Bench Swing Transformation

 

Today, a little story of a colorful “make over”, so to speak, of a tired little bench swing, transformed by taking on the colors of the garden.

 

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A couple of years ago, Bill and I, on one of our garage sailing Saturdays, found this old bench swing. It was kind of old and worn, kind of rusty, but I could see it, in my mind, totally transformed. And for only $7 to buy and another $7 to have delivered, well, we didn’t have to think twice.

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But as life goes on, not everything gets done right away. And so the swing was used as it was for a couple of summers, and spent it’s winters under a tarp under the greenhouse. But I didn’t forget my vision.

 

And finally this summer the time was right for a colorful makeover. We were planning a party and I decided, ok, this was its year to shine. So preparations were made, the tarp laid out to catch paint drips and the paint, which just happened to have been bought for other purposes, turned out to be perfect for my plan.

 

The metal framework was the first to be painted. A lovely pistachio green, painted on by brush. I’m not a big fan of spray paint, since I’ve always found a lot is wasted and it’s hard to control. Besides I kind of like the streaky texture we got and left it there deliberately.

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Then we started on the periwinkle blue for the bench.

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and then the red for the side tables.

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As we went along I couldn’t help doing a bit of color transformation on my old Crocks too.

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Finally, the bench was painted and looking pretty good. But, as we sat on it, I decided it needed a bit of a cushion too.

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Which led to going through my stash of fabrics and a couple of days with the ironing board and the sewing machine out in the kitchen. We’d just replaced our foam bed topper and it occurred to me that the old one would make a good stuffing for the cushion. A little more recycling accomplished.

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I had a rather fun time putting together another Intuitive patchwork.

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And finally, the finishing touch was complete. We’ve been pretty happy with the final result and have been enjoying a little swing on a summer day.

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Earth Day Abundance – Recycled Art Supplies

Leading up to Earth day I’ve been signing petitions almost everyday. There’s one or two in my email everyday. I care about all the things I sign petitions for:  like no oil tankers on my coast, no nasty pipeline through the forests, saving whales from navy maneuvers, the list goes on and on. So many nasty negative things.  But today is Earth Day and I want to talk about being a Positive force and Abundance!

 

I want to talk about up-cycling and recycling from an artist’s point of view. I want to talk about looking for art supplies. And all I see is ABUNDANCE! For those of you who are artists and are already using ephemera and found objects to make artworks, you know what I’m saying. There is just so much out there and it’s cheap, almost free, just waiting to be reused, with imagination. It’s more than a trend now, it’s more than a movement, it’s become a way of creating for many artists. And that makes me feel so much more optimistic, it’s the balance to all the negatives that I’m signing petitions against everyday.

 

My way of life, of finding and reusing everything is so rewarding I couldn’t do anything else now. It’s a way of seeing things. For instance a broken favourite egg cup or milk pitcher causes only a moment of regret and then,

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well, it will join all the other shards collected in recycled salad containers ( made from recycled plastic) in my studio.  Another way to create studio storage.

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And one day become a Pique Assiette Mosaic tray like this one with handles made from old silverware.

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Although I do not subscribe to magazines, since I get them from the library, I do buy old ones sometimes at garage sales

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and they become part of my stock of color supplies for collage birthday and anniversary cards.

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Or for playing with, creating colorful collages.

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And beads, there are so many beads out there, in thrift stores, and me, the eternal magpie always attracted to color and texture can’t help but collect them in my little recycled boxes.

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And the boxes stay under the coffee table and sometimes, when I’m watching a movie I’ll bring them out and string them together into a bracelet or two.

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Even old frames are collected, most free or almost free. I also collect old board that we cut up to fit those frames and with a coat of gesso they are ready to paint on, whenever the urge strikes, and I never have to worry about the cost of framing.

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So this is my little treatise to Earth Day. My little contribution to saving Her from all the baddies out there. It’s small, but there are a whole lot of artists out there just like us and every bit of positive energy counts in the grand scheme of things, I’m quite sure.

