Monday, December 23, 2013

Quick weekend Projects

I've been remiss in updating my blog...again.  I can't believe I haven't posted since August when I couldn't believe I hadn't posted since March...where does the time go!  In my defense, my quirk get in my way.  I have this 'thing' about doing things in order which totally goes against my carefree willy-nilly attitude.  Although I'd love to totally embrace that bohemian rule-breaking care-free side of me as I get older the more my personality disorder...idiosyncrasy...quirks get the better of me. 

I just need to get over myself.  
Nobody is the boss of me here so I can do what I want, when I want and how I is MY blog after all.

When I started this blog I also started my Project 50 as I was heading into the celebration of my first half century of life and although I didn't fully realize all my goals I did accomplish a lot and I'm in a much better place emotionally and spiritually then I have been in a very long time.  I'm continuing this project into this next year with Project Me

Three months ago I embarked on a wellness plan with several of my co-workers that was paid for by my employer and although I volunteered begrudgingly I've had great success and it was really just the kick in the ass I needed to begin to take care of me.  Both of my kids left the nest about the same time so all my excuses were wiped out, I could have made up a few but I decided to take advantage of the opportunity.  I met my 10 week goal of losing 25 pounds and as of now, three weeks post program I'm down 32 pounds and walk about 3 miles a day and I'm feeling better then I have in more then two...three decades.  I'm motivated to keep going, during the program we had to identify our seven vital needs, two of mine are needing to have a project to work on and time walking satisfies both. 

Speaking of walking time has cut into my creative project time but I did two quick ones over the weekend that I'm going to share.  Those that know me also know I'm a collector of junk...stuff...treasures that feed my ever growing list of 'thing I wanna make'.  Several months ago at a yard sale I purchased two small-ish pillows I bought for throw pillows on my couch...and threw them on my couch.  Plain.  There they sat, plain, unadorned, for months...but I had intentions!  My couch is a hand-me-down from a friend and it's just plain ugly tan microfiber crap material and I hate it, but hey it's still good, and it fits, and I'm too cheap to buy new. Now that the kids are gone maybe I will but until then I found two great floral print Waverly fabric covers that I love and it gives me the French country cottage feel that I love.  While out thrifting over the weekend I found two sweaters that I thought would look good on my forgotten pillows and they were only $2.29 a piece!  A blue chenille one and olive wool one with flowers all over it.

I turned them inside out and pulled my sewing machine out, I put the pillow on the inside out sweater and kinda eyeballed how big of a square I'd need.  I used a narrow zig-zag stitch to sew my square then unbuttoned them and turned the right side out, stuffed my pillow inside and buttoned it back up. 

Of course I forgot to take a pic of the blue one before sewing and hacking but here it is with the other plain pillow before I stuffed it into the other sweater

Both of my new fru fru pretty throw pillows.  I'm kinda diggin' them, and I can change them whenever I want...and find new pretty sweaters. 

The bonus?  I still have the sleeves to make boot toppers with!

Something else caught my eye at the thrift shop, a skinny silver belt that I thought would make a great bracelet.  I cut it to size and you know what?

  I was right!


Friday, August 9, 2013

Daisy Dragonfly

It seems that my blogging has been on hiatus for some time now but I certainly didn't realize it's been since March since I've posted anything!  I could unleash a thousand excuses but in the end it doesn't matter, what does matter is getting back on the horse, time to saddle up! I've been doing plenty of projecting during my absence but my chronicling and editing pics for posting I wasn't so good at.  The best way to get back in the water is to just jump so I'm jumping. 
 (Wonder how many more cliches I can put here)

I'll post the projects completed as I find, collect and edit all the pics for them, I did quite a few projects for our local Habitat ReStore's Upcycle Challange!  I made several of these dragonflies for the challenge and due to an error, someone who'd bid on the daisy one didn't get it and she was disappointed so Karen, the store Manager asked if I'd make her one, which I did, and I think it's my favorite!

One of my blog crushes is the Lucy Designs Blog
which is where I saw her gorgeous dragonflies made with fan blades.  She has since had such great success she uses regular plywood now for hers but the originals were make from fan blades.  Check out her photo gallery to see how incredibly talented she is!
I was out of blades and body parts (table legs, rail balusters, etc...) so a quick trip to the ReStore and I was ready to craft!  I came home with a toilet paper holder, some blades and a few rail balusters for the body. 

I glued marbles in the sockets of the TP holder for the eyes and used marbles for the end of her spiraled wire antennas.  The buttons are made from two sets of knob back-plates (from the ReStore too) and I painted the smaller set blue to match the wings.

I cut one end of the baluster off to create the tapered end, then topped it off with a vintage doorknob I also found at the ReStore.  Two scrolled knob back-plates I pillaged rescued from an end table on someone's curb and two more blue ones adorn the body.
I dropped her off at the ReStore so she could be picked up by her new owner and I hope she loves her as much as I did.

I'm joining a link party with another of my blog crushes, Gail over at My Repurposed Life

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Watercolor my world

On a recent outing to our favorite spot, our local ReStore, I found an original watercolor painting that was framed and I loved it.  Watercolors is a medium I've never been able to conquer but I'm in love with the inherent softness achieved with them so I bought it!  The $30 price tag was a bit steep but I was in luck because red tags were 75% off that week.  SCORE!  

I was in love with the picture but the frame itself had a lot to be desired.  It was just a plain.  As we made out way through the store I found another stack of pictures and found this ugly sailboat picture that used to hang in our Red Lobster.  It was $15 and another red tag 75% discount score.   The picture was alright if you're a sailing kind a person I suppose, but the frame was beautiful!  It had little holes all around it where they nailed it to the wall but they were fixable.  I eyeballed them both and judged them to be the same size so I figured a little paint and this frame would be perfect for this watercolor.  

I used my white chalk paint left over from the bench project for the first two coats, then I made up a green that was the same color as a green in the painting and covered the white with green.  I thought revealing the white beneath the green would look great!


I put it aside for a few days and then decided to recover it with white and reveal a little green beneath.  I've been seeing different techniques for distressing and one of them was to use Vaseline where you don't want paint to stick and thought I'd try it.  Discovering we had none, and I wasn't buying any to smear on my furniture.  I remembered something I'd had success with in the past, and that is to use a candle to coat areas in wax that paint won't adhere too, so I waxed my frame kinda willy nilly.  I covered the green with another layer of white and when dried I sanded it lightly and all my green bits began to come through!  I coated it with a few coats of wax and buffed it to a sheen but I still wasn't happy with it.  I then tried a little glaze and did a little more sanding and I think I'm happy with it now.  

Of course my eyeballing judgement was off as they weren't the same size, the watercolor was about 1/2 inch larger then the sailboat so I had to do a little nip and tucking to get it to fit.   I really like the end result!

 Now, where to hang it!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Project Catch-up and the Winter Blues

I confess...I haven't abandoned my blog or my projects, I've just been in a bit of a funk! 

After the hoop-a-la of the holiday season and life settles back into normalcy is about the time my SAD kicks in. I know I'm not alone in my battle of this disorder and I've heard many friends remark this season about how it effects them, and read many bloggers who seem to be suffering from it as well. 

For me, it manifests in anxiety and depression...the depression I can logically deal with because I know it's there, underwriting my emotions and I can fight that inner demon. Anxiety is the much bigger issues for me because it takes me so long to recognize it. My imagination takes over and feeds on that anxiety and pretty soon whatever trigger (something I've heard, read or seen) has been activated eventually takes on a life of their own. My latest spiral was last week, after seeing a student with a car issue in the parking lot (his whole front wheel/tire fell off or broke) I immediately 'heard/felt' something in my truck and I thought it would happen to me next. I shook that thought off and ordered it out of my head and I hoped that the student could have it repaired without too much of a strain on his finances. That thought soon began to spiral in my head and by the end of the day I could hardly breath. I couldn't figure out why I was so worked chest was tight and I felt like I was on the verge of tears all day. It hit me late that afternoon...when I took a moment to catch my breath and collect my spirit and I realized that my inner trouble-seeker already had me jobless/homeless/divorced and alone because something happened to my vehicle that insurance wouldn't cover, so I had no vehicle to get to job means no money to pay bills...which means I'd lose my house and everything else. Irrational much? Once I recognized the anxiety trigger I could deal with it...and I did...and that inner trouble-maker hasn't made a reappearance since then. 

Spring is right around the corner thankfully! 

Today I'm going to share a couple of projects from Christmas that I didn't share earlier.  

Curb Alert is another of the blogs I follow and when I saw this project pop up in my feed it spoke to me for some reason.  I pinned that baby!

Picture frame wreath from Curb Alert

Why?  No clue!  I'm not even one of those decorating chic's...I like cool things, but putting them together in my house to create a 'decorating style' of my own but I thought "I could do that!" so I began my hunt for an oval frame.  I wasn't very lucky in that search so with about 2 weeks to go before Christmas I had to switch tactics.  

I found this among all of my treasures and figured it would do just fine, even though the frame wasn't as substantial as I would have liked. 

 I took it all apart and grabbed a can of spray paint and went to town.  It took about 3 coats but it covered well.   

I found these great ornaments at the Dollar Tree, some ribbon from my stash an next thing I knew I had a great new quirky wreath!  


I just wish I had thought to take pictures of it on my actual door!  

Traditionally I don't buy gifts for my circle of friends and co-workers for the holidays.  I don't know why, perhaps it all feels so phony and trivial to me.  I hate feeling obligated to buy something for someone because it's the holiday!  I prefer to gift my friends with things throughout the year...something special because I've thought of them or knew they'd love something!  I have in the past picked one item to mass produce for the holiday gifting season and this year I found my project on Facebook of all places.  One of the pages I stumbled upon belongs to Charlotte and her Roma Land Woodcrafts page.   She has a shop in Tennessee and does the cutest decorative painting on wood and other found objects. 

She painted wineglasses turned upside down to look like snowmen and then used the bottom of the wine glass as a stand for a candle.  They were super cute and I thought I could take that idea and take it one step farther. 

Another of my holiday traditions is making treats to gift, you know...cookies, candies etc...  I figured if I glued a plate or bowl to the upside down stemware it would make a great container for the goodies.  I got all my craft paints out and went to town on my snowmen. 

They all got faces with noses all pointing different directions so they are all different.

They all got a hat next which is where some of their personalities began to emerge.  Most of them were painted willy-nilly but a few were done with particular people in mind. 

Next I glued on some plates and bowls I had collected in my thrifting and yard-sale adventures. 

One of the dishes filled with baklava, cheese straws, Christmas crack and a few types of cookies.   

I wrapped them all in Saran Wrap and ribbon and they were ready for gifting!  

It's been a particularly hard year at work and thought some of my co-workers could use a little pick-me-up and I do believe they all loved them!  

I'm linking up the one of my blog crushies, Gail over at My Repurposed Life even though I'm a linky failure...somehow my pic didn't show!  I figure all this bloggy stuff out one day!

Thanks for the idea Charlotte!