Wednesday, February 24, 2010


"Junk: a haphazard assorted collection of discarded remains of unrelated items of little value - to the untrained eye."

-Miss Sandy-
(Project peek - FINISHED nature quote book!)

What every good junker knows is this: that true beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all junk has potential! My case in point, I have been trying to train Handy Hubby in the fine art of junking. His poor untrained eye cannot see past what an object is to what it has the possibility to become. Most of the time he just sees junk.
For my Valentine's treat he took a half day off work on the Friday before Valentine's so we could spend the afternoon together. He wanted to take me on a junking date. I suggested a big antique mall about 45 minutes from here because it has a great mix of what I like and what he likes so we would both enjoy browsing.In the very first booth I was kicking up my heels with glee! I found a plastic bag full of vintage photos in wonderful paper frames. Handy Hubby wrinkled up his nose and said he would not buy those and why would you even want old photos of someone else's ancestors. See, I told you, he needs lots of education.I didn't bother to explain, I just shoved the photos in his hand so I could snag another little gem, a set of sweet bisque place card holders in the original box still bearing the label as sold at Mary Roth Originals in Little Rock, AR. The set is mix matched but who cares when they are so sweet?I piled on other items of a little faux green pearl necklace, a child's bird book, a pair of silhouettes, and lastly a set of the most chippy perfect bookends ever! These things could be used as a weapon, they are filled with some sort of metal weights. I also found a perfectly rusty patina pink candy tin for 75% off with the junk inside for free!I could see the wheels turning in the mind of my poor package carrier as he puzzled over each squeal of delight as I piled him with my junk finds. By the time we got to the check out he still thought the stuffy old ancestors needed to return to their shelf until the clerk gasp at such a find for such a price, $1.50 for a dozen photos. She asked if we knew how much just one of these photos goes for in our area and I just smiled and said yes I did. Poor clueless Handy Hubby said he never would have bought them.
She said the lady who brought in the bookends marked them so low because they were in such bad shape that they probably would not sell - ah, another poor uneducated junker. Some of the booths were having sales so our grand total was $7.00! Handy Hubby said I was cheap date.Our next stop netted a bird in a nest for me and some kind of truck part tailgate thing-a-ma-bob for him and we called it a day ending with dinner at a favorite restaurant and a dozen red roses. Over dinner I tried to explain what every junker knows - rust is not crust it is patina, chippy is spiffy, cracks are never whacked, mix matched is perfect, bling is king, old is gold, tattered and battered pings and dings are character, and everybody just loves instant ancestors. He still did not get it.I didn't think it was the right time to expose him to junkers overload so I let him off the hook on my next excursion which netted four half size ledgers, I gave one to a friend, a crazy wooden candle holder (hopefully it will turn into an art doll in the future), a trio of vintage tins, cork coasters (using the back side for a project), a couple of shaker lids, and a couple of vintage metal receipt holders (more project fodder).I also decided that this shortsighted man would never appreciate a doll part ballet...Where dancing feet pirouetted across sheet music to a tune that only I could hear...Where these boots were made for walking to the march of a different beat...Where little Betty Blue lost her other shoe and hopped about upon one foot...
Her antics cracked the audience up...
They laughed themselves silly and lost their heads...Pulling themselves together enough in the end for a hearty round of applause...
Now this next junk story he will get and appreciate when I tell him about it over dinner tonight. I needed a box for an art project so yesterday I dropped in a favorite antique store that carries lots of primitives knowing they would probably have what I was looking for. I quickly found the perfect box. The only catch was I had to buy the box and its contents. The tag said "old wooden box with plane parts." I took a quick peek at the rusty assortment of parts in the box and thought to myself, now what in the world am I going to do with air plane parts. I made the purchase and headed home.

When I actually unpacked the box contents, I laughed myself silly, they were not air plane parts but plane, the wood working tool, parts. How I even thought an air plane part would fit in such a small box is beyond me. I have never once claimed to be the brightest bulb in the box and this proves it.
When I show Handy Hubby the parts, he will see a plain for smoothing wood, nothing more and nothing less. He will want to reassemble it to its original condition so it can once again serve its original purpose. I will not. He will not get my vision, but he gets me, he will let me run with my flights of fancy cheering me on and even lending a helping hand along the way.

When I look at the parts I will see potential projects, interesting artifacts, rusty crusty perfection in the haphazard collection of discarded remains of unrelated items of little value that to the untrained eye just look like junk. I will see the usefulness and beauty beyond what lies in front of me where the flight of imagination can make these things anything I dream them to be. And that is what my guy sees in me, a beautiful mess of parts and pieces, some interesting, some rusty and crusty, a pretty haphazard collection of humanity.
What every good junkers knows is that nothing is what it seems, everything has potential, and beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder. Maybe I don't need to train him as a junker, he does after all have pretty good vision, he knows on the surface I am not what I seem and he believes with his whole heart that I have the potential to do or be anything I desire. He knows that I march to the beat of a different drum and allows me to dance though my days with creative fun. He lets me be me with all my imperfections and quirks. He sees my usefulness despite my scattered brokenness. For that I am eternally grateful. Perhaps it is me who is the student and he who is the teacher, for when he looks at me, he never just sees junk.

Miss Sandy

P.S. I hope this post will tide you over for a few days as I am taking a small break to actually focus on completing all my unfinished projects. The next three days are going to be one huge craft-a-thon! Hopefully I will be back by the weekend, if not, have a great one and I will see you next week.

Monday, February 22, 2010


When I was growing up I never really liked leftover night in our house. It was always a mish-mash of oddities that were supposed to represent the semblance of a meal but somehow always fell flat. I am finding that leftovers in crafting are not the same thing. You can indeed whip up some tasty treats with your leftover scraps.After the "egg"stravaganza last week I was cleaning up my work space in preparation for another project when I started to toss away the brown paper bag I had been using to protect my work surface. I noticed the interesting patterns, texture, and spatters that had been left behind. I grabbed a pencil and began to sketch out egg shapes all over the paper.Some of the them I cut out and inked the edges with brown ink, leaving as a flat embellishing element. Others I backed with another part of the paper sack and took over the sewing machine to stitch around the outlines then I stuffed them, finally inking the edges giving me a dimensional embellishment for a future project.The paper sack was one from Cracker Barrel that my friend, Pam, left behind from our craft day last week. We tried to use it with our new paper punches but it was too thin and did not punch well. I tossed it in the trash but decided to use it to protect my work surface when it came time to paint. I wonder if she is going to want her sack back?I made up a trio of Easter tags using the last of the nut shells from last weeks tutorial and I wanted to show you that you don't have to stick to making them look like real eggs, they work just as well in bright colors.

I painted mine solid colors and then glittered over them by brushing on some matte gel medium and using Martha Stewart Crystal Fine Glitter. You could paint little designs on your eggs like polka dots or stripes if you wanted a fancy Easter egg.Now, I need to get back to another yummy handful of leftovers...
And I promise you the next post will have nothing to do with eggs! Have a happy Monday!

Miss Sandy

Friday, February 19, 2010


"To dream anything that you want to dream. That is the beauty of the human mind. To do anything you want to do. That is the strength of the human will. To trust yourself to test your limits. That is the courage to succeed."

-Bernard Edmonds-

I have a confession to make...BIG SIGH!...I must be one of those tiara toting hanging on to my title no matter what til I die kind of gals because I have done it AGAIN...started yet another project before I finished the previous one(s).
(Had and empty space on shelf above sofa, needed something, new collage in progress!)

As you all know there is always more than one work in progress for me...so, I guess I am still royalty...The Princess of Unfinished Projects. I am tired of trying to deny or reject rumor that I will any time soon be stripped of my title. I guess I am like one of those has been beauty queens who cannot help themselves but live in the past glory of their accomplishments, or in my case, lack thereof.

