A little riddle for you.

When is a salt shaker NOT a salt shaker?


P1130185Take one little cut crystal salt shaker without the top.

P1130184Turn it upside down and glue a round clear stone to the bottom.  (these are the pretty stones they sell by the bagful at craft stores, used as vase filler)

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Add one thrifted hurricane vase, turned upside down; and glue the upside down salt shaker to the bottom of the hurricane.  (I used e6000 for this and gluing the stone to the shaker)

P1130187Put it all together and you have a pretty UPcycled cloche!

P1130186If you want to you can tie a piece of ribbon around the neck of the salt shaker to better disguise it.  Then NO ONE would ever guess what it was.  I kind of like it when people figure out my ‘secret tricks’ though.

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Here is another one that I made using a more ‘bell shaped’  vase.    The little crystal salt shakers are fairly easy to find at thrift stores.  Oftentimes they will even put several mis-matched ones together in a bag for a very LOW price.   Those are the ones I usually look for.  Always keep a small stash of them on hand.

Speaking of gold . . .

Didn’t I JUST say that I didn’t really like gold and show you some gold frames that I was repainting?!?!?  I still don’t like gold, but occasionally I find gold items that I like, regardless of the color.

P1100958These cherub busts with a gold rim that I used as handles on some make-do cloches were such items.  As well as the vintage perfume bottle.

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I came across this rusty tin lid that used to top a paper mache box (that got wet and ruined) whilst sorting through some boxes of old craft supplies.  Couldn’t think of anything to do with it ‘at the moment’, so it went in my ‘think about it pile’.  The rule is (my own personal rule for getting rid of stuff!) if I can’t come up with a way to use it before my next trip to the thrift store, that it has to go in the donate box.  The gold candle pillar was in the ‘TAIP” as well.  My first thought on the pillar was to paint it white,  I can ALWAYS use white pillars.  And in fact just recently painted several of them white and took them to Stars.

P1130058Here are a few pictures of what I DO with the white pillars in my display.  These items are all priced separately; the shoes, the cloche and the pillar.  If someone wants to buy all three and use them just as I have them displayed, Fine!  But more often than not, someone wants ‘just the cloche’ or ‘just the shoes'; and then they have to call me and I have to remember what items they are talking about and divide up the prices and they have to make new price tags for all three items and THEN half the time the customer doesn’t even BUY the item!!  Just TMW!  (too much WORK!) When it can be easily avoided with individual pricing in the first place!

P1130087With this one the nest is permanently attached.

P1120940Here I just sat the jars of glitter eggs atop a couple of the pillars.

P1120803In this little grouping I had placed a small white bird cage atop the pillar.

P1120820On the far right you can see a rusty tin candle lantern atop another one.

P1130141Back to the topic of GOLD stuff.  This wide gold candle stand ended up in the “TAIP” as well.  At the end of the day I was looking at the pile and kind of LIKED how the gold stuff looked together and LOVED how the gold stand looked with the rusty tin lid!

P1130138It just needed a little something more . . . .beaded trim!

P1130142I’m really liking this little pair of  ‘goldies’.  NOW I just have to figure out HOW to work them into my display at Stars!

P1130232I decided to group ALL of the gold stuff together!  I think I forgot to take a close up picture of the gold hurricane.  It was another ‘orphan’ that I came across in my sorting.  Was going to save it for Christmas and put some little bottle brush trees and snow in it.  But since I’m doing a gold group I may as well put ALL the gold stuff out.

P1130235Put it front the center in my booth.  That’s a HUGE wood lazy Susan with an upcycled table on top and the gold stuff grouped together on the table.

P1130231Put a trio of cloches between the legs of the table.

P1130265Tied a key to the handle of this one.  Little touched like this will make your items stand out from the rest.

P1130229As always . .  lots of LAYERS in my display!  Especially at the very FRONT.  The shoppers first impression is what will make them decide whether or not to go INTO your booth and explore further!

Recent thrifting finds

It's nearly impossible to photograph velvet without glare!

It’s nearly impossible to photograph velvet without glare!

 

Can't quite figure out WHAT this is supposed to be?!?!

