Friday, February 17, 2017

Crafting | Newspaper Flowers

So I was supposed to be packing and shopping and generally getting ready for vacation today.
paper crafting
Instead I made newspaper flowers.
paper crafting
Why? Because newspaper flowers don't make themselves, people.
paper crafting
Plus, I had this little tray full of silver baubles sitting on my coffee table, and every time I walked past it, I would think, "This little tray would look so much better with a few newspaper flowers on it."
So I finally broke down and made some.paper crafting
For the big flowers, I grabbed a few random circular things from around the house and traced around them.
paper crafting
 Then I cut out the circles and cut slits into them, to make petals.
curling paper
I curled the edges of the petals by wrapping them around the end of a paint brush. 
paper crafting
 Then I stacked the circles, from largest to smallest, gluing each layer down in the center as I went.
paper crafting
 To give the flowers some shape, I pressed down with the end of a paintbrush while gluing.
paper crafting
I topped off each flower with an old earring.
paper crafting
Then I fluffed and bent the petals to give the flowers more dimension and spattered some paint on them, just because. 
paper crafting
 To make the little button flowers, I punched out some newspaper circles ...
paper crafting
 ... and glued the circles together into five-petal flowers.
paper crafting
Then I sewed a button on in the middle of each one.
paper crafting
Probably not the best use of my time the week before I leave on vacation.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Valentine's Day | Wisconsin Bulletin Board

Valentine's Day
Meet my new state-of-the-heart bulletin board.Valentine's Day craftThis is what it looked like when I bought it (at a thrift store, of course). It had a nice beefy frame that was painted in a neutral cream color -- and the paint was chipping in spots, so there was a little bit of mint green showing through here and there. I loved the chunky, chippy old frame. The orange cork, not so much.  
painting a cork board with chalk paint
 To de-orangify the cork, I broke out some leftover cream chalk paint (Americana Decor Chalky Finish/Lace). It took two coats to cover. Valentine's Day craft
I didn't want my lovely new/old bulletin board to get overwhelmed with notes and photos and general clutter, so I decided I'd put a neat, orderly collage on the top half of it. To make the collage, I picked up three packages of different sized heart cutouts.
The pink and red were not working for me, so I painted the hearts black.
I found a map of Wisconsin online that I sized to fit the width of the bulletin board and printed out.
Valentine's Day bulletin board
I lined up the tiled pieces of the map, taped them together and then cut around the perimeter.
Valentine's Day bulletin board
Next I lightly traced all the way around the border with a pencil.
crafting with hearts
 Then I started filling inside the map with my hearts.
crafting with hearts
 I started at the bottom and worked from the outside in.
Valentine's Day bulletin board
I tried to keep the outside row of hearts as close to the border as I could. I also tried to keep the pattern random, alternating the sizes of the hearts and the direction they were facing as much as possible.
Valentine's Day bulletin board
When I had all the pieces roughly where I wanted them to go, I adhered them to the board. The formerly red glitter hearts I stuck down with rubber cement. The others were peel-and-stick.
Valentine's Day craft
The last thing I did was erase the pencil line. (I started erasing it before I adhered the hearts, but every time I tried blowing the eraser residue away I would inadvertently blow unattached hearts all over. So eventually I wised up and realized I would be better off to stick everything down first.)  
Valentine's Day craft
Here's the bulletin board propped up on my desk. I can still tack notes and things to the bottom half of the board, but the top is all nice and neat.

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Monday, January 16, 2017

Valentine's Day | Hearts on a String Decoration

Valentine's Day decorations are generally not my thing. Most of the mass-produced ones out there are way too saccharine sweet and frilly for me.
Valentine's Day craft project
So this year, I decided I'd make my own Valentine's Day decor: something with a vintage industrial vibe that I wouldn't mind actually hanging in my house.
Valentine's Day craft
I started with these little aluminum pans that I found at a thrift store. I wasn't sure exactly what I was going to do with them when I bought them -- but I knew it wasn't going to involve baking.
Pretty much every craft project I do lately begins with a coat of black chalk paint, so that's where I started with this one, too.
Then I cut a few hearts out of an old newspaper to layer over the black background.
LOVE
And, as luck would have it, I had the letters I needed to spell out the word "LOVE" in the stash of random letters and numbers that I have hoarded over the years. 
LOVE
I wasn't thrilled with the bright colors, so the letters got a coat of black chalk paint, too.
LOVE
 Then I put some silver craft paint over top, slapdash style, letting the black peek through for a tarnished metal effect.
Valentine's Day craft
 I drilled holes in the top and bottom of each pan ...
drilling a hole in a metal pan
 ... just big enough to pull a piece of twine through.
Valentine's Day craft
 I grunged up the newspaper hearts with some watered down paint and old coffee grounds...
Valentine's Day craft
... and I Mod Podged the newspaper onto the bottom on the pans.Valentine's Day decoration
To tie the hearts all together, I threaded pieces of jute twine through the holes.
string of hearts
I had a few beads on hand that I added here and there. (I wish I would have had more.)
string of hearts
The last step was to glue the letters on over the newspaper.
string of metal hearts
(The letters have magnets in them, but the pans are aluminum, and unfortunately magnets don't stick to aluminum; hence the need for glue.)
Valentine's day craft project
  Here's the completed string o' hearts. Love it.

