Tag Archives: crafts

Glamour, Glitz, and a Muse

 

Lage Blank Wall
This wall smacked me in the face!

I was enjoying a cup of coffee in my not-so-formal-formal-living-area and was suddenly struck in the face by a wall.  I really was minding my own business and thinking how nicely my formal living area is coming along—slow, but steady progress has been made.  That is I was admiring it until I noticed the large and long wall that joins the formal dining room to the formal living room.  It’s not like I have never seen this wall before—I just chose to ignore it.  Well now I can no longer ignore my boring white wall.  It has jumped out and slapped me square in the nose.  So, for the next hour I contemplated the long and very white wall.  I just stared at it.  And then she arrived.

My muse is not the subtle type.  Oh noooo. She does not simply blow her fine glittery magic dust in a little swirl of brilliance.  She throws a huge fistful of glittery brilliance at my head. Did you know that glitter is sharp and it is quite shocking when suddenly thrown in your FACE?

I suddenly remembered seeing this lovely 1920’s painting titled Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire by Russell Patterson and thought,  “that would look great on that large wall!”

Only, to find a reprint in the size I need is WAY over my budget…which had been $0.00 until I was slapped by a wall and glitterized by a not-so-amusing-muse.

My only option—since I could no longer focus on anything but my very long and very white wall—was to create my own art.  I am creative and talented, but a reproduction of this gorgeous painting was way out of my league.  I contemplated the very long and white wall dilemma for about another hour.

Like a flash of lightning seen out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the largish area rug that was rolled up and leaning in a corner of the room—it was patiently awaiting a trip to the thrift store.

It is four feet by six feet—and BLACK!

If you know where this is headed, then you are one step ahead of where my mind was at that moment.

First, I thought “I will get a wall stencil—some kind of damask—and paint the carpet silver or white.”

After some perusing online I decided that I really didn’t like that idea.

Maybe a landscape stencil?  Nope.  They were all either too expensive or too small.

Big groan. I decided that my muse was mean.  She threw glitter at me and I came up empty handed.   But the idea was still there….simmering.   Then I was struck by more glitter.

Why couldn’t I just make my own stencil? GREAT idea!  So I got out an old roll of wrapping paper and covered the carpet.  Time to get fancy!  Problem.  I can’t draw. I do stick figures and rough idea sketches, but that is as far as I go.  Stupid mean muse!

I’m lying on the carpet that is covered in scribbled on wrapping paper from two Christmases ago still envisioning Patterson’s painting on that wall when my beautiful and brilliant muse drowns me in glitter.  I can’t draw, but I can make a stencil from an existing object!

Another problem—how the heck am I going to enlarge it?  Aha! Microsoft Paint!

Why stop at a simple stencil?  I envision a masterpiece.  I will frame it in crown moulding.  I will use a long silver chain, crystal beads, and silver fabric.

My husband then comes home, and as I am laying out my printed stencil I excitedly explain my brilliant idea.  He says “sounds interesting, what’s for dinner?”

Here is my project thus far.  Oh, and if you read all the way through this chaos, thank you!  I promise to post updates as I work on this monstrous “masterpiece” of mine.

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Masterpiece materials

My Muse Took a Left Turn on Aisle 8

My muse and I were working in harmony just a couple of months ago. Poetry was flowing through my fingertips, story ideas were flooding my brain, and I was making progress toward my writing goals. She threw inspiration in my direction weekly. She smothered me with emotion. But like me, my muse has ADHD. Something caught her eye on aisle 8–the crafting section of my brain. She turned left down the aisle of glitter and glue. I followed her quickly, hoping to drag her back to aisles 7 and 9, but she dodged me and made a sharp right down the aisle of craft paper and paint. I urged her to get back to aisle 7 where Webster and Roget were busy duking it out; if not, would she please follow me to aisle 9 where Emily and Sylvia discussed poetic death. She stomped her little slipper shod foot in defiance and turned away. To please my muse, I followed her down the aisle of stamps and ink.

