Oval pedestal table

I showed you this third oval table in the last post about the nesting tables.  Here’s the ‘how I did it’.

I’ve had this old pedestal sitting around for quite some time; pondering what to do with it.

This oval piece of wood was in a batch of stuff that was left behind at Michael’s house when I moved last summer; that I recently picked up.  It was the perfect size to use as a table top for the pedestal.  Since the pedestal was a dark brown, I did a dark brown base coat on the oval.  Two coats of aqua and lots of sanding.  I wanted his one SUPER distressed.

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I painted the base aqua and distresses it to bring out all the pretty detail.  Once both were painted, it was time to put the two together.

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Fortunately for me this pedestal base already had a cross bar for attaching to a top already in place.  (had it not come with one, it’s pretty easy to make and attach one)  First ‘found center’ on the underside of the table and marked it.  Then I glued the base to the top with e6000; and let that set overnight.  Then two screws on either side of the cross bar to.  Most people will JUST use screws.  I prefer to ‘glue and screw’.  (and if you’ve ever watched “Holmes Makes it Right”, Mike Holmes is a proponent of ‘glue and screw’!)

And here is the finished table in my booth at Stars.  I especially like that it is MUCH more distressed than the other two.

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This is the current front view of my booth; the trio of tables is right behind this stuff.

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Garden time

Here’s a reminder of what my yard looked like when I moved it at the end of June last year:

Although summer had JUST begun, the lawn was mostly brown, covered with pine cones and LOTS of weeds.  The entire area is duplex rentals, and renters typically don’t invest much effort or money into enhancing the landscape.

p1210266There is a landscape service that mows and edges the lawn; but that is ALL they do.  Most of the tenants don’t even bother to water their lawns; even though water is included (up to a certain limit!).

p1210271The ‘rule’ for tenants as far as adding any landscaping is that we can plant in the ‘dirt areas’ only.  The unit I moved into just happened to have MORE dirt area than any other unit; and there are over 100 units!  (lucky me!)  There were a few plants (shown above) in the large front area when I moved in; but not knowing WHAT they were, I decided to just pull them in order to have a ‘blank slate’ to start with.

p1210270The ‘front’ dirt area wraps around the entire right side; but I decided initially to just tackle the ‘front’.  I kept waiting for some ‘cooler’ weather to start planting, since I was getting a late start to begin with.  It never cooled down so I forged ahead and bought gallon perennials that would be less perceptible to dying from the heat.

Since I did have a completely blank slate to start with, I even went to the expense and TROUBLE (more trouble than expense!) of tacking down that black fabric ‘weed barrier’ stuff.

HELPFUL GARDENING HINT:  Don’t bother with that weed block stuff!!  It does NOT help at all.  In fact, the weeds grow right THROUGH it just as easily, BUT the roots of those weeds ATTACH themselves TO that black mesh and are IMPOSSIBLE to pull out through it!  Believe me, I TRIED!

So before planting any more flowers this spring, I tried to pull all the weeds first.  In doing so, the weed was SO well attached to the mesh, that it actually pulled up the mesh right with it!  Enough of that, I said!  I grabbed my razor knife and cut the mesh into sections and pulled it up, weeds and all!!  Now I’m trying to get in the habit of weeding a little every week.  If I catch them early enough they will come up with a few swipes of a hand weeding tool.

P1220439This is as ‘good as it got’ in my front flower garden last summer.  I really wasn’t expecting much though; considering I got such a late start.  I just looked at it as a ‘head start’ on this years planting!  It’s not very visible in the above photo, but I found a little white wire fence section at a garage sale, that I put in to border my flower bed.  It was not long enough though, and I never did find any more matching fencing to add to it, so I pulled that this year.

I did get a few nice blooms towards the end of last summer.

P1220430This container on my porch got nice and FULL last summer!

Early this spring I desperately needed ‘some’ color in my garden; and bought a few forced bulbs (tulips, crocus and narcissus) to plant along the edge of my porch.  Again, this was more ‘thinking ahead’ to next year; because these were already in bloom, they faded quickly this year.  (this picture was BEFORE I had pulled up the dreaded black weed blocker; which you can see in the photos.  shudder!)

