IKEA Tarva 6 drawer dresser makeover
I've always loved being surrounded by plants and greenry, but i have more of a black thumb then a green on!! LOL
Well, that is until i discovered succulents! They are now my obsession and I am psychotically placing them everywhere in and outside my house... and they don't die!! yaay!
So here's a very simple picture guide to using Bath and Body Works candle jars as planters for them. Those Jars are so great and scream with DIY possibilities!! heres one!
And thats pretty much it!! Arrange your succulents however you like, i water the soil a little bit once I'm done. They really don't require much water, and since i don't have a hole at the bottom of my jar I'm super careful to not over water them!
Please note: i have used links as recommendations for products i worked with, none of them are affiliate links!
I know it’s been ages since I blogged, as always I’ve been swamped with just about everything! Well what better way to come back then with a DIY?!
A few months into ‘jacket weather’, and this ugly pile of jackets always lying in the corner of the house, had me thinking we need a coat hanger.
So when I saw these IKEA dog tail hooks, posted on my local ‘Buy Nothing’ Facebook page, I had to request them, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them! And if you aren’t familiar with the Buy nothing groups, you need to Google it and facebook your local one, NOW!
Lucky me I was chosen to receive this gift, yaay! And then another awesome member of the same community offered her husband’s help when I was looking for a piece of wood for the project. He made this custom piece, in the size I needed… how nice is that?!
So materials all in hand, I got to work.
1. I first lightly sanded my hooks, so my base paint sticks to the surface a little better. Very easy step as you can see even ‘A’ helped with this part!
2. Next we did two layers of white gesso. We did a pretty messy application, as I wanted texture in my final result.
3. Be patient! We set our dog tails aside to let them dry, especially with the thick paint it will take a while.
4. Put two coats of gesso on the wood, again I wanted a rough surface so I was not at all careful about applying my paint evenly.
5. Here I ran out of patience! Both the kids were asleep by this point and I wanted my project done and up on the wall! So I used my heat gun to dry it. If you use this method please be sure to keep your heat source moving, do not over heat any particular area as it will crack.
6. I then used an old fan brush to apply the blue paint. Even when I destroy my brushes and the bristles are all stuck together, I don’t throw them as they are great for stuff like this when you want texture. But if you don’t have an old one a dry fan brush will also do the job well. DO NOT PUT WATER! This if very important, you will not be able to get this rough texture if you use water with your brush.
7. Give it a few minutes to dry and then I used an old gift card, (again one of the things I like to collect for textures) take your white acrylic paint and apply it onto your board, with the card. Its up to you how much blue you want showing, using your card or something similar create a nice texture on your board through which your blue paint peeps through.
8. Set your wood aside and get back to your dog tails, by now the base gesso would be dry. Apply two coats of copper metallic acrylic paint, (let dry between coats). Two coats was enough for me but if you feel like you need a third go right ahead!
9. Use one dog tail at a time for this step. Once my copper paint was dry, I mixed a nice deep brown color with my Acrylics and using little water I covered up the surface.
10. Using a paper towel very roughly wipe of the brown paint, to your liking. Because of the texture that we created in the first few steps, the dark paint sticks in certain areas giving the dog tails a light antique look.
11. Your dog tails are complete now! So get back to the board, I wanted to add some more texture so very lightly I used my sand paper on the piece and that was it!
12. Time for the hardest part of the project; getting the screws to be aligned!! Best advice I can give you here, measure, measure and then measure again! I first just placed by dog tails on the board to see where I want them all to be; how far apart, centered or not? I choose not to center them. Starting with the middle one, I found it helpful to place a crayon in the hole where the screw will rest, when I put the dog tail back into place the crayon marked the spot where the screw needs to go! Yaay! Double check it’s in the right place before you go ahead and screw it in! Once the middle one is in measure and align the remaining two.
And that’s it your work is done! Place the dog tails on their spots and hang up your piece on the wall, step back and admire your craftiness! I love how this project turned out and how everything just fell into place for it!
It’s a pretty easy project and really the only thing you can go wrong with, is placing the screws!
So have fun with it, and ;let me know if you have any questions!
