Cindy's Country Mix

do it yourself projects, watercolor


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Simple Coaster Liner

On a recent trip to IKEA, I bought this very cute, metal candle plate.  I bought just one to place next to my keyboard on my desk.  I like to keep a glass of water or other beverage next to me when I’m on my computer.  Since the little plate was also a little plain 🙂 I decided to sew up a liner for it.  It absorbs any moisture from the glass or cup and looks cute doing so.

I made a paper pattern, then pinned it on some pretty fabric scraps that I had.  I sewed the pieces together, then pinked the edges.  I made three so that I can just throw them in the wash when needed.

Easy, peasy project.

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I made each one reversable.  The one in the lower left, (photo above) is actually sewn.  The pinking shears that I used were my grandma’s.  She died in 1960 and I have had them since then.  They are made by Eversharp.  Of course, they are not so sharp anymore!  I think I may have used them, as a child, to <gasp> cut paper.  But, considering that and their age, they still work quite well.

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Here it is in use!

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And that was my project for today.

Just a little side note:  We don’t have cable here at our house, but recently while somewhere, I can’t remember where, I saw an IKEA commercial on TV.  The CEO of IKEA what telling all about their wonderful company.  What I learned from that commercial is that I have been mispronouncing the name of their company.  I bet you all have too!  He pronounced it with a short i, not long i.  Ick ee a.  Cool huh.  I like being accurate.  🙂

Have a great day!


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Pine Cone Swag

My neighbor has two pine trees in her yard.  Lucky me.  I gathered about 30 that looked nice and carried them home.  She loves me and doesn’t mind if I take some of her pine cones.  It’s just like me to forget to take a before picture, but you all know what pine cones look like, right?  They’re brown.

Pine cones in the Yard.

Pine cones in the Yard.

In my studio, I dug out my paints and a brush.  I put newspaper down to save the desk top and painted them all pretty like.  I saw this idea, originally, on Pinterest and they were spray painted shiny red and green.  Since that’s not really my style, I chose white with a hint of yellow ochre in it.

Titanium White and Yellow Ochre

Titanium White and Yellow Ochre

They dried overnight.  Finding some white braid trim in my sewing stash, I measured the amount that I wanted to make the swag drape twice.

Painted and ready to string.

Painted and ready to string.

Using my hot glue gun, I attached them to the braid.  Watch out for those burned fingers.  😛  I spaced the cones about four inches apart along the braid.  When I got to the end, I had four pine cones left over.  With three of them, I made a group hanging for the center of the swag.  I kept one to just place on the mantel by itself.

Completed Pine Cone Swag.

Completed Pine Cone Swag.

I like how it looks.  Since I don’t do a lot of decorating for each different holiday, I made this to enjoy for Fall through Winter.

My newly decorated fireplace.

My newly decorated fireplace.

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Shabby Chic Pin Dish

I was out antiquing with some friends a few month ago.  Brianna told me about a fun project turning a cute dish into a pin holder.  It sounded like something I could use, so I bought this pretty little dish that day for $5.  E-6000 is a staple in my craft inventory and the magnets were purchased at Hobby Lobby.

Antique dish

Supplies

It was easy to attach the magnets to the dish using the E-6000.

dish with magnets

Magnets glued to dish bottom.

After the glue dried, I tested it with my pins.  It doesn’t hold all of the pins if you turn it upside down.  The dish looks cute sitting on my sewing table and the pins do stay put if the dish is bumped.  In my opinion,  a shabby chic dish is much cuter than the plastic box they previously occupied.

magnetic pin dish.

Finished project.

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Where Women Create Take Two

Yesterday, I shared about the inspiring Spring Issue of Where Women Create and today I want to share a little about what, within it, made the most of impression upon me.  I did read every article and they are all filled with inspiration and sparks of encouragement.

The Business of the Studio is an article by Elizabeth Maxson that I believe to be well written and poetic.  She is a freelance entrepeneur whose photos and words spin a beautiful story.  She states, “I believe a good photograph either tells a story or invites the viewer to invent one, and it is very rare that a good story is told without delicious details. ”

Another was the very inspiring story of and by Kathy Davis with photography by Rachel Beck.  Kathy has a mission to Scatter Joy.  She began her journey while a newly single mom with a family to provide for as an added motivation.  Her success story is great and you would benefit by reading it.

The most intriguing article was about Rowann Wilkerson. I enjoyed her marvelously fun account of how she and her husband sold their farm and purchased a doctor’s office in a turn-of-the-century building.  I loved reading how they worked together to make a reality her dream to have her own shop.  If I’m ever in Lilburn, Georgia, I will make a bee-line to her cute shop Antiques in Old Town.

Lastly, I must tell you about the two quotes that captured my eye.  One was a sign that read “Glitter is my Prozac” found in the article about Joann Pearson.  I LOVE glitter!  The other was a direct quote from Beth Nicholls which read, “You are the most important element of your studio.  The rest is detail.”

Now that I’ve read and enjoyed Where Women Create, I am motivated and inspired to get to work creating in my own personal studio.

Thanks for stopping by.  You can also chat with me on Facebook or Twitter and follow me on Pinterest.

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Where Women Create

As I write this, I am sitting by my son’s sparkling pool enjoying the warm, Scottsdale sunshine.  It’s a nice change to the rather cold weather in north-central AZ where I live.

Several years ago, while perusing magazines at Barne’s and Noble in our local mall, I remember being enamored by a lovely ‘magazine’ about other women’s studios.  I knew it was something I would love to take home with me, but the price was more than I could justify at the time.  Being an artist with a studio, I found it MORE than interesting to read of others’ studios and their artistic journeys.

