"What one can see out in the sunlight is always less interesting than what is behind a windowpane."

Monday, July 2, 2012

Playing with Blocks

QUESTION: What do you do when you're stuck inside during a heat wave?  Fill up a glass of ice-cold Coca-Cola and break out the blocks!

Who says you're ever too old to play?  After having just ordered 100 wooden blocks, I had plenty to keep busy.  And of course, my little side-kick was there to do some crafting of her own.

After making piles of Halloween-themed blocks, I thought it'd be fun to create a Storybook Collection.  Over the past few years, I've collected a very respectful amount of old storybooks. The artwork is always so scrumptious!

After printing my favorite pictures, I started cutting each one to fit onto the blocks.  Then it dawned on me - use your square punch, stupid!   Sometimes it takes me a while, but I usually get it!

Having painted the blocks different colors, I then adhered the pictures using Modge Podge.

Although the pictures may look as if I randomly just glued them on, nothing could be further from the truth.  Oh no, it couldn't be that easy.  I sat there, figuring out which picture went best with which colored block....

And which pictures best complemented each other on one block.  "Hmmm....too many close-ups on this block, let me find a picture with more graphics.  Wait.  This one already has a child, let me add an animal instead."  Once they were all done, they got a few coats of satin polyurethane for a nice sheen.

Once the Halloween and Storybook themes were finished, I still wasn't done.  (Have I ever mentioned that once I start a new project, I sort of get obsessed?)  I wanted to try making some blocks using antique prayer cards.

Instead of painting the blocks, I thought an antique finish would enhance the aged look of the old cards.  While the glue was still wet, I sanded the images and distressed the edges with ink.

 Hours after Mary grew tired of making blocks, I still had little Oreo to keep me company!


  1. Oh my gosh! Your blocks are just beautiful! You're so good at sticking to a project. I'm terrible with that. I make a couple of something, and then I want to make something different! hahah Great job on these.
    Erica :)

  2. These are wonderful!!! What will you do with them...sell them as a set or individually??? Or keep them stacked in a basket on the floor???

    I am also trying to find a project to do downstairs all day because the second floor where my studio resides, is just too darn hot now, even with the AC !!! I hate summer, can't do much of anything!!! Was going to bring my sewing machine down in the dining room, but decided it would be too messy and would have to bring down too much stuff, that's why I have a studio....come on!!! My feet and legs are so swollen, have to sit with them raised....guess I'll do some cross stitch.....keep cool....cleo

  3. Of course peeps are interested in your blog....many visit but don't leave a comment,maybe they don't know what to say or its already been said....doesn't mean they are not interested!!! That word verification is a pain in the patootie,sometimes its just too hard to decipher.....

    I hear ya on the depression....it hits me in the summer too when I'm a prisoner inside, like you said its good to have small projects going. Right now I'm working on a sampler, reading a book, and trying to get long lost laundry done!!! Next project is the kitchen cupboards.......keep cool.....cleo

  4. Each time I visit you I want to get busy with any art project.You inspire me so much.I have a hard time making things look pretty yet old and you do that so well Jill.God bless!-Denise

  5. Love both sets but my favorites are the vintage religious ones.

    Hope that you had a terrific 4th!


  6. Love, love, love your blocks!!! I think you may be my favorite blockhead! LOL! Sorry, I couldn't help myself!



  7. Ok Jill I am in block love!!! They are just to groovey!!! You're such a rock star!! Even whenyou are down you get right back up!! This heat crap is gettin to us all!! Today is in the 80's here in Mich!! I am lovin it!! Gonna get some housework done!! LOL Well after I get off this computer!!! Love ya!! XOXO Aunt Frannie

  8. PS Jill I LOVE the pic of you and Mary!!! BY any cance did you make any Halloween blocks? Or are you makin any Halloween goodies to sell? Let me know K? Talk to ya later!! XOXOXOXO Love ya!! Aunt Frannie

  9. Great blocks and loved that it dawned on you to use the square punch!

  10. These are so cute and you can have fun arranging them in different patterns. Mary looks like she was having fun. Your kitten is adorable.