Sunday, June 12, 2016

Paw Print String Art - A Memorial

I hope its not too soon for another string art project. lol!  Remember my first one HERE?  So this is my second try and I made this one for my sister.  Her sweet little dog Prissy passed away and I wanted to make her a little something to remember her by.  She loved her so much.

I included a little plate stand with it because it couldn't stand on its own and I didn't figure she'd want to hang it, but I suppose you could hang it up if you wanted to do so.
So, you will need a piece of board sanded smooth, paint for the board and the name (I used black for the name), paw pattern, small nails and string, oh and a small hammer of course.
I painted my board with acrylic paint in the color Warm Buff.  I gave it two thin coats for a pretty good coverage.  Let that dry really well.
I found the paw print just by searching Google.  You can tell by the pic above that I recycled my paper to resize it to fit my board.  I used my Cricut machine and some vinyl to make a stencil for her name.  Using black paint, I painted the name on first but I have the paw print on there for positioning purposes.

When adding paint to the stencil, use a dry brush technique.  This helps to keep from getting too much paint on there which causes it to seep under the vinyl and go where you don't want it to go.  Also, a dabbing or pouncing motion works better that actual swiping back and forth.  Just an FYI because I learned by trial and error.
Now for the nail holes.  Notice, I said NAIL HOLES.  You want to make the holes all the way around your pattern first, then add all the nails AFTER you remove the pattern.  I learned this trick the first time around! lol!  You can save your pattern and use it over and over again.
Again, if you've been following me for a while, you know I have to distress everything.  I used sand paper to distress the name and the rotary sander to distress the edges.  You don't have to do this of course, it is optional.
Now using a small hammer, tap your nails in each hole you previously made.  Try and make them all the same height, I'm still not good at that yet.
Lastly, add the string of your color choice.  I chose pink just because.  There really is no rhyme or reason to how I add the string, I just go for it, its art.  When I tie off an end I use a tiny bit of liquid-y, fast drying craft glue (Diamond Glaze) to seal the knots and keep them from accidentally coming loose.  That would be bad. :)

For more details visit my first try here:
String Art With a Mason Jar Vase

It doesn't have to be done all at once.  It is a slow process in the works! C-ya next time!

I'm Linking to:
These lovely and FUN parties!
Between Naps on the Porch

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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Vintage Wood and Metal Side Table - A Story

This rustic table is pretty much like any other wood and metal table except that my honey made it and he made it using vintage wood that his Mother considers a family heirloom.  Most of this beautiful wood that was so cherished by his Mother was recently stolen. So sad.
The wood was hand milled by his grandfather many years ago. With the urging of his mother, we went and rescued the remaining wood from the old barn on the family property.  My honey wanted to make something using the old wood so he decided to try his hand at a metal and wood creation, his very first one I might add. I think it turned out really nice! Great job baby!
He welded the metal together first of course and when I asked to take his picture, this is what I got.  Such a comedian!
After he cut the perfect pieces of wood to fit the new table, he left the finishing to me.  I sanded it using our rotary sander and 4 levels of grit sandpaper.  I started at 60 and decreased to 220 by the end.  This wood is so old and dry and as hard as my head!  It was gorgeous when I finished it off using Minwax Fast Drying Polyurethane (4 coats) to make sure it has a very long life.
This is what it looked like while drying in the shop, a bit darker than the finished product.  Beautiful, isn't it?  At this point he had already sealed the metal table with a clear lacquer to hopefully prevent any future rusting.
This is it a good 48 hours after the poly was applied.  He gave it to his Mom for Mother's Day this year.  She loved it of course.

It doesn't have to be done all at once.  It is a slow process in the works! C-ya next time!

I'm Linking to:
These lovely and FUN parties!
Between Naps on the Porch

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Sunday, May 29, 2016

How to Make a Patriotic Rag Wreath

So remember last week I told you I was studying for a test on Friday?  Well, I took the test and I passed it! YAY!  Today I have the project I hinted about to show you.
I love red, white and blue.....always have.  I have no idea why I didn't already have a patriotic wreath to hang on the front door, but I didn't.  I finally made one!  I'd been seeing everyone's wreaths made with bandanas and I thought that was such a cute idea, so I went that way with it.
I found my straw wreath form at the thrift store for $2.50 and my bandanas at Walmart for $1 each.  I ended up using 2 reds, 2 whites and 1 blue.  The amount of bandanas will vary on how tight you place the pieces on the wreath form.
Mark your bandana at 2 inch sections.  I used a white pen so I could see the marks, but a sharpie would work too.  I made marks on both edges, the edge closes to me and then on the opposite side so I would know where to cut to. 
After you have all your long strips cut, stack them one on top the other and then cut into 2 inch squares like you see here.  They do not have to be perfect squares, just close.  I picked out all the ones that were solid red to use at the last if I needed them, just my preference though.  Imma a weirdo!
I used some washi tape to mark my sections and then wrote with a sharpie to guide me as to what color goes in that section.
I didn't notice until I was editing these pictures that you can't even see what I'm using to push the little squares in with! Gosh!

