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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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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

French Style Canvas Tote for Mother's Day in my Etsy Shop


I remade a black canvas tote for my own use and I knew this would be a great item to list in my Etsy shop, so I bought a nice roomy off white 100% organic canvas tote at the Farmer's Market and proceeded to upstyle that plain jane bag it into a gorgeous French style market tote.





I pulled out my muslin and burlap, an assortment of lace and my own crocheted flowers, my quart jar of buttons, some twine and ribbon and what have you and started putting things together on my sewing table. I love the luxe look of all those materials piled willy nilly and that's where I get some very good design ideas.



I knew I wanted two roomy pockets on the outside embellished to a fare thee well and another large pocket inside this sturdy tote. One pocket is lined muslin and trimmed with a burlap rosette, a muslin rosette, my crocheted flowers and lace ruffles and lots of buttons and a lacy bow. This pocket is trimmed with a generous burlap ruffle at top and bottom. The pocket measures 8" x 6".


The other pocket is burlap lined with muslin and has more crocheted flowers, muslin rosettes, lots of lace ruffles and buttons and a twine bow. All the embellishments on this tote are sewed on by hand and not glued in any way. This is truly a unique handmade design! The burlap pocket has a nice muslin ruffle across the top. This pocket also measures 8" x 6". The generous straps on this tote are 18" long so it can be carried on your shoulder, hand or arm.


The inside pocket is 5 1/2" x 7 1/2" and is lined muslin with burlap and lace trim. This tote is 17" wide x 14 1/2" tall and has a generous bottom that is 4" across.


I love the way this tote looks now! It is unique and stylish and would be a wonderful Mother's Day gift! And after mom is done shopping, this bag would be a pretty accent to mom's shabby chic or cottage style decor. It even looks good just hanging on a chair, door knob or coat rack.

It is listed in my Etsy shop now, don't miss it! Shop early to guarantee delivery by Mother's Day.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Moss rocks to the rescue

I made this moss terrarium for my kitchen windowsill almost two months ago. I got the moss from the hillside outside the window which sports a deep velvet coat of moss and ferns this time of year. There must be a dozen shades of green on that little knoll! After a long, cold, winter I needed this little pick me up to remind me that spring is coming. I just love the little random things that sprouted over the next few weeks....tall skinny mushrooms, delicate grass, a bit of green leafy weedy pretty plant thing.

Fast forward two months....we had snow last week and today we had another hard frost, so winter is not letting go yet. We live at 2000' in the southern Oregon mountains so this is normal. The sun comes out during the day so things are sprouting but I won't plant anything new out there until the frost danger is past. I am itching to get out and garden, but for now I need more GREEN! Yeah, money too, but that's another post.


So I brought in this galvanized lantern which the grandkids had used for a bug house last summer, which explains the layers of brittle tape over the glass and covering all the cutouts. What a chore this was to clean up but I had big plans, baby. I knew a terrarium requires a layer of charcoal and gravel and then dirt for the moss and this lantern was not the ideal container, but Dollar Store has moss rocks! They are a gorgeous velvety emerald green and they don't look too awfully artificial, so moss rocks aye!


Here's the first incarnation of the idea in my head. The artificial but gorgeous green dragonfly looks perfect with the rocks, but I'm not happy with the proximity to the flame from the candle. I tried a battery candle in there and it glowed okay, but it looked very fake. Even at night when the light is subdued the fake candle looked....not right. So I took another tack and came up with this....


I took one of my painted butterfly rocks and surrounded it with polished pebbles, creek stones and moss rocks. I also added a few colored half marbles. Now we're cooking!



Ooh, am I so glad I have two cheese cloches now thanks to my daughter! I stacked one on top of a painted candlestick and did the butterfly rock, creek pebbles and moss rock combo in there and I think I am in love! Of course I was too impatient to paint the cloche plate to match the candlestick and I promise I will do that (and glue the base to the plate, really, I promise) but I had to see how this looks. I like it. I like it alot.

And here is the other cloche with the same combo. When I sit and read I can glance over and see this little display and it always makes me smile. So pretty!


And as the moss in my window terrarium faded, I just redid the display with the moss rocks. And that gorgeous green dragonfly has found a good home! I love having these little vignettes around my house and they will keep my gardening spirits up until I can get outside and dig in the dirt. Spring planting time, baby, it can't get here soon enough!

