Archive for the ‘Art (if you wanna call it that)’ Category

Apron   Leave a comment

I have an apron I’ve used for years that someone bought for me.  It has a big and a pocket and blue ruffles around it.  The last time I washed it there was something red in the wash, and my white and blue apron turned pink all over.

So, I looked online for a restaurant-style apron, thinking I’d embroider designs on it.  After many months of thinking about it and trying to decide what to do while I worked on other projects, I finally decided to use fabric pens to put designs on it.  It is a double-pocket all white apron with long ties and an adjustable collar.  Very nice, very comfortable, and it cost me I think $8.  I did one of my doodle designs around the top border, and put some of my favorite things (penguin, celtic cross, and forget-me-not flowers) on other parts of it.

Posted February 12, 2012 by Maureen in Art (if you wanna call it that), Randomness

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Blanket Bling   2 comments

My sister bought a panel to make a blanket for her grandson (my great-nephew) for his naps at day care.  She asked me to add some embroidery bling to it.  I’ve been toiling away at it all week.  Not really – embroidery is very relaxing.

I used only a few stitches.  This blanket will be used daily and washed, so the stitches had to be sturdy and stand up to wear.  I used back-stitch and a bit of satin stitch.  Some french knots for accents.  The umbrella is done in long and short.  I also used enroaching stem stitch a lot.  It looks nice, and stands up well to wear and tear.  The egg has whipped running stitch and couching stitches.  I also added accents to the pre-printed designs, such as the insect.  You may not be able to see all the details, but here is a sample of what I did.

U is for.... umbrella W is for.... watermelon


O is for... octopus and H is for... house


S is for..... sun and K is for... key


T is for.... tie and L is for.... ladder

Z is for... zipper and E is for.... egg

Posted October 30, 2011 by Maureen in Art (if you wanna call it that), DIY

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Stepping Stones   2 comments

Taking a short break from posting about my singleness travails to post this DIY on stepping-stones.  I’ve wanted to try this for years, and now that the yard is slowly (oh so slowly) getting landscaped I thought some personalized, customized stepping-stones would brighten things up.  My sister has a co-worker who has done pottery for many years, and she got lots of “seconds” from her.  Pieces that had cracked or broken or for whatever reason did not turn out right.  So I had a lot of pieces of pottery to work with, in a variety of colors.  You can also buy mosaic material from web sites, or go to junk yards and buy pieces of different things there.  The junk yards will have tiles you can break up, broken glass, stones, etc.  Use your imagination and have fun with it.

I searched the internet for “stepping stone molds” and ordered a few that I liked.  I bought 10 pound bags of cement, which was a size I could handle myself.  The next size up is 60 pounds, which is too large to move by myself and if you don’t use it quickly it can harden.  Plus, I had no place to store it inside.  I also got a beginner mosaic “kit” from a mosaic internet site.  It came with some colored glass tiles, but it also had a tile nipper, glass cutter, and protective goggles.  All important equipment.

I already had a “saw horse” (Black and Decker triangle stand) and a piece of plywood to put on top.  You could do this on the ground also, but for me it is easier to work standing up.  I covered the ground with a blue tarp as the broken pottery ends up in little bitty pieces that I didn’t want on the ground.

Your designs could be as detailed or abstract as you like.  I do better with abstract, and with the pieces I ended up getting they lent themselves to that anyway, so that’s pretty much what I did.  So this was my work area:

The cement block is there to break the pottery on.  Once they are in small enough pieces I can make further cuts with the nippers or glass cutters.  I found, with my material, that the nippers tended to shatter and cut in unexpected ways, whereas the glass cutter could make smaller and finer cuts.  It does take strength to press them to the tile/pottery, and if you do a lot of it your hand can hurt.  I’ve got some piles of pottery on the ground already, as I broke up white brown and green for a mountain I wanted to make, and you can see the molds on both tables.  Here is a close up of some of my tools on the table:

Empty mold on the right (you can see I’ve used it before), and I’ve laid out a pattern in the one on the left.  These are 8″ squares, which are really too small for good stepping-stones, unless you put them together.  Once I have laid out my tiles in the mold, I take them out (laying them on the plywood in the same pattern) and then mix my cement.  These 8″ squares take 5 pounds of concrete each.  The 18″ rounds I have take a whole 10 pounds, but they could actually hold about 12-13 pounds to be full up to the top.  Follow package directions to add enough water.   What I found was that if you make the mixture a little on the wet side it is better.  Remember you can always add more water, but it is hard to take water away once it has been added.  Add, mix, add a bit more, mix again, and keep doing that until the consistency is right.  Make sure everything gets mixed.  This takes muscle and something strong to mix with!  Then, pour it into the empty mold:

You want to press the cement into the mold, not leaving any gaps or air bubbles.  This takes a bit of muscle.  Any flat surface will do – I used the back of a wooden spoon until I found a cement trowel.  Then I pick up the mold and bang it on the table a couple of times.  Make sure the top is even.  You have about 15 minutes before the cement starts to get hard to place your tiles. 

