Sunday, September 20, 2009


Slim pickings Saturday, on both the stuff and the story front. I had to pick up my husband from the airport in the middle of the morning (what was I thinking when I booked that flight for him?) so I worked my way through the yard sales in that direction until he called. Ironically, he called when I was at possibly the best sale I saw all morning, halfway through a neighborhood sale! Oh well, there’s always next week.

I did manage to pick up a few things…a handful of ten cent magazines
Marisa Christina Halloween sweater

A basic tee—100% silk (sorry about all the wrinkles; I pulled it out of a box of stuff, and it hasn’t been washed yet)

And a pair of green suede jeans to cut up for craft projects.

All for a total of $4.50.

I wanted to bring you up to date on how a few of my earlier purchases turned out. For instance, back in early August I came home with a cute table with a warped top, and a paper-covered lamp that needed recovering. I'm still trying to unwarp the table. Thought I had it done, but there was too much warp and it overcame the glue and popped up again. So it's clamped together and wrapped with a damp towel, and my fingers are crossed that I can warp it back flat.

The lamp was fun though. Once I stripped off the original covering, I had this:
I thought I knew what I wanted to recover it with, but I had an evening alone when my husband was off doing something, so I started to play. I tried out anything and everything I could think of that might be interesting with light shining through it.
Plain white butcher paper
A vintage sweater
Two kinds of handmade paper

A panel of Irish lace that I crocheted back in the 70s.
Vintage tea towels

The ten-cents-a-yard silk fabric I made curtains from
Various embroidered pieces

There were several looks that I liked, but I finally homed in on the tea towels—which was not even close to what I originally thought I would use! I had two creamy white linen ones with colorful thread borders. I used the plain white butcher paper for a base and sewed the towels into a snuggish tube that i slid over the lamp. A little hot glue finished the top and bottom edges. I love the way it turned out!

I finished another project just a couple of days ago. Back in March I bought this satin thingie because my friend Marcia said it would make a great Christmas tree skirt.
I cut one side to the center with a circle for the tree trunk. Sewed it back together with button loops made from some yard sale ribbon, then added frosty green buttons from my stash.

It's probably just as well the fabric is polyester…or I might have been tempted to try this as a jacket!
A couple of skirts were waiting in my closet for refurbishment. Both were too small and way too long—and that spells opportunity! I shortened them from the top. The denim Smith & Hawken skirt lost its pockets in the procedure, but otherwise was a simple project of sewing a casing at the waist and putting the original elastic back in. Now it's a comfortable gored skirt, fun to wear with a tee shirt.
Two weeks ago I bought a pumpkin-colored hemp skirt. It was definitely tight (something I assiduously avoid!) but really long and cut on the bias. Again I cut off several inches from the top, and added that fabric to one of the side seams. Sewed the original waistband back on, with a bit of fabric added in the middle back, and used elastic to replace the original twill tie. When I finished I had this much of the cut-off fabric left:
I'm really loving this skirt! So far I've worn it with a dark brown tee and the vintage linen sweater I got last year for seventy five cents. I checked the maker’s website and they still sell this skirt—for something like $76. Makes me feel like I won the lottery!
I had to try out the green leather for leaves on a felted sweater rose:
This was literally a five minute project—while the hot glue gun heated, I cut out a circle from the felt, cut it into a spiral, and rolled it into a rose. One of the back pockets on the pants was cut off and two leaves snipped out. A few dabs of hot glue and voila!

My last little project used up the end of the foofy edging I got to make party collars for my dogs.

Found a vintage coat button in my stash and constructed the piece on a circle of felted wool. Too bad I didn’t have the green leather yet, that would have been perfect! A pin back (another yard sale find, natch) completed things. I think it's fun. I can never get pins on straight, and with this one I don’t have to worry about that!


  1. Magazines for 10 cents! Unheard of here.

    I love how the lamp turned out with your tea towel.

    I love to read of your adventures. I always look forward to your updates.


  2. I am overwhelmed at your reduce/reuse/recycle creativity! I was absolutley agog to see what you finally chose for the lamp - I loved the vintage sweater myself, but do approve of the final result. Wow - what a marathon of making do and mending!

  3. Girl, you have a vision ! Great job !

  4. That lamp turned out fantastically!!

  5. the tea towel light! What a fabulous idea and it looks so unique!

    Love the name of your blog too!

  6. you are truly the queen of fifty cents...
    awesome rock!!!!

  7. WOW the lamp turned out great! Love your projects, you are one talented lady!

  8. What a great post! I love how the lamp came out ... very creative. You truly are the Queen of Fifty Cents!

  9. Fun craft ideas! I love what you did. I really look forward to reading your blog every week.

    Mary @ Vintage Comfort

  10. You have been busy! I like your choice of lamp covering/shade and those skirts are great!

    I don't think that I am good enough of a seamstress to try and alter from the top. Bravo!

    Will have to try a foofy edging dog collar. I bet that Murphy Grace would eat it though:)

  11. I love how you showed all the possibilities and settled on the best one, in my opinion. But they all had promise in the right space...

  12. Wow you have been busy!! Great finds, love the halloween sweater! I LOVE how the lamp turned out and the tree skirt is my fave, it's Beautiful!!!

    Thanks for Stoppin by my blog! The little table has no label, it's just plywood and spins, I would say it was handmade maybe. Thanks Again and Have a Great week!

  13. Isn't it the GREATEST feeling completing projects?!! You are an inspiration to us all!!


I really love your comments. Thanks for coming along on my thrifty adventures!

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