Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Hoop Art

For several years now Hoop Art has been all over the internet. I think I first saw the idea years ago on the delightful blog Posy Gets Cozy. I googled it when writing this post and the picture appeared. I love how she makes fabric into art with a simple embroidery hoop!

Since I first saw that picture it seems like the popularity of hoop art has exploded. Creative women everywhere are making something unique with fabric and a hoop. Maps, sweaters, quilts, old t-shirts, burlap, vintage linens, embroidery, lace - it is made all the more lovely when framed in a hoop and hung for display.

I see hoops for sale all of the time at thrift stores and yard sales. They are so reasonable. I recently priced a new hoop at Michaels and almost fainted when I saw the price. Something like $12.99. When you are used to seeing them for sale at GW for around a quarter, full retail will knock you over every time.

A while back I found this super cute handmade baby bib at an estate sale.

The minute I saw it I thought it would be adorable framed in a hoop. I pictured a sweet Italian grandmother making this for her chubby-cheeked Italian grand baby. All I know is that my favorite comfort food of all time is Spaghetti {a.k.a. spaghette} I am Italian myself and I loved my Italian grandma. This bib begged to be framed and hung in my kitchen. So after holding on to it for a good 2 years with the intention of doing something with it, I finally did.

Here is how I did it in case you get struck with embroidery-hoop-fever and want to try your hand at it. It is a great way to use those sweet embroidered table scarves and such that you can find for pennies on the dollar at church sales and thrift shops that are too cute to leave behind but once you get them home you can't figure out what to do with them.

You will need 1 embroidery hoop, scissors and some hot glue. I opted to spray paint my hoop to match the embroidery but you don't need to do that step if you don't want to.

Split the hoop apart and lay the larger of the two hoops on the top of your fabric and the smaller of the two pieces under the fabric. Line up your fabric in the hoop as you would like to it be when finished.

 Next push the two hoops together and pull the fabric taut. It should be as tight as a drum. When you get it nice and smooth and taut tighten the brass screw at the top that holds the two hoops together.

Make sure it is where you want it to be before moving on to the next step.

Flip the hoop over to the "back side". If the fabric is where you want it to be trim the excess off leaving about an inch of fabric peeking out from between the two hoops.

Run a line of hot glue on the inside surface of the wood and then fold the excess fabric over the wood so that it sticks to the glue.

Now the back is neat and tidy and the cut fabric will not show when the hoop is hung. The glue keeps the fabric secure.

If you want to go one step farther, buy a piece of felt at the fabric store and cut it to the same diameter as the smallest hoop. When your hoop art is framed glue your piece of felt to the back of your work so that the back side of the embroidery {or fabric} is covered and doesn't show. I didn't get around to doing this step.

Here is the finished hoop hanging in my kitchen.

On a side note - I probably used a hoop that was a tad too large for the bib. As a result some of the red seam binding is showing. I used a size 14 because I found one for cheap at a sale and didn't want to purchase a new 12" hoop for full price. I have intentions of gluing some rick rack or something around the face of the hoop to cover that seam binding that is peeking through. {My OCD kicks in whenever I look at it and realize it isn't perfect.} I am however glad that I did at least get it framed and hung!

I hope you will try some hoop art for yourself and recycle some beautiful old embroidery or pretty fabric from your stash.


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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Summer Decorating with Vintage

 I love to decorate around the house with vintage items. I change the decorations for each season/holiday. Here are some of my summer decorations.

I collect old planters. I put this Uncle Sam planter out for the 4th of July every year. Here it is filled with vintage flags.

Something my husband and I will always buy if affordable are vintage fans. We love them and use them throughout the house in the summer. Since we don't have air conditioning, these vintage fans really come in handy. Some of the fans are strictly for display, like this one. I recently found this small-sized fan at a garage sale. I love the name of it - Zero. I think it is cute sitting out for summer. The colors are great too.


This metal toy lawn mower was just purchased last Saturday at a yard sale. I have always loved vintage toys for some reason. I love to use old toys and children's furniture in my displays. The lawn mower is on my front porch.

Another thing I decorate with is vintage household items in their original packaging. You can find things like this at estate sales.  I found both the package of plastic forks and the pack of Ice Cream Sticks at estate sales. I especially like it when the packages have the original prices. It is neat to see how much stuff cost 40 or 50 years ago. I just sit things like this out on my china cupboard or in my kitchen and they add interest.

I also like to decorate with vintage linens. I found this amazing embroidered linen doily at a yard sale years ago. Since I have two daughters that are obsessed with anything mermaid, I had to have it. I always thought it would look cute made into a pillow or just sitting as a doily on the top of a little girl's dresser.

I also like keeping vintage books. This is an old book from 1960 discarded from a local elementary school.

