Monthly Archives: August 2011

Adventures in Garage Sale-ing

Open hatch of the Forester showing all the goodies we found.
Had to rearrange to get it all to fit.

Loryn here. Something rare happened this Saturday—with Kristin in town for the weekend, all four of the Crafty Sisters went garage sale-ing together. We always have a blast when we do, even if we don’t find lots of stuff. We did pretty good on this Saturday!

The big basket on the right is mine, and you’ll see it here on the blog soon. I also got a set of solid brass bathroom accessories (towel rings and toilet paper holder) for my done-in-a-couple-years bathroom remodel. Most of the stuff I bought was useful, but I did pick up a couple beautiful antique linens that were a quarter each, and a very inexpensive print.

Bag full of corks

We found two really good estate sale/antique sales yesterday. The second one had this giant bag full of wine corks. This is right up Cheri’s alley, and it went something like this:

Loryn: “Hey Cheri! There’s a huge bag of corks over here!”

Cheri (from across the yard): “Oh no! Don’t let me near it! Stop me from buying them!”

Loryn: Turns back.

Cheri: Three seconds later is filling her arms with corks!

She has a really cool idea for them, which you may see on the blog later.

At the first sale, mom (Lynne) spotted the weird find of the day:

We think this is a 1970s running belt. It’s white vinyl, with turn signals and front and back lights, plus a switch. Can’t you picture this with short shorts and knee-high tube socks? Stylin’!

Kristin here: I love going to garage sales when I am in Logansport. The sales in Bloomington are no fun at all. The population there is so transient, that if you are looking to stock a new apartment, you will have excellent luck, but for anyone looking for those unique and fabulous “Just Gotta Have It” finds, you will find that you just used a lot of gas for nothing.

I don’t usually find the specific items I had in mind while out hunting, but there are always things that I need (or that I really wanted, but didn’t know it). My purchases were not many, but I really needed them. The stack of straw mats in the photo are mine, as is the pressure washer. Crammed in the corner where you cannot see them are some nifty little scissors, a cherry pitter, a handle cover for my Calphalon skillet, a pair of tongs, and a cheese slicer.

The straw mats are for our parties. We have a lot of parties and get-togethers and have a tendency to use paper plates, which are great for clean-up, but sometimes hard on the users if they have a lot of food on their plates, hence the straw mats. The pressure washer is a Briggs & Stratton to replace our old one that broke two years ago. It was a beautiful purchase and involved some good bargaining skills. The little items were just for fun for the most part, although I have been looking for a handle cover for the skillet for quite some time. All-in-all, a very successful trip for me.

Bizarre Finds—I Dreamt of Genie

Cheri: After a less than satisfactory garage sale day, I was faced with an unusual dilemma, what was the most bizarre item I found? I puzzled over this for a few days, and eventually talked it over with Lynne. She felt that it should be the genie slippers. I was surprised that she felt they were bizarre, because I thought my purchase of them was perfectly logical. You see, I am a child of the 60s and 70s. I grew up on television, and besides  Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie was one of my favorite shows. I remember deciding that I wanted to be a genie when I grew up. What an awesome profession it was. If I wanted something all I had to do was cross my arms and nod my head and “poof” there it was. I remember not being so fond of Major Nelson, he seemed really stupid for an astronaut, and really wasn’t very nice to Jeannie.

Anyway, I remember thinking, all I needed was the attire. My aunt had the genie slippers and, as far as I knew she was a genie too, I never asked. But I did know that they were too big for me. I am not sure what I was going to do about the rest of the outfit because I didn’t have harem pants or the midriff shirt, but in my mind, it was the shoes that were necessary. So many years later, I came across the genie shoes and I bought them. They ended up being too big, but that was okay, because they didn’t work. I guess the genie had been worn out of them.  At least I know now. And I can cross “Genie” off my list of what I want to be when I grow up.

Pups on Parade


The shriner parade in Logansport was today and I thought I would spread the spirit out to the webiverse. Here are a couple of photos of my baby dogs, KC and Petey.

KC our sheltie slash border collie.
Just look at that fur!

KC is now 5 and is part sheltie and part border collie, that is our best guess anyway. We got him before we bought our house, while we lived out in Ellettsville. One day when we got home from work, we kept hearing this noise behind the house. There, up against the back wall of the house, was this tiny puppy, just shivering and miserable. Turns out that someone had dumped him, his mom and the rest of the litter in the neighborhood, then there was a big storm and they all got separated. One of the other puppy finders brought us all together once (five puppies total) and man, was that a really cute ball of fur reunion.

Our other pup, Petey, we, or rather I, picked up at the Bloomington Shelter.

Petey our part australian shepherd and part border collie pup.
Just look at that happy face!

