Tuesday, March 3, 2015

You're not really crafting if your hands stay perfectly manicured!

Time to play catch up again!  I've been very busy with projects and I need to discipline myself to post regularly. I know that many other crafters know how that is. It is more fun to craft than to sit at the computer most days!

So here are my latest projects, the ones I can post at least. I have a big one that is going to remain hidden for a bit since it is a wedding shower gift and I don't want to tip off the bride that there is a surprise for her and her groom.

This canvas project is a keepsake gift for a bridal shower that took place last month.  Shane and Melissa are getting married on April 6th and I wanted to commemorate the event for them.

Using their home color scheme as a guide, I created this small canvas that sits on a wooden plate stand.  I used acrylic paints for this piece. A wooden heart adds dimension to the canvas. Eyelet lace surrounds the perimeter. Congrats!

And here is the happy bride-to-be at the shower displaying the new sign.


This window frame piece was originally a cupboard door (from what I could tell). It was for sale for a great price so I couldn't resist!  Using chalk paint I have basecoated the piece in one of my favorite turquoise shade of blue.  From there I made a crackle layer with mucilage school glue. (I found some that was in a pen-like container so it made it really easy to apply!) After the glue got tacky I then brushed white chalk paint over top and like magic it crackled.  I sealed the whole piece with my fave General Finishes High Performance Topcoat.

For accent, I attached a long country garland that had beads, rusty hearts and leaves.  Down the road I may put photos behind the glass but for now I like it as it is.


A plain wooden plaque painted with acrylic paints is for a new baby girl. After painting and lettering I glued a wooden heart to the plaque to add dimension.  Light distressing along the edges adds a bit of character. This baby girl truly is made of sugar and spice and everything nice!


Back in 2014 I picked up the file cabinet (featured in an earlier blog update) and a walnut wooden table. Time was at a premium so I didn't start working on the table until recently.

After a good cleaning, I started 'slopping' on three different colors of chalk paint all over the table surfaces.  It almost looked like a bright camouflage pattern. After that was dry, I put a coat of white chalk paint on top of the entire piece. Then came the fun part....I wet distressed the white, rubbing to expose the various shades of blue and a bit of the walnut original wood.

After I was happy with the look I waxed the table with clear wax and then highlighted different areas with dark wax. It will become my sewing table.


I am always happy to donate items to local fundraisers and this scarf is a good example. It will be included in the silent auction grouping for a church sale. Using double strands of yarn, this long scarf with fringe is lightweight cotton so is suitable for accessorizing on not-so-chilly days and evenings.


That's it for now. I am thinking of re-vamping the way I present this blog so may be making some changes in the future.

Thank you for stopping by.

You can reach me at penandinkwell@yahoo.com

I am also on Pinterest at

and also on Facebook at 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Welcoming 2015 and Catching Up

With the holiday season now over, it is time to play catch up.  I had many projects that I did not post in my blog since they were presents. Now that the gifts have been given, I can share the items and also showcase some other projects I have recently been working on.

  This gray scarf  was knit with acrylic yarn in a seed stitch pattern. 
It is toasty warm and is being modeled by the recipient.


 Three chalk painted mini mason jars are fun and cute. Sisal rope accents these display jars.

A birdcage and you don't have a bird? Of course!  This started out as a white birdcage. After a good cleaning and disposing of the tray, it was time to have some fun. It was a freebie find so I had nothing to lose.  I painted it with Americana Decor chalk paint in Treasure which is like turquoise.  Silly me painted it by hand with a brush even though spraying would have been so much easier.  After that I top coated it with General Finishes HP Topcoat.  I tied an organza ribbon on the top and it flows over both sides.  I made a new bottom for the cage and inside I have begun storing vintage mason jars (that will remain unpainted). It is a fun piece and a conversation starter.

For fun I wanted to letter a favorite verse onto a chalk painted end table. Using General Finishes milk paint in Coastal Blue, this went on so smoothly and only one coat of the paint was needed for coverage.  I like using the GF milk paint more than acrylics for lettering now!

This is an ink and colored pencil personalized art sign. The wording in the background is all business related terms to showcase what Braeden is interested in.  I superimposed the graph bars over top of the background lettering.

Zachery is interested in art and architecture so for his design I used ink and colored pencils also. 
The background is zentangle inspired curves.

Zoe likes girly things so I created this flower zentangle for her with ink and colored pencils. The background is lots and lots of fine dots.

I have shown this blanket in an earlier blog post but I like it even more now that the special little one is modelling it!

This cowl was knit with acrylic yarn and worked in a seed stitch using two strands of yarn -
 burgundy and gray.

This scarf photographed brighter than it actually is, it is a darker red. It is long and features fringe and made in a seed stitch.

This is a fine gray ski band - airy texture and more for fashion than for warmth. The center has a band that looped over it for extra detail.

 This bright red and gray min cowl is for a toddler. I used two strands of yarns - red and gray, it  will keep her toasty warm.

