I’m Patty Thurlby, whimsical and quirky making fun and practical upcycled art. I started to call myself an artist in 1990 when I was accepted into my first art gallery and my mixed media pieces started selling. I had my day job but usually spent every other weekend having an “artquake” filling up my studio with new pieces and distributing them to various galleries the next weekend. In..
Not all my mixed media pieces come together as a result of stuff that’s happening in real life. This 10 x 10 collage was a happy result of a fun lunch this week I had with two artist friends, Cathy and Mari.
Mari lives in Bellingham and was telling us that her church is making a difference in the homeless community as they turn their basement into a homeless shelter for over 40 women in the winter months. The church pulls together to provide tasty meals and they have made a difference in the lives of those women!
She told of a young immigrant who they showered with love to provide a nice wedding and then later, a baby shower! That is reaching out….and taking a hand.
I came home from the lunch and was sorting through supplies and sitting in the pile was the tin hand with the saying attached. “Why that is Mari and her church!” I thought, PERFECT! The tin used to be a cookie container but I cut out the hand from the lid and knew it would come in “handy” some day. teehee
I painted the hand with acrylic paint and used actual fingernail polish. I used a black paint pen to make a whimsical border around the 10 x 10 gallery wrapped canvas.
I used my largest magazine font to fill the space with as much color as possible.
All that was left to do was glue on some junk jewelry to complete the piece! Thanks Cathy and Mari, for a fun lunch and some fresh inspiration!
I have just wasted one hour trying to find the photo I took of the round lids and lace that covers them as a before photo for this napkin inspired mermaid cake topper. The round lids have been sitting in a drawer for a few years and always reminded me of a stacked cake.
I found these mermaid napkins on Ebay and imagined a little girls mermaid theme birthday party with the napkins at every table setting with this sweet mermaid cake topper sitting on the top of a sea themed cake.
I painted the metallic gold lids white and covered the edges with different styles of fabric trim that I have purchased at garage sales with a few shells decorating the front and small shells decorating the top edge.
I was happy to discover the napkin was the mirror image when folded, so I covered one side of a piece of cardstock with Mod Podge and placed a bamboo skewer and smoothed one side of the napkin. After that was dry, I used Mod Podge to secure the other side of the mermaid napkin. When I cut the mermaid out, she was the same on both sides!
Next I cut out the words and placed them at a jaunty angle, plus covered the skewer with some glitter glue and poked it in the round lid “cake”.
I am not much of a baker so I went to Google images to find some cake ideas that would be fun to feature the mermaid cake topper:
I think the cream tones would be so cute for my Seas The Day instead of this shell themed toppper.
Ha! A perfect base for my mermaid!
I have no idea how you get such a perfect design….but it would be cute for my topper!
I joke that there is nothing that can’t be turned into a clock! It was so fun to turn this Little Golden Book into one using annealed wire and wood beads and a mini quartz clock works.
I found this book on Ebay when I was searching for something “interesting”. It was in pretty good condition and the price was right with free shipping.
Step One: Use glue or decoupage medium (I like Diamond Glaze by Judikins) to cover all the sides of the book and sprinkle with glitter to cover the edges completely. I used gold glitter but black would have been a good choice also.
Step Two: Attach pieces of 16 gauge black annealed wire (get it in the concrete section at Home Depot) at the back of the book with hot glue and stack wood beads on in a whimsical pattern. Curl the tops of the wire.
Step Three: Curl and twist a long piece of 16 gauge annealed wire to make a whimsical bottom decoration and attach at the back with hot glue.
Step Four: Remove the attached “book clock hands” and drill a hole for a mini quartz clock works and secure it to the book with the nut that is included in the kit. NOTE: most mini quartz clock movements are “self hanging” so you don’t have to make a hanger on the back of the book clock.
That’s it…. less that a half hour to turn the book into a clock. A clock like this can brighten any room and is the perfect idea for a collector to use a book that isn’t in excellent condition!
When I was making this clock I was thinking of a tourist just like me! I am a sucker for something that is multi purpose and this project fits the bill.
The price was right for this piece. I love the rustic paint job and since I make a lot of turquoise projects it was a no brainer to buy it. I had matching paint so the chicken was easy to “erase”.
The box opens to two rows of hooks for keys or jewelry. I love things that have dual purpose!
