Hey, it's what I do! Welcome to my creative arts blog!

Welcome to my Maker's blog, where I feature my creativity and DIY projects. I'm four years out from breast cancer and counting my blessings.

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Succulent Wall Art

Succulents are everywhere these days. I have loads of them in my garden plus I have a stash of fake succulents in my studio Here's what I made with those faux plants, a wooden frame and a little ingenuity.

 I love how it turned out!



I got the idea from a gift catalog which listed art like this at a hefty price. I was able to make my version much more affordably.


I started out with a wooden frame that had just the one inch depth I needed. I cut the Oregon state shape out of foam board. 

The BEAUTIFUL planks are scrapbook paper! 

How I wish I'd bought alot more of this paper. On the reverse side it has the painted boards you see on the left side of this project.


I covered the foam board with that gorgeous paper then cut out the Oregon state shape.


Using thin cardboard, I hot glued a one inch strip all around the inside of the Oregon shape on the back side of the foam board.


Here's how it looks from the front. Now I have a place to  put my fake succulents!



I cut florist foam from my stash and hot glued it into the space I'd just made.

Then came the fun part!

I selected a nice variety of fake succulents and put them in place. I hot glued them into the florist foam once I liked the placement. The Oregon state shape got harder to recognize when it was done, but as a pretty art piece with beautiful contrasting colors and textures,

 I call this a win win!

This became a Christmas gift for my daughter and her little family to remind them of home. It turned out so sweetly that I'm going to make another one just for myself!

Come join me at these Linky parties.

http://akadesign.ca/weekend-retreat-link-party-116/

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Repainted Dollar Store Butterflies

I just couldn't leave well enough alone...so I repainted this metal butterfly for my garden!


Before.......................................and after.


I found these metal butterfly stakes at the local Dollar Store and immediately made plans to repaint them for my garden.


I used two colors of spray paint to give me more of a turquoise color to complement our front deck.


 I used the turquoise  nail polish to add a bit of glamour and shine to the wings.


And I added just a little bit of the glitter nail polish to give the wings some sparkle.


Using a fine paint brush I followed the contours of the stamped metal. I added the tiny vein details to each wing then added some white dots. You can see the veins in this close up but not so much when it's outside in the yard.


Wow! I love the pop of color against the bright green. Notice you can't really see the glitter when it's outside. But in my colorful colorful garden this blue butterfly really holds it own!

And here is the Monarch version of my Dollar Store butterflies. What a fun project this has turned out to be!



Come join me at these fun linky parties!

http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/2015/04/pj-275-upcycled-link-party.html

http://akadesign.ca/weekend-retreat-link-party-116/

Sunday, March 15, 2015

THAT Dollar Store Contact Paper

Here's the contact paper I'm talking about.

That one print in the Dollar Store's inventory of faux wood and fruit and boring looking contact paper. It's been a regular item there for years, even tho the rolls are not quite as big as they used to be. The black and white toile print  looks a bit vintage, a bit shabby chic. It's a nice clean graphic and goes with just about any style.


See? You DO recognize it! 



I've discovered it goes so well with my book paper and black and white printed craft room boxes, and I've gone a bit crazy using it. 


So many labels are printed on the plastic containers now that covering them up is the best option. ALSO, if you cover them up you do not have to deal with the mess of removing the labels and the sticky residue.



No container goes uncovered in my craft room. Especially if they have red or black lids.



I try to have a couple of rolls handy all the time, especially since I rearrange my supplies as I use them up. Here's an important tip that will save you no end of frustration... 

LABEL EVERY CONTAINER!

Chalkboard labels are cheap and hey, I just found chalkboard contact paper at our local Dollar Store.

That's what I call a win win!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

DIY Garden Art Glass Garden Balls

I LOVE blue glass of all kinds but especially in my garden.


Years ago my family got me a big cobalt blue gazing ball for my daisy flowerbed and I knew I wanted more, more, more! But hey, those gazing balls are surprisingly fragile. Basically they are just giant glass Christmas balls and they break if they fall over. Also, they only come in solid colors. Plus, $$$$$!!