Can’t quite figure out WHAT this is supposed to be?!?!

And I’m actually surprised that I liked it well enough to buy it.  I’m usually pretty anal about the ‘odd number decorating rule’ ; but the fact that this piece has four ‘towers’ doesn’t seem to bother me.

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Maybe my eyes are more focused on the ‘neutral space’ (THREE!) between the towers, and that is why the four points seem to ‘work’.  I’m not even sure if it’s supposed to BE ‘something’, or if it’s just an abstract wire sculpture.  I just thought it was kinda cool looking.  Any thoughts as to what I could DO with it are welcome.  Of course I can always just sell it ‘as found’.  Was thinking of maybe painting it a matte industrial grey??

P1120073VERY water stained little oak table that was obviously used as a plant stand by someone who habitually over watered their plants!  Nothing a good sanding and some paint can’t cure though.

P1120075Wood foot stool with handle hole.  Someone had carved their name into it, so it’s going to take a really GOOD sanding before I can repaint it.

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Another very grubby little table.  Little tables like these are always good sellers, so I buy them whenever I find them ‘at the right price’.

P1120077Soooooooooooooooooo generic!!  And quite a bit of sanding to be done before I can repaint it since it has a shiney finish; but the price was right.  Little night stands sell even better than little tables.   New paint and replacing the wood knob with something unique will make this a whole new piece.

P1120078Vintage wire newspaper/magazine rack.  A good cleaning and some spray paint is all this will need.

PAIR of night stands made from taking apart a big desk that had drawers on both sides.

PAIR of night stands made from taking apart a big desk that had drawers on both sides.

Remember these?  Originally the two sides of a big desk, that Michael took the top off of for me.  Added new tops and new pulls to create a pair of night stands.  NOW, what to do with the desk top?!?!

Rusty old legs from an enamel top table.  The top is too messed up to fix, but the base is still very sturdy.

Rusty old legs from an enamel top table. The top is too messed up to fix, but the base is still very sturdy.

And it’s the perfect size for attaching that orphaned desk top to!!  I wanted to KEEP the legs rusty, but not too many people wall rust shedding all over their floors or carpet.  The fix?  Clean spray paint!  Wipe off any loose rust then give it a couple of good coats of a clear matte spray varnish.  The varnish will ‘darken’ the rust color a bit.  And it prevents the rust from shedding and hinders the corrosive process.  Left untreated and the corrosion will continue to progress.

P1110694Sweet vintage vanity chair will just need to be spray painted.

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Little metal mesh table looks like it was part of a nesting set as it’s ‘open’ on one side of the leg structure.  Another quick spray paint project.

P1110692Rusty, shabby  . . . perfect as is!  And my ‘inspiration piece’ to kick-start a new spring collection in WHITE!

P1110696BIG old Lazy Susan!  Do people still use these things?  This one is SO big that I figure if it doesn’t sell for it’s intended purpose, that I can always use the top and add legs to make a little round table.

P1110689Ornate gold frames.

P1110682HUGE roll top bread box!  Might try turning it into a mini roll top DESK!!

Sooooooooooooo, this should keep me busy for a while!

Vintage plate rack make over

Grubby dusty old plate rack:

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At first I thought it WAS a spice rack and I couldn’t understand why it was so much bigger!?!

P1110800But as I got to painting it I noticed the little ‘plate grooves’ the shelves for keeping plates propped up.

P1110797Love the four little drawers.  Initially contemplated cutting this piece in two; just the drawers and a separate shelf.  Then I realized that it would be quite handy ‘as is’ to display the journals and note cards I have in my space at Stars.    Some of my small cloches might even fit on the shelves.

P1110798The knobs were SO dusty/greasy that they almost looked YELLOW when I bought it.  Took them off and let them soak overnight is some DAWN dish soap and they were white as new!

P1110796You can see how big it is in this picture with the ruler.  This piece is destined to go to my booth at Stars.

Old sewing machine cabinet revamped into Sideboard – Bar – Kitchen Island

The original photo of this piece ‘as I bought it’ has looooooooooooooooooooong since disappeared unfortunately.  It was a LOVELY sewing machine cabinet that we bought super cheaply on our maiden trip to the big Buxton rummage sale.  