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Show & Share | Coastal Charm
The Scoop | Cedar Hill Farmhouse

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 | Favorite Projects and Posts

Because all the other bloggers are doing it, I felt that I, too, should offer a Year in Review for Wisconsin Magpie ... So here it is.
Best of 2016 Blog Posts
 Let me start by saying, I don't have a whole lotta posts to choose from when compiling my "Best Of" list because I fell off the blogging bandwagon for a while.
Wisconsin Magpie Best of 2016 Blog Posts
Thankfully, my husband and I took a couple of vacations that helped me get back on track. I love writing posts about our travels. They're basically a digital scrapbook for me, but hopefully a few other people find them entertaining or informative, too.
Wisconsin Magpie Best of 2016 Blog Posts
Personally, I love to read other people's travel blogs, especially if they're writing about some place we've gone to before or are thinking about going to in the future. (The best part of the travel blog is that if you get bored, you can just close your browser window and walk away, unlike in the old days when you'd have to sit through your Uncle Frank's entire slide slow, and just when you thought you were free, he'd pull out another carousel of Grand Canyon pictures.)
Wisconsin Magpie Best of 2016 Blog Posts
Anyhoo, if anybody is still with me, in March we went to the U.S. Virgin Islands. Then in September we went to Mackinac Island. You can click on the links if you want to read the posts. Or not.
Wisconsin Magpie Best of 2016 Blog Posts
In addition to my travel posts, I did some fun project posts. One of my favorites was my Ohio Star Quilt Square Chair.
Wisconsin Magpie Best of 2016 Blog Posts
I love the chair, but when I shared the post on Hometalk, most of the comments were about the table I had it sitting next to. Some of the commenters said the table should be my next project; others said the table was stunning as is in all its weathered, chippy glory. For the record, I am in the "stunning as is" camp. But I find it a little annoying that people were staring at my table instead of my chair. I imagine this is how (other) women feel when men stare at their chests instead of their faces. (For the record, I've never had that problem.)
Wisconsin Magpie Best of 2016 Blog Posts
Another favorite project post was the one about my Twine-wrapped Dog and Cat ...
Wisconsin Magpie Best of 2016 Blog Posts
... mostly because they were thrift store rescues. (Cue the Sarah McLachlan ballad here.) I am a sucker for a good thrift store rescue.
Wisconsin Magpie Best of 2016 Blog Posts
In October I made this Halloween sign ...
Wisconsin Magpie Best of 2016 Blog Posts
... and in November I made my little Turkey Robot (from a vegetable steamer and various other metal parts). The Turkey Robot is my all-time No. 1 most-viewed and most-pinned post.
Wisconsin Magpie Best of 2016 Blog Posts
 If I die tomorrow, I'm pretty sure my obit will read, "Lisa Cestkowski, inventor of the Turkey Robot, died at her home today, surrounded by her beloved cats, Calvin and Hobbes, who are also the two prime suspects in her murder and stand to inherit her entire fortune, which, unbeknownst to them, consists wholly of knickknacks, geegaws and broken thrift store 'finds' that, much to her husband's chagrin, she had stockpiled in the couple's basement with intentions to make over into 'something fabulous.'" Or something like that.
Wisconsin Magpie Best of 2016 Blog Posts
My post about my collection of Secondhand Stars also got a lot of page views and comments. (And by "a lot" I mean 285 and 8, respectively.) (Quit judging me.)
Wisconsin Magpie Best of 2016 Blog PostsI ended the year blogging about this little Train Case Makeover ...
Wisconsin Magpie Best of 2016 Blog Posts
... which garnered (even by my standards) very few page views. (In part, I think the low page views were due to the fact that I forgot to put links to it on social media, so I'm including it in this post, in hopes that at least somebody sees it.)
Wisconsin Magpie Best of 2016 Blog Posts
My last post of the year (except for the one you're reading now) was about a shirt that I stenciled for a university that doesn't exist.
Best of 2016 blog posts
So there you have it. Thanks for following along. And please, share links to any posts you love/like/are not totally repulsed by. It is great for my ego when I go to my analytics page and see that someone other than my mother has been reading my blog. 

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