Search This Blog

Creative Casey's Blog

Monday, December 10, 2012

You are Imperfect Table

I picked up this end table at a yard sale this summer for a dollar! It then sat in my basement until about a week ago untouched. I picked up some Martha Stewart sample paint colors at Craft Bits & Pieces for .50 cents each and got inspired. The stand was hideously painted so much so that I didn't want to scare you with a "before" picture. :)  I sanded and primed the entire piece. I then used one of the sample paints, Green Tea and painted the entire piece except for the top which I painted off white. I scuffed up the top a little and then used a metal alphabet stamping set to stamp in the following quote, "You are imperfect. Permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful."  I polyurethaned the piece with a couple of coats to finish it off. Not quite sure what I'm going to do with the stand since I don't really need it, but it was a pretty good experiment that turned out well.

Knitted Hat Craze Continued...

Here are some hats I knitted for Christmas gifts. The first two are baby hats for my colleagues daughter who is 8months old. The last one is a hat I made to give my friends "little sister" for Christmas. Since I helped her make a hat for her mom I decided to make her a hat. I even followed the directions for once and figured out how to make an actual rim and tie it off differently. This way was easier and looks better. What do you think?

Update 12/19/12:  My friend said her "little sister Destiny" loved the hat, especially that I had mentioned it was one of the best I had made yet.

I went to my friend Megan's house last night and gave her daughters their Christmas gifts. Baby M. wasn't quite sure what to think about being squashed into her new hats. Shown below with permission from my friend.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Interactive Artwork Update

                                                                  First frame all filled up!

I created this inspirational quote project for work in Sept. 2011. You can view the original post here: It was hanging in our counseling center requesting students and/or anyone to post quotes. For the one year while it was up it was minimally successful. This past fall we joined spaces with Health Services to become a Student Wellness Center and we now have a common waiting room. I put this project out in the waiting room on a stand this time on the top of a book shelf.  Within days the frame started to fill up with quotes. It became so full that I had to create a larger frame with yarn and add more clips. I've had to refill the paper for the quotes two more times this semester.  The new frame quickly filled up and I had to make a  decision on what to do next.  With the help of our Office Manager we decided to post a sign above the project giving permission for anyone to take a quote if they need some positivity on any given day. At one point we had about 33 quotes on the board and now it has decreased some so we believe people are taking the quotes.  This has been a pretty awesome project to watch grow and evolve. It will be interesting to continue to watch and see what happens next.

Bigger frame that started with 33 quotes on it and is now down to 26.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Recycled Buffet

I've been meaning to post this project for about 6 months. It took until about a month ago to get some pictures and even then they are not the best because they were done through my not so good cell phone.

My friend had this buffet she found out for the trash about 20 years ago.  It was pretty beat up and my friend had wanted to refinish it. She asked for my help and we scheduled a day and set out to refinish it some how.

We started by sanding over the entire piece. We then used dark brown paint and put a coat on the buffet. A weathered/crackled coat came next.  We waited until it was tacky and then put a quick coat of off white paint as a top coat.  When the paint was dry we took a rag and amber colored acrylic paint that we watered down. We brushed on the amber paint and wiped off with a rag to desired antique look.  When completely done we polyurethaned the piece with a few coats.

My advise would be to not place anything on the piece for a month as the polyurethane has to cure. It can cause discoloration in spots where you place something while it is still curing. Same with if it is in direct sunlight as it is curing.  If I ever remember I'll take some better pics and repost them.  Oh, I gave the amber octagon glass knobs to my friend as a gift to complete the look. I think it looks awesome!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Another Successful Trash to Treasure Transformation

I had a co-worker who had recently started a new chapter in her life and needed some furniture. While driving one day I found this great piece of furniture out on the curb for the garbage. After stopping and checking it over I threw it in my car and brought it home where it sat in the basement for 2.5 months. My co-workers style leans towards vintage chic and other than picking up some Martha Stewart vintage chic paint sampler at Home Depot I wasn't sure where to go with this piece.

I started with sanding it, painting it off white and using the grey purple vintage chic paint as the top coat. I then attempted to use a modge podge transfer technique (as seen in this blog entry: to put one of her favorite quotes on the top of the table. This wasn't successful so I painted over, sanded, sanded some more, and painted some more until I was back to the original painted color. The table then sat for another 3 weeks lacking inspiration. I shot daggers at it every time I went into the basement. I then decided to get down to business and searched the internet for some ideas and came back to one of tables I refinished over a year ago that my sister stole because she liked the outcome so much.

With this new idea in my head I spent 3 hours one evening chemically stripping the top of the table until it was it's very original non varnished wood but purposely kept it with the worn look instead of sanding it until it was brand new looking. I then tinted some burnt sienna paint, watered it down and using a rag wiped it all over the painted portion of the end table. I took sand paper and scratched the heck out of the table where it was painted. And finished by using a top coat of polyurethane all over the entire piece.

