Some fresh ornaments and – Do you know what your talents are?

My love/hate relationship with Pinterest has had me thinking. And thinking hard! Yeah, yeah. I hear the giggling and snickering out there. Once you get over the thought of me thinking hard, this is what I’m talking about.

One day with Pinterest, I’m all inspired. I want to make every crafty thing I see, I want to make my house pin worthy. And really believe I can. The next day I believe I only had pipe dreams. Foolish ideas. Who am I kidding? I’m not talented the way those people are. I can’t make things look that good. Then I get over that pity party and start to dream big again. Do you do this, too?

Here’s what prompted the latest pity party. Erin and I spent some time Friday crafting Christmas ornaments. She’s a natural. Most of the things she makes are cute. Most of the things I make cause much giggling or out and out guffawing. That’s when I start wondering  just what my talents are and if I’ll ever find them.

Altered book and salt shaker angel

Altered book and salt shaker angel

Ok. So that’s not exactly terrible, but someone else with more talent than I could have taken the same idea and made everyone who saw it want to do one for themselves.

Now. Just what are my natural talents? After much thinking…..well….. I can play the piano and it came naturally to me. It was easy to learn. But there are definitely limitations. Short fingers for one. Odd inability to memorize for another. And it seemed like I got to a level and could never get any further. And that was a looooooooong way from a concert pianist. Enough to satisfy me and enjoy playing, though. But I rarely play any more. Can’t see and it hurts my wrists. So, what else?

Um…. I can sew… Read that not as “I can SEW!” but more like, “Welllll… I can sew….” I’m not what you’d call a talented seamstress like my friend Melanie. I know that she has to pick out seams along with everybody else, but I’ve never seen anything she made that didn’t look professionally done. I’m more of a “capable” seamstress. Still I think there’s a natural talent there. When I hear someone say they can’t sew, I wonder why not? Sewing’s easy! Nothing to it! So maybe I should start to sew more to sate my creative urges and have a satisfied feeling at completion.

Those are the only natural talents I can think of. Not much, huh? Oh, there is another. I sure can shop! LOL

I don’t think I’ll ever squelch the other crafting urges, though. Here are some other ornaments I made Friday.

Clear ornaments filled with tinsel, snowflakes and salts

Clear ornaments filled with tinsel, snowflakes and salts

 

The bottom left is just silver tinsel garland stuffed into a clear ball. The center right is Epsom Salt in a ball with glitter on the outside. But the other turned out to be a happy mistake:

Clear ornament filled with snowflakes

Clear ornament filled with snowflakes

 

I know you can’t tell too much about it, but it’s little plastic snowflakes from Hobby Lobby. Trouble was, they just laid there flat on top of each other. I put some Epsom Salt in there to see if that would help. Enh. Not much. Then for some really strange reason, I sprayed glue in there. I’m not sure what I thought it would do, but it made everything clump together. Horrors! So I started shaking. And it actually ended up OK! I kinda like it!

Glittered Plastic Trophy

Glittered Plastic Trophy

Just glitter on a little plastic trophy. Anybody should be able to spray something with glue and cover it in glitter, but oops. I see where I missed a few spots. See? I can’t even get something as simple as that right! LOL

Salt Shaker Angel

Salt Shaker Angel

And one more picture of the salt shaker angel Erin thought was so funny. Sigh. In retrospect, I think it would have been cuter in all silver. If I had a little ball for the head, I’d go ahead and do that, but I don’t. At least not today.

So what about you? Do you find it easy to create and do it well or are you like me, occasionally have an accidental happy? Have you found your natural talents? Do you stick with that or do you continually try to put a square peg in a round hole and try to do things you know are not your talent?

 

Gratitude

Gratitude. I haven’t been doing the whole “today I’m grateful for…” thing on Facebook or the blog, but that doesn’t mean I’m not. No, no, no! I could bore a preacher to tears with my list of “thankful fors”. There are the usual, noble things like health, family, friends, pet, home…. then it gets into clean water, clothes to wear, enough food to make me fat…. But it can also include things like getting to buy a Silhouette Cameo a few months ago and my new blade coming yesterday.

