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October Craft Club

25 Oct

A couple of weeks ago we met up for our monthly Fellow Creatives craft club.  The craft? Pumpkin carving.  Each person brought their own pumpkin, tools and carving ideas.  I opted for a small pumpkin because I wanted to save the big one for closer to Halloween.  And, I know I just said that everyone brought their own tools, but I was a slacker and relied on other people.  Which actually turned out great because I definitely would have opted for the traditional pumpkin carving tools, but my fellow crafters were way smarter and decided to use wood carving tools instead.  They’re the same price, and they are much sturdier than the plastic crap you get with the pumpkin carving templates.

Each person did something a little different:

(Thanks, Gerren)

So which one is mine?  The sweet little owl.  What do you think??

Also, since we did this the second week of October, I learned about a preservation trick so that hopefully they’ll last until Halloween.  You mix equal parts water and bleach and rub the inside with this solution.  Then, throw a little vaseline on top.  And, for those of you that live in areas with squirrels, hopefully that will keep them from diving in and chowing down on your pumpkin. :)

Plasti-Dip

17 Oct

So, remember when I talked about our craft club?    Well, about a month ago we had our first one and the craft was plasti-dip.  We named our group Fellow Creatives.

We started off with important things, like an amazing spread of food:

I swear I didn’t think it was possible to finish all this yummy food, but we managed to nearly complete the task.  Guess that just means it was that delicious.

Each person brought a few things they were interested in dipping.  I brought these guys:

Those of you that followed me from Weddingbee, probably recognize a few of those things from my wedding.   I decided to start with the things that were pretty easy to replace in case I didn’t like the way they looked.  Which meant that the animal figurines I found at the dollar store were up first.  I made a little wire holder to help with the dipping process and down they went:

Here’s the thing about Plasti-dip…it’s SUPER toxic.  And it smells that way.  It smelled like paint thinner, only stronger.  And, nature wasn’t on our side.  Though the day had been beautiful, I noticed that as I was on my way to craft club, the clouds were building.  My friend set up a spot for us in the backyard, but it was uncovered, so clearly that wasn’t going to work.  We had to relocate to the front porch, and the humidity in the air didn’t help with the drying time.  But we hung them out to dry anyway:

While they were drying, we engaged in some good conversation, yummy food and delicious drinks.  I think the host, Morgana and I were probably the most interested in this craft.

But, everyone made something.  Here they all are:

And, here’s a close up of the 2 things I made:

So, the verdict?  Plasti-dip stuff turned out really cute, but it’s messy and a huge pain in the ass.  I expected it to be a really easy craft and that just wasn’t true.  However, I think without the rain it would have been a lot easier.   Oh, and if you’re wondering if I all of a sudden got really good at taking pictures, I didn’t.  Morgana’s husband was behind the lens.  Thanks, Gerren! :)

Pumpkin Carving

11 Oct

I’m done with the Debbie Downer posts for a while and ready to start talking about pretty things again.

As you might remember, Sean and I have a pumpkin carving contest every year.  This past weekend when we were at the grocery store, I noticed that a lot of the pumpkins were already out and ready for purchase.  I know if we buy and carve them now, they’ll never make it to Halloween, but it doesn’t mean that I wasn’t tempted.  And, they were only $5, so I almost wanted to get one just to have a “practice pumpkin” before the real contest.  But, I figured Sean wouldn’t appreciate me cheating, so I didn’t get one.

Anyway, to make sure I win this year, I’ve been scoping out some inspiration.  Here’s the latest I found from Sunset:

Each of them comes with tips and tricks about how to do them.  I think my favorite is the “Treat” one, especially because it projects the word “Trick” on the other side onto your wall.  Find out how here. And, the haunt one comes with it’s very own stencil.  I’m pretty sure I’ll win this year.

So, which one is your favorite?

