Sunday, January 18, 2015

Once Upon a Time, I Wanted to be an Artist

I alluded to a degree in Interior Design. It was just a two year degree, but I did get it in 1996. In this degree program I had to take LOTS of art classes. Some of which I liked, others I hated.

Photography. I selected it as my elective. I hated it on the first day, because it cost me $1000 in supplies, just for that class. This is back before the advent of "Digital" photography. It ended up being my favorite class of the entire program. I love taking pictures.

Anyway, this post is about some of the "work" I did back then. Because of my basement flooding, some of this stuff got moldy. I had previously scanned all my drafting work, but I didn't do the "art" work, because I didn't want to get the medium (graphite, charcoal, etc) all in the large format scanner. I should have done it on my last day. Ugh. Hated that job.

I just took these pictures with my cell phone, before I threw the originals away. You can see that the pictures were taken outside.

Sometimes I miss drawing. Once my larger projects (sewing, crochet, etc) are out of the way, maybe I can be artistic like this again. I still have all the supplies. Heck. I might even take a class or two, just for fun.

Above, that's supposed to be Harley-Davidson Motorcycles transforming into Eagle heads. I "think" that was a take on Escher? Didn't he do something like that? Anyway, it was an assignment. I just picked the subject.

Above, OMG, this class was a PITA. The instructor had such a love for the Craftsman style. I did, however, enjoy learning how to do perspective drawings.

Above, this is about the closest you'll get to seeing who I am. It's a self portrait. I asked My Love what he thought, and he said he could definitely see it.

Above, the things we do in our youth. Yes. I was a smoker. Ok, so maybe it's not just youth. I haven't had a cigarette since 2008. I've always been an on and off smoker. I pick it up, and put it down with the drop of a hat. I'm serious. I don't have a physical addiction to it. When I decide I don't want to do it, I just don't do it. I DO sometimes like the smell of fresh smoke. I walked past someone smoking just last week and I miss smoking. My lungs sure don't though. I don't think I'll have another cigarette at any point in the rest of my life.

Above, that's the ink bottle and box. I always had such trouble making art from inside my head. My "Art" is always something I have to look at the subject. My crochet on the other hand, that all comes out of my head.

Above, working on capturing texture or something like that. There was a sheet the teacher hung on the wall. This is my interpretation of it.

What do you think? Do you also miss the "art" you created as a kid?

Rocker Re-do

I liked the curtain fabric so much, I covered the old rocker cushions in it too!

The rocker came from my Grandmother's house. I love a rocker. It's relaxing to sit and rock. The cushions actually came from my mother's rocking chair. They're, well...old and not extremely pretty looking. I had to jazz them up.

This project was quick and easy, and made use of the fabric I had left over from the curtain project. I love using my scraps to make something fantastic.

You can see the rocker and the cushy, but not pretty, cushions in this picture. Black Cat is in the picture as usual. She loves being with me. Such a sweetie.

I just placed the cushion over the fabric, cut to fit, and sewed a pocket.

I think it looks pretty.

What do you think?

Curtains for the Craft Room

This craft room has (and still is) been a work in progress for going on two years now. It IS looking pretty good, but has been very slow going, and has a bit left to go in my opinion. Most of the bigger stuff has been handled, so that's good!

I made curtains! It took me a full year to get both of them up. The first one was easy. There was already a curtain rod. The second curtain rod was purchased in August of 2013, but wasn't put up until my 2014 August Staycation. And boy did it feel good to put that second one up!

The curtains themselves are really just a rectangle of fabric. I don't sew anything all that exciting or complicated. I think their beauty lies in their strong graphic nature.

Here's the naked window. No central air in the house, so window units are a must. Kinda ugly. Gotta cover that up.

Much prettier!

Black Cat photo-bombing. This curtain was made, and went up in 2013. The window below...that one didn't have the curtain rod. The ONLY window in the house without a curtain rod.

And...since the corner of the wood was already broken, I was afraid I would end up breaking more of the corner off.

I didn't. Yay!

I should probably have cleaned off my work surface before taking the picture. Oh well. I was on a roll. There are several projects that got completed that day...on the table in this picture.

What do you think?

Small Metal Chest of Drawers Makeover

I've constantly got a list in my head (and a lot of the time on paper) of what is needed for the house, so I can keep an eye out for just the right piece to fit my needs, frugally.

