Multiple Canvas Art

17 Jan

 

DIY art project that is much easier than you think. Multiple canvas art turns a simple picture into a work of art. I made this for my parents for Christmas. I took four canvas’, two of each size. Adjust the canvas’ to where they are offset, push them all together, and go for it. Paint anything you want, any design or picture you can think. When finished, just seperate the canvas’ and paint the sides of the canvas (optional). This is a great way to fill large walls for minimal cost. Four small canvas with paint and brushes will cost under $50. To purchase canvas art this size, you will easily pay $200.

 

author – Justis Fisher

How To – Diamond Wall Pattern

14 Jan

A few weeks ago, a friend came to me wanting a diamond pattern painted on her kitchen wall. I had never done anything like this so I took to the internet. It took me hours and hours to find a collection of instructions that made sense to me. I told myself I would post a “how to” when I was finished that was easily understood, even for the beginner.

TOOLS NEEDED:

  • Ladder, measuring tape, straight edge, paint brush, roller (2″ works best), painters tape, pencil, paint, razor blade.

HOW TO:

  • Do you have paint that matches the current wall color? If you do, you can skip this first step. If not you are going to have to repaint the entire wall a new base coat. The base coat has to be lighter than then contrasting second color. So keep this in mind when purchasing paint.
  • Decide the dimensions of your diamonds. Diamonds are generally twice as tall as they are wide, but it’s ok if you fudge a little bit. My wall space was 100″ high and 81″ wide. I calculated my diamonds to measure 33.3″ tall X 25.25″ wide. Not exactly the 2:1 ratio that is recommended but it was what my client wanted. Check your calculations !!!!!
  • For this step, the base coat needs to be dried. The longer it’s been dry the better. I let it dry for two days, and it still could have used another day or two. Take a pencil, measuring tape, and your straight edge and mark out your grid for the diamonds. Be very careful to mark lightly, because you will be coming back later to erase, or paint over the lines. You should end with a complete grid, covering the entire wall.
  • Grab your painters tape and mark off your diamonds. Precision is key here, the most difficult portion of this is where your diamonds hit the ceiling, other walls, and the baseboard/floor. Take your time here, because your end result rests heavily upon how well you tape. Finally, take a piece of tape and stick in the middle of the diamonds you will be painting the darker color.

         

  • Next you need to take the base color (lighter), and seal the tape lines. To properly seal the lines, you want to press down on the tape getting it as stuck as possible to the wall. Take a paint brush and paint over the inside of the tape line, covering 1/4″ of the tape as well as 1/4″ of the wall. This ensures that you have a water tight seal and will not allow the darker color to bleed through.

  • If you start from one end and work the other way, by the time you finish sealing the tape you’ll be ready to start painting with the darker contrast color. Take your 2″ roller and start at the dry end of the wall and start rolling. When getting close to the ceiling, walls, and baseboard/floor, you might need to get the paint brush again to avoid painting something you don’t want to. Again, work you way across the wall.

         

    • When you have colored all the diamonds tagged with blue tape, go back to the dryest section and start peeling up the tape. If done in a proper manner and time frame, there should be very minimal extra work to clean up your lines.
    • After peeling all the tape of and hopefully little to no touch up on your lines and you will have a wall that is sure to be a conversation piece in your home. Here’s the final pictures of the wall at my friend’s house (kitchen).
         
Author – Justis Fisher

DIY X-Mas Countdown

2 Jan

Materials:

  1. Wood- 2×4 and 4×4
  2. Paint
  3. Christmas paper
  4. vinyl letters/numbers (optional)
  5. Mod Podge

Instructions:

  1. Take the 4×4 and cut (2) 3 1/2″ pieces (a 4×4 actually measures 3 1/2″, not 4″)
  2. Take the 2×4 and cut one piece 8″ in lenght
  3. Sand edges to prevent splinters
  4. Paint the two blocks, then paint the base a different color (we chose green and red for x-mas, but other colors can be chosen to go along with different holidays; ie. orange/purple for Halloween)
  5. Cut the christmas paper with decorative edge scissors. Paper should cover all but 1/8″ on each side of the block
  6. Paint each side of the blocks with Mod Podge and apply the christmas paper. Take time to work out bubbles and wrinkles
  7. Apply vinyl letters to the 2×4 and the numbers to the 4×4 blocks (you can also choose to paint the letters and numbers instead).   Important>>>>> Block 1 #’s- 1,2,3,4,5,6     Block 2 #’s- 0,1,2,7,8,9
  8. Optional- Apply Mod Podge to finished product to give it a sheen.

A christmas countdown in a store would probably run you anywhere between $30 to $40. You can purchase all your materials for about $25. Each countdown will cost about $5, so that means you can make 4 more for friends and family.