P1260435We had a string of GORGEOUS, early spring, sunny and warm days in late May – early April and I was itchin’ to get my hands in the dirt again!  (this is AFTER pulling up the old weed barrier) I added about 20 bags of steer manure ( broken down into 4 separate shopping trips; spread out over 2 weeks for the sake of my bad back!)

I’ll share with you how I managed to unload, haul and spread all those BIG HEAVY bags of manure with my bad back; just in case any of you also have similar back issues and limitations.

Getting them loaded into my car at the garden center is no problem, as I just ask for help and tell them I need them to load onto the cart AND into my car as I have a bad back and cannot lift them.  I specifically have them load all the bags as close to the back edge of my car as possible;  (PT Cruiser; so it’s a HATCH and not a ‘trunk’.  This method wouldn’t work in a typical trunk) as shown in the above picture.  When I got home, I pulled out my little ‘flat bed dolly’ and just rolled the bags out of the back of my car and onto the dolly; letting gravity do the heavy lifting.  (I got my dolly years ago at Costco.  It is specifically sized to carry the plastic storage bins; but can be used for anything, really)  I use this baby for EVERYTHING!!

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Getting the bags to their final destination: I have an old folding ‘luggage wheely’ cart that I put next to the stack of bags on the dolly, and ‘roll and plop’ one bag onto the luggage cart.  Then I can just pull that across the yard to where I need it and roll it off and onto the ground.

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Once the bag is where I need it to be, and while it is laying flat on the ground, I slit it open from end to end and side to side.  Then flip it over and pull up each corner of the bag to empty the contents.  Toss out the empty bag and spread the manure out with a garden rake.

P1220439In the areas where I already had existing plants and could NOT just dump the whole bag out:  I still slit the bag open; end to end and side to side and loosened it up if needed) with my weeder tool.  Then using my trowel, I scooped and filled a gallon container and hand poured that around the plants.  Then filled in the surrounding bare areas the same way.  It SOUNDS like a very long and drawn out process, but really it only took about 5 minutes or do to empty out each bag.P1260057 When the stack of bags is fairly high, I sit on my little garden trolley while I am scooping into the container, so I don’t have to bend over and hurt my back.  When I get down to just ONE bag, which is lower than the trolley, I kneel on my foam pad ‘knee protector’ while I scoop.

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A ‘word’ about those foam pads  . . . . . they wear down QUICKLY!  Whether you buy a twenty dollar one from a pricey garden center, or get one from the dollar store; If you really USE it a lot (like I do!)  they will be totally useless before gardening season ends.  My solution this year?  I bought THREE of them and a spool of duct tape at Dollar Tree.  Taped the three of them together into one big fat knee pad!  It’s perfect!!!  AND not being quite as low to the ground makes getting back up easier on my back!  Win – WIN!!

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And FINALLY I’m ready to start planting!  This load was a few herbs for the ‘back garden’ and some more perennials to fill in the front area.  My ‘vision’ is to have the whole front area COMPLETELY FULL of flowers.

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This is what it looks like right now.  I was HOPING to do more ‘seed planting’ this year since I’ve got an earlier start . . .  and to minimize the expense of buying potted plants.  The neighborhood squirrel population put the kibosh on that plan though!  Those critters LOVE to dig up and bury peanuts in MY garden because my soil is nice and soft!  (and several other neighbors have bird and squirrel feeders!)

Between the squirrels digging up all the seeds and the birds eating them. . . it would have been totally futile!

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So I devised some make shift mini greenhouses to start my seeds in.

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And used these little starter kits I found at the thrift store.  Once they are big enough to transplant into the ground, they should be big enough to ‘survive overnight’ if dug up by the squirrels.  I seriously have to ‘check’ all the newly planted plants EVER DAY . . . and re-plant a few that have been dug up every day!

While the ground was still soft and moist for all the spring rains, I put in a cute little white picket border (which I bought at Dollar Tree!)  in the front and wrapping around the side.  It was a pretty time consuming project and each little section had to be put in ‘one by one’.