I will be linking up to lots of blog parties this week and I'll list them here. First is Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch. Check my sidebar for the buttons, thanks. And look, I've been featured at DIY Showoff. I'm just tickled pink!

Here's more!

Just Something I Whipped Up on The Girl Creative
The DIY Show Off
Monday at Making the World Cuter
Transform Tuesday at The Pumpkin Patch
Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays at Coastal Living
Toot Your Horn Tuesday at Silly Little Sparrow
Talk About it Tuesday at Blogger Chix Designs
Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays at Coastal Charm
Tip Me Tuesday on Tip Junkie
Woo Hoo! Wednesday at Always Nesting
Whatever Goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts
Look at Me at Fun to Craft
100 Ideas under $100 at Beyond the Picket Fence
Penny Pinching Party at Thrifty Home
Show & Tell at Blue Cricket
Hooking Up with House of Hepworth
Transformation Thursday at the Shabby Chic Cottage
All Things Dreamy at Sweet European Dreams
Friday's at Remodelaholic
Sunday Showcase Party at Under the Table and Dreaming

Monday, April 19, 2010

Silver Button Blingy Decor Ball


I'm reposting this to the DIY showoff party today, May 17th. She asked for a favorite makeover and this one sure qualifies. So it's not quite an oldie, but it's a goodie!!


This is the little display/vignette at the end of the counter when you come into the house from our deck. This is our buffet counter when the fam is here and the rest of time it is Stacking Central cuz it's so convenient. A red glass vase with twisty twigs, berries, flowers and dried eucalyptus, two milk glass pieces and yes, that's a chunky tequila bottle that I've embellished and filled with glass marbles. So I've been trying to keep this counter cleaned off except for this little bit of decor and it's okay and pretty, but.......the silver ball in the milk glass urn just needed a little something, you know? It looked too much like an oversize plastic Christmas ball, which is exactly what it is. I decided to just do something fun and a little over the top. You know when you go to someone's house and you see a decor item that just draws you and you want to pick it up and handle it and you say, "What is it? This is so cool!" That's what I was shooting for.


I hied me away to my craft room and my store of silverish buttons. I opted for silver to match the ball and glued my first button on. Then it occurred to me that the ball was very slick and so were the buttons, so I roughed up the ball with some sandpaper to give the surface some tooth for the hot glue to grip.


I also pulled out some glass half marbles and some scrapbook gems to fill in any gaps.
















And I snipped the hasp thingies off the back of the buttons with my wire cutters. I don't have to show you how to do that, do I? Good.






So then it was me and the buttons and the ball and my glue gun. Put on a little smooth jazz on the CD player, some diet pop close at hand and I went to town. I threw in a few silvery stars and snowflakes and some beads......

Oooh, I like it. I like it alot! I used the little gems to fill in the spaces and some bottle caps for a bit of rustic charm and I had a good time! Ignore the hot glue strings, I dealt with them later. The hubs poked his head in and said it looked steampunky. Is that a word? I agree. It does look kind of steampunkerish.


And a couple hours later and a bit of scrubbing with a stiff toothbrush to take off the glue webs and I have this.....


So now comes the fun part, trying it out in different places in the house and seeing how it looks.



In the living room on the shelf right by my reading chair?



On the shelf in the hall bathroom, right below the mirror?



Or right there where it started, at the end of the counter when you come in the door? Yeah. That's the place. I love the way this came out! Don't you want to pick it up and turn it over and check it out? So do I! ; 0 )

I'll be joining some linky parties here pretty quick.

And here's a start!

Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays at Coastal Charm
The DIY Showoff Project Parade
Toot Your Horn Tuesdays at A Silly Little Sparrow
Tip Me Tuesday on Tip Junkie
Talk About It Tuesday on Blogger Chix Designs
Woo Hoo! Wednesday at Always Nesting
Whatever Goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts
All Things Dreamy at Sweet European Dreams
Get Your Craft On Thursday at Life as Lori
Friday's at Remodelaholic
Sunday Showcase Party at Under the Table and Dreaming

Fifty cent tote, baby!

I am a sucker for alot of things, and things that are cheap, i.e.; don't cost a lot vs. tacky cheap, are on my perpetual list. (Just one list of many but I'm not going into that right now, that's another blog post.)

