Yikes! We Ain’t in Kansas!

Yesterday afternoon, as I was relaxing after a long weekend of driving up and down the east coast and making airport runs and painting and sanding and prying up ceramic tiles…whew! I decided to take a break and watch some old movies on my DVR. Just as I am getting settled, my cell phone makes this unbelievable screeching noise- something like an old dying crow- so I grab it and this is what I see!

Tornado warning

(Well, its not this one exactly, I was so freaked out I forgot to take a screen shot of it) Seriously?! Living just north of Boston, the closest I have even come to a Twister was in the movie theatre watching that cow go flying by!

Tornado Cow

But I did have a dear friend who lived in Kansas, and she told me all about the TV alerts and sirens and basement drills with the kids.

tornado noaa

So, having seen the devastating destruction they can cause, I have to say, I was just a tad nervous. So I texted my daughter in Boston to let her know, just in case, since she was in Suffolk county, so she wouldn’t have received the text warning. This was her response:

Tornado Warning Phone

thanks for that, sweetie…clearly not too concerned. So I had to decide between continuing to watch the unfolding news on the TV, which by the way, with those brightly colored graphics and super-excited weathermen reporting the impending doom, is a bit unnerving…)

Tornado Map

or retreating to safety until the warning was lifted. First option, the downstairs bath, in the center of the house with no windows and surrounded by interior walls and doors. The one room where we would often find our dog when a thunderstorm was pounding overhead-she was a smart pooch! It is in demo state since I am doing a little renovation, so I was tempted to grab a paintbrush and start adding my topcoat as I waiting out the storm.

Tornado Bathroom

But imagining a tornado hitting my 1800’s home, I didn’t think that little bath would stand a chance. Down to the basement I went, where many, many  projects await in my workshop. Did I paint? Nope. My stream of consciousness went something like this: “Well, if it hits this old house, I don’t stand a chance anyway. No sense working on projects that may get ruined. Wait, maybe it will just hit the barn.

Barn Exterior

That would be the easy way of getting rid of all the junk and books Coach has collected and I’ll be rid of those blasted kayaks!

kayak pair

Well, maybe if it didn’t hit the barn, I could hire a bulldozer and have it knocked down and then tell Coach that the tornado hit it (he’s out of town right now…). So I called my family on the north shore to make sure they were safe and secure, hung around the basement til 4:30, then headed back up to the daylight. Everything intact, disaster averted. Thanks for the warning, NWS, but I just have one question? Where did you get my number?!?! Have an un-twisted Tuesday everyone!! Susan

Up S***’S Creek…

…with not one, not two, but three paddles! When Coach brought a pile of old wooden paddles home last year (5 in all), I was pretty ticked off, because at the time, we just didn’t have any place to store them and I had no use for them. These are not the type of paddles you would use for kayaking, and since that is the watery mode of transportation we are sporting these days,

Kayaking- The Launch

it just didn’t make much sense to have a collection of wooden paddles. (For the record, these are paddles, not oars, as I kept calling them until Coach corrected me enough times.) Paddles Before

So they sat in the barn over the winter until 1. I sold a couple of them to Pat from Perfectly You, A Decorating Service for her awesome nautical hallway project

Perfectly You Hallway Paddles

and 2. I discovered this decorative box at, where else, HomeGoods,

Paddle Book Box

which became my inspiration for this month’s nautical theme at the Vintage Thymes Market. With three paddles remaining, I decided to paint and distress them to look the ones pictured above. Except those are oars, so I am taking some artistic license here. Do you know the difference?! I made the necessary repairs to the handles, sanded them down, taped off the lines and stripes,

Paddle 3 Taped

painted in the red and white and blue,

Paddle Red Stripe Taped

added the number 3 (found the one I wanted online and printed it out on a piece of paper. Cut it out, traced it on and painted it in. Easy!! You know you don’t have to paint perfectly when you are planning on sanding and distressing a piece, right?

Paddle Painting 3

I re-sanded the painted sections for that worn-out, been used to row across the ocean and back kind of look,

Paddle Sanding

then added a coat of Annie Sloan Soft Wax,

Paddle Annie Sloan Soft Wax

which restored the original luster of the exposed, unpainted wooden areas.

