Category Archives: make it or fake it

****PaRtY on the Patio!****

Here’s our FIRE PIT!  I don’t refer to it as a regular fire pit because, well, it’s a long story.


But here’s the thing, fire pit season in Dallas is October through maybe April.  It’s just too hot to snuggle up to a campfire here already. So May through September meant topping the fire pit bowl with a piece of wood and loading it up with tons of candles just so we weren’t sitting in the dark and talking to each other’s silhouettes.

Until now!…


We added patio lights, and I’ll show you how we did it….



Level up four 8’ posts in four buckets and add a little Quickrete.


I considered using sand instead of the concrete, but mosquitoes love wet sand, and it just didn’t seem stable or heavy enough to support tall poles.

IMG_3326Add enough concrete to fill a third of the mixing bucket.



Add a little water at a time.

And then mix it up with your handy dandy thing-a-ma-jig that attaches to the drill….IMG_3325to a pretty thick consistency.  

When you fill your little buckets, consider who will be carrying them around when they are stored away.  I filled mine half way and have enough room to drop in four-inch pots of flowers to hide the cement. But, eh, I really don’t care if my cement is showing.


The cement was sloped down from the pole toward the sides of the buckets.  After the cement was dry, we drilled holes though the sides of the buckets at the lowest points so the water would drain out…again, preventing blood sucking skeeters.




Add four hooks…042

and then the lights!  We chose the clear bulbs.






Tip: lower your lights into a bucket to store them away.


Now, I have a place in the backyard for a couple strands of pennant flags.



I used a paper pattern, Heat & Bond, an old Rachel Ashwell shower curtain, and pinking shears.  There are 44 pennants in all, and they are alternately attached on both sides of the top band.



After the triangles were cut, I cut 1” strips off the shower curtain and sewed the ends together creating two strands that were 25’ long.  I found the center of each strip/strand and then attached the first two triangles on each side of center so that they would cross each other over the fire pit without bunching.   I then attached the remaining triangles working out from the centers.   Here is the intersection….



That’s it. Easy peasy.

Pretty fun and Pinteresty too! 






Filed under DIY, make it or fake it, out in the yard

EnORmous mixed media

The 40×32 canvas below is from my white, abstract, minimalist phase….which didn’t last too long mainly because I LOVE color and prefer objects that I can make out, and I definitely have way too much crap to be a minimalist. I really like abstract art, I do, but just not my own. So I painted over it (again).



And here is the ‘after’…….

Color, texture, bits, rubbed in wax, blingy gold, charcoal, a bunny, teal/turquoise….








 Whew!  That’s better. Winking smile 


Filed under art journal, make it or fake it

A place for new year resolutions

 I made what I think I’ll call an Intention Board – a place to pin my new year resolutions, or maybe it’s a Prayer Board and will hold pictures or the names of people on my prayer list. Either way, it’s a painted and collaged canvas with wires running across the front to hold tags, photos with mini clothespins, or baubles.  






To make your own…. 

Gesso a white 14×11 canvas.  Paint on bright colors!

Apply acrylic over watercolors and dab off with tissue paper if you don’t want brush strokes.


Add some ephemera with matte medium.


Add more gesso- kinda here and there


Spread on more acrylic paint in darker colors with an old credit card, let it dry and then add more paper. Mine just arrived from Tokyo. 🙂


Stencil on black stars and lace- or whatever.


Add a white heart, initial, or bird, then a random number, two little gold stars, then outline a few elements with a charcoal pencil and brown water color crayons.  Paint the edges black and then add your wire.  I used thin green floral wire that was doubled up on itself.  



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Filed under art journal, make it or fake it

Leather Leaf Necklace

Made a quick little necklace today!  It’s very Urban Outfitters lookin’ and all together only took an hour and a half.

When I do projects that involve bitty bits, I work on a tray and am able to put it aside for a while, sit  and work in my Big Comfy Chair, or take it from room to room.  Pretty convenient when yet another episode of The Closer is on and I need to escape (like right now).  Learn more aboutour dirty little secret here.

First, I found this necklace on Pinterest 

Leather Leaf Necklace Tutorial 14

 and then these…


The other versions have much larger leaves, but since this is a gift for someone that errs on the side of minimalism, I thought smaller leaves would be more apropos.


You’ll need:

Leather scraps –  my Tandy Leather shop has boxes of huge scraps, and the manager let me dig through and snip off corner swatches. He charged me $5 per pound, so I paid $2!

Leaf patterns from heavy paper in two or more sizes.

A fat needle



chain and matching jump rings.

the stuff....

I chose dark brassy findings, but there’s silver, shiny brass, and copper options at Michael’s.

I’d love to use 3 shades of light gray on a silver chain for myself!

Cut your chain to length. This one measures 26” which includes the 2.5” drop. I didn’t have to use a clasp since the recipient has a normal size head, and it will slip right over without even messing up her hair – plus, she loves long necklaces.

Attach the cut end 2.5 inches (or so) above the opposite end. Now you have a lasso shape.


Cut out your patterns and trace onto the scraps. Cut INSIDE the lines so that you don’t have inky leaves.

I cut out 21 leaves. But 40+ in 3 sizes would look cool too!



Lay out a plan, keeping it perfectly random. Above the 2.5” drop, my leaves are  on the right side of the chain.  The drop itself has leaves on both sides. You may want to attach them with the finished sides face up and face down.



Snap a picture of it to look back on as you go.

To get the jump rings ready, find the opening and put it up at 12:00.  Grasp the left side of the ring with pliers (at 9:00).  According to the bevel cut, push or pull the right side of the ring open .  DO NOT  PULL APART OR WIDEN TO A           “C”




Do this  over and over.


Poke a hole in a leaf  with your needle and add a ring.




Add your leaves to the chain and close each ring the opposite way of how it was opened.








Filed under DIY, make it or fake it