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Monday, December 27, 2010

looking forward

The snow here in South Carolina covered up everything. It kinda gave me the blues. I lived in Iowa for a long while, and while I miss it in the summer, I could care less to see another winter there. I've begun to think about the spring, gardening and junk. {well, I'm always thinking about junk!}

Anyway, here are a few things I've seen that might make it into my garden.

This next photo comes from Donna over at Funky Junk Interiors You must check out her blog!

Love this!

And this...

I think I could make that!!!

Um, this is true Recycled Garden style

This makes me swoon! B.E.A.U.tiful, simply amazing

These last three photos came from Indie Fixx on we heart it .
Yes, I believe I am once again inspired despite the wretched snow fall. Okay, I admit it does look pretty, but it's more of a pain than it's worth. Native southerners don't do well when driving in these types of conditions. 
'Nuff about that, I'm dreaming of coastal breezes, junk filled porches and gardens, tall glasses of iced tea, and the smell of magnolias.   

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

the making of a mantle

Things really are busy this time of year, not for me however, things have slowed significantly. I'm not complaining, however, I was forced to rest for a few days. I had a really bad cold. So, just like your mother used to tell you, "rest and plenty of fluids" will get you back to normal. And, we've seen it and heard it everywhere, but it certainly bears repeating: WASH YOUR HANDS!!!

Now, onto other topics. All over blogland for the past few weeks I have seen posts about mantle decorating. I, however, live in an old house, in South Carolina, and haven't a mantle to decorate. Boo hoo! I mean serious pouty face. However, between my kitchen and living room I have a 'window'. Some might call it a pass-through, which certainly could happen, I call it a window. If it wasn't there, this place would have a boxy feel to it, and it would be darker. Now, I grew up in the desert, so me, dark and cold don't really get along. I fear it would only worsen my Seasonal Affective Disorder.  We certainly can't have that! When we first looked at this house I was drawn to it because there was so much light inside.

Anyway...getting back to the real reason for posting. The "sill" of my "window" is about four inches wide. If I were creative couldn't I decorate this all 'mantle-ish?' Hmm, I'm going to have to mull this over a bit.

Stay warm, and healthy! Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 13, 2010

28 Dignified Ways to Impress Everyone Around You

I wish I could take credit for the following entry. It really has nothing to do with recycling, junking or crafting. Wait! It does have something to do with crafting-crafting a unique individual...

Well worth the read and the contemplation... 

1.Be authentic. Be true to yourself. – Judy Garland once said, “Always be a first rate version of yourself instead of a second rate version of somebody else.” Live by this statement. There is no such thing as living in someone else’s shoes. The only shoes you can occupy are your own. If you aren’t being yourself, you aren’t truly living – you’re merely existing. And ask yourself this: If you don’t like who you really are, why should I like you? 

2.Care about people. – If you don’t genuinely care about people, they won’t care about you. The more you help others, the more they will want to help you. Love and kindness begets love and kindness. And so on and so forth. 

3.Make others feel good. – People will rarely remember what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel. 

4.Be honest and take ownership of your actions. – Nobody likes a liar. In the long-run, the truth always reveals itself anyway. Either you own up to your actions or your actions will ultimately own you. 

5.Smile often. – Everyone likes the sight of a genuine smile. Think about how you feel when a complete stranger looks into your eyes and smiles. Suddenly they don’t seem like a stranger anymore, do they? 

6.Respect elders. Respect minors. Respect everyone. – There are no boundaries or classes that define a group of people that deserve to be respected. Treat everyone with the same level of respect you would give to your grandfather and the same level of patience you would have with your baby brother. People will notice your kindness. 

7.Address people by their name. – People love the sight and sound of their own name. So make sure you learn to remember names. Use them courteously in both oral and written communication. 

8.Say “Please” and “Thank you.” – These two simple phrases make demands sound like requests, and they inject a friendly tone into serious conversations. Using them can mean the difference between sounding rude and sounding genuinely grateful. 

