Monday, July 21, 2014

Project Upholster the Settee






Some years ago....ten to be exact, I bought a settee. It is a three piece set, a love seat, a Papa chair (with arms)  and  a Mama chair (no arms).  And I purchased it just as you see it here, no seats, no springs, just bare bones.

Now, if I have said it before, you will recall I was raised to believe I could do anything...as long as I have the instructions.  Well, as years go by I think I need to add and have the muscles necessary or know where to find someone with them.

So here goes!  I am on a mission to get it done!  Project Upholster the Settee has begun.


After a little rub with some denatured alcohol I was ready to begin.

Step One:  Sinuous springs hooks.  I thought this was going to be the easy part.  The old wood was like concrete.  But after drilling pilot holes with a tiny drill bit I could screw in the hooks.

Step Two:  Sinuous springs.  I did not EVEN act like I could cut these springs.  I got Mr. Lee to help me with this but once cut to the correct size no problems.


Step Three:  Tie the sinuous springs together.  Oh, easy!  At least, once you got the holes drilled to screw the screws into the side.





So here it is Project Upholster the Settee is underway.
Next we drew out templates of the window panels on the back of the seats and bottom seat cushion to have the foam cut to size.

Off to the upholstery shop to buy more stuff:  Foam, edge rolls, and some roll batting.
I am a newbie at this so I am approaching it gingerly.  I buy what I need for the part I am doing.  It is so overwhelming in the beginning.  But taking it in steps I know I can do this!  Stay tuned!
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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Peek Behind the Artrageous Scenes

Wide format printer/ Archival quality inks on acid free canvas.
Some people may think I am being a little obsessive compulsive but I made the decision to take charge of the reproduction of my own artwork.  Rather than frustrate someone with the continual need to make  the adjustments I think are necessary to make it look just right I decided I could do it.
 
I have been quoted saying, "I grew up thinking I could do anything....I just need the instructions."

As I get older I am recognizing some limitations to that statement but still I just need the instructions and if I cannot do it,  I can supervise someone else.    

So here is a peek into my workspace which by the way, has beginning to take over my whole house.

The work is pretty labor intensive, often frustrating, and time consuming, and  requires quite a good dose of patience and a few pieces of equipment I have or need to buy ....and then Mister Lee says, "do you ever think you are sinking all this time and money into this venture and it is not going to pay off?"
Miter saw for stretcher bars....

HA!    
Poor, Mister Lee! I never even considered the investment of time or money.  I am just drawn to do this.  I am just ignorantly happy in doing everything creative.  I do it for the love of artistic experimentation.  And I have friends who are just like me! You know, I can name you!

So here is a peek into my work space. (I used to say studio but now that half my house is my work space I just need to identify my house as my work space.)





 and electric stapler until I can afford the pneumatic stapler and air compressor to stretch the canvas
   
Buried Treasures

Dancing


Sunday, July 6, 2014

From Trash to Flash!

To all those who saw the table Matthew and I pulled from the trash and remade with some flash here is the how we did it with how we would do it next time.  You learn from your mistakes and it was a project we enjoyed working on together.  

We spent a little time each day letting layers dry before we added another layer.  We worked on it from Friday to Thursday and then let it "cure"  before the big party.

So without any further ado....here is our table.

Sorry I did not get a before picture but let's just say, the base was in good enough shape but the top was not.  Just picture warped, rough and mildewed.  We sanded the top until it stopped looking all mildewed and damaged with a fine grit sand paper.  It just took a little elbow grease.  And then we were ready to begin.

Day 1: 


  • We purchased 2 cans white spray paint, (primer/satin or gloss finish but it will not matter.)
  • 1 can red spray paint  and 
  • 1 can blue spray paint.  
  • You will also, need a 2 part epoxy pour finish. (Just for your reference I used Enviro Tex Lite Acabado Brillante Pour-On High Gloss Finish I purchased at Hobby Lobby and I used the 32 ounce package for the 38" round table top.)
  • Painters tape
  • Brown paper (typically used for drop cloth but we will use it to block of areas off the table to protect it from the other color sprays.  
  • Plastic drop cloth for under the table 
  • Spray glitter (I think it was something like angel dust glitter.)
  • 2 disposable containers
  • Popsicle sticks


We sprayed the top of the table several times with the white spray paint. until it did not look streaky. Let it dry overnight.

