After being out of the social loop for a while, I am back with a new passion. Recently we have had two weddings at our property. That took lots of gardening and planning, but it’s all fun work, so no big deal.
Then it was time for a crafting retreat where I get to document all these fun adventures we have been on. I use Artisan5 software and it is FANTASTIC!! It can be found here at Forever.com. If you check it out and choose to sign up for a free account, you will receive a $10.00 coupon. You can also try the software for 30 days at NO CHARGE, None! No strings. I bet you will LOVE it too. I would be interested in what you think of it.
While at my retreat I had the opportunity to make a wooden sign that will hang on my front porch. This is not anything new to me, but what was so great was the fact that everything was pre-done. That made it all so easy, and fun. I met some new people who are fun, and I look forward to seeing them again. That is when I decided to jump in AGAIN feet first. My mind is on fire with all the people who I know that would like making these as much as I did. I became a creator with Life Expressions Décor. I am so excited, and if you would like to know more, feel free to simply ask. Maybe we will have a sign making night with you and your friends too.
While surfing the throngs of art on facebook, I came across a video of Mercedes painting simple white flowers. It seemed like a nice deviation from the faces I have been learning to paint, so I gave it a look see. I grabbed a brush and followed along. I am very happy with the result. Have a look at the video and grab a brush yourself, you might just like it!
It is a joy to learn, I have come a long way for sure. This year I am once again enrolled in Lifebook through Willowing Arts. This week I was skeptical of the project, but pushed through and endured. Here it is.
Well, Here it is…. I have been pinning things on Pinterest, planning the semi remodel (updating ) of our Master Bathroom. I have also been scouring Ana Whites website. I think she is my newest idol.
I have always been able to show my hubby something and he would help me get the job done. (he did it) But lately I am a little more impatient. I have more ideas than histime allows, so what’s a girl to do?
Do it Herself of course, there was just one tiny thing…. How to cut my precious pieces of wood that I have been saving and cultivating and weathering ( because the job didn’t get done when I first had the idea…), I am proficient in using the chop saw, but that would not work for ripping down the long fence boards. So I got a lesson on how to safely use the new big table saw. After all, I like my fingers.
Now that I have that skill, and my tools, the sky is the limit, I say it is like sewing with wood.
Well, it happened. After a couple years of drooling over Pinterest DIY plywood flooring, I convinced my man that it could be done. He was very skeptical. I have read lots of blogs on the subject, used Pinterest to highlight and show the results of ones I liked and ones I felt were not correct for our situation. He was still skeptical…….
Also he is old school. ‘You don’t just wing it, it needs to be done right’. ‘The floor needs to be tongue and groove, how would you possibly hold it down?’ ‘You can’t just nail it to the floor.’ ‘ You can’t use plywood, you’ll get splinters when you walk.’ ‘It needs to be sealed.’ ‘ Top grade plywood is expensive.’ ‘ That would be a lot of work.’
Well he is right about a lot of things, and especially this last one. It IS a lot of work. But so worth it. We have pride when we walk on the floor WE MADE.
We had a flooring company come to measure our master bedroom and hallway for some rustic hardwood flooring, The cost was $7,950 installed for engineered wood. I was sure we could do better.
I had some sample boards from the store laying around while we selected the perfect one. I still wanted plywood. So I made a sample board of how I thought ours would look.
We left it on the floor with the others for about a week and when friends came over we asked their unbiased opinion, most liked mine and were blown away when I said I MADE it. You what?
We lived without carpet for several months and when we got our heads wrapped around how this was actually going to happen, we started.
Here are the steps we followed.
Select the wood. We chose 15/32 plywood from Lowes. The cost per sheet was $15.95 per sheet.
2. Cut the wood, we chose to have plank widths: 6″ 4.75″ and 3.75″ This gave a cohesive randomness to the finished project. It also produced very little waste.
3. Stain the planks, I used a combination of special walnut, natural oak and natural all from Minwax. I used these because that is what I had already that was not too red looking.
4. Let dry (and air out) overnight in the garage.
5. Install under-lament
6. We laid the planks and spaced the pattern out before we nailed anything down. Then finished staining the remaining planks (outside)
7. Nail down planks. We made sure the boards were laying flush and did not creep. We used 2 5/8 panel nails (color Dark Oak). One in each corner of each board, then we snapped a line and made several rows to hold the boards securely.
8. Next we sealed it with three coats of Polycrylic also from Minwax.
The result is fantastic. I am so happy with it.
9. Repeat steps 1-8 for the master bedroom.
10. Since we left our existing baseboards on and slipped the new floor under them, there was a small gap. This was fixed by installing base shoe trim along the floor. It finishes it off nicely.
I completed another two lessons in the Lifebook course. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes to make art…
They each have different things that attracted me to the lesson. Subsequently, each taught me something valuable. The feather project fromAlisa Burke was an eye catcher. I was excited to draw feathers simply because I love them, but her words were much more inspiring to me than the process of drawing a feather. Thanks to Alisa, I now have a field sketchbook and will spend more time outdoors sketching and collecting information and ideas that will help me grow into the artist I strive to become.
As for the feathers, they are on my wall as a reminder to be original.
The second lesson I completed this week is by Juliette Crane. I think her subject matter and style are both cute and happy. I have not done a painting like this before, and it was a challenge. I started out excited, found myself somewhere in the middle thinking, ‘Oh forget it” then pushing through with the notion ‘You don’t need to show anyone if it doesn’t work out”
Well, it worked out and it was relaxing actually, once I decided I did not need to show anyone. This taught me persistence and the fact that a painting can always be rescued.
This year is zooming by so fast. It seems every year goes by faster than the last, and the last few have been a big blur really.
This year has also been filled with making more art than ever before.
Since January I have been involved with the Lifebook group. (there is still time to join, click the link for more information) Each week a new lesson appears in my inbox. Not just an art lesson, but something to think about, to search deep inside and to reflect on while MAKING ART.
I have been discovering a lot about myself and these thoughts tend to fill my daily activities. This weeks lesson was no different, Jane Davenport was the teacher of the week, and her lesson was ‘drawing on your inner and outer world’ Well if that doesn’t give you something to think about. Hmmm.
I get my lessons on Mondays, I mull them over in my mind until Wednesdays when my Lifebook sisters and I get together and create the art from the lesson. Then I have the rest of the week to reflect, and perfect, both about the art and the lesson or concept.
So even though this year is going by fast, it is not such a blur. I have physical tangible art. When I look at the pieces I made, I have personal recollections about what I was experiencing in my life each week. Yeah for Liebook in so many ways.
Well, it’s Wednesday, so that means another week of Lifebook with Tam at Willowing.org.
This week, we are embracing ‘Gratitude’ with a layered heart project. The creating of the actual hearts was done with some Lifebook sisters and we always have a fun day making art together.
As I was alone finishing up the personal side of the project, the journaling, and reflecting, I was thinking about what I am grateful for. There are some pretty obvious things that stand out, my family, my home, my life and the fact I am able to create the space to make art. Then I dug deep into my thoughts and feelings as to WHY I create art…. What is is that makes me crave it so much, what is my purpose, why I feel a need to share it with people.
I realized that creating art, letting myself learn by doing and produce a tangible item, learning new techniques from new people, gaining knowledge, is very rewarding. However SHARING, it’s the sharing , the connectedness that makes me really happy and joyful inside. When I can help someone learn something new, teach them a new technique, guide them help them produce a tangible item that makes them happy, Then my heart is truly fulfilled. So I will go forth and share my knowledge and love of creating and helping others find happiness along the way.