Saturday, December 28, 2013

Cone Christmas Trees

The watering can is in the tub to hold the vine under water
I was going to buy one of those floral cones so that I could make a cone Christmas tree...YIKES, those  things are expensive!!! So I decided to attempt to use grapevine to make a Christmas tree.  I have tons of it out back. I made a wreath last year out of it and it was super easy. 
 I soaked he grapevine in the tub overnight. The next day rapped them in tight coils, tied them with twine to hold the shape and let it dry for another night. That stuff is a mess. It leaves wood droppings everywhere and the wood sometimes snaps when you are trying to wrap tight coils.

The next day, I cut the twine holding the coil and it basically held its shape. When I stacked the coils on top of each other, I could CLEARLY see that this wasn't gonna work. It looked like a stack of coiled branches. I needed something to hold it up like a stick, so I looked outside and saw some bamboo stakes in the ground that held up my tomatoes in the summer. I ran outside and ripped that sucker out of the ground (boy was that frozen in there). The stick wouldn't stand up by itself so I decided I needed a base.

Lucky I do so many projects that I have stuff left over from something I did years ago. I had cement and class tiles, so I mixed the cement, poured it on a paper plate and put on the glass tiles for a decorative effect. 

After I hot glued my stick onto my base, and tried to figure out how to hot glue the grapevine to the base. I realized, unfortunately, this STILL wasn't gonna work. I needed more grapevine, and honestly, I've already spent 2 days on this project, and there was no guarantee that it would look right anyway, so I put this in the "Abandoned" craft pile at my house.

At least my elf now has a stripper pole.



Grade: F
Skill Level: High
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Frustration Level: 
High (took too long to make)
Cost: $

I will give this a second attempt at some time in the future.




Monday, December 23, 2013

Mixed Media Art Nativity

My very Catholic friend wanted a huge nativity for her front lawn and I told her if I had a jigsaw and some more time that I could do it for her. Alas, it is the day before Christmas Eve and I've run out of time. Maybe next year. 

Since I've been into mixed media and paper art, I've decided to make her a nativity on a tiny canvas that she can hang in her home.  I searched through the internet for some ideas for inspiration.

I have a printable here for you to use. You can cut out Mary, Joesph and Jesus on card stock and use it as a template to trace around. Originally I was going to put the family over the heart using different scrap booking papers, but I loved what the song looked like so much, I decided to just trace the family in the heart. You can do whatever you like.

Materials:  
    Small Canvas
    Cream Card Stock 
    Tsukineko Fireworks Spray Blue set of 3
    Faber-Castello Color Gelatos
    Perfect Pearls Mists
    Glitter Glue
    Paper Glue
    Yellow and White Slick Pen for fabric
    Black Sharpie Pen

1) Print out the below picture on card stock and cut out the pieces to use as a tracing template on your chosen scrap book paper, or trace it directly in the heart over the song "Away in the Manger." 


PRINT ME
2) Spray the canvas with the fireworks and let it dry.

3)Use the gelatos to color in my pieces of Jesus, Mary and Joesph. For the clothing, I used the darker colored gelato out the outside and lighter inside. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the look of gelato's when they are blended with fingers and thumbs. I cut used the plain paper for the faces, but you can use any paper you like. Cut out a star with the remaining paper.

4) (optional) Spray the pieces of Mary Jesus and Joesph with the Perfect Pearls Mists and let that dry.

5) On the blue canvas, sponge in a large white heart and try to blend it into the blue for a nice highlighting.

6) Glue everything together on the canvas once it is all dry.

7) Use the glitter glue, stamps and slick pens to add detail.

8) Outline with sharpie.

10) Decoupage.


I'm not much of an artist, but I can draw simple shapes, unfortunately, every time I draw baby Jesus he looks suspiciously like Kenny from South Park. What do you think?



Grade: A
Skill Level: Easy
Difficulty Level: Easy
Frustration Level: Low
Cost: 0 (already had the materials from last project for the Snowman)





Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Card 2013

Every year I get the urge to do a creative and fun Christmas card. Only, it requires me to be behind the camera, yell at everyone and increase my blood pressure (see Last year's card). This year I wanted to be in the photo and give my hypertension a break, so I decided to give myself an early Christmas gift and hire a true professional. It was nice having someone "instruct" my kids while I just stood there kissing my husband. It seems they listen to other people much better than they do to me. It was a much more pleasant experience than previous years, thanks to True Story Photography.



