In Portland, we are experiencing storms that we don’t normally see until November. As I was watching the storm outside the window, I noticed how interesting the rain patterns were on the glass. You can begin to see a different world when you start looking at the rain instead of the objects outside.
Monthly Archives: September 2013
I saw this original Pin on Pinterest and fell in love. I thought these would be lovely cascading down in front of a window. They could be used as tie-backs on curtains, positioned along the curtain rod, or draped on the corners of a four-poster bed. You control the colors (sort of) – at least you control the tone of the colors. The saturation is completely up to the interaction of food coloring with the egg carton material. This would be a lovely project with friends or children. As you will see, a single egg carton doesn’t go very far. So patience or a team effort would really help this project along.
Original pin – from an Anthropolgie store window
Basically you start with egg cartons and remove the lids.
You need to cut them apart to create “cups”.
The outer shape of the cup is completely up to you. I followed the blog link from the original Pin, but you could easily keep the edges squared off like the Anthrolopogie window display.
The next step is to dye them. I used food coloring with water. I wanted a more saturated look, so I used a higher amount of food coloring. The color combinations are up to you. I would suggest prepping all the flower cups first and then dying all at one time so that you keep color consistency. I also recommend wearing gloves to prevent dyed skin.
I dried them on a paper towel with wax paper underneath to avoid any transfer to the counter surface. While the flowers are still wet, you can add food coloring direct to the flower and allow it to saturate and spread out. You can also “paint” the food coloring on as well.
After the flowers are completely dry, you can start to string them. The spacing and placement is completely up to you. I used a green raffia covered wire to string the flowers. I twisted the wire around a pencil to create a spiral to hold the flowers in place. You could easily use twine, yarn, real sticks. Be as creative as you’d like.
I created 3 strands of varying lengths using the 12 cups from a single egg carton. To get the effect I would like, it seems I’ll needs at least another 4 egg cartons. You can add leaves as well using the leftover material from cutting apart the egg cartons. So many possibilities, yet so little time!
A friend of mine asked me if I would think about art projects that kids could do, but would look good enough that people would purchase them. Pinterest has a zillion ideas, so I started there. However, one night while trying to sleep, I had an idea about a frame that could potentially fit the bill and was cheap to make. I scribbled my idea in my notebook next to my bed and left it for a rainy day. Yesterday was that rainy day. I had a frame on hand from Michaels that has a heart cutout for the photo. It cost a whopping $1.
It started with a frame and an idea….
I searched through the decorator fabric samples I had on hand and decided on a pattern. Then I accented it with felt and another solid, textured fabric and some variegated yarn.
I created 3 different sizes of hearts to use as a template and began cutting them out of the materials.
Tracing and cutting out the hearts
In order to avoid any wood show-through on the finished product, I painted the frame a dark blue.
Painting the frame
After it was dry, I used Tacky Glue and began placing the hearts on the frame – placing them in all different directions and overlapping.
Starting to place the hearts
To accent the patterned hearts, I “traced” them in yarn. This makes them pop against the other colors.
“Tracing” the hearts in yarn
I used the yarn to finish off the interior of the heart and outline the outer edge of the frame. I think it looks a lot more expensive than its humble beginnings.
The finished frame
“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”
Original inspiration from Pinterest
I was inspired to try this enamel painted vase technique on an interesting shaped bottle. I followed the instructions and noted any differences with the enamel paint that I was using. I coated the interior of the bottle with the paint. I turned it upside down to allow the paint to “settle” and the excess to drip out. According to the instructions on my paint, you place the glass in a cold oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Once heated, you bake for 30 minutes. After the baking is done, you allow it to cool in the oven. Sadly, when I opened the oven to see the “masterpiece”, I discovered that the paint pulled away from the glass in many areas (see photos below). Luckily I could just cover it with yarn as I did in one of my earlier projects. I really think the way the variegated yarn colors randomly created the stripe on the “fixed” vase is quite lovely. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. There is a life lesson in here somewhere….. Not everything will turn out the way you had hoped. But just taking the chance opens your mind to new possibilities.
Starting to paint the interior
Almost fully coated
Allowing the excess to settle and drip out
The failed “masterpiece”
And the “fix”
I have loved the movie “Pretty In Pink” since I first saw it 25+ years ago.
You see as a child, I was in love with fashion design and routinely called my Barbies by the name Andi. So this movie brought together all of my childhood loves. It was meant to be. The only thing about the movie that bothered me was the dress at the end. I watched the movie last night and it continued to disappoint. She had all of those great materials and could use them in any way she wanted. And this is what she decided on? Really?
So I thought, what would I have done differently? Here are some ideas I threw together. And remember, it was the 80’s!
The fabric list
two more ideas….
staying truer to her original design- with some slight modifications
When people think of Portland, they think rain. But in actuality it should be clouds. We have many cloudy days – some with rain and some without. Over the course of the day, you can see the beautiful clouds change and morph. Don’t get me wrong, all of that cloudiness can get you down. But on a day like today, the right mixture of brightness and clouds and make you look up and appreciate nature’s beauty. Some of my favorites:
I have always enjoyed cooking and baking. Now that I am cooking for one, I find that my enthusiasm isn’t always there. I have adjusted the way I think about preparing meals and try to select recipes that tolerate freezing the leftovers. Chili is always one of those recipes that I love making. It goes hand in hand with crisp fall and winter weather just around the corner. Being the practical cook that I am, I discovered a shortcut that is absolutely delicious and you can customize it to be your very own. Carroll Shelby’s Chili Kit is fantastic. The kit contains a spice packet, salt packet, cayenne pepper packet, and masa flour (for thickening). I find that the key to cooking is being able to take something – even from a box – and make it your own. Experiment. Toss in fresh tomatoes or a jalapeno pepper. Use tri-colored beans or black beans. When using a base or kit, it is really easy to alter the flavor each time you make it, yet have the security knowing that it will taste delicious in the end.
My take on chili tonight:
- sweet Vidalia onion
- lean ground beef
- kidney beans
- grilled frozen corn (cooked and cut from the cob last summer)
- marinara tomato sauce
- topped with Mexican cheese
- side of corn tortillas
Carroll Shelby’s Chili Kit
cooking down the onion
browning the beef
topped with cheese and a side of tortillas
Best freezing advice ever – Ziploc freezer bags stack flat in the freezer
Think you can’t add a dash of panache to your walls without spending a lot of money? This project combines the wallpaper samples that I acquired at SCRAP along with $1 wood shapes and a few beads from Michaels Crafts. I think it is an easy way to add some color and texture to any wall. You can use any number, size, and combination of wood shapes to match the size of the space you are decorating. The possibilities are endless!
Selecting the fabrics
Gluing fabric direct to the wood shapes using Tacky Glue
my little helper (Clyde)
Use hot glue to set felt backer
Trying out the center shape combinations
The final result
Portland is experiencing high temps this September – in the 90’s. In order to beat the heat, I fled the city and headed to Cannon Beach with my friend Georgia. It was one of the most beautiful days I’ve ever experienced on an Oregon Coast. Sunny, not a cloud in the sky, able to stand in the water knee deep. At one point, I was even considering putting on a bathing suit and plunging in (that thought quickly dissipated after the water temps dropped in the afternoon). Here are some of my favorite photos from the day.
In the second SCRAP-inspired project, I used a faux zebra-wood cabinet door and combined it with decorator fabric and an additional mini frame at the center. I created a simple shape embellished with beads and sequins and placed it at the center of the mini frame. You could easily place a photo in the center for a dramatic wall-mounted frame.
faux leather backer
adding the mini frame at the center
beading the center piece
sketching up some inspiration
the final result