Tuesday, December 10, 2013

2013 Holiday Bazaars

Me at my little table at Smith Elementary
Hi Everyone!

I am so thrilled to have been able to participate in a variety of holiday bazaars this year!  I was at the Eastlake Holiday Bazaar, the Tahoma Holiday Bazaar, the Skyline Holiday Bazaar, the Smith Elementary Holiday Bazaar, and the Carson Elementary Holiday Bazaar.

 I have one more left to do - the Swedish Medical Center (at the Issaquah Highlands) Holiday Craft Show - which is this Thursday and Friday from 9am to 4pm (although I will only be there Friday).  

A BIG thank-you to all of the people who stopped by my booths this holiday season!!

My booth at Tahoma High
I had such a great time talking with all of you - especially the kiddos at the elementary schools (it was so much fun watching them trying to decide what presents to buy their families).  I really appreciate everyone's support and the wonderful feedback I received!
My Booth at Skyline High School Bazaar

If you get the chance, stop by Swedish Medical Center in Issaquah this Friday and say hello!  

Thanks again and Best Wishes for you and your families this holiday season!

Friday, November 1, 2013

What to do with vintage metal pencil sharpeners and other odd items?

What do you do when someone you care about, gives you a bunch of items they don't want (and really, you probably don't want either?). 

Vintage Pencil Sharpeners

Well, I (unfortunately) can't seem to say no to these people...so I take the stuff and then spend a long, LONG time looking at it!  But today, I came up with a few ideas - the best one being HOLIDAY ORNAMENTS!!

Pencil Sharpener Ornaments
One of the things I was given is a set of collectable metal pencil sharpeners in interesting shapes (coffee grinder, bi-plane, wishing well, telephone, etc).  I've looked them up on Ebay and they really aren't worth much.  So I thought - why not paint or decorate them and use them as Holiday ornaments??  Perfect!  I took a few and hand-painted them white.  I think they turned out quite nice - and are a fun addition to the tree!  Perhaps the next set, I'll dip or paint with bright holiday colors (fire engine red, or lime green?).  

Nat'l Geographic Game
The other thing I was given was a National Geographic Game with missing pieces (don't ya hate that?!).  I couldn't really can't see a use for most of the game, but there are a couple of parts to the game that I immediately thought would be fun to play with.  The first item I am saving for later is a map - which is ALWAYS a fun item to have... you can decoupage things with it, cut it up and print on it, or even actually use it as a map (what a nifty idea!). 

But my favorite part is the game pieces themselves.  They are pentagonal in shape and each piece has a section of map on it.  I have two ideas that came to me right away - coasters, or ornaments (which is my personal go-to-idea for odd items).  So first I matched up pieces so that they had same color pieces front and back, and then glued them together and weighted them down (with the above box of metal pencil sharpeners - it's heavy!) while they dried.   So now I can use them as coasters if I want to... but I don't.  :)   I prefer ornaments!!
Nat'l Geographic Ornament

To make them into ornaments, I punched a hole at the "top" of each ornament.  Then I took Stickles glitter glue (my absolute favorite glitter glue - I can NOT get enough of it!), and edged the ornaments with the glitter glue - covering the edges and a little bit over the edges front and back.  In this case, I used a gold glitter so that it will match nicely with the gold ribbons I plan on using. I also used a thin aqua-colored ribbon as the hanger and left the tails dangling for added interest.  Then because I thought it wasn't quite fancy enough, I added a string of faux-pearl beads.  I adore how they turned out!  My daughter liked them enough she told me I had to keep one for our tree. 

Now off to my next project - which is finishing my hand-painted, recycled-silk holiday cards.  Just in time for tomorrow's Holiday Bazaar at Eastlake High School.  Stop by if you get the chance!! I'd love to chat!   Oh, and mention my blog or Facebook post and receive 10% off your purchase from my booth.  Happy Crafting!!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Display idea - not exactly what I'd planned, but happy with results

Did you
ever work hard on an idea you've had, only to realize after you've almost finished implementing it, that you have an even better idea for the same thing?  Well that was my situation this week!

I had decided that I needed an easier method of displaying my hairclips.  I had been creating packaging that had each set of hairclips on it's own individual paper - which I would then clothes-pin to my picture frames.  The problem is that it took forever to put the clips up and then take them down after a show.  With the additional problem of the paper warping as I continued to clip or unclip it.

