Driftwood Sign

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Summer Round Up – Part 3

Drifting Away

Hello friends and welcome back. We’re wrapping up the Summer Round Up with another easy project. One I hope, will inspire and bring back fond memories of the summer. If you missed Part 1 and Part 2, you can go here and here to catch up.

I know that posting the last of the Summer Round Up in October seems, well, odd, but there are loads of people who close up their camps, trailers and cottages just after Thanksgiving. And, as we’ve had the most glorious of early fall weather, many have taken advantage of stretching out those lazy, late summer days into early autumn.

With closing down of summer properties, there is always fall maintenance which includes inspection, repairs and possibly removal of docks. That’s where today’s project comes from. An ooooh so lovely piece of driftwood that washed ashore, probably from a dock once upon a time.

So get out there and scour the waters edge. It could be a piece of dock like ours, or perhaps it’s a well worn branch, smoothed over by pebbles on the shore. Whatever flotsam you pick, you can find inspiration in it’s beauty.

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Gather your supplies together:

  • light grey and black paint
  • rags/paper towels
  • pots for mixing paint
  • paintbrushes – including a finer one for details
  • carbon paper

Grab your driftwood and brush off any bits of debris – sand, dried plant material, etc. Make sure the wood is really dry all the way through. Mix up or use light grey paint. I used leftover Country Chic chalk paint in Lazy Linen with enough water added in to make a milk-like consistency. DO make sure to mix up enough paint … you do not want to run out half way through!

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In smallish sections, brush on your watered down paint and then quickly rag off. This allows the beauty of the wood to come through while allowing you to layer up the colour if needed. Let dry for several hours.

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From your computer, print out a saying or word that reminds you of your summer. Play around with the fonts and sizes of letters to give it interest or emphasize the meaning. Individually cutting the words out and spacing them along your find can add even more interest.

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With carbon paper behind your words, trace out the letters.

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Mix up a darker colour paint for the words. I used Lazy Linen mixed with Craftsmart chalky acrylic black paint and a little bit of water to achieve a smoky grey colour. Again, make enough to finish painting all your words! 🙂 Thinning with a bit of water stops the paint from ‘sitting’ on top of the wood and allows it to soak in a bit. Use your detail brush to fill in the letters.

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Don’t overthink this. Use whatever colours you want. Free hand the letters if you want. Let the beauty of the wood inspire your creativity!

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And. You’re. Done. Taa Daaaaahhhh!

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I hope you enjoyed the Summer Round Up series. Until next time, be creative and stay inspired!

 

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I have not received compensation in any form for any products used in this post. All opinions are my own. 

 

 

 

 

 

Feather String Art

 

Summer Round Up – Part 2

All Strung Out

Welcome back to my Summer Round Up! I hope you gave ‘This Way To The Lake’ a go. If not, you can go here to catch up! I’ve got you covered for another crafty installment of summer time reminiscing.

 

I’m gonna be straight with you. This project is much more time consuming. But don’t let that put you off. This is one that again, you can opt out of a step or two without impacting the overall look. It’s just a preference thing. It’s also one that you can start and stop at any time. Part of it you can do while watching your favourite show – or football. Whatevs! I will also warn you that you will feel like a demented woodpecker! Haha!

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The Summer Round Up series is inspired by crafts reminiscent of our childhood, woven with memories of our summer. Today we’re reliving the ‘70’s with string art. Now before you turn away, remember we are being inspired and putting our own modern twist to it.

What kid hasn’t found a bird’s feather and pocketed it? I love the shapes and hues of feathers. The beauty of this subject is that you can make it look as realistic or fanciful as you want, simple colours, brights, metallics or patterns. They sky and your imagination are limitless.

