Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Love Blocks

Good morning friends. You are going to love these blocks. It's really just some simple mixed media. This is also a class I teach down at Coastal Bohemian.

We do USA blocks, LOVE blocks, Boo blocks , Sea Blocks, Joy blocks and eventually more. I now keep a steady supply of blocks down at the studio and also for sale so students can go home and do more with their own ideas.

These are pretty easy, if you can cut your own blocks. You can always  have someone or someplace cut the blocks for you. A lumber yard will probably cut for you. 

I buy fence posts that are 4" x 4" and either 8 or 10 ft long.  Get untreated.

Cut them down to a 4" height. 
There is the cube, the block. Blocks will be painted on top and bottom and on two sides.
I like to dry brush red , pink, purple and white on a few sides and of course paint a few sides solid. 

The two other sides get decoupaged vintage papers, napkins and other Valentine's Day colorful papers . I use Valentine's Day themed napkins from the Dollar Tree.

You can also print a romantic photo in black and white. I found this one of Fed Astaire in a vintage sheet music book. It's special because my mother loved Fred Astaire and he is the epitome of Hollywood romance to me. 
If you are giving as a gift to newlyweds, grandma, mom or a friend ,why not find a photo of the lucky couple and print in black and white. 

 After all the sides have a background, you can decorate each block as a different letter  to spell LOVE. One becomes the "L" block, one becomes the "O" block,one becomes the "V" block and one becomes the "E "
block.  Use whatever you can find from the Dollar Tree to form a L.

Here I used a key stencil, twine, rose fabric and stamps to design my letters .

So I did use a giant "O " stamp for the letter "O" but this pick is from when I made "Boo" blocks in October.

Add some dimension by adding adhesive backed pads. Again this is a pic from "Boo" blocks 

 There are 4 sides to each block so you have a variety of arrangements including stacked. 

These make a great hostess gift, tablescape , or  a perfect entryway greeting. 

This is an easy craft, just a little more time consuming. A newbie may have a challenge with the decoupage.

Thanks again for reading along. 


Don't forget to find us partying  here all week. 

With love and gratitude
Coastal Bohemian

If you are in Myrtle Beach come on down and visit us at the Coastal Bohemian Studio or check us out on Facebook, Pinterest , Instagram, or  G+ .

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Chalky Painted Bottles

Live Love Paint. 

I opened my art studio, Coastal Bohemian in Myrtle Beach by happy accident . A friend asked me to share some space at his studio, (he knew I painted furniture out of my home), the space was perfect and I determined that I could afford the space if I taught Chalky Paint Classes.
In order to engage with customers I created a $10.00 painted bottle class. The class is so popular it sells out every time I teach it  at the Library.

Here's what you can do to get a funky chalky painted bottle.
Attendees are encouraged to bring a clean and label free bottle to recycle into an upcycled project.
I keep several on hand for those who forget to bring their bottle. 

Using Chalk Country Paint
apply two thin coats of paint to the bottle. You can cheat the dry time process by using a blow dryer. This also helps give some crackling effect to the paint and lends itself well to the overall vintage charm of the bottle .

After you have a nicely dried out bottle, and by this I mean it should be cooled to the touch after the blow drying process, we wax and buff the bottle with a dark brown wax .This gives the bottle some age and  sticks to the spaces in the paint. This is the look you are trying to achieve.
 I liken the final look to a bottle that may have been unearthed, maybe when you dug up a yard for a pool or  something that was excavated in Pompeii.(Imagine finding the lost city of Pompeii)  The point is you want something gritty here. 
Next for our images. Now you can use whatever images you like or want to create but to get a true vintage look I use images found at the 

First you'll want to tear around the edges of your images. Now you are ready for a very cool trick . Using a chip brush coat the image with a coat of dark wax. Just a quick coat and just as quickly you'll remove the excess wax and buff the paper.(Old Rags work perfect here) This preserves the ink and keeps it from running when you adhere it to the bottle with Mod Podge.  

