Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Oh dear...

I didn't write a blog post for Monday.  I didn't write one for today.  My sister introduced me Pocket Frogs last week so you can blame her.  Feel free to leave me a really nasty "Shame on you!" comment if you want to - I totally deserve it!  Now please excuse me.  I need to get back to my frogs ;)

See you Friday! (I hope!)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Things I found on the internet this week that I thought were just swell!

I forgot to write my blog post again last night...  I'm not going to let myself off the hook though.  It is too easy to go from letting myself off the hook for one blog post to letting myself off the hook for quitting the blog.  I just need to get back into a writing schedule like I used to have.  So, today I'm going to highlight a few projects that I saw this week that I thought were great, and I want to share (and really want to try if I ever get the time). That's cool right?  Maybe you have seen these already but I know I would love it if one of my projects made it to like every single craft blog on the internet so...  Here we go!

Fabulous find 1: V and Co. Ruffled Heart Pillow

How cute is this pillow?  I want to make a ton of them to throw around my house.  Or maybe I should make one for my office chair.  I've had a Christmas tree pillow sitting on my chair for over a year now.  (It was pretty exciting when it was back in season, but sadly, now I'm feeling like a goober again for still having it out, especially since I put away the rest of my Christmas stuff...) I've been toying with the idea of making myself a set of seasonal pillows that I could stash somewhere near my desk, since I am eternally forgetting things I want to bring to/take home from work.  This pillow might be the jump-start I need.  Also, I wish I had pretty white furniture/white walls to take photos against.  I'm so jealous of good craft photographers!  Great job Vanessa!

Fabulous find #2: Craftify It Ric Rac Rosettes

What a great idea!  I kind of love the rosette trend going around right now, but am way to lazy to go to the effort to make them.  Too much prep involved.  But I already have ric-rac and I know I can roll things up!  I even have some beads already so I'm on my way to making an adorable necklace like the one featured on Craftify It.  So so cute!  I'm all for simple projects with fantastic results.  Thanks for the awesome tutorial Staci!

Fabulous find #3: Magnetic Bunting at Hickety Pickety Handmade

To me, this project is so so clever and so awesome!  I just love it! Along with rosettes, I'm also kind of crazy about the bunting trend in the crafting world.  I would love to dress my fridge up with this bunting (if my husband will let me, I already have about 8 billion magnets on there...)  I have some old promotional magnets that I've been saving for a project and I think this is going to be the one! So cute Chrissy!

Thanks all of you for the inspiration!  Where would I be without all the other crafters in the world to spark my creativity? 

*All images featured here are property of the respective blog owners. I only wish I could take photos this nice.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fun fun fun with the Family Creative Workshop!

Have I talked about the Family Creative Workshop series on here before?  I feel like I have...  Regardless!  I am talking about it again today!

The Family Creative Workshop is a very cool set of craft books from about the mid seventies.  I was lucky enough to receive a set from my aunt (I get all kinds of cool stuff from her when she's cleaning out her closets!).  It is sort an everything crafty reference guide.  It's got things in there I'd never even think of as a craft (gold panning, hibachi...) to things I have no idea what they are (Sprang??).  The cover art is beautiful too.  Here are a few of my favorites:

I thought it might be fun to hi-light a few of the interesting things I find in this series here on the blog - what do you think? Once a week or so I'll skim the books and find something fun, funky, useful, or just plain weird.  And if I'm able, I'll even have a go at some of their project ideas.  Sounds good to me!

So here's my first quick hi-light.  Today, I'm bringing you a project from Family Creative Workshop Vol 2:

This project is part of the beachcombing section, and I know it is something you will not be able to live without.  So without further ado, may I present to you, Lobster Man!

Please enlarge the photo to get the full effect

Now you too can scour the beach in search of old lobster parts to create this work of art. You will be the envy of all your friends and family!

Ok ok - all kidding aside, I really do think this is a great set of books, and there really are some useful tips in here - I just thought I'd start you out with a little of the ridiculous.  

Till next time,

Monday, January 17, 2011

The best card I've ever made - the iPad card.

