baby blue chandelier


So I took a class. Encouraged by my Mom and Husband in the form of a birthday present.  Once upon a time I knew how to weld, but I definitely needed a refresher.  Despite the anxiety of once again entering a school I persevered, poor me I know. If you are new to reading my blog then you need to know I have a lamp obsession. An obsession that depends on using only found and recycled materials, however this is difficult sometimes when there is a specific request for size.  The armature required to build lamps is hard to find in a thrift store. Even though tearing apart ugly lampshades is kind of rewarding, I don’t like to be limited in size.  I bend my rules and learn to bend some metal.



I constructed three squares of metal for a three-tiered square chandelier (I was getting tired of circles)

My chosen material for the shade which has been in the back of my car for at least a month for fear of delving questions; is baby blue venetian blinds.  I have been hunting these down for a while, but I can’t even begin to explain why.


I am not sure if they were ever used, but they were at The Habitat Home Store. If you have ever been to one of these they don’t sell anything unless priced. My beautiful baby blues were not price marked, but apparently marked as “no one will ever want these” and I scooted out the door only having spent 1 buck.  I bring them into the house and leave them on the kitchen table for at least a day. When I sit down with my tin snips and my ruler nobody pays me any attention at all.


me- snip snip snip

The Teenager- Hi Mom.

me- Hello Love.

The Associate- walks by with nary a glance.

we sit down to dinner as I sweep my blinds aside, nothing. We finish dinner and I sweep my blinds back onto the table. nothing.

me-You know what I love?

Family- ??

me- not a single one of you thought it was at all strange that I was cutting up a set of old blinds on our kitchen table. I have finally reached the status of “we know it will be something cool” YES FINALLY.

The Teenager – but mom we don’t need anymore lamps.

me- too bad.

my next step after cutting them is to figure out how to punch holes in the very thin metal. A drill is overkill and hammer and nail is too loud, ah thumb tack!  Unfortunately for The Associate she broke a cardinal rule and left something in my studio (she does all the time) and her new calendar was put to use.


I marked some lines and went to town poking holes.  I then rigged up the smallest square and started winding 18 gauge metal wire around the frame and sort of sewed on the blinds.


After all three layers are done I attached the to smaller squares to the largest with metal clips and more wire, trying to make it all even takes some time, but I think I have it.


It isn’t quite done because I have to find a place to hang it before I wire it, but I think it will be cool. I even have enough metal to spare to make another. Sorry Family. xo



deep sea dresser.

This is the first thing I see upon waking everyday.


Actually no, the dog is usually on top of us, but I am referring to that beauty behind him.

I know your familiar with pieces of furniture that are purchased or scavenged only to be put in place to be fixed up at another time.  We have a tiny little master suite and it was quite a challenge to find a dresser low enough and with enough storage, so I was keeping this baby around.  On this particular day after several years of looking upon this ” kinda ” interesting piece I was ready to go.  As if to echo the depth of the despair that this endless winter has brought. I settled upon deep-sea maps.

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Yes, we can all thank The Associate for the lovely drawing of our family “ON MY STUFF!”

After figuring out I had just enough to cover all of the drawers (this is a big step for me. I usually just jump right in)

I gathered my supplies




-little cup


After a thorough cleaning the drawer fronts and dresser, I mixed my glue with a little water to make it spread on nice and thin and smooth.


I applied a layer of glue and smoothed on the paper from the center out, I then flipped the drawer onto the front so the paper would dry flat.





When they dried I flipped them back over and gave them a coat of glue on top. When that layer was dry I used my 100 grit sandpaper to sand the edges, effectively removing the excess paper and making a nice straight cut.  I then put another layer of glue to make sure all edges were secure.







digging for gold.

Ever since I moved back to Cleveland I have been going to estate sales.  These usually occur on Friday mornings and they are serious business. There is one woman who shows up at the house at 5 in morning to get a number at 9:30 to be let in the house at 10. That is just plain crazy. I do have to avert my eyes as she leaves because she has bought all the stuff I would have bought. Actually it’s kind of hard not to hate her. I wish I was a morning person.

Before The Teenager was a teenager I would always bring her along. The nice ladies running the sale would always gush over her and give her stuff, but once she was in preschool I was solo again. Without my baby buffer and instant conversation starter I began bringing a book.  I found it difficult to make small talk about what would be in there. I just like to dig through people’s junk, and luckily I can usually find stuff that nobody else wants and make it into something cool, oorrrrr store it for ten years.

The Teenager managed not go to school this Friday so I dragged her along with promises of donuts, and a T.J. Max trip.  We arrived very late, around 12, and there were still people waiting!


The Teenager- donuts…..?

Me- just hold on. It won’t take long.

The Teenager- Mom? I pretty sure there isn’t much left in that tiny house.

Me- that’s a bad attitude.

The Teenager- That woman just left with a dead person’s colander. I’m pretty sure only the dreggs are left.

Me- maybe she was specifically looking for a colander to add to her collection.

TT-  If she is desperate to strain something why doesn’t she just go to target and buy a clean one. I wouldn’t ever be able to stop thinking about what that dead woman “strained”  in there.

Me- thanks for image. Come on let’s go.

As we wait another 20 minutes in the biting cold, The Teenager continues to make me laugh.


TT- If this was my house I would totally put pictures of my face in those Flan looking holes.

Me- pose for me.


this is the first time I was allowed to put her image on my blog. (as if it isn’t already plastered across every other social media site.)

TT- I feel bad for that shovel.

Me- why?

TT- it has got to be the most useless shovel in the world, sad.


Me- snort.

