Day 365: Something Beautiful Remains
December 31, 2013

I can’t believe that today is really the final day in my year-long journey. I could have tried to come up with a project that was over the top, but that just didn’t feel right. Instead, I went with what started me on this creative road and chose to make a card featuring a sentiment that felt appropriate.

I used the sketch from Mojo Monday #326 since that site has helped me through some challenging weeks. I also just felt that the design this week worked with what I wanted to do.

The Tide Recedes Water Color Card

The sentiment reads:

The tide recedes but
leaves behind
bright seashells on the sand.
The sun goes down
but gentle warmth
still lingers on the land.

The music stops
and yet it echoes on
in sweet refrains.
For every joy that passes;
something beautiful remains.

My journey may be coming to a close, but I will always cherish the memories and the friendships I have made along the way; the something beautiful that remains.

Now, for the card itself, I did step a little bit out of my comfort zone. It wouldn’t be a final project if I hadn’t. Instead of just grabbing papers from my stash for this card, I created the colored papers using water color paints. The color scheme, while not very nautical, is very meaningful to me. For my wedding, I carried purple flags and yellow roses, so the colors on this card represent that special day for me. It seemed right to tie a beginning and an ending together in this way.

The first sentence of the sentiment refers to the seashells left behind when the tide recedes so I used a seashell charm to embellish the card.

It’s not something flashy to end my 365 days, but I’m not a flashy person. I am simply a person who enjoys finding ways to be creative even though I am not an artist.

Thanks for following me on my journey and supporting me through the rougher patches. I’m not sure what my next steps are going to be. Well, I know that one of them is going to be cleaning up my craft room and trying to restore some sense of order in there. Also, in a little over a week, I am going on my annual scrapbooking retreat where I will be collecting photos of all of my projects from the past year into an album. Once I get through with that, I think I am going to take a bit of a break from creating anything remotely nautical, but probably not for too long.


Day 342: A Place at the Table
December 8, 2013

Today’s project is one that I have been considering for a little while and finally just did it.

Burlap Placemat - Whale

I had purchased a roll of plastic backed burlap that I thought would work for place mats. I had tried sewing seashells onto it but didn’t like the result, but I didn’t give up on the idea of creating place mats.


Burlap Place Mat - Sea Horse

I had bought some sea critter stencils a couple of weeks ago, when I was playing with the water colors. I thought that I could use them on the burlap to add a nautical touch. So, I cut two pieces of burlap and dug out my paints and made these his and hers place mats.

They aren’t the fanciest but for kids they could be fun.

Day 340: Artistic Expression
December 6, 2013

This morning, I decided to play with water colors and stamping. I really am not an artist, but I do like how today’s project turned out.

Water color ocean with fish

To start, I simply used a couple of shades of blue and a bit of white to cover my background. Once that had dried, I came back and stamped this cool fish using orange ink. I got the fish stamp from The Queen’s Ink at Savage Mill. Needless to say, I have been wanting to use it ever since I got it but I have been waiting for a suitable project. Not sure if today’s project really does the fish justice, but I do think it is fun and artistic. What do you think?

Day 325: Ocean Scene on Canvas
November 21, 2013

So, after a late night last night and a sleeping pill, I was in no shape to craft much of anything this morning. So, as soon as I got home from work, I headed up to my craft room. Now, while I was driving home, an idea was forming in my brain. Luckily, when I got home, I was able to make it come together.

Seahorse on Water Color Canvas

I knew that I had a few 6×6 stretched canvases. I decided that I wanted to try using water colors on the canvas and then layering paper embellishments to create an ocean scene. I started out using a couple of shades of blue paint and a pretty good amount of water to cover the entire canvas. I wanted variations in the tones, and I wanted to keep the colors pretty light.

Once I was happy with the canvas, I set it aside to dry and started cutting seaweed and coral using my Cricut. The key piece of course was the seahorse, since I just think they are the coolest creatures in the world. As I got my pieces cut I arranged them on a blue piece of paper, rearranging elements until I liked how everything looked.  I clicked a quick picture of the arrangement with my camera phone and then I started running the smaller elements through my Xyron to convert them to stickers. I put everything onto the canvas and created this little scene.

I am actually quite happy with how it all turned out. It really is almost exactly what I was envisioning in my mind as I drove home.

I also wanted to share with everyone that it is once again time for the Festival of Wreaths at the Carroll Arts Center in Westminster, MD. For those of you who don’t remember, or just didn’t know, one my first nautical crafts before I started on my 365 Days, was a wreath for last year’s festival. Well, this year’s wreath is not nautical, but I still thought that I would share it with you here.

Feel the Love Wreath

I call it, “Feel the Love.” You might remember that I used this wreath technique for a beach-themed wreath several months ago. While it was labor intensive, I just love how they turn out. Maybe next year, I will create a wreath a month instead of focusing on creating something each and every day.

Day 324: Mixed Up Media
November 20, 2013

I guess with the weather turning colder, my thoughts drifted away from tropical beaches and more to wintry landscapes. Hmmm. How to combine the two? Be creating a silly mixed media snowman out of sea shells.

