Category Archives: SeeKarenCraft

Tutorial: Potted Easter Egg Vases

Pretty Easter egg place setting/centerpiece flowers on the blog tomorrow #seekarencraft

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Are you searching for quick and easy centerpiece idea for Easter?  These potted Easter egg vases are so easy, I’m a little embarrassed to call this post a tutorial.  But I love them so much, I just have to share.

Years ago I dog-eared this egg cup floral arrangement in my Martha Stewart Living magazine, but I never took the time to actually carry out this idea myself.  Lately, I’ve seen at least a dozen versions of the egg vases on blogs.  I was again inspired to get moving on my own project.  One of my recent favorites is from LIttle Inspiration.  Then I remembered these gold-leafed terracotta pots from The Hunted Interior, and I knew that I wanted to substitute pots for Martha’s egg cups.  (Explaining the random food shot in a craft post.)

82/365 creamed eggs with crispy hash and sauteed grape tomatoes #365project #seekarencook

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Okay, so down to the business of how I did it.  Using a sharp-tipped knife, I carefully poked a hole in the top of six eggs.  If the resulting hole wasn’t large enough for the egg to pass through, I made it a little larger while being careful not to remove too much shell.  Some of the yolks broke in the process, but that’s okay.  I scrambled them in these creamed eggs over the weekend.

83/365 let the Easter crafting begin #365project #seekarencraft

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After removing the eggs, I rinsed out the eggshells with very hot water.  Then I repeated the rinsing, allowing the eggshells to drain overnight.

upcycling the egg crate as my paint tray #seekarencraft

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I may have been a little giddy with a reason to buy these lovely Martha Stewart Pearl & Metallic paints.  And to use my 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby.  Once home, I picked out my six favorite colors…this was maybe the most difficult part of the project…and began to paint.  I am proud of myself for ‘upcycling’ a used egg crate for my paint tray.  My drop cloth was the calendar art I removed from the yard sale frames for this project.

Easter egg vases awaiting their blooms

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Instead of gold-leafing the rims of my terracotta pots, I used the yellow-gold paint on all but two of the pots.  With all the color going on in the arrangement, I decided to leave the eggs their natural color.  But I thought it would be fun to paint two eggshells the same gold and provide contrast against the two unpainted terracotta rims.  The difference is subtle, but I like it.  When the pots were dry, I added moss to each and placed the eggshells inside.

85/365 putting color on everything but the eggs #365project #seekarencraft #Easter

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Next I began to add the flowers.  These were from a bunch that my husband surprised me with last week.  See what I mean about all the color?

I don't know. I just thought it looked pretty. #seekarencraft

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No, stems this color do not occur in nature, but they put a smile on my face.  And it wouldn’t be Easter if we weren’t plastering pastels on everything that didn’t move for a hot second.

Now add flowers #seekarencraft #Easter

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After I added all the flowers, I realized that I forgot to add water.  Do not do as I do; do as I say.  Add the water first, then the flowers.  But aren’t they cute?

Pretty Easter egg place setting/centerpiece flowers on the blog tomorrow #seekarencraft

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Here’s the beauty profile shot again.  So much pretty for so little effort.

Tutorial: “Paint-Dipped” Basket

Paint-dipped basket with a glimpse of wall color that inspired it all. I think the next basket will be chartreuse.

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It’s no secret that I’m a Target super-fan.  You can find me shopping at a Target store 2-3 times a week…no exaggeration.  On the last few trips, I have been tempted to buy one of these paint-dipped baskets.

Target Threshold Rope Basket

One of the baskets in the store is rectangular-shaped, and the paint is on the bottom of the basket.  And it’s coral.  Love!  (I couldn’t find it online, sorry.)  I’ve seen a few bloggers hack the paint-dipped basket lately.  So instead of buying one, or three, of these lovelies at Target, I decided to make my own.

Or is it a superhero cape? Watch out Mighty Dog.

