Not just repurposing, but BEING repurposed......" if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old has gone, the new has come." ~~ 2 Corinthians 5:17

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Time to put your feet up?

After a very nice Christmas with my family, my mind's already heading towards the new year and what fun junking lies ahead. So I'll be taking down some old things, working on a few new things, and of course enjoying some down time. Afterall, I'm sure that's what Santa and his helpers are doing today...........

So taking my cue from them I made this fun little footstool using a pop crate and one of my favorite Christmas sweaters I could no longer wear.
First I added some little legs to the empty crate by screwing through the inside of crate into some stubby spindles -- and I set it aside.
Then I used four 2x4 scraps to make a rectangle that would fit just inside crate. But first I attached a piece of plywood (so it kinda looked like an upside down crate). I put a small pillow on top of plywood, a little batting, and then the piece from my sweater tacking it down on all four sides.
All I had to do was drop that into the crate (okay, I had to wedge, push, and bang it in -- but there's nothing wrong with a tight fit). A couple screws up from underneath into the wood sections also helps keep it in place.
Time to put your feet up!

Friday, December 18, 2009


I'm junky, but I'm not artistic. So instead of junk people, I make junk angels.

Old table leg and an upside down candleabra with the candle cups removed.

The top section of a waterbed post and metal shelf brackets.

Half of a table leg, half of a ball from top of bedpost, half of plastic doodad.

Part of a quilt rack with keys added to cover holes.

Spindle from mirror frame of a vanity and metal shelf brackets.

Table leg, deck cap, and wooden shelf brackets.

I often have to add a board to the back for attaching wings.

After construction, I paint the angels completely white.

Then I rub on stain. I soon after rub off as much of the stain as I can.

If it's too dark (it usually is), I drybrush white paint over top. I have very little paint in the brush and it's more of a rubbing, highlighting effect. I start on the backside to get the look I want.
And no photo, but the last step is adding the halo. Many things could be halos, but for all of these I used some coiled up piano wire I had in my stash mostly because I had so much of it but also because I just like the idea of it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Goodbye to a couple of true blue friends.

I am not a clotheshorse by any means. And I'm pretty much the same way when it comes to my shoes. I don't have many, but the ones I do have I am very loyal to, and wear -- TO DEATH. That's exactly what happened this weekend when these beauties bit it.

I have to admit it wasn't love at first sight with this pair. They were a gift from my daughter who had heard enough of my lamenting about college days and the "cool" topsiders/docksiders I wore (oh those preppie years!) that I so enjoyed. So she went on the hunt for some Sperry shoes. These she found on clearance (big shock there). I did eventually get some real topsiders, but in the meantime I fell in love with my blue, quaisi tennis shoe Sperrys.

Oh, I knew what you'd think "Midge, you can't do it. You know you'll just take the photo and then have a change of heart and duct tape/zip tie/epoxy them back together and get some more mileage out of them". Well, maybe you wouldn't think that, but I did! So I took the ultimate step and smeared them around the garbage, stuck them in the poly cans, etc. I wouldn't say they are completely safe (I do have goof off and wire brushes, too) but I think I can move forward with confidence.
Goodbye my good friends, we've been through a lot together. You will be missed.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Local Kid Gone Hollywood (Taylor Lautner) Hosted Saturday Night Live Last Night!

Okay, so now I know, or should I say KNEW a Hollywood celebrity -- TAYLOR LAUTNER, star of the Twilight New Moon movie. He also hosted Saturday Night Live last night. I thought he did a great job, but I'm a little biased. He's suddenly a big star, and seems to be getting bigger all the time, both physically and figuratively.

The last time I saw him in person he looked a litttle more like this:

You see, if you read anything about him it will probably say that he left Michigan at about age 11.
Occasionally, it might say Grand Rapids, Michigan. But I don't think it ever says Hudsonville, Michigan, the suburb of Grand Rapids I am from. And never, never would it say Jamestown, an area within the Hudsonville district. But that is where I live and that is where Taylor lived and went to school through 4th grade (maybe 5th too).
If you look in the upper corner of the photo you will see Edgar, the little boy I was an ESL aide for at Jamestown Elementary. So I knew Taylor a little bit from occasionally working in the 4th grade classroom. Taylor was (hopefully still is) a very nice and friendly kid. He was always very nice to Edgar, and Edgar thought Taylor was "cool". I mostly remember seeing Taylor in the hallways doing flips and usually trying to work them into group projects with his peers.
Also, I started an afterschool Spanish club that year and Taylor was one of the kids that came. I can't say that he was there every time though. He missed a few times because according to the other kids he was flying to LA for auditions. He hoped to get started in the movie industry. RIIIGGGHHHTTT. Dream on, Taylor..................................OH.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's No Secret -- Sometimes a Negative makes a Positive

I can't begin to tell you the number of times I've been working on a project and something happens along that at first glance seems to be a setback, but eventually actually becomes an asset. It happened again today so I thought I'd share.

