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.

DIY · Home Decor

Make a Fireplace Mantle that only LOOKS Expensive

My sister had a really horrible looking fireplace when she first moved into her house. It’s OK, she said it first. Jenny turned to me for my help since I am pretty good at working something out on the cheap. We started our project by going to see what the stores had in stock. Holy cow! Nice looking store bought mantles are EXPENSIVE.! Mantles in our local hardware store were in the $300.00 to $500.00 range.

This is what the mantle looked like when Jen bought her fixer upper. It was just raw wood with an exposed drywall cap.

We were convinced us that we could duplicate one of the expensive store bought mantles with stacked strips of lumber and molding. So we went through all of our options at the store and came up with a combination that mimicked one of our favorite mantles. Not too plain and not too fancy was perfect. Continue reading “Make a Fireplace Mantle that only LOOKS Expensive”

DIY · Home Decor

A Little Storage Idea

Just a little post about a little storage idea:

I have been trying to help my niece figure out how to organize my great-niece’s toys and books. Tatiana has a ton of stuffed animals that are her favorite toys. She also has a lot of little books. (I’m happy to say that she is a book-nut like her Auntie.)

mail-organizerlittle-books

 

It was in Marshall’s that I spotted these inexpensive, little mail organizers. I thought that they made perfect holders since Tati’s youth-books are so thin and small. Tucked  alongside her bookcase, there is now breathing room for all of those animals. Eeek! Maybe room for even MORE stuffed animals.

art · Home Decor

Dusting my Craft Room

DUST! “Dusting and how to tackle it.” Man, I wish that could be the title of this post. The real title should read, “Constant dusting and what to do about it. Beats me! Anybody got any clues?”

messy craft room
This is what I had to tackle this morning. DUST! And lots of it. Not to mention a craft room that has gotten out of control again. Argh!

I have so many little treasures and art supplies that collect dust like you can’t imagine. Of course, it does not help that we live on a very long dirt road, and on top of a hill where the dust devils just love to come roust us out of our reverie. Seriously, those things RUMBLE around here. As soon as I hear one coming,  I run to close all of the windows, but it is no help. So, dusting has become part of my life- an evil part, but necessary none the less.

McCall's craft room
Got up at 4:00 this morning to paint the long, bottom cabinet grey and then sand it to take it from dirty, plain wood (Les found it at a barn sale) to shabby chic wood.         10:58 am. Half way there. All of the toys and things on the shelves above the long cabinet have been removed and thoroughly dusted. Whew!  Time for a coffee break.

I know, I should do like my sister and live the minimalist life. But she has no hobbies and she LOVES sleeping. No kidding- she says that sleep is her hobby and that she doesn’t want to bother with anything else.  I love sleeping too, but I also love making things, collecting things and looking at my little treasures.

craft-room-details
I attached the craft paint holder to the side of the wall and moved the green painting over to the other side by the Christmas collectibles. Les made the rustic paint holder for me and I LOVE it. It’s another one of my favorite things that I cannot get rid of.

You’ve probably guessed that I have a LOT of hobbies!  And I HAVE to have all of my art supplies. And I HAVE to live with the windows open all day. Having fresh air and seeing far off into the valley below and the mountains past that is one of my greatest pleasures. And so it goes, round and round…

vintage-Christmas
Putting the now dusted ornaments back onto my little Christmas feather tree. Santa is another favorite. Nope- he can’t go to the charity bin either. LOL, I really am making an effort to let go as I work. The “donate” box is filling up this morning.

Bethany-witch-doll
Love my little Bethany witch doll. She’s so cute.

floral-painting-number-two
Since I have self diagnosed ADD, I also started a new painting this morning. I dust a little, rearrange a little, drink more coffee, and paint a little. I can never go from point A to point B without many detours in between. 😋

Anyway, don’t judge the floral- this is just the under-painting.

Seriously, I know that many of you are artists, crafters, collectors and sellers. I’m curious- How do YOU deal with the constant dusting of supplies?sandy-signature

 

DIY · Home Decor

Celtic Style Crocheted Afghan

The cooler weather is an exciting time to once again bring out my yarn and crochet hooks. What could be better than making something that keeps you warm while you are working on it?

