Life on the creative side

Posts tagged “creative repurposing

Sisters glamping weekend on the Ridge

After months of planning and countless yard sale outings in search of glamping supplies, we were finally  ready for our sisterhood glamping weekend on the Ridge.

sisters glamping weekend

Even through we had a one day rain delay, we quickly regrouped and with the help of my wonderful hubby and brother, and the inspiring spirits of the beautiful woman gathered, the weekend was an amazing sisterhood bonding and celebration extravaganza!

We began our sisters glamping weekend with breakfast at my mothers, breakfast wraps and fried sweet potatoes – yum!

breakfast and granny glampers

While we lingered around my mother’s table, the guys, hubby and brother, sat up our canopies and beds: my brother-in-laws also helped out with chopped fire wood and a full cistern  – we have some great guys on the ridge!

2 building camp

Then the glamping began!!!

6 glamping time

Sheers and colorful tablecloths became tent walls.

jane constructing her tent

Then right before our eyes a collection of unique glamping personalities formed in the kaleidoscope of color and texture as we styled our weekend homes.

13 glamping in red

11 bohemiem glamper

33 glamper

10 a Diana in her tent

8 janes tent 1

7 b glamping artist vibe

Over the course of the weekend we crafted, hiked, shared, dined, toasted, laughed, cried, sang and danced; strengthening our bonds of sisterhood.


Organic/Industrial chandelier

baby henry

While strolling through Brooklyn on a recent visit to see my daughter and my brand new grandbaby, we spotted a fallen limb from a large sycamore tree. It was lodged into the fencing surrounding the base of the tree and part of the sidewalk that had been heaved up by the expanding roots of the tree.  Although my daughter laughed as I pointed to the limb and said “We need that!” she not only worked it loose from the fencing but then carried it on her shoulder for more than ten blocks, back to her apartment.  I just want to note – strolling around with a large branch on your shoulder makes the normally aloof New Yorker  smile and engage in conversation.

found treasure, fallen limb

The branch had such a lovely organic shape and wonderful patina that we both immediately saw its potential for an amazing chandelier over their table, for which they have been in search.

Since hubby was due to arrive the following day we had him throw in some lighting supplies, including five Edison style light bulbs. Then a few days later…

dinning under the light

we were dinning under this beautiful  organic/industrial chandelier.

Finally we added a dimmer switch the chandelier could be adjusted lower for ambiance or raised higher for illumination.  Unfortunately we didn’t get good photos of the process but feel free to post any questions on the process  I would be happy to respond.

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Refurbished table with a sweet coastal charm

gold-leaf starfish for refurbished table with a sweet coastal charm

Rescued from the trash, now this refurbished table has a sweet coastal charm.Refurbished table with a sweet coastal charm

This  little black table had sat on my mother’s porch for years and was in pretty sad shape.  The legs were wobbly, trim was falling off,  the table surface was rotted and one of the legs was sticking up through the top. But the form was so lovely and the paint had a great chippy appeal. So when she asked my dad to toss it out, I was there to catch and rescue it.

littly wobbly chippy black table to be refurbished

I wanted to keep the original top but it was just to far gone. Once I accepted that the top was too far gone, and hubby promised to help me create a new one,  I turned  my disappointment into a search for a creative solution.

making a new top for little shabby black table

I knew I wanted to keep the chippy character of the legs and shelf  so the new top would have to play well its shabby base. Ultimately I decided to add a little contrast, creamy white paint crackled over a blue base-coat.

cream white crackled over blue for refurbished table with a sweet coastal charm

 To marry the new top to the old base I added some of the same blue and white to the base but leaving evidence of the original black.

dry brushed blue and white over chippy black paint on refurbished table

Then for an extra twist I stitched a border of blue yarn around the top. Finally I applied a large, free-hand starfish in gold-leaf and the sad little table was transformed into a new charming table with a coastal vibe.

gold-leaf starfish for refurbished table with a sweet coastal charm

starfish table

With a little creativity and work, the sad little rescue table was transformed into a lovely, refurbished table with a sweet coastal charm.

For more creativity check out:

twig study

be different act normal


Antique headboard repurposed into a beautiful creativity-board

creativity board made from antique headboard

Antique headboard repurposed into a beautiful creativity-board.

 creativity board detail with business card

While cleaning out her barn my sister found a forgotten old headboard in the loft. She thought I might be able to find a new “repurpose” for it; she knows me well.  I have been wanting a creativity center for the studio; a place to display creative inspiration and project plans. A vague idea had been percolating in my mind; a message board, but on a grand scale. The dusty wooden headboard was the right scale and had a graceful form, perfect for my creativity board.

antique headboard repurposed into a creativity/message board

With the help of hubby the found headboard was redesigned into a useful, lovely focal point in the studio.

hubby cutting out plywood for creativity board

Here’s how we repurposed an antique headboard into a lovely creativity board.

