Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Glass Jar vase

Happy last week of July!

I don't know about anyone else but here in Colorado this summer has been delightfully cool and very wet.  It is a good thing for any lightening strikes that start fires, the fires here have been really bad the past 2 years, a lot of homes burned and even lives lost.  The rain is also good since the last few years we've had a bit of a drought.  Mid July through mid August is what is called 'monsoon' season here in Colorado.  The moisture from the Pacific comes flooding into the state where it hits the warm air rising from the south and they collide over the Rocky Mountains and create lots of rain and storms.  It is the precursor to fall and winter.  Our summers don't last that long, heck my spring flowers are just fading and the summer one's are just starting to bud.  They'll be all finished by mid August when we could get our first snow.  Yes, I said snow in August.  It has already snowed on some of the higher peaks here in Colorado, including Pikes Peak, this week.  Tomorrow it is only supposed to be 61 degrees!  I just don't know where the 'summer' has gone, I mean it is August already.  Wasn't it just May last month? 

As I sit here tonight writing this post it is thundering and lightening outside my window and the rain is coming down like crazy. On a good note, it will save me lots of money on my water bill for my lawn!  Always a good side to everything.

Since it has been so cool this summer we haven't been able to spend much time on our porch but I have still taken the time to decorate and make it look nice for the times we can use it this season.  This weekend I took advantage of the warm weather to do an easy craft that took little time and was pretty cheap. 

I like to re-use or re-purpose things instead of just throwing the item away and clogging up the landfills.  What I do is small but it makes me feel better.  One thing I never do is to throw away glass jars.  I re-purpose them for holding coffee in the camper or craft supplies or dog bones.  I even decorate some glass jars for candle holders, vases and other decorations. 

Decorating glass jars is easy and fairly cheap, depending on what you do to the jar.

You will need:
1 glass jar - any size.  I used a really large pickle jar, yep a pickle jar!
1 can of spray paint, any color
1 tube or jar of craft paint, any color
1 can of clear spray paint
1 tube of crackle medium - optional
An extra color of spray paint - optional
A stencil - optional
Twine, jute or ribbon - optional

To begin with, after your jar is empty, make sure you clean it well with warm soapy water.  Remove the labels and you can either keep or throw away the lid. I keep the lids and will make coaster out of them, yep coaster!
I used nail polish remover and a flat razor blade to get the labels off. This was the most difficult part.

Next - Dry your jar really well.  After I towel dried mine I let it sit for 5 minutes or so while I got everything together. 

To paint the jar get an area prepped.  The spray paint does tend to make a mess. I only spray paint outside.  It must be a well ventilated area and the outside temperature needs to be above 36 degree's.  I put down a trash bag and tie it down with small rocks or wood.  I then placed my dry glass jar open side down in the middle of the trash bag. 

Step 1 - Make sure you shake your spray paint up until the ball inside the can moves around easily.  The spray away!  Check your spray paint can for drying times.  I let mine dry between coats.  I gave the jar 2 coats of spray paint.  I then let it dry overnight (you don't have to do this overnight step).
Step 2 - In the morning I then took my craft paint and began my next step.  Here you could apply a stencil or you could tape the jar off and spray paint another color then remove the tape.  There are many options you could do.  Use your imagination!  I chose to pour a blue paint over the bottom of the jar and let it drip down the sides.  I let that dry for a good hour then I lightly painted the blue with a crackle medium to give the blue a broken effect.  Again, I let this all dry overnight.
Step3 - My final step was the clear enamel spray paint.  Still with the open end of the jar down, I spray painted with the clear enamel spray paint, this made the jar shinny.  I let this dry for an hour. 
Step 4 - Here is where you can embellish your jar.  You could tie jute or ribbon around the top opening or you could leave it alone as I did.  You could fill your jar with sand and put a candle in it.  You could tie a piece of jute around the middle or top and hang a sea shell or other item from the twine or ribbon.  You can glue anything you want to the jar, small shells, wine corks - anything!  Use your imagination. 
For this large jar, I mean it is really big, I chose to stay simple and I just filled it with flowers from my garden.
Simple by really pretty isn't it!  I just love it.  My husband was amazed at it.  "How did you get the paint to run like that?" he asked me. 
Again, here are the steps I followed in pictures.

Clean your jar -
 Remove the labels.

Now you get to paint!
 After my gold dried, I chose to pour this shade of blue over the bottom of the jar.
 Then I let it run down the sides.
I let this dry for a while, then I brushed crackle medium over the blue.  When that dried I spray painted the entire thing with clear enamel.

 I LOVE it!  I put it around a my porch and I just can't decide where I like it more.  On this little metal side table I painted light blue...
Or on my table! 
This is a craft that you can adjust to your style and your friends will be amazed at what the 'vase' originally was!  I hope you try it. 

As always, I appreciate you stopping by.  I hope you come back. Next week I've got a great and easy shrimp recipe for you. 
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I appreciate you reading.  Have a safe and happy week!
Victoria

Monday, July 21, 2014

You really can paint anything

I hope everyone had a great weekend.  Mine didn't go as planned but I sure did have fun.  I never did get to the thrift stores to hunt down a lamp, but there is always next weekend.

