Archive of ‘Tutorials’ category

Quirky Animal Jar lid DIY



When my sister was here visiting I decided that one of our little craft projects was to make some Quirky Animal jar painted lids to hold fun, colourful supplies like pom poms, marbles, alphabet letters and coloured chalk.  My grandchildren are going to love them!



These are super easy to do. I bought my toy plastic animals at the dollar store but you can get fancier expensive ones at craft stores.  The jars were also bought from the dollar store.  You can use whatever jars you have in the house though.



First of all you spray all of the jar lids, animals and whatever else you have lying around that is begging to be painted with a white primer. You could skip this step however that would mean you’d have to spray way more colour over each item to get good coverage. My sister Linda is doing this – she’s a real go getter and wanted to get down to business ASAP!



I used Krylon Color Master spays in 4 different colours.  You then spray your items – it took about 3 coats to totally get good coverage.



You’ll want to do this outside as the spray paints are fairly toxic.




Next I used Gorilla Super glue to glue the animals onto the painted jar lids.  You have to choose animals with fairly substantial feet otherwise you won’t have enough surface area to glue the animal to the lid.  Do this outside as the glue really has a strong smell…….or at least do this step in a well ventilated area.



These two little beauties were too big to go ontop of the jar lids however i thought they would make a cute addition to my shelves.



And Voila!  You have your super duper colourful animal jar lids to fill up with all kinds of crafty and artsy goodness!

Your kids or grandchildren (or your inner child!) will love this craft!

Love, Violette xo 

Blackboard for Inspirational messages

Happy Wednesday everyone!

You may have seen the video i created during the revamping of our bedroom? Well in the video you’ll see i left the painted blackboard section on the wall.  We decided to keep it and build a frame around it.


Here it is all painted and ready for chalking inspiration!


Mr. G sanded the part of the wall where the wood was going to sit and then applied a thick bead of Nail Glue or Liquid Nails.


He had pre-cut some pieces of pine and painted them up before pressing then onto the nail glue.


Because the boards were heavy Mr. G had to add a couple of nails to prop up the wood while the nail glue was drying.


He added decorative corners for that “Je ne sais quoi” look Smile.  Notice there is a tiny nail propping up the decorative corner? Then he glued on all of the other pieces.


Mr. G touched up the blackboard paint to make it all look pristine and new once more!


Hooray it’s done! Now all i have to do is buy some liquid chalk to embellish and write the first inspirational quote.

You can do the same thing in your home – you don’t have to make your own frame like we did (royal we!) – you can always buy a thrift store frame and put it over a painted blackboard patch on the wall!

Did you get the chance to check out my solo retreat video i created the other day?

Love, Violette xo

Little Box Worlds Diorama

My daughter Jessica Leigh Clark-Bojin created a Competition on Facebook – she calls it Little Box Worlds – The Shoebox Diorama Competition for likeminded Weirdo’s of all ages.  She wanted to do something creative as well as use technology to bring people together in a fun and engaging manner.  So I decided to participate in her challenge.  You had to start out with a shoebox and a doll blank which Jessica sent to all of the participants.


This is my entry it’s called “Fly your Freak flag”. If you could “like” the Facebook page and if you liked my Diorama I’d appreciate your vote! Here are the categories:

- Best in Show
- Best Storytelling
- Best Craftsmanship
- Best Child/Adult team
- Most Offensive/Insane
- Most Touching/Poignant
- Most Funny

You must put in “this is my vote for……” next to the entry you choose.  My daughter Jessica and grandson Sam and his mom Kathryn are in the competition too! A bunch of my good friends are in the Diorama contest!  Even my son’s best friend Mike Lee participated – there’s a video connected to his fabulous wooden creation!  Jessica’s diorama is incredible – very detailed – totally BLEW me away!


Here’s the doll blank everyone received.


