Ode to 2009

Well I'm back online after a bit of a hiatus... And one filled with big life changes. That's 2009 for me! The best of times and the not so best of times. No whining on my part - 2010 is going to be full of FAB things I'm sure! I have a great appreciation and a deep gratitude for my family, friends and all the wonderful creative and work related milestones I've hit this year. I'm sure 2010 holds some kewl adventures for me!

Now that 2009 is done, I can learn from the bad stuff and grab all the good stuff that happened and continue on my craft journey. My big decision for 2010 is to set up an Etsy account. I'd like to test out my chops and see if I can sell some crafts online. First I need to think about items to sell - small, low end pieces that I can ship easily. Secondly I need to do some research on Etsy and all the details around it - shipping, pricing, etc.

If there's anyone out there who wants to share their Etsy experiences with me, feel free to send me an email at thriftybydesign@gmail.com.

Not sure if anyone's read this article but there's definitely a lot of press about Etsy these days...
That Hobby Looks Like a Lot of Work

Project Update

I'm back to sewing. I made 3 iTouch covers - they're more like sleeves that you slip your iTouch into. I also tried a gift card holder - maybe something fun I could sell. Not sure. I started the below this weekend using up wool and felt remnants.



Recent Finds

The thrift stores have been super lame these days. I'm hoping to track down something interesting soon!

Onwards & upwards! :-)


Sharing more craft love

Happiness is a Swanky Pillow Set

I made these swanky pillow covers for a co-worker using the Ikea fabric I picked up at the Salvation Army not too long ago. She wanted them to go with a couple of Ikea chairs she has that have the same fabric. She was really happy!

More 'Coffee Love' Sleeves

Another co-worker wanted a couple of coffee sleeves for friends so I whipped these up on the weekend. I'm out of grey felt so used some brownish wool then did some felt applique. I'm desperate for more grey felt but Dressew didn't have any in stock the last time I dropped by. I'll have to get a bunch when they have it in!




Final Preparation for Xmas

I still have to wrap up gifts for my family. I bought my parents a gift card for a night out. Kind of boring but it's what they really like these days. I did a quick and dirty felt applique package for the gift card. Hopefully it'll be re-used or maybe added to the Xmas tree! :-)

Hope everyone has a Merry Xmas!


Making the world a happier place through crafting

I know - I sound super cheesy but I really feel it these days. Lots of people want to discuss kewl thrift finds or their inner desire to do creative things. And people are really excited about re-engineering items that they thought were lost and beyond repair. It's all about going beyond Ikea or Old Navy and having something no one else has. Anyways I'm really excited about 2010 and getting MORE crafty!

Current Commissions

This weekend I had a few projects lined up. I didn't get everything done but I did finish up this very nifty cat stocking. I love the fishbones! And the snowflakes are the best accent for the stockings. I'll probably need to make more dog and cat stockings in the future! This one is for my friend Lisa who is giving it to her Mom.

I also made these booties for Lisa who has numerous pregnant friends - they're from the Benetton sweaters that keep giving and giving AND giving.

Now I'm off to do more Xmas baking. I think we're finishing off the truffles tonight and making thumbprints.


Maybe I'm good at this crafting thing

I heard from my friend Karen last night. She took one of my snowflake stockings full of lotto tickets and Toblerone to a work party on Friday. Everyone had to bring a gift under a certain amount of money and people were allowed to steal gifts up to 4 times. Only 3 gifts (I think out of 20 or 25) were stolen 4 times and my stocking was one of them. Very kewl! I'm starting to think that I might actually be good at this crafting thing... Or at least not bad. :-)

Also I got a commission this past week for a doggie Xmas stocking. Hilarious! Maybe I should make some more if I have time. The doggie stocking is on the right with the bones. I'm also making more stockings in preparation for the big baking event with my Mom this week. The stockings have been a big hit and only cost about $1 in materials!

Recycled Material

I've decided to try and make more out of recycled material. I made these stockings out of the wool scarf I bought for $2 awhile ago. It's a gorgeous lush charcoal grey with red on the other side. I was able to use the side of the scarf for the top of the stocking. I think it adds a nice touch.

