Thursday, June 22, 2017

Painted Furniture

One of my favorite things to do is to take an old, ugly piece of sturdy furniture and give it new life with paint and embellishments.  This post features several of my recent up-cycled pieces!
First up is this "Pretty in Pink" night stand.  I used Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint (Everlasting and Innocence) to turn the boring brown stand into a cottage style beauty.  I striped the back wall of the lower shelf and added a vintage rose floral graphic (from The Graphics Fairy) to the drawer.
Inside the drawer, I added decorative paper to the bottom and sealed it with a matte polycrylic varnish.  I used the same varnish on the rest of the piece.
Here's a picture of what it looked like prior to it's chalky makeover:
 Another re-FAB-ed piece is this awesome vintage dresser.  This piece took many coats of chalk paint to get it's wonderful shabby appearance.  The first two coats was Americana Decor Chalky Finish in Carbon  The drawers then received several coats of Yesteryear and were distressed so that some of the black showed through.  The dresser case was painted with two coats of Everlasting and then distressed.  Finally, the piece received several coats of matte clear wax.  
 Here's what the poor thing looked like before it's makeover... 

 Next up is this Art Deco waterfall vanity.  I had to repair the top before I painted the case in Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint (Timeless).  The drawers were painted blue (Serene) with Timeless accents.  I added a coat of clear wax and then distressed the entire piece using Golden Brown Creme Wax.  The mirror was painted Serene and finished the same way as the vanity. 
 This vanity was begging to be beautiful! 
 Lastly is this sweet ladder back chair.  I bought it at a garage sale already painted (mostly) in the navy blue.  I had the same color in my stash and fixed the paint job.  Then I designed and cut out the stencil of the branches and bird and painted them in white.  
I sand distressed the chair and sealed with poly to protect it. 
If you are interested in purchasing my hand painted furniture, please go to my Facebook Page to see what's available and get price and size information.  Click on "Photos" in left margin.  Then "Albums".   I also recommend liking the Furniture Markets I belong to as well.  These Facebook groups have amazing works of furniture art available for purchase.  And yes, we ship!
Big News!
I've been named a "Helping Artist" with DecoArt.  I use their chalk paint almost exclusively in my furniture make overs.  I also highly recommend many of their other products (acrylic paint, enamel paint, etc).  Be sure to check out their website for lots of painting tips, free patterns and more!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Project: Canvas Signs

What's hot in home decorating?  Farmhouse Style!
Why not use some of the awesome vintage farm animal images available online to put together some farm style artwork?  It's quick and easy when you use printable canvas.  

Here's how I made these sweet little signs:
  Find some vintage images you like.  I found many of mine over at The Graphics Fairy.
Use software such as PhotoShop Elements to make your images the size you want.
Use a sheet of Silhouette Printable Canvas and print out your graphics onto it using a laser printer. 
Cut out the printed images to the size desired.  I had a pile of small wood pieces that I used to make my signs.  I cut my canvas down to fit those.  Next, color your images.  I used several methods and the two that I liked best were using watercolor pencils and acrylic paint.
Once the image was dry after coloring, I peeled off the backing and applied the canvas to the wood piece.  If I had any over lapping canvas, I used a craft knife to trim it away from the wood.   
I finished off the signs by drilling holes and adding wire for hanging. 
On some of the signs I stamped on wording. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Let's Get Organized--Part 3

In the last of my "Let's Get Organized" series, I'm going to show you how I store my papers, embellishments and ribbon.  Shown above is my 12 x 12 paper storage system, which I bought years ago from Sam's Club.  I sort by color.  Decorative papers are on the top in each drawer, solids below.  Above the cart I have plastic containers for specialty papers (Christmas, Halloween, etc).  I'll also admit that I have about 15 pads of paper simply stored on top of rolling carts.  In addition, I have an accordion folder full of coordinating papers.  These came that way so I left them!  
 Small 6 x 6 pads are stored in a fabric shoe bin.  My 8.5 x 11 paper is stored in plastic containers, except for white, black and kraft.  Those are in an office stacking letter tray, right on top of the counter and ready to use.  You'll notice that I use my label maker on everything.   
I also have a system for storing my scraps, which I've written about before.  You can see it Here.
 Right in front of my paper work station is this wonderful round embellishment holder.  My sister bought this for me as a gift and I filled it right up.  She got it from Hobby Lobby and I was able to buy additional clips.  I organize by theme, holiday and letters/numbers.
I also store tags, eyelets, and other embellishments in plastic  trays in a middle cabinet drawer.  They are sorted and stored all together for easy access.
This side of the studio has a lot going on!  Dominating the wall is my ribbon holder.  I made this myself, using four laminated shelving pieces.  I screwed them into a box and hung on the wall.  Tension curtain rods hold a majority of my ribbon.  I really should make another one but I've since hung a lot more stuff on the wall, so there's no more room!  The rest of my ribbon is stored below in plastic shoe bins.  The covered bin on the bottom shelf of my ribbon holder holds all my scrap pieces.  I never waste a piece of ribbon!  lol.  Below the holder are stacking washi tape holders that I got from Michaels.  I love that each row has a strip of metal "teeth" that help you tear the tape.  To the right of that are my Stickles holders...made for me by by Dad.  These store the glitter glue upside down so that they are always ready to use.
I hope you've enjoyed the "highlights" of my studio storage solutions.  I'm always looking to organize better as I firmly believe that it makes creating so much easier and stress free.
Here's a couple of photos of my studio...
You'll notice that I like bright colors on my walls and bulldogs for my decorations!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Let's Get Organized--Part 2

