Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Vintage Bottle With Industrial Swagger

I found a tall, vintage amber glass bottle at an antique shop last weekend.  While at the register paying, an elderly man behind me said, "I used to drink from those when I was a your age."  I said, "They are cool looking bottles but they charge extra for alcohol." (LOL)  I could just imagine this guy in his youth, holding this giant bottle with a bunch of his buddies back in the day, most likely sharing it among the group.  Little did he know there would be a day when folks like myself would be collecting his castaways.

The foot tall bottle makes a cool statement on its own accord but I couldn't help but embellish it a bit to give it some extra character.

A vintage, flat wrench with lots of wear, age and character looked like a super accompaniment.  I attached it with a piece of rusted, metal spring that I saved from some of my other projects.

Another piece of spring was added to the bottle's neck to "tie" the look together.

A neat combination of reclaimed materials.  Now I want to find another bottle like this.  I feel the need to adorn more of them in various ways!

Sharing this at:
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia - Tuesday's Treasures
Coastal Charm - Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
At Home With K: Terrific Under Ten Tuesday
Kammy's Korner - Trash 2 Treasure Tuesday
The Thrifty Home - Penny Pinching Party
Someday Crafts - Whatever Goes Wednesday
The Shabby Creek Cottage - Transformation Thursday

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Classy Glassy

Boy did I make out well yesterday while "thrifting". Without realizing it at the time, I had purchased all clear glass items during my multiple stops.

Three vintage glass EO BRODY vases . . .

Two old gallon jugs with vintage metal lids (yeehawww!) . . .

. . . and an old, glass gallon jar full of rusty nails. 

Yes, I wanted the nails for some of my projects and the jar of course was an added bonus.

I was a bit turned off by the label . . . (I hate mustard) but it wasn't a deal breaker.  That old label makes it cool regardless of my disgust of yellow condiments.

However, I'm sorta liking this look as is. Could this gallon jar of nails be the big brother to . . . 

A small, vintage bottle filled with random rusty nails.
. . . this little guy?

So, for now, an old jar filled with rusty nails makes yet another decorative statement (in my world). I'll pull nails as I need them but keep the jar sitting out among my other rustic, vintage finds as it just "works".

Have you noticed that clear glass is gaining popularity again in decorative lighting? Simple, classic, chic seems to be the direction. Add some snazzy Edison bulbs and we are talking cool lighting! Of course repurposing old jars as retrofitted lamp shades and pendants, or glass gallon jugs as lamp bases is a popular "sport" these days. Perhaps I'll dump those nails after all and make a lamp instead!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

"Musical Tables"?

Did you know that one piece of furniture can change the whole attitude and look of a room? Forget about expensive renovations and remodels. Just give it a try if one of your rooms is feeling dull and bland. Add one new element and see what happens. It just may be the quick fix you've been needing.  Such as in this office -

From IKEA sad


 Rustic-RAD!  (yes, I'm coining this new design style phrase)

Now don't get me wrong. I love me some IKEA. Where else can you furnish numerous rooms with a $500.00 budget? (and I mean that in a good way.  Good products, good value!)  It is a young homeowner's dream. I was there . . .  new home, tight funds, "HELLO IKEA!" However, that look has been with me for about 12 years now. Ya think it was time for a change?

But never fret, those "once" side tables, turned coffeetable have once again "turned" . . .

. . . into a stackable storage shelf.

Yep, I kept them in the office and stuffed them into an odd nook that was somewhat troublesome to deal with. A few black storage crates tuck beneath each. Is this considered "Repurposing"?  :-)

Stay-tuned for more details about the black "crate-esque" coffeetable that turned drab to fab!

Sharing this at:
Nifty Thrifty Things - Nifty Thrifty Sunday
Be Different, Act Normal - Show and Tell Saturday

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Restoration Hardware Inspired Vignette

Many of us pull design inspiration from various sources; our favorite home improvement shows, online avenues such as Pinterest and of course print media. Catalogs from some of my favorite home product companies always inspire me the most. I enjoy scanning them and carefully studying every little detail of a table or shelf display, or noting what motifs and colors are popular and may be trending.

My Restoration Hardware Source Book for instance often inspires certain design direction if not inspires an idea or "replica" - to an extent. If you are familiar with Restoration Hardware you know they lean somewhat toward a very stark, minimalist, somewhat industrial / somewhat cold design aesthetic. If you love a muted color palette you'll love RH. I often look at the staged rooms and think of how totally unnatural it would be to live in such a space. Conversely, I can't help staring in utter amazement while thinking of how "gosh darn cool" everything truly looks.

