I’m writing this post so that I will feel accountable for my next sentence. I am NOT going to BUY any new craft supplies in 2017 unless they fit the two specific criteria I have laid out here. First, I am ALLOWED to buy the NECESSITIES if I run out. By necessities, I mean things like paint, glue, artist pens and pencils, gesso, etc… Second, I CAN BUY art supplies if I find them ridiculously CHEAP at thrift shops, yard sales or flea markets. That’s it! I am not going to go to Tuesday Morning, Hobby Lobby, Michael’s or any other store just to browse and see what they have. Browsing usually ends up costing me a lot of money!
So why am I making this bold statement? When I was crafting for Christmas, I found I had so many Christmas items in my stash that I didn’t need to go out any buy anything. I made lots of December Dailies, cards, tags and embellishments without purchasing a thing. The amazing thing is, I still don’t need to buy anything for next year either. I have so many supplies I’m drowning in them. Ditto for Valentine’s Day, Easter, Summer, Fall and you get the idea.
Now here’s where it hurts. I’m going to expose my shame and show you all the stuff I have to craft and make mixed media with. Ready?
Sadly, this is not all. There are some drawers in my studio and other places all over the house that have craft supplies in them. Now you can see why I don’t need to go shopping anytime soon. Everything I have I liked enough to purchase or save, so now it’s time to use it all up. I’m excited about the thought of actually having room to breathe in my studio.
Okay, so it’s confession time. I already did buy something this year. This is what I bought.
My justification is that they were cheap (only $1.00 each) and….
They are filled with pages and pages of these beautiful nature graphics! I can use these for so many projects.
So there you have it. I feel better after this photographic confession and goal for 2017. Hopefully you will be seeing a lot of posts showing the stuff I have been making.
If you feel like you’re suffocating in your supplies, or you want to save some money, craft from your stash and have fun with the supplies you already have on hand. Good Luck!
I purchased this ugly metal match box holder a couple of weeks ago because I thought the shape was really nice. The flower cart picture on the front, not so much.
The bottom needed help too!
I decoupaged some scrapbook paper on the front and the bottom.
I attached an old piece of broken jewelry on the front to add some bling. Now it is worthy to sit on a desk and hold pens, pencils and “old lady eyes”.
It can also hang on a wall. There are many things (including a match box) that you can corral in this up-cycled holder!
It was a quick and easy re-do that saved this vintage piece from going to the junk yard! It is now available at Moss Cottage Vintage in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
A lot of people ask me where I find such cute Christmas graphics for my December Dailies. I tell them, “Anywhere I can”. I don’t say that to be evasive or cryptic, I say it because it’s the truth. When you work on December Dailies and junk journals, you learn to look at the things that pass through your hands carefully. You want great graphics for your journals, however, most people don’t really even look at the papers that pass through their hands.
Here are a few cute Christmas graphics that may make it into my December Daily this year and the place where I found them. Hopefully this will give you some ideas for collecting great graphics for whatever project you are working on.
These are just a few examples of what types of graphics are good to use for journals and where you can find them. But don’t forget to look at napkins, coasters, food bags, labels, newspapers, magazines, flyers, food boxes and shopping bags. Great graphics are all around, you just have to slow down and look for them.
I hope you take your time this Christmas to see all the wonderful images marketing professionals put out there for us to enjoy!
As my last post showed, I have been very busy making items for two upcoming shows. Here is just a quick little post showing some more things I have made. Enjoy!
As you can see, at least 90% of everything Moss Cottage Vintage makes is made with recycled elements. It is good for the environment and let’s me create one-of-a-kind items my customers can cherish!
Yesterday was a totally fun yet freezing day. My friends Barb and Juliana went flea marketing with me in Richmond. To an outdoor flea market. Did I mention it was freezing? But you know what? When you start digging through boxes of treasures and looking at all the goodies you kind of forget your pain, right? No, but you plug on anyway.
Here is what I got at the flea market and the antique mall we stopped at on the way back.
Just look at all those flea market treasures! I need to break it all down for you so you can wallow in all the vintage goodness.
I got these four chalk boards that were made in Portugal. Who knew the Portuguese are expert chalkboard makers? Not me! And I got the prim little wooden shelf because, well it’s a shelf and who doesn’t need another shelf? The tomato pin cushion is filled with stick pins I can up-cycle for journal and mini-album covers.
There was a really nice lady who was selling all kinds of crafting stuff for 25 cents a package but since I already have enough crafting stuff I just walked away. NOT!!! I did refrain from buying the whole bag for $10.00 though and I thought that was pretty good of me. But I did dig through the bag picking out some things I could use. I stopped picking when I could no longer feel my fingers because they were frozen. Getting my money out of my bag was a comedy of errors and I had to dash after a stack of $5.00 bills the wind took out of my numb hands. For an old lady I can still move pretty quickly, especially when I’m chasing flying money!!!
Well, after I recovered my flying money and my dignity, I noticed a stack of books on the same lady’s table. She said all the books were just 50 cents each. Hello! I got some beautiful books that looked brand new like the Pooh Treasury book and a Beatrice Potter book. I also got a book called Miss Spider’s Tea Party. This book was $1.00 because it is MASSIVE. I have never seen such a big book. Although the book is in great condition I bought it with destruction in mind. I want to take the pages with graphics out and hang them in my laundry room. No kidding, the pictures are poster size. Look!
Now how cute is that? Look at it. Just look at it! I’m sorry, you could not stay in a bad mood after looking at a picture like this unless your heart is made of stone. So the nice lady got more of my money and I walked away with a big smile on my face and an even bigger book. What I was really looking for though were linens and lace. I did end up finding a few linens throughout the day.
