Sunday, December 21, 2014

Using Watercolors on Paper Floral Designs

Thought I would end off the year with one more tutorial!   I know, I've gone overboard this year with things that are not bear related but I am having SO much fun making and sharing!   I wanted my Christmas cards to be unique and even though I love buying patterned, colored paper, I wanted to make something different.  I used three types of watercolors - two different types of water color pencils and water soluble oil pastels (of course, water color paint will work,too!).  Here is a picture tutorial on how I made some of my Christmas cards ...

If you decide to try this, I would love to see photos of your finished flowers!   Merry Christmas!   Hugs & Blessings, Janice

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Funky Fifties Type Vase ...

One more Goodwill makeover and then I need to work on bears!  I bought this rather bland glass vase and decided to paint it with Krylon Looking Glass Paint.  My daughter said it looked like something that a rapper would drink from ... certainly not the look I was going for!  So, I whitewashed it with Gesso & Grounds, sprayed some 50/50 Water/White Vinegar mix on it and quick dried it with an embossing dryer.  I like how it looks now!  I'm pretty sure a rapper wouldn't be caught with this in his hands!   Added some Christmas greens and voila ... a funky fifties type vase!
Hope you have a lovely day!
Hugs & blessings,

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Goodwill "Creative Collector Art"!

I have been visiting Goodwill stores for a few months looking for things that I can "Repurpose" or "Upcycle".  I have found myself perusing "Valley of the Sun" Goodwill stores regularly lately and am becoming concerned!  What if I become a "hoarder?!"  My latest find was a huge bag of large silver, brass, bronze and copper beads for $2.99.  Whoever heard of such a thing?  I couldn't let them stay there, they were so pretty!  I brought them home wondering what in the world am I going to do with these?  Am I becoming one of those people who buys useless things and ends up on an episode of "Hoarders"?!   Well, I posted this question to my facebook page where several people came to my defense.  My favorite was "No, you're not becoming a Hoarder ... you are a Creative Collection Artist".  So, that is my story and I am sticking to it.   I hope you don't mind me sharing my latest Goodwill Creative Collection Art with you!

Here are the beads being used as Christmas Decor. 
The top silver bowl was a Goodwill find, too!
The ornaments I made from Sculpey Clay, Cookie Cutters and Stamps.

This is one of my favorites!
Everything used but the ornaments, bells and candles
were Goodwill finds!
The crystal goblets ranged in price from .69 cents to $2.99.
The silver tray was $4.99.
This will be displayed on top of my entertainment center through Christmas!

The silver platter was a Goodwill find.
Painted and glittered pinecones and sculpey clay ornaments were added.

It is so much fun being a "Creative Collector Artist"!
I hope you  have a blessed week!
Lots of hugs,

Friday, November 28, 2014

New Little Booh Bear on eBay - Auction Ends Monday, Dec. 1st!

This little guy is made of the most unusual mohair.  It is gray but has black and lighter gray guard hairs and the backing is a pinkish color!   Such a whimsical little chap!  At first I offered him bare because I love his odd mohair but my friend thought he would look cuter with a little cap...I couldn't stop with the cap and decided to give him some knickers, as well!  I think his new look suits him just fine!  If you have a moment to peek in on this dapper little fellow's auction, here is the link ... Dustin is on eBay until Monday, Dec. 1st
I hope you have a blessed weekend!
Lots of hugs,

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Another Giveaway!

CONGRATS, KIMI S. from INDIANA!  You are the winner!

A very simple giveaway - all you have to do is comment on this post!  This little antique baby shoe has been decorated with an antique tatted hankie, bells, a vintage earring, a vintage button, dried miniature rosebuds from my garden, some vintage millinery leaves and even a feather from my little conure ;o)
I will draw a winner the day after Thanksgiving.  Please leave your contact info on your comment!
Thanks so much!

