Tinker Around

Welcome to my blog. It is full of basic projects and tutorials for things that I have done and feel like others out there would benefit from learning too. Be sure to take time to leave me a comment. Thanx, Pam

Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Vacation Finds

Well, I said that I was just going to post some photos of the deals we got as we were out and about last week doing some shopping during our vacation week.  We decided to not pay any motels and just put the money in the gas tank and drive.  What fun!!!  There were three mornings that my husband, the love of my life and bestest friend, just woke me up and said to dress comfy that we were headed out for the day.  We went all over the Dallas/Ft. Worth are, but a favorite is a building just this side of Waco (the big dog museum building).  Other places we visited were the McKinney Trade Days, Plano at the Antique Mall, and other assorted places that we stopped in at along the way.  

Fun time...photos!!!  These glasses were all bought as just clear glass, I just couldn't wait to start painting, so you get to see them finished.  They were a dollar each at our Dollar Tree, and yes...I could shop there two or three times a week!!  Oh, that one set is just begging to be painted, and they will be before this posts.  lol

The next group of pictures were from the McKinney Trade Days.  There is a really nice lady there that will let you haggle with her, and I really enjoy that.  When you step into a booth where the stuff is recycled and you are trying to reclaim it into something else that you can sell...don't ever pay face value unless it is a steal or you just really want it.  I went into her booth and waited til everyone left and then told her that I purchase, paint, and then re-sale it.  I went through and pointed out each item and then asked her to give me a packaged cash price.  The items came up to $20 and I got it for $14.  I helped her clear out some stuff and she helped with a lower price on the goods.  I was so glad that my dear husband was there to help carry it all.  Pictures are below.
This has some inky stuff on the bottom outside, and if I can't get it off...I will just use it as part of the background color.  Adds character!

This is actually a small sized pitcher, I am guessing about 7inches tall.  Really cute, and heavy glass.  I always try to stick with heavy glass as my things have to be able to travel well.

Just a round bowl thingy with a lid.  

There are two of these, and lids don't fit perfect.  The bottoms are a thinner glass than the tops.  I don't let that stop the purchase, the lids might be used for something else...or I may paint them as is.  

These next two items are from different thrift stores, there is no haggling on prices there.  Each of these were $5.99 each plus tax.   The first item is a little child's bench and I will distress it and then just paint some cute floral and ribbon on it, couple coats of sealer and it will be ready to sell.  The second item...I have not idea what it is or what it was used for or what I will paint on it.  PLEASE leave a comment on this post and give me your ideas!!!

My husband walked up when I was debating the price tag, I like to keep it cheap so that I can re-sale at a great price for my customers.  I am very frugal!!  Anyway, he looks up and says, "what are waiting for, you want me to carry it for you?"  So, I told him..."sure".

This thing is in mint condition!  The ping pong balls are there to give you an idea of the size.  There are very small ball feet on the bottom, also made of the metal.  Ideas??

Last, are a couple of globes that I got for $5 each, again I was able to barter.  I have a painting project for these already.  They will be blue with santa and his reindeer flying around.  Not in a hurry to do these, I have a while before Christmas is here.  When they are finished they will most likely show up on my website at www.picturetrail.com/tinkartist  

I love to shop like this, could be a professional shopper if someone wanted to pay me to do it!!  I can spot a deal as soon as I walk into a booth at a flee market.  I don't always feel like I have to purchase if I don't get the price I want.  I have actually walked out of places empty handed.  

Well, I hope that you have enjoyed shopping with me.  I am going to Arlington to paint with Ros Stallcup on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  Then, on Sunday in Dallas there is a 18th Annual Kosher Chili Cook-Off that I will have a booth at.  The next few days are gonna be kinda busy for me, so next week...I think I might just have to catch you up on the Kosher Chili Cook-Off.  http://www.kosherchilicookoff.us/   I have never done a show there before and it could be interesting.  IF you are in the area, stop by and say hello!

Almost forgot this one!  Got two sets of these at a local Ross, on clearance for less than $4 a set!!!

Ok, now I am finished!!!  Back to my painting. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Make Everyday a GARLAND Day!

