First day I have to myself, and I clean my cabinets, then scarf.

I love summer and I am lucky to be able to be around when my kids are off,  but by mid August…  Anyone that stays at home with their children and attempts to have any semblance of a career can relate that it starts to suck.  In addition to my home duties I am starting a non-profit and I actually have things to do that require total concentration.  Apparently this idea is a bit too abstract for my spawn. I get a lot of “oh ya, that… ” from The Teenager whereas  The Associate simply wants to know if I am the boss.  When I answer “yes?” she wants to know if I can fire people.  Besides bringing the The Donald to mind and sending a nasty shiver down my spine I try to explain the concept of collaboration, and she quickly loses interest. *Sigh*

Purgatory is over and school is back in session. I can answer all my emails, complete those important phone calls, write a blog and get back to business.

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The Associate on her first day of 3rd Grade.

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This is the only image I was allowed to take of The Teenager.

As I poured myself a second cup of coffee in my blissfully empty home a cabinet door crashed to the ground.  By the time I rounded up a new hinge, screws, drill bit and successfully charged up the drill, I had gone crazy cleaning out my cupboards in the mudroom and kitchen.  I forced myself to finish the chore I unwittingly started and attempted not to lament my dream of a peaceful morning.

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However! I did find something to play with while digging through the mudroom.  Even though it is too hot outside yet to wear scarves I don’t let myself hesitate.  I have had this idea for a couple years and every year I end up stuffing them back into a bin because I miss the boat.  I guess it can be argued that I have little control over my day, even when no smaller people are bugging me.

Momentarily I am distracted by the most wonderful package EVER!!!

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Seriously does this woman know me or what??? *Thanks Julia!*

The project is simple.  I have somehow accumulated 9 plaid scarves from various thrift shop adventures.  They are all different and all too short.

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After washing them and matching them up  I debate sewing them with a machine.  I give this a shot but feel like it looks lame.  I am trying to create lush and vibrant neck wear and the small stitching looks silly.  I trim off that mistake and decide try my absolutely favorite glue in the entire world!

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Some off the scarves are wider than others, but I really like the way the patterns and colors hang together.  I use the trim from the middle scarf to cover the overlap, and let dry.  The bond is very secure and in my past experience will hold up in the wash.  I discard ideas of decorative stitching in contrasting colors (mostly because I am terrible at it.)

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I then attempt to take pictures of my creations, but recall my model just started 10th grade.   This is the best I could do after discovering them in pile on her floor still un-selfied.

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Now I will put them away until the temperature goes down.  Maybe I’ll go answer some emails, answer phone calls. Oh wait, The Associate is home sick.

 

 

 

jewelry converts #1 and #2 (ongoing DIY)

There are many cool earrings out there in the wild masquerading as clip-ons.  I have tried to wear them but, no thanks, it is less painful to change them quickly and cheaply.  I own an abundance of tools, but if you can’t make it over to my house to use them you should probably stock up on a few.

First of all don’t go anywhere near a craft store until you have a coupon from the paper, mail or online, if you forget yours you can google and it can be scanned right from your smart phone.  You can also get your pliers from a hardware store, but the prices are pretty similar when you use a coupon.

We won’t use all in each project, but I will add the most useful as I think of them

1. Round Pliers (I am sure there is a more technical name but it is escaping me at the moment) are good for making rings and curving metal wire.

2. Standard pliers (these come in all shapes, colors and sizes, just make sure they feel good in your hand)

3. Wire cutters (mine double as standard pliers so they are multipurpose, you can get snub nose cutters and two pairs of pliers,  whatever your preference you will most likely need two pairs of pliers at your disposal for proper jump ring action)

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4. Assortment of headpins

5. Assortment of jump rings (I like to have lots of colors and shapes around)

6. Ear wires  (These are the basic ugly ones that I adapt, or you can purchase prettier ones at the store or make your own if you are really ambitious)

 

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7. You must have interesting tidbits that you have found.  There are a ton of cool components at thrift stores, garage sales, or your mom’s dresser.  Try not to think about it as a whole but as pieces that can be broken up, and be sure to inspect them carefully and make sure the cool parts aren’t broken or chipped.

#1 These earrings would be discarded because they are clip-ons. NO!  Simply remove the clip-ons with your pliers and replace with regular ear wires. I takes mere minutes to bring these beauties back in style.

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#2 requires little skill but a few more supplies.

When I am out and about, well not anymore because I have enough for a lifetime. I buy necklaces that have a lot of bang for the buck.  They have a lot of dangly things or a lot of chain that can be reused. Like this one.

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Ugly to the untrained eye, but very useful to me.  Just one section released from what looks like Skeletor’s head makes a lovely pair of earrings, with a few additional goodies.

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After freeing these cute diamonds, I simply wrapped the chain around once and toggled it on the jump ring.

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These are my new favorites.  Light and long with an unexpected black accent.

Don’t forget to find a toolbox and some containers to keep your new crap organized.

Hey! Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

baby blue chandelier

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

 

 

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.

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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.

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handy-dandy labeler.

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

 

 

under the clutter and to the wood clock.

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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.

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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.

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I have boiled it down to this.

On my last Thriftazanganza (I imagine I will be spell that different every time) I saw something that at first made me smile so I documented in on camera. It slipped my mind until today when I checked out my newest pictures.  As a parent, and I hope not to sound preachy we must instill a love of learning, to be kind to everyone and how to kick ass when necessary, but sadly our children are growing up in gimme gimme culture.  I really really want to digress here, but I won’t. you’re welcome.  I have worked hard to become a ninja. Apparently you don’t have to train these days because you can just go to the thrift store and buy one of these.

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comments are welcome.

its all fun and games until someone gets the crap scared out of them.

It started innocently enough. I drag in my bags from my weekly thriftavaganza, and unload my treasures. Depending on my current energy level I even sort them.  On this fateful day however I just put them out on the table and left the dungeon.  I hear a squeal and go back to what I was doing. MOM!!!! you know I am scared of the basement did you leave this out to scare me???? I didn’t but I wished I had thought of it.  Laughter ensued.  It wasn’t until a few days later a game was born. It has been going on for a few weeks now and might be exhausted but it sure was fun. IMG_3559 IMG_3560 IMG_3561 IMG_3565 IMG_3566 IMG_3567 IMG_3569 IMG_3570 IMG_3571 IMG_3572 IMG_3573 IMG_3574 IMG_3575 IMG_3576 IMG_3578 IMG_3579 IMG_3580 IMG_3581 IMG_3582 IMG_3583