9.Excel at what you do. – I am impressed by great guitarists, writers, bloggers, painters, motivational speakers, internet entrepreneurs, computer engineers, mothers, fathers, athletes, etc. There is only one thing they all have in common: They excel at what they do. There’s no point in doing something if you aren’t going to do it right. Excel at your work and excel at your hobbies. Develop a reputation for yourself, a reputation for consistent excellence.

10.Help others when you’re able. – In life, you get what you put in. When you make a positive impact in someone else’s life, you also make a positive impact in your own life. Do something that’s greater than you – something that helps someone else to be happy or to suffer less. Everyone values the gift of unexpected assistance and those who supply it.

11.Put a small personal touch on everything you do. – Think of it as branding your work. If you’re funny, add a little humor into it. If you’re an artist, decorate it with illustrations. Whatever you do, customize it with a little personal touch of ‘you.’

12.Over-deliver on all of your promises. – Some people habitually make promises they are just barely able to fulfill. They promise perfection and deliver mediocrity. If you want to boost your personal value in the eyes of others, do the exact opposite. Slightly under-sell your capabilities so that you’re always able to over-deliver. It will seem to others like you’re habitually going above and beyond the call of duty. 

13.Get organized. – How can you get anything accomplished if you aren’t organized? You can’t. Make a regular habit of organizing your living space and working space. For some practical organizational guidance, I recommend David Allen’s Getting Things Done.

14.Do your research and ask clarifying questions. – Don’t be that clueless dude in the room who just nods like he knows what’s going on. Prepare yourself by doing research ahead of time. And if something still doesn’t make sense to you, ask questions. The people involved will respect your desire to understand the material.

15.Share knowledge and information with others. – When you can, be a resource to those around you. If you have access to essential information, don’t hoard it. Share it openly.

16.Be positive and focus on what’s right. – Everything that happens in life is neither good nor bad. It just depends on your perspective. And no matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should. Either you succeed or you learn something. So stay positive, appreciate the pleasant outcomes, and learn from the rest. Your positivity will rub off on everyone around you.

17.Listen intently to what others have to say. – Eyes focused, ears tuned, mobile phone off. In a world that can’t move fast enough, someone who can find time to listen to others is always appreciated.

18.Be faithful to your significant other. – Tiger Woods was everyone’s hero until recently, wasn’t he? Sustained fidelity in a long-term intimate relationship is not only impressive, it creates a healthy foundation for everything else you do.

19.Learn to appreciate and love Mother Nature. – Those who truly appreciate and love the natural world surrounding us typically exhibit the same high regard for all humanity. It’s a positive way to live, and it’s something people notice.

20.Invest time, energy and money in yourself every day. – When you invest in yourself, you can never lose, and over time you will change the trajectory of your life. You are simply the product of what you know. The more time, energy and money you spend acquiring pertinent knowledge, the more control you have over your life and the more valuable you will be to everyone around you.

21.Perform random acts of kindness on a regular basis. – Pay for a stranger’s coffee in line at Starbucks. Buy the office receptionist flowers just to say, “Thank you.” Help an elderly lady with her groceries. There’s nothing more rewarding than putting smiles on the faces around you.

22.Compliment people who deserve it. – Go out of your way to personally acknowledge and complement the people who have gone out of their way to shine. Everybody likes to hear that their efforts are appreciated.

23.Speak clearly and make eye contact. – Most people have a very low tolerance for dealing with people they can’t understand. Mystery does not fuel strong relationships and impressiveness. Also, there’s little doubt that eye contact is one of the most captivating forms of personal communication. When executed properly, eye contact injects closeness into human interaction.

24.Make yourself available and approachable. – If people cannot get a hold of you, or have trouble approaching you, they will forget about you. Your general availability and accessibility to others is extremely important to them. Always maintain a positive, tolerant attitude and keep an open line of communication to those around you.

