Saturday, November 24, 2012

SALE 30% OFF! All Etsy items in my Etsy Store!

The Black Friday sale is over (sad but true!).  However, you can still receive a discount of 25% off of all items purchased from our Etsy Store ReCoveredTreasures4U from now through January 1st, 2013!

Just use code: 25Holiday2012 at checkout!  

Here are a few of the items currently available through Etsy:

12" wide x 8" tall World Globe Lampshade
Pair of Kerosene Lanterns
SOLD!!


12"wide x 6"tall World Globe Lampshade

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Getting Antsy for Christmas

Mantle decorations with black added for Halloween
Oh how I love the holidays!  Starting with Halloween, the excitement builds and the planning and decorating begin.


Mantle decorations without the black (looks like I forgot the cat)
First comes Halloween.  I learned a while ago to decorate for Thanksgiving BEFORE Halloween!  Then all you have to do for Halloween is add a bunch of black and it's instant Halloween!  Right after Halloween is done, you remove the black and it's already decorated for Thanksgiving.  That way I get to enjoy those two holidays with a minimal of decorating effort (and it saves on storage too!). 

While I love the Halloween/Fall decorations, I must admit that my absolute favorite is decorating for Christmas!!!  The weekend after Thanksgiving (OK usually the DAY after), I pull down all the Thanksgiving decorations and bring out the piles of Christmas decorations. 

From that point, it feels like I live in Christmas-land!  I just love all of the festive colors.  The pretty, sparkly items, the blinking lights, and wonderful music!  I really think I was meant to live at the North Pole! 

Right now I am starting to begin my holiday planning.  A few years ago, I made a list of all of the holiday traditions and events that I could think of - so that at the beginning of each holiday season, we can go through the list and pick out the "must do's" for this year.  It's a fun way to begin our planning and it starts to build a feeling of anticipation.  

Here's a sample of some of the traditions on our Holiday To-Do list: 

  • Decorate the inside and outside of the house 
  • Baking holiday goodies
  • Seeing the Nutcracker Ballet
  • Driving around to see all the neighborhood holiday decorations
  • Making Christmas cards
  • Going to the Bellevue Botanical Gardens to see their holiday light displays
  • Family and friends gingerbread house decorating contest
  • Going to holiday bazaars
  • Reading holiday-based books
  • We pick another winter holiday to celebrate/honor - for instance: Ramadan, Solstice, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, or Yule (we are Christian, but think celebrating other winter holidays are a wonderful way to learn about and honor another culture).
  •  Watch holiday-themed TV shows and movies
  • High Tea (something the adult-aged ladies in my family have done every year for 12+ years and usually requires the ladies to wear fancy/fun hats)
  • Kid's Tea (we started a few years ago because the kids wanted to join in the High Tea fun... it's like High Tea, but a LOT less formal)
  • Annual holiday family picture
  • Snowshoeing (or playing in the snow) in the mountains  
These are just a few of our favorite holiday traditions.  Feel free to borrow some or all!!  
Mantle decorated for Christmas in '08
May you all have a wonderful holiday season!!!




Monday, November 12, 2012

Did You Break Into My Van At The Antique Show At Puyallup Fairgrounds?

This post is dedicated to you, you mean-spirited thief! 

