Thursday, April 26, 2012

Are You Pinning?

In my opinion, if you're not pinning you're missing out!  For me, Pinterest is the greatest thing since sliced bread and trust me, I resisted for a long time.  I certainly didn't have time for yet another social media outlet but, as it turns out, I find Pinterest even better than Facebook and Twitter combined.  There I said it!

Before Pinterest I had a series of folders in my short cut menu that each held dozens of links to things I wanted to try, topics to blog about and recipes that I wanted to hang onto.  I don't think I've ever opened a single saved link!  In just the few short months that I've been pinning I have actually whipped up a new recipe from my boards, tried a couple of new upcycled organization projects and shared a little upcycled love with the world.  And bloggers, Pinterest can increase your blog traffic like crazy.  I've only been pinning for three months and have had nearly half as many referrals to my blog from Pinterest as I do from Facebook in the last year!

So, c'mon!  What are you waiting for?  Follow me on Pinterest and be inspired.  Here are some of my favorite pins and a taste of what you've been missing:

Suitcase Bar from ReadyMade
Succulent Lamp found on Mod Vintage Life

Tic Tac Ribbon Storage by Craft & Creativity

Easter Egg Bugs found on Apartment Therapy
And  just in case you need a little more convincing...

YUMMY! by Cookies and Cups
See ya over there....

Monday, April 23, 2012

My Newly Upcycled Bird Bath

I love this bird feeder!  It's little, it's cute, it's one-of-a-kind and it's upcycled!

After a morning of yard sales that left me empty handed, I headed to my nearest Goodwill on the hunt for some wonderful pieces to make my own bird feeder.  I found some wonderful bowl-like dishes that would have been beautiful in my garden.  But they were part of a complete set that still had lots of life left in them in their current form and I only needed one.  So off I went to continue my search through the adjacent isles.  Just when I was about to give up, along came this beauty:

It was the only one, tucked in the back of a shelf and the perfect reward for resisting taking one from a full set earlier.  I picked up a perfectly matched flower vase to serve as pedestal of my bird bath.  And all I had to do was use a little silicone adhesive between the two.

Just one more look:

Isn't it adorable?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

BuzzFeed Results Are In

Thanks to everyone who voted for my upcycled candle holder turned side table during the BuzzFeed Upcyclers challenge.  Nearly 75% of readers chose my table as the "hottest upcycling project." 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Featured Artist: LW Interiors

Continuing on the vintage theme, today I introduce you to Lindsay of LW Interiors and Custom Art.  Lindsay's Etsy Shop is filled with beautiful brightly colored vintage jewelry boxes. At the end of this post you'll be given several easy ways to enter to win this beautiful piece:

For now, let's get to know Lindsay!

Tell us a little about your shop and your art.

Lime Green Jewelry Box
I have been making art since I was old enough to hold a crayon. In high school I started painting seriously and by the time I was in college I had a pretty extensive collection of pieces. I love bold colors and modern abstract style. Since college I have integrated my interior design degree with my love for art by offering people custom paintings for their homes and businesses and that is where the LW Custom Art business started. A couple of years ago between clients I started sculpting cupcakes out of polymer clay to put on my Christmas tree. I was posting them on my facebook page when a friend of mine told me about etsy.

When did you start turning old stuff into new creations?

I recently started to put more time and effort into my Etsy shop since I have been working in a small boutique that takes vintage furniture, paints it and sells it. The store has started selling its items on Etsy and when I saw the success we were having I decided I should give it a try.  One day the owner of the store brought in the most beautiful bright pink, painted vintage jewelry box. My fiancĂ© bought it for me as a Christmas gift and that’s when the light bulb went off. I could combine my love of jewelry, interior design and painting all into one!

Hot Pink and Gold Jewelry Box
Who are the important folks/critters in your life?

My mom has always supported my art. She had paid for and driven me to more art classes as a child than I can count. Her and my dad both supported me when I went to art school in NYC and also when I decided to offer art classes of my own. My fiancĂ© is also a big supporter of my art. I have basically turned his apartment into my studio. It’s a disaster in there and he just smiles and lets me make my messes. He’s so good to me. 

Where do you take your inspiration from? 

I truly believe that inspiration comes from everywhere. That’s probably why I am always involved in multiple types of projects. Lately I have been getting a lot of inspiration from other Etsy shops. The artists on Etsy are so talented. 

What other passions do you have in life?

Sunny Yellow Jewelry Box
I am an avid cyclist. I have done several fund raiser events for cancer research, children’s programs, and this year will be my first time joining the MS 150 where we will be riding 150 miles from Rhode Island to Massachusetts to raise money for multiple sclerosis. I am also a huge animal lover and will be donating a portion of money from my wedding to the humane society. I think it’s really important to advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves. 

What do you want readers to know about you or your art?

I just want my art to bring happiness and inspiration to people.

