10/31/09

Back That Truck Up!

Goodbye To The Old:


My booth at Memory Lane has been moved, baby! I have been working on getting the space ready all week and am just thrilled to pieces with the results.

Hello To The New!











I should have taken a long photo...really is space to walk inside it. That is sort of hard to see in these shots.

I am just so pleased with the results!

10/30/09

Thrifted Metal Kitchen Containers






I found this yesterday at the Bargain Center and nearly fell over. I had never seen something like this before! There was a loud squeal that escaped my body making a woman near me jump a little. I managed to pick it up and get it to the counter and purchase it without incident.

Do you ever see something while thrifting and are almost scared that someone is going to stop you in your tracks by saying that it is not for sale? I think that is how I KNOW that something needs to be coming home with me.

I am either going to use it in the kitchen to hold spices or in the studio to hold trinkets.

Decisions, decisions...

10/29/09

Oh Goodwill, Let Me Count The Ways I Love Thee...

For the rolling carts I shall use in my booth...



That were a whopping $3 each...



For the little elf that was in the Christmas grab bag marked a dollar...



For the gorgeous purple-y black long sleeved velvet dress that will become Elphaba's, I mean Lu's, witch costume...



And for the shoes that will be part of Bud's football costume that I shall donate back to you the day after Halloween...

The Moving Of The Booth and Goodwill Hunting

The wonderful flea market of Memory Lane is adding booth spots to an area that previously held large furniture. And as of this evening, I am moving my booth to the newly built area! I am so excited!

Change is good. I don't always embrace change very well, but I have really good feelings about this one. My head is spinning with all sorts of wonderful ideas that I want to do.

But first, I need to find some shelving. So Bud and I are off to Goodwill and The Bargain Center this morning to see what they have in stock. And I need to find a witches costume for Lu. And some football type shoes for Bud's costume. I typically have pretty good thrift karma, so am excited to get out there and find something cool for a fraction of the cost of heading to Target.

Wish me luck. I'll be back.

10/28/09

Mail!

I seriously love getting mail. LOVE IT! Nothing like opening up the mailbox in the afternoon and seeing a letter hand addressed to me. If it wouldn't make Hubby pass out, I would so be putting our home address on this blog just so you could write to me via snail mail. And he would. Pass out cold. Just the fact that I get to use my real name on this blog is pretty amazing!


Anyway! Here is a safe way for to you get something in your mailbox that will make you sooooooo happy!

If you have purchased your copy of The Find by Stan Williams, but haven't had the pleasure of meeting him in person to have him sign your book, has he got a wonderful plan in store for you!

This arrived in the mail over the weekend:


An envelope with gorgeous handwriting...



The tell-tale Paris sticker...



And a beautiful book plate to put on my copy of The Find!



I love this book, it continues to inspire me every single time I pick it up. And now it truly feels completely mine with this gorgeous plate on the inside cover!
If you have an unsigned copy of The Find and would like to remedy that, zip on over to The Elegant Thrifter blog...Stan will dry your tears and make it all better.

10/27/09

Hurry Down The Chimney Tonight




The challenge was thrown down by The Elegant Thrifter via Twitter and I met that challenge head on and glittered the pants off that stern plastic Santa:







He sort of looks happier right? Like he went to Vegas and won a bit of cash. Not that he approves of that sort of thing.

I'm going to try lights next and see if that might help. At this point, what could hurt?

10/26/09

Shiny Brites, Gumball Machines and My Terrible Imitation Of An English Accent

You just never know where I am going with these posts, do you?


I have been looking at these two vintage gumball machines down in my studio for a while now. My original plan was to put strands of Christmas lights in them. And then I hit upon this idea!

I filled the one that I am keeping with tiny Shiny Brite bell ornaments...



And the one that is going to the booth at Memory Lane is filled with tiny Shiny Brite ball ornaments...


I was going to put that one in my Etsy shop and then realized the shipping logistics of it and it was something I was not willing to undertake. I just couldn't imagine the ornaments arriving to their destination in anything less than shards of glass.


Speaking of Etsy, I shipped my very first overseas package this morning to a lovely woman in London Town! Which is the reason why I have been speaking with a British accent all morning...that borders on Australian with a bit of an Irish brogue. I seriously adore a British accent.

But I live in Iowa. And that fact alone makes me look odd when I say "Pip!Pip! My Boy!" to hurry Bud along the sidewalk to school.

Also, to those of you who inquired, I am going to be putting some of the framed pictures on Etsy, so be watching for that this week.

10/25/09

Vintage Christmas Books Given New Life















I had mentioned to you during the studio tour, that I had a bunch of vintage books for crafting that were too worn to do anything else with...either they had writing on pages done by a small child wielding a crayon, pages torn or all together torn out or some other type of damage.

But when I come across these sad little books, I save them and try to salvage what I can out of the pages that are yet intact.

I made a quick run through of Goodwill to find some interesting frames and voila! The sad little Christmas books have become holiday treasures...






