Tuesday, May 28, 2013

How to Decoupage

My Weekend Project

One of my students recently gave me a mannequin from his store.  When I brought it home, my family thought I was crazy and asked me what was I going to do with that?  I said decoupage!

If you've never decoupaged before, you don't know what you are missing.  Decoupage is the art of decorating an object by gluing paper to the object. Over the years, I've decoupaged a few things including a box, a tray, and even a table.

Here is a list of supplies that I used:

Elmer's Glue
Printed graphics
Polyurethane (varnish)
Glaze (raw umber)
Paint brush

My mannequin had a hole in her belly.  I patched her up using simple blue painter's tape.  I started with graphics that I got from the Graphics Fairy.  I printed them out on a laser printer.  You can't use a regular printer because when you use the glue the ink will run.  I tore around the graphics and included some blank pieces of paper as well. When I printed the graphics, I kept them fairly small.  I watered down the glue and started applying glue to the mannequin with a paint brush.  Then I added a piece of paper and applied some more glue.  Make sure you apply the pieces of paper in a random matter.  You don't want your design looking too even.

I kept adding paper until she was covered.
I let her dry overnight.
The next day, I covered her with a coat of polyurethane.  I used Modern Masters Satin Varnish.  I had some left over from my faux finishing days.  I simply painted it on with a paint brush.  You could also use a spray varnish.  Just make sure whatever you use is water based.  You don't want your paper turning yellow.

I let her dry overnight.  The next day, I painted on some raw umber glaze (brown).  You can purchase this at your local craft store or mix up your own using glaze and paint.  Mine was left over so I can't really tell you what I used.  My grandkids asked what I was doing and I told them I wanted to make her look old.  They couldn't understand that!  By applying the varnish before you glaze, you can manipulate the glaze better.  Go light or heavy - it's up to you.  I let the glaze dry overnight and the next day I applied 2 more coats of Satin Varnish and Voilà - my finished mannequin!

My next goal is to find a stand for her to sit on.  If anyone has any suggestions, please share.

Thanks for stopping by.

Until next time...

Monday, May 20, 2013

How to make your own fabric coasters

    Having fabric coasters at your table can be one way to express your creativity. They are easy to make, look great, and are also washable. You can use them on both sides (something unusual for coasters) and store them in the same drawer with your dishcloths.
    You can impress your guests with these sustainable coasters and start a conversation about sewing!
All you need is some squares of fabric, a very thin quilting filling that you can buy at a fabric store, and a sewing machine.
    I started with different color fabric squares in  5" x 5" sizes. They were pre-cut, but if you have a few fabrics that you love, or you want to follow your kitchen's color scheme, make your own squares. You can find some “fat quarters” at the fabric store which are already grouped by the predominant colors.
    The filling is 1/16" thick, which I purchased by yard. Here are some of my fabrics: light, natural, greens.

    You need to cut the filling the same size as the fabric squares, at 5"
    You will place the 2 fabrics facing each other on the right side, and position the filling on top. Sew the 3 edges of the square and 3/4 of the 4th edge all around at 1/4"seam allowance. My picture has one side open, but I had to close 3/4 of it later, for better-looking product.
Trim the corners, and flip the coaster on the right side. Press it flat.
Close the opening by pressing the seam allowances in and sew it by hand with a small blind stitch. Press.
Sew the coaster on the right side, by making 2 X's in the middle, and then going around the edges at 1/4". You can also make the "X" and the 3 sides in one step, then you add the last step at the end, running over the ends to secure it.
You are going to have a 4.5" square coasters. Here is one of my 4, viewed from both sides:

Happy sewing! Send us some pictures with your finished product, and we will post them here!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

It's Recital Time

It’s that time of the year again.  Dance schools all over the country are preparing for their annual spring performance.  It’s a busy time for me and my family as well.  My daughter, artistic director of Priceless Performers Dance and Theatre Arts Co., is busy getting dances completed.  My grandkids have been practicing for days now all around the house.  The show’s  theme this year is Broadway Bound and promises to be  very entertaining. 
 I thought I would share some famous dance quotes with you.

“If you stumble, make it part of the dance.” ~Author Unknown
“Dancing with the feet is one thing, but dancing with the heart is another.” ~Author Unknown

“Dance is the hidden language of the soul.” ~Martha Graham

“It takes an athlete to dance, but an artist to be a dancer.”  ~Shanna LaFleur
“Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain.”  ~Author Unknown
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storms to pass.  It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” ~Vivian Green

Vintage background is courtesy of http://graphicsfairy.blogspot.com/.
 “Dance like no one is watching.” ~ William W. Purkey
“Never miss a chance to dance.” ~Author Unknown
“Some dance to remember, some dance to forget.” ~lyrics from Hotel California by the Eagles
If you know some good dance quotes, feel free to share.
Thanks for stopping by...
Until next time...

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Free Wrapping Paper

Thanks to the Graphics Fairy I was able to create my own wrapping paper.  It's easy to do and you can too.  These were printed on 11 x 17 tabloid paper.  I added ribbon (thanks to my daughter who has been busy making hairbows!) and  Voilà  you have a beautiful gift to share with someone special. 

I want to share my pdfs with you.  All you have to do is print!

Happy Wrapping!!!
Thanks for stopping by.  Until next time...