 

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Having Fun with Intuitive Quilting

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In the run up to Earth Day, recycling is on my mind. I do recycle dishes in my mosaics. Lately, I’ve been having a bit of fun quilting with recycled shirts, some thrift shop fabric plus a few squares of quilt fabric found at a garage sale last summer. Sort of doing a mosaic with fabric. I’ve been inspired by quilts found on the internet and also from books about intuitive quilting by Jean Wells and Rayna Gillman. I’m not one of those quilters who likes pattern and measuring and rulers. So the slice and dice, intuitive style that these two quilters teach really resonated with me. And Gees Bend quilts have always been a big inspiration too.

 

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Quilting is one of those old and beautiful forms of recycling that has come down through the ages. Oh, I know these days, a lot of new quilting is done with new fabric, but the beginnings of quilting came from recycling fabric that was at hand like old shirts and even flour bags. And I love using old shirts too. Besides, being one of those slap dash sewers who doesn’t like the button hole attachment much, I find using the button front on shirts as a closure works great and recycles just a bit more of the shirt.

Plus I’ve gotten some new toys at the Fabric store. I’ve discovered the Rotary Cutter! Wow! This is so much fun to use on the self healing cutting mat. Ok, I admit I didn’t really get the hang of sewing curves as shown by Jean and Rayna, but I did have fun slicing up fabric. This is me having fun and a long way from the skill shown by the quilters who inspired me.  Sewing curves will come later I’m sure.  Now the ladies above cut the material in strips first and then sew.

 

Rotary cutter and cutting mat

 

Being me, I found my own odd way of creating strips. I’d cut up a few bits of fabric in almost the same width and start laying it down, good sides together and sort of guess-timate the width of the next strip I wanted and sew it. Then I’d cut off the excess, and set down a new fabric and so on. That way I got varying widths and didn’t waste much.

 

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When I’d gotten a few strips made sewing bits together randomly and intuitively, I started to arrange them. I’d been collecting pillow fillers at garage sales already and they were waiting to be used, all washed then dried on the clothesline last summer. So it was just a matter of laying out strips over the pillow form until I had enough to cover. I did come up short but then just made a couple of narrow strips to fill in, which added to the overall design anyway.

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I made one side with the buttoned section of the shirt inserted between the strips. I’d added a lot of the shirt fabric into the strips as I went along to integrate the color of the shirt into the rest of the quilting.

 

And voila! A pillow cover that’s a lovely surprise, almost a mosaic of fabric. I’m sure I won’t be able to resist trying to make some more but for now it’ll have to wait. My little studio can only handle painting and mosaic so the sewing gets done in the kitchen. There’s only so long I can live with an ironing board and a sewing machine on a kitchen table full of scraps. Until the next time the urge to quilt hits me….

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My Over the Top Cats and Roses Mosaic

Actually, I created this mosaic a few years ago. Another one of those shrines that come together almost serendipitously. I had an idea of creating a mosaic with cats and to that end I’d been collecting all sorts of cat ornaments. And although there are quite a few on this particular piece, there are still an awful lot left over that are still waiting for homes on a mosaic or at least a shelf or windowsill. I do sometimes bring them out to the kitchen windowsill to sit among the African violets. But I wander from the point…

Ok I had a amassed a huge collection of thrift shop cats, since I tend to have a soft spot for cats. And I was looking for some sort of a background to set them against but nothing had came to mind. Then one summer day, Bill and I came upon a garage sale that had a lovely collection of rosy bone china saucers. As I remember it, the cups were missing so the saucers were going cheap. And they were absolutely full of bloom and color, you could almost smell the scent of roses coming off them. I snapped them up. I’d suddenly had a vision of my cats with all these roses!

Cats and Roses mosaic, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com

Almost as soon as I decided on the theme, I found at another sale soon after or it could have been the same day, quite a collection of rose ornaments with these deep purple roses as well.

I put together a bit of a unique color scheme. Not so pastel, with that dark green around the rim and those dark almost black roses. And now I also had the place for some really outrageous rose ornaments as well. I decided to go over the top!

