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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wanna Feel Cool?

Have you heard about the partying going on at PinterestIt's a virtual pinboard; a way to visually bookmark favorites from the vast cyber world.  I'm loving it, because just last month I was lamenting my inability to keep track of all the great projects and recipes I've found online.  Now I have a go-to place to look when I have some time and want to try something new.  And since I can see pictures of everything, it will be so much easier to pick something right away.  It will also be a great way for me to keep track of things I want to link to in future blog posts.

I felt really cool when I got my Pinterest invite in my email.  Luckily I didn't even know about it till a couple of weeks ago, or I would have felt really out of the loop, and man, don't you hate when that happens? 

Check out all the great things people are pinning:

Cool, right? Are you already pinning?  Do you want to be?  What kinds of things do you think you'll keep track of?

Anyway, assuming I'm not the last person in the world to learn of this phenomenon, I would be happy to pass an invite out to anyone who wants to join the fun.  Leave me a comment with your email and I'll send you one!  

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Zipper Pouches...and Who Doesn't Love Ruffles?

From last week, all the ceiling scraping is done, and I made not one, but two little zipper pouches!  They were that easy!  See the tutorial at Skip to My Lou.

Here's the one I did first. Zipper taken from worn out capris, old sheet, white fabric that had been a make-shift bed skirt (that has since been replaced) and a small piece of new green fabric.  I only have pictures of the finished pouch for this one.

To make the green ruffle, I hemmed the long edges under, then did a baste stitch so I could ruffle the whole piece.  Then I sewed that onto the flowered fabric before I sewed it to the zipper.

This is the second pouch I made.  
 This time I bought a zipper, but used the same white for the lining as before, black and white scraps from a dress I made for one of my daughters, and pink knit from a stained girl's shirt.
 To make the ruffles here, I took 3 strips of the pink knit and did a baste stitch down the middle and ruffled them.  
I lined them up on the black and white fabric and pinned the top and bottom before sewing down the middles of the ruffles.  In retrospect, I should have used pink thread, but I was a little overeager and didn't stop to look for any.
My husband always teases me when I make something.  "What are you going to use that for?" he asks.  And I usually don't know.  It was fun, and cute, and I'll figure out something to do with it.  I'm sure at least one of these will make its way into my purse.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Flower Window Card

Over the weekend I lost the power cord to my cutter.  In moving things out of the family room so I could scrape the ceiling, it was misplaced, and my husband and I spent 45 minutes looking for it late Saturday night before I gave up.  I found it Sunday morning--in one of my dresser drawers.  I don't even remember putting it there!  Ah well.  At least I have it back, I can use my Cougar, and balance is restored to the universe.  I celebrated by making a card.  I needed one anyway for a friend who needs a little pick me up, and I didn't have any cards that seemed right for the "occasion."

I'll attach the mtc file at the end for anyone interested in it.  I'll also give a brief rundown of how I made the file, since it's pretty easy, and you could change up the inside shape with anything you want.  Instructions are probably similar for Sure Cuts a Lot as well, though I've never used that program.
  • Create a rectangle 4.25 x 5.5 inches
  • Create a square 2 x 2 inches
  • Place the square where you want the window to be and join
  • Select a simple flower shape and make a shadow layer too
  • Put the shadow flower in the window and size it so some of the petals overlap the window edges and weld
  • Make a copy of the first flower
  • Place one flower over the flower in the window and join (this turns the flower into an outline)
  • Make another rectangle 4.25 x 5.5 and weld it to the left of the rectangle with the flower window.  Now you have a whole card
  • Place the second flower somewhere on the mat--it will be cut out in another color 
  • Arrange paper on your mat and cut.  Glue colored flower to the inside of the card--either rotated like mine, or lined up with the front flower
  • Hope that's useful!
Click here for file

Friday, March 25, 2011

Scraping is Done!

This post seems more like un-crafting, but it was a lot of work, my arms are sore, and I'm glad it's done.  Between Monday night and this morning we went from this:

to this:

I had my lovely 5-year-old capture this action shot of me.  
Isn't it great how odd angles can make your limbs look unnatural?  I'm just really glad I bought that great mountain bike a couple of years ago so that I'd have some padded gloves to wear during this whole ordeal.  Otherwise my hands would have been much more bruised.  I was also glad, for the first time, that our ceilings aren't any taller.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

To-Do Tuesday

Ok, I know it's Wednesday, but I at least started writing this yesterday.  I'm happy to say that my post last week gave me just enough motivation to get a few things done that I wouldn't have otherwise.

