Tag Archives: art

Wild & Precious Life

Source: etsy.com via Tricia on Pinterest Originary art found here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/93115625/wild-and-precious-life-11×14

So tell me. What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

The clock is ticking and the pages on the calendar are flipping.  What’s your dream – your goal for 2013?

What is it you will do this year?

Everything we do today counts towards where we want to be tomorrow.  Either it moves you closer to your goal or farther away.

Go forward.

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Glitter Deer Silhouette: A DIY Project

Glitter makes everything better.

I heard this mantra sung by women on Pinterest, and even a few of my friends buy into the idea that our world should sparkle.

For a while, I hesitated to embrace the shiny of it all.  Oh, I saw the twinkle in their eyes, but I remembered ill-fated projects of the past.  Glitter has a funny way of making me think of second grade, and I rather not remember all the glue eaters in second grade.

Were you a glue eater?

You can admit it.  This is a judgement free zone.

FringeMan ate glue.

I did not.  I probably ate the glitter and was left with a little fear; however, sparkly, pretty things draw me in, and I could not resist the pull.  When FringeMan brought home a scavenged block of wood, I did it.  I went straight to Wally World and bought the biggest tub of gold glitter I could find.

Some women get diamonds; I get pieces of scrap lumber.  In the twisted way love works, pine is nearly as endearing as jewels.  Nearly.

FringeMan had a million questions about what I was going to do with this piece of wood.  I scare him sometimes with my whims, so now, I just don’t tell him.  He does not share my brain, and he cannot see the beauty coming from my mind like rays of UV light.  So I keep quiet, like every project is of paramount importance and no one has clearance to the design details.

I make him sweat it out.

When he walked in the back door and saw this gold deer silhouette propped up on the kitchen counter, he said, “Oh, that’s really nice.  Who drew the deer?”

Because, he thinks my talents do not include animal sketches.  Ever since that puppy drawing on the Magnadoodle, he doubts my ability.  Our two year-old liked the puppy.  That’s all that counts.

If you would like to make your own glittery deer silhouette, you will need:  A Canvas (or slab of wood or anything you can get your hands on) (I painted my wood white first), Glue (I used decoupage and collage gel), and Glitter (color of your choice).

Glitter Deer Silhouette on wood

You can do an internet search for free downloadable deer silhouettes and use one of those to transfer the image onto your canvas, or you can free hand it.

Throw perfection out the window.  I did a long, long time ago.  Use creative license as your excuse to make mistakes and have some fun.

After your deer is drawn, spread glue over one section at a time.  I used a small paint brush to help me spread the glue.  It made things a little easier.  Then generously sprinkle glitter on the glue and let it dry.  Repeat until the entire deer is glittered.

After the glue is dry, bring it outside and shake it off.  Neighbor’s will marvel at the path of gold dust leading to your house.

You’ll probably find some empty spaces, so just fill them in with more glue and glitter.

Glitter Deer Silhouette finished DIY project

I am thinking about hanging this masterpiece in my dining room.  I am sincerely praying that having a glittered deer silhouette hanging in our home will deter my husband from hanging a real rack of antlers (with the head attached).  You know what I mean?

I’m pretty sure you can make one of these with any animal of choice. It’s a good idea for a kid’s room.

So, go.  Create something sparkly and tell us how it turned out.

P.S.  Now everyone in my family is worried I’m going to make one of these for them for Christmas.  My aunt already thinks I’ve been out in the boonies for too long.  Wait till she sees this!

P.S.S.  I got this glittered deer idea from Pinterest.  You can find the original project, previously pinned, here.

P.S.S.S.  Linking to Mercy Ink’s Heart & Home link up.

P.S.S.S.S. Linking to Hi Sugarplum and Hyphen Interiors Link Parties.

Book Shelves – A DIY Makeover

Every so often things need to get changed up in my house.

Home decorating with books

Found that white crate in the trash and hung it on the wall. Makes the perfect shelf. Never underestimate the power of trash in home decor.

They also really need to be cleaned, because when I leave all the dusting to my ten year-old daughter, places get overlooked.  Sometimes entire bookcases get overlooked, for a long time.

vintage paperweight

I am quite proficient at procrastination though, and I can almost always find something better to do; however, my daughter got strep throat one weekend in October and we were trapped in the house and guarded by the germ police.  It was good a time as any, to clean up the living room.

Snow Globe from Saks Fifth Avenue & kid art on Bookshelf redesign

If you’ve never seen our living room renovation, click HERE.

Vintage Owl on The Hunger Game series

In nearly every magazine I pick up, there are perfectly staged bookshelves.  I always admire them.  Then I look on Pinterest and see more beauty – some shelves are organized by color, others are filled with cute, well-placed trinkets, and still more are light on books and heavy on design.

bookcases DIY

We have a lot of books, hence the reason FringeMan built us some ginormous shelves.  So, how does one go about creating well-styled book shelves with each item purposefully placed?