I hope you're feeling ASHAMED and SUPER-STUPID right now!  You broke into my van  - and IF you had really been paying attention, you would have skipped it because it was pretty obvious we don't have a lot of money or things to steal.  But  congratulations, you managed to pick my van to steal from and as horrible as it is to have my van broken into, it's pretty amazing that the things you chose to steal all had little financial value!   Those things include:
  1. An old, leather coat - torn in several places (and sewn up several times!) and worth NOTHING to you, but was like an old friend to me and kept me warm.
  2. A makeup case - filled with used makeup and worth NOTHING.
  3. A 2nd makeup case - filled with band-aids, toothpaste & toothbrush, and worth NOTHING.
  4. A plastic sack I kept filled with a few card-making supplies - and worth NOTHING.
  5. A tote-bag that I spent a great deal of time personalizing and included a business folder and notebook.  It was full of sentimental value to me because I have been working hard at getting my business up and running (trying to make money in an HONEST way!).  I am sad to see it gone..... and it is worth NOTHING to you.
  6. An old wicker basket containing used coloring books - and worth very little (the police and I assume you grabbed it to hold the other items you stole from me). 
  7. An old MP3 player.  Ok you probably can sell it for a few bucks, but it's OLD and I doubt you'll get much for it.
  8. An old cell phone - and this one is the one that pisses me off the most.  It is worth VERY LITTLE to you... it was my child's - she used it as a TOY!  It HAS NO SERVICE and NO SIM CARD!   You can not make a call with it, and the IMEI will be blocked so you can NEVER set it up with service.  You should feel very bad about this one because you hurt a child who had never done anything to deserve to be hurt like that.  A child who doesn't have a lot of fancy things or money, but who happily and willingly helps others whenever they can.  
Now I've actually had it suggested to me that you were desperately hungry and looking for a way to make some money to buy food with, but I know differently!  I KNOW you weren't hungry and looking for food!!  Why?  Because you left the drawer open on the passenger side, front seat -- a drawer that is STILL FULL of granola and nut bars!  You took a frigging makeup bag with used makeup, but you left the food??  NO - you weren't hungry.
 
Your choices of what you stole leave me somewhat baffled because you left a lot of other things (cd's, phone-chargers, umbrellas, earbuds, etc).  I like to think that a Guardian Angel was watching over our van and guiding your poor decisions.

My child and I talked, and after we calmed down and decided that our losses were very sad for sentimental reasons.  But mostly we feel bad for you.  You made a horrible personal choice to steal and then made some pretty dumb decisions about what to steal.  I'm not sure how you sleep at night with all the guilt you must carry around with you.  You are obviously in need of a lot of help. 

We know that you WILL get what you deserve at some point in your life, and you will have to answer to God when your life is over.  We will pray for you and for your soul.  And more than that, we forgive you for your poor life-choices because that is what Jesus asks us to do when someone wrongs us.   

So mister or miss thief, I ask you to please return those things that you took that have no value to you but are beloved to us.  Please return them and then please find a way to get help for yourself. 







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Friday, November 9, 2012

Flea Markets versus Etsy?

I am having so much fun shopping for things to sell on Etsy (or at a local flea market)!  I'm currently struggling to figure out which option is better-suited for my business.  I've been doing Etsy for a while now and it's been OK.  I've sold some things.. but not a ton.  So I am wondering if a different venue might be better for my products.   So I'm toying with the idea of doing a flea market or holiday show...which coincides with my love of shopping. :)

Love these powder-blue Lanterns!
I love shopping at the local thrift stores and finding treasures to resell or (even better) to up-cycle into something new!!

My latest findings include some neat older metal boxes (like library files and cash boxes) and a fun pair of powder-blue train lanterns (which I LOVE!!! and hate to sell, but I don't have room to keep. sigh).

I just posted the lanterns on Etsy and will post the boxes when I pretty them up a bit.   My latest adventure is checking out the local flea markets (which is so much fun and inspires so many new and exciting ideas!!).  I am loving some of the new shows on TV that deal with that same subject (going to flea markets and/or finding antiques).  One of my current favorites is Market Warriors on PBS (which usually follows another old favorite - The Antique Roadshow). These shows inspire me to want find my own special treasures!

I am wondering if I have enough daring (and products) to have my own stall at a local flea market?!  So with that idea in mind, I'm using that as an excuse to go and check out all of the local fleas and craft fairs.

