Welcome to my blog about things I love to collect, refinishing furniture and decorating using flea market finds (with a few crochet projects now and then).Thanks so much for visiting!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Yes...More JUNK Sales...but so much fun!

As you can see...I've been no better at blogging this summer either!

Why did I think, when I was younger, that I would have so much free time when I hit 50!
(I'm way past that now!)
Instead I seem to have less and less time to do the fun things in life. Is it because the ol'body is moving more slowly??? Or are there just more things I want to do and not enough time in the day?

Anyway, I still seem to find time to hit the flea markets, occasional sales and garage sales...yes, that is my thing these last few years. I have no other money spending vice, just collecting junk!

Last month I met up with blogging friends Deb and Linda and we did a little 'junking'.
It was fun to see them again.

I scored on some street signs...
That plywood underneath the signs has now been cut up into 6" wide "boards" all stacked and packed for the bunkhouse floor that we'll install soon. We're late in heading out west this year.

Some of you may think I'm crazy but since I was a kid watching Gunsmoke with my mom on Monday nights, while my dad was at his bowling league, I thought saloon doors were kind of cool.
I figured some day it would be fun to get a set and incorporate them in my house some way.

Well, there they were...tagged Saloon Doors! I suspect they may have actually been doors leading into the kitchen in a cafe because I remember seeing that years ago too. They are solid wood and still have their hardware that works.

They'll be going in "the house that's not built yet". I picture swinging doors leading into the pantry. They'll hide the clutter (because I am not a super tidy person) but yet are easy access...hopefully it's a good idea!

Then last Saturday I stopped at a yard sale, or rather, dragged Mr. Wild to an 8:00 in the morning sale.
We were at this same farm house 2 years ago when the renters of a barn were selling their stuff. I inquired about the 2 wagon wheels but they belonged to someone else...oh well...forgotten until as we pulled into the driveway, the first people to arrive, there they were still leaning against the garage. I'm timid but Mr. Wild spoke right up and asked politely if they were for sale. They were and we got'em!

All chippy white and cheap too!

Funny how things happen!

The wheels will hang on "the house that's not built yet"...heaven knows I can not keep buying things for the house that's not built yet!!!

The week before that I visited a yard sale and picked up this wagon, I kind of get a kick out of Radio Astronaut! I never heard of that one before. I'm thinking I may take the wheels off, add shelves and hang it on a wall....maybe.
I also picked up the exact vintage shelf I was looking for and 2 frilly 50's lampshades for a buck each but I forgot to take pictures of them.

Plus there's more stuff...small things from flea markets but everything has found a new place in the house.

This Saturday is another flea market and then the following Saturday is yet another flea market.
The Elko/New Market flea is back after quitting for one sale (3 times a year)...are you going Deb? 

Thanks everyone for stopping by!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Crochet Rug Using Bias Fabric Strips

About 30 years ago an older woman explained to me how to crochet a rug using bias strips.
I made 3 rugs at that time. 
More recently I decided to try to use up some of this huge stash of quilting fabric purchased from about 1978 through 2010. I have way too much and am only saving out what I have already set aside for specific quilts or fabrics I really love.

It slipped my mind of exactly what I had done, after all these years, so I got online only to become frustrated with the methods I was finding and trying to do. I did remember that I had cut my fabric on the bias.
My problem...The strips are too wide, they are cut on the straight of grain and they suggest a large plastic crochet hook.
As we get older, our hands tend to 'wear out'. All of the hand work I do and 19 years of hand drawing rug hooking patterns has caused some serious tendonitus in my thumb joint (I never thought it would happen to ME!) Just glad it's not carpel tunnel.

Those wide strips cut on the straight of grain and that large plastic hook that doesn't slide as well as a metal hook was so painful that I threw what I had done in the trash, and I had only hooked a small circle!

So this prompted me to dig way back into my memory banks along with inspecting my older rugs that are still on the floor and holding up extremely well...after 30 years!

Here's what I consider a much easier way to crochet a rug using fabric strips....at least for me so I thought I would share.

If the strips are cut on the bias they have a little 'stretch' and will crochet significantly more easily than straight grain strips that won't 'give'.

I can use almost any piece of cotton fabric from my stash although the larger the piece the longer the strips. Fat quarters work too but a 1/4 yard cut is a bit too narrow but can still be used, you'll just end up with a lot of short strips.

My stash has been pre-washed, not sure if it really matters though...

