Monday, July 30, 2012

Welcome to Week 26 of Cowgirl Up! Link Party . . .

Welcome to Week 26 of
Cowgirl Up! Link Party . . .
the party with a cowgirl can-do spirit!
1 Party, 4 Blogs

Your party hostess this week:

Hey y'all!  This is Amanda with The Ivy Cottage Blog!  Thanks so much for stopping by this week!  All of us "Cowgirl Up!" gals hope you enjoyed the Christmas In July week!  If you missed out, here are the AMAZING projects from last week . . . 

There are a ton of features this week because I am pulling from two weeks worth of awesome posts, so let's get to it!


If you were featured here, grab a Featured button. 
Be sure to like our Facebook pages, since we also post many other favorites there too. If you got featured on Facebook, then feel free to grab a featured button also.

Now about the party...
You link up on my blog and your link shows up on four blogs.
More exposure, less time.
We are looking for the latest and greatest projects, tutorials, 
ideas, crafts, recipes, decor, and inspiring stories. 
Anything that you are proud to show off.
Cowgirl Up! is the link party that saves you time and brings you inspiration. 
Doesn't get any easier than that!
What blogs will your link appear on? Check us out below!

Linsey with The Farmhouse Porch
Anita with Cedar Hill Ranch
Amanda with The Ivy Cottage Blog
Samantha with Crafty Texas Girls
The four of us are all Texas bloggers, but you don't have to be Texas, country, western, or own horses to participate in Cowgirl Up! You just need that "can-do", cowgirl spirit!
Cowgirl Up! Link Party Guidelines:
(Please read the guidelines before participating)
* When you link with Cowgirl Up!, your link will automatically show on four different blogs. Awesome!
* Please follow your host blog before linking up on GFC (and if you have a linkyfollow account, then please follow that way too.)
* You may link up decor, DIY, crafts, guest post, recipes, giveaways, sewing, inspiring stories, and anything that you feel related to the listed categories.
* You may link as many links as you want.
Be sure to include the Cowgirl Up! Button or text link to Cowgirl Up in your linked post, (mine can be found on my sidebar.) Mandatory to be featured!!
* Be courteous and visit the two links before yours.  Several projects will be featured each week!
* By linking up you are agreeing that we may use your photos to feature your project in a blog post, on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter with a link back to your blog of course.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

"Christmas in July" My Addiction to Frames

 Hi my name is Pamela and I am from over at From My Front Porch To Yours. I was so honored when I was asked to participate in Christmas In July with all these fabulous ladies! I pondered for weeks what I was going to share and well after several treasure hunting trips it dawned on me!

I LOVE frames! I am addicted to frames and use them all around my house. 

I can always manage to work a frame in some where!:)

One project I do every year is to make frames as gifts for teachers or whomever. I shop for frames at HobLob when they are 50% off. I stock up thru out the year. Also at the end of the holiday season I always take part in Michaels clearance. I can find so many beautiful ribbons, stickers, chip boards, and embellishments on sale that I have to tell my self to stop and not put another thing in my cart!;) You will also need ModgePodge, craft glue and a hot glue gun plus whatever else you can imagine!

I always make such a huge mess. Most of the time the kitchen table is out of commission for two days once I get started. My boys don't mind because that means picnic time in the living room!:)

I never really now what I am going to end up with. 

Most of the time I can find the little mini gold frames in the Michaels bargain section. I love these frames because you can do so many things with them. I have even made fridge magnets with them. 

I loved this chip board box so much and hated the thought of throwing it away so instead I used it to create a layered shadowbox of sorts.

I used a white paint pen and covered up the wording at the top of the box and made it look like more snow. Then I used a vintage scene from a card I had to make it look like you are peering thru the window at Santa. Then I used some chip board pieces to cover up the other areas on the box that needed covering. This frame is one of my favorites. 

I know it is only July but for me it is never to early to get a jump start on decorating and crafting for the holidays! It will be here before we know it and I hope that I was able to inspire a few projects out there.

Thanx for stopping by!

Be sure to stop by all these fabulous ladies if you missed any of the projects shared this past week!
Amanda-The Ivy Cottage Blog
Kori-Red Hen Home
Anita-Cedarhill Ranch
Debbie-Confessions of a Plate Addict
Samantha-Crafty Texas Gals
Missy-Lookie What I Did
Linsey-The Farmhouse Porch

Friday, July 27, 2012

"Christmas in July"-Old World Christmas

Howdy gals! Linsey here from The Farmhouse Porch. My project for "Christmas in July" is sort of a hodge podge mix of  crafting/art/home decor. You guys know that aging things and giving them patina is my thing. Buying all new is so sterile, buying only old stuff can look stale. But when you mix the two it looks great. The problem with buying old stuff is that sometimes the real deal is really, really expensive. Take religious antiques for example. If you were to try to purchase this antique 24 inch oil painting of St. Jerome here, expect to pay...