So last week I showed you how I transformed some ugly colored dollar trays into great trays and today I'm showing you not only how I finished one but I will give you a sneak peak at next weeks painting foray.

But first I thought I'd start with a beautiful sunset.  The sunsets here in Colorado are always beautiful.  Tonight's was no exception.
But on to the trays...
Remember these?

For this craft you will need:
Spray Paint - any color you want
1 tube of craft paint - any color you want
1 can of Clear Gloss spray paint
A stencil
Painters tape
A stippling brush - AKA a stencil brush
1 paper plate

I painted one of the trays black as one of my girls has a black and white bedroom.
 
I chose silver metallic for the Fleur de Lis
I used one of the smaller brushes for this stencil as it isn't that big.  I used the one to the immediate right of the large one.

Now... a thing or two about stenciling. It is easy BUT...
Always remember to dab off the paint on your brush prior to dabbing it on the item.  You want as little paint as possible on the brush.

Also... Make sure your stencil is down tight and secure, if not you will get a shadow effect, unless that is what you want, then cool!  Next, dab the paint 1 time and 1 time only... then be done! 
Alas the worse that could happen is that you mess up!  You then simply repaint and start over! No harm, no foul! 
So remember a little paint goes a long way.  Dab don't brush the paint on.
Easy peasy!

And whala!  You are done!
After it is dry then go over the piece with your clear gloss spray paint.  It will be shinny and pretty. 

Have you ever stenciled?  I did an entire border in my kitchen when we first moved in... now that was a job!

Next I'm going to share the almost outcome of my next craft project.
This started out as something you may not believe!


I can't wait till it's dry to share!  And wait to you see what it was before! 

Can you believe July is almost over?  Where has the summer gone?  Here is Colorado it is really just starting, my flowers are finally blooming and the days are getting warmer.  Secretly I can't wait for September, October and November - my favorite months.  I've got a lot of cool crafts I want to try for Halloween - yes I am thinking Halloween already!  This year has just gone by so quickly. Take advantage of every day because before we know it Christmas will be here and it will be 2015!!! YIKES.  Wasn't it just 2000 yesterday? 

So till next week - Stay safe and have a happy week.

Victoria

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Till next week! 

Monday, July 14, 2014

You don't have to settle

Have you ever looked at something and said..."I love this, but not the color, I wish it was in ..." - Well have you? 
Have you ever just loved a d├ęcor item so much but settled on the color because that was the only color it came in?  Well have you?
I know that I can answer, "YES" to both of these questions.  But no more! 

I have found the power of paint, spray paint, craft paint, house paint, heck any kind of paint! 

I know that I am probably late to this paint love party but gosh, let me tell you it is so powerful.  But better late than never!
I always thought that spray paint was difficult to use, it splattered, it was blotchy, in other words it just wasn't worth the $5.00 or more a can.  No more I tell you! No more!  Yes I am a convert.

I have spray painted a nightstand....
http://www.dragonfliesandthistles.blogspot.com/2013/08/nightstands.html

And now I've got the spray paint out again! 

I found these at the dollar spot at Target about 2 months ago.  I thought - I love them but hate all the colors (well the blue one I like).  These little plastic trays are great for holding jewelry or as a large coaster or even to hold a decorative item on a table.  But the colors were, well, awful for the most part.
But remember - that doesn't matter!  I can make them any color I like!  I HAVE THE POWER!!!!

Step 1 - Peel those horrible labels off.... do you know how hard that is?  I soaked them in soapy water and put rubbing alcohol to them to get the sticky residue off.
Step 2 - Decide what colors and or pattern you want them... plain?; striped?; dots?; wavy lines?; hearts?; Fleur de Lis? the options are endless.
Step 3 - After choosing your colors and or patterns you need to prep your painting area.  Spray paint does tend to be a bit messy, you may want to wear gloves.  I always spray paint outside on the junky messy side of the house and I use a trash bag as my backdrop.
Step 4 - Paint.  Make sure you shake your can really well - there is a little ball in the can of spray paint and it should move around easily, you will be able to tell when you shake the can.  Remove your lid and hold the can about 7-10 inches away from the object you want to paint.  Hold the nozzle down and move you hand in a back and forth motion till the item is covered. 


DON'T WORRY ABOUT MESSING UP!  If you did too much in one spot simple don't go near that spot again!  Trust me if I can do it you can do it!

Step 5 - Let your item dry.  You may need to do several coats to get the desired color you want.  The back of my can said the drying time was 10 minutes to the touch... which means I should be able to pick the item up after 10 minutes without leaving fingerprints or messing up the paint.  If you live in a more humid are you will want to let your paint dry longer. 
Step 6 - If you want only 1 color, well you are done!  If you want another color, say polka dots - place the dots where you want them, spray paint the new color over the item till you have the desired color then remove the dots and let the item dry. 