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I haven’t been doing as many crafty projects around the house for the last week and a half, because of this little guy.  He had a lipoma (fatty tumor) removed from his bicep, and so he has been confined to the cone of shame since his surgery.  I tell him that it’s his superhero cape, so as not to bruise his Napoleon-esque ego.

my brave little boy

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Anyway, Buddy has also been on-lead for the duration of his recovery.  He has been a champ throughout the entire ordeal.  (Ahem, the vet did give us a little extra pain medication to help keep him calm.)  To best describe Buddy’s personality, I would ask you to think of Chester the Terrier from Looney Tunes.  Are you remembering the hyper, bouncing, cute-but-a-little-annoying-all-at-the-same-time small dog?  That’s my Buddy.

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This girl has also been extremely patient during Buddy’s recovery.  While Greta isn’t exactly a Spike, she is the calmer dog by comparison.  And she is COMPLETELY accustomed to being the center of attention.  I think she knows, though, that Buddy needs more attention.  So she is content to make space for him…as long as she gets her morning walk.

Maybe I’m the least patient of the bunch.  Because once I get an idea to begin a project, I want to start right now.  So I decided to give Buddy a pacifier rawhide chew, wrap his lease around my wrist, and get painting.  No problem, right?

There was no need to purchase a basket for this project.  I had more than a couple around the house that qualified as good candidates.  To start, I decided to paint the basket that we use as a toy box for the dogs.

And why is it that they are so good at taking the toys out, and putting them back…not so much?  Or maybe it’s just that they disagree about where the toys should be stored.  Buddy, with his somewhat compulsive herding tendencies, will take all the toys he likes and neatly place them on the rug in the foyer.  Nevermind that these toys end up tripping any human that enters the house.  One of Greta’s favorite games is to take the upstairs toys (those that are safer to play with when we are not at home) and carry them downstairs.  She doesn’t necessarily play with them downstairs.  It’s just the moving them that is fun.

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Anyway…there was also no need to buy any paint for the project.  I have a considerable paint stash, and I remembered having both orange and green paints that would look great against the natural fibers of the basket.

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I did mention a considerable paint stash, right?

stir, stir, stir that gloppy old paint

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The bummer is that I did not find the green paint that I remembered.  And, of course, I decided that it was the color I most wanted to use during my search.  Sigh.

With the lyrics of You Can’t Always Get What You Want playing in my head (or I may have been singing out loud), I carried the paint can upstairs.  The color is Valspar’s La Fonda Sombrero from a few years back.  It is leftover paint from the wall treatment that I did in our living room.  When I first opened the can, the paint had completely separated.  I stirred, and stirred, and stirred, and stirred some more.  Eventually it went from the gloppy mess you see here to smooth, evenly pigmented paint.

$0 project underway: easy paint-dipped basket look with no mess on annumography.wordpress.com tomorrow #seekarencraft

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Keeping a small amount of paint on my 1-inch angle brush, I slowly began painting the basket.  I did not need to tape it off, because the wide rush of the basket made it easy to follow.  I’m also not saying that I didn’t make a mistake or two.  But they are so small, it would be difficult for anyone to find them.  Besides, it’s a basket that sits on the floor and is filled with dog toys.  Not worth worrying about.  Especially with a dog tied to one arm chewing a rawhide underfoot.

I did not paint the inside or the bottom of the basket.  This one will always be (I hope) filled with toys.  If I were using it as a serving basket, like the ones from Target, then I would paint the inside and bottom to make it look more “paint-dipped”.

Paint-dipped basket with a glimpse of wall color that inspired it all. I think the next basket will be chartreuse.

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I am pleased with the results of this no-cost project.  The contrast isn’t as high as that lovely Target basket, but I’m going to live with it for a little while before making any changes.  See the peek of wall color in the background?

84/365 Paint-dipped basket complete. Toys remained in basket approx 2.7 minutes. #365project #seekarencraft

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And notice that green stripe on the carpet in front of the basket?  It makes me determined to get my green painted basket.  I bought the chartreuse paint yesterday.