The sections are supposed to interlock, end to end; but I had to lock them together before sticking them in the ground and they kept coming apart when I put them in the ground!?!?!  My solution?  ZIP TIES!!  I just used zip ties to attach them together after I put them in the ground.

I honestly do not even remember what all I have planted!!  I just did random plants (what was on sale at the time!)  in random order for the most part.  Except under the window; where I planted three hydrangea.  Which will hopefully, eventually make a nice ‘hedge’ under the window; and a nice backdrop for the rest of the flowers.

The side of the house had been VERY problematic!!  Initially I envisioned this being filled with rose bushes, as it gets a lot of sun.  However, there are cables that run right down the middle of this 14″ deep border; from the utility boxes to the back edge.  AND there are big ole tree roots about 2″ down on the side closer to the front?!?!

I planted some mums along the back and some winter pansies towards the lawn edge last fall.  They did not do well.  Half the pansies were dug up AND carried off by the squirrels; and the mums turned dormant REALLY quickly.  Most of them are starting to sprout again, so I’m in ‘wait and see’ mode for now. I added some gladioli bulbs about a month ago, between the mums.  But I guess I’ll just make this my ‘cutting garden’ for planting annuals; since the tree roots and cables don’t leave much room for roots.

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Freddy’s had little starter 4-paks of assorted color Lobelia on sale for 79 cents this week; so I splurged and bought TEN 4-paks!!  The plants are so small that they are barely visible now that I have them all planted; even with so many of them.  I planted them around the border of the front garden and placed a few in bare spots, here and there.

 The ‘back’ garden area is conjoined with the neighbors.  (In the front, our garages are in the middle and separate our front yards.)  She has given me permission to plant ‘whatever I want’; which is nice because it would look really strange to have one side filled with green and the other still dirt.  I put a few concrete stepping-stones in the middle where the water faucet is; then plan to plant each side the same.

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In the center of the back garden area, and just under the bedroom window; I planted a Japanese holly and four Delphiniums, two in front of each little trellis.  (got these little wire trellises at Dollar Tree too!)  The hope is that they will grow tall enough to provide some shade.  This back side gets the hottest sun of the day all summer long.

In front of those, I’ve planted 30 ‘ever bearing’ strawberry plants.  Ordered them via the mail, as bare root starts.  We probably won’t get a lot of berries this year, but they will grow back year after year, so it’s an ‘investment’.

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I bought a few herb starts; that I planted close to my patio.

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And I have NO IDEA what to plant in the rest of the area  . . . yet!  Thinking marigolds along the front border (hoping the ones I started from seed actually GROW!)

And for shading the back patio door (which leads to my bedroom and was unBEARably HOT last summer!)  I got two big plastic 1/2 barrel pots, 6′ metal trellises and gallon pots of Jasmine; which should vine up nicely and generate some shade.  And I’ll fill the ladder with planters filled with petunias.  I envision them flowing over the edges and completely covering the ladder, eventually.

BARGAIN GARDENING TIP:  Sometime every spring, and for a far back as I can remember, (and usually the week before Mother’s day!) Freddy’s has ‘tray packs’ of petunias on sale for $9.99.  They are not planted in individual little pots, so you have to separate the roots yourself, but for that price; who cares!?!  There are usually at least 20 plants per tray.  (my son used to buy me one of these every year for Mother’s Day!) I think they might also have marigolds for the same price.  (I know there were two options, but I always wanted Petunias, so I’m not certain what the other offering was!?)

I’m waiting for those petunias to go on sale this year to fill the planters that I will put on the ladder rungs.  These rungs have been made deeper with an added piece of cedar fencing on them, to better hold the planters.  I’ll probably buy a few individual ‘wave petunias’ for the planters on the upper rungs so they will trail over.

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Another great ‘bargain gardening tip’ is to take advantage of Freddy’s “Fuchsia  Saturday” special. It’s already come and gone for this year (April 9th), but watch, and PLAN for it for next year.  They do it ‘rain or shine’ too. This was my first time taking advantage of it; and the weather was perfect!  The guy planting my baskets was telling me that it HAILED last year for the event.  (in which case they set it op under cover in the garden center.)

