The rules of reality say the Bumble Bee shouldn't be able to fly...some rules were meant to be broken.

Monday, November 18, 2013

So Many Bundles Of Joy

I know so many people who are expecting right now.  Another grandchild is on the way.

Today I tackled my first gift for the daughter of a friend who's baby was born on Saturday.  I made this reversible baby sling so that she can keep her new little boy close to her heart.

Some ribbon and a bow add a little style.

...a little bit more ribbon sewn over the fold over.

 Nothing like a little "Made by hand with love" tag to let your giftee know that it's a one of a kind.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

It's a Struggle

Crafting, painting, building, gardening...  I love them all.  But they all have at least this one thing in common.  You have to have hands.  You have to have fingers, and you have to be able to use them.

It's a struggle for me. 

I have Rheumatoid Arthritis.  The more appropriate name is Rheumatoid Disease.

Many people have a misunderstanding of what this disease is. It's not just sore knees, achy joints or old age.   RD is an auto-immune disorder.  The simple explanation is that your own body is attacking itself.

Pardon My French

Rheumatoid Disease is constant pain & constant fatigue.

There are different severity levels and different symptoms, but one thing remains the same.  A few ibuprofen doesn't solve the problem.  Many people with RD have very serious issues with their hearts, lungs and other internal organs as a result of this disease.  Many have severe sores and deformities.  

At this point in my life I am managing my pain with medication and by limiting the use of my hands and feet.  I've developed some larger knuckles.  I don't walk much anymore.  My crafting time is limited so my projects take much longer than they used to.  I'm often enlisting my talented daughter to help me with some of my projects.  I'm good for about 45 minutes of shopping at the most, and even that is not pain free.  The electronic shopping carts at Walmart have become my friend.  That was a serious pride pill for me to swallow.

The long and short of it is this...I'll be crafting and painting with my brain til the day I go home.  As long as I can bum a few fingers off of a friend or family member, what goes on in the head will become a reality.  

I'll also be visiting Disneyland as long as I can. 

So I ask my followers to be patient with my slow projects and postings.

Be considerate of those with "invisible" diseases, and remember not all "arthritis" is the same.

If you share my illness share it with me.  Support is important.

As my dear friend Eileen, who is 90 years old and has been struggling with RD for over 40 years said to me...



Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Pretty Pallet Persuasions

Ripping pallets apart can't be a daunting process.  I spent a lot of wasted effort before finding this handy technique. I used his second technique with the pry bar and a piece of wood.

I just happened to have a 4' long pry bar handy and it worked great.

After accumulating plenty of rustic, distressed wood I decided to create some wall art.

First I added a few blotches of blue to the entire piece.  Then I found a peacock silhouette on the internet, blew it up to cover 4 sheets of standard copy paper, cut and taped the pieces together then used double-stick tape to adhere it to the boards.  The lettering was done using contact paper and my Cricut.  I finished it off with a quick coat of white spray paint and hit the edges and high spots lightly with my electric sander.

Again, my Cricut and some contact paper.

A little of my Canadian heritage on this cute vintage farm piece.

I did this fun piece for my daughter and son-in-law.  They're really into pirates.  It's a big one...48" across.

Instead of paint I thinned out some water based wood stain and put it in a spray bottle.  After creating the stencils with contact paper I sprayed it with the stain.  Again, I finished it off with a light sanding.

I've got a few more ideas I'm going to try.  Keep your eyes peeled.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Quicky Post #1

Hope Chest.

I've had this piece for over 30 years.  I just repainted and reupholstered it.
Sorry, I forgot to take before pictures.

Ready for it's new job...storing grandbaby toys.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Sweet Dreams

Perfect for my little princess.

Yes, it's a bench made from a bed...sort of.  I built this out of a full size bed frame but rather than constructing the standard bed-bench I decided to make it bigger.  I wanted something outdoors that was really comfortable.  What better than an big bench with a mattress and lots of throw pillows, right?

So much for my comfy outdoor bench.