Author- Justis Fisher

Scrap Wood Lamp

25 Dec

So this christmas, my wife and I decided to make most of our gifts. Not to save money, but to try something new. My favorite was this scrap wood lamp that I made for her grandparents for their cabin up in Utah. It took me all of about 3 hours to make and cost about $20 ($15 for lamp shade, $5 for lamp kit). In my garage, I have an overhead storage place for all the wood I buy and fail to use up. I found a few pieces of wood that probably should have been thrown away in the first place. Cut them down to an appropriate size and drilled a hole in the middle. Before I glued them all together, I cut a small trough for the cord to run out the side, and I ran my cord up through all the pieces of wood. Attaching the lamp kit to the wood pile was a little tricky. It comes with a nut type piece that screws on the bottom to secure the shade to the lamp kit. I put a small piece of wood in there also so I could then glue the piece of wood to the rest of the pile. I then glued each piece together starting at the base. Wood glue dries very strong, so I have no worries about the overall strength of the lamp. By no means would i swing it around by the cord or anything, but it’s not going to crumble if you touch it or tip it over. After the glue had an hour to dry, I used a light stain, brushing it on with a stain brush, and wiping it off with a soft cloth (old T-shirt works best). Then it’s just attaching the lamp shade and adding a light bulb. A great gift for someone who is into the whole wood thing (such as a log cabin owner).

 

Composting in Las Vegas

13 Dec

If you want to garden here in Las Vegas, you will most likely run into the issues all of us run into. Mainly, poor soil. One easy way to supplement the soil is by adding compost as a high quality fertilizer. It can be mixed into the existing soil or used as a topsoil around the base of whatever you are trying to grow.

Composting in Las Vegas can be tricky. In a lot of other places where it isn’t so hot during the summer, you can just have a heaping pile in your backyard. The problem a lot of us have here in Las Vegas, is that we have hot/dry air for 6 months out of the year, that will ensure a dry pile of compost that you will be watering on a daily basis. And also the size of most of our backyards. Most new houses simply don’t have the space to compost. I bought a compost tumbler from Lowe’s this weekend that should solve both od those problems.

 

This compost tumbler will save tons of space. This unit can hold almost 11 cubic feet of compost. Unless you have an entire yard in need of compost, it should be plenty. Here in Las Vegas, if done correctly, a batch of compost should take anywhere between 4 and 12 weeks, depending on the materials used.

Composting is the process of breaking down or decomposing organic material for use as an excellent soil amendment. Beneficial bacteria and fungi return this waste into a form that is usable once again by plants. Microbes provide the bio-activity to help break down organic material and needs elements such as air, water, food, and heat to thrive. Providing the microbes with all four of these things will speed up the process.

Compost thrives in temperatures between 80 and 150 degrees, but many have said that compost can stay active even at 50 degrees. Being inside this black bin should ensure it stays a bit warmer inside.

Compost consists of a mixture of 20 parts brown to 1 part green. Brown consists of items like; fallen leaves, wood (branches must be chipped/shredded, sawdust from non-treated wood), manures (not pet or human). Green consists of items like; kitchen scraps, lawn clippings, and plants discarded from the garden.

DO NOT COMPOST: meat, bones, greases, dairy products, bread, anything treated in pesticides/herbicides, black walnut leaves, oak leaves, pine needles, diseased plants, weeds with seeds, pet/human waste, plastic, foil, etc.

I began with a few shovels of the soil in my garden boxes. And so far I have added some fallen leaves, kitchen scraps, paper towels (help dry out some of the mix due to rain the past couple days), and dog food (said to help kick start the microbes).

Finally Finished !!!!

21 Nov

After 4 long months, the outdoor kitchen is complete. Here are some pictures. Timeline, final cost, all pictures, and a couple how to tips to be posted soon. Hope you all like it.

 

Simply Inspired

17 Oct

What a beautiful thing! I’ve been looking for inspiration for a green and modern center piece for my dining table. I think I just found it! As I strolled a couple days ago through Pottery Barn I came across this set up. A great combination of glass, stones, moss and a ball topiary. These beautiful pieces come with a high price tag, $80 each, and although I’d love to walk out of there caring all 3 of them under my arms, I’m inspired to make my own, for what I’m hoping,half the price.

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Reupholstering Surprise

10 Oct

What a surprise! I’m in the middle of an upholstering project. I’m tackling my dining chairs and look what I uncovered after removing the first layer of fabric from the seat cover!! How disgusting!! Well, I guess the hint here is be careful with what you buy in garage sales! Thankfully we can fix and clean these chairs! I can’t wait to share the results!

Carolina Cantillano- Author

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Too Many Irons In The Fire?

