Monday, June 29, 2009

Who’s Your Cheerleader?

For the past week, I've been working on a project to reuse some old children’s books that I’ve had for awhile. I was bound and determined to create a card series using the sweet illustrations from the books. I went around and around with the design, finally setting it aside without resolution on Friday last week.

Since I opened my card shop on Etsy, there have been many friends and family who have supported me. I thank them all greatly for endlessly listening to my ideas, giving me advice, spreading the word about my business, and for their very generous purchases. But I have one friend who has helped me so much, I jokingly refer to her as my “life coach.”

My friend, Liz, came over today. Not only did she revive my interest in the children’s book project, she and I collaborated to create the final product. This isn’t the first time she’s helped me. Every time I’ve been discouraged or frustrated with my business, it’s Liz who can pull me up from my bootstraps and tell me I CAN DO IT. She’s full of ideas and enthusiasm, and anytime I need a pep talk, she’s there. Thank you for being my constant cheerleader, Liz!

This is what we created today. The art is from a reused children’s book. I cut the matte from sturdy reused cardboard, then painted it with chalkboard paint I had leftover from another project. I love the worn, nostalgic look. It’s eco-friendly, editable and one-of-a-kind!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Stepping Out as a New Mrs.

To my Sinatra-singing, marathon-running, hard-working, hard-playing, humor-seeking, loving husband of 11 years, Happy Anniversary!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Freebie Friday! Father's Day Card

This is what my kids are each giving to their dad this year...a personalized Father's Day card with their own drawings. Simply print the below document (as many as you need) and fold where indicated. No cutting required!

Happy Dad's Day to all!
Dad Printable

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thrifty Thursdays

In Minnesota, it's our summers are precious and short. Hence, our garage/yard sale season is packed into a few months as well.

We have to take advantage of every warm weekend, so Thursdays have always been the best garage sale shopping days. It's a frenzy to hit all the good ones, even just within a few miles of my house. My most favorite way to recycle is to treasure someone else’s trash. Some days are better than others, but today I was lucky. Here’s a retro chair I found today for just $5.00. Sweet!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

My Old Repurposing Life

From 2005-2007, my friend, Shelly, and I had a little junk antique shop called Retique. We hosted occasional sales out on a farm in a little converted chicken coop. It was my first experience with repurposing and reclaiming old things, and it really changed my life. So much so, that I can't imagine not continuing the recycling effort in my graphics business, hence my eco-friendly stationery shop.

We had such fun scouring garage sales, thrift stores, flea markets and curbs for old "junk" that could be turned into something clever and/or useful. My kids even learned to go along for the ride and to find some treasures of their own.

I converted old cement trowels into candle sconces, bed springs into vases, and a mop wringer into a message pad, to name a few. What I did most of though, was create new uses for old windows. It was creatively fulfilling, but also very stressful to get ready for each sale. So, we mutually decided to hang up our paint brushes and tools a year and a half ago. But I still do some consignment at a darling shop called Betty Lou in Stone Lake, Wisconsin.

Here are a couple of windows I'm sending up there today:

1. Piano bench with hinged window for storage

2. Window wall hanging with shutter shelf

3. Screen door window message board