Stitched and Painted Bird Art

painted and stitched bird portraitI’ve been collecting all sorts of ideas for art gallery vignettes that I want to create in my home before we leave. The idea for this little beauty came from an article in Sew Somerset magazine that I pulled out over 18 months ago. I rip articles out that I like and keep them in binders in clear plastic pockets so that the rest of the magazine can be recycled. I recently confessed this behavior to a woman I chatted with at a bookstore. She said that I’m way too organized, but I think it sounds a little better than the hoarder house full of hundreds of magazines that she lives in. I don’t want to be found two weeks after I died, trapped under 10 year old craft magazines…….that would be so embarrassing.

Sew Somerset Summer 2012This article was written by Colette Copeland  who writes on a blog called a-bird-in-the-hand. I was taken in by the simple shapes, the single word, and the idea of outlining the image with hand stitching.

estate sale findI decided to use this frame that I picked up for 50 cents at an estate sale. The gold painted edges were dinged up and it had no back or glass, just a slot for a really thick image. I fixed the edges really easily with gold acrylic paint.

simple bird portraitSince the slot for the image was so deep I decided to paint it on a piece of an old book cover that was too broken to be used for anything else (Don’t ask me why I keep crap like that and don’t think I don’t know that you’re picturing me right now, dead under a stack of broken book covers, just stop it!). I sketched the outline first and then filled it in with watered down acrylic paint. When it was dry I poked holes with an awl all the way around the outline. I stitched the outline with pink embroidery floss using a backstitch.

trio of handmade artI framed a doodle stitching piece (my first ever) in another gold frame I found at the same estate sale, and hung both of them with vintage pink ribbon. I put eyelets in the ribbon to make them easy to hang. They flank the collage piece that I made at the Spellbound Art retreat in November. I love this piece so much, but I had nothing else in this color scheme in my house, so I decided to make something to coordinate with it and that’s how this little grouping came about. I’m working on a bigger piece that I started at Spellbound for the opposite wall and I’m really excited about finishing it. I like these pieces because they’re so different from anything I’ve done before. I’m loving the freedom I have right now to try new things.

The three of them look great together, especially on the mottled, taupe, Venetian plaster in my guest bath. I did the plaster years ago and until now there hasn’t been any artwork in there. Mostly because Venetian plaster is hard to repair so I didn’t want to hang anything unless I was in love with it. There’s no poking holes, just willy-nilly when it comes to plaster, at least not in my house. The collage is light enough to be hung on a 3M adhesive hook but the two side pieces I hung on Monkey Hooks that only leave pin size holes, which shouldn’t be too hard to touch up………but only because I’m so awesome.

Inventory used: acrylic craft paint

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Nautical Style Mail Organizer

mail organizerThis mail organizer is my latest creation…..and I’m in  love with it! All the pieces of this message center came together over the last few months. Every time I found another nautical piece I put it in a little pile in the corner of my studio (a clean pile, I swear). Last week I found the final piece at the Mattson Co. sale, so I got to finally put all the pieces together. Ta Da!

cork boardThe brass key rack at the top of this message center was the little treasure I found last week. It’s so patriotic and kitschy, it’s awesome. The fabric I used for the bulletin board came from my friend’s house when we cleaned out her grandmother’s fabric stash. It’s got little anchors and ship helms running across it. The pushpins are covered button and are covered in fabric from my late mother’s stash. The notepad holder is upholstered with vintage fabric, again from my friend’s stash (I brought home so much fabric that it will take me years to use it all up). The notepad holder hangs from a hook screwed into a piece of plywood that I added some hand painted details to. It’s adorable. The pad holder itself is refillable, so you can keep it forever.

mail holderThe mail holder is the piece I love most. I found this book at an estate sale months ago. My daughter and I let out a little squeal when we unearthed it. The nautical symbols on the cover are so graphic and cool, I just had to bring it home. It of course hangs from a 3-ring binder spine, making it portable when you open the rings. I decorated it with red and white cording and a silver crab pendant that I picked up at a flea market. The old camping cup sits on an L-bracket and can hold all your pens and scissors.

So that’s my newest listing. Please check out my Etsy shop and pass this post along to anyone you know that needs help getting organized and has a thing for sailors. Have a great Wednesday……..Hump Day!

Inventory used: latex paint, acrylic craft paint, antiquing glaze

Mattson Co. is having a sale

boo!My daughter and I took advantage of her getting out of school early yesterday and wandered over to Mattson Co. which is an estate sale liquidator in San Diego near Mission Bay. We lucked out because they were having a sale…….50% off orange tags, 25% off green tags. This beauty above was going for song……it was a creepy song too…….made you want to hide under your covers. The label on the box kills me, ‘not recommended for children under 3,’ try 33?!

creepy mobShe had an entourage with her, of course. I think the theme here is vintage jesters. Just want to point out the orange tag on the doll with the blue shiny Aladdin costume and the dry fly-away hair. I resisted bringing him home with me, but he’s probably been snagged by now. Dang!

vintage armoireThere were a couple of nice pieces out front. The green armoire is really pretty and in good shape. It had some bad stenciling on the doors but that’s an easy fix.

Indian headI love both of these but they don’t really go with my stuff. They’d be great additions to a man-cave.

vintage pianoThis piano was beautiful. I think I liked the inside even better than the outside. Too bad I forgot how to play, and that I don’t have room for it, and that it doesn’t fit in my car.

antique mantleI like both the mantle and the fire screen with the feet. The mantle would be really fun to paint but I think I’d leave the screen as is…….maybe paint the toenails.

set of royal chairsI think this set of chairs was imagined by someone who wanted their guests to all feel like royalty. It’s a completely bizarre set but I bet the right person could make it wicked cool. If I had all the time in the world, I would be that person, but I know just looking at this set would make my family break out in a rash. Another one for the Widow House.

