Status Report

You may have not noticed, but I’ve been absent from the blogoshpere. (You probably didn’t notice, but just humor me for right now) I decided to take a break from blogging to see what life would look like without it. In a nutshell, if I don’t take time to post to my blog I get a lot more done.

I started this blog mostly to document the destashing of my paint stock, but also to advertise my work. I had hoped I could bring in some income either by selling my salvaged pieces or creating a money-making blog. Having been born to parents with Hoosier work ethics, the drive to produce never takes a break. It’s a little voice in my head saying, “Surely you could be doing something better with your time.” (It’s constant…….and stop calling me Shirley) If I’m not working, I’m feeling guilty about not working. There is no other option available to me. Even though I have made a little money, it seems to take a lot of time engaged in marketing to get results. I’m figuring out that I really don’t enjoy all the time I have to spend on the computer, but mostly because it’s keeping me from painting and fixing things. So I took a month off to just work and I’ve been very productive.

I’ve been working on getting this house ready to be sold this summer. During a recent home appraisal it was brought to my attention that my work on the design of our home had taken it from the starter home we bought in 2001, to a home that will now sell at the high end of our development. The phrase “bidding war” has been thrown around, which is really exciting.

As a result I have decided that the best way to contribute to our income is to make this house a knockout. So I’ve been working my way through the house restoring every part to it’s original condition, or upgrading it to be even better. I know this is all good material for blog posts, but here’s where I’m at; blogging slows me down. And secondly, a lot of what I’m doing is boring, and definitely not worth photographing. For example, I spent a fair amount of time this week scrubbing, staining and restoring the original finish to worn areas on my bathroom vanity. I know…….mind-numbing.

I am committed to the challenge of this blog and will continue to post significant projects that involve whittling down my stash, but it’s not going to be an every day thing. I am getting way more work done by not constantly posting. I also feel especially good about not filling your inbox with details about the grunge that builds up in window tracks when you don’t clean them for 13 years. Be glad I saved you from that photo. Gross!

I think we can all feel good about that.

2014-Looking Forward To It

mammoth sunflower

I didn’t want to be like all the other bloggers out there; oozing hope and sunshine, bright and early on New Year’s Day. I wanted to catch you a few days into the new year, after the gloss had worn off just a bit. (Okay, so truthfully, I got blown off course by a family crisis on Christmas Eve and am just now getting back on track)

2014 is going to be a year full of changes with my daughter graduating from high school in June, putting our house up for sale in the summer and all of us moving from the suburbs of Chula Vista to city life in San Diego.

This blog began 18 months ago with a self-imposed challenge to get rid of my paint stash before we move this coming summer. So as of right now, I have about 6 1/2 months to get rid of the rest of my stash. I’ve looked at the the projects left to do around my house and have come to realize that I’m never going to use up all these products. The challenge – as I wrote it – allows for four ways to reduce my stash. I can use it up, trade it, sell it or donate it. Right now I’m keen on donating it, however, the products that are taking up the most space are specialty, faux finishing products that the general public doesn’t know how to use. So I’ve decided to host a paint-and-play day for my painter friends. We’ll open everything up and see if they can lighten my load, and have a little fun getting messy.

Even though I’m planning on giving away the majority of my paint, I’ll still have plenty of paint projects to post, I promise. I’ll be trying to destash the other materials in my studio as well, so there will also by fabric and crafting posts just to keep it interesting.

Salvaged Sanity did well over the holidays and as a result, the shop is looking kind of empty. I’ve got some new ideas for creative storage products using secondhand stuff that I just can’t wait to make. Of course that will involve a few treasure hunts through estate sales and flea markets and I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

One Year Anniversary – Stash Inventory Update

Paint Stash 2013

From three shelves down to two

I’m a few days late, but I just finished taking inventory of my paint Stash. The One Year Anniversary of this blog is July 4th and I had intended to do my inventory in a timely fashion like the compulsive person that I am. Two things ended up pulling me away from achieving my goal. One: my husband decided at 10 am, on the Fourth, that we should have my family over for barbecue. Great idea, and totally fun, but that shouldn’t have taken me all day and I should have been able to get the inventory done. The nail in my coffin was that AMC started a Walking Dead Marathon at 10 am. Seriously, they’re killin’ me!

my obsession

How am I supposed to walk away from this? Dried up paint and plaster can not compete with this! The inventory took me a couple days to complete, in between commercials, it’s pathetic. Ask my family……if I’m into something that’s on tv, I’m completely paralyzed and I lose my ability to hear. Couple that with dead people and forget about it, my ass is glued to the couch and you no longer exist.  It doesn’t matter that I’ve seen it thirty times either. If they ever find me dead in my home, there was probably a really good movie on and I didn’t hear the smoke detector. At least I died doing what I love.


leftover paintThis blog was created to document my attempt to get rid of my large stash of paint, left over from my days as a decorative paint contractor, all before my husband and I move in a year. This is the halfway point for me. One year down, one year to go. This is the load of empty and rotten cans that went to the hazardous waste facility this morning after I finished my inventory.

It’s important to check your paint stock every year to check whether or not the products are still worth keeping. Regardless of when you bought them, the paint may no longer be usable. Sometimes you don’t close them completely or the container fails or something contaminates them and makes them rotten or solidifies them. The only way to check is to actually open them and stir them. Just listening for liquid isn’t good enough. I’ve opened fairly new paint that sounds liquid and good only to find a hard shell with oil on top and a lot of hard paint underneath. Sometimes you open the can and so much rust has built up on the lid and fallen in the paint and there isn’t enough good product to strain out. Always take your leftover cans to a hazardous waste facility. Please don’t even dream about putting this stuff in the trash. I think you go to a special place in Hell for that. Paint Hell.

The Stash page has been updated with the reduced inventory list. A lot of the oil-base stains had become rotten. Oil-base stains usually last well, but if the lid gets compromised or if the product gets contaminated it hardens like a rock. Many rocks unearthed today. It’s sad that I didn’t use them, but at least my goal is a little closer. I’m considering holding an event in the fall to give away products I can’t find a use for, stay tuned for that. Let me know if you’re local and want to be invited.

That’s enough chit chat…….I gotta get back to the marathon!

How did I get here?

I’m coming up on the one year anniversary of my blog and find myself needing to take stock not only of my Stash, but of the evolution of my artistic life.

One year ago I was emotionally and physically depleted. Closing my decorative paint company was what I wanted but I hadn’t figured out what to replace it with. I had also lost my passion for painting which had usually been my cure for depression (that and a lot of meds).  I started this blog to challenge myself to get rid of the large amount of paint products before 2 years was up and my husband and I downsize. We plan to move closer to downtown San Diego after our daughter graduates high school.

master bedroom projectI had thought that I would be able to find uses for all the paint and plaster either within my home or the homes of my friends and family. The paint has been easy to use up and I have very little left. The plaster is another story. In the past year my preferences have changed and I find myself wanting calm. The plaster feels too busy for me and I have avoided using it. I will have to come up with another plan to get rid of it.

message center

The organizational boards I’m making have become my new passion this year. Every single piece is different. It’s like putting together a puzzle and I love the challenge of fitting all the pieces together. What’s even funner is shopping to find the pieces. The boards I’m making not only allow me, but require me, to shop at flea markets, junk yards and estate sales. I have always wanted a good excuse to do it and am loving each and every treasure hunt. It’s become something my daughter and I do together and has brought us even closer. In a year when we’re not under the same roof, these outings will be something to keep us connected.

I’m so grateful for the changes this past year has brought. I am more able to give my all to my home and my family and I’m definitely more at peace.

Tomorrow I’ll be taking inventory of The Stash and reporting back my findings. Talk to you tomorrow.

A place to keep your craft

craft supply organizerCraft supplies tend to reproduce if you don’t watch them carefully. This blog was created as a result of paint procreation that I allowed to get out of hand. Unfortunately, my hoard is not limited to paint. It also includes fabric, ribbon, paper ephemera and recently I’ve noticed that my washi tape collection is multiplying.

I know I’m not the only girl out there with this problem, so I decided to make some wall organizers that address the specific needs of crafters. This piece is the first of four organizers I’m building to help prevent craft overload.

washi tape rackThe left side of this organizer has two small wooden tea crates that are perfect for holding stickers, small scrapbook pads and SMASH book pads. They could also hold markers and pencils.

Beneath them is a washi tape holder I made from a little box I picked up at an estate sale. The dowel is removable so you can add or subtract rolls as needed. It will hold at least a dozen rolls which is more than any one person should have (at least one normal person….I’m not talking about tape hoarders).

mail organizerThe right side of the organizer has a medium size mail holder that I made from an old speedreading text book. The lining was made from a vintage cotton fabric and the book is decorated with black felt ribbon and two flocked resin roses. It hangs from two s-hooks hanging from two vintage drawer pulls. It’s the perfect size for journals or sewing patterns.

