Thursday, April 24, 2008

fRoM tHe LAdiEs rOOm To tHe OffICe

…. or the Mens Room…Just depends on what side of the desk you’re sitting on…literally. As they say, everything is better the second time around…even moldy doors straight from the loo. We purchased a gem of a building next to the studio a while back and to say it just needs a little lovin’ is an understatement. It has obviously had some roofing issues over the years, leaving the interior a bit wet one too many times. And what, my friends does that lead to? A moldy, musty mess. Even amidst the mold, there were a few gems worth salvaging (not many mind you, but a few).
The project starts with an old window that my brother in law removed from a house he was renovating and was going to toss. We were getting ready to build a desk, and this window measures about 54 x 42… (and weighs about 200 pounds!!). Perfect size for a desktop…. we could utilize two sides for sitting and working. All we needed was a good, solid base…hmmmmm. How about those bathroom doors from the soppy building next door?! Off and running.
Cleaned the doors up with some soap and water followed by a final rubdown of lacquer thinner and the speckled mold prints cleaned right off. Cut down the doors for the center base with a circular saw and use the pocket hole jig to secure the four sides from the inside. This base would then sit on a riser (to get us to the 30 inch height we were wanting). We constructed that entirely out of old barnboards and fencing another friend was about to toss onto the burn pile. (it always amazes me the stuff that just gets trashed out there!) We built it larger than the center base (a few inches all the way around) for added stability and a place to rest our feet all the way around. Instead of closing off the top of the base right at the very top, we recessed it slightly, so we could place items under the glass like a shadowbox. We sealed it with a couple coats of shellac and set it in place in the den. (I filled the recessed area a few different ways and decided finally on a drawer filled with old printer blocks—everything else just looked messy in there) We topped it off with the window -- the weight of the window keeps it more than securely in place so there’s no need for reinforcement. That sucker won’t tip or slide about. Other than a couple of bucks in screws and shellac, this desk cost us nothing but time. And, I absolutely love it! It has a great story, we did it ourselves and it fits our worn, torn personal style, beautifully (or should I say rustic-ly?).
Look around and see what you can's great fun, I promise!
From moldy to marvelous…check it out below and enjoy a great tune from the Authentic Records label…..“Me and Agamemnon” by Sharon Docherty off her One Proud Stance Album.


Monday, April 21, 2008

sHooTiN' HoopS tHRougH A diP NeT

A short, but sweet one, my friends…..What does a commercial fisherman do when his granddaughter wants to shoot a few hoops and he doesn’t have a basketball net? He gets creative, of course……..because all you really need is a ladder and a dip net! Yep, that’s my daughter having a ball shooting hoops through one of my dad’s old dip nets that he cut the bottom out of and rigged up with one of his ladders.
It’s no wonder I do what I do, this is the kind of stuff I’ve been around all of my life…but, I must say, this is one homemade number I hadn’t seen yet! Good times!

"Necessity truly is the mother of all inventions"


