Create-A-Bench Auction, A Closer Look Part 4

Today we will be enjoying some nature themed benches that are available in our Create-A-Bench Auction.  If you see one you can’t live without, you can place your bid HERE before 3pm on October 20.  If you can somehow live without one of these beauties but want to share your opinion on which deserves Best in Show you can vote HERE.


by 8th Grade Art Students from Greece Olympia

What a great opportunity for these middle schoolers to learn about working together, helping others, and of course, art.  Students from Greece Olympia collaborated on this bench titled, Nature.

Using acrylic paint they worked together to depict classic symbols of our natural world.  The seat back shows a broad blue sky with a glowing sun and peaceful cumulus clouds floating by.  The seat itself is painted a bright spring green that almost seems to smell of freshly mown grass when you sit down.  Don’t sit on the carefully painted flowers, butterflies, or bugs though!

Each side, also painted green, sows a variety of flowers in more springtime colors and you may spot a ladybug or 2.  The sky blue continues over the top to the back side of the bench and is sprinkled with spots and swirls that might make you think a breeze is blowing through.  Lastly, the front edge of the seat is patterned in coordinating spots that bring all the colors together and finish the seat off nicely.


What a perfect bench for a covered porch even in the fall and winter to remind you that spring will come again.  Maybe you would like it in you child’s bedroom or family play room as extra seating.  It would be just right for storybook reading with little ones.


Time Flies

by Colleen Krawskic from Fabulous Flowers

Flowers are what Colleen does, and her bench was made to match her daily life.  Bright red and yellow dominate her bench, Time Flies.  The seat back is custom cut and extended to create 3 giant sunflowers in full autumn bloom with their stems and leaves spreading across the seat.  The black at the center of each flower is mirrored along the edges of the arms tying it together.

Instead of simply continuing one color around to the back, Colleen has created bold red and yellow vertical stripes that make her bench a statement from any side.  Being a florist, no job is complete with out live flowers.  Both ends feature glass vases with lovely bouquets from Fabulous Flowers in autumn colors also found in the painted ones.


When you bring this bench home you can swap out the bouquets when they begin to fade.  Maybe you have a garden of your own and enjoy bringing your blooms indoors throughout the year.  Then this bench is perfect for you as it will be a constant reminder to “take time to enjoy the flowers.”


She Believed

by Peterson and Clark Soccer Team Friends

You would recognize one of the soccer team friends from the bench she did on her own, Photo Inspiration which we visited on day 1.  Rhana encouraged her team to do a bench together as a donation but also as a memorial for a lost companion.

They gave the bench a wonderfully rich painted finish using at least three colors and a dry brush technique.  The combination gives the finish a textured stone look but it is still quite smooth.  The cream and greys are so universal this bench will match almost anyone’s decor.  Even yours.  They choose to fill most of the seat back with the phrase “She believed she could so she did” a powerful encouragement for all women.

The outlined butterflies that adorn the seat back as well as both ends were handpainted in black bringing a softer feel to the stone look.  The butterflies seem to be drawn to the 2 larger silk sunflowers growing on one side of the seat back or perhaps to the flowers in the vase on the other.  The glass jar vase is securely attached to one end and currently has a bouquet of silk daisies, but the new owner can swap out for real flowers and fill the vase with water.


The finishing touch to the team’s bench brings all their hands together on the back to form a larger butterfly in grey.  What a powerful reminder of what friends and women can do if they believe in themselves and each other.


Fall Leaves

by Roseanne Zinni and Jennifer Morris from 2 Designers

Keeping with the nature theme today lets move from flowers and spring to Fall Leaves by a team of 2 friends.  When Roseanne and Jennifer are not giving a much need makeover to benches for charity they are floral designers in the area.  Maybe those flowers your husband had sent to your office were arranged by one of them.  You never know.

The 2 Designers decided to keep the original pale yellow of the bench for their base coat and it complements the rest of their work wonderfully.  They collected real leaves from their own yards to use as masks for the first layer.  Arranging the leaves they used gold, burgundy, and toasty brown spray paint to imitate the brush of wind across the bench.

