I am having such a blast this week featuring readers' DIY projects, and today's came from Champaign resident Melissa Mitchell.
She mentions the I.D.E.A. Store in several of the projects she sent me - she may like it more than I do. She also volunteers there. Here's what she's been creating:
"On my very first trip to the I.D.E.A. Store, I shopped like a maniac. As I walked through the aisles, I just kept thinking I'd died and gone to "maker's" heaven! When I came home, I dumped out all my finds on the kitchen counter and immediately, some of the odd bits and pieces started fitting together into ... something! Next thing I knew, using an old circuit board fragment as a base, I'd made a doll, of sorts. I glued the parts together and attached magnets to the back. One led to another and another and another and ... well, you get idea! Some left home as Christmas gifts; others were sold at the Art HooHA.
"I also made a Christmas gift for my sweetie using some items I bought at the I.D.E.A. store. I started with a small stretched canvas, painted it black, then attached shells we'd collected while he lived on Maui. The "frame" is made of foam material I bought at the store; I was told the colorful strips originally were used to contruct playground flooring. The colorful hair is shredded paper.
"For as long as I can remember, I've enjoyed shopping at garage and estate sales, flea markets and salvage warehouses. I especially love searching for old hardware, light fixtures and other items that can be reinvented, pieced together and used for new purposes. One of my favorite recent finds was an old trombone that I hung on my fence and transformed into a planter. The black-eyed Susan vine is thriving in the trombone, which functions as a perfect trellis for the plant.
"Last year, I also re-imagined an old light fixture (which had been languishing in my basement) into a planter. I planted a calliope red geranium in it and managed to keep the plant alive over winter. Again this summer, it's the focal point on one of my patio tables.
"Another fun bit of garden decor is a piece I've dubbed "the catbird cage." I'm not sure what the base was originally, but I applied a coat of red paint to a heavy kitty-cat figurine, placed the kitty inside the "cage," then hung it on my fence and attached a plastic bird to the top. With the cat in the cage and the bird free-ranging, the "installation" is a fun, tongue-in-cheek visual joke/conversation piece."
Have a project you've made that you'd like to share? I'd love to feature it - send it over.