Recycled Art at San Francisco Park

Earlier this month, I visited the Conservatory of Flowers at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, CA. I thought my readers would enjoy these pictures of displays created from all recycled materials.

A model of the Ghirardelli chocolate factory in light switches.

Click “Read More” to see all of the pictures

Circuit boards become another landmark, the Japanese Tea Garden.


 The Golden Gate Bridge in Recycled Materials.


 Check the detail on this skyscraper made from computer parts.



 Don’t you love the grater and fork clock tower?

 Note the chopsticks and salt shaker details too.

This display just proves that you can make something fabulous out of almost anything!

On a side note:
Do you use Swagbucks? If not, here’s a code to get you 50 free points just for starting up. Just click the link on the word Swagbucks and be sure to enter the code “HelpJapan” in the appropriate box during setup. Code expires Friday, April 8.


Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at

Muted Monday – Photo of the Week

California kitty napping in the Napa Valley at Sterling Vineyards. Maybe that’s why it’s called “Napa Valley”. Nike has been greeting guests at the winery for 12 years. In between naps, that is.


Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at

Back in Wisconsin and Missing California

I’m back to work after a trip to the Sacramento, CA area for a week. I’m having a terrible time getting back into the groove for working, but I’m trying. Seems like it’s always easier to transition to vacation than it is to transition back to reality.

I had a fabulous trip and took over 400 pictures. Lots of them were pictures of flowers, since all we’ve seen here is snow for months. But some were of some cool salvage items for my Trash to Treasure decorating blog. And of course I took pictures of family as we visited.

Here’s a peek at how I spent my vacation.

 I rode a gondola to the top of a hill on a winery tour in Napa Valley and then had lunch at a quaint deli named Napa Style in Yountville owned by TV chef Michael Chiarello.

I visited the Conservatory of Flowers in the Golden Gate Park, which is like the Central Park of San Francisco. I saw just a portion of this fabulous park.

 I saw the Pacific Ocean at Ocean Beach near Seal Rock in San Francisco.

 I watched the sun go down from the cliffs above the Golden Gate Bridge. Battery Spencer is a former military security point and the abandoned site serves as a scenic overlook now. Where once military guns focused on arriving ships, now tourists snap photos of the bridge and the city.

I finished off my visit with a trip to Sonoma wine and olive country. However, I didn’t visit a winery this time. I visited Cornerstone Gardens, a fun salvage shop named Artefact Design & Salvage, and the town square at Sonoma. Of course it wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Basque Boulangerie Cafe, a french style deli and bakery, as well as a chocolate and olive oil tasting at North Bay Made. The chocolate merlot ganache that they put in their truffles was out of this world.

It was amazing to see ripe olives just hanging from the trees all over the place. I wanted to take them all home!

Thanks for joining my brief tour of California!

Architectural Salvage Treasures

On my recent visit to California, I spent some time in Sonoma at an architectural salvage place. Artefact Design & Salvage Inc. (yes, they spell it artefact instead of artifact) is a fun place with a classy indoor showroom as well as an open yard out back for browsing. If anyone can make salvage look upscale, this is the place. Check out the pictures I took of their inventory. And yes, I asked permission before snapping pics all over the store.
 Giant globes made of driftwood
 Salvage doors.
Iron work on the top of a door.
 Unique chandeliers.

Be sure to click “read more” to see the rest of the photos.

 Antique gaming artifacts.
 Photographer’s tripod turned lamp.
 Orbs made of rolled recycled paper.
 Grand architecture!
 Rolled recycled paper on tealight holders.
 Carousel horse.
 Huge columns.
 The front of an old building salvaged.
 Colorful rickshaw.
 Intricate chandelier.
 Another building front.
 Tall ornate iron gate.
Beautiful stained glass window.
Notice the sold tags on some items? They weren’t my tags. I can only dream of funds like that. I’ll have more to show in the next few days from other stops. Enjoy a glimpse from California!

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at

I’ll Be Back

To quote the governor of the great state I’ve been visiting for the past week, “I’ll be back.” In fact, I’m on my way home today, and I can’t wait to show you all the pictures I took to show you on T2T. Yesterday, I visited an architectural salvage yard and took pics of a ton of cool stuff. I’ll upload it soon to show you. In the meantime, you’ve had a little vacation from T2T updates while I’ve enjoyed my vacation with my sister.