Grade: A+
Skill Level: None
Difficulty Level: None
Frustration Level: None
Cost: $$$

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Button, and Old Jewelry Ornaments.

Look what you can make with a hot glue gun, a gold wire, a bag of buttons and some broken jewelry. These ornaments look great on my tree!


Friday, December 6, 2013

Christmas Star

I like a challenge. When the music teacher from my child's school asked me if I could make a 3 foot star light enough to hang from the ceiling of the auditorium without tearing it down the ceiling, I was more than ecstatic to do it. The weird thing is that my kid wasn't even in the Christmas Pageant. Yes, I'm a sucker. 

While running all the possibilities through my head, I decided to call my mom because she always has the best ideas that are easy to execute. She told me

1) Get cardboard boxes then draw out 2 large stars with 4 points and 2 small stars with 4 points.

2) Cut the stars out and cut in half 1 large star and the 2 small stars at the tallest point.

3) Paint them gold.

4) Hot glue the large star pieces that are in half to the other large star that was not cut in half. Then in the corners where the large stars cross, glue in the smaller star halves.

 I think that glue guns were made for cardboard because it worked perfectly.

The edges didn't look really fantastic so I decided to 

5) hot glue gold tinsel garland from the dollar store on the edges of my cardboard star.

6) then i punched 2 holes in the top of the star with a screwdriver and fished through picture frame wire for easy hanging.

This was surprisingly SUPER easy.



Here she is!!!



Grade: A
Skill Level: Easy
Difficulty Level: Easy
Frustration Level: Low

Cost: Low 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Mixed Media Art Snowmen

I love the internet. Where else can you meet crafty people from all over the world and learn about different types of art projects? My friend Jennifer does some amazing mixed media art and she was kind enough to give me a few tips.

Mixed media art is where you use several different types of materials. I purchased a few fun things at a craft store sale and played around with it. 

This project was easy enough to include my 9 year old's "help." She did make an adorable paper girl all by herself. But of course, like everything, I get to clean up the mess!




Materials

Tsukineko Fireworks Spray Blue set of 3
Perfect Pearls mists
Faber-Castell Color Gelatos & clear stamp in pinks, greens and orange/yellow. 
White, black, yellow and brown acrylic paints.
Modgpodge
 Tulip metallics paint
 Glitter glue
 Aleene's Clear Gel Tacky Glue 
 Regular white printer paper 
 Blue card stock paper
 Canvas



paint brushes
paint sponges
Stencil brushes

Fiskars snowflake punch
Paper Doily
Stampers 
Folk Art Painting Stencil - Curly Tree

Sheet Music, Baby Its Cold Outside, Frosty the Snowman 
The Poem, Night before Christmas. I printed out the sheet music on the blue card stock and poem on regular white paper.

Background
This was the first time I ever worked with Tsukineko Fireworks Spray and Perfect Pearls mists. Wow they are amazing. The fireworks give a really cool effect and are perfect for a background. I just spritzed it on the canvas and waited for it to dry. Once completely dry, I stamped on the curly tree stencil with brown acrylics and then filled in the snow on the branches with Tulip Metallics paint. I punched out some snowflakes on the white paper with the fiskars punch and then glued them on the canvas. I also used my stencils with white acrylic paint to give the back ground some additional texture. 


Snowmen
I used the perfect pearls mists on the blue sheet music for a fun shiny effect. Punching out the snowflakes left a stencil, so I used the paper to stencil on snowflakes in different places. I cut out the snowmen from the paper and added additional white acrylic to make it seem more like snow. I painted the edges black and let it dry.

Hats, scarfs and evergreen trees
I randomly rubbed the Gelatos on the white paper over the poem "The Night Before Christmas." Gelatos are fun because you can blend them in with your finger, or you can wet your paint brush and get a water color effect. After I colored in the paper completely, I laid my doily down over the Gelato colored poem and blotted on the white acrylic paint with the stencil sponge.  I cut out hats, scarfs and tree triangles then painted the edges with black.

Once everything was dry, I glued the snowman and triangle trees together on the paper and used the black ink to stamp in "Snow" or "Let It Snow". Once everything was dry, I painted it over with Modge Podge. I also decided to add a little embellishments like Christmas buttons and gems.

Grade: A
Skill Level: Moderate-High
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Frustration Level: Low
Cost: Pricey $$ 


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Creating the perfect picture frames to hang your favorite art


Last year I was happy Hanging Kids Artwork with a bulldog clip. Now I've decided to get some inexpensive frames and hang the kids art on the wall. 

