Sunday, November 13, 2011

An Amazing, Inexpensive Tutorial

Hi, folks,
I was jumping around on some blogs and ran across a tutorial that I have to share with you.   This is not my tutorial, it belongs to Sarah, a Californian, from the blog .  She is so creative and  took a good idea and turned it into something beautiful and didn't break the bank doing it.  Take a look at this:

Tutorial: Hand Painted Rug

Ever since we moved into our current house, I've wanted a new rug for the front room. The one we have is nice and I still like it very much, but with its dark background color and the dark wood floors, it just seems to get lost. It also feels a little too traditional and fussy in there. You can see a peek of it in the photos below.

I did a lot of research online trying to find just the right rug. Of course I found several that I loved, but none that were within my price range. It was then that I started to consider making my own rug. No, I didn't intend to make the rug itself, but I thought that if I could start with an inexpensive, plain rug, maybe I could add the design I wanted myself.

Ikea came through for me on my hunt for a big, plain, inexpensive rug. On my last trip there I bought two of their ERSLEV rugs, which measure about 6'x8', are 100% cotton (washable!), and only cost $40.

I knew from the get-go that I wanted a sort of quatrefoil pattern on my rug, which seems to be a very popular design element right now. I even have a pillow and an oven mitt with similar patterns on them!

This is a photo of some fabric that I found online and used Photoshop to turn it into the design for my stencil.

Here's the finished pattern with the little gaps to serve as "connectors" for when I cut out my stencil. (Be sure you measure your rug's actual width and length to determine the best size for your stencil design.)

Michaels carries plastic stencil sheets and stencil brushes in different sizes. Print out your design, then tape your printed design underneath the stencil plastic. Cut out the image using a very sharp exacto knife, being sure to keep those "connectors" in tact. I traced the outline of my design with a fine Sharpie to be sure I stayed on the edges.

I also found that Michaels had the Fabric Medium that I needed to turn my regular acrylic paint into fabric paint.

To be honest, I used mostly latex paint and a little acrylic to concoct the color I wanted, but hopefully that doesn't matter. I'm not super worried about it since my rug won't be going through the washing machine. I just wanted my paint to be soft and pliable and not stiff and cracked when it dries.

First I practiced my technique on a scrap of fabric, which turned out pretty nice.

I measured my rug and determined where the center was and made my first quatrefoil. Since my rug had a lot more texture to it than the practice fabric, it took more effort to get the paint into all the crevices, but it still worked really well.

You stencil on fabric just like you do on anything else. Pour a little paint onto the lid of your paint container, dip in your brush to saturate (but not soak) the bristles and tap off any excess onto the lid. Pounce the brush straight up and down onto the fabric until it's filled in well. This will make sure the paint stays within your stencil and doesn't creep underneath it. Remember- pounce, don't brush! Keep the stencil in place with a couple of pieces of painter's tape on the sides, and hold the stencil flat to the fabric with your fingertips where you're working.

Be careful if you're doing an all-over design to make sure your rows stay straight. Make guide marks with a water soluble pen if you need to. My rug has an obvious horizontal weave that was easy to follow, so I used that to guide my rows.

I made one row along the horizontal center and another down the vertical center of my rug and worked outwards from there.

This much stenciling took me a couple of hours on my first day. I won't tell you that this is a quick afternoon project, but I'm convinced that the outcome is worth the time and effort.

Away you go. Stencil, and stencil, and stencil...

...and stencil some more...

...until you've covered your whole rug. Then go back with a detail brush and fill in all those connector gaps.

The bottle of fabric medium says to heat set the paint with an iron for 30 seconds, but I chose to skip that step. Honestly, I felt like I'd poured quite enough time into this rug by then, thankyouverymuch.

All-in-all, I'm happy with it. It brightens the room and is a better size than my other rug.
In hindsight:I wish I'd been braver and used a pretty blue color instead of my muddy gray paint. (But let's not rehash my obsession with neutrals and my risk issues.)

I should have thinned out my paint more with the fabric medium because it still ended up being a little stiff when it dried, but no biggie.

Oh, and if you do mix your own color, mix A LOT. I ran out of paint with about a handful of gaps still left to fill in and had to guess when I mixed the color again. Of course batch 2 wasn't identical to batch 1, but it was close enough.

Finally, don't bother with perfection. It won't be perfect and expecting it to be will just make you nuts. So if you take on this project, embrace it's imperfections, enjoy the process, and pat yourself on the back for making something custom on the cheap!

