right now

right now

Mar 15, 2011

Living "Small" - Update #2

Whew... I just finished catching up on everyone's blogs I missed the past few days, y'all are busy!  Busy here as well, here's the update on what got accomplished the past week:

that's me, still painting!

I am trying to do a really "good" job, painting all the trim and everything, now if that darned housing market turns (yeah, right...) we'll be ready!

This past week I actually made a few purchases for myself and the house, but first I sold stuff on Craigslist, storage bins from the kids' room - sold for $275... in one hour!

Some of you may remember that I don't wear jewelry, at all, so imagine how surprised I was that I actually liked this ring I saw in an antique/junk store!  I'm sure it's not valuable but I just happen to like it, and after talking them down to $9, I bought it!  Since I am now sewing, I just wanted something pretty to look at while pushing and cutting fabric - sounds loony, I know, but hey - it makes me smile :)

I decided to wear the ring over to another antique (mostly junk LOL) store and lookie what I found!  The  "50's Ford pickup truck" of sewing machines!  I was starting to think the ring was my shopping good luck charm.

Had to have it!

I talked them down from $98 to $65, didn't even care if it worked!  Once again, it just makes me happy to look at it!  I liked it so much in fact, that I created a little "inspiration corner" next to my desk where I can look at it and get inspired retro-style to make things!  It is sitting on the cart that I made the panels for to store all my fabric.  Upon further research, it appears to be a 1961-1964 made machine, how "mod" - I'm loving that since mid century "stuff" is my favorite.

Hubby got home from work, laughed at it, then proceeded to sew on it - it works!  Now he's pretty excited to get it all cleaned and shined up, just like that old pickup truck that he's always wanted...
- it may be my favorite thing ever!

Speaking of Mid-Century Modern, although it is my favorite design period I have rarely been able to obtain any of it due the high price of reproductions and complete unavailability and cost of the actual thing, until now....

Found at the Salvation Army the other day...  (I was wearing the ring again!)

I almost passed it by, since there was an ugly blanket draped over it with old china stacked on it, I think that's the reason it was still there, nobody had noticed it!  It needs a bit of cleaning and strengthening on the bottom, but has solid wood drawers and is just plain "me".... $60

Again, it makes me deliriously happy to look at it!  I'm done with having anything in my house that I don't absolutely love... life's too short to store stupid $hit!  (hey, that may be my new motto!)

Still wearing the ring, I headed to another antique store, where I found this train case - 

Ever since I was little I have loved these, they just seemed to always exude romance and adventure!  This one was in beautiful shape, a Samsonite covered in leather from the 60's, and the latches and key work.  I put it in my sewing/craft hallway and it now is perfect for holding my patterns...


I can already see that my "someday" dream sewing room will definitely be a Holly Golightly inspired space, full of retro funky finds that inspire me and make me happy, it's my space after all!

About the "end of the hallway" - hubby built these shelves in to an otherwise unusable area of the hallway years ago.  The space is only about 6-7 inches deep so I couldn't even keep a standard bookshelf or side table there.  Now I am able to store my machines, (yikes I'm up to 3 working machines now thanks to hubby working on them!), magazines, crafting books and a basket that holds my library books.  It's also perfect for displaying a few photographs or other "favorite things".  Just sayin', there's space everywhere if you just look!

I took the day off reorganizing yesterday to sew my first paper pattern!  I know I'm psycho, who quilts before they learn how to sew?  I was SCARED!  Looked like rocket science to me.  I did it, but the v-neck on the jammies was horrible and they are a bit big, Finn looks like a tree stump in them but he is overjoyed that I made them in the fabric he got to pick out himself.  Go ahead and have a laugh at my expense :)

someone give that kid a haircut!
 (a job for the intern...)

I am almost finished putting the kids' room back together so that will be my next update, I didn't want to overwhelm you with all these photos.

One really good thing happened this week, I cleared a path to the kitchen to cook last night!

Standard freezer busting stir-fry, look at all of last summer's stuff in there - have to make room in there, spring is coming fast.

This Week's Purchases:  -$146  (furniture, accessories)
Last Week's Purchases:  -$196  (paint, painting supplies)
Sold via Craigslist:        +$275  (sold kids' IKEA storage bins)

*net spent on house refreshing to date:  $67.00

I think the ring is definitely going on my finger whenever I go shopping for bargains!


  1. Look at all that stuff! So nifty. You're on a roll!

    Love the PJS! You should have seen the stuff I made when I took a sewing class in high school. EVERYTHING was too big!

  2. Everything looking good!! You better get finished soon.........it's time to garden!!

    Love the ring and that sewing machine!! I have to say that your hands look like mine!!

    Great job on the PJ's!!!

  3. Kaytee, those jammies are SO big LOl

    Dani, I know - I've never been much of a "shopper" but hubby is scared when I go shopping now! He'll probably start hiding my lucky ring!

    Robin, soon our short nails will be full of soil! Oh the joys of cleaning garden hands every evening :) Actually, yours already are, aren't they?! You've been working so hard already out there.

  4. I do believe you've found a Lucky Ring! (By the way, I LOVE it!) The bargains you've been coming home with are a little unbelievable. Keep it up. I love the thought of having things around you that you truly love. Looking at things everyday that release those good endorphins has got to be wonderful for the whole body!

