Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Warm Industrial Modern Inspiration Board

I love this mood board background selection.

If it is in my house, I might be tempted to fill it with warm colors, and an iconic Eames Chair and ottoman in the mix.  Add some warm textured pillows and accessories and my new room would look like this:

I can imagine this in my basement.  I just need to remove all of the dated paneling and add some break texture.  So warm and cozy feeling.


Monday, April 13, 2015

Repairing and updating a family keepsake

When my daughter was very young my dad built her a baby doll cradle.   As she grew up she never was a girly girl and rarely played with baby dolls or Barbies.  So the baby doll cradle was eventually shoved into a cabinet, and unaware to me also broken, until I recently found it hidden at the back of the cabinet.

Even though my daughter never played with dolls, who is to say that her daughter or my son's daughter won't love using this cradle, so I decided to repair it and update it a little.

My sisters and I joke that even though daddy was very good at building furniture while we were growing up and making riding airplanes and rocking horses for the grand-kids, he struggled with one thing and that was stain color selection.  He even admitted that he just couldn't seem to pick the right shade of stain for a project and usually hated his choice afterwards.  As I continue to showcase some of his old projects in my house that needs updating, you just might agree with that assessment! Bless his heart and it makes me smile now to remember such things.

Well the doll cradle is just an example of a too reddish colored stain for a small piece.  My goal for this project was not only to accent the curved details on the cradle, but to also to give it a more antique aged look than the dark red colored stain.   I also wanted to try using chalk paint for the first time.

But first I had to repair the headboard for the cradle using some wood glue.

After the glue dried overnight I then applied my first choice of color in chalk paint by FolkArt in 34167 Parisian Grey.   I didn't like it!

I went back to the store and bought the next darkest gray paint color in 34168 Castle.  Much better.

I applied two layers of the chalk paint, one layer of clear wax coating, and again I thought it still needed something.  So I applied a light layer of Minwax stain in Early American 230 color to create a more aged look to the cradle.

After sanding down some areas to give it a distressed look, I think I have finally found a better look for the cradle.  No it is not perfect, but definitely better than the red stain and a broken headboard.

Since this doll cradle is going to remain in my family for like - forever - I'm sure it may go through some other updates and transformations again over time.  For now, it makes me smile to remember daddy making this and to know I have repaired and updated it for the next generation of grand-kids.


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Painted Burlap Wreath

Now that the weather in Tennessee is warmer and brighter, I decided that I really needed a new wreath for my back entrance that displayed some bright colors for Spring.  Besides, the snowman wreath that has been up there since December really needed to go away and not bring anymore snow our way!

I had plenty of white burlap left over from other wreath projects, but I didn't want to do the same type of looped burlap wreath that I already have.   Lately when I went to the craft store I have noticed lots of new spring colors painted on burlap ribbon in poked dot and chevron patterns and it gave me inspiration for my own version of a painted burlap wreath.

The white burlap I had on hand was already cut into strips, so I just measured and cut them into 8" lengths.

Then I cut those strips into smaller 1" widths.

And then I got ATTACKED!

Our cat Dezi saw what I was doing and decided the burlap strips were a new play toy for him and started snatching them out of my hands before I could even finish cutting them.  He drew blood a couple of times so I just let him have them.  Notice how I had to take the picture above with the ends of the scissors on the strip instead of my hand!  He then bundled them up around him and decided to take a nap.

After his nap I was finally able to rescue my strips of fabric and add paint the the ends of each strip.  I used four colors in yellow, blue, purple and green.  These were just acrylic craft paints I had on hand.

I let the strips dry overnight. To create the wreath I started looping the individual strips around each ring of a 8" wire wreath frame.  I found that the wire wreath frame was a little cheaper to purchase at Walmart this time around.

To make each loop and knot I first folded the strip in half and inserted it around one of the wire rings of the frame.

Then I inserted the painted ends through the folded loop at the other end of the strip.

And then pulled the knot tight to secure it to the wire.

After doing this step a couple hundred more times, I ended up with the finished wreath.  I added a pretty yellow ribbon and bow to hang it outside by my door.

This wreath has brighter colors then I usually do (you know I prefer earth tones and love orange) but I thought the new brighter colors were a nice change of pace for the new Spring season.


Monday, April 6, 2015

How I organize my Cross-Stitch projects

Since I have to spend so much time off my feet these days I have been working on some long neglected cross stitch projects.

I started cross stitching when I was a young teenager because two of my older sisters also loved to cross stitch.  We have even worked on projects together that are hanging in each other's houses.  I continued this tradition of swapping ideas and projects with a couple of coworkers in the 1990's (when cross stitching was more popular) and now with a few friends that have continued the craft beyond the 1990's like myself.

And if you check trends on Pinterest and some of the craft stores, you will find that cross stitching is coming back in style as a new popular craft trend again.  Love that!!

I have had several comments over the years about how I organize my numbered and colored floss storage.  I really can't take credit for this idea because I just followed what my sister's where doing at the time I learned how to do these projects, but I find today that this method of organizing my projects and floss still work very well.  And it is also very inexpensive.

Instead of using the cardboard spools to wrap my floss around and then store them in plastic containers made just for the floss storage, I use envelopes and shoe boxes.

Not that I'm against using the recommended storage solutions you can find in the craft supplies stores, I actually have some of these that were given to me by a friend when she was moving again with the military.  Old habits are hard to break though and I have so many colors of floss already stored in envelopes and shoe boxes that I see no reason to change everything over to another "system".   But if the spool system or any other system is what you prefer, I say just go with a system that works for you.

Basically how it works is that I have a small envelope for each numbered color of floss I have.  I label the outside of each envelope with the number in the top right hand corner and file it in numerical order in a shoe box.

Whenever I start a new project, I pull out what numbered colors I need out of the shoe box and then put them in a large zip lock bag for easy and portable storage while I'm working on the project.  I can also insert the magnetic board and folded fabric inside the zip lock bag for waterproof and safe travel if I'm taking a project on the road with me.

By using envelopes instead of the card board spools, I can easily insert small leftover pieces of floss inside the envelope to use as needed.  Very little floss gets wasted because the envelope keeps it more secure and usable compared to trying to wind it back on the spool.  Sometimes you just need to use a small piece for a few stitches so keeping every little strand saves floss and money over time.

And if you don't like the look of plan shoe boxes, you can always cover them in pretty paper to make your craft area more inviting again.