Queen for a day

I'm usually not so whimsical...maybe it was all the talk of the royal wedding that subconsciously inspired me...but there was something about the roll of rusted garden fencing sitting in my basement that said "Crowns!"

Who was I to deny the muses...so I picked up my wire cutters and needle nose pliers and went to work...

The end result are these four crowns...each a little different...
fit for a queen...

a princess...

or a mom on mother's day...

All four crowns will be for sale in my space at Faded Elegance...where you can find lots of ideas for wonderful Mother's Day gifts!


A novel approach

I'm a little geeky about all things librarian...great program for generating your own catalog cards...find it at www.blyberg.net/card-generator


Happy Easter



Happy Earth Day!
In celebration of this day, I thought I would share two resources that I recently discovered online...keeping in mind to "think green", I found both of these ideal in their effectiveness to eliminate the unnecessary and keep only that which is both useful and beautiful!

a barter system + a blog site = blarter
this explanation, taken from the blog site, details what blarter is...

blarter is an online community of bloggers seeking to exchange handmade goods, craft supplies, vintage items, and creative services through barter.  use what you have to get what you want!

perhaps you have a stash of wool yarn and would like to trade it for some cotton quilting fabric.  maybe you're seeking some vintage handkerchiefs, and would be willing to trade some handmade stationary.  do you have a craft book or patterns you no longer need?  trade it for something you do need!

blarter arrangements are set up by participants, and participants are solely responsible for carrying out the arrangement to completion.  participants are responsible for any and all costs, such as shipping, incurred through barter arrangements.

blarter hopes to foster positive relationships between participants, but does not guarantee satisfaction.

any questions or comments? email blarter@att.net
blarter widget

I haven't blartered anything yet, but I signed up as a follower because I never know when someone might need something I just might have!

a place to catalog the things you love

Essentially, Pinterest is a virtual bulletin board - a place to "pin" the images/photos you find online.  The topics are unending and its interesting to not only build your own collections but to view what others are "pinning".  I discovered this site when I saw that my silverware lamp photo had been "pinned" by individuals onto their boards...I liked that the author of the photo(with link) stays intact so credit is clear...and I found that other images from my blog had been "pinned" as well.  I'm thinking this is a great way to keep track of ideas for a future project...I keep tearing pictures out of magazines but they seem to get lost before I can organize them...if I kept track online, my brilliant ideas would be in one place and ready to provide inspiration at a moment's notice!

I'm thinking both of these are pretty eco-savvy...
what do you think?


Easy as 1 - 2 - 3

a few clipboards from the thrift store

a quart of chalkboard paint
It helped to have a block of wood to keep the clip open.  Since you really need 2-3 coats of paint to get a smooth and even surface, I just moved the block around as I painted each coat so that all areas of the clipboard got covered.

2 & 1/2:
spare Scrabble tile trays painted in contrasting colors

Clipboard Chalkboards!

I attached the tile trays with Liquid Nails; the trays are perfect to hold a card, a photo, a paint chip...
or a piece of chalk!

Since I had the paint out and the brushes ready, I looked around to see what else I could transform...
Paint stir-sticks were given a coat of chalkboard paint on one end and a bright latex color on the other...these could be plant markers in the garden or place cards at an informal party.
Formica chip samples could be gift tags or key fobs - a snippet from an old almanac and a colorful postage stamp add interest to the back side - and a metal shower hook makes it easy to attach anywhere.

There's plenty of other chalkboard ideas over at WhisperWood Cottage - in fact, there's quite a party going on to celebrate the one year anniversary of The DIY Club projects...

And there's a slew of great chalkboard projects at Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Night Special - check those out too!

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special


Nesting time

still waiting for spring...
meanwhile, I'm part of Mosaic Monday at Little Red House and Faded Prairie's {mood} photo challenge...



I'll never forget my first Eureka moment in the realm of the design world...it was 12 years ago...it was such a flash of inspiration...and it became thoroughly emblazoned on my brain --that one should never look at something as what it was...rather what it could be...

It started with a metal tray...very similar to this one...you know the kind- they insert into the top of a metal tool box...

I drilled two holes in one of the sides, each hole about 2" in from the edge...

and turned it upside down to make a shelf with a towel bar!

This shelf hangs outside in my garden prep area...but I hung one in my guest bathroom for years - it was the perfect place for a small vase of flowers, a candle and a couple of hand towels.

To this day, I always turn something upside down when determining what it might be...because you never know what inspiration might strike...

I'm linking up to Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Nite Special - where there is bound to be plenty of eureka moments...


Friday night special

I'm a guest blogger this evening at Kim Klassen's Inspiration Studio (click here!)...come by and check it out...thanks Kim!


Save the date

Plans are underway here to participate in a couple of shows and events - thought you might want to save the date and come join me!

Historic Snohomish Antiques & Arts Faire
Saturday May 21, 10am - 4pm
First Street in Downtown Snohomish
I'm not sure if I'll have a booth or not, but other gals from Faded Elegance are participating - and you can always shop at Faded Elegance too.
more details at www.snohomishfaire.com

Artist Garage Sale
Saturday June 18, 9am - 3pm
Schack Arts Center, 2900 Block of Hoyt Ave
Downtown Everett
A fantastic event to get art/supplies/odds & ends at bargain prices.  I always use this event to get rid of excess supplies - sometimes for free..I just want to get those creative juices flowing in others.  Find me in my booth with Wendy Lee Lynds -
we promise to make it fun...and cheap!
more info at www.schack.org/events/artists-garage-sale

Art Journals - Inside and Out
Friday, July 15
A one day workshop with me and Wendy Lee Lynds
(collage duos is back!)
Join us for a day of creative expression while you learn how to make your own art journal and then fill it with your thoughts/prayers/hopes/desires/cravings...
More details to come, email me if you are interested and I'll be sure to get you the info as soon as we figure it all out.