    Finn's pjs are adorable. And you can just tell he loves 'em. I'm sending money under separate cover for his haircut. ;o)

  5. Ohhh that ring is pretty and since it's good luck well you can't beat that! Love your finds!
    I think your jammies look great. I used to make jammies for the kids every winter, nice warm flannel ones. But I'd always fall in love with the fabric and have such a hard time getting rid of the jammies when they grew out of them. LOL!

    My modem is giving me trouble so I haven't been able to post but it seems to be up and running now so hopefully later tonight I can get to it.

  6. I don't know if you should have leaked the magic power of the ring on the internet. Now we all will be looking for just such a thing. And that sewing machine was meant for you.

  7. Oh, I do envy you the sewing machine. My grandson was helping unload the pickup when we got home from AZ last year, and he dropped my old Singer. Busted it all to hell. I replaced it with a new Brother, and brother, is it ever a piece of junk!

    Everything else is cool....but I think I got rid of that chest of drawers and the train case when I moved into our new house back in 1977.

  8. Ms. Erin, what great finds! Marc and I love to buy second hand goods. Unfortunately, I don't have an "eye" for it like you do. It's nice just to window shop most of the time though.

    A husband that sows...how awesome is that! Now if only I can get Marc to learn. We need curtains!

  9. Mama Pea, I think I'm going to get after that hair this weekend, his grows SO fast! I have been thinking a lot about things that I love lately - I can't describe it other than if it's something I must glance at every time I walk by it, then it can stay:)

    Sparkless, thanks! I had to do summer jammies since it's getting that time here, but can't wait to try some flannel ones this fall!

    Jane, I didn't post it to Facebook, just all my blogger friends LOL! Now I wonder... :)

    Gran, my mom got rid of all her stuff, too. She's all new and pottery barn-ish and probably thinks I've gone off the deep end with my obsession with anything "Brady Bunch" LOL

    Thomas, you must get Marc to sew! With all the gardening you do you have to make the argument for the sewing machine LOL! It is fun to just window shop, too. I've never been much for antique shopping but it's becoming fun when I'm actually finding things! Yep, hubby uses the old machines, I won't let him on my new one since he's a jet mechanic, he's a little "rough" with things - but now he wants to make himself a pizza baking apron, with a towel sewn on the front so he doesn't have to walk around with his flour sack towel over his shoulder LOL

  10. Those are great finds! The ring is really pretty and I love the sewing machine and train case. I love old things like that!
    I think your first pattern sewing project turned out great. Better to big and he can grow into them, than too small and they'll never get worn.
    Have a great day!

  11. Grrrr....my 1st comment didn't go through. You have found some AWESOME stuff Erin, love-love it!

    The new boys room now please, overwhelm us with pictures. :)

  12. What an incredible post! I am coveting all of your great finds! I especially love that chest of drawers!! Great job! Definitely don't lose that ring! :)

  13. Boy did you have some good luck this week! Definitely a very cute ring. I think I could duplicate it pretty easily for anyone else who wants a "lucky ring" :)

    The PJs look fine to me! As Anke said, better to have them turn out too big than too small. I have a pair of pants I made for DD *two years* ago that came out too big, and she's just fitting into them now!

  14. I ran across a pattern for boxers a while back, that may be a fun project for you to do, let the boys pick out their fabric and whip out a few pair. Some patterns have all sizes in one packet, from toddlers to men. Oh, and if you have a Hobby Lobby near by, sign up for their emails, they run patterns on sale for 99 cents some times. I shop for patterns online at their sites, write down the numbers, and when they are on sale, head on in with my list, and walk out with them 10 minutes later.

  15. Erin, I cannot believe you found that machine! It is amazing. Though it makes ME Mid-Century Modern! You did a great job on the PJs - Finn looks so happy...

  16. I love the new machine! What brand is it?

    The jammies turned out great! It is difficult at first to figure out the sizing on patterns- they run so differently than ready-to-wear. One thing that helps is to check the "Finished garment measurements" on the back of the pattern envelope. That will give you an idea of the finished size. The "Big 4" pattern companies are notorious for having way more ease than is necesary.

    Your little sewing corner/end of hall has turned out great!

  17. Anke, exactly what I thought! I would have been pretty upset if they were too small!

    Kelly, I'll try to do the boys' room post soon! I have to reinstall my computer software tonight, grrrr......

    Megan, I was quite surprised by my finds, we have notoriously bad thrift stores here, usually only clothes and no furniture at any of them.

    Alison, I bet yours would be even prettier, the band on mine is so thin but I sure love the stone and old looking setting

  18. Valerie, no Hobby Lobbys on the East Coast! I've never even been in one, only heard of them. The .99 cent patterns were going the other day, that's how my pattern box went from empty to about 10 patterns LOL! Bought beginner stuff, some jammie pants patterns for all of us, a sundress and a few for wrap and circle skirts.

    Susan, mid century mod is a hip place to be in life, enjoy!

    Lisa, it's a "Wizard", apparently a Japanese machine made/imported for Brother in the early 60's, it is way cool looking! You are right about those patterns, I made the pajamas in boys' size 4/5 even though store bought clothes he is a 5/6... still too big! I'm going to have to line everyone up and get measurements and keep them with me :)

  19. Love those 1$ pattern sales! I go through the pattern companies web catalogs so I can pick out what patterns I want, then when they go on sale I have my list already made up.