Monthly Archives: February 2012

Nobody Puts ‘Bailey’ In A Corner….Except Me.


I’ve always liked silhouettes. They seem to popping up a lot lately on the wall art front. This puts my grandma way ahead of the trend because she has had silhouettes of my dad and aunt hanging on her walls for as long as I can remember. Granted, in today’s digital world the image of a silhouette is much easier to accomplish than ever. As I was pinteresting (that is to a verb….well I bet it will be someday…) the other day I saw some really good ideas, this one in particular was, my fave. Karah, at The Space Between ( had this easy and fun tutorial. Thanks for the inspiration, Karah!

Karah had a few more steps than I did because I already had the canvas. I bought it at Big Lots for $4. Not bad for an 11×14 canvas. I held onto it for a while, not knowing what exactly I was going to do with it, until I saw this super cute idea. I was already a couple of steps ahead to start….I had the canvas and I had the perfect picture of my pooch, Bailey. Bailey is not the easiest dog to photograph because her fur and her eyes are so dark. Really, almost every picture I take of her is a silhouette. Worked out well for this project. Here’s the original pic I used.

See what I mean. It doesn’t take much backlight to make her stand out. ūüôā Alrighty then, time to print. I printed out two copies, just in case I messed up. (Yes, it happens….from time to time. ūüėČ ) Time to cut, first I cut out around her to remove most of the edge and then used my tiny little scrapbook scissors to cut around¬†all the furry detail.


Those tiny cuts was the most time-consuming part. But thanks to those scissors I got a pretty darn good detailed stencil. I played around a bit with the composition. Then I settled on the putting “Bailey in the corner”, yes you heard me, I put her in the corner. Its ok, she likes it there…;) Ok, Ok, anyway. Now all I had to do was trace and paint…this project really was going by fast. Awesome! I taped down the stencil of Bailey and traced around with a pencil.



I wrapped the stencil around the edge of the canvas to create a wrap around look since I don’t plan¬†on framing it. The one’s that Karah did on The Space Between Blog, were left white and the background was dark, I wanted to do the opposite for a true silhouette. So I got out my black acrylic paint and my angled brush. ( I think it works best to get into small spaces…)

I’m right-handed so I worked from left to right and from the inside out, so I wouldn’t smudge anything. This really took hardly any time at all. Next, I painted the background a light beige. I wanted to keep the high contrast of the light and dark, but I didn’t have any white paint and without any paint it looked “unfinished.” I used the lightest acrylic paint I had on hand and a 1″ foam brush to for the bigger part and then used the same angled brush for the detail.

Voila! That’s it! For this particular project I think less is more. I love the simplicity of it. I have plans to paint three more. One of each of my kiddos and then do a gallery on our bedroom wall…I’ll definitly post that later. But for now….

Bailey’s got her own spot. It’s her first picture on the wall!! I’m sure she’s ecstatic! ūüėČ

Again, thanks Karah, you gave me something to do while I was at home with a sick kiddo…. She’s got some really cute stuff going on over at her blog, you should check it out.¬†

I had a lot of fun painting this. Especially since I had everything on hand to do it right when I wanted/could do it. I’d say that it cost me nothing to do it, but if you figure in the cost of the canvas it was less than $5.

Perfect project for the impatient person!

Happy Monday, All!


Little Foot Stool, Big Makeover.


I’ve been working on something pretty big, well I should say my brother and I have been working on something pretty big.¬†Of course, when its done I’ll blog all about it, but for now here’s a peek…

While we were getting our materials for this project (above), I ran across something that was just screaming at me to give it new life.

First, I should give you¬†some back story. My late grandpa, Papa Shu, kept ev-er-y-thing. He was a handyman post retirement, so he had a garage full of, well, everything. With Papa Shu, nothing was ever broken. It could always be fixed, or taken apart and used for something else, but never thrown out, ooooh¬†nooo. Its our own little “flea market” now. This is where we go to find inspiration, treasures, and most of all scrap wood! No joke, there’s enough in there to build a small house. ūüôā

But back to the scream for help. This little foot stool was tucked away in the attic of our “flea market.” I’m sure it was put up there years¬†ago with the intention of fixing that wobbly leg. I plan to fix that leg and a little more… Papa Shu this projects for you!¬†Once,¬†its done I’m¬†giving it back ¬†to my Grandma Shu.

