Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Favorite Anthro Knock-Offs!

When I try to arrange stuff like this, it's called "hoarding."

I lurve  I'm just that kind of girl, I loved Delia's when I was younger, then graduated to Urban Outfitters, which I also adore, but Anthro is really the top of the line to me, which is why I don't think I actually own anything from them.  I just get their catalog and stalk their website, and dream of a bohemian lifestyle where my home is a bohemian boat placed in the middle of an open field, and my friends and I lounge around beautifully.

Obviously, I am not alone in my obsession, owing to the huge amount of Anthro knock-offs all over the craft-o-sphere.  Some things just can't be knocked off, and so I have a better chance of owning a fainting goat than one of their fainting couches, but necessity being the mother of invention means jewelry, clothing, even artwork is all fair game, and a sharp eye in a 2nd hand shop + a can of spray paint can do wonders.

I was cruising through my formidable stack of bookmarks this morning and realized I have dozens of  AKOs saved.  Tons and tons.

Twelve Crafts Til Christmas
The Little Apple Seed
Tatertots & Jello
Vintage Revivals
Kojo Designs
Junk Market
Adventures in Dressmaking
Ruby Mines
Shoes and Sewing
New Green Mama
Flamingo Toes

I could go on and on, as I adore these tutorials!

And no, I haven't been avoiding posting my own stuff - I'm waiting for THREE MORE Google Friends to hit fifty to post one particular thing, and I'm waiting for some needlework kits to arrive in the mail.  Today I'm hitting JoAnns and possibly checking out a second-hand store here in town I haven't visited before (I know!).  I want to make this skirt that I absolutely fell in love with, and a shorter tiered skirt from some fabric I fell in love with. At some point, I hope to work my nerve up to my "re-sew-lution" of making pants.  Scared of pants...

Yes, please, put some pants on.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Itty Bitty Crafting Committee

Lately, I've been loving cute, tiny crafts.  I think it is because it's Spring (or so I hear), and the world will soon be full of teeny, cute animals and plants.  I hope you like these little pieces of inspiration, all with tutorials,  as much as I do!

Check out these Felted Sweater Mice from Mossy.  They're made from recycled sweaters, and are absolutely adorable, especially when they are wearing their little shirts.  Cute!

These Eggshell Candles would be perfect for Easter, or would be so pretty non-dyed in egg cups.  I love how the tutorial reminds you to not waste your eggs by scrambling them - though I say cupcakes are a good idea, too.

I love Martha Stewart's website, the ideas that she and her staff come up with are often seriously magical and amazing.  I saw this Tiny Terrarium Place-card holder and fell in love.  Wouldn't this be awesome for an outdoor or nature-themed wedding?

This Needle Book Holder from Em Ay Kay Ee is not only ridiculously cute, but would make a nice gift for any seamstress or embroiderer.  I absolutely adore it.

I love bird stuff, and Spring is a great time for making bird nests of all kinds.  I've never seen anything like this furry and fluffy Felted Bird Nest from 54 Stitches. Its adorable!

Do you have any tiny crafts you like to do or would like to try?

All your fabrics belong to me

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fudge Truffle Glaze (Drool...)

by Kimberlee

I'd like to straight up thank Stacy from Not Just a Housewife for the inspiration for this idea.  We found our coffee table at Goodwill, and I had been trolling the craft-o-sphere for ages for something to do with it.  When I came across her blog, it cracked me up how her table looked like a less-wide version of my table!  They are certainly from the exact same era.

So here it is:
Some cats come when called, Scrabble knows the sound of the camera turning on
Isn't it hideous?  Not even didn't even go with anything else.  And you have to tread carefully repainting these because they don't have clean lines, or even classic lines.  I guess it's "classic" in that everyone has, at one time or another, had furniture in their house that looks almost exactly like this.  And they are built so well that they just exist forever - never breaking, like an eternal Stonehenge of Bad Style.