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There is a limit of 8 planters; maximum circumference of 18″.  The Fuchsia starts were on sale 5 for $3.00.  I got my hanging baskets and coco mat liners (individually priced) at Dollar Tree.  You have to go inside the garden center and purchase your starts FIRST; then get in line for the planting station.  I bought 3 starts for each basket; they provided the soil.  I took home 7 hanging fuchsia baskets for less than $5.00 each!!  Of course it will be a while before I get blooms on them . . . .but for that price, I can wait!

I have them hanging over my front porch where they get a bit of morning sun but mostly shade.  I really don’t NEED this many of them; so I’ll probably give them away as gifts later in the season when they are fuller.

The ‘key’ to keeping your gardening expenses from spiraling too high is:

PATIENCE.

  • Plant your own starts from seeds.  (you can ever MAKE your own ‘plantable’ starter pots from empty toilet paper rolls!)
  • Stick with PERENNIALS or bulbs that will grow back year after year.  Plant once and DONE!
  • If you MUST have ‘instant gratification’ and buy potted starts that will give you instant color; watch for sales.
  • Save your receipts!  Nearly all places that sell plants will offer some kind of guarantee.  If your plant fails to thrive, you can get a replacement or refund; but ONLY if you have a receipt as proof.

TUTORIAL: Picture Perfect Crepe Paper Rosettes

I’ve been making, and crafting with crepe paper rosettes for a while now.  Actually I started with PAPER rosettes, then progressed to crepe paper.  I assumed that the ‘material’ used didn’t make any difference; and I made my first crepe paper rosettes using the exact same method as I had used on regular paper ones.

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EPIC FAIL!!  What the heck happened?!?!?  I folded it SO perfectly!  As soon as I glued on the backing though, it went all ‘cattywompus’ and smooshed up.  sigh.

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Trying as best I could, I just could not get them to look any better than this; looking like they’ve been stepped on by an elephant!    Heavy sigh!

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I wanted them to be PERFECT, like this paper rosette.

dsc00073And these!

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The ‘smooshed’ ones weren’t entirely unusable; and by the time I added other embellishments the smooshiness was less noticeable.  Still, the perfectionist in me wanted to make PERFECT ones.

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This is how they look BEFORE gluing on the backing.  I wanted them to STILL look like this AFTER I added the backing.  The problem was that the crepe paper is so ‘delicate’.  Whereas regular paper ‘held up’ under the pressure of having the backing ‘pressed firmly into place’; this pressure was enough to smoosh and displace all those perfect little folds.

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So, I continued the TRY to make perfect ones, and continued to get not so perfect ones; but used them anyhow!  (I mean, it’s not like anyone was complaining that my crepe paper rosettes were too smooshed!)

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They were ‘passable’ . . . .but I still wanted perfect!

Yes, I realize that I am really dragging this post out!  Intentionally so; to emphasize my long-term frustration and ‘trial and error’ in perfecting this process.   

Yes, I finally DID figure out hot to make ‘picture perfect’ crepe paper rosettes.  Drum roll please . . . . .

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For the sake of those whom may not have made rosettes at all before; I’m starting at the VERY beginning.

 *** Cut a 30″ piece of crepe paper.

*** Fan fold the entire length in 1/4″ folds.

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I find it easiest to do this part ‘on my thigh’ as opposed to on a table or hard surface.  BUT, you will need a hard surface for the next steps.  That black with white dots thing in then picture is my little ‘lap desk’ that I use for my hard surface.

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*** Keeping your folds as uniformly as possible, fold the entire piece; trim off any extra end piece that hangs over the last fold. 

***  Hold your completely folded piece between both pairs of index fingers and thumbs and squish it together with all your might, to really crease those folds tightly.P1250859

*** Glue your fully folded piece, end to end, using the SMALLEST amount of TACKY glue possible.  Apply your glue to one end of your folded piece, then bring it ‘full circle’ to the other end; gently pinch between your fingers  to get it to hold.

 DO NOT use hot glue or regular white glue.  Regular white glue is too ‘wet’.  That, and/or too MUCH tacky glue will end up gluing together several LAYERS of your folds.  You want all your folds to ‘separate nicely’.

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NOW you will need your hard surface to work on.  I keep my little lap desk next to my ‘working chair’ within easy reach.