I love the Silhouette! I don’t use it as much as many, if not most, owners, but I’m so happy to have it. I didn’t get one for free just for reviewing it like it seems a lot of bloggers did. Who wants a blog with the name Excuse Me While I Buy This Junk to review your wonderful, new product? And hint, that’s one the changes I’m working on.

This might be my first real project. I’ve done other things, enough to dull the blade, but nothing worth crowing about.

Gratitude cut with vinyl on the Silouhette Cameo and framed in an antique frame

I downloaded the 99¢ design by Samantha Walker directly from the Silhouette store. Cut it from brown vinyl and stuck it to orange construction paper, of all things. I had this old leaf cross frame and they seemed destined to be together.

Did you notice I put it in the basket from last month?

Gratitude cut with vinyl on the Silouhette Cameo and framed in an antique frame

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I’ve decided I’ve got to blitz the booth and Etsy for the rest of this month and next. Should have already done this. I still have so much stored that needs to be out for sale. It’s not doing anybody any good packed away like it is. Most of my time will be doing this. I’ll still try to get around to read your blogs, but know that it’s a slow go and only when I get the chance to sit at the computer without working.

Fall Yarn Wrapped Wreath

Have you been seeing all the yarn wrapped wreaths? There are some really pretty ones out there. I thought I’d try my hand at one. I didn’t want to invest much in the yarn and Wal-Mart was the closest seller of yarns for me, so choices were limited. There weren’t many good fall color choices, but I did the best I could. Cream, brown and cream, burgundy and a brown mix.

Ha! See the camera, my hand, part of my arm and the top of my head in the mirror? Oops.

I don’t know how people divide it so the colors are evenly spaced. I thought I was smart in using the measuring tape and it still came out uneven. But that’s OK with me.

The flowers? They came out of this basket of knitted flowers I found at an estate sale recently.

We’re vacay-ing in south Florida at the moment. My mission today was to visit Boca Bargoons and…. mission accomplished. I’m still hyperventilating from being in Fabric Heaven! Too bad there’s not one close to home. I took some samples, but I doubt I’ll ever follow through with buying any of it.

I also went to local yard sales Saturday and have been going to the thrifts. There are MILLIONS of thrift stores around here!! Mostly, the merchandise looks very similar to the thrifts back home, but my daughter-in-law said she found a pair of Prada shoes for $6 at one, so I’m determined to hit as many stores as possible.

The last couple of weeks were spent cleaning house because of friends doing house watching and cat care. Heaven forbid they should see it the way it always looks when they come over. LOL

Wire Strainer Shoo Fly Cloche

Wanna talk about being on a roll? That’s me! Another project completed!

I’ve seen these little cloches or shoo flies made from wire strainers for a year or two now and it was on my list of things to do. I found an old strainer at an estate sale for a dollar.

Normally, $1 would be more than I’d want to pay, but the wire in this one had such character. It was finer than most and more delicate, and yet, more primitive. It just seemed like the perfect shoo fly. So it came home to live with me for at least a year before it was transformed. You see, I’d look at it and wonder how in the world I was going to get the heavy wire around it off. You know. The hooks and the part that fits into the handle. I was afraid to open the tin “track” around it, afraid the mesh would come out and I’d have to throw it all away. That is, until I ran across Our Pioneer Homestead’s tutorial. (This is a really cool blog with the love of primitives.) She showed us how to take the heavy wire out from the track with a butter knife. Ha! Yeah. Right. A butter knife wouldn’t budge the track around mine. I had to use a screwdriver. Hers also came out in three pieces so that she only had to loosen small areas to get the heavy wire out. Naturally, mine was much harder. This is how mine came out:

I  had to pry up the tin track allllll the way around. Took for-eh-vah. But it was finally done.

I then went back and clamped the track back down, pinching myself with the pliers a couple of times. Ouch! Still have a tender spot on my finger.

Next step was dabbing paint on the wire so it wouldn’t be so silver. I think I used Folk Art’s Butter Pecan, but might have used Apple Barrel’s English Lace. Whichever it was, I couldn’t really tell any difference, so didn’t take a picture of this step. The best way to put the paint on is to use a stiff bristle brush, I used my old stencil brush, and with a cloth or paper towel (or I used toilet tissue because the bathroom is just a few steps away) under and touching the mesh, dab the the paint on. If it’s too thick, it’ll fill the holes. Too thin and it’ll just run through. I found having the tp underneath helped to keep it out of the holes.