Hugs & Blessings,
p.s.   I will not reply within this post as I don't want to add comments to the total number of comments for the random number generator but I did want everyone to know that I appreciate your kind words and compliments so very much!  Good luck!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Christmas Crafting! How to Make Jumbo Flower Gift Toppers!

I promised myself I would finish a Booh Bear this weekend.  Tomorrow is THE day!  In the meantime, I've been making Christmas flowers.  My latest project was another "found on Pinterest" idea (Originating from  Pinterest is my favorite place to go for inspiration ... the problem is, I am inspired by so much!  There aren't enough days in the week to make all the things I want to make.  These flowers took me hours to make but they were so much fun.  Using a large Sizzix die, I cut all the leaves, petals, etc. from different types of paper, wool felt, burlap, and tulle.  Then I layered the different textures, splattered with gesso (my new best friend) and sparkles. What fun I'm having!  Below is a tutorial (of sorts) explaining the steps to making these flowers.  Should you decide to make them, be prepared to make a huge mess but it will be well worth the fuss!

I best get to bed now because tomorrow is THE day to finish my latest Booh Bear.  I need to be well rested to make her little face!   I hope you have a lovely Sunday!

Hugs & Blessings,


Gather any type of fabric, felt, burlap, cardstock, paper, etc. you wish you use
 for the layers of your flowers.
 I used Merino Wool Felt, Burlap, Tulle, Old Sheet Music, Old Books,
Old Dictionary Pages and Various Cardstock Papers. 
A Sizzix Big Shot Die Cutter and a Hot Glue Gun were used,
along with the following supplies, to make my flowers:
Tim Holtz Jumbo Tattered Florals (Sizzix Die # 659441)
Extended Cutting Pads are required for this die
Susan's Garden Tool Kit (Not Necessary but helpful) Sizzix Product # 658437

Dew Drop Brilliance Colors - Used Starlight Silver and Cosmic Copper the most
Versa Magic - Aloe Vera and ColorBox Fluid Chalk Ice Jade for Leaves
Tim Holtz Distress Ink - Vintage Photo for some edges
Martha Stewart Crafts - Water Resistant Fabric Stiffener
(Watered Down Elmer's Glue works just as well)
Liquitex Gesso Surface Prep, Glitter, Rusty Bells,
Hemp String for Bows


I try to keep my pieces together in regards to fabric
or paper used to make it easier when layering
After all the pieces are cut, I use the Tim Holtz Distress Ink
and the Brilliance Colors to treat the edges.
Then I take the biggest felt flowers and apply Martha Stewart Fabric Stiffener 
to the centers mostly and then lightly treat the petals, as well.
I also use the stiffener on the felt leaves.
For the flowers that I want to use burlap as the second layer,
I place the burlap on top of the felt but in such a way
that the bottom felt layer shows.
Then I apply a coat of fabric stiffener to the center of the flower.
I bend the petals and allow it to dry on top of a water bottle
to create a cupped flower rather than a flat flower.

After the felt flowers and leaves have dried, crumple them in your hands.
For the flowers with Cardstock lower layers,
I bend the papers using Susan's Garden Tool Kit, pencils,
my hands, etc. to create a tattered look.

Now comes the fun part!  Layering! Heat up the Hot Glue Gun
and work your way up from the largest flower cut
to the smallest layer
adding leaves between layers as you go.
On some flowers I don't use all of the cuts.
After the final layer is added, 
I tied a hemp bow on a rusty bell and glued that to the center.
Then taking the Gesso you can splatter, paint, dab -
however you want to get the color on the flower - get messy!
Sprinkle glitter over the wet Gesso so it sticks 
and voila ... you have a tattered flower!
Here are some examples of the flowers I have made.



Thursday, November 6, 2014

Repurposed Vintage Spoon Shelf ... What Next?!!

Many years ago, my Mom gave me some beautiful hand crocheted hankies that my Grandmother made.  Through the years, I have also collected beautiful, lacy antique hankies.   Occasionally, I will use them to embellish my bears, but for the most part, I just keep them in a drawer - only to look at and admire and then back they go.

