Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A New Guest for the Holidays!

We usually host someone for the holidays, either my parents and/or my brother and his family.  We have a nice guest room that I haven't fully taken advantage of yet as far as re-decorating and "crafting up"goes, so I thought I would start somewhere, and that somewhere would be the bathroom!

I found a small vintage step stool or mini wood ladder at a ReStore over my Thanksgiving visit to my brother's house in Indiana.  By the way, if you have never been to a ReStore, it really should be on your places to visit list! They have hardware and home and building materials at a fraction of the retail cost and profits help Habit for Humanity International.  I have one fairly close to me, but was not able to visit it yet.  I took advantage of going out shopping with my sister-n-law on Black Friday and avoided the mall crowds by going to thrift stores and the ReStore!  What a fabulous shopping experience! It also feels nice to be buying from a store knowing that you are contributing to a good cause! 

Back to my mini ladder/step stool whatever thingy!  It was pretty paint stained and worn, but I had a vision for it! (and it only cost $3, so what could go wrong?)  I thought it would make a nice shelf of some sort.  I wasn't sure if I wanted to cut it up and hang it on the wall (I have seen that done and it looks quite nice) or just try to utilize it somehow as is.

Initially, I thought it might make a nice wine rack of some sort.  I tried different ways to figure out how it could hold the bottle and decided against it as I had a vision of my dog (still a puppy) running through the dining room and destroying my creation and my wine!  No good for anyone!

I then settled on making it a fixture for my guest bathroom. It gets lonely up there and doesn't get a whole lot of use, so it is in need of a makeover.  What better time than now before I have guests arrive?

I painted the little ladder in my favorite Annie Sloan Paint, Old White.

 Then I used another one of my favorite sites, The Graphics Fairy, to embelish the top step.

 I had picked up two tins at a local thrift store and painted them with Annie Sloan Duck Egg Blue (one of my new favorites!) and used them as holders for towels, soaps and such.  I was going to do another coat of Old White, but actually liked how rustic the little ladder looked with one coat.  I just did a quick wash of the Duck Egg over some parts to seep in a little blue color.
I think this little ladder will look perfect in my guest bathroom.
It could just be the spark I need  to start redecorating the whole room! 

Happy Holidays and Sweet Crafting!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Finally, a use for my Duck Egg!

I am a big fan of Annie Sloan Paint.  She has some wonderful colors, but when I first started out, I found that I relied mainly on the tried and true ones, Old White and Graphite for most of my painting. 

I decided to step a little out of my comfort zone and order a can of Duck Egg blue.  I was so excited about this color.  It is, literally, the color of a robin's egg.  Very delicate and just pretty.  I opened the top of the box it came in and placed it next to my work bench/painting area to anxiously await for a future project!

The can of Duck Egg sat there in my garage for a good few months.  Every time I had a project come up, I would look at that can, and then move on to my Old White.  Thus, my little pot of Duck Egg sat lonely by itself, still in the box it came in, just waiting to unveil it's true potential!

Then, when I was rummaging through some of my great finds, I noticed two metal ornate frames I had picked up...somewhere...

They are brass and have a great ornate leaf design all around.  They looked like they were at one time possibly mirrors.  The back of them has a little "shelf" around it as if the mirror was placed in there, but the clasps or metal flaps that might have held the mirror in place are missing.  So it was hard for me to visualize exactly what to do with these as it would be troublesome getting something to stay put inside the framework.  Still, I thought these were really beautiful when I saw them and surprised at how substantial and quite heavy in weight they were.

I thought a chicken wire memo board might be a nice idea for them and easy to attach as I could wrap the wire somehow in the back through the ornate design, so I went to reach for my tried and true Old White.  Then a thought rushed over me...what about my Duck Egg? Yes, the Duck Egg it is!  Finally, I had found a use for my Duck Egg!

Here is the result of my little project:

I think that the little brass frames look perfect in this color! 

My little pot of Duck Egg no longer sits lonely in my garage.  It has now been proudly moved to my crafting space indoors and is being used again for another project that should be finished shortly.  I am happy to have discovered it's potential!

Sweet Crafting!


Friday, November 25, 2011

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree!

First of all, I want to wish everyone a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving. I hope you were able to spend it with family and friends and that you took a moment to remember all that you were thankful for!

