Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What a GORGEOUS family...

Horrible family photos were the goal for me this Thanksgiving, or at least that's what my camera would tell you. It seems like every person who picked my camera up that day had to take a horrible picture. The camera is awesome, don't get me wrong. It's the photographers, and subjects, that were the problem. Only 3 people survived the photography blitz: my oldest niece (she looks gorgeous), my grandmother Baby Ruth, and my brother-in-law who I just realized didn't even make it into the collage! Shoot. These are the pics I'm using for my Survivor LO this week on Tallyscrapper and I wanted the whole fam damily in there. Maybe I'll cut them apart and add a pic of him in. I'd hate for him to miss the fun. I used picasa to make the collage and picnik to edit it. Guess I should get started on that layout...
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Birdhouse Ornaments with Tutorial!!

Every Christmas season the women in my family get together for a Christmas Tea Party.  We all bring a gift that gets auctioned off.  Then, all the money we raise goes to a charity (it's a different one every year).  Last year I decided that instead of buying a gift, I would make mine.  It turned out so well, that I've decided to make more and share my process with you.  

You'll need:
Wooden birdhouse (one of those little $1 ones)
Paint (whatever color you want)
Embossing Powder & Heat gun
Coordinating paper (for the wings) & ribbon (for the hanger)
Decorative Brads (the kind for re-upholstering furniture)
Glossy Accents by Ranger
Heart Charm
Adhesive (I used Modge Podge & E6000)

You start out with one of those little wooden birdhouses.  Paint it.
For this ornament I went with a mixture of metallic silver and purple plum.  Then I coated it with a couple layers of the new Plaid Extreme Glitter paint (LOVE that stuff).
Once your paint is dry, you can start embellishing the house.  I used Swirls v:1 clear stamps from Autumn Leaves and stamped the house in a bunch of places with a lighter purple paint.  Immediately after stamping I coated the wet paint with Lavender Zing embossing powder.  Once I was done stamping/coating, I used my heat gun to melt the powder.
Then I got started on the wings.  I used an angel wings svg file, from My Cricut Scrapbooking, and my SCAL software to cut the wings out with my Cricut Expression.  I then traced the wings on some cardboard and cut those out by hand.
The cardboard I painted with the Metallic Silver paint by Plaid.  Once both sides were painted, and dry, I Modge Podged the paper wings to the cardboard and let THAT dry.
At this point I used iridescent Stickles to fill in the silver spots on the wings.  When that I was dry, Glossy Accents by Ranger was applied over the Stickles to give it more dimension.
While I waited for THAT to dry (there's a lot of waiting in this project), I attached the ribbon hanger.  Decorative brads (for re-upholstering furniture) were used to attach it, and this time around I even hot glued the ribbon first.
This morning when the wings were dry, I used some E6000 to attach them to the house with a heart between them to finish it off.
Something I realized today when I was taking pictures outside--Definitely try to get some paint INSIDE the birdhouse.  It's not terribly obvious just looking at it, but once you start taking pictures, WOW it stands out like a sore thumb.

The finished product.  Isn't she pretty??

The whole process sounds a LOT more complicated than it really is, and there are probably shortcuts out there.  But this is the way I did mine.  So if you try it, let me know!!!  I'd love to see pictures and hear about your experience.  This is my first time writing a tutorial, so DEFINITELY let me know how you did. 


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Squinkie Soap Success!!

When I saw the tutorial for making Squinkie Soaps on Closet Crafter last month I knew I had to give it a try.  My nieces LOVE Squinkies, and this will be a fun, and useful, Christmas present for them.  I've never tried making soap before, so this project I actually had to spend some money on.  It's Christmas, they're my nieces, it's worth it.  The soap making supplies themselves were easy to find.  I got the soap at A.C. Moore with one of those great 40% off coupons ($7.19) and also got some orange scent to make the soap smell good ($2.68).  The mold, on the other hand, was a pain in the a**.  In the tutorial, the soaps are made in an ice ball tray.  Yeah, an ice "cube" tray that makes balls.  Do you think I could find one of those around here?  In November??  Yeah, you're right, I couldn't.  Soooo, I had to substitute.  I found a silicone Wilton Brownie Pop mold ($7, I think) that looked big enough to use. Phew!  Crisis averted!!  I ended up putting 2 Squinkies ($9.99 for a package of 16) in each soap. 

There are lots of little bubbles in the soaps.  I'm sure there are ways to prevent, or at least reduce, that, but it will take more research to find out what they are.  There's only one small problem...

The shape is a little, um, suggestive.  Or maybe I'm just being overly sensitive.  My nieces are young, they won't have an issue with it, but I'm sure the adults in the fam will get a good laugh. 