Since my kids don't seem to know too much about American History - which I discovered when I asked them why we celebrate the 4th of July - I made Hannah sit and read some of this book.

This summer I joined a CSA in my community. CSA stands for Community Sponsored Agriculture. Here is my weekly share of eggs - sitting in Pyrex. I am always using my Pyrex bowls in the kitchen no matter what the season. I even change which bowls I use to match the colors of the particular season or holiday I am celebrating. That is how crazy I am for Pyrex.

I love the freckles on the eggs!

Here's wishing you a happy 4th of July and fun summer days ahead!

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Friday, June 20, 2014

What's New

Hi Everyone!
I have been away for awhile. Life was just so very busy these last 2 months that setting aside the time to blog just didn't happen. For those of you who have been following me and have checked in to see if I am still alive I want to say Thank You! I always wonder if anyone is actually reading my blog so it means a lot to know that there are some people out there who would miss me if the blog just disappeared. I have thought about stopping it. But for now my work schedule is lighter so I am going to keep it going.
Anyway - on to the vintage! I have still been junking during my blog hiatus. For a while there I was going to thrift stores every Friday as a way to treat myself at the end of the work week. In the winter that was the only way to find the vintage that I was craving. Now that yard sale season is here I have cut back on the thrift store stops - as they haven't been great for finding stuff that I like anyway - and have been doing yard sales and estate sales on Saturdays. I have gotten lucky a few times.
Here are some highlights.
This amazing chair.
If you follow me on Instagram you have seen this before. This is a vintage chair that was recovered with new/old fabric. I bought this as it is seen here. I didn't have to do a thing to it - which I love! Instant chic!...yeah me! The lady who was selling this at her yard sale should own her own shop. She had such great things - all repurposed items that she found in the trash and made cool again with paint or fabric. I scored with this chair. It only cost me $5. Her price, not mine. The great thing - she is having another sale in August. You better believe that I am going to be there.
A pink Pyrex spacesaver
This is my first pink Pyrex "spacesaver" and I found it "in the wild" as we Pyrex collectors like to say. In other words I didn't go online and buy it - I found it by chance at a yard sale. True story - My husband is driving by the sale and I spy this pink beauty from the car as we are passing by. I yell at him to stop and I jump out as fast as I can into traffic and dart across the street just to grab this up. I was so afraid someone else would get it before me. If that would have happened I would have been one unhappy lady. (Never mind the danger of running out into the street.) Happily, it is mine now. It was very inexpensive too. The lady selling it knew that. She even said "you got a deal!" I love that she knew it's value but didn't gouge me on the price - which is happening more and more these days with Pyrex. I'll save that soapbox for another blog post.  
Friendship Pyrex
Friendship pattern is one of my favorites and I was lucky enough to complete my Friendship Cinderella set recently. I am one bowl away from completing my Friendship mixers set. I just love this pattern. It was put out the same year that I was born - 1971. Maybe that is why I love it. Or it could be the birds...another of my favorite things.
 I also found this awesome retro serving bowl. It is clear glass with painted-on recipes for different kinds of dip. This was purchased from the same person who sold me the Pyrex pink daisy spacesaver.
 Over the last few months I have been moving stuff around. I rearranged my red primitive cupboard. I removed everything and decided to try a Pyrex display there for now.
 I set up this "bar cart" to display my vintage glassware collection. It is a red Costco cart - another recent yard sale find.
 I also moved my Bufferin display rack from my bathroom into the kitchen. It now holds coffee cups. Before I had it hanging on the wall holding towels. I like it better here.  Moving stuff around is fun!
 This amazing drinking glass was just purchased today at an estate sale. It is going on my bar cart.
That is all the vintage finds for now. I promise to check in more often to show some more finds and redecorating/rearranging that I hope to accomplish this summer.
I also wanted to show this new addition to our family. This is Daisy. Here she is when we picked her up at the shelter. She was 6 weeks old. 
Here she is now - 6 months old this week.
She has sure does make it wild and crazy around the house. She has a lot of energy and hasn't yet figured out the whole "go outside to the bathroom thing" yet. But that is ok. She is very sweet and loveable too. And, she hasn't broken any bowls or glasses  - so I think we will keep her around a bit longer.
Until next time,

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Monday, April 7, 2014

the miracle of Oven Cleaner

If you enjoy buying vintage items from thrift stores or yard sales you need to have a few tricks up your sleeve to bring back the original beauty of those less-than-perfect, well-loved treasures that you may find.

I recently learned of the usefulness of Oven Cleaner when attempting to clean up some Pyrex. Case in point - this Pyrex Amish Butterprint dish that I found at a junk store for $1.00.

