DIY Handmade Wood Block-Print Tablecloth

lavender white birthday party table setting
Block-print textiles are an obsession of mine. So, when it came time to dress the table for a recent family celebration, I searched for a block-print tablecloth that would compliment the lavender, purple and white color scheme.
block printing materials
When I couldn’t find a tablecloth I was envisioning, I decided to make my own. Using some Indian wood block stamps with a paisley pattern, purple & lavender fabric paint and a simple white cotton tablecloth, I created the tablecloth. I actually have three blocks and originally was going to use the pair of blocks which patterns overlap, but it was difficult to keep them lined up.
diy block print tablecloth purple
For the sake of time, I stuck with just one block and created a pattern by alternating the color from row to row.
diy hand block paisley tablecloth purple lavender
paisley block print tablecloth diy
Block printing is an art and I am by no means an expert, but I really liked how it turned out. And in case you missed it; Here’s how the ribbon chandelier and flower arrangements were made for the party.

diy ikat fabric how to
I love the ikat fabric Elizabeth at The Mustard Ceiling made. She has a great tutorial and printable too. Hmmm. Maybe this will be my next project!
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Read full story By on May 31, 2011 in DIY, Entertaining, textiles

Happy Memorial Day!

memorial day flags tombstones
memorial day quote vetrans
Happy Memorial Day!
* image source.
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Read full story By on May 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

Modern Bird Studios

* You are based out of the San Francisco area, and I must say that those crazy steep hills make me nervous. Do you have any suggestions on how I can better cope with them?
* Do you think you could escape from Alcatraz?
* Who do you think would win a cage match between Martha Stewart or her daughter Alexis Stewart?
These are just some of the silly questions Megan from Modern Bird Studio asked me yesterday. For my answers, visit her blog.

modern bird studios acrylic artwork

Megan’s husband, Gregg is the creative force behind Modern Bird Studios. Gregg combines his original urban-style with photography, graphic design and traditional painting to create handmade, original art pieces. My fave is the acrylic and wood artwork seen above. Love!
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Read full story By on May 28, 2011 in original artwork

How to Hold a Successful Garage or Yard Sale

Spring cleaning is in full swing and for many of us that means it’s garage sale season. Hosting a garage or yard sale is the perfect time to edit items from your home that are no longer used or fit your lifestyle. In addition to de-cluttering your home, a garage sale is a great way to make a little extra money.
Holding a garage sale however takes organization and pre-planning. Here are some tips for hosting a successful garage sale:
successful garage yard sales{images by Thayer Allyson Gowdy via Real Simple}
Select the Right Day & Time.
1. Typically the best months for garage sales are in the spring and summer. Steer clear of holidays and summer vacation months {i.e. July & August}.
2. Saturday is the most popular day for garage sales, but a Friday or Sunday might also work for you. Go with the flow and see what day is trending in your neighborhood.
3. Serious garage sale shoppers get up earlier, so set a start time no later than 8am.
Consider a Multi-family Sale.
1. Inform family and friends about the garage sale and encourage them to participate. Ask them to help out on the day of the sale and assign them a task {cashier, helping customers, keeping merchandise neat}.
2. Let neighbors know about your sale. If they too want to have a garage sale the same day, share marketing efforts {signage, Criagslist posting, etc.}. Multi-family garage sales always pull in more traffic.
stylish yard sale displays
Determine, Organize & Price Items to Sell.
1. Schedule a day {or two} to go room by room in your home to de-clutter and make a list of items you would like to sell.
2. Don’t sell items that are damaged beyond repair or have been recalled. In fact it is illegal to resell items that have been recalled – go here for a list of recalled items}.
3. Make a note as to what price you would like to sell the item. If you have no idea how to price an item, you can always look up a similar item on eBay or Criagslist.
4. Set up a holding area for the items you will be selling. Typically this is in the garage, because it eliminates moving the sale items multiple times. You’ll be able to move the items easily out the day of the sale.
5. In the holding area, group sale items into plastic bins {clear ones are best because you can see the contents inside} and boxes. Be sure to label the bin or box  {i.e. toys, DVDs, 0-3 month girls’ clothing, etc.} and price the items in the grouping the same.
6. Save time by minimizing labeling each item. Instead label the tables, bins or racks {i.e. $5-$10, $1 or Less, $25 or Best Offer}.
Supplies Needed On-site for the Sale.
1. Shopping bags and small boxes to make it easier for customers to take away the goods.
2. Tables, clothing racks and shelves for displaying items.
3. A calculator for adding up sales.
4. Spare light bulbs, batteries and extension cords plugged in to show that items work properly.
5. Tape measure, pens and scissors.
6. Trash can.
7. Paper towels, tissues and hand-sanitizer.
8. Pre-made sticker labels or color coded stickers for pricing items.
9. Newspaper to wrap fragile items.
10. Cash-box, hip-pack or apron with pockets to hold cash and change.
cute yard sale signage {image via Yard Sale Bloodbath}
Advertise the Sale.
1. Create a listing one week prior to the sale on Craigslist or a similar on-line site. It’s free!
2. Inquire about placing ads with various local newspapers. Ask how many words, how much it will cost and when you need to submit the information by.
3. When listing your ad, include your big items and/or categories {i.e. 1940s oak dining table, baby gear & clothing}
3. Create signage to be placed at large intersections near your home.
4. Signage should include the date of the sale, your address {cross streets can be helpful too} and the sale hours. Use foam board and make the signs large enough for them to be read easily by drivers.
5. Consider making smaller directional signage if you think people may have difficulties finding your home.
successful garage sale tips
{image by Thayer Allyson Gowdy via Real Simple}

