Approximately one year ago I decided that I was getting tired of seasonal decorating. Next year, I thought, there would be no more garlands all around the front porch- no more gigantic, overly decorated trees- no more little Christmas elements stuck on every shelf. I was as beat up as an old bat trapped outside of her cave.
Well… fast forward to this year – a lot can happen to one’s psyche in a year don’cha know. Maybe it’s the Keto lifestyle kicking in. It really does punch up the energy factor to sky high. Or, more likely, it’s retirement from the post office. Whoot-whoot! This year is the first time in many that I also decorated the bedroom for Christmas. Come along then – let me show you what I did.
Merry Christmas everyone! No matter what holidays you celebrate, I wish you and yours the very best season and all the new year to come.
Crochet in fall and winter? Oh yeah! What better craft to keep you warm while you are constructing it?
I wanted to make an afghan for my Mom that would be super soft against her frail skin but that would still keep her warm and cozy. I used a supposedly baby blanket yarn from Bernat. I say supposedly because when I was finished with the afghan, I realized that it would be too heavy and would smother my bed-ridden mother let alone an infant. The finished afghan is way heavier than expected. I’ll confess though, that was probably my fault since I used a heavily textured crochet pattern called the “Wave” stitch and a size 10mm crochet hook.
There are seriously thousands of free crochet patterns on the web. The variety of styles and difficulties of pattern can be mind boggling. Talk about spending hours cruising the web. This pattern comes from a square that was used in a patchwork sampler afghan. I liked the square so much that I decided to make a whole afghan out of that “Wave stitch” pattern.
Here’s a story about a very unloved chair that found happiness under my guidance. OK, I’m just goofing. In reality though, it WAS an unloved chair. The thrift store had marked it down several times and ended at $22.00 and they still could not get rid of it. Until I happened along that is. The chair was solid, the cushions were in good shape, it was comfortable and in a style that I like. What’s not to love? Oh yeah, the totally outdated upholstery fabric and the has-been white washed finish on the pale wood. That was OK though, because I have paint and I know how to use it.
Les was not convinced when he came by with the truck to pick the chair up. I would not have called him because I knew what he would think- that I had lost my mind. He said as much when he laid eyes on my special find. Unfortunately the chair was just too big to fit into my car.
After stripping the blue upholstery, it looked better immediately. A coat of white paint came next and then, after that was dry, a coat of black acrylic paint followed… Oh! I left the upholstery fabric on the back side of the chair and just painted over it with the black acrylic paint.
When the paint was dry (I left it over night) I gave it a good sanding. The goal was to be able to see just a bit of white and the original wood showing past the black paint.
Now, for upholstery- my favorite upholstery fabric is a painter’s drop cloth. It is made of heavy cotton, usually unbleached and CHEAP! I get a 9‘ x 12‘ piece from Harbor Freight for $8.00 when it is on sale.
I covered the body with the drop cloth by cutting out pieces and stapling them right on to the wooden frame. The staples are covered with braid and a glue gun.
I thought that I wanted a contrasting fabric for the cushions. I sewed the top cushion and then was not sure, so the bottom cushion has just been wrapped for, oh let’s see now…about two years. Well, I have finally decided that after the holidays, I am going to cover the cushions with the more natural colored drop cloth.
The happy ending to this story is that the chair that Les hated at first sight has become his favorite because it is so sturdy and comfortable. In fact, that thrifty chair is the most popular chair in the living room with visitors. (In spite of my indecision on a cushion fabric.)
Doesn’t it seem like Halloween, Thanks Giving and then Christmas decorating is too much to do in too small of a window? Or is it just me being lazy? This year, I’m putting out most of my fall and Halloween decorations at the same time regardless of style. That’s right, I’m being crazy and mixing primitive with rustic, with 50s kitsch with modern…well, you get the picture. I am also combining fall with Halloween so that as soon as Halloween is over, I can clear it out and replace just a few things like the runner on the coffee table with a Thanks Giving runner.
You may ask your self, “Why is she doing this if she just wants to be lazy?” The answer is that I still love seeing my little seasonal accessories at least once a year. Unwrapping and playing with the toys is just fun for me. You should see me with the 50’s Christmas music and the peppermint- hot chocolate come time for the Christmas decor. Oh wait! I think that you will. hahaha…I’ll get Les to take a pic this year.
I WAS going to put links for the free printables that I used in my Fall/Halloween decor this year, but then the post became too long, soooo…. Here are some links that I used this year. Check out my other post on free Halloween printables too. There are some really cool and generous sites out there!
Another primitive painting from me to you. Just click on the picture for a download. It is in 8 x 10 at 300 dpi, so that you can enlarge if you have a bigger printer.
Just click on the pictures below for the free printables/downloads.
Looking for ages through Google just to find a free Halloween printable that suits your taste? Well, let me tell you, I just found out that the best and biggest selection of printables in one place are to be found on the sites that have free downloadable wallpapers for your phone or computer.
The wallpaper images for the computer are set as landscape. They are great because you can crop to the size that you want your picture to be. Square? No problem. Oval? No problem. Plus, the art is done in a complete range of styles. Cute to spooky. Cartoony to realistic. Vintage? Yes!
Another plus is that the images are in HD and they are generally large files so you could even take a flash drive to an Office supply store and have pictures printed larger than you own printer’s capabilities.
One caution- the sites say that the files are downloadable for free, but I’m pretty sure that it means for your personal use, so do keep that in mind. The art to be found is so awesome that I cannot imagine that the artists would be happy if we made posters and started selling them. Oooops! But, do check the links in this post if you are looking for Halloween art. You won’t be disappointed.
This year’s holiday decor will start off as a mix of Halloween and fall. It seems to me that the months are speeding by way too fast to be able to fully decorate for Halloween, Thanks Giving and then Christmas right on the heels of everything else.
Here’s the deal. I’m figuring that if I can combine holidays from the get-go, then I will just have to modify a little as each one arrives.
When I bought Ms Pumpkin at an art booth, I thought that the style and shape was perfect for my primitive/rustic Halloween decor. I knew that she looked too new and that I wanted to tea stain her to look a little more primmy, if you know what I mean.
Once again, my mother of invention was laziness. Since I really did not want to take the time to get a good tea stain, I wondered if this aging liquid would work on fabric as well as wood.
Age-It Easy truly does make it easy to age wood. I ordered this product online at Micro-Mark. The only thing that I have thought to use it on, before this, was wooden miniatures.
The process is simple. This aging liquid comes ready to apply in any way that you like. I used a paint brush. It seeped into the fabric fast. I did not have to use much of the liquid at all. Part of the reason that I did not want to make a watered down acrylic or ink wash was that I was afraid that it would come out too dark or streak beyond my control on the muslin.
You can see by the results that it works great. It is not as mottled as a good tea stain or even real aging would be. However, for a quick and easy aging process, I think that it turned out to be perfect. I will admit that if Ms Pumpkin was for anything other than a once a year use, then yes, I would give her a proper tea bath.
If you already own this for wood crafts, maybe you will want to think about using it to age fabric as well.