| February 1, 2011 | 2:18 pm
Here’s a good shot of the couch in my living room that my husband and I bought after we moved into our home in 2006. We got this couch and a matching arm chair at a moving sale for $300 all together. Rob really likes the fabric more than me, which makes sense because it is very manly. I like it, but I don’t love it. Especially because the dominant color in the stripe is green and I don’t really decorate with green. I’m more of a blue person. And have become even more of a blue person after we brought home our rug.
I have slip covered the couch in blue. Many many times actually. But I just don’t like the look of this couch when slip covered so we always come back to the stripes and I have to think about the green and how I wish it was blue.
Well, the other day I was thrifting for some shoes (I am always looking for shoes for my kids), which is right next to the housewares department at the thrift store. That’s how I came across this handmade crochet blanket which is, low and behold, the color scheme of my couch! But it has the blue as the dominant color! It has solved all my problems! And best of all, it gives me that “I-make-things-for-my-family” look without having purchased the yarn and spent the time crocheting the blanket myself. In fact this blanket cost less than $4. It’s amazing. Decorating zen for less than a Five Spot.
| January 27, 2011 | 3:18 pm
We got a comment in the last post from Portage Trail Barn asking what it was that inspired me to decorate in blue and goldenrod. This rug was given to us from my husband’s grandmother’s estate about 3 years ago and has lived in our living room ever since.
For a while I have been trying to ignore the beauty of this rug and experiment with brighter colors in the room, but I’m discovering that I am falling out of love with the fully saturated colors from a year or two ago. It’s time for a change. A muted change.
I’m also planning to repaint the kitchen this spring to a warm, pink-toned tan (instead of carrot orange!). The color I found that I liked was “fawn” and I’ll just find whatever brand of paint matches that color best at our locally owned paint store, January Paints. I love January’s, it’s owned by the family of a girl I went to Kindergarten with. I remember shopping there with my mom as a child!
| October 12, 2010 | 11:53 am
First of all, I really felt silly after I quit doing this so quickly. I was sure I’d make it at least a couple of weeks, and I only made it one. But the reasons I quit were pretty legitimate.
First of all I loved getting up and knowing exactly what I needed to have ready for my day. It was a lot like my girls’ school uniforms, get up get dresses get going. If I was feeling colorful I’d grab some cool tights and a scarf or a belt, but I didn’t need to do that if I was running late and I’d still be put together.
But when we were going to be flying for a whole day to get to Austin I knew that nursing my baby was not going to work in this dress, I’d flash the whole plane! So I grabbed some jeans for the flight with a blouse to wear for the day, and packed my dress with some accessories and some shirts to wear with it into my suitcase.
Then Rob walked in and saw me in something other than my October Dress and he said, “I’m really glad you’re wearing something else. I like it when you have more color near your face.” And that was the end of the dress project. But I do feel that I will be picking my few staple pieces out more often. I loved the simplicity of being dressed well right away.
So I plan on using my October Dress much more often, and will try to incorperate into my wardrobe most days this month and I will continue to take photographs when I think I’m making it work. Hope no one thinks I’m a pansy for chickening out!
| September 6, 2010 | 9:06 pm
Sometimes I find something in my closet that is really old that speaks to me like the newest trends. I can’t even remember when I found this scarf at the thrift store. But something about it made it seem very current.
I decided to check it to The Pantone Fashion Color Report 2010 online booklet. Lo and behold, this who-know-what-year-scarf has this year’s green, “woodbine,” and this year’s pinkish cream, “rose dust.” It is also very close to the turquoise for the year, “lagoon.”
How inspiring to find this already in my possession! So now I’ve flipped through page after page of designers in the booklet using the forecast colors in sketches and felt super inspired. I’m thinking I want to download their app for our iPad so I can bring it along when I hit the thrift store. Heck, I can use it when I search my stash!
Has anyone else found a really trendy look in their own closet? Does anyone else pay this much attention to trends, or am I a complete fashion victim? Ha!
| July 23, 2010 | 4:40 pm
I have always thought it would be fun to have a Photo Gallery of post-craft hand pictures. Like the time I was using a knife to carve into wax and cut into my thumb but there was a bunch of wax in the cut so it didn’t bleed (OK maybe not that one). Or after making my magazine coasters how I had a ton of dried glue all over me. It’s sort of like the hand picture could be a project in itself.
Well, these hands are dyed with fabric dye. Really really badly. This summer’s craft at Vacation Bible School (which I did not pick but was left in charge of executing) was to tie dye 50 kids’ shirts in five 20 minute long groups. Let’s just say that after changing my gloves 15 times only to find a new hole in all of the available pairs I gave up on the gloves and went for the bare-hand approach. The only way to recover from hands this blackened is to go swimming in a chlorinated pool, by the way.