If you don't know a whole lot about Pyrex you may think that this pattern is black on white. It is that grease stained. Knowing my Pyrex patterns, I knew when I saw this item that it was originally turquoise on white. Because it was only priced at $1.00 I figured I would buy it and try to restore it.

I brought the item home and thoroughly sprayed it with a heavy coating of Oven Cleaner. If you are trying this be sure to do it outside as the fumes are very strong. If you can, let the item sit for several hours or even over night. After sitting, take a rag and rub the greasy area to remove the built on grime. The Oven Cleaner should loosen the grease so that it will wipe off.  It may take a little "elbow grease" to get it completely clean. For this particular item I had to do two separate treatments of Oven Cleaner to remove all of the black. When removing grime from painted-on-designs like this, be careful as the paint may remove from the glass if rubbed too hard.

Here it is after cleaning.

Oven Cleaner works well on Pyrex and other vintage glassware that may have a greasy film. It is great on the painted designs that may have changed color because of grease. The pan on the bottom was stained with brown streaks on the inside of the pan. The oven cleaner brought it back to a nice condition.

I hope that this tip has helped all of the Pyrex (and Fire King & GlasBake & Federal, etc.) collectors out there to restore those thrift store treasures.


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Thursday, April 3, 2014

a special address label

Have you ever wondered where a vintage item that you own came from? Sometimes I do wonder. I am especially curious about vintage kitchen ware. If I find the item at a thrift store I think about who may have owned the item before me, how they used it and what their kitchen looked like. What kind of foods did they prepare in there? Was this casserole dish or bowl used at family dinners and holiday meals? I wonder...did they receive the item as a wedding present or buy it from Murphy's or Woolworth? Did they love the item so much that they ended up keeping it all of these many years until they died? Did their relatives not appreciate it and donate it to the charity store?

That is why I was thrilled to find this address label taped to the side of a piece of Glasbake that I bought from a second-hand store last month.

Mrs. Mary Wilkins owned this pan. She must have loved it enough that she decided to tape her name and address to it so that it would be sure to be returned from the neighbor whom she baked a cake for or the church pot luck, which was lucky enough to have one of her special dishes.

I'm sure Mary would be pleased to know that her pan has found a good home.

A great home to be exact.

A home where vintage kitchenware is loved - so much so that it is even put on display for all to appreciate its beauty.

A home that enjoys baking and cooking for the ones that it loves - especially when done in a piece of colorful vintage bakeware.

I love your pan Mary. I will enjoy it for years to come. It has already been put into service making a chocolate cake. I've even decided to keep your address label to remember where the pan came from. Maybe I'll even stick one of my own labels on the pan like you did to carry on your tradition of baking for others and giving of yourself - all the while expecting the pan to be returned empty, waiting be filled up again the next time.

With love,
Mrs. KayteeJane
Oakmont, Pennsylvania

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Saturday, March 22, 2014


Hello Friends,
I've been taking a little break from the blog. I've been busy with work and family and haven't made much time to post here. I have been posting a few pictures a day on Instagram. It is so quick and easy to just snap a photo on my phone and post it. If you are on Instagram please follow me! My IG name is kayteejaneshouse - easy to remember huh?

There haven't been any estate sales, church sales or yard sales around my area at all these past few months - just too cold and dreary I guess. I can't wait for spring to kick in so that sales pick up again. I'm also really looking forward to going to flea markets again. I can't wait!

This past weekend I did manage to go to a few thrift stores. Pickings at the thrift stores have been lean, but I did manage to find a few things after hitting about three different stores. Here is my haul from last Saturday.

Some of this will be for sale but I have decided to keep the milk glass basket - it already has jelly beans in it, the yellow Pyrex bowl and the drinking glasses.

I have also been playing with my Pyrex. Here is my attempt at a spring display. I added this cute metal cabinet to my dining room recently and I'm using it right now to hold some of my Pyrex.

I'm always on the look out for cool display pieces to show off my collections. I am maxed-out right now with furniture but when I see a great display piece my wheels start turning. Just this morning I saw this amazing old store display for sale as part of an estate sale ad on Craigslist.
Be still my heart. I love it! This is the picture that was posted in the ad. Of course the piece is miles away from where I live and also a tad bit pricey - so it is doubtful that this beauty will be mine. Oh well. I can dream right? I can just imagine all of the Pyrex bowls I could stack on there!

Until later - happy Spring and happy vintage!

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Vintage Hammered Aluminum

I found two vintage hammered aluminum serving dishes at the Goodwill a few weeks ago. They were only 99 cents each. They have very pretty floral designs on them. My daughter gave me an idea to use the tiered tray to hold perfume bottles on my dresser. Here it is ~

I decided to use the other tray to hold jewelry. It really is a pretty one. I love the twisted handle on this one.
So the next time you see a piece of hammered aluminum think about using it on your dresser.


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