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Showing posts from January, 2011

Big frame, no budget!

As of right now I have pretty much zero money.  I am starting to scour my home for things to do.  I don't usually like to get too personal, but I currently do not have a job and don't qualify for unemployment.  Believe me, I am looking.  So, I am asking if anyone is out there, let me know if you have any items that you would like to give new life to.  I will continue to create things every day no matter what even if I have to paint the kitchen sink. 

OK, enough with the sob story and on to today's creative endeavour.  This frame is 18 x 24 and was something that I got a while ago at the Goodwill for 1.49.  It was plain white and the artwork was old and dated.  Purple was the color chosen to repaint the frame.  Now for the really challenging part, I don't have any paper that large, but I wanted to do a cool drawing.  What I ended up doing was taping a few pieces of paper together for my base design, it didn't have to look pretty.  I drew a design using some stencils…

Black and Blue Snowflakes

Ah winter in Minnesota!  We have had a lot of snow this year and this design is snowflake based.  There is a contest that I am entering this week for snowflake design.  You can use any medium that you would like the only requirement is that it be no larger than 12 x 12 for display purposes.  I doodled until I came up with this 'snowflake.'  At this time I don't know if I want to submit the black design or the one that I did in the blue outline.  Both are very unique.  I have to admit after making the first design, I traced it for the second one, but as an artist sometimes you need to do that to get things just right.  If anyone is reading this a comment or two would be helpful in my decision.  The deadline is on Wednesday of this week.  It would be nice to get some kind of recognition for my art other than friends and family telling me how talented I am.  It keeps me going, but sometimes it would be nice to hear it from someone who judges and critiques art.  No matter what…

Under the influence

The other day, I went to my local library.  As I was browsing through the stacks, I came across a craft book with Mary Engelbreit designs.  Her artwork has always been something that I enjoyed and my style is similar to some of the things that she does.  I don't know about other artists, but sometimes when I look at things like this, it sparks ideas for me.  They influence my art and that is why many times a certain artist may be reflected in the project of the day.  I also checked out a book on Peter Maxx so that will probably be something that I will be blogging about in the near future. 
My posting for today is a drawing and the frame it is in was a thrift store find.  The frame is 8 x 8 and was purple to begin with.  Originally I painted it black, but after I drew the designs, decided that red with yellow dots was the way to go.  With the influence of Ms. Engelbreit, the color scheme was perfect.  Hey Mary, if you ever see this maybe you could hire me as an assistant!  Hint hi…

Another mirror

I know, another mirror, but I love them!  Goodwill bargain once again, can you believe it?  For reference, the size of this project is about 6 x 18. 
There was a coffee cup design that wasn't bad but after looking at it closer, I realized that it was a piece of paper glued onto a board.  I took the mirror apart to paint it and liked it better without the insert on the top.  It still needed something so I added this letter 'D' ornament that I had.  To begin with it was painted tan and then the spots were painted on in purple.  The finished project remind me of a leopard print.  To add on the ornament I used a small eye screw and then used a couple of jewelry findings to attach the letter.  Oops, forgot to clean the mirror. 

Confetti Lamp

Sometimes you can find the perfect addition to your home but the color is off.  Can of paint to the rescue!  For less than ten dollars you can find the color that works for you. 

Most thrift stores have an abundance of out of date objects that need a face lift.  I got a dusty pink lamp for 1.49 on Tuesday at the Goodwill.  I also forgot to take a picture of it when it was pink.  To go with my bold hued decor, I painted it bright red and then added small dots in various colors to get the look of confetti.  A lot of what this blog is about is redoing old objects to fit in with what you have.  You can also change what you have to get an updated look.  This is great when you have almost zero for a budget. 

So far neither of the lamps I've painted have shades, but once they do, I will post the pictures.  Yeah!!!  More projects!


Today, I was bummed out and feeling down.  It can be difficult to come up with something creative when your stressed about your life, but after sulking for a while, I decided to make a project that is cheerful.  The frame was .69 at a thrift store and the felt I always have laying around.  This project has been in my head for a while now and tonight seems as good a time as any.  The frame was painted a few weeks ago, but the right word had not come to me yet.  I figured it out this afternoon.  It was smile!  I cut out the letters and blanket stitched it all together then looped the felt thought the frame and sewed it together.  I think it will hang in my bathroom right by the mirror as a reminder everyday.

