Monday, October 31, 2011

Ideas I haven't Shared Before

I picked up the Flea Market Style magazine at the hardware store. Holy Cow! There were some really neat ideas in there.

Below are pictures of some of the things I've done with "other" things.
1958 Chevy fender wings ($1 ea at a car swap meet) = coat, bag hanger

Fireplace Mantel ($8 at garage sale) / sanded off some of the white paint = hallway table
Homemade nail boxes = wall art holding old metal printers type

Crystal Chandelier (crystals + brass dividers) = bathroom curtain

Unpainted wood storage box + glass top + 2 vintage glass blocks ($1 ea) + 4 vintage shooter marbles (priceless - from my Aunt Ginger) = end table (top lifts off for storage)

Contractor's wood column salvage + vintage prints = roller paper holder

Porsche 911 car grille = drawer pull

CD wall rack and empty CD cases = rubber stamp storage (each is labeled w/contents & a binder has the stamped image according to category)
Printers box = rubber stamp holder
Vintage Salad Dressing Bottles w/rack = bead & button storage

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Bead & Small Things Storage

Years ago I was lucky and acquired a 10 drawer flat file - 43" deep x 54" wide (actually, by now I have 2-10 drawer & 1-5 drawer flat files). The one below holds beads, jewelry in progress, findings, jewelry for repurposing and flat storage for prints and game boards (bottom two drawers).

This 5 drawer cabinet holds watches and parts, paints, drawing & writing materials and dremel bits...

A home improvement store was relocating. In their moving rubble I found long strips of packing material that, when repurposed, was great for bead storage. I made the bead trays out of recycled foam board to fit the cut packaging - 16x8. It's very convenient for color matching. This is one layer - another, thinner, layer sits on top.

During the holiday season the Dollar Stores have isles of Bath and Body lotions. I find that the plastic holders keeping these items upright on the shelves make great "small things" storage. It isn't unusual for me to straighten up the shelves on the bath and body isle at a local Dollar Store. I rearrange and fill in all the empty slots in the various trays so I could take the left over empty ones that would otherwise be thrown away. This is one of the clear plastic trays (12x13.5) in my watches drawer.

CD cases are great not only for storing rubber stamps but also for holding small, thin, flat items in place...

Friday, October 28, 2011

40 Already?

My son's 40th Birthday is today, October 29th. Geeze - can he be that old? CAN I be that old?

Yep and yep.

At 40 he's a successful business man, husband and father of three. We're very proud of the man Michael has become.

I made Michael this sculpture to celebrate his 40th year. The shape resembles the body; Mike is comfortable in who he is - yet is aware of the need to grow. He is an outdoors water and earth guy - so the sculpture was painted a mixture of blue and green. Hemp (earth) is intertwined with plumbing copper mesh wire (a working mans tool) to make a braid that sits in the groove around the top of the sculpture. The copper tags signify milestones in his life; Birth - Small Metal Shamrock, 1971 penny, and tag imprinted with his Name; Military - Tag imprinted with "Seal Team 4" and year he entered the Navy; Marriage and Children - Tag imprinted with the year of his marriage and the year each of his children were born; 40th birthday - 2011 penny.

Approximately 7"h x 7"l x 3.5"w - It's amazing how much can be hidden in a small token of a Mother's pride and joy.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Weiner Dog - Metal Letter Stamp Storage

I'm rearranging work areas in my Studio.I consolidated my metals work to one table, dedicating the other work table to sculpting. Moving things around usually means I come across something I haven't had my hands on in a little while and then I'm off.

Finding and reviewing some of the videos on got me pulling out my metal letter stamps and experimenting. Which lead to the following storage idea for my metal stamps...

Over a year ago I bought this wooden Wiener Dog crayon holder at a yard sale for $1.00. I've moved it from pillar to post ever since. It's 23" from nose to tail and 4" high at the head. There are 64 holes - two rows of 32. I have italic stamps in one row and standard in the other. Love this idea. It saves my husband from making me a holder, from me buying a holder made for metal stamps and, most importantly, I smile everytime I see it.

Friday, October 21, 2011


My daughter Laura is a very talented artist, writer and singer. None of that is what she does to earn a living - but she can't get away from it.

She painted a picture (11 x 14) to accompany one of her "internalisms" and gave it to her Aunt in Florida. I scanned it before it got away...

The verse written above the flower is:

Sugar Water
I tried to catch a hummingbird once. I could never be sweet enough to hold his attention. Perhaps a flamingo would better appreciate my saltiness.

More of her internalisms can be read at

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Some of This and Some of That + Wire Storage

Some of This: (Just an FYI - I rescued you from a rant, this post was a page. I let it marinate and cut it back to the important basics...)

- Searching the internet for a disc cutter I found Folks, if you have a question about the proper use of a tool - they have the video to answer it, for free. I found Kate's video on torches at their blog particulary helpful. They sell jewelry tools and supplies too.

- BTW a great blog on storage ideas,, is posting an idea of mine on October 21st.

- I just found a new magazine, Stitch-Craft-Create, that has cute ideas that can be used with other materials - like the huge box of leather samples I have. Glad I bought the premier issue, not sure it's an every month need.

