Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Painting party!

I have always wanted to do one of those "Painting parties" because I have always wanted to learn how to paint. While I enjoy designing and project work, creating something that looks like something or basically something  from nothing has always alluded me. So mustering up my courage, I convinced my friend Ashani to come along.

We arrived to about 30 women all anxious to get started. It seemed like many of them already knew what they were doing and had started. I was asked to pick out a photo of the painting I wanted to do and then choose an easel. I did




 I loved the colorers of the background in this painting and the little girl swinging. So I went for broke and selected that. Then I sat and waited for instruction...that didn't really come. If it wasn't for my friend and the gals across the table from me encouraging me to take another sip of wine and "just paint,"  I think I would have been in tears by the time it was over. (It was a rough night.)

The lighting in the restaurant it was being held at was awful, the instruction was minimal to none. Sadly our instructor was a bit overwhelmed by the size of the class and spent time tallying up how much money she was going to be making from the event, vs. helping the budding artists. She showed us one technique and then said...'well I really didn't do that right but you get the idea."

Negatives aside,  I enjoyed the concept and event. I  liked being able to "paint" and spending time being creative with my friend!  I did finish (well almost...never did add the girl on the swing) and it wasn't half bad. I would love to try this again but maybe with a different instructor.

As I said the lighting in the restaurant was bad so this is the only picture of Ashani and I with our creations.




My kids decided my painting looked "spooky" kind of a windy, dusk is falling lonely night. Not the look I was going for...but all things considering it wasn't half bad.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Charity Auction!-Art Chair


Several weeks ago a friend approached me asking "Would you be interested in decorating a chair?" The town of Morris, IL was trying something new; an "arts festival." The idea was to gather local artist, musicians, actors...really anyone creative and art lovers and celebrate the arts in the first ever "Liberty Days Arts Festival." The cumulating activity would be a auction of decorated chairs with the proceeds going to the charity.

Stores in town were encouraged to sponsor the decorating of a chair which would be displayed at their store during the festival and then auctioned off for the charity of the stores choice. The charity chosen for the chair I was creating was the Christian Youth Center of Morris. I volunteer at the Youth Center couple of days per week and was excited to help them raise money.  I immediately said "yes" but with a bit of "fear and trembling." I had an idea in my head and hoped it turned out as well in real life.

The first step was finding the perfect chair to paint. For this feat, I visited our local Habitat of Humanity ReStore. I love this store. Not only can you find fun furniture pieces and building materials on the cheap. All proceeds go to help Habitat for Humanity build houses for our neighbors in need!

Finding a fun chair with some character at the store, I set out to sand it down, and tighten some joints with wood glue and prime it for painting. I decided that my theme was "It's about time" and wanted the chair to allude to the inner workings of a clock, with gears, cogs, and springs, and numbers.


Priming with black, I planned on having a graphic mosaic design, so I used tape and vinyl number stickers from Elmer's to mask off areas that would then remain black when I removed them after painting. I used Liquitex professional paints, both heavy and soft body, because I didn't want to have to repeatedly add layers to my design. After the  colors dried, I then stenciled gears and cogs onto the yellow paint using stencils from Deco Arts' "Americana-Mixed Media" Collection.



After the paint job, I knew I wanted a gloss coat to seal it.  Talking to DIY guru Mark Mantano, (Thanks Mark!) I went with Minwax PolyAcrylic, because I love the durability of the product and the high gloss shine!

Painting and sealing complete, the only thing left to finish was the decorative touches. I  love the look of the coiled watch springs, so I created some with flat jewelry wire from "On-a-Wire," coiling it around at first a dowel rod, then itself. These springs I glued along the bottom of the back. Drilling a hole in the upper part, I installed a battery operated clock movement on the back of the chair.




Supplies used: Chair-(ReStore), Liquitex paints-professional heavy body and soft body, DecoArt Stencils-Americana Mixed media; gears and cogs, timeless treasure, Minwax- PolyAcrylic, Elmer's -Board Mate Vinyl Letter and Numbers, Art Minds (Michaels)-Clock Movement Kit 5/8", On-A-Wire(Hobby Lobby)-5mm flat aluminum wire, Scotch-3M fine line tape, drill, dowel rod.


