Friday, August 29, 2014

Love Spoke-n Here



It's hard to believe that summer comes to an unofficial end this weekend, isn't it? Just because the calendar says "Labor Day" doesn't mean that all that the party's over!  Bring outdoor fun inside with our newest canvas print design.

This one is called "Love Spoke" and it measures 14 x 11-inches. It is photographed on a Turner Yellow background with white lettering. You, however, can mix up the colors to fit your decor! Take a look at our Etsy shop to see lots of new canvas pieces, and many new colors added to our line-up.

For a preview of all of our colors, follow this link:  http://www.povertybarn.net/p/poverty-barn-colors-styles.html

Have a safe and happy weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

If you haven't visited our sister site lately, what are you waiting for? This the home of all of our great racing-themed products. We have wood signs, canvas, burlap prints and we just released our very first t-shirt design!  4LeftTurns.net is a great place to find the perfect gift for the race fan on your list!


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Everything Old is New Again

Last Sunday after church, and lunch, we made our usual stop at Jo-Ann Fabric. I'm always running in to grab more paint, or something else to keep this little business going.

While I was deciding between colors of chalk paint, my hubby was looking at garden containers. He found this fabulous aluminum box that immediately reminded us of a milk cooler. In case you're not as old as us, at one time, one didn't have to run to the grocery or local dairy store for dairy products. They would be delivered right to your door and left in a nice little insulated metal cooler on your front porch if you weren't home.

Our local dairy was St. Charles Dairy Company and yes, I still remember getting deliveries. I also remember going to their store where they scooped up the best mint chip ice cream I've ever had.  The company went out of business more than twenty years ago, but we have a lot of items with their logo around our house, including one of the milk coolers.

We decided to buy the planter and stencil a St. Charles Dairy Company logo on it using vinyl. The only real challenge was getting a good logo to trace.  While I have many pieces of memorabilia here, very few are flat and scanner-friendly.  I first tried a metal stamp, which is an actual piece of typeset from an old newspaper. I couldn't get a sharp enough image, so I went in search of something else.

It came down to pulling a lighted sign down off the top of the cabinet, or trying to make a flat-sided milk bottle work. I opted to try the bottle first. In order to get a clean image, I put a piece of printer paper inside, laid it on my scanner and, voila! I decent enough image.

Next, I imported it into my Silhouette Design Studio software, where I did a trace, which came out amazingly well. The only thing I really had to fix were the words "Dairy Co." in the glyph or tail of the "y."

I cut the image out, did a reverse-weed and then applied to to the side of the box.  Since my hubby is way better with a spray paint can than I am, he did the next part. He applied several coats of bright red paint, then allowed it to dry thoroughly.  We removed the vinyl, and you can see the final results.

We really like the way it turned out. We have a mix of red geraniums, grass and vine that will be planted in it, hopefully tomorrow.  After that, it will have a spot of honor on our front porch.




Monday, May 12, 2014

Pinteresting Mother's Day Gifts

Pinterest.  It can be a major inspiration, or a huge waste of time. It all depends on if you actually make or do some of the things you see, or if you just pin and dream.

I tend to do a bit of both. Of course, I am much more successful at making crafty projects than cooking the recipes I find. I am not ashamed to admit that I am the most undomesticated person I know.  Cooking is not my forte. Looking at our house right now, you would assume that I am also vacuum-challenged, and you would be right.

Fortunately, when God opted to spare me the domesticity gene, he replaced it with the crafty gene, and I would much rather have that one so I'll exploit it to no end.

On one of my recent Pinterest breaks, I found a fun tutorial for painting canning jars with chalk paint, then sealing them with a wax sealer.  In the blog, they also filled them with dirt and planted succulents.  Apparently, chalk paint and succulents are two really "in" things right now, so I feel super sly knowing that I'm on that bandwagon.

I decided these would make fun Mother's Day gifts so I fixed up a half dozen and gave them away to my Moms, my daughter and a couple of other special ladies in my life. I also made my own cards, using a burlap print that I had created the week before.  The combinations were a hit, and here's how it all turned out:

I added the burlap "ribbon" for an extra rustic touch.








I had a few plants leftover, so I potted them in these blue insulators, which fit perfectly in this scrap from one of the many pallets in our stock pile.


I used this printed burlap piece (available in our Etsy shop), reduced it, and adhered it to the front of a folded piece of card stock to create the "perfect" Mother's Day card.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Message in a Bottle

Back in the old and dreadful full-time work days, Saturdays usually meant laundry, cleaning, and general housework. Because I work at home now, that stuff usually gets done during the week and I get to use these awesome weekend days to create!

Aw, who am I kidding?  I'm a major slacker and my house is usually a disaster every day of the week. We have to invite people over once or twice a year so it actually gets cleaned up. Seriously.

Anyway...today is a delightful spring day that could be spent outside working in the yard, but I just wasn't feeling it. Plus, I was inspired upon awakening to work on a project that has been simmering on the back burner for a while now. I had everything I needed to make it, but the execution had not yet jelled. That is, until today.