We are on vacation this week, so this will be as short as last weeks post.  But, I am hopeful that it will be useful to someone out there!

First of all, I do a bit of blog reading and stumbled across this one and just loved the idea, but wanted to change it up for everyday use.  So...go take a look at her blog with the holiday garland made from cards and other holiday stuff that you have laying around.  Such a great idea to re-use cards and to use up those bits of scrap-booking and jewelry making supplies!!!   http://inmyownstyle.com/2010/09/how-to-make-a-friends-and-family-christmas-tree-garland.html     Go take a look see, I will wait, go on...

Ok, now wasn't that a cool idea!!!   I needed some sort of a garland or something to give the area over my art/craft room window a bit of color.  So... I took some wire and started wrapping it around a pencil, slid it off and just cut down one side of the spiral to make all my rings.  IF I can make something without much trouble, I am more apt to make it than to spend the money to purchase it.  You can do this same technique to make jump rings in your jewelry endeavors, just use a dowel rod in the size of your choice.

Here is a picture of all the supplies that I used.  Oh, and lots of stickers to make my little "banner/tags" that I wanted to hang.  

Then, I pretty much did a lot of what was done in the blog that you (hopefully) already saw.  I cut different scraps of cardstock to use as my base for each part of the garland.  I did not include photos, but you could do this in a child's room and add lots of pictures of their friends.

After all the little tags were made, I used my rings that I made and started putting them together.  At this point, a bit of planning is good if your garland has to fit a specific area like mine.  Don't forget to take into account letting it drape here and there for interest.

Wouldn't this be a cute idea to do with little triangle banners cut from card stock, stiff felt, or even that great fun foam that kids love to craft with?  Don't get me started with how you could alter this and do up all sorts of fun stuff for parties and stuff!!!

Here is a picture of the window area before....

And now, when you look at the after...remember that it isn't finished.  There still needs to be ribbons and yarns hanging down from the little black rings and other embellishments added too.

The reason that you are not seeing it finished...I want YOU the reader to be inventive and come up with your own embellishments if you are doing one of these.  I think that sometimes we are inhibited by what we see and feel that we just must copy it to the detail.  Kids are not inhibited until they are older and siblings, friends or adults have told them that the sky can't be green and the grass must be.  Why??  Let them be creative, let them color outside the lines, there will be plenty of time for rules later in life.  Be free!!!  So...the sky is the limit, use what you want to embellish with!!  Doing a kitchen garland with recipe cards and photos of food??  Why not embellish with silverware wrapped in wire that you strung beads on!!  I hope that helps to explain why I just always tell all.  It really doesn't matter!  I often tell my painting students, "Make it YOUR own!"  IF they were to comment on this, I think that they would agree.  Don't get hung up on copying something that someone else has done, just use the base of the idea for a jumping off point.  Well, now I ramble. 

Have a great rest of the week and maybe next week I can share some of my shopping treasures from this week.  I love a good flee market!!!  - Pam

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Painting "little" Items NEATLY!

Have you ever tried to paint little pieces without getting more paint on you than you have on the little items?  This is gonna be a short post, but I find it very helpful.

First, put down some painters tape, tucking the ends under.  Pour out your little puddle of paint into a recycled butter lid or a small square of wax paper, no need to waste a full sheet of pallet paper for the small jobs!

Now, just paint as much of the item as you can in your hand and then stick the item down and finish painting it.  It REALLY is that simple!!!  It the item is really small, just stick it down to start with.  You have the ends of the painters tape stuck down, so the piece shouldn't be going anywhere.

Above, you can see the flat bottom that I am not painting, it is what will get stuck down on the tape.  I have already begun to paint part of the ball, just to speed the process.  I could have just as easily painted it all after sticking it on the tape.  

When the item(s) are dry, do another coat if needed or just proceed with your project.

Well, hope this saves you some paint, time, and less mess.   Are you tackling a project and would like some input??  Be sure to post it on a comment!   See ya in a week!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Create EXTRA Hidden Storage Spots

This week, I want to let you into my dining room.  I have to keep all my Christmas dishes in there, as there is not enough room in my kitchen.  So, I put two floor to ceiling bookcases in the dining room and put my dishes in there, but there are not doors on the bookcase and everyone can see my out of season mess.  Not a pretty site.  Look at the plates, glasses, mugs and other holiday stuff....tacky!!! 