For this project I chose to paint 1 of the trays a single color, gold.  I placed the tray under my salt lamp. 

The other two tray's I haven't been able to complete yet.  One is black and one is white.  The black one will have a Fleur de Lis in the center and the rest will be painted gold.  The white one will get dots then a painting of black. 
It has been raining here, crazy rain on Saturday, my basement almost flooded again.  You can't spray paint in the rain or when it is below 35 degree's as the paint will be hard and gloppy (that's a technical term there... gloppy - meaning full of glop!).  It rained on Sunday afternoon and again today after 4 right when I was leaving work.  So I haven't finished the other 2 yet.  I'll share the finished product when I am done. 
But back to painting things....
Did you know that you can paint glass?  Yes you can!  If you like the sea glass look you can take 1 part paint, 1/2 part white glue and 1/2 part water - mix well and paint!  It will look like sea glass.  I can't wait to try that on some Mason Jar's.  They are all the rage and the colored one's are crazy expensive for what they are. I've also got a really large jug that once contained some pickles.  I'm washing it and I'm going to use some craft paint on it and see what I come up with.  I think it will look great possibly dipped in gold paint and a nice jute sting around it with some sunflowers from my garden.  You can also paint terra cotta, but make sure the terra cotta is wet, really wet, before you paint otherwise it will just continue to soak up your paint color. 

Have you ever painted anything?  How did it turn out? 

I hope everyone has a great week.  I'll be back next week with another craft to share.  Until then be safe.
Victoria
As always I appreciate your support! 

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Salt Lamp

I hope everyone had a safe, happy and fun filled 4th of July.  We went camping in the mountains over the holiday.  We camped in a town called Pagosa Springs, Colorado.  Like Colorado Springs, where I live, Pagosa is a town that established itself because of the healing hot springs.  However, unlike Colorado Springs, Pagosa is a sulfur spring so the entire town smells like rotten eggs but you do get use to the smell.  Manitou Springs, which is within 5 miles of where I live, is a mineral spring.  Like Colorado Springs the waters in Manitou are more for drinking than soaking like Pagosa.  Colorado is filled with natural springs, many that flow into large rivers and lakes. 

While in Pagosa shopping, what else would I do right!  Anywho, I found a shop that specializes in rocks.  Now you may be thinking... 'ROCKS? what is the big deal about rocks?'.  But did you know that many rocks have medicinal powers?  No, you don't grind them up and eat them but you do keep them around or wear them. 

I bought a salt lamp.  Now I know that many of you, like myself, don't know what a salt lamp is, so let me explain.
This inconspicuous rock is really a large block of salt.  It is ground out on the inside and you place a light inside.  Salt rocks usually come from the Himalayas and were formed millions of years ago. The lamps emit negative ions that clean and purify the air.

So what's the big deal you may ask... well let me tell you.  Negative ions are good for you and your health.  It's the positive one's that are bad.  We get bombarded with positive ions every day via electrical appliances.  These positive ions are to blame for lack of energy and even allergies and some diseases, depending on what sources you read.  Do you feel tired even after a well rested 8 hours?  It could be that you have too many positive ions around you. 

So this is how they work....When lit the salt warms up and pulls the moisture out of the air, as the water evaporates through the salt the lamp admits negative ions back into the air.  You know how great the air is after a thunderstorm?  Well that is because the air is full of negative ions at that point. 

What are the benefits of a salt lamp?  Well, the negative ions reduce the EMF (electromagnetic field) pollution created by computers, cell phones, microwaves etc.  The lamps create a calming and relaxing atmosphere.  Supposedly they help with allergies (I am a sufferer and I'll let you know if the lamp helps me).  These lamps are even touted to help with headaches including migraines.  Some websites even say that the lamps can help remove 'free radicals' from your body and the air.  Free radicals are known to cause certain types of cancer. 

DISCLAIMER - I am not a Dr. nor an expert.  I am only telling you about information that I've gathered on these lamps, and there is a LOT of information out there.  Just do a web search on 'salt lamp benefits' and you'll be bombarded with information. 

Personally, I like the glow. 

Caution:  These lamps can sweat so don't put them directly on a wooden surface if you live in a humid area.  You might want to put the lamp on a tray regardless.  Also don't place directly on anything electronic because they do sweat, they may drip water.  In the pictures above I've got mine directly on the table for photo purposes only.  Even in arid, dry Colorado I'm going to put mine on a tray or plate of some sort. 

These lamps come in many different shapes and sizes and many different prices.  At the Rock Shop I paid, $16.00 for my lamp but I've priced them online at upwards of $50.00. 

Does anyone already have a salt lamp?  Do you find that they work for you?  Is anyone else as skeptical as me? 

I'll let you know if mine helps my allergies and if I notice a difference in the air quality. 

I'm only going to be blogging once a week beginning this week through August.  I'll start back up twice a week in September.  So many activities planned in July and August but I'll be sharing lot's of pictures! 

Till next week - stay safe!
Victoria

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