Saturday, November 9, 2013

Relocating the Junque!!

I'm starting this off with a HUGE apology. I have set up a new blog and neglected to put a note here to let you know about it!! Bad blogger!!!

So, I hope you'll accept my apology and join me in my new online spot...

It's exciting, isn't it!? Well, I am excited. I don't know what it is about removing that bit that makes me so happy. Come follow along and we'll continue the fun hunting junque, making DIY projects, and sharing thrift-store awesomeness.

See you there!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Music to Make By...

I've had some discussions lately, and have seen others asking for suggestions, about what creative types listen to while they're being creative. I've found that at work, when I'm creating words and sentences and coherent thoughts and ideas, I have to listen to music that doesn't have many words. I have a couple of stations saved on Pandora and Spotify that are instrumental and acoustic. They create a little white noise so that I'm not completely alone with my thoughts, but they don't distract me.

At home, it's a different story. I need something with a tune to hum along with, and words to sing along to, and sometimes even a mood that will put my creative mojo into a place that brings about some inspiration.

I knew that Justin Timberlake was releasing a new cd (um, could anyone miss this information? He's been showing up EVERYWHERE lately!) so I pulled up The 20/20 Experience on Spotify to give it a listen. I also pulled up Justified, his 2002 release. And boy did THAT make me feel OLD!!! It was released over a decade ago, for pete's sake... and 12 years ago I took my then-6-year-old daughter to see N*Sync in Little Rock. I have to say, I think Justin has aged pretty well. :) I'm sure everyone has heard the song Suit & Tie, it's been playing on commercials, he's been singing it on guest appearances on television... and it's probably the most straight up "bringing sexy back" Justin Timberlake tune on the cd. I think it's my favorite, but I also really like Mirrors and Strawberry Bubblegum and Pusher Love Girl. The lyrics on the album are primarily about romancing a woman, and in that way it reminds me a bit of a dance version of John Legend music. I wonder what a collaboration between those two would sound like... hmmm.... *daydreaming*

I confess that although I love my mobile Spotify app, and am all about keeping up with the new technology that is popping up every day, I still want to own the actual cd. Maybe it's because I'm in my 40s and still have a stack of vinyl from the 80s in my closet... or maybe it's because I have lost photos and other stuff I had saved on my computer and on my phone, so I'm still skeptical of the permanence of anything I am not actually holding in my hand. I'm also a collector, and enjoy keeping things around me that help define who I am. I only recently added an electronic reader to my list of gadgets, but have hardly used it. I just love holding a BOOK, and browsing the aisles of my favorite used book stores. By the same token, I enjoy looking through my cds to find just the right music to inspire me as I sew, paint, or clean house. I am always reminded of a concert I attended, a road trip I took, or someone special who gave me a particular cd (or all three). I've never had that experience scrolling through my .mp3 files.

So, while I was doing a little shopping for last-minute Easter swag and dishwashing detergent at Walmart, I saw a poster for the CD and decided to grab it. I put it in to play while I made dinner tonight, and smiled as I looked at the liner and the CD itself. Way to go JT, he's not only brought sexy back, he's bringing vinyl back... sort of. :)

So if you're looking for a good groove to make by, I give a thumb's up to Justin's new release. Want to see more of my shopping trip? Click here. Get your own without the trip to the store - order it online! You're welcome.

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias® and #JT2020 #cbias #SocialFabric. That said... I really do love me some Justin Timberlake. ;)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Crafting and Coffee and Donuts, oh my!

The weather has been showing signs of spring, so when we saw that we had a Saturday of temps in the 70s coming up, my sister and I planned to spend  the day working on some re-purposing projects and pricing some stuff for our Junque Rethunque booth. First, though, we had to meet a guy in Rogers about a couple of tables I found on Craigslist. On our way home we stopped by Walmart to pick up some snacks to keep our energy up for the busy day ahead.

I’m not a two-cup a day coffee drinker, but  I have learned over the years to enjoy an occasional cup if it is diluted with lots of sweet creamy stuff. I guess you could say I like my coffee like I like my wine – light and sweet. When we saw this Delicious Pairings display in the Walmart bakery, we had to stop and check it out.

Walmart Delicious Pairings Display
Walmart Bakery donut selection
I was scoping out the donuts (mmmmm…. donuts…. I ignored my low-carb diet for the day) and my sister was looking at the Starbucks coffee to see if there were any new flavors on the shelf. She is a Coffee Drinker, and tends to like a darker coffee, but she suggested we look at a light variety to have with the donuts… it was only fair that if I was buying, I got to pick. :) And since you can't have too many donut pictures...

