Category Archives: THE QUEEN CREATES

Quick and Easy Craft Project

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I love when a friend comes over and I can do an art project or craft with them.  Since I am Queen of Craft Supplies, I can pretty much come up with something fun on the fly.

My friend, Jeanie, came up on Thursday and since we both are writers, I thought it would be fun to do a project with that in mind.  Here is my finished product sans a frame….got to get to the old craft bus to dig thru the stuff in there for a frame to compliment the picture.

img_1870.jpgYou could adapt this project to any kind of interest.  If you had a friend who was into photography, you could do words and photos having to do with cameras/photos, etc and then get a stencil (or make one) of a camera!  The possibilities are endless.

I used:

Canvas boards

Old magazines

Mod Podge

Sponge brush

Copper metallic chalk paint

Acrylic craft paint in Metallic Silver

Black chalk paint

You could substitute the canvass boards and just use cardboard and paint over it to have a background color; white glue for the Mod Podge; a regular 1 in. Paintbrush instead of the sponge brush; any kind of paint for the chalk paint.

Steps:

We spent a while looking thru magazines for words that spoke to us or encouraged us and cut them out.

Then we put Mod Podge on the back of the words and placed them on the canvas boards (funny how different Jeanie and I did this…I slapped the Mod Podge down on the whole canvass and then put my words down in a random fashion while Jeanie first fit her words as she wanted them on the canvas and then put the Mod Podge on the backs of each word and then placed the word down where she had it).

Then we put a coat of Mod Podge on the whole canvas with the sponge brush.

Let that dry for 15min. and then placed the typewriter stencil where we wanted it (Jeanie placed hers to line up with the bottom of the canvas while I just eyeballed the middle and slapped that sucker down….you can see that I am an unstructured artist while Jeanie is very precise!)

Jeanie chose to do her typewriter in metallic silver acrylic craft paint while I did mine in copper metallic chalk paint.  Jeanie was going to outline her typewriter stencil in a very fine black marker while I decided to add a layer of black chalk paint a bit off of the placement of where I had done the copper so it would give it (I had hoped…I never plan these things, I just go with the flow and see what happens!) some dimension.

I let mine dry overnight and then added another coat of Mod Podge over the whole thing and BINGO….it’s finished.

To make a stencil yourself,  you can find a drawing of what you want on the internet, print it out and then make it bigger and using packing tape, cover the drawing in packing tape and then use either a sharp, pointed scissors or an Xacto Knife, cut out the drawing making sure you have a lot of cut outs in your design so it isn’t just one big blob!   I do mine differently, I print, tape and then cut out the basic design and then trace it on whatever I am going to stencil, then cut out another layer of the drawing and trace that, and continue doing that till it is done.  I don’t bother with the stuff I can free hand paint.  Easy Peasy.

If anyone is interested in doing this and wants more info, just let me know and I will empty my brain of what I know to help you out.  I will ask Jeanie to send me a photo of her finished piece and add it to this post when she does so you can see her’s also!

Happy Crafting,

Your Ever Creating Queen

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Junk Stash=Creativity

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Thomas A. Edison, one of the world’s greatest inventors said, “To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk”.

I have taken that quote to heart.

At the moment my junk/craft/art stuff is in various places….some is in my “bedwomb”, some is in my little house that I dream of making into my own tiny house someday, some is in my full-size non-running school bus and some is in a little workroom attached to our not-yet finished showroom in Carlton.  Oh and on my dining room table…..as I was crafting this past weekend with my mom and sister and I did not finish my project so as usual, I just leave it sitting out in the hopes that I will sit down and finish it (I believe the definition of insanity is where you keep doing the same thing over and over and expect a different result?  If so, I am certifiably insane when it come to finishing projects).

Here is my inspiration for my project:img_1159

But here is my reality….partially finished….

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It is going to look like a peacock in a ball gown or a Bjork dress……and it will weigh 5 pounds or more and I will need a railroad spike to get it to stay on my wall in my bedwomb.