One repeated element seen throughout RH is the use of tattered and torn, plain periodicals and books. Sometimes they appear as huge, weathered manuscripts sprawled artfully across an industrial style coffee table made from reclaimed timber and recycled metal framing. Other times you will see them stacked neatly and balanced across shelving or bound together on a side table. Their minimalist appearance is intriguing to me and very easy to replicate hence my little project.

I bought a roll of brown craft paper, grabbed a few hardbound books and created protective jackets for them "al la junior high". (remember wrapping your books in grade school?)
I cut the paper to size, crumpled it a bit by hand, then smoothed it out before folding it into a jacket for the book. Once I had it secured to the book, I took a bit of sand paper and rubbed the paper jacket lightly along the spine, cover edges and even the top of the book to really give it that weathered, Restoration Hardware treatment.

Once done I had to mess around with a little staging of my cool, muted, tattered books. For fun, I added some old metal elements appropriate to the RH aesthetic.

Vintage, metal, door lock hardware I picked up for $3.00 at an antique shop last weekend.

I had to stage my books a few different ways of course, right?

Here they are with some concrete spheres I made with leftover Quikrete mix.  
A vintage bottle filled with rusty, old nails adds more of that "industrial vibe" RH enjoys.

So, where have you been pulling Inspiration from lately?

Sharing this at:
Very Merry Vintage Style - Share The Love Link Party
Someday Crafts - Whatever Goes Wednesday
Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesdays
Sugar and Dots - What I Whipped Up Wednesday
Handy Man, Crafty Woman - Wicked Awesome Wednesday
Happy Hour Projects - Freestyle Friday
The Shabby Nest - Frugal Friday
Rustic Crafts - Shabby Shares
Funky Junk Interiors - Sat Night Special

Monday, January 23, 2012


Well, it's been cold and snowy here in South-Central PA. Perhaps that is why my mind has been wandering toward thoughts of warmer days. I had taken a trip to Michaels last week for some supplies. It's always amazing how I end leaving with much more than planned. Oh well . . . more project stuff I suppose.

Although very unlike me and my usual design style, I got into this "beachy" mood and motif due to my mindset and some products I purchased. I actually did have a premeditated idea of going this direction and was on the look-out for the perfect elements. In keeping with the organic appeal I desire, I purchased some burlap garland. I also found some great, decorative accents that look like the inside of sea shells. I purchased those in an appropriate "beachy" blue/green color.

A clear glass hurricane/vase was my base material to work with.

I first cut a piece of burlap garland to fit around the circumference of the vase. I used spray adhesive on the burlap and then carefully attached it to the vase. After that dried, I used some reclaimed, rusty metal pieces from leftover springs to wind around the upper and lower edge of the burlap. I love that rusty element coupled with the organic jute of the burlap.

I then began placing out the design for the front with the blue/green elements and adhered them once satisfied. To finish it off, I created a hanging charm from leftover metal scrap and attached a starfish using more elements from the springs.

A tea light shines nicely from within and looks great through the "netted" pattern of the burlap garland. I was so pleased with this project, I may make a few more for my Etsy store.

Are those of you in the colder states ready for SUN, SURF and SHORE too?

Sharing this at:
Crafts Keep Me Sane - Motivate Me Monday
Nifty Thrifty Things - Nifty Thrifty Sunday
Boogieboard Cottage - Masterpiece Monday
C.R.A.F.T. - Making Monday Marvelous
Coastal Charm - Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Sassy Sites - Trash To Treasure Tuesday
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia - Tuesday's Treasures
House of Grace - Twice Owned Tuesday
Ginger Snap Crafts - Wow Me Wednesday
Funky Junk Interiors - Party Junk

Thursday, January 19, 2012

More Upcycled Springs!

Seeing as I've found a few, unique springs of various styles, I've been continuing my manipulation of them into upcycled tea-light holders. Yes, I'm into this whole candle thing lately which is fine. I'm not getting bored of it yet so I'll just keep plugging onward with the ideas.

This particular spring (of which I have many) is very rigid and a bit more difficult to work with than my first junk to jewel transformation tea light holder attempt.