Using the headboard as the  template we cut 1/4 inch plywood into a smaller version of the headboard by trimming four inches off the pattern all the way around.

tracing headboard for template

hubby helping with creativity board 2

I placed a layer of quilt batting over the plywood and held that in place with a layer of burlap which we held in place with staples on the back side of the plywood.

cotton layer of creativity board

burlap layer on creativity board

Next we covered it with a vintage chenille bedspread, again stapled to the back. Staples were also used to attach the cotton string, snuggly but not taut, that we crisscrossed across the front, over the chenille. Where  the strings crossed each other, I stapled the intersection down into the plywood, creating a tuft. Then the plywood was glued to the headboard, which had been painted a soft white.

vintage button on creativity board

We applied construction adhesive to the back of the plywood, carefully centered on the headboard and weighted it down for several hours. To add strength we added screws through the back of the headboard into the plywood (making sure they did not protrude out the front side of the plywood. I finished the project with buttons over the intersections of the string.

jar of vintage buttons

Now the creativity board, hangs in the studio, covered with creative possibilities.

creativity board made from antique headboard

headboard repurposed into creativity board

I & E Button

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show and tell fridays

the shabby nest

craftberry bush link party

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Fun and unexpected container planters

Container plantings offers a fun  opportunity to add unexpected creativity around our homes and gardens.  I love to use discarded items like  cans, boxes, boots, birdhouses even old gourds. The creative options are limited only by our vision and willingness to be unconventional.  I look around at things with an eye for  color, scale, texture and a cavity that can hold  soil and plants. The process is easy,  if  the container doesn’t have a way to drain water, I  punch or drill holes in the bottom,  add a drain field by filling the lower quarter of the container with gravel or broken pot shards, then  I fill the rest of the container with  the  proper soil type, plant and enjoy.

 Air plants need no soil and add whimsy to a space.

glass orb hanging airplant planters

 Colorful wooden boxes make a great place to cluster plants…

vintage crate succlent table garden

indoors and out.

found container for porch planters

 Old garbage cans and  wheel barrels make fun and unexpected container planters…

rusty wheelbarrow recycled into garden planter

 as do old buckets and tubs.

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 Worn out birdhouses or feeders work great and add a little playfulness to a space..

vintage birdhouse planter

 Baskets are  classic containers but hanging them on an outside wall can be unexpected.

unexpected container planters

 Old crates are sought after for interior styling,  but this one was missing the bottom which made it perfect for my courtyard.

geranium planted in vintage wooden crate

  I love colorful labels and the paper on a can will last longer when sealed;  but sometimes I remove the label and simply  let the can rust.

colorful recycled tomato can planter

 I confess I sometimes buy a  products based on packaging,  if it can be creatively repurposed I want it.

succulents planted in colorful re-purposed olive oil tin

But sometimes a repurposable package is just a lucky extra.

bourbon box recycled into fun and unexplexted planter


Creative gathering: how to make paper

how to make paper

Hallelujah! Finally, my studio is restored and reclaimed! After months of repair and restoration, that threw my studio into disarray, I have my creative escape back.

 

cabin studio

 

I held a gathering to celebrate and the creative activity was paper-making.

 

how to make paper gathering at blue antler studio

 

Three of my five sisters – kindred spirits all – joined me in the celebration and the creative process of making paper.

 

making paper with kindred spirits in the studio

 

Having made paper with my small children, who are now ages 23-30 (admittedly a while ago),  I knew it was a simple, fun process. But I Googled “how to make paper” just to refresh my memory; it returned intimidating results with complicated, multi-step instructions. So I decided to turn off the computer and go with what I remembered about the process. After gathering supplies and putting on our creativity rings (a tradition among my sisters) we got started.

Supplies

Recyclable paper – torn or shredded (we had newspaper, junk mail, old magazines and paper bags).

Extra newspaper (blotting paper) and old towels – for blotting out water

An electric blender

Rolling pen

Chalk powder or crushed chalk pieces – for color

Flowers, leaves etc.

Water

Large container for water bath

A frame/screen sieve: This is a simple tool similar to what gold miners would use to pan for gold (the frame can be different sizes but need to be a few inches deep with the top side open and the bottom side covered with a taut, fine screen or sheer fabric) and must fit into the water bath container.

Hubby made a frame/screen sieve for each of us out of scrap 2×2 lumber and an old, torn window screen. For each sieve he cut the 2×2 lumber into two – 9 inch long pieces and two – 12 inch pieces (the size can be whatever you want and determines the size of the finished paper, but it must fit into the container used for the water bath).

