25 June 2020

Read with Michelle July book club pick

Good afternoon to you all!

Nothing More Dangerous
by Allen Eskens

It is time to drop the July book club pick and I must say I am super excited for you to read this one.  It is about Broady who is living with his mom in a little bungalow in Ozark.  His dad was a sheetrock hanger (I am not sure of the real term), and died leaving both of them alone and in a mess.  Broady kind of does what he can to just get by.  He doesn't have many friends and has a dream of chucking it all and starting from scratch.  One day a kid named Thomas moves in across the road and suddenly everything changes.  Broad offends him by using a phrase that was very offensive, and once they make up Thomas, along with his parents, change Broady's life.  Broady and Thomas will change the town and discover a murder.  The murder is not the main focus of the story, but it fits in beautifully with the main focus.  I really think you will like this one. 

Review: Before the Crown

Before the Crown Before the Crown by Flora Harding
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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24 June 2020

Review: Master Presidential History in 1 Minute a Day

Master Presidential History in 1 Minute a Day Master Presidential History in 1 Minute a Day by Dan Roberts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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DIY stamp pad holder

I am going to admit right off the bat that this was NOT my idea.  I was trying to think of a cool way to store my stamp pads and I was leaning more towards doing something with pizza boxes since I can get my hands on plenty of those.   I did a little Google search and saw many folks were making pad holders from foam core. Foam core!  Brilliant!!!  I watched a few of the videos, I recommend that you do that too before you tackle this as they are very detailed and informative, then I decided to just dive in.  I cut my foam core back from black foam core, as it was much better quality (wish I gotten 3 of these instead of just 1) at 20"x12.5.  Then I cut my sides 2 pieces at 20"x3" and the top and bottoms are a little over 12.5 x 3" (I put the sides together on the back and measured what I would need to cover the top part o the sides too.

The insides (shelves) were 4"x20" for the long ones and 12.5"x 4".  I would change this to 3" instead of 4" now because most of what I use is Tim Holtz and sometimes I have to dig in the slots for those 3"x3" pads.  The small shelves have slots cut into them at 4.25" and 8.5" (this is seriously where you need to watch those videos) and the long ones are notched at every 1".  I am not going to give you assembly directions because these other folks do it so much better than I did, so why mess with perfection?  

Inspiration videos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSBnDd3Oi-8 foam core holder with storage (very cool)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNo3jWxosIc (this lady has so much DIY stuff)

20 June 2020

DIY modeling paste

I love to buy art supplies, but I also like to save money on some supplies in order to spend more money on things I love, like stamps!!!  I started making my own modeling paste about 12 years ago, and while the recipe has changed a bit, the homemade modeling paste thing is still working out just great for me.  I keep it in a marshmallow creme glass jar and it will stay good for a long time. I have tinted the paste with paints and I have thickened and thinned it as needed.  Here is not only my recipe but also some samples.  This stuff dries hard and looks a little gritty.  It takes paints or sprays well too!  

I use a 1/8 measuring cup because it is what I have in my craft stash.  I have tried variations so I will list those in the ingredients too.

2 of the 1/8th cups full of school glue (can also use clear glue which is normally what I use)
3 of the 1/8th cups of white paint (I usually use Apple Barrel because it is cheap)
6 of the 1/8th cups of baking soda (I buy this in bulk at Sam's and use if for cleaning, cooking and crafting)

I wrote the recipe a bit odd in case you want to use a different type of cup, you would still use the 2/3/6 measuring of whatever type of cup you use.  I don't remember where I first learned this breakdown, but it has served me well for a long time.  

 Prior to this one, I used this recipe that I did a write-up on years ago, check it out because it worked fabulously too. 

There are literally tons of modeling paste recipes on the internet, don't be afraid to try one and give some dimension to your art journal, cards or cards.  

18 June 2020

The "stained" glass window

I have always wanted a stained glass window, but they are pricey and where was I even going to put one?  Not, one was never on my radar for those reasons.  Fast forward to when we moved into this house.  We now live in the city limits, so houses are closer together.  We have this lovely jacuzzi tub, and it has this window over it.  We are very close to our neighbors, I mean they are great and all but do they really want to see us naked coming out of our tub? No! I didn't want to do curtains, why?  Because I wanted a beach theme, the curtains are expensive and don't really fit a beach.  So I looked at this as my chance to finally have that stained glass window that I had always wanted.  I got some supplies together and made some sketches.  First of all, I took painter's tape and taped off a 1-inch area around the edge of the window all around, this part would remain real glass so you could look out just a sliver.

I then took Aleene's acrylic spray and sprayed the window fora good adhesive surface.  It also made it look like the clear stained glass, kind of opaque cloudy.  This stuff is a great thing to have in your craft room so you may already have this or a similar product.  

 I decided to use puffy paint for my "lead" lines.  Why?  I thought if I ever did want to get rid of this I wanted to be able to scrape it off.  So I want it to stay up until I want it to come down.  I drew my sketch onto the window then I went over the lines again to make sure I had a good "lead" line.  I let that dry.  TIP*** you could tape a drawing to the outside of the window and trace those lines, but I wanted to freehand mine. I found lots of free and paid patterns on the internet if you choose to go that route, or you could even use a coloring page.  

