Tag Archives: box

From Trash to Treasure


I love boxes.  I collect boxes of all sorts.  Some of them are pretty vintage trinket boxes, some are carved wood, bone, shell, glass, paper etc.  I love them!  I also like to save and reuse boxes or containers from food, medicine, and packaging from anything.  I have always reused stuff but never really knew how to dress it up and make it look nice.  I have tried a few things in the past but it didn’t really hold up because I didn’t have the right materials so it would stay.  I’ve been learning though.  I recently joined a group on facebook called The Craft Hole  and they have some very talented members!   After seeing some of the stuff they make in that group I was a bit intimidated!  I joined a challenge they had called “Trash to Treasure” and had a great idea for something I wanted to do.  I like all the things I make to be practical and useful.  I had a great idea but I just didn’t know how to get started.  I finally shared my idea with them and some members nudged me in the right direction.  All I really needed was the proper terms to look up on youtube and I found a wealth of great videos and tutorials.  I watched a bunch of videos and got lots of ideas.  I didn’t have the same materials they were using but I got the idea of what they were doing.

Here’s my box.  Both of my teen-aged sons got wallets for Christmas and two of these awesome boxes were going into the trash.  They are covered in some sort of faux leather or something with stitching around the edging.

Dockers wallet box

I really liked how one side was sloped.  I realized it would be perfect for keeping my stitch markers in for crochet/knitting.  I have terrible nails so I keep them cut short and then I have the hardest time picking up the stitch markers.  I could just slide one up the side of this box!  I also have this travel Pepto Bismol To-Go tablet container that I’ve been using to keep my darning needles in.  That was especially handy because it has a child proof cap so if any children are around they can’t get to the needles.  I peeled the label off of that pink plastic tube and just wrapped some pink patterned washi tape around it to make it look nicer.  That container slips perfectly into that little cubbie hole in the box.  It is just snug enough to keep it from falling out.

I wanted to paint the bottom part of the box a light cream color so I had to over up all that orange.  Did I get the job done?  I gesso. har har


It took a lot of it to hide all of that orange.  Then I mixed up some acrylic paint to paint it a nice vintage shade of cream.  It was kind of funny because it’s been a while since I’ve mixed paint, especially thicker paint like acrylic.  I kinda struggle sometimes with knowing what colors to mix to get what I want but I just glopped out some paint and mixed it all up and it exactly matched the ribbon I bought to put on this box.  I didn’t even have to add a little move of this color…. and that color…. no, a little more yellow….. a little more red….. etc.  It was just perfect, right out of the gate (or tube).

Here you can see some of the goodies I bought to decorate the box.


So then I printed up some graphics from a blog I found.

If you subscribe to their newsletter they always attach a freebie!  This is the last one and I fell in love with it right away.  I just love these colors.  When I printed the sheet I didn’t have the page orientation set right so it printed small but that was perfect because the images worked great on my box.

Docker box reborn

Here’s where I got stuck and really didn’t know what to do.  I knew I wanted a vintage looking box and some members of the group mentioned above suggested I look on youtube.com for distressing tutorials.  I watched a ton.  Some of them weren’t even in English but I still got the idea.  I don’t really have any one video that helped the most.  I didn’t have the same stuff they used in any of those videos so I just pulled out what I had.  I mixed up some more colors of acrylic paint and did a little dry brushing.  Sometimes I’d take a damp paper towel wipe it off (pretty much like what they were doing with stain in the videos).  I pretty much just played and had fun making my box look old.  I used some scapbooking stickers of coins and stamps and some other paper elements.  I had fun altering the images, which is another thing I learned.  I sanded the edges, tore, wrinkled up and added a little colored chalk.  I even used a little paint on a q-tip to add some shading to the coins.  For some reason, I never thought about making these adjustments to things before.

Finished inside

The little piece of ribbon at the bottom there is for pulling the box open.  The top fits over the bottom section pretty snug.  It was hard to open before I painted.  I used some good quality glue so hopefully it will never come off.

The bottom

I even added my name and the date.  It is a piece of art after all.

I really had fun when I started working on the top.  I had all of these different elements that I wanted to use but didn’t really have a clear idea in mind.  I started fumbling around with the ribbon and finally realized it was just too nice.  I bullied it around a bit until it looked like what I wanted.  I wanted it to have some frayed areas and pulled and distorted the weave of the fabric.  Finally I wrinkled it up and then started shaping it into a base for my centerpiece.  I brushed some decoupage medium over an image to seal it and then added a wooden, laser-cut frame and some butterflies.  I even took one of the images, some the awesome freebie set mentioned above, and layered it over the large butterfly and then just tore the paper along the edge of the butterfly.  I added some decoupage glue and slide the paper to get some wrinkles and I wanted a little bit of the light color of the wooden butterfly to show at the edge.  I really like the way it turned out!