Day 2:  

Using painters tape we taped off stripes running across the table at random and but did not run any stripes across each other at this point.   Once we decided where all our stripes were going we began covering the white of the table with brown paper   Be diligent about taping layers of the paper down because when you spray it is going to blow the paper upward allowing  over-spray to get in and and get on the white. Spray red stripes.(Resist taping over any fresh paint because you THINK it is dry enough.  It will not be.  The tape is going to pull it off now.  You will do more stripes tomorrow.) 


Day 3:  

More stripes but today,when taping a stripe if you should overlap yesterday's  stripes you will want  tape them alternating one taped, next not taped. We are going to weave our stripes together. Once you do one you'll see how it works and then you just keep playing with the stripes.  Now, don't get too caught up in perfection.  This is no time to be perfect.  Use the blue spray paints today.  If you want more red stripes do more as needed.

Cut out a large star shape out of the middle of brown paper.  You will be using the negative of the star not the star itself.  Tape down the negative image of the star on the table somewhere.  Tape close to the brown paper edge carefully so you have a nice star shape of table exposed.  Spray it with red paint.

Day 4:  


Using spray glitter (I used silver)  Spray liberally over the table.  Let dry.  Now here is where Matthew and I would change what we did.  I used the metallic confetti stars in red, white and blue and sprinkled them liberally over the table.  BUT when we added the finish the reds and blue colors began to bleed into the finish. Matthew said they looked a little like stars moving.  Me?  I thought it looked like the stars bled out their color.   Check for color fastness before using.  The silver stars were perfect.  It was just the red and blue that ran. You might try spraying a little polyurethane layer over some of the colored stars and see if that seals them.  I have no experience with paper confetti but it might be an option.  Be creative.  Look on the shelves of the store for something to add to the table or if you want.  You might glue family photos or have family members sign the table in various color pens.

Day 5: 

The real fun begins.  Using an epoxy pour finish.  Mix equal parts of each into an container you can throw away.  Don't guess on the measurement but be accurate or you  will get a sticky mess.  Stir it awhile using a Popsicle  stick then pour it into a second container and stir again.  Don't stir very long.  Just get it mixed and then pour onto the table starting in the middle.  Allow to seek it's level.  If it is not covering very well use the side of a Popsicle stick and drag it over to where it needs to be. (Oh, you may want to add tape around the edge underneath so when it the finish starts to set up in a few hours you can rip the tape off and the drips will come off with the tape.

It will set up in about 4 hours or so for a dry to touch but at total of  36 hours is needed to let it "cure".

Matthew and I found we needed a second coat to make it more level.  We did it on Day 6.  You may do additional coats if the finish is uneven.  If bubbles form, lean over and breath on the bubble before it starts hardening.. Your carbon dioxide will burst the bubbles.

Well, that's it!  Only 7 days from trash to flash!    


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Monday, May 26, 2014

The Big Dig for Little Boys: An Archaeological Dig for Children

I know a few boys who love to dig and get dirty.  Not necessarily in that order but they just go together so when it came time to plan a party with our boys in mind we decided to have an archaeological dig for our little boys.   My husband has cattle and the sad fact is cows die occasionally when birthing their young or they just get old but that is beside the point, the point is no animals were harmed in the making of this party.  Bones happen. Kids love things that seem mysterious and adventurous and that is just what we were selling at this party.

Ideas kept coming to us to make our dig spectacular and as word got out ideas came to us through parents and friends.   Those children are just so stinkin' cute we kept adding to our plans. Honestly, I think the adults had as much fun as the children.  The adults came and if they had planned to leave...well, they just didn't.

Location:

We picked a good sandy location.  Fortunately we have salt flats at the back of our cow pasture where bones are plentiful.

Buried Treasures

We buried our treasures.  Betty selected some good bones and went out and buried them in the sandy salt flats.  We even made dinosaur eggs to bury (see instructions below).  They were buried just like the bones.Then so we did not lose our treasures we set up surveyor flags purchased at a lumber supply company or make your own.

Equipped for Success


The boys were then equipped for success.  To make sure every boy felt special each boy received an orange or green tee shirt to put over their clothes.  We made an easy  safari play vest with lots of pockets for each boy plus  a hat to keep the sun off their punkin' heads.  Each was equipped with a little shovel  if they had not brought their own.

The Ride to the Site

And finally we provided transportation to the dig site.  The boys rode down the the site in a flat bed trailer with just a few square hay bales to sit or lean on. It was just a little ways (maybe a quarter mile) to the back of the field but it made for my adventure and definitely  was more convenient for the old folks. And let's face it...those boys were energized and would have run the entire way to get there and all the adults would be strolling along behind and might even miss the dig.


