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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

DIY Rope Lampshades

New lampshades can cost a fortune, so whenever we can update the ones we already own, I'm all for it. Here is a DIY rope lampshade project I actually did last year, but in the craziness of life, it never quite made it onto the blog.


Our old house was a Queen Anne bungalow, and not all of the furnishings and accessories work in our contemporary rustic beach house.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Why I Destroy Books to Create Art

This is a question that has come up time and again over the years. The House Revivals blog is known for altering books, and tearing pages out of books all in the name of creativity.


I often get comments, on the blog, or other social media, and even in person, suggesting that it is nothing short of sacrilege to destroy a book. I get it. As a bibliophile, and staunch First Amendment supporter, I truly understand the power of the written word. How fortunate we are to live in a time and place where we are free to speak or write or read anything we want. It hasn't always been that way, and in parts of the world, it still isn't.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

How to Create Altered Art Jewelry

Here is an easy and fun jewelry DIY that uses altered dog tags. These little necklaces take absolutely zero jewelry making skill and go together very quickly.


Altering dog tags is a great way to get your feet wet, if you've been thinking of trying your hand at altered art. Altered journals and canvases can feel a bit intimidating, but dog tags are only about one by two inches in size, so you can finish a project in under half an hour.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Attic Organizing, Time Traveling, and Cropdusting Adventures

Remember that attic project I've been posting about? The one with piles and piles of boxes? Yeah, that one.


I've been up there since Saturday morning, only coming down to eat or sleep. My husband had a business trip to Atlanta, so I took advantage of the time to come out to the beach house alone and work. Of course, my camera has broken during this process, so I can't share new pictures until I figure out how to download from my little backup camera.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

How to Decorate with Reds and Yellows

This time of year I really do miss living in a house with a garden. Curling up with a seed catalog on a snowy March day was a favorite pastime in our Colorado days. It was fun to sketch out the flower beds and think about what I wanted to add, come springtime, to create the best combination of colors.


I have always been captivated by the play of colors against each other. When people ask me what is my favorite color I always want to tell them what my favorite color combinations are. One of my all time favorite combinations is yellow with pinks or reds. I still remember the first time I was struck by the combination -- I was a young mom, digging through my mother's fabric trunk for fabric to make a dress for my daughter. I found the prettiest vintage calico with tiny pink rosebuds on a bright yellow background. I was smitten. That fabric found its way into a sweet toddler dress, but I saved every tiny scrap!

Of course, pink and yellow combinations are certainly not new! As I type, the sunset is reflecting off the snow topped Cascade Mountain Range, creating the loveliest pink light against the warmer yellow light reflected from the clouds.


When looking for a particular color combination, look to nature -- she gets it right every time! I love the varying shades of pink against the yellow filaments of the mutabilis rose from Heirloom Roses. So lovely!

Professional designers often pull their color inspiration from nature, or from a nature inspired textile or piece of art.


I found this Etsy listing for depression era fabric. It looks like it would  be right at home in one of my grandmother's quilts -- or in the same quilt with the lovely vintage calico from my daughter's dress.


I love the exuberance of this 1960s era fabric!  When decorating a pink and yellow color scheme, you can draw inspiration from anywhere -- nature, a piece of fabric, a rug, a piece of art, a statement piece of furniture, and so on. Either of the vintage fabrics shown here would be a great jumping off point for a cheery, youthful looking space.

Sometimes your inspiration may come from a couple of different places, and that is perfectly fine!


For instance, this table from 1st Dibs (which I shared in my post about decorating with zinc) already has some rosy staining to the patina of the drawer. The lovely rose I shared above, and the vintage work table look like they were meant to live together!


In this photo, from Country Living, the pinks, reds, and yellows live together beautifully, and the floral arrangements in the space reinforce the color scheme.


In this guest room, from Kelly Wearstlers's home, featured in her book, Hue, the color scheme "grows up". The combination of modern forms and blocks of color make for a beautifully sophisticated space!


Kendall Wilkinson designed this formal living area, using a strong goldenrod color on the walls, with raspberry seating. The bold color choices are echoed in the sofa pillows. The use of neutral colors on some of the larger elements helps keep the color scheme from getting out of control.

Are pinks and yellows colors you would use? It is such a versatile combination -- perfectly at home on a rose, a toddler dress, or in a sophisticated modern space.


I was looking through some old photos and found the still life, above, where I placed an arrangement in a vintage metal file box. I also found this photo, where I shared how to make plant markers from vintage silverware.  The crocheted vintage trivet was a thrift store find!


