Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Valentine Love Renewed: Recycled Crafting.


I wanted to share one more valentine decoration before the day passes by.

Frames seem to be a weakness of mine.
When I see them at yard sales or second hand stores,
if they are unique and sturdy,
 I tend to want to pick them up for future projects.

 This frame held a unique piece of artwork: a paper crafted quilt (maybe paperclay?)

It was dated.
 It reminded me of when my sister loved making quilts back when we were teenagers in the 80's.
It was hard to think about just throwing it away,
so I thought I'd try to revive it for Valentines Day.

Using markers, I started carefully changing the quilt colors.
(Wouldn't it be nice if we could do this so easily with real quilts when they fade or our color scheme changes?)

I also painted the mat and background bright colors to go with our living room.

The finished quilt in a frame was set on one of the living room tables.

This addition was a lot less work than creating a new piece of artwork;

and it is kind sweet to think that somebody else's lovingly created piece
is given a second time around to be loved.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Valentine's Day Decorating: True Love.

For some reason, Christmas seemed to go too quickly this year,
and the thought of taking the Christmas things off the mantel was disheartening.

I was ready for my everyday things I had in the summer.

So I thought we'd make the winter a bit more fun with some Valentine's Day decorations.

 I noticed that my kids seem to learn verses better when they see them around the house,
so I thought I would create something from some wonderful verses I wanted them to know in 
I Corinthians 13.


To create the verse hearts, I started by folding a paper in half
and drawing half a heart shape on it,
pushing the pencil hard so that the pressure of the line would go through.

I then outlined the lines of the heart to complete it.

Depending on the verse I was going to work on,
I used fatter hearts for ones that needed more wording in the middle of the verse,
or thinner hearts for verses that were shorter and could be broken up more.

I lightly drew some lines with a ruler to help keep me somewhat straight while lettering,
and began trying to place the wording in,
(this took several tries, not such an easy task)
 using letters at the beginning and end of words to make curls and swirls
to form the outside edges of the heart.

When I had the verse the way I liked,
I rubbed charcoal pencil on the back of the verse page,
laid it onto a larger sheet of good art paper,
traced the letters so that they would copy onto the good paper,
and then worked the lettering with red copic markers.


 The largest one, I did on a canvas with paints because it had a lot of wording in it,
and I knew it would be impossible for me to try to fit them all on smaller paper.

When finished, I took pictures of each so I could shrink them to whatever size I needed
and then printed them onto cardstock paper.


I had picked up frames from yard sales, the charity store, and an aunt who was getting rid of some,
so I used gold rub-on gilding paint from a tube to turn the two that were different colored into gold
and to touch up a few chipped spots on the others.
(I also rubbed it onto the decorative hearts also on the mantel).

 The other pieces on the mantel were all things we found at the second hand charity store for a very small price.
(I was actually going to paint the birds like peacocks since I have a thing for them right now,
but  my daughter liked them as they are.

It's nice to have the daughter's impute...sometimes. :) )

I have one more simple project I did to decorate the living room for Valentine's Day,
so I'll try to post that in a few days.

Thanks for stopping by!

(If you would like to use these verse prints below for yourself for decorating or cards,
I am happy for you to copy and print them;
just not for resale, please.)


Friday, December 19, 2014

When Christmas Comes to the Living Room.

My life has been so busy with Christmas:
crafting, wrapping, baking,...

repeating to my five year old how many more days until Christmas several times each day.

It seems a big job to decorate the house,
but it makes everything have that special "Christmas spirit."

It is so much fun turning the mantel into a vision of snow and evergreens.

This year, my twelve year old wanted her carolers that I painted for her a few years ago on the mantel;

so we put the other carolers we had on as well.

A vintage sled filled a spot where we had gathered some trees I made a few years back
from cereal boxes painted with Plaster of Paris in white paint,
and two that were made from another recycled idea of inverted coffee bags snipped and wrapped around a cone form.  They came during a time when I wanted unusual looking trees and decided to rummage the cupboards for an idea.

(Why is it coffee seems to come to mind when I feel the need to think?)

 I let the kids decorate the piano
(pretty much, although I did hide away a few too many of the things they had crowded there).

Violet set a section of home-made snowmen together with a bunch of trees and a fence
and then strung some lights across it to brighten them.

 Her school table is behind the piano,
a festive place to have to work.

We decided to save a little money this year and bring the artificial tree down from the attic.
We all love rekindling the friendship from Christmases past,
placing it down in the living room with us again.

After everything has been set up,
it is a nice place to sit and relax and remember the real meaning of Christmas,
the sweet birthday of that tiny baby in the manger,
the King of Kings.

Then it's back out to the easel to try to finish one more Christmas present.

Thanks for stopping by today
and have a Merry Christmas!

Sharing with all the other fun Christmas home tours at:

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Christmas Wreath from a Wool Jacket and a Cereal Box.