I haven’t got a clue, so I’ll just pretend I know exactly what I am talking about.

Bookshelves styled with kid's art

I try to vary heights, items, stacks of books, etc.  Then I throw in a few novelty items for good measure.

By the way, notice all our wires?  We have a serious wire problem…like too many!  That’s how it is when you are married to an electrician.  Your house is always the last to be finished.

Owl Planter from Target and Children's Illustrated Classics

All in all, I would say it’s an improvement.  At least the dust is gone, and that’s half the battle.

These are my best tips to create interest in your bookshelves.  Remember, I am not an expert.  I am making this stuff up as I go along.

Empty Shelves:

There’s nothing like working with a clean slate, so empty your shelves and start from scratch.  It may seem like a waste of time, but it actually forces you to go through each item.

You may be surprised to find things you fell out of love with and are willing to donate.

Sort Books:

Some sort by color, others by height, but I like to sort my books by author.  It drives me crazy when one book in a series is on one shelf and the other book is on another shelf.

I don’t think it really matters how you sort them, but use logic that makes you happy and coordinate your books according to that logic.

Vary Stacks:

I think it’s a good idea to vary the stacks of books on your shelves.  Place some stacks horizontally and others vertically.  It may take a little maneuvering, but you’ll find a method that works for your books and shelves.

Add Art:

Use home-made art.  Maybe you birthed a budding artist.  Try displaying their work intermittently placed between or in front of stack of books.

Better yet, add some art that you made!

Now don’t freak out if are a left brain thinker and completely anti-craft/anti-glue gun.  There is plenty of affordable art on Etsy.  Find something you love and display another person’s art.

Empty Spaces:

Don’t be afraid of empty spaces.  Sometimes blank spots drive us crazy.  They can be like too quiet houses, but sometimes it’s in the quiet that inspiration strikes, so embrace the empty spaces and allow your home to develop over time.

Reflect You:

I’m not a fan of store bought rooms.  Do you know the kind?

They are spaces that reflect a furniture store or Wally World more than they reflect the people living in the house.  I adore it when someone’s home looks like them.  Everything oozes personality and draws you right in.

Allow your space to reflect you.  Who cares if it’s not magazine worthy.  Most of us don’t have any desire to be in Better Homes and Gardens.

Use things that are a reflection of you.  I guarantee they will be unique and you will love them.

Remember, I am not an expert.  Just look at my own bookshelves, but these are things I keep in my mind when I am reworking spaces in my home.

So tell me, how do you do it?  Do you just throw all your books on the shelf or do you try and make them all look pretty, like the magazines?

Some Make it Beautiful: DIY

SOME PEOPLE LOOK FOR A BEAUTIFUL PLACE

OTHERS MAKE A PLACE BEAUTIFUL

Isn’t that so true?

Now, granted, some of us do a better job making our places beautiful than others.  Beauty is in the eye (and pocketbook) of the beholder.  I do not do nearly as good a job as most people, but I am working on it, one mediocre project at a time.  And that’s ok.  I am good with it.

Pinterest is a pretty fabulous place.  Not only can we look at the best of the beautiful and be inspired, but we can take that inspiration and add a little beautiful to our own corner of the world.

I ran across THIS PROJECT on Pinterest and new I had to make it.

wooden hand painted sunrise sign with wordsMy sign is on a slightly different scale than the original.  The original used 1x12x8 boards and I used 1x10x6 boards.  That was purely an economic choice.  Wood is expensive in New York.  I don’t know how it’s priced where you live, but I wasn’t really willing to pay more than $10 a board.

I already had the paint.  I used cheap acrylic paint that I keep on hand for my children and I mixed my own colors.  There are a lot better paints to be had, but I tried to complete this project by buying as little as possible.

If you want all the details on how to make this sign, go to the original artist.  He recounts the process in great detail.  I am only giving a summary.

First I aged the wood boards by beating them to death.  Think chains, a screwdriver, and a hammer.  Then I rubbed them down with steel wool and apple cider vinegar.

It made the house smell so bad, I had to put a fan in the window and FringeMan moved the wood outside to dry overnight.

Then we screwed the boards together by attaching metal plates to the back of the boards.

Then I began painting.

DIY wooden sign

I taped off what I wanted to be the outline of the sun and rays with painter’s tape.  I used a large plate/platter to make the outline of the sun and a ruler to make the rays.

wooden painting with acrylic paint sunriseThis is the sunrise without the red outline.  None of it very precise.  I painted on color with a cheap foam brush.

outlining a sunrise on wood with red paint

After you have the entire board painted, let it dry.  Then sand it with fine sandpaper and brush on watered down white paint.  As soon as you brush on the paint, wipe it off with a paper towel or an old rag.  This will give it a sun-aged look.