And here is the mess that has been on the table since Saturday and will probably be there until I need the table this Saturday.  And then everything will get put in a big box and hidden in the bedroom along with the boxes from this past weekend’s house purge.

 

Creative people have such imaginations that to throw something out is very hard for us because we never know if we may need it for a project.  I do not keep old newspapers, food wrappers, dust balls (tho I did once save dryer lint to stuff some of my creations with until I read that it is really flammable!) dog hair mixed with dust tumbleweeds (tho I would if I could think of a need for it!) or toe nail clippings (but I did once use my dog’s big black clipped nails as nails for a giant rat I made!)

Just think tho, if Edison had not had his junk piles, we would still be using gas to light our homes and run our computers!!!!  So there is hope for me yet….

Until Humpday,

I remain your “never met a piece of junk I couldn’t use in something” Queen

PAINTING AS THERAPY

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Whenever I get stressed out, instead of grabbing a drink or something fattening to eat, I grab my paints and brushes and look around my house for something to paint.  In the past I used to paint the walls but as I have gotten older and less atheletic (I could have been in the Olympics as a long-distance painter….I could paint walls for days on end), I now focus on smaller things like couches and chairs and lamps.

I decided that this project was going to change up a really old bookshelf (I really don’t know what to call it, it was my gramma Tilly’s and she had knickknacks on it if I remember correctly but she died back in 1966 so my eye for detail wasn’t as keen as it is today….tho, often at night, I lay in bed and in my mind, I walk through people’s home that I spent time in as a kid, amazing the details I can remember and even the smells).

When I first inherited it back in the mid-seventies, it was that ugly blackish brown color….I don’t even know what it was called….I have a long library table in that same awful color that was given to us after Scott’s grandmother died and he refuses to let me paint it, so it must have been popular in the pre-1960’s.  My friend, Mary Beth, was kind enough to completely strip the stain off (tho she said she’d never do a piece like that again cause there were so many details in the wood that made stripping it a nightmare) and for years I just left it natural.   Then about 15 years ago, I stained it a   light purple and all was well in the world.

I needed a project and it needed a new make-over so here’s what I did.

I took a bunch of small pots of chalk paint and went to town just slapping the paint on.  I knew I was going to give it multiple layers so getting every nook and cranny wasn’t important.image

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i used Junk Gypsies brand of chalk paint (this is not the kind of chalk paint you use to make a chalkboard) I had gotten a bunch of small sample pots on sale and i wanted to try a new technique where I layered on the paint, let it dry for an hour or so between coats and then after I got three or four coats on, I took a wet rag and wiped off much of the paint layer by layer.  I started on one side and after putting on a couple of layers, I then painted the whole thing in the color I wanted to see the most of.  I let it dry a couple of hours and took the wet cloth to it.  I was surprised how easy it was to get to the lower layers.imageimageI really liked the looks of the sides but wanted to go with different colors for the shelves.  So I picked out three colors for each shelf to layer.imageI went with aqua, then red, then yellow for the top shelf.  Violet, royal blue and then red for the middle and for the bottom I did orange, royal blue and violet for the top.image

second layer’s on

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After I got all the color rubbed off that I wanted, I then took some Super Sparkling Mod Podge and painted that over the whole piece to give it a a shimmer and some glitz

imageI then took some regular glitter and Mod Podge and mixed it together and layered it on the knobs at the top of the bookshelf (anybody got a better word for this piece?)

I am over-the-top thrilled with how it turned out.   I put it out in my tiny home (aka Glamper) and was so inspired by how gorgeous it looked that I painted a whole wall like this and it is so stinkin’ awesome I just can’t stand it.

So tell me, do you love it or hate it????   I am going to be doing my huge hutch in layers but will skip the glitz (I think!!).  I am OBSESSED with this technique.

Off to sleep now out in my tiny home,

Your glitzy (and oh so ditzy) Queen

CALLING ALL CRAFTERS OR CRAFTER WANNA-BEES

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I have decided to give crafting classes at my house!

