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1  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Under the Sea dishes on: June 26, 2015 12:32:01 PM
I got a bunch of plain glass dessert plates ages ago, and have been meaning to do something cool with them.  So when a friend said she wanted to paint wine glasses, I knew the time had come.

I found aquatic pictures on google, then resized them to 6".  I also enhanced them in photoshop to give strong edges. 

These are on the colored plates I planned them to coordinate with:

I put each plate face down on a picture, then drew the outline and details with a sharpie marker.  I used a fine line marker for the seahorse, and a regular sharpie for the others (I was experimenting).  Then I used Martha Stewart Glass Paints to fill in; not-quite-blending two related colors (like orange and pink) made for the most interesting colors.  You have to work backward when doing reverse painting, starting with the details and outline, then doing fill in, with background colors last.

I had planned to paint a blue/aqua background on each, but everybody likes that you can see through them, so I'm experimenting to see how that will work on different backgrounds.  The thicker lines show up well on even the bold tablecloth; the thin lines on the seahorse make it disappear.

You can see they stand out great on white plates.  Actually, this is the only white plate I own.  I like COLOR!

I did this 4th plate, but I don't like it much; I used realistic colors instead of the bright fantasy colors like the other plates.  I tried to make it more interesting by adding coral, but that just made it cluttered.  Fortunately, I have 12 of these plates and can do 8 more designs!  And I haven't fired them yet, so I could scrape off the turtle and redo it in bright colors.  But that sounds like work...

Any suggestions on how to make them stand out on the table would be appreciated!
2  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / cheap big planters on: June 16, 2015 07:11:36 PM
A friend was using one of these as a firepit, and I got inspired.  After setting several up as planters, I told a couple of people, and they told a couple, and next thing I knew I couldn't get them any more.  Stock is back up now, fortunately.

What am I talking about?  The steel tubs inside washing machines and dryers.  $5 each at my local appliance recycler/repair shop.  Some dryer tubs are stainless steel (no rust), most washer tubs are enamel and have a central post that makes them better for shallow-rooted plants (unless you want to remove it with a grinder or something).  I sprayed these with the cheapo paint I had on hand.  Doesn't cover well, but blends better than white.

freshly planted with herbs

6 weeks later (even the cleared area has gone green again)
3  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / refurbished vintage garden chairs on: June 15, 2015 11:50:22 AM
Our local Lions Club (hubby is prez) is cleaning and painting these great aluminum chairs from an old resort as a fundraiser to help out the Boys and Girls Club. 

As a result, my front yard is full of scuzzy old white chairs and a rainbow of repainted ones.  I get to keep six chairs; two each of blue, turquoise, and lime.  Best selling colors so far are lime (the chair between the turquoise and yellow ones) and white, with purple a close third.  Who knew people would want purple garden chairs?

We found a great spray paint, Rustoleum Ultra 2x.  Has primer and paint in one, great coverage, and the can sprays from almost any angle.  Big push button on top, too, so your finger doesn't get tired.  Also paints plastic, so I'm going to give my old resin chairs a facelift when we're done with this project.

Note:  I'm not trying to sell you the chairs; we're in Hawaii and all y'all are way outside our delivery area. 
And I have no affiliations with Rustoleum, just really love that paint.
4  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Discussion and Questions / painting on wine glasses on: May 30, 2015 07:20:21 PM
A friend wants to paint a set of wine glasses.  I'm coming along for the ride, even though I don't drink wine  (maybe I should do cocktail glasses--hmm, might be fun to paint brightly colored cocktails on the glass; will have to consider this). 

What paint should we use? 
I assume an oven-bake paint so the glasses can be washed. 
I think opaque paint would be fine.

There's not much in the way of craft suppliers near me, so I'll be buying on Amazon or eBay.

5  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Flying Steampunk Dollhouse on Wheels on: May 05, 2015 09:01:09 PM
I accidentally bought an adorable 1/2" scale carpenter gothic victorian dollhouse kit on ebay.  I thought it was 1" scale, but realized too late it isn't.  It's this one http://www.cutting-light.com/products/victorian-doll-house-kit

I've been wanting to do something dollhouse and steampunk, so this might be the project.  I'll have to build or buy the furniture and accessories, because my stash is all 1" scale.  Might as well make them weird, right?

Then I saw some wooden wheels and thought of mounting the house on a wheeled platform.  And googling steampunk, I decided it will need a cow catcher.  Then I saw a cool Victorian hot air balloon, and decided I need that, too.  I don't think I could do this with a similar design 1" scale house.  This house by itself is about 20" tall.  If I built it according to directions, anyway.  I plan to do at least a little kit bashing along the way.

So anyway, I'm looking for more ideas to incorporate into the project.
Who do you think would live there?  What do they do for a living?  (do you think Pirates is too obvious?)
What are their hobbies?
Would they have pets (besides the octopus and the mechanical elephant)?
What's the best Steampunk gadget or accessory or thingie you've ever seen?
What does this need to make it REALLY steampunk?
And what song would best represent or be represented by a flying steampunk dollhouse on wheels?  My mini club's next show has a musical theme, and each piece has to include a song.  I prefer old-fashioned rock and roll, but am willing to check out any kind of music!

Thanks for any ideas or observations!
6  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Miniature Witch House on: February 23, 2015 07:54:24 PM
I never see dollhouse miniatures here, maybe this will start something!  I finished this house a couple of months ago, and it's currently on display at the Wailoa Art Center in Hilo, HI (right in your neighborhood! Cheesy )

The building was inspired by the Storybook houses of the 1920s.  The 1" to 1' Coventry Cottage Dollhouse kit was donated to my mini club a few years ago, and I bashed the heck out of it, removing internal walls and replacing the entire second floor.  The swooping, irregular roofs were a real challenge!

