Friday, August 31, 2012

A bedspring, Chicken wire and a beer can - My version of REDNECK Craft Wars

I feel a little bit like this was Craft Wars with myself. Except my show might be better called "Redneck Craft Wars"! The Challenge?  Find three uncommon, unrelated items and come up with something that lights up................the only difference is, I didn't give myself a time constraint.  That's a good thing too...cuz it took me three days of making and tearing it apart and working and reworking....but... let's get on with it....

Main challenge items:

  • Bedsprings purchased at a flea market for $1.50
  • Chicken Wire - I bought a whole roll at Ace Hardware two years ago and I'm still using it up 

I gave myself free reign to dumpster diving for additional objects I felt necessary to complete the challenge.  Keep in mind this meant no dumpster in a 1 mile radius was safe.....and I also allowed myself use of anything in my personal Redneck craft closet.  

I found my third uncommon item in the dumpster. Two beer cans! Sa-weet! - perfect for the center of the flower and fortunately I rescued these BEFORE they hit the dumpster!

In the Redneck craft closet I snatched:
 Krylon Spray paint (Blue Ocean Breeze - my current favorite color pallete) - Ace Hardware
  • Annealed Steel Wire - another staple in the studio (Ace Hardware)
  • Wood Stain - English Walnut Color
Additionally, I purchased all the things necessary to turn this into a lamp at Ace Hardware.  (the socket thingy, electrical wire, plug and misc. items).  This is where James the owner took the time to teach me how to wire a lamp.  - THANKS JAMES!!! 

I formed each petal over a big paper mache egg. I attached these petals by wiring them to the bed spring.

Next, I cut the beer can open and cut it into the center shape of the flower, spray painted it blue and then distressed it with wood stain.  I also cut the center out of the can so that the light socket would fit up through the center.  I secured a wide mouth mason jar lid to the center of the flower with wire and used glue attach the flower center to it.  I let that all sit over night to dry....

To finish, I wired it up.........attached it to the cigar box so it had a sturdy base..........and.........
then tested my electrical skills.  I have to say, I was a bit hesitant to plug it in for fear of getting fried.......but...
........................................drum roll please ........................................................................
Does it work?

Why YES! Yes it does!!!!!!!

Craft War judges - you'd be glad to note that no glue strings were involved in this project.

I'm acutally going to add another big flower lamp to the right side to balance it out....but I was kinda excited to have built this entirely from scratch with redneck craft items....

Besides....who said I had patience anyways????

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Don't stop till you get enough.... More upcycling -+ FREE Mason Jar Candle Chandelier how to

And I'm not stopping any time soon!!  I'm in an upcycle-recycle frenzy!!

Which means eventually I'll be selling all this upcycled art on Etsy..., but for now, I'm doing a little garden art, gazebo decorating.  I wish you could see the whole picture of how this looks in the's going to be beautiful when it's all lit and I can't wait to have our first dinner under our new upcycled mason jar chandelier.

I upcycled an old paintless hanging basket that I had laying around, that I knew if I didn't do something quick, Dana would throw it away when I wasn't looking.  

How to Make your Own Garden Mason Jar Chandelier

If you want to make one of your own here's what you'll need:

Ace Hardware: (LOVE LOVE LOVE my local ACE Hardware store)
Steel Anealed wire
approximately 5-6 feet of small chain
1-2 feet of larger chain
Hook to hang from ceiling (make sure it's a strong hook!)

13 pint size mason jars
Danglies if desired (I used a snowflake ornament)

Recycled hanging basket (paint it or leave it - el-naturel...)
tea light candles

Wire cutters

To hang your mason jar and create a handle.:
Wire #1:Cut a piece of wire the width of the mouth plus three inches.  Create a loop in each end.
Wire #2: Cut a piece of wire to fit around the jar plus 2".

Thread the end of Wire #2 thru the loops on wire #1.
Wrap wire #2 around top of jar and twist ends together to secure tight.  Position wire #1 so that it is in the center of the jar and will hang level.

Repeat this for all jars.

Cut three pieces of small chain 12-18" depending on how long you want the jars in the center to hang.
Cut four pieces of small chain 3" long

Attach the 3" chain at the following positions (2, 4, 8 and 10' oclock) to the upside down planter.
Attach the ends of these chains to the larger chain.
Attach the 12" chain underside of the planter using s-hooks in the 2, 6 and 10 position.  Attach three jars using s-hooks.