Once this dried they repeated the process to darken the first layer giving the bench the pattern of leaves in a variety of subtle crispy autumn shades.  They then used some hand cut leaf stencils to paint more solid leaf shadows in deep green, burgundy, and dry leaf brown.


Lastly, using a gold paint pen they added the shining details tracing some leaf edges or spines in tiny gold dots.  Don’t forget to peek at the back of Fall Leaves before moving on.  Carefully hand lettered in gold is a thoughtful saying.  “While cares will drop away from you like the leaves of autumn.”


Create-A-Bench Auction, A Closer Look Part 2

Today is day 2 in a series designed to take a closer look at some of the beautiful benches we received for our Create-A-Bench Auction to benefit the Open Door Mission’s Coldwater House.  Today we will be learning about the brightest of the benches with base coats in red, orange, and yellow.


by Sally Kamprath from ReHouse

This vibrant red bench was created by ReHouse’s very own Sally Kamprath, owner.  The bench auction was her brain child but she didn’t stop at the planning stage.  She wanted to create a bench too (actually she did 2).  It can be assumed that the owner of ReHouse has a fondness for items from the past and this includes vintage advertising.

Sally handpicked several colorful and often witty ads from some 1940s era issues of The Saturday Evening Post.  Some are from brands that have passed on into the obsoleteness like Servel, Norge, and Wonsover. Others are from brands we still see every day like Ford, 8 O’clock Coffee, and Kodak.

She found some pretty clever slogans like the Kodak one that claims, “your camera becomes a ‘color camera’ when you load it with Kodak color film.”  Did you know that the Whitman’s chocolate sampler is, “fresh as autumn air – smooth and rich and rare”?  I love the one for the General Electric radio that says, “See?  This little wife knows radio value!”  Isn’t her husband lucky?  It seems The Saturday Evening Post was just full of good ideas for the “budget-minded belle.”


Stop in to the store this week to read the other chuckle worthy ads from the 1940s.  You will also save 20% if reading outdated ads turns to buying cool stuff.


Hippie Daze

By Tracy and Jackie Tambe

Another bright and fun bench is Hippie Daze created by team Tambe.  I have a suspicion that the base color is called “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”  Whatever it’s called it sure makes me smile.  Tracy and Jackie used some of the most popular icons of the hippie era in the US including the peace sign, flowers, smiley faces, and the VW bus.

They did some custom cutting and routing on the seat back to give the 2 peace signs some real dimension and then lined the openings with tie dye fabric, another classic from the 60s and 70s.  The tie dye also appears on one end of the bench but rather than use fabric there they incorporated a current popular art trend called acrylic pouring.  The process can be very messy but as you can see the results are quite remarkable.

The other side of the bench features some bold and beautiful flowers as a reminder of free spiritedness and the importance of our natural surroundings.  The largest even has a smiley face.  The center of the seat back has my favorite part, the VW bus.  A popular mode of hippie transportation, the vintage VW bus has an unmistakable portrait.  Restored buses are coming back and I regularly see 3 in particular around the area.  This one is hand painted in turquoise and white with rainbow shaded windows and a smiley on the front.


No hippie would be complete without bell bottom jeans.  The Tambes decided to incorporate denim by adding a cushion and upholstering the seat in old jeans shorts.  This really completes the fun vibrant aura of their bench and makes it extra comfy to sit on.  Great job you two!  Peace out.


The Planets

By Sally Kamprath from ReHouse

I told you Sally did two benches, and here is her second.  She had so much fun with Nostalgia that she had to keep going.  This one shows a more creative and artistic side to the boss at ReHouse.  While in San Francisco a few years ago she saw a street artist creating space scenes with spray paint and bowls and some other everyday materials.  Since she couldn’t remember all the details she went to YouTube and found a few videos similar to what she had seen.