As I mentioned before in my last blog, this time of year always sparks fond memories. Especially of the after Thanksgiving tradition of putting up the Christmas tree, or if you're like me, the Christmas trees.

We have a total of 5 trees. Yes 5. One is a 10ft skinny tree that goes up in our Family room. One is a plump 6 footer that stands in our living room, another is a scrawny 4 footer that sits in our upstairs balcony and then my 2 daughters have mini trees in their rooms-a bright purple and bright blue one!(ok, maybe those don't really count). I love the tradition of decorating the trees. We do it as a family and we have a great time sorting through the ornaments we have collected over the years and remembering when and where we got them.

I am happy that my trees are not "cookie cutter" trees and don't have matching ornaments or a "color theme" to them. However, lately, with the re-incarnation of my crafty side, I have been longing to start a big Christmas project.

When I was growing up, we had neighbors who every year would put up their Christmas tree after Thanksgiving in a window that faced our house.
This tree was no ordinary tree. It was a fluffy, white, rotating, red and green spot-lighted tree! Every year my Dad would gag at the site of this and the fact that we had to look at it for the next 4 weeks. I am not sure how our 3 piece, tinsel- laden tree was much better than this, but white trees were not very common then.

I grew up despising artificial trees and anything "unnatural". When I was on my own, I chose to drag in a real tree every year, complete with the hassle and mess that comes with it. It wasn't until I had kids and pets that I realized that artificial trees are so much more convenient...and they look pretty real nowadays, too!

So back to my project. It's hard for me to even admit that I have come full circle and am considering this, but...I want to get a WHITE Christmas tree! No, not a rotating one, but a nice, smaller one that I can have as my own. I want to put it in the dining room (probably the only place left) and adorn it with handmade ornaments and other unique items.

Perhaps I am reaching into my past for this, and that rotating tree was not so bad. Perhaps I want my neighbor to experience a white tree in the window across from them like I did. Either way, I am searching for that perfect white tree.

If you happen to see one, please let me know!

Sweet Crafting,


Monday, November 21, 2011

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

You can feel it in the air as the temperature starts to drop in the is the feel of Christmas!  I actually look forward to the start of this season, when I can make excuses to stay inside, watch football and do a little holiday crafting!

Although I wasn't planning on putting these crafts up for sale on my Etsy site, this vintage Santa door hanger turned out really darling and I might consider making more to has a way of sparking fond Christmas memories and looks so charming hanging over a door or maybe beside a mantel or wherever else you feel like it!

These vintage Santa images are from my favorie site, The Graphics Fairy, which I frequent nearly every day.  There are some really great old fashioned holiday images on there and I can't wait to use more.

Here is another item that I just finished.  A holiday wreath wrapped in old, thick rope.  The little rosettes are hand made from extra fabric that I had and add a nice touch.  I thought this turned out really well, and again, I want to keep it for myself and not sell, but just maybe I will have to make another...

I am planning on doing more Christmas projects, including one big one which will be better left explained in another blog!  So for now, stay warm and enjoy!

Sweet Crafting!

Dee Dee

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Mini Moochers!

I am blessed to have 2 very great daughters who are an inspiration for my work, and for the name of my blog and business, sweetgirlcrafts.  I am, however, learning that this crafting lifestyle has proven to be too much temptation for my little girls, or my "mini moochers", as I like to call them.

Not only are they fascinated with everything that I make, they love when I bring home my "flea market treasures" as well.  One of my most prized finds is an old Royal typewriter that is just beautiful.  It is in perfect condition and even came in the case with the original "duster" used to clean the perfectly round glass keys.

This typewriter looks great in my living room, perched on top of a bar.  Unfortunately, one of my mini moochers discovered it and decided it was a play toy.  "Mom, I like that new thing in the living room, that you can push buttons on!" she exclaimed as she was moving her fingers up and down.  Great.  I didn't know whether to be more upset that she was playing with my treasure or with the fact that she had no idea what a typewriter was! (now I am sounding old!).  Needless to say, when the other "mini moocher" heard this, she immediately had to check it out.  I let them play, while I supervised, until one of the moochers typed out POOPIE on the piece of paper I had in it....okay, now we are finished! No more touching!