After that is dry (it won’t take long), water down brown paint and repeat the process.  I used the paint.  The original instructions used paint, but I think a brown stain would work better.  I haven’t tried it, so I can’t say for sure, but I have used stain on other projects and I think it is better for giving wood an aged look.

Then it is time for the lettering, the hardest part.

lettering on old wooden sign

I printed my letter out on paper and then traced them by pressing a ball point pen over the outline.  If you press hard enough, a slight indent will be left on the wood and you can take a pencil and trace over the indent.

Then you paint it with white paint.  I used two coats of white paint and lightly sanded in-between.

text on wood sign

If you wanted this sign to hang outside, you would use different paint.  Acrylic is water-based, so it will wash away.

I wanted to clear coat mine, but I bought a very expensive clear coat and it nearly ruined my sign.  I hated it, so I don’t have a solid clear coat yet.  I don’t really need one, because my sign hangs inside, but I wanted to preserve it somehow.

living room decorIt was my kid’s idea to hang it in the living room.  I had a giant blank wall, so it worked well.  We hung it with picture hooks and metal wire rated for 100 pounds.  The sign isn’t that heavy, but it’s better to be on the safe side, especially with kids in the house.

I’m really happy with the finished product.  I had my doubts along the way, but it came out nice.  I just wish I could have used a bigger font for the world “beautiful”, but since my boards were shorter and narrower, this was the best I could do.

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Pinterest Party DIY

Now I get to tell you about something exciting.

I am hosting a Pinterest Party on November 1st.

You have one month to find a project, recipe, outfit, home decor style, whatever!  Then I want you to recreate it, take pictures, and post it to your blog.

What good is looking at pretty pictures if they don’t inspire us to do something?

Now is your chance to do something.

If you like to cook, find a recipe.  If you’re into fashion, find an outfit for inspiration.  If you’re a DIY junkie, do something.  If you like to change things up in your home, find a home that motivates you to do something different.  It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you do it, take pictures, and post the results to your blog.

I’ll have a linky set up first thing on November 1st and we’ll have ourselves a party.

So help me spread the word.  Grab that Pinterest Parry sign I made and post it all over blogland, facebook, and twitter.  Post it on your street corner if you want, just help me invite people to the party.

Cause, you know you want to come.

Are you in?

P.S.  Linking today’s post to Creative Juice Thursday at Momnivor’s Dilemma.  Go visit for other creative projects.

Tip Junkie

Brought to You by The Letter “R”

Today is one of those days that leave me thinking I should get more sleep or drink more caffeine.  A little of  both would probably be beneficial.

That is why today’s post is brought to you by the letter “R” for “Random”.

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First I want to put your nutritionally balanced minds at ease.  I learned to eat my vegetables.  I should have clarified that fact in Friday’s anniversary post about why I was afraid to marry FringeMan.  You see, eventually I had children, and children need to eat their veggies, but they won’t if their mama doesn’t.  So I do.  It’s really that simple.  I am now very fond green beans, especially if they are cooked with bacon and slivered almonds, but usually I just eat them with a little salt and pepper.  Brussle sprouts are still on the Do Not Eat list and zucchini is mixed into a bread batter with plenty of sugar and cinnamon.  That is the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God and the vegetable police.

I feel better now that we all understand each other.

This weekend I had a run-in with a box of hair dye.  I went very dark.  Now, my natural color is almost black, but it has been a long time since my hair was natural.  Unfortunately natural means gray these days, so I try and keep it colored or at least highlighted.  That’s female talk for camouflage.

A few months ago, yes a few months now, two separate women flat-out told me I needed to color my hair, and yet I procrastinated.  I tried to pass it off as an “ombre” look, but no-one was buying the fact that my grown-out roots were a fashion trend.  So I colored my hair.

Then I posted, as per request, a photo on facebook.  Turns out everyone loves dark hair.  I received so many compliments, I am thinking of totally changing the color every single month.  It is a boost to the self-esteem.  You know?  I wonder what they will say when I accidentally turn it green, because eventually catastrophes happen when you are paying $4.99 for a box of hair dye.

Revlon Dark Mahogony Brown Hair color

 

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I decided to try my hand at art.

Make no mistake, I am not living under the false pretense that I have talent.  I do not have talent and I know it, but that doesn’t stop me.  If I had talent, there is no telling what I would do.  God knew what he was doing when he created me with a handicap, as in a lack of skill handicap, otherwise I may be tempted to paint murals of surfing chickens on the sides of my house.  Imagine the commotion that would cause in my neighborhood.  So, yes, it is better that me and my talent-less self sticks to painting internationally famous dancing cows and now a canvas or maybe three (but one is really bad, so it doesn’t count).

