Craft Projects, Quick and Easy Crafts

Impromptu wood “frame”

My daughter is a lucky girl. She is so loved by our family and our friends and you can feel it in her nursery. Her walls are adorned with pieces of art that loved ones have made for her. It warms my soul.

flamingo-painting

Our friend Kate just painted a sweet flamingo painting for her, so I made an impromptu frame for it (if you can call it that).

wood

I found a piece of scrap wood in our basement and cut it down to size with a jigsaw. Then, I sanded down the edges.

tacks

After centering the painting on the wood, I tacked it down with, yes, tacks.

drillmarks

Then I drilled two holes for twine so I could hang the frame on the wall. It was a quick and easy way to display her beautiful new piece of art.

flamingoframe

Check out some of Kate’s other beautiful artwork.

 

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Craft Projects, Quick and Easy Crafts

Floral Mason Jar Wall Vases

I never really hung up all of our photos and artwork in our bedroom since I painted it, oh, a year or two ago. I love our wedding pictures, but I wanted more color on the walls. And it’s basically taken me forever to do so.

This is what our bedroom looked like in February of 2015.

A Smith of All Trades_Master Bedroom_bed before

We slapped some brighter paint on the walls and got a new bed frame…

A Smith of All Trades_Master Bedroom_final2

Redid the hardwoods and moved around furniture….

Bedroom_final2

And that’s where it’s been since March of this year.

I’ve moved photos around to different walls and our floral painting that used to live in our room now hangs beautifully above our new sideboard.

It was time to make something to fill the empty walls on either side of the window behind our bed. I have wanted to make my own version of these glass bottle wall vases for quite some time, but I didn’t want them white, I didn’t want to use plumbing hardware and I don’t drink Starbucks bottled drinks…. 

So I made up my own. I started with scrap wood that I cut to similar sizes on my mitre saw. I eye-balled the sizes because perfection is overrated.

masonjarflorals_scraps

Once I had the pieces cut, I drilled two different sets of holes in each piece: Two at the top for the hanger and two toward the middle to secure my jars.

masonjarflorals_holes

Then I smoothed each piece down with some sandpaper before throwing a quick coat of stain on them.

masonjarflorals_stain

I let these dry for a hot sec, then started adding hangers to each mason jar floral.

masonjarflorals_twinehanger

Once all six had hangers attached (just some knotted twine), I threaded twine through an upholstery needle and stared attaching the mason jars.

masonjarflorals_twineloops

To do so, I looped the twine through the pre-drilled holes so I ended up with four loops.

masonjarflorals_twinejar

Then I stuck my jelly jar into the loops and started tightening the twine. I am only planning on using these for faux florals, so they don’t have to be able to hold anything heavy. The twine keeps them taught to the wood and they don’t seem to have much risk of coming loose. I’ll let you know if they come crashing out in the middle of the night (that would suck!).

masonjarflorals_twine

Once I got the jar settled, I tightened and knotted the heck out of the twine on the back side.

masonjarflorals_knot

The first one I did wasn’t tight enough, so when it hung I could wobble the jar. I got all of them tight enough so when I wiggle the board, no jars move around. If you have a curved upholstery needle, I think you’d be able to actually do this easier because you could tighten the twine as you loop through the drilled holes. But I wasn’t able to do that with my straight needle.

Once I had all six of these made, I took a bunch of leftover florals and cut them down to make six jar fillers. I made three sets of matching florals for my set of 6 wall vases. I found it was helpful to tie each floral bunch with twine at the base to keep things together since mason jars aren’t really vases.

masonjarflorals_2

Then B and I hung them up on either side of our bed!

masonjarflorals_3

I think they are adorable! Brian had the idea of putting tea lights in them instead, but I don’t think we’d light them often enough to make it worth it. Plus, I like the pop of color.

masonjarflorals_4

Since I had all of these supplies on hand, these didn’t cost me a penny. It took me about 2 hours to make all six, including staining them and making the florals. Not bad!

masonjarflorals_5

Now I just need to find a few more spots in our room to add in some extra color! These little wall vases were a great place to start for sure.

Grad School

One semester down…

Yesterday evening was my last class of my first semester of grad school — woohoo! Six credits down, 30 more to go. Next semester I am taking a 6-credit class that is a prereq for pretty much everything else in the program, and then I’m able to take a whole slew of awesome classes (Magazine design, Creative concepts, Book design, Typography II). I’m pretty excited about it.

I really enjoyed both of my classes this semester. Typography I was fascinating to me. Our final project was to typeset the Constitution, which was a fun challenge. And my photography class taught me the ins and out of my camera, how to use Lightroom, shoot in camera RAW, and all sorts of other super useful things.

For our final projects, we had to shoot a series of photos that all fit together. I opted to drive all over the area taking photos of water towers. Yes, water towers. Odd, I know. But I’ve always had a strange fascination with water towers, so it worked well for the project. The final product was six creepy photos showcasing water towers in Howard, Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties.

ASmithofAllTrades_WaterTower_PBDS638-4ASmithofAllTrades_WaterTower_PBDS638-5ASmithofAllTrades_WaterTower_PBDS638ASmithofAllTrades_WaterTower_PBDS638-3ASmithofAllTrades_WaterTower_PBDS638-6ASmithofAllTrades_WaterTower_PBDS638-2

I’m quite proud of how they turned out. Plus, now I know the location of about 12 different water towers…. that’s useful, right?

Anyway… one semester down, at least five more to go! Now I just need to make it through a bit more work, then it’s CHRISTMASTIME.