I got this yarn at the factory outlet and don't know what it is called but it is fuzzy and super soft. I made a double looped infinity scarf  in one long strip then connected the ends to form a big loop.

This started out as a reddish-brown metal planter with an embossed pattern. I basecoated it with white chalk paint and then came back over it with the Americana Deco Treasure chalk paint. From there I sanded back to reveal white and also the original metal colors. Topped with two coats of Americana cream wax this is a cute decor accessory.

A new little boy will soon be arriving so here is a sign for his room.. It is a wooden plaque that I basecoated with white chalk paint. Then I used gray acrylic to paint an anchor. From there I used General Finishes milk paint in Coastal Blue to do the lettering and trim. For the floating color on the edges I just dipped my partially loaded paint brush into water to dilute the Coastal Blue color and then scruffed the mixture around the edges. The finishing was done with GF HP Topcoat.

Not to let any jars go to waste here is one that I painted with the Americana Deco Treasure color chalky paint and then drybrushed with white. After two coats of GF HP Topcoat I tied an organza ribbon along the rim.

This was a fun project - I layered chalk paints - Americana Decor Treasure and Grammie's Recipe Chalk Paint in Teal Lake. Then I white washed the entire shelf. From there I taped off random rectangle shapes and began by filling the shapes in with the two colors above. I did some light distressing and then completed the shelf with two coats of GF HP Topcoat.

I am just about caught up now, will post again soon.  Thank you for looking.

You can find me on Pinterest at 

and also on Facebook at 

If you wish to contact me I can be reached at penandinkwell@yahoo.com

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Happy December!

I knew December was coming, it comes every year....but will I be ready for Christmas?

As a crafter, I love to create and share my projects as gifts but I must confess, I do not like to wrap presents.  Gift bags are wonderful and easy to use so if the gift will fit, in it goes!

Not all of the gifts I give are handmade, I do like to support local businesses.   there are people who do not appreciate the work that goes into creating something special.  After hours of making scarves (for example) I have been told by the gift recipient, "oh it's nice but I would have liked one longer to wrap around my neck twice". (Yes, I did start making that style also but other folks like the single wrap just fine).  What happened along the years that made people unappreciative of a gift given from the heart?

OR someone will ask me to knit a cowl or scarf and just want to spend $10....ok, if I can get the yarn for less than $1 that might be possible but really???  I do not charge an arm and a leg for my crafting projects and in fact I make many of them as special gifts but I do understand how other crafters share in the frustration regarding getting paid fairly for the number of hours they have devoted to making a special piece.

On one painting group on Facebook there was a chart of how to price your items.  I was excited but realize that in this small market area people still won't want to pay that.  "Don't under-price", I have been told...ok, but if I price it fairly not many people want to purchase for that kind of price.

I do not know what the answer is but I can safely say that since I enjoy what I do I will continue to do it.  I am expanding with more furniture projects (I have a table in the garage that I got from an estate sale and it is calling me to come and work on it but I have to wait til after Christmas.I am itching to use some more General Finishes paint and topcoat!)

So if you craft and enjoy it, be sure to continue with your passion. While not everyone will appreciate the time, effort and cost you have put into each project, you will know that it has been made with your heart and soul and that spreading the joy can be worth it (even if your wallet doesn't earn back that same joy).


In an earlier blog post I showed a white acrylic toddler cowl that I made.  
Here is the recipient Little Miss A. wearing it ...

I hope she keeps toasty warm!


That's it for now. I am making a special Christmas plaque so need to get going.

You can find me on Pinterest:

or by email at penandinkwell@yahoo.com  

or visit me on Facebook


Thanks for reading! I'll be back soon!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Santa Claus is coming to town!

Tonight is our small town's Santa Claus parade. It is always a fun event and the Christmas lights on the floats and vehicles twinkle in the dark sky. We have just enough snow to make it festive...if you were to rewind the calendar to last week, we would have had too much snow!  I am trying to keep busy with the projects since December is right around the corner.

I am pleased to share some of my latest work.

I bought a wooden file cabinet (in need of a bit of TLC) from an estate sale and wanted to do something completely new and unexpected. I have been chalk painting but didn't want to do that this time around.  Just in time I received my package from General Finishes that included two colors of their milk paint and a can of High Performance Topcoat in a flat finish.  Of course I had to open the paint right away (it was like an early Christmas present!)

As the cabinet had been in not so great shape I first had to wash it.  (Because you just never know what's in there when it's been sitting and unused for a while.  . After it had dried I gave it a light sanding with a medium grit sandpaper. Yes, I took the drawers out to do this....   

Now the fun begins!

Woohoo - I opened the can of Linen color milk paint and loved it....but was it going to be a nice paint to work with?  Oh yes it was! It went on so smooth and didn't drag like some other paints I have used. (Not sure if drag would be the technical term but the brush just flowed like it was skating on ice.)
I did two coats of the paint, it really covered well and I could have gotten away with one coat but I think I am so used to doing at least two coats I was stuck in that rut.

