Sunday, February 26, 2012

Tax the second coming of Christ(mas)

Yep. It's that glorious time again, when Uncle Sam is generous enough to let me have a little more of that money I earned. Obviously I'm feeling political, so if you don't appreciate, this is one of those books where you only have to look at the pictures. Towards the end I'll be chatting about a mission I've become obsessed with, so you may care to read that part.
But since this about getting my tax return last weekend and with as much of it as I spent, It's also about what I didn't spend it on (like a plasma tv, or a weekend in Vegas, or a Harley). Of course being the responsible adult that I am, I used the bulk of it to pay off the larger of my two student student loans. I'm pretty pleased with my(righteous)self. Then I had a little left over cashola, so I had some fun with it last weekend. You know, to stimulate our economy. Here's what I bought, (and sometimes, Y). 

My first stop was a junk/antiques shop that I've been dying to check out. It was fun to poke around, you literally dig through piles of crap, it's all in deplorable condition, and less than half of it has price tags (and when they do, it's outrageous). Awesome. So you just hold stuff up and the lady tells you how much she wants, and you negotiate. I felt like I was back in Jamaica. So ridiculous. After some haggling, I spent $10 on the following 3 items:
Not the flag with the pledge on it. Look higher. It's only the best yard stick ever. NBD. Original price $4.

 This beauty is solid brass, but she wanted 7 bucks for it. Nope. (It's going to be a planter on my dollhouse rooftop deck Not worth $7.)

 This little woven box is adorable. Could be an ottoman, side table, two baskets, whatev. I can't recall, but I think she wanted 2 or 3 beans. Over my dead body. 

So in the end I saved about 33%, but probably still overpaid. Don't you just love a bargain?!

After that I headed over to Woodcraft. I wandered for a long time, but left with these prizes.

 This is pretty exciting. But the picture on the Woodcraft website shows it way better:
Not that this little guy (below) hasn't been adequate. I'm not replacing him, I'm adding to the family. He's still my go-to-guy for simple jobs. Someday when I do a 'tour-my-craft-room post', I'll show you just how many rulers I've adopted. Sometimes I feel like Angelina Jolie, but more glamorous.

Also picked this up:
because I'm sick of this:
And it was only $5. But you get what you pay for. I don't think it works, because the second picture was taken after I tried the gadget. Fail. I'll probably be returning this. Currently leaving the tool in it overnight, maybe that'll do it? (To quote the wise Van Halen "only time will tell, if we stand the test of time". That's how that works? Thanks,dude.)
They also have a selection of exotic woods in planks as thin as 1/8". I know this will eventually come in handy.

I went to a couple of local bead stores. I picked up this stuff...
 More vases and lamps, but I imagine you could have figured. I'm so predictable, even I'm bored with myself.
 That bead (top center). So bizarre. What the hell kind of animal is that? Half cow, half donkey, half dog. (since that's bordering on an obvious South Park reference, I'll just call it manbearpig). Any ideas?

I had to have it because I clearly have a soft-spot for pathetic misfit oddities.
Remember these? I do. They're pretty much all up in my grille 24/7/365.

Just kidding, stud. You're too cool for school (and definitely too good for me).

Anyways. More beads.

These are tigers eye. And totally gorge. These are going in the piano room/study of my dollhouse, suspended from the ceiling by fishing line. Unless I change my mind. 

And a bead reamer, finally. It was only $5, and has 4 changeable diamond tipped bits.

Since I shopped until I dropped, I hit up Ocean State Job Lot.
 Snatched up this contractor's clamp light for $7. I can latch right on to my workbench to help light my dollhouse for photos (since it lives on the floor). I'll figure out some diffusers. Easy peasy.
 Otherwise, this is what I'm up against for lighting:

Then there's baskets and baskets of drawer pulls for $1 each. I bought 4:
 While these would look great as non-working industrial lights, such as these:
Non-working lights are against my religion, so I'm thinking barstools.
These are the brushed nickel, but they also had chrome. I just scavenged until I had 4 of any matching color, then threw the others back. If they came in gold, you know I'd have brought those home too.

I know, I know. These CB2 chair ornaments aren't news. Everyone has them and rightfully so. They're cool. But what's cooler, is that I only paid 50 cents apiece for them. Yep $3 bought 6 chairs (+ shipping). So if you don't have these yet, the price is right. They were originally $3.95 each!
(I especially like what Mini Dork did with hers in the Fashion house. Gray suits them beautifully, and looks super chic.)
 What else is that, you ask?! Well, that's a TV keychain. It lights up and makes noise. I cut off the keychain-y parts, and shazam. A 1:12 scale 13" TV!!

And I know these aren't new either. But I wanted them, even if I had to buy 8 (because they're actually wedding favors). I Got them at
These go with everything. Kind of like flip-flops. I've heard through some other bloggers that they're slightly too large for 1:12, but that never stopped me before. The price was reasonable, but shipping wasn't. You know, the usual.