The top

Oh, and I found that shell on the beach at St. George Island in Florida this past summer and I found that button in my mom’s things.  I will always be reminded of some good times whenever I used my *new* box.

My awesome box in use


Long time, no post…


Yeah, it has been a really long time.  I haven’t been feeling well for about that long….  Fibromyalgia is sucking the life out of me.  I need to put up more of a fight.

I think I’ll get back to writing here because I need something to keep me going.  I’m working on getting back into reading too.  I didn’t read much at all last year.  It is so hard to focus and I find myself reading the same line over and over again and forgetting what I read.

Anyway, when I went to the doctor last week (I think it was) I had planned to do something before and changed my mind.  Whenever I leave the house in the winter the cold makes me start to hurt all over.  Usually, my husband drives me.  He picks me up in a warmed up car and drops me off right at the door so I spend as little time as possible in the cold.  Well, something came up and I ended up driving myself.  So, forgetting that I can’t do what I used to, I planned some other stops along the way.  Once I left the warm garage though and the cold air started seeping into the car I quickly changed my mind.  Instead I stopped into the Literacy Council’s used book store which is close to the clinic.  I picked up two books: The Inn at Rose Harbor by Debbie Macomber and Spirit Walker, a beautiful book of Indian poetry and artwork by Nancy Wood with paintings by Frank Howell.  I bought a copy of Spirit Walker for my mother in law and read it before I gave it to her.  I started tagging the poems I really liked with sticky notes and realized I had nearly tagged the whole book.  I was so surprised to see that book there so I bought it for myself.  The artwork is beautiful!  I saw the Debbie Macomber book when it first came out in hard back and decided to wait for it.  I finally found it in paperback and because my punch card was full I got it for free.

After my appointment I stopped by Joann’s to get some stuff to dress up a wallet box left over from Christmas.  I have grand ideas for this box.  I also joined this group on facebook called the Craft Hole that has challenges and swaps.  One of the challenges is “trash to treasure” and I signed up since that is right up my alley!  I’ve been sick with a cold though so I have’t been able to work on it.   I was getting worried I wouldn’t finish before the deadline which is the end of the month.  I’m feeling a little better though, so I started working on it last night.  So for I’ve just been painting it with gesso to cover up their logo and all the orange inside.  So it looks rather ghostly at the moment.  I’ll make a post later for that.  I’m still not sure exactly what I’m going to do next.

Anyway, I think it was Wednesday when I slept all day and woke up when my husband came home from work.  I wasn’t feeling well because of the cold but I wasn’t as achy.  I realized I was feeling more clear-headed so I decided to try reading the Debbie Macomber book.  I read several chapters and Ahhhhh!  I sure missed reading.  I even did 10 minutes on my stationary bike while reading since my doctor wants me to do at least 10 minutes of cardio a day.  Reading sure makes it easier and I managed to get through it without too much pain.  Hopefully I can continue doing that.

American Idol started Wednesday also and I love that show.  I didn’t love it as much last year but I’m loving it this year.  Harry is great! Adding him as a judge was such a great choice.  No more drama or cat fights between judges.  Maybe this year the show can actually be about the contestants.

Okay, back to work on my ghost box.

~ D

Missing my prince


My husband is gone for a whole week.  He’s in Vegas for a mandatory training for work…. kinda ironic that it is in Vegas I think.  My husband loves to gamble but he doesn’t have a problem stopping.  He saves up the money to gamble with and when it is gone he stops.  He says it is the same as entertainment for him and people spend a lot of money going to movies, concerts, or tours.  Personally, I’d like to take the money and go shopping.  I love bargain shopping and with the money he takes to gamble I could make quite a haul shopping!  Then of course I would have something physical when the day is done.  When my husband wins it just means he gets to play longer.  He loves it.

