Friday, March 29, 2013

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Deer Silhouette Wall Art Tutorial...

Here's a tutorial of my favorite creation for quite some time. It has everything I love in one beautiful package ... gorgeous fabric, an animal silhouette, damask, a variety of textures, nature, and bold colors!  For me, it's a perfect bundle of lusciousness.

You might remember the little wall that I painted with stripes a few weeks ago...

As you can tell, it's an unusual grouping of walls in our basement because it follows the curved staircase going up to our main floor. I have a short bookcase that goes in that middle panel of walls that I will be refinishing soon, but I knew I needed something to hang above the bookcase.When I saw the fabric below, I knew exactly what I wanted to create. I'll share with you how I created this Deer Silhouette Wall Art.

Materials Needed:
1 - 18" x 24" artist canvas
1 - piece of 100% cotton fabric, 30" x 36"
1 - piece of fusible bonding web, 17" x 23"
 1 - piece of black imitation black leather fabric, approx: 18" x 24"
Upholstery stapler and staples
Fabric glue


Begin by buying the least expensive artist canvas you can find. You can purchase an  18" x 24" artist canvas for $13.99 at Hobby Lobby -- much less if you use the 40% off coupon. Cut a piece of 17" x 23" fusible bonding web. (Fusible web -- sold on the bolt as Stitch Witchery, Heat N Bond and other trade names -- fuses two fabrics together.)

Cut a piece of 100% cotton fabric (I used "Finnelopy" in Indigo) 30" x 36" to wrap around the front of the canvas. Center the fusible web onto the cotton fabric and fuse the web to the fabric. Next lay your fabric right side down on a counter and place the front side of the artist canvas over the fusible web (the canvas will be 1/2" larger than the fusible web on all four sides).  Fuse the canvas to the fabric by ironing through the back of the canvas. This step will give the cotton fabric more body and secure it to the canvas while you are stapling the fabric to the back of the frame of the artist canvas. Is it necessary to use the fusible web? No. But, for me, it made it much easier to align the fabric properly on the canvas by fusing it to the canvas first and then stapling the edges. Trim the edges of the cotton fabric to cover the frame on the back of the canvas. When finished with these steps you will have a framed canvas that looks like this.



Next, google "deer silhouette image" and shop around for an image that strikes your fancy. It was easy to find an image that I particularly liked. There were many to choose from:

I enlarged the image I chose (bottom left) on my printer/copier so it was about 22 inches tall then cut out the image and traced the mirror image onto the back of the piece of imitation leather fabric. The "leather" I used had a lighter fabric backing on the underside of the fabric (see below), which made it easy to trace.

After cutting the image out of the fabric, I carefully ran a black permanent marker along the edge of the fabric of the deer image to make sure the edge looked as black as the front of the fabric. The leather silhouette is below. It's difficult to see the texture of the leather, but it's really gorgeous and the leather fabric doesn't unravel at the edges at all!

All that's left to do is to glue the leather fabric onto the cotton wrapped canvas. Use a good quality fabric glue for this part of the project. Lay your image on top of the cotton wrapped canvas and position it carefully. Then put straight pins through the canvas around the image to help guide the placement of the leather as you glue it down, like this...


Using the fabric glue, glue the "leather" fabric down starting at the bottom of the deer and working your way up to the antlers. Be careful not to put the glue too close to the edge because you don't want any glue to seep out past the edge of the deer. Remove the pins. Carefully turn the canvas over onto a counter and place some heavy books on top of the back of the canvas to help join the two fabrics together more fully.

Now you're ready to show off your masterpiece!

There are, of course, many variations to this project. You could paint the canvas and cut the deer out of some beautiful fabric and attach it to the painted canvas. That's what I had intended to do originally, but I decided I wanted more of that luscious fabric to show, so I used the fabric as the background in mine.

My next project is to refinish a vintage bookcase {update: Click here for that tutorial)
 that will go beneath the deer silhouette.
I'm going to refinish it in the beautiful lighter blue color on the damask design
 that the arrow is pointing to in the photo below..

I hope it will become the perfect compliment to the deer silhouette.

Update: Go here for another version of a Deer Silhouette!