 It is hard to believe the Christmas season is here!
Is your home festive and merry?

It's a work in progress at our home, but a cheerful one that the kids are happy to help with.

I had a few bags full of wool jackets in various colors I got at the end of a summer yard sale:
2 for $.25 because nobody wanted to load them up to take them home again.
I was happy to find a great assortment of colors, and all wool!
I'm sure they were happy I showed up and took that trash bag full that I did.

I had gotten them to make braided wool rugs,
planned on one for my room and one for the girls' room,
but they've gone into several other projects while the rugs have lingered at the back of my mind.

The wreath I made is now wearing the red jacket. :)

 I cut the jacket into strips and tied them around the wreath form.

The fun part of a wreath is dressing it in possibilities:

Sparklings beads and a glittered greenery pick;

Natural pinecones;

 A winter scene on the wreath...

with possibly a snowman made from plaster of Paris pom-poms;

Greenery and bells that have been made to look old by plaster of Paris mixed with black/brown paint
(I explain the process >HERE<);

 Real Greenery and a rustic rope;

Adding a beaded ornament for an accent or some old sparkly garland

or some home-made ornaments.

I decided to use some decorations I had made from an empty cereal box.
 I cut squares and then fringed them and curled the fringes with a pencil.
A coating of Plaster-of-Paris mixed with white paint stiffened them;
some glue and glitter finished them and a jingle bell glued in the center.

It's a happy thing to have a festive wreath...

 and it probably looks much better as a wreath than waiting to become a rug anyway.

Sharing with other great wreath ideas over at the Nester's blog,
and at:

By Stephanie Lynn

Monday, September 15, 2014

Our Useful Porch: Living Room/School Room

I finally got the school room rearranged and organized for the start of the school year a couple weeks back and am making time to share them today.

For some reason, there is something about having a "new" room to go to that makes the first day of home-schooling seem more like a new place to be.

The new set-up gives useful separate areas for the different needs this porch room fills.

We moved the table up against the wall in front of the bright windows.

I love the long table: it offers a lot of elbow room.
The bottom was an outdoor table that the glass broke out of
and we found the wooden top to replace it on Craig's List.

On one end of the table I put needed supplies in separate containers...

and am hoping they will stay separated long enough to make the effort worth it.

 It seems I/we can keep things more organized when we have enough containers and storage spaces.
I especially like baskets because not only do they look quaint,
the handles make them easier for kids to carry.

A big basket of markers on the floor seems harder to lose than a generalized plastic box
(or maybe it just stands out to these eyes that seem to miss things that appear too ordinary...

"Scream at me, markers, where are you?")

 I have read over and over that if the artist in me ever wants to get much of my own projects accomplished, I need to set up a distinct place that is mine
and a distinct time to work there.

 At least with my easel and desk set up here, I can view the television to catch an evening movie while I work, or get a few strokes in at the easel while seat work is going on.

I like to repeat using some colors/boxes for storage.  Somehow, this makes me "feel" more organized;
but then allowing for some different basket containers makes it seem more inviting.

I also have found it helpful to keep a different child's books on different shelves.
My 5 year old's school books are on the second shelf,
my 7 year-old's school books are on the bottom shelf.
My supplies are on the very top and the first shelf holds some school games.

 I also think it's fun to employ old pieces of furniture to hold things.


The top part of this piece came out of our barn.
The bottom is a dresser that was missing the two large lower drawers.

Painting them the same color helped bring them together.

The large crate beside it holds my oldest daughter's school books.

 The top part holds my things: some of my favorite tea cups as well as sewing supplies and some ink supplies for artwork.

 The bottom behind the curtain holds some of my teacher books and art pads;
a fabric box full of extra reading to go with our year of schooling: 
one for my son and the other for my daughter.

 There are also my special art markers in a basket and a box tin full of CD's underneath the cupboard.
A smaller bookshelf hidden partially under my sewing machine cupboard has art supplies for the kids to use.

Isn't it a necessity to keep a good amount of green plants around to make it seem like the outdoors isn't too far away?
(Or to put it simply: I love plants!)

The other side of the room is set up for relaxing to read books, or watch a movie in the evening,
or, occasionally, to watch something educational.
I worried the fuzzy wool off-white rug would be hard to keep in this room,
but I took a risk and got it,
hoping it would make this part of the room feel more welcoming.
I am glad a fellow blogger gave the advice that stretching to take a small risk like this doesn't need to be such a scary thing to do; so I took a small bit of my kitchen money I had set aside
(and that was not going to happen this year),
and I bought a few rugs during a good sale at USA Rugs,
weighing in that the immediate warmth they would give to our home was worth the extra wait toward the kitchen.
  I have been so happy with the results).

My son's bearded dragon on the other side of the room enjoys having the constant flow of traffic throughout this room, I'm sure.

Now we can hit the books...

and paintbrushes!

Thanks for stopping in for our tour.