The base coat is another in this series of bright and fun colors: orange.  It might not be a typical outer space color but is really makes the planets pop off the star speckled black sky.  You may be wondering where the bowls come in to play with this technique.  The artist used any size bowls or other circular objects as masks when spraying the black background.  Alternately, stencils are used to spray just the colors for the planets.  The planetary textures are often made with scrunched up paper or plastic wrap pressed on the wet paint to lift it and show the color underneath.


To try this technique at home search for “spray paint planets” on YouTube.  Good luck and don’t let you self get caught in a black hole!

Bidding on all benches takes place HERE until 3pm Saturday, October, 20, 2018.  You can also vote for Best in Show HERE.  We were also featured on Spectrum News yesterday.  You can see a short video montage on the Spectrum’s Facebook page HERE.


recolor your world

Attention: Thursdays Treasures has been reduced to 1 item this week.  More specifically, it has been reduced to one category.  Items in this category include:

Java, Butter, and Carrot; but it’s not groceries.

Chalkboard and Pencil; but it’s not school supplies.

Peace and Love; but it’s not counseling.

Grass, Moss, Posie, and River; but it’s not landscaping.

Reef, Surf, and Night; but it’s not vacation packages.

Velvet and Steel; but it’s not…whatever category those two fit in.

What is this mystery item that we have added to our inventory?  Paint.  Not just any paint; recolor brand paint is created by The Paint Exchange in Rockland, MA, a women owned business, and the only recycled paint manufacturer in the state of Massachusetts.


“The goal of The Paint Exchange, LLC is to provide an environmentally friendly paint product, using locally sourced post-consumer materials.   We offer an alternative to the unnecessary and environmentally damaging disposal of latex paint while providing an economical, eco-friendly, high quality product.” – company website

Most homeowners in the US store at least one partial gallon of paint in their homes.  If you are like some, you even have a partial gallon [well labeled] for each room of your house, a partial quart for the trim in each room, and a partial 5 gallon for your exterior.  This is a great way to make sure you can touch up anything in your house at anytime.

the paint room at ReHouse

What about all that other paint we hold on to?  Partial quarts and gallons, well labeled by the previous homeowners, containing paint colors that are no longer even represented in our homes.  We continue to store them because most of us don’t know how to get rid of them.  What if I told you most of that paint can responsibly disposed of or can even be recycled in many cities?

The following information is applicable in Monroe County, NY.  Check with your local waste management and hazardous materials facilities for locally appropriate information. 

Many municipal waste facilities will not accept latex paint for disposal in liquid form. If you let the latex paint dry out then it can usually be thrown away with regular waste.  Monroe County website states that “1/3 can or less of latex paint can be disposed of in the trash and will NOT be accepted at the ecopark. Discard the paint can lid, add kitty litter, mix, let dry, and place in trash.”   That gets it out of your house (good!) but leaves the paint and the can to live on forever in the landfill (not so good).  If you have more than 1/3 can of paint a simple appointment is required to drop off any paint at the Rochester facility.

Once the paint is no longer occupying your valuable basement or garage space, then what happens to it?  According to The Product Stewardship Institute, surplus paint amounts to over 65 million gallons a year in the US. That’s a lot of extra paint hanging around somewhere.  The Paint Exchange and other companies like it offer communities a place to “properly and responsibly…dispose of their leftover latex paint.”  Not only do they reuse the paint, they also recycle the cans and lids (bonus!).

How does paint recycling work?  Once your paint has been cleared for acceptance into the recycling program (see the list of requirements), it is sorted out by color.  For a humorous yet educational rendition of this process I highly recommend Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe, episode 122, “Maple Syrup Maker.”  I learned [almost] everything I know about recycled paint from watching this with my son. Different facilities sort in different ways.  While Mike Rowe only sorted into 3 color families (cool, warm, and white), at The Paint Exchange the sorting process results in 3 types of paint and 34 colors (Interior in 15 colors, Exterior in 3 colors, and Chalk Finish in 16 colors).

16 colors with a chalk finish

As of now you can find all 16 of these colors in our store.  Come on in, and check them out.  In the next few weeks we will be painting some samples and posting more about the paint itself as we become more and more familiar with it.  So far? Carrot is a big hit!