Because of commitments, I won’t be able to post the final results of the chest of drawers project for a few more days. While I’m otherwise occupied I’m leaving it in the garage for a little more drying time. When I was finishing the last drawer-front, though, I was thinking, “This is going to look fantastic,” which I had not at all been thinking at any point during the pink version.
I made it through most of the frame and 2 drawer-fronts on the chest of drawers before I didn’t feel I had enough light to continue. (And oxygen was an issue.) I probably won’t know until I can haul them out of the garage into daylight to get a good look whether or not the coverage is good enough to do it in one coat, but it looks good at this point. I hope so! I really need gloves and a mask to do any more of that. (Stupid not to in the first place.)
I have one drawer-front left and the rest of the frame, where I ran out of flat black paint.
I think the gray/pink and black/burgundy of the front/sides are going to look kind of cool together, when the drawers are open.
Now I’m off to continue writing a story I’ve been working on. Deadline is Sunday, and my Saturday and Sunday are kind of packed.
Hm. I want some ice cream, but I don’t want to have to go out to buy it. :(
Is there anything more tragic than realizing 80% of the way through a DIY project that you really want it to go in a completely different direction?
Absolutely correct! The answer is “about a million things.”
But it is a large pain in the ass.
I bought this 3-drawer chest for $15 at St. Vinny’s, planning to use it for a night stand. It’s old and beat up, but real wood and the whole deal.
My bedspread is burgundy and I’ve got some burgundy accents around, so I decided after obsessing over various ideas at Pinterest that I would do the ombre paint thing that looks so cool here (http://poppytalk.blogspot.com/2012/06/love-is-like-apricot.html), starting with burgundy. I further decided that, instead of buying 4 different shades of paint, I would get a quart of white and blend the tints myself so I’d know they would work together.
Tints of burgundy are pink, yo. I am not so much a pink girl anymore.
And I realized early on that my medium pink was coming out a putrid shade that reminded me of my grandmother’s habit of getting humongous rocks when she and my grandfather would travel in the southwest, then bringing them home and painting them an obnoxious pink, then in gold paint label them with where she’d found them. Urgh.
But I couldn’t think of what else to do or what other color would go with the room, so I kept going. Yesterday I painted the drawers, and today I started on the frame early enough that I could get the second coat of everything in today, but halfway through the frame it occurred to me that I really really wanted to do a black and gray ombre thing. Which made me very sad.
But the idea of starting the whole project over with several coats of paint made me even sadder, because I am profoundly lazy and this project is already stretching the boundaries of my tolerance for painting stuff. So I kept going.
Painting, however, is a very meditative activity — thus the big epiphany about what I wished I were doing instead, and several smaller epiphanies like I suck at wielding a paintbrush and always have visible brushstrokes. I played with various ideas on what to do to improve the chest, like decoupage Victorian crap on it (gag! Plus I am creeped out by a great many bits of Victorian ephemera), or seashells (blah).
When I was almost at the end of the second coat on the drawers, it occurred to me that I could repaint the fronts of the drawers and the whole frame in the ombre thing, but leave the sides and interiors as they are, for what the magazines call (far too damn often) a pop of color.
The knowledge that I can fix this with little effort, and not have Mexico-rock pink in a visible spot in my bedroom, has cheered me up substantially. So I’m done for the day. I may even get spray paint to finish the job, because boy does my brushwork suck.
Remember the days when ladies used to wear little dead creatures, faces, feet and all, draped about their necks?
Yeahmeneither. I am much too young.
Well, I probably remember when old ladies occasionally did it. I definitely recall when such things turned up at garage sales full of vintage clothes. In fact, I, er, bought a little mink back in the days when I was a college student with a wild assortment of vintage, new wave, proto-goth and own-personal-style wearables. It had a little hingey thing so it could bite its own tail to secure it as you wore it.
Even irony can’t carry off dead things for very long, though, so it has been long gone.
At any rate, I’ve noticed foxes are a Thing now. They have possibly become the New Owl. I recently saw a sweater in a catalog which had a knitted-in design that looked like a fox stole, and I thought CUTE! Ironic dead animals without the animal death!
Which got me to thinking about the merino wool sweater I bought many years ago at the Burberry outlet in Vermont. Gorgeous tweedy russet, my first wool without itch. But it was a size that is distant history, plus pullovers are not my speed anymore, since tearing them off at the first sign of a hot flash is not the most discreet move. So I started playing with the notion of making my own wee fox, starting with an amazingly thick felted raglan sleeve, which already had a critter-suggestive shape.
I kept looking around online for a pattern, but most of those were for knitting or a stuffie, neither of which was helpful. After searching and considering and being very nervous about the whole thing, I took it to women’s art night at the local arts center for moral support, where I hacked one of the sleeves free-handed to make a fox-shape. It came out encouragingly well. I got a tail out of the same sleeve, then cut four legs from the sweater body. All of this was eyeballed and then cut freehanded, and at no time did I feel terribly certain about the whole thing. The tail, in fact, I amended a bit when I looked at some fox pictures online to see how much white I should put at the tip. The ones I looked at had a broader tip than I had made, which was rather pointy. I went into my stash for a white felted sweater, and used the sleeve to create that brushy effect, leaving the seam uncut so I could surround the original tail tip. I had some glossy white non-wool roving in my stash, so I needle felted that onto the white part to give it a more dimensional feel, and obscure the hard-lined border between the russet and the white. I dithered about whether to felt in some white around the nose area to give my fox a narrower looking face, and I’m still uncertain whether I love it or not.
