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 three years out from breast cancer and counting my blessings!

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Flower Power Patio Umbrella Rescue

After painting our back deck I realized the bright hot sunshine was too much of a good thing, so shopping for an affordable umbrella was number one on my list. But since I am risk averse when it comes to actually spending money on something new, I hit the local St. Vincent's first.

And THAT is how I scored this perfectly serviceable umbrella with a few mouse holes for FREE!
Wait, you say, those are NOT a few mouse holes and what about other evidence of mousey activity like pee and pellets?

I thoroughly sprayed it with disinfecting detergent spray and scrubbed it with a car washing brush and it came out looking really GOOD. Except for the numerous gnawed holes, that is.

Ahem. I had a plan.

With a coupon for Joanne's in hand I bought a yard of this outdoor fabric for less than $1. This fabric reminds me of high school and an A line skirt I made in home ec class. Plus I think I had a pair of bell bottoms in this pattern. Lol! 

And, most importantly, I found THIS adhesive at our local hardware store. See the pic of the umbrella on the packaging? I knew my plan was coming together.

Yeah. Just let me tell you that Super Glue, Fabric Glue, Tacky Glue and hot glue don't work on the                    outdoor fabric OR the umbrella. Trust me on this. But the Loctite adhesive WORKS!                 

I cut out lots of flower shapes and glued them inside and outside the holey umbrella. Plus I added a few for fun.

And look. Holes be covered!

This project was right up my alley. I saved a throwaway umbrella with a bit of ingenuity, fabric and the right kind of glue. The total cost was less than $10. The umbrella now makes our recently redone back deck a shady and pretty place to spend our summer days. I call that a win win!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Crocheted Rocks? Yes, You Can.

Whenever we're on vacation either at the Oregon coast or alongside a beautiful Oregon river, I try to do an art project with natural stones. 

And here is one of those projects...crochet wrapped river rocks. LOVE how they turned out! The contrast between the lacy threadwork and the natural stones is just gorgeous.

I made these three as a gift for our vacation hosts. But first I had a great time photographing them in all kinds of natural settings!

As for directions....hmmm. I just used a size 6 hook since it worked with regular crochet cotton thread and made them just like the center of a normal crocheted doily. Once the piece was big enough to cover the rock I pulled the end tight and knotted it off. 

I just love how they look nestled like Easter eggs in  wild places.

The subtle colors and vivid textures of these lace covered stones and lovely driftwood is one of my favorite photos.

Here they are in the river where the stones originally were found.

Oooh aaaah! 

And these aren't the only rock project I did while on vacation. Here's my post about paint pens and river rocks. I love how they came out, too!

I've got a few more vacation rock project ideas, so stay tuned!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Gorgeous Wedding Doors Are A Pinterest Win!

I'll be blogging about all the DIY wedding ideas we used from Pinterest soon. But for now, here's a photo of the absolutely stunning finished wedding doors with paper flowers that we made for my granddaughter's wedding.

YES, we made almost all of this and you can, too!

Here we go.....

Our bride found this on Pinterest for her wedding background. She wanted it real bad!

So a trip to our local recycling store got us the doors and hinges we needed. Total cost, $50!!!! Her groom and nephew volunteered to paint....

and found that on a sunny day, white paint reflects something FIERCE! Guess who got sunburned under their chins?

Hinged together and standing up, they are very stable. We added some legs to the bottom corners for stability. The paint job didn't need to be perfect because then I did this.....

I dry brushed all the edges with black paint and glued canning jar lids to all the knob holes. Already this is looking so good!

Here they are all set up with even more of our decor projects for her wedding. She was delighted! And we were delighted that she was delighted!

Aren't they freakin' beautiful? I'll be blogging about all the other projects, too, and soon. They include the huge custom made paper flowers, the home grown wedding flowers and even the paper garlands we strung up everywhere.

I promised I wouldn't blog her wedding photos but I'll leave you with this. These doors made the BEST photo background EVER!

And now that her awesome wedding is done, I get the doors to build a garden shed that I saw on Pinterest.

I'll call this a WIN WIN!


Packing Crate Table From Kiwi Crates

Can you imagine how excited I was to score these excellent crates from our local grocery store? They are boxes for shipping kiwis and the crafty light bulbs went off in my head so fast when I saw them I could hardly wait to ask about them. And the best thing? 

Totally FREE!


They are made of pine and measure 2' x 4' x 15" high. I let them bake in the sun for a few days then stacked two and made this table for our carport turned back patio. A few well placed screws made it stable and secure.


                                  I like the natural wood but I knew I wanted something a little aged. I pulled out the leftover white paint from The Welding Man's shed project. Dry brushing gave me just the right look!


