Watercolor Portraits

I found this tutorial on Craftster and thought that the possibilities were endless. This is my first attempt and I have to say it was really easy.watercolor portraits This is a super gift idea, I made these to coordinate with my Mother’s dining room.

Here’s what I learned:

* Masking fluid is similar to rubber cement, so you could substitute if you can’t get masking fluid.

* I bought a masking kit at Hobby Lobby that included masking fluid, an applicator, and a removing tool (rubber cement pick up square) for $15.99(-40% off coupon).

* Using tracing paper to trace the white spaces is a bad idea, the lines won’t come off (do this project during the day and hold it up to a window like to tutorial suggests!)

* Don’t make yourself crazy trying to get it perfect, it will be fine if it’s not.

* Allow plenty of time for your masking fluid to dry.

This project went really fast and I’m sure that it will be a super gift. The great thing is it’s super easy, so go get your supplies and make your own!


Hunting for Treasure

I adore yard sales, the excitement of finding something that I never knew I needed for a dollar is one of the best feelings ever.  I have tried to not “yard sale” this season and work on reducing my stash, but last weekend was my neighborhood sale, there were yard sales everywhere and I could not resist!  I came home with a carload of books, clothes, games, and Tupperware.  The real treasure I found was this souvenir dress from Mexico.embroidered dress It sadly is to small for me, but I have fabulous plans for this one:  I think that I will make it into a smock apron!  I plan to cut the sleeves off and enlarging the arm holes a bit (I don’t want to lose any of that embroidery), open the back up entirely, and shorten it to a more apron-y length, then I can just add bias binding to all the cut edges and ties to the back and ta-da and new apron.

Now to decide what color to use for the binding: red, turquoise, pink or green.  Let me know what you think, leave me a comment and help me decide :)


Creativity Drain

I really want to sew something, I also have a new project that I am dying to start.  I need space and the dining room table is not going to cut it anymore!  I’m all worked up and ready to craft and this is my craft room!craftroom before

Ugh, I no longer feel creative, the urge to craft is gone.  I have slowly been trying to get unpacked, but it is taking forever.

I have managed to clear some floor space and in an emergency I could set up the sewing machine, but don’t ask me where the ironing board is.craftroom during

But it still doesn’t inspire me to create anything, sigh…

I think I’ll order a pizza for dinner and see if I can accomplish a bit more unpacking.  I keep telling myself that I have to get it set up soon, there is a lot of crafting to do for the new house.


Red is the Color of the Day

So after finishing my decoupage jar yesterday I started thinking about making an all red one and I just couldn’t stop (instructions here). Last night at one in the morning I had amassed a good collection of red letters, numbers and symbols.letter jar letters

Red letters are pretty easy to find in almost any magazine. I like the ones that are red with white or black, I tried not to use the ones on the right with the yellow and blue, but a few made it on to the jar.letter jar red

I like the look of just the red and that has now got me thinking about how using the same letter or number would be really interesting. I think that I would have to cheat and print out my own letters (‘cause I would have to use a K) or get one of those clip art CDs, but it would still be neat, especially as a vase. I’m going to have to work on this idea for a while, but I think I’m going to have to give it a shot. Anyone know a good source for a variety of font letters?


I Love Mod Podge

Is there anything that can’t be made better with mod podge?  I found these decoupage storage jars on The Swell Life and just had to make my own!letter jar 1 I like how hers turned out, she had better letters.  I also think that I’m going to have to “take one for the team” and force myself to eat some marshmallow fluff, I like that shape of that jar!  I have a giant stack of magazines so I think I should just start saving random letters and then in a couple of months I’ll be able to cover a vase, I have a spare that I found for a dollar at a yard sale.  I was also thinking that using just one color of letters might be cool too!, all red would be awesome. 


I am Such a Copycat!