Using glue, screws and the cut lumber pieces he constructed a simple, rectangular frame.

Then using the assembled frame as a pattern, he cut two pieces of screen, one slightly larger than the frame (which he stapled tautly across the bottom of the frame to create the sieve), the second piece of screen he cut to the size of the inner dimensions of the frame; on this piece he left 4×4 inch tabs on each end of the screen. The screen with the tabs fit snugly inside the frame/sieve with the tabs sticking up above the edge of the frame so we could use them to gently lift the paper out of the frame. (By using the extra screen with tabs to remove the newly made paper from the frame/sieve to dry, it allows you to make more paper with one frame more quickly: this step can be skipped and the newly made paper can be left in the frame/sieve to dry)

optional – creativity ring :)

 

making paper in our creativity rings

 

Step 1: shred recycle paper in blender adding enough water to make a thick soupy pulp (at this time you can add chalk for color, flowers or glitter etc.)

 

paper making using a kitchen blender

Step 2: fill water bath container with water

Step 3: place screen with tab inside the frame/screen sieve (make sure tabs are sticking up and out of the frame); place the frame/sieve into the water bath barely  submerging the screen; pour blended paper pulp into the frame/screen sieve until the screen is completely covered with a thin layer of pulp; gently swirl the frame in the water to evenly spread the pulp over the screen; at this point you can place pressed objects into the pulp, make sure there is some pulp overlapping the object.

water bath stage of making paper

 

beautifully embellished hand made paper

 

Step 4: lift the frame from the water bath, let drain and place on towel or layer of blotting paper and blot gently.

 

making paper using recycled newspaper

 

Step 5: using tabs on the screen gently lift the paper from the frame and place the screen with the new paper onto hard surface covered with a layer of blotting paper and cover with more blotting paper, gently roll with rolling pen (using no pressure) to express more water, then carefully peel off the blotting paper.

Step 6: carefully transfer the new paper to a drying rack with the newly made paper down and carefully peel away the screen with tabs.

papermaking, releasing from screen (2).JPG 2

 

We used another old screen as a drying rack.

 

making paper embellished with flowers and drying in the sun

It was a wonderful, creative gathering.

 

making paper gathering in the studio

And another moment for my collection.

Check out  the following link for more great sites full of inspiration

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replanting my perennial garden

Replanting my perennial garden.

dragonfly

If I could have  ordered up a perfect spring it would have looked and felt a lot like this one.  Actually, I can’t remember  a more perfect  spring season.  We have had cool to moderate temps, plenty of rain yet  enough dry time for  planting – which makes for very happy gardens.  It has been ideal for replanting my perennial garden starting with the flower  bed between the cabin and my studio, which had been pretty much  destroyed by deer and the recent repairs and remodeling and work on the courtyard. But now it is the  home to happy salvia, English lavender, penstemon ‘ red riding hood’, pink abelia, lantana, delphinium and coreopsis.

replanting my perennial garden

 

Deck with twisted vine rail and garvel courtyard

Gravel path between cabins

After stocking up on annuls at several  local green houses I  repurposed found objects like old wood crates, tin cans, gourds, a decaying bird house and even a rotting log into  planters for my porch.

Spring planters for the cabin porch

tomato can planter

gourd and birdhouse planters

Soon to come during this near-perfect spring –  a  new blackberry patch and tomato and pepper garden.

I love springtime!

For more inspiration heck out the party over  at the following links

vintage inspiration bif

http://www.dwellings-theheartofyourhome.com/

livelaughlinky-250x250

 


Old Chair, New Look

Aren’t these lovely? One old chair, gets a new look with paint and vintage table clothe.

Old chairs to refurbish

I have to start by confessing that I am not an expert on upholstery, in fact I’ve never upholstered anything before.  I have made slip covers but never have I stripped naked a piece of furniture and re-clothed it in a new look – but there’s a first time for everything. So I started carefully  pulling off fabric.

striping down old chair to refurbish

I found old cotton/horse hair/straw stuffing, burlap, metal  upholstery grip-strips (my terminology, probably not the correct term) and springs inside of my old chair .

Inside of old chair to be refurbish

Stripping off the old was easy, deciding what the new would be was more difficult.

lovely collection of fabric

I’m kind’a vibing pom-poms.

lov'n pom-poms

Finally I decided on using a vintage tablecloth (a cutter one), a soft warm white paint and pom-poms.

old chair new look with paint and vintage tablecloth

Old chair, new look

Check out this blog for more creativity

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Lovely Quilt Cube Side Table

Lovely Quilt Cube Side Table:

Basic box store foam cube up-scaled into this lovely, rolling,  quilt-cube side table.

quilt cube

Another empty-nest leftover transformed from this-

quilt cube foam blockquilt cube rolling base

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

to this-

quilt cube in room

Scraps of vintage textiles camouflage tears and blemishes in the cutter quilt slip-cover

quilt cube detail

while pieces of salvaged wooden planks with lovely distressed paint make the base.

quilt cube on wheels

Simple wheels finished the project.