Hang jars to outside of planter with s-hooks
Attach any danglies desired

Hang candle chandelier from ceiling by attaching the large chain with an strong s-hook to a hook firmly implanted into the ceiling.

I alternated the height of my jars.  

Sounds like alot...but really it goes pretty quick.  
Just remember not to leave the candles unattended!!.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

When ART meets LIFE = Art + Life Combined

It's no secret....this year has certainly had it's share of ups and downs.  When writing this book the last part of 2011, my Mom was in her final days of fighting a long battle with breast cancer.  If dealing with your loved one's illness doesn't take it out of you....I don't know what would!  I found myself in creative spurts of energy...and then, as if switching off a light, I was so low I couldn't get out of bed...... mentally and physically exhausting..............beyond words.....I was in a slump!

But, I am stubborn, which also translates into strong willed and I don't easily give up without a fight.  I found a respite in my creativity.  Those periods of creative energy were like fresh air.  This book, like never before is personal....the art is tells a story....  when  Art + Life COMBINE!

linda Peterson - mixed media art book - art journaling

I know that so many will relate to this book....Art is awesome....Art is Therapy....Art is healing to both mind and body......and Art tells your personal story for years to come.

There are 35 projects and loads and loads of techniques, idea jump starters to help you connect art with your life

I believe the biggest fear with people who love art...but are afraid to create art, can be summed up in this word...FEAR!  We're all fearful of the unknown....I am!  I don't like to be blindsided with something unexpected.  Then again...fear of the unknown, is also intriguing, mysterious, you never know what's going to happen next.    
I know we live in a busy, rushed, have to hurry up and get it done yesterday world....but are you letting FEAR be your excuse for not telling your life story and just saying I'M TOO BUSY?  The best thing about  mixed media art is there are NO rules to follow (what?? no rules?? when does THAT ever happen??) and IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE PRETTY!!! - why? because life isn't pretty ALL-THE-TIME! Right? so why put such a heavy burden on yourself? about the creative process...what you get at the end is just the cherry on the top!

For me personally, I've taken some time to reflect on who I am as an artist.  What resonates with me?  Through this self discovery, I've realized that there is always a common thread....memories!
I associate life experiences to objects and thus why I am a pack rat.  Somehow, if I have that piece of whatever....I will also have that memory forever...  I don't have just one hobby...I have several...and so I love collages in my art...with stuff stacked on top of stuff...because that is symbolic in my life...

This book definitely helped me discover some things inside myself that I didn't realize....flaws...strengths...and allowed me to embrace that.    

I love sharing my art...and my art knowledge and that's why I've poured my heart and soul into this book to help you relate to your help you help you help you remember......

It is finally released and available on

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Upcycling! Exercising for creative people

Yes, I'm making healthier "creative" choices now.  I'm UPCYCLING just about everything that happens to pass in front of me.  I got on this kick a couple weeks ago when I went to salvage some old barn windows from a friend who had sold his farm.  I turned one of the windows into a photo display for my Son and Daughter-in-law for their wedding....

But tucked away for more than a year in a corner of my shop was this....{uh...yes, my toes got in the way}.....

This was once a mirror that adorned our bathroom downstairs.  Well...after remodeling, I hung it back up and apparently not so well, it fell off an broke in a gagillion pieces....but I couldnt bear to part with I tucked it away..until today.....  I got out the power tools!!! VROOM VROOM!! oh baby....  

I sawed off the bottom so it was straight and created an arch in the my jigsaw......... I fixed it all up nice and sturdy with a few nails and then sprayed the frame with Blue Ocean Krylon paint.  I love the aqua blue color!! 

Then I antiqued it with an english walnut stain, highlighted the raised areas with white and then stapled chicken wire and fabric on to the back.  

I found this little doily in my Mom's stash so I glued it onto a clothespin and adorned it with a button...or three....

Clipped on a vintage photo of my grandparents wedding day....and are you ready?......

{drum roll please.............}

Love love love it....mostly I love the fact that these two people had my Dad who I think is just simply the most awesomest Dad in the whole wide world......

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