Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Skirting the skirt aka upcycled jammies

What to do, what to do...

Tonight instead of settling down for a long Autumn's nap, I sprang from my bed to watch capsule wardrobing.

Taking a quick inventory of my partial fall wardrobe, I remained undecided.  And as The Clash played, "Should I stay or should I go" in my head, I started browsing through my vintage, boho, and edgy classic pieces. Right when I started to think "nothing gives", I found it.

Sometimes I just can't pass on the urge for a good thrift store hunting trip. The red skirt I held in my hand was from one of those hunting ventures, and once thought to be a gem. At one time I absolutely loved the flared bottom.

But the length was very much like something Goldilocks's would have encountered. Too short for a long formal skirt, and much too long for a sassy short skirt. Besides, the elastic waist looked frumpy. 

The fit was bad mostly due to the fact that it was not a top designer, but instead manufactured by an underwear company. At least it was cozy.

Even though the skirt should have been tossed, something inside of me was determined to make it a useful piece.

So I quickly pulled it over my head to see if it might be a better shirt. Come to find out, I actually liked the elastic a neckline.
My mind was made up. My game plan was to cut into the side seams to make holes for my arms. I was too excited to measure and chalk the cutlines and ended up cutting the armholes too long. But no problem, I just cut tabs, stretched the tabs, and knotted them like any other T-Shirt hack.
I now have a new red dress for bumming around the house in. 
Well, I guess I was successful at reducing the number of items in my closet. As for reducing the number of items in my pajama drawer? Maybe I'll give Hubby back his concert T-shirt... nahhh!

And we all lived happily before and after 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Horse trailer renovating: inside The Sparrow

Now that we brought Sparrow home, it was time to get to know her.

I was hoping for a rain, and got it. This showed me any leakage.

The next day I paid a visit to a few hardware stores.  I bought a clear water sealant spray, peel and stick rubber striping for car windows, expanding foam sealant, clay sealing putty and caulking. Boy, I was like a kid in a candy store!

I climbed a ladder to spray sealant on the roof seams and added clay putty to exposed seams behind the exterior chrome trim.

It was a tough job. The heat index was 106 and my clay putty was getting sticky and unmanageable. I could only smooth it in crevices with wet fingertips. But if my 70 year old dad can lay brick for his landscaping, I was determined to do this. I would not recommend it. I nearly lost my voice and needed to rehydrate as I waited for the heartbeat in my head to calm down. I was able to finish before more rains came.

I had a hunch that more work needed to be done. It got cooler when evening came and Hubby hooked me up with some lighting. I could then work in the cooler evenings.
The time had come for the start of some elbow grease. Removal of old interior caulk.

Once the old caulking was removed, I used a steel brush and wiped away the residue before applying new caulk.

When the next rain came we were water tight. Except for a sliding side window. It wouldn't lock shut.  since we had plenty of other means to ventilate, I sealed it shut with expanding foam sealant. Ugly, but it worked.

Next job? Paint.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Meet The Sparrow

One late Sunday night, I was once again drawn to the internet. Hubby and I had ended our weekend visiting what we thought might be our "brick and mortar" storefront property. But we quickly learned that a slum lord's patchwork job was all that we could fit into a "wise" budget. That night, I was still searching for options.

I ventured over to our local Craigslist page and there she was. "Travel trailer $1700", and she was within a half hours drive from home. Boy, did that get the gears in my thinking cap going!
She was a horse trailer that was converted to toy trailer for hauling a pair of motorcycles. To Sturgis. Funny. You would think if you had a motorcycle and went to Sturgis, you'd ride. Not roll the bikes in a trailer, sucking down gallons of gas hauling a few hundred miles, just to park nearby....and ride in. La-ame. Maybe I'm missing something here.

Well the owner would only budge $50 plus the removal of the bike racks.

I was totally depending upon Hubby to initiate any backing out on this purchase. I was starting to get cold feet over the caulking and rust. But the floor and trailer frame was good.

It was a beautiful sunny day, and Hubby trusted my lead on this dream. (Better than our brick-and-mortar pipedream). Besides. The owner swore she only leaked from the rear windows. Not thinking to run a hose over her, we hauled her home. (In a borrowed truck). Yup, we literally got the cart before the horse... sorta. And you guessed it. Two days later, rain.

But she was love at first sight.

I told myself that I only had three chances to find and seal up any leaks.

I was both excited and afraid. Pinterest  YouTube and Google became very quick education.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Synthetic Wine Cork Coaster Tutorial

At a recent friend's wedding we decided to confiscate all the wine corks from the bar.

When we got back home I started searching for a fun gift to make our Newlyweds.

Since our corks lacked any cool printing on the side, our project choice was limited.

I found images online of hot pads made from synthetic wine corks. But, if you needed heat to make them, why would you use heat on them afterwards? Dweeee.

We chose to make them smaller and call them drink coasters.

Our friends did tell us that they loved the coasters, and thought it was cool that they were made from their wedding reception corks.

It has been over a year, and I still use my prototype daily to hold my morning coffee cup.

I won't list step by step instructions since a picture speaks a thousand words. And video just catches every move.