I'll be linking this up to the parties on the right, except Brag Monday.  For once I did a project that didn't involve an image from *The Graphics Fairy*!!  I want to share the hilarity.

Book Wreath Love

Book wreaths are everywhere right now.  They're in magazines, on TV, and all over the internet.  I'm not sure HOW I missed them for so long.  I love the way they look and that they're made from old books.  A couple weeks ago I decided that I wanted to try making one, so I googled it.  JFGI you know.  The very first listing was for a fantastic tutorial by Lindsay at Living With Lindsay
We have TONS of old books laying around, so that wasn't a problem.  In my stash I found a wreath form and some paints for the page edges.  I chose red and gold because I was in a Christmas kind of mood.  (Actually I originally chose red & some silver glitter paint by Plaid BUT I didn't read the tutorial very well the first time around.  You should definitely put the paint on with a paper towel or cloth rather than a paintbrush.  The bristles allow the paint to get in between the pages and then they stick together.)

Here's a picture of my wreath almost done:

My table is cluttered.  Too many "in progress" projects at once.  After I got all the pages attached I decided to add something to the center to make it more interesting.  I printed a vintage Santa Claus graphic from *The Graphics Fairy* and cut it out.  Then I attached it to some cardboard that I'd sprayed with gold Smooch Spritz, and outlined Santa's head with iridescent stickles.  After I got that hot glued to the back of the wreath, I glued a red and gold ribbon, also from my stash, around the inside.  More of the same ribbon was used on the back as a hanger.  Here's the finished product:

I'll be linking this bad boy up to the linking parties this week for sure.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I'm on Pins & Needles...

Or I would be if I hadn't just made two more pincushions from Leah's awesome tutorial on Tallyscrapper!!  My teacup pincushion turned out so perfectly that I kept thinking about making more.  Then the other day I was in the attic, and I found some treasure.  A vintage tin measuring cup and a pottery vase.  Jackpot!!

As the fabric for both I used vintage scarves that I had kicking around and more of that rescued batting.

With the measuring cup I also used Modge Podge to attach a distressed image of a sewing needle fairy that I found at, that's right you guessed it, *The Graphics Fairy*.  Then I hot glued some flowers around the top and bottom and added Pearls (by Queen&Co) for centers.
The pottery vase pincushion was a little tougher to decorate due to its' shape.  All the lace I wanted to use was too big, so I ended up going with some twine.  Then I hot glued an old clip-on flower earring that I got from my mom.  She gave me a bunch of old jewelry a month or so ago, and I've been steadily working my way through it.  (By the way, have I mentioned that I LOVE using tin snips?  They make me feel tough.)
These are so fun to make and super easy.  I did both of them in a couple of hours, and that includes the time I spent treasure hunting in the attic!  I entered them in a challenge on Tallyscrapper, and I'll be linking them up all over the place (Like Brag Monday and Get Your Craft On).  This linking thing really is fun.  I love seeing what everyone else is up to and I've been getting tons of great project ideas.  Hope I can keep up!!

Fun With Watercolors and Survivor Week Ten--Be Glad.

A couple of weeks ago I did a LO using a heart I'd cut out from a Prima Printable piece of paper (that's a lot of Ps!).  After I cut it out, I couldn't help but paint the rest of the page to use for another project.  I found the perfect picture of my niece to place in the cutout.  The day I took that, we'd been fishing at a reservoir near my house.  It was FREEZING and super windy the entire time we were out in the canoe.  Then suddenly, when we pulled up onto shore, the wind stopped and my niece decided it would be a good time to walk in the water.  I love that it looks like she's walking ON the water.  Once that was done I added some ribbon, stickles, a pendant I found at the Salvation Army, and a gorgeous coat of arms from *The Graphics Fairy*.

I love playing with watercolors!!

Survivor on Tallyscrapper is almost over!!  For week 10 we had to "rough it".  We were only allowed to use one sheet of new cardstock.  Any other paper had to be scraps from other projects.  There also had to be a torn edge and we had to make an embellishment.  For some reason, this layout came together super fast for me.  I'm normally a VERY slow scrapper, but this one came out quick.  It's probably the simplest, cleanest layout I've ever done.  The woodgrain paper came from the wings for my angel canvas, the butterflies were leftovers from a layout I did forever ago, and I made the clouds from cardboard.

The picture is of my other niece at my house on Easter 2009.  It was too cold to wear the pretty dresses outside, that's for sure!!