Thursday, April 17, 2008

a FaMiLy aFfaIR

Ever since I started this business in 2000, and a few years prior, my family has naturally gotten roped into whatever cock-a-mamie project or idea I was conjuring up, and things just keep getting busier and more diverse every day! My mom and dad are always working on something for us, my husband NEVER gets a break, my brother comes in from Denver from time to time to jump in on things, and my aunts can’t help but get their hands dirty. What can I say…they’re a very creative and talented group…probably a big part of why I do what I do! My most lively partners-in-crime are my mother and my Aunt DeDe. They always seem to be around for our most challenging (or interesting, to say the least) projects – it’s to the point now, where my Aunt D. always asks what we’ll be working on BEFORE she commits to spending the week here when my mom comes. She’s been in on having to sew miles of fabric to create a cabana, re-doing tents in 100+ degree weather, etc….Regardless of their sarcastic grumbling, I love it when they’re here and they are definitely two gals that I can always count on who can do most anything and everything. (I just need to be sure to always have a never ending cocktail supply and good snacks) We have great fun together and to be honest…capturing all that goes on behind the scenes is way more entertaining than what you all get to see! My recent project for those two was the front room of our studio. I’ve always wanted to get it set back up as our showroom…maybe open it up as a little boutique down the road… and just hadn’t gotten it done yet, so I put them on the task this past week while they were here…..Let me just say, I’ve never seen a shop get set up so fast!!! They stuck some sticks in the window and they were off and running! They had that room completely transformed in just two days! As you can expect, we challenged ourselves to set up shop using only what we had lying around or could build with supplies we already had. They rummaged around from building to building to see what would work for displays, what things could be altered…etc, etc. to creatively showcase any of our leftover finished pieces that were just lying about, some of our online merchandise and all of our new projects to come. It helped that they had Jon for the day….they said they’ve never seen a man take their ideas and building requests so seriously and get their ‘wish list’ done so quickly – “Need a shelf here, can you make that look like a wagon? Can you install this wall?” -- That kind of stuff……usually takes weeks at home for their husbands to get things like that done for them! A couple of my favorite quick fixes were to just splatter paint randomly on the walls to cover up any holes; a net hanging from the ceiling to store pillows and such; one wall had A LOT of holes and touch ups needed, so we just brought in a panel of old fencing and secured it to the wall – (new wall in an instant!) Since we’re all about making one creative mess after another around here, they took leftover paint and spilled it over things like hangers and stands to give a quick burst of color and make the boring more interesting. I love how they utilized all the driftwood and sticks as displays. It’s a fun room to walk through now and we’re all looking forward to filling it up!
You’ve gotta love an entertaining family who’s always willing to play along!
Remember...A family that CReaTes together, sTaYs together! :)
Check out the slideshow below and enjoy a little diddy by our friends from The Tyler Thompson Band titled "Nothing Less Than Paradise"....(what m & d are thinkin' every time they're here, I'm sure!!) off their Cold Cuts album.


Monday, April 14, 2008

mBcTc W. jEwELrY

We've just released the first title in our MBCTC DVD series!  Whoo! Hoo!  I absolutely love what I do and I love sharing it with all of you!  MBCTC w. Jewelry is chock full (about 90 minutes, to be exact) of one-of-a-kind jewelry projects any one of you can take on!  It's all about celebrating your own style, creating it yourself and wearing it proudly!  We share how to have a fabulously, fearless good time creating unique jewelry pieces out of anything and everything including solder, plastic, fabric, wood, garbage gems and, of course a few finds from your own backyard. I threw one of our teaser clips below, which is set to an awesome tune by Jason LeVasseur titled "Don't Wanna Fall" from his "Watching the Girls Go By" Album.  A mighty fine example of how kick arse tunes and how-to go hand in hand.  You have to have good music to create to, right?!
We've had great fun pulling it all together and it's the beginning of many, new-fangled products that really celebrate our revitalized style and original vision as a company.  I don't have the list of stores they're in from our distributor yet, but I do know you can now get them online in our store.  It's the gift that keeps on giving...the DVD itself makes a great gift for you or that special creative someone, and every project on it makes for great gift giving ideas, too!   Definitely a good investment all the way around.
Start building your rule-breakin' how-to library'll be able to add MBCTC w. Paint soon, because that is what's coming your way next!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

rIP it! StiTch It! tIE iT! dO iT! DeSiGn CHalLenGe!

My fashionably clever friends Julie Punelli and Melissa Speridan are helping to organize a swanky style show later this month, and they've asked me to help host the Design Challenge portion of the show, so if you've got it goin' on and are creative with the threads, bring it on! Here's the deets from their flyer.

Design and create a dress using only tee shirts, used or new. Fashion Midwest is calling all designers and interested individuals to submit photo entries by April 19th to 4 finalists will be judged for first place at the Fashion Midwest Runway Revue, a spring style show on Thursday, April 24th at the Liar's Club featuring local designers and boutiques!! The DESIGN CHALLENGE will be hosted by Michele Beschen of DIY Network and HGTV's B. Original and Michele Beschen's Courage to Create series and will be judged by the AUDIENCE, so bring your LOUDEST FRIENDS!!

Cheers to sporting OriGiNAl Duds!