I went to one at the Pickering Barn in Issaquah, WA that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVED!!!  Affordable and appropriate for what I want to sell (and I highly recommend it as a place to shop as well!!).  I also went to one in Monroe, WA at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds called The Ruffles and Rust Flea Market and it was a bit pricy to be a vendor there (and a bit pricey to shop there!), but they had a huge selection of fabulous stuff - although it was less a flea-market and more like a bunch of real shops that had temporarily set up inside the building.

This weekend I'm heading down to Puyallup, WA  (pronounced pew-al-up) for a Flea Market held by Junk Salvation (Nov. 9th & 10th, at the South Hill Mall Campus) and if I have time, I want to check out the Girlfriend's Holiday Market down in Lacey, WA as well.

If anyone has any other wonderful flea markets, I'd love to hear about them!! Or if you have advice about which ones are better to be a vendor at, I'd love to hear that as well!

Have a great weekend - and happy Veteran's Day to all of the Veterans out there!!!!




Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Halloween Craft Using Plastic Pumpkins

   I'll admit it, I love Halloween!  I decorate my mantle with garlands of leaves in fall colors and then tuck in black-painted vines and leaves (so that after Halloween, I can remove the black items and ta-da... it's already decorated for Thanksgiving!).  I also have a variety of Halloween-themed items that I place about the main entry and living room.  And some years if I've got a lot of time, I take out our collection of Styrofoam bones and tombstones and decorate the front yard.


One of my favorite things to do is to carve pumpkins!  It serves 2 purposes: 1- we get fun decorations, and 2- we get yummy pumpkin seeds.    In the past, I tried carving the pumpkins several weeks ahead of Halloween.  I'm not sure if it's the weather, the house-heat, or the fact that we live in the PNW, but the pumpkins usually start molding pretty quickly.   Moldy pumpkins, while probably are a great addition to the Halloween-themed decorations - are pretty gross to deal with.  I have occasionally made a pumpkin totem pole and it looks pretty cool!  BUT with molding pumpkins, it doesn't last long and it's pretty disappointing to go outside and see the totem pole caved in and falling apart. 

So what to do about the molding pumpkins?  One year, I tried washing them before and after carving.  Still molded.  The next year I tried washing them with a bleach-water solution.  Still molded.  Perhaps a solution of salt or boric acid would work?  I don't know.. but I no longer worry about it.  We get our pumpkins closer to Halloween and carve them a few days before Halloween... then if they mold (or if the deer eat them - yes it's happened!), then oh well.

BUT I still like decorating with pumpkins.  The next best thing is those wonderful foam pumpkins which are carve-able.  They are really neat, but have been too expensive for my poor wallet.  A few years ago, I discovered a bunch of cheap, plastic pumpkins at the local Goodwill.  Hmmm.... they are lightweight, don't rot (or decompose in any way), cheap, and there are tons of them available in thrift shops (and probably garbage cans after Halloween!).

I thought about them for a while and decided that I would try and make them work for me.   I didn't care for their original color (they look too fake/ugly). So I decided to paint them.  I took the 3 pumpkins and painted them dark green (almost black).  Then using their original faces as guides, I repainted new faces with glow-in-the-dark orange.  I cut an opening in the same place in the bottom of each pumpkin so I could place a stick or fencepost through all of them (which is important to keep a totem pole of pumpkins standing upright on windy nights!). And then, because they didn't come with tops, I took a piece of plastic from a recycled butter-tub-lid and cut it into a circle slightly larger than the opening of the smallest/top pumpkin and then glued fake leaves onto it, covered that circle completely.  Some years I've glued the lid onto the top of the pumpkin, and other years I've simply placed a chunk of rock on top to keep the wind from blowing it off.   One other thing I did was outline the edges of all the details with pin-pricks (poking a thumbtack through multiple times)... this allows more light  to come through the facial details at night when I put a tea-light in them.

