Resource and Treasures



I am so cold today!  Yesterday I had to go out in a whirling snowstorm to deliver a sick portable hard drive to the computer hospital.  Today, the computer doctor called me with the happy news that the files on the drive would live. I feel like I dodged a bullet. Fortunately, I already had the pictures for this blog post ready to go.

Which brings me to the Resource Exchange.   I heard about this wonderful place a couple of years ago as a space where film  and play companies deposited their leftover props and set equipment when production was finished.  Then I leaned that the collection of leftovers had grown to any kind of material that could be used to make art.  Which includes everything when you think of it but we won’t go there, will we?

No, the Resource Exchange offers all kinds of reclaimed arts and craft supplies that you can mention in polite company AND use to make art.     These supplies would otherwise end up in the trash.  The Resource Exchange gives them new life.  Let’s see, conservation, art, creative reuse-looks like a win/win situation to me.

And if you have a bunch of discarded art supplies, builder supplies, tools, and old sewing machine, a stuffed animal, a bolt of  cloth a case of paper clips, bring them to the Resource Exchange.  Someone, somewhere will want them.

On my trip to the Resource Exchange, I found some bead storage boxes,  jute webbing that I used to Boris-proof my foot stools, gold thread, giant wooden beads,  and some more things that I can’t remember-all cheap and in good condition.

Beading Yoda was thrilled   because now she has a place to bring all her Strawbridge and Clothier Bags because the people at the Resource Exchange know the difference between trash and vintage.

Be sure to check out the Resource Exchange’s web page and follow them on Facebook.  In the meantime,  here are some enticing pictures.
















Found Jewelry from City Sidewalks

I challenged myself to make a piece of jewelry entirely from materials I found on the sidewalk. Well, here it is.  What do you think?


The materials I used are pebbles, twigs, stripped electrical wire (12 and 18 gauge copper) and picture hanging cable.

I drilled holes in the pebbles and twigs with a hand rotary drill.  Find a tute on drilling rocks here.

I cut sections of the 12 gauge copper,  formed them into interesting shapes, bent a loop  on top for hanging  and pounded them with a hammer.  I also filed the ends because they get sharp!

I made a closure with the thinner wire by wrapping it around the  ends of the cable and fashioning a hook and eye.

Here’s a good tute on how to do that .

I don’t think I’d wear this necklace to a formal event, but I have worn it.   I recommend is  coating the twigs with resin after drilling  to strengthen them.   Then you could do all kinds of things with them!  You could color them with pencils and markers and make Christmas ornaments or jewelry components or garlands or  . . .  the list goes on and on.

Green Bathroom Redo

The thought of doing a major renovation gives me the shakes.  Maybe that’s why I still have wall to wall carpet 20 years after moving into my house.  Until I can gird my loins and steel myself  in preparation for moving furniture, ripping up things and upsetting the cat,  I will have to content myself with room by room redecorating.

I don’t have any before pictures of my bathroom, but let me give you an idea:  the tub, toilet and sink were an  indescribable yellow somewhere between mustard and school bus.  We had an ugly plastic medicine cabinet with make up lights and three mirrored doors that were corroded.  There was no storage space for cleaning supplies or anything else.  The bathroom was cluttered.  In a moment of weakness, I had painted the walls yellow with blue and green accent.  It looked OK 20 years ago, but was starting to grate on me.

I wanted something relaxing, where I could get rid of clutter yet find things when I needed them.  We had to replace the toilet two years ago, and I wanted the sink and tub to match.  The tile was in good shape and  I didn’t  want to spend a lot of money.  We had the tub reglazed, and replaced the sink.  The mirror cost five dollars at a sidewalk sale.  The cherry medicine chest came from ebay. The two decker wire basket was another cheap house sale find.  The rug was free-I found it in a free bin at a local thrift store.  It was filthy, so I soaked it in dish washing powder and warm water for a couple of days. Now it looks like new.

I altered the toilet paper holder and spray painted the waste can and towel rack to match the brushed nickel fixtures we got at Home Depot.  Throw in two  storage cabinets and baskets from Ikea, and the cost for everything including the plumber and electrician (but not the toilet) was just under one thousand dollars.

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And while we’re on the subject of re purposing and reusing,  here’s a picture of bookshelves I made  by inserting an old ladder I found into a small niche in our upstairs hall way.   I nailed boards onto the ladder steps and  the scalloped ornamentation on the front is made from Dollar Store place mats I painted to match.