Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Studio A Go-Go

Hello lovely people,

Here I am! 

I know my absence from the blogosphere has got all the media outlets in an uproar (what Presidential Convention?) so I'm back to still the masses begging for the return of Bee to Industrial Country.

Too over the top?


I'm back at the helm of Industrial Country, trying to get back into a sort of routine to keep this little cottage industry going. Here are a few snaps from the wedding - it was so gorgeous and extremely intimate - just a fantastically lovely time with some very dear friends.

Beautiful, beautiful dress...

Beautiful, beautiful bouquet!

I wasn't the official photographer which is great news for the bride because almost every picture I took was blurry! Thank heaven for Photoshop...

Since I've been back, I've recovered from 3 days of celebrating and travel (including a short visit to see my Mom), picked up another piece of cool furniture (that I bought a long time ago - pics tomorrow), sat with Papa, had more therapy and have begun cleaning my studio. And I'm still in various stages on several projects I'm already doing.

Attempting organization... 

I've noticed that cleaning the studio is a recurring theme with most creative people. So much stuff; such small stuff; such useful stuff; such difficult-to-manage stuff! It spreads all over the room when you're not looking. It falls on the floor and rolls under doors. Before you know it, work surfaces are covered with a scary combination of who knows what all?

Progress...but labels are badly needed!

So I'm back in the battle, trying to corral bits and bobs and make some useful and necessary order of it. It's almost futile, it seems, but I'm not giving up yet. I've seen the enemy, and the enemy is...conquerable? I think.

Here's what...if you don't hear from me in a few more days, better send in scouts. They might find me buried under some random pile of crafty excess...but at least I'll have a smile on my face!

Talk  to you soon...

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mirror, Mirror

Hello Friends,

Look at me, writing a Monday post on Monday – all caught up with myself, mostly.

If I said the weekend was uneventful, would you believe me? I mean I took a break and went to church but other than that, it was taxes, taxes, taxes...like I said, uneventful. The good news is I’m done! I mean, I’m done with the corporate taxes. There are always other taxes coming along, you know.

Here, at last, is the project I’ve been making those oblique references to for so long:

It’s a mirror and it’s going to be our powder room mirror. I love a round mirror and had my eye on one at Target for quite awhile. I was waiting for it to go on sale but it never happened and then...they stopped carrying it!

So now I’m hooked on a round mirror...I WANT a round mirror, right? Finally found this one at World Market but it was covered with this manky sheet metal stuff and it was ugly - of course I have no before pictures so you’re going to have to trust me on this. I peeled all of that stuff off with pliers and screwdrivers and band-aids (ouch!...and then gloves) and ended up with this mdf-framed mirror.

I wasn't exactly excited about the color once I peeled the metal off. I was going to paint it black - quick and easy! - but waited long enough that this idea bubbled up to the top of my brain and stuck there. What would this frame look like decoupaged with old book pages? I had to try it out.

There's a public library branch near me and they have a little annex that's open every Thursday morning for book sales - both used from the library and those that have been donated by people. There are some great bargains to be had; most things I purchase come in at around $1.00.

With all of my supplies in hand, I started by sanding the mirror lightly and then began to decoupage - about 1/3 is completed in these pics. After I’m finished with the first layer of pages, I’ll decoupage a little more randomly to give it some texture. Then I'll sand it lightly to roughen it up and seal it with a few coats of clear varnish to finish it. Although the finished product might be a little rough, I think it’s going to be very cool when it’s done.

Old book pages + mod podge + mirror and frame = cool new mirror!

Talk to you soon...

Friday Find - #3

<<<<<  Friday's Post - Better Late Than Never >>>>>
<<<<<  Check back later, I'll have a lot more to say! >>>>>

Hello my friends,

Happy Friday. I woke up this morning sooooo hungover. No, I didn't party last night - get your mind back here! I feel punchdrunk but didn't have one drop of alcohol...it's more like therapy/muscle relaxer/pain med hangover...makes it a hard to get started in the morning.

Anyway...I love this week's Friday Find. It's both vintage and industrial, functional and cool-looking.

It's a vintage stamp carousel! Like a double decker lazy susan for essential office tools, stamp carousels were fairly widely used back in the day. As a matter of fact, I was watching an old movie the other day - set in the 1940's - and there, on the corner of the desk in an office was one of these old carousels.