 

 for more inspiration visit…

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vintage inspiration bif


Glamping – It’s a Girl Thing

Glamping – it’s a girl thing and it is coming to the ridge!  I’m hosting  a clamping weekend this fall for  my sisters and the planning is already underway. There will be  activities like bread baking, hiking, crafting, outdoor chick-flicks (Mama Mia, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, How to Make an American Quilt- suggestions welcomed) a vineyard picnic, or maybe a trip to the orchard,  campfires and of course glamping up our tents. This weekend sister Edna (my sister not a” Sister sister”) came by to help me on a trial tent glamp-up.

glamping

While it’s a must that our glamping accommodations be fabulous, here on the ridge we glamp on the cheap.  To that end,  our yard sale treasures this spring have been heavy on the glamping theme with lovely textiles, accessories and furnishings suitable for making  our tents, which will be pop-ups and picnic tents, fabulously  glamorous. With sister Enda’s pop-up tent and the yard sale’n inventory of lovely stuff, we put together a space that is the essence of glamor + camping.

glamping set-up

Sis arrived with her pop-up tent and a vision of  a filmy, white, shabby chic space; which I love, however I was feeling  a bit more color. As it turned out,  her tent was blue and we had only enough white sheers for three walls, so entered my colorful tablecloths and a touch of  bohemian; the marriage of our visions resulted in  a glorious space with a wonderful vibe.

fabulous glamping tent

The day was windy and we often found ourselves engulfed in a flowy mass of white, billowing in the breeze; so we anchored the bottom of the fabric by threading a string through the hems and securing the string under the stakes at each tent pole.

glamping on the ridge

Then we invited the rest of the sisters out for a preview…

glamping sisters (3)

and a few treats.

glamping eats

glamping sisters

I’m LOVE’N it!

I'm glamping

 check out

Glamping by MaryJane

 I’ve join the following linky party

 

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http://ivyandelephants.blogspot.com/2013/05/happy-blogiversary.html

 


Vintage Vibe For Box Store Shelving

Vintage vibe for box store shelving

. Vintage vibe for box store shelving

As an empty-nester I can verify that when  the chicks leave the nest they leave it far from empty. Each time one of our little darlings set out on their own, Hubby and I found ourselves the keeper stuff – unwanted, but wanted stuff; treasures of childhood, mementos of college days and  a menagerie of mismatched  furniture  usually in rough shape.  These shelves fall into the last category.

box store shelf update before

But after a little creative restyling they look like this…

box store shelf update finished

In fact they turned out so beautiful they were snatched up on the first day of my fall sale.

DIY:

Although the shelves were in good shape, they looked exactly like what they were, box store shelves. So I took sand paper to them and roughed them up enough so paint would  adhere. I then gave them a coat of a warm white paint and  sanded them again, taking off some of the white paint (more of the paint came off than I had intended or usually want, but this time it looked right so I went with it). Next step was to mellow the paint and any fresh wood exposed from sanding by coating the entire shelf with a dark stain (applied with a brush then quickly wiped off with a rag). Once it was completely dry I coated the shelves with a flat, clear sealer.

Meanwhile I took some vintage wallpaper I have been holding onto, cut it into strips as  wide as the inside depth of the shelves and  as long as the shelves were wide plus  and extra foot or so. With a  spray adhesive I covered the bake of the paper with fabric (I used remnants of old sheets) and trimmed the fabric to the size of the paper. This gave strength to the otherwise delicate paper.  I carefully wove the lined paper over and under the slates of the shelving. To finish I trimmed off the excess paper and secured the edges to the underside of the framing with furniture tacks.

This project turned out so beautiful,, I might have to make another with the remaining shelves in our keepers stash.

 


Lamp Love

vintage hankies repurposed into a lamp shape

Lamp love –

Lighting can create the mood but lamps can create the style!


A Lovely Gravel Patio

gravel patio

Ok friends here’s another project update…

But first a little background:
butterflies in the gardenA few years ago the beautiful garden between Blue Antler Studio and the cabin was in decline.  It started with the lovely elm tree which was unfortunately lost to the blight that swept through our area. Then after a late hard freeze, many of our pollinators suffered; dropping the number of butterflies frequenting the garden from dozens at a time to a handful ; and of course the native honeybee had already been struggling for several years. Then we opened up the kitchen wall and built the new deck which encroached further into the weakened garden. We soon realized it would make more sense to move the garden altogether and utilize the space between the two structures as an outdoor living area.

