Adventures in Garbage

Monthly archives for July, 2015

Why I hate Pinterest.

Ok. Before you call sacriledge, let me just recall that statement. I don’t hate Pinterest. I love crafts and creativity. I love art and the ease of sharing ideas or finding inspiration. I absolutely cherish Pinterest Fails, which actually might be the most valuable thing that has come from it oddly enough.

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The second one probably tastes better anyway ;)

To me, the Pinterest Fails are far more relatable than almost everything else it has to offer. I can easily see myself in every slouchy cupcake, in every horrifically misshapen paper mache artwork, and every “what was even the point” picture of a once organized kid’s room.  The best thing about Pinterest Fails is honesty.

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And this is where a large portion of Pinterest and I must go our separate ways. Even when we know we’re seeing pictures of a practically unattainable standard, whether it be food, holiday decor, a family picture, crafts, or beauty tips, there is this sense that what you’re seeing is “the right way”. The idea that people are, in some way, failing because their 2 year old’s party didn’t look like this is when I get angry– and you won’t like me when I’m angry.

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Because you know what every toddler party needs? Tiny personalized metal washers the size of nickles and a trip to the ER for when they’ve all ingested them.

Now, let me be clear, I am not putting down the dedicated individuals who find joy in party planning. My very best friend is one of those. She is SO talented and a serious asset when it comes to any kind of event organization. But that’s not me. While I acknowledge how beautiful the scene above is, I also acknowledge that it would cost me a little bit of sanity to achieve it. For me, the pay off is not there. Running around like the mad person I know I would be, trying to get everything “picture perfect”, would be me just propping up a skin deep lie. The party would have become about my ability to impress my friends and collect compliments rather than celebrating whatever the event is. This is why party planning and I don’t get along. When the planning has usurped the occasion, it’s like forgetting why we’re celebrating in the first place!

I know I’m widely on the outside with my point of view here, but the fact that many marriages start off in debt (and an equal amount of left over stress) because of extravagant wedding expenses is a perfect example. My husband and I always remember, so fondly, our lack of “wedding”. I wore a dress I already owned. We went to a river side park. Other people who cared more than we did decided it should look nice and invited people. The wedding didn’t matter to us because all we wanted out of it was a marriage. And a happy one :) No, I am not saying that big weddings = bad marriages. It’s just that it’s not our style because we’re weird like that. And that should be ok, because that’s not what it’s about!

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So you don’t organize your beach towels in rainbow order- did you have fun at the pool with your kids?

So your Elsa cake looked more like Grimace- did you see the look of pure joy when the kids danced around the living room in greeting each other?

So the entrance you envisioned for your wedding reception wasn’t timed right- do you have a spouse actively on your team choosing Love day in and day out?

So your play room is a mess- as it should be because kids are fast paced, hands on learners who explore everything, all the time, with all of their senses. What do  you think they’ll remember when they’re older? Your involvement in their lives or how much dust was on the ceiling fan? –And if you care about the dust on my ceiling fan, we’re probably not friends anyway…

These things are not failures, nor should the opposites be the supposed expectation! My daughter’s birthday comes in just a few weeks and I promise her that I will not spin that day to be about photo ops that never really happened, a cake that is to be admired not eaten, perfectly coordinated pastel arrangements of hand painted paper mache butterflies, or my own vanity. I want to celebrate her life, the absolute gift from God that she is, and the ball of joyous energy and comedy that she brings into our home. If that means her playing in a cardboard box in the mud, great! Because, frankly, I don’t care what other parents think of my almost 3 year old’s taste in fun. Let’s enjoy a drink together and watch our kids play, because I got a full night sleep last night instead of gluing tea lights in mason jars and stringing them around the porch to make it look like I’ve got my act together.

Last year's birthday- a day at the beach with dear friends, a donut that I didn't even let her eat because it was 9pm, pure joy and a cherished memory.