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Visualize this baby without the elongated top and in a beautiful dark walnut brown.   These old sewing machine cabinets (sans their machines!) make really nice lamp tables (you can cut down the legs if you want them shorter) or entry way tables or plant stands  . . . . LOTS of potential uses.

10.25.13 BOTH + etsy + projects 074Repainted or left in their original condition.  This one WAS usable ‘as we bought it’, but then it kept getting shoved to the back of the storage shed until eventually the top warped beyond repair.

10.25.13 BOTH + etsy + projects 073A damaged top doesn’t curb MY enthusiasm for an item though!  And SINCE we had to remove the old top and cut a new one, we had the opportunity to ‘reinvent’ this piece in the process!I decided that a BIGGER top was in order.

10.25.13 BOTH + etsy + projects 076And INITIALLY I had asked Michael to cut a top that extended over the base on all FOUR sides, turning it into a tall table that kitchen counter stools would fit under.   I wanted to paint the base BEFORE Michael attached the newly cut larger top (just easier to paint that way).  And in that process I discovered that the door on the front actually OPENED!  Which opened up a lot more options for usage!  (pun intended!)

10.25.13 BOTH + etsy + projects 077With all that storage space accessible from the front, I decided that the new top should only extend over the base at the SIDES.  Making it usable as a BAR or a SIDEBOARD or even as a KITCHEN ISLAND!

10.25.13 BOTH + etsy + projects 078I did remove all the knobs for painting and distressing purposes.  Had to paint and distress them separately.  Don’t usually re-use the SAME knobs on pieces, but theses were so close together that anything bigger or flashier would have been over-kill.

10.25.13 BOTH + etsy + projects 079Once I got the base painted (inside and out) and the outside properly distressed and the knobs back on, it was time for Michael to attach the new top.  Then time for me to paint and distress the top.  Since the base had such dark wood  showing through on the distressed parts,  I gave the new top a dark brown base coat before the aqua top coat and distressing.

P1090552And here she is, in my booth at Stars.  

P1090607Lots of room under the extended sides to store extra little tables.  I put a shelf and two tiered stand on top and set it up like a dessert buffet.  

P1090553I thought about putting some stuff INSIDE the cupboard, but was afraid it would get overlooked and all get broken when someone bought it.  Because it is on the outside edge of my booth, I can’t leave the door open.  So I added a special little tag so everyone would know that it DOES open up for extra storage.

P1090554I can’t believe what a perfect fit these little tables that were already in my booth, fit underneath!

P1090555Priced at just $119.00, it would make a great Christmas gift for that person who does a lot of entertaining! 

P1090561Just added a bunch more dessert, cake and cupcake stands too.

 

Getting some CHRISTMAS crafts done!

10.13.13 botj malls projects 109It’s always difficult to ‘get in the mood’ for Christmas crafting this early.  Even MORE so this year as we are having an INCREDIBLY warm and sunny October!  I just want to work outside on my bigger projects all day when it’s this nice!  Alas, I must FORCE myself to work on indoor crafts.  These are what I’ve started on.

10.13.13 botj malls projects 106I bought the mini bird cages on clearance this past spring.  Intended to paint the red ones white or aqua, just never got around to it.  As I was packing away my spring craft supplies I thought MAYBE I could come up with something to do with these red bird cages for Christmas.

10.13.13 botj malls projects 108So then I dragged out my many boxes and bins of Christmas craft supplies and found these itty bitty spool snowmen I made last year, but never got around to actually doing anything with.  They are just 2″ tall, btw!

Here’s the post that shows how I made the snowmen last year.

12-5-12-finds-crafts-stars-0371I also used some of the tiny spools (and some larger ones!) to mount little bottle brush trees on last year.  Had a few unmounted trees left also.

10.13.13 botj malls projects 108I cut out some circles out of old cardboard to fit inside the cages and glued the trees and snowmen in place.  Once dry I applied a coat of glue and sprinkled on the snow.

10.13.13 botj malls projects 109And just slip the whole thing into the cage.  The snowman scene is actually REMOVABLE, so if you want to use the cage for other decorating projects after Christmas you can!

