Friday, April 30, 2010

Crafty Goodness, Baby Edition

My good friend from school just had a baby girl.  I haven't met her yet, but I'm very excited to shortly!  I decided to try my hand at this crafty tutorial for Baby's gift.  I used a 6-9 month onesie so she'll have some fun stuff to wear later.  What do you think?  Adorable, right?  I can't wait to see her wearing them!

Here's another one I tried out for the boys.   

 P.S. Can you tell I'm having problems getting my silly pictures in the places I want them??  Grrr!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thrift Store Review: Goodwill Outlet in North Charleston, SC

When I first came across the Goodwill Outlet, I mused to myself, Outlet? How can it get much cheaper than regular Goodwill?  Well friends, let me tell you!  

Here's how it works.  You walk into the store, grab a cart, and find a giant bin to start sifting through.  You may prefer to wear gloves for this (eep!).  The majority of the items are sold by the pound!  That's right, folks, it seems like you're at the meat counter when you buy 14 pounds of clothes for $1.49 a pound like I did Saturday.   Sift through clothes, home decorating furnishings, kitchenware, furniture, shoes, books, computer parts, you name it, they probably have it.

I ventured into the North Charleston Goodwill Outlet and came out a very happy shopper.  I was originally looking for vintage bed sheets and men's button down shirts for crafts.  I came out with way more than I expected.  I may have realized I have a thrift store shopping addiction slash problem this weekend too :)

The store itself was in a run down looking area, but it seems better than where I lived in the Chicago ghetto around my school.  So I parked near the front and went in.  Inside it was bright, clean, and everyone was very friendly.  The pricing signs weren't very visible, but don't worry, you won't break the bank here.  When in doubt, just buy it!  This store was pretty large when you start wandering around.  Make sure you grab a cart because you'll never know how much stuff you'll end up grabbing.

Here's a few pics of what I got...all 14 pounds of clothes and bedsheets!  In my defense, I did buy a vintage Oleg Cassini beaded gown that weighed 4 lbs by itself.  I'm not sure where I'll wear it, but it's damn sexy! (Yes, I was the kid that was obsessed with Bob Mackie sequined junk).  

This link has a list of all the Goodwill Outlets.  Hopefully you can find one near you!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Thrift Store Review: Unique in Chicago, IL

Ta da!  Thrift Store Review #1 will feature Unique Thrift Store in Chicago, specifically on 31st & Halstead in Bridgeport.  Let me start by telling you, I saved the best for first!  This place is one of the things I'll miss most when I move away from Chicago.

So at first glance, the store isn't that welcoming.  The first time I went, I was accosted by a man selling "tamales, tamales, DVDs, tamales!"  I was a bit skeptical at first, but my friend Candace insisted we forge ahead.  I've never looked back!    Right past the door on the left is where they keep the designer purses behind a desk.  I'm not convinced all the purses are genuine, but some are and you just have to inspect them carefully.  They also have jewelry, DVDs, computer games, and other stuff right past this counter.  They have a wide selection of baby & kids' clothes, toys & games, craft supplies, housewares, dishes and other kitchen items, men's clothes, shoes for everyone, books, furniture, lighting, linens, and my favorite section - women's clothes.

The racks are extremely well organized by sections - skirts, pants, suits, long sleeve knit shirts, short sleeve knit shirts, long sleeve sweaters, etc etc.  Then they're arranged by color too!  In the middle of the store there's a lot of purses too.  I could spend a couple hours searching through everything to find my great deals.

If you have the chance, go on a Monday, which is half price day.  Everything is half the price of the tag that's been stapled (yes, stapled) onto the item.  This location opens at 6 am on Mondays too, so you have no excuse not to go!

Some of my favorite finds: 100% cashmere J Crew cable knit sweater $4; black leather Coach purse $7; numerous Ann Taylor skirts for around $3 each; tons of cashmere sweaters that I use in crafts (be watching for this later); etc...  How awesome does this place sound?  Love it!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Give Aways from The Vintage Sheet Blog

Lately I've been pondering projects from vintage sheets.  Aren't these and these great?  I stumbled across this new blog, The Vintage Sheet Blog,  just in time for the Grand Opening Week give aways.  A new give away every day!  Head over, check it out, and tell them I sent you.  Open until 4/29.

Haircut Day!

Woohoo!  I love how a haircut makes me feel so pretty, especially when it's a great haircut.  When I live in Chicago, I try to go to Vidal Sassoon and have a student cut it for $20.  That's pretty awesome considering that the entry level cut (not including style, mind you!) is $69 and blow outs start at $54 = budget breaking haircut :(  Anyways, since I needed an update and I'm nowhere near Michigan Ave, I decided to spluge and go with the equally stellar Aveda salon.  I told my stylist what I was looking for and that I last had my cut at VS and loved it.  Turns out, she's a VS trained stylist and recognized my haircut at the classic VS "flip and curl" - how awesome is that?  My hair turned out beautifully and now I can be sure there's a great cut under my graduation cap in 34 days!

Here's a look at the new style.  What's that you say, it looks exactly like my profile picture?  Probably because that pic was taken right after I got my hair done at VS last time!  

If you're interested in getting your hair cut at VS Academy, where the students are the main ones cutting, I'd highly recommend it.  The students all have their cosmetology licenses already, and are training intensely on the VS method.  The instructors sometimes cut on my hair to show them how to do certain things, and they are the ones who charge $100+ for a haircut!  Unfortunately, I think they only do it in NYC and Chicago.  Check out either city's Craigslist listings under Services, Beauty.  You can also check out listings for free and reduced price salon services in Chicago or NYC at Salon Apprentice.  