I created a second stocking using the fringe of the scarf. I'm not sure if this one worked out as well.

These were quick and dirty stockings to make since I cut out the front and back then did a buttonhole stitch along the edges. Pretty easy and they look kewl. By the way, this is the stocking template I'm using although I can't remember how much I enlarged it.

A Super Yummy Shortbread Recipe

Here's my Mom's recipe for shortbread - it's very yummy! I made more this week for my stockings. I have small bite-size cut outs that are perfect for packing into the stockings.

1 lb. butter
1 cup less 2 T icing sugar
2 T light brown sugar
4 cups flour

Cook at 300 for 15-20 minutes

Enjoy! :-)

Branded Baby Booties

Normally I'm not into branding babies but I made these for someone who works at Quest University Canada in Squamish. I included the logo plus some mountains along the side. They liked the booties and want a branded onesies so I said I could help them out!


Craft purges, commissions and more

My Assembly Line Keeps Going

This weekend was busy with freelance work, volunteering, a couple of coffee dates and of course hanging out with Paul but I did manage to work on a few items. I'm getting commissions for pieces these days - very kewl! This weekend I put together a pair of booties for a friend with some cute sunshine buttons. This Benetton sweater was a great purchase - I've used the sleeves but still have the body of the sweater left. Next I'll be making a pair of pillow covers for a co-worker out of some Ikea fabric I picked up at the Salvation Army.

Once the booties were done, I decided to use up scrap pieces of felt and wool to make 6 more stockings. My Xmas stockings were a hit - all 8 are gone! I baked some absolutely fabulous shortbread with my Mom and stuffed the stockings with it. I'll post the recipe this week since a couple of people wanted it. Soon we'll be doing the big baking event - shortbread, biscotti... And truffles! I'll need to prep some more stockings and maybe try another pattern for a re-usable bag.

This pattern is great for using up scrap material! I made another snowflake stocking for my friend Karen then made the below using scrap wool (note: the bird stocking is already gone - I only finished it up last night too). I have 3 more in the works. Hopefully you notice that I'm getting to be quite the buttonhole stitch whiz. Who knew I was so anal and so patient... I never used to be!



My Purge Update

I was able to purge quite a bit last week. I'm still trying to clean house of booties, excess pillows, furniture. All my wine bags and stockings are gone, a couple of pieces of furniture are gone and loads of booties are gone. It feels good to pass the love on! And it means I can make MORE!

Recent Finds

I volunteered at the Happy Cat Haven book sale this weekend. I ended up buying this fabric for $1. It's definitely from the 70s. It was stapled onto a frame but I decided to take it off the frame since I was walking home and didn't want to cart it around for 45 minutes. Walking my rocking chair home during ferry traffic was enough! ;-)


My craft assembly line

This weekend is all about getting projects done efficiently. So much to do and as usual not enough time. I created some Xmas stockings a couple of weeks ago then cut up enough felt for 5 more stockings. Sometimes it's best to do a bunch of one thing at once and approach it like an assembly line. Yesterday I worked on the felt applique designs for each then this morning I ironed the black inside to the grey outside with some stitch witchery. That stuff makes things so much easier!

Here's the stocking I was able to finish this morning - 1 down, 4 more to go! I love the colours - grey, white and a bright blue!

Here are the front and back of the stocking that I buttonhole stitch together. My beta was more labour intensive and didn't look as elegant. A good buttonhole stitch is a thing of beauty!

Here are the 4 I'll be finishing up today (hopefully). The designs are fun and bright. Next I'll make some shortbread and other goodies to wrap up then put into the stocking as a gift.


Another project complete...

I finished off the freebie table last night and it looks FABULOUS! When I was working on the table, I had a few moments where I doubted it was going to work out but it did. And the hiccups along the way definitely worked to my advantage.

My process included... Sanding then staining then sanding then some minor staining... Then I sanded some more and last night I put 3 coats of satin varathane on the table. It looks pretty darn good!



