Tag Archives: inspiration

In With The New – Happy 2014!

This is the time of year that many people make New Years resolutions.  I’ve never made a New Years resolution.  Instead I prefer to look back on the past year and celebrate accomplishments and start dreaming about what we can accomplish in the new year.

2013 was a great year for us at Hang Ups in KC.  In April Kristi & I traveled to Ventura, California to attend an amazing conference for creative makers called Craftcation (www.craftcationconference.com).  We met some of our favorite authors and crafty gurus like Amy Tan, Kari Chapin and Nicole Blum and learned a mind-boggling amount about how to grow our business.  Since then we have:

  1. Created this blog and regularly post DIY’s, recipes and accounts of our adventures.
  2. Built our website from scratch thanks to the technical expertise of Matt Jurgensen and the creative genius of Kristi Jurgensen.  We constantly update our website with new creations…check us out at www.hangupsinkc.com.
  3. Forged an amazing partnership with Literacy Kansas City (www.literacykansascity.org).  We have created an entire line of jewelry that is literacy based.  You can check it out on our website.   In 2014 we will continue to donate a portion of the proceeds from our Literacy Kansas City Collection and look forward to working even more closely with this remarkable team.
  4. Designed and launched a newsletter to give an inside track on new products and sales to our loyal customers.  To sign up for our newsletter go to our home page on our website and click on the link provided.  We promise not to overwhelm you with daily emails like the big stores do.
  5. Partnered with 3 more stores sell our creations; Lucky Dog Vintage, Westside Storey and Ugly Glass & Co.  We are always looking for retail partners who share our vision, creativity and love for repurposing and antiques.
  6. Created Twitter (@hangupsinkc) and Instagram (hangupsinkc) accounts.  We are doing our best to keep up with technology!

2013 was a great year for us thanks to all of you and your support!

Kristi & I have high hopes for Hang Ups in 2014.  We are starting off our year with a bang – on January 15th we will be presenting our business and goals at 1 Million Cups (www.1MillionCups.com) in Kansas City.  Our goal this year is to grow our online business and enter into the world of wholesale.  We are hoping that the entrepreneurial community surrounding 1 Million Cups and the Kauffman Foundation can share some wisdom and give us some guidance towards our goals.

If you have always dreamed of starting your own small handmade business have faith and try not to become overwhelmed.  There are so many people out there who will be thrilled to support you and who will genuinely love your products.  There are also a great number of resources online and most likely right in your community if you look closely enough.  When we were starting on this journey we read Kari Chapin’s books “Handmade Marketplace” and “Grow Your Handmade Business”.  These books provided a remarkable step by step list of what needed to be done.  Here’s a link, if you are interested:  http://www.storey.com/author.php?ID=502022.  When we were ready to create a blog and feeling overwhelmed Kari Chapin recommended the book “Blogging for Creatives” by Robin Houghton (http://www.amazon.com/Blogging-Creatives-designers-crafters-contacts/dp/1440320136).  This book made the process of starting a blog so much less intimidating and so much easier.  The most important thing to remember during your journey is that you are not alone!  In our experience, the creative community is incredibly supportive and nurturing.

Whatever your dreams are Kristi & I hope that they come true for you in 2014!  We wish you all a very happy New Year!

DIY Christmas Ornament From Repurposed Measuring Stick

I love old wood yard & meter sticks.  They used to be given away free as marketing materials and now they average around $8 each at antique stores.  I decided to make a Christmas ornament out of one of the old folded measuring sticks that has been hanging around my workshop for a while.  You could make this ornament using an old ruler you have hanging around as well.

Before we get started we’d like to thank Tracy Spisak, photographer extraordinaire from Gallery Portaiture (www.galleryportraitureinc.com) for photographing this DIY project!

This is what you’ll need:


  • Measuring stick or ruler cut to the size you’d like
  • Letters from your local craft store
  • Jump rings
  • Ribbon
  • 2 pairs of pliers
  • E6000 or Tacky Glue
  • Seasonal buttons or decoration

1.  Choose the festive word that you’d like to spell and drill corresponding holes in the bottom of the measuring stick to hang the letters from.  Then drill a hole in the top left hand and right hand corners to string the ribbon through.

2.  Run the jump ring through the hole in the top of the letter and the hole in your measuring stick.  To open and close your jump ring grasp it with a pair of pliers on each side of the split.  Then twist in opposite directions – basically one hand should be going towards you and the other away.  Never pry the jump ring directly apart horizontally.  Attach all of your letters.