Linked to:
Knock Our Socks Off Party @ Jo Jo & Eloise
Friday Favs Party @ Naptime Crafter
Show Me What Ya Got @ Not Just a Housewife  
The Inspiration Board @ Homework
Show & Tell Tuesday @ I have to Say
Knock Your Socks Off Party @ JoJo & Eloise  
Made by you Monday @ Skip to my Lou

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Monday, March 18, 2013

Painting Stripes on Textured Walls

A week ago we returned home from visiting one of my sons and his family. I love visiting my children for obvious reasons -- I love spending time with them -- but another benefit is the inspiration I receive when I visit their homes. I always come back energized and eager to try something new and different in our home. You see, my kids (that includes my in-law-kids) are all very creative. They've done amazing things with paint, wood and crafts in their home that I never would have imagined. One decorating technique that several of the couples have tried is painting horizontal stripes on their walls. I've loved it. There was, however, one reason I'd always shied away from painting stripes on our walls. My children have walls that are not textured, and we have walls that have a rather heavy orange peel texture on them. I wondered if I'd be able to create really straight lines with a textured wall.

I buy my paint at Home Depot, and in the paint department there is a cute young employee that can answer any paint question I throw at him. This time I ran past him the technique I'd heard one needs to follow to paint stripes on walls, which is: base coat -- apply painter's tape -- put a coat of the base coat over the edge of the painters tape and let dry -- then paint the every other stripe with a different color. He asked me if we had textured walls, and I answered in the affirmative. He then suggested I use a white, paintable silicone caulk (above) instead of a layer of paint over the edge of the painters tape before painting the contrasting stripe. For textured walls this seals the space between the wall and the tape even better than a thin layer of paint.

He also suggested I use the "Scotch Blue Painter's Tape" that has orange on the packaging. This tape is recommended for freshly painted surfaces (24 hours old). Because I was painting the base coat the day before I wanted to paint the contrasting stripes, this was a very good idea!

I started by painting the wall with two coats of the base coat. Then I measured my wall from the ceiling down to the top of the baseboard and divided by seven -- an odd number of stripes is always a good idea. The wall I painted is in our basement so the ceilings aren't particularly high. I have seven stripes that are about 12.5 inches high (the bottom stripe was 13" high). If you have tall ceilings then you could easily divide the space into 9 stripes. I prefer stripes that are about 12" in height. For me, it tends to look too busy if they are much shorter than that. (FYI: Make sure the base coat stripes are on the top and bottom of the wall, so you don't have to paint over any detail work next to the ceiling and the baseboard.) I used a yardstick and marked with a pencil tiny marks for tape placement.

After taping -- and making sure the tape is pressed securely to the wall -- run a very thin line of caulking against the line of the tape and smooth it with your finger. You don't want to use too much caulking. The idea is just to seal the line of the tape, not fill in any texture on your wall (see below).

Wait a couple of hours for the caulk to dry and then you can begin to paint your stripes. Put two coats of paint on the stripes.

After the last coat of paint is dry to the touch (about 1 to 2 hours), peel off the tape...

This technique worked beautifully on my textured walls. All the lines are crisp and clean.

I love how these stripes have changed a do-nothing wall into something interesting and fun.

I hope this has inspired you to paint a stripe or two on your walls -- even if they are textured! ;o)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Thankful Thoughts...

What moved me this week?

My brother came home from the hospital this week. He'd been in the intensive care unit of the hospital for more than a month recovering from a very serious at-home fall. We'd been told that it would be weeks before he was released from the hospital, but in one week he improved dramatically and was released from the hospital. I'm grateful, and I was moved by the prayers of loved ones and strangers who felt compelled to pray {and fast} for him. This last year our family has become well aware of the strength and spiritual benefits found in prayer and fasting. I'm so grateful he is further along on his road to recovery.

What surprised me this week?

I love the first signs of Spring ... warmer temperatures, rain showers, bright green blades of new grass, crocuses peeking through the soil. Yesterday morning we awoke to birds chirping. Earlier in the week I'd notice two birds nest building in a little pine tree just outside our front door. As I sat at my computer in our study yesterday morning, I heard quite a racket outside the window. When I opened my front door and peeked out, this little guy greeted me...

 He's one of the nest builders that was busy this week.
I think this birdie's sweet song is going to be a welcome surprise every morning this Spring!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday's Fabulous Finds...

I spy with my Etsy eye some...
gray skies in Ireland.

Clockwise, starting top left:
Irish Countryside Art Print
Vintage Tin Box 
Felt Flower Brooch
Silver Plated Spoons
Womens Slippers 

A {favorite} Old Irish Blessing
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fileds.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Succulent Terrarium...

