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Showing posts from November, 2010

Vintage Necklaces

 I love to wear necklaces and have quite a few, but if you buy them frequently, it can get expensive.  Usually I peruse the clearance racks and find a lot for a very good price, but sometimes, I just look in my jewelry box.  Many years ago when my Grandmother passed away, I inherited some of her costume jewelry.  Very cool stuff, but a lot of pins and clip on earrings.  I did wears some of the pins, but they aren't as versatile as a necklace.  What I did was to remove the pin backs and slip them on chains.  I got so many compliments and people always asked where I got them.  It is also a great way to pass down things to the next generation.

Paper Mache Reindeer

At this time of year, paper mache reindeer are usually in abundance at the craft stores.  They are in different shapes and sizes and either standing or sitting.  I have quite a few deer decorations for my tree and home, but this one that I made is one of my favorites.  It started with an unpainted deer, this one is a small size.  I cut a hole in the side and then painted the inside and outside a mixture of gold and pearl paint.  I hot glued in a few bits of felt snow and some plastic holly.  The hard part was finding a Santa ornament that was the correct size to fit in the deer.  I took off the ornament hook and then hot glued him inside.  The last part was adding on the ribbon to the front of the reindeer.  It would make a great gift, but I liked this too much to part with it.  Sometimes that happens!  Happy Holiday crafting, more ideas to come!

Little Trees and Polka Dot Cookies

This little trio of trees came in a bundle from the thrift store for a total of 1.19.  They were so cute, I had to get them.  I decided to paint them to look like Christmas cookies.  It was a quick project and they will look adorable on the kitchen counter. 
What next?  My staff loves it when I bake and lately, I have been getting requests for cookies at least once a week.  An awesome cook asked me to please bring him cookies any kind, so I got some white chips and made chocolate cookies.  The chips make them look like polka dots so that's why I called them Polka Dot Cookies.  The recipe is from the white chips bag, but I added a little something extra this time, just a touch of cayenne pepper.  They are not spicy at all, but you do get a hint of the flavor and chocolate and spice are a great combo! 
Lastly, since I had to make cookies anyways, I set a few aside for my mother in law.  Friday, she had to put her beloved dog Charlie down.  He was such a good dog. 
I decided to give h…


I am really not sure what this was, but now it is a love wall hanging.  I got it at a thrift store for.99.  There is a small hole at the top so it probably was something that was hung up, but for what purpose, I haven't a clue. 
I had a difficult time trying to decide what to do with this one, so it sat on the floor looking boring and sad for over a month.  Finally, I painted it a burnt orange and added the black design and the circles.  A word was necessary, but which one?  Hope?  My name?  Love?  That was it!  I redid the lettering a few times until settling on this style.  It fits with the black shapes and if you just glance at it quickly, the word doesn't jump out right away.  I liked that aspect, so I went with it.  L O V E!

Mini snowman decoration

So, today is black Friday and I didn't go shopping.  I actually never have.  To me it is crazy to get up at 3 or 4 in the morning to get something you probably don't need or something that your kids will forget about in a few months.  This is why I make so much stuff.  I enjoy the giving and when it is something you know they will love and treasure for years to come, that is more important than standing in a line with others and fighting over a toy or electronic product.  There, that is my rant for today, sorry!

Today we have a cute snowman ornament/decoration.  This did have a very pretty design to begin with, but I needed to make it into something else.  I painted it a beautiful blue and added a cute snowman.  It is a bit large for most trees, but it would also look nice on a door knob.  Get ready for plenty of holiday ideas soon.  My brain is full of projects.  Keep creating and using your imagination.  You will be surprised what you can come up with.

Happy Turkey Day!

Did everyone eat way too much today?  I did!  Every year, I am assigned the job of bringing rolls for Thanksgiving regardless of whether it is my family or my husbands.  I really can cook, but one year I made these rolls and now that is all anyone wants me to bring.  They are not from scratch, just frozen rolls, but I season them a bit.  I melt butter, add basil, oregano, garlic salt and Parmesan cheese.  It can't be fresh cheese it has to be the one in the green can, it's a texture thing.  After all of these items are mixed together, I dip the frozen rolls in it and then follow the package directions.  Simple, but tasty!

My small project besides the roll is a rustic looking tree wall hanging.  This wooden plank was free!  I made a tree stencil and painted it in brown then taped on the stripes and dry brushed the green.  A simple rustic look that can be used for Christmas or for a cabin.

This little piggy

Another Goodwill find, a cute little pig cutting board.  I know, a pig with a pink motif, but I love it paired with the black and white.  I am really not sure what to do with the finished product because he doesn't fit into my kitchen decor, but I do really like him!  Once again with the blocked design, but, I have always liked things like that.  HELLO!  Not a flower person!  As I look back over the years, I have realized how many times I actually have painted and drawn things in sections or block designs.  Most artist do have a style that they favor, this is mine.  So, here is my block style pink piggy.  Oink oink!

Turtle painting

I have begun making my Christmas gifts and normally I don't like to paint on canvas, but I had this and decided to something with it.  I should tell you my reasoning with the canvas.  Most of the time the surface isn't smooth and the fabric always has a give to it, so that is why I prefer wood items for painting.  The canvas used here however is mounted on a solid board so this one I actually liked.  It also measure 16x20 if you are interested at all.
Many friends and acquaintances like turtles, so, I have become pretty quick with drawing and painting them and I try to vary the shell when I do.  That is the funnest part!  For this one, color is the way that I accented the shell. 
This will be a gift for one of my nieces, but I'm not sure which one yet.  I am lucky to have family that appreciates the fact that I make most of my gifts.  They really seem to look forward to what I do next.  Fingers crossed that they like this one!

Tin Can Containers

The holiday season is upon us and my project list seems to grow everyday.  I am extra strapped for money this year and although I love making things and being creative, sometimes it is out of necessity. 
I wish I was like Oprah and could give away what she does, but, I live in the real world and so I make gifts and bargain shop. 

                                             When you make your gifts, you can also personalize what you give.  There is one here with a golf theme for my step-dad and Snoopy for my niece.  Just think about what the people in your life like and it makes your gift even better.
I made tin can gift containers this year and guess what!  They were free!  My job that pays the bills, is in a restaurant and all I had to do was ask the cooks to save some large tin cans for me.  Smaller cans work too, whatever you want to use.  Once I got them home, I soaked them, peeled off the labels and cleaned them.  I dug out my fabric basket, pinking shears, grabbed some ribbon, m…

Yum! Candy

Another calender page is done!  I am most familiar with the 80's version of this song by BowWowWow, but the original was done by The Strangeloves in the 60's.  I am thinking that this may be my December page, but I am not sure, we'll see how things work out once assembly time comes.  This is a catchy tune that will get stuck in your head for sure. 

Can you believe it?  I actually have a few days off at my regular job, Yeah!!!  I am looking forward to focusing on more projects and crossing some gifts off of my Christmas list this week.  I have too many things planned to make as usual, but it will all come together in the end.  It always does.

Kitchen Chair

I saw this project in a painting magazine quite a few years ago.  I really liked the idea of having chairs painted in all different styles.   So, I did it!  Here is my orange theme chair.  You can find old wooden dining chairs at most thrift stores for less than $5.00 each.  Garage sales are another option when the time of year permits or if you know friends that are moving, offer to take that extra "junk" out of their way. 

Basically, I sanded the chair lightly and came up with my color/motif idea.  This one reminds me of the fall colors.  Be sure to put a finish on things like this.  Chairs get a lot of abuse, so the paint needs to be protected.

Margaritaville page

I am officially half way through drawing my 2011 calender.  Today I added Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville to my growing stack of designs.  I have said in the past that my husband and I are Parrotheads, but for this one to go with my style, I did a more modern type design.  It still has a tropical feeling to it.  Makes me think that I may need a Margarita after work tonight.  Fins up!

In a nut shell

I am tired!  A lot of work lately and little creative time is wearing me down.  My mind is overflowing with ideas, but I do need to sleep at some point.  Hm...if I could just be creative to pay the bills, I wouldn't need a full time job! :) 
I have three small projects for today.  I bought some walnuts and got inspired by some ideas from my youth.  These are all simple and make great gifts or decorations in addition to ribbons
The first one is a whole walnut painted red.  Add a few white dots and a green ribbon stem/hanger and you have a cute strawberry ornament.
Next use a whole walnut again and paint it black.  Hot glue it to a medium sized yellow button.  Paint a white oval on it and add a nose and a beak.  Adorable penguin decoration!
The final idea is with halved walnuts.  This one is trickier because you need to split it in two and keep them intact.  DON'T USE A NUT CRACKER!  I used the small metal pick that comes with the nutcracker to gently pry the nut open.  Once it is …

Oh Cutting Board Christmas Tree

Here is another cutting board that I found at a thrift store for a few bucks.  I used bright red and then cut out a tree stencil for the design.  I painted the tree in white and then made quilt-like shapes in shades of green.  Outlined them in white and made different patterns in each block.  A splash of green dots and gold swirls around the tree and you have a simple holiday wall/door hanging.  With the addition of a candy cane striped ribbon to finish it off.

Flower Container

I really liked this container when I saw it.  The painting was very nice, but I felt it could use more color.  This project was finished awhile ago, but I forgot about it and had thought that it was posted already.  Oops!

The natural wood on this container was really nice, so other than the two sides, it was left in its original state.  My picture didn't quite capture the details of the painted flowers, but it turned out just the way I wanted it to.  This is another Christmas gift that will be filled with baked goods.  Most likely for one of my sister in laws. 


I did a side table with some left over curtains from where I used to live, but a lot of the fabric was still left over.  I decided it would be a great curtain by the front door.  Previously, it had the standard white sheer panel that many people put up.  Well, I need a bit more of a dramatic look, so, I took down the old one, put it on the floor next to my fabric to measure the length and added a few inches on each end for the pocket that fits the curtain rod.  It took all of 30 minutes and now my front door has a look that is me and it was a free project.

Butterfly Picture

Sometimes, when I get bored, I like to just draw for no reason.  Just doodle and see what I can come up with.   Many times I use my stencils and just embellish butterflies.  I have a lot of friends that love them, so it's great to have extra projects around just in case I need a gift.  This one, I like for myself.  I am not a huge collector of butterflies, but their shapes and patterns are an inspiration to my work.  The frame is also a thrift store find.  The wood looked a bit beat up, so I just painted it black.  I usually paint frames black just because it compliments much of my work.


Today was the first snow of the season and it wasn't flurries, we got a lot!  Not a fun time driving, but it never is with snow on the road.  The project for today is a shovel.  I got this at the Goodwill, it was new and unfinished.  It was a quick and easy thing to paint and great for hanging on your front door.  I didn't want to paint it in dull colors because winter can be so colorless and bleak, so I used a bright green for the shovel and red for the handle.
The candy striped ribbon added a nice accent to finish it off.  I think I got it for 1.99 but don't remember exactly and it stands about 18 inches tall.

Thank you

This year I made a goal for myself to read 12 books, one for each month.  When I was younger, I loved to read, but you work, live your life and forget about things like this.  So, it is November and I am on book number 9 and almost finished with it, it's time to speed read soon!  Book number 8 was Eat, Pray, Love and I borrowed it from a friend.  This book slowed my down, it was harder for me to get into it because it wasn't written like a mystery novel or adventure story.  I enjoyed it but I wasn't reading it thinking ooh what's going to happen next.  It read more like a diary or blog to me.  The reason I have it in my blog is because it took me 2 months to finish it, I thought that it would be appropriate to thank my friend with a treat and a hand drawn card.  A small gesture to show that I am thankful for her loan. 

Red, white, black & blue

First of all, thank you to all of the veterans out there!  I truly appreciate your sacrifices and bravery!  Happy Veterans Day!

Yesterday, I posted a fun painted wooden bottle and while I was working on it was looking at another small object and thought it would be nice to have a set of similar pieces.  This was an old wooden cutting board, I am guessing probably for cheese, the shape is nice and it cost about .50 and for some reason, I cannot locate the before picture for this one, sorry.  The circles and colors kind of remind me of American Indian turquoise designs and a bit of Japanese design. 

**Just a side note to any other crafters or artists out there, always sign and date your work!

Milk Bottle Art

I got this at a thrift store for a 1.40.  As with many of my projects, I repainted it a few times before I settled on this design.  The bottle is about a foot tall and is a great accent for the wall between the two bedroom doors.  Gotta have my bright colors and black and white designs.  Sometimes when I am working on a painting project like this, I just look at it and a pattern or idea just speaks to me.  I am sure a lot of artist work this way as well. 

More great ideas to come!  Stay tuned!

A little wine today

Red Red Wine by UB40 has been one of my very favorite songs for a very long time.  It always brings back fond memories of when I lived in California.  It reminds me of good friends. 

It is also the inspiration for next page for the 2011 food and beverage calender.  I have also been debating whether or not to include a CD this year with my calender.  I think it might be a great addition and a great way for everyone to be able to hear what my inspirations were. 

I think I need a little wine right now!  MMM...Red Red Wine!

Inspiring sky

Today, I had to run a few errands.  It was right around the time that the sky is starting to dim, the clouds were wispy and it was beautiful.   I love sunsets!  The sky was mostly a soft blue with a hint of pink and yellow.  This made me think about painting, so I went home and gathered up my stuff. 

This piece of wood was a find at a home improvement store.  They always have odds and ends of cut wood that are next to nothing for cost.  This one was less than a dollar and a really nice heavy piece of oak.  I just brushed on yellow and pink and let them mingle together a bit for the sunset effect.  Then added the palm trees. 

A little background about the trees, my husband is a HUGE Jimmy Buffett fan and has got me into the music as well.  Before I met him, I really didn't do much for tropical, but he got me involved in the fan club and once they found out about my art, they started calling me for items that would be auctioned off for charity.  Now, 10 years later, I can paint a pa…

Turkey towel

This is my newest embroidery project, just in time for Thanksgiving .  I got the towels at Joann Fabrics and used my weekly coupon to get a great deal.  The iron on patterns were from a package that had twelve designs, one for each month.  This is September and November, but make a great set for fall holiday time.  I am not hosting Thanksgiving, but for the person who is this year, they will be the perfect hostess gift tucked in a basket with rolls.  

I always make my rolls every year because if I didn't, my husband's family would disown me.  I will post my simple recipe closer to turkey day for everyone, that is if anyone actually is reading this yet!   I love giving things like this because not only is it something handmade, it is also very practical.

Christmas ideas starting today!

As a creative person and crafter, you need to start planning projects early.  I usually buy presents throughout the year and set them aside.  It is not as stressful the holidays come around if you already have a good portion of your presents bought or made.  This is my first Christmas entry for my blog, well if you don't count my calender pages.  I got this at the Goodwill for .99.  I removed the ribbon and rope from it and redid it in my style.  I didn't use a stencil for the lettering, it is all freehand.  I used to hate doing lettering, but now I have a lot of different styles that I can decorate with and I find it fun to embellish them.  I'm still not sure if this will be a gift or an addition to my collection of decorations, but either way, it is a cute wall hanging.  It measures about 12 inches wide and about 8 inches tall. 

TV Dinners

ZZ Top is the musical artist used for the current calender page that I just finished.  They have a song called TV Dinners.  I started to get more ideas as I searched the web for songs that were food related.  When I saw this one, I immediately got a picture in my head.  That to me was a sign that this was a good choice.  So, here is my fourth page for the 2011 Songs about food calender.

Fall Runners

I love the fall, the vibrant colors of the trees are beautiful and very inspiring.  I don't have a lot of fall type ideas, but I do have a few. 
This is a project that can also be done year round.  I make runners for my tables.  It is a great way to bring seasonal colors into your home.  The nice thing about making them is that they will be the perfect size for your tables.  I like to look for discount fabrics or use those handy Sunday coupons for a better deal.  You could also use old curtains from the thrift store.  Many older drapery are made of beautiful fabric that would cost you an arm and a leg in a regular store, but are budget friendly at a thrift shop.
Basically, I measure the width of the table and subtract about 2 inches, then measure the length and add about 14 inches.  You can do more or less depending on how much overhang that you like.  I take my measurements and use my rotary cutter, ruler and cutting mat to get the size right.  I like to cut 2 so that the runner i…