Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cabinet Featured, Tragedy Strikes My Camera Lens and Some Humor From the Christmas Village

The Trifecta!  Excitement! Tragedy and a Little Humor all in one 24 hour period.  What's the holidays without a little drama?!! 
First for the excitement.  (Which actually took place after the tradegy and made me feel so much better!)  Thank you to Katie of Sew Woodsy for featuring my Unconventional Approach to my Master Bathroom Cabinets today on her blog!! Just the uplift I needed to start the day!  Thanks Katie!! (Click on the button below to see the feature and all the other great projects she highlighted.)

Ugg, the tragedy.  I had a tough day yesterday, when I dropped my Nikon and damaged the lens.  Oh. Terrible day.  The lens I broke is my only one AND I found out that it was close to impossible to replace.  Luckily, I found the guys at this place in town called The Camera Clinic.  The repair was expensive, but a fraction of the cost of replacement. Bad news though was that it is going to take at least 3 weeks to get the parts and fix it.  I was devastated.  I wondered how on earth I was going to publish the The Homeless Finch. Well... those awesome guys gave me a loner lens!! Yeah! back in business! 

So now....a little humor.  The other day, I showed you images of my Christmas Village.  Today, I thought I would show you a few humorous details.  Hope you enjoy them!

I took this image and posted it on my Facebook page. Then my sis noticed
something peculiar about the roof top to the upper left of the image.  Look
closely...  I forgot that I temporarily left this "Dog Lifting His Leg" on
the top of the roof!!!   Silly me.  What's funnier, the piece itself,
or the fact that it is on the roof!??
This is a piece with two people walking.  Their umbrella
has blown open.  I always make sure to place it in an alley
coming off the harbor!!  Don't you hate when your umbrella
does this?!!

This might be hard to deciper, because I blurred the background.  I crack up
at this piece every year.  It is a mother dragging her reluctant son away
from a game of marbles with friends.  If this isn't typical, I don't know
what is!!!

This guy is passed out on the Bus Stop Bench.  I am sure the original
intent was that he shopped himself weary.  However, I tell my
guests that he hung out too long at O'Malley's Pub just behind him and
missed his bus.  Poor guy....a little too much "Holiday" cheer!

Hope one of them gave you a chuckle!  In the studio today, getting excited for the kick off tomorrow of my 25 Days of Christmas and Holiday Series!!! Don't forget to come back tomorrow to see the first fun and easy project! The button below will take you to the announcement if you missed it!   Lots of inspiration coming your way... AND you will actually be able to SEE it, now that I have a camera lens again!!!

-The End-

Monday, November 28, 2011

Announcement! Special Christmas and Holiday Series from The Homeless Finch and My Christmas Village

A 25 Day Christmas and Holiday Blog Series
The Homeless Finch!!

This Thursday, December 1st, The Homeless Finch will kick of the 25 Days of Christmas And The Holidays Blog Post Series.  I will be sharing quick and easy craft and gift ideas for the holidays. I will explore making ornaments, wreaths, hostess gifts, gift tags, decor and more. The key is Quick and Easy.   Everyday I will share a simple idea that might inspire you.  I will present the information in a concise manner including short "How To" instructions.  

I love to up-cycle, so you will probably see a little bit of thriftiness along the way too. I might even break with The Homeless Finch tradition of staying away from food and recipes and give over some of my tried and true quick and easy tips in the kitchen too!  It's all about saving you time, but also giving you great festive ideas!

To accompany this series, I designed a Special Blog Button if you want to grab it and place it on your blog that would be awesome!! I could use the support and maybe some of your friends might enjoy seeing what I got going on the next 25 days.

On another note, my daughter and I were busy this past weekend constructing my Department 56 Christmas in the City collection.  I split the buildings between two locations in my house.   Here are a few of the highlights; one on my pine hutch in the dining room and one on my large desk in my living room.
The Shopping District

The Main City, including the Business District, The Harbor,
Washington Square and China Town with a few parks and plazas too.

Business District

Washington Square Street

The Gate between the Business District and Washington Square

Detail of China Town

The Harbor
This project always takes up most of the Thanksgiving weekend for us and we enjoy every tiring moment of the process.  I have been collecting Department 56 since 1990.  This year my 14 year old daughter became more than just a helper, she became a designer and main visionary of the layouts.  I think she came up with some nifty this little vignette in a pulled out drawer. 

