Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Round Up

Hello friends,

I've got lots of stuff going on - so many projects in the works and so many products to list on etsy so I'm hitting the highlights today...

First of all, this?

Works! Like a top. Actually, it's a little slow to start but once I put some pressure on the foot pedal, it took off. It's so steady - lovely little machine. I listed it on etsy Saturday.

Just got our Sunset magazine late last week and look what I see...a story about a restored travel trailer. It looks great - slightly altered - but so cozy. It has a powder room - no shower, tho! - so, dear friends, if my Trailer of Dreams is similarly equipped, I might be planting it at your curb occasionally for a personal hygience pitstop. Consider this fair warning...

One of my favorite picking haunts has closed...I'm bummed! Not only was it a great store but the owner was very cool...I'll miss it.

Here's a new product on etsy today. Not exactly heavy metal, but I'm getting there...

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Real Featherweight

Hello friends,

Oh be still my heart. I am in love. With today’s ‘Friday Find’.

What’s ‘Friday Find’? It’s my find of the week. I just started it. Today.

This is it:

And here’s how I found it.

This morning, I decided I was going to make a quick trip to one of my favorite picking haunts. I haven’t been out all week, staying close to home to work on the shop and curtail my picking activities. I asked V if she wanted to go with me - she did, so we jumped in my car and took off.

I’d gone through almost the whole building looking for something to love. At first, I walked by this box without noticing it on the floor, tucked back a little under a table. But then I stepped back, turned around and saw it. I bent to open the box and there this was, in its vintage green glory.

The General Electric Featherweight
Model A
 Serial Number 4775
In it’s original case, with handle intact.
V took it out of its case and turned it over and over. It got better from every angle!

It’s got the original foot pedal and power cord and the light on the back of the machine still has an intact glass bulb. I haven’t plugged it in yet – I’m a little leery. Once I do, though, I’ll let you know if it works. I love it either way but it might be easier to sell (and worth more?) if it works.

I found an ad for one on ebay and then I found an ad for another. Wha...? In any case, I paid well under $100 for this one. It's going up on etsy this weekend - if you check my shop late tomorrow afternoon, it should be there.

Have a great weekend, my friends.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Picking My Garage

Hello friends,

I ventured forth, the other day, into wild and uncharted territory...our garage. And I was amazed at what I came out with!

First of all... I can’t even begin to explain our garage. It’s a mess - boxes, furniture, tools, pieces of pool equipment, (OLD) paint, a cast iron claw foot tub, water bottles...I could go on but I think you get the point. It’s an ongoing project in donation, elimination and organization.

Anyway...I headed out there to find something (I can’t remember what) and came back in with all sorts of treasures I didn’t even know existed. 

Here’s the list:

Vintage Hoe (head)
Ticking fabric
Display shelf
Spray paint gun with directions(!)
Two metal/wood sawhorses

I’ve wanted an old rusty hoe (just the head) to hang on our wall for awhile now; I’ve wanted a spray gun for painting a few of my larger pieces; and I’ve been planning on making some pillows with ticking fabric for awhile, too. The sawhorses will make a great base for a farm table and the display shelf will make a great repurposed mirror or blackboard. Who knew all these great things were only 12 feet away, in my own garage? I scored...and all for free!

Ironically, this stuff has probably been there all along (at least for the 10 years we’ve lived here). It just took opening a few boxes and looking at things in a different light to recognize their value.

Not to get all philosophical but I think, sometimes, it works the same way with people, don’t you?   

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I ReStore'd Last Week!

Hello friends,

I have to tell you something...but don’t tell anyone else (because it’s a little embarrassing!) Here goes...I was so nervous about launching my shop.  But it was weirdly nervous - not losing sleep nervous but just like my finger refused to push the “Open Shop” button. I’m sure that’s no surprise to those of you who know me well - I’ve been known to get anxious about a few other things.

But that’s not what I want to dwell on. My point is that I did it, although not hugely, and today I’m already thinking about managing my shop, rather than worrying about what may be wrong with it. I’m already thinking of renaming sections, categorizing my products better and getting more vintage and metal products listed. Now I’m excited.... eager!

