Wednesday, March 30, 2011

not quite a silhouette

I was at a rummage sale a month ago and found several canvas paintings for a steal... I think I paid .50 cents a piece. I had no idea what to do with them but I knew I wanted to do something creative for the guest room.  Lately there have been a whole slew of people doing chalk boards and I love chalk boards but ever since I watched the movie "Jaws" and those of you who were brave enough to watch it know what scene I'm referring to.  I just can't bring myself to have one in my home.   How about painting canvas black or charcoal which is what I used and chalking something onto them?

my three sons side profiles
you can see the resemblance (somewhat...)

and we all really like the end result!  

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

nostalgic for new zealand

The boys wanted something different on their walls apart from school artwork and hurley posters.  We put our heads together and the boys suggested to paint a map of my home country, New Zealand. As I got started I couldn't fit the South Island on it and I'm not proud to say that I haven't even gone as far as Wellington. shhhhh.... but the North Island will do for now. We'll come up with a good slogan, maybe we will use "te ika a maui".

According to Maori mythology, the North and South islands of New Zealand arose through the actions of the demi god Maui. Māui and his brothers were fishing from their canoe (the south island) when he caught a great fish and pulled it from the sea. While he was not looking his brothers fought over the fish and chopped it up. This great fish became the North Island and thus a Māori name for the North Island is "Te ika-a-māui."

I used this map as a my example

free hand the map with chalk or you could use a projector

I painted the inside with the grey that's on the opposite walls

then I used a small paint brush and lined it with red to give it some contrast

 I printed towns and cities that were meaningful to the boys and used a spray glue to adhere it to the wall. It just peels right off if you didn't place the name in the right spot
finished product.... well I haven't added "Te ika a maui" yet but will very soon

Monday, March 28, 2011

going green, reuse, recylce, reclaim!

In this day and age, we have gone through so many catchy phrases like "peace and prosperity" or "real plans for real people." Now the catch phrase is "going green!" well I like vintage, and vintage is truly one way of going green. Your recycling old and reusable items. Here is a list of things you can do with vintage or old clothing:

1. two old sweaters can be altered into the coolest dress.

(a) cut under the arms side to side, you will use the bottom piece for the skirt then (b) cut the next sweater just under the bust from side to side then sew it to the bottom piece. its so simple and looks amazing.

2. again sweaters can be pulled apart to reuse the wool.
3. long midi or maxi dresses can be cut and hemmed to a shorter hipper length.
4. tee's can be used for cleaning and shining your grandma's silverware.

5. for halloween we turn old wedding gowns into the corpse bride gown and resell them for far more then we would in their original state..... there's so much more to list but I'm going to move on for now!

this is an old wedding dress we found for $10 at a yard sale, we "deconstructed" it and sold it for over $300 online

obsessed with the "vintage" dress

1940's "Lucille Ball" gown by Christian Dior

 1950s novelty 2 pc cotton circle skirt and sleeveless shirt by Kahana
 1940's black silk Ceil Chapman dress (Black Label)

 1940's Hattie Carnegie nude crepe dress with rhinestones and satin

If there is something I absolutely adore, it's the vintage dress. They were so well made back in the good ol' days. Our mum would find gorgeous dresses at thrift stores, redo, reconstruct or even deconstruct a vintage dress for us. We always felt like we were the best dressed twins in the whole town (well, we were the only twins in town).  These dresses pictured are a sample of what we have sold from our online vintage clothing store. named after our favorite thrift store in the little town where we were raised in New Zealand. The Opp Shoppe! We don't have much listed right now due to being busy (starting blogs and redoing bathrooms and bedrooms) but will in the near future. Check out our online store at for more info.

bargain soaps

I found a large case of these lovely smelling english soaps at a local yard sale - apparently a bed and breakfast was being sold - and figured I could do something with these. a bargain at $5 for a box of 200.
So here are somethings I did with them:
1. threw a piece of soap in each of my sons shoes and wahlah... excellent smelling shoes!
2. use them in dressers for that added aroma.
3. place them in my luggage instead of those awful moth balls. it really works!
4. wrap ribbon or twine around a piece or two and add it to a gift card.
5. fill a large vintage glass jar with the soaps and put it in the guest bathroom.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

finding the finds

Where do I go to get the best deals?
my local thrift stores, eg. Goodwill, Pawprints, Twice Nice

Estate and Garage Sales

Auctions & Antique stores

Grandma's or Aunties closet

Flea Markets

Many of us love to yardsale, attend auctions, go antique~ing with girlfriends and possibly find the "bargain of the year" but always remember "if you don't need it, don't get it!" I prefer to plan ahead, go with a thought in mind of what I need, not "oooh I love it and someday I will have the time to fix it when I didn't need it in the first place" kinda thoughts.

~ try not to be a ninny and ask for a price cut at the beginning of the sale, you only end up bugging the sellers. wait until the sale is in full swing, maybe one hour into it before you ask for a deal.

~ go with lots of quarters, $1's and $5's when you yardsale. its always better to bargain with so when you see something for $6 or $7, you can show them your $5 and see if they'd take it. 90% of the time they will.

~ auctions.... don't get caught up in the excitement of the sale. bring your phone, check out what it sells for on sites like ebay or amazon. Try and keep the bid at 25-30% less than what you'd buy it for on those sites. that way you've played it safe, didn't over purchase and if you missed out you can always get one online.

~ Thrift stores, do the tire check... kick it (not literally) but plug it in, open the drawers, try it on.  Remember its not a bargain if you get home and it doesn't work.

~ don't forget the classifieds and Craigslist too!

another blog about being thrify!

There are more blogs than you can imagin about being thrifty, bargain hunting, diy-ers fixing up old items and turning them into treasures.
I wanted to start a blog about some of my adventures with everything in my toolbox and sewing kit to my pocketbook purchases. with the economy being the way it is we all need to work as hard as we can to keep that penny in our pockets.