Then it was time to make the color parts of the glass. I used regular acrylic paint (because I have tons of this) and mixed it with a little clear Elmer's glue and dabbed it on the window within the lines designated for that color.  TIP*** use a brush you don't love as you dab on the window you will ruin your brush.  

It looks like the rippled part of stained glass as you are filling in the lines.  I love the look!  It looks just as cute from the outside of the house too.  I did spray it again with the Aleene's after it was all dry. I just felt that would help make it more durable.  This is a very forgiving artwork to make.  I don't think you could really screw it up.  

TIP*** if you screw up on the design or painting, a razor blade will scratch off the incorrect part.  Just scrape it off and then let the areas around it dry.  Take the Aleene's and spray over the "messed" up area, it will be just like it was when you started after the Aleene's dries.  

We now have some privacy and a very unique piece of art.  

16 June 2020

Review: The Great Gatsby: The Graphic Novel

The Great Gatsby: The Graphic Novel The Great Gatsby: The Graphic Novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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The backsplash of my new kitchen

So my kitchen is a little outdated, I do love the cabinets, but not so much the flooring or backsplash.  We don't have it in the budget to fix up the kitchen (there is a priority list), so I had to do what I could for t
he "right now".  I saw this white wall as a blank canvas to try something cool/new. I decided that the glass blocks were out of the budget, but I could paint anything so why not paint "glass" blocks?  First of all,I cleaned the wall and let me dry overnight.  Then I woke up and measured off 1-inch tall blocks on the whole wall.  This took forever, but it was worth it.  I used a level constantly to make sure my lines were straight and even. Once I got all the lines up there I taped it off with 1/4 inch wide painters tape. Again, I took my time and used the level to make sure my lines did not move.  All of this took about 4 hours, but once this is done it is time for the fun part.  I looked at the flooring and decided to mix and get colors from my wall of paint that would match the floor because it isn't going anywhere for a long time.  I then started randomly painting the blocks with the colors.  I did 3 coats on each block.  Then pulled the tape off after I added that last coat and WOW!!! what a difference.  My advice, take your time taping off. You may not need to draw the lines before you tape, you may tape as you measure, but I wanted that extra step to make sure I got it right.  

Look at the difference. I love it! It is like a Brady Bunch kitchen wall and fits the current scheme perfectly.  I actually don't mind the outdated look right now. I feel like I am living in a sitcom.  

14 June 2020

Covid19 Masks

I never thought I would ever make a mask, I mean it never entered into my vocabulary.  A mask?  Only heath care professionals wore masks, right?  Fast forward to a global pandemic.  I would be working from home and being asked to use my simple sewing skills to make masks.  I started with a very simple pattern that I read about on the internet.  I decided that not only was it not very cute but it just didn't work for me.  I next turned to my favorite crafting machine, my Cricut.  Cricut was offering a free pattern so I cut out the pattern and went to work.  The mask was a more fitted piece that was made from 4 pieces of fabric. I did ties on most of my masks because I wanted the customization that ties could give you.  I only made elastic ones (because elastic is so hard to find for one reason, the other because I heard it wasn't very comfortable) because my daughter needed elastic ones in order to go back to work and after her being out of work for 2 months I was going to do whatever I could to help her get back to work.  

My son had to wear a mask to his high school graduation, which seemed a bit odd, but the graduation ended up being very special and unique. Now he wears the graduation mask to church.  

All in all, I made about 75 masks.  I didn't sell them, but I did take money, fabric, and thread donations so I could keep making masks and get them to people that needed free masks. I donated some to the homeless, some to a nursing home, and many to friends.  Some gave me cash to buy more fabric ($1-2 per mask depending on how much I paid for the fabric), some food, some fabric, and others thread. 

 I only have some bunny fabric left as of 6/12/20 so if I have to make you a mask you will wear bunny fabric or you will get me some fabric.  :) 

The entryway table

Since we moved into this house I have been on the lookout for "new to me" furniture that I could turn into a work of art.  My friend, Marcia, and her husband, Bobby had a truckload of furniture.  Some of this furniture needed help.  When Marcia saw this she knew this was something I was looking for and was she ever right!!  I knew instantly what I would do.  Another friend of mine has an Americana entryway table and I wanted to do my own little version because my living room is all about America and travels. The table was a drop leaf table, one side worked perfectly, but the other not at all, I think that is ok because I am using it as an entryway table and not a regular table.  I dreamed of painting the flag on one of the drop-downs and on the other side I planned to do another painting just in case I wanted to change the decor from Americana to something else.  The first thing I did was de-gloss the table and sand it a bit. 
Next was adding a layer of white paint.  My jar of white paint was rather old and while I was opening the jar it just shattered!  I spilled paint all over my carpet and spent about 2 hours cleaning up all that mess.  After that, I painted about 2 layers of white paint on the legs and then brown paint on the leaves and tabletop.  Once all that was dry I free handed a flag. I wanted it rough looking like it was 70 or 80 years old.  Once the flag was dry I dry brushed the whole thing in the same brown paint that I used for the top and I brushed the white legs in the brown too.  On the other side, I freehanded a tree branch and a bird.  Kind of like a cardinal in color, but a completely made-up bird.  Once the bird and the tree were dry I did the same dry brush with brown on top too.  

As I was setting up the table the cat brought me an orange fish which is featured in the photos :)  

Review: Who Is Greta Thunberg?

Who Is Greta Thunberg? Who Is Greta Thunberg? by Ann Leonard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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