Crafty Chick

Art Display 

At our last house I had a “clothes line” art display where I could peg my sons art work.

Cheap & simple

In the “new” house I’ve been holding off on any kitchen displays as I wanted to wait till the wood-veneer panelled walls were painted.

Well… They’re painted white(ish) and the kitchen has black and red accents so I felt it was time to work on the display

Make a mess…

I found a large, cheap, poster frame; wooden craft letters to spell ART and paint in black, white & red (thanks Walmart) I handed all of the above to my 6 yr old and told him to make a mess…. This is the result

The finished display

Usually he brings home larger drawings from school so the frame is massive for this little one, but I like it 🙂 (He drew “Anger” from the Pixar Movie “Inside Out”)

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Hippie Pics (#2)

As promised (here) These are some more tie-dye pics from the Hippie Party we went to  – it was so much fun and check out that cake! Since the party, little man and I have got a good amount of wear out of our tie-dyed items 🙂

 

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Every little helps

I was holding off posting until I could update you on finished house projects. You know the whole “before” and “after” big reveal type things? Well there still aren’t any 100% finished ‘reveal-worthy’ projects at this point (booo.) To be fair we have had a lot going on but I’ve almost finished the bathrooms – right now they are both “fine” but I still want to tweak some bits. The kitchen is half painted – its ALL wood veneer so the prep work has been the most time consuming and did I mention I now have a vegetable patch? *takes a bow*

ANYWAY, for now I will share something I HAVE managed to start and finish in the last few weeks…..*yay*

l_me-fine-logoMonths ago I donated a gift certificate to a local(ish) charity event (<–click to see details of the event itself) for the Me Fine Foundation  (<– click to learn about the foundation.)

The certificate was for one 12×12 custom canvas made by me and awarded to the highest bidder. The event itself was a huge success and after receiving a thank you card from the foundation and hearing nothing more on the matter I genuinely assumed someone had done some ‘pity-bidding’ with no intention of actually cashing in their prize (sad face)

BUT….a few weeks ago I was contacted by the winner *yay again*- she makes soap and wanted a custom canvas with her brand name to display at craft fayres etc. She sent me the font type and these 2 images to go from… (please make sure you visit her page(s) and show her some love – if you click the pics it will take you straight there)

IMG_2332

IMG_2331

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And from those came THIS…..

TaaDaaaa

TaaDaaaa

IMG_2634

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The lighting isn’t great in these but I love it 🙂 And apparently Jenny does too which is what matters 🙂

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Hippie Chic

We have a fancy dress/costume party coming up and the theme is “Hippy/Hippie” (I think it’s spelled IE but the host thinks Y so whatever)

Of course the obvious place to start was TIE DYE! (Yay!) 

We grabbed a $6 fabric dye kit which contained 3 different colours in easy to pour bottles and went to town. 

I wet each item first (not sure if I was meant to but it worked) and experimented with different techniques suggested in the “how to” pamphlet that came with it. 

   
 

  
8 hours of “setting” later, I washed and dried them…. Here are the results 

  
         

My costume consists of a long floaty dip-dyed skirt in a grey-navy tone so I made a less vibrant vest-top to wear with it BUT I may wear the pink and blue vest-top instead depending on how I feel on the day. Here is the less vibrant one…   

All in all im happy with the results, it was a fun activity and good excuse to get messy with my little man 🙂 

 
(He wasn’t happy because I had just asked him to help me weed the garden ha ha!)

Here is the link for the dyes I used http://tiedyeyoursummer.com/get-inspired.html

And this is the “pin” on Pinterest which helped with my ombre vest-top http://www.mybeautifulmessblog.com/2012/10/10/successful-ombre-dyeing/

Apologies if this post doesn’t work well, I’m writing it from my phone *eeeek* I’ll post pics once the costumes are complete 🙂 

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Forbidden Fruit 

It’s been hectic to say the least, I’ll fill you in eventually… or not depending on how much I feel like sharing by the time I make it to the laptop again 🙂

For now, just to wet your whistle I thought I’d share my latest canvas, a gift for my friends little girl. Another “forbidden fruit” in my book (to see what I’m talking about click HERE) so it won’t be published in my Etsy Store but wanted to share with you rather than hiding it away like some kind of dirty secret 🙂

Forbidden Fruit


I like how simple it is compared to what I usually do 🙂 

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Rules are made to be curved slightly

When it comes to custom canvases I have one rule: NO EXISTING CHARACTERS/LOGOS

Mainly because there are copyright issues when recreating (and selling) character items – in fact if you’re selling things you also have to be careful of which ‘tag words’ you use…. (did you know “Onesie” is a copyrighted word??) There have been many Etsy sellers ‘shut down’ due to recreating Frozen items or using the wrong tags in their listings.

