Monday, November 11, 2013

Graduation Gifts

When I go on road trips I like to take little projects with me to work on while I'm in the car.  On a recent road trip I took a project that I had been trying to get to all summer.  Believe it or not it was a couple of graduation gifts.  Yep I said gradation gifts.  I apologize, but since I did this in the car I don't have step-by-step photos, just the finished product, but I think you guys can figure it out.  I got the basic idea from Pinterest, just put my spin on it.  I had already created some art pieces that I will also share with you, but I wanted to do something with the invitations.

The first one is for a local high school graduate. 

I cut the invitation in strips then rolled each strip and inserted it into the ornament.  The invitation also included a senior portrait.  I planned to insert it inside the ornament, but I wanted it to be visible from both sides so I copied it onto vellum then cut it to fit the ornament.

Then I tied ribbon in the school colors of blue and gold on top.  The mascot is a Pirate so I also included some ribbon that had skull and cross-bones.  Cute, huh?  Guess that was a side benefit of not getting it done in the summer as planned because you can only get skull and cross-bone ribbon at Halloween!

The other one was for a college graduate.  I basically followed the same steps, minus the photograph since one wasn't included.

I also gave them each a piece of artwork I created.  I call them graduation crosses.  I wanted to create something that reminded them of the fun times and memories made of their time spent there, but I didn't want it to shout out "Auburn University" or "Fairhope High School." Hopefully it is something they will display because they want to and not because they feel obligated to. They are heavily textured and heavily glazed so that the colors are muted and not "in your face."

On the back I wrote "Let God's love guide the way."  I thought it appropriate. One would need God's love and guidance on her college journey and the other would need His love and guidance on her journey into adulthood.

And if you think about it, don't we all need to let God's love guide the way regardless of what journey we are on?


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Sweet Sideboard Update

Remember that gorgeous sideboard I shared with you guys a few weeks ago? Well, after it was pushed back into place and you turned the overhead lights on it was a little too blue, as in baby blue, so I had to go work on it some more.  While we are talking about gray looking blue I'll give you a little lesson on color. Most people think you just mix white and black to get gray, and that is true to a point, but what most people don't know is that you mix blue and brown to make black so that is where the bluish tint comes from.  If it is too blue you can try adding some red or brown, but in this case I was using milk paint so sometimes I would get more blue pigment when mixing it.  Normally that would have been fine, and that's what I like about the milk paint when painting something to look old because it sometimes gives you varying shades, but in this case it was all good 'til you turned the lights on then it was kinda baby blue.  Here it is today (sorry about that shadow, a really good photographer would have noticed that, I'm not a really good photographer... or a really good blogger...):

Here is a pic of the "before" (I tried to do side-by-side for y'all, but it is really a big ol' pain in the you-know-what and as much as I luv y'all after trying for like a friggin' hour I decided you guys could just pretend they are side-by-side. Maybe y'all can print the pictures out and hold them side-by-side???  just kidding!)

I know its kinda hard to see the difference, but I'll share some more up-close pics and then maybe you can tell.  Basically I did a wash with dark gray paint, kinda like white-washing, but with gray.  You can see the bluish tone in the first photo below, and the more gray tone in the second photo.

She also wanted me to tone down the contrast between the white and the gray.

Here are a few more for ya:

I also added an even darker mixture to the top:

I luv it even more now!  Personally, had I been painting it on my own and not under anyone's direction I probably would have done this last step anyway, but I was trying to stay close to the inspiration photo.  So now you know how to change the tone of a color without having to repaint the whole thing.

Hope y'all enjoy it as much on the second go-round as you did the first!


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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Thanksgiving - the Silver Version

I've been doing a lot of work for a really sweet lady who just moved into her new house.  While I was there recently working on some furniture she was doing some unpacking and putting things away and she came across all of her Thanksgiving decorations and with a heavy sigh said "I might as well just get rid of all of this because you know she's [the designer] is not going to let me use it here, and I guess it wouldn't look right anyway."  I looked at what she was holding, and I agreed, BUT I told her I might be able to do something with it so that she could use it in her new house, and this what I did:

Pretty cool, huh?  Yes, I know you're thinking its not traditional, but her house is not traditional and all of this in its original form would have stuck out like a sore thumb, I promise!  See this is what it looked like before:

Nothing wrong with any of it, but it just didn't work with her new look, so I took a can of this:

and gave it a more contemporary look that goes with her new decor. Originally I was going to go over it with a little bronze glaze, but then I decided I liked the starkness of the shiny foil-like silver.

