New Sewing Machines

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For the past number of years, I have been collecting vintage toy sewing machines. Most of my machines are from the 60s and earlier. I was recently able to add three new beauties to my collection.

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I purchased this Straco Jet Sew-O-Matic from one Vintage Junk In My Trunk‘s Instagram sales. It is made from both metal and plastic. It has such a unique shape!

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A few weeks back, I sent Roger off to an auction with directions on what to buy! He came home with this little cutie for $20. I am a sucker for red. This one is actually battery operated, although I haven’t check to see if it still works. Most of the time, the battery compartment is terribly corroded, but this one looks pretty good.

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This was the “must have” machine from the same auction. These machines were made by Casige in Germany. Casige made a lot of machines in many different styles over the years. I love to find the ones with fairy tale decals. This particular one is Little Red Riding Hood. I also own a Hansel and Gretel machine.

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Here’s a close up shot of the decal.


Head Cases

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A few weeks back, I attended an estate sale that advertised over 100 head vases for sale! I have a fascination with these that started back when I was a little girl. My Grandma Reva had one in her basement spare bedroom. As a kid, I wasn’t sure if it was pretty or downright creepy. That particular vase is long gone. Probably sold at Grandma and Grandpa’s auction when they moved away from the farm. I wish now that I had it.

Before the big head vase sale, I only owned a couple of these ladies, but I felt like it was time to grow my collection. The vases were priced at $20 each. If you bought two, the price went down to $15 each. Four or more were $10 each. Obviously, I had to buy at least four!

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The lady on the left is the first one in my collection. I just love her gorgeous pin-up look and the simplicity of those red lips and flower accents. The one on the right was part of the big sale. I love that she’s holding a phone to her ear! How cute is that? Both of these have a shiny glossy finish. My other vases are all a traditional matte porcelain finish.

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Here are a couple of glamorous mid-century ladies. I’m not totally comfortable with that lady in pearls. She is the second in my collection. She’s very proper, but I worry that she wouldn’t hesitate to kill me with a hairpin if I crossed her. The gloved beauty is just fantastic. I love the jewels in her flowers.

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I am completely in love with these two youthful beauties. The one on the left has such an ethereal hippie look. The girl on the right reminds me of Alice in Wonderland.

Head vases have been collectible for a long time, but I have this gut feeling that they’re going to become even more popular. I love the way they depict the fashion and style of particular time periods. They’re just pretty! I know I’m hooked, and I’m looking forward to finding more.

Linking up at


Flaunt It Friday


Pom Pom Bunny Wreath

Pom Pom Bunny Wreath

Pom pom bunny wreath

While cruising around the internet and peeking in at stores, I’ve seen several backward facing Easter bunnies made of two wreaths. They’ve all been super cute, and I thought, what could be better than that? Then it hit me. Pom poms. What isn’t improved by pom poms? So here’s my  version of the bunny rear end wreath.

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This post contains affiliate links. (That means if you use the links in the post to purchase these items, I will receive a commission on that purchase.)

The first step is to make a billion pom poms. Okay, not actually a billion. I made about 70 2 1/2 inch pom poms in tan using the Clover Large Pom Pom Maker Set (affiliate link.) Yes, you can totally make pom poms without this little tool. Feel free! But, if you like craft tools, and you’re not sure you can figure out how to make your own pom pom maker, then these are fun. They work great!

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It’s actually not all that hard to make 70+ pom poms. I did them while I was watching t.v. They go really fast, and it’s kind of fun. Plus, you get yarn confetti all over your couch and it’s like a party…

When you are tying off the pom poms, be sure to leave those ends long so that you can use them to tie the pom poms to your wreaths.

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I purchased two styrofoam wreaths for this project. The one for the body was 11.8 inches and the one for the head was 9.8 inches. Of course, you could do different sizes, as long as the head is a bit smaller than the bottom.

