Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Halloweeny Light

Oooooooooooooohhhhh, spooky!
This will take you less than 2 minutes to do...

Get some of these orange lights

Shove them in an IKEA candle holder

and plug it in.

Does it get any easier than that?

Thanks for stopping by!
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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Where it All Began: The Cozy Yarn Wreath

I made this last year

The house needed a little something for fall.  My son was in preschool and the baby was almost 1 year old.  Gasp!  I could actually have a little time to make something!

I had seen (and fallen in love with) a yarn wreath somewhere and I had a surplus of yarn here at the house.  I decided to tackle my first crafty project in ages.

It was intoxicating.  I loved the wreath.; I loved the process.  I went on Facebook and posted a few pictures of some of the autumn-related projects I had been working on around the house.  People responded and I was proud, but not satisfied.  So began my quick descent into craft addiction!
I loved playing with the yarn and watching the wreath take shape.  I had no idea what I was doing but I didn't care.
I especially loved the paper towel flowers... I found the tutorial for them here.

And here we are today; it has been almost 5 months since The Creative Imperative was born.  I have found blogging to be a better venue for sharing projects than annoying my Facebook friends with every little thing I do around the house.

Anyway, thank YOU!  Thank you for reading and for encouraging and for inspiring me.  It's YOU who have helped to make this journey so much fun!

God bless you and keep on craftin'.
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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Spooky Fun Halloween Decor

The kids LOVE this time of year!  They've been bugging me to pull out the Halloween decorations, but I just haven't been ready yet.  It was a rainy day today and I finally caved.

We added something new this year...
Mr. Spider!  He drops down on your head when you open the front door.
I just took one of these

and screwed it into the ceiling.
Anyone else hate this textured ceiling as much as I do?!  Any quick/easy/painless solutions for getting rid of it?  Back to the spider...

I tied a piece of heavy duty thread (or you can use fishing line) to him,

threaded the line through the hook,

and attached the other end to the door.  I secured it with some tape too.

Here's the door closed (with the spider up near the ceiling)

and open (he drops down!)

It's only been up for a few hours and the kids are already driving me nuts with this thing.  I think we've opened and closed the door 40 times today!

Down, up, down, up, down, up.  It still seems elicit giggles as strong as when we put him up this morning so mission accomplished :)  Not bad for a dollar store spider.

I also decided to move the rag wreath on the front door to the mirror.  It was getting smooshed by the storm door so I'm changing it out for the wreath from last year (I'll post about that later in the week).

We added some silhouettes cut out from black construction paper.  The kids put some other ones up around the house... they love being able to help decorate.  I use these year to year; they take up almost zero storage space and cost next to nothing.  Gotta love Halloween!
 Can you tell which ones the kids put up?  I love the little cluster!  It's actually a lot better than last year... they were all layered on top of one another and stuck together.  They crack me up!

What about you?  Have you started decorating for Halloween yet?  Thanks for stopping by!

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Tricks of the Trade: Fun With Magnetic Paint!

I painted these guys in the new toddler room at church

Each of the critters is "holding" a magnetic board painted right on the wall.  We considered using chalkboard paint in this room, but then I remembered that my toddler eats chalk.  She also eats mulch and rocks, which makes her an exception to the norm, but we didn't want to take any chances.

The teachers plan on using the boards for lesson plans and other activities for the kids.

Here is another space where I used magnetic paint.  It's kind of a Part 2 to the Keeping it Simple post from this room:

On the wall adjacent to the Serengeti mural I painted these

The silhouettes are done in magnetic paint!  I wanted the kids to have fun "stations" to play in and I was looking for an idea to coordinate with the mural in the same room.

These graphic shapes are a dynamic and fun addition to the room... a really bold statement for a small time and money investment.

Be sure to check out other Tricks of the Trade painting tip posts in the sidebar.

I am loving this magnetic paint!  Have you used it before in a fun way?  Let me know in the comments!

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Friday, September 16, 2011

When in Doubt, Paint it White

The temperatures in Maryland took a nose-dive yesterday... yippee!  I finally feel like decorating for fall.  I'll be writing a few short posts in the coming weeks about how we're transitioning the house to fall decor over here.

For one, I put this out

which replaced this
Bye bye birdie!  He was a dollar store find that I painted white.  Why is it that you can take such a ridiculous tchotchke, paint it white, put it under glass and it all of a sudden looks OK?  That's the magic of a cloche I guess (it's really just an old cheese dome from Goodwill).

The pumpkin started out looking like this
It's also from the dollar store.

I "primed" it in gray and then dry brushed some white on top haphazardly and ended up with this

The thing is a hot mess if you look at it closely, but you can't even tell!  I love it, especially in the grand scheme of things

More tidbits of fall decor to come.  Hey, it's a start, right?  Thanks for stopping by!


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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tricks of the Trade: Dustless Sanding

Did you know there is a way to patch holes in your wall and sand them without getting dust everywhere?  Happy day!  I hate all that dust and I think it's pretty toxic, so good riddance.
That's sandpaper in the X-ed out area (in case you couldn't tell)

What you'll need:
Spackle or joint compound
Wet rag or paper towel
Spackle knife (aka putty knife)
Old credit card

Yes, I really said credit card!  Plastic cards (like credit cards or gift cards) are the perfect tool to have on hand when you're painting.  They are flexible, they have a straight edge, and the best part is they fit into the spackle tub better than most spackle knives.  They can't handle big cracks or holes, but they're great for small imperfections in the wall and holes from where nails were.

In case you're wondering, this is my new favorite stuff for repairing walls.
Yes, it's really called "Crack Shot".  Awesome, right?  This stuff rocks though, especially for larger holes and cracks.  For smaller dents and holes, I love this stuff that starts out pink, then dries white
It's lightweight, easy to use and you know when it's ready... perfect for the DIYer.  So you have your choice ladies, the pretty purpley-pink stuff, or Crack Shot.  It's up to you.

If there are any raised areas, use your metal spackle knife to scrape them down.  Sometimes when there is a nail or a hook in the wall, it creates a little area around the hole that bows out... you just want to get it back to flat.

Dip your knife or plastic card into the spackle and smush a generous amount into the area to be filled.

Go back with the knife or the longer end of the card and smooth the spackle out.  Try to get it as flat to the wall as you can by scraping the wall as you even it out.

Let it dry.

Take your wet paper towel or rag and gently, in a circular motion, rub away any raised areas.  Voila!  You're done and ready to paint.  If it looks like you rubbed too much away or if the area is still a little concave, you can reapply some spackle and try again.  Sometimes it takes two applications to get it even with the wall; no big deal :)

I like to take my paint brush and paint just the spackled area after it's dry (but before you roll the entire wall). this keeps it from "flashing" or showing up when you apply your paint.

*I wouldn't recommend this technique for really big wall repairs... good old-fashioned fine grit sandpaper is still the best for large jobs*

What do you think?  Do you believe me that this will work?  When I tell clients I can fix their walls with a minimal amount of dust they get so excited!  Go ahead, give it a try.

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