Thrift Shop Challenge Accepted!

Thrift shop challenge loot 1

You all know I love op-shopping and will go any chance I get, so when I saw that John and Sherry of Young House Love were hosting The Macklemore Thrift Shop Challenge I knew I had to get involved! For those of you who haven’t heard, Macklemore have come out with a song called Thrift Shop and it is my jam! Go and have a listen!

Macklemore-Challenge

John and Sherry had 3 steps to this challenge:

1. Go to the thrift shop with $20 and take a photo;
2. Spend that $20 on whatever you like and photograph your spoils;
3. Find one item (or more) referenced in the song and snap a pic.

I'm gonna pop some tags, only got $20 in my pocket....

So with $20 in my pocket I headed to my local Savers…

And here is what I found:

I found a lovely old blue book with gold writing for $1.99

The Moon and the Bonfire

A small brass vase for $1.99

Little brass vase

A vintage French drinks tray for $2.99

Vintage French drinks tray

And the pièce de résistance… A 1930’s Sparklets Seltzer Bottle! (We call seltzer soda water her in Oz). Ok, confession, the soda bottle was $24.99 but I couldn’t resist. I’ve never seen one for sale in an op shop before and I knew it would be a fab addition to our bar cart in the sun room. So, yes, I overspent and therefore I cheated. But that’s how I roll.

Sparklets vintage seltzer bottle 2

For step three “Find one item (or more) referenced in the song and snap a pic” I found the Dookie brown leather jacket.

Dookie brown leather jacket

I also found something amusing that wasn’t mentioned in the song. An old book with a lovely birthday card glued to the inside with a not so lovely message “to my loveable, lazy, little sister”. Lazy? Errr…thanks for that Marcel…

Sweet card inside a gifted bookNot so sweet message inside the card...

I was very happy with my spoils today. I love the blue colour of that book and actually wore a dress of the same colour to a friend’s wedding last week. I love the little brass vase because I am going through a massive gold/copper/brass phase (more on that here) and I love the Sparklets bottle because it’s just awesome and I like to imagine all the glamorous 1930’s cocktail parties it has witnessed. Most of all though, for some reason the vintage tray is my favourite thing. I think it’s all those lovely pastel colours and the fact that since it’s come home with me it now has a new life as cheerful art to adorn the sunroom walls and there is no place more fitting for a former drinks-tray-turned-art than above the bar cart. Happy days.

Vintage drinks tray as art

Sparklets vintage seltzer bottle up closeVintage French drinks tray up close

Thrift shop challenge loot 2

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Vintage school map DIY

Map close up

Hello, merry Christmas and happy new year everyone! I don’t know how other people do it but I have not had time to blog. Dave and I hosted Christmas for some of his family and some of my family this year. It went really well but, man, what a big job! I even delegated and it was still a mammoth effort. Lucky I had lots of help from my lovely (future) Mother in Law. Hard work aside, Christmas day and all the days leading up to it were really special. I made sure I spent time enjoying wrapping the presents while listening to carols, decorating the house, making yummy treats (recipes to come) and also enjoying the company of family and friends. It was my Nieces first Christmas too and so it was extra special with a sweet little bub to bring smiles to everyone’s faces.

Cupboard before Restor-A-Finish 2

Yesterday was the first day we’ve been sans visitors so I went on a decorating craze. What was meant to be a small project led to many other small projects to change up some rooms, reframe some art and just generally tinker with everything. As usual the craft room looks like a bomb has hit it but the rest of the house is looking fresh and summery.

Map corner

This DIY vintage school map was a quick project that turned out really well. I’d got two posters at a bookshop for $6 each (actually they were being sold as wrapping paper even though they are thick enough to be posters). I love posters but I always have trouble finding affordable frames for them that I actually want to hang in the house. Most of the ones I find are only fit for a boring office and I don’t want to spend money on custom framing, especially for a $6 piece of art. I do love those big old vintage world maps that used to hang in classrooms and roll up so this is like a smaller version of that, without the rolling up bit.

For this project you will need:

Map or other poster

Hot glue gun

Twine or string strong enough to hold the weight of your poster and the wood combined

One or two half round dowel rods. Measure the width of your poster and make sure you have enough to cut two lengths

Hack saw (or the shop you buy the wood from may be able to cut it to size for you)

Optional: wood stain, polish, etc

Materials

The dowel I got was’t actually round, I chose one that was triangle but round would look more like the original school maps. I began by going over my wood with Restor-A-Finish in Natural and then Feed-N-Wax, both from Howard, both with some ‘000’ steel wool. You’ll see from the pictures that I also treated my part-restored side cupboard with both Howard products and it looks amazing. I can’t wait until I get time to strip the whole thing and see all that beautiful wood.

