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Trash to Treasure Creature

In Monday's photo of the week, I showed a T2T creature that I spotted at my father-in-law's house. Here are a few more shots of it. I love junk art, but I'm just not handy with stuff like welders, so I don't know how to make them. I do know how to run many power tools, but this falls outside of my ability.
It's made from a sprinkler (as one reader already guessed) plus a few other parts. The back is the head of a shovel and then I think the legs may have come from a bicycle or something like that.
 I can't really figure out if the feet came from an old fork or not. I'm just guessing, but they sort of resemble silverware.

One thing I didn't notice...I should have dusted it before I shot the pictures. Oops. Didn't notice it had a layer of "fur".

Transformation Tuesday

I found some winter decorating inspiration on the net today that I wanted to share with you. I was browsing around at The Inspired Room and noticed that Melissa had some great trash to treasure ideas in her photos. Melissa is a design consultant and she's featured her transition from summer to winter in her decor.

For example,  you'll see in her photo below, the great idea for a ladder on the wall. 
Photo linked from The Inspired Room

Muted Monday - Photo of the Week

I spotted this at my father-in-law's house. Do you know what it is? Hint: It's something T2T.

I'll show a few more pics of it later.

Swagbucks- Have you tried it yet?

Just a quick note to remind you that if you haven't tried Swagbucks, and you do a lot of searching or shopping on the internet, you can earn money for doing what you already do. In just two months, I've earned $30 in Amazon gift cards by searching and shopping via the Swagbucks site instead of my usual Google.

It's kind of like frequent flyer miles for internet users. By installing and using the toolbar (no spam or spyware included) I get daily points. And by clicking my favorite places to shop from the Swagbucks page, I'm getting paid a little to do what I would do anyway.

Sometimes you find a code on the Swagbucks blog and enter it on the home page. Other times, you just get points automatically when you're using the search engine. There are many ways to get points.

This week, you'll earn 20 bonus points on sign-up if you include the code SignUp2010 at registration (remember it has to be added during sign-up, not after). That means you'll start with 50 sign-up points instead of 30. Then, watch the Swagbucks facebook page, the blog and the messages on your toolbar for ways to earn points in addition to shopping and the search engine. You'll also see the widget on my sidebar where you can find codes. You can cash in points for all kinds of stuff, but my favorite is the $5 Amazon gift card for 450 points.

The bonus expires on Sunday, so if you've thought about trying Swagbucks, now is the time. I know how I'll be paying for next year's Christmas shopping!

Click here to get started

Okay. Now I promise to stop gushing about Swagbucks.

T2T Mini Transformation Tuesday

Life in my Trash to Treasure world is pretty much consumed with Christmas preparation, so my T2T transformations are small. This week, I had my rubber stamps out working on some Christmas gifts, and I had the inspiration to fix a little problem we've had in our household. 

With two teen sons, they tend to leave a lot of cups sitting around. They like to leave them on the window sill by the kitchen sink, but I complain that they get in my way when I open the window in the summer.
Then, they tried putting them on top of the refrigerator. With all the other junk.
In fact, they seem to leave them everywhere. They leave the cups. I complain. But in their defense, my boys say they are trying to save on dishes for me so they don't grab a new cup every time they want a drink of water. 

So that gave me an idea. Why not give them a better place to keep their cups. 

I had two enamelware cups that we seldom use and I decided to label them with their initials. I used white StazOn ink.
After I stamped their initials on the cups, in put cup hooks in the bottom of the cabinet nearest the kitchen sink.
A quick solution, but so far, it's worked.
It's also more convenient for me to grab them when I'm doing dishes, wash them out, and hang them right back up for them.

A simple mini-transformation for a maxi-busy season.

Muted Monday - Photo of the Week

Not much Trash to Treasuring getting done right now. I'm swamped in Christmas prep! But I did take time for a cookie baking day with friends.


Thrifty Thursday- Christmas Gift Idea

For thrifty Thursday, I'd like to show you an idea for a cute gift that is perfect for when  you need a little something to give. I'm giving them to my friends in my women's group and I'll be making a few more for little Christmas gifts.
 
This isn't necessarily a decorating idea, but these post-it note holders would look so cute by the telephone that they are almost a decoration. Or imagine if you added a magnet on the back. It's perfect for carrying in your purse as well. Now, you're probably wondering where the trash part comes in.

Well....these cute little post-it holders can be made from the 4x4 inch cardboard coasters they give you to set your drinks on at restaurants. Now, I needed to make more than just a few, so I used up some scraps of matboard. You can use pieces of chipboard too. Or you can purchase blank coasters from American Coaster (large quantities) which I also di.


Here are a few more pics of my work in progress and a picture of the inside.
Covering the coasters with paper.
Inside view.
The blank coasters.

Isn't that cute?

