decorating with dodi

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Saturday, March 17, 2018

There's NO Stopping Me!

After a few small chores, I had the rest of today clear for crafting. My first task was finishing the burlap egg. I ended up using another round cookie cutter to make the polka dots and then simply filling them in. As I said, the colors are definitely darker than the colors I originally planned but I like them. I tend to use mostly violet and spring green when I decorate for both Easter and spring so I guess these choices make sense for me.

Since I left the edges of the egg the natural burlap color, I thought a burlap bow would tie it all together but it needed a bit more and I found this spring green ribbon in my stash. I think it dressed up the bow just enough. I still have to put on the wire hanger and it will be done...just in time for Easter decorating. I had originally wanted to do a kind of black dot-dash pattern around the edges but, luckily, I painted a small piece of burlap to experiment with what I wanted to use. I tried a marker, a paint pen and a VERY thin brush with black paint. Because of the texture of the burlap I wasn't able to get a thin, straight line with any of those mediums so I left it plain. I also didn't paint the white highlights on the dots like in the inspiration piece because I thought it made them look more like bubbles. As I always remind everyone, I am a purist when it comes to some things and once you get this far, if you paint on something you don't like, it is almost impossible to paint over it because it makes another layer of paint on the texture that looks different with each layer. For once, I was smart enough to stop while I was ahead....

...almost. I was having so much fun that I decided to try a bunny or two or four!

So this is where I am stopping today. I think I have decided to just give these guys violet dots and then they will get a fluffy flower for their tails. They are going so much faster than the egg and not soaking up ANYWHERE near the amount of paint that I used on the egg. Kind of wish I had stock in a craft paint company. My guess is their stocks have gone up considerably as this craft of burlap painted door hangers - and everything else - has gotten so popular! Lol

I am really hooked on this craft. I don't know why I am so taken by it but I am. I could barely sleep last night thinking about moving on to this next step. So, as soon as the sun was up a bit and I could focus my eyes, I got these dots on the bunnies.

The inspiration picture had a carrot hanging from the bunny. I wasn't sure I wanted to add orange to my mix of violet and spring green - I told you I am a bit weird about colors - but, since this is supposed to be the back of the bunny, there isn't a whole lot more embellishing I can do after adding the tails - which I am off to buy in a bit. And so, I figured while I still had all of the painting paraphernalia out, I would paint up some carrots just in case. Jury is still out.

So this project - and this post - are FINALLY done. Here is where I went with them.

My girlfriend is coming over one day this week to learn how to do this and I will be making another. Not sure what I will do this time but I know I will enjoy the process once again. I'm off to do some St. Pat's celebrating and then tomorrow, green comes down and Easter goes up. Stay tuned.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Time On My Hands!

This is spring break for my family here in Ocala and daughter #3 and her family are off in Park City, Utah for a week of skiing and fun in the snow! It seems weird but knowing they're not in town leaves me feeling like I need to find things to do to keep me extra busy. Guess that is because I know there is NO way they will be popping up at my door or calling and asking me to help out with something. And so, I decided to think about some crafting.

Normally I would be out in the garden. The sun is shining and it is beautiful out there but just a bit chillier than I enjoy when I'm crawling around on my hands and knees and digging in the dirt.

I realized I owed a return letter to my aunt and, since St. Pat's is right around the corner, I thought I would enclose it in a card. Alas, I had no St. Pat's cards in my stash so I decided to whip one up. I copied an idea that I had used for Valentine's Day a number of years ago and simply strung some shamrocks instead of hearts on a cord. It turned out kind of cute and I was thinking of making more when I got a frantic text from my daughter - yes, the one out on the slopes. She had just found out that all of my grand son's friends were signing up for the first session of Kiwanis summer camp and, because this camp fills up extremely fast, they needed to get his registration form post marked that day...and, the house they were renting in Utah didn't have a printer. Could I please download the form, fill it in COMPLETELY, enclose a check and get it to the post office?

So much for my crafting but it made me feel good that even though they are so far away, they still need help from me! So much for my theory but it really is nice to be needed! Lol

And now I'm at it again. I really did enjoy making the painted burlap door hanger for St. Pat's Day so I couldn't wait to start another. I am going to do this one day next week with a friend but since I wanted both an egg and a bunny, I thought I would do the egg today while I still have some time on my hands.

I started in exactly the same way. I decided how large I wanted the egg to be and then free handed a shape out of kraft paper. Then, I cut two out of burlap.

