Painted Mandala Stone in the dark

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The other night, there was a wind storm that knocked out our power for about 9 hours. I didn’t get the urge to paint until it was dark out (sheesh). So I took out my acrylics, got another big rock, lit a candle, and began.

Definitely trickier to do without bright light, but I think I may be getting better at it. Painting lends itself to meditation much better (for me at least) than sewing. I am constantly problem solving when I sew, which feels good to do, but it isn’t the same as dabbing dots on a stone.

What do you do to quiet your mind and be still?

Mandala Ocean Stone

While we were at the coast, we found these huge, beautiful, round, smooth, flat, stones.

They reminded me of something I saw a while ago, that I have wanted to try out. These incredible Mandala Stones by Elspeth McLean. If you haven’t seen them, you must. Go and check them out. She is incredible.

I wanted to make my own with one of the stones I found.

This is my very first attempt.

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Not perfect by any means, and I am feeling my way through the process. I have some things figured out for the next one.

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And Falafel brought back this largest long (about 10 inches long!) rock to paint.

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She came up with this idea all on her own, and painted it all by herself. She loves her new baby.

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I just coated them with some clear varnish, after they were dry, and called it good.

I will be trying this again, as soon as I find some more round rocks! It was a great meditative process, that forced me to be still…which, honestly, I could use more of.

What have YOU tried today?

Simple recycled Back- to-School Pencil cup

Back-to-School time is approaching!! I repeat: BACK-TO-SCHOOL TIME IS APPROACHING!!

We are trying to squeeze a little more Summer out of this year, at the same time, trying to prepare for the kids going back to school. Shoe shopping, and supply lists, and brand new lunch bags.

As always, I like to do at least one quick project to get the school year off on the right foot.

We had this empty square Vegan Butter container that I just rinsed out the night before that looked perfect for me to use. I quickly gathered up some materials we have on hand, and got to work making a very quick, very large pencil/pen/marker container for Falafel’s desk.

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Gather Supplies

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Mix water and glue in a small container. It should be slightly thinner than yogurt. Then paint it all over the container you want to cover.

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I used strips of fabric to cover mine. Strips of paper also work well (magazine pages, book pages, colored paper, scrap book paper, etc). Just paint the glue mixture all over the scraps and smooth them out as you go.

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Allow to dry. Insert favorite school supplies!

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*Tip: If you are going to try this, and your fabric or paper is lighter weight, you may want to paint the container white first.

What are you making to help your kids go back to school?

Vintage Tin Basket

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This lovely lady in my local BNP group, gave me this vintage metal basket. We both really couldn’t decide whether it was ugly or cool.

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After looking it over, I decided to cover up some of the rusty spots with decoupage.

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This was a pretty easy project. I had an old book that we use for just this very thing. Painted on some white glue/water mixture, ripped a piece of a page, place it where I wanted, and put more glue on top.

I did paint on a clear coat of polycrylic when it was all dry, to seal it.

I love it!

What have you transformed today?

Market Day project done

Are you tired of seeing juice pouch projects, yet {like here and here}?

I promise to have something else tomorrow (I make no promises for the day after, though~heh). For today, I will show you the Market Day juice pouch wallets Falafel, Jim, and I made.

All 27 of them!

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We did them assembly line style. Jim and I cut the strips of tape and she put them together.

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The only thing left to add are the velcro dots.

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My girl chose that mustache duct tape. I love how whimsical  it makes these!

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I think she did a fantastic job with these.

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Have you ever crafted with trash?

Juice Pouch Duct Tape Wallet

We are in the final weeks of school for this year, and there are quite a few activities packed in. One big one is “Market Day”. This is where the kids have to make something to trade with other kids. Falafel had to make a craft based on a fact she found out about her assigned state (which is Florida).

We looked up different fruit related crafts and she decided that a juice pouch duct tape wallet sounded like fun!

I found a great tutorial here.

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There is even a pocket on the back.

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I think these would even make great party favors/crafts. The only time consuming part is cutting the different lengths of tape, and then halving them. Other than that, it is a really fast and easy project.

Now just to make 23 more. Wish us luck!

Recycled mini vintage mannequin

Recently, I found this fun and clever project over at Adirondack Girl@ Heart, and just HAD to make one of my own.

