Friday, August 24, 2012

Painted Rug

Long time no see.  I've been busy gardening, being with friends and family and enjoying summer in the mountains.  I've done some projects this summer but haven't gotten around to blogging about them.  Today I'm doing a post on a project I just completed.

This is a flat woven rug that I have in my kitchen.  It is in the traffic pattern to my back door.  It's hard to tell from this picture but it has several spots that are impossible to clean.  Every time I try to clean a spot, I get a bigger faded spot in the rug.  I decided to paint the rug.  I bought paint to match some of the other colors in the room.  When I started rolling on the paint I could tell that the rug was going to soak up a lot of paint.  I went to my paint stash and chose some left over house paint to use like a primer.  The first coat on the rug was three different colors of paint.
I measured in 16 inches all around the border and applied blue painters tape.  I then painted the inside of the taped area one color and the outside a lighter color.
After this step I divided the inside section of the rug into thirds , width wise and length wise.  I taped large diamond in these nine rectangles.
I then painted a second color on some of the diamonds.

The red border is added around the diamonds.
I then taped all the diagonal lines beside the rows of diamond in one direction and painted the red.

Then the diagonal lines in the other direction were painted.
I painted the fabric border of the rug in the darker diamond color.
Now the pattern is completed.
And here it is with the table back in place.

I used regular latex house paint.  Some of it was a satin finish and some of it was flat.  Some was exterior and some interior.  It definitely looks cleaner than the original rug did and I like the addition of the red bordered diamonds.  I think it adds positively to the look of the room.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sugar Peep Hole Easter Egg

I'm finally back for a new entry to the blog.  My camera broke twice and I had to send it back to the company for repairs.  I got it back all fixed and now I'm back in business.  I wasn't sure if anyone even cared if I did this but I actually got some requests to post again.  I know that I love learning new things so I assume some of you do as well.

Today I'm going to tell you how to make a sugar Easter egg.  I used to do this project with the students in my kindergarten class.  Some years we made small eggs and a couple of years I was brave enough to make the larger ones.  The janitor of the school didn't exactly love this project because there was sugar everywhere.  The children loved making them so that was what counted.

                                             Here is a picture of a completed egg.

                         This shows the peep hole with chicks and bunnies inside.

 Here are some smaller eggs with the large one.  Now for the directions..

  I use a large bowl, a four or five pound bag of sugar and some water.

I added 1/4 cup of water to the 4 pounds of sugar.

Mix the sugar very well.  If you leave any dry sugar you will have tunnels in your egg.

 Pack the mixture in the bottom half of a plastic egg.  I got my egg at the local $ store.

 Use a knife to shave off the extra sugar.

With a spoon, scoop out the center of the egg.  I probably left at least 1/2 inch of sugar in the egg.

 Scoop the sugar from the small end of the egg to make the peep hole.

 Repeat these steps with the top of the egg. 

Blow the sugar with a hair dryer for about 5 minutes.

 Place a foil covered book over the egg.

Flip the egg .

Carefully remove the plastic mold.

Repeat with the top of the egg.  Put the eggs aside until the next day.  Don't be tempted to see if they are dry because you will risk breaking them.

I had this much sugar left over.  You could either start another large egg or use this to make some small eggs.  The small ones do not need to be scooped out.  The difficult thing about the small ones if finding a plastic egg that opens the right way.  Most of the eggs you find open in the middle rather than from end to end. (If that makes sense)  You can  add a little food coloring to the sugar if you want the eggs to be colored.  Now gather your chicks and bunnies that you will put inside the egg.  That will be the next step after your egg is dry.

Now your egg is all dry and ready to decorate.  First you need to mix your icing.  I use Royal Icing because it hardens nicely.  There are several different recipes for this icing but this is the one my sister, the wedding cake decorator, recommends.
1 egg white
2/3 cup confectioners sugar
Mix that and microwave for 30 seconds
Add 2/3 cup of confectioners sugar and beat until it is firm.

The peaks will stand when you have mixed it enough.

 I used paste coloring to tint the icing.

Before putting the icing on the egg hold the egg over the sink and brush off the loose sugar with your hand. Then cover the bottom of the egg with green icing.

Add the decorations to the front part of the egg.  I usually have little plastic figures but this is what I had on hand left over from last year.

Put icing around the seam and stick the two halves together.  I use the throw away decorating bags so I don't have to wash them when I'm finished.  I start with a leaf tip.

I pipe a bunch of leaves on the top of the egg.

On this egg I added leaves around the peep hole and a few around the seam.

Then I added other flowers and vines.  I'm not giving instructions on how to made the flowers.  If you have never done this before there are lots of video tutorials on YouTube that you can watch.  Always keep the icing tips covered with a damp cloth when you're not using them.  The icing will dry in the tip if you don't do this and your flowers won't come out nicely.  Also, make sure that you hold the twisted end of the decorating bag to keep the icing from coming out of the wrong end.  When I do this with young children I let them put their hands in front of mine and I hold the bag closed.  That is the voice of experience speaking.

These are some special kids that made eggs with me.

This picture shows the different sizes that you can make the eggs.  These eggs can be stored in a dry place and saved from year to year.  When we made these at school I always read The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes ,  by Du Bose Heyward.  It's the perfect book to go along with this project. I hope you enjoy making these.  Have a blessed Easter.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Newspaper Flowers

It's been a while since I posted anything.  My camera is on the blink so I've had a major handicap.  I spent the day with sister number 3 yesterday, so I was able to use her camera. I got this idea from  You should visit her site to see her rendition of these flowers.  Her colors are more intense than mine and I think I like them better.  Next time I will add more food coloring to mine but that won't be any time soon.  I have enough colored paper to last me for a long time and since that's the slow part of the process, I will use what I have made.

The first step is to mix a small amount of food color and water in a shallow pan.  I used my sister's gel colors from her cake decorating business.  For my first dyeing I used too much water.  You really just barely cover the bottom of a cookie sheet.
 I kept turning the paper until it was thoroughly soaked in color.  I probably used 2 or 3 sheets folded over.  I left some of the sheets in one piece after the color step and some I tore in strips.

I placed them in the oven at about 150 degrees to dry.

To make the roses I just started rolling the strips, making little pleats when needed.  I glued this with hot glue.

I rolled up strips to make the stamen.

I gathered them up in a bunch and then added petals around this.

I was not very careful in screening which part of the newspaper I used.  When I finished one flower, I noticed that I could clearly read "Woman Raped" on one of the petals.  Needless to say, I eliminated that part.

After the flowers were finished I sprayed them with this product that I got at Michael's.  It made the flowers a bit shimmery.

Here is a small box that I bought at the Dollar Tree with the flowers on top.

I may use a brush and add a little color to parts of the flowers and leaves.  I'm not sure the picture does them justice, but these turned out really cute.  I think they would be nice decorations for your Christmas gifts. Happy Crafting!!!