WWYD Wednesday- Antique Desk

I saw this antique desk for sale on a local e-cafe site similar to Craigslist and I wondered, "What would I do with it?" That's when I knew it would be a perfect question to post to my readers for What Would You Do (WWYD) Wednesday.
If you bought this, what would you do with it? Would you leave it as is? Or would you do something about the blue paint? Then, once it was finished the way you like, how would you use it?

Leave your ideas in the comments below and I'll choose my favorite idea by next WWYD Wednesday.


Thanks for the WWYD Ideas!

You've all been great about giving WWYD ideas on Wednesdays. My favorite idea for the chicken feeder from last week's WWYD came from DogsMom.

Since it isn't yard sale season, and I'm starting to run out of material for WWYD posts, I'm going to be hunting around on the Craigslist and FreeCycle websites for photos of things I can post with the question, "What would you do with this?"

If you have an item and you're not sure whether it is trash or treasure, feel free to e-mail a photo to me and I'll post it to my readers for WWYD inspiration. Also, I'm considering a Trash Versus Treasure feature where I post a photo of something and you vote whether it's trash or treasure. 

I seldom post on Saturdays, but we're getting a ton of snow here in Northern Wisconsin, so I thought I'd blog a little and muse out loud today. Happy Winter!

 

Transformation Tuesday - Reader Mail

A little while ago, I received an e-mail from one of my readers named Sandy who sent picture of one of her own trash to treasure transformations. I thought you'd enjoy her ideas as much as I did. She says she found these windows in the trash and she fixed them up. Sandy, you'll have to let us know how you get the mirrors in there. Or do you spray on a mirror paint?




Thanks for sharing Sandy!

WWYD Wednesday

Well, we didn't have any ideas posted for our last WWYD Wednesday on recycling, bin projects so lets try something else. I have this Trash to Treasure item on my beside stand. Can you guess what it is? Hint: scroll down a little and I'll give away the answer.

If you guessed chicken feeder, you are correct. I picked it up a long time ago at a yard sale and decorated it with my rubber stamps and paint. It's a little rusty on the inside, but I put down a doily in the bottom.

I used to use it on the back of the commode in the bathroom with the extra rolls of tissue, but when we installed a new modern design with a "flush" button on the top, I had to relocate my chicken feeder. Now, it's right at home holding my books and other nightstand odds and ends.

So, what would you do with it? Can you think of a way to use a chicken feeder if you picked one up at a sale? For today's WWYD, leave your replies in the comments below.
 

Antique Glaze Technique for "New" Old Look

For Transformation Tuesday, I'd like to feature a very helpful tutorial from fellow blogger Traci at Beneath My Heart. Traci transformed her patio furniture from this:
Photo from Beneath My Heart
 To this!
Photo from Beneath My Heart
 Traci's full blog post gives a wonderful tutorial on how she did this fabulous "aged" finish. I love how she wasn't put off by some crackles in the paint. She just used it to work with her finish. You'll love the up close photos of each step in the process. 

Do you have an idea for Transformation Tuesday? Send me an e-mail or a link to your blog.

Muted Monday - Photo of the Week

Burkes Pond on a Still Autumn Day - Photo by Michelle Rayburn
Muted Monday- Where the photo says it all.

What Are You Thankful For?

Instead of my usual What Would You Do Wednesday, today I'm asking, "What are you thankful for?" Since it's Thanksgiving, let's pause to express our gratitude.

WAYTFW - What Are You Thankful For? Wednesday

Since today is my husband's birthday, it's appropriate to say I'm thankful for nearly 21 years of marriage to my best friend. He's truly a treasure from God and a man who is very patient with my shortcomings. I'm also thankful for our two sons who will be off to college faster than we can blink!
Me and my guys
How about you? Please share your gratitude in the comments section below. And have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I'll be taking a little blogging break to spend time with my family for a few days.

Muted Monday - Photo of the Week

First Snow of the Season
The view from my window when I awoke at a Stamping and Scrapbook retreat last weekend. I got to stay in the room I helped to decorate over the summer.

Need Some New Ideas?

Are you looking for new ideas for old stuff? You'll find a lot of inspiration on a new list that Alex just published on "Associate Degree."

Photo from Associate Degree
Just found out my Trash to Treasure Decorating blog is listed on the Top 50 Blogs for Yard Sale Aficionados. Fun! If you'd like to check out the list, you'll find me at number 12. There are links to some great blogs on there and I know I'll be visiting a bunch of those links.

Now is the time to transform all that stuff you purchased over the summer during yard sale season. 

Have You Heard of Swagbucks?


I Love Swagbucks!
I'll admit, I was a bit skeptical when I first heard of Swagbucks. In fact, I ignored the information for a long time. But recently, I received another invitation to join and I decided to check it out. Turns out, it really does work!

I joined just a month ago and I've already earned enough points to cash in for $15 in Amazon gift cards. Considering I'm earning those points by doing something I already do on the web, shopping and searching, I think it's super. And this week, they've added even more ways to earn points. Haven't checked it out? Here's a link to get you started.

