Friday, August 30, 2013

Clever bird baths and bird feeders

The creativity is flowing at the Goodwill Milham Retail Outlet in Kalamazoo, MI. Goodwill employees put together very clever and very pretty bird baths and bird feeders using old lamps, vases, bowls and other found pieces for display at the store. We hope you are inspired by these garden beauties and will try one yourself!

This bird feeder starts with a large decortive bowl on the bottom, two candle sticks in the middle and topped with a matching plate! No painting needed! The candle sticks, bowl and plate were already a perfect match.


This bird bath starts with a vase on the bottom, a bowl, and the center piece, believe it or not, is the finial of a curtain rod! Clever!


In the center of this bird bath/bird feeder is the other curtain rod finial set inside an upside down ceiling light that is sitting on top a lamp base. Now that's how to repurpose!


This last one starts with a lamp base, topped with a glass plate and then a glass dish. Glass gemstones are glued along the top edge of the lamp and also on the plate. Charming!


Ready to make one? Here are a couple of tips:

Use a glue specially made for each surface, such as glass or metal, and for outdoor use. Ask for help at your local hardware store or here is an example:  GE GE280 Silicone II Household Glue

Let the glue have ample drying time, a day, especially in the humid weather, between each layer. 

We created a Pinterest board "FOR THE BIRDS" with even more DIY ideas for treating the birds in your garden and backyard.


Friday, August 23, 2013

Mantiques (What?)

What are "Mantiques"? 


Old Breyer Hereford Bull

Vintage Pennant

Antique Civil War Era Trunk

According to the Urban Dictionary:

 "Mantiques are an antique or collectible that appeals mainly to men, such as old fishing rods & lures, tools, toy cars, etc." 

There are some famous mantique collectors on TV:

Mike and Frank - American Pickers
Rick from Pawn Stars (He collects rare/historic books, old cars, fine art, military items....)

Let's look at some amazing spaces showcasing mantiques:

Man Cave (Source)

Home Office (Source)
Awesome Garage

Have fun treasure hunting for mantiques on and in the Treasure Chest Departments at Goodwill stores. Here are a few items that were generously donated this month to Goodwill Industries of SWMI:
Maybe this  iPhone case will be a mantique someday? 


Friday, August 16, 2013

Upcycling old and broken watches

We posted this interesting DIY project on our Treasure Chest Facebook Page about turning old watches into picture bracelets.
Let's expand on that idea because there are lots of ways to use old and broken watches, thrifted watches, garage sale watches and their parts.

First up is a little artist inspiration:
This artist says on his Facebook Page (Dan) that "I make miniature motorcycles made exclusively from vintage watch parts...."

Stunning workmanship of artist Sue Beatrice of All Natural Arts (Facebook Page) :

Artist Laura Harris (Melonhead Gallery sells her pieces) creates beautiful mosaics integrating watch parts.


DIY Projects
Here is a diy ring and a link to the tutorial.
This is a steampunk necklace diy courtesy of Modcloth:

Simply remove the bands and add a vintage scarf to upcycle these watch faces.


And finally, here are a couple of links to help you get started creating with old watches.

Short video on how to take apart a watch.

Ehow article: Make jewelry out of watch parts.

Goodwill Industries of Southwestern Michigan shopping link

Happy Treasure Hunting!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Nostalgic for old typewriters.

Old typewriters are finding their way back into homes and offices. Not always so much for practical use, but for the simple enjoyment of a little typing, or just looking charming on a desk... maybe even for creating art.
Collecting vintage typewriters is very popular. Did you know Tom Hanks is a collector?

There are collector's associations, clubs and websites dedicated to vintage typewriters.
We have gathered a few ideas for using, displaying and creating art with your typewriter.
P.J. O'Rourke (American political satirist and author) still types his columns and books on a IBM Selectric. He said that it works well for him because of his short attention span. 

Author David McCullough uses a secondhand Royal Standard he bought in 1965. "I have written everything I've ever had published on it, and there is nothing wrong with it," he once said.
Bring to your wedding
Have guests type you and your spouse a message.

a little urban vintage...
Mix with other retro finds....
Create a Christmas vignette...

This is from a 1948 Popular Mechanics 
Use a typewriter for a photo prop.....
Leave a message on your type writer, take a photo, print to use on a card or to just send the picture.

Want one? Search garage sales, thrift stores, craigslist, ebay, and antique dealers. If you go to and search "typewriter" you will find dozens of all types up for bid.

Happy Treasure Hunting!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A little lace this summer....

One whole warm month of summer left in Michigan! Create a light and breezy look for your wardrobe and home with a touch of lace. We are bringing together wearable ideas and projects to refashion, DIY and just find and buy.
Add lace to a thrifted t-shirt.
                                             Source & Tutorial
Really nice tutorial for these blue shorts.
                                               Source & Tutorial

Find a dress that fits perfect except it's to short? Add lace, or eyelet lace to the hem.

 Wrap lace around jars and add a tealight candle. Empty mayo and jelly jars would work perfect!  
Embrodiery hoop mobile...use different size hoops and lace scraps.

Find a straw hat, paint it white and add lace around the brim.  When not wearing it with a pretty sundress, leave it on display on your dresser.

Find & Buy
Shop Goodwill stores for t-shirts, straw hats and unique jars to transform.

 And here are a few lace items found this week at the Kalamazoo Alcott Store.

July 2013 Alcott Store

There are several lacy items currently up for bid on Shopgoodwill. Shopgoodwill (Search key word LACE)
Here are three!

More ideas on our Pinterest board Bits of Lace <- Link

Happy Treasure Hunting!