Time to enter to win a lovely upcycled vintage jewelry box.  To enter, simply take one (or more) of the following actions and be sure to leave a separate comment for each one that you do.  On Thursday, April 26 at 6PM will pick the winning comment number.  Make sure I have a way to contact you if you're the winner!  Alright, get sharing, tweeting and browsing:

1.  Tweet this blog post and be sure to include @lwhippleintx in your tweet
2.  Visit LW Interiors on Etsy and tell us what your favorite item is
3.  Follow Lindsay on Facebook

Want to learn more about LW Interiors?  Check out her website and her blog.

Good luck!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

How to Turn a Candle Holder into a Table

Sound absurd?  Well I'm not talking about one of those tiny table top candle holders nor am I suggesting you turn it into a full sized dining table.  Rather a free standing floor candle holder turned into the perfectly sized side tabe. But this tutorial I will not be posting on my blog today, or any other day for that matter, you have to hop over to Buzzfeed to see how I made this magic.

Today, on Buzzfeed it's all out war - a craft war that is.  Buzzfeed Shift has pit Upcycler against Upcycler to see who could come up with something a little unexpected made out of stuff that might otherwise end up in the landfill.  It's Upcycled Stuff vs. Yummy Goods, rather candle holder turned side table vs. old yoga Tee turned refashioned bird Tee.

Here's my table that I made out of a candle holder and a bunch of coiled newspaper

Wanna see how?  Go check it on BuzzFeed and while you're there....VOTE FOR ME!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Turning a Rusted Grill into a Planter

So I had this grill. It was rusty. Really rusty.  I thought I would turn it into a two matching planters, one for each side of door on the porch.  I figured it would be super simple and and here's all I would need:

1.  Top and bottom halves of the grill
2.  Rust Transformer
3.  Sandpaper (you could also use a wire brush)

Turns out my porch isn't quite as big as I thought and two separate containers where just too overwhelming.  So I added a couple more supplies:

4.  Silicone adhesive (be sure it's silicone - it's waterproof)
5.  Drill

Now we're ready to get to work!

First thing's first, get rid of the big chunks of rust with your sandpaper or wire brush.  You don't need to completely sand away the rust, you just want to get rid of the big chunks like this:

Give the grill a good rinse and let it completely dry before you apply the Rust Transformer.  You apply it just as you would any other spray paint.  On the top park of the grill I only coated the inside as it really wasn't rusty.  On the bottom half, however, I coated the inside and the outside. Once it's dry you can spray paint right over the rust transformer with another color if you choose to.

Now take the bottom half and turn it upside down and apply a generous amount of silicone (more than what is shown in the picture).  Then adhere the top half to the base to make the planter section and leave it to dry for a minimum of three hours.  You'll probably need to put a few bricks or something similar in weight inside the planter to help everything adhere.

Since you just covered up all the holes up you'll need to drill a few more for drainage:

Then the fun part - plant to your hearts content:

Just oooooone more finishing touch to turn this baby into a butterfly garden:

Upcycled Soda Can Butterfly
I think this would be really pretty with flowers flowing down the front or planted around the base of the weekend!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Some Stuff to do with Those Candy Wrappers

Happy Easter!  Does it look a bit like Halloween in your house today, a little overrun by candy wrappers?  Well there are a few tutorials floating around the web that can help you solve that problem and can extend the holiday fun! Don't worry, it doesn't have to be as complex as this:

M&M Wrapper Dress

Here are a few projects that you can likely tackle with the kids.  Simple chains can be used in a variety of projects, like this bracelet:

or this napkin ring:

Using full wrapper sheets you can make these cute belts:

zippered pouches:

 and believe it not, even a snazzy switch plate:

 Happy crafting!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Why I Love my Smaller Green Grocer

I'm finally establishing a new shopping routine in Connecticut having searched out all my small local shops.  It got me thinking about how much easier it is to part with my hard earned cash when I know the the markets that I shop in have a conscience and that I'm supporting my local economy.  It was my trip to Mrs. Greens yesterday that helped me step up onto today's soapbox.  Mrs. Greens is small natural food market with stores in only a dozen cities, still small enough that every item has to be marked with a price gun as they don't have scanners at the register. I'm lucky enough to live a mere two miles from one of only two locations in Connecticut.

Here's why I love shopping small, local (and green) markets:

I can buy as many pieces of loose fruits, vegetables and leafy greens as I want and when I bring them to the register, they don't try to put them in plastic bags as though I must have forgotten to do so when I made my selections.

Glass has taken over where plastic once reigned supreme. Don't get me wrong you can't truly get away from plastic all together but there's a lot less of it at Mrs. Greens and other markets like it!  And yeah, I actually buy chocolate milk but only because it makes the most amazing fudgsicles without all that individual wrapping.  I can't wait to display a bunch my glass bottles with fresh cut flowers this summer!

I can actually find WHOLE foods.  While I may only eat the root of a carrot, my tortoise loves the carrot tops.  And his favorite green?  Dandelions!  Look at these beauties.  Speedy will be coming out of hibernation this week so I picked him up a bunch!

I love that I don't have to read tiny little labels on the produce to see if it's organic - every piece of produce in the store is guaranteed certified organic.  And location is important to me too!  Each bin of produce is clearly labeled with the origin of it's contents.  I can make my selections based on how far my produce has traveled with ease.

Why do you love your small local grocers?
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