The problem with cheap frames is the flimsy hardware attached. So you'll have to purchase a frame kit that comes with an assortment of hardware including, sawtooth hangers, hanging wire, strap hangers and associated nails.You will also need a tape measure, Philips's head screw driver, pliers and hammer. 

Remove any staples from your frame with pliers. Also, remove any hardware that doesn't look sturdy. Usually cheap frames come with a strap hanger that can be bent with little effort with your bare hand. I personally don't like strap hangers on picture frames smaller than 2 feet wide, I find the saw tooth easier to work with.

Whats great about putting on your own hardware is that you can attach it in the exact same place on every picture frame to make hanging the pictures easier for you. 

I mostly use sawtooth hangers. Use the tape measure to find the center of your picture frame. You can put the sawtooth hanger 1/8 inch to a 1/2 inch below the TOP of your frame, with the saw pointing down. Once you found the correct location, then nail it in. The problem with the nails is that they are teeny tiny and you may have to try to push them in with your thumb a little before you use the hammer because they are a sucker to to hold. You can also try using a tweezers to hold the tiny nail, but I never had good luck with that.

I use the strap hangers on large frames for a sturdy hold. Once they are screwed in on either side of the picture, fish through the picture wire and then twist it around itself. When you put on the wire, make sure to test how high the wire will go once the picture is hung, you want to make sure that taught wire is the same distance from the top of the frame as where you put your sawtooth hanger on the other pictures.

My favorite art is from my kids! I took a photo of all my art on the walls and it looks like i'm using a fish-eye lens. I don't know what is up with my camera, those pictures are STRAIGHT. You'll just have to trust me.



Sunday, October 27, 2013

Spooky Eyes


My 7 year old nephew has a paper towel cardboard tube collection.  Every time my sister finishes a roll of paper towels he insists that the cardboard tube MUST be saved for his collection. Luckily my nephew's quirks are my gain. He is generous enough to share his collection with me so that I can come up with some fun crafts. Awesome kid!


I came up with an idea to make spooky light up eyes with these materials:
    paper towel tubes
    white paper 
    markers
    black paint
   Christmas/Halloween lights or glow sticks.

 This is a simple craft for kids.

1) Cut the paper towel tubes in half and cut the eyes out of tube. This part should probably be performed by an adult or a child with solid cutting skills.

2) Paint the tube with black paint and let it try.

3) Cut the white paper into 8 strips and slide these strips of paper into the dry tubes.

4) Create Eyeballs with marker

5) Slide lights through the rolls and you have spooky glow in the dark eyes!

Grade: B
Skill Level: Low
Difficulty Level: Low
Frustration Level: Low

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Spookie Pictures

Sometimes you are bored at work, do something extremely silly and come up with an incredible idea for home. This happened to my friend Natalie. She started messing around with the copier at work and started copying her face. Turns out it this makes a very spooky Halloween decoration. You can give it a try at your local library, but you may want to have your kids do it so you don't look like you've lost your mind.


















The next time Natalie is bored, I'm sure I'll be getting some pictures of her tush. My friends are funny!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Indie Films

This blog isn't just about crafts. Its about attempting new things. You just have children, your life isn't over! There is no better time than now to experience life and attempt the things you want to do. I want to make sure I try new things that I would personally find fun, so you are not going to find me jumping out of any planes. I find that terrifying. Noooooo thank you.

Sometimes its hard to get motivated and that's when you need support from your friends. Encourage each other. One of my best friends, Natalie, keeps me going and trying new adventures. 

The other day I didn't want to go out "My house is a mess, I need to clean it." 

Natalie yelled at me, "Now, do you really think that would be interesting on your tomb stone? - Had the cleanest house in town? Or would you rather be remembered as an adventurer?"

I picked adventurer.



Did you ever wonder what it would be like to have a part in a movie? I did. Last summer, I went for it and got a part in an Indie Film with the help of my friend Natalie. No. I didn't get paid, that is not the point. I have no experience as an actor, but I did have experience as a mom and that was all I needed to play the part of Ben's mom. I'd like to thank Jason Heffner, the director, for giving me the opportunity to cross this off my bucket list.

Here is trailer:






If you want to see the entire short click here :Short Film


Now I have an IMDB credit. I'm checking that off my bucket list!!! Next I'm trying stand up comedy!!!! In the mean while, I'll still continue to do crafts because I just can't stop!


