Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Guest Post at So You Think You're Crafty

I'm over at So You Think You're Crafty today, sharing J's new window shades.  Here's a sneak peek:

Pop on over and check out my very first guest post!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Beachy Food Signs

The house at the beach had a bunch of old fence posts begging to be reclaimed.  There was also this large swath of wall in the dining room begging to be decorated.  So, I decided to make some signs.

I know it's December, but thinking about funnel cake reminds me of a sunny day, which makes me smile.  I tried to think of healthy stuff for the signs too, but really, near the beach, salad just doesn't fit.

I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out letters, which I traced with a pencil and then filled in with acrylic paint.  I am sure there are other ways to trace letters onto wood without using fancy equipment.

I sawed off the ends of the posts by hand and then screwed the signs into the wall.  I like the contrast of the natural wood and the white beadboard.

(Yep, I reupholstered those chairs). The dining room feels more finished now, and I'm excited to think about other projects that can use those fence posts.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Etched Star Mirror

Any Twilight Zone fans?  I think I may have found the entrance:

That's what J's new mirror in his chalkboard bathroom reminds me of, anyway, with its frame and stars and blackness.  This mirror is, of course, made over--here it was before:

It's a basic wood frame mirror that was here when we bought the house.  First step: spray paint the frame.  Then it was time to add some personality.  J's room has a space theme, so we had to have stars.  Since the project involved a mirror, it seemed like a good chance to try out etching, which was new to me.  So it was decided: the stars would be permanently and chemically incorporated into the mirror.

I cut out a stencil from vinyl using my Silhouette Cameo, but star punches would have worked fine.  After I stuck the stencil onto the mirror, I applied Etch All Etching Cream to each star, following the directions on the bottle.  Tip: it turns out that a thick coat works best.

Although I was careful, I still had some spots that were not as etched as I would like and spots that were etched that should not have been.  We'll call that stardust.  Overall, I'm happy with the stars.  They  look like they have shadows when you see them at an angle. 

Perhaps those shadows are echoes of a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Soap Makeover

Whenever I feel too busy, I need to get something done.  Gotta pull something out of the project bag that I know I can finish.  The soap in my bathroom seemed like a manageable confidence builder:

Here we have an unassuming bottle I purchased from the Willams Sonoma outlet about ten years ago and refilled with Softsoap ever since.  Sorry to my disappointed guests who were expecting a parsley scent.  Also a bit dirty--ick!

Here she is, an hour later, with her makeover.  I think she cleans up good (pun intended).

I used my Silhouette Cameo, which feels like cheating, to cut the vinyl, but I could have purchased a vinyl initial from Etsy or cut one with an X-acto knife.  Just to make it more impractical, I added the ribbon.

Eventually there will be some butterfly items in this bathroom, I hope, so I liked that this particular pattern was reminiscent of a butterfly.  Until then, I am putting one big check mark next to project soap.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Curvy Chalkboard

I wanted a chalkboard in my kitchen--partially because I have leftover chalkboard paint (J's bathroom is now a giant chalkboard) and partially because I need somewhere to write down the meal plans.  And I do need to write down meal plans if I want us to eat something other than cereal and goldfish.

I wanted the chalkboard to be a little more interesting than a square, so I gave her some curves:

Here's how I made the template to trace:

1. Draw a square on the wall with a pencil.  Mine was 24" x 24".
2. Cut a square piece of paper 1/4 of the width of the square on your wall.  My paper was 6" x 6".
3. Fold the square along both diagonals.
4. Draw and cut an arc that begins along both diagonals.  Starting on the diagonals will make the curves smooth where they meet in opposite directions along the sides.
5. Use the arc to trace curves along the length of your square with a pencil.  I alternated inside and outside the box, but the curves could go any way you wanted, such as all outside like flower petals.
6. Paint inside the lines and grab some chalk!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Upholstered IKEA Stools

In order to forgo doing a renovation of our perfectly functional and happy kitchen, I've decided to try to make small changes. One of those changes was making the kitchen stools fit with the decor. They used to look like this:

They are basic IKEA stools, and I stained them green when they were in our prior house. They worked fine in that setting.

Our kitchen is black an white here, though, and my style has changed a bit.

Here they are now, many coats of black spray paint later, and padded with some remnant fabric from Joann's, batting and foam using my lovely staple gun.

They are the first thing you see when you enter the kitchen, so I think the small change makes a big impact.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day Stencil Cake and Whiskey Sours

Hope everyone had a great Father's Day! Father's Day for us was almost as much fun as Mother's Day because I got to spend the day with my family and also do some crafting.  J spent much of his day working on his walking and also taking a ride in a bike trailer with his mom and dad.  But since this blog is about projects, here are the Father's Day projects:

This stencil was made out of an actual picture of Rusty and Jacob.  I used Gimp, the free image manipulation program, to outline the silhouette, and then I used the trace feature with my Silhouette Cameo to cut out the stencil in (clean) cardstock.  I could have cut the stencil with an X-acto knife if I didn't have a Cameo, but the Cameo makes things quicker and automatic.  Here's what the stencil looked like on the cake:

Then I sprayed it with some Wilton Color Mist Spray from Michael's.  I expect it would have turned out smoother if I had better tools with me, or if I'd used a buttercream frosting that had hardened a bit.  I also considered fondant, which would probably work too.  Here was my backup plan:

This was sprayed on Edible Sugar Sheets, and I ultimately decided I preferred a softer look from spraying directly on the icing instead of using the sheets.  Perhaps those can be cut with a Silhouette Cameo as well, which would probably make the sharpest image, but I have not been able to figure out whether that is safe to do, both for the food and for the machine.

I used the stencil file for a card as well.  You can see the image better on paper, and I used Silhouette's latest free shape of the week to finish the card off.  So I got to spend a lot of time with my new toy preparing for Father's Day.  Whose day was it again?

We capped off Father's Day post-bedtime with some Ruhlman Whiskey Sours over the latest Mission Impossible.  A good day.

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