Paddle Waxed

Lovely. So I brought them, and the box to market, and only the #3 sold! So now there are two paddles remaining, which are presently hanging proudly in our summer porch.

Vintage Porch Paddles

The good news is that they are all painted and shiny and pretty. The bad news is that there is one short and one long-in case you have a lop-sided canoe. Which, thankfully, I do not. Hope you don’t spend your entire day paddling upstream!! Susan

Hats Off to The Vintage Bazaar!

I had the opportunity to visit this past weekend’s Vintage Bazaar with the adorable Lisa from RitaJosVintage. The owners of the gorgeous Pettengill Farm

Vintage Pettengill Farm Arches

in Salisbury, Ma and the organizer of this event, the amazing Devon Allen of My Bazaar Life deserve kudos for once again staging such a fun, inspiring experience for shoppers, crafters and vintage vendors. This year’s Bazaar was bigger than ever, featuring some old-oh, hello, Fish in the Garden

Fish in the Garden

and many new faces. Like this gorgeous black Chevy truck-NFS but oh, so dreamy…Black Chevy Truck

We arrived late due to a previous engagement (Happy 30th Birthday Lindsey!), so we moved through the rows of tents with some urgency, stopping to snap some pics (have you ever seen such a funky fabulous chicken?!)

ChickenCDH

chat with fellow vintage fanatics and purchase unique items (well, not me, but Lisa kept disappearing and re-appearing with bags : ) She found these super cool croquet ball candle holders

The Flea Circus

at The Flea Circus…a whimsical design shop. And that it was. The bright primary colors caught my eye, as did the retro childhood school furniture.

Flea Circus Sutdent Desks

Since there is no way to list every vendor (there were 125+!), here are a few favorites we found (sort of going row by row, but we made a couple of detours so…)like these adorable Junkyard Dogs from ArtHead Studio.

Arthead Studio Junkyard Dogs

I love when artisans take something of no apparent worth and re-imagine it into something fanciful and functional. How many days do I feel like this?!?

Arthead Studio Midol Doll

Too many to mention!! Next up was Laceypots, from Portland, Maine with a collection of original, hand-painted, yummy colored pots and dishware.

Laceypots

Around the corner was Backroads to Oz-“home decor from the past for the present”

Backroads to Oz

featuring hand crafted furniture and accessories fashioned from old wood and metals. Pretty colors, pretty awesome stuff! The bazaar is split into two fields, so we headed down the path to the Strawberry Fields Forever, only to find Cari Cucksey from HGTV’s Cash and Cari

 Cari Cucksey

in the middle of her RePurpose Shop!

Repurpose Shop Yellow Cabinet

Despite the blazingly hot temps and the fact that she had been there all day, she was so gracious, chatting and answering our many questions about her show, how she got started in the re-purposing business and what she was doing way out here in Massachusetts, which is far from her Michigan home! Loving this pink trunk in her shop, and I am fairly certain I actually had that little Mexican painted chair as a kid (hmm, wonder where she got that…)

Vintage Cash & Cari

Could have stayed there for hours to pick her brain about pickin’ and junkin’, but time was awastin’, so we headed on over to see Bettie B., this awesome vintage trailer featuring goods from Log Cabin Antiques and

Bettie B Exterior

Lynn Kells Antiques and Vintage Treasures… How perfectly styled is this interior space?

Bettie B. Interior

Bettie B Table

Bettie’s already sold, but Lyn and Lynn are working on a second trailer they just acquired-might need to take a ride to New Hampshire to check it out! This stunning floorcloth by Addie Peet from AP Floorcloth Design in Winterport Maine is “functional-practical-durable” and expertly hand-crafted by the artist.

Addie Peet Floorcloth

Lisa made another purchase- this time some upcycled vintage jewelry, from the combined tent of juNxtaposition, who fashions vintage pendants from old typewriter keys

Junxtaposition

and bel monili, featuring these lovely collage necklaces.

bel monili necklaces

Whenever I am blogging about markets and fairs, I am always on the lookout for unusual or unique items that I haven’t seen before.  These personalized signs by ginger blue too were created with sliced license plates-genius!