THIS is how your folded piece will look if you DON’T ‘crease your folds’ tight enough.  ‘Some’ crepe papers are thinner and less ‘crepe-ish’ than others, and those will also ‘sprawl out’ like this.  You will need to go around the circle the reinforce your creases if this happens.

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THIS is what you want your piece to look like when you lay it flat, after gluing the ends together.

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You will need a round piece of paper or card-stock for your backing.  I prefer card-stock; and I use a scalloped edge paper punch to make my backings.  Keep in mind that your backing might ‘show through’; so you might need to have it cut from a matching color.

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***With your rosette laying flat on your hard work surface; fully cover your backing piece with PLENTY of tacky glue.  This ‘seemingly excess amount of glue’ is KEY to making PERFECT crepe paper rosettes!  Don’t skimp on the glue on this step.

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This step can be a tad tricky, because you almost need THREE hands for it!  With practice you  will  learn how to maneuver your rosette so that the center is completely closed using just one hand.

*** Still working on your hard surface; With your glue covered backing all ready to go, after you have your rosette ‘closed tightly’, VERY GENTLY lay your glue covered backing onto your rosette; very gently tap around the edges to be sure the glue has ‘grabbed on’.

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IMPORTANT!!!  DO NOT PUSH HARD ON YOUR BACKING!!  That is what will smoosh all those perfect little folds and displace the spacing of them.  IF you have used enough glue on your backing, it will hold well enough for the next step.

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Your center might re-open a tad when you flip your rosette over.  Don’t worry, it’s fixable; as are any folds that are too clumped together or too spread out.

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***  THIS is another reason that you don’t apply too much pressure on the backing; you may need to ‘adjust the spacing of your folds’.  I use a small paint scraper for this.  With the scraper, gently move your folds as needed to evenly distribute them.  (You won’t ALWAYS need to do this; sometimes the folds are already perfect!)

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Once you are happy with the spacing of your folds, it’s time to make them stay that way.  Again I use my paint scraper, but a piece of stiff cardboard would probably work just as well.

THIS IS THE KEY STEP TO MAKING PERFECTLY SPACED AND ‘FLUFFY’ CREPE PAPER ROSTETTES!

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*** Place your paint scraper between each perfectly spaced fold, as close to the center as possible, and press down.  THIS is what makes the backing stick tightly to the rosette WITHOUT smooshing them. 

This might seem a bit tedious, but it really only takes a few seconds, and makes ALL the difference in creating a PERFECT rosette.

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*** Lastly, press FIRMLY in the very center with your index finger.  

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Look at those perfect folds!!

*** Let  your rosette lay flat for a few hours for the glue to completely dry.  

You might notice that the glue ‘bleeds’ through the crepe paper and leaves the whole thing a bit damp.  Just don’t stack them yet and they will dry just fine.

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Once completely dry, I store my rosettes on their side, like this, in a box.

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I like to keep a stash of rosettes ‘ready to use’ for when inspiration strikes.  I’ll usually make them while I watch TV in the evening.

Please let me know if this tutorial was helpful to you.

Super simple soap box upcycle

Remember this GIANT jar of soaps in my bathroom?

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See that extra big square bar, behind the oval bar sitting in front of the jar?

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That extra big bar of soap came in a really nice box.

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TOO nice of a box to just throw away.

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Long sides on the lid so it closes securely.  Would have been a nice box just for storing small craft supplies in . . . . but you KNOW I can never leave well enough alone!

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Since this box was ‘mostly plain’, it was a super simple make-over.  First I added a piece of paper over the writing on the underside of the lid.  (I got this cool wrapping paper with the writing on it from Ballard Designs.  It was NOT cheap, but it’s SO pretty!  And I’ll get a lot of mileage out of it using it for craft projects.)  ANY kind of paper could be used for something like this: old book pages, vintage sheet music, wrapping paper, tissue paper . . . .

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For covering the outside, I measured from the front, across the top, down the back, and around to the bottom; so I had one long piece to cover the whole area.

