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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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Turquoise Shelf For Craft Room Redo

We've been in our new digs for 10 months and it's time I truly set up my craft room the way I want it. It is not just a hobby place where I can create whatever my heart desires but also the production studio for all my Etsy wares. I dithered about the colors and gravitated towards red, black and white, until I saw this fantastic color combination.

I love ALL the colors used in this wonderfully organized craft space. I even made a necklace for my shop in these colors. LOVE them!


I see this mix of colors everywhere now. What a bright mix of cool blues and hot reds. I'll also throw in a bit of pink and cream and of course, my recycled book page storage boxes.

This is the most recent storage solution I've come up with. The Welding Man built it for my space, and I've added the foam core backing to each shelf. Sturdy, but plain and boring. I got out my Apple Barrel paint in turquoise and burnt umber and went to town.

Here is the top, painted and antiqued. I love the way the burnt umber ages the edges. The other shelves are still drying, but you can see the great color.

You knew I'd be throwing some recycled book pages in here somewhere, and that's what I used to "dress" the foam backer boards. I just love the way this looks with the bright shelf color.

I like it. I like it alot!

I wanted an aged, vintage, rustic look so I layered glaze and a lighter turquoise color until it looked just right to me. This pic shows the colors lighter than reality. The true color is below.

And here it is, loaded up. I use glass jars for almost all my small supplies and I love having them all out where I can see them. One of my best buys ever was a case of 1/2 gallon size mason jars, they are wide mouth and large enough to hold alot. I've used 3 of them on these shelves plus lots of quart and pint size jars.

And here it is in place, right next to the door and butted up against the side of my enormous steel tank desk. It's a good start and now I'm energized to tackle the rest of my room.


As you can see the organization hasn't extended any further than this. Trust me, I didn't show you the real mess in there. I have so much stuff and I use it ALL! But now I have to decide, how much do I want to paint turquoise and how much red?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Faux Capiz Tabletop Chandelier

Pin ItI've been seeing lots of chandeliers made of faux capiz shells out in blogland with some made out of wax paper, plastic cups, laminated rice paper, even wax paper mod podged onto plastic milk jugs!

I decided to try a small scale project before tackling a big multi tier chandelier cover for my ugly craft room light, so I chose a tabletop lamp for the bookcase in our hallway.

And I love the way this came out! It has a soft glow, great texture and a bit of movement when you walk by. Even The Welding Man likes it, he says it reminds him of a wedding dress. :o)

I looked around the house and found this short lamp with the right kind of shade for my project. Tho I ended up using a taller brass lamp in the end, the shade's frame was perfect for this restyle. What is needed is a sturdy shape with at least two different sized rings to hold your fake shells in layers.

The Welding Man took the cover off and wired a wire circle to the frame halfway between the top and bottom rings. We also painted the frame white. For this lamp the larger ring will be on top so we put the lamp together with the wired frame upside down.

Next I made the wax paper "shells." I used a dry iron on cotton and put parchment paper on the bottom between the ironing board and wax paper. Four sheets torn off close to the same size melt together nicely and make a good, stiff 4 ply sheet. Let the wax paper cool then start punching. I found my punches did best with 4 sheets of 4 ply wax paper, your punch might do better with more or less.

I used a 2" and an 1 3/4" circle punch. I figured I needed about 400 circles total, plus I cut a few extra in case of mistakes or design changes.

I sewed my circles together using my machine's longest stitch and placed 9 circles on each "run." I sewed several sets of nine together in a single sitting with about three inches of thread between each set. I cut them apart into sets of nine and started assembling.

I wound the thread from one set of circles twice around the middle ring and put a dab of hot glue over the thread. I placed each string of circles about 1" apart.

For the top ring I let six of the circles on a string hang down outside and folded the other three over inside the frame, using a dab of hot glue on the thread at the top. This gave the upper half of the lamp a fluffier look and more visual "weight."

Extra circles folded in half and hot glued around the upper ring give the lamp a finished look.

As you can see, the stitched circles diffuse the light and overlap nicely, giving a nice soft glow to the evening. It even looks good in the daylight! Scroll down to the bottom pic.

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But for now it makes me smile everytime I go down the hall. I'm looking at the ugly ceiling fixture in my craft room and planning an ambitious redo, with gorgeous strings of faux capiz hanging down in long lengths and layers. And then I'll tackle the fixture in my bedroom!





I'm also looking at some of my other small tabletop lamps as candidates for this pretty redo. I wonder if crayon shavings ironed between the waxed paper layers would add some nice color or would it look funky? I've got to try it out now.

I'll be joining the parties in my sidebar, please come visit and see all the wonderfulness out there in blogland.

Monday, January 16, 2012

2011 Top Tutorials Part Two

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Here is part two of my blog's best of 2011. Part one is here....

http://makethebestofthings.blogspot.com/2012/01/2010-top-posts-part-one.html

Starting with my number five most popular post, here is how to make tiny reindeer from wine corks, twigs, hot glue and trims.



