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

Monday, May 31, 2010

"As The Blades Turn"..-- No Soap Opera, But creating some Drama

So I'm still working on improving my workshop for display mode. No wonder it was so bad before! It takes a LOT of time, effort, and experimentation (all of which I didn't bring before). But now I'm trying giving it my best shot and trying to put into practice some of the strategies I've detected out in blogland.

One of the things I've noticed -- CREATE DRAMA!

Okay, so maybe this isn't Jerseylicious, The Hills, or teenage girl dramatic, but here in West Michigan we have a thing for Dutch "stuff". Besides, who doesn't love things that move. So I decided that these windmill blades would look great mounted on a wall in my shop.

They actually, I realized later, are for the windmill body that is sitting in my side yard waiting to be refurbished. That's a big job anyway and may never happen, so up they went. In my stash I found a lazy susan that had a base with 4 legs. I simply screwed the metal plates onto the wall and then attached the blades to the 4 legs.

Now being the good Dutch girl that I am, just looking good was not enough. I had to put it to use and get some value out of it. So I pulled out some photos and clothespin.

Sure enough it worked. And each blade can hold a lot of photos. And, of course, give it a spin and you have a whole other collection of photos to view.

It is for sale, but I don't anticipate it selling real soon. But it certainly is fun and I think it will generate a lot of interest. So I will put it to use in the meanwhile and use it for displaying my customer's project photos. And it doesn't have to hold photos, it could also hold business cards, kid's artwork, messages, and even a reminder or two to go scrub the streets, make some pea soup, or starch your Dutch caps.
So tune in tomorrow when we'll discover...........???.....

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Brought to you today by the Ladder....

I love projects with ladders. They are very easy to work with, you can get them free or very cheaply, and the possibilities are endless! Stepladders can make instant shelves and side tables -- and you probably already have some hiding in your garage. But my personal favorite is the rung ladder. You know they are sturdy because they're designed to hold big heavy guys. But sometimes, a rung will break. Those silly men tend to throw them out at this point. And that's when the junker's fun begins.

This is probably my favorite of my ladder projects --
I call it a gossip bench, but I've also heard them referred to as courting benches or make-up benches (for feuding couples). I used 5 ladder sections, with three of them the same heights and facing the same directions. Then I just placed a couple wood planks across the rungs. The other 2 sections are for the 2 back pieces. By placing these on opposite sides it forms two seats that face opposite directions. Just screw it all together and finish however you wish.

Here's another nifty ladder project --
I saw something in Pottery Barn that had the same feel so I put one together with finished shelves I had on hand and 2 long ladder sections. The underside of each shelf has a hole drilled near each corner. Then I put a corresponding short dowel in the rung. I just slide the shelf onto the pegs to hold them in place, but it can easily be dismantled for moving.

Here's what it looks like when it's all dooded up!

This next project is hamming it up for the camera --
It literally is! Because this ladder arbor was used at our church's Spring Tea as the setting for posed photos. Normally it is a bit more dressed down for relaxing outside.
So you can see there are many fun possibilities for rung ladders. I'd like to try a desk or sofa type table next. And even after the projects are down, any leftovers can be put to good use.
Small sections can be mounted flat on a wall horizontally. They make great "frames" for photos, or simple set some shallow objects, or even hang stockings at Christmas time.
Now go have some junk fun with ladders,
I am linking this up to Donna's Saturday Nite Special at Funky Junk Interiors

Friday, May 21, 2010

I'm on the bandwagon!

I generally prefer to post original projects whenever possible. This is a project I never intended to post, so I didn't really take any pictures as I made this project. No need -- these Roman Numeral clock faces are all over blogland. So I wanted to make one too and include it in my showroom. And with my newfound determination to post more frequently with smaller posts, well, here it is.

Like I said, these are all over blogland -- but I used Gail's from My Repurposed Life as my guide. The round board I had was extremely nasty, but I had nothing to lose so I used it -- I think it turned out okay.

Gail added a French surname and the word Paris just for fun. In my attempt to not look like I was copying her (but I actually was!) I decided my clock was from Germany. And no need to look up German names, I just used the one I was most familiar with -- Sgt. Schultz from Hogan's Heroes. Because afterall, most days I feel like "I know Nothing. Nothing."
Peace out,
p.s. I learned something while doing this, when making clocks they used IIII for the number 4 instead of the correct IV. One theory is it helps balance the VIII (the biggest number) on the other side of the face. Who knew?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

It's all a Learning Experience!

First a warning -- this post has the potential to be a rambler! I've got a lot on my mind (and on my plate) so it could happen, and I apologize in advance if it does. But I'm going to try really hard to keep things simple and concise -- smaller, but more frequent posts all this week.


It has to carry out 5 functions:

1. House my raw materials a.k.a. Junk (which I have TREMENDOUS amounts of)

2. Function as my workshop

3. Function as a workshop for public and private classes

4. Store my finished items

5. Provide a place for holding sales events

That's a lot of function to pull out of a 1000 sq. ft. space. Fortunately I also have a nearby 500 sq. ft. mini-storage for junk overflow, and I constructed a loft in my unit that's probably about 500 more sq. ft. (it is solidly built to hold lots of junk, but no humans except me allowed there). has been a huge issue for me from day 1 (the issue is huge, definitely not the space).

I've tried various combinations to make it all work, but I still haven't hit the right formula.