What to do?



I made my own original garden ball using a thrift store bowling ball and glass gems from the Dollar Store.

I LOVE how this came out!

 I used Silicone II adhesive for half of the ball and E6000 jewelry adhesive for the other half. I prefer the jewelry adhesive.  The bowling ball cost me $4 at a thrift store and I used about 6 bags of glass marbles, more or less. A 40% off coupon from Michael's snagged the E6000 and voila!!! My first blue glass garden ball for about $14. I was hooked!


 

I snagged this round glass light fixture for 25 cents and knew it would be my next ball project. Dollar Store half marbles and garage sale finds gave me the blue glass I needed. I decided to go with this Amazing Goop silicone adhesive because it was CHEAP. It is basically the same formula as the E 6000 and the Silicone II. The total cost on this pretty ball is less than $10.



This is definitely an OUTSIDE project since all the glues I've mentioned are incredibly smelly. 

Even outside I have a fan blowing across my work area to avoid the fumes. I settled on my front porch and started gluing. Put a small blob of glue on each individual marble, you do not have to goop it on. Smear a layer on your big ball and put your marble in place. I twist them a bit to make sure they stick together.


IMPORTANT! The adhesive does not set up quickly so you will have to do small areas of your ball and let it dry for several hours then turn it over to do the other sides. Try to skip this step and you'll have glass marbles falling off all over the place! Don't ask me how I know.


And DONE!


Here she is (of course she's a lady! LOL!) nestled in a soft bed of creeping Jenny. A hot pink petunia will join her soon. I love the bright blue glass against my blue deck railings and house color.



Oooh aaah!


I've found loads of half marbles at thrift stores and yard sales so my garden ball projects are getting cheaper and cheaper to make. 



Friday, March 13, 2015

Pallet Wood Planter Covers DIY Part 1

Gardening season is almost here and I was eagerly looking for some big vintage style wooden planters for my garden.

Dang! Big planters are SPENDY!

So look what we did...


Here's our solution using FREE wood salvaged from pallets and really cheap tree pots from our local nursery.



This 23 gallon planter is 24" across and 14" high. It was only $6 and it is plenty big enough for loads of flowers or veggies.

But yikes! It was ugly.


But here it is NOW.

Oooh aaaah!

It has just the perfect vintage vibe I was hoping for!

Look at this lovely FREE wood we salvaged from old pallets. 

We did not have to pull the pallets apart. Some of them were already falling apart and the others we just cut between the support boards. Two old pallets gave us got plenty of lumber pieces long enough for this project. 

Ahem. The Welding Man cut them to length with his big manly saw.

The boards are a mix of fir and cedar and have not been chemically treated, so the sawdust was not a hazard.


For this project we decided to go under the rim around the top of the planter. We laid out a few boards  and marked them before cutting off any of the ends that had nails sticking out.


Laying the planter on its side, we fastened the boards with a slight gap between them at the top because of the angle on the pot. We totally eyeballed the spacing so it isn't perfect. Then we used my favorite power tool of all time...the handy dandy air powered brad nailer.

 Kachunk! LOVE that brad nailer!


Ahhhh! Loving how this project is coming together As you can see the brads are sticking through to the inside of the plastic. The ends are easily bent down by hand or with a pair of pliers. If you cut them off you lose some of the fastening power of the brads and the boards could come loose.


 

The cost for these two vintage style beauties? $12 total for both of the pots. The pallet wood was free and we already had the tools and the brads.

We didn't even have to sand the boards!





I like them alot! Tomorrow I will do a tiny bit of dry brushing to the boards with the turquoise blue paint from the deck and maybe a bit of white. Don't know yet if I want to paint the black rims at the tops. I'll let you know and post photos if I do.

Don't you love it when an idea becomes a project and it works and it's just so darn CHEAP?

I call that a win win!

I'll be joining these linky parties, come visit and check out all the creativity online.




