Thursday, July 31, 2008

Summer is all about swapping!

Linda, another dear customer/friend, has a delightful blog, Lambsworld. She is posting almost daily about some swap or another she is involved in. I was hooked by the mention of a charm swap hosted by Red Lead. I got my charms off in the mail yesterday...with no help from John-Boy!

I sent 3 charms off and will receive 3 in return. Will post photos of my new charms when they arrive. Sounds like both Beth and I will be waiting by the mailbox for the next few weeks. -- Lisa

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Art Swap Fun

A good customer/friend of ours, Jeanette, asked me to participate in a mail art swap called Art in a Carton. I said you bet. Here is what I received.

A quart sized milk carton has been transformed into a splendid two piece box. Inside, it is filled with handmade art and bits and bobs that could be used for future creations.

Now I will fill three Art Cartons and send them on their way. And in the future, I'll receive two more cartons to keep! Besides getting a little extra exercise while retrieving our mail (we walk down and up a small hill to our mailbox), it's great fun to be on the receiving end of swaps like this. -- Beth

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sunday on Vashon Island

Yesterday Lisa and I spoke at the Vashon Island Library on Garden Art from Found Objects, Salvage and Really Good Junk. Thanks to everyone who showed up! It was a great group of people. Of course, we had to fit as many fun things in before and after our "work".
We landed on Vashon a big 45 minutes early and made a beeline to the main drag. This business sign door caught our eye, and we enjoyed visiting their shop filled with colorful, hand painted, vintage wares.

We took a brief holiday from our shopping moratorium and checked out this tempting sale. Hot diggity dog. We scored several swell finds for a grand total of $2.50!

Lucky us - our speaking event was the same weekend as the Vashon Lavender Festival. We visited Fox Farm, owned by Cindy, a gardening friend of ours from the Northwest Perennial Alliance. Cindy has created a wonderland - robust rows of lavender, thriving garden beds and our favorite kind of garden art. She had invited musicians and artists to share their talents for the weekend. These glass flowers, made from assorted vases, bowls, plates and what have you by Mike Urban, were stunning.

Here are two shots of this grouping. The common green glass floral vases have been truly transformed.

How pretty is this blue blossom?!

One of our artgirl friends, Judy, had joined us for our adventure. Here she is surrounded by lavender "Grosso".

The grand finale of our day was a little visit to Judy's cottage right on the water. She is a multi-talented artist. We were smitten with her garden towers. She is fearless with power tools, and has mastered drilling glass.

Her pieces are sturdily connected with threaded rod, and we love her combination of materials.

Hope you got to see some things that made your heart go pitter-pat this weekend. -- Beth and Lisa

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Something New

At the studio we marry items together to create a new something and we come up with new uses for everyday things that might otherwise get tossed.

Beth found this terrific metal coffee table base in a free pile (our suspicion is the top was glass and didn't survive). She cleaned and waxed a rusty metal piece from the Oregon farm that makes the sturdiest new top. This table is tough enough for outside and pretty enough to come inside.

I received these metal gas burner covers to 'do something' with. I think they make great pot 'feet' to protect your deck or patio and provide for good air circulation and drainage under your pots. I like the black (should rust up nice) or you can spray paint a fun color! -- Lisa & Beth

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Boxes, B.C. (before cardboard)

There is the common (and often times highly useful) expression – divide and conquer. But when it comes to creating displays, especially outside, we recommend rounding up all those similar items, so your vignette packs some punch.

We received a bunch of vintage wooden boxes and crates recently. After a wipe down and spider relocation program, we gathered them into one area of our back patio. Lisa then created this masterpiece!

-- Beth and Lisa

Friday, July 18, 2008

Where do old phones go?

One of our artgirl friends, Kathy, shared this amazing art from found objects with us yesterday. Along with: “A new product line for the salvage studio perhaps?”

"Where old phones go! . . .every one of these sheep is made from telephones and cords . . check out their feet!!!"

The source of these pictures with more info about their creation is at -- Beth

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Filling the Freezer

Thursday is chore day at the studio. We deliver our new inventory for that week – treasures we’ve acquired and cleaned, as well as items we’ve repurposed. We tidy up, and try to keep up with sorting the donations we receive. Recently, we received a full truck load of stuff from our friend, Dave. The outer most section of our back patio area is the holding area for the items that can survive the weather. Our wonderful sunshine encouraged us to be especially productive today. But getting distracted is more the norm for me these days. We were making good progress, but I HAD to wander over to this section of swell metal goodies rescued from Lisa’s husband’s family farm in Oregon a long time ago. (My newest theory – the flimsier my footwear, the more compelled I am to walk around rusty, sharp metal things!) Before I knew it, I was finding all these interesting orange, rusty metal garden sculptures. It was time to rearrange stuff in our vintage freezer.

First off – here is Lisa multi-tasking.

Here is the before picture of our freezer, which is a fab outside display piece (lock is long gone).