 As the trailer pulled to a stop a mass of boys ran; jumping, squealing and laughing and racing to the site.  We had to hold them back to keep them from jumping off the side of the trailer before the trailer came to a stop.  (Is this how all archaeologist get their start? Just little boys who never outgrew their love of mystery and adventure. If so...cool!)      They jumped into the sandy pit we had marked off, found their flags and started digging.   Their eyes lite up like they had discovered  the Easter bunny when they found the tip of a bone and then the excitement began.    Some of the bones were bigger than the boys but that did not deter them from claiming their stake.




*Hats can be purchased by the dozen from Oriental Trading or a party supply store. 


*Oh Boy!  All Boy Play Vest Pattern 

Pattern available through my craftsy store.  See link on side panel.  For the party we made about 20 vests in just a few days.  The vest is very simple to make,, no lining and big pockets front and back.  To cut down on expense we used canvas drop cloths from the paint department from Lowe's or Home Depot.  Bias tape or ribbon can be  substituted for the straps of nylon webbing to cut expense.  Since our party last spring I have tweaked the pattern resulting in a better design in S, M & L (sizes 2-8). See the updated version in photos on the left side and below. 

*Dinosaur eggs with a dinosaur inside  


  • 1 cup flour, 1 cup recycled coffee grounds (from coffee machine),  1/2 cup salt and 1/4 cup sand or soil.  Start mixing using 1/4 cup water and add more as needed to make a stiff dough.  Shape into several large eggs.  Push a plastic dinosaur inside and smooth the egg.  Place on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Start drying in a oven heated to 180 degrees and bake it until the outer layer is hardened. Baking time depends on the size of the egg.  35 minutes more or less. 

Old Bones

I have been fortunate enough not to have to look very far for old bones.  If you don't know an old farmer or rancher (or a young one) to get some bones and you are industrious you can even make bones from plaster of paris.  A quick google search will turn up some how-to sites and there are even sites to purchase fake bones.  

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Recycle Project: Papier Mache Pumpkin From the Kitchen

Pumpkins made by students in various stages of completion.
Papier Mache Pumpkins
Papier Mache  has been around since about the 2nd century AD. The advantages of products made using papier mache are in its strength from multiple layers yet it is lightweight. Even today it remains a popular craft due to its versatility and affordability.

Papier Mache paste: Several products are available for purchase but you may make the paste at home in your kitchen easily. 
A cooked version dries clear and would be advisable for the finish but for the basic constructions the raw version makes a stronger product. 

Raw Paste from flour: 
Start with a bowl approximately 1 to 2 cups for starters.  Add about 2 Tablespooons of salt to retard mildewing while drying.  Using a wire whisk or a mixer add a little water at a time until the paste is smooth and about the consistency of pancake batter a little on the thin side.  The paste is ready for use. The paste will sour overnight if left out of the refrigerator.  I start with fresh paste each day.

Cooked paste:  For every cup of water add about 2 tablespoons of flour.  Bring to a boil and stir well.  Allow to cool.  Paste will thicken as it cools.  For thicker paste add a little more flour.  Paste will sour overnight if left out of refrigerator.  This paste will dry clear and can be used with the tissue paper for final application of color to the pumpkin. 


Materials:
Plastic bag stuffed with shredded paper.
  • Paste
  • Plastic Bag
  • Shredded Paper
  • Old Newspaper
  • Tissue Paper
  • Optional: Water Based Polyurenthane
  • Optional: Wire (Coat hanger or Rebar)
Step by Step Instructions
  • Add shredded paper to a plastic grocery bag until firm. (Fill really well so that when tied it is full and as firm as possible.)
  • Tie off the plastic bag handle tightly. 
  • Cut several pieces of twine about 24” to 36” depending on size of bag. (Pumpkin shown uses three pieces of twine about 36” long.)
  • Tie all three lengths together mid way. 
  • Place the knot on the twine in the center bottom.  Stretch twine to the center top and tie tightly. 
3 lengths of twine tied tightly around bag.

  • Separate the twine individually into sections of the pumpkin. 
  • Apply paste on the plastic bag.  Lay a strip of paper over the wet area just pasted. With your hands apply paste over the dry paper and repeat adding paper then paste with your hands covering the entire plastic bag.
  • At the start of applying paper over the bag the paper will want to slide but keep adding paper. Additional paper layers should overlap covering the plastic. Once the plastic is covered keep adding additional layers building up several layers for strength and stability.
  • Allow papier mache to dry overnight.
  • Check for hardness. Apply more layers in areas that still seem too soft. If you can press an indention in the dry pumpkin additional layers are needed.
  • Last layer should be a clean thin paper without text or photos such as commercial grade brown paper towels.
  • Using a paintbrush apply a layer of papier mache paste, acrylic medium or thin glue. Lay small pieces of tissue paper and apply paste over the tissue paper with the brush. (Do not use hands to apply paste over tissue paper. Tissue paper is very fragile and will easy tear. Cut tissue paper into squares or random cuts then use the tip of a wet paint brush to pick up pieces as you work.  Tissue paper will easily stick to the tip of a wet paint brush so your hands never have to touch it.) 