As a result, I came up with what I thought was a rather ingenious plan.....  I was going to create ribbon straps which I could snap on to my frame displays.  So I spent a GOOD DEAL OF TIME measuring ribbon, applying snaps, and putting my
hairclips on the ribbons.  I love how it looked!  But the ribbon wasn't super-thick so I knew it would easily wear out around the snaps.

When I finished the last ribbon, I realized - DUH... I could just use hook-and-loop tape (otherwise known as Velcro). I even had a roll that I found at Goodwill (of course) which had hooks on one side and loops on the other - PERFECT!   Now why didn't I think of that sooner??!!

It's not quite as pretty, but it's SOOO simple to use - and it can be made to fit any of my frames!

Best of all, once my hairclips are on it, I can easily set it up or take it down in a matter of minutes - saving me a good deal of time!  Storage is easy too!!   

Monday, October 7, 2013

Playing with Natural Dyes (written tutorial) updated with a couple of pictures on 10/18/13

I am so thrilled to be able to participate in holiday bazaars this year!  But I am seriously stressing about getting enough made to sell at the bazaars.  I also am having a great time working on my new passion - silk paintings.  Plus I'm dying to play more with natural dyes! :)

When I was at the Fiber 19 retreat, I had the opportunity to learn about natural dying.  A lovely woman (Deb) taught us all some basic natural dying lessons.   First of all - it is SOOO wonderfully simple!

Your tools and ingredients:
  •  a steamer of some sort  which can be as simple as a pot and veggie steamer insert all the way up to a professional steamer set-up.
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Fabric for dying (natural fabrics like Cotton or Silk work best -- and of course, I'm using recycled silk!)
  • blank newsprint or a nice length of cotton fabric (like a basic, heavy muslin)
  • a thermometer
  • natural items to dye fabric with (examples include: flowers, veggies, bark, leaves, etc) - this was one of my favorite parts --- running around collecting items outside to try dying - some were successful (mahogany bark) and some were not (pinecones and lichens).  
  • Vinegar 
Pretty simple really - and most people have almost all of these items.

So here's what we did.

We cut up our veggies (purple carrots, artichokes, beets, onion skins) and gathered our other items (including purple flowers, tree bark, eucalyptus leaves, fuchsia flowers) and a few items which didn't work with this basic dye method (lichen, moss, and pine cone pieces).


Rolling up Eucalyptus leaves
We then chose the fabric we wanted to dye and the item(s) to dye with.  We laid the item(s) down on our fabric - many of the items we used could be laid out in patterns or totally randomly which gives a wonderful variety of options.   We then, rolled the fabric up in a tube, and then rolled the tube up very tightly around the item(s) and then tied the bundle with cotton string (or wrapped it tightly in rubber-bands).  (the tighter the bond, the better the fabric will accept the dye).  .


Once the bundles are all wrapped, pour white vinegar over the bundles leaving enough extra in the bottom of the pan to ensure the bundles stay wet (they don't have to be totally immersed, just make sure the vinegar soaks each bundle and stays wet.    The bundles need to stay wet for at least an hour.  I believe the vinegar reacts with the various dye ingredients and helps them to release their color into the cloth.

rice cooker (left) & duct pipe covered in insulation

The next step is to steam the bundles which sets the bundles.  You wrap the bundles up in blank newsprint or muslin - and it needs to be tightly wrapped as well.   Then wrap the bundles in aluminum foil and place in a steamer for an hour or two.  You can do this step in a veggie steamer on the stove-top - but you need to make sure your items don't touch any water!!!

 The reason you wrap it and protect it is that you don't want the water to splash or drip onto your bundles - that can cause water spotting (although it's more of a concern when steaming artwork..especially art done on silk).  The steam at the top of the pot/steamer should be 212 - or the dyes may not set.

Fabulous Barb brought  the wonderful steamer we used to steam our fabrics (she made her steamer, and I will be making one like it because professional versions are darned pricey!).   Barb placed the rolled bundle of items-to-be-steamed inside a cotton-fabric tube (which was sewn-closed on one end and open on the other for the
Rice steamer lid with towel - on top of duct pipe
bundles to slide into.  She ties the cotton-tube shut before hanging).  She then hangs the cotton tube (filled with the items-to-be-steamed) from a crossbar on the top of the duct pipe.  She then covers the top of the duct pipe with the lid from the rice steamer which she has covered in a towel (to help catch water drips).  And she kept an eye on the temperature at the top of the duct pipe by using a cooking thermometer to check the temperature.