And it must have been too, because when I had a big display of my mosaics at the local municipal hall, I got written up in the local community paper. And what did the writer wonder about? Well, as I remember, she wrote that although she loved all the mosaics I’d made, she thought the whole Cats and Roses shrine was a bit too sweet and she hoped I was being facetious when I made it.

All I can say is that she did get the gist of it. It was meant to be Over the Top. But I like the combination of Cats and Roses, they have an affinity. Both so beautiful but with sharp bits like claws and thorns. So maybe not so sweet after all? Who cares? It’s not meant to be serious.

Cats and Roses mosaic, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com

But it’s over the top Kitsch too. And I love kitsch. I once heard of a garden that was full of things that were over the top kitsch like flamingos, vintage signs and the oddest things for embellishment. What I loved most, though, was the unapologetic sign in the garden that said to please tell the gardener if anything “tasteful” was found and he would make sure to remove it right away. Love it. Hope you enjoy my little Over the top take on Cats and Roses.

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New Years resolutions? .. . or trying to create order in my chaotic studio.

The new year has begun. Usually my New Years resolution is not to make any resolutions. Resolutions are usually difficult goals, like lose weight, eat less sugar, eat less chocolate, eat less of all the things I enjoy that are bad for me. We’re talking deprivation here. So no, I don’t make resolutions. I don’t want to start the year thinking of LESS. I want to start the year thinking of MORE.

MORE happiness, health, wealth, laughter, creativity…..

Ah creativity, that brings me to my studio. Another area that I could use MORE in. As in more space, more time, more organization? Ah yes, perhaps since I don’t have more space, it’s time to get down to organizing all the stuff I’ve got in there. So many dishes, so many shards that I can’t throw out and have saved for future works.

So I’ve dragged out all the little pots and trays full of  broken dish shards left over from making Pique Assiette mosaics. I’ve  spread them out and started to reorganize them. It’s looking like chaos here.  But I’ve set myself to sorting, categorizing, creating piles and piles colors, textures, patterns and whatever, all the while taking lots of tea breaks to keep from being overwhelmed with the chaos I’m creating.

chaos-in-studiowmAnd hopefully, when I’m finally done, the shards, at least will be saved, sorted and ready to be used. Another recycled package put to good use. All those salad packages make the best transparent storage ever. These packages plus other smaller ones I save from where ever I can, go to good use here.

boxes-of-shardswmAh chaos to order….now that’s a start for the New Year.

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How we Created our own unique collage Christmas Cards or E-cards

xmas-holidaywmEvery year we look for Christmas cards but rarely find exactly what we like. We’ve also looked at e-cards. Not that there isn’t some wonderful artwork out there. But this year we wanted to do something unique to us. And we want to be green about it all too. So what to do?

I used to look for Christmas cards at Thrift stores. Believe it or not they do exist there and you can buy a real selection that way instead of a box of all the same card. It’s a good idea, you’re recycling but takes a lot of time.

Bill and I happen to really like to create collages from old magazines. This is what I call fun with Glue sticks and Scissors. Why not create collage Christmas cards? Some will become paper cards and all the images will be used for e-cards too.

This year I just happened to have found in my reorganization of old mags and papers saved for collaging, quite a few Christmas editions of decor mags. Voila, lots of relevant stuff to create our own Christmas cards. And I also kept some of that glossy junk mail that comes to our mailbox to use as more collage fodder. If you’ve saved old Christmas cards you may want to look at them with a new eye, as fodder for Xmas collage.

So with the table strewn with mags and busy cutting out colors and textures we soon had more than enough to start with. The idea is to look through all the mags cutting out bits with an eye to color and texture not necessarily literal depiction’s of trees, santas etc. We try to go for the “feel” of Christmas. And with a sense of abstraction as well. And this is what we came up with…… a few abstract art cards in the Christmas theme

Deck the Halls with lots of color

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An abstract take on Rudolf?