So I found this wonderfully large, sturdy tote for fifty cents at a local thrift store and snatched it up immediately. Sure, it had a company name on the side but it had a bonded vinyl interior and it was really well made and it was notalottamoney so I grabbed it.

Notalottamoney? It was practically free.

While I was preoccupied with this tote, by the way, my daughter found a gorgeous lined burlap tote with wooden handles and an old fashioned carriage printed on it. I was momentarily envious but I consoled myself with my fifty cent tote. Fifty cent tote, baby! I already had BIG PLANS for this find.

And here's what Miss Fifty Cent looks like now....



And this pocket on the other side.....



(My sweatshirt is reflecting onto the pics. Weird.)

I wanted a big tote for thrift store, flea market, yard sale, fabric store shopping with room for all my great finds. My youngest daughter gave me a wonderful all leather very stylish bag with lots of pockets but it's capacity was limited. So this big, cheap tote looked like the ticket. My leather bag will be my serious purse and this restyled tote will be the fun one. You understand, don't you leather bag? Thanks, sweetie.

So I went to my stash of fabric, buttons, beads, lace, tulle and stuff and started putting things together. THIS is the part of a project that trashes my craft room, since I'm taking stuff down and putting things side by side and generally looking for a match to the idea in my head.

And since I can't leave well enough alone I had to embellish the pockets with black velvet rosettes, buttons, beads, tulle and lace. Plus more fabric rosettes til I finally said enough.

I've finally learned the "less is more" lesson but sometimes I still go for it. This time I restrained myself...a little bit.




















Since I wasn't blogging then I didn't take any process pics but I'll tell you what I did. I knew I wanted two big outside pockets that were roomy enough to reach into, and those were easily done. I knew I was tired of my cell phone getting lost at the bottom of my bag and I wanted a pocket easily accessible, so I included that in the liner. I wanted a divider in the bottom so I could keep my wallet, etc off to one side and a container for my various small tubular shaped items like lipstick, lip gloss, tylenol bottle, perfume, etc, to keep them upright and accessible. No more random pile in the bottom of my bag! I added some velcro to keep her from gaping open and voila!

Here's a pic....just look at all that room, oh yeah! Yes, that's a Joanne's ad in the pocket. ; 0 )




And here she is full of Saturday's haul from two yard sales and two thrift stores. I found an ornate Christmas tree sculpture thingy, long cinnamon sticks, an amber bottle, a very cool decanter with a lid, a little rake, two oversize crochet hooks, 3 yards of way cool glitzy fabric for Santas, a blue crackled glass ball and a little posing art guy. All the stuff in there cost me less than $10 and I still had room for more. I love my fifty cent tote!








I'll be linking to the following blog parties this week. See you there!

Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch
Just Something I Whipped Up Monday at The Girl Creative
Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays at Coastal Charm
The DIY Showoff Project Parade
Toot Your Horn Tuesdays at A Silly Little Sparrow
Talk To Me Tuesday on Tip Junkie
Talk About It Tuesday on Blogger Chix Designs
Woo Hoo! Wednesday at Always Nesting
Whatever Goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts
Strut Your Stuff Thursday at Somewhat Simple
Friday's at Remodelaholic









Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Vase rescue with wallpaper. Really!



I sure didn't want to ditch this vase, it's heavy and a good size and I loves my vases, I do. I love to plunk arrangements in them of flowers and sticks and eucalyptus and twisty branches and wheat and berries and...you know what I'm talking about, right?

Right now I have a total of six within eyeball range; they're in my living and dining rooms. They are such a bright pick me up and give each room a pop of color.

But this vase lost a corner chunk when pebbles were dropped in with too much enthusiasm and blooey, this baby won't be holding water anytime soon. But it has a nice shape and heft and it doesn't really have to hold water if I don't put real flowers in it.....


Gorilla glue to the rescue! But it's still ugly and that corner piece is pretty heavy, so I reinforced it with packing tape. Unfortunately, it looks uggggggllllly. I considered my go-to Mod Podge finish of crumpled tissue and paint and glaze but then I remembered the wallpaper I used for the master bath cabinet. I had covered the amber pebbled plastic in the cabinet door with wallpaper then painted it with the wall color and it looks very cool.
So, Mod Podge and wallpaper ahoy!




