Tag Archives: crafts

Custom Colour Ball Ornaments

Written by on 21st November 2013 in Blog POSTS with 2 Comments

A couple of years ago I decorated a Christmas tree for a charity auction and I hand flocked a bunch of balls in order to get just the right colours.  Now that you have some background on just how far I will go to make a great tree you won’t be surprised to see that I just custom painted a whole whack of glass balls for a client’s gum drop themed Christmas tree.  I got the idea from the super creative Krista from the Happy Housie blog.  She lives up island and makes everything pretty with paint….just like me! I loved Krista’s idea so much I had to try it… and as luck would have I have a client that wanted a gum drop tree this year……here’s a pic of Krista’s Blue themed Christmas decorations…totally inspiring right!

kristavia The Happy Housie

So, first I went to Michaels with my coupon in hand and bought a few sizes of clear glass ball ornaments, I took off the metal hangers and ….wait for it…..squirted some craft paint inside.  GASP! That’s it. I know you thought it would be harder.

I put my thumb over the hole and shook each one until it had good coverage and let them dry – shaking occasionally in case any paint settled in one spot. I chose these bright happy colours from my craft paints and Im pretty sure my clients will have the cutest xmas tree on the westshore.  You should try it!

ballsHere’s what mine looked like while drying – I’ll share a pic of the tree once it is up!

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Blue Printing Weekend Fun

Written by on 20th November 2013 in Blog POSTS with 0 Comments

cropped blue printsBeautiful Blue Print Posters hanging to dry…these were made by our workshop participants


Last weekend a collection of brave souls joined Carla (from Trade Roots) and myself  in a Blue Printing Workshop. Everyone made a killer blue printed poster and learned the method so they could make their own at home.  I promised to share the details and the steps here on the blog…so here it is.

You will need:

  • Photographers Formulary Cyanotype Kit 07-0090 or the pre-mixed liquids. (I bought it on amazon.com)
  • Water Colour Paper (the paper will be submerged in a water bath)
  • Paint brush or foam brush
  • Freezer paper to line your work surface and a board to work on
  • Gloves, Apron and no fancy shoes
  • Sink or basins to rinse your picture
  • Sunny Day (or at least a break in a rainy day:)


Steps to make an 8×10 poster:

  1. Select an image you want to re-create in blue print.  Size the image to 8×10 (the size of transparency sheets) and then change the image to black and white ….once it is B/W then invert the image so the black and white parts are reversed. I used paint.net but there are lots of free programs online that will help you do this. print the inverted image onto a transparency sheet.
  2. Secure water colour paper to the frezer paper lined surface. (You will be taking your project outside so be sure it is a portable board or tray – we used cardboard lined with freezer paper)
  3. Mix your cyanotype solution in a dark room per the directions and brush it onto the water colour paper in a cross hatch pattern. Cover it well, but don’t use too much liquid – no pooling. It should appear moist and yellow with no REALLY wet spots.  Once covered let it dry.  Once dry repeat this step. This is done in a dark room.
  4. Once your paper is dry place your transparency on top and secure it. You can use tape or place a piece of clean plexi glass or glass on top.
  5. Take your project outside into the sun and place it quickly and keep it still. More direct sun the better, but on a cloudy day it will work…just stay outside a little longer. On a moderately sunny day it takes about 5 minutes. The paper will turn dark green or blue as it exposes.
  6. Remove the glass and the transparency and submerge your project into a bath of water, you can give it a good wash until it runs mostly clear. The last dunk should be in a bath of water and peroxide.  This appears to deepen the blue.
  7. Hang to dry.

042This poster by participant Ryan turned out particularly well. great job everybody!


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Choose a Picture and Join Us – Blue Printing November 17th

Written by on 10th November 2013 in Blog POSTS with 0 Comments

Next Sunday, November 17th, Trade Roots and I are hosting a fun Blue Printing Workshop.  Choose a picture (8×10) and if you need help sizing it just email me the picture by Friday and I’ll do it for you.  Once the picture is the correct size I turn it into a negative of itself and print it on transparency paper and That’s it! Everything is provided…and refreshments too!

We have a cool selection of images you can use if you’re stumped or don’t have time…here’s a sample of some images I provided. One of the keys to success is having an image with high contrast and not too much fine detail or text which can have a tendency to turn out blurry. (These ones have already been turned into negatives as described above…so imagine for these pics when we are done the parts that are black will be light and and what is white will be blue) Click Here to Register - Hurry Space is Limited.

blue print samplesIn the End your project can look like this…cool right?


