Dot Photo Frame Refresher

Arts & Crafts, DIY, Leveling Up

Many people in my social bubble have turned to handcrafts during the covid-19 pandemic as a way to pass the time and provide comfort. I’ve seen such a wide spread of projects and patterns and inspiration as a consequence, and enjoyed every one. Here’s a project of my own.

I’ll share what I thought would be a quick photo frame refresher but turned out to be anything but. The results are worth the effort, though, so all’s well that ends well. 🙂

I wanted to make over two older, uber-cheap 5”x7” wooden photo frames. They’re made from pine (I think) that had yellowed over the years, and I was quite tired of the darkened wood. I’ll first give the short version and the before and after photos, and after that the full saga.

Here’s a frame after the complete refresher: white wax, faux nailhead trim done with paint, and permanent marker polka dots.

Dot Photo Frame with Pens

Dot Photo Frame After

Apparently I didn’t take a before photo, but here’s a photo of similar untreated frames:

Walmart Wallniture Unfinished Wood Photo Frames

Walmart

The only difference is my frames were much more yellowed. (Oh, boy, how much more!) Here’s a frame in the middle of the transformation:

Dot Photo Frame Middle Closeup

I originally intended to try whitewaxing the frames. It’s a new-to-me technique I found via Cami at Tidbits. (I like her clear tutorial and whitewaxing projects; please visit her site if interested.)

However, I accidentally bought clear wax instead of white. (I worked on this just before and during some of the worst covid-19 panic in Massachusetts; I guess I had a coronabrain on.) Even while working on the frames I didn’t notice, because the clear wax looks white in the jar. Only after applying a couple of layers did I start wondering why the frames don’t seem to be gaining the lovely transparent white surface I expected… D’oh!

After some thought and more research I tried adding white acrylic crafts paint into the wax and wiping that on with a rag. Either I didn’t mix it properly or the rag wasn’t the best tool, for the surface came out quite uneven. You can see some of the effect in the photo above. However, it was much closer to what I had envisioned.

Perhaps I should’ve left well enough alone – indeed, in hindsight I think I would be quite happy with the improvised faux white wax – but at the time I was disappointed and wanted something else to “improve” the frames. I had an idea of trying to mimic nailhead trim with paint.

Dot Photo Frame Middle

I used an eraser at the end of a pencil and blue acrylic paint. Unfortunately, that made it worse. I’ve never been a polka dot person, and apparently this faux nailhead trim is close enough not to appeal to me. Plus, the eraser was a bit difficult to load with paint and use, even though I started with a clear expectation that the result wouldn’t necessarily be very even.

At this point I had to set the frames aside and chew the matter some more. Eventually, while looking for something else, I ran into two permanent marker tutorials. One is by Jessica from Cutesy Crafts (posted at DIY Candy), and the other by Tasha at Kaleidoscope Living. Both used letter stickers to mask off an area and applied small permanent marker dots all around them, spaced very tight close to the stickers, and wider and wider apart the further you went.

Bingo! I adapted the idea and used markers in five different colors. First I had to make a few dry runs on paper to see what kind of dot distancing and which color combinations I liked best.

Dot Photo Frame with Pens

I ended up starting with a few small brown spots here and there (maybe 4-8 in an inch of frame). Then I added dark blue and green dots, increasing the density slightly. Next, a few more spots of turquoise. Finally, I filled almost all remaining gaps between the blue “nailhead trim” and the rest of the marker dots with lime green.

Here’s the after photo again:

Dot Photo Frame After

…and a closeup:

Dot Photo Frame After Closeup

And only very, very belatedly did I notice that I completely forgot to wax-treat the inner edge of the frame, the one closest to the photo. Fortunately at that point I was able just to laugh at my poor coronabrain project!

And it actually doesn’t look that odd in the end. Live and learn! After all of the rigamarole, I was definitely able to earn a number of experience points from this project.

Quilling Artist Sena Runa: Update

Arts & Crafts, Colors, Design & Designers

I’ve shared quilling artis Sena Runa’s work before, but that was five years ago. (Yikes! Where does time go?) It’s high time to do an update.

Since I last posted, Runa has moved to Lisbon, Portugal. She also published a book, Quilling Art, and a second one, Quilling: 20 Beautiful Designs, will be out this summer. Congrats on both!

Like before, I’m only posting three of my favorites, but Runa is so productive it really is difficult to pick only from among her recent work.

