A mighty wind.

While away at a very lovely wedding a mighty wind came through and took down my awesome three-tiered herb garden Martha and Steve made me. The wind was so strong that my porcelain glove form decided to join a gang.


Picking up the pieces of my annihilated herb garden I finally decided what to do with my microwave Pillsbury bundt cake pans. They have been sitting outside in a box that is quickly turning to mush, so it is now or never.  Does anyone actually make cake in the microwave?  Apparently not because these pans are abundant at every thrift store I frequent.

1. The original off white color isn’t pleasing to my eye at all, so I must spray paint. The first can I find that will go right over plastic in one step is yellow so I go for it.


2. When the paint is dry, and still I have them upside down,  I drill 7 little drainage holes in their bundts.

3. flip over and drill a hole in the middle to thread rope through.


4. fill with soil and plants. this is tricky to make them balanced. (I had to add a few rocks to some)

5. Tie a knot,  and thread a washer onto the rope.

6. thread the rope through the bundt up and repeat for next two pans.  (you can measure the rope so that the knots are evenly spaced, or you can throw caution to wind and wing it.)

Now you have a three-tiered herb garden. it is my hope that I can hang it inside this winter and see whats makes it. I will obviously have to add something to catch the water, but I cross that bridge when I come to it.  At least I saved the plants.


my reel lamp.

While whiling around the dungeon I discovered a half lamp. As my disorders dictate this is a normal occurrence at my house.  The gray skies that drove me down here in the first place had not yet dispersed and the organizing was not going well, so I finished the lamp.  I have nowhere to put it, but it is done.  It all began with a film canister.


1. drill a hole the size of threaded rod in the canister. slowly…… It gets really hot.

2. widen the hole on the film reel with the same drill bit.

3. glue the canister sides back to back. This makes a space on the bottom to add weight and run the cord, and creates a dish for change or jewelry or whatever.



4. add weights, I reused weights (which are basically heavy pieces of metal) from another lamp and secured them with washer and a nut to the threaded rod.

5. This is the trickiest things about making lamps, everything has to come together so when you put on the socket at the top it all fits together tightly.  In order for my second story to stay up I supported it from the top and bottom with aluminum camping pole scraps. I cut them to the appropriate size using a tube cutter. I really need a new blade.


6. now that everything is on the rod, screw on the bottom half of the socket and make sure it is all going to be happy together.

7. run the cord from the bottom up and attach it to the socket.

8. pull the excess cord down and snap the socket all into place with the sleeve.

9. test the connections by plugging the lamp into wall and using a light bulb, of course.

10. put your lamp shade on and Voila` (that is for you Nicky:)

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Now I guess I’ll put it back in the basement.

clutter crusher.

I am renovating our kitchen one wall at a time.  This not only satisfies my wandering brain but we have a working kitchen at all times.  Combine that brain with a sharp need to use only recycled items and it is a looooong process. My husband has been very patient, Thanks honey.  You saw this wall a while back.


lineoluem samples as tile.

I have moved around to the next wall, actually it was a while ago. slow going. thanks honey.  I love to have a cork board so I started with that. I had to buy the cork in rolls and glue to a piece of hardy board that I cut to fit the space, making sure to cut holes for plugs and what not (that is the technical term.)  I then addressed the apparent inability of my family to keep their ducks in rows paper wise. Pile here, here, and oh yea over there.  I know Vivian is a bit young to manage her bills, but their is really no excuse for the other members of the family including myself.  So I galloped out to the garage with a new idea swarming around in my head.  I firmly tell myself “only scrap material allowed from this garage allowed in this project.”  This is good for several reasons. 1. I won’t wander off to the hardware store. 2. I won’t spend anymore money on this wall. 3. I get rid of some of the crap in my garage.

I get busy building a box with six compartments. I make sure that this box will indeed fit under my kitchen cabinet when it is done. Good job Shannon, that was a hard learned lesson. I now have my box, I painted it the same color as the kitchen walls with leftover “Witty Green” Sherwin Williams paint.  Now I have to address the issue of facing my box because I used scrap wood and the edges look rough.  Dig Dig Dig. oh look Lincoln Logs, and other less cool blocks.  Knowing full well that my associate has enough Lincoln logs to build her own log cabin I didn’t feel badly cutting them up.

A giant improvement on the table saw in the last 20 years is the blade guard. This wonderful invention keeps the wood that you remove from coming back out and taking out your eye. Nice right? Unfortunately, I had to remove my blade guard to cut the Lincoln logs in half.  I don’t recommend this at all. underline. Anyway, I cut them in half without loss of digit or eye and tacked them onto the box with my nail gun.  Now how to label them…hmmmmmm. wood burner duh. I burned the appropiate names on the logs with my handy wood engraving tool. Mom, Dad, Ruby, Viv, File, and S**T.   It looks a little rough, but It goes with the feel. I then mounted it on the wall using some brackets and sorted paper.  So far, so good

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under the clutter and to the wood clock.


On a recent thriftazganza I unearthed a clock from underneath a child’s toilet seat. Yes I still picked it up.  I don’t let the threat of infectious diseases stop me.  After I removed the clock works I thoroughly disinfected the glorious 70’s ish masterpiece.  Fortunately for me the maker of this clock really liked to poly urethane the heck out of things, so the surface was non-porous by like four layers. Once the specimen of great design was dry. I tested to make sure the works worked. They DID! yea.  I then pulled out my treasure trove of clock hands and selected a new pair.