I finished up bookshelves for the kids, made rainbow cake pops, and made the laundry sign.  The scrapbook page at least got started, but keep reading to find out why that may or may not be finished any time soon.

Most of the things filling my to do list from now on will be related to our kitchen remodel.  Yay!  And Scary!  Since our project extends into our small family room, it affects my little craft corner.  I'm hoping to set up camp in another part of the house so that I can occasionally bust out a card or something, to keep my sanity.

Wish us luck on the venture, and I hope you like seeing the progress along the way.  Here are some before pictures to get us started.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Laundry Sign

My washer and dryer are in the garage.  I see it as a good thing and a bad thing.  It's good because they're not taking up any square footage inside my actual house. It's bad because they're in the garage.  

I've been on a bit of a quest to make it a little more like part of the house, since I recognize the fact that I must spend time there.  I have seen several different signs and sayings for the laundry room, but none of them "spoke" to me :)  So I came up with my own saying and made my own.

The wood piece came from Goodwill for $1.50 and it measures about 12 by 14 inches.  I drilled holes in the corners for hanging, then painted it brown.  Instead of vinyl, I used white Contact paper, since I had some already.  And in place of transfer paper, I used clear Contact paper.  A little twine tied in knots, and it's ready to go.  

What do you think?  Do you have anything in your laundry space to make it less boring?

If you have Make the Cut, here's a file to make your own. Download

Monday, March 21, 2011

Kids' Bookshelves

Remember my post last Tuesday with things that have been on my list to try?  Today I get to show you the bookshelves I made.  All by myself.  I'm not sure who was more proud of my drill skills--me or my husband!  I followed the instructions here, and loved having someone at Home Depot do the cutting for me!  I bought just one of each board size, so I got two 3-foot shelves (for the girls) and one 2-foot shelf (for the stink bug).  The wood, plus the box of 1 1/4 inch screws--which has way more than I needed for this project, cost about $20.  We already had some 2 1/2 inch screws in the garage, so I didn't buy any.

They came together beautifully.  And I love them!
 I followed all the instructions in Polly's tutorial, and used a bit of wood filler too, to even out some of the imperfections in the wood.

I primed each one, and for paint I used some pure white door and trim paint we have left over from, well, doors and trim.  Neither of the kids' rooms are really decorated at all, and these will match anything we do.  But you could easily paint them any color.

I used our electronic stud finder to locate studs in the walls, then pre-drilled, and attached them to the wall with 2 1/2 inch screws.  The drill slipped a couple of times, so I have little gouges in 2 of the shelves that I can fill and paint later if I want...though really, they're always going to be covered by books.
 And I have to show you my 5-year-old's blankets.  She's had them since she was a baby, and by the time she was 1, they had specific locations.  The pink on on her left side, and the purple one on the right.  She's also named them.  "Purple" and "Pink" :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Rainbow Cake Pops...and Happy St. Patrick's Day!

When my oldest daughter turned 6, I made Hello Kitty cake pops for her to take to school, and to give out at the end of her birthday party.  In fact, I loved them so much when I saw them on Bakerella's site I knew she had to have a Hello Kitty themed party, just so I could make them.  Then when she turned 7, I used the same concept and made brownie pops.  Yum!  With all the rainbow goodies, decorations and clothing popping up on other blogs in preparation for St. Patty's parties, this idea made its way into my head--a cake pop version of these cupcakes.
I mixed up a white cake mix and divided it into 6 bowls and colored them.  Then I poured each color into a mini loaf and baked them for about 20 minutes.   My 2 and 5 year olds helped.  The younger one has green all over one hand to prove it.
After they were baked and cooled, I crumbled them into bowls and mixed in about 2 or 3 tablespoons of frosting, enough so the crumbs were sticking together.

Next I just took little bits of each color and, for lack of a better word, smooshed them together to make balls.  My 7-year-old helped with this part.  We put them all on a cookie sheet then dipped the end of each lollipop stick into a little melted white chocolate before poking it into the cake.  I let them sit in the fridge for about 40 minutes before dipping them completely.
I was planning on just leaving them white, like little bits of cloud with a surprise inside.  But I realized I needed the sprinkles to cover up all the little imperfections.  Better, yes?

Here's the inside

So, hope you all have a fantastically lucky day today!  

