More Than A Hundred Grand Worth Of Stuff!

I probably have at least $100,000 worth of stuff in my house that needs to go.

Art Books and Atlases on

Just a few of my art books and atlases. And isn’t that a cute little ceramic bowling planter?

That was an off-the-cuff remark I made to my brother recently.

Giraffes on

Framed giraffe art, 8 x 10, just of one of dozens and dozens of pieces on my walls.

Really?  he asked.

Painted Plate on

Signed painted china plate ready for a new home.

It was a wise crack, but after a minute I realized it’s no joke.

Pen and Ink on

Very sweet 70s era pen and ink art. It’s a set of two, pink and yellow, featuring two little pigtailed girls. I’ll list them individually. Yellow piece is signed. Frames are 8 x 10.

Which is totally crazy since I’m out of work and out of money.

Dooney & Bourke on

One of a few designer bags I’ve acquired.  This small Dooney & Bourke shoulder bag has a round footed bottom and drawstring top. Very cute, barely used.

I’ve been selling and upcycling vintage stuff for a couple of years, making a few ends meet, but not selling as much as I was taking in. Without a truck or van I haven’t had the means to routinely turn a $5 find into a $300 showpiece which, over the past few years, could really have made a difference in turning this hobby into a business.

Designer Handbag on

Art deco and Dolce & Gabbana handbags hang on my wall.

And now I’m way past out of space along with all the other things I’m out of.

Signed and Numbered on

Tom Cat, signed and numbered. Matted and framed. Exquisite.

In October my house was just days away from the auction block and suddenly people who know I have a knack for acquiring things were interested in helping out by buying some of my stuff at the last minute. I soon realized they wanted to pay bottom dollar for family heirlooms that weren’t for sale. They wanted to help themselves and it wouldn’t help me in the long run.


There was one more option available and with just days to spare I managed to start the process to pull my house out of foreclosure.

Squirrelly art on

More animal art, signed and framed. There’s a chipmunk by the same artist.

I’m listing on Etsy, and my shop, The Little Blue Trunk,  is building up some steam, but I should have started at this pace three years ago. I have good stuff, good prices and good service.

Chipmunk Art on

Every bit as cute as Chip and Dale.

Since I don’t have unlimited funds to list “everything” at once, I’m going to post photos and lists of things I have to sell here on my blog. I have lots of pictures to take, and more research to do, but in the meantime if you see something here you want, let me know and I’ll give it priority and get it listed for you.

China Doll on

Very small china doll in crocheted dress with pearl buttons.

Any pinning, tweeting or facebooking you want to do certainly won’t hurt the cause. I need to sell something in the next few days to be able to keep the site running. I hope to find new homes for most of my stuff soon.


Really Cute Rescued and Recycled Sun Hats

I LOVE hats. I wear a hat every opportunity I get. I always wore an Easter bonnet on Easter Sunday, usually made over to match my Easter dress and new patent leather shoes.

I found a perfectly good straw sun hat recently and it had a slash across the crown. It hadn’t been worn so the slash was invisible, but would fray if it wasn’t repaired or patched. It was the perfect opportunity to experiment.

Rescued Sun Hat by Jan on JanMadeIt

What do you think?


How about that cute little flower?

Rescued Sun Hat by Jan on JanMadeIt

I braided some bright variegated cord to tie around the crown and used the same for a chin strap.


How about hot pink and turquoise?


Wish I could wear one everyday, but it’s been cold(ish) and cloudy, so they’re a little out-of-place right now.


What about this lavender straw hat?


This was a boring little hat, kind of a flat-topped boater style. The crown was caved in, and the straw was kind of limp. When I painted it the crown perked up and it became much less floppy.


I picked the color to match the vintage cotton I came across in my stash. After I cut out those little bouquets, I had some curvy edges left on the main piece of fabric. Instead of wasting a scallop, I cut the curves into sections, gathered them into “petals” and stitched them along the hat band. Twisted fabric rosettes covered the raw edges.


I glued a fabric band around the brim for several reasons.

  1. Comfort. A piece of fabric is more wearable than scratchy straw.
  2. To absorb sweat.
  3. To attach the chin strap. I originally thought I’d use grommets, but it’s practically impossible to do that one-handed. (That’s a totally ‘nother story I’ll share later.)

The additional fabric bouquets hide—and secure—the thread used to attach the hat band and flowers on the brim.

All of the hats have ribbon or fabric inside the brim, and a chin lanyard. Practically a requirement in forever-windy Oklahoma.