Last year’s birthday- a day at the beach with dear friends, a donut that I didn’t even let her eat because it was 9pm, pure joy and a cherished memory.

Old Tire = New Ottoman

 A few people have asked about the recycled tire ottoman I have featured in the gallery. It is one of my favorite projects because tires are EVERYWHERE and because it is a GREAT beginner project. So, here is a step by step approach to making your own tire ottoman. A note before we begin- the burlap ribbon that I use is generally $6 per roll. I used 2.5. I recently discovered my craft store began selling used coffee bean sacks for $3 a piece. I have not done it yet, but I would like to redo this project again using of of those since it would cut the materials cost.

First, get a tire.
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Begin by wrapping the tire tightly with ribbon. Securing it with staples. I am using black burlap ribbon, the widest I could find.20150725_082619

Next, for the top, you will need a 24″ square of plywood (or similar) at least half inch thick. Trace a large circle on your board. Then cut it out with a jig saw. (If you would like to add a base with legs or casters, do this twice)20150726_162154

Next, wrap your cut circle in quilt batting and secure with staples.20150726_163426

Now, cover the batting with your choice of fabric. Again securing with staples.20150726_165150

Flip your covered circle upside down and place the tire on top of it, centered. Now using a drill and screws, separate the folds in your ribbon and drill through the tire into your board. Do your best not to sink the head of the screw into the tire or to drill all the way through your plywood.20150726_165609

If you don’t wish to add a base, your job is done :)

To add a base, you will use an identical circle to what you cut for the top. For splintery reasons, I wrapped the edge in leftover fabric. It will be barely visible.20150726_172233

Next fasten casters or legs, if you choose, to the base20150726_172754

Finally screw your base onto the tire.20150726_173438

And Enjoy DSC02711

Hockey Stick Table

Quack. Quack. QUACK. QUACK! QUACK!!!

Here’s a fun project for the hockey fan in your life. Personally, I’ve never really cared about the NHL. But I love The Mighty Ducks Trilogy and my Dad recently had an abundance of old hockey sticks he was trying to unload.

So naturally I took them.

So naturally I took them. ( It’s like my own team of middle school misfits who I’ve to whip into shape before we face The Hawks! )

First I used a chop saw to cut them into sections.

Caution for anyone who actually plans to do this: Many hockey sticks contain fiber glass. Fiberglass can easily irritate your skin. The Dust that will fly up from the saw can make your skin feel like you just rolled around in a squirrel's nest of insulation. Trust me.

Caution for anyone who actually plans to do this: Many hockey sticks contain fiber glass. Fiberglass can easily irritate your skin. The Dust that will fly up from the saw can make your skin feel like you just rolled around in a squirrel’s nest of insulation. So, cover up. Trust me.

Next, I leveled out the larger lable portions of the sticks and fastened them together.

Next, I leveled out the larger lable portions of the sticks and fastened them together with screws.

Using a nail gun, I attached others around the edges as trim pieces.

Using a nail gun, I attached others around the edges as trim pieces.

Using the handle portions of the sticks, I doubled them up, fastened them to blocks and attached the blocks to make legs. I also used left over stick portions for the cross pieces.

Using the handle portions of the sticks, I doubled them up, fastened them to blocks and attached the blocks to make legs. I also used left over stick portions for the cross pieces.

And there you have it.

And there you have it!

Ducks never say die!

Yet Another Pallet Table

So, Sunday night I was putting the trash out and noticed this pristine beauty sitting out with my neighbor’s garbage cans. Of course I snatched it out of there.

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It has such nice grain and a number stamp on the side! I love that detail.

Quick little addition.

Quick little addition.

Fashion some legs.

Fashion some legs.

And paint them since they had a different stain on them.

And paint them since they had a different stain on them.

Then sand, seal, and we’re done!

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Rustic little coffee table in under an hour for about $3.

Kids Kitchen!

In addition to setting up my little shop spot on Saturday, I spotted this monster on the side of the road on my way there. Obviously, I had a truck load of stuff, so I couldn’t stop for it. Thankfully it was still there 4 hours later when I was free to grab it.

