Friday, October 19, 2012

Acorns and Oak Trees

Acorns and Oak Trees
Can you stand another post on Fall crafts?
This is three in a row,
so maybe I better call it a Nature Study instead.
I know my brother, Thom, will like that better.

So keep reading, crafters,
there will be another easy peasy Fall Craft project in this post,
 right after the Nature Study!
Here's a sneak peek:

OK.  Begin Nature Study:
 It's been a gorgeous Fall here in Chicagoland, 
despite the serious drought conditions we have had all summer long.
Our oak trees are finally getting some much needed rain-
so good for them before we get into winter.
We have quite a few oak trees here in our neighborhood...

This is the park at the end of our block.

And the front of our house....
Look at all the different shades of the oak leaves
all at the same time.  Amazing.

Can you believe the leaf guys have already been here once?
Lots more work to do...
When we first moved into this house, we loved raking leaves.  
We made leaf trails for the kids, and piles to play in.  
And we raked and we raked and we raked. 
And then we had to bag them.  
After several years of raking and bagging, when we had filled 175 bags of leaves,
we finally decided to call in the pros. 
It costs about the same and we don't need to spend all of our fall weekends raking.

The leaves go on forever. 
But the bonus is ACORNS!
Crunch City underfoot on our lawn.

The good news is that I have finally found a crafty way to use acorns.

Yup, I actually painted them.  
I told you it was an easy project.

I saw these Painted Acorns on Pinterest, pinned from ModPodgeRocks.
There is a tutorial there if you want to make this project really complicated 
or if you have way too much Mod Podge on hand.

I loved the idea, but not the color.  
Hard to believe, I know, 
but these are not for the lake cottage,
they are for here, at home.
And I like a simple craft project like this one about matchboxes
and this one about pumpkins.

The only problem is that this year's crop of acorns
is pretty rough, probably due to the drought.

-Back to the Nature Study-
This year's acorns are thin, dark and splotchy, 
clearly not craft worthy.

Fortunately, I have some acorns saved from last year, 
when they were plump and beautiful.

Same yard, same trees, different weather conditions.

These are some happy, healthy acorns,
perfect for painting. 

I got out the paint and the paintbrush and I was ready to go.

Hey, what do you know?  
This is not just a post about crafts or a Nature Study-
It's also a Before and After!

Here is an acorn 

And After!


I used a small, stiff, square tipped brush and painted them while I watched TV.
Best kind of craft, I think...

Then I got really fancy and I painted some in this color green, too.  

 Which do you like better?

Happy Fall!

Linking to:
Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays at Coastal Charm
Tuesdays Treasures at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style
Tutorials, Tips and Tidbits at Stone Gable
Fabulously Creative Fridays at Jennifer Rizzo
Weekend Bloggy Reading at Serenity Now

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Cinderella Pumpkin Gets a Makeover

I think I may have outdone myself here with this project.
I have spray painted a plastic pumpkin for a link party.
Another ridiculously easy peasy project from yours truly...
Wherever do I find the time?

A little background-
When Linda from It All Started With Paint, a delightful fellow Chicago blogger, 
announced that she was hosting a link party for Fall Themed Spray Paint Projects, 
I thought, I can do that...  
I can think of something to spray paint.
But what???  
I dragged up some old flea market finds from the basement and pondered their future.
Nothing seemed quite right.  I guess they dodged the bullet this time.
I kept thinking, hoping inspiration would find me.
Talk about lazy.

I had splurged this fall on this light green "Faux" Pumpkin from Pottery Barn for the cottage.  

Pottery Barn

It's a really soft muted shade of green and goes well with my cottage colors.  
(And anyone who knows me will agree that I am a bit obsessed with my cottage colors.)

No orange pumpkins in my Beachy color scheme, 
even if Tangerine Tango is the official Pantone color of the year.
No siree, not for me.
The green pumpkin is perfect for the cottage.

I really wanted to get another one for home, but it was a splurge...
I think you can ruin a good splurge by getting another one.  
The guilt starts to set in and, well, you know how that goes.

And then I got the idea I needed for the spray paint party.

I headed straight to Michael's 
and found some Krylon spray paint in Pistachio Green 
and a garish orange "faux" plastic Cinderella shaped pumpkin on sale for half off.
Half off the regular price which was one third the price of the Pottery barn version.
Now we are talking DEAL! 

The perfect candidate for a Cinderella style pumpkin makeover.

It was a gorgeous fall afternoon so
I took the pumpkin and the paint out to my "studio" 

and proceeded to prep for the big makeover.

 Not very complicated. 
 I taped off the stem

and started spraying.

I liked the way it turned out.  
The color was very soft and very pretty.

I set it outside with some other Faux pumpkins for company
and thought, hmmmm, maybe too minty?

So I got really fancy and wiped some walnut colored stain on it.

There.  That's better.

Cinderella Pumpkin Makeover complete.  
Ready for the Ball.

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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Vintage Halloween Print Matchboxes

It's really feeling like Fall around here, and that makes me start feeling really crafty. 

This covered Matchbox is an idea I have had knocking around in my head for a while, 
ever since I saw the decorative matchboxes at Pottery Barn.  
The little voice in the back of my head (planted there by my creative mother) said
 "You can do that..."

So today I did. 

I love "Easy Peasy" Decoupage Projects
like this Altoids tin turned into an iPod case and these little gift tags.

Everybody needs matches at Halloween 
and for the Holidays, too.

Here's how I did it.

First, I bought several boxes of kitchen matches at the Dollar Store.
I am not posting a picture of those because they are soooo ugly 
and if you have Google Reader, you just know that's the picture they would publish!

Then I went to the Graphics Fairy website 
and downloaded some background prints

 So much wonderful inspiration there, all for free...

I copied the label from the website, pasted it into Word, 
played around with the size until it fit the matchbox top and then printed a few.

 Here is the label, cut to fit the match box top. 


Then I cut the background print to wrap around the box.

 I liked the lighter one better with the Pumpkin label so that's what I used.
I decoupaged the background paper to the matchbox

  leaving the strike area uncovered.

Then I decoupaged the label onto the top.

Halloween Matches for all your Mischievous needs.....

These would be great for the Holidays
or you could monogram them or use photographs....
So many possibilities. 

Have fun with the boxes 
but remember,
never play with matches
 or use matches on your battery operated Magic Candles!!!

Linking to:
Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch
Make the Scene Monday at Alderberry Hill
Sunday Showcase Party at Under the Table and Dreaming
More the Merrier Monday at DIY Home Sweet Home
Just Something I Whipped Up at Project Inspire
Sunday's Best at My 1929 Charmer
DIY Project Parade at DIY SHow OFf
Brag Monday at Graphics Fairy
Fall Mantel Link Party at 52 Mantels
Make it Yourself Monday at An Original Belle
Tweak it Tuesday at Cozy Little House
Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays at Coastal Charm
Uncommonly Yours Link Party at Uncommon Design
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style
Vintage Inspiration at Common Ground
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Fridays Unfolded at Stuff and Nonsense
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Fabulously Creative Friday at Jennifer Rizzo
Saturday Night Special at Funky Junk
Weekend Bloggy Reading Party at Serenity Now 

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