Modern Art

I recently moved to a new house and decided to paint my office gray. I feel so lucky to finally have a whole room all to myself! I chose the Valspar color Urban Sunrise. I really like the color and was super excited to finally hang up a large picture that belonged to my mom, it has a foggy London in the 1800′s scene and is a great frame. I decided to hang two of her other pictures on either side of the large one. These are ladies fashion prints that were originally in various old wood frames. I picked out two matching frames and repainted them to update the look and match better with the large picture and my new gray walls.

The finished frames

The finished frames

I’ve been getting a free subscription to Real Simple magazine using my Coke Rewards points, and inside they have coupons for a free sample of Valspar paint. I chose the color Mountain Smoke, a darker gray.

Valspar Mountain Smoke paint sample

Valspar Mountain Smoke paint sample

I used a foam brush and gave my old wood frames a few coats of this lovely gray paint. Then I trimmed one of my prints that was too large and had some water damage, and cut new cardboard backs because the original ones had some water damage. I cut up a large back from a pad of drawing paper instead of buying a new piece of backing.

new cardboard and window push points

new cardboard and window push points

To hold the glass, picture, and cardboard in place, I purchased a pack of Window Push Points. Just lay your frame down on a blanket so you don’t scratch the paint and use a flat tool to wiggle these points back and forth a bit until they slide into the wood. Pretty simple, an easy way to hold things together, space them evenly around and use as many or as few as your frame needs.

I used this extra wide putty knife to push in the points

I used this extra wide putty knife to push in the points

Now I can’t wait to hang them all up but I’m not done with touching up the trim in the room, so that will have to wait a little longer. I really think the grey helps the color in the prints to pop a bit. And, I still have almost a full sample so I’m on the lookout to update more stuff. If you don’t have a free coupon, you can still pick up these sample jars for less than $3 which means anyone can make an easy and frugal change to their own frames and decor.

light blue ladiesblue ladies

I know the colors are all over the place with my not so great pictures, but trust me, Mountain Smoke is a fabulous gray!

 

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Snow Dome Ornaments

In recent years I’ve seen a lot of neat vintage looking Christmas ornaments in the stores. The ornaments have a glass globe or bell covering a little winter scene. I’ve been wanting to make some of my own but had a hard time finding small glass coverings to use. I had pretty much given up hope. This year, my sister came across a tutorial called, DIY Vintage Inspired Bell Jar Ornaments, showing how to make your own using plastic wine glasses. The idea for the material and how to turn it into a bell shape were perfect. I’m so glad she found this helpful hint which allowed me to finally make my own vintage looking ornaments.

Santa and the Snowman

Santa and the Snowman

We bought our plastic wine glasses at the Dollar Tree. Lucky for me, my boyfriend has a Dremel rotary cutting tool and he was able to saw off the stems of the plastic glasses in just a few minutes time. I’m sure there are other tools you could use, but this was a suggestion in the tutorial we found, so we tried it. They won’t all be perfectly level, but handmade items are not always identical, and that’s why we love them!

Winter Gnome

Winter Gnome

For this project, your must have tools will be scissors, a glue stick, and a hot glue gun. You can choose from any number or ways to decorate your snow dome. I made the bases using patterned scrapbook paper glued onto cardboard or a cereal box. Use a circle template to trace a circle slightly larger than the rim of the glass onto the cardboard. You can cut this out with plain or decorative scissors for different looks.

To decorate the inside of the snow domes, you can use little toys, figures, or objects. I had a lot of fun using my rubber stamps to create unique little scenes. I stamped my images onto white paper and colored them with pens and colored pencils. I carefully cut them out using an X-ACTO knife. I used a little line or dot of hot glue to make the paper images stand upright on my bases. Continue adding all of your stand up elements.

