Life on the creative side

Collecting moments

Photo transfer on wood to personalize your corn hole boards

So many exciting changes going on in  life right now.  As I mentioned in my last couple of posts my family is currently knee-deep in the process of opening up a restaurant in our little sea-side community of New Smyrna Beach, FL.  My talented daughter and her  husband, who has just completed his commitment to the Air Force, have moved back to help with the project, as has my wondering adventurer of a son. AND hubby and I have recently become grandparents for the first time –  awesome!

And into the mix comes my son-in-laws thirtieth birthday. A thirtieth birthday is reason enough to celebrate, but now is also a great  time to honor his military service to our country. So in addition to all the packing and unpacking, meeting with restaurant consultants, architects, landscapers, city planning… we throw in a party – why not.

ben's 30th bday at TW

More about the party later but for now I’m focusing on the gift my daughter made for her hubby –  corn hole boards. If you haven’t heard of corn hole, which I can’t imagine, it’s a game where two teams try to toss  bean bags (or in this case a corn bags), from some distance,  through a small hole cut out of their competitors  board. But my purpose for telling you all this  is really  to share the how-to process for doing a photo transfer on wood to personalize your corn hole boards.

You can buy corn hole boards and bags or make your own as we did.

Supplies needed

Corn hole boards (plain unpainted)

Images printed on Laser printer (image reversed) using the lightest weight paper possible

Matte gel medium (in painting supplies at your craft store)

Paint brushes (foam or bristle, we preferred a 3″ foam)

Bone (crafting tool not body part), credit card or plastic scraper etc. (used to flatten and get the air out when you adhere the image)

Rags and a bucket of water

Matte polyurethane

Drop cloth – it’s go’na get messy

Now comes the fun!

If you plan to enlarge the image make sure it has a high-resolution so that the image does not pixellated when it is enlarged. The picture will be placed  face down so if it has words or objects that would be effected if they came out reversed, you will need to plan ahead and reverse the image before printing.  You will eventually be rubbing  the paper off the board so use as thin a paper as will print, we used 24lb).  I must be  printed on a laser printer. Make a couple of copies, just in case – trust me, we were glad we had extras.

Let’s get started.

Cutting as close to the edge as possible, cut out the image.corn hole, cutting out the image

Put a drop cloth down under your boards.

Most instructions will say to paint a thin layer of the matte gel medium on the right side of the image then carefully position it face down,  on the surface of the board. However making a corn personalized hole boards, applying mediumwe found that the paper would curl and was difficult to handle so we ended up painting a medium thick layer of gel directly on the wood then placed the image face-down on top of the gel, but this only works if you know exactly where you want the image.  Make sure to wipe away any exposed gel before it dries.

With a bone or a credit card or a plastic scraper (our preference was the scraper) carefully press the image, rub out all the air bubbles and make sure the edges are down. Gently wipe off any access gel.

corn hole, drying transferNow the hardest step – waiting!  For you patient types, the instructions call for you to wait  6-8 hours for the gel to completely dry.  But, I’m sad to say,  I’m NOT the patient type, so out came the hair dryer.

It’s time for some  messy. Get your bucket of water and towels. You want your towel to very damp but not wet, if you tried you could still ring a bit of water out – very damp. Put the very damp towel on the top of the transfer until it is completely soaked, you will see the paper change color and look more translucent; it may take a minute or two (if you are using a large image work a small area at a time, you’ll see why in the next step.

Ready for your workout? Once the image is saturated you will need to rub off the paper.  We alternated between using our fingers and using a wet rag making personalized corn hole boards, rubbing off paperwrapped around two fingers to gently, but firmly rub and rub and rub and rub the paper. Be extra careful along the edge not to rub off the image. Right away  the paper sloughs off, but look close and you’ll see teeny little fibers still clinging to the image – they have to go. This can take a while.

When all the fibers have been buffed away you will be ready for a break, so take one while the image completely dries. If any pesky little fuzzies are still around, you will see them as the image is dries, you can moisten the area again and rub some more.

Once all the fuzzies are gone and the image is completely dry apply a coat of matte polyurethane and you’re done.

jet corn hole board

I wish I could share some pictures of the party but I was  having so much fun I forgot to take them!