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A psychedelic take on Giving Joy

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Sometimes you only need one word….Merry

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Another collage using almost the same elements, the snowflake and the colors

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Another idea we had last year was to create our own e-card in Photoshop. So in a way, just another collage but of a favourite Santa ornament and some decor arranged into a jolly looking card. Now you may not be a fan of e-cards. They are hard to display for one. But we think of the paper and resources saved too. I also like to take the time to send a little personal message to everyone with each email.

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Ok some people on our list still get the real card. We just happened to have a lot of old stock greeting cards from a former business and we just scan our images into the printer and create a new image and tape that onto old cards. You can do the same by just taping an image onto card stock cut to fit any envelopes you have. So there you are, a DIY way to create your own unique take on the Christmas card. Have fun. We did.

Oh, here’s a little bonus thought, in case you didn’t get your cards bought and sent in time.  Why not create something great with some family photos and collage and create an e-card you can send out at the last minute? Cheating? maybe, but why not? It’s still personal, you get a chance to be creative and send something unique to your friends and rellies.

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My Santa collection revisited or should I say recycled?

christmas-daywmWe are all about recycling, and living the recycling lifestyle has also given us an abundant lifestyle especially at Christmas. And especially where collecting Santas is concerned.  What started as a little collection to add some color on the sideboard at Christmas grew to over 100 Santa ornaments in no time.  How do you create such an abundant display of Santas?  Well, it’s almost all secondhand thrift shop finds and a few are gifts from friends who knew I’d been collecting.  In the spirit of Christmas and the spirit of recycling I’ve decided to recycle some of my old posts about Christmas.  Three years ago I spent some time for every day for the 25 Days before Christmas making up little vignettes of my huge Santa ornament collection.  Today, to make it much easier to view, I’ve decided to replace and recyle those posts and put all the collection on one post. Starting with my  fave Grumpy Santas and ending with my other faves, the Gumby Santas.  Enjoy….

Introducing my faves, The Grouchy Santas

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The Globe and Moon Santas

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The Wine Taster Santa

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Collector Santas

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Candle light Santas

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Skinny Legged Santas

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Odd Santas

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Santas from around the World posed on an Atlas of course

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Tropical Santas

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Santas Waving

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Tiny Santas

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Softy Santas

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Scary looking Santas

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Salt and Pepper Santas

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Night Santa all lit up

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Santa in an Evergreen Sleigh

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Santa in a Chili Pepper Sleigh

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Big Thoughtful Santa and Two rather Surprised Santas

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More Santas in Sleighs and a handsome Reindeer

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Santa on a Sledge

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Racing Santa

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Santas thinking of Tropical nights

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Santas bringing, what else, gifts

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Troubadour Santas

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And ending with my all time faves, Gumby Santas

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Of course, by now I probably have more, but I haven’t unpacked them yet.  There’s like about 5 boxes of them in the basement!  But hopefully, you’ve enjoyed my much quicker look at this runaway collection.  I swear, I’m NOT collecting any more.  Really, positively, no ….. more.

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Playing with Paper, Scissors and Glue Sticks on Rainy Morning

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I’ve not been posting much but I have been working…..really.  I won’t even show  a photo of my studio..way too much stuff going on but none of it resolved.  But the other day, with my good friend, Mary Lou, at the kitchen table, good music on the CD player and a few old mags found at garage sales last summer we had a little fun.  Her collage was not quite done, but I’ll post my rather over the top collage of crazy color. Nothing quite like playing with glue sticks, scissors and recycled papers and mags.  I’ve got another one waiting, still to do.  Oddly, I’m finding this a good exercise for generating ideas for my other studio work.  I may just play again this morning.  My motto:  Have Fun EVERY DAY!

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Helen’s 10 Recycled Earth-Friendly, Pocket Book Friendly, Guilt Free Gift Giving Idea or How to Avoid “the Mall”

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Yesterday we had to go to “the Mall”. No, not to shop for Christmas, but for some things that were needed from the pharmacy etc. I haven’t done Christmas shopping at a Mall for so long that I can’t remember when I did. The place was packed! The parking lot was packed. You know the scene.   Where you have to follow someone back to their car and lurk until they pull out, putting your indicator light on to let others know that this spot is TAKEN and grab their parking spot. It is rather aggressive. Then there are the line ups! OMG! I’m just so happy that I don’t work as a cashier. My back starts aching just thinking about it and all for minimum wage too.

