One Man’s Junk…..

My husband had to make a dump run and I told him to pick me up anything that looks like I could use it for something….probably not your average spousal conversation unless you are a creative person and you know that the local dump/recycling center could be a treasure trove of cool parts-pieces.

The man did not disappoint…..this is what he came back with…..

Now unless you have a trained eye, you see a pile of plumbing junk…..I see a huge array of arms and legs and bodies and heads and lamp wanna-be’s.  I would have paid good money at a rummage sale for this stuff.

And on his way back home, he stopped by a rummage sale and got me this…..

IMG_2335An old dinner bell thingy…..I can so see this as a hanging lamp.

I don’t know who was more thrilled, me or my husband, since he had finally done something right!!!

And this lovely but, oh, so heavy, gem is going to be a sliding door helping to separate this shop from the studio/classroom.  I had the vision, hubs had the tools and muscle and without so much as a cross word between us, we came together and got it up on casters and huge metal hooks and “hung it” from a pipe going from one wall to another (but being the goober that I am, I forgot to get the “after” photo….).  Not only can I move it from one side to another but I can use it as a display for more stuff!!!

IMG_2336It is slowly taking shape and there are days where I get frustrated at my lack of energy and physical abilities, cause I want to do so much and have ideas spilling out of my ears and keeping me awake all night long.  I need a gypsy who can do basic retwirering, and knows her way around a drill and screw driver and table saw and metal nibbler to join my tiny band of creatives.  If you are that woman and want to come aboard this crazy caravan, please leave me a comment and I will contact you and we will meet for lunch and talk it over.  As soon as I have a better handle on getting the stuff I own into the shop and priced, etc. I will be sending out a “casting call” for other gypsies to add their creative pieces to our tiny shop.  I am blessed to not have any deadlines so I can work at a pace that I can handle and not get too overwhelmed!

If you enjoy seeing what is happening at The Lumberjack & The Gypsy, please follow this blog or my soon-to-be page on FaceBook.   This is my heart’s desire and I need you to help me along this new path.

The Gypsy Queen


Teepees and Tents Lights

Hello my fellow art-farts.  This is the Gypsy and I am so excited to let you in on my first class project at The Lumberjack & The Gypsy Studio.

My goal in having classes is to help you unleash your inner creativity.  You will never hear the words, “OH, THAT’S DIFFERENT” come out of my mouth as we Minnesotans know that is Minnesota Nice speak for “What in tarnation is that?”   I believe there are no mistakes in art, just another way to see it, or do it, or produce it.  I am only here to encourage you to let go…..put that wild purple in your painting, or add that bling-bling to your doll if you like it.  There are no rules in my classes…just guidelines.

I want most of our classes to be easy, fun and cheap (oh could I go off on a tangent here!!!).  The classes will be held on the second and fourth THURSDAY NIGHTS from 5:30 to whenever you are finished…usually two to three hours…depending on how fast you can make decisions about color, pattern, or whatever!  I know some folks take longer to pick out their materials and that’s okay (that is why I have no end time!)  I will almost always have everything you need unless I need you to bring something from home that only you can provide.  The cost of the class includes all materials.

Occasionally, I will do a longer, more intricate class on a Saturday.  These classes will be full days and plan on bringing a bag lunch.  I will always have coffee and treats available for students!

So….drum roll, please……


You will be making 15 little teepees or tents to put on a small string of lights.  You will make them, paint them and string them.  NO SPECIAL SKILLS NEEDED.  If you can hold a paint brush and use a scissors, you are good to go.  You will pick five colors of paint (I used red, brown, mustard, teal, and green) so you can make them for you or your kids/grands/campers/cabins/living rooms/ etc.

When you email me to sign up, let me know if you want your lights to be on brown, green or white cords.  There are 15 lights on a cord.  I used brown with clear bulbs but painted the insides of the teepees yellow to reflect a warm glow.

The cost for this class and all the materials is $15.

Super fun, super easy and you will be able to go and make many more sets on your own after learning how to do it.  Can you say “Christmas presents”????

So email me at robynbelsvik@gmail and let me know you are interested.



1592 Olsonville Road

Carlton, MN 55718.  (Less than a half mile from Black Bear Casino, right off of I-35…on old Hwy 61)

I am so looking forward to this new chapter in my life so come out and join me!!!

Making Headway (Whatever that means?)

Got all the painting done….except for the missing baseboards….how do baseboards disappear?  Or were they never there to begin with?  Hubs is clueless….

Got some more area rugs coming.  My plan is to have a vignette on each rug, highlighting a specific product/s.

The photos are just what I’ve thrown together just to get some kind of idea as to what might work.  I still am stumped as to what to use to hang things from the tin walls.  I was thinking magnetic hooks but the more I read about them, the less I think they will work.  Who knew that the strength of a magnetic hook decreases by 2/3rds when it is used sideways instead of “downways” (is that even a word?).  And since I have a dropped ceiling I can’t hang anything heavier than a paper aeroplane from them….major bummer.

Thankfully I have a nice support beam that will sport some really cool lamps I will be having made from a Face Book friend from Louisiana.  The woman is a southern Martha Stewart/Joanna Gaines/Junk Gypsy Sister, all rolled into one.  When God gave out talent, He must have blessed her tenfold.

Today was the first day I actually “used” the studio part.  And I loved it.  I can’t wait to get all my stuff there (I may have to bring my old Airstream there to hold my crafting supply overflow!)  Now if God would just have blessed me with money instead of beauty, I would be all set!

So enjoy the photos and remember NOTHING is set in stone and I am just “practicing” so things will change as I add more “personality” to the place.  (I really have a tendency to use quotation marks and exclamation points and parentheses when I write, don’t I?  If you know me, you know when I speak I have all these things in my spoken language too!  I once had a woman ask me if I was always so enthusiastic when I spoke.  Up until then, I never realized I spoke with a lot of passion and exuberance and emotion….I must exhaust some folks who are quieter and more soft spoken….sorry…)

And let me know what you think of my front door.  At first, I was thinking it wasn’t turning out like I had thought of in my head, but the more I look at it and see it as part of the room, the more I like it.   My landlady has not yet seen it and if she wasn’t happy with the little bit of purple in the room, I can’t imagine how thrilled she is gonna be with this door…..hahahaha.  Good thing she really likes me.

I am still waiting for hubs to get me the pegboard walls that we have so I can put tin on the fronts of them and separate the studio from the shop area.  The handyman that works for hubs is coming to put in a new door in the storage/office room and to fix the regular kitchen sink in a back room that we also rent so I will have a nice big sink to use to wash out brushes, etc.

The little bathroom is on hold as I want to use a shower curtain on the back wall to hide the ugliness of the unfinished sheet rock but the landlord just had open heart surgery and I need to get the approval of his wife as to which shower curtain I can use as we all know my ideas are not anywhere near her comfort zone.  And she has not been in the building (our businesses share the one bathroom).

I am also hoping to use some old fence pickets I used to have around my flower garden at my house to put on the new little deck hubs had made for me on the outside of the front door.  If I had my way, they would be multicolored on the inside and white on the outside but I can only push my charming personality so far so I may have to compromise and sneak some color into the sides of the pickets and paint them white on the front and back.  And I had wanted a huge, multi-colored mandala stenciled on the middle of the deck but somehow I think that too, may just be a pipe dream.  Compromise has never come easy to me when it comes to my artistic visions….just ask the hubs!

Enough for now,

The Gypsy

The Canvas Is Almost Done!

Do you ever get the feeling you are on a mouse-wheel?  You are moving all the time, faster and faster, but getting nowhere?  That is kinda how I feel about the remake of my place.

Me and my little band of gypsies, (Kathy and Irene) have been putting in a few hours of work three days a week now for two weeks and while I know what has been done, when I show you the photos, you may think….seriously….it has taken you that long to do this?   But keep in mind, one of my gypsies is recovering from a near fatal brain aneurysm and while her spirit is determined, her body doesn’t always do what she wants and then there is me….I work hard for as long as I can and then my body crashes and I have to spend the next day doing NOTHING.  Just having to be somewhere three-four days a week is exhausting for me, let alone climbing the ladder, bending over, stretching, painting and re-painting, etc.   So, in terms of our “handicaps”, I guess we should be proud that we have gotten this far!

So before I show you the photos, let me tell you what we did so you can look for the changes (in case they are not that obvious to you!)

In the last photos, I showed where I was giving the honey-colored paneling a silver wash to try to blend it in with the rusted tin and the barn-board looking flooring.  Well, when I was done, I was not happy with it.   So I put on my magical artist beret, and came up with a four-color wash to put over it.  I used brown, orange, bronze-gold metallic, and a copper metalic chalk paint and the results are awesome (at least in real-life…not sure you can see the “life” now in the wood in the photos)

Before and after

Then, we did a silver wash over the newly planed baseboards but again, they were too bright so I used the four-color wash on those and perfection!

In order to save money, I am trying to use whatever paints and such that I have on hand so when I wanted to brighten up the “Gypsy” part of the room, I used a Bermuda Onion purple on the door (behind it is a small room that I have a bunch of my craft supplies in that has a Bermuda Onion wall!) and around the trim and on the trim of the little window in that area.  But we got a note from our landlady a couple of days later, saying she would prefer us not to use any more purple in that room and to NOT use it at all in the bathroom!!!   There is only one bathroom in the building and we have to share it so I will have to use some other colors (we painted the ugly brown paneled walls a base of linen white so I am afraid she may think that it is going to stay that way…..SURPRISE!!!   I have found it best just to do what I want instead of asking for permission, since most people can’t see my “vision” but like it when it is in front of them.  I am hoping this works on her, too!)



Before and after…we also lowered the awning a bit


The declaration of NO MORE PURPLE threw me a bit since there is a funky little folding window that is next to the door that needed color and I really wanted it purple to continue the continuity (try saying that three-times) so I mixed a dark red/pink with a watered down purple and a Scandinavian pink and came up with this color which I am semi-pleased with since it is in the same family as the purple and in an act of what my husband would call “rebellion”, I added a smidge of the purple to the inside of the tiny panes of glass….just to tie it all together!

IMG_2017My next project was the door leading to the other rooms of the building.  I was not sure if I wanted it to stand out or blend in so I just painted it in my favorite metallic silver and while it was okay, I felt it lacked something so out came my paints and I did the four-color wash over it.  At first, I was not happy but when it dried it was just what I wanted.  I am not sure yet, if I will leave the trim silver (the window opposite of the door has the silver trim and I like it there.)

I have two painting projects left…..the white metal door…which I have already given two coats of the metallic silver but I want it to look old and rusty so I am going to use some pots of Metallic Lustre in gold, bronze and copper which I will rub on to (hopefully) make it look rusty.  I really do just fly by the seat of my 2x pants!  And then to paint all the plain wood beams and ceiling wood in my metallic silver.  My goal for the “showroom/shop” is to have the floor, walls, trim, ceiling, just be a canvas for my husband’s gorgeous furniture and my gypsies handmade items.  I want the eye to “see” it but only as a background not as a focus.

Lastly I want to show you the photo of the rug I got for the “sitting” area of the shop.  I ordered it online from a tiny photo and it fits wonderfully in the color scheme/vibe of the room.  I also just last night, got the rug that will go into the Gypsy part in front of my antique fainting couch…but you will have to wait till next week to see that!IMG_2012We are planning on Monday being the day we start bringing in the furniture and winter recreation products Scott and his band of lumberjacks make and seeing where they should go, etc.  The FUN part and once we get that done, then we will start the moving in of Gypsy stuff… husband is already questioning how I plan to get in all the stuff I want in that small area.  Does he not know me after more than 33 years of marriage???

Please let me know what you think of the improvements and stay tuned for next week’s photos….

The Lumberjack & The Gypsy


Ya Gotta Love Rusty Metal

The work continues on THE LUMBERJACK & THE GYPSY.

New floor is down, rusty metal old barn roofing is on the upper walls, I am working on giving the old honey-colored pine tongue n groove wood a wash of metallic silver chalk paint to blend the wood with the tin and the flooring.  (I love how I have an unusual idea and when I tell people what I am going to do, they think it won’t work or will look bad but it always looks great and they are SO surprised.  It’s my one talent that comes naturally to me!)

My wonderful husband surprised me by having a handyman fashion awnings over the door and windows out of the metal roofing we had left after doing the walls.  I had seen pictures of awnings both inside and out and I knew that is what I wanted but I was shocked that he had it done so quickly!!!

If I can move tomorrow,  (right now it feels like I have a broken arm, not the arm I was using to paint with but the one that was holding the container of paint….Lord am I out of shape….) I will go in and finish the painting of the walls and then start on the trim (which will be a solid silver metallic so it will kinda look like metal…I hope!)

Then Monday, I will paint the base boards (also metallic silver chalk paint) and the front door……guess what color?…I am trying to evoke a “Industrial” kind of feeling in the room and so I hope to paint the white metal door to look like a silver metal…again, not sure if it will work but what the heck, eh?  (I guess you could say that is my life motto….”But what the heck, eh?”)

The room is L-shaped and the shop part will be the “fat part” and the studio/classroom will be the long part and to separate them, I will use two 4ft. peg boards that are hinged together and framed in by 1×4’s and will have rusty tin on the side that will face the shop.  That way, if we make a mess during a class and someone comes in to look around, they won’t see it!  And I can use the tin side as display area.

I just ordered two rugs for the floors (ever since I have been getting my “old age” money I have been buying rugs for my floors…what’s with that???).  And I have an antique fainting couch that my hubs got for me that I was going to get redone in a red-violet velvet but instead I think I’ll just give it a good cleaning and use it as-is as it is so cool even in the brown velvet and brown and black chenille cushion and attached pillow.  The cushion and pillow are stuffed with some kind of “old-timey” material as it is super heavy.  I have yet to try to fit my lower part into the space between the arms as it looks pretty narrow!  As soon as I get it all cleaned up and moved into the studio, I’ll take photos.

Speaking of which,  here are some shots I took today…….

Till next time,

cropped-img_03451.jpgThe Lumberjack & The Gypsy

Welcome to Unique

Here at THE LUMBERJACK AND THE GYPSY, our mission is to build/find/create unique products for our “not so ordinary” customers.  All of our interesting pieces are either hand~crafted, rebuilt, repurposed or vintage.  Each piece will be one~of~a~kind and have a personality all it’s own.

We are starting small, loving the process.  We will have the most exquisite rustic furnishings that you will not find anywhere else.  We are the home to Lake Superior Furniture Co. and their snowshoe-laced furniture and wall art.  Also in our little shop, we will have Arrowhead Toboggans, Sleds and Snowshoes all made right next door.

We are hoping to have classes this fall in rug hooking, antique-looking teddy bears, spinning and weaving and a day to just hang out and craft in our cozy shop (where the coffee pot is always on and goodies are out to enjoy).

The owner of the shop has sold her creations under the names of:  Three Bears and a Queen; Queen Robyn Designs; Wild Woman Woollens; Life Crowns; Common Folk Primitives; Krow’s Feet Krafts and Butt-Ugly Bears!  (Her husband says she probably could paper every wall and ceiling in their house with all her old business cards!)

We are looking for an early August opening date and to begin we will just be open a few days a week to get our feet wet.  We will post our days and hours here on our website/blog and on our Facebook Page.

All of us at THE LUMBERJACK & THE GYPSY are so excited to get up and rolling.  I hope you will stop in and say hi and have a cuppa on us.

I am adding some of the before photos so you can see what we looked like before our “make over”.   Make over photos will be in a later blog post (we still have some work to get done).

We are located at 1592 Olsonville Road in Carlton, MN just a mile away from Black Bear Casino on old Hwy 61.  Just a quick hop off of I-35 at the exit to MN 210.  We’ll have more detailed directions in the next post along with our phone number and email address.

Okay, on to the before photos…..

I hope you will enjoy the transformation…..I’ll give you a little hint…..can you say reclaimed rusty corrugated barn roofing?   Rust is our favorite color (of course, the Gypsy changes her hair color at least monthly so her favorite color is the one she has on her head that day!)

Till we talk again,