I emailed the family about painting it a nice cocoa brown or white like the bathroom. After the votes were in (including surprising input from the retired Lt. Cmdr. and the current Air Force lieutenant on deployment and my son slogging his way thru pharmacy school) The consensus was the brown looked like Cocoa Pebbles but the white looked way cool. Tho I kind of liked the brown....








For those of you who wondered about the vase redo for my master bath, here she is in her place of honor. Yep, she's full of flowers and branches and twigs and berries......and it might be my imagination but she seems glad for the rescue, dontcha think?



I'll be linking to some blog parties soon, like the Penny Pinching Party at The Thrifty Home and Strut Your Stuff Thursday at Somewhat Simple plus Friday's at Remodelaholic. See you there!


Monday, April 12, 2010

French Lingerie Style Pretty Muslin Pillows


I buy my muslin by the bolt. Unbleached, bleached and tea dyed, I always have plenty on hand for my dolls and other projects and I use alot of it. Thank you Lord for 50% off coupons for Joanne's!

I've always loved the fine dressmaker details on old French and Victorian corsets, lingerie, camisoles and chemises and I started dinking around with some muslin squares and duplicating some of those pretty details. You know, the kind of frilly foofery Scarlett O'Hara would have on her "personals." So here's the start....


And here's the first four pillows on my couch, along with the cable knit pillows I made from a recycled sweater. Don't they look just swooningly romantic?



I added torn ruffles and lots and lots of little buttons and some tiny tuxedo shirt style pleats and some smocking and more buttons and then a couple of rows of lace. I may have gotten a little delirious somewhere in there....


Maybe Rhett Buttler had shirts with pleats and ruffles like this?













And maybe the bodice for Aunt Pitty Pat's pretty chemise had smocking like this?



















I can picture Ashley Wilkes wearing a shirt with these tucks and ruffles. He always liked those French details in his fine evening clothes.













And Scarlett would be the first to agree that you can never have too many ruffles and pretty little buttons!

I'm having alot of fun coming up with these fancy pillows and I'm listing them in my shop. I still have a few ideas up my sleeve.....and linking to I Made It at Everything Etsy, plus Look at Me, I'm So Crafty at Fun to Craft, and Transform Tuesday at The Pumpkin Patch, and a new party called All Things Dreamy at European Dreams. See the links in my sidebar.

Here's an update...all these pillows sold out of my Etsy shop! Woohoo! You betcha I will be making more and coming up with some new designs. Don't you love it when a plan comes together? ; 0 )



Sunday, April 11, 2010

Big Bang Master Bath Redo for Not a Lotta Bucks


HERE is our redone master bath, and it is still one of my best all time favorite restyle projects!



Because below is the before picture as we started the work. Yikes!


 URG! 

You can see the new medicine cabinet the hubs is building on the wall and yes, you see ivy stenciling on the cabinet and walls. I loved me some ivy stencils back in the day and I had them in my kitchen, too. I liked them. I liked them alot. But finally this year I knew the master bath needed a new look even tho, again, I had no room in the budget for such frippery. I had used alot of mirrors in there (badly) to make the room seem bigger but it felt outdated, you know?


But with lots of work, some yummy chocolate brown gloss paint and a whole lot of mirror reworking, we now have this........



                             
                                 I LOVE the new look of my master bath!! Yup, this is the SAME ROOM.





Since the biatch of a budget had no room for new towels I had to come up with a scheme that would go with the 80s and 90s oh-so-cool-at-the-time raspberry colored towels. They were still perfectly serviceable, darn it! I knew I wanted to go with a rich, dark color on the vanity and after seeing a few chocolate brown                                                               bathrooms in magazines I just went for it.

So I picked up a gallon of creamy vanilla for the walls and a quart of deep rich brown, both in a semi gloss finish. Soon the ivy stenciling was toast.

The hubs built the medicine cabinet to fit a door we already had which featured a pebbled amber plastic inlay but hey, it had all its hardware and was perfectly usable and it was the right size for the wall. I had some very cool textured wallpaper left from the kitchen redo and I mod podged it over the amber plastic then painted it with the wall paint. It actually looks pretty cool! Nice textural interest, too.

I picked up some big float glass mirrors from a local contractor. At $8 apiece these 2' x 4' mirrors were a steal! I found some bullseye corner blocks in the bargain bin at the lumber yard for 2 for $1. They had small flaws in the center but I soon fixed those with filler and once painted, you can't tell they were repaired. We framed the mirror out with molding and put those corner blocks in place and Voila! Big freakin' framed mirror in my master bath! I painted the molding chocolate brown, of course.