Ready? Let’s gather our supplies:

  • Wooden board (soft wood)
  • Hammer
  • ½” wire nails 19 gauge (I found these in Walmart’s hardware section)
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Embroidery floss
  • Clear nail polish
  • Fine point scissors
  • Optional – stain, polyurethane, paint, tissue paper, picture hangers, tweezers

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I’ll leave the size and type of wooden board up to you. Why? Let’s not be too literal here. I want you to use your creativity. Maybe you have a piece of barn board begging to be used (and if you’re not using it, can I have it??!!). Or maybe the idea you have would look great with a painted background. Or maybe you have a little case of OCD and want to be able to dust it with ease (not that I would know anything about that….:|) So, use whatever you like, just make sure it’s a soft kind of wood like pine to make hammering in nails easier. I stained and then polyed my board.

Cut a piece of paper the same size as your board and sketch out your pattern. Add colours and patterns. This will be your reference drawing.

 

Do as I say and not as I did! Using Tracing Paper, copy the outline and tape it to your board. You will be hammering the nails into this copy on the board.

 

Use the pliers to hold the nail in place and hammer away. The width of the plier tip is a great depth for the nails and will ensure all your nails end up at the same height. Just try holding one of the nails while hammering. Yeah, you’re welcome! The more nails you use, the more detailed your image will be. Just make sure you space your nails as evenly as possible (eyeball it). Follow your outline. Depending on how detailed your image is I strongly suggest you remove the tissue paper now!

Because the end of the feather had wispy edges, I needed the paper to make sense of the nail outline. Hindsight is a wonderful thing…. I should have removed the paper after the initial threading of the wispy edges. *sigh*

To tie the embroidery thread to the nail, I made a loop with a long tail. Tighten the loop to the nail, dab a little nail polish on the thread and then complete the knot. The nail polish helps the thread from slipping and keeps it tight while you complete the knot. Cut the tail off as close to the knot as possible and dab the knot again with nail polish.

Because my image was a feather, I wanted very straight, clean lines just like the individual filaments. This required a little fore thought to where I started each colour, and how I looped and what direction I looped the thread in.

This does not mean that if you chose a feather pattern as well, you need to be so precise. In fact, I encourage you to try it another way. Generally speaking, you loop your thread around one nail and then somewhat higgledy piggely loop to another and then another. You may even loop around a nail more than once. That’s the beauty of this kind of art. You really can’t mess it up. And if you don’t like the pattern you’ve created with the thread, it’s easy enough to unloop and start again. You want the thread to cross over and overlap each other. Do this for each colour if you have more than one

 

I know it hasn’t escaped you that you are (possibly) looping thread over a piece of tissue paper, basically trapping it. Remember when I said use tissue paper? Well I didn’t. Trying to rip regular paper out from between tiny nails and not disturb the thread required the use of tweezers and a whooooooole lotta patience!

Once you’ve finished looping, and cursing me if you didn’t heed my earlier advice, stand back and admire your amazing craftiness! You rocked it! I knew you could. And you didn’t even get strung out….. !

 

 

This Way To The Lake Canvas

Summer Roundup – Part 1

This Way To The Lake Canvas

 

Well, we have officially finished the first full week of school here. Raise your hand if a) you have sung “It’s The Most Wonderful Day of The Year” at least once, b) you are sick of making lunches already c) found yourself wandering the wine aisle at the grocery store…. Hahahaha! Don’t judge. Welcome back to the reality grind!

The weather turned cooler in the last couple of weeks and the evenings and mornings are definitely chilly. Although this week was unseasonably warm (and I am NOT complaining in the least!), I thought with summer coming to a close, it might be fun to do a roundup of sorts. Easy crafts that are reminiscent of summer activities, memories and those found treasures along the way; all cottage, lake and camp inspired.

We didn’t make it up to a lake this year but I know many of you did. Despite not being cottagers or boaters, I have always enjoyed simple décor pieces with lake themes. There’s something very comforting in water inspired colour schemes and activities associated with summertime lake living. Todays DIY pays homage to the simple word “LAKE”.

As always, I hope to inspire your creativity. This is a project that anyone can do, with or without special tools. Today I am going old school because I wanted this to have a slightly rustic feel. If you are a little OCD and NEED perfection, you could use a Cricut or the like, or less techy you could simply use store bought vinyl letters. OK, let’s get started!

