Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How Tu...esday. Make a Bird Feeder

For the last sale I made lots of tiered jewelry dishes that you may remember seeing here in my teaser photos. While I had out all the dishes and epoxy I made a few pieces that I call bird feeders and bird feeder/baths. 

Bird feeder/bath

Such poise...I think this one may be a prince.

I'm convinced he can balance that cup when he hops away.
They are really very simple to make and you can go whimsical like the frog or simple like the one below.

Two plates and a candle holder. Simple but elegant bird feeder...plant stand...etc. 
All you need:  plates that appeal to you, something to use for height, maybe a cup or small bowl for the bird bath and a little epoxy glue. You probably already have things you can use or at least a good start.

The next one is my favorite and evolved from pieces that I collected over time. I keep experimenting with layers until I have something that clicks. Next I go back and epoxy glue the pieces together. 

Tips...glue one  piece to the other and let it set completely before adding the next layer. Do this in a well ventilated area or better yet, outside.

An old finial, dinner plate, candle holder and an ashtray...all come together as a bird feeder/ bath combo

They can be whatever you want them to be...feeders, plant stands...

The perfect height

Cheyenne thought it was a great water dish. 

Would anyone be interested in a workshop? We would love to have you make one with us. Leave me a comment and we will plan a workshop soon.

...and FYI...We have several in the shop if you don't want to make one of your own.

Monday, May 16, 2011

It's Handmade...and Vintage

Vintage map covered box

I love it when I can use something from my junk stash and it turns out to be quite attractive....

This is a 7 inch square box covered in a vintage 1960's NC/SC road map.

I think I keep adding marble feet to my boxes because just that little bit of color and height takes them from just a box to an accessory.

The ribbon reminded me of tire tracks or a checkered flag from the race track.

The old reflector and keys have been in a box for years waiting for a project so I knew immediately when I started searching for a knob what I needed. I thought the gas key was the perfect accent with the old car key.

I  like to finish the insides too.

...and the inside of the tops.

This one is available in the shop for our local shoppers. I will be listing lots of other embellished boxes in our Etsy shop, Ranch Dressing Online, this week. I will keep you posted.

If you are interested in seeing this box or others, give us a call. It's gorgeous on a book shelf or sitting on a table...and it earns it keep by holding what ever you want to hang on to but keep out of sight.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What Camera Do You Use?

I've spent the best part of my day taking photos and editing them. I'm making pictures for my newest ebay listings and I've decided to take them up a notch.

I have sold, both on Ebay and Etsy for years, but my photos have been just so so. I decided with my new shops, I will start fresh with good photos from the beginning.

Today was a good day for outside pictures because it's been overcast. No shadows or glare to deal with was a huge plus...not that it mattered much for the quilts, but I always appreciate a day like this. Here are a few, showing details and pattern.

Shabby to some but perfect for primitive craft making

Showing front and a little of the feed sack backing.

Colors are still vivid where there is pattern

There's that "preferred" staining.

Homespun backing

I could probably use a new camera. It would be so much better if I had control to focus on small objects like jewelry. It took me a lot of tries to get these in focus with my old point and shoot (Canon Power Shot A30), but somehow I managed. 

This was made outside on a piece of white cardboard

 Vintage Clip ons, clipped to a plate

Vintage Glass bead necklace made outside on white cardboard

 Rhinestones were really difficult to photograph for me. These still aren't great but I'm getting there. I had to try three different times to get them in focus and not reflecting crazy colors. I tried them outside first but I was getting color from all sides.

Made inside under florescent lighting

On white cardboard inside - florescent lighting

Inside - florescent lighting

Sitting on cotton so that it will be upright - inside - florescent lighting

So, what camera do you use for photographing items for your shops or blogs? I'm ready to go shopping for a new camera. Comments with your suggestions are greatly appreciated. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

New at the Ranch

New glass in the shop this week...

Vintage Freezer Jars

I think this is my favorite of the three

Don't you love the aqua lid? We have cannisters to match.

Or is this my favorite...I love the red lids.

Gallon Milk Bottles

Arden Farms

Royal Farms

Paper Flour Sack framed in an old window

These way cool vintage goodies are all for sale and ready to go home with you. Give us a call and come by!

We are also opening up our new ebay shop this week. Click on the Ebay tab at the top of the page after 9 pm Tuesday night to see the what's on the auction block this week.

Here is a just a sneak peek...
Working Telechron Motored Neon Ad Clock
We will be adding new items a couple times weekly, so you will want to check our listings often...we are cleaning out the shed! 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Small Business is about Relationships. Thank you for yours!

My neice, Roxi sporting her new vintage dangly earrings that she's "always wanted!"
Thank you to everyone that came out and supported us this past weekend at our first annual Springtime at the Ranch occasional sale. We had a good turn out and a great time! If you didn't make it, we missed you and hope you can come out in July for the next one. We had lots of happy shoppers, including Roxi with her new clip on earrings! She stayed in the mirror for the longest time making them swing. So cute!

Since starting this new business, I have become more sensitive to supporting local businesses and have been making an effort to buy from small businesses, including our friend's greenhouse for plants, instead of Walmart or Lowes.  I love shopping where people know me. I love eating where people know me. It's nice to be treated well  by people who honestly appreciate my business.

I've heard many times from friends that have stores, restaurants, and so on...that if your own community won't support you, you haven't got a chance at making it. This is so true. How could you?  Many times we mistakenly think we are just one person and our presence won't make that much difference, but it really does. Knowing that your friends and family support your efforts means the world whether you spend a little or a lot. 

When you have an online business, it's just that...all business. There are no faces, just transactions... just business. When you have a local shop it's very personal. More faces than transactions, and that's to be expected. We appreciate those that came out and didn't find anything this time as much as those that left a Benji on the counter. It was just very nice to know that each one took the time to make the trip. Anyone that comes in the door smiling is always welcome. 

Small business is about relationships. The six months we have been doing this has been far more rewarding than the last 10 years of my art business, where I began to put it all online and just sell. I had forgotten how much I missed relationships with customers that I actually met face to face and built friendships with over the years. It sure makes getting up and working more satisfying.

So, with this said, I hope you know that our thank yous come from way down deep. We don't do this just for fun...although it IS lots of fun! It's hopefully going to become our livelihood one day soon and we are greatly appreciative to those that like what we are doing and support us with your business!