Friday, May 26, 2017

Creating Signs from Old Tin

Hey Y'all! I've been having fun creating these rustic tin signs recently and I thought I would share some tips on how I cut out the tin shapes and attach them together! I've made tin mason jar signs, rustic Shasta style campers and old trucks, hearts with wings, and bird yard stakes. This week, I had a custom request for a fifth wheel camper and truck combo from a lady on etsy. She loved what I made and ask for a second set! As I made the second set today, I took lots of pictures and thought I would share about the process to make the signs / wall decor. (I may even do a live Facebook video this weekend, if the weather and time cooperates.)

First, you need a pile of scrap tin. In our case the five ribbed tin has been salvaged from my Granddaddy's old hay barn. So sad to see it coming down, but I'm glad I can repurpose some of the short pieces into scrap art for someone else to enjoy.  

Next, a little motivation from my pencil "Get it Done!"
Tools required to do the task:

  • electric cutter
  • wizard tool with grinding wheel
  • drill and drill bit
  • rivets
  • pop riveter tool
  • additional hand tools such as pliers, wire cutters, and occasionally a hammer to flatten tin
  • sand paper to clean surface of tin
  • pencil
  • oil for cutter

Confession: I have no idea why that paint brush is included in the picture!

2nd Step - have husband use his calibration tool, thingamajig (not pictured) to get the spacing right on the blades for the thickness of the tin. May also require google and a calculator  to do the mathematical conversions to get right spacing. This electric cutter is pretty nifty! It doesn't make tight turns, but its does a smooth job of cutting the tin compared to tin snips. 

Here's the first truck and camper I made before the last market. 
And here's the flock of bird yard stakes, with bottle cap eyes and keys for wings!

This is the fifth wheel camper and vintage truck that I made for a lady this week. Mason jar lids form the tires and Altoid tins are rusted out and form the truck window. 
Since she wanted another set, I traced around the outline of the original ones. (I usually free hand my patterns. Only the birds have a paper pattern.)
Can you see a truck and camper here? I find it is much easier to cut the blob out from the bigger sheet of tin and then go back and give them shape. Like I said, tight turns don't happen.
Now they've got shape and then I dig through the scraps to find pieces to make the doors, windows, and awning. Rustier and striped pieces work great for different shapes. 
Now, its time to grind the edges (front and back) for a much smoother finish.
I use Jeff's Wizard tool with a grinding wheel. See how the edges are now a shiny silver, where I used the wizard?
Now, we've got to attach the pieces of tin together. I used pop rivets (thanks to Jeff for lending me yet another of his tools and showing me how to operate it.) I predrill a hole through both pieces of tin, then rivet them together. I use a smaller size rivet (1/8 inch, I think) and it takes 2-3 times squeezing the tool to get it done. A little advice - predrill and rivet one hole at a time! I promise, it just works better and you don't have to worry about the holes getting off.
Now it's time for a baling wire hanger - drill two holes for the wire to run through. If you've been raised on a farm, you know baling wire (and duct tape) are holding many things together! I'm sure there's a fancy tool for curling the wire, but I use an old Sharpie marker! 
Hangers are on and now its time to add a little raffia or ribbon to finish them off.
As a little bonus, I cut this little mini Mason jar out from the tin above the bed of the truck and now I'm wondering what I should paint on it? Any ideas? 

So there you have it. They look pretty simple, but there are several steps and tools involved to get them completed. Which ones are your favorites?

(P.S. - if you don't want to DIY, the mason jars, small heart with wings, and vintage camper are available in my shop. There are 2 more mason jars, several birds, and a large set of tin wings at our Uniques and Antiques booth in Minola, Texas.) 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

For the Love of Junk - Gardening

Hey Y'all - I thought I would share a few pictures from our junk yard! I planted flowers in April and they are starting to fill in nicely and my geraniums have even bloomed a second time. (That's a record for me, as I don't usually have good luck with geraniums!) Last year, my sweet mail lady shared the day lilies with me and they are blooming pretty this week. 

For those of you who are new here or don't know the story of our gazebo, we rescued it from a trash ditch a few years back. Yes, it was rolled over on its side, all reddish brown, with a shingle roof, in a ditch. Actually there were two of them and our friend had spotted them and ask the property owner if he could get them. We got recruited to help load and haul them and got one gazebo in return! That was before we had great camera phones and I didn't document the rescue. For a season or two, the gazebo was in its found state, but I started landscaping around it and built the brick patio that connects to our house. Finally, we decided a makeover was going to happen! She got painted white and my husband and brother surprised me with a rusty tin roof! 

It was about the same time, that I decided I would no longer have plastic pots visible in my yard and started planting with recycled junk! That's when the real fun began and my yard took on a new personality. The only thing purchased new in a store is the hummingbird feeder and the solar lantern.
That crock was abandoned in a field. The rusty container the chives are in doesn't even have a bottom. In fact several of the planters shown, have rusted out bottoms. I hide the plastic flower pots by sitting them inside the metal ones. For the hanging buckets, the plastic hanging baskets have been wired to the top of the bucket and then I plant in them. (It's going on 5 years, with the same wires holding the same flower pots inside.)

I have 4-5 different pots arranged in the old wash tub. I mulch around the edges, so it looks like everything is planted in the tub. This makes it easy to switch out plants seasonally or when one begins to made away, I can change it out. I', surprised the geraniums are still holding on, since I don't have the greatest of luck with them. Why do they always look so good on everyone else's porch, but I struggle with them?
This was a beat up, rusty old water jug and I love to plant alyssum in it. Little lizard likes it too!
A broken clay pot, spills a bouquet of flowers into the oval dish pan and is hauled around in a rusty ol' wagon. 

The bike has a gym locker basket full of creeping jenny.

I do have fun looking for unusual ways to plant in containers and giving life to abandoned items. As the words on one of my favorite t shirts read "For the Love of Junk Rescue ~ Reuse ~ Recycle" 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Free Spirit

free spirit
a person with a highly individual or unique attitude, lifestyle, or imagination; nonconformist.

2 years ago, I met a bride for the first time and after talking for a little bit, she said "you're a free spirit..." and we got a long great and the wedding was fabulous! It was the best compliment! 

Embrace it, accept it, be unique... DON'T be like the rest of them, darling! 

For as long as I can remember, my granddaddy always told me "you're one of a kind girl, you're one of a kind." At times I wanted to fit in, but now, I'm totally embracing the uniqueness of who I am. I hope you'll  do the same! 

(Found the Free Spirit Tee a few weeks ago and had to have it! Denim and lace skirt and dream catcher available in my shop. I'm not exactly model material,  so I won't be quitting my day job to pursue that avenue, but hey I wanted to show the skirt on, so you could see it better than simply hanging on a rack. There's a couple that are like this and several other one of a kind denim and lace skirts, dresses, shirts, and jackets available. 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Thursday's are for Junkin'

Thursday's are our Gone Junkin' day, aka girls day, aka shopping trip, aka business meeting (lunch at LaFinca), aka board meeting (planning out our booth spaces, junk transformations, etc), aka vintage market day and lots of fun!

Angea and I meet at our favorite little vintage market. We shop there first - Angea being the early bird, she gets a newspaper and we plan our garage and estate sale route, then we end with lunch at our favorite Mexican food restaurant. Some days there are good finds, some days it's not so good. Today, was a good day - lots of boxes and sacks in my back seat! Most of the sales were in dark barns today, since it was so cloudy and dreary, but that didn't stop us.  Ok, I will admit one dark barn was kind of weird in a creepy way and we left quickly without buying anything. That's the good thing about shopping in pairs and we vowed to never go back to that location. We both found boxes of vintage lace today, which is always exciting!

I can't pass up pretty vintage lamps, candlesticks, doilies, or silver platters
Or a very vintage flour sifter and bundt pans, or macrame or a gorgeous blush pink lace dress (so much gorgeous trim on it that will look fabulous in wedding bouquets.)
My mind is busy plotting what I will do with everything! I've got a few ideas and some things will likely show up in our Uniques and Antiques booth (exciting news coming soon about it) in Mineola. 

P.S. There's is a new batch of Gone Junkin' sleeveless shirts and distressed, bleached flannels available in my Etsy shop now! 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A Pink Rose and Vintage Lace Kind of Day 💝

It was a pink rose and vintage lace kind of day and oh how pretty they are! Can't you just feel soft velvety petals and smell the sweet scent? 

I had several arrangements to deliver in the area and love this mixture of spring and feminine flowers. 
I'm also loving this new Gypsy Dianthus (the hot pink cluster of flowers) that I've been able to get from our wholesalers recently. I've had dianthus in my yard for several years, but I'm tickled pink to find it as a cut flower and how awesome is it that they call it Gypsy?!? One of my sales reps said it was fitting for me! 
Also with pink roses - I've been adding some new shirts to my Etsy shop this week. There are three different white shirts with a pink rose print and stripe cross and vintage heart doily sewn to them. 
repurposed clothing with heart and cross

cross my heart
I altered this shirt by cutting off the sleeves to make it a lightweight summer top. 
repurposed clothing
I then added some lace patches and rose fringe to the back for a truly one of a kind shirt. 
upcycled clothing

Queen Anne's Lace and Roses... 💗
fresh flower bouquet

Oh, and on a ending note - 

I delivered flowers to one lady and left with two bags of blackberries! So, I made cobbler when I got home! On another stop, a friend shared some junk with me. I do love my tribe and thank y'all for being a part of it! Now, I must go sample the cobbler...