Decorated base

Decorated base

Next, I glued the plastic dome onto the base using hot glue. To cover up the hot glue line, trim your glass with ribbon, paper, glitter, or pipe cleaner. I used pipe cleaner because it is easy to shape and dries quickly with hot glue. Then, fill your dome with fake snow, glitter, confetti, or in my case, tiny glass balls called Micro Marbles. You can get these in different colors, and a lot of scrapbook brands make them. The clear ones I used have a nice snow/ice look to them. I painted the bottom with opalescent glitter before pouring in the clear glass marbles, just for added sparkle.

Different style toppers

Different style toppers

To close up the opening in your snow dome, you can use a little hot glue and a bead or button. I had some clear buttons that were just the right size, slightly bigger than the hole in the glass. Tie your thread or string that you are using to hang your ornament through the bead or button and use a dot of hot glue to keep the string attached to the underside of the button, that way it won’t fall into your snow globe when it’s not hanging up. Remember to add your string before you glue it closed! I used the clear button by itself, but on others, I added a second button, or a matching pipe cleaner trim. I even made a dome with a glittery ball that is just a shelf decoration instead of an ornament. The only limit is your creativity.

Vintage Charm

Vintage Charm

The above snow dome was made using a rubber stamped image of a typewriter, and metal brads in the shape of typewriter keys. By adding a seasonal message like the word, “joy”, you can turn any image into a festive decoration to match your interests or decor.

Home for the Holidays

Home for the Holidays

I love this rubber stamp of a great big old house. I use it for lots of things but couldn’t resist adding simple touches like candles and a wreath on the front door. I made little trees for the front by trimming green pipe cleaner at an angle to create the shape of a tree. You could make these using photos of your own home or special restaurants or hotels to commemorate events. These would make a special gift for those hard to shop for people we all know.

A dome for any occasion

A dome for any occasion

As you can see, I was having way too much fun with these! Don’t limit yourself to Christmas ornaments, or even ornaments for that matter. Above, I made this adorable squirrel that will look great displayed on a shelf, mantle, or table. This woodland dome will look great all year round. I made my own tree stump out of paper and pens, added cute little colorful acorns, and a rubber stamped squirrel. I can’t wait to make more of these for all kinds of holidays, occasions, or just for fun. This craft is a great way to pass the time with family and friends. The materials don’t cost much, especially if you utilize your rubber stamps, or cut out images from magazines and photographs. Plug in your glue guns and have fun!

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Easy Gift Tags

It’s time to wrap the presents! Don’t spend money on gift tags, make your own using wrapping paper and a few craft supplies!

Make tags to match any wrapping paper

Make tags to match any wrapping paper

You will need some wrapping paper, plain colored paper, scissors, a hole punch, and a glue stick. If you have access to craft punches, these tags will be even quicker to make.

Supplies

Supplies

Step One, glue down your paper

Step One, glue down your paper

The first thing you will do is cut out a square of your wrapping paper and use the glue stick to glue it onto the colored paper. This creates the front and back of your tag. Wrapping paper by itself it thin and tends to tear or curl up.  Now you can either use a craft punch, or cut out a shape with scissors.

Step Two - cut out the tags

Step Two – cut out the tags

I’ve used a large circle punch, a smaller circle punch, and a corner punch. Some tags I cut by hand, simply follow the design on your wrapping paper. When you have them all cut out, use a standard size hold punch to make a hole at the top of each tag. I used a black pen to write To: and From: on the back of each tag.

Step Three - Wrap your gifts

Step Three – Wrap your gifts

I like to make a bunch of these all at once and keep them with my wrapping supplies. I generally wrap my presents whenever they come in the mail, or when I get home from the store. Having a matching tag makes your present look great! To use, simply thread your ribbon through the tag before you tie it around your package.

Custom and cute gift tags

Custom and cute gift tags

Don’t forget to use plenty of curling ribbon, it’s cheaper than buying bows and so much fun to curl! Happy Holidays!

