Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Feature Picked! - Bird Feeder by Green Kid Crafts

I love this backyard bird feeder idea by Green Kid Crafts!  I picked their submission not only because of this great little bird feeder but also because of all of their great green craft kits for children.  And no! it wasn't just because I have a little thing for birds.

They offer craft kit subscriptions for either three, six or twelve months.  Each month they will send out three different environmentally friendly crafts for your child to be enriched with.

I love the fact that they use recycled materials in this craft and others on their site.  Check out the feature at Rustic Crafts and make sure to visit their site for this great tutorial and many others!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Link Up Your Posts To Be Featured On Friday!

I love participating in Linky parties and seeing all of the great ideas everyone has.  Each Friday, on my website Rustic CraftsI feature one post, in full, on the front page.  Once the weekend is over, the excerpt will still be listed and the post will fall under the Friday Features category.  I get my features from the links that have been submitted to my link directory throughout the week.

If you have a diy decorating post, craft tutorial, recipe or any other relatable link that you would like to have featured, then submit your links here.

The Friday Features were just started on Rustic Crafts on April 22, 2011.  Make sure to check out the past features!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Highlight Of Some Of My Favorite Recycled Craft Tutorials

My favorite crafts to make are either with natural elements or recycled materials.  It is amazing to me how many different things you can actually make out of throw away materials.  I have found great uses for wine and coke bottles, six pack containers, old worn out sweaters, toilet paper tubes, bottle caps, dvd cases, wine corks, wood crates and even vintage hose nozzles.

It took me the longest to come up with a creative use for a dvd case, but this is one of my favorite tutorials:

  1. I used the case to make a fly box.  It works perfectly for storing flies for fishing.
  2. Some other things I have done are:
  3. Turn an old wood crate into a fun flower box.
  4. Transformed vintage hose nozzles into decorative photo holders.
  5. Used wine and coke bottles to make rustic birch vases.
  6. Made fun floating key chains out of wine corks.
  7. Turned six pack containers into great usable craft storage.
  8. Sewed a fun pillow using a worn out sweater.
  9. Made a rustic magnet board and magnets using bottle caps.
  10. And finally, transformed ugly toilet paper tubes into pretty napkin rings.
These are some of my favorites and you can click on the links to view the full tutorials and pictures.  If you have some of your own ideas, submit your link or comment under the appropriate recycled craft challenge.  Check out some of the great submissions other crafters have sent in too.  I will be continually adding more challenges so keep checking back.  If you have an idea for a challenge, let me know.  I love to get input :)

The Versatile Blogger Award

A big thank you to Ashera from SpecialSome1 who has awarded my blog the Versatile Blogger Award.

The rules of this award as as follows:
  • Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in your post.
  • Tell us seven things about yourself.
  • Award fifteen recently discovered new bloggers.
Here are seven things about myself:
  1. I jazzercise almost every morning.
  2. I married my high school sweetheart.
  3. I have a degree in accounting but have been a stay at home mom for 22 years.
  4. I love crafting and decorating.
  5. My favorite dessert is strawberry shortcake - I just finished some!
  6. My best friend and I share the same birthday - this Thursday :)
  7. I drive a Jeep Cherokee.
Congratulations to all of the great blogs I have passed the award on to!  Leave a comment here with your link so that everyone else can come check out your blog.

Monday, April 25, 2011

My New Shabby Chic Trunk Table

I went shopping this past weekend to find furniture pieces in need of some repurposing.  I found two end tables at a thrift store and a great chair at a resale shop.  I can't wait to apply paint to the tables and enhance all of the flaws!  The chair just needs a little repair to the seat and a cushion that I already have the fabric picked out for.  I'll be showing these finished projects at a later date.

I was keeping my eye open for a coffee table or at least something to make into a coffee table for my living room.  I've been wanting something different for..oh..about seven years now.  My plan was to repurpose something myself.

While we were shopping, we popped into a fun home decor store in Traverse City, MI called The Red Dresser.  The window display caught my eye and the sign, An Eclectic Boutique.  It looked like my style and I wasn't wrong.  I wanted to buy out the store!  One of the first things I found was a shabby chic trunk table that I just knew would go perfectly in my living room.

Even though I was hoping to have a project of my own, I couldn't pass this finished project up.  Here is the trunk in it's new home in front of our sofa:

I love the claw foot legs on it!  Now I feel inspired to begin my own re-purposing projects.