Ginger Blue Too

Imagine the fun you could have creating your own. Of course, you can’t actually use it as a license plate…or could you?

Dream Truck

One of the new shops I featured in my before-fair post was Heja Home, whose owners Heather and Jason Rosfeld were super excited to share information about their fledgling company whose name means “to cheer”. And that we did when we spotted this fabulous American Eagle bench. Coach, if you are reading this I will say that

Heja Home

 I would have snapped it up in a heartbeat, if only I had sold my own bench at the Vintage Thymes Market : ( And finally, our last stop at the row of retro furnished trailers by Vintage Maine Vacations. If you are looking for an amazing Maine getaway at an affordable price, you need to check this out!

Maine Vacations Red Vignette

You book the trailer of your dreams and the owner, Patrice Leary-Forrey will drive it to you-as long as you’re no more than 125 miles from Portland, Maine! You spend the week under the red striped canopy, just resting and relaxing or exploring the sights of Maine,

Maine Vacations Airstream

then she returns to pick it up. Can’t imagine an easier way to book your summer rental!  So once the day was done, and the tents were buttoned up for the evening, we were invited to the after-hours vendor reception featuring a gourmet food spread, icy cold beer and wine and a vintage hat contest!

Vintage Bazaar Hat

The winner was to receive free rental for their fall booth in September. Now, I am not sure who actually won, but my money was on this lovely lady’s stunning vintage rocking chair hat. So hat’s off to all that made this bazaar such a special event. And if you didn’t make it to the fair this time, we’ll see you in September! Susan

Weekend Fun at the Fair

 Vintage Bazaar Masthead

Those of you who have followed my blog from the start know that I am a huge fan of this weekend’s Vintage Bazaar at Pettengill Farm. Held bi-annually in an historic setting in the rural town of Salisbury, Mass, the folks at Pettengill Farm transform the vast fields from farmland to fun! Rows of colorful tents are filled with vintage wares offered by over 125 talented artisans and artists from 10+ different states.

Bazaar Pettengill Tents

Strolling through the multiple fields with names like Strawberry Fields Forever and Back Field in Motion, you just know you’re in for a good time! Under the tents you will find distinctive and unusual goods for sale, like these repurposed fanciful dolls, Bazaar Doll

gorgeous glass flowers pots from Creative Glass Works

Creative Glass Works

vintage jewelry and lots of re-furbished furniture and home decor- loving this vignette from Heja Home!

Bazaar Heja Home

So many fabulous finds await you! Some of my old favorites are back again, like Yellow Chair Market

Bazaar Yellow Chair Market

and some new favorites- loving this vintage trailer from  L Kells Antiques & Log Cabin Antiques

Vintage Bazaar Bettie B

cannot wait to see what’s inside!!  This year’s crowds are expected to be bigger than ever, especially with the exciting addition of Cari Cucksey from HGTV’s Cash and Cari. She will be manning her own shop, RePurpose, and meeting and greeting her many fans.

Bazaar Cari Cucksey

Watch for the camera crews roaming around-you may end up on TV! Along with the great shopping, the Bazaar also features live blue-grass and country music and a vast array of yummy food trucks for your dining pleasure.

Vintage Bazaar Map

As you can see by the map here, there’s loads to do for shoppers and kiddies alike, with the Vintage Carnival Children’s Tent, where there will be face-painting, games and photo-ops! So head on up the turnpike, over the big green bridge and follow the signs for fun at the fair. The dates are this Saturday and Sunday, June 22 & 23, and the hours are 10am-5pm. The address: Pettengill Farm, 45 Ferry Road, Salisbury, Mass.  Have a great, sunny shopping weekend everyone! Susan

Flipping Over The Elephant’s Trunk-Part 2

As promised, here is the second half of the Connecticut adventure to The Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market-this is the good stuff! So we arrived around 8am to a sea of parked cars

Flea Parking lot

in a large open field surrounded by rolling hills and trees. This place is huge-not Brimfield huge, but there are 55 acres with hundreds of tents and tables. Lined up in orderly rows and flanked by food trucks, it made for quite an excursion for the thousands of shoppers already rummaging and haggling for goods and wares.

