Thursday, April 28, 2011

My Birdhouse Corner

These little birdhouses are nestled behind a large tree in a corner of my back yard.  They were scattered around in different parts of the yard for several years until a few of them fell down during a recent wind storm.  They look so much better since I relocated them to this new neighborhood.

I used to make and sell these little houses by the dozens. Every couple of months, my garage would be transformed into a birdhouse factory full of old wood, molding, roofing material, keys, bits and pieces of hardware, and whatever else I thought would make a fancy perch. I loved making these little houses, but stuck to making just the facades because they didn't require master carpentry skills. I closed the old birdhouse factory down about ten years ago because it was time to move on to something else.  I'm amazed at how well these held up, probably because all the wood and accessories were already chippy and rusty when I built them.  It's funny, but some of the same things I used to decorate these houses with, I now use in my jewelry.

I had to convince myself that the doorknob plate needed to stay on this house.  I was so tempted to make a necklace with it.

The perch is a chippy pink cup holder from a bathroom set.  Looks like something fell off the front, and I think it needs a little flower pot in that cup holder.

#39 always looked like this with its chippy paint.  I remember giving this one several coats of sealer.

Birdie treadmill?

I think this one needs some bird seed.

Sometimes I miss the birdhouse factory, but I never miss the sawdust.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Giveaway from Susan's Hearts and Flowers

It was such a treat yesterday to receive a package filled with all these treasures from Susan at Susan's Hearts and Flowers.  Earlier this month, Susan wanted to share some of her blessings by having this wonderful giveaway.  It was such a nice surprise to be the lucky winner of all these goodies.....

Look at all these sweet treasures!

I love these pretty little birds.

Aren't these the sweetest little towels and eggs?  They arrived in this adorable heart shaped box.

The package had the most wonderful scent from the vanilla bean sachet and cherry blossom scented soap petals.  The little candle holders are decorated with pretty pink roses.

Susan also included this collection of Paris Mode stationery and the little French inspired wall hook.  I love it all!

Now I'm off to find the perfect spot for all my goodies.  Thank you so much Susan for being a friend and for blessing me with these sweet treasures. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Howard Restore-a-Finish Results

This is the old Household sewing machine cover I bought at a flea market last weekend.  You can see that the top is scratched and has some water damage.  I wasn't about to completely refinish the top, so I got out some steel wool and a can of Howard Restor-A-Finish in Golden Oak.


OK, it's not perfect.  It didn't get out the water stain, but what a difference for very little effort.  You can see that it evened out the finish and got rid of the scratches. 

I don't have a before picture of this side, but it was splattered with tiny drops of paint.  Yes!  They've magically disappeared.

You'll need:  a can of Howard Restor-A-Finish, Howard Feed-N-Wax, rubber gloves, #0000 steel wool and/or a couple of soft cloths.  I used steel wool because of the paint spots and the heavy scratches.  A soft cloth will work if you're just doing a light cleaning.  It comes in several different shades, so I usually have a few cans hanging around my garage. 

Do this in a well-ventilated area!!! I applied it to the steel wool and then rubbed in the direction of the grain.  The paint spots needed to be rubbed a little bit harder, but they came right off.  I did all four sides and the top, then wiped off the excess with a soft cloth.  I left it for a couple of hours and then went back and applied a coat of Howard Feed-N-Wax to help protect the finish.  

I was happy to hear that so many of you have used this and really like it.  I'm all for getting the job done and moving on with the next project; this is an easy and inexpensive method. 

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Do I Really Need More Stuff?

Of course I do.  I had to ask myself this question as I was planning my out of town weekend.  I knew my truck would be fully loaded with inventory for the antique show on Sunday, but how could I pass up a flea market that's always been very good to me?  I just couldn't resist, so I decided to limit myself to the small stuff....

I'm glad I found a few more pieces of flatware for stamping.  These will replace some of what I sold at the antique show on Sunday.  I'm loving those candlesticks.  The man I bought them from said they were over 80 years old.  That metal picture frame is an odd size, so I may have a hard time finding something to fit.  That's just the cardboard backing, but now I'm thinking I should put a chalkboard in it.

I bought 2 boxes full of keys.  Most were ordinary, but I just love these old hotel keys.  Very interesting name....Hardman House Motor Inn:)

Hotel Theresa.  Sounds like a five star establishment to me.  Some of these wood tags and keys are from steamship lines.

Buttons, glass knobs, jewelry, and creamy trim.  Yes, that's $2.00 for over 22 yards of trim.

My regular pile of rhinestones and buttons.  Funny how these always show up in my junking finds. 

This was the most exciting find of the day.  It's a sewing machine cover from Household Sewing Machine Company in Providence, RI.  The machine this came from was manufactured in the late 1800's and came in walnut or this light oak wood.  Don't you just love the graphics?

Hmm, it looks to me like someone kept a plant on top. 
Have you ever used Howard Restore-A-Finish?  I love this stuff!  I DO NOT enjoy completely refinishing furniture...too much work unless I'm keeping it for myself.  This stuff is a wonderful alternative.  It doesn't actually strip the wood,  it just cleans it up and brings it back to life.  For damage like this I'll use #0000 steel wool.  I'll take some "after" pictures when I finish with it.  I hope Howard doesn't disappoint!