Fabric with dye items inside - after steaming

After steaming, the next step is to let the bundles cool.  Deb recommended letting the bundles sit overnight - maybe even a couple days... the longer they sit, the stronger the colors can be.
*Please note that if you have bundles touching each-other or even sitting in the same vinegar together, you may get colors bleeding through and getting on other bundles (which you can see happened to many of the bundles we steamed).

THEN comes the best part! - opening the bundles to see what's inside! 
(It was like Christmas for fiber art geeks!)
Purple Onion Skins
We did rinse and iron the fabric later (see the last picture) as the last step.
a periwinkle-blue flower from a shrub
Madrona Bark

Eucalyptus Leaves

Purple Cabbage

Beet stems

Purple carrot (isn't the pattern fabulous!?)

Fuchsia Flowers

Deb shared several wonderful books including:
  • The Handbook of Natural Plant Dyes
  • Eco Colour - botanical dyes for beautiful textiles,
    and my favorite...
  • Wild Color - which not only gives information about hundreds of different plants and the colors they can produce - but it gives information on how to achieve colors with or without additional chemicals. This is the book I want NOW! :)  But all 3 had their positives and would be excellent reference books.
The process we followed that gave us the above results, were so simple and safe that it would be fine for children to do (with adult supervision of course!).

Here's a variety of projects I worked on during the retreat - my silk paintings, the natural dye projects (now dried and ironed) and silk bits dyed with left-over dyes from my painting projects - all done using recycled silk.
If you get the chance, you should definitely try it!! It's rather addictive and so much fun to see how your project will turn out.

** A quick follow-up, I was going through my samples (above) and some of the colors have faded a bit more and aren't quite as crisp (after washing and ironing).  But they are still quite lovely!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Re-Covered Treasures 2013 Holiday Bazaars

Hi All!

I am sooo excited to announce that Re-Covered Treasures has been accepted into 3 juried Holiday Bazaars this year (and awaiting to hear about a 4th)!

Our first bazaar will be the Eastlake Holiday Bazaar & Raffle on Saturday, November 2nd, 2013 - from 9am to 3pm.  Located at Eastlake High School, 400 228th Ave NE, Sammamish, WA.  I found this bazaar by accident last year and LOVED it, so I am SUPER-excited to be able to participate in it this year!!  FYI - all the businesses that participate (including Re-Covered Treasures) are required to donate a raffle item to help support the PTSA and school ... so stop by and grab a raffle ticket (there will be a LOT of neat raffle items!!).

The second bazaar we'll be attending is the Tahoma Band Boosters present A Holiday Bazaar on Saturday, November 16th, 2013 - from 9am to 3pm.  Located at Tahoma High Senior High School in Covington, WA.  I haven't been to this bazaar, although I did attend a technology conference there and had a great time - so I have high hopes for the bazaar!  There is also a raffle at this bazaar - so another chance to win items from Re-Covered Treasures and the other vendors!

And our final bazaar for this year will be the Skyline High School Bazaar on December 7th, 2013 - from 9am to 3pm.  Located at Skyline High School, 1122 228th Ave SE, Sammamish, WA.  A great location and the perfect time to get holiday-related gifts!! - And yet another raffle and chance to win items from Re-Covered Treasures and other vendors!

Please feel free to stop by and say hello to me if you come to any of the bazaars!  I'd love to chat with you and find out what you think of our booth and of the bazaars in general!

Now I'm off to begin working on all the ideas I have for upcycled items to sell at the bazaars!

TTFN (that's ta ta for now)!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Fiber 19 Rocks!

Hi All!

I just came back from a fabulous 3 day weekend near Port Townsend, WA with the Fiber 19 gals.  I had SUCH a wonderful time!  The ladies are fabulous artists - and I am so honored to be allowed to attend their retreats! 

View from the ferry - facing Kingston with the Olympics in the distance - what a beautiful sight! 

I took the ferry over from Edmonds to Kingston --- such a fabulous night!  I caught a ferry with perfect timing to see the sun set behind the Olympic Mountains.  If you've never been to the Seattle area - a ferry trip is a must do!

Coming up to the rental property at Camp Beausite

We stayed in Camp Beausite, which is a Kiwanis Club camp that is available for rent off-season.   We provided our bedding, clothing (of course), and food, and they provided the beds, tables, and house (at least 6 bedrooms with 2 beds each room plus at least 3 bathrooms..maybe more - I didn't really explore all that much - I was too busy being an aspiring artist!).

