Tools, Craft Supplies, Books, Music

Tools, Craft Supplies, Books, Music
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Sunday, February 28, 2010

New! The Greentiques Solution Bookstore!

With the help of, I have added a bookstore to The Greentiques Solution.  The link can be found on the sidebar.  I have hand-picked every single title in the store to reflect the kinds of topics that greentiques are all about.  Subjects include living green, saving the planet, woodworking, crafts, antiques, flea markets, and others.  I will be adding some more titles from time to time as interesting ones become available.  Let me know if you have a particular interest that I should include.  Enjoy!  -Rory-

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Free Drawing Planned For Month of March

I have decided to hold a free drawing for one of my hand crafted items in the month of March. Be sure to check back with me on how you can enter to win. I will be posting a pic of the prize in the next day or 2. (sorry,no hints on what it will be yet. ) Stay tuned!

Introducing Cindy Caraway - Artful Living On The Bluff

I wanted pass along to everyone a terrific blog I found written by Cindy Caraway called Artful Living On The Bluff. Cindy's specialty is making custom handcrafted jewelry from vintage beads and treasures she has found. She sells her work on Etsy. Beautiful stuff! I love hearing about people like Cindy who are upcycling and and doing their part to help save the earth. Cindy's motto......Live Simply - Make Stuff - Play Music - Save the Planet. Go Cindy! Here is her link.

Please visit her.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Antique Show Announcement - International Collectibles and Antiques Show

It is official. Lee Ann and I will be setting up 2 booths at the International Collectibles and Antiques Show in Charlotte, North Carolina being held March 4th-7th. We will be bringing lots of our restored antiques as well as some handcrafted items, all of which will be for sale. We would like everyone to come out and meet us and see our "greentiques". If you have never been to this show it will be a real delight for you. There are literally hundreds of vendors there who specialize in antiques and hand crafted items of all kinds. Here is where you can find quilts, furniture, paintings, silver, jewelry, picture frames, pillows, vintage clothing, tools and memorabilia. It is one of the largest shows of it's kind in the country and is one you should not miss. I intend on blogging directly from the show and posting a few pictures while the show is going on. I may even do a couple of feature posts on some of the vendors that are there as well.

For show directions and information please visit

If you would like to meet Lee Ann and we will be set up in Building A (the main building) in spaces F-24 and F25, which are located at the end of row F near the rear of the building. We would love to see you.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Weaving Old Chair Seats and Saving The Earth

No reason to throw this cute little chair away. It was originally made in the 1800s and the only thing really wrong with it was the original hand woven seat was missing. Weaving seats is kind of a lost art these days, and it is time consuming but not really all that hard to do.

The process is pretty simple. I wove most of this seat while watching the an olympic hockey game. The Canadians ended up beating the Russians badly.

Once I complete the weaving, I then apply a coat or 2 of amber shellac to really pull out the color of the grass. If you are going to try and weave a seat yourself, it is important that the chair be structurally sound. If any of the glue joints are loose, be sure and repair those before you start weaving.
This chair could have easily been thrown away. Instead it was able to be saved from the landfill. The owner didn't buy a new chair made in and shipped from overseas. No styrofoam, plastic packing material, MDF, particle board, or child labor was used. This chair will probably last another 50 years if it is taken care of. A good example of greentiques in action.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Introducing Scroll Saw Bowls by Carole Rothman

I would like to introduce everyone to a fellow craftsperson who takes her artistry to a whole new level. Her name is Carole Rothman. Carole and I crossed paths in a woodworking forum and I invited her to stop by The Greentiques Solution. Carol's specialty is making handmade wooden bowls with the her scrollsaw. She has written a book about it that is available at and Fox Chapel Publishing. She also offers video tutorials which can be viewed on her blog Stop by and see her.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dining Room Set Restoration

I thought I might post a few pictures of a dining room set I have restored to heirloom condition. The great thing about restoring old furniture like this is that the quality is so much better than what you can buy new for any kind of reasonable price. No particle board or MDF used in this set. The entire set is made of maple, mohogany and poplar. It dates to the 1930s but this style of furniture is still being made today. Why buy new, if a person can recycle old? Another fine example of greentiques.

Monday, February 22, 2010

How to make money with your own 2 hands.

My family was relatively poor growing up. Dad spent years going to school trying to make a better life for us while Mom waited tables to help support the family. Her tips were placed in a jar on the kitchen counter and that's where my sister and I got our lunch money for school. If the car needed fixing, Dad fixed it. If clothes needed mending Mom sewed them. Patched up knees on my jeans were the style of the day. We were a family that created something out of nothing, almost every day. We had to in order to makes ends meet. I find now that in times of high unemployment a lot of us out there are looking for ways to fill lunch money jars. It is my hope that this blog entry will help you and your family at least a little bit.

