Saturday, December 31, 2011

Faux Redware Tutorial

You asked for it, so you got it :-)  WARNING: I am cautiously posting this because I just mixed up a new  batch and when I looked in the oven the circles were starting to puff up.  This is NOT the look I want so I am waiting it out to see what happens.  I did exactly as I did yesterday except I didn't knead it as long, so I'm hoping they fall.  They did not fall and I threw them all away.  Read on and I'll explain.

Getting Started:

What you will need:  I know what you are thinking... why do we need those dowel rods Mary?  I also forgot to take a picture of a drinking straw.  You will need this too.

Line some baking sheets with your foil.  Since this stuff is non-toxic you could just put them directly on the the sheet.  The flatter your foil the less "wrinkle" look you will have on the back of your circle.

Salt Dough Recipe I found here.  (there are a few more recipes on this webpage :-) )

2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 cup warm water

Mix the salt and flour together in a bowl. Add half of the water and stir.  Add the other half stirring til most of the dry ingredients are mixed in.  Sprinkle your counter with a little flour and knead the dough for 5-10 minutes. This IS very important if you want flat circles!!!! As I said at the beginning, I didn't knead the dough very long and the circles puffed up. I don't want puffy.  Learn from my mistakes!!!! lol  So this second batch I kneaded.  I took and separated the dough in half.  Roll out half of your dough.  This is where your dowel rods come in.

This tip is from Karen N., who emailed me...

When I read your blog today about rolling out the salt dough I just had to share with you something I do to get the dough rolled out evenly.  I did this last year when I was rolling out gingerbread dough to make gingerbread men ornaments and it worked like a charm.  I just cut two pieces of dowel (I used 1/4 " dowel cause I wanted the dough to be about that thickness so just use whatever size dowel you want) put the dough between the dowels and have the edges of the rolling pin run over the dowel.  Presto.....perfectly even dough.

Thanks so much Karen!!!!  Now we can all benefit from your wisdom!!!!  Now that's a smart lady :-)

Now for my secret... Do you want perfect sized circles??? Use the lid to a wide mouth ball jar.  Put it on your dough push down and then go back and forth like the arrow shows.  Keep doing this with each one.  If your counter is floured well your circles will come up easily.  If not, well you may have to peel them a little.  Now put them on your cookie sheets.

If you are making ornies use your straw to make holes.  I forgot to do that with the batch I threw away.  Believe me when I say you can't go back and put holes in very well while they are baking.  Yep I tried :-/ lol

Pop your cookie sheets in the oven and bake at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours or until done.

Remove from the pan and put them on cooling racks when done.  You can start decorating once they are completely cool.

Ready to decorate????

Once cool you will sometimes have dried bits of dough on the edges of the circle.  Just take some sand paper and lightly sand to knock them off.  I also give a quick sand to the front and back.  Then wipe them off with a dry paper towel.  Remember, don't use water!!!

Some of mine looked like this on the back.  I just sanded a little and painted them anyway.

Next step is painting.  I just used acrylic paint that I had on hand.  Design and paint whatever you like on them.  Use stencils, look at pics on the web, or freehand.  After they are completely dry if you want to "prim" them up take wood gel stain (I like walnut) and use a rag to lightly rub the stain on.  You can go back and wipe off some if needed to lighten it.  I always use rubber gloves when using stain because it doesn't like to come off my hands very well.  Also dispose of any rags properly.  These rags can spontaneously combust if kept in a closed container.  
My friends and I were talking today about these and we all agreed you might need a polyurethane or polyacrylic coat.  We also thought maybe modge podge would work too.  If you plan on storing them keep them out of anyplace that might be damp.  My friends pack those little silica packets that come in shoe boxes in with them and have never had a problem.  I have yet to protect mine, but I will.

Anyway, I hope this helps and have fun!!!!  I have been having a blast making making these.  Anyone want to come over and paint with me ??? lol

Edited...  I have been asked to share the paint colors I used to create these.

Folk art- Navy Blue, Terra Cotta, True Burgundy (used for redware color), yellow ochre

As for the others I happened to have Olde Century Colors linen white and olde pewter.  You could substitute these with an ivory and a darker sage green.

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Friday, December 30, 2011

Faux Redware

Alright, I know it's late for the reveal because I normally post in the morning.  I started painting then stopped to make a faux Roman Shade panel for my nephew's room when my sister came over.  Anyway, my experiment... you all know I LOVE redware, yellowware, and blackware.  Most times it's too expensive for me to purchase.  What's the next best thing? Of course, Make it yourself!!!!