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I’ve been waiting for one of these old entertainment centers to cross my path for like the last year! I was less than pleased that it was laminate and a million pounds of press board. But, I’ll take what I can get!

Step One was tear down. The whole thing is quite large and the play surface was slightly too high for the average 3 year old.

So I made a few adjustments.

So I made a few adjustments.

Then I got started on the "counter top". The sink is simply a metal bowl, so first I sketched and cut a hole.

Then I got started on the “counter top”. The sink is simply a metal bowl, so first I sketched and cut a hole.

Dropping in the bowl will make the drawer below non functioning. So, I secured the drawer to be stationary and cut the drawer front in half. The left side was secured with screws while the right was fitted with hinges and a handle and became the “oven”.

After painting the counter top, I added some accessories. With about 90 cents worth of PVC fittings and the end of a broken broom handle, I fashioned a tiny faucet.

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The handles are simply old dresser knobs drilled through and fitted with carriage bolts.

Painting self adhesive wall protectors makes a perfect pretend stove top.

Painting self adhesive wall protectors makes a perfect pretend stove top.

That giant hole in the back still needed attention.

Adding a back to this window frame was a cute and simple solution.

Adding a sky blue back to this window frame was a cute and simple solution.

Other than this metallic silver for the "fridge door" all of the other paints were left overs from other projects.

Other than this metallic silver for the “fridge door” all of the other paints were left overs from other projects. It keeps costs down, even if my color choices become repeatitive.

So, with the painting done, the various accessories situated, and the window attached, we finally arrive here!

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Ready to rock and/or roll!

 

 

 

 

Settin’ Up Shop

Today was the day! I loaded up the truck and took a bunch of items over to my small booth at Dover Antique Mall. I did my set up during their normal business hours, which was actually very encouraging. Many people stopped to chat, inquire about different items, and remark about the “unique” way I find my merchandise.

Fitting as much as I can into a 6x7 unit.

Fitting as much as I can into a 6×7 unit.

The owner informed me that the spot to the left of mine, which is 6×14, will likely be empty before fall and that I am welcome to expand or switch spots if I would like to. So, if these next few weeks go well, I really hope to take advantage of that.  I probably have enough projects at home/ in the works to fill all of that space, but the key will be seeing if things actually sell. I’m playing it pretty safe right now. Nothing in my current shop is priced over $40. It’s kind of a market research period. What sells? What doesn’t? Are my prices too high? Or too low? How does my shop compare to others in the mall?

I wanted to highlight my biggest difference with a small write up about who I am and what I'm doing.

I wanted to highlight my biggest difference with a small write up about who I am and what I’m doing.

I had a great side conversation with a fellow crafter-mom of small children who completely understood the biggest push behind the reason I do this work; The need to feel a sense of simple accomplishment.

Motherhood is usually filled with multitasking and never ending jobs, not just a long list of jobs, literally NEVER ENDING jobs. There is true beauty in that. But it can also make you feel down- especially when you are a do-er. I have always been a busy body and I genuinely love to work. I love to get things done and experience the “before / after”.  But I also NEED to get things done and I need to experience the “before / after”. Do you know what kind of job keeps you working til you’re exhausted, then working more, and often leaves you feeling that you have no proof? Parenting.

Early on in my first few months as a new mom I made the observation that “I was literally busy all day, but somehow I got absolutely NOTHING accomplished.” To which my sister responded dryly “Welcome to motherhood.”  It’s so true though! And I had no idea how much of a struggle that would be for me.  Before I was able to pinpoint that issue, I didn’t know why it was stressful for me when my husband would ask “So, what did you guys do today?” To me, it felt “lazy” to not have tangible proof of what I was doing, no completed project, or new goal reached– well, our kids are alive, they’re mostly clothed and based on the cheese crust mustache, they ate today, our house didn’t burn down, and we all have clean underwear for tomorrow.