The 3 pink-background crocus paintings - perhaps a tryptic?

I spent my time working on improving my silk painting skills and ended up with 4 paintings of crocus - all are similar, but different at the same time.  I can't wait to do more experimentation with recycled silks!  

Three of the painting have a pink background, my fourth painting has a blue background. Each one was painted on a piece of approx. 4"x8" silk.  They were really meant to be tests of a couple of techniques and of working with recycled silks (and they certainly tested me!). 


My paintings along with some of the various dyed items, fyi - the 4 smaller, brightly-colored silks ( to the right of my paintings) were dyed with the left-over paint/dyes from my paintings.
The other thing I worked on during the retreat, was  eco-dying - LOVE IT!  One of the artists  offered to teach us the basics (Thanks Deb!).  We had a blast collecting different items to try dying with (and also learned that some of the items would be stains rather than dyes - the simplest explanation is that stains just sit on the surface of the fabric, while dyes change the chemical make-up of the fabric). 

The results of our experiments were fabulous, - and so easy to do!  It's even safe enough for kids to do too (because it simply requires vinegar, steam, and a bit of time). 

All of my dying was done on recycled silk scraps.  Some of the materials we used to dye with included: purple carrot, beet stems, madrona bark, onion skins, fuschia flowers, and a lovely periwinkle flowering shrub (that made a gorgeous grey-blue color) which I believe is a member of the Ceanothus family of plants.

If you get the chance, I highly recommend going on a retreat of any kind!  It was lovely to relax and not have to worry about the daily grind.  I feel revitalized and I am inspired to try so many new ideas in art!  Now I just need to get the rest of my life to cooperate!  Wish me luck!!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Farmer's Market Update

Sorry Friends!  I had to back out of attending today's Farmer's Market at the Bothell Country Village. Rainstorms and items made out of World Globes are not a good combination!! 

I'm sure most of the food-based vendors will be there (bless their hearty souls!) so please don't let the rain hold you back from attending!   I was told that the late-summer and fall fruits should be available - and they are always so much better than what you can get at most grocery stores!!

I have one more Farmer's Market to attend there - the first Friday in October.  Hopefully the weather will be a little more cooperative then!!

Thanks for your support!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

And The June and July Winners are......

The winner of the June drawing for a lovely Mother of Pearl pendant necklaces is:
Emily O'Dell - Congratulations Emily!!! 

July's winner receives a prize of a pair of gorgeous Mother of Pearl hair-clips! The winner for July is Linda Schmidt - Congratulations Linda!!

Emily and Linda visited Re-Covered Treasures at one of the Farmer's Markets (Bothell Country Village, or North Bend) and signed our guest book.  Thanks to all of the customers who entered to win!!  Also, please forgive me for not getting to this earlier - it's been an incredibly busy summer (with LOTS of learning opportunities for me - I am finding that as hard as I try, I just can't get the hang of being a super-mom, super-wife, and super-business-owner all at the same time). 

Be sure to stop by our booth at Bothell Country Village this Friday the 6th of September (or Friday October the 4th) - those two dates are the last two Farmer's Markets we'll be attending this year.  If you do stop by and see us, please say hello and sign our guest book - You could be our next winner!

You can also sign up by sending me an email at recoveredt@gmail.com

I'm currently looking into craft and holiday bazaars - so you may see us at one of those this fall or winter.  If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear about them!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

My apologies about no posts for the last month!!

Hello All!

I just wanted to apologize for not posting last month - I ended up catching a horrid cold which turned into something much worse and it pretty much kept me down all month.  I will have winner updates for June and July in a post I'm working on right now. 

Also, for those who are local to me - Re-Covered Treasures will be participating in Tuesday the 6th's National Night out and Expo at our neighborhood park in Maple Hills, WA.  Hope to see you there!


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

North Bend Farmer's Market

Hello Everyone,

My banner kept flapping in the wind (I've since added buttons to each letter/flag)   

2 weeks ago, I had my first farmer's market and enjoyed it thoroughly!!  I learned a LOT! 
It was slow, not well advertised, and rained... but I was glad because it gave me a chance to figure out what was working (my display got a lot of attention) and what was not (my pricing/signs were confusing). 

So after reworking a few things and dealing with a lot of other things in my "real" life, I am ready for tomorrow's Farmer's Market in North Bend.
My step-momma came and helped - she was FABULOUS!!!