 

Anniversaries

10 Oct

Today is the anniversary of the day my dad died.  October 10th.  I still remember exactly how I found out.  My mom was at the hospital, which wasn’t all that abnormal since my dad had been sick for a while.  We’d been pulled out of school several times because his doctor indicated to my mom that it was likely going to be his last day.  We’d go to the hospital, and he always made it through.  I started to think that the doctors were stupid and that regardless of what they said, my dad was going to make it.  This day; however, my mom didn’t have to go get us from our classrooms because it was a weekend.  She walked in the living room and called us all together.  She sat us down on the couch and said, “Daddy’s in heaven now.”  We immediately started to cry, but none of us really knew what to do with ourselves.  After a while we went to our bedrooms to process everything we’d just heard, and my brother chose to do it by writing.  He was only 10.  Here’s an adaptation of what he wrote:

My Favorite Man

I have a favorite man, that man is my daddy.   I have known him for ten years now.  He is my best friend.  We have done many things together, like going to Mississippi, Michigan, Louisiana, and Washington D.C.

Unfortunately, he got sick one day and had to go to the hospital.  After that, he had to go at least five more times.  But, this one time is a time I will never forget.  It all started on Tuesday.  That night he was moaning and groaning, but I figured it was nothing because he had done it for weeks now.  When I woke up that morning, my aunt and uncle had come in from out of town and decided to take him to the hospital. So I got ready and went to school.

After P.E. my mom came to pick me up, it was only 9:45, what was she doing here?  She told me that they were going to give my dad a medicine that would make him very sleepy.  My sister, Kelsey, had already been picked up from school.  We went to go pick up my other sister, Erika, then we headed for the hospital.  My dad was awake, but a few minutes later he fell asleep. 

About a day or two later my dad started getting confused, he would mix up everything.  It wasn’t very long after that he stopped talking altogether.  A couple of days later he went into a coma.  By this time, I was starting to get really worried.  A couple of days later I was at a friend’s house and my mom picked me up.  When we got home she wanted us in the living room.  We gathered around, and words I will never forget came out of her mouth, she said, “Daddy’s in heaven now.” We all cried for a long time.  I will never forget this, never.  This is the day my favorite man died.

 

Coat Rack for the New Yorkers (or other small space dwellers)

4 Oct

So, I’ve never lived in New York, but I did live in Boston.  It should be illegal to charge what I paid for the 300 square foot shoebox I called home during my junior and senior year of college.  I did live on a major street (Comm. Ave), but still!  So what did I get for all that money?  Well, I had to see my exhibitionist neighbor cruise around his apartment naked, listen to a tone-deaf neighbor learn to play the saxophone, and laugh at my next door neighbor’s fights with her Jersey boyfriend.  They reminded me of Christopher and Adriana from the Sopranos.  I don’t know what their names were, but I swear it sounded just like those two. 

Anyway, what I missed most of all in that small space was the lack of room for clothes.  Well, I came across this DIY coat rack on Sincerely, Cecelia that can be used in place of the standing ones:

Source

Here’s how you do it:

materials:

  • fallen branch
  • 2 equal lengths of chain link (measure from ceiling to approximate hanging height and multiply by two to get the length of each chain)
  • 2 eye hooks
  • 2 screw anchors
  • drill
  • hammer
  • spray paint

step 1: paint the branch
Choose a sturdy, straight branch with a few knots to give it an interesting shape and make sure the hook of a hanger can fit around the diameter of the branch. let the branch dry out completely, then, spray paint it whatever color you choose.

step 2: secure eye hooks in ceiling
Anchor two ceiling hooks 1 foot from the wall, to ensure enough space for coats to hang.  The distance between each hook will depend on the length of the branch.  Measure in about 6 inches from the tip of each end of the branch for balance. Drill a hole in the ceiling, tap in a screw anchor with a hammer, then screw in the eye hooks.

step 3: hang the finished branch
Slip both ends of one length of chain link onto an eye hook to create a loop.  Repeat for the other eye hook. the length of chain will depend on ceiling height, but the branch should rest about 5 feet or so above the floor.  Finish by sliding the branch through the loops.  For extra stability, nail the chain to the branch.

If you wanted to do this on a smaller scale, maybe it could be done in a bathroom to hang jewelry from??

Silhouettes

17 Aug

When I was planning our wedding, I loved all the silhouettes that I saw, but they didn’t really go with the theme of our wedding so I wasn’t able to use them.  But now, I am loving the idea of using silhouettes in our house.  How sweet would they be in the hallway like this:

Source

Or, in a nursery?