 

 

 

 

 


Sisters glamping weekend on the Ridge

After months of planning and countless yard sale outings in search of glamping supplies, we were finally  ready for our sisterhood glamping weekend on the Ridge.

sisters glamping weekend

Even through we had a one day rain delay, we quickly regrouped and with the help of my wonderful hubby and brother, and the inspiring spirits of the beautiful woman gathered, the weekend was an amazing sisterhood bonding and celebration extravaganza!

We began our sisters glamping weekend with breakfast at my mothers, breakfast wraps and fried sweet potatoes – yum!

breakfast and granny glampers

While we lingered around my mother’s table, the guys, hubby and brother, sat up our canopies and beds: my brother-in-laws also helped out with chopped fire wood and a full cistern  – we have some great guys on the ridge!

2 building camp

Then the glamping began!!!

6 glamping time

Sheers and colorful tablecloths became tent walls.

jane constructing her tent

Then right before our eyes a collection of unique glamping personalities formed in the kaleidoscope of color and texture as we styled our weekend homes.

13 glamping in red

11 bohemiem glamper

33 glamper

10 a Diana in her tent

8 janes tent 1

7 b glamping artist vibe

Over the course of the weekend we crafted, hiked, shared, dined, toasted, laughed, cried, sang and danced; strengthening our bonds of sisterhood.


Creative gathering: how to make paper

how to make paper

Hallelujah! Finally, my studio is restored and reclaimed! After months of repair and restoration, that threw my studio into disarray, I have my creative escape back.

 

cabin studio

 

I held a gathering to celebrate and the creative activity was paper-making.

 

how to make paper gathering at blue antler studio

 

Three of my five sisters – kindred spirits all – joined me in the celebration and the creative process of making paper.

 

making paper with kindred spirits in the studio

 

Having made paper with my small children, who are now ages 23-30 (admittedly a while ago),  I knew it was a simple, fun process. But I Googled “how to make paper” just to refresh my memory; it returned intimidating results with complicated, multi-step instructions. So I decided to turn off the computer and go with what I remembered about the process. After gathering supplies and putting on our creativity rings (a tradition among my sisters) we got started.

Supplies

Recyclable paper – torn or shredded (we had newspaper, junk mail, old magazines and paper bags).

Extra newspaper (blotting paper) and old towels – for blotting out water

An electric blender

Rolling pen

Chalk powder or crushed chalk pieces – for color

Flowers, leaves etc.

Water

Large container for water bath

A frame/screen sieve: This is a simple tool similar to what gold miners would use to pan for gold (the frame can be different sizes but need to be a few inches deep with the top side open and the bottom side covered with a taut, fine screen or sheer fabric) and must fit into the water bath container.

Hubby made a frame/screen sieve for each of us out of scrap 2×2 lumber and an old, torn window screen. For each sieve he cut the 2×2 lumber into two – 9 inch long pieces and two – 12 inch pieces (the size can be whatever you want and determines the size of the finished paper, but it must fit into the container used for the water bath).

Using glue, screws and the cut lumber pieces he constructed a simple, rectangular frame.

Then using the assembled frame as a pattern, he cut two pieces of screen, one slightly larger than the frame (which he stapled tautly across the bottom of the frame to create the sieve), the second piece of screen he cut to the size of the inner dimensions of the frame; on this piece he left 4×4 inch tabs on each end of the screen. The screen with the tabs fit snugly inside the frame/sieve with the tabs sticking up above the edge of the frame so we could use them to gently lift the paper out of the frame. (By using the extra screen with tabs to remove the newly made paper from the frame/sieve to dry, it allows you to make more paper with one frame more quickly: this step can be skipped and the newly made paper can be left in the frame/sieve to dry)

optional – creativity ring :)

 

making paper in our creativity rings

 

Step 1: shred recycle paper in blender adding enough water to make a thick soupy pulp (at this time you can add chalk for color, flowers or glitter etc.)

 

paper making using a kitchen blender

Step 2: fill water bath container with water

Step 3: place screen with tab inside the frame/screen sieve (make sure tabs are sticking up and out of the frame); place the frame/sieve into the water bath barely  submerging the screen; pour blended paper pulp into the frame/screen sieve until the screen is completely covered with a thin layer of pulp; gently swirl the frame in the water to evenly spread the pulp over the screen; at this point you can place pressed objects into the pulp, make sure there is some pulp overlapping the object.

water bath stage of making paper

 

beautifully embellished hand made paper

 

Step 4: lift the frame from the water bath, let drain and place on towel or layer of blotting paper and blot gently.

