Monday, July 21, 2014

Rolling Along on the Blog Tour

Here we are on another stop of the blog tour, thanks so much for traveling along with us.  A few weeks ago when Laurel from Chipping with Charm invited me to join the tour, I was a little concerned about finding the time, but I'm so happy I accepted the invitation.  It's been fun learning more about some of my favorite blogging friends and getting to know some new bloggers too.

Laurel is an amazing trash-to-treasure artist.  Her creative use of old rusty, junky, chippy, worn out, tossed out, and even ordinary objects always puts a huge smile on my face.  Laurel sells her repurposed creations and vintage treasures at Antiques Downtown in Elk River, Minn. and at various shows throughout the year. She's also a regular contributor at Hometalk and Junk Market Style
You can get to know Laurel a little better and see more of the fabulous junk on her blog tour post from last Monday here.  You can also read about the two other bloggers she invited along on the tour with us.

I guess I have to talk about myself now and answer the four questions that every blogger on the tour has been asked.

What am I working on?

I always have several projects going on at the same time in the two spaces where I create:  my garage and my fort (a room of my own where no boys are allowed).  My garage is not a pretty sight, but it functions much better for me now that I have it semi organized.  Right now I have a pile of silverware sitting on my workbench waiting to be cut and drilled.  When that's done, I'll bring them upstairs and enjoy beautifying them in the comfort of my air conditioned fort.

I also have quite a long list of projects that need my attention around the house.  I don't usually blog about these projects, but there's always something going on.  Just last week we had to have a large tree removed from our backyard because it was getting too tall and the roots were inching dangerously close to the pool. That's one headache we don't need, and I like to sleep at night.  A few days ago the yard was finished up when all the of old ground cover was removed and pretty decorative rock and plants were brought in.  Now I have more time to work on more junk!!

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Just like most of us who repurpose old junk, our creations are usually one of a kind.  Our ideas can be similar, but each piece we create is unique with its own junky charm.  I guess it's a good thing, but I can go from rhinestones to sawdust and still enjoy the creative process of both.  

One day I might be creating jewelry from bits and pieces of rhinestones and watch parts, then the next day...

I might be taking apart a broken antique dry sink.....

so I can turn the old parts into new junk.

Why do I write/create what I do?

I create because I'm addicted, obsessed I tell you!  I love the challenge of creating something out of nothing.  Not every stray I bring home is in need of a major overhaul, sometimes all they need is a little TLC and a new purpose.

A good cleaning was all this uncomfortable looking child's car seat from the 1950s needed.  Can you imagine having to sit on this?  At least the plant looks happy:-)

How does your writing/creative process work?

My creative process is determined by several different things.  If I have a show coming up, I need to concentrate on making sure I have plenty of jewelry and vintage treasures ready to go. I have to put bigger and more time consuming projects on hold and concentrate only on what I can bring with me.  I still try to make time for a weekend junking adventure in hopes of finding some great stuff that's good to go "as is."

My writing process is another story.  It doesn't happen every day and I'm not nearly as organized about scheduling blog posts.  I really wish I had the time to write/blog about everything I find and create, but then I'd never have time to find and create anything!

One thing that really helps in my creative process is staying organized, but it's a constant struggle for me. I have no problem keeping my inside fort organized, but the junk in my garage is a completely different story. I am getting better though, really I am!  Several months ago I set up some shelves in the middle of my garage so I can see what I have instead of stashing it all away behind closed doors.  The cabinets are now for basic supplies and finished inventory....most of the time.

This project is a perfect example of what happens when I stash things away and forget about them until it's time to clean.  The wheel had been in my line of sight since last summer, but the lamp base was buried away in a drawer for who knows how long.  A and B would have come together a long time ago if only I knew what I had.  

OK, now it's time for me to introduce you to the three bloggers I invited along on the tour:

Kathleen is a writer, vintage jewelry artist and thrifty DIY home d├ęcor enthusiast who shares tips and tutorials for creating a beautiful home with thrift store and vintage finds on a serious budget.
Kathleen is the queen of the most amazing knock-off projects.  Why pay high retail prices for something you can create yourself for a lot less money?  I can't believe how she's constantly coming up with much better and much thriftier versions of high priced furniture, holiday decor, chalkboards, lamps, and just about any home accessory.  She also has a real gift for creating beautiful jewelry that she sells in her Etsy shop Love You More Designs.  Kathleen also shares her jewelry creations, blog posts, and recipes on her Charm Bracelet Diva Facebook page.  Did I mention that I get so jealous when I see pictures of her beautiful hydrangeas?

Kathy from Kluless
I like old stuff.  I like sparkly stuff.  I like rusty stuff.  I like junk.  Sometimes I make stuff.  Sometimes I just look at stuff until I get my eyes filled up.