Flea Crowd Shot

As we keep attending more flea markets, antique shows and auctions, I am noting that this year’s trends are still holding strong: industrial, schoolhouse, old tools and of course, animals. Taxidermy,

Flea Antlers

metal work roosters,

Flea Rooster and Fence

deer old lawn ornaments (aren’t these two so sweet?)

Flea White Deer

and mounted deer heads

Flea Deer Head

were all right at home in what once was vast alfalfa farmland. At this flea, there was not a lot of repurposing or repainting, everything was pretty much “as is”. With a few notable exceptions. One booth had many painted and distressed tables and cupboards. Nice work.

Flea Green Table

This amazing metal-work coffee table was created by Jepsen’s Restoration.  He uses everyday items like signs and horseshoes and boxes and pipes and creates custom industrial works of art.

Flea Welded Table

This hand-painted flag trunk

Flea Flag Trunk

and this vintage decorated suitcase using old census listings were re-designed by Don S. Wing. Very well-crafted and vintage pretty.

Flea Suitcase

So as we were strolling, Coach taps me and says “look, there are cameras!”.

Flea Camera Crew

Sure enough, a camera crew was running after a couple of contestants from the HGTV show Flea Market Flip! If you haven’t seen the show, Lara Spencer (the Lifestyle anchor for Good Morning America-an avid flea marketer herself and author of NY Times Bestseller I Brake for Yard Sales) hosts a televised flea market competition- two teams get $500 each to spend in 1 hour. Here, she was chatting with the vendor who had just sold a table to a team for the show.

Flea Lara Spencer Closeup

Then, they repurpose their items to resell at the Brooklyn Flea Market. The team that earns the highest net profit wins $5000! We watched for a couple of minutes, then moved on, only to encounter Lara and her entourage chatting and laughing.

Flea Lara Spencer

Back to shopping and not stalking the game show host. As I continue to work on styling my own shop at the Vintage Thymes Monthly Market, I notice that my eye is always drawn to groupings (must be my touch of OCD at work?). Trays of jewels sparkling in the morning sun,

Flea Brooches

Vintage brass pipes and faucets make an industrial statement

Flea Faucets

colorful license plates all in a row.

Flea License Plates

This collection of colorful circles-gears and wheels-is art in itself.

Flea Gears

Anyone got a welding torch? I always wanted to look like Jennifer Beals in Flashdance with my own personalized welder’s mask.

Flea Jennifer Beals Welder

Well, actually, I always wanted to look like Jennifer Beals. I did have me some rad leg warmers…

Flashdance Jennifer Beals Dancer

OK, back to the flea. This collection of broken statue heads was intriguing and I stood there thinking “what could I do with these?”, but nothing came to mind.

Flea Heads

As was this collection of metal junk pieces. Tiny Monopoly tokens, vintage jewelry pieces, broken barrettes, metal tokens, little bits of everything and nothings. Looked like a miniature Armageddon in a bowl.

Flea Trinkets

But I am really kicking myself for not grabbing some of these. I had seen a mirror once where they had glued all sorts of miniature items around the frame and then sprayed the entire thing white. That would have made a great conversation piece! This vignette caught my eye- not sure if it was the pretty umbrellas or the fake furs or the antiqued frames, but the pastel palette was pleasing to look at!

Flea Frames

I always enjoy hearing the stories of where people acquired their offered items. We came upon this truck with piles of these beautiful art prints on heavy parchment paper.

 Nantucket Prints

The sellers said that they were cleaning out a shop in Nantucket and hundreds of these prints were hidden away in a back storage room. They had been there for years, yet the colors were so vivid and brilliant! Of course, a couple right before us grabbed the whaling print we really loved. Moving along, we bumped into the Flea Market Flip entourage again. This time with different contestants, and Lara had changed her outfit. It appears that they shoot more than one episode per shopping day? Surrounded by cameras-both the crew’s and onlookers’-they seemed to be having quite a bit of fun.

Flea Lara Spencer and Contestant

And then we found The Duke…John Wayne.