I also spent some of my "allowance" on a few boxes of Girl Scout cookies to be sent to our troops, because they deserve so much more than delicious cookies. But this was the opportunity to give back that presented itself over the weekend.

And the big announcement of the century month?!
My next mission impossible: Organization Overhaul. FmyL. I need to redesign the flow/storage in my craft palace. Here's where I started, but expect more dramatic changes in the coming weeks.
I upgraded some of my compartment-type organizers. Bigger, faster, stronger.
Electrical moved into some larger real estate. Look, empty cubbies for me to fill in the future!! I love room to grow. I love it in my house, I love it in my storage, and I especially love it when I'm buying jeans. (It's Girl Scout cookie time around these parts.)

 I used to have all my electrical in one of those medium jobbies (of which you see 4).
 And I bought a few more of these nice 'Making Memories' boxes, even if the shit I make is way cooler than memories. I've rearranged these so that I can locate specific components without working too hard and there's room to grow :). I'll be whipping out my label maker soon, since it's the Robin to my Batman.

I have been brainstorming and losing sleep designing new ways to maximize storage while streamlining my work area. I need to keep frequently used tools/materials highly accessible, but not make it impossible to find/use specialty items. I thought I had a great system, until I started miniatures. Now I have to start over and rethink my process.
 I have plans for a beautiful wood caddy for my lumberyard. I can't wait to build it, just sourcing materials at this point. You'll see when I finish, and I'll show you how to make it. Gonna be bomb.
 That giant dead space over my bench is killing me. And sorry for the mess, but I'm afraid it always looks that way. I'm hoping to rig up a pegboard system there. That would be cheap, easy, convenient, and able to evolve).

Unfortunately, I'm spilling over into the attic (accessible only from my craft room). It's ok because we aren't using the space for anything else. It just isn't ideal. No temperature regulation, which isn't great for adhesives, paint, candles/candlemaking supplies, etc.
I keep my gigantic bag of free foam in there. The paint cans are just for scale. That bag could fit 4 or 5 bodies, comfortably. I have it half full, ever the optimist :)

There are going to be more than a few custom/homemade/unorthadox storage solutions, and I'll be sure to fill you in just in case you could use any of the ideas in your own space.

So I'll leave off here, knowing that my next few posts are going to show just how stupid and non-functional my workspace is. My ideas on fixing it. And the kooky storage solutions I come up with. So then I can finish projects that I've promised people. You'll soon see why it's currently impossible. I'm heading out for some craigslist finds tonight... wish me luck, and excellent bargains.


  1. I can't wait to see everything that's next!!! I really wish you luck bargain hunting too, I've never tried Craigslist... so I don't even know what you can get on there XD

    1. Craigslist is equally amazing as it is terrifying. You can buy literally anything on CL, it's free to browse, no login necessary. It's like a global yard sale. Plenty of crap, more than a few creeps, but also some amazing treasures to be found at rock bottom prices:) Just be careful if you buy anything, to use the buddy system. I generally bring mace and a tire iron to every deal. Just in case.

  2. I so love looking in on the loot of shopping excursions. You've got a lot of new stuff to work with, so it was like Christmas. I have the Fred TV keychain. You're gonna love it. It also works well in 1:16 or 1:18 scale. Mine is currently in my Neville House, you know a great complement to the '70s style fireplace. FYI, there are similar Fred keychains one with a mini super8 videocamera and the other with a camera. Both with the lighting effects. They are a bit large (I use them with 1:6) but you may wanna check them out nonetheless. Enjoy!

    1. Thanks! There'll be a few more show-and-tell posts involving shopping finds during this craft room re-do. Mostly thrifted/craigslist stuff because I'm generally broke, but maybe a trip to Ikea this coming weekend! Now I'm just starting to sound crazy. Thanks for the tip on the other keychains, I'll definiely be checking those out!

  3. Grrr. I went back to buy more of the Reed Chairs and they are officially sold out. D'oh! I am WAY behind in promised projects as well. ;) I those candlestick holders. Even your attic/crawl space is bigger than my craft area. Mad jealous. :D I do really love seeing where other people work. Motivates me to clean up the garage so I can carve out a dedicated craft area. (That would really make my Mr. happy too, but then I wouldn't be as embarrassed to show pictures of the current state of affairs.)

    1. Oh, the irony of doing miniature crafts in miniature spaces! I hope CB2 carries a variety of chair ornaments on a yearly basis. The modern mini community would clean them out every time!
      We were really lucky when we found this house, we looked at over 50 places before we found one that had everything on our wish list, plus a teensy tiny extra spare office for me to stash the goods. And my Mr. just recently told me that my space could expand (triple, actually) with a few necessary modifications. *elation* I don't know when, but I don't mind waiting. It'll be a glorious day!