Oh I'm so excited!  Company's coming next weekend and I'm getting ready for them with leftovers!  You  might think that's not very nice of me, but I can explain.

Obviously I wouldn't feed my in-laws anything that's hiding in the fridge,  I'm preparing for my awesome guests with leftover JUNK, not food : ) 

I don't know about you, but I have a few items I really don't need anymore, but just can't seem to part with.  Take my wood dish drainer for instance.  The little devil was my constant companion for years and years at the kitchen sink.  When my very first dishwasher was recently installed I just couldn't part with the silly thing.

I couldn't bear to throw away the little straw purse I outgrew either.  Wouldn't you know it?  The drainer made a nice little shelf and the purse was the perfect size for my bird's nest plant I haven't killed yet!

Then there was this hunk of metal that I couldn't wait to get off the old washing machine, but couldn't bear to send to the junk yard.

(Sorry.  Just can't get enough of seeing what a difference a little tlc made in the life of Ms. Washer)

Anyway, I tried putting the pulley wheel in one of my gardens...

Blech.  It didn't really do anything for me.

The logical choice was to scrub and clear coat and bring it inside.

So I did.  I call it "Roses & Rust"

 And I like it!  (Even though in this picture it fairly resembles "Roses on a Waffle")

I also threw a few things together to beautify an empty corner.  The leftovers here include one of the bed springs and that beaded viny thingy I tried to shape into a wreath, but it wouldn't cooperate, so I gave up and hung it on the shelf pegs.

Okay then!  I have ONE CORNER in my entire house ready for company!
So tell me, what do you do with your leftovers??

I think I'll send this over to

New Friend Fridays

and see if I can't meet some new bloggy friends!

I think Donna might like that rusty waffle too:

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special


Perpetual Inspiration

What do you get when you double up on your inspirations?

Itsy Bits and Pieces

It was love at first sight when I saw Linda's little clock face turned Man in the Moon and I knew I had to have one of my very own.

Speaking of love, I fell in love with Donna's creative Kitchen catch-all decor and wanted one of those too!

Funky Junk Interiors

So I scratched and scrounged around came up with a double header from their great ideas.  A basket, three bed springs, a couple broken hangers, a little baling twine and I have a fashionable home for my address book, cell phone, pens, notepaper and keys - whoo hoo!

But there is sooooooooooo much inspiration to be found I couldn't stop there.

The always creative Kendra had me drooling with her little drawer display.

Creative Ambitions
Since I needed something to hide an unsightly outlet, I decided to go with the big flower idea.

Guess what?  The flowers do a great job of hiding my cell phone power cord too.  Oh the advantages of stealing the ideas of others!

I was feeling a little guilty about using everyone else's ideas.  It made me feel like my creative juices had dried up in the hot summer sun, so I decided to add a little creation of my own.

Can you guess what it is?  Here's a little hint that will also show you what a huge improvement all these inspirations have made in my kitchen organization area.

Say goodbye to the handy but rather unattractive calendar I actually paid 5 bucks for, and Hello(!) to my do-it-yourself Perpetual Calendar : )

Perpetual, of course, means forever and that is just about how long it took me to create it!  I found a chart on the internet and painstakingly created all the calendars - A through G - and the tables of months and years.  I found some graphics and a picture I liked and Mod-Podged it all together.  The only thing it's really good for is finding out what day a date fell on in any particular year.  But it's a great conversation piece! 

As you can see, I had to create a "real" calendar to add to the assemblage as well.  It would take too long to figure out what day it is using the other one!

So there you have it.  My new and improved kitchen catch-all area.  As far as inspiration goes, I'm calling it a home run, Linda + Donna + Kendra + me and it's bases loaded.  Add the most gracious Karen at the Graphics Fairy, where the adorable Man in the Moon came from and it's over the fence and gone!