Mine holds stamps but there are a lot of things I've seen them used for. Love these pictures, it's a super creative - and pretty - way to repurpose the carousel. Tons of images here...those pictures all just make me happy for some reason. I think it's all of the organizational possibilities these carousels provide. I think they'd eveb be great in a kitchen holding spice jars.

Still doing taxes...I hope to have mine - and Mr. Bee's - done by Monday. Next week is a big week - one of my very best friends is getting married in Santa Barbara next Thursday and I'm so excited for her. I can hardly wait...

Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Quickbooks Calling

<<<<< EDITED POST >>>>>
I was planning on posting this entry yesterday after my therapy. I should have known better than to plan anything for after therapy. So here it is, Thursday's post. Check back later this afternoon for Friday's Friday Find (is that redundant?)
<<<<< EDITED POST >>>>>

Hello peeps!

What? I didn’t hear you...

Where’ve I been? Let me give you a few hints: it has nothing to do with fun, it has everything to do with money and the government is involved. Any guesses? That’s right...taxes!

I’ve been head down in financial software updating information necessary to submit everything to our accountant. Mr. Bee and I both have corporations and our returns (postponed from March) are due on September 15. I’m the financial guru (HA!) in our household so I get the pain pleasure of handling all of the gory details.

This aspect of small business ownership is probably my least favorite - I’m pretty sure it is for a lot of small business owners. It’s not that it’s so difficult; it’s just overhead - time that doesn’t directly contribute to the bottom line. And it's not creative. Nor fun. But it's gotta be done.

It’s hard for me to disconnect from creating altogether, though, even when Quickbooks calls. So...I’ve been dabbling in small projects. The vintage illustrations are coming along and I’ve been designing some small sets of cards – red-stitched white cards (pics below show practice stitches) fabric stickers, etc. I'm still waiting to get some pictures of another project I'm working on - not to be all mysterious but I want to have visuals when I talk about it.

These two are my favorite.
Oh! I listed the claw foot tub on craigslist as well as a little “gossip” bench I have. No responses so far so I’ll keep bumping the ads until I, hopefully, get a response.

My second therapy is this afternoon; my back is definitely improving. Hopefully, I can cut back on muscle relaxers and, since the weather, too, seems to be cooperating (coming back down closer to 100), I’m anticipating a much more active week next week. Fingers crossed!

Tomorrow is Friday's Find.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday, Monday

Hello peeps!

I was going to start right off complaining about the heat. Then I decided not to. But then, since I already mentioned it...it's so HOT! We are the most lifeless bunch around here.

This weekend, I took a few pictures of a clawfoot tub and telephone bench I'm listing on craigslist.The ads will go up in the morning - I'll add a link in tomorrow's entry.

I've had this tub for awhile, as you can probably tell by the crud around the legs...collecting character, you know? I wanted to put it in our bathroom but I've changed my mind. That's why it's going on the block. 

It's actually in great shape inside, no chips or scratches. It needs refinishing outside (painting will do) and hardware. That's all it'd take to get this tub in shape for lots more bathing to come.


Here's the lovely little telephone bench. It's badly in need of a sanding and, in my opinion, a few good coats of paint. Since it's fairly small, this piece of furniture would be a great way to bring bright color into a room - like red, periwinkle, or turquoise - especially in a neutral space.

What dust? Ha!

I'm mid-way on another project for which I need pictures. It's an inside project - doesn't involve painting, large amounts of space for dismantling, or heavy lifting - so I can do it regardless of the weather or my physical condition.

I'm continuing work on the vintage illustrations, too. I've been advised (thanks, Marjie! :) ) that I should open a separate shop for digital stuff - I think that's great advice so I'm going with it. To that end...another etsy shop on the horizon!

Talk to you soon...

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Find - 3

Hello friends,

It's Friday find day - you know what that means.

Today's Friday find is a duo - not a musical one, just two little orphans that I found at my favorite picking spot. I think I've said this before but going there is so hard when I'm looking for smalls...it's hard to restrain myself in terms of the big stuff. So many cool things, so little budget!

Without further ado: the 1/2 gallon milk bottle and the Platter Pak!

I love the graphics and the embossing on the milk bottle; love the ribbing on the side where you're supposed to grip it.

