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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.

Prayers for the Soldiers

In honor of Veterans Day, I thought I'd share a song I wrote back when the war in Iraq started. I know I've shared it on the blog before, but I don't want to forget our soldiers and the sacrifices that their families make for our freedom. 

Have you remembered to pray for our soldiers today?
 
Thank you so much to those who protect our nation, who have given their lives, and who have defended the shores of this great country. You make me proud to be an American and grateful for your selfless gift.

Keeping Old Decorations Safe

With the popularity of trash to treasure decorating these days, I think it's appropriate to address the topic of safety. I love the look of something aged, but because of the lead that existed in most old painted objects, this can be a serious threat to the health of the occupants of your  household, especially the children.

I love this old bed featured on the Country Living website, but can you spot the potential health problem?
Photo linked from Country Living

It's important to be sure that the paint on the bed doesn't contain lead. And even if it doesn't, it can be a health hazard if it's flaking. First, if you have any concern about lead, you can test it using a lead swab . If the swab doesn't change color, then the paint doesn't contain lead. However, if the paint is flaking, I suggest using several coats of a clear poly to seal the surface and cover over the paint. If you do choose to seal it, use an acrylic poly because it won't yellow like oil based.

You may have noticed one other possible safety issue. On a bed this old, it's possible that the bars on the headboard are far enough apart for a small child to wedge their head in between. It was obviously made before there were codes about such things, so use discretion in how an antique such as this is used.

I love my old windows too, but if these were to be hung anywhere in a home with children, I suggest it should be sealed well.
Also, be aware that the glass in old windows is not likely safety glass and when it breaks, the pieces can be dangerous. Living in an all male household, I'm very aware of how a thrown football, or a shoe tossed at a brother, can break wall decoration.

I've seen old windows intended for decoration in a baby's room and I strongly suggest being cautious about checking all possible concerns before doing this. As cute as the decoration might be, it's never worth the health or safety of your loved ones!

Just as with the items mentioned above, lead is also a concern if you plan to use vintage items for food storage. I love enamelware like this one from Midwest Living:
 Photo from  Midwest Living website
Notice how the surface is beginning to rust? I think it was appropriate to use this for flowers and display rather than for food storage. Some early enamelware had lead or cadmium that is no longer considered safe for food use. You can check out many articles on the web pertaining to this.

Look around at your own trash turned treasures. Can you spot potential safety concerns that you should be aware of?

Photo of the Week- Fall Sunset

Mondays are busy. If my readers are like me, I know you appreciate simple Monday e-mails that help you refocus and relax. Enjoy these beautiful fall sunsets! I took a picture of this one last week from my front porch.

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