Flea John Wayne

We never did get a chance to chat with the owner of this booth, but he appeared to have props-from an amusement park, perhaps? Menacing Jaws (he could definitely use some floss…),

Flea Jaws

pint-sized choo-choo trains

Train

20 foot signs and larger-than-life-sized statues (this one looks a bit like Coach, don’t you think?)

Flea Soldier

He also had these amazing rusted wheels that came from a vintage coffee grinder from the Enterprise Manufacturing Company. Each wheel weighs about 20#-they must have been some giant coffee beans! Coach and I looked at them, discussed what we would do with them, and then walked away. Enterprise Coffee Grinder Wheels

Word of advice-if you really want something at a flea market, buy it right away, because someone may come along behind you and scoop it up! In this case, we doubled back and a potential buyer was standing there negotiating with the owner for them! Coach swooped in and grabbed them-our prize for the day, along with this antiqued brass National Cash Register drawer faceplate. What are we going to do with them? You’ll have to tune it to a later blog post to find out. But for now, rest assured, we will be heading out again to the next big market in our own home state. No more Bates Motels for me!! Have a bargain of a day everyone! Susan

Flipping Over The Elephant’s Trunk- Part 1

Elephants Trunk RoosterThis past weekend Coach and I took a spur-of-the-moment, leisurely, sunny weekend drive to Connecticut to check out the Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market. Recently featured on several episodes of HGTV’s Flea Market Flip, this Sunday-only outdoor market appears to be good competition for our local Todd’s Farm Antiques Market, so we were anxious to check it out. Along the way, we made several stops in some pretty little rural towns for arts-in-the-park, yard and tag sales and picker shops. Despite a few mishaps (if you stopped at a yard sale, and there was a woman giving a back massage to a large, hairy, shirtless man in the middle of all of the stuff- what do you think they were really selling?!)

Bear Essentials Massage

we made it in just over three hours. Since we had decided to stay overnight, rather than drive, shop and drive all in one day, I had reserved a room at what I thought-according to TripAdvisor-was a nice inn-4 stars!! Ranked #1 of the hotels in the town nearest the flea market (granted, there are only three in the town, and one of the others is right next to the railroad tracks…) And these were some of the comments about the place.

Inn Review One

So, I thought it would be fine for a one night stay, or would it?!

Rocky River

And, the rate was only $89! Unless we used the Jacuzzi, in which case it was $125. Hmmmm. We arrived to a completely deserted, graveled and weedy parking lot, facing a long line of doors, many wide open so we could see in. Well, it wasn’t quite this bad…

Bates Motel

We entered what appeared to be the main office building, through the sliding glass doors to a small lobby- nicely decorated- that reeked of stale curry. Now, I don’t have much of a sense of smell due to an unfortunate incident involving the plug end of a retractable vacuum cleaner cord (unlike poor Marcia Brady here, at least I wasn’t going to the big dance with a new date : )

Marcia Brady via FanPop

but there are two distinct cooking smells that send me running-one is liver and onions

Liver and Onions

and the other is curry. Blecchhh.

Curry

The woman at the front desk was very nice, and we did check out the available room, which appeared to be clean and would have been fine- had it not been for that completely empty lot and that horrible curry smell. I just couldn’t get it out of my mind, or my nose! So we explained that we would not be staying, and she was very pleasant and wished us well. No problem there, but now we needed to find another place to stay. Other than the aforementioned inn on the railroad tracks, the only other place in town was booked solid. So we drove to nearby Danbury, and had our choice of chain hotels. Crowne Plaza, 10th floor please : )

Crowne Plaza

Sounds great being up so high, at least no one could be looking into your room from their car,  but just a word of caution. When you are riding up to the 10th floor, make sure you have your bag closed and ready to go. Otherwise, while you are attempting to get your bag together, your husband will leave and the elevator door will shut before you can depart, and you will be returned to the lobby. Then people with small children getting on the elevator may think it’s strange that you are standing there alone, holding your bag, convulsed in laughter. After the check-in, we found a local nearby joint called Rosy Tomorrow’s– huge burgers, cold draft beer and great fries in the caboose of an old train. But sadly, no mud pie : (

Rosy Tomorrows

Back to the hotel, hoping to get a good night’s sleep in preparation for our early arrival at the flea! Great, except for a few late-night (is 3:49 am still considered late night or is that early morning?) revelers returning to their rooms from the weddings being held on the premises. Coach and I still managed to arise early and we headed off to the fantastic flea market. Here’s a sneak peak,

 Flea John Wayne

but the rest of the story is for another day. Hope y’all caught a glimpse of the spectacular rainbow tonight.