¬†(I’m bummed I forgot to take a before picture of the stool¬†prior to dissecting it.) But here’s the most before picture I can show you.


She was a¬†beauty….back in the day. Not¬†exactly sure of her age but,¬†my mother remembers this being in my grandparents house when she started dating my dad… my parents have been married for almost 38 years.¬†My grandma can’t remember if it belonged to her mother or my grandpa’s mother.¬†So safely, I’m guessing¬†she’s well over¬†50 years old.¬† She’s long past due for¬†a good makeover! And that’s just what I have in mind for her.

Time to take off that shabby upholstery and spruce up the legs. Nothing too fancy. It didn’t take long to find exactly what I wanted.

I was drawn to the daisy¬†fabric. I knew my Papa Shu loved daisies¬†and my Grandma Shu loves color! I picked it up and never had a second thought. I was so excited to get started. After I removed the legs and old fabric I needed to clean up the legs a bit. Instead of sanding them down, because they weren’t scratched or dinged up, I used a de-glosser. This is a nice alternative to sanding especially when you have small, or intricate places to reach.

See, they’re not in bad shape. Just a little wash down and they’re ready for their new shade of happy. Which in this case is Krylons, Blue Ocean Breeze. I’ve been itching to do something blue for a while. Blue doesn’t go with anything in my house but there’s just something about that color that makes me happy. ūüôā I’m finally getting my blue fix.

Now, it’s like 100 degrees below freezing outside¬†(well, its below freezing, anyway) so I knew the paint would take forever to dry, even in my garage. So I went with several really, really light coats of paint. Patience is a¬†virtue. Especially when you’re painting. Something that I did not get from my Papa Shu, or anyone else in my family for that matter. ūüėČ To ease the pain of waiting for paint to dry I got to work on the top. I traced the¬†top of the stool on the foam and cut it out.

When I cut out the circle on the foam I cut on the outside of the line. This will make the cutout a little larger than the top, but better to have more than less. (I’m telling you this because I’m psychic and I know this will happen I did this and had to cut out another circle.)

The daisy fabric is 100% cotton and thin, it looked sort of see through over the foam so I wrapped the top in plain white cotton fabric first.

This gave the daisy¬†fabric¬†a thicker, softer look. Much better…. I may have gone a little crazy with the staple gun, but I wanted it to be tight and as smooth as possible. I repeated the step again with the daisy fabric. Once it was stapled all around I cut the excess fabric off.

Lets take a look at her better side…

” I feel pretty, Oh so pretty…” ūüôā

Remember what she used to look like?

Oh, yeah! Soooo much better.

I wasn’t sure if I wanted a fresh painted look for the legs or if I wanted a distressed ‘I’ve-been-around-for-years-and-have-a-story-to-tell’ look. I put it all together and decided I liked the contrast between the new clean fabric and the story-to-tell legs. So there you go, another decision that didn’t take long to make. Usually I fret about those small details but in this case I was very matter-of-fact and swift to decide. Dunno, where that came from…

Ok….the destressing. I used a 180 grit sandpaper to scratch the paint just a bit, not too much. I creased the paper to take the paint out of the crevices of the legs.

I liked it, but… needed more. More of what? I wasn’t quite¬†sure. Something darker, richer….like a glaze, maybe? Then my “ah-ha” moment hit me. Stain! (If¬†she were a¬†Jersey foot stool, I’d call it a¬†bronzer. ūüėȬ†)¬†I used a dark walnut stain. The same stain I used on the Ruler Growth Chart. ¬†I applied it with a craft foam brush and wiped it off with a small cloth. (One that you can toss afterwards because, well, its stained. )¬†

Enough of the how-I-did-it! 

She’s gone from 50-something years old to 50-something years new!!!

I heart a good re-stool-ation!!