Findings

Here’s a bit of what I’ve found on my thrifting ventures lately:

P1080491White Stoneware pitchers.  (sorry about all the blotches on the pictures.  Must be something on my camera lens?!) This is my very favorite shape of white pitchers, and not that readily found too often.  Let alone finding ALL THREE at the same time.  I’ve always wanted to start my own white pitcher collection, but always convince myself to sell everything I find.  This time I decided to keep them!  And I discovered that I had one more, a smaller one, in one of my booths to add to my collection!

P1080492Little glass spice bottle (I put a Halloween label on it) A tall funky heart shaped bottle (will be made into a ‘love potion’ bottle for Valentines Day) and a bell shaped cloche.  (always need these!)

P1080533The bottle on the left is the one from the previous pic.

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Cute dog figurine (NO idea what to do with it!?!)  Little urn (to fill with a little nest or bottle brush tree or use as a dessert plate pedestal) small glass (to use for a cupcake stand base) and a salt shaker (to use as a pedestal for a little bird)

P1080494This is the little white bird that I want to put on the previous salt shaker.  The bird is also a salt shaker though, so I have to figure out a way to cover up the holes).  Little ceramic bird (maybe paint it black for Halloween??)

5.21.13 finds signs projects 032It’s the same bird as the one on the left here; that I painted white and used as a cloche handle.

P1080495Stoneware bowls (ALWAYS on my ‘look for’ list; any shade of white/cream)  Little stoneware crock that I added a Halloween label to.

P1080496Large hurricane vase that I inverted and added a knob to, to make it into a cloche.

P1080498BIG lettuce shaped salad bowl!  

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Such a cute little set of milk glass jars with wicker carrier.  Any one know what this might have originally been used for??  Debating whether or not to ‘piece it out’ and sell bottles and carries individually; or leave it as a set???  What do you think?  One of the lids was GLUED on to the base, which we (the cashier and I) both noticed at checkout.  I decided to get it anyway.  Soaked it in warm soapy water for a while and it came right apart and the glue peeled right off.

P1080499Such cute ‘pot belly’ shaped jars!

P1080503Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!  That bell cloche fits this angle candle pedestal perfectly!  Maybe paint the pedestal white and pair them up??

P1080504Itty bitty angels; super fragile; might have to glue them in a glass jar to protect them.

P1080506These apothecary jars originally had brushed aluminum lids; which I spray painted black.  Will add some collage labels to these.

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Here are some similar jars I did a while back; embellished with keys and papers.

P1080507A big vintage cherub vase.

P1080509Upcycled / repurposed it into a tall cake pedestal.

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 With faux display cake.

P1080596For sale in my booth at Curiosities in Beaverton for $29.00.  The taller stand is $39.00.  Perfect pieces for a small wedding cake OR a cupcake buffet!

 

 

 

Repurposed / upcycled vintage crochet spools

I don’t know why big jars and bowls filled with spools and balls of old crochet yarns/threads

are SO appealing to me?!?  They just ARE!  And it’s a fairly popular decorating trend also.  The first time I saw a jarful in a booth, I HAD to have one too!    I’ve been curating and collecting and creating with vintage commercial yarns (on the BIG come spools) and regular size ones.  Here’s some of the stuff I’ve done with them in the past:

Roll them into balls and sell them by the bagful in my antique mall booths,

Occasionally I’ll have compiled enough of them that I can just toss them in a big bowl or basket and price them individually; as shown on the bottom shelf of this rusty planter rack.

When I can find jars that are BIG enough, I’ll fill them and sell the whole thing together.

Assorted yards and altered spools of string individually priced and displayed in a big wood bowl.

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And maybe sometimes toss in a few hand stitched felt hearts that I’ve made.

Individually decorated some of the fuller crochet spools I found.

Displayed and sold them individually.

LOVE IT when I can find these big old ‘mercantile jars’ (1 and 2 gallon sizes!) to fill.  Have a couple of these at home with my personal collection!

And it’s especially fun to find the big Industrial size spools!

Yep, I LOVE spools of yarn!  (and apparently so do my customers because they always sell well too!)