HELPFUL HINT:

For applying paper to things like this, I’ve found it MUCH easier to put the glue on the ITEM (as opposed to the paper).  Tacky glue is my glue of choice.  I covered the front part with glue and pressed on the paper; then applied glue to the top and smoothed the paper over it . . .and continuing all the way around to the bottom.  By just doing a small section at a time, it’s easier to smooth out any air bubbles.

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Since the sides were plain, I didn’t need to cover them; but if they had needed covering, I’d cover the sides FIRST, letting that piece overlap a little on the front and top.  Those little overlapped pieces will be covered when apply the rest of the paper.

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Easy peasey!!!  As an afterthought I decided it needed something on the front.  I just ran a little piece of a twig across my belt sander to give it a flat side and glued it on as a handle.

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These make great little gift boxes or storage boxes.

We interrupt this ‘Trash2Treasure’ blog for a cookie baking marathon.

Yep.  It’s time to bake the Christmas cookies!

P1240379SO many yummy, crunchy and gooey options to add to them!

P1240375I love having a variety of cookies to give out to friends and neighbors, but I hate ‘waiting by the oven’ for the time to ‘ding’.  I tried a different method this year, and made my cookies ‘assembly line’ style . . . as I do with my crafting.

I bought a new set of baking sheets at Costco, so now I have FIVE ‘good’ cookie sheets.  (got rid of the ‘bad’ ones when I moved earlier this year)  So with five cookie sheets to work with, I could easily keep the oven full of baking cookies all the time.

I mixed up all my cookie doughs the day before, wrapped them in a roll in freezer paper and put them in the frig overnight.  Wrote the baking time and temp on the freezer paper.  Pulled them out about 30 minutes before I was ready to start baking, but my kitchen is SO SMALL, I didn’t have any available counter space to put the tray!  And where oh WHERE was I going to put the trays while the cookies cooled?!?!?

Fortunately my garage door (the ‘side’ door, not the BIG door) is four steps away from my kitchen, and it was nice and cool in there.  And my chest freezer, washer and dryer are right there at the back of the garage.  Made for the perfect cookie cooling station!

Turned my oven on the pre-heat, then lined all my cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Grabbed my first roll of dough and a knife and started slicing.  By the time I had them sliced and on the cookie sheet, the oven was ready to use.  In went the first batch; timer set for 8-10 minutes.

WHILE those were baking, I grabbed my second roll of dough and sliced it up and put slices in the cookie sheet.  Timer went off for the first batch.  Pulled them out and put the next batch in and set the timer again.  Took the ‘hot from the oven’ sheet of cookies to the garage to cool, and grabbed my next roll of dough to slice.

Pulled the second batch from the over, and put the third batch in.  Second batch to the garage to cool and first batch was ready to be moved from the cookie sheet to the cooling racks.  Grabbed the fourth roll  . . . . and so on!

P1240384Just kept that process going for a total of 7 batches.  (small batches, so just one sheet per batch, but there are BIG baking sheets and will hold 24 cookies).

P1240380Sugar cookies with crushed peppermint.  (Yes, you can buy bags of crushed peppermint!  So much easier than crushing your own!)  Sugar cookies topped with ‘thin mints’; raspberry and orange.

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Buttery caramel cookies (the caramels come in chocolate chip size!) in front and chocolate mint squares in back (with chocolate and green mint chips)

P1240382Chocolate chip peanut butter cookies.

P1240383Peanut butter Butterfinger cookies on the left.  (again you can BUY a bag of crushed Butterfinger)  Pumpkin chip pecan cookies on the right.

After they all completely cooled, I packaged them up in cute little Christmas tins that I found at Dollar Tree; one big tin topped with a smaller one and tied up with some red and white bakers twine.  (forgot to take a picture of them all packaged)

And MY Christmas baking is DONE!

Variations on a theme: Snow Folk: Styles B & C

You’ve already met my ‘original’ snow folk, below.

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Assorted vintage salt shakers and clear bottles and with party hats made from vintage sheet music.

P1240128I started these guys a bit ‘late in the season’ for this year; so I’m just going to pack them away for next year.

P1240036I had a few extra ‘heads’ made up, but had run out of bottles for bodies. so I grabbed a couple of these salt and pepper shakers at the dollar store.

