Lantern Turned Lamp

Here are a couple of ideas in one. First, in the foreground you see a lamp that I made from an old lantern. To make it into a lamp, I used one of those kits found at craft stores that are made to clamp onto a basket. Lamp Kit Sample I clamped it onto the metal ring on top of this old lantern instead.

The second trash to treasure idea is in the background. I’ve taken a discarded oak cupboard door and painted strips and faux finished it to look like an aged flag.


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Book Review – Rhythms of Renewal

This week, I’ll be reviewing several books that I’ve recently read as well as introducing you to several authors. Remember that you have just 2 more days to comment on a September blog entry to have your name entered into the monthly drawing.

Book Review: Rhythms of Renewal
Author, Letitia Suk
Review by Michelle Rayburn

Have you ever felt like you could use a makeover? Not a beauty makeover, but a life makeover—an inside out radical change? In Rhythms of Renewal, author Leditia Suk offers a plan for renewing and an opportunity to make lasting changes in your life. She focuses on cleaning out soul clutter and repentance, finding a peaceful place of restoration, establishing a plan for reflecting on life goals and dreaming about the future, as well as creating rituals that increase life enjoyment. Suk also offers tips for reordering the home in ways that inspire and she teaches the reader how to rest and enjoy recreation.

Suk’s ideas aren’t random. She draws from personal experience as well as from the input of seven women in different seasons of life. At the end of each chapter, a section titled “The Small Group Speaks” offers a glimpse into the lives of these women and provides a can-do motivation for the reader. The author has put this book together thoughtfully, allowing the reader to respond with questions for reflection at the end of each chapter as well as a “Rituals of Renewal” section that prompts an action from the reader in journaling, prayer, and other suggested actions for applying the material to life.

Rhythms of Renewal would be just another self-help book were it not for the thread that sews all of the areas of focus together. Suk has woven each idea with a spiritual thread that provides the framework for change and renewal. Through scripture inspiration, glimpses into the character of God, and rock solid lessons on repentance and spiritual restoration, the reader clearly sees that without restoration within the soul, there is no renewal at all.

With fewer than 100 pages, even busy women will be able to fit reading this book into their schedules and get on their way towards discovering how to slow down and renew. In addition to writing many articles, the author is a personal life coach helping women find balance in every season of life, as well as a retreat speaker and a part-time chaplain at a local hospital.

To find out more about the author, see her website at

Recycling Windows into Art Displays

I bought this old window at a yard sale and then created quilt panels to fit behind the panes. The quilt panels are just fronts with no quilt batting or hand quilting, so for the quilter, it’s an easy project! And if your quilt panel isn’t quite the right size, just add a border until it is the right size to fill the frame.

To attach the quilt panels to the window, I used a sturdy tape, but you could use a staple gun, tacky glue, or hot glue, depending on how permanent you want it to be. To finish off the display, I added a rake head affixed with a nail in the center of the window sash and hung dried flowers and garden tools from the rake. The sign above the window was also a yard sale find.

I’m participating in the “I Made it Without My Hubby” link party at:
Shanty 2 Chic

Trash to Treasure Decorating


Trash to Treasure Decorating
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An Old Chair Turned Shelf

Do you have chairs that aren’t fit for sitting on anymore? Why not remove the legs and cut the seat down and make it a shelf. The picture below is one used for outdoor decoration and I sprayed it with crackle paint, then I embellished with recycled junk. And indoor chair has many possibilities too!

I hung my chair by drilling straight through with a big wood screw. Shh…don’t tell my hubby it’s straight through the siding too. You could hang yours with a picture bracket, but beware in high wind if you hang it outside. It could blow off the wall during the night and wake you from a deep sleep thinking you had an intruder. You can see the ramifications of that problem…

Note: The seat was removed and replaced with a board, so only the top of the original chair was used. But you could use the chair seat and saw it off to be a little shorter in depth.

I’m linking this post up to Mustard See Creations for Furniture Feature Friday. Check out Miss Mustard Seed’s blog for some great ideas!


