Hey, it's what I do! Welcome to my creative arts blog!

Welcome to my Maker's blog, where I feature my own unique creative projects. I'm six years out from breast cancer and counting my blessings.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Paint Water Oops!

I always use old jars for my paint water and they sure aren't pretty.
Hey, I have a working craft studio.
Things get DONE in here!


Insanely Creative Christy received a Silhouette vinyl cutter 
and she thought she'd remedy this whole grungy paint brush jars situation.


Christmas gifts for me!
They're gorgeous!
Who knew that metallic gold vinyl would match so well?
I love them.


Oops!

Don't worry, I fixed it. 
Psst...don't tell Christy!


Monday, January 23, 2017

Hang Up Your Own Art!

I wanted to change up the big wall behind our couch but I didn't want to spend any money. So I went shopping through my own stash of artwork. These are projects and paintings I've almost all done myself.


I crashed the house for miscellaneous decor items and went to town.
I LOVE the way this came out!



This is my first try at using book pages as an art background. The tattoo design reflects all my tools (except a crochet hook, how could I forget that?) And the slogan, "each day is a gift," is in honor of my late sister. I know I'll be making more of these pieces!


Here is the big tree painting before I added the red and orange leaves. NOW I prefer it with the golden leaves. Guess it calls for another try!


The leaf art was a pillow cover I restyled into wall art by stapling it to a square canvas. It's like it should have been wall art all along!


Book pages on canvas with painting of books on bookshelves. This was fun. I must do more.



This was one of my first curvy family tree paintings. I painted it on a large pizza box. Now when I paint these I use real canvases. LOL


The fern painting is from a photo by a family friend.
 The skeleton keys come from my sets of skeleton keys. 
Little gold mirror? Yes! 
My granddaughter made the arrow art. They are silver glitter on a dark turquoise background. 
The wooden curlicue is from my daughter's junked couch.
 And the red "etc." is from waaaaay back in the 80s.
 The two artworks on the right are experiments I hung up while I decide if I like them.

 And the curvy tree at the top?

I painted it on foam board not realizing that foam board dents. So it has LOTS of finger indents on its surface. But hey, looks great on the wall!

This wall cheers me up no end thru these long days of winter, when the sunshine is so scarce. But hey, sometimes it peeks through....


I'll take my colors where I can get them.
Spring and summer cannot come soon enough for me!






Sunday, January 22, 2017

Recyle Drawers Into Shelves

I kept these wooden drawers from an old waterbed because I had a brainstorm....


....with the addition of a board across the middle, I could make some cool shelves!

And here is how they came out! LOVE IT!

I spray painted them then Mod Podged neat papers inside. 
The turquoise shelf has tan tissue paper from Starbucks. 
The black shelf has damask scrapbook paper.
The white shelf has pages from an old book.

Using craft paint I dry brushed all the edges and corners
 for a vintage look and sealed them with clear spray acrylic.





Then I had some fun styling them up for photos. I think this one is my favorite.



Now I am always on the lookout for sturdy wooden drawers. 
I have loads of ideas for making more in different styles. 
AND, this is a fun project!

I didn't buy a thing for this project. I had everything on hand.
I call that a win win!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Sidelined by Sorrow


2016 was a roller coaster year for our family. We had a huge blast of sadness when my dear sister died after a brief but fierce battle with cancer.

Eff cancer.

When she knew her time was short she gathered all of us together in small groups 
and told us she loved us.

She also asked that we love each other.

Well, of course we love each other, you might say, but she said,
"Love harder."

Because at the end she reminded us that love is the end all and be all of our years here on God's earth.
And if there is anything we could do to improve our lives, then loving more and loving well and loving better is the answer.

So here you go, Leetle Seestar. 

Losing you has done a number on my heart.
 Like an illegal tackle after the ref's whistle in football, grief is a shock 
and a blast and a black hole and it is just not fair.

But there it is.

I'm slowly reclaiming life after being lost for months in a cave of shadows.
Getting back to blogging.
Getting back to painting.
Getting back to writing.
Getting back to creating the projects which spark in my head.

But also, loving harder.
It's what my sister would want.