Even though the table worked out, I've decided to get rid of it. The more projects I have the less I can add so I'm purging this one in order to accommodate for another project. I know - pretty darn grown up of me but you gotta do what you gotta do! :-)


The stories behind some of my projects

My Story

While I gather projects to part with, I've decided to include a card with my 're-engineered' or 're-loved' projects highlighting their transformation from forgotten/dated/destroyed to new found beauty. The mini card would 2.5 inches by 2.5 inches. The front would have the before photo and the back would have what the project used to be and where it was found.

Here's an example for my black baby booties with the felt applique heart...

Recent Finds

I bought this bottle opener at the Lions Gate Thrift Store last week for $2 - it's so cute and Disney like. I feel like I should name it! It just amazes me the absolutely kewl stuff you can find in thrift stores...

Here's my most recent purchase - I love it! This is one piece I'll definitely keep once it's done. It's a gorgeous night stand. I bought it for $20 at a garage sale... It was pretty extravagant for me but definitely worth it. I actually spotted it 2 weeks ago and got the seller's phone number. I called and she still had it so we met today for the exchange. I want to sand, stain and seal it. I contemplated changing the drawer handles but I've decided to keep these since they're most likely the original handles. I can't wait to work on this project!


Some good news, some bad news...

Today was quite the day! I dragged out my chrome bar stools then a freebie coffee table I acquired ages ago. I'm always the optimist so I thought I could get both projects done in a jiffy... Uh no.

The Good News...

The freebie coffee table is nearly done. It had some red goop on it - I think it's maybe wax but I'm not sure. I was able to remove the red and add a subtle stain to the table. I think I'll sand it a bit more then seal it. It's gorgeous wood but I'm not sure I'll keep it. We'll see.



The Bad News...

I took the chrome bar stools apart. The chrome was easy enough to clean and polish. I then added batting to the back and seat to make them more comfy. Now I'm ready to upholster my funky fabric... Or so I thought! Alas the wood is that uber dense stuff that's impossible to penetrate with a run of the mill staple gun.

I now have 2 projects in limbo! Argh... I guess I'll need to get some swanky staple gun. I did end up going to Home Depot and they suggested carpet tacks. I'll give that a go but at some point I'll have to buy a new staple gun. Unless Santa sends one my way!

These are the stools and the fabric I picked out - I think they'll look super kewl once I get them done!

Oh happy day!

Yesterday was FAB! First my vanity seat was posted on Better After - very exciting since I always check that site for kewl transformations. Then I got some great comments on my blog and some new followers - thanks for that! And today I'm going to work on my chrome bar stools! I'll take photos of my progress - I'm hoping to get the update done today... Talk about pressure!

Other exciting news... I found more Ikea fabric at the Salvation Army last night! This piece is quite big (sorry I didn't measure it!) and I paid $3 for it. It'll be great for a reupholstering project once I find the right piece of furniture...

And then I saw a very funky nightstand at a garage sale a couple of weeks ago. I didn't get it but have been thinking about it ever since. Thankfully I had the girl's phone number so yesterday I called her and the nightstand is still available. I'm going to grab it this weekend. It's a gorgeous piece that she started to remove the paint from. I'm hoping to remove all of the paint and keep it au natural... We'll see what happens!

Project Update

I'm making mini felt Xmas stockings that I'll fill with Xmas goodies. I created a beta stocking (the one on the left). I simplified the stocking since the beta looks a little messy - I sewed the edges with my machine then hand-stitched the front and back pieces together.

The sewing looked pretty darn messy so I decided to buttonhole stitch the front and back of my other stockings together. I think it looks so much better now. The design on the stockings isn't overly Xmas-y but I'll do a few more with snowflakes, candy canes, etc on them then I'll make shortbread, biscotti, truffles - yum!

Happy crafting! :-)

PS I'm giving away a pair of booties - check them out and post a comment if you're interested.


They've procreated!