When we moved to the US a bit over a year ago, I sold/gave away/left behind all of my art, all my art materials, everything really! We came with only what could fit in 4 suitcases!
Packing up our home was an interesting experience, I didn’t think I would respond to it in the manner that I did. Going through objects and clothes etc., giving away ‘items’, was more of a cleansing experience. But when it came to my art, that was A LOT more harder then I would have ever thought, it felt like I was leaving little pieces of me behind, I did not expect all those emotions to come up, as I gave away piece after piece, years and years of work.
When I landed here, my non-existent art studio was empty! So, I restarted everything from scratch, and it was a nerve wrecking process! Making that huge investment all over again, starting a whole new body of work, figuring out where and what to do to get my work out! When a call for the Sammamish Art Fair came out, I thought it would be the perfect stepping stone, so I applied.... And then I thought I was mad to do so! I had literally two finished pieces, I had family coming to visit and I had two little kids! How the heck was I planning to pull this off?! Even when I told my family that I've applied the first thing they asked me was... Are you mad??? Yes! Just the right amount!
I cannot emphasize enough how glad I am that I took this step! In all my years of being a practicing artist, I truly think this was one of my best experiences yet!
I got to meet such amazing artist, in all different mediums. It was such a blessing to be surrounded by such positive, wonderful and supportive artist! Artist who, are excited about each other’s work, those who offer you support in anyway they can! It really is such a blessing!
For my debut into the Art world on this side of the globe, this was a great event for me to have the opportunity to network, meet curators and artist who I would like to work with in the future. It was great event to talk to the audience, Sammamish really is such a friendly place and the people who came were so interested in learning more about your work and your story. Now I’m usually not much of a talker, but I am trying really hard to break that habit and well nice people make it easy to do so!
I had so many wonderful conversations that weekend! And as a MAJOR bonus, the sales were FANTASTIC!!! Being the first time I'm showing my work in this country I really wasn't expecting to sell as much as I did! What an amazing feeling! :)
I left the event that weekend on a high, counting my blessings and patting myself on the back for taking this step!
Feels like ages since my last ArtSnacks box review, got caught up with this thing called 'life' and missed a few boxes! But with family visiting, preparing for the Sammamish Art Fair, and other shows; oh and with the littles! I have no idea where the days are going! Life here seems to be SOOO much busier then life in Pakistan! There you have help for EVERY SINGLE thing!! Here the days just go by with never ending lists of things to do!!
And then suddenly I’m reminded of one of my all time favorite songs:
"And you've been so busy lately
that you haven't found the time
to open up your mind
and watch the world spinning
gently out of time"
‘Out of time’ by Blur - https://youtu.be/SRkX1Up1vnc (yes please listen to it if you haven't ever, and if you have then hear it again just because it such a brilliant song!)
So I spent the day playing with my kids, doing art projects on paper plate witches, white pumpkins, painting the human canvas 'mom's face', decorating the house and cycling in the rain!
A day well spent, which ended with me, my ArtSnacks box and my sketchbook! As you all know by now, A is always just as thrilled as me at the arrival of the ArtSnacks box! As with every box, I have to fight him off to get the first unpacking pic with all the contents! Which were:
1.Higgins black magic ink
2. Caran d'Ache black wood pencil
3. Cretacolor artist studio line colored pencils
4. Pigma professional brush pen by Sakura
5. Connoisseur bamboo watercolor brush
6. Zombie Gummy foot (imagine A's excitement!)
7. ArtSnacks tattoo (also consumed by A!)
I started off my piece with a quick sketch using the Black wood pencil; I just love the look of this pencil, so slick! Bonus points for being super soft and fun to sketch with, so far one of my favorites to keep.
Next I started my shading with the Cretacolor colored pencils, in the Artsnacks intro card, these were described as; "... richly pigmented leads with a buttery feel to produce bold, vibrant color tones. Use these colored pencils to draw on top of other dark-ink art supplies." After reading this, my expectations were pretty high... and then they came CRASHING down!!! Yes they were soft, but bold they were not!! For example the eyes, I wanted them to be a bold popping out at you blue, which I don’t think I was able to achieve; even getting it to what they are was reworking again and again and putting way more pressure then should have been put!
