Vintage Attic Finds

Recently I was helping the boyfriend clean his grandparents attic, and re-arrange the contents, throw away old and broken items, and even sell some things to get them some money. Among the bees nest, the sentimental wedding dress and ice skates from the 40’s, and the Green Bay city council books claiming the new name of Lambeau Field, we found some other awesome things. Some we are keeping, and some we are selling, and others we are putting back in the attic where we found them.

vintage collage 2

Among some of the things we found, an antique fan, a tube TV that… works!! And some luggage and a wooden crate. We claimed the fan for our own.

vintage tv

The TV worked when we plugged it in. Amazing! All we need is a converter box and we can watch TV on it!

vintage fabric 2

This box of quilts was in poor shape, so I cut off the ties, and cut the fabric from the batting, and am re-creating the fabric into something new. And yes, those are Care Bear sheets.

vintage fabric

This gorgeous fabric wanted to be used! So I sewed it onto a knit quilt as the backing. It’s now on my bed.

vintage suitcase

This was a suitcase from 1994 that was never unpacked. We checked the date on the magazines (the one under it has Barbara Bush on it.) I wonder where they were going…

vintage linens

These linens are now on my Etsy store! There were about 100+ more tablecloths, but most of them were plastic and made for a picnic.

vintage glasses

Many, many glasses. We kept a few, and will sell or donate the rest. The family of course has first dibs.

vintage collage 1

More gems… A GE record player in a suitcase, an alarm clock, a Brownie camera (purchased on his Grandfather’s honeymoon when they forgot their own camera), and a humidifier.

vintage lantern

This is a railroad lantern, missing the light, but would make a neat decoration.

vintage radio

This is the best find of them all! It’s a little coffee table with drawers, and when you pull out the drawers, one is a radio! The record player is missing, but it’s still awesome. It needs to be re-finished, but I can do that. And as for the radio? The boyfriend can fix that.

The rest of the Christmas and Easter decorations, Packer memorabilia, blankets, and nostalgia was neatly packed away and easily accessible for the family. What’s the best vintage thing you’ve found? Happy Antiquing!


Studio Style: Designing under 500 Square Feet

I’ve been asked in the past by people to help them design the layout of a small studio apartment, and how to fit belongings that are meant for a full one bedroom apartment into just one room total. As in, “Hey, my livingroom IS my bedroom. How do I do this?!” Well, Let me see if I can help you. I’m the queen of downsizing and only keeping the belongings you use on a regular basis, but not everyone is. Some people have to hang onto their childhood toys, their collection of kitchen ware and they love their large sofa too much to get rid of it. Let’s see where to start…

The infamous Studio apartment of Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City.

1. Your Stuff. What to do with it? Well, if you plan on fitting in a small space, you’ll have to maybe think of getting a storage unit. It’s not the end of the world. You’re belongings are still, well, belonging to you, just somewhere else. Especially if you have too much for a small space. I’m assuming if you’re living in a studio it’s because you can’t afford a one bedroom or you want to downsize for a little while. Maybe you are in school, maybe you’re splitting up from another situation, and a studio fits your lifestyle. Maybe you CAN fit all of your things!

2. Storage. Get storage containers for your things. Plastic totes are on sale often. Consider getting a bed that’s far enough off the ground to put bins under. Know someone who likes to build things? Maybe have them build you a headboard with extra storage in it for your books, a lamp, some night-time necessities and misc items. Label your storage, and maybe consider turning one whole wall into a shelving unit. Hang bars from the ceiling (in studs!) for clothing storage, or bike storage.

This is an awesome creative idea for kitchen storage. I did this at a friend’s apartment for a blank wall in the kitchen with shelving purchased at Ikea and only spent about $105.

I’m in love with this super creative storage solution. You can even go to the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store for the wood boards, and possibly even the piping. Add your belongings and art and you’ve got a sweet storage wall.

This is a creative way to add storage too.

3. Layout. There are some cool websites out there to help you layout your furniture given the space you are left to work with. Don’t be afraid to just move your things around untill you find a configuration that works for you. Room dividers and book cases make great walls in small spaces.

This is a great idea for a layout for a long space. Putting your furniture back to back works great for one room. Image Link

This article from Apartment Therapy is about 5 Smart Studio Layout Ideas.

4. Design. If you are ever planning on having people over, you may want to think of sprucing up a bit. The perfect place to go on a budget (let’s face it, you’re on a budget. You live in a studio) is Ikea. Or Target. Or the Thrift stores. Sofa beds and futons are great pieces of furniture, or using your bed like a sofa with the long side against the wall and pillows on the back are great transitional pieces. Small end tables as night stands are perfect for small spaces. Tables with leafs are ideal for making small and bigger on a whim. Add cute lamps all over for warmth and light. Using mirrors to reflect any natural light you get is a great way of making a small space seem larger. You can get cheap large mirrors at places like TJ Max or Burlington Coat Factory, although I prefer to thrift. Like always.