Friday, April 22, 2011

First Friday Feature Submission Picked!

I'm very excited about the new Friday Feature on my website -  Each week I will be highlighting one article, that was submitted during the week, as my featured front page article.  All of the other links, that were submitted on the link page, will remain in my link directory as long as they have been approved.  The links can be for craft tutorials, recipes, decorating articles, craft business or any other relatable topic.  No giveaways or sale items.  See my post on the Friday Feature to find out how you can have more chances of being picked for the feature article.

I am very happy to announce that this week's feature is for a craft tutorial.  The Zen Of Making submitted a great tutorial for making an upcycled pillowcase sundress.  I love this idea especially since it involves upcycling.  Make sure to check this out at Rustic Crafts and leave a comment to show your support.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Twig End Table Mystery

Check out the twig end table in this picture:
We have had this fun little table in our basement for years.  This prized possession has traveled with us from house to house.  Because it was given to my husband from his grandpa, the table is very special.   What makes it even more special is the fact that his grandpa hand crafted the table himself.   My husband has always bragged about this fact when people see the table.  In fact, my husband attributes some of his wood working ability to his grandpa.  They have very similar tastes because my husband has made several twig furnishings himself.
A few weeks ago, my husband and I were in an antique store in Ohio.  We love looking for treasures and were hoping to find something special.  What we did find was not at all what we were expecting.......

Check out this picture:
Notice the twig end still has the tag on it!  This one is almost exactly like the hand crafted, original, no other table like it ---that his grandpa made?!  The only difference is the pattern in which the twigs weave. 

We couldn't believe it!  I suppose it is possible that his grandpa had made two and somehow the other one ended up one state away.  It's more likely though that this table was purchased by his grandpa.  Since my husband doesn't really remember what made him think his grandpa made the table and neither of his grandparents are with us anymore, we will never really know for sure.

I still like to think it was made by his makes a better story.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How I Decorate With My Own Pictures - New York, New York

When I choose to hang something on the wall, I like it to be something meaningful if I can.  Pictures from a favorite vacation spot are a great example.

For being the country mice that my husband and I are, we definitely enjoy visiting the Big Apple.  The first time we were there, my husband went crazy taking pictures of all the scenery.  Now that our middle daughter lives there, these pictures are all the more meaningful.

Although our cabin is very rustic, our home is much more metropolitan in style so New York pictures fit right in.  I was initially inspired by a picture that I had purchased of Central Park which sits on our mantel:

So with the pictures that my husband had taken on our first vacation, I did a little work using Adobe Photoshop.  I simply printed the images in a sepia finish to give it the same look as the purchased picture.  I then purchased frames and mattes in the same colors as my inspiration picture.

Now we have a whole set of some of our favorite spots!  I can look at them now and picture what my daughter is seeing every day.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Words Of Encouragement

Lately, it seems like I have been running into so many people in need of encouragement for a tough situation that they are going through.  Even reading through blogs this week, I came across several heart breaking stories that left me feeling helpless.  I even had a prayer request come through on Twitter.  I didn't know the person or what the issue was, but I could pray.

So many people and so many problems.  I know there are times when I get feeling down just from the daily grind.  I can't imagine having some serious issues to deal with.  We never know what strangers are dealing with when we pass them on the street or in the grocery store.  Maybe there is a reason some of them where a sour look on their face or even act harshly to us in some cases.  Instead of reacting in a negative way, what if we reacted in kindness?  Imagine the affect.  A smile or a kind word can go a long way.

We have a big white board in the hallway right by our back entry door.  I like to write down encouraging quotes or Bible verses there to help with whatever we may face during the day.  Here is today's quote:
Sometimes we have to go through a lot of heat and yucky stuff that eventually forms us into a stronger person.  It's hard to see at the time of the trial but we have to trust that we won't receive more than we can bear and it will work out for good.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Time To Change To Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders!

At first I thought it was cute.  The occasional squirrel would come along and grab a little seed while performing some cute stunts for us to watch.  This one has one foot on the tree and one on the feeder tray.  At times he was rocking to and fro in this position.  It looked like he would come tumbling down at any moment but he never did.  He just stayed happily chomping away.