You will need:

·         A wooden canvas. These can be found in various sizes from DeSerres art supply stores or in my case, a ‘dollar store’

·         At least two colours of paint, one light and one dark and any other colour for accents

·         Carbon paper and pencil or vinyl letters

 

If using an inexpensive canvas, prep your board by giving it a light sanding with 220 grit sandpaper. Often the cheaper ones have a slightly rougher finish. Give it a good wipe down to get rid of the dust.

 

Paint the top and sides of your wooden canvas using the lighter colour. I used Fusion mineral paint in Lamp White (leftover from another project). While this is drying, let’s move on to the next step…

 Total aside, can I just tell you that you should have a box of Glad Press and Seal in your paint box arsenal. This stuff is absolutely brilliant for covering and sealing paint brushes and rollers while you are in the middle of a project. This stuff really keeps the air out and can be used again and again until that project is finished. Greatest. Invention. Ever.

 Using the computer, I typed out the word LAKE, arranging the letters LA over KE. Use whatever word works for you – ROW, OAR, BOAT – you get the idea! Enlarge the letters to whatever size works best for your canvas. In this case, I think I enlarged them to around 48 pt. I also printed out an image of a paddle/oar. Again, enlarge this to fit your canvas. I wanted the paddle to be wider than the letters.

 

 

You may need to do a little cutting and taping to get your letters and oar in the position you want them. Once you’ve got your layout done, place the carbon paper dark side down on the canvas followed by your print layout. Use painter’s tape to secure it to the board.

 

 

 

Trace over your letters and oar. Remove the layout and carbon papers – I always find this part exciting!


 

Ta Daaaa!!

 

 

Using your darker colour and a fine tipped paint brush, outline with paint around your words and oar, then paint the rest of your canvas. I used Fusion mineral paint in Liberty Blue (again, leftover from another project). I recommend two coats to get a good contrast between light and dark. When your paint is dry, embellish your oar/paddle with different colours and patterns. I used triangles to give the impression of the paddle acting as an arrow (Fusion paint in Tuscan Orange).

 

And that’s it! How easy is that?? Leave your canvas as is or use your artistic license to age it. You could go over it with a tinted wax or sand it slightly to give it a weathered look. However you choose to finish it, display it with pride and remember those lazy, hazy days of summer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I have not received any kind of compensation for any products, brands or services mentioned in this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

 

Peony Party

You guys! It’s been far too long. No really, I missed you! Can you even believe it’s officially summer? Gaaahhhh! Someone hit the snooze button on the summer clock because time is just flying by!

Apparently I didn’t see the Go Slow sign that spring was just around corner. I sped right past it. Put the pedal to the metal and floored it right to the end, took a sharp right and screeched to a halt right before Summerville.

I had taken a few photos back in April when I was visiting Mount Pleasant Cemetery. I had never been there before and was awed at how beautiful it was. I wish time had of permitted, I would have loved to have taken a stroll, so many beautiful trees in the early stages of spring budding.

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And the light. There is something almost tangible about spring light. And the warmth, that curl up like a cat in a pool of warm light.

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I guess I must have slowed down a bit to catch sight of it. But life has a way with stepping on the gas. You get busy with one thing and then another, and before you know it another season has come and gone.

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With April’s sunshine and warmth ending, May brought with it, what felt like, never ending clouds and rain. So much rain. And with the rain came the flooding – in my basement. My creative hub was in a state of such upheaval that none of the projects I had wanted to start were going anywhere.

And while I was huddled up inside, cursing the river that ran through my basement, a party was brewing up outside. I wasn’t invited. It was private, but I snuck a peek.

The peonies were partying.

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They started the dance with a reach for the sky stretch, followed by an explosive display of leaves and buds. But the highlight was this display of beautiful blooms.

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So short lived, I nearly missed it.

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A couple of heavy rains the following week and that was it. The Peony Party was over.

But I hear the music playing again. I’m not missing the next party….

The Hydrangeas are having a Hoopla…

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To quote Ferris Bueller “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”. Before you know it the roses will be having a rave! Happy week everyone!

