Learn to paint….or just have fun trying!

“Before the Storm”. The Sodus Point lighthouse.

My father was an extremely talented artist.  He had always painted recreationally, but it wasn’t until after he retired that he really committed to it as his passion.  Painting is something anyone can do.  You don’t necessarily have to be super talented, it is purely an expression of your own personality.  How you interpret what you see or feel is entirely up to you.  An added benefit is that it can be very relaxing.  Whether you paint quietly in a corner in your home or au plein air (outside), it is a way to really ground yourself and live in the moment.  If your not sure where to start, I am sure that there are classes being taught through your local library, college, hobby center or even by local artists.  I highly encourage giving it a try, who knows, you may have a talent you were unaware of before!

Another Shadow Box Idea

We recently went on a vacation with the family and as usual ended up with more seashells and other small momentos.  I made this shadow box for my daughter who can’t get enough of her shells.  The shadow box is easily found at any craft store.  I covered the back with colored paper and a fun patterned paper I found in one of our craft bins.  I put in a photo and some cute stickers appropriate to the theme.  The shells are mounted on the board with silicone glue.  This ‘raises’ them off the back and gives a floating look.  Silicone glue can be used to raise items to different heights so you can create a ‘stacked’ look and interesting grouping.  It too is easily found at your local craft or hobby store.

Clay pot cake stands

I saw this very clever idea on another site and wanted to share it.  Simply glue (be sure to use a strong glue) a small clay pot to the bottom and center of a clay pot drainage dish.  Leave upside down as pictured until thoroughly dry.  These are ideal for summer entertaining.  You can even try creating a multi tiered stand, however, I wouldn’t go any more than two tiers as they will become heavy and more apt to not hold together.  Also, the glue you use should be able to withstand the moisture that the clay will absorb when it is washed.

I topped one of my stands with a small cloche.  A cute way to add some whimsy to your entertaining table.

A vegetable floral

Every summer I pull out one of my favorite floral pieces – this fanciful vegetable display.  I was inspired one day by the very realistic and beautiful silk vegetable assortment at a craft store.  I had a clay pot that was a little worn on one side which I felt added a bit of character.  The inside is filled with floral foam.  Then I put a taller piece on top which I hot glued the celery to.  The rest is just filled with the assorted vegetables and some dried shelf fungi and sunflowers as well as a few plastic eggs here and there.  The result – a beautiful piece for the kitchen counter or centerpiece on a table.


Wall Baskets

I have a thing for wall baskets.  They are so versatile and can be used in so many creative ways.  Hanging from a garden gate or used in displays as seen here.  I have these hanging in a few different areas in and outside my home.  Fill them with seasonal arrangements or with high-quality silks for a more permanent display.


Glamorous Hand-made ornaments

We always have a fairly large Christmas tree, and not so long ago, it wasn’t easy finding ornaments that were large enough to ‘fill’ some of that tree real estate.  I decided to get creative and make some home-made ornaments that are truly unique.  All you need are some styrofoam balls – the size is up to you – cloth remnants, beads, ribbons, pins, a glue gun and some inspiration.  The fabric for this gold ball came from a blouse!  I have given some examples below as well.  I have used plastic fruit, grape clusters, beads that are stuck into the styrofoam with pins, etc.

Recycle those beautiful Christmas cards into gift tags

These days Christmas cards are so clever and beautiful, I find it difficult to throw them out.  I save my favorites and turn them into gift tags.  Take the smaller cards and cut off the fronts or cut a pretty scene out of a large one.  I have a small cutter that I purchased at a craft store that rounds the corners, then using a hole punch, punch a hole in the top for hanging.  Ta da, why buy gift tags when you may already have the supplies at hand to make your own

Advent Calendar

This is a crafty idea my older daughter made with her little sister.  Very clever, I thought.  She essentially glued decorated match boxes onto a firm board that she covered with decorative paper as well.  Place a ‘gift’  in each of the boxes to be opened in succession.  Tip – the boxes could also be positioned on the board to form a Christmas tree with number 24 being at the top.  Have fun with this one.

Cute Pumpkin Idea

This cute little pumpkin is part of my Halloween display.  Just wrap in tulle purchased at any fabric store.  Gather up towards the stem and tie with ribbon.  Try polka dot or orange ribbons for a different look.  When Halloween is over, the tulle comes off and we’re back to the harvest décor ready for Thanksgiving.

Monogram Pillow

This is a fun little craft idea that can be either a small decorative pillow, or sew on a ribbon ‘handle’ and hang from a doorknob or hook.  I used a gold embroidery thread that can be purchased at any fabric or craft store.  I penciled on the initial lightly and used a simple embroidery stitch to create the monogram.  I then applied random sized, but still similar, buttons in clusters.  Stuff the ‘pillow’ and sew up the sides.  I added the ribbons at the top since I do hang it from a door handle.  Use this as inspiration for your own project!