The problem came when he let all of his buddies know about the buffet.  We have several feeders up and apparently it was just too much of a smorgasbord to resist.  There were about six of them and I don't think they ever left the entire weekend.  Two of the squirrels looked like they had polished off our neighbors seed completely plus a few steaks.

I'm a little disappointed that we didn't think on the onset to purchase squirrel proof bird feeders.  We might be able to buy some baffles to put over the smaller ones but I don't know how we can keep the squirrels off the pictured feeder.  If anyone has any suggestions, I would love to hear them!

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Little Upcycle Of A Vintage Hose Nozzle

I'm looking forward to stopping at my favorite antique store this weekend when I go up north to my cabin.  If you remember from my last trip, I was very excited with my find of a vintage case full of buttons.

My husband and I had picked up several other items as well and I am happy to say that I've been able to make use of one of the items.  We don't always know what we are going to do with the items that we find, we just know that they look cool and should be incorporated into home decor in some way.

I found a use for the hose nozzles!  It was pretty simply and I even got to use some beads.  I made some fun photo holders:

This week I'm hoping to find a lot more items to work with.  This particular store has a lot of odds and ends that I don't normally see in antique shops so I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Fun Friday Feature Link

I'm starting a brand new event for Fridays!!  If you have an amazing craft, recipe, or decorating article that you would like featured and linked to, then pay attention!

Starting next Friday, I will be picking a link to feature on my Rustic Crafts Online Magazine site.

First you need to add your craft, recipe or decorating link to my links page on the Rustic Crafts site.  Your link must be a tutorial, recipe or an article.  It cannot be a link to a giveaway or an item for sale.  The theme does not have to be rustic for Fun Friday.

 There are just a few other things you may want to do for more chances to be picked:

  1. Follow this blog.
  2. Follow Rustic Crafts through the email subscription RSS feed or Facebook.
  3. Leave a comment on this blog and on Rustic Crafts.
  4. Grab my button, on the sidebar of Rustic Crafts, and post it on your blog.
That is all.  Each Friday I will write a feature, that links back to your blog, sharing how great your article is.  It will be posted on the home page of Rustic Crafts.  I of course will also give a mention on this blog.  So it is like a double whammy - whoo hooo!!

Inspired By Birds - A Gallery Of Bird Crafts

I'm sitting here sipping my morning coffee and listening to the birds chirping a lovely song outside.  It puts a smile on my face, I think because with chirping birds comes the promise of Spring and warmer days.  Spring is definitely my most favorite time of the year and I like to create reminders of it for all year long.

I sat back to look at what I have created lately and was surprised by how many items I had incorporated birds into.  They are truly my biggest source of inspiration!

My latest project has this wonderful charm hanging from the chalk ledge!

I recreated a magazine page on a pillow, just highlighting the inspirational parts - Birds!

I almost forgot about the bird coasters!

He looks a little more like a chick!
This is one of my favorites!  In fact, I am in the process of making another one now :)

And, of course my journal!  What else would inspire my to use it?

Finally, I have made several bird houses.  I have many of them, like this one, displayed at our cabin. 

I am inspired by other things too but I will probably always throw in a bird craft now and then.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Girls Bedroom To Boys Gaming Room - Check!



I love the quote on this Bob Marley picture.
"Don't gain the world and lose your soul, wisdom
is better than silver and gold."

In addition to boxing, my son in a huge Bob
Marley fan.  We found this picture at Blockbuster
when we were looking for a movie to rent.
I just had to buy it for him because of the quote!  This ended the decorating week on a good note. 

My son is extremely happy with the room and he is back to school.  I keep expecting someone to jump out from behind a wall to scare me but it is just quiet......I miss him. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

My Son's Humor - Pranks & More Pranks

I had mentioned in my last post about the frustration I was having over decorating with my son.  What I failed to mention were all the little ways that he has tormented me all week!  He really started out as such a sweet boy too.  I think the fact that he is the youngest child and the only one left at home has something to do with the fact that he now needs to torment me.

When I was on the ladder painting, he would give it a little shake, knowing I'm afraid of heights.  He would occasionally say things like "oh shoot!" while he was painting to make me think he painted over something he shouldn't.  Or, "I hope that spot comes out of the carpet!"

While I was working in my craft room decoupaging newspaper to his poster frame backing, he kept turning the light out on me.  Did he want it to turn out messy?