World map (selection):

Facebook Sena Runa World Map

Sena Runa: World Map

Tardis – naturally, bigger on the inside!

Etsy Sena Runa Tardis

Sena Runa: Tardis

Welsh Dragon:

Instagram Sena Runa Welsh Dragon

Sena Runa: Welsh Dragon

Which one’s your favorite? I think I prefer the Tardis. 🙂

See her Instagram and Facebook accounts or Etsy shop for more!

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Tardis Dress Is Bigger on the Inside, Too

Arts & Crafts, Design & Designers, Geek out!, Stunt Double

Take a look at this absolutely brilliant Tardis dress:

Tumblr May Yet Tardis Dress Collage

May Yet on Tumblr; collage by Eppu Jensen

It was made in 2018 by May Yet for a friend to wear at the Tokyo Comic Con. Sadly, the original post where I found it is now gone, but Yet wrote a new post where they give a bit more info and show new photos.

The dress is so gorgeous you could also wear it for semi-formal, non-geeky events. The absolutely best feature is that IT’S BIGGER ON THE INSIDE! Aaaaah! 😀

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Online Finds: Rainbow Ribbon Wreath and Backdrop

Arts & Crafts, Colors

Isn’t this rainbow ribbon wreath pretty? It would make a great addition to a party to celebrate the LGBT History Month or any occasion where bright colors are welcome.

CatchMyParty Amy C Rainbow Wreath1

Amy C at CatchMyParty

It’s by Amy C at CatchMyParty. Making one is easy, too; it only takes a wire coat hanger turned into a wreath form (or a ready-made form), plenty of ribbons, scissors and tin snips plus some crafting time.

If the latter is a problem, you might consider an easy ribbon backdrop instead:

CatchMyParty Amy C Rainbow Backdrop

Amy C at CatchMyParty

The backdrop takes just long lenghts of ribbon (this one has two per color) tied onto a pole or a curtain rod and hung up, so it’s much faster to make.

Visit the full wreath tutorial by Amy C at CatchMyParty.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Ouizi’s Incredible Floral Mural in Detroit

Arts & Crafts, Random Beauty

Artist Louise Jones known professionally as Ouizi works on many things – murals, printmaking, painting and drawing. I’m most taken with her outdoor murals: large-scale floral paintings on building facades, etc. My favorite so far is in Detroit, Michigan:

Ouizi Trumbull Porter Hotel Exterior Mural

Trumbull Porter Hotel, Detroit, Michigan. Ouizi.

Normally I tend not to gravitate towards black, but this exterior is so vibrant and astounding I cannot but love it. The boutique hotel Trumbull Porter has even included a video of the painting process on their website. (If not found there, visit Trumbull and Porter Hotel Ouizi Mural on Vimeo.)

More of her work on the Ouizi website and Instagram.

Found via Colossal.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Ceiling Paint Color Drawn Down the Wall with a Narrow Accent Border

Colors, Design & Designers, Inspiration

Casa Algaba in Seville, Spain, was styled to unstudied, folksy perfection by Pete Bermejo. What drew my eye, however, wasn’t the decorating, as colorful and cheerful as it is. (And, oddly, some of the folk details are reminiscent of my Nordic roots.) It was the painted ceillings.

Whoever designed the paint scheme pulled the ceiling color down onto the very uppermost part of the wall for about 4-6 inches / 10-15 cm. This feature is not unusual in period Finnish buildings that I’ve seen, so it immediately felt familiar and inviting to me. In addition, at the border where the ceiling and wall colors meet, there’s a narrow painted border of maybe one inch / 2-3 cm.

The light blue ceiling is paired with a darker blue border:

Pete Bermejo Casa Algaba Dining Room LtBlue Ceiling

Casa Algaba. Styling by Pete Bermejo, photo by Manolo Yllera.

In another area, the light blue ceiling has irregular, handpainted streaks in a darker blue mixed in:

Pete Bermejo Casa Algaba LtBlue Ceiling w Streaks

Casa Algaba. Styling by Pete Bermejo, photo by Manolo Yllera.

The kitchen ceiling is green with a mustardy yellow border:

Pete Bermejo Casa Algaba Green Ceiling

Casa Algaba. Styling by Pete Bermejo, photo by Manolo Yllera.

Aren’t they incredible? Similar ceiling paint that I’ve seen tend to be in more formal, larger spaces in jugend or neoclassical buildings. The more relaxed treatment we see here, especially paired with the colorful folk details, is perfect for everyday living and very DIY-friendly.