My husband and I went to Vegas for our 18th anniversary.  He had been before and was sure I would like it if I actually went.  Sure I did… I liked the shopping LOL  But, after you have been together as a couple as long as we have you begin to love something just because it makes the other happy.  My husband has this huge smile that I live to see and when he laughs… I mean REALLY laughs… he sounds like a hyena.  It’s a loud cackle and at the casinos I could hear it across the whole room and know he’d hit his number.  I could look up for the roulette table with the number 29 flashing and know that was where he was.  Me, I planted myself at a 4 card poker table after my husband taught me how to play and usually by the time he came back I had made friends with the group I was playing with and the dealer.  One group that I played with was a group of all ladies and we would cheer each other on and celebrate each other’s wins with rounds of drinks (I was drinking pepsi).  When it was time to go they all gave me a hug and the dealer even asked her boss if she could step over to say goodbye and give me a hug.  I missed them after I left and we had never met before that day and probably never will again.

That time we were in Vegas my husband was winning a lot and I was winning some too.  At one point he stopped to use the restroom before we headed out to eat and I waited for him at this bank of slot machines.  I hate slots…. it’s mindless.  But I was drawn to this one with butterflies and before he came out of the bathroom (and he doesn’t take long) I had won $165 matching up butterlies.  I paid for dinner.  When he was doing especially well I pulled him away to go shopping!  I bought some nice clothes for me and my boys.  They needed school clothes and since shopping is pretty sparse here in Fairbanks, Alaska the boys were really happy to have clothes that were different then everyone elses.  We even bought a suitcase to pack full of the new stuff we bought.  My husband and I ate at this really expensive restaurant and even tried caviar and other interesting things.  That was the most expensive dinner I’ve ever eaten but we sure had fun.

My husband just called a little while ago to tell me goodnight and I really miss him right now.  I’m not used to being alone.  It amazes me how military wifes can do it for so long!  I wouldn’t be able to do it.

So for today I decided to show you a box from my collection that my husband bought for me.

Silver Anniversary box

Of course he has bought me many but this one is special.  He ordered this one online and had it engraved for our 10th anniversary. It is silver and really needed to be polished.  On the top it reads,

“Dearest Donna, Happy 10th Anniversary.  Love, Chris”

I got out the polish because it is really stunning when it is clean. The dark areas stay dark but the raised silver designs really shine!  This is just with a quick polish.

For AEDM (Art every day month) I’ve been tatting yesterday and today.   Here is what I’ve done so far…

First I made this smaller piece for the middle. 

Then I made this piece to go with it.  This piece was easy to make but difficult to finish off because of the variegated thread.  The ending thread was very pale lavendar and the piece it needed to connect to was dark purple.  So when I tried to hid the pale ends in the dark purple it looked terrible.  I ended up just tying a regular old knot on the bottom so it wouldn’t show.

Then I put them together and I got this

Now I’m working on the last part and it should be finished tomorrow.

Thanks to Jon Yusoff for the free pattern.  Her free patterns are at http://tatsaway.blogspot.com/p/free-tatting-patterns.html

Hostile takover


Have you ever seen one of those movies where people try to make this super smart computer that can think on its own?  ….and then it tries to take over and starts shutting off life support and other annoying things like that.  Doh!  Sometimes that happens to me in a way.  My brain tries to switch gears on me and take over!  Yesterday I decided that I really needed to crack down and finished the baby blanket I was making for my niece’s baby.  I ended up feeling bad for most of September and all of October so it had gotten shoved into a corner.  Well the baby is a couple of weeks old now and I need to get that finished!  So I go to get it and see this tatting thread.  This sneaky little thought about tatting something seeded itself in the back of my brain.  I fought it!  I kept looking for that blanket… my husband had the kids help clean up a while back and their way of doing that is to stick everything in the garage (Grrr!)  So I can see it but can’t reach it.  Then I found my little box with more tatting things in it and the next thing I know my fingers are googling tatting patterns… completely on their own I swear!  I’m thinking……”no, I can’t start something new!  I have other things I need to be doing!!” but I already have something started now LOL  Bad!

I haven’t gotten any sleep yet but I was in bed most of the day.  I must be feeling better though because I’ve been up doing laundry and cleaning and thinking about crafts.  I wanted a cup of hot tea and wished I had a real tea-pot instead of having to heat water in the microwave.  Then I remembered I did have one!  I had my tall son, Jared, take it down from off the top of the cupboards so I could clean it.  It’s an antique that was one of my husband’s aunts.  I never met her but my mother-in-law said that we were a lot alike.  She was always telling me about “Aunt Nin”.  She told me she liked to get mail so I started writing to her when she was in her late 80’s.  I grew to love her and she was always sending me little things like antique postcards that she had saved.  They had been mailed so they had neat old postmarks and stamps.  Anyway, when she died my mother-in-law brought me her teapot.  It has pink roses and heats up and there are 4 matching cups that have the most delicate handles I’ve ever seen.  I love it.  When I learned about tatting and figured out how to do it my mother-in-law told me that “Aunt Nin”  used to do that too.  I wish I could have met her.