We got started by digging up the remaining plants in the garden.

transplanting flowers from my garden

We replanted them along the path that would lead to the new patio.

path to the patio

Then we graded off the area, taking it down to the same elevation of the studio before adding several inches of gravel.

grading ground for patio

After compacting the gravel we added a low retaining wall around the upper side of the patio, curving it to create a cozy circular seating area.

curve of patio wall

The next step was to build the fire pit in front of the seating area. With the help of my, can-do-it-all, brother and my, I’m stronger-than-I-look, daughter we took an old metal fire ring and some incredible rocks (remnants of an old barn foundation that once stood on my childhood farm) and we created this amazing fire pit.

my amazing fire pit builders

looking down on my patio and fire pit

first fire in fire pit

For the final touch, my sisters helped me gather up interesting containers to repurpose  into unique patio planters; filled with Joe pye, sedum, mums, geraniums, saliva, sweet potatoes and other various vines they now grace my new outdoor space.  (Useful tip – first we partially filled the containers with empty plastic bottles, caps on, to help fill the voluminous space).

A leaky metal garbage can, filled with blooms, adds interest to the studio entrance.

re-purposed garbage can as planter

An overflowing, rusty-red wheelbarrow adds balance flanking the other side of the door.

rusty red wheelbarrow planter

Old metal tubs and buckets and…

sedum and succulents planted in old metal tubs

some broken wooden crates scattered  around the patio, provide pops of whimsy and color.

geranium planted in old wooden crate

Finally, the result of all our efforts  is this lovely patio!

my new patio

my gravel patio

Stay tuned for phase two – it will involve a rustic arbor and this beautiful, live-cut, pine-slab for alfresco dinning.

live edge pine slab for patio table Hubby sure needs his workshop finished!


A Cabin Kitchen Remodel

country french inspired kitchen island remodel with antique rain gutter wine rack

We are finally finishing up or winding down our summer projects at the cabin and studio.  Actually my studio has been commandeered for storage and work space until hubby’s workshop/barn is completed. Fortunately not having my studio hasn’t been too much of an issue, as I’ve been so busy with house and yard projects over the last few months that I haven’t needed it; come fall however, it will be a different story. But now, as promised, is one of the projects that we have completed.

My kitchen started out last summer like this.

punched tin pine cabinet

Now, as it should be, it is my favorite room in the cabin.

Cabin kitchen remodel

Our first step was painting the bead-board ceiling a creamy white to help light reflect around the room. We then rearranged the appliances and added some old heart-pine cabinets that hubby had made almost thirty years ago for another house.  Because the cabinets were not designed for this space, we created open shelving, with painted bead-board backing (a wonderful green), to fill in the empty spaces. I loaded the shelves with lovely things – all mice proof of course, as this is an old cabin in the country.

Open shelving in farm kitchen

I love that all the textiles in the space are mismatched; my sister donated light airy curtains for the windows; vintage embroidered pillowcases cover the chair cushions; instead of doors under the counter we used French inspired table clothes as curtains; different patterned tablecloths also flank the sliding door which leads out to the new deck with twisted vine rails, which leads to the new patio…but all that will be in another post.

 

Cabin kitchen remodel with tablecloths as curtains

 Light airy curtains and landscape painting by kathry t lundberg, lighten a kitchen

The counter top and back-splash is walnut from an old tree that fell on the home place years ago and has been stored in my sister’s barn; Hubby roughed up the surface and rounded the edges to give it an aged look, then sealed it with food safe oil.  The sink was in the structure when we found it and was moved along with the logs to the current location. A few years ago hubby built the sink cabinet and I painted and finished it to look like an old piece of furniture (what a team we make)

cabin kitchen sink

The island was constructed from the very first piece of woodworking hubby made for the cabin, all those years ago; a pine cabinet with punched tin doors perched high on tall legs.  We removed the legs; painted and distressed the whole thing; added reclaimed porch posts and a couple of salvaged angle brackets from an old farm-house to support the new shelving and bar height counter. Finally we topped it off with a beautiful piece of marble given to us by a friend.  I finished the bar shelf with a primitive painting of the houses along the ridge. Hubby even put power in the island so at this Christmas’s tree trimming party I won’t be crowded in the corner with my back to the revelers while preparing the grilled cheese sandwiches.

french inspired kitchen island

distressed French blue kitchen cabinet doors

recycled porch posts for kitchen island

primitive folk art painting on kitchen counter by kathryn t lundberg

folk art painting on kitchen island counter

The lighting is the final project; I’m just waiting for the perfect fixture to find its way to me.