The chair will be on display at Harrington's Fine Jewelry Thursday June 25-Saturday June 27, 2015. The auction will take place at the "Liberty Arts Festival" After Party, Saturday June 27, 2015.








Thursday, May 14, 2015

Dear Mom

I've been thinking about my mom a lot lately. Maybe it was the "Happy Mother's Day" signs that have been staring me in the face at every store we have been to for the last month. Maybe it's the fact spring is sprung and every spring (for Mother's Day) I would help mom fill her front flower beds with flowers. Mom passed away about a year and a half ago, and we were very close. As life continues on without her, I find myself thinking about her a lot!

Even with as much as I had been thinking about her, it surprised me when I started creating pieces for a canvas that reminded me of her. After creating a background with gelatos, I grabbed a stencil and masked off part of it to create what I wanted to be a "stained glass" or "mosaic" vase. I realized after I created it, the vase reminded me of my mom's urn. The flowers I wanted to fill it with were daisies, mom's favorite flowers. I wanted butterflies on it-Mom loved them!  It was then I realized how much I just wanted to talk to her and I guess creating the canvas was my way to do so.

So I turned my canvas into a letter to her.

Dear Mom,
Sometimes it seems like it was only yesterday you left, other times it seemed like it has been a million years since I lasted talked to you, seen you smile. I miss you so much. I see something you would like and I want to pick up the phone and call you, but I know I can't. I know you are so very happy where you are at! You are with the Savior of the world, with Jesus. Knowing that fills me with the hope that I will see you again and that is how I can face life! 
Love, Betsy



Supplies used: 8 x 10 canvas, Faber-Castell-Gelatos and Bead Gel Medium, Heidi Swapp-Colorshine, Ruby Rock-it-Butterflies, chipboard letters, Sharpie markers, Krylon-18k Gold Leaf Marker, Prima Marketing-flowers, mosaic stencil.


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Hallway Makeover with Stencil1

Have you ever noticed when you start redoing one room of your house you can't stop there? One room starts looking good and so it makes the rest of the house look bad??? So one room leads to two and so on...

When my dad agreed to redo the kitchen it led to working on the dining room, due to structural issues, then after I got the dining room all fixed up, it made the hallway look pretty shabby. So I did a quick coat of white paint to at least freshen it up. 

My hallway has always been my photo gallery. A hallway of memories so to speak. I never really had any rhyme or reason to it. Since I was redoing other rooms, I decided it was time for a change. I wanted to still have my hallway of memories, but wanted a more cohesive feel to it. Inspiration struck  at the Craft and Hobby Trade show when I saw a cool mum stencil from Stencil1. 

My idea was to use the 3 mum repeat stencil down the hallway and then paint my hodge-podge of frames all the same color to tie everything together.  So I tucked the idea into the back of my brain for a "when I have time" project, but then Stencil1 emailed! Their repeat pattern stencils won PRODUCT OF THE YEAR and was I interested in using one of them for a project? I shared my hallway idea and they loved it as much as I did. 

So Stencil1 set me up to do my "hallway makeover."


For my project I needed: Fresh wall space, paint, roller and tray, Stencil1 stencil (I used 3 mums repeat,) and painters tape. 

Since my halls were already bare and freshly painted I didn't need to apply a base coat. I wanted to have the mums tumbling all over the wall in more of a casual look BUT I am a little OCD when it comes to casual things. Some people can just casually pull something together, for me it takes a bit of planning to be casual!  Therefore to help with the placement I photo copied the stencil several times. I then used painters tape to place the images where I wanted them to "casually" go. This allowed me to play with the placement and positioning of the stencils and see the overall effect without having to commit quite yet with paint. 

After I was satisfied with the positioning, I was ready to get painting. Stencil 1 sent me their roller tray kit , to use with my project. The brush for the roller is a good quality sponge, that holds the paint well.

