Monday, May 20, 2013

Americana Banner

 Hello everyone!  It's Monday once again and I am happy to be here after a few day's absence.  I was down with the creepy crud for the second time this spring.  Guess that's what school aged grandson's give you when you are not looking.  Whew.   Glad it's over and I'm more than ready to move on with life.

The day before said "crud" set in, I spent the entire day outside working on a project for our mantel to celebrate Memorial Day.  I was "in the zone" as they say, working away while enjoying the beautiful weather.  I had my paints, brushes, glue gun, and huge box of craft sticks (better known as popsicle sticks) and I was on a creative bent.

I started making stars and flags galore and had absolutely NO idea what I would do with them, but I liked them and they were fun to make.  That was enough reason to continue, so I did.  I simply hot glued sticks together in a pentagram shape for the stars.  For the flags, I put two sticks parallel to each other vertically with about 1.5 inches between.  Next, I glued 9 sticks across them horizontally.  I decided on 9 because it made the best looking "flag."  It took a bit to put them all together, then it was time to paint.

Since I was going for patriotic Americana, red, ivory, and blue were my colors of choice, with brown paint used to "antique" everything.   First, it's necessary to paint everything in the color and design you want before "antiquing."  Americana is about simplicity.
After letting the paint dry, I dipped a paper towel in some water just to dampen it, dipped the same towel in some brown paint and rubbed the entire flag or star with the brown paint.  While still wet, I then used a dry paper towel to rub the entire surface, actually removing some of the paint to get a really vintage look.
Makes quite a difference.  If you like the true colors, stick with them.  As for me, I like the rugged, worn, vintage look.  The bottoms of the parallel sticks were clipped off with cutters after everything dried.  This is how the stars and flags looked when finished.
 All painting was done just as it was time to prepare dinner, so everything was left to dry overnight.  Then, the - dun, dun, dunnnnnnn,  creepy crud laid me low for a couple of days.  Gave me some time to contemplate what to do with said stars and flags.

The banner on the mantle is what I came up with.  Glad I had time to contemplate, because I really, really love the way it turned out.  All I used was a length of burlap ribbon that you can buy at craft stores.  I laid out the pattern of flags and stars I wanted to use and hot glued them to the burlap.  Easy. Then, I stenciled USA in red, white, and blue between the flags and stars.  The banner is hung with some clear push pins.  Done.

As a major lover of all things Americana, this banner is one of my favorite projects I have done in a good while.  This banner will hang on the mantel until after July 4 and maybe longer.

You can get a big box of craft sticks very reasonably at any craft store or Wal-Mart.  They come in the popsicle stick width or tongue depressor width, it just depends on which size you prefer.  There are lots of things you can do with them and they are great fun for kids to use.  It's almost summer vacation time, so they can be a great way to keep kids occupied when you need a craft project.

This weekend, we will remember all those who have served our country or given their lives for our freedom.  We can never thank them enough.   Happy Memorial Day everyone.

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

My father lied about his age to join the Army Air Corps during World War II.  He was only 17 when he enlisted to serve our country and served for 5 years in Italy and Northern Africa.  He didn't talk about it much, but he was proud to have served.  We will honor his memory this weekend.  Thanks Dad.  

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