Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Repurposed Vintage Mortise Lock

I have an obsession with old alarm clocks.  

What started as a small collection has grown to over 40.  
I have the clocks scattered around my house and I'm always looking for new ways to display them.

Today I found two vintage mortise locks at an antique store that I immediately saw as small shelves for two of my vintage clocks.
 I know it's hard to tell from my picture but both of these locks required skeleton keys to open them, so they have to be pretty old.
 I took a lock and, with the face plate pressed against the wall, screwed the lock into the wall using the holes that were already in the face plate.  
That's all there is to it!  For a total cost of $3.00 I now have two small shelves, the perfect size to display a couple of my vintage clocks.
 I hung these two "shelves" in my guest bathroom with some vintage mirrors I already had hanging.  I really need to get some fresh paint on the walls in this room.  It's the only room in the house with the original builder's paint.
  
I'm now going to be on the lookout for more of these old mortise locks.  I think several of these "shelves", each displaying one of the vintage clocks, would make a great wall display.  
      I'm joining a few parties tonight:

Wow Us Wednesday with Kim @ Savvy Southern Style
and
White Wednesday (I might be pushing it a little here but a couple of my old clocks are white) with Kathleen @ Faded Charm.

Happy Wednesday!

Jane

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Easter Silhouette

I hope you all had a very nice weekend.  

It is cold and gray here and there are actually a few snowflakes falling right now.  At least when you get snow in late March you know it's not going to last!

I had time today for a very quick project.
Last year I purchased an old book with some wonderful silhouette images at an antique mall.  I stored the book away and forgot all about it.
 When I got out some Easter decorations today I remembered I wanted to use one of the silhouette illustrations in the book as part of an Easter display.
Wouldn't you know the most difficult part of this project was remembering where I put the book.

Once said book was found (in the mess I call my studio), I scanned and cropped the book page with the Easter silhouette so I was left with only the silhouette image.
 I printed the image on an old piece of sheet music and cut it to fit a frame I had on hand.
I love this image.  I think the framed print really helps round out my little Easter vignette.
 I would love to share this image with all of you for some of your Easter projects but I first need to feel more comfortable knowing this book is in the public domain.
I did a little internet research tonight but I'm going to ask the expert, Karen @ The Graphics Fairy, for her advice before I publish the image for public use.

If it's a go I'll do another post with not only this image but a few more from the book that I think would be fun to use in projects.

I'm linking to some great Monday parties:
Motivate Me Monday with Kaysi @ Keeping It Simple
Amaze Me Monday with Carrie @ Dittle Dattle
Masterpiece Monday with Mary @ Boogieboard Cottage

Have a wonderful week.

Jane

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Reverse Silhouette Key Picture

I worked on a super easy project tonight that took less than 30 minutes to make.

I have a number of these old flat keys.
 I picked out three and arranged them on a scrap piece of foam core board.
 I spray painted over the keys and let it dry completely before handling.
 I removed the keys, found an old frame and a black and white mat in my studio, cut the foam core board to size and framed my little piece of art.
 The edges aren't as sharp on the little key in the middle but I think it turned out pretty cute.
I'm linking with Donna @ Funky Junk Interiors for her Saturday Nite Special party.
Always a lot of great projects!!

Hope you're enjoying your weekend.

Jane

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Feedsack Container

I have a few old feedsacks that I've purchased here and there and I've been trying to decide how to use them.
   I started out thinking I was going to make a tote out of this one but midway through the project I switched gears and decided to turn the feedsack into a container (I'm not really quite sure what to call it so I'm going with container).

The feedsack was too long for what I needed so I cut the piece right above the outline of the U.S.
For today's project I only needed the Kansas Hardy Alfalfa part of the sack.
I got out my sewing machine and stitched the bottom part of the sack where I made my cut.  I now had a much smaller sack for my container.

I wanted the sack to have a hard, stiff finish so I could use it as a decorative container for any number of different items.
The product I used to do this is appropriately named....
I used this fabric stiffener years (and years) ago when I was making stiffy bows for baskets.  It worked great on fabric for bows so I thought it might just work for the feedsack too.  

