Category Archives: Recycle

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!





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

Create Daily Week 1

One of my favorite blogs is written by Alisa Burke. I stumbled upon her blog early last year, when I was just starting to get back into art and design. She is a constant source of inspiration and encouragement for my creativity. When she announced that she was having an online class called “Create Daily,” I knew I had to sign up. It started January 1st and everyday for 30 days she will give us a task to complete or an idea to ponder. So once a week I will be sharing my creations from this class.

This week, on day 2, I created a happy birthday piece for Sissy out of random things I found around the house. Here are the items I started with:

Day 2 - Gathering

And this is what I created!

Day 2 - Finished

Here are my other creations so far from the class.

create daily ball point sketch

create daily ball point sketch




You can see more of my photos by visiting my Flickr page.

My Favorite Thing About Toy Packaging (A Lesson in Creative Recycling)


I heard a song on the radio the other day called Toy Packaging, sung by Sara Groves. My favorite verse in the song is:

“In the old days you could hold a box and shake it
Hear the pieces rattling around
My eyes tear up at these grommets, tape and twisty ties
Remembering that beautiful sound”

This song reminded me of my favorite part of toy packaging. (Yes, I actually do love one aspect of toy packaging.) Twisty Ties.

These are not just normal twisty ties. These are the king of the twisty tie family. These are the one item that should not be put into the garbage bag with the wrapping paper and torn boxes. These should be collected and cherished.

Why am I so geeky about these twisty ties?

There are several reasons. They are versatile. They are reusable. They will last forever, or at least until your husband accidentally throws one away (which should be strictly punished in my personal opinion.) And most importantly, they are a reward for the mind-numbing task of taking the toy out of the packaging, because anyone who has completed this feat of mental and physical strength knows that there absolutely should be some type of compensation.


Here are some ways I have used these “rewards”:

  • to make wreath bows: use twisty ties instead of wire or pipe cleaner
  • to hang pots in the pantry (see picture below)
  • to contain cords on chargers, near the computer and by the entertainment center
  • to close packages, like chip bags or frozen vegetables
  • to hang necklaces: see picture at bottom for this space-saving tip
  • to hang hoses or extension cords on the garage
  • to hang quilting hoops in the craft room

So this weekend, after you have exerted the energy to open the toy packaging, take a minute more to collect the twisty ties. You’ll be thanking yourself for the rest of the year.

Necklace Tip:

To save space and prevent tangles, use a twisty tie to hang four necklaces on one hook.


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