My latest "revelation" was last fall -- since my priority was classes and workshops, I tucked away my products wherever I could and converted totally to workshop/classroom mode. "If you build it, they will come" kind of thinking. Well, it's an inspirational saying, but......

At holiday time I knew I HAD to have a sale, .... but how? Fortunately, my landlord was kind enough to let me use the vacant unit next door -- just through the holidays. "No problem" I thought to myself "I'll do so well during the holidays that I'll be able to afford to keep that space". Hmmm. Again, good thought....but not reality.

So now it's spring. My landlord wants my stuff out so he can rent it to legitmate customers, I've been doing speaking engagements and people keep saying "I want to see your shop and all your stuff", and I just want a space where I can create and help others create.


And this is what I came up with.....

1. Raw materials will remain in the loft area, mini-storage, and "storage rooms" (another post)
2. I have set up a makeshift workshop area on my deck at home, not the ideal, but I'll make it work (more about that in another post)
3. This one troubles me as I'd still like this to be my main focus, but for now classes will have to be off-site and/or outside
4. & 5. So, I am now making my space a temporary permanent showroom. I'll probably do this until the fall, then I'll have to come up with something better (create my products on my deck during a Michigan winter?.....I don't think so!) Of course, my terminally optimistic self says "Oh, by then you'll be rolling and you could rent next door if it's still available". We'll see.

SOOOOO....My temporary permanent showroom. I have learned that the occasional sale plan is really not well suited to me so it is probably best that I have more of a permanent setup. But that doesn't change the fact that I have a LOT of stuff and also that I'm not good at all at display. And basically, I just don't get it! Do you group by rooms, or style, or color, or WHAT ? WHERE DO YOU EVEN BEGIN?!!!!
Well I began by visiting and studying blogland. And I think I've learned some things...
1. I overthink and plan too much -- real artists use a lot of "feel"

2. LAYERS -- this is a big one! It makes your products look more interesting and also conserves space (previously I was all about the entire product being visible -- but a little mystery is more fun)

3. Create drama! -- Big, Bold, Unusual
4. Whenever you can, go up - especially useful in my case since I have 15' ceilings.
So in honor of #3 & 4, dramatically UP I went .... (see photo above --it's supposed to be placed here, but... computers! oh well)
That corner is what I call the "contemporary/leather" corner. Several other areas are done or nearly done and I'll share soon. Anyway, I think I'm making pretty good progress on my new showroom. It's been a lot of work, and there's still a lot to do, but I plan on being open this Saturday and probably most Saturdays through the fall. But... somehow, plans have a way of changing. I'll keep you posted.
And speaking of plans, check out the bottom of this page. Another thing that is on my mind is that I really want to post more. I'd love to be one of those bloggers who posts everyday or at least every other day. But I find it very difficult to keep up, and then I feel bad about not keeping up. And then I step back and say "What does it matter? Who am I trying to keep up with anyway?" And I realize that I should be more concerned about whether I spent time with my Lord and Savior today than whether I posted. I'm not saying I don't want to post, (I REALLY do) I'm just saying I want to make my devotional time as important. So the Bible verse at the bottom of this page is my built-in accountability program (I'm not very structured or self-disciplined with my time). Each day after doing my devotions, I will change the verse to something from my Bible reading (hopefully each morning). So feel free to check up on that and yell at me if I need it. This area of my life has always been a struggle for me -- today I'm at three days in a row (WOO HOO!). And just to make myself more accountable, I won't post something until I have done my devotions that day. We'll see how it goes.
So sorry, I think I've stepped into the ramble zone. Anyway, I feel a little more up to date and I'll try to be around more.
Peace Out!
p.s. The suitcase tower was quite an accomplishment and scary ordeal. I am only 5' tall and the ceilings 15' (oh yeah, and I have a fear of heights!). It took 7 or 8 attempts (I was trying not to cry) and I kept thinking, "If I die in a suitcase avalanche will anyone find me?" And yes, the first person in said "Oh, I'll take the top 4 suitcases." Whereas, we both laughed heartily. Then, she said, "No, I'm serious. But I'll come back for them." Gulp.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Yay! A good excuse to post!

I needed a good excuse to post because it's been awhile, and Donna's Saturday Nite Special party fit the bill. Her blog, Funky Junk Interiors, hosts a great party every weekend. There are always lots of great participants with great projects. It's become so popular that she now divides it into 3 categories -- Home Decor, Sewing Crafts Cooking, and a Special Theme. This week's special theme is Headboards. So this is an old project of mine, but I've never posted it before -- now I will just so I can join the party, and have a reason to post. Thanks Donna!

Nothing ground-breaking here, but I always liked the way this headboard-turned-shelf turned out -- especially since I got it from the curb. I thought the headboard was cute, but one of the legs was broken (probably why some unvisionary person threw it out). I removed the legs, added a 1x6 (with little support pieces underneath), attached some trim I had removed from it, gave it a pale yellow paint job, and distressed it. I was pretty pleased with the outcome!

On a side note (non-headboard related), I have been MIA lately and that's why I was happy to have a reason to post. I haven't created anything that I could photograph yet. I've mostly been busy working on my shop. Space is always an issue, and I had some extra space over the wintertime, but that was just for temporary and I had to move everything back into my one unit (ARGH!). And I really need to host another sale. So I've been working a lot and making progress on that, but nothing I could report -- yet. Next week I hope to be able to share a lot more about all of that. Stay tuned!


I will be linking this up to: Donna's Saturday Nite Special #30 @ Funky Junk Interiors