If you enjoyed this post, please let me know in the comments! Be sure to subscribe to House Revivals, so you own't miss any of the great articles and tutorials we have planned.

Thanks so much for stopping by!



Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Basic Craft Supplies: What I Keep on Hand All the Time

As a constant crafter, there are certain "consumable" supplies I try to keep on hand at all times. Here are a few of my basic "go to" supplies. If I have these items, a recycled cereal box, and Netflix, anything is possible!


For starters, you always want to have a clear drying white glue on hand. My absolute favorite basic white glue is Aleene's Original Tacky Glue. It is affordable and dependable. It grabs fast, so you don't have to wait a long time for glue to dry. I usually buy the eight ounce size (here is an affiliate link to the product:  ALEENES 15599 All Purpose Glue, 8-Ounce).

Lately, I've been thinking I should just go ahead a buy the gallon size bottle -- it's actually a great deal on Amazon. Here is an affiliate link for that, if you want to try it: Aleene's Orignal Tacky Glue 128oz.

I still use regular white school glue for many projects, but for anything that needs to "grab" quickly, I reach for Tacky Glue.


Another staple in my craft supply stash is paintable Elmer's Wood Glue. I've tried many other brands, and always return to this one. I use wood glue for building three-dimensional items out of cardboard, such as putz houses, models, and holiday ornaments. It doesn't set up fast, but the bond is super strong. Wood glue does not dry clear, so it is really only appropriate for projects that will be painted, or decoupaged, or similarly covered. I will sometimes paint a light coat of wood glue over a cardboard or chipboard blank, to seal it and harden it.

Here is an affiliate link:  Elmer's E7020 Carpenter's Wood Glue, 16 Ounces.  If you have space to store larger sizes of glue, the one gallon bottle is a great value. Here is that affiliate link: Elmer's E7050 Carpenter's Wood Glue, 1 Gallon. You can also find Elmer's wood glue at hardware stores and some discount stores.


My all time favorite decoupage medium is matte Mod Podge. It's great for sealing paper projects. It has some thickness to it, and seems to sit on the surface more than other brands. A few years ago I was in an art show in Seattle, but did not have access to any of my original renderings because we were in the middle of a move and our stuff was in storage. I was able to print color copies of my work and Mod Podge the pieces to mat board. Once the pieces were dry, I went back in with more Mod Podge and a brush and made brush marks, following the stroke marks of the renderings. The results were beautiful -- the Mod Podge did not significantly alter the colors, and the brush strokes lent a "high end" feel to the pieces.

Here is an affiliate link for Mod Podge:  Mod Podge CS11302 Original 16-Ounce Glue, Matte Finish. If you decoupage a lot, and have the storage space, the gallon size is a good value. Here is that affiliate link: Mod Podge CS11304 1-Gallon, Matte



Another decoupage medium I love is Beacon Adhesive's Fast Finish Decoupage Sealer. It is a sealer and bonder, all-in-one. I like it because it dries very fast and hard. It is also very thin and seems to penetrate the item you are gluing down. Sometimes Mod Podge looks thick, so if you want a subtler decoupage medium, this may be exactly what you are looking for. It is a little more expensive than Mod Podge, but you don't use more than a few drops, since it is thin. It takes a little getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes indispensable.

It is a little hard to find -- here in Seattle I can sometimes find it at Pacific Fabrics. Here is an affiliate link to the product through Amazon: Beacon Adhesives Fast Finish Decoupage Sealer, 8-Ounce.


Gesso! I love gesso and use lots of it. Gesso is great for priming canvases and so much more. I use gesso to prime and seal recycled cardboard for painted Christmas ornaments, and for many other mixed media projects. I also use it for paperclay and wood pulp clay and paper mache projects. In a pinch, I've made my own using talc, but I am pretty pleased with this acrylic gesso from ProArt. It is very affordable and gets the job done.

Here is an affiliate link: Pro-Art 16-Ounce Premium Gesso Canvas Primer. If you have enough room to store the 64 ounce size, the economy gesso is a terrific value. Here is that affiliate link: Pro-Art Economy Gesso Canvas Primer, 64-Ounce. You can also find Pro-Art Gesso at most large craft stores.


Dimensional Magic is another favorite. I don't use it as often as the other items, but it's great to have on hand for paper jewelry projects, or to add a "domed" glossy effect to other projects. I seal my projects first, using decoupage medium, then add the dimensional magic. One thing I have learned, is that you must set your items on a perfectly level surface while waiting for the Dimensional Magic to harden, or the surface can end up being a bit lopsided. Here in the Pacific Northwest, it takes quite a bit longer to dry (days), but patience pays off with a hard glossy surface.