Using a cutting mat, rotary cutter and a 24" ruler with a 45 degree line,
align the 45 degree line along the selvage  (Very bottom of the picture, click on pic for a larger image). This is a single layer of fabric and it does not matter if the right side or wrong side of the fabric is facing up.

Trim away the corner and discard.

Place your ruler on that bias cut and cut a 1" wide strip.

As the bias edge gets longer with more and more cuts, fold your fabric aligning the bias edges.
Continue cutting 1" strips until you can't stand to do it any longer! It does get boring!
I cut a small pile from each color of fabric I have and then mix them up, place them in a basket and bring the whole lot to the sewing machine.

The other thing I prefer is joining my strips using a sewing machine. I can sew a strip together in a quarter of the time rather than doing the other method of joining strips which I won't show here because I don't like the lump it creates and it just makes it harder to crochet.
I know some of you do not have a sewing machine or don't sew and you can still join the strips together using the other method but you will have to look at other blogs for that information. (it's when you slit each end and then slip the new strip thru the slit and pull tight)

Onto joining by machine...
place 2 ends together...opposite so that you have 2 little dog ears showing, one on each side.
For me it does not matter if the strips are right sides together, I just join them as they come and I don't pay any attention to it because the strips will twist as you crochet anyway.
Sometimes the right sides will show and sometimes the wrong sides will show.

Chain sew...meaning do not cut the threads between joins...just let the machine sew several stitches and then feed another pair of strips under the foot (you do not need to raise the pressure foot to do this).

Keep going until you have a large pile (or you get bored)
then start snipping the thread in between.

I snip about 5 or 6 joining threads, roll the strips into a ball, repeat snipping a few and repeat rolling...
Start crocheting!

When your ball is used up, sew together another pile of strips, roll into a ball and attach it to your last strip of your rug by machine (I have used a needle and thread when I have been away from home).

I use a metal crochet hook, Size K, as it slides so easily thru the fabric compared to a plastic...I have not tried wood. 
I love the vintage Boye crochet hooks most, they have a better 'hook' and it seems to grab the yarn (in this case...fabric) better than any others I have tried.

I crochet using a single crochet throughout the entire rug.
start with 3 chains, slip stitch into the first chain and from then on it's single crochet.

**You will have to increase or you'll end up with a bowl.**

To increase, make 2 single crochet in one space.
This you will have to judge on your own, there is no exact method of increasing.

I watch what my single crochet loops look like, if I'm pulling a loop way too far to my left in order to insert my hook into the next space, then I will make a 2nd single crochet in the same space before I move onto the next space.
It varies as the size of the rug changes.
I place the rug on the floor before adding a new ball and tug it a little and sort of gently force it into shape, if it won't go then you have definitely not increased enough, if it ripples you have increased way too much. Either way, you'll have to rip it out and start over so go slow and take a break...place it on a flat surface and see what it looks like.

I leave it lying flat on the floor when I'm not working on it, when I resume I find that it keeps it's shape. I then crochet a few rounds and back on a flat surface it goes...just to be sure I'm on the right track with my increases.

Amount of fabric you need?
I started with a very large pile and I have no clue how big this will get.
Once I finish this rug I will weigh it and measure the rug, that will give me a pretty good idea for future rugs...because yes!!! I can crochet this way with no pain or more damage to my hand!
Plus use up some of this ridiculous hoard of fabric for sturdy rugs.

I will add the amount of fabric and size here when the rug is finished.

As for the colors? I didn't really care what I chose, the darker blue may be a bit stronger than the rest but it gives it some interest rather than all of the colors being pretty much the same value.
After all, I want it to look old fashioned and scrappy. I hope it fades a little...maybe it will look 'vintage'!

I have another large pile of burgundy, browns and some green fabric all ready for the next rug because I can't wait to start another one...what a difference compared to total frustration with the wide non stretchy strips!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Cool Old Cast Iron Urn

I won!!! I'm one of those people who rarely win but I did this time!

There's a cute little shop in a small river town nearby that I tend to frequent often called 
(link above)

Lacy, the owner, was giving away a $100 gift certificate, I entered and to my surprise one morning last week I found a message that I had won!

I had my eye on this tall (over the knee), heavy urn with the most amazing patina. It looks like long ago it may have been painted green.

I had Mr. Wild set it next to the front door outside but realized I wanted to enjoy it more. Now it's inside sitting in front of one of my old chippy white doors.

