Saturday, June 27, 2009

Big A** Mess Week

Well Purge Week has turned into Big A** Mess Week around here! This is what my studio work table looks like right now. As I was walking around my (very tidy) neighborhood this morning, I realized sorting and purging the ribbons was just my warm up exercise.

Then I moved onto my files, and consolidated and made contributions to the recycling bin like crazy.

I had an epiphany yesterday - I wasn't going to feel guilty about hoarding anymore, if what I was saving were things I really, really liked. No more hanging on to this stuff that I might like again/and or use "someday".

And another thing I realized was my biggest creative passion is making jewelry these days. So why was I having to cross the room to get to my jump rings, when these shelves of rubber stamps were taking up valuable real estate right by my work table? Jewelry supplies are switching places with rubber stamp supplies.

Staying organized is so much harder for me than getting organized! But I am happy as a clam, to have had the gift of time this week, to question how my studio space has been/has not been working for me, and the opportunity to do something about it.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Pockets of Pretty

Beth has been purging this week and I have been puttering around the house. One of my favorite things to do in my home is create little pockets of pretty. Inspired by Cindy of Queen of Tarte and her beautiful bin of seashells and pearls, I decided to bring out a lovely triple strand of pearls Doug gave me years ago. I combined them on a silver-plated tray with some other doo-dads including a shell necklace and some beach glass. This way I can enjoy my necklace every time I am in the powder room.Friend Cindy Pestka made this necklace. I was looking for something metal to offset the lace and glass and wrapped this baby around the neck of the bottle and I love it! Subtle and just the right touch.

This large ceramic kitty was made to be a fountain. She sits beside our fireplace as decor. She needed a little something. This bracelet is attached in the back with a rubber band to create a choker for Miss Kitty. She used to wear a rhinestone neckace but the 'real' kittens thought that was too much fun to play with. So far the choker hasn't been as tempting as the dangly necklace.

Bring out those special pieces of jewelry and see how you can incorporate them into your decor.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Purge Week

I am finishing day four of being in the mood to re-organize, sort and purge shelf after shelf in our home. Tuesday was ribbon day. I love ribbon. I have loved ribbon a whole bunch, for too long. At one time, it all fit nicely on this vintage shoe rack. Then an annex formed, and nothing was as easy to get to anymore.

This shot doesn't convey the magnitude of the disorder. When I am in the middle of a project, I usually figure out a little too late to take pictures.

These shelves in the "annex" are showing big progress.

Here's a lovely site - a now empty space! But obviously, I still have hoarding issues. The progress is I am only hoarding the ribbons I enjoy the most.Here are four garbage bags filled with my discards, waiting for a friend or two to rummage through. Some of this ribbon may end up as supplies for our September Art Party. The rest are headed to a Goodwill near you!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sewing Green

I am enjoying the book Sewing Green by Betz White. There are several projects I am itching to try. (The Luxe Baby Hat is at the top of that hit parade!) And besides that fun, the Eco-Logic sidebars are worthwhile reading. Interspersed throughout the book are inspiring features on Eco-Innovators such as Alabama Chanin and Crispina ffrench.

Borrow a copy of this book from the library, or better yet, buy a copy and support an independent business owner.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

REStore Definitions

I enjoy receiving the RE Store’s email newsletter. They are a vibrant organization with so many inspiring activities. To find out more about the RE Store and/or to subscribe to their newsletter, go to

I especially enjoyed their recycling words definitions. My favorite being OBTANIUM -aka, free loot!

RE Definitions

The English language is a mish mash of many languages. It is also great fun to twist and contort for your own purposes. Here are some terms and phrases that spring from the rebounding values of reuse, recycling and waste reduction.

Using low-value or ordinary objects to make something extraordinary

Any item, found or obtained for free

Closed loop:
Waste or byproducts of one process or product is used in making another product. Also known as cradle-to-cradle

Adaptive re-use:
method of preservation where a building retains its signature visual elements, but the structure is used for a purpose other than originally intended

Life cycle costing:
evaluation technique which determines the total cost of acquisition, operation, maintenance, and disposal of items being acquired

Product take-back:
A form of extended producer responsibility that requires companies to take back their products after the consumer is ready to replace them or throw them away

Waste stream:
The flow of waste material from source to disposal

reprinted from the REstore email newsletter, June 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009

Where did my garden go?