I used a few pieces of painters tape to hold the stencil into place and then I rolled my paint over the stencil. They say you only need a couple of pieces. I wasn't that brave (remember that thing I have about being a little OCD...) So I used a bit more than recommended to avoid what I call a "Betsy Mishap" of the stencil falling off mid paint. 

I found the sponge roller held ALOT of paint, and so it made sense to roll off some of it before covering the stencil. This helped prevent bleed through with the stencil. I also found you needed a lighter touch, if you were heavy handed with the amount of pressure you applied to the roller, you ended up with pools of paint that also could cause bleed through of your image. One failed attempt, and both these lessons learned I was ready to go to town.


I would take down my photo copy image and then replace it with the stencil and paint away. 
I moved from left to right top to bottom and when I got to the little storage cubby decided to paint that as well (the little roller was perfect for the small spaces around the handles and along the edges!)


I loved the effect of the mums tumbling down the hall way. 


All that was left was to paint the frames and hang them on the wall and decorate! 



I loved the finished product and can't wait to try stenciling elsewhere!




















Friday, April 17, 2015

Scrapbook Expo 2015-Milwaukee, WI

Shoebox 1K is on the road! Come visit us this weekend at the Scrapbook Expo in Milwaukee, WI. We will be running the baggage check booth and holding basket raffles. We have over $2000 in prizes donated by our generous sponsors! There are prizes from Craftwell, Creative Options, Fiskars, Michigan Scrapbooker Magazine, Peddler's Den, Forget-Me-Not Memories, JoAnn's Creations and MORE!!! Tickets are only $1 each if you by 10 you get 2 free and if you buy $25 in tickets you get a FREE gift valued at $20!!!
WE HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!!!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Best Blogger Craft 2015-free ebook

The votes were tallied and the best blogger crafts were selected for 2015 and you can find all of them in the Fave Crafts "Best Blogger Crafts 2015" free ebook.

http://www.favecrafts.com/Most-Popular-Crafts/The-Best-Blogger-Craft-Ideas-2015-Home-Decor-Ideas-DIY-Jewelry-Easy-Crochet-Patterns-and-More-free-eBook 

In the book you will find all types of crafts from crocheting and knitting to paper and wood crafts-including the pie safe project from yours truly! Tons of inspiration and did I mention it's absolutely FREE?? Be sure to download your copy by clicking on the image! 


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Doodled Handkerchief Doll-April Mystery Box Challenge

Challenge Accepted!

My friends over at I Love to Create asked if I was up to the April Mystery Box challenge and you bet  accepted no questions asked! I love playing with their products and couldn't wait to see what I had to create with! 

Photo courtesy of Margie Higuchi

This fabulous assortment of products came in my mail box and I couldn't wait to play with it! (In fact so much I didn't snap a quick "before" photo! Thanks Margie for coming to my rescue!) I was excited to play with the Tulip Fabric Markers and inside our package was a plain cotton handkerchief. 

When I was younger, I remembered having a hankie (or a cloth napkin if we were at a restaurant,) turned into a doll to keep my sister and I amused when there was a long wait. The dolls were put together with very little effort, and kept us amused for quite some time, first with the "creating process" and then using our imaginations to play with our babies.  I thought it would be fun to recreate a doodled version of my childhood memory.



 To add some color and fun to the plain white of the cotton cloth, I started with some doodling around the hem of the hankie, before I tied her into doll shape. 


After doodling, I created her head by stuffing it with a few inches of cotton batting and tying it off with ribbon. I knotted the top hem around her "neck" to create her arms/shoulders, then drew on a simple face. 

I love how she turned out and how little time it took. From beginning doodle to finishing touch she took less than 20 minutes! I can't wait to make more! This sweet baby is going to find it's way into a shoebox gift for Operation Christmas Child and I'm sure she will be joined by more than a few sisters and brothers as well!

Thanks I Love to Create! I had so much fun recreating a childhood memory!!!

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