November 29, 2011

A couple Antiques I picked up...

I've mentioned before that there is an antique shop in Concord, MA that I adore.  They have some amazing things there - and I often can't help but pick up a thing or two when I get the chance to go in.  I have purchased antique keys, coins and and buttons from the 1800's.
This sheet music is also from the 1800's, hand written on thick paper - I believe the woman at the antique shop said it is from France.  Since I play the piano, I fell in love with it!  It was only a few dollars, and it looks really great framed and hanging above my piano!  I am contemplating putting a vinyl saying on the glass - but I also really like it as it is.

My next find was also in Concord, but this one was at an antique yard sale.  Each year, over 1 weekend, these people have a yard sale - and I happened to be driving by at the right time!
When I saw this bucket, I pretty much fell in love with it.  It is obviously old, and used - it is very sticky, even after a good suds bath. 

The colors of the flowers are bright, and I just love the shape of the handle.  It took me a while to figure out what it was, but as soon as my mom saw it she said, "I bet it's a well bucket," and I think she is right.  I have no idea how old it really is, but it is a fun thing to have around the house.  I put newspaper in the bottom half, and filled the top half with cinnamon scented pine cones for the holiday season, and it makes the living room smell great!

Are you guys as much of a sucker for antiques as I am??

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November 26, 2011

Handmade Paper Bag Gift Tags

Yes, I went black Friday shopping :)  It was crazy, but fun, and I got a few Christmas gifts crossed off the list!  And since some of them are for out of state family, I started wrapping already! 
I realized as I was wrapping though, that I had no gift tags....
Then, I remembered seeing these gift tags here at Sugar Bee Crafts - made by The Gunny Sack.
I thought these were so clever!!!
And look how awesome my gift looks:

Would you believe that these are made with brown paper bags??  I love stuff like this.  Here are the images I printed onto the brown bag pages - including the "to" and "from" back side of the tag...

I cut them out by hand, matching a front and back piece together. 
I actually sewed my two pieces together - just matched up the paper, wrong sides together, and stitched around the edge. 
My stitch was set pretty wide, so that it didn't completely perforate the edge. 

Then, I punched a hole in each tag, and tied really long pieces of raffia through the hole, so that I could wrap them all the way around presents and tie them (instead of using ribbon).

Man, are they cute!!  I found a bunch of images online, and there are a million more you could find (I even made a few Hanukkah ones for my Jewish friends!).  I love adding another element of decoration to each gift - it makes it so festive :)
I hope you will go cut up a few brown paper bags and make some!  Your friends will be so impressed :)

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November 23, 2011

Family Definition Vinyl on Vintage Window

Have I told you how much I love living in New England??  Mostly for the reasons you could imagine - but also for some reasons that only a crafter would consider :)

One of those crafty lady loves is trash day (and old houses).
Yes, I was rather giddy when I picked up this beautiful old window from the side of the road on trash day.  I now have about half a dozen in my basement - one other with a full, unbroken pane of glass like this one - others with 6 panes of glass - all with beautiful rough, shabby, peeling edges that make a girl like me swoon!

I have some ideas milling around in my head for the windows with multiple panes of glass, but this huge window with a big blank piece of glass (25" x 19"!) was just begging to have vinyl put on it (and of course, the vinyl can come off if I ever want to do something different).
I chose to put a sweet definition of family on the window...

And here it is propped on top of my piano (which I use pretty much like a mantle since I don't have a fireplace).

It is nearly impossible to photograph since the wall, frame and vinyl words are all white - but it looks beautiful, shabby, old, and it really makes me smile! 

So, I am curious, how many of you live in towns that have unlimited curb side trash pickup like we do, and just can't help but pick up "treasures" from the side of the road??  (Much to my husband's chagrin, even my 5 year old daughter hollers out, "Mom, a treasure!" when she sees wooden goodies on the road on trash day...I've trained her well :)  )
What kinds of things do you look for and pick up?

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November 20, 2011

Grateful Frame

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As I said before, I do not have many Thanksgiving decorations.  I make a huge dinner, don't get me wrong, but I always seem to just gloss over the holiday in general in between the excitement of Halloween and the magnitude of Christmas.  So, I have kept my eye out this year for a few things I could do to add to my Thanksgiving decor, and consequently, my Thanksgiving spirit.
When I saw this Grateful sign over at Catherina's Creative Corner I FELL IN LOVE!!!

This project combines the best of so many worlds.  It is easy.  It is meaningful.  It is simple and stylish

For the background, I used a brown paper bag, and I wrote on it with a fine point sharpie.  The {Grateful} was cut in vinyl with my Silhouette (although stickers would work for this if you don't have a cutting machine) and the frame was repurposed - brought to life with a little spray paint.

Each member of my family (including my little ones) sounded off things they were thankful for as I sat writing this out.  It was so fun!  I could envision making this a Thanksgiving day activity - because to be honest, I think I will keep this out all year!!  And perhaps next year, I will ask my family members again what they are thankful for, and we can make a new list to put in the frame. 

I have seen many ideas that involve having family members express what they are thankful for, and then displaying them, but this one was by far my favorite!!  And it looks so cute with my (humble but slowly expanding) Thanksgiving decor...

