Friday, April 29, 2011

Wash Your Worries Away Sign

I was flipping though the online Uppercase Living catalog and just loved this one:

I thought it would look great in my new laundry room, well, if it ever gets done!  I didn't really want to spend more money since I'd just purchased a new washer and dryer, cabinets, counter tops, etc. 

Hubs has been bugging me about getting rid of these ottomans that went with our Adirondack chairs because they weren't all that sturdy and we never really felt the need to put our legs up while rocking in the chairs.  We would always just set them aside and they just kept cluttering up our front porch.


I decided I was going to paint a sign instead of ordering the vinyl letters. 

I unscrewed 4 wood slats from my Adirondack ottoman for the sign, then cut 1 piece in half to size to secure the sign to on the back.  I mixed acrylic paints in Bonnie Blue, Forest Green and White and painted the sign, then let it dry overnight.

I used Microsoft Word to search for fonts that were close to the Uppercase Living ones.  Rage Halic and Andalus were similar.  I typed wash your in Rage Halic (size 280) and WORRIES AWAY in Andalus (size 150), then printed them out. 

I was looking for carbon paper to trace the letters onto my sign, but couldn't find any.  I ended up cutting the words out and taping the paper to my sign.

Using my stylus tool, I then traced out the letters, pressing firmly as I went.  The wood was sort of "soft", so I was able to imprint the letters onto the wood.

Then I just took white paint and a small paintbrush to fill in the letters.

I think I'll keep it here for now until my laundry room is complete.  

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Happy Easter Egg Decoration Inspired by Pottery Barn

I just love the Happy Easter eggs hung from cherry blossom branches that I found while browsing on the Pottery Barn website.  Everything in the image is sold out so I set out to make my own.

I found this Antique Mall while I was out and about last weekend and came across this bird wire basket with really cool eggs that already had hooks and fishing line tied to them for $8.00.  I thought it was a bit much, but they already had hooks and string.  Some eggs were mismatched and didn't have the hooks on them so I made sure to count the good ones and had enough to spell out Happy Easter.  I really could have done without the bird wire thingie, but maybe I can spray paint it or figure out something cute to do with it.  Any ideas?? 

When I got it home and took the eggs out, I really didn't like the look of the fishing line so I cut them off and used my Stampin' Up! silver cord.   After that was complete, I started going through my scrap booking supplies looking for alphabet stickers but I didn't find any I liked.  I really didn't want to spend anymore money on the eggs since I still had to buy the cherry blossom branches.  I decided to use a black permanent marker and freehand the letters on.  I looked for fonts on Microsoft Word and liked the look of Viner Hand ITC.  I spelled it out and blew up the font so that I could see it, then used that to freehand the letters on.

I tried to get it as close as possible, and I think I accomplished it.  Close, not perfect, but it will do!

I printed out a 40% off AC Moore coupon with the hopes of finding some cherry blossom branches.  They had them, but they were $4.99 each.  I only picked up one because I knew I could print out a few more coupons and save myself some more money.  I printed out 2 more coupons and went back the next day with Hubs so that we could each use a coupon.  We walked up there with the girls to save even more money in gas!  Good thing we are only 2 blocks away.  Or maybe it's not a good thing.  I frequent that place a little too often.

I found a tall white vase I had hiding under my sink and stuck the branches in it after putting my eggs on the branches.  It kind of flapped around so I had to stuff plastic bags down in it to hold it in place.  I filled the top portion of the vase with left over Easter grass from last year to hide the plastic bags.  Here is the finished product.

What do you think??  Now I just need to find some bunny statues to go under it...

Linking up to:
Boogieboard Cottage

Friday, April 15, 2011

Inspired Art by Pier 1

I recently remodeled our billiard room and needed a large canvas painting to fill a wall.  I found the most beautiful canvas painting at Pier 1 with an impressive price tag ($350)! So, I went to Michaels with a 50% coupon, bought a canvas for $20 and raided my mom's acrylic paint cabinets. Here is the one from Pier 1:

And here is mine:

I didn't take any pictures while I was painting this since it was BB (before blogging).  ;)  I re-created a similar picture on a piece of scrap paper to illustrate how I did this.  