4 Oct

This is the story of my life, and I’m sure, many others. Right now I’m in the middle of three projects. All of which need to be completed before our big BBQ Party on November 6th. That’s 33 days to finish the Outdoor Kitchen, which by the way, has been trumped by mother nature the past couple weekends. I still need to add all the bullnose tiles around the edge of the bar, tile the inside around where the grill will be, tile the inside of the cabinet areas, grout everything, apply all the ledgestone, and paint the underside of the bar top. I am going to be working double and triple time to accomplish just this project, let alone the other two. Luckily, my wife can probably grout everything, letting me move onto the ledgestone, and probably saving me an entire day. Just have to wait for a break in the weather. The next biggest job is this wall unit I’ve decided to build around my front window. This is kind of what I’m going for. The overall design is just a hinged bench seat under the window, with bookshelves and storage going up the sides and over the top. I also want to give it my own style and flair though. Copying someone elses design like a blueprint is so boring. I’m going to take a trip to Habitat For Humanity Restore tomorrow to try to find a couple of base cabinets I could use for the sides. Even a nice set of cabinet doors would work for me, otherwise I’ll have to take my chances with my router. This is where I stand right now with the wall unit. Just a base for the bench. Hard to imagine that this open wood box is going to eventually be turned into an amazing wall unit like picture #3.  The final project is actually one in which I’m hoping to completely pawn off onto my wife. It’s not that I don’t want to do it, it’s more or less the amount of overall time that I’m lacking to complete everything. So it’s a race to the finish for me, I will be updating everyone every couple of days until I’m finished.

Give Your Laundry Room a Makeover Part #3

2 Oct

Wow! It’s been three weeks of intense work and no blogging. We got lots done, and I mean lots! I documented everything along the way and I am ready to get back to writing and telling you how we did it all.

Last time I wrote, I had showed you that painting the walls of my laundry room a flat shade of bold black completely transformed the atmosphere of the room raising the contemporary vibe . We said goodbye to those ugly, super warm burnt yellow walls! I am so happy with the outcome.

The walls look great but the room still looks messy!

Bye bye ugly wall color, I surely won't miss you!

Although the room is starting to look put together, the exposed washer and dryer are a major distraction to the flow of the room, not to say they just make this laundry room look cluttered. Also, the lack of appropriate storage above the machines simply contribute for things to be let spread out.

So first things first. I am going to be painting the walls around the washer and dryer a pretty shade white and I am adding new wire shelving and baskets to keep everything in order.

I pulled the washer and dryer so I could get behind them to paint and install a new wire shelf

The walls behind the washer and dryer and the new wire shelf were installed. The small room not only gained style, but also much needed storage space

In order to hide these two big red machines, I decided to install double sliding doors here. Luckily, I had these doors installed somewhere else in my house. They were in our 4th bedroom, but I have different plans for this room, so removing the doors won’t be an issue later.

These sliding doors are being removed from the 4th bedroom in my house to the laundry area so we can hide our washer and dryer

Doors like these at major home improvement stores can go for a couple hundred bucks, but for now, my cost is zero! After removing the doors it was then time to start painting.

As always, you are going to need a couple important tools before you start. In this case i used painters tape to protect edges and corners, paper towels, disposable plates, a small paint roller, and a hair dryer to speed up the process.

Once two coats of base paint were applied to the door I could start my stenciling project. I bought my beautiful Trellis stencil at Cutting Edge Stencils . This is an amazing online store where you can find any kind of stencil you can think of. Prices are affordable and just by following a few simple steps you will be able to achieve incredible results.

You are going to need these two items to roll paint onto the roller and then botch paint excess on the paper towel

Secure stencil to the surface you are going to paint with painters tape and/or light mist of adhesive spray. I prefer to use just the painters tape to secure my stencil in place. It is easy to use, or reposition stencil if necessary, not to say it is a lot less messy than adhesive spray.

Roll paint onto the roller and blotch excess on the paper towel. You will need the roller wet but not soaked. Slowly roll the paint over stencil allowing it to dry for a couple minutes before removing.

If you are pacient, you can step back and simply let your paint dry for an hour. Or you can use a hairdryer and make your paint dry in just a couple of minutes into order to continue with your project right away.

Use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process. It will save you time and you will finish up faster!

I decided to stencil my doors in a contrasting black shade, but I was having a hard time covering the white on the first coat. It took me 3 coats to get an acceptable coverage. After each coat I had to dry the layer with the hairdryer. A long and tedious process that paid off in the end.

My stencil after 3 coats of paint! Now, simply move the stencil accordingly to create a continuous pattern on the surface you are painting.

I love the results I got, but there are a few things I learned along the way.

1- When using the hairdryer to dry paint do not hold heat too close to stencil. It can heat up the plastic and distort the shape of it. Move the hot air in a circle motion without stopping over a particular area for too long.

2- Clean the back of the stencil often to avoid getting spots in unwanted areas.

3- Never use too much pressure with the roller on the stencil, you might just end up pushing paint underneath the stencil ruining your project. Light strokes are the key.

My laundry room finally put together. Wow, what a difference!

Carolina Cantillano – Auhor