Now, let me show you my solution.  This is a bunch of damaged or outdated obsolete books that were given to me.  I take an exact-o or razor and cut off the front and back cover, NOT the entire cover, leave about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of the front and back in tact with with book.  Next step, take a long piece of foam core (or you could use an old large appliance box) and cut it to fit inside the shelf.  Cut an extra couple of 3 inch pieces to use as feet and stabilizers.  

See how I hot glued the extra "foot" in place.  Put one on each end and then one in the center, placement is not a science, anywhere is fine.  Then, you take and hot glue all the book spines on the other side, make sure they at right next to each other, you want no white space showing.   Here is another view.

These can be very useful, you just have to make sure that you are putting books of about the same height together.  These make great hiding places for all sorts of things around the house.  Just be sure that the books you are using really are not collectors and are really obsolete.  With computers, more and more books are falling into that category, but I am not a book butcher.  Wouldn't want to send the wrong kind of message with this post.  I love books.

I got right up close with this picture so that you can see all the stuff behind the books, hidden storage is great!

Here is an after shot.  All the Christmas dishes are hidden and I use the rest of the bookcases to display stuff that has been passed down from grandparents and great-grandparents.

I get a few emails each week with comments on my blog, so glad that you are enjoying.  Feel free to post here on the blog, I think you just do it with your email addy (and that is keep hidden).  Next week...Painting little items without getting more paint on you that on the item.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My Art/Craft/Sewing/Scrapbook Room

Well, are you ready?  I am excited that my old room has new floor and a fresh coat of paint.  While I was moving things around, I just went through everything!  I think that I took out two trash bags of "stuff".  And it was trash, I even let my students have first look at some of it.  This is gonna take a while, so if you are hungry or thirsty, just stop right now and go get it and come right back.

Ok, let's start with a couple of before pictures.  Dirty carpet that was walking itself across the floor, and I was afraid that I was gonna have a student (or myself!) trip and get hurt.  The walls were ok, but they were starting to look worn.  I had used flat paint when I put up the purple, this time I used a satin.

Now I have changed my mind.  I am thinking that it might be better to show you each wall before and after together, explaining as I go about the changes made.
Notice the purple curtains, garland of flowers up at the ceiling, and the diplomas and certificates on the left side of the window?  Take a look below...

Ok, yes, the purple is all gone!  See the new placement of the certificates and diplomas across the top of the room, and the flowers are all gone.  A much cleaner look.  There is a sheet of paper to the left of the window, and that is where the paint unit is going to go.  I have a carpenter that builds things to my specs at reasonable prices.  I will post it when it comes in and also add his web address.

This is the wall to the left of the window.  In the corner is a rolling cart with my Sizzix dies, rubber stamps, and other supplies.  The bookcase has tubs with paints the acrylics and other paints.  The next bookcase is full of all my reference materials, and the top shelf is altered art books.
Here is the first section of the transformation.  I moved over a small unit to house my KopyCake, and rolled the other unit into the closet.  Then, I added a few photo boxes to organize painting supplies - extra brushes, craft paint rollers, my Genesis paints, faux sponges,...  Towards the top you will that I am displaying all the fun little things that I have painted.  The very top is used to store tall brushes, crochet thread and a few more photo file boxes.  Now, let's look at the next bookcase...
Again, the very top and top shelf is for display items.  All the altered art books got moved to the closet.  Everything else is still basically the same.  Let's take a peak behind the door, though we already saw that in a prior post.
I love, Love, LOVE how I am storing my canvas flat behind the door.  They no longer get dents, they are up off the floor, and I can see at a glance how many I have or what I need.  Oh, look down at where the wall and floor meet, see the baseboard?  I faux finished that to match the door, the floor was too light to have cream baseboards.  I have the how to on this and the floor on a prior blog posting.