Oil painting of St. Jerome


The reason I bring up religious antiques is because I love the look of an old world, European church at Christmas. I happened upon a little saint picture at the dollar store and bought it in the hopes that I could age it to get that "religious artifact" feel. I also set up some simple displays around the picture on my entry table to get the entire look going.

dollar store candles

 Liquin or other glazing medium, this is what I use to thin my oil paint. I like oil paints rather than acrylic because they just look more "aged" in color and patina to me. Raw umber works well for aging, but adding layers of different browns gives the best patina.
Here is the little 10x12" picture I found at the dollar store.

The colors are too bright and flat.

Here is the picture after one application of glaze plus paint. I am holding it up to the light of the window so that you can see it better. I started by applying it with a balled up paper towel.

Here it is after applying more and more glaze/paint, try to use a few different brushes (like the one with bristles in a fan shape). This will add more layers of brushstrokes. It sounds like lots of work but honestly this all took about 10 minutes. 

Here it is after. Another cool thing about liquin is that it makes the oil paint dry VERY fast.

I had purchased this old little beat up frame at an antique shop for about $4 a month ago. At first I was trying to hang it on my mirrors in the background and then I had a lightbulb's perfect for the little "painting"!!!

To add to the old European church look, I filled a galvanized bucket with dirt.Well actually, I filled it with sand first- from the backyard. Then I smelled something that made me gag. Need I continue the story folks? You guessed it...yellow sand from my pup (I can't believe I'm telling you this. I told myself it was my little secret)! So I chucked the sand, washed profusely, and filled the bucket with CLEAN dirt (is that an oxymoron?).

In the end I think it turned out very pretty though...

This is sort of an understated Christmas look. I love the glitz and glam and glitter of Christmas, but a rustic, natural look can be a striking way to celebrate the "holy days" as well.


Please visit these other beautiful blogs for Christmas inspiration...
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Thursday, July 26, 2012

"Christmas in July" Lattice Card Holder Craft

Christmas in July Special Event

I am so happy to join you for the Christmas in July event sponsored by those Texas gals at Cowgirl Up link parties.  We had just arrived to our new home in Calgary, Canada when Samantha from Crafty Texas Girls asked me to participate.  Since my craft room is still in boxes, I was forced to create something that was simple and appropriate for the Christmas holidays.  The inspiration came to me at Home Depot last week when I spotted a sheet of lattice in the back of the store.  I hope you enjoy this simple, clever and cheap way to display all of those greeting cards you receive during the holidays.  Here is how it was made.

Supply List

Lattice - Size of your choosing
Spray Paint for Lattice
Spray Paint for Clothespins
Hot Glue Gun
Sandpaper for distressing clothespins
Decorative topper of your choice (use what you have from Christmas past)
3M Command Hooks and Picture Velcro Strips for hanging the finished lattice

Total Cost of this project was $20.00

Let's Get Started......

Home Depot cut a sheet of plastic lattice into two equal size pieces.  The lattice used in this project cost about $10.00.  I then went to Michaels and purchased two cans of spray paint and some clothespins.  I chose a sage green and ivory for my colors because I plan to leave the lattice up year around, changing the topper for each season, so I wanted neutral colors (instead of bright red).

Start by laying the lattice out on paper and spray painting it.  It took only one can to cover the entire piece and it dried very quickly.

I have always used boxes to spray paint clothespins.  It's so much easier and the coverage is perfect.

Here are the clips after they have dried.  I distressed them using a small sanding block.  Just rough up the edges all around.  This took less than five minutes for all of the clothespins.

Before Sanding

After Sanding

When all of the clothespins are distressed, you can lay them out on your lattice to see how you want them to look.  I skipped every other row and hung them on alternating columns.  

Now that you have them placed on your lattice, start hot gluing the clothespins.  

Here are the clothespins hung on the lattice.  You can see how I skipped a row and then hung the clothespins on every other column.  I chose this layout so that the cards hanging on the pins would stagger each other rather than overlap.

For the topper I decided to use my Christmas tree decoration from last year!!

I simply layered the garland and created bunches on each end.  The bunches were secured with cable ties.

Start by placing two of the same branches below....

Layering two different ones on top....

Then the third layer.....

Securing them with cable ties.....

It will look like this......

I took the same bow from my Christmas wreath last year and simply adhered it to the middle of the branches with floral wire.....

Ta daa......

I took some floral wire to adhered the branches to the top of the lattice.  After this I simply used 3M hooks and velcro picture hanging strip to hang the finished lattice on the wall.  You can use nails if you prefer.  I used the heavy duty hooks for the top layer with the branches and for the bottom lattice I simply just used two 3M picture hanging velcro strips.  You can find all of these at your local craft store.

It was time to grab some old Christmas cards (the only ones I could find) and display them.  

I hope you have enjoyed reading this easy and fun way to display your cards.  I can't wait to decorate it for the different seasons.  I think this lattice will come in handy to display every day photos, school notes, birthday invitations, school work, etc.  I'm not just going to store this in the closet and drag it out every Christmas.  This is going to be a permanent stay in my house.

Merry July

While you're in the Christmas spirit, please feel free to take a "Lookie" at some other Christmas crafts I created last year.....

Thanks for stopping by!!


Feel free to check out all of the blogs!  Here are the links

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