On The Upcycle Restyle


This weekend I decided to give “On The Upcycle” a much-needed reboot.  I felt the old blog layout was getting a bit stale. Last night I experienced an evening of insomnia, and decided it was the perfect time to explore new ideas. I hope you all like the new look!  Happy 4th of July weekend everyone!



Forgotten Angels: A Horse Rescue With A lot Of Heart

This past weekend, I took my daughter to a wonderful, non-profit, local horse rescue called Forgotten Angels Equine Rescue.     The rescue saves healthy horses that are sent to slaughter and sick and abused horses in need of intervention and care.  Their mission is to promote public awareness of needless horse slaughter and animal abuse.   They involve the local community through events, and activities teaching patience and kindness to all creatures.  You can also follow the cause on Facebook.

We could not have asked for a more perfect weather.  The sun was shining and it was a perfect day to spend on the farm.  The toddler apprentice was particularly enchanted by Snowflake a 7 year-old mini mare up for adoption.  She enjoyed feeding all the horses and donkeys carrots, and handfuls of plucked grass.  She even had a chance to sit on Snowflake’s back.  For those of you unfamiliar with my past, for many years I worked as a Vet Tech and have a deep love for helping sick, unwanted and abused animals.  It is especially sad how we treat our horses who evolved with us through time and have contributed so much to our evolution and humanity.   I want to pass this love, and respect on to my daughter, and it made me smile to see her face light up just being around these gentle creatures.


My daughter feeding Snowflake, a miniature horse currently up for adoption.


We had great conversation with one of the volunteers on the farm about all its residents and learned about the rescue which has been operating for the last two years.  I also had an opportunity to engage another hobby of mine photography.   I photographed the animals and they did not disappoint and seemed to love all the attention, and “Ham It Up” for the camera.


PHOTOS: Residents of The Forgotten Angels Equine Rescue








“Glory” The rescue is raising money so this blind horse can have eye surgery.  You can donate here.





Currently, The Rescue Sponsors a program where you can adopt a horse for the month for a donation.  Please see the following link for more information. http://forgottenangelsequinerescue.com/photo.html    They also accept donations large or small, and you can also purchase Rescue “Swag” at their online store to help raise money for the cause.


Our daughter was especially good on Saturday, and her daddy gave her a small reward which she “happily” donated to her horse friends.  I was told that thanks to our daughter’s efforts, the horses would have more carrots to snack on.

In Memory Of



“Pickles” Photo courtesy of Forgotten Angels Equine Rescue

This post is dedicated to Pickles.  We met Pickles during our visit briefly, but she was not feeling well.  Pickles was an elderly horse who sadly developed colic that due to her age, she could not recover from.   She passed away later that evening.   It was a huge loss to all those who loved her as Pickles was a kids and rescue favorite.  We are blessed to have had a chance to meet Pickles on her final day.  God Bless this beautiful horse forever free crossing the Rainbow Bridge.



If I Only Knew Their Names

For a junior genealogist like myself, who enjoys prying into the previous lives of my ancestors, discovering a new name to add to my family’s growing tree is a feeling like no other.  It gives an identity to those previously unknown.   A researcher is doubly blessed if they are lucky enough to posses actual photographs of their ancestors and can add a face to a name. Such photographs also document the history of early photography and add an extra layer to the family story.  For me peering into the eyes of an ancestor adds an even bigger excitement and vintage photographs are genuine gifts.  Last year I attended a lecture given by photo detective Maureen Taylor.  I find it amazing that if you know what you are looking for a picture surely does speak a thousand words, but for me it is not always easy to hear them! Picking up visual cues in old photo’s is a welcomed challenge for me. I am lucky enough to have some vintage family photographs from my mother’s side of the family, but I am also unlucky to have so many unidentified photographs that remain “nameless”  Many of the photo’s were marked in ink but the author referred to them as “sons and daughters of” only deepening the mystery of these lost family members and friends.  I thought I would share some of these faces with you today, in the hopes that my fellow photograph detective’s might be able to catch some clues.

John Plummer's daughter #1

This is a photograph of my 3rd cousin (daughter of my great grandmother’s brother) I love the flapper style of clothing which would date the photograph to about the 1920’s. If I knew enough about cars, I could probably learn a lot about the photo from the car parked in the background.  I am of course intrigued by the tropical looking trees.  This family was from England, but this photograph may have been taken on a holiday.

John Plummer and Family2

My Great,Great Uncle John Plummer ( pictured above center)  is the father of the My unknown 3rd cousin.  This photograph was simply marked “brother John family and friends.” The mountains in the background offer beauty, but not many clues as to location.

I wish I knew

Finally, this photograph was found with the same book of photo’s.  This appears much younger than the rest and is one of few color photographs in the album. “The Mad Men” clothing style and home interior give this photograph an early 60’s feel.   After that, this photo and all those in it are a complete mystery, and I will be honest, I didn’t notice the dog….until now.

Do you have any mysterious family photographs?  Do you find photographs to be an exciting tool for genealogists?  I would love to hear from you!

A Halloween Treat

We had a great time tonight, handing out candy to the kids, and taking our daughter trick or treating in our neighborhood.  It brought me back to when I was just a kid with a pillow case and a dream!  I remembered the excitement I felt running from house to house collecting candy.  Our little butterfly seemed to get the hang of the art of trick or treating easily and was happily carrying her bucket which seemed to fill up rather quickly!

