Garage Sale Finds Friday Edition 43

Welcome to another week of garage sale finds Friday, where I share with you my favorite garage sale finds from the previous week.
Do you ever feel like there is a theme for the day when you go to garage sales?
I can hit 20 garage sales in a day and at every one of those garage sales, I will find the exact same thing.
Some days it's a particular game (scrabble anyone?), some days I see vintage buttons at every garage sale, this Friday it was old apple barrels.
I don't know if it's because we live in Washington or not, but the apple barrels seemed in abundance this week.
This apple barrel still had a tag on it from an antique store.
I picked it up for 50 cents.
The money bag pillows are something I made years ago.

I got this large apple basket for $1 and took it straight down to Persnickety's.
It would be great in a garden planted with mums.

Do you ever find the same item garage sale after garage sale like I do?
What did you find this weekend?

Limited time opportunity

If you have been reading along with our master closet shelving install, you will recall that we ran into a bit of an issue with some of the custom shelving being cut to the wrong size.  
Easy Closets fixed their mistake and sent out new product, however, we no longer have use for the old panels.  
This is an e-mail that my husband sent out to several friends and family members. 
I thought it was too funny not to share.

If you are receiving this message, it is because you have been personally pre-approved for a special offering from Teodoro’s Fine Furnishings.  For a limited time, not ONE, but TWO types of shelving are being made available FOR FREE to a select group of individuals on a first come, first served basis.

Due to a manufacturing error related to hole placement, there are 12 panels of the highest quality, white melamine covered, high density particle board that must go.  Each panel measures approximately 14” by 91.5” by 0.75”.  Two of the panels have small cutouts, and all have a small notch near the top and a double row of holes for mounting shelves.  See the attached picture for further details.  (Note:  Not all available panels shown in picture)  Our designers have come up with literally TWO ideas of possible uses for these boards, with concepts running the gamut from shelving all the way to bookcases.  You may have your own thoughts – let your imaginations run wild!

In addition, our management has authorized us to offer a few select types of wire shelving.  Each shelf is approximately 12” deep, and comes with the necessary supporting gussets.  Additional mounting clips for attachment to drywall were not recoverable during our salvage operation and therefore must be purchased separately.  There are 2 shelves approximately 8’ long, 2 more approximately 12’ long, and one angled shoe rack measuring approximately 8’ long.  

More information about this amazing offer can be obtained by responding to this email.  Don’t delay, at these prices, these fabulous items won’t last long!

Mike Teodoro – Proprietor

Martha Stewart Jewelry woodland bracelet

I know my job is awesome, when I get boxes filled with all of these goodies in the mail!
Plaid has a fantastic new line of Martha Stewart jewelry items available at Michael's.
The possibilities are endless!
I actually have spent the whole past week playing with each of these items in the kit and making all kinds of new custom jewelry for myself.
I love the product line, and know you will too!

 I was excited to try out the epoxy clay and woodland mold.
These are the supplies that you will need for the first step:
work mat
epoxy clay (I used white)
silicone mold
silicone tip brush
olive oil

 Use your silicone brush and brush olive oil in the recessed areas of the mold.

Rub olive oil on your fingers to make the epoxy clay easier to work with.

 Mix equal parts of the epoxy clay and the activator together by pinching off a small amount of each piece and rolling them together until fully blended.

Press clay into the silicone mold.  Clay should be level with the top of the mold.

Smooth the backs of the clay with olive oil and your finger to get out any lines and bubbles.
Here is the silicone mold completely full with clay.

If you want to use your clay pieces as pendants, poke a hole in the top of them with a toothpick.
Clay pieces take about 24 hours to dry.

While waiting for the clay pieces to dry, I used Martha Stewart jewelry enamel on these two gold acorns that came in my box of goodies.

Here are the supplies you will need to paint them:
jewelry enamel activator
jewelry enamel (I used orange and green mixed)
small brush
work mat

Mix two parts activator to one part enamel color on your work mat.
Use your toothpick to swirl together until a uniform color is achieved.

If you want a more translucent color, you can apply your enamel immediately after mixing.
If you want a more opaque color, let your mixture thicken for 2-3 hours before applying.
The thicker mixture is better for curved surfaces, and since an acorn is curved, I let my enamel thicken before applying it.
Use your small brush to apply the enamel.
Let dry.

After 24 hours, my clay pieces were finished!
They pop right out of the mold.
I used a light gold glaze to paint these pieces.
When you use the glaze,  you don't need an activator.
Just paint as normal.
However, if you want to achieve an antique finish, you can wipe the piece that you are working on with a clean rag while still damp.

