New Treasures

In my last post I told you I would share images of some of the fun treasures I acquired at The IDEA Store in Champaign, Illinois. Today’s the day!

In additional to fun things to use for art projects they also had functional items like these:

CD covers, stencils, small storage bottles
CD covers, stencils, small storage bottles

Then there were just so many odds & ends, old & new, to sort through!

I’m sure five artists could visit there and come away with five entirely different bags full of things.

So, who wants to go there for a field trip?


Exploring: The Idea Store

Earlier this month I took a trip over to Champaign, Illinois to visit “The Idea Store” and attend a workshop.

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Oh. My. Goodness. It was a repurposing/upcycling/treasure paradise! I’m already plotting on another trip to forage for goodies. Rows and rows full of tubs, barrels, baskets and shelves holding an array of goodies the likes of which I’ve never seen. I’m sure I stood there with my mouth gapping open!

Items were priced either by the piece or by the pound, depending on what they were.  I really couldn’t gauge how it all would work out but I ended up spending a lot less than I anticipated. That’s always a nice surprise! After almost three hours of foraging I left with two bags full of fun stuff.

bags full o' goodies
bags full o’ goodies

I’m saving images of my treasures for the next post. I’ll also share a post soon of the fun upcycled project that we worked on at the workshop!

Stay tuned,


March Open Studio!

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Collage, 4.25 x 5.5″ from magazine pages

Just a reminder that this Saturday, March 9th, is the next Second Saturday Open Studio date! The doors are open and I’ll be waiting to see you between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. that afternoon. As with the last two months I’ll have a special “make & take” project for visitors of all ages to participate in. For March I’ll have a station set up for creating collages from magazine pages. I spend some time Monday afternoon making the sample piece, above, to share with you. Here are the step-by-step images of the collage piece being made:

The other even for Saturday is a “Share & Win” contest for all the visitors. I am focusing more & more on creating art from used materials and could use your help with some projects I am working on. Bring a donation of one (or more) item listed below and you will be entered to win a piece of art created specifically for you!

Plastic lids, any shape/size (think milk carton, pop and drink caps – screw on lids from peanut butter or other jars – plastic lids from butter tubs, cans of nuts, etc. – lids from hairspray, deodorant, laundry soap, etc.)

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assorted plastic lids

Cardboard or “chipboard” (cereal boxes, etc.) unwanted magazines or books, sheet music, gift wrap, maps

Old games, game boards or pieces, playing cards

Earrings with no matches, broken jewelry (especially if it has beads!), broken watches or clocks

Leftover materials from do-it-yourself projects – Nails, screws, pieces, parts, washers, etc.

Larger items: Scraps of plywood (or other wood), unwanted metal shelving or file cabinets

I’m sure there are many things I didn’t even think to list so if you’ve got something cool to share, bring it!

Can’t wait to see you Saturday!



Not long ago I blogged about trying to help the “green” effort with materials in my studio and hinted that I’d been getting creative with some of those materials. Today I’m going to show you some of the items I’ve created and what they are made of!

aluminum covered shipping envelope material with copper nuggets attached, $15 © Lynne Medsker
aluminum covered shipping envelope material with copper nuggets attached, $15 © Lynne Medsker
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finished pieces, ready to assemble

I love to explore something new and this idea had been bouncing around in my head a while until I couldn’t contain it any more.

Earrings created from plastic drink bottle, old necklace parts and red stones, $15 pair © Lynne Medsker
Earrings created from plastic drink bottle, old necklace parts and red stones, $15 pair © Lynne Medsker

Earrings from recycled/upcycled materials? Oh, yeah. I made a few pair from plastic drinking bottles to see if it would work (and it did!) and the rest of this initial group were made by covering old packaging/shipping envelops with aluminum.

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shapes cut from packing envelope, ready to be covered with aluminum and colored
Earrings from packaging envelopes and old book pages, SOLD © Lynne Medsker
Earrings from packaging envelopes and old book pages, SOLD © Lynne Medsker

Since that time I am looking at every container that comes through the house as potential supplies. 🙂

materials waiting to be transformed
materials waiting to be transformed

I’ve got a nice pile of “almost ready” pieces for the next batch of earrings, including these painted book pages that are sandwiched between pieces of packaging plastic.

I’ve been wearing one pair and they are fabulously lightweight, which I love! And the compliments aren’t bad either. I’m thinking this may be a potential new class for me to teach, anyone interested?


Open Studio for Earth Day: Recycled Journals

As an early celebration of Earth Day (officially held on April 22nd) the next “Open Studio” day is this coming Wednesday, April 25th from noon to 2:30 pm. We will be creating “recycled” journals using old cereal boxes, scrap paper and other leftover materials or art from previous open studio dates. Here are samples of previously created journals:

junk journal © lynne medsker
journal cover from cereal box © lynne medsker
journal creation © lynne medsker
creating journal cover
stitching journal pages © lynne medsker
stitching journal pages
small finished journal © lynne medsker
small finished journal © lynne medsker

Please email me at to sign up for this class. When I confirm your enrollment I will send you a list of ideas of materials you may want to bring & include with your creation, although the all basic supplies are included in the $30 class fee.

Due to a scheduling conflict the “Art from Nature” open studio day scheduled for April 28th has been cancelled. Most likely it will be one of this new classes when open studio days resume.

Hope you can come & create on the 25th!