Category Archives: Crafts

Fun crafts you can do at home.

Home Decor with a Personal Twist

A really easy way to decorate your home is with artwork and a really fun, cheap way is to visit one of the many painting shops that have popped up everywhere recently.  I have now been to three different places that provide this service and for the most part they are a great evening out.  Generally the gist is that they provide all of the supplies for painting (canvas, brushes, paint, apron) and usually there are alcoholic beverages involved which helps get the creative juices flowing and reduce your artists’ anxiety.  They have an example in front and the artist does a painting along with everyone as they explain how to go about doing the selected painting.  Of course if you are brave you are welcome to change your own painting how you want or paint something completely different.

If you are located in the Denver area I would highly recommend Canvas and Cocktails.  I have been there twice and both times it was a blast.  You get one free glass of wine to get you started and the staff is really upbeat, positive and helpful when you have questions.

http://www.canvasandcocktails.com

I went there for the first time with my husband and we did this painting together.  We like to do it that way because we don’t want two of the same painting in our house.

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We have found that we each have our strengths when it comes to painting and we take turns to accommodate those strengths.  Jack is good at the details in the paintings and I am better a planning the painting out on a larger scale and doing blending.  We have talked to other couples and some people think they wouldn’t be able to paint together.

 

This painting I did myself at another small business in the Denver area.  It was a nice place because she booked smaller groups and provided more one-on-one instruction.  Also, because of the small group she was able to give instructions to different paintings at the same time.  So everyone was able to pick different paintings and have the same amount of instruction.  Unfortunately she is not in business anymore.

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Another way to do this is to just look online at the paintings that are available at the canvas painting shops and do it your self at home.  That is how I did this painting.  One nice thing about hand picking the painting you are going to do at home is that you can match it to the color palete or theme for the room that you want to hang it in.   I had this one in my office at the school I used to work for and one of my students told me that she was going to steal it she liked it so much!  Luckily she didn’t follow through with that.

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Some tips for diy:

-Start with the background and move forward from there with more and more details.

-Pick something simple if you have little or no experience.

-Don’t obsess over the smallest details.  Don’t consume yourself with “mistakes”, you will find they vanish as you finish.

-Stop every once and a while and step back and look at the painting from farther away.  That is how you will look at it most of the time anyway.

-If you don’t like what you have done you can always start over new. Just let it dry and paint it white and try again.

-If you are unsure about doing it without instruction go to a shop for a trial run.  My husband didn’t think he could paint and now he loves painting and the only instructions he has ever had was at painting shops.

Another fun way to celebrate a big event is to get a big group of friends and family to go paint together.  That was one of the things I did for my bachelorette party on my wedding weekend. This was the painting we did at Canvas and Cocktails that day:

 

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Canvas and Cocktails

As you can see, everyone’s turns out a little different.

 

Here are two more that Jack and I did together at a local Seattle company that I would not recommend.  They gave us a hard time about wanting to paint together even though we told them ahead of time that we had planned on doing it that way.  We didn’t want two of the same painting for our house.  Also the canvases they provide are very small.  I do like how both of them turned out though.

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-Callie Ham

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Equal Opportunity Celebrating

A really easy way to stay in the holiday spirit throughout the year is to decorate for more holidays.  I love Christmas and the festivities of decorating and celebrating.  The people in my life know that I can find any reason to celebrate and holidays are the perfect excuse. This year I am trying to stay in a festive mood throughout the year by decorating for each holiday or season.

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The easiest and cheapest way I have thought of is to make a tablecloth for each holiday and switch them out throughout the year.  I started with Thanksgiving and I have fabric picked out through spring.

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Yet, another reason why I love my sewing machine.  I am not limited to the choices at the store.  I can pick whatever fabric I want for my table clothes and the possibilities are endless. Another idea I have for decorating through the seasons is having seasonally inspired paintings that are changed throughout the year. But, more about that later.

-Callie Ham

Refashioned Jean Skirt

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I had some jeans that were a little too small in the thighs so I decided I was going to make a new jean skirt out of them.  All you need to do this is a sewing machine, a small piece of fabric and a pair of jeans that you would like to refashion for whatever reason.

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As you can see in the picture first you need to cut the jeans to about the length you want.  It is always better to cut off less and then adjust.  Next the inseam needs to be cut apart.  Then all you need to do is cut your scrap fabric to the size you want.  The larger you make the scrap fabric the wider the skirt will be.  Then you can decide what you want to do with the seam that is already in the jeans.  I decided I liked the look of the seam so I left it in the skirt.

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After you have the front the way you want it the back seam needs to be sewn together.  I turned the skirt inside out for the look that is in the picture above.  There was a lot of extra fabric and as I said before it is better to cut less and then adjust to the size you need.  I also sewed around the bottom but it could also be left for a frayed look.

-Callie Ham