Separate twine to make divisions.

Apply strips of paper over plastic overlapping edges of paper.
















Optional Leaf:
Insert wire into the handle of of the bag  (such as coat hanger wire or rebar wire) to add strength for the stem. Make the wire long enough to twist for a vine and leaf. Push one end of the wire into the dried pumpkin in the stem area were the twine is knotted. Tape around both the twine and wire to temporarily hold in place.
Using strips of paper dipped into the papier mache paste wrap the stem and vine until the appropriate thickness and smoothness are achieved.

Wrap with green tissue paper while still wet or when dry as done for the pumpkin.

Cut out a left shape in newspaper. Cut a piece of wire long enough to run down the central vein of the leaf with enough to make a wire hook to attach on the wire stem. Cut about 6 additional layers of newspaper exactly the same shape as the leaf previously cut. Layers all leaf shapes together gluing each layer with papier mache paste. Let dry. Cover with green tissue paper.


 When completely dry varnish with a glossy water based polyurethane.
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Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Youngest Artists of the Family


  It was going to be just another sewing day but three of my smaller grandchildren came to spend the day and as always they wanted to "do art".  I love those days!  I find them to be the most fun, most inspirational and most satisfying while being a great brain development exercise for the little ones. 

As usual I had a sack of scraps hanging off of my cutting table from various projects I have been working on.  I figured I would put the little ones to work and continue my own work.  But soon their work looked more tempting to me than my own.  I was on the floor with them helping them cut out shapes from my scraps while they glued them in place. 

Pearson, who is five and just ready to start kindergarten this year, drew this adorable rabbit with his ears coming out of the sides of his head and such a fat, fat rabbit probably because he has been in someones carrot garden.

And seven year old, Reese drew an owl.  After it was finished she looked at it with and said, "Is this a skinny bird or a fat owl?" Well, it didn't matter.  It is just plain cute! 

Reese also, drew this cute little puppy for her three year old sister.  

We decided these fun creations had to BE something.  Reese excitedly, said, "CAR PILLOWS!" 
And so they are!  Cute little pillows only 11" x 14" just the size for tucking into the side of the car seat for the kids while on long trips.  Big pillows are too bulky but these little mini-pillows are perfect....and fun!

So now, the children are the artists for the car pillows and I am just the seamstress, the pattern writer and gopher for these upcoming and very special new entrepreneurs.  HOO knows,  maybe they will start a little college fund!   Patterns are available through  my craftsy store:



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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

From Guilt to Quilts

It is just so easy to rush down to a store, pick out something cute and wrap it up for a gift for the baby shower, or for Christmas, or for whatever upcoming occassion  but I have to admit feeling just a bit guilty for not making cute things for my grandchildren while so many of my family and friends were making quilts and blankets and cute things for My grandchildren. 

At the baby showers, I would have a gift and it would be something...well...nice enough but not special...Not an heirloom for the child. And then a large flat box wrapped nicely with a bow....SNAP...out flips this beautiful handmade quilt and the guests look at me expectantly....but no, it was my sister, or my mother, or my mother-in-law.  And then there is my....little offering! 


Most of us from my generation have special quilts we remember from our childhood.The quilt we wanted to be under on cold nights; the one we wanted when were sick or just sick at heart.  I could not understand why the quilt was under the chenille bedspread instead of on top of the bed so I would turn the bedspread down to show the quilt but by the time I returned the bedspread was back.

So...here goes...finally, I'm going to start working for the my grandbabies. 

Well, not all are babies anymore but all love to have something special that is just for them. Now that they are actually older the quilts can fit their personalities a bit better than when they were babies.




































And did I mention I have twelve grandchildren from 15 years old (sophomore in high school) to 2 months old!

 I have my work cut out for me! 
I am going to be back paddling a bit!

Here are two of my designs: "Paisley & Her New Friends" a 40" x 52" quilt and Emerson & Friends: a 40" x 40" nap pad for the littlest baby.  Both have a 36" applique panel that can be used interchangably.  Make Emerson & Friends into a quilt or make Paisley & Her New Friends into a Nap Pad. 

