Sunday, February 28, 2010

Repurposed Buildings and Other Sunday Night Thoughts

It is sunday night and we are sitting next to our fireplace watching oak logs burn as we talk about our week. We have much to do this week. Next weekend is Kane County but we are also feeling the pressure to work on the show house projects for the set up next week. So we might have to make a choice about whether we have the time to do Kane next weekend.

This week I am working on the storage cabinet, bed platform, crown above the bed all for the show house  in my shop. CJ is busy in her studio getting the many fabric projects for the showroom ready. As all of this comes together we will post pictures this week.

We are also sitting here remembering our very fine weekend spent up in northern michigan. One of the stops we made last weekend was in Frankfort , Michigan at a place called Monumental Finds. They are closed for the winter but I couldn't resist taking some pictures of this place because of the outstanding display outside the main build of repurposed building materials. We find that the owner of this business has taken repuposing to a scale larger than we are used to seeing with some really interesting results.
All the building creations (made of old building parts and pieces) are for sale and the owner will gladly help with delivery. Enjoy the pictures.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Updated Patchwork

Even as a young woman when I learned to sew I was fascinated with patchwork. OK that's me in this photo in the middle. It was something like 1971/72 and I had made my drindle skirt from cast off pieces of upholstery velvet that my Uncle Lou gave us. Uncle Lou worked in the furniture manufacturing business in Grand Rapids for years and would delight my Mother and myself with gorgeous remnants of fabric. Unbelievable I still have some in my stash today - I'm not sure I should actually admit that........!
I am working right now on my furnishings for the Grand Rapids Symphony Designer Show House. Dan has made the most wonderful ottoman for our space out of 2 cast off twin bed footboards and I was going through my inventory of fabric trying to decide what to have it upholstered in. I narrow it down to 3 choices - ugh! OK so there was an idea! I would patchwork several together. I had saved this photo from a Wisteria catalog and had it in my idea file. It inspired me and what a great way to recycle smaller pieces of upholstery fabric. Both Dan & I have been SO into recycling, reusing what we have.
So here is the patchwork material that I made to upholster the ottoman. It consists of fabrics from Brunschwig & Fils, Cowtan & Tout, Pierre Deux, Dogwood, Fabricut, Waverly & Schumacher. It all goes to the upholster tomorrow. I'll post more photos as the room is installed. Right now there is a lot of work going on behind to scenes. March 9th is the deadline.

Monday, February 22, 2010

My Studio

In our new place I have the most wonderful studio. It is the kind of creative space that I have always dreamed of. Most of that is thanks to Dan who created or found the furniture pieces that help me to be organised. It has taken some thought and planning to get to this point. I am a visual person and need to have a lot of the pieces that I create with in sight, or all of one type of item all together in the same spot. I am so excited about this new old cupboard that Dan moved into my studio last week, so I thought that I would share a few photos.I find studio space of all types fascinating!
If you have a favorite work, studio are I would love to hear about it and see pictures. Do share!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Thanks for the Memories

We had such a great time this weekend at Graysklake! It was wonderful to see all of you again after our 2 month absence. We came back to Grand Rapids with a much lighter load! We sold a lot of great product and bought a lot of great product. We had a splash of romantic Valentine gift items.We had great vintage girlie "things" to pamper yourself with,
I love these door benches that Dan makes and check out more of his hand made wire baskets. He is working on some larger versions of his baskets this week.
Any kind of drawer cabinet, like this one Dan made out of old cheese boxes, letter trays, storage boxes and bins were all hot sellers.
We had such a fun time catching up with everyone. Thanks everyone for more great memories!!
See you all in a couple of weeks at Kane County. we'll have MORE cool stuff  :> I hit a good estate sale today!! tease tease

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Recycled T Shirt Scarves & More This Weekend For GraysLake

Dan & I have been busy bees getting ready to see all of you this weekend at Grayslake.
I have had this idea in my head for a while now, to make nifty scarves out of old recycled T-shirts. I have always loved soft clothing so this seemed like a good idea & who doesn't have old T-shirts and then if you are me, you have lots of other "stuff" to embellish them with too.
Here's a peek! I couldn't resist the spring colors and patterns.
I have always had a fascination for wire and now I have Dan hooked (no pun intended - OK maybe a little :>  ). The first wire "thing" he ever made for me was a mini hanger for the sweater ornaments that I knit at Christmas. So now onto bigger things! That is so Dan! I seem to work in miniature and he is always thinking big. So when we moved I had all of these tomato cages in the garage that of course were still useful so neither of us could throw them away. After all they were WIRE. This darling basket that he made started it's life supporting sprouting climbing tomatoes, and then Dan worked his magic. Just a warning there could be a short supply of these this weekend because I LOVE EVERY ONE OF THEM!
Then we collaborated on this "handy hand" project. Well actually we collaborated on the scarves too, Dan donated some of his T's as well.
So see ya at Grayslake. We are looking forward to seeing all of you again and so glad the storm is over!

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Much as been written about repurposing. In fact, we have spent some time talking about this subject in an earlier blogs. However this winter I have had a fair bit of time in my shop and I have taken repurposing to new levels. Over the years I have gathered many old house parts and pieces into my shop along with damaged pieces of furniture, chest of drawers missing drawers, cabinets missing doors, beds missing rails or foot boards, trim pieces of all sizes and shapes,etc. So I have begun to apply my creative side to making furniture and other vintage appearing items out of my many parts and pieces. Beside, the passage ways in my shop are getting narrower and narrower so it is time to make some room.

Beds are becoming benches and doors are becoming benches and hall trees. The other day I spotted a drawer storage cabinets in one of my magazine and so I turned a drawerless dresser into the drawer cabinet. I am constantly looking thru magazines, catalogs, and books these days and I have to say I have never had so much. fun. Doing what you love and nurtures you is a sure way to find your bliss at least that is what I am finding out this winter in my shop with the wood stoves burning brightly to keep my warm.

Attached are a couple my my lastest creations. A crafters cabinet with lots of drawers and a door turned hall tree.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

New Winter Classes Now Forming!

Next week, the week of Feb 9 I will be starting to teach a series of classes here at the house on College Street. I will be teaching Water Color Painting and in this class you will learn about all of the different materials, paper, brushes, paint and techniques. We will explore still lives, landscapes, figural and abstract subject maters. There is no prior experience needed but if you have painted before that is OK too. We will meet on Thursday mornings from 9:30 - 12:00 starting on Feb 11 and ending March 11. The class fee is $100.00 for the 5 weeks.
I will also be teaching The Business of Interior Design. In this 5 week class you will learn how to set up and Interior Design business and  how to charge for your services. You will also learn the appropriateness and durability of materials such as flooring, furniture, fabric, lighting, plumbing and cabinetry. You will learn how to choose these these items, how to price them and how and where to order them. I will demystify window treatments and other custom fabrications. We will go over where to find items and who to install them. We will take a project step by step start to finish.
This class meets Tues mornings from 9:30 -12: Feb 9 - March 9
The fee for this class is $100.00
And oh how fun is this class! Beginning Knitting! I am an addicted knitter and want to get all of you hooked as well : ) This is such a creative art form, the yarns are so yummy! This also is a 5 week class and you will learn about the different types of yarn, needles, how to cast on your first stitches, the knit stitch, the purls stitch and how to read a pattern. This class will meet on Friday mornings from 9:30-12:00 starting Feb 12 - march 12. 
5 weeks for $60.00

Please email to sign up
come join the fun!