MIxed Media Snowman

I started out with a small canvas that I painted light blue. If some areas of the canvas showed through that was okay because they looked kind of like clouds. Then I used some puffy fabric paint at the bottom to create snowy drifts. I selected 3 different sea shells in graduated sizes to create the snowman’s body. Some googly eyes and a piece of orange paper gave my snowman his face. His scarf was made using ribbon from my stash and his arms are pieces of twine.

This truly is a mixed media piece, or you could say that it is mixed up media because seashells and snow don’t generally go together and when you throw in all of the other elements, it is a bit crazy. It certainly isn’t what I would consider a masterpiece, but it is what it is and I think it is fun.

Day 321: Beach Shelf Art
November 17, 2013

A couple of months ago, I created what I called a beach monogram using a wooden letter, some paint and some small wooden embellishments. For today’s project, I took that project to the next level.

Beach Shelf Art

Instead of just painting and decorating a single letter, I did an entire word. Now, I might have done more letters but I did them on a much smaller scale. They are only about a third of the height of the monogram.

I started out by painting all of the letters using sand and sky blue. After the paint had dried, I used glue dots to adhere the letters to one another. It was the only way I could come up with to get the C to not roll since it is round of the bottom. I then added some pre-painted wooden embellishments to extend the beach theme. Simple? Yes. Inspired by the sea? Definitely.

Day 320: Pushing My Limits
November 16, 2013

I have not made any secrets about the fact that I am not an artist. Seriously, art was one of my worst subjects in school. But, today, I decided to push my limits and cast away my comfort zone and play with water color paints.

Water color critters

I had purchased actual water color paper years ago when I had thought about trying to broaden my artistic horizons. The pad sat around and never got used until today. After dropping my son off for track practice, I ran over to the craft store and bought water color paints in actual tubes…none of this kid stuff for today’s project. I also found some sticky stencils that I thought would ease my anxiety so I bought them and used them to help me out with my designs.

I started with the fish. for him, I started out with orange paint for the main body. I then mixed it with yellow for the face and fins. A touch of black for the eye and I was pretty happy with how he turned out. I decided to play a little more and painted the octopus using a dark blue green and a bright green. Again, some touches of black and he was done.

While I still don’t claim to be an artist and probably never would have tried this if I hadn’t seen an idea of using water colors with stencils on Pinterest, I am happy with my experimentation and may even be willing to try something like this again in the future. Maybe I will play with making my own stencil using my Cricut and some transparency film or even just using actual water color paints to create a beach scene.

Day 307: Painted Boat Shelf
November 3, 2013

I haven’t done any real painting in quite some time, so today seemed like a good day to remedy that.

Decorative Boat Shelf

I had found this wooden boat a long time ago and had put it away planning to use it someday.

Decorative Boat Shelf with Drawer

This morning, I decided to paint it. Not sure where I might put it yet or what might wind up on the shelf. I painted the inside in a light sand color and the outside in red. I added some silver accents at the front of the boat and on the drawer pull. I then finished the whole thing with a spray of high gloss sealant. A fairly simple project this morning, but a practical one.

Day 305: Sailing Away
November 1, 2013

As I was laying there in bed trying to fall back to sleep this morning, I was thinking about what to do for today’s craft. I felt like I had been playing it safe this week, so I wanted to do something a little bit more outside my comfort zone. I wanted to do something that didn’t use paper since almost every project this week has in some way. I finally came up with an idea.

Lampshade with Sailboat design

I remembered that I had this small lamp shade that I hadn’t used yet. (Partially, I hadn’t used it for a project since I don’t have a lamp that it fits on, but that is beside the point.) I still wasn’t quite sure what to do though. After laying there a little longer, I remembered that I had some puffy fabric paints. I decided to try stamping a design onto the lampshade and then coloring it using the puffy paints. I stamped the design onto opposite sides of the lampshade since just a single sailboat somehow didn’t feel right. I made sure that the ink from the stamping was dry and then I set to work on filling in the design with the puffy paints.

The paint is actually still drying since it takes about 4 hours, but I figured I could take a picture so that I could share my project with you before I headed off to work. It isn’t perfect but it could work for a lamp in a child’s room.

Day 243: Something Fishy in the Kitchen
August 31, 2013

Maybe the commercials for Master Chef Junior influenced today’s craft idea.

Child's Apron

Today’s project was a multi-step process. First, I created a stencil for a fish using a transparency and my Cricut machine. I wasn’t 100% sure the transparency would cut properly, but it did. I then used Inkodye to color in the fish. For those not familiar with Inkodye, it is a sun activated fabric dye. I taped my stencil to the apron and then applied the Inkodye. I then put the apron outside for about 20 minutes for the dye to darken. I then used dimensional fabric paints to add a fin and and an eye to the fish and to add the words to the apron. The fabric paints need about 4 hours to dry completely. Mine have been drying for about an hour, but I figured I could go ahead and take the photo. Now, I just need to find a junior chef who could actually wear this apron.