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

Friday, March 27, 2009

Free! -- Music to my Ears

One result of the feature story in the Press was several phone calls from people wanting to pass along to me some things they no longer want. One call was from Judy, the director of a local senior center. They had a player piano that hasn't worked for years, was too costly to repair, and was basically in the way, and did I want it. I said that I did but that I didn't have a vehicle for transporting it or helpers. She said I was welcome to dismantle it right there, so that's what I did.

At first I was concerned that the seniors would be upset, but they all thanked me for what I was doing and said for years they wanted it gone. So I got to work.

I did everything with handtools, not even the cordless. There were many, many screws. Older pieces sometimes need an extra elbow grease to get things loose, but I had no trouble with this one.

And I got a little extra help from my new friend Jack. He just picked up a screwdriver and dug in. I think he enjoyed himself.

I spent about 3 hours there and when I left I was down to the shell -- just the heavy back piece with the attached cast iron and the 2 side pieces so it wouldn't topple over. I didn't want to tackle the rest on my own.

At this point, I had taken off everything still intact. But that was no longer true when I came back in the evening with my husband, Chris, and my son, Ben. It took about an hour, but we left with the last of it in pieces in the back of the minivan.

When it was all said and done, these were some of the pieces I got to make new projects with:

I haven't decided on all the projects yet, but I'm forming a few ideas. I'd like to make a little something, too, for the senior center as a thank-you (maybe a bulletin board with player roll paper?) . Anyway, I've got work to do. I'll post my projects as I complete them.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Blessing #6

Okay. So I decided if I'm going to mention the BFF from my past (see previous post), I need to single out my current BFF. Now, I consider all my friends and family blessings from God, but I'm singling out my friend Sheila because she's not just a great friend, but she is so supportive of me and my crazy business adventure -- not everyone is.

She is a big "felter". And this Christmas she made me this custom Refunction Junktion stocking for me to hang in my shop. It's so adorable. I couldn't believe she would do that for me, not just for me but for my business. She also always loves everything I make (I know she's biased, but she's so sincere that's it's cute.) And she screamed louder than anyone when I called to tell her I would be featured in the paper. Her "cheerleading" skills me more to me than she'll ever know.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Blessing #5

Well, I've certainly come a long ways from the days when I would attempt to use the computer and end up either crying, screaming, ranting, or all of the above until my kids would come running to bail me out. And though now I use the computer daily with ease, design and maintain websites, e-mail, blog, and will soon twitter, I stop short of calling anything having to do with computers a blessing....with one exception.

I would have to say that, for me, classifies as a blessing. I don't even subscribe to it, but my brother does. And through that, he was contacted by my best friend from my pre-teen/teen years. Our family lived in Muskegon at the time and Suzy and I quickly became the best of friends. We rode the bus or walked to school together every day, we bowled together every Saturday, we camped together most weekends in the summers, and we just generally hung out together. When I moved back to Hudsonville before high school, we managed to continue our friendship through phone calls, letters, and occasional visits. But somewhere in those post high school years we lost touch -- for close to 30 years! And then my brother called to let me know he had heard from her and how I could contact her.

We have been e-mailing back and forth since the beginning of the year and the posts are usually long and detailed -- we've got a lot of catching up to do. She has lived in many different areas of the country since those days and currently lives in Arizona so I don't know when we'll get to visit in person, but I hope someday that will happen. I'm not even sure what she now looks like, we're still working on the picture exchange thing.

What a cool way to start my year! And mine is just one story. I'd imagine there are many more reunion stories from, so I would say they are a blessing not just to me, but to many others. But don't rely on the internet, reconnect today with a long lost friend of your own. You'll be blessed because of it. Peace out!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tool School Debut!

Well, another Tuesday went by and I still haven't kicked off my weekly Tool School blog. So, I'm jumping in even though it's late Wednesday night. So, look (hopefully on Tuesdays) for my Tool School blogs where I highlight a different tool that no junker would want to be without. For my debut, I've chosen the sander.

This is my sander -- I think it's a palm sander. This one obviously is a Black & Decker, but I bought it because I got a good deal on it -- $19.00. This one is nice because it comes with a little bag that collects dust as you sand. I have a few other brands that I got for even cheaper, so price is not a big issue with these. You'll definitely get your money's worth. My sander is one of my most used tools.

You probably already know this, but sand paper comes with numbers on the back representing the number of particles /sq. inch. The lower the number, the rougher the paper. 50 or 80 is good for very rough sanding, 150 for medium, 240 for fine, etc.

You don't have to buy them already cut to the exact size, they come in sheets that you can cut into quarters for the perfect fit in a palm sander -- so get whatever's a better deal.

Loading up the paper is probably the hardest part of using a sander (and it's not hard at all). There are two little side hooks, one for the front lever and one for the back. Unhook the first one to lift the lever, insert the paper, and rehook.

Do the same with second lever. It's a little trickier, you may have to bend the end of the paper first to help insert it, but it should fit.

Now the fun begins! There's usually a button on top you have to push to start it up and one to stop. Then just hold on and start sanding. It is usually pretty loud, though.

This is my favorite kind of sanding projects -- old doors. Many times an old door will look like it's just painted white or some other color and is dirty. So you start sanding to get some of the grime off....
and unearth 6 or 7 different colors of paint. This can be a time consuming process. There's almost an art to applying different degrees of pressure to expose the different layers. This one took a couple of hours to get it completely sanded, but I think the results make it worth it.
One more thing: CAN A SANDER HURT YOU?