Random cat...I'm fine with that

Random cat…I’m fine with that

Of course there are loopholes, some can be put under the fan art category or tagged as ‘mermaid’ rather than ‘The Little Mermaid‘ but I don’t really understand that or feel the need to learn more about it. It seems to be luck-of-the-draw as one quick search on Etsy will usually bring up plenty of other stores selling the same copyrighted things …and they don’t get caught BUT I choose not to roll the dice and keep anything like that off of my Etsy site.

The other reason I don’t like to do it is because I’m not that confident drawing. If I’m drawing a random cartoon cat then that’s fine, I can make it up as I go along but if asked to COPY one…. who knows what it will look like in the end.

There is ONE exception to my rule and that is friends and family. If I’m making it for someone I care about I will break my own rule and go for it without listing it on my Etsy page as something anyone can order. The frustrating thing about that is that some of my favourite items have to be kept under the radar so I thought today I would share them on here 🙂

The first one I did was a ‘Trash Pack’ themed canvas for my little man. ‘Trashies’ are grim little critters or creatures you would find in the bin or associated with rubbish i.e. “stink bug” or “putrid pretzel” There are hundreds of these little rubber things to collect and my son was crazy about them so I made this for his bedroom and it followed us across the pond. He’s now into his spider man themed room so I’ve started painting over this to transform it into his newest obsession (I’ll show you when I’m done)

Trash Pack

Trash Pack

Second was a present for little mans best friend who has a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles themed bedroom – he loves it 🙂

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

I did another for an Xbox Gamer….

Gamers Dream

Gamers Dream

Most recently my sister asked me to do a ‘Superhero” themed canvas for her boyfriend and insisted I use real images instead of just hints of his favourite heroes so this is the first time I have EVER traced an image (or 4) for one of my canvases. I’m happy with it and so is her boyfriend.

These canvases make me feel like I’ve dipped my toe into some sort of dark, criminal world BUT I love them and I’m proud of them. I think as long as I’m not mass producing or blatantly selling them I’m ok with bending my own rules slightly from time to time 🙂

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Maybe it runs in the family….

I have a few posts in the pipeline but many are being written in real-time (usually part way through an awful a challenging DIY project) so I will wait to see how they pan out or at least edit them a bit better  before posting. In the meantime I wanted to share my little mans latest Artwork.

I have mentioned before that he wants a Spiderman themed bedroom. Well with the exception of any major changes like the colour of the walls its beginning to take shape with the help of some blue and red items (such as his Spiderman-blue book crate I painted here), some shelves and bedding etc. I have a few more tweaks, including a huge canvas but eager to get going he wanted to make one of his own.

so here it is….

SpiderMan

SpiderMan

I love it 🙂 You can tell what it is and everything -or I can anyway. I gave him free reign on this – which given my worrying controlling  picky nature was a big step forward for me and I’m so proud of him. He’s reminded me that he doesn’t need me to hover over him and help all the time and that hes more than capable of making something beautiful unaided.

Speaking of which…. we received a letter from his school informing us that one of his art pieces had been chosen to represent the school and be displayed at the local “mall” (VERY PROUD MUM ALERT)

Here he is with his art 🙂 Can you tell what it is?

Whoop Whoop!

Whoop Whoop!

 

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Something (Navy) Blue

In January my husband and I celebrated an anniversary.

With the upcoming move we were both exhausted so I knew there wouldn’t be anything too exciting happening on the day but decided -in true British Chick fashion- to make him (us really) something special.

He changed jobs -and shifts- recently too so weekends are the only real time we get together as a family. Due to this we have dedicated Saturday nights to family only ‘game nights’. Usually board or card games to get us together without a TV screen shouting over us. Once we have spent time entertaining my son with his choice of game (he loves monopoly and game of life and usually beats both of us…he’s 6 by the way) my husband and I will usually dust off the scrabble board and attempt to overcome the Brit-American spelling divide.

Keeping with seemingly random tidbids of information….Our wedding colours were Navy blue and Ivory. It seems to be a growing tradition to give something in these colours each year – well for me anyway ha ha. I wanted a gift that would combine all of the above….

Navy Blue & Cream Personalised Scrabble Gift

Navy Blue & Cream Personalised Scrabble Gift

I bought a box frame -AND got 50c knocked off due to a tiny scuff WHOOP WHOOP!- I then painted it with Navy Blue acrylic paint, bought a bunch of scrabble tiles from ebay (link), warmed up the glue gun and hey presto his gift was created 🙂

Unfortunately I couldn’t remove the glass as I had hoped when painting the edges so its not as perfect as I would like (nor is it sealed) however for something that is to be displayed rather than handled I’m rather pleased with it…and so is he which is the main thing 🙂

 

As always below are some pics of the process – though to be honest it’s pretty straight forward 🙂 Also check out the related posts – I wish I knew how to add my own or change the search criteria in the app I use but alas…the ones linked all hold the ‘DIY/Creative’ theme in common so…enjoy 🙂

 

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A.E.I.Love U! Decoupage Letters ( <— Check ME out)

My sister in-law is expecting (yay) and asked me to make (or rather decorate) some wooden letters for his nursery – and some for her step daughter while I’m at it. She sent some photos to give me an idea of what kind of lettering/decoration she would like, along with photos of their bedding sets and colour schemes. Grey, green and a dash of bright blue for him – and purple, white with lovehearts & stripes for her.