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Whirlwind of a week...

The past week has been a much work/nervousness/excitement/travel that I hardly slept and made myself sick in the meantime :(  Don't worry, I'm better now and ready to tell you all about it!  

It all started Thursday afternoon when my roommate called and asked if I'd be interested in free VIP tickets to the Goo Goo Dolls concert that night.  Hmm...let me think about that for a bit.  OF COURSE!  I love the band, and I've seen them in concert before.  We sat 6 rows back and I had the aisle seat, so I got a ton of awesome pictures and video.

Friday I flew to Chicago for the big test.  Saturday I practiced for the big test.  Sunday was the big test.  Around 3 AM Sunday, I sprang out of bed (aka pile of sofa cushions) and shouted, "I'm ready!"  I saw the time, and tried to go back to bed.  This happened about 5 times before it was time to get up & get ready.  The test itself was ok, and I probably passed, but I don't want to bore you with details.  

My friend took me to my favorite thrift store in Chicago - Unique Thrift Store.  I found some great sheets for this vintage sheet swap I'm doing, plus another shirt for the aprons I make.  When I started my blog, I envisioned more of a thrift & consignment store review blog than a look Ma at all the crafts I'm making blog, so my next post should be a review of this store.  

When I got back to the East Coast, I decided to trek to Lynchburg, VA and check out the J. Crew Clearance stores.  To make the long shopping trip legit, I also went to Appomattox Court House National Historic Park.  More details and pics to follow! 

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Ever heard of nervous crafting?

Here it is, 4 days until the most important test of my graduate school career, and what do I do to prepare?  I shove all the notes under my desk and craft something, of course!

I told you that the ironing board cover pattern might show up again.  I made a quick little craft out of a few scraps of fabric I had laying around.  Sitting next to my computer, sewing machine, and various other places of my room are scraps of folded up paper that serve as coasters.  Sick of the ink-stained crinkly papers, I decided to make coasters!  This project took me about an hour to make 4 coasters.

For this project, I used more bits from the striped sheet from Goodwill, some lime green polar fleece I found somewhere I'd rather not mention :) and a couple of button down shirts given to me by a friend that I couldn't sell or wear.  

First, I cut out 4 squares of polar fleece in the size I wanted my coasters.  Second, I cut the 4 squares of sheet and shirts about 5/8" larger than the polar fleece.  I pinned the right sides together and sewed 3 sides together.  Third, I turned it right side out and made sure the corners were nice and crisp before stuffing the pocket with the polar fleece.  Turn the open edge inside, pin, and topstitch the opening shut.  For my quilting design, I sewed about 1/4" from the edge of the fabric in a square.  Then I sewed the remaining middle section into 9 squares.  Pretty easy, and totally cute!  I think you might be able to make around 2,394 coasters from a flat full size sheet :D

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

I hope everyone has a great Easter!  I had brunch on the beach, and it was fabulous.  I meant to go to sunrise service at the beach, but set my alarm clock for 5:30 pm instead of am :(  Oops.  I had a delightful soft shell crab and shrimp omelet for brunch.  If I decide to park it on the East Coast for an extended period of time, I'll have arcus before you can say "hypercholesterolemia" or "lobstaholic."

At long last, here's the picture of my finished Easter egg blue dresser.  When I was shopping for dressers, one like this would easily sell for $150+ at one of those kistchy boutiques.



Saturday, April 3, 2010

I'm in a relationship!

It's official - I'm in a relationship with my sewing machine.  I realized this when my friend from school called yesterday and asked me how the dating scene was panning out around here.  I said, "Beats me, I've been pretty serious with my sewing machine lately."  I can't really cuddle with it, but Bernina makes me soooo happy, and never lets me down!

Today I cheered myself up slash avoided studying for boards (7 days away - eek!) by crafting a jazzy new ironing board cover to brighten up my makeshift bedroom/home office/craft studio.  My ironing board already had a nice padded cover, but it was really ugly.  Earlier this week I picked up a cute full size sheet from Goodwill and my mind's been swimming with ideas for it since.

Here's how I did it, in less than an hour and a half to boot!

What you need:
- a piece of fabric that'll cover the top of the ironing board, plus 3" overhang
- 3 yards of 1/2" wide elastic


Wash, dry & iron the sheet.  Lay it out flat, and set the ironing board face down on top of it like so, and draw a line 3 inches all the way around the perimeter of the ironing board.  Cut it out now.

Make a casing all the way around the edge by folding the fabric 1/4" (wrong sides facing) and then another fold 3/4" wide.

Baste the curved edges along the 3/4" fold and gather the fabric so it lies flat on top of the ironing board and it's gathered on the underside.

Now sew the casing closed along the edge, leaving enough room for 1/2" wide elastic and a 2-3" opening to insert elastic.  Put a large safety pin at one end of the elastic and pull it through the entire length of the casing.  This part takes the longest, keep it up!  Make sure the cover fits tight over the ironing board, mark where the elastic ends should be sewn together, and tack them together well.  Cut off the extra elastic.

Sew the casing shut, shimmy the elastic around if needed, and viola!  A bright, happy new ironing board!  Much better :D

Total cost of project: $5.00

sheet   $3.75    and I still have a ton left over, watch for this fabric pattern again!
elastic  $1.25   JoAnn had a 50% off notions wall sale today, lucky me
Oh and I got the ironing board at a mission store for about $5 too.  It's definitely coming the 1000 miles home with me now!


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