.... but I thought I'd share a little "quick craft" I worked on today. I recently scored 6 gorgeous vintage tea cups at the thrift store. I normally wouldn't have picked these up, because I really have no use for vintage teacups, no matter how beautiful they are, but then I remembered seeing somewhere (help? does anyone else remember this?) that they had taken teacups and used them for candles. Brilliant, I thought! I ran out to the craft store to buy beeswax and wicks, and away I went without any clue of what I was doing!
Materials to replicate this project:
Create a double boiler by placing a good amount (maybe 2/3 full) of water in your saucepan and resting your glass bowl on top. Bring the water to a boil and place your beeswax into the glass bowl to melt. Meanwhile, place a sheet of wax paper onto your work area and line up your candle containers on top of the wax paper. Place your wicks into the container for your candle in the desired position. Once the wax is melted, dip your "scoop" into the wax and carefully pour it into your containers. Try not to drip too much, but minor drips can be scraped off once the wax has hardened. Reposition your wick as needed if it moves during the pour. Allow the beeswax to harden overnight. Clip the wicks to about 3/4" above the wax. Voila! You now have a one-of-a-kind candle!
Easy peasy, right?!? Here are some pictures of the process:
6 gorgeous vintage cups just waiting to be rescued (60 cents each!)
make-shift double boiler and melted beeswax - smells so good!
Finished teacup candle! I'll clip the wick once the wax has completely set - this picture was taken about one hour after the pour.
I'm sure there are some candlemaking experts out there... please chime in with any tips, tricks, or suggestions!
The most fantastic mother's day present of all arrived at 2am Sunday: Issey returned home after being gone for 8 days. She returned with a few cuts and scrapes, and was apparently very tired (she's been doing a whole lot of sleeping!), but otherwise healthy and happy to see us! It was perfect timing, since I was worried I wouldn't be able to get in the mood for celebrating mother's day and Brynne's birthday, but her homecoming took a huge burden from my mind and I was able to relax and really be happy again. We've been getting huge amounts of snuggling, and we're guessing that her adventure was not all fun and games. I can't thank you all enough for your continued support and well wishes - each and every comment was meaningful to us. Thank you, and a belated Happy Mother's Day to all of the moms out there. I hope you all had a wonderful day - whatever form that might take!
I haven't gotten a whole lot of major crafing done lately, but this was piled next to my sewing machine this weekend:
This is a pile of scrubs (outfits that doctors and nurses wear) that Brynne's preschool has for the kids to use when they're playing doctor. But, these are adult sizes, and therefore far too long for the little ones to wear. I got them all hemmed and altered into wearable lengths for the kids.
I was also able to get in a bit of thrifting, and here are some of my finds from the weekend:
vintage kid's anatomy book
cute oilcloth apron for Brynne and giant (35US, 19mm) knitting needles for me
vintage kid's science/safety book
vintage sheet - gotta love the blues and greens!
incredible vintage sex ed book - I loved it for the font alone, but then when I opened it, I knew it was amazing:
love those graphic graphics!
this gorgeous tea pot
and a couple of vintage toy making books
I got some other goodies too, but they're going off as gifts to some bloggy friends, so I'm going to save the surprise. I get lucky like this pretty often, but I have to have the time to look through all the sections of the shops. This means that I can't go with Brynne in tow if I *really* want to look - she just doesn't have the patience yet. Luckily, Jerry will often watch her while I shop, or I can sometimes sneak in a trip to the shops when my workload isn't too heavy and she's at preschool.
As is probably pretty common, the seasons are changing and I am sick again - ugh! So far, I'm the only one to be struck down, so hopefully it will stay that way...
One of the many thrills I get from being a mother is watching from the sidelines as Brynne's creative mind continues to develop. A huge breakthrough came a few months ago when she started sketching faces - the first step in drawing something that looks like what is being depicted. I was thrilled and shared the news with our family immediately. I'm not sure what it is about her faces, but I find them to be incredibly fascinating. Here is one she brought home with her today:
and here are several (studies?!?) that she drew a few weeks ago:
I love these so much that I am actually considering choosing a favorite to be a tattoo. It would be my first tattoo, but I think of all the imagery out there, I will never tire of these early works of her art.
More mundane transformations are happening around here as well... I had long been thinking about recycling yarn from thrifted sweaters to use for my knitting and crocheting, but I had been so caught up in learning to knit that I hadn't yet felt brave enough to tackle the deconstruction of a knitted garment. Well, I've now unraveled my first sweater! Here is the before:
a pretty boring short sleeve sweater knitted from a beautiful pink ribbon yarn...
and here's the after... loads of yarn that I can now repurpose for my own creations! Once I got the hang of finding the yarn ends, the unraveling was very simple, if a bit time consuming. I've since purchased a few more sweaters to unravel, and the sweater aisle has now been added to my regular thrift store route. I look for colors I like, fibers that are particularly wonderful/soft, variegated or unusual yarns, etc. I try to find sweaters in large sizes (the one above was a 2XL) so that I have plenty of flexibility to make what I want out of the yarn. The best part? Most sweaters at my thrift store can be had for $6 or less - even if they are made of merino, alpaca, or other super nice fibers. You also don't have to worry about holes or stains on the garment... just cut those areas from your yarn as you unravel! My one word of caution: be sure to pay attention to the gauge of the yarn so that you don't end up with something that you don't really want to work with - although I find beautiful cashmere sweaters at the thrift store, they are usually in very fine gauges. I'm personally not quite ready to work in such a fine gauge!
