Google+ House Revivals: March 2012

Friday, March 30, 2012

Things to Make With Vintage Doilies

Here is a fun collection of ideas for repurposing vintage doilies.

These covered button magnets found via Craft Gossip are so pretty.

These are the prettiest produce bags I've ever seen!  Found at Indie Fixx.

I'm loving these Anthro-inspired covered soaps from Kootoyoo.

Learn to create a doily lantern at Glamour and Grace.

How about making a dress, like this one found via The 20 Something Society?

Learn to make this table runner at Buildepedia.

I love these granny chic lanterns found via Apartment Therapy.

Make a pretty necklace, like this one found on Etsy.

Wrap some bangles with bits of vintage lace.

There is so much inspiration out there!  Do you have a favorite project using vintage doilies?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

8 Ways to Use Up Fabric Scraps

We recently emptied the last of four storage lockers in two different states, as we continue with our transition from Colorado to the Pacific Northwest.   This has been the longest, most drawn out move in history, involving four addresses, three home renovations, a wedding, a baby, a couple of graduations, and a very leaky bank account.

As we sort through mountains of boxes, I've been feeling inspired to do a little stash busting, and as I examine my bank account, I'm feeling inspired to make use of materials I already have to get a head start on gift giving this year.

Here are a few projects I've found for using up all those bits of leftover fabric that so many of us have.

Thimbleanna has instructions for pretty much the cutest little purse, ID, cell phone holder, key fob thingies I've ever seen.

Find a tutorial for making these fabric covered button push pins at How About Orange. shares how to make these simple, no sew flowers.  Make just a few, or make an armful!

Visit PetSugar for instructions on making these fun little catnip mice for the cat lover in your life.

Crafty Asian Girl shares how she makes these small potholders with little finger pockets.

Your sewing friends would love to receive these strawberry pincushions -- or slip one into a sewing kit for a college bound kiddo.  Get the how-to at

Make some of this scrumptious yarn!  Mademoiselle Chaos (Eva Eichhorn) shows you how.

Whip up a trio of these braided necklaces from Smaller.

I hope you found some stash busting inspiration here.  Now, if I can just get that mountain of boxes unpacked, so I can start stash busting with you!

Monday, March 26, 2012

7More Stashbusting Projects for Yarn

Here are a few more ways to use up bits of leftover yarn, for all you yarn arts enthusiasts, green crafters, and stashbusters. Enjoy!

Create word art, like shown here, from Bloesem kids.

Find a tutorial for making this bird nest basket at Fiber Farm.

Make it a Wonderful Life shows how to weave CDs -- great kid project!

Karen M. Andersen shares her original tutorial for making these covered hangers -- I would love to have a closet full of these beautiful hangers!

Sweater soap!  Go to GreenEyed to get the tutorial.

Camilla Fabbri, at Family Chic, shares a tutorial for making these sweet woven suncatchers.  Any simple shape would work!

Hope you enjoyed the links!

Friday, March 23, 2012

12 Things to Make With Leftover Yarn

Do you have a stash of leftover yarn?  It is spring cleaning and stash-busting time, so here are a few ideas for things you can make with all those beautiful yarn scraps.

1.  Who wouldn't love a sweetly embellished pair of flip-flops?

2.  A set of these colorful hopscotch beanbags would make a great gift! (You can also order these on Etsy)

3.  How about creating a floral bracelet?

4.  Here is a neat idea for a lip balm holder.

5.  Make a set of magnets.

 6.  Create a garland of pretty pompoms.

7. Wrap a can with yarn to create a fun vase.

8.  Combine your scraps into lovely new yarn balls, like this yarn, available on Etsy.

9.  Of course, you can always create granny squares "as you go", and eventually have enough to make an afghan.

10.  Whip up a few sachets for soap or gifts.

11.  Make a set (or several sets) of simple stylish coasters.

12.  Create a set of bangles.  If you can't actually knit or crochet, you can order some like this from Etsy.

Have you been inspired to do a little stash-busting?  So many of these ideas would also make really nice gifts, so you can clean your craft space and get a head start on gift making at the same time.  I know that I would love for Santa to drop a few of those gorgeous bangles in my stocking this December -- how about you?

Do you have a favorite stash busting tip?

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Thanks so much for stopping by!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Life is Good

I'd like to introduce my first EVER guest poster, my dear friend Tina from Life is Good.  Tina is a published author, and is co-hosting the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this year.  Here she is!

Hello House Revivals Fans! I'm honored to be able to challenge you today. Amanda and I have been friends for 20 years, and though geography keeps us apart physically, Facebook and blogging is keeping our friendship intact. In fact, it was Amanda who helped launch my blog Life is Good.  I appreciate her letting me borrow her blog for a day.
I'd like to offer you an opportunity to grow your audience, meet new bloggers, and to perhaps take you a bit out of your comfort zone by joining the A-Z April Challenge.

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge was started two years ago by Arlee Bird of Tossing it Out. It grew by leaps and bounds to 1282 participants last year, and we are anticipating a lot more folks this year!
This challenge isn't just for writers. Any style of blog is welcome to participate, in fact, the variety of blogs is part of what makes the visiting so much fun. Last year we had musicians, photographers, graphic artists, sculptors, scrap-bookers, table scapers (I love those) CRAFTERS, and other blogs that defy description, but sure made the ride interesting.