I think the pilgrims turned out great!  It works because they have such contemporary lines (just ignore that thumb print on her dress where someone touched it before it was dry...but that someone fixed it!).

 Doesn't it look great on her dining room table?!

So there ya go, a new spin on a traditional look.  Now everyone is happy, the client is happy because she got to decorate for the holidays and hopefully the designer is happy because it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb and I'm happy because I made someone smile!  



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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Cute Bulletin Board

I recently received a phone call from a girl in the office at the high school that Flower Bud attends asking if I could make a cute bulletin board for the office at the school, oh and could I make it super-sized. So I did a little research and this is what I put together for them.

Cute huh?  Wanna know how I did it?  Well I started with all of this:

I found everything but the paint at Hobby Lobby.  First I painted the frames.  As you can probably guess our school colors are blue and gold.  So I painted the larger fame that would be on the bottom blue.

Then I painted the one going on top the gold color.

While they were drying I covered the cork board insert with the fabric.  If you have ever covered a chair seat it is basically the same.  You just place the cork board face down on the backside of the fabric. 

Trim it so that you have enough to bring up and over the back then staple in place.  I usually fold the edge over to make it look a little neater, but you don't have to do this.

Do the same on the opposite side pulling it tight, then the other two sides.  Continue stapling all the way down, working your way around the whole board.

When you get to the corners you kinda fold it like when you put the sheets on your bed.  Don't really know how to explain it, but it'll look kinda like this:

When you get all the way around you're done and it should look something like this:

Here's the front:

When the frames were dry I sanded the edges to give it a slight distressed look:

 Then I screwed them together.

After the frames were all screwed together I inserted the cork board.  With the addition of the fabric it was a little thicker than the frame so I couldn't use the sprig gun to hold it in so I screwed on some wooden strips to hold it in place.

Well, that's it.  Overall it measures approximately 3 feet by 4 feet. If you are local and would like to see it in person just drop by the office at Fairhope High, it'll be right there when you walk in.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Road Trippin' - Part 2

I posted the other day about my trip to Franklin, Tennessee for the City Farmhouse Pop-Up Barn Sale with my friend Linda from Coastal Charm.  Well this weekend we went here:
for The Chapel Market put together by Layla of The Lettered Cottage.  I was so excited because there were going to be several bloggers there that I never in a million years ever thought I'd actually meet.  It's funny because they are just regular people like you and me, but you almost feel like you are meeting celebrities.  So here is my story of how this little barely ever post blogger met the big girls of blogging.
So, I pick up Linda (btw, she's a big girl in the blogger world too) at Hobby Lobby (isn't that the perfect place to meet???) and after a short delay (because someone, and I'll let you guess who that someone was, had to go into Hobby Lobby for a last minute purchase so she could finish a project when they got to the hotel room.  Bet you'll never guess who that person was...) we get started on our trip.  We went up the day before so we could do some treasure hunting while we were there.  We went to several flea markets and visited a couple of shops in downtown Prattville. Downtown Prattville is such a cute little town.  Here are a coupe of photos I took while there (ignore that piece of fuzz that was apparently on my camera lens and appears in most all of my photos - ugghhh - how did I not see that????):

