Some Rings and Some Wire

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWanna know how I came up with the idea for this fabulous window treatment?

Well….. in 2003 I had my first shopping experience at Cartm in Manzanita, Oregon.  To this day my heart rate goes up when I pull in their gravel parking lot!  Dress warm, because the huge buildings aren’t heated and don’t bother coming if you don’t like to get rust and dirt on your hands. Things are stuffed in drawers so if you don’t get nosy, you might miss exactly what you didn’t know you needed!

Being overly curious I opened dresser drawers in the upstairs loft.  One drawer was stuffed with bags of old fashioned curtain rings.  I emptied the drawer not because I had an idea of what I would do with them, but because they were 10 cents a bag. Bargainlicious!  Downstairs on a grimy shelf was a half used spool of electric fence wire for under $5.00.  MINE! I can’t remember what else I purchased that happy Saturday with my “little sister” Sue.  But I do remember leaving with a happy glow in my spirit.

il_570xN.420342785_9c49A few weeks later I was driving on I-5 in Portland trying to think of a new way to use driftwood. I guess you should know that my brain works much the way a smoothie blender works.  Combine driftwood pieces + café rings + wire.  Mix well and out pours the “Original Beachy Keen” Window Valance Treatment.  I actually saw it completed in my imagination. My imagination threw in shards of glass and some strings of beads!

s-l400Glass!  I had no clue how to cut glass and had no interest in learning.  So I went on ebay and did a search for “stained glass scraps” and purchased a box similar to this photo. I purchased a box of clearance beads and wire from a local bead shop. Now I was in business.

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I got pretty good at wire wrapping driftwood, learning to make a swirl at the top of the wire first.  Then wrapping the piece of driftwood as tight as I could and then using pliers (like needle nose) to crimp the wire to tighten it.

I used copper foil tape around the edges of the glass and wrapped the glass in the exact same way.  In 2009 I started selling my unusual valances on Etsy.  They never get boring to make, but the Original Beachy Keen was the beginning thanks to Cartm!  For a better sample of my unusual window treatments, check out my Etsy shop,  LittleLaLaOriginals

 

As time has progressed, I have been inspired to UPCYCLE! I started my other Etsy Shop, Whimziville featuring all things whimsical and Repurposed like this “Sweet Memories of Margaret” valance:

 

Thank goodness for a bunch of bags of rings and a spool of wire. I still use electric fence wire and order about 1 1/2 miles of wire a year!

Author: Patty Thurlby

I am a full time artist with a whimsical point of view!

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