P1240059I decided to use the tops for the hats for these guys, and just added a chenille ‘pom-pom’ to them.

P1240430Then I made this little guy and glued TWO tops together for his hat.

P1240431I’m thinking I need to add ‘something’ to the top of his hat too.

P1240408Then I found a few more bottles and decided to give them little a NEW style of little crowns.

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I’m trying to NOT use my ‘typical’ little sheet music crowns lately.  I made these new crowns from stiffened lace and spray painted therm gold.

P1240409Even up close and in person, you’d never figure they were made from crocheted lace.

P1240414Since they are a little more elegant, I tied sheer white ribbon around their necks.

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and tied on some little metal snowflake ornaments I had in my stash.
P1240417I gave the taller one a double snowflake.

P1240407A few more to stash away for next year.

Upcycled crochet thread showmen

For a long time, old spools of crochet thread were really popular, and sold well ‘as is’.

1-30-13-stars-projects-029I’d put hand stamped tea stained labels on some, and just toss them in a big old bowl!

5-10-12-etsy-stars-projects-045Sometimes I’d add other embellishments.

dsc00011When I could find smaller spools, I’d toss them in a big glass jar; those always sold fast.  The cones of thread and yarn always sold well too.  I used to create entire displays of old spools of yarn and crochet thread.

THEN BAM!. . .  THEY JUST STOPPED SELLING!

And I still have a pretty good stash of the crochet thread.  I had to come up with something different to do with them.

p1070454I thought these crochet thread ‘mini cakes’ were a creative way to use up some of the odds and ends.

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They were really fun to make.

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And I thought they looked adorable on my upcycled cupcake stands!  Alas, the ‘shoppers’ did not share my vision.  Back to the drawing board!

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I usually only buy white and cream colors, but occasionally there are some other colors mixed in with the big bagfuls at the thrift store.  I used up the orange ones to make some Jack-o-lanterns a few years back.

p1090771So, a couple of years ago I came up with these guys.  (Those hats are made from ‘cooked’ styrofoam coffee cups!   They melt down into cute little hat shapes!)  I wanted to do something a little different this year though.

P1230858I mostly only had this one size of spools, so I decided to only stack two of them this time.  Here’s how I made them.

P1230763Some of these spools were fairly ‘bare’, so I put the fuller spools on the bottom.  glued them together with some tacky glue.

P1230764I had seen these little ‘hat’ ornaments at Dollar Tree and decided they would look cute on my snow-dudes.

P1230766The top part of the hat is just styrofoam, and when I pulled the hanger out, it left a hole.  I filled the hole with tacky glue, and waited for the glue to dry to add glitter.  But all the glue dripped down into the hat and the hole was still there!

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So, I stuffed some tissue paper into the hole, then more glue; then silver glitter.

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Since the top spools were pretty ‘bare’, I decided to cover the spools with some vintage style mica flakes.

P1230770I just thinned down some of the cheapo Dollar Tree school glue; brushed it onto one spool at a time, and rolled it in the mica flakes.   You really have to be sure your spool is really SOAKED with the glue solution because the thread absorbs it.

P1230772The mica flakes added just enough sparkle, but you can still see that they are made from spools of crochet thread.  I thought about using glitter, and I suppose it would work fine; but it would probably cover the tread and hide it quite a bit.

P1230771I let them dry overnight.

P1230887I glued a round piece of cardboard to the bottom to add some stability.

P1230857I glued the hats on with tacky glue, (Oh! I added a band of black ribbon around the hats) and made them a scarf from the same ribbon.  Glued on mis-matched black buttons.  Made charcoal eyes and a carrot nose out of sculpey clay (baked to harden before gluing on)

P1230880Just for comparison, and to see which sells first, and because I just happened to have three spools in graduated sizes; I made one without the mica flakes.

P1230886I gave this one some little rusty bells instead of buttons, and a strip of tea stained muslin for a scarf.

P1230885And tucked one tiny rusty bell onto the hat.

P1230888Which do you like better?

P1230890These guys will be headed to Stars next week.

Wire cloche with pedestal base

Upcycled wire cloche with pedestal base.P1220090Here’s my latest upcycled wire cloche with pedestal base; in aqua.

