Monday, September 22, 2014

Coat Check

Just over a week ago, I wore a winter coat and gloves when we took our daily walk
and this past weekend it was warm enough for shorts and sandals!
Typical Minnesota weather.

I planned to stain window sashes and sew curtains during my vacation,
but I had a bit of a setback while staining the windows,
so I put the whole business aside until the noxious odor subsides.

Imagine you're standing on a ladder, carefully staining window muntins,
(they're part of the window and not removable), humming along to the radio,
 and enjoying the pleasant breeze coming through the window,
when the pint of dark walnut stain you're using somehow
  drops to the floor!!!
Yup.  That's it in a dark walnut nutshell.

*FYI, Minwax oil based stain can be removed from:

freshly painted walls
recently painted doors
crisp white trim
brand new windows
repainted furniture
refinished hardwood floors
human legs, feet, and hands

All it takes is plenty of patience and a gallon of mineral spirits......
  and a window left open for the next month or two.

Well, after that fiasco,  I set my sights on transforming
 a different kind of window.  I almost chucked the project out of sheer frustration,
 but being stubborn by nature, I was determined to finish it no matter how long it took.

I picked up this door/window? a few years ago because I liked the
beautiful wood finish and thick beveled glass, although in the end
I chose to display the honey colored finish on the back side.

Here's the inspiration photo for what I wanted to create:

General and Fancy Drapery Reverse Painted Glass Sign « Griffin Trading Company
Reverse painting on glass by the Griffin Sign Company.

After several unsuccessful attempts with paint markers, stencils, and spray paint,
I resorted to hand painting the letters with a flat artist brush.  I painted a reverse image
of the letters on the back side of the glass with 3 coats of metallic gold craft paint
followed by 2 more coats of harvest gold paint to make the letters opaque.

The last step takes a leap of faith.  After the letters have cured a day or two,
paint right over them with black craft paint.  Don't work the paint too much on the 
first coat or you'll pull up the letters you've painstakingly painted!

If I get tired of it, the paint can easily be removed with a razor.
How do I know this?   Because I've already done it
3 times!!!

No display is complete here at 911 without adding an item
with questionable wiring, so I propped my deer lamp on the shelf.
I glued leftover fabric from the kitchen onto an inexpensive shade from Lowe's
to dress it up a bit and covered the raw edges with rick rack.

The black baby shoes belonged to an old neighbor.

I think this was the very first alarm clock I ever bought,
way back in the early days of our marriage.  Speaking of.....
we celebrated our 35th anniversary yesterday!  We spent the day in Duluth
on Saturday and I came home with 2 new pets.

I don't think the cage is old, but it's cute.  The birds?
My guess is vintage Christmas tree ornaments.
Look how happy they are basking in the sunshine!

Well, I tested out the lamp last night, and...............

It works!

I won't go into detail about what happened to the first light bulb when I plugged it in,
but from now on the cord will be safely tucked behind the sign.

Thanks for stopping by!

*I'm joining the parties at:
Mod Vintage Life Mod Mix Monday
Cozy Little House Tweak it Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style Wow us Wednesday
Revisionary Life Thrifty Life Thursday
Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson Share Your Cup Thursday
Funky Junk Interiors Party Junk

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Tick tock, a little pink clock.

Just when I thought my 35 years of collecting vintage alarm clocks
was enough already, I came across the sweetest clock
that literally stopped me in my tracks.......

Okay, one more won't hurt.

 Bluebird is missing most of her paint, but that's okay.

The star rotates to count off the seconds.

I think it has an Art Deco look, but after researching the clock via Google,
 I discovered the clock and I are the same age!
The clock was manufactured in West Germany
by the Sheffield Company around 1959.
A very good year indeed!

Until just recently I would have passed up a pink clock,
but since I've got some pink accents in the master bedroom,
it practically begged to come home with me.

The clock is sitting on a shelf next to my father's wool baby booties.

  Did you know that up until the 1940's
 pink was the signature color for boys and blue was for girls?
So for those of you that were thinking this display is somewhat
girlie and contraire my friends!
Now you know it's actually quite masculine.  And how could it
possibly be childish when the clock is as old as moi?   : )

I know you're thinking this shelf must be a
rare hand carved European antique   hehe
but it's actually a syroco (fancy name for molded plastic)
 Home Interior shelf from the thrift that I painted with homemade chalk paint.

Do you remember Home Interior parties?   I still remember the advice one of the
sales reps gave us party goers.  "Never, never, never hang photos of your
family on your walls." (aka there's all the more room to hang her product)

  I finally started turning down invitations to H.I. parties
because I could sit there for hours and not find a single thing I wanted to
hang on my walls!  Well, I guess everything comes back in vogue eventually,
because here I am hanging a molded plastic shelf on my newly painted wall!

The openings in the shelf make a handy spot to hang
this sweet yellow and white baby dress....

Well, that's enough playing around for now.  I've got just one week of vacation to
paint or stain the bedroom windows (ehem.....installed over 3 years ago) and
sew up 4 sets of curtains out of fabric I've yet to choose,
 along with a boatload of miscellaneous items on my to-do list.   Whew!
 Will I get it all done in a week?

My adopted ancestor looks doubtful.