I used a really small phillips head screwdriver.  You can also use a wooden skewer if you want to.  Just try and place the screwdriver in the center of the little square holding the ends with your fingers.  It takes some getting used to, but you'll get the hang of it!
I pushed in each square pretty close to one another so it would look full.  NOTE:  I didn't fill the back of the wreath, but I did add squares down into the center edge and tried to make a straight line along the outside edge.
I just worked one section at a time, filling in all of one color and then going on to the next.
All ready for the blue section now.  I was just loving how this was looking at this point!
Stars are optional, but I chose to add some.  I used my Cricut machine and my George cartridge for may stars, but you could always draw some and cut them out too.  I used heavy white card stock for my stars.  I used the following sizes of stars: 1", 1 1/4" and 1 1/2".  I glued them on with hot glue.
As an after thought I added a hanger.  I just used the solid white strip from one of the bandanas.  I folded it in half with free edges to the back/inside and hot glued it to the wreath form.
I really love how it turned out and now its proudly hanging on the front door waiting to greet anyone who happens upon our doorstep!
Do you decorate for Memorial Day or just wait until the Fourth of July?  Did you make a patriotic wreath, if so, I'd like to see yours too!

It doesn't have to be done all at once.  It is a slow process in the works! C-ya next time!

I'm Linking to:
These lovely and FUN parties!
Between Naps on the Porch

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Sunday, May 22, 2016

One Pot Taco Spaghetti

Today I have the yummiest and easiest recipe for you because what I wanted to post today isn't quite ready yet.  I'm working on a pretty Memorial Day/Fourth of July decoration right now and I've still got a few more touches to finish it.  Why aren't you done yet you ask? You are unemployed aren't you?  Well, because I've been REALLY BUSY studying!  You see, I've been studying for a big test on Friday the 27th.  Yep, I'm making a career change! Wish me luck!
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have already seen this recipe.  I found the original recipe on Pinterest, of course.  I changed it up a bit to suit our family.  Thank you Damn Delicious!

One Pot Taco Spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 tblsp homemade taco seasoning or 1 packet of store bought
  • 1 (10 oz) can Rotel tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 8 oz wheat spaghetti
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat.  Add ground turkey and cook until turkey has browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the turkey as it cooks; stir in taco seasoning.
  2. Stir in Rotel, tomato paste, spaghetti and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer.  Cook until pasta is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and top with cheeses. Cover until melted, about 2 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately, garnished with tomato and cilantro, if desired or any other taco toppings you like.
This was so delicious!  We gobbled it up like we were starved. lol!  It would be a perfect meal for a weeknight where you didn't have much time to spend on supper.  Oh and the best part, only one pot gets dirtied, so less time on clean up too!

It doesn't have to be done all at once.  It is a slow process in the works! C-ya next time!

I'm Linking to:
These lovely and FUN parties!
Between Naps on the Porch

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Sunday, May 15, 2016

How to Create a Recycled Fairy Garden

Our poor chimenea was accidentally broken by my honey about two years ago while he was mowing.  He bumped it with the mower and it toppled over (in slow motion) and broke into several pieces.  He was so upset about it.  I saved all the pieces because I'd always wanted a fairy garden and I thought it would be perfect for it.
Fairy garden? Yes, finally!  I have been waiting to make a fairy garden for quite a while now huh?  I really think it turned out pretty cute and now I'm already wanting to add to it! lol!
I found this cute little fairy garden set at an Aldi grocery store.  It was my very first visit to the store.  I saw the kit while I was shopping but passed it up and kept shopping.  I gathered my groceries, checked out and got all my goodies loaded into the car and then went back in to purchase the kit.  I was finally making my fairy garden I'd been wanting!

NOTE: I used E6000 glue to hold the bird and butterfly in place, its held through rain so far.
This is exactly how the broken chimenea lived for a couple of years, just waiting to be revived.
I needed a good foundation for my garden so this is the potting mix I chose, mostly because it was on sale. lol!
There was still remnants of a fire in the chimenea and I just went ahead and left it because I figured it would be good for the base of the garden.  I added a layer of fresh soil on top of the ashes and bits of wood left over.
I placed all the parts of the kit where I wanted them, then made a path using some river rock that I "borrowed" from the surround of the a/c unit we built several years ago (see that HERE).  Next I planted the little succulents all around the fairy's little garden.  Lastly, I added the remaining broken pieces of the chimenea to the ground in front of the garden, like a patio area for my sweet little garden.  I filled it all in with more of the new soil.
Wouldn't it be fun to sit in this little garden and relax?
I think Miss Fairy needs a chair to sit in when she's not daydreaming on her tree swing.