Here I am on the red carpet!



Friday, September 6, 2013

Minion Cupcakes (without Twinkies)

I've got to learn to remember to bake birthday cakes and cupcakes two days BEFORE I need to send them to school. But yet again, another birthday, and I'm up until 2:30 in the morning. Although I was a zombie all day at work, at least my kid was smiling all day at school.

I saw a lot of recipes for cupcakes on the internet for Minions using a Twinkie but my kid didn't want that so I had to come up with my own ideas. After inspecting the candy aisle at the local supermarket, I decided I could work with white lifesavers for the eyes and black licorice for the hair. In retrospect, I should have used chocolate sprinkles for the hair, but I was hormonal and craving licorice. So I used 4 pieces of licorice for the hair, and the rest went in my mouth. 


Materials
Betty Crocker Rich and Creamy Icing 
Yellow gel Food Coloring
Betty Crocker Easy Squeeze Icing (Chocolate)
Cake Mate Decorative Icing (Black)
Life Savers (Pep O Mint)
A bag of Black Licorice
Dry Fondant (any will do)

All of the ingredients with the exception of the fondant, were found at my local Acme Market. I acquired the dry fondant from Michael's Craft Store. I've actually had it for months not knowing what to do with it. 

First I baked 50 mini cupcakes for school and the birthday party using two box mixes. After the cupcakes cooled I mixed a tiny bit of yellow gel food coloring in with the Betty Crocker frosting until I got the desired color yellow. Any frosting product that is white or cream color will work perfectly.  

After I iced all the cupcakes with the yellow frosting, I mixed the fondant with some water and a couple of squeezes of the the black icing to give it a gray color that would be similar to the color of the silver minion goggles. You have to mix in the fondant and water so that it is the texture of play dough. Add a little water at a time to the dry fondant and mix it with your fingers until it is the right consistency. Then add the black icing, knead it in, and keep adding the black icing until the fondant is the correct color gray.  I rolled the fondant into a thin snake and wrapped it around the outside life saver, pressing the gray fondant into the side of the lifesaver. 

I put a pea sized drop of chocolate easy squeeze icing on the yellow icing then pushed the minion goggle on to the cupcake with the Lifesaver hole over the chocolate frosting dot, to create a brown eye.

I pushed the cut up licorice into the icing at the top of the cupcake for minion hair. 

I used the black icing to make the goggle straps and the mouths. I just cut the tip off the Cake Mate Icing, I didn't use any special screw on tips.


Ta DA! Minions!


Grade: B+
Skill Level: Low
Difficulty Level: Low
Frustration Level: Moderate (You have to work with the fondant quickly because it dries fast. If it starts to crumble while you work with it, just add a drop of water and knead the fondant so it is easier to work with.)

Bad Minions! No smoking!
I know I have a sick sense of humor, my excuse is that I didn't get any sleep!!!



Saturday, August 31, 2013

Marble Mosaic Bird House

I've missing the summer months on this blog because I've been a little busy taking the kids to water parks, the beach, paddle boarding, boating, museums, NYC, fishing, swimming, surfing, national parks, picnics, nature hikes and other family fun events... And when my kids go back to school this September, when the teacher asks, "What did you do this summer?" My kids will respond "Nothing."

I would have completely blown off my blog in August if it wasn't my friend Angela's birthday. What do you give the girl who has everything? A craft from your heart of course. 

The materials 
   Any A frame unfinished bird house found at the craft store
   Aleene's - Arts & Craft Glue
   Mosaic Tile Craft Grout (use any craft grout found in the store)
   Apple Barrel Color Mosaic Green 20792
   Apple Barrel Color Berry Red 20525
   Apple Barrel Color Antique Gold 20506
   Glass marbles (found in the floral section)

Did you ever walk through the floral section of the craft store, see flat, pretty, assorted color, shiny glass beads and really really want them, but you don't know what you need them for? If your answer is yes, you are a magpie like me. I finally found an excuse to use them. They happen to make a striking mosaic tile.

I used the tacky glue to place the glass beads on the bird house. 

Let it try overnight. It is best to glue the beads on one side, wait about 30 minutes, then glue on them on the other side. You have to keep the beads flat or they slowly slide off the A frame house. After I started this, I realized that it would have been easier to use a hot glue gun.