I have more rescued hats in the works. A cute little white bucket hat (yes, that’s the name of a hat) with a black and yellow daisy makeover; an “up-brim” sun hat going from dull dark straw to a lively garden green; and a hot pink straw cowboy hat, which will feature a hot pink snake-skin adornment on the crown… any idea how hard it is to find hot pink snakes? …

I’ll take some measurements and list these in my etsy shop. I’ll update this post with a shopping link when I get them online. Be sure you’re a subscriber so you won’t miss what’s coming next!




Plaid Pillow Makeovers ~ 100% Recycled



I don’t remember how or when the idea occurred to me, but then my friend Dianna mentioned it, and then I started seeing samples online.

I’m talking about turning shirts into pillows. I pinned it when I came across a couch full of them—and a great tutorial—on Country Living.


Plaid Pillow Makeovers on JanMadeIt


In the tutorial they used adult shirts and cut them down to fit pillow forms of a specific size. But the shirts I planned to use were big-boy plaids for little boys. And the toddler-size didn’t give me room for wide seam allowances and top-stitching and other edge treatments.


Plaid Pillow Makeovers on JanMadeIt


All I could do was turn the shirts inside out and sew side seams as close to the sleeve as possible without infringing on the little pockets on the chest. The woven plaid made it easy to stitch in a straight line.

Next I cut the shoulders away from the body just below the yoke and that became the seam along the top of the pillow.


Plaid Pillow Makeovers on JanMadeIt



Recycling Note:

Since Poly fill is so expensive these days, I’m a big fan of recycling old pillows. I’m not talking about old stained, sweaty, smelly pillows, just pillows that are out of style. They’re usually only a dollar or two at garage sales and worth the trouble to recycle.

First thing is toss them in the washing machine, and then put them in the dryer. No matter what the fabric content, all of them have come out looking amazing, but alas, they’re still out of style.

Lightweight cottons and polys can be covered as is, but you’ll want to remove the outer pillowcase on heavier fabrics or if there are embellishments or textures that might show through.



Plaid Pillow Makeovers on JanMadeIt


To fill the pillows I performed surgery on a couple of small clean old pillows. One pillow form was ready-made and it fit nicely into the red plaid. The other pillow was naked inside, so I had to make a lining for it. I found a scrap of white lining fabric which fit the bill.


Plaid Pillow Makeovers on JanMadeIt


The final step was to turn them inside out and make the final seam across the bottom.

Then I unbuttoned the shirt, turned them right side out and crammed the forms inside. Then I smushed  and pushed and prodded and smashed everything around to fill in the corners and voila! Two pretty cute little pillows.


Plaid Pillow Makeovers on JanMadeIt


I haven’t measured these, but they’re just the right size for little naps. What do you think? Do you have a special spot for a couple of casual little pillows?

By the way, this project is 100% recycled.


Beautiful Burlap comes from Ugly Orange Footstool

The only thing to call this is “Ugly Orange.”

As stylish as it may have been back in “the day”—must have been a day in the 70s—it’s well past its prime.

Ugly Orange Footstool on JanMadeIt

As ugly and orange as it was, it was still in great shape. Sturdy, with nice legs.

Ugly Orange Before

There wasn’t much to it, just a functional wood frame.

Ugly Orange Before

And the plywood top had suggested it really was for feet. There was the thinnest layer of foam on top. Not a cushy spot to plant your bottom.

Ugly Orange Striped

After I stripped her. I added thick layer of foam on the top. I forgot to take photos of this step, but it was a couch cushion rescued from our annual city-wide clean-up a few months ago.

Ugly Orange w/ Burlap

I had jute coffee bags in mind for this makeover, but couldn’t make the patterns and prints fit the dimensions so I went with plain burlap. The burlap was in my stash of rescued fabrics and fortunately there was a piece large enough to cover the new thick foam pad.

Ugly Orange w/ Lining

I have an eyelet dust ruffle somewhere and I had that in mind when I thought of the skirt. To cover up the raw edges of the burlap and the cardboard that covered the sides I stapled on an undergarment of plain muslin, also from my stash.

Ugly Orange w/ Petticoat

Then for a more modest look, I covered the legs with a wide strip of crisp muslin. First I stitched lace around the hem. It was part of a huge score of lace I bought at the flea market sometime last year. The lace was a double layer, so it would have cost a pretty penny if I bought it new for this project.

Ugly Orange Petticoat

I know I should have pressed it first, but this layer won’t show and I was impatient to finish.