Tutorial: Leprechaun Silhouette Art

leprechaun silhouette art - annumography

If you ask my husband, he will tell you that his favorite holiday is St. Patrick’s Day.  With the below-average temperatures that we have been experiencing lately, we will likely stay close to home this St. Patrick’s Day weekend.  So I’m pulling together some Irish-inspired decor to make things a little more festive around here.  I mean, you can’t just let a favorite holiday go by without decorations can you?

I adore Eclectically Vintage’s bunny silhouette, and it inspired me make my own St. Patrick’s Day artwork.  To begin, I pulled out some frames that I bought at a yard sale a couple of summers ago for a quarter a piece.

25 cent yard sale frames - annumography

Isn’t it funny what you sometimes fine when you pull apart old ‘artwork’ from a thrift store or yard sale?  These fruit prints were actually from a 1991 calendar.  I know that I will probably never use them and should throw them away, but I will probably add them to my craft horde for future project opportunities.  Just in case.

silhouette cutout - annumography

To make the actual silhouette, I found a free image that I liked online.  I played around with it a little in my Paint program to attach the head from the online image to some shoulders.  I like shoulders.  Then I printed the image on my home printer and cut it out to use as my template.  This is the black-ish image above.

I traced around the template onto some green card stock.  Then I cut out the image with ordinary scissors.  To cleanly cut out the silhouette, I made sure to keep the traced outline on the outside of my scissors.  You can see some of the leftover outlines on the card stock above.  After I finished cutting out the entire image, I cleaned up any rough edges with my scissors.  See, no fancy machine needed.

I used double-sided tape to attach a piece of scrapbook paper to the back of the mat in the yard sale frame.  Then I flipped the matted paper face-side up and centered the silhouette image.  Marking where the image would be placed, I removed the image and turned it over, so that I could put more double-sided tape on the back.  My secret for getting the double-sided tape right to the edge, so that the silhouette lies completely flat?  I put the tape on the image, so that it hangs over the edge of the silhouette.  When the silhouette is well covered with the tape, I trim the excess tape from the it with my scissors. I taped the silhouette to the matted scrapbook paper, and placed the mat and backer into the frame.

st. patty's day silhouette art - annumography

The frame is a little chippy around the edges, and I love it! To celebrate, I poured a couple of coffees. And maybe I did Irish it up a little with some whiskey. Who says you can’t start celebrating St. Patrick’s Day a little early?

Catalog Hack: Uncommon Goods Cookbook Bird House

Woohoo!  It’s time again for the Pinterest Challenge.  I swear, when Sherry and Katie first imagined up this link party, I almost started blogging.  But then I didn’t.  I did, however, enjoy following along…kind of like the shy girl who isn’t quite ready to join in the reindeer games.  Now I’m ready to show off my bright and shiny nose first catalog hack project.

A few months ago, I pinned this Julila Child cookbook bird house after seeing it in the Uncommon Goods catalog.  I love the concept.  Books in any form are my thing, but I am especially digging upcycled book projects like these:

Inspired, I made a quick run to the craft store to buy bright, shiny new supplies.

57/365 prepping for another blog DIY #365project

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This is my first time using the Mod Podge Outdoor.  I’m hoping that using it will give me the option to display this birdhouse outdoors (probably in a somewhat protected area).  I’m not saying I will; a girl just likes to have options.  I next headed to the thrift store to find a vintage cookbook that caught my fancy.  I’m not sure it gets any more perfect than The American Girl Cookbook, circa 1966.  Well, maybe a vintage Julia Child cookbook, but my Goodwill store didn’t have that in stock.

reason #14 that I don't regret repurposing this cookbook

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Usually I wouldn’t be able to tear apart a cookbook for a project like this.  Instead, I would curl up and read it like a good book (once or twice) while admiring the lovely illustrations.  Then I would add it to my hoard.  Maybe I would give a recipe or two a try…maybe not.  This cookbook, however, was just plain grody.  They don’t photograph well, but there are actually dried-up bug guts stuck to the broken binding in the shot above.  Ewww!  No curling up with this one.  Well, except for the dead bugs.  I couldn’t resist paging through the book and admiring some of the more ‘creative’ recipes, but afterward I felt like Lady Macbeth.  I couldn’t get my hands, or the cookbook, clean enough.