Country French inspired Cabin kitchen remodel with antique rain gutter wine rack

 vintage farmhouse

 


Summer Projects Around the Cabin and Studio

pine cabinet before being repurposed

As I write this post I’m sitting on my cabin porch on rocky round.  The summer has been hot and volatile but this morning the air is cool and fresh.  For the past month hubby and I have been supper busy around the studio and cabin. We have been finishing up the kitchen remodel, creating a gravel patio, renovating the guest loft, revamping the garden beds and most ambitiously building a workshop/barn for my hubby.

I’m posting a few pics of the ongoing projects, but I will post more details of the projects as they are completed.

We are refurbishing and re-purposing this old pine cabinet hubby made 25 years ago.

pine cabinet before being repurposed

It now looks like this…

french inspired kitchen island made from recycled cabinet

I’m loving it!

The space between the studio and the cabin is being transformed into a gathering area; when completed it will house a fire-pit, chairs and a gorgeous, ten foot, live-edge table! Hubby has a lot on his honey-do list.

I even got to drive the bobcat-too much fun!

bob-cat used to grade patio

And hubby is working hard; looking good honey.

digging a trench for plumbing

Notice the rock wall around the garden, I’m learning all sorts of new skills.

gravel paito

And here’s hubby’s new shop/barn.

building a workshop/barn

I will share the finished projects as they are completed.


My Time By The Sea

florida river-side cottage, painting acrylic on canvas

path to the beach

While I am excited to soon be headed back to the ridge, Blue Antler Studio and  the creativity that will inevitably spring from the gatherings with my family and fellow creative kindred spirits; I have immensely enjoyed my time here at the sea’s edge. It has been very rewarding both in creativity and in simple joy.

I’ve painted…

playing at the shore, painting, acrylic on canvas

florida Lake, painting, acrylic on canvas

florida river-side cottage, painting acrylic on canvas

click here to see more paintings

I’ve been inspired by the endless moods of the Atlantic and its passionate dance with the shore.

dramatic sunrise over the atlantic

dramatic skies over the sea

ominousness skies over the ocean

lightening over the atlantic

blue-green waters of the atlantic

And Hubby and I finally made time to tackle some of the projects we’ve wanted to complete. Beginning with the amazing Brooklyn Flea Market find that we purchased during our last trip to visit our daughter and her hubby in NYC. The moment I spotted the old shoe factory cart, with its warm, worn patina and small industrial wheels, in my mind’s eye it was already sitting in my small beach-side kitchen with beautiful bottles of wine resting on its racks; and now…

vintage, shoe factory rack found at brooklyn flea

 that’s exactly where it resides.

old shoe rack repurposed into wine rack

I think all this creativity is worthy of a toast; umm? which bottle to choose?

shypoke wine, calistoga, CA

Cheers to the sea, the ridge, creativity and simple joy!

 


Love’n The Versatile Succulent

Ever since my daughter chose to use succulents in her wedding, I have been in love with these beautiful, durable plants.

succulent wedding bouquet

 

succulents as table decor

From bouquets, to planters, to the garden, even to the garden wall, their versatility makes them perfect for so many applications.

succulents in the garden

To add a splash of eclectic fun to my window, I recently used a colorful olive oil tin and re-purposed it into a sill sized planter. First I used a belt sander to grind off the top of the tin. Then using hot soapy water I cleaned the empty tin. Next, I punched a few holes into the bottom and filled it half way to the top with pea gravel, before filling it the rest of the way with a cactus potting mixture. Finally I added the succulents and finished by covering the soil with pea gravel.

succulents planted in re-purposed olive oil tin

Spread the love – plant some succulents!

for more inspiration check out the party…

collage 5-1-13 2

http://www.commonground-do.com/


Super Simple Rug DIY Project

spray painted rug in living room

I have a super simple DIY project to share.  Part of life on the ridge is dealing with tracked in mud.  I tried situating a bench on the porch,  to sit and take off muddy or dirty boots, but we county folk tend to wipe off our  boots, not take them off.

rustic bench on cabin porch

Most of the time this is fine, but  in the spring the mud can be maddening! So I decided to try a rug. I knew it would have to be durable;  indoor/outdoor durable.  I already had a decent quality porch rug, but it was plain and kind of boring. Could it be made living room quality with a little  paint?…yes!

For this project you’ll need – A rug (indoor/outdoor, Berber or low pile loop), paint, painter’s tape and a ruler or tape measure.

I started by marking off lines of varying width and taped them off.

(I chose to do stripes but I also considered putting them on the diagonal as well as replicating the studio floor’s large harlequin diamonds – your rug  your way)

harlequin diamond painted on floor

Whatever design you decide on,  after taping out the pattern it’s time to paint: I used regular ole’ acrylic spray paint but you could use liquid paints and roll  or brush on your pattern. Final step – remove the tape, and…

Voila!

spray painted rug in living room

I said it was simple, now go paint a rug!