When you’ve got enough pom poms, start tying them to the wreath. I did this by wrapping the yarn ends around each side of the wreath, crossing them at the back, then bringing the ends back to the front and knotting it under the pom pom. I felt like this kept things a bit more secure, and I was able to avoid a bunch of knots on the back of the wreath. Trim the ends and they’ll blend in with the rest of the yarn.

Basically, you’ll be creating two rows of pom poms. I alternated the position of each pom pom so that the inside pom poms fell between the outside ones.

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Cover both wreaths in this manner. I did leave one blank spot on the body portion so that when the two pieces were connected, I wouldn’t have quite so much bulk at the neck.

I chose to connect the two pieces by tying them together. I felt like this would be more secure than glue or anything else. I placed my yarn across the front of the two pieces where I wanted them to connect, then slid the yarn down between the pom poms to hide it. I flipped the entire thing over and tied it in the back. I left one end very long and began wrapping it around the two pieces to make it more secure. When I got to the end of my yarn, I tied the two ends together.

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Then, I did it again to add even more security. There is still a bit of flexibility, but it stays in place. You may have to do a bit of fluffing at this point to get everything back where you want it.

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You’ll need to make one more pom pom. This time, I used the larger 3 3/8 inch tool and white yarn. Then I tied it to the bottom of the body wreath to make a cute little bunny tail. I think this would be cute if you made an even larger pom pom.

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All this bunny needs is ears!

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I drew a bunny ear and traced two of them on to a piece of chipboard, then cut them out.

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I chose a simple patterned paper that matched my yarn to cover the ears. I cut the patterned paper with a bit of extra margin so that I could wrap the edges around the chipboard.

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In order to make it easy to wrap the paper around the edges of the chipboard, I notched the patterned paper all around, then folded these tabs around the ear.

I applied Mod Podge to the back of the patterned paper and covered the chipboard ear. I had to use a bit extra on the back to keep the ends in place.

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I inked the edges of the ears to add a bit of definition and mask any irregularities.

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Finally, I hot glued the ears to the back of the head wreath.

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A big pink tulle bow around the neck added the finishing touch!

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You’ll probably being seeing more pom pom projects from me. They are just too much fun! (And easy. I always love easy!)


More fun projects at Flaunt It Friday!

Vintage Linens Soak

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**This post contains affiliate links. (I get paid a commission if you purchase a product using the links in this post.)

Last week I attended an estate sale and picked up a couple of vintage tablecloths. I didn’t inspect them particularly closely before buying them, because the price was right, and I knew I would be able to use them for crafting if they had many flaws.

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When I got them home and unfolded them, I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed. The pictures above are post-cleaning. They were very dingy, particularly along the folds. Both had a number of stains. For some reason, I decided to see what I could find to possibly clean them up a bit. I really loved the colors and wanted to be able to use as much of the fabric as possible.


I picked up a container of Oxi Clean White Revive (affiliate link). I didn’t have high hopes, but I knew it couldn’t do any harm. I mixed two scoops of the Oxi Clean with two gallons of hot water in a bucket. Then, I placed one of the tablecloths in the solution and let it soak for 24 hours. Occasionally, I would push the tablecloth back down into the water as it wanted to float to the top. The instructions are to soak for 6 hours, and honestly, that would have probably been long enough. By then, all the suds were gone, and my tablecloth was probably just soaking in cold dirty water. After the soak, I washed them normally in my washing machine and dried them in the dryer.

As you can see, both tablecloths came out looking pretty darn good! If you look closely, you might still find a faint stain or two, but they are nothing like they started out. I’m not even sure they’re “cutter” cloths anymore. They may have to go into my collection and not my sewing basket! With this success, I knew I wanted to share this product! (By the way, I am not being paid by anyone to tell you this, and I bought the Oxi Clean myself at Walmart.)

I had a third tablecloth sitting around that I hadn’t taken the time to clean yet, so I decided to take some before and after shots on this one. The pictures aren’t terrific, because I didn’t want the results to be affected by editing the photos too much, but I think you’ll see the difference.

