I find everyday presents inspirations for projects. Hope you enjoy my ideas.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Nautical Etched Glassware

Okay, this project was so fun, so simple and worked so well I had to share.  I've been meaning to try glass etching for some time...and with my Cricut I was able to make some great vinyl "stencils"to use with etching cream.  A couple of posts ago I was complaining my Cricut was pretty limited (compared to the Silhouette) when Mel from Junkin Junkies commented and convinced me to download Sure Cuts Alot to enhance it's performance. WOW!  It' so cool, allows me to cut ANY design or font I want...the design possibilities are literally endless.  Kipp and I downloaded some free clipart files, changed them to svg files (using Inkscape) uploaded them to Sure Cuts A Lot and had the Cricut cut away!  I watched a couple of YouTube tutorials on how to do it all...seemed complicated at first but once I did one, the rest were easy.  NO MORE CARTRIDGE buying...how cool is that?????  We cut the designs out in vinyl, transferred the cut vinyl piece to a glass, painted on a thick layer of etching cream, waited 5 minutes, washed it off...and WOW!

creating the "nautical" images on the computer

adhering the cut vinyl to the glass

dabbing on the etching cream

waiting for 5 minutes

the etched design

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Thank you Dianna!

I made a new friend this summer...Dianna.  I met her through a fabulous organization called Chemo Angels
She's had a tough year, but is in the home stretch and doing GREAT!!!  I just wanted to thank her for her friendship and the great Christmas gift she sent me.  She lives in St. Louis, Mo and sent me the coolest "Route 66"cookbook...all kinds of recipes and menus from diners and hotels and restaurants along Route 66 (in Mo.)  How fun is that?  I made Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies pg. 157 this morning...they're GOOD.  So Merry Christmas my friend, and Thank You.  Laurie

Monday, December 20, 2010

Make a Painting a Day

I think I've posted before about a group of painters who have vowed to create one painting everyday...usually small pieces...sometimes practice work sometimes gems...often for sale on their blogs or eBay.  I have been intrigued by several painters' works...wishing I had the discipline to do it... I really want to improve my oil painting skills...figure this approach would be a good lesson in time management and dedication.  I've started this program several times...often giving up because time here in California is dedicated to family and their needs and projects rather than my own.  I picked up my brushes yesterday and tried again.  I think I'll be easier on myself and do one when time allows...and the spirit moves me.  Here's yesterday's attempt
brown jug with grapes  6"x6" oil on wood panel

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Stocking Disaster Averted

 Wow, parent fail on my part.  I left Kipp and Ryan's (and Andrew's) stockings in Hawaii...oops.  We spent Christmas there last year and I just forgot to pack them when I came back to California.  They have had these stockings since they were babies...my grandmother made them for them.  So, what to do?  Emergency stockings...Kipp and I thought a Hawaiian theme would be good, then we could take the new ones to Hawaii and bring home the old ones for future Christmases.  I had some red and white Hawaiian fabric leftover from a computer bag project (already quilted) and Kipp had green felt leftover from Andrew's Halloween costume...so we were in business.  We made a pattern of ridiculously huge stockings and cut them out of the green felt. We made a "cuff" out of the red/white fabric and sewed it to the top edge.  I had some red and white polka dot fabric so we used that as the bias tape edging along the top.  For embellishment...white felt snowflakes.  We fused a piece of felt to HeatnBond, cut out paper snowflakes as our templates, then traced the design onto the paper backing of the bond.  Once we cut the snowflake out of felt, we simply ironed it to the stocking.  Letters for everyone seemed easier than whole names...they know who they are :)

Doggie Ornament

Finally...5 minutes to myself.  I thought a few new handmade ornaments would be fun.  Ryan has a tree in the "new" house...no furniture...but a Christmas Tree!  And...no ornaments.  I silkscreened a bunch of dog images on scrap muslin...sewed tiny pillows with a ribbon loop for the hanger, stuffed them with fiberfill and in no time...20 new ornaments for Kipp, Ryan and me!

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Friday, December 10, 2010

Gift Tags

I'm finally trying to get into the Christmas spirit.  Between trips to Ryan's house to hammer and saw I'm busy shopping and sewing and wrapping and figuring out what to get everyone.  Gift tags are always a fun project...quick and easy.  I've been having buyer's remorse over the purchase of my Cricut machine.  Everyone in blogland seems to own AND love their Silhouettes...and they do look very cool and much more usable than the Cricut...but I did make these little beauties yesterday in about 10 minutes...so ...
I started with a stack of scrap green and white card stock
set the Cricut to cut out a bazillion snowflakes and tags
glued the snowflakes to the tags, tied twine through the hole and...
super cute gift tags 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Co-ordinating Pillows for Ryan's House

Since I was silkscreening anchors for the dining set chairs, I thought I'd do a couple of pillows at the same time.  The re-model is coming along...I'll post "after" pictures next week, but here are a couple of pillow designs I've done for his living room.

Dining Set "Re-do"

I've been back in California for 2 weeks...haven't had a minute of down time...whew.  I thought I would start to get in the Christmas spirit...but we're making a BIG push to get Ryan's house close enough to finished so he can move in. So....we've been painting and sawing and nailing and cleaning and buying and designing...yikes...will it ever end?  Anyway...we're focusing some time on furnishing...I have this really ugly dining set that has been in my breakfast nook for years.  I've hated it since I got it, but never had the energy to change it.  Well, it's prefect for Ryan's house (it's free) but definitely won't go with the nautical theme as is...so I took this (there are 4 of them)
and did this

this is really white (not sure why the photo turned blue)
Next, I removed the old upholstery fabric

I used the seat fabric as a template for the new chair
then, I silkscreened an anchor in the center of each piece

then the fun part...the staple gun!
I centered the anchor on the chair form, 
flipped it over and started stapling

Here's the first chair (2 down, 2 to go)
Photo is a little goofy, it's early in the morning and the light is bad
I'll take more pics when the set is done and moved in

Friday, November 19, 2010

My Hibiscus Phase

I have been painting quite a bit lately.  Getting into the gallery in Hawi has inspired me.  I also discovered a website of artists committed to painting a painting a day, thought that was quite ambitious... figured I could at least try to paint a few paintings per week.  I've been painting hibicus flowers, mainly because we have many plants around the house and they all seem to be blooming.
First I started with white.  Fun to paint, lots of veins and crinkles and shades of white...
Then I decided to paint the front and the back of a red one...
and then...all 3 colors we have growing

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ryan's Race

Ryan did a great job yesterday competing in the 70.3 1/2 Ironman World Championships.  It's a triathlon consisting of a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run.  He qualified for the World Championships last June at the Kona Honu 1/2 Ironman.  His sister Kipp, brother-in-law Andrew and friend Katie all flew with him to Florida to cheer him on.  They must have done a good job...he finished 9th in his age group, 91st overall (out of 1,600)!!!  He was pleased with his performance...yeah Ryan.  Kipp made GREAT shirts for the cheering section.  These photos are from her iPhone...so not the best, but you'll see what a good job she did.  Let's hear it for freezer paper...

Here's the graphic Kipp made from a photo of Ryan
Freezer paper cut out and ironed onto the t-shirt

Andrew, Katie and Ryan (after the race)

Ryan and Andrew