Sunday, February 17, 2019

Progress and Thrift Finds

Work on the string basket blocks has continued, amounting to a total of 17 so far.  Here they all are on the design wall.

I may make a few more.  I have enough string basket bases cut for at least three more blocks (and there are a lot more shirt strings where those came from), but I'm running low on many of the solid scraps.  For each block, I used three different variations on that color scheme (three oranges, three pinks, etc.).  For the last aqua/blue block, though, I had to sub in a periwinkle solid.  It seems to have worked out.

I'm going to let the project sit for a bit, and we'll see where it goes eventually.  Still not sure if I'll end up setting them like this, or with some kind of sashing between, or turned completely differently.  To be determined...

Meanwhile, I cleaned up the string mess (you know how that can just take over a sewing space, right?), and I got back around to finishing up another quilt top.  Also made with thrifted shirts.

This was tricky to photograph in the house on this dreary winter day.  It's one of those quilts that's cozier feeling in real life and less—what's the word—discombobulated? 

I do like how it's turned out and am working on making the backing for it now.  That will also be from thrifted fabric, as it happens.  Not shirts, though. 

Speaking of that, we got out of the house yesterday (it's been a wild, wild winter lately; cabin fever is real, y'all).  We took a short drive to a neighboring town and hit the St. Vinny's there.

While I perused the fabric and craft section of the store, Norm wandered off and picked up a beautiful cougar!

She was super cheap (three bucks!), so of course we brought her home.  :)

She needs a little bath (the glass and frame), but with a tiny bit of TLC, she'll be good to go.  Or stay, as it were. 

I've got quite a collection of vintage paint-by-numbers, but it's still a thrill to find one, especially if it's well done, when we're out thrifting.  We've noticed we don't see them nearly as often as we used to.  I just checked eBay to see what the online market is like for these lately, and it looks like they have an identical cougar paint-by-number currently for $79.99.  Note to anyone who may have to clean out someone's attic, basement or garage:  Don't throw these in the dumpster thinking they're junk.  At least drive them to the thrift store where they can be joyfully found by the next PBN collector or nostalgic lover of kitsch!

Meanwhile, back in the fabric and crafts section, I had found a half yard of fabric and a nice hardcover quilt book from the mid-1990s.

Just look at these sweet quilts!

This Birds in the Air pattern really has a vintage vibe to it, doesn't it?  Love it.

And Sunflowers, yellow and blue is such a classic combination.

It's always a great day when you can go shopping with a ten dollar bill and come home with such fun finds and $4 in change!

Saturday, February 2, 2019


It's been an extremely cold week here in the Upper Midwest.  But the mercury has risen a full 60 degrees higher than where it was just a few days ago.  It's a balmy 35 degrees Fahrenheit right now, and foggy and drizzly.  

A perfect day for baking. 
I just tried a new recipe for carrot banana muffins and it was AMAZING.  You can find the recipe (and much better pictures) HERE.  I've eaten two fresh from the oven, and think I'm going to need to have my husband hide the rest from me.  They're that good.

And the house smells wonderful, wafted with the scent of warm cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger baked goodness.

As I was grating the carrots for this recipe, I remembered a crafty project I had done back in the fall (when I was on a break from blogging).  It was a creative idea for repurposing a kitchen grater from Carlene at Organized Clutter (link to the how-to).

How many vintage graters have I walked past at the thrift stores over the years?  And now that I'd found a sweet little crafty use for them, do you think I could find one?  Of course not.  Thankfully, there was eBay, where the best deal happened to be on a two-fer.  If one is good, two is "grater", right?

Instead of chalk paint, as the tutorial mentions, I enlisted the help of my hubby who is pretty good with a can of spray paint.  He hung them from the clothesline on a nice day and gave them a good going over with some cream colored Rustoleum we had sitting on a basement shelf.

Then I gave them a little shabbying up with a bit of sandpaper and used some brown wax, otherwise known as shoe polish, to further distress them.  Then went over the whole thing with clear wax and buffed with a soft cloth.

I thought I'd probably find the label holders in the scrapbook section at JoAnn, but that was a bust.  I found them instead on Amazon.  

I had fun creating the magnets from old buttons, a metal bobbin, and a dab of hot glue.

That's me and my grandma, the one I had mentioned in the last post.  She had come from Louisiana to visit us back in the 1960s.  While she was here, we drove to Door County, Wisconsin to pick cherries.  From the look on my face, they must have been a little sour.

And that's my dad when he was a young teenager, having picked a bag of garden lettuce on the family truck farm.

I initially thought of these as Thanksgiving decor, but I still have them out on display.  Being grateful is always in season!