Sunday, November 17, 2013

My new baby - a Singer Model 221, aka a Featherweight

"Hey honey, there's an estate sale starting this morning over by St. Francis MN. 
Do you wanna drive over with me?"
Much to my surprise, he says yes.  Oh, oh.

You all know I am a garage-sale-o-holic, but my husband is definitely not a fan of them.  In fact, I believe he may actually curse sales!  I have to laugh, every time he decides to to go to a sale they  are always the trashiest, dirtiest, weirdest sales ever.  Oh boy, I wondered, what I am I getting into?

We drive to the sale, and yup, hubby's curse is still strong. The house was nearly falling down and the outbuildings had already fallen down.  The shabby little house was poorly lit, all the floors were uneven. and it couldn't have been more than 800 square feet.  My imagination of the last resident was an elderly hermit farmer,  a bachelor living on his own for the last 50 years.

Waiting in line, I was so excited and could hardly wait to see what was inside.  This was my kinda sale.  
My husband, standing beside me was shaking his head and mumbling something about  empty shampoo bottles and dirty socks.  
He made a quick pass through the items and headed out to the car to wait.

What was one of the first things I see?  A TREASURE… a 1937 Singer featherweight portable.  Weighing in at 11lbs, the Singer 221 is considered the perfect portable.   This machine is the only Singer model that has complete books written exclusively about it.  There is a fanatic fan base with several websites devoted to it.  Drool.

The rooms in the house were so dark that I really couldn't tell what shape it was in, but I've been looking for one of these babies for awhile now so I made it mine.

I spent the rest of my Saturday cleaning, oiling and buffing her up.  Thank you to Minneapolis' Bobbin Doctor for teaching me all about machine reconditioning and giving me the confidence to tackle this project. 

Let me tell you, she is b-e-a-u-tiful!  She purrs while she sews the straightest line you'll ever see.  
Seriously, quality never dies.

I shall name her Edna and she will be my new best friend.  
Move over computerized modern marvel, there's a new baby in the house.

I am going to have to have my husband curse more sales!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Big Clear Glass Beads...What to Do?

A friend brought me some big clear hand blown beads back from an African vacation. Hmmmm. What to do?

They were too big for jewelry.
I wanted something that would catch the light. The beads really are beautiful!
A garage sale later, I bought a $.25
teapot and an idea was born. My garden shines!


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Garage Sale Chronicles 2013 - First one of the year

The weather in Minnesota has FINALLY changed and it got over 70 degrees today.  There was snow on the ground this time last week!  What a difference.  Of course, with the warm weather comes GARAGE SALES!  YES.  

Sam got a new night light for his bedroom. The thing stands a couple of feet tall!

One of my little nieces is going to be very happy with these doll shoes and, OMG, the red glasses are to die for.

Yep.  All these are Radio Flyers.  
This picture makes them look small but they would be perfect for the American Girl 18" size.

A Grumbacher paper making set and a ton of flower and sprinkle inclusions.  I haven't made paper in 10 years, but I might have to make some again soon.  My father made me a terrific hydraulic press years ago that is in storage.   Time to get it out. 

Who can resist a set of Japanese bobble heads?  These were $.25 a piece and stand about 8" tall.  They look perfect in the studio.

Oh, yes.  Some more beautiful vintage linens for my stash!  The pineapple tablecloth is labelled California Hand Prints and in perfect condition.  
Bought that one for $.75 and they run about $40 on ebay!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Beaded Cuff

FINALLY!  A year later, the cuff is now done.  

I posted pictures of this project a year ago here, thinking that I was close to having it done.   

I put time in it now and then, but it's been sitting on my workbench for quite a while.

Whew.  Glad it's done.

Original Post: January 7, 2012

My first beaded cuff is almost done. Thought I'd show off a few work in progress pictures.  I think it's going to be beautiful.

I used Lacey Stiff and colored it with a brown sharpie so if by any chance you could see through the beadwork.

I used E6000 to secure the cabachon's.  
In the middle is a jasper one that I bought at bead and button a few years ago.

The other cabochons are simply natural stones.  I free-formed the design as I stitched the beads onto the Lacey Stiff using silk thread.  Yep. ONE AT A TIME.

