Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Summer Necklace

Lots of leftover beads and trinkets
 + 
some antique ribbon 
+
 a little linen 
a one-of-a-kind necklace for summer! 
I saw this really unusual necklace using just those items here on Martha Stewart's website.  It reminds me of something you'd find at Anthropologie for $185!  I like the fact that you use all your odds and ends to put this together.  

Like this:

This is called KILN NECKLACE from Anthropologie for $268 made with a suede base topped with silk fishnet tulle, made in Italy.   It's kind of the same idea - doo dads on a fabric base.  I love it.  And it IS made in Italy.  But still.  $268??????
To be continued . . . .

Monday, May 23, 2011

Feature on the Graphics Fairy!

Here is the piece from the Graphics Fairy's Linky Party!  Thank you Karen!
Brag Monday - Bonne Nuit Pillow 

It's time for Brag Monday #86! Once again I'm bragging about two more projects from the last Brag Monday party.


First I'm bragging about this very pretty Bonne Nuit Pillow made by Nan at You Could Make That So beautiful!! Nan used the French Roses Label image from HERE, and then customized it a bit with the lettering!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Graphics transfer to a table

The Graphics Fairy has so many wonderful old prints and engravings.  This was a copy of a Circa 1850 Paris print.  It's a delicately engraved frame with a laurel wreath embellished with lots of roses.  I had seen it several times on her site and wanted to find a way to use it.  
So, I decided to use it as the centerpiece on our kitchen table.  I could put a vase or other dish in the center and the painted design would still show.  When I add the leaf to the table I'll have to use a table runner since opening the table will split the design - but that's okay - when we need a larger table we usually go to the dining room anyway.   

When I printed it out, I set it at 300 times the actual image.  That stretches the design out so that it is quite a bit bigger than the original image, however, you have to tape all the "parts" together.  This time I used carbon paper to transfer the image to the table.  I didn't want the wreath to face only one way, so I split it horizontally right down the middle, flipped it, and painted the top half twice - kind of a mirror image.  
I used a pretty watered down dark and light gray to paint the design.  I was intentional in loosely painting the design and I'm still thinking about lightly sanding it to make it even more faint.

The design before the dark wax was applied.

The top of the table is painted with Behr's Moth Gray (flat, so that it will accept wax).  I used Minwax/Paste Finishing Wax/Dark.  The trim and base of the table are just a semi-gloss white.

Linked to:
Brag Monday at The Graphics Fairy
and
Flaunt It Friday

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Now, every good and true story begins with four very special words . . .

That is the first sentence in the story of Miss Gillyflower.  Who is Miss Gillyflower?  She is the main character in a children's storybook I'm working on.

My departure from the classroom has taken place and people still keep asking me, "Are you sad?" or "Do you have any regrets?"  Well,  I don't have even one little regret - only excitement!  In the classroom, we are always talking to the kids about setting goals.  Set your sights on what you want to accomplish, figure out a plan for how you're going to do that, and then GO FOR IT!  Well, I've set four long-term goals for myself.
They are:

The Adventures of Miss Gillyflower
(a children's book I have written and am working on illustrating)

Lots of time with paints, brushes, and canvases
to fill up my Etsy shop.

"Dear Gilly"
Dresses for little girls with a tie-in to
Miss Gillyflower in a very fun way!

And -
last but not least -
When fall comes, and school bells start to ring . . .
cello lessons for moi!


It will all take time, and I don't plan on doing everything at once.
But THIS "retired" teacher doesn't plan on sitting around in a rocking chair!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The desk . . . personalized.

I went out on a limb on this one.  I wish I had a "before" picture of the desk, but I forgot to take one.  But it was just a plain, white, six-drawer desk that we actually rescued from the curb.  For years it's been a great place to sew - plenty of drawers for sewing supplies and the perfect height.  But I have a different sewing table now and so the desk is going in one of the guest rooms.  You can see the first part of this project here.
So.  
Here's how it looked with the Graphics Fairy frame traced on and my French sentence in the middle saying, 
"Welcome to our Lovely Guest".
And, here it is painted on.  
But it looked too new.   
Too crisp.
The edges were too sharp.

So I scuffed it up a bit - the whole desk - and put on a coat of wax.  The drawers are painted a color called Moth Gray by Behr.  I used a dark wax, so it changed the color quite a bit.  
 This is a stretch for me and I'm going
 to have to live with it a bit to be sure . . .


 I would welcome any suggestions, opinions, or constructive criticism.

Sharing this on:
The DIY Show Off

and Funky Junk's
Saturday Night Special
and
Brag Monday at The Graphics Fairy,
 Furniture Feature Friday 
Frugalicious Friday
Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage

Monday, May 16, 2011

Personalizing a desk top

I am on a guest room roll lately.  
Here's the situation.  
I was scrolling through the Graphics Fairy again, looking for some clip art of a frame with lots of curly-ness and frou-frou.  I am in the process of dressing up a desk in a guest room.  I wanted something with a French phrase in it that would look pretty and also say something warm and inviting.  I found just the right "frame" and decided to put my own phrase inside of it.  I used the frame graphic found here.  So pretty and exactly what I was looking for!
 Now, I needed to transfer that design to the desk top.  I didn't want to use carbon paper for two reasons.  
1.  I didn't want ink on the desk top that 
could interfere with the paint I'll put on later.
2.  I wanted to be able to erase any mistakes
I might make in the transfer process.
So, I turned the piece over and covered the back of the clip art area with graphite from the pencil.

No need to be careful - you want to get plenty of graphite on the paper so it transfers well.  Then you flip it over with the graphite side down and start tracing.  This doesn't take long at all.  It doesn't have to be perfect.

 
After that, I centered the French phrase I had decided on and traced that, again, graphite side down.
You can translate any combination of words using Google Translate.  I have it on my homepage - it's a gadget that you can download for no cost.   I put in the sentence, "Welcome to our lovely guest."  You can choose from Albanian to Ukrainian!   It's an easy way to find out what all those french phrases say on that great Graphics Fairy clip art, if you don't speak French!  The gadget looks like this:


After I traced my design, I pulled away the paper and this is the design I'll be painting. 
 This is the end of the road for tonight.  When you spend your days with a roomful of 6th graders, you fade quickly in the evening.  Tomorrow is another day . . . and I'll be painting!

UPDATE:  I've posted the finished desk here.

This post is on Brag Monday at the Graphics Fairy.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Monches Farm


Today, my husband and I drove about 20 miles north of Milwaukee to Monches Farm.  The drive to Monches is a beautiful one,  and this place is a real treat to visit!  They have a boat-load of perennials, garden statuary, antiques, unique gift items, dried flowers . . . even chickens and a peacock!
So, here is a not-so-little tour of this beautiful place! 
 
And . . . then there was the garden and cemetery-type statuary.  I just love these, so I took a ton of pictures . . .
In the past, Monches Farm has sponsored a Children's Fairy Festival in the summertime.  I guess it became so popular that they were unable to handle the amount of cars that delivered the "fairies" to Monches.  But, if you'd like to see some pictures of this event you can go here.

YOU COULD MAKE THAT IS ON FACEBOOK!

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