I mixed the grout with a little paint then spread it on the birdhouse with my hand. It is much easier to use your hand to navigate around the smooth round glass beads. I would never use my hands for square glass tiles because I would surely cut myself. And blood is not a pretty color on a birdhouse.

After about 15 minutes I wiped it down with a damp sponge to clean the grout off the glass.

After it dried overnight, I scraped off the excess grout around the beads with the back of a paint brush.

I found that if you water down the paint you can spread it unevenly over the grout with a paint brush to give it a nice textured look.

I painted a couple of flowers on the front and back of the house to draw in the reds, golds and greens in the glass beads. The finished product makes a nice porch decoration!  Maybe I'll keep this one for myself !

Grade: A
Skill Level: Low
Difficulty Level: Low
Frustration Level: Low



Saturday, June 15, 2013

Train Cake

If you ever told my 20-year-old self that I would be staying up until 2:00 in the morning making a train cake for my 5-year-old, I would have told you that you were nuts... and yet many, MANY years later here we are. 


Re-wind to last year when I found this train cake pan at Jo-Ann Fabrics and decided to make my husband a cake for his promotion.  I made a train cake with dollar signs on it and put some bacon sticking out of the train car because he was "bringing home the bacon on the money train." It was the VERY first time I actually decorated a cake with with a tube set and it turned out quite well because it was so easy. I used box cake mix and mixed food coloring in with store bought icing. 

So this year, for the first time, I decided to make my son a birthday cake. Last night,  the night before his party, I realized I forgot to start the cake the day before to let it cool. Oops. So I quickly got everything out and started at 8:30 PM. This was the first time I was going to try the Duncan Hines Frosting Creations. I bought 4 packets of color/flavoring but only used 2 cans of white frosting, so the color was a little darker and the flavor was a little stronger.


To tell you the truth, I wasn't really paying attention when I grabbed this particular box of cake mix off the ACME shelf because, that day, I was worried about my soon to be 5-year-old having a melt down in the super-market. Instead of getting the regular chocolate cake, I grabbed the first thing I put my hands on. At the time, it didn't seem that important because I just wanted to get the heck out of there... WARNING this is what happens when you use SUPER MOIST cake. Another oops!!

AT this point it was almost 10:00 and there was no way in heck I was about to go to back to the super-market and re-make the cake, so I mixed my frosting and I figured I would just load the icing on the train wreck and make it look as train like as possible. Only problem was, my cake wasn't 100% cooled down... This is what happens when your cake isn't cool, your frosting starts to melt. Oops number 3. 



All my icing was just sliding off the cake, the re-construction was even a bigger mess!!! So I had to throw that sucker in the freezer for 20 minutes. Something I should have done BEFORE I started icing the cake.


The front was just so mangled that the icing just wouldn't be able to re-construct an ENTIRE train front. So I ran around the kitchen trying to find something edible to hold up the icing. I found marshmallows!!! I just started shoving it under the icing that was sliding off the front of the cake. It actually looked pretty good! The marshmallows also happened to make good looking smoke too! 

Lets be honest, I'd never make the cut for a Food Network Cake Decorating Challenge or you'd never see me on an episode of Cake Boss, however, I did save money and my son thought it was great so that's really all that mattered. 


Grade: C

Skill Level: Moderate-High
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Frustration Level: High (don't start a cake at 8:30 at night!)



Duncan Hines Frosting Creations was a big hit, He couldn't keep his fingers off!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sun Catchers for Dad

Doesn't dad have a pile of ties and mugs from Father's Day past?
Wouldn't it be nice to give dad a gift created by the kids that didn't take space in the junk drawer? I was looking at my sun-catchers and decided that simulated stained glass project is the perfect gift for Father's Day. I have included print outs for you so that you can make them too!




You can always find plastic packaging around if its in your recycle bin or your trash can. There are several types of plastics that can't be recycled and those are the best kinds to use for this project. 

1) Wash the plastic with dish soap to remove traces of dirt and oil. Dry thoroughly.

2) Rub the side of the plastic that you are going to write on with sand paper then wipe with a damp cloth.

3) Slowly trace the plastic placed over the printout with Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Markers. My 8 year old did this and really did a wonderful job.

4) Cut out plastic.

5) Spray with clear sealant for fade resistance. This step is optional.

6) Use pin to push through the plastic to create holes for fishing line.

7) Tie on fishing line. This was the absolute worst part of the project. Tying all that little, thin, slippery string was very frustrating. I will have to find some alternative to fishing line because it is a bear to work with. Actually, I'd rather work with the bear.

