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New Planters – Recycled

We decided this year we would try planting a container vegetable garden. But rather than spend $$$ on containers, Jason had a great idea for recycling some we had.

If you’ve ever bought cat litter, you recognize this:

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What normally happens to these containers is they end up in a landfill. Thousands and thousands of these litter buckets thrown out by thousands of people. So J decided, why not reuse them? He saved all the ones we’ve used over the last year or so.

A couple cans of Green spray paint:

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And Ta-Da! We have green containers for planting our seedlings into.

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It may only be a tiny drop in the bucket, but at least there are seven less litter buckets in a landfill right now.

Eye For Fiber – Canvas Painting

Last month at our monthly Eye For Fiber meeting, we did a neat painting project. A round-robin canvas painting project that involved acrylic paints (and some fabric paints), large canvas chunks, and a lot of laughter.

Deb from the group has all the photos of during the process and will post them on the Eye For Fiber blog once she has them organized (lots and lots of photos to go through!) but I thought I’d show the finished product here:

This is the one that I came home with:

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This is the one Mom ended up with:

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And these are the rest:

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Goals for 2012

Since I did a recap of 2011, it’s only fair (I think) to do a Goals for 2012 post as well.

For 2011, I crocheted 6 blankets that were for donation to a cancer center. Time got away from me though (my own fault) and I did not get them to the cancer center before 2011 ended, so they will be the first donation made in 2012.

 

Crochet Goals:

  • This year’s goal is to aim for 10 donation blankets. Again, my work schedule will be the deciding factor as to if I get that many made, plus whether or not I have baby showers/wedding showers to make any for. And if I get any more custom orders for blankets, scarves, or whatever else crocheted.
  • Another goal is to use up more of my yarn stash than I buy. Hard to do though, isn’t it? All those skeins of yarn in the stores, calling our names, saying please save me. And of course, sometimes you need a specific color to match what you have at home, and while you’re there looking you find those three orphan skeins looking for a home. It’s not right to leave them behind, is it?
  • I also want to learn a few more patterns and stitches this year, even if I don’t do much with them other than practice swatches. You never know when that experience will come in handy down the road.
  • While we’re on that subject, I think I want to set a goal of trying to create my own patterns as well. Why not, right? The worst that happens is that it doesn’t work out and I hide the attempts away in the cupboard!

 

Non-crochet related goals include:

  • Painting the kitchen, putting up a tin tile backsplash (saw it in a decorating book), changing out cabinet hardware. Basically trying to freshen up our kitchen that was decorated years ago by an 80 year old lady.
  • Practicing more with canvas painting and wood painting. I think the wood items are more forgiving and turn out better, but the canvas is fun!
  • Getting back into writing more – I have a story running around in my head and I need to write it down before it disappears to show up in someone else’s brain.
  • Making my fabric butterflies and maybe dragonflies to hang on my Wife Cave walls.
  • Experimenting more with cooking.

 

What are some of YOUR goals?

Practicing Painting Technique

I needed a break from the round ripple so I decided to play with my paints again. A long time ago I watched one of those “learn to paint” shows on a channel like PBS and I recalled today one of the techniques.

Now granted, this was a LONG time ago that I saw that special, so I could be remembering completely wrong, but for a first attempt I don’t think it’s too shabby. Definitely amateurish, but hey, we all have to start somewhere!

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More Painting Practice – Canvas, Wood

Came home from work today and decided that I was in the mood to paint again. So I fed the cats, got into comfy clothes, and went down to my Wife Cave to do some painting.

First up, I painted more wooden words that I had picked up this past weekend:

Next, I set up a blank canvas on my brand new $6 table top easel:

Then I looked at my paints and pulled out yellow, white, and green. Mixed things up a little, did some lightening, etc:

It still didn’t look finished, so I then grabbed some orange, some of the leftover purple, and more of the green. A couple of slashes here, a couple of curves there, and…

a face appeared! It looks better in person, but it’s still…weird!

 

After that, I grabbed a 5×7 canvas and played around a bit:

 

Want to see my next (possibly) painting project? Pixie wanted to help me show it to you (if you look close, you can see her tongue sticking out):

Painting Practice – Canvas, Wood, Stencils

Tonight I was in the mood to do something different craft-wise than crocheting. (Of course I still did crochet tonight as well!). I decided to go down to the Wife Cave and see what I had just hanging around that I could play with.

Since one of the tables was set up already with painting in mind, I decided that tonight was a painting night. A few days ago I bought some wooden word cutouts that I wanted to paint then hang up in the guest room. I started out with Warm White on the first word, then for the next I mixed in a tiny amount of Yellow Ochre. For each word I added a touch more of the Yellow Ochre to darken the color more. This was done for two reasons. 1. I wanted to practice subtly changing the shade of a color and 2. I wanted each word to be just a little different.

I think those should look nice against the blue walls in the guest bedroom, don’t you agree?

Another painting project was to paint a small wooden box then add a stencil on the top. The box will also go in the guest bedroom on the nightstand for guests to put small items in for safekeeping.

And finally, for those of you reading this and wondering “Hm, did she finally do something with the 4th canvas she mentioned before?” Yes, yes I did. Using acrylic paints again, I decided to try blending again and softening up where my color changes were. So far this is just the background, I plan on adding…something… to the canvas. I just need to decide what. The bottom of the painting is not as dark as it shows in the picture. For some reason it would not photograph well. A couple of the pictures showed it to be a bright blue, when it’s actually just a darker purple than the section above it.

 

Canvas Painting – Beginner

Earlier in the year I decided I wanted to try painting. Not painting a room as I’ve shared before, but actually putting paint to a canvas and praying I end up with something worth hanging on a wall in our home.

I’ll admit, I’m addicted to HGTV and I watch a lot of the shows like Design on a Dime, Bang for Your Buck, Yard Crashers. So I see a lot of episodes where the designer says “This is so easy! You can do it at home!” then they proceed to show us how ‘simple’ it really is. You just toss the paint here and there, dip a cup and make a circle, and you end up with this great looking painting to hang on the wall.

How could I resist trying, when episode after episode told me how easy it is? Of course, this meant visiting a craft store! (Really tough arm twisting there). Canvases bought, paint tray bought, acrylic paint bought. Space in the basement cleared out for a possibly messy endeavor.

This is the result:

Originally I liked the first one the best (the heart) but as I look at it now, I want to cover it up with a solid color then try something else on the canvas. I’m torn between the second and third paintings.

They are definitely amateur/beginner paintings, I’ll be the first to admit it, but they are worthy of hanging in my Wife Cave at least. And who knows, maybe some day I’ll figure out what I want to do with the 4th canvas that I bought.

 

Have you tried out a project you’ve seen on TV? What were your results?

Current Project List

Time to update my Project List! You may remember seeing this list earlier in the year. Now it’s time to cross off what’s finished, explain why some things were not finished by my deadline, and add MORE projects to the list! Updates are in bold.

Current Projects in the Queue:

  1. Big D Ghan (need to finish by mid-April)
  2. Big Flower Ghan (would like to finish by end of April – Update: Have had a hell of a time getting more of a certain color for this, plus work went nuts starting at the beginning of April)
  3. Summer Garden Ghan (needs to be frogged and started over. BLEH! – Update: Haven’t made up my mind completely on this one yet)
  4. Summer Bouquet Ghan
  5. Color Me Happy Ghan (1 square per month – Update: This CAL on Crochetville faltered and stalled).
  6. Saltines Ghan (will finish whenever)
  7. Diamond Ghan (not started, have approximately a year to finish)
  8. Door Snake #3 (1 foot to go)
  9. Black, Red, and Gray All Over Ghan
  10. Doily to Blanket Ghan (need to frog what I started and find new pattern. One I was using is…a mess)
  11. Scrappy Ripple Ghan (this gets worked on when I have small scrap balls leftover from other projects)
  12. Funky Squares Ghan (not sure what I’ll do with this one, just an idea for now)
  13. Donation Ghans (as many as I can make! These will go to a cancer center when finished)
  14. Round Ripple Ghan – “Spoil Me” Ghan
  15. Starburst Round Ripple Ghan
  16. Hinterland Throw

Added 8/30/11:

  1. Flowers for Mom for her cancer hat donations.
  2. Field of Posies ghan – this one is still just an idea in my head, but I have the basic layout up there and the yarn I need for it.
  3. Pet blankets for Paradise Animal Rescue
  4. Continue with blankets for donations to cancer centers. This and the flowers are pretty much my main focus for crocheting with everything else crochet-wise being done when I need a break from flowers and donation blankets.

Also…

  1. Finish painting new computer cave. What a wonderful feeling to cross something off the list!
  2. Make a sign for new computer cave. Update: My Mom and stepdad gave my hubby a nice sign for his computer cave.
  3. Finish organizing Wife Cave once computer stuff is in computer cave. Update: Our basement flooded in April and we JUST got all the damage repaired. So we are just now starting the process of organizing the Wife Cave.
  4. Paint bathroom. Update: The paint we had picked out for the bathroom ended up used for the trim in the computer cave. So we need to get more paint.
  5. Do mural in guest bedroom before end of April (or July at latest). Update: Mural still not done. Work got in the way (70-80 hr weeks = no time for anything else)
  6. Design more graphs for Color Blocks Flannelghan-Style pattern.
  7. Paint master bedroom.