Trash to Treasure Decorating
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New Trash to Treasure Web Page

I’ve started a new website dedicated to trash to treasure decorating. Each week, I’ll feature decorating ideas and pictures and sometimes I’ll post links to resources on the web. I’m also looking for reader ideas. See the site for how to submit your ideas.
Reminder- Comment on any September blog entry and qualify to enter the drawing for a free book. Winner announced September 30, 2009.

Kitchen Table Turned Coffee Table

This antique table was in rough shape when I inherited it. After attempting to wood putty the dry rotted edge and unsuccessfully beef up the legs, I put it in storage.After all, it had no boards anymore and it wasn’t quite right for a kitchen table. A friend noticed it in my storage area and suggested it would make a great coffee table. She was right! I sawed off the legs between joints in the decorative legs and then reattached them closer to the corners. The damaged edge add to the charm as a coffee table.

At well over a square yard, it’s perfect for playing games, serving snacks, and for extra eating space for groups of teenagers who gather around on the floor. I also slid an old trunk underneath for extra storage.


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A Tool Chest Dresser Makeover

Today’s trash to treasure tip comes from reader and freelance writer Becky Tidberg. Becky purchased a dresser for $5 at a garage sale. She painted it with high-gloss red paint, took off the old hardware and put on a 2′ length of steel L-bracket. Then she added cool racing stickers and now it looks just like a car shop tool box. A great kids room makeover idea!

Photo by Becky Tidberg

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Tips for Advanced Blogging

Importing and Labeling on Your Blog

I’ve discovered some valuable Blogger features that you may want to try out on your own blog, so periodically, I’m posting a few blog tutorials. I’m showcasing two easy features this week. First, I found out how easy it is to import older posts from other blogs. Let’s say you started a free Blogger blog but later you changed the name and layout and you started a brand new blog. You can easily export the old blog to your computer and then import that same file. Options are flexible as you can publish all old entries at once, or choose one at a time for publishing. I’ve now merged an older blog with Faith, Creativity, Life and I can delete the old one. Here’s how I did it:

  1. Log into the dashboard of your old blog.
  2. Click “settings” and then click on “export blog”
  3. Click on “download blog” and save it to a location on your computer.
  4. Now, log into the dashboard of your new blog.
  5. Click “settings” and then click on “import blog”
  6. Click on “browse” and then locate the file that you saved on your computer.
  7. If you’d like all the posts automatically posted right away. Otherwise leave that box unchecked and click “import blog”.
  8. Once the blog is imported, you can select which posts you’d like to publish if you didn’t do them all automatically upon importing.

You’ve now merged 2 blogs.

The second feature I discovered is labeling of posts. At the bottom of each new entry, you can enter labels for a post. Why is this helpful? Let’s imagine you want your readers to find your posts based on topic, not on date or month. By choosing a consistent system of labeling each post and by adding a labeling gadget to your layout, your readers will quickly navigate through your topics. Here’s a quick labeling tutorial:

  1. Log into your Blogger dashboard.
  2. Click on “layout”
  3. Click on “add a gadget” and then scroll down to the “labels” gadget.
  4. Click the plus sign next to the gadget.
  5. Now you can edit the gadget before you add it. It will say “labels” by default in the title, but you can name it anything you’d like. Try “Topical Index” or “Browse by Subject” or another name you prefer.
  6. Now, save the gadget and the program takes you back to the layout part of the dashboard. You can drag elements or gadgets around on the layout to reorder and put them wherever you’d like. By default, it adds the newest one to the top.

That’s all there is to it! Next time you post an entry, you can add a label, or even add a couple of labels to the post to increase cross-referencing on your blog. For an example of how the labeling works, see my brand new site. I’m also going back and adding some labels to old posts on Faith Creativity Life very soon!

Happy blogging!

Send Your Ideas

Have a trash to treasure decorating idea to share with my readers?

Send your ideas and photos attachments to Michelle’s E-mail . If we use your idea on the blog, we’ll give credit to you and post a link on your name back to your blog or website as a thank you.

Be sure to include your name and website address in your message.


Trash to Treasure Decorating
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Ideas for using old luggage from the web at

Photo from


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