Ok, first of all, can I just say how stinkin’ excited I am that Kim asked me to guest blog during her Creativity Week at seven thirty three!  Totally made my year!! I’m Heidi from The Craft Monkey, and I’m SUPER excited to be here to share with you today! A little about myself before we jump in feet first, I’m happily married for almost 4 years to my college sweetheart drinking buddy. We both grew up in Southern California and when we found out we were pregnant we decided to move to Louisiana (where my family is from) so that I could quit my job and stay home with our {2 year old} monkey who LOVES to craft with me! I craft to keep busy, entertain the boy and to try not to loose my sanity (though some days are easier than others!), and it’s cheaper than drinking! 🙂
 

 

 

I’m currently in the process of redecorating my house, changing from a tuscan(ish) vibe to a more comfy beach cottage feel.  I’m trying to do this on the cheap, and instead of going out and buying all new decor, I’ve challenged myself to make-over crap stuff I already have! Should be interesting anyway.  So I had these old plaques and although I loved these and they were perfect for my “old” look, they don’t quite have the beachy vibe goin on that I’m looking for.  We had one semi warm day in the middle of a cold spell, and I drug my husband and the boy to the beach for a photo shoot.  Neither complained, my husband is used to my crazy schemes and the boy was just plain happy to get to play outside! 

 

 

 

I shot these pictures with my fancy schmancy camera (that I have NO idea how to work).  I just take about a ZILLION pictures, and hope to get 1 good one.  Then I edited them with an online design software. I made them black & white and then painted the blue back into the pictures, easier than it sounds and FREE! Gotta love FREE!  I saw the quote “sandy toes & salty kisses” on some stamped jewerly awhile ago, and just thought that was so cute, so I added that to my pictures. Then I had them printed  as 8 x 10’s (at walgreens), that takes about an hour (good for me, along with being cheap, I also have ZERO patience).

 

My original signs were about 14 x 10 (ish), so I begged my sweet hubby to cut them down to 8 x 10 for me, then I painted them.

 

 They weren’t quite 10″ long, so I tried to trim my pictures to fit, but my paper cutter hates me (I’m pretty sure it’s operator error, but I’ll never admit that) & I measured the right side of the paper &cut the wrong side….UGH.  Too impatient to have them printed again, I just went with it and had to (as Tim Gunn would say), “Make it work!”

I mod podged my pictures onto the painted boards.  I could have added a layer of mod podge over that and been done, but while buying more mod podge I found “brushstroke” mod podge…WHAT? I was a little nervous about using it, figuring I would totally mess them up, but I really liked the idea of being able to add a little more texture & dimension.  I practiced on an old picture first, and it was as easy as the directions said.  So off I went to add “brushstrokes” to my pictures.

The directions say to let dry about 24 hours, so I brushed on my vertical strokes one night, and my horizontal strokes the next night.  It was REALLY hard to get a picture of the brushstroke effect, but it actually makes these look as if they are canvas! I’m really in love with the brushstroke mod podge!

 Anyway, after drying FOR-EVER, they are finally done! I love, love, LOVE the way they turned out! I can’t wait for the living room to be painted so I can hang them up!

 

 

Thanks again to Kim for inviting me to share, I hope that this wasn’t too boring and that maybe, just maybe, you were inspired.  I’d love to see it if you make something similar!

 

Happy Day!

Heidi @ TheCraftMonkey