Saturday, February 4, 2012

Hidden Treasures

I'm learning to move outside the box and look for possibilities in all sorts of materials I would have never considered before.  This morning I went to The Scrap Exchange in Durham and WOW - what a trove of hidden treasures.  The Scrap Exchange has a little bit of everything and you have to sort through it all but there are some gems among all the clutter.

My haul from this morning looks like a pile of random "stuff" but I have something in mind for each piece.  It was so exciting to stroll through the store and imagine the different ways that materials could be used.  I was especially excited when I got to the hardware bin of nails, screws, washers, etc.  As you can see from the pic, I got some really great washers that will work nicely in an industrial chic piece of jewelry.  I'm thinking the big washers can be textured and maybe colored with alcohol inks to make a great pendant.

I also found some beautiful pieces of porcelain in different shapes and colors.  I'm thinking they will be great in a bead embroidery piece.  (Now, if I could only find my Lacy's Stiff Stuff.)  And that tray of glass vials on the right - they will make great components for necklaces and earrings with some pretty beads inside.  I also found some great buttons and some metal tubes for making rivets.  The plastic tubing will be perfect to use inside my woven tube beads to give them the support they need.

Oh, and I found a really great book of fabric samples.  I have a special project in mind for these beauties but I'm keeping it under wraps for now because I plan to give them to my friends and I wouldn't want to spoil the surprise.

What I learned today is that you just never know where you will find hidden gems.  And, you have to open your mind to the possibilities.  Look for interest, texture, and color to find materials that you can turn into unique pieces.  I also found some functional items.  See those little test tubes in the upper left corner of the pic?  I plan to use those to store different sizes of beading needles.  Perfect for the function and only 25 cents each.  Speaking of money, my bill for this entire haul?  Only $19!!  Now that's what I call a good shopping day.


  1. You did great... it definitely was a fun day of shopping. I can't wait to see what amazing jewelry all these goodies turn into. Enjoy the journey!!

  2. OH man now I want to come and go to Ornamentea and The Scrap Exchange!!

  3. Keri - you would love the Scrap Exchange. It's like a playground for crafters and so much fun to sort through all the goodies.

  4. hi! i am in chatham county. have heard of the scrap exchange and plan to go there soon. i want to expand my techniques, too. please follow me!! thanks!! shelly

  5. Shelly, thanks so much for stopping by and following my blog. You'll love the Scrap Exchange -- it will definitely get the creative juices flowing. I'm heading over to check out your blog.