Status update

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm visiting my sister and picking for Ted Watson.  Haven't had a ton of luck but have another day of junking tomorrow.

So far have found two funky ladders...

and a set of old encyclopedias - which was sitting out in the rain at St. Vinnies - just need a little drying out. 

This set is comprised of small, compact volumes and are great for display - they fit perfectly on the steps of the ladders and will add interest to the product in Ted's store window.  You can easily use this same idea at home - books help to add a variety of height and interest - whether you are displaying photos, collectibles or just natural objects that reflect the season.

This box of goodies are my finds from the Union Gospel Mission Thrift Store in Yakima.  They have an annual sale in which you get 50% off all items if you purchase a meal voucher for their shelter - I gladly purchased 5 vouchers.  This box of treasures will be for my holiday display at my space at Faded Elegance...stay tuned for more details on that in late November...


On a mission

Leaving town today for a couple of days to visit my sister in Eastern Washington...and to be a picker for Ted Watson.  Ted has three beautiful home/gift/decor stores in the Seattle area  - see my Ode to Ted posting for more details.  He's getting ready for the holidays and asked me to find tons of vintage sheet music, a couple of old ladders and display props for products for his front window vignette at the Watson Kennedy Home store in downtown Seattle.

Don't know what I will find, but I'll keep you posted!


Art, fun and community

wendy lee lynds 2010

This past weekend was the Everett Home & Gift Show where I had an artist booth with my collage friend, Wendy Lee Lynds.  It was the first time that the show promotoers decided to add in the artistic element, hoping to encourage holiday gift buying as well as spark home decor ideas.  With many new projects, it sometimes takes a little more time for the idea to catch fire...Though it was not as crazy busy as we would have liked, we certainly had a lot of fun - visiting with artist friends, playing with watercolors and found papers, munching on chips and inspiring customers.

To provide a recap, here's a couple of photos of our booth...

Wendy did a presentation on the main stage each day of the show, demonstrating how to collage without adhesives - it was very "off the cuff" and very inspiring!

We were surrounded by other great artists...some of my favorites...
Ursula Stocke's sunflowers

Kim Groff-Harrington's hand-cut circle collage

Jennifer Lommers' flowers

Andi Shannon's textiles

Shelley Holm's typewriter clock (and it works!)

Jody Cain's necklaces made from watch parts (this was my splurge at the show!)

I had a great time collaborating with Wendy as our collage duos partnership...there may be other plans in the works...I'll keep you posted!


Ready to go

be the first
amy duncan  2010

This weekend is the Everett Home & Gift Show - I'm sharing a booth with my collage artist friend Wendy Lee Lynds.  We set up the physical arrangements yesterday - today is the art set-up and then the show opens on Friday.  The show runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday - if you're in the neighborhood, stop in to say hi!  All the details on the show (including a link for free admission tickets) can be found here.

Want to thank the Schack Art Center for supporting this venture - this is the art center in town (with a snazzy new gallery/workshop space to open next year).  They have been a great supporter of the arts and I appreciate their focus on the vitality of the artist community.

Since I'll be busy at the show, won't be posting again till early next week - I'll give you a recap on how it went!


A teachable moment

Starry Night from vangoghgallery.com
I met a teacher last week while I was working at Lowe's - she needed some help with spackle.  As I  followed her down the aisle, she explained to me that she had a very unique situation - she needed to put spackle on construction paper...I was intrigued...She explained that she was a teacher and was preparing a lesson on Van Gogh for her third grade students.  She thought that it would be important for them to understand how he painted - and surmised that putting spackle on heavy construction paper (and then painting with tempera paints) would be the closest that she could come to replicate the process of gesso applied to canvas and then painted with heavy oil pigments.

I loved her project plan and the intention to get the students involved - I suggested that she use joint compound since it has a creamier consistency than spackle - and to experiment first on her own to make sure this process would give her the result she sought.  I supplied her with some wood paint sticks that she could cut in half so each student could have an applicator that would work for small hands.  She was so grateful since the cost of most extraneous supplies comes out of her pocket.

an aside - why can't we find a way to get the resources teachers need?  I have a friend who was student-teaching two years ago and had no resources for supplies - I scoured my studio for anything I thought a kindergarten teacher would find useful.  We expect minor miracles from the teachers in our school systems but yet won't fully fund the programs.  Anyone who pursues teaching nowdays is a saint.

I'm sorry that I didn't get her name nor the school where she taught - I would love to see the students' final masterpieces!


Industrial Chic

old clocks & vintage wood type
are two of my favorites.

June 24, 2011
Here's a repeat of a past post that has one of my best (and easiest!) junk lighting ideas - linking up to Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Nite Special - there's bound to be plenty of great inspiration for junk lighting...

As I get more enmeshed with blogging, I see other sites have these "link-up parties".  Usually I just click on by but this one caught my attention since it pretty describes the look at our house and the vibe I usually build on when designing projects.

So I took a few photos today of my space, highlighting "Industrial Chic" in my dining room.  Make sure you visit Margo's Junkin Journal, the blogsite sponsoring this link-up party - there's many more ideas there!

