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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Friday, February 25, 2011

I BOUGHT a wreath!

Yes, ladies, I actually paid money for a premade wreath, already gussied up and pretty and ready to go. BUT, in my defense, just look at this gorgeous thing! I fell in love with succulent wreaths a couple of years ago and vowed to make a real live one someday and I've looked and looked at the fake ones.....that started at $39.99! Even the Wal Mart version started out at $29.99! Then I saw they'd been marked down to $19.99. Still a no go on my mini budget.....



....and then I saw the clearance price for this wreath was finally down to $10.00! I could actually handle that price and I grabbed that puppy up and toted it home. Of course I couldn't leave it alone and added a few more bits of mossy rock and a feathery faux fern or two and my favorite paper dragonfly, but still, ten buckaroos. This made me smile and smile!


So I put it atop my enormous glass hurricane I'd filled with decor balls and vine balls and a glittery dragonfly and monkey's fist knots and pine cones and driftwood....I love how the wreath and hurricane with all their lovely textures looks against the muslin curtains in that corner. Just looking at it makes me feel spring is in the air, because outside the other window it doesn't look like spring at all, it looks like this.....

Yes folks, 25 degrees and 2 inches of new snow this morning. It's so beautiful and so cold!
Winter is not giving up without a fight around here! Hopefully it will melt this afternoon. Hopefully spring is rushing this way as we speak. But in the meantime.....

Ooh aah. Ten dollars well spent, I think. Until it's green again outside, I'll take my greens anyway I can get them! Hope you have a little bit of springtime hopefulness sprouting in your house this season. Bless you!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

More Desk Redo-Quick Pretty Mousepad Fix

I'm still working on my desk/office area and here's a fast and easy project that really turned out well. I added this pretty little side table to hold my mouse, etc. and topped it and its shelf with tile as a temporary fix.


I love to buy tile samples like these for less than a $1 at Lowe's and use them for trivets, work surfaces and temporary fixes like this. I have plans for this little table so I did not want to do anything permanent to its top or shelf so I thought the tile would be a perfect solution. But my mouse didn't like the small imperfections in the top tile and started getting persnickety.



So I cut a 16" square of foamboard...


Pulled this pretty damask wrapping paper (Target $3.99) and cut off a generous square.
If you know me, you know what comes next!



Yup, Mod Podge and a handy business/credit/debit/stiff plastic card for smoothing and soon I had this.....

A nice surface for my mouse that doesn't permanently alter the side table. The black and white damask print looks so good with my book page boxes and display stand and burlap ruffled bulletin boards. I like the way it came out!

I just wish every decorating/working solution was this fast and easy. I have a few more projects for this desk/office area not only to prettify it but to organize it and I'll show them to you soon. I tell you, when I see how this is shaping up it makes me smile! Don't you love finished projects that lift your spirits?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Book page Mod Podge boxes for desk storage

For the shelf above my desk I've been using a whole row of black wire baskets, which look good when they're empty but when they are full to overflowing they just look messy and unkempt. So after I Mod Podged book pages on the little cubby shelf for my desktop I decided to make some storage boxes for my desk. Here's how they came out...


I like how the Mod Podge medium actually darkens the edges of the pages, giving them a golden hue. Here's what I did....



I picked out some good sturdy boxes in various sizes, including a round box that looked like an old ice cream carton. First I glued the pages on then finished with a layer of Mod Podge and matte spray sealer. Easy peasy and CHEAP too.

There is no set plan to this project, altho when my daughter, Insanely Creative Christy, decoupages with book pages she uses smaller, neater, well trimmed pieces applied in nice designs. Me? Not so much, lol!


I used a silver pencil to give the label frames a pewter looking finish then used chalkboard paint on the labels so I could change them up.


I'm still thinking about adding gold or copper brads to the labels to give them a vintage hardware look. But I like the way these boxes turned out and the cost was mere pennies.

Here they are on the shelf above my desk, and you can see how well they go with the little book page cubby shelf and even my burlap ruffled bulletin boards which I made to cover my ugly walls. So for a bit of effort and creativity but not alot of money, I'm getting a desk/office makeover that is making me very happy.

My next project is to repaint my chair and add a french country style burlap cushion. Watch for it!

I'll be posting at Thrifty Decor Chick's Organization blog party this week, plus the others listed on my sidebar. Come join us for some creative, inspiring fun!

