Daily Prompt: Patterns for Creative Living

When I think of patterns, I think of sewing right off the bat.  Some could think of a pattern of conduct or behavior, I think of it as something that repeats on wallpaper or on a piece of patterned cloth that you would cut out a pattern from.

A while back I worked for a major decorating company for a number of years.  The majority of the time I worked as a vendor representative with many companies from drapery and curtains to wallpaper and rugs and everything in between.  It was a very fulfilling and creative time in my life.  Unfortunately I chose to leave it for more money somewhere else.  A place where there were no patterns except for those evading their taxes.  There was a similar pattern in that respect.

Please see the short video I prepared to walk you through the way I created a flat panel from cotton muslin to hang on a cafe curtain in my tiny bathroom which previously had 2″ window blinds that stuck out when you opened them. I wanted to try something different so instead of just painting everything freehand on my panel, I found some colorful fish in my PhotoDraw clip gallery that I printed separately onto vellum/frosted paper.   It’s a nice texture to print from.   You can get them in the printer paper area or cheaper in scrap booking or paper craft area of any hobby or office store.

I placed pins to mask the general area for the fish patterns to go and used my inkjet printer to print directly on the sheets. You may have to place masking tape along the feed edge so the printer can see it. My printer is fussy with certain papers.   You can see it on the transfer paper when I lay it inkside down on the fabric after I coat the area with gloss, semi-gloss or matte medium, liquid or gel. I have used them all with similar results. Don’t over saturate, but use enough. Experiment on scrap fabric before you ever start an actual project you care about to see the various effects you get from each type of transfer medium and what you prefer.

After I place the transfer ink side down on the medium I burnish the back of the entire picture with a plastic utensil I have. Many use a bone folder you can get at crafting stores. Don’t press too hard, but hard enough to push all the ink into the fabric from the paper. I use vellum because it does not come apart from the medium like other papers can do.   It’s almost plastic like in texture.   You will see that if you have used too much medium, the colors will squish out all over and the picture will blur and not look as good. Again, experiment for a while first.

Once I think that the transfer has been complete, I carefully lift up the paper and let it dry for at least a day. I don’t rush my drying when I need it completely dry. After that I hand painted various corals, plants and sea horses.   I would have used a transfer for the seahorses as well but they were an after thought so I didn’t bother because I had already started some painting with acrylics. If you need to thin the paint you can use water or more medium depending on the thickness and intensity of color you wish to have.

Naturally I measured the panel and had all the edges finishes and sewed my rod pocket at the top to allow for the cafe rod, which is very small. Please see some of the finished pictures as well for an idea of how this looked from the outside of the window at night.

Daily Prompt: Unfinished Furniture

Unfinished pine crates to be exact!

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I did not wish to spend much money because I do not think I will be in this apartment for very much longer but even if I stay here another year or two, I knew I wanted some kind of shelving for books, magazines and some of the knickknacks I had still packed away.  Most of my apartment is storage bins and I’ve been here exactly one year.  I figure if I didn’t really have a way to move near my family this year, a days drive away, the least I need to do is get more situated here just in case I’m in for the long haul.

Originally I got one of those cheap, DIY pressed board bookcases from Walmart but it was crumbling during assembly.  I put some Sauders brand together about 20 years ago but this was Mainstays and the quality was bad.  I took it back the next day and decided to purchase a number of the unfinished large solid end pine crates 18″ x 12″ x 9 1/2″ deep.  You have the option to paint or stain them as desired.  For now, unfinished is ok by me.  I might do something later depending on where I want to go with them.

I had seen some of these crates as wall shelves on Pinterest and fell in love with the rustic country bohemian look.  Even cooler when it has a light stain on it from some pictures I viewed.


I would not recommend this type of shelving if you have pets or children due to the fact that they could easily be knocked or pulled over, not super stable. Some choose to connect these permanently but I wish to be able to move them easily and keep them free to use as actual packing crates one day. Also you would really have to do a super sanding job on all plus maybe add a number of coats of varnish to make it safe from splinters. I’m sure I’ll be getting splinters once in a while if I am not careful but I will have to see what happens once I start actually stacking books and things in them.
Important to note is that Walmart had two types of large crates in the store. One was in the Home Decor section and the other in the Crafts area.  I ended up with the ones in Craft because they were much sturdier and $2.00 cheaper per crate even though they were the same size.  I did not really check to see how well those were sanded and they were processed by a different company than the ones I found in the crafting area.  Some had slats on all four sides, which may make a difference depending on what you wish to do with them.  Also, I preferred the solid end ones.

I purchased 6 of them to try them out and ended up going back for 6 more.  I will say if you wish to stack them as I did you will need at least 8 if you want to finish your wall shelving straight across.  You can tell by the stacking that you will need at least 4 for each square if you stagger it as I did.  There are many ways to stack these and I plan on changing the pattern from time to time.  Some people placed battery operated lighting that you stick on inside some of the crates for special effects that were very cool.  Depending on what I do later on with mine, I will post updates.  I would never recommend placing lit candles in these but they do have many battery operated candles that look just as cool.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Ornate (Oops!) It’s Late!