I was in need of a "leg" for my work surface in my craft room. I'm always trying to re-use the things I already have. I already had the work surface. I have a degree in Interior Design, and the work surface is actually my old portable drafting table. I knew I wanted to save space by using the radiator cover as the other leg. I took a measurement to the top of the radiator cover, and it told me how high I needed to have the other "leg".

I found this absolutely hideous little 4 drawer metal chest at my local thrift store, on an extra 25% off Monday. It's the only day I shop there. Too expensive for a store that has 100% of their stock donated. ::gets off soap box::. I first wrote about this little bugger, here.

Why yes, that is faux wood grain. Ick. I can't find a picture of the price I paid for it, but I'm almost certain it was $4.99 (minus 25%). With the exception of the wrinkle on the top, it is in pretty good shape, and just the right height.

I did try to bang the wrinkle out, with a hammer. Didn't work, but that's totally OK. Drawer (pretty much) shuts, and for $5, I'm not really arguing. I did buy some new drawer pulls for it. I think I got the cheapest ones at Lowes, in the color I wanted. While I was there, I got a little 4 oz (maybe 8?) tester of black paint. There color scheme of this room is Black, White, and Tiffany Blue.

To start this project, I removed the drawers, and placed the shell of the chest onto the top of a Rubbermaid tote (to protect my floor). I was on my "Staycation" when I completed this project. I found (thankfully) an un-used FOB card. I work in the medial field. It was only partly funny that even on vacation, I can't get away from something reminding me of work.


I painted the front, the drawers, and the back, black. Paint covered quite well, so I think I only did one coat. I used the sponge brushes, kind of like a dabber. It worked, and was cheap! Now looking at these pictures (a year and a half later) I'm not sure if I did one or two coats on the back. I hate painting so much that maybe I just left it like that, since the only thing that will really be seeing my knees when I'm sitting at the table!

Yeah. I hate painting that much. Sigh. Ok. Moving on. The outside! I had purchased some vinyl table cloths to protect my furniture from Fat Cat from peeing on it. Poor thing passed away, so I had a few of them left over (un-used). I happened to have picked just the right color for this room. Yay! They were on sale to begin with, and now I have a second life for them. I'm going to guess I paid maybe $1.57 for them at Target. I used one for this project AND the shelving project (you can see that here, after I write it up). That's one table cloth between the two projects, not one for each project.

I used the factory finished edge on the drawer side. I hot glued the table cloth to the metal. And...the above picture answers whether or not I painted a second coat on the back. I didn't. I don't even know why I thought I might have done a second coat. Painting. Meh. The back side is  not pretty at all. There was no point in making it pretty. I just folded the fabric over the back, and the bottom and hot glued it in place. As much as I hate painting, that's how much I love my glue gun!

Ahh, things are coming together so nicely in this room! And, it makes me SO happy that I'm doing this relatively cheaply, when possible, using things I already have. In the above picture you can see in the corner, the bookcase hasn't been painted yet.

This corner is looking pretty awesome! I kept it this way for a while. On top of the drawer units, those are little shelves. They're supposed to hang on the wall, but I never got that far with them. They are currently on the dresser, and a three shelf black bookcase (holding my fleece) is in it's place. I'm hoping once I get my fabric stash under control, I can put the bookcase somewhere else.

Side note, that laundry sorter came from the free section of Craigslist. I took the "bags" off and washed them. They also hold fabric. Mostly my scraps. The one closest to the plastic drawers has my rolls/bolts of fabric in them right now.

So, there we go. If I had to put a $ figure on this project, I'd say $1 for the paint. $2 for the pulls, $4 for the dresser itself, and $0.75 for the fabric. $7.75 total. I'm SO HAPPY with this little project.

What do you think?

Friday, January 2, 2015

STAYcation Update #3

This is being posted on January 2, 2015, after being in DRAFT Mode for almost a year and a half. Sigh. I promise to be more consistent with my posts in 2015!

August 16

FINALLY! The guest room is taking shape! I spent the morning putting everything together. Surprisingly, the mirror on the vanity was nice, and didn't decided to jump off the ledge, and into my head. I managed to screw the mirror onto the vanity all by myself.