This is a perfect example of a studio that is adorable and vintage. Talk about waking up to natural light!

Consider adding some bright colors to a small space to boost the mood of the room. You can push the furniture to one side to create a corridor to walk through your room. Wall storage is essential in a small space to get things off of the floor.

5. Organization & Cleanliness. If you’re in a small space, you’re going to have to stay organized, and clean. Make sure your clean laundry is put away, your books and magazines are in order, and your groceries are where they go. Take the garbage out, because it’s going to smell way faster in a tiny space.

This seems like a good way to organize AND recycle an old pallet. Image link

Studio living isn’t all bad. Think of some movies that had studios in them? High Fidelity? Sex and the City? The TV Show White Collar has my favorite Studio of all time. I dare you to not fall in love with it. Happy studio living!

Using Google Docs to stay Organized

I’ve recently been turned onto using Google Docs (Documents) to stay organized, and it’s made a world of a difference. This may seem like a weird post for me to write, but seeing as how it helps me stay organized, it’s worth a share. Google Docs is one of Googles’s many useful branches (like Google+, GMail, and Google Maps to name a few,) that keeps files you create in the “cloud” of the internet. You can log into your own Google account, (easily created under Google’s homepage,) hit the “Documents” tab at the top, and create word documents, spreadsheets, presentations, forms, drawings, and tables.  There aren’t as many editing options as with Microsoft Office, but it’s still nice and basic for writing notes, papers, and doing things for work that you can get done on your home computer, and then pull up at any time, from any computer, without having to save it on a flash drive to transfer. I may sound like i’m pumping up Google right now, but, well, I am. I have all of my usernames and passwords for websites saved into a spreadsheet, and anytime I need to go into a website, I can just log into Google from anywhere, and pull up how to get in. I don’t want to write it down on paper, seeing as how I’m paranoid and someone might want my Etsy password so they can buy a little handbag made from recycled tires. Hey, we all have our own little things we do. I also use it to write my autobiography. That way I can pick it up from any laptop or computer if mine happens to die, or break. It’s great for papers for college students, (no excuses for losing anything!) and bloggers like me. Using Google Docs, I won’t loose everything if I don’t remember to back it up.

Not bad, huh? Happy writing!


A Place for Necklaces

So a while back I saw an adorable picture in a Better Homes and Gardens magazine about where to hang your necklaces, and thought, I can do that! (Like I think with SO many things I see in magazines…)

My inspiration

So I set out on a quest to get supplies. I found a picture frame at Goodwill for $5 that I took the glass out of to replace a broken piece in another project. I cut cardboard to fit in the back of the frame, I would recommend doubling up on cardboard if the depth will fit in the frame.

I covered the frame with some old fabric, added push pins, and hung it in the bathroom. Voila! Cheap and easy necklace solution!

Any size pushpins would work, as long as they are the kind that stick out, not the flat ones. You could also cover your cardboard in wallpaper, cork board, or get creative and use your favorite cereal boxes. When you craft, the choices are up to you! Happy crafting!

30 Days to Awesome!

This awesome article i’m about to share with you was torn out of an issue of Real Simple from January 2007. I’ve torn it out, and kept it all this time, and with good reason! It was originally written by Lisa Ann Smith and Elizabeth Wells (giving credit where credit is due,) but i’ll shorten and modify it for you all.  I’ll even add a few of my own…

So we can all admit that making a giant to do list, wish list, or a list of new years resolutions can be extremely daunting. When you don’t loose those last 25 pounds that you were trying to sweat off in a month, or take that trip to Italy, you can get a little discouraged, can you not? But when you make a smaller list, with tasks that seem simple to complete, the gratification of crossing them off that little list of paper is like finding money in an old pair of jeans. I have an OCD for making lists. I would carry a pad of paper around with me and make a new list every day, sometimes five… I like to feel accomplished when I do something little like clean the fridge, pick up the paper, and mail that card, and I love to cross things off. So here is a list of things you can do, one a day, for a month, not only feeling accomplished, but gaining something awesome every day!