Rebuilding My Jewlery Collection

 

Not too long ago I came home, after a weekend away, to find glass scattered across the kitchen floor. While we were out, someone had broken into our home. It was a crime of opportunity; we had forgotten to stop the paper delivery and our neighbors, who would usually pick them up for us, were also gone, so a pile of papers had collected in the driveway. The house was not trashed and the monetary loss wasn’t high, however my jewelry, not particularly valuable but rich with memories and sentiment, was for me a great loss.

 But then from the loss came something beautiful. A few days after the theft a package arrived at my door; inside a pair of blinging earrings and a ring  and this note from my daughter…

note with gift of jewlery from my daughter

 It was a thoughtful sweet surprise, but there was more to come…

That afternoon I found a package waiting at my door; inside a crazy fun necklace and a note from a friend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then another friend knocked on my door baring more surprises. It was then I learned of the lovely gesture, devised by my two beautiful daughters,with the amazing  group of women I call friends as their conspirators.

 Dear All,

As you may have heard, our parent’s house  was broken into
over the past weekend. Thankfully no one was hurt and there was not
much property damage. Unfortunately the thieves had a clear idea of
what they were looking for, and along with the tv, our mom’s jewelry
box was stolen. While the monetary value of the jewelry is certainly a
factor, the biggest loss are her necklaces, earring, rings, and
bracelets collected over a lifetime. Her collection ranged from a ring
given to her by our grandmother when she was thirteen, to her high
school class ring, to the glass jewelry she purchased on her trip to
Italy, to the bracelet our dad gave her on Kate’s wedding day. These
special pieces are the largest loss.

As you can imagine, she is feeling disheartened over the break in and
the loss of her lifelong collection. In an effort to cheer her up, we
are requesting a small favor of you. We kindly ask you to look through
your jewelry collection. If you have any pieces that you no longer
wear (or have ever worn!) and can easily part with, please send your
surplus jewelry with a note to my mom. Please do not send anything
that has any monetary or sentimental value! The idea is to help her
build her collection from the bottom up- inexpensive plastic earrings,
old bangle bracelets, anything that you no longer have use for. If you
are unable to participate, we of course understand, and ask that
instead just send a little note letting her know you are thinking of
her. Her address is listed below.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel very free to email
us. We thank you so much for considering this request. Please note
that this is intended to be a surprise! We all know that life without any
sparkle or bling can bring even the best of us down!

Sincerely,

Kate & Cindy

 

So day by day  my precious jewelry collection is being rebuilt gift by gift…

 While the new pieces fill the void left by my lost jewelry, they don’t  replaced the memories and stories gathered through the years of collecting them , but they have added a whole new chapter to those stories and created memories I will treasure even more. 

 Thanks ladies,  for your friendship…

and my new jewelry!

 


A Pin Cushion Made From Fabric Scraps and Vintage Dish

pin cushion made from vintage table cloth and white dish

pin cushion made from vintage table cloth and white dishVintage pin cushion

Recently I had a friend mention that she didn’t have a pin cushion so I thought I would take a few minutes and make one for her.  Since she loves the shabby chic style and has an affinity for old textiles, as do I,  I thought repurposed materials would fit her style aesthetic. Using a little milk glass dish, some scrap from a vintage table-cloth, a stocking and a hand-full of cedar shavings, I created this sweet, shabby chic pin cushion.

This is such a simple project and no sewing is required!

The supplies needed: Scissors, rubber band, a piece of yarn or string, old nylon stockings,  fine wood shavings (you could use cotton stuffing instead but I like the feel, the old fashion quality and aroma of  cedar shavings), some fabric and a small container like my milk glass dish or tea-cup. (construction adhesive optional)

supplies gathered to make pin cushion

Cut the fabric into a large circle; size will depend on the size of the dish, but a nine-inch diameter worked for my smallish container.

stocking used to make pin cushion

Cut the stocking six or so inches from the toe and stuff the toe with wood shavings until you have formed a ball large enough to fill the container and tie off the opening.

making the pin cushion

Place the stuffed stocking in the center of the fabric circle and wrap the fabric up and around the stocking ball, pull it taut and tie off tail using the rubber band. Tie off again using the string or yarn.

 making pin cushionfabric tied around filling of pin cushion

 Fan out the fabric;  smoothing and pulling it evenly back over the bottom of the ball. Wedge the ball into the container, a dab of good glue such as construction adhesive will hold it securely.

white dish used to make pin cushion

And you will have created a lovely little pin cushion

pin cushion made from vintage table cloth and white dish

Now gather up the supplies and surprise some special with a unique pin cushion.

