Thursday, June 30, 2011

Don't throw that away. I can fix it

Posted by: Paulette

Years ago when my husband's parents moved from NM to UT, they left us with a porch swing. I loved the idea of having a place to sit and watch the kids play, but for years after we moved to AZ, it was abandoned and even abused. The frame was still good, but the wood had rotted away around the bolts and the chains had disappeared. I think they might be in the Halloween decor box! When I took the remaining slats off, I had to cut off some of the blots because they were so rusty. Combined with the rust color that the swing had been painted to mimic redwood, I couldn't tell the difference between rust and paint. My first experience with a hack saw was a good one. I was surprised at how fast the saw cut. 
I never want to throw away things that can be fixed up and so after a couple of trips to the home improvement store for supplies, we got a "new" porch swing. I used 2 by 4s for the wood slats and cut them to size using the old slats as a guide. Then I drilled the holes for the new bolts and primed and painted the slats and reassembled the swing using new chain and S hooks. the whole process, not including the trips to the store, took about 5 hours. And I have a new tan to show for the working outside in the 110 degree weather.
The kids love it, and the bright color makes me happy when I look at it. And as I mentioned before it's a great place to sit and watch the kids play. That is when we can get the kids off of it!

New Doll Ghost girl

Posted by: Paulette

I don't yet have a name for this doll. I am open to suggestions. Every once in a while I get into a Tim Burtonesque mood and want to create something cute and dark. fortunately for me, I have a bit of a fan club for this sort of thing and when this particular muse strikes, I know just where to go. is a great place to find artists whose work you admire and to have swaps of yours and their work. Besides being a great forum for sharing your work, it's also a great place to organize such swaps and keep people honest. Since I've swapped often enough with certain people, we just do our own personal swaps and leave Craftster out of it. I love that I've met some talented zaney people there and we've become friends through Facebook as well as Craftster.
 I know we're nowhere near Halloween yet, but, I love that time of year, and this time I've gotten a jump on the crafting for it. Who cares that it's 115 degrees outside. I was inspired by some Glamorous ghost dolls on Craftster with their big emotive eyes, and decided that I wanted to make my own version. This doll is going to my friend Alexz in Oregon, and she will be sending me a package of Halloween decor custom designed her way. She has the nickname of Spooky Pooky and it fits her to a "T."

This doll was made of materials that I had on hand. Scraps of material, Prismacolor colored pencils, acrylic craft paints and even a pillowcase. The pattern is mine, and I tried some new things this time around. Her body construction is 5 pieces, and her knees are jointed. I would loved to have had her fingers articulated, but the doll is so small turning the fingers was impossible. Her head is 4 pieces, and her nose is sewed on separately.

Her dress is my own design. The front of the bodice is gathered. The skirt and sleeves are eyelet lace, and oover the whole thing is a whisper of fabric to give the illusion that she is disappearing.  She sits with her knees pulled to her chest and her hands wrapped around them. I imagine that she is thinking, "I'm not too happy about being here." And is making herself as small as possible the way children do when they want to disappear.
I may or may not be offering this pattern in my Etsy shop. I haven't decided yet, and I would still have to write up the instructions for assembly. Her hair is polyester batting hand sewed on, and hand painted with periwinkle streaks. I have no doubt that Spooky Pooky will love her!

I Won! craftsman 5 drawer tool center

Posted by: Paulette
While at Ace Hardware a week ago getting paint mixed, I noticed that they were having a Dad's Day drawing for a new craftsman 5 drawer tool chest. I know I'm not a dad, but my husband doesn't use the tools, I do, and there was no stipulation that you had to be male to enter the drawing, so, I filled out the paper work, and thought, "I wonder how much spam this is going to send to my e-mail." And promptly forgot about entering the contest. Until I got a phone message on Saturday from the guy at Ace telling me that I'd won the drawing. He laughed a little when he said "dad's Day drawing." It is kinda funny a woman won.
Nice, huh? I will be organizing all of my tools into ONE place this weekend. No more going to 5 different places in the house to find my tools. And the best part is that it locks up tight, so I won't be wondering where my hammer is when it's actually out in the back yard rusting. Now, if only I could lock up my nice kitchen knives too, then the boys couldn't get a hold of them!
What you see in the picture is the cabinet with the tool box sitting on top. The lower half is actually hollow, and the tool box fits inside. But I will probably be leaving the tool box stacked on top and stowing my cordless drill and jigsaw inside the cabinet part.
I've never won anything before, so I'm pretty excited. In case you're wondering like I was, this baby retails for about $200. NICE!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Scones for a cause

Posted by: Paulette
A wonderful friend of mine, Jill, is an angel who adopts special needs children. Jill travels thousands of miles and meets these special kids and then falls in love with them and leaves part of her heart behind while she does a ton of paperwork and dreams of some day being able to take those kids in her arms again and bring them to her home. She is currently holding an auction to raise the money to bring two of her children home. This woman is my hero for all that she does to save these children from living a less than full life in an orphanage in their country of origin. She spends thousands of dollars to bring these kids home and then to take care of them for the remainder of their lives. She adores her children and loves being a mom.

When she asked for some donations for her auction, I offered up a doll that I'd made and then later offered to make some scones and lemon curd. The links for the recipes that I used will follow.
Traditional English scones are a sweet biscuit and usually use currants. I used orange flavored cranberries and orange zest in these delicious scones. A combination of real butter, milk, sugar and flour give these scones a wonderful crumb. Add to that a traditional lemon curd made with eggs, sugar, butter, lemon juice and lemon zest and you're almost ready for tea. Scones make a great breakfast or dessert.
The winner of this auction will get 8 scones and a pint of lemon curd.

Recipes below!
Cranberry scones recipe
Lemon curd recipe

Go here to bid:
Pierce Family Adoption Auction

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A thrifted $3 antique light fixture

Posted by: Paulette
As long as I've lived in this house (8years) we've had this ugly lamp hanging in our front entry way. I've just ignored it up until now, but , I know how to change out light fixtures and so, I can change it!

Beyond ugly!
While shopping at a thrift store recently with a friend, I snagged a great buy. An antique light fixture for $3. I couldn't believe my luck, and I knew exactly where I wanted to put it. Antique light fixtures have wires that are covered in fabric, so I had to buy a lamp kit and replace the bulb housing, but that was it for this project. Some soap and water and the thing was as good as!
Here it is.
 I love milk glass, and this lamp has the same effect.
This is the kind of project I like. Easy and cheap.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I can make that ! A crocheted rug

Posted by: Paulette
While trolling Pinterest one day I came across a beautiful crocheted rug. At the time I thought it was an afghan. I'm glad it wasn't because I thought to myself, I can make that. I stuck with it to complete the rug, but I don't think I would have finished an afghan. Why? you ask. Because I have this strange personality quirk that likes to reinvent the wheel. The first thing I should have done was to look up an afghan pattern on the internet and followed that. One of my other pins was a crocheted flower. And I got it into my mind that I needed to make my own version. I even experimented to learn how to make this flower. So a project that should have taken me a week to do, took well over a month. I probably should lean from t his lesson, but I won't. After learning how to make the flower, I had to figure out how to connect all of these flowers. Some more experimenting. When I finally had it all put together, I needed a backing. the original used canvas. I decided to use non-skid shelf liner. Attaching the little rug to it would have been a lot easier if I had a walking foot for my sewing machine. But I'm cheap, so I won't be getting one any time soon. By now, I'm just glad it's done.
So a tutorial is not forthcoming on this project. I'll just tell you how not to do it. Here's the original inspiration, in case you're curious.

Urban Outfitters