  1. Write a letter to someone who won’t expect it. Come on, you have stamps laying around and at least 15 minutes a day where you sit there wondering what to do. So pick up a pen, some paper, and tell someone you are grateful they are in your life
  2. Enlist everyone in your household to speed clean one area. Throw on some tunes, and set a box for donations, trash, and one for things to keep. Assign everyone to something little like a drawer, or shelf in a closet. Just make sure if you are having kids help, to double check their items, so they don’t toss something you want!
  3. Empty your Email in box. Delete and or file away your mail. Compartmentalizing items will clear your mind and make it easy to do it in the future.
  4. Take photos of all your valuables for insurance purposes. We all can only hope our homes or apartments don’t get destroyed by a natural or un natural disaster, but you can never be too safe!
  5. I know this sounds CRAZY, but you should toss your super old liquors that’s been hanging around forever. You can try creating new drinks with a hubby or friends one night to use them up if you want. A lot of alcohols will last for a long time, but liquors with flavors can go bad.
  6. Try one new food!
  7. Donate money to your favorite charity. Visit and check out different categories of charities.
  8. Take all those random CD’s you have laying in your car, kitchen drawers, office desk, and old backpacks and finally put them on your computer and even onto an MP3 player. So much easier to carry around!
  9. Buy a few lint rollers for every entrance of the house. You will feel so much better leaving the house every day knowing you don’t look like you are running a homeless animal shelter.
  10. Schedule yourself a day off of work for no reason.
  11. Program five important numbers into your cell phone, like your favorite pizza place, family doctor, movie theater, and so on so you don’t have to keep looking them up. Better yet, if you have a smartphone, get Yelp and Flixster for easy food and movie searches.
  12. Swap music. Switch MP3 players with your sister, boyfriend, or mother for the day. You’ll (hopefully!) discover some cool new things, and learn more about the other person. (Your boyfriend likes Fergie!? Who knew?)
  13. Clean your kitchen. I mean REALLY clean it! Scrub the oven, sink, mop the floor and throw out your old tin foil covered mystery food in the back of your fridge for once. Heck, jam out to your favorite 80’s tunes if that gets you motivated. Throw on a little MJ. I won’t tell anyone. Seeing, (and smelling) that sparkly clean kitchen will motivate you to keep it that way.
  14. Make your own trail mix by using the last bits of cereals laying around, pretzel bits, nuts, and raisins. You can even add things like chocolate chips from the baking cupboard, and those mini marshmallows you have no use for.
  15. Create a “Best of 2011” tally sheet. Check different sites for the best rated books, music, and movies. Then check them out!
  16. Clear all your expired food from the refrigerator. How long have you had that teriyaki sauce, anyways? And where did those mustard packets come from?
  17. Create a list of parties that you think would be fun to throw this year. Then make it happen. Costume contest in July? Why not? No money? Make it a b.y.o.b
  18. Re stack your tupperware, and throw away old containers, and mismatched lids.
  19. Make a little wish list with do-able things on it. Like visiting a museum, or saving all your change for a rainy day or making that one chocolate cake you saw that lady make on TV one time that looked so good…
  20. Pare down your kitchen items. Do you need 4 spatulas? Or 30 take out forks? And where did that pot lid come from and what happened to the pot? Donate the extra.
  21. Go to or and print some new pics to replace the old ones in frames around your house. And come on, admit it, you’re tired of seeing that picture of you with that bad hair cut over and over.
  22. Grab a local newspaper from a grocery store and check local venues for shows. Pick one in the future, and go to it, even if you’ve never heard of the band. You may like it, and may even meet some cool people.
  23. Place some of your thick, and possibly mis matched glasses in the freezer. Then they will be ready for a nice frosty beverage.
  24. Check the oil/ wiper fluid in your car.
  25. Tighten loose screws. Walk through the house with a screwdriver and tighten any knobs, cabinet hardware, switch plates, or anything with a loose screw. (No, not your husband.)
  26. Cut up some fruit and freeze it for smoothies. It’s a perfect use for fruits that are almost past their prime.
  27. Remove old wax from candle holders by putting them in the freezer over night. The wax should pop out. Then clean the paraffin soot out, and replace the candles with fresh ones made of soy. They burn longer, cleaner, and smell fresher. And guess what? No soot!
  28. Write down 15 places you’d like to go in the next 15 years. Weather it’s another country, or another city, you can use the list as inspiration for your next vacation.
  29. Dust! It sure collects, and why not take a few minutes to get rid of the build up in the entertainment center, (that nintendo is getting a little dirty…) and on top of the fridge.
  30. Try a new beer. Go to the local supermarket, and grab a microbrew with a cool name, label, home town, whichever. It’s fun to try something new.

There you have it. Some little, do able things you can do every day of the month to make your life just a little more awesome, and feel accomplished that you did something to stay more organized today, and in the future. I mean, you read this, and that’s the start to a great day so far! Don’t you feel better already? I knew it!