Random Craftiness

I have to say I haven’t been doing too much crafting since I moved. The majority of my craft supplies were given away prior to moving, and the rest is mainly in storage in North Carolina. I brought a few small supplies — one pair of knitting needles and some yarn, one box of jewelry findings, my sewing machine/sewing box and two pieces of fabric. That’s basically it. This is probably the one thing I should have made more room for in the car…everything else I can do without, but my craft supplies make me happy. Alas, I was overwhelmed by having an entire room devoted to it when it came time to pack. And I definitely needed to clean out the collection. Over time, I had built up way too many of those things you buy and think, “I am going to use this when I make something at some point.” So here is an update of my craftiness as of late with minimal supplies and a few economical purchases.

Nobody in our apartment building has their own private outdoor seating area because the outdoor area is just one big long hallway with cut-out breezeways like windows. So everyone has created these little spots outside their doors, most of which include a grill if nothing else. I swear, people down here are crazy about their barbecuing. Our outdoor spot used to consist of a bench and a couch with no cushions someone left behind before we moved in. I decided we needed something just a tad bit classier for our classy friends (haha) to visit when smoking. So…decorating while on unemployment is a challenge, but I like to think of myself as the world’s best bargain shopper, so it was a challenge I attacked happily.

A friend of ours just happens to be one of the maintenance guys at our apartment complex. With his help (and a bribe of coffee and pie), we were able to get the ratty couch carted off. Then he told us the apartments have a storage room of furniture they keep when people move and leave it behind, and as the bearer of the key, he offered to trade the couch for a table and some chairs. YAY, free furniture! The table turned out to be in great condition and reminds me of ones we used to have at school — that fake pickled wood that looks surprisingly like real wood. We also got some ubiquitous plastic lawn chairs in good shape, but looking a little dirty and dinged up. One coat of white spray paint, and they look brand new! (Spray paint = $2.98 @ Home Depot)

Next, I went in search of table decoration to offset the lovely black plastic ashtray we have. (Note to self: get a cooler ashtray.) Found cool table runners at Pier One…for a lot more money than what I spent on the place mat you see pictured! SCORE! (Place-mat-turned-table-runner = $4 @ Pier One)

One more cool accessory needed…and I am a sucker for Moroccan themed decor. So I splurged and got this glass lantern at Pier One also. It takes tea candles only, which is sort of annoying, and they are not very easy to get in and out. But it looks super cool glowing at night. I think it’s a nice complement to the conch shell and succulent plant I already had. (Lantern = $8 @ Pier One)

Finally, I was going to make chair cushions, but it turned out to be cheaper for me to buy new ones on sale. This is one of my most favorite shades of green, and they have a nice embossed diamond pattern in the fabric. Matches the table runner perfectly! (Cushions = $16 @ World Market)

And, voila! Outdoor seating for two, for only about $30! (Four, if you include the Depression-era wooden bench, with paint-splattered red vinyl seat that I inherited from my grandparents, which also sits outside. One of my most-prized possessions!)

I’ve also made and donated three baby blankets to an organization that formed in the wake of the devastating tornadoes we had recently here in Alabama. We are fortunate to live about three hours away from the area hardest hit, and although there was still a small tornado that caused some damage in our county, it was not nearly the ruined mess here that you’ve seen on the news. This group was formed by a friend of a friend, and they are having people donate handmade baby blankets and things to babies who were orphaned by the tornadoes, moms-to-be-soon, and new moms who may have lost anything “special” that was being saved for their babies. It’s supposed to provide a special heirloom, with meaning and significance — a keepsake.

I didn’t have a lot of money to spend on fabric and notions, so I used one of my favorite fabric-hunting tricks and hit up the closest Goodwill’s linens section. You can almost always find decent, usable fabric there in large pieces and other forms (blankets, curtains, etc.). It’s perfectly fine for cutting up and sewing with after a washing. I ended up buying a couple of blankets, a crib sheet, and a set of curtains, and this was enough for four blankets, although I only made three. I did buy the satin ribbon for binding at Walmart, but it was only about $3 per roll, and I only needed one roll per blanket. When I was little, my blankie had satin ribbon binding, and to this day when I feel it, I remember laying in my crib and being calm and relaxed. So, I included that in all of my blankets.

Advertisements

Super Crafty Saturday: Vintage!

I love a good thrift shop. And I think I have a pretty good eye for design. I am the ultimate bargain hunter. It must be the weekends I spent antiquing with my parents as a small (and very bored) child. You can see how this makes for a happy combination for me. It’s mainly the thrill of the hunt — my apartment is way too small to justify buying every brass candelabra or Danish modern accessory I stumble across. But I have a solution! I’ve opened up a vintage shop on Etsy: Moon Bird Vintage. Needed an outlet for yet another obsession. Now I can rest easy, knowing I’ve rescued a very desirable mid-century modern piece of home decor from a miserable life on a crowded, dirty thrift shop shelf. They’re so much better than that!

Like I need yet another hobby, right?

Here’s my first rescue:

v-006

For sale here!  SOLD!

Crafty Update: Goodwill Rocks

goodwill

This weekend, I finally made it back to my favorite Goodwill, after meaning to get over there for weeks. Goodwills near colleges are always so awesome. Especially private colleges with rich students who get new wardrobes constantly and dump the old (perfectly good) ones at the thrift store. Since I don’t know how to make clothes by following patterns, one of my favorite activities is buying a shirt or something at Goodwill for $3.75 and modifying it. It serves my purposes just fine. I don’t really need to start from scratch. I just need some tailoring skills, and I have those. Plus, you end up with a piece that is even more unique and one-of-a-kind.

So far I’ve made a corduroy skirt with ruffles and patches, made from various corduroy pants that I also found at said Goodwill. It even has a secret pocket on the inside that was originally the back pocket on some men’s corduroys.

g-003

g-006

And a shirt, which I plan to take on my vacation this weekend. I love having new clothes for vacations. This is linen with trim made from some of the fabric my grandmother gave me at Christmas, which just happened to be sort of patch-worky. This one was a little difficult because the shirt is bias-cut, and the pieces I added are not. So it feels a little like it’s pulling in all different directions when you’re wearing it. But it looks cool, right? Oh, the lengths we girls go to for fashion. (Huh huh, I said fashion. Huh huh.)

g-002

Please excuse the ineptitude (I love that word) of my photographing skills!