String Art Hearts


After attending the craft night I came home and looked at my empty mantle with shame. After I took down Christmas, I just never got around to decorating the mantle in our city house. I decided then and there that my weekend trip to the country would involve making stuff for the mantle. I knew I needed something tall. For a few weeks I had been thinking about a string art project and I decided that this would be the project to do the string art. Did you do this back in the 70’s like I did? Am I telling my age? I digress.
Anyway, on the way home from work Friday, I ran by a local hardware store and Hancock Fabrics. I picked up red string and white paneling nails and ocean blue paint. Total cost: @ $ 8.50. I knew I had plenty of wood at Star Hill for the project.
There were enough nails and string left to make at least three more. I may get busy,
Hubby cut the wood for me to length, then I got busy painting. As soon as it dried, I got out the sanding block and roughed it up.

There are three boards here, but you will see two of them in this project. Sorry this shot is blurry.

The Painted Boards Roughed Up
Nails, hammer, pliers in case of mistake…good to go.
I took chalk and quickly drew a heart on two pieces of wood then got busy nailing the nails into the board. It really went fast. I used some of the reclaimed cedar which is very soft. The nails went in quickly.

I tied off the string then just went crazy wrapping it around nails randomly. I love the way that these turned out. I gave one to my neighbor and the other is on my mantle.




Whimsical Topiaries

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My mantle is really wide. Six feet wide, in fact. In addition to the string art, the ribbon wreath and the various things collected around the house, I knew I would need something else. I convinced Hubby to stop in Cleveland on our way to the lake house for more supplies. I grabbed two foam spheres, a dowel rod, and two clay pots. The specifics weren’t nailed down but this would be a start.

I painted the pots bright red, the dowel white and glued it all together. I tried to glue tissue paper in with no luck. I ended up going with silk flowers from the dollar store. I love how they add a little Dr, Seuss type whimsy to the mantle.




Toilet Paper Roll Art

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I am on a mission to decorate my mantle for Valentine’s Day. While up at Star Hill working on the string art I noticed some small wood scraps that hubby had left from a project he is working on. I was board, literally waiting for paint to dry so I decided to try out a project I saw on Pinterest recently, using a paper towel roll to stamp hearts.

I painted the boards pink, then squished an empty paper towel roll into a heart shape. I know, it is a terrible photo. Sorry.

I used some really thick white paint that dipped the roll in.

The hearts were easy to stamp. I went up the left side of one board and the right side of the other.

Easy, fast, free, and cute. What more can I ask?


Here one of them are with the string art.

Decorating the Mantle for Christmas Without Breaking the Bank

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I decided that this year I would use what I have on hand to decorate the mantle. Over the year I had purchased a dictionary at a resale shop for 50 cents, I picked up a rough bulletin board when my neighbor moved out, I purchased a torn up hymnal at a garage sale for 25 cents, and I had a couple of ginger jar vases left from my son’s wedding.
I picked up two yards of drapery fabric at Hancock’s Fabric on super clearance for $2.35.
The first step was to draw off a large S on cardboard. The S was covered with pages from the hymnal. I used regular old school glue thinned down to a watery mixture. I did the same with dictionary pages wrapped on the ginger jars.

Buy old dictionaries when you find them. They are one of my favorite decorating items.



The paper flowers were made by layering some concentric circles of dictionary pages in top of each other then stitching through the stack with jute twine. I made slits in the layers then wrinkled each layer.



I covered the old bulletin board with fabric. Super easy. I used a staple gun.



The large S was attached to the fabric with hot glue.
The flowers were attached to some salvaged glass jars I painted teal.
I took pages of the hymnal to create a JOY banner.
The jars were filled with spray painted branches from the yard and two packages of Dollar Tree ornaments. Everything else came from the house,
All in all I am proud of my mantle. Less than $10.00 spent and totally unique.




The Painted Suitcase

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I saw this idea on Pinterest and have been looking for a suitcase to make my own. I thought that it would be perfect on the porch at Star Hill when we have guests.  It would be a great wedding piece or something at a Bed and Breakfast to welcome guests too.   Thank you for sharing Beyond the Picket Fence!

Why is it when I get something I want to do in my head I can’t find what I am looking for?  I have been routinely searching Craig’s List and garage sales for just the right suitcase since summer.  This week I finally found it!  I paid $5.00 for a hard sided plastic suitcase.  I was so excited to get started that I did not get a picture of the suitcase before I started.  it was warped, olive green and scraped up a bit.  I did not feel too guilty to be painting it.


I already had the turquoise paint from the Lovebirds Bedroom and have used it on the map chair too so beside the suitcase the only other expense was a can of chalkboard paint.  I love when Michael’s has stuff on sale and lets you use a coupon on sale items.  The paint ended up being about $3.00 and will be used in several projects.
Here is the inside.  Sweet Amanda thought I needed to fix it so that I could use the inside too so the outside chalkboard in on the bottom portion of the suitcase.  I can now put a chalkboard inside the top with it open and items on the inside if I want to.

