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 eight years out from breast cancer and counting my blessings.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Turquoise Chalk Paint Coffee Table

Here's the short story....
I painted this mid 70's "Mediterannean style" coffee table with turquoise DIY chalk paint.

And here's the longer story....

Back in '82 we had a TOTAL LOSS house fire. 
We refurnished our home with auction finds like this very heavy, 
very BROWN, very well built coffee table.

Three full grown adults can STAND on this coffee table.
Four teen age girls can DANCE on this table.
Five toddlers can race their Hot Wheels round and round this table.

We paid $7 for it 34 years ago.

About ten years ago I repainted the top in a fun pattern that added all my living room colors.

Brown, turquoise gold, red...you get the picture.

Yeah, I'm kind of a color junkie.

Then I did THIS...

using a DIY chalk paint recipe.

I topped it off with brushed on, wiped off Minwax Polyshades in Olde Maple.

Chalk paint recipes are EVERYWHERE online. I used this really simple one.

1 cup latex paint
1/2 c baking soda
3 TBSP water

I masked the top with regular masking tape. It did a fine job on all the edges.
This chalk paint recipe adhered REALLY well. It was a little bit gritty but I wanted that effect. Be aware of this if you use the baking soda chalk paint recipe!

I couldn't find my sanding block, and even though the hardware store is less than a mile away, I used this to sand the edges....

Don't tell me you've never done something like that.

Here is the door with just chalk paint and with the Minwax stain. 

The door is molded plastic. The chalk paint worked great. 
The Minwax was a bit messy but I fussed with it until it looked like this.
And below is how she looks now.

I LOVE the way this came out!

Again, the before and after.

 The chalk paint adhered very well and the Polyshades gave her just the right worn out vintage aura.

Because, folks, even tho she's pretty, we don't treat her very well. Lol!

This table is the Official Grandbaby Play Platform Put Your Feet Up And Set a Spell Stand On Top To Sing Karaoke And Dance to Uptown Funk Table!!

They don't make coffee tables this sturdy anymore. 

So, here's the cost breakdown....

Turquoise Apple Barrel Paint      $2.50
Olde Maple Minwax Polyshades  $7.00

Total...less than $10.00.

I already had paint brushes, cleaning rags, baking soda, assorted brushes and of course, an emery board, in my stash.

This took me less than 3 hours to paint then overnight for the paint to dry.
I brushed then wiped off the Minwax the next morning. I used half a dozen rags during this part.

The stain was dry by late afternoon and she was back in service that evening for a family dinner.

Cheap, pretty quick and an outstanding result.
I call that a win win!

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Vine Ball Rescue with Wire!

Back in 2014 I made this vine ball for cheap, because I didn't want to buy
 one this size for $24!

It looked perfect in this aged, chipped urn planter for several years.

I made a base framework with wooden embroidery hoops and a thrift store grapevine garland. I soaked it in hot water and gently took it apart to make this ball.

I LOVED how it looked!

But now, 6 years later the vines are breaking down and the ball is looking really sad.
 Even spray painting it blue last year didn't save it.
So this year I decided to revamp it with WIRE, not vines,
 and I couldn't be happier with the results!

Hardware stores and building supplies have this roll of wire and 
even at our small town hardware it was only $4. 
It is called "tie wire" and is used to hold rebar together for cement projects.

 It is super easy to work with and did I mention CHEAP?

Here is that sad vine ball with about 20 wraps of tie wire. 
I cut the wire into four foot lengths to make it manageable.
 It took less than an hour to return the sad orb to an awesome ball once again.

I decided to spray paint the ball with the colors I had on hand...both sort of turquoise blue.

Then I made two more balls and painted them, too!

Then I stacked them into this awesome tower trellis The Welding Man made.

Ooooh! I like this alot!

And then I took a few lengths of wire and made this 
little tennis  ball size orb and painted it blue....

It's just perfect with those hot pink cosmos!

This was a pleasant afternoon's work, sitting in the sunshine. 
I'm getting more tire wire and see what else I can come up with!!

Wax Paper Capiz Shell 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 parchment paper.

I figured I can do that and so, I did!

 I chose a $2 thrist store 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 took two lamp shades from my stash and removed the covers. I knew I wanted the rings to be larger at the top and smaller at the bottom. So I wired them together and even added another ring with craft wire secured with florist wire.

 What is needed is a sturdy shape with at least two different sized rings to hold your fake shells in layers.

After a coat of white spray paint I flipped it over and got all my fake capiz shell circles ready.

Dollar Store wax paper, baby!!

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. During the day they give that corner a bit of reflected light and nice texture.

I am already thinking ahead to doing this with my dining room light. Maybe with a little color and a bit of glitter? When I figure it out and make it I'll be posting right here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

DIY Vine Decor Ball Garden Art

Do you know how much a 12" vine ball costs? I know how much it costs because I decided I wanted a big vine ball for my urn planter. So I started shopping for one.

A foot across, made from dried vines, how expensive could it be? 

Hey, locally the price was $28! Online the price was $22. Plus shipping!
Well, shoot, that's not going to stop me from getting a big ol' vine ball for my empty urn planter.

Time to DIY.

Pink Panther theme music goes here....

Ta da! 
And it didn't cost anywhere near the twenty dollars plus.  
Here's how I worked it out.

