Saturday, July 26, 2014

A Fun Saturday Getaway

Last Saturday we decided to take a quick day trip over to Sonora and Jamestown.  Both towns are less than 1 1/2 hours from our home and it's always a pretty drive with plenty of places to stop and explore along the way.  My youngest son Scott is a junker at heart and loves exploring these old towns, so I was thrilled when he wanted to come along.  I picked him up along the way and off we went.

Tar Flat Antiques is my favorite store in Sonora.  There's always something unusual, including these awesome walls.


Lavender love!

I was told that these strange looking rusty iron things were used for mining.  They're interesting enough, but I'm not sure if I'd want one sitting on my dining room table.  On second thought, maybe they'd look pretty fancy with some dried hydrangeas.

I was drooling over this cabinet and the contents.

The next stop was Jamestown just a few miles down the road.
This tattered landmark has been sitting in a parking lot off Main Street for years.  Notice the plants growing out of the top and the curved glass windows?  I want to take it home and give it some TLC.

Lots of goodies baking in the hot summer sun.

How about a refreshing dip in a tub full of buttons?

What I bought.....
A cute old wicker shopping cart with squeaky metal wheels.  It's a bit too delicate to actually haul things around in, but it would be great for storing and displaying pretty treasures.  The plant holder is rusted to perfection, and the pulley thing on top looked like fun.

More bottles for decorating, a few pieces of old jewelry, and a tarnished silver tray.

I already have a pile of silverware waiting to be stamped and transformed, but I couldn't resist another bag full.  The sugar and creamer came from the same booth as the tray.

What I didn't buy.....
I was tempted to rescue this monster from a storage facility flea market for a whopping $5.00, then I realized the heat was affecting my brain and my desire to load it in the back of my truck.  I offered to pay full price for the doors, but it was an "all or nothing" deal.   No regrets.
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Right now I'm down in Southern California for a junking weekend with the girls.  Four junking addicts, four shopping carts, four piles of junk, and one van.  Hopefully someone or something won't end up tied to the roof on the way back home.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Rolling Along on the Blog Tour


Here we are on another stop of the blog tour, thanks so much for traveling along with us.  A few weeks ago when Laurel from Chipping with Charm invited me to join the tour, I was a little concerned about finding the time, but I'm so happy I accepted the invitation.  It's been fun learning more about some of my favorite blogging friends and getting to know some new bloggers too.

Laurel is an amazing trash-to-treasure artist.  Her creative use of old rusty, junky, chippy, worn out, tossed out, and even ordinary objects always puts a huge smile on my face.  Laurel sells her repurposed creations and vintage treasures at Antiques Downtown in Elk River, Minn. and at various shows throughout the year. She's also a regular contributor at Hometalk and Junk Market Style
You can get to know Laurel a little better and see more of the fabulous junk on her blog tour post from last Monday here.  You can also read about the two other bloggers she invited along on the tour with us.

I guess I have to talk about myself now and answer the four questions that every blogger on the tour has been asked.

What am I working on?

I always have several projects going on at the same time in the two spaces where I create:  my garage and my fort (a room of my own where no boys are allowed).  My garage is not a pretty sight, but it functions much better for me now that I have it semi organized.  Right now I have a pile of silverware sitting on my workbench waiting to be cut and drilled.  When that's done, I'll bring them upstairs and enjoy beautifying them in the comfort of my air conditioned fort.

I also have quite a long list of projects that need my attention around the house.  I don't usually blog about these projects, but there's always something going on.  Just last week we had to have a large tree removed from our backyard because it was getting too tall and the roots were inching dangerously close to the pool. That's one headache we don't need, and I like to sleep at night.  A few days ago the yard was finished up when all the of old ground cover was removed and pretty decorative rock and plants were brought in.  Now I have more time to work on more junk!!


How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Just like most of us who repurpose old junk, our creations are usually one of a kind.  Our ideas can be similar, but each piece we create is unique with its own junky charm.  I guess it's a good thing, but I can go from rhinestones to sawdust and still enjoy the creative process of both.  

One day I might be creating jewelry from bits and pieces of rhinestones and watch parts, then the next day...

I might be taking apart a broken antique dry sink.....

so I can turn the old parts into new junk.

Why do I write/create what I do?

I create because I'm addicted, obsessed I tell you!  I love the challenge of creating something out of nothing.  Not every stray I bring home is in need of a major overhaul, sometimes all they need is a little TLC and a new purpose.

A good cleaning was all this uncomfortable looking child's car seat from the 1950s needed.  Can you imagine having to sit on this?  At least the plant looks happy:-)

How does your writing/creative process work?

My creative process is determined by several different things.  If I have a show coming up, I need to concentrate on making sure I have plenty of jewelry and vintage treasures ready to go. I have to put bigger and more time consuming projects on hold and concentrate only on what I can bring with me.  I still try to make time for a weekend junking adventure in hopes of finding some great stuff that's good to go "as is."

My writing process is another story.  It doesn't happen every day and I'm not nearly as organized about scheduling blog posts.  I really wish I had the time to write/blog about everything I find and create, but then I'd never have time to find and create anything!