Here is my last finished piece; a chunky crocheted afghan with crossed cables. I made it a little larger than the instructions so that I can throw it over our queen sized mattress for extra warmth if we need it during these cold winter months. My niece was nabbed as the reluctant model to show off the afghan. She will probably never come to an innocent brunch of mine again. (grin)

Grey-Crochet-afghan

The yarn that I used is from Red Heart and the color is “Dove grey”.  By the way, If you wash the afghan on gentle and use a fabric softener, it really will soften up that inexpensive yarn.

The instructions are from this book at Joanne’s. You can use your coupon on books now, so be sure to check them out.

 

cover-of-afghans-with-style

Click on the photo for a link to Leisure Arts and other crochet books. This one has a ton of cool patterns to follow.

I would love to see your crocheted projects. Put links or pics in the “comments” so that we can share, OK? ❤

S McCall

 

 

 

 

art · DIY · Home Decor

Easy Seasonal Cottage Decor

Autumn demanded new decorations for my Cottage style home. A welcoming wreath was on the list for my front door. It’s hand crafted and turned out pretty if I may say so myself. door wreath blog sizeAn inexpensive grapevine wreath was the jump-off point for this project. I added a little pine greenery, then fall colored picks and pumpkins. A cute Welcome sign that I found at Bell’s department store fit perfectly into the center of the wreath. A big shiny copper ribbon bow completed the look.

 

Thanksgiving decor

As usual, I changed my entryway to suit the season. This time, I wanted to focus on fall colors and decor to welcome the Thanksgiving holiday.

The design is simple and was based on a couple of new text art pieces that I found at Hobby Lobby. The metal bucket and  faux foliage is also from Hobby Lobby.

Fall-floralA silver, grey and ivory beaded pumpkin place-mat was from Ross- my favorite guilty pleasure shopping store. Well- Ross, Tuesday Morning and TJ Max are equal shopping fun. Since I nearly die of sticker shock every time I go into a store with full retail prices  –  you get the picture. It’s discount and thrift stores all the way for me.

wall-decorLes made many of the elements in my wall arrangement. Yes, I’m showing off his talent again. (grin). That strange little bird assembly at the top of the arrangement? It’s made with an oak burl and root piece that he found outside. Pretty awesome, huh? I LOVE found art!Text-art

fall-sap-bucketCompleting the fall decor in the living room was a snap. Cotton ball branches, twigs and red berries were tossed into my sap bucket and DONE! Pretty, inexpensive and easy- that’s my kind of decorating.

S McCall

art · DIY · Home Decor

Halloween 2017

A few more Halloween decor pics are in order, I think. Did I tell you that I LOVE decorating for the holidays? “Why?”,  you ask. Just because it makes me happy. I hope that the decorations make you smile too.entryway-halloweenart arrangement in entryway

 

The table in the entryway often gets a decorative refresh.  It’s a changeling for holidays as well as the different seasons. The photo above is specifically for Halloween, of course, but take a look at the before picture to the left. This was the summer arrangement with artwork from myself (center painting) and abstract landscapes from Claudia McGill. This time, the entryway went from springy-summer to the dark, spooky colors of Halloween. I love it!

decorations-above-stampsclose-up-of-collectablesI have a few purchased collectibles, but most of our decorations are made by Les or myself. Above are some store-boughts. Aren’t the little pumpkin buckets adorable?devil-bunniesThe cool devil bunnies are made by my husband Les Gains. He sculpts them of clay, then makes a mold and pours resin into that. Acrylic paint completes the look. I love his work because it is so unusual. My art always turns out “girly” no matter how edgy I try to make it.

Pictured above are more of Les’ mixed media sculptures. He most often starts with his resin creations and builds from there. So cool!halloween-collectables.jpg…a close-up of my girly assemblage with more of Les’ devil bunnies surveying the scene…my resin contribution this year is the little pumpkin in the basket. …..ah well…we can’t all be edgy.

Happy Halloween!

S McCall