Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Chalkboard calendar

I have been wanting to make a chalkboard calendar for quite some time. I consider calendars to be a decorative item as well as functional. I have seen quite a few chalkboard calendars online, but many of them used a calendar decal or vinyl mat for the calendar part. I decided to create one with some of my stamps. I then added a Graphics Fairy french style transfer to the top of the chalkboard.

I found this chalkboard on clearance at Joanns. It's not hard to figure out why it was priced so low. It was really gaudy with the rooster and the bright patterns. I knew I could do something with it because it  was the exact size I needed for a space on my kitchen wall. I should have bought another one but at the time I couldn't see past the crazy design. I mean I like roosters but not like this! I had to use two coats of  gray craft paint just to cover up the design. I then added some oyster white because it went well with the  frame.

I had a set of calendar  stamps with months and days so I decided to use those to decorate the chalkboard. I really like this set, but the smaller numbers were rather tiny.

 I discovered it can be a bit messy  trying to draw grid lines and adding small pieces to a  chalkboard of this size. Everything did not go according to plan, but I completed it which was my main goal.  I thought it might be a cute idea to have a calendar that you could change by moving the months and days around without drawing and erasing. Since August is almost over I decided to do September and I stamped out the month, days and numbers.  I then attached the little pop dots to the back of each piece and assembled it. I have to say I do not recommend doing it this way because it takes too long to assemble  everything. I like quick  projects but I always seem to want to try something that is time consuming! It's hard to tell in this picture but by using the pop dots it gives a dimensional look to the calendar.

I softened this image a bit to give it more of a vintage feel.

I found a transfer I liked from the Graphics Fairy and added it using the mod podge transfer method. I added a soft glaze to it after I finished so it would blend in with the paint.

Since it's almost fall I plan on changing this calendar soon to match the seasons.  I'm happy with it overall,  but I like the graphic part of the calendar the best. And that was the easy part.  Isn't that just the way it goes. Thanks for stopping by.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Modern chair revival

There are times when you inherit something that really appeals to you but you don't quite know what to do with it. We were given two modern chairs by my in-laws several years ago and I just couldn't part with them, even though they sat in storage for awhile and were never used. These are mid-century modern chairs that go by many names such as, saucer, moon, dish and so on. I think it resembles a large shell or fan because of the way it is stiched in such a round shape. I saw one online for sale that was advertised as a "flying saucer" chair. I believe it! I think that name suits it well. It was the closest match I found for a chair like this. I couldn't use the image because of copyright restrictions. They have made a comeback and  you can see them at Target for adults and as small chairs for children. I just think they are funky and fun and I wanted to display them but I wasn't sure how to because I like french farmhouse decor. These are made of leather and are quite large so they take up a bit of space, especially in a small house like ours and they swivel as well. I really like the turquoise one.  I am sure they are valuable and perhaps rare because the research I did on them didn't pull up any exact matches. I know these chairs were common in the 50's and 60's.

 I decided to put the turquoise in one of the bedrooms and try and do something with it. This room has very few pictures on the walls, so I decided to work with what I had and made a small display of pics over the chair. I used stamped cards in small frames. These pics are too small for this space, and get lost in this room but I will update them later. It's hard to know what to display over a chair like this anyway.  I found some really pretty brocade fabric at Joanns that is reversible. I made some small pillows.  Actually I wrapped some small pillows with the fabric and velcro because I don't sew.  I really love how the pillows came out because they match the chair so well and the detail in the fabric looks very rich.

 This is the reversible brocade fabric I found at Joanns. It turned out to be an almost perfect match for the chair. I love the pattern in this fabric as well.

 Here's a closeup of the pillows. I love the way the fabric shimmers. It brings a look of glam to this chair. I think this closeup makes it look like a  clam shell that has opened up with goodies inside!

The orange one is my problem chair. I don't like orange furniture and I think this chair looks kind of weird anyway, but I just can't let go of it. I remember my in-laws had these chairs in their rec room. The whole room looked like a 60's revival.  I added a pom pom throw and a faux fur pillow. The chair is in our loft now, which is our office really, so It doesn't look too bad in here.  There isn't that much you can do with this color decorating wise.  I think it will look better with an orange and brown floral pillow for fall.  It's always fun to have something unusual in your home that makes your guests wonder, what is that?

I think I'll try and decorate it for Halloween somehow. It is certainly scary enough!


Back to the pretty chair again. I love the soft turquoise in this picture.

Here are some closeups of the stamped cards in frames.

