Archive for the ‘Upcycle’ Category

Picking.    Picking as in finding things for a way low price.


My super power is Second Hand Picking.

Got this on a cross country trip where everything I could fit in a good size box was $1.00. Not one dollar for each piece, but $1.00 for the entire box of stuff!


My #1 Back Up Super Power is Making Things/Art/Decor out of old stuff.

Like my belt art above.


My #2 Back up Super Power is the ability to fix things up.

I buy low, fix it up, and then eventually sell it for a handful more.

This the Vintage Homecrest set was all just my Super Picking Power. The price was so low, I got it even though at the time I did not have room for it.  I made room for it!


Until I had to sell that too.

We move a lot. I use my Picking Powers to furnish yet another new place.  Shine it Up, Fix It, Use it and then Sell it.  I could make a living off of it, but we move too much.


Ok, Some things I just pick because I think they are cool. I usually sell sooner or later before a move like at a yard sale, or the sometime Antique Fairs, or I have even been known to rent a booth in Antique Malls.


We do have a home, so some stuff does get to live there, but this nice leather suitcase did not because we have enough vintage suitcases there.


This would be one of my projects that I did not get to do.  I also do projects to sell.  Take a look see at a previous blog post about my Upcylced Bars:

All this one needed was paint. I even already paid my nieces to sand them!


This was part of my set up at an Antique Market.  I love stuff and glad I am not attached it all.  All above sold, even those funky Clown Shoes!


These two I saved from selling and they now have a FURever home in our Gnomad Pad.


In our last place, this was my work room, a game room and where most of the stuff for sale lived. It has all moved on now, living a 3rd, 4th or 5th life.

The only Picking I do now is from the beach.

20190301_191149Where we live, doesn’t have much for my Super 2nd Hand Picking Powers…so I am Relying on My Other Back Up Super Powers to Turn things like these into other stuff.


If I figure it out, I will share with you.

Until then, thanks for visiting.

And just so you know, I get to pick a lot back where my Gnomade Pad is when we visit.  So if you are looking for that something special, ask me and I will keep an eye out for it for you!




We moved closer to the In-laws and I developed a hang up for a pile of old fence boards that have sat on their side yard for ever.

I finally got brave and asked if I could have some and then My Big Hang Up Started.

Okay it started with this…

Rack6 (2)

I picked up this cool piece of wood and then made this necklace holder from it over a year ago

I make art from old leather belts, so I have a lot of belt buckles hanging around.

And then I made this out of the other half of the wood.  Rack4 (2).jpg

I realized I like making hanging racks out of interesting and unusual bits and pieces.  Although hard to tell between my cool old kitchen gadgets, the rack is made from old metal water facet knobs and big butterfly screws.

So once I had the fence boards…The Hand Ups Began!  I started to dig around in my widgets, gadgets, screws, hooks and thingies.


I went first to my mass amount of belt buckles and made a couple of my mini necklace holders.


I have been noticing mermaids a lot lately because my older sister who was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer last year loves them.   So, I have mermaids around and made this beachy themed key and coat rack.


I dug deep and found these huge screw things with a nuclear-ish symbol on the ends.  I loved them and finally found a project for them!  They would make great “hooks” for a coat/jewelry rack!


I had more wood but was running out of ideas, so one day I really dug through my stuff and I did not even know I had these little red hooks.  I love the bright color against the awesome worn wood grain.

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This one makes a Great Industrial Chic Necklace holder!

I ventured out from just making racks, I made some signs too.


Vintage and Ready for Sale.  Original Handmade Art Things made from Vintage Stuff!

Easy to Make your Own and Easier to Buy from Me!

My Favorite sign is the one I made for my brother for sales we do together.


I Introduced my brother to the old fence board and now he has his own line of cool things.  Come to one of our sales!


I hope to open up an online store again soon too.  So you can shop directly from the comfort of you home!

Thanks for visiting and Come Again!




From TubesLove

It all Started with the above tins that my Friend sent me.

You see, many years ago I turned tiny tins into nicely decorated pills boxes for all my girlfriends. I used to make small Christmas gifts for most of my friends every year. I guess she thought I could do something with her collection.