Fun rusty things mixed among the terra cotta pots and propped up in front.

A close up of a piece we think looks like a cute guy wearing a hat.

This piece looks like a space craft of some sort.

It’s always a great morale booster to get one section spiffed up! -- Beth and Lisa

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Stuff - Purging & Collecting & Hoarding in Between

It is a constant struggle to not let my stuff - my possessions - get the upper hand in my life. I've always been a collector. Even as a teenager, I rescued an old trunk and dishes from our neighbors and treasured pictures of our family going back generation after generation. I'm very sentimental.

Most of our furniture and dishes/china galore are from relatives. Then I turned "professional" and become an owner of this business, whose main purpose is to rescue good junk. Yikes!

A strategy that is working well for Lisa and me these days is a shopping moratorium. (Except for vintage French stuff. Every policy needs an escape clause.) We are working with all the raw materials and fodder currently in the storage areas of our homes.

Once a week, my husband and I fill up my Subaru Forester and take a load of things to the Goodwill.

And I am able to purge some of my collections. This week my Fire-King mugs and bowls are going to the studio.

But here's what staying:
Pez candy dispensers - There are few acquisitions these days. Currently they are displayed in a shadowbox style coffee table we have.

Snow domes - My favorites are the unusual shapes and the ones with moving parts. My sons' friends still bring them to me, and occasionally I'll add one if it is special enough.

Matches - Talk about a bowl of memories. My one and only waitressing job was during college at Elsie's.

So I am practicing purging. And still struggling with collecting and hoarding. -- Beth

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Before & After

I had this idea to show the before and after views of a repurposed item I just finished. These days I cruise around my garage looking for components to transform into functional and/or decorative uses. I started with this shallow wood crate I “found” (it’s scary - I have no recollection of where I got this), added two wooden pieces from a treadle sewing machine I just took apart and a nice vintage hook. I attached things together with wood screws and added a coat of paint. We love those mis-tint paint bargains at the home improvement centers. A gallon of paint for $3, and it turned out to be the prettiest shade of more white, than green.

A shelving unit with plenty of hooks. Moral of the story – let your found objects tell you what they want to be. -- Beth

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Lights, Camera, Action!

We had our first video interview at the studio with Karen Landey, who produces a DVD magazine called Indie Arts – A Visual Adventure.

Her website is

Our deluxe tour of the studio was captured by her camera as we talked. The best part is she will edit all the “information”, which is sometimes way too much, out of my mouth! Karen was great fun to work with, and we really appreciate the opportunity to be included in her future October DVD. -- Beth

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Swap 'em if you got 'em

We really enjoy our Artist Trading Card (ATC) Swap at the studio. We get together at 3 pm on the first Saturday of the month and trade away. This month's theme was postage stamps and the cards were stellar.

From patriotic...

To cat crazy...

To international...

To natural elements...

To R&R...

To just plain fun...

Thanks for the terrific cards! -- Lisa & Beth

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Hide that Ruler

I made two variations of these test tube holders this week. The metal piece is a thingamajig that fits onto pegboards. I had the vision of how this would go together in my brain. Then reality reared its ugly head. Once I figured out how to anchor the metal thing to the wood, I was off to the races. But Plan A involved measuring and making things even. The metal tape from one of those wind-up measuring tapes didn't want to be parallel with anything! After some frustration and fussing, I went with the place-it-here-and-there method. Happy prevailed in my garage! -- Beth

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

Our best wishes to you and yours for a safe and swell Independence Day!

A fun chair at the studio dressed up for the holiday. Beth used silver-plated forks and added crystals with the Lisa Loop to replace the missing spindles in the back of this chair.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Pet Project? The Sequel

Harry is my explorer kitty. He NEEDS to jump on anything new. Very few surfaces in our home have escaped his conquering. I went out to the garage after dinner last night to check on a little table I just had painted.
Low and behold - more distress marks than I remembered!

My number one suspect. -- Beth

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

July Garage Update

Okay, I skipped a June garage update. That was one fast month! Instead of another picture of the still too full three car garage, here's some progress shots.

Right in the middle of door number two - bare, empty floor space!

And between doors two and three - a passageway!

As good as the Panama Canal in this junker's world. -- Beth

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Pet Project?

A loooong while back we posted about Sunday at Sandpoint. I picked up a terrific blue metal plant stand that I planned to make into a simple end table for my living room. What that project entailed was putting a glass top on the metal stand...that's it. I am happy to report that I was finally able to complete that complicated mission this morning!

I believe my success lay in my able-pawed assistants: Delilah, Bunny, John-Boy and Spicy. As you can see they were very involved in every step of the process.

Here is Delilah confirming how easy it will be to slide this glass off the plant stand next time I leave the house.
I will not judge this project or my timeframe for completion. I will enjoy crossing one more item off my to-do list this week...TaDa! -- Lisa
P.S. Happy Canada Day to our northern friends!