Thursday, February 2, 2017

Introducing: My Etsy Shop!

 

As I type this I feel like I did as a little girl on Christmas morning. Such is my excitement! For a number of years I have envisioned how I would someday have an Etsy shop. (I even like that word, Etsy) And, finally, the time is right!

Through most of January I have been working on getting items made for this shop, along with spring cleaning our house, so to say I’ve been busy is an understatement! But being busy is a good thing for me, especially during these long, gray winter days. Speaking of which, these days are making indoor picture taking quite the challenge since I need lots of natural light for good photos and sunny days have been few and far between!

Back to Etsy. I wanted to pick the perfect name for my brand and finally came up with something that will work, I think…

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After all, we reside in a white cottage. What could be more fitting? Keeping it simple, folks. :)

My vision has only begun for The White Cottage Co. I am starting out with some farmhouse style signs, lights, and a few jars.

Eventually I want to add some more vintagey, cottage style decor.

Okay, let’s get a bit nostalgic for a second. I have all these wonderful memories of going to my grandparents’ houses as a little girl. I can still smell the fresh cut grass (that was cut with a push mower, no motor), freshly brewed garden tea, and of course the ever present smell of cows. Both my grandparents lived on farms so I got to experience a little taste of the good ole’ farm life. I even got to milk cows by hand!

Anyway, as my mind wanders back through those golden days (this is making me feel old), I think of things grandma used to have in her kitchen that I would love to bring back, so to speak. It may come back as a different color or style, but back nevertheless. So right now, that’s what I’m working on, creating some items that bring some of the good ole days back in our houses.

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I will share a few pictures of my little crafting corner that I made in our living room. Since our living room area is rectangular, I was able to divide an area behind the couch off as a separate little “room.”

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I’ve gotten a lot of use out of these beaded panels we made a few years ago. They have been used in weddings, fairs and as a room divider during the time I had indoor tea parties. Now a few of them will serve as a shield to my cluttered crafting corner.

Behind the panels..

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So far I have loved this location for my studio! In the past I’ve had spaces upstairs and downstairs in my night gown. Okay, if I type something weird, it’s because it’s way past my bedtime. :] Here I can be on the same floor level as everyone else and I can multi - task with ease, like cook and craft at the same time.

Take note of the wall light in the picture below. It works quite well above my table, providing the perfect lighting. No wiring required. A little industrial and cottage style mixed together. Oh, and I sell them on my Etsy shop. :)

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Notice the shelving in the background? For a quick and easy tutorial on that, click here.

Not to just go on and on about my studio location but one of the best, if not THE BEST thing about it is what I get to enjoy come spring and summer while working here. I have a huge double window to look out into the great outdoors. Of course I do that now too and enjoy watching the birds, other wildlife, and occasional snowflake, but being a spring and summer person, I can’t wait to open the windows to let the smells and sounds in!

Let’s take a moment to see some green pictures of our backyard in the spring. After all these gray days, this is something to look forward to!

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This is some of the sound I am looking forward to hearing. Oh, and let’s not forget the chorus of these guys…

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Maybe it’s just me, but around this time of the year I start to feel it.. that itching to go out and put my fingers in the dirt!

Again, here is the link to my Etsy shop, The White Cottage Co.

I welcome any tips, advice and feedback! I’m sure some of you out there have been there, done that with Etsy and I would gladly listen to any advice you would have for me!

Thanks for visiting!

-Mary

 

 

 

     

 

Industrial Shelving

 

When I created my studio space in the back part of our living room (which you can read about here), I needed every space to be put to good use, since it’s not a large area.

I’ve always noticed these industrial pipe and wood shelves on Pinterest, and thought they would fit in great on the one wall to hold my paints and brushes.

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I wanted two shelves, around 7” deep. Here are the “pipe” parts I needed.. (four of each)

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You can probably tell by the pictures how the shelves are put together..

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I really like how the light, which can be purchased on my Etsy shop, goes with the shelves.

The cost of the pipe pieces was a little more than I had hoped it would be. It was around 30.00. The wood is pieces of old barn wood we had around here, so I didn’t need to purchase that. I gave the wood a coat of bowling alley wax, preserving it’s natural color.

This was a very simple project, yet serving a good purpose!

I hope you enjoyed!

-Mary

Friday, January 6, 2017

My First Silhouette Cameo Project

 

January always seems like a long month for me, short days, gray weather, the rush of the holidays are over. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it, it just seems to last longer than the average month.

Today as I type this, I am sitting inside the window with a ray of glorious sunshine warming me, so today we are blessed with bright sunshine. (though we had a frigid 1 degree this morning:( )

We also had an inch or so of light, fluffy snow yesterday afternoon and last night. I am thankful for our picture windows to admire the beauty outside while being cooped indoors.

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The birds (and squirrels :/) are an entertainment on days like this..

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Of course, Pebbles watches them for a different reason than what I do..:(

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Getting to the point of this post here.. I saved up some money from Birthday and Christmas gifts to buy a new toy for myself..  a Silhouette Cameo! (drum roll) I admit to feeling like a child on Christmas morning when I took it out of the box. Folks, this is a crafters dream!

I won’t keep on fussing too much here, but to put it in one sentence: After years of carbon paper, scissors, hours of cutting out stencils, aching arms from holding stuff in place, and the list goes on, this machine does all that and more!