I already had the totally plastic but painted and repainted urn planter that looks like a priceless iron antique. But it's really just plastic from Kmart and cost $2.50 on clearance. It was a bronzey tan and it now has so many layers of spray paint and outdoor craft paint that it looks like an old old metal planter. Every year it gets more beat up and vintage looking. I love it!


I shopped in my stash for the embroidery hoops and the spray paint AND the wire, so no new dollars spent there.

I found the bundle of twisted vines at a thrift store for $1.99.

I wired two painted embroidery hoops to make a good base for my sphere. Then I unraveled the vines into smaller strands. Note-soaking them in water overnight would have made them much more pliable to work with but I persevered and made them work for me. Even though they were stiff and brittle and seemed determined to try my patience. 

So, here's the start. And the middle. And basically the finish.
I wrapped those vines round and round the hoops. And then wrapped some more. And then added more. 

You see where this is going.

I used short lengths of fine floral wire at many different places to hold the vines in the round shape and basically make the whole shebang look like a rustic globe.

Lordy Lordy I love the way this came out!

So of course I had to take pictures and gaze at it and add the creeping jenny birdhouse and then take more pictures and make The Welding Man come out and look at it and then take more pictures.

Be very glad I'm only posting these few.

Oooh aaah!

With the plastic urn that totally does NOT look like a plastic urn but looks like a vintage iron planter. And the tiny curly tendrils of dried vines. And the extremely low cost of my new garden vine ball...

I love everything about this little DIY.

Extreme close up! 

I should just start saying that the urn is a vintage iron thrift shop find that cost me an arm and a leg. But nah. Plastic and paint and more paint and some weather and then the big ol' decorative vine ball on top.

It hits all the bases for my favorite projects...it has color, texture, age and low cost. Plus, it went together in no time, about an hour.

I have other urns with plants in them...and more of those twisted vines....and embroidery hoops...and wire, and spray paint. I see more gorgeous vine balls in my garden future!

Crocheted Rocks? Yes, You Can.

Whenever we're on vacation either at the Oregon coast or alongside a beautiful Oregon river, I try to do an art project with natural stones. 

And here is one of those projects...crochet wrapped river rocks. LOVE how they turned out! The contrast between the lacy threadwork and the natural stones is just gorgeous.

I made these three as a gift for our vacation hosts. But first I had a great time photographing them in all kinds of natural settings!

As for directions.
 I just used a size 6 hook since it worked with regular crochet cotton thread
and made them just like the center of a normal crocheted doily with a flower motif.
Then I started filling in with simple chains to make the spiderweb looking areas.
Once the piece was big enough to cover the whole rock I pulled the end tight
around the back side  and knotted it off. 

I just love how they look nestled like Easter eggs in  wild places.

The subtle colors and vivid textures of these lace covered stones and lovely driftwood is one of my favorite photos.

Here they are in the river where the stones originally were found.

Oooh aaaah! 

And these aren't the only rock project I did while on vacation. Here's my post about paint pens and river rocks. I love how they came out, too!

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Glass Garden Balls DIY

By special and numerous requests, here you are, the tutorial for my glass garden balls ....originally posted in 2013!

My blog header shows my love of cobalt blue glass
 and I've added that love of blue glass to my garden art.

Years ago my family got me a big blue gazing ball for my 
daisy flowerbed and I knew I wanted more, more, more! 

But hey, those gazing balls are not cheap and they are surprisingly fragile. 

Basically they are just giant glass Christmas balls. 
And they break if they fall over.What to do?

My first idea involved a bowling ball and lots of glass half marbles from the Dollar Store. 
I got this idea from the Garden Junk forum over at Garden Web.

 I used Silicone II adhesive and  did a bit at a time, only glueing the gems
 on top and let the adhesive dry a bit the turning the ball and doing another little area.

 If you try to do the sides the gems will fall off before the adhesive sticks well, so slowly slowly.

 I LOVE how this came out!!! 

The bowling ball cost me $4 at a thrift store and I used about 6 bags of glass marbles.
The Silicone II cost $4.

 My first blue glass garden ball for about $14. I was hooked!

I snagged this round glass light fixture for 25 cents and knew it would be my next ball project.
 Dollar Store half marbles and garage sale finds gave me the blue glass I needed.
I decided to go with this Amazing Goop silicone adhesive because it was CHEAP.
 It is basically the same formula as  the Silicone II. The total cost on this 
pretty ball is less than $10.

This is definitely an OUTSIDE project since all the glues I've mentioned are incredibly smelly. 
Even outside I have a fan blowing across my work area to avoid the fumes. 
I settled on my front porch and started gluing. Put a small blob of glue on each
 individual marble, you do not have to goop it on. Smear a layer on the topmost 
area of your big ball and put your marble in place.

 I twist them a bit to make sure they stick together.


The adhesive does not set up instantly so you will have to do small areas
 of your ball and let it dry for several hours then turn it over to do
 the other sides. If you go too fast and  skip this step  you'll have
 glass marbles falling off all over the place! 

In this project patience will reward you with a beautiful art piece.

And done!!

Here she is (of course she's a lady! LOL!) nestled in a soft bed of creeping Jenny. 

A hot pink petunia will join her soon.

 I love the bright blue glass against my blue deck railings and house color.

Oooh ahhh!

And here is the first bowling ball I did 20 years ago!

 She's looking pretty good for her years.

Since then I have glued glass gems to lamp gloves, plastic Christmas balls, 
styrofoam craft balls, soft balls, plastic balls from Dollar Tree and even a hampster ball!

I am always looking for more round balls to decorate for my garden!