Rainbow

Go Bruins!!! Susan

The Next 26

It’s Friday-so it’s High Five time! This week’s honor goes to The Next 26 of Boston.

The Next 26

The Organization: The Next 26 is a movement of people participating in 26 social, sporting, and service events to make Boston stronger and more united by Marathon 2014.

Ballgame Boston Strong Photo

The Mission:
To honor the heroes and victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon by building a vibrant community dedicated to serving our neighbors, celebrating our city, and strengthening our ties to each other.

Ballgame Heroes

The plan: The organizers will be hosting 26 events over the next 11 months, ending just before the 2014 Boston Marathon, with all proceeds donated to the One Fund Boston.

Boston Strong Logo

The kick-off event took place last night at the Mass Ave Tavern. It was a chance to meet and greet the founders, Chris Mathison and Nicholas Leydon. Cold beer, yummy apps, Next 26 t-shirts and lots of old friends coming together to support a worthy cause.

The Next 26 Mass Ave Tavern

The next event happens Sunday, June 23rd at the Lansdowne Pub. This is an all-day music event featuring live bands! $20 cover-all proceeds go directly to the One Fund.

The Next 26 Lansdowne Pub

The goal: To raise $100,000.00 of donated funds for the One Fund Boston, by Marathon Monday, 2014!

The One Fund

If you are interested in learning more, contributing some cash or just joining in the fun, click on the link to their website www.thenext26.org, their Facebook page or send a tweet to @thenext26. I will post blog updates as the events are scheduled, and you can check on the fund by clicking on the link on my blog.

So folks, remember to Raise a Glass. Raise Your Heart Rate. Raise Some Money. (for a great and worthy cause) Have a great-hopefully dry-weekend everyone!! Susan

Bench Dressing

Not to be confused with ranch dressing,

Bench Ranch Dressing

which has much more white than this restyled country bench does! So the bench is finally done and done. From the painting poll that I took on a recent blog post, the colors that won were distressed aqua/blue/gray/mint.

Behr Paint Palette

I have to admit, I tried the mint and it didn’t really work with my nautical vision, so I stuck with the blues and grays. Before I committed to the final colors, I wanted to find the co-ordinating fabrics I was planning to use for the cushions and pillows. Made a trip to my local Joann’s and-go figure-I fell in love with these lobsters.

Bench Fabrics

(Folks that know me realize that this is rather puzzling, as I think that the best part of any lobster is the melted butter : ). Fanciful fellows, bright reds on a background of dark teal. Perfect! Had some difficulty choosing the cushion fabric, but then discovered 1.this gorgeous aqua and navy block fabric that looked to me like nautical flags

Bench HGTV Fabric

2. and then discovered that, of course, it’s from HGTV-sold! So starting with the old worn bench,

Bench Pediment Detail

I added a layer of Annie Sloan French Linen, mixed with water to give it a washed look.

Bench Annie Sloan French Linen

Then I added on layers of Behr’s Gulf Wind Blue, Peaceful Night, Battleship Gray and Gray Morning

Bench Annie Sloan Gray Wash

by dry-brushing to allow the lower layers of paints to be more transparent and add another dimension to the finished product. To enhance the spiral detail at the bottom, I added a touch of dark blue.

Bench Painted

Time to dress the bench! We all know that any delicious salad is just a bunch of veggies in a bowl until you add the spice and flavor with the dressing. Same holds true with decorating-it’s the finishing touches that define the piece. I love layering mis-matched co-ordinating pillows to achieve a casual, comfortable effect. So I started with the HGTV Home nautical flag cushion.

Bench Cushion

Added a large middle pillow-soft and sinkable for maximum comfort, created with two cotton kitchen towels from HomeGoods).

Bench Towel Cushion

The sailboat pillow came next-again, created with an embroidered kitchen towel (also thank you HomeGoods!) that I added the “SAIL” to.