DIY Chair Planter Four Years Later

There are lots of chair planters out in Pinterest land that are newly made. Did you ever wonder how they hold up in the garden thru many seasons? 


 Here's what I started with in 2011. This dining chair finish was peeling and the seat and joints were loose. It was the perfect candidate for a planter project.


 Serendipity! The seat comes off on it's own!
I sorta sanded it to knock the loose bits off and dry brushed it with white latex paint.


Here she is that first year in my garden. Ooh aah! 

I love the combination of golden yellow creeping jenny and mini viola. Add some of my garden art balls and I'm a happy garden lady!


Yup, this project was a winner all the way!

Four years later she looks like this....


I added the old man planter and a swipe or two of turquoise paint from my deck project. She's holding up really well and that square seat hole is perfect for changing out the different flowers and plants each season.

When did "that chair" become a "she?" 

The instant she went from chair with no seat to shabby chic chair with gorgeous plants!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

EASY & CHEAP Elmer's Glue Crackle Chalkboards

My most popular post and Pin is this simple crackle paint DIY.


Let's use Elmer's glue and craft paint to make these neat (and cheap) chalkboards.

 This is simple and inexpensive and has a big WOW factor. You can do this!!




I used this super simple but effective process on some chalkboards awhile back, and here's the tutorial. You'll love it. You'll want to crackle something for sure. I love this cheap crackle technique! It seems like magic every time I use it and did I mention that it was cheap? Holy cow, with Elmer's school glue 2 for $1 right now, I have stocked up big time.


I started out with cupboard doors from a local bargain builder's supply at $1 each. 

After spray painting them flat black (which saves you money on the expensive chalkboard paint) I spread the glue on really thick. I did not use a brush for this but laid a nice line of glue around the frame and spread it with my fingers. You are not looking for an elegant finish here, you want a nice layer of glue on your intended crackled target. Now, wait til it gets tacky. 

DO NOT LET THE GLUE DRY, the glue MUST be moist when you do the next step.

Taking plain old acrylic craft paint, load up your brush and paint, in ONE DIRECTION only, a nice thick coat of color. Do NOT go back and try to touch up and at this point and do NOT go back and forth. One direction, one swipe, with a light touch. You want a nice layer of paint on top of the still moist glue layer. The crackle effect will begin almost immediately and within a few minutes you will see a great aged patina bloom right before your eyes..

Five minutes later....crackle, baby!

It does not matter if your paint goes on thick and thin, as this effect looks much better with a bit of uneven paint.

Look at that, it makes me smile every time I do this.

If you have some spots you have to touch up, use a smaller paint brush and a light touch and go in the same direction as before but lightly, lightly. At this point it is very easy to drag the paint and the glue and make a big non crackled spot. If this does happen, let it dry, add more glue and repaint with a gentle hand. This technique is very forgiving.

If you have perhaps got distracted by kids, pets, some kitchen disaster or life and your glue has dried, don't worry. Just add more glue on top and go on from there. I've done this dozens of times and this technique has lots of wiggle room.


Oooh, ahhh. I like the white on black, love the black on white and ADORE the turquoise on white. Gorgeous, just gorgeous.


 Let your paint and glue dry thoroughly before you seal the crackled edges with clear acrylic. I added a thin layer of umber glaze before I sealed mine. Then paint the centers with chalkboard paint.

 Wait 24 hours or close to it if you are impatient like me ;0) and season the chalkboard with a layer of chalk, wipe it off and voila! Easy peasy crackle framed chalkboard, baby!


My FAVORITE board was the red on black, it was stunning and of course it was the first one we sold at the Artwalk. Now I'll have to make another. Good thing I stocked up on Elmer's glue!

I'm linking this up to the fun linky parties. Be there or be square!

http://www.elizabethandcovintage.com/
http://somedaycrafts.blogspot.com/2015/03/whatever-goes-wednesday-260.html

http://www.simplenaturedecorblog.com/fabulous-friday-party-26/