Some of That:

- I made this storage caddy for my jewelry stringing wire. I cut an 8" length from a 3" cardboard tube, then cut 1/4 of the tube off of the side. Rubber bands around and in between the spools holds them apart. A large hair band goes around the tube length wise to keep them from falling out the ends. The side you can't see has holes drilled in the tube at each spool so I could feed the wire thru. Good idea in theory, but a pain if you're working fast.

Monday, October 17, 2011

100 Bottles of Beer on Wall, 100 Bottles ... you get it

What a hoot! My friend and I spent more time visiting the WonderRoot Creative Reuse ( table than we did any other table at the recent Brookhaven Art Fair (a fabulous fair by the way).

WonderRoot Creative Reuse does many things regarding environmental awareness and arts and crafts in the community but what interested me at the time was that they take new and/or used art supplies and resell them at a huge discount (naturally, they're used ;) I'll be more inclined to let my stuff go if it's going to a place like this.

I started picking out specific beer bottle caps (25 cents a scoop) and gave up and just bought the whole container. Now that I've experimented with them (see bracelet below) I can donate them back for resale. How cool is that?!

Bracelet: 1) Cut ribbed rim from the cap as well as the plastic backing from underneath the caps 2) Trim the cap to a round circle 3) Using a dapper, dome the caps 4) Punch or drill a small hole on each side and dap again 5) Sand the rim of the domed cap and the edges of the newly drilled hole to eliminate sharp edges 6) Wash 7) Assemble caps using pre-purchased rings or wire them to together 7) Put a toggle on last and WA LA, the lightest bracelet you'll ever wear.
The first cap I picked out to use on the bracelet was from Magic Hat beer (due to migraines I seldom drink, I never heard of it before). Inside each cap is a different saying. This one said "always be kind to a creative mind". Destiny - I tell ya. I'm going to dome that one inside out.

Now I get that someone out there is thinking who in the world would wear something like that (I probably would have thought that). But folks - it's really, really, cute.

I'll make a video demonstrating how to make the bracelet if anyone's interested.

Fall is in the air - Atlanta is breathtakingly beautiful.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Vintage Post Card

Looking for something else I came across a post card I actually bought for more than 50 cents because it was unique.

Living Pictures Series Number 212 / Copyrighted 1912 by J.J. Marks, N.Y.

Almost 100 years old. I hope I look that good when I'm 100.

"My Heart" turned 60 today. I remember meeting him 33 years ago, like it was yesterday... my girlfriend called him over to meet me. Coming towards me was a tall handsome guy wearing a tailored shirt and tailored slacks (the shirt was a brown striped pattern, the slacks were solid dark brown), dark brown hair and beard, with sea blue eyes. I've been blessed. He's still wonderful and still the most handsome man I know.

Friday, October 7, 2011

I haven't been idle... +one

Sculpting class started the Tuesday after we got back from vacation.

I started a sculpture AND made a vase. Remember the longest yard sale and how we only got to visit a few sales before it rained so hard I was expecting the ARK to float up? Well, the long story friend, knowing I'm a treasure hunter (not the financial rewards kind of treasure) said she'd like a wall pocket if I came across one in a yard sale (wall pockets are usually ceramic, hang on the wall and can hold flowers).

I never see wall pockets at yard sales. The second sale we went to during the shortest, longest yard sale, had a few wall pockets for ONLY $5. I grabbed the Sunflower with a Bird wall pocket and thought - Whoo Hoo for me. When I got home I was real disappointed to notice a chip on the back. I put it with the rest of my "things to go with other things" in the garage.

Back to sculpting - on the first day of class I began a head sculpture. I brought the head home and had it in my hand walking around my garage when it connected to the wall pocket (yes, it "connected"). Wa La! The title of this sculpture is Bird Watcher in Camouflage. The head and birds are sculpted onto the top of the $5 wall pocket. She wears a sculpted cap with sculpted flowers and seeds on it. A disaster response friend sent me some antique barbed wire from Texas that will be shaped into a nest holding three bird eggs to sit on top of her head. After it's fired the cap will get other bits and pieces as well as a leather tie under her chin.
The picture has a piece of plastic between the head and the wall pocket so it won't stick until after it's fired and painted.

ANOTHER COOL THING: A leather saleswoman gave me some leather samples (3" x 3" & 5" x 5") yesterday in exchange for making some "clever" things for her out of some of them. So I'm thinking jewelry. But that's another blog.

Needing to get out in the beautiful Atlanta weather today I went looking for a leather paring knife. Not finding it in the usual places I went to one of my favorite "walking around" stores, Rockler Woodworking. I didn't find the paring knife there either - BUT LOOK WHAT I DID FIND... a Banksia Pod.

Before altering it's approximately 8" long. I'm thinking it looks like a lot of talking mouths. Sculpt a face on the front and have the pod be the voices in our heads from the back? What do you think?

OH MY Goodness - did you know there's a store JUST for SPICES? Next to Rockler in Sandy Springs is a new store called Penzey's Spices. I walked every isle. It is gorgeous! I could just envision me cooking. I'm a mixed media cook. Thankfully - it was just a vision and went away as soon as I left the store, empty handed.

Have a fabulous weekend.