I have to admit I did get frustrated with them pretty quickly and moved on to the Brush Pen; great quality pen, I like the quality of ink as well as the nib. As is with most of Sakura's products! In the past 6 months of my subscription to Artsnacks box, I have seen some form of a black pen in almost every box, so my excitement about a good black ink pen has kind of fizzled out by now! But it was fun to work with; smooth for quick sketches which is an important quality for me! I finished off the piece with some very quick washes using black magic ink and the bamboo brush. I have always been a huge fan of bamboo brushes, when working with inks I always prefer a bamboo brush as apposed to any other sort of watercolor brush. It’s capable of holding a lot more ink and delivers a beautiful variety of strokes. Each stroke very effortlessly has so much character in it; I am a long time fan of these brushes so this was the highlight for me in this months box. And believe it or not I did not own one as yet, because I left mine behind in Pakistan! (WARNING: You will find me saying that ALOT!!)
This piece was a fun one, more of a quick sketch compared to some of the older pieces I’ve done with the art snacks box, but I was able to get a good feels of the materials.
I would LOVE to see some completely different materials in the ArtSnacks box in the next 6 months of my renewed subscription!
A quick end to this post because since tonight I've decided to write and not watch crap on my laptop A and Z have both decided they MUST sleep in my bed and like little baby rabbits they need to feel the warmth of a body next to them, so while I try and feel productive; little people are trying to snuggle!
I'm just that sort of person who works well with dead lines. I think I secretly enjoy the panic and stress that comes with it, but it also pushes me to work more. So after baby 'Z' was born and I was back to working on my art, I thought the next step should be taking part in Art fair. The sammamish art FAir seemed like the perfect next step.... So I got my application form ready to send to the jury and then waited very impatiently to hear back!
Almost immediately after getting my acceptance e-mail, panic mode hit! I've never done something like this, I don't know what all I'm supposed to do? I don't know how to make my work hang? How do I put it up? What will it hang on? Am I supposed to get it? Will they provide it???? Aaaaahh!!!! So the coming week I decided to go over to artEast (did I mention previously that I became a member of this community?!). I figured someone over there would be able to help me out, answers the trillion questions and guide me a bit in this new adventure! And boy was I right!! I met ..... Over there who was SUPER helpful, she even told me in which aisle of which shop to find which screw that would work best for my pieces!!!! And yes I was a complete dork asking the most ridiculous questions!
Sooo! A few weeks later with paintings finished and ready to be hung I sat down to wire them, get them ready for hanging! So here's a small tutorial for doing the wiring and a list of materials I used.
things you need:
1. D hooks with screw
5. Super soft strand (I used No. 4 )
1. Flip your canvas over, so the back is facing you. Make sure to have it the right way around you don't want to do the whole wiring only to find out that'll it'll hang upside down!
2. With your ruler measure the canvas height, if for example the height is 10 inches I'm going to put a mark on the side panels at about 2.5 inches. This is to mark where you screws are going to go, so make sure to measure properly.
3. Once you've got your markings down, get your D hook, screw and screw driver, line up the hook hole to the mark, place your screw and with the screwdriver, screw it in nice and tight. I used the screw driver to just get it into the wood a bit and then used my drill, so much easier! It can be done by hand but if you have a faster easier option, why not?!
4. Once you've got put your hooks in place. It's time to get your wire out. So I put the wire in from the front of the hook not the back, got it through both the hooks and then a little extra to wrap, I kept this almost the same length as the full front wire.... Just a little bit less, so when I cut it and held the wire taunt they were just a little short from meeting in the middle.
5. The knotting of the wire was really easy because of the great instructions that came with the wire!
So here are some little drawings to show you how to do it with instructions too, because if your like me, you need visuals!!
Living in Seattle, rain is really not a big deal, you become used to it… you even stop noticing it! No it does not actually rain ALL the time like they show in Greys Anatomy! But it does rain quite a lot.
But for last two months we've been having a dry spell with little to no rain... And temperatures reaching a Seattle record high. By this point we’re all desperate for rain!
