Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Random Projects

Hope everyone had a great Christmas holiday!!  Lot's of work, decorating and cooking, but well worth it if you can enjoy all of the festivities. I haven't had much time to work and any projects so I'm posting some random things I completed before the holidays.
I found this adorable decorative, wheel barrel in the Goodwill for 6 bucks.  I thought it may look cute out in the yard with some flowers planted in it.  It was in great condition and just needed a little painting. I sprayed it white and then added some detail with acrylics.

A final few coats of varnish will hopefully keep it from rotting.


Several months ago, I felt like fooling around with some FIMO.  If you're familiar with FIMO, it's a moldable clay that is ultimately placed into a household oven to harden.  I designed this little garden of mushrooms just because-I love mushrooms.  They now sit on my kitchen table.

I used white clay for the stems, base, grass and base and red clay for the tops.
I then painted the base brown and the grass green.  When completed, the mushroom garden was clear coated with spray.


Mushroom garden

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Decorating Something Different

This year I'm adding something different to my Christmas decor. It never occurred to me to decorate a lamp fixture, but I thought it might look nice and add a focal point to the dining room table. It didn't cost much and added a nice feature to the room.  I picked up some silk red berries, gold poinsettia's, some wired evergreen, red bows and gold icicles.  Everything is added to the light fixture so that when Christmas is over, it's easy to remove. I thought it came out pretty nice.

Every year this concept could change with a different theme. I sort of gravitate to the more "classic" Christmas style, hence the colors and items I chose.

Have a great Christmas!!

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

A New Way to Organize Christmas lists

What a great way to organize your Christmas list. Get online and compose it-it's as easy as that. I've checked it out myself and sent the link to my kids so they can put it together online.

See for yourself. This is a sample of a list: http://thiswishlist.com/shannonchristmas2011

Just set up yours with a user ID and email address. You'll find this in the upper right had corner of the page. While your at it, send it off to your family and friends.

Have fun with it!!

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

DIY recipe card holder

It's been a long, hot summer.....way, too long. I feel like I haven't left the house in ages. I can't wait for some cooler weather. Maybe soon? All this keeps me inside the house and looking for some crafty ways to keep busy.

I came up with this idea a few weeks ago. Something inspired me-don't even remember what it was. Maybe it's the fact that when I take out a recipe it lies on the counter and get most of the ingredients attached to it. Yuck....

This little DIY item works!


-Wood dowel. Mine is about 2" in diameter. Home Depot or Lowe's carries them. It's about 6 inches high.

-Wood stand. I bought mine at a craft store for 50 cents.

-Wood glue.

-Acrylic paint

-A clothes pin. In this case, I found this ladybug at the craft store. It obviously will hole the recipe card for me. You could use a plain clothes pin and glue something to the top to embellish it.

-clear varnish to finish

I cut the dowel on an angle so it keeps my recipe card properly positioned-so I can actually see it.

I glued the dowel to the base and then glued the ladybug to the dowel.

Next it was painted and then sprayed with clear gloss. Done!

And, here it is in action.

Cute, but functional. I like that!

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Working with nature inside the home.

Dried Branches, Berries and Greenery
Inside the Home

I've used items that I have pulled from the outside for decorating purposes-inside. Years ago I used two large tree branches as railings in the basement. See below:

I also used an old tree stump as a planter.

I have several photos below showing the use of vines, berries and branches around the house. Thank you Cristen F. for providing the photos. She's done a great job of using nature to decorate around frames, mirrors, windows and furniture. Check it out....

A simple addition of berries around an atrium window...

Berries highlighting the stairs....

or highlighting a photo....

Placed above a mirror.....

draped along furniture.....

Babies breath around the furniture....

Not all of these items are available in your back yard, but you can find them in your local craft store.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Antique Cabinet redux

I spotted this cabinet several years at my son's friends house. I loved it at first site and asked him if he might be interested in parting with it. About two months ago it arrived at my home.
I've tried to research what time period it may have come from with no success. If anyone can help me out, please comment below and let me know what you think.
I know, I know......if I brought this to The Antiques Roadshow, the Keno brothers would ream me out for stripping this thing, but I really wanted it showcased in my house, in a room and in a spot where I can admire it.

