"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people just exist." -Oscar Wilde

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Selling of Stuff

As I alluded to in my dresser redo post, I love garage sale-ing, especially when I am on the hunt for Pinterest- inspired materials. More memorable than the great things I've found so far this garage sale season are the memories, stories, and conversations that have started from strangers buying stuff from each other.

I was on the hunt this weekend for lace (tableclothes, runners, doilies, etc.) that I will be using as a stencil to spray paint the top of various pieces of furniture. At a moving sale, I found a very pretty lace runner. As I handed the lady fifty cents, she teared up, telling me to take good care of it because it was croceted by her grandmother. Well, of course I won't be using that one as a stencil!

I was also looking for old records, and after several garage sales I found a whole box for that an older man was selling for three for $1. I only needed one so I can turn into a clock, but after a quick Pinterest search the other two will be melted in the oven, and cut and molded into butterfly shapes for wall art. Yay!

At that same sale I somehow started a conversation with an older man, who I eventually found out worked in construction and had built buildings on my college campus. He had just moved to Oregon from Washington because the job market was slow up there and he had just gotten a big construction job down here. As we talked, we both decided that this discovery was kinda weird. It was fun to talk about it though because I miss my college friends and even the beautiful campus where I live for nine months out of the year a lot. Because I was thinking about my friends after this conversation with a complete stranger, I decided to text them to hear about their summers so far. The way this all worked out is almost unexplainable, but I think the random connections we have with people and the way a friendship can develop from those is really cool.

My favorite find from this weekend were these hand painted tiles from Mexico. They immediately caught my eye, and I bought four. They're so unique, pretty, and I think just a really cool cultural item. It makes me wonder who painted them and under what circumstances. I think I should of bought a few more now, especially because they were being sold for only a quarter a piece. I've decided when I have a bathroom to redo I'm gonna find some more tiles like these and use them as a back splash! For the meantime though, I'm gonna put those little felt pads on the bottom of them to use as coasters!

Well, that was my weekend in a nutshell. Too bad it's already Thursday and another weekend will start tomorrow and then I'll have more to write about. Anyway, have you found anything unique/interesting/memorable at a garage sale that you just had to have? Leave me a comment- I'd love to hear about it!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Wall Art

Used to posters lining my walls at school, I decided I needed cheap and theoretically easy (although it took a little longer then expected) wall art. After cleaning out my room, I had a large stack of magazines, and, after an easy Internet search, I found some 6" letter stencils, and printed and cut them out. (I used freealphabetstencils.org. Just beware of the popups!) Then, I searched the ads in my old magazines, and proceeded to trace the stencils onto the interesting and intriguing landscape and patterned ads I found. Here is the final result (sorry about the below-average image quality, it does look much better on my wall!):

Ta-da! Easy wall art that costs virtually nothing, and you can use any quote or saying! (I used Hebrews 6:19). A previously blank spot on my wall is now updated, interesting, and memorable with this easy DIY!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Teen Dance

Last night I worked my first Teen Dance at the YMCA. My designated job, assigned upon arrival, was to patrol the dance floor, which turned out to be a very interesting experience to say the least. The students were 5th-8th graders from two different middle schools. I observed and realized far too many things to not make a note of them, so what follows is a brief summary of the night:

  1. I got asked to dance by probably a 6th-7th grade boy on a dare. Of course I told him "no" because that is against the rules. His friends clapped after he asked me. 
  2. Middle schoolers are taller than I remember. Most of the kids were taller than me, or maybe I'm just shorter than I like to admit. I blended right in with them. Good thing I was wearing my staff shirt.
  3. I had three different boys literally dancing in circles around me multiple times throughout the night. I ignored them and they eventually stopped. My coworkers, who gave them the attention they were seeking, weren't so lucky. Just one of many instances were my education classes are preparing me well for working with kids (as they should be!).
  4. During the slow dances, my fellow "dance watchers" decided to start counting how many people kissing we saw. Throughout the night, we counted five different couples (?) kissing. A few of them appeared to be couples and a few were dares (I know because I witnessed the whole dare play out. Middle schoolers don't hide planning, whispering, and scheming very well). THEY ARE IN MIDDLE SCHOOL. Something seems wrong with that. Geez.
  5. My coworkers and I had a ton of fun both getting to know each other better and making fun of the kids at the dance and their hilarious antics. 
  6. When the DJ announced that he was going to play the last slow song of the night, the various groups started to hook each other up with people to dance with. Some kids were still planning as the song ended, so they missed their chance. It was pretty funny as the couples lined up as they danced, all the girls shoulder to shoulder and same with the boys, practically standing on lines of the basketball court. 
  7. I was shocked with the selection of songs the DJ chose to play and how well the kids knew the songs. Most of them were Top 40, overplayed garbage. 
Overall, I had a ton of fun, many stories to tell, and I'm so glad the middle school years are behind me! As an added bonus, it was the easiest money I've made in awhile!

Friday, June 14, 2013

An ugly dresser redo

Since being out of school for the summer and itching to start a new project (before I started working...) I decided my room needed a dresser to store clothes that I had accumulated after being at college for nine months and also as a place to keep my ever-growing craft supply. After searching Craigslist for a few weeks, I finally found this beauty for 5 bucks about 10 miles from my house. Well, it doesn't get any better than that, so I bought it without much thought. You never know what you're gonna get with Craigslist, and, sure enough, just like almost every Craigslist purchase, my mom and I got a kick out of the fact that the people selling it were graduating college students, moving out to go back home, and there I was buying it. As I was handing them money, we talked about college and majors. Funny how things get new homes.


Now, there was a reason it was only $5. It was unstable, the handles were broken, it smelled like old people and cigarettes (not sure how that happened considering the girls we bought it from...), and, frankly, it was pretty ugly. After some sanding, nails and wood glue, a few coats of spray paint, the genius idea to go to Sherwin Williams and get expired wallpaper books (thanks, mom!), a couple bottles of Mod Podge, and a sale on handles at the local, trusty Fred Meyer (only $1 a piece!!), the redo cost me probably $20 and 6-7 hours of work. Anddd the after shot:

Yeah, I know, it doesn't even look like the same dresser. Trust me, it is. This just proves that a dresser meant for the junk yard can become a usable, attractive piece of furniture (along with giving me the faith that I can do it!). So, get inspired and creative, find some great deals (hit up garage sales, Craigslist, and thrift stores!), and don't be afraid to DIY!