Then I thought I’d get creative and add some black distressing. Oops. Uh, black was definitely not the most attractive choice.

At best it looked like it had been used in a mechanic’s shop. At worst, it looked like it had black measles and in one spot, black ring worm. I tried not to panic and proceeded to paint over it again with Butter Pecan.

Whew! That worked just fine. Gave it a nice copper look. I then found an appropriate knob in my stash and here’s the finished product.

Cloche or shoo fly made from a vintage strainer - From Just Vintage

See how wonky the mesh is? And I didn’t get the knob exactly in the center top, but I’m saying that adds to the authenticity.

I’m joining the following parties:

Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm

Tuesday’s Treasures at My Uncommon Slice Of Suburbia.

Take A Look Tuesdays at Sugarbee Crafts

One Project At A Time at A Bowl Full Of Lemons

Time To Shine at A Diamond In the Stuff

A Box for Paper

This time of year always makes me want to make things, to sew, to clean, to redecorate. Spring does it, too. It’s just the change in the weather. I’m sure you’re the same whether you realize it or not. I look at your blogs, see the pretty things you’re doing, look at Pinterest, at magazines, and think, “I WANT TO DO THAT, TOO!” And yes, the words are shouting in my head. I see so many things I want to do and even think of things on my own, I spin around in circles not knowing where to start. So I don’t. I just continue in the endless circle spin. Kinda like a kid at a carnival. I wanna do this! No! Let’s do this! Oh, look at that! Sigh. Yep. That’s me. But I did force myself to start an “easy”, less than an afternoon, project today. More on that another day. It’s turning out not so easy and will probably take more than an afternoon for me to complete it. And I’ve already got a wicked, pliers finger pinch.

But I did want to prove to the world yet again that I am capable of completing a project even when there were several do-overs.

I did a Graphic Fairy transfer onto this wooden box.

Graphic Transfer on Painted Box from Just Vintage's blog, Excuse Me While I Buy This Junk

It’s a bit bigger than a standard sheet of paper, so perfect to hold a stack of printer paper inside. Naturally I didn’t get any before pictures. Why would I think to do that?? But it was a crappy, hand made box. Had a crooked, brass latch on the front and a broken, plastic money holder tray inside. It was varnished, natural colored wood. I sanded that baby down. All by myself! ;-)

First step, of course, was painting. I gave it probably 3 coats before transferring the graphic.

I thought that I’d try the Mod Podge method that Jennifer of Town and Country Living told us about. I even unconsciously sorta copied her box. My results were far from stellar. Some of it didn’t take and I ended up peeling into the lettering when I was “rolling” the paper off. And in the end, the tell tale edge of the Mod Podge was very visible. Not the effect I was looking for. I wanted it to look printed on, not applied. So I rubbed it all off, did some light sanding and repainted the top.

This time I tried the wax paper method. I’ve used this method before, but it was too light for the effect I wanted on the box. I did a bit of sanding then more paint. And more paint and more…

Finally I tried the freezer paper method. And used the high intensity setting on the printer. This one worked great. But… um… the graphic was too small. Arghhhhh! So I painted and painted and painted and painted. Three or four coats on the top to cover. I enlarged the graphic as much as I could, reapplied and let it be.

I found some black and white contact paper at Dollar General to line the inside with.

Put the little clear knob on and the hinges back on (after intentionally sloppy painting) and that was that. It only took 1-1/2 months! Woohoo! LOL

So I want to know. Do you flit around like a butterfly wanting to start things, but not knowing where to start or which project to do first? Are you a quick finisher? Do you start it and get it done? Does this time of year make you want to do more than you can possibly get around to?

Decorated Sun Sweet Bottle – As Seen On Pinterest

Ah, yes. I was a copycat again. This project has my heart, though. I’m still trying to figure out where I can use it in my house.

This one was seen on Pinterest, from the Mod Podge site by their guest poster, the very talented Mitzi, of Mitzi’s Miscellany. She showed how to Mod Podge labels onto bottles. She creates her own labels, but for this particular project used the round Sigaut label from The Graphic Fairy.