The bird house that I purchased came with a perch already installed.  Gently rocking it back and forth, I was able to break the glue without damaging the wood.  With more twisting, rocking, and pushing, I was able to remove the perch.  My spoon was slightly larger than the hole left with the perch removed, so I used a drill to make it a little larger.

egg recipes for a bird house

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If you haven’t noticed yet, my sense of humor is more than a little quirky.  So it will come as no surprise that I picked out all the fun egg recipes from the cookbook to paper my bird house.  Ha!  Get it?

With my pages selected, I measured the front and the side panels.  The pages were a little narrower than the pre-made bird house walls, so I centered the pages on each side.  I cut the pages according to my measurements.  To make the holes for the entry and perch on the front of the birdhouse, I used a pencil to poke through the book page, creasing the edges around the holes as I went.  I then removed the page, laid it face-down, and trimmed the bent edges with scissors.  I had to whip out the cuticle scissors for the finer detail cutting.  Always resourceful, I am.

let the mod podging commence

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Please forgive my Yoda impression.  I next covered the sides of the bird house and the backs of the cookbook pages with mod podge.  I placed the pages back onto my prepared bird house walls and used a small brayer to smooth them and remove any air bubbles.  For tighter areas, I used a small plastic putty knife.

I let the mod podge dry for 15 minutes.  I am bad at this waiting part, but I was fortunate to have a dilemma to solve in the interim.  Remember that my cookbook pages were narrower than the bird house walls.  What could I do with those bare corners?  Suddenly, I remembered that I had some leftover wooden ‘fork’ party picks.  Why couldn’t I use these as a sort of gingerbread detail on my cookbook bird house?  The perch was going to be a spoon after all.  What goes better with spoons than forks?

With minutes to go in my dry time, I trimmed down eight wood forks to size.  Hmm, but I couldn’t leave them wood-pick-colored.  Black Sharpie to the rescue.  With the newly-black forks in place, other bare wood parts called out for attention.  The solution?  Yellow craft paint.  I think it may be the same color as the Petersik front door.

The mod podge had now dried enough, so that I could add the first top coat.  I covered the pages on all sides with light, even coats.  I let them dry again and repeated this step twice.  Eventually I will also mod podge the book roof of the bird house.  For now, however, it is just resting on top of the bird house.

complete with mixing spoon jacuzzi (mini bird bath)

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I inserted the spoon and called the result my prototype.  I wish the walls were a little taller, so that they were in better proportion to the book roof.  Maybe I will give the bird house some height by adding another wood box to the bottom.  I’m also not crazy about the blank part of the cookbook pages showing on the overhang.  I wonder if I should turn the book around, so that the graphic details of the page headers can be seen?  I think the spoon will also look a little less LARGE, if I add some height.

cookbook bird house

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Now folks, this is how I recommend NOT to complete a project.  I should have done all my painting (and thinking and planning for that matter), before I started waving the mod podge brush around.  But sometimes projects evolve on their own…or at least they do for me.  In these instances, I let go of my fear and consider it an adventure.  Or at least a learning experience.  Do you do this too?

Oh, and share the love by visting Sherry’s, Katie’s, Megan’s, and Michelle’s challenge posts.

Tutorial: Melamine Plate Cupcake Stand

46/365 cupcake stand on today's post: annumography.wordpress.com #365project

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Willow Grove Photography

My husband and I chose to serve cupcakes at our wedding.  The theme of our informal outdoor reception was Peggy Sue Got Married and Threw a Tiki Party, so logistically cupcakes were easier to manage.  And everyone knows that blondes cupcakes have more fun.