Ready to organize your rolls of vinyl and/or stamps? 
Here's how I keep those supplies organized and easy to find in my studio.  
Maybe you will find this info useful for your own crafty organization!
In the photo above, you'll see my hanging system for storing vinyl.  I bought the clothes bar from Ikea.  To the left I have the mats hanging up with clip style hangers.  The vinyl is stored on Swing Arm Pants Hangers.  I store by color and type. 
Below the hanging vinyl I have a wine storage rack that holds specialty vinyl. 
Next is stamp storage.  I've tried several systems with my wood block stamps and finally settled on breaking up all the Stampin' Up sets and storing them by themes...all the Christmas in one plastic box, all the Easter in another, etc.  I bought a large plastic silverware/utensil holder to store all my sentiment stamps.  I can put everything, including stamp blocks, in a bottom drawer in the studio. 
On the counter above the wooden stamp storage, I have these plastic drawer systems holding all of my clear stamps.  Stamps are again sorted by type:  alphas, birthday, Christmas, etc.  Because clear stamps have a habit of falling off (and getting lost), I like being able to pull the drawer out and take it to my work station.   If a stamp does fall off of it's plastic, I can find it in the drawer.
Here's a tip for keeping clear stamps sticky:  mix up one part of Aleene's Tack-It Over & Over  with one part water.  Brush on the back of your stamp and let dry.  Perfect adhesion!!  
I mix up a small batch and store it in a little plastic container.  Can you find it in the picture above?
I hope these tips on organization helped make your crafting a bit less messy!
Next week we'll finish up with some organizational hints for your paper, ribbon and embellishments.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Let's Get Organized--Part 1

It's been a while since I did a post on how I organize my studio.  I've found that when things are organized correctly--like things together--I have a much more productive day.  I get very frustrated when I can't find a tool or supply and hate to waste time looking for it.  So after every project, I put everything away and start each new project fresh.  It works for me and I love having a neat studio!
So if you're looking for tips on how to organize your supplies, here are some of my tips and tricks.  
Paint Storage
For my acrylic paints, I have have this lovely lazy susan style holder (above).  Yup, all four sides totally full!  I organize alphabetically by brand.  Each bottle has the color name written on the top.  I also have a cupboard where I have extra paint colors.  Also labeled and stored alphabetically in short cardboard boxes.  In that same cupboard I have my water color, fabric and oil paints as well as brushes used for those particular mediums.  There are also spray paints and sealers plus a few flat canvases. 
Since I am currently painting lots of furniture, my chalk paint is out on my main painting table.  The open jars are on the yellow lazy susan, while extras are stored in the box.  You'll see that some other paints are there as well.  Between the lazy susan, cardboard box and plastic tote, I have all the paints corraled and tidy and easy to find. 
Ink Storage
Behind the paint I have some of my inks.  All the Distress Inks are labeled and put into this plastic spinner.  Clipped to the sides are the sample sheets...perfect for matching up the right color.  The top holds alcohol inks and patinas.  On a little shelf to the right of this I have my Distress markers. And next to that are my Archival Inks, displayed in an upcycled wine box.  Other less used inks, are stored on a small vertical shelving unit on a counter top across from this area.
I have distress ink applicators for each color (a tip from Tim Holtz himself) but before that, I had one applicator and just changed out the pads for each color.  I love this little spinning carousel that holds them!  
Next week, I'll share a few more organization tips on storing vinyl and stamps.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Triple French Themed Redux

I had three items in my stash that needed to be upcycled.  
I decided to go with a French theme, using some of my favorite techniques.  
First was this oak card box.  I removed the inner divider and covered the bottom with decorative paper.  I changed the inside and outside with a distressed white chalk finish.  On the top, I added this lovely French label transfer. 
The larger box shown above started out as a beat up wooden cigar box.  The hinges were past redemption so I simply glued the box shut and went to work, giving it a distressed white and vintage green chalk finish.  A lovely French transfer finishes it off. 
Finally there is this small mirror that started out as an unfinished piece from Ikea.  I wanted to try out the lovely decor molds I've had for about a year.  These are gorgeous vintage style molds from Prima Marketing.  For my first try, I used Plaster of Paris.  I had some issues with getting the right consistency but I found that even if the molded pieces broke, I could glue them together on the board and once painted, they looked perfectly fine.  In fact the upper right embellishment lost a large chunk but looks awesomely ancient on the piece.  After gluing on the plaster pieces, I gave everything a shabby vintage chalk paint finish.  Then I stamped various images all over.  A coat of wax protects the piece.  I really love these molded embellishments and will be sure to buy more!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Cheerful Birthday Cards

Coordinating designer paper scraps were used in these two cheerful cards.  The top card was accented with matching turquoise ribbon and sentiment strip.  I created the embellishment using a Sizzix die cut.  I distressed the edges and added details with a brown pen.  A bronze brad holds the two layers together. 
This card is accented with a simple stamped sentiment.  I colored the letters with Distress Markers and distressed the edges with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.
I always enjoy using up scraps in cards!