Monday, November 28, 2011

a crafting area, all my own

As I write this post - my kitchen table, living room coffee table, and computer desk are all breathing a sigh of relief. Gone are the pains of random hot glue gun burns, spurts of paint and exacto blade slices into the veneer.

It didn't take a lot of time and/or effort to convince the hubby that I need a crafting 'hub.'

I merely gestured towards the 10+ years of boxes, scrapbooking folders, and endless crates of coloring/painting/art supplies that took our bedroom hostage, years ago.

Before I knew it, we were loaded into the Volvo and speeding off to our favorite thrift store. It took a total of 4 mili-seconds after I walked in the door, until I spotted an object of my desire. A crusty, old, beat-up, desk ... I loved it. This is the part where we fast forward 24 hours of anxious waiting for a friend to help move the desk.

after we sanded down the (many) rough spots that were on the surface, we covered it in 2 coats of a boring, flat brown/tan spray primer/paint.

This next step might seem a little ridiculous .. but we decided to 'faux' some darker wood onto the flat tan. I know ... "Why on Earth did you re-faux something that was already faux, to begin with?" ... simple answer : "Because we can!"

when it was all said and done, I really like how it looks :)

Looking back .. sanding and painting, priming, then re-fauxing this thing was the easy part. lol Once the paint dried, I realized I had to organize a decade worth of junk into my new, pretty space. There were containers on top of caddies, under folders, boxes and a bunch of mini-drawer systems ... *wipes sweat from brow*

half the 'wreckage' the new 'area' without the 'stuff'

I managed to sift through all the junk and re-organize the crafty bits into different categories. After that, I went and 'splurged' on some new containers.
($2/$4/$6 baskets on clearance from the Dollar Store-yay!)

I love my 'new' craft station! It even has a fishy friend to keep me company on my late crafting nights ... not that I ever have those. *wink wink*

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

our 'thankful wreath' craft

The first name I could think of for this craft was 'a wreath of that which we are thankful.' lol, even just typing that out, it's a LOT to say. So, I shortened it to 'the thankful wreath.'

I found this cute project a day after the death of my one and only crafty thanksgiving decor. It looked simple enough and like tons of fun .. it did NOT miss it's mark.

I saw a few different tips online for how to make the 'skeleton' to the wreath, if you will; from a wire hanger. While it didn't seem all too complicated .. I kinda cheated. I went to our favorite local thrift store and found a homemade wreath, there. I carefully removed the pieces of jolly decor and stashed them away in my 'use these crafty bits for later' box.

I tightly wrapped twine around the wire and hot glued it every so often .. very scientific. :)

I wrapped the twine for 2 reasons; I wanted it to cover the ugly hanger plus I liked the brown as part of the Autumnal theme. In the end, I discovered it was a crooked circle ... but I find it charmingly imperfect. :)

As I was wrapping the twine, the family mixed up a plethora of 'fall-ish' paint colors for the clothes pins.

Monday, November 21, 2011

a thankful door hanger .. that once was.

The 'pinspiration' for this idea was originally from Parents Magazine.

I decided to make one of these on my own, after the kids had gone to bed. It was relatively simple to make. Cardstock, a holepunch, glue sticks, post-it pad, a pencil and that wiry hay looking stuff. I have no idea what that stuff is called; but I found of it some in my 'save this stuff for later' craft box.

I cut out 2 large pieces of cardstock into the same rounded rectangle shape and taped them together. Then, I found a cup that fit generously over the door handle and traced the circle onto the cardstock hanger template. I cut out the circle and taped the edges of the paper on the inside of the circle back together.

I glue-sticked the container of holepunch bits onto the hanger. My husband pointed out that 'corn is more linear.' I made a mental note, for the next time I'm trying to emulate corn. :)

I attached the pencil with twine and hung it by the front door. Everyone got a chance to list out a few different things they were thankful for, before the inevitable happened.

Our very own adorable Nugget got ahold of it and taught it a lesson, while we were all at work & school, one day.

It was really cute to read the messages we all left, while it lasted.

I just took it as a sign that I shouldn't craft alone ;)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Frosty the Fridge

There we were, discussing this year's festivities. When just thinking about putting up Christmas decorations made me sleepy. LoL - so, I decided to just go with this guy for tonight and then I'll think of the rest of Christmas, tomorrow .... maybe. ;)

It doesn't really need a whole lot of explanation ... does it ? :)
All the bits are made from card stock/construction paper .. easy peasy!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

crackling your marbles .. better than losing them.

we found a 'pinteresting' way to play with your marbles and we just had to try it. Our 8 year old collects marbles, so we didn't have to go far for this experiment.

On the website, it says to bake your marbles at 350 for 20 minutes, then immediately take them out and toss them into ice cold water. We did just that .. but ours didn't come out quite as we were expecting:

They kind of, sorta did what they were supposed to do, but not really. It seemed like they only barely 'cracked the surface' of their potential. (pun totally intended)

After some searching, we found one website that said to try baking them at 500 degrees, for 20 minutes.

We're going to have to try them like that, next time ... this was kind of anti-climactic.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Marbled Nails .. part deux

After trying this once .. I knew I would do it, again.

On the second go round, I realized I should spend a little more money on nail polish.
ok, let me clarify that statement.
clearly - I have lots of nail polish - I just need to get higher quality nail polish :)

I also figured out :
  • it's easier if you tape off all your nails to start with.
  • remove the scotch tape after the paint is completely dry
  • q-tips and toothpicks are necessities
  • it's CRUCIAL for the water to be room temperature
  • make sure to tape it up really good UNDER the nail, too. If you don't - it gets icky on the underside of your nails and they look dirty. ew !

