Tag Archives: #tutorial

SeeKarenFollow: This Week

So, yeah, it’s been a while.  And you would think that I would have lots of pictures from Instagram to share during my absence.  But when this lady takes a break, she means it.  So here is what little I have to show and tell from the last two weeks.

I saved some of my hubby’s old t-shirts from the donation bin to make some t-shirt yarn.  I have no idea what I’m going to do with it yet.  There are just so many options to choose, it overwhelms me.

My hubby made me this brunch sammie. I'm a lucky girl!

A post shared by Karen Collins (@annumography) on

The hubby made me a brunch sammie on gluten-free bread and served it up with some pickled shrimp.  Yum!  Who’s a lucky wife?

This is the only evidence remaining of my latest epic recipe fail.  Crab-stuffed something sounded good, I had some zucchini in the fridge, and quinoa would make it all gluten-free.  Long story short, do not try to talk yourself into thinking that canned crab meat will work in a pinch.  It doesn’t.  Didn’t I learn anything from Top Chef?

Fortunately these lovely people have been much more productive than I over the last couple of weeks, giving me lots of goodies to pin on Pinterest.

  1. Okay, so if I had this blooming monogram on my wall, do you think I would keep my promise to always have fresh flowers in the house?
  2. This bulldog corkboard mural is too cute to be confined in a kid’s bedroom (though it is awesome there).  I say do some excellent pop art installation on your living room wall with it.
  3. I want one of all my favorite animals as framed fabric art.
  4. Direct your attention to your best asset with this lace-embellished t-shirt.  (Yes, I mean your booty.  Don’t you think the lace draws your attention down the line?)
  5. I need these rummage sale tips to get my resale mojo back.  More selling = more buying, so I need to get to it.
  6. Really, do I need to say anything else except strawberry margarita cupcakes?
  7. I know that I don’t need to say again how much I love bacon.   Besides, I will just be reminding you again in a few days.  But don’t you want some of these maple-bacon muffins with crumbled bacon glaze right now?
  8. I think I will have lots more success with this crispy buffalo quinoa bites salad.  No canned crab to make it go oh-so-wrong.
  9. Shut up!  Peanut-butter-cup-stuffed chocolate-dipped Oreos?  I might be salivating like Pavlov’s dog.
  10. I experienced another great minds think alike moment with this chocolate sour cream tortilla cake.  I have some leftover corn tortillas that I know would make a kick-butt dessert.  Once I get it down, I’ll be sure to share it with you all.

I also wanted to encourage everyone in or around the Indianapolis area to attend An Enchanted Spring Market this Friday and Saturday, May 24-25th.  Nicki has been posting about all the great vendors who will be there, and it sounds like it’s going to be great.  Memorial Day Weekend is a busy one around here, more because of the Indy 500 than my birthday of course, so don’t forget to make some room in your calendar for this vintage/crafty shopping opportunity.


SeeKarenFollow: This Week

Who else is overjoyed that it’s May?  In Indy, May is a month full of activity and celebration…including my birthday.  I usually share my birthday weekend with the Indy 500, so I’ve learned to make the most of it.  This week, however, was all about counting down to Cinco de Mayo (from the food I ate to the shoes I wore and of course the margaritas) and other random moments caught on Instagram.

I finally took down my tissue paper flower garlands, but only to replace them with red and blue crepe paper and glittery Cinco de Mayo decorations.  Yes, it does look a little like a 4th grade classroom up in there.  So?

120/365 Catching A Midsummer Night's Dream at #IRT #365project

A post shared by Karen Collins (@annumography) on

The hubby and I saw my all-time favorite ever presentation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Indiana Repertory Theatre this week.  The Shakespeare classic was depicted as a young boy’s dream set in the Belle Époque era.  Loved it!  And isn’t IRT beautiful inside?