I love serendipity and it was so cool that the bottom simulated waves! I printed a clipart whale from my photo library and attached it with glue stick. I found a compass image online and color corrected it to be “antique+turquoise”. Last, I used my free magazine font letters to spell out “WHALECOME.”
All that was left was to get out my handy drill to make a hole for some battery operated clock works. DONE!
I giggle thinking of a tourist just like me…”Wow, a clock that is a welcome sign, that holds keys or jewelry!!!” I’d have this in my hands in a heartbeat! I’m pretty sure this special little box clock will have a place at Sunrose Gallery and it will be so fun to see who takes it home one of these days.
Happy Mother’s Day! I still am on my quest to use up my washi tape supply and this cute chevron washi tape makes a good design to spell out “MOM” using fabric transfer paper.
Step One: Use the free printable pdf. below to use as is or print it on cardstock, cut it out, flip the letters over so you can cover them with your own washi tape. Mom prints forwards and backwards!
Step Two: Load a sheet of dark fabric transfer paper in your computer paper tray.
If you are using my free printable, follow the directions and print the dark fabric transfer sheet.
If you are using your own washi tape, after you have covered the card stock paper letters with washi tape, put them on the platen in your printer and make a color copy of them on the fabric transfer paper for dark fabric.
Step Three: Cut out the letters that are printed on fabric transfer paper and space them on the canvas bag. NOTE: after you have the letters in place where you like them, put a dab of glue stick to hold them in place (after you have peeled off the backing) before ironing them to the canvas. Dark fabric transfer sheets are so easy to use because you don’t have to reverse the printing, just peel off the backing, space them on the canvas, and iron on.
Step Four: I glued a plastic flower charm in the center of my “O” for extra decoration. If you use the free printable pdf. you don’t need one!
Nowadays canvas bags are so handy to have and since they are reasonably priced at the craft store (especially with a 50% off coupon!) it is a fast and practical craft project. : )
LittleLaLaOriginals is my Etsy shop that has been on the back burner for the last year. I like to make really unusual window treatments but my enthusiasm for making window valances has been neutralized by the shot of inspiration I feel dreaming up new crafts. Make a valance? YAWN!!!!
I gathered driftwood recently in hopes it would make me get my rear in gear to make a 25 piece whitewashed valance that I call “Romancing the Home”. It is very shabby chic with glass teardrops at each bottom.
I whitewash each piece using regular interior wall paint that has been slightly diluted with water.
After the pieces are dry I use 17 gauge galvanized steel wire to make a swirl at each top and bottom, then I attach a teardrop to each bottom. After I get started, it is relaxing and fun to wire wrap each piece…the problem seems to be getting started! LOL
It has been my practice when one “Romancing the Home” valance sells, to make another one immediately because it is a staple in my Etsy shop. Out of curiousity I checked when the last “Romancing” sold….oops July 2018! July 2018 is when I decided to try to blog a new craft everyday and almost a year later, I have accomplished that goal.
So my “Romancing the Home” got made this morning and it will be a balancing act to better divide my time between my love for blogging and nurturing my Etsy shops!
I have had the idea for a long time….trying to make an artful branch featuring shells as leaves and flowers. When I discovered this heavy glass vase, I was pretty sure the vase would be perfect to hold my experiment.
I paid $1.00 for the vase when I went to Longview, Washington at their thrift store row…. and someday I will give it a makeover.
I cut the branch from a bush in the backyard…I think it works best to use a green branch so there is no chance of brittleness.
Shells LOVE hot glue! It is almost impossible to remove hot glue from a shell, so I applied a bead of hot glue to the edge of each shell and pressed it down on regular printer paper. Use scissors to cut out each shell, being careful to not disturb the paper bottom, (like punching a hole in it). The paper bottom will make it easy to attach the shell to the branch.
To secure the shells with the paper bottoms to the branch, cut a piece of paper, put on a bead of hot glue on it, then make a sandwich of shell-branch-paper with hot glue working quickly.
Use larger shells on the inner branches changing to smaller shells higher up on each branch, finally finishing with shells that resemble buds.
Use hot glue to attach the “flowers” where you wish to place them.
I love how my beach fantasy branch turned out! My new glass vase is the only container that would have worked to hold it in place with it’s skinny neck. It makes a nice little vignette with a watercolor of my surfer hubby “Seadog” and a glass ball I found on our beach.