You will need:
Fan brush
Flat brush
Round brush
Sea sponge
Paper plates
Scrap paper
Painter's tape
Measuring tape

I measured and taped a rectangle in the center of my canvas.  I also used the tape to create a few horizontal lines inside the painting as a guide. In my re-creation, I only used one horizontal line inside the painting.

On a paper plate, I squeezed out the colors I needed and left enough space in between to mix colors right on my "pallet" with the sponge. 

I always practice on a sheet of scrap paper to make sure there are no funky sponge marks.  If your sponge is making a funky mark, turn the sponge until you get good dab marks.   

I started on the bottom by drawing a wave with my sponge by dragging it across the canvas as a guide.  Then, I started dabbing paint on until the entire abstract wave was covered.  Here is a picture of the 2nd abstract wave drawn with the sponge before I dabbed paint in to fill it.

The white layer was done by loading the sponge with white paint and dragging it across the canvas in a wave pattern.

I loaded some blue and white paint on my flat brush without blending it too well and just brushed it across the top of the rectangle to make the sky.  

I allowed the paint to dry, then I removed the horizontal tape and placed it at the bottom of where the sky would be. 

Repeat the previous step again to finish the sky.

I removed all the tape after the paint was dry to the touch. 

I used painter's tape to get make the stems of my sea oats.  I tore a few pieces down the center, then placed them on the canvas to create a stem.  This is time consuming because you have to work at getting the painter's tape to "bend".  I could have just free handed them, but I just felt more comfortable taping it.  I used brown paint to fill in the stem. Be sure the painter's tape is firmly pressed down or your paint will bleed through.

I practiced making the sea oats on a scrap piece of paper until I felt comfortable using my fan brush. 

I removed the tape, then added the fuzzy oats.

I used brown paint to create the oats, then reloaded my brush with some white paint to add some depth to them.  I used the same technique to create the other 3 oats.

Along the edges of the canvas, I used my sponge and brown paint to get that "aged" look.  I also dabbed a little brown paint in the white section and blended it so it was not so stark white.
Here are some more pictures of my painting:

I am really happy at how it turned out and even happier that I only spent $22 for the canvas and the hardware to hang it!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Bargain hunting weekend

So after reading through tons of blogs, I was totally inspired to get out and find some junk to transform! I decided I was going to run out for about an hour riding around my neighborhood to see what I could find. I went to 3 yard sales and got some really good loot! At my first stop, I found a brand new oil warmer kit. I have totally been in to burning oils lately. $3

Next, a set of 3 triangle shaped bottles on a wood platter. Not sure what I'll do with these, but for $3, I couldn't resist. I may be able to squeeze some small shells in there or use them in my pantry. What would you use them for??

My last purchase at this one was this totally cool scale of justice for $5. It looked like something that might look good on top of my baker's rack. I don't know, too big??? I was thinking of painting it antique white and distressing it. Or should I leave it black and put it somewhere else in the house..... Suggestions????

The 2nd yard sale was a bust but the 3rd, a jackpot! They had a bunch of new items, still in boxes. So I picked up 2 new saxophones for my girls' Easter baskets, a desk organizer and a wire holder thingamajig with 6 storage bottles in it. Everything was marked $5, but I asked if she would give me a discount for buying multiple items and she said, okay, how about all of it for .................... $10! It was really hard for me not to break out my happy dance, but I properly constrained myself. So, I wasn't looking for any of these items, but hey, I would have lost money not buying them! Ya know what I'm sayin'??

