My Florida Halloween Pumpkin DIY

So last year, I painted a real pumpkin. Problem is, the weather here is supa hot, AND rainy, AND windy with extra salt in the air. I only got to enjoy my pumpkin for a week last Halloween, then it started to decay, and flecks of paint started to scatter all over my yard and driveway. Grody.

This year, I took kelleysdiy.com’s advice, and bought a foam craft pumpkin to paint instead. I even thought it would be fun to cut a hole in the 

Step 1…cut a hole in da box

bottom for an LED tea light to be placed inside, so I wanted to drill some small holes in it too for the light to shine through.

Picked this up at the craft store for $5, these pumpkins are hollow foam


Next time, I’ll use a thicker acrylic paint.


The first layer sponged on


Starting to paint in some waves


I made sure to seal the paint job this time!

I marked the “stars” with a metallic Sharpie, and drilled them out with a 1/8” bit on my Dremel. The foam was thicker than I thought!

Drilling the holes


It looks festive covered in foam bits

To cut the piece out of the bottom for the LED light, I used a diamond bit for carving. I certainly didn’t get the smoothest cut, reminds me about how well I carve a real pumpkin….

I cut a section out of the bottom, then resealed for good measure


Horrible cut, but it’s on the bottom! I attached the tea light with foam tape to the bottom

I placed the pumpkin over the foam piece with the LED, and it fit back together well enough, I didn’t need any tape nor glue. Honestly, I’m so freakin’ lazy, that I’m going to leave the little LED tea light in the ON mode. During the day, you can’t see it, and I won’t have to remember to turn it on when it gets dark. Win.
Done!

This looks more beachy


Here it is at night, with the LED on

I recommend this project to surfers to want to try out working with paint pens before painting an actual board. The surface of the pumpkin foam is quite similar, and it’s a good creative outlet. Remember, there are no mistakes, just happy little trees, bro….

Paint what you see

DIY Outdoor Patio Coasters

One of the best things about being a crafter is that there’s always something in the “job jar.” Since we had the recent hurricane, pushing us all indoors for a spell, it was a good time to knock out a few crafts. Now that the power’s come back on reliably, I can share some with y’all on here.

I figured my patio would be used often after the hurricane passed and left us without power, so I’ve been wanting to make some outdoor coasters that wouldn’t break. They also needed to absorb some condensate from iced drinks, and look kinda beachy also.

Hemp was a good choice for this since it’s a little sponge in a way, but dries out quickly outside in the Florida heat. Plus, they won’t break apart if I drop them on my pavers. Bonus.

I also wanted some color, but color dyed hemp can fade unevenly. To add color subtly and to minimize uneven fading, I decided to crochet a strand of one color of super colorfast Linhasita macrame thread in with my hemp, with a contrasting color on the outer circle. I chose colors to complement my Surf Tee Pillows.

Burgundy, Yellow, and Purple fiesta siesta

All this pattern is, is one big circle made with single crochets (triple quadruple axel crochet for the Brits..hehe). Soooo frickin’ easy, even I got-r-done!

Get da free .PDF pattern here—> 

Outdoor Patio Coasters


No more drippy condensate!

I made these oversized, since I drink A LOT of Diet Coke. When the local convenience stores start to reopen, I’m back to my large fountain drinks, so I need a coaster that can handle the load…..

This was sooo me before Hurricane Irma

DIY Cork Display Ladder for Matau Carved Necklaces

I’ve become a collector of Maori-style carved pendants, mostly Hei Matau. I’ve even expanded my collection beyond the traditional fish hooks, and a local Cocoa Beach artist (Capt. Steve Bowman) has made me several sea life pieces that I adore.

My first Hei Matau (Left), my favorite carved pendant, Seadragon (right)


Problem is, I really have no good way to display them nor store them currently (I’m constantly wearing them and switching them out) and it’s been bugging me.
I was out at my local discount store and found this cork trivet that I thought would work perfectly as a necklace ladder. It would keep the pendants from banging against the wall, they could be easily accessible, and I can SEE them. Perfect. All for 4 bucks in the clearance bin. Score.

Craft cork can be expensive, so the Kitchen wares department is a great place to look

I cut the connecting jute cord and separated the cork tubes, which were already pre-drilled. Of course, I’ve seen these type of tubes at the craft store, so you could make your own with a small rotary drill.