But that's the upside, right?  They are well-made, which is why we bought it (that and the ten dollar price tag).  I was very close to just spray painting it black and calling it a day when I found Stacy's tute, and while her color/style scheme wouldn't work for my interior, I could see what the process would look like at the end, with a piece of furniture like mine.  Godsend!

I used Olympic Brass Mesh for the main coat, and PP Fudge Truffle for the glaze (mmmm....Fudge Truffle Glaze...drool).

First I took the doors off, and spray painted the table several coats of grey.  I've found that with more assertive colors, grey primer definitely produces better & richer results.  On its own, though, it's pretty damned ugly:

Hideous, but still a minor improvement

  So here's after a couple of. coats of Brasss Mesh:

OK, full confession.  At this point, I'm scared.  Like, legitimately thinking I've made a big decorating blunder,  I'm having the worst time ever trying to paint those weird post things, and frankly the color looks wrong wrong wrong.  I'm thinking I'm going to have a fried egg in front of the futon.  But I said a few prayers to the decorator's god (Interiorius?) and pushed forward.

And was happily rewarded!  The color dried into a mellow, golden corn shade.  I hadn't even meant for it to look like another kind of wood, but it actually almost did.  Happy dance!

I have to admit, this was the fun part...
Distressing this was the most fun I've had with furniture in ages.  I used sanding paper for the corners and edges (and those damned legs), and a hammer and chisel for the scratches.  Then I glazed it inside and out with the Fudge Truffle (drool), applying and wiping off with a flannel rag.  So here's some shots of the final results!

I was especially happy with how the door turned out.  The handles were painted gold using some craft paint

My favorite corner!
My yarn basket looks so pretty in there
The whole shebang!
So I'm pretty happy with it, especially given this being the first time I've ever glazed a piece of furniture, although I'm definitely using this method again.

I've got some fun things coming up for you here in the future.  We just started our plants indoor, which will eventually be planted in our first community garden experience.  I also have some of my first knitting stuff to show you which will coincide with another giveaway, and I'll be starting to put together my ren faire dress.  The biggest news is that I'm settling on my items for opening an etsy shop, and hope to open that soon.  And we're almost to 50 followers, a fact that overjoys me!  Take care guys, and if you've made it this far down, please leave a comment.  I lovelove getting your comments, they make my day.
Will pimp Scrabble for comments

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Can You Paint with all the Colors of Sherwin?

by Kimberlee

Before my current apartment, I lived with "Renters' White" for 20 years.  TWO decades - almost a QUARTER OF A CENTURY!  So when we were negotiating for a place in the complex we are in,we managed to negotiate one wall per room.  Until I was 17, I lived in a farmhouse, but the only truly bright wall in there was my room from 9 to 15 (it was lavender), but mom was a neutral junkie.

Luckily for both of us, my wonderful husband & I share a taste for bright colors.  Mine is for a bit brighter, so he's excellent for reeling me in a bit, and we're both happy.

The living room paint was used on the back wall, so it's the first thing you see when you walk in the door-

I can't remember the brand, but the color is called Daredevil Red.  I had a small can of it that I had hauled around for a year before we moved somewhere we could use it (and the other gallon we had to get).

A handmade vase with feathers & flowers looks great against the red!

This vase was made by Schaefer Ceramics & Crafts in Freeburg, IL.  They don't seem to have a website, but I do have their email address if anyone is interested.  Their stuff is well made and very reasonably priced for ceramics.

Another piece of theirs:

The Green for the dining room/galley kitchen was more challenging in that you can see it from the living room, so we didn't want anything that looked Christmassey.  We erred on the yellow side of the greens, and while it was close, we ended up covering it with  a slightly darker green to come up with this amazing fresh color:

I have a love of using orange as an accent color -

Many of you probably recognize this fabric from IKEA.  I need to get back  there for more fabric. And  maybe an area rug.

