Estate Sale Goodness!

Today was a memorable and lucky day for estate sailing.  I can’t even begin to tell you about all the awesomeness I scored.  However, the most awesome thing I encountered all day was by far this kitchen backsplash.  Are you ready for this?

I will give you some time to pick your jaw up off the floor.   Yes, those are Franciscan Starburst tiles set into the backsplash.  I about had a stroke.  Then the director of the sale told me about the entire set of Franciscan Starburst they had that sold immediately the first day.  I am still grieving over that.

The same house also had this mod built in room divider:

Isn’t that great?  I love that connected square pattern.  And that poodle you can spy in the corner?  He would have come home with me had his neck not been broken.  Poor little dude.

I went to a different sale where a sweet preschool teacher lived.  You could tell by all the early childhood education paraphernalia and holiday themed vests that were there.  But then, in the bathroom, I found this under the toilet seat lid and it cracked me right up:

I love it when people fall out of line with their stereotype, don’t you?

I will show you one thing that I purchased today:

For some reason I’m ridiculously in love with this portrait.  I found it languishing in the garage of yet another estate sale and immediately had to have it.  Am I crazy or is this incredibly awesome?  It’s so Mad Men, don’t you think?

What’s the coolest feature you’ve seen in a house at an estate sale?

This IS your Granny’s crafting!

Hey y’all!  Today was my first post over at No Pattern Required!  This marks the beginning of a bi-monthly series where your old pal Betty will give life to vintage craft patterns – sometimes creepy, sometimes cute, always vintage.  This time I tackled this:

Yikes.  Head on over there to see the real-life full color version!  You have been warned.

Pincushions = The Cutest Things Ever

Were you aware that vintage pincushions were cuter than a bucket of rainbows?  Well it’s 100% scientific fact.  Observe:

Photo credit: Antiques Navigator

Photo credit: Jane Foster Blog

Photo credit: AnnaBelle Arts

Makes your teeth hurt they’re so sweet, right?  Anything that saccharine sweet is DEFINITELY up my alley.  I picked up this helpful little lion at an estate sale:

 Isn’t he a doll?  He’s my little sewing minion – always at my side ready to provide any needed instruments.  But Betties, none of these pincushions can even compare to the amazing pincushions I have begun to collect made by the amazing Leslie Bonnell.  Are you ready for your eyeballs to explode from cuteness?  Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

I can’t stop buying them!  Every time I visit her store, I see another I just can’t leave behind.  It’s ridiculous.  Typical Betty response would be to find inspiration to make my own.  But in this rare example, I just know I could never replicate the perfection that Leslie has achieved.  In any case, we can add pincushions to my long list of various collections.  Do you have any adorable vintage pincushions laying around, or have you ever made one?


It’s always around the end of the summer that I start to think about knitting again after several months of sweltering heat taking away my will to knit.  And it’s about that time again!  I’m already mentally lining up my fall/winter knitting projects for the fam.  And this year, just like last year, I have cowichans on the brain.  What are cowichans, you ask?  Well, they’re only the most awesome sweater ever made!  Most people know them as the kind of sweater worn by the Dude in the Big Lebowski:

(photo credit: Clothes on Film)

The cowichan sweater originates with the Cowichan tribe of British Columbia, Canada.  The Canadians also often call them curling sweaters.  They are cardigans or pullovers knit in bulky yarn with both intarsia and fair isle tequniques to achieve Native American motifs or other themes.  In the 50’s, companies like Mary Maxim began making knitting patterns for home knitters for cowichan sweaters that had all kinds of awesome themes, like totem poles, square dancing,  semi trucks…just when I think I’ve seen them all a new one comes along.  Here’s Mister Crafter wearing a vintage hunting themed cowichan:

And here’s my friend Bobby, truly the most stylish person I know, rocking a vintage fishing themed cowichan:

Well combine this Betty’s love for cowichans and knitting and what do you get?  A vintage cowichan knitting pattern collection of course!  Oh yes, and a miles-long knitting queue.