One little funny side to this whole story.....I enjoyed my new fairy garden for exactly one day and then we got 2 inches of rain and it all washed away.  No worries though, I added drain holes to the bottom and re-did the whole thing and now I'm enjoying it again!  Looks like I need to design Miss Fairy's little garden a nice cover that doesn't allow full on rain storm! lol!

It doesn't have to be done all at once.  It is a slow process in the works! C-ya next time!

I'm Linking to:
These lovely and FUN parties!
Between Naps on the Porch

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Sunday, May 8, 2016

String Art with a Mason Jar Vase

Happy Mother's Day!

String Art, its a very interesting craft to me and I've always wanted to try it.  I decided to finally have a go and this is my very first try at it.  It's not perfect but I like how it turned out.  I want to make more now! lol!
I made this little creation for my Mama for Mother's Day.  She loves purple, so nine times out of ten, I'm going to use purple if I make her something.  She also loves hummingbirds, so that's why I chose the hummingbird for my string art.
You will need the following items to re-create my project:
A piece of wood cut to 8 1/2" x 8 1/2", sanded smooth
String art pattern of your choice
1 box of 1" 15oz nails
Hammer
Sand paper (very fine like 220)
2 shades of purple paint
Foam paint brush
Painters and washi tape
Vinyl for words (Cutting machine to cut out words)
1 bundle of purple embroidery floss
1 bundle of green embroidery floss
Crocheted Daisy with leaves
1 Mason jar
1 hose clamp large enough to fit your jar neck
I painted my board with two coats of Lilac Mist acrylic paint.  I let that dry well and then lightly sanded it to distress.
As I said, this was my first time to try this art so I just went to Pinterest and read a few posts that I could find that described how string art was done and went from there.  I did not find any that was step by step detailed.  This is trial and error for sure, you'll see, keep reading!

I found my pattern by Google-ing hummingbird pattern.  Here I taped on the pattern with washi tape and laid the jar down for placement.
Now to hammer the nails in using the pattern.  I found it did not work on carpet, so I went outside to the patio and that gave me a very sturdy base to hammer against.
You will want the nails close, but not too close to each other.  I found that if they are really close, its hard to get your fingers and the embroidery floss going all around as you need to.
Here I have all the nails in.

NOTE:  DO NOT do this!  I discovered that if you just tap the nail in to make a hole and then remove it all the way around your pattern and then take the pattern away, THEN hammer in the nails into each hole,  its LOTS easier.  Trust me, getting the paper pattern off with all the nails in it is NOT easy and then you've ruined your cute little pattern you could have re-used!
Ok, so here's the actual string art part of it.  I made a slip knot and slipped it around the first nail and then started down the trail wrapping the string around each nail as I went.  I made the straight line of the string on the outside and then back again on the inside.  This made the outline first.  Later I went back and did the back and forth zig zags to fill in the center.  NOTE: After I tied my very last knot, I added a bit of clear craft glue to the knot so it would be sure to hold and not come loose.
After lots of work, I got the paper pattern removed.  Next was attaching the metal hose clamp.  Sorry I couldn't take pictures of this step, but it was attached using a wood screw.  Be sure to check for placement with your jar before adding the clamp.
Now to stencil on the word "hello".  I used my Cricut machine and the Alphalicious cartridge to cut out "hello" using vinyl.

I used a darker purple paint called Purple Pansy for the word.  I took my sponge brush and with very little paint on the tip of the brush, I tapped lightly until the word was covered.  It was almost like dry brushing.  The less paint the better because otherwise your paint will seep under the vinyl where you don't want it and your letter will look distorted and there will not be crisp clean lines. I learned that lesson a long time ago.
Now here is where I thought the word looked too low down and I had lots of blank space to fill, so I added the little flower.  See, more trial and error LOL!  I'm a card maker, not a string art designer. Haha!  This is a whole different process of creation!  I had the little crocheted flower and leaves in my stash.  I added a few more nails in a curved line to create a stem for the flower, then added the flower and leaves by using a bit of craft glue to hold them.
I like how it turned out for my very first try at string art.  Practice, practice, practice.....right?  All that matters is my Mama liked it and thought I did good, so its good!

It doesn't have to be done all at once.  It is a slow process in the works! C-ya next time!

I'm Linking to:
These lovely and FUN parties!
Between Naps on the Porch

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