Wednesday, April 12, 2017

My Carrots Hanging in the Wind

So with my last blog I had written about how I had come across what I thought was a really cute idea for an Easter decoration.  It was so cute  that I decided I was going to try for myself.  
Several weeks ago I had purchased this very large rabbit from a Ross Dress for Less Store to use as part of my entryway spring display.  A can of Kono Brown  Glossy spray paint was all that was needed to him transformed him into the largest chocolate bunny I've ever seen.  He REALLY looks like he made of solid chocolate now.  This was so simple and yet so adorable, I decided to spray paint a couple of wooden eggs I had stowed away in the studio and give them a simple painted design.  
I then got the creative idea that I needed to add a few carrots to complete my decorations.  I looked around at Michaels and Walmart and not a fake vegetable on the shelf to be found.  I decided would take matters into my own hands and get MESSY with some paper mache!  
I gathered up all the necessary supplies for my project: 
Sticks from my tree in my front yard 
Tin Foil
Floral tape
The four sticks I had gathered had to be broken down into the correct size.  I wanted fairly large carrots so I tried to keep the straightest portions and yet it really didn't have to be perfect.  Using the floral tape I attached 2 or 3 frowns of greenery to each of the 4 sticks.
Sizing up my sticks and greenery
The next step was to take the tin foil and shape it around the stick in a form of a carrot.  Wider at the top tapering down to a slimmer pointed end.
When I had all four carrots shaped out of the tin foil I then turned my attention to mixing the flour and water paste.  It has probably been since Mr. Drinkard's Jr. High art class that I have used paper mache.  I have a memory of making masks or animals or something but that was MANY years ago. 
 I first tried one cup flour and one cup of water but that seemed much too think.  I ended up with 1 1/2 cups water to get the consistency that I remembered. I cut my paper into thin strips and then plunged into the really messy part.  The strips of paper must be well coated with the flour paste.  I used my fingers to pull the extra paste off before I then applied the sticky paper to my tin foil carrot.  Working from top to bottom trying to make sure each piece of paper is well attached.
When I managed to get all 4 carrots finished I then took them outside and hung them up in my tree to dry.  
The following day I decided that another coat of paper mache was necessary and so I repeated the process for each carrot.  I probably could have added several more coats to smooth out some of the more bumpy areas but I was getting pretty tired of all the mess I was making in my kitchen.  Two layers was going to have to be sufficient.
The final step was to paint them with orange paint and apply a coat of spray varnish. 
As usually you can see that I have been a rather busy artist this week.  I gathered up a number of items that all needed a coat of varnish applied.  This actually included 3 cowbells and 2 small cow paintings that I didn't remember about until after I had taken this picture.
Here you can see my carrots hanging out to dry for the last time.  The varnish really takes very little time to dry but because they were wet all over, hanging was really the best drying option.
All in all I like my end results and am happy that I decided to take the time to make my own decorations.  Even though the photo is just a little bit dark here you can see just how lovely all the pieces go together.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

DYI Faux Chocolate Bunnies

 I found such a cute and easy idea today that I just felt compelled to share it with you.  Now I wish I could say that I had thought of this on my own but I must give credit to the very creative woman who shared these photos of her creation.  

Photo by Violet Lively
Violet Lively, Owner of Ranch Bar-B Rustics, LLC in Delores, Colorado shared this amazing Easter decorating idea on Facebook today and I just have to give it a try. Violet writes, "Easy DYI faux chocolate bunnies!  Dollar store Easter decor or thrift store finds and brown gloss spray paint!"  Don't they look amazing?  
Photo by Violet Lively

I'm sending Brad out here pretty soon to buy me a can of gloss brown spray paint so I can give this giant bunny a yummy looking coat.  I bought this bunny at Ross last month to add to my spring display but giving him into faux chocolate exterior will surely get the attention of my grandchildren!

I can see him now in a large basket surrounded by fake carrots.   I really am not a fan of shopping but I did look for carrots at Michaels this week but only found fake fruit.  So since I haven't found faux carrots, I guess I will just have to make my own this week out of paper mache.  Getting a little messy will hopefully prove to be more fun anyway.

Give me a couple days and I will hopefully be able to show you my beautiful creations as I endeavor to "Embrace My Creative Side".  I would love to hear from you if you try this idea for your self.  Send me your pictures and I will share them on my Facebook Page.