Posts Tagged With: paint

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

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

Categories: Crafty Chick | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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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Cloudy with a chance of spray paint 

I promise this blog isn’t going to be ALL about my house BUT while that’s what I’m working on I’ll share as I go-otherwise you’ll never hear from me. This time is all about my kitchen table transformation

Ignore the mess....focus on the wood :)

Ignore the mess….focus on the wood 🙂

My kitchen is very… Wooden. The walls will eventually be painted cream or “off-White” (is there a difference??)  The one thing I want to keep is the black metal handles on the cabinets so with that in mind black will be the accent colour.

My husband is fed up with the dining set we have, mainly because it’s a cheap Tesco table that has been with me for years but also because I’ve used it for painting on, one chair is broken and again it’s very… Wooden.

After hunting for dining sets and hearing my bank balance scream I decided to update our set and give it a new lease of life.

*Enter my two enemies, the sander and the spray paint*

First I sanded all pieces (with the right type of paper)

Then I set to work fixing the broken chair. This bad boy has been held together with a mixture of wood glue, duct tape and sticky labels ever since my then-toddler had a tantrum and knocked it over.

This is my new favourite thing

This is my new favourite thing

I found this stuff which claims to be harder than steel… A quick dip, squeeze and wrap later and it’s stronger than it’s ever been. It can also be sanded and painted over.

I took to the garden and got going. Remembering previous mistakes I took my time, opting for a few light sprays from a distance.  Then the thunderstorms happened so I moved to the carport *note to self- check weather before starting a project*

This particular spray paint claims “no drips” but it lied!! A light (hand) rub down with ultra fine sandpaper removed any splodges and I simply sprayed over it lightly to cover.

Also it turns out the weather really does matter! Humidity+ water+ spray paint = cloudy results and/or cracking in parts, especially if rain droplets find their way onto whatever you’re spraying

After a good day letting it dry, googling cloudy-removing solutions, spending a good 30 minutes of hair-dryer action and fearing that the clear coat spray may give the same results I resorted to my backup plan – THIS stuff. A brush on paint AND sealant in one.

Moving into the house, armed with rollers, sponge brushes and plastic sheeting I lightly sanded the pieces and painted over them. I found that light coatings with drying time and light sanding in between works best. Any thick/drippy bits were easily sanded and re-coated

I'm in love :)

I’m in love 🙂

4 coats later and I’m in love. With the addition of some beige/cream chair cushions and a random place-mat with jug combo I’m really pleased with the outcome. It definitely kept me busy AND saved some money (even more so when I returned the left over spray paints)

Cushions $20

(Wasted) spray paint $14

Rollers, brushes & tray $10

Polyshades $11

Jug (gift)

Place mat $2

$57 for a new dining set

As always here are more pics to show the stress process

 

 

 

Categories: Desperate Housewife | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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

Categories: Crafty Chick | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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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POW she’s back in the game  

Recently I opted in to a promotional “thing” set up by Cody of Lu & Ed . Cody sends out “swag bags” to existing customers. These bags contain samples from various other businesses -namely crafty ones who focus on items for children. It’s a sweet way of thanking the customers but also a great opportunity to get other small businesses out there, so I decided to go for it.

Most of my items are custom orders and for a while I’ve been wanting to branch out so I can turn up to craft fairs and events armed with ready-made British Chick items rather than a pen and paper to take orders (It’s on the resolutions list – well maybe not THAT list but shhh)

Superheros are always a hit...right?

Superheros are always a hit…right?

Being set the task of making 25 samples forced me to think about what kind of ready-made item I could work on.

I had shown Cody this canvas an example of what I do. Immediately she suggested mini versions saying POW or “BAM” Duh! How obvious! What better way to sample my painting than with a tiny painting? And what kid doesn’t like superheroes?