Easter Bunny & Carrot Banner

Hi friends and welcome back! I can not get enough of this gorgeous sunshine and warm temps. Did you survive last week’s string wrap-a-thon? No? Consider it a head start on next year’s decorating! If I didn’t challenge your patience last week, I might send you over the edge this week.

Here’s something you need to know about me. I’m not always a quick craft kinda girl. And I’m not even a super imaginative crafter. I cheat. And not only do I cheat, I’m cheap too. I see random things I like all the time. And I think I can totally rock it and make it myself for a fraction of the cost…. today is no exception.

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I admit I saw this in a store and ‘pffftttt‘ at it. “I can sooo do this”. And of course it turned out way better than the one in the store :).

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Like last week, all the materials needed can be found at your local dollar store, Walmart or Michael’s. Remember, that you don’t need to make this exactly as I have. Use this as your inspiration and add your own twist. You will need….

Rabbit and carrot template
white, orange and green felt
white, orange, green and black thread
ribbon
sisal string (could be plain, or coloured or maybe a really pretty ribbon)
black beads
poly stuffing or cotton balls
sewing machine/glue or hot glue gun/needle and thread

This project has a lot of different steps, which means that I could go on and on and on and on for-ev-er…. So, rather that blether on, and you possibly fall asleep while at your computer, and then faceplant onto the keyboard making the ‘C’ key repeat CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC….. and you drool and short circuit something, lemme just save you by giving you a lot of photos and minimal instruction. Besides, you’ve totally got this!

Like I said, this is a bit of a long project. To make it faster, I recommend using your sewing machine. Don’t have one? No worries, plug in your glue gun (because hot glue, billions of little glue strings and burnt fingers will make this more fun) or to draw the fun out even more, grab the regular tacky glue or needle and thread! In the photos I showed hand sewing using a blanket stitch. It’s an easy stitch, goes quickly and looks pretty. I recommend doing this over gluing, but you be the judge of your own skill and patience.

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Chocolate. You need chocolate to get you ‘motivated’!

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Start with your templates. I found this wooden one at Michael’s when gathering my supplies and knew the size and shape would work well. Go on line for shapes that you like of rabbit silhouettes if you can’t find any in the shops. The simpler the better. Being wood also held up well with tracing. For the carrot template, I made a small cone shape from card stock and went all free form with the carrot top. Just keep the rabbit and carrot roughly the same size.

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No parabolas formulas are needed today, but I totally suck at math so I’m not helping you on this! Figure out how long you want your banner to be, how many bunnies and carrots you want on it and how far apart they will be from each other. Oh, and don’t forget that you need double the amount of bunnies …. OMG, math is so exhausting!

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I suggest you NOT cut out more than two layers of felt at a time. *Tip* – trace out your shape on one piece of felt and then staple your layers together. This prevents the felt from shifting while you’re cutting, keeping the details sharp and your bunnies won’t lose any ears!

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OK, fast forward – you’ve now got all your templates cut out. Yay for you, you deserve a chocolate!

(If you’re not using the sewing machine, this is where a large tray on your lap comes in handy while you watch a marathon of Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey or all 10 seasons of Big Bang Theory…)

Double layer of bunnies. Machine sew/glue/hand sew around the edge but leave the bottom open. Yeesssss, take the staples out!

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Gently stuff your bunnies with batting or pulled apart cotton balls. A chopstick or crochet hook will help get the stuffing all the way to the tips. Gently push the stuffing – don’t cram!

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Close ‘er up!

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Ooooo look! Chocolate! Yes please!

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Attach the green tops to the carrot by slightly overlapping and using a running stitch through the base of the green, leaving long ends.

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Close up the side of the carrot and gently stuff.

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Tie ‘er up!

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(Chocolate time!!)

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Sew/glue on eyes on BOTH side of bunny.

Mmmmmmmmmm, choc-o-late!

