Sunday, April 29, 2012

Two Weekends of Treasure Hunting...

A.K.A. my spending diet is over.  I did make it six whole days without spending any money...but a girl's gotta eat...or visit an estate sale or three :/  I haven't gone overboard or anything but I'm not going to beat myself up for spending money either.  Anyway enough therapy :)

Small project I did while on my spending diet-Money Hearts (one for each day I didn't shop)




I think I might save this idea for a graduation or wedding gift...would be cool to use a wire wreath form and cover it with heart-shaped money.
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So, I went to three estate sales (one last weekend and two this weekend).  I forgot to take a 'before' of my haul from the first one-it was pretty small and I almost got into an altercation with a fellow shopper.  People are crazy. 



I found this amazing galvanized-sided wood drawer with dividers.  Love at first sight.  Of course the drawer belonged to an entire unit (see altercation above).  But it was priced separately, on the other side of the room, filled with metal fittings I didn't need (so I recycled) and not my problem :)  Besides I would have loved to have the whole drawer unit but she got there first. I scrubbed the heck out of it and also got some weird yellow paint off one side.  I dry-brushed some silver paint over the front of the drawer to enhance the crackled stain finish.

I also picked up a wooden ruler (I know I'm obsessed lately), a blue metal C-clamp, a metal angle-drawing thing with a ruler (that I took a part)....and a ridiculously beautiful old wooden level. 

I hung it on the wall in my dining room along with three prints-from the Maryland Nautical Charts from a previous estate sale-(if you want to read that post click here --Treasure Hunting-Nautical Charts )  The frames and mats are from HobbyLobby. 



Total for that Estate sale-$13


The next two Estate sales were okay. The first one had pretty high prices (and a long line to get in on Saturday) but I did score this great mirror for $5. Someone had epoxy-ed the mirror on the back....so that was fun to remove :) I sprayed it with super-metallic spray paint and rearranged my vanity to add it to the mix.


 



The second estate sale was a bit off the beaten path but had two really nice women working the sale and great prices.  Below is a photo of my pile:


Two great older rulers-one is three-sided like an architectural or drafting ruler, the other is folding with an old-style phone number-Belmont 5-9200.  I think the thing to the right is a trivet-it's super heavy with three little feet on the bottom. 

I also found these great blue beads (they're super long even doubled up), white shell necklace, rhinestone screw-back drop earrings (love!) in wonderful shape, and finally a rhinestone scarf buckle-thing? 

Total for this Estate sale-$10

Here's how I incorporated some of my finds:




I plan on wearing the blue beads so I just added them to my jewelry display on the back of my vanity door.  The bracelets are on a cafe curtain rod mounted to the door.  I love being able to see everything while getting ready. 


 I used the rhinestone buckle thing as a frame.  That's me as a baby.  It was the only photo I could find small enough and I realized I didn't have any photos of me as a baby...nice to remember being care-free...and wearing a dress at that!


I plan to wear the earrings too.  I cleaned them up with a q-tip and some rubbing alcohol on the metal and just a little water on the rhinestones. 


The trivet was also painted and I have it leaning on a small glass cup for support.  Love the graphic pattern.  The metal thing on top of the stack of books is from the first estate sale-I love how it looks like a heart if you turn your head. 


 
Finally, here is the white shell necklace.  I'll probably wear it too but for now I love how it goes along with the beachy ocean painting.

Another long post...one final 15 second project below.  I had a plain silver tissue box on my nightstand that just wasn't doing it for me.  I was going through my sock drawer and found some fishnets that I'd never worn (and I'm not really sure why I bought them).  I cut each end and put the box inside and I. Love. It.  

Before
 After



The silver dish was a gift from my Mom-she bought it on Etsy.  I love the faceted detail with the points and it's small size.  Lamp and tray are from HomeGoods. 

Happy Treasure Hunting!
-Alisa

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Weekend Treasure Hunting and a few projects...

So starting today I'm going on a spending diet.  No spending until my birthday which is about 26 days away.  I'm even going to try to only eat food that I already have in my kitchen...should be interesting :) Wish me luck!

Now on to the fun stuff...Saturday morning I got up bright and early and traveled to two estate sales.  I found them both on Craigslist - after looking at their photos I thought they might have some interesting stuff.  I went to the first one because I was interested in the ocean painting I saw in one of the photos.  Well, homegirl wanted $250 for that sucker so I decided to make my own :) 




To see the transformation of this table click here --> Thrift Nightstand Project



Not nearly as fabulous as the vintage professional one-but mine didn't cost a thing (I already had the canvas in my closet and paint left over from college...side note:  make sure to test out your paints if you're using old stuff- some of the consistency can change and you'll be able to tell if they've gone bad) 

I did buy five hardcover vintage books for a whopping $3.50 at the first sale.  At the second estate sale I bought two more hardcover books, two amazing vintage Baltimore Harbor maps/atlas/nautical charts from the 60s, a broken piece of an old yard stick (sounds like trash but trust me people were eyeing it in my pile), an old fabric seamstress tape measure, an antique hammer thing (my Dad can tell you the exact name of it) and finally...a super cool silver magnifying glass.  All for a grand total of $8.  I mean come on you can't beat that :)


I think I'm going to have some of the nautical charts professionally framed for my dining room...stay tuned for another post on that one (after my spending diet of course!)



