Thursday, June 1, 2017

Branching Out

I decided to mix things up a bit by taking a break from lettered signs and moving in the direction of paintings.
Like, actual paintings.

But other than high school art, and one drawing class in college, I haven't had much in the way of instruction.  So I was a bit timid  when go-time came a-callin'.  So yes, I painted a picture, but no, I used no color.  Is black a color?  

Still, I found my first attempt none too shabby, so I girded my loins and put some colors in my little plastic palette.  I picked up my paint brush, took a deep breath, and tried again.

Much to my surprise, this goat appeared out of nowhere on this scrap of barn wood.  Like he had been hiding in there.


Confidence bolstered, I tried a few more.

I was having fun!  I was finding my fair share of frustration, too, but that's to be expected, I should think.  Being pretty new to this and all.

And so I gathered up my newly minted animal paintings on barn wood and slate and other odds and ends canvasses, and brought them with me to an artisan's market I was signed up for.  They did great.  They flew off the shelves!  I sold just about everything.

I have some custom signs I'm working on right now (lettered pieces), but once they're checked off my to-do list, I will turn my attention to exploring this animal thing a bit more.  I've signed myself up for a beginner's acrylics class this summer, and I'm anxious to learn more about this and looking forward to expanding my abilities.

And I welcome any tips or feedback from any artists!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wordless Wednesday: New Pieces

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Smalls Saturday:How to Hand Sew an Invisible Stitch (Tutorial)

I was recently asked by the shop owner at one of my consignment shops if I could make some outdoor pillows.  So I bought some really pretty outdoor fabric and made up about a dozen pillows.

Unfortunately, I did not have time to do any tutorials or pictures, but I thought I would share with you a new stitch I learned.  In the past when I made pillows, I would either close them with a machine stitch or hand-stitch, but the seam was always visible.  Neat, but visible, no doubt.  I didn't know any other way!

Well, I finally bothered to learn how to close pillow cases (or stuffed animals, for that matter) with an invisible seam.  It's called a blind-ladder stitch, and I found it pretty easy.  So I'm posting a YouTube video here so you can learn how, as well.

Give it a try, your projects will look so professional!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Wordless Wednesday: The Creative Process

Monday, April 10, 2017

Makeover Monday: Ladder Display Shelves

I bought a couple of old ladders through the online yard sale sites. Ten bucks a pop.  I wanted to use them to make display shelves for the vendor fairs I'll be taking part in.
(First one coming up May 6th, yay! )

So today, being the drop-dead gorgeous day that it was, I took my beat-up ladders out to the driveway, and I gave 'em a good old-fashioned white wash.  Just watered-down white paint.  I wanted a nice chippy weathered look, and I had some milk paint, so I used that.  It wasn't enough to do both, so I used chalk paint for the other one.

Then I pawed through my stash of barn boards and found enough to use for shelves.  I measured, pulled nails, and cut down till I had what I needed.

And it's perfect!  Exactly what I was after.

I can't wait to put them to use!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

I've been saying it for years... it's all about the camera angle.

Same cat. Same day.

Monday, March 27, 2017

(The) Makeover Monday (That Wasn't)

So per my new schedule that I created only like a week ago, I'm supposed to do a post today of a furniture flip.

Problem is, I haven't done one in the last week.
(Hangs head in shame)

What have I done instead?  I don't even know.  I know I've cleaned up an awful lot of poop.  Our foster puppies went back to the kennel because they're ready for adoption, but we still have Mama dog until she can get spayed, and she's still learning the ropes of how to be a civilized house pet instead of a running-in-the-back-alleys-of-Kentucky-poop-where-you-will kind of dog. I think we're finally turning the corner, but my LANDS!

And I've been trying to do some research on vendor fairs.  I'm registered to do my first one in May, so I'm looking for ideas on how best to display things, and trying to figure out what I'll need to have on hand.  I ordered a Square so I will be able to take credit cards, which is exciting, and I have a bunch of things in my cart on Amazon, like a cash box, paper shopping bags, tissue paper, etc.  If anyone out there has advice, I'm all ears!  Help a Vendor Fair Virgin out, will ya'?

Though I didn't do any furniture makeovers this week, I did finish up a house sign for a friend.  She asked if I could make her a house number sign that had a little box incorporated into the bottom to put a small planter or two.  Since I know she has a thing for wish flowers, I decided to personalize it by adding a wish flower painting onto the flower box part.

So anyway, that's that.  Hopefully I'll have a furniture piece made over for you next week.  If not?  More shame.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

"Smalls" Saturday: Fabric Flower Tutorial

I had a request recently to remake a dated grapevine wreath.  The wreath was a nice size, but covered in plastic flowers.  My client wanted something she could keep on her door (or maybe even above her mantle) year-round.

So she pulled all the flowers off of it and brought it to me.  The structure of it was breaking down in parts, but I found a design idea that would look great and give it the farmhouse look that she was after, simply by wrapping the weakened areas in twine and adding some fabric flowers.

So here's my tutorial for the rosettes.  I used both burlap and a cotton linen type of fabric. I had both lying around the house already.

1) Cut a strip of fabric.  If using burlap, make it easier on your eyes - and minimize unravelling - by pulling a thread of burlap out along the line of where you'll be cutting.  Do this by making a cut on either side of the thread you want to pull, then take the thread with your fingers and give it a slow, gentle pull, bunching the fabric as you go, till the thread comes out.  This will leave you with a "channel" to cut along.

The size of the strip of your fabric depends on the size you want your roses.  I wanted larger-sized ones, so I cut most of mine about 18" x 3".  The width will determine the height of your flower top to bottom.  The length will determine the diameter of your flower.

