Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mosaic Picture Frame

I love mosaics! Honestly it is one of my favorite things. I love them so much I tiled my entire kitchen and den mosaic.

This was the hardest DIY I have ever done, back breaking work! But this is a post about a frame so let's move on....

Here are the basic supplies you need.
A picture frame, Weldbond glue (or any glue that dries clear), snippers (can be purchased at Loew's or Home Depot for under 10.00), glass marbles that are flat on one side.
Simply place a flat marble between the snippers and apply pressure until it breaks. I would suggest wearing protective safety glasses when you do this. I also hold the snippers down into a bowl so that the marbles don't fly across the room. (Note: this is glass. Obviously you can cut yourself but if you are careful you should be ok, I have done this many times and never cut myself.)
Spread some glue on your board and place the cut part of the marble on the glue. Also, every marble has a flat side and a round side. I placed the flat side of the marble around the edge of the frame. It doesn't matter which way you place them just be consistent.
I think you can see what I mean here a little easier. All the flat sides face the same way.
Also make sure you pay attention to how you line them up. This is an example of what NOT to do. Notice the 2 different lines are kinda lined up.
Here is how you want to do it, stagger one row after the other, kinda like a brick wall. It helps to fill in the gaps better.
This is what is really cool about this technique. All the marbles are at different levels giving it a really neat texture.
Here is the finished project. I just love the way it looks. This is my favorite color combination because it looks like water from a distance.
Here is a little closer look. This is such and easy, and inexpensive little project. I hope you give it a try.
Kids can even do it! This project was done by 3rd, 4th and 5th graders at my church. What about you do you love mosaics? I will leave you with my favorite artist, she is amazing! Her name is Sonia King. I would love to follow her around for a day or play in her studio.
Ok, I told you I love her, I can't just show you one!
These are all at a local hospital, we are lucky to have her. She travels the world to study and teach. I once took a class with her mom. This is a piece she was working on in the class. Can I say I LOVE it one more time???
Anyway my floor is no way near this fantastic but I love it and I love creating any kind of mosaic. Some day I hope to go back and take some more classes.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Can I call this a wreath?

Recently while browsing around blogland I happened onto one of my favorite blogs and instantly fell in love! Amy at Positively Splendid has one of those blogs that I could stare at for hours. She has created the cutest little flowers and I had been making plans to make a wreath but didn't have all the details worked out, well that was until I saw her flowers! Here is what I created....
She is the best at putting together a tutorial so I am not going to show you how to do what she has already done so well. You must go and check out how to make these, they couldn't be easier or more fun! In the picture above the blue one at the top and pink at the bottom are a different kind of flower. I'll show you how I made those.
I cut out a simple flower shape and traced it onto some off white burlap.
I then took this Maya Mist paint and sprayed the burlap. If you don't have this stuff I really think you could water down some acrylic and make it work. What you can't see is this has a bit of sparkle to it.
Put a blob of hot glue in the center of the flower, or somewhat center, this doesn't look too centered!
And then from the back side of the flower just squish it all together so that the flower now has depth like a real flower.
I should have told you this first! Whenever I am working with hot glue I ALWAYS HAVE A BOWL OF ICE WATER NEAR ME!!! When you get burned, notice I didn't say "if" you just stick your finger in the ice water pronto and the glue will freeze and you don't have to sit and wait for the glue to cool so that you can peel off your burning flesh! It is a glue gun girls best friend. Especially when working with burlap that has a loose weave and lets the glue ooze out all over the place! Back to the tutorial...

I did the centers of my flowers all different but on this one, I rolled the the folded burlap in the middle and then glued the yellow beads all around the edge.
As I said I made all different styles and colors using burlap and felt. I also changed up the sizes from the original directions Amy gave. And I glued them on a Goodwill frame, added some leaves out of this cool ribbon I found.
Isn't it fun? So what do you think, can I call this a wreath?
I found some printed felt and made one out of it, I think it's my favorite.
The center of this one is a little different. I used the same idea as Amy's but didn't fold, just made cuts.
Another one I painted and made a tiny flower for the center.
More printed felt.
I can see these in red and white on my Christmas tree!
But as pretty as all of these are, I still wasn't happy with my final product, so I had an idea!
I cut out 2 butterflies, made his body and antennae, then glued them together.
I actually ended up adding some of the same ribbon as the green leaves but in pink to the wings.
I found this adorable little quote that I just love!
And then I hung my wreath around it!
Sorry for these pictures. I decided to hang it in my entry hallway and it is difficult to get a good shot of it.
Anyway, I love how it turned out and I am addicted to making these flowers! Yes one MUST have a little sunshine, freedom and a little flower, even if you have to make it!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Guest Blogger from A Little Knick Knack

Hey guys, I want to introduce you to a great blog. Meg at A Little Knick Knack
has a great blog with lots of inspiration. Go on over and see for yourself!