Ugly Orange After

Turns out I couldn’t find my dust ruffle, but I didn’t look very hard after I came across this curtain panel. A friend gave me this because she knew I would find a good project for it. She was right. I cut it into four strips, but only used three of them to add this skirt.

Ugly Orange After

The skirt got two more layers of lace at the hem, this time, two different pieces.

I hid the waistline by stapling double-edged lace—it had a finished edge along the top and bottom—along the seam. Then I covered the staples by whip-stitching a narrow bit of trim over the staples.

Ugly Orange After

And that is how an ugly orange duckling became a beautiful burlap ottoman. It’s a great accent piece in the den or living room and it would be fun and functional in front of a vanity in the powder room, or master bath. Little princesses of all ages will love it.

The staples are the only part of this project that aren’t recycled. But I didn’t buy them at the hardware store. They came out of a box someone else bought at a hardware store many years ago. I bought the box of staples at an estate sale a few months ago.

So while it’s not 100% recycled, I’d say it’s 99.99% recycled. What do you think?



Antique Chair Makeover

Who likes stripes?

A Striped Chair on JanMadeIt

This very old chair somehow made its way into my life.

A Striped Chair on JanMadeIt

For the life of me I can’t remember how I acquired it, but it was a mess.

Antique Chair Makeover on JanMadeIt

The seat is made up of about four slats assembled tongue-in-groove style.

Antique Chair Makeover on JanMadeIt

Many years ago it started coming apart and someone tried to keep it together with over three dozen nails, two wood scraps. two strips of iron and over a dozen screws.  Antique Chair Makeover on JanMadeIt

But the repairs were done so long ago the slats were dry and separated again. While it wasn’t going to collapse, it was not safe for wearers of shorts.

Antique Chair Makeover on JanMadeIt

It was so dry, in fact, that after I got it back together—without the extra five dozen or so screws and nails—I wiped it down with a generous coat of oil.

A Striped Chair on JanMadeIt

Then a few days later I painted it.

A Striped Chair on JanMadeIt

The wood was still dry. Kind of scuffed and rough. It would look best distressed but what color?

A Striped Chair on JanMadeIt

I decided on all-of-the-above.

A Striped Chair on JanMadeIt

I figured I can always paint it over in one color if this doesn’t work.

A Striped Chair on JanMadeIt

But I like it. If I can find a little desk or small table it might become part of a set if it hangs around very long.

A Striped Chair on JanMadeIt

If it was yours to paint, what color would you choose?

Denim Ottoman Makeover

Another salvaged footstool is finished. Check it out.

Denim Ottoman Madeover on Jan Made It

The fabric was 50 cents a yard a couple of years ago at Hancock’s. I bought the last of the bolt  and ended up with about three yards. I still have a couple of yards left.

I hadn’t used the fabric yet because I couldn’t decide which side I wanted to show, and the ottoman gave me a place to show off both sides.

Denim Ottoman Madeover on Jan Made It

Here’s the before picture. I can see why someone would throw it away. It’s not quite as old as the first ottoman I recycled. It’s got great bones, as they say.  Very sturdy. I think it’s from the 70s maybe?

Ratty Footstool Makeover on Jan Made It

No wheels on this one. Just nice square wood mid-century looking legs.

Denim Ottoman Madeover on Jan Made It

I got better with the “seam” on this one, so no need to hide it. It’s also firm enough to do double duty as a coffee table. Just place a large serving tray on top and you’re good to go with a few snacks.

What do you guys think?

Is this something you’d prop your feet on?

Little Ladybug Footstool

Another one of my flea market footstools is now upcycled and ready to go to a new home.

Little Ladybug Footstool on Jan Made It

This is very small—about six inches tall, and maybe nine inches in diameter.

Little kids love carrying little chairs and stools around, if for no other reason than they can. I see it at the flea market all the time. Toddlers who can barely walk will make a beeline for little furniture. They pick it up and carry it—how far depends on how soon their parents try to stop them—put it down, and with great care turn around and sit on it. Then they look up at mom or dad or me and flash the biggest smile. So cute!

This plain handmade stool sat around my house for a while. Then about the time I painted the Flower Power Table and the Shabby Love Stool I came across a some very cute ladybug images and inspiration struck.

For the footstool I decided to go with a yellow ladybug, for no other reason than I had several shades of yellow paint and not  much red on hand. I sanded the top and lightly distressed it.

Do you like the yellow ladybug? Or should I have gone with the traditional red and glossed it up?

Check out some photos of a real ladybug over on my photography blog, Cottonmouth Creek.





