Arts & Crafts

New Additions

After reading all of your wonderful wall ideas, I felt myself become very crafty and set out for a little afternoon art project…unfortunately I still have a blank living room wall (and not one hundred percent sure what I want to do with it yet) but I do have these!

Aren’t they so fun? Y’all know my obsession with the Little House books and now I can have Laura in my kitchen with me always. The total cost for this project was $41 but I figure I would have spent more than that if I saw these in a store (or on Etsy!) and bought them.

To start, I gently tore out three pages from The Little House on the Prairie Cookbook. The recipes/pages I tore out were pretty random but brought back fun childhood memories of loving reading about them. I then burned the pages around the edges to give them more of an “old-fashioned feel” and went to Beverly’s to pick up some 1930’s print fabric, foam board and inexpensive 8″ by 10″ frames.

When I got home, I cut the foam board into three 8″ by 10″ squares and glued fabric on each. On top of the fabric I glued the recipe then into the frames they went! The whole thing took about twenty minutes and I just love them!

I got this idea from Kara, a reader who suggested framing old recipes. Kara, please email me your address and I’ll send you cookies!

Other new additions?

Remember how I said that I wanted to learn how to sew? Well, I found this amazing vintage sewing machine in a table at a local thrift shop for only twelve dollars! They assured me that the machine works and today, I sanded down the table and then re-painted it in this amazing rich and glossy shade of robin egg blue.

This was my first time painting anything (other than canvas or paper!) and I have to say, it was quite the project. I’m completely obsessed with this color though and think it would look awesome on cabinets, doors or shutters in the future.

I have NO idea how to work the sewing machine though and, of course, it didn’t come with a manual. I’m researching vintage Sears Kenmore machines online and hoping to figure it out on my own. I’ll keep you posted.

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  • Allie (Live Laugh Eat)
    September 16, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    Can we just call you Martha? So cute.

  • Shannon, Tropical Eats
    September 16, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    The framed recipes look great! I love that you burned the edges to give them a more worn in vibe. 🙂

    good luck with the sewing machine! be careful that the thread doesn’t get jammed or in a knot– it’s a pain to get out if that happens =/ just keep a steady hand

  • BethT
    September 16, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    I love how you said you were contemplating the sewing machine due to your obsession with Mad Men.

  • Brooke (Baking with Basil)
    September 16, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    What a cute idea!! If you learn how to sew, send the manual my way. Nothing from that Home Ec class in high school stuck with me other than the baking. 🙂

  • Amy
    September 16, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    Very cool! Congrats on your sewing machine find (awesome deal) and the crafting.

  • Jillian @ reshape your life
    September 16, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    That wall art is awesome! And I LOVE that vintage sewing machine! Great job repainting it, that color is beautiful.

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey
    September 16, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    I love the framing old recipes idea!! I may have to try that one out!

  • Tina
    September 16, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Wow! You are one crafty chick. It all looks great!

  • Maissa (Run, Rant, Realize)
    September 16, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    I love the recipe idea! So cute, and so you! We did something similar in our place except we framed old Italian travel posters, which was very us because we love to travel and my boyfriend is basically an Italian at heart.

    Also the sewing machine is adorable!

  • Erin
    September 16, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    That bright blue shade is adorable and such a fabulous pop of color!

    Also, good call on framing recipes. I may have to steal that idea when I move — I sadly don’t own a ‘Little House’ cookbook but do have an old ‘American Girl’ cookbook stored way somewhere…

  • Melissa (Running with Needles)
    September 16, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    I knew that was Little House as soon as I saw the first picture!

    And that sewing machine is awesome! I can’t wait to see what sort of creative things you create with it.

  • Katie
    September 16, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Those are so cute!! I love your idea of putting those recipes in the frame. Such a cute background in the frame too

  • Nancy @ The Wife of a Dairyman
    September 16, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    I’m so glad you found a sewing machine and what a bargain! I’m sure you’ll find the instructions online or maybe go to a sewing machine repair shop. You’ll have a ton of fun creating with it, I’m sure:)

  • Shelley
    September 16, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    What a great find! I love old sewing machines 🙂 I’m sure you won’t have too much trouble finding a forum or manual for it!

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    September 16, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    now i’m feeling the need to get crafty! word on the street is there’s an awesome flea market in downtown denver, and i’m thinking i’m going saturday!

  • stacey-healthylife
    September 16, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    Well look at you miss crafty, I love it.

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog)
    September 16, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    Love the framed book pages idea!

  • Camille
    September 16, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    How cool! Everything looks so nice!
    I have always wanted to learn how to sew but have never gotten around to it!

  • emily
    September 16, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    Eeek, those are genius! What a fabulous idea. The sewing machine looks awesome too, I like that color a lot.

  • Cynthia (It All Changes)
    September 16, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    I love the framed recipes. Very homey.

    The sewing machine should be easy to figure out. Take it to a local quilt or sewing shop and they should be able to help you out no problem.

