Sunday, September 30, 2012

Using MyThrift Store Finds

I promised last week to continue blogging about how I use all those thrift store finds from last week so here is a preview to how my latest pincushion/jewelry stand came to be. Every new project starts with a mannequin body and then I try out different items to use as a base.  Sometimes they work on the first try and sometimes they don't.

I wanted my next pincushion to look a bit modern with a sparkly glitter fabric design but still keep it looking fun. I made a trip to the Dollar Tree store on Friday and found a feather boa in the toy area and the idea came to me to use it as a skirt embellishment on my latest mannequin.  This mannequin turned into a burlesque style pincushion/jewelry stand with a tulle skirt and feather trim.  The first base did not have the look I was going for so this time it didn't work.  I went to my stash of thrift shop finds and selected a more modern sleek looking stemmed glass for the base.

The base adds to the overall design so each one needs to be selected with that idea in mind and I test the mannequin on several bases to decide on the final look.  This one ended up being a fun, flirty and sparkly design. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

TGIF and Thrift Store Thursday

It's Friday and time to share my Thursday Thrift Store Finds.

Lately I have been creating some one of a kind dress form mannequin pincushions that can also be used to hang necklaces.  I re-purpose or recycle cast away items for the base of each mannequin.  Sometimes it is a glass or brass candle holder and sometimes I use ice cream dishes or stemmed glass ware that I pickup at local thrift stores.

It is time to gear up for my yearly holiday season craft shows so yesterday I went to a local thrift store and brought home some great finds to incorporate into some new designs

Stemmed glassware is so fun to use as a base but the key is to look for something that has a good weight for stability.  You also have to make sure that you use the right kind of glue because not all glues work on glass. There are many different glues on the market just look for something that is appropriate for the materials that you use.

Each mannequin fabric will be selected to coordinate with the style of the base and then embellished accordingly.  Every design will be a one of a kind item and I will be blogging about each creation as it becomes a reality, so please come back and see which one of these great finds will be first to become a base for a lovely lady.

If you re-purpose or recycle any items please leave a comment and let me know what kinds of items you try to keep out of the landfills to help our environment.  I love to hear what others are making.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

On Pins and Needles

 Recycling materials to create new items can be fun and challenges the imagination.  Here are a couple of little creations that I came up with today.

If your craft or hobby of choice has you using pins and needles then a pincushion is a must have accessory.  This little handy item can be your best friend to help keep those pins and needles close at hand.  

I love to recycle different items whenever I can and in this case two glass votive candle holders were perfect for a couple of cute little pincushion creations.  I decided that the empty jars were not heavy enough to be stable so I filled one jar with clear glass stones and the other jar with blue glass marbles used for floral arrangements.  Each one was then paired with a coordinating colored felted wool and decorated with an appropriate design.  


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Playing With Dolls

"Nothing is sweeter, nor more bitter, than one's own children."
Macedonian Proverb

I raised three girls and none of them ever really liked playing with dolls.

The oldest was into playing outdoors as much and as often as she could, even in the middle of winter out in the snow.  The only doll she ever enjoyed playing with was a Micky Mouse that her grandmother gave her.  The middle one did enjoy her Barbie dolls but for her they were a collection to keep dressed in their original outfits and store away.  The youngest was a climber and saw everything from a fence to a tree as a challenge to be conquered.  The only doll she would not give up was not even supposed to be a doll.  I crocheted a doll body that had extra long legs meant to be a draft stopper for the door but when she got her hands on it she wanted to keep it for herself as a sleeping buddy.

I on the other hand remember playing with dolls all the time as a young child.  As a grown up I spent many years in Germany and when I first saw a Matryoshka doll , or stacking doll, while visiting what was then East Berlin, I fell in love with them and now have a collection that is over 35 years old.  Each one is loved and I have some that I actually purchased while I was on a trip to what was then the Soviet Union.

As a tribute to my collection and love for Matryoshka Dolls I created a Matryoshka Doll Throw Pillow to add to my shop.

The pillow tops are 100% cotton layered with Warm and Natural cotton batting that is quilted with a satin stitch along the clothing seam lines and also quilted on the bottom skirt portion.  The pillow backs are a soft and cuddly fleece fabric in coordinating colors that makes a great surface to lay your head.  Doll faces come in a variety of flesh toned colors, have machine stitched sleeping faces and hair that is made of polyester acrylic fleece machine stitched in place.

What was your favorite doll?  Please leave a comment if you stop by and share what your favorite doll or play activity was when you were a child.