The light fixture was a steal at $3 from St. Vincent De Paul's, and when $$$ allows we'll replace it, but for now it's a bargain and it works well with the space. I can live with that.

I also shopped the house and pulled in all the accessories on the high shelf and the mirror shelf. We already had the curly brackets under the mirror shelf and the only other ones we had were the ugly, utilitarian shop grade brackets, so we put them on top of the high shelf and covered them up with the accessories. So the shelf is actually hanging down from the brackets instead of sitting on top of them. Almost all the original bathroom mirrors got their frames spray painted brown and my daughter gave me the decorative wood "carving" from an old couch she was junking. She actually gave me two and I used the other in the hall bathroom. Love the intricate, curvy, vintage look!

So, here's our old medicine cabinet in it's grungy, outdated wonderfulness.....



...And here's what that corner of the room looks like now......



See the corner block on the mirror? Love the way it turned out! And the vase on the shelf? A clear glass gift which got cracked across one corner. I glued it together and reinforced it with packing tape then took the same textured wallpaper I used for the medicine cabinet and mod podged it to this vase. That will be a whole blog post just by itself, I think! Please check for it! For the two tall flower arrangements I stole eucalyptus and some colorful flowers from other parts of the house, then filled in with twigs, branches and lots of manzanita from our Oregon mountaintop. The red bark and green leaves are PERFECT for this room.

So the costs for this redo break down like so....

Paint total $26
Lumber total $ 9
Molding $ 4 (including corner blocks)
Mirror $ 8
Light fixture $ 3

TOTAL $50

So let's add in $10 for the vanity light bulbs and the total is, what, $60? DRAT! I didn't get pics of the hardware back on the cabinets. Silvery brushed nickel, they look great with the rich brown paint. You know, I love it when a project looks this good and doesn't cost a lot of money! Don't you? Now if I can find a totally modern light fixture at a really bargain basement price......

Thanks for reading my post. I'm going to try linking up to some blog parties in my sidebar this week, hope to see you there.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

What do you do with lotsa chunksa rocks?


We were lucky enough to get a nice load of Oregon shale rock when the highway crew was working on our road, and my husband and brother built us several stacked rock flowerbeds with the biggest and best pieces. Love my rock walls with the ivy tumbling over, and the lavender drooping down and all my summer flowers blooming happily! And the mix of the rock walls and hubby's roses in the summertime is gorgeous. But I digress....





But we had lots of little chunksa shale left over which we've used in various projects. Shale fractures so cleanly that the chunks always have at least one straight side so I knew they were perfect for doing something with, I wasn't sure what, until.....the Monarch butterflies came to call on their annual flight and a few lit on the walls. Just beautiful!


I knew I had to try to capture that image and so my painted butterflies on rocks were born. (I'm trying to think of another, catchier title to these pretty bits of rock art but I got nothin'. Suggestions?)

And so.... Voila!

And not "Viola!" which conjures up an image of a precocious little girl brandishing a stringed instrument called a, you guessed it, viola. I will HAVE to draw her one of these days and use her as punctuation, lol! But again, I digress....


Ack! Not a Monarch in the bunch! That's cuz my mom saw it and wanted it and took it before I could take pics! Hey, it was MOM. You don't say no to Mom.


I did cheat and get a calendar with beautiful HUGE butterfly pics to help me with the details because, Lord he'p me, I get tangled up in the details. I'm a self taught artist/painter and don't know all that technical art stuff, so I do the best I can. The acrylic sealer I use brings just the right shine to them and keeps the colors bright.


But aren't these the prettiest little recycled rock art painted butterflies? I've got them on my windowsills and in the cheese cloche turned display stand and on my desk.....you get the picture. They cheer me up.

I love the contrast between the delicate butterflies and the solid rock, kind of like a big manly man holding a little baby. All together now, "Awwww."


So looks like painting another Monarch butterfly is in my future....as is painting the totally gorgeous Blue Morpho which is black and cobalt blue and a beautiful beautiful creature.

So I've added them to my Etsy shop but in the meantime, I'm lovin' havin' them around. While the snow flies (I kid you not) and the wind blows, they are the brightest bit of Spring I have right now!