Do you ever make something, and you're so excited about it that you want to tell everyone you know about it?  That is how it was for me with this card.  Except I made it as a surprise for my husband so I couldn't put it up on the blog right away.  And then I got distracted.  And then it was like 6 months later, and I realized I never shared it.  Well today is the day!

Check out the coolest card in the entire world, made by yours truly:

 Ok, ok.  I know not everyone is a mac person.  And I know that there are people out there who think iPads are dumb.  Still, you have to admit this is a cool card! BTW - it is the size of an actual iPad - I know right?  Awesome!

  I made this for Stephen for our first anniversary back in July.  He is a huge apple fan, and was saving up for an iPad at the time, so I thought it was appropriate.  I on the other hand, don't care all that much about apple, so I had to secretly surf the apple website, looking at all the iPad pictures I could find, and looking up all the dimensions I could to get my card as realistic as possible.  Well, at least as realistic as and iPad made out of cardstock could get.  And then I would lock myself in my craft room, and tell Stephen "You can't come in - I'm working on your card!"  He probably thought I was nuts,  because I was in there a loooong time...  ANYWAYS - I'm super excited about how it turned out.

 I felt super clever writing out my message using app icons.  I had to browse the app store looking for icons with letters that fit my needs, but of course I had to adapt some of them (thank goodness for all the apps with big blank spaces to write on!)

I even tried to preserve the placement of the apps as they were on the apple website's iPad picture.  I had to move some of course.  My art skills aren't fantastic, but after hand drawing all these apps I'm pretty pleased with the results.  Also, I tried my best to replicate the stock photo that is the iPad's default background.

Angry birds anyone?

The heart above the email means you've got love letters waiting in your inbox!

For the date I put our anniversary...  Now I wish I had put Saturday since the wedding was on a Saturday, but that's not really a big deal.

And I had to go out and buy a new set of colored pencils so I'd have a white one to put the time/wi-fi/battery on the top.  Full battery and wi-fi signal!  I thought I had written the time of our wedding ceremony, but then I remembered it was at 2:30...  oops!

This is my favorite part of the card.  The button is an actual button!  White embroidery thread looped through it to make the little square.  Sometimes I'm so clever I just can't believe myself!

Inside was a little apple logo...

Sorry guys, this message is private!

...which was actually a little pocket which I stuffed with CASH! (To go towards the purchase of a real iPad)

Real money was included at the time of presentation.

And on the back of the card, I used a silver sharpie to draw the apple logo and a sweet sentiment. Awww!

I put a lot of work into this iPad.  It took a lot of cutting and gluing (there are so many layers of cardstock going on - it is very hard to cut out clouds!) Now that Stephen has a real iPad, I can barely tell the difference...

The real one is on the right.  You're welcome ;)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Things of interest (to me, and maybe to you too!)

Oops!  I forgot to write my blog post last night.  That means I have to wing it and make up something quick this morning!  How about a quick little blurb about a couple of the interesting crafty things I’ve come across lately?

Item 1:  Iron Craft

First of all, have you heard about Iron Craft yet?  If you’re involved in the crafting scene at all you probably have – it’s popping up on a lot of the craft blogs I read.  Crafty friends Kathy and Susi host weekly craft challenges and anyone is free to join in.  Then they post some of the submissions on their blog.  It sounds like so much fun!  I haven’t participated yet, but I hope to do at least a few of these challenges this year.  So far, there have been broad challenges (lighting the winter gloom) and more concrete challenges (draft dodgers).  This week’s challenge is bunting and garlands.  I’ve been wanting to make a bunting for a long time (although the fabric I want to use is more summer themed…) so maybe I’ll have to jump in!

Item 2: Swap-bot

 I also recently discovered swap-bot.  It’s a site that hosts nationwide (and international) swaps for all sorts of stuff – a lot of it handmade. Ok, I guess the users host the swaps on the site.  Anyways!  I’ve just started getting into it, but it seems really fun to me.  Like pen pal 2.0.  I figure it will be a good way to get me crafting in a more timely manner, and if I ever decide to do the etsy shop thing, I will have some experience with shipping goodies.  Plus you get neat stuff in the mail from all over the world!