The experiment was which did I like better... salt dough or clay...

Salt dough...

So, let's start with the salt dough... this was my first attempt as an adult.  I found that I'm not good at rolling out my dough evenly. LOL.  It was really easy to work with, however.  It dried quickly in the oven.  Downfall I guess if you want to call it.  I don't think it's bad because it makes them look more like crazed clay is that I think my dough may have been to dry because I got very small cracks.  BUT the stain went down in them and like I say made them look crazed.  I have 10 more to paint. LOL.  The recipe I used left my circles flat.  They didn't "puff" up.  This is from my dear friend Geesha  "Hey Mary I will tell you this what ever flour you use in your salt dough mixture it will effect the shape if you want a more flat use all-purpose if you want it a more 3-D or texture like use the self-rising."  Thought I'd pass it along :-)  The flat look is what I wanted. 

Sculpey clay...

Well, let me say that these take a LOONNGGG time to dry in the oven.  These ones are still not completely dry because they are flexible.  They should be rigid when "cooked" completely.  I had them in for like 4 hours.  It is suppose to be 15 minutes for 1/4"  uh huh right....   Needless to say I'm impatient.  The clay models a little better to make bowl shapes.  It takes more coats of paint to cover the white clay.  It's a flatter surface to paint on.  So, all in all they are ok... at best.  I wasn't going to scrap them yet.  I may give it another try.  OH the biggest problem is sculpey clay is way more expensive than salt dough :-)

There you have it.  Was it worth the wait???? I think they turned out pretty good if I can toot my own horn. LOL.  Anyone want be to post a tutorial for these? Leaving it open for discussion... just let me know :-)
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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Experimenting Day

Good Morning everyone!!!  As you can tell by my post title, today is Experimenting Day.  You know I always LOVE to try new things.  So, as soon as I came home from work at 7am I started my Google search.  Why? you may ask. Well, last night as I was working we had down time in which we are allowed to sleep on our 24 hour shifts.  I laid there... and laid there...and laid there.  I was not able to fall asleep because I had a massive flow of crafting ideas and was unable to sleep.  I was so excited to start them today that I didn't lay down after I came home.  Anyway, I have never worked with salt dough (as an adult) to make ornies.  So, I found several different recipes and have yet to decide on one.  I will though this afternoon when I have a little more time.  HOWEVER, if any of you have a favorite salt dough recipe to share please do!!!  You have a few hours yet before I start them. :-)

In the meantime, I am working with this... also a new medium for me to play. 

I have several items baking right now.  I don't want to show you yet until 1.) they work and look wonderful or 2.) I fail miserably and tell you what not to do :-)  I will be ecstatic if it turns out like I hope it will.  Then I will have some very special items to sell if it does. So are you ready to hurt me yet since I won't tell you? lol

I hope to be back tomorrow with the finished products.  Stay tuned :-)
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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Pattern Re-Releases

A late Merry Christmas to all of you.  I'd like to say my Christmas holiday was wonderful, BUT I can't.  I spent all weekend working.  YUCK!!!!  We did get to open our gifts Sunday night after I got home.  It was looking like we'd have to wait until Monday night, but my son texted me to come pick him up from his Dad's house Sunday night so we could open gifts.  I was thankful for that.  Me, being the procrastinator that I am, waited until December 23rd to order Steve's Christmas presents.  One of them arrived today. :-)  He said he understood.  I just couldn't decide what to get him.  He buys what he wants, for example,  he bought the DVD set of the television show "Coach" wrapped it then put my name on it as if I gave it to him.  LOL. I guess that made it easy.  He still has 2 more gifts coming in the mail.  I'm sure he will like them.

Other than that, last week, I got absolutely nothing done since I worked everyday but Thursday.  So today, my day off, I decided to re-release some of my patterns.  These were from 2008, when I first decided to make patterns.  I had to go back in and make some minor changes to them, but now they are once again available for purchase.

Primitive Pineapple Bowl Fillers

Primitive Sheep Pattern

A printable PDF format is $8.00 while a printed pattern is $10.00 includes shipping. Please email me to order.  You will get a color picture, pattern, and directions to complete the above goodies.

In case you didn't notice, I have made navigating my blog a little simpler.  You will notice the tabs underneath my heading picture.  Click on those to be taken to the pages containing those items. :-)

I may re-release another pattern for my prim geese, but I haven't decided if I will or not.  This is what they would look like if I do.  I even made a mallard and Canadian goose out of the pattern.

