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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, October 28, 2011

Sweet Muslin and Burlap Pillow Covers

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I have just relisted my handmade pillow covers in my Etsy shop. I LOVE the vintage, shabby chic look of these ruffled pillows trimmed with vintage style lace and rosettes. Just picture one of these as a ring pillow for a country, farm or barn wedding. Perfect!

The combination of the soft muslin with the texture of the burlap just gets to me. Love it!
They have envelope style closures on the back side, sewn of muslin. They are 12" square and fit a 12" pillow form, which is NOT included in the listings.

This is a pillow with a stuffed form inside since not everyone has a bolster shaped pillow form.

Ah, Rhett Butler's shirts had this kind of pin pleating and ruffled detail, don't you think?

This white burlap with a white muslin ruffle is pure prettiness. With the lace and buttons and my hand sewn rosettes, it's just so beautiful.


I'm thinking Scarlett O'Hara's trousseau had ruffled muslin detailing like this, don't you?

More burlap and ruffled muslin and french style rosettes. Gorgeous.

Now, this is the detail a pretty nightgown or shirtwaist used to have on it. I love the old dressmaker details!

Smocking gives a texture all it's own, and this pillow cover of burlap and denim is the perfect shabby chic combination.
More sweet ruffled goodness. Lovely! I hand sew each rosette. No glue is used in the construction of these pretty pillow covers.

They look stunning grouped together on my chocolate brown couch. If I had the courage to go with an all white living room, these pillows would be one of the anchors of my decor. Sigh, not with a chocolate lab in the house! But, maybe in our bedroom......

Stop by my Etsy shop and check out the details on these pretty pillow covers. And look at my other listings while you're there, you never know what you will find!

Americana....and a Rooster in my Etsy Shop


I love the look of vintage Americana and have come up with designs using the patriotic flag theme. I use a variety of techniques to make these paintings look old and vintage including crackling, dry brushing and lots of layering. I've sold many of these and have these few left for my Etsy shop.

They are painted on cabinet doors which have a natural "frame" so they don't need anything extra.

The accent stars and Liberty are painted with gold metallic paint. It looks like burnished vintage metallic brass to me.


Some have no lettering at all but have extra detail, like the gold stars and narrow gold stripe outline on this one.

I really like all the red on this one. I may pull it from my store and keep it for myself!


You can't have Liberty without Freedom, eh? I love the primitive vintage look of these paintings!

My favorite red one is getting the most looks, but not as much as this painting....

...yup, this colorful primitive style Rooster is getting ALOT of views. Who knew he'd be so popular? Lol. Maybe I should do a whole series of rooster and chicken paintings?

Check out my Etsy shop for details and while you're there take a look at all the muslin and burlap pillow covers I've listed. They're shabby chic, sweet and vintage style all together.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Video Tape and Trash Bags

Yeah, this year we've gone a bit overboard for Halloween. It is our first year in town after 25 years on a mountain. Plus our grandkids live close by, so we HAD to do this! But I didn't want to spend any cash so here's what I came up with....

Lots of creative thinking went into decorating. Let me break it down. First, get those old video tapes out and make.....

...a huge spiderweb in your yard! I love the way it shimmers and moves with the wind and you can make it as big as you want. We did two with one old video and could have made more. It's easy to work with looks fantastic. Of course, an oversize web calls for an oversize spider.....


...made out of two trash bags. Insanely Creative Christy stuffed it with newspaper and used wire to give the legs some stability. She also knotted the legs to look like joints. Smart lady! We thought it looked dumb until we googled trash bag spiders. It doesn't look half bad compared to what we saw online!

Look! Trash bag curtains for the temporary arch on the deck. Just cut in strips, you don't have to be accurate at all. Staple it up and tie it back like this for a kind of Victorian Gothic drapery effect or.......

...cut 'em loose and let the wind blow them about like the torn sails on the Flying Dutchman or the tattered curtains in the Haunted Mansion. I like the windblown look, so spooky.


And just one more cheap and easy tip....use Dollar Store plastic tablecloths to make ruffly black garlands. They look great and they're weatherproof, too.

Here are some draped on my baker's rack. Just cut them in 2 or 3 inch wide strips and stretch the edges carefully a few inches at a time. Voila, ruffly black garlands, baby!