Photos by Manolo Yllera; found via Desire to Inspire.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Short Roundup of Unicorn Crafts

Arts & Crafts, DIY

Last month, I needed an idea for small gifts, so I searched for interesting unicorn crafts. Here’s a short roundup of my favorites.

Unicorn Crafts Collage

Shellie Wilson at Kids Crafts posted a video tutorial for a sleepy unicorn pencil case:

Kids Crafts Shellie Wilson Sleepy Unicorn Pencil Case

Shellie Wilson at Kids Crafts.

So cute – I just want to cuddle it!

Naomi Julia Satake’s mobile was featured at Oh Happy Day:

Oh Happy Day Stained Glass Unicorn

Naomi Julia Satake via Oh Happy Day.

She made a gorgeous hanging unicorn reminiscent of stained glass windows from posterboard and gel filters. Such an elegant DIY.

Kim at Bugaboo City posted a free pattern for three cross-stitch bookmarks, including a unicorn:

Bugaboo City Kim Cross-stitch Bookmarks

Kim at Bugaboo City.

I was impressed by the cardboard trophy head posted at Bespoke Bride:

Bespoke Bride Unicorn Trophy Head

Bespoke Bride.

However, I didn’t quite have enough time to do it, so I ended up going with Nikki’s tutorial:

Tikkido Nicole Unicorn Bookmark

Nicole at Tikkido.

In the end I made two, a unicorn and a lobster:

DIY Bookmarks Lobster Unicorn Collage

I am really intrigued by all of these projects, though, and might get back to one or two later.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Geeky Color Combos: Alliance Colors in an Office

Colors, Design & Designers, Geek out!

Since I’m currently cleaning house in game, my brain apparently sees World of Warcraft everywhere. At least if this office is to judge by: the colors clearly nod in the direction of the Alliance.

Desire to Inspire Masquespacio Spain 1

Masquespacio / photo by Bruno Almela Egido, via Desire to Inspire.

Desire to Inspire Masquespacio Spain 2

Masquespacio / photo by Bruno Almela Egido, via Desire to Inspire.

The photos are from a meeting space at the Masquespacio studio in Valencia, Spain. Masquespacio describes their field as creative consultancy, which seems very accurate – their expertise ranges from interior plus product design to art direction and communication.

The vibrancy of colors and the color combinations in their work is very arresting. It brings to mind midcentury modern, yet there is also something unquestionably contemporary. The effect is subtle and considered; very nice. More amazing photos on Masquespacio’s Instagram and Twitter.

Found via Desire to Inspire. (Visit Desire to Inspire for more photos from the office, including a an absolutely delectable dark green wall.)

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Now on Etsy: Canvas Pouches

Ahem Ahem!, Arts & Crafts

I listed a few canvas pouches at the Playfully Grownup Home Etsy shop.

Canvas Pouches Collage

They’re made from a variety of prints and solids. I used up remnant canvas pieces to make them.

The light green one has a really great, understated but elegant floral pattern outlined in white. I added a coordinating green and white polka dot accent for the drawstring channel.

Canvas Pouch Green White Floral BB001a

For the blue and turquoise floral, I found two good accent color matches but couldn’t decide which I preferred, so I made two versions. Problem solved! 🙂 One has a turquoise-on-turquoise polka dot print…

Canvas Pouch Blues Turquoise BB002c

…and the second a solid bright blue cotton. The latter makes a nice, strong contrast.

Canvas Pouch Blues BB002a

Both colorways have a round bottom made from solid-colored canvas – pale mustard for the green and navy blue for the blue and turquoise bags.

Find them in the Playfully Grownup Home > Carry Me section. And as always, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask!

Colors: A Blue, White and Grey Kitchen

Colors, Design & Designers, Room of Awesome

Architect Liza Breeze was hired to transform a dated townhouse in Fitzroy North, Melbourne, Australia, and she most definitely delivered. My favorite picture from the project is below:

Lisa Breeze Fitzroy+North+Townhouse+7

Architect Liza Breeze. Styling: Tamara Maynes, photo: Caitlin Mills.

That’s such a LOVELY blue! The lines are a hint too modern for me, but I do love the color combo – blue with a bit of grey in it, white, grey marble plus a dash of black. And a Smeg fridge for the Red Dwarf fans out there… 🙂

Kudos! More photos on Lisa Breeze’s website.

Found via Desire to Inspire.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.