Buried (in a dumpster) Treasure

Last month I was backing out of my parking space at work (a historic mansion currently undergoing renovations) when something sticking out of the dumpster caught my eye…before I could talk myself out of it, I’d dug up 11 vintage wood drawers + 1 matching chest, a metal bin and 2 planks of wood. I had just enough time to stuff them in the back of my car (narrowly avoiding ruining my dress clothes) and speed away to pick up my son from summer camp. Not everyone understands the thrill of such a find appearing right next to your empty car (ahem…my husband), but to the natural-born junkster, such a gift cannot be ignored.

And I’m happy to prove that I’ve since put *most of my discoveries to good use. My 5 year old son, Connor, immediately claimed the metal bin for his toy cars (smart kid). But I’ve turned 2 of the lovely, chippy drawers into functional & decorative storage boxes and the chest, which sits next to my kitchen table, is great place to keep paper plates, cups & napkins within easy reach for summer entertaining. 


I love having such a convenient & well-lit spot to put reading material (with extra room for my coffee!) and even my husband can’t deny that his keys aren’t getting lost nearly as often. A thrifty find is always thrilling, but hands-down, nothing beats free!

*OK, so I still have no idea yet, what I’m going to do with the other 9 drawers or the planks of wood, but experience has taught me that if I wait long enough, inspiration will come. Until then, my “collection” is stashed safely out of the way in my basement laundry room.

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Ink Drawing Complete for Culinary Herbs Illustration

Culinary Herbs Ink Drawing and Watercolor Wash by Shalom Schultz Designs

Finished ink drawing and watercolor wash for my Culinary Herbs illustration. The black is separate from the color to make it easier to ‘clean up’ once scanned in and will also allow for printing on other backgrounds. As summer draws to a close I get one step closer to finishing my forever herb garden!

Fresh Art

Watercolor fruit and vegetable farmers market sign paintings by Shalom Schultz Designs. Vintage style typography design. Watermelon, peaches, tomatoes. Country cottage style art.

Look what I just found in storage! I painted these for my very first craft show back in 2005…10 years later I’m not so sure about my decision to mount them on wooden planks with twine for hanging (probably why they didn’t sell). But now I’m really glad I still have them because I still love the ‘laid back’ artistic style (which I’m trying to get back to) and now that I have better equipment I can scan them into my computer and sell them as prints. I might just have to re-frame the originals and put them up in my kitchen.

Layers of Color

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And we have color!! Each of the 6 potted herbs in my painting will have a slightly different shade of green to add complexity & interest to the piece. On this sage plant, I’ve created a subtle textured look by loosely adding in extra layers of the same color (one at a time, as each layer dries) over the initial pastel wash. The fine details of the plant will be brought out with an extra fine black ink pen, once all of the painting is complete. Oh and those ‘brown spots’ on the pots will be rubbed off to reveal pure white paper, creating the look of a painted pattern on each terra cotta pot.

Actually, It’s the Opposite Of What It Looks Like

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Prep work for my new painting-masking all the areas that I want to remain white so I can paint directly over them, achieving smoother color. I didn’t have any masking fluid on hand when I did my last painting & having to painstakingly work my brush around all the tiny white details was exhausting. It’s well worth the investment of cash (the fluid is a bit pricey but you don’t need a lot of it) and time, since this ‘extra step’ will actually speed up the process later on. When I’ve finished painting, the dried masking fluid will simply rub off with my finger, revealing the white patterns I drew on all the terra cotta pots (there are 6 in all). I’m so excited to see the final results. Let painting commence!