 

making paper using recycled newspaper

 

Step 5: using tabs on the screen gently lift the paper from the frame and place the screen with the new paper onto hard surface covered with a layer of blotting paper and cover with more blotting paper, gently roll with rolling pen (using no pressure) to express more water, then carefully peel off the blotting paper.

Step 6: carefully transfer the new paper to a drying rack with the newly made paper down and carefully peel away the screen with tabs.

papermaking, releasing from screen (2).JPG 2

 

We used another old screen as a drying rack.

 

making paper embellished with flowers and drying in the sun

It was a wonderful, creative gathering.

 

making paper gathering in the studio

And another moment for my collection.

Check out  the following link for more great sites full of inspiration

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The 4th of July from a Brooklyn roof top

The 4th of July from a Brooklyn roof top:

the 4th from a rooftop in brooklyn

 

This 4th of July I spent a week  in Brooklyn with my daughter (a soon to be mother) and her husband.  We  spent the first few days of my stay  making their lovely  apartment ready for the arrival of their baby boy.

 

The 4th from a Brooklyn roof top

 

Phase one of our efforts was to move the bed into the living room – loft style.  The apartment would be a true loft, with open living, dining and kitchen space, twelve-foot ceilings, wall of windows, and reclaimed wood floors except for the odd partition added to boost it into the one bedroom rental bracket.  We then divided the partitioned space with part of it being designated closet/dressing area and the rest set up for the baby.

 

The 4th from a Brooklyn roof top

4th from a brookly rooftop

 

Then we moved on to  completing the  little odds and end jobs that tend to get put off until such an occasion as a nesting  mother-to-be: hanging mirrors and pictures, re-potting plants, cleaning baseboard  and organizing storage.

 

The 4th from a Brooklyn roof top

4th from a brooklyn rooftop

the 4th from a brooklyn rooftop

 

Little Rocco pup knows something’s up.

 

4th from a brooklyn rooftop

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But not to worry, we  made room on our to-do list for  dining at amazing restaurants, shopping in Manhattan and visiting the Brooklyn flea, where I purchased this fabulous bag by Ryan Greer of flux productions, www.fluxproductions.net

 

the 4th from a brooklyn rooftop

 

and of course, fireworks over Manhattan – the 4th from a Brooklyn roof-top.

 

the 4th from a brooklyn rooftop

the 4th from a brooklyn rooftop

 

 

4th from a brookly rooftop

I’ve joined the party over at

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Moments Gathered Around the Table

Moments gathered around the table nourish more than the body.

grandma T and Kate making dumplings

Skills and traditions are passed on, around the table

wedding setup

We gather around the table to celebrate joyful occasions

 

wedding banquet tables

wedding banquet tables

GrandpaTfeedingbabyKate 001

Generations bond around the table

a moment in costa rica

Friends travel to far away places to gather and party

farm tour end

Sisters gather to share laughter, food and wine

around a farm table

Memories are shared around the table

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New traditions begin around the table

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Mom’s table is always set

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Families grow

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Empty nesters find new tables to share

Gingerbread build-off

Holidays, memories and life happens around the table

 


Proud Moment, American Heroes

american heroes

My American heroes

This is an office with a view


Puppy Love

Sweet moment of puppy love

image moment with Rocco


A Thankful American Moment

displaying the american flage

From my window I am witness to a thankful American moment.

displaying the american flag

My neighbor at the beach is an elderly man in his eighties.  As a young man he immigrated from Portugal to the United States, three times, twice ill-legally then finally legally. Everyday since he was given the opportunity  to become an American citizen he has taken a moment to give thanks for that privilege.  Now seventy some years later he still puts out his American flag each morning and takes it back down each evening; a ritual I often noticed from my window. The amazing thing is that after all these years it hasn’t become just another of his daily chores. Each time this grateful American puts out the flag he takes a moment to give thanks; he wraps himself in his flag, says a small prayer and raises a corner of the flag to his lips for a kiss; then, more often than not, he subtly wipes a tear from his eye.

displaying the american flage

God bless America


Moment Number Three And Counting

Moment number three of my year in moments came when this sweet little guy became the newest member of our family.