I love teaching and crafting so why not combine the two?  Throw in some good coffee and a sweet treat and you’ve got a marvelous day.

Since Easter is coming up and I know lots of you buy little stuffed animals for your kids or grands, I made up some different critters for you to make instead of buying.  Wouldn’t your loved one rather have something you made with your own two hands than something bought from a store?

Take a look at these examples:  the first photo is just plain and in the second one I added a few embellishments just so you can see what you can do to personalize them.

image This little piggy is bare…imageThis little piggy has on an apron made from an old quilt.

image imageThis little bear has on some suede chaps and a sheriff’s badge (his body is made from vintage flannel)

imageimageLittle rabbit with “foo-foos”!

imageimageLittle black collar for a little black cat.

image imageNeve give a monkey a drink….this is what happens.

imageThis little puppy was just too cute the way he was…he looks very vintage with his little flannel red tongue hanging out!

image imageSame little elephant pattern but two very different ways to make them up.

So now that you’ve seen what delightful pets you can make for yourself or someone else let me tell you more about the materials.  The heads and arms are made from Mohair fabric.  What is Mohair fabric, you ask?

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Mohair fabric is made from the soft hair of Angora goats.  It has a very silky, fur-like feel to it and comes in hundreds of different lengths, textures, colors.  There are just two mills in Europe that produce mohair fabric anymore so for that reason, it is VERY expensive.  I have quite a stash of it from when I was making mohair bears so you can pick out whatever kind of “fur” you want for your critter.

The bodies can be made totally out of mohair (like the dog) or you can either use my stash of vintage and new materials for the body or bring your own.  (If you have an old blankie, or pinning blanket or whatever has a sentimental meaning for you, bring it for the body or get whatever material you would like.  You only need a piece that is 8×22.  Even a piece of clothing would work.)

The heads move 360 degrees because we use cotter pins and hardboard discs in the critters neck.  The arms are just sewn on.

You can use many different things for the eyes.  I will have an assortment of hand-blown German glass eyes available (most of the critters I made have glass eyes). As well as antique shoe buttons, beads, and buttons for the eyes.

Feel free to bring any kind of adornments for your critters.  I will have lots for you to pick from but you may have some fun stuff you would like to add from home.

These critters would be mostly for children ages three and up but if you let me know ahead of time, I can get safety eyes and joints for infants/toddlers as we don’t want anyone to bite off an eye and choke!

So, who wants to come join me for a fun filled day?

I have openings on Friday March 20 (10am-3pm) or Saturday March 21 (10am-3pm) or Sunday March 22 (11am-4pm).

The cost is $25 ($30 if you do a mohair body) and that includes everything you will need to make one critter.  You can also purchase kits to make more critters at home.

I would be willing to make a limited amount of critters for those of you who can’t or don’t want to make your own.  Email me for details and cost at robynbelsvik@gmail.com

I PROMISE you if you come and take this class you will have a blast and go home with something you will be very proud of.  Even if you can’t sew, I will help you so you will be able to make one.

Hope to see you soon,

The Queen who Creates

THE QUEEN CREATES: FINISHED PAINTED FURNITURE

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Here are the after shots of my painted couch and giant chair and ottoman.  And I couldn’t stop painting so I added some color to my Lazy Arse Chair…made it more fitting for my Queenly bottom to plop down on.

First photo is my naked and boring couch, which I discovered is made from 45% unknown materials (ok, how is that the company that made the furniture doesn’t know what kind of material it is made from????  Should I be worried?)

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I painted the back in an orangish color, the sides in a lime with bright royal blue trim and a fuchsia with a sea foam green trim, the front of the couch below the cushions in yellow (my favorite color of them all) and the backside of the front of the couch (?) in turquoise.  I did the piping on the cushions in teal and hot pink and the pillows have orange and spring green around them.

