Thursday, September 18, 2014

Dumpster Diving Treasures Episode 1


Im always amazed at what cool stuff I find in the trash and there aren't enough times in the day that people are amazed at the things I find. For goodness sake I am trying to refinish an entire house with a tiny tiny budget, The Shack House Make Over. 

So join me for Episode 1 of Dumpster Diving Treasures......

 A complete and full trellis fence piece, thinking of turning it into a lighted wall frame/headboard...
Love these... a pair of gorgeous ceramic planters..........&...............
Now I know looking at it you may wanna pass it up but I LOVE rustic and while the picture itself in the frame is anything but desirable, Im just completely in love with the rustic frame...maybe a new chalkboard...?
and for my personal favorite find of the weekend is this awesome trunk,it already has a black and white old school  toile design but I think I may change that....Its solid and wood which I love and the latch is still working, its missing 3 of the 4 decorative feet but that is an easy fix....and
my favorite part is that it is hinged and its got just as much potential inside as it does on the outside.... I have so many ideas already blossoming just imagining how I can design something new...
and gotta love old frames..so many things to do with these......

I hope you enjoyed my little tour of some of my dumpster diving treasures...stay tuned for another episode....


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Trashy Tuesday Tutorial: Kitchen Window Fakeover

 Trashy Tuesday Tutorial: August 25, 2014

Kitchen Window Fake-over

 
 
Total Project Cost: $0.00
Tile: Found $0.00
Paint: Found $0.00
Wood Trim: Found $0.00
Adhesive Grout: Leftover from another project $0.00
Liquid Nails: leftover from another project $0.00
 
 

This weekend I had found a bunch of leftover tile. It must have been leftover from a construction job and probably laying outside for a while due to the dirt build up. While it wasn't enough for me to do any major work with it, I just had to pick it up anyway,I could find some use for it, if not I could always make jewelry out of it...maybe another tutorial to come.

 
Before I even had a project in mind, I first needed to clean off the tile, so I soaked the sheets in hot water first and scrubbed them. Once clean I decided the cut them into squares like a 3x3 tile. I took o them again and soaked them a second time in hot water and bleach, let them dry.
 
Once dry I had decided to use them to fix up this tiny little kitchen window I have in our Shack House. You can read more about our Shack House Fake Over, which is a project to redo an existing home with a budget under $1,000 including furnishings all using as much reclaimed and re-purposed materials.
The window itself sits against the back side of the house which is concrete, which crumbles, and cracks all over the place. When we moved in we had to replace the glass which was not there anymore. What was left was an open window. I had tried previously to hang a little café curtain to cover it up but again the concrete crumbles, so I figured I may have to create a fake frame around it just to get a rod up, so that was the plan. But what to do about the big old holes.
 
Before Pictures:
 
 
Now for the Fake-over!
 
The first step was to measure out the tiles. I don't like to measure so I faked it, and counted out (9) squares on each side, which left me a tiny spot on the edge, which since the tiles were mesh tiles I could cut out smaller pieces to fill in the gaps. I began to apply a small dollup of adhesive caulk to the four corners of the tile, then spread it like frosting.
 
 
 
 Then just simply working from the bottom to the top I began to stick them against the sides of the window until both sides had tile going all the way up. Once tile was on both sides I placed the tile on the top of the window. These I took a little bit more time with and held them in place for about a minute each to make sure they were stuck so they didn't fall.

 
 
Once the tile was set I let it set for about an hour and began to paint the small strips of wood I found. I also used a bit of the leftover paint to paint the "sil" of the window white.
 
 
 
 
Now again I don't like measuring, so I just eyeballed it used a little marker, and cut two strips the same length (one for each side of the window), and then just measured a piece to fit in between and cut it to sandwich in between the two side pieces. I used a little bit of liquid nails and glued them together to make a faux frame.  I added a second piece on top because I do plan to add a little something extra on top of it (kitchen window treatment fakeover, soon to come in a later post). Once that dried, about an hour or so, I was able to attach my tiny little rod directly to the wood without causing any after effects like crumbling concrete.I put two extra coats of white paint on the trim and in between the tiling once dried.