Wah wah. It's a brownie sinkhole. #seekarencook

A post shared by Karen Collins (@annumography) on

Sometimes a great recipe starts with an epic fail.  This was the case with my Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownie Ice Cream.  I hadn’t planned on ice cream.  But when the brownies blew up in the over, fell while cooling, cemented themselves to the pan, and then turned out to be a pudding cake consistency inside, plans changed.  I have to say, though, they made the best ice cream ever!

122/365 random rainbow sighting #365project #nofilter

A post shared by Karen Collins (@annumography) on

This photo is why I love, love, love Instagram.  Because sometimes you spy a random rainbow in the sky.  And not only do you need to take a picture of this thing that makes you smile, but you also need to share it with others immediately.  Smiles all around!

When you look at what I pinned on Pinterest this week, it will appear that I was very hungry.  And thirsty.  All week.  I threw in a couple of crafty ideas at end.  Because they are awesome…not just to feel less guilty about my food cravings.

  1. Nacho fries are a brilliant idea.  Why hasn’t anyone done this sooner?  Maybe they have, but I wasn’t paying attention.  Never mind.  I want to try these soon; maybe even switch it up with sweet potato fries.  Yum!
  2. Month of May parties are all about the potluck.  I’m keeping this Royal Potato Salad recipe in mind for the next shindig.
  3. It’s probably dangerous that I can now make these cinnamon-sugar almonds in the crock pot.  As soon as I figure out how to make them with non-refined sugar choices, I may just be out-of-control.
  4. Speaking of out-of-control.  Chocolate-covered bacon toffee.  Someone please pry it away from me.
  5. I had an awesome idea this week.  Why not make my own version of a Choco-Taco with some leftover taco shells that I have in the pantry.  I spent a few days pondering ice cream options that would blend perfectly with the shells.  Then I found these Peanut Buster Choco Tacos.  So good; I’m totally going to copy!
  6. Roasted jalapeno margaritas.  Do I need to say anything else?
  7. Hot summer days are a comin’, and where would I be without these agua frescas?
  8. Ten gifts in one hour.  Hooray!  That’s what I’m thinking when I see these fabric key chains.
  9. How adorable is this no-sew lattice t-shirt?  I’m thinking you could customize it to your desired level of exposure (ahem).
  10. Not only do I appreciate the DIY wood transfer tutorial on this post, but the message is something that I need in my life.  Daily.

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

Countdown to Cinco de Mayo: Otomi Painted Canvas Shoes

121/365 Otomi Painted Canvas Shoes #365project #seekarencraft

A post shared by Karen Collins (@annumography) on

You know that I like a good painted tribal print.  So as soon as I saw this Land of Nod Otomi Lamp Shade, I had to figure out a way to get that print in my life.


At first I thought I would hack the lamp shade idea, but I couldn’t find a room in my house where it would work.  Argh!  What to do?  This is, after all, the perfect week to do a Mexican textile/print craft project.

I considered a canvas bag or a t-shirt, but (again) I have plenty of both.  What white-background object did I NEED in my life?  A scarf? No, getting too warm around here for scarf weather.  A pillow?  No.  What?

sketching the Otomi Painted Shoes : annumography

A post shared by Karen Collins (@annumography) on

The answer is always white canvas shoes.  I buy a pair of these before each summer and immediately remove the shoe strings.  At summer’s end, I throw the scruffy things away without guilt.  I immediately headed to the nearest discount store and bought myself a pair.

I don’t have a before shot of my new pristine white shoes, because I was too excited to begin sketching.  I simply printed a picture of my inspiration photo, picked up a pencil, and started drawing.  This print is meant to look hand-drawn, so I tried not to didn’t worry about making a mistake or two…or many.  After all, it would all be covered up with paint in the end.

paint-by-number Otomi Canvas Shoes : annumography

A post shared by Karen Collins (@annumography) on

Next I popped open some acrylic craft paints, grabbed a small artist’s paint brush, and began filling in the blanks.  I painted one color at a time on both shoes, using my picture as a guide, but making changes as needed to evenly distribute the colors across the two shoes.  It was a little bit like paint-by-number.

get closer to the Otomi Painted Canvas Shoes : annumography

A post shared by Karen Collins (@annumography) on

I’m pleased with the results.  You might notice that both shoes have the same pattern, just shifted slightly so that they are not identical.  I also took some creative license to substitute animals that fit the shape of my shoe better than the original pattern.

rearview Otomi Painted Canvas Shoes

A post shared by Karen Collins (@annumography) on

My favorite may just be the little marigold bunny on the back of the right shoe.