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Here are a couple others that I’ve done in the past.  The wire baskets come in black so previously I had made the whole thing black.  The bases on these are a vintage cherub candy dish; glued to a charger plate and spray painted.

I did one in white also.

Here are the components, before.  Plus any kind of finial to use as your knob on top.

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It’s easier to attach your knob/finial if it has a screw in the base.  You just have to find a nut to fit the screw to hold it in place.

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I’ve also made wire cloches out of old lamp shad frames with the fabric removed.

But back to the present and the newest cloche and pedestal!

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I used a thrifted big candle pedestal for the base.

P1220081Attached a round wood piece that I had on hand for the table part.

P1220092I decided that I wanted this one to be aqua.

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The wood round needed a black basecoat first.  Glued it to the candle base, then painted both aqua and distressed.

P1220089I wanted to wire cloche to be aqua too, but I didn’t want to spray paint the base.  Plus,  the aqua spray paint doesn’t match my brush on paint.  So I decided to see if I could ‘dry brush paint’ the wire basket.  It worked great.

P1220091And now I have an aqua one to add to my repertoire!

Vintage spool corner shelf

Spool style corner shelves always seem to sell well for me, so I grab them whenever I find them at a good price.

P1190766Even though many of them are the inexpensive ‘kit shelves’, they are quick and easy to make over.

P1190767This one had a little ‘bonus’ feature; keyhole hangers on the top shelf for hanging it on the wall!

P1190768It does take a bit more time to paint the spindles than the flat surfaces, but it’s still pretty quick.

P1190787I try to paint 2-3 small projects at a time.  Paint the first coat on this corner shelf . . . .then work on a second piece while that paint dries.

P1190791Flip the corner shelf upside down and paint the undersides of the shelves and second coat on the spindles.  Work on second project while that dries.

P1190789For the second coat, and to expedite the process a bit, I apply the second coat to the underside BEFORE flipping it back over.  Since I’ve already got two coats on the spindles, they are done; so I can handle them to flip it back over, and while adding the second coat to the topside!  (that is the method to my madness!)

P1190792The spindles have to be ‘distressed by hand’ (with sand paper!)  The shelf surfaces and edges can be done with an orbital sander.  I always use a power sander when possible, since I have such a bad back and hand sanding is hard on my back.

P1190790You can see that I did not distress the underside of the shelves.  All in all, I probably spent a total of one hour painting and distressing this shelf.

P1190859As I already mentioned at the start of this post, this type of corner shelf always sell well for me.  And this one has already sold in my booth at Stars.

Another night stand

There’s no such thing as having too many night stands in my booth at Stars.P1190810I snagged this little pink number at a recent estate sale.  Drawers are always a plus!

P1190857It’s difficult to tell from this picture, but I added a back to it.  But DON’T add your back first thing!!!  The insides of those shelves (and the backing!) are much easier to paint SEPARATELY.  So measure and cut your backing and paint it and your entire shelf BEFORE attaching the back.  I just run a thin strip of tacky glue along the edge of the back, then nail it down with finishing nails.

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I love this vintage tarnished gold knob with back-splash.  I tried out several other knobs before settling on this one.  I tried a white ceramic knob, a crystal one, a wood one (that I would have painted aqua to match) and none of them were looking right.  I had NOT tried any gold ones because I really didn’t think they would look right.  Just goes to show you that sometimes you have to think outside the box.  This knob really set the ‘vintage tone’ for this piece.

P1200100I glued a piece of scrap book paper to the inside of the drawer to cover up a few crayon marks.

P1200098Did you notice that I didn’t distress this piece?!?!?  I didn’t want the original pink to show through, so it was either: A) Don’t distress it.  or B) Sand away all the pink paint before painting it.  With it being mostly flat surfaces and straight lines, sanding off all the original paint really would n;t have taken more than an hour or two.  But I would have never been able to PRICE it to recoup that amount of time spent on it.

You really have to always be thinking about your ‘bottom line’ if you are trying to make any profit on the items you make over.  You have to ‘choose your battles’ so to speak.  Don’t spend a lot of extra time working on a piece that won’t sell at a higher price point.