The plan: I took a shutter, painted it white, added a pencil holder (actually a Scrabble tile holder) and continued on making it into a desk/mail organizer.

The problem: The shutter had a weird recessed area.

The solution: I decided to cover the hole with something interesting -- enter this doorknob plate (I know what it's really called, I just don't know how to spell that). I think it made the piece more interesting and I probably wouldn't have added it were it not for that hole.

The finished piece: Almost done.

The finished piece all decked out: All done!

The secret: Well, not only did that cover the hole and add interest to the piece, there's a bonus. I only used a top screw and didn't crank it down tightly -- now the plate can be spun to the
side to reveal a little secret compartment!
So if at first something appears to be a problem, no worry! You're probably just on your way to something even better than you originally planned.
Now go have some fun with junk!
p.s. I forgot to mention that I did attach a piece of cardboard/paneling to the back side so papers don't fall through. I ran a small bead of wood glue on each rail, set the board in place, set something heavy to hold it down while drying.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Been Busy

I feel like I'm really out of the loop. But I've been trying to get as much done as possible during the Christmas season. As I mentioned on a previous post, I have extra space (the unit next door to mine) just for the holiday season to try to boost sales. But I would be thrilled to do so well that I could keep the space permanently. So far not the case. But I'm working as fast as I can to make the space nice.

More pictures to come soon, but I thought I'd give a sneak peek of what I've been up to so far.

This display sits right outside the door to greet visitors to my shop.

It started out as this "cooler" I bought on an online auction. I say "cooler" because that's what the description said and I pictured something more take-with-you-camping-ish. This is quite big.

So I decided to place it atop a stand (I had seen one my friend Laurel had made that I loved!).
The stand I found in my stash was ALMOST perfect -- but it was just a little too long. When I was explaining my dilemma to a customer, she pointed out that it was merely bolted together "you could just undo it, cut it down, and rebolt it" (I appreciate my customers having such faith in me). So that's just what I did.

Then I just attached the cooler to the stand. Viola!

Here's a shot as you step inside and look to the right. In the background you can see one of my latest projects.

This is a screen door I bought this summer. It was dirty and needed minor repair, but the color was so awesome that I knew it would be perfect for Christmas. I cleaned and repaired it as best I could. I thought it would be a great way for welcoming guests so I went for a hall tree of sorts.

I added some mismatched, old hooks. Then I added an old handle at the top and hung an oval mirror from an old chain. Lastly I made an oval wreath and placed it to trim the mirror. Viola!

If you walk a little farther into that same room, you couldn't help but notice this project. A great big map in a great big window pane topped with J-O-Y. Get it? Joy to the World? (I'm in trouble any time I have to ask "Get it?").

The J is an upside down top of some cheapy shepherd's hook kind of thing. And the O is of course a little wreath from some greens I grabbed from my yard. And the Y is a folding yardstick.

Here is a shot of the back of my new shop. I'm still working on it, but I did get up a Christmas tree filled with vintage ornaments. And the tricky job was hanging some stars I made from yardsticks or those boards from snow fencing. Being only 5' tall in a shop that's 15' tall, I wasn't quite sure how I could make it happen (I work alone you know!). But I've learned a few tricks over the years and I did get them hung up.
So now I'm just adding more products, and adjusting things. It's starting to look good. My goal is for it to look MAGICAL. That might beyond my abilities -- but I'll give it a shot and I'm sure I'll learn a lot along the way. If I fall short of magical, I'll be happy with it looking nice and neat -- a first for me. Now on to my workshop..... that's another story.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wash tub Coffee Table

I've fallen a little behind on my blogging, but I AM getting things accomplished. With my extra shop space I've been able to crank a lot of new stuff -- mostly Christmas stuff for my sales Saturdays (many pictures to come very soon, I'm almost ready).

In the meantime, here's a project I just finished that would be great for any time of year! And I'm participating in Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage, be sure to visit and check out all the great transformation posts.

I started with the following ingredients: galvanized washtub, metal stand, and round glass tabletop.

I drilled holes through the bottom of the tub and used some clippy things I found and bolts to attach the stand to the tub.

I wanted something a little more trustworthy than rubber bumpers for holding the glass on top, so I found some hardware that could slip over the rim of the tub. Then I epoxyed them to the underside of the glass.

Then fill with whatever you like. I used greens for Christmas in the photo, but the possibilities are endless -- balls, junk, flowers, photos, Monopoly money, etc. I have a round board inside as a false bottom so I don't have to fill the whole tub.
I like the way it turned out and it would work well in a living room or outside on a patio.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Something to sing about!

Whew! It's been a while since I last posted. I've often wondered if something tragic ever happened to me or to any other bloggers, would other bloggers realize it? How would they?
But I'm happy to report no tragedy here -- just general busyness.