Display items with Style.
1. Remove or cover items in the garage you don’t want to sell.
2. Organize your items and display them in an interesting and easy-to-view format.
3. Use clothing racks {consider renting or borrowing some} to hang items such as dresses, jackets and suits. Group clothing according to size.
4. Place like items together and make signs so customers can easily find what they are looking for {i.e books, housewares, boys clothing – sizes 2T – 3T}

apron for garage sale
{image via CountryHome}
Managing the Money.
1. Go to the bank ahead of the sale and have between $75 and $100 in small bills {$1s, $5s and a few $10s} and a couple rolls of quarters.
2. Designate a person to handle the cash-box at all times. If this isn’t possible, have one person where an apron or hip-pack to mange the transactions.
3. Have a “Cash Only” rule. It’s no fun to get a bounced check!
free stuffed animals to kids
Fun for the Kids.
1. Encourage older kids to earn extra cash by selling donuts, bagels or cookies.
2. Set out a box of gently used stuffed animals labeled “FREE – Kids Take One” for customers with  young children. Used stuffed animals are rarely accepted by charities, so this is a great way to pass them along! You will have some very happy, little customers too 🙂
After the Sale.
1. Do not bring any unsold items back into your home or garage.
2. Immediately after the sale, pack unsold items into your vehicle and drive them to the nearest charity or donation center {be sure to get a receipt for a tax credit}.
3. Place unsold items curbside with a “FREE” sign.
4. Schedule a date and time for one of the local thrift stores to pick up items that are too big for you to hall away {have them leave a receipt for a tax credit}.
5. Remove all posted signs from the neighborhood.
If you don’t have a yard or garage for a traditional sale of this kind, try TagSellIt. It’s a traditional garage sale in a virtual format.
igaragesale yard sale app for iphone
I don’t tend to host garage sales {too much work, my hubby says}, but I love going to them. Just downloaded the iGarageSale app for my iPhone too. The reviews are glowing.
Tips for Holding a Successful Yard or Garage Sale - Simplified Bee
Planning a yard sale this year?
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Read full story By on May 26, 2011 in Decluttering, garage sales, home organization, organization tips, Organizational tips, Tips/Tricks