Because there are only 3 pumpkins and they are plastic, they stand up nicely to the wind and rain and you can safely stick a  candle inside (I like battery-operated tealights myself).   The last 2 years, I've even done away with the stick or fencepost and simply place a heavy rock in the bottom of each pumpkin to help it stay in place.  If you wanted more than 3 pumpkins in your totem pole, you would probably need a pole or stick running through all the pumpkins to keep them upright. I chose to do only 3 because I don't have a lot of room for storage, and those plastic pumpkins do require a lot of storage space!  I place my mini-totem in a planter on my porch which gives it enough height to see it clearly when you walk up to our doorstep - day or night (although it appears that after 3 or 4 years of use, I need to do a bit of touch-up painting).  I think the totem pole is really cute, and a great project for anyone to do!

I hope this little project inspires you to think of new and interesting ways to use your Halloween items that might have been thrown out!
Happy Halloween!
Becky @ Re-CoveredTreasures.Com

Thursday, October 18, 2012

My Sympathies lie with World Globes

Many of you are aware that I am rather fond of World Globes.   I've been using them to make Lamp Shades as well as Bowls.   I enjoy finding World Globes at garage sales and thrift stores - it gives me such a thrill to find one (especially when I get it for a great price!).

A few of the globes I have awaiting some TLC
As I go through my collection of globes looking for inspiration for the next lamp shade, I find myself wondering about the lives that these globes have led.  Some have big dents which implies they've fallen from a height (or were kicked or thrown).  Some have pinpricks which may mean that someone used the globe as a lamp as a map to mark a journey or a life event.  Some have small (or even large) holes - most of the time they look like a pencil was shoved into the globe... perhaps a bored child taking out it's frustration on the poor defenseless globe.
 
 And some (and to me this is the worst tragedy) are absolutely filthy with a layer of greasy dirt.   What does that imply?? Well if nothing else, it implies that the beautiful, glorious World Globe has been woefully neglected and ignored.  Perhaps living in or near a kitchen with a lot of grease in the air... or perhaps in a shop or garage.  Those globes are usually the cheapest in price - because who wants to even touch it? Ewww!!  But a little gentle cleaning and a lot of World-Globe-love gives these sad, silent objects a new look and instant appeal. 

Some more of my World Globes (please ignore the mess of my workshop)
As I look at my current collection of World Globes, I am amazed at the variety of colors and looks that the globes have.  I have had some duplicates, but for the most part each one is at least a little different from all the others.  Some are brown-based, some blue (most common), but I have a green-based one, aqua, cream, and even a metallic silvery, blue.  I've not had a black or grey yet, but maybe someday I will find an affordable one.  They are lovely in their artwork as well.  Some have raised mountains, some show the paths of famous explorers, and some have interesting little facts on them.  All of them are rather impressive in how they were engineered/created - and a couple were darn tough to cut into and open up!   

It's been fun to take apart some of these beautiful creations and see how they were made (although I have to admit I feel somewhat guilty and sad at cutting up such lovely things!).  Even better is opening up a severely dented globe and discovering that with a little push - the dent comes back out!  And that previously-dented globe that looked like it should be thrown out, is now usable and turns into a perfectly-lovely lampshade and/or bowl.
A few of the lampshades (and a bowl) which I've made from World Globes
I know that with the creation of the online maps (like Google Earth), the need and desire for World Globes will continue to dwindle - which means that my supply of World Globes will become more limited with time (and more expensive as well!).  But in the mean time, I continue to treasure each globe I find.  PLEASE! Continue to donate or sell your old globes!!  Send me your unwanted, damaged, and unloved globes!! I shall endeavor to clean them, fix them, and then create lovely, upcycled products with them!!  

Thursday, September 13, 2012

One Sad Ebay Shopper!

Well friends, I am one sad Ebay shopper.  I decided a month or so ago, to indulge and shop on Ebay to get a variety of things I needed for my arts and crafts.  I carefully checked the listing's descriptions and seller ratings. I wouldn't bid on anything with over-inflated shipping (or prices!).  I stuck to my guns and only bid or bought things that were appropriate prices and didn't get caught up in any bidding wars.
 
