Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Canadians: A Painting

Canadian's are not known for their patriotism, but we love things that are Canadian. We love outdoor gear like rain, snow, and other winter jackets. We love our landscape, like the mountains, the rivers, the lakes, and the Prairies. We love to hear how Americans stereotype us, and think we live in igloos, even though most of us have never even seen an igloo. We love outdoor adventures like hiking, biking, fishing, hunting out our back door, and others. We love our local animals, like Bears, Moose, Foxes, and Salmon (but not the Geese). And we LOVE hockey!

This was a project I did was about our local animals. Its a Black Bear! We are more known for our Grizzly Bears in this area, but they are much scarier, and not as common to see.

I chose to do a Black Bear because, for some random reason, I like to paint things for my younger brother. Its not that I don't like painting for my older brother, but his wife is 1 million times better, so it would be pointless. I told him I wanted to paint him something that I could paint a solid color, he wanted to be sure it was something manly, so we picked a Black Bear. It was fitting with the color of choice.

What I did:

It was a very easy craft! I looked up a few pictures of bears online so I could remember exactly what they looked like. I then covered a cheep dollar store canvas in news paper clippings. I cut out small pieces because I wanted it to be all words, and the news paper normally has a lot of pictures. You could also do this with book pages, but I was more willing to cut up my news paper than a perfectly good book.

I used a glue and water mixture to put the paper onto the canvas, then I sealed it on top with the glue and water. 

Lastly, I painted a picture of a Black Bear on top. If you are not good at painting, here is a cheater idea for this project. Print off a picture of a simple object(like the bear) in the right size. Then, cut out the picture slightly smaller than it is. Trace around the cut out onto the canvas, and paint inside. Since you cut is slightly smaller, it allows room to go out of the lines if there is a mistake. 


Monday, April 15, 2013

Earrings: The Shiny Gold Shirt

My Brother is one of those guys who is so cool he can get away with anything. Right now, for instance, he has a greasy short pony tail, and bobby pins back his bangs, but he is still the coolest kid. He is the kinda person that sets trends, though I hope others are smart enough not to follow the pony tail trend. If he starts wearing baggy cargo pants, so do all the kids in his fan club. I really like him, he is a really nice, caring, hilarious, fun guy, but he can be a bit odd at times. Right now he is a folk singer song writer. His group is called Bronson and the Angels. However, he was not always a musician.

My Brother used to be really into basketball. He was super good and played for our provincial team! During that time, being the high school jock that he was, he was invincible in his coolness factor. I think he was in grade 9 or 10 when he went on a summer tournament to San Francisco. He wanted to make a statement at this tournament. He found the most intense gold shiny shirt at Value Village (thrift store), so he decided to wear it...everyday. This shirt made a statement for sure! It was probably a really nice shirt wear to the disco if you were over the age of 50 20 years ago. But, in the 21st century, it was not popular amongst high school boys.

I'm not sure if he still has the shirt tucked away in a safe keeping box somewhere, but I have not seen it in the last 5 years. However, when I was looking through my mom's button box, I came across two buttons from the shirt that had the same fabric on them. Though I would not wear the shirt now, I think the fabric is nice in small button sized quantities. So I decided to make them into earrings.

What I did:

This project probably took me less than 5 min. The buttons were shank style buttons, so they had a loop on the back. I took my pliers and cut the loop off so they would lie flat, this left a messy hole in the back, but that didn't matter. I then took some craft earring studs, and glued them onto the back of the button. I let the glue dry over night to be sure it was good and secure. I wore them the next day! Presto!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wine Bottles: I love to Recycle

The Truth is, I like to Recycle. I'm not a recycle fanatic or anything, but I due value recycling.

I think my room mates have a different opinion about recycling than I do. I usually take the garbage and recycling out most weeks to be collected, and it can be a bit of a struggle. I'm not sure if they don't know, or if they just don't care, that the cardboard needs to be flattened, the jars need to be rinsed, the paper needs to come off, ect. But really I don't mind the extra 5 min to clean it all up. That's not really the hard part for me, the part that bothers me the most is what people DON'T recycle. When I take the garbage out and find plastic containers, to-go cup lids, paper, plastic bags, cardboard boxes, and so many other things that could be recycled in the garbage, that rubs me the wrong way. I usually pick out the things on the top of the garbage, but I don't really want to dig down into the garbage to pull everything out. Especially since we don't have a compost so there is rotting food in our garbage. I also am passionate about compost, but that's another story.

I would like to to be clear that I am not a nag when it comes to Recycling. At least not yet, or not with my current room mates. The odd time I will casually mention that certain things can be recycled, or that they need to be cleaned a specific way. However, this very rare since my room mates are not usually home when I take out the garbage and recycling.

The one thing I like more than recycling, is reusing or re-purposing, or (the new trendy word) up-cycling. I saw a craft on Pintrest, that was actually from Etsy, and decided to make it my own.

What I did:

I first spray painted the bottles with two coats of a special glass paint, so that my paint would not chip off later. I then made some chalk paint: 2 Tbs fine tile grout mixed with 1 cup craft paint. I wanted to be able to write what ever I wanted on the bottles, which is why I used chalk paint. The chances of me forgetting what type of flower I put in them is very high, this way I can write on the bottles and remember. 

After the chalk paint dried I twine wrapped the bottles. I wanted them to all be different so I wrapped different amounts. To Twine wrap all you need is a ball of twine and some glue and water mixture(just thin out the glue so its the consistency of Mod Podge). Simply brush the glue mixture onto the bottle and wrap the twine around the bottle. I always leave about 2 inches extra at the start in case it slides around a bit, then at the end, I can cut it to the correct length after it is dry. After the first two times around the twine doesn't move very easily so its actually very quick. 

I am going to put them on my kitchen window sill.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Stain Glass Windows: Its Like Home Church

This project is probably one of my favourites. It was such a rare opportunity, that I don't think anyone else could have such a thing. I was in the right place at the right time.

My church was doing some renovations, and my Dad and Uncle were in charge. Our church sanctuary (where the Sunday morning service is held) had stain glass windows on both of the side walls. Since, due to previous renovations, one of the side walls was actually an interior wall, the windows were going to be taken out to be replaced with a simple flat wall.  As soon as I heard this, I asked my Uncle if I could have the windows. Thankfully our church had no use for them, so one day after the Sunday service my Dad loaded two windows in the back of his truck to take home.

They were a lot different than what I expected when I received them. I was expecting a window with a small simple, but as you can see in the picture, that's not what I got. I had to change my plans a bit, but I think it worked out in the end.

Photo by David Chung

What I did:

Photo by David Chung
I started by sanding down all the wood. There were layers upon layers of hideous 80's church color oil based paint, so it took a long time. I then tapped up the windows with painters tape so that I didn't get paint on the glass when I painted.

I was hoping for a beachy/vintage look so I wanted a lot of the wood grain to be showing. To do this I added some leftover white paint to my clear varnish. I painted the whole thing with the faintly white varnish. I liked the effect on the wood after the first coat, and didn't want it any whiter, so I used a different un-tinted can of varnish for the second coat. After the varnish dried for two days I took off the tape, and scraped all the dirt and old paint splatters off the windows.

Photo By David Chung
There was not a lot of steps, but the sanding took forever, so it felt a lot harder than it was. I also later found out that the windows are fake stain glass and not real. It looks the same to me in the end.