Place your tiles, making any adjustments necessary, and then press them into the cement.  These stones will be for actually walking on, so I wanted the surface as flat as possible.  If you are making something decorative or not to be walked on, just make sure the tiles are secure in the cement.  Smooth out the cement, as necessary, as you go.  Here is my “mountain”:

Now I will let this sit for two days.  Outside or in doesn’t matter. As long as it is protected from water and it is not too humid outside you can keep them outside.  I found a full 48 hours is needed for the cement to dry thoroughly. 

When I am ready to unmold, I move the mold a bit, pulling it this way and that away from the cement.  Holding onto the cement, I carefully flip it over (sometimes they slide right out, and you don’t want them to do that as you are flipping them) and place them on the ground or plywood.  I tap the bottom with a screwdriver and then hold onto the frame and jiggle it up until the stone slides out.  Sometimes I gently bang the frame on the ground or plywood.  It will slide out – just keep coaxing it.  Then, gently turn over — and you have a stepping stone! 

Here are some of the ones I’ve created already:

Posted June 2, 2011 by Maureen in Art (if you wanna call it that), DIY

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My Alter-Ego   Leave a comment

I completed a dish towel recently, just for fun.  I had seen this lady in a package of iron-on transfers on a web site and just had to get her and sew her on something.  I may sew her on more than one thing. 

This is me.  In my head, when no one is looking, the way I wish men would see me.  This is me on so many levels.

Posted April 30, 2011 by Maureen in Art (if you wanna call it that), Being Single

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Scrapbooking   Leave a comment

I have been working on a scrapbooking project this week. We have about 3,000 pictures that we have taken out of photo albums my mom put together and are putting them into an acid-free environment in scrapbooks.  Not content to just put the pictures on the page with captions like my mom did, we are scrapbooking the pages as we go — enhancing them, adding do-dahs and gee-haws, funny and clever things, artistic touches —- all the things you do when you scrapbook.

The project has been on hold for two and a half years and so I have been doing marathon work on it this week since I’m off.  One other sister has been helping me this week, and all three of my sisters have contributed to the pages in the album. 

It got me thinking — can my life be reduced to a few pictures on a page, with some captions and pretty stickers and paper?  What will my nieces and nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews think when they see those pages?  “Who are these people?”  “They sure dressed funny back then”?  “This is boring”. 

Or will they, like me, when they see those pictures, have their imagination sparked?  Looking at each one closely, they try to picture what was going on at the time, what is outside the boundaries of the pictures, what came before and after the picture was taken.  Will they, like me, be thankful they can see the people who came before them, who they are related to, who perhaps they knew only a little or had only heard of?  Will they enjoy these books as much as I have enjoyed putting them together? 

School Pictures


Fun in the park page

Posted December 31, 2010 by Maureen in Art (if you wanna call it that), Musings

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Finished work…. and the next   Leave a comment

I’ve been working on this a little bit at a time for….. about 9 months. Ahhhhh — I am finally finished.  And in time for Christmas, too!  This is a cloth you put in a bread basket.  It was fun to work on, but I’m very glad I’m done with it.

Bread basket cloth


And for my next trick…… I am embroidering a Celtic animal on tie-backs for our front curtains.  I traced the animals and colored it the way I want it to look. The blue at the top is the tie-back I am doing the work on.

Tie-back work

Posted November 2, 2010 by Maureen in Art (if you wanna call it that), DIY

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Doodaley Doodles   Leave a comment

Gourd Doodle

Like, wow, man. Its a doodle


Double Doodle

A double doodle.... all the way


Oval Doodle

Doodle Oval

Posted October 14, 2010 by Maureen in Art (if you wanna call it that)

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Doodles   Leave a comment

When I was in school I liked to doodle.  Sometimes on myself.  In pen.  Which partially explains the tattoos I got later in life.  But I digress.

When I was 41 I started college.  For the 7 1/2 years it took to get my B.A. in Christian Education, I rediscovered my love of doodling.  And I started doing it intentionally in colored pens.  Here are two of my doodles.  One is a flower doodle that I’ve been drawing since I was in Junior High (Middle School to some of you).  The other is an example of how you can dress up the border of your lined paper while listening to a lecture and taking sporadic notes.  

Flower Doodle

Flower Doodle

Line Doodles

Line Doodles

Posted October 1, 2010 by Maureen in Art (if you wanna call it that)

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