But the worst part of it is the sheer consumerism of it. All that new stuff which will eventually be discarded as the wrong color or the wrong style or just not right somehow. The amount of goods going out is mind boggling, the amount of resources used, and the amount of money spent and a lot of it spent by people who really really can’t afford it. Well, what if there is an alternative? And of course there is…

In past years on this blog I’ve written about Abundance at Christmas and written about the fun we’ve had finding Decor and Music for Xmas all from second hand sources. I’ve shown my HUGE Santa collection, in the post, Revisiting my Santa Collection,  all also second hand for the most part.

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So with that done, for 2011, I’d like to present some gift ideas that don’t require going to the Mall. Think of it as Helen’s Recycled Earth-Friendly, Pocket Book Friendly and Guilt Free List of Gift Giving Ideas. These ideas are tried and true. In fact, we have a rule and all our friends and close family also follow it in regard to presents for each other. The rule is the present must be second hand or hand made. It should be fun, lovely or useful and most of all it should be CHEAP! ** So no worries about how much to spend, no worries about the credit card maxing out and no worries about having to go to a Mall. Wow that’s a lot less worries eh?
(** Cheap is a subjective term. Inexpensive is different things to different people. Our rule is literal, no more than $10, less if possible. That said, my list offers a wide range of “inexpensive” according to your budget. )

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OK here goes.
1• Go to the Used Book Store and look for books that are in nice shape, and would interest your friend, relative etc. This year we’ve found Cook Books galore. And believe me there is something for everyone. I even found a Weight Watchers one for a friend who goes there and a Diabetic one for another friend with Diabetes. Don’t forget about Decor books and Books about Crafting and Creative Arts.  There really isn’t any subject or interest that isn’t covered somewhere in a book.

2• Still at the Used Bookstore? Well, there are an awful lot of Kids books, Craft and Art books, and books about any possible interest that a friend could have. Actually, books are one of the things we look for at Garage sales all summer ( yes, I’m one of those people who are looking for gifts all year). You can get great deals. And if the book is already inscribed with a sentiment by the original gift giver, no matter… just add yours as well. Our friends have no worries about giving away a gift to someone else after they’ve read it and just adding another inscription. The more times given, the better, we all agree.

santajack3• Go to your local Thrift Stores. There is an absolute abundance of gifts here.
I’ll break it down by age and gender

Gifts for Little kids
Kids grow out of clothing so fast, that very often you can find almost new things of good quality too. In fact, some were gifts and never worn and still have the tags since Sally or Sam was already too big for the gift when it was given. So…. there it is in the Thrift shop ready to be a gift again.

Toys, there are just huge amounts of old toys ready to be played with by a new child. That sounds nice doesn’t it? Just check for broken parts, make sure it’s age appropriate and clean.

Gifts for Mother in Law or Moms are sometimes difficult to buy for. Well, see #1 and #2, books. But don’t forget things like vintage jewelry, or scarves. There’s so much out there in signed and artsy textiles and jewelry that you ‘ll be tempted to buy some for your self too.

Gifts for Guys of all ages; Guys are hard to buy for. Unless you look for interests. Like cooking, or sports or collections or gardening but more about that later. You can find T-shirts with great graphics on them. If you know how to silkscreen or can use a transfer go for it, on a used T and have some fun making some home made designs. Cooks can always use aprons. Collections are always a good bet too. Bill collects Elephants, Dave collected Buddhas for a while too. We kept finding them everywhere.