I attached a dozen strips to the bottom of my black wreath. The rain doesn't bother them and they blow around with every breath of wind. Love it! Don't let the plastic cockroach get ya.

The only thing I bought new this year was the tablecloth, and I still have plenty of it left to try out some other ideas. The trash bag pumpkins, pumpkin light string, and cat and bat signs were yard sale finds this last summer costing me less than $5 total.

So we're pleased with the way it's turned out. But come November 1st this will all come down and autumn decor will take it's place...in a more subtle, stylish way, of course.

I'm linking up to the parties on my sidebar. Come check them out and see all the creativity blogland has to offer.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Black Halloween Wreath

Gloss black spray paint is my new best friend this Halloween season. It brings different elements together with a spooky kind of glamorous vibe. For this wreath I started with a sparkly (yes, it was glittered) twig wreath and some fake roses that had seen better days.

Then I pulled some eucalyptus out of an old arrangement and hit them with the spray paint, too.

Not too many, I'm trying to go with the "less is more" trend. For me, that is hard!!

I added a bit of Dollar Store spiderweb and a cutout of a haunted house. It is also gloss black but the camera picks it up as dull. Trust me, it's black and shiny!


Here it is on our Navajo Blue door. I like the stark contrast of the black against that nice blue. I added some ruffled plastic streamers that blow in the wind.  Spooky!  It's not simple, visually, but it is simpler than my usual style.

Can you see the three tiny bats flying around the haunted house? They gave me a nice surprise...

..because from inside they look like this! Serendipity, baby! Maybe I CAN embrace the less is more design ethic, but after Halloween because you haven't seen the fully decorated front porch yet.

Is there such a thing as too much detail? We'll find out and I'll post it right here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Halloween Windows from Poster Board


On our last trip to the Dollar Store, Insanely Creative Christy and I got to brainstorming about cheap Halloween decor for my front windows. We thought of the silhouettes Martha Stewart showed on her website so we grabbed 6 sheets of black poster board at 2/$1 and came up with these decorations.

We did this in one afternoon and we got the giggles doing it. It was alot of fun.



Christy came up with the idea of the monster eyes and claws coming out of the louvres. They look awesome.


She added some crow cut outs and then she cut out the window shapes from my drawings on the poster boards. We used double stick tape and we impatiently waited for twilight to see how it all looked.


Hey, that looks pretty good with just the flash on my camera. But wait, there's more...

Here's how they look after dark. Pretty cool, huh? And we still had poster board left. So Christy cut these out and stuck them up in my kitchen windows. Forgive the fuzzy pics, I was laughing at the time....


So cool and so cheap. They will look great on Halloween night if we don't scare the neighborhood kids away!

Now we are thinking how we can use poster board for Christmas decor and other holidays. Hmmmm, when we come up with something I'll be sure to post it here.

I'll be posting this to the fun linky parties listed on my sidebar, come check them out for some great, creative projects.



Friday, October 14, 2011

Wonderful Turquoise Beachy Blue in my Etsy Shop

As you can tell from my blog header, I've always been a cobalt blue kind of a gal. But the beachy blue shades of turquoise, teal and sea blue are growing on me. I'm even redoing my craft studio in turquoise with cream and red for accents. My big ol' desk will soon sport the same finish as this glass pedestal, complete with the umber glaze.

I love the color and texture on this piece! Originally I was going for a perfectly smooth gloss finish, but I LOVE how this came out at the end. I've even set up a category in my shop for these beachy blue projects.


The leathery texture of the dried magnolia leaves really set this little vignette off. The driftwood is from the Oregon coast.

I remade this old wooden drawer into a small shelf. I love to recycle and restyle old pieces and this is one of my favorite projects. So far I've redone three drawers and I'm looking for more. The color and glaze and especially the script paper really make this one special.

Ah, see the turquoise glass pedestal on the shelf there? These pieces really do compliment each other so well, I can see them together in someone's vacation cabin or coastal home.

The script liner tells a tale of sorts and is fascinating to read. It says, "The Siren holds the key for She has the gift. A shimmer of something. Mysterious. Elusive. Hidden. Tissue and wrappings. Secrets and surprises. The unveiling of the unexpected."

The frame on the top holds a piece that says "She has a gift." See how the glaze picks out all the time worn goodness on this piece? Love it!


This vintage wooden bowl had seen better days. I had planned to refinish it and seal it with clear polyurethane but then tried the beachy turquoise color and I was hooked. It really came out great!