Here are few quotes that hopefully will make you smile

---A laugh is a smile that bursts - Mary H Waldrip
---All you need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt - Charles M Schultz (my childhood idol)

---A smile is a face-lift that's in everyone's price ra…

Tropical Table

Remember I mentioned some time ago that people mostly want me to paint things for them in a tropical theme...well, here is another one and I promise you that after this I will go onto new ideas.  Actually I have something in the works that is the opposite of tropical.  I'll save that for another day.  Someone in the Parrothead club asked me to paint a small table for his wife.  There were two Jimmy Buffett songs that she liked and wondered if I could incorporate one or both on the table.  I was able to do both and it really turned out well.  My favorite part is the top with the sunset. 
The design was inspired by a postcard that I had from Hawaii.  I have a box full of postcards that I save from trips or from friends and relatives travels.  You never know when something in there may be useful.  Sometimes I must sound like a pack rat with the things that I save, but it is all very organized and I only save things that I could use.  I don't have boxes full of old Christmas light…

Parrothead Chair

This is the finished chair for the Parrot head auction in March.  Typically any where from 225.00 - 350.00 is raised from the auction for the chairs that I paint.  It is a great way to use my talents to help others without a monetary donation because I am not always able to give money.  I generally don't have much extra after the bills are paid but doing this makes me feel good and gives others enjoyment.  Here are a few views of the chair.  Here you can see the gecko design that inspired my painting.  The places listed on the seat are either in Jimmy Buffett songs or locations that are associated with him and his music.  St. Minnesomeplace is the Minnesota club that I do all of my painting for.  The website with more information about the club and the causes it supports is:

Felt Owl Magnets

Here is a quick cute project that is great for felt scraps.  Take two pieces of felt, cut out U shape and then at the top cut a smaller U for ears.  Cut out two random circles and a small triangle shape.  Using a simple blanket stitch, attach the eyes and beak then add on the beads, sew the two sides together.  I like to use a contrasting color of embroidery floss to make the stitches stand out more.  Hot glue a magnet to the back and you have some adorable owls to hang out on your fridge.  You don't need to go to the store to buy magnets, use the ones that come in the mail with all of those coupons that you never use or the ones that you have accumulated from friends and family that are attached to their business cards.  I told you to look for more owls and I still have more owl ideas to come.  Keep reading!

Tiki Time!

As I have mentioned recently, there is a large project that is in the works.  It is for a Parrot head charity auction in March.  This is the small portion, a foot rest that goes with an Adirondack chair.  After some trial and error, it finally came together last night.  I was up later than anticipated, but it turned out well.  There is a challenge in painting things like this because of the slats.  If you do a design that is too small or too complex, the details are usually lost, so bigger is better.  The flowers were a last minute addition because it looked a bit monotone with just brown and green.  Being tropical, color is the order of the day.  Hopefully the chair will be finished in the next day or so, but I am stuck right now with the design.  If I sleep on it, something will come to me.  Fins up!  It's Tiki time!

Favorite T-shirt

I have mentioned in the past that my husband got me interested in Jimmy Buffett.  Well, my all time favorite concert t-shirt was from one of his concerts and it got ruined.  The design was cool, it was a beautiful shade of yellow instead of the usual black, grey or white.  Because I loved the design so much, I decided to paint it onto a wooden tray.  Yet another find from the thrift store for a few bucks.  It was more difficult than I thought it would be, but as you can see it turned out good.  The original shirt is gone but I found a picture of it online so you can see what the inspiration was.

Gecko Painting

  Lately, I have been working on an Adirondack chair and foot rest.  It is for a Parrot head charity auction in March so it has to be a tropical theme.  As I was deciding what to do, I came across a picture of a gecko wall decoration and thought it would be perfect.  I painted a gecko on each arm of the chair from a stencil.  Once the chair is finished, a picture will be posted so you can see how I used the gecko design there.  Enough background story, on to the post for today.  I started to think that these cute creatures would make a great addition to my tropical bathroom decor.  This is a 16 x 20 canvas that I had in the basement just gathering dust.  I used my homemade stencils and painted them in bright colors.  It's fun and bright and will look great on the wall once I find a good frame.

