Spring Fever

It’s been quite a while since I posted last.  My daughter and I have both been sick for the past week and I finally feel like we are on the mend. 

Because I’ve been stuck at home feeling bad, I’ve really got a case of cabin fever.  I’m longing for the warm spring days when I can go out in just a jacket and see all the daffodils in bloom.   Hence my latest little project.

I used Miss Mustard Seed’s inspiration for a centerpiece (found here), but added elements of spring like the tiny potted daffodils.  Then I decided instead of using faux eggs, I would try my hand at blowing and painting the real thing.   This is how it turned out…

First I needed to remove the yolk and whites from the eggs so that they would not go bad sitting out in my centerpiece.  I grabbed 3 eggs from my fridge, which just happen to be brown eggs because that is usually what I buy for my cooking, and a large sewing needle.  Then I gently pushed the needle into each end of the egg making a small hole.

I gently twirled the needle around the bottom hole to widen it just a tiny bit, then I pushed the pin into the hole a few times to break the yolk (gently shaking works well too.)

Then I puckered up and blew into the top hole.  This took quite a bit of blowing, but eventually I was able to blow the yolk and white out of the bottom hole.

Then I left the eggs to dry overnight. 

At this point, I tried them out in my centerpiece and they already look really nice, but I wanted a bit more color.

So the next day I decided to paint them using some acrylic paints and a few techniques I learned from a folk art painting book a while ago.  I decided to crackle one of the eggs in a bright blue and added a rooster image.  In this case, the egg did indeed come before the chicken (er…rooster)!

I left the other two eggs the natural brown color and then  added a daisy design to one and a rosette design to the other.

With a few feathers and a little ceramic bird, I rounded out the centerpiece.

I love the added color it brings to my dining room.  It makes it feel like spring really could be right around the corner! 

Here is to hoping for more warm days ahead!

Wendy Sue – The Hopewell Homesteader

Linking up to these parties today:

Savvy Southern Style – Wow Us Wednesday

Someday Crafts – Whatever Goes Wednesday

The Thrifty Home – Penny Pinching Party

Saturday Mornings – Strut Your Stuff For February

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An Accent Wall – From Drab to Fab

Do you have a wall in your home that baffles you?   A wall that makes you wonder what room it really belongs to, or what color it should be, or even what it’s purpose is? 

Well, I have one of those walls.  It is a low wall that separates my kitchen from the hall way, but the way it is made makes it stand apart from the hallway, yet it doesn’t really belong to the kitchen either.  Ughh…what to do with a wall like this?

How about making it stand on its own!  That is what I decided to do after seeing the great accent wall patterns here and here

First I needed to find a pattern that would go with my garden themed kitchen since this wall is in such close proximity to my kitchen.  I thought about using an iron gate pattern like this beautiful ironwork I saw at Winterthur.

The only problem with a pattern like that is that if I got it a little crooked it would really look like crap.  So I drew inspiration from one of my dining room chairs and chose this pattern because it would require much less measuring.

This pattern was very easy to create because it was essentially a repeating half circle.  So I measured the wall and determined that a 10 inch semi-circle would be the best fit.

 Once I had my pattern cut out of cardboard, I measured the wall and started tracing my pattern onto the wall starting at the bottom center and working upward and outward from there. 

I traced lightly with a pencil until I had the entire wall filled with the pattern.  Then using a paint that I have had for a few years (Martha Stuart Swiss Coffee – Satin Finish), I traced the pattern with a 1/3 inch width brush. 

This took a steady hand and was rather hard on the knees, but this is what it looked like after the first coat.

Once it was dry, I could tell that it definitely needed a second coat.  So I tortured my knees a while longer and prayed (while I was down on my knees anyway) that it wasn’t going to take a third coat.

My prayers were thankfully answered when the second coat was dry and I didn’t really see a need for a third coat.  Then my husband, who is always helpful when it comes to decorating matters, asked me why I painted clam shells on the wall.  HA! 

Anyway, I think it looks nice and now the wall is no longer lost in the hum-drum that is my hallway.  What do you think?  Have you ever tried an accent wall?  Go ahead and give it a try…it’s relatively easy and if it doesn’t work out, it’s easy enough to paint over.

I hope everyone had a great Valentines Day yesterday!

Wendy Sue – The Hopewell Homesteader

Parties For Today:

Coastal Charm – Nifty Thrifty Tuesday

Tip Junkie – Handmade Projects and Parties

Todays Creative Blog – Get Your Craft On

And Now For Something Totally Different

OK.  So I have been promising a sneak peek at my thrift store finds, so here is what I found.

I found this great blue pattern plate that was a perfect fit for my project today, but I also found this beautiful silver plated serving spatula. 

I love the detail on it.  I gave it a good shine up and a place of honor next to my grandmothers utensils and a great spoon my daughter gave me for christmas (it even says mom).