(Unless, of course, you held it to your face 6 or 7 times trying to get the shot right. Then you might have some very minor scuffing -- don't ask me how I know this.)
See you next Tuesday -- not sure what the next tool will be, they're all so good!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Blessing #4

I've got all 10 of my fingers! (and toes, too). Okay, well most people do. But it's just something we take for granted and don't really think about. But you know all those jokes about shop teachers and missing fingers? Well I suspect there's a lot of truth to those humors. When you spend a lot of time in the shop around power tools and machinery, things can happen. And I'm very thankful that I've never had any serious accidents.

And actually, I'm lucky to even be alive after one of my careless projects. I thought it would be fun to make something using the front of an old television set. But I just wanted the front and there was a big tube attached. So I began to saw the glass in the groove that separated the front of the glass from the rest of the tube. It was a long, tedious job and I was doing it in my living room. After a while, my arm was getting tired so I took a break and went to the kitchen to get something to drink. KABOOM! WHAT in the WORLD? A giant explosion rocked my house. I went to the living room and the t.v. tube was no more. There were chunks of glass scattered all over the room, some even embedded in the walls. The tube was a vacuum ray tube type. My sawing must have created enough of an opening to let air seep into the vacuum, building up pressure until it eventually exploded. If I were sawing it then, I would be dead for sure. My face had been just inches from the tube. I was shaking for the rest of the day just thinking about it.
As always, God had my back. But it was a not-so-gentle reminder that things can happen and I shouldn't take things for granted, and I should exercise caution (and common sense -- oops) when I'm working. Peace out!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

WooHoo! I Won an Award!

Thank you so much to Cindy of Tintas treasures for presenting me with this blog award:

I'm very flattered and it made my day!

As a recipient of this award, I need to list 5 things that I am addicted to and then I need to pass this award on to 5 other blogs. Here goes.

5 Things I am addicted to:

1. This one I actually am literally addicted to -- Diet Pepsi/Diet Coke. If I go more a day to two without my diet pop, I can't function properly and I get a bad headache (as opposed to a good headache). I know it's bad for me -- no comments please.

2. This is my MAJOR life addiction -- Refunctioning Junk, trash-to-treasure projects, repurposing junk -- call it what you will but it's all good, all creative, and all fun and it's what I do at my shop, while I'm driving, and while I'm sleeping.

3. This addiction is a cousin to #2 -- inspiring others to pick up their power tools and join the junking bandwagon through my classes, my website, blogging, and word of mouth.

4. My family would say it's -- the computer. It's the classic story of former enemies becoming best friends. ARGHHH !! How it hurts me to admit that.

5. This last one's a no brainer -- my Old English Sheepdog Samson. I wanted a sheepdog forever and I finally got one about 5 years ago. He's very large and he's not very bright, but boy am I crazy about him.

And now on to my 5 blog awardees:

And the award goes to....

1 . Beyond the Picket Fence

2. The Joy of

3. Whistlestop Country Store

4. Much Ado About Some Things

5. Emma's Nook and Granny

Congratulations to all 5 of you ladies and your wonderful blogs. Please accept this award from me, proclaim it to all your blog readers, list your 5 addictions, and then pass the award on to 5 other blogs of your choosing.

Have fun! Midge

Friday, March 6, 2009

Blessing #3

This branch teepee was made by the neighbor kids next door. It rests just between our 2 yards and I see it as soon as I pull into our driveway. And it always makes me smile. Every fall for several years they would build one. They would be out there working so hard and taking it so seriously, only to have it fall a few weeks later. Two autumns ago, my whole family was in the car heading out to church when I said, "Hey, look at the neighbors fort!" All of our heads turned just in time to witness the entire collapse of the Fall Fort of '06. Ouch!

This one was built in the fall of '07. Again they worked very hard, a real group effort (6 kids). They made it a good size, and were very proud of their accomplishment, as they should be. And their wonderful fort is still standing -- I took the picture this morning. And check out that beautiful soon-to-be spring sky. HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The camera loves me!

Okay, so maybe not ME, personally. But Monday I had my interview with the Press reporter and the trusty sidekick photographer. Imagine my surprise when he said the assignment was a photographers dream. Oh, the pride I felt. "Usually", he explained "people pick everything up before I come". Ouch! Then I had to report that I already HAD picked up. Hmmm.
Maybe he had caught a glimpse of this pile I had just created especially for their visit --

There wasn't even anything juicy in the pile, but maybe to the junk uninitiated.?.?.?.

Personally, I thought my work area looked pretty good, from back to front....

and front to back.

And I saw him checking out my sweet mobile tool cart....

unfortunately, he noticed my broken wheel that made it a bit tipsy!
When you consider that the other story he's working on is "Phantom Cell Phone Vibration Syndrome", (what in the world even is that, and how on earth would you photograph it), it probably wouldn't take much to get excited for a gig like this.
But I did have a few more photo worthy "zones"...
This is actually the "good" stuff, all done and packed away waiting for the next sale. Too bad most of it was unreachable. But oh just imagine!

More good stuff! I'm just glad I didn't need to pull anything out. It might have turned into a lifesize Jenga game.
Anyway, it was a good photo shoot. Not nearly as painful as I thought it would be. Not too many pictures of me, as far as I know. If only he knew how much I HATE having my picture taken. And then to have it plastered in the paper besides! So, he went easy on me, thank goodness. I realize I can't avoid it entirely if I want to have exposure for what I do. But I think most of the attention will be on my stuff. I'm sure it will be a great feature and I'm just so thankful for this opportunity that I've been given.