Yesterday morning when I woke up it was a dark and cloudy morning, with a cool breeze and just that feeling of right before a storm. It reminded me Karachi monsoons, one of my favorite times of the year in Karachi. Of course, over here your street doesn't turn into a two day river! But I found myself suddenly feeling so nostalgic, missing that rain smell and just the pure joy that a monsoon rain brings. The break from the heat, the chai, the impromptu Pakoras or Halwa Poori.... Going up to the roof to soak in the rain.
Rain in Karachi is so different, for a few short hours the whole city seems to come alive, people's moods are lifted, Offices and schools close! Yes, it comes with a lot of negatives too, but I still have always loved the rain in Karachi and how the city is transformed.
We were once stuck in traffic in the middle of a monsoon shower, cars had broken down and even the traffic signal had stopped working.... No one was going anywhere. And smack in the middle of all that suddenly there was a bunch of men dancing in the middle of the street!.... No, that's not going to happen in Seattle!
Sitting with 'A' this morning listening to the clouds grumble, I kept sharing my excitement with him about the rain..... He really couldn't careless! And I realised then, it's not a big deal to him.... He only knows the common- not a big deal –Seattle rain.... He doesn't know, and probably will never know Karachi monsoons.
P.S- I’m sorry about the missing steps in the work pics, in a moment of panic where my phone was out of memory I managed to delete a whole bunch of pics I actually needed :S uggghhhhh!
So this is the artist panel i used for this painting:
But i've started using these ones instead:
For the last year, the term ’twenty years’ keeps ringing in my head; those two small words seem to bring such a heavy feeling.
It's very strange to think about how long its been, when you think of '20 years' it feels like such a long, long.... long time ago. Two decades. So much that has happened, so much that has changed. The greater part of my life is those 20 years... but it doesn't feel like it was as long ago as it sounds.
The memories of 20 years ago are so fresh in my head, each one carefully woven inside and double knotted in place.
I created this piece in my first year of college at IVSAA, for my 'Abba' (father) who passed away 20 years ago today. I did it by first creating transparencies of old pictures of him, birthday and postcards that he had given to my sisters and I. I then layered the transparencies, working directly on them with soft chalk pastels and acrylic paint. I also scratched away some areas, with a steel edge scale... perhaps there is an easier way to remove the ink but at that time that’s what I had!
It's always been one of my favorite pieces that is very close to my heart, may not be the most successful, but this piece wasn't about that. Making it was kind of a journey that I needed to take, and a tribute that was long over due.
20 years can be a really long time, or it can just be yesterday....
So it's finally summer here in Seattle. And we've been spending a lot of time outdoors soaking up some good Ol' vitamin D! When we're not out of the house we spend time in the balcony while A plays with his sand box, baby Z sits in her rocker and I contemplate life and important issues such as why is this black table so ugly?! In one of my over ambitious moods I decided it HAD to mosaic it!
Being the impatient person that I am, I got to it fairly quickly, this is the first time I've attempted mosaic so there were lots of mistakes to make and lots to learn! Here are some tips and a guide so you don't make the same mistakes!
Things you need:
1. Mosaic pieces - I got a bag from the thrift store but those weren't enough to cover the whole table so then I got a box of mixed blue pieces
2. Strong craft glue - I used Craft smart
3. wheeled Cutter - I loveeeee this tool!!
6. Bowl for water
7. Grout your choice of Colors I bought the Premixed one.
8. Sealer - optional
9. Surface to mosaic
Step 1: thoroughly clean your surface with a wet cloth and let it dry. Make sure your surface is nice and dry before you get started, as your glue won't work too well otherwise.
Step 2: start laying down your tiles!
As I had mentioned earlier I got a bag of glass pieces from the thrift store, these were all irregular sizes and shapes. But the box of tiles I got were 1inch squares so with my cutting tool I started snipping these. It was extremely effortless to do. I just snipped away without too much thought! I was first laying down all the pieces, and then picking them up again, putting glue on the back and then sticking them back down. But this was taking agessss and I'm not the most patient person! So instead I put the glue down on in a small section of the table, (about 3 x 3 inch) and then just laid my mosaic pieces down on that. Just make sure you have lots of glue and work fast so the glue doesn't dry out. This method also worked well for me because I wasn't following any particular pattern I was just going by how they visually looked next to each other.