So cool, Santa's Gift Shoppe has added this post to her featured posts over at her Blog Hop Party! She always has such interesting stuff going on, come on over and visit. Here's the link...
http://santasgiftshoppe.blogspot.com/2011/02/mailbox-updatemonday-blog-hop.html


What fun! I've been featured over at House of Hepworth's along with a few other really creative ladies. God check us out! Thank you, Allison, your parties are always so much fun. Here's the link. http://www.houseofhepworths.com/

Friday, February 18, 2011

Shelf Makeover with Old Book Pages

I've been admiring all the desk and office redos in blogland, so I started redoing my own "office" area with it's huge old steel desk and its big desktop. I already moved my printer to one corner and made two burlap ruffled ribbon boards for that corner, but I still had alot of room on my desk.

I found this nifty cubby shelf at a thrift store for $5 (yes!!) and although it was grubby and beat up, it's the perfect size for my desktop. I LOVE book page decoupage projects and knew just what I wanted to do with this little shelf.

I had a length of beautiful vintage wrapping paper, a bit wrinkled but still gorgeous. I just didn't have enough to do the whole shelf. So I decoupaged the back of each cubby with this pretty paper.
Then I finished the rest of the shelf with with Mod Podge and torn book pages from an old thesaurus. These pages have beautifully aged edges but were so brittle that they tore easily, so they were perfect for this project and I didn't feel bad tearing up the book!


I like it! I like it alot!

Ooh ahhh! I love the way the two types of paper look on this little cubby shelf!

Is there such thing as book page cubby shelf love? There is! This came out so well, I'm going to do one more book page project for my desk makeover. I love the way the old book pages look and I think they'd look great on a bunch of organizer boxes for my office area. That post is next! Oh, and how much is in "Ann's retirement fund"? I'll have you know that cup is half full of dimes, lol.

Joining the blog parties in my sidebar, yessirree bob. Come visit and see the neat things out in blogland. See you there!

Burlap Ruffled Bulletin Boards

Here are the finished bulletin boards...I like them alot! Read on to see where I started.




I've been seeing some gorgeous desk and office redos out in blogland and I knew I wanted to do something about my own desktop and office space but without spending any money, as usual. I have a massive steel desk with a large desktop surface, so first I moved my printer up top right next to my monitor and keyboard.


But ewww, look at those ugly walls! I definitely wanted something prettier and more practical, like a pair of bulletin/ribbon boards.



And look, another ugly picture of the project in progress. I padded two cardboard rectangles with a double layer of an old clean blanket for thickness and duct taped the whole shebang. It gets better after this, trust me.


I covered each padded form with natural osnaburg and added criss cross lace for a nice design touch. I love the subtle combo of the white lace and beige osnaburg, so pretty.


I crashed my stash of white buttons and hot glued a nice one to each lace junction. Pretty!


Then I added generous burlap ruffles to each ribbon board. LOVE the contrast of the rough, tan burlap against the lace, buttons and beige fabric!


Here is one board in place next to the printer. It already looks much better!


And here is how this corner of my desktop looks like now with both boards in place. Ah, much better! My glasses are sitting on a glass display plate stand which I've decoupaged with old book pages. The book pages make this old piece look like vintage bake lite plastic, I love it! In fact, I like the book page look so much, I decided to redo the rest of my desk space with old book pages. I'll be blogging about those projects very soon!


I'll be joining the parties on my sidebar this week, come visit and see all the wonderful creativity out in blogland!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Red Felt Roses and a Wave of Butterflies


So, here's the bare bones of my Valentine's display at the end of my buffet counter. The big fancy butterfly got me to thinking, as did the empty spot on the wall behind these wonderfully graphic branches. And yes, those are googly eyes on the cork topper. Never underestimate what can happen when I have a hot glue gun in one hand and a pack of googly eyes from the Dollar store in the other hand. Just sayin'.

And now this little display looks like this....all red felt roses and Valentine hearts and scads of butterflies. LOVE THIS!

And here's how this journey went. I crashed my stash looking for properly Valentine red supplies and remembered the red yarn and Christmas ball wreath I had displayed earlier....

A heat gun helps to loosen hot glue, which helps when you are ripping the Christmassy aspects off a wreath you want to remake into a Valentine/butterfly/spring wreath. Away with ye, big shiny bows and a few glass balls. Also, red is a very hard color to photograph without flaring way into pink and glarey. So I am unhappy with most of the really red pics in this post.