I'm linking this perpetual project up here:


p.s.  I was born on a Sunday : )


Something for Little Rumps

When we first moved out here I started working on this mini picnic table I found in the shed.  I didn't have a clue as to what I was doing, and it showed.  I painted it red... I have no idea what kind of paint I used, but it looked worse than awful. The word "hideous" comes to mind. I hid it in the shed where it sat  for many more years collecting dust.

Once I found all these wonderful blogs that I visit, I gained a wealth of information for which I am eternally grateful.  That is what encouraged me to drag it back out of the shed and correct the error of my ways.

I felt like a true professional when I lightly sanded and primed the hideousness.

I even put it on a pallet, just like Martha Stewart recommends : )

It is apparent this little table was used a great deal over the years... get a load of all that hidden character that came to life after a good scrubbing.

I decided to paint the legs white and stain the top and benches just so it wouldn't look like your ordinary every day little picnic table.

But before I did that, I rubbed some stain on the legs to bring out all the dents and dimples and character that makes this little table so special.

I used a deep mahogany stain for contrast and I love it!  Don't ask me why, but I was thinking Little House on the Prairie the whole time I was working on it.

After applying a couple coats of varnish on the stained surfaces, I got out the steel wool and knocked down the shine.  I used a satin finish, but the unevenness of the boards left some areas pretty shiny and I just couldn't have that.

Then it was time to stage a couple of the little rumps it was intended for...

Rump approved!

I have a feeling we are going to get a lot of good use out of this little picnic table.

We will use it out on the deck those 6.5 days per year that it isn't raining, snowing, freeing,windy, humid, hotter than blazes or buggy.  The rest of the time it will serve well indoors for meals and play time for all the little rumps around here and there's even room for Nolan and Marlee!

I'm joining all the other fabulous creations you can find at these great parties:

I do hope you will hop over to their parties and enjoy!


Waterbed Door

My co-worker is such a sweetie.  She puts up with me day after day and very kindly listens to my endless driveling about junk.  Her birthday is coming up and when I asked her what she wanted, she said, "If you want, you could make me a sign for my door out of some of your junk".  (Yesssss!)

I started by playing around in PrintShop until I was happy with a design.  (I used chocolate tones - because, well,  she's just crazy about chocolate)

I must have had "door" on my mind because I found this old door that came from the pedestal of our old waterbed when I was scrounging around for something to use as a base.

I think it appealed to me because it has those chocolate colors going on.

There was plenty of room on either side of the print when I started laying it out, so I decided to make some stars to fill the gaps.  I printed the stars on white cardstock and then glued them to a piece of cardboard and cut them out with my Tomboy utility knife.  (I love my Tomboy tools!)

The toothpick and ice pick were used to thread the stars onto a burlap string.

It was needing some contrast, so used black spray paint on the edges of the door and an 8 x 11.5 piece of heavy cardboard to place under the print black.  I also gave the stars and the print a couple of coats of clear acrylic spray to protect and waterproof them.  Hopefully they will withstand this awful Iowa humidity!

When it was finished I realized I hadn't made a sign for her door, I'd made a sign out of a door.  Whoops!

Oh well, she said a sign probably wouldn't work on the door anyway because of the glass.  She showed me a picture of her porch... authentic to-die-for white beadboard!  I think this will work just fine on her awesome authentic wall.

p.s.  It was hard for me not to add a "t" and make it say "the CUTE family" because that is true too!

I'm linking this little gift idea up at:

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special


Slowly Shaping Up

FJI's Gitter Done! challenge

I hope you can tolerate another of my garden goody posts because this little project has been a long time coming.  I'm going to include it in Funky Junk Donna's "Gitter Done" Series because... well, because I can't believe we finally gotter done!

 Let me start by telling you how pleased I am to be able to post a picture of the front of our humble abode!  We've given her a complete face lift over the past couple of years... new shingles, siding and windows.  My "before" pictures went to cyber heaven when I lost my hard drive.  (Still kicking self)  Believe me, this is a huge improvement.

