Monthly Archives: January 2012

The “Unique” Metal Basket

I was looking for a bowl, or a basket….something cool to take to a local consignment shop for displaying my brooches and bracelets.

I found this:


It was not cool. It was not attractive. When I got to the register, the gentleman said this:

“We have some really unique baskets here don’t we?”

“Yes, you do,” I replied.

But I don’t think we were using the word “unique” in the same way.

Let me assure you that it is possible to have buyers remorse before you actually buy an item. I just knew this item had the potential of being a great transformation…or an epic fail. So after carrying it around for a few minutes, I decided $2.00 was worth the risk. Now it has been staring at me for a few weeks,wanting to be transformed.

The first step was to remove the metal rings holding on the rope. If I couldn’t do this without damaging the box, I was pretty sure that this transformation would end up in the trash. With a pair of needle nose pliers and a husband, I was able to carefully remove the rings, which were spot welded on.

I painted over the peach with craft paint and added the blue fabric along the top edge. I attached one of my handmade fabric flower on the front (on top of the peach) and glued on the buttons. Lastly, I added the line of paint on the bottom with a small paint brush. And now, I have a cute metal basket to display my brooches and bracelets in!

Transformation: Success!





The Evolution of an Idea

Idea’s never leave me alone.

They bother me when I’m riding in the car and have no pen to record them. They keep me up in the middle of the night after a child wakes me up. They distract me when I should be paying attention.

Sometimes one idea will come, then quickly leave. Other times an idea will stick with me, aggravating me until I create it, or write it or do something about it.

Often, when I am working in my sketchbook, I am thinking of what else I could do with image.

This idea started with a frame that I created and really liked in my sketchbook. I used my sharpie and watercolor brush markers to sketch this.

doodle borders

I took a picture of it and uploaded that to my computer. I used Photoshop and Illustrator to create a vector image. (Visit this website for more information on vectors and bitmaps.)


Once I had the vector image, I used InDesign to add the background, color and text. I ended up with a 5×7 to offer you as a new free download!

 Psalm 100:2

Click here to download a high resolution 5×7 jpeg for printing at your favorite photo developer!

A Week of Creating Daily (almost)

This week I haven’t exactly completed all of my assignments for the Create Daily class. But I have been creating daily, which is the purpose for taking the class.

Early in the week I painted a rock – which was actually more fun than I anticipated – and photographed a mysterious “monkey” that had gotten loose in the little boys bedroom.


Another day I made something to give away (see the “U R Super Cool card on the left of pic below. The Monkey had gotten loose again, and this time was joined by Dean-O doing the “Dance of the Karate Warrior”. I’ve found they’ll do all sorts of amusing things if I get my new camera out.


I worked on this in my sketchbook  while we were driving somewhere.


Every time I go to Jer’s shop, I eyeball his stash of sheet metal scraps. I got him to bend up a piece for me so I could experiment again with painting on the metal. I have previously tried to paint on it, but it scratched off easily. I did some research and tried a new technique that worked much better. I’ve requested some more pieces, so you will see more metal work in the future.

In honor of the impending Hallmark Holiday, I created this little piece with the metal he gave me to hang somewhere in the house. It is officially the only “Valentine-sy” decoration I have ever owned.


I’ve been working on some new brooches, including some “school spirit” ones for a couple of shops I am going to soon be selling them in very soon.


One day, our assignment was to get messy. I used a brush, my finger and three paint colors to create these two sketch book pages.

get messy


I took a picture of the pages, and used one of them as a background for this image. The flower is a one that I created in my sketchbook with paint, a medicine cap, and sharpies. I scanned it in and turned it into a vector image. Then I added he quote.


limit yourself assignment

The Outdoor Fireplace that Called to Me


Over a month ago, I noticed that a run-down house in my neighborhood was being disassembled. Dumpster by dumpster they took the pieces of this house away and when they were finished this fireplace was left standing. For weeks I have been driving past it, standing alone on a leveled lot, and wanted to take pictures of it. Yesterday, I remembered to take my camera, and stopped on my way home from dropping the kids off at school and got some shots of it. I added some Photoshop Actions  and did some other editing to them, and have included two for you to see today. I don’t know why they left this beautiful creation, or what they plan to do with it, but it makes a great photo!



Introducing Transformation Tuesday

I’ve had the idea for a while now, and I’ve decided to make it official. On Tuesday’s I will be recycling, up-cycling, re-purposing, painting, editing, cutting, pasting, or any other number of things. In one word, transforming.

I’ll be starting this series with the transformation of the necklace pictured below.

#1 Before

I started by removing the heart pendant. I created a flower using fabric, ribbon and two vintage buttons. Once I decided where I wanted to place the flower, I warmed up my trusty hot glue gun and fired away. I unhooked the shortest chain from the same side that I wanted to place the flower. I gathered the short chain, along with the longest chain up by the flower and allowed them to hang down underneath. I glued them all to the back of the flower and covered it with black ribbon. I ended up with a necklace that now looks like this.

#1 After

I was able to complete this project in about 15 minutes and I ended up with a fabulous new necklace.

For tutorials on making your own fabric flowers, check out these ten at Skip to My Lou.

You can also glue a clip to the back of the flower to transform any beaded necklace you have by simply clipping on a flower. I wanted to rearrange the chains on this one, so I went with glue and ribbon instead of a clip.

Have other ideas for transformations you’d like to see? Want to transform something of your own and write a post about it?  I’d love to hear your ideas! Leave me a comment below or contact me by email.