We went over to spend some time at the In Law's since it was my FIL's birthday weekend. We hadn't gotten him a gift yet so I graciously offered to go to the Outlet Mall and get him a nice polo shirt from IZOD. Great excuse to hit up a few stores while I was already there! Hubs told me to leave no later than 4:30 so I could get back in time for the birthday dinner out. That gave me only about an hour and a half so I booked it. Went to IZOD, found a nice shirt for my FIL and also a nice pink polo for Hubs. Then I made mad dash to White House Black Market. I picked up 2 really cute jackets for $39 each (pictures to come later). A bargain for that store! ;) I stopped into a few other places but didn't find anything so I hopped in the car and headed back. It was like 4:10 and I was ahead of schedule! So I'm cruising down the road and something catches my eye... Antique Mall. Hmmmmm. I've read about those places in other blogs. I just had to stop in for a quickie minute to see what all the hype was about. After all, I was ahead of schedule. I walked in the front door and knew I was in trouble. I couldn't see the end of the store. There were isles and isles of glass displays and so many booths. They were all jam packed with stuff. Cool stuff. I found a little vintage hand mixer for $2.95! All the other ones I looked at were anywhere from $15 to $25, so I figured $2.95 had to be bargain.

I also came across a bird wire basket filled with eggs that had fishing line attached to them so you could hang them up. I was looking for something like that because of a Pottery Barn picture someone posted with some eggs that spelled out Happy Easter hanging from some cherry blossom branches. It was $8. A bit more than I wanted to spend, but the hooks were already in the eggs and I wasn't sure I would be able to find them elsewhere. Perhaps I could pretty up the bird basket too. Birds really aren't my thing, but hey, I didn't think antique was either until I saw what people have done with them.

Ring, ring. I glanced at the time just before answering.... 5:15. How did that happen???? Uh oh.

"Are you on your way back?" asks Hubs.
"Oh, yes, I stopped by an antique mall, but I am heading to the checkout line now".
"Okay, well we're meeting everyone at 5:30 so I'll see you soon."
"Okay, I'll pick you up shortly." I said.

There is NO WAY I am making it back by 5:30. I was still about 20 minutes away and I can't find my way back to the front door. Ugh. So I finally get to the front of the store and I see people sitting down on a bench. I asked if there was a line and some lady told me to take a number. WHAT???

"But I only need to checkout." I say in a state of panic.
"Yes, ma'am, take a number."

There were 2 numbers ahead of mine. Okay, well, since I have a few minutes, I wandered down a row that was close to the checkout counter. May as well make the most of my time. I'm about half way down the row when my number is called. I had to shout "I'm coming" because apparently he didn't see me waving my hands frantically as he called my number a second time. 20 minutes from the time Hubs called, I booked it to my car and headed out. Long story short, Hubs called a few additional times and finally decided to dig car seats out of the In Laws' garage and put them in FIL's car (I had the only vehicle with 2 car seats for the girls) because the rest of the family was already waiting at the restaurant. In my mad rush to get back, I took the wrong exit... twice. ;( I was banned from going to the Outlets without Hubs. Whew, at least he didn't mention being banned from the Antique Mall. Muahahhaah!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hello World!

I cannot believe I just discovered this world of bloggers out there who share all their wonderful decorating tips without spending a fortune. A few weeks ago, I was looking for additional seating options for my billiard room and I was going through Craigslist looking at chairs because the rocker/glider I wanted in a store in the Outer Banks was a whopping $699! Oh, but hey, they would deliver for free. Hmmm. Okay, so I was on a mission to find one comparable to the one I saw, but all I found was a bunch of sad looking chairs. I thought, hey, maybe I could make a slipcover for an old worn out chair and make it fabulous! My mother-in-law recently taught me how to sew and I figured I could have her help me out. So I googled making slipcovers and happened upon Miss Mustard Seed's blog. O.M.G. After spending a few (I use this term lightly) hours clicking around her site and blog hopping, I was hooked. How did I not know about this?? All this time, I thought I was the thriftiest little shopaholic.... boy was I wrong. I have always been able to find a good bargain, but man, I sure have a lot to learn! I thought I would give this whole blogging thing a whirl. Hopefully I can share some of my ideas and steal some of yours!