25.Be self-sufficient. – Freedom is the greatest gift. Self-sufficiency is the greatest freedom. And self-sufficiency is quite impressive too. In the business world, it’s one of the primary dreams that inspire people to give-up their day jobs to pursue entrepreneurship.

26.Exploit the resources you do have access to. – The average person is usually astonished when they see a physically handicap person show intense signs of emotional happiness. How could someone in such a restricted physical state be so happy? The answer rests in how they use the resources they do have. Stevie Wonder couldn’t see, so he exploited his sense of hearing into a passion for music, and he now has 25 Grammy Awards to prove it.

27.Be a part of something you believe in. – This could be anything. Some people take an active role in their local city council, some find refuge in religious faith, some join social clubs supporting causes they believe in, and others find passion in their careers. In each case the psychological outcome is the same. They engage themselves in something they strongly believe in. This engagement brings happiness and meaning into their lives. It’s hard not to be impressed by someone who’s passionate about what they’re doing.

28.Stand up for your beliefs without flaunting them. – Yes, it is possible to stand up for your beliefs without foisting them down someone else’s throat. Discuss your personal beliefs when someone asks about them, but don’t spawn offensive attacks of propaganda on unsuspecting victims. Stand firm by your values and always keep an open mind to new information.

Of course, the coolest thing about this list is that everything you need to impress everyone around you is already contained within you. So stop trying to impress people with the possessions you own and start inspiring them with who you are and how you live your life.

This list was an excerpt from Marc and Angel Hack life's Blog: 

Friday, December 10, 2010

l'amour de fleurs

I love flowers. In fact, I whole-heartedly agree with this quote from Emma Goldman, "I would rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck." That there is an absolute fact about me. Leave the bling to the other chicas.

(Photo courtesy of Country Living Magazine)

I would love to have a Martha-esque garden or even Ina Garden's  (The Barefoot Contessa) garden. Heck, I'd even go so far as wanting an English potager. Yes, food and herbs are nice and provide sustenance. But, flowers, flowers are food for the soul. Real, fake, real-fake, it doesn't matter to me; I love, loVE, LOVE, LOVE flowers.

Now here in blog land there's a fine lady who probably doesn't even know she has single handedly kindled my creative fire. The impetus for the blog and other creative projects.  She has a segment called "Friday Flowers," which give one pause for not only their beauty, but their exquisite simplicity. You can find this lovely lady, Aunt Peaches by clicking her name. Now kids, if this isn't the finest example of recycling, I don't know what is.

And the photo that began it all...

Beauty abounds, no? Inspiration comes from everywhere!!!
Blessed be.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A life in glass

A few years ago I was introduced to this very nice couple who own a glass studio. Mr. B had befriended them through some other artists in the area. Ed and Barb are a genuine as people come. They're married and work together creating beautiful works of glass.  This video shows Ed working on a vase. 

Recently, The couple had been chosen to create a very special piece of art. You can read about it here. This is also the link to their web page.

This is a chandelier they made.

One of their more popular items--glass pumpkins. These sell just about as fast as they can make them.

In addition to all of these really cool things, Ed and Barb recycle their broken work. Yes, inevitably, it happens. However, the broken pieces of glass are turned into small pieces and 'melted' to become one-of-a-kind pendants, or added onto other glass pieces creating unusually beautiful abstractions. 

I've personally witnessed Ed and Barb making hundreds of items, and learned how to make glass flowers. And while this isn't the best photo of them, there they are on top of our wedding cake.

Recycling is so important to me. I've seen other bloggers say, "Rock what you have," and I totally agree with them. Ed and Barb are just one couple of several people I know using their creative talents, and using what they have to make unique and beautiful objects. They inspire me more than they know.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

all crackled up

One of the greatest things about old stuff is the patina on it. So there's a flake here, a scratch there, a mar or a dent. Just like human bumps, bruises, and scars, they each have a story behind it. Sometimes the story is really interesting, more often than not though, the explanation is lame. In my family, we make up cool stories for our scar, and believe me, the more hyperbole the better!

