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Posted by on Feb 19, 2016 | 6 comments

Zen Doodle Chair

Zen Doodle Chair

For the past few months, I have been practicing Zen doodle whereever I can, either in my sketch book or on a pumpkin. You can doodle anywhere. When Leslie approached me about zen doodling on her white chair, I couldn’t pass up the chance. We met at Emma’s and got started together. Before putting the pen to the chair, I thought about where to put the first doodles. I could go up one of the vertical legs or go across a slat for example. It took some planning because the pen is permanent and there would be no going back. Once we got started, everything started coming together. I took the chair home and worked on it in my spare time. I used a black sharpie pen. Not just any sharpie, an acrylic paint sharpie. You can get them at Staples. Slowly over time, the doodles took over the chair. I especially loved making the mandala on the seat. My cat even enjoyed posing on the chair. When I...

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Posted by on Sep 8, 2015 | 2 comments

Belgium’s Crazy Bicycle Museum

Belgium’s Crazy Bicycle Museum

Have you ever seen a bike that also doubles as a drum set? Or a bike so tall you need a ladder to climb on? During my recent bicycle vacation to Belgium, my tour guide Evan from Beercycling brought us to this wonderful and whimsical place, The Crazy Bicycle Museum, also known in Flemish as Gekke Fietsen Museum. We found the wackiest, weirdest and most wonderful bikes. Best of all they were all built by hand using parts salvaged from the trash. The owner, Wim, repurposes bikes he collects during the annual day when people put their old bikes on the street for trash collection. Wim has been collecting and repurposing bikes since he was ten years old. He was inspired by bikes he saw at a theme park as a young boy. Wim gets most of his ideas from the Internet and events like Tour De Fat. He made this drum set from old bikes. The bicycle/drum set is rideable. There’s the kissing bike… And so many more…...

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Posted by on Jan 9, 2015 | 5 comments

Upcycling Calendars into Notecards

Upcycling Calendars into Notecards

A friend recently posted a picture on Facebook showing how she turned an old calendar into cards. I loved the idea and had to try this myself. Fortunately, I had just the thing to use, old calendars made by my mom. My mom makes everyone in our family a calendar each year using her own art — she scans the artwork, uses an online calendar template and orders printed copies for everyone and then some. I’ve kept the old calendars from previous years, not sure what I would ever do with them until now. For this project, I bought a set of 50 cards and envelopes on brown recycled paper for about $8 and picked out the most colorful calendar pages to decorate the card stock. I cut each page into four rectangles, approximately 3 1/2 by 5 inches using a rotary cutter, and then glued them onto the cards. My son Jack helped as well. In less than 30 minutes we had a collection of about 14 cards,...

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Posted by on Dec 12, 2014 | 0 comments

Upcycling Holiday Cards into Luminaires

Upcycling Holiday Cards into Luminaires

On a recent visit to UpCycle Creative Reuse Center (UpCycle CRC), I noticed the boxes and boxes of used vintage and modern holiday cards and wondered how I could reuse them in my holiday decorating.  Then I remembered a project from the book Simply Green Giving, where you create luminaires with used cards. So I brought a big stack of cards home and started by sorting them into vertically formatted designs and into similar sizes. I had to trim mine a little. I also chose themes for each luminaire – birds for one, religious iconography for another, secular images for another… I then used a hole-punch to make holes along the sides of each card, about 1/4 inch apart. Next, I threaded some twine with an embroidery needle and started to sew the sides together. After the first try, I learned to thread loosely so that the sides could fold to form the standing square shape. I placed a battery-operated candle in each luminaire (for safety), which work perfectly to cast a glow...

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Posted by on Oct 10, 2014 | 0 comments

Trash to Treasure: Potting Bench Rehab

Trash to Treasure: Potting Bench Rehab

In Laine’s post on Wednesday she shared some great ideas for getting rid of unwanted household items instead of just putting them in the trash. So if there are all these options, why do people still put unwanted items on the curb? I like to think it’s because they know someone like me will scoop it up and give it a new home. They know curb shoppers are out the night before trash day, eagle eyes on the hunt for castaways in need of some light repair. No, we’re not creepy or crazy, just regular people, regular people who like junk. So imagine my excitement when I found this potting bench on the curb one night after making some deliveries for the Big Flea. I’ve always wanted a potting bench — never enough to actually buy one new — and this one screamed take me home. Once I looked at it closely in daylight I saw so much potential. The top shelf was broken and there were some warped...

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