chal-lenge: noun a calling to account or into question

Follow along as I challenge the tricks, tips, clever craft and decorating ideas and "simple" recipes that we clip, bookmark, and "pin" for trial at a later date.

Are they really worth the effort? Time (and I) will tell!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Challenge: Week #3

I’m feeling like my regular haunts are not putting forth any creative material for my upcycling projects. I was in a bit of panic because I couldn’t find anything. I was headed down to the Hudson Valley to have some fun on a wine tour and wouldn’t have time to do any of that type of shopping. Maybe stop at some yard sales along the way? That didn’t sound like much fun to me. Although add a little wine and I might see things in a different light!

When I pulled into my daughter’s driveway, I could see that one of her neighbors had been cleaning out their back room. Several artist canvasses, some still wrapped in plastic, were piled up next to the dumpster ready to be taken away. I was sure I could find a project somewhere among them so I gathered up a few and tossed them in the trunk to take home with me. Dumpster diving wasn’t included in the contest rules, but I don’t think Mom will mind.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Challenge: Week #2

It’s week two and we’re still going strong! I love this project Mom chose. She found this beat up old high chair at a yard sale. You can see that the arms are missing and it’s just covered with spattered paint. Obviously someone else took an old piece of furniture that was no longer useful in its original form and made a modification. I wonder how long it was used as a painting stool. It’s fun to see all the different colors of paint and imagine the rooms that were given a fresh coat of paint.

Always one to look beyond the obvious, Mom decided to freshen up this interesting piece with a new coat of paint (all one color this time!) and give it a new use. She has a green thumb and has many plants around the house. This unique plant stand provides a variety of height in her collection as well as fun visual interest. It’s the kind of thing that makes you say, “Hmm, why didn’t I think of that?”

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Challenge: Week #1

Well we did it! Mom and I both finished our projects on time this week. When we talked midweek I wasn’t sure it was going to happen. A week isn’t a very long time to find a treasure and develop it into a project and we were both feeling some pressure. Time will tell whether or not we can keep up the pace.

My project began with a set of Smithsonian souvenir cookie cutters. The set includes a star, flag, airplane, elephant and dinosaur. When I saw them in the store I just stared at them trying to figure out how I could use them. My daughter stepped up next to me and tipped me off to an idea: use the cookie cutters as a stamp.

I spent a day or two trying to figure out which stamps to use and what to stamp them on. I stopped by a second hand shop and found a white cotton dresser scarf which was just perfect. I decided to go with a patriotic theme and chose the star with red, white and blue paint. The stamping was really easy and only took me about 30 minutes to finish. In the end, I decided to do a little spatter painting to add a little interest (those are the blobs you see!). I think it adds a little interest. Cookie cutters come in so many shapes and sizes and I think this idea would work well for personalized curtains, pillows and even t-shirts. There are so many possibilities to ponder.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Mommy and Me

So a whole month has gone by without a project or a post from me. That’s not to say that I have had a lack of inspiration or challenges to overcome. My projects have just been piling up all around me! Spring always brings a flurry of activity trying to get the yard in order as well as an increase in my travels. My paid job has been a challenge lately too as I just try to keep up. It saps up a lot of my energy and that’s just not right!

Speaking about traveling, while visiting my mom this week-end I came up with a joint challenge. I thought this time around I would choose a partner to keep myself motivated. Have you ever heard of up cycling? It means to change an item either old or new to give it a new use or purpose. I have been intrigued by some of the ideas I’ve seen floating around and want to give it a try. My mother is the queen of upcycling. She can take just about anything and turn it into a work of art. I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep up with her but I’m going to give it a try.