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Another Moment For My Collection

Collecting moments is easy when you surround yourself with good people.

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Hubby and I have been fortunate to have had our lives filled with good people. Great friends – both new and old – families and neighbors have made for a moment filled life. For our children, the best memories of growing up are populated by aunts with Barbie dolls in balloons, uncles with cool antique cars and four wheelers, grandmas with warm hugs, grandpas with walking sticks and mischievous smiles and dads of “The Camping Group”.

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As young new parents a group of our friends formed a father/children camping group. Once a month the moms escaped life’s routine at a mom’s-night-out-dinner, while our hubbies let the children run wild through various state parks and camp grounds. There are countless stories, that have grow bigger with each retelling, of gators, bears, rope swings and camp fires. Eventually the group grew to more than a dozen dads and their kids, which lead to the creation of a custom  camping grill – “the camping trailer” – to feed the growing number of mouths. Now, with countless camping trips, almost as many tailgate parties, numerous end-of-the-school-year parties, and one wedding later the old camping trailer found itself in need of repair. So this weekend the dads came together once again to give the old trailer a new life; and me, moment number two for my collection of moments, 2013.

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Who knows maybe there will be a second generation camping group.


Collecting Moments

Cabin Christmas 2012

Collecting moments

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, we certainly did. Our cabin on the ridge was overflowing with Christmas spirit, family, friends and joy. After months of renovating the studio loft into a guest room; the  modest kitchen into my dream kitchen; and assembling enough beds and linens to accommodate an extra ten plus guests, we were finally ready to celebrate; and celebrate we did!
Cabin Christmas 2012
 I had intended to share the holiday activities and festivities with you, but I got so caught up in the moment, the season and our guests that I didn’t even pick up my computer. Before I knew it, the days of my impromptu sabbatical had passed and it was time to say good-bye to our guests, the season and 2012.
Gingerbread build-off
Today, with the moments of the season and of the past year nestled in my memories and the promise of new ones stretching into the new year, I’m inspired to make this new years challenge: seek-out,  live-in and capture the big and small, planned and unexpected moments of 2013;   So begins “A Year of collecting moments!
pappy van winkle arrives at the cabin
# 1- Gathered around a bonfire with dear friends of twenty-five+ years to
 say good-bye to one year and welcome in another. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Friends around bonfire

 


Lovely live edge table crafted from salvaged lumber

Lovely live edge table crafted from salvaged lumber

As anyone who follows my post knows, my oldest daughter married in May; yes the father of the bride is wearing a Hawiian shirt.  If you are new to Blue Antler Studio, welcome, and you can catch up on all the fun by looking at my earlier postings. joyful father-daughter dance to "brown-eyed girl"

Anyway she and her new husband just moved from their tiny  Brooklyn apartment into a beautiful loft. Like he did for our other daughter when she and her husband moved into their first house, my “talented hubby” crafted a beautiful table for the latest newlywed’s new home; and this weekend we made the two-day drive to Brooklyn to deliver them the table.

live edge table crafted from salvaged lumberThe table is not just your average table, it is a seven-foot slab of live-edge, spalted maple and it is a collaborative work of art between the Good Lord and my hubby! The benches are spalted hickory and reclaimed heart pine, left unsealed for a raw finish; unlike the table which my hubby hand rubbed to an incredible sheen. The legs and supports are constructed from galvanized pipes attached to industrial wheels.  It is perfectly suited for the hip young couple and their urban loft home.

live edge table crafted from salvaged lumber

 

The drive was long but colorful and scenic.

Driving into the city in our pickup truck took nerve, but hubby has nerve, so over the bridge we went.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 When we spotted one of the iconic water towers of Brooklyn,

brooklyn water tower

we knew we were getting close.

Finally….

we arrived at the lovely, spacious loft  – it is amazing!

And the table…

 live edge table crafted from salvaged lumber

 fit perfectly in its new home.

Over the weekend we gathered often around the table to enjoy great food and wine, conversation and laughter;  toasted the newlyweds and their new home; thanked the Good Lord for making such beautiful things as trees and family and cheese; and of course we bragged and bragged on my hubby and the table.


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