Friday, November 11, 2011

Marbled Nails

On the surface, painting your nails a different color every other day and taking 45 minutes of your precious time, just to make sure they're pretty, might seem a little shallow.

Be that as it may ... I'm guilty of these crimes of superficiality.

In my defense, until the age of 32 I was a chronic chewer of my stubby, little fingers. In high school I had a lot of nerve issues and more than once had gnawed away until they were almost bloody ... ew. Sorry - I digress !

Around any holiday, I use it as an excuse to dress up my nails (and my puppy) festively ...

"Hi, Nugget!"
So, of course when I found this link - I had to figure out how to try it. Being the visual person I am, I searched on YouTube for an instructional video and got this really good one .. good once you get past the plinky plunky music. :)

Fast forward to my first try ..

I decided to put my shot glass collection to use, for once. I don't drink more than once every year or so, so it's nice to actually use them for something.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

bring on the baby ...

Be it miracles or tragedies - life seems to hand these out in bunches. I consider myself very lucky to see more miracles than tragedies. Point in case : I have 5 girlfriends, all ready to pop & spew forth a human from their loins. awwww-babies!!!

One day at work, while jabbering away about the weekend - I mentioned the baby shower of a friend that had taken place. My good friend and co-worker, who I had watched grow from day 1 to month 8, mentioned that she was not having a baby shower for this little one. The first thought that went through my little head was that 'no baby should have to enter this cruel, cold world without first having a party all in their honor!

Before I knew what was coming outta my big mouth - I was throwing a baby shower. :)

As much as I love computers, graphics, and playing with paintshop - I'm not all that good at 'drawing' on a computer. I couldn't create the invites I really wanted in the time frame I had; so I found a really cute website. She picked one that she liked and I 'adapted*' it with her info and ultra sound pictures.

This is how it turned out ..

*by adapted, I mean I probably
broke some sort of rule by not actually buying them ...
so, I don't suggest anyone else do it*

The invites were the easy part ...

After finding games & activities that matched Katie's personality, it was time to figure out decor - that was the hard stuff !! *wipes sweat from brow*

I needed something that was a way of saying "thank you for coming and here's a cute thingamajiggy to take home."   Thank the Gods of the internet for Pinterest, where I found this adorable idea for baby booties ... I ran with it.

My make-shift craft area - (a.k.a. my dining table) which morphed into something beastly night after night ..

I used the lace, ribbons, and buttons I had in my scrapbooking supplies. After countless fingertip glue gun burns and unbelievable frustration at dollar store Styrofoam cups breaking - the booties were done.

I don't usually pat myself on the back .. but I totally did this time.
*insert beaming, proud face - here*

Now it was time for decorations to adorably 'take up space.'
I liked the idea of the clothesline. So, I headed to the local thrift store and found 3 girly pajama sets.
I also added newborn diapers with "baby girl" painted on them, to the mix.
I then hung it all onto some twine with old fashioned clothes pins.

I got really excited when I saw this idea for hanging balloons. I especially loved the idea, because it would save me money on helium for the mass amount of balloons I wanted. It was simple - we blew up and tied off the balloons with ribbon, curled it -then pinned them to the ceiling.

The website suggested placing a marble/penny in the balloon to 'hold 'em down' while they hang .. but I liked the way they would move with the air flow / movement of the room; so I left them empty.

Instead of expensive real flowers, we decided to make some of these super-cute tissue paper flowers. I was thankful because they didn't need to be perfect. Even if you cut or folded it funny, you could fluff and rearrange the petals into something that works; which was good for kids (and me).

Instead of using flower wire for the stems, like they did on the website, we attached the tissue paper to pipe cleaners. We then took diapers and rolled them around a pencil, wrapped a rubber band around the middle of the diaper & pulled the pencil out. We then took pre-cut strips of scrapbook paper with a dab of 2 way tape & secured the middle of the diaper. We stuffed the pipe cleaner stems down into the hole and voila -- tissue flower holders :)

I saw a bunch of ideas involving diapers - like diaper cakes and diaper castles, but I decided these flower stands were a way to incorporate the diapers in a unique as well as useful way.

On the subject of diaper cakes and castles -I 'merged' a few more crafty ideas, to fill the needs of the party. I grabbed 3 circular things laying around my house ...

(this is our giant serving tray, large tupperware lid, and a dollar store holiday tin)

I then wrapped the above items in aluminum foil, stacked them back up, and voila - our happy little cupcake castle.

I baked those bad-boys, but 100% of the credit for decorating goes to my super awesome, amazing husband, Gary. I showed him a couple different ideas of what I wanted and boy did he deliver, or what?!?!

I saved my favorite decoration for last - the blessing tree. I've seen these all over the internet and I just knew I had to make one. It's a tender way to get everyone in the party involved and send something home with mom, that they can cherish forever.

It's a very simple idea; you display branches in a vase. You then provide cards for guests to write and hang a message of love, hope, prayer, etc.

It ends up a very sweet thing for mom to read at home and a beautiful and interactive piece of the party.

We gathered branches from the neighborhood and put rocks in the bottom of the vase for weight. The cards were just folded up bits of scrap pretty card-stock attached to the party ribbon. I also printed one 8x10 of the invitation and placed it inside a frame, for mom to keep.

I found a bunch of fun games on this website and we had a blast. We played guess mommy's tummy size, list the baby items, memory with a twist, and pin the sperm on the ovary ... LoL.

It was a lot of fun involving the family and it went smoothly. The planning and preparation was relatively easy and so in-expensive to do .. I could almost say I would throw another baby shower. ... almost. lol