I will glue suede on the back side of the cuff that is showing in the upper left of the above picture.  Then I'll glue on the beaded cuff and stitch the two together with some sort of fancy beadwork.
That's the plan anyway.  Hope it works!

Fireplace Vent Cover to Keep out Draft

Winter is in full swing in Minnesota
and cold drafts of air can seep into the house if everything isn't sealed up tight. 

Our fireplace has an intake grate on the bottom that leads out to the three season porch on the otherside. We've been blocking out the drafts by tossing throw pillows in front during the winter since we moved in six years ago!

I dusted off my "haven't used in forever" wood working skills 
and made my industrial arts/shop teacher  proud.  
I think maybe he would give this project an "A".

Yes I used my center island as a worktop.  Garage was just too cold.

I even lined the back with some leftover insulation!  That was the hubby's idea.

Pillows no more.  
Next task....spray the doors.  Looks like they've gotten a bit worn looking.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Repurposing vintage jewelry

Oh yeah, lovin this group! 

 I finally found some time to get away from the constant new puppy watch and spend a couple of hours in my studio.

A bit of this and a bit of that and this was the result!

Bonus: Here's a picture of the new puppy, Rocky.  

He's been with us since Christmas Eve and is settling down into a nice routine.

Twins in Rhinestones

My daughter is a huge Minnesota Twins fan, so one of her Christmas presents was a rhinestone hoodie with the TC logo.

I simply traced an image on the web and played a bit with the rhinestone layout in the software that came with my Silhouette.  Cut the transfer, load up the rhinestones and iron.  Just that easy.

I think I'm going to make one for me too!

Mr. Owlie

The holidays have now passed so I can share what I made for presents without ruining the surprise.

I made 15 of these microwaveable rice owls.  
They can be used hot or put in the freezer to be used as cold packs.

Here are a few things I learned:
  1. My silhouette does a great job of creating sewing patterns!  I just modified an existing shape to use as a pattern.  Nice.  Thanks to the Silhouette I could do teddy bears, dogs, cats, pigs, etc.
  2. Microwaving any fabric that isn't 100% all natural fiber isn't recommended.  I made ten in a really soft fleece before I actually filled one and heated it.  The fleece wicked up the moisture from the rice and kept it far too long.  Bummer.  When I went online to research what could be done I found out that you aren't supposed to microwave polyester anyway because the heat breaks down the fibers.  So I sewed up some linen inserts and velcro'd the bottom.  That worked!  The linen seemed to dry much faster so the moisture issue isn't a problem.
  3. Some people don't like the smell of the heated rice.  FYI: the smell goes away significantly after two or three heatings. I put lavender oil in some only to find out that some people don't like lavender.  Well, I guess you just have to just know the preferences of the person you are gifting them too!
  4. I used flaxseed in some of them when I ran through a huge economy size bag of rice. I actually prefer the feel of flaxseed.  You do get the same smell issue as I mentioned before.
  5. Little miniature ones make great hand warmers for those cold Minnesota days.
  6. Some sweetheart on the internet posted a great poem to go along with them.

This little pillow filled with rice
Is such a comforting device.
Microwave for 2-3 minutes on high
And kiss those aches and pains good-bye.
Apply it to a troubled spot
The heat will ease the pain a lot.
Or warm those little toes, so cold.
You’ll find this nice to have and to hold
Or freeze it for a while,
And fix that boo-boo in style.
Instead of a compress made of ice,
Use this pillow filled with rice.

I will return the favor and post the instructions I created:

Things you should know:
To use, remove the insert filled with rice or flaxseed and heat in the microwave for 2-3 minutes.  Alternatively, put it in a plastic bag and store in freezer, for those times you need a cold pack.
The rice retains heat or cold for about 20 minutes.  The rice gets a warm, toasty smell when heated.  You might notice a slight dampness when the bag is heated; this is just normal moisture in the grain.
The bags can be re-heated indefinitely, although you can certainly replace the filling when you feel it is no longer holding warmth. 
Important! Be careful heating your grain pack.  Do not heat them more than a minute or two, and be certain the grain is evenly distributed.  Overheating the bag can result in severe burns to the skin.