1960s Era Ottoman Makeover

My friend Dianna is trying to clean out her garage and for good—or maybe not so good if it ends up in my garage—she’s cleaning out some of her things to me. She started making over this sturdy, heavy-duty well-made ottoman recently and didn’t get it finished so I got it.

The original covering was one of those lovely large-scale plaid patterns in various shades of avocado and harvest gold. Dianna started the job by covering the top with this stripe.

1960s Era Ottoman Makeover


She gave me enough striped fabric to finish it, but it was sitting around while I covered these ladder-back chairs and I realized that fabric also matched. So that’s what I used to cover the base.

1960s Era Ottoman Makeover

Looks pretty good huh?

If I had gimp, I would have added it around the seam but I didn’t have the right color on hand. I did, however, have a third scrap of fabric in similar colors.

1960s Era Ottoman Makeover on JanMadeIt

My first plan was to stitch the contrast fabric around the ottoman, but stitching into the tight upholstery was not an easy task. After a half-hour I’d only managed to attach a few inches so I decided to sleep on it and come up with Plan B.

Plan B was belt loops.

I cut a long strip of the striped fabric and stitched the raw edges inside and then instead of attaching single loops I wound it around the contrast fabric and nailed it into place on the backside.

1960s Era Ottoman Makeover on JanMadeIt

The only thing left to do is attach the casters to the bottom. I’ll get those from Dianna and finish it up tomorrow.

This ottoman was literally headed to the dump before Dianna  pulled it back from the brink. It was fun to finish the transformation and come up with something that has a lot more years of use left in it.

One ugly ottoman, plus three fabric remnants added up to this.

I have three more ottomans that need the same upgrade. Let me know if you’re in the market for something like this and want a particular color or fabric. This one is at the flea market at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds this weekend.

What do you think?

Shabby Love Stool

Do you love this as much as I do?
 Shabby Love Stool on Jan Made It

My recent Flower Power table and three cute stools I saw on Art and Sand inspired me to come up with this.

I started with the dregs of a sample jar of Peace River Blue and made it into my own variety of chalk paint for the base coat.

Shabby Love Stool on Jan Made It

It turned out like this.

Shabby Love Stool on Jan Made It

Then I added a coat of this pretty no-name green sample of Valspar I picked up at Lowe’s.

Shabby Love Stool on Jan Made It

After the green dried overnight I sanded the stool and penciled my design on top.

Shabby Love Stool on Jan Made It

This is on top of the green coat of paint. Sorry about the poor lighting in my work space, but I wanted the pencil lines to show here. You can see I had a few false starts before I got things the way I wanted them.

Shabby Love Stool on Jan Made It

Then I gathered up a variety of colors and started filling in the letters. When I finished, it wasn’t what I wanted so the hot pink outline was added and it seemed to do the trick.

I liked the way the base coats sanded with the distressed edges, so I let it dry overnight and hit it with the sandpaper again the next morning.

Shabby Love Stool on Jan Made It

And this is how it turned out.

I left the legs alone, even though I was tempted to paint the rungs each a different color to match the letters. There are dozens of these stools out there that can use a little update so watch for that in the future.

This is a very handy stool.

  • You can sit on it.
  • You can use it as a side table for placing drinks or snacks.
    (Oooooh… I need little flower painted coasters for that version!)
  • You can put a lamp on it beside your bed.
  • You can put a plant on it.
  • You decide.

It can be yours. It’s at the flea market at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds in Norman this weekend.

It’s just a bit a useful whimsy. How or where would you use a cute little thing?

Two Ladder-Back Chairs

Here are the two chairs I promised in a recent post. I paid just a few bucks for one chair, and the other one was rescued from a dumpster. They are available in my booth at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds this weekend.

I painted them back in the summer and could never find just the right fabric to finish them. I didn’t know what I was looking for until a friend was getting rid of a piece of upholstery fabric a couple of weeks ago.

Ladder-Back Chairs on JanMadeIt

I knew immediately it would look good on the pale gray ladder-back chair.

Gray Ladder-Back Chair on JanMadeIt

Then I was delighted to realize it was also a perfect match for the pale green ladder-back.

Green Ladder-Back Chair on JanMadeIt

I intended these to go with a primitive drop-leaf kitchen table I acquired about the same time, but I haven’t painted the table yet and I need to get these out of the house. I’ll find something else for the table since these seat covers aren’t quite primitive-kitchen-table-style, but it’s perfect for this set.

These sturdy comfortable chairs can go in any room in the house. Pull them up to a game table or use for extra seating in the dining room. They’re small enough to fit under a small student desk or use in a breakfast nook. Where would you put them to use?

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