Anyway, today I decided to share a picture of a special box that sits by my spot on the couch.

I think it’s probably paper mache that’s been painted with pretty green flowers.  The background is an off white/pale yellow and the flowers have a faint gold outline.   The painting looks russian to me.  I found this box at a thrift store so I don’t know anything about who made it but it looks handmade.  I especially like it because they cut a notch in the lid and there is a corresponding V shape in the bottom and it fits together just perfectly.  Inside is a set of 8 matching coasters.  The coasters are heavier than the box so I think they are actually made out of a light wood.  My living room is decorated in greens so it fits in just perfectly.

I’m the baby! Gotta love me!


Did you ever see that show Dinosaurs?  I don’t remember when it was on or what station…  it was silly but cute! It was by Jim Henson and the voice of the baby was the same as Elmo. The baby was my favorite part. He was always causing trouble and then he would say, “I’m the baby, gotta love me!”  You can skip through the video to the part with the egg… 

Anyway, this is what I thought of yesterday when my adorable beagle Blue decided she needed my attention while I was knitting the ribbing for my sweater.  I hate that part…. knit two, purl two, knit two, purl two…. I always get screwed up somewhere along the way especially when I’m not feeling well, like now.  So I was almost finished with the 3 inches of ribbing  I needed when she suddenly jumped in my lap and spun around.  One of her nails hooked into my knitting and it spun around with her and the yarn wrapped around her too.  THEN she rolled onto her belly in my lap and I sat there horrified as I looked at my knitting still stuck to her foot.  The needle was just barely hanging on and several stitches were racing for the finished line.  I unhooked it from her foot but just then she leapt over my back and down the arm of the couch to the floor where she again laid on her belly for belly rubs.  So now the knitting is wrapped around her and me and I’m trying to hold onto the yarn that is tying us together to keep it from undoing any more.  That’s when she looked at me with those big brown eyes and I knew I couldn’t be mad at her.  She just wanted me to love her and she is soo lovable!   It’s hard being a beagle in Alaska when it’s too cold to go out and play.

So now I have it all fixed.  I got it all untangled (which was funny because I had a pencil in my hair and the yarn was hung on that LOL), used a crochet hook to fix all the dropped stitches and finished re-knitting until I got the required 3 inches.  That’s when I noticed a few wrong stitches that I hadn’t noticed before.  There were two purl stitches that should have been knit stitches just two rows down and then there was one purl that should have been a knit stitch that was 11 rows down!  UGH!  It was also a couple of inches from the end too so I had to be very careful to keep the needle on the left from sliding out while fixing the dropped stitch.  So that’s what I’ve been doing today… fixing.  I can’t make a sweater with mistakes and this is the front.  I have to say too that I HATE HATE HATE these needles.  They are long and slickery as snot!  I kept dropping stitches because they slid off so easily, especially when switching between knit and purl stitches.  I would have knit this using circular needles but I don’t have the size needed for the ribbing.  I actually didn’t have the needle for the stockinette section either until last week.  I can’t believe I did the entire back section with these long straight *slick as snot* needles but now I have a new set of size 9 circulars to switch to for the stockinette section that is next.  I’m so glad!  I really like bamboo but I am broke right now so I have to use what I’ve got and I had to buy the circulars that Walmart had (same brand blah!) because they were half the price of the nice bamboo needles as joanns.  Plus, by buying them at Walmart my husband doesn’t freak out when he sees JoAnns on the credit card.  At walmart it could be groceries LOL  I’m a good girl, really I am. 

Okay, so I was telling a friend of mine about my box collection and I thought I would share some pictures of my boxes.  I really love anything that holds anything…. especially when I can find a treasure that *exactly* fits inside it.  That just makes my heart jump and spin (kinda like Blue does).  So I’m going to post about one box a day starting with one of my most treasured boxes.  I got this one from my big sister after my mom died.  The top of it looks like Angel wings and it has a little bit of sparkle here and there in the wings.  On the sides it says “God sends his love and blessings…with wings of Angels”.  Inside, on the bottom is a small feather that also sparkles.  The bottom is the best part though.  That is where my sister wrote me a note.