I don't know about you, but I have started thinking about my New Year's resolutions.  I am really going to try to make them easy for me to achieve.  Normally, I make ones that I really can't do and then I feel bad if I break them.  I won't tell you in today's post, but I will as the New Year approaches.

I just want to say thank you for visiting today.  I hope you are having a wonderful week.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Good Morning! I'll bet you thought I fell off the face of the earth :-) Ha! no such luck LOL.  I have just been working on my daughter's quilt and have not done much else.  That was my goal to finish it last week while I was on vacation.  Well, after some frustration and almost tears I finished it yesterday.  I didn't end up machine quilting it because it didn't go as smoothly as I wanted.  I had to rip out what I had done and decided to tie it.  I have also decided I will not tackle a quilt this big in my place.  I had a very hard time finding a place to lay it out to put it together.  But, finally, it is done.

Front... I apologize these are phone pictures...

Back of quilt

Last weekend all of us went to the Polar Express ride in Dennison Ohio.  We went because I got free tickets to go.  I just had to guard the first aid bag. LOL.  I didn't need to use my skills luckily. So, I took the opportunity to be on a moving train for the first time ever.  My kids even enjoyed themselves.  I even let my kids take a picture of me while we were there.  So, if you ever wondered what Steve and I look like here we are.  This is a rare occasion because I absolutely hate having my picture taken.  Anyway, here we are...

Steve has been busy in the workshop.  We got a special request for a fireplace board from a lady in Bowling Green Kentucky.  It turned out so cute....

Steve also painted up another one we will have for sale.  This one is not  prim'd up yet.  These are some of the newest stencils I have.

I caved in and went to some thrift stores last week too.  Of course I found some more fabric, but I also found this piece that I would like to repaint and put in the booth.  One of the handles is missing off a drawer so I will either have to put new ones on or look around at the flea market for one maybe like it.  Either way I'd LOVE to keep it, but there is no room here at the homestead :-) 

Today is my only day off this week until next Tuesday.  Yes, that means I am working Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  I'm not happy about it, but the overtime will be nice :-)  I still need to go shopping for Steve.  Tomorrow is his birthday and then of course Christmas follows 2 days later.  He is so difficult to buy for, but my son thinks he knows what to get.  So, maybe later we will venture out.

I need to get moving.  So, thanks for stopping by.  I will talk to you soon. 

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Early Christmas

I LOVE getting packages in the mail, especially when I know I didn't order anything. The other day my son actually went to the mailbox and got the mail. This is a very rare occurrence even if his bus stops right in front of it. Anyway, I think he gets more excited than I do when a package arrives. If I'm at work he calls to tell me then asks if he can open it. Or if I'm here wants to open it. My last surprise package was from Little Raggedy Angie. She is always sending people goodies just because. She is the sweetest thing. I would have taken a picture of the package, BUT my son opened too quick.

This is what was in my package.

These wonderful smelling wax ornies...

The red and white candles...

The most adorable gingerbread people... If you look close at the picture you can see me in the glass bulb to the left. LOL

Candy cane ornament...

And a wonderful Christmas card...

Truth be told I can't remember if she sent anything else. As soon as I unwrapped everything I put them in their new places and forgot to take pictures until 2 days later. Now I can't remember what else she sent me. I apologize Angie for my forgetfulness. Obviously what she sent me was so awesome I couldn't remember what was new because it all blended so well with the rest of my things :)

Some other early Christmas gifts was landlord called me the other day ask if I wanted a different refrigerator and stove for my house/duplex. He said that he and his wife got new appliances and that these were perfectly good she just wanted new. He wanted me to come look at them and to bring Steve to help move them. Anyway, long story short I now have newer used appliances. They work great and look great. I now have a window in my stove door AND a timer on it. My old one didn't and you don't realize how much you use them when you don't have either. The refrigerator is bigger and much nicer. I can barely hear it running. My old one would thump really loud when it was done running a cycle. Then he asked me how I liked the carpet in my kitchen. I told him I hated it and that I'd rather have tile, linoleum, or something like it so that I could clean up spills easier. So, he said he would replace my kitchen floors this summer or spring. Steve told him if he bought it that he would install it. I'm very excited! Steve tried to talk him into faux wood floors. After today I can't wait. LOL... I was making puppy chow candy this morning put the cereal in a Ziploc (Walmart brand) bag with powdered sugar in it. I went to turn the bag upside down to shake it and the zipper part popped open as I was shaking it and some of the chocolate/peanut butter cereal spilled all over the carpet. I was so mad!!!! I hate wasting perfectly good food :) especially chocolate.