I set to work on them and managed to make some stupid mistakes along the way which longed out the process massively – for example:

  • I used basic acrylic paint despite knowing that outdoor paint has much better coverage – this meant painting each one 2 or 3 times
  • I painted Dark Blue strips before Red even though I know blue is going to be harder to cover up -and I would need to cover it up
  • I underestimated just how many paint pens I would need and about had a breakdown when Walmart ran out of stock
Super Fridge Magnets

Super Fridge Magnets

However, I also had a “yay” moment when I realised that with the simple addition of some magnetic tape these bad boys are not just mini canvases any more – they’re kick-ass fridge magnets Whoop Whoop! 🙂

After what feels like a lifetime (in reality about one week) I’ve finished 🙂 It’s definitely been a challenge and an experience where my feelings about them changed by the day – if not by the minute. Now they’re done I love them

I’ll be sending them off shortly and keeping my fingers crossed that the stranger I’ve entrusted them with does something other than sell (or set fire to) them – Wish me luck 🙂

Here are some photos of the process

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Crafty Chick | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The day the Spray Paint almost won

Over the past few months my little man has learnt to read. I’m a big reader so I’m thrilled that he enjoys it so much and want to encourage him to keep at it. His growing library is rapidly outgrowing his book rack so I began the hunt for extra book storage I can cook-up ready for the move.

SandPaper is my friend - as is cardboard

SandPaper is my friend – as is cardboard

Sadly the majority of ideas offered by Pinterest involved sewing to make a “book sling” so they went out the window, basic shelves crossed my mind but that would involve some kind of spirit level and something stronger than drawing pins to hold it up…not to mention book ends *urgh* (I must state here that 90% of my wall-hanging objects are held up with drawing pins and/or bluetac)

I eventually decided on wooden crates. EASY! Just grab some Spiderman Blue spray paint, nail them to the SpiderMan Red wall (after trying and failing with pins no doubt) and the books can stay put regardless of how wonky they are 🙂 (yes I realise I could make my life much easier by investing in a spirit level – or just digging out the one that’s buried in the garage) BUT painting is my thing, DIY is not… This crate idea seemed to be a winner….

I found a crate/box in a local charity shop (I wish I had a “before” photo) and went to work on it. I don’t know why I chose a late afternoon to start this project… In the garden… And the wind but it happened.

Turns out paint and spray paint are two very different mediums.  The can wouldn’t spray colour unless is was pointing straight forward (like spraying a wall) but it simply dripped down the wood if sprayed at this angle. After adjusting and experimenting I seemed to have the distance, angle and speed worked out and managed to make my crate look “alright” until the wind blew my protective newspaper (yes Blue Peter would be proud) up and onto the wet paint.

SpiderMan Book Rack *Whoop Whoop*

SpiderMan Book Rack *Whoop Whoop*

The paint was just tacky enough to hold all alien materials to it so I was left with large chunks of some cartoon character seemingly immortalised on the box. *urgh!* To make matters worse, in my panic to remove the offending paper I had run inside in search of sandpaper; thus freeing the puppy who then ran around the garden, knocking the crate onto another of its wet sides…. MORE paper stuck to it.

I spent the rest of the sunlight sanding the whole thing down, chasing Toby (the pup) in order to retrieve the sandpaper he insisted on eating and vowing to start again tomorrow.

Tomorrow is here and I’ve finished. (Yay) I’m happy with it & can’t wait to see it against the red of his (future) wall. It’s a small victory but I’ve learnt a few things for next time…

1-Read the can! The angle/distance wouldn’t have been such a surprise if I’d done that

2-Cardboard is a much better surface protector than newspaper (especially on windy days)

3- Less is more (but less work ha ha) Light coats dry quicker and more evenly

4- Rushing is not an option– waiting 2 minutes between coats saves a few hours of sanding to fix a problem

5- Puppies & Sandpaper do not mix– Toby spent the rest of the night throwing up the remains of it (he’s ok now though)

6- If you’ve used most of a can of spray paint on one small item… You’re probably doing it wrong

And finally

7- Just because something LOOKS easy, doesn’t mean it actually is. It turns out people who make “easy” pinterest crafts have probably spent some time tweaking their methods.

Categories: Crafty Chick | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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