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

To-Do Tuesday

I'm trying to come up with a good way to keep track of all the things I want to make and try out.  

Book shelves like these at Helping Little Hands

Rainbow cake for St. Patrick's Day from Our Best Bites

Laundry sign for my laundry space in the garage.  I have my own phrase in mind, but I like the font in this one from Becky Ann Designs

And I absolutely must do a couple of scrapbook pages.  I always drool over the work done by Gabrielle at Such a Pretty Mess, but it would take me so long!  So I've decided to just take some element and work it into one of my pages this week.

What are the odds that I'll work on all of these before I try this again next week?  I don't know, but won't it be fun to see?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hopping by to Say Hello

It's no fun being sick.  Even if it's just a head cold, it dampens any motivation I might have for cooking or cleaning.  It does however, let me have some guilt free craft time!  A challenge came up on the Make the Cut forum to use a bunny in a project, but not related to Easter.

Here's what I put together.  What do you think?

Get the mtc file here

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Award Time

I found this fun little surprise in one of my comments the other day--another blogger sent me an award!  So thanks, Keri at Pressed Down, Shaken Together!  Check out her really pretty Altoid tins.  Now on to the game.

1. Thank the person who awarded you and link back to them in your post 
2. Tell 7 random facts about yourself
3. Pass the award on to 5 new found bloggers
4. Contact each blogger you want to pass the award on to and let them know you’ve done so, and let the giver of your award know you accept it.

Random things about me:
1-I've never broken a bone
2-I donated my hair to Locks of Love last year
3-I play the piano, and guitar (kind of), and violin (in my dreams)
4-I hate squeezing out cold washcloths
5-I always wear shoes
6-I love mint brownies
7-I love organizing by putting things in baskets

Since starting this blog, I've been on the lookout for other fun blogs too, so this part was easy.  Here are 5 blogs I've passed the award to:
A Bowl Full of Lemons
MichelleMyBelle's Creations 
Scrappy Scavenger
Thoughts of Household Six
Craftify It

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Feelin' Owl Right

Last week I won a prize from Yolie's bloghop.  Yay for winning something!  I got to pick a whole collection from Treasure Box Designs.  After looking through all the cute sets, I finally decided on the animals--look at that hippo!

The owl is what I actually used first though.

Watch for more cards, and possibly scrapbook pages if I ever hope to get caught up again there.

I can't share the owl file of course, but here is the scalloped circle and writing.  Then you can add your own owl to it.  If you have a Cricut cutter, be sure to check out Amy Chomas's pen holders so you can write with your machine too!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lucky Card

I'm a lucky gal.  And here's a card that will go to a few people I'm lucky to have in my life.

I loved how this card from MichelleMyBelle's Creations had part of the front cut away.  I also loved the look of this art piece by Flamingo Toes.  So I did some playing around of my own and designed part of this card to be cut also.  I found the cute little shamrock online, as well as the flourish, which I edited a little.  Everything in green was printed before I cut the card shape.  Then I stuck the stripy rainbow paper on the inside of the card so it peeks through the front.  Thanks for looking!

Download mtc file here.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Painted Shamrock Shirts

Inspired by this cute design from EmmylouBeeDoo, I knew I had to make my own.  For the visual learners, here's a great video tutorial from Clever Someday.

I've done a few painted shirts already, and it's pretty addicting.

Since I was making these for the girls, I wanted to use pink, even if it's not the real St. Patrick's Day color.  

Here's the freezer paper stencil (designed in Make the Cut, of course, and cut on my Black Cat Cougar) after it's been ironed on to a pink shirt.  You can also hand cut stencils if you don't have an electronic cutter. 

Next I painted it with green fabric paint, and here's how that looks.    My 5 year-old loves it!

This was done on a white shirt.  I actually thought it would be really cute to do a dark pink heart on this one, but knew my 1st grader wouldn't want to wear it without any green.

I'll sign off with a couple of my own tips
  • Prewash (most fabric paints suggest this on the bottle)
  • Make sure the waxy side of the freezer paper is down on the fabric--if it's up, the wax melts to your iron!
  • Be careful to not use too much pressure near the edges of the design or paint may squish under the edges of the freezer paper
  • Use a hairdryer to speed up drying time
  • You can do several layers of stencils to use different colors--just make sure each color is completely dry before ironing the next stencil down
  • Don't be afraid to mix colors before painting.  I've lightened up several colors with white

And for anyone interested, here's the mtc file to download.