One thing that really helps in my creative process is staying organized, but it's a constant struggle for me. I have no problem keeping my inside fort organized, but the junk in my garage is a completely different story. I am getting better though, really I am!  Several months ago I set up some shelves in the middle of my garage so I can see what I have instead of stashing it all away behind closed doors.  The cabinets are now for basic supplies and finished inventory....most of the time.

This project is a perfect example of what happens when I stash things away and forget about them until it's time to clean.  The wheel had been in my line of sight since last summer, but the lamp base was buried away in a drawer for who knows how long.  A and B would have come together a long time ago if only I knew what I had.  
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OK, now it's time for me to introduce you to the three bloggers I invited along on the tour:

Kathleen is a writer, vintage jewelry artist and thrifty DIY home d├ęcor enthusiast who shares tips and tutorials for creating a beautiful home with thrift store and vintage finds on a serious budget.
Kathleen is the queen of the most amazing knock-off projects.  Why pay high retail prices for something you can create yourself for a lot less money?  I can't believe how she's constantly coming up with much better and much thriftier versions of high priced furniture, holiday decor, chalkboards, lamps, and just about any home accessory.  She also has a real gift for creating beautiful jewelry that she sells in her Etsy shop Love You More Designs.  Kathleen also shares her jewelry creations, blog posts, and recipes on her Charm Bracelet Diva Facebook page.  Did I mention that I get so jealous when I see pictures of her beautiful hydrangeas?

Kathy from Kluless
I like old stuff.  I like sparkly stuff.  I like rusty stuff.  I like junk.  Sometimes I make stuff.  Sometimes I just look at stuff until I get my eyes filled up.

My eyes light up every time Kathy posts pictures of her beautiful flowers and the fabulous goodies she finds near her home in Portland, Oregon. Her art room is full of her amazing collections of vintage lace, ephemera, needle books, altered art projects, vanity boxes, figurines, salt and pepper shakers, and buttons.  As a vintage button lover myself, I know what a thrill it is to find a tin full of these little beauties and sort through them one by one.  Kathy can't keep everything, so she sells some of her vintage finds and altered art creations in her Etsy shop Strange Notions.  You can also follow her inspirational boards on Pinterest.  

Susan from Must Love Junk
Susan is passionate about collecting what she calls good junk.  "To me vintage things have so much more character than anything shiny and new," she states.  She loves decorating her home and her shop with anything chippy, rusty, worn, and weathered.

I love Susan's decorating style, she has such a keen eye for creating the most interesting and drool-worthy vignettes.  Susan's creative and unique decorating style certainly hasn't gone unnoticed.  Her gorgeous home has been featured in the latest edition of Vintage Style Magazine; I'm looking forward to reading all about it.  I've told her dozens of times that I need to come over and shop in her house.  Susan and her mom are the proud owners of Home Sweet Home Decor, a vintage shop in North Canton, Ohio, and she also sells her treasures in her Must Love Junk Etsy shop


I hope you can take a few moments to visit these three talented and creative bloggers, then stop by again next Monday and get to know the bloggers they've invited on the tour.  Thanks for coming along with us.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Repurposed Concrete Tools

Even though these well-used wooden concrete tools were in less than touchable condition, I still had to bring them home with me when I spotted them at a yard sale.  I thought there might be some potential under all the dust, dirt, and crusty concrete, so in my car they went after wrapping them up in a big plastic bag.

It's hard to pass up a potential sign, picture holder, or business card holder even when they're in really rough condition.

Bad, really bad.  A good cleaning and scraping was no match for all the ugly, so I decided to paint right over them.
  
Much better.  The two chippy hardware pieces holding the mystery couple was salvaged from an old window screen.

Instead of welcoming your friends or family, how about using it as a business card holder in a vintage store or booth?


I love playing with bits and pieces of old junk.



These two aren't my first cement tool transformations and they won't be my last.

A few of my other repurposed junky cement tool projects.




Friday, July 11, 2014

A Happy Accident

A few months ago I bought a chippy old doll cradle at an antique show and knew right away I wanted to use it as a planter.  I must say that it looked pretty cute with a couple of plants in it, and I was sure someone would be taking it home.

Here it is at the Vintage in the Vines show last month.  Unfortunately it ended up coming home with me, but not in one piece.

With overloaded arms, I lost my grip on it while I was carrying it back to my truck at the end of the day.  Oops!  I was too tired to care, so I threw it in the back thinking it was destined for the garbage can.  Silly me, I should have know better.  After a few smacks with a rubber mallet, I ended up with four salvaged pieces.  

I screwed three cup hooks to one end of the cradle for hanging sweet baby things.  I really didn't want to paint over the decal, so I just stuck with the baby theme.

Look at this adorable decal all crackled to perfection.  

Next up.....
The 20" x 6" sides became signs.   

A perfect size...not too big, not too small.

I really like their original chippy charm.

The obvious choice for the other end of the cradle...
  A fish of course.  What else?  

I dug through my bag of old camera parts and found the perfect fish eye.

The mouth is part of a tarnished brass drawer handle.

The fins are made with pieces of an old camera flash attachment.

Do fish smile?