I also found this great chair.  It has soooo much potential, but it is going to take a LOT of work. 

The springs are completely out at the bottom, but I saw a great tutorial for how to repair it.  I want to take my time with this project and get it right, so I will keep you all informed on its progress.

In other news, I have been MAD busy at the 9-5 gig this week, and with taking time out for orthodontist appointments for my daughter, I had to give up some of my precious weekend in order to make my deadline today.  I did it… but this evening everything seems to be catching up to me and now I am feeling a little sick (scratchy throat and upset stomach).  Ugh…

The highlight (literally) of my day came first thing this morning though, so I thought I would share it with you all.  It was far too beautiful not to take a picture.

   I hope everyone has a great night…off to bed for me and my scratchy throat.  I hope you all are greeted with one of these tomorrow!

Wendy Sue – The Hopewell Homesteader

A Ceiling Medallion Makes A Unique Wall Hanging

I’ve had this pretty ceiling medallion hanging around my place for a while (not on my ceiling).  My friend acquired it at a yard sale, and then gave it to me while I was helping her move.  I love the details in it, but it is definitely too busy for my dining room ceiling. 

I’ve also been trying to think of something for one of the other walls in my bedroom, so I decided I would give the old medallion a face lift.  What do you think?

If you are not familiar with a ceiling medallion, you can check out this Architectural Depot site for more info.  My medallion was a urethane model that had obviously been used because the opening in the center was beat up a bit.  This is what it looked like before.

The first thing I did to it was to spray paint it.  I used Rust-oleum Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover in Satin Nutmeg. 

It has been difficult to find a place to spray paint this winter, so I was forced to brave the outdoor elements.

(Yes.  I spray painted the grass.  It was so darn breezy that I just gave up on the paper and hoped my husband wouldn’t notice the brown patch in the yard!)

I gave it two coats of spray paint, letting it dry completely between applications.  I let the second coat of spray paint dry overnight and then I applied the darker glaze to give it an antique look.  (I used the Ralph Lauren Faux Technique Glaze tinted with Martha Stuart’s Library Mahogany Color.)  

I just sponged it on with a cloth and after about 8 minutes I rubbed it with a clean cloth, which left the darker color to highlight the details.

In fact, I rubbed a little too much off, so then I just added a little more glaze and worked it around until it looked just right.  I love the antique feel it gives the piece and it is super easy to work with.  Oh BTW….take my advice and wear plastic gloves of some type. 

Once the glaze was dry, I was ready to add my center.  You didn’t think I was gonna hang it on my wall with that ugly hole in the center did you?

See that cute blue plate on the left side of the picture?  Yep…it’s the perfect fit for that gaping hole. 

Now I do not claim to know anything about plate collecting.  I know some people are very knowledgeable in that area, and if you, dear reader, are informed, perhaps you could let me know the value (high or low) of the plate I am about to defile for the sake of my wall hanging.

This is the plate close up…

and this is the stamp on the back…

Now with that said (plate collectors may want to divert their eyes for this one), I glued the plate to the medallion with my trusty hot glue gun like so…

And this is how it turned out when the glue was set.

I hung it on the wall using the hole in the back…

Viola!  My new wall hanging fits the room perfectly.

I just love all of the detail in the ceiling medallion.  A wall of these medallions of different sizes with mirrors in the middle would be very pretty too.

Well, I’m off to the 9-5 gig but check back with me tomorrow when I reveal my accent wall in the kitchen and I show you my weekend thrifting treasures.

Wendy Sue – The Hopewell Homesteader

BTW…the glaze was not cheap, but I purchased it with a future furniture refinish project in mind and I only used a tiny bit on this wall hanging.

I am partying today with:

Sumo’s Sweet Stuff – Market Yourself Monday

The DIY Show Off – DIY Project Parade

Dittle Dattle – Amaze Me Mondays

Skip To My Lou – Made By You Monday

Making The World Cuter – Making The World Cuter Mondays

I Was Featured!

I’m so excited!  My first time being featured on another blog!  Please, Please go check out my antique type case project, along with all the other great projects featured at Crafty Geordi’s Show and Share Showoffs.

                                                                                                       

Thank you to everyone for the terrific comments!  And a big thanks to Christine for featuring my project!

Vintage Accessories

I have been absolutely loving the beautiful vintage art over at The Graphics Fairy.

In fact, her pictures inspired me to go on the hunt for some of my own family’s vintage photos, which my mom had quite a bit of, as it turns out.  So last night I got busy scanning several of the wonderful photos for my family to share. 

After my scan fest, I decided to fix up a few little accessories I had from here and there to give them a more vintage feel, and this is what I came up with.

I started with a few items that I felt needed a little pick-me-up.  Then I went on a printing spree at The Graphics Fairy site (my poor color printer cartridge!) and gathered up my Mod Podge and tools.

