J5T – Just 5 Things: Blue Shift Designs

This week’s J5T is about Milee, owner of Blue Shift Designs. She is a Western New York creator of wonderful purses, personal accessories and home accents.
1. Blue Shift Designs is the brainchild of just one person, Milee. She is responsible for all creative designs and day-to-day operations of her company. Every item is absolutely unique. Milee works with customers to deliver personalized and custom products based on the needs and wants of the individual. She has an amazing way of making products that look loved.
2. Milee’s blog and Facebook page features a variety of unique purses, diaper bags and handbags, but her creativity runs to backpacks, totes and personal accessories such as aprons, scarves and wallets. She is always moving forward and has a new website under construction.
3. She isn’t limited to soft goods, Milee creates notions for the home in the form of reusable aromatherapy packs, wooden objects de art and custom signs.
4. Her signs are made from lumber reclaimed from barns and are hand worked; no automated tools such as CNC machines or lasers for her.
5. All of Milee’s designs incorporate an upcycling ethic. She endeavours to produce products from truly vintage materials when possible, for a unique look and feel.
Bonus Fact:
Milee has been most gracious in allowing me unprecedented details about her creativity and focus. I will be posting about Milee’s talents and adventures in wood products for the home. She has a love of aboriginal dot art, reclaimed materials and hand craftsmanship. I look forward to the next post about Blue Shift Design.

Wine Fueled Crafts – Part Two

Today I am finishing this project with a product I found at Hobby Lobby: Americana Clear Chalkboard Coating. It was a good find for six bucks. This coating requires two coats with one hour of drying time between each. Afterwards, it requires 24 hours to cure and a rubbing with chalk to condition the surface.

So let’s go, starting with the supplies. The brushes are normal, the bottles were prepared in the last post and the paper goods are leftovers from a party. The white bottle is the Chalkboard Coating. The large black item is a knife. This will be used to clean up any irregularities in the paint.

The Supplies

First things first, a bit of paint needs to come off the faux label of the green bottle. A gentle touch with the knife will remove these “blobs”, but don’t slip. For safety’s sake, pretend that you are cutting and move the blade away from yourself.


The fan brush won’t fit the bottle, so I recycled a bowl. I am glad to see the Coating is white, otherwise these pictures would be boring. It has the consistency of Elmer’s Glue.

Bowl of Coating

Apply the Coating vertically first; I want these bottles to look rough so I am deliberately leaving streaks.

Blue Bottle

Painting the all black bottle, the white shows nicely on the dark surface and will dry clear.

Black Bottle

The last bottle I am not sure about. I have painted everything but the label. We will see.

Green Bottle

Time to let these guys dry. See you tomorrow.

Wine Fueled Crafts – Part One

I saw a picture online of some painted wine bottles. I had a few bottles on hand from a party this weekend so I decided to try it. Not being normal, I needed to put a twist on the idea.

I have a blue-bottle, a green and a clear. The fourth bottle is on standby and if necessary it will be emptied and used. I removed the labels from two bottles but it was such a pain I left the last label on the bottle. If you know of a good way to remove a wine bottle label let me know in the comments.

I don’t think the clear bottle fits with the image in my mind, so I will cover it up completely. My colors are Mars Black, Phthalo Green and Titanium White. I mixed them with a sponge brush.
Bowl of Paint

I soaked the labels off and place the bottles in the oven to dry on low heat. Oven mitts should be used to remove the bottles from the oven. I cannot stress this enough.

Starting with the blue-bottle, I used the edge of table to steady my hand and tapped out two straight lines. The bottles were still warm and the paint dried very quickly.
Paint Lines

I painted vertically down the bottle to create the faux label. Since the paint dried quickly, I was able to paint horizontal lines over the vertical. I liked neither, so I tapped a spongy pattern over them. This rough texture was more of what I had in mind.
Blue Bottle Striped

I finished the blue-bottle with an oval decoration and moved on to the clear bottle. Again, I started with vertical stripes and covered them with horizontal stripes. This bottle was cooler and the paint took longer to dry. I was able to repeat my tapped sponge pattern between each coat of paint. In the end, I liked the broad strokes best and left horizontal stripes visible.
Clear to Black

At the top of each bottle was a cuff. Instead of trying to cut it off, I left it in place and painted it.

The beauty of this project is that it does not need a steady hand. Resting your arm on the table and turning the bottle creates a wonderfully straight line.