But the mooching is really a way of lifestyle for them when it comes to my crafts...

Case in point, my recent fascination with making my rhinestone bling-bling bracelets,  Every time a new one is finished, one of my daughters will get their little hands on it and claim it as their own! 

Thus, making my efforts at actually selling  some of my treasures, a mute point. There is an upside to having them confiscate these.  I have insisted that if they pilfer these bracelets, they must at least put themselves to good use and become spokesmodels for my product! 

So recently, my daughters started coming home with lists of friends who are waiting to purchase one of my bracelets! I have a picture in my head of each of them in class, modeling their bracelets, twisting it this way and that to catch some sunlight and make it really bling!

I am aiming to have these cute bangles on my new Etsy store, sweetgirlcrafts, within the next couple of days, so come check it out!  That is If I can make enough bracelets to actually fullfill the friend requests while keeping the mini moochers at bay!

Sweet Crafting!

Dee Dee

Monday, November 14, 2011

Dumpster diving!

Tuesday is trash day around here and as I drive through the neighborhood on my way to work, I always take a lap around to see if there are any good finds!
I made my two daughters get out of the car once and grab what looked like some nice Lego boards (they were!) what a score!  I also picked up an old chest of drawers once that proved to be a very useful storage piece for me!
One day a couple of months ago, I spotted a real find.  I have been looking for awhile for a small stool to repurpose into a side table for my family room.  Nothing special, just a nice wooden stool.  Well, lucky me, on a Tuesday trash day, I found just that.  A small wooden stool sitting out by the curb, just waiting to be picked up! I wasted no time and snatched it up! (My daughters were with me but this time I decided it was my turn to dive!).
This stool was in good condition, didn't need much work.  A light paint job on the legs, then a little scruffing to look "nicely" worn-in.  The light wooden seat needed something special though.  This took me some time to figure out what to do with it.
At first, I thought about painting a clock face on it.  I worked hard to find the right face to copy to paint on there, but nothing really inspired me.
Then I thought, maybe some vintage style numbers or a mural of some sort, but no, it was still not right.
I have been a fan of the vintage prints on The Graphics Fairy and during one of my browsing sessions, I happened upon a really great French Typography Image that I just loved.  Finally, this was my inspiration!
Some painting and scruffing later...I had my finished stool/side table. My one daughter saw the finished product and said "Cool table Mom! Where did you get this?" I had to remind her that this was the same stool I picked from the curb and that I "fixed" it up! She couldn't believe it!
Check it out!

It looks really great and it looks even better sitting next to my chair in my family room and is a great little resting place for my glass of wine!  The best thing is that it practically cost me nothing...have to love that! 

I am writing this Monday night, so tomorrow is Tuesday and another trash day.  Who knows what treasures I might find!

Happy crafting!
Dee Dee

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Crafting is Excercise!

I am new to the business of crafting.  I have always considered myself to be a creative person, and did projects on my own, here and there, but until recently, haven't devoted a ton of time to crafting because I was working full-time.  I am trying to get myself going, but I am a little slow moving...

Like the expression, the hardest part of exercise is getting yourself to the gym, I sometimes feel like the hardest part of crafting is to start doing!

Some of us are naturals at doing. My business partner, ( is an uber-crafter  and works at such a frantic pace that it makes me look like a craft slug!  Sometimes I am mentally exhausted just thinking about how feverishly she works!

However, it also a good kick in the butt to get my craft a** moving! She is kind of like a personal trainer in the world of crafting, complete with many glimmering before and after photos of her crafting success stories!

So In my effort to start doing, I am stealing precious minutes or hours to devote to creating something unique and special.  I now have developed a special appreciation for those that spend hours a day perfecting their handy work.  I also now have a more realistic view of why, as a consumer, we pay for items that we know darn well we can create on our own, even if the price seems a little higher than we would like!

There is, however, a great pay-off to all of this exercise.  Being able to lose myself for hours in a project and feeling the satisfaction of creating something on my own is like exercise euphoria!  And as physical exercise has become a habit and way of life for me, so too is this crafting business!  Slowly but surely, I am becoming a more efficient crafter...

I may never be an uber-crafter,  but life is a marathon, not a sprint, and I am happy to be keeping a steady pace!

Sweet Crafting!

Dee Dee