I marked off the sections, painted the white area and hung it to dry. Again, I put wax paper under the burlap so the extra paint didn't soak in and I used the stiff bristled brushes. Since I was able to find the traditional burlap color this time, I decided I wanted a small edge of it to show. That meant I couldn't give it a primer coat of any spray paint with color so I went ahead and gave both the front and back a shot of clear coat. I really think this helps stabilize the fabric and helps fill in the loose weave so the paint covers better.

Then it was on to the violet. This may not be the exact violet color I would have made but I was afraid if I mixed my paint - and by some chance didn't mix enough - I would never be able to match it again perfectly. As I found out with my first project, the burlap soaks up LOTS of paint.  So, because of that, I went with the violet I could find in a large bottle.

And now, the green. I did find myself going with a little more vibrant colors than I had planned. When I put my first choice of pastels together, it looked like I was preparing for a baby shower - just too soft for me. Keeping my fingers crossed I won't be sorry when this is all said and done.

I'm going to stop right here and let it dry completely overnight. I will do the decorative part tomorrow but once again I have surprised myself. After drawing out several designs, I think I am going with just polka dots...very much the same as my inspiration picture. I just don't like the busy-ness of everything else I came up with.

I was also going to use Easter ribbon but I think I'm leaning towards just a burlap bow this time...we shall see. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


I am happy to say that I made it through the garage sale. And, as much as I dreaded doing it, I must say that it was so nice to share the day with a lot of my family members and meet lots of very nice people. I can honestly say that all of my things found their way to good homes...and those that didn't got donated to a good cause. My house feels so much bigger this week and I was anxious to start some spring cleaning but we are having a ( much needed!! ) rainy day and for some reason, to me, nothing looks clean in dreariness so I am saving that for tomorrow and using today to make plans and write lists!

Because I had so much fun making the St. Pat's burlap door hanger, I'm already thinking about the one(s?) I will do for Easter. Again, I headed back to Pinterest and that is where I found these images. I know an Easter egg or bunny shape is about the easiest thing to do but I like to start with an inspiration. Here are a few images that got me excited.

I don't know why but I am leaning in this direction. I once took a decorating class out at our local college and the instructor said in order to define your style, get a bunch of magazines and leaf through them very quickly. Pull out the images that you are drawn to. Do not stop to think or reason...just go on instinct and when you are done, go back through what you have and you will be amazed at how many similarities they have and your style will begin to emerge. I have done this many times in the years since and she was right. I like the pastel colors of this egg. I always prefer pastels at Easter although most other times of the year I would be looking for more vibrancy. I also like the simplicity of this design although I might add a band of black around the outside to help it pop.

I don't want to do words or these colors but I am toying with the zigzags.

I like the black "slashes" on this one and the colors but I don't like just zigzag - maybe on half the egg? I think I'm going to pull out my colored pencils and make a few samples to give me a better idea.

I like this bunny a lot...

...or maybe this guy but the distance between those ears makes me think the fabric might start to droop in on itself here in the land of humidity. I do love that little face.

I've also started looking back at the past years of Easter decor. I'm' making those plans as well because Easter from St. Pat's will have to be a quick change. And, it looks like I won't even be here for the big day this year. Daughter #1 has invited me to go on a little vacation with her. She and I and grand daughter #4 would head up to Tallahassee to visit grand daughter #2. I would get a chance to see her apartment, sorority house, campus, etc. Sounds like fun.

But, until then, I am surrounded with green. Since the garage sale took so much "heavy labor" and then, my son-in-law, daughter and grand daughter stayed on to get the new dish washer installed, I was exhausted. So, I very reluctantly gave up on any ideas of a big St. Pat's celebration before the gang headed to Utah for a week of skiing. I ended up just having Presley dress up for a picture and sending her brothers' goodie bags home to them...there's always next year.

We are actually in for a number of very cold nights this week although our days will be lovely. I am panicking about all of the new, flowering hanging baskets I just bought and hung so I think I'm going to head out and do some damage control. I usually don't even cover things in a frost but these plants are a bit more delicate than the things planted in the ground...not to mention, expensive and BRAND new. Maybe I did rush the season a bit too fast. "sigh" Stay tuned.