  • Kati @ Living Well
    September 16, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    I love that blue paint!!! Great job! $12 was a steal!

  • Anne @ Your Kind of Salad
    September 16, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    Whoa awesome find! That table rocks!

  • Michelle @ Chasing Ambulances
    September 16, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    I learned how to sew on a very similar machine when I was a little girl! My mom still has it, I think. Even if you don’t find the exact model, you’ll probably find something similar enough to teach you how to load up that bad boy.

  • Jenn
    September 16, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    I’m learning how to sew too! I’m making a quilt at the moment. I have to say that YouTube has been invaluable to learn some tips and tricks and watch an expert do it! Good luck!

  • Cindy
    September 16, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    I might not be able to figure out all the different functions, but I can probably thread it for you so you can use it for a normal, simple stitch. Most machines are relatively similar even if they are old! The newer machines are actually much more complicated. Are you busy on Sunday? 🙂

  • Cindy
    September 16, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    By the way, I LOVE your color choice for the table!

  • Caitlin
    September 16, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    It is so much more fun to figure things out on your own than to follow instructions.

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite
    September 16, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    How cute! We have that exact same sewing machine! We got it from a second hand shop. It works… but for me, I had to purchase a newer sewing machine from Target. It was a little more user friendly for me. Hopefully it’ll work great for you 🙂

  • Suzanne de Cornelia
    September 16, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    LOVE that robin’s egg blue–terrific job!

    I’ve always just jumped in on do-it-yourself projects, too. Watercolors, refinishing wood floors, vegetable garden, retile counters w/ceramic tile, made quilts, had a sewing machine & just bought patterns/material & taught myself. All of this led to designing/building a house in Lake Arrowhead, going to design school & managing over $1b in major design/construction! But started with watching ‘Little House’ reruns and liking that ‘do-it-yourself’ sensibility. Amazing how something can start simply & innocently enough and then keep pulling the string and leads to somewhere totally new.

    Imagine you will just love Provence when you go as everything you like is inherently there. 🙂

  • Cara Craves...
    September 16, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    It’s always fun to learn something new; it’s a good challenge.
    Look forward to seeing your future sewing projects.
    Maybe you could make a cool tablecloth and some napkins.

  • LisaR
    September 16, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Looks great! I have a craft/sewing blog. I can write a sewing post just to get the basics out of the way. Then you all can learn more!

    I just fell in love w/ sewing all over again. I LOVE IT! I’ve been making skirts and dresses galore!

  • Katherine
    September 16, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Love, love, love that recipe idea!

  • Sassy Molassy
    September 16, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    Love that blue! You should seek out some sewing/quilt shops near you. I’m sure they have some beginner classes.

  • Jasmine @ Eat Move Write
    September 16, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    How fun! That’s so funny you bought a machine you don’t know how to use. lol. You are pretty cool chicky.

  • Anne
    September 16, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    Oh, I love old frames and I’m always about to pick them up when I see them for no money at all at flea markets, but I never know what to frame! Next time I’ll have a look for some old recipe books as well, yay! Great tip.

  • Janna (janna's keeping it real)
    September 16, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    The sewing machine is absolutely adorable!

  • Samantha
    September 17, 2010 at 3:30 am

    Ha! I have that exact same machine. Or at least it is very, very similar… it’s a Sears Kenmore, in the rickety table, and my grandmother bought it way back when, then my mom kept it and sewed things on it when I was little, and then I learned to use it in junior high. Threading the machine looks complicated, but before you know it it will just become second nature 🙂 I hope you can find instructions online, I would photocopy the ones that came with my machine, but I’m not at home these days :/ Good luck!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is
    September 17, 2010 at 3:32 am

    What an awesome idea! You have inspired me to do something like that in my kitchen!

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down)
    September 17, 2010 at 4:15 am

    Awww…I love all of your ideas!! Everything looks so vintage, cozy and perfect. I love the sewing machine/table. 😀

  • Jessie
    September 17, 2010 at 4:33 am

    My mom has that same sewing machine. I think it is pretty simple. Plug it in, turn it on & step on the foot! Good luck!

  • Sara @
    September 17, 2010 at 4:50 am

    That is so cute! What a great way to incorporate childhood memories into your decor!

  • Jil @ Peace, Love & Munchies
    September 17, 2010 at 5:12 am

    Soo cute! Haven’t you been busy! 🙂 Love the recipe ideas…and ahh those books bring back such good, good memories.

  • Penney
    September 17, 2010 at 5:18 am

    I just got a vintage sewing machine too – I am following this blog for fun – and this one too
    and reading this book – and got my machine’s user guide from here – (this site is singer only).
    Good luck!

  • Paige @Running Around Normal
    September 17, 2010 at 5:19 am

    You’re so crafty, Jenna! I love it:)

  • OK Chick
    September 17, 2010 at 5:24 am

    YOU GO! I think those are great ideas.