Before leaving to do some shopping, I was fixing the back of my hair and noticed I had a big section of masking tape stuck to my back!  Driving to the store, I started feeling unusually cold.  I then noticed that he had turned my seat cooler on.  It was in the 50's outside!

All week he would quietly sneak up on me and then all of a sudden start talking real loud to scare me.  He stood in the way of the door when I was trying to come inside with my hands full.  I could go on and on but you get the idea.  I am definitely ready for Spring break to be over and I need a real vacation!

I'm going to color my hair tomorrow because it has become much more gray.

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Tiny Bit Of Progress - Is Spring Break Almost Over?

First of all, I have a big recommendation.  Never try to work on a decorating job with your 15 year old son!  He has developed strong opinions which are very....... unstylish.  I mean about picture frames of all things.  I bought some nice frames with mattes for his boxing prints and he thought that was just awful.  They were simple frames too, nothing ornate. One of the large prints he thought would be great to just tack to the wall.  In fact he would have been happier with lots of random posters plastered all over the place.

He originally thought he wanted to keep the sofa black but I just knew when he saw the original fabric, he would be happier...and he was :).  Oh and I forgot about picking out the paint color....he thought it was going to be way too light.  Did he want to hang out in a cave?  Everything seemed like a little battle.  By the way, he loves the color now :).

My excitement over the project quickly turned to frustration.  However, I took a little time out and realized this is a room for him to hang out in.  I wasn't going to be using it.  I had put my foot down on the important things but I could probably move on the little things.  Plus I could save money and use the extra for the other room I will be redoing for my office - score!

I do take pride in what my house looks like though so we did a little compromise.  Instead of just tacking posters and prints to the walls, we are using very discreet, thin brown metal frames to hang the small prints.  This will let the frames disappear into the wall.  And poster frames for any posters.

We had one nice print/poster that was a 16x24 size.  Do you think we could find a standard poster frame in that size?  Of course not.  Since I didn't want to pay for custom framing for a son who didn't even want frames but I also didn't want the print tacked to the wall, we purchased an 18x24 inch poster frame.  I simply decoupaged newspaper to the side edges of the cardboard backing to fill in the gap and give it a fun look.

This is all we've accomplished so far.  Everybody is happy!  We're looking forward to receiving the rest of the prints.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Still Waiting For Ebay Shipments!

My son and I are anxiously awaiting the shipments for all of the wonderful prints and vintage boxing gloves we ordered for his new gaming room.  The paint is on the walls and looks great but the walls are just screaming for some personality.

We did receive one print so we (or just me) are going out today to buy a frame for it - my son hates to shop.  The other prints have at least been shipped so....maybe today?   We haven't heard a word on the most anticipated item - the super cool boxing gloves!  I even have a vintage hook to put them on.

The smart thing to do while we are waiting would be to work on fixing those blinds - yuck!  It isn't something I am looking forward to digging into.  I love decorating not fixing.  I'm sure my husband would be happy to look at them but since he is uber busy, I will buck up to the job.  Plus, this whole room is my son's and my project for Spring break.  I could have him do it.............naw!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Rustic Birdhouse Featured On Etsy

I just opened a new Etsy store:
One of my items that I just listed was featured in the P.O.E.T treasury :)

I need to get working on some more items to build up my inventory.  I currently have a few decorative items and some vintage books.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Room Redecorating - Part One

I posted the before picture of my son's gaming room, last week.  Since it was previously my daughter's bedroom it was a nice dusty pink - not too cool for a teenage boy.  The first task we had to complete was too change that wall color.

We did exactly that this past weekend.  The color we chose was a very masculine Sequoia by Martha Stewart.  Both of us love the warm brown.

A small pull out sofa that we wanted to keep in there was covered with a black material.  I had previously re-upholstered it to fit the decor in another daughter's bedroom.  The original, quite vintage, sofa was a brown stripe.  It will go perfectly in the room now. 

I painstakingly took apart all the work I had done before to cover the sofa.  I must have used about a hundred upholstery nails in that thing.  I think the sofa is from the late 70's or early 80's so it is quite old - it used to be my husband's as a teenager.  However, since we are going to have some vintage boxing gloves and photos in there too it should all be good.  I just need to make some new pillows for the back rest.

Here is the first photo to just show the wall color and the sofa without any pillows yet: