Wednesday, July 27, 2011

New Button!

I'm so glad that I was finally able to find a tutorial to make my own blog button {--> check it in the upper right hand corner!}

Thank you so much to Oikology for the tutorial!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Book Page Headband

I don't know what's more exciting for me as a crafter, making something myself or making something for myself that was also originally my idea!

There's lots of cool stuff being made with books and book pages. Last week I made a little chalkboard with decoupaged dictionary book pages on the frame {I still have to post pics of that!}. But most of the things I've seen are for home decor and very few book page crafts for hair accessories. So that means I just had to come up with my own!

What I used...
{1} Dictionary pages
{2} Mod Podge
{3} Leftover vinyl material from our ottoman. There is a TON of this stuff still in our house! I think that's one of the biggest motivators for coming up with ideas to use it up!

What I did...
First, I cut a piece of vinyl out and a dictionary page in the same size {8" x 1.5"}. Then used Mod Podge to glue the page on top of the vinyl. You can do a second layer of Mod Podge on the surface of the paper like I did to ensure it stays on.

Be patient and wait for it to dry completely! I am so bad at this but I'm getting better.

Then I accordion folded the vinyl and sewed it on to a stretchy headband

I kind of liked it but it made me feel like a French maid. Justin suggested I add another ruffle and make it into a round shape, like a flower.

So that's what I did! I thought about hot gluing a button or round black circle into the center but I think it's cute just the way it is.

Can't wait to wear this one to work! Well, I'm actually just wearing it around the house right now, ha!

Inspiration Field Trip

Yesterday, I started sanding down this beast of a picture frame in hopes of turning it into a clock. By the way, I took and developed that picture of our family dog, Max, in my high school photography class. I'd like to save it for a different frame because the picture's sentimental to me.

I call this frame a "beast" because not only is it pretty large {16" wide and 19.5" long}, but the detailing makes it so tedious to sand!

That's a lot of gold to sand off! Blegh...

I have been wanting to make a clock for awhile now but just wasn't sure how I wanted it to look. This tutorial from The Hand Me Down House has given me some direction but it's not exactly what I want since it's small and has no numbers. The double frame is a super cool idea!

The gray is just lovely! It's strange but gray is one of my absolute favorite colors.

Clocks without numbers look incomplete to me, like whoever made it just gave up and didn't want to bother trying to make it functional {no offense, Amanda! Your clock is gorgeous!}. Also, I just lack the talent to try and tell time without numbers.

So I was seriously lacking in vision for my clock. I Googled images of clocks and nothing really suited my fancy. I noticed that there is a huge lack of homemade clocks.

After I had been sanding The Beast for almost an hour {I am so not done...}, my husband suggested that we take a drive up to the mountains to get away from the hear. One of the greatest things about living in Cali is that you can drive an hour and a half where it's 20 degrees cooler than the valley's sweltering heat and you're surrounded by incredible beauty! I thought this would be perfect to help me get inspired for my clock. What could be more inspirational for a project than seeing the handiwork of the original Creator?

We packed up the little man and our dog and headed for Huntington Lake. We actually ended up going a bit higher to 9,000+ feet. Here's some pics...

One thing I kept eyeballing was the differing textures of bark on the various types of trees.

So gorgeous! I knew that I wanted my Beast frame to be painted aqua to go with my craft room, I just wasn't sure what I wanted the clock face to look like. From our little road I got me some inspiration and thought it would be cool to try and make a clock face with a bark texture.

I better get back to sanding! More to come...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Manzanita Framed

Justin and I went hiking and "piddlefartin'" above Shaver Lake late last year when the snow had just started sprinkling on the ground for the winter. There were weathered manzanita branches everywhere and my heart leapt at the sight of them! I knew they would be perfect for a project, I just wasn't sure what {an awful feeling, I tells ya!}

They have been sitting in a bucket in our backyard since then getting even more weathered and I felt bad that I couldn't come up with anything special for using them. It's absolute torture to have a passion for creating, the supplies and the means to do it with, and yet no inspiration. But I think the most painful part is having your husband stare outside and ask dryly, "When are you going to do something with those?" Ask the Muses that one, honey! And let them know I'm looking for them!

Well anywho, I had to clean out my old bedroom at my dad's house and I acquired a whole grip of picture frames. It was a bittersweet day, like he was breaking up with me but giving me lots of great craft supplies to dull the pain {side note: I've been out of my dad's house for almost four years...but I can't say it doesn't hurt that he's moving on from me, ha!}.

So I made this frame after sanding it down, priming with Kilz spray, and painting with aqua acrylic paint {which I don't recommend doing because it's so thick}. I inserted a pretty scrap piece of paper and hot glued a manzanita branch. This is how it looked when I put it up on the wall...

It made my heart pitter patter but after a few minutes of gushing over it, I felt like it was incomplete and kind of bland {does that ever happen to you, fellow crafter/artist? Sucks, don't it?!}. Justin really liked it but even he said it was missing something.

So I thought "What could complete this?" Well, what completes me? My husby, of course! Hence the yellow heart and "j&d"...

Chalkboard with Dictionary Page Frame

From an artistic sense, I just adore things that are timeless: clocks, calligraphy, typewriters, mason jars and anything in nature. It reminds me of a slower and more simplistic life.

This project was a combination of two timeless things: book pages and chalkboards. I decoupaged the frame with dictionary pages and used Krylon chalkboard spray paint on the glass that came in the frame.

Before I could get a chance to primer the surface with chalk, my hubby wrote me a little love note...

Isn't he awesome? Thanks, Babe!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

$10 Mason Jar Coat Rack

What's not to love about mason jars? Better yet, mason jars being used for something other than canning! This was inspiring to me by OldNewAgain, a "shabby chic cottage decor" Etsy shop. I found this link and pic on CraftGawker...

Just lovely! I especially like the aged look they gave to the turquoise-painted wood.

To make our own {bigger} version of this, we used...
~jars {$3}
~wood {free}
~hooks {free}
~hose clamps {$3+}
~spray paint {$3...optional for wood, hooks, and hose clamps}

{Side note: My husband had to clarify to me that they're called "hose clamps" and not pipe clamps since hoses are flexible and pipes are not...hence the reason why the hose clamps are adjustable}

From these things and for less than $10, we came up with this!

Justin found a box of mason jars at Target {12 for $12, but I know you could probably find them cheaper at other places}.

The wood was leftover in our garage from who-knows-what Justin was working on. Our garage doesn't store cars, it stores wood. We are one 2 by 4 away from opening up the garage doors and calling ourselves a lumberyard!

The hooks were on the wall of our laundry room from the previous owners. These babies got spray painted with a coat of Ace brand cream colored paint. Recommendation alert!: cheaper paint does not always equal better paint! You'll see why in one of the pics.

Hose clamps can be found in the plumbing section of the hardware store for a buck something. You can tighten or loosen the clamp with a standard screwdriver. We spray painted these the same color as the hooks.

For directions with the hose clamps, I got help from Whitney at Shanty 2 Chic who tried drilling {then hammering} a hole in between the clamp threads so a screw could fit through to hold the jar up.

Justin suggested this instead...
Take a standard screwdriver and bend the thread up. Then take wire cutters to cut the thread out.

I tightened the hose clamp around the neck of my jar so I could see how much of the excess clamp to cut off with wire cutters. I recommend doing this before you spray paint it {if you plan on painting}.

Now I don't know if...
{1} I'm just super impatient or...
{2} the fact that our garage turns into an oven when it's over 100 degrees outside has anything to do with it or...
{3) Ace brand spray paint really is that cheap...

...but after spray painting the clamps in the garage, some of the paint came off the clamp when I tightened them.

I think I was just being impatient and not letting the paint dry long enough. "Long enough" is a very subjective term when you're letting spray paint dry in a fryer of a garage!

Then we drilled the hooks and hose clamps into our wood and then tightened the clamps around the neck of the jars.

And of course it's not complete without some manzanita branches and orchids!

I thank my lucky stars for an incredibly handy husband who knows his way around a drill, leveler, and anchor screws! Thank you honey for helping me with this one! Now please put your shirt away...

Craft Room {aka "The Oasis"}

Last week I was off work for 6 days {oh yeah!} and had the best time with my little man and the hubbs. We went to Monterey with some great friends and got some projects done around the house as well.

The highlight of my little vacay was turning our spare bedroom into my craft room {I call it "The Oasis"}. It's only taken a year of living here to finally get moving boxes, donations, & miscellaneous who-knows-what squared away from this room and finally giving it purpose {besides throwing random who-knows-what in it}!

My husband was so helpful and super handy in getting my white pegboard up on the wall and intalling an extra shelf in the closet for storing fabric, ribbons, paper, jars, etc. You can never have too many craft supplies is my new motto!

I got to be completely honest with you and say that cupcakes really aren't my heart's biggest delight {my husband is, wink!}. Yes, I get joy out of it and it's fun, but sometimes it just seems really tedious and taxing.

Creating is definitely a huge passion for me, one of those things I am 100% willing to lose sleep over and skip meals for. Since cupcakes are meant to be eaten, it's hard for me to spend much time and energy creating something that I'll only remember by pictures. When I make something that I can keep looking at or using, it has so much more meaning and "specialness" to me.

We've lived in our new house for over a year and I had yet to have a space just for me to paint, sand, sew, hot glue, cut, and decoupage to my heart's content. Part of me thought that a true artist would not use his or her lack of space as an excuse for not creating. But during our first year as homeowner's, it got annoying for me to lug my beast of a sewing machine plus fabrics to the kitchen table every time I wanted to sew something {usually it would take several times of taking it to and from the table to ever finish anything}.

This almost made me hate sewing and extremely envious of other sewers with gorgeous tidy spare-bedrooms-turned-craft-rooms.