If you could see me now, I am practicing my princess wave, you know, the one called screwing in a light bulb, while wearing my Vaseline on the teeth fake smile and holding my eyes wide open with that deer in the headlights look clutching tightly to my crooked crown for dear life as I dive into yet another project for the good of mankind and to promote world peace!

(Just another touch or two!)

I hope I have not offended any real pageant princess' out there while poking a little fun at myself and the stereotype of all things pageant. In all seriousness I stumbled across a project of the heart, one that I feel is divinely appointed.

I truly intended to finish what was at hand but then I was visiting another blogger who shared a sweet devotion on a bag full of love that she received and everything changed. As I read, I saw forming in my mind an art piece based on her writing. This is not the first time I have visualized a finished project in my head but this is the first time that it knocked so loud at my heart.

(Not quite right yet!)

I have swept all other projects aside until I can complete this one and then I will return to where I left off. With the blessings of the blogger I will very soon share her post as well as my interpretation of her writing in art with you.

Other interruptions have sidetracked me from work as well, like new books! Handy Hubby did indeed make good on his offer and I got three new books:

*Objects of Reflection - A Soulful Journey Through Assemblage by Annie Lockhart is one of the best books I have come across on assemblage art.
*Layered, Tattered & Stitched - a Fabric Art Workshop by Ruth Rae really is a workshop in a book with fabulous tips and techniques plus the rich texture of her fabric based mixed media pieces are so inspiring.*You Can Write Your Family History by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack looks like just what I need to guide me thorough the process of collecting my farm stories. The content takes you from gathering and organizing your research to determining your plot structure, making narrative choices, bringing your ancestors to life as characters, setting, using suspense, humor, and romance, blending social history with family history, documentation, adding illustrations, wrapping up the ending, all the way to publication.

Then those nuts got me all distracted or was I distracted because I am nuts? Anyway, I whipped up all that were in the bowl yesterday, all 14 dozen of them. I probably won't need another itty bitty faux nut shell bird egg for as long as I live.
(OK, so I am not totally hopeless after all, I DID paint all those eggs!)

As if I did not have enough on my plate, I merrily joined in another swap. How could I resist Karla's Alice Tag Book Swap?
It is only six little tags made with images from Alice in Wonderland or Through the Looking Glass, a piece of cake! Last I heard, she still has some slots left, you can check out the guidelines here.

(I am taking back what I told you, not for sale yet, first it is bound for Somerset, wish me luck!)

Speaking of swaps, I received my swap of an unfinished project from Diane:
And she sent along the most beautiful tag!
I felt kind of bad that she sent me a pretty wrapped up unfinished project and the one I sent her was in bubble wrap! I promise to do better on the return of the finished piece. And the subject of unfinished projects brings me back around to the original intent of this post so here goes...

They say the confession is good for the soul. Hi my name is Sandy and I am a projectaholic. I have a problem with unfinished projects. I cannot determine if it is distraction, after all, I do have the attention span of a gnat, or if there are just so many interesting things to try that I want to try them all at once, or if being artfully scattered is just my nature, or is the real deep down honest truth that I actually like being a princess of projects so I can wear a twinkly tiara and fly by the seat of my pants wherever a whim my blow me.

(Almost done, decided to use the crumbly back of the frame, love how it is shaping up!)

Maybe it is none of the above, maybe, just maybe, I am a girl who must follow her heart and pursue the ideas I dream, testing what comes to mind, pushing past the insecurity that limits me with a strength and courage that comes directly from the giver of my gifts in hopes of honoring Him and of sharing a bit of creative beauty. I am entitled to my tiara as a daughter of The King. As I sit here and write I realize that I am my own analogy - a work in progress, being fashioned and designed by the ultimate artist. Wow, I am in great company because His project, me, is not finished yet either!

I hope you all have a beautifully blessed weekend!

Miss Sandy
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