Monday, October 17, 2011

From Shabby Eeeek to Mod

Shabby Eeeek or Shabby Chic               Mod Make-over

One thing I will need to admit is the fact that I can't resist a good art gallery, museum, flea market, yard sale or auction.  And one must not forget to mention the hidden treasures that are ready to be discovered in antique shops and thrift shops.  Important things I carry: anti-bacterial gel and magnifying lens, and a list of needed items.

Boy, was I thrilled when I ran across this old vanity swivel chair on "the FREE table" at a local shed sale.

Shabby Chic or Shabby Eeeek!

I admit, I peeked under the skirt.  And once I saw its sexy legs, I knew I was in love.  So home she came.  And off came her skirt.


First I thought the original covering was vinyl.  My hopes were up!  It was fabric, though durable, there was staining and one button had popped through the fabric.  Not to mention, the swivel was broken.

Broken swivel? No worry.  Use a metal Lazy Susan

I remembered that I had a Lazy Susan swivel leftover from when my girls were small.  The intended use was so their doll house could rotate, but it really wasn't necessary.

Ta Da!  ( Lazy Susans cost about $9 )

The most challenging thing I found was removing the old swivel.  Here's what I did.  Use the broken swivel image and the Lazy Susan image above as a guide.
  1. Unscrew the mechanism from the seat base by removing visible screws that are attached to the base.
  2. When these screws are removed you can lift the legs and swivel.  Stand it up so the swivel is on top.
  3. Look at the swivel (or any lazy susan) there are large and small holes.
  4. Rotate the LARGE hole until you see a screw beneath it. 
  5. Remove that screw and rotate to where the others should be attached to the legs.
  6. Once all the screws are removed, reverse the procedure to attach the new swivel/Lazy Susan
Now it was time to "Make it Mine".  A friend had recently given me some leftover paint.  And the pink can was calling my name.

The leftover pink paint attacked a piece of wicker too!

Remembering a local fabric store (Hancock Fabrics).  I immediately went to their website and printed off a coupon with full intentions of buying new fabric for this chair.  Instead, I found that their upholstery vinyl was on clearance for $3 a yard!!   I then stopped by Home Depot to get some amo for my staple gun.

A designers gun and amo.

Guess what!  This was my 1st upholstery project!  I may not have the best technique, but here's what I did:
  1. Re-used the lining/cusion that came with the chair and stapled it down.
  2. Next center the chair seat on the underside of the vinyl upholstery fabric.
  3. Fold over and staple down 4 sections of the fabric. North, east, south & west.
  4. Starting nearest to each of these 1st four staples, gently pull & fold enough fabric to take a staple.
  5. One on each side of these 1st four staples. 
  6. Then firmly & gently pull, fold and staple the remaining space.
  7. Trim off the extra vinyl.

My finished project!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mama likes her garden

There's something about childish play that my mom has never let go of.  I see it in her art studio, the gifts she gives and her garden.

Her artwork and stories reflect characters and their lifestyles which can only be found in a fantasy garden.  Although I do not have any of her artwork, I do have a copy of one of her stories. "The Bog".

Her gardens have become homes for adopted Gnomes, fairies and insects.   Notice how Mama Gnome clings to her baby outside of their boot home while Papa Gnome cautiously watches passerbys such as us. 

Nothing beats California weather when it comes to gardening and a dip in the pool.

Occasionally a rescue is needed from the swimming pool.

Caught me taking a picture of "me taking a picture" of mom.  There is plenty to see and learn about in her garden.   I probably should ask her how many different plant species she has.  The reply would either be "alot" or "not nearly enough".

A perfect place for lemonade or tea.

If this is what an empty nester's backyard looks like, I can hardly wait!  But I'm certain that the inner Hippy Chick in me would use banner flags or Moroccan decor.

My parents have their HOME SWEET HOME.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Rockin around the Christmas tree



As my 17 year old would say, "Only in my house!"

This years Christmas tree turned out to be FUNFETTI.  Although, I must confess.  My first inspiration was to get a tie-dye look.

It all started with my daughter's black light party last year.  We had an old white artificial tree.  I thought it would glow under a black light, and it did.  But a blue/white glow wasn't enough for me, so I added flourescent pink and orange.  Unfortunately, The colors could only be seen upclose, from a distance it still looked blue/white.  

In daylight my flourescent painted tree looked pink. For me, way too  common.  Feeling an itch to re-use and save the earth (and our checking account), I decided to "Paint the Roses Red". Yes. I was planning to paint the tree.  So out came my spray and acrylic paints.  And I turned up the tunes.  No way was I going to listen to old Bing and dream of a "White Cristmas".  Instead, I pulled up Pandora Radio and listed to Tower of Power, James Brown and "Played some funky music 'white girl'"!

 With yellow enamel spray paint I randomly added yellow spots to the interior and exterior tree branches.  Then adding bright acrylic colors to my pallet, I again randomly placed colors as well as patterns such as this for a tie-dye look using a 1 1/2" wide trim brush.

With my new tree looking less alive than my old Grateful Dead T-shirt, I decided it needed to look alot more like a party.  For streamers(tinsel) I used bright ribbons in co-ordinating colors.  And since I've gone this far, the reflective qualities of  CD's were a no brainer for ornaments. The DVD's and CD's even reflected prisms of colorful little rainbows through out the room. 

This is what happens when you force a city girl into the country.

Have a blessed Christmas.