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3.  Cut a piece of ribbon about a foot long.  Run one end of the ribbon through the right upper hole and one through the left upper hole on your measuring stick.  Knot the ends of the ribbon and trim the ends.

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4.  I added a silver glittery button to the ornament to give it some sparkle.  You could add anything that catches your eye.  I also tied a knot in the upper part of the ribbon for a little extra flair.


5.  Show off your crafty skills all your friends!


If you aren’t up to making your own ornament check out our website (www.hangupsinkc.com) to check out what our creations.  They make great teachers and hostess gifts!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hang Ups Holiday Ornament DIY – Scrabble Tile & Measuring Stick Ornament

Ornaments make great teacher gifts.  Teachers gifts are even more special when students help to create them.  You could have your child help design this ornament adding personal touches for their teacher.

A special thank you to Tracy Spisak from Gallery Portraiture (www.galleryportraitureinc.com) for photographing this DIY project!


Vintage Measuring Stick Ornament

It is great if you have vintage wood Scrabble tiles for this project but not necessary. Hobby Lobby sells wood letter tiles that work great. Have your child spell our a word that reminds them of their teacher to personalize this gift.



  • Wood letter tiles.
  • Wood measuring stick – you could even use a wood ruler that you have hanging around at home.
  • Brown ink.
  • Ribbon.
  • Decorative touches like snowflakes, jingle bells or festive colored beads.
  • Jump Ring.
  • Pliars.
  • Glue.

You can personalize this ornament by adding charms, beads or Christmas findings that your child chooses.

Step 1:

We prepared a piece of inexpensive measuring stick that we found at an antique store by cutting it to the correct size to fit the word we chose, drilling a hole in the center of the top and bottom and sanding off all rough edges.  We wanted the wood letter tiles to have more of a vintage feel so we used a brown ink pad to softly antique the edges of the front and sides of the tile.


Step 2:

We then used E6000 glue to attach the letter tiles to the measuring stick. You may prefer to stagger your letters left and right, center them or move them to one side as we do.  This is another design aspect your child can help with.


Step 3:

We glued on snowflakes to give this ornament a festive feel.  This is the hard part…you need to leave this ornament alone for several hours to allow the glue to set.  E6000 takes several hours to bond securely but is very strong.  If you prefer using hot glue go ahead!


Step 4:

Run a metal jump ring through the bottom hole in the ornament and hang either pretty beads, jingle bells or whatever you think is pretty from the bottom.  We chose a Santa bell.  When opening Jump rings never pull the edges away horizontally, always pull them apart as pictured below so that they go back into a perfect circle.  Next run a pretty ribbon through the top hole and PRESTO you have a beautiful and unique handmade ornament.

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Hang Ups in KC Partners With Literacy Kansas City

Literacy Sign Blog

Kristi and I are thrilled to announce our brand-new partnership with Literacy Kansas City.

I’ve had a few people ask me what Literacy Kansas City is and it occurred to me that not everyone is aware of the desperate need for literacy programs in all geographical areas.   For example, approximately 225,000 adults in the Kansas City area function at the lowest literacy level.  Literacy Kansas City’s goal is to help raise awareness of our community’s significant literacy needs and provide free one-to-one and small group tutoring programs.  Their volunteers give the gift of self-esteem, new opportunities, and capabilities that literacy brings to virtually every aspect of a student’s life.

Why are Kristi and I so passionate about literacy?  Because we LOVE to read and believe that everyone should have the opportunity to love it as much as we do.  Kristi was a reading volunteer at her kids school in Liberty for years.  She also loves that her children have started to share that passion for reading, they will even recommend books for her to read. I have an English Literature Degree and a background volunteering with the Barrie Literacy Council in Barrie, Ontario, Canada.  I’m also the daughter of a school librarian and I am a school library volunteer.  I LOVE (it’s that big and bold love again) working in the school library.  Who knew?  I guess I really am my mother’s daughter.

So where does Hang Ups in KC come in?  We are in the process of creating a brand new line of jewelry dedicated to the joy of reading in the form of inspirational words and quotes.  The jewelry will be in our usual eclectic style using mostly vintage and repurposed items.  A portion of every sale in this line will be dedicated to Literacy Kansas City.  Our brand new Literacy Kansas City line of jewelry can be found on our website by clicking on the jewelry tab.  To make it super easy, here’s the link:  http://www.hangupsinkc.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=78_80.  Here is a sneak peak of what we have available online right now.