One of these days I am going to take Jennie Oliver’s mixed media art class.  How fun would that be!?!

Mixed Media art

I am calling this one Starburst.  I thought about calling it Flowerburst, but I have a soft spot in my hear for Starburst candies, so Starburst it is.  I hope that’s not infringing on any copyright rules, but I doubt the candy company feels threatened by my grown-up finger painting.

Mixed Media Starburst PaintingGranted, these look a little more Picasso and a little less Pre-K at one o’clock in the morning, but I am still pretty pleased.

This one is Polka-Dot Flower Power, although it should probably be called Measles in the Summertime.  It’s all interpretation anyway.  Right?

And the flower is not so crazy shaky in person.  I don’t know why my photo is like that, but my kids are hanging over my shoulder exclaiming over how weird this picture looks. So…chalk it up to my mad photography skills.  They are right up there with my painting skills.

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blog button 31 Days of Living by FaithI should be working on writing 31 Days of Living by Faith instead of stealing my kid’s art supplies and making a mess, but I seem to be more Martha Stewart and less Rick Warren this week.  Go figure!

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What about you?  Try anything new lately??

Art: The Act of Making Things Pretty

At least that is my definition  of art for today.

Yesterday I told you about our exciting Saturday at the Garlic Festival, but I left something out.  I hate to leave anything out, especially the good stuff and there’s plenty of that.

My mom looked at me late Saturday afternoon and said, “Visiting you is never dull.”

Nope.  Sorry mom, but dull is way overrated.

However, every now and again, we (especially us women) tend to feel dull.  So we go and dye our brown hair blond, or our blond hair red, or our red hair black.  Sometimes we just skip the dye and cut off all the hair.  Maybe we go on a shopping spree and buy lots of ugly clothes we’ll never wear.  My point is, when we get all dull feeling (translate hormonal), we sometimes make rash choices in an effort to be un-dull.

You’re all looking at me like I have two heads.  I am not alone in this.  I am certain!  You do this too.  Don’t you?

Well, I have been dull lately.  I think it’s the four inches of gray roots on my head.  I decided to own the IreallyNeedtoGetmyHairdone look and started telling people it is this year’s hottest fashion trend (at least according to all the cool and uber-fashionable pinners on Pinterest).  Can we say “Ombre?”

Ya, no one else is buying it either.

So I have been carrying around my dull ombre head that is also in desperate need of a haircut and mulling over my options.  Shaving it all off is looking better every day.

On Saturday, I forgot dull.  I let Christina, the super-fun and extremely talented woman who painted my Fresh Cupcakes sign, paint my hand.

henna hand tattoo

My Henna Hand Art

Yes.  I got a Henna tattoo.

Now it will wash away in about two week, but I am going to tell you something.  I. Love. It.

Every now and again, I catch a glimpse of something dark and think I have dirt on my hand, but that’s just because it’s new.  I am not used to vines growing up my fingers.  I am accustomed to them growing out of my head, but not on my hands, not until Saturday.

FringeKid Henna Hand Art

My kids were the first to find Christina.  She said she recognized them from my blog.  I hope she also forgives them for driving her absolutely wonky.  FringeBoy can be passionate about art and he’s a perfectionist like no other.  He will not hesitate to say when he doesn’t like something.  To Christina’s great credit, she let him sketch a design and then did a beautiful job copying it on his hand.

FringeBoy's odd Legend of Zelda video game drawing.

Thank you Christina for your patience and kindness.  I know there had to be a time when you wanted to smack FringeBoy in the back of the head.  Believe me, I get those urges quite often.

The only one the Henna didn’t work so well on is my mom.  She had it done on her arm and it didn’t really show up.  That’s probably because she has thirty-two thousand freckles on her arm.  Looking at her arm is like sitting in a planetarium and looking at the sky.  There’s a constellation every quarter inch.

FringeBoy begged for a kit of his own, and because I am a good mom who happened to have a bag of freshly earned cash, I let him get his own Henna Tattoo Kit.

Do you realize what repercussions this decision will have?

Obviously I was thinking with my mama’s heart instead of my brain when I gave him twenty bucks.  My son has been drawing sketches for days.  He loves the idea of a face paint that will not wash away for a few weeks.  He’ll set up shop on my porch and be inking every kid that gets off the school bus.

Heaven help me.

It will be like yard time in prison, only with shorter people.

Old Indian women will clutch their chests and gasp over their lovely wedding traditions gone so wrong.  They should have expected it from us Americans.  We take a good idea and run wild with it.

And that my friends is why a visit to my house is never dull.