Walmart Bakery chocolate glazed donuts
The display makes it super easy to figure out what intensity each variety of coffee is – simply by putting them in light to dark order. The lighter flavors are in the yellow bags, then an orange design is next, then a kind of deep rose. The Blonde Willow Blend was at the very far end of the light options, so I took a chance. I've purchased the instant iced coffee mixes from Starbucks, and even have their app on my phone - I guess you could say those are the "gateway drugs" to buying a bag to use at home, right??

Starbucks Blonde Willow Blend coffee

Even though I rarely make coffee at home, I do have a coffee maker in case we have company who would like some. I pulled it out and dusted it off and we were in business. I put some milk and sugar in my cup and poured in the coffee… it brought back memories of my mom – the coffee she drank was always a light tan color too.

Starbucks Coffee and Walmart Bakery Chocolate Donut
The flavor was really excellent. It was a bit sweet even on its own without the sweetener in it, and had a tangy, citrus flavor. I felt like I was at a wine tasting - except that I didn't spit it into a bucket... It’s amazing how different GOOD coffee is from the run-of-the-mill kinds that come in the cans. I won’t name names. 

There was no bitter, burned taste to this Blonde Willow flavor. And drinking it with a bite of chocolate-glazed donut was a great combo. The citrusy flavor of the coffee went well with the chocolate – it reminded me of the chocolate oranges that I put in the kids’ stockings at Christmas.

After we spent the day painting and waxing and pricing and sorting, I was cleaning up the mess and found the bag for the coffee on the counter. (I had put the coffee into a vintage coffee jar to store in the cupboard.) I wasn't keen on the idea of throwing it away, since it's plastic, and I have been planning to try making a coffee cuff I could keep in my purse to replace the little cardboard ones you get at coffee shops... so I decided to do a little more re-purposing. It is National Crafting Month, afterall...

re-purposing a Starbucks coffee bagcutting out the coffee cuff piecesre-purposed sweater project

I used a cuff I kept off a cup of coffee (obviously around the holidays - I told you I don't drink it often! LOL!) and cut out a piece of the bag, and two pieces of fabric from the arm of a wool sweater. I sandwiched them together and sewed them up. Nothing fancy... I like the handmade look with little wrinkles and imperfections.
coffee cuff made from a Starbucks coffee bag
 It seemed to need a little "something" to finish it off (I'm fond of embellishing), and it needed a closure too, so I cut some circles out of the rest of the bag and made a flower. Isn't that black button cute for the center??

flower made from Starbucks coffee bag

All that was left was to sew it on. The plastic was very easy to sew through - on the machine and by hand. Ta-daaaaaa!! What do you think??  I kind of love it. :)

Coffee cuff made from Starbucks coffee bag

So, now you tell me... what's YOUR favorite Starbucks flavor - and have you done any re-purposing lately? Have you visited the Delicious Pairings display at Walmart?

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Community and have been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study. However, all opinions are my own and I only write about products that I actually use. #cbias #SocialFabric

Monday, February 25, 2013

A blog crush, and dreams of more space...

A few years ago I started reading a blog called Miss Mustard Seed. I loved that it was written by a funny (funny haha, not funny strange ;)) and personable woman in Pennsylvania who had the nerve to talk about doing projects in her home as though they were things that anyone could take on - not just people who have a background in architecture or a degree in interior design. She took fabulous pictures of the beautiful spaces she created - but she also made it clear that she worked hard to make her home look the way it did for pictures, and that it wasn't that way all the time. What a relief! Here's a peek at her dining room and guest room...

The funny (haha) woman also painted and sold furniture at a local co-op, which was something I  wanted to do as well. I was inspired by her story: the background in musical theatre (woot!), the support that she had from her mother to do what she loved, the thrifty attitude she made good use of when replicating the design styles she saw in magazines... I thought "here's a woman doing things the way I would do them... if I had time." I already have so many "projects" stashed in my garage and carport and craft area. I just can't seem to get to them!

Last year, this funny woman published a book, which I promptly purchased on my Kindle, and shortly thereafter she was approached by a company about starting her own paint line... or maybe it's the other way around... in any case, good things were happening for Marian Parsons, aka "Miss Mustard Seed", and I was so thrilled for her! Perhaps it is weird, a little, to be thrilled for someone I don't know personally, right? So it is also a little awesome that I'm able to say now that I have met her in person! (Not that I mind being a little weird, but it makes other people my husband more comfortable when I talk about her...)

Last week, Marian came to Northwest Arkansas for a whirlwind of a trip to offer a couple of DIY workshops at a shop called The House Special Interiors in Fayetteville. I spent a few hours with her on Friday in a hands-on milk paint workshop, then my sister and I attended her lecture/workshop the next morning as well.


In the DIY lecture part she showed us a lot of pictures of her home - most of which can be seen on her blog - and talked about the (not a lot of) money spent and the sources used to make her home the lovely retreat that it is. She was funny (haha), and informative, and a very real person who knows she has been blessed with some amazing opportunities.

