to start blogging a way when I got back from Bayview camping but it didn't happen, so now I am making up for lost time. I don't think it really matters as I only have one follower and that is my husband. It sounds like I think he doesn't matter, but he does. We camped for a week at Bayview State Park in Washington and had a wonderful time. The best part about it was the peace and quiet. With three young kids that is mostly unheard of for us, but my husband Rob and I actually relaxed and read inspiring books and felt more rested than we have been in a long time. (I read "Blogging for Bliss") There is a nice beach and plenty of little towns to poke around in. We would have stayed longer if the sites weren't all booked for the weekend. I guess five days is long enough.

September Already!!! Time for sweater strips!

I can't believe it is already September 1st. I woke up this morning and after our best Vancouver summer in years today looks cloudy and very grey. You just can't help thinking about sweaters and boots. I had this idea last night to cut up my old felted sweaters into strips and then knit with it. This is the result of it. I like the look so far but am unsure where it is going to go. Maybe a bag?

Stay tuned.
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