Jan 16, 2015
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I like making easy things that look more difficult than they really are, and here is another perfect example of that:  The Striped Paper Mache deer head.  Looks difficult but was easy to complete in a few steps.

 

You can find them online or at most craft stores.  They are very light weight, and easy to paint, and bonus, really affordable.  I think I paid around $15-20 for the head.

My friend Becky had asked me to make her a striped deer head for her living room months ago and when I came across the paper mache version, I knew exactly what to do with it.

 

First off, I lightly sanded off any chunky, rough edges.  Then, I got out a can of white spray paint (mine had primer already mixed in) and gave it 2 light coats.

Untitled-2Washi tape.  This stuff is pretty versatile.  Instead of using painter’s tape or masking tape (neither which I had) I used washi tape to tape off my lines.  It stuck pretty well to the paint without removing the under layers when I peeled it off, and I had a few different widths to choose from which made me happy I didn’t have to trim a wider tape.  Bonus!  It looked cool as I was taping off my lines!  Because the paper mache was slightly uneven and not smooth, I had to keep an eye on each line edge to make sure the tape was flush.  Taping the antlers was a time-consuming PITA, but making sure the tape was even paid off in the long run.

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deer_004Once all of the lines were taped off, it was time to paint.  I used a black gloss acrylic that I had on hand.  Where ever the white paint showed, I painted over it in black.

Untitled-1After all of the black was dry, I peeled off the washi tape slowly.  In areas where I painted the black too thick, it had the tendency to lift off with the tape, so don’t over coat your paint.  I went back and touched up these areas once all of the tape was removed.

 

Once all of the lines were dry, I took a gold Sharpie and drew a thick, but loose line of marker between each black and white stripe to funk it up a bit.  Since the paper mache was uneven, it was a slow process but again, take your time and it will be worth it.  The sharpie dried within a couple of minutes after applying so this step was the quickest.

deer_009The gold really glammed it up a bit without overdoing it, don’t you think??

deer_008Then I glued the head to a felty piece of fabric that was cut to size and glued the fabric to a piece of wood with a hanger attached to the back.  I don’t have a detailed picture of that step.  Sorry!  But I can tell you I used a combination of Fabri-Tac glue and hot glue and had to hold the pieces together for what seemed like FOREVER until the glue was dry and the head was secured.  Then to make sure it was really glued, I covered the base of the neck with a pillow and propped my camera bag on it to put weight on it and let it sit over night.  I did not want this head falling off the base.  In the morning, it was good to go.

deer_007Then I dropped it off at Becky’s house via a “pop-in”.  🙂   But that was her fault for not answering her phone…I was too excited to give it to her, I just couldn’t wait to set up a time to drop it off.   I’m a giver, what can I say!

She hung it over the fireplace and sent me some pics.  Her house is gorgeous.  I keep asking if I can move in.  She keeps saying no.  RUDE.

I LOVE stripes and how it fits in at Becky’s house.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!

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Jan 06, 2015
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If you are on Pinterest, you have seen a lot of post about decorating your own mug.  It seemed like a fun and quick little project.  Plus, you feel like a real artist when its all done.  I mean, you just designed a unique drinking vessel.  That’s art, YO.

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I like the concept, I have made a few as gifts and I had my oldest decorate a mug for his teacher last year.  If a 5 year old could do it, than anyone can.  The trick is finding the right kind of markers.  Many pinners were talking about using the oil-based Sharpies…but I had a hell of a time finding them and when I did, they had a limited color selection, unless you look online, but then you need to buy them in prepackaged groupings, which seemed annoying if you were looking for only specific colors.

 

This review is based on DecoArt’s glass paint markers, which are available at most craft stores and online.  They are sold individually so you can pick and choose what colors you want, they also have some metallic colors if you need some heavy metal.

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If you are a decent free-hand artist, these are pretty easy to use.  I do wish they had either a double tipped marker with a fine tip option.  The tip can be a little thick and getting fine lines is not the easiest.  But otherwise, the colors are good, hold up well over time and the entire process is easy to do.  Super kid-friendly!

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All you need to do is clean your glass with glass cleaner, otherwise the paint doesn’t stick well and bleeds a bit.  You do have a window of time to erase your mistake before it dries.  If you are using multiple colors, it’s best to let the 1st color dry before adding the second color over/next to.

 

Use tape to make straight lines.  Or get crazy with your bad self and go without a guide.

 

You need to let the finished art set on the glass for 8 hours.  After that time, get your oven set for 375 degrees and bake for 40 minutes.  Then, allow your project to cool with the oven door open.  And BOOM! the marker becomes dishwasher safe!

 

One of my mugs (the orange chevron one) I made last winter and the ink has held up really well.  If the ink gets thick, it has the potential to scratch off, but otherwise, it is permanent.  You can use these markers on glass, tile, and glazed ceramic.

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These are the super hero themed cocoa mugs I made for my boys this Christmas.

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And a unicorn.  Because unicorns kick ass.

As for the speckled mug, that was a mistake that actually turned out cool.  Yay for unfortunate accidents!

Untitled-1Overall, I really like these markers and like that it’s a simple project that you can really get creative with.  Thumbs up, DecoArt.

 

Find yourself some paint markers and get crafty!

Be ironic and make a hipster mug.  Or grab those crazy kids of yours and now you have a fun weekend project to keep them busy for a bit!  Share your finished arty creation photos on my Facebook page or on Instagram at @makingitwithstephany.

 

Now I am off to fill my mug with coffee!  (and Irish cream.  Shhhhhh.)

 

 

Jan 04, 2015
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In case you missed it, here is the link to my 5 minutes of live and sassy cocktail making.

 

Can I just say that I am thrilled that the holidays are over?!?!!!!

 

It was lining up to be a great time, until both kids got strep, I started my Christmas shopping really, really late and was hosting the family festivities at my house (so much cleaning).  Barf.

Then Twin Cities Live contacted me to do a segment on Champagne Cocktail for the impending NYE!

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I was excited for 10 seconds until I realized how much planning goes into one of those little 5 minute segments.  So much!

 

After I decided what I would include in my segment, I got excited again.  Then I was off to a million stores looking for just the right glassware, booze, supplies, outfit (this stressed me out the most), and stylings for the table whilst I poured cocktails on live TV.  I made bouquets, vases, found the perfect straws, all while having some taste test at home to perfect the recipes.  THAT was the best part…duh.

 

The day finally came and my lovely friend Sarah came to the studio to be my support.   I met the crew and the hosts and in what felt like immediately after meeting everyone, we were ready to shoot my segment.  Did I mention in was live?  I was nervous I would drop some intense curse words, but alas!  I surprised myself and my friends that I did not say anything rude or naughty.  Score.

IMG_1059I was obviously hilarious, here you see the hosts cracking up at my amazing sense of humor.  (Thanks Sarah for the the photos)

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