Monday, July 29, 2013

Adventures in Oregon

I know I've disappeared for a few weeks, but life has been busy! I have many things to share and am excited about all of them....from DIY home makeover projects (can't wait to share these when I'm done) to amazing adventures in Oregon.

We recently returned from a two week trip to Oregon. After visiting last year there was so much more of the state that we wanted to explore. This time our trip took us to central Oregon. Flying into Portland then heading to Bend for three days was the first leg of our trip. So I will start Bend.  The area is surrounded with many opportunities for adventure.

Day 1:  Mt. Hood. We've seen it from a distance and always wanted to explore the area. (Not to mention that Tall Mom on the Run has blogged several times about day I would love to do Hood to Coast!)

We missed the ski lift (it closed just as we arrived), so we went hiking instead. I love to hike! It's not just about hiking, it's about everything that surrounds the trail....birds, plants, trees, rocks, the amazing cool air...all of it. I'm pretty sure I could just sit outdoors all day and enjoy nature.

Welcome to the Mount Hood Wilderness!

First sighting: A wild animal!  EEEK!

Beautiful white and lilac colored flowers along the hike.
Scenic view with snow!

It was a fun day at Mt. Hood. Beautiful views....excellent trails....and snow! What could be better? I can highly recommend making a stop here if ever in the area.  For other activities at Mt. Hood, check their website.

I'll be back soon with more adventures in Oregon....a dune buggy ride, searching for hobbits, beach runs, and even a ghost sighting at Heceta Lighthouse!

Monday, July 1, 2013

DIY Frame

With Pinterest, YouTube, and many awesome blogs to choose from, DIY projects have become really popular! I love making things, from bath salts and body butter bars to cards, frames, and so much more. This week I thought I would share with you something that I recently made for my mom. This project began as a Mother's Day gift (although I am just now finishing it). It's a good thing my mom is patient!

Awhile back I found a cute tutorial on the blog, The Creative Life. I read through the instructions and then tweaked it for my own project. Rather than using a canvas, I decided to use an unfinished wood frame that I purchased from Walmart.

The materials that I used for this project were gesso, acrylic paints, gel medium, scrapbook/handmade papers, wood letters, a distress ink pad (walnut stain), and bubble wrap.

A few of the materials.....on my very messy desk!

Before starting, I gave the unfinished wood a coat of gesso. After allowing it to dry, I added pieces of  scrapbook paper and book print randomly placed around the frame. You could use Mod Podge to adhere the pieces or any type of gel medium. I used Liquitex Matte Medium gel since that is what I had on hand.
Step 1: Paint with gesso.
Step 2: Add papers with gel medium

After the attached pieces had dried, I added several acrylic colors over the papers and around the frame. I mixed a few colors for greens, blues, and a pop of red. I used liquid acrylics to allow some of the layers to peek through and not entirely be covered up. I also used a flower stencil to incorporate some red flowers into my paint layer. To give the flowers a softer texture, I allowed them to dry a bit, then used a damp rag to smear the flowers. I liked how this effect turned out on the frame.

Step 3: Add layers of paint and stenciled flowers, and some distress ink along the edges of the frame

I forgot to take pictures of the next step in the process, but I did follow the steps on The Creative Life blog to create my collage bird. I drew an outline of a bird, then used scrapbook/ handmade papers to cover the outline. Again I used gel medium rather than Mod Podge. I should point out that I have nothing against Mod Podge...just none in the house.

My last step involved giving the frame a coat of gel medium to seal it and the bird, and then adding the wood letters, along with the last second blue ribbon at the top of the frame. I really like how the finished frame turned out! What makes it look cute though is the picture of my mom. She's beautiful!!

Last step: Adding letters, ribbon, and bird.
Finished project with mom's picture.

I still would love to create the "Freedom" mixed media project as described, and will do that soon! The steps, photos, and explanation on Debbie's blog are outstanding!! Thanks for sharing your project online.