P.S. This one might be good for a cry laugh? After all of the time I spent picking out my new dish washer - mostly because I had a few "had-to haves" (stainless inside and out, quiet and pretty handle ) - imagine my surprise when, after a long install by my son-in-law, I couldn't open the door! Yep, I HAD NEVER considered that this DW is facing one corner of my kitchen while a drawer full of much needed essentials is facing the other. I guess I have never had a DW with a handle before so this has never been an issue. I thought of moving the stuff in that drawer to another but it is truly the largest drawer in the kitchen and all of that stuff will not fit in another. I'm sure I will come up with something but, for now, I just have to open the DW before I can get into the drawer!!??! I sure wasn't about to have my sweet SIL take that thing out again. Lol

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Yay! Finally Something New!

I am so glad I wasn't the first delivery of the day. If I had been, I might never had gotten around to trying a new for me craft - the burlap door hanger that is all over Pinterest these days. It was so much fun and I am really glad I tried it before my girlfriend and I got together to give it a go. I think I came up with some ideas that are not mentioned in any tutorials that I found and might make my next attempt a bit easier.

I started with some images from Pinterest that I liked. and then I free handed a pattern on some kraft paper, cut it out and then cut it out of the burlap.

This is where I started to do some of my own ideas. Because this burlap was so light, I decide to give it a coat of black spray paint to have as a base. Now that it is all said and done, I might actually have given it a second coat because I think it might have "sealed" the burlap a bit more so that it wasn't so porous for the paint. After that, I added the buckle and then the band so I would know what area was left to paint green.

The burlap really absorbed the paint. The green on this hat used almost an entire 2 oz. bottle of craft paint and I ended up using a cheap chip bristle brush with the bristles cut way down to "scrub" in the paint. This was the best way to get a full coverage so I didn't need to put on a second coat. I also quickly realized that I should put some waxed paper under the hat instead of just newspaper. The paper was getting very wet as the paint bled through and I was losing a lot of paint to the paper. The waxed paper kind of let the paint bounce back onto the burlap. I also realized that if there are any wrinkles in the burlap, they should be ironed out before you start. I didn't do that and ended up coming back after the hat was painted with the black paint. The iron had to be pretty hot to press the burlap and then it started to melt the paint. Much easier to do it before any of the painting fun starts.

I wanted white polka dots on my hat and the first thing I looked for was to see if I had the right size paint dabbers - I didn't. Then, I cut a circle out of a sponge and dipped it into white paint but it was way too hard to maneuver without a handle. Luckily, I thought of my circle cookie cutters and they did the trick. I just used the cutter for an outline and filled them in with paint using a stiff angled brush.

I liked the image I had found with the black and white border, so that was next. I think it is very MacKenzie-Child-esque.

When the paint was dry, it was a simple matter of hot gluing the seams and stuffing the hat with plastic bags. Other stuffings could be used but I thought since this hat was to hang outdoors, the plastic would be the best. I had fully intended to sew the seams but after realizing how badly the burlap frays, the glue was a much better solution.

Look what I found. I remembered that I had used some black and white polka dotted ribbon and sure enough, I found it in my Halloween stash. Now it was simply a matter of pushing through some black wire for the hanger and making a bow.

And, voila, it is ready to hang on the door. I am so glad I tired this out before my girl friend and I got together. I definitely have a few other supplies I will get to have on hand. We are doing one for Easter so I am thinking an egg or a bunny. We shall see. Stay tuned.

While I'm Waiting!

It's one of "those" days. It is a day that I had ALL planned...until I didn't. You know, one of those days where life takes over when you least expect it.

I was happily sailing along on the good ship "spring has sprung" with a huge smile on my face. Everything seemed to be smooth sailing. Until I came home from Gainesville and opened my dish washer to put away the "clean" dishes from the load I had put on right before I left. The bottom of the machine was FULL of water. No worries. I figured maybe there was a power outage during the cycle so I hit the "cancel" button - which usually drains the machine - and NOTHING happened. Oh, it ran...but it didn't drain. I went and got the guide book, did all of the trouble shooting and still, no draining. And just when I was on the verge of calling the appliance repair company I use, I found the receipt. We had bought this machine almost 12 years ago to the day. Then I googled life spans for DW and we were on the waaayyy high end of the spectrum. Decided it probably wasn't worth putting any more money into this cutie so I was off to Lowes.

I found a machine very similar to my current machine and now, I wait. It is being delivered today...just don't know when. They will call when they are on there way but I don't even have a window. And, with my home phone answering machine not being 100% reliable these days and me not hearing my cell ring if I am further away than a few feet, I can't do any of the things I had planned. I am staying close to both phones for fear of missing the call.

That means the best place to be is in my office or the kitchen/dining/sun room here I am.