I gathered a few of my jewelry making supplies from my kit to finish off my custom bracelet.
For this step I used:
round nose pliers
toggle clasps
jump rings
my enamel painted charms
and my epoxy clay painted charms

I laid all of my pieces out and played with the pattern until I found a pattern that I liked.

I used my round nose pliers to open the jump rings and connect the pieces together.

I used two jump rings to hang the epoxy clay charms and the charms that I painted with enamel.

This is my completed bracelet.
It was so much fun to try out all kinds of new jewelry making techniques.
I know I won't look at a plain piece of jewelry the same way anymore!

And of course you saw that huge box of stuff I got.
I'm not finished playing around yet!
Stay tuned for more Martha Stewart jewelry projects!
Need more inspiration?
Don't forget to follow Plaid on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!
I did receive a HUGE box of products as part of this Plaid campaign in conjunction with a partnership with Blueprint social. As always, all opinions are 100% mine.

Master Bedroom Closet DIY Built In's with Easy Closets

If you have been following along with my blog for any length of time, you would know that my master closet built ins has been a two year long dream come true.

I had several bids for built ins from local companies, but none could compete with the price that we got from Easy closets.  Once we settled on a design, we ordered the closets and one week later, 39 boxes and nearly 1400 pounds of closet awesomeness appeared.

The UPS guy might argue with the appearing part, but here they are.
Labeled and stacked.  There is even a box that says open first.
Well thought out?
You bet.

Because the built-ins are floor to ceiling our existing molding needed to be removed.

Measurements were made and lines were drawn so that the rail could hold up the shelving.

 Here are the rails hung on both sides.

The vertical boards came next.

Here is the long line of all of the vertical boards all in place.

Because my husband is adding crown molding to the top, he placed these backer boards to fill the gap.

This is what those boards look like up close.

This is where the whole project came to a screeching halt.
See all of those holes?

They were drilled wrong in every single one of those vertical boards.
The boards holes are off by about 1/8- 1/2 inch which makes a difference because the drawers and shelves don't sit flush.  Everything looks wonky.

This realization occurred on a Saturday, about a half an hour after the East Coast customer service took a break for the weekend.  Ugh!

While a whole weekend was set aside to specifically work on the closet, a whole weekend ended up getting wasted since work couldn't occur.

At 5 am our time on Monday morning, my husband put a call into customer service.

Three messages and three hours later, he finally had his call returned, and the customer service rep agreed that the best solution was to recut the boards {by someone who wasn't drunk-my words, not his}, and mail them out a three-day priority.

I hate when something isn't right with a custom order that you place, good customer service usually makes up for it.  While the delay in response and the difficulty at reaching someone at Easy Closets was frustrating, they rectified the situation at a huge expense to them {the shipping alone is probably setting them back $400}.

I'm not quite sure if Easy Closets would benefit from a little quality control before shipping.
It would probably save them some money.

For now, the closet project is on hold until the end of the week, when new product arrives.
Hopefully, with the holes drilled in all the right spots!

Don't forget to take advantage of the great Silhouette Promotion going on now.

Just enter "HOLY" at checkout to get these great deals!

How to prepare yourself for having a teen driver

I am reminded nearly every week with an update.
16 weeks
16 weeks until my 14 year old son will have turned 15, enrolled in drivers ed and officially be legal to hit the roads with a parent in the car.
My friends and I have spent the past year talking about our strategy.
We've discussed things like, "do we wait to enroll them in drivers ed until closer to their 16th birthday or do we allow our kids the chance to get more driving time in with their permit?"
"Do we let our kids drive with friends?"
"Will our oldest child be able to drive our younger children around?"
"What if it's raining and our kids need to drive to school?"

On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to go to the Drive it Home Show put on by the Allstate foundation in conjunction with the National Safety Council.
Drive it home is a new program offering specially created resources created by parents for parents to help keep their teens safer on the road.

I'm interested in soaking up as much advice and information as possible before my oldest son hits the roads!

Car crashes are the number one killer of Americans 3-25 years old, with the teen crash rate three times more than any other age group.

"We know from our research that parents are the No.1 source of information for teen drivers, yet 40 percent don't know car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens," said Vicky Dinges, vice president of corporate social responsibility at Allstate. "Drive it Home can help protect teen drivers, educate parents on the crucial role they play in the driving process, and help ensure our sons and daughters return home each and every night."

Half of all kids in High School will be in a crash.

Notice I said crash and not accident.  The National Safety Council makes this distinction because a crash is preventable, an accident is not.  
Most teen driving crashes are preventable.

The number one cause of crashes for teens is inexperience.

In Washington state, teens need to complete drivers training and have their permit for at least six months.
Teens must complete 50 hours of driving practice, 10 hours of those must be at night.
It takes 1500 hours of training to be a cosmetologist and yet we stick our young children behind the wheel of a two ton vehicle with very little training.