If any of you are ever in the Afton, Minnesota area please stop by her shop!
Plus even better, she's opening a second shop in Hastings, Minnesota.
Both towns are fun river towns (St. Croix River) full of history and antique shops.

Thanks Lacy!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Just a few pretties...

I hope everyone had a nice and safe 4th of July!

Just a few little pretty things I found last weekend while out 'junking'.
They got as far as the back porch and looked sort of pretty sitting there so I decided to take a couple of pictures before I scooped them up to come inside and find a new home.
Love that old petticoat lace!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Belated Flea Market Finds

It's almost 2 months since my last post! How can that be!!! 
I sure didn't intend for that to happen.

I've been back in Minnesota for about a month now, spending all my time tackling weeds in my flower garden and trying to just catch up.
I finally unloaded the pictures from my camera last week and since it's a wet dreary day today I thought this was a good time to work on this.

It's been in the triple digits every day for days in Arizona, the warmest day so far has been 110!

This is what I brought home from the early May flea market.
I found another beautiful chandelier (made in Spain) from one of my favorite vendors, they are the sweetest couple!
She knew I was looking for one (I had a smaller one in mind but I hadn't told that to her previously).
They spotted this somewhere and purchased it with me in mind and kept it hidden in their truck until I came by their booth.

I couldn't resist it and they gave me such a good price on it. I did find a place to hang it but for now it's just on a hook until next winter.

Thanks Jackie and Petey!

I love the 2 candle holders/wall sconces and they are just what I needed on either side of an oil painting in the bedroom. I've been keeping my eyes open for just the right thing and these will look perfect. Again, no time to hang them...next winter. 
A super nice assortment of jewelry and a few other little treasures.

What's with me and the Redwork this last winter! I NEVER find it and I found the prettiest pieces 3 times this time. And super good prices so there's no way I'm not going to grab this!

Super deals on embroidery, some are a bit damaged but that's what I'm looking for to make into other projects. I can't cut up a pristine piece, I won't feel guilty cutting these up.

More embroidery but these are in great shape so they will stay as they are.

A bag stuffed full of crochet doilies and yolks

I absolutely love the chippy white bench. It's already sitting in my sewing room next to the window. When I fist saw this I thought garden but it fits so well in the room that I have to use it there. I have a beautiful vintage piece of fabric that I can make a cushion out of for this.

The cool frame was 5 bucks, it has newer wood appliques in the corners that I have since removed.
A display piece, not sure where that's going, some wrought iron and cast iron pieces, etc.

And these sweet little books with the most wonderful graphics, some great old cowboy songs too.

A cute little Scotty dog candy container

Another thing I've been looking for, just the right vintage mid century modern light for over the kitchen table in the bunkhouse for 10 bucks!
And a pretty embroidered tablecloth.

Then the very last thing I found...another gumball machine!
After painting the first one and filling it with buttons I was so happy with that and was wishing I'd find another one. And there it was...they were asking 20 bucks, I asked her if she could take less and she said how about 15! I was so happy! 
Deb at Garage Sale Gal said she filled hers with marbles and I loved that idea, low and behold I happened to find a good sized jar of marbles earlier that same day. Guess it was meant to be! Thanks for the idea Deb! I'm thinking I'll paint this one a color, maybe lime green, just for fun! Or maybe it will stay red...next winters project!

That's it for now. 
I took a bunch of pictures of what I accomplished on the AZ house to post. Looking at them now, it all looks so unfinished yet. I'll go through them and probably post some on the next rainy day.

Thanks to everyone who still leaves me comments seeing as I've been so poor at keeping up with everyone. I'm trying, it seems the older I get the less time I have not to mention the days go so much faster these last few years. I'm not giving it up though...I'll get back into the swing of things again!

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Miss Desert Rose's Rhinestones and Pearls

Flea market was Sunday and I found some awesome things that I'll post later.
I found a couple handfuls of rhinestone and pearl jewelry for super cheap so I added more bling to Miss Desert Rose today.

I had an awesome day visiting with my flea market vendor friends and I found some pretty neat pieces I'll try to show this week sometime. 
The days are flying by and the weather here has been nice and cool. We had quite a bit of rain yesterday and last night.
Everything smells so fresh and clean, it's going to be hard to leave here if the weather stays like this!
The forecast is below average all week.

The average high is 86, it's only 74 today and partly cloudy, light breeze and yellow trees blooming all across the desert.
I'm trying to soak in every second as much as possible.

Have a nice week!

