Posted in Craft

Snowbound! Project: Redecorate our Mantle to the rescue!

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My redecorated mantle

Well here in the midwest we are experiencing large snowfalls and drops in tempertures in epic proportions. Those of you who live in colder climates may laugh at our plight, but dang it, it’s really cold out there and I want no part of it!

So with no shopping, theaters and other outdoor activities taken away, what’s a girl to do to keep it interesting inside her boring old home? Redecorate of coarse!

It was easy to decide what to focus on since we just recently took down all of our Christmas decorations. The one area in our place that looked extremely woeful since de-decorating was our fireplace mantle.

I will be the first to admit that I never gave our mantle any proper everyday decor and just threw any old thing up there to occupy space. Without anything else to do today, I said to myself,  “I can`t take it anymore! Our mantle sucks and we need to do something about it now!”

I will say that redecorating without the ability to go out and buy anything brought its little challenges. I started with looking for ideas on Pinterest to see if I could come up with anything. All the ideas I found were awesome, but I had nothing already at home to re-create the decor I saw.

Well, I took some notes on the mantle decor I loved and asked myself what it was that I really liked about them. I knew I had to keep it simple since I couldn`t buy anything new nor could I go out and purchase a bunch of supplies to make something, I had to think about what I could re-purpose around the house and use the supplies I had on hand to make something new out of it. Lucky for me, I had two cabinets full of art and craft supplies just waiting for me to dust off!

Most of the inspirations I found utilized identical pair of decorations that were placed symetrically on each side of the manntle. I started by wondering around the house looking like a crazed zombie in search of what could claim in the name of the “Mantle”.  Digging through old boxes I came across to very old brass candlesticks- “Jackpot”!

Next in my notes I wrote that I liked mantle decor that used simple elegant words like “Love”, “Faith”, etc. Well, I definitely didn’t have any big wooden letters laying around nor did I have picture frames to place letters into. So I had to get very creative. Soemthing we did have a lot of was really old books without their jackets that would stand up by themselves at various heights. A spark of an idea was born! What if I took some of the wonderful scrapbook paper I collect for journaling and cut out elegant letters to place in the middle of the front book covers? Now we are getting somewhere I thought, but what would be the perfect word? I only had five plain big books to work with. So in comes my husband and says “Relax”. “Eureka”! What an awesome word!

Now my re-decorated mantle was really coming together! Next, I found some old colorful votive candles I never used and placed them strategically between the books. I found two more complimentary colored votives and placed each one on a candlestick. (disclaimer: I never intend to light these little guys ups, so I have no worries about books, flames and wax getting into a muck on my mantle).

I finished off filling the odd spots on the mantle with a stack of small books and placed our loyal lion statue on top of them. On the other side I placed our little green vase with a small lavander flower on the other side to maintain the symetry I was looking for. Both of these figures were all that remained from the origianl mantle decor we used.

With the top of the mantle now complete, I decided next to turn my attention to the really ugly board we use to block our fireplace when not in use (unfortunately our chimeney floo is not working or the board would not be neccessary). With the board, art smock and paint in hand, I got to work re-painting the hideous thing.

I laid the board completely flat I a sturdy work surface. With a sponge and white paint, I covered up the board entirely. Next, I added some brown to the mix to get a nice cream color and re-sponged selective areas to start building some contrast. Then I poured out some gold paint and added a touch of brown to create a nice antique gold color. I found an old un-used jar and dipped the rim in the gold paint and started stamping the board to create a repeating circle pattern. I let that dry while I had lunch. After lunch, I went back to my dried board and took dark brown paint an repeated the circle process with a larger circle in a couple of spots for contrast. I then let this new paint dry while taking another break ­čÖé

To complete the board, I took some brown colored acrylic ink and placed it in a small art spritzer bottle and started lightly spraying the entire board to bring more warmth and depth to the circles. If you try to duplicate this process DO NOT LET INK DRY as it needs to be semi-wet for the next process to work. As a final step, I took a spritzer bottle filled with rubbing alcohol and lightly sprayed the inside of the larger and smaller circles. Please note that I did not spray all of the circles, just here and there. As an FYI, the alcohol seperates the semi-wet paint on the board to create a cool pattern. After this step, I Iet the board dry completely. It is important to note that I did not move the board at all since the ink and alcohol created small puddles that would turn into drips if you move the board to a vertical position. 

And there you have it ONE completely re-decorated fireplace mantle area! As you might have noticed, I had a lot of time on my hads today and really appreciate if you made it this far in reading my post today. ­čÖé

Please feel free to post a link in the comment section if you decide to re-decorate your mantle with any of the ideas you found here today- I would love to see what you guys can do!

Until then, stay warm out there!

Posted in Craft

The force is strong in this one…

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Back in June, my husband and I embarked on an ambitious plan to go where no man has gone before. Oh, wait, that’s Star Trek… Let me start again, a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… a party was about to be thrown at our apartment!

What better theme to have for a party than a Star Wars themed party? Especially in the month of October where dressing up is the norm.

To say we love Star Wars is an understatement, but on could we pull off such a cool party on a limited budget? Make everything yourself of coarse!

Our plan was simple, used as many things that we already possessed and use our creative talents to develop all the decorations, food menu, games and more to have a party that everyone could enjoy.

Nowadays, the Internet is a great source to find inspiration. However, the library still remains a great place to gather all the tools you need to succeed at a party. The library supplied us with a Star Wars cookbook that laid the foundation to our party. It gave us ideas on how to develop a themed food menu to delight and surprise our guests.

Here was our 8 step plan to get this party started!

8 Step Party Planning Checklist

1. The Party Budget:
HOW MUCH CAN WE SPEND???? Not much…

2.The Plot (People, Location, Time)

People: Make List of Who We Invite
Location: Our House
Time: 4:00 (Oct 5th)

3.The Themes: Star Wars Costume Party

4.The Invitations
Online through “evite”

5. The Decorations:

Balloons
Streamers
Signs
Food Tent Cards
Character Food Scenes

6. Activities:

Star Wars Trivia
Pass Exploding DeathStar (aka Hot Potato)
Movie Screening room – an option for guests to view the original Star Wars movies at set times

7.Food and Drinks:

Star Wars Wookie Cookbook and online recipes……
appetizers
main dishes
side dishes
desserts
normal drinks
alcohol – BYOB

8. The Music:

Star Wars and Spaced themed Soundtracks On Shuffle All night,

STAR WARS DECORATIONS IN DETAIL

Food Table
Black and Green streamers coming from the fan down to the table. Black plastic table clothe, black cups, black utensils, black dessert plates, black paper plates Black bowls for salsa & chips, Silver and Green Balloons

Beverage Area
Large Poster sign announcing Beverage area

Around the Kitchen Island:
Sign above area announcing Food Area

Fireplace Area
Vader’s face cutout in black poster board with red tissue paper behind and light place in fireplace, “The Darkside” hanging letter banner

Dessert Area
Large Poster sign announcing Dessert area “Outta this world Desserts”
Entertainment Center: Features games, movies books that are Star Wars related. Screensaver of Star wars images, Star War Music Playlist

Patio Doors
Stormtroopers cut out squares with “Stormtrooper INVASION” letters surrounding them

Front Door Area
Black Wreath with ┬áStormtrooper Mask and Words “the Noes’, Large White Stormtrooper Pumpkin

Over the Couch:
Welcome to Noe’s Star Wars Party Large Sign – “We Want You” Darth Vader Poster
Printing and Design

8×10 Signs:
2 Bathroom Door (Into the chute flyboy!)

8.5″x14″ Signs:
Movie showing times

Poster board Signs:
Dessert Area
Beverage Area
Food Area
Welcome Sign

Themed Food

The themed food was the biggest highlight of our party. Inspired by the Star Wars Cookbook, we decided it would be awesome to have actual Star War characters surround our food. After digging in the attic, my husband found his beloved Star Wars action figures and we were off!

First we developed a food menu around the characters we actually had. Since we only had a few, we decided put each character wtih the scene inspired by films that spoke to the dish we were making or the character that was used. Each character was accompanied by a custom home-made tent card that listed each dish. Below is the list of characters, dish and scene that was created:

Dish: Wookie Cookies
Served On: Platter
Characters Used: Chewbacca
Backdrop: MILLENIUM 

Dish: Bounty Hunter Brownies
Served On: two tier platter
Characters Used: Bobba Fett and Bossk
Backdrop: EMPIRE DECK

Dish: Cantina Chili
Served On: crockpot
Characters Used: Hammer Head, Obi Wan, Luke
Backdrop: BAR

Dish: Tuscan Rader Taters
Served On: bowl (white ceramic)
Characters Used: Tuscan Rader
Backdrop: TUSCAN ANIMAL

Dish: Jabba Jello
Served On:  Jello ring dish
Characters Used: Jabba & Han

Dish: Darkside Salsa (with dark chips)
Served On: chip and dip set
Characters Used: Black Luke with Emperor Lighting image
Backdrop:EMPEROR

Dish: Lando’s Cloud Puffs (cheese puffs)
Served On: small ceramic bowl
Characters Used: Lando
Backdrop: CLOUD CITY

Dish: Stormtrooper Cheesehead
Served On: larger platter ceramic
Characters Used: Stormtrooper

Dish: Tie Fighter Fries (potato chip fries)
Served On: triple level tier (2 with fries) (1 with display)
Characters Used: Darth Vader
Backdrop: TIE FIGHTER

Dish: Yoda Soda
Served On: punchbowl
Characters Used: Yoda
Backdrop:DEGOBA

Dish: Ewok Eats (small candy)
Served On: small dish
Characters Used: Ewok
Backdrop: Endor

All in all, this was one party that was outta this world! We had a blast making this party happen and most importantly our guests had a great time!

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Posted in Craft

Introducing a “New” Corner

Craft Corner

As promised, I am introducing a brand-new corner! Introducing my new “Craft Corner”!

I decided during my recent absence from blogging that I should not just limit my blog to posting traditional art only. Creativity comes in many forms and can fill up the space of my days equal to creating any art.

During my absence, I created home-made party decorations and have been knitting like crazy! These activities take the same amount of creative energy as I would going about creating a drawing or Zentangle tile. Knitting is considered to be a fiber art form and crafting falls into a less traditional art. So I decided to take one area of my blog to dedicate space to these styles of art.

In this corner you will find all non-traditional art from fiber art included knitted projects to creative projects like home-made decorations, creative crafting projects and more!

I look forward to filling up this new area with future projects, but in the meantime go ahead and check out my gallery of past projects.

Til’ next post….