art · DIY · Free Printables · Home Decor

Free Printable Halloween Art

Fall and Halloween decorations will be combined at my house this year. I wanted to get a jump start since everything holiday-wise always seems to get away from me. I’m going to try to mesh styles as well as holidays this season. I figure that I can mesh Fall/Thanksgiving with Halloween and then I won’t have to use up as much time switching out decor before Christmas. I have Prims, cute collectibles and vintage style pieces that all need to go together.

Collectible Halloween figures

I’ve already torn down the living room to make room for holiday redecorating. Now that the new furniture arrangement is in place, the next step is to add in a few new pieces with the old, so I’m starting with paintings.

Sandra McCall recycles old thrift store canvases into new Halloween paintings
These little primitive paintings started out as thrift store canvas prints. I drew my design right on top of the print and then used acrylic paint to color it in.
Halloween paintings before and after sanding
I sanded my paintings after they were dry. You can do that on your prints if you like. On the canvases, I was surprised that sanding brought out the white of my grease pencil drawings, but I like it.
Primitive painting of Happy Halloween pumpkins
Click on this picture to take you to a new window and then hit Control/P to print.
Primitive painting of Halloween Trick or Treat.
Click on this picture to take you to a new window and then hit Control/P to print.

Further posts will be coming on the holiday redo progress so be sure to check back. 🎃

art · DIY · Home Decor

How to Make a Display cabinet on the CHEAP – $28.00 total

I promise you, this display cabinet only cost us $28.00 from start to finish. Les Gains, my husband, makes things. Lots and lots of little things. If he does not have a guitar in his hands, then you will find him in his studio creating fabulous little treasures.

resin figures sculpted by Les gains

Above is a crowd of funny little guys that Les made with resin. He first sculpts figures out of modeling clay, then he makes molds, then pours resin into the molds. When the resin has set up, Les unmolds them and then paints each figure.   THEN he assembles his elements into really cool little sculptures. As much as I am fascinated by his work, a lot of little things spread all over the house drives me nuts. I like to group small things together to form a larger display unit.

IKEA cabinet

Several years ago, I bought two of these cabinets from IKEA. The photo on the left shows the cabinet with the clear glass door open. Sporting adjustable shelves, it is perfect for small collectibles. Generally, Les works small. Most of his items range in height from 1″ to 9″.
As prolific as he is, the IKEA cabinets were full in no time at all. I needed a larger display shelf that would compliment the style of the old cabinet and our eclectic home decor.
So, off we went on yet another mission. Seeking cheap building materials, Les and I scoured junk yards and thrift stores. We finally found exactly what we needed at Khules, a salvage store in Prescott.
From the salvage yard, we bought a large galvanized utility box. Probably some type of electrical junction box? After finding the box, the rest was easy to assemble.

Knock-off IKEA cabinet


This photo shows the larger, finished box and a close up on the right so that you can see the side detail. It’s easy to make – just follow our step-by-steps listed here.

  1.  (after a thorough cleaning) Drill holes into the sides of the box. You will need two sets of holes on each side of the box for each shelf.
  2. Cut 2 rods for each shelf that extend past the sides of the box. Thread them into the holes cross ways.
  3. Cut plastic shelves to fit inside the cabinet. I also bound the edges with copper tape and used an antiquing solution to age the tape.
  4. Finally, we got little caps to finish off the raw edges of the rods that stuck out of the cabinet sides. The whole assembly only cost only $28.00

Les Gains' art figures
altered art sculptures from Les Gains
altered art by Les Gains

Here are a few of Les’ sculptures. He solders, shapes wire, polymer clay, resin and found objects to make wonderfully detailed figures.

art · My Hometown

Prescott’s McCormick Arts District GONE

art-district-sign

The McCormick arts district in Prescott, AZ is yet another one of our quirky attractions that has vanished. We knew that it was just a matter of time before this happened. Off the beaten path, the funky little bohemian community had a rough time attracting gallery going tourists.

The buildings were tiny and old, old, old. Well, you could reasonably call them dilapidated. OK, and maybe a little hazardous, But with the cute, colorful paint colors, they were COOL. Not to mention that they were all filled to the rafters with unique,  original art and a cool coffee shop.

A lot of the art consisted of murals on the sides and backs of the tiny buildings.

So, flip to the present-why am I writing a blog post about something that no longer exists? It’s because I keep running across my old pictures of the street and remembering how much Les and I enjoyed the walk. We loved checking in to see what was new with the gallery owners. And we love art. This post then, is an ode to a happy destination that once was.