My friend Christy(christynelson dot net) made a stationery box for a friends' wedding and hey, I’m going to a wedding this weekend, so I copied her ‘cause she’s awesome!stationery box closed

Here it is all closed up and looking like a super cute little gift.stationery box openWhen you open it up the is a large pocket in the back and two smaller pockets in the front.  There is also a pocket for stamps and a lined notebook.  I have made a few cards, but I still need to make some tags for the pocket on the left and add a pen holder under the little notebook.  Christy used these instructions and I also found this youtube video that demos this project (this is a link for part one, there is also a part two).

I really like that I could use the colors the bride chose for her wedding and I think she is going to like it because she also enjoys scrapbooking.  She’ll probably laugh at my cards, turns out I’m not the best card maker.  My excuse is that I didn’t have enough embellishments, so everything seems kind of plain.

I spent this weekend fixing up the exterior of our house a bit, just a bit of tidying and some touch up painting.house collage

On the left side are the pictures that I took before the old tenant moved out and on the right are how it looks now.  My favorite part is that the two satellite dishes are gone, and all the junk too!


Instant Cemetery Can Design

Today I worked on the master copy for my instant cemetery can wrappers. Last year I just mod podged mini tombstones onto a paint can that I painted black, this year I want something fancier. I got my watercolors and went to work creating a molted background and while I was at it I made a new label for the lid too, ransom note style.instant cemetery can wrappersI’ll have to tweak them a little when I print them, but I really like how they came out. I’ll also be including a paint can key this year, to make opening the can easier, I really pound those lids on ;-)!

My other achievement was installing a new shower head, the old one was like having someone spit on you, terrible pressure, the new one is a water saver and it really amps up the pressure, I can’t wait to take a shower!


Gift Card Holders from Trash

I have been wanting to make these little holders for a while.  I see all sorts of “fancy” gift card holders in the stores, but I am hesitant to spend few extra dollars for them, a lot of times they go straight into the trash.  Hopefully these will be cute enough to be reused, they would be great for storing essential cards and cash in a small purse or for holding business cards.  The tutorial and pattern can be found at the RePlayGround.card holders 1

I used a variety of boxes from our recycling, mini nilla wafers, cake mix, and cheddar bunnies (my favorite one and really good snack too!)  I used self adhesive Velcro dots and glued the side flaps in place instead of using the elastic cord.  card holders 2

Then I decided to cover a box with fabric.  Some spray adhesive and a fabric scrap made this spotted one.  Unfortunately the printing on the box shows through the fabric, next time I’ll use darker fabric!  I bet scrapbook paper would work good too!  Now I just need some gift cards to fill them with!


Paint Chip Matchbook Notepads

As I was browsing OnePrettyThing I found these super cute notepads from paint chips and I just had to whip up my own.

paint chip match book notebooks

The tutorial is on Craft Leftovers and I really like the idea of using paint chips, so cute and colorful.  My “chips” only had four sample colors so I had to eyeball where to score them, but they turned out fine.  I did use the brad to secure the paper, but I doubt that I will actually refill these when I use all the paper (but I promise to recycle them).  The next batch will be stapled, I think I’ll make some using those wider paint chips…do you think I’ll get busted taking paint chips from every store I go to? 

Would it be something like, “Ma’am, you’ve been here several times shoving paint samples in you purse like crazy, but you’ve never bought any paint, I’m going to have to ask you to return those samples or buy some paint.” 

Me, “I thought these were free and I’m going to paint eventually I just need to make absolutely sure I have the right color.”

“Ma’am exactly what color are you looking for, you seem to have about one of every sample we carry, perhaps if you could pick a color I could help you narrow it down.”

Me, “The lighting here is just so much different I have to have a selection of everything, the colors really change when I get home.”

Or maybe I would just buy a gallon out of guilt for repurposing paint chips…I’ll tweet if I get detained (follow me just in case) or am banned from any stores.


