Monday, May 31, 2010

One Girl’s Trash

You know what they say. One girl’s trash is another girl’s… pillow? If you remember back to my trip to Brimfield, I bought a burlap bag that I wanted to make into a pillow. Unlike many dresses on my sewing to-do list I actually completed this one!

The burlap is a pretty wide weave, so I knew I had to make a lining before I stuffed. I found some khaki/green cotton at my mom’s that I knew would do the trick. I didn’t even measure. I cut a piece of fabric the same size as the bag (using the fold so I only had to sew 3 sides). This wound up creating a ½" seam allowance so the lining was just smaller than the bag. I sewed around the sides leaving about a 4 inch gap at the top for the fluffy stuff.

Onto stuffing. I found a down body pillow from days of old in my parents’ attic. I made a quick snip at the corner and made a trip outside (these feathers are no joke). My mom and I shimmied and shook until the lining was full. It took the two of us to finish this linig. My mom held back the feathers while I sewed the top closed. I sewed, back stitched, sewed, and back stitched because I’m scared to death of what could happen if this thing blows. Think pillow fight on tv, trapped in a studio apartment.

I dropped the new pillow inside of the burlap bag, and it fit absolutely perfectly! I took a needle and upholstery thread and hand stitched the bag closed. Since there was already a seam there, it was easy for me to stitch on top of it which hid my handiwork.

One of my crafting pet peeves is when people make something and say it was free, or only a few bucks because they found everything conveniently at home. Well, sorry but that’s exactly what I did here. I was lucky enough to find cotton lining, thread, and a down pillow at my mom’s house, which made the extra supplies sum to a grand total of NADA! The only cost was the $5 I paid for the bag.

The original plan was to snip off the handles, but I left them and I really like it. I may add a tarnished vintage brooch to the corner, but it’s ready to go as is.  Hope you like it! I think it will look amazing on the new bed I am having delivered this weekend. More on that later…

I Got A Table Saw!

Well... not like a power tool but still fun.  I just got back from an amazing weekend at my friend's aunt's lake house.  Only the most generous and fantastic hostess gives gifts to her guests.  Yup, we showed up to HER lake house for the weekend and she gave US gifts. 

I was given a table saw.  As in a plastic coated metal knife shaped like a saw, and perfect for cutting letuce or cakes.  I think this is hysterical.  So much fun we had to use it that night.  On Mary Anne's amazing carrot cake!  Recognize the skirt?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I was searching for a housewarming present for a friend who I hope won't read this blog until after Sunday.  Not having seen her new house or decor, I wasn't sure what to bring.  While I was at Crate & Barrel buying my dream pitcher, I came across this little gem

Paired with a few bottles of wine, I think it will make a fantastic gift.  And the price?  Give me a break.  Less than $20 for the carafe and 4 glasses!  I think I need to get my own!

Ask And You Shall Receive

It’s just about summertime! The season for sipping copious amounts of Arnold Palmers, John Daleys (Arnold Palmers +Vodka) and iced tea.

I have amassed quite a tea collection via my tea-a-holic mother, and I want to start keeping iced tea on hand. The problem? My apartment has a midget fridge, and I am always low on space. My little pea brain started thinking of the perfect pitcher for the cause. I wanted glass because I am kind of plastic-phobic. I wanted slim and space saving (midget fridge, remember?) And I wanted a lid (I’m ok with that bit being plastic).

So I started my search at the usual retail suspects. I found decent pitchers but plastic, or good glass ones with no lids. It looked like my dream pitcher would not come to fruition. And then, a friend suggested Crate & Barrel (Duhhhh).

And there it was… slender, glass, lid with strainer. Pitcher perfection for $10.95. Let the iced tea sipping begin! 

I got one for work too.  Filled it with water, and chucked in a sliced cucumber.  This will make sitting at my desk a spa like experience.  Almost.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

My Name Is Liz. L-I-Z. And I'm Off The Sauce.

I’m a salad-dressing-making-aholic. Granted, I have created some delicious salad dressings over the last few months. But I realized recently that I just might have a problem.