This little box - the Platter-pak - was produced in the late 50's or early 60's. It's for carrying your 45 records (remember those?) to your friends house for a fun afternoon spinning tunes on her record player. Not that I ever did that - probably because I didn't have this cool case to carry my 'platters' in.

I've rarely met a vintage box that I don't like - this one is no exception. It's not spectacular or completely rare but it's cute, has a carrying handle and a latch...and the price was right!

Has anyone noticed a trend in my Friday Finds? Me too! It's the green thing - (almost) every item has been green. I seem especially drawn to anything that's red or green. I'm pretty sure that means I've got deep psychological issues or that I prefer the colors red and green. Only time will tell...

Have a great weekend, my friends!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Image 'Cleaning'

Hello friends,

As I told you before, I've been on the disabled list these last few days - not that I can't do anything for myself but lifting anything heavier than a half gallon of milk is still challenging.

I try to get a ton of stuff done in the morning - dishes, laundry, phone calls, painting, crafting, etc. - before I take a muscle relaxer. It makes my limbs so leaden, all I can do once I take it is sit or lay down in a semi-coma. If I take the muscle relaxer and the pain med together, any semblance of normalcy is gone...I'm a slug.

All of this is to say that since I haven't been able to run around and be too physical, I've been working on more images from a vintage children's books. These  images are some of the ones I've been working on during my recent "down time".

The book these are from was published in 1899 but it's still in pretty good shape. There are illustrations of the A, B, Cs, numbers, days of the week and months of the year. Typically, the paper in these books is very brittle, cracking and flaking easily. The pages can be yellowed, stained, and may even be colored. 

I still haven't decided if these illustrations will be sold in the Industrial Country shop or another shop. I'm not sure if having digital products along with physical products will muddle my shop inventory too much. Any opinions?

The image below is not complete. I need to redo some of the lettering on the left side of the page - those letters 'fell into the crack' in scanning (meaning the spine of the book needed to be flattened more when I scanned it). I'll re-scan the image to get the missing letters more clear and then I'll drag them to this image to complete it.

I love working on these pictures - they're so worth preserving. And even though vintage children's illustrations aren't for everyone, for me, it's a way to live - temporarily - in a world where fairies live in flowers, squirrels wear plaid vests, and grasshoppers and chickens go to church together.

Tomorrow: Friday's Find

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Trip to Storage

Hello friends,

I took a trip to my storage space today - trying to remember what all was there. It was fun, and sort of sad, looking at all of the great things. I took a bunch of pictures so I would have a visual record of most of what's there.

It was sad because I wish I had made the sale in July. Looking at everything makes me want to continue picking and finding great stuff...but I don't want to do that until I have a venue for selling. Otherwise, I'll be paying rent for another storage space in which to store great stuff. Not going there... 

Anyway...here are several pics and descriptions - I hope you enjoy. And if you see anything you might want to buy, talk to me...I'm sure we can work something out! 

 Upholstered chair - painted white and upholstered in white - yummy!

 Metal cart - love! It'd be great as a bar, bathroom storage, craft room storage...all kinds of uses.

Demilune table - made out of beautiful cherry wood. This would make a great desk, vanity table or entry table.

Parts cabinet - I love cubbies in anything. It shouts organization to me, something to which I always aspire! 

First Aid cabinet - empty, of course. It's metal so it automatically has a place in my heart.  

Vintage typewriter table (with a vintage typewriter on it!). I'm tempted to keep this...paint it, maybe upholster the top in fabric?

Another vintage typewriter table. I love the wheel covers on this one. 

A rolling metal cabinet - see it back there behind the typewriter table? 

Straight up plain little bookcase...these are great as a side table next to a chair or stacked on another table for some height.

This...is the base for all of those lockers. I think it'd be great as a bench if not used under the lockers.  

Metal chairs, metal stool, shutters and the warehouse cart against the wall...it's my favorite of all.

Wheels on warehouse cart...

See that handle? It'd be great for hanging towels in a large bathroom.

Top shelf of warehouse cart - perfectly rusty!

I'm not sure of the measurments of the warehouse cart but I can see it being used in so many ways - craft room organization, open pantry in a kitchen, linens for a bathroom, books in the living room or an open dresser or bookcase in a bedroom. So flexible!

Talk to you tomorrow...