I brought it to work a couple of days later and snuck it in her office leaving it there with a card saying Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday.  She seems to love it or at least that's what she tells me! ;)

**I forgot to take an original picture but it was that 70's look with a very dark varnished wood look.

Stayed like this for 3 weeks.




The Hurricane Sandy Arts & Crafts Sale

At the college I work for an announcement went out a week ago asking for any faculty, students, or staff who are creative to create handmade art and crafts to be donated for an arts and craft fundraiser in which all proceeds will go to the NYC Mayor's Fund which is specifically for supporting humanitarian efforts related to Hurricane Sandy. This was tough because you had one week to create what you wanted to donate. However;  me being me, I decided to take on that challenge and set out over the next four days to create create create.  

I made two sets of 8 original design inspiration card sets and three record bowls. Then a co-worker of mine mentioned finding 20 clear plastic ornaments in her attic that she didn't know what to with. I asked if she'd like to create some colorful ornaments over our lunch time to sell in the fundraiser and she said yes!  We both brought in our paints and materials and spent the next 3 days worth of lunches painting, decorating and packaging our creations.  We poured paint on the inside of the ornaments and tipped over onto dixie cups to dry out. Then we decorated the tops with ribbons and decorative materials and packaged them 4 to a pack.  We sent a student worker over to the arts center with our donations and by the end of the day I had a lead art professor asking if they could raise the prices on our donations because she was sure they would sell. She mentioned she was already going to buy a record bowl and set of ornaments! 

So I'll have to keep you posted on if all of our creations sell and how much we end up raising. For now here are some pics of what we donated.

The Purple Quilt

So here's the story of how I came to make a purple quilt.  My co-worker brought her 4 y/o into the office one day and I helped to keep her busy by having her decorate some raffle bags for an event for me. While we were coloring we had a conversation about why she refused to sleep in her bed and instead wandered into her mom and dad's room. This inevitably left my co-worker with her husband, 4 y/o, two dogs and baby all in one room and my co-worker pushed out to her 4 y/o's bed.  When asked why she doesn't sleep in her own bed her reply was, "Cause my blanket is brown." With clarifying questions I figured out her bedspread was pink and brown. When asked what it would take for her to sleep in her own bed she replied, "A purple blanket." Hence the creation of the purple blanket.

I've spent about 5-6 weeks collecting purplish fabrics, cutting the squares, sewing them together, sewing the flannel for the middle and the purple fabric for the back. Then I went to my Aunt's house over Thanksgiving and she helped me to use the stretching boards and tie the quilt. I finished with hand sewing the border.

I'll be going over for dinner sometime before Christmas. We'll see what she thinks when I give to her. My guess is she'll like it but be disappointed it wasn't an awesome toy! After all what 4 y/o wants a quit for a gift. :) I know I wouldn't!

Update 12/19/12: I gave Grace here Christmas present (the purple quilt) last night. She actually was very excited! I even received a text from my friend that Grace was fast a sleep under her new bedspread last night. ;) Wish permission from my friend here is the picture of Grace and her purple quilt.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Gingerbread Sweet Creations

I've only been to the George Eastman House one time probably 8 years ago. I won free tickets and heard about the neat holiday programs they sponsor there and decided what better time to go. I found a friend that was willing to go along on this adventure with me. This year was the first time they had the Festival of Trees which was really cool. There were dozens of lighted and decorated trees (all with different themes) that were contributed by local groups and businesses and were for sale in a silent auction. Sorry I didn't take pics. Should have!

Then they had a holiday wreath display and auction. And they had their 17th annual Sweet Creations Display. This was dozens of gingerbread creations made by local bakers, families, organizations and schools. All were on view and for sale in a silent auction.  My friend and her "little sister" Destiny from the Big Brother Big Sister program had helped to make a gingerbread house and it was neat that I saw it on display.

I have to say this was a really great time to visit the George Eastman House. It was fun and festive!
You can check it out at:

This one was insane. Lights, people and objects inside.

This was set on the game Candyland and based on the game. Very clever.

Check out the snow and garland!

I want my fireplace and mantel to look like this!

I wanted to buy this to bring to work and have on display. :)


Was made by a mother and daughter who recreate historical sites.

Crazy beautiful!

Update 12/19/12: I helped my friend Megan and her 4 y/o daughter create a Gingerbread House last night. It was pretty hilarious. Our gingerbread pieces were broken to begin with so our structure wasn't the strongest to begin with.  Ultimately after we let the main portion set and went to add candy we had some major structural issues. Megan was fast on her feet though and grabbed some gorilla glue. This mostly worked, but of course the house is not going to be edible. :)  Grace seemed to have a blast right along with us, especially eating the icing!

*I wonder if it's still holding up today!

This must be the year of gingerbread houses. I went and visited my nephew for Christmas and they had purchased a gingerbread kit also. This was more of a gingerbread village. Pics are below. We both had fun eating some of the candy along the way.