I put my feedsack in a glass bowl and poured the Stiffy product all over the sack.  It's a bit messy but the best way to insure the entire feedsack gets covered is to put your hands in the bowl and work the product through the fabric until the feedsack is saturated.  

Now here's the challenging part......shaping the wet feedsack.  When this product dries on the fabric, the fabric is held in whatever position it was shaped in.  Since I wanted this to be a container I first put a paint can inside the wet bag and then proceeded to hold up the bag with whatever means I could come up with to help keep it's shape.

Here's a picture during the drying phase.
I let the sack dry all afternoon.  When the sack had dried enough to hold it's shape I took the clothespins off, took the can out and flipped it over to let the bottom dry (This is a good picture to give you an idea of how stiff the feedsack is after drying.  There is nothing under the sack holding it up at this point).
And here's the finished container.  
I know it just looks like a scrunched feedsack but it now has a hard finish and will always retain that shape.  I like the scrunched, folded look of the finished container and think it works well with the casual look of the feedsack.

I played around with what to put in the container.
Here it is holding a potted plant.
And here it is being used as a magazine holder.
I'm linking with some great Friday parties:
Debra @ Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday
Linda @ A La Carte for Junkin Finds Friday
and 
Jami @ Freckled Laundry for Air Your Laundry Friday.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Jane

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Vintage, Thrifty Office Decor

Good Morning!

Linda @ Coastal Charm is once again hosting her Nifty Thrifty Tuesday link party.
As I was drinking my coffee and checking e-mails this morning I looked up at the vintage pieces I have displayed in my office and thought I would share these nifty and thrifty old office items at Linda's party today.

Here's where modern technology meets office old school.
 My favorite piece, this vintage phone, I found in my in-laws basement 14 years ago.  I remember my mother-in-law thinking I was crazy for wanting this old phone.  I love this phone as much today as I did back then.
This second phone was purchased at a flea market a couple of years ago for $5.00 (I can't remember what's on today's grocery list but I remember how much I paid for the phone....go figure!)
A few weeks ago I bought this old phone receiver for $2.00.
It may be a little difficult to see but I'm using it as a bookend for two old books.
I found this portable Underwood typewriter last fall at a flea market for $20.00.  It's the perfect size to fit on top of an old letter file box that is from the company my Dad worked at for over 40 years.
Last summer I found a cigar box full of old wood handled rubber stamps at a thrift store.
Of course I bought them all and I now have them displayed under a cloche.
These last few items round out the display.  They were all purchased at garage sales or thrift stores.
Office equipment has come a long way.  Although I love the look of the old equipment I can't imagine life now without my computer or cell phone!

Have a great day.

Jane

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy Monday

I was updating our Master Bathroom today and stacked two vintage suitcases underneath a "new" wicker desk I purchased this weekend.  
It was unintentional but they look like a face smiling at me.
Hope your Monday brings a smile to your face!

Jane


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spring Table

We had an absolutely beautiful day today.....sunny and 80 degrees.  Not your typical Missouri March day!

Although we don't have any flowers outside yet, I bought some flowers at the store today to bring a little of that spring feeling into the house.
Putting a flower arrangement together is not one of my strengths.
But I did score a great find at the thrift store this week that I wanted to use to display my flowers.

Wheaton numbered lab bottles.
I found 9 of these lab bottles and bought them all.
They also had several Pyrex beakers at the thrift store and I purchased a couple of those too.

I arranged six of the lab bottles around a Pyrex beaker and added a few flowers to each bottle for my display.
I love how the afternoon sun shines through the bottles.

I'm joining a few fun Friday parties:
Debra @ Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday 
and 
Linda @ A La Carte for Junkin Finds Friday

Have a great weekend.

Jane

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Trowel Hanger

An old trowel.
Painted white.
Hung in my closet.
A spot for my scarves.
The depth of the handle gives you ample space to hang several items.
I think it would be great for purses or backpacks too.

I left mine plain but you could easily stencil a number or paint a name on it.

My husband asked why I didn't just hang a regular hook.....but what fun is that?

Linking to a couple of parties:

White Wednesday with Kathleen @ Faded Charm 
and
Wow Us Wednesday with Kim @ Savvy Southern Style.

Great parties!!  Stop by and say Hi!

Jane