I was on a date last weekend and the following embarrassing conversation ensued.
Cute Date: “Do you like to cook?”
Liz: “I LOVE to cook!”
Cute Date: “What’s your specialty?”
Liz: “Hmm… I don’t really have one.”
Cute Date: “You must have one”
Liz: “I don’t think I do. Do you?”
Cute Date: “Mine is mushroom risotto.”
Long Pause
Liz: “Well… lately I’ve been making a lot of salad dressing.”
Cute Date: ---Speechless---

SALAD DRESSING??? That’s all I could come up with? SALAD DRESSING. Not lemon roast chicken, eggs benedict, homemade baked macaroni & cheese. Nope. Salad dressing. Which leads me into reason #736 that I am single. What guy sees himself with a girl who is really really good at making SALAD DRESSING?!?!  He can look forward to a lifetime of lettuce and misery.  I think I would have gotten a better response if I answered "Cupcakes for our future childrens' birthdays".  What an idiot!

I get it, I need an intervention. So today, I bought my first bottle of pre-made salad dressing in a long time. I went with Newman’s Olive Oil & Vinegar. Basic, but it got high ratings from Clean Eating Magazine. It’s delicious, and I love supporting Newman’s. So, I’m off the sauce for a while so I can concentrate on making some actual food.

Antiquing Extravaganza!

Bad blogger! I am slapping my own wrist for how long it’s been since I’ve posted. Bad bad blogger!

Yesterday my friend Jen and I hit up the Brimfield Antique Show. This is antiquing insanity. Fields upon fields of vendors selling everything you can imagine. Somehow even growing up with an antique crazed mother I had never been before. Now I plan to make the pilgrimage three times a year for eternity.

I made some good finds, and cheap. When we walked in I told Jen that I wanted some vintage linens. I don’t typically practice The Secret but let me tell you, the first thing I find is a set of adorable vintage embroidered tea towels. And cheap! They were marked as $6 for six which I found shocking. I offered five and the vendor wanted to take it but was hesitant because they weren’t her item and she thought the price was way low. She kept looking at the tag in disbelief, but it said what it said and she took it. These kill me. Beyond adorable. Thanks to the nana who made them!

I was hot out the gate. At a vendor that looked half antique fair half flea market, a vintage soda bottle caught my eye. Hope Club. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be a member of the Hope Club or drink their soda? I thought it was meaningful and adorable. I found the toothless wonder running the booth and he asked $5. Dream on Chief. He took $3. Now I want to put a shelf in my kitchen. The red lettering is perfect if I do the blue/red/brown theme I was thinking of for a valance.

While still in the flea market meets loony bin section, Jen found vintage hat pins. While she was perusing and talking to the drunk old lady behind the jewelry case, I saw a burlap bag that I thought would make an amazing large throw pillow. I haggled with the wino who was showing us her “I Love Lucy” doll that was still in the crushed and water damaged box. She took $5 for it. She says she got it in 1993, but I’m pretty sure she meant 1903. She was clearly pickled. Pillow update to follow.

Before I go any further, the true highlight of the day was the bag of fresh, hot, sugary cider donuts from Faddy’s Donuts. You heard right. Faddy’s Donuts. We walked up and Jen said “Let’s split one”. SPLIT ONE? They are hot donuts you kook. Ten seconds later we bought four. I wanted 12.

Later we stumbled on a jewelry dealer with a table of $5 rings. Don’t mind if I do! I quickly found a little gold flower shaped stunner with small cognac colored stones with one green one in the middle. I love love love it, can’t wait to rock it. Pardon my flipping the bird, but for some strange reason God blessed me with skinny fingers so I have to wear rings on my middle or index fingers. I would have accepted skinny legs or a tiny waist instead, but I shouldn’t complain. Next I found a bin of clip on earrings, which I collect. Jen found an amazing pair of clips that have a what looks like a fishing reel in the middle. I die. She was asking $8 but I got them and the ring for $10. Success!

The day was an insane success. Jen got a large McCoy Greenware mixing bowl for $40, a $10 blue glass pedestal bowl that looks phenom on her console table, and a wire bottle carrier for $30.

I left with two key learnings.
#1 – Flirt with every old man that loves your dress, wants to know what you found etc. You never know what booth he’s working in. No shame in my game.
#2 – Your antiquing partner is your bargaining chip. After you quietly gush over how you HAVE to have something, decide what you’re willing to pay for it and go ask the vendor for their best price. Whatever they say, even if it’s less than what you want to pay, turn to your partner and ask what they think about the price. Scrunch your nose like you have a lemon in your mouth and say “No way, not worth it”. Watch the price fall.

After wandering around for 5+ hours, once the sugar rush wore off, it was time to go. Neither one of us dropped a ton of money but we got lots of stuff that we like. I love Target and all, but there is something about snagging an antique. You wonder where it came from, who owned it, and how it came to be yours. Can’t wait for July!