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Sunday, February 27

amazing decoupage workshop today!

What a great decoupage workshop today!  19 girls, two houseparents, 60 frames ready for decoupaging, vintage fabric and buttons, decoupage paper, reclaimed maps, magazines and books, Scrabble tiles and ribbon.  What more could you ask for on a snowy Sunday in February?

Email us to plan a private decoupage party for a baby or bridal shower, a birthday party, or just for a fun night or afternoon out!  We can decoupage anything that doesn't move...

Check out these amazing frames that the girls made today!

love the way the flower flows off the edge and also into the frame area

the goods
vintage sheet music and fabric

Scrabble tiles!


Thursday, February 24

decoupage party

Reclaimed Crafts is so excited to head to the Bement School this Sunday for a decoupage workshop; what a creative and fun way for 20 friends to spend a snowy afternoon!  We'll be decoupaging frames using vintage maps, recycled books, postcards, magazines, wallpaper, buttons and Scrabble tiles.  

This is such a creative and simple project, and with all of the materials we have collected, it's easy to personalize the frame for the people in it and whatever the picture portrays:

This is a picture of Gus driving Pop Pop's boat (don't tell the Coast Guard).  The frame is decoupaged with a nautical map that I scored at Goodwill that - wait for it - included the area where Pop Pop drives his boat.  How cool is that?

The summer theme was inspired by our recent trip to Barbados.  I actually freehand sketched the bucket and shovel (I was channeling Ed Emberly).

Here's a close-up of the location of this picture stamped onto a variety of colorful decoupage paper, and a stack of summery vintage buttons for a little 3D action!

This was a holiday present for my husband.  The frame is decoupaged with a local map that is layered with all sorts of other personal references as well as some birds, Gus' current obsession. 

I love the punch of color the birds supply, and the way the cardinal's head peeks up and over the frame and into the picture area.  I've also stamped the date of the picture onto some paper salvaged from an old calendar.

This would also be a great project for a baby shower (what new parents don't need tons of frames to show of the 10 billion pictures they've taken of their gorgeous babe?) or for a bridal shower (the frames could be used as favors or to display table numbers at the wedding).  Showers are always more fun with crafting, and the projects are such amazing memories and keepsakes of a special day.  Let us help you organize a craft day for a special occasion! 

Stay tuned for pics of all of the beautiful frames we craft on Sunday!

Wednesday, February 16

spindle sticks are flying off the shelves!

My first attempt at selling my crafts is officially a success!  Two Christmases ago, at our annual craft day (otherwise known as the Longest Day of the Year), my friend Laurie ceremoniously dropped a crapload of salvaged, white-paint-peeling balusters on my kitchen floor.

Unbelievably, a quick search on the Google Machine revealed an entire section of a wonderful website dedicated to craft projects with salvaged wooden balusters.  Who knew?  Who even knew what they were called?  (If it's not obvious from the picture, and you don't want to look it up, balusters are the wooden spindles that run perpendicular to the staircase railing).  

The candlesticks we created to give as holiday presents were a huge hit, so much so that I was brave enough to march into sticks and bricks and suggest to Liz that they would do great in her fabulous furniture shop.  They sold out! 

a few more and you have a kickin' menorah!

beautiful and dramatic grouped together

gorgeous and elegant against my Beth Mueller jars

almost naked pair

Now I'm thinking this is a must-do workshop.  The project calls for using a handsaw and a drill with a funky bit.  What more could you want?

Monday, February 14

croquet mallet heads repurposed as candlesticks

We're all about wood crafts these days.  Those of you who have been following along know that I have amassed quite a stash of vintage wooden croquet sets from flea markets, auctions and tag sales. 

There's an expression "nose to tail" in cooking that refers to using the whole animal, and that's what we plan to do with the croquet sets.  But for now....mallet heads.  Gorgeous, fading paint-covered mallet heads.  After a quick brainstorm with liz from sticks & bricks, we decided the heads wanted to become candle holders.  So, with the addition of some reclaimed wood as a base, that is exactly what they have become.

candlestick holder resting on repurposed yardstick side table

cool, gigantic drill bit to tuck the candles into the mallet heads

We are envisioning a two-part candlestick holder workshop....stay tuned!