Such a fun project and cheap, too.

http://makethebestofthings.blogspot.com/2011/12/wine-cork-reindeer.html


My tute for easy Elmer's Glue crackled chalkboards came in at number four...

No kidding, the easiest way to get a crackle effect, EVER.

http://makethebestofthings.blogspot.com/2011/08/cheap-elmers-glue-crackle-chalkboards.html


Was 2010 the year of burlap? My number three project would make you think so.

How to make burlap ruffled bulletin boards.

http://makethebestofthings.blogspot.com/2011/02/burlap-ruffled-bulletin-boards.html



The number two most popular blog post for 2011 was my driftwood mirror.

I love the look of driftwood! I'll be doing more driftwood projects this year for sure.

http://makethebestofthings.blogspot.com/2011/03/driftwood-mirror.html


Mu number one blog post for 2011 was a clever and inexpensive way to make matching storage for your craft room.

I'm still making storage boxes this way and I still love the way they look!

http://makethebestofthings.blogspot.com/2011/02/book-page-mod-podge-boxes-for-desk.html


And my NUMBER ONE blog post OF ALL TIME is my favorite, too. How to use Elmer's Glue for a cheap crackled paint effect, with lots of photos and information.


This post continues to astound me, it is everywhere online, especially Pinterest.

http://makethebestofthings.blogspot.com/2010/05/crackle-finish-with-elmers-glue.html


There you have it, the most popular posts for last year. Let the new year begin!

I'll be linking up to the fun blog parties on my sidebar, come visit and even join the fun!


2011 Top Tutorials Part One


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I had so much fun with my blog this year, and I saw so many neat projects in blogland. ALL of my Top Ten are tutorials. Here are my own Top Ten from 2011 starting with this cool Halloween decor idea.

Make easy Halloween window decorations from poster board!

http://makethebestofthings.blogspot.com/2011/10/halloween-windows-from-poster-board.html



Number 9....my white, silver and teal Christmas wreath makeover.

So pretty, gorgeous color and so CHEAP! This is third redo of this twig wreath, with more coming up.

http://makethebestofthings.blogspot.com/2011/12/teal-silver-and-white-wreath-redo.html



Number eight....red rosette wreath and butterfly decor for Valentine's Day.


Back when I was deep in chemotherapy, Insanely Creative Christy helped me put this display together.
http://makethebestofthings.blogspot.com/2011/02/red-felt-roses-and-wave-of-butterflies.html



Number seven...how to make pretty lace pumpkins....

Complete instructions for a great fall decoration.

http://makethebestofthings.blogspot.com/2011/10/pretty-lace-pumpkins.html


Number six is a double project...recycling tissue box covers for your desk or craft room.

I show you two different ways to upstyle these staples of your household.

http://makethebestofthings.blogspot.com/2011/03/two-tissue-boxes-for-my-desk-redo.html

Number five and one of my personal favorites.....make mini reindeer from wine corks!

A simple project with complete instructions using items you probably already have on hand!

http://makethebestofthings.blogspot.com/2011/12/wine-cork-reindeer.html

These blog posts garnered thousands of hits and who knows how many pins on Pinterest!
Following up with my TOP FIVE of 2011 coming next!

I'll be posting at the fun parties on my sidebar, come visit and check out all the great ideas.

Blue Bookcase Painting

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My daughter in law found this large canvas, 30" x 40", at a garage sale. It was covered with camouflage print fabric and had a 2" tear in the middle, but it was a real bargain. She gave it to me, figuring I'd find something to do with it.

So I painted this.....

....a faux bookcase chock full of books. I had seen other artwork of books and loved them, and I knew I would not sell a damaged canvas on Etsy, so I went for it. Using Elmer's, I glued a muslin patch over the tear and let it set overnight. Then I went to town with all my favorite colors....




Cobalt blue, turquoise, bright red, chocolate brown, soft white and teal blue contrasted with black. The tear is hidden between two books and almost invisible.

I did not put in alot of bookish details as I wanted it to be more abstract and all about the colors, but normally I'd have put stitch marks and titles and authors on all of them because I love the small particulars in a painting. Not this time, and I love it!

I used acrylic paint and layered the colors on each book. The first layer of red came out too pink so I went with a bright and glossy Christmas red and it really pops!

I sealed it with Mod Podge for a satiny finish.

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Then I put it on our TV wall and loved it, and immediately knew that the real bookcases need some serious decluttering and styling! But hey, I love the painting and the way it is in scale with the big chair and that big, black TV. I'll add more paintings to that wall and tackle those shelves next. Aaaaand, reupholster the big chair.

I am salvaging two more big canvases from thrift store paintings that are even bigger than this canvas. I've primed them with gesso and just have to decide what to paint. I haven't done many big paintings and I'm so excited! PLUS, when I'm done I'll have art for my walls for not a lot of money, gotta love that.

I have an idea that strips of scrap book papers in neat prints could be mod podged in rows to make a neat faux bookcase project. Or even crinkled brown kraft paper that looks like distressed leather. Oh, now I have to try it!

I'll be posting to the fun parties on my sidebar, come visit and join the fun!