Source

Well, luckily Simply Modern Mom did a tutorial on how to make your very own silhouettes.  Here’s what you need:

  • 11 x 14 inch frames
  • profile photos of each person
  • black marker
  • scissors
  • white color pencil
  • black cardstock
  • quarter fabric or scraps that are at least 14 x 17 inches
  • 11 x 14 inch canvas panels
  • Mod Podge
  • sponge brush (to apply mod podge)
  • glue gun
  •  

    First, take a profile photo of everyone you want to make a silhouette of and print them out in the size you want them.  Then, you can darken the face with your marker so you can see what the silhouette will look like and cut them out.

    Then, use your white pencil to trace the cutouts onto black cardstock.  Make sure you trace them in the opposite direction you want them to face (s0 that your tracing won’t show up).  Cut them out. 

    Then, with the fabric wrong side up, put the canvas panel in the middle of the fabric and leave a 1 1/2-inch excess all the way around. Use a glue gun to glue the excess fabric in place.  And, mod podge the silhouettes onto the fabric.  Use something (hands, tools, whatever) to get rid of any bubbles and lay a book or something heavy on top of it to keep the silhouette flat and in place. 

    Let it completely dry before putting it in the frame and you’re done!!

    How would you use the silhouettes?

    Bebe sign

    8 Aug

    Remember when I was trying to make Martha’s ‘bebe’ sign?  Well, I had the shower this past weekend, and I’m happy to say that the sign looked great!!  Here’s how I did it.

    Supplies needed:

    • wire wrapped with rafia-like material (I found it at Michael’s)
    • needle nose pliers with wire cutter
    • lavender stems with buds

    Okay, so I started with the wrapped wire:

    And I just started bending the wire into the correct letter shapes with my fingers.  I used the pliers to help when I wrapped the wire around itself to hold it in place, and to cut the wire from the spool:

    I found the “e” to be a lot harder than the “b”  I kept having to readjust.  For the b, I did basically the same thing.  I made the loop at the top first, wrapped it through itself, and then made the bottom part of the letter:

    Here’s how it looked before the lavender:

    Then, I took my lavender plant and pulled off some stems to wrap them around the wire (don’t worry, I still have a very full plant):

    Just repeat and repeat on each of the letters until they are completely covered.  I didn’t need to do anything to keep the lavender in place, it basically just stayed put after I wrapped it.  I did tuck it a couple times where necessary:

    And, hanging at the party (sadly, I did not get a good picture):

    The mom-to-be loved it and took it home with her.  I’ll share more stuff from the shower, including the croquembouche we made.  Yum!!

    Glass and Cake

    1 Aug

    So this is sort of a disjointed post, and I’m sorry.  But, I saw both of these things and since they came from the same cute blog, I thought I’d share them together.   Which is why the title is glass and cake. 

    Anyway, I’m loving all ideas for parties right now since I’m hosting a shower in a month.  But, even if you’re not these are still really cute ideas and we could all use a good cake recipe. 

    I was reading Pen n’ Paper Flowers blog and she is so crafty and creative!!  She made these adorable initial jars out of the Starbucks frappuccino bottles:

    Here’s what you need:

    • etching cream
    • alphabet stickers
    • paint brush
    • plain cardstock  (though notebook paper was used in the pictures, cardstock is better)
    • 2″ hole punch
    • adhesive
    • scissors
    • glass object for etching (Starbucks frappuccino bottle used here)

    So you have all your supplies, now here’s what you do:

    Punch a hole with your decorative punch of choice and use the leftover “frame” to create a square “template” using scissors.  Apply adhesive to the template and position it as desired on your glass bottle.  Next, apply your letter sticker of choice in the center of your “frame/template.”

    Now you’re ready to apply the glass etching cream.  Using a paint brush, carefully dab on the etching cream… remembering that any part of the glass touched with the cream will result in a “cloudy” or “etched” finish.

    After  60 seconds, rinse the entire area under running water until all of the etching cream has been washed away.  Next, use your thumb to remove/scrape off the frame  and any leftover adhesive and then carefully peel off the sticker.

    So easy and so cute!!

    Okay, time for the yummy cake also from Pen n’ Paper Flowers

    It’s a lemonade cake which would be perfect for the summer.  Here’s the recipe for the cake and the frosting:

    And, if you want to download it for easy print out, go here.

    Enjoy!!

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