Linking to: 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Pea Pickin'

Nothing like fresh peas from the garden.
They taste so sweet that I eat'em raw.

I just picked them a few minutes ago.
97 degrees today in sunny Arizona
I figured I better before they cooked in the shell :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Painted Parts Tray

Another project finished!
I bought this revolving parts tray last November with plans to have this finished way before this.
I love the old vintage revolving trays but a little pricey.
Actually I bought two of them. The first one my husband put together, the second one came with me to Arizona for my sewing room here.

I finally put it together and spray painted it with Rustoleum Canvas White (love that color!).

This is what they look like originally. We bought them at Harbor Freight (use the coupon and they are less than 20 bucks). Every box was broken open, I inspected the 2nd one before we left and I thought everything was there but when I started to put it together I found that there was a middle part that was missing, luckily it was for the 3 section tray and not one of the 6 section trays. I like the smaller 6 section trays better.
There are supposed to be two 6 section and two 3 section trays = four revolving trays total).

So I put it together anyway and I actually like the odd number of trays better plus it's not so tall. All in all it worked out just fine. 

I replaced the knob on top with a painted wood knob.
The hard part was finding enough stuff to fill it! 
Also you need to keep the weight in the trays balanced or it will look a little wonky.

Another corner of my sewing room, still not finished though.
I'm not sure I'll keep the child's millinery hat in that frame (I just hung that there last night).
There's a piece of fabric draped over the vintage chest of drawers (under the small black box) I plan to cover that little chest of drawers with that fabric...next winters project...I've already started a list!

And I couldn't resist adding the Cereus cactus flower that opened up full this morning...it's 7" across.

Next I hope to take a few pictures of the dining room, so far I really like how it's turning out.
One more flea market this weekend and then I can start loading up my van to drive back to Minnesota.
Thanks for stopping by!

Linking to:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Converted Gumball Machine

This is something I have wanted to do for a couple of years, take an old gumball machine and fill it with mother of pearl buttons.

I got out the cans of spray paint Sunday and painted this and one other project I'll save for next week (when I'm finished with it) I used Rust-oleum Canvas White because I like the shade of white so well, it looks like whipping cream, about the same shade as the mother of pearl buttons.

My sewing room still needs some work and most of all a new floor.
We're thinking of using strips of plywood to resemble planking in this house but first we'll see if we continue to like them in the bunkhouse this summer.

I picked up the vintage wood horses at the flea market this winter, not sure if they will stay there, just need to live with the room a little while and see how it all comes together, it's all still a work in progress...

I just had to take another picture of my favorite thing in this room, I added the strings of pearls and that just made it even better.

The gumball machine before. I found it out on a junking trip last summer with Deb from Garage Sale Gal for $15! I was so thrilled to find it! 

Thanks for stopping!

Linking to:

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A few stencil projects and my Big Heap finds

There's not a lot of storage space in this house with not having a basement or a garage.
I'm constantly using my ironing board to press my rug hooking backings but I don't want it sitting out  and had no place to put it so I searched the internet for an ironing board hanger idea.

So simple and super easy to do!
I picked up 2 hooks at ACE and positioned them on a leftover piece of wood that I painted. Attached them and did a simple stencil.

First I did the stencil in blue but it just didn't look right so I sanded and touched up the base paint and did it over again in grey. Then I lightly sanded the stenciled part to make it look a little used.

It now hangs behind the door of my sewing room, completely out of the way and super easy to access.

I purchased the fabric and sewed my own 'pretty' cover.

Onto the next stencil project, again super simple. I needed a liner for my vintage flea market cart.
I took a canvas drop cloth and pre-washed it because I know this will get dirty and will need laundering.
I measured the inside dimensions and added 1" to all sides (allowing for 1/2" seam allowances) Except for the top, I added 1 more inch so I could hem the top.
I sewed all sides together and then sewed the bottom on, next hem the top.
I was in a hurry to finish this seeing as The Big Heap was the next day. I cut off the hemmed sides from the canvas and sewed them to each corner to use as ties to secure the liner to the cart. 
A super quick project.

The Big Heap report...
It was fun and I would go again. There were a lot of people and a lot of selling.  If you saw something and hesitated for even a half minute someone else would grab it. I've never seen stuff move so fast!
I'm sure the people organizing it were happy with the turn out but I hope they have more vendors next time because it was very small...approximately 30 vendors.