And of course, always better after, not perfect by any means, but that's what a fake over is, just a way to make it a little bit better, without saying make over! Enjoy...
 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Business Lesson #1: Finding the Perfect Place Just Doesn't Exist...So I found an Ugly Old Shack!

It has been quite some time since I even have seen this blog let alone written a post. So many things have been happening in my life that I just needed to regroup and refocus. I definitely have "artists brain" and yes, that is my own word and most certainly my own definition. Basically put I have been super scatter brained for the last year, simply trying to do way too much. I have been trying to find retail space and a place to live and or both in the same, working on new products, getting samples down, photographed, making furniture, getting a good load of supplies again, finding a place to keep all that I collected because I hadn't decided on a place to live yet. Just a TON of things all over the place, all while trying to maintain an existing business,and starting a non profit. Frankly, I had too many things on my plate. So here are few things I have learned divided into a few different blog posts just letting everyone know that Creatively Green is back! We are changing. I thought I would share a little bit about the problems I was facing as well as the life lessons and solutions I have come to realize in order to grow my business.

Problem #1: Finding Retail Space
I planned on living and working in the same place, it just became and overwhelming task. The goal of finding retail space in Denver was a very difficult task for a variety of reasons.The purpose of retail space goal was to serve a variety of purposes: an active free art studio specializing in recycled crafts, a retail location to sell all things recycled, storage for my online business, as well as a starting point for a non profit employing women in transition, as well as a place to live. "Mixed Use" was the understatement of the century. I originally began looking for a warehouse that I could build out BUT warehouse space is typically in an industrial area, not what I was looking for. My core business is online so I looked into office space as well, but then the issue was where in an office space do I find the space to live. If I am was going to pay between $1500-$2000 I wouldn't be able to afford a place to live. Quite the conundrum for sure.

Lesson Learned: Finding the Perfect Place Doesn't Exist
In early January, I submitted a proposal for a space right on Colfax, it needed a ton of work but could be suitable for a mixed use facility. I loved the building and the location but the rent was around $1600 a month and it needed a tremendous amount of work and I couldn't foresee how I would get all the work done as well as be able to do all of t he other things I had planned for Creatively Green. So after much thought, I made the decision to withdraw my offer. I decided that in order for me to do all of the things I had planned I needed to narrow my focus to one thing I could do to improve my business, so I chose to look for a new place to live that had an extra bedroom that I could work from. The goal from this point forward was to find a place to live that could serve as a place to rebuild my brand, add more products, and truly showcase what Creatively Green was and will now be. I needed a place to regroup and re-focus. Trying to find a space that could immediately do all the things I wanted for my business was an impossible task. I was never going to find that perfect place, it was always up to me to create my own space. That lesson learned, what I needed to do was find a place to start from. And so the search began to find an affordable 2 bedroom apartment in  Denver, Colorado. Did I mention that the average rent on a 2 bedroom apartment in Denver is around $1200? Not an easy task.

Solution: I found an ugly old shack house!
Yes I said ugly....and ugly was a generous term! So in  mid March after months of looking at possible apartments at ridiculously high prices for ridiculously small places, I had a possibility. A friend of mines sister lived in a small complex right on the border of Denver. Someone was moving out and there was open place available. All I knew was that the rent was $600 for a 2 bedroom, that alone was worth the look, well how bad could it be? Well whatever I imagined, it was soooo much worse! The area was questionable at best, and was located right off Colfax, also relatively questionable. Walking to the house was an experience, every single house in the complex had broken or blacked out windows, I honestly thought they were abandoned houses, I mean who could live there? I didn't even wanna walk inside the outside scared me to death! Well omg, when I looked inside it was so much worse than the outside, every single window had been broken. But I didnt even notice that because I was too busy looking at all the trash inside the house and the 17 different colored walls, every wall was a different color and not just one color they got creative and added 2 or 3 different colors to each and every wall. I was completely in shock. But then a brief moment of ahhh I attempted to walk through the house (there are no floors by the way, just the sub: the previous renters took the floor with them as well as all the locks on the doors apparantly cause I walked right in): As I made my way to the kitchen all of a sudden I was hit by lime green walls but then I saw that they took the cabinet doors off so they were exposed, so for one brief second I envisioned a country kitchen with bright exposed cabinets. And then my mind just switched modes, I had been so dissapointed lately looking at places, that my mind had switched off of all creativity and for one brief second in this ugly little shack house it switched back on. Could it be? Was it true? Did I get my mojo back while standing it what could possibly the dirt ugliest house....why yes I did! ....so now I am creating my own space in a little ugly shack house. My goal is to redo the entire house including all furniture for under $1,000 using as much reclaimed and recycled materials. So coming soon to Creatively Green is the Shack House Makeover!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