I've found the best way for earning points is using the toolbar which I installed using the link on the Swagbucks Website. The great news is that the toolbar has not increased the spam in my inbox or raised any spybot red flags. The toolbar has a search box similar to Google and Yahoo and just by using that for my regular internet searches, I receive points randomly throughout the day.

The other way I have earned points is by shopping. Most of my favorite retailers are listed on the Swagbucks site. Just as it works with your frequent flyer miles for an airline, if I begin my online shopping by clicking on the retailer on the Swagbuck's site, I will earn 2 swagbucks points for every dollar I spend. 

The special offers also provide points. For example, I earned 500 points for a $18 purchase on Vista Print because it was a special offer. And just this week, Swagbucks added a coupon feature. There are coupons to print and take to the store and users will receive 10 points per coupon when they are redeemed. 

There are many other ways to earn points including daily polls, surveys, watching videos similar to something like YouTube and much more.

I'm thrilled to earn bucks for what I've already been doing on the web. How about you? Ready to try it? Follow any of the text links or pictures in this post to get you connected to Swagbucks

Search & Win
Have questions about how it works? Just leave a comment and I'd be happy to try to answer them or point you to the page on the website that answers your question.

Recycling Bin Fragrance Warmer

I attended a home party recently where I purchased some squares of wax for melting in a plug-in device that runs on a 15 watt bulb. I have just one of the warmers and I'd like to spread the fragrance around a little bit, so I looked around the house for ways I could create my own. Yes, I know, I could purchase more from the company that sells the wax, but this is more adventuresome, and I wanted to see if I could upcycle something.

I found a tin can from baked beans and a clear jar in the recycling bin and then scrounged around a bit more. Here is what I came up with.
There you go.

Oh, you want to know how I made it? Of course! I would too if I were you.

First, I filled the bean can 3/4 full with water and put it in the freezer overnight. Then, I used a sharp wood screw and a hammer to puncture holes to make a design in the can. After getting going, I realized the benefit to having a pattern on paper or pre-drawn on the can as my freehand star was very misshapen. Lesson learned for next time.

Then, I let the ice in the can thaw in the sink while I prepped the rest of my project. Here's how I made the inside of the warmer.
I've saved various jars from mayonnaise and other things to use for crafts. I also had several strings of Christmas lights on sale from last year. A short 20-light string is perfect for this project, so be on the lookout for good deals in the next few months.

I decided to frost the glass on the small jar. I used spraypaint made for this and just sprayed the inside of the jar and let it dry really well. Also notice the little candle cup in the photo? You can purchases these votive cups for 99 cents or less at any craft hobby store or in the candle or craft department at places like WalMart.




Once the jar was dry, I stuffed the lights inside, leaving a tail sticking out. Then I set the votive cup in the top. In the meantime, I dried off the tin can and spray painted it with ORB (oil rubbed bronze) finish from Krylon.
The lights put out enough heat to melt the wax and emit fragrance.


Now, I must issue a disclaimer. If you decide to make one of these at home, please remember that I've use all of these things in different ways than suggested by the manufacturer. Therefore, I cannot guarantee with certainty the safety of this design. Do not leave a warmer such as this plugged in an unattended overnight, just in case.

Recycling Bin Inspired - What Would You Do


It's What Would You Do Wednesday and today I'm looking to the recycling bin for inspiration. I've seen some recycling bin inspired crafts before, but how do I say this without sounding harsh and snooty? Some of them are just tacky. Or course one's opinion of tacky is based on personal preference, so one person's tacky is another one's treasure. However, I'm looking for ideas that take items from the recycling bin and turn them into something a little more towards the classy side. 

Tomorrow, on Thrifty Thursday, I'll feature a project that uses two items from my recycling bin. For now, here's your inspiration for WWYD Wednesday. What would you do with any of these items from my recycling bin?
Share your ideas in the comments section below and I'll name a winning idea next week. And if you include a link to your blog, I'll mention your name with a link to your blog when I name the winning idea. 

Have an example of an idea already on your blog? Leave an thumbnail link using the Linky Tools. We'd love to stop by and see the pictures of your idea.

Vintage Window Tranformation

Last week, I participated in a craft show where I featured my vintage windows. Unfortunately, there were more people looking for ideas than those looking for purchases. But, now I have a good amount of inventory and despite the extremely high rate to ship these, I think I'll test them out on Etsy.
For today's Transformation Tuesday,  I hope you enjoy my gallery of vintage windows. Remember, to keep safety and health in mind when you use vintage materials. Read more about safety concerns.
 Because of the space between the glass and the decorative background, the sunlight makes neat shadows of the words.


I love how the space between the background and the glass gives the pictures dimension.
Notice how on the photo above, there are some brownish streaks? If the vintage window was freshly painted, I use a mix of brown glaze to distress the wood a little. I brush it on and wipe the excess off.

I like to leave the original details in place. So if there is a window latch or a handle, I leave it right there.

See more of my windows Also watch for pictures of windows from readers who have done their own transformations.

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