DIY Leather Strap Shelf

Here's a quickie DIY I did over the weekend that cost me zero dollars. The best kind of DIY. I saw the original idea here.

Here's what I used:
  • Piece of wood (Shelf sized)
  • Wood stain
  • Drill
  • Leather laces
  • Two hooks

I drilled holes in each corner and inch from the edge and a half inch from the sides. Then I stained the wood. When it was dry I took two lengths of the leather laces the same length. I made a loop in the top and then put each string knotted it on the bottom and put the loops onto the hooks. Boom simple, beautiful, utilitarian shelf.


Eye Openers

Sometimes amazing things happen. Well, scratch that, everyday amazing things happen. Currently there's humans in orbit over the Earth. The phone in your pocket has more processing power than the computers that put the first men on the Moon. In particular I'm amazed by the things that line up to make other things happen.

Take my new friend Felicia for example; She's been a reader of this blog for a while. Long enough to know that I have a particular obsession and last week she walked into a thrift store and she happened to look through the Catalog and Magazine section. She happened to pick up a catalog and her eyes happened to fall on a page that she knew would interest me.

To me, this find is monumental. It's the last piece of the puzzle. I finally have a (possible) name, date and seller. I'm not sure if the "Eye-Opener" is a clever catalog write up or that's what they called it.
For years I've only had "Taste Setter Collection" to go by. I assumed it was made by a company called "Sigma" only because they have a line of ceramics by the same name. So I had to assume right? I still don't actually know. I think I won't know that until I find someone who actually helped produce these. 

What I DO know is the lovely Felicia found this in a Neiman-Marcus 1972 "An Early Taste of Christmas Catalog". Naturally I went straight to eBay and asked all the sellers of vintage Neiman-Marcus catalogs to look through and see if they could find the pattern. No luck.

So right now it only existed in this mini catalog. I know a lot of you vintage hunters can empathize with the joy in finding out crucial information like this.  Of course me knowing this doesn't really change anything. It's not like people list it for sale under "Neiman-Marcus Eye Opener".

The catalog is a pretty important find to me. I can't thank Felicia enough and everyone who has helped in the search.


Quickie DIY

Can we all agree that Instagram is the new Twitter and Twitter is the new Blogging? Yes? No? Well, either way I'm addicted to Instagram. Less typing I suppose. If you follow me (and you should follow me) you'll know that one of the new details in my new kitchen is a DIY trivet.

It's tremendously easy to make and you can do it on the cheap. I saw them first on Remodelista.

You'll need:
Leather Cord ('natch I had some on hand for Love and Arrow)
40 1" Wood Beads. Any craft shop ought to have these otherwise Ebay is a good place to get them on the cheap.

This made two trivets for me. I've seen people do three trivets in descending size. It's really up to you. I really have no use for a 3" trivet.

And that's it. Stupid easy, I know.

I used 20 beads on each trivet. You can make the loop anyway you please. You could even make them just one long strand so you could coil it in the shape of the pan you're using. I wanted to hang mine so I just did a large loop and oiled them with Olive Oil. That's it. Done.


Kitchen Mini-Makeover

The kitchen in this place has always been a bone of contention for me. I spend most of my time in the kitchen and it's the room I like the least.  The floor is cheap vinyl, the tile is easily chipped, the beige-yellow color of some of the cabinets and walls is ugly and the brown-red stained cabinets is just confusing...why would anyone choose that stain?

Here's a reminder:

Since I threw caution and my security deposit to the wind when I painted the bathroom (which looks a million times better bdubs) and added a kitchen door, my next wish list redo item was to paint the kitchen. Since it's a rental and I don't want to throw gobs of money at it, I talked myself out of repainting the whole room. That was a bit more than I wanted to spend. Instead I kept it on the cheap and used the rest of the paint we used in the bathroom and just painted the red-brown cabinets and the beige-yellow shelf/cabinet that was peeling and chipping. Just doing this small amount changed so much.

If you follow me on Instagram you've seen a few teasers about what I did.

 And here's the whole thing:


 It's amazing what white paint can do! I also changed out the existing knobs and added knobs and bin pulls to the bottom cabinets and drawers and rearranged a little. Now they all match (they didn't before). The total was about $70 and that includes another gallon of paint when the first one ran out, supplies and the knobs.


Woo Hoo!

This is the story of a collection four years in the making. If you've followed my harrowing journey, you'll know that the "Taste Setter Collection" is my white whale. These are pieces that are sometimes marked, have no information on them and any search on the internet will lead back to my own posts on it.

Since I started obsessing over these pieces I've only ever seen the Ice Bucket, Plate, Mug, Pitcher, Glass and Tray. These are the only pieces I know to exist. There could be more out there but in my relentless searching I've only seen these pieces and now I own them all!

A few days ago I got an email from my new favorite person Dawn of Cherry Picked Finds.  She had found a tray and a plate at an Estate Sale. She was looking for info on it and remembered seeing the image on this blog. We agreed on a trade and yesterday the tray was in my hands. To say I was happy is a gross understatement. To my knowledge this is the complete collection and I got my missing piece. To quote Keanu Reeves "Whoa".

For those curious the only pieces marked are the plate, pitcher and mug and this is what it looks like:

Pretty nondescript right? I don't even know what the name of this collection is. I know it's as old as 1977. I know that "Taste Setter" is also a name produced under the brand "Sigma" which is a defunct Japanese company but I don't know if it's the same "Taste Setter". I know that everyone sees something different, a sun, a lion, a face...so, I mean...try an eBay search for that and see how it goes. Frustrating doesn't begin to describe it.

So many people have been on the lookout and some have actually found pieces and sent them to me. I can't tell you how amazing that is and how grateful I am. I still OF COURSE want more. I will always hoard these pieces.

As of today I have:
1 Tray
2 Ice Buckets
2 Pitchers
6 Glasses
6 Plates
8 Mugs

So again, a million thanks to Dawn and everyone who's sent me pieces and to those of you who keep their eyes peeled for it. You guys are amazing!

Reblogged from The Thrift Collective
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