Tuesday, September 09, 2014

The Birthday Chair



I recently attended a birthday party the the daughter of a close friend. I wanted to do something extra special and decided to re-purpose a desk chair for her bedroom. Upon seeing the chair, Chloe exclaimed, "Yay, now I can get rid of the boring chair that I have!"  I took that as affirmation that she loved the chair as much as I did.

Since then, I was commissioned to do another chair identical to this one and I'm quite happy to be dipping my paint brush in colors into the midnight hour.

My Crying Chairs are made for the outdoors, but this birthday chair is for indoor use only. It can be personalized with or without a name or date and is perfect for a sun room or enclosed pool or patio area.




My grandkids were invited to the party and I placed their gift on the chair seat and attached a couple of balloons. They loved it!

The chairs I repurpose are labor intensive, but when I see the gratitude in the face of the receiver, it's worth every minute of the time invested.

As with my Crying Chairs, a personalized poem that fits the occasion is attached to each uniquely designed chair.



Monday, August 04, 2014

Tea Cup Lampshade Transformation








I snagged this pink lampshade at a garage sale this weekend for $2. After a quick trip to the Goodwill store to scour for old jewelry and lace, this was the result. Total project cost was under $10.





Lace was re-purposed from a second-hand top. I cut around the lace to use on the lampshade and will use the remaining material for a future project. A hot glue gun was used to secure the lace to the top edge of the lampshade.







Old jewelry found at yard sales is perfect for adding ornate features to DIY projects.





Safety pins were used to temporarily position the jewelry where I wanted it. Once everything was in place, I secured the pieces with a needle and thread.

The lamp base is still a work in progress as I am waiting for the arrival of my diamond drill bit kit ordered from Amazon. Holes will be drilled in the bottom of each China piece. The lamp cord and rod will be threaded through the drilled holes.

Once assembled, the China pieces will be spray painted an antique cream color. I'll post later on the drilling process and show the finished lamp.

FYI: Picked up the china pieces at Goodwill for 30 cents each. It was 1/2 off all blue tags. I can make the teacup/saucer base for around $3. Makes me giddy thinking about it.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

The Crying Chair Project





Last fall, a dear friend of mine lost her son to an accidental overdose of a prescription drug. As you can imagine, she is overwhelmed with grief daily. Long after the sympathy cards, phone calls and visits have ceased, the loneliness consumes the heart and mind.

I gifted this crying chair to my friend on her birthday. It's a quiet place where she can kneel and let her tears water the soil of her buried grief. It was a labor of love and the pictures below show the progress.

I started with a $5 chair purchased at Goodwill and stripped off the tattered caning. Assorted mosaic pieces were used to cover the caning holes. Although, time consuming, the end result was quite stunning (at least I think so).

I lightly sanded the chair before applying a base coat of spray paint. My plan was to spray paint all the different colors, but that proved to be a bad idea. There is no way to control the direction of the spray. I resorted to hand brushing and it worked well.


 
As you can see (right), the results from the spray paint idea failed miserably. It was a live and learn experience.

Elmer's All-Purpose glue was used to secure the mosaic pieces to the chair. Natural color grout was then applied according the the direction provided on the container. I purchased premixed craft grout online at Dick Blick's. A coat of Krylon Brand clear coat was sprayed over the tiles to help protect them from the elements.





Mosaic tiles pieces were purchased online from Oriental Trading. They offer many different color assortments and reasonable prices.

The crying chair and poem were attached to the finished chair and secretly left on my friend's deck porch. The time and energy put into this project was worth it.









Wednesday, July 09, 2014

ITALY TRIP, PRICE INCREASES & MORE



It has taken a year of planning to get this Italy trip on the calendar and I can't believe it is happening this month (July 19 - July 29). Jenni, my A.T.I director, will handle "All Things Important"while I am away. I have total confidence in her ability to run business operations as usual. Nichelle and Chelsea will oversee warehouse operations to ensure orders are processed timely.



The Italy trip will encompass travels to Milano, Venice, Tuscany, Siena, Florence and Lake Garda. With my husband being in the fine wine business, there are many travel perks which we will enjoy; including 5-star hotels and a 3-night stay at Castle Vicchiomaggio in Tuscany.

ON THE BUSINESS END:

There are currently a number of business changes in the works which includes a 15-cent price increase on Mold Market molds. Our last price increase was over 3 years ago and we are no longer able to  absorb the continued price increase of plastic materials.

The updated prices go into effect September 1, 2014, and will appear on both Mold Market, Amazon and GoPlanetEarth web sites.



At the same time, order fulfillment for Mold Market customers (both retail, Amazon and wholesale distributors) will shift to our facility in Washington state. I am now determining the best way to make this transition as smooth as possible in both shipping costs and time in transit.