Blogland is full of beautiful roses made of paper and fabric and I ADORE the wreaths made of totally HUNDREDS of tightly curled book page roses. Whoa! I was not ready to take that project on tho I applaud the ladies who have made such gorgeous wreaths. In my laziness I decide to do much fewer rolled red felt roses. I cut circles using a paper plate, a saucer and a margarine lid for 3 nice sizes and then cut each into meandering strips.

Rolled them into nice tight flowers and hot glued them to shape and added some salvaged rose silk leaves for a bit of greenery.

Instead of hundreds of rolled roses, it only took about 18 to dress this wreath up for a brand new look. But wait, there's more. Remember that big butterfly? My wreath needed butterflies. And then, I decided the whole vignette needed dozens of butterflies.

Out came all the butterfly punches, including the one standing on end, a Martha Stewart filigree butterfly punch that is awesome (and very messy) but makes the most gorgeous cut out butterflies!


I added a few to the wreath and branches and then Insanely Creative Christy took some double stick tape and did this with all the rest. She added a beautiful wave of bright red butterflies flying up the wall in a graceful curve of color! Gorgeous!


I love the way the butterflies look against the textured wallpaper.


And at the bottom I added a bit of doodled artwork by my middle daughter, Practical Mom Kelly. It goes perfectly with the other items and has the perfect sentiments for Valentine's Day....

...and our anniversary, which is February 13th. We have 40 years under our belts and come hell or high water, we're going for the big 50. This doodled gem has kids, grandkids, pets, teapots, pincusions, a bee hive and lots more. All in all, I am liking this Valentine Spring display alot and I'm already planning a twig wreath with rolled burlap roses and maybe a primitive nest and more pretty butterflies in a nice shade of robin's egg blue........

Joining the parties on my sidebar. Come visit and see what is happening in blogland this week!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Funky Junk Inspired

I'm reposting this from the Christmas season, since it is the most Funky Junkiest inspired post I can think of. This SOOOO looks like something Donna would have done for her holiday house!

Well, we made the change over from Thanksgiving and autumn decor to Christmas and Insanely Creative Christy and I had a list and together we had a plan. But sometimes things just happen and you have to seize the day. I had a big, old, oval trencher with a beat up chippy paint finish and as we took things down and put things up we started throwing the odds and ends in that old bowl.....

Hey, neat!

That's looking pretty cool, almost like we planned it, but we didn't. Had to take pics anyway.

Book page Christmas balls, vine balls, shiny balls go in. Chuck in some random silvery, pearly, metallic garlands next. Hey, that looks good!

A pretty yarn angel, a tangle of tiny pearl beaded garland...and a trio of rusty tin stars. Better and better!

Hey, these pretty little string angels need a place to rest before we hang them on a tree. Put 'em in the bowl. Sweet! So many pretty things together in one place, maybe we should leave this as is?

Maybe, but we didn't. We had plans and lists and schedules. But don't worry, old beat up chippy painted trencher bowl, we'll do you good when we're all done with things.

Just sharing the spontaneity of the moment ladies, sometimes good things happen if only fleetingly. Seize the moment and ENJOY! I'm linking up to Funky Junk's Copy Me Challenge, come check it out!

Copy Me Challenge

Ladder Love like Donna's

Here is my garden ladder repurposed to display my art at the Artwalk last summer. After this event I brought it home to my deck and displayed flowers all summer long. But then the weather changed and I just knew my beat up ladder had more life in it, especially when I saw how Donna at Funky Junk Interiors used her rustic vintage ladders so well in her own neat decorating style.

So here is my ladder now. I sanded her and painted her gloss black and brought "her" in (funny how inanimate objects have a gender, at least in my eyes) to become a handy basket rack next to our ginormous living room cabinet. Though I think Donna would have left it naturally rustically grey or painted it shabby white!

I shopped my baskets for the right fit to her shelves, then up styled them with some judicious spray painting in gloss black and leather brown. The baskets still look different but they fit with her overall dark, sleek, vintage, farmhouse "aren't I clever" kind of a style. I still have one basket in need of spray painting (see it peeking from the bottom shelf) but I love the way they all came out!

This was one idea that came out even better than I'd imagined. The baskets hold gloves, scarves, DVDs and emergency flashlights, so far. I will really try to be disciplined about piling them with stuff, but she's so convenient and she's right there....ahem. As I said, I'll try. ;0)

I'm linking up to Funky Junk's Copy Me Challenge Party just to join the fun. Man, there are some unique, creative, fantastically talented gals over there, come on over and check it out.

Copy Me Challenge