  • Nicole@TheSaltedKitchen
    September 17, 2010 at 5:26 am

    Wow, that color is unbelievable!! I want to paint something in my apartment that color!!!

  • jenna
    September 17, 2010 at 5:28 am

    wow ……marthastewart!!??

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman
    September 17, 2010 at 5:41 am

    Nice job. I love the blue table. So cute!

  • Jenny
    September 17, 2010 at 5:48 am

    oh my goodness, I want to find a vintage sewing machine 🙂 Have fun!

  • Ingrid
    September 17, 2010 at 6:10 am

    that was an amazing deal on your sewing machine! and i LOVE that color! so fun!

  • Ingrid
    September 17, 2010 at 6:12 am

    i wish i had a cool shop where i could find vintage fabric too 🙁 cali has so much more cool vintage stuff and shops than mcdonough, GA!

  • tina
    September 17, 2010 at 6:55 am

    omg, that sewing machine is a-freaking-dorable.

    i am SO jealous!!!!! you can probably find other sewing machine instructions that will guide you on the basic functions- they are easier than they look!

  • Lisa
    September 17, 2010 at 7:03 am

    Jenna, that paint color is gorgeous. Can you reveal the manufacturer and color name? I am processing of repainting some cabinets.


  • Natalia - a side of simple
    September 17, 2010 at 7:40 am

    These framed recipes are so cute! They have such a prairie-vintage feel. Classic!

  • AllieNic (Frisky Lemon)
    September 17, 2010 at 7:47 am

    I love your cookbook framing idea! That is SO cool! I also heart Little House…I wanted to be a pioneer SO BAD when I was younger…There’s something a little glamorous about riding cross country in a covered wagon…well…I guess I can say that now, but in reality, I probably would have gotten dysentery ( RE: The Oregon Trail video game…)

  • Megan
    September 17, 2010 at 8:03 am

    I’ve heard that the sears kenmore sewing machines are pretty good! good luck with the sewing 🙂 i’m just learning as I go too, teaching myself…it’s a lot of fun! enjoy 🙂

  • Sarah (Oc2Seattle)
    September 17, 2010 at 8:08 am

    That blue would be fabulous on cabinets and I love the framed recipe idea!

  • kristen
    September 17, 2010 at 8:19 am

    You are so clever!!! Show us a pic once they are on your wall!

    I’m so glad to be able to see several blog posts on one page again…yay!

    Have a great weeknd, Jenna!

  • Cara Thielvoldt
    September 17, 2010 at 8:27 am

    i love little house on the prairie. I read all of the books when I was in elementary school. would be interesting to re read them now. love the look. you rock!

  • MoniMeals
    September 17, 2010 at 8:37 am

    I love it! Great idea “Martha” I mean…ummm Jenna. 🙂

  • Amber K
    September 17, 2010 at 8:50 am

    What a great idea! They look great.

  • Cookbooks That Inspire — Eat, Live, Run
    September 17, 2010 at 8:58 am

    […] again five minutes ago on the phone when I said I wanted to paint everything in my apartment blue but that’s another […]

  • Kelly
    September 17, 2010 at 11:34 am

    Most sewing machines are fairly similar in how they thread and work so as long as you find a manual for an older model machine you will probably be fine. You could also try finding a book like this: from the library as I imagine there would definitely be a chapter on basics, i.e. how to tread it, the meanings of the different knobs (i.e. tension, stitch length, etc.), what needles to by and so on and so forth.

  • kate
    September 17, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    We have almost an identical blue table in our living room. It adds so much character!

  • Jess @ MTL Veggie
    September 17, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Nice finds! The sewing machine looks like its in awesome condition- love the shade of blue you used for the table. I have an older model that belonged to my grandmother and works like a charm!
    The only real challenge you’ll have is learning how to properly thread it the machine, which really isn’t that hard.
    This video will give you a good idea on how to do it: and since most sewing machines work the same way, you should be good to go from there!

  • Jessica
    September 18, 2010 at 9:00 am

    LOVE that idea for the recipes!! I’m going to use that for my music offices at work and use old pieces of sheet music instead.

  • Lizz @ Leading the Good Life
    September 18, 2010 at 9:36 am

    I am so utterly jealous of that sewing machine!!

  • Kelly
    September 18, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    My mom has this amazing sewing machine that belonged to my grandmother and I want to take it but I have no idea how to use it. My goal is to learn how to make place mats, then curtins, then skirts in that order. I have an amazing aunt that will teach me if I ask.

  • Charise
    September 19, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    What a great idea to frame old recipes! It combines your loves of cooking and little house, plus is vintage-y like you wanted. Good call!

  • Charise
    September 19, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    What a great idea to frame old recipes! It combines your loves of cooking and little house, plus is vintage-y like you wanted. Good call!

  • Brenna
    September 20, 2010 at 10:47 am

    SO CUTE!