Here’s an entire post I did a while back on crafting and decorating with string and crochet threads with LOTS more pictures that I won’t bother to copy and paste if you are looking for some more inspiration.

12.5.12 finds crafts Stars 016

I found some itty bitty spools last year . . .

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Turned some into snowmen; inspired by some I saw made of regular size spools of crochet yarn.

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A topped a bunch of them with little bottle brush trees.

My little collection at home.

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Having seen the cute snowmen made from them, I decided to try some Jack-o-lanterns last fall.

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Those cute little witch hats came in a four pack from the craft store.  I cut the faces from black paper and just glued them on.  Black crepe paper rosettes on the bottom for a collar.

9.22 12 etsy projects 008And when I ran out of the purchased hats, I made my own with a back paper come and a rosette.

WHAT’S NEXT?!?!  I’d been staring at a pile of them for a while, trying to think of something ELSE to create with them.  I had just finished a new batch of cake and cupcake stands; so I thought I’d try to make some ‘mini cakes’ out of them to display on the cake stands:

P1070454I just got out a bunch of my fabric embellishments and started decorating them.  For some I had a smaller matching one that I was able to put on top.  I think those are my favorites.

P1070460Some are made of colors that I don’t normally use.  But it was either use them up or toss them in the donate bag, so what they heck?!?!

P1070458I wish I’d had some bigger strands of pearls to use.  I think that would have really made them look much better!

P1070459Or maybe I should have kept the small ones separate and out them in a fluted cupcake paper???

P1070461 This one is a small ‘cupcake size’.  Like I said, I was just ‘using what I had’, so they’re not my BEST work.  But I had FUN making them.  

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So, whaddyathink???  Yay or Nay?  Maybe just different/better embellishments?  I’m open to suggestions!  This was just one of those projects that I just ‘went with it’.  Not really having a ‘vision’ of how I wanted them to turn out.  It’s always a process though.  What would you try next??

P1070513I’ve taken them all to my booth st Curiosities in Beaverton.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reusing old display pieces

Remember when I brainstormed this idea for display pieces in my booth at Stars?  I had Michael cut three tables in half for me; a dining table, a coffee table and an end table.  Painted them all a neutral grey and mounted them and stacked them into some permanent displays.

I LOVED it ‘at the time’, but after about a year I began to feel a tad stifled due to the lack of flexibility with so much of the space not rearrangeable.  (I’m sure that’s not a real word, but you know what I mean!)

Soooooooooooooooooooooo . . .  when the time came for my recent move to a slightly larger space; the FIRST thing I told Michael was that ‘those tables have got to GO!’.  (as in NOT to the new space, that is!)  But of course I couldn’t just throw them away.  And due to lack of time to try to sell them ‘as is’, they were taken to storage to await my next brainstorm.

7.4.13 CUR + projects dresser 052 Since the table were cut in half, the each only had 2 legs; and we had stabilized them with brackets mounted to the wall.  Now I needed four legs again to make use of them.  Michael cut and attached some simple 2×2’s for the back legs.

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And while the front and back legs do not match each other; it is not uncommon in vintage furniture to have ornate front legs and very plain back legs.

7.4.13 CUR + projects dresser 054And once painted I thought they looked perfectly fine.  This particular side of the end table had a drawer pull on it, which I left in place.  I had just removed it to repaint it.

7.5.13 curiosities only 026And this is what I did with them!  I had Michael build me a couple of tall skinny shelves out of reclaimed wood, painted them to match the table halves and put them on top of the tables!  To make it easier to haul and move them, we decided it was best to NOT attach the shelf to the base.

7.5.13 curiosities only 029Originally they were supposed to ‘match’.  Our ‘system’ for making shelves like this is that Michael cuts all the pieces and I paint them BEFORE he assembles the shelves.  It’s MUCH easier and faster that way!  Painting those pesky ‘inside corners’ on shelves takes SO much time.  Left unassembled I can use a paint roller and painting is a breeze!

