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Behold the humble milk crate: sturdy, chunky, strong and portable, lightweight, versatile, and—hello 80's—not just for record albums anymore. 

Plastic milk crates are one of the most reused shipping and storage items ever. Ah yes, way back in old timey days of recycling and reusing (I'm talking back before the DIY and upcycle revolution) milk crates were pretty much standard teenage bedroom decor. We used them as bedside tables, book cases, storage for albums and VHS tapes—later transpiring to DVDs and CDs of course—as well as for many other household chores such as garage and basement storage. 

But now, with the blossoming creativity of the 2000's, milk crate recycling and reusing is now upcycling and repurposing (the differences are subtle, but they're there) and creative folks are thinking up even more ways to use milk crates in their lives and homes. Check out this collection of cool upcycled plastic milk crates and see all the different ideas that creative folks have come up with.


DIY milk crate cart from Inscrutables


Milk crate turned DIY kayak cart by twiceayear at texaskayakfisherman


Here's another DIY kayak cart from Instructables


Milk crates + boards + plywood = Outdoor milk crate table


Milk crates lined with heavy duty felt make great outdoor garden planters


Milk crates lined with burlap bags used as garden planters


Milk crate-turned bicycle rack with ample space



Folding milk crate as rear-bike storage


Milk crate hen house


Milk crate bench/reading corner


Milk crate as kitchen wall storage by Penny Wincer, Alice King


6 milk crates + 3 stained boards = nice game storage. Spray paint milk crates to coordinate with your home decor.


These milk crates make for great mudroom shoe storage


Getting fancy with plastic milk crates: add spindle legs and a sanded and painted plywood top


These large sized milk crates were woven together with cording to create a sturdier book storage space


Balancing act: try using plastic zip ties to attach milk crates together at precarious angles


I like this one a lot: 9 milk crates on a sturdy wood base with caster wheels or cart wheels


A mishmosh milk crates with table legs & top in sleep black = eclectic  from Design Sponge



Milk crate chandelier overhead lighting = industrial elegant? Not sure.


How to make a DIY woven milk crate stool from Sam Henderson HGTV


More eclectic milk crate furniture. This one is a bench with cushion top and table legs



Use mollys or sturdy wall hardware to hang milk crates for laundry room storage


70's style milk crate wall assemblage


Easy closet storage for rolled up t-shirts and sports wear


A wall of milk crate storage for books and magazines


Use rope to cover a milk crate to create a foot stool with hidden storage


Milk crates used as grocery store shelving


Large plastic crates stacked and secured are used as a room divider


Milk crate stairs


Milk crate stools, tables, lights, and wall


A towering milk crate arch


Milk crate sculpture




Which is your favorite?


Have a great week!
Laura













Article copyright ©Laura Beth Love 2019 and may not be republished in print or other media without express written permission from the author. For any link corrections please leave correct info in comment area.

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Hi friends! Here's a look at what's new today in my Etsy shop. Have a great week!


























Have a great week!
Laura



My broken china jewelry is always available for purchase at
www.laurabethlove.com
and
www.dishfunctionldesigns.etsy.com










Article & images copyright ©Laura Beth Love 2019 and may not be republished in print or other media without express written permission from the author

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Traditional bread boxes were either metal or wood, and kept on top of a kitchen counter top for storage of, you guessed it, bread! Some wooden style bread boxes had roll-top lids, as you will see in the following images. 

What happened to these clunky, countertop space taker-uppers of yesteryear? I think as we transitioned to larger-sized kitchens with more cabinets, drawers, and storage space, as well as more electric countertop gadgets and small appliances, the bread box just became in the way and obsolete. 

Think about it, how many of these have you seen at thrift shops, flea markets, and yard sales? I see at least one of them at every thrift store I visit. What to do with them? Well...most people just repaint them. Paint them to match your kitchen, your bathroom, wherever you are going to eventually use it. But paint only gets you so far. It basically is still a breadbox, just with a fresh new look. And that's cool. But what I really respect and enjoy are the breadboxes that are REPURPOSED (READ: given a NEW purpose) by way of creative thinking! 

Think about it, with a little bit of creativity, ingenuity, and paint you can turn yours into something much bigger than...a breadbox.


Breadboxes turned corner shelves from Lulastic
(above and below)





Breadbox + curio cabinet + child's craft desk from Patina Paradise


Breadbox turned charging station from Bob Vila



Add some casters to stacked breadboxes for movable storage


Breadbox added to a small table = mini roll top desk!


How to refurbish a vintage bread box tutorial from The Spruce


Breadbox turned charging station from Artsy Chicks Rule


Upside-down breadbox turned storage shelf from thrift decor


Another wall shelf painted bread box


Old breadbox turned extra bathroom storage


Yellow breadbox used as catchall storage space




Which is your favorite?


Have a great week!
Laura












Article  copyright ©Laura Beth Love 2019 and may not be republished in print or other media without express written permission from the author. 

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Hi friends! Here's a look at what's new for spring in my Etsy shop. Have a great week!



















Have a happy Easter!
Laura



My broken china jewelry is always available for purchase at
www.laurabethlove.com
and
www.dishfunctionldesigns.etsy.com




Article & images copyright ©Laura Beth Love 2019 and may not be republished in print or other media without express written permission from the author

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Pysanky Workshop Promo Large - YouTube


I'm excited to share my newest workshop with  you! Here's a sneak peek of  Pysanky: Learn To Make Ukrainian Easter Eggs! 

Learn step by step how to make these beautiful traditional eggs. Learn at your own pace with my detailed step by step videos. 





Have a great weekend!
Laura







Article & images copyright ©Laura Beth Love 2019 and may not be republished in print or other media without express written permission from the author

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Blue Blossom Soldered Beaded Earrings Workshop Promo - YouTube


Here's a sneak peek at my newest jewelry making workshop. Register at the link at the end of the video, or visit my website at laurabethlove.com for more information! 




Have a great weekend!
Laura







Article & images copyright ©Laura Beth Love 2019 and may not be republished in print or other media without express written permission from the author

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Exciting announcement! I have a brand new jewelry tutorial available on course craft! Now you can learn to make these Blue Blossom Soldered Beaded Earrings by following along with my easy to follow step by step tutorial that includes complete tools and materials list and step by step instructions including full color photos and some video clips too! Learn the secrets to making the most chic Bohemian style jewelry with me in the comfort of your own home and on your own time at your convenience. 

This is the first in my series of new jewelry tutorial courses so be sure to check it out - don't miss out on this one! 




Have a great week!
Laura



My broken china jewelry is always available for purchase at
www.laurabethlove.com
and
www.dishfunctionldesigns.etsy.com




Article & images copyright ©Laura Beth Love 2019 and may not be republished in print or other media without express written permission from the author

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I'm so happy to announce that I am once again offering my jewelry for sale directly from my website at www.laurabethlove.com! It's been a long time since I've offered my jewelry for sale directly from my own website—over the years I've relied on Etsy as the sole online marketplace for my jewelry, but with rising Etsy fees and their extended control over my shop, (and their ability to shut any shop down for any reason whenever they please and without notice) I felt that it was time for me to no longer put all of my eggs in one basket and once again gain better control and ownership of my online presence. 

Not only has Etsy recently raised their seller's fees from 3.5 percent up to 5 percent, but now Etsy has also decided to take an additional 5 percent of whatever my customer pays for their shipping...and to me that is just really unfair and excessive, especially since I only charge exactly what shipping and packaging costs. So instead of having to increase my prices to offset the rising fees, I felt moving much of my new inventory back to my own website would be the smart thing to do!


So from here on out, be sure to check my website for new jewelry. Here are some of the new pieces I listed this week that are available directly from website right now. All are for sale at www.laurabethlove.com 










All items available at www.laurabethlove.com


Have a great week!
Laura



My broken china jewelry is always available for purchase at
www.laurabethlove.com
and
www.dishfunctionldesigns.etsy.com




Article & images copyright ©Laura Beth Love 2019 and may not be republished in print or other media without express written permission from the author

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In my never humble opinion...

Yesterday I read with shock and disgust about the college scandal where actresses Lori Laughlin and Felicity Huffman among many others are charged with paying huge bribes for their teens to attend universities which otherwise they would not have had the qualifications to attend. (If you missed it, here's the article)

Because these teens were falsely admitted into these programs, other truly qualified teens were turned away because frankly, there’s only so many spots to fill.

I’m a single mom who works multiple jobs to raise my own teens single-handedly. My kids work unbelievably hard to maintain straight A’s in school — my older daughter taking multiple AP classes, spending endless days, nights, weekends, and yes, holidays, writing papers and studying for exams. I can’t afford special classes or tutors to help them prepare for the PSATs and SATs, and just recently we scraped to get the money together to just to pay for the AP exams. My kids know this, and they never complain, and would never ask for anything such as an SAT prep class that they know we can’t afford —instead, they do as much work as they humanly can to get the best grades they can. They work for it.

To those parents and families who had a part in this scandal I say this: How dare you think that your child is more deserving than mine.

What I can tell you is this: Last night I went to bed with the satisfaction of knowing that even though my family may have a speck of what yours has financially, my kids and I have so much that you’ll never have; integrity, work ethic, and good common sense.

In this situation there is such a lack of thought or care about the students who were turned away from those schools due to your actions. In reading all the articles and opinions about this scandal one of the most prolific words thrown around is “privilege.“ That’s barely the tip of the iceberg. It’s one thing to have money and think that you are privileged due to that, but it’s completely another thing to have such a lack of character—and to be a parent with such a lack of character—that you would even consider participating in such an elaborate illegal scheme.

You know what's more important than the caliber of school you attend? Being a decent human being. 

Like I said earlier, this entire scandal may be shocking and disgusting, but when I go to bed at night I sleep so well not just due to the fact that I know I have great kids who work so hard to earn all that they have, but also due to the fact that I am a great mom. 

So to all you other great moms, dads, kids, and families out there—keep working hard and doing your best. Not all that we do pays off financially in the end, but to have the peace of mind that you did things the right way and with honesty and integrity...that is priceless. 






What are your thoughts?


Have a great week!
Laura


My broken china jewelry is always available for purchase at
www.laurabethlove.com
and
www.dishfunctionldesigns.etsy.com




Article & images copyright ©Laura Beth Love 2019 and may not be republished in print or other media without express written permission from the author

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Most people know that thrift shopping can be hit or miss. There have been many times I've left my favorite thrift shop empty handed. But there are other days when I've found such an amazing bargain that it makes up for all those empty-handed days! 

I guess that's one of the things that makes thrift shop shopping so attractive and fun - it can be kind of a low budget treasure hunt where you never know what you might find. 

We all have our mental lists of things that we look for when thrift shopping, whether it be something in particular such as materials for a project we want to make, or clothing, or vintage and antique items to resell. 

I always look at the china and dinnerware, glance at the glassware, figurines and tchotchkes, and check and see if there are any craft supplies such as knitting needles, fat quarters or fabric remnants and lace and things like that that I can use for creating things. I will also take a look at the skirts or whatever else I customarily glance at just to see what they have. 

As I wrote in past blog posts about thrift shop shopping, there are good shops and not so good shops, shops that are mostly clothes, shops that are mostly nick-knacks, overpriced shops, smartly-prices shops, shops that run sale days, and overpopulated shops that just have too many shoppers.  The key is to find balance and to know what the general feel is for that particular shop. For me, each shop that I visit kind of has it's own pros and cons. Some days aren't great shopping days, while others are. 

This was one of the good days! Watch the video below where I share my treasures, as well as a cool tip I learned from the thrift shop cashier! 

February 2019 Amazing Thrift Haul! - YouTube

Here are a few more looks at my haul. 
Guess how much everything cost?

I came home with an armload!



Vintage jewelry with sterling silver and gemstone beads




 These handmade glazed clay pottery beads from the 60's are amazing!




 Copper acorn motif bracelet - genuine Malachite beaded necklace above




Carnelian & sterling silver beads




You never know what you might find!





What do you think? 

What's the best deal you've ever gotten at a thrift store? 
Tell us below!


I hope you have a great week! 
Laura



My broken china jewelry is always available for purchase at https://www.etsy.com/shop/dishfunctionldesigns






Article & images copyright ©Laura Beth Love 2019 and may not be republished in print or other media without express written permission from the author

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