Impressed?   I most certainly am!!  I want to try this!  I may start with a wall hanging or something maybe but, Sarah has made herself one beautiful rug.  Granted she has alot of hours into, that goes without saying, but I would take time comsuming over great expense any time.
My thanks goes out to Sarah, and be sure and check out her blog, lots of good information. .  I love the name...Diddle Dumpling!
Today's Tidbit:

Monday, November 7, 2011

Frosted Luminaries by Amanda of Green Owl Crafts

Hi, friends,
I love to pass on pretty ideas that I run across whether it has to do with crafts, clothing, DIY's, etc.   I found this one tonight.  It is for Frosted Luminaries,  love 'em.  These are very nice for your own home or  would be great for a gift exchange.   This great idea comes from Amanda at her blog: .  I think you could go nuts finding all sorts of different containers to decorate to hold your candles or tea lights.  Best of all, this looks fun and fairly easy.  So lets check it out...

Frosted Luminaries

I have seen several different crafts using Epsom salts to embellish holiday décor. I wanted to give it a try and here is what the result was.

I got the glassware from the thrift store for a quarter each.

Color your Epsom salts with 2-3 drops of food coloring.

Mix together and get all clumps out. Let mixture dry for about an hour.

Cover your glassware with your favorite adhesive.

Roll adhesive covered glass into colored Epsom salts.

 Allow them to dry a couple of hours. Coat with gloss sealer several times. Add your candles and enjoy!

Didn't Amanda do a great job on this tutorial.  I love her step-by-step instructions and the photos to go along with them.  Aren't these pretty and they look so easy.  I can't wait to try them for myself.  
Be sure and stop by Amanda's blog: .  It is very informative and chock full of great ideas! 
Thank you, Amanda, for the great luminaries.
Today's Tidbit:
You will feel better if you notice the sweetness of life.  Notice the smiles of children, the songs of the birds, the caress of the sun's warmth.  This sweetness is for you.  Allow it to soothe your soul and bring a smile to your face.

Friday, November 4, 2011

My 3 Trick or Treaters

Hi, friends, 
I hope you and your trick or treaters all had a great time on Halloween.  I know that my 3 grandkids had a ball!  I promised you more pictures, as soon as I had them.  I showed you 'Rapunzel' the other night, now let me introduce you to 'Lady Vampiress' and her little brother, 'Scooby Do'.  Please note that this vampiress does not 'suck your blood', she is the kind that prefers apple juice.

Pic 1 - Téa and
      Brit Eric
Pic 2 - Kairi
Pic 3 - Téa
Pic 4 - Brit Eric
I love these 3 little darlin's with all my heart and I thank God every day for letting me have them in my life.  It is great being able to actually see the love that they have for us, even as young as they are.  I am sure that if you have grandchildren, you know exactly what I am talking about.
Well, I am going to cut this short tonight, I hope you are all doing well.  Talk to you soon.

Today's Tidbit:
Being a family means you are a part of something very wonderful.  It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life, no matter what. ♥

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I Am Hooked

 Hi, friends and thank you for stopping by.  I have to admit...I am officially hooked on 'Pinterest'  I am usually the last one to jump on board when something new comes along, so you are probably way ahead of me and way more hooked than I am.  How long until they have group therapy and meds to get us off of this Pinterest.  I am so hooked and I just love it, I actually find it relaxing.  I am not going to go into all the 'how it works or how to do it' info but, if you need help and need to know, let me know and I can hook you up.  Just don't blame me for getting you hooked.  lol.  I want to show you some of the pretties that I have pinned to my boards:


There are captions that are supposed  to be underneath the photos but they aren't coming along with the pics.  They usually tell where a location is or what designer mastered the clothing,etc.  For that info, just go to my Pinterest boards.

Are you starting to see how I got so addicted so  easily.

Well, shoot, I am running into trouble on this.  Something isn't working right for me and my super tech Karla is probably in bed by now, so since I, too, need to hit the bed...I think that you are getting the idea.  Like I said earlier, you were probably checking Pinterest out way before me.

I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I do and maybe you will want to check out Pinterest, if you haven't already done so. 

Btw, Happy November!   October didn't stick around very long, at least not for me.  lol.  I must show you one of the grandkids, dressed up for Halloween on the 31st.  I haven't gotten pictures of the other 2 yet, but will show you them when I get them.   For now, may I introduce 'Rapunzel'...

She had an absolute ball.  The stroller and the 2 people behind her were not with her, just following behind her from house to house.

Well, folks, it is time to sign off.  I am rambling.  Have a great week!  Talk to you soon.
Today's Tidbit:

Tomorrow is a new day, may it be filled with cherished moments and gratitude.   Also, remember - when you stop and look around, this life is pretty amazing.  ♥