*Deep breath * Let's do this

*Deep breath * Let’s do this

With the amount of pattern involved I knew just painting them wasn’t going to work so I decided to try decoupage, i.e. coloured papers glued onto pre-cut wooden letters (Yup this is where the Modge Podge experimenting started)

I set off to get materials such as letters, coordinating paint, papers & ribbons. The assistant at the craft store was very helpful, she gave me a few tips such as letting each layer dry before adding more and investing in a craft knife & sponge brushes – not just an up-selling ploy by the way.

I started with her Step-Daughters letters “KYA” – the babys name is a secret so I will just show you one or 2 of his letters in case this massively popular blog post gets leaked to the media * rolls eyes *

I decided to paint the wood first to avoid dripping on the paper when painting the back and sides – and also in case the paper didn’t cover 100% of the front. For Kya I went for a purple. Once dry, I drew around each letter, cut them out carefully and whipped out the ModgePodge. The assistant was right, a thin coat first, place the paper and wait for it to dry. THEN another coat to seal it, add any other papers or ribbons on top….let it dry….top coat…let it dry.

The hardest part was trimming the edges, it took some trial and error but I eventually figured out how to trim any overhang without tearing the paper (yup you wait till its dry and rubbery) There were a few slips but a dab of paint covered any mishaps and overall it seemed to work out well.

Taa Daa :)

Taa Daa 🙂

His letters were done even quicker and I’m really happy with them. My sister-in-law has seen Kyas but babys is a surprise, she doesn’t know I’ve started them yet, let alone finished, packed and posted them 🙂 I’m excited for her to get them, fingers crossed she loves them.

I love them more each time I look at them, at first I was stressing about a few minute imperfections but I need to remind myself that the things I make aren’t going to be perfect, the edges aren’t going to be completely flush every time because I’m human. This is work done by hand, not printed by a machine and mass produced…they’re unique and made by me, with love.

As always below is an album of the process and some other shots of the finished letters

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What’s love got to do with it?

Recently I made some superhero / comic themed magnets (made from mini canvas) for a promotional doo-dah. Their fate (and box) has been sealed and it’s now in the hands of USPS.

Last night I sat bolt upright in bed as the realization hit me – I forgot to sign them 😦 usually I sign the bottom right corner, I had also planned to stick mini “British Chick” stickers on the back of each one but forgot to do that too. Each magnet is in an individual bag with a business card so my information is there but I would have preferred something that would stay on them as a permanent claim and way to tell who made them (and where to order more) you live and you learn I suppose.

Valentine Collection :)

Valentine Collection 🙂

Those canvases inspired a Valentine collection, with Love hearts, burlap, the lot. I even dug out an old embossing set I was slightly obsessed with about 10 years ago. You stamp “glue” onto card, sprinkle with metallic powder & heat with a mini hair dryer type contraption– of course the UK plug/voltage was an issue but thanks to my converter I got there in the end (Even if it was a painfully slow process)

I made them in 2 sizes and each one is different. This time I used Modge Podge – basically a stronger version of PVA glue which sticks things together and glosses over them to give them a nice, flush finish. This stuff is typically used for decoupage and I had some for another project (details of that coming soon) so I gave it a try.

Again, it was a learning curve –

*Thin coats work best

*Leave each layer to dry before adding another/top coat

*Wash your sponge brushes as soon as you’ve stopped

*Wash you hands thoroughly at random intervals throughout– Modge Podge holds any residue and is easily transferred onto whatever you’re working on

Matching Cards FTW

Matching Cards FTW

I’m really happy with how they turned out. I think they’re quite cute AND they serve a purpose (I love practical things) I also made a few matching cards – Matching items for the win!

I would have liked to have spent more time on the back of them. I cover the wooden frame at the back with sheet burlap to hide any paint drips and basically make them more presentable. The wrapped twine on some of these canvases made them quite bumpy/bulky to cover AND meant some of them needed extra magnets to fill the gap. I tested them all before sealing and they are strong enough to stick on a fridge so that’s something and at least it’s the back that could use some tweaking rather than the front – again it’s another lesson learned.

I have already sold 2 (to a friend but a sale is a sale) and the rest are sealed and on display in the local “gift box” where I volunteer and sell some of my work. Again I forgot to sign them but luckily I have the chance to sneak in and change that on my next shift 🙂

Now I have ‘Superhero’ & ‘Love’ under my belt I will have to get thinking about my next themes to try – Of course I could just follow the usual holidays – Easter, Halloween, Christmas – along with Mardi Gras & St Patrick’s day etc but I need some general ‘year round’ themes too…feel free to comment with ideas 😉

Again, below is a few photos of the process & finished products 🙂

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