Monday, August 1, 2011

Somerset HOME Vol. 6

Home is...

Featured in August 2011 issue.

This is by far my favorite featured piece. Beth, the editor, did an amazing job on the article, the colors, the layout. You'll just have to get your hands on a copy of the magazine to see what I mean.

This issue has a ton of cool projects in it!!

For those of you that can't find it, here's my submitted article...

Home Is…

Ever since I was a little girl, I loved going on the treasure hunts my grandparents called yard sales; jaunts to the old junk yard with the guys; and the weekend trips to the local salvage yard to forage for all sorts of random finds.

As the first born daughter, I must have disappointed my mother a little. She dressed me in all sorts of frills and lace when I was a baby, but soon I showed my true tom-boy colors. One story in particular resonates. Of course, I was too young to remember, but mom always had a way of sharing. One morning she had me all dressed up in a new lacy white dress. My dad was outside working on his car in the driveway and I had wandered out the door. For a split second, I was missing. They promptly found me sitting in the oil drainage pan under the car!

Fast forward to my adult life, I’m still a tom-boy. I still love a good yard sale and get giddy when we pass a junk yard full of vintage, rusty steel. They just don’t make ‘em like they used too. There’s something about real steel –scratched, pitted and rusty with age that just makes me happy.

A couple summer’s ago, Phillip and I were out-and-about on a weekend dune buggy drive and came across a defunct old wood mill. It was incredible. Vintage junk as far as the eye could see. Piles of rusty gears. Weathered wood ladders. Stacks of red, round-bottomed fire buckets. Wooden boxes full of all sorts of hardware, fittings and fixtures. I was in re-purpose paradise!

The following Monday, I tracked down the keeper-of-the-mill and met with him there. As we walked around - me, like a kid who just won a shopping spree at a toy store - he, amused at my excitement- he shared many heart-felt stories:  “the so-and-so used to be here” in an area that was now over-grown with weeds; “these were used for” describing the piles of rusty gear; “who knows who those belonged to” pointing at the old dust covered leather work boots; and a story of the huge owl that was watching us from at least 30 feet over-head in the rafters. 

He shared, “That old owl was abandoned by its mother when it was still in the nest. All of us guys kind of adopted him as our mascot and he’s lived here ever since.” I couldn’t help but have a lump in my throat as we shared a quiet moment; looking around the abandoned building that once held so much promise and hope for this little logging community. That old owl was once abandoned amongst the hustle and bustle of men and machinery and now lives out his life in an abandoned building; where the only noise you hear is the creaking of the doors and metal roofing sections scraping against one another as the wind rolls through.

I will, forever, have a piece of this history in my home and in my heart, as one aged section of corrugated metal from that mill became the base of my HOME sign. It was perfectly aged and distressed with nail holes from a by-gone era.

Using my Cricut die cutting machine and smooth white contact paper, I cut out my letters one at a time, as the whole word was larger than the 12”x12” mat I had. While still on the cutting mat, I removed the negative sections that would become the painted area. Using a length of 6” wide clear vinyl transfer tape, I lined up the topmost edge in the same place each time so they would ultimately be aligned. I burnished each one down; then moved on to the next letter. Once all four letters were adhered to the clear vinyl, I carefully placed it on the rusty substrate. No easy task getting the contact paper stencil to stick to rust, but patience paid off.  

Using cream acrylic paint and a flat stencil brush, I carefully stenciled the letters. Once dry, I outlined them with a paintbrush and black acrylic paint. I used this same technique for the other words. POP represents the number in our family and ELEV the elevation of our house. 

Using three old water spigot handles I had in my collection, I drilled holes at the bottom of the sign and using nylon stand-offs and long carriage bolts, created three pegs to hang items from. To add a bit more dimension, I added some wire “ribbon” by wrapping the sign horizontally a few times and added a wire “bow” embellished with a vintage skeleton key. This wire also serves as the wall hanger.

Very simple, rustic and full of meaning.

Tina Schiefer lives in Grants Pass, Oregon and enjoys treasure hunting, designing and creating mixed media projects. She has previously been published in various Stampington publications. You can visit her blog at where she shares random thoughts about her hopes, dreams and reality. She also welcomes email at

Vintage corrugated metal section
Skeleton Key
Water spigot handles
Baling wire
Die cutting machine
6” vinyl transfer tape
Smooth, contact paper
Acrylic paint – black and cream
Stencil brush
Fine tip paint brush
Wire cutters

Stay little gourd doll challenge project has also been featured in ART DOLL QUARTERLY - Fall 2011...she's...well, you'll see....

Joining the SNS #98 over at Funky Junk Interiors
Playing over at My Repurposed Life too!
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