Friday, 26 June 2015

A Room with a View Courtesy of Window Art

Courtney deVerges, sales assistant, office hand model, amateur window artist
I’m rapidly approaching the one-year anniversary of my big leap to move to New York City after spending my entire life in the south. I successfully survived the winter, which was quite the feat, and now I’m experiencing (and loving!) how alive the city becomes in the summertime.
NYC has so many things to offer, but spacious living quarters is NOT one of them! My good friend from college and I live in an itty-bitty apartment (in a GREAT location, luckily)—which means there are no closets, no dishwasher, no washer or dryer, and NO views (unless you consider a dark alley and a brick wall idyllic . . . yeah, didn’t think so). So I thought to myself, why not create my own view that I can wake up to every morning? That’s when I grabbed a Klutz favorite, Window Art, and put on my interior decorating hat.

Window Art has been a Klutz mainstay for almost 15 years and now I see why. With a few squirts of paint, a steady hand, and the patience to let the paint dry, I was able to turn a boring window typically hidden behind a curtain into a room with a view!
Since I decided to create designs that were not in the book, first I drew skyscrapers on paper with a permanent marker. My rendering of the Empire State Building was a tad too tall to trace it onto the plastic sleeves that come with the book, so I used a large zip-top plastic bag. It worked just fine. Then I followed the steps in the book by placing the plastic tracing sleeves (or plastic bag) over my drawings, and tracing the buildings with the black paint.

I also traced a sun and a moon, both designs included in the book. Tip: It takes a little bit of practice, but the designs come out better if you don’t let the tip of the bottle touch the plastic when you’re tracing. That way, the outlines create an unbroken barrier to hold your fill color.
I let the black paint dry for a little while and then began to fill in my designs with the colored paints. It’s important to be generous with the fill colors. Have no fear—I thought the fill colors were bleeding over the black details, but once the paint dried overnight the colors sort of shrunk within their barriers and the black details were still perfectly visible! Check out the before and after pics:

See, even though it looked like the blue paint was covering up the black window details, once it dried the windows were very clear.
I let my designs dry for a good 24 hours, then carefully peeled them off the plastic and placed them on my window. And ta-da! I had my very own one-of-a-kind stained glass designs. Not only did I add some pizazz to my mini bedroom, but also now I can say I have a view! Who needs a swanky rooftop after all?

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Craft Day at Grandma's (with Potholders and Other Loopy Projects)

Kim Ryon, sales manager and grandma extraordinaire

What better way to bring out my inner seventh-grade crafter on a special afternoon with my granddaughters than to tackle a project that I remember doing during summer camp—Potholders! I have clear memories of sitting on a rickety picnic table at a community park creating these colorful kitchen accessories.
I couldn’t wait to make new memories with my granddaughters when I saw Potholders and Other Loopy Projects. This Klutz activity kit is packed with hundreds of colorful loops and a loom that makes it easy for kids of all ages to weave a variety of fun crafts. It was a perfect activity to take on with my granddaughters, who are 4 and 9. We planned a “Craft Day at Grandma’s” so that I could share my exceptional knowledge of welting and weaving with them, but in a last-minute panic my daughter-in-law asked if she could leave her son with me too. I couldn’t say no to my grandson, but I was sure that Isaac would be bored out of his mind since his favorite thing to do at our house is help Grandpa with yard work, or fix anything that needs repairs. But boy, did he prove me wrong. By the time his older sister, Lena, was done picking out the colors for her potholder, Isaac was already halfway through his own.
Potholders and Other Loopy ProjectsPotholders and Other Loopy Projects

We only had two looms so the youngest, Lyla, took pictures while she waited her turn (but she was itching to make a potholder of her own). Once it was her turn, she loved stretching the loops straight across the loom, and I loved seeing how proud she was of her color combination! The second layer of loops was a bit harder for my youngest granddaughter, since it required weaving over and under, but I was excited to reminisce about my own childhood and share my expertise (with a quick glance at the instructions of course).

Voilá! After only about an hour we had two finished potholders, three happy kids, and lots of precious memories!

The crafts were supposed to be a surprise gift for their mom on a later date, but as soon as she walked in the door, they couldn’t wait to show her what they had made her. They were so proud of their accomplishments that they have been begging me for another project ever since. So stay tuned for the next “Craft Day at Grandma’s!”