I had recently moved right into the inner city of Chicago. Along with the Skyscrapers, great views, museums and awesome restaurants there are also people down on their luck. I had not been in a living situation in a long time were I saw people who were homeless, out of work and/or sick asking for money in my neighborhood, every day, every where I walk. My heart was breaking for them.

I came up with the idea to use the tins to decorate and insert some  money and small things for these people, my TINS of LOVE! Then I realized they were way too small for what I wanted to do.

From TubesLove

I was saving Toilet Paper Rolls for Art projects. When I realized the tins were too small, I looked at a roll one day and thought this size would be better, my TUBES of LOVE!

From TubesLove

The plan was to start handing them out right before Christmas and throughout the winter for as long as I had supplies.

I had already been collecting 1 dollar bills and quarters to put in my TUBES of LOVE. I told a few friends and family about my plan. My Mother Inlaw, who collects a lot of stuff, sent me a box of stuff to stuff in my TUBES of LOVE! I also bought big multi-packs of gum.

From TubesLove

After Halloween, I collected leftover single wrapped candy from my neighbors and bought bags on sale for the TUBES of LOVE, for a bit of fun.

From TubesLove

I made a list of all Shelters, Food Pantries, Soup Kitchens and Warming Centers in Chicago for each one of my TUBES of LOVE.

From TubesLove

On the Sheet of Paper, I wrote a Note.

From TubesLove

I thought of items besides the money and candy, and thought soap and aspirin could be helpful. I had some hotel soaps and shampoos. The little bars of soap were too big, so I started to cut them down to a size that would fit, wrapped them in clear cellophane and labeled them.

From TubesLove

I also divided a large bottle of acetaminophen into packs of 6-8 pills each too.

From TubesLove

I had to cut the sheets of info down to fit better inside the tubes.

From TubesLove

The plan was to roll it all up and then stuff it in the TP Roll/Tube!  Yes, All of the below would fit into One TUBE!

From TubesLove

I started with rolling the items up in a dollar bill.

From TubesLove

Then I would roll that up with candy on each end in the folded in inforamtion Sheet.

From TubesLove

Easy Peasy!

From TubesLove

It all Fit Perfectly!

From TubesLove

But just so stuff would not fall out when it was opened, I put a small piece of tape at both ends.

From TubesLove

After I stuffed around 30 Tubes, I then decorated each TUBE of LOVE.

From TubesLove

Just Basic Decorating, as I was going to Wrap them as well.

From TubesLove

First Round of TUBES of LOVE Ready to be Wrapped!

From TubesLove

Fun and Light-Hearted. Literally, there are little hearts on them!

From TubesLove

Stuffed with Love!

From TubesLove

Part of the Idea for TUBES of LOVE is Recycle / Upcycle. So along with all the other items I saved, I also saved paper bags. I cut the bags up to lay out flat.  I painted it all

From TubesLove

I had 2 sessions of fun using paint and markers.

From TubesLove

I wrapped them “candy” style using string at each end. The First Batch was Done!

From TubesLove

They were all handed out before we left town to have Christmas with out family. During the time away I got my nephew and nieces involved with making more TUBES of LOVE! We also handed some out in Sacramento, CA, where they live. The rest I brought back to Chicago with me. Below is two of the TUBES of LOVE my twin nieces Stuffed, Wrapped and Decorated.

From TubesLove



From TubesLove

I received 3 boxes of supplies from friends and family!  I was overwhelmed and very happy.  After exploration of these boxes, I realized many of the items were over-sized for the TUBES of LOVE.

From TubesLove

So I went bigger, Bigger TINS, that is! It all started with tiny tins and now I was back to tins, but bigger and better! I went to the Salvation Army Outlet Store here in Chicago. I bought Tins, and Socks as I learned they were highly needed. The women checking me out, actually gave me a better deal on the items after she heard about my TINS of LOVE project.

From TubesLove

So Much More Love Stuffing! The tins I used would vary in size, but I do not want to go too big as I need carry them as I give them out.