The refurbished little cottages are lovely and I’m sure that the people that bought the homes are living happily ever after. But, for Les and I, this is just one more sad loss for the arts in our town.

art · Travels

Visiting the Palatki Cultural Center

The Palatki Cultural Center is awesome! Les and I are interested in ancient ruins as well as artwork from any period of time. This place is rife with both and is located smack-dab in the middle of some of the most amazing red-rock scenery. It gets a HUGE thumbs up from us. OK, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, let me tell you about our day at the site. (grin)

A gorgeous meadow on the walk from the parking lot to the Cultural visitor’s center where you have to check in.

The very first thing that we learned upon entering the visitor’s center is that we were supposed to call ahead to make reservations. Oooops! After a long, bumpy drive down a dirt road, we could have easily been turned away from the ruins. The reason is that they don’t allow more than 10 people on any given tour. The ledge in front of the dwellings is fairly narrow and really would not comfortably and safely accommodate more than ten. Also, the site can be closed for renovation, rock falls and rain. At times, the walk to the cliff dwelling is closed, so you can only view them from a distance below the cliffs. Continue reading “Visiting the Palatki Cultural Center”

art · DIY

Inspiring Paper Mâché

It’s very early morning and I’m surfing the web again. I ran across a couple of REALLY fantastic paper mâché art pieces. I have to tell you, right off, that not one piece of art in this post is my own (I WISH!)  I just wanted to share it with you because it is so darned inspiring. Of course, all links to the original artwork are included in my post.

teacuptower1-1
http://www.annwoodhandmade.com/paper-mache-teacup-pattern/

Continue reading “Inspiring Paper Mâché”

art · DIY · Dollhouse miniatures

How to make resin elements with glue-stick molds

This is such an exciting discovery for me that I cannot wait to show you! I wanted to take the time to make better “after” pieces, but this idea won’t be patient. Seriously!

Back when I was heavy into rubber stamping, I used to make medallions and little elements for books, cards, assemblage (you get the idea) by stamping into hot glue-stick. Let the glue cool down, pull your stamp out and you have a really cool little art piece after you paint all over it.

rubber-stamps-and-hot-glue-

Run forward a few years and I am now heavily into scale miniatures. I’ve been scouring the internet for architectural elements that I can use to add to my French dollhouse walls, ceilings, pediments, etc. and, BOY! They are kind of expensive if you need a lot of them for your project. Hmmm…. I started to wonder if my glue-stick elements would make good molds for resin pours. After a messy, quick pour, voila! It works! (picture a crazy miniaturist jumping up and down here)headboard-on-miniature-bed

When I buy mixed lots of minis off E-bay there are always a few pieces of broken furniture included. And that’s OK, I can usually use them in some way. This is a junky little bed after super glued a resin piece to the headboard and painted it white. It turned out so cute that I will actually put some legs onto the bed and use it in my shabby chic cottage.

So, here is a run down on the how to’s.

Supplies:

  1. hot glue gun and glue sticks,
  2. black permanent ink
  3. rubber stamps (either clear or rubber, either mounted or unmounted)
  4. two part resin (get small boxes of two part resin in craft stores)
  5. a small piece of mat board (to hold your molds)
  6. paper towels, a small mixing cup and a Popsicle stick
  7. sandpaper, scissors and a craft knife
  8. Dremel moto-tool (optional)

Steps:

1. Select rubber stamps that will fit your need. If they are unmounted stamps, you will want to mount them onto something so that you do not burn your fingers while stamping into the hot glue.

stamps-mounted-on-block
I chose these two stamps because the round one will make a perfect ceiling medallion and the other will be a furniture element. I used a piece of double stick tape to mount the stamp on the right onto a little piece of scrap wood.

2. Use black permanent ink to stamp the image onto a piece of mat board. This is so that you will know where to put the hot glue.

3. Use the glue gun to deposit hot glue onto the stamped image, going over the edges just a bit. My first “mold” had too much glue on it as you will see in the following photos. It isn’t a bad thing, but it looks sloppy and wastes glue.

4. Stamp lightly into the glue just up to the edge of the rubber stamp. Don’t push so hard that the glue gets onto the block or the foam rubber cushion (if you are using that kind of stamp). If you do, the glue will adhere to that part and mess up your stamp.

5. Wait until the glue has cooled down and peel your rubber stamp out of it. Now you have a mold!

6. Mix resin according to manufactures directions. Pour carefully into the glue stick mold. Try not to overflow the mold. If you do, wipe up excess with a paper towel. The more carefully you pour, the less clean up on the resin element you will have to do later.

7. Lightly tap the resin filled mold onto your work surface. This will allow any bubbles to rise to the top. Blow gently onto the resin and the bubbles will pop. This step is very important.

8. Let cure according to manufacturers directions. These little elements usually take only about 10-15 minutes. When solid, peel your resin piece out of the mold.

resin-right-out-of-the-mold
The top two pieces are the glue-stick mold and the bottom two are the resin pieces. You can see in the photo that I overflowed my molds the first time that I poured. If you do this, just wipe up the excess with a paper towel and toss. The nicer you pour, the less cleanup on the resin after it’s out of the mold.