I taped off a rectangle on the outside bottom and covered everything with newspaper to keep the chalkboard paint off the turquoise. 

Here is the finished project.

Here it is before I roughed it up and glazed it.  The final step will be to spray a sealer on all but the chalkboard.

Sweet Amanda has a friend named Molly that I will be making one of these for as soon as I find the next suitcase.  Let’s see how long it takes her to find out from my blog! She is starting up a business where she does hair and makeup for weddings, and special events.  What a cute way to advertise and take her stuff. Check out her facebook page at MollyDo’s  (Huntsville, Texas) she does amazing work.

Paint Chip Art


Here is a picture of our wall in the family room. 

 See that puny picture on the wall?  can you believe it is really 18 inches by 24 inches?  The reason it looks so small in this space is because it is in a huge room on a ridiculously tall wall.  My den is 17 feet wide and 24 feet long.  I have never known what to do with the room, and from what I saw the people who owned the house before us had no idea either.

On top of being a long and wide room, the room sweeps up to eighteen feet with a cat walk stairway.
I have decided that I love color so it is time that I embrace what I love.

My first bold purchase was a rug.  I love the colors.  It makes me happy.  I bought it one afternoon with my buddy the social planner.  Hubby would never have picked this out, but I brought it home and rolled it out.  He seems like he has warmed up to it.


Shortly after the rug, I purchased some neutral furniture.  It was before my blogging days but the stuff was a great deal.  I have moved slow because I really didn’t have a direction to go. I love the wood floors, I like the room height, I am happy with the french doors, but something always seems a little off with this room.

  I painted this picture this past summer from something I saw on Pinterst.  I loved the colors because they are all in the rug.

I have been slowly collecting McCoy pottery as I find reasonable pieces.  I love the colors, and we have a family connection to the McCoys.

At my friend, Pam’s house, I was inspired to make a paint chip art piece. Here is the link to how she did this. i really did follow her directions.
I loved the fact that I could choose my colors, the slightly vintage quality, but let’s be honest… this is great looking almost free art. 

I bought this big frame for $3.00 up near the lake house.  I painted it the color of the craft table.  That color is in the rug.

It was big.  twenty four inches tall and forty eight inches wide. 

I used paint chips that match the colors in the rug to make my version of the paint chip art project.  I actually was able to use the picture in the frame as the base for the paint chip art piece.  This piece really meant that the cost of this whole project was $3.00. 

Here are the paint chips glued down.  I used Elmer’s spray adhesive to get everything stuck down.  I did have to check the corners and press several down many times.
I thought the colors were too vivid when glued down.
Here it is with watered down brown acrylic paint washed over it.  I love the frame on the picture.  This is going to be a statement piece in the room.
To fill the big empty wall, I plan on bringing in a small buffet height dresser that I am going to paint an amazing color.  The wall is going to look great when I am done, but I still do not know what I want to do with the whole room.  Suggestions?

Making Owls


My daughter “tagged” this nice lady from a bird sanctuary as me on her Facebook page last year.  I am not the bird lady at the sanctuary… but I do love birds.

I love wild birds.  I feed them at the lake house.  I have three bird feeders and four hummingbird feeders. I have bird books to identify the birds around our property.  Because of my obsession, I wanted to incorperate birds into my guest room.
I saw these  great owls on a post from All Things Thrifty.  Thanks to Brooke for telling us where she found them, because I loved the vintage quality they have. 

I headed for Kohls as soon as possible to snag them.  I was thrilled to find that they were 50% off.  I also had a 20% off coupon, and, best of all… a friend gave me her $10.00 Kohls cash that was about to expire.  Score!  The two owls cost me less than $5.00.  Once I got them home I knew that I wanted them on the night stand.  The other night stand needed some owls too. 

I found these owls on Pinterest. Efemera’s awsome directions can be found by clicking the link to her blog.
Efimera Ink

The directions were super easy to follow.  Make a template.

Trace the template onto the fabric you choose.

 I created a small, medium and large pattern.  I placed the patterns on fabric I purchased at Hancocks.  I bought four 1/4 yard sections of fabric. That was not big enough for the largest template.  I had to use felt from the wreath on the big one.

Once the sections were cut out it was a simple matter of hand stitching them together. Remember put the good side of the fabric together… I had to redo one.  Stitch one side then match up the other side.  Super easy.  No sewing machine required.

Here are my owls with only the white part of the eye sewn on. My son said they looked like they had been moon blinked at this stage. ( Guardians of Gahoole.)

Here they are with the gray part of the eyes attached.

I  did get the button eyes on Tuesday night. They really “look” better now!

I am feeling too lazy to update my armoire cabinet blog… so here are the pictures with the candles in them.