From TubesLove

I still decorated the TINS of LOVE like I did for the TUBES of LOVE, but since many of the TINS were already nicely decorated, I now do less decorating and more stuffing!

From TubesLove

At Top of the Above Photo, on the right and left, you will see TUBS of LOVE. Yes, I have expanded to using Plastic Tubs/Containers/Jars as well. Happy to recycle/upcycle as much as I can!

The TINS of LOVE above are my current batch.  I am down to just a few more as I handed some out the other day.

I have supplies to make more, but I need more containers!  I will do another batch of TUBES of LOVE before I get more TINS/TUBS. I am going to Cleveland soon and will see if I can give away some of the TUBES of LOVE there.

From TubesLove

I will hand them out for the rest of Winter or until my supplies run out.

If you have any questions on how you can do this as well, please comment below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.  Or if you want to donate any stuffing items to my TUBES/TINS/TUBS of LOVE Project, please comment as well and leave your email address for private communications.

By Education, I am a Recreational Therapist. I have worked with Youth a lot in this position and my favorite activities were art related, if I could include a lesson that made the project even better.  I would love to do this project with more Children. I can volunteer with programs within Chicago if you would like me to lead this project at your program!

Thank you and I hope you Enjoyed this project of mine!



Summer Loving…

Is a Great Time to Craft!

And Since Summer is Over…

It is a Great Time to Get Back to Blogging, especially since I have not posted crafts in quite a while!

The following projects will have to do with items in the photos from my last past, HOW WE MAKE A HOUSE A HOME OVER AND OVER AGAIN .

I’m feeling frisky, let’s start in the bedroom!

Get your mind out of the gutter, we just needed some storage! I found this, yes without a drawer, for cheap!

From 2014 Projects

I saw it and had an idea which I had to talk The Hub into, as usual.

Sanding came first…

From 2014 Projects

And then the painting!

From 2014 Projects

Have I ever told you, “I don’t like painting.” But it was worth it, especially with my decision to paint this one area red as it goes with the soda crates I am going to use as storage really well!

Next Decision…

From 2014 Projects

What kind of Knobs?

From 2014 Projects

Neither one of those…
Something Completely Different!

From 2014 Projects

My Dresser, craft storage, make-up and hair do-ing area! Done and Done!

Continuing on with the Bedroom…

From 2014 Projects

The Wall Decor!

Although I have no photos to show how I did this…

From 2014 Projects

I am confident that you can take a needlepoint hoop, material and do it yourself!

The interesting thing is that some of the material I designed myself. Oh yes, I did!

You can see how I did this in one of my first posts on this blog at WHO KNEW?

Don’t mind the bikes…
They were part of the decor for a while!

Now on to the kitchen and the ever-changing lights!

From 2014 Projects

I started out with this yoke double light. I just used two small work lights, but took off the pinching attachments.

From 2014 Projects

I wound the wires around the rings for them to blend in and put the wire in the back of the yoke to hide them there as well.

From 2014 Projects

And there you have it!

But then I had more stuff and got creative…

From 2014 Projects

This is what you do with an old soda shop crate, an old colander, an old dog chain and a light fixture!

From 2014 Projects

Pretty much straight forward…
Put a hole in the colander, put the light fixture through it and then through the crate and line wire along the center chain.

From 2014 Projects

And there have it, once again.

Now, to the front porch!

From 2014 Projects

It all started with this 75 cent table that was falling apart.

Literally, it is made of particle board which was dripping apart slowly!

From 2014 Projects

I used glue, in the form of Modge Podge and an old book to keep it all together. I decoupaged underneath it where it was also falling apart!

From 2014 Projects

And I painted it.
Again with the painting!

From 2014 Projects

It has sat on my front porch for over 4 months and no more falling apart!

From 2014 Projects

“Awwwwesooome,” if I do say some myself!

The table sits in front of another one of my summer loving projects!

From 2014 Projects

And it all started with these…

From 2014 Projects

Which I painted. What is with all this painting?

In the above photo there are pieces of wood in the background which I put across the seats of the chairs.