As per usual I waited till the last minute (the day before the deadline) as I was in a quandary about what to do. For days i freaked and thought, freaked and thought, freaked and thought……..and eventually i settled on “freaks” which is not so much of a stretch if you know me Smile.  So i assembled a motley crew of freaks i had created in the past. Most of them are made from paperclay and a bit of wood. The paint brush Cyclops guy is obviously made from an old brush, enhanced with paperclay, friendly plastic, gems and glitter.


I had to give myself a good talking to as I was so reticent to begin.  I asked myself what did i like best about dioramas – I loved the theatrical feel to them.  So I started with a facade that would grace the top of the shoebox (this reminded me of puppet theatres). I used foamcoare board and painted a woman/guy on it….


Added collage elements and more details to it. Ever so slowly it was coming together.


I used one of my background mixed media pages as the base for my scene.


The sides were mod podged with torn book pages and then sprayed with Dylusion Ink Sprays.


Here’s the facade with more details added as well as a frothy coating of marabou boa!


Elements for the inside such as a tree were created and glued to the back of the box with a piece of foam elevating it from the base. Cyclops freak was cut and glued in place.


The various freaks assumed their positions. I stepped back to survey my creation and noticed a gapping hole in the middle. I kept thinking “What’s missing?  What’s missing?”.  Well what was missing was the freaking doll blank that was supposed to be featured in the shoebox in the beginning!  Ha!


I quickly painted the doll blank and added a poof of green hair for that je ne sais quoi look, added the word “freak”, glued him on a large bead and voila!  It was complete!  The theme for my Diorama is “Fly your freak flag” and be loud and proud of who you are!

You might want to create a diorama with your friends, your kids or your grandkids.  It’s a fun way to be creative on your own or in community!

Love, Violette xo

Messy Art Daily

Hello everyone!  I hope your week has been fabulous so far!

Has this ever happened to you?  You’ve been so busy with life, gardening, family, self-promotion, networking etc. that you haven’t found time to do the thing that gives you the most juice – namely making art? Well i certainly have! That’s been happening to me so I’ve decided to create art every day for 30 days – for 15 minutes a day.  Do you want to join me?  If so when you blog or tweet on twitter or post on Facebook could you use this hash tag #messyartdaily ?  When you do that it will be easy for me and others to find what you have done and then comment on it if possible.  It’s easy to do on Facebook!


So here is what you do – simply create a piece of art in 15 minutes (or more).  Set a timer like i did – i used my time timer which I adore!  I went over 15 minutes which i knew i would.  Now this doesn’t have to be a masterpiece at all – it can be messy or tidy, it can be black and white or have lots of juicy colours.  It can be simply drawing, or painting or collaging or all of the above! 

For my piece i decided to open up some bottles of Dylusion Inks which i bought 1 1/2 months ago and never opened.  I sprayed a large piece of cardstock with a few colours.


I then cut it into 5” square pieces and began to pull out some supplies.  For some strange reason this orange zipper was in my supply caddy which holds pens and pencils.  I stapled it to a square of painted paper.  I added doodles with a white China marker.  Don’t think too much….just use the supplies you are drawn to or jump out at you like this silly orange zipper Smile. I wrote “make art daily” on a torn piece of yellow lined paper and sprayed it with ink.


I stamped letters and a date on……….


Added a few things like a glittery pipecleaner, collaged arrow and washi tape. It was all very random and not overly thought out.



I clipped the mini piece of art onto the fridge as a reminder of my creativity.  Every day I’ll take the previous day’s art down and post the latest one.  I’ll post the art pieces on my blog 3 x a week but will most likely post them every day on Facebook .  If you’d like to check them out daily hop on over there and connect with me.

So remember – if you want to PLAY along with me for 30 days (or more) then use the hash tag #messyartdaily when you post on your blog, Facebook or Twitter so folks can find your art! You’ll probably find that you’ll get your art mojo back by dedicating at least 15 minutes to your art. We all have 15 minutes to spare each day right?  You could be at the Doctor’s office or at a child’s or grandchild’s game or in a waiting room somewhere.  You can have a small sketchbook and pens tucked into your purse to work on your messyartdaily. 

