Thursday, May 31, 2012

Confession Thursday

I have a confession to make. I am pillow obsessed.

I just made 2 more pillows.

Darn you Hobby Lobby and your super cute chevron fabric.  

I have another confession to make, just below the perfectly posed picture of my pillows...

Most of that I can blame on Grace {yes, she even flips through my Better Homes magazine} BUT this...

I have to blame on my crafters attention deficit disorder.  At least it's not another pillow :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Timeless Clock Tutorial

It could be the location of your first date, your wedding, your honeymoon or where your child was born, let those memories remain 'timeless' forever.

First you need a clock.  Mine came from Goodwill {shocking, I know}.  It had great shape and weight and was begging for an updated look. For $6.99, I decided she had to be mine.

Give your clock a pep talk, preparing her for what's to come.  You do not want to 'tick' her off.

Carefully take your clock apart.  You'll need to raid your tool box for things like a wrench and screwdriver.

Do you remember the Vintage World Maps Calendar I got for half off the beginning of the year?  I decided to use one of those maps.  I traced the clock front to the size I needed and cut it out.

Sorry for the lack of pictures for the next few steps.  You'll want to cut out a circle in the center, for the clock hands to fit back into.  Replace the clock front with your map and seal it with Mod Podge or you could even glue it into place.

Take it a step further and add a bead or a pin to the exact location you want to remain timeless.

Put your clock back together and enjoy.

No matter how much time has passed, cherish all your memories.


Friday, May 25, 2012

My Own IT Department

Attention fellow bloggers, have you ever wished you had your own IT Department to help answer some of your blogging questions?

Questions like, how can I add a link to my blog and have that link open in a new window instead of opening in the same tab, closing your blog in the process.

Well, if you aren't already following Cari and Courtnee from Two Sasters, you NEED to.  Every Tuesday, they share a new Techy Tip.  These tips are easy to understand and apply for even the novice {like me}. 

I recently updated my 'I Heart Fake Food Tutorials' page so that my tutorials are arranged in a table AND the pictures in that organized table are linked directly to the turorial...all because of Cari and Courtnee's Techy tips!

A BIG thanks to...

for making me feel like I have my very own IT Department.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Out of a cocoon came a social butterfly

Grace took her first drop off class, a simply 3 class. Your typical craft, stories, songs, playing kind of a class, filled with other 3 year olds.

During her first class, I left her there, she was looking around at all the kids running around and playing and she nervously pulled her pants up her armpits. I walked out of her class and sat in the parking lot for the entire class. I didn't think she would ever enjoy her class.

Thanks to her AMAZING teachers, Grace blossomed, right before my eyes into a social...

So, it seemed only fitting, on the last day of class, we give these amazing teachers a butterfly to remind them of Grace.  I attached a note that read:  Thank you for helping me come out of my cocoon and blossom into a social butterfly.

A big thanks to all the amazing teachers out there may you all feel appreciated every day!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Beaded Monogram Tutorial

Beads are typically not my medium of choice. I guess, if push comes to shove, felt is my favorite material to work with. So, when I learned my first craft challenge in One Crafty Contest was beads, I was definitely outside of my comfort zone. Being the frugal minded {cheap} person I am, I hit the thrift store and found a beautiful vintage silk wrapped beaded necklace and inspiration struck.

BEADS!  Any kind or color will work.  I selected a few {each were $1, in the end, the Tiffany blue beads won me over}
Floral Stem Wire {I tried a hanger, which equally a fail and I tried some electrical wire, which resulted in my cutting my finger open, learn from my mistake and get some floral wire}
Galvanized wire 28 gauge, color silver {really any kind of really bendy wire will work}

Take your necklace apart.  Keep your eyes open for the beads that want to roll away.  Maybe it's just that my house is more slanted than most, almost all my beads tried to escape.  Bend your floral stem wire into the shape of your desired letter.

Cut your galvanized wire, longer than you think you might need.  Wrap the wire several times around the end, to secure it in place and then begin to weave the beads.

With the addition of each new bead, tightly pull the wire and wrap around the floral stem twice to secure the bead in place.

When all of your beads are in place, cut some addition galvanized wire {approximately 2 inches}.  Form it into a loop shape and wrap around the floral stem, between your beads, where you think it will allow your letter to hang evenly.

String some ribbon through your loop.

Hang, display and admire.

Gee...don't you think just about everything is better in the shade of Tiffany blue?  

Link Party Websites

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Chalkboards and Backdrops - Repost

Yesterday, I repost Grace's Arts and Crafts Party and I got a lot of wonderful feedback, which means, I am subjecting you to more from her 3rd birthday party.

 Growing up, I was the kid that always wanted to draw on the chalkboard at school. Something about it seemed so grown up and important, maybe even forbidden. SO when I saw this post on Oh dee doh about chalkboards, I knew I had to try it. Using chalk on a sidewalk or driveway is fun but drawing on a giant chalkboard, at least the kid in me thinks, is so much cooler.

I figured it would be the would be a perfect addition to Grace's arts and crafts birthday, not only for the fun element but also because...

1. it would hide our unsightly chain linked fence

and 2. it would hide our neighbor's unkempt yard.

