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Thursday, September 7, 2017

Beaded Watering Can

Another day another project. This time I took my inspiration from a Pinterest image. Click HERE. Sometimes there is just that one thing that catches your eye and you can’t forget it. I have it hanging outside now and I really love how it came together.

I will have to bring it in when the rainy season begins. We get a lot of rain and because of that, algae tends to grow. I don’t want that all over the beads and crystals. Might give it that aged look, but not this time and not this project. The cracked glass beads I found on this SITE, and there is so much to see there, it’s a great place to hang out. The shipping is very fast, I think they must have a US source to ship from, because they are based in China. The prices are very good and having ordered a few times, I can say with confidence that they are reliable.

I had a bit of a puzzle to figure out how to attach the strands of beads to the spout. After trying a few different ways, I finally settled on feeding the fishing line (use a heavier brand if you decide to do this), from the bottom up of each strand. I added the tiny bead at the bottom and then ran a double line of cord through the beads.

Then I fed those through the holes in the spout and out through the back of the spout. Good thing the spouts come off. Then I had to use a large eye, long needle to feed the cord back through the holes in the center of the spout to come out at the front. I added a small bead and a crimp and that’s how I did each one. When they are hanging down, you can’t really see the center unless you go looking for it.

I didn’t go into each hole on the outside edge, instead, every other one. There are two strands of each colour combination and in the very center hole, i added two strands of faux crystal beads just to hide the crimped beads a little. Hope you like this and think about trying it yourself. I found the watering can for $20 at a local garden center and I plan to leave it the aluminum colour it is. If sometime down the road it becomes tarnished, I will consider painting it then. Enjoy… ;o)

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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

New Pillows

You know those bonus points programs many places have??? I decided to take advantage of them a couple of weeks ago. Our local grocer, Save On Foods took over from Safeway about 3 years ago. At the beginning we were getting tons of points, the staff were mistakenly giving double points, so my points grew exponentially. And thank you for that. Now it’s a slower accumulation, but I still have my eye on a couple more items with my points. ;o)

I cashed in enough points to buy three items. One of those items was this what I’m calling my new Winter White coverlet and pillow shams.

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Once the bed was made, it looked pretty impressive, all bright and fresh. But it was missing something. So I quickly ran through my mind to my fabric stash and remembered I had some upholstery style fabric that would be pretty much perfect for new pillows, and it’s more of an antique white with a tiny pink flower here and there, and embossed with a floral print the colour of the fabric, a good contrast to the leaf pattern in the coverlet and the bright white of the coverlet and shams.

If you’re not a sewer, pillows are probably on the list of the easiest possible projects you can make. How do you make them:

1: Measure your pillow along one side, they are generally square. These ones are 16” square.

2: Cut your fabric 1” larger on all sides to allow for seam allowance. In this case, I was able to cut two long strips 17” X 34”, otherwise, just double you fabric right sides together and cut them out. Remember: Measure twice, cut once. I serged around the edges as this kind of fabric can easily fray. Use a zig zag on a regular machine.

3. Pin the sides together and sew around three sides. Decide what you are going to do along the 4th edge. You can add snaps, fancy closures or just whatever suits you. If you don’t want to add anything, then just leave the center open on the last side approx. half the length of side, tuck in the pillow and stitch closed.

I chose to just sew buttons along the top edge. Easy to remove for washing and reapply. Sew a 1/2” seam if using this type of fabric, cottons won’t fray so 1/4” seams will work. Adjust the size you cut your fabric if using cotton, it will be slightly smaller.

4. Pillows done. The edge is folded in 1/2”. I pulled out stash buttons and found 2 each of 4 different styles. What do you think???  I made two of these.

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I also had a big bolster pillow that needed a refresh and I had enough fabric for that too. For non sewers, just measure the length and diameter. Add 1” to diameter for 1/2” seam allowance. On the ends of the bolster, I allowed an extra 2 1/2” so I could gather the end and draw it into the center. I finished the edges with my serger, but again, a zig zag stitch will work just as well.

After sewing the long seam, tuck the pillow in. Make sure it’s centered in the tube. Take some button thread and do a running stitch and begin pulling the gathers into the center. I went around twice so the gathers come right to the center with only a small opening remaining. Fasten off securely.

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I found two wooden coasters just the right size ( i really enjoy my stash ;o~ …treasures that always get used at some time). The fabric is cut at least 1” larger than the wooden coasters. With button thread, gather the excess fabric to the underside, stitch around a couple of times. It won’t come to the center, but make sure it’s a tight fit as you will be sewing it to the pillow. Once they were gathered, I pinned them onto the ends catching in the fabric.