Fresh Paint Art Show
Saturday August 20 & Sunday August 21
Everett Marina
I've submitted my application for this great art show - haven't heard yet if I've been accepted (I've participated the last two years) but worthwhile for all the interesting artists at this show - including glass blowing demos
more details at their site - Fresh Paint, Festival of Artists at Work

The Creative Connection
Thursday September 15 to Saturday September 17
St Paul, MN
Its the second year for this mother of all creativity events.  Created by Jo Packham and Nancy Soriano, I hear that its the epitome of inspiration - workshops, speakers, networking and shopping...I'm hoping to be a vendor here but if that doesn't pan out, I'll just be soaking up all I can just by being there.
more details at www.thecreativeconnectionevent.com

I'll be posting all of this info - plus any updates and additions, to my blog page, Calendar  listed on the right column under "Pages/Additional Details" so you can access it anytime.

Hope to see you around this spring/summer!


Its a small world

Wow - I never thought that a project made from my odds and ends would receive so much attention...that silverware lamp has been around the world (or rather, the tutorial...the actual lamp now has a lovely new home!)

And today its being featured at The DIY Show Off blog

The DIY Show Off

Thanks so much Roeshel - appreciate your support!



Oh, the life of an artist...not always an easy way to make a living...but something within you says it must be done...showed up at a friend's show over the weekend...her work deserves to get more attention!

Artist Jody Cain - check out her blog (with a link to her etsy store) at Latitude Studios ...

and while you are out surfing the web, stop over at Mosaic Monday at Little Red House to see all the other great photo mosaics...


Mason jars...

Mason jars...the ultimate, recyclable storage container...I use them to hold a multitude of odds & ends in my studio.  This septuplet of Atlas canning jars (in which Classico pasta sauce is packaged) has the added flourish of vintage zinc lids...I always save the jar when it is empty and then pick up zinc lids (much cheaper without the vintage jar!) whenever I find them and pair them up with the empty jars as needed...

and this lovely blue vintage jar holds a cadre of feathers on top of my bookshelf...

I'm linking up to Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Nite Special - which is highlighting Mason Jars and all you can do with them...there should be plenty of great ideas...


The Viewing

With the weather being so dismal lately, garage/yard/estate sales have been hard to find.  Last weekend there was an ad for an estate sale in a small town out in the boonies about 20 miles from my house - when I read "house and barn full of stuff", my heart beat faster...when I read it was sponsored by the Assistance League of Everett, it sealed the deal!

an aside - I've mentioned it before, but it bears a repeat shout-out - I love the Assistance League of Everett - it is a volunteer group of great women (with an occasional man/muscle helper) who run estate sales and a thrift store to raise funds for local school children needs.  I always find something of interest and I love supporting a community based organization.

I wasn't able to get out to the sale on the first day but on the second day, everything was half-price so that was sweet.  Not so sweet was the mud...since it was way out in the country, it was a dirt road and driveway...and since it has been raining non-stop, I was up to my ankles in mud before I reached the house.  Thank god I have a Subaru Outback otherwise I would never have made it out of the field where you had to park!

It was slim pickin's but found a few items of interest...

Hoping for better weather this coming weekend...
and more great finds!

April 8 Update:  my photo is being featured today on Kim Klassen's Inspiration Studio blog, as part of the Everyday Gifts theme - check it out - as well as all the other inspirational entries!  http://www.theinspiration-studio.com/2011/04/weekend-gifts.html


The Weekly Fluff

While at Faded Elegance, fluffing my space late last week, letters & numbers caught my eye...I'm always drawn to that graphic quality!

And in my space, you will find my recently completed silverware lamp as well as a lamp with a shade made of keys and silk ribbon...
If you are in the neighborhood, stop in at Faded Elegance.  And online, stop over at Little Red House to see all the other Monday Mosaics.

UPDATE - April 7
My silverware lamp sold but the key lamp is still available...


Silverware lamp part II

Part II of my silverware lamp project...in my previous post, I gathered all of my materials and prepped both the base and the silverware. 

As noted earlier, the base received a top coat of paint (well, actually 3-4 coats...with spray painting, it is much better to do several light coats rather than be in a hurray and get it all done with one coat - invariably, you will have drips and runs and afterward kick yourself for being impatient...I speak from experience!)  I left the base alone for several weeks to let the paint cure.

Onto the shade...I decided to wrap both the bottom and the top edges of the wire form with ribbon.  This would give a finished look and would also hide the wire wrapping on the top edge.  I wrapped the bottom edge before I started work on hanging the silverware - I used a dark brown/gray silk seam binding by Midori Ribbon.

I used 40 pieces of silverware for this shade - I alternated between spoons, forks and knives - hung some high, hung some low - all depended upon "the fit" of the pieces.

I used a length of thin wire, threaded through the top hole of the silverware and then folded the wire in half.  I then twisted the wire to form a single strand, leaving approximately 1"-2" at the top untwisted.  With the short length of untwisted wire, I wrapped this around the top rim of the shade.  I continued around the top rim, ensuring equal distance between each piece.  With all silverware attached, I wrapped the top rim with the same Midori Ribbon used on the bottom, overlapping sufficiently to hide all of the wrapped wire.

And Voila!

I used a white vanity bulb to soften the light -
an Edison bulb would also look terrific.

I like all the different tones and patterns of the silverware and how the light is reflected.

I think I might tackle a hanging silverware chandelier...I'll keep you posted!

9/17/11 update - I'm linking up this project to Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Nite Special again...its the Ultimate Repurposing Party...and this by far has been my best repurposing idea - check it out for other creative DIY ideas...and thank Donna of Funky Junk for being such a great hostess!

worth a look...

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