Okay – that’s it for today!  See you Friday!

Love, Violette xo

Repurposed Chair–Swing

Happy B.C. Day to all my Canadian (British Columbian) friends and elsewhere! It’s a holiday here in B.C. so i almost didn’t blog today but I was so excited to “chair” this new project with you – a Repurposed Chair Swing! chair_swing_collage

Mr. G made the fatal mistake of lamenting on Saturday that he had no woodworking projects on the go. Did i hear him correctly???  I have a million ideas for him – naturally Smile. Next weekend we are celebrating my daughter Jessica’s birthday so that means the grandkids will be over!  They are too young to use my old swing so i kept pondering how we could make it safe for the little ones to use.


A quick visit to Pinterest and a search for chair swings yileded much inspiration!  All i had to do was find an old chair……….


Well wouldn’t you know it – there next to the Casbah shed stood a forlorn looking chair, peeling and rather ugly don’t you think?  It was one of my treasures from a big haul on Curbside recycling week 9 years ago Smile.  So i pulled it out and showed Mr. G and said “can you chop off these legs and make some sort of arms for this thing and attach it to the old swing please?”


I seriously don’t think this is what he had in mind when he said he didn’t have any woodworking projects but i guess he thought this would have to do in a pinch.  He chopped off the legs and then pondered about what to do for arms.


While i was away food shopping Mr. G came up with the idea of using the legs as arms and also using the leg cross struts for arms too (if you know what i mean). He screwed them in nicely and then made some circular wood disks for the top of the arms (there were big holes in the chair legs for some reason). You could alternately use wooden balls as end caps.


Because I will be doing most of the swinging around the magic cottage the swing had to fit my hips Smile. So Mr. G had me try out the swing before going any further.  My pre-gluten free hips would not have made the cut I’m afraid (those 11 extra pounds would have made it an incredibly tight squeeze).  Check out this blogpost about a journal page i created about my tummy talking to me.


After sanding the peeling chair vigorously Mr. G primed the chair with Zinsser Primer.


Mr. G had to test if this rope configuration would work or not.  It took a while to figure out where the ropes had to go in order for the swing to not tip.  Trust me – it’s not as easy as it looks. We used a tree limb that is on an angle which posed some interesting challenges.


I got the easy part – all i had to do is spray paint the chair with Rustoleum Painters Touch Ultra Cover 2 x spray paint.  The colour i chose looks sort of like my top!


I love how juicy the colour turned out.  I had some extra spray paint left and ended up spraying a wooden birdhouse i had lying around. That’s for another blogpost.


The first hole was drilled at the top of the rear upright of the chair.


The second hole was drilled in the bottom of the rear upright of the chair. As you can see Mr. G screwed the old swing base to the bottom of the chair. The nylon rope (1/2”)  was fed through the holes and then knotted as you see here. Mr. G used the existing hole in the swing to feed the front rope into (from the underside). All in all the cost of the swing was about 28 dollars counting the rope and the spray paint.  We had the primer and screws and glue already and the chair was free.


Voila!  Isn’t it cute?  I must say I’m not overly cranked about the way Mr. G wrapped the ropes around the chair but quite honestly I don’t feel the cute chairs we saw on Pinterest would hold adults.  This one is safe.  Now when the wee grandkids go on the swing all I’ll have to do is attach a belt to the front of the arms.  When Mr. G’s grandson Leium who is six years old comes to visit he won’t be needing the belt.


There – doesn’t the chair fit in perfectly with the Magic Cottage vibe? If you like this project and want to save it for future project ideas why not pin it on Pinterest? 

Thank you to all of you who submitted feedback for my website Re-evaluation.  If you haven’t submitted any of your ideas please click the link and submit in the comments section to be eligible to win some of my whimsical coasters!

Love, Violette xo

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