Along the bottom of the piece is a galvanized steel shelf that I made from whatever the heck this thing is……..I have no idea. It’s really sturdy and the perfect size for craft paints, glue and bottles of glitter.

On either side of the shelf are two wrought iron hooks I bought at Kobey’s swap meet. They look rusted, but I sprayed a clear topcoat on them so the rust won’t rub off on to anything.

art supply organizerAround the top section I’ve attached an old metal folding ruler, just because it looks cool. All the wood moldings are salvaged, but the paint finishes are new.

It’s a great little piece and I’m really happy with how it came out. It would look great in a craft room or above a childs’ art space. It’s available in my Etsy shop now.

One down, three more to go!

Inventory used: latex paint, craft paint, Stain & Seal

Going Public

Salvaged Sanity on Etsy

I just went back through my posts and found it’s been over a month since I posted anything that I’ve actually painted. And like I said a few weeks ago, it’s not that I haven’t been painting, it’s that I haven’t been ready to share what I’m painting. Now I feel I’m finally ready to show you what I’ve been doing. So here goes…….
handmade mail organizerI have been making wall mounted organizers. This idea came about after I finished the makeover on my daughter’s study spot. I had so much fun doing that. I loved shopping for all the salvaged wood, old drawers and hardware, but I really had fun piecing it all together. It was like a big jigsaw puzzle.

Two things pushed me to the idea of turning that project into something portable. First was my brother saying over and over again, “I just know someone would pay you to do this in their house.” He has always been one of my biggest fans. The problem with that idea was that I’m completely burned out on working for people as I mentioned in one of my earliest posts. So I started to think about how I could make a portable paneled piece that had the same flavor as my daughter’s wall.

The next thing that pushed the idea was a stash that I haven’t disclosed on my blog before. A few years back I had an idea to make binders out of old books.

salvaged book bindersI got really old books, gutted them, installed a 3-ring binder spine and sold them as binders. I absolutely loved making them, but I had a problem finding the spines. I tried removing them from old binders but often the spine got twisted when I removed them and wouldn’t close right afterward. So I found a company that sold just the spines. Problem was, they only sold in bulk so I had to buy 100 of them. It was soon after that purchase that I realized it was really hard to find the books in the right size.

Since then I have had 95 binder spines sitting in boxes and nothing to do with them. I also had a couple large books in my studio that hadn’t been the right size for a binder, but I figured out that if I turned them sideways and lined them with a fabric pouch, they could be a great catchall. These organizers are the result of those two ideas.

hanging mail holderThis organizer features a small book pouch and a triple frame that both hang from the 3-ring binder spine. The spine opens so that the accessories can be removed and exchanged if desired. I’ve put pictures in the frames, but obviously they could be customized with your own photos.

dry erase boardThere are three hooks under the book for keys. I turned the yellow frame into a dry erase wipe board and added vintage fabric under the glass. The cigar box on the right is a great little cubby for pens, stamps or business cards. The paper covered box inside can be removed. The denim covered bars on the bottom are magnet bars and the bottle caps are magnets.

handmade mail centerNearly everything on the board has been salvaged but the painted finishes are new and built to last. I can see this being hung in a kitchen, home office or entry way. The wall organizer is ready to be hung with sturdy D-rings at the top.

I have a new Etsy shop just for these pieces so please check it out. I’m also building a website and will add links to that as soon as it’s complete. Over the next week I’ll be introducing new pieces and I hope you’ll give me feedback on them.

This blog was started as a recording of a two year destash, but I had also hoped I would find a new passion for painting. I’m absolutely in love with this idea and I hope you will be too. Please feel free to share this with friends….I need all the feedback I can get.

Inventory used: latex paint, Stain and Seal

Getting Some Free Press

bulletin boardMy little studio is getting some free press over at Royal Design Studio’s blog today (Thanks, Melanie!). My studio makeover is included as Tip #5 – Take a trip to IKEA. I can’t imagine why…

paint storage mixed media desk Olivia's towerIn case you didn’t know, Olivia is sitting on a box you can buy at IKEA, and do absolutely anything to before putting it together. It’s a way fun project and super cheap. If you do end up “taking a trip to IKEA,” pick one up.

Have a super organized Day!