Seriously my baby bootie stash is out of hand! I was organizing all of my craft stuff - figuring out what I want (hmmm maybe more of a need!) to get rid of. I want to start 2010 with a clean slate. Sounds a little cheesy but it's the plan. I'm going to find homes for all of the booties and maybe look at taking a breather from them for a bit.

Free Booties...

Anyone interested in a pair? I thought there might be someone out there in cyberspace who was desperate for a cute pair of booties. I'd be into mailing 1 pair off if there was interest... Just leave me a comment and let me know which pair peeks your fancy! I'll check in with you next weekend whoever you may be.

Below is my stash broken into either 0-3 months or 3-6 months...

For 0-3 Months

For 3-6 Months

Recent Finds

I had a bit of a dry-spell with thrift store finds lately. Although this week I found these absolutely fabulous chrome bar stools. They were $5 each and after checking out this before & after I was ready to make them gorgeous! I was able to find the perfect fabric at Fabricland for $10/metre so this week I'm working on my update. It should be easy since I can unscrew the seat and back then add my fabric. Although every time I think something will be easy and straight-forward... It isn't. I'll post photos later this week since this is my project for Wednesday.

I've been finding neat jewelry these days. I picked up these necklaces for $1/each at a local bazaar. I love the purple beads. I picked up the other necklace for my friend Birgit - she's pretty nifty when it comes to crafts and I know she's into making jewelry. I'm sure the beads would cost more than $1.

I'm off to do more organizing! And maybe some sewing...


An easy update

The thrift stores have been lame lately! I've seen furniture that's peeked my interest but really I don't 'need' more projects. I did find this felted wool purse for $1.50 yesterday. I peeled off the wool stars and made a felt applique flower for the front. I'm not really into purses myself - I have my bag that houses my craft projects and that's all I need. It's all about function!

This purse will be part of my 2009 purge. The plan is to clean house so I can start fresh for 2010. That means lots of pillows, booties and furniture will be finding new homes in the next month or so.


Recent Finds

I bought another pearl bracelet - I paid$0.50 for it. I plan to take it apart and use it for something! I love pearl pieces.


Re-engineered wool sleeves

Earlier this year, I bought a wool sweater that I've been meaning to create a purse or two out of. I planned to use the floral front then the solid black back of the sweater leaving the sleeves for anything else. As I was organizing fabric the other day, I came across the sleeves and here's what I've created - one pair of booties I already posted but here's the rest including my before shot of the wool sweater:



Next I'll be working on my mini Xmas stockings then figuring out what treats I'll add to them - homemade shortbread, truffles... Yum!


A quick and dirty project

Last week my friend Stephanie mentioned she wanted to try making coffee sleeves - maybe knitting some. Then I was at Wheatberries on the weekend and grabbed a cardboard coffee sleeve and decided to also make some coffee sleeves. I used the cardboard sleeve as my pattern. It was a super easy project. I made 2 sleeves in a jiffy! I ended up finding a home for one before I had a chance to take a photo but here's my first sleeve - it says "coffee love" which is what I have!

I also finished up this pillow cover last weekend. I'm not sure if I'm completely happy with it - mainly the colours. I think the whale may be too dark but I'm sure I'll find a home for the pillow.

My Latest Booties

While organizing my pile of fabric, I came across the sleeves from a wool sweater I felted ages ago. The sleeves are a gorgeous soft black and the wool is quite thick. I decided to cut up the sleeves and make some baby booties. I added a heart to each then was done. I'm going to make a couple of more pairs this week. I'm making a pair for a friend that will have a bright blue bird on each bootie.

Project Update

I finished up my fourth wine bag and donated it to a silent auction at work. Awhile ago I donated a set of pillows. The wine bag donation goes to a gift basket my team is putting together. I'll be sure to get a photo before it's too late! I'm just hoping the set of pillows I donated sell!

Last week I started on some mini Xmas stockings. I'm finishing up my beta this weekend. I'm using a Martha Stewart pattern that I made smaller. It's for putting Xmas goodies into. I want to give hostess gifts where you either consume them or can reuse them. Photos coming soon!