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I still need to paint the feet of the couch and chair in a bright red glossy paint !

The giant chair has a turquoise side with purple trim, rust with a mossy green trim, the front is done in a grape and the front-back is a dark raspberry and the back is yellow. The cushion has red piping and the pillow has a mustard yellow color.

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I was going to add a little skirt to the ottoman and then I thought, “What the heck are you thinking, Queenie?”  I am not a skirting kinda of gal so I painted on some fun dots and splotches.  Much more “me”.image image

 

This is what I have done so far to my Lazy Arse chair.  I mixed up some craft paints and added water and was hoping for a more burgundy tone but it turned out almost the same color as the front-back of the giant chair.  I added glittery gold paint to all the cording.  Next time I go to town, I think I will get a darker color and repaint it and then also paint the back (and add gold glittery legs to it, cause it is afterall, my throne!).

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So there you  have it…my project for the last week.  I learned a few things in doing these that I should share with you in case you decide to paint your own furniture.

Buy good quality foam brushes!  I had the cheapo ones from the craft store and they gave out fairly quickly and I found some better ones in a staining kit we had and they were so much better.

Acrylic craft pain (the cheap stuff) is easier to work with and blends with the water better.  Just be careful not to wet the fabric too much or the color will bleed into places you don’t want it to.  I never even used water on the Lazy Arse chair as the fabric was a chenille type and took the acrylic/water mix really well just dry.  It took two 2 oz. bottles of paint and 10-12 oz. of water to do one side of my couch with two coats.

And if you need to do more than one coat, wait only about an hour to give the next coat, especially if you are using latex paint as waiting till the next day made it so “crusty” it really tore up the foam brushes.  But if your fabric is smooth, you might not have that problem.

The top of my ottoman is so hard and rough that my daughter brushed against it and got scratched!  But it has 7 coats of paint on it and I will be adding a layer of glossy Mod Podge to it to help protect it from stains and I am thinking if I layer it on thick enough it will help with the roughness.  Didn’t bother the Grands at all, tho!  They liked jumping on it to the chair and the baby kept touching it.

I have another chair that I am thinking of painting in GOLD and it is a leaf-pattern material so it could be Awesome.   My next in-door project.   Gotta get the little Glamper done for my camping trip later this month….

So many projects, so little energy!!!!   Wish we could have three months of sun with temps in the low 60’s to get stuff done.

Your crafty Queen

THE QUEEN CREATES: PAINT-BY-NUMBER ART

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Ooooo, I can just hear some of you now….”Paint-by-number isn’t art”!   Nay, Nay, I say.

The term “Art” is subjective.  It means different things to different people.  It’s a noun that is by definition:  1. the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.  2.  the various branches of creative activity, such as painting, music, literature, and dance.

“TO LABOR IN THE ARTS FOR ANY REASON OTHER THAN LOVE IS PROSTITUTION”  Steven Pressfield

Oh man, can I relate to that.  I am always trying to figure out a way to make my “art” profitable instead of just loving the process.  I am not a keeper of what I make (usually) and so I try to just make stuff to sell.  Which does not make me happy.

“ART RESIDES IN THE QUALITY OF DOING: PROCESS IS NOT MAGIC.” Charles Eames

When I was trying to make a business out of mohair bear -making, I would get so discouraged by all the teddy bear “artists” who would insist that if you used any piece of someone else’s pattern, you could not call yourself an “artist” nor could you sell your piece as an “original”.   I do not have the kind of brain that can make a pattern (tho I did try once and made bears out of it called, “Butt-Ugly Bears”!) but I can take a pattern and “mutate” it so even it’s designer couldn’t tell it was theirs to begin with, but no matter what you did to it, you still could not call it an “original”.

