This weekend: baking, foreign exchange student potluck, estate sales, buffet project, and the fabric store

By | August 27, 2012


This weekend we were invited to a welcome potluck for the foreign exchange student program. My daughter has been begging us to host a German girl so I have been communicating with some people at AFS. They kindly invited us to their welcome potluck. It was a lot of fun. I am hoping that we can work out hosting a student next year.

I made a quick dessert tray to bring to the potluck. I made candy coated strawberries, pretzels and chocolate chip cookies. I highly recommend keeping a package or two of Candiquick  in the house so you can make quick and easy treats on short notice.

The Welcome sign did not make it to the potluck

This weekend I got pretty lucky at some local estate sales. I went on Sunday which is a gamble, usually everything is marked down half price but the selection is limited. This weekend I got:

A set of six monogrammed glasses for only $2.50! They are in perfect condition, no chips, scratches, or any visible signs of being used. I have a feeling that they were never used because they were in the garage and all dusty, not in the kitchen with the rest of the dishes and miscellaneous kitchen items. I had to think a bit about buying second hand drinking glasses. I have my limits with what I will buy secondhand, furniture, tools, art…yes; underwear, pillows, no way. I came to the conclusion that I was comfortable buying these glasses for two reasons, they appeared unused and even if they were slightly used I am sure they were used way less that any of the glasses I have drank of at restaurants.

Hooray for cheap monogrammed drinking glasses!

A hardcover German edition of The Little Prince Der Kleine Prinz” for $1.00. My daughter loves Germany and has taught herself a lot of German. She also loves the English edition of this book so the purchase was a no-brainer.

I love finding unique books at estate sales.

Vintage British airways playing cards for $1.00. My daughter collects playing cards. I am guessing she has around 100 decks. This deck caught my eye because of the design and the fact that they are about 1/3 the size of a traditional deck of cards.

I wish airlines still gave these out.

1:72 Scale Grumman Gosling Model for $2.00. I bought this for my husband because he loves anything that flies. The model came sealed in the packaging, it looked old, and it looked like something that would make him smile.

Grumman Goslind scale model

It is rare that I find something at an estate sale that my husband likes.

Porter-Cable ¼ sheet sander for $5.00!!! I saved the best for last. The back story on this is that I had been wanting an electric sander for a few years now but I have been too cheap to buy one. A few weeks ago I bought a cabinet and decided to refinish it which requires The Incredible Hulk’s arms to sand it by hand or the use of an electric sander. I checked out reviews online and compared them to what was at my local Home Depot. I wanted to stay in the $30 range and I ended up getting a Black & Decker Mouse Detail Sander. It works ok but the sand paper is more expansive than regular sheets and it is not the quarter sheet sander that I had originally wanted. Now back to my Porter-Cable, I was in the garage at an estate sale and found this sander. I am not 100% sure but I have a feeling that I made a huge smile with excitement. I took the sander, found an outlet and plugged it in. I was sure for $5.00 it would not work be in working order but I was wrong which almost never happens.  I quickly bought the sander and went home to put it to use which brings me to my next weekend activity…

Porter-Cable 1/4 sheet sander

This sander stole my heart.

The $25 Craigslist buffet refinishing project. I come across so many cool people with their cool blogs about their cool crafts and projects and I end up getting inspired and motivated. See some examples herehere,and here. Then reality sets in and I end up with a messy, half done, ugly project. Recently I had seen some pictures of some cool cabinets painted in bold colors and the instuctions I read made the project seems pretty manageable. I found my cabinet on Craigslist in a day or two, it was only $25 and exactly what I was looking for.


I bought the supplies and got busy. At first it seemed like things were going smoothly then I realized that my cabinet looked like poop. The paint was a mess, I was too lazy to tape and I also had a lot of ugly drips. I wanted to cry and throw it away or abandon it in the incomplete project graveyard aka my garage. Then I got the idea that I wanted to buy paint thinner, removing all of the paint, and start from scratch. My husband chuckled and watched as I pouted. Next I decided to put my Porter-Cable sander to use and I did a major sanding of the entire cabinet, my husband helped me out. After that we went to Home Depot and bought a sponge roller to use instead of the brushes that I had been using. Because he is a lot more patient than I am he started slowly and carefully painting the cabinet. It is looking much better but still needs a lot of work. More to come on this project…

Husband helping to sand off the ugly paint job I did.

And last but not least, my kitchen curtain experiment. My mom gave me her sewing machine so I wanted to make something. I decided to start with what I thought would be easy, kitchen curtains. I found a cool fabric on clearance for $3 per yard. The colors match our black, grey, and white counters and the print matches our tropical landscaping.

Close up of the fabric for my kitchen curtains.

Without a pattern I cut, pinned, and sewed some simple curtains and when I hung them up they did not quite look right. First off I did not buy enough fabric so they were only slightly gathered and second, the fabric was so thin that the pattern on it was hardly visible when they sun shined through. This resulted in a second trip to the fabric store to buy some fabric to line the curtains and hopefully add some width to them. I will post pictures of the finished project when they are done.

Here is what they look like now:

Phase 1 of kitchen curtains project.


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