Here is what it looked like when it arrived here:

If you have ever stripped furniture, then you know how time consuming it can be. I worked on this thing for at least a month, putting in about an hour or so a day. It's sort of tedious work, so I limited myself so I didn't get bored with the project.

Below you can actually see the original piece (cabinet door) and a stripped door. What a difference, right?

The process started with a chemical stripper which stayed on for 15-20 minutes until the finish bubbled. I used a scraper to assist with the removal of what appeared to be years of wax, stain and whatever else. I used a toothbrush for the carved parts.

Next, sanding, sanding and more sanding. First with medium sandpaper and then changing over to fine. It was pretty darn smooth when it was finished.

One coat of cherry stain and then on to the polyurethane. Three coats, sanding in between each coat.

I cleaned up all the original brass work as well.

This is how it looks now.

Lots of work, but well worth it in the end.
I'm not sure if this is the best photo of the completed cabinet.....
It really looks much better in person.


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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Creative Canisters

I've been looking around for some inexpensive jars to store cotton balls and Q-tips in. Ya think that's easy? I thought it would be too. Not only is the selection limited, but the actual jars aren't cheap. So if I need something that will match the bathroom and won't cost me a lot of money, then I have to make them myself. That's what I did!
I purchased these plain, glass canisters in Walmart. I paid about 3 bucks for both. They each have a rubber gasket on the inside of the lid. I removed them so they can be opened easily. I guess they were put into there for food storage.

So you get the idea, right. Plain, inexpensive and functional.

Now the trick is to make them look a little more unusual or creative.

I found these two wood disks in the craft store in the clearance aisle-about $1.25 a piece. I've used these before and I love the way they look when they are painted.

So my idea is to paint the disk with some acrylics (that way they will match the room), add a knob to the top and glue them to each canister.

Here is the top, painted. Basically, it's painting the wood with a small brush-easy enough. I added the ball to the top and screwed through the wood disk. The dots on the knob are made by using the tip of a paintbrush handle. (yes, I got this idea when my daughter had her toenails painted with dots-that's how they did it and they came out perfect).
I glued the wood disks to the glass tops using clear Silicone adhesive. This works well for me and I've used it before. It goes on white but dries to a clear finish in 7 days. Not that anyone will look at the bottom, but just in case-they look good.

Since they're going into a "teens" bathroom I've painted them with that in mind.

Below is one of them all finished. By the way, I sprayed several coats of Krylon's Triple Thick Glaze on these tops before they were glued onto the glass. This product, which I love, gives everything a "glass" finish. Interested in using it, click here for more information. You really can't appreciate how glossy the top is from the photo. You can take my word for it though, it really makes things shine.

Both pictured below. Notice one canister is larger than the other? That means that one top is larger than the other. I wondered about this while coming up with the idea and how it may look, but in the end they came out looking just fine. The total cost= around 7 bucks.

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Goodwill Find

I haven't been thrift store shopping for a while.....a long while. Maybe the winter did me in or maybe it's just that I'm running out of room. Perhaps it's time for a garage sale. A very large garage sale! Temptation got the best of me last week and I took a ride, just to look, of course. To be truthful, I always find something that I feel the need to buy so I can paint it, fix it or play around with it. This piece was no exception-but what is it? What was it? No idea.

Cost $2.00
Needs a paint job and some embellishing.
and.........maybe it could hold some extra toilet paper rolls in the bathroom.

I'll take it.

I forgot to take "before" pics-sorry, it just slipped my mind. I sprayed this piece with Rustoleum and it already started to look better. I picked a light beige. It matches everything and gives me a good base for the color painting.

I then used some acrylic paints to paint the flowers.

In this photo you can see some of the paint I used to brighten up the flowers. I added more detail later and also painted the leaves.

Below some more detail is added to the flowers.

Here is the completed job.

I added some black detailing to the flowers and leaves.

2-3 coats of clear spray to keep it from chipping. You know, for 2 bucks and a little work it gets a second life and becomes functional. I like that!

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