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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Joy of Making...

       So, one of my favorite pass-times is to make and remake things.  Nothing is more satisfying that to take something I bought for pennies (okay, maybe quarters, but still!) at a thrift store or yard sale and make it into something prim and fun.

     My favorite thing to do is to paint things black and do a combing technique on it.  Then, I distress it a bit to give it age.  When I say combing technique, I mean, truly, I use combs.  I got a package of miscellaneous combs from the dollar store.  My favorite comb of choice is the comb I know so well from being in high school in the 90's- the pick.

     I previously used the part white glue, part black paint method, but then I would have to apply a clear coat at the end.  Between that and the fact that the glue mixture took longer to dry, well, it was more waiting than I could handle.  I would always touch it when I shouldn't.  Patience is not always my best virtue.

     After that trial of patience,  I did the same technique, but revamped it with paint and Modgepodge.  It dried quicker, was thicker, and I didn't need to clear coat.  You can get it in matte and glossy.  I think I have even seen a satin finish.

     I love to make primitive stitcheries (My style is definitely primitive.  Like, "Did she plan it out first or use a pattern?" No. No, I did not.). It is a "do anywhere" project.  The verse from Proverbs was one that I did and framed in a cheap frame using a combing technique (shocker).  When I was doing this originally, I was also using hand-cut cardboard combs and plastic knives.  I really don't want to get into that hassle story with you.  Just say no. 

     These two projects were some of my favorites because they were both really ugly, really cheap, and now, I feel they are pretty prim!  The spoon holder was a deep red stain with a really glossy varnish.  I sanded it and did the combing technique (that was the white glue and plastic knife era).  I love the little pocket shelf to put little "needfuls" in!

     Next to it is a Windsor chair that I got at a barn sale.  It was under ten dollars.  Why?  Because it was white with pink stenciled hearts.  Not prim. Not at all.  Now, this white paint was thick. It was almost to the point where the paint probably would have retained the shape of the chair even if the chair had rotted underneath after years of neglect.  So, really thick.  I tried to sand it, but it took too long (Remember.  I have issues with patience...).  I bought wood spray paint that promised to not need a second coat (I am so good with that!).  For this combing technique, I couldn't really mix in the MP.  I just used a comb on the edges while the paint was still wet. It gave it a neat design.  But, I didn't like that it had white showing through. SO, I sanded it for age, especially on the seat and arms and then rubbed in some brownish paint in the sanded spots and white spots to age it a bit.  I did have to finish with a clear coat because of the sanding and staining.  I was super happy with how it turned out! I got the look of an old Windsor chair, which is great, because I sure can't afford one.

     These are some other things I painted black (I do love black! Can you tell yet?).  I feel like you need one color to anchor a room.  I have a lot of shades of grey and brown.  Black is my anchor, and red is my pop of color.  My husband is always laughing because he will often come home to find that I changed some items to black.  He said he thinks that if he stood still too long, I might paint him. Nah.  Well, maybe the combing technique...  ANYHOOO, all of the items were remade- cheap pine stool, old wood candle holder, frames...

     The sconce with the metal heart was, first of all, green.  Second, it was a jar candle holder.  SOOOOO, I painted it black with a combing technique and added a wooden spool electric candle with a flicker light (the spool light was red, white, and blue), and then some prim mustard berries.
This stitchery I did.  I love that quote by Abraham Lincoln.  I did try to pencil in the wording. I really did!  It didn't go according to plan.  Oh, well.  I actually collect prim items of my favorite presidents.  But, that is a post for another day.  Yes, Lincoln is one of them.  
     This frame is very special to me.  It contains my Grandma's recipe for her famous pie crust.  Since she is no longer with us, I wanted to frame the recipe card because it is written in her own hand.  I put it on some country fabric, and it is a perfect memento of her in my own kitchen.  She had beautiful handwriting and was also a fabulous cook!  


  So, where did I get this love of making and remaking?  My dad.  He is very talented and able to do so many things. God has really blessed him.   The first kind of crafting that he did was woodburning verses (which he still loves to do).  I liked doing it but, here comes the patience thing again, I would want to hurry it and press the iron harder.  Well, pushing the hot little tip harder and longer does not produce the desired effect.  It makes burned blobs.  So, moving on. 


     The second picture is an oil painting by my dad.  He has been experimenting with different styles.  I love the tones and simple feel of the picture.  He put it in a unique antique wooden frame (That is a good tip for remaking a picture or framing your own work- find an interesting used frame). I love it! The third painting was one that my dad did when he was young.  It is of my Aunt Motts.  I added the black frame and aged the picture a bit.  It had a bright yellow background. So, I did a wash of brown.  My dad wasn't offended at all.  He liked the aged look.  It reminded me of those prim portraits you see in prim decor magazines.

     My favorite artistic things to do with my dad are collaborative efforts.  I see something on the internet or in a magazine and think, 'Well, we can make that!"  He takes scrap wood from his shop and makes things according to my sketches and specifications.  He is not a huge primitives fan (I will not reveal some of his comments), but he gives in and usually likes the final product.  We enjoyed making the candle holder.  He likes sanding and distressing things as much as I do.  He built it, and I painted it.  Good times!  The entrepreneur side of my dad is to make these things and sell them.  Soooo, when he sees I want to put them with all of my other prim stuff, he kind of chuckles.  I tell him that we can make more, I will just hold on to the template.  I have a lot of templates...

So, here I am.  I am Oscar from "The Six Million Dollar Man". I love to make it "... better than it was before."  With some help.  And a lot of black paint. A lot.

Coffee Talk Topic:  What is your favorite color to paint things? What are some of your artistic talents?  Do you have a favorite "somethin' " you like to make?  Grab your hot or cold beverage and share!


  1. Hi Heather!
    Just came across your blog and honestly? I love it!
    Love that you share your love of God in all you write. That blesses me as a reader.
    And your prims are just wonderful!
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Thank you for dropping by! I so appreciate your taking the time to write and be an encouragement and blessing to me! I can't express how much it means! I hope we can chat more!
    In Christ,


"Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." - Proverbs 16:24

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