Any leftovers can be used for leash loops on your surfboards!

Simple overhand stopper knots to make rings, spaced out about two inches

 
I re-threaded the tubes with doubled #90 paracord, with a simple overhand knot on each side of each “rung” as a stopper. I used about 2 lengths of 2 yards to make the ladder.

Adjust the knots to even up spacing

Make sure to burn and melt any ends or they’ll fray

 
Done! And it fits perfectly between the closet doors. I just used simple wooden tacks to hang up each necklace.

Done!

Much easier to get to….

Gotta take care of the surf cred like this since I don’t have surf tattoos, only the surfy jewelry. Yeah, I know I need to step up the surf cred game, but wetsuit season is coming. I can just PRETEND I’m covered in gnar surf tattoos, and no one can really know.

Psych out, brah.

This wins for most gnar surf tattoo

Surf Tee Patio Pillows

I just got a nice little molded plastic setup for my patio a few days ago. Although I like the Adirondack style chairs (very popular here in Florida), sometimes I don’t want to sit all the way back in the seat like I’m ridin’ dirty. A small back pillow would help once in a while when I need to reach the table easier.

I was given this t-shirt a while back (no, I was never part of any surf team, ha!). Stix by Dix is a classic local shaper around here who makes some beautiful boards I wish I could afford. But, at least I have the t-shirt.

Can’t really wear it, can I?

 

So, I made something fun with it with some crazy printed Sunbrella fabric I picked up on clearance that has some of the same colors. This fabric is excellent for outdoors, since it holds up to lots of sun, heat, and general outdoor wear.

Using Heat-N-Bond, I essentially turned the t-shirt’s logos into iron-on stickers. I even traced one of my fins on the rest of the blank area to make a big fin iron-on appliqué that I also embroidered with some crazy rainbow filament thread.

Love my Rotary Cutter and metal straight edge

 

After the Heat-N-Bond was fused to the logo’s back, I traced out where I was going to cut

Used my fin to trace out a shape on the blank t-shirt part

Ready to iron on


Even though most of these fusible are permanent (even in the wash), I always like to sew around the edges just to make sure.

Ready to sew the edges

 

Might as well use it

Front of the pillows

So I made these into envelope style pillow cases, with no zipper to fuss with on such a small pillow. I used washable pillow inserts too, so I can throw the things into the wash since they’ll need it, being outside.

Pinned the heck out of it, sewed the perimeter, then turned it inside out

 

Done!

I should work at freakin Rooms 2 Go

Nice thing too, these square little pillows should fit perfectly in my schweet new pimpin’ boat:

Don’t hate

Trying Out Spoonflower.com Fabric for Surfing 

It’s amazing all the various crap you can put a digital image onto now. And for fairly cheap. It used to be limited to posters, cards, keychains, and mugs at your Office Depot. Now, pretty much anything with a surface can be etched or covered with a digital image, and you don’t need to pay for a run of 5000 units to get a custom one made.

Spoonflower is yet another company in a growing market that specializes in using digital photographs to create customized fabric prints. This isn’t an endorsement, just a review of my own thoughts about the trend and their fabric, so it’s just info for ya. Yep, I paid for the stuff myself. Boo.



Love this, my 6’8″ Neilson Blue Hawaii Elvis

I’m really interested in this type of service, since fabric inlays are done all the time on custom surfboards. In fact, I have some Elvis fabric (purchased at Graceland- the Holy Zone- many years ago) glassed into a 6’8″ Neilson. Wouldn’t it be cool to pretend I’m a real photographer and have MY wicked awesome pic glassed into my next surfboard?? Neato. In fact, Swaylocks.com had some discussion on this topic a while back about printing on custom fabric for use in surfboard designs and art.

I wanted to try this digital fabric printing company out for myself. When I noticed they had not only a variety of cottons, but Lycra available to be printed on, that’s when I knew what I wanted my next surfy project to be.

I used this photo of some beautiful orchids from the Florida Keys my friends got me as a gift a while back. I wanted the Lycra to have a black background, so I did a dark vignette filter on the pic.