The problem, I quickly learned, was to find a cupcake stand large enough to hold all six dozen cupcakes which: 1. wasn’t too expensive; 2. wasn’t too cheap looking; and 3. fit into our theme.  I DIY’ed many projects for our wedding, so I knew that I could come up with a better solution on my own.  (I promise that I will also be sharing future tutorial posts on our vintage brooch wedding flowers and the guest table runners that I crafted.  That’s a peek at my bouquet in the background of the picture above.)

While shopping for wedding supplies at Hobby Lobby, I found these melamine plates.  By a happy accident, the colors and patterns coordinated perfectly with the fabrics I was using to make the guest table runners.  You may be able to see that the fabric of the pompom-edged table square in the shot above matches the top and one of the middle plates in the picture below.

Are these things floating?

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The melamine was relatively lightweight, and I was confident that I could make these varied plates and platters into my dream cupcake stand.  But how to separate the plates?  My husband had elaborate visions of drilling holes into the plates and using some sort of rod or dowel system that he would design.  I hoped for something a little less power-tool-oriented and time-consuming.  Whatever I chose, however, needed to be tall enough to allow room for cupcakes between the tiers, but not too tall.  I’m not great at physics, but I recognized that longer separators may make the entire structure less stable. Something to do with force…or pressure..?  Plus is just wouldn’t look good.

Ever the budget-minded bride, I found these candlesticks at Dollar Tree.  They were the perfect height at 4 inches tall.  But the problem was that the 3 1/4 inch diameter base of the candlesticks hogged too much cupcake space.  The solution?  Turn them upside down.

candlesticks and silicone caulk

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To put the pieces of my cupcake stand together, I relied on my old friend silicone caulk.  I turned each plate over so that the bottom was facing up.  I then measured the center of each plate and marked it.  I next applied a small bead of caulk to the bottom of a candlestick, and I lightly placed it on the face-down plate so that it was centered over the marked spot.  I immediately removed the candlestick leaving a silicone caulk ring outline on the bottom of the plate.  I then applied more caulk to the bottom of the plate, using the ring outline as my guide.  If necessary, I also applied more caulk to the bottom of the candlestick.  Allowing the caulk to ‘cure’ for about 30 seconds, I again placed the bottom of the candlestick on the bottom of the plate using gentle pressure.  I repeated this process for the top five tiers, so that I ended up with five upside-down plates with five upright candlesticks glued to them.  I allowed the glue to dry overnight.

The next day, I started to build units from my individual plates.  I placed the bottom platter right-side up and again measured and marked the center.  I then took the platter that would be the second tier from the bottom and turned it right-side up (the candlestick glued to the bottom stayed put…whew).  I repeated the process of applying the silicone caulk, making the caulk impression on the bottom plate, removing and applying more caulk, and gluing.  To support the top-heavy plate (remember that the candlestick is now upside-down, so that smaller top side is now being glued to a plate), I used a couple of lightweight styrofoam blocks that were about 4 inches tall as supports between tier five and six.  I repeated this process with the the third and fourth tier.  This time I not only used supports between the plates, but I also used additional stryrofoam supports to hold up the fourth tier.  I didn’t trust balancing on the small end of the upside-down candlestick that was glued to the bottom of this plate.  I repeated the steps for the first and second tier, and I again allowed everything to dry for a couple days.

Over the course of a week, I repeated the steps above.  I glued the middle unit (plates 3 & 4) to the bottom unit (plates 5 & 6) and allowed it to dry.  I then glued the top unit (plates 1 & 2) to the middle/bottom structure and allowed it to dry.  Here is how it looked when complete.

Melamine Cupcake Stand

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And here it is again loaded up with the good stuff at the best wedding reception ever. (I may be a little biased.)

46/365 cupcake stand on today's post: annumography.wordpress.com #365project

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Willow Grove Photography

While I wouldn’t pick it up and swing it around over my head, I can tell you that this stand has been strong and sturdy for the three years following our reception.  When not loaded up with sweets or other party foods, I use it as a display in my craft room.  I can pick the whole stand up with one hand and not worry about it falling apart.  I don’t think that Hobby Lobby still carries these particular melamine plates, but I have seen other collections in the store.