So frequently with me, it’s about getting over “the hump”, about taking the leap, ‘just doing it’. Then I can relax and really work on mastering whatever it is I’m trying to do. But that first leap – it really can seem daunting, even if it’s simply pushing a button.

Anyway...I’m going to work on my shop today but I went to the Habitat ReStore last week and wanted to share a few good things I found:

v     Pink cabinet doors ($2.00!)
v     Two napkin dispensers (40 cents each)
v     One faucet handle (75 cents)........Total $5.89

I have no plans for the cabinet doors yet, I’m trying to decide whether to keep or sell. The napkin dispensers are going to be ‘restored’ (ha!) and added to my stash of stuff for the Trailer of Dreams. The faucet handle is for a future project.

One more thing: I’m taking down the craigslist posting for the lockers – I have another idea for them. I’ll let you know what that is soon. I also had a had a question from Denise G. (thanks, Denise, for your nice comment!) and wanted to let Denise - and all of you - know that if I list something on craigslist, I'll provide a link here.

Hope you’re having great summer days!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Etsy Here We Go!

Hello friends,

Have you missed me? Did you think I fell in a big crafty/picking/remodeling hole?

Not so, my friends. I've been working on all kinds of things but mostly my etsy shop. And...I didn't work at all over the weekend which is pretty rare for me. I just hung out with Mr. Bee and Papa (my father-in-law) and our furry kits Chloe and Gracie.

But I did it. I've officially opened Industrial Country on etsy. I'm so happy. There are only about 10 6 items but that's good enough for me! I have several more things to list but I'm really struggling with the time it takes to create each listing. It's not etsy. It's my internet painfully slow. I'm going to have to start hanging out in Starbucks to jump on their wireless network and get my work done faster. And possibly look for a new provider, yes?

I've tried to upload pictures on etsy and here on my blog...for the last two's not working. Seriously (and you thought I was joking...). I think this the first time I'm publishing a post without pictures. And it's also why I only listed six products in my shop...just couldn't wait any longer to launch and I pushed the button! So there you go. I'm a shopkeeper.

I have much more to share with you about other things that happened last week. Let's talk tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Large and in Charge

Hello friends,

Busy days here at the Industrial Country studio. I’m excited about so many things, products, etsy, new ideas, and potential. My mind just buzzes (like a Bee - heh) with so many ideas, it’s difficult to keep it focused in one direction – it’s a daily effort at self-discipline and focus. But the results are worth it.

Here's another set of lockers I have for sale – you may have seen pieces of the set in other pictures. It's very large - a wall of metal goodness. 12 lockers in all, it’s 5 feet tall, 6 feet wide and 15 inches deep. All of the lockers open; all of the combination locks are drilled for safety purposes.

Here’s (almost) the best part, though. This set of lockers has a stand! The stand is 12 inches high and the set rests snugly within it. I don’t have any pictures of the stand – it’s in my storage space. (The lockers are in my free storage space: the driveway. Heh heh.) The stand has enough room to put baskets under it if you want to get all hyper-organized...

I’m listing the set on Craigslist. I’ll be selling the stand as an option since some might prefer the lockers, only. In reality, the stand is nice and chippy and maybe even a little rusty. With some salvaged wood, it would make a fantastic industrial and country bench for farm table, porch or patio.

By the way, I’ll have a bunch of blooms to show you tomorrow. Oh! One of the things that's keeping me so busy is a big studio clean/reorganize/remodel. I’ll have before and after pictures in awhile. It's driving me a bit nuts not being able to work in there right now so it won't be too much longer.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

To Be Now or To Be Later

Hello friends,

What? I'm sorry? You were asking where Industrial Country on etsy is?'s still in production. Because I'm not done with it yet. I know, I doesn't have to be perfect, I know the shop won't be hit with thousands of customers the first day, I know that things are always fixable.

I've just been giving a lot of thought to what I really want Industrial Country to be. It's hard to explain. I want it to be organized and thoughtful, fun and actual shop rather than a random collection of things I've picked up.

I have a chance to do a 'line' of items, not a huge one, but a small handmade collection of items that complement the vintage items I'll carry. At first...fabric flowers, pillows, maybe a few lampshades, some paper goods: tags, flat cards and labels; fabric covered boxes.