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A Halloween Wreath

October is a busy time for our front doors and porches. In addition to a seemingly steady flow of political canvassers, we are coming up on that magical night, October 31st. Some years that means a small handful of trick-or-treaters, and other years, it means a steady parade of carefully constructed costumes. While running out of candy would be tragic, having an uninviting front porch would be worse. How else do you let people know they are welcome to come up and knock! In addition to flickering carved pumpkins, I always put out a few other festive decorations and lanterns. Don’t forget to leave the porch light on as well. All it takes is one decoration to let people know you celebrate this spooky holiday. If you don’t have a large doorstep or porch, then this is the ideal Halloween decoration for you. Today we are making a simple Halloween wreath.

Supplies

This craft is pretty inexpensive, I got all of my supplies for about $10.00 at Michael’s. I used a 40% coupon on the wreath itself and all of the extra bits were on sale. This black plastic wreath is just like green ones you find around Christmas time, I chose the 18″ size, pick whatever size is right for your needs. Whenever I’m making a wreath like this I always check the Christmas section for floral and wreath making accents. You might be surprised to learn that these glittery orange leaves and silvery grey balls were tucked in with with poinsettias and holly berries! Plus, if you want a bit of color in your Halloween wreath, they have some great purple and bright green accents to choose from. I picked out some black and white ribbon, a cute little wooden ornament of a spell book, and this great little owl with an orange glittering front. You will need some string, black is best, and a hot glue gun and glue sticks, also a pair of wire cutters or scissors.

Black Wreath

Before you decorate these wreaths, you need to “fluff” them out. Kind of like setting up a fake Christmas tree. The one on the left is straight out of the bag, when you pull apart all of the branches and bend them outward, you end up will a nice full looking wreath like the one on the right.

The owl and spell book

The first thing I put together was my little owl and the wooden spell book ornament. I cut off the ribbon from the ornament and tucked one of the wires from the owls feet through the hole. Then I used hot glue to secure the wire to the ornament. I glued a long piece of black string to the back of the ornament, this will allow me to tie the piece onto the wreath. I cut off the wire from the other foot and added a small drop of hot glue to secure it to the wooden book.

Owl and spell book

The owl has a small clip on the back that I secured to one of the branches and then tied my string around the wreath. I like this better than gluing the whole piece down because I can straighten in out easier when I hang this up again next year!

The black and white bow

I’m the first one to admit, I have no idea how to make a proper bow! Maybe someday I’ll learn, but this cut and glue method usually does the trick for me. I started by making four large loops, the length depends on how big you want your bow. I used hot glue to secure the ends together and to hold the middle of each loop into the pinched shape. I stacked these larger loops together using hot glue to form what is starting to look like a bow. Then, I cut a bunch of smaller strips and folded them to make half size loops, I glued the ends together and glued these single loops all the way around to fill out the bow. I did the same thing with even smaller loops to make a fuller middle section. Then I made one small loop and glued in to the center. Next, I flipped over the bow and glued a long piece of black string to the back. Just like we did for the owl, this makes the bow easy to tie on and re-position if needed.

bow with orange glittered leaves

Once my bow was tied on in the right place, I cut apart my stems of glittered leaves. I hot glued little leaf clusters on each side of the bow and continued gluing leaves down until it looked as full as I wanted, on both sides. With the bow finished and my owl in place, I put the silvery grey balls on as a finishing touch. I cut them off the cluster using wire cutters and randomly placed them around the wreath using a dab of hot glue on each. I think they break up the solid black sections nicely and give this wreath a little more glamour.

The Halloween Wreath

I have a large metal hook to the left of my front door which is where I always hang my wreaths. These don’t weigh too much though, I’ve used wire in the past to tie them to the wooden part of the screen door, or you can pick up a wreath hanger that slips over the top of the door. I’ve seen them pretty cheap this time of year, check the Dollar Tree.

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Halloween is coming…

I found this green glass jar at Goodwill last week. It was only $1.99 and such a great color, I had to get it. I decided that because I didn’t “need” it, I would use it for a Halloween decoration, or candy jar.

Green Glass Jar

I used rubber stamps and scrapbook paper to make a label for my jar. I carefully cut out the stamped design and used a piece of double sided adhesive to turn it into a sticker.