Hey everyone! I'm so excited to be here at Laura's blog today. Isn't she great? I love her sense of style and whimsy. She is a wonderful inspiration to me!

My name is Meg and I live over at A Little Knick Knack. I've been blogging for just over a year and love it! I have a lovely link party every Friday called Everything but the Kitchen Sink, and I'd love for you to join! I also host many great giveaways and do some fun reviews, so come by and check things out!
A Little Knick Knack
I have a lot of wood. Anything that I can do to wood, I'll do. I love to paint, stain, glaze, hammer, distress, sand...the possibilities are endless. I had so much fun making these birdhouses....

 ...and these fun little initial blocks...

 I've been trying my hand at sewing lately. I hosted a basic sewing series with another fabulous blog friend--Tina from Twinkle Toes, and we did a tutorial on how to make these lovely pillowcases....

Today I'd like to show you how I made a really simple sign for my kitchen. First, I took an old board I had gotten in the "as-is" bin at Home Depot. They sell fragments of wood for $.50 a board. CHEAP!I took this board and primed it white.

And then painted it with a bright, bright, BRIGHT red. Since I was going to paint another color over this, I went with the sloppy method.

Let your base color dry for awhile, so there's no smearing. Once you're satisfied, paint a nice topcoat over it. I chose a light blue. 

Now, go ahead and print your letters in the size and font you want for your sign.

Now, here is my poor-man's method for getting letters on your wood. Take your signs and turn them over. Rub the back liberally with pencil. Turn them back over and trace the outside of the words onto your sign. The lead will rub off on your board leaving you a nice outline to paint. 

I like to use acrylic paint pens to fill in my words. So much easier for me and my unsteady hand!

I took a piece of sand paper (150 grit) and sanded over the entire board. It sanded down nicely, but I still needed a little more antiquing. I got my walnut stain and wet paper towel.
 I brushed on a layer of walnut and then quickly wiped it off with the paper towel. It gave me the effect I was going for.

And there's your "vintage" farm sign! Enjoy!

Wow, this is great! Love the tip on how to do this if you don't have a die cut machine. Thanks Meg, great projects! So go on over guys and show Meg some love!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Flowers that don't need watering!

So as I have mentioned several times over the last few weeks spring is here and things are blooming all around.
Love these!
 This rose bush is covered in flowers... so many it's laying on the ground now.
I can't remember what these are called but they are so pretty, I wish I had a field of them!
And this little surprise! It's a pumpkin plant, a pumpkin rotted in this last fall and now we have one on the way!
Anyway I thought I would try to make some flowers for the inside of the house, don't need a green thumb for that!
I have been craving ( do you crave design???) something with this kind of vintage feel.
I love the newspaper print with the icy blue colors. This one is 2 layers, the blue paper I cut with a border punch.
And this paper I am just in love with. You may remember I used it for a dress on my paper dolls here
This paper has a little sparkle to it too. I had intended to use my Silhouette for the centers of all of these but someone was on my computer, so I went old school and used punches and scissors. I love how they turned out.
I shredded up some newspaper to use for grass. Notice the stems on the flowers, I used 3 different kinds of ribbons to wrap the dowels with. Such a simple thing but I love how they look.
 Another little peek, I wish I had used this ribbon on one of the ones in the front, it's my fav.
 I didn't make a tutorial on how to make these. I found all kinds of sources on Youtube. I will tell you that some suggested a die that you put thru a machine and some suggested scoring and measuring. I did do some like that but then got tired and again went old school and just accordion folded them. If you are going to go that route I suggest get about half of it done by scoring it and then go on your own. The larger flowers are made with 2 pieces of paper 2 1/4 wide and 12 inches long and then glued together. You can find one video I used to learn how to make these. So which kind of flowers are you going to try out, the ones that need tlc or the ones that don't?

Partying at Gypsy's Corner

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