I saw the picture on Pinterest, thought to myself, “I have that same bottle!” and couldn’t rest until I did one of my own.

Graphics Fairy Sigaut label on Sun Sweet bottle

I’m sure there’s not much need to go through the process for most of you, but for the first timers, here’s what I did.

  • Find a label of your choice from The Graphics Fairy blog. They’re free and absolutely wonderful. I tried not to copy exactly, but this label fit this bottle so well that I just couldn’t see anything else working.
  • Download the image to your computer, and edit to the size you need. I use Photoscape, a free program. Yeah, I’m all about free. When you save the graphic, make sure you save it to 100% jpg quality. I like to print in high quality and intensity, too.
  • Cut out your label. Now, here’s your chance to play with your Silhouette Cameo if you have one. I used mine to cut out the circle, but doggone it. I didn’t have it centered quite right and cut off part of the border. Of course, if you weren’t intimately familiar with the label, you’d never realize I had to cut the border off all the way around, but just so you don’t think I’m perfect (giggle-snort-cough) I’m telling you about my boo-boo.
  • I then used Distress Ink, and dabbed over the label to keep it from looking so new. While I had the ink out, I went ahead and dabbed the length of seam binding, too.
  • Next, apply Mod Podge to the back of the label, making sure to get all the edges. Place it on the bottle and let it dry. (Note – Some people like to Mod Podge over the label, but I figure labels in real life aren’t, so I didn’t do it to mine.)
  • All that’s left is to wrap your ribbon around the neck, tie a bow and embellish if you’d like.

See the little pin?

My bottle didn’t have a lid and I’d seen someone else use rolled up corrugated cardboard as a cork. — I sure do wish I could remember who it was so she could get credit for that idea. Here’s a picture of the bottle without the cardboard in the neck. It would make such a pretty vase.

Graphics Fairy Sigaut label on Sun Sweet bottle

This was really a fun and easy project. And for once, I’m really happy with the result!

 

 

Post-it Notes Holder Pinterest Project

I’m a copycat. I admit it. And am only a tiny bit ashamed. If I could come up with my own ideas, I certainly would, but I seem to be lacking that gene. Or it’s severely handicapped.

I saw this cute project on Pinterest pinned from Huckabys Happily Ever After blog.
Post-it notes holders made from coasters.

They were darling and – gasp – I thought “even I can do that!” Then my mind headed in the direction it always seems to head, “I bet I could make these and sell them for $4 each in the booths!” Yeah. Well. Maybe. I dunno. Mine don’t seem to measure up to hers. I mean, they’re cute and all, but….

Would anyone buy these??? Hmmm. I have such a hard time making bows. Even with the fool proof, never fail method. They’re always wonky-joed. Ribbon thinks I’m the enemy. Or something.

Anyway, if you’d like to make your own, and I’m sure yours would look much better than mine, here is the process.

First, the hard part. Find yourself some square coasters. The ones I used were cork with pictures glued to one side.

If the printed image on the coaster is slick – mine were – tear off the top layer of paper.

This leaves you with a rough surface to glue your paper of choice to. I used scraps of scrapbook paper, but thought plain, printer paper with French script stamped onto it or maybe some sheet music cut to size would be nice. Remember you’re only going to see the little bit of outside edges.

Cut your paper choice and glue or Mod Podge onto the coaster. You can do both sides if you like. I’m lazy and only did one.

Next make some bows to glue onto your clips. Another thought is to use broken jewelry or buttons or just any little doo dad that has enough surface to adhere to the clip. Don’t want it falling off the first time you bump it.

Simply clip the clip onto the coaster. At first, I tried to put the Post-it pad under the clip, but that just didn’t make sense. You’d have to undo it every time you wrote a note, taking away the easy of the Post-it notes. We don’t like to take away easy, do we? The clip will be used to hang the pad and holder on the wall. Or just for looks. Whatever floats your boat. Now, get a Glue Stick re-stick it stick. Geez! Isn’t there a better way to say that? Rub it on the back of your pad of Post-it notes and Bob’s your uncle! Slap that baby onto the holder and you’re done. Now, it’s painfully obvious from the picture that I didn’t stick mine down with the re-stick it stick. (The pads are sitting crooked.) The one I had was dried up and I keep forgetting to get another.

