open


My *red bird crafts* shop has some items for sale for the first time ever. I'm just saying.

xo e

remaking

I love garbage! Well, not fully. But, I do love sifting through junk mail and recycling to find little treasures. Since coming to realize some new ways to use my beloved recycling, the cheery crafter in me decided that this could all be a big, fun personal challenge where I encourage myself to use five bits of found treasure in weekly projects. Of course, the first week I initiated the challenge is the week that our most exciting junk mail was a political mailing printed on florescent green card stock and the ACE hardware catalog, which featured some mildly captivating tiny hammers and pictures of rope. The cynical, tired mom part in me was left disgruntled, but then my favorite herbal supply catalog was delivered and I was inspired.

Here are this week's treasures. There are two clippings that are not seen in the picture: a page torn out of a glorious old dictionary (volume L) given to me by my friend Maddie (thanks!) and a little street map of Amherst torn from the Amherst Bulletin.



And, here is the first stage of the project. So, yeah, it isn't going to be "weekly" as much as it is going to be "whenever I finish it." And, sometimes it might be three pieces of trash rather than five, but I am committed to plugging away at my recycle challenge. Oh, and finished work posts will be titled, remake.


xo e

inside


Even though it was 23˚ outside this morning, we are busy cultivating spring inside. A friend gave us this hearty crocus that seems to want to grow more and more new flowers each day, and I have been concentrating on carving woodsy animals and plants that love to frolic outside in the warm spring air. A girl can dream, right?

A good portion of the top of the acorn disappeared as I happily carved away, but I like it just fine.


My next post will be about how I am challenging myself to use five things from my recycling bin each week to create a project. The first one should be ready soon. Stay tuned.

xo e

stamps



I am finding that hand carved stamps are kind of like poems. They are small wonders packed with texture, meaning, and little bit of irony. And, I am in love with them. I started by making little designs that could be used in repetition to make patterns.

Then, I moved on to making little realistic interpretations of objects and living creatures.
I'm not sure why I insist on carving teeny tiny stamps because it means I am beginning with the teeniest of details. Maybe it is because I feel more in control and less intimidated when there is less to carve? My next step is to make them a little bigger.


This all began when I was reading Maya's blog , and was instantly in awe of her beautiful handmade stamps. I was so in awe, that I was inspired to create my own. Now, I am awake late at night squinting and carving, and creating them. It is so pleasing and satisfying.

Sigh.

e

rescue

I have been in rescue mode lately. I think it must be a combination of emerging from sick season, where everyone in my family needed soup and tea, and a need to revitalize after a long winter. Lately, even in my dreams I find myself restoring and taking care of what has been left behind. I have an important decision to make in the next few weeks (more on this later), which is why taking care of my family and birds and plants and little treasures left on the side of the road is very appealing. Distraction!

I was flying solo at Ikea on Saturday, which meant that I got to deviate from the main thruway in the Marketplace section, and I got to look at fabric, frames, and tall skinny glasses with punchy flowers and squiggle patterns on them (more on that in another post) and the garden section. Yay! Spring! Anyway, I was busy looking at some tiny brown clay pots when I saw two succulents in a section marked "plastic decorative plants." I was all, "Really Ikea? Really?" I stuck my finger inside their dented pots to feel the dirt and leafy debris. Completely dry. Then I dug my fingernail into one of the plant's leaves and it practically sobbed into my hand. I think they may have been overturned at least a dozen times because when I looked, there wasn't any dirt in their containers - just a plant and its root ball. They are raggedy and pathetic and kind of almost dead, and they were in my cart within seconds. I loved them instantly. I know plants die all of the time and things get wasted and misplaced and overlooked, but I gave myself permission to feel sentimental and mushy. I figured that these two bruised guys would love the chance to hang out in comfy, snug pots while soaking in some sun in our south facing living room.

So, check it out. I found this little $10 bar stool at the Salvation Army a few months ago. I thought if Tom steadied it a bit with some wood glue and if we painted it with some red milk paint*, it would be the a perfect counter stool for Chick. Unfortunately, even after using much more wood glue than should be allowed on one chair, it is still kind of rickety. And, Tom noticed that it is kind of not completely fixable because the legs are uneven and wobbly. Last week, I broke the news to Chick that it wasn't going to be her new counter stool, and after some disappointment**, we all decided that it would make a happy plant stand for our porch.



Do you know what this means? Our poor succulents could have a tall, red throne to sit on if they wanted to. Talk about moving up, right?

* I recently discovered that you don't need to strip off paint/varnish from an old piece of furniture to apply milk paint. Instead, just sand the old surface a little bit and then add some super bond liquid, which you can buy on their website, to the paint before coating the surface with it. Easy peasy.

**If a local friend knows of or sees a used counter stool with a back, please let me know. A certain four year old would be your best friend forever and ever and ever.



xo e