That's your next step. Lay the image down on a piece of scrap paper and paint a coating of Mod Podge making sure to get your edges.  Place your image on your bottle. Grab a piece of plastic wrap and place it on top of the image and gently apply the image , making sure to work out all the little air bubbles and being careful not to pick up Mod Podge and redistribute it on top of the image. You don't want to create a tackiness that lifts your image. The plastic wrap is a trick I learned from Patti at Upcycle with Decoupage. 

After the Mod Podge is dry you can add a layer of glue on top but I rarely do. (For this project you'll want to use the Matte Mod Podge.)
Next get out that glue gun and use up some of those scrap findings you have. Each bottle tends to be very unique.

Lastly, you' need to do the bottle shoot. Arrange those masterpieces and take some pics. Your friends will love them . Your family will swoon . 
These also make great gift for all the seasons since you can customize them with vintage themed graphics . I love these bottle so much . It makes me happy everytime I get to the bottle shoot. 

Have some fun with friends and family with an upcycle craft day. 
Thanks for reading along .
You can find me blogging around the internet all week here

With love and gratitude

Coastal Bohemian

If you are in Myrtle Beach come on down and visit us at the Coastal Bohemian Studio or check us out on Facebook, Pinterest , Instagram, or  G+ .

Friday, January 19, 2018

National Tin Can Day

Yes, we can! 
That's the motto for National Tin Can Day today January 19th.
The picture above is of an altered coffee can that I made into a plastic bag holder. I think this would make a great gift too. 

Can you believe today is National Tin Can Day. The day the United States celebrates the use of tin cans to create non perishable foods, a tremendous invention we can all appreciate.

This day celebrates the storage of perishable foods in tin cans. British merchant Peter Durand received the original tin can patent in 1810. Hail Peter!

Here's a link that will give you all details.

In honor of National Tin Can Day, and as an upcyclers I urge you to use and save your tin cans today and to upcycle them into a craft.
Here's an example of what I have done with some of my leftover craft goodies.

Directions for plastic bag storage can 

1. You'll need a can with a plastic lid. I used a coffee can for this one . 
2. Using an exacto blade cut a rectangular piece from the lid. This is where you'll pull your bags for use. Make sure it's big enough for adding and removing bags. Mine is probably 3" by 1.5".
3. Hot glue lid to can. 
4. Duct tape around lid and can to secure a nice tight bond. 
5. Cover with decorative papers using Mod Podge.
6. Embellish to your liking. 
7. Use proudly on National Tin Can Day. 

Happy Upcycling friends.

You can find me blog hopping all week at the these link parties .
With love and gratitude

Coastal Bohemian

If you are in Myrtle Beach come on down and visit us at the Coastal Bohemian Studio or check us out on Facebook, Pinterest , Instagram, or  G+ .

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Coconut Coastal Bohemian Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

Shhh ....look both ways, it's a secret..... I'm on the South Beach Diet.... sort of.... kinda.

There I said it. 

 Actually, I have reduced my fat ass, carb intake( this means bread, rice and pasta in my world) and this is a recipe I  concocted that rocked.  ( I'm also portioning. I'm Greek and Italian and my family has no idea about portion control, they probably think it's a fancy button or a hands free switch from Lowe's.) 
Now, when I serve myself  I just model my plate after those frozen food section, little, tiny meals. That's my version of portion control. Sad but true. Whatever works.

Coconut Coastal Bohemian Bacon Wrapped Shrimp
Here's what you need. 
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Coconut Oil Melted
1 Tbsp Persian Lime Olive Oil (Found at Olive Oil stores)
Peeled and Deveined Shrimp 16-20 count size
Uncured Bacon (I used 1/2 pkg)
4 cloves garlic grated
1 tsp paprika

Turn the oven to broil and put the cast iron grill inside to preheat. Throw the shrimp in a bowl with  coconut oil, lime oil, garlic,  paprika, only a dash of salt, because we are using salty bacon and a generous shake of pepper. (I'm so not Rachel Ray) Lol

Marinate while you are cutting the bacon strips in half. 

Wrap shrimp using one half bacon strip per shrimp.I use uncured. 

Place bacon strip ends down on preheated cast iron grill. 

Broil 2-3 minutes per side. 

Let's talk about bacon here for a moment. Years ago after serving and eating many a family breakfast that included bacon, I started to notice a scary pattern. I would eat bacon and get grumpy or angry or want to rip my ex husband to bits and pieces. That's not right. 