So that’s my version of a Pinterest project. Let’s see yours!

 

 

More painted pieces

This is just a quick post to show a few more painted pieces my talented husband has done. I’m not the painter in the family. As a matter of fact, I’ve realized I’m not good at much of anything! And I’m trying not to let that get me down.

Don’cha hate it when you take a picture and notice later something was off kilter? The drawers weren’t in correctly. This chest is at Longleaf Antique Mall in Alexander City, Alabama. We chose a soft yellow and brown for the knobs.

The buffets in the previous posts have already sold. The green one and the turquoise.

Here are a few little things that are at the Pickle Patch in Sylacauga, Alabama. I don’t think I’ve shown this little chest. It’s painted in a dusty blue.

This little, yellow bookcase is not an old piece, but was a little tired looking. It perked right up with new paint.

And another little bookcase painted in blue.

Right now, we’ve just been focused on getting some things done and out there. Hopefully, one day soon, we’ll have time to get a little creative. I think I’ve mentioned before, he just wants to paint something. Doesn’t want to do any antiquing or special effects. That’ll be my job, so we’ll see. So far, my job has been choosing (or OKing) colors and picking out knobs.

It takes me so long to do anything, too. I’ve been working 2 weeks on painting a little box. Good grief! It’s painted now, but I want to put a transfer on it. Tried a new to me method and didn’t like it. Had to paint over it. Maybe today I’ll finish it.

 

Graphics transfer onto painted wood

Stop the presses! I completed two, that’s the number 2, projects! Completed! Amazing, I know. Don’t know what’s got into me, but it’s a good thing. I like it.

I’ve been feeling creative the past couple of weeks and thought I’d tackle some projects that have been sitting here mocking me. Taunting. Teasing. Making fun. Thinking I’d never change them. Ha! Joke’s on them. I did it. And there are plans to do more.

I wanted to try putting some of The Graphics Fairy graphics on painted wood. This was the first attempt. (Sorry about the poster project board background. I didn’t have an empty wall with good light handy.)

The graphic was printed onto wax paper and rubbed on the piece. Here is what I learned:

  • My printer will not take wax paper well. It slips and slides and, well, just does not work. So I cut the wax paper to fit a sheet of paper and attached it at the leading edge – the end that goes in first. Use glue dots or double face tape or, preferably, the re-stick-it glue stick, but I didn’t have one of those.
  • Don’t forget to flip the image. Don’t forget to flip the image. DON’T FORGET TO FLIP THE IMAGE!! Arghhh! I always forgot.
  • I used a credit card to smooth this graphic onto the wood, but the ink didn’t get down into the slight grooves. Next project I used my fingers. Worked much better.
  • Use a high print setting when you print. You want as much ink as possible on the image.
  • No matter what, it’s still going to be faded looking.
  • Use a couple of glue dots to hold the wax paper in place on the item.

The next project was this magazine rack.

I’d like the graphics to be a little darker, but it is what it is. I might try a different transfer technique next time.

After doing these I thought I’d experiment with transferring to fabric. Oh, before I forget, please be careful running fabric through your printer. Even though I ironed it to freezer paper and had a few to work fine, I think it killed my old printer and almost killed the new one. I was in a panic last night. But it all turned out all right. Except for the chewed up piece of fabric/paper.

So. I used the same technique to transfer a picture to fabric, printing on wax paper and rubbing it onto the fabric. This is the result.

Really not a bad effect — if you don’t think too hard and try to figure out what it is. I’ve seen better ways of doing this, but was in the mood to experiment. Now I know.

I’m participating in The Graphics Fairy’s Brag Monday

 

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An ugly duckling chest turned into a swan

Ricky’s had no rest since he “retired”. He’s repaired and painted 5 pieces of furniture already. You saw the turquoise sideboard. The latest was a little, three drawer chest. And, can you believe it? I remembered to take some before pictures! Forgot to take the after pictures until we had it in the booth and I didn’t have the good camera.

Before:

Notice the dangling knobs and the splits on the grody side bottom. The piece was sanded, the grody sanded off and the splits repaired. The chest was painted pure white and some pink, chippy handles from Hobby Lobby were added.

This sweet, little thing is at Longleaf Antique Mall in Alex City, Alabama.