7.5.13 curiosities only 024Anyhow, Michael put ‘one too many’ shelves in the first one he put together, which left the second shelf missing TWO shelves.  I didn’t really want the shelf spaces THAT short, but I wasn’t going to make him take a shelf apart either.  So we left the one with four openings and made the other with three, as originally planned.

7.5.13 curiosities only 030I left these two totally ‘plain’, and they are not for sale right now.  I have ideas for making more pieces ‘along these lines’ that will be for sale.  For now these are flanking the entrance to my booth at curiosities.

7.5.13 curiosities only 027And displaying lots of pretty white cottage style wares.

NOW I just have to figure out how to re-use the two dining table and coffee table pieces?!?!?

Old table legs upcycled into Candle pedestals

6..25.13 projects big chair 087Start with some round and square little wood plaques from the craft store.  ( I always have a stash of these ‘on hand’.  Buy a few every time they are on sale.  SO many uses for them in crafting!)

6..25.13 projects big chair 088Then hunted some tin candle pans I had leftover from my ‘primitive days’.  You don’t really HAVE to add these, but I do if I have them on hand.

6..25.13 projects big chair 089Cut your tables legs down to whatever size you want your pedestals to be.  Where the ‘turnings’ are in the wood determines where it’s best to cut on some styles of turned table legs.  These two pedestals were made from ONE leg; and I had 3 of those legs which made six pedestals.

6..25.13 projects big chair 091Grab a round or square wood plaque to add to your candle base; as shown.  (I use e6000 to glue them on)  As you can see in the one on the right, I added a second round plaque to the TOP of my pedestal; strictly for decorative purposes.

6..25.13 projects big chair 090

BUT, if you don’t happen to have any tin candle pans to use (I don’t even know if you can buy these anymore!?!) this is one way you can make your pedestal without them.  Of course you wouldn’t actually ever be able to BURN your candles on such a solid wood pedestal!   Just remember that your TOP plaque goes on upside down, to allow more surface area to hold your candle.

6..25.13 projects big chair 092Here are the six pedestals I made out of three table legs.

6..25.13 projects big chair 094I also had 2 table legs with these square sections on them.  Decided to cut each leg into 3 pieces; for three graduated sizes of pedestals.  Six total from the two legs.

6..25.13 projects big chair 095I elected to use the square bases on all of these since the sides of the legs are square.  And, as you can see, I used graduated sizes of rusty candle tins on these.

6..25.13 projects big chair 093Alas, my tin candle pan stash is dwindling and I had to ‘make do’ with what I had for tin pans for the second set of these.

6..25.13 projects big chair 096I glued the candle tins in place using e6000 also.  YOU do need to wait a day between ‘gluings’ though.  I glued my wood bases on, let cure overnight; then glued on the tins and let cure overnight.  For the pedestals with TWO wood plaques, it took an additional day.  

7.4.13 CUR + projects dresser 019Since I needed to prime the tin pans before I could paint them, I just sprayed the whole things with flat black paint.

7.4.13 CUR + projects dresser 020I painted them two different shades of blue (although BARELY different!) and a sage green. (Brush on acrylic paint this time)  I WAS going to use Turquoise, my beachy blue and green, but my beach blue has become SO aqua that it looks almost just like the green?!?!

7.4.13 CUR + projects dresser 021So the plan was to create 2 sets of three with the square legs and three sets of 2 with the other; so I selected my paint colors accordingly, to have different colors in each set/pair.  Then I sanded them; the wood part AND the tin part.  And yes, I used my orbital sander.  Hand sanding is just too much for my ‘bad back’.

I ALWAYS put candles in candle holders when I am selling them.  (and again, I always have a small ‘stash’ of candles for this purpose; mostly purchased on close out).  Even just a simple white or cream color candle from the dollar store looks better than NO candle at all when it comes to ‘marketing’ your items.  Sometimes the buyer will opt to leave the candle behind and just buy the pedestal.  Fine by me!  I’ll wrap that candle up and use it again later!

7.5.13 curiosities only 052One set of each has gone to my space in Curiosities.  (displayed as sets, but priced individually)

7.5.13 curiosities only 053

A set of each will be going to Stars next week.

Published in: on July 6, 2013 at 10:24 am  Comments (2)  
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