So, if you have some crazy hands after a project consider taking a picture. And if you do, let us know you did it by posting the pictures in our Flickr pool.
| March 19, 2010 | 9:17 am
I found this Melissa and Doug doll house in our basement, which I had forgotten that we had. We were given two doll houses in one year, and kept both of them, but somehow this one was forgotten. I decided that I would use it as a display case for craft fairs, and thus need to give it a paint job.
Mary had a can of chalkboard paint and said I could use it. We gave it two good coats, and it looks awesome. Here it is displaying one of Mary’s owls.
What I somehow hadn’t expected was that my kids would want to play with it, too. I figured, it’s erasable so why not? They love it! Sometimes they coat the whole exterior in chalk and say they are painting the house. Sometimes they draw people on the interior walls. They also make rugs on the floors and pictures on the walls.
This was such a simple project. You could easily do it in an afternoon. And if you don’t have a doll house, you could attach a small triangle shaped piece of craft wood or plywood to a little 2 or 3 shelf bookcase. Give it a couple of coats of chalk board paint and you have a decoratable doll house!
| February 21, 2010 | 6:35 pm
All my yarn-addicted friends have peer-pressured me into dyeing yarn. I’m just dabbling, for fun. I’m not as proficient as Mary, Jenn, or Martha, but I did manage to make white yarn turn sherbet colored.
I used my ancient crockpot to keep the water at a consistent temperature, and Wilton dyes. To set the dye I used lemon juice. I didn’t measure anything, because experiments are for guessing. That’s probably why I ended up with sherbet when I was aiming for the same color orange as my kitchen walls.
I still call it success, because it is pretty, and I can knit with it. Hurrah!
| January 6, 2010 | 12:02 am
Yesterday Devona shared her resolutions for this new year, so I thought I’d share mine as well.
First, I’d like to learn to better use color in my artwork, home, and wardrobe. I found some good books & am looking for more (any suggestions??). So far, I like the Pantone book Color: Messages & Meanings and Color Harmony. And I’m keeping a binder of color inspirations I find in magazines, flyers, photos, and online sources.
Second, I want to learn more of the metalsmithing side of jewelry making. I joined the Ohio Jewelry & Metal Arts Guild, and I plan on taking some classes at Edy Beady’s Bead Shoppe in Canton. I’ve been talking about metalsmithing for years, but I finally bought some metal, a hammer, and have ordered other supplies. Plus I have some broken jewelry that needs soldering, so I’m determined to learn and be able to fix them myself.
Other than that, I want to continue teaching craft classes, networking with local artists, and finding more ways to be creatively resourceful with what I have. Perhaps I don’t sound too ambitious, but I also have a baby girl on the way in April! So I’ll save my bigger resolutions for 2011.
| August 12, 2009 | 8:56 am
Sometimes you really want the look of new linens or clothing but what you already have is still perfectly usable. That was the case with our bassinet skirt. I’ve used the same bassinet for both my daughters and it has some small stains, and general dinginess. Not to mention I’m a little bored with the frilly new baby look and wanted something that would blend in a little more with my bedroom decor. It’s in cases like this that a dye job is exactly what is in order.
If you’re as unlucky as I am, there isn’t a safe place in your home to work with permanent dye without creating a huge mess. In my home the only mess-free way of using fabric dye is in the washing machine. You lose some of the control over the final outcome, but you can still achieve a quality, permanent dye in a short amount of time with nearly no clean up. In this tutorial I will show one way of using your top loading washing machine to dye fabric.
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| August 6, 2009 | 6:50 pm
About two years ago Anna Maria Horner was on Martha Stewart teaching how to make a fabric silhouette painting (the “crafting with fabric” segment) and I’ve wanted to do it ever since. In fact I bought the canvases about a year ago and have been putting it off since. I knew that I wanted to put the artwork in our newly remodeled bathroom, but I didn’t know what I wanted to silhouette.
Then I watched the fabric painting project on Reconstruct, and I got the itch again to make this art. I didn’t have enough fabric to use Anna Maria’s method so I sort of blended the two projects into one.
I cut out the silhouettes from the fabric and pasted them to the painted canvas with Mod Podge. Then to give it a little bit of detail and contrast I went over the fabric with acrylic paint in a sort of drop-shadow fashion. I like the look over all, especially since I’m not really a graphic artist and usually work in 3-D. I do sort of wish I had done the canvases in the red and the drop-shadow in the green. I may end up changing it since they are on my blue walls and blend in a little too well.
It was pretty quick to work on. I made it over the course of a few days to allow for paint drying time. I will most likely make this again, probably smaller and for gift-giving purposes.