That's all for today!
Stay crafty!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Michaels Dollar Bin Scores: 1/9/11

Ok.  Time to come clean.  I am totally addicted to the dollar bins at Michael's.  Whew!  I feel so much better now that I got that out there!  Whenever I get one of those 15/20/25% off your entire purchase (including sale items! Woohoo!) coupons from Michael's I immediately start thinking about what dollar bin items I'm going to buy.  Since they have been clearing out all the Christmas items lately I just KNEW there would be new dollar items soon.  So I've been sort of stalking the store, wandering around and peeking into aisles that look like they will be restocked soon, thinking "hmm... this would be a good place for dollar bins..."  It's a sickness I tell you.  Anyways, I thought it might be fun to share with you all what I got!  I know I always wish I could find a post like this when I get that feeling that new dollar items are coming.  Then I know who I can be jealous of (All the people with the really GOOD Michael's in their town) and who I can commiserate with (All the people like me who have just "ok" Michael's in their town).  And of course I pity everyone who doesn't even have a Michael's within driving distance.  Now, looking back at what I've written, I'm imagining all the readers saying "Blah blah blah - get on with the dollar bin stuff!!", so without further ado, here's what I got on my 1/9/2011 dollar bin shopping trip!

Score #1: Michael's ink pads
I like to have a wide variety of inks and these little mini ink pads make it easy and affordable!  I find that the Michael's brand ink pads aren't the best in the world, but they ain't bad! They have some cute colors right now too. Nice and springy!

Score #2: Decorative Tape
These were some of the leftovers from the Christmas dollar bins.  I thought they might be cute for some greeting cards, and they were on super cheap clearance, so I bought all that was left.  Sorry Waco people, if you want to get some of these you're out of luck!

Score #3: Mini salt and pepper shakers
There was a bunch of pic-nic-y stuff in the dollar aisle (I guess it's technically the $1/$2/$3 aisle) and I found these cute mini salt and pepper shakers.  I knew they would be perfect for some of my Michael's dollar glitter!  I think I'm going to have to go back to get some more!  I'll have to take a photo of these filled up with glitter, because they are super cute!

Score #4: Pretty Shoe Stamps
I love shoes, and I love stamps, so when I came across these cute shoe stamps I couldn't resist! They will be a great addition to my stamp collection.

Score #5: Valentine's Stamps
Of course as soon as the Christmas stuff went away, the Valentine's day stock came out, so I had to pick out a few Valentine's stamps for my collection. There weren't a whole lot of stamps this year that I was crazy about, so I just picked out a few.    I really like the birdy ones, and that bee is adorable!

Score #6: Studio G Ink Pads
Now for my crafty love of loves.  Studio G mini ink pads!  Ahh!!  I love these things so much!  As soon as I saw they had new colors out in the bins I had to buy them all!  These are some of my very favorite ink pads, and for only $1 (or less with a coupon) you can't really go wrong! I really love this color set - totally different from anything I've got in my ink collection so far.

So there you have it.  I got my Michael's dollar fix for the month.  I'm sure I'll be back to the store for another quick browse before too long, so I'll keep you posted on what I find.  Any other dollar bin addicts out there? Maybe we should start a support group.

Monday, January 10, 2011

My Crafty Christmas

I'm back!  My bloggy friend Jamie reminded me that it's been a month since I've last posted.  Oops!  Not really what I intended to happen, but you know how things kind of get away from you... Good thing I have people keeping up with me, or you'd all still be left without my wonderful internet presence ;)

I thought a good way to get back into the swing of blogging would be to let you in on what I've been up to in my time off.  It seems like things have been going non-stop since Thanksgiving.  We hosted this year's Thanksgiving dinner at our house this year, and it went off well, but as soon as it was over Christmas kind of took over and then before I knew it, Christmas was over, and then it was time for New Years, when we had our friends over for a couple of days. And then we had Stephen's birthday this weekend.  Whew!  Lots of activity - it was all a blast though.

Don't worry - I did manage to get some crafting done during my busy time!  Here's a quick rundown of what I did.