9. While the resin is still softish, you can use scissors or a knife to whittle away overflow or little sprus. If the piece is too thick, use sandpaper to sand down the back of the piece.

scale-resin-elements
You can see that the permanent ink transferred to my little element which was great because I wanted to sand the piece after painting to give it that shabby look. I was glad that there was black underneath. If it did not transfer, I would just paint the piece the color of the wood, let dry and then paint with white to get the dark to show after the sanding.

I used super glue to adhere the little element to a junky bed headboard.miniature-resin-element

When the glue was dry, I got out the Dremel with a sanding bit and cleaned up my resin piece a little more.Dremel-cleanup

A white coat of acrylic paint transformed the bed and her new element. After sanding the whole thing, it began to look very shabby chic. What I thought would be a throw away bed is actually now going to be used in my little cottage.

DIY-shabby-chic-mini-bed

If you want to see how I made the “rusted” lamp above the bed, click on this link .

I hope that you will find this project useful in ways that apply to your own favorite craft. Happy experimenting!

sandy-signature

 

art · DIY · Dollhouse miniatures

1/12 scale miniature French sewing kit

One of the Facebook groups that I’m in is The French Dollhouse. A recent challenge for the group was to make a French sewing box so, of course, I turned to Google to see exactly what a French sewing box would look like. What came up was several antique French kits for children. They were intended as gifts and were completely captivating. The kits were loaded with a child sized sewing machine, a dolly to dress, tools and several bits of fabric, lace, trims and notions. I would have LOVED one of those when I was a kid. Who am I kidding? I would LOVE to have one now!

antique-sewing-boxAnyway, this is my version of a miniature kit. I made everything myself except the tools and the sewing machine. It’s been so long since I’ve done anything with miniatures (about 20 years) so it was a challenge to get my fingers to do what I wanted.  I did try to make the tools myself. THAT was a disaster! 😜 Ah well, maybe next time.

sandy-signature

art · Dollhouse miniatures · Travels

Debbie Gill’s Miniature Room-boxes

Since the pain of the long, hot drive to Tucson a couple months ago had faded, we decided that we needed to drive down to take another look at the Mini Time Machine. The special exhibit featuring Debbie Gill’s miniatures is what really interested us this time. Absolutely everything that she uses to make her mini masterworks are from items that are slated for the trash bin (or was found already in the trash bin). Recycled and up-cycled art is one of our favorites- both to do and to view.

The-Mini-Time-Machine
So lets step into a cool (as in air conditioned and out of this Tucson summer heat) amazing world of miniatures.

 

Debbie-Gill's-mini-craft-ro.jpg
Debbie makes everything herself – no store bought minis for her. If you look closely you will see what I mean. For instance, those aren’t store-bought mini scissors. Those are tiny bits of wire and paint crafted to look like the real thing. I love the crumpled up candy wrappers in the trash bin. I can sure relate to that!

 

Debbie-Gill's-mini-dining-r.jpg
The shabby chic rooms were adorable. Especially since Debbie decorated them for Christmas- it’s one of my favorite holidays. Check out her floral arrangements too  They’re so CUTE!

 

Debbie-Gill's-mini-living-r.jpg
I could live in this little living room. The relaxing colors are right in with my decorating style. And the dried cotton ball stalks in the glass vase! How cute are they?! I can’t wait for my dollhouse build to be done so that I can start decorating. In the meantime, I’m collecting a ton of ideas and knowledge.

Debbie-Gill's-mini-bedroom
The shabby bedroom had so many cool little details like jewelry and cosmetics. Notice the tiny bill-fold next to the purse. Too cute!

There were a lot of other rooms created by Debbie too. She had 60s, a BoHo room, a man-cave, a music rehearsal space in a garage- just on and on. The skill, detail and variety was so fun to see. If you want to check out more of Debbie’s work click here.  This link will take you to Debbie’s Facebook page. Debbie does not seem to have a regular web site, but her Facebook page shows a lot of posts with her techniques detailed out in photos.

Debbie-Gills-Techniques

The photo above is from the Mini Time Machine’s web site. You can click on the photo and it will take you to the museum’s site telling you about the special exhibits as well as the regular exhibits.

museum-purchases.jpgFinally, here are my purchases for the weekend. The hand blown glass vases were from the museum store and the tiny little bag is what they packed them in. I love it! The framed miniature painting is from an e-bay auction that was waiting in our mailbox when we got back from Tucson.

We also went to two different Bookman’s while in town. That yielded a big haul of new/old books to peruse. So much fun.

Thanks for joining me on our Tucson miniature adventure. 😎

sandy-signature