#1 Transformation

Somewhat Simple

These Peas Taste Funny

Now, Coming to You from 1941…Part Two

In my previous post, I shared some of my favorite images from a copy of Capper’s Farmer (November 1941) that I purchased at the Shipshewana flea market this summer. Today, I want to share the rest of my favorite things from that magazine.

 Capper's Farmer Favorites

The first paragraph of this article states, “Last year an old lady fell and within 6 weeks was dead. If this tragic mishap had occurred only once it would have been bad enough, but it occurred exactly 91 times in Kansas to women between 80 and 84 years of age. Besides that, 128 other Kansas women, younger, vigorous and useful, dies from falls. They didn’t topple from the silo or rooftree. They were safe at home. Their needless passing becomes a part of the distressingly large toll of human lives annually taken by home accidents.” (Rooftree is another term for the ridgepole of a roof.)

The article encourages women to be their own”safety engineer.” At the end of the article, the writer states that, “Home safety [is] still in its infancy…”

Capper's Farmer Favorites

This is part of an ad for a baby laxative. Who wouldn’t find the dialogue at the beginning of the article amusing?

Capper's Farmer Favorites

“Middle Age.” Chuckle. I have those symptoms some days and I don’t meet the age requirement yet for “Middle Age.”

And finally, some other random bits that I thought you might find amusing.

I’d love to hear what you have thought of these posts. Leave me a comment below.

Capper's Farmer Favorites

Capper's Farmer Favorites

Capper's Farmer Favorites

Now, Coming to You from 1941……Part One

A fond memory from my childhood is traveling to Shipshewana, Indiana with my grandparents to spend a day at the flea market. It was a lively place, full of antiques and tools and Amish. It is still a fun day trip, but has now turned into a mix between a dollar store, yard sale, antique shop and craft show. But somehow, the flea market hasn’t lost its charm or nostalgia, even though the merchandise has changed quite a bit over the years.

While attending the Shipshewana flea market this past fall, I found a building that I never knew existed and was difficult to leave. It was stuffed with antiques. There was a certain section that was beyond stuffed. Picture overflowing.

Among the piles, I found four copies of a magazine called Capper’s Farmer. Farming runs strong in the blood of my dad’s side of the family. My grandpa farmed corn, beans and wheat and milked cows. My dad and his three brothers are still  continuing the farming tradition. Today, my uncle has one of the last family dairy farms in county.

I intended to give these as a gift to my grandma or my dad at Christmas, but I couldn’t part with them after I got them home and looked through them. They are so intriguing and wonderful. The pictures, the writing and the ads all help me to imagine what it would have been like to be a rural American woman in 1941.

Capper's Farmer 1941

I’d like to share with you my favorite things from this issue, November 1941.

Capper's Farmer Advertisements

Do I know who Kate Smith is or why I should listen to her about baking powder? No, I do not. But I do know that I love everything about this ad and I do wish I could lasso it for that price!

Capper's Farmer Advertisements

As far as I can tell, this woman would be the image of trouble in 1941!?!?! Or she is the 1940’s version of an auto industry model? I really like her hat, and judging by the look on her face, I think we would have been friends.

Capper's Farmer Advertisements

“This is Marjorie Woodworth, Chesterfield’s Girl of the Month in the Hal Roach hit “All-American Co-ed” a United Artist’s Release”. I guess if I was a rural American woman in 1941, I would be carrying a dead turkey on my back that I relieved from it’s duties with my shotgun and I would want to celebrate by enjoying a definitely better-tasting and cooler-smoking Chesterfield cigarette. Hhhmmm.

Capper's Farmer Illustrations

And lastly, an insurance policy and a cartoon.  I would like to know what injuries caused by farm animals are actually covered under this policy. How can I get my hands on one of those?

I’d like to hear what you think you look at these pictures. Are they funny? Inspiring? Crazy? Leave me a comment below.

Create Daily Review

This week, we were sent outside to take pictures of nature to inspire us. Of course, that landed on a day that we got several inches of snow. I put my snow pants and boots on and headed out to find something interesting to capture. Here are two of those shots.


Going Organic

Another day we were to take a self portrait. Sissy got in on the action. She seems to think that the purpose of this camera is to take cute pictures of her. She’s partly right.

self portrait

self portrait

Working with words was another assignment. I used a watercolor page covered in paint drips that I did for a previous assignment. I needed motivation and decided to make a sign for my office.

just do something

I am loving this class and have learned that it isn’t so hard to be creative everyday.

Click on the links below to see my previous posts on this class.

Create Daily #1

Create Daily #2 part 1

Create Daily #2 part 2

Free Download: Kid’s Valentine’s Cards


Valentine’s Day is less than a month away and I’m happy to offer a new free download for the kids.

Click on the link below to download a high-resolution PDF. There are four cards per sheet. Print them off and let your child write their greeting on the back. I attached a sucker to the back with duct tape, but masking tape would work just as well.

Boy Valentine Card Free Download

Girl Valentine Card Free Download



I’m linking up to:

Michelle Paige’s Valentine Link Party

The DIY Show Off


I haven’t made soup yet this winter, and I had myself a hankering for it last week. This soup recipe uses simple ingredients, is quick to throw together, and tastes perfect with french bread and real butter. Even our picky eaters like this recipe. So if you are also hankering a hearty soup, throw this on the stove some afternoon and enjoy! (Note: This is also a great recipe for the crockpot. Set it to low in he morning and it will be ready when you return for dinner.)

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