DIY Fall Acorn Wreath Tutorial: Easy Wreath for All Seasons


Fall is in full force in Denver, how about everyone else? Well I have been busy like a bee this month and thought I would share a very simple tutorial for a holiday wreath. I have made quite a few of these over the years and do sell some in my Etsy store. Why are they so popular?

Well that answer is clear, they are so versatile. They are simple and elegant and work for all seasons. By begining with a simple design, maybe a few coats here and there of spray paint, you can really make a statement, with a very simple project.

And well, now that fall is here, let me share a very easy way to get the same look as those high end Anthropology wreaths for a tenth of the cost.

Supplies Needed:
 * Acorns (or nuts or wooden beads)
* Floral wreath
* Hot Glue-gun

In just a few easy steps, a beautiful wreath is complete.

Step 1:  Gather a nice size bag of acorns, such as these. These are super plentiful in Colorado but you can purchase the acorns loosely online here if you dont have them readily available in your area. You will need a good sized bag, enough to cover and entire wreath, at least 100.

 Step 2: Begin by attaching the acorns, which have been cleaned and baked either diagonally or horizontally on the straw wreath. NOTE: Be very careful and glue directly onto the straw, take the wrapping off the wreath, hot glue does not work very well when glued to plastic. I like to begin in the center of the wreath and work my way to the outer walls. Just stay in the same direction, lining the acorns up one against the other.

Dont worry too much about doing the back side, noone sees it anyway and it helps the wreath to lay flat against the door. As you move towards the outside, just keep layering the acorns, in a row, and continue along until you are 100% covered all the way around.





Step 3: This is it, if you choose , paint the wreath, many colors work just fine, and add a ribbon. I like to give mine a quick once over with a can of sealant, easily purchased at a home store like Home Depot...and tahdah... a simple yet elegant wreath...


And if you want to get fancy, give it a coat of color....perhaps a winter white with a big red ribbon, perfect for Christmas!


Perhaps a Nice Sunflower Yellow

or a Crisp Green

Pretty In Pink?





However you choose it, its a simple understated wreath, change the color of the ribbon and you have a wreath for all seasons....dont have time to do it yourself, or not so crafty...no worries..

We have them for sale in our etsy store, you choose your color and your ribbon choice...



Monday, October 21, 2013

Officially Humbled, Homeless, and Eternally Grateful....

Well it has been quite some time since I posted here on the blog and well sometimes there just isn't enough room in one post to catch everyone up on what exactly happened in the last 3 years. Unfortunately my personal life went on a whirlwind to say the least. I would love to say it has been a blast, but it has been more of an explosion and as a result a lot of lessons learned and a tremendous amount of humility gained.

Without going into huge detail, I was forced to leave my home a little over 2.5 years ago due to a very destructive and abusive relationship that completely took over my life, literally packed up and went into a safehouse. Spent some time being officially homeless, officially humbled, and officially grateful.

Everything in my life got turned upside down including my business, my friends, my family, my entire life. But I am alive, relatively well, and back to creating green in 2013.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Give wings to your old sticker packages with this angelic trading card!


Heres a super easy way to give new life to all of your scrapbooking and sticker packaging. With just a few supplies you can create a beautiful artist trading card just like this. I recycled an old sticker package and used it as the base for my atc. It works just like a transparency. I attached some pretty vintage lace in the center and then simply layered from there. I used some vintage clip art, added some intermittent sparkles, and for a simple trim I added some gold embroidery floss. Easy peasy! Enjoy!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Citrus Slices NEW Cardstock Collection!

. Our new collection of cardstock is themed just like our theme for our shows: The Candy Shoppe Collection. We have introduced 4 new cardstock collections to our themed packs. 

First, our Citrus Slices Collection: named after you guessed it: Citrus Slices Candy.
Lovely and yummy citrus collection is just perfect for the summertime!