Target also has a great selection of seasonal plate collections which would be fun to use.  Wouldn’t the Leaf Collection plates and platters be super cute with these Radical Patter Collection plates?  Or with St. Patrick’s Day and Easter on the way, maybe some of the cute holiday plates?  What would you do?

Melamine Leaf Collection | Target14296341_121207103000

 

Tutorial: Hand-Painted Tribal Print Foot Stool

Hand-Painted Tribal Pattern Stool #diy

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Yesterday I wrote about the inspiration behind the vintage foot stool that I painted with tribal patterns this weekend.  It all began with this beauty-is-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder stool that I bought at a church rummage sale.

30/365 my sad little $1.50 stool...oh, the plans I have for you #365project

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Once I had decided to go for the hand-painted tribal pattern, I headed to Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft with coupons in hand to pick up my supplies.  Because I wanted the pattern to look hand-drawn, I picked out some white Sharpie paint pens.  While in the craft paint aisle, the Martha Stewart Metallic Acrylic Craft Paint caught my eye.  What project couldn’t be improved by a little bling?  So I picked out a small bottle in gold.  (The ruler and craft paint brush are from my stash.)

32/365 the supplies #365project

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To begin painting, I measured the height and width of one side of my stool.  I played around with these measurements until I came up with an arrangement that I liked.  I knew that I wanted to incorporate the stitching on the sides as part of the “pattern”, so I made sure to take that into account.  Once I had my spacing figured out, I used the ruler to draw lines on one side with the paint pen.

Marked off shot take 3 #diy

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From that point, I just started drawing.  With each “row”, I doodled on a notebook to arrive at the design I wanted to use.  I then used my width measurements to decide how I wanted to space the pattern for each row.

sketching at the grade-school level

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As you can see from each of these photos, I made mistakes.  The beauty of this project, though, is that mistakes added to the hand-drawn look that I wanted to achieve.  Before you think “Yeah, right!”, let me assure you that I am usually a card-carrying color-between-the-lines kind of girl.  What was so awesome about this project, is that I was able to let my left brain and right brain play well together.  There was measuring and math, but there was also scribbling and oops, how do I fix that creative design.

Getting excited about my next blog project -- one side complete #diy #annumography #tribal

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Because I wanted the top of the stool to look good from any perspective, I decided to use a god eye pattern.  (Take that evil eye!)  After drawing the lines, I started to wonder what the stool would have looked like if I had drawn modern linear designs on each side instead.  That took about two seconds, and then I remember that I have plenty of mod going on in my living room.  What I need is more sexy 1970s ethnic texture.

34/365 marking the God eye #365project #diy

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 Happily, the paint from the paint pens dried quickly; it was dry to the touch within minutes.  With each row, I was careful not to paint more heavily in one area than another.  I wanted the paint to allow some of the background color through to provide shading.  At times, I would get a big dot of paint at the border of a row.  To resolve this issue, I would trace back over the entire line to give the row a clean edge.  Once the white paint was completely dry on each side, I went back over some select shapes with the metallic gold acrylic paint.  For the gold, I used a stiff brush with a straight edge, and I applied light coats.  Again, I wanted some of the white to show through the gold paint.

Hand-Painted Tribal Pattern Stool #diy

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I did not apply a protective coating over the paint when I was finished.  I want the pattern to wear a little as I use it, to give it more texture.  If I get to the point where it is “worn” enough, I will investigate a clear coat that will protect the paint on the vinyl surface.  Any suggestions?

36/365 the little {tribal} foot stool that could #365project #diy #blog

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Here is the little guy in place in my living room.  I think of him as the Little Stool That Could.

Also, a note regarding the 365 Project.  When I decided to begin blogging as a product of participating in the 365 Project with Elsie from A Beautiful Mess, I decided to use Instagram as my sole source of photographs.  Some of you may have noticed that the photos in this post do not all use the same filter.  I posted many of these as part of my daily 365 Project snapshots, and I forgot from one day to the next which filter I used.  Next time I will remember to write down what I used, so that I can be more consistent.  Lesson learned.

