Waste Not ~ Want Not! Using up wood scraps

Michael gets the reclaimed wood that I use for making my signs and cuts it to certain basic sizes and keeps several shelves full of it in our workshop.  I ‘pre-piant’ my sign boards assembly line style.  Line up as many as will fit on the work table and basecoat them all in black.  Once dry, I paint the color top coat; then distress.  NOW they are ready for the designs to be painted on them. 

I keep a stash of these pre-painted boards stocked up in my craft room.  When I am ready to letter the signs, I select the sizes/colors that I want and usually do several of each design at a time.  Since we don’t individually cut each board to size to exactly fit each stencil; I end up doing that final cut at the END of the process.  Then I just touch up the black paint on the end that I cut.  This leaves me with a LOT of little painted scraps of wood.


And THIS is what I do with all those little scraps!


I have foam alphabet stamps and stamp a single letter on each scrap of wood when I get enough of them built up.


These little ‘monograms’ are for sale in my booth at Stars; priced from $3.00 – $5.00.

Use them to spell out a word, or just your initials.

Lots of new SMALLS at Stars

P1070335A big ole basket FULL of assorted monograms and small signs.  Priced $3 – $10.00.

P1070315Added a lot of new things to the spinner rack.

P1070313Bags of colorful little drink umbrellas for your summer party.

P1070314A new batch of little fauXzen Charlottes for your altered art projects.

P1070317Wild flower design blank note cards.

P1070318Sets of three blank note cards.

P1070320Very vintage looking gold foil note cards.

P1070319I moved the packaged nests with eggs to the spinner rack.

P1070321Always plenty of cute mini take out gift boxes and gift enclosure cards.

P1070305An AMAZING cake plate with dome lid!!!!  I have never seen one like this, where the platter sits flat on the table.  The platter has a raised rim that the dome top fits inside of, so the lid CAN’T slide off!  (there is one VERY tiny chip on the rim; barely noticeable)

P1070272Doing some beach themed collages.

P1070273LOVE the sparkles on the sea horses!!

1 stars bannerBrought in a LOT of newly created shell topped bottles, and have them displayed in the ‘over the bed’ shelf.


P1070088And some newly made sea glass wreaths!

P1070118This big one has already sold, but I have several more to take in.

P1070090A couple of framed and matted sea glass collections.

P1070309And the biggest change is that I moved all the white dinner dishes from one of the ‘outward facing shelves’ on the back aisle to the big aqua hutch right by the entrance.  Just swapped them out with the cake pedestals that were there.

P1070298The dessert stands (MOST of them that is!) are here, where the white plated and bowls used to be.

P1070328It just makes more sense to have the rest of the white dishes closer to the others that I moved to the right side of the entrance a while back.  PLUS, the plates were not selling very well where I had them.  So hopefully this will improve sales!


This picture was taken BEFORE I removed the cake stands and put the plates and bowls on the hutch, but it’s the only picture that I have where you can SEE how nicely the display ‘transitions’ from the two front shelves to the hutch.

P1070307Just piled the stacks as high as I could!

P1070308And with them now being right at waist level, it will be easier to ‘dig through them’ to find exactly what you need!

P1070329Beat the heat and enjoy a bit of SHOPPING THERAPY at STARS!


Pictures of the show!

Every Husband’s Nightmare at the Washington County fairgrounds.  Tuesday, November 15th – Sunday, November 2oth.

HOURS: Weekdays: 10am – 8pm; Saturday: 10am – 5pm; Sunday: 10am – 3pm


Here are pictures of my little corner of the show:

On the outside left are monogram plaques and little framed signs.  On the right, cupcakes and crowns gifts and decor.



I’ll add more pictures throughout the week, as  I have time.

Published in: on November 15, 2011 at 5:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Spring show ~ Every Husband’s Nightmare Bazaar ~ Pictures of OUR area

Just posting pics of OUR area today.  Will post the rest tomorrow.  I’m still pretty wiped out from setting up so much stuff in 12 hours.  I slept for 10 hours last night.  Got up and fixed Michael’s breakfast and lunch, then went back to bed and slept for another four hours.  Putzed around the house for a bit, then took a 2 hour nap!!!  On to the photoshow:

I’ve been wanting to try this ‘enclosed’ (but still airy!) look for the spot we set up at this in.   Finally gave it a try this year.  The show owner provides the lattice dividers, and I just used two ‘three-part’ sections and folded them around one end of each table at the entry to our area.   Placed a board across the top and draped some tulle.  What do you think of the look?  Yea or nay?