“ART ENABLES US TO FIND OURSELVES AND LOSE OURSELVES AT THE SAME TIME”.  Thomas Merton

I did not grow up “artistic”.  I had no love of art or crafts.  I could not draw well as far as I knew.  I had zero interest in being “artsy-fartsy”.   My mom was very artistic and our home at Christmas had her handiwork on the windows and mirrors.  And I even recall her painting a huge tulip on the bathroom wall.  The only “art” I ever did was painting-by-number on velvet!  I had a boyfriend at the time that drove me crazy by saying he was coming to get me at 6:30 on Friday night and never show up!  I would hear on Monday at school how he was out doing this and that all weekend.  So to keep myself from having a breakdown when he would pull that crap, I would steal some of my mom’s Valium (the doc’s gave it out like candy in the late 60’s-70’s and my mom had it to cope with my dad having a heart attack at age 36) and take it and then sit and paint to get my mind off of what kind of fun he was having without me!)  It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s that I discovered an artistic side to myself and I have been going great guns ever since!

“ART IS THE MOST INTENSE MODE OF INDIVIDUALISM THAT THE WORLD HAS KNOWN”.

I do not have any great artistic talent in any area that I have tried…yet!  But I keep trying new things because like everything else in my life I won’t know if I am any good at something if I don’t try it!   And if I suck at it, so be it.  It’s the “trying” that is important, not the outcome.

The older I get, the more courageous I get when it comes to “making art” be it in my hair choices (you do know I have multi-colored dreads, right?) or my home (such as painting my fabric furniture) or taking an old camper and gutting it out and not putting in a traditional sink/stove/cabinets and painting the outside by hand and doing crazy designs on it (not happened yet, waiting for the right weather).

I am energized by color.  I am excited by color.  I NEED color in my life like I need air and food.  I CRAVE color.  The brighter the better.  I have a book of photographs of galaxies taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and I can spend hours just enveloped in their beauty.  It does not surprise me that my God has created these.  I once read that God created color for no other purpose than to please us.  I am well pleased!

I guess it is now time to unveil my art…..

They are not yet “finished” but I was in a hurry to get this to “press” and so you will see the semi-before photos and then in the next couple of days, I will post the end results.  I have some “tweaking” to do on them to make them “mine”.

This first one, I changed a bunch of the colors as I was painting it as I wasn’t happy with how it looked and then in the second photo, I took waxing medium and blended a clear and a dark brown and rubbed it on the painting to give it more of an “old” look.  I had no idea if it would work out but if you don’t take risks in life (I am a real chicken in most areas of my life, believe it or not!!!) you will always be stagnant.  But it turned out as I had hoped and if you could feel it you would think it might be leather.  It has a really cool feel to it from the wax.  I am looking for an old frame to put it in and it will go down in my Cowboy theme livingroom!

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For some reason my Ipad has added weird lines to the second photo!  There are NO lines in the real painting.   But don’t you think the second painting is better “toned down”?

The next photo is of a painting that I am not quite sure how I am going to “tweak”.  I kinda like it as it is.  But I will put a protective, glossy finish on it since I am going to hang it in my bathroom and everything gets so dusty in there (and I can not figure out why…toilet paper fuzz????) so it will  be wiped down periodically so it needs a finish on it.

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And lastly, this tiny little piece that I picked up at Bargain Bills in Rice Lake, WI for a buck and a quarter.  It wasn’t numbered per se, but it had the paints but I added my own colors.  Sometimes between big projects I like to do something small to get immediate gratification!  I am going to add some “bling” to this and maybe some pompom fringe….who knows, I will just see what I have on hand.

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So now that I’ve shared a bit of what I am doing, what about you?   Do you have an artistic bend to your personality?   Or are you still stuck in the “I am not creative” rut?

I am hoping to start some Arsty-Fartsy classes at my house this fall and I promise you I can make you feel like a Picasso in just a day.   It’s all about attitude and honey child, you KNOW I am the Queen of Attitude!!!!

Till tomorrow when I show you some of my early stuff….

Your Queen of Farts…oops, I  mean Arts!!!!