Needles & Pins

This was a .69 deal at a thrift store.  At first it was going to be something baby or kid related because of the teddy bears but I wasn't sure.  The box is about 4 x 6 and about an inch tall so not a lot could really fit into it. 
Tonight, I was looking at it and it hit me.  If some batting and fabric were added, it would be a great pin cushion and also could be used to store the pins.  Brainstorm!  So, I cut the fabric to size and glued it on to the top then added a small ribbon to pull up the lid.  It was snug now with the fabric.  When it was first purchased, I painted it so that step was unnecessary today.  The total time spent on this was probably 30 minutes!  I still don't know what to do with all of the teddy bear pieces, but will eventually figure that out.

Updating what you have

Instead of buying new furniture, sometimes just changing it can give it an updated look.  This was a bench that I had purchased about five years ago at a thrift store.  It was originally green and the top was white vinyl.  I painted it gold and added the tan jungle fabric.  It looked fine in my old house, but in my newer home, it just looked boring.  I added some brown paint on the sides and changed the fabric to a bright tropical print.  It is amazing how changing it made such a difference in the room.  It really popped!  
Painting and upholstery are a lot more budget friendly than buying new stuff and this way you are able to customize it perfectly for your home.

Don't know what to call this.

  Here is another cutting board.  It was .80 at a thrift store and was in really poor condition.  I debated about what to do because my inspiration has been a bit lacking lately, so I used a design that was from a chair I painted a few years ago.  It was one of my favorites, but it broke so it had to be tossed.  The entire back snapped off and it ended up in the fire pit.  Before it was gone forever, we took a picture of it, so that was my inspiration for today.  The design really reminds me of a cross between Van Gogh's cypress and Tim Burton's movies.  Weird, but cool, at least I think so.

Owl picture

I have a quick small project right now because I am also working on two larger designs.  The frame used for this was only a few dollars from a thrift store.  It had a tulip pattern that I didn't really like, so with a bit of paint I was able to cover it up.  I cannot find the original picture for the frame, but it had tulips carved into it and was green.  If you look close you can see bits of the tulips that are now somewhat covered up. 
For the picture I just drew a cute little owl.  This is going along with my recent interest in 70's design.  Owls were a huge influence in everything from jewelry to fabric to pottery back then.  This design could transfer easily into other things.  Possibly some kind of felt project or even a cute set of note cards.  Time will tell, you never know how inspiration will hit you.

Think Tropical

Gotta love winter in Minnesota!  It reminds me of a Jimmy Buffett song called Boat Drinks.  "I shot six holes in my freezer, I think I've got cabin fever, I've gotta go where its warm!"  Well, I am not able to go someplace warm, so I have to think tropical.  This project is scrap wood and my picture is really bad, I just couldn't get a good shot, but you get the idea.  It is influenced by a Buffett album called Banana Wind the cover has a picture similar to this.
Dream sequence...Tropical breezes blowing palm trees, sitting on the beach with a margarita, the smell of sunscreen...
Back to today's project.  After painting the trees, I added on hooks that are very cheap, but functional.  It is now in my garage with grill supplies hanging from it and awaiting for the summer sun and warm weather.

Baby Card

Long day today and I am tired, so, just a quick entry.  Tomorrow is the baby shower for my wonderful cousin Tammy.  The whole family is excited for her because this has been something that she and her husband have wanted for quite some time.  I posted the bear that is going to be her gift and today I am posting the card that goes with it.  Growing up Tammy and I were very close and this shower is an important event for me.  Babies are such a blessing and I cannot wait to meet my new second cousin!

Idea from a mishap

Earlier today, I made note of the project from yesterday falling off of the wall.  After I set it on my table another idea came to mind from the mishap.  Place mats or table centerpiece for theme gatherings would also work for the Cd cases.  It took six Cd's to make this and you wouldn't even have to use empty cases, just temporarily remove the front booklet or info sheet and replace with the appropriate theme for the day.  They are assembled with duct tape, so it can be removed after the event is over.  I did a few mock ups as examples.  Valentines Day is approaching so I cut out some hearts from felt and paper and slid the designs into the covers.  I also save Christmas cards, you never know what you can use them for so after finding the pictures that I liked, they were cut to size for the place mat.  The last one is an old calender of MC Escher pictures that I had kept because I love his art. 
The ideas are endless!  Spring or Fall you can gather leaves and use them.  Fabri…


So, yesterday, I posted a great project, but at about 3 am, I was awoken to it tumbling off of the wall!  I need to figure out a better way to hang it now.  It does look really nice as a table top decoration.  Oh!  That gives me another idea.  Will post again later with a new project.  Just had to update my last one.  Live and learn!