I've mentioned before that I've really been struggling with space issues. It got so bad that I haven't had any sales in several months and I haven't even been able to make anything. So I focused on my speaking engagements and hoped and prayed for some kind of breakthrough. Meanwhile I was also dealing with energy issues (I think I'm anemic) and then I got the H1N1. And also meanwhile the clock keeps ticking and the holidays are approaching.....
And now for something to sing about.....

MORE SPACE!!!!! About 2 or 3 weeks ago my landlord agreed to let me use the space next to mine through the holidays! So beginning yesterday I am holding sales every Saturday through Christmas. My energy is slowly coming back, I'm basically over the flu (still coughing a little bit), and I've been working as much as I can on getting everything ready. Mostly I've been moving all my finished product into the new space. It was a big job but I got it done and my body is hurting (I work alone and some of my things are BIG and HEAVY.

ANYWAY, now I have 2 spaces -- one for sales and storing finished items, and one for my workshop and classes. It's what I envisioned and so far I like the new arrangement. But it's just for the holiday season, unless my holiday season is really great and I can keep it (if not, I don't know my next step -- I don't even want my thinking to go there!). So, yesterday was my first open Saturday. "How did it go?" you ask. To be honest, not so good. I had very few visitors. But I didn't really promote it much. SO.......most of my time so far has been spent moving in. From here on in it's all about product, product, product, presentation, presentation, presentation, and promotion, promotion, promotion.
Presentation is really difficult for me so I'm really going to work extra hard on that -- using lessons I'm constantly learning in blogland. I'm planning on lots of Christmasy things and focusing on "smalls". So I'm kicking things off with a bunch of these Christmas cones made from vintage hymnal pages, fresh greens, and JUNK! That's enough to make any junkers heart sing.
But if you notice the Christmas song I chose (There's a song in the air), it's about celebrating the birth of the baby Jesus. Now THAT'S something to sing about!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Boo Who Who ?

Someone's been Boo'd, let's see who!

The air is cool, the season is fall,

Soon Halloween will come to all.

Ghosts and goblins, spooks galore...

Tricky witches at your door.

The spooks are after things to do,

In fact, a spook brought this "BOO" to you.

The excitement comes when friends like you,

Copy this note and make it two.

We'll all have smiles on our faces,

When we see who Boo'd who's places.

I was Boo'd by

And now.....The following 4 ladies have been officially Boo'd by me....

Marge@Emmasnookandgranny because we've been following each other from the early days of our blogs...and mostly beacuse Marge just ROCKS!

cheryl@manervathejunklady is a brand spanking new blogger and I'm sure she would enjoy the chance to blog party it up!

Gail@myrepurposedlife comes up with the greatest transformations of junk, and she's especially masterful with benches. I'm one of her secret stalkers (shhh, don't tell).

Sue@chiccottagejunk becasue we're junking buddies and I haven't seen from her in awhile, maybe this will spook her out of hiding! (Hoping all is well)

***This BOO party was started by
Toni@The Tattered Cottage.

Please keep the fun going by following these instructions

1. You have 24 hours to work your spell.

2. Copy and post the Halloween Boo Poem with the instructions for playing.

3. Pick 4 blogs you enjoying visiting and tell why you enjoy visiting them, with a link to their blog and remember to link back to me.

4. Go to the original BOO party post at the Tattered Cottage and add your MckLinky.

5. Let's see how fast and far this spreads between now and Halloween.

Have Fun and "BOO" to you!


Monday, October 12, 2009

Speaking of....

.... or was I ?

Anyway, I thought I'd update you on how some of my speaking engagements have been going. I posted this summer that I was invited to be the special presenter at our local fair's Ladies Day.
Well before that even happened I spoke at a ladies' church group -- you might say they offered to be my guinea pigs. That went OK, but was DEFINITELY a learning experience. I knew what I wanted to say, I just had WAY TOO MUCH to say. If I had been conducting a weekend seminar, I might have had enough. I heard a lot of "You did really good" (beam)......"for your first time" (ouch). So I did some editing and tweaking and my day at the fair went really well!

Since that time I have had several more bookings and each one seems to go a little bit better. And I'm having fun! And I think the audience is too! Last week I spoke to a great bunch of women from a church in Grand Rapids. They seemed to be excited for their night of junk and even made special "junk" treats for social hour -- a first, but hopefully not a last! It could be that this whole junking thing might just catch on.

Luckily I had my camera with me. Here's their version of "junk" food. Enjoy!


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Who couldn't use another lamp?

I love making lamps from other things! It's thrifty -- reuse the "guts" from a .50 garage sale lamp. It's green and creative -- when ideas evade you, make a lamp, almost ANYTHING can be a lamp. And it's practical -- who couldn't use another lamp?

But my favorite lamp is one I didn't have to repurpose at all.........

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." Psalm 119:105