Anyhow, after the paint had dried, I did rough measurements for line placement but wasn't too concerned that they be an exact distance from one another. This is a fun plaid and I wanted it to be unstructured.  After the markings were in place I drew a bunch (that is a technical term!) of ideas for plaids using colored pencils. I always like navy and red-burgundy together so those were my starting points.

I used flat artist brushes to do the lines....I got a rhythm going so that I could make the plaid come together in a way that I liked.  It is a lot of tedious work but I was glad I took my time because where the lines intersect  you are able to see that they do.

After a few days of painting lines, it came together the way I envisioned.  For the topcoat I decided to use the flat finish High Performance Topcoat that I got from General Finishes.  I used a plastic spoon to stir it and then used the spoon to put it into a separate container (so that I didn't somehow contaminate the topcoat in the can in case any paint transferred to the brush).  I used about 20 teaspoons per coat of the topcoat. You sure don't need a lot of this to get good coverage.  I did two coats and am so happy with the results.

A shout out to General Finishes https://generalfinishes.com  This is my first experience using their products (and actually my first experience with milk paint!)  I am more than happy with the quality and ease of application.  Guess what is on my list to Santa now???


You know that I use a styrofoam head sometimes but it lacks a real neck so sometimes I will hang a scarf on a hanger with a shirt/sweater as the background but this time I used a real model.   She is a but shy so I cut her head off...don't worry, only for the picture!

This is a double strand acrylic yarn wrap scarf.  I did a nice ribbing detail (my own design) and knit for days and days til I finished it. (Ok, I knew it would take a while so I am not really complaining).  It is secured with four wooden buttons and I made yarn loops to put around the buttons.  It is really toasty warm to wear.


That's it for now, I have more projects on the go and also some of the ones I have recently completed can't be posted on-line until after Christmas as they are for gifts.

You can email me at penandinkwell@yahoo.com or 

find me on Facebook at Handcrafted Projects by Sue Lane  

I am also on Pinterest so follow me! I will add my new projectst to the  "My Creations" board soon.  http://www.pinterest.com/sue_montgomery/

Thanks for looking!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Another snow day!

It has been the perfect time to stay indoors and craft. Lots of snow outside and it's pretty chilly.  So here are my latest creations!

I love to paint mason jars with chalk paint!  These are done in blue and then dry brushed over top with white to bring out the details.  I gave them two coats of wax and finished off with sisal twine.

4" x 6" canvas magnet.  Base coated with acrylic in navy, floated white around the edges. Lettered in a bluish-white acrylic paint and topped with two coats of varnish. The magnets are on the back.

A toddler-sized cowl.  Knitted with gray and white strands together on circular needles.  Acrylic yarn.

White acrylic toddler-sized cowl made by request for a special little girl.  Knitted on circular needles. I will get a photo of the little one modelling this soon.

Using three strands of acrylic yarn (gray, light teal and white) I knitted this long double loop infinity. Nice and warm!

Another one of my original sayings (c. 2014) on a 4" x 6" flat canvas. Acrylic base coat, floated white around the edges.  Finished with varnish and put magnets on the back.

That is about it for now, more projects on the go including my bathroom re-do.  I will be posting more after I complete the current pieces.

You can reach me at:

and I am active on Pinterest - follow me at:

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

November projects!

It is hard to believe it is November already!  I am making gifts for family and friends.  Here are a few pictures....

These are quart Mason jars. I painted them Deco chalky finish paint in "relic".  After drying, I used a dark sanding block to sand back over the lettering and raised portions of the jar.  After a wipe down, I waxed with Deco creamy wax,

This one of the multi-color scarves I knitted (shown in previous blog post) 
and modeled by the recipient. 

On the left is a close-up of the stitch pattern I designed and the finished project is on the right. It is a nice lightweight lacy acrylic infinity scarf, made long enough to wrap around the neck twice.

I can be reached at penandinkwell@yahoo.com  if you have any questions
 or would like me to make you something special!

I can be found on Pinterest at: 

Thank you for looking at my projects!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The clacking of knitting needles continues!

I made my nephew and his wife a soft, cuddly blanket for their baby-to-be.  They are expecting a little girl, it is exciting for the family and their son will enjoy being a big brother!

Here is the blanket keeping the baby toasty warm now...she is due to make her arrival at the beginning of December.


Here are two scarves I made that will keep the wearer protected from the cold 
and be fashionable at the same time!

This was done with one strand of multi-color yarn and a strand of blue.  I did my own stitch repeat and it falls quite nicely.  The length is long enough for a double loop  infinity scarf

This double loop infinity features one strand of purple and one of cream.
 It is also destined to be toasty warm.

Thanks for looking today.

I can be contacted at penandinkwell@yahoo.com 

and am also on Pinterest!