So, I hope you are planning on joining me each day for a quick, neat idea.  The posts will be short, sweet and to the point with materials and instructions.   We are all very busy.  Who has time to read a long wordy post this time of year?!!   I'm excited and I hope you are too!

-The End-

Friday, November 25, 2011

Painting With Collage Has Me Wondering If It's Ever Complete

It's Paint Party Friday today and I am heading over there with my "completed" collage. I am still in a quandry as to whether it is actually complete, but it is... 

 In my blog post In The Studio Today Playing With Collage, I explained that I use these 5 X 5 inches squares as places to experiment with techniques and color layering.  I also don't like to waste paint, so I often take my leftovers and smear them around on these cubes.  Last time at Paint Party Friday, I posted an image of a 5 X 5 inch painting that I decided to collage over.  It started like this...

I trimmed a page out of an old dictionary.  The page is specifically about waves and wavelengths.  I thought it worked with the theme of the painting.  I had the idea of including some sort of image that I altered.  Looking through my images, I fell onto a pic of one of my finches and decided to try and use it.  I altered in the image using Picnik.  I tried a few things, like directly cutting out the bird.  Then I decided to use the part of the image that captured the cage.  I cut a silhouette of a bird out of that portion of the image.  I like the graphic quality of it.

I then added a totally cool vintage package of buttons still partially intact and a cut piece of burlap.

I really didn't know where this collage was going to go.  I just let it kinda develop by digging threw my piles of scraps, jars of stuff and such.  I even cut out a spot from a leopard printed tapestry fabric that I had previously used on my sister's Teacher Chair a few months back.  I worked it around atop the little burlap square and a figurative 'nest' for the finch emerged.

As you can see from the image above, I added a line of pale pink beads strung on a silver wire and a little metal flower to the burlap square too.  My finch are always collecting things and bringing them back to their nests.  I thought it only appropriate that this little guy did the same thing. 

Then I got this hair brained idea.  I have always disliked the sides of my little cubes because they are usually glob up with paint.  I decided to try something new to finish off the sides.

Using the black and white gingham fabric leftover from my Kitchen Cabinet Becomes An Open Shelf project, I finished off the sides, wrapping the fabric around the back and secured it with Modge Podge.

So here is how it stand now.  Do you think it is complete?? At first, I had wanted to add more of a top painting on this collage, but as it came along, I was too squeamish to put paint on the objects. I think I was too attached to them.  For example, the vintage button card is so cool, I didn't want to change it.  I decided to give it a little breathing room and come back to it.  Sometimes, I become less attached to my work when I allow my emotions to simmer.  But even today, I still haven't decided if it is done. 

So what do you think?? Is it done?  Do you think I should paint something over this?  Any ideas?  Let me know.  I think it is funny that one of these little squares that I use for experimentation of such has become something that I actually care about!!

Hope everyone enjoys their weekend.  I am heading out in just a few to go join the crazy shopping extravaganza known as Black Friday.  Fingers crossed that the deals are still there...

-The End-

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Luckiest Turkey Of All

Here is the luckiest turkey in the world today...  Her name is "Liberty."  Can you imagine being so amazing, that you get chosen to fly to DC, meet the President of the United States, and have your life saved all in one day?!! 

Not to be gobbled up: With a wave of his hand President Barack Obama ceremonially pardoned Liberty, a 19-week old, 45-pound turkey, on Wednesday morning

Here is last year's pardon.  His name is "Courage."  Take a close look at this image.

I think that Sasha's t-shirt is more adorable than the turkey. Talk about upstaging!!!  I had to show this image too, just because of that t-shirt!!!  I originally found this image, thinking Courage was 2011's pardon. Silly me.  That it.

Here is a little something a friend of mine posted on her Facebook page.  If you find any of this offensive, sorry.  It's all in good fun.  Which squares are your favorite? 

I am thankful for all the friends I have made this year through The Homeless Finch. May your day be filled with warmth and happiness. May your turkeys all turn out wonderful.  May your long lost drunk cousin not show up!!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cabinet Knobs Using Stones and Jute

A few days ago, I revealed Master Bathroom Cabinet Makeover.  I promised you that I would come back with information regarding the knobs that I fashioned for the cabinets using the existing hardware with the addition of stones and jute.  Many of you know that I ordered knobs from Hobby Lobby and when they arrived, they were defective.  No worries, Hobby Lobby took a full refund without question.  But it left me with a dilemma.  What to do?