My favorite linen buy is the bright 1960’s table runner on the bottom. It will add a lot of color to my Spring shop displays. I didn’t find a single piece of lace at the flea market so I was kind of bummed about that. But when we went to the antique mall I found this!
I know, don’t hyper-ventilate like I did when I saw these. Juliana actually found this box first and she bought two of the paper rolls of trim first. And some of the trims are actually no more than shoe laces but for 75 cents a roll who could resist. I had to ask the vendor twice that they were only 75 cents a whole roll and not by trim type. I heard angels singing when she said it was indeed only 75 cents per paper tubey thingy. After selecting my three tubey thingies I found the two pieces of lace with the little roses on it. They are by far, no doubt about it, hands down my absolute favorite find of the day!!! I LOVE them. When I asked the vendor how much they were she said I could just HAVE them. Juliana and Barb almost had to do CPR on me. I told the lady I could not just “HAVE” them because they are so awesome. I told her I must give her something for the happiness she was providing me. I told her I would give her another 75 cents, the same price as her tubey thingies, for these two precious pieces of eye candy. She laughed at me. Some people just don’t understand people with LOD (lace obsession disorder).
I swore I would not buy anymore Christmas stuff this year because the shop is full of it and I really don’t want to have to store the leftovers until next year. So here is the Christmas stuff I ended up buying. I have no words for this lot. Not one word.
And last but not least, here are the things that really don’t fall into any other category of stuff I bought. Yes, there is a big box of PINK Q-tips. I don’t think I really need to explain why I bought those. I bought a beautiful vintage Austrian crystal brooch from a dealer who obviously doesn’t know the value of good old costume jewelry! I’m just saying. The little Italian lacquer box is a stocking stuffer for my mother-in-law because it is an old souvenir from Austria. Yes, she is Austrian and no, I didn’t spoil the surprise because she doesn’t read my blog. The box of chalk is for my Sunday School room because we write our prayer requests on the board each week. The last piece of chalk we have is so small it’s hard to hold never mind write with!
Now, the plastic fruit (grapes or raspberries?) are in this category because I thought they were your run-of-the-mill plastic fruit lights that had been put in the wrong box (pictured above the lights). But no! I plugged them in to see if they work and my breath was just taken away. You see, not only do they alternately flash on and off, but they play “Jingle Bells” at the speed of sound!!! I was actually confused at all the noise and action when I plugged them in. Could somebody please explain to me what flashing fruit (grapes or raspberries?) have to do with jingle bells. I know I can be dense sometimes but I’m just not making the connection here.
Now you can see from all these great purchases that the
early frozen bird gets the worm! So don’t let the bitter, cold and damp weather deter you from flea marketing because you may miss the opportunity to buy a set of “Jingle Bells” flashing fruit lights of your own!
I think everyone should make some form of art every day. There are many forms including drawing, collage, painting, coloring, stamping and even doodling. Making a little piece of art is very satisfactory as it provides a visual finished product. But who has time to finish a 9 x 12 canvas everyday? Not me, that’s for sure. So I needed to come up with a way to make daily art that doesn’t take a big time commitment. Hmmmm, what to do, what to do?
Pinterest to the rescue (again). Check out what I found on this website.
It’s an altered rolodex! What a brilliant idea. I wanted to get one for myself and start making my own miniature masterpieces (or just doodles). On my first thrift shop outing after seeing this great idea, I was lucky enough to find this.
A couple of cards done and it looks like this.
As you can see I have a loooong way to go to even begin filling this baby up. And I also have the backs of the cards to do. I’m thinking this one rolodex will keep me busy for the rest of my life. I have no idea how many cards are in it, all I know is there are a lot. Here are some close-ups of the cards I have actually done.
So maybe the next time you are at that yard-sale, thrift shop or flea market and you see an old rolodex, you will look at it as a new form of art instead of an out dated office supply. Now if you will excuse me, I have to start working on 1538 more pieces of miniature art!
Happy Labor Day everyone! Wow, has the summer ever blown by fast. I have had a very busy summer which included a cruise and a white-water rafting and zip-line trip to West Virginia. I also went to many flea markets, yard sales, estate sales and thrift shops. It was at one of these venues that I found this….
It is a sad little suitcase, probably for doll clothes. It is an old one, and certainly one that has seen better days, but then again, haven’t we all? If you look at the top right corner of the case it even looks like a mouse might have sharpened his teeth on it!
Why would I even consider spending good money on this? I had three reasons. First, it is sturdy and the hardware is all intact. Second, it only cost $1.00. And lastly, it is so sad I just couldn’t leave it to a fate of ever being tossed in the trash can, unused and unloved. Yes, I really do get emotional about inanimate objects! But I could not leave it in this miserable state. I decided since I will never be able to afford a face-lift, this sad little case would get one instead.
First, a coat of white paint around the edges and hardware. Sometimes you have to get ugly (or in this case uglier) before you get pretty. If you’ve ever had foil highlights put in your hair you know what I’m talking about.
Then I applied a bunch of scrap papers around the whole case. This is a view of the top.
And here is the front. As an afterthought I decided to cover up any white paint around the edges and hardware with some distress ink.
It gives it a little more vintage flair.
I wiped out the inside, which was not so bad, but it needed a little upgrade too.
I just put some paper in the lid and in the bottom, but left the sides in their original state. I love how this sad little case ended up. Not so sad anymore! I am mainly going to use this case to carry art supplies when I go out (can anyone say, Donna Downey class in October!!!!). I was going to stamp some “arty” words inside the lid but decided I may also use it for displaying lace and such at vintage shows. I’m sorry my pictures do not do this little $1.00 beauty justice. She actually is quite pretty now.
So my challenge to you is to take a chance and spend that whole dollar on the sad little object nobody else will buy. You never know, it could be a diamond in the rough!