Archive | January, 2012

Painted Pottery

30 Jan
So the winter weather has finally won and is kicking my butt with an awful cold, but luckily I had done a little crafting right before the cold set in and was just waiting (impatiently) for the finished product. My friends and I love to get together every once in a while for some pottery painting at our local spot, Time To Clay. It’s a great way to get creative, messy(and not have to clean up after yourself!) and end up with a useful piece of pottery that matches your personality. Be warned, these places are like time warps – projects done here take hours longer than you would ever expect!
Your local Paint-your-own-pottery shop
Unfinished piece of pottery
Ceramic paint
TONS of time!
I usually go for the littler pieces of pottery, but decided this time to take on a large bowl – good for mixing up some baked goods or a vibrant salad! I took out these stencils and didn’t use them, but they inspired me to go with a chevron pattern on the outside.
I got to work marking lines where the chevrons would be. I almost always jump into a project with a trial and error attitude so I really had no clue how this would turn out.
All the horizontal lines are marked! I was going to do vertical lines also in hopes of making a grid to base the pattern off of, but those didn’t turn out nearly as well.
So… I decided to just wing it! I used the horizontal lines to marks where the peaks and troughs of the chevrons would be and then eyeballed it from there.
I got very caught up in drawing and painting that I don’t have a whole lot of process photos, but it is pretty straightforward. I painted one chevron line an accent color and then alternated the rest with black and just left the others the base color.
Then I poured in a bright red-orange color for the inside of the bowl. Now it’s ready for firing!
I finally went and picked up the finished piece and can’t wait to make something with it! The picture doesn’t do that accent line justice – it is beige with speckles of that same red-orange, black, blue and maroon.
Mmm, I’m pretty sure anything that comes out of that bowl will just HAVE to taste delicious!

Leg Warmers

26 Jan

These Two Girls live in the North East, and up here… it is still pretty chilly.  So here is a simple DIY project for you ladies who want to stay trendy in the winter.

an old sweater
2 rubber bands
I paid a whopping $1.99 for this sweater at the Salvation Army. A great tip: shop kid’s sections for this project. They usually have fun patterns and their clothes are always cheaper.
Cut each sleeve off right at the arm seam.
Here are your two leg warmers.
If you are feeling ambitious, you can sew a new seam up top and add elastic inside of it. I always have just used rubber bands or hair elastics though, and they work great.
So here are your brand new leg warmers! A big trend that the Two Girls are loving this winter is the slouchy socks up higher then your boots. This is a great (and cheap!) alternative.

Here’s to staying warm this Winter!
–Emily Jo

Guest Project: Elizabeth Whited’s Decoupaged Birds

19 Jan
We were SO excited to hear that our dear friend (featured in the photoshop tutorial) Elizabeth Whited had been inspired by our creations and decided to get her craft on today! We were even more excited that she took pictures of the process for us to show all of you!
Object to be decoupaged – in this instance some ceramic bathroom accessories
Mod Podge
Magazines, newspapers or scrapbooking paper
Paint brush
Look at these precious little birds perched on Liz’s bath accessories!

Ready for their transformation.

Here Liz cut out thin strips of magazine to coat her fine-feathered friends.

Time to glue! She slicked on a thin coat of Mod Podge so that the magazines would stick to the birds.

Once complete, she covered them with another coat of Mod Podge to seal all of the pieces of magazine.

Such a simple alteration that gives these birds a much brighter character! We absolutely love how these turned out and Liz told us she was very happy with the results also. 
–Emily Jo and Heather

Printed Wooden Sign

18 Jan
Just a couple days ago, while doing a little web surfing I came across a neon sign that said “lets go anywhere” and was hit with one of those duh! moments. Traveling has always been in my top five favorite things to do, and I’ve always said that I will literally travel anywhere, so I knew I needed to make myself a sign that said just that. Unfortunately I have no idea how one would even go about working with neon – though I will definitely be looking it up because it seems interesting – so I decided I would paint the saying on a piece of wood.
Piece of scrap wood
Paint brush
This piece initially had nails and tacks sticking out everywhere so I pulled those out and sanded down the holes a bit. Then I gave the board two coats of gesso, not enough to completely cover the wood but just enough to make it look white.
While the paint was drying I got to work figuring out fonts and layout. I used Adobe Illustrator and set up a layout that was the same dimensions as my board. This allowed me to really see exactly what the sign would come out looking like.
Then I opened up another layout that was standard paper size so that printing wouldn’t be an issue. I also flipped the text so that it would print backwards – this step is crucial for transferring the text to the wood.
I printed the text out and cut it apart so that I could move them around.
Next I transferred the text to the wood using a paintbrush that is just barely damp with water. The less water you use is actually better, this is mainly just to get the paper to stick to the wood for the next step.
Once the paper is moist, use the back of a pen or marker to go over the letters. This is what will ultimately transfer the ink from the page onto the wood. If you want to see how well it’s going, just lift the corner of the paper up a bit, it shouldn’t mess anything up.
Now here is where you have so many options to make this sign your own. I wanted the text to look a little bit worn so I didn’t use a lot of paint to go over the transfer. But, you could use any color(you could also print the text any color also), add embellishments like glitter, puff paint, sequins, buttons etc. I left it super simple, but feel free to go crazy!
I hung this sweet sentiment above my new photo collection and it fits right in!