I'm just going to be a bit more choosy about what I carry altogether. I want cohesive and ordered. Like a curated collection, if that makes sense. I'll also release products slowly, initially. At first, the flowers. Then pillows. Then, well, whatever I feel like releasing next.

Look at all that lovely metal!
I went to my storage space today. I took a picture of what the unit looks like...all stuffed. I'm starting to list some of the larger things on Craigslist. I'd love a few quick sales to start the ball rolling on getting that storage space emptied out.

More metal, more wheels, lovely vintagey goodness!
Because, really, if I keep finding all kinds of good stuff...I'm going to need the space to put it!

Friday, July 13, 2012

So Close

Lovely Friday! And, I'm happy to say, we really do have a reprieve on the weather - only 106 today.

Just a quick post, my friends, as I've been madly working at etsy today. Took pictures this morning - and edited them - and I've created several listings in my shop. I need to do a little more research on pricing and finish the item descriptions and then I'll officially 'open' Industrial Country!

Here are a few sneak peeks at product pictures. 

Next is dinner and then back to the shop to finish up for launch. It's taken longer than I expected but I'm happy to get over the initial hump. I'm so blessed to have the resources - time, tech skills, crafty skills - to be able to do this business I'm loving. And the more I do anything Industrial Country-related, the happier I am.

Thanks for hanging out with me each day - I really appreciate it.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


It's been so hot here. Blazing. 109 degrees. And today was cloudy...can you say humid, too? We try very diligently to monitor our energy use so the A/C is out of the question during peak hours. That's why the title of this post is slug, as in...I am one.

I've been making a few more things for the etsy shop...slowly. It's starting to sound like a phantom, huh? But it's happening, you've just got to trust me.

In the meantime, since I haven't taken one picture today, I'm sharing a vintage ad image, one of the hundreds I have from a collection of vintage children's magazines. It, too, will be one of the things for sale in my etsy shop, along with other, similar, images.

My magazines are turn-of-the-20th-century-vintage so they're mostly in pretty bad shape. Their content is in the public domain so copyright issues are far less. The illustrations are so amazing - clever, creative, detailed - I love to look at them. For etsy, I scan the images, 'clean' them up and make them available for purchase in the shop. The uses for artists, crafters, and other creative types are certainly far more than I can imagine!

Tomorrow is only supposed to be 104. What a reprieve! Sort of...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Finally - Flower Pots!

Remember the flower pot project I was talking about? Okay, so here’s the story - finally.

I really love cake stands, display stands - anything that makes ordinary things more special by giving them their own stage. The stands I like can be expensive, though, especially if I'd like more than one size. Then it occurred to me...what if I used flower pots and drainage trays to make inexpensive (and great looking) stands?

So I bought a few pots and a few trays. I had white spray paint and glue on hand. I laid things out, gave it all two good coats of white paint, marked the center of the (painted) drainage tray with a pencil ‘X’, and applied glue to the bottom rim of the flower pot. I turned the tray upside down, centered the hole in the flower pot over the ‘X’ on the tray and applied pressure. Once the glue was semi-dry, I applied weight (my laptop, actually) and left the whole thing to dry.

And that was it. It took an afternoon and about $2.00 in supplies. SO easy and so many options for personalizing: use different colors of paint, use different combinations of pots and trays, or use different trims for seasonal decorating. Or this: leave a few unpainted (natural terra cotta), tye some raffia around the base, fill them with sand and use them outdoors for summer evening candlelight?

(Full disclosure: Yes, that is a large speaker in the left background and yes, it's ugly.)

(Full disclosure(2): I did not make these cookies.)

I’m going to make (at least) one larger one when I have more paint. This is what I’ll do differently, though: one more coat of paint, 3 tota); two coats of sealer; and have more than one can of paint on hand when starting the project.

PLEASE NOTE: These stands are NOT food safe. Use a liner – doilies, parchment paper, etc. - if you’re planning on serving food.

Separation Anxiety

Hello friends,

I obviously didn’t write a blog entry yesterday so let me start with the promised update on the locker status – separation has occurred...and so has a little separation anxiety.

So you see the larger locker set split into two, right? It was relatively easy, especially after Mr. Bee helped. There were, literally two nuts and two bolts holding the whole works together. A little wd-40, a little twist here and lift there – it was done.

