Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Old Items ...New Ways


Above: lunchboxes re-created and re-purposed to hold colored crafting accents


I recently got together with my old friend Sue aka "Zueeuz" who has a great style blog and we had a wonderful visit. I love to see what she shares from her Texas home that is old, refashioned, and beautifully different. She has inspired me to post a little vintage organizational deco-fun of my own. See Sue, you made me do it! :P I am constantly going through my home about every 6 months and streamlining it to be more My All, more myself, just with less stuff. Yet I hope to keep ahold of the vintage country feel that I love. Shiny brand new boxes, bins, chrome and glass decor is fine, but not for me. I love vintage! Vintage pieces can help you not only keep your home neater and more organized--but do it with a creative twist and a old-world charm!

Many of you have seen my previous posts of my cleaning my scrapbook studio and know I use old items often for storage. I also do this in the rest of my home. Here are a few ways I use my garage sale and flea market finds in current, yet super-practical, ways! I snapped about 10 retro-org ideas from my first floor. Enjoy!



Fibers and ribbons on old fashioned wooden clothespins in recycled fishbowl canisters (Very popular in the 70's and 80s in the kitchen). I love being able to sort by color famly and SAEE what I have at a glance. Plus it's just pretty! :)




Gardening gloves, seed packets, mosquito repellents and yard sheers rest in an antique mixing bowl that belonged to my great-grandmother. It sits atop a blue and white tile-mosaic bench hand-made by my daughter and I about 15 years ago--next to a Ball jar lamp full of 3 different grandmother's vintage buttons! Perfect for the porch.



The bookcase above is re-purposed from a hand-me-down dining room dish hutch. We removed the Plexiglas slides and painted it country blue about 20 years ago and it has been holding heirlooms, a vintage book collection, and special photos in our living room ever since! (Fun note: that super thick book laying horizontally on the top shelf is a bible in Finn from my husband's great great grandfather. And that dapper 1920's straw hat in mint condition was my great grandfather Ed's.)




Old time glass canisters with their original peeled paint lids (don't worry I scrubbed and sealed them) each got an addition of some patriotic decals along the way. Sugar, flour and tea are looking fashionably yummy!




Create a vintage kleenex holder with an old wide mouth Haeger vase! Ours sits atop a plum colored pottery tray make by our daughter. Alongside on the television cabinet sits a vintage tin with matches and tea lights tucked inside for emergencies. Antique binoculars, mini perfume bottles and a little gardening friend peek out from a handmade pine shadowbox lamp.




Take that rustic toolbox out of the garage and make it work double-duty indoors as a desk caddy! I filled mine with about 5 smaller vintage vases and bowls. Tucking in scissors, pencils, pens, tape, threads, wooden foldable rulers, hand lotion, and other office essentials was easy! Great-grandmother Gramlich's 1920's fabrics sing again in a peppy hand-quilted-by-me table mat. A 1950's stapler and a special rock paperweight round out the tableau and my desk essentials are stylin' on the summer porch! (Don't we all have a special rock that can work as a paperweight?)



This bowl of fun is full as it includes my mamma's hand made seed balls, charmingly stringy old thread spools, collectible thimbles and sewing knickknacks, and a very special fabric toy ball I sewed for my son for his first Christmas 25 years ago.




Dozens of cookie cutters in a very oversized blue glass apothecary jar. I loved that it still has a lid! Can you tell I am a very visual collector?



Recent finds are seen here from last weekend's garage sales. A need for practical pen caddy's near the sofa gave a pewter creamer and a tin measuring pitcher new use! A 20 year old Longeberger basket catches scratch-paper duty under a spindle-filled Ball jar lamp.




On a recent Wisconsin vacation, I picked up this vintage sewing basket at the funkiest antique shop ever! It's in perfect condition with it's lid! Yes I know I could use it for all the vintage sewing collectables in a previous photo--but I like it for my Copic Markers instead since the Copics should be stored horizontally.



Now this trick is not new as I have been using my great-grandmother's wire egg basket for almost 30 years as a magazine bin. Fittingly, this one is specifically for my genealogy magazines! I love that I can simply grab them and go when teaching family history class! Scrapbook magazines would look great here too! Perhaps a basket for each title/publisher?


I am always looking for unique older pieces that will do double duty as storage. Basically I think of the size and shape of the piece--not the original intention for it. Start looking around your own house for items that can sparkle in a new role. I hope you got some great ideas for your storage using heirloom, garage sale, flea market, and secondhand items! Make it pretty... and make it vintage! :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Some things are worth doing....


I have been thinking a lot about streamlining and priorities lately.
It could be because it is summer and I am getting lazy.... It could be because I am tired of carrying every ball tossed into my playing field. I tend to be a leader just so that things actually do get done. And then, I naturally get tired when I pile too much on my plate. I have a list with 100's of items on it TO DO. At least 25 for each room of my home --and for each area of my professional and personal life.

In trying to analyze where my happy middle line is really at, I have been decluttering some more scrapbooking supplies, donating some knickknacks from around the house, and saying no to some unneeded commitments. I even booked time this weekend here at home--with myself. I could have gone to north with hubby to help move his brother, or I could have gone to a scrapping retreat. I could even ask a friend over to be artsy with me but you know I am kind of thinking I need more time to JUST DO the things on my lists that are worth doing.

Then maybe I will rip up the list and forget the rest. I want to save my energy for things that matter. I want to smile more, pray more, take my vitamins, walk and garden. I want to read good books and talk to my mom on the phone weekly. I want to USE those Tim Holtz goodies I have been buying (and love) Saving them with good intention isn't the same as using them and creating a piece that I will love. Some things are SO worth doing....

I will keep you posted! :)

In the meantime, what can YOU get rid of off your lists that isn't worth your time? And what will you substitute in for it that is truly worthwhile?