121/365 Otomi Painted Canvas Shoes #365project #seekarencraft

A post shared by Karen Collins (@annumography) on

As a final step, I sprayed the shoes with some water-resistant, clear acrylic protectant.  I probably won’t wear these in the rain (or near any body of water), but I want to make sure they last me all summer.  Heck, I might even get fancy with these and add some colorful ribbon laces.  What do you think?

If you are visiting from JAQS Studio: Made By ME #79 Linky Party, WELCOME!   I love comments, visitors, and followers.  You can also find me on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and Pinterest.

SeeKarenFollow: This Week

I was a post or two short this week, so much happened that it was a blur.  Let’s catch up on Instagram.

Greta on her couch. Doesn't she look like a BIG DAWG?

A post shared by Karen Collins (@annumography) on

With our guest room remodel, we have been shifting furniture all over the second floor of the house.  The ‘dog couch’ in the craft room, however, has remained in place.  Much to Greta’s delight.

I’m taking a lot of joy from all the trees and flowers that are now blooming.

Stormy doggie bookend. Example 2. #dogsofinstagram

A post shared by Karen Collins (@annumography) on

Buddy, though, is not so fond of the April showers that bring May flowers.  Here he is glued to my side during one of a few thunderstorms that we experienced last week.  Greta was just as close on my other side, making me a doggie sandwich.

So when I wasn’t trapped on the couch between two dogs, I was cleaning out closets and drawers.  How is it that a project in one room results in so many other projects?  I know I’m not alone here.

The good news is that more couch time meant more time for pinning.

  1. If we weren’t replacing the back stairs with a small powder room, I would definitely be using this idea of putting wallpaper samples on the stair risers.
  2. Yes, I am an adult.  I am!  That doesn’t stop me from wanting these Super Mario pillows and this superhero comic book pillow in my living room.  Geek chic.
  3. I told Glamorous Mommy that I am totally stealing this chalkboard art idea, since I have these exact Target prints.
  4. I just finished my own cookbook bird house, but now I want another one, or three, like these road map bird houses.
  5. Some one serve me up one, or three, of these lemon vodka slushies.
  6. Yum!  I think that I could eat this warm salad with all the Spring produce superstars weekly.
  7. I am so making a gluten-free version of this Ploughman sausage and cheese pie.
  8. Mother’s Day will be here in a flash.  This handwritten recipe tea towel would make a lovely gift.
  9. Of course, flowers in this gold-dipped vase is a sure hit too.
  10. And if you aren’t feeling crafty, support other crafty artisans with a gift like this family tree pillow.

Have a splendid weekend!  I have thrift shopping and room remodeling on my agenda.

Tutorial: Potted Easter Egg Vases

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.)

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

A post shared by Karen Collins (@annumography) on

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

A post shared by Karen Collins (@annumography) on

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

A post shared by Karen Collins (@annumography) on

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

A post shared by Karen Collins (@annumography) on

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

A post shared by Karen Collins (@annumography) on

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

A post shared by Karen Collins (@annumography) on

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?

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

Tutorial: “Paint-Dipped” Basket

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.

A post shared by Karen Collins (@annumography) on

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

A post shared by Karen Collins (@annumography) on

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.

A post shared by Karen Collins (@annumography) on

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.

A post shared by Karen Collins (@annumography) on

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.

A post shared by Karen Collins (@annumography) on

I did mention a considerable paint stash, right?

stir, stir, stir that gloppy old paint

A post shared by Karen Collins (@annumography) on

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.

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”.

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?

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?