Now, I admit to felling a bit intimidated while setting it up and yes, I’ve had frustrations already, BUT I can see where it’s a learning process and the more I familiarize myself with it, the better it will go. Also, there are tons of great videos out there to help along.

 

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I’ve never owned a Cricut, but I’m hearing on videos and from other people that the Cameo is similar to the Cricut, maybe a little more advanced.

I will have a more detailed post in the future, once I know my Cameo ( I like that, “my Cameo,” almost like a child Smile) better. So far, I’ve only used vinyl for my project and typical of me, I ended up trying one of the more difficult things with it first, instead of easing into it, so I did have a little stress, but it ended up turning out okay, for a first project.

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I love designing wall scrolls, so I decided to make one out of brown craft paper for our living room wall.

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Up close..

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The letters are black vinyl letters, which the Cameo cut out, after I programmed it to do so. I peeled the words off the adhesive vinyl backing and placed them onto the craft paper. Usually there is a technique where you use clear transfer paper to take the letters off, but for me (or maybe the brand of transfer paper I had) it didn’t work very well and I ended up wasting precious vinyl. I want to try some other methods on the next project.

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I used an empty cardboard tube to wrap the craft paper around a few times on the top and for the bottom, I just rolled it up and glued it to make it look like a scroll.

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It’s not perfect but it’s just the look I wanted for that wall in the living room!

I can’t wait to try another project with this amazing machine! The possibilities are endless!

Happy Friday, everyone!

-Mary

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Pallet Beach Sign

 

Happy New year, everyone! We are having typical Ohio weather these days.. foggy, rainy and upcoming cold fronts in the forecast. One word describes most winter days in Ohio.. Gray.

 

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Now and then there’s a sunshiny day, but not very often.

I want to share an easy project with you that I made this past Fall. I didn’t spend a dime on making it, only some time. The only materials involved were an old pallet and twigs. I did use a little bit of paint, staples, glue and a clear spray paint, so I guess there was a small expense involved, but for me, I always have those items on hand so it seems like I’m not spending anything.

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I tore the pallet apart and cut all the boards the same length. I applied three coats of white paint to the boards. The paint I used was my go-to paint, Ormes hardware’s Do It Best paint/primer in one paint. I sanded between coats to get a nice, smooth finish.

Next, I gathered various sizes of twigs that had most of the bark gone and soaked them in hot water with some washing soda for about an hour.

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I scrubbed them with a brush to remove any bark and dirt.

I put them on a towel to dry.

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I then put them in the oven for around an hour at 150 degrees.

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They got all driftwoody, which was exactly the look I wanted. I loved how they looked beside another project I had going on..

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Natural wood and white does something to me. My heart actually skips a beat when I see it together, seriously. :)

I then proceeded to make a crab out of the twigs. I cut some of them with pruners and some I was able to break to the right size. I lay everything down on the pallet wood, which I had since fastened together to make one large piece of wood. After I liked the shape of the crab, I glued the twigs down, piece by piece. Some of the larger ones I pinned down with my trusty air nailer.

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After everything was securely fastened, I sprayed the wood evenly with a coat of clear spray paint. (Rustoleum brand)

The sign was a gift to my niece, who has a beach themed room…

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I always like to walk into her room. It almost feels like I’m at the ocean!

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I’m already thinking of a sign I’d want to make for our home to hang above the mantle in the living room. I want to use natural twigs and white pallet boards, but I’m not sure of the shape yet.

 

On another note, I did some wall art on our chalk board wall the other day. I came across this quote and knew it was the perfect definition of Home..

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Isn’t it true? :)

I hope everyone is having a blessed New Year!

Thanks for visiting!

-Mary

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Forcing Paper Whites

 

 

I can’t believe we are only a few days away from Christmas!

 

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The stockings are hung, the gifts are wrapped, the money is spent. :/ (I don’t mean to sound scrooge - like but whew, I’m tired of spending money!)

Around this time of the year I begin to feel an overwhelming urge to see blooms. After all, it’s been a few months since I’ve seen any around here, and nine months since a spring bloom burst from the ground.

On November 15th I planted Paper Whites that I got on clearance at Walmart.

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I put gravel in pots..

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I placed the bulbs, which had little sprouts already, onto the gravel and filled the pots with water up to the bottom of the bulb.

I placed the pots under the upstairs sky light, so they had plenty of light.

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After 15 days, this is what was happening..

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As you can see, some were sprouted more than others.

On the 30th day, I took the longest shoots and put them all in one pot. At that time they were just about to bloom. The rest are presently still upstairs under the sky light. Some of them look like they aren’t going to make it, but a few of them are still growing.

Here are the ones I combined in one pot on December 19th, 34 days after planting..

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They grew tall enough that I tied a string around them for support.

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I like to play around with different backgrounds..

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Just seeing the fresh green color and the white blooms brought so much cheer into a room. Notice I used the past tense, “brought.” Sadly, the drawback with these flowers is the smell. Sad smile They are now in the basement because no one likes the smell of them. I would have put up with it since I liked to see them so much but every time I was gone, they would be moved to a remote location. :(

I want to do some research on this issue. Maybe there is something I could add to the water next time to make them smell better? I would love any feedback if any of you have tried forcing these bulbs.

I will show off some other blooms that are residing in our home. They look just as good and smell amazing! Plus, they came from a pretty awesome person who happens to be my hubby. Smile

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Merry Christmas, everyone!

-Mary