Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What was I thinking?!!

I am sorry for the delay in posting the winner of the Wha-Cha-Ma-Call-Ums give away. I don't know what I was thinking! When I told my sweet husband about the give away/contest I was hosting he laughed at me. I can't make a decision to save my neck. He always has to help me decide...

So now I get about 38 fantastic suggestions and I have to choose just one. I finally chose my 5 favorite and then used the random number generator to choose for me.

The winner is Love Signs by Maridith at Strictly Homemade. She has a great blog, with fun ideas, check it out. E-mail me with your address Maridith, and I will get your kit on your way.
(Please confirm your word and color choice.

For everyone else, I will post a tutorial soon so you can make your own Love Signs.

Have a great day!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Try, Try Again- XOXO Framed Glass

I really struggle to visualize what something is going to look like before I make it. I generally go through several steps to finally get it to the point that I am ready to share it with others.
This simple little framed glass is one example of that.

I have to say right off, that I am