And speaking of eyeballing it, I finished it off with the obligatory glassy eyes, which I got from the hobby store. I measured the distance to get them even, which is the first and only thing I measured in this whole project. After that, I sewed on a couple of pointy little ears, and some velcro hooks under the chin — the felt itself provides the loop part.
So…the finished item:
Okay, so I’m back from vacation and before that, from my usual pre-vacation frenzy. In fact, the PVF was so frenzied that I got my craft done but didn’t have time to fool around with pictures or posting.
Here’s a simple jewelry DIY I’ve seen around Pinterest.
The main thing that surprised me on this one was the fact that it’s the vertical seams you use on this piece rather than the hems. Which is good, since I had been thinking “but my hems have gotten all ratty and worn out!”
And since my favorite jeans which I’d dyed turquoise about 6 months ago to extend their life have finally sprouted a hole near the crotch, expect to see some other recycled jeans crafts around here.
Source for denim bracelet tutorial: The site’s in Chinese, but the tutorial’s all pictures. http://www.duitang.com/people/mblog/15856615/detail/
I must now confess to my terrible habit of divesting myself of socks and … ahem, such … and leaving them in little sock balls on the bathroom floor. So I perked up when I saw an incredibly simple DIY on Pinterest. It was so simple, in fact, that I don’t even think I pinned it.
Someone had taken a large embroidery hoop and attached it to a long pillowcase (a king? a body pillow? Not sure) and then hung it on the wall. I already had a big embroidery hoop (which I’d just barely avoided ruining some jeans with when I started to do a bleach pen craft on my lap but stopped myself just in time) that I’d bought at a thrift shop. A few days later, I’m checking out the flea market where I have my stuff, and there’s a whole rack of old cloth feed sacks from somebody’s farm. And my brain actually makes the connection on the spot.
Hung it on the bathroom wall with a nail, and there you go. Craft. Done.
I went back and got a few more of the feed sacks, in slightly less awesome condition because they were selling like crazy and the farmer was down to his last few. They washed up pretty well, though not perfectly, so I will be doing something or other with them — maybe tote bags, maybe something else.
bright dark and early to a deliciously long thunderstorm (which is still going on) and a feeling of accomplishment. Two, count ’em, TWO crafts done! I’ll post them one at a time, though.
I made two new bleach pen shirts last night, since it was the featured craft at our (mostly) weekly art party, and I was showing people how it was done and whipping out all my samples of things I’d done with bleach or bleach and paint or bleach and glitter. I’d had a design in mind using a painter’s tape resist, which completely flew out of my head, and another based on a Zentangle pattern, but then I forgot to look it up before I left for class. So I didn’t really do anything planned, but I liked what I ended up with.
I had a couple of black cotton tees I had bought — one I got at the outlet for one of the catalog companies around here, which I’m not even 100% sure I originally meant as a shirt to bleach. It might have been one of those “can’t have too many black tees” impulses. Oh well, it’s black with bleach embellishments now! Among the goodies at hand in the Fabulous Back Room of Art was a book of lace samples that had been donated from another catalog company (they gift the arts center with various sample textiles, buttons, etc, which are just enough to make some wee thing from, not to use for a sewing project). I found a substantial strip of lace and placed it on the shirt, then put bleach gel in and around the strip. I wasn’t sure how it would come out, because some of the holes in the lace (is there a term for that?) were very small, so I didn’t know if it would go through or all mooosh together or what. Then I watched it for color, and when it looked right (and the last bit I had done seemed to have had enough time to take), I went into the kitchen and rinsed it off the best I could. (At home, this step is just tossing a thing in the wash mashine.)
I’m extremely pleased with how it turned out. The pattern is a bit low, but now I remember I was thinking of flipping the lace and doing the same thing above it, without really thinking about the fact that you have to avoid overexposing the first bit you did while working on the second. If I decide it needs more, I’ll go back and repeat the process. (But the first part should be washed and dried before repeating.) Or maybe I’ll just try on the shirt and see if I like it fine as is.
[Tried on the shirt. It’s fine as is!]
The second shirt is a tank top from a local thrift shop. For this one I did a quick-and-dirty version of the process I used making my previous stenciled shirt (https://dangerouscraftsforgirls.com/2012/07/21/dont-worry-its-only-a-nip/). I used two stencils from a pack that Plaid sells of Wingdings-like patterns, flipping one to use it twice. Instead of making a stick-on stencil with Contact paper, I just lifted the stencil off as the bleach did its work and wiped it, flipped it, and did the other side of my pattern. I didn’t do any careful measurements of where to put them, either, just eyeballed it, and it came out well.
So I came out with two shirts I’m very pleased with, despite neither being the things I had kinda sorta planned. Go, serendipity!
The other shirts my fellow art partiers did came out great, too! Too bad we didn’t get a picture of all of them.