I hope this puts a smile on my Papa’s face. I was able to do this project for¬†under $13. (That includes my¬†mistake with the foam batting which¬†cost me $3.50.) I want to thank my Papa Shu for being the thrifty man he was, and I want to thank my Grandma Shu for letting him keep all this stuff. ūüėČ She may or may not had been annoyed by his need to collect and keep everything, but I’m sure now when she see’s all of us carrying out his “to-do list” ¬†it’s a proud moment for her.

I don’t know what I’m waiting for I have a delivery to make!

Off to Grandma’s house I go!

I told you patience doesn’t run in my family!

Happy Thursday, All!

“Mom, I want to be published…”

“Mom, I want to be published…”

“Mom, I want to be published.” ¬†This is what my 10 year old son¬†told¬† me about his story he wrote. He never¬†ceases to amaze me.

The other evening he told me he was going to write a story. He then camped out in his bedroom until the story was done. No writer’s block for him. He popped out once in a while asking me to read what he had so far and once he came out to tell me, he’d like me to be the illustrator. I was, of course, honored. His exact words were: ” Mom, your creative, right?”¬† I said sure, I guess. To which he said, “then I’d like you to illustrate for me.” He’s so stinkin’ cute and¬† profesional. ūüôā

There’s nothing a mother¬†loves more than to make¬†her babies’ dreams come true whenever she can. So, today I’m dedicating my blog to my aspiring son.¬† I am publishing his story. ūüôā This is for you Kevin.¬† I think it’s wonderful that you like¬† to write, don’t ever give up buddy! I am honored that you asked me to illustrate for you, I will draw your dreams forever and always!

Preface: Scooby is a beta fish inspired by our real pet beta fish, Scooby. Spike is a blow fish, hence the name Spike. Kevin has always been intrigued by Scooby and his ability to live all alone in such a small space. Scooby lives in our gumball-machine-turned-fish-bowl.





The Adventures of Scooby and Spike

Once upon a time there were 2 fish in the Atlantic ocean and their names were Scooby and Spike. Scooby and Spike are very young and one day Scooby was sleeping in and someone walked in and thought he was dead and they tossed him into the ocean and he sank to the bottom in his bag and then it hit something sharp and it was Spike who popped the bag and then Scooby woke up. Spike said hi and Scooby said hi. And then Spike said that he had been lonley for the past weeks because a lot of the fish got caugt in the fishing net and taken away. And then Scooby said how he got in the ocean. And then he saw a pirate ship and said what is that? And then Spike said what is that? Then they swam to it and went in it and they saw jewlry and all sorts of treasure. Then they saw a sharp tooth and so they went to go see what it was. Then Scooby gave it a hard tug and then heard a MMMMRR…It was a shark! They swam quickly to the treasure box and hid inside and the shark tried to open it but it would not budge. It was too rusty. And then they looked down and saw gold coins and they did not take any because they did not know who’s it was. So they checked to see if the shark was still there and sure enough it was so they spent the night in the box. In the morning they agreed that the treasure box was their home. Then at 8:00 am Scooby and Spike went to find some food pebbles at the dock. On their way up there was a huge cruise ship and Spike was swimming too fast and ran straight into the bottom of the ship and got scraped up pretty bad and lost his left gill. Scooby quickly went and got Spike who was sinking and took him¬†to the shore. A boy was there and the boy picked him up and quickly ran to a sink and put him in there with Scooby. And the boy called the ambli-fish and they came and patched up Spike. And they fixed him up in the next 2 days. Then they threw the fish back in the ocean. Scooby and Spike went to their home and agreed they would call the fish govenor and have them stick stop signs to the bottom of boats.

The End.


(This is a¬†mostly¬†original rendition of his story, I corrected spelling and may have added a few more periods ūüėČ .)

I love the “ambli-fish.”¬†I¬†cracked up when I read that.¬†I’m truely impressed with the elements he included in his story.¬†In the beginning both fish are troubled in their¬†own right. They meet and¬†istantly bond.¬†The story¬†has a constant undertone of doing what is right.¬†I hope that Scooby and Spike¬†live happily ever after and have great success with the¬†“fish govenor.”

I have yet to illustrate this story but I definitly will. Anything for my creative Kev!

I’m sure that there’s not another soul¬†out there that will enjoy this story as much as I did, but I certainly hope¬†it brings a smile¬†to your face!

I will¬†“treasure” this forever and ever.¬†

Happy-treasure-filled-Monday, All!



Aunt Lisa Rules!! ;)


I’m going to be an aunt again!! This April I’ll have a new niece or nephew:). Yay!!! I’m super excited about the being an aunt again, however I’m not so excited about being kept in the dark about the gender of my new family member! I can’t believe those two, how could they?

Ok, ok.¬†I guess I’m not the only one who doesn’t know. Nobody knows, actually…yes they are one of those couples that want to be “surprised” when the baby gets here, blah, blah, blah…

I’m just kidding!!!! I give them a hard time about it. They handle it well, and usually dish out a little something right¬†back at me. It’s all in good humor. ūüôā

¬†It’s made shopping really hard. I’m not the green-and-yellow-clothes-buying kind. I’ve had to think outside the box. Last Christmas, we had their names for our gift exchange (between me and my brothers). I had to include the baby! What kind of cool aunt would I be if I didn’t?! After¬†some thought¬†I¬†decided a growth chart would be a perfect gift. It¬†could be for a boy or girl and it didn’t¬†involve the colors, green and yellow. It¬†had to be unique, it had to be movable (in case they¬†move), it had to be something durable. So with¬†my¬†prerequisites, to the drawing board Pinterest I went…

At first I liked the fabric chart with the painted pattern, it was really cute and could hang anywhere and have any theme you so desired. But I was¬†going for something that¬†wasn’t too theme specific. This chart’s going to be around for a long time I wanted it to travel, well in a decorative sense.

And then I saw this…

I loved it!! It’s a ruler growth chart. This picture is actually the one that Pottery Barn once sold (no longer available). The coolest part is that¬†a blogger at¬†517 Creations¬†had also fallen in love with it and decided to make her own. Soooooo much cheaper!¬†I followed her awesome and easy directions she had posted on her blog. You can see her tutorial here:

I won’t post the step-by-step¬†directions I followed because I don’t want to take credit for them, but I’ll post my pictures of the process and a few things that I did along the way.

First I bought the board at Home Depot. It was the exact size I needed so no sawing required, just some sanding. Before I started any marking or painting I made sure the board was sanded well and I stained it just a bit to darken the wood and bring out the grain a little more. Then I printed off the numbers in the font and size that I wanted on the ruler.

After¬†I made all the¬†tick¬†marks along the edge I cut around the numbers, and then taped down to the board. I could trace over them leaving a slight indentation in the wood leaving the perfect guide to trace and then paint. The indention around the numbers actually makes sort of a “ditch” for the paint and creates a very clean edge.

In this photo you can see that I have still have the 3 taped down.

I traced everything with pencil and then went over it with a black paint pen. Just a bit of advice if you want to try this, when placing the numbers along the tick marks, double-check, then check again to make sure they are at the right tick mark. I almost¬†had a way grande mistake on mine. Thank goodness I hadn’t reached for the paint pen yet!¬† Once everything is marked out, the painting goes by very quickly. After the paint dried I did a couple of light coats of polyurethane, just enough to protect the serface. I didn’t want to go so heavy that you wouldn’t be able to mark on it. So, here it is, the Pottery Barn knock off inspired Ruler Growth Chart:

I can’t wait to see it all marked up! ( You won’t hear that out of my mouth very often…. ūüôā ) I figured my brother would hang it so I started out the marks at 6 inches to allow for it to hang that far off the floor. Overall this project took some time, but mostly for dry time allowance with the stain, the paint, and the coat of poly. But otherwise it was very simple! Oh, and I wanted to make it super special and one-of-a-kind, so I wrote a little note on the back so one day my niece/nephew could read it and know that their Aunt Lisa rules!!¬† ūüėČ

¬† “Dreams are big so you can grow into them!”


Happy Tuesday, All!