We also went to the Junior League Christmas show, grabbed a little dinner then we rode out to The Chapel to make sure we knew where we were going the next morning so we wouldn't get lost.  No, we weren't stalking, we were just making sure we had the correct directions.  (Just because we rode around the Chapel three times trying to see in the windows doesn't mean we were stalking...) Needless to say by the time we get to the hotel and get settled in it is late.  Of course, Linda is thinking we need to get there at 7:00 a.m. since the market opens at 9:00 which means we have to get up at the bootiecrack of dawn, have I mentioned that I am NOT a morning person???? and its now close to midnight????
Before I know it the clock is going off and it is here!  The big day is here!!  We get ready and head out, red, scratchy eyes and all.  I'm thinking the last time my eyes were this red I'd had a whole lotta fun the night before, not that I didn't have fun at the Junior League Christmas Show, but let's just say it wasn't the same kinda fun.  I'll just leave it at that...  I ask Linda what we're gonna do if we get there and there aren't any other crazy ladies there, just us two crazy ladies, and she said we'd just sit in the car.  I'm thinking, well, I'll just take me a little nap.  But there are some other crazy ladies there when we  arrive, not as many as we thought, but a few.  Now, here is the first exciting thing that happened to me that day.  We park next to a car with three crazy ladies in it and when we all get out turns out they are from Spanish Fort and they follow my FB page, and get this, THEY DIDN'T KNOW WHO LINDA WAS!!!  That's right, they knew ME and NOT Linda!  That's a first!!  So after I rub that in we head up to the Chapel.  Turns out there's a few other crazy ladies already there so we take our place (well, Linda takes our place as I look down and realize I have left my brand new fabulous necklace that I had just bought last week in Franklin in the hotel room and I high tail it back to the hotel to get it!).  When I get back there is definitely a line and I'm thinking, thank goodness Linda made me get up at the bootiecrack of dawn to get here, which of course I'm having to explain so people don't think I'm cutting in line.  So people, this is what happens when you don't get up at the bootiecrack of dawn - you end up at the end of this line:
But when you get up at the bootiecrack of dawn you get to stand up here (see the lady with big blue purse?  well we were behind her):
But here's the big pay-off for getting up at the bootiecrack of dawn:  When I finally get back up to the porch I find Linda standing there talking to non-other than Rhoda of Southern Hospitality.  Of course she and Linda are long-time blog buddies.  And it gets better.  A little while later out comes KariAnne of Thistlewood Farms.  She was so cute and funny, just like you'd imagine!  They make a big deal out of how long we've been waiting in line, take our pictures and stuff and go back inside.  Then the lady kind of in charge comes out and says "I'm about to make y'all real happy" and she opens the doors and there she was, Marian a/k/a Miss Mustard Seed.  O.M.Gosh! Miss Mustard Seed is standing right in front of me!! She is standing there talking to us just like its no big deal!  Lawdy, I had to pinch myself to make sure it was really happening, yep, there she was, RIGHT.IN.FRONT.OF.ME!  (yep, I know, you'd have thought it was the queen or something, right?  Well, to me it was the same equivalent.)
She is so nice and genuine, just like you'd imagine.  She talked and answered questions like she had all the time in the world.  I'm standing there thinking, wow!  I'm talking to Miss Mustard Seed!  Of course I ask her if I can have my picture made with her and she kindly says yes.  Now before I post my picture I have to tell you that I am the least photogenic person you'll ever see. Seriously!  I've had people tell me that some photos don't even resemble me at all.  I sure wish I had seen Cara of Maskcara's post where she gives you tips on how to look thin in photos before yesterday. Even tho I didn't see it in time it still made me feel better about myself because her model was thin and even she looked "fluffy" in her "before" photos.  So that being said, here's my photo with Marian:
See I'm not fibbing, that's really me with Miss Mustard Seed!!  (It was also a very bad hair day for me!)  After visiting for a while she goes back inside. 
Then they open the doors to go inside.  I'm headed back to Marian's space, but first I stopped to speak to KeriAnne and while talking she notices my camera strap (ok, I have to apologize I do not have a photo of my camera strap because hellooo it is on my camera and it is impossible to take a photo of it without taking it off the camera, but I promise I'll share what I did soon!)  When I tell her I made it she's like "No Way!"  then she says something I just couldn't believe, she asked ME if I had a card.  Wait, did KariAnne just ask ME for my business card???  O.M.GEEEE  Have I died and gone to heaven??? I was so blown away I had to get someone to take our picture of HER holding MY card!!
I also exchanged cards with this lady (and I regret I didn't get a picture with her):
Uh-huh, you're reading that correctly, that would be Heather from At the Picket Fence.  I also met Layla of The Lettered Cottage, Shauna of Perfectly Imperfect, and Susan of Maple and Magnolia.  I treated myself to an Urban Farmgirl t-shirt, but she was a little busy so I didn't get to meet her.
Here are the other treasures I treated myself too, all from Miss Mustard Seed.
I think I may start an old clock collection, and I don't know why, but the bingo cage just spoke to me so I had to take it home.  All of her prices were very reasonable!  I also got her to autograph my book, and her hubby was so sweet I asked him to autograph it too.  He said that was a first! Now I can be remembered as the first crazy lady who asked Mr. Mustard Seed for an autograph!

Well, that's about it.  All in all it was a very exciting day for me.  I am very fortunate to be friends with Linda (and not just because she is friends with the big blog girls), but she is a super sweet and talented lady and I really enjoyed tagging along with her.  Thanks Linda for a super time!  (and this time I made sure I got a photo of us together!)

It was a great show and I hope they do it again next year!  If they do and you are able to go I highly recommend it!


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