Friday, July 20, 2012

A Patio Makeover Project

 So I am learning that living in the Midwest is just a little different than Colorado. It is called HUMIDITY and I am starting to get that now. But I just prefer to think "tropical" or "sultry" and enjoy it. Because... if you hate the cold as much as I do you gotta soldier on and take the heat when it is there. This won't last forever. Before you know it I will be whining and downright complaining about the cold. Why is summer so short anyway?

It was a sultry 105 degrees last weekend so I decided to finally get around to decorating the patio. That was a good idea because I spent the weekend inside in my sewing room. I scrounged through my fabrics and came up with some canvas drop cloths, a ticking stripe, and a couple of small pieces of decorator fabric. 

 I don't do ruffles inside my house, but for some reason the gingham ruffle on the pillow sham just seemed like the perfect thing for outside. I wish I could have got my ruffler to work on my machine, it keeps jamming up and I got frustrated and just did it the old standby way with a basting stitch and pulling the thread. Time consuming, but totally worth it in the end. I love them.

Scored this fabulous ottoman at Goodwill for $10! I have a canvas drop cloth slipcover cut out. I will finish it this weekend I hope. Tutorial coming soon!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Fairy Garden Part III - A Pretty Little Cottage Garden

My newest Fairy Garden with a simple little green cottage and white picket fence.
 I made the two tiny birdhouses from craft sticks. Aren't they adorable. I also made the little white "wrought iron" chair from a roll of floral wire I found at dollar tree. The wire was a gaudy gold color, but it is fairly soft and easy to cut and bend with a small needle nose pliers. I have been experimenting with different glues to find one that is water proof and bonds different materials. E6000 is not bad, but it does take quite a while to dry. I had to keep messing with the legs until the glue was almost set before they finally stayed where I wanted them.
 My most favorite thing is the awesome weathered wood box that Mr. Rainbow Creek made for me. This is one very heavy duty box! It is made from scraps of solid oak that the Tattooed Daddy salvaged from a custom door company he worked for. They had been laying out on the side of the house for several years, turning them into this lovely weathered gray color

We wanted the crate to resemble an old shipping crate so we added the galvanized steel banding around the ends. I love it! Mr. Rainbow Creek took a while to warm up to the idea of building something to look old and beat up. But when it was finally done he was pretty impressed with the final result. 
 Graphics from the fabulous Graphics Fairy were applied using the Citra-Solve method. I tested the method on a few scraps before I got it down. My tip for using this transfer method is to keep a very light touch when applying the Citra-Solve. Be very careful not to saturate the paper or the ink will run and blob. I dipped the brush very lightly and dabbed the excess onto a rag before applying. Secondly, you want to burnish it very thoroughly. Rub, Rub, Rub over every bit of your design and it will make all the difference. I used a craft stick to burnish until my arm was very tired. You can always sand off a little bit here and there to get an aged look if you aren't going to be glazing over it.

Love, love, love this adorable little garden! It has Rosemary, Thyme, Scotch moss, allysum, and a red miniature rose bush that Mr. Rainbow Creek got me for our anniversary. That was at the beginning of February, and I can't believe I actually managed to keep it alive in that little pot it came in for all this time. And it had one bud that just showed up and bloomed a couple of days ago. I hope it will be happy in its new special little garden.
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Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Monday, April 23, 2012

Fairy Gardens: Part II- Life's a Beach

Here is the second of my series of Fairy Gardens. I am so excited about how this one turned out.
 While Mr. Rainbow Creek was crafting this awesome crate for the beach garden I built some miniature beach decor from craft sticks, bamboo skewers and wood scraps. When we went to the nursery for plants we found out that you can buy all kinds of adorable little accessories for your Fairy Garden starting from about $6.99 and up for each little chair and fence. Right. But you don't have to have that kind of budget to have some fun decorating your Fairy Garden. It's all about imagination... and craft sticks and mod podge.
 The fences were made from the sturdy stalks of ornamental grass we pruned a couple weeks ago. I whitewashed them and then dry brushed some gray craft paint over them to give them a weathered look.
 The little pink cottage is a Dollar Tree unpainted birdhouse that we covered with doll house shingles. I forgot to paint the cottage # on the front. I'll have to do that tomorrow. 
 I am still learning about how to lay these out when it comes to placing the plants and the moss. I used the sheet moss around the plantings, but I also put in an Irish moss and a Scotch moss ground cover to add a little bit of a sea grass look to the garden. The large shrub is lavender, it smells wonderful. When you run your fingers over it it releases the most beautiful fragrance. I highly recommend using herbs like rosemary, thyme, sage or lavender in your fairy gardens. They are nicely sized for container planting and the earthy herbal scents are just perfect for attracting fairies I think.
 And of course a pond and lots of shiny glass rocks add a little sparkle to your garden. 
This garden is going to be a gift for my special beach buddy. I know she will love it as much as I loved putting it together. 
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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fairy Gardens: Part I - Patriot Garden

I am so smitten with Fairy Gardens. Ever since I saw my first Fairy Garden I just couldn't stop thinking about how much I wanted needed absolutely  had to have one for my very own. I pin every cute Fairy Garden I see and read about them and talk about them incessantly.  I have plans. I. Want. Lots. Of. Fairy Gardens.