We finally get in, and nice ladies freak out! That can’t be Ruby!!! hugs.. well wishes…. I remembers….. so nice. I wish I took pictures.

We left about 30 minutes later with a pile a random stuff for 5 bux, off to get some donuts.

mess managed.

My wood shop/garage is 10 degrees. I can’t cut, sand, or paint. So, as I sit on my couch lazy as can be I decide I can organize.  I am sure many are guilty of this, but I am especially because the bookshelf that holds all DVDS and games is at least 10 feet away from the TV.

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Oops. just detected an overdue copy of The Little Mermaid.

On a recent thriftaganza I unearthed this gem with the 1986 version of THE Print Shop intact.

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The Associate has reached the age that she can play on my computer. (deep sigh)  When I left the room for 5 seconds the other day she managed to print out thirty of these.


A 2 by 3 image on a full sheet of paper. I  explained to her that this is wasteful and banned her from future printer use.  However, these once coveted sheets have been in my studio for over three weeks, and that makes them scrap.  I cut them down to squares and put them in my new organizer in hopes that they might go between the disks to prevent further damage.


handy-dandy labeler.


now if the discs can just make it 10 inches into here we are all good.



bead buddy.


It is pretty obvious that I won’t be going anywhere today, so I dragged myself up to my studio to try to complete the clean out and unearthed this little thingymabob.


with its “smooth and easy action”


and its stupid instructions. Yes I know they are sideways. IMG_5042 I grabbed the first cache of beads and string I found and made my first attempt.IMG_5039First I used the pictures. nope. ” wow. damn that’s sharp” Then I haphazardly read instruction number 1 and 3. again failure. Then I read 2 and 4 “OHHHHHH I get it, OUCH. not really. Unwilling to accept defeat I “you tubed” it, and low and behold there was a thirty second video of how to use The Bead Buddy. Thank goodness!  Somebody out there gets me! I had to watch 10-13 seconds at least five times, while I watched Ms. Magic fingers effortlessly make perfect knots with a pokey weapon like implement. “Is she kidding?”  I wish this was a dramatization.  I felt like I had fives thumbs and they all wanted to party at the same time. I toiled for another twenty minutes and successfully connected 6 beads. Good job Shannon.  I think I’ll try that again in the summer.IMG_5040I’m sorry Mickey and Nicky for my utter ignorance of grammar, and the rules of the English language.  IMG_5007thanks for reading.

guess what this is gonna be?


This is what is left of The Associate’s rocking chair.  Much loved and much rocked.  When I tried to tighten it’s many loose screws I realized it’s time had come. I quietly removed it from the living room so as not to make her mad. Then it sat in the basement for a spell. Now it will be something else.  Now if I could just get my work table in order I could start.

petal necklace.

I found these delightfully colored petals in a basement at an estate sale.  The original purpose of these beauties was samples for wrought iron lawn furniture. I like to think that they were sitting in the same place for forty years just waiting for me to find them.  These are exactly the kind of items The Associate would pilfer from my studio,  and I have a fondness for large statement necklaces, so I got to work.

I first cleaned them up a bit because they each had a sticker with the code numbers and color.  Using a large link vintage chain I made jump rings for each petal.


Using malleable aluminum 16 gauge wire, I made a crude framework to hang the petals on, and layered them in a pyramid fashion.


Using the remainder of the chain I completed the necklace.


I think I’ll wear it tonight.

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My earliest medium was collage. So cheap and easy just rip stuff up or cut it out and paste, so simple. When I was a photography student at NYU I would spend hours doing this, when I finally got my single room.  It slowly evolved into a series of images that would become my senior work.   Dreamlike and colorful and tear dropped shaped. I made petal shaped frames in the wood shop and a million small leaf like blobs, and everything attached to the wall with Velcro. I transformed my allotted space and took it over like a huge vine from the ground all they up to and onto the ceiling. I thought it was awesome. It had never been done before.

Anyway I kept the collages all these years, the frames long ago dumped.  I cut out rectangle segments out of them and put them in frames. Some with colored or dimpled glass. The one below has yellow glass left over my short obsession with stained glass.


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I still find the images interesting, they show evidence of a girl doing her best to set herself apart. I guess I am still that girl, just not as weird.

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I love a good puzzle. jigsaw puzzles mostly. Unfortunately nobody else in my family does, so it is usually me sitting at the table with The Associate underneath and around concocting an elaborate game.  As instructed by The Associate I only speak when asked a question by her about her make believe universe.  These questions could be about anything and I must answer correctly or she becomes exasperated, and recedes back underfoot.  Hey, at least I get to do my puzzle, and she is only being partially ignored.

One year while hunting for treasure in a giant red barn in upstate NY, I found an old wooden puzzle.  The box was a mess and there was no sign of a picture, so of course i bought it.  It sat on my table for awhile.  I pushed the pieces around a bit, but I couldn’t tease out the image.  So what do I do you ask?

I drill holes in them, obviously, and make earrings!

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I like the last pair because they look like Ohio.

rescue mission: mermaid riding glowing seahorse.

My fabulous friends bought me this lamp for my birthday a couple years back.


They know me well it seems. I am nutty when it comes to the color orange.  Any shade of it will do, I even drive an orange car.  They also could predict my lamp obsession before I wired my first creation up.

It has been sitting on my desk since I got it. It was my immediate intention to replace all the glass glowing balls  because they were cracked and yellowing. I removed them…… Now possibly years later, it’s rescue time.

It is really ridiculous how quickly that went.  Some Krazy glue and some glass balls and done.  Can’t wait till it gets dark so I can turn it on.


And yes that is a silk-screening octopus behind it.


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