So that’s what we did yesterday…….how about you?

New Organization Tools

September is one of those months that I get really motivated. September and January I end up doing Spring Cleaning, which I know doesn’t make any sense, but there it is. I recently made a few new message centers that I’m particularly proud of. They go along with my seasonal organization disorder.

perpetual-calendarThis dark one has what I call a Forever calendar at the top. I’ve also heard them called perpetual calendar. The idea is, you write in the dates for each month with a dry erase marker. I left room around the edges so you have room to write other notes as well. I stenciled a calendar grid on canvas and hand painted the corners in grey and dark mustard colors. I installed it under glass in an old frame I picked up at an estate sale.

message centerThis organizer is pretty basic. It’s a calendar with IN and OUT file holders below. All the salvaged wood moldings are stained the same in a dark walnut finish.

mail holder out-boxThe vintage books I used are big enough to hold standard size file folders. The color palette is different but I think it works.

magnet boardThe other two boards I built are being sold as a set. The thing is, I had a bunch of pieces that I wanted together and I thought it would be too wide, so I split the board up. This gives the owner the flexibility to either hang them side by side or vertically, or in two completely different places.

This first one has a large book that can hold file folders. Beneath it is a magnet board covered in a vintage fabric and sports two magnets made out of antique looking bottle caps. On either side of this are two clothespins attached to the board to hold invitations and reminders.

message centerThis message board has a dry erase board with vintage tablecloth fabric under the glass. There’s a tin for holding pens and pencils right where you need them. Under that is a small mail holder and a hanging frame.

Both boards are painted in high gloss white which is different for me, but I really like how it looks. All of these can be viewed in more detail at my Etsy Shop. Have a great holiday weekend.

Inventory used: latex paint, Stain & Seal

Stuff that kept me busy last week

After my daughter’s bathroom renovation was finished, I had a lot of work to catch up on, namely, I closed the Destashio Etsy shop.  I moved any items related to storage and organization into the Salvaged Sanity shop. It’s been too hard to run two shops and I want to focus where my passion is……..organization and storage.

I made two new items for the shop last week:

DIY mail organizerThis is a Message Center Board as it comes…..no accessories. This board has two 3-ring binder spines, so it can hold two mail holders, frames, or notepads in a number of combinations. There are two magnet boards at the bottom covered in a beige/blue/green floral patterned fabric. The board comes with four magnets made out of decorative bottle caps. Flanked on either side is a set of clothespins stamped with the words, “save” “date” and “remember”, to help hold on to important notes.

DIY board with accessoriesThis is what it can look like with a few additions. This is just one example but there are other options available in the shop.

I also made this little beauty:

mail-organizerbee pendantAdorable, Ay?! It’s a mail holder for the DIY Message Center Boards. I had a ball making this one. Totally cool!

flea market findsWe made it to an estate sale on Friday. Really interesting sale. Let’s just say there were raw animal pelts hanging in the closets, slowly disintegrating, completely nasty. They also had a whole room of dolls, the creepy kind. I almost brought home one of those stuffed monkeys that freak me out in horror movies, but I couldn’t bring myself to touch it. I brought home the few treasures above. A couple cool frames and some neat illustrations that I can include in a new art wall I’m putting together. The little pieces of brass and the drawer pulls will end up on a board some day I’m sure.

But the best thing I found was this…..

Priscilla and FionaThis was a painting done by the former homeowner, Betty Sagan. She may have had a doll fetish and a few too many animal remains to host a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, but she was also an artist.

This beauty was hanging over her fireplace and I just fell in love with her. I know there is a bit of a creepy factor in her, but that’s why I grabbed her. Her daughter was so glad to see her mom’s work go to a home that appreciated her. I have her hanging right in front of me when I watch tv. Her eyes definitely follow me when I leave the room, but I appreciate the company. I have named her Priscilla and I call her cat, Fiona, and I love them completely. Don’t come over if you can’t take it. They’re precious.

So that’s what I’ve been doing………what’s been keeping you busy?

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.

Update on Mattson Co. Estate Liquidations

I had a friend blow into town last weekend and she begged me to take her to Mattson Co. Estate Liquidations in San Diego on Saturday. (I’m sorry, Amy, I promised to take you next, I swear I’ll take you next week!) It has been a couple weeks since I visited their brand new store, and they’ve now opened the second floor–as promised. So here’s what I saw:

thrift storeThe second floor is very big, so they have more furniture, clothing racks and tons of shelving full of treasures.

hardwareThis was exciting for me…….shelves of hardware. Nails, screws, knobs, etc. I picked up a couple old hacksaw blades that I’ll use for washi tape racks. (It’s the little things that make life great)

secondhand booksI picked up two big books for my organizer boards. They had some books there that were so beautiful both inside and out that I couldn’t buy them with the intention of gutting them. They’re still there if you want a really beautiful book.

miscellaneous shelfThe shelves upstairs are very long and contain all sorts of awesome stuff like vintage tins, office supplies, candle holders and all sorts of flotsam that you can’t live without.

quilts aplenty

Since they’ve opened they’ve acquired many more quilts, all very beautiful. There were definitely a couple that caught my eye.

velvet sofaLast, but not least, they had an adorable tufted velvet sofa that would look fantastic in my Widow House. So sweet, it made me weepy. Don’t ask!

Anyway……….it’s definitely worth driving out for. Also, There’s a fantastic cafe next door called Water’s. The food is organic, sustainable, California type Hippie stuff that I absolutely die for. They serve wine by the glass as well for all you lushes out there. And they let my friend and I sit there talking for hours without giving us dirty looks.  I love that in a place.

Hope you find the time to stop by, it’s awesome.