I went on a few trips and brought back a few sample knobs.  I just wasn't happy.  I wanted something different.  I wanted a stone look.  After all, the floors are a speckled granite, the counter tops and tile a black granite.  I wanted something that tied them together.  Then it hit me.  Stones.  It was that simple.  I went to my stash of stones, shells, mancala beads...You know, the stuff we put in plates with candles and such that the stores sell in clear plastic drawstring bags.  Here is what I did.

Assorted polished stones
Existing knobs for the base
Liquid Nails Clear Adhesive
Hot Glue and scissors

I set out the knobs and chose stones in groupings according to the cabinet on which they would be attached. On the four drawers I did a 'little something extra' by attaching a few small stones atop the first stone.  The bottom drawer got a stone with a message.

I attached them to the old knobs, which now are operating as my shank.  I let these sit up for two straight days before attaching them to the doors and drawers so that the adhesive would be strong. 

After waiting a few days more for the adhesive to completely cure, I took a roll of jute and hot glue and attached the jute to the neck of the knobs where the stone meets the shank.  I wanted to give them a more finished look and make the stone look like it belong there. 

I am super please with this upgrade at basically no cost since I already had the stones.  They give a spa-like feel to the cabinets and nicely tie the natural materials in the bath and the cabinets together.  They are not your standard knobs for sure.  But nothing has ever been very standard about me. So why not fun hardware?!! 

If you didn't get to see the full cabinet review before seeing this post and you want to quickly take a look, click HERE.  There will be a back link to this post, so no worries.  Hope you enjoyed this little tutorial on a funky approach on bath cabinet knobs.

Hey, and remember...You only have one life.  It's yours to live, for YOU.  If you want stones and jute for cabinet knobs...what's stopping you?!!  Enjoy the day.

-The End-
Everything Under the Moon

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Crafty Restyle Frame That Has Me Saying, "There you are sitting right there making me happy."

I gave this card to my hubby several years back.  There was something about the simplicity of the message and the characters in the image that caught both of us and caused him to keep the card.  These two little papillons are the animal version of him and I, right down to the 'expressions' on their faces. He's the sucker with the rose in his mouth and I am the wise gal next to him letting him work to get my attention. (wink) Inside it reads: "There you are, sitting right there, making me happy."  Does it have to be anymore complicated really? 

He has kept this card at his sink for years.  He says that it makes him happy to see it there.  Of course it has started to show the wear of being in a place where water is splashed around. With the Master Bathroom Makeover in progress, I wanted to get it up off the counter top and give it a more special place.  I still wanted him to be able to open it and read the message, so thought an open window box type framing might be in order. I have two boxes filled with old frames that we no longer use, so I dug around in that box and found this frame. 

New pale yellow walls, white
bead board cabinet refacing,
white shutter treatment on windows,
 updated flooring
The Master Bathroom Makeover project has involved a restyle of a contemporary bath to a more traditional country style bath with whites and pale yellows.  I am currently working on a few beachy accents, so naturally that is the direction I wanted to take this project.  I quickly painted the frame with Vaspar's Satin White spray paint.  While it was drying, I headed out the door hunting for some natural materials for my neighborhood.

If you have been following my blog, you know that I live in a coastal city in South Florida.  We have several parks, two of which are on the Intracoastal Waterway.  I combed the beach in this park for driftwood and such.  I found all sorts of items, including old palm fronds, a broken open coconut and a few pieces of driftwood.  With my loot in hand, I headed back home.

I decided to restyle the frame with these natural elements.  Using nothing more than a glue gun, I loosely covered the frame.  You can also see from the image below that I covered the surface of the glass with a piece of burlap.  I wanted the burlap to act as a backdrop or mat for the card.

I also allowed the materials to fall outside the confines on the frame.  I liked the non constructed feel of it.  I also tucked a few pieces of coconut 'hair' in crevices around the frame, covering up some of the gloppy hot glue that was needed to securely affix the frond pieces.  Now it was time for the accents.  I went into my stash of shells and corals that I have collected on weekend trips to The Keys and used a few items as accents on the corners.

Using velcro, I attached the card to the burlap surface which will allow the card to be removed at anytime.  I hung it next to his sink in our bathroom. 
If you look just above the card, I placed a little piece of driftwood and added a simple word using mismatched letters from the newspaper.  I did this project while he was away for work and surprised him on the return.  He can still have this little card as a reminder each morning and evening.  But now it has a special place.   
 -The End-

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