Archive for January, 2012

Happy Monday … here’s a fun video to start your week off.  Enjoy The Jive Aces – Bring Me Sunshine!



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This adorable corner shelf sits in the opposite corner of the suitcase shelf.  I purchased it at my favorite little second hand store, Abbey Ann’s, in my hometown of Tallmadge, Ohio.  (I make it a point to visit everytime I make it back to Tallmadge.)  It was varnished dark wood when I bought it and I applied a creamy white paint for more of the shabby chic look.  It holds a handmade clock that I bought a long time ago, the salve tin that my grandfather used to get out for any bumps or bruises, and I pretty tin that I picked up at an auction that now holds our q-tips.  Notice the burgandy silky material that lines each shelf … yes, it’s from the suitcase lining and I added a little crocheted lace to the edges.  The chippy wrought iron towel hanger was purchased at the Hog Creek Craft and Antique Mall in Allen, Michigan.  I think I paid $3 for this gem. 

I’m tickled pink at how this corner turned out.  It’s right next to the sink where we can now hang a handtowel and it helped get yet another item, q-tips, off the counter.

I created this valance by sewing together cloth table napkins with pink embroidered trim and flowers.  It adds a little country feel to the room. 

There are a few items left to share and I’ll save them for another day 🙂

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Before I share more updates from my bathroom makeover project, I wanted to share some ways that vintage suitcases are being upcycled. 

Upcycled Vintage Suitcase Cabinet with Lights from BenclifDesigns


Upcycled Pet Bed from Fbstudiovt

Industrial Storage Chest Table from MrsRekamepip

Vintage Suitcase Jewelry Display Box from Lovenostalgicwhimsy

Vintage Suitcase Shelves from Red Hen Home

These are beautifully crafted  and so creative!

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In my quest to find ways of recycling some outdated, castaway items into cherished treasures and giving them a second life, I have been working on giving my bathroom a new look.  It’s a little bit country with the warm colors and a little shabby chic with the tins and painted furnishings and definitely vintage with the many collectibles. 

I needed something to replace a shelf that I had above the toilet that held some decorative items and also doubled as a towel rack.  I thought I wanted an old vintage medicine cabinet but was having a hard time finding one that I liked and was in my budget.  I have a collection of Trash to Treasure books by Leisure Arts and when I need inspiration, I leaf through them.  I came across a project where they turned an old suitcase into a shelf.  I liked the idea but worried that it might be too big for the space.  Nonetheless, I set off looking for the perfect suitcase and I found it at the Allen Antique Barn, one of just many places to shop for antiques in Allen, Michigan. 

I am thrilled with the suitcase and how the renovation turned out.  The inside of the suitcase had a really pretty burgandy silk material that was in very good condition.  It had loose pockets on three of the sides which meant extra material that I could use.  And I did, to cover the wood shelf that my husband made

 to hold my collection of various vintage items … from hat pins to old nail polish bottles to my grandmothers pretty vanity mirror.  And then there are some old razors and razor tins, some perfume bottles and some pill containers.   What I like is that there is still room to add more goodies as my collections grow.


All of this for $12 … that’s right, the suitcase cost me $12.  My husband had the wood for the shelf in the barn and I reused the material that was inside the suitcase.

This was a lot easier than I thought it would be and I can’t be happier with the way it turned out.  If you are thinking about a project like this look for a suitcase with pockets so that that you will have extra material to work with.  In my next post, I will share other updates to this bathroom and you will see that silky burgandy material show up again and again.  🙂

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I recently started following the Raising Jane Journal by MaryJane.  In a post titled It’s All Good, she points out her list of Silver Linings …

  • back-breaking work because it means I have working legs that still move, arms that lift, and a back still capable of lifting.
  • the taxes I pay because it means I have a job. (This little lesson came from my tax accountant when I was complaining about the new bracket I found myself in. “It could be worse,” he said. Thinking he was going to tell me about a higher bracket, he said, “You could owe nothing but then you wouldn’t be working. That’s a bracket far worse.” Right. To celebrate, I’m going to have Pay Day candy bars ready for us to eat when I write my [GULP] check to the IRS.)
  • tears of heartache that free up room in the well of my soul for joy—a lesson in contrast.
  • the feeling of a snug waistband that reminds me I have plenty to eat.
  •  the parking spot I can’t find in the food co-op parking lot because it means I don’t yet qualify for an ADA decal on the window of my car and I can WALK.
  • the chore of cleaning the chicken coop because it means I have chickens that feed me; shoveling manure because it means I own a cow (or two:).
  • the humongous heating bill I pay because it means my employees and I have the privilege of staying warm easily in the winter.
  • unexpected traffic delays because it means someone other than me is standing outside in the cold clearing a road for me to drive on.
  • the “exorbitant” property taxes I pay as a commercial business owner because it means I am a woman who owns property. Worldwide, women own something like only 5% of all properties. I’m adding a tiny increase to that growing percentage.
  • different (make that “polar opposite”) points of view among the “friends” I know online because it means I get to experience new perspectives, bringing me that much closer to my own.
  • messes left (coffee grounds everywhere but in the compost bucket, dish towels used to shine black boots apparently, tools not put away, ETCETERA!!!!) that remind me I have been visited by friends and family.
  • endless complaining—government this and government that—because it means we have the right to an opinion.
  • the privilege of being a good CUSTOMER for those who provide me with services rather than a mere CONSUMER.
  • frustration at the end of a day’s work because I didn’t get everything done, meaning I’ve been given a second chance.

WOW … I needed this list today!  I have been moping around, complaining about things that are miniscule and feeling sorry for my self because things aren’t going my way.  I too should be thankful for most of the items on MaryJane’s list.   

Thanks so much MaryJane for the reminder to count my blessings everyday!  I’m off to make my list.

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I was originally made of paper and today I can change colors … what am I?


 A drinking straw. 


The drinking straw was patented in 1888 by Marvin Stone.  It can be made of paper or plastic.  It can be bendable/crazy/spoon bottom.  And today there are even drinking straws that change colors!  Enjoy this etsy treasury created to celebrate the drinking straw …

75 Paper Straws.. P…


1950’s100 Mothe…


Vintage Orange Soda…


Plastic Drinking St…


Disney Donald Duck …


Vintage 1960s Soda …


Vintage Mother Goos…


Box of Vintage Flex…


Purple Party Drink …


Vintage Elbow Plast…


Vintage Sweetheart …


Vintage Orange Soda…


Vintage Pair of Str…


Vintage Cellophane …


Vintage box of 1940…


Paper straws (50) Y…


Treasury tool by Red Row Studio.

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