Check out the "Places I Party" links in the sidebar to see where I've linked up to.  Sharing is fun!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Super Awesome Projects X3, That's Right, THREE

This week has been FANTASTIC for getting projects done.  From start to finish I've done 3 projects, that's right, I said THREE.  My husband is beyond impressed.  I think it's the cold weather.  It makes me want to stay in my warm crafty scrap room.  

So the first thing I did was a layout for a challenge on Tallyscrapper.  The requirements were simple, use a leaf (a real one) as a stamp.  So I did, then I embossed it.  The pictures are of my niece dressed as Totoro this Halloween. 

My mother MADE that costume from scratch.  She and my Aunt built the pattern and everything.  It's even better in person!

When I saw this pincushion tutorial on Tallyscrapper, I knew I had to try it.  It was so simple and fun.  I LOVE the way it turned out, and I didn't have to buy anything to finish it.  The teacup set I used was a gift from my grandmother years ago.  It's been on a shelf collecting dust ever since.  I got the fabric at a yard sale at least 5 years ago, the batting came from a blanket I rescued from work, and I saved the ribbon from one of our wedding gifts.  (Yeah, we got married 7+ years ago.  My pack rat tendencies are strong.)  I even had the glue and some caulk to secure the teacup to the saucer.  The only new-ish things are the flower on the ribbon and my pins, although some of those are vintage too.  I'll be linking this one up to Frugal Friday on The Shabby Nest today for sure!!

Last, but definitely not least, is my Survivor Week 9 layout for Tallyscrapper.  This week was tough for me!!!  We had to scraplift a LO from one of our Tally friends.  Sounds easy, but the catch was a double whammy.  That friend has to scrap in a style or size that's different from your own, AND you had to do the opposite of their LO.  So if they used black, you had to use white.  If they used bright colors, you had to use muted tones.  Yeah!  So I chose to copy Nikki.  She's super talented and does these LOs that look simple and complex at the same time.  Here's her LO (sorry about the picture quality!):

And here's mine: 

The picture is of us with a group of our awesome friends.  We attended the Fight With Tools National Conference in Denver a couple years ago and the group was invited to come to the Flobots New Year's Eve show at the Gothic Theatre as VIPs.  We had an amazing time at the conference AND at the show.  One of my top three shows of all time for sure.  The little pointing hands are from *The Graphics Fairy*, and I'll be linking this post to Karen's Brag Monday this week for sure!!  If you've never checked out her blog, do it.  She has THE BEST graphics.

Okay, so that was my creative week.  This weekend is a cyber crop at Tallyscrapper, but I won't be here.  *Sad Face*  I think I might try to sneak in some challenges before I have to leave though!  *Potential Happy Face*

I'm also linking this post up to Show and Tell @ Blue Cricket Design and DIY Linky Party #21 @ Fine Craft Guild .com because I love, love, love that pincushion and want the world to know it! 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Survivor Week Eight--Boy, I do, Love You

Okay, so this week was "The Merge" for Survivor on Tallyscrapper.com.  That means all the members of The Mother Hens (or Mother Cluckers if you prefer) and The Baby Chicks are in one group.  It's a one on one game now.  Our challenge for this week was pretty simple.  Black & white were required colors.  We then had to pick ONE other color to "merge" with those.  I chose blue.  We also had to use either a heart or a star and one or two pictures.

 The blue heart was cut from a piece of Prima Paintable paper.  I painted it with shades of blue and a little purple (shhhh) then cut it out.  After it was dry I covered it with Glossy Accents by Ranger.  Then I made an oopsy.  It looked dry to me, so I picked it up to try to flatten it out.  Well, the glossy accents cracked.  So I cracked it more.  Then I sprayed it with blue & silver Smooch Spritz and rubbed it around, trying to get it into the cracks.  I think it looks pretty cool.

In doing this layout I realized that I need more alphabet stickers.  Shopping trip this week!!!  
The journaling tag was printed from the *The Graphics Fairy* blog.  I'll be linking this page to her Brag Monday this week.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Awesomeness of Today

Okay, I'm not sure WHAT is going on.  Last night I had to work and it wasn't bad.  It wasn't great, but it wasn't bad.  There were times I was wicked grumpy, but then, morning came.  The kids weren't horrible.  They weren't great, but they weren't horrible.  It's pouring rain.  It's cold and dreary.  My house is a disaster, but for some crazy reason, I'm in an awesome mood.  Like, seriously awesome.  Like, let's turn on some music and dance around the house awesome.  Yeah.  Awesome.  So now I'm going to go do some cleaning and work out before this energy wears off.  Maybe I'll reward myself when I'm done with a drink using my Peppermint Mocha Kahlua.