Tag Archives: vintage

Christmas Ornament Countdown: Buttons, Buttons Everywhere!

Christmas Ornament Countdown
Snowball ornament made of vintage glass buttons.

Cheri: I received a call from my sis, (Lynne), the other day discussing the button give away. She wondered if I could make the next ornament in the Christmas Ornament Countdown with vintage buttons to coincide with the Vintage Button Giveaway. And my reply was, sure, let me see what I can come up with.

I love buttons, and as I have said before, I have a lot of them. So I picked up two of my jars and poured them out on the coffee table and started sorting them. As I was looking at them, I noted that I had a lot of vintage white glass buttons. These buttons are beautiful, but they are pretty plain.

I spent some time looking at them conjuring an image in my head of what I wanted to make. I decided I would use a styrofoam ball and hot glue to make the ornament resemble a snowball.

I started gluing, and gluing and gluing. I was shocked at how many buttons I ended up using, but I really love how the ornament looks. I think the glass buttons give it a really nice reflective sheen and the glue that you can see looks a little bit like ice.

I hope everyone is able to get in on the button giveaway and I hope you all have a Very Merry Christmas.

Christmas Ornament Countdown
Vintage Glass Button Ornament Snowball

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.

Vintage Pegs, Let My Fingers Do the Walking

The bucket of pegs.
I want to run my fingers through them just looking at the picture.

Sometimes when you are at a garage sale, you will run across an item that is so cool that you know if you don’t buy it, you will spend the rest of your life regretting it. Okay, maybe not that long, but a long time.

Anyway, Lynne and I were at a garage sale last weekend and I ran across something that describes this scenario perfectly. The item I found was peg boards and pegs.

The boards are about 12×12 inches square. They look like actual pegboard and they have patterns that fit over them. A student is supposed to match the colored pegs to the pattern. They have always reminded me of a Lite Brite without the electricity.

The pegs come in all different colors, and they are about 2-3 inches long and they are made of wood. When you stick your hand in the container and wiggle your fingers, they make a really neat wooden sound. That may be the reason I like them so much.

I believe the board and pegs are about 30 to 40 years old and they just have that awesome vintage feel. The graphics on the back are very cool, so needless to say I bought them. I knew I could not take the stress of lifetime regret.

Since I picked them up, I have been running ideas though my head and this process has become a nice calming oasis in my otherwise hectic world. I think that I may try several ideas and then again, maybe, I might just hang out with the container of pegs and run my fingers through them. Ahhhh…so calming.


Space Invaders

Space Invader TV Tubes
The space invaders ready for a war of the worlds. Or maybe just a close encounter.

Space Invaders

Space Invader TV Tubes
The space invaders ready for a war of the worlds. Or maybe just a close encounter.

I pick up lots of small items at sales, and I have always had a pretty vivid imagination. I like to create creatures out of objects. The TV tubes are the perfect example. At one point you have just TV tubes, (which are really pretty amazing works of art by themselves), but if you put eyes on them, you give them a personality. And if you give the creatures a landscape, you have a whole story. It’s true, one picture is worth a thousand words.

TV tube robots
A really close encounter.


Fabric Gluttony

Fabric gluttony
Fabric gluttony

I spent my Saturday organizing my fabric (I just got married, and the entire house is getting reorganized to make room for my husband). I was surprised that it filled 20 boxes. This isn’t a fabric stash, or a collection, it’s fabric gluttony!

About 80% of it is vintage, from garage sales and auctions over the last nine years. There is a box of feedsacks, several boxes of vintage cotton prints, mod 60s canvas, barkcloth, and one box of silk, velvet, and lace. A big part of it came from one sale. Cheri called me on Saturday morning, and said “Estate sale. Fabric. GO NOW.”

When Cheri says that, you listen! It was the estate of a seamstress and milliner. Table after table of beautiful Scottish woolens and retro cotton prints! I spent every dollar I had, filled four boxes, and nearly doubled my collection.

Now that the fabric is sorted, it will be stored in an upstairs closet until I decide where my new craft area will go. It is currently in banker boxes, but they aren’t acid free, so they are a temporary storage solution. I will probably regret the number of boxes as I carry them upstairs! But, now that our only local fabric store has closed, I (and the rest of my crafty family!) will be glad that I have it! Fabric gluttony is a sin I can live with.


Garage Sale Find, always keep looking…

Blue Refrigerator Pitcher
Blue Refrigerator Pitcher

This is a good find with a good story. I love old pitchers and anything refrigerator related. Sis pointed this out to me while on her way to other things. (See, I told you she sees all the good stuff.) I stepped casually in front of a few others whom it turns out wanted something else…but you can never be too careful when there’s an item that meets two of your collectible criteria. Keep those elbows out and pointed. You can imagine my disappointment when I noticed that the lid had the pivoting end broken off. I was going to buy it anyway because the price was too good to be true, however, I wouldn’t be able to use it the way it was meant to be used. Who among us would want to take a lid off and have to place it on the table when you could slip it open ever so casually with your thumb? That’s the genius of marketing. Then I noticed that the break looked very new and since our motto is ‘always keep looking,’ I nudged the sis.

me: “Do you think that this piece could be somewhere here?”

sis: “I dont know go look for yourself.”

me: “I did but I can’t find it. I wonder if it’s still in the house?”

sis: “What do you want me to do about it? I’m busy with these skeleton keys.”

me: “Ask them for me, please?”

And of course, she does–after she secures the keys. And of course, they are quite willing to oblige. Everyone likes her. It’s not fair. But she’s too nice and will let me make her do the asking. Sis got permission, marched into the kitchen, reached into the cupboard and produced the pivoting end. Just like that–Magic. I took the pitcher home, glued the lid together and it is living happily on my shelf.

Shelf of Pitchers
Shelf of Pitchers

I took a picture of the mend to show that cracks are very subtle. If you can put something back together it’s almost as good as new and it’s always cheaper.

Lid Mend
Lid Mend


It’s Saturday and Garage Sales

My sister is the master of garage sales and I refuse to go to a sale without her. I can walk through a sale and see nothing, nothing and more nothing. I go home and start muttering things. Not good things. “I wasted my gas for this! Does everybody buy from the same stores? Are all the vintage items stored away in collections?” But when my sis is along the world is our shopping mall. She sees the shelves I’ve been wanting in the back corner under a furnace, the comforter that is just perfect for padding my couch cushion in a box covered by Happy Meal toys and that vintage kitchen utensil with the red handle hiding in a carton of plastic lids. I don’t pretend to understand it. She’s a genius and I float behind in her tailwind gathering the good finds.

It was hot today and getting hotter, but we found some cool deals. Our first sale was so much fun that we didn’t need to go anywhere else. Of course we did go elsewhere but that urge for the hunt had been satisfied and anything else we found would be gravy.

Chicago is the nearest city with an Ikea and I have despaired of ever getting there. Two and a half hours is not really that long to spend in a car, but the thought of traffic and the cost of gas have kept me rooted in this small town. Anyway I found some items from Ikea at a sale today. I don’t know what they are but I bought them because I figure I can go on the internet and learn the details later. That is the way to shop a garage sale.