Didn't they turn out great? More coming soon!

10/23/09

Answering Decluttering Questions!

October 22, 2009 7:26 PM

Sheri (Green and Crunchy) said...
5 big keepsake totes await my attention in the crawl space. Ugh. What has inspired all your great decluttering? I am impressed!


Hello Sheri my girl from www.greenandcrunchy.org! (If you haven't been over to her website before, I highly recommend you zipping over there to check out her inspiring writings on her raw foods lifestyle and adorable kiddos...and her cool obsession with section plates! Awesome!)

You asked what inspired all the decluttering and I wanted to respond to that. I have always loved clearing stuff out, it just feels good to get space opened back up. This time around, in the basement studio/toy room, I realized that I was walking into that room and walking right back out again. There was so much stuff lying around! It was mostly all good stuff, but it was a mess. Big, big mess. I had crafts, decor, toys, items for etsy, items for the booth, items that I wanted to glitter, items that needed to just find a new owner...all of it in piles. There was no where to set anything down so the piles were towering. I had no space to create. We waded through toys that had just been set inside that doorway and the toys had begun to tower as well!

And you know what? I couldn't think anymore. I felt like I was sort of spinning through each day. I had things I wanted to get done and couldn't get anything done. It just sort of snowballed. And when I woke up last Sunday, I just knew that today was the day that the room would be tackled. The last few weeks I had been going through drawers and books and such, but this room was slowly eating me up. And how could I deal with it when I couldn't get in the room? Or if I got into the room, I just wanted to crawl back out again? Ugh.

So I took everything out of the room and decided what was going to go back in, piece by piece. And it worked! I can't believe that I have been down there creating this week, that the space is pretty much looking just like those pictures still other than I need to vacuum up glitter again (!) and there are items on the wooden table that are drying from getting glittered.

I am actually mindfully deciding what goes in that room instead of just dumping things in there, which is just huge for me.

And I found a space to keep all my Etsy shop items!! I will show you that space later.

So now each day I take a moment to think about what needs to be tackled next and instead of only thinking about it, I am actually dealing with each space, which takes a whole lot less time than the time I took to stew about it. One task was to clean up the computer the other day...this morning was dealing with those memory boxes...and to think that it is DONE is just so amazing. And it gives me inspiration to keep that feeling going in other places through the house that have gotten a wee bit stagnant.

This is going to sound a bit new-agey, but I feel like all this decluttering is opening up space in my life for other good things! I truly am enjoying taking you all with me on this little decluttering adventure and love to hear all of your stories as well.

10/22/09

Controversial Decluttering

This morning was spent going through Lu and Bud's memory boxes that we have for artwork and so forth. Two of Lu's and one of Bud's.

Large Rubbermaid's.

Lu is at school and I distracted Bud with a couple boxes of toys he hadn't seen in a while and then I went to work digging through the boxes of memories. We have saved everything from the moment they were born (as well as quite a bit of prenatal paperwork) to items from last week.

Things I did not throw out: Pictures, report cards, important paperwork, some artwork, awards, playbills, Lu's last sippee cup, blankies, outfits we brought both children home in, a couple shirts they loved, anything that will land in their baby books at some point...

Things that I did: Artwork that teachers did when Lu was 6 months old and in daycare, preschool calendars from 8 years ago, artwork that simply involved gluing, reports on the amazon from 4 years ago, thank you notes for Christmas gifts from elementary teachers, notes of paper from every single day that Ly was in daycare telling me what she ate that day, when she napped and such...

It has taken me a looooong time to get to this point. But I really had to go through all this stuff and get it cleared out. I mean, seriously, do I need little notes of paper from daycare years 11 years ago?? Did I want to remember every day when Lu was in daycare before I became an at-home Mom??

Do you have memory boxes for your kids? Have you been able to declutter them yet and figure out the important stuff as opposed to the clutter?

Something else that I would like to tackle decluttering is pictures...I have saved every.single.picture I have taken, ever. Well, pictures before digital cameras and the ability to delete the bad ones, I mean. But I still have all of the good pictures as well as the terrible and out-of-focus ones from when I would get film developed. So another goal will be to get rid of the terrible ones. Have you done this yet?

10/21/09

Decluttering My Computer


Here is where all the magic happens. HA! Just kidding. Here is where I tippetytap out all these posts...

And when I am not doing that, I am checking email on dimestorethrift@aol.com and on my personal email address.

Or checking out my favorite blogs that link me to another blog to look at.

And then I need to check out my Etsy shop and update that. And respond to any Convos. And while on Etsy, might as well see what my favorite shops are stocking.

Or download some pic's to get them off my camera and ready to edit.

Then I will zip over to Perez or People (I mean, um, The Wall Street Journal online) and see what is newsworthy.

And then I go through some of the sites that I have listed under Favorites...the online newspaper from our hometown, the local news online for weather, Lu's school blog to see what homework is coming up, Twitter (how old am I, again??), the local library to see what books are due or being held...