You can find Dimensional Magic at most large craft stores. Here is an affiliate link to the product on Amazon: Plaid Mod Podge Dimensional Magic Glue.


I seem to use copious amounts of gold Folk Art paint. It's cheap, it comes in various gold colors (silver is great, too), and it can add a nice finishing touch to projects. I keep it on hand all the time. You can find similar craft paints at large craft stores and discount stores and online. I also keep other colors on hand, but if I run out of purple or blue, the world won't end. I'm not so sure that would be the case if I ran out of gold....


For painting gold on leather, I like Lumiere Bright Gold. It grabs the leather and has a rich luster. There are lots of beautiful Lumiere paint colors, but Bright Gold is the one I keep on hand all the time. Here is an affiliate link to that product: Jacquard Lumiere Metallic Acrylic Paint 2.25 Ounces-Bright Gold

Foam craft brushes. I keep these on hand always. They are great when you need quick smooth coverage, or when you don't want to use your nice brushes, or when you are working with a product that is difficult to wash out, or when you just don't have time to wash your brushes. I actually do wash my foam brushes out -- most of the time -- and often get several uses out of them. They are especially good for squishing paint into awkward nooks and crannies in furniture projects. You can buy these singly, or in multi-packs in just about any craft store, hardware store, discount store or dollar store.  I don't usually use foam brushes for decoupage, as a I find they create tiny bubbles in the medium, but I do use them for most types of paint. I will sometimes use foam brushes for primer and base coats, then switch to a nicer brush for finish coats.... or not, depending on how lazy I'm feeling.


My newest bff is PC-Petrifier. Here is an affilliate link, if you want to check it out: PC Products PC-Petrifier Water-Based Wood Hardener, 16 oz Bottle, Milky White.

Although it is intended for hardening rotted wood, this is great for hardening paper jewelry projects. I learned about the product from the YouTube channel Beyond Bracelets. She uses them for rolled paper beads, but I have also used wood petrifier on flat cardboard jewelry projects. It definitely darkens and intensifies the colors in your papers, so test it first. Here in the Pacific Northwest, you just never know when you're going to get wet, so I was thrilled to discover this product! Although I'm not sure I would swim in paper jewelry hardened with this product (why tempt fate?), I have placed "petrified" paper jewelry components under running water, and perceived no change in the item. I do recommend doing several coats. For flat projects, use a brush to apply, for rolled paper beads, check out Beyond Bracelets for some great tips.


As with all products, wear gloves if necessary, and follow package instructions for use and handling.

I hope this list of products was helpful to you! These are the products I buy again and again and again. Some of the products are typical "craft" products, some are not.

Do you have favorite supplies that you use all the time? I would love to know what your favorite products are, so please share in the comments section!

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To see how to make your own paper bead roller to use with that PC-Petrifier, click here.

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Saturday, February 28, 2015

How to Decorate With Zinc

Don't you just love an old-fashioned kitchen work table with a zinc top? Zinc can feel charming or industrial -- or even a little bit of both!


You may feel like zinc is out of your price range, but you can add zinc accents to your space on any budget.

For a big splurge, you might use this vintage architect's table as a kitchen island. This table would be equally at home in a farmhouse kitchen or an industrial urban loft.


Anything with chippy goldenrod paint makes me giddy, but add a zinc top and I am in love.


If you can't find just the right vintage piece for your space, SDS Designs builds custom zinc topped tables!

You can even use zinc for you countertop material. The zinc countertops in this kitchen, from Country Living, are simply gorgeous.


Zinc countertops and tables may not be within your budget, and that's okay. You can add just a touch of zinc, with this boot tray, from Crate and Barrel.


You can organize your desk in style, with this zinc wire basket.


Keep track of incoming papers with this beautiful zinc-finished tray. I love that it has a surface on top to put a pen holder and a few office supplies. I'm pretty sure I NEED this!


I am a big fan of mail sorting baskets, and these are no exception. This first sorter would be perfect in the mudroom for school papers.


craigslist

For an even smaller budget, I found these vintage Ball jars on Craigslist yesterday. I LOVE Craigslist. You can find vintage ball jars and Mason jars, with their original zinc lids in antique stores, on EBay, on Craigslist, and even at garage sales. They are a wonderful way to add storage to a kitchen or craft room.

Do you love zinc? Zinc lends such a warm patina to a space. I would seriously LOVE to have that chippy yellow table as my kitchen island, with lots of blue Ball jars for storage.

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to House Revivals. We have lots of projects and tutorials planned for 2015.

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