CD Case Wall Hanging

Who doesn't have empty CD cases laying around.  You lost or damaged the CD, but don't want to throw out the case.  Here is a cool idea.  I took 16 empty cases and duct taped them together.  I cut out yellow paper to fit in the cover of 12 of them and drew pictures for the other four.  Instant art with a unique frame.  I did my own drawings, but you could use photos or put in your kids artwork, anything that you can think of.  I used duct tape to add a hanger in the back for ease in putting it on the wall.  You could also do a smaller version by using only three or four cases and putting them in a straight row to hang vertically or horizontally.  In the future, I might put something to brace the Cd's a bit more, but in general the results are good.  The possibilities are endless with a bit of imagination.

Felt and a Frame

Quite a few posts ago, I painted a square frame and decided that it was fine the way it was with no picture.  As I started working with felt the other day, an idea occurred to me, I could make a small felt piece to fit the frame.  I cut out some small triangles and assembled them to look like an orange.  The frame had that as a design element and it was a fun quick little project.

Retro Pillow

I took all of the pieces from yesterday and debated whether or not to make them into a wall hanging, but finally decided on a pillow.  The colors and pattern really remind me of something from the 70's. 

As a creative person, sometimes you get a streak of inspiration from different things.  I have the 1970's in my brain right now and have been looking on the Internet for inspiration from that era.  Keep reading and you will see my retro designs soon.  Actually, while trying to find the Seventies decor and patterns, it made me realize that some of my style of drawing is definitely influenced by this decade and also by the late Sixties.  I won't be using any avocado green or harvest gold, the brighter colors are more of my preference and of course black and white.  Keep on truckin'

Felt Flowers

Every now and then I get the urge to make things with felt.  It is easy to use, economical, and versatile.  I went to Hancock Fabrics the other day and spent five dollars on felt in various colors.  I have a lot of ideas in my head for felt right now, so you will be seeing quite a few in the coming weeks.  Today, I cut out different colored circles using quarters and half dollars as guides and made twelve flower patches.  This is step one and took a lot of time.  For tomorrow, the finished project will be posted.  I just used a blanket stitch to sew the flowers.  Contrasting colors was the key to making this more fun.  I think it kind of has a 70's feel to it.


Today, I am having a difficult time finding my creativity.  This past year has not been easy for my husband and I, but we have muddled through it.  Most days I try to keep a good attitude, but today, was a hard one for me.  I don't want to divulge the details because so many people out there have things a lot worse than we do.  My troubles are small in comparison to so many tragedies around the world. 

 So today, let's discuss inspiration.  A former co-worker of mine is truly one of the most inspirational people that I know.  Yesterday, I got a wonderful card from her in the mail.  She has a heart of gold and has always gone out of her way to give a little.  Most times it's just a note with a wonderful quote and a thank you for being who you are.  Sometimes it comes with a few pieces of chocolate.  Positive words and chocolate, how could that not bring a smile to your face. 
Today, I am not posting a project, but an idea.  Pass along some love and inspiration to someon…

Denim Teddy Bear

One of my cousins is pregnant and the baby shower is in a week.  I debated what to do for her and finally decided on a Teddy Bear.  I posted about this pattern previously but this time, my fabric selection is a bit different.  From my favorite, the Goodwill, I got a denim curtain panel for 1.49.  The fabric is really soft and was plenty to make two bears, one for another friend due later this year.  Instead of just using the obvious 'front' of the fabric, I reversed some of it.  It has a great two-toned effect.  For an extra bit of interest I added a few patches on the bear.  My cousin is waiting to find out if she is having a boy or girl, so with the denim it work for either.  I still need to add a ribbon around the neck, but haven't found anything I like yet.  Most likely it will be red or blue.  Hope she likes it!