It may rain, it may be slow, and I may be late getting there (my "real" life is interrupting me yet again).  But I have no doubt, it will be another fun learning experience. 

I hope to see you there!!  North Bend Farmer's Market, 4pm-8pm Si View Park, North Bend, WA.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ladder Display Stands and Updated Show Booth

I have spent the last year visiting as many farmers markets, craft fairs, and flea markets as I possibly could.  My hat is off to the people (mostly women) that run the various shows and booths that I fell in love with!!  What an amazingly creative bunch of people!!!

5ft ladders with boards for shelves
One of the special (and somewhat rare) things I've seen and loved is Ladders as display shelving.  In fact, I loved it so much that I am creating my own.  A table-top version for smaller items, and a stand-alone version for my globe-based products.

I originally bought two tall ladders and two short ladders (all purchased separately) and of course I thought they were the same sizes, but as it turns out -I bought slightly different sizes (oopsy!).

To remedy the problem of the different sizes, I simply laid the shorter ladder on top of the longer ladder, matched up the rungs (which is the most important thing if you're going to use them to hold shelves!), and marked the leg-length.  I then cut off the legs of the longer ladder.  It worked pretty darned good if I do say so myself!

step-stool ladders (behind the jewelry displays)
Then to give the ladders a shabby-chic look (and have them compliment my booth decor), I painted them a medium-blue color and did a bit of distressing of the finish.  I also painted the boards I am using as shelves.  The overall look of my booth looks really nice (at least in my opinion!). 

Here's two pictures of the booth layout and color scheme/decor.  I LOVE it!   Now I just need to do my first Farmer's Market (next Friday, the 7th!).  I hope to see you there!

My finished booth (although I will have a white tablecloth covering the right table and legs!).  I LOVE my booth! 

Another view of the booth.  The round table probably won't stay (I need a smaller table there)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Working on my booth set-up and review of Costco's Undercover 10x10 canopy

I am so excited! (I've been saying that a lot lately - isn't that great!?)

I will be standing between the tables and the ladders, and
yes! All the tables will have coverings and the ladders will
be painted (probably blue or white)

I received my Undercover 10x10 White Canopy from Costco via UPS today! 

Of course, I just HAD to go set it up.  First I tried in my front yard and ended up whacking (and breaking) some of my favorite Iris's so I had to move.  Finally I ended up on the slight hill next to my garage.

I did take my tables and a few display pieces out to play around with basic layout - here are a few of my options:

This is my real favorite, but I think it would be easy for
customers to feel trapped
So the positive things about the canopy are:
  • Relatively easy set-up (I did it all by myself twice - both times less than 15 minutes - and that includes the initial set-up).
  • Nice roller-bag with big pockets to hold the side-walls
  • 4 Side walls were included
  • Height of legs has at least 2 settings (maybe more, but the 2nd one was more than high enough for me to walk under comfortably)
  • Nice no-pinch features
  •  Instructions included a 1-man set-up flyer

And now for the less pleasant aspects:
  • The instructions DIDN'T include how to initially set-up the canopy -- meaning it came with the tent/canopy part seperate from the framework and no directions on how to easily put it on
  • There are snaps mid-strut on all 4 sides to snap the canopy to the frame and nothing was mentioned about that at all (luckily I've done a lot of camping and am pretty handy so I figured it out pretty easy - but I think some people might miss that part)
  • No instructions on how to attach the walls.  YES, they attach to the canopy with velcro - but they don't appear to line up nicely and they don't seem to quite meet at the edges where the sides can zip together.  I didn't have time to play with that.
  • Take-down is basically in reverse of set-up but nothing much talks about that either
  • You do have to be a bit flexible during setup if you are setting it up alone.  You end up doing quite a bit of climbing underneath the struts to get the canopy to open.
  • If you look closely, you can see that my ladders are two
    different heights (I'll be cutting one down later)
  • And last, but not least - it is sad that for $200+, Costco or Undercover didn't waterproof the canopy itself.  The walls are a different fabric (more of a tarp-type) than the canopy (which is more of a canvas).  So I will be buying a few cans of Scotch-guard when I get the time!

Now I just need to get my table coverings done (and about a million other things) and the booth should look pretty darned nice if I do say so myself!  :) Stay tuned for more updates!

I think I like this best, People can see everything and won't feel
trapped - but are still protected from the Seattle-rain