This can take 10 minutes or 4 hours. Seriously. I need to get more focused while online. There are only so many hours in the day!

So I went through the 487 sites that I had listed under favorites, visited them and decided if there were still a blog/site I would be interested in looking at. I put all my favorite Etsy shops under Favorites on Etsy so they were all in the same place, instead of just having them bookmarked. I deleted YouTube videos I had bookmarked. I deleted cat pictures bookmarked on my favorite cat website. I got rid of online recipes, tutorials and how-to articles that I had bookmarked. I hadn't looked at them in a year!

And let me tell you, it was liberating. I don't feel as tied down to the computer as I once did...it started to feel a bit ADD-ish trying to get anything done online.

Have you done any computer de-cluttering? How did you do it and what worked for you?
(Just don't tell me you un-bookmarked my blog, haha!)

Part Two Of The Craft Room, I mean, Studio Tour

I liked the term that Sveltestuff used yesterday...Studio.

Studio sounds like I am mindfully going into this room and producing something spectacular. So that is the word that we are going to be using here on out.

Yesterday we finished looking at the crafting table (glittering table?) and now today we continue clockwise around the room...


The picture above is of an old china hutch that I now use to hold a variety of things: Findings, beads, gifts, little things I like to look at. Just a whole bunch of miscellaneous. It is always changing.

In the drawers of this hutch, I keep cardstock and felt.

On top of the hutch is where I am now storing boxes, bubble wrap and envelopes to ship items from Etsy. These things were spread through the house before and I would have to visit all three floors to wrap anything. Now it's all in one place. I know that sounds so simple, but it took me awhile to figure that out due to how much I had stuffed into this room!


Also, I am loving those priority boxes and envelopes from USPS that are delivered right to my door, for free! I am shipping things out faster than ever. And Etsy buyers are receiving their items faster, as well.


In between the hutch and the buffet, I stuck a folding tray to bring out when I am glittering, to hold items that need to dry.


Speaking of glitter! These are the two colors I am using a whole lot right now, so just have the trays out of the way, yet very accessible.


They are on the buffet underneath this old childcraft bookcase that I found at Goodwill for a couple dollars. These are the best children's books! I have the original set from my parents home but this set was picked up a few years back at a library book sale and a bit beat up. I've been using the illustrations in different projects.


And more books that are read for inspiration or for use in projects...too beat up to resell but perfect for altered art.



And then we look over the top of the office desk area...filled with things that make me happy, yet there is still space to move around.




Well, you can't really tell by these four pictures, but there is a whole lot of space on the main part of the desk!

I still need to figure out what to put in those filing cabinets, there are alot of them. And to take a good look at the inside of the drawers in the buffet and hutch. And decide exactly where to keep Etsy items before they are shipped!

So there is still a lot of decluttering to be done, but a whole lot of it has been tackled nicely.

10/20/09

Craft Room Tour Part One

Once you get past The Wall Of Toys (toys, toys, toys...said with echo) on either side of the room, this is what you will see when you look to the left:


And then cycling clockwise through the rest of the room:








This is so much more functional than what I had been dealing with...close your eyes and imagine piles. And piles. And a few more piles. Some Christmas decor that I had stuck on a table instead of putting with our Christmas decorations...Etsy items...Items I wanted to glitter...paperwork...it was all piled up.

And now I have sections that are actually working for me!

These are paper machie houses that I bought, oh, maybe 6 years ago or more? Never did do what I wanted to do with them. But they are now right there on the table and ready to get glittered.

I did get rid of 3 christmas ball shaped paper boxes that I never did anything with and won't. They were taking up far too much space and I had zero desire to do something cool with them. So off to Goodwill they went to bless a crafty thrifter.

I have had this little wooden house since last Spring, I believe? I have it sitting now where I will be adding Christmas-y touches to it and putting some vintage Christmas items inside. Either for myself or Etsy. But it is now in a place that it will get finished.


And that heavy brass candle stick holder that I found at that church rummage sale is also on this table, to be de-waxed and either polished or something sparkly done to it...

I also have paper work filed in these hatboxes...I am going to need to get more organized with that and figure out a good way to know what is inside each one, but am saving that project for another day. Right now, they are contained and I like spending time browsing through the boxes to give me a creative boost of energy:

And yes, I have more of those exact same type of hatboxes up in our closet area! Do you remember when I re-did the closet last year? I love me some hatboxes!

These old ornaments are stacked up high! I kept them there because Shiny Brite makes me happy and provide inspiration. I can touch a box and think of someone lovingly putting each ball back in it place after the Holidays to keep it safe until the next one.


And these two old gumball machines are going to be filled with twinkly lights...also put on the table within reach so that I get that project finished quite soon. Behind them is the ipod filled with so much Christmas music, I could be down there for days, happily crafting away.



Decluttering my craft room has given it such a breath of fresh air and re-inspired me in so many ways!

We will finish the detailed tour tomorrow.