Where Women Create Magazine

Imagine my delight when I saw the latest edition of Where Women Create Spring 2013 Issue at my Costco!  Costco sells their magazines at a 30% or greater discount.  Perusing through this issue sparked the same desire to take it home with me.  It didn’t take long to remember that my birthday is VERY close.  “This would do well as a gift to myself,” thought I, and it found it’s way into my heart…er…cart!

The next day, with frapp in hand, I sat in my comfy chair and read it cover to cover including the ads.  Even the ads were beautiful and interesting.  Where Women Create, published by Stampington & Company, is a remarkably well written publication.  I find it difficult to refer to it as a magazine, as it is more like a book.

Each article contains a nice array of success stories, tips, and favorite quotes certain to encourage any artist who endeavors to read them.  The articles are accompanied by many beautiful and artsy photos.  The photographers do an exceptional job of capturing the essence of each studio.

Now that I’ve read an issue and have been inspired and encouraged, Where Women Create will forever find it’s way into my cart with each new issue.  Kudos to Stampington & Company for such a great publication.

Thanks for stopping by.  You can also chat with me on Facebook or Twitter and follow me on Pinterest.

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Coffee Cozy

Someone asked me about the coffee sleeve in the photo from yesterday’s post.  It’s a crocheted coffee cozy designed and made by me.  I have quite a few cozies of different materials and styles.  I guess I sort of collect them.  After all, my coffee has to look pretty right?  turquoise coffee cozy cup

You can visit my Etsy Shop to see several that I have listed for sale.  Crocheting is another of my hobbies.  It’s a convenient hobby, in that you can take it with you anyplace you go and work on the project.  My favorite hobby being watercolor painting is not quite so portable.

Thanks for stopping by.  You can also chat with me on Facebook or Twitter and follow me on Pinterest.

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Zebra

I spent the morning painting on my notebook.  And I finished it!   Zebras are a beautiful creation and I am glad I made that choice.

notebookFinishedBack

When I painted the under coat for the larger zebra stripes, I gradated the color to make it more interesting.  What do you think?  Do you like the subject and color choices?

notebookFinishedFront

Yup the new looks much greater than the old!

before

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Progress

Today, I spent a few hours working on the design for my notebook project.  I thought awhile about what to paint on it.  Deciding on a zebra profile, I got out my Sharpie marker and sketched in a basic design.  I applied two coats of blue for the background allowing it to dry in between coats.  I am using Daler Rowney Titanium White, and Winsor & Newton Ultramarine Blue, with Delta Ceramcoat Textile Medium added. The medium keeps the paint flexible on fabric  after it dries.

zebra sketch

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Organizing

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Why am I organizing AGAIN?  Because, I keep acquiring more stuff and more stuff!  I find it difficult to throw things away, but I’m not a hoarder by any means.

My daughter-in-law gave me six Martha Stewart Living Magazines.  I love Living!  They were issues January through July of 2012.  I spent some time this afternoon leafing through them and tearing out all the interesting data that I wanted.  Then I tossed the magazines and placed all the papers on my desk.  My desk is not usually messy, but during organization it becomes so.

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I found a pretty file box complete with six pretty file folders at our local thrift store.  I am going to use it for this project.  Soon my desk will be tidy once again.  I had a little help from a friend as you can see.

NotSpencer

Are you an organized person?  I have, twice, attended seminars by Emily Barnes.  Wow, is that a blast from the past for you?  It should be.  I don’t see her around much anymore, but she certainly was a major helper in my life.  She has written books on how to get organized that are wonderful.  Amazon carries some of her books.  My favorite is More Hours in My Day.

Also, I found an old notebook that I used to have as an organizer.  It’s pretty UGLY!  And you KNOW I just have to beautify it.  That will be tomorrow’s project.

notebookBeforeFront   notebookBeforeBack  Front and back sides are shown here.  This notebook is full sized and will soon be lovely.  Come back tomorrow to see how it looks.

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Friends and Frapps

Recently, we went to Georgia to visit friends ‘G’ and ‘D’.  While the men did whatever men do, we women went out for coffee and also did some shopping.  Not much buying, but lots of idea shopping.  We all enjoy finding bargains or, more correctly, finding those great decorating ideas that we can build on, adding our own touch.

My friend’s daughter, ‘B’ is an interior designer.  ‘B’ helped her parents with the interior decorating of their home.  I must say it is AMAZING!  ‘B’ and her mother ‘D’ are always changing things up.  They even swap furniture between their two homes.

‘D’ had her home already decked out for Christmas.  There wasn’t a room without some touch of cheer and light.  I especially liked her idea for displaying the Christmas cards that she receives from family and friends.  Here, you can see how nicely it looks in her kitchen.

xmasCardBlog

She put command hooks on the inside of the cabinet doors, placing the top one upside down and the bottom one right side up.  Then tied some festive 1″ ribbon to the top hook draping across the top and over the front of the door, down under and behind at the bottom, tying it to the bottom hook.  She covered wooden clothes pins with pretty red ribbons and glued a snowflake to each one.  She uses the clothespin to attach her cards to the ribbon using the clothespins.  Cute idea!

ornaments

Another display that I enjoyed was above her table in the dinette area of the kitchen.  The ornaments she purchased in store at Hobby Lobby and were clear plastic with splashes of gold on them.  She tied gold, metallic ribbons to each one and then attached them to her chandelier.  You can see their festive tree in the background of the photo.

Do you have a special way that you display your Christmas cards?  Please, use the comment box to tell me about your holiday ideas, I would love to hear about them.

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