Wanted to post a few photographs of some decorations I threw up this year in the tiny apartment I just moved to.  I still have some decorations packed away I only realized when I started unpacking what I thought was all of my Christmas stuff.  The rest has to be in my storage unit shoved in the back, so not looking for it this year anyway.  I have a cute little area with lights that I can enjoy and that’s all I need for now.  Besides this is one of the first years I’m not hosting my family for Christmas Eve, which I never post publicly anyway for everyone’s privacy.  I may post a few more Christmas stuff later.  So glad I was not able to sell the tiny tree at the garage sale held right before I moved!


I used to have two hand painted angels and then inherited the other two which were given to my sister after she sadly passed away right after the holidays in 2013, her favorite time of year. She was not expected to live to see that Christmas, but we all knew she’d hang on for it and she did! She actually rallied on Christmas Eve 2013 and I dared to believe that was sign but she wanted to go home and it was her time. Love you Gail!
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Weekly Photo Challenge: Doors

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Enjoy my slideshow of doors!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Still Blurry

As stated in my previous post, the last number of years have all been a blur.

I have never been so disorganized and out of touch and this is such a bad time to be this way.  I am now in the process of cleaning everything out and packing as I go along, expecting to be moving before the end of the year.  Certainly before winter sets in again.

I wanted to share some of the projects I have been working on sporadically since sometime last year as well as other odds and ends.  This blog may be a blur as well.


I have been working on multiple projects on canvas with various mediums, sewing with fabrics, actually made some bead jewelry with supplies purchased years ago and tried my hand with polymer clay.

 

Click on thumbnails for full size.

The following are various sewing projects.

1980’s silk pants being upcycled to scarf. Love the images on them!


Very pleased with my second attempt at polymer clay jewelry! This was after I burnt a batch in an old toaster oven with messed up thermostat.


A couple of craft type projects.

Not going to miss the frost on my windows, no matter how beautiful it is.

Not going to miss frost on my windows, no matter how beautiful it is.

I’m going to end this blur of a post with a question.

What color is this dress?

My mother made this back in the 1960's.

My mother made this back in the 1960’s.

Daily Prompt: Wall to Wall Pictures!

I’m due to be moving some time this year, but still don’t plan on taking any artwork down til the bitter end!

Po’ Girl Christmas

Sorry that I have been so lazy about posting anything of substance for a while now.  The very reason for this blog was to share things I have learned living on the cheap all of my life.

Christmas was great this year, had some family and friends over for Christmas Eve this year and went to one of my son’s homes on Christmas Day for “Dinner with the Cratchits” complete with plum pudding from England and some kind of “Hot Gin Punch a la Cratchit” which I blame for the enormous group hug before I left for the night.  I didn’t try any but brought some with me to try when I got home.  I never drink and drive.

Lighting of the Plum Pudding!

Lighting of the Plum Pudding!

I lost one of my cousins a few days before Christmas this year.  I am posting a picture with her from Christmas of 1957.

From far left, Aunt Ruth, sister Gail, cousin Thelma, Bro Bryan, Me, cousin Brenda, Front Bros Bob & Don

From far left, Aunt Ruth, sister Gail, cousin Thelma, Bro Bryan, Me, cousin Brenda, Front Bros Bob & Don

Some of my family now live in the Upper Peninsula. My cousin Thelma passed this year after suffering for many years with Alzheimer’s and my sister Gail passed right after Christmas last year from esophageal cancer. Christmas 1957 was the last Christmas for my Aunt Ruth who passed approximately six months later from Colon Cancer.  Moral:  Enjoy every Christmas like it’s your last.

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I saw this idea at a diner in Marshall Mi before the holidays. They had placed a loved ones picture in one of the wreaths to honor them and so I placed a picture of my sister to honor her because she always loved Christmas so much and this was our first Christmas without her.

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2014 Casa Po’ Girl Christmas décor.

Wanted to add more to the usual lights and garland I place in my flower boxes each year so I found these gift boxes at the dollar store and inserted some wire to attach them.  The soil was not yet frozen, so this was possible.  The following is a little walk through of what I did to achieve this:

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Finally broke down and made a Santa doll with the pattern I purchased many years ago.  Also used some of my odds & ends to make some “baby” crafts.

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I will not post actual pictures of the parties out of respect for others privacy. A few shots of some of the cookies that I and others made this year. One of my sons went all out this year and for the first time made cookies. All kinds of them. I think the Ninja sugar cookies got him started, but we really loved the melt in your mouth eggnog cookies!  I have to say I have eaten so many of these I have actually felt very sick so that’s it for me.

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