I used several shades of blue including turquoise, ocean blue, sky blue and teal. It is sealed with clear acrylic and looks like a well loved family heirloom.

It even looks time worn and gorgeous from beneath! Love the little ball feet and the center mark where it was hooked to a wood lathe for shaping. This bowl just makes me smile!

I have several projects in the works for more turquoise blue goodness. When I get a few more I'll post them right here. Please take a moment to check out my Etsy shop, you never know what you will find!

Black and White Halloween Decor

I love seeing all the creative ways bloggers decorate their fireplace mantels for each season. One smart lady even built a fireplace facade and mantel so she would have a focal point for decorating. Since I don't have a mantel, I utilize what I do have and that's a neat baker's rack The Welding Man made for our anniversary one year.

This year for Halloween I've shopped the house and the Dollar Store and loaded it up with all black and white decor. Though usually I am all about bright color, I really like this crisp combination.

I added some of my wired foam bats which I anchored in a bottle I spray painted gloss black. I made a wreath of the vines off our fence and once it dried painted it also. It looks great but it sheds ragged pieces of dried leaves EVERYWHERE, so it's not moving until after October 31st. A Dollar Store candelabra cutout and my silver decor ball are also on the top shelf, plus a couple of cloth pumpkins.

Fake cobwebs drape the bottom half over a bit of black fabric and lace scraps. The black netting fabric is from the Dollar Store. The jute wrapped apothecary jar is full of balls stamped with all the family's names. Insanely Creative Christy made it for my birthday and it looks great with this display.

Here's a shot showing the ruffled garland I made out of a Dollar Store plastic table cloth. So easy, and I'll be posting a how to on that soon. The square wrought iron piece usually hangs on the wall in my bedroom.

The bottom shelf has two Dollar Store cutouts which are really well done for the price. Fabric pumpkins sit on more glassware that I've spray painted gloss black. They look great! The little glass bell cloche sits over a plastic spider, you just can't see it in this pic.


Here's another look at the top shelf and my silver button decor ball draped with cobwebs next to my patchwork fabric pumpkin. The Dollar Store candelabra cut out will soon be on a door wreath, and I'll post pics when it is finished. Here also is another look at that dried vine wreath. I LOVE the spooky twisted vine look of it but Lord this thing sheds!

I've seen a few other black and white vignettes for Halloween and loved them, tho I have a tendency to LOAD THINGS UP. I understand the concept of less is more, but then I start putting things together and soon you have an eclectic mix with lots of visual appeal and interest. But hey, I like it.

I'll be posting on the linky parties on my sidebar. Take a moment to check them out, there are always some wonderfully creative projects to be found.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Spooky Floaty Bats

Last year I made these floaty, quivery bats out of crepe paper and curly wires.

On my Halloween decor tree inside they shook and floated and quivered every time we walked by. I loved how they came out!

So I thought that this year it would be neat to make a larger version for outdoors. Floaty black bats that would shiver in the wind.

Here is what I pictured in my mind and I am so jazzed this project came out exactly as I'd pictured!

I thought to use felt or craft foam but they are too floppy without a wire inside the wings. Then I found this bundle of foam packing scraps at St. Vincent's for fifty cents. Score!

I cut these out with scissors freehand since the scraps were an odd shape. I was able to finagle 3 or 4 bats out of each sheet.


This is concrete rebar wire which can be found at Lowe's for cheap. This roll cost $3.50 a while back and I use it alot.

Cutting a generous piece of wire and leaving the curls intact, I ran one end up inside the foam then crimped it over at the top.

Yikes, albino bat!
Time for the trusty cheap spray paint from Walmart in gloss black.

Ooh aah! EXACTLY what I had in mind! The gloss paint on the foam sparkles in the sunlight and every little breeze makes them float and quiver and shake. Here they are on a foggy morning, so spooky and cool.



They make me laugh! Love it! So now I have over 3 dozen of these black beauties ready to fly out of my deck planters. I'm putting some on tall wires over 4 foot long so they'll be even more quivery.

We plan to decorate the whole deck soon and I'll post pics when we do. For now I'm loving my floaty bats and the kids going to the bus stop do too. That's a win win!

I'll be posting to the fun parties in my sidebar. Take a moment to come check them out, you never know what clever projects you'd miss.