4• Ok you’ve done Used Book store and Thrift stores, how about Garden Centres? Try to find a centre that locates it’s products from greener eco sources and you’ve got an earth friendly gift for sure. Potted plants for indoors that bloom are nice. An Amaryllis is always a good gift. I used to give one to my Mother in Law for a few years and we’d compete in a friendly fashion as to who got the most blooms. It’s easy to ship and there’s the fun of planting and waiting for the Gorgeous blooms too.

caroller5• Art Supply stores are a great source of prezzies. Not just for those artists on your list but for the ones you know really want to try something creative. There are lots of sketch books made with 100% recycled paper, acid free and archival quality. And if you do a bit of stealthy investigative interviewing of your giftee, you might even find that they would love to take a course in something or other. Most artists are like me and are quite happy to provide gift certificates to their courses.

6• Art Galleries. Ok I know a lot of people are intimidated by Art Galleries but go on, be brave, venture in. You’ll find a lot of interesting things there. Many public galleries have a Gift Shop full of wares made by local artists. And a lot of it is in very very affordable. Most galleries put on shows of smaller pieces at Christmas just to highlight all their artists and offer a start into collecting art. A lot of emerging artists be they young or old, have some amazing work for sale.

7• Art and Craft shows are usually in November, but there are still a few “last Minute shows” to be found showing local artists. Keep art and gift giving in mind in the summer too when many artists and artisans are showing their stuff in local Art and Craft shows. There you will find something for everyone, literally. They have food gifts, herbal makeup, prints, clothing and jewelry, sculpture, art work of all kinds. You will be spoilt for choice and supporting Local Artists as well. I collect their business cards too so that I can look up their web sites later for other gift ideas. A lot of them have Etsy stores or their own web sites. You would be amazed at how much artwork these days is made from recycled materials.

sledboy8• Another gift worth considering is materials for art works. My last birthday was perfect partly because two friends gave me discarded stained glass shards for a present knowing that I’d use them somehow in my mosaics or other artworks. Along that line, give used beads and necklaces to a someone who is into beading, used or scrap material to a quilter, or used dishes and tiles to a mosaic artist. There are so many hobbies and interests that your friends and relatives indulge in that the list of possibilities of materials is endless.

9• Look around your home for gifts. Yes, things you already own. Ornaments that you no longer enjoy may be loved by someone else. Maybe you have a collection that is too big and there are some pieces that you know would be welcomed by a friend. Along that line, have a gift exchange party and have everyone bring something that they no longer want but that would make a lovely gift for someone else. Swap or sell to each other. It’s a good excuse for a party and recycles too. You could even throw in a Cookie exchange which brings me to my next gift idea.

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10• Get in the kitchen and start cooking or baking. I’ve been going to the library and picking up lots of books about Christmas cooking and baking. The library is a great free resource and one day I’m going to do a blog just about libraries. I take out tons of magazines every month. I figure I’m saving some trees and hey, I don’t have to store them. A lot of the December mags can’t be taken out but last years Christmas edition is there to peruse and get lots of ideas from. I love the ones that go all out with Christmas baking ideas. In fact, at garage sales I snatch those Xmas editions up really fast. Ok to get back to the kitchen…. Baking is always a great gift. I find lots of vintage tins at thrift stores  and garage sales all year and give presents of baking. Just line the tin with wax paper or other nice paper and fill to the brim with goodies. One of these years I’m going to learn how to make chocolates too. Another idea to give.

Which brings me to recycled wrapping paper. We save all the gift bags and wrapping paper and use it over again. I’ve also sewn gift bags that get passed around from year to year. This year I’m planning on finding some Chinese newspapers and using them to wrap presents with some lovely ribbon and maybe some lucky people will get one of the many used Xmas broaches I found at the Thrift store adorning their packages. But changing your gift wrap ideas is another way to stay out of the Mall. Maybe this should be # 11.

Hope my little list has given you some good last minute ideas. And with that, we wish you and yours a lovely, recycled, creative,artistic and mall-Free Christmas! That’s the best present yet.  BTW if you liked the little vintage Christmas Illustrations I’ve peppered throughout,  look for Vintage Christmas by Dover Publications for royalty free illustrations.  Which I found at the Library, of course.  But if you want to buy it, it’s a Green Planet Friendly publication.