for more great inspiration visit

blogpic2-1


Architectural Salvage

My hubby and I recently attended a lovely, out-of-town wedding.  Since we were there for the weekend we had some time to spend with each other; and hubby surprised me with the perfect outing – a trip to an architectural salvage yard. It was a wonderful surprise and we had a great time: I even found a few treasures (imagine that).

archictectural salvage yard

After spending the morning digging through pieces and remnants of the past, we drove to the wedding with treasures poking out of the trunk, tied down with twine, and filling the back seat of my car.  We got a few stares, laughs and Beverly Hillbilly comments, but of course no one who knew us was surprised.

rusty metal candle sconce for garden accent

A rusty metal candle sconce. I think this will work great in my garden.

large paper dispenser

 I’ve needed a large paper roll dispenser at the studio for some time; now I have one.

amazing patina on old mirror

I love, love, love this old mirror; it has the most wonderful patina.

patina detail on old mirror

Here is a detail of the beautiful patina; see why I love it.

top of old wooden wheeled cartwheels for salvaged cart

And finally the most exciting find of all, an old (rotting), wooden  cart on wheels; well it’s not quit on wheels yet, but it will be once restored and then it will make a great coffee table in the cabin: So excited.


Better With Time

gladys at the quilt frame

quilting

It wasn’t long ago I was visiting my mom on a cold winter day when she pulled out a long ignored quilt top that she wanted to finish. As we were looking it over we discovered that it was missing one side of a border, which presented a dilemma.  Mom no longer had the fabric she had used when she started the top, but we soon came up with a solution which began a search through the beautiful collection of fabric she has preserved over the years.

 mom's collection of quilt fabric

During the search I came upon a small scrap of fabric that I fell in love with and immediately knew I wanted to do something creative with it; so I set the scrap aside for the moment and continued to help mom with her project.

fabric sample recycled

The calling to do something with that small piece of fabric would be realized a few days later at my Dad’s barn.

Dad has transformed the old barn, used in years past to house livestock that helped support our family, into junk/treasure storage.

While some may see a lot of “junk” in Dad’s barn, we on the ridge see mostly treasures.  Dad was helping me gather some old mason jars, for another project stirring around in my head, when on the far back wall I spotted it; an old frame covered in the dust of time.It took both me and Dad moving boxes, hand saws and standing on whatever I could to rescue the fame from its hiding place, but once I had it in my hands I knew it would be perfect for that beautiful scrap of fabric I had been holding on to.

 Dad thought it was in too rough of shape but I knew it would be fine. The finish had lost a lot of its shine, it had chips here and there and a white wash from a previous era was flaking off, but the beauty was still there, even enhanced.

old salvaged frame

The frame and fabric have now been put together and I can only describe the marriage of the two as a piece of art, of history, and a poignant reminder of time moving on.

old frame with salvaged fabric

Through this creative journey I came to realize that the faded fabric and tarnished frame are much like the two special people from whom I had gotten them,  a little worn by time, a few chips and nicks here and there but more beautiful  than ever after over 65 years together.

This post was contributed by my sister: Thanks Edna for sharing your inspiration and insight.

 


Success At The Antique Fair!

wardrobe display at renninger's setup

our renninger's booth staged and ready for buyers

Our first big sale at a retail venue was a great success. We sold a lot of merchandise and had a great time. It was however a lot of work and we couldn’t have gotten through the loading and unloading and running back and forth without my hubby’s unfailing support; he was our truck driver, our delivery guy, our fix it if it got broken guy, our deal with grumpy neighbors guy, he did it all. Thanks hubby!

setting up our booth at renninger's 1/12

hubby helping with setup

Many of the folks that stopped by our booth asked about our shop location and our plans for future shows, and of course we had neither, but we did direct them here to Blueantlerstudio.com; so if you are one of our new creative friends, welcome. Many of our buyers encouraged our creativity and urged us to considered doing more shows, but we’ll see. After a little down time Lisa and I will decide what direction, if any, we would like to take and, of course, once we have decided, you all will be the first to know.

running low on merchandise at the renninger's extravaganza

merchandise at the extravaganza

beautiful heart pine table and table top wine rack

Most of the items featured in the following photos sold!

most of the things in this photo sold!

all the jars and the wire stand sold

items that sold at the extravaganza

kathy and lisa in renningers booth


Our Booth Of Eclectic Home Furnishings And Collectables!

booth at renninger's extravaganza

 

booth at renninger's extravaganzaAfter a very long day our booth is ready and we are so pleased with the way it looks.  We had a lot of positive feedback and several sales offers. While our closest neighbor comes across a little abrasive at times, I think the elderly man and his wife are probably nicer than their first impression would indicate; we certainly hope so, but tomorrow we’ll have a stash of sangria on hand, just in case we need to calm our nerves and shore up our patience.

booth at renninger's extravaganza

Check back to hear how it goes.


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