8) Add plastic beads to make it pretty. You can find these at any craft or 5 and 10 store.

9) Cut out another piece of plastic (clear or colored) to make the top. I used a clear plastic bottle sliced in half and cut and inch and a half thick, so that it gave the final product a curved look. You can see it more clearly if you click on the big picture at the top of this blog page. 

After my 4-year-old son saw the finished product he wanted to confiscate it for his own. I'm sure daddy will let him keep it in his room!

Grade: A-
Skill Level: Easy 
Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate
Frustration Level: Moderate (Oooooo, that fishing line!!!)


Make sure you check out the print-out below!!!

Print Me

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Chickens

This is the story of a boy and his chicken
We started raising chickens last year and I have to tell you they are the best pets EVER. They stay outside, you feed/water them once a day, they make wonderful fertilizer for the garden, they weed the garden and you get fresh eggs.  What other animal will do your gardening chores? And if you really never tried a fresh egg, you really must, its wonderful! 

To start your chicken adventure, you really only need a storage container, heating lamp and bulb, bedding, food and water. Local animal feed shops carry day-old female chicks and all the material to start your urban farm. You can also order chickens and chicken materials online. 

It is very important to make sure you select the right breed of chicken for you. We go for the gentle tempered breeds so that the chickens, the kids, and the bunny can all play together peacefully (mostly).  My Pet Chicken actually has a search engine to help you find the right breed. Would you like some chickens and don't know where to start? My Pet Chicken also has a helpful Chicken Care Guide to get you started.

As your chickens grow and start hopping out of the box, you have to get them outside and into housing. I would love to let my chickens roam free, only we have a serious chicken hawk problem. I lost 4 chickens last year to birds of pray. I would say the most difficult and expensive part about chickens is the housing. Recently I've found several people on the internet who re-purposed old children's playhouses into coups, very creative and very easy and less expensive. I wish I thought of that!!!

Urban gardening has become quite popular recently, probably because its very easy and the benefits are so high. You would be surprised how many townships allow chickens! 

This year, our friend gave us some eggs to put under our existing hens to hatch and boy was that fun for the kids, but it drove me crazy. Every day, for 21 days, the kids asked me if the chickens hatched yet. When they finally did (23 days later) we were over the moon with our new little peeps! We decided to do a photo shoot to capture the cuteness!!! Now if I could just get the kids to corporate for their photo shoot as easily as the chicks!



Thursday, May 9, 2013

Make Thyme for Mom!

As you can see from this blog, we really love giving and getting plants! What better way to share a plant with someone than by personalizing your gift with something you did yourself!  Mother's Day is coming up so I am adding a clever saying on this one to make it memorable!  

 Materials:


  • Terracotta Pots (I used 4 inch)
  • Acrylic Paint in your choice of colors (I used one 2 oz bottle to do 2 coats on 7 of my pots)
  • Paint brush/ paint sponge
  • Black Sharpie Marker or paint pen
  • Water proofing spray for your pot (you can use a Thompson's water sealer or a clear acrylic sealer. If you are going to plant edible plants, then it is important to use a nontoxic sealer.)
  • One penny per pot to cover the hole to keep in the soil but still allow for drainage
  • Soil
  • Thyme plants or seeds
  • Paint Mask


Directions:

Rinse your terracotta pots with water and let completely dry.  This will wash away any clay dust that will get into your paint. I usually let them dry overnight.

Put a white/cream/light colored primer coat on your pot.  This helps the color go on smoother and remain more true to color.  Since this is your primer coat, only one coat is necessary, don't worry about streaks.

Paint your base color.  This will require two coats. Allow your first coat to dry (this happens pretty quickly maybe 10-20 minutes. An exact time is not able to be given due to temperature and humidity conditions as well as the thickness of paint that effect this time, but you will know because the paint is no longer glossy.)

Paint your accents!  Always use two coats with dry time between each coat!  If wanting to write something or add certain details, you can use a Sharpie or paint pen to help make this easier and neater for you!  No need to try to fight with a brush for this step!  This should be fun and not stressful!   You can also use Q-tips or the eraser on the back of a pencil to make your dots or cut sponges to make shapes with your paint.   Get creative!!

When you have allowed your project to dry/cure for 24 hours, it is time to waterproof your pot inside and out.  Follow directions on the label of your product.  Remember if this is a planter for an edible plant, you need a nontoxic water sealer to prevent chemicals from leeching into your soil and then your plants.