I got the kids' goodie bags put together. I'm still not sure how we'll do this this year but I will have some helpers here this weekend so a more difficult scavenger hunt may be in order. They are getting older so the clues can become more harder. Gotta make them work for that sugar overload!! The only things in there not edible this year are the rainbow eraser, the tattoos, the fingernail embellishments and the glow-in-the-dark bracelets.

And then, there is this.

My girlfriend and I have been thinking about having a craft day every once in awhile. As I have said before, it is hard for me to find things I haven't already done. I would be happy to do something again if I didn't STILL have my first efforts. You know that if it is a holiday item. I am probably holding on to it forever.

In any case, I have been seeing all of these burlap door hangers all over Pinterest. She and I are going to do an Easter one after spring break but I decided that while I had a 50% off fabric coupon at JoAnns, I would buy some supplies.

Well, thank you "Farmhouse Style". Seems that since this is all the rage, burlap is hard to come by. It is being used in decor of all types and the sales lady said they are selling it by the full bolt. Since I have never done this before and suspect that the burlap will sop up tons of paint, I bought a small piece of the only color they had and thought I would try a St. Pat's hanger to get the feel of the craft and see what other supplies we might need before she and I get started.

And so, I went to my trusty Pinterest and found all of these images. I loved the shamrocks but wanted to start with one that doesn't have fancy cuts and will probably hang "stiffer". Most of the images are from signs available from Etsy so, of course, there are no tutorials. On the sites where there is a tutorial, none of them suggested a clear coat. I'm a bit skeptical that just the craft paint alone will stiffener it enough so we shall see.

These are the images from Pinterest that I pulled for inspiration. It is a simple shape and I don't think I want any words either. We shall see as I get going. And, since I still have no idea when Lowes may show up, it looks like I will have plenty of time to fool around with it. Stay tuned.

I think I am going somewhere between these two polka dotted hats. For whatever reason, they are talking to me. I also love that black & white polka dotted ribbon. Looks like I will be heading back to HL after my delivery...if they're still open by then!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Spring Has Sprung

Well, it is official! I am now a year older...and what fun I have had celebrating that fact! I had a super busy weekend starting on Friday when daughter #3, my brother and my sister-in-law took me to lunch at a beautiful new restaurant here in town. The restaurant has been my favorite for a long time but has always been in an old Victorian house. Now that our downtown has had a revitalization, it seems to be the place to be. I wasn't sure I was going to like the change, but these guys know what they're doing! It is gorgeous. They went very urban but still glamorous with touches of shabby chic!

Here are a few pictures while they were still getting ready to open. Now that it is full of beautiful things it is really a lovely addition to our downtown!

This picture really doesn't do justice to this bar. It is now full of mirrors and lots of crystal and, of course, bottles and bottles of alcohol and it just glitters!!

After a long, leisurely lunch, it was off to get the kids from school and spend the rest of the day with them.

I was off to Gainesville on Saturday morning. Daughter #2 had lots of plans. We started with a movie. We went to see "The Greatest Showman". Not only did I LOVE this movie but I got to sit in a comfy recliner and have a glass of wine - not a bad way to watch a movie!

Then, it was off for a little spending spree at Chicos followed by "linner" at one of my favorite restaurants - BJs. It seems like whenever anyone plans celebrations for me, lots of food is always involved.

We did a bit more shopping and then headed home for some yummy, gourmet sweet treats and this gorgeous bouquet of my two favorite flowers in the whole world! Being able to grow these beauties is the ONLY reason in the world that I might consider moving further north. Sorry I don't have more pictures but, once again, this was one of those times that I was having so much fun, the time to snap pictures just never presented itself.

We have had just the most gorgeous weather. Our nights have cooled off again but so have our days and I am having trouble doing anything I should INSIDE the house because it is so gorgeous outside. And so, with that in mind, I used today to do all sorts of little chores. You know, like repainting the chips on the front door, repainting the shutters where the paint just seemed to disappear, renailing some loose fence boards, scrubbing off yet more pollen films, etc. These are the things I usually don't like doing but I'm found myself walking around looking for more so I didn't have to come in. Lol Guess it can't hurt!

So, while I'm here, I will show you the last of the St. Pat's decor. Here is the guest bath.

So that is it for St. Pat's 2018 decor. I'm already thinking about Easter and it will be a very quick change if it is to be up any time at all. I'm still trying to figure out how I can squeeze in any St. Pat's fun with the kids before they're off on their ski trip. Stay tuned.