Tuesday I published a post about my container garden filled with succulents that were planted free of charge at Home Depot. Today I'm going to show you the terrarium I made for our family room end table.

Succulents are becoming increasingly popular for two very simple reasons: they are gorgeous and almost indestructible. Succulents store water in their leaves, stems or roots. They have adapted to survive in desert landscapes, which have resulted in an unusual variety of leaf forms and shapes. I love succulents because the more you ignore them, the hardier they become, so when we leave on short trips or vacations we don't have to worry about finding someone to care for them.

Last week I bought the following items:

Glass Bowl {6.5" top opening; 10" at widest point @ Michaels}
Tiny River Rocks {@ Michaels}
Three larger succulents (3" pot @ Home Depot)
Two smaller succulents (2" pot @ Home Depot)
Potting soil {previously purchased}

I purchased all this for under $20, using an online coupon from Michaels and taking advantage of a 50% off sale on the river rocks. 

I tried to choose a variety of shapes, sizes and colors of succulents for the terrarium.

I put a thin layer of the river rocks into the bottom of the glass bowl for drainage {not particularly necessary in this case -- I'm just used to doing this when I plant containers}, then layered the soil and planted the succulents. Another layer of the river rocks can be placed on top of the soil. Don't over water. If the water puddles at the bottom of the bowl, you are watering waaaay too much. When you water the plants the soil should just barely get damp. A little water goes a long way for these plants. You can let the soil get bone dry between watering.

I like to place terrariums on top of wood pieces because they are a little more contained, and I don't have to worry about water spilling onto the wood table when I water the plants. I placed mine by a window that will give the plants a lot of natural light. In the evening I light the room with the lamp above it.

These plants should do well in this sunny location and fill the terrarium.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

For the love of fabric...

Plain and simple... I have a thing for fabric. There's something about getting a new shipment in the mail of fabric I've painstakingly chosen that gives me a thrill. I found these beautiful picks at Fabric Worm. They have a delectable assortment of fabrics! I particularly love the Noteworthy Collection. I received a gift from someone at Christmastime that was made from this collection, and I adore it!

 Top to bottom:
"Plant a Garden" Blue Mist, Noteworthy Collection by Sweetwater
"Fly a Kite" Blue Mist, Noteworthy Collection
"Sing Out Loud" Blue Mist, Noteworthy Collection
"Bucket List" Blue Mist, Noteworthy Collection 

Left to right:
"Plant a Garden" Cloudy, Noteworthy Collection by Sweetwater
"Sing Out Loud" Vanilla, Noteworthy Collection

Clockwise, starting top left:
"Fly a Kite" Pickle, Noteworthy Collection by Sweetwater
"Sing Out Loud" Pickle, Noteworthy Collection
"Fly a Kite" Multi, Noteworthy Collection

Top to bottom:
"Jacks Aqua", Applejack Collection, by Tim & Beck for Moda Fabrics
"Doodles Ivory", Applejack Collection

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Bloomin' Tuesday...

It's been months since I've had a Bloomin' Tuesday post. It feels so good to know that spring is around the corner! 

Have you noticed that succulents are having a come-back? Pinterest is loaded with photos of gorgeous succulent plants found in gardens, frames, all types of containers, and terrariums. Go here to see some beautiful examples of these amazing plants.

The other day I was in Home Depot and came upon a display of succulents. They were individually available in little two and three inch pots. I often have fresh flowers on my kitchen table, but I've wanted to come up with a less expensive alternative to buying fresh flowers every week, and these little plants inspired me to make an arrangement of succulents for that space.

Did you know that if you buy a container and the plant(s) at Home Depot, that they will pot it for you free of charge? As I was scouring their containers to find one that would suit my informal dining table, I was told that this was a service that Home Depot has offered for quite some time. They provide the potting soil, pebbles and labor if the customer purchases the container and the plants. What a deal! Seriously. Here's what sprang from that conversation...

Isn't it beautiful? I love it. For the same price as a bouquet of flowers I bought this 11 inch container and the succulents. The amazing thing about succulents (besides the fact that they are gorgeous) is they like to be ignored. They require very little water -- in fact they thrive in dry soil.

These are the perfect plants for us because we travel often and these plants won't need constant watering while we're away.

I loved this one so much that I decided to make another one for my family room. I'll show you that creation later this week.

Linked to:
Show Me What Ya Got @ Not Just a Housewife
The Inspiration Board @ Homework