From 2014 Projects

On top of the slats I placed lots of pillows (yard sale finds). The seating pillows needing hiding…

So I put a vintage 1970 avocado green round table cloth with fringe on them.

I am sure you are interested in why I went that color and style, right?

Well, it is the only thing I found to match this…

From GnomeShackPorch

Which I already had on the front porch!

But, wait…there is more for the porch.

From 2014 Projects

Look What I did to this thing to match the other things.
Oh so Matchy Matchy…

From 2014 Projects

But not too matchy matchy, right?

And here are a few more touches!

Plain ugly rug that The Hub insisted on buying….

From 2014 Projects

Meet Spray Paint and a Stencil!

From 2014 Projects

Not sure I love the turn out…
But anything is better than that the original fugley thing!

From 2014 Projects

Oh and Look what I did with the tons of twigs that fall in my yard!

From 2014 Projects

Twig Garland!

And yes, I added a mosquito net to the Porch Lounger! Love it, Right?

And I know you will love this too…

From 2014 Projects

So much cuteness mushed together right next to the front door under the maibox…
What a Greeting!

Have fun making your own stuff…
I hope I motivated and inspired you!


And just to let you know…
I sell old things and things I make from old things!

If you are interested please visit my shop, OUR OWN BIG WORLD!



Yes, I wrote, “Chain”delier!

A Chandelier….

From CHAINdelier

Made from Chain!

The idea started out with Old Chain.

From CHAINdelier

But I ran out and added some new chain which added something shiny…

Which this girl always like!

From CHAINdelier

There was a lot of chain cutting…

Which had to be done in different sessions due to my dainty girl-man hands!

From CHAINdelier

And then there was attaching…

Triple attaching at that!

From CHAINdelier

Metal Rings, Glue & Wire…

Makes for a strong Chaindelier!

From CHAINdelier

And since this girl is distracted by shiny things…

I decided to add more of it!

From CHAINdelier

Using Vintage Chandelier Crystals…

From CHAINdelier

And Beads!

From CHAINdelier

And there you have it!

A Long and fun process.

It does not have a light in it as is, but I have the fixture to put in it at any moment!

I can be yours …  The Chandelier @ OUR OWN BIG WORLD!

Some extra shine for your holiday season!



I am so impressed with Puerto Rico…

And the creativity I found there!

We stopped in for some chilled coffee at a cafe and this is what we found!

From Craft Ideas From PR!

Cool, eh?

Look Closer…

From Craft Ideas From PR!

It is made from old book covers!

How cool is that?

And there is more!

From Craft Ideas From PR!

Don’t be distracted by Jim’s great looks…

That is a piece made from old wooden spoons and a small mirror above his cute head!

Loved this place!

After the trip to the cafe we went to the Museo De Las Americas.

From Craft Ideas From PR!

Where we ran into BASURA by Nick Quijan

From Craft Ideas From PR!

Basura means Trash.

And Yes, this Artist made Art from Trash!

From Craft Ideas From PR!

Trash he found on one stretch of beach in Old San Juan right there in Puerto Rico!

From Craft Ideas From PR!

I love these “men”!

So inspired by the art and creativity around me…
I started to see art in everything…

From Craft Ideas From PR!


From Craft Ideas From PR!

And there…

From Craft Ideas From PR!

And that pile too!

I searched, gathered and took home my own little pile!

From Craft Ideas From PR!

I wish I could have taken more of those little pieces of drift wood home with me…
There were thousands of them!

From Craft Ideas From PR!

And who doesn’t love sea glass?

From Craft Ideas From PR!

Playing with my finds…

From Craft Ideas From PR!

I like it!

I can’t wait to put those pieces to work for me…

Not sure it will be this sunburst or what…

But I am sure I will tell you all about it!

Keep your eyes and mind open…
Beauty is everywhere…
In everything…
And Everybody!

To see my online shop for Things That I Have Made and Vintage Things…

GO TO…Our Own Big World!



Since we moved without much of anything…

I put my crafting, antiquing and art skills to the test…

To furnish and decorate our apartment!