Project Wish List

If your like me you have some sort of collection of projects to do.  I have stacks of print outs, book marks and wists, so today I thought I would share some of the projects that I would like to tackle.  BTW if you beat me to them let me know how they come out.  This is a very small sample of all the projects waiting to be completed.project wists collage

From left to right, top to bottom:

Skull Isle Pouch, Clothespin Dolls, Ric Rac Flowers

Indian Mirror Embroidery, Roll-up Kitchen Play Mat, Make Your Own Shower Cap

Make Your Own Underwear, Jewelry Organizer, Sewing Machine Apron

If you’re in the market for some fresh ideas visit craftster or oneprettything, I’m sure you’ll find something to add to your must craft list too!


Twirl Skirt Recon

As I wandered through the Goodwill a few weeks ago this cute ruffled skirt caught my eye.  It wasn’t my size or even my style, but I just had to have it!  It was begging to become a twirl dress for my daughter.  twirl skirt recon - before It had a slight aqua color, but I am not a fan of light colored clothing for children, especially a party dress.  I used navy blue Rit dye to make it a richer blue.twirl skirt recon - after dye

I hand dipped the skirt into the dye holding it for a few minutes for each layer, I was going for a gradation dyed effect.  It’s a little wobbly, but I like it and besides she’s three, is she really going to hold still long enough for anyone to notice it’s not perfectly straight.  The top two layers were just dipped and immediately removed to be rinsed.

Now I just need to decide how to cut it apart and put it back together, Oh and I need to find my sewing machine and unpack the craft room, everything is still in boxes.  I hope to finish this up in the next few weeks, I want her to be able to wear it to my cousins wedding.


Home Made Dryer Sheets

I love the way fabric softener makes my clothes feel and smell, but what I don’t love is the price! I have seen several different versions of making your own dryer sheet and basically the instructions are make a cloth napkin and dip it into vinegar and throw it in with your clothes, but where oh where is the good smell? I found this recipe (unfortunately I don’t remember the link) and knew it would be perfect.

2 c. water

1 c. vinegar

2/3 c. any hair conditioner – I used suave cucumber melon splash

Mix by stirring, (I used a whisk and it worked great!) not shaking. Soak a rag in liquid, ring out until slightly damp and add to the dryer with your clothes.homemade dryer sheetsI put mine into an empty country crock container (as you can see from this exciting picture), but anything with a lid will do. It looks just like the store bought stuff and it smells great and I plan on using an old washcloth for my “dryer sheet”. I spent a dollar for the conditioner and I had the vinegar on hand, so this was a pretty frugal mix.

I’m off to do some laundry and see how well it works, very soon I will be making my own liquid laundry soap, so stay tuned!


The consistency of the mix reminded me of regular fabric softener and so I tried using some in my "Downy" ball and it was awesome! I will be using this more like liquid softener instead of like a dryer sheet.


Homemade Water Colors – Success!!!

It took a couple of days for the paints to dry and some of them were still a little wet. The colors are a little softer than store bought paints and the ones that were still damp were easier to paint with. I would say that adding a full tablespoon of water and then letting them set for 24 hours would make them the perfect consistency. I would also advise adding a couple drops of water to completely dried paint before starting a painting session. watercolor tutorial color samples My kids were super excited to paint with these since they found them sitting out drying. They didn’t have any problems using this paint and it does dry faster than store bought colors, there is also a baking soda residue that is left when the paint is applied thickly. I like this new texture, it’s kind of like suede.watercolor tutorial action This project was definitely a success! The kids were delighted to have specially made paints and when they get a little bit older they will be able to help make their own paints.

I have several other crafty art supply recipes to try out this summer so stay tuned!


How to Make Your Own Water Color Paint

When I was a little girl my mother used to come up with all sorts of things to keep me occupied and so in the family tradition I decided to make my own water color paints. 