I set up the bed. No. NOT a Steelers fan (but my Love is. I forgive him.). I needed something to cover up the mattress while I find fabric to make a quilt/accessories. I felt so accomplished, I think I laid on the bed for a good 45 minutes admiring my work, and texting pics to various friends.

I moved 80% of the fabric stash up into the craft room. It's all sorted out by type/purpose. Cotton, Corduroy, Knits, Canvas, Fleece, Velvet, and "misc". All the crap that doesn't fit into one of the other categories.

I moved onto this little dresser, up in the craft room. This thing was anything but cute, but I was determined to breathe some new life into it. It's metal, so I'm digging the fact I can stick magnets into it. It went from faux wood grain to black, and Tiffany Blue stripped fabric covered.

It took a TON of time to do this little thing. All kinds of time spend on painting, and trying not to burn myself on the glue gun I used to attach the fabric. I also switched out the knobs on it.

I then painted the frame for the tack/dry erase board, and called it a night.

August 17
  • Cover tall bookcase in black and white wrapping paper
  • Cover magazine holders

August 18
  • Paint and hang picture frames
  • Create Labels for clear drawers
  • Hang curtain
  • Cover chair cushion
  • Create Magnetic Jewelry Finding Board
  • Goo-Gone on containers for jewelry findings
  • Create vision board
  • Fabric wrap canisters (Thanks Barbara!)
  • List fleece creations on eBay
  • Touch up wall paint
  • List eBay
  • Re-hang stapled ceiling tiles that were removed when my water supply lines were replaced
  • LR Clean Carpet  
  • Make curtains for bedroom
  • Clean shower stall
  • Clean behind laundry area
  • Move ebay shipping materials to craft room

DIY Bolster Pillow

As the name states, "Provident". In designing my living room I chose to re-use/and make some things in order to keep it frugal.

My furniture is generally hand-me-down, however, this chair was purchased brand new.

It was still discounted, but brand new at $150. Yikes. It's comfy and goes well with the rest of the furniture, so I splurged. Heck, the couch itself was only $200 because it was the floor model. I'm planning a separate blog regarding the couch, or more specifically the cat scratching post on the right hand side. You can read it here (after I write it, of course).

The chair itself is nice, but I wanted to tie it together with the rest of the room. In this blog I write about the chair makeover.

I chose to make a bolster pillow with the remaining burnt orange dupioni silk from the chair, and the curtain fabric (which you can see on the pillows above). But...who wants to spend the money on a pillow form. I'm fairly certain I got this idea from something Karen at Sew Many Ways posted ages ago. I re-used a regular old rectangle bed pillow! Cost=$0. Since I already had the fabric, the cost of this crafty day was a total of $0. If I were purchasing the fabric/pillow in anywhere near remotely recent history I would take a guess at the project costing a total of less than $10 all together. Not much fabric, and I know I get my pillows cheap at Walmart.

Pay no attention to the drool marks ;)

Once I knew the remaining silk fabric would cover the pillow, I just folded it in half and sewed a pocket. I hate hand sewing, so everything is done with my trusty sewing machine.

Fold the pillow in half and stuff it in the pocket. This was a PAIN! I had to get my legs into the action too. Hehe. Squeeze the pillow, and try to roll the fabric pocket over the pillow.

Now we're getting there! When I FINALLY had the pillow in the pocket, I pinned the ends together and sewed them shut.

It didn't look as fancy as I had hoped, so I had to accessorize.

I made a tube out of the curtain fabric (striped) and added some more of the trim that I have from my friends mom (see the chair makeover post for further explanation). This trim was a bit of challenge to sew on, because I'm not used to it, but I think it turned out well.

Here's the finished product as it sits on the chair.

What do you think?


I can NOT believe I didn't post ANYTHING in 2014. I certainly got a bunch done. Today is January 2nd, 2015. I have, as usual, high hopes for posting my handiwork on a more frequent basis. I think, I need to tighten it up a bit more than "frequent" though. So, I'm going to say every other week. How do I aim to accomplish this? Easy. I have all of 2014's projects to post!

Lets get started!

Edit: It's now 10:20pm. I've spent the last three hours arranging all the photo's for the blog posts I already have to write. 37! I knew I was busy in 2014. I think I'll be able to document and post the new projects along the way. I think I'll actually meet my post a week goal this year. Whew!