From MyHomeDecor

Yes, I could show you things we found for a great deal,

(Although, I will give you an idea of how little money you need to decorate for yourself!)

This post is more about doing things a big different!

Like in the above photo, where I used twin wicker headboards behind the dresser and under the mirror for an added splash of sass!

(This entire  scene cost us under $60.00! Yes…really!  Okay, the photos/frames are not included as we had them already)

Staying in the bedroom, I want to show you our “night stands.”

From MyHomeDecor

I had these vintage suitcases already which I use to lug about my art/craft supplies.

Empty now, they are put to good use as our night stands.

From MyHomeDecor

(I bought the suitcases at antique stores and auctions, and I always look for them at thrift stores as well.  These can be  priced a bit too high at times, so it took some time to collect these for the right prices!)

Now, onto the kitchen!

From MyHomeDecor

Needed a curtain that would not block out the light in the kitchen window…

From MyHomeDecor

But block the view from the upstairs neighbors using the stairs.

From MyHomeDecor

I think it works!

Old needlepoint hoops I had lying around (uh, not that I needlepoint though), some fabric, string…

And there you go…

An unusual curtain!

(I happened to have all the supplies on hand being the craft supply hoarder that I am, but you can get needlepoint hoops at thrift stores all day long, as well as material either from cheap clothes, sheets, towels, fabric and so on. You can also get material samples from fabric stores for $1.00 – $2.50 each)

And now, something else for the kitchen…

Or where ever you want really as they are that cool!

From MyHomeDecor

Yes, they are vintage gas stove burner grates!

I love the simplicity, but oh so cool, look of them!

Perfect for some blank walls in my kitchen.

From MyHomeDecor

(See previous post to find where I got them, MY NEW FAV PLACE! ..I recommend you find your own).

And here is something for the blank walls in our bathroom!

From MyHomeDecor

More needlepoint hoops, but these are vintage metal ones which I happen to love.

From MyHomeDecor

Cutout designs from a vintage chenille white twin bedspread…

Make for more fun simple decor!

From MyHomeDecor

(I had the hoops as I bought a big bag of  needlepoint hoops for $5.00 last year!  I just found the twin chenille bedspread at the local thrift store for $3.00.)

And speaking of the bathroom…

From MyHomeDecor

Although I made these lights last year, I finally put them to good use…

From MyHomeDecor

Over our claw foot tub!

(You can find the vintage tin food strainers at thrift stores for under $4.00 or under $10.00 at antique stores.  This is blog post on how I made them, STRAIN YOUR LIGHT!, check it out).

And one more for the bathroom!

From MyHomeDecor

Buckets and bottles…

Why Not?

Especially in a bathroom with no storage!

Who wants to see deodorant containers, mouthwash bottles, and Q-Tip packaging?

Not me!

(I had the buckets, as you may know I go weak-at-the-knees for anything galvanized steel, but you can pick them up anywhere for cheap from thrift shops, craft stores or even those…gasp…big box stores. The vintage wine decanter come mouthwash bottle I recently found for $3.00 on sale at an antique store, and the Apothecary/Candy Jar was $1.00 at a thrift store).

If you too want to re-purpose stuff of find things for cheap to decorate your home, just start looking at everything differently and in new places!

From MyHomeDecor

(Above early 1900s rickety old rocking chair was 5.00 at an auction!  The Mailbox is a purse I got for $1.00 at a thrift store)

For more ideas like these check out my pins on Pinterest, DAWN’S PINS!

Just to let you know…

My Life is an Open Book

My Home has an Open Door

I am Not for Sale

But Just About Everything in My Home Is

Including the Books!

From 20130305_0059

Check out my Etsy shop, My Own Big World!

Some of these items are not yet for sale in my Etsy shop…

So if you are interested in something in this post…

Message me and we can work something out!

From MyHomeDecor

Scrambleskeets Welcomes You Anytime…

In My Home, My Online Shop, and My life!


UPDATE!  July 19, 2013:  I just found out this, my fav, is closing!  Sad Day for Me!

I giggle just thinking about it!



Click and enjoy!