Life turns on a dime, folks. 
While losing her greyed my days I found that slowly
sunshine was coming back to my soul.

Because the family welcomed a new baby girl in November.

And now we'll have a new grand baby this summer.

Count your blessings.
And Love Harder.

Big Nancy Love, my people.






  



Keepin' It Straight Gallery Wall Project

I have always had a family photo gallery wall and I figured after four years in this house it 
was time to JUST DO IT. 

If you go to Pinterest or Google images or anywhere online looking for inspiration you could get bogged down with the overwhelming creativity and ideas. Trust me on this.

I know from experience that it is almost impossible to keep all the framed photos on a gallery wall straight. So frustrating! But we came up with this design a few years ago and we've been doing it this way ever since.

So we keep it simple and with a bare bones budget, really CHEAP. 

Like, less than $18 cheap.


Here's one end of our project. It's a GOOD start!

For this really simple gallery wall I chose three - 1" x 3" x 8' molding boards for $2 each. They are made of a lightweight wood, usually pine or poplar. It is important that you peer down the long side and make sure the boards you pick are STRAIGHT. Turn them over and look at them from all angles. This will make your project much much simpler, trust me on this. 

Then I had the lumber guy cut them off at 5', so I now had six pieces. Three five footers and three that were three foot long. The store will cut your lumber for free!


Just as important as the straight boards are the bulls eye  rosette blocks I got for each seam. They look just like what they are called and they are IMPORTANT to give your project visual interest and style.

I paid less than $2 apiece for the 6 blocks we needed. What a deal!

I painted all the boards and bulls eye blocks white before we put them up. I know in the photos they look unpainted but they are not.

We laid out our shelves based on the basic framed photo sizes we were using plus we had to work around a smoke detector and the furnace thermostat/controls. Measure twice and make sure your marks are accurate because now the fun stuff starts!


Use a level. Use a level. USE A LEVEL. I cannot emphasize this enough. Do it.

We used wood glue and our handy dandy favorite brad nailer to attach the boards to the wall. Easy. Simple. Accurate. And the nail gun makes a really satisfying 'kachunk' sound.

Kachunk! Yes, you can have a turn. 

You can also use regular nails or screws and just fill in any holes with wood filler when you're done.



And here you see how the bulls eye blocks give our gallery wall just a bit of punch and visual style. We staggered the joints on each run for some interest. And even though they look like plain wood here, the blocks and boards are all painted. Though if you choose to leave them plain or even paint them a fun color, that is up to you on your own wall!




Look how STRAIGHT everything is. Gotta love it!



This was much easier than it sounds and it looks GREAT.

Let's here it for late but finished projects!!

Shabby Chic Basket Ornaments

I made these miniature shabby chic Christmas ornaments this year and they came out so pretty!

Guess what I used to make the little baskets?

Toilet paper rolls!!

Yup. These mini basket ornies came from these plain old tubes!


Yes, I sprayed these tubes with a soap and bleach solution and let them dry before I used them.

I crashed my stash for all kinds of smalls and neat laces and trims for this project. If you are anything like me you have LOADS of little items that would be the right size for these little ornaments.



Cut each tube in half and hot glue the bottom edge shut. I use a bulldog clamp to hold the edges together while it cools.


Use your adhesive of choice to cover the tube with wrapping paper, fabric or what have you. I am using Dollar Store wrapping paper with scrap lace around the top. Use a tiny hole punch on each side of the top. Cut a bit of florist or craft wire about 8 to 10 inches long and wrap it around a pencil, paintbrush handle or small dowel to make curls. Attach to your basket at each side.

I hot glued fiberfill inside so all the decor items would perch right at the top of the basket. You could also use crumpled tissue. Now for some fun!!

Using hot glue, start embellishing your little basket. I am no minimalist, so you can see I like to stuff them FULL.


Such a fun project! 

These are pretty on the tree, or as gift toppers or even small gifts for a group.

PLUS, you can make them in any theme!

I've made these for Christmas gifts and for my Etsy shop. Think of the possibilities for St. Valentine's Day, or a baby shower, or a themed birthday.

So many neat ideas, I want to try them ALL.