It took us forever to figure out what to do after we uprooted an overgrown evergreen bush that swallowed the front steps.  I planted flowers and a little weeping pussy willow tree there last spring.  Alas, all died, save the tree.  Sigh.  And then the little tree developed an attitude about standing up straight.  He likes to hunch. Lectures didn't work, so we finally had to get tough with him...

he's now wearing a brace in the form of a 1960's skateboard. And wouldn't you know it?  The kids have to be reminded to put their toys away, but they keep taking the skateboard off the tree and putting it in the garage.  Go figure.

A feature you might find interesting is the plant cage.  It's made from an old lamp and two hanging wire baskets.

Not so pretty without a plant, huh?

There!  Much better.

This next item has definitely seen its better days, but I still find it interesting.  I'd love to know the history behind this old wheel.

Okay, so we have some good plants and some good junk going on here, but we were at a loss as to how to shape it up.  It spent all of last year looking like the cats had done the landscaping.  Well, actually, they did help... they scattered  much all over the place, but do you think they'd lift a paw to help weed the mess?  Noooooo.

We finally came up with a plan and built the world's shortest fence!  (Not verified with Guinness)  My dad tore down a fence at his place and was (brace yourself) going to take the wood to the landfill!  I didn't know at the time what I would use it for, but that doesn't matter, does it?

I created the design - inspired by Donna's Wooden Gate Screens - definitely not even close to her awesome project, but it gave me the idea of how to build a sturdy enclosure.  Glen did all the power work... cutting six inch squares and mitering the corners to give it a little charm.  He screwed the boards to 2 x 4s and framed it up nice and neat. 

We were so very proud of all our good ideas and hard work and were really amazed that we were able to complete the fence in the span of a few hours.

I was totally amazed at how this junk stuff is growing on Glen.  He actually said, "I used sheet rock screws in the wood so they will rust and then it will look really cool!"   Oh the joy!

All was well until this old geezer piped up and said, "Looks good, but now your house kinda resembles a blank easel.  Don't you think you should put something pretty by that door?"

Good grief.  Give a tree an earring and he thinks he's all artsy-fartsy.


Garden Goodies

We are fortunate to have many garden areas out here on the acreage... along with a great deal of junk to fill them with.

Someone was very talented to create that metal tulip.  I put it inside a hole in the axle between those two metal wheels to keep the wheels from rolling away!  The hunk of iron between the wheels came off my washing machine I told you about here.  I threw some insulators in the flower bucket, know why?  They prevent the cats from napping in there : )

This rusty old heavy duty oil can doesn't really fill the bird bath, I just pretend it does.

I found this cute, slightly cracked, casserole out in one of the sheds too.  She's sitting atop an old tractor seat under the rain spout to kinda sorta hide the ugly thingy under the rain spout.

A variety of chicken pans and feeders tickled my fancy too.

One of my favorite spots is the windmill garden.

All those bricks came with the place.  They were lovingly hauled to this farm from the previous owner's grandmother's home when her house was razed.  I redesigned the pathway to encircle the windmill and I love the river rock fill.  It only took us 5 years to figure out how to do it : )

Then there's Harry.  I don't normally name my plants, but this one was just begging for a name.

 I had to post a contest to see what this crazy thing actually was.  It's a 1920's cream separator!

Then we have our volunteer wildflower areas too.  I love the no maintenance of these beauties : )

Dolly Llama knows how to enjoy the shade on hot summer days.

Pete, the peacock loves to hide in the Day Lilies.

Look.  Just when I work my way around the house making areas look nice, it's time to start the weeding all over again.

Finally, there is this monstrosity to deal with:

She has her charm, that's for sure and she has had some wonderfully beautiful days in the past, but winter was hard on her.  Huge tree limbs punctured the liner and she no longer holds water.  Maybe she will become a dry bridge?

I'm linking up my garden goodies here this week:

Have a Safe and Happy Fourth!