I do not need more stuff so I was very well behaved this time.
The old enamel light fixture will be a perfect pendant light in the bunkhouse kitchen and there is not a chip anywhere. Mr. Wild can rewire it for me.
Not sure what the scrolly metal thing was but I have a place for it in the dining room and I hope to take pictures of what I've done so far in that room and get them on here.
The 3rd thing is a newer piece of cast iron but a fun piece for the garden.

Then while driving the freeway on the way home...I must be getting a keen sense for junk...I spotted a building with a lot of junk...yes JUNK outside. I took a quick second glance and saw the name Gerson's!
I saw them advertise on TV last winter but never got there and didn't really know where it was.
I took the next exit off the freeway and found my way back to it and while driving there I was on an old road I believe it's the Old Benson Highway. It was lined on one side with old motels! They looked like abandoned motels...like the owners walked away and left them and they have been slowly deteriorating.
The really old mom and pop kind with the neon signs...just so cool and there were so many, at one time this must have been a main road through town before the freeway. There was even an old trailer park with a few trailers still sitting there...empty and all vintage!
I have to go back with the hubby some day and take pictures.

I found this turbine at Gerson's (used building supplies, I was looking for old doors).  I guess I kind of have a thing for old industrial stuff and this is an old and heavy turbine, in excellent condition, no dents, no bullet holes. I love it!
I can so well see this in my garden with rocks holding down the base (it even came with the original base!!!) I'll plant flowers all around it and it does still spin with the wind!

The following day, Sunday, was awesome! It was cloudy and only in the 60's. I spent all day outside planting. I put in a pink rose bush, gardenia, hibiscus, oleander, a succulent and a cactus. It was a perfect day!

Yesterday we had a brief downpour. It thundered, rained and then a big rainbow appeared, it smelled so good outside!

One more flea market coming up and I am feeling quite saturated with flea markets.
I think I'll be good for a long, long time!

I still want to finish a few projects here and then it will be time to pack it up and head back north and onto the next adventure!

Thanks for visiting, I'm sorry I mostly post my obsession with junk collecting, that should change soon!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Last weekends flea market treasures

As promised...more pictures of my lastest junking adventure.
The pretty applique quilt

I found a set of redwork embroidered pillow covers that are in very nice condition except the Good Night is a bit faded in the middle

A bag of crochet collars, yolks and all sorts of fun handmade treasures.

I have wanted to find one of these for a few years. It's a hand crochet doily with heavy glass beads used to place over a pitcher or some sort of container to keep the flies out. This is in pristine condition.

A guy was unloading and had some pretty cool stuff, I grabbed this elk shed to hang on the wall in the living room.
He had a lot of really cool stuff but I had to keep it in control! :)

A cute metal chair for the garden, I'll put  a big pot of flowers on this!
Speaking of flowers I have never seen the desert blooming this much. The road I take to the grocery store is almost pure yellow between the Brittlebrush bushes (seen here) and the Palo Verde trees.
It's almost breathtaking against the pure blue sky.
All the desert needs is about 3 inches of rain off and on all winter and we get this!
Love it! 

This cast iron planter that matches my cast iron garden set, this needs to be painted white.
It looks small but it's about 18" across.

Some little odds and ends

I set the vintage makeup on a pretty dish on the bathroom vanity and the shaving mug soap will go with my Grandpa's shaving mug and brush, I didn't know it came this way back then!

I could not resist this small ironstone bowl. I love them when they have lots of discoloring like this.

Of course more wood hangers

And this little Made in Italy wall light that was wired at one time, it has holes for crystals so you know what I'm going to do with this...load it up with crystals!
It will go well in my sewing room with the other light fixture.

And I caved in...I bought a rose bush. We'll see if I can make it survive this summer.
I see them around town and they are huge, all the way up to the eaves of a one story house and they are loaded with blossoms. 

Saturday and Sunday is The Big Heap at Old Tucson.
I'm not sure what to expect because it's not a usual flea market but I just have to go to see what it is.
Still no smart phone so no pictures...rats!

Thanks for stopping and putting up with my flea market fixes. I get my fill for the year here because it's so good and so much fun and the prices are so reasonable! Plus I'm getting to know so many of the vendors, it sure is fun to visit with them! It's my 'social event' each month!

And yes, I am still painting.... OMG will I ever get it all finished!
But the house sure looks a lot better inside and outside and it feels like home.

Thanks everyone...thanks for the nice comments even though I haven't been keeping in touch...when I get back to Minnesota I can take it easy and get caught up.