Thursday, January 27, 2011

Stinky Buttons? No More!

I love vintage buttons.  Actually, I love just about anything vintage.  But buttons are one of those fabulous little things that always make me wonder how these used to fit in someone's life.  Were they once on a shirt, or bought because they matched a bit of fabric just waiting for the perfect dress pattern?  Well, whatever the reason, I love them. 

When I was home over Christmas, my mom and I decided to go on a treasure hunt through a bunch of old canisters and bins full of buttons from my great grandmas.  Some of them were still attached to their original packages, and others were hanging loose. 

Now, here is the problem with vintage buttons....they usually smell!!  We all know the musty old smell of most things vintage, but how do you get it out?  Do you pass up that fabulous set of pink shank buttons because they smell horrible?  Of Course Not!!! 

Mom taught me this great little secret and I thought it was well worth sharing.  As I sat there with my button treasures she disappeared and immerged with a box of denture cleaning tablets.  So, we put the buttons in teacups and bowls (don't put in too many, make sure there is room to agitate them), added water, dropped in a denture tablet, agitated them a little, and waited.  After the fizzyness of the denture tablets dissipated, we rinsed them well and laid them on a towel to dry.  And...Voila!!!!  Dry buttons that no longer stink! 

I do warn however, that not all buttons may react favorably to this type of cleaning.  We put one in that had some metal and paint on it and the paint started chipping off.  So, decide carefully if the chance of losing a few buttons is worth making a whole bunch of them more useful!

Do you have any great secrets to dealing with vintage materials?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Needle Felting: Try Number One

Over the summer, my parents were in Connecticut for a visit and we found this amazing little quilt shop (it is my Mom's special talent to find quilt shops wherever she goes!).  While there, I decided to pick up something new to try in the world of crafts: a Woolpets needle felting kit.  The kit is for an adorable and small blue bird...well, mine turned out closer to the size of a blue jay!!

Still, I don't think it is too bad for a first try.  I really enjoyed it and only ended up pricking myself with the needle twice!  I think I'll give it another go around in the future (after getting some more wool roving).

After needle felting this little guy (okay, big guy), I needed a snack.  So, I decided to try making some home-made sweet potato fries with maple sugar mayonase for dipping.  They were not as crispy as I would have liked, so I guess I will just have to try making these again too!

What new craft were you a little nervous and hessitant to try? 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Menus and Wontons

After numerous trips to the grocery store and still thinking there was nothing to eat in the apartment, I decided it was time to try and shop with a menu in hand.  It has actually seemed to work, so I decided to get fancy and stop writing out the week's menu on the back of the grocery list.  I found a tutorial for this project over at Make and Takes and couldn't wait to give it a try. 

I think it came out pretty nicely.  Since I usually have trouble stamping words in a straight line, I found some thin paper so I could line it up with the cutting mat on my desk to ensure nice, even words.  Look at those letters!!
Then it was on to the first thing on the menu....potstickers and wonton soup....YUM!!!

I hope everyone's Martin Luther King Jr. Day was as fabulous and productive as mine!

What is your favorite time-consuming-yet-delicious meal?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Diving In

After months of being inspired by other crafty blogs, I thought it was time to dive into the world of blogging and see where it takes me.  It is a little scary, but a new year is a time to have no fear!  If you start to follow my blog (which I hope you do), you'll see a lot of crafty bits and pieces.  Some times there will be new adventures, like crocheting, and other times honing older skills, like sewing.  So, here's to the New Year and a new adventure!