Hot Plate
Hot Plate

So instead of my creativity expressing itself through language it has taken a turn toward crafting and DIY projects. Today I made this lovely hot plate for my coffee themed kitchen. It was so cheap to make! I’m thinking that all the ladies in my family will be getting one for Christmas, themed to match their kitchens.

This evening I made a lovely candle holder. Well, I decoupaged a cheap clear glass one from Michael’s ($0.97). I could fill it with scented candle wax to give as a gift.

Candle
Candle

Yesterday I made a cute little tin for my gum. I buy my gum in the large bag, so it’s nice to have a clean place to keep it rather than in my purse pocket. I came across a recipe for homemade lip balm and perfume rub that I could put in the tins as well. I’m thinking that would make a great birthday gift for the lovely ladies in my life. I’ve also made several magnets from bottle caps with images in the center.

Decoupaged Tin
Decoupaged Tin

Aside from the few little items I’ve already made, I have several larger projects planned out. I will be giving two old end tables a makeover as my new nightstands. I have an old steamer trunk that will become a coffee table, three vintage suitcases that will become a chair made from and two tables.

Though my muse has led me astray, she IS keeping me productive and creative–which is the sole purpose of a muse after all.

Thrifty Find

Steamer Trunk

I’ve been searching for an old steamer trunk for several years now. From time to time I have found some, but the were either ridiculously overpriced or in terrible shape. Today was my lucky day! About once a month I go to my favorite thrift stores in search of interesting items or for furniture that we actually need, but I rarely pay full price (many thrift stores color code items and have certain colors on sale on various days of the week). I paid a only $20 bucks for this beauty! I can’t wait to get this baby cleaned up and showcased in my living room!

Custom Nightstands

DSCF5514

I’ve been meaning to add these for quite some time, but I’ve been quite busy with school and writing.

We had these ugly forest green nightstands with fake wood drawer fronts and tops and that we just wanted gone. However, they were still in great working condition. Since my kids still needed nightstands, and I really couldn’t talk myself into spending the money on new ones, I decided to update the ones we had. Using Mod Podge, fabric, scrapbook paper, and some spray paint this is what we ended up with. They look great in the kids’ rooms and along with the other furniture that I painted to match, they have an entirely custom look to their rooms. Each night stand cos about $10 to update. Sure beats spending $100 on night stands!

For Complete DIY instructions check out my Instructable.

DSCF5533

A Pretty Perch

Decoupaged folding chair with slip cover.
Decoupaged folding chair with slip cover.

I made this lovely chair to match my daughter’s room. Initially I bout four cloth shower curtains from Target to use as window drapes and matching bed pillows. I used the left-over fabric from the pillows to make a matching chair cover. I used her old red folding chair from Ikea, so it had to be painted to prevent the red from showing through the fabric. I used spray paint that is meant for plastic outdoor furniture. Let the paint dry overnight. or for at least 8 hours.

After the paint was completely dry, I positioned the fabric on the chair seat and cut around the edges, leaving a 1 inch “hem.”

The decoupage I like best is Mod Podge, but any brand will work. I start in the center, first applying the decoupage to the chair seat. Depending on the fabric, you may have to apply a heavy amount of glue. working from the center towards the front, I added the glue to the seat and smoothed the fabric over it. Repeat the process, working from the center to the back of the chair.

Apply glue to the sides of the chair and the underside of the chair lip, then pull the fabric over the sides and under the the lip.Apply Decoupage glue over the fabric on the underside and sides. Smooth out the fabric. Repeat for all sides. You may to be a little creative with the scissor here when cut slits near the legs.

Apply decoupage glue over seat surface, and use a slightly damp cloth to smooth over the seat and remove excess glue.

Allow to dry for 48 hours.

For the seat back, I used one piece of fabric, simply draped over the back of the chair. Make sure that the print is face up so that you know where the details are and how it will look when finished. Pin around outside edges, as close as you can to the seat back with out making it so tight that you cannot easily remove it.

Sew seams and hems. Trim excess fabric.

Voila! you have a custom chair!