In January 2015 all Mold Market mold productions will be done at our Washington plant. This added benefit guarantees you will consistently receive the best product and materials in the market as we personally implement quality-control checks on every production.

There are so many new, exciting things going on in the background that I can't share yet; but stay tuned.

video

Here is a brief video clip of our recent trip to Washington. It shows how Mold Market molds are formed by one of the top USA mold makers in the industry. Lucky us (and you), to have an exclusive contract with the best of the best.

I look forward to sharing my wonderful Italy trip as well as all the exciting things in the works at Mold Market and GoPlanetEarth.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Under $2 Victorian Centerpieces





I've been on a Goodwill store craft craze the past month. There are so many wonderful finds that can be re-purposed for just a few dollars. I spotted six clear glass vases for 49 cents each. My mind whirred as I imagined all the things I could do with these vases. This pictures shows my final results.

I printed Scott's Rose pictures and sized them to fit the vases. Using a foam brush, apply Modge Pod to the back side of the pictures and carefully position in place. Let dry for about 15 minutes and apply a coat of Modge Pod to fronts of pictures. I used an antique Modge Pod for a vintage look.

The faux rose flowers stems were purchased at the local Dollar Store. The entire bunch cost $6 and filled six small vases and one large drain tile vase (pictured in the middle). The grand kids picked mini apples from the fruit trees in the yard and a wooden skewer was inserted to showcase them in the vases.

I had a couple of foam blocks leftover from another craft project and cut to fit inside the vases to hold the faux roses in place. Water was added to the vase to keep the greenery fresh (I snipped branches from trees in the yard).

Each vase cost less than $2 to make, and as you can see, the finished results were quite striking.

Friday, June 20, 2014

DIY Friendship Plaque





I've been on a crafting frenzy since I returned from Spokane. This is my latest project and I am pleased with the results. The layout was the most time consuming.

The canvas board was left-over from my granddaughter's birthday. It was painted in rainbow covers, but it didn't matter since I was going to cover the canvas with various papers.

The paper shown to the left was printed on the computer, but other papers used were scrapbook papers or handmade.

Paper punches were used to create decorative edges and satin ribbon was added for embellishment.





Mod Podge was used as the glue and sealer for this project. A thin coat was applied to the canvas and also to the back of each paper. A sponge brush works best for the application process.

I took a picture of the layout before applying the Mod Podge and used it as a reference when positioning the pieces. The lettering was printed on handmade paper and trimmed to fit.

The colors, arrangement of papers, embellishments and design elements are endless. Consider adding vintage buttons, jewels or pearls for a 3-D effect.



Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Rustic Recycled Wall Plaque



My recent trip to our local Goodwill yielded some great finds. I picked up this wooden 4 x 24" plaque for $1.99. It previously read Bordeaux but that was about to change, as shown above.


I recently returned from a trip to Spokane to meet with my business partner, Jefre. We have had many laughs about his over-abundant use of saying, It's All Good and I  couldn't help myself, I had to make him this wall plaque.

I peeled off the original Bordeaux paper layer and cleaned the plaque the best I could; any rough areas were sanded. Both the front and back sides were then given a coat of matte black paint (be sure to do this outdoors). Allow to dry.


While the board was drying, I designed the lettering using MS Publisher setting my print page as 4 x 24". The extended length required three sheets of paper which were cut and trimmed to fit the front of the board.




Position the three sheets as close together  as you can without overlapping the edges. Tape the underside of the papers to keep the lined edges in place.

Align the paper onto the board, flip the board to the back side and use a pencil to trace the outline of the cut.

Cut along the penciled area and trim if necessary to fit the board.


Apply a thin coat of Mod Podge to the face of the board. Set aside and apply a thick coat of Mod Podge to the back of the paper. Make sure you apply the Mod Podge in one direction.

I used a foam brush to apply the Mod Podge mixture which are readily available from Home Depot or any hardware store.

Position the paper onto the board and remove any air bubbles with a roller.Allow to dry for two hours before applying a top coat of Mod Podge.




The Mod Podge should be applied to the front of the paper in thin coats and all in the same direction. Make sure to apply the mixture along the edges of the plaque.

I used two thin coats of Mod Podge for this plaque and let it dry overnight. Allow the first layer to dry for at least 15 minutes before applying the next layer.



To add interest, I mixed a small amount of Burnt Umber Acrylic paint with water and brushed on in random places before applying the Mod Podge. This technique will really depend on the type of paper you have used. I used a heavier gauge handmade paper for this plaque and it readily accepted the brushed paint. Thinner paper may not be so kind.

Allow the plaque (or project) to set up overnight. If you need to speed up the process, you can use a blow dryer on a low setting.