I had been wanting to make these bottle opener things for ages and had acquired the jars, hose clamps and the actual openers ages ago.  Just a few things eluded me: How to actually "decorate" them, and how to attach the clamps to the wood.

This morning, the whole decorating thing came together.  Recently, I had been playing around with cutting apart aluminum cans and embossing them.  I hadn't figured out what to do with the embossed pieces, but I knew this new-found skill would come in handy eventually. Destiny, thy name is Saturday!

As for the dilemma of attaching the hose clamps to the wood, my hubby figured that out for me.  In the process of making it work, I learned how to use yet another power tool:  The drill press. I can now add this to my repertoire, which also includes the nail gun, oscillating sander and chop saw. I want patches for my apron, like the workers at Home Depot have.

With all of the dots in the process finally connected, it was time to get to work.  I dug around in the scrap wood pile in the garage, found a few decent specimens and painted them with some interior paint from the "Oops" bin at Home Depot. While that dried, I created the arrows by cutting apart a couple of cans, tracing the design with a pencil, then cutting it out with tin snips, before running it through my embosser.

We used the drill press to make the holes in the hose clamps, and I attached those and the openers with screws.  After rummaging around in my husband's very organized nail container, I found the really cool looking tacks/nails and used them to attach the arrows.  After adding saw tooth hangers to the back, I proclaimed them finished and then showed them to the QA department, aka, my hubby.

For the photos, we raided the beer stash and staged everything on our front porch. I think these would make a wonderful gift for Father's Day, and once I figure out a good shipping method, they will be available in our Etsy shop.

Happy Saturday!




Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Dressing up for Spring

When I was young and I dreamed about the type of house I wanted to live in some day, it was always an older home with a big, wrap-around porch. It had a swing and a scattering of wicker chairs and tables.  There were flowers in canning jars, a pie cooling in the window (made by whom, I have no idea) and old, faded patchwork quilts draped over the rails.

I'm still waiting for that steeped-in-Mayberry dream home. For the last 20 years we've lived in a great room ranch in a subdivision. I actually love our home, despite the fact that it doesn't match the one in my fantasies. At least it has a porch, even if it's small and compact and there's no pie in sight.

After the long, nasty winter we had, here's what that porch looked like Saturday morning:





 Yes, the snow shovel was still out, because believe it or not, we had flurries last weekend. It's the Midwest, we expect this kind of thing.

After a trip to Home Depot for some color, I got to work removing all the stuff from the porch, dragging the wicker up from winter storage in the back yard, and cleaning everything off. Then I set about arranging the furniture, hanging the lights and then I finally got around to the planting.

The lights are new for this year, and I'm still trying to decide if I like them or not.  One thing's for sure, when I turn them on at night, it's very bright.  Kind of Clark-Griswold-lights-up-the-house-for-Christmas bright. I'm still hoping to hang these in the backyard one of these days. My hubby has a vision for a corn hole court, and I think these would be perfect overhead. If we get around to that project, you'll see it here.

There are a lot of fun pieces packed into a very small space, but I love the coziness of it.  From the laundry tub full of plants, to the table my hubby made out of pallet wood and the scattering of enamelware, there is always something to look at.  This year I also added the little wooden piece with the glass insulators. It was just laying among the pile of pallet wood that we use for signs and it seemed perfect for something. I'm still thinking I might want to letter it but I haven't decided what it needs to say.

So this is my little piece of country in the suburbs. Feel free to pull up a chair, shell some peas and catch up on all the latest gossip.












Tuesday, March 18, 2014

4 Left Turns


It's no secret that dirt racing is a passion of mine (Valerie). You've seen my posts about following the POWRi Midget Series, and we continue to add more racing-themed products to our line up all the time.

Because the racing fan base is quite different than the handmade customer profile, we decided it was time to ratchet things up a bit and set up a separate brand exclusively for our motor sports products.  Conveniently enough, I have had the Twitter handle "4LeftTurns" for quite some time, and since that seems to fit what we do, it has become the new brand for Poverty Barn's high-speed productions.

We are currently working on a web site, which will eventually be found at 4LeftTurns.net.  Our Facebook page is up and running and we've added a separate section in our Etsy shop so you can easily find 4 Left Turns items. Our plan is to incorporate an online store on the web site as well. You will still be able to find announcements of new racing signs and more on the Poverty Barn Facebook page and web site, here.

We hope you will join us on this new adventure, where our products are "made for race fans, by race fans".  Even if you are not a race fan, we would love it if you would share our information with anyone you know who is.  As we build our base, and expand our product line, we look forward to engaging more with our customers. Also, once the web site is up, we have a contest planned exclusively for drivers, but we think you will enjoy following the action as well.

Thank you for your continued support of our little endeavor.  It has grown far bigger than we could ever have imagined and we owe that to you.

Your friends,
The Barn Girls

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