Supposed to be 3 lbs
I did all the things, you're supposed to do and I still ended up with a BUNCH of horrible experiences. Out of the last 20 purchases (yes 20!  I told you I was indulging!), 6 items were not as they were supposed to be. 

Some were broken (listed in "excellent" condition), several misrepresentations of how many items I was receiving (example supposed to receive 3 lbs and only received 1 lb -which is QUITE a big difference!), one sent me someone else's order and wanted me to ship it to their customer for them (um NO!), and a couple - (to be fair) of misunderstandings (I didn't read close enough, but they didn't explain clearly).  That works out to 33% (or 1/3) of my purchases being an unwelcome problem!
Look close and see the broken earrings

Now at first I thought it was just me, but I've been in contact with some of my friends and they told me that they too, were having problems with their Ebay purchases... and their percentages were higher (55% and 38% wrong/bad orders).    From what I've been reading, Ebay is getting a lot worse about having scammers selling items and Ebay doesn't seem to be doing much about it. 

It's sad because Ebay was originally started as a way for people to get rid of their unwanted items while making a few bucks.   It used to be fun, now it's more of a nightmare.  I've just started selling again on Ebay, but now I'm rethinking whether or not I want to be involved with them anymore (if buying from them is treacherous, what kind of problems could I have selling on Ebay?). 

It's really a shame because the bad experiences are hiding the good ones (I had a lovely conversation with a very nice gentleman selling buttons).  I'm not sure how many more chances I'm willing to take - but that means I will need to find other inexpensive options for the sorts of supplies I need. 
What to do, what to do?! hmmmm..... this will require a LOT more thought!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Buttons, Buttons, and more Buttons! (yes please!!)

A variety of vintage buttons (lot 1)

 

 I have started a new project or two and needed buttons.  



Awesome! I've been DYING to find a way to use all the buttons I inherited from my mother and grandmother (I probably have 5+ pounds!).  

 

 

Part way into my project and I realize "I don't have enough buttons!"... omg how is that possible??!!  






Yes, another lot of buttons! (lot 6)

What is a button-loving, (apparently obsessive-compulsive) button-needy person to do?  Shop on E-bay of course!!  

 


 Now I have about 8 more POUNDS of buttons (ok it's probably more like 9+ pounds) winging their way to me from various places around the U.S. - and England too (how cool do English buttons sound!?).  Now I just need to find a way to stop coveting more (and trust me, there are a LOT more buttons available!).

 

 

Oh and did I mention I bought rhinestones too (I mean you gotta have some bling in your craft projects - right?).



3 pounds of vintage buttons (lot 4)





I think I need to stop now - but there are SO many fabulous lots of buttons ... oh my.   I guess it's time to start thinking of more ways to use buttons!  

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 new pounds of buttons! (lot 2)


Check back later, I'll be sure to post a project or two!






My new British buttons (lot 3)



                                                                      







Vintage Rhinestones







Monday, August 20, 2012

Fun with Mardi Gras Masks - The Cat/Fox/Walrus

This is another lovely project made from recycled items (in this case, a silk purse and silk shirt were used).

This mask is a cat-inspired shape.  I have seen many cat-shapes around in stores and online, but this is my own take on it. I think it makes a fun kitty-shape (which my daughter loves) and it also can be turned upside-down to make a rather fun walrus shape too.

 In this case, I decided to experiment with silk.  I have some silk from shirts that I thought would be fun to experiment with, and I also have found some other interesting silk items to repurpose (such as purses).  I opened the purse up, adhered it's silk to it's inner material (some sort of foam), and then adhered part of a silk shirt to the other side.


I decided that I would use this simple shape to create a cat face (it also looks somewhat fox-like).
  