Making a label

I applied my sticker to the glass jar, all done! I chose to name the contents Poison, but you could make a bunch of these using all different containers and have fun making up the various labels and contents. This was a very quick craft too, less than 15 minutes. It’s a bit early to decorate for Halloween but I couldn’t resist this Goodwill Bargain.

The Poison Jar

 

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The case of the spotted monster…

Hey everyone! I’ve been staying busy with some school stuff but I am trying to make a few new things for an upcoming show. The Super Rad PDX Craft Show is this weekend, check out the details in my events section or visit Super Rad PDX! To make a long story short, this is my latest creation. I acquired more fake fur than you could imagine awhile back and just started trying some new things. This little guy started with some inspiration from a game I’ve been playing on my phone. The game is simple, feeding and playing with pet monsters. One monster in the game has curly ears that I thought were too cute. So, here is a monster with curly ears!

Curly ears

I start making new monsters by drawing out a pattern on paper. I cut out the paper pattern to mark my fabric. I originally had a different idea for the feet and this creature was going to be standing up. When I got the body sewn up and partly stuffed, I decided I wanted it to be a “sitter”. That’s how I describe flat bottoms and dangling legs or feet. So, the reason this post deserves a mystery novel title is as follows… changing a design midway is all fine and dandy, but this time I wasn’t thinking clearly and cut out a round piece for the seat area. After a frustrating amount of time, which shall remain a secret, I realized I cut the wrong shape! The last few “sitters” I made had round bottoms and by habit I just went with round. Silly me! This guy needed an oval shape, no wonder it wasn’t working!

An all around view

The thing I wanted to share with my fellow crafters is this, everyone makes a mistake once in awhile! I eventually stepped away from the table and two minutes later realized what I was doing wrong. Remember to take a break, it’s really easy to keep trying the wrong way hoping it will magically work. Even when I’m doing something like this, that I love and enjoy, I need to take breaks. Lesson learned. In the end, I am pleased with this new creature and I’m sure it will be a big hit at the show on Sunday.

The curly eared monster

Glow in the dark eyes

 

 

 

 

 

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A Fresh Coat of Paint

The red bird

I plant a lot of flowers every summer for my container garden. Years ago I purchased this resin bird statue to sit among my flowers. I leave this bird on my back patio all year round and the sun and rain end up fading it. Every other summer I repaint it and give it a couple coats of spray varnish. I’m pretty sure this statue will last forever! Well, this year I’ve been seeing all kinds of amazing bright green and orange flower pots. Because I already have more than enough flower pots, I decided to bring in a bit of new color with paint. Since my red bird was looking less than red, I figured it was time to try green!

My shiny new bird statue

I gave it a good scrub with soapy water and let it dry. I used some acrylic paint I had already, the color is called Citron Green. I didn’t bother with a base coat of primer or anything, so I had to do about three coats of green to get a good even finish. Once that was dry I sprayed it with the clear to help it last longer in the rain and sun. I really love this color!

Fresh greens

I put the bird next to my Coleus plants. The way the leaves match the birds green color is great, and the purple and pinks make it pop even more. After seeing how bright and modern my bird was looking, I decided to repaint a small bunny statue I had.

Brown bunny statue

This little guy came from the Dollar Tree. Like the bird, it’s resin and will last for a very long time, it just started looking kind of faded and not as cute. An easy fix, white paint! I’ve loved seeing all of the things people paint white these days, from thrift store statues to ugly lamps. A solid white object looks really modern and cool. I scrubbed the bunny with soapy water and let it dry. I used white acrylic paint and gave it a spray of clear varnish as well.

The white bunny

This little bunny fits in the palm of your hand, and fits neatly on top of a flower pot. I love the contrast with bright flowers and leaves. Next year I think I’ll repaint a few more garden statues and maybe even some of my flower pots. This was a free project because I already had the paints on hand. A little more than an hour, quicker if you use spray paint, and you get a whole new look!


Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special

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