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I ran a black thread through the tablecloth so I’d be able to come back and find the same spot after cleaning for comparison. You can see, there are some pretty serious (and kinda gross) stains on this fabric. This time I didn’t soak for the full 24 hours. It was at least 12 though.

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And, look! Those nasty stains are gone. They are completely gone. Any darkness you see in the photos is shadow. I was amazed. I never expected to get results like this. And I didn’t even have to scrub anything! Now, I’ll have even fewer qualms about buying less than stellar linens!

One of these days, I’m going to soak the family socks in this stuff! It’s practically miraculous!

Happy Valentine’s Day

It’s Valentine’s Day, so I thought I’d take the time to share some of my favorite vintage valentines. Just a little eye candy for this day devoted to love!

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A vintage valentine shaped like a vintage measuring cup!

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Common, but a cutie!

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Her arms and eyes move! And look at the cute bunnies on her top!

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Made in Germany. The fancy ones always were!

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Sad puppy.

And finally,

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Because nothing says, “Be Mine” like a green squirrel.

Happy Valentine’s Day from Rusty Avocados!

A Little Love

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How about one final project before Valentine’s Day? A little Valentine for yourself, perhaps? I’ll be adding this little piece to my Valentine’s Day decor. It coordinates perfectly with my vintage Valentine’s Day display!

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I started out with these MDF letters from Michael’s, some pages from a dictionary, Mod Podge, and a sponge brush. I had thoughts of using the small clothespins to turn this into a photo holder, but changed my mind in the end.

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My first step was to cut the dictionary pages into strips. They were each about 1 inch by 2 or 3 inches.

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I applied Mod Podge to the letter and wrapped the dictionary strips around the letter. Then I painted over the paper with more Mod Podge. Keep overlapping and wrapping strips until the letter is completely covered. Then let the Mod Podge dry completely.

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I wanted to give each letter a bit of extra definition, so I used gray fluid chalk ink along the edges of each letter.

It’s subtle, but I think it made a difference. You may want to choose a darker shade.

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The next step is to glue the pieces together. Be sure to use a good strong glue. I used my Advanced Craft Glue, but I think a standard hot glue would have worked better, simply because it would dry faster. I glued V and E together first, connecting them at the top.

Then I added L and O to the top.

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The final step was embellishing my letters with some red vintage buttons. I attached them with glue dots. The possibilities for embellishment are, of course, limitless. However you want to personalize it!

Lots more DIY projects at DIY Showoff

Auction Finds

Rusty Avocados - Western Flyer Pedal Tractor

My husband Roger was our auction representative a couple weeks ago. I stopped in early to preview the sale and then went back home. This particular auction had about a dozen full sized vintage sewing machines.  I adore vintage sewing machines, but frankly, I don’t have the room for any more, so we passed on those.

Roger is a pedal car aficionado. So, obviously, he was drawn to this Western Flyer pedal tractor. It is in amazing condition with original parts and paint. He especially loves that single front wheel and the cool graphics.

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This vintage frame is big! It measures 23 inches by 28 inches. It’s in great shape and still has its glass. I love the floral design. Even without a picture in it, it’s a work of art.

This metal stand was something that I pointed out, and Roger wrinkled his nose at, but he still managed to bring it home for me. The middle shelf is slanted so that it can hold books. I can’t wait for the weather to warm up and the wind to die down so that I can shoot this with a bit of aqua spray paint! I wonder if I could find a spot for this in my kitchen. It would be cool for holding cookbooks.

Roger and I love to attend auctions together, but our kids are less than enthusiastic, so we often have to split up. Even when I don’t get to attend, it’s a different kind of fun to see what he comes home with!

Vintage Style Patchwork Puppy

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Now and again, I run across a cute little vintage dog shaped pillow . They’re typically a mishmash of different fabrics, obviously a scrap project, and come in all different sizes. They’re completely charming and not too hard to re-create. I’ll show you how!

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The first step is to cut fabric squares. You will need a total of 112 squares. To really give it a vintage look, over half of my squares were cut from my collection of vintage tablecloths and tea towels. Don’t be alarmed. These tablecloths are torn, stained and not suitable for display or use. The other half of my squares were all cut from the same fabric. I wanted something almost solid colored to ground the busy prints from the tablecloths.

The finished size of your puppy is completely dependent on the size of your squares. I used 2 1/2 inch squares for this particular pup, but I’ve made bigger ones, and I’ve seen smaller ones.

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Next, you’ll want to layout your puppy shape. One puppy goes this way.

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The other goes this way. You absolutely must make one going each direction. If you do not, you will be sad when it’s time to sew the front and back together! And, removing and reattaching a puppy’s head is not fun for anyone. (I learned this the hard way.)

The pieces are sewn together in strips. I start with the body strips which are five squares each. Put two squares right sides together and stitch along one side. I use about a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Continue this to make a horizontal strip five squares long. Repeat for the second strip of the body. You’ll need to do the same for the two head strips and the two legs. TIP – I do not reverse stitch when I am sewing the squares together. By the time you are done, all of the edges will be closed up, so it’s not necessary. And, when you’re working with small pieces like this, that backstitching can cause bunching.

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Then, you’ll want to press open each of the seams. (I hate pressing seams, but it’s absolutely essential if you want things to end up neat and tidy.) If someone has a way to press open tiny seams without burning yourself, I’d love to hear it!

Next, you’ll start putting all of the pieces together. Take the two body pieces, pin them right sides together, matching the seams. Sew and press the seam. Do the same for the two head pieces.

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Now, you can attach the legs. Again, right sides together. You’ll want to match the outer edge of the leg with the outer edge of the body. Do the same for the tail. Don’t forget to press your seams.

Go ahead and attach the head in the same manner, matching seams, sewing and pressing.

To make the ear, place two squares right sides together and sew along three sides. Clip the corners and turn the ear right side out to make a little pocket. Press.

Lay the ear on top of the square closest to the body at the top of the puppy’s head. You will want to line up the edge of the ear with the inside seam of the head and not the outer edge. Otherwise, when you sew everything together, your needle will catch the ear, and the puppy’s ear will get sewn down and there won’t be any flop to that ear. Pin the ear in place and sew. Keep the ear pointing down as you complete the project. You might even want to pin it in place to avoid catching until you’re done.

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Then, do it all over again for the other side of the pillow. You’ll end up with two puppies who face each other.

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Now, you’ll create the pillow casing by sewing together 30 squares in one long strip. Then, sew the first and last squares together to complete a closed loop. And, press open the seams. That’s right. All of them. No whining.

Now comes the part that will make you wonder why you ever started this project. This is the part that might make you use words you shouldn’t. With right sides together and matching seams, pin the casing all around one of the puppies and stitch.

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After stitching, I turned it right side out and checked all my corners and curves to make sure everything was secure. Then I fixed any boo-boos and reinforced some of the spots that I was concerned might need a little extra strength.

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Then I turned him back the other way and prepared to pin the other puppy to the pillow casing.

Once again, right sides together and seams matching, pin it all together and stitch, leaving an opening in his tummy for turning and stuffing. This part will make you question your sanity even more, but you’re almost done. Just keep going! TIP – You might want to do a little backstitching at the beginning and end here. This will keep the opening from pulling and ripping when you get ready to stuff the pillow.

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Turn the puppy right side out. Again, this is a good time to check your corners and seams to make sure everything is tightly closed up.

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Fill that puppy with stuffing! I started with the legs, then tail, then head. I like to stuff very firmly so that the puppy is less likely to lose shape over time. A chopstick or stiff ruler is a good tool for getting stuffing into all the corners.

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Use a very small whipstitch to close up the opening.

Patchwork Puppy - Rusty Avocados


Patchwork Puppy - Rusty Avocados

I like to use this patchwork method to make other pillow shapes, too. I hope to share some of those with you in the future.

Linking up with Savvy Southern Style.

Valentine Trophy

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**This post contains affiliate links. (I get paid a commission if you purchase a product using the link in this post.)

You know that special person who won your heart? How about giving them a major award for that feat! Here’s a cute and easy way to build a trophy especially for your Valentine. This is also a great project for kids.

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I bought a heart shaped wooden plaque at Michael’s to use as my base. The small cube is a tiny gift box I also got at Michael’s this past Christmas. You could easily use a wooden block and paint it or a plain box covered in patterned paper. The wooden spool was picked up at the thrift store for a quarter. I got the glittery heart pick at WalMart in their Valentine’s Day section. They came in a pack of five with a couple different sizes for less than a dollar. I had to cut the pick down a bit so it wasn’t too long for my spool. I bought pink and red paint, but only ended up needing the pink. Then it was just a couple scraps of paper to finish off my supplies.

The first step was to paint all of my wooden pieces. I painted the base pink and started out painting the spool red. Then I realized that there were too many layers of red all together when I stacked my pieces, so I repainted the spool pink, too.

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I cut my heart patterned paper to the same height as the middle of the spool and long enough to go around the spool with a bit of overlap. I used my Cricut to cut a scalloped circle out of the pink paper and write “You Won My Heart” in red ink. This could also be done with a scalloped circle punch or die. I inked the edges of the circle with a bit of red ink for extra definition.

Double sided tape worked perfectly to adhere the patterned paper to the spool.

Finally, it was a just a matter of stacking my pieces and keeping it all together with a bit of glue. I used my Beacon 3-in-1 Advanced Craft Glue  (affiliate link), but hot glue would work well, too. To make sure the pick stayed in place, I used a little bit of glue around the hole in the spool, as well as a bit at the base of the heart.

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I used sticky foam dots to attach the scalloped circle to the front of the box. I love using these dots to add a bit of dimension to a flat paper element.

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And, that’s it! Such a cute little something to give your Valentine! Makes me wonder what else I can build a trophy for!


Linking up at: Made By You Monday

Auction Finds

Auctions get a bit scarce during the winter, but I got the chance to attend a big one a couple Saturdays ago. It was packed! Regulars are getting a bit desperate for a good sale, so this one was very well attended. There were a number of items I was interested in. Unfortunately, I had to wait about five hours for them to finally get to what I wanted!

The auctioneer is one of my favorites. He is fast and keeps the sale moving, but no matter how fast you are, it still takes time to get through all the merchandise! I did come home with some pretty good stuff, though, so I was glad I invested the time.

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I picked up this cute breadbox for $12.50. The scale is a little rough, but it has a great porcelain top. Plus, I won it for $6. This auction had a bunch of vintage globes. The larger ones were going for about $50. I managed to snag these two small ones for $12.50 each.

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For some reason, I am always drawn to these bug sprayers. Kind of a weird thing to be attracted, too, but I love the colors and the pump mechanism. I think they will look good in an Independence Day display later this year. The “God Bless America” plaque was in a box of booklets about the Dionne Quintuplets. It’s actually a postcard that could be mailed for a dime. Another good piece for the Fourth!

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This leather fireman’s helmet was the prize of the day. My husband wasn’t able to attend the auction with me, but I texted him a photo of this item. I knew he’d love it. I was given instructions to go for it! I managed to snag the helmet for $60 which was actually at the low end of my husband’s price range, so he was very pleased! I was told that this was worn by a fireman in the Peabody, Kansas volunteer fire department, which was neat, as my father graduated from Peabody back in the 60s.

Looking forward to the next auction! Hopefully, I won’t have to wait long for a good one to come up.


Find more vintage finds at Dagmar’s Home link up party!