After the formal talk I approached her to thank her for coming to town, and to wish her safe travels home. We chatted about the difference between being "lucky" and making the most of the opportunities we are presented with. Marian has most certainly had some great things come along for her, but she spoke of her belief that she has a "mission", so to speak, to encourage others in this life. Some may not understand how she can do that as an expert on decorative painting, but if you read her book, you'll understand she's not trying to conquer the world of Cottage Decorating - she's just using her gifts to encourage others to take on the challenges in their lives with optimism and creative thinking. She encourages readers of her blog and book to make their lives, their homes, and their families the best they can be. She is making her life count, not only in her own home, but in the example she sets for others.

Visiting with Marian, and listening to her encouraging words over the two days I spent with her, left me even more determined to make my own dreams a reality this year. I also want to drill down to the core of what my purpose is in this life... and I think the closer I get to my true self, the easier it will be to see that purpose and to execute it.

I'll write again about the workshop itself, and the tips and techniques I learned... but for now, I'm wondering how I could possibly bring this gorgeous thing home from the store I saw it in Sunday without initiating divorce proceedings... :) Dream big!!!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Freaky Friday

I love thrift stores. I love treasure hunting, and finding brilliant, beautiful, inspiring, forgotten items that someone else discarded and I found on a dusty shelf waiting to be loved again. 

But I also love finding stuff like this. Freaky, odd, simply awful things that are on those dusty shelves for a very good reason. 

Who thought this was a good idea?? 
Do babies really touch their toes? Is he doing calisthenics? 
It's just so inappropriate and wrong that it's kind of awesome. 

For the record, my sister was sad I didn't buy it for her. She thinks he needs some "hens & chicks" growing out of his booty. Maybe she's odd too.

What's one of the weirdest things you've found while out treasure hunting? Did you keep it, or pass it by?

Monday, January 14, 2013

My new crush!

A couple of years ago I heard about this allegedly awesome new paint out on the market. It was from England, the creation of some woman who decided she could do better than the latex options that were out there. It was taking the decorative painting world by storm. If you were going for "shabby chic", it was The Paint.

So, when a local boutique started carrying Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint last year it was a pretty big deal. There was only one other shop in the state that was stocking it. The whole state! Of course, I had to buy a can. One can of paint in the color Provence, and a can of clear wax. Done.

Then a year went by.

I bought furniture to paint, but I didn't seem to find time space motivation to actually put paint on any of it. Weird, huh? I'm not going to delve into the mental blocks that may have been in place that were keeping me from being as creative in 2012 as I should have been. You don't care anyway, right? You just want to see the pictures! So let's get to it!!

I found this sweet little table at an auction last fall, and paid a little more than I probably should have, but I knew it would be adorable with some chalk paint on it. Sometime last fall I also bought two more cans of paint, and a can of dark wax. So I was ready to go. (Pretend the top is still unpainted... I got excited and forgot to take a good "before" photo.)


I put a coat of Versailles on the whole thing and let it dry, then I watched a couple of videos on how to use the paint... because that's the way I roll. ;) After watching the videos, I decided to go back over it with a little more paint and add a little texture for the wax to dig into. 

Once the clear wax had cured a little (It only took ten minutes or so.) I added a coat of dark wax, very lightly, and started rubbing it in as well, to antique it. Here's the top with half of it antiqued...

Then when the dark wax was done, I sanded a bit along some of the edges. It's such a precious little piece, I didn't want to rough it up too much. It's classy, not a street tramp I picked up off a curb. Once the sanding was done, I just went over those spots again with a little clear wax, and voila! I literally squealed. I was so pleased with the result and kind of amazed at how easy it was. 

What do you think? 

I'm kind of in love. :) And now, nothing in my house is safe... painting will be happening!!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Just a little thrifty goodness.

I stop by my local Goodwill at least once a week. Sometimes I find amazing vintage goodies to resell in my Junque Rethunque booth, sometimes I find beautiful vintage things to give as gifts, other times, I just find things I will use around my own house. Today (and yesterday) provided the latter.

Yesterday, I found a great handmade cap and a little holiday tin - the hat for me, and the tin for my sister who reuses them to gift homemade cookies and candy (yes, you should envy me!). The cap is in perfect shape... wonder who got it for Christmas? Their loss!

Today I ran by again to see if a frame I passed up yesterday was still there, which it wasn't, and picked up this great basket. The lid has been removed, but I am going to use it to hold wood and kindling next to our newly-refurbished fireplace. Note: if you see something you like at the thrift store, don't wait - someone else will like it too!! :)

What are some of your recent thrift or junky finds? Share with us here or on our Facebook page HERE.