Tinker Verve

creating with spirit & enthusiasm…often with great results

…what to do with salvage?

Do you love to take something and find a creative, fun, never-thought-of-before use for it?

I recently entered a ‘sale’ {in my neck of the woods} with a group of like-minded gals/friends who came out from the Spokane area to shop for great finds.  At one point I came upon two of my favorite junking life-friends, Celeste & Holly…they were standing there staring an item down with deep intent in their eyes. 

The definition of that look?: we making something out of nothingright here and now.

I just wanted to climb into their little heads.  I could vision an idea for that piece of junk, but what was their vision?  Certainly it was completely different than my own.

A couple of weeks ago I had a great fire going outside.  When I burn, I BURN…I start looking for anything and everything that can just….be GONE

I had two old chairs that really needed to be GONE!  Honestly, I probably could have put them in my booth at Farm Chicks and had somebody PAY me to take them off of my hands but I could see no vision for them….until I turned them over and saw the fun coils that filled the underside of them.  My first little coils.  You see them at all the sales but now I had my own.  {silly me}  I enlisted my Mr’s help {who couldn’t see my vision AT ALL…but willingly helped} and we cut all of those little coils out of the bottoms of those chairs before they hit the burn pile.

Yesterday I finally brought one inside.  If I have something sitting around that seems to have no use I can begin to envision many creative uses for it just by having it around.

It took just minutes to slip one of my green, jar flower vases {still sitting on the table from the weekend’s art retreat} into one of the coils…perfect fit!  Since my eye likes things in 3’s, I went back out and got 3 coils that were still tied together….voila!

Another one of my… sweet pleasures = simple joys

{and it was free….I know my Mr. can catch that vision…btw, he think this post should be titled, “Spring Flowers”…he’s such a clever one}

We have had our share of hard freezes so the blooms are looking quite sad but yesterday I was able to pick a lovely bouquet of parsley and included blooms of sage and oregano….beautiful and fragrant and untouched by the frost!

October 27, 2011 Posted by | Chic Rustique, garden, just plain fun, my neck of the woods! | 2 Comments

Market Shopper ~ Sweet Rustique

I have had so much fun making this new Market Shopper.

It is a bag that measures 13″ x 27″. 

It’s nice and deep…perfect for that special sale or farmer’s market.

I have been collecting vintage barkcloth {old drapery} for years and it teams perfectly with the rustic burlap.

I always prefer to hi-light any special characteristics…{i.e. time-worn holes, care instructions, etc…}

This one is just too much fun!

I took a part an old oil painting and hand-sewed it to the front of one of the bags.

Oh, My!

This was a pretty perfect way to spend my Mother’s Day…

May 9, 2011 Posted by | Chic Rustique, family, farmgirl style, market shopper, sewing | 3 Comments

Chic Rustique Market Shopper

I’ll side-step a bit here from my Retreat Reports as I wait for more pictures to arrive…  🙂  …and show you a fun shopping bag that I made yesterday.

It’s large and perfect for your trip to a shop, show or market.

…and it’s oh, so chic…Chic Rustique!

April 13, 2011 Posted by | Chic Rustique, market shopper, sewing | Leave a comment


The past couple of days my friend, Diane and I have been working in her workshop.

She is far more ‘handy’ than I…in fact, she would rather rebuild a motor than attend a tea and glitter party.

It’s an interesting combination when we team together her knowledge of power tools and building and my knowledge of quilting and the tools necessary for that.  Really, it’s not all that different {I’m not so sure she sees or appreciates the similarities}.  😉

We actually have a bigger picture involved here.  Remember a couple of months ago when we were collecting barn board?  We’ve been ‘dreaming’ up the idea of having a weekend retreat {Bσhσ Style} where each gal attending will build an outhouse~sized chicken coop {4×4}.  These will be embellished with painted beaded board, vintage wallpaper, possibly even a chandelier…as well as a vintage window and door.  The final touches would be up to each individual.

The finished project could be anything: chicken coop, playhouse, storage shed, outhouse….

We’re still working on the logistics to this ‘idea’…so stay tuned for more information to come…

…with our mornings starting out in the single digits, a HOT fire is a key ingredient to these work days…

February 22, 2011 Posted by | Chic Rustique, wood creation | 3 Comments

A fun, fun find!

Did you know that there are collectors, associations, museums, shows, societies, organizations and more… all in the name of antique barbed wire?

If I wanted to, {and I really, really don’t}, I’m quite sure that I could get wrangled right into the excitement.  There is so much craftsmanship and history involved in this subject.

Yesterday, I purchased a box that contains hundreds of pieces of antique barbed wire that belonged to a collector…I paid $5 for the whole thing.  I immediately began to dream about the creations that I could make with such a find…creations that would pair 100+ year old barn board {from my own community}, antique barbed wire and rusty chicken wire with a lovely collaged piece of work, finished off with a silvery, soldered edge.

There I would have some more of that lovely, Chic Rustique!!!

Since there truly is potential collect-ability in these pieces, I won’t be bending and cutting anytime soon.

The piece that is pictured above was patented in 1868 by New York blacksmith Michael Kelly.  This is the first successful barbed wire that was produced.  Unfortunately, he lost the patent on this piece due to faulty patent language but  later he successfully patented a wire called ‘Pin Wire’ that today will fetch a 3-figure price for an 18″ length.

Can anyone say “WOW”?!???!

That’s really all I know about antique barbed wire and that information came from here.

But, I do know something quite personal about redcowboyboots, which I purchased at the same time.

I know that they are:


not-so comfortable


they make me smile!

January 5, 2010 Posted by | Chic Rustique, collection | 3 Comments

I need to move beyond stockings…

I thought I was done with stockings and then I came up with a different idea.

These came out nothing like my ‘idea’ but they are fun {and that ‘idea’ is still rattling around up there…}.

The cuff on this one was made with ½ of a vintage linen napkin.

When I started this one I was planning to use the other half of the napkin but this just seemed to ‘fit’ better.

And, with the addition of a nicely-aged, red velvet button, it’s ready to go.

I designed a tag that I’ll just use @ my {one, so far} Christmas Show, A Vintage Christmas!

November 24, 2009 Posted by | bespoke design, Chic Rustique, Christmas, sewing | 2 Comments

just a few more blessings…

Here is another variation of the Christmas Stockings that I wrote about yesterday…I really like this one!

On a different note…today I celebrate 23 years of being a mom…½ my life!

What an interesting thought…it’s a thought that prods me to reminisce a bit.  I can honestly say that from my earliest recollection, all I ever wanted to be was a mom.  I absolutely couldn’t wait.  Then I jumped in.  When Andrew was 9 mos.  {and seeming like such a big boy}, Lauren was on the way….then about 4 years later, Elizabeth.  There really wasn’t any time to think…I just did…and did…and went…and did some more….   Now I can see how my life was redefined on November 21st ♥ 1986…it took on new meaning.  I didn’t really realize then that I would never be the same.  I truly believe that once we are gifted with the title ‘Mom’, God begins to dole out His ‘mom blessings’…the blessings that He saves just for moms!   He begins to change us and gift us as He sees fit.  I’m so thankful {& a bit overwhelmed} with His generosity!

Happy Birthday, Andrew!

November 21, 2009 Posted by | birthday, Chic Rustique, family, sewing | 11 Comments