I’ve got patterns for Little Betty:

Patterns for Mister Crafter:

And top on the list of knitting priority, a pattern for Betty:

Ooooh I can’t wait to get started!  Last year I knit the squirrel cowichan for Little Betty and it turned out to be maybe the cutest thing ever created.  After Momma’s sweater, maybe I’ll knit the owl one with matching hat for her.  The Mister has such a great collection of vintage cowichans already that he’s on the bottom of the priority list.  Ok, gotta run!  I feel a burning desire to buy yarn…

The New Crestview Door

So, the door that was on the house when we moved in wasn’t too bad.  It was an old world / Moroccan type thing and did have a really cool starburst doorknob.  But I’ve wanted a Crestview Door in every house I’ve lived in and I was determined that this house was going to get one!  Plus, the cool starburst doorknob was really persnickety and locked me out of the house more than once.  Off you go!  So, here’s our new Crestview Door:

I really love it!  The only thing I would do differently is not get the privacy glass.  Since there’s no peephole we can’t see who’s there when someone comes to the door.  And I’m not crazy about the way it looks.  I also think I’m going to repaint the trim to the lighter trim color – I don’t like the way the dark green looks against the turquoise.  We also got the cute Ranchero address plate offered by Crestview Door.  I installed it all by my lonesome and am very proud of myself!  The starburst escutcheon is vintage and the doorknob and deadbolt are new – they just happened to match perfectly!

In other house news, we’re slowly but surely unpacking and arranging the rest of the house.  Today was an exciting day though:

I unpacked my collection of Enid Collins box bags!  Oh how I adore them and I’ve missed their sparkling faces while they were packed away.

I haven’t set them up yet so they’re huddled together just waiting for their new spot.  But even still, just being able to see them makes me very very happy.

First craft in the new house

All my craft supplies are still packed up, but I did manage to complete a quick crafty project for Little Betty’s playgroup.  This meeting was an activity bag swap –  each mom signed up to make one for every participant, and we go home with 8 different toddler activity bags. They’re great for rainy (or hot, in our case) days when you can’t go outside.  Little Betty is totally enamored with her stash of activities and has played with each one several times already!  I signed up to make felt play mats.  I really like working with felt and liked the fact that I could do the play mats with no sewing at all since my machine was buried in storage.  So without further ado, here is my woodland play mat:

Nothing too complicated or earth shattering, I know, but fun and easy!  First, I drew out the scene I wanted and then cut out the elements to use as a pattern.  I used spray adhesive to attach the sky and grass to a piece of card stock and Alene’s Tacky Glue to glue the tree stumps to the trees and assemble the mushrooms.

Little Betty and her friends really seemed to enjoy arranging all the items into scenes and making up stories.  I plan to cut out more pieces over time so she has more to choose from.  I would definitely like to make more of these activity bags to add to her stash.  Here are lots of tutorials if you’re interested.  A great way to ease back into crafting after a hiatus!  I even feel inspired to pick up my knitting needles tonight…

The new floors are in!

Betties, I can not begin to tell you how insanely happy I was to come home from my 2 week vacation to my new hardwood floors being installed!  We had been living in the house for a month with most of our furniture stored in the garage, waiting for our floors to come in.  Not easy.  Poor Little Betty thought her toys were permanently lost!  But now we can finally, FINALLY move into our new house for real!  I have been spending the last couple days gleefully hanging pictures and arranging furniture.  We are all so happy to have this place beginning to feel like home!  So, want to see some progress?  Our front living room is pretty much complete, so that’s what I’ll show you today.

When we bought the house, it looked like this:

Mauve-ish beige sculpted carpet, paint of a decidedly “aged” colorway, and a valance that perfectly matched the unattractive paint color and sported dangling pom-poms.

Here you can see the entry linoleum and old front door.  And check out that wall of gold-veined mirror tile!

Here’s a shot of the work in progress:

And…..drum roll please……here is the finished product!

Fresh white paint with an avocado green accent wall and new oak floors!  What a difference, right?  I think we kept the vintage integrity of the room while just “polishing” it up a little.  As you can see the valance is gone, but we did keep the lovely green silk pinch pleat curtains and sheers.

And yes, of course we kept that amazing mirrored tile!  I quite love it.  You can also get a peek of our new Crestview Door here.  I’ll show it in more detail soon.

All in all I could not be more pleased with how it turned out.   The oak flooring looks great next to the green VCT in the back of the house.  It all has a cohesive flow to my eye.  In this shot you can also get a glimpse of the rad turquoise ceilings in the back of the house.   Now I just need to get cracking on the bedrooms and then I can officially call us moved in!


Thanks to Catherine Vo for her flattering post about my renovations!  Be sure to check out her blog to follow her musings on food, design, and crafting!

Chicago Vintage. Me likey.

I hit up some vintage boutiques in Wicker Park while visiting Chicago this weekend.  SO glad I did!   First up, I found the best mid century lamp in the history of all mid century lamps.  Behold its perfection:

Seriously?  A swanky 50’s squirrel lamp?  Are you kidding me?  Thankfully it wasn’t for sale because I would have bankrupted myself to posses it.  On that note, I’m not sure how I feel about awesome stuff in a vintage shop not being for sale.  It seems cruel.

I stopped by another shop with great reviews – Store B Vintage.