Bow tie time! Go on Pinterest to find out how to make perfect little bows using a fork (wait – whaaaaat???). It has been repinned a bazillion times so I’m not sure who the original, but BRILLIANT, author is. Shout out to whoever you are! Trust me when I say it’s easier to view those versions than any photos I could post of my clumbsy hands trying to do it! You’re welcome!

Make ONE for every bunny.

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Just ooonnne more!

By now you are either in a chocolate coma or climbing the walls after rewarding yourself along the way. Time to step back from the edge and put your thinking cap on. You need to lay out your bunnies and carrots to decide if you want ALL the bunnies going in ONE DIRECTION or if you want them to ALTERNATE.

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Once you’ve decided which way the bunnies will go, while still in place, put a little dot where the bow tie will go. (I KNOW you’re smart enough to know, but you’re still on a sugar high and might go rogue with that glue gun…) That dot will remind you where to put the bow tie in case you jump up suddenly because you’re bladder can’t wait another minute or the cat decided that those cute little bunnies needed some sense batted into them or you DID go rogue with that glue gun and you’ve burnt your fingers – again, and you ended up scattering those poor little creatures all over the floor. See? I got your back 🙂

Attach the bow.

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Attach the carrot and bunny, alternating, on to the string. Do your own math. Or eyeball it. Whatever you want. It’s all good! I would sew them on to the string – but I think you might be at the end of your rope, because, well, you are kinda strung out by now 🙂

Just a reminder that Easter hunts are not a competitive or contact sport so take it easy around the kids. If you ask nicely, I’m sure they’ll share with you!! Happy Easter friends! Enjoy your time with family and friends.

Disclaimer: All inspirations, words, photos and opinions are my own. I bought the chocolate (and my husband ate them) but wasn’t paid to do so!!

Easter Carrots

Easter.
Rainy days.
Trees budding.
Bulbs sprouting.
Pastels and bunnies.
Eggs and carrots.
Oh, and chocolate

…lots and lots of chocolate

For me, Easter is a time of renewal. A fresh start after a drab and dreary winter. Where colours come alive and the birds start chirping for all the world to hear!
And chocolate, of course.

Here’s a fun take on carrot cake, no baking required.
You will need:
Orange string (or plain sisal)
Newspaper
Tape and Double sided tape
Glue
Faux spikey greenery
Wire cutters or scissors
Orange paint (optional)
Most items can be purchased from your local dollar store.

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Take a sheet of newspaper and rip in half at the centre crease.
Scrunch and twist the paper to roughly resemble a carrot.
Use tape to secure the general shape. You want it kind of lumpy and twisted to give it some interest.

At the top, push your finger into the paper to create a rounded top. Grab a pencil and push it in about a ½” to 1”.

Secure a piece of double sided tape to the bottom of the carrot, towards the tip. I added a small dot of hot glue to really make sure the string adheres.

Now take your string and start wrapping. And if you’re really clever, add a rap while you’re at it!

Now, use what you like here. If you don’t care about a million glue strings and burnt fingers, you can use your glue gun like I did. Maybe do as I say and not as I do…. 
When you’re wrapping the string, stop every so often and secure another piece of double sided tape. This will stop the string from sliding and shifting. Make sure if you stop mid-way you grab another piece of tape and secure the string. Otherwise it will unravel – along with your mind!

Make sure when you’re wrapping that you’re also pushing the string close to the last row. You want the string to cover the newspaper completely.

As you near the top, secure more pieces of tape over the top to the centre whole. Keep wrapping until done. Use another drop of hot glue to secure the ends.

If you couldn’t find orange string and used regular sisal instead, now’s the time to pull out your orange paint. Slightly water down the paint and apply to the string with either a sponge brush in a pouncing motion or with a brush.

Using your wire cutters or scissors, cut off pieces of your faux greenery and hot glue them down the whole at the top of your carrot. Don’t add too many. Carrot tops are kind of scrappy thin. If you can find green raffia, that would be a great substitution.

Make a bunch of carrots and tie with a pretty ribbon or several loops of sisal string. Display on a plate, a basket or in a crate.
Have fun and use your imagination!

Oh, and a chocolate reward (or two)!

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