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Garage Sale Loot, A Russian Tall Ship and a Real Find – Paxton Chadwick’s Illustrations

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Last Saturday, unlike my last entry, was the most perfect summer day ever, sunny, warm and just generally full of promise. A good day for garage sailing.

I always have this little superstition that you must find something at the first sale or it won’t be a good day. OK I made up that superstition myself but it often proves true. Garage sailing, as I’m fond of saying is a lot like fishing, sometimes you catch something, and sometimes no luck at all. If we don’t find much I just pocket that weeks garage sale allotment and save it for the next week. The first stop yielded three big pots of plants for the garden at $1 a pot! Now that’s a good start. And we were off to find even more good loot.

And speaking of fishing we found these colorful lures, which will make a nice present for Eric and Scarlette, the avid fishers of the family. Personally, I just like the colors.

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How do you like the Garage Sale sign at the top of today’s post? Oddly enough this sign was for a garage sale to raise funds for a group that rescues street cats. Anything to do with cats is something I’ll support and I found a lovely Cat bag and a book of Cats in Art cards. That’ll make a lovely gift for some cat lover don’t you think?

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We found a garage sale given by a fellow who claimed that he “used to go garage sale-ing”. How is it possible to be a former garage sailor? I can’t imagine stopping. It’s hard enough to wait for spring and the season for it.

Like a true bargain hunter he had picked up these wooden rings from a friend who was closing up a shop. No idea what they were for… we all guessed for macramé. But they were so lovely that I had to take a couple of photos.

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And also a pic of this ornament, which I suppose is supposed to be a Sword Fish. But just a pic, didn’t buy it. I’ve been trying to leave something for others, you know.

dolphin

Then as we drove on to James Bay by way of the Harbour we spied sitting moored a HUGE three masted tall ship. So of course, we had to go and check it out. Turns out it was a Russian Training ship in port just for a few days. They were giving free tours to anyone who wanted to check it out. It was called the Pallada. I’ve left the cars in the photo just so you can get an idea of the size of this ship.

Pallado Russian Tall ship

In James Bay we found a few more treasures. This little arrangement of garage sale loot shows the vintage colored dominoes I found. We played Dominoes later that night and I must admit Bill won 4 times in a row. A rematch is imminent. Plus I found a glass cream and sugar set, which reminded me of my childhood for some reason. The birds were from the same sale as the dolphin pictured earlier and may feature someday in a mosaic. The cat card is from the book of Cats in Art cards found earlier. This is my fave card in the bunch.

cat-card-dominoes

Also found these cement pillars which will end up mosaic-ed soon, I hope and become rather nice plant pot stands.
cement-pilars

To get an idea, here’s what happened to a chimney we did years ago.
mosaic-chimney
And yet another little arrangement of treasures. The bedside table will I think get redone and painted, but I’ll leave the drawer which has the greatest texture. We had to snap up these vintage lamps and clock too. Bill is planning to rewire the clock. He loves these old clocks and this one has a most lovely shape.

tablelamps-clock

In Fairfield, I had to snap these colorful buckets of flowers. This store has always been here, a spot I always slowed down to enjoy when walking home years ago when we lived in this area .

flower-stand

But now, for the best, which I have saved for last. For those of you who already know of Paxton Chadwick, this won’t be a surprise. You may enjoy reading a bit more about him, since not only was he a very talented illustrator but oddly enough a Communist in England. What I found out about him could only be found on Communist or Labour blogs.  I’d never heard of him before, but when I found this little beat up book illustrated by him I was enchanted. They have the look of printmaking to them, almost wood block. The detail is fantastic and the colors, well, just enjoy. Now I’ll have to find other books done by him for Penguin Books in England so many years ago. This book was published in 1952. So I leave you enjoy just a few of these fabulous illustrations. I did find a few more illustrations here on Google images. And all this enjoyment for only 50 cents!

pond-life-scan

frog-left-page

frog-right-page1

dragonflies-yellow

divng-beetles-on-purple

moorhen-and-cody

water-vole

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