Thursday, August 21, 2014

Thrift Shop Thrills Numero Dos: Hollow Books

Volunteering at the thrift store always gets my creative juices flowing -- I see so many things that don't have much purpose as they ARE, but do have purpose in what they COULD BE.  Last month, my new Thrills piece showed how to take cruddy old cookbooks and turn them into gift wrap, tea towels, gift cards, stickers and more.

And now, I'm showing you how to make your own hollow book (for keepsakes or to use as a pincushion.)  Simply find yourself a couple of these babies:

Yes, the old Reader's Digest Condensed books.  They were published from 1950-1997 and came out four to six times a year.  These were classics and other books that were edited for length and put all in one volume.  We get them all of the time at the thrift shop, and only really sell them to people who do this with them:

And yes, those are very cute, cool, and clever, but seeing as I like having 10 fingers, I will leave the power tools to someone else.  My idea was something more like this:

Huh?  What do you think?  Who needs a $50 frame for a little piece of needlework, when a thrift shop find can become a frame with a little elbow grease.  (The darling golden strawberry was made by Stacey Nash -- love it love it love it!)

In my instruction book, you will get all of the tips on the best way I came up with to hollow out these books and make them into needle-works-of-art.  This is definitely a weekender project, and I can see all kinds of fun applications with these -- especially depending on the covers you can find.  There are some that are wintery/Christmasy, lots of kitchy covers, and old-fashioned almost calico patterns.

(Side note: the SUPER COOL piece of pottery I scored while hitting garage sales with my friend Jennifer two weekends ago -- $8!!!  It's brand new and hand-thrown!)

My instructions tell you step-by-step how to prep and hollow out your book, and I include two patterns to put inside (but encourage you to find motifs that are meaningful to YOU!)  This is such a fun project.  And you can do it!  It was also a neat way to use up some trinkety trinkets and trims that I had lying around hither and yon.

Speaking of hither and yon, I haven't shared any kitten pics for a while.  Everyone has been sick for weeks, and we finally had to go to the vet to get everyone kitty Z-Packs.  They're on the mend now.  Right now at home, I've got Shrimp, Lister, Stephen and Colbert, and these two fluff balls -- Gelato (with black ear) and Sherbet.  They are FUNNY kittens.  When Sherbet plays with the others, she screams like she's being mugged or something.  They'll soon be up for adoption.

Our shelter completed 1,006 adoptions/live releases in June and July this year.  We're hoping for another 500 for August, as we are participating in the Rachael Ray $100,000 shelter challenge.  Seeing all of those happy animals and new pet owners really makes the hard work worth while.

Yes, I'm working on other things.  No, I didn't do market releases.  This summer, I had a few different biopsies (including breast).  I had to do some medication adjustments on my psychiatric drugs, and got bifocals.  Oh, and after finding out I have been anemic for probably the last 8 years or more, I was put on iron pills and yesterday had a D&C/oblation surgery.  So...this summer has been my "tune up" summer.  Get ready for some good needlework designs coming up, especially now that my energy is back!!!

Thanks for reading -- stay well.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Summer Clearance

Last night I had the shocking realization that summer is almost over!  In the south, that's a big deal.  This morning, when I was getting dressed, I looked at my long-sleeved shirts and sweaters and thought ... soon!

Getting ready for a market season and new fall designs, I need to clear out some of the more than 700 items on my Etsy site at  Everything is 20% off today through Sunday when you shop and enter the word hooray in the coupon code area.  HOORAY!