Thursday, June 28, 2012

Black Velvet and Lace

I've been feeling a bit nostalgic ever since I went through a box of my dad's old pictures for a post I did for Father's Day.  I feel so fortunate to have so many old family treasures that belonged to my Nana (paternal grandmother), including this picture of her in a beautiful black velvet dress.

This was taken around 1930 when she was 33-34 years old.  The color and special effects were added by an artist around the same help from any photo editing software.

This is her beautiful black velvet dress in 2012; it's one of my most cherished possessions.
I always wondered if she made this for a special occasion.
The years have been very kind to the lace and silky soft velvet.

A few thin wires were attached to the back of the lace collar to help it stand up. 

About a year ago I made this necklace out of the watch that Nana gave me for my high school graduation.  I wore it for several years until it stopped working, but I could never part with it.  I replaced the inside parts with a tiny picture of her, added a glass bead, and hung it on a sterling silver chain.

This version had a little help from PicMonkey with the new Sketchedy frame.

I'm sure Nana would be so proud that her dress has held up so well all these years, and I don't think she'd mind that I repurposed my graduation gift.

I'm linking up to these fabulous parties:
French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
2805 for Potpourri Friday
My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
My 1929 Charmer for Sunday's Best

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Rusty Hooks and an Old Wheel

What do you get when you cross an old wooden wheel with a couple of rusty and chippy hooks?

A picture holder of course!
This was an idea that came to me when I was putting together another project.  I wasn't sure what to use as the base, but a look through my miscellaneous junk stash turned up this old wheel.  A coat of paint and a little distressing was all it needed.

I sprayed the hooks with two coats of matte acrylic sealer, then drilled two small holes in the wheel.  No need to fill in the larger hole because it doesn't show.

Double duty as a plate holder.

I'm joining the party at:
Knick of Time for Knick of Time Tuesday
My Repurposed Life for Catch as Catch Can
The Vintage Farmhouse for Creative Things Thursday
The Shabby Creek Cottage for Transformation Thursday
The Answer is Chocolate for BFF Open House Party

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Revived Yard Sale Finds

I wanted to show you what I did with some of the junky treasures I found last weekend.  When I spotted a pile of mismatched silverware, I had to have it all and didn't waste any time flattening it out and stamping it.  So many of you asked about the silverware stamping, so I want to apologize for getting ahead of myself and not being more specific. I wish I had thought about doing a tutorial before I finished this batch of silverware, but hopefully this will give you a better idea of the tools I use.

Stamped silverware tutorial
I started pounding and stamping silverware about five years ago and now flat keys and other trinkets have become victims too.  Warning:  It's extremely addicting!!

stamped silverware garden markers
I look for silver plated spoons, forks, and butter knives (regular knives are too hard), sterling is too expensive, and stainless steel is too hard and new looking.  Most all flatware is marked on the back.

how to stamp silverware
What you'll need:  1) Silver plated spoons, forks, or butter knives.  2) Letter/number stamping set.  I have a few 1/8" sets with different fonts and larger sets also.  You can also buy individual stamps with different designs on them.  I purchased mine online from Firemountain Gems and Rings&Things.  3) A hard surface to stamp on such as an anvil or steel block.  Notice my very sophisticated pounding surface?  The bottom of an old sad iron works great and I already had it.  4) Hammer  5) Safety goggles  6) Ear plugs are optional, but I always use them. 7)  Smooth rag to keep your silverware from sliding around (optional).  8)  A steady hand.

Forks are very easy to flatten and butter knives are pretty much already done for you.  I lay the fork upside down on my surface, hold it by the handle, and hit it with a hammer a few times.  Spoons are a bit more work and usually come out with a few wrinkles, but that's fine with me.  I lay the spoon upside down, hold it by the handle and start hitting it in the center working my way out to the sides.  To get them completely flat requires a few hits on both sides.
I've seen a lot of different tutorials and everyone seems to have their own method, but this is what works for me.  I cover my pounding surface for a better grip, but this isn't something you have to do.  Be sure to use something without texture on it like this old sheet.  If you use a towel or something thick, it will transfer the texture onto your silverware when you flatten them.

How to stamp silverware
I like the whimsical look of these so I don't get too fussy about whether or not all the letters are straight.  I lucked out on this one by eye-balling it.  I like a little tarnish to show, so I lightly polish the silverware after stamping, and then use an ultra fine black Sharpie to darken the letters.  CHEERS!

silverware garden markers

Garden markers
Sometimes I'll add a little rhinestone or other embellishment.

stamped silverware tutorial
Ready and waiting to be planted.

stamped silverware tutorial baby shoe plant holders
If it's metal, rusty, old, and banged up, I'm going to put a plant in it.  Doesn't every yard need a lard bucket?  When I find baby shoes I usually tie them together, embellish them with some bling, and sell them.  So many fun ideas, so I wanted to do something different with these scuffed up old shoes.  For a really good idea, check out what Barb at Treasures from the Heart does with her baby shoes.

