Sunday, July 1, 2012

DCC Blog Hop - JULY

It's that time again!

I cannot believe how quickly the months
are flying by.  July already??  Really?!

Today's DCC Blog Hop theme is ...
... vacation!

I made a quick frame from a few of our
souvenir sea shells from down by the sea shore. (!)

First, I purchased a ready-made frame
from the craft and hobby store.  It was like $1.00 or
something completely ridiculous.
I probably bought a dozen.

Paint it up!!
I chose a turquoise blue - one
of my new favorite colors!

I painted two coats onto each side of the frame,
then sanded the front and sides smooth,
and heavily sanded the edges to remove some
of the paint.  This distressed technique is my fave.

 I chose a sandy color for the sand,
and applied two coats.

The color of this paint is ... Sand.  ;)
Not a stretch.
I painted over the sand with
Extreme Glitter - Hologram.

To give the "sand" a more "sandy" appearance,
I dipped a damp toothbrush into
Dark Chocolate acrylic paint and spattered
the paint onto the bottom part of the frame.

Then I set it outside in the 105° heat to dry.
It took like four seconds. 
I painted a coat of Extreme Glitter in blue
over the turquoise background paint.

About the shells:
with so many wonderful helpers on the beach,
I bring home pail-fulls of shells.

Mostly broken bits and pieces.

I learned a technique after our first beach
vacation.  I learned this technique the hard, smelly way.
If you get my drift:

One must thoroughly rinse the shells and set
them out in the sunshine to dry
- preferably DAYS - before
one puts them in the pails to bring home.

Because sometimes there are still critters inside
these shells.  It's their home, you see.
And children who are excited to find these
treasures on the beach, are not inclined to ask
whether they can take the shells home.

They just do it.

We have been much more considerate
of these critters in recent years.
As in ... if "someone" has already claimed
the shell, we must put it back.

But, I digress ...

I chose three that looked pretty perfect,
and I coated them with some
Extreme Glitter - Hologram
to give them some shine.

I wanted to include one of the long-legged
birds we love to watch at the beach;
first I thought I'd just paint him on the side of 
the frame, but since I was going to
go all 3-Dimensional with the sea shells,
I thought it would be cute to do the same for the bird.

So, I chose a pre-cut wooden bird shape
and painted it white.  I added a small teardrop-shaped
Woodsies wooden cut out for the wing, and I
painted that gray.  Then I gave him an eye
and a beak, and some r e a l l y long legs.
'Cause those are fun.
I've often wished I had really long legs.
Oh, well ... vertically challenged I shall remain.
Although, I have found some really
fabulous shoes that make me LOOK taller.

I spattered the bird with the damp toothbrush 
and darker gray paint.  Then I attached
the bird to the frame with Aleene's Tacky Glue.

I used the hot glue gun to attach the
sea shells; because I had been painting for hours
and I was ready to take the final picture
so I could go home and make another batch of
Lemon Bars.  Hot glue dries faster.
Especially heavier items, like the shells.
So if you're in a big hurry, use it.
Otherwise, if you have a few minutes, I
LOVE Aleene's Tacky Glue.
It dries very quickly as well ... and worked
great for the lighter-weight bird and wing.


 I wrote out the word "vacation" on a
piece of scratch paper.  I traced
it onto a piece of tracing paper with a 
permanent marker.  This was my pattern.
Then I centered it onto the top of the frame,
and applied the pattern with chaco paper and
a stylus.

(For the record, the chaco paper is great for
transferring patterns.  You can use light
colored chaco for darker backgrounds, and
dark chaco for lighter backgrounds.
Then, after you've applied your paint, you
can remove any visible lines with
water or a white eraser.
Pretty AWESOME stuff, actually).

I will dedicate a post to lettering, I promise.
For this post, I will tell you what I
did.  I used my favorite lettering brush.
(it's a 1/4" flat)
and I painted over each pattern line
with the Sand acrylic paint.

Once the paint was dry, I took
the same brush, dipped in Brown this time,
and started at the bottom of each
letter and pulled up, lessening the pressure
on the brush as I pull up,
in order to leave paint just on the bottom
part of each letter.

I did the same with White -
starting at the top of each letter
and pulling down - leaving paint just on the
upper part of each letter.

Once dry, I shaded around the letters
with a turquoise paint a shade darker than
the base coat.  Then I took my liner
brush and Dark Chocolate, and outlined
the left and lower part of each letter.

Spatter with the toothbrush.
Seal with a high gloss varnish.

I don't have any photos printed,
they're all on tiny chips and they're in
storage.  So I couldn't add a fun pic to the frame,
and I kept the title general.

I could have used "South Padre Island"
or "Destin, Florida" or something
more specific ... with a date ... and that
would be a fun project for someday when I'm
looking for things like that to do.

That'll be the day I finally decide to put
actual printed photos inside actual
photo albums.  Or better yet, actually
ScRaPbOoK with my thousands
of photos.  I'm gonna do that some day, too.
I promise.

Peace and ... Vacation Photo Frames