January Doldrums.

Instagram has made me a terrible blogger. It’s just so easy to snap a picture with my phone and throw it up on Instagram with a pithy comment, and then I feel as though I’ve blogged about it, but I really haven’t. Also, as I tell Shara, I have imaginary conversations with you guys all the time in my head and end up feeling like I told you about the last awesome thing I bought/sold/found/left behind already. PLUS, it’s January, and cold, and grey, and there just haven’t been a whole ton of thrifting/yard sale opportunities lately. EXCUSES, EXCUSES.

And, actually, today was gloriously warm — nearing 70 degrees. Tomorrow, down to 22 degrees. I know better than to complain, though– my old employer, Chicago Public Schools, is closing the system down for an amazing third day this winter due to extreme cold temperatures. In the seven years I worked for them, the school system closed once, when we had nearly two feet of snow, and then for only one day. Polar Vortex, indeed. I hope that all of you are staying warm and have at least a day or two of respite as we have been having. Today I spray painted a few frames and finished a sign while I could get outside…and cajoled Twin A into posing with the finished product.

So…I’ve been getting a little too into the filters on Instagram. Forgive me my artistic license.

I’ve actually been getting a bit more crafty than usual these days. I think I showed you a photo of the pennants I was making from vintage Little Golden books — I kind of upped the ante on these by backing them with felt. I think it makes them much more durable and they also hang a lot more nicely. Of course, it takes a lot more time and costs a bit more, so I have to charge more for them, and I just don’t know if anyone is going to want to pay $16 for them — but it’s really not worth making them for any less than that.

And you can see in the photo the quilt pennants — I have strips of a crazy quilt I bought over the summer that I’m turning into banners as well. I’ve also been working on chalkboard prints — because I’m always coming in on the tail end of a trend. This is the first one I made, currently framed and in the booth so we’ll see…

This is a bunch of stuff I took up to the booth on Friday. I tried to pull all my pinks, reds, and frilly stuff to hint at Valentine’s Day. That’s the biggest chalkboard I’ve ever made, I think — I would be just as happy if it didn’t sell because it would be fun to keep for the kids. To the right of the picture you can see the pallet bookshelf I made.

What a comedy of errors this was. First of all, I bit off more than I could chew last week and was trying to juggle too many projects. The bookshelf was finished except for the bottom — I needed to screw a piece of wood into the bottom and then finish painting. Every piece of wood I had that fit perfectly cracked when I screwed it in. So I ended up using a super thick piece of wood that wasn’t quite as wide as the bottom, stripped the screws, banged them in anyway with a hammer, and then it was sitting a little off-kilter. All because I got into too big a hurry and didn’t think things through. It’s out in the garage waiting for me to try and figure out how to fix it. First of all, it’s really too heavy to be practical, unless you wanted it to sit on top of a dresser or something. Oh well. Not all experiments pan out, I guess!

I haven’t hit any great auctions lately, and thrift store shopping has been a bit dry, but here’s a quick run down on what I’ve picked up since we last talked.

Some nights (okay, a lot of nights) I sneak out when Justin gets home from work and go thrift store shopping. I know it’s probably not the best time to get the good stuff but it’s so peaceful at the stores and such a nice way to wind down from a stressful day (which most of them seem to be lately, as Emme is entering a stage that surpasses the Terrible Threes and zips straight to Demonic). One day last week I found the dog on the right at one thrift store, which totally made me happy, then the other four at the next thrift store I went to. I was going to offer them to my friend Kristie, who collects dogs, and then take whatever she doesn’t want to the booth, but I have fallen in love with them and am trying to decide whether to keep them or not if she doesn’t want them. I seem to be adopting more and more of her collections which is going to make me seem like a stalker pretty soon.

Last Saturday I went to an estate sale around 10:30, having slept in instead of getting up early. As anxious as I am for yard sale season to kick into gear, I’m dreading the return of those early mornings. I checked Craigslist and saw this estate sale, but it didn’t sound interesting enough to get up early…big mistake. BIG MISTAKE. The first thing I saw when I walked up to the door was an industrial file cabinet with about thirty little drawers with a sold sign on it. Turns out it sold for $30. There was enough good stuff left for me to know that there was probably a ton of great, old items I would have bought. I got some aprons for a quarter a piece, a few Christmas tablecloths for a couple of bucks, and this wedding dress from 1962 for $10. Once I figure out how to steam the netting it will photograph much better. It’s headed to Etsy. I also got a vintage cowgirl shirt with embroidered flowers on the back for $2…also Etsy bound.