Okay, Okay, you really have to BE THERE to really appreciate it!

So here is a quick tour of the last time I was there!

But first, one of the best things about this place is that it is not only a salvage place, it is an organization to help people to gain needed employable skills.  Love it!

Sorry hub, my new love…


From My New Favorite Place!

Bunches of wonderfully rusty old window weights!  


From My New Favorite Place!

I can see these sassy sharp blades painted vibrant colors adorning walls around the nation!

From My New Favorite Place!

Can you come up with something to do with the these BBQ blasts from the past?

From My New Favorite Place!

I have a neato idea for this one, but I will not tell you about it as it will most likely be an upcoming blog post!

From My New Favorite Place!

I really like these…one day soon a “GRATE” idea will come to mind!

From My New Favorite Place!

Love the coloring of the rust on these shovels who are now waiting for a new life!

From My New Favorite Place!

Thingies, widgets, pieces and bits are useful…for something!

From My New Favorite Place!

I love the needlepoint hoop.  I just may have to switch to these circular sassy’s…for future pieces!

From My New Favorite Place!

I will just say, “Galvanized Metal!”

From My New Favorite Place!
From My New Favorite Place!

Does anyone love nails…. Like I do?

From My New Favorite Place!

Could make a cool light, eh?

From My New Favorite Place!

And this one is just fun…let your imagination go wild!

From My New Favorite Place!

I see a bird house, do you?

From My New Favorite Place!

And what is not fun about a bunch of Periclean?

From My New Favorite Place!

Windows and Doors…Windows and Doors!

From My New Favorite Place!

Love the shine!

From My New Favorite Place!

And I think these are just tiny piece’s of art!

Not only did I buy pieces for my projects, I even bought a vintage handmade wood tool box for Jim!  He loved it!

And get this…everything is on sale until Spring!

Give me a…Wooo Hoooo!

Find a renew shop, a salvage warehouse or even a Habitat for Humanity Restore (which just happens to be Jim’s favorite place) in your area.

And recycle the old and give it a new life!




From Vintage Strainer Lamps!


From Vintage Strainer Lamps!

To start the hole, I used pliers and a hammered it just a bit in the centered dot in the centered star of the bottom of the strainer.

You can see the finished hole in the photo.

Oh, and yes, those pliers have a pink rhinestone on them!

From Vintage Strainer Lamps!

To help enlarge the hole, I snipped from the inside with wire cutters.

From Vintage Strainer Lamps!

Then I would push this vintage soda bottle into the hole to make it more round!

From Vintage Strainer Lamps!

Picked these up at IKEA for $5.00 each the other day!

From Vintage Strainer Lamps!

Put lighting through hole, put in lightbulb…

From Vintage Strainer Lamps!

And there you have it…and cool hanging lamp that casts spotted star shapes!

From Vintage Strainer Lamps!

That was fun!

But I was not done creating!

Back to Gnome Christmas Trees!

From Vintage Strainer Lamps!

I so need a gnome for under that tree!

From Vintage Strainer Lamps!

Now, let’s see if these things sell!


I have a thing for circles, balls, orbs, globes, pizzas…anything round!

So I buy needlepoint hoops, lots and lots of needlepoint hoops.

Mind you, I do not do needlepoint!

But I do love cool retro looking material.

So, I put the two together and this is what I got!

From Button Up

This little cutie consists of three different size hoops, 3 different sample pieces from JoAnne’s and some twine.

I did glue them together, so it is a just hang one thing wall decoration!

Note to self, iron material next time!

For those that can not commit to 3…I give you this:

From Button Up

Not attached for cases where just one or two will do!

PS…the lint and stuff on the floor do not come with hoops!

I have saved the largest hoops (one really big…others quite large) for the wall on our new dining room.

Now on to something different.

I like frames, and I could not pass up this little metal one with tiny crosses!

From Button Up

I found a map, which I also love..and this little fleur de lis was calling my name.

From Button Up

All together, and they make an interesting conversation piece!

Circles, Frames and Maps…I wish I only like those 3 things!

Whatever it is for you…find new uses for your favorites!