Bench Sail Pillow

The next pillow was lobsters and sailboats with star buttons, both of those from Joann’s Fabrics.

Bench Three Pillows

When I stepped back to admire the bench, utilizing the squint test, I realized it needed one red item in the center. One more nautical towel, surrounded by the flag fabic, completed the vignette.

Bench Completed

The finally finished, decorated bench is now sitting proudly in the perfect spot on my country styled summer porch that is now patiently awaiting spring. Which cannot come soon enough! Susan

 

 

Chicken Wire Memory Frame

Today I am sharing a simple D.I.M. (Do It Myself) project that’s fun and quick and pretty simple, assuming you have the right tools and stuff. I saw something similar to this at HomeGoods awhile back and thought, gee, I have some chicken wire and an old frame, I can make that!

Chicken Wire Memory Frame Blue

So I did. Here’s the how-to:

1. Ask Coach if he knows where that old frame and the chicken wire is. He disappears into the barn, and a few minutes later he emerges with both in hand.

Frame and Chicken Wire

2. Fix the frame- it was a little old and dinged and faded, so I glued the edges and added a touch of Minwax to brighten it up.

memo board minwax

I painted the inside edge, first with a coat of off-white, then I dry-brushed it with Gulf Winds.

Dry Brush on Frame

Dry-brushing technique is what it sounds like: take a small amount of paint on the brush, then wipe most of it off onto paper.

Dry Brush Technique

You lightly brush the surface with the remaining paint, which gives you a soft, aged look.

Chicken Wire attached to frame

I always keep a supply of wet wipes to clean up the many errant paint marks I make along the way. To get into really tight spaces, just wrap it around the end of a flat head screw driver-perfect edge!

Wipes on edge of frame

3. Cut the chicken wire-turns out that scissors work just fine. But not your good sewing scissors, unless you want to go with the raggedy look the next time you are cutting taffeta!

Cutting Chicken Wire

4. Attach the chicken wire to the back of the frame. This got tricky because I couldn’t figure out what would work. Tried my electric staple gun- those staples were too big. Then I tried thumb tacks. Well first I had to find some thumb tacks, which you would think would be a breeze considering I have a “thumb tacks” drawer in my little nail organizer. NOT. Anyone need a giant bolt?

Thumb Tack Drawer

So I went to the junk drawer- please tell me you all have a junk drawer that looks like this?!

Junk Drawer

Nope, none there, either. Finally found a few, along with an American flag pin-so that’s where that went!- in my desk drawer.

Tacks in Drawer

And so, after all that, I tried the tacks and guess what-big fail!

Chicken Wire with tack

I would push them into place, then as soon as I tugged on another corner, the wire would slide over and the tack would pop off! Next option, my trusty old Bostitch stapler, which worked great.

Stapler and Chicken Wire

5. Add the decorative lettering. I had a bag of old “fake” Scrabble letters hanging around (doesn’t everyone?), so I used those.

Scrabble Letters

You could put whatever you want, but no profanities please : ) Well, I suppose you could, but it probably wouldn’t sell very well. Then again, maybe it would. Something like The F***ing Egg Plate might work. (If you have no idea what I am referring to, click the link for a good laugh…) So, now you measure out the amount of twine you will require to fit all of the letters.

Measuring twine

Hot glue the letters to the twine and affix twine to the frame with the glue.

Scrabble Tiles Attached

6. Color the clothespins. I threw them in a little can with some watered down paint and stirred them around, then let them sit for awhile.

Paint wash for clothespins

Hung them to dry-the reverse clothespin effect.

Clothespins drying

You’re going to use the clothespins to affix the photos or whatever else you would like to display.

Memory Board Completed

7. Add a picture hanger to the back and you’re done! Cute, simple project. I like the fact that there is no backing, that way you can use it on whichever wall you would like to have as the background color (like the red shown here from my dining room, or the blue above from my hall).

Chicken Wire Memory Frame Red

8. So, I guess for this week’s High Five for Friday will go to chicken wire! It’s cheap, pliable, cuttable with scissors and adds a rustic, country charm to any project you might be considering. Happy weekend everyone! Susan

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