He is 3 and is part border collie and part australian shepherd, again this is our best guess. I saw his picture online on the Bloomington Shelter website and sent it to Rob, my DH. He couldn’t believe how cute he was. Anyway, I left work a little early and snuck over to the shelter and was playing with him in one of their meet and greet rooms. While in there, I called Rob and told him where I was. In the background I heard him talking to his coworker, explaining what I was doing and his coworker replied “Congratulations on the new dog.” Anyway, Rob came over to meet the little booger and as soon as he walked into the room, Petey was ours. Anyone who knows my DH, knows that he curses a lot and his response was rather pithy because he KNEW that Petey was coming home with us. Not that this bothered him in the slightest, we had wanted two dogs, just that Petey was so frigging cute as a puppy.

So, those are our two noses. The pics were taken on our deck on one of the few tolerable days this summer while I was out there reading. I am in Logansport this weekend and miss them already.

Daily Squiggle

Tertiary Teddy
Teddy bears love to fly kites.

This teddy bear’s ears were the first things to pop out of the scribble for me. I added feet so he looked like he was skipping and the kite appeared from an extra mark on the paper.

I wanted to use a double split complementary color scheme as I had never tried one before.  The double split consists of two pairs of complements, one apart on the color wheel. I’ve used a yellow-green and red-violet complement pair combined  with a yellow-orange and blue-violet complement pair in this drawing. (I don’t see any blue-violet in the drawing. I must have substituted red-orange. I have begun to write the colors in pencil on my sketch. It helps me keep track of what colors I am actually supposed to be doing.)

Since the yellow of my markers does not show very well on top of other colors, I started with a yellow layer on all but the red-violet color. (Yellow under red-violet would give me a brownish color.) With yellow as the prominent color, I used its complement, blue, for the kite.

I wasn’t totally pleased with this teddy bear, but he seems to be happy enough.


Upgrade Your Sewing: Basic Curtains

Pink laundry room curtains
Pretty in pink!

Loryn: If you’ve been wanting to improve your sewing skills, this article kicks off a series of articles on how to make simple home dec projects really shine. Most home decor projects, like curtains, pillows, and bedskirts, are just simple rectangles, so it’s the details that make them special. These simple curtains look good because of three basics:

  • Pressing
  • Lining
  • Edgestitching

I started sewing when I was about five years old. I made project after project after project, drafting my own patterns and getting wildly creative. The one thing that I didn’t have any patience for was the finishing details. My work was sloppily finished until I saw the projects a friend of mine produced. She wasn’t an experienced sewer, but her simple projects were so beautifully finished that they looked great! It finally sank in that all the creativity in the world didn’t pay off if I didn’t pay attention to the details. If you haven’t been quite happy with the results of your sewing, read on for tips you can apply to any project.

If you only apply one tip to your sewing, it should be pressing. Pressing every seam open may seem like a lot of fuss, but the results are worth it. I set up one end of my work table as an ironing board so I don’t have any excuse to skip it. Because I’m cheap, I just throw a folded towel down and iron on it, as it gives me a lot more surface area than an ironing board.

These curtains are lined, as unlined feedsacks are thin and don’t give a lot of privacy. The lining also helps the curtains keep those nice folds at the top. My favorite source for linings are old sheets. This lining is made from new in package vintage fitted sheets that were too small for thick modern mattresses. If you see at garage sales, be sure to pick them up! Here you can see the difference the lining makes:

To make the lining, I sew the lining and and the main fabric (right sides together) around three sides like a pillowcase. Press the stitched seam, then turn the curtain right side out. Use a pin to get your corners pointy, then press the edges again in preparation for edgestitching.

The edgestitching makes precise edges that look great. I use the 1/8″ mark on my machine’s throat plate to keep the stitching line precise. If your edgestitching is not as straight as you’d like, keep your attention on the 1/8″ mark and keep practicing! Edgestitching around the three seams, and then you’re ready for the hem.

To get the best results, hang your curtains on the rings, and then fold a standard hem. I sewed two lines of stitching. This makes a firm hem that makes a flippy curve along the bottom.

Here you can see how I’ve tacked the rings to the curtain. Clips would also look nice, but I have a large supply of vintage cafe rings.

The rings are brass, which doesn’t go with my kitchen/laundry room, so I spray painted both the rings and the rod:

Here’s a simple way to get your rings or clips evenly spaced. First, always use an odd number of rings. Sew or place the rings at the ends, then fold the curtain in half, lining up the rings you just placed. Place the middle ring at the fold mark.

Then quarter the curtain by lining up the end ring with the middle ring. The fold is the spot for your next rings. Do that on each side. For small curtains, I use five rings for each panel.

After one final pressing, the curtains are ready to hang.

I hope you’ve found a few tips that will be helpful. Check back soon for another post on how to upgrade your sewing!