The bathroom color is the only other name I can remember, "Sapphire Lace."  It's such a beautiful, deep ocean color:

The Main Bedroom has been an ongoing process of making it feel more French/exotic.  The paint here, as was the paint in the bathroom, was put on the wall where it could be seen from the hallway.  I wanted a deep violet, one of those evocative colors, and I was thrilled with the results:

The painted wall is sparsely decorated, and we don't have much furniture in the room, but the pieces we have are distinctive...

For the other colors, we've used mirror, silver, soft grey, black and light turquoise.

The only room left that has not been painted is what we call The Relic Room, though we do have the colors narrowed down:
The orange is going to go really well with the antique bedroom set I inherited from my grandparents.  Look for more relics!

Thanks for going on a color tour with me!  I soo appreciated it!  Up soon is my first knitted goods, a contest for when I hit 50 followers, and a coffee table re-do.  I leave you with Scrabble:
Your un-redone coffee table fills me with loathing and disgust

Monday, March 14, 2011


Congrats to oonaballoona 
for winning the vintage patterns! I'll shoot you an email.  You are going to love the mystery patterns!

And thank you, the other 4 of you,for participating,and in some cases for mentioning this contest.  It means a lot to me. :D


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

FASHION! Turn to the Left! PART 2 + GIVEAWAY!!!!


If you haven't done so, please read Part 1 of this article!

This one is from 1991, which I could have told you without looking.  There are no dresses, just tops, skirts and a cami.  I love the white and purple outfits, though I would likely update the pants. The notions section calls for shoulder pads in the shirts.  Yeah, I'm never wearing shoulder pads ever again.  EVER.  They'd have to put me in Room 101, and even then I would continue to scream, "There are TWO shoulder pads!"

1977, Simplicity
The blue dress in back is adorable and perfect for summer, as the pattern suggests broadcloth, chambray, challis or pique.  What I find so charming ids that I've seen this dress all over sewing blog tutorials.  It also has internal instructions on how to turn the skirts into pants!  I'm super-excited about putting this in my que.

Aaand, my favorite!

Skirts! Glorious Skirts!

This is just from 2005, and it is amazing.  I swear, I have been LOOKING for this pattern, well not this one, but one with all these sorts of skirts.  I want to make every single skirt here.  The patterns are so universal that you can pretty much use any fabric you want, and Skirt A has both braid and paillette trim!  I can see myself never, ever purchasing a flowy skirt ever again.

And speaking of never again:

"You'll never be startin' something..."
It's not that the pattern calls for triple knit, or that it was lovingly created in my adoptive home city of Minneapolis, in 1986.  It's just that I don't know quite what to make of it.  Them. I suspect I have stumbled across the missing link between matching sweat pants/shirt and velour track suits with "Juicy" printed on the posterior.

The future's so bright.....
The hideousness of the clothing is obvious, as is The Pose of 1986.

And I'll Leave you with the most awesome thing of all times, which is going into my sewing que, sans shoulder pads:

I can't help how much I love this.

AND NOW,  TO THE GIVEAWAY!   It's here for those of you who have been reading (scrolling?) your way through Part 2 and (hopefully) Part one.  This is Magpie Shinies first giveaway!!!!

Remember the lovely skirts pattern?I was lucky enough to get 2 of the same pattern, so I am passing on the luck to you all.  Also included will be two Mystery Patterns from the same stash.  The only hints I will give you is that one is from Butterick, year1972, and the other is New Look, year 1985.


1. This giveaway is only open to residents of the US and Canada.

2. You don't need to become my Google Friend to enter this contest, as I want only friends who truly enjoy Magpie.  That being said, I would LOVE for you to join if you do enjoy!

Either way, to enter please leave a nice comment about this article (I'm not feeling the "constructive criticism" today) or a funny story about working with an older pattern.

3. This contest is open from now to 11:59 pm (US Central time) March 11.  When the clock strikes midnight, the coach turns back into a pumpkin!

So that's it!  I'll leave you with the reason you all REALLY come here, LOL:

Even Scrabble is impressed by the sheer numbers!