Today, I leave California and head back to Wisconsin winter. Eeew.



Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at

Not Enough Hours in a Day

Well, friends, I had hoped to post something inspiring before I leave for a week of rest and relaxation visiting my sister in California. But, I guess it turns out it was more important to pay the bills and leave food in the refrigerator for my guys while I’m away. So, if I get an airport delay, I’ll post something. Otherwise, enjoy your week!

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at

The Chasm by Randy Alcorn

I just finished reading a book for review and I wanted to share it with you.
The Chasm, might be called a modern day Pilgrim’s Progress. Nick Seagrave has come to a vast dark chasm in his journey, but he can see the bright city of Charis (Greek for Grace) on the other side. The problem is that he has to figure out how to get there. This book is a visual allegory that represents the gospel in a way that some readers will connect with.

I had a difficult time following at first, as if I were dropped into a story and trying to figure out the characters. Then, I realized that this is part of another of Alcorn’s works titled “The Edge of Eternity”. The end of the book tells the reader that he or she can read the rest of Nick’s story in the novel.

This book is a good tool for getting discussion going with anyone who isn’t familiar with the gospel. I think it’s a good conversation piece. I found parts of it very predictable, but of course it would be since it borrows concepts from scripture. I found it a bit confusing at times. It seemed like there was such a big jump into the crux of the story. People who know the biblical account of Jesus will understand without question the concept of angry people nailing “The Woodsman” to a tree. However, this would be a stronger evangelistic tool if the story eased into it a little better. I felt a bit emotionally disconnected from the nailing part and that should have had a great personal impact in the story.

Readers who enjoy allegory will likely connect with this book. It’s short, which makes it a lot easier to read than some other allegories. Also, Alcorn is great with detail and description. Other readers will enjoy the pen and ink illustrations throughout the book that make this book unique from others.

I received this preview copy of the book free from the publisher in exchange for my fair and honest review.

 Have you ever read any of Randy Alcorn’s other books? I’d love to hear your thoughts. And remember, your comments make you eligible for the monthly drawing.

Seasons of Hope

I’ve had so many Kindle freebies to announce lately that I’ve hardly had time to post any inspiration! Now that we’re in March, I can finally see the end of winter approaching. Oh, I know, we’ll have a few more snow storms to contend with- one coming tomorrow in fact. But, I can see the end approaching and the promise of green grass and warmer temps lures me with the promise that winter does really turn to spring, eventually.

Have you ever been in a situation that is like a change of seasons? Sometimes, we’re gripped by a time of discouragement that seems to last so much longer than we’d ever hoped. But then, a small sign of hope comes when something in our circumstance changes and suddenly we can see a new season approaching. Like a single blade of a crocus leaf pushing through the snow, a small change can give us the hope we need to persevere.

I’m so thankful that winter isn’t forever. And I’m also grateful that my seasons of discouragement aren’t forever either. 

Are you in the midst of a trial? How do you cope? Have you seen the promise of a new season coming, or does it seem there’s no end in sight for your struggle? I’m praying that those who need some encouragement will find it amid their difficulty.

Transformation Tuesday

Since we’re still buried under a heap of snow up in Northern Wisconsin, I’ve not been out thrifting yet, but I’m counting down to spring. In the meantime, those of us who love thrifty decorating can get our fix from Craigslist.
As I was searching around the web, I ran across a nice, simple Craigslist transformation. Erika showed her handiwork on her blog “Erika With a K” and I’ll show a few pics of her project, but you’ll want to click the links to her blog in this post to see the whole story. She started with a plain pine colored coffee table.
Photo belongs to Erika
She painted it white and then distressed the edges a little. 
Photo belongs to Erika
And then in another blog post, she showed how she spruced it up even more by adding new knobs. Isn’t that cool?
Photo belongs to Erika
I love the change! Erika with a K, your blog is inspiring.
Friends, if you try to copy Erika’s technique, I’d suggest priming with something that will make the paint stick (Like Zinsser 123, or Kilz). You’ll still be able to add the distressing because the sandpaper will cut through the paint and primer.
Or, if you want a darker color showing through, you can paint it all black, and then do the white over the top. After it dries, you can sand lightly to remove just the top layer of white to reveal the dark color.
You gotta love a good Craigslist transformation!

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at