But then, I noticed it...the institutional green paint on the sides of each separated unit. Ooh...separation anxiety! Of course all that lovely red paint wouldn’t cover the middle – it was painted as one unit.
After looking more closely, the red paint job was done poorly, overall. I might have to apply a little elbow grease to make it alright. I’m tempted to leave the paint colors as they are, though, especially with a bench in between the two – only a portion of the green would actually be seen. We’ll see...

This is my mom’s hope chest. It’s what I’m going to put between the two lockers. It’s our living room coffee table right now. It, too, needs a little TLC – getting rid of the old, outdated stenciling and sanding it a bit, maybe add some red accents. Next is a foam cushion for seating and it's on to the next phase of  the back porch entry project.
We're undergoing a whole-house renovation (although Mr. Bee doesn’t know it). It’s a multi-phase, multi-step-within-each-phase project – especially since I’m doing it on a budget like everyone else on this planet. I’ve got plans for changes to every room – starting from simple paint all the way to remodeling the kitchen/dining room. It can be done, it will be done! Let’s just hope it’s not the never-ending story...

Stay tuned, I'm hoping to post another entry later today!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday Matters

Hello friends – happy Monday!

I had a great weekend – nothing spectacular, just a nice calm time. My Sunday routine is fairly set: up at 5:30, early church, errands, take out lunch, TV movies with Mr. Bee and papa, naps for everyone and a quiet night. I love a good nap, I’ll admit, and it’s so hot here on summer afternoons...a nap helps sleep some of the heat away.

One of the errands I ran yesterday was to the local JoAnn Superstore. It’s such a fun, stimulating place... makes me want to get my craft on. I bought a few things to finish up existing projects and start some new ones. Flower pots, foam wreaths, covered buttons – you’ll see most of it in the coming days.

Actually, here are the covered buttons in action... very quick and easy, just a few steps.

Remember these ‘prototypes’? I wanted the covered buttons to finish them. Here are the finished products.

These flowers are so easy to make, although a little time consuming – I think I’ll  put an instruction sheet together for those who want to create their own. The possibilities for mixing and matching, especially with all of the amazing fabrics and trims out there, are practically endless.

This picture is of my laptop screen, looking at my sister’s etsy shop, and setting up my own. Notice anything...or should I say anyone? Chloe is so curious and helpful, yes? I can hardly begin or finish any project without at least a little ‘input’ from her.

Lastly, I started a flower pot project today. It should be finished tomorrow - I’ll have more pictures then. It’s that quick and easy so more details with the pictures. And oh! I’ll have an update on the locker sitch tomorrow, too.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Sweet Relief

I feel so much better today. MUCH better. But. Oh. My. Gosh. The’s one of those things that can seemingly (mysteriously) multiply while everything else slows down for awhile. Amazing how quickly it piles up...I’m knee deep.

On the business and home front, I have a ton of projects going.

I set up the basic etsy shop for Industrial Country yesterday. I need to finish administrative stuff, policies, etc., add products and then launch it. Soon, I hope.

I’m also picking back up on a few other projects that have been set aside for awhile. One is our back porch entry area. I found a red locker set at the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore and moved it in. I wanted it for shoes, mittens, scarves, hats, purses and all that other entry way baggage. I bought a set of casters for the bottom (love wheels on almost everything,) but I never put them on the locker...there was something about it that wasn’t working for me.

Then it hit me two days ago – it needs to be split into two. I checked it out, and sure enough, it can be done.
Once the two sides are separated, I can put a bench between them, add hanging hardware for coats and purses and call it an entry. If you look closely at these before pictures, you can see the old linoleum and wallpaper that were hidden behind a cabinet I ripped out last fall.

I’m also in the middle of transforming two cheesy brass chandeliers (apologies to any brass chandelier lovers out there) into candle-eers for the back yard. I found them at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, also, at a great price (about $50 for both) and started remaking one...removing the guts, painting it, etc. But I found I didn’t love the all. So the (temporarily) blue chandelier will be painted white, along with its twin when its electrical ‘guts’ are removed.


Then I’ll just need to decide where to hang them to best enjoy the lovely candlelight they’ll emit.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends...