Friday, November 27, 2015

Book page wreaths

Finished projects make me happy!

We finally tried to make a wreath from book pages. Our first attempt was with pages from an old hymnal and we really liked how it turned out. As luck would have it, we had a cold temperatures with a wintery mix of rain and ice most of the day. It was perfect weather for watching movies and crafting.

So, I tried out some different wreaths.

The first version we tried was two layers. So, we tried a more full version. I also did some research on how to make paper flowers and it was the perfect solution for the center of the full wreath.

 We tried the hymnal pages with the accordion fold and a button in the center.
 My husband saw the inspiration piece and knew we had the perfect old black frame in the basement.  The beautiful, heavy black frame made this wreath from dictionary pages look so cool! What I love most about this wreath is that in the "a's" of this dictionary, they include a picture of an alpaca. It worked out to have the alpaca showing, so if you are looking for it, you see the alpaca!
 We also have two chalkboards on hand. Their painted frames make the perfect outline for the wreaths! (Another idea taken from the inspiration piece!)
My husband also had a reclaimed wood base constructed for a sign. He thought it would make the perfect backdrop.

This wreath is make from pages from a book of poetry written by high school students. It has a button in the center and a large accordion folded medallion in the center.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Hymnal page wreath project

A project finished!

We have so many unfinished projects around the house, but today, we marked one off the list!

I had my eye on these book page wreaths for a long time. We found some really wonderful old hymnals at an estate sale over a year ago. As with most things, we let put the project on our list, stored the supplies, and moved on.

Today was Thanksgiving and in my pre-Thanksgiving shopping, I added a trip to the hobby store to pick up some bases.

After we cooked and cleaned up, this afternoon was the perfect time to work on the project. It was raining. Football was on the tv. My husband was busy hand painting signs. It was a good time to experiment. It took me several tries to get the rolling of the pages down, but in the end, I was moving pretty quickly.

My inspiration piece was from The Frugal Homemaker. What I love about the inspiration piece is how it was staged with the blackboard on a mantle. Beautiful!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Scrapbook finds

 One evening this summer, my dad brought us a treasure trove of finds from an auction. We unloaded his pick up and did a quick sort - what did we want to keep, sell, donate or toss. It was a mammoth task and we spent hours going through things.

In all of the boxes and piles, we found two scrapbooks.

Charming is the only word I can use to describe them. At first glance, I expected to find photos on the pages, but when we opened the first, we found...
 pages and pages of old advertising - display ads for every type of household item.
The illustrations were amazing and I loved reading the ad copy.
 The second scrapbook - I expected more of the same. But, with this one...
 it was filled with what I think is calendar art.
 And, this book also had some color advertising - maybe from magazines?
 The pages with the auto subject matter were some of my favorite and with great color, too!
 And, you have to love the farm and tractor scenes.
 And, the prize bull...

These are prefect for the history lover. I could look at these for days!

Friday, September 25, 2015

I heart old barns

I heart old barns...and old houses...and apparently old churches and school houses, too.

Many of you know that we have a passion for antique and vintage everything. Give us something that is rustic, rusty, patina-ed, and chipped and we'll consider it well loved and find it a place to be enjoyed.

We have made a very fun and successful small business out of connecting people with vintage and repurposed items. To further support our obsession, you should know that we live in an late 1800's limestone school house and we bought a historic church. And, I have been known to pull over to the side of the road to take a picture of an old place that has character. I love making up stories about the history and the people who lived in or used the space.

For this old barn, I don't need to make up much of the story. It used to stand on my grandparent's place. My dad owns the property now.

This old red barn always had a commanding presence in the farm yard and was used until the quonset was built.

This photo was taken on the weekend of my grandparent's sale. Even then, we knew that the barn's days were numbered.

And, it did fall down. My husband took this photo this summer. We didn't want to see the barn go to waste, so my dad and husband put some effort into salvaging some of the wood.
From the pile, they pulled some of the best boards and worked to get some of the flooring recovered.
A work in progress. We'll be back to try to recover some more.
And, the load for the trip home. This wood is now being repurposed into signs, benches and table tops.

For those of you who enjoy a beautiful, old building, here are a few images to enjoy.
 This is a lovely old barn that used to sit on Highway 24. I took this photo shortly before it fell down.
 This limestone barn was on Flush Road near our house. It was pushed over by the owners. I loved it in the background of the purple carpet of blooms. I think the purple blooms were actually weeds, but still really lovely. This photo was taken in early spring.
This might be one of my favorite photos...taken in Morris County near a camp where some of my student leaders held a retreat one spring. This is exactly the kind of place that I adore for the history and at the same time it haunts me. Why was it abandoned? Who lived there? How did they live?

Monday, September 7, 2015

Fall at the studio

It's beginning to look a lot like fall at our studio!

We are gearing up for some of our favorite shows. Check out our show listing and as always, we keep our "sometimes hours" at the studio or are available for shopping by appointment. You can also see our booth (and a lot of other great booths) at Eclectic Charm in Manhattan.

September 25 & 26
Fabulous Finds on Highway 99
Treasure abound all along Highway 99. Stop by the studio for some great vintage shopping.

September 25 & 26
Pumpkin Patch Arts & Crafts Fair
Get your fall fix at the 42nd annual event. We will have some hand painted signs and small furniture items with our friends with Eclectic Charm.

October 3
Kansas Barn Sale
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Hesston, KS

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Handmade cards, baby and birthday

 I love to make cards, but often find that I don't have the time or patience to get out the supplies and get something done.

Saturday morning was a whirlwind. We had a short window to run three miles, eat breakfast, hustle to the studio to meet someone who needed to pick up a table, work on organizing the studio and then back home to can tomatoes. And, in true Lehning household fashion, I decided to make baby and birthday cards for some gifts right in the middle of all of it. There is no explanation for my choice of timing, but in the end, I think it worked out well.

For the baby gift, I wrapped two books in maps. For the card, I found some of the rosettes I had made from book pages - added a little vintage looking paper and then got brave and tried some hand lettering.

I tested it on my husband. He promised me it didn't look ridiculous, so after wrapping the books with some natural twine, I tucked the card in and checked one gift off the list.
I needed a birthday card and felt inspired by the first card. After selecting some paper that coordinated with the gift bag, I used another rosette to make the embellishment. Gift two down.

I had two other birthday gifts to wrap for my nieces. I had already picked out ready made cards, so went with them. Now, if I can just get all of the gifts delivered!

Stocking up - fun, affordable find

Every once in awhile, you find something so great and so affordable and so useful that you can't resist.

Last spring, I ran into Target for one of my trips to restock the house. It is too irresistible to skip the dollar bins near the front of the store.

Tucked in a top corner, that was a bin full of these awesome looking cards. The designs were so fresh looking and included just the right mix of thank you and generic cards.

So, I stocked up...
and then promptly went home and put them in one of my favorite wooden tobacco boxes.

For someone who likes to write notes, having new notecards is one of the biggest treats. A fun, affordable find!