I have learned 2 things that I need to do frequently during my Mom-week. Firstly, I need to work with my hands. It is truly a release for me. It soothes my over stimulated mom-brain to be able to think from point A to point B, make it happen, and see the result. I accomplished something. Some people bake, some do yoga, others play video games, and some people read, I collect garbage in my garage.– But, more importantly, during my Mom-week I need to tally up the little things. Not necessarily literally, but make a mental note and remember the stories. Many days may not have a comparable “before and after” snap shot. But I can mentally snap shot that time when we caught that toad and let it swim in the kiddie pool. I can high five over the time that someone apologized to their sister, without prompting, because he recognized his own guilt. I can record that hour that we spent, painstakingly, trying to play Don’t Break The Ice with two hammer happy preschoolers. And capture that sound of my kids making their own inside jokes and actually enjoying their friendship. These things are probably more important than everything else on my To-Do do list, yet so often these moments are shunted to one side to make way for laundry, groceries, someone peeing on the floor again, and who knows what else I’ve decided to make “important”.

It is hard. It is exhausting. Sometimes you have nothing to show except the visual and emotional evidence that your day was hard and exhausting. Sometimes you will want to wipe that day from the mental record. But, the good news about this never ending job, is that there is always tomorrow. Tomorrow I can say “yes” when I’m asked to build legos. Tomorrow I can invite them to prepare lunch with me.  Tomorrow I can play monster trucks and not check my phone for the whole 15 minutes. Tomorrow we can make milestone moments to fill the gaps between the “real milestones.”

In the spirit of that sentiment, I am not even going to bother continuing to write a thoughtful conclusion. I was just asked to play Paw Patrol Candyland and being here now, making this moment (and subsequently speeding up the bed time process) is far more real than typing words to faceless strangers.

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:)

Creating A Mobile Kitchen Island

This bumped and bruised desk was hanging out in the alley earlier this week.

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With a laminate top and press board innards, it would have been easy to pass up. Buuut, not for me.

Even the wasn't enough to keep me away.

Even the peeing wasn’t enough to keep me away.

A quick patch job on either side is all it takes.

A quick patch job on either side is all it takes.

I removed the hardware. Did a coat of primer. Then added 2 shelves in the open area.

I removed the hardware. Did a coat of primer. Then added 2 shelves in the open area.

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I added blocks and casters under the legs to give it mobility and bring it up to counter height, 36″.

I replaced the old back and gave it all a coat of paint.

I replaced the old back and gave it all a coat of paint.

Added some new accessories and updated the hardware.

Added some new accessories and updated the hardware. Hooks for utensils and another for kitchen towels or mitts.

A this rod with decorative hook for hanging pots. These shower hookds were actually less expensive than typical S hooks, and also don't fall off.

A thin rod with decorative hooks for hanging pots. These shower hooks were actually less expensive than typical S hooks, and also don’t fall off.

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And there you have it!



DSC02609Sweet, simple, and super practical for any cramped kitchen or budget!

Quick Update!

Hey guys!

Sorry for the delay in posts. We took a great family vacation to the Outer Banks! (None of us were eaten by sharks). And right after getting back I got approval to set up a shop at Dover Antique Mall! Any of my local PA friends and customers should totally check that place out! It’s huge, well organized, and filled with interesting things. Plus a snack shop :)     I’ll be moving in this Saturday to a small booth  on the second floor (and hopefully move in to something larger in a few months if it becomes available).  So I’ve been super busy getting cleaned up and organized before I set up.

Dover Antique Mall Ect. 5010 Carlisle Rd Dover, PA Tue - Sun: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Dover Antique Mall Ect.
5010 Carlisle Rd. Dover, PA
Tue – Sun: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Don’t worry though, I’ve collected a ton of roadkill rescue items this week! I have 2 great projects in the works that I’ll hopefully finish up in a few days!

Keep on Pickin’!

~Jodi