I also got this hat for $3, one of the best hats I’ve ever bought. I just love it. That same day I stopped by the Salvation Army near my house and found two more hats for $2 each. I haven’t bought hats in forever.

A couple of Saturdays back, Kristie and I took the 45-minute drive to nearby Ft. Smith for a flea market that Kristie and Bailey used to go to on a semi-regular basis. I got another quilt top there for $15 that I am passionately in love with.

SO MANY wonderful old fabrics. I don’t know what I’ll do with it. Kristie once got a quote from a quilter for finishing up a quilt top and she said it was over $200…so that’s out. I am no where near patient enough to finish it by myself. I would love to make curtains for a nursery out of it but it’s not big enough to use it that way in the twins’ room. I did go to an antique mall not too long ago where the owner of a booth had lined her walls with quilt tops…probably I will just keep it and look at it every two days or so. 🙂

I also got a big piece of vintage fabric that looks and feels just like a feed sack. It was only $6 and I know I’ll be able to use it for something.

And this chalkware guy, who is big (around two feet high):

I think he’s ADORABLE but I seem to be the only one who loves him. I think he’s going in the twins’ room, unless they give him the same stink eye that everyone else seems to.

And finally, I painted the stool/ironing board/step ladder thingy I got at Potter’s House a while back. Remember this?

On one of the few warm days we’ve had in a while, I scrubbed this sucker down and painted it.

And then I fell in love with it, which is highly impractical, because I picked a color that was all wrong for any room in my house. It really is a handy thing to have around as it serves many purposes. I have it marked kind of high in the booth so I won’t feel bad if it sells, and I won’t feel bad if it doesn’t sell. You know that game, right?

Today, as promised, it’s freezing cold weather again…but I know Spring is right around the corner. Let’s try and keep the faith!

January 27, 2014 - 11:17 am

Sarah use those curtain clips and use the quilt top as a curtain in any room, I have been putting them everywhere. you can also use it as a shower curtain over the plastic liner.

January 27, 2014 - 11:44 am

Shara Was that the Estate Sale on Ora in Fayetteville? I thought about going yesterday, but assumed everything would be gone. Actually, I was going to go Saturday, but guess what time I woke up? NOON. I never do that. My whole day was shot and I was still sleepy. I noticed the ‘Hello Sunshine’ stool was properly buried and hidden in your booth. 😀

That photo of Jack with the sign should be on a greeting card. Also, he needs some shoe laces.

January 28, 2014 - 7:20 am

Chanelle I’m kind of in love with that mega Cupid guy. I don’t want him, but glad you have him so I can look at him. That Fenton Silver Crest two tiered serving piece might do super well on Etsy. It’s becoming the new thing. I flip every one I find. They are on my super hit list.
I really enjoy your blog, Instagram is not a substitute.

January 28, 2014 - 6:25 pm

Ann Wow, what great treasures!! I love the wedding dress and hat and that bookshelf is great!!

January 28, 2014 - 11:46 pm

Laurie So much awesome!! I’m right there with you and the Instagram filters. 🙂

I like the Little Prince and LOVE the buntings/pennants and think $16 is more than fair. Try Etsy if they don’t sell in the booth.

I’m dying to get some organizing done in my creative spaces but neither are well insulated. :-/ Come on Spring!!!!

January 28, 2014 - 11:48 pm

Laurie Ummmm… I don’t know what that second weird comment is. Feel free to delete. 🙂

January 31, 2014 - 11:39 pm

Pixie Vintage I love those pennants you made, and I think they are worth every penny of $16. The ironing board thingy is fantastic, I would not be able to part with it 🙂 I love looking at all the vintage fabric pieces in the quilt top, and the collection of dogs is great. You got some awesome stuff!

April 20, 2014 - 8:21 pm

Lara Jo Pixie Vintage, you are too sweet. I ended up selling only one of the pennants, so the rest are home with me right now. I think I’ll take them to the flea market I’m doing in June. And the ironing board didn’t sell, so it’s possible that I won’t have to part with it after all! Thanks so much for reading and commenting, I really appreciate it!