*Notice  I have designed sides for the nap pad to keep the baby from rolling off a bed.  The sides are made of pool noodles cut to size and inserted into casings sewn into the sides of the nap pad.  The pad is a 1/2" layer of foam so baby has a soft place to lay his head. 

Both designs are available through my craftsy store


 

 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Going Craftsy! Printing On Fabric


  

I have gone Craftsy and I am "That's Artrageous"!

If you have not discovered Craftsy it is a download site with patterns and instructions and all sorts of fun things to do for Craftsy people in this world.

It is a recent discovery for me and I am  enjoying being creative.



Have you discovered direct print to fabric?
I have been playing with the idea and the project I uploaded to Craftsy is one that can be printed directly on cotton fabric (use the lighter colors for the black ink).  The bag you make could be just like this one.

I printed directly onto yellow cotton fabric through my inkjet printer once my fabric was prepared.   What a fun project it turned out to be.  I think I need to make a dozen or so and start giving them out as gifts!  It sews up extremely quickly. I plan to load it with pencils, crayons and treats and give them as the party favors at my next party! 








Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I'm a Little ARTrageous!


 It's all about me! 
And I am feeling a little ARTrageous!
ARTrageous Bag: Front view flap
Being that I am really more of an artist than a quilter, ARTrageous is more about me.
And as I get older, I load on more and more jewelry and love more ARTrageous prints (especially animal skins) and outfits.  And of course, just being an artist means I must be a little....well....weird!

So I adapted the Amy Bradley's patten image to be more about me.  And since I love to make bags and purses, I decided to do one more bag for the blog.
It is going to be so good when I get it done....but...
time is spinning on and my project is not quite finished....so I am rushing...and rushing...and of course, when you rush that is when things start to happen! 

It was going so well until...
the thread on my machine broke....

Side view
and I could not rethread it.....and I tried....and tried...and tried again...I even took the needle out and tried to thread it in better light and then tried to put it back on the machine....but, well, no...then I decided it was the old needle and tried a new...one more time...and it threaded easily. 

Okay, back on track, sewing smoothly, evenly, and without a hitch.....
but oh, no, the bobbin ran out! 

As the evening wore on, it became dark and a hunger husband arrived.... I needed to take a little break to prepare supper.  But not before quickly finishing up the purse lining and then I can sit down and finish up. 
Back view: pockets, pockets, pockets.
But no!  the lining was backwards so I put the water on to boil for supper and starting ripping out lining stitches....but when I was inches from finishing ripping out I realized ....I was wrong ....and had done it right!



Magazine pocket under front flap.

So that's it for me! 
A special thanks to Amy Bradley for her inspirational pattern.
and a special thanks to Madame Samm for her motivational blog hops. 
and another special thanks goes to Marlene for being our cheerful leader! 
As usual, it has been fun!

Several of you have asked about what pattern I used for this purse so I am adding this to the post.  
The design is mine.  I made it up as I went along.  Every time I see a purse, I look at it and add it to my memory of good ideas to do and I love pockets and divisions in purses and am always looking for ways to make them easily.  Seldom will I actually buy a pattern.   I just wing it.  So I make mistakes and have to correct and redo but it is all fun to me.  At some point I might try to write up patterns but this is one of a kind at this posting.  I appreciate all of the sweet comments I have gotten and inquiries about the pattern.  You have made my day!! 
Detail of pattern design 

Buzzing and Bumbling

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

And the Winner Is....



It is always so much fun to have a giveaway and a surprise one at that! 
 
IOh, but I made two bags to give away and have two Chlorox pens instead of one!   And today....January 24th 
 is our
In Your Words Blog Hop
cheerleader
Linda's birthday
 so not only will I have a bag and a Chlorox pen for one of you but also, one for Linda. 
 
Happy Birthday, Linda! 
And a special thank you for being my wings!
 
I hope you will enjoy the bag as much as I enjoyed making it for you. 
 
So...
DRUMROLL
..................
 
MoeWest (Maureen)
 is the winner of my
In Your Words 
giveaway. 
 
 
Be sure to contact me and tell me where I can send it. 
 
Thanks for a fun time. 

The bag has a squared bottom, zebra print medium weight fabric on the outside, lined with lime green chevon print and same contrast border, have grommets with cording roped through to make cinching the bag easy.  Measurement are approximately  9" x  14" x 5"....not a backpack but a fun sturdy bag for whatever your need. 

Next post: Instructions for making this bag
Sorry, guys.  I just ran out of time today.