I found this store unique because of its high quality selection, reasonable prices, and classy displays.  The store was not over stuffed, as vintage stores can be.   It wasn’t visually overwhelming, the housewares were placed in mouth-watering vignettes, and the measurements were clearly marked on the tags of clothing pieces so shopping was a breeze.  I was in love.

What’s that?  Did I come home with anything from this great shop?  Silly Betties.  Of course I did!

I was over the moon with happiness to walk away with an ethereal 70’s kimono dress, cheery 60’s Hawaiian maxi dress, and truly awesome 70’s plaid lumberjack jacket with butterfly collar.  Whee!


The All Day Estate Sale

Today I made a REAL commitment to an estate sale.  I was pretty excited about it because there looked like there was PILES of good stuff packing a very large house.  Started at 10, and said they’d be handing out numbers at 9:30.  So I show up at 8:30, thinking I’m like some kind of estate sale die-hard.  A guy in a car hands me a number.  73.  Um, what?  How is that possible?  Did they get the stack upside down?  So I leave to go out for breakfast and come back at 10.   Betties, I waited in line to get in that place for over TWO HOURS.  Is that dedication or what?  I have never had to wait like that for an estate sale.  It was insane.  People were going in and STAYING.  But I waited it out, sure there were some wicked finds in there just waiting to reward me for my patience and optimism.  And finally, FINALLY, I was called in.  I may or may not have done a little dance in front of all my new friends who were still waiting.

And I was rewarded, although maybe not to the degree I deserved!  All the cool old 50’s toys and western decor were sadly scooped up by the time I got in there, but I did manage to uncover some sweet clothes for Little Betty for ridiculously low prices:

She wanted to try on the navy dress coat and faux-fur stole with vintage sweater clip immediately.  And the pink dress will be so baby hipster with black leggings!  The reindeer sweater may be her Halloween costume – I’m inspired to dress her as a tiny grandpa this year.  How hard do you think it would be to find toddler polyester pants?  And do you think I’d get arrested if I gave her a pipe?

Speaking of Halloween, do you know how hard it is to find vintage Halloween decorations?  It’s near impossible, and when you can find them, they’re crazy expensive!  But not today:

I even got a couple more not pictured here!  I really love them.  They still have the original price on the back – $.39!  I’m going to have a killer Halloween display this year.

And that’s not all I got!  Check it:

How great are those exotic lady head wall pockets?  They’ll go perfect with my bedroom decor in the new house.   And the 20’s framed daughter poem and illustration is going to be great in Little Betty’s new room with her new french 30’s furniture set.

I also dug this amazing chair out of the basement.

The vintage barkcloth upholstery is in fabulous condition.  It was an absolute steal.

There is lots of work being done at Casa Crafter which will be unveiled very soon!  The Crestview Door is installed and fabulous and the new hardwoods are going down now.  I can’t wait to unpack everything!

Pink Bathroom Sighting!

I hit up an estate sale in a mid century house and spotted a rad pink bathroom!  Please excuse the crappy iphone picture.  I believe her rosy beauty will shine through anyway:

Let’s point out all it’s awesomeness.  I adore the slanted wood vanity!  I saw a story on Retro Renovation where someone had one of these built.  And the pink mosaic tile floors were dreamy!  Everything was in fabulous condition and it was a great example of a mid century modern pink bathroom.  Love!  Unfortunately I’m visiting family in a part of the country that hasn’t quite gotten hip to the mid century thing, so my hopes for the preservation of this bathroom are dim.

You will be surprised to hear that I did not take home the Polident Wipes in the picture, even thought they were for sale.  Maybe I was sidetracked by the awesome half used bottle of Scope for the bargain price of $.50.  But I did come home with some treasures, never you fear.

Like this groovy kitchen timer, vintage fabric, and Beatrix Potter book for Little Betty.

And these downright delicious aprons.  You don’t know this about me yet, but I really love 50’s Pennsylvania Dutch motifs.  These 2 aprons fit the bill perfectly.  Even though one thing I do NOT need are aprons.

Ok.  I’m kind of stalling here because I’m actually embarrassed to admit the amount of vintage Christmas stuff I landed at this sale, especially after my monster haul yesterday.  Y’all are going to think I’m some kind of Santa fetishist!  But who could resist this serene iridescent turquoise angel with wings that have fallen off?

I know.  It had to be done.  Which only opened up the door for mounds of ornaments like this:

And these:

I have a real soft spot for those little wooden people as well as open ornaments that have little vignettes in them, and this sale did not disappoint.  So really, I can’t be blamed for loading up, right?  And no, I absolutely did not stop at 2 garage sales on the way home and come home with 3 additional bags of vintage Christmas swag.