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood on Sunday for the Roseville Spring Antique Market.  Once again, Sandy, Erika, and their team from The Tattered House did an amazing job organizing this event.  Every April and September, a portion of Oak Street in downtown Roseville is blocked off to make room for the 50+ vendors and gazillions of shoppers.  I think the friendly atmosphere and cozy setting makes this show so much fun.

My mom joined me again and brought along some of her treasures to sell.  She's such a trooper and still keeps up with all the action.  We prayed that the slight chance of rain for late afternoon would hold off until after the show.  We were packed up and ready to leave at 6:15pm, just as it started to sprinkle.

A few pictures of my space....

Fresh blooms in a kerosene lantern base and an old metal drawer.

How true!

My Mod Podge mannequin is sporting some necklaces made from chandelier crystals.  I wanted to get a picture of her with my brother, but he was worried about a scandal. 

My brother Bob and my sister-in-law Cindee.  They live in Roseville and always like to come over to check out the action.

Look who came out to shop and visit.  I was so happy to be able to meet two bloggy friends in person.  I only wish we had more time to visit...

It was a very busy day and I only had a chance to get out to a couple of booths before the crowd arrived.  So many wonderful treasures.

Lipstick Gypsy all the way from Idaho.
  Look at these amazing feather earrings!

Aren't these burlap pillows wonderful?

Who wouldn't love a bottle of wine wrapped up in these bags?

I watched some lucky people walking away with this fabulous mattress art.  If only I had room in my truck!

The Roseville Fall Antique Market will be held on September 18, 2011. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Saturday's Flea Market Experience

Last Saturday was a beautiful day, perfect for a trip to a college flea market.  With my shopping cart in tow,  I immediately headed to the first interesting looking booth.  I stopped, parked my cart, and began to take a closer look at the junk on the table.  The table was in the shade, so I took off my sunglasses to get a better look.  I placed my sunglasses in the canvas bag attached to the cart.  That's when this got ugly.

I'm standing there minding my own business when all of a sudden the crusty old dealer runs over to me screaming at the top of his lungs and pointing his finger in my face.  Must be a case of mistaken identity, right?  As his morning breath is socking me right in the face, he's pointing to my bag and hollering "I saw you, I saw you put something in your bag."  I pulled out my sunglasses and tried to explain what I had put in my bag.  He wasn't interested in anything I had to say and just got louder and louder with each accusation.  Could a crowd be forming?  Where was the nearest hole for me to crawl in?  Do I just walk away?  Do I keep showing him my sunglasses he obviously wasn't interested in?  Dump out the contents of my bag?  So many things going on in my head.  He actually ended this entire ordeal by ordering me to leave and never come back.

Who could be prepared for something like this?  I was so stunned by what had just happened and I just didn't know what to do.  This guy was out of control and I just needed to get away from the situation.  As I walked away, I couldn't help but mumble a few words expletives under my breath.  Someone actually came up to me and told me that he's always like this.  Unbelievable that he can still be in business.  Maybe this guy had been ripped off too many times, but he was completely out of line.  I tow around a cart with a pink floral liner that my mom made for me; I guess that makes me a high-risk security threat.

Anyway, I had more important things to!  I only spent a little over an hour out there and this is what I found and paid for...

I love old advertising hangers and now wish I had bought more.  When I spotted this little metal box under a table, I got so excited to see that the little drawers were full.

The four adjustable drawers were full of old buttons, needles, spools, and ribbon. 

I'm loving these rusty little flowers on this three foot high pyramid thingy.  I haven't decided yet if I want to keep it or sell it.  Right now it's in the house and starting to grow on me.

Maybe I can pick up some good photography tips in this 1952 book, How to Make Good Pictures.  The 1911 French book, Fluette, has a beautiful embossed cover. 

Spenser's Faery Queene has some faded writing on the cover page. 
I can't read most of it, but you can see the May 26, 1882 date.

Of course I had to buy my usual assortment of jewelry for repurposing.  Those glass beads on the top right side of the picture are new.  Seven strands in various colors for $8. 

Even though Mr. Crusty got my day off to a bad start, it turned out good in the end.  I was able to visit with some friends at the flea market, found some good treasures, and had a great dinner that evening.

I'm so excited about the antique show I'm participating in on Sunday.  Earlier this week I was a little concerned about the weather forecast, but now it's looking like it will be a beautiful day.  If you're in the area, The Roseville Spring Antique Market is a great way to spend the day. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Repurposed Thread Cones

My inspiration for these repurposed vintage thread cones came from the latest issue of Flea Market Style magazine.  Who doesn't find inspiration there?  They made a memo holder from a cone of heavy duty string by pinning little mementos and a picture on the cone.  I didn't have a cone of heavy duty string, but I did have these....

and I had these....

Now they're little picture holders and a jewelry display.

I painted the top with some metallic silver paint, then added a vintage rhinestone button on top.  The lavender thread was dirty, so I had to unwind the top layer.

I painted the red top black, then topped it off with a vintage earring and a piece that came from a rhinestone brooch. 

I'm not crazy about the color of this spool, but figured I might as well dress it up along with the others.  I painted the red and yellow top with some metallic gold paint.  Instead of pinning on a picture, I attached some vintage brooches just to show how it could be used to display jewelry.  This one and the black one would work together decorated for Halloween

While I was putting these together, I started thinking of so many possibilities.  I don't even want to think about the holidays right now, but wouldn't various shades of green make cute little Christmas trees?  Silver and gold would look good too.  Now I have something else to add to my "focus list" when I'm out shopping.

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