Friday, February 11

crafting a nursery

some of you know that i (laurie) am expecting a set of boy/girl twins this month.  indeed, as i write, i am 11 (!) days out from my scheduled c-section.  seeing as the ground is frozen with slippery ice, it's 4 degrees and i can barely fit behind the steering wheel of my car, it seemed like a great time to post a little bit about some of the fun projects that went into the making of this room.  

i had a blast designing this.  it started with the paint color (benjamin moore 'sweatshirt gray.')  many suggested that it would be too dark, but i insisted that i had 'a vision.' and, i really did. i knew i'd be getting one white crib as a hand-me-down and i used that was a jumping off point.  i figured that with white furniture, the walls would be a great pop.  as the room came together with an almost identical crib from craigslist, a free (!) white wood dresser from the guy who sold me the crib, the amazing vintage rocker that mom picked up from NH craigslist ($40!), and the cheap but gorgeous white curtains from ikea, i knew that it was totally going to work! i also love how the o'keefe poppy print looks with the blue. i've had that print for years in a bunch of different places that i've lived. it was a gift from a dear friend and i think it is right at home in the kids' room.

some crafting! 

i added some personal touches with some simple but really fun crafting projects:

note also the vintage flashcard. i bought a bunch of these at the fremont flea market in seattle 5 years ago. i adored them then and now.  indeed now, i see them around more, even in a recent pottery barn catalog.  of course i like to think i was ahead of the curve on that one!

drawer pulls:  to add a little color and some whimsy to the white dresser,  i decoupaged the drawer pulls with some great paper and covered them with poly to withstand the wear and tear.  

bird mobile:  this was fun and totally me.  4+ years past my wedding, i am still using up many of the accessories that i used to decorate with at the reception.  there are just lots of twigs and sparkly beads laying around the house.  so, i took some of those and fashioned a little perch for this great wool felted bird (christmas ornament that i already had) to sit on.  i love how it catches the light and adds a little color up in the corner.

paper mobile:  this was great.  jen, who was a key organizer of my baby party last month, wanted to do a craft project at the party and we both loved the idea of it being something useful and beautiful for the babies.  we strolled around michael's one night until the idea came together.  each of these paper mobile oieces was made by a friend or family member at the party.  we bought these simple wood animal templates, a book of great paper, some tracing paper and a glue stick.  folks grabbed some yummy food and sidled up to the crafting table to trace, cut and glue. the real beauty of the project was how accessible and easy it was for folks who consider themselves non-crafty and how satisfying it was to see how fabulous the finished pieces look.  jen picked up the metal mobile frame at a local store.  it is "meant" to hold pictures, but it is absolutely perfect for this.  i expect that when i finally move the twins into a crib that they will be sharing one, and i will definitely have them beneath this mobile.  when it is time to separate them, i have already bought another mobile frame and will definitely complete some more pieces so that they both get the joy of laying beneath such great art! reclaimed crafts would love to help you organize a crafty baby shower too. just contact us!

crib skirt: so, with the exception of reclaimed crafts workshops, i have not been working during most of this pregnancy. that leaves plenty of time to obsess about things that are of no consequence or import--like crib skirts!  call it hormones or call me crazy, but back in december i just wasn't going to be happy unless i got skirts on these cribs. of course, this was going to make things complicated because not only am i too cheap to buy two skirts, i could never find just the right thing. that's where an old sheet, scissors, an iron, velcro and a friend who sews comes in.  i jimmy rigged these skirts by cutting an old sheet in 6 parts -- 2 front panels for each crib and 4 side panels, 2 for each crib.  i hemmed them using my trusty iron-on hem tape.  my friend jess, a whiz with a sewing machine, offered to make decorative  strips to attach to each panel.  the fabric, that i fell in love with at ikea, was only available in pillow covers, so she cut, pieced and sewed these strips from  a pillow cover right onto the old sheet.  i then used velcro strips to attach them all to the crib frame. when i lower the mattresses as the kids grow, i'll just adjust the length by adjusting where i put the velcro. easy peasy and, i think, they look pretty darn good.

reclaimed mirror and picture frame:  being pregnant with twins means that my sleep cycle is all kinds of screwed up.  over the course of a few late nights, i went a little nutty with decoupaging and made these fun projects.  the mirror, a project we have done in our workshops before, i simply covered with some great paper. well, maybe not so simply--given the angles, there was some math involved. let's just say it got slightly ugly at times.  

this frame had a former life holding a photo that used to hang in my law office. in a true symbol of change, here it is decked out in twin glory in the baby nursery.  last fall at a yard sale i picked up a copy of that great old book "gnomes."  flipping thru i found this adorable picture of boy/girl gnome twins and just knew it had a place in the babes' room.  

i have also been doing a bunch of baby hat knitting.  when the munchkins get here, i'll be sure to post some pics of them in their various hats.  i can already hear them saying, "aww, mom, really?" 
given the size of my belly, those pictures will be coming very soon! stay tuned!