Put a penny, rock, piece of broken pot, or other item in the bottom of you pot to cover the hole and help with drainage without soil loss, then fill with soil and plant your seeds or plant!  Now you have a one of a kind gift that everyone will love!


If you want to make the watermelon pot, I used Apple Barrel Light Pink for my base and then painted Folkart Extreme Glitter Neon Pink over it.  I then used Apple Barrel Sage Green with the Folkart Extreme Glitter Peridot.  Then Black Sharpie Marker for the seeds and writing!  Using a Sharpie was a lot easier than trying to paint the seeds and write with a brush and black paint!  One tip to remember though is to make your seeds random and this is a case of less is more!  

The most fun I had with this project was using the Extreme Glitter paint!  I love it!  I see a lot of sparkly things in my garden in the future!  I really loved this product!  Happy painting!

Grade: A

Skill Level: Easy to Moderate
Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate
Frustration Level: Mild

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Turning Trash Cans Into a Work of Art

If you have animals or enjoy feeding the wild birds then you always have an issue with where to keep the food/grain/seed. If you keep it in your garage or shed, you run the risk of getting bugs and rodents. According to my local feed store.  the best way to do it is to keep it in a galvanized trash can outside. However, that galvanized trash can is ugly (U-G-L-Y ugly, and it ain't got no alibi cuz its ugly) and most importantly, it doesn't go with the decor in my outside living space.  Eventually, I had to give into the ugly can when a brigade of crazy squirrels, high on pesticides, ransacked my garage and ate through the rubber maid container full of chicken feed.

I bought 2 cans of Rustoleum spray paint and some lace doilies from the dollar store. 

1) Painted my can and some other garden metal things blue so they would match.  I waited a few days for everything to dry, 

2) Used painters tape to tape on the lace doilies,

3) Spray painted green over the doilies then removed them,

4) Waited 2 hours to dry, put the seed in the can and placed strategically in my garden along with the other blue painted items.

Grade: A

Skill Level:Easy

Difficulty Level:Easy

Frustration Level: Mild



OOPS!!! Next project: Painting the cement driveway.



Here is a bigger view!! So cute!!


Monday, April 29, 2013

Preventing the Abuse of Couch Cushions with a PVC Tent

Don't you hate it when you walk in a room to see your entire couch dismantled because your kids commandeered your furniture to make a fort? Me too. Furniture is for sitting, not for a tent city re-creation. But kids need a hide-out so I decided to create a PVC tent that could easily be put up and taken down with minimal fuss and less furniture damage.  


Materials (get at home improvement store):
2 - 10 ft. 3/4" PVC pipe 
6 -  3/4" Tee PVC connector
8 - 3/4" 45 Degree elbow spig X slip PVC connector. (one side of the elbow will be smaller than the other because you will slip the smaller side directly into the tee.
Saw


Directions:
Measure and mark one 10-inch PVC pipe for 3 pieces that will be 32 inches and 1 piece that will be 24 inches. The other PVC pipe will be marked for 3 - 24 inch pieces and 4 - 12 inch pieces.

This way you will have
   3 pieces of pipe that are 32 inches, 
   4 pieces that will be 24 inches and, 
   4 pieces that will be 12 inches. 

You only have to saw the PVC pipe half way through and you can bend it the rest of the way with your hands so it will snap and break. Very easy to work with and a bit forgiving, so if your measurements are a little off, you can still work with it.

Next you take your 45 degree elbows and your tee connectors and fit them together as shown in the picture. This will create 2 pieces for the roof of the tent and 4 pieces to connect the sides.

The 4-24 inch PVC pipe will be put into the elbows to make the roof of the tent. The 4-12 inch PVC pieces will be used to make the sides of the tent as shown in the picture. You have now created the front and the back of the tent. 

The 3 - 32 inch PVC pipe pieces will be used to connect the front and back of the tent through the tee connectors.

Give all the connections a good squeeze before you flip it on its side. I found no reason to glue it together, I like being able to take it apart and shove it in the closet when company unexpectedly shows up.

Throw a blanket over it and viola! Tent!

I really have to say that I enjoyed playing with the PVC pipe. They remind me of  giant tinker toys.


I know there is some left overs in the picture, but you won't have that, I'm making other fun things with this stuff in the future !!!


Grade: A 

Skill Level: Medium

Difficulty Level: Medium

Frustration Level: Low

Price: