Thursday, May 21, 2009

Plugging right along...and loving it!

Moving's a good thing. Momentum building and positive stuff around every corner. The shop is just that. Workshops are happening now every 2 weeks. Vintage finds are coming in and going out. Large primitive cupboards, fancy pants mirrors, lab ware beakers holding lily of the valley and now snowball bush flowers. Fantastic scents in hand-cut soap and new charm jewelry. It's all good and yes, exciting...well at least from a shop owner's perspective. But the comments from customers tell the same story..."it smells so good in here" (the soap)..."where do you get all this great stuff?" (all over the place...keep your eyes peeled)..."how long have you been here?" (3 1/2 years and at the barn 4 yrs prior)..."your prices are so good!" (it works for us)...I'll take it all!" (that would be nice and yes, I could fill 'er back up in a weekend)...I love your music (Tawnya, our hip shop employee helps w/ that).

i remembered my camera this time, but discovered i'm not very good at using it...sorry for the blurry pictures

Last week's soldered charm workshop was awesome! The shop was filled w/ 15 women ready to create & assemble a one-of-a-kind necklace.

They kept Penny hopping as they observed her technique w/ a soldering gun

and kept me busy helping w/ additions of typewriter key charms and other cute trinkety charms added to their chains. These participants came from as far away as Hampton, Ankeny and south of Cummings and as close as Ames and Nevada. They came in groups of friends, co workers and mothers and daughters. The next soldered charm workshop will be Thursday, June 11th from 6-8 pm (sorry for the recent changes in dates and times ~ I really need to be looking at a calender when I put dates out there for all to see). Email me or call the shop (515 233-2600) w/ questions and to preregister. ***update ~ as of 5/29, we have 4 spaces filled for the next charm workshop!

DIY Night is only a few days away! Next Wednesday, May 27th from 7-9pm at the shop, we will be hosting a Do It Yourself Night! This is the time for you to finish that project you've had at home all winter or begin a new project. We hope to create a guild of sorts ~ one that encompasses all different interests and uses all sorts of mediums in the creative process. JB Knacker will have an ephemera & trinket buffet set up for your use that night. Examples of new projects that could be started at the shop (just to get you all thinking...) would be an altered journal, fairy in a jar, wire projects such as picture holders and bird nests, decoupaging frame w/ old ephemera, altered art boxes and so on and so on. There will be beverages and some munchies so feel free to bring a snack to share (and the recipe if homemade). The cost for the night is $10.00 and no preregistration is required, just come!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Inspiration Board Workshop

Inspiration board by Erin

Our first Inspiration Board Workshop is now history. I really should hand out evaluations after the completion of these workshops, but I don't because I know how I hate to fill them out. I love JB Knacker customers. Last Wednesday evening 11 of these sweet ladies filled the shop with talking, laughter, eating, drinking and creating. A typical JB Knacker customer tends to be a gentle creative soul with a large capacity for sharing and with just the right amount of sarcasm for a good dose of humor!

Now 2 of these ladies, Lillian & Rita, came to teach and lend a helping hand. As I mentioned in an earlier post, Lillian & Rita know their way around all things creative. Lillian brought several of her inspiration boards to share. I would love to show you Lillian's works of art, but once again I forgot my camera in all the schlepping of stuff into the shop that evening! So a big thank you goes out to Kris for jumping in and offering to use her camera and take all of the pictures that night ~ as I said...very good at sharing! The other 9 participants: Kris, Cynthia, Laurie, Joanie, Erin, Carol, Maureen, Martha & Susan came to get inspired.

Rita helping to find ephemera in an antique book

We got right to work after a little shopping and drinking and eating and talking and laughing...oh yeah, the work part...have to give it to these gals for just finding or making a clear spot whether it be table or floor. OK...that's another attribute of JB Knacker enthusiasts ~ good workers with a penchant to make-do! This project took a little room and due to rainy, windy weather, the outside was pretty much off limits. Although, we did spray the adhesive outside so as not to send anyone into an asthmatic attack. Tools included carpet knife and other assorted sharp tools, lots of different kinds of adhesives depending on your gluing needs, and a few good hammers.

Joanie & Laurie collaborating on best placement

Cynthia (background) & Erin placing trinkets inside frames to visualize the "look"

Joanie creating her pushpins from old typewriter keys ~ fabric for inspiration board a combo of old linen luncheon cloth and black velvet from turn-of-the-century dress

Laurie, Susan and Martha carefully choosing ephemera to embellish their inspiration boards

Maureen and I adhering craft paper backing to her masterpiece

The workshop ran a little over (note to self...have backing already cut to fit assorted frames) but no complaining to be heard (another attribute). I was blown away by all of the different boards that were being inspired that night. From soft romantic style to farmhouse chic, it was a true testament of the love of good old ephemera and linens and frames and such taken to a new level. sincere hope is that these wonderful women will use these boards for tacking up that quote that makes their heart melt or that picture of their mom as a child or that perfect color for their dining room walls or that swatch of fabric for their dream sofa.... I think each of us knows deep down what makes us tick, and what we need to visualize to bring our dreams to fruition (that's kind of deep for me), but I was looking at my inspiration board as I typed this.

Maureen's inspiration board ~ white gesso frame, vintage blue/white ticking fabric and clever zipper addition to hold pictures and postcards, cabinet card picture holder and letter tiles

Kris' gold ornate oval frame with antique embroidered linen folded in such a way to create an envelope/pocket for antique pictures

Carol's large painted frame w/ vintage baby blue feed sack w/ floral pushpin

Erin's antique painted gesso frame w/ soft rose fabric, game piece pushpins, millinery flower and cabinet card

Next workshop is Wednesday, May 13th 6-8pm ~ Soldered Charm Workshop

*create your own soldered charm necklace w/ typewriter key embellishment
*call shop at (515)233-2600 to sign up or email Brenda at