I got to include a lot of favorite pieces from my stash of mini furniture and accessories, and only ordered a few new items.  (Well, maybe several new items)

Here's the story of the house:
The Peacocks Screech, or Happy Endings Through Adversity
   Cat (short for Caladium Angelica Truffle; in the language of flowers and herbs, her name means delightful magic surprise) is not just one fairy tale witch, shes all of them.  Also various hags, crones, and beldames, elves, good fairies, bad fairies, and fairy godmothers.  If something magical or mysterious happened, that was Cat.  She gives her clients difficult tasks to prove they deserve a happy endingand she has mementos from every story.  I included souvenirs from 56 different childrens stories and Fairy Tales--and people who come to the show see some I didn't think of!

The outside

and my favorite parts of the inside:
the bedroom (the roof lifts up for access) with a Princess and the Pea bed, a Beastskin rug, Red Riding Hood's cape, and hand-drawn wallpaper featuring Sleeping Beauty's roses.

the living room; I drew the wallpaper and built the couch and chandelier from scratch.

and the seance table; you can see Pinocchio and the Chesire Cat off to the left, and the Sorcerer's Apprentice mop in the doorway:
7  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Tree-a-Month project June already on: February 15, 2015 09:11:33 PM
June is Steampunk
I'm gearing up  Cheesy for a steampunk dollhouse project, so thought I'd get my feet wet with this tree.

I painted a teensy 2" tree black and covered it with black ultrafine glitter.  Lightly brushed the branch tips with gold paint, added a bottle-cap base with bronze spikes, then decorated with gears and an Eiffel Tower.  

Something learned; silicone caulk makes brass turn verdigris.  Probably ammonia in it.

Note:  my husband didn't like May, either, but I do, and that's what counts!

Just in under the wire, here's "Poor Me May"!
I had surgery this month, and I'm still feeling bent and bedraggled.
The garland is genuine "wound packing" tape I've been hoarding for years because it makes fabulous ribbon flowers, but it's perfect for this project.

I used a bleached tree dyed with Wilton food color.  I did a teal tree at the same time, which faded badly, but the pink was still quite strong.  The tips were too dark, so I whitewashed it with acrylic paint.

Amazingly, JuneTree(TM) is also done, but the glue needs to dry before I take pix.

Better late than never!  I really struggled with my idea for April--I was stuck on "April Showers" and it just wasn't coming.  May 3, I finally figured out that I (of all people) should be doing "April Fools".

What emerged was the French version, "April Fish"

I started with a white tree, and painted straight vertical stripes with watered acrylic craft paint--I was thinking clown wigs and Mardi Gras.  When dry, I twisted the tree to get spirals.

I have a great idea for May, hope I get it done before June!

Finally, in March, I realized that I'm working toward making these little shrines.  For me, a shrine is a "multimedia exploration of a theme"  Might be something else for you.

March "Pisces"

The most important day in March is my birthday, so I was going to make a LeeTree, but it came out mostly aquatic.  I made the glass mermaids and larger fish.  The base is a cocktail glass--I love cocktails!  I bought the carved wooden goldfish on the base at the ORIGINAL CostPlus (that was such a great store!) in San Francisco several decades ago.  With the base, this tree is about 12" tall.

February "Patrice"

My friend Patrice is VERY Irish, loves peace symbols, and collects watermelonabilia.  And this is her birthday present!  ooh, and the peace symbols glow in the dark!

January "Ice Blossoms"

I took apart a necklace made of flower charms with rhinestone centers; used the chain as garland, and added a few silver sequins and silver glitter.


I finally got it together; found trees that would bleach, and even dyed some, but this is a gift for my special friend DeeDee.  Her grandmother had given her one of those framed Christmas trees made of rhinestone jewelry, but she lost it a few years ago.  That was the inspiration for this 4" tall treasure.

The base is a dragon charm (she was born in the year of the dragon), and the tree has dragonfly and frog charms, both things she collects.  And rhinestones, of course!
8  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / January bottle brush tree on: January 20, 2015 02:03:34 PM
My goal is to keep the love alive by decorating at least one tree each month.  

Here's January's "Ice Flowers"
I took apart a necklace made of flower charms with rhinestone centers; used the chain as garland, and added a few silver sequins and silver glitter.  Funny how pictures show what you don't notice in person; think I'll add a bit more something near the top.

And here are some bonus pinkies; I read online that  you can't color the trees with acrylic paints.  These are a flocked plastic tree and a bleached sisal tree, both colored with the same bottle of watered-down acrylic craft paint.

so there!
9  REUSING/RECYCLING/RECRAFTING / What the heck can I do with THIS? / LOTS of handmade doilies on: January 18, 2015 04:32:03 PM
I got some doilies in a raffle (nobody else put a ticket in the pot) and used them as place mats for a ladies tea.  One guest thought it was so cute, she gave me a bunch more. 

So now I have 15 or so lovely handmade doilies in all shapes and sizes.  Not my usual deco style, any suggestions?
10  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / Vintage wedding on: January 12, 2015 10:54:04 PM
A good buddy got married New Year's Eve, so another friend and I decorated for the big event.

Heritage lace over pink tablecloths, vintage cocktail glasses for the champagne toast, local fresh flowers, and black accents made the carport a lovely place.  (Actually, practically everybody entertains in their carport here in Hawaii).  We begged, borrowed, or already had nearly everything!

cake table (lace over black in this case)

head table (they wanted the gorillas on the table.  what can I say?)

the view behind the head table (great for wedding photos!)
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