This process of putting down your mosaic pieces takes a lot longer then I would have thought.... I was hoping to have it all laid down in one day! Yes, a little over ambitious I know! But realistically with giving it about and hour to two hours max a day; with distractions and ‘A’ laying down the tiles with me.... I got it done in about 4 days.
Step 3: let it dry! Let your glue dry over night. I used craft glue as it's easy to use, I already had it at home, it dries clear and it's got a strong hold. But glues specifically made for Mosaics are available also. I was happy with what I used. It did lightly rain one night and the table got wet, so I had to re-glue some of the pieces, which had come loose.
Step 4: Grouting! Yet another process I really underestimated! It just looks so simple and easy to do in all the shows on TV....it's really Not! THEY LIE!! Of course they didn't have a 3 year old helper so I'm sure that had something to do with it! I started off by laying down the premixed grout, covered all the tiles and rubbing it into all the gaps. The instructions on the grout said to let it sit for half an hour and then wipe it down with a sponge and water. Which I did, but between me and ‘A’ turning it into a game of pouring water onto the table with the sponge, I think we kind off over did it. Because once it dried the entire thing had lots of cracks. So I let it dry over night and then the next day once ‘A’ was asleep I re-grouted it. Technically I should have first removed the first layer but it seemed like that would take too much time. The second layer seems to be working perfectly!
Step 5: sealer- after letting it set for a few days I applied a surface sealer which was a very easy process of applying it with a sponge brush. Not a very necessary step, but since I live in Seattle and usually it rains a lot and the table is outdoors I thought it was a good idea, but of course since having done that it hasn’t rained at all! So, I haven’t really been able to test it.
But I loveeeee how my table turned out! Here are a few tips so you don’t make the same mistakes I did!
1. Don’t be shy with the glue. Make sure to use enough so that each piece sticks.
2. Wear gloves.
3. When applying the grout rub it in all the little cracks. It doesn’t need to be a thick layer on top of each tile; it’ll just be more work for you later.
4. i smoothened out my edges with an old credit card which worked perfectly!
5.Don’t use to much water when wiping it off.
6. Use a soft cloth for cleaning when there’s a very light greyish residue remaining.
Hope this helps with your mosaic project, if you have any questions leave me a comment and ill get back to you asap!
You can find some of the products i used here:
The Art Snacks June box is here! And that too just at the perfect time when A’s summer camp has just started! Which means…. I was able to open my box toddler free (thus all the pics!) and my little candy snack is still sitting on my desk! Woohoo!Read More
This past year has been a really eventful one for my family and me. It started off with us packing up our house in Karachi, Pakistan and moving across the globe to Seattle, Washington. While living at my mum's place, job hunting and being surrounded by 7 unpacked suitcases we also found out we were expecting baby number 2! It was a tough year of really not knowing what’s happening with your life, but here i am a year later sitting in our own apartment... 7 suitcases unpacked, art work hanging up on the walls (well mostly!), Mr.O (lets just call him that, I’m not a fan of the word 'hubby') at work and kids in their room playing (one of those rare moments!). I can now comfortably say that we have finally settled into our new lives!
It was hard to work during the last year between having life as we knew it turned upside down, moving, packing, unpacking, being pregnant, house hunting, job hunting, etc. etc.!!! My head just wasn’t in the right place to work so I pretty much took a yearlong break... it wasn’t really intentional but just happened. A month after having baby Z, life finally seemed to have settled down again and I just wanted to get back to my work! But here’s the thing, when you work for your self, its hard to make your self get up and work. When you have a job, you have a day that your maternity leave ends, there are deadlines and work hours that you have to stick to. But when you work for your self; once you get a break from the house and the kids... whose goanna stop you from collapsing on the couch in front of some good Ol' mindless TV!?
After moving here I joined some artist communities, and groups, one of which was ArtEast; so far I’ve found it really useful. During this slump of mine, there was an artist call through ArtEast for artwork for a book cover. I don’t want to name the title of the book since its still in the publishing stages, but it was a compilation of short stories about women, running away from their lives (in short!). The book spoke to me and immediately I had some ideas for it, and I thought it was the perfect thing to get me back into my work. Best part was I had a deadline! So finally I got the TV off and back into work! And I lovedddd it! I remembered all the reasons I love working and all the reasons why I need to make time for my art. Even if it meant staying up late in the night and working with a small desk lamp in a corner of your room while the rest of the house is sleeping, it is worth it, because you know what, it makes me a happier, nicer person!!!
