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:


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:



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


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:


This is the one Mom ended up with:


And these are the rest:







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!


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?