Wood, half stained

Wood and poster

Next, cut your wood to size if it hasn’t already been done. Determine the length of string you will need and then add an extra inch before you cut. Once cut, make small knots on both ends just to give the glue something to grip on to.

Map, vases and tray

Apply hot glue to each corner of the top of your poster (front side) and attach the string then add glue all the way along the top border (front side) and attach the wood, flat side down. Do the same with the bottom and you’re done!

Cupboard before Restor-A-Finish 1

Also, in the pictures you can see some of my Christmas presents. Dave gave me the set of gorgeous orange jelly bean vases and Santa (ok, it was me!) gave me the Hollywood Regency faux bamboo tray. Don’t they look great together?

Map above cupboard 1

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Mirror, mirror

A few exciting things have happened to me recently. First, I found Krylon Looking Glass Spray (a US product) available for sale in Australia (yay) and second, I resigned from the job I’ve had for the last 3.5 years as a PA/secretary to start life as a temp and have a bit of an adventure. As one of those people who doesn’t have a really super specific career direction, I figure temping in lots of different roles will expose me to different industries and ideas and I might find that thing that really gets my motor running (besides being crafty which, at this stage, is not going to bring home the bacon). I’ve kind of thrown myself in the deep end here and I hope this decision pays off but sometimes you just need to take a risk.

Right, now I’ve covered that, let’s get back to the excitement of the Looking Glass Spray…

Krylon Looking Glass Spray is applied to the back of glass and will give it a mirrored look. According to everything I’ve read, there is no other product on the market that will do the same thing so you must get the Krylon brand. I got mine at Caswell Australia.

These are the beautiful Pottery Barn glass hurricane lamps that have inspired many a mercury glass DIY’er!

I am a big mercury glass fan but really only started seeing it when I started reading design and DIY blogs. I have managed to find 3 mercury glass candle holders at my local op-shops but I definitely wanted to try making a replica version of these gorgeous Pottery Barn Hurricane Lamps I’ve spotted a number of times. Lots of other bloggers have done DIY mercury glass tutorials and so after reading many of those I felt ready to tackle my own version.

I also had a gold frame on the fireplace mantle (I’ve changed the mantle AGAIN and both Dave and I are hoping this is it for a while as I seem to have a slight obsesssion with rearranging it every week or so…) that I wanted to turn into an antique mirror. I’m not 100% thrilled with the mirror but it doesn’t look too bad.

For my first attempt at a distressed mercury glass look I used an old coffee jar and began by spraying a light mist of water to the inside of the jar. I then applied about 6 coats of the spray, pausing to wipe some away with damp paper towel while it was still wet. After the five coats I sprayed some black paint over the wipe marks. I used the same method for the mirror. While they both look ok and the mirror is ‘antiqued’ it’s not what I was after so the below instructions are for the hurricane lamp, my second attempt, after reading a few more tutorials.

To make faux mercury glass you will need:

Krylon looking Glass Spray

Spray bottle with white vinegar

Masking tape

Paper towel

Glass Hurricane Lamp (mine was $4 at the reject shop) and/or glass from picture frame, both clean and dry

An old toothbrush

Black spray paint if you are making a mirror

Begin by taping up the outside lip of your hurricane lamp so no paint gets on the outside or rim. I also made a skirt with the paper towel for extra protection.

Spray a very light coat on the inside of the glass as the paint is very thin and will run easily as you can see from the photos. Wait one minute or until the paint has dried (you will know because it will suddenly become mirrored) and then spray some vinegar on a scrunched up paper towel and put on a section of the paint and drag slightly to lift it off the glass. Do this randomly all over the inside of the glass avoiding the ‘lip’ area (having a solid ring of paint around the lip helps recreate the Pottery Barn look). I used a toothbrush sprayed with vinegar for the harder to reach places.

Be careful not to scratch the paint in other areas inside the glass and if you do just use the paper towel technique on the scratch and do the same with drips. Do this spray and paper towel thing about 4 times but remember less is more and you want a decent amount of transparency. And that’s it! Wait for it to really dry for a few hours before putting a candle in there or do what I did and use a battery operated candle until a few hours have passed.

If you are making the antique mirror then leave more solid paint areas and only lift the paint off a small area of the glass. Spray over this with black paint. On my mirror you can see it has a real aged look because I sprayed it with water before applying the paint but in hindsight, I wouldn’t use the water at start because it interferes with the ‘reflectiveness’.

Enjoy!

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