Monday, October 29, 2012

The only thing constant is change!

My life is ever changing - just the way I like things. I embrace change better than anyone I know. I think it's evident in my art.  There's been lots of changes going on in my life and it has greatly affected my output though and this is very frustrating. I still don't have everything I need to complete my secret dresser project (the antique white one pictured earlier). I did, however, sell the chalkboard frame!

Having to babysit my 2 year old Granddaughter 5 days this past week, coupled with it being her birthday for which I volunteered to make her cake for her party on Sunday AND having to attend a baptism for my great niece on Saturday which I was asked to make THAT cake for, put me waaaaaay behind on everything.

AND......last month I was asked to blog and write patterns for a fairly popular crochet website ( That's going fairly well. I haven't seriously crocheted for a few months, but with 45 years experience, the ideas for new patterns are coming to me rapidly. I can't make the items as fast as the ideas are coming! Pattern writing is a bit time consuming though I have enough experience. I also sell my own designs on So you can guess that my head is spinning.

Tonight is the first night in what seems like forever that I've had time to relax (mentally). So hubby and I took a trip to the thrift shops - one of my fave things to do! I came home with this:

How awesome is this sweater??? It reminds me of one of my favorite artists work: Alissa Burke. AND I love checkerboard and colorful things. Now, this sweater is 100% wool. So I have the option of felting it but I'm really afraid of losing the sharp edges of the design. This will be cut to pieces before I'm done, but I don't know into what yet. I'm thinking of making the sleeves into leg warmers and maybe some sort of bag out of the rest. Any ideas? I need to do something with it quickly though before I get caught up in the upcoming holiday projects. Comments are always welcome!

Well, wish me luck. I need to go write a new crochet pattern. I'm thinking about a Christmas string of lights necklace. I'll post whatever I end up with here. In the meantime, if you'd like to see some of my new posts to  the new site, just type in my name in the search bar at Have a great evening!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Victorian "Shabby Chic" Frame Makeover - Chalkboard & Dry Erase

A Victorian "Shabby Chic" Frame Makeover

As I continue to sand down the "monster" dresser, I have need to break from it every so often - it's a bigger job than I thought. I did however pick out the paint for it tonight (can't wait to show you!). But in the meantime, I move to other projects. I just landed a blogging position with so I can fill my in-between sanding time with crocheting some newly developed designs, which I love to do. But also, I am working on some smaller painting projects. That's what I'm showing you today - a simple, yet elegant piece easily used in several decors. Simply Titled: Victorian "Shabby Chic" Frame Makeover (ok, not so simple, whatever).

I started with this lovely frame I found at a garage sale (imagine that!)

It was gold-gilded and fairly ornate - important for this project (the ornate part). It's nearly impossible to sand something like this down because a) you don't want to sand down the decorative carving and b) it's hard to get in the grooves. As I started sanding, a red color started surfacing. Not sure if it was the original color or if it was mixed in with the gold. It was kind of neat though, but not noticeable enough to leave as is. So I just gave the whole thing a good scrubbing to get the dirt off - there was  lot of that! At the very least, make sure you clean a piece like this (just some sudsy water works fine - make sure to dry it completely before painting, though).

I decided to use the same paint that I painted the coffee cart/table with. It's a nice cream color that I'm really lovin' on these days.  I also knew from the beginning that I wanted to make this a chalkboard/dry erase board, so off to Lowe's I went.  They sell a sheet of dry erase board for a little over $10.  It's a huge piece too! I know that I'll be making more than one of these, so I was glad to have lots left over.  I then bought a quart-sized can of chalkboard paint. This stuff is not cheap - around $15 for the small can. But after using it, it goes a long ways and I'll have plenty for many other projects.

I painted the reverse side of the dry erase board with the chalkboard paint. Now, it can just be taken out of the frame and changed whenever the user decides. So here's a look at the nearly finished project:

The "After" Victorian Frame Makeover - Chalkboard side

The Handmade Flower

A closeup of the framework detail

After the painting was completed, I lightly sanded over the carved details and some of the sides to distress it and bring out some of the features. I then made a flower using muslin, burlap and lace to add to the Shabby Chic look. This flower will also have a long ribbon hanging from it to attach/tie a piece of chalk or dry erase marker to (clever, huh?). I'm still debating on whether to add a few more smaller flowers - I thought this one came out really nice and adds a certain something to the whole thing- what do you think?

The back of the frame is not attractive and I hesitated to post a picture of it, but I wanted you to see the dry erase board:

I had to remove the glazier points from the frame so no one impaled their fingers, but still needed a way to hold the board in. 1/2" staples worked perfect! It would be a small task to open the staples up to flip the board, but I thought "that's what lots of people have to do to change a picture out, right?". So staples it is. But it's in their nice and sturdy now.

And there you have the Victorian Frame Makeover. Simple, yet elegant, no?

This item is also for sale at my etsy shop - talk to you soon!