Monday, April 22, 2013

Another card...

Been saving this special lady for a special card. I'd colored the image this past Winter with my Spectrum Noir markers and think she turned out pretty good. The paper choice is from one of my favorite stacks, Best of K & Company stack. I was going for a Spring look with some vibrant paper...just right for the special recipient!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Groovy Times layout

This is a layout I created for a 5 X 7 black and white photo of my boys. The love cut is from the Cricut Cartridge Groovy Times. The premade dimentional flowers are from K & Co. The printed paper is from the paper stack, The Best of K and Co. At the bottom of the layout is a small box for journalling after I've thought about it for a bit. The edges of the printed paper have all been inked with Cat's Eye inks, my favorite. Because I'm using a black and white photo, I needed lots of color to offset the lack of color in the photograph. 

Every time I use my Cricut, I fall in love with the system all over again. Easy to cut, beautiful images on the (ahem) 60 plus carts that I own. This system just plain makes me look good. I hope my guys like it!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Two fast and easy scarves!

The link I posted yesterday was for making these scarves with a crochet hook. The lady on the Youtube video said I could easily make one scarf in 30 minutes. The knitted scarves take 4 hours to make. So while watching Dancing with the Stars, I set out to see how fast I could make one with my crochet hook. I made the blue one first with a size N crochet hook. I made it with 14 stitches on the hook as she described it on the video. It took me 45 minutes flat to make one. I was pretty impressed and so was my husband. The scarf is very full but a tad on the short side. I had another hour of Dancing with the Stars to watch, so I made the pink one. This time I used 12 stitches in total on the hook. Again, finished it in 45 minutes. The scarf was longer, which I wanted but a bit on the thin side. Out of the two, I think that I would enjoy wearing the fuller blue one. 

It was quick and easy, which I love because I'm always busy and short on time. I still enjoyed making one on the knifty knitter and if time wasn't always so short, I would prefer my scarf on the knifty knitter. BUT for me, right now in my life, fast and quick wins!

Oh I used Patons, Pirouette scarf yarn....one for each scarf.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Ruffle Scarf using Crochet hook video! Wow wow wow


 Here is the Youtube video for making a ruffled scarf with a crochet hook:

Ruffle scarf using crochet hook video

Make it in 30 minutes flat. I am so making this! Knitting can take up to 4 hours! I just had to pass this link on from a message board I read! This lady is a genius! I've bookmarked her web site to check out later.

You are going to love her video and will make scarves for everyone you know!

Enjoy!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Awesome desk restoration!

I inherited several nice old pieces from my uncle that belonged to my grandparents. They have been good sturdy pieces of furniture but they are tired looking. So again, I went to Pinterest and surfed refinished furniture. Some pieces I came across looked gorgeous, others, not so much. But then I came across this little gem:
If you scroll down the blog page linked here:
Desk inspiration
You will find the beautiful desk inspiration! It's the rusty orange/red one with the typewriter on it.

I looked at a lot of antique shops to find a similar desk...no luck. So, I had a good sturdy desk in my craft room and it needed a makeover.


I started by washing it down with TSP cleaner because I didn't want to strip the piece down to the wood. I was going to paint it anyways so that step was unnecessary. I rinsed off the TSP cleaner really well. TSP cleaner dulls the shine and lets paint adhere better to the finish.

Then I took out my Zinsser primer. In Canada, new environmental regulations were passed and my favorite primer was now no longer being made and so I had to find something new. I chose the Zinsser primer because it does not allow bleed through as it has a stain blocker in it. It did definitely block some of the previous finish from coming through, but not the ink. I gave that spot a couple more coats just to try and block the ink, it still came through. Not a biggie because, the final coat of black will cover it and so it won't show. The Zinsser primer was runny and so even after I painted it and cleaned up the paint runs, I'd come back to find more (too late, of course). Live and learn and getting to know this product. Probably my problems were more due to user error than anything. This particular product was also fast drying...which can be a good thing if you are a pro, but for me, just learning, it didn't help my cause so much.  Next time I think I will go back to a thicker primer that doesn't have the fast drying properties until I become a better painter at least.

Once primed, I painted the whole desk with three coats of Beautitone Designer Series Cabinet & Furniture paint (Canadian Brand). I loved the color in the original inspiration and after much detective work found out it was a Sherwin Williams color (SW6608 Rave Red) that had some Umber put into it, it never stated how much. So I had the color name and used the system to color match at Home Hardware and added 1/48 of the paint tint H (which is Umber). I only needed a quart of the paint to refinish the whole desk. After painting it three coats, I still had a third of a can left.

I let it dry completely for a week and then measured and taped off a section of the top of the desk with painter's tape. I went over the inside edge of the tape several times to seal the edge so that no black paint would bleed. (I had a few tiny spots of bleed when I pulled off the painter's tape but it wasn't too bad.) Once again, I had a quart of Beautitone Cabinet and Furniture paint in black. With a small roller, I rolled on two coats. Once the paint was dry, I slowly pulled off the painter's tape. Then once again I left the black paint dry for a week.

The final decorative scroll work done in Beautitone white paint was a little bit more fun to do. First, I went onto Youtube and found some of Donna Dewberry's how to videos on her painting technique. These are the ones I watched:

scroll work video      More scroll work video

I then went and practiced loading my brush and did some practice strokes to get the hang of it. It was only after practicing that I attempted to paint the very simple scroll pattern onto the top of my desk. Just in case I messed up, I had an old wet rag ready to wipe off my messed up scroll work. And yes, I did use it more than once. I did water down the white paint slightly to make it flow better. When the paint started to drag, I would go and wash off my palette and brush and start again adding a drop or two of water depending on how much paint I had on my palette.

This is my finished product and I'm so pleased with it! This beautiful new desk will now hold my Cricut cutter in my scrapbooking room. It is a major improvement over what it looked like before. It's not a perfect job, but I am very pleased with how it turned out.

Before the great transformation:

After the great transformation:

Really cool video on doing pop outs with Nestabilities and your Cuttlebug

Video

I just had to share this with all of you. Simple idea with wonderful instructions for making pop outs with your Nestabilities and your Cuttlebug. There is also a neat idea for storing them that I will probably do myself.

Enjoy!