And if you turn it upside down, it looks like a walrus.  I just love multipurpose things!!
looks like a walrus with tusks
This is actually just one mask that I adhered one kind of silk (blue/chinese) to one side, and a different kind of silk (grey tiger print) on the other.  I hand-sewed the edges of the mask and the eye openings with silk ribbon to give it a nice finished edge and to protect the edges.
$48 at recoveredtreasures4u
I did end up using the blue side as a fox in my finished mask.  I added rhinestones for a bit of bling and sparkle and added a fun acrylic gemstone as the nose.  I think it turned out pretty well - and it's now available for purchase at my storefront www.recoveredtreasures4u.etsy.com!

I also decided that this mask is a bit wide in the nose for smaller faces (like my daughter in the picture).  I have created a way to attach a pretty dowel so that the mask can be used on a dowel/stick or tied around the head with the silk ribbons.  Either way, it's very pretty!

 * Please note that these are designs that I've come up with and would appreciate it if you used them for personal use only.   If you've used any of my templates to create your own mask, I would love to see you've come up with!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Left-over Hot Dog Buns?

I rather like the fact that I try and re-purpose old things.  So in that spirit (and the fact that we had just come back from camping and hadn't gone shopping), I came up with a new meal for my family - using leftovers and the few remaining items in my refrigerator.  From the camping trip, I had leftover whole wheat hot dog buns, about 3/4 cup of sausage, and about a cup or so of shredded cheddar cheese.  I also had some eggs and some milk that needed to be used before it expired.

The buns were more than a little stale - although NOT moldy (I don't use moldy food - unless it's cheese!).  I usually just let the bread air-dry and then store it in a air-tight jar to use when I need bread crumbs... but this time, I decided to play around a bit (I've been watching WAY too much Food Network!).

I tore up the buns into little pieces and put them into a corning-ware baking dish.  Then I threw in left-over sausage, a hand-full of shredded cheddar cheese, and then was going to pour eggs (well-mixed) over the top, but discovered I only had a couple of eggs.  Instead, I mixed my eggs with about the same amount of milk (in retrospect, I probably should have used less milk than eggs). 

Then I sprinkled in a dash of Lawry's Seasoning Salt, and some chopped, dried onion and then poured the egg/milk mixture onto the buns and sausage in the baking dish.  I gently stirred the mixture (making sure all the bun pieces were soaked with the egg mixture), tossed another small handful of shredded cheese on top and threw it in the oven to bake at 350.  It baked for about 30 minutes (by that time, the cheese had become melted and bubbly, and the egg mixture had somewhat solidified (that's when I realized I had probably used too much milk, but it was still a nice soft, fluffy texture). 

It was quite tasty and my husband and daughter encouraged me to make it again (and I will the next time I have an over-abundance of old, stale bread!). 

Who knew whole wheat hot dog buns could be that tasty!





Monday, July 2, 2012

World Globe Lampshades and Bowls

Well I am just thrilled to have sold another lampshade (made from a world-globe) on Etsy (you can see my current stock at www.recoveredtreasures4u.etsy.com) !  I hope the new owners love them as much as I do!!

Newest Lampshade with a neutral hemp-ish looking trim



I've got 3 more in production - and at least one will be a more masculine version.  I've had several requests for shades without beads --- but making them "masculine" isn't all that easy.  I finally found some trim that looks good on the globe lampshade (trust me - the lampshades don't look right without some kind of trim/adornment finishing the cut edges!).

First, I found a nice faux-leather trim in black - very masculine (and will be attempting to use that on a different lampshade).  And then I found a nice hemp-looking trim with a little more detail (but no beads!) in a couple of nice neutral beige colors.  So I think I'll do 2 shades - one with the hemp-look and one with the faux-leather. For now, I have the lampshade with the hempish-looking trim completed.



Potential bases for the World Globe Bowls
My newest project is to use the bottom portion of the World Globes to make bowls.  I have pondered what kind of base to use - and have come up with an interesting variety (using my favorite resource providers: Goodwill and St. Vincent de Paul).  I ended up finding some neat little bowls (which you can turn upside down), a couple of soap dishes (which can be used right-side up OR upside down), some wooden bases for pillar candles, and of course - the bases from the World Globes themselves (some of them are beautiful - although I have to admit, most are kinda blah).   The base I used for my first bowl is in the middle on the right - but it was a bit dinged up, so I ended up painting it black to give it a nice overall look.