THE QUEEN CREATES PRESENTS: PAINTING FABRIC FURNITURE

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My home-ec teacher would not believe that I have become a crafty person.  Nor would she ever in her widest imagination believe I can cook, bake and sew.  I was a home-ec flunky.

BUT in the last few decades, I found  my “inner artist” and have made some pretty fun stuff and I am going to be starting a new blog thread (haha) about some of the things I have done and projects that I am doing nowadays.

I have no fear when it comes to decorating (much like my hair and clothing) and my wonderful husband gives me pretty much the OK to do as I like (I think he has given up trying to reason with me…it’s a full-time job and he is just too tired out!) so I have never liked my livingroom couch and giant chair so I decided to paint them.  I checked out how to do it on many googled sites and like all good artists I read their advice and decided to adapt it to my own budget and materials at hand.

The advice is to use a fabric medium to add to the paint and water.  Well I went and bought a bottle and used it all up  in one shot.  So, I thought, what is the worst that could happen and went on to paint the rest of my furniture without the fabric medium.

I am so loving it!  My furniture material is some kind of stuff that is soft but kinda scratchy and I have never liked the feel of it next to my skin so I am going to replace the material on the cushions and pillows and paint the back and sides of the couch and giant chair.

Because I am not working, I have a very tight budget so I decided to use all the left-over latex paint we have in the house.  Some of it is very old but so far, everything I have used has been OK.  And I am using those small, foam brushes (takes two per side as they fall apart half way thru).

To start out, I have mixed the paint and the water in equal amounts and stirred it up. Now I don’t know if it’s because the paint is old or what but it doesn’t mix up as well as I had hoped but I keep stirring it as I am painting and keep adding water to the paint as it gets thicker.  Using a flatter plastic container is working best as I can mix as I paint using the foam brush.

To begin, spray a section of the material with a spray bottle of water.  I do a section about 12×24.  You want it to be damp and I have to work the water in with my hand a bit since there may be a water-proof substance on the material as it just stays on the top of the material.  Once your material is damp, then dip your foam brush into the paint/water mix and really saturate the material, scrubbing in the paint with the foam brush.  It is quite fun to paint like this.  Make sure you have a rag to wipe up the drips and more water to add to the mixture as it gets thicker (yours may not if your paint mixes well with the water in the beginning).

I gave the rust side one coat, I like the look of it as it is….kinda like rust-colored suede with variations in the nape.  Actually, it all looks like colored suede.  image image

One coat on the back of the chair in yellow (it has dried to a gorgeous shade of mustard!)

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The ottoman top was the hardest.  I wanted it a really creamy white and it took seven coats of paint to get it to the color I wanted.  I am going to be putting a little skirt-type thing on the bottom tier of the ottoman as I can’t paint it because it has a fold and there is no way to paint inside of it without it sticking together.  And I will hand-paint a design on the top of the ottoman to compliment the skirt.  (at least that is the plan for now!)

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This turquoise side took two coats and I am loving how it is drying.  Reminds me of real turquoise stones!  Think I will do the back of the couch in this color!  But then again, the dried mustard yellow is gorgeous too…hmmm

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Now this last color is supposed to be lime green but has painted on more of a neon yellow but I gave it two coats and I will wait until it is dry (takes about 12 hours to dry to the touch) and I hope it will be much more lime.  If not, I’ll just either add acrylic green craft paint to the latex paint and try that or repaint it in a different color.  No worries, mate.

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I was thinking of painting the whole frame of the chair and the couch but I am not sure now as the painted fabric is kinda “crusty” feeling and it would feel uncomfortable on the arms.  So for now, I will leave the arms and the front of the furniture (behind the pillows) au natural!   I will redo the cushions and pillows in a coordinating fabric (or to be more honest, I will have someone else do them as they are beyond my scope of talent!).   And I will paint the legs of the furniture also.

I will keep you posted as to the progress of this project and stay tuned for tomorrow’s edition where I will amaze you with my paint-by-number skills!!!!

Your “what’s the worst that could happen” Queen