A couple weeks ago, I saw a post on Pinterest - someone had repurposed an old spoon shelf and they were using it to display their antique hankies.  It was a brilliant idea!   Since I've been going to the Goodwill at least once a week anyway in my quest for glass bottles, decanters and ornate picture frames to paint, I decided to add spoon shelves to my quest.  It paid off because yesterday I found a spoon shelf!  You can imagine my excitement .. and to top things off, it was "yellow tag day" which means anything with a yellow tag was half off.   I couldn't go wrong!   Even though the price of the shelf was only $1.49, I ended up spending several hours painting, waxing, sanding, and staining - time well spent, I think!  I used Louis Blue Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, light and dark Annie Sloan Wax, sanded lightly on all the corners and raised areas and finished by whitewashing with Gesso.  I love the outcome.

I hope you are not getting tired of my "Upcycling" and "Repurposing" posts as I am really enjoying making all these things and they are things I used to share with my Mom.  I know she would have loved this latest project.  I can almost hear her say "that's a wonderful way to display my Mother's handiwork"!  I also know I would have looked far and wide for another vintage Spoon Shelf for me because I would have given this one to her.  Wish you were here, Mom.  xoxo

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My Mercury Glass Tutorial (for those who are DIY challenged when it comes to doing it the "right" way)!

You know those "Do it Yourself" tutorials you see on Pinterest - the ones that tell you how to make your own Mercury Glass?   They make it seem like a piece of cake?   I am here to tell you that for some of us, it is not a piece of cake!  I consider myself kind of handy - I'm not totally unfortunate when it comes to "DIY" projects.  I failed on this one but I still like the way it turned out!  So, my tutorial is for those people who fret when it doesn't work the "right" way.  There's still hope!

I purchased a red painted glass bowl from the Goodwill.  The paint was scratched and missing on much of the inside.  I decided it would be fun to make my own Mercury Glass Bowl using this discarded bowl and following this tutorial from Pinterest on Making Mercury Glass the "right" way!  I purchased some Krylon Looking Glass spray paint and began my project - only for me, the paint was not covering, it was running, streaking and simply not cooperating.   The "right" way calls for spraying a 50/50 mix of water and vinegar over the paint after it dries and then dabbing it with a paper towel.  Ugh!  It wasn't working!  I had made too much of a streaky, runny mess!  At this point, I must confess,  I was ready to throw my $1.99 bowl away.  But after spending $9 on the paint, I wasn't about to give up.  Losing $1.99 is no big deal but make that $10.99 and I draw the line!   I decided the vinegar/water combo wasn't strong enough for the mess I had made.  I used pure Acetone (nail polish remover) mixed 50/50 with water and it worked.  I sprayed the acetone/water mixture on a paper towel (and added some salt to make it a little gritty) to dissolve the globs of runny and streaked paint.  Then I sprayed the acetone/water mixture and dabbed it all over.  I painted the whole bowl again with a thin coat of the Krylon Looking Glass paint and sprinkled it with art glitter.   I filled the bowl with pinecones, cinnamon sticks and dried apple slices.  I then finished it off with a little filigree of lace, ribbons, vintage millinery flowers and a vintage rhinestone earring.  Even though it's not the way it's supposed to be, I like the way my Mercury Glass bowl turned out!

I hope if you've tried and failed the "right" way, you'll give it another go!  I'm happy I did!
Hugs & Blessings,

Krylon Looking Glass Spray Paint
Acetone Nail Polish Remover
Spray Bottle
Paper Towels
Art Glitter

Finished Bowl


Beginning Bowl

Make Sure to Paint Outdoors - the Paint has Strong Fumes
 Almost There!

The Inside
Glad I Didn't Give up ...
My second attempt!
I've also added a tutorial on how to make the
Tim Holtz Jumbo Tattered Flowers