Beaded Bobby Pins

17 Jan

Everyone who has ever lived with me can attest to my never ending supply of hair pins.  Somehow I manage to leave them everywhere; the bathroom sink, the coffee table, the kitchen counter.  I like them within an arms reach apparently. So if you are like me, and have hundreds of bobby pins…this project is just what you need!

Straight Pins (Bobby Pins, Hair Pins…they have many aliases)
Hot glue
Beads, buttons, jewels
You definitely want to use hot glue for this project. I tried tacky glue and craft glue and they were a mess.
Spread a thin line of hot glue down the top of your bobby pin and add buttons, jewels, beads…you get the idea. This project doesn’t need much explaining. So here are some pictures instead.
–Emily Jo

Salted Picture Frames

16 Jan
For one reason or another, I realized I had a growing picture frame collection that I was not taking advantage of, so I got to work choosing photos to fill them with when I decided that I wanted to make some of the cheaper ones look a little fancier. I had seen examples of people using glue and epsom salt on glass containers but wanted to see how the frames might look with some salt sparkle on them.
Glue – Sobo or Mod Podge
Epsom Salt
Clear gloss spray paint
Picture frame
To get started I took out the glass and backing from the frame so that the glue and salt wouldn’t mess those up.

I used a paintbrush to coat the frame in glue.

Then sprinkle away! I found that really globbing the glue on allowed for a thicker coat of salt to stick to the frame. So adjust your amount of glue depending on how thick you want the salt. Also I had seen people coloring the salts with food coloring if you are interested in going that route also.

I was initially just going to salt the black frame until I came across this little baby that had that imperfection on one side and knew it would be a perfect candidate for some salting.

Once the glue is dry – a couple hours or so – brush off the excess salt and spray a thick coat of clear gloss on top. This helps give the salt a sheen as well as stay put on the frame.

The photos I chose are a bit hard to see in this picture, but they were both taken at the Dallas Arboretum which is a definite must see if you are ever in that neck of the woods.

The salted frames give some tactile and visual texture to a group of simple black and silver frames.

A perfect addition to my tree mural!

Portrait Work

14 Jan

This is the first post from Two Girls that is a computer tutorial.  As much as I love using my hands to create…in this digital age, you need to be computer savvy too. This fun project can be done with really any program on your computer that lets you create a new layer. I used Photoshop and it only took me a total of 20 minutes to do, and I can’t wait to do more!

Uploaded photo
Photoshop (or a similar program)
Start by choosing a photo of someone that is deserving of this awesome portrait.

I decided to chose our friend Liz because she has pretty blue eyes that I wanted to draw.
Crop your photo if you need to, and import it into your photo editing software. Immediately select “New Layer”. (In photoshop, the path is “Layer –>New–>Layer”)
Once the new layer is created, select your paintbrush tool and begin to outline the key points of the photo. (Eyes, nose, mouth, hair, shoulders, ect…) It is helpful to zoom in to the photo to really be accurate. (To zoom using photoshop, on the bottom left of your photo it should say 100%, change that to 500% or however close you need it. To zoom out, change back to 100%)
Keep tracing everything you want in your photo.  Remember to enclose all lines to prepare for when you dump your paint bucket into the selected area that it doesn’t leak out into other parts of your photo.
Now hide your first layer that has your photo on it. (To do this in photoshop, all of your layers are lined up on the right side of the screen, click the little eyeball next to your layer and make it disappear. 

Select your paint bucket tool and start filling in the areas of the photo.  I went for a Pop Art kind of feel and chose bright, saturated, colors to fill my photo. Remember: If a line is not fully closed, your color will leak out onto your photo. To fix this, just zoom in and close your line, you must have left a tiny area open.
You can always make the photo layer reappear by selecting the little eye next to your layer again and making it visible. When you are all done with your photo, completely delete the photo layer (In photoshop, just highlight the layer on the left and click the delete key), and export your portrait!
This would be a fun idea to have hanging up at someone’s birthday party, or to make your own “save the date” cards like this with you and your fiance, or for your band’s flyer for your next show, you could make these into DIY playing cards, DIY coasters, iron on transfers….pretty much my mind is exploding with ideas to make more of these. 
Portraits have definitely come a long way!

–Emily Jo

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