First of all, I promised my mother-in-law I'd take a picture of our Christmas tree for her so here it is (Sorry for the delay Suanne!)  I made sure to take the picture before I shipped off all the gifts.  It was pretty bare under there for most of the time we had the tree up.

And here are a few close ups of my handmade ornaments in action:

For my gift wrapping, I made a big roll of hand stamped kraft paper.  It came out so cute!  I love it!  I also used a bunch of hand made gift bows on my packages.  I think I'll post a tutorial for the bows one of these days.  They are pretty simple and cute! Here's a close up of the paper and bows:

Just curious, but did anyone else fall in love with this sweater wrapping paper in the dollar bins at Michael's as much as I did?

Oh my goodness!  It's so cute!  I had to keep myself from buying like 50 rolls of it.  I also decided to put yarn bows on all of my presents I was shipping this year, that way it wouldn't make a difference if my bows got squashed in the mail.  Great idea right?  Oh, and I don't think I took any photos of the gift tags, but they are all handmade too, you can see them a little in my present shots.

Here is my stack of gifts at it's most impressive looking point.  Beautiful!! Well, at least I think so.  Maybe next year I'll just wrap up a bunch of dummy boxes to put under my tree so I can look at a cheery pile of presents for more than a few hours.

Next, here are the Christmas cards I made for my co-workers this year.  It is important to me to give handmade Christmas cards, but my list is just too long.  So for the past couple years I've made up just enough for work people, and everyone else gets the pretty photo cards.  Here's this year's card:

A cute little forest of trees!  Here is a closer shot:

I sewed fabric scraps onto card stock using my sewing machine, then stitched around the edge and then sewed a few button ornaments on each one before sticking the card stock on to a blank card.  Then I put a hand stamped message on the inside:

Ahh!!  I'm totally in love with how they came out!  Sooooo cute!  (Sew cute?)

And, since I never posted it, here's the 2009 model:

Kinda the same idea but with a hand carved tree stamp instead (all the ornaments were mini hand-carved stamps too!)

Let's see... What next.  How about the crafty gifts I made.  I'll start with the nesting doll pillows I made for my mom and my sisters.  We've kind of got a running nesting doll gift thing going in our family, so it seemed appropriate.  I made these from a pattern I made up all by myself.  Go me!  I've still got a couple more to make, but I just couldn't get them done in time for Christmas.  Here are the ones I did get done.

Cute right?  Then this set of note cards went to my aunt.  These were kind of fun to make because it isn't 4 individual stamps, it is one stamp inked with 4 different colors.  That was kind of tricky!

My sisters-in-law each got one of these cute boxes:

Which held cute earrings!  I'm learning how to make jewelry now - Yay!

And my nephew got a stuffed "One Yard Wonders" dinosaur.

And my mother in law got a cute flower pillow (I love this pillow so much!  I have one of my own on my guest room bed! I've actually got the photos to post a walk through for this one - hopefully I'll get it up soon.)

Then, my niece turned 3 last week so I made her this cute card:

To accompany her new handmade fishing toy!

This was really fun to make!  This project was inspired by From An Igloo.  What a great idea right?  It's little stuffed fishies (I just sketched out a simple fish pattern).  Each fishy has a washer attached to it's nose, and there is a magnet inside the felt worm.  I kind of wanted to keep it to play with on my own.  Stephen demonstrated the proper fishing technique for me.

I also stitched up a quick drawstring bag for her fishies to live in.  I found the perfect fish fabric at Hobby Lobby too!

That's about all I've got!  And that's only the stuff I remembered to take pictures of! I'm exhausted just thinking about it... :)  And just for fun, and because Stephen took these photos, and I forgot about them, and I don't usually post photos like this here, here are a few pictures of me hard at work.

This is me making cards at my crafting table crafting table - it is usually about this jam packed full of stuff.

And here I am sewing buttons at the sewing table.  Wine is always a good accompaniment for crafting!  And this is my standard crafting attire.  Gotta love the pj pants!

Here's to a new year of blogging!  Hope it's a good one!