Here’s what it looks like from farther back.  I hung vintage sheer curtains on the fronts of the lattice.  For the next show, I’d like to try hanging strands of little LED lights on the inside part of the lattice.  Creating this backdrop gave me a good spot to create 2 little vignettes, since I didn’t have a LOT of the pink or aqua stuff.  The effect is much more dramatic when you don’t water it down by blending it in with a lot of other colors.

Beachy blue on one side.   Some spiffed up old directors chairs with new seats/backs, and the word ‘relax’ stamped on the back.


And the pink side, with a little bit of green for contrast.

My wire mannequin with feather wings and a pretty handmade apron (apron made by another vendor)

Cool vintage pink shelf, vintage pink chenille spreads, old pink picnic basket.

Pink chair, vintage pink kitchen step stool and very rusty old pink three tire metal cart.

And below is what you see when you walk through the doorway:

This antique full size spool bed is in nearly perfect condition!  We opted to NOT set it up with a mattress, but to use the space for more furniture.


Little shelf along the back wall.

A little more of the back wall.  In this facility we aren’t allowed to hang anything on the walls, so I have to be creative!  Michael cut some big shutters in half for me, and we set those on top of our display tables; and can hang pictures from the shutter slats.

Looking down the left side.  These SIDE walls are ‘temporary ones’ that the show owner installs, so we CAN hang things on them.  I try to NOT place the big 8′ tables along the sides too much, so I can better access them to use for hanging thing on.  I always seem to have an excess of things that need to be hung.  Guess I got used to having lots of hanging space when we had our own store.

A bit of a better look across the back wall.  Still have a bit of primitive stuff left at this show, but it will probably be the LAST show that we bring the primitive to.  It’s just becoming too much work to keep up with more than one style.  Especially when the beach and cottage are ALL we sell at the antique malls.  There really seems to NOT be much of a demand (locally at least!) for primitive and folk art style furniture and decor.

Right side wall, black furniture and lots of signs!


My little hand stitched owls and kitties.


LOTS of monogram letters!  Had some fun and spelled out a few words with them.  “beach”

“home”  These wood framed monograms have an easel back and can also stand up.

“Sophie”, “nest” and “party”



“song’  These white frames have a pretty satin ribbon to hang from.

Lots of other monograms!

Handcrafted monogram tags’ just $1.95 each!   Great to tie onto packages as gift tags or enclose with a card as a little gift.

This big shabby white curio display shelf IS for sale.


This great shabby Paris chic chest of drawers is only $79.00!

The show continues, weekdays; 10am – 8pm through Saturday, 10am – 5pm.


Been lovin’ the monogram thing for a while now.  Here are some new ones I’ve been working on for the spring show next week.

These are made using scrap pieces of 2×6.

Nicely worn and weathered look.

A few of the scraps were big enough to write words on.

And some others made using scrap pieces of plywood:

Wouldn’t it be fun to spell out a word using all the different colors?!?!


Published in: on April 14, 2010 at 8:18 am  Leave a Comment  
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Here’s what I’ve been working on:

Here’s a peek at what I’ve been working on between naps while being snowed in.  For some reason, being stuck at home makes me REALLY tired!  Michael and I have both been taking naps (sometimes two!) every day in addition to sleeping a good 8-9 hours a night! 

Several new gameboards.

Lots of  ‘initial’ items, and lots more of them to finish up.

These wood treasure chests will have feet and knobs added later.  (but those supplies are at the store!)

Michael may try and get down the driveway today since he has studded tires on the Toyota truck.  I’m hoping to get out tomorrow and go to the grocery store.  (we need EVERYTHING!) Sunday we are having our Christmas with my son.  And hopefully on Monday I’ll be able to get in to the store and do some WORK! 

Praying for RAIN to melt away the snow!