My eyes light up every time Kathy posts pictures of her beautiful flowers and the fabulous goodies she finds near her home in Portland, Oregon. Her art room is full of her amazing collections of vintage lace, ephemera, needle books, altered art projects, vanity boxes, figurines, salt and pepper shakers, and buttons.  As a vintage button lover myself, I know what a thrill it is to find a tin full of these little beauties and sort through them one by one.  Kathy can't keep everything, so she sells some of her vintage finds and altered art creations in her Etsy shop Strange Notions.  You can also follow her inspirational boards on Pinterest.  

Susan from Must Love Junk
Susan is passionate about collecting what she calls good junk.  "To me vintage things have so much more character than anything shiny and new," she states.  She loves decorating her home and her shop with anything chippy, rusty, worn, and weathered.

I love Susan's decorating style, she has such a keen eye for creating the most interesting and drool-worthy vignettes.  Susan's creative and unique decorating style certainly hasn't gone unnoticed.  Her gorgeous home has been featured in the latest edition of Vintage Style Magazine; I'm looking forward to reading all about it.  I've told her dozens of times that I need to come over and shop in her house.  Susan and her mom are the proud owners of Home Sweet Home Decor, a vintage shop in North Canton, Ohio, and she also sells her treasures in her Must Love Junk Etsy shop

I hope you can take a few moments to visit these three talented and creative bloggers, then stop by again next Monday and get to know the bloggers they've invited on the tour.  Thanks for coming along with us.
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  1. What a wonderful post! It's always fun to learn more about your favorite bloggers! Enjoy your day my friend! Sweet hugs, Diane

  2. Betsy, you will be hard act to follow! Thank you so much for your kind words and I adore the mosaic you made from my blog pictures.
    I already follow Susan and just picked up the magazine on Friday. I will be heading over to check out Kathleen's blog.
    Now, about that fort and magic garage... You know we all "get it" so I think you need to give us a peek one of these days.

  3. Hi Betsy, It's always a treat to visit and see what you've created lately.
    I'd too love to shop Susan's home but also your garage :). I haven't met Kathleen yet and will check out her blog now.
    Have a creative week!

  4. Betsy, I'm honored that you invited me to be a part of this fun tour, and thank you for your sweet words! (You're welcome to come over and shop any time! ha!)
    It was great learning more about you and your creative process! I always LOVE your creations :)

  5. I enjoyed learning more about you and lok forward to visiting with your friends later today. I'm participating in the tour in mid August and looking forward to it. Have a wonderful day.

    Blessings, Vicky

  6. enjoyable post Betsy . . .
    i enjoyed reading more about you and your process (love your creations) and i will make sure to check out your recommended blogs.

  7. Wonderful post! Fort? Sounds interesting. Always enjoy reading about what your up to and now I have a few new blogs to check out.

  8. It's been a fun blog tour...I love reading about what you are doing and visiting the others, too!

  9. Always enjoy your post and seeing your latest creations.
    Love the necklaces.

  10. Very enjoyable post. I like a look into the motivations and processes of junkers and salvagers!

  11. What a fun tour Betsy. You all ROCK!!!


  12. Thanks for mentioning me and my blog, Betsy! I really loved hearing about your creative process and how you've become more organized (you go, girl!) Can't wait to see what you have in store, as always.
    xo Kathleen

  13. Thanks for mentioning me and my blog, Betsy! I really loved hearing about your creative process and how you've become more organized (you go, girl!) Can't wait to see what you have in store, as always.
    xo Kathleen

  14. Thanks so much for joining in on the tour! I love that little "seat" did I miss that? LOVE everything you do and it's fun to hear more of your process. Now I want a "fort" too :)

  15. You are the most creative blogger I follow but I'm glad to learn more about others and will check out their blogs! You always inspired me as I've told you many many times!

  16. Betsy, what a great post...I agree you excel at making something from nothing and turning what you have into the most amazing projects....Love the bloggers you picked, I know all but one and I am off to visit her!


  17. Great is fun getting to know other bloggers. I follow you and Susan, but am off to visit Kathy and Kathleen's blogs.

  18. All I can say iS, I am SO glad you are obsessed. Great post and I will go visit them all!

  19. I enjoyed reading about your creative process - it always amazes me to see the things you create! It's also nice to know a little more about you! I will be taking a peek at your nominations - lots of inspiration! xo Karen

  20. I've been trying to establish a 'fort'. Thanks for the motivation.

  21. I always get a kick out of your creations because you create the most unusual and unique things! I like your pretty stamped jewelry too. It was nice hearing about the more personal side of you today. Have a good one!


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