Painting the Computer Cave

Before Thanksgiving (2010), my hubby asked me what I thought about the idea of moving the craft room out of the spare bedroom upstairs and putting it downstairs in the basement, then turning the spare bedroom into a computer room (which was in the basement at that time). At first I was like “Nah, craft room is fine where it is. I mostly crochet in the living room anyway”.

Then I thought about it more. Why should Hubby have to freeze year round in the basement when he’s doing stuff on the computer when I’m just crocheting in the living room anyway and my crafts are just taking up space in the spare room? Very crowded space at that! Our basement never gets over 62 degrees it seems so Hubby was always having to wear a fleece jacket and a blanket over his lap.

So we discussed it, made the decision and I started moving my craft stuff to the basement.  Then I got sick with something and didn’t get much done for the next three months in regards to moving stuff downstairs. Once I was feeling alive again, we got the rest of the stuff moved (for the most part), Hubby bought me two 6ft tables to craft on, and we bought the paint he wanted for his new computer cave.

This picture is what the room looked like before Mom and I painted the walls. The walls originally were a soft mint green (which doesn’t show well in the picture) and all of the trim was unpainted/unstained wood.:

Hubby picked out a Dark Pewter for the walls, which I thought would end up being too dark. Since the room has wood paneling for the walls, we had to start with cutting in all the indents in the panels before we could roll the rest of the wall.

You can see in the above picture why I thought it was going to be too dark. It looks very dark compared to the soft mint green!

Once we got the walls painted for the first coat, we took a look at the trim and decided that we had to do something with the trim because it looked awful with the Dark Pewter. Then I remembered the gallon of paint we had bought to paint the main bathroom. Manhattan Mist, a light gray color.

This next picture is the same corner as the above pictures, only finished! We ended up painting the ceiling with the same color as the trim to ‘update’ it a bit (by the way…painting acoustic ceilings is NOT fun!):

For the closet doors, I chose antique brass sundial knobs:

And the outlet covers are all in solid brass (unfortunately, shiny solid brass does not photograph well):

A few more final touches and the room will be completely finished!

 

(OH, and I almost forgot to mention our furry visitor who stopped by outside the window to try to get a peek at the new color! really… that’s what she’s doing, try to get a peek…not a pee…)

What do you think of the craft room turned computer cave?

When It Comes To Crafting…

Question and Answer Time! I’ll ask some questions, and you answer! I’ll try to keep it to around 10 questions. :)

 

When it comes to crafting, whether crocheting, cross stitch, sewing, or whatever other craft you can think of:

  1. What type of music do you like to listen to while working on your crafts?
  2. What type of shows do you like to watch/listen to while crafting?
  3. Do you snack while crafting?
  4. Is there anything you absolutely have to have with you when crafting?
  5. What is your favorite craft?
  6. Do you do multiple crafts?
  7. Do you work on multiple projects in one craft at a time? (i.e. start/work on another project even when the previous isn’t finished)
  8. Do you have pets who like to “help” you craft?
  9. How old were you when you learned your first craft?
  10. What was your first craft project?

Okay as promised, I’ll stop at 10 questions. Please feel free to answer the questions in a comment, and if you want to ask me any, go ahead! I’ll try to answer your questions too.

 

Here are my answers to the above 10 questions.

  1. I normally don’t listen to music while doing any crafts, but if I did, it would be country music.
  2. I love having HGTV or Food Network playing in the background while I’m crocheting.
  3. I try not to snack while crafting for a few reasons: unneeded calories and don’t want to stain my projects
  4. I have to have noise of some sort in the background, usually HGTV/F.N. Also a warm blanket and a pillow.
  5. My favorite craft is crocheting
  6. You may have noticed the craft categories listed on the blog: some of them I rarely do (painting/drawing) and some I occasionally do (sewing/scrapbooking). Mostly I just crochet nowadays though.
  7. I almost always have at least 3 or more different crochet projects going at any one time. It helps break up the monotony in some projects to be able to set one down and pick up something else.
  8. Our kitten Penelope LOVES to help with crocheting. I ended up giving her her own little scrap ball of yarn to play with. Now she “usually” leaves my yarn alone.
  9. I don’t recall the exact age, but I know I was young when I first learned to crochet. I learned from my Mom!
  10. My first craft project most likely was a potholder.

 

 

So, how about you?