 OUR WEBSITE : www.cscrafts.com/aj.html

OUR BLUJAY STORE :  http://www.blujay.com/folk_art_originals



~ primitives ~ trash to treasure ~ shabby chic ~ cottage ~ Paris apartment ~ repurposed home goods ~ repaired ~ restyled home decor ~ reused ~ recycled art ~ handcrafted gifts ~ one of a kind ~ artist originals ~ second hand style ~ junk market style ~ flea market style ~ beautiful junk ~ beach cottage décor ~ unique home décor ~ vintage home décor ~ unique gifts ~ custom made gifts ~ custom made home décor ~ personalized signs ~ Sophie’s Cottage ~ grubby candles ~ how to craft books ~ Shabby Paris apartment ~ baby gifts ~ personalized gifts ~ AJ Finsand ~ upcycled ~ rebuilt ~ flea market chic ~ gift baskets ~ custom orders ~ vintage ~ collectibles ~

Published in: on December 26, 2008 at 10:23 am  Comments (1)  
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Playing with paper stuff again


Found these nice little 5×5 frames and they were the perfect size to frame these chipboard letters I picked up a while back at the craft store.  Used papers from that big pack of new ones I recently bought at Costco.  The colors went together perfectly!

Framed bird and nest images.


And eggs!

LOVE these hammered tin frames!

OUR WEBSITE:  www.cscrafts.com/aj.html

Monogram tags

I made up several batches of these simple ‘monogram’ tags last week.  Fun to use to tie onto gift packages.  And they sell for just $1.00 each!  (I did add strings to them after I took the pictures)

These are VERY easy to make!  I used coordinating scrap paper sets (which we sell in the store) that have four pages of paper and one page of the alphabet cutouts.

Cut out all the letters.  Glue cardboard to the back of the sheets of paper you choose to use.  I recycled the cardboard that comes in the inserts of picture frames!  Six, 4×6 inserts fit just right onto a 12×12 paper page. 

In the photo, I’m showing the recycled cardboard inserts FACE UPand on the patterned side of the paper, just so you can see how they fit onto the paper.  But I actually glued them FACE DOWN to the BACK SIDE of the paper, so the back of the tags  is just the gray cardboard side.  I used glue sticks to adhere the cardboard to the paper.  Let it cure overnight.  Cut each 12×12 sheet (with six, 4×6 cards on it) into 12 tags.  Then I glued on the cut out letters with tacky glue.

They are fun to display in wire photo holders.

I also made some using chipboard letters that I purchased.  On these, the letters are more dimensional and some are glittered.

Old framed prints

Definitely outdated prints in these soft sage green octagon frames, but the frames were so unique I just had to get them.

Just popped out the old print, cut some pretty scrapbook paper, and glued on a big initial.

Published in: on October 6, 2007 at 7:03 pm  Comments (1)  
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Framed letters

What is it about finding something that has your name or initials on it?  Something personalized?  It just makes you feel so very special for some reason.

Remember the little personalized license plates for your bike when you were a kid?  I always looked for MY name, even though I knew it was in vain.  I HATED my name!  Still not very fond of it, which is why I prefer to go by my initials.  Surprisingly ‘my name’ has made it’s way to the top ten list of most popular names for baby girls these days . . . and I still don’t like it.  Still people who feel the need to guess what aj stands fornever seem to guess correctly.  But of course now that I’ve said that on the internet, you can easily look up top ten names for baby girls and probably find out if you are so compelled.  But that’s cheating!

I’ve been on a letter kick lately.  Been finding all kinds of shapes and sizes of them in the craft supply stores.    Having fun painting them and doing them up differently.

I just kind of grab random letters, rather than picking or choosing certain ones.  But recently I just so happened to have grabbed the letters to spell out DREAM.

The F C E I letters on the shelf below DREAM, are just some of the random ones I’ve done.  They are on a base to be free standing instead of mounted on something for putting up on a wall.

The frames for DREAM are 7″x7″, an unusual find.  Came with a 4×6 mat originally.  And I tea stained some of the mats and some paper and made signs like these with them:

For the DREAM letters, I used various scrapbook papers to cover the backing.  Painted the letters black (these particular ones are made of foam, but don’t look like foam once painted and varnished) then just glued the letter to the backing.  The letter are about and inch and a half deep so they stick out farther then the frames.  (Now what do I do with all those leftover 7×7 pieces of glass and those unique shaped mats?!?!)

Here are a few random letters that I mounted on old repro maps (actually pictures of maps from a calendar)

For a more ‘girly look’ these would be fun to back with lace over pretty colored papers and they hung from a pretty ribbon.

VISIT OUR WEBSITE:  www.cscrafts.com/aj.html