To finish attaching them, I just used a ladder stitch and went around a couple of times, sewing along the edge of the circle and catching just the fabric, and making sure to only catch the fabric and not the pillow. The final touch was to pull out some tassels I got at the dollar store ages ago. The cord is glued on. Wrap it first to see what look you want. You might prefer to put the tassels on the ends but in the center.

Do whatever suits you. Mine is wrapped around the wooden coasters a couple of times, glued on and finished by wrapping the remaining cord around itself. If you do this. let it dry well overnight and use a sturdy glue like FabriTac or similar. If I do need to wash this, I can just open the center seam halfway, pull out the bolster and give the cover a quick gentle wash, being sure not to dunk the ends in the water, and just gently wipe the ends with a damp cloth. Stuff the bolster back into the cover when fully dry and stitch the seam closed.

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Here’s the finished project. Love them, they look so girly. Hubby is very accepting…;o) I am now working on a DYI project for the garden, post to come very soon… Enjoy.

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Friday, August 18, 2017

Pulling out the Stash !!

While waiting to get a renovation job done that’s been on the list for too many years, I’m pulling things out of my stash that have been waiting patiently to be used for this project.

A few years ago a neighbour gave me an old cedar chest that was headed for the dump. Far be it for me, to let that happen. It was in pretty good shape, especially the inside, and just a few minor bumps here and there on the outside. The finish was quite worn but that’s not a problem if it was going to be re-purposed anyway. I didn’t want to sand and stain it as the new sunroom will be bright and the dark wood would be out of place, so it’s been painted instead.  I took pictures of the original markings, most of them are retained as they are inside, but a couple are now painted over.

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On the underside the balsa wood base was for the most part, missing. Broken off over time. I broke a bit more of it back to where it wasn’t lifting and got started with painting. The first pictures, show the base unfinished, along with a foreman to watch over the progress (aka… the neighbours cat, Max) and then a basecoat of some left over interior water base paint.

Oh my goodness. You would have laughed in a “I’m so sorry kind of way”, if you had seen what I did to one of Mother Natures creatures. It was pathetic really, I felt so bad. Before I got the paint out, I took a soft brush and cleaned the chest all over to eliminate all the dust and spider webs that were living there. I did that really well, I thought. You know where I’m going with this don’t you?

I got the paint and started adding to the corners with a pretty good dose of paint because of all the little nooks and crannies that I had to cover. Oh dear, on reloading my brush, I looked down and out from the corner staggered a little spider, a mint green spider at that. He looked like he’d been at a party all night and was just coming home.I did my “I’m so sorry buddy” laugh, let him crawl up onto the brush and gently tossed him outside with a wish for a better life. I’m quite sure he didn’t survive, and there was nothing I could do for him. Poor guy.

So, back to the chest. The wooden knob in the center has to do with the Aroma adjustment for the inside. Can’t find info online even from the original maker, but will play around with it and see what happens. These chests are not really an antique, I did find out that much. Apparently new chest are somewhere in the range of $400 US, but I really like the look of well loved pieces. They just need a refresh and as long as you aren’t destroying a vintage valuable piece, it’s all good.

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I applied two coats of the main colour for better coverage, also the paint will soak into the wood and strengthen the grain. There are some minor spots that needed a bit more coverage. You can see it’s in pretty good shape, a bit scraped up on the outside, but all in all, really good solid piece of furniture. I removed the locking mechanism so it could be opened easily. There is that button on the front that had to be pushed in to release the catch, but it was pretty hard to do and probably more stiff than it was originally. I’ve added handles that you’ll see at the end, much easier.

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The main paint I used is called “Fusion”. Click here for more info. It’s an all in one paint, so you don’t need to varnish when finished. You can if you want to of course. I bought the paint at this local store, they have the best vintage pieces for sale, accessories, and they do classes in how to repurpose furniture and make it new again, as well as other classes. Click here for more info. I love going there, it seems every week there are new and wonderful finds, and I could easily leave there with lots of goodies each time if I didn’t restrain myself.

Once it was painted, it just seem to burst into new life. It’s so bright and cheerful and will be such a focal point in the rebuilt sunroom. The colour is slightly softer than what the picture shows, and has a slight grey tone to it. Same said neighbour came over and blessed me with a couple of tablecloths. ;o) One is lace, so that might be what lays on top of the chest later on.