I have yet to actually sew in my newly designated room of creating but only because I've been so busy making other things!

I hung up three clipboards on the pegboard and decorated them each in a pretty aqua paper or paint with a sunshine yellow and white patterned paper. Here is where I can put up photos for inspiration or directions for current projects. Pictured is the middle clipboard, and all three of them together say "What a Lovely Idea."

My sewing box had a pin cushion glued in the inside and it bugged me to have to keep the lid open to have access to my pins. I saw lots of tutorials on CraftGawker for pin cushions glued into the lids of mason jars. Well of course I had to make one too! Inside the jar is some spools and bobbins of thread.

A soup can with scrap paper that I hot glued on and then I drilled a hole in the side to hook it up to the pegboard. Right now it's holding a stud finder and anchors but that will probably change soon!

Welcome to my Oasis! Can't wait to share with you all that gets created here.

Bow Cuff

Today we take a break from working on wall decor and move on to working on some wrist decor!

I saw these two bow cuff tutorials {at Clemence's Oh the lovely things and Melissa Esplina} and I absolutely had to make one for meself.

Melissa's tutorial was very detailed but felt a bit superfluous in instructions and not as simplistic in comparison to Clemence's {Bulldog clip? Waxed linen thread?}

For material, you can use leather which would look so fabulous. I chose to use some leftover material that Justin and I had from when we made our living room's storage ottoman. It's a dark espresso vinyl with the look of leather. Pretty cheap and really easy to work with since it's streeetchy!

To make this bow cuff...
{1) Cut an oval out of your material. Mine was approximately 7 and a half inches long by 8 or 9 centimeters {I have small wrists!}

{2) Accordion fold lengthwise and pinch in the middle, like so

{3) Tie thread around the middle where you're pinching and tie in a knot.

{4} Cut out a skinny strip of your material to cover the thread. I glued mine on with my trusty hot glue gun but you could also use leather glue or super glue.

{5} Sew snap buttons, one on each end of your cuff. Warning: make sure you sew the snap buttons with the correct sides facing each other so they'll actually snap together! I made the mistake of sewing the snaps with both pointy sides facing each other. No cuff will stay like that!

I just adore the dichotomy of this cuff. When I think of a leather cuff, I think a little more hardcore, rock and roll. But with bows I think of frilly, feminine, and flirty. In this bow cuff, you get both worlds collided into one fabulous accessory that's perfect for a fancy schmancy dinner date with your boo or running errands around town in jeans and a t-shirt on the weekend. You decide!

Would you make something like this? It is super simple and literally took me 20 minutes to make {if that}! If you do make yourself one, I would love to see it plus the outfit you wore it with {smiles!}

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Birds of a Feather Wedding Tasting

One of my sweet friends from college is getting married this September and I have the utmost privilege of making cupcakes for the wedding!

Aren't they just adorable? Totally diggin' on iDrop Photo's gorgeous artistry!

Crystal and Luke came over the other day so I could let them nosh on the flavors they requested: chocolate, vanilla, toasted coconut, and one of my new favorites, hummingbird {to go with their "Birds of a feather" wedding theme}. Each cupcake was topped with chocolate buttercream, vanilla buttercream, coconut cream cheese, or vanilla cream cheese.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Sweet Liberty

Hope you had a happy {and safe} Fourth of July! We had some happy times and not-so-happy times on this year's Independence Day. A not-so-happy time for me was having to be at work, but I made this gorgeous red velvet cake for our work potluck {I made the pinwheels too, so cute and cheerful!} and I got paid time and a half. Since I worked, I missed out on my fam and friends coming over to the house for lots of good food. But they were all nice enough to save me some for my dinner when I got home {if you consider a rack of ribs, tri tip, and New York steak to qualify as "dinner"...}. Luckily Logan went to sleep before 8 so Justin and I sat in the front yard watching all of our neighbors setting of fireworks {both legal and illegal}. Our neighbor managed to somehow send a firework hurtling across the street to hit Justin in the side of the head. He came over and sincerely apologized for the Whistling Moon Traveller but followed up his "I'm sorry" with "I guess that's why they're illegal, huh?" { on you...}

Friday, July 8, 2011

Ian's First Birthday!

One of our absolute favorite kiddos is Ian, who just turned one on June 10th. Hubbs, Logan, and I were thrilled to be able to celebrate with our dear friends Kayla and Adam {Ian's parents}. Logan and Ian are only 2 months apart so we've been on a pretty similar journey these past couple of years {pregnancy, labor, diapers, and midnight feedings!}.

I have been so blessed to see Kayla and Adam's faith throughout their attempts to conceive. I won't go into details but if you knew the years of heartache they had been through, then you could fully understand just how precious Ian is to them...and to us!

For his party I made velvet cupcakes {red velvet recipe just minus the red food coloring} with orange and blue buttercream frosting and green cream cheese frosting.