Before Salvage Studio, Lisa and I were avid gardeners. (We met in a local garden club and became fast friends.) I managed to keep my garden up until we opened our retail studio. Before I knew it, maintenance turned into messiness. No garden tours or photo shoots for this vista!

So now I am determined to uncover the winding path through here, and rescue that bistro sitting area (those little snippets of rosy red paint). I hope to post an "improved shot" before the summer is over.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Strawberries and Roses

I'm back home in the nick of time! As amazing as the last two weeks have been with Farm Chicks and Baby Claire, I was still hoping there would be time to enjoy local strawberries and admire my once-a-year blooming Cecile Brunner rose. This afternoon I bought our first flat of berries, and stood on our deck inhaling the heavenly fragrance of this climbing rose, which is now two stories high. What a magnificent welcome home.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


This little lady is the wonderful reason I have been missing from blogland the last week. Our first grandbaby, Claire, was born to our oldest son Carlos and his wife Casey on June 9. I got home from Farm Chicks, repacked my suitcase, and headed to Texas with Raoul. We arrived when she was just two days old.

When I wasn't filling my family up with home cooked meals, this is what I did for five days. I tried my best not to doze because I didn't want to miss a moment of time soaking up every snuggle, peep and squeak from her.

Claire gained a whole pound while we were there, had her first bath and did her first art project! Here I am dabbing some white paint on the bottom of her feet for this foot prints picture.

Every grandma I spoke with before her birth told me it would be better than I could ever imagine to meet this child. They weren't exaggerating. It was pure happiness!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Farm Chicks Threw One Heck of a Party!

Lisa and I rolled into my driveway at 1:30 a.m. this morning. Boy oh boy – can that girl drive a truck. By our last day, she was swerving through parking lots like a pro. And I discovered that I can load a truck with the best of them. (Of course, I have quite a few muscles talking to me today.)

We had the time of our lives at the Farm Chicks Show!!! It is still hard to grasp all the wonderfulness of it! Teri and Serena have created an absolutely magical setting. 129 vendors who can style over-the-top booths and are gracious as all get out. The shoppers were the classiest ever – friendly, supportive and wearing the best vintage jewelry around, and pushing some tricked-out shopping carts.

(excited opening day shoppers 4-deep all the way to the street!)

Here’s my hubby Raoul, helping us pack our 15 foot truck. He was a mover in a previous life. Nothing seemed to move an inch between here and Spokane on Thursday.

Loved this welcome sign as we arrived for set up first thing on Friday.

Lisa is looking good in our big girl truck. Kudos to J & R Truck Rental for some quality service too.

Oh - the anticipation on set up day. We couldn’t get in until 9 a.m. Here’s a line of trailers waiting for those open doors. We had until 6 p.m. Nine hours seemed like a ton of time. At 4 p.m. we both uttered something to the colorful side of OMG!

But our booth looked welcoming by the opening on Saturday. It was truly jam-packed. Friends had told us the morning would be hectic, making trips to the truck for restocking a major challenge. They were right. We stayed busy the entire day.

We squeezed in some time to visit all the booths and admire all their displays.

This colorful one is Poor Pitiful Pam.

Our new, lovely friend Cindy of Queen of Tarte, had this incredible wall of wood crates filled with eye-catching objects.

As always, Deb and Bob of Retreat had magnificent arrangements. We especially loved their masterpiece – the piano bar.

And of course, the grandest vignettes were in the Barn House booth.

We are already tossing around ideas for our booth for next year!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Farm Chicks Show Here We Come!

We leave for the Farm Chicks Show in two days! Here is a handy dandy map of the show and a list of our fellow vendors. We are in Bay Two, Space 8 - against a wall.

Here's a rough glimpse of our colors for our booth - cream, aqua and red.

We are bringing a heap of new product to the show. Lisa is positive the heap will fit in our rented truck. The girl knows her trucks.

And here is a shot of my most very favorite creations that will be waiting for you - one of a kind necklaces with vintage bits and bobs.

For our friends staying at the Salvage Studio "party" hotel, we'll be doing set-up most of Friday. But when you see the J & R truck at the hotel, you will know we're there waiting to say hi!