Friday, July 30, 2010

Fun Rolled Paper Beads

If you read a lot of craft blogs, you probably already know about making paper beads.  I think it is such a cute fun way to make unique beads, and you can coordinate them to any project!  As long as you can find coordinating paper that is.

I apologize in advance. I don't have an overabundance of pictures of this project.  About five minutes in to this project my hands were covered in Mod Podge, so I decided it was in my best interest not to put my hands all over Stephen's fancy expensive camera.  I'll try to be descriptive though, just in case you haven't heard of paper beads already :)

For this craft project I cut skinny strips of scrapbook paper.  I think they were maybe a quarter of an inch wide, and the whole length of the scrapbook paper, tapered to a point at the end. Different shapes of paper will make different shapes of beads, so feel free to experiment with non-triangular strips!

I think this would be way easier to do with a wider strip, but I wanted my beads pretty small.  I rolled my paper up around a toothpick applying mod podge to the paper as I went.  I tried to only put it on the inside at first, but it occurred to me it didn't really matter where I put the mod podge, since I'd be rolling it all up and coating the bead in the stuff when I was done anyways.  So go ahead and get the podge all over everything - it won't be a problem!  One thing you do need to be careful of is not to glue the paper to the toothpick.  I tried to slide the bead back and forth on the tooth pick every few rolls to make sure it didn't stick.

After my beads were rolled up tightly, I slid them off of the tooth pick and put them on my specialized paper bead drying device (one of my rolled felt pincushions with pins sticking out of the sides).  Once they were on their pin skewers, I gave them a coating of Mod Podge so they would have a nice solid outside.  You can sort of see in the picture how the orange and read beads haven't dried quite yet.

Once they are dry you can use your beads for whatever you want!  I used mine for wine glass charms!

This is the set I made for myself.  They are kind of yucko because I used a black gel pen to mark my cutting lines on the scrapbook paper.  They were pretty obvious when I rolled them up.  Ooops!  Didn't think of that!

I made another set for my sister - the picture is kinda blurry, but it's all I got! They came out much better since I put care into the cutting lines.  I'd go without cutting lines at all, but I don't really trust myself to cut "freestyle."

Now I don't have to worry about some gross face drinking out of my wine glass!  Unless it is a color-blind gross face I guess...


Monday, July 26, 2010

Bottle cap magnets: Beercycling

Did I mention in my bottle cap tacks post that my husband drinks a lot of beer?  Not the "I'm drinking as soon as I get home until I go to bed" kind of beer drinking.  And actually as beer drinking goes, he probably doesn't drink all that much.  That's actually a bad way to start this post.  It makes my husband look bad.  He's not a lush or anything.  He just enjoys beer, much more than I do is all.  Anyways... I have tons and tons of bottlecaps.  In fact, I have some very cool bottle caps sent to me by a sweet and friendly fellow blogger that I will hopefully be posting about soon so stay tuned for that!

Anyways, these were made before I got my super fun Australian bottle cap stash, and I haven't been able to post about it since I made this as a birthday gift for my sister and brother-in-law, and they just received the box in the mail this week.  I should mention that I'm the worst package sender in the entire world - their birthdays were in May.  Now it is July... ouch.  Sorry guys...  On with the craft!

I made a few sets of bottle cap magnets.  They are pretty similar to the bottle cap tacks I made.  I thought I'd give you a loose tutorial for them, just in case you wanted to make some of your own.The boy set is just plain bottle caps, the girl set has some embellishment.   It's pretty easy, and you might have ideas that work better than this, but here's what I did.

My supply list:
- Bottle caps
- Round magnets - I think mine were 3/4 inch diameter, it doesn't really matter as long as they fit inside the caps
- Scrap cardboard
- Scrapbook papers and punches (for the girly set)
- Mod Podge (for the girly set)
- Tacky Glue
- hot glue

First, I remembered that my tacks sank into my bottle caps a little more than I wanted them to when I made them, and I didn't want the same to happen with my magnets.  I was afraid if they sank in too far the sharp edges of the bottle caps would scratch up my refrigerator.  My solution was to add a little cardboard base underneath each magnet.  Cheap and easy!  I cut out small scraps of cardboard that fit inside the magnet. 

My cardboard was pretty thin so I used 2 layers inside each cap.  I decided to tacky glue these together, and then tacky glue them into the caps.  I thought about using hot glue, but I was afraid that might separated from the cap or something.  And I didn't want to dig the glue gun out of the drawer just yet...
Regardless - I glued my bases into my caps and left them to dry.

This next part is for making an embellished set of magnets only.  If you want your beer caps to look like beer caps you can skip this part! I decided to make my sister's magnets cuter than just plain beer caps.  I added some cute scrapbook paper and little heart punchouts! I got a little heart shaped punch in the Michael's dollar bin a while back.  I think I even had a 20% off coupon, so you really can't beat that!  I'm glad I got it when I did because now all they have in the punch bin are angels, feet, and cats.

To attach the papers to the caps I used my old buddy Mod Podge!  First I podged down the circle background, waited for that to dry, and added another layer and stuck on the hearts.  After that was dry I put another layer of Podge on top.  I think I added 2 or 3 layers on top of that - letting it dry between each step.  Much like grandma recipes, I just added layers till it looked right.

Once everything was dry, the final step was to hot glue the magnets into the back.  I realized I don't have any photos of this part, probably because you have to work kind of fast with hot glue.  I just filled the cap up partway with hot glue and added the magnet, adding more glue where it looked like it needed it.  Be careful with this, because the caps will get HOT!  They are metal of course and metal is an excellent conductor of heat.  I also found, that if you set your hot Mod-Podged bottle caps cute side down on an old shutterfly envelope to dry, they will stick to the envelope, and orange stuff will get stuck to them which you will have to scrape off later.  I was able to get most of it off and they looked fine after another layer of Mod Podge was applied.

 I think they turned out super cute! Don't you?

 I actually made two sets of plain magnets, one for my BIL and one for my husband. 

This is the one I made for Stephen - it's extra special because we got the Piton cap on our honeymoon. Awwww!  Mmmmm - St. Lucian beer!  And here's a fun fact:  our tour guide taught Stephen how to open a beer bottle with a seat belt!

If you or your SO is a beer drinker, this might just be the craft for you!  Just remember folks - drink responsibly!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Wedding Week: Hooray We're Finally Married!

Thanks so much for joining me for wedding week!  I hope you enjoyed it - I know I love sharing pieces of our special day :)

I don't know about you, but if I had to do it all again I would just elope.  In a heartbeat! I'm going to comer right out and say it - I hate wedding planning. Don't get me wrong I loved having all my family and friends there to celebrate with me, but putting a wedding together is HARD! I'm not a huge fan of deciding what everyone is going to eat, I don't really care what anyone wears, and I'll let you in on a little secret - my decorating is random at best, so trying to figure all that out was a nightmare.

I have a question for all you married ladies out there.  One of the very best moments of my life was when we were driving away from the church, knowing that I was officially done with wedding planning.  Was it the same for you?

These pictures pretty much capture what after the wedding freedom felt like for me - this is us right after we pulled up at my parents' house, before we jetted off to Ft. Worth for the night.  And this dress is waaaaay more comfortable than the wedding gown!  Another kind of after the wedding freedom I guess!

Apparently Laura was happy too :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Wedding Week: Wedding Day Survival Kit

When I got married my good friend Tracy put together this handy and adorable wedding day survival kit for me!

 Taking a look at all the goodies packed inside at the shower

Seriously, everything I could think to need was packed in here - from extra deoderant, to tylenol.  Even a mini bottle of tequila!  I didn't end up needing that one...

Plus it was all decorated super cute!  With a little time and a little thought this would be a great gift for any brides in your life.  I can pretty much guarantee yours won't be as cute as mine though ;)
Mine has already been passed on to my sister.  Neither of us needed much of what was in there but it was sure nice to know it was on hand for emergencies!!! (Like cherry juice on the flower girl dress 5 minutes before the wedding is supposed to start!)
Thanks Tracy!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wedding Week: Library Shower Guest Book

This post really ought to be one of my "Focus on the crafts of others" posts, but since I already had the "Wedding Week" headline, it felt like a little much... 

Anyways, here's a quick little post about a fun craft one of our friends/coworkers whipped up for our shower!  If you don't know, both Stephen and I are library employees.  He works in the glamorous music library - I started out there as a student worker, but now I'm a real staff member, and I'm down in the dingy, falling-apart basement (It's not all as bad as that - at least I can see out the window into the garden from my desk). About a month before our wedding both of our departments got together and threw us an awesome summer/beach themed shower!  It was a lot of fun! 

One of my favorite things at the shower was the guest book.

Most of you have probably never checked out a score from our music library, but this is what they look like.  I spent many years as a student worker sewing the loose scores into these gray covers so I was particularly tickled that the guest book was done up as a score, with it's own call number label, and reserve tape.  I can't remember for sure, but I think there is a strip of tattle tape in there too...

I'm not sure about the opinions of the other student workers in the music library, but I loved sewing scores.  It was probably my number one favorite duty during my student worker time.  Just goes to show you I'm a crafter at heart!  If you recall, I used the same technique to make my wedding programs.

Thanks library friends for the awesome guestbook and the awesome shower!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wedding Week: Belgian Lace Wedding Veil

Since I settle for nothing less than the best, I decided it was a good idea to fly to Brussels to shop for my wedding veil.  After all, no expenses should be spared for my big day.  Ok, the real deal is I got to go to Brussels for free since I'd just been canned (well technically "laid off") from my job, and my mom and my aunt were going anyways, so they invited me to come along. Regardless, I did get my wedding veil from Belgium!

Lace making demonstration in the lace shop - holy moly!  How do they do it!

Granted, this is not a craft I made myself, but since the veil was handcrafted, and it is beautiful, I felt it deserved a place on the blog!

Modeling my future wedding veil - looks great with the pink sweater doesn't it??

Before the trip, I was about ready to say "no thanks, I'm going without a veil."  All the ones we'd seen and tried on were just... bleh!  I didn't want something that looks like I could have thrown it together with about $10 worth of tulle and other supplies that I picked up at jo-ann's (especially when they were charging 10 times as much for it!)  My mom had the idea that when we were on our Belgium trip we could look for lace veils.  Great plan!  It was easy to fall in love with them!  (BTW - All photos from here forward were taken by Nicole Berrett, except the one of my sister)  During my bridal and wedding photo sessions, Nicole made sure to get some shots to high light the veil.

This style of lace is called "princess lace" it was a big oval that we folded over at the top and sewed to a hair comb which we just stuck into my bun, see?

Hey - I guess that I did do a little crafting on this one after all!  Except my mom actually sewed it on.  The idea was to attach it in a way that the next bride to use it could easily unattach the comb and style the veil as she chose, which my sister did for her wedding in February:

Sorry for the dark picture, but see how she wore it shorter than I did?

Now the veil has been tucked away again, waiting for the next bride to come along and make all her other bride friends jealous!  Wanna wear it yourself?  I've got a single brother ;)

Now for some more veil shots of beautiful beautiful me! During both of my photo sessions with Nicole we had designated veil-holder-outers.  Don't be fooled, I'm pretty sure there wasn't a lick of wind in the air either day.

Look how sweet we are!  Plenty of room for two in this veil!

And just for the heck of it - ain't I a sultry vixen?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Wedding Week: Wedding countdown calendar!

In honor of my and my husband's first anniversary on Sunday,  I chose this week to high light some of the crafts we did leading up to the big day!  To start, I made a wedding countdown calendar to help us keep track of how long was left till our wedding day!

It's made of plain old construction paper and some red gingham print ribbon.  It was super simple and super cute!  I think it went about 1 or 2 months out. I cut the ribbon long enough to hang it on the cabinet.  Jump to the last photo to get an idea of what I'm talking about.  Each day had the date and the number of days left written on it, and each day we got to tear off a page.  Fun!!  Unfortunately any before pictures I have are missing somewhere in the depths of the computer.  However I do have some action shots!

Here I am pulling off Day 43. 

This was sometime in June, June 6th I think... It was also the day of Holly's wedding which is why I'm looking so gorgeous.  I know I don't look it yet, but that's because the light is bad and my hair isn't dry yet.  Don't believe me about how beautiful I ended up?

Tada!  Told you :)

Here's me, suspiciously pulling off June 13th.  Perhaps I'm rethinking the engagement?  Nah!  Probably just rethinking the photo op.

Stephen and I pulling off the final day - this was when we came home after the rehearsal dinner.  Our final hours as singletons!

Zero days left! Hooray hooray hooray!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

One year ago...

One year ago today, Stephen and I were married!  I can hardly believe it's already been a year - it's flown by, and at the same time it feels like we've been married forever (in a good way of course!)  I love you honey and look forward to many more happy years together!

*Photos by the wonderful Nicole Berrett

Friday, July 16, 2010

One Yard Wonders: Wine-Lovers' Special

Just a quick note for all of you who follow me through Google Reader - I slipped up and published at least one post too early last night - clicked publish instead of schedule to publish... oops!  Even though I deleted the post it's still showing up in my reader, so if it doesn't make sense where it is, just stay tuned.  It will be published in it's correct place soon enough!  Now on with today's scheduled post...

I love wine!  If I had to choose my favorite drink (of the adult variety) it would be red wine!  Pretty much any kind of red wine, unless it is a super nasty one of course.  Or sweet.  I don't like my alcohol sweet thank you very much.  Unless it is a fruity island drink...

Ok - back on track!  I love wine, especially drinking wine with my friends, so when my BFF graduated last may I knew I wanted to give her a bottle of wine.  As a bonus, Stephen is my designated wine picker, so he would get to have a hand in the gift too!  Being the crafty crafter that I am, I decided to cute the gift up a little bit with my One Yard Wonders book, and make the wine bag and coasters in the Wine-Lovers' Special.

My apologies, but  I didn't take any "in process" pictures of this one.  However, you can trust me when I say this is super easy!  The wine bag takes like 5 minutes - at first I thought the ribbon tie was just a lazy excuse to not have a drawstring, but in the end, I think it looks much nicer to have the ribbon tied around the top in place of a scrunched up drawstring neck.

The coasters were a breeze too!  Personally, I think the coasters are a little doofy - I've never needed a coaster for my wine before, much less one that slides over the bottom of the glass.  But I figure they were fun and easy to make, and they could be used for regular drinks too - I made mine a little bigger than the book said to, since I have some really BIG wine glasses, and I made a set of six, so I would NOT be able to get 2 bag/coaster sets out of my one yard of fabric.  I zipped through the coasters assembly line style, and ended up finishing the whole thing in a couple of hours, I probably would have finished faster if I hadn't been watching TV intermittently.  I think the set turned out great!  Don't you Tommy?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Grandma Stash: Part 2 - Thread Galore!

The majority of my newest craft acquisition is the motherload (or grandmotherload if you will) of thread!  There have been a few previews of the thread stash floating around here, and now I'm ready to tell you all about it!  This is a picture heavy post so get ready :)

The total score was a big old box of about 650 spools of thread, mostly on wooden spools, that had been stored in my grandma's sewing cabinet for ages! Where did all this thread come from?  My mom says that someone donated all of it when she was young, and her family was taking a charity trip down to Mexico.  I try not to feel bad that I'm now the owner of a bunch of stolen charity thread...

The majority are small spools of Belding Corticelli mercerized cotton.

There were 491 spools of this stuff in various colors! Lots of multiples too.  I have no idea if this will be useful for sewing - it's so old, and I know at least some of it is so brittle it just breaks when you pull on it, but a few seem to stand up to the tugging, so maybe...  I don't think I'd load it up into my sewing machine though.  Regardless, they sure are pretty to look at!

Three small "tray" boxes of cotton

The bottom layer of the big box was filled with it too.

Besides all that, there was a shoebox stuffed with mercerized cotton spools!

Shoe box layer #1

Shoe box layer #2

Shoe box layer #3 - getting a little unruly!

Next I had this shoe box to dig through:

I thought it was just more of the same, but it was mostly all Belding Corticelli Poly Bond

There were 97 spools of Poly Bond, and the colors as a whole were a lot brighter than the cotton.  It seems stronger too, so I'll probably try it in a sewing project before long!

The last definable group of thread was the silk twist.  There were 32 spools of this in all, and it was mostly Belding Corticelli but there were a few Coats and Clarks in there too.  This stuff is lovely, and nice and strong!  I don't think I have that much green stuff that needs sewing though...

The last category is the "others" (Not to be confused with the Others from Lost.  These others do not pose a threat to anyone).  These are various large and small spools of Belding Corticelli, Coats and Clark, and Talon threads.  There are a handful of plastic spools in here. 

Now if you know anything about me at all, this next part won't be any kind of surprise to you, but after I went through the thread, I entertained myself by stacking and arranging my threads in pretty designs.  And as I hope you noticed from my new header picture, it made for a great photo op!

I'm totally excited to have all this thread!  Some of it is already on it's way to a new home, and I've got plans for some of the ones I'm not going to use for sewing!  Stay tuned for thread projects in the near future!