I connected it quietly to the bacon. I tested it over the years and I'm sure I'm  allergic to bacon unless it is uncured. I guess the nitrites and nitrates don't play well in my body. It feels like I'm the angry  Hulk or the Wolfman changing into the hairy, clawed beast.That's how radical it feels to me.  I mention this because I'm amazed that I connected this more than 20 years ago. It has made me more aware of nitrates and nitrites in my life. 


Serve with broccoli slaw if you are being bread free. :(

Serve with brown rice and roasted nuts and chopped arugula if you can spare the carbs. 

                          I'll get these other recipes out there soon.

I hope you try this simple  5 minute recipe. 

With love and gratitude,
Michele- not a hairy, beasty, monster mama anymore

Coastal Bohemian

If you are in Myrtle Beach come on down and visit us at the Coastal Bohemian Studio or check us out on Facebook, Pinterest , Instagram, or  G+ .

This is where you can find me blog hopping all week. 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Framed Art Cards

Ever receive a greeting card that is soo beautiful you hate to throw it away? It 's practically a sin. 
After all, the person who sent it probably paid somewhere between $6-$12.00. A normal card has a short life span even if you make it a keepsake. I mean, how often are you getting a chance to admire that mini piece of art? Not long and it hurts more especially, if it's handmade. 

I'm not a big time card sender, however I am an occasional card maker and buyer. Why am I buying and making cards? Because they look beautiful when framed and I love mini works of art.  

Now,  you know I have an art studio in Myrtle Beach and it is my great honor to take card making classes with some of my amazing teachers. One of the things I talk about when in class is framing cards. I always bring it up because it's a bonus to the class in my mind.  I remind people that when they give the card they may want to include a coordinating frame. The lovingly made greeting and the frame make a perfect addition to any gift giving celebration.

This is a card I made for my sister. I  framed it and gave it to her. It's simple and pretty and she has it displayed on her mantle. 
Here is a card that my fiance received from his mother. Her love note is inside and kept sacred forever but the gorgeous design of the card decorates our beach condo. 
I know this image is not great but I wanted you to get an idea of how pretty this one looks. I received this card as a gift from one of the artists in my studio before she moved out of the area. Her name is Francie Thomas and she has her artwork printed on cards and she gave me my pick before she moved. 
I took the card to AC Moore and found a matte and a frame and wrapped it up as a gift for my fiance.

I guess I can't stop the upcycler in me.

 Valentine's Day is coming, maybe you'll need to include a frame with that card this year. 

With love and gratitude
Coastal Bohemian

If you are in Myrtle Beach come on down and visit us at the Coastal Bohemian Studio or check us out on FacebookPinterest , Instagram, or  G+ .

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Pumpkin Bread French Toast Upcycle- I went there.

This post is because I just crafted a new recipe by upcycling my already baked pumpkin bread and I thought I would share it with you in case  you had some left over breads of your own.
Every year as fall blows in, I start my annual pumpkin bread baking. 
I usually bake several in the fall , one around Thanksgiving ,one around Xmas and one around the New Year . 
It seems to be the perfect little gift or the perfect match to my new addiction, Starbucks coffee.

I like to have it around  for when people pop in to visit or if I am heading out to visit. My family can't wait for the baking to begin, and I like that too. It's also my favorite thing for road trips. You can buy a yummmy gooey Cinnabon on the road but I make my pumpkin bread healthier. 

I use the traditional Libby's recipe but I substitute 3/4 of the oil with apple sauce and I use egg whites instead of whole eggs.  You can substitute whole wheat flour for traditional flour and I usually leave the last 1/2 cup of flour out and substitute with oatmeal and ground flax. With all the flavor from the spices you'll never notice the difference.

One morning I decided we need a french toast breakfast and just looked over at the pumpkin bread and thought "ooooohhhh yeah". 
You know what to do. Soak the bread in eggs(do the egg white thing)

                             A little oil or butter in the pan.

Add a sprinkle of powdered sugar and a drizzle of maple syrup and you are in heaven.

Happy New Year friends. 

Hope this sparks some fun ideas for your breads.

Coastal Bohemian 

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