     Oooh aaah!

I removed the side boards from one side of the top crate to make a handy shelf. This table is the perfect size and height for putting my feet up and lounging.

Talk about serendipity!

The back patio is an ongoing project but already things are looking pretty and  inviting. Just a little more blue glass on the shelves....big fat pillows on the day bed...some blue hydrangeas in those ladder baskets...but first, just a little time to relax. With my feet up, of course!

I'll be linking up to these fun linky parties. Come join in the fun!

Ivy Vines Turned Summery Wreath DIY Garden Art

I am always on the lookout for ways to recycle what I have into something I want. In this case, I wanted a summery vine wreath for my front porch so I put it on my mental clipboard.

And as I've found time and again, the solution presents itself IF I'm paying attention.

This pile of needlepoint ivy trimmings gave me the first spark.

Did you know you can still buy metal coat hangers?  Yup! These "new" ones are plastic coated and still perfect for wire projects, like forming the base of my wreath.

I wrapped and tucked and wrapped and tucked all the way around. I didn't have to use the wire at all. After a few days drying time I retucked the loose ends.

I am always on the lookout for real looking greenery so I had a stash of beautiful fake foliage to choose from. But if you wanted to buy the garland to make this wreath it cost about $7 using a coupon at Michael's. I also used a few Dollar Store bunches to fill it in.

Oooh aaaaah!

  Now comes the fun part; hanging it on the porch and taking photos! I LOVE the way it looks so real even compared to the ivy tower and other plants close by!

Well now, that was fun and easy and CHEAP. Okay, thrifty and money saving. Projects like this boost my mood immediately!

I'll be posting at these fun blog parties this week. Come visit and enjoy the neat projects!

Monday, April 28, 2014

I'm Just Going to Paint Those Steps......

You know how this goes. You have a BIG project to do but it takes $$$, time, and people with bigger tools than I can handle, plus muscles, to get them done. 

Which brings us to our back deck. Yes, the decking needs replaced. I can't do that on my own. See above paragraph. But hey, the steps are still in good shape and I DO have a gallon of paint.

That's how my mind works, people. Just jump in and things will fall into place, right? Please ignore the bad boards in the photo below. Ahem. Isn't the blue a nice color? 


The posts and the facings around the deck are also in good shape so my paint brush led me here......


Oh MAN, look at those railings! Okay, next step requires tools and other chores before I can paint some more. I'll let the pictures tell the tale.

Cleaning the railings up and painting went fast, and then I used the super duper nail gun and it's super duper little air compressor. It makes a very satisfying ka-chunk sound. It's the sound of progress!

And LOOK! Is that a stack of new lumber? The men have gotten involved and now the deck boards will be replaced. 


Don't you love it when a plan comes together?


Sunday, April 27, 2014

No Mantel to Decorate...But I Do Have a Baker's Rack

(Copyrighted photos of gorgeous decorated mantels go here)
Truly, too many beautiful mantels to choose from! But you know what I'm talking about; totally swoonworthy mantels decorated to a "T" for every season, holiday and occasion.

 I have no such thing in my house. Sad.

But, making the best out of what I've got, I DO have a totally cool custom made wrought iron baker's rack made by The Welding Man. That's it in my header above at top left, loaded with gorgeous cobalt blue glassware. LOVE.

And here at our new home I've been decorating it for the seasons, holidays and special occasions. I'm nothing if not resourceful.

Here's the baker's rack today...but who knows for how long? lol!

I painted the Clason Mountain artwork to commemorate the beautiful view at our old house. I painted the middle piece because I wanted to use the same colors. So much BLUE, go figure. 

And then I started pulling things together from the rest of the house. As usual, I don't subscribe to the "less is more" school of decor. Load it up, baby!
I "frosted" the glass in the lantern for a soft glowing look, then added a string of Christmas lights. Go here for the details.

I still collect cobalt glass but I've slowed down and asked the fam to slow down also. But it's hard to resist that gorgeous color!  And yes, I collect the letter "A." I have over a dozen so far and I'm ready for more.

On the bottom shelf I added more blue glass and lots of vine balls and decor balls for texture. The silver blingy button decor ball is one of my favorite decor projects. Go here for the details....

I also made the glass marble decor ball out of a Dollar Store Christmas ball and half marbles. Yeah, there's a post on that, too.

Just a few short weeks ago the baker's rack looked like this....

.....loaded up with all the music themed, green and white decor for my sister's wedding. So who needs a fancy shmancy mantel? I've got these neat baker's rack to decorate and soon...it will be time for Mother's Day decor!