My daughter confiscated it and turned it into a toddler bed for my little grand-princess.  

 What color should it be painted?

Just in case you're wondering about the construction...

I built a frame and attached the headboard.  The foot board was cut down the middle and attached.  Then I attached left over IKEA bed slats and dropped in a $10 waterproof Craigslist crib mattress.

Total cost.  $35 for bed and mattress
Appx. $10 for wood and hardware.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Recycle, repurposed wearable art.

This tunic was a fun project.  It involved a lot of sitting and looking, standing and looking, pinning and looking, planning and looking.  It also involved the following:

Drapery Samples
Shower Curtain
Scrap Ribbon
Scrap Lace
Scrap Button

(Note the repeatative use of "Scrap")

I love this top and I get so many wonderful comments when I wear it.  The base of the top was made from a fitted tablecloth with crocheted trim.  There were pleats that leanded themselves well to being incorporated into the design.

Crocheted Tablecloth

The project involved a lot of online photo research as I am not the seamstress my mother is, and I didn't have a pattern.  I found that a Mexican Peasant Blouse style is flexible and easy to sew.

The lace for the bodice was made by criss-crossing and top stitching lace drapery fabric samples my mother gave me.  Lace flowers are actually quite easy to make.  They are trimmed with a few pieces of ribbon scraps.

I covered the tunic part of the top with roughly finished scraps cut from a lace shower curtain. 
Split for comfort

Back View
I'm always buying linens that catch my eye based on the features and finishes.  I love how those pieces came together and I love wearing this comfortable top.

Oh, it's all machine washable, although I like to hand wash it to keep the lace looking pretty.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

My 1st Chalk Paint Project

My 1st Chalk Paint Project

I love painting furniture with chalk paint!  I've tried plain house paint & spray paint and I've attempted multiple techniques for creating that just perfect aged effect.  Dish soap, Vaseline, bar soap, glaze, windex, bleach, Cleansers...  While I liked the results of some of these materials I had trouble getting a consistent outcome.

Next up, chalk paint.  The brand name paints were WAY out of my price range so I tried a homemade recipe found online.

1 cup latex house paint
2 1/2 tablespoons Plaster Of Paris
1 1/2 tablespoons cool water

But, first things first.  I found this bed at a yard sale for $15.  Yes, that's right.  The whole Queen sized frame for $15.  It needed a little something to give it that "shabby" look.  Using a plastic stencil and some spackling paste I added a 3-D feature to the headboard and foot board.

I used a wide plastic putty knife and slapped the spackling paste on...thicker than paint but not too substantial.  If the paste is too thick the formation of the stencil won't show the detail.

Once the paste is dry be sure to gently put a coat of basic house or craft paint over it before applying your chalk paint.  This way it will maintain it's shape through the more rugged swish-swash of the chalk painting process.

The bed frame was blue and gray originally.  I put on two coats of chalk paint with a brush, sanded a few spots to let a small amount of the gray show through, then finished with two coats of clear wax.

A pretty, bright white bed with that wonderful, shabby look I just love.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Basic Books

I feel sorry for books.

Not all books, just those already-read, can't-sell-at-a-yard-sale, obscure little books that end up at the thrift store collecting dust.  I keep waiting for my brain to kick in with all sorts of wonderful inventions.  Every once in awhile a new idea crops up, but alas, I feel there must be more creativity stuck inside my gray matter that just hasn’t surfaced yet.

Maybe some of my already created treasures will inspire someone else to save a few trees, and a few written words from ending up in the recycle bin.

Crackle finish memory book trio

Burlap covered book duo - Spray paint burlap using an old lace curtain as a stencil

You can use your printer to create a fabric accent on muslin.

Another pretty book.  I printed the burlap on my printer then stitched the fabric layers before gluing to the book.  Highlited with a rhinestone and a ribbon.

 If you are in the mood for a little more effort, see what you can create after you pull some books apart.
Hard cover text book repurposed into a journal for my sister.  (PS, we're dutch)

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