Thursday, September 16, 2021

Birthday Loafing


Just celebrated my birthday recently, I am still hanging around in the 40s, but not sure where.  I honestly don't know my age.  I like it that way.  I just hope I am never put in a situation that I have to prove I'm not insane and they ask me that fairly simple question...just send my birthday cards addressed to the local nut house from then on out.

Until that happens let's check out the party decor.
  For my theme this year I used these super cute vintage party napkins I found on ebay:  

I love those little kids!

I printed the image and glued to cheap paper cups.

I printed out enlarged versions of the cutie kids and tried to style them as they were holding up my cake (which is also styled after the one on the napkins).  The cake flavor is Hummingbird Cake and the little roses are vintage plastic picks.

Here is a scan of the napkin for your own birthday crafting pleasure:

I spent the day loafing, eating, and with my plumber.

We live in a highly nincompoop populated area so we keep close to home for the most part.  I treated myself to pick-up from a favorite local bagel coffee shop and then again dinner was pick-up, my favorite Chicken and Waffles!  During the day I hung out with the plumber outside as he fixed our clogged drain, which was a gift that it's now working properly.  Later we had cake and I opened some cute gifts from Mr. Husband.  I'll have to photo later but in list form he got me a vintage dress I had asked for, some vintage food and cleaning packaging items, vintage post cards, a NOS vintage squeaker lamb toy, a vintage frito cookbooklet, and a 1976 Elvis concert photo booklet...all from ebay.

It was a really low key day and that's absolutely fine by me...I'm over 'eventful'.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

New Kitchen "Curtains"

This has been an idea in the making since 2017 when I came across a cute vintage wood cabinet 
at an antique mall featuring stenciled "curtains" on the glass doors:

I mean! 

What a clever idea!  I snapped a full straight-on shot with my dinky camera phone and stashed the idea away.
I knew it would be a cute decorative feature to do to my kitchen window but making it happen was perplexing me.  And I'll be honest, I am sure other brighter folks could have figured this out far quicker and simpler than how I finally pulled this off.
Any time I do a craft project it has got to be cheap, dirt cheap.  I am fine with spending tons of time but not tons of money.  And this project was just that; took me a few years to figure out but in the end only cost a dollar.
So here is my fandangle process. The first thing I did was to print out the photo scaled to fit my windows on the wide format printer at the library.  As you can see the original stencil is missing paint so I then used a ruler to draw the lines and stencil sections back on the large print.  Next I used a xacto blade and cut out the stencil.  Now is where I got stumped.  Do I want to paint it on the window, or maybe even etch it, or try something else like vinyl?  Since I have to wipe down this window on a very regular basis I decided against the paint, thinking it would flake off as the original had done.  Etching is too permanent and really not opaque enough for the look I was going for.  So then I am left with the vinyl option.  I happened to have a big roll of white contact shelf liner I picked up from an estate sale for 1 buck!  I laid the cut out paper stencil (right side down to the back side of the vinyl backing) and traced out the pieces.  I did this to the back so I wouldn't have to later erase pencil marks from all of the fronts of the tiny strips.  I then traced out the pieces in pencil and cut out with the blade, scotch-taping the tiny pieces in place where cut.  After all cuts are made for both panels discard the paper templates. Clean the window with alcohol and allow to fully dry.  Next I taped the vinyl stencil to the window and painstakingly removed each tiny taped down piece, removed the backing and replaced on the glass in it's correct position. After all pieces were placed I removed the large stencil piece from the window.  I then used a bone folder tool (used in book making/binding to make sharp creases in paper) to firmly press each piece of vinyl to the window.  Then two days later Ta-da!

I super love it!  
I have already had to clean the window a couple of days after placing the vinyl and it held up well with gentle wiping.

My next kitchen project is possibly painting my countertops.  I eventually want new formica but that's way down the road.  For now I just want to make the blahness of these go away...however I have another year or so of overthinking the project before anything will happen! 

Thursday, September 09, 2021

Vintage Potholders

Here's the last bit of linen closet fodder...Pot holders!

Let's think about what uses they could have other than just keeping our mitts or countertops from getting burned.
The first and obvious is to just hang them on the kitchen wall as decor.  Another idea would be to stitch several together into a mat to place washed dishes to dry upon.  Stitch one in half closed by a zipper and make a pouch.  Or sew a few together to make a purse.    Place several down the middle of the table to make a funky faux table runner.  Use them the same as you would doilies.  
My most favorite idea is to use them as drip coasters for sweaty icy drinks. 

That about clears out my linen closet ideas.
"Linen closets" can also include handkerchiefs, tablecloths, blankets, and placemats.  And while those items can have lots of reuse and upcycle options, I just use them as is.
What are some of your favorite repurpose linens ideas?


Wednesday, September 08, 2021

Vintage Towels

This week I am rummaging around the linens closet, and seeing what kind of ideas come to mind.

 Don't you love vintage towel prints and colors?!  I don't come across them too often as you can see my collection is small.  They are an item that tends to be used till threadbare. They don't wind up at thrifts for this reason so estate sales are the best places to look.  
Because towels can take a beating I would never use vintage towels for everyday sponging.  And since the fabric is so thick and rough they aren't good candidates for clothing.
So what to do with them?
One idea to still display them in the bathroom without getting grimy hands involved is to turn them into curtains for your bathroom.  Attach some café curtain clip rings on them and you're done!
Another idea is to sew a few together and make a big beach blanket.  Along those same lines you can sew a couple of towels together at the shoulders and waist and make a swim suit cover-up.
Vintage towels would make great fabric for tote bags or purses.  They could also be good for large sized hot pads for dishes.  Turn them into seat cushions by stitching them in half and stuffing.  Cut them into small decorative table runners for a bedroom.  Oh!  Here's a good idea!  Use them to make a tank and toilet seat cover set!

Let's see what else is in here....

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

Vintage Sheets

This week I am going to talk ideas for a variety of vintage linens.  It was something that just popped into my head and the next ting I know I am pulling sheets and stuff from all my hidey holes in my house.

Here are most of my vintage sheets and pillow cases that I have picked up over the years from thrift stores and estate sales.  

I had originally bought most of these years ago as they were going to be my decorating theme for Mr. Husband Sir and my wedding reception.  I wanted a varied menagerie of different colors and florals which I was going to use as table coverings, sitting areas, back drops, and buntings.  We wound up going a different direction (see: hunka hunka burnin' love) so now they are available for a plethora of other options.  I tend to like floral sheets but there are lots of other prints, children's prints in themes like E.T. or Strawberry Short Cake are fun also if you can find them.
So, sheets and pillowcases can be obviously used for their original intention.  However, I usually stray from that because it tends to wear them out even more by being washed so frequently.  Although I could see them being turned into a duvet cover or sewn into a quilt which doesn't need quite as much washing.
The easiest way to look at it is they are just large pieces of fabric.  They make great tablecloths (as long as you don't spill anything stainy on them), shower curtains, and window curtains.  As window curtains I would line them with some plain white sheets facing the sun so they don't become sun bleached or brittle.  My most favorite idea is to use the fabric for making clothes/costumes from sewing patterns.  It's astronomically cheaper than craft fabric.  A sheet from a thrift store will run you 2 bucks in comparison to 30 bucks for the same amount of fabric from a fabric shop.  I even save my worn out sheets (non-vintage) to use as practice fabric for sewing clothes to check the fit.  Another maybe odd thing I use pretty vintage sheets for is to cover up junk I don't like looking at.  I have a number of towers of plastic storage bins in my laundry room  (all that holiday decor has to go somewhere!) and I will drape the sheets over them to kinda hide and curtain them off from my eyes.
There's not much fabric to the pillow cases but they can be really handy used as bags since they are already in bag form.  Sew a drawstring in them and they can be cinch sacks or back packs.   I see them as feed sacks and there are plenty of vintage ideas out there for using those:  Cafe curtains, aprons, clothes for kids, stuffed animals.
Whatever you can make with fabric, sheets are there to make it cheaper and cute!
Here are a few things from the MHICTy archives I have used sheets or pillowcases for:


✶   ✷   ✴   ✵   ✷   ✶   ✴   ✵

From PB's epic Star Wars party that I still haven't written about.  I used the fabric from a plain white sheet to make me a Princess Leia caftan.

I also bought a bunch of plain white pillowcases from thrift stores, dyed them tan and cut them into tunics for the padawan party guests.

✴   ✵   ✶   ✷   ✶   ✵   ✴  ✸

I embroidered "just married"  banners for us to wear on our backs while walking around Las Vegas.  The fabric was from a vintage floral print pillow case. 

✴   ✵   ✶   ✷   ✶   ✵   ✴   ✷
I used a thrifted yellow sheet to make the dress base of my Halloween witch outfit.

Hmmm...what else do we have in ye olde linen closet?

Monday, August 30, 2021

Good Habit Check Charts

Need some extra help getting the kiddos or even some adults in your house back in the habit of having good habits?  
Print out some of these Good Habit Check Charts from 1959!

However, this chart is missing some key habits such as... take a bath, comb your hair, do homework, walk the dog, feed the cat, take out the garbage, light daddy a cigarette and bring mommy her pills.

Friday, August 27, 2021

Snow Crop Succotash

This is the last of my newly acquired vintage food packaging.  I bought this Snow Crop box from ebay with some of my christmas money, I think it cost about 26 bucks...but really it was free!

Here is a really crappy scan of the front.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Monday, August 23, 2021

OJ Cans


I found these cardboard OJ cans at an estate sale last year.  They were being used to store miscellaneous sewing bits.  The sellers let me have them for nothing!


Friday, August 20, 2021

Durkee spice boxes

Over the past year I have still managed to find several neat vintage food packaging items to add to my collection, even with my hermit living lifestyle.
I found these cardboard spice boxes on ebay for 99¢!  Plus 2 bucks for shipping.  

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Bacon-Nut Bread

This is some good stuff!

From the 15th Pillsbury Bake-Off 1964.

It's a loaf sized bacon biscuit!
Slather some cream cheese on a warm slice and you'll sleep good that night!


Monday, August 16, 2021

It is your birthday.


It is your birthday (period).  That is a statement of fact.

Over the past year the fam discovered the television show The Office.  It's certainly not kid friendly, but that's just who happened to introduce it to us, the kid Pumpkinbutt.  We bought the series on dvd and it was the only way we could lure the boy out of his room on occasion other than for food.  So this year for his 17th birthday party theme The Office was the obvious choice. 

The spread....No Tobys Allowed!

Break me off a piece of that...Fancy Feast!?

Scott's (tater) Tots, Stanley's "It's Pretzel Day" pretzels, and Michael Scott Paper Company big vat o' cheezballs.

Andy Bernard got double play with 'Nard dogs (hot dogs) representing.

"Is that a Chicklet on my cake?
And that's not how to spell my name."

The birthday cake along with the party decor is all based after the very dull brown and grey (matches the carpet) party planned by Jim and Dwight for Kelly.  For PB, I reproduced the cake along with spelling his name wrong.  For these photos I removed some of the letters in the above photo to throw internet freaks off.

It wouldn't be a legit Office party if something wasn't incased in a Jello mold.  On the show it's a stapler but for PB we jelled up his birthday cash!
(I wrapped it in a ziplock bag for it's protection.)

As part of the party we presented Dundee awards, most going to PB since it was his day.  One of his awards was 'most likely to develop bed sores' because he spends so much time in his bed.  I was awarded 'most weird food concoctions in a bowl" since I have been making a bunch of meals from whatever is in the fridge and tossing it in a bowl over the past year. Mr. Husband won the award for "most consecutive days spent complaining".  
We are a family of Stanley-Creed-Angela-s.

I found lots of Office party ideas out in internetland for the swiping.  I went kinda lowkey though since PB could spare no more than 20 minutes from his bed sore time for this.  
Here are a few:

Friday, August 13, 2021

Evel Knievel Party

Mr. Husband's birthday party theme this year was centered around one of his favorite toys as a kid, an Evel Knievel stunt bike and doll...pardon, I mean "action figurine".

I made the backdrop and bunting from plastic tablecloths from dollar tree.  And the star balloons are from there as well.

For the cake, I piled on a bunch of objects that he jumped over in life....with the classic jumping the shark! 

And for Mr. Husband's gift he got a reproduction official re-release of his beloved toy!

I happen to have a table top fountain that is for wedding receptions and Mr. Husband has some plans!  

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Congo Squares

"Congo squares have all the crisp, crunchy goodness of Toll House Cookies with a taste you'll say is different and extra good.  They're a pleasure to make and a pleasure to serve... so rich and satisfying, so appetizing in appearance.  Delight your family's semi-sweet tooth with this appealing taste treat!"

I didn't read that pitch before making these bars.  If I had I would have caught on to the "crisp, crunchy" part and realized it really means "rock, bricky".

I had only seen the lovely illustration of the Congo line of treats.  Bar treats are never the texture of cement so I tried this recipe out in hopes of a chewy, moist treat.  I didn't set a timer (never do) and once out of the oven and sliced they were perfect!  The disappointment came in the next day when I retrieved one of these bars to discover I could use them now as hammers.  I figured it was my fault, I had overbaked them, and maybe that is still a bit of the case.  But now reading the ad, these are meant to be tooth chippers.  Mr. Husband has been treating them like biscotti and dipping them in his tea to eat.  I am not a fan of home-baked crunchy cookies so these are not worth the effort to me.  If you like eating cinder blocks here's the recipe:

Congo Squares
2 3/4 cup flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup shortening
2 1/4 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 cup nuts
1 package chocolate morsels

Mix and sift flour, baking powder, salt in a bowl. In separate bowl combine melted shortening and brown sugar.  Stir until well mixed.  Allow to cool slightly.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add dry ingredients, then nut meats, then chocolate morsels.  Pour into greased pan and bake at 350 degrees 25-30 minutes.  Yields 48 bars.  When almost cool cut into bars 2 x 2.    


Monday, August 09, 2021

New Shoes


Not these.  These are my old shoes.  I bought them probably 20 years ago at Target.  I didn't start wearing them until about 4 years ago though.  I loved the style and the star pattern but couldn't figure out what to wear them with...duh, pretty much anything!  I stumbled across them in the back of my closet when I was doing my Kon-Mari-ing, basically brand new, and they are most definitely joy sparkers.  I have worn them just about everyday since.  They started to get a bit ratted out, fabric splitting, over a year ago.  I decided that was fine, it made them look kinda punk rock.  Now though, the plastic sole is cracking and more fabric is getting skanked out, their grunge look appeal is heading toward crackhead skid row-esque.
They certainly aren't making these anymore so I had to take matters into my own hands!

I bought a pair of inexpensive black slip-on shoes from walsmarts (10 bucks).
Dug out my fabric paint, a star paper punch, old scrap vinyl, and a paint brush.

Here's an image of the process.  It's fairly self explanatory:  Punch out stars from vinyl, press stencils firmly onto shoes, paint with fabric paint.

Ooooh!!! Stary!!!

I worked on these off and on for a couple of days.  They were extremely fun/relaxing/therapeutic to do.  I don't make very many crafts (other than food) anymore since my house is already at max capacity.  For the past several years I do crafting that is for temporary use such as birthday or holiday decor.  I craft presents around the holidays for others but they aren't stuff that is my style. I do a lot of utilitarian  crafting to repair stuff or make things we need like face masks.  There's not so much in those kinda things that the process is enjoyable or even the finished product.  I think my Boston Terrier Paint By Numbers were the last involved craft project I have done, and that was a bit of a pain in the beginning with making the outlines and paints.  The fun didn't come in until the painting part. But these shoes were quick satisfaction from start to finish and cheap!  I love cheap.

☆   ☆    ☆    ☆   ☆    ☆    ☆    ☆    ☆    ☆    ☆  
Here's a bonus bit for this post. Back in Jan 2019 I helped a friend of mine run a craft class that was personalizing these same kinda slip-on shoes using fabric.

She charged like 50 bucks for the class with all supplies included.  As all are very much aware, I am a cheap skate.  There is no way I would have paid this.  These shoes are 10 bucks, the fabric can be remnants, so total investment is maybe 12 bucks.  But my friend has got a damn good stash of hip fabric so that could have been worth it to most.
This is just one box of several she brought:

Lots of cool stuff...comics, video games, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Disney, Universal Monsters, Nightmare before Christmas, Halloween, NASA....all of that licensed stuff.  Also believe it or not there are people out there that need help crafting.  She had like 20 people sign up!  

Here are a just a few of the crafted shoes I was able to get a photo of (click to enlarge):

Some people brought their our shoes also, as seen with the high top Converse with Wonder Woman.
I liked the way the shoe on the far left was done.  The crafter choose to cover the entire shoe rather than do a collage which makes it look "real".  The 'How -To' for this is just mod podge fabric onto a pair of shoes...that's it.  I have a feeling that over time the stars on my new shoes are gonna start flaking off (I think my paint may be 15 years old!) so I might try this technique to cover up the start of any skank shoe look!