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Blue Printing

Written by on 29th October 2013 in Blog POSTS with 0 Comments

Had some fun yesterday with my pal Carla. We tried a blue printing project that uses the sun to develop the print …the result is the most incredible Prussian / Indigo Blue.  So what if my hands are kinda blue?!… it’s almost Halloween…is it still cool to be an Avatar character this year??

Blue Printing

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Paris Sign Workshop at French Vanilla

Written by on 25th July 2013 in Blog POSTS with 0 Comments

What a great summer night at French Vanilla in Oak Bay with some lovely ladies and a little paint.  Last night we created subway style signs inspired by the city of lights and although the similar theme runs through each sign they are totally unique in the end!

Everybody got to work right away… very studious :)


And once the letters were stuck on we painted and then pulled off the stickers…

Photo 2013-07-24 7 56 32 PM

Sheila Stone, owner of French Vanilla (right), and Debra Boeyenga (left) of A French Touch both got in on the action too…nice work ladies.

Photo 2013-07-24 6 09 36 PM

And here’s some happy faces…

Photo 2013-07-24 8 07 58 PM

And there’s always a  few who are camera shy…

Photo 2013-07-24 8 10 12 PM

Join us again in the fall and get your craft on! Same fun, Different Theme.

nicole 1

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Stinking Fish Artist and Studio Tour 2013

Written by on 29th June 2013 in Blog POSTS with 0 Comments

Have you checked out his homegrown – right in our backyard – artist tour yet? Strange Name…Great Idea. Click the pic for the details.

stink 2013

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Paris Sign Workshop – July 2013

Written by on 25th June 2013 in Blog POSTS with 1 Comment

For this workshop my partner is French Vanilla a popular french PARIS 300 WIDEinspired Home, Garden and Gift store located in Oak Bay.

We will be making Subway inspired signs using the streets, districts and popular attractions found in, and around, Paris.  Participants can choose between two fonts and the colour combo White on Black (shown) or Black on White.  Everything you need is supplied and we will be using the store’s signature Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and Wax to make these beauties.  Everyone goes home with a finished sign ready to hang or give as a gift. Register soon and join us! Space is limited.

Register by calling or visiting:  French Vanilla at 1852 Oak Bay Ave Phone: 250-592-0422

Place: French Vanilla (Workshop) 1852 Oak Bay Ave

Dates & Time: Saturday, July 13th (1:30-4:00) and Wednesday July 24th (5:30-8pm)

Cost: $79.99

Supplies: Everything provided

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Go to Your Happy Place / Room

Written by on 3rd June 2013 in Blog POSTS with 3 Comments

Kids are Cool.  This weekend I had the pleasure of using my decorating skills to make a little girl very happy and guess what…it made me happy too! If you’ve been following along there is a second room too. But I’m not finished yet – so I’ll reveal that one in a week or so.  In the meantime here’s what I did (with mom’s help of course)

This Room is all about re-use and recycling of furniture and accessories and I made the pillows and bedding to get a custom colour combo and perfect patterns for less…









I’ll go over some of the products and techniques for the room throughout the week. If you have any questions – just drop me a line. Here’s what I did…


And as always…   If you want some help making the place you live a place you love...Contact Me…I can help!

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Coastal Coasters

Written by on 15th December 2011 in Blog POSTS with 0 Comments

This Holiday Season I’ve been searching for just the perfect gift  for clients… Something practical, beautiful, natural, local, one of a kind and priced reasonably.  Is that too much to ask?   Well I finally found it!  Yay!!

Now don’t get too excited because this is going to be a gift for future clients because I don’t have enough yet to share, but I met a great lady (Char Manning) at the Last Chance Craft show in Sidney this weekend who makes these spoon rests that I immediately saw as coasters.

Get it? They will  protect all the beautiful tables I am helping clients purchase and install in their spaces.

I love the rustic west coast flavour of these pieces… the watery colours… the imperfect glaze and the one of a kind impression they give when you see them …

A few rubber stickies on the bottom and you’re golden!!  There are amazing potters all over the island; support one near you!

Contact me if you want some help making the place you live a place you love.

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Simple Wreath Idea

Written by on 24th November 2011 in Blog POSTS with 1 Comment

I found this oversized gray painted willow wreath at winners the other day. I painted on a little glue here and there and sprinkled some glitter on it.  I took three large rusty metal bells I had left over from a country style wreath I did last year for the coffee shop and dry brushed them with silver craft paint. Tied them with black sparkly ribbon at different heights and voila! Cheap cheerful and nowhere near traditional.

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