Also, if you are visiting from The Inspiration Board link party spotlight~89~, the Brooklyn Berry Designs blog featureCreative Reader Projects No. 186Liz Marie Blog, Nest Design Studio, Give Me the Goods {features #4}Love It & List It {link party #9}, or Dandelion Wishes Wednesday #2, WELCOME!  I love comments, visitors, and followers.  You can also find me on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and Pinterest.

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Linking to the awesome parties listed here.

Progress?

[instagram url=http://instagr.am/p/UKUh9ouPKC/ width=675]

I’m trying not to be negative about the lack of progress I made on restoring my grandpa’s stool this weekend.  All the parts are primed, and the ‘step’ of the stool even has two finish coats.  Good work for a busy weekend, especially since the cold temperatures made waiting for paint to dry even less tolerable.

Because there is snow on the ground, I was doing the spray painting on our back porch.  It certainly has enough (read: drafty) ventilation, and the light is great.  Knowing there would be paint dust from the spraying, I put down a sheet much larger than my painting area.  Once I quickly painted a light coat on each piece, I would carefully carry it back inside so that the paint would dry.  (Did I mention the cold?)  Then I would carry the next piece out to repeat the process.  But when I took a break to let my dogs into the backyard and pulled up the drop cloth, this halted my progress.

[instagram url=http://instagr.am/p/UKUwblOPKh/ width=675]

Uh oh.  This now leaves me with three options:

1. Keep calm too late and carry on.
2. Consider putting the project on hold until spring.
3. Truly channel Grandpa’s spirit and rig up my own paint box.

Option 1 is out.  Do I really want to end up with twice the mess I have now?  And what happens when I add the green and hot pink spray paints to the mix? Eww!

As I considered my remaining options, I definitely needed a boost in spirits.  You see, there are just so MANY unfinished projects on my list.  And being a bit (just a smidge) of a perfectionist, I want to make a lot more progress before I feel ready to entertain friends…and even some family members.  Yeah, don’t think I haven’t heard about that more than a couple times.

Feeling a little defeated, I read Elsie’s post about how her many in-progress projects can make it a challenge to share more than snippets of her home for her 365 Project.  I felt a little less alone and a lot more encouraged. That girl is inspiring.

It’s true confession time. This is what was cropped from my progress shot above.  It shows (some of) the current state of our dining room.

[instagram url=http://instagr.am/p/UKU7LcOPK2/ width=675]

The pottery on the left isn’t meant to stay on that console table.  Instead it is waiting for us to finish restoring the Craftsman-style built-in buffet that isn’t in this shot.  The wine fridge is currently sitting on another table in its current position conveniently located near a plug-in, but not prettily so.  Only part of our vintage barware is crammed into that cabinet in the corner.  I have plans for it all, cabinet included.  The sewing machine cabinet in front of the window really belongs upstairs in my craft room, but man is that thing heavy.  On top of the sewing machine sits the cupcake stand that I crafted for our wedding.  Yeah, how many YEARS ago was that?  The china cabinet to the right of the sewing machine needs to be bolstered up and painted, and everything inside of it needs a permanent home.  It’s blocking a window that should be letting in fabulous light, but it will be moved to the corner when the barware cabinet project is finished.  The walls are covered in the original (that means late-19th century) wallpaper which I discovered when I pulled off the ugly painted textured wallpaper that covered it.  What you may not be able to see are the large plaster patches in the walls.  These patches, and worse, are spread across all four dining room walls.  We haven’t made any more progress on the walls, because we first need to repair the 8-foot-tall double pocket doors that are off track between the dining room and living room.  Obviously the floors need work, and this shot doesn’t even show half (read: more to-do) of our dining room.

Whew.  That was a long and boring (and whiny?) paragraph.  But if I’m willing to share it on the internet, maybe I will be brave enough to show my friends.  And fired up enough to do something about it and to document it all on this blog.