Case in point: My oldest son had to have surgery on his hips due to the epiphysis was growing crooked! Eek! He was all of thirteen, and spent the better part of the year on crutches. He was a bundle of sunshine...NOT!
Anyway, back to the point, he told one of his girlfriends he was tragically wounded trying to save another damsel  from herd of stampeding elephants. "In both legs?!?" She squeaked in horror. He told what happened, and there wasn't quite the same reaction, so you can see my point of the hyperbole.

Really, I'm getting to the point. Scar-ah yes, old things...okay, okay. The purpose of this entry is to tell you there's one aged finish you can create! CHEAPLY!!!


Crackle finish, we've all seen in, some of us think it's pretty cool LOVE it. And some people...well we don't care what they think. Here's the scoop:  On your surface you want to sport a nice, crackled finish, paint it. Let dry [if this is already done, so much the better] completely. Then coat the piece [or section] in white glue. Yes the school glue that is mega cheap most of the time, but even better if you get it during the 'back-to-school' sales. Lay it on pretty thick. Then wait 5-8 minutes depending on thickness, then coat right over the tacky glue with your top coat color. Try to make all the paint strokes in the same direction. Honest to Bob*  you can WATCH it crackle! For a complete [and better] explanation/tutorial  [with photos!] check out Make the Best of Things.  You'll be glad you did!  Now back to my spectacular crackled "Be Merry" garland.

*Honest to Bob-I say this as not to offend anyone's beliefs. Thanks  = ^ I

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

today's treasures

I was thinking after reading about Funky Junk's amazing free stuff that I needed something really cool and unique to build my garden around. I just couldn't believe her neighbor's let her have that stuff-FREE!!! I am so jealous. Where O where could I find some stuff that cool?

This my friends sits in my very own backyard. It is the grate from an old fire pit, and as you can see it has a beautiful patina, and it is unique. Why can't I plant flowers in there?

As I was leaving on an errand this morning, something brilliantly pink caught my eye. With all the dead branches and falling leaves about, I was mesmerized. This beauty is currently growing on the bush in my front yard. (On November 30th y'all!!!) I love me some south!

And finally, this arrived in the mail today. Yes, it was costly, but it sure looks nice on my desk. Don't you think?

The face reads "Paris Clocks" and the numbers are just lovely. It replaces the plain, old, boring, white one that was there before. to see if I can get the adjustment lever from a microphone stand to work just as nicely.

Monday, November 29, 2010

visual representations

I like, okay LOVE junk. I can't deny it. I often find myself looking at the old tobacco barns along the country roads here. Junk heaps! Cripes, I have to control myself to keep from stopping and putting every beautiful rust bit in the car. I love American Pickers, and sometimes I channel Fred Sanford. I'd love to have an old jalopy and spend my days looking for junk or wandering around in places like this:

This sitting along side the house in a sunny spot would be sweet.

Now we're talking!

This is just too cute. I bet I could put together something similar...hmm.

Seriously, the above picture makes me SWOON!!! I'd love to have a garden such as this one. I've seen some awesome gardens here in South Carolina, and I know it can be done. There's Brookgreen Gardens which is not far from the ocean. Here's the link to their site.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


I am so fond of telling anyone who'll listen that inspiration comes from everywhere. Seriously! I get inspired from walks in nature, reading other crafting blogs, antique and junk,  I mean thrift stores. Ordinary objects can lead new lives as something amazing and decorative. I seriously need to post some photos so you know what I'm talking about.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Greetings fellow bloggers!

Welcome to The Recycled Garden. All of my life I have been in love with flowers, and I grew up close to my Depression-era grandmother who could make amazing things out of ordinary stuff.  Her know-how and love for crafting was instilled in me at a very early age. We made our own fun. Now that I am older, and inspired by nature I've decided to write about how to turn ordinary recycled stuff into pretty and decorative things.