 So I am excited to share with you my first Fairy Garden. Mr. Rainbow Creek put this awesome box together for me from the old painted barn wood that we used last year for the bookcase/table in our outdoor living room. I loved that table, but it wasn't going to be enjoying a useful existence this year since we don't have a space for it. So, it got cut up into this awesome box and repurposed for a Fairy Summer Picnic Park. 
 My goal has been to use mostly stuff that I have collected from around the house and a few Dollar Store items to craft my own Fairy furnishings. 

 The houses were 4th of July clearance from Joann's many years ago. They have always made me happy and were my inspiration for this garden.
 The pond is a little glass bowl that comes 4/$1 at Dollar Tree. I spray painted the outside of the bowls aqua and then filled it with those shiny floral glass rocks and some water. 

My picnic table is made from craft sticks and a tiny scrap of red gingham that I Mod Podged to the top. I have a couple of benches I haven't placed in there yet, and some picket fences that still need painting.

 Twigs make a great swing set with some sisal twine and a tiny scrap of wood for the seat.

I have at least 5 more Fairy Gardens I am working on. I can't wait to share them along with some of my ideas for creating inexpensive decorations. I hope the Fairies will love them and come and play in their special little gardens. Maybe I'll catch one of them splashing in the pond and get a picture! If I do I'll let you know!
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 shabby creek cottage

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Sewing Room: Story of a Project

When we moved I wasn't sure what I was going to do about my fabric stash and crafting supplies. It is huge, or should I say H U G E! And we didn't have room on the first trip to bring any of it with us. So I saw this tiny room in our tiny house and I knew I was in big trouble here. 

 I kind of set up a sewing room in the tiny room. And Mr. Rainbow Creek set off back to Colorado to retrieve the rest of our belongings, meaning my massive fabric stash. And when he got back... I realized that I had severely underestimated the enormity of my problem.

This is what he brought back and unloaded into the garage. YIKES!

 And this is the tiny room I had to work with. So we decided we needed to regroup and make a plan. 

Of course it doesn't take much to convince me that it is time for a big project. Off to Menards, and Home Depot and Lowe's we went. I had this idea that we could buy some of those ready made storage cabinets, plop a desk top down on top and throw a few shelves in the closet.

Needless to say that wasn't about to happen. First, there was the problem of not finding what I had in mind, and second there was the price. That stuff is flippin' expensive! Even the junky stuff that I didn't really want was way out of our price range.

So I continued on down the aisles until I came to some unfinished kitchen cabinets that happened to be on sale, and it also happened that we had used some similar cabinets in another project at another house so we had some experience with working with these. I was crunching numbers and figuring out what we could do on our budget when Mr. RC wandered around the corner and found these beat up, filthy, broken scratch and dent ones for $33 each. "Go get one of those big flatbed carts while I guard these so nobody takes them!" I screamed.

We got them home and Mr. RC inspected the damages and planned how to patch them up. This included rebuilding one of the drawers, patching a big hole in the back of one and fabricating a few missing braces. No biggie. These were kitchen base cabinets so we decided that we would have to cut the bottoms off to get them to the right height for a table top.

Now on to the fun part!

I knew exactly what color I wanted. Teal Zeal. I love this color. I thought about distressing and glazing them but this little 50s house has been leading me back to kitschy retro style so I decided to leave the color bright.

The hardware was about $40. Totally worth it. I love the drawer pulls.

Then after we got the cutting table cabinet in the room I realized that it really needed some cute bun feet to make it more functional and more cute. Mr. RC was miffed that I made him cut off 4 inches and now I wanted to add a 4 inch foot to it. But it really was a functional issue, because I kept running my feet into the bottom of it and it wasn't going to work for a cutting table that way. And then there was the cuteness factor... you know what I mean?

We found out that bun feet can be really expensive.

I found these on ebay for $14 + $8 shipping, less than half what they were in the stores, and they got here in 3 days! Don't you love when you find an awesome deal like that!

The table tops were probably the hardest part. We decided to get a melamine finished particle board because it was a nice smooth finish and wouldn't require painting and it was really cheap @ $20 for a 4'X8' sheet. The edges needed to be finished with a white plastic veneer and spray adhesive, which is messy and a lot of work.

While that was getting done I took the opportunity to whip out a can of Krylon Aqua spray paint and pretty up a wicker waste basket from Goodwill and an old coat rack that I use to hang things on. 

Now isn't that a lot more fun than dark brown?

Since we had a lot of scrap particle board left over we used it make the shelves for the closet and above the sewing table. Again, the cutting and finishing was a lot more work than just buying finished shelves but we figured it was all paid for anyway so it worked out.

And here it is! My totally awesome sewing room! Total cost was about $250 and it only took 2 weeks. Not too bad and I got exactly what I was hoping for.

 We still have a few more shelves to hang above the cutting table to organize my crafty stuff. Now all it needs is some kitschy red and white ruffled gingham curtains and I am a happy girl! So, I gotta go get busy on some of those stash buster challenges, 'cause I really only managed to get about 1/3 of my stash stashed away in here. But I am sticking to my fabric diet for at least the rest of this year. I swear! NO more stashing. Period.

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