2) Fold your strip of fabric in half lengthwise.

3) Fold one corner down.  Then fold it again and secure with a drop of hot glue.

 4) Now time to start the roll.  This is where things can get a little confusing.  I checked a lot of tutorials before I tried this.  All do a "twist", but some twist inward towards the center of the flower, and some twist outward.  The part that was always confusing to me was how much to wrap before the next twist?  It was never clear to me.  So I just used my best judgement and soldiered through, swatting down my lack of self-confidence as I twisted and wrapped.  And it was all just fine.  I guess if I had to put words to it, I would say I twisted the fabric back, and wrapped to the point where I'd gotten past the twisted part, then twisted again.

It helps to hold the center of the flower between your thumb and forefinger as you wrap.  It keeps the shape from getting out of control.  Which it will do.  Don't turn your back on it.

5) The flap.  When you're down to about an inch or an inch and a half of fabric left, twist one more time and fold to the bottom of the flower.  Glue it down.  Glue it down good.  And while you're at it, dab a little glue here, a little glue there in the nooks and crannies.  Like perfume. Like perfume that strips the skin cells off your fingertips.

6) The leaves.  Leaves are completely optional, but I happened to have some green burlap, so I decided leaves would be nice.  If I hadn't had any green burlap, I do believe laziness would have won the battle and I would have gone without.  But that's neither here nor there.  The lesson here is to always keep a small stash of green burlap in case you want to make leaves and not beat yourself up over being lazy.  Because you don't need that kind of negativity in your life.

So all you need to do here is cut a mustache  out of your green burlap.  Yes, that's right.  Cut a mustache and then glue it down with some more infernal hot glue.

7) Attach the flowers to the wreath.  I placed the rosettes on the wreath, moving them around till I was pleased with their placement.  Then, and ONLY then, did I glue them down.

The twine that I placed, as I said, served a dual purpose.  It added a nice touch, some texture, but also literally held this aged wreath together.  I think it brings a balance to it.  Some masculine to the feminine.  Due to the larger size of the wreath, I actually used rope, not twine.

And there you have it.  Pretty as a picture and easy-peasy to boot.  What could be better than that?

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you found this helpful.

I'm linking this post up with some blog hops!  Schedule can be found in my sidebar.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wordless Wednesday: Chalk Sketch

Monday, March 20, 2017

Makeover Monday: Kid's Table and Chair

I bought a cute little vintage kid's table and chair at an online yard sale.  Although I liked the mustard yellow color, I didn't think it was right for this set, plus the paint had seen better days.  I decided to mix up a custom color chalk paint using Annie Sloan Antibes Green, Aubusson Blue, and some Old White.  But I also taped off most of the table top and painted on some chalkboard black, along with a little "racing stripe" in the black just to set it off.  To help tie the chair into the table better, I painted the two horizontal slats of the chair in chalkboard, as well as the "X" braces that joined the legs.

I think it came out cute, what do you think?

I'm linking this post up with some blog hops!  See list in my sidebar to the right.

3/26/17 update: this post was featured at the Dishing It and Digging It Link party!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Smalls Saturday: Springtime Buntings

Recently I made up a bunch of buntings in the hopes of urging spring along.

Considering we just got hammered with a major nor'easter blizzard, I guess it didn't work.

Oh well.  They're cute anyway, right?

Fingers crossed for spring!

These are available for sale at Rooted in New London, PA.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Wordless Wednesday: Lethal Dose of Puppy Cuteness

We're fostering a (Greenmore Farm Animal) rescue Mama dog and her eight - now four - puppies. .
That's  all I'm going to say about that.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Makeover Monday: Getting back to the Blog, Plus a Small Wardrobe-Type Thingy.

I am guilty of making promises to myself that I don't keep.

To be sure, I intend to keep them.  I am a hopeless optimist that way.

But I let life get in the way of pursuing the things that set my soul to singing.

I shall try - again - to carve out time.  I can write a little in the mornings.  Right?  Less social media, more pen to paper  typed words on a screen.

And because I am undiagnosed OCD, I shall jump right back in with a schedule that satisfies my compulsions.

I'm thinking, Makeover Monday: for furniture-refinishing frivolity.
Wordless Wednesday: just for pretty pictures.  Cute stuff.  Puppies.
And to round out the alliteration fun, perhaps a "Smalls Saturday": up-cycled and re-purposed and prettified small stuff.  Mason jars.  Wine bottles.  Barnwood galore.

So with that in mind, I shall post a couple of (very poor) pictures of a wardrobe-type thingy I picked up at a yardsale.  Really cute little piece.

I didn't do much repair.  I left chipped veneer as it was for the most part.  I cleaned it up, gave it a coat of shellac (because it looked to be mahogany and I didn't want bleed-through), and painted it.  I did a custom color of Annie Sloan Antibes Green, Graphite, and Old White to get a celery-seed kind of color.  I painted the upper drawer fronts in a black chalkboard paint so that the drawers could be labelled.  I used adhesive spray to cover the interior of the doors with some burlap.  Lastly I added some new drawer pulls.  I totally cheaped out with them and got some 99 cent knobs I found at Home Depot.  They're actually really cute little black metal knobs with a simple raised pattern.  Finally, I distressed and waxed with AS clear wax.
I think it's just darling.  Very old-timey.  What do you think?

This piece is for sale at Consign-it Furniture in Kennet Square, PA.

PS: I'm linking this post up to some blog parties!  See list in my sidebar.
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