The first item was a jewelry box that I received as a gift from a friend for being a part of her wedding.  It was a pretty silvery box with a paisley pattern, but for some reason I can’t remember, the top had been scratched and tarnished.

After I had cleaned the top with a damp cloth and dried it well, I chose the graphic I wanted to add to the top of the box and cut it to fit.  Then I brushed on the Mod Podge in a thin layer, carefully placed my graphic and painted another layer of Mod Podge over the whole thing. 

The next item I chose was a clear heart-shaped dish that resided on my dresser before I redecorated the room.  It had previously held assorted seashells but had been empty since.  So again I cleaned it, chose a graphic, cut to fit and Mod Podged it in place.

The last item was a cute green dish that had come as part of a christmas basket.  I loved the shape and color of this little dish and I knew that it could somehow find a home in my kitchen, but it needed more pizzaz.

Since I wanted it to go in my kitchen, I chose a beautiful rose picture.

Then I added it like so….

Once I had all three pieces complete, I left them to dry for an hour, then added another layer of Mod Podge to be sure the graphics were well sealed.

When the Mod Podge was completely dry, my pieces were ready for display.

(BTW…the other items on my window sill are white – NOT YELLOW – but the combo of the overhead light and the camera setting made them look all yellow. Blech!)

I am pleased with how they turned out.  Now my old treasures have some new life.

How do you like them?  These little items have given me the itch to take on something bigger.  I can’t wait to see what the thrift sales have in store for me tomorrow.

I’ll update you all tomorrow on what I find!

Wendy Sue – The Hopewell Homesteader

BTW…I hope you all enjoyed the sneak peak at some of my grandmother’s wonderful photos.

I am linking to these parties today:

At The Picket Fence – Inspiration Fridays

My Romantic Home – Show and Tell Fridays

The Shabby Nest – Frugal Fridays

Finding Fabulous – Frugalicious Friday

French Country Cottage – Feathered Nest Friday

Fingerprints On The Fridge – Feature Yourself Friday

Well Versed Sakura

Yesterday I was checking out some interesting color themes at Home Goods and I was inspired by a blue room.  As you may be aware, I am the queen of blue.  So it makes sense that I wanted to try to use the idea in one of my rooms at home.

I have also been loving the book page art I have seen all over the place lately and I wanted to somehow tie that into my piece.  So I decided to do a take on the Japanese Cherry Blossom paintings, using the paper and the brilliant blue color that inspired me. 

And here you see what I ended up with….

The first thing I did was to take two 8.5″x11″ blank canvases and paint them with a bright blue acrylic paint.  I put on two layers with a foam brush sweeping back and forth across the canvas. 

These are most of the materials I used for this project.

While my canvases were drying, I made a template for a backing and petals.  I cut them out of cardboard and traced them onto pages I had ripped from one of my thrift store book purchases (Sorry Michael Crichton!!).  I cut them out…and then I cut out some more…and then finally I kept cutting. 

PHEW!  It was a lot of cutting, but I was finally ready to assemble.

I assembled the large blossoms like so….

Then I added a few pink styrofoam balls that came from an old wreath to the center for a pop of color.

Then I made several smaller flowers using just the petals (no backing).

I also made a few blossom buds from the petals like so…

Once my canvases were dry, I glued several branches to them.

When I was ready to place the blossoms, I first used the handle of a paintbrush to roll the edges of the petals.  (I forgot to take a photo of the rolling…but you get the drift).

Then, using my trusty hot glue gun, I glued the blossoms into place carefully covering any spots where glue touched the canvas while adding the branches.

The right panel…

The left panel…

And the two pieces look like this when they are placed together side by side.

And this is how they look over my favorite reading chair.

I am not done with this space, as it still needs a side table to set my books on and a small lamp of some sort. (I’m thinking maybe something in the way of a paper lantern)

So how do you like it?  It’s kinda modern for my usual taste, but I’m trying to stretch myself a little.  I’m still not sure how I feel about it….maybe my house is just better suited to the vintage look.  I think I will take them into the 9-5 gig office and see how they look in a more modern setting.

Tomorrow I am going to go back to something a little more vintage, but I did have some cute ideas for a japanese feel lantern already swirling in my brain, so look for that in the not so distant future.

Wendy Sue – The Hopewell Homesteader

BTW…I decided to add the japanese symbol for Cherry Blossom (Sakura) to the corner of each panel after I was finished to add some more interest to the blue canvas.

Linking Up To These Parties Today:

Everyday Taste – It’s A Keeper Thursday

Treasurista’s Thursday Treasures

House of Hepworth – Hookin Up With HOH

The Shabby Chic Cottage – Transformation Thursday

Somewhat Simple – Strut Your Stuff Thursdays