And just so you all know - I am Grateful for you too :)

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November 18, 2011

Yarn Ball Christmas Wreath

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Last spring, my daughter and I had fun making a wreath together for her bedroom door.  It's been there ever since - and we figured it was time for a new wreath, more fitting for the season :)

When I saw this wreath at Two Junk Chix, I fell in love!  Plus, it looked like something my daughter could help me make...

The whole thing is really simple - different colored yarn balls, and some sparkly Christmas decor all glued onto a wreath form.  The result is a great combination of textures and colors and we love it!

To save on yarn, we rolled up newspaper into balls in a bunch of different sizes, and used them as the middle of the yarn balls...

My daughter helped me wind the yarn until all the newspaper was covered...

Look how many we made!  And all this was less than 3 skeins of yarn (we didn't even use a full skein of each color)!
She is such a sweetie:)

November 13, 2011

Places Painted Sign

My friend Ellen recently commissioned me to make her a sign.  She saw the idea here originally, to make a sign with the places you have lived - and she wanted one for her place. 
Isn't this such a cool idea?!

This is a great big piece of 18" x 24" piece of wood that I painted white with acrylic paint.
I used the same method as I did here on this sign, with vinyl lettering covering where I wanted to keep the white paint.

Here is a close up - you can see the pencil lines I used to make sure my words were straight...

Then, the whole thing got a few coats of black acrylic paint...

And the vinyl was pulled off to reveal the beautiful white letters...
Just a bit of touch up required, and then the whole thing got a few coats of protective spray. 
This is the first sign I have made that was really crisp... most of the ones I make are sanded and distressed.
I am really happy with the way it turned out - and so is my friend:)

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Shabby Apple Giveaway Winner! (and Facebook)

The winner of the Shabby Apple Necklace is

Comment #5 - Jennifer from Diary of a Working Mom
Congrats Jennifer! 

P.S. I have finally put Diary of a Crafty Lady on Facebook!
Feel free to "like" my page to keep up with even more craftiness that I don't always post on the blog :)

Have a great day!

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November 10, 2011

Scrappy Fabric Turkey {Tutorial}

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When visiting my friend the other day, she had this little turkey sitting on her living room table, and I LOVED it!  I don't have a whole lot of Thanksgiving decor, and this was just too floppy and cute to pass up!
I came home and made myself a pattern, and whipped out a few the next day...

These little guys are great, because they can be made with scraps of fabric, and you can really use any color scheme!

Want to make one (or ten) of your own?? 
Here is the tutorial:

November 5, 2011

Paint Stick/Paint Chip Color Matching Game

If you have kids - and are addicted to Pinterest, like me ;) - then you may have seen this pin floating around.
I thought it looked so clever, so I decided to make one for each of my girls.
This is one of those awesome projects that is quick, easy and FREEEEEE!!!  Okay - not quite free - but Really Inexpensive
All you need is a paint stirring stick (free), paint chips (also free), glue (really cheap), and clothes pins (also really cheap).  All the supplies came from the local hardward store.  The clothes pins were only $2.50 for about 30 of them. 

I painted the stir sticks white (totally optional) - and then used mod podge to glue the squares of paint chips to the stir stick (which I had cut to the size I wanted).  I glued the paint chips onto both sides of the stir stick (18 different colors in all), and a coordinating piece of each color paint chip to one side of a clothes pin. 
I left one end of the stir stick white - with no paint chips glued onto it - to use as a handle. 

I had to help my 2.5 year old squeeze the clothes pins open, but even my 4.5 year old loved matching the colors up.  I love having these kinds of activities to take in the car or to church, and if for any reason they get beat up, or clothes pins get lost, it is easy to make more!

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November 4, 2011

Shabby Apple Jewelry GIVEAWAY!!!! - CLOSED

So, you have all heard of Shabby Apple - the online boutique that sells beautiful woman's dresses....

Dresses from Shabby Apple

But did you know that the same Shabby Apple also sells....

and JEWELRY!? 

Shabby Apple has all these fun and beautiful items - and even more - and today they are
giving away a piece of their vintage style jewelry to one Diary of a Crafty Lady reader!

This unique piece of jewelry called "Through the Looking Glass" opens up like a locket to hold a tiny treasure inside!

The glass bauble has a fish-eye magnifying effect and with a little 4mm space inside, you could showcase a dried flower, a tiny picture, a little charm...
you could go crazy with all the things you could put inside! 
 You could change it for every season...think of putting tinsel and a little "Peace" or "Noel" charm inside for Christmas :)

Valued at $68 it hangs from a 24" sterling silver chain - and it would look amazing on you!

So, do you want to win one!?

There are 5 different ways you can enter:
(leave 1 comment for each entry)
1) Visit Shabby Apple, and tell me what your favorite accessory from their site is. (1 entry)
2) Be a Diary of a Crafty Lady follower. (1 entry)
3) Like Shabby Apple on Facebook.  (1 entry)
4) Blog, Tweet or Facebook Post about this giveaway. (1 entry each)
5) Purchase something from Shabby Apple from now until the end of the giveaway. (Don't forget to use the 10% off code "craftylady10off"!)(5 entries!)

1 comment for each entry.  This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only - no exchanges for the winning piece.  Be sure to leave your email address in the comment so that I can contact you if you win!
Giveaway will be open until Saturday, November 12th at midnight E.T.

Shabby Apple is also offering our readers 10% off their purchase!
Use the code "craftylady10off" at checkout -- sweet!

Have fun shopping around!

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