How to stamp silverware
I decided on a Romeo and Juliet theme for this little shoe.  These shoes will be coming with me to a show in Ashland, Oregon (home of the Shakespeare Festival) in a few weeks.  Juliet is from a dictionary and set in a vintage typewriter key. 

Stamped silverware tutorial
To add weight and keep the spoon and fork in place, I filled the shoes with rocks.  Not dirty old rocks, but decorative rocks I already had.  Some dried moss and a real flower adds a pop of color.  

How to stamp silverware
A dried or silk flower would have worked, but I had some pretty flowers in bloom that were perfect.  I tucked a little glass tube inside the rocks to hold water.

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I'm joining the party at:
Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special
My 1929 Charmer for Sunday's Best
Under the Table and Dreaming for Sunday Showcase Party
Twig Studios for Sunday Show Off

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Few Good Yard Sales

I wasn't planning on going to any yard sales this weekend because it was just too darn hot, but temptation got the best of of me.  I was only out for about 30 minutes, just long enough to stop at two sales and buy a few things that really caught my eye.

It was a silver and metal morning with a little architecture, glass, and leather thrown in.

A plant is just what this lard bucket needs.  I already flattened and stamped the silverware; now they're just waiting for a good polish. 

More silverware and a few salt and pepper shakers picture holders.

Architectural salvage from a once loved doll house.

Baby shoes are always on my wish list along with wire baskets.
I'm proud of myself for only buying what I could carry in one big arm load. I'm not sure how much longer I would have lasted because I'm a much happier shopper when I'm not melting.  

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Father's Day Memories

I had no idea how caught up I would get while searching through pictures for this Father's Day post.  Memories of my dad surround me every day, but it's been quite a while since I looked through his old scrapbook and all of my albums.  So many pictures, so many happy times, and so many wonderful memories.  Happy Father's Day Dad.  We miss you every day!

Dad was the youngest of three children born in Medford, Massachusetts.  When my grandfather died in 1935, they all relocated here to California for a fresh new start.  Look at
 that sweet Dutch Boy haircut and the Mary Janes.

 My grandmother saved every newspaper article related to his high school sports and
college football days at Cal Poly.

Korean War veteran.
There's a note on back of this June 1952 picture assuring his mother that he didn't
 fire this old canon.

Proud first time father to little ol' me.  
His dark wavy hair started to turn gray the year after I was born.  I must have been a
 real handful; thank you Dad for not blaming me.

Proud first time grandfather to my son Neil.

Always a comedian.
Here he is in the mid 1990s trying to sell himself at one of our yard sales.
$3.50 was quite a bargain because he was also a fabulous cook!

Father's Day is a tough one for me.  I know it's hard for so many of us when the mothers and fathers we've loved all our lives are no longer physically with us.  The best decision I ever made was to call my dad early in the morning on June 20, 2004 to wish him a happy Father's Day.  I hesitated because I knew my mom would be trying to rush him out the door for church, but I called anyway and we had a nice conversation about the barbecue they went to at my brother's house the day before.  Much later that afternoon while we were all getting ready to take Mr. MST out to dinner, my mom called and had to tell us that my dad was no longer with us.  It didn't sink in.  I can't even begin to get into all the details and emotions because I still feel it just like it was yesterday.  I keep thinking about that old quote "Never put off for tomorrow what you can do today."  It's so true.  I'm so thankful for that last phone call.

I wish everyone a wonderful Father's Day.  If you're celebrating with your own father, grandfather, husband, brother, or son, give them all a big hug!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Painted Key Hole Necklace

The last few days have been so busy around here and I haven't had much time for creating. I've been tackling lots of other unrelated pesky chores on my "to do" list while trying to work on a few projects out in the garage.  It's been so darn hot here this week, so I've had to call it quits out there by mid morning.  At least I finished one project....

I think this might be in the running for the world's smallest chalk paint project.  I painted it with a few drops of Old White ASCP, gave it a coat of clear wax, and then distressed it just a little.  Did I need to use chalk paint?  No, but I was using this color for the base coat on a shelf and figured I had a few extra seconds to squeeze in one more quick project.

That's the "before" key hole in the center.  This was part of the hardware stash I recently purchased at an antique show.

I glued the little watch face on back with E6000 and topped it off with a tiny rhinestone.  Pearls and glass beads were added to the chain, then a decorative antiqued connector was attached to the top screw hole.

My one and only completed project so far this week.  
The shelf is still waiting for a coat of wax.

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