First of all, don't despair. I can only believe that things will get better. I have been an amateur historian since my early childhood and America has always been very resilient. I expect the economy to make a full recovery, though it may take some time. Meanwhile, you need to ride out the storm. Whether you know it or not, you as an individual have a huge advantage over large corporations. If you compare a large corporation to a huge ship, and yourself to a small rowboat you are way ahead in the game for a lot of reasons. Huge ships are harder to turn around than your rowboat. Every time a course adjustment has to made on a large ship, it takes several sailors, a lot of fuel (money), and a whole bunch of ocean. I will say one thing. I have to give large ships credit where credit is due. When a large ship sinks, it usually plummets to the bottom in a very grand way. Legend tells of the band continuing to play as the Titanic was taking on water. You on the other hand have a rowboat. It doesn't go fast, but it turns on a dime. You are the decision maker, because you control the oars. Your cost of maintenance is low, unlike the big ship, who spent more money hiring the band than you did on your entire dinghy. By concentrating on the inherent strengths and advantages of your rowboat you will be better equipped to get through rough waters.

While we are talking about large corporations, lets talk about profit margins. You as an individual have the opportunity to make a much larger gross profit percentage than almost any large company. I urge you take advantage of this fact. In the old days, I used to go to an auction or garage sale and try to pick items that I knew I could double my money on. To a 13 year old kid, turning $5 into $10 seemed like I was really setting the world on fire. And to be fair, there are a lot of businesses (and individuals) who feel that doubling their money is still the standard. Retail stores as an example often mark things up double or triple to insure their success after paying employees, taxes, insurance and other expenses. Large corporations work on even much smaller profit percentages. Some of them run on only a 5% margin. What that means is that after product development, manufacturing, attorney fees, and advertising on the super bowl, a company with a 5% margin only really expects to turn a $5 investment into $5.25.

I want you to start thinking differently than me as a boy, turning $5 into $10. Don't think as a large corporation either, or a retail store. Think instead about how with your own 2 hands that you can turn $5 into $50. Or even better, $0 into $50. Search your mind. Search your house. Think outside the box. Find a raw material or scrap of something that you have sitting around that you can turn into money with a little elbow grease. I am able to do this over and over again without any trouble at all, and you can do it too. It has gotten to be a fun contest with me at times to see what I can do with less and less to work with. Once you are able to turn a scrap of wood from the trash or a pair of blue jeans that don't fit anymore into $50 your life will never be the same. I positively guarantee it.

As I continue posting I will give all of you some more pictures of my work, to give you a better idea of the kinds of things you can do to fill that lunch money jar. Meanwhile, hang in there and think about what you can do to turn 5 into 50. I would love to hear comments on what you have come up with.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

One of my dining room table restorations.

This table is one I completely restored about 2 years ago. It belonged to a young woman in Greenville, South carolina who had inherited it. The table when I first saw it had some pretty deep scratches in it. It was very dark in color and there was some structural reglueing involved. This was not a restoration for beginners, although I will share with you some of the things I did to get the spectacular finish you see here. First of all, this table was originally stained very dark with a traditional red mohogany stain. I stripped the old finish off leaving some of the old red stain in the pores of the wood. This let the natural mohogany grain "pop", giving the table top it's tiger stripe effect. I then coated the top with 3 coats of polyurethane so it will last for many years to come. I sanded each coat by hand and them applied multiple coats of paste wax after the last coat of polyurethane. This table was in pretty sad shape when I started. It could have easily been discarded and sent to a landfill. The value before I restored it was mostly sentimental. Now it has become a treasured heirloom that will be dined at hopefully for generations to come. It is difficult to put a price on a table like this. Rarely do you see an antique one in this kind of pristine restored condition. New tables are rarely seen with finishes and wood grain of this quality.

The important thing to remember is that this table will now be kept and used by the owner, hopefully for at least a couple of more generations because of the restoration. Sure she spent money to have me do the work, but it was less than the cost of a new table. This piece didn't go to a landfill. She didn't buy a new table made in China. She saved some trees, helped the earth, and stimulated the local economy. She deserves a big round of applause. This table is a great example of a "greentique".

The 1st Post

I would like to thank you so much for viewing the very first post on The Greentique Solution. This blog is about sharing tips and ideas on working with your hands to make money, help save the earth and stimulate the american economy. Let's stimulate our own pocketbooks as well while we are at it. I would like to invite you to post comments and share tips and advice of your own. I want to hear your success stories and see pictures of what you have done with your own 2 hands, especially the ones where you started out with literally nothing. In return, I am going to post some of my favorite projects that I have done over the years and also some ones I have in progress.

Rory - The Greentiques Solution Guy