At the end, my sketch for the book cover wasn't chosen, and it was disappointing; as this field can sometimes be! Every piece of art you make, its a piece of you that you put out there to be judged and scrutinized, and it can be hard sometimes, but also so rewarding!
“Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol
Done using Sakura ink pen set and winston newton inks.
This is the first time I received the Art Snacks package, after having subscribed to it...it was a long and anxious wait!
The package finally arrived in the mail in the first few days of May. Inside the cardboard box the supplies were folded in a bright green tissue, which only meant I'd have to fight my three year old son 'A' for them! Since he had decided to attack the box with me, I didn't really get a chance to look at the stuff properly, as my 3 year old was trying to attack the box to get to 'his' new art supplies. Just a quick peek of what was what, before panicking and hiding everything before he started coloring Spiderman with my beautiful new supplies!! Here's what was inside the May box:
-Kuretake Bimoji felt tip pen
-Clean color f marker by ZIG
-Baggu 3D zip
- MONO zero black rectangle eraser by Tombow
-Palomino blue graphite HB drawing pencil
Oh! Did I forget to mention the supplies came with some candy?.... needless to say I didn't see much of this... just a glance initially when we opened the box up and then the empty wrapper!
I had to wait almost 2 weeks till I got a chance to sit down and play with my new materials; but in my defense 'A' who is 3 years and his little sister 'Z' who is 3 months keep me pretty busy, plus it was A's birthday this month, and I had a deadline for a book cover I was working on! (More on that later).
So finally one afternoon in the golden hour when both the kids are asleep I sat down to play with my new toys!! :D I've been wanting to do a humming bird piece and thought the new materials would be perfect for it. So let's start with the Baggu 3D zip, it's a cute little case to store your supplies, I love the fact that it's machine washable! And I can always use something new to organize my art supplies!
I started off my piece by doing a rough sketch of my picture, using the Palomino Blue Graphite HB drawing pencil. It's a good quality HB pencil, sharpens well and produces a nice soft line. And if you’re like me and like to use a blade to peel away the wood to sharpen the pencil, it does so beautifully!
After putting my initial sketch down I put some Color down with the clean Color f marker by ZIG in pink, and then I used my brush and water to give it a soft wash. Working with this pen, my first thought was; 'I don't like it! ' I didn't like how it was blending; there were sharp pen marks in the middle of my soft washes! But I decided to keep going and once I got the hang of how to work with it....I LOVE IT!!! The Color is so vibrant and it can give you all sorts of different marks, I'm a fan!
I started doing my rendering with the HB pencil and the Kuretake Bimoji felt tip pen. This part actually got really challenging for me, I would have loved to pick up my 3B pencil for this, but that’s the whole point of the challenge.... to ONLY work with the materials in the box.
There was a lot of back and forth on this part, sculpting the form of the bird with the MONO zero; which btw, I am absolutely in love with! It is so much fun to work with this to render my piece. I could easily make a nice variety of marks, from bringing out intricate details to larger mark making in the background. This is for sure going to be added to my permanent art collection! This little nifty tool is way much easier then biting off (no not eating just biting!) a piece of your eraser so you can have a nice sharp piece to work with!
I initially was only using the Bimoji for giving some detail to the drawing but then decided to do a lot more with it.... I’m still not sure how i feel about that decision! But this marker is AMAZING!!! I’ve always been a huge fan of Sumi ink; it is the blackest form of black ink you could possibly ever get. And this marker is just that, and the best part is that the way the marker is made to not only look, but feel and work just like a Sumi brush!
So there you have it! I clearly have my favorites from this box, and those, which will be added to my permanent art supply box. But overall, I loved the first Art Snack box. Not only is it the fact that you get some new art supplies every month (who wouldn't love that?!), but I also really like the challenge of working with only those materials to produce a piece. Which I did... not sure how much I like it, but I did it! And at this point in my life I need something that’s going to keep giving me that challenge!
p.s what a perfect gift for anyone who likes to even dabble in art!