A vintage wire wastepaper basket (that was 5 cents at a yard sale!) becomes the perfect lampshade for the dining room pendant.  The lamp fixture is from IKEA - minus the shade that came with it...using my wire cutters, I cut a hole in the bottom of the wastepaper basket and connected it to the lamp fixture in lieu of the paper shade.

A metal shelving unit provides space for more books and other interesting ephemera in the dining room.  The well-loved chair off to the side is one of my favorites - with splatters of green and black paint and twisted metal holding the support struts together, it is amazingly comfortable.

The vignette on top of the metal shelves - love rusted metal!

When I upcycled this free black dresser into the dining room buffet, I created knobs from old sewing bobbins.

Clocks, rulers, metal type and silverplate are a constant theme in the dining room.
Hope you enjoyed the mini-tour! 


The Weekly Fluff

Today is one of those perfect fall days - the sun is out but the rays are softened, the air is crisp and the leaves on the trees are crimson and gold.  There's just enough nip of cold that you need a wool sweater and a big pot of soup for dinner sounds delicious.
At Faded Elegance, there's a wonderful touch of fall as well...

I'm adding new items to my vignette "Back to Basics" on a
weekly basis - stop in soon to find
that special fall touch for your home!


The need for power

gift bag made from vintage wallpaper
with paint chip tag

I have a birthday coming up so I bought myself a birthday present...
was it a kate spade bag? 
a pair of jimmy choo shoes? 
a trip to Paris? 
(no, no and god I wish it was, but no.) 
It was a new battery for my cordless power tool set!

Why all the excitement - well, let me tell you...  A number of years ago I was frustrated with the large-size circular saw we had - it was so big and clumsy when all I wanted to do was cut a piece of lumber in half.  So I went out and I bought this great six piece Black & Decker power tool kit - one rechargeable cordless base with six interchangeable heads - circular saw, jigsaw, drill, router, mouse sander and flashlight.  The best part was that it was a compact, lightweight tool - easy to hold and comfortable for my smaller hands.  Now granted this is not a tool you would use to build a house but for art and decor projects, it was perfect.
Over the years, I burned out the drill - and found that a corded drill really gave me more of the power that I needed.  And I got an electric sander for more than just incidental sanding.  But the circular saw and jigsaw were ideal for my needs.  About 6 months ago, there just didn't seem like there was enough juice to sufficiently power the saw attachments.  I found out that rechargeable batteries only have so much life to them and obviously I had reached the limit.  I thought perhaps I would upgrade and get another power tool set because surely in 10 years there have been improvements...boy was I wrong!
Not only did I not find any other "small-sized" power tools, the Black & Decker set that I originally bought is no longer available.  Now I thought that "the powers that be" had realized that women are increasingly using (and enjoying) power tools - not yet to the extent of men but making big inroads (evidenced by the popularity of Amy Matthews.)  Guess I was wrong.
So I searched and I researched and I hemmed and I hawed and finally found a battery that is compatible with my B & D tool set.  It arrived today (from Amazon - what don't they have?!) And now I can get back to finishing up projects for the Everett Home & Gift Show.
battery getting charged up...
hurry, hurry, hurry!

I hope to have everything done in time for the show - all the details are at my other blog, collage duos --including a link to get free admission tickets.  Check it out!



There's just no other word to describe it...there are times when I get an idea in my head and I just have to run with it.  Such is the case with the covered button magnets I recently made.  Now I know that this is not a new idea, but I just hadn't tried it so thought I would give it a whirl.  I had a couple of those cheap metal trays (the ones that look like they are silverplate but aren't but since they are steel, a magnet will stick to them whereas magnets won't stick to real silverplate trays) which I left outside in the "rusting area" over the winter.  My plan was to make the metal trays into message boards with three covered button magnets per tray.

I rummaged through my drawers of sewing supplies and found these metal button packages- doesn't she look like the height of fashion!

The directions are on the back of the package and the pattern for the fabric circle is included.

With the metal button parts, it was easy to pop out the shank so that the button will be level when completed and it will be easy to glue on a magnet.  I used Amazing Goop All Purpose Adhesive to attach the magnets to the backside of the buttons.  Amazing Goop is one of my favorite glues - it is strong, good for a variety of surfaces, dries clear and if you have too much glue and it oozes out over the edge, you can remove the excess by rubbing it into a little ball and picking it up- very similar to rubber cement.

I made several button magnets out of burlap - the hot fabric of the moment.  I then scrounged around my fabric piles to see what else I could find...

This bee fabric was perfect for the size of these buttons...

which were the perfect complement to this upcycled metal message board!
now what else can I find in my fabric pile to make into button magnets....?



I love when I stumble upon a brilliant idea...today I was in Snohomish, scoping out a few yard sales with a friend before we met another friend for lunch.  This lovely fence was the edge of the yard at one such sale.  The combination of the different styles and shapes of the shoes and boots is intriguing; the commonality of the nasturtiums is what keeps it cohesive and makes a stunning garden statement.  Looks grand on this gray, cloudy morning!

worth a look...

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