 This cabinet/jewelry armoire belonged to my grandfather and before him my great great uncle.  It even has a little skeleton key and little shelves inside.  I propped the mini-magnifying glass up against the cabinet along with an old folding yard stick my Dad gave me that was left in my parents' first house. 




 I bought this little silver sugar bowl at my local GW for $4.  It was a tarnished mess but I thought it was really cute.  With a little silver polish it's the perfect spot to show off my estate-sale-fabric measuring tape.

 
Little estate hammer and broken yard stick along with my other rulers and old mini hammer my Dad gave me. 

 
Vintage books added to my shelves and entryway mosaic table.  Love the colors and lettering on the spines.




Finally, my last project this weekend was made entirely with stuff I had around my house. 

I made a fabric bulletin board with:   
  • A frame my grandmother gave me for Christmas (I think she got it @ Kohls)
  • Some fabric that I've been saving for another project
  • A piece of heavy duty cardboard from a package I received in the mail
  • Staple gun
  • Valspar Metallic silver spray paint
  • Gorilla tape

 I removed the glass and mat and sprayed the frame with a coat of the metallic silver spray paint.  Then, I painted over it with black glossy acrylic paint, wiping off some as it dried for an antique look.  Next, I cut a piece of heavy duty cardboard to fit inside the frame.  I wrapped the fabric around and stapled it just like you would a chair seat.  Since the fabric is upholstery-weight the 'bulletin board' ended up being thicker than the frame.  So I used gorilla tape to secure it to the back of the frame. 




I added a few inspirational cards and my collection of vintage rhinestone brooches that I've been saving for a really special project in the future.  Until then, I'll display them where I can admire them every day :)



The brooches are held on by tacking in straight pins (from your sewing stash if you have one).  That was one long post...time to get ready for the work week:)

Happy treasure hunting!
-Alisa




Sunday, April 8, 2012

Skeleton Key Project

I've loved skeleton keys for as long as I can remember.  I've always collected them and have a few pieces of furniture that still use skeleton keys to lock.  I went to a flea market last weekend. While it wasn't my favorite trip (the place wasn't nearly as fabulous as I'd hoped)-I did find some really amazing skeleton keys. 

I decided to display them on my gallery wall in my office.  I used a resin frame from HomeGoods (made to look like an ornate vintage one).  I cut off the back and removed the glass.  I then stapled a piece of rhinestone trim I found at Hobby Lobby to the wall (I tried to glue it to the frame but it wouldn't stay put and since the frame is resin I couldn't staple it to the frame either) and hung all of the keys using jump rings I found in the jewelry making section of HL.


Finished product-a beautiful way to display a collection of special skeleton keys. 





 
For some of the not-as-ornate keys-that my Dad gave me a million years ago-I strung them on a piece of black ribbon and hung them from the lamp switch. 


Happy Collecting!
-Alisa

Kitchen Redecorating Project

So I decided I didn't love my kitchen as-is.  The baker's rack between the two doorways always stuck out and just wasn't my style.  So I found a beautiful antique (I'm told from the 20s-same as the house) armoire at an antique/junk store.  I had every intention of painting it...as I do with most of the old furniture I purchase for my home. 

But once I cleaned it really well and waxed the surface...I was in love...with the original finish...if you can believe it.  It has a few chips to the veneer and scratches but I love it. 










I did make ONE modification...I couldn't stand the original finish on the hardware...so I sprayed it silver and 'antiqued' it by rubbing on some glossy black paint.  I also took out the middle drawer so I could store my crock-pot and panini-maker. 




The painting above the armoire of orange calla lilies I did in college.  The baking dishes are by Le Creuset in their Caribbean blue color. 



I tried to pick up on that aqua color with my newest project-I filled the space where the baker's rack was with an old nightstand that I picked up at Sal. Army for $24.99.  Not realizing at the time that the 'carved' details were really plastic...so the painting was slightly a nightmare...but I love the end result :)

BEFORE



 I found this amazing vintage mini-sunburst mirror on eBay.  I think it looks great with the larger sunburst mirror that I also painted (from Hobby Lobby) and the modern burst mirror on the left (HomeGoods of course).


 AFTER


The little cutting board has a carved 'A'...I picked it up at a West Elm store that is closing near me.  I went a little overboard with their closing sale definitely fell off the spending diet bandwagon.  The hammered metal stand and the fabric placemat are also from West Elm.  The fabric is actually a rug remnant that they sold to me.  I love the texture with the glossy paint of the table and the hammered stand. 

Still working on the styling but I love the way the colors work together. The print is of a statue in DC that I photographed in high school, I 'developed' the print by spraying developer onto the paper for a speckled look. The lamp was a HomeGoods clearance find ($29.99 WITH the shade!!). 

Happy Treasure Hunting!
-Alisa