Trick Or Treat


Hope everyone had a Safe and Happy Halloween!

Looking for some fun Halloween crafts?  Check out: Kitty Cat Halloween Candy Tray and Decorative Black Cat Halloween lamp.


A Day in The Life Of The Animals At America’s First Zoo

The daughter and I were invited by a friend to the Philadelphia Zoo today and we had a wonderful time! It was unseasonably warm for a day in October and it felt more like summer than fall.  Seeing the animals was a great opportunity to enjoy one of my other hobbies, photography.  I took the Nikon to the zoo with us and broke out the closeup lens and started shooting.












The toddler apprentice especially enjoyed the otters.  Hope you enjoyed getting to know our wild friends!

The Broken Chair Challenge Part 2: Chair Back Photo Frame

It all started when I purchased a lovely (but very abused) chair from Goodwill for $3.99.  I loved the design qualities of this chair and thought it would make a lovely restyle. I especially loved the is.  Which means “ Lily flower” in French.  I removed the chair seat, only to discover it broken beyond repair. I was not willing to let this chair go, and  I was determined to find a replacement seat.  My husband and I kept our eyes open for any broken chairs on the side of the road that we could use to salvage a seat.

For months, this chair sat and I resisted the temptation of buying a chair to salvage.  Then one day, my patience paid off.  My sister and I went thrift shopping one weekend and in front of the store they had free furniture.  I was ecstatic!  Their it was the perfect candidate, a chair missing the arms, but with a perfectly usable seat.  I confirmed with the store manager that this chair was indeed “free” and loaded it into the car with the biggest smile planted on my face. I immediately removed the seat when I got the chair home and it was a perfect fit.

Upcycled Black and White Damask Chair

To read more about this project see The Broken Chair Challenge: Upcycled Black and White Damask Chair.

Now, I was left with the remnants of another chair, and did not want the all the parts of this chair to end up in the trash.  It had a lovely seat back, and I had seen some lovely upcycling of chair backs into picture frames on Pinterest. I decided to give it a try.  One great example of this can be found at All Things Thrifty.com

Old Chair Back

The finish on this was extremely worn. If it had not been in such poor shape, I don’t think I would have opted to paint it. By far,  the most difficult and challenging aspect of this project was sawing the legs off the chair back.  I used a hacksaw, but it was quite tough to do!  An electric or battery operated hand saw would have worked better, but on the bright side it was at least a 500 calorie burner! Rarely can you say you burn calories crafting!  Once this was completed, I sanded the area that was cut.  I took the chair back outside and spray painted it black, using about two coats.  I allowed the piece to dry overnight.

The next day, I chose a large photo from one of my daughter’s previous Picture People photo sessions.  I measured the area and trimmed the photograph to sit inside the middle of the chair back.  I used a hot glue gun to adhere the photo to the wood.  I had a few craft jewels and roses that I added to the chair back to make it “pop”  I originally glued a large rose to the bottom of the chair back, but decided to remove it later as you will see in the photos below.  One of the smaller roses, I carefully glued to her hand in the photo, It creates an illusion that she is actually holding a rose in the photo.  I think it gives the photo a bit of an extra dimension.  A nice little “touch” to the project.

Hand Holding Rose

I decided to hang this in our bedroom which is black, white with grey wall.  It was very difficult to snap an adequate photo as the flash kept reflecting off the shiny surface , but it is lovely and I am so glad I tried this!


Think of all the possibilities before you toss that old chair!


Hot Glue Gun

Spray Paint (If you choose to paint)

Old Chair Back


Saw (If needed)

Screw driver (if needed)


An old chair back re-purposed into a Picture frame

Good Golly! Miss Molly!

Yesterday the family drove three hours to Maryland for my niece’s 7th Birthday Party.  It was a great time especially watching the kids play musical chairs, and I got to talk upcycling with my sister’s fabulous neighbor!  My daughter loved the swing errr maybe a little two much *insert two-year old temper tantrum here* It was not pretty when we tried to take her off.

My sister also just added a new four legged member to their family. She is a sweet beagle/lab mix named Molly….


Doesn’t she have the sweetest face?  Hope you all had a great weekend and are enjoying these final days of summer with family and friends….

Now back to the Upcycle!


Weekend Warriors: A Thrifting Revolution.

This past Saturday, My sister and I took a trip with the little one to Red Bank Battlefield in National Park NJ.  An important battle was fought here during the Revolutionary war, and the area is now part of the Gloucester County, NJ Park System.  My daughter loved the playground and refused to get off the swing (insert 2 year-old temper tantrum here) Despite this, it was a beautiful day to get out and enjoy nature, after weeks of torrential rain and heat waves!



We also got to visit an awesome thrift store called Glassboro Thrift Village.  To say they had everything would be a understatment! I especially liked the “free” items they had out front.  They happened to have a chair marked free and I was very excited to see it! I have been for sometime, searching for a spare chair seat.  I have a great chair I have been wanting to restore with a broken seat.  I scooped up this “free chair” and was amazed at all the great items they had inside.  This would be a great place to get furniture for college students or people just starting out.  I picked up a few future crafting items and a magna doodle for my daughter for a dollar.  They also support local charities with a portion of their sales. I want to go back here sometime in the future to take a more thorough look around.  Can’t wait to get started on a few new projects this week!