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Oh my wow. There are so many variations you could make. I chose to make a Steam-punk-esque mini mannequin.

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I used a dishwashing liquid bottle, old pages from a book, a brown paper bag, an old doll stand, glue and water, and some paint.

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I followed her instructions for cutting the bottle, but decoupaged pages from an old torn book (instead of brown paper) we had in our crafting supplies. I painted the cap and the stand with black paint, first.

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After the paint almost dried, I decoupaged over the stand with a torn up brown paper bag. This way, a little of the black paint mixed in, but not too much. I love the effect it created.

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I then took some copper paint and painted the cap, but made sure to leave a little of the black showing through. I then gave everything a coat of polycrylic to seal them.

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When decoupaging the pages to the bottle, I wrapped them underneath because the edge was sharp. Then I brushed a little of the copper paint along the edge.

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The neat thing about this mannequin is not only is it good for hanging jewelery or as an art object, it fits 18″ dolls’ clothing (which we have a lot of).

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Falafel was especially excited about this!

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I may have to make a few more of these. I was even trying to come up with alternative bases. Maybe using something recycled, as well.

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Finding a good project makes me so very happy! How about you?

What have you recycled or upcycled lately?

Easter ALREADY??!!

OK, with all my room painting and cleaning, I neglected any Easter projects I wanted to do. After all, EASTER IS TOMORROW! Really, is it just me that it sneaked up on?? So yesterday, I sat at the table and tackled the one I wanted to do most:

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Egg Holding Buns!

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I found this project over here on the Sculpey website.

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They were fairly easy to make, and awfully fun. AND since I haven’t really done anything to prepare yet (and we are hosting) it felt good to get started with something so cute.

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*Seriously: we haven’t even dyed eggs yet (that is today’s project- we are using the natural dyes we have used in the past). The eggs shown in this post were made by Falafel when she went to a friend’s house, and they were kind enough to let her take some home.

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I ran out of white Sculpey (affiliate link) pretty quickly, so I just used two other light colors that we had.

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Not perfect, but they work. And they are sweet.

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Have you made anything for Easter or are you a big ol’ procrastinator like me?

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Spring Break and two more dolls

The girls are on Spring Break this week, so I have decided to gut their rooms. steam clean the rugs, and paint the walls! Jim has been tending to things like the first Spring mow and outdoor tidying! Not exactly relaxing, but really productive.

Anyhow, I have two more dolls to share with you today.

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I have to say that blondes are tricky because of the eyebrows. I think I have it down now, but I have to do layers of colors. Darker on the bottom and then lighter on top.

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Sorry for the blurry photo on this one. I must have been rushing. I don’t know why. Heh.

I have to say that Falafel is loving these new dolls. She is building playground equipment for them to play on. Tricky since she is sticking skewers together with tape, but I love that it is inspiring her to be creative.

What are your plans this week?

Not as easy as I thought

Have you heard of Tree Change Dolls?

Here is a video in case you haven’t:

OK…now that you have, I saw this video in my Facebook feed (as I am sure a lot of you have), and I got very excited and inspired by what Sonia has started. I love that she is not only upcycling these dolls, but she is turning them into dolls that I wouldn’t mind my own daughters playing with.

I had to give it a try for myself!

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I got a bag of Barbie-type dolls from my good ol’ BNP. Cleaned them up and brushed out their hair.

I will share one with you today.

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I stripped off all of the original paint, and then repainted her face!

I have to say that I thought this would be much easier than it actually was. I was an art major in college, I lived and breathed art for most of my life, and actually painted for a living for a few years. THIS WAS HARD. I learned that there is a fine line between cute and creepy. Seriously. Each feature really can go from adorable to YIKES in one small tilt of your brush.

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I think for my first finished doll, it isn’t bad. I did go through a few before her, and actually ended up stripping their paint again. I am sure with practice it will get easier. Both my girls tried their hand at painting one, and they also wanted me to strip theirs down again.

I have a great respect for Sonia’s ability and her vision. She is really incredible (and seems like a very kind human being) and is handling her new found fame with such grace!

She has a few DIY video tutorials on her YouTube channel that I highly recommend if you want to try this too!

What have YOU made today?