Another picture of the chair with a plush throw. I think this chair now looks somewhat 20's and 30's inspired with the pillows and the throw. I think I'll add some art deco pics to the wall and add a little glam to the corner of this room!
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Monday, August 13, 2012

Cards, stamps & whimsical displays

I'm going to share my stamp collection today and some whimsical ways to display stamped cards. I began stamping in the mid 90's until mid 2005 or so and I kept the stamps because I knew I would pick up the hobby again someday. I don't even know if stamping is still popular, but I have come across some great deals on stamps, so I decided to create some new cards with french themes. I have seen french script style clothespins on some of the blogs and decided to create some of my own to display cards.

These are two of the cards I created.  I wasn't sure if these large clothespins would work, but I discovered after stamping them they added a unique element to the display.

I don't have a before and after for you but I will go thru some of the steps I followed to make the clothespins and cards. I painted two large clothespins with craft paint and stamped images on them using the stamps that I had. I used a french wordy style stamp and a floral one.The pins were already painted but the stamped image does not adhere to them unless it is a freshly painted surface.  I used a turquoise and a gray paint for the pins.

These are a few of the stamps in my collection. I have many more but these are the ones with more of a french theme.

I created four cards with different themes and decided to display them with the different clothespins I created. I already had some of these images stamped  out for this card so I put them together and added a frenchy word pin.

I did this one as a postcard floral style and used my floral background stamp for both. I thought the floral image came out really well on the pin.

I never thought I would be doing this kind of craft project but I like to try something somewhat different as long as it isn't too time consuming. Here are the other two cards I made.I went with a travel theme and florals. These pins look much prettier in person. I made them too dark but didn't have time to redo them. They have stamped images on them that show better in a closeup pic.

Here are the closeups of these cards. I like the weathervane on this one.

I like this floral one on the windowsill. There is a button image stamped at the top of  the pin.

A closeup of stamped image on pin. Even though this has been one of the more unusual things I have created, I think it has been the most fun so far. I'm glad I can bring new life to my stamps again.

Is there a former hobby of yours that you have recently started again?

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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Looking out my Back Door

Because our home is a work-in-progress and not quite ready for blogtime yet, I decided to post about our lovely outdoor view. We bought our house  a year ago, although it is a rather small home we have a great view of the outdoors from our dining area. This indoor pic came out rather dark but I decided not to enhance anything. Just another cloudy day in the Pacific Northwest!


I think it is so pretty here that even a cloudy day looks just as good as a clear day. This area is newly developed so there are still open fields and we were lucky enough to have one as our backyard!

Our yard is small but the open field behind us provides us with a great view from our dining area. Less for hubs to mow too! We can enjoy the view without doing any of the work. Our house is one of the few that doesn't have a fence yet. Since it is so pretty here I think we might wait a while too! We still need to add plants and outdoor furniture to our little yard.

Beyond this hill a new housing development will be going in, but they haven't started to build yet which is great news for us.  Hopefully we will have this open view of the field for a lot longer than we think.

The field now has wildflowers that really enhance the view. I love the trees here. I'm originally from the Midwest, so these evergreen trees really inspire me.

 A close up of some of the wildflowers. The white lacy ones are either queen anne's lace or hemlock, which is a weed you should avoid. I didn't even know what these were till we moved here.

We even have sunny skies on occasion.

I took these pictures a few weeks ago of the sunset. I really like this one because the cloud that is on the horizon has a peak on it and resembles a mountain.

We are so lucky to have this outdoor view. Since we don't have a fence yet, we have all this open space to look at instead of our neigbors houses and yards.

I wasn't sure how these evening pics would come out, but the sky was so nicely lit that even my little canon point & shoot took some nice pics.   

These pics were taken during sunset about a week ago. The sky was incredible looking that night.

The colors of the sunset stretched from west to east and beyond. These pics just don't do it justice. It would have been amazing as a panoramic image.

These pics were all taken of the western sky.

The colors were so vibrant. I have read that the fires in Russia are putting a haze in the sky that is making it more colorful at sunset. Whatever the reason I love it!

  I like the contrast of the wildflowers in the foreground against the blazing color of the sunset.

Images of the sunset reflected in the Northeast.

This picture doesn't really capture what these clouds were doing in the NE sky. They appeared to be one cloud splitting in two, revealing almost identical images.

When you have this kind of beauty to reflect upon, all your worries seem to disappear and you can appreciate the true beauty of nature once again.

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