I baked all day yesterday and have just a bit more to do today then that's it. I made no bake cookies, molasses cookies (my favorite), candied nuts, and crescent pecan pie bars. Today is puppy chow and sugar cookies. I haven't made this much for a very long time. It feels good!!!

I hope to work on my daughters quilt today. I thought I had made yet another big mistake on the backing, but no I was just having a brain fart. Grrrr... I just need to find a large place in my house to lay out the backing so I can measure it and put my borders on. Then I need to decide whether I want to tie it or machine quilt it.

You should all be proud of me. I have only been to the thrift store once this week. It was right across the street from my doctor's appt yesterday. So, of course I had to go. I found this amazing throw. It looks like a real coverlet but it's a blanket. Remember I like to decorate on the cheap with repro's if I have to. I got this baby for $2.99. It had some ugly fringe around the edges that I ripped off yesterday and a few pulled threads. It is a gorgeous red. This picture makes it look bright, but in real life it's not. The bad thing is I almost put this back on the rack before I left, but a little voice said buy it. It is so awesome!

Well, I have a plans for today and better get busy. Have I ever said how much I LOVE being home and not working?!? Well, I do. LOL.
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Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas at the Homestead

The Homestead is ready for Christmas. Please take a few minutes and come on in for a visit.

Please click here to visit.

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Since we last spoke I have decided to stop making Christmas items so that I can focus on finishing up a project I started awhile ago. Yes, I am finally going to finish my daughters quilt. I figure it's time to get it done so she can use it this winter. Plus my son has placed his order for camouflage curtains when I'm done. Good thing I have next week off starting Monday. lol...

Remember this fabric?

I only have a little bit of each left so I had to come up with a plan for the backing to use it. I don't want to have much left over because I don't think I'd use it in any quilt I'd use. I LOVE the colors don't get me wrong. Just not the look I'm going for. :) So, this is the plan for the backing... Carefully drawn out and measured...

I began to cut up the fabric into the sizes I needed when I came to the last larger rectangle of fabric. Yep you guessed it I ran out of brown fabric. I was to have 4 large rectangles of brown on the back. I bought plenty in the beginning BUT dummy me used some to make some apron and bonnets sets that I sold. GRRRRRR... DUH! So the plan had to change. I looked in my stash and I didn't have any plain brown fabric. Then I thought I could substitute a floral brown NOPE... not enough of that either. So, this morning after I got off work, I had to run to the store to buy more material to complete it. Of course they didn't have the same dark brown I had so I decided on a lighter brown. Now I will have 2 dark brown and 2 light brown rectangles. It's the back right? No one will ever see it. LOL.

I have the two darker brown ones finished. As you can see I didn't have long enough strips of certain fabrics either. LOL... This will be interesting when I get it done. LOL.

I also went to the Goodwill and found a few things. The main thing I found was a different curtain for my kitchen. I know these pics are hard to tell but I had panels that I pulled back. These have been here since I moved in. Can you believe it's been almost 4 years ago on Jan 1 ?!?!? I can't. Anyway...

Before... it's hard to take a good pic when the light is coming through.

I found this brand new Park Design valance. It is black, mustard, and barn red. PERFECT!!!! I just don't understand why companies don't line curtains. I mean I know why, so you have to keep buying new ones. But lining them helps with sun fade. So, I think this will be a project this winter to line it.

After... I kinda like the change. :) I even washed my window inside and out before I hung it. FYI glass cleaner does not freeze in 20 degree weather. LOL. Now the sun is too bright coming through because it's clean LOLOLOL. This should tell you that I didn't get around to cleaning my windows this fall. shhhhhhh....

I took a break from sewing to chat, so I better get back to it. Steve and I haven't really seen each other all week. He has a few things to do at his rentals then he says we are going to "hang out" LOL. Which entails sitting in front of the TV. No kids until 4:30-5 this evening so it's all ours.

I'm still working on more photos of my Christmas decorating. I will post more next week.

Until then... Have a wonderful weekend!
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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sneak Peak Christmas 2011

I have started to take pictures of Christmas at the Homestead. Enjoy.... more pictures to come later this week....hopefully :-)

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