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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

::Tag Sale Treasures::

Here in the Northeast summer is upon us and that can only mean one thing, yard sale season! All the staff at Celebrate! make a point of cruising the roads and byways around our corporate headquarters in northern Vermont to see what treasures lie in the rolling Green Mountains. Often we buy things not only for ourselves but we often pick up items to re imagine into one-of-a-kind pieces of functional art and sell at our own "artsy" yard sale. Here are some ideas to furnish your apartment or to create marketable items.

For example, here is one of our(Michael's & his partner's)most recent $3 thrift shop purchases we have kept for ourselves!

This mini, retro, chic, entertainment center started it's life as a 70's record cabinet in need of some major TLC. The piece had good bones(make sure your pieces are sturdy) but needed a re imagining. The carmelly, oak finish it began with was worn, scratched, and had to go. We purchased $12 worth of spray primer and spray paint to give it a modern face lift that coordinated with our style. First we gave the piece a light sanding with a low grit sandpaper to take down the varnish and then wiped it clean with a damp rag. Once they were clean we removed the doors from the body of the piece and primed everything! Once, the primer was dry we painted the doors a matte brown and the body a glossy "Mediterranean" blue. Finally, we removed a section of the back of the unit to allow us to pass the cables for our cable box and DVD player. All together this project took a few hours to complete and for a total cost of about $15 we have an entertainment center that has a custom look.

Kathleen frequently picks up sturdy kitchen style chairs for a dollar or two at tag sales. Using acrylic craft paint, she paints them around a theme such as the seaside for example using pastel blues, greens, and pinks to encompass the design. Sometimes she will secure a seashell to each post to romanticize the look. If you are not confident in creating an original design she recommends creating dots, stripes, or other patterns a la Mary Engelbright (Google her, Michael had to). For example, you could paint the rungs red, the back rest white with red polka dots, and the seat could have "sit here" stenciled on it.

Another fun idea that can be done with kitchen style chairs is to look at the negative space between the rungs and back slats. If these spaces are close enough together all sorts of things can be glued between them to add a decorative flare. For example, if you are going to use one of your yard sale finds in your country themed kitchen you could paint your chair cornflower blue. Next, purchase some wooden eggs at your local craft store and paint the eggs a solid color. Then you can speckle them with a coordinating color using a sponge or dab rag. Finally, glue them in a cute row adding loads of charm to your treasure! Remember to always seal your creations with two or three coats of poly-varnish!


Share your creative ideas in the comments section!

Friday, July 9, 2010

::Summer Food Tips::

Even if you be cool, we can make you cooler! Here are a helpful hints that we have gathered to help beat the heat and extend the shelf life of the bounty of fresh produce you will be buying this summer!

1)Your favorite summer beverage getting warm but don't want to water it down with even more ice cubes? Try this colorful and party ready tip I got from a co-worker in the office. Instead of ice cubes, try using frozen fruit such as strawberries, grapes, blueberries, melon balls, etc. Take whatever fruit you have lying around the kitchen, wash and dry it, place it on a cookie sheet, and pop it in the freezer. Once frozen transfer to a plastic bag. Not only will they keep your drink cool but they will taste great as well!

2) Extend the life of fruits and vegetable with a skin with this simple trick. Combine a tablespoon of white vinegar and a dash of salt in a bowl of water. Soak the produce for about a minute. The solution helps to preserve it!

3) Don't forget to freeze over ripe bananas! They can be used many ways from smoothies to ice cream!

4) Revive stale chips, crackers, and cereal with this tip. Place it on a cookie sheet and bake in a 300 degree oven for 3 to 5 minutes. Take out. Cool and store an air tight container. They will be refreshed and last an extra week!

Coming Back Very Soon!

Hello to all our loyal readers. Sorry for the delay in posting. New content will be coming to CELEBRATE! very soon. Keep us bookmarked and check back often. Thank you for sticking with us.

Michael, Kathleen, and all the staff!