The inside of the newly-painted World Globe Bowl
For the insides of my first bowl, I ended up spray-painting the inside of the bowl white and it is NOT my favorite method of painting!

Not only does paint spray everywhere (which means you have to spend a lot of extra time prepping the bowl to make sure paint isn't able to get to the map-side of the bowl), but the spray paint actually highlighted a lot of the imperfections from when the World Globe was manufactured - plus it caught every mote of dust and stuck it to the surface.

SO lesson learned.... a different method of painting the inside is required.  (next time I may try silver or gold-leafing the inside). This project was supposed to be simple - a sort of  "use up the left-overs" type of project - ironically, dealing with the World Globe left-overs takes a LOT more time (and effort!) to finish than the original lampshades takes to make!  Perhaps I should change my personal motto to: "why do it the easy way, when you can make it so much harder by doing it the Becky way?"... hehehe.
My first, finished World Globe Bowl

Overall, I think the bowl turned out really cute (and I just LOVE the base of the bowl - which is a pillar-candle-holder turned upside down!).

Both the lampshade and the bowl will soon be available through our Etsy store (www.recoveredtreasures4u.etsy.com).

I have so many ideas, I can't wait to see how they all turn out.  FYI, for those of you hitting my Mardi Gras Masks posts - I think my next post should be about a couple of new masks I made.    :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Used-Cork Memo Board

Well, I have to admit - I have more on my plate than I can really keep up with!


So because I was so busy, I decided to add yet another a new project to my list of to-do's (instead of working on something I needed to do - of course!).  This time I was motivated by some cork tiles and circles that I found in various locations in my basement.  I have been looking for some space for my crafts.  I had a space in the basement, but happily gave it up so my daughter would have a place for the piano she was just given by a family friend.

2 bookcases
As a result, I have ended up in the only place left in the house - the garage. So to that end, I've also had to create my work space out of things we already have, and a few items found at garage sales because we simply don't have the spare money to create a "professional" workspace.    A dining room table and buffet were items I've been storing in the garage so were easy to incorporate into my workspace.  I did put up some book shelves on one wall and I did find 2 bookcases at garage sales (for less that $20 each!) and am using them to organize the things I'm making to sell on Etsy.

Back to my project (which involves my workspace).   I've been wanting to find a place for a memo board.  I've had several ideas including one I saw that was to use an old metal bed-spring as a place to clip things to with clothespins.  Then I found the cork which I'd been storing in the basement (I'd used it a long time ago in other memo projects so it was a little damaged).
 
6 inch Cork Circles
12 inch Cork Squares

Painted Cork Circle
There are 12 inch squares cork squares and smaller 6 inch cork circles.   I decided to paint them with my favorite paint (acrylic) in my current favorite colors (aqua and lime).  I decided to keep it simple but make it fun by using circles as the motif.



Painting the Cork Squares


So I used the circle corks as a quick mask and I also used a fruit-cup container as a mask (I use those little fruit cups for tons of different things...they are especially great as a container for water to use when painting).






Cork Memo Board attached to the back of the bookcase
Here is the result:     
Back of the bookcase (before adding cork)
 


I think it turned out REALLY cute!!  And so simple!   The hardest part was mounting them to the back of the bookcase.  I used my glue gun and hot-glued them on.  And that worked ok (although some of the corks were ripped up in the back and didn't stick as well as I'd like).  I will point out that you should probably check your used cork tiles to see if they are warped BEFORE you try gluing them on to another surface (I ended up having to glue and re-glue one of my squares... and it looks a bit funny, but I didn't really care).

Overall, I love the look.. fun, hip and colorful.