Washington does have a graduated drivers license program.  No passengers under 20 years old except for immediate family members for the first six months.  For the second six months, no more than 3 passengers under 20 years old except for immediate family members.  

Newly licensed drivers with 1 passenger increase their death rate in a car crash by 50%
If they have 2 passengers in the car that rate doubles.
If they have 3 or more passengers that rate quadruples!

In our state, for the first 12 months there is no driving between 1-5 am unless you are with a licensed driver with over 5 years experience.
40% of fatal teen crashes occur at night.
Most of them due to inexperience.

The information at Drive it Home was presented by the Chicago based Second City comedy group.
They took a very sensitive topic and looked at it in a way that brought humor and education to awareness.

"Dr. Bill" spent some time in a TV therapy session with this mom and her teen daughter.
This mom wanted her teen daughter to have a "zombie like devotion to everything I say", and her newly driving daughter wanted to be able to make her own mistakes.
Dr. Bill walked this pair through the steps to roll play {or biscuit play as he liked to call it} through an authoritative parenting style as her daughter took this mom out for a drive.

Research shows that authoritative parents keep kids safer and produce better trained drivers.

There were several speakers at the event and they all gave very helpful information.
The most helpful information to remember is that while 
the state sets the law, we as parents need to realize that the law is the minimum and that we need to set our own law for our teen drivers.
When my son gets his permit, its my job to drive with him, explain what I can about the situations he faces when he drives, but once he gets his license, my job doesn't end there.
Newly licensed drivers are 30x's more likely to get in a car crash in the first six months of getting their license. encourages parents to drive with their newly licensed driver for at least a half an hour a week.

Parents can take that time to assess your teens skills, encourage them on things they need to work on and provide feedback for them in critical driving areas like:
*scanning the road ahead for hazards
*controlling speed, stopping, turning and following distance
*judging the gap between vehicles in traffic for opportunities to make a left turn out of a parking lot
*and for managing the highest risks, driving at night and driving with passengers in the car
This video has some statistics that will make you think.
It will also give you some tips on what you can do as a parent to help your teen driver avoid being a statistic.
please visit, parents can sign up for weekly driving practice tips via e-mail and you can print and discuss the parent-teen driving agreement.
Our family has a teen cell phone agreement.  Of course, we are going to have a driving agreement!
Any experienced parents with teen drivers have any tips they want to offer?
I would love to hear what your agreements are with your teen drivers.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Garage Sale Finds Friday Edition 42

Welcome to another week of garage sale finds Friday where I share with you a few of my favorite garage sale finds from the previous week.

This week, I found these gorgeous blue tinted Ball Mason jars.
One of them even has the zinc lid.

I couldn't pass up this jar that had my maiden name on it.

I've seen a lot of fabulous milk jars, but these still had their original tops.
I love that!

I paid $8 for all of these fabulous jars.
So, what did you pick up this week?

Did you know that the Silhouette machine can cut fabric???!!!

Did you know that the Silhouette machine can cut fabric?
It can!
And it is awesome!

This past weekend, I loaded up a few of my goodies that Silhouette so graciously provided, and headed over to my sister in law's house to work on a project she wanted to complete.

Val had a few 10x10 canvases that her husband made for her and they were just waiting for a project.

In true engineer form, my brother in law initialed and dated his work.

Val went to her fabric stash and picked out a few different kinds of fabrics to use.

Silhouette has a fantastic fabric owl image that I bought to use for this.
It made the design so easy!

We knew that we would need to use spray adhesive to mount the owl to the canvas, so we didn't use fabric interfacing for the large owl shape.
This was the first fabric cut that we made and I was super impressed!

After we cut out all of the large owl base shape, we needed to get started on the details.
I took my clean cut fabric interfacing and cut it down to the size I would need.
I used an iron to adhere the rough side to the backside of my fabric.

Once the sheet cools, peel off the backing sheet from your fabric and you are left with fabric that can easily be cut and ironed on to any surface.

Look how clean the cut is!

Val started playing with patterns and shapes on the owls and once the base shapes were in place, she ironed them on.

After ironing on the base shapes, the small detail shapes were next.

Look how cute these owls are!

Val wants to use button eyes, but didn't have any on hand, and it was starting to get close to dinner time for her one year old, so we quickly finished with the main part.  
Just image button eyes.
He's adorable already!

Val used spray adhesive for the backside of the owl

and smoothed the completed owl onto the canvas.

Here are two of the four owls.

Who doesn't love a cute owl?!

If you don't have a Silhouette yet, and the fact that it cuts fabric has totally changed your mind on buying one, here are some great deals for you!
To get these deals go here and type in "holy" at checkout.
What would you cut on your silhouette?
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