Trash to Treasure Halloween Project

Halloween is my very favorite holiday. I love doing projects this time of year and I had an idea the other day for a new one.

It involves using one of my favorite things: old photographs

Whenever I see old photos at estate sales I buy them if they are reasonably priced or free. I feel this strange need to rescue them.

A few years ago I picked up this 11×14 family photograph in a nice frame for $1.50 (yes, one dollar and 50 cents). Isn’t it sad that someone’s hard work of getting three young children dressed properly and looking nice is being sold for $1.50?

old photograph from an estate sale

old photograph from an estate sale

Anyway, it’s been sitting in my basement waiting for me to come up with an idea to use it. During one of my weekly brainstorming sessions while ironing, the perfect solution popped into my head: I needed to use it for a Halloween decoration.

Yesterday, I sat down and set to work painting it for a new Halloween decoration for my living room.

Painted old photograph for Halloween decoration

Painted old photograph for Halloween decoration

This was a really fun and easy project. I feel a teensy bit bad for painting over it but not bad enough that I wouldn’t think about doing it again if I should find another big portrait at an estate sale for $1.50!

For more related Halloween projects and costume ideas I have done in the past you can find them all under the Halloween link under Categories on the right hand side of my blog page!

Have a wonderful Halloween everyone!

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My Own Little Pieces of Art History

This past Monday found me organizing all of my art supplies. I just got rid of the non-working 1940’s refrigerator that I used to store it all in and replaced it with some shelving. It was no longer functioning as storage for me because it couldn’t hold everything I had and everything was spilling out onto the floor in several cardboard boxes. I spent more time looking for the things I needed than I was actually spending creating art.

I am still not done organizing not only because it is a huge, overwhelming job but also because I started losing myself in all of the stacks and stacks of artwork I have done over the years. A lot of the pieces really tell my story so much better than a photo album can.

Take for instance this little number I doodled during some high school class on a piece of notebook paper. My mind was always wandering and I could never pay attention…

A ink drawing I did while doodling during a high school class

A ink drawing I did while doodling during a high school class

I have always been fascinated by babies and eyes. This is a picture of one of my nephews that I drew 20 years ago. I remember he was sitting on someone’s lap and I just sat and drew him. It doesn’t surprise me that I never finished it. I have so many unfinished drawings in my stack of artwork…

A drawing of one of my nephews

A drawing of one of my nephews

I was so happy when I had kids of my own so that I could draw them. I have lots of artwork I did of these little people. Here is the first one I did when Iris was 2 1/2 and Bency was just a little baby.

watercolor painting from 2007

watercolor painting from 2007

Here are a few more that I came across that I have done throughout the years. It’s amazing to sit back and remember sitting down and making these. When I look at them it brings me right back to those moments.

flowers

My husband's favorite restaurant

My husband’s favorite restaurant

Another restaurant in our town

Another restaurant in our town

A shop down the street from us

A shop down the street from us

 

 

 

 

 

Matchbox Car Art

I have wanted to do a project utilizing me and my brother’s old Matchbox cars from the 1960’s and 70’s for a few years now. As a kid, I spent hours playing with these. I kept trying to think of a way to display them properly. I always have a few hundred projects going through my head at all times. Time and how I will go about executing things is always a major factor in how soon I get them done though. I thought I might have a few extra minutes today and I finally figured out how I was going to do this so I set to work.

First I started with a plain wooden board that I got at the ReStore shop. It’s a place that sells used building materials so you can pick up stuff here for pretty cheap.

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Next, I painted the board black and created a square template using masking tape. As you can see, painting is a family affair around here!

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I painted around the edges of the masking tape so the board would have a simple design on it.

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After letting the paint dry, I glued my Matchbox cars on. I applied Gorilla glue on the wheels and placed the cars where I wanted them on the board. The cars are firmly attached and I can now hang this on the wall! Of course the kids think I am completely nuts for gluing cars to a board. They really think I should have just gave the cars to them to play with. I know better though, these would have ended up with the 48 other Matchbox cars under the stove right now!

Matchbox Car Art

Matchbox Car Art

Angry Bird Art

Yesterday I posted about the Unicorn poster I made my daughter for Christmas. Today I got my son’s art done and got both files sent in to be made into posters for their Christmas presents.

In case this is something you are interested in doing yourself, it can be a very affordable and easy present for anyone. I did do drawing and painting in addition to some graphic design to create my posters but you can use free photo editing sites. I tend to use pixlr.com the most. This way if you are not into drawing and painting you can upload a photograph that you have taken and do many wonderful things with it to make it something really unique! I then send my files into walmart.com and have a poster made for $5.97!

Angry Birds2

My Hearts On Fire For Elvira

This afternoon I did an art project combining two of my childhood loves. Paper dolls and the song Elvira by the Oak Ridge Boys. This song came out when I was six and I can distinctly remember my Dad singing along with gusto to this song using his bass voice. I have since taught my own children this song!

collage piece I did today using an old book as the background, paper doll dresses from 1969 and my own drawings for the heads

What They Will Remember

As a small child I began my love of art and drawing.

My favorite and earliest memories were drawing with my mom each night at the kitchen table.

She would provide me with brown grocery store bags to color on.

Our medium of choice was chalk but crayons were fine too.

I remember sitting for hours each night just coloring with my mom. I don’t remember what she colored but I know my favorite was Strawberry Shortcake.

I know this because my mom kept all of my artwork. I have a huge container of my artwork ranging from ages of around 3 up to my teenage years.

When I look through it clouds of dust swirl from all of the chalk drawings.

Those were some of my happiest times as a child. Just sitting with my mom doing my favorite activity.

I try to keep this in mind when dealing with my own children.

It does not take expensive toys to make them love us or keep them entertained. It doesn’t require doing elaborate crafts or expensive outings.

They just want us to be with them; spending time and enjoying who they are. That is what they will remember.

pictures I did when I was around 4 years old

 

picture I did when I was around 4 years old. Strawberry Shortcake and Orange Blossom

Mr. Potato Head Got Cool

Mr. Potato Head

 

This is one of the first pieces of work my 5 year old, Bency brought home from Kindergarten. I immediately told him “Great coloring job Bency!” I then told him I liked Mr. Potato Head’s multi-colored teeth. Bency replied, “I wanted to give him some gold teeth to make him look cool.

I found this odd as I don’t think Bency knows ANYONE with gold teeth let alone someone “cool.”

After further examination I also noticed Mr. Potato Head has black rotten teeth intermingled among the gold, blood-shot eyes and a whiskey nose.

For fear of what his answers might be to the inquiries of these observations I simply was thankful that Mr. Potato Head didn’t have any tattoos and a big gold necklace hanging from his neck.

P.S. Bency was able to recite back to me the Kindergarten Rules!