Speaking of yarn and knitting, I'm thrilled to be going to the Maker Faire this weekend, and I've signed up for Jess Hutch's workshop! My family has been generous enough to watch the munchkin, so Jerry and I will have an incredibly rare day to ourselves at the Faire and Bazaar Bizarre. Anyone else going? I'll try to take loads of photos to share!
Hello. My name is Kelly and I am addicted to thrifting!
I've been a thrifter for as long as I can remember, and I made a living from it for a number of years selling vintage clothing. Now I'm back to thrifting as a hobby, or maybe obsession is a bit more accurate! I love the thrill of the search... others hate the thought of rummaging through piles of "junk", searching for that one gem, but I get a rush of excitement and anticipation from the hunt and then the eventual "score".
I snuck in a quick run to 2 of our local thrift stores today and found some great stuff. I thought I'd showcase 4 fantastic vintage aprons I found today, just to whet your appetites! I took these photos right when I got home, so this is before they've been washed and repaired...
This is one of those great gingham aprons that has been used as a grid for embroidery in sweet pastels. I never get tired of seeing the many different embroidery motifs that women used to embellish the gingham fabric...
Yup! Tulips! I love the reddish brown fabric used with the butter yellow background - it really makes the tulips pop!
This is a simple but sweet crocheted apron. Love the rather useless, but cute, yellow pocket!
This is my favorite of today's bunch - beautiful yellow and blue crocheted apron with a yellow ribbon woven through the tie for a little extra stability. I especially love the peekaboo godets - alternating sheer work with solid... so beautiful!
I've been thinking about thrifting a lot lately, and I've also been seeing the subject crop up on a number of other blogs... Would anyone be interested in joining me for a regular thrifting feature each week - much like Self-Portrait Tuesday? No one would be required to participate each week, of course, but it could be a fun way to post about fun finds, the thrill of the hunt, near misses, etc... The focus could be on "rediscovered" items - whether thrifted, found in dumpster diving, on the street corner, etc. - any item that has been cast off by someone else, only to be given new life by you! Comment or send an email if you think you might want to do this and if so, on what day, and if there's enough interest, I'll set up a flickr group and introduce it here.
The photo doesn't do the butterflies on the left justice - they are really stunning, and the color combinations are great. And, I love the greens in the fern/butterfly/ginko print, which also happens to be a Vera design.
I was also lucky enough to find this set of four grey linen floral print napkins and this other linen piece which eludes me as to its function (not quite large enough to be a tea towel, but wrong shape to be a napkin...), but I love the appliqued roadrunner:
I can see making some sort of quilted wall hanging centered around the little roadrunner.
I love the idea of using vintage linens in my quilting, but I've read numerous warnings not to do this in the quilting books. They claim the fabric may already be quite worn, may have been cheap quality to begin with, etc. Anyone have opinions on this, either positive or negative? Or success stories? It just seems that there are too many beautiful vintage pieces begging to get re-used and recycled into something new.
If I can't justify spending a lot of money on new fabric, I can always find some fun fabric at the thrift store! Here's what I came away with this past weekend:
There's some lavender tulle in the background that I need to find a project for...
I'm not sure if the cowboy print is truly vintage, or a reproduction fabric (no printing on the selvage). Any ideas? And, I really love the grey/white/red swirl...
The mushroom print is a vintage apron that has some "issues", but there's still plenty of good fabric to be salvaged.
I just love a good day of thrifting!
Maybe you've already heard enough of my tea obsession. If so, skip this one and come back next time. I couldn't help it; I thrifted the February issue of Better Homes & Gardens (why pay $4 when you can get it for $0.25?) and discovered some more great tea related items.
This one may be a little late for Valentine's Day, but who doesn't need a little love every day?!? Yedi Houseware makes this cute teacup & saucer (or espresso sized) set where the saucer is a heart, and the inside of the cup makes a tea (or coffee) shaped heart:
Jessie Steele makes the cutest hostess aprons (kid's sizes too!), appropriate for all your upcoming tea parties:
La Bouquetiere makes a really cute little cup-shaped tin with saucer, complete with loose tea inside:
Lastly, I'd like to mention Revolution Tea, which makes beautifully packaged, very yummy teas. I personally love the Earl Grey Lavender and the White Tangerine. Hmmm, I think I'll go make a cup right now!
Ok, enough about tea. I promise no more on this topic for awhile. More crafty bits to come!
I am, and have been for quite some time, a thrift store addict. Fortunately or unfortunately, having a toddler without patience for shopping has severely curtailed my thrift store excursions. Jerry is willing to tolerate quick thrifting runs on the weekends, which allows us to share the responsibility for entertaining and occupying Brynne. We made one of these quick runs yesterday afternoon, and I found a small, vintage bead loom for $1.95!
I haven't yet tried beading (so much to learn!), but maybe this find will inspire me to start learning. In general, I'm not crazy about the loomed necklaces and bracelets I've seen, but I'm sure there are some more modern designs that would be beautiful. Does anyone have a suggestion of a good beading reference book for beginners? I need to start from scratch...