It was so easy. I used some plywood and 2 cans of Rust-Oleum chalkboard paint, 2 coats per board. When they have completely dried, prime the board by rubbing it with chalk and then it's ready to use. I drilled some holes along the top and used zip strips to attach each chalkboard to the fence. After all my hard work, Martha Stewart emailed me her tip of the day, how to make your own chalkboard paint (ironic). I am not sure how well that would have worked but if you'd rather try a DIY, you can find that formula here.

When I saw the finished chalkboards, the kid in me came out, I had to grab some chalk and start writing. Which turned into an impromptu photo session. Rarely does a day pass that I am not begging someone to say 'cheese'.

And since I can't show favoritism. I had to include my other baby as well.

Though, she was anything but a willing participant.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Arts and Crafts Birthday Party - repost

In honor of Grace's 4th birthday, I had to share her 3rd birthday party again. 

Color, paint and play as we celebrate Grace's 3rd birthday. Arts and crafts was the theme of the party from start to finish. If you are interested in the details, keep reading...

Since the party was a crafting themed party, I focused mainly on our crafting center.

To cover the table, I used 2 rolls of packaging paper, from the dollar store. At each seat, I attempted to draw a frame.

Instead of recycling my cans, for a month, I kept them figuring they would make perfect containers for crayons and paint brushes. The table had an assortment of washable (these are 3 and 4 year olds after all) paint, water colors and crayons.

At Hobby Lobby I was able to find wooden wands for $1 that the girls painted and $2 wooden trains, with wheels that actually moved, for the boys to paint.

Every artist needs a gallery. I found a simple and AMAZING tutorial here that walks you through the process of converting pictures into coloring book pages. I made one for each artist but definitely had a favorite or two. Thanks Photojojo for walking me through the process!

Party favors are my favorite part of any party. I had so much fun figuring out what our little crafters would take home with them. Fortunately, crafting runs in the family, my mom made all the personalized aprons out of the most adorable crayon material.

I spelled each guest's name out of crayons, you can see the tutorial here, and used that as not only a party favor but their gift tag. I also sent them home with 2 extra copies of their coloring book page.

Having focused so much time and energy on the crafting table, our decorations were kept simple (if you read between the lines this translates into 'I ran out of time'). 3s, balloons and tissue paper poms decorated the house and outside, though, it was so hot that by the time the party started most of our balloons popped. We also left out a jar for people to leave birthday wishes for the birthday girl. I love anything that has an element of memory keeping, which is probably why I have over 5,000 pictures of Grace and she's only 3.

Yes, we had one of those parties with a photo booth area.

The frame was suspended using heavy gaged fishing line. Eyelet hooks were added to the ceiling of our porch and back of the picture frame. The fishing line was strung between both the hooks on the ceiling and the hooks in the frame. It did take time to get the frame level and hung straight. If you don't have the time to hang a frame, we also took some pictures holding the picture frame.

Hung or held, the pictures taken using the frame were among my favorites. I can see why this is such a popular trend right now.

The theme of the party started with the painter's palette invitations.

Continuing that theme and inspired by the painter's palette cupcake tray I saw here. Using a jig saw and a piece of scrap wood, we were able to create our own version.

 For the cupcakes, I started with white store bought icing and added a few drops of food coloring to mimic different shades of paint.

All in all, I would say the party was a success. Memories were made. Great pictures were taken. Most importantly, the kids all had fun.

Wait until you see what we've come up with for her 4th!  

A glimpse into my life...

Two exciting things...

First, Kim from Maiden D'Shade featured me in her first blogger spotlight post. I had to answer 5 questions about myself and it was HARD. I can talk all day about how to make fake corn BUT to answer questions about myslef...I had to really dig deep for those. If you want to know a little bit more about me, you can see my answers Kim's lovely blog.

Maiden D'Shade

For anyone that may not know, on a whim, I submitted my United Scraps of America project in One Artsy Mama's One Crafty Contest. 

100 very talented and inspiring bloggers entered and I was humbled to be selected as 1 of 20 to move forward.  There will be 5 rounds of competition and votes will determine if you continue to the next round or not.

The first round, a bead competition, is up and ready for you to cast your vote TODAY {you can vote for your favorite 5}.   In an exciting twist, you won't be told which beaded entry is mine.  Let's see how well you know me and my crafting abilities.

I am not sure which I am more excited about, participating in this challenge OR seeing what the other 19 very talented bloggers I am competing against have come up with.

*WEDNESAY, after voting is complete, I'll share which entry was mine and give you the how to so you can make your own.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Dance Mom I Am Not

Mother's day weekend, Grace preformed in her first ballet recital. We were instructed to put our ballerina's hair in either a bun or a high pony tail. A dance mom I am not, so I was only able to achieve the pony tail.

When I arrived at the auditorium, someone asked if I needed a donut.  Dance mom I am not, I assume I was being offered a delicious pastry...

Apparently, in the world of 'dance moms' a donut does not mean a sugary delight.  Grace and I were both disappointed.  A donut is what a dance mom would use to create the perfect bun.

Apparently, my mom was not a dance mom either.

So, in the end, dance mom or not, my little girl was transformed into a beautiful ballerina...

And this mom beamed on with pure pride.

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