Thanks for visiting!

*I'm joining the parties at:
Mod Vintage Life Mod Mix Monday
Cozy Little House Tweak it Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style Wow us Wednesday
Revisionary Life Thrifty Life Thursday

Saturday, August 23, 2014

One little, two little, three little sweaters.

If at first you don't succeed, try again.  And again.  And again.  And again.

I like to have a knitting project to keep me awake occupied while I'm a passenger
 in the car.  Over the past winter I knit this sweet tiered sweater for Finley
while we racked up a few thousand miles on our car.

  It's a simple pattern, knit in one piece from the top down.  When you're done knitting
 all that's left to do is weave in the ends and sew on the buttons.  No seams!
( Lisa Chemery's infant and toddler pattern available here. )

I'm allergic to wool, but the clerk at our local yarn shop assured me
2 strands of this gray wool blend yarn would knit up
 into a soft sweater comfortable for any child.

Encore Tweed color T789/ Lot #49686

Enter the Bean Theory.

In case you aren't familiar with this theory, here it is:
 When you plant beans, you get beans.

When I asked Little Finley Bean if she liked the sweater, she had no qualms
 about telling methat it wasn't very snugly.  And it wasn't purple or pink.
  I couldn't argue with the snugly part, since my nose was itching and my eyes
 were watering the entire time I was knitting the sweater!
  As for the color, I realize now that a soon-to-be 4 year old
 has very specific likes and dislikes.

 Little Maggie Bean is too young to voice an opinion, so I knit hers
 with super chunky acrylic yarn.  Her mommy bean is partial to gray and black,
 so I chose the color to appease her taste.

Lion Brand Hometown USA color 150/ Lot # 11917

Chicago Charcoal is the perfect color for toddling around in the big city.

Then I started on a pink sweater, only to discover (when I was halfway finished)
that the rest of my pink yarn was a different lot number,
 aka a slightly different shade of pink.

Honolulu Pink
Lion Brand Hometown USA color 102/ Lot # 14417

I searched the world over and could find no more yarn in the color I needed.  I even visited
the company website, but they would not ship a specific lot number of yarn.  Soooooo.......
I ripped apart the pink sweater and started a new sweater in the prettiest shade of purple.

Minneapolis Purple
Lion Brand Hometown USA color 147/ Lot # 12087

Did I learn my lesson with the pink yarn?
Why no, I did not.

I was more than half done with the sweater in the prettiest shade of purple when I realized
the rest of the yarn was a different lot number and had more of a blue tint.
 It was 1:30 am, and I prayed my tired eyes were deceiving me, but in the early morning light
 I could clearly see the new yarn was not the same.

  Waaaaaa!  Waaaaaa!  Waaaaaa!
It all looked the same when I bought it!

I searched the world over, once again, and could find no more yarn in....
(y'all join in the chorus now)
"The prettiest shade of purple!"

Can you see the difference?
Well, now that I've posted a photo on my blog I can.

By this time I was ready to toss the blankety-blank sweater into the dumpster,
 but being the recycler that I am, I decided to carry on and donate the sweater
to a charitable organization.

I knit the last tier with the new lot number of bluish yarn, hoping for a sort of ombre look.
 Wouldn't you know, I had to join a new skein for the last four rows of the sweater.
  It was the same wrong lot number.............
but the color matched the yarn I used to knit the top 2/3 of the sweater!!!
 What?!  What?! I'd add one more what ...(along with a few choice words)
but this is the largest font available and a G rated blog.

 Seriously.  Am I on Candid Camera?!!!!

Sooooooo, I ripped out the bluish tier along with a few handfuls of my hair
 and finished the entire sweater in ........ 

the prettiest shade of purple.

And all the beans lived happily ever after.

Lion Brand published this free pattern for the cabbage roses I used to make the brooches,
so they've somewhat redeemed themselves after the lot number fiasco.
I knit the roses and leaves with size 1 needles and fingering weight yarn.
My flower petals curl in instead of out, but I'm a do-it-my-way kinda gal.

  I found the simple leaf pattern at Buttons & Pickles .
I made a smaller size by omitting rows 9-16
 and then joined 2 leaves (wrong sides together )
to make a sturdier leaf.

I think the moral of the story is pretty obvious.
Check your lot numbers!!!
But beware, even if they're different, the color may be the same. 
And if they're the same, the color may be different...........
Oh, forget it!  Knit everything with variegated yarn.

Obviously I was not compensated by Lion Brand Yarn in any way, but if they'd like to ship
me a crate of yarn to keep me busy this winter, my email address is available on my profile.  :)
I will say, however, that the sweaters pass the snugly test, they're machine washable,
and will withstand the hottest dryer setting.  Or so it says on the label.
The label with the lot number.

I'm having a lot of fun knitting up fall fashions for the little beans.

Thanks for visiting,
DeeDee (as I'm known to our grandbeans)

Will they be Barbie sweaters after laundering?
Or perhaps my vintage sock monkeys will be sporting snugly new sweaters.

I'm joining the parties at:
Mod Vintage Life * Mod Mix Monday
Cozy Little House * Tweak it Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style * Wow us Wednesdays
Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson * Share Your Cup Thursdays
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