There are a lot of recipes available on the ‘net for a variety of art supplies, pick a supply and google how to make it.  I think it is important to show my children that you can actually make some things instead of just rushing to the store and buying them.  Any who, on with the recipe, you will need:

1 T. white vinegar

2 T. baking soda

1 T. cornstarch

1/4 tsp. glycerin (this can be found in a drug store, with the laxatives(see pic.), make sure to get the liquid and not capsules)

1/2 – 1 T. water

liquid food coloring

Plastic bottle caps, empty paint box, or styrofoam egg carton

watercolor tutorial suppliesMix the vinegar and baking soda in a small bowl, I used the measuring cup.  Be prepared for the chemical reaction, it’s going to foam up a bit.  I stirred my together and then once it stopped bubbling I added the cornstarch, glycerin *, and 1/2 T. of the water(as we all know you can always add more water it it’s too thick).  

Pour into the bottle caps (or whatever sort of container you’re using).  One batch filled six bottle caps.  I think that the egg carton would be perfect for younger children, but my eggs come in a cardboard container!

watercolor tutorial finished paintsNow for the fun part, add the food coloring.  I used two drops of each color for the paints in the top row.  For the bottom row I got creative and started mixing.  From left to right: a dusty lavender, teal green, navy blue, reddish brown, and black.  I used toothpicks to mix the colors in.

Let dry overnight and start painting.  Mine have been drying for 8 hours and they are still wet on top, but the bottom appears solid.  I’ll let you guys know how they turned out and get some samples posted tomorrow.

*I bought my glycerin at Walgreens and they did not have it in a bottle, (I had bought it that way before to use as a ink retardant for printing), so I had to get in in prefilled suppositories.  If this is how you buy yours make sure to squeeze out the “lubricant” in the tip before measuring your 1/4 tsp.



Our new house was formerly a rental house and so there have been a lot of fun discoveries made since we closed. For example, a large hole in the kitchen wall was patched with packing tape and then painted, there are miles and miles of wires (cable and phone) that go nowhere, the toilet has been installed at an odd angle, but my personal favorite is the graffiti.sharpie boobs before

This particular drawing is in my bathroom behind the door, a delightfully primitive large breasted woman done in black sharpie marker. The reason I mention this is that I have discovered a way to lessen the appearance of sharpie marker, so I don’t have to apply 10 coats of primer and I thought I should share. The secret is rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball.sharpie boobs after

Here is the after shot, now I know that you can still see the boobies, but they are definitely less noticeable. Once the wall dries and the ring around the edge fades it will be a lot better. I think that on a semi gloss paint the marker would have been completely removed. I’m not exactly sure what kind of paint this is, it is matte and when I wash the walls (and yes they really need to be washed!!!) it comes off, not completely, but noticeably. The entire interior is painted with this stuff and every room needs to be primed (with kilz) and painted, walls and ceilings. We are going to start painting soon, but the bathroom will be one of the last rooms we do (we would really like to redo the entire bathroom (or as I put it: rip out everything and start over)).

Oh, and the other thing I learned last week: foaming oven cleaner is great for removing cat urine from cement floors, we got a little crazy and just started trying different cleaning products.

And after all of this I am still really excited that we bought this house and I can’t wait to get everything done.


I Made Tye Dyed Yarn

When I was at the Goodwill last week I found the most striking tye dyed shirt, it was fuchsia and lime green!  I knew that I just had to have it to make some t-shirt yarn.naptimeDuring nap time I started cutting my yarn, I worked very hard to use almost every last bit.t-shirt scrapsI ended up with a 198 gram ball.  I was so excited to start knitting that I forgot to take a picture of the ball, it was really pretty.  I had originally thought that I would make another washcloth or two, but at the last minute I decided to make a drop stitch scarf.t-shirt scarfIt is definitely bright, I really like this color combo.  The fabric is warm and surprisingly heavy, I sure it will be super warm.  My only regret it that I wish it was longer, but I always say that!

I need more tye dyed shirts, I haven’t seen many since I started wanting them, what’s up with that?  I would love to make some sort of rug out of them.  I’ll have to decide what color family to use and then stock up on $.99 day or I could just get all white/light colors and tye dye them myself.