Finding the perfect, glass tea light holders to fit the springs properly has been problematic. The one shown here actually had a long stem. I scored a cut around the stem with my Dremel, lightly tapped the stem against a brick and "Voila", it popped right off. I then buffed the edge down at the break with a sanding drill bit to remove any sharpness.

It sure was interesting getting it seated properly within the confines of the spring. After numerous attempts and a few different locations, I ended up favoring this set-up.

Hmmm . . . what kind of tea light shall I create today? LOL! Stay-tuned.

Sharing this at:
The Brambleberry Cottage - Time Travel Thursday
The Shabby Creek Cottage - Transformation Thursday
Somewhat Simple - Strut Your Stuff Thursday

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Calendar Wall Art

Out with 2011 and in with 2012 offers opportunity for change in resolutions, goals, personal well-being and of course, calendars. Calendars typically have great, graphic images depending on subject so it's only fitting that we should enjoy the images for more than a month. How? By using the images for wall art.

I will often save magazines, photostock albums and in this case, calendars that may come in handy for future wall art projects.

This wall art ensemble creates a dramatic visual presence due to the repeated linear arrangement of the frames. For more impact they were hung within a silver color block.

The black frames were Walmart "cheapies" in one of those little kiosks you see sitting in your way as you try to maneuver the aisles. I think I paid around $2.00 a piece for them and hung eight total.  Despite the good value, they have nice, sturdy, chunky frames.

Minus the cost of the calendar since it was a gift, this art cost under $20.00. Not bad for a cool, visual statement in a home office.  If your goals for 2012 are to be more conscious of recycling, start with a calendar.  Repurpose it, Reuse it (in new, creative ways!)

Sharing this at:
Keeping It Simple - Motivate Me Monday
Coastal Charm - Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Home Stories A2Z
Someday Crafts - Whatever Goes Wednesday
Handy Man, Crafty Woman - Wicked Awesome Wednesday

Friday, January 13, 2012

"Gettin' TWIGGY With It"

So I'm on this candle holder kick lately (see my upcycled spring candle holder).  I really like coming up with unique ways to display candles and tea lights. Since I'm a lover of "au natural" elements, I decided to dress up a plain, glass votive with a ring of twigs.

I used jute twine to knot various length twigs together to make a simple, rustic, organic statement with this second-hand votive holder. The twig "fence" merely slides over top of the votive's shape and naturally angles to support itself.  I like the "casual" angle of the twigs rather than forcing them to stand vertically.

A consistent knotting was eventually developed to create the finished look.

I'm planning on creating more along these lines but perhaps a bit more intricate in layout and design.

Sharing this at:
The Shabby Nest - Frugal Friday
Chic On A Shoestring Decorating - Flaunt It Friday
Simply Designing - Simply Link Party

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Little "Liebster Love"

Thanks to my newest Blogger Friends at Pondered, Primed Perfected for featuring and awarding me with the Liebster Award.

Stop by {P3} to show them some love and to read more about some of the other featured blogs.

Thanks again {P3}!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Junk to Jewel Transformation

So I don't readily admit this but I have a small "dump" on my property. Yes, the previous owners from 10 years ago left me my own little junkyard. I didn't even realize it was there until about 2 years ago as the woods and brush had kept it concealed so well. I've been slowly cleaning it out, recycling metals and disposing of other items in a safe manner. Despite the pains of clean-up, I am a bit thankful to have such interesting raw materials to utilize for many of my creations. It's funny that I often pull elements from nature, right outside my door to use in decor and I can still say to a degree that I'm pulling materials from nature, outside my door (digging things up out of the earth!)

Enter the wire mattress spring. I love rusty things as many of you are now aware. Finding an old metal object always sparks ideas on how to repurpose it. It took awhile but I came up with something awesome.

My spring tea-light candle holder!

It took awhile to find a "vessel" in which to place the candle.  Nothing seemed to work quite right and the ability to shape the spring is somewhat limiting.  Despite its rusted patina, it's very rigid and durable and didn't want to budge much to my manipulations.  I found an old jar I had been saving and it cradled perfectly within the spring.  I cut another spring in half and wrapped a portion of it around the glass jar to provide a more decorative element and to tie everything together.  Since the jar has a somewhat curve in its inner base, the tea-light wanted to slide off to the sides.  To remedy this, I placed decorative stones around the jar's circumference to keep the tea-light centered within.  I feel more of these ideas will be "springing up" shortly!