Original photo I took

Did the vignette filter on my iPhone, nothing fancy pants

The design upload and selection was pretty easy, and I sized the pic to be tiled onto 1 yard of fabric. One yard with shipping came out to around $35, so it wasn’t THAT cheap. But, relatively speaking, it’s not so outrageous compared with the cost of printed Lycra swimwear these days. I just hoped I wouldn’t mess up sewing, or this would get VERY expensive.

The yard came with a nice wide border around it

The fabric arrived in just a few days. I was happy with the heavy weight of the Sport Lycra. I did wash it twice in the laundry- on its’ own- to ensure no problem with color bleeding. I didn’t notice any fade after these initial washes.

Closeup of the tiled image

In my next post, check out what I made with my yard and if it held up to my style of surfing!

Bieber!!!! Shreddin’ gnar

Sea Heart Sea Bean Polishing (aka Gilding the Lily)

We’re already 3 letters deep into Hurricane Season 2017, and many are anxiously awaiting our first hurricane swell out here on the East Coast. Usually, it seems to start churning about August, but there have been a few years where we got an early sneak peek of the Atlantic’s coming swells.

I have sworn off Hurricane surf since the Bertha swell a few years back, after a not-so-fun air drop I had on a wave that was too big for my ability that day. So instead of gearing up for gnarly surf as if I was a teenager with pliable bones, I get into finding stuff that washes in with the storms.

Just a taste of my collection of “treasures”

One of my favorite things to collect are sea beans, especially sea hearts (Entada gigas). Sea hearts are seeds of the Monkey Ladder, a vine that grows in tropical zones in the Caribbean and Central America. Sea heart beans come from the World’s Largest Seed Pod on record- some pods can grow up to six feet!

Sea hearts have been considered lucky, and their ability to be carved and polished like wood have lent to the popularity of it’s use as ornamentation. I wanted to polish one of my sea hearts, just to try it out. Honestly, I think they look just as beautiful in their natural condition, having traveled thousands of miles in the ocean. “Gilding the Lily” sprang to mind as I worked on this little project to remove all that exterior.

Unpolished sea heart

I used a Dremel tool for this project. Some people might put their beans in a rock tumbler to polish them, but I’m going with what I already have.

Sanding drum on a bit- 150 grit

The main goal is to sand off the outermost shiny layer of the bean. This part took about 15 minutes with the Dremel bit, but the result was a very dull bean.

After sanding with 150

The inclusions are gone, but it’s not nearly shiny as before.

Next, for kicks, I used the felt polishing wheel bit on its’ own to buff it up a bit.

After polishing with just the felt

It did get a little shinier, but to help it out I added some polishing compound (jeweler’s rouge) to the felt wheel. Much better result, but it does have a crayon aroma to it…

This rouge Polishing compound came in the Dremel Polishing Kit

Big improvement with the compound

I probably spent about 10 minutes buffing the sea heart with the compound. I was happy with the result.

Unpolished sea heart (left), polished sea heart (right)

You can seal the sea heart with lacquer if you want, especially if you wanted to paint on it. I would recommend sealing it with at least one coat before trying to paint on them, since the bean can be a little porous and do funky things to the paint job.

In my next post, I’m going to show off the polished sea bean using macrame techniques- no drilling, painting or wire work required.

In the meantime, here’s Mr. Bean….

I’m doing this on A1A someday

Beach House: Mini Air Plant Baskets

I absolutely love air plants. They’ve always had a tropical feel to them, I guess since they kind of resemble palm trees or pineapple tops. They’re

Various air plants like mine

easy to maintain, requiring just a hint of care.

I have a growing collection (pun intended) of them that I get from a local place in Brevard, Florida, Rockledge Gardens.

I wanted to bring a couple inside since they’re good for air quality, but I wanted to make sure they would get plenty of sun and ventilation.

The window in the main bathroom turned out to be a perfect spot for some mini hanging baskets. Eleanora at Coastal Crochet did a mini basket for Easter, so she inspired this craft. Thanks!

Get my pattern here. Enjoy….

Small shells make for good drainage

These Baskets stand up on their own

 

Since the temperature is only going to get hotter from here, these might just be the only green things left around here. Luckily, it’s rainy season now in Florida.

Still frickin’ hilarious