I couldn’t figure out what to use for the numbers. I went through several options before settling on some buttons.  These are the kind that have a hole in the back instead in the center, so snipped the hole down with wire cutters to make them sit flush.  A little Elmer’s glue and now it is rescued.



not so pretty, but effective.


With dwindling days of camp left I fear for free time.  Those delicious hours when you can get every thing done are slipping away.  Just the other day I was trying to help my Aunt Laurie do something, and this little person kept tripping up my fragile attention span.  My aunt Laurie being of the awesome variety kept the nudge busy by having her measure everything in the house and then compare the sizes.  Brilliant.  She does have infinitely more patience than I do.  The next day she scooted over with some goodies to keep my associate busy.  The adorable little composition notebook is to serve as her measurement journal.  My tendency to make everything compact and organized got the better of me and I dug up a little tape measure and found a nub of a pencil.  Using the top of a gift box, and some duck tape I fashioned a holder on the back of the notebook to house the all important accessories for proper measuring.  while my associate patiently waited. (She did this, not I)



so there you have it, it’s not too pretty, but effective.


put a dragon on it. or a bird.

Pink dragon Bag

So when I was an obsessed art student in my tiny duplex apartment, I spent a great deal of time cutting Japanese paper stencils with an x-acto knife.  I still have the scars to prove it and obviously some of the stencils survived the 6 plus moves after they were so diligently cut.  I am trying to remember why I did that. Nope got nothing.  Oh wait I remember I was making scarves. Wow another issue I have, scarves. I still make them to this very day. Back to the purses. I love a good vintage bag and have a ton, so on a nice 60 degree day I gathered up my stencils and my bags and headed outside. I say 60 degree because I have found that it is a good temperature for spray paint. Too hot and the paint never cures, too cold and it dries too fast and you are also cold. I sprayed a light dusting of spray adhesive on the back and let it dry a bit.  Spray adhesive is really nasty stuff so make sure to wear a mask.  One time I inhaled a puff and had a nice coating of ick on my throat for days.  I let it dry a bit because I did not want it to leave a residue on the bag. Once my stencil was in place I sprayed and let dry in the shade. Usually one coat would do it, in some cases I added another layer.  I still have ton of bags they just have birds or dragons on them (thank you Portlandia)

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I have obviously had a lamp issue for some time.

I have three places I spent my youths, yes that is plural. The first one was an idyllic setting in Cleveland Ohio where we played kick the can till dark and walked to school. The second was the first 5 years I lived in New York City. The subsequent 3 years were spent trying to leave, but it is soooo hard to leave NYC. The third is where I ended up after I gave up the struggle, Wilmington NC. Imagine a city whose warmth surrounds you. The people I met here when I was 27 and lost took me for just exactly who I was and stuck around like a nasty rash for the last 10 plus years. I got a lot packed into my four years there until I had to move on.
My brood and I have been visiting wilmington for a week already destroying homes and good habits of the people we love.
Our first stop on our tour was the lovely, inviting home of Wendy and David, avid collectors and all around awesome people. First thing I did was re wire some lamps they inherited. I attempted to clean the lampshades but failed miserably. After prying ourselves from their comfortable cocoon. We mozzied over to The Jackson’s. We have been here for a whole five days now. Children, adults and dogs having a ball before I recognized a lampshade I made 12 years ago and they still love. Maybe lamps are my thing?


sad lamp, now happy

I found this lamp in pieces on a tree lawn and I thought it deserved another chance.



I took it apart and cleaned it thoroughly then checked the wiring which was remarkably intact.

I then gave the metal pieces a light sand to take down the glossy finish so paint would be able to stick to it.

choosing the colors on hand in my paint arsenal, two Krylon and one Rustoleum.


Luckily I had the the colors that match the new pillows I made for the porch (update pictures to come later)

and put it back together, now it is happy again.


Lamp jones.

I have been stockpiling prescription bottles that are a perfect orange.  When we get to know each other better you will figure that orange is my favorite color.  I am not sure what my obsession with lamps is all about but I literally NEED to make them.  Almost every room in my house is outfitted with a custom lamp by moi.  At this point I would like to thank my long suffering family for their patience and ease in the wake of my most recent “hobby” (and they never said a peep about perhaps me burning down the house).  So I say today we make a night light!!!!!!  My youngest has been having bad dreams as of late and I intend to ease her pain.  In trademark Shannon style, I scrounge.

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step 1. start with scraps  and cut to same size. step 2. attach them with some random attachy thing found in basement.


step 3. Because I am using different textures of wood, decopague using YES glue which is the best glue ever.


I really don’t want the bottles to stick so far out so I aim to cut them down. One of my personal favorite tools is known as the pipe cutter.  I realize quickly that it wants to crush my plastic so I find a suitable pipe to put inside the bottle so it can do its job properly.


I quickly trim all of the bottles and move onto design, yes I know, backwards.  I choose something that would make her happy if awakened in the middle of the night by a pesky dream.

After laying it out on the wood I get my handy Makita out and start drilling partial holes with my 1 1/4 paddle bit.  I then use another bit to drill all the way through the wood and apply glue.


The tops to said prescription bottles make great glue holders can’t recycle them might as well use them before they are sent to the landfill.


I forgot to take a picture at the next stage. Sometimes you can’t interrupt genius.  I inserted a cut bottle into each hole and let it dry for a couple hours.  When it was almost dry (impatient) I flipped it over and began inserting Led fairy lights into each hole.  I then put a few eye hooks and some picture wire and hung it up.


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she seems to like it and hopefully it put her beautiful big brain at ease in the middle of the night.