Sharing this at:
The Thrifty Home - Penny Pinching Party
Restore Interiors - Restored It Wednesday
Very Merry Vintage Style - Share the Love #45
Coastal Charm - Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Someday Crafts - Whatever Goes Wednesday
The Shabby Creek Cottage
No Minimalist Here
The Brambleberry Cottage - Time Travel Thursday
Happy Hour Projects - Freestyle Friday
A Little Knick Knack
The Crafty Nest - Do Something Crafty Friday

Monday, January 9, 2012


I try to be levelheaded all of the time but sometimes things in life just seem "crooked". So, in the interest of all things "level" I decided to share my latest level-headed idea.

I'm sure your table-scapes morph often and mine seem to be changing frequently as of late. October through January produce plenty of opportunity to experiment for the seasons and holidays. However, things are getting somewhat back to normal and my kitchen table has again found a new look.

A Repurposed Level

I love old, rusty things. Farm implements, vintage hardware, tools, etc. They have authentic character that can not be reproduced or replicated by way of new decor. Due to this fact, I enjoy infusing them whenever possible. I saved two, old levels from my father's estate. One I have been using for about 6 months and it has moved a few times but has most recently claimed a spot beneath a coffee-table.

Cool, old level as a decorative element

It was the older of the two and had a bit more unique detailing. The second one has been in storage in the upper level of my garage. Every time I'm up there fetching something or placing something away, I walk past it. In doing so, I always stop for a moment, look at it and try to figure out where it can be placed or used. I finally decided to pick it up and bring it into the house. Perhaps seeing it in a new location will spark some ideas. Well, it didn't take me long to come up with the minimal, table, tea-light holder idea. I had recently removed the holiday stuff and felt like placing something there other than the old, wooden bowl filled with pods that I default to when nothing else comes to mind.

I stole three, glass, tea-light / votive holders from another arrangement stored away and the bases fit perfectly into the level's "bubble" viewers (hmmm, probably not the technical term). I may keep an eye out for three other glass votive holders that are a bit taller yet fit within the level as the current ones do.

I must say, I'm a bit in love with the simple, no-frills, streamline look 
this old tool offers in its repurposed state!

Sharing this at:

The Girl Creative - Just Something I Whipped Up
Debbiedoos - Newbie Party
DIY Home Sweet Home - More The Merrier Monday
Sugar and Spice - Drab To Fab Party
Funky Junk Interiors - Saturday Nite Special

Sunday, January 8, 2012

De-Decorating Doldrums

Yesterday was an oddly warm day here in southeastern Pennsylvania. Prime opportunity to get the outdoor holiday decor taken down. While up on a ladder taking lighting off my grapevine topiary, I couldn't help but think at how much time went into making everything look so perfect and how quickly we can "undo all that was done". So many hours of work to get prepared for the holidays; undone and "wrapped up" in haste. Strands of lights placed so carefully, unwound and removed in a few minutes. Bows placed, tightened and straightened just so . . . quickly un-plucked and placed in a box. It was a somewhat bitter-sweet affair. One I'm sure many can relate to. Soon, only fallen pine needles displayed evidence of what once was.

Inside the home was a similar story. Disarray (to an extent) and bags and boxes lay littered around, awaiting their contents once again to be stored away for a year. The grapevine tree of which I was so proud, became dry and droopy. The piece I thought would be an accent in the corner year-round was decidedly moved outdoors. Things got packed away. Once vibrant greenery of Pine and Juniper now lay wilted, frail and faded. A large plastic tub began to fill with their remains, to be sadly discarded in the woods (yet I'm thankful for the beauty they offered, like a gift, during their prime ).

The interior has retreated back to its normal state for the most part. The crystal pieces ended up staying out and were moved around a bit; displayed now sans greenery while offering a Wintry look appropriate for January.

So, have you found it bitter-sweet to undo all of your holiday doings? I'm glad to get things somewhat back to normal but can't help feeling a bit sad to see it gone.

The crystal remains.  The bowl of bells seem fitting yet with their snowflake design.

Bye, bye greenery.   Note my two recent additions.  A large pedestal vase (center)
and the small footed-bowl with lid at right.  My $5.00 total finds! 

Somewhat back to normal.  No grapevine tree in the left corner.  :-(

Frugal finds continue displaying well during the season.
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