Let's take a look at the next wall, this one is across from the window as we are wrapping around the room.  By the way, this room is approximately 14' (the window and door walls) by 10' (the bookcase walls).
This is the wall where I would hang all my artwork for upcoming classes, and there is my radio/CD player on the floor under the table.  I was able to move the radio/CD player to a shelf in a bookcase, much more accessible.  There is a spot for my sewing machine to sit when I need to sew.  Yes, that is a roll of paper towels on the wall, they got moved over to the window wall by the tables where they are used.  Aprons are hanging on the hook on the wall, and now I just keep one apron hung on the door.  Let's see the after picture.
I put up a frame that I padded and covered with some retro sewing fabric that I got at Ruby Jane's Retro Fabric.  She ships and you can see all her fun stuff at http://www.rubyjane.com/   She has a fantastic little quilt shop and is very helpful when you need something special!!!   Tell her that Pam from Garland sent you.
Then, look to the right of that, see the two picture frames, those are paper dolls that I played with when I was little.  Connie Francis and Annette Funicello were always my favorite, and I just chose a few of the prettiest outfits to display and stored the others away safely.  The two baskets are just supplies that are available for my students to purchase extra supplies.  I stored my two tabletop ironing boards behind one desk, and my rotary cutter on the wall behind the other one.   

Remember the top part of this wall had assorted art hung that was to be taught in future classes, or that I was just showing my students that I had done?  Don't these shelves look much neater, and I used my mini nail gun to attach a thin board across the front so that the art work wouldn't slide off.   At least I can move them around and not continue to add more and more holes to the walls, that should make my husband happy.

Let's move on to the last wall, it is full and looks busy...but it works for me.

Let's start with the two bookcases on the left.  The top and top shelves are all full of more photo storage boxes.  The ones on the top are all craft stuff, yessssss... there is a LOT.  The next row of boxes are all in tan and black, those are for altered art, glues, tapes,...    There are also two hardware boxes with lots of little drawers, and those are full of pre-cut alphabets and are written about in a prior post.
Then next row is actually white magazine boxes from IKEA, 5 for $1.99 and they are full of organized by theme/subject sticker.  I saw this done somewhere, wish I could remember who to give the credit to.  (Before picture doesn't really show a lot, but the stickers were all in baggies and clipped on a rod and there were lots of things just laying around.)
Under that is all the brown and black boxes that are for scrapbooking and the Cricut machine.  The bottom shelves are for scrapbooking paper, sheets of chipboard/cardboard, and extra sleeves for my pages.

Take a breath and lets go to the middle section of shelves, it is from a large wall unit, one of the side towers.   On top there is a box of yarn, the next two shelves are my Sizzix dies, and the next is a spot for my machine.  I just treated myself to the new electric one, I was still using the old red dinosaur.  A lot of my art tapes are still on DVD so I have a player and then there is a small tv at the bottom.  (The KopyCake overhead used to be in this unit and you saw it got moved to the wall to the left of the window.)
Last bookcase!  Black and white photo boxes are full of needlepoint, cross stitch, silk ribbon embroidery, needle tatting, knitting needles and crochet hooks.   There is a sewing machine in a cream colored cover towards the middle.  Then, all that other stuff is neatly folded fabric!  My cone thread and serger are all in the closet on the back wall on a shelf and in spool racks. 

You can read about the rest of the room in my past blogs.  All in all, I am please with the way the room turned out!  One of the best moves I made was to get all like things together in the same area.  Now, all the painting is together, same goes for the sewing and the scrapbooking.  Saving steps and staying organized means saving time.

  I think I will still come back in later and put some words on the wall.  Maybe something that Sharron has told me for years, "Enjoy the Journey."  Another friend, Regina, always says "It isn't that crucial!"  Maybe just something like "Create".  I don't know yet, and thus, I haven't put anything up yet.

The tile looks like real ceramic tiles, was less than a dollar each and I was able to install it myself. Please let me know what you like about my room and if you decide to use any of my ideas.  I love hearing from my readers, and I do get quite a few emails.  Please try to put your comments here, I know other folks would also enjoy ready what you have to say.   Next week...dunno yet, but I do look forward to it!  -Pam