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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Crafting Continues

OK, so I'd done the menu/chore/calendar boards and then I thought I'd do something with the package of vinyl word art I'd bought a while back.  You know, you buy the peel and stick vinyl image/s and /or words and you can stick them to your wall and then when you're tired of them you can just peel them off?  They're everywhere!  I bought a set that read "Keep Calm and Carry On".  I was so excited because it was a reminder of our time in England and it was really good advice for me when times are a little rough.  Unfortunately, products with that phrase are popping up ALL OVER the place now and I was losing a little love for it.  I like to have things that you don't see all over the place in every house you walk into.  Here's what I decided to do.  I found a stretched and primed canvas that I'd been holding on to for years and grabbed some poster paint from my daughter's arts and crafts supplies.
I mixed the light blue and white together until I got a colour I was happy with.  I had intended to paint the canvas solid blue, but when I started painting I liked this sort of distressed look I was getting by leaving some of the primed canvas showing through.  Once it dried I applied the decal freehand and it's fairly straight.

I could have left it there, but I wanted something a bit "more" so I went out and bought some cute red gingham ribbon (on sale, buy 1m get 3m free!) and upholstery tacks.

Then I "framed" the canvas like this...

Still that wasn't enough for me.  What is hard to see in the photos is that the paint is matte and the decals are glossy.   I didn't like that very much.  I saw a great post here at Make The Best Of Things which explained in great detail how to use white glue to make a crackle varnish effect.  So I went to the dollar store and bought some glue and then also bought some clear gloss varnish.

I lightly sanded the decals to try and help the varnish and glue stick (didn't really work that well since I was using water based products).
Then applied two container's worth of glue...this was A LOT of glue and resulted in huge cracks in the final product, which is what I wanted.
I brushed the glue out with a sponge brush and immediately applied the varnish over the top using a bristle brush.  Not sure if brush type matters or not, but, I wanted the brush stroked to show up and they did.
It took forever to dry because there was so much product sitting on there.  It didn't stick as well as I'd hoped to the decal, which is to be expected.  I didn't want to use oil based products and was willing to chance it since it's not as though anyone will actually be handling this item once I deem it finished.  Here is what it looks like on the wall, after I unpacked to boxes leftover from the move 12 months ago and found some of the signs I forgot that I even owned.

 It's still not finished, if you can believe it.  You can't see the crackle effect at all unless you are up close and I really want to add a glaze over top to highlight the texture.  I'm afraid that I'll ruin the whole thing by going too dark so I'm holding off a little while longer.  The charts and this grouping are hung in the same area of the front entry by the stairs.  I love the way the colours all work together!  Also, I managed to paint the walls of the staircase and paint the stairs themselves, which were previously only primed.  It looks so much better I wish I'd done it sooner.  I will say that I'd have to think long and hard about using recycled paint ever again.  Yes, it's cheap.  Yes, it makes me feel better.  But, BOY does it smell something fierce!  And to make matters worse it's really runny.  If I hadn't primed it would have taken two, at least three coats.  Splattered all over the place too.

Now I really do have to get going for the school run.  I'll finish up here later I hope....

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