Rules are simple. On April 1st, post about something that starts with the letter A. On the 2nd, something on B, and so on. You get Sundays off, except for the 1st. Whatever style blog you have, this is a challenge you can do! Some freestyle it (like I did last year) some go with a theme (a lot of folks did that, and I've decided to go that way this year). Whatever your style, you'll fit in fine. The idea is to keep it short and sweet.  You'll have more repeat visitors if you turn on your brevity function.  See?
One more thing, don't freak out about having to visit everyone. All we suggest is that you visit five new blogs a day, starting with the one after yours on the list. Five! That's totally doable, and by the end of the month, you'll have met at least 150 new blogs!

If you still have questions, you can ask me in the comments or by email, or you can check out our official blog which has hints, survival tips, and general information. On the contact us tab you'll find the emails of the co-hosts (I'm one of them), and the general info email which is Lots of ways to find us, so ask away!

If you're brave enough to join, the linky list can be found by clicking the "Blogging A-Z April 2012 Challenge” tab at my blog Life is Good, or by visiting the A-Z Challenge host blog and clicking to the sign-up list tab there.

As of this moment, there are 1010 participants!  We'd love to have you, too.

Be sure and stop by Life is Good, and consider taking the A to Z challenge, and a huge thank you goes out to Tina for guest posting today!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Thrift Store Shopping Secrets

Most of my readers know I am an avid thrift store shopper.  When my family was young, it was a necessity.  Thrift store shopping was simply part of a frugal lifestyle that allowed us to send my husband to grad school, put the kids in assorted lessons and sports, and pay off debt.  After a while, living frugally just becomes a habit.  When I speak of frugality, I mean it in terms of stewardship, generosity, and abundance -- not in terms of being miserly, selfish, or self-denying. Good stewardship of our resources allows us all to be more generous -- with ourselves and others, and forces us to live more creatively.

When thrift store shopping these days, I keep my eyes open for items to make over, and for items to use when designing craft projects.  Often these types of things are passed over by other shoppers.  Occasionally, you can find lovely vintage papers, such as this vintage Dennison Crepe paper.  Check crepe paper for odors and pliability.  If it was stored in a smoke free environment, chances are it is not brittle, and will hold up well to crafting.  I once made over two hundred corsages from vintage crepe paper for a ladies' Christmas brunch.  I found out later, that they were the only corsages some of those sweet ladies had ever received!

Some of you may remember these garlands I made from vintage crepe paper last year.  They were a fun, frugal way to herald the coming of spring!

I also used pages from thrifted books, lengths of thrifted crochet thread, and thrifted buckram. When shopping for vintage papers, keep your eyes open for old maps, books, record covers, ledgers, wallpaper, and so on.  You never know what will spark your next BIG idea!

Keep your eyes open for vintage textiles.  These retro curtains still had the original Sears price tags on them when I found them at a local thrift store.  I originally bought them to sew into shopping bags, but they are actually being used, temporarily, as... well..., curtains! 

Embroidered textiles, are a favorite find, as well.  Preferably something damaged, as it will be cheap, and you can cut it up guilt free!   I like damaged quilts for the same reason.  This quilt cost about two dollars from the local Goodwill Outlet. 

I'm not sure what the quilt will become, but I am feeling inspired by this Folk Art Flock, from Wisteria,  and a tub of old wooden peppermills and candlesticks left over from another project....

This vanity bench was part of a bedroom set in really poor condition.  It is maple and super sturdy.  Most would pass this piece by, but I think I might fashion a new seat for this piece using burlap upholstery straps, and use it,either as a table with a tray, or at the foot of one of the twin beds in our sleeping loft.

Here is another vanity bench that just needs some TLC.  The veneer is in poor condition, but just look at those lines!  I will most likely patch the veneer with wood putty, paint it, and cover the seat with a fabric remnant.  It can serve as an extra landing spot for luggage and such in one of our guest rooms at the beach house.

Basically, everything except the greenery on our Christmas mantel last year was from a thrift store!  The vintage books, the crafts made from vintage book pages, the chalkboard frames, the mercury glass ornaments -- all of it was thrifted.  

These honeycomb ornaments, made last Christmas, were made from the same book pages used to make woven stars the previous year.

The trick to finding a used book suitable for crafting is to look for paper that is still strong and pliable -- pass on by the books with really brittle pages.  Also, rare books, expensive books, and some religious books might not be suitable for crafting.

I do occasionally use religious books, carefully and respectfully, in a way that adds meaning to the piece being created.

When shopping for vanity mirrors for our master bath last fall, I found two of these retro seventies mirrors at a local Habitat ReStore.

With some sanding and painting and distressing, they were perfect in our bathroom!

This clock reminded me of school days...

These vintage Christmas lights will eventually find their way into wreaths -- even the cords will be used.  The gently aged colors or so gorgeous!

The stove we installed in our beach house kitchen came from a ReStore.  The nice thing about a vintage stove is that it doesn't "date" your kitchen remodel.  It's a classic piece that will look great in two years or twenty years -- and where else can you find a forty-two inch, six burner gas stove for only a few hundred dollars?

My advice to new thrifters is to keep an open mind while also being practical. If you live in tight quarters, you may not want to bring home a giant cookstove, but a couple of vintage books or maps, or some vintage embroidered pieces, won't take up much space.  On the other hand, if you need to furnish a house, there is no better place to find good quality pieces at affordable prices.  Skip the particle board, and check pieces for soundness.  Reupholstering is expensive, but slipcovers can usually be found affordably.

Try to see things as they might be, with a little paint, a new seat cover, or new hardware.  Maybe those ugly window treatments can become a funky new apron or shopping bag?  Or, in my case, maybe they will pinch hit as... curtains!

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