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At the same store where I bought the paint, I also got these handles and this really fun paper to line the bottom of the chest. I wish there had been more, but I got the last sheet. The actual colour is like brown packing paper, but it didn’t want to photograph that way for me. ;o( 

For whatever reason, I’ve picked out accessories I’ll show another time, that have a Paris – Shabby Chic theme to them.

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The final part was to pull out some yarn from my stash that eventually would have become a sweater, in which life time I’m not sure. I bought a jumbo ball of the variegated yarn just to add some brightness to the green and blue, and crocheted a cozy afghan. It’s wool which will be nice and warm for early morning coffee or just nighttime chats while star gazing. Sounds like a good relaxing thing to do.

I have some other projects to work on, so more posts will follow. I also finished all the fairies (50 of them) and am now working on the display piece for the show/sale that starts September 30th. Pictures to come for that also, so stay tuned.

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

I’m building fairies again !!!

It’s that time again for Christmas ornaments. I know I know, it’s hard to hear that in the throws of summer, but for those who create it’s a busy time of year. We get our relief at Christmas while everyone else is tearing around getting their shopping done and planning the family functions. ;o)

So here’s what’s on my worktable now. It’s a good thing the Tour de France is on, I got all the fiddly bits out of the way. Here is what it involves to make 50 of my Shabby Rose Fairies, all their bits and pieces. Looks ominous, but the hard part is done and now the fun begins and all their cuteness comes together.

We start with body parts, all 250 of them, she says so calmly…..

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Every body needs a head, and there are 50 of those. ;o) So cute when they stack up like this….. This year I gave them all heart smiles, who can resist.

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Every head needs hair, not sure hairless fairies exist, do they??? Five different colours, wonder who will get which one….

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This year too, I made these little very faux perfume bottles for them to hold. So many sparkly bits….

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Once they are put together and have their little bottles in hand, they also need more bling and trims, as fairies are want to do….

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I can’t forget the main player in the Shabby Rose theme, the shabby roses… and there are a rainbow of colours for them as well, many more than what you see here. What will they choose with so many choices….oh my!!

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And the last little change this year, is that they will hang on the trees instead of hanging from cords. These are the pretty gold scrolling hangers, more shine to add to all the bling and colour. I’ll post pictures when they are all together and ready for their viewing. ;o))  Back soon…

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Saturday, July 1, 2017

Art on the Rocks- Book 4 Review

My favourite of the four, why?? Because it’s photographed so beautifully, is so well laid out and so full of, 35 in total, sweet projects to paint. Years ago when I was into decorative painting, thee were a couple of books about rock painting that were wildly popular. I’m glad to see it’s not an art that has died.

I really did go a bit crazy with pictures, but it does show how much I like this books. Pictures can often display far better what the message is, than when I try to find words.

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The pages of instructions are nicely laid out, and again the photography is perfect. Why I think that’s important is because there are a number of different things these artists used in creating this rock art and properly photographed tools makes life so much easier to know what to shop for. Two of the artists are in the US, the other is currently living in Italy.

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I really liked this page that shows the different rocks you can use and how to prep them for working on.

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By beautiful photography, this is what I mean. Look at this picture, I think this the prettiest page of the whole book. Aren’t these owls amazing, I can picture painting a bunch of them and the flower rocks below and displaying them in trees and other places around the yard. It just makes my brain fill with inspiration.

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And not only owls and flowers, but how about some fish and our feathered friends. A favourite anywhere are hummingbirds.

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And not to be left out, animals. You’re limited only in your imagination.

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Do you need paperweights.?? Wouldn’t these be great if you’re outside and working on something to do with paper and can display these as your paperweights. Your options know no limits.

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I love this project as well, I can visualize a bunch of these tucked into little spaces around the garden and a few of them in a bowl for decoration. On a table outside, you can use them for holding down a table cloth or napkins.

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So clearly this book has struck a nerve with me and has my muse working to contain my overflow of inspiration.

Going from front to back, there are pages of tools and materials, selecting and prepping rocks, techniques methods and tips. It explains in easy to understand terms from start to finish, how to create your rock art.

After the instructional pages, the book moves into the different categories of projects you can do. Step X Step details are well laid out and each step easy to understand. I don’t think there is much more I can tell you. Your own version of rock art will be whatever you want it to be, from easy and simple to lots of wonderful details.

This books guides you through those degrees of detail and you’ll probably get hooked. The artists who did the artwork for this book are:

F. Sehnaz Bac     Her Etsy store here.

Marisa Redondo  Her site here.

Margaret Vance  Her Etsy store here.

I hope you enjoy looking at these books and that something inspired you. Have a great weekend. ;o)

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