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We would truly appreciate it if you could help us to spread the word about our new jewelry line in support of Literacy Kansas City.  This is the link to our website’s home page  (www.hangupsinkc.com).  We would also love to hear what you think we should create – so many of our friends and followers have brilliantly creative minds.

For more information about Literacy Kansas City and their initiatives please visit www.literacykc.org.

I guarantee that your city has the same needs as Kansas City.  Go ahead and google literacy programs in your area.  They are looking for all kinds of support like tutor volunteers, book donations, sponsors, etc.  If you are as passionate about literacy as we are maybe there is something you can do to make a difference.



Creativity Is Contagious Feature Artist: Holly Shaw of Haleighanna’s Hands

We love our “Creativity Is Contagious, Pass It On” series so much that we are going to extend it for the entire month of October.  Send a short bio on you or your creative business as well of some photos of your creations to me at Carolyn@hangupsinkc.com and Kristi & I will share your creations with our friends!

We would like to introduce to our friend Holly Shaw who is the artistic genius behind Haleighanna’s Hands.  We met Holly at a show last March and immediately hit it off with her.  She has a wicked sense of humor and her creativity is off the charts.  This is how Holly describes herself:

“I am a Midwestern girl who decided to follow a dream and moved to Portland, Oregon. I left a corporate job so that I could work on getting to know myself better as an artist. Most of the day is spent in my studio, working with paper, paint and glue. I actually started out scrapbooking and then moved on to mixed media. I opened my Etsy shop so that I could recycle my stash (turning my art into cash to buy more supplies to make art). It was an outlet for my hoarding.”

Here are some of Holly’s most recent pieces:

KCHangups2 KCHangups1 Full shot

Please visit Holly’s online store at www.haleighannashands.etsy.com.

Our First “Creativity Is Contagious, Pass It On” Share

Meet Nicole from Ni-Chern Designs:


We met Nicole a few years ago when she was our neighbor at the Zeleny Arts & Craft Fair.  We immediately struck up a friendship and are always excited when we are exhibitors at the same show like this past weekend at the Overland Park Fall Festival.  Nicole has been sewing for almost 20 years and clearly loves her craft!  Her sewing is high quality and she has GORGEOUS fabrics.  Trust us, her faithful customers, Ni-Chern is definitely worth checking out.  Visit her new website to take a peek at her fabrics, products and upcoming sales:  www.nicherndesigns.com.  If you like what you see go ahead and share her site with your friends and family.  Shopping small business rocks!

Chicken Cranberry Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

The weather is cooling and it’s almost fall, our favorite season!  This weekend we are heading to the Hillsboro Arts & Crafts Fair in Hillsboro Kansas, our very first show of the season.  This is an incredibly busy show – which makes us very happy.  The downside is that it is almost impossible to take a break long enough to pick up food.  Our solution is to take our own lunch.  As you know, Kristi and I love to eat so boring PB&J’s are not an option.  Since Kristi provides the extra large van that transports all of our stuff from show to show I provide our food.  This Chicken Cranberry Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad is one of our favorites.  I just finished making it and thought it would be fun to share it with you.  Add some yogurt covered pretzels, grapes, Sun Chips and carrot sticks to our picnic and we will be set for the day.


  •  1 box Betty Crocker Suddenly Salad ranch and bacon salad mix
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken meat
  • 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sliced toasted almonds
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 1/2 cup cubed mozzarella or provolone cheese
  1. Pour pasta into 3-quart saucepan 2/3 full of boiling water.  Gently boil uncovered for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Drain pasta.  Rinse with cold water, drain well.
  3. In a large bowl, combine seasoning mix from packet and mayonnaise.  Stir in chicken, cranberries, almonds, celery and cheese until well mixed.

Check out our blog next week for a checklist of what supplies we bring to shows and more awesome food ideas.  Have a great weekend!

Kristi’s French Food Adventure

Anyone who knows Kristi and I knows that we L-O-V-E food.  We love burgers, BBQ, stinky cheese, all varities of bread, fancy food, down-home cooking…it really doesn’t matter.  Our food adventures are as much a part of our partnership as the jewelry.

Kristi is on her way back from France right now.  She has spent two weeks touring a country known for great food and wine.  I thought I would share some of the pictures that she has been posting online; allowing me to live vicariously through her.  WARNING:  if you are hungry, love bread, cheese and wine you are going to LOVE these photos!

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Top 10 Places to Shop For Antiques & Vintage Items in Kansas City Area

We visit many antique stores, architectural salvage shops and thrift stores searching for unique items to make into jewelry.   We often find ourselves wandering down tiny winding paths in stores filled to the ceiling with treasures.  Kristi has a history of tripping over things and getting her scarf stuck in running fans and I have an extremely sensitive nose so I have been known to gag dramatically now and then at the pungent smells around us.  Our shopping excursions are always filled with adventure, fun and a lot of laughter.   Today we are going to share the best of the best, in our humble opinion.  Taking into account cleanliness, organization and unique finds the following are our top 10 favorite places to shop for vintage and antique items in the Kansas City Area:

  1. Jesse James Antique Mall, St. Joseph, Missouri (www.jessejamesantiquemall.com).
  2. The Brass Armadillo, Kansas City, Missouri (www.brassarmadillo.com/kansascity).
  3. Rivermarket Antique Store, Kansas City, Missouri (www.rivermarketantiquemall.com).
  4. Lucky Dog Vintage, West Bottoms Kansas City, Missouri(https://www.facebook.com/LuckyDogVintage/info).
  5. West Side Story, Kansas City, Missouri (http://www.thewestsidestorey.com/).
  6. Hickory Dickory, West Bottoms, Kansas City, Missouri (https://www.facebook.com/hickorydickorykc).
  7. Timeless Treasures, Claycomo, Missouri (433 U.S. 69  Kansas City, MO 64119).
  8. Nook & Cranny, West Bottoms, Kansas City, Missouri (www.facebook.com/NookandCrannyKC?ref=br_tf).
  9. Jeff’s Architectural Salvage, Weston, Missouri (www.jeffsarchitecturalsalvage.tinytownsusa.com).
  10. The Hillcrest thrift stores in Liberty and Parkville, Missouri (www.hillcresttransitionalhousing.org/thrift-shops).

The best way to find out about new merchandise, sales and events at your favorite stores is to “Like” their Facebook page.  We love the daily updates and inspiration that we get from our favorite stores!

If, like us, repurposing is your passion we highly recommend that you follow the Junk Mafia Gang via their “Junk In My Trunk” radio show, Facebook or check out their website (www.junkmafia.com).  In their own words Darren, Ed and their team are “reporters of JUNK, Day Trips, Road Trips, independent business owners, restaurants, truck stops, and all of the other things that make the road ways of this great country a wonderful place to live and love!!”.  Hang Ups in KC is thrilled to be:

This summer I discovered the Granddaddy of all Antique Stores near Perth, Ontario, Canada.  I will blog about it next week with some pictures.  In the meantime we would love to hear about your favorite places to find antiques and vintage items.  It doesn’t matter if you are not local.  We travel frequently and are always looking for new places to check out.

Hiho Hiho It’s back to work we go!

July and our month-long summer break have come to a close.  Kristi kept very busy with her graphic design business and family.  It wasn’t all work for Kristi, though, she spent a fabulous week on the gorgeous gulf coast. The break from reality and coastal living have inspired her and I can’t wait to see the new designs she comes up with this fall.

Alabama 2013

I spent my month on the road with my family.  First we went to visit family & friends in Canada and to attend our nieces high school graduation.  While I was visiting my parents, north of Kingston Ontario, they introduced me to the most mind-blowing and amazing antique store I’ve ever been to.  I’ll be featuring it in our next blog post.  After we arrived home from Canada we spent 4 glorious nights in our own beds and then we headed down to New Orleans for the BIG trip celebrating my husband and niece’s graduations.


Here they are along with our boys standing in front of St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square (French Quarter).  New Orleans bubbles over with creativity surrounding food, art & music…oh and the ghost stories.  I can’t even begin to express how much I love that city.

So now it’s back to reality and back to work.  We are not complaining, though, because we get to do something that we love every day and on our own terms.  How lucky are we?  Kristi and I had a day together this week that we used to visit some of our stores and plan for our busy upcoming season.  We are both feeling very creatively inspired and are excited to be back at it!

We hope that you all are having an amazing summer and are feeling as inspired and energized as we are!