 I love the gray and white on the black cabinet.  The light gray wall is perfect for this.  It is very soothing.

I do love a finished project.

I will be completing another bird art project this week to finish off the room.  Almost there.  Yeah!

Five Dollar Art for the Yellow and Gray Bedroom

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The social planner and I were strapped for time Saturday but we did manage to make it to our two favorite resale shops before she had to head off to meet with the builder. The good news about this week’s shopping trip was that I already knew what I was looking for, and the social planner wasn’t looking for anything.

All that I was looking for was a tarnished silver plated platter. No luck on that account but I remembered that I needed a vintage overhead light cover for an up coming project. I happen to know that one of those places sells them for a quarter. As I moved through the store inspiration struck. A huge “painting” like my grandmother had over her couch when I was growing up was leaned against the wall. When I say huge I mean 48 inches by 24 inches. It had a solid wood 4 inch frame. Hubby said that picture moulding that big would be $3.00 a foot. 12 linear feet of moulding. I offered the nice lady $5.00 for the masterpiece and walked out with this beauty.

Last week as I searched Pinterest for guest room ideas I ran across this saying: Where there is room in the heart, there is room in the house. By Thomas Moore

I have been thinking about a project that Dear Lillie did at dearlillieblog.blogspot. This was the perfect frame and project to try out my mad skills with a chalkboard marker.

I was shocked that we had a piece of hardboard big enough to make a chalkboard for the frame. After my sweet husband pulled out all the staples from the warped, mildewed, faded art I got busy. A good cleaning, then liquid sand for the frame. I had some flat white latex paint in my stash so no cost there. It took three coats to get the frame looking smooth.

It looks rough after the first coat. No worries!

I really am getting better with the chalkboard paint. I have discovered the secret. Sandpaper just didn’t work for me between coats but steel wool does the job like nobody’s business. Thin coats, wait for each coat to dry then steel wool between each coat and it came out smooth as a baby’s bottom. It took four coats of chalkboard paint. You have to wait three days to season the board by rubbing chalk over the whole surface according to the directions. After it is seasoned it it good to go. I do have access to an overhead so I plan on creating the saying in nice script then printing it to one of my old printer transparencies. i couldn’t get rid of them when I left the classroom. I will post the finished sign this week but doesn’t the frame look great?

Dear Lillie Blogspot

Art for the Guest Room

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In the guest room I have a large empty wall over the desk that will be staying.  The wall is the darkest in the room and it needs some sparkle and light.

 I will be making some art for the room, but I wanted to use some things that I already had around the house too.  Recently I have had a mirror obsession.  I have been buying the mirrors for $10.00 or less each- most are about $2.00.  I also had a cool frame that I bought recently for $2.00 that I thought I would use for a chalkboard.  Today while cleaning out a drawer I discovered a letter  S that was hiding from me.  I decided it needed to go on the wall in the center of the empty frame.  I also had a bunch of vintage tarnished silver plated serving bowls and change holders. I found them on sale at Etsy for WAY more than what I paid  See examples here.She’ll serving dishes I collected mine at resale shops in the country for 25 cents each.   They have needed a home too.  I laid everything out on the bed in about the size that the wall would be.

I will be painting the small square mirror black.  The empty frame was painted with yellow paint then three coats of the metallic paint that is on the stenciled wall. This is what it looked like when I bought it.

 Hubby brought in one of the mirrors I bought a while back while I was organizing .  I painted the 70’s frame, used metallic silver and glaze on it a while back but Hubby just got the backs fixed and put the mirrors in for me when he saw the room.  He said that the 70’s mirror belongs in this room.  I still have one of the mirrors that I am ready to sell for Emma’s Hugs but he was right, one of them does belong in the guest room.

The Mirror Looks a Little Different Now

I am leaving the gold mirror alone.  It was a great find for $ 2.00

  I need to go purchase some plate discs from Hobby Lobby before the silver pieces go up so it will be Wednesday night before I finish the wall.  If you haven’t used plate discs you gotta try them.  They hang anything that was not intended to hang on the wall easily. They are not cheap, about $1.50 each, but with my trusty coupons I should get them for 90 cents or so.  Seems funny that the hanger will cost more than the art, but still just over a buck a piece is not too bad.

  I am leaving to see the Southern Belle Thursday evening so I must be finished or it will drive me crazy.

Fancying Up a Subway Art Sign

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I found this sign at Walmart.  It was $11.00 or so.  I loved what it said and the price was right.  It just looked a little plain to me. While trying to figure out what to do to the sign it has been sitting on my craft bench.

 I got Hubby to cut two pieces of our reclaimed wood to length.  He used his super math skills to make the wood the same all the way around, like a frame. 

 I painted red right over the brown paint on it and then sanded the edges to allow the wood grain and brown to show through. I think it looks better.

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