Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Nowhere near normal

Life has been interesting lately.

  My car died.  :(
In 2007 I purchased a Chrysler Sebring convertible.  It had been my dream car since I was in high school.  My husband and I were driving down the highway a week and a half ago when the car started acting weird.  We pulled it to the side of the road and turned off the engine.  That was the end.  The engine is dead.  We soon discovered that it would not be an easy or inexpensive fix.  It was our only vehicle, so we had to get something else quickly.  We didn't want to spend very much because we want to either fix my Sebring or get something else we really like when we don't feel as much pressure.  So now we have a 22 year old Oldsmobile 98 Regency.  She is certainly showing her age, but she is running pretty well. 

This weekend my husband and I took part in a wonderful ministry called One Day With God, run by Forgiven Ministry.  The purpose is to unite prison inmates with their children for an entire day of fun and love.  On Friday we went to the prison to work just with the dads, going through a program to teach them a little bit about fatherhood that they can do even while being away from their kids.  On Saturday we went back and spent the day with a man and his two daughters.  It was so good to watch all the smiles and hugs.  One man we worked with had not even met his five-year-old daughter.  Another man had not seen his kids for nine years.  Even the men who have seen their kids on a regular basis were excited because they could spend the entire day with them and not have as many rules to follow during their visit.  At this particular prison, once a child turns five, he/she is no longer allowed to sit on dad's lap and cuddle.  One Day With God is so important to many of the inmates that they are sure to fulfill all the requirements they have to join in the program, including remaining infraction free for the six months leading up to that day.  Even having an angry look or failing to clean an area properly would be enough to prevent them from seeing their kids.  I can't even begin to express what a wonderful ministry this is and how it has impacted me.  Please go to their website and find out more.

Between the craziness of the car situation and the many hours ministering at the prison, I don't have any repurposing projects to show.  I'm working on some bracelets with a water bottle base wrapped in t-shirt material.  I also made a dryer sheet flower, but I need to tweek it a bit before showing it.  I'm also in the midst of making some cake stands with embroidery hoops and glass jars.  I hope to have something to show soon.

Friday, July 20, 2012

I've been pinned!

This might not be a big deal to many of you who have been blogging a lot longer than I have.  But I've only had this blog for a couple of weeks.  So when Mary Beth from Cupcakes and Crinoline left me a comment saying she had pinned my hymnal flower arrangement, I was really excited!  She has several boards with lots of pins.  Go check it out!  I'm on her flowers-all board.  Woohoo!  I think I may be spending some time today (and probably for a few more days to see it all) on her boards.

I was checking out a linky party (don't remember which one, now) when I found Mary Beth's dollar store chalkboard.  I think it's super cool when people can go into the Dollar Tree (or another such store) and be inspired to create/repurpose items into fabulousness.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Repurpose those veggies!

I just received a link to an article titled Solutions for Overripe Veggies.  It has recipes for nearly gone cucumbers and tomatoes.  I've never thought about my passion for repurposing extending into the kitchen, but I guess sometimes it does.  My husband and I hate to waste food.  Most of the time we (mostly he) eat everything right away.  Occasionally life gets ahead of us, and the produce sits untouched.  These recipes sound like great ways to use those overripe cukes and tomatoes.

Thinking more about this, I decided to look up other ideas for clearing out the produce drawer without tossing the food into the garbage.  You could send it to the compost pile, which would be a great way to repurpose it.  But if you want to eat it, consider dehydrating it or finding other recipes.  There are a plethora of great recipes for bananas.  I also found this recipe for canteloupe sherbet, which sounds really good on a hot summer day (which most of the U.S. seems to be having.)  I typed "ripe" into the search field at allrecipes.com and came up with 890 options.  I'm sure you'll find something you like if you check it out.

Go repurpose that produce!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Playing at my husband's office

It was super-duper hot yesterday (what's new, right?) and we don't have AC in the house we're renting.  But my husband's office does!  That's where I hung out to beat the heat.  I brought a craft bag with me to keep me occupied when I didn't want to blog hop or read my book. 
I was inspired to make flowers from hymnal pages after making the bird featured by Stephanie Lynn at Under the Table and Dreaming.  You can see my version of the bird in the display that is part of my blog header.
 I first found the flower shape I wanted to use with my Photoshop Elements program.  I printed it, traced it onto a piece of cereal box, then traced and cut out a bunch of flowers onto hymnal pages.

Each flower has three layers.  The bottom two layers are glued together in the center (only.)  I used glitter glue to decorate the top layer.  I bought the glitter glue at the Dollar Tree.  It might not offer as much glitter as other methods, but I like how it has turned out.

 I glued the top layer to the other layers in the center.  I wrapped the petals of each layer around the skewer, starting at the tips, to curl them.  Then I glued each flower to a skewer.

 And tada, here we have this fabulous hymnal flower arrangement.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Weekend festivals

My husband loves me!  He suggested we go to TWO different art/craft festivals this weekend.  It helped that they were in neighboring towns.  :)

My eyes landed on so many wonderful pieces of art.  I want to tell you about two booths that I particularly enjoyed.

The first was also enjoyed by my husband.  I think we would have walked away with a piece if we had a place to put it right now.  But we're living in a rental home with plaster wall.  We're not hanging anything.  My husband and I like photography and Lake Michigan, so Steven Huyser-Honig's booth caught the attention of both of us.  He does such fabulous work!  I encourage you to check out his site.  I'm not able to post any pics from it.  Trust me, it will be worth the click!

The other booth caught my eye because of the way the items were displayed.  Then I realized Tracie (Radical Recycks) was a woman who upcycles/recycles!  Woohoo!  And she's also from Michigan!
The first pic I'm posting from her site is her display set-up.  Way to go Tracie!  I love it!  The second is her t-shirt flower barrettes.  Enjoy!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

This newbie is doing more with her blog

I received a wonderful comment from Marilyn at 4 You With Love telling me she enjoyed viewing my blog but there were a couple things she was bummed about.  First, she realized I was a no-reply blogger.  But she directed me here to tell me how to fix it.  Then she said she wanted to follow my blog, but I didn't have a way for her to do so.  Through a little bit of research I figured out how to encourage followers, and I now have Linky Followers on my side bar.  Slowly but surely this newbie will get the hang of it.  Thanks for your encouragement.
I do have a question for anyone who might have the answer.  I made my signature, and I thought the html code would make it so that it was transparent.  But it's not.  Does anyone know why or how I might fix that?  Thanks for your help.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What to do with my husband's cassette tape collection

Well, the first thing I have done is create a business card holder for my company.  This was super duper simple.  The paper was made from a digital scrapbooking collection by Summertime Designs.  All of her kits are free!  Go check her out!

  All I did was measure and cut the paper and then stick it to the tape holder with double stick tape.  I cut a piece to go around the outside of the holder and then another for the inside of it.  I have other ideas for these plastic wonders, including IPhone holders and recipe card holders.

I created this wonderfully useful project before I started blogging, therefore there are not step-by-step photos.  But I figure it's simple enough that you can create it easily.  

I have now ventured into the world of linking, and I've chosen Tip Junkie for my first link.  At the time of me writing this, there are 544 links above me!

all crafts Homemade Projects ~ Add Yours! {7 10}

I have since found some other linky parties to link to also.
I'm sure that as I get more proficient with blogging, I'll have the buttons on the side or something like that.  Please bear with me in the mean time.

A simple frame project

I have a couple frames sitting in storage right now that I picked up on trash day recently.  Now I think I know what I want to do with them.  I love how simple DaisyMaeBelle made her fabulous frame.  It's like a breath of fresh air.  I love it hanging in the tree.  I can just see it as decoration for an outdoor party.

Creating a blog signature

I recently found out how to add a signature to my blog from Becca.  Check out her post if you are interested in doing the same.
I chose this font because it is pretty close to how I print my name.

Friday, July 6, 2012

2nd Chance Wood Company

I drive by a business all the time when I'm doing errands, and the day I chose to stop in, I discovered what a treasure it is.  It's in the small town of Corunna, MI and is called 2nd Chance Wood Company.  It has only been open a little more than a year, but is already doing a lot of business.  The owners get wood from buildings that are being torn down and repurpose it into wonderful furniture and other creations.  When a person stops in for the first time, they give a tour of the facility, which is really cool.  I was able to see their supply of wood, including beautiful old doors and windows.  Then I was shown the various machines they use.  I was taken to the demonstration area that is used on Saturdays for people to come and watch a particular item being made.  I walked around their showroom and into Artisan Alley.  This is an area where local artists and antique dealers display items to sell.  I should have taken more of my own pics, but I'll copy a couple from their website so you can have a teaser of what they offer.  I encourage you to check them out yourself.  If you're ever in the Mid Michigan area, plan a tour for yourself.  You won't be disappointed.

Now I'll share with you a few of the pics I took while I was there.

The metal sculptures are made by DePeal Designs.  He had a photo album of all he has made.  He's super talented!

I love what they did with the old windows and a door in their showroom.  The door is hung horizontally on the wall.  The windows are suspended from the ceiling and wrapped with Christmas lights.

Another artist has made some creative birdhouses out of reclaimed wood and other found objects.  I love the golf themed one.

I always love seeing what other people are doing to repurpose things.  I would love to check out anything you are doing.  Leave a comment with a link to your blog, website, Facebook page, etc.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


I haven't done any blogging in a few years.  I am beginning again because I want an avenue to share my adventures in making the old new.  I wouldn't consider myself a tree hugger or an extremely "green" person.  But I do love the idea of bringing new life to something that has outlived its original purpose (at least for its previous owner.)  And thanks to the Internet (especially Pinterest), my mind is running with possibilities for bringing new life to all sorts of things.  My eyes are always open, searcing for found objects to repurpose.  Plastic water bottles and spaghetti sauce jars are no longer tossed.  Beer bottles found while taking walks down the road near my house are kept.  I take notice of what people leave by the side of the road on garbage day and often stop for a closer look.  I stop at a lot more garage sales and make sure my eyes peruse the entire sale.  I roam antique malls and salvage shops.  I fully believe in the saying, "One man's trash is another man's treasure."

Here are some goodies I found this weekend at a yard sale and two different stops at a church rummage sale.  I went back to the rummage sale right before it ended when the deal was "fill a bag for $1."  I'm sure glad I did!

These goodies came from my first stop at the rummage sale.  With the light fixture and candle, I'm thinking about making a dessert tray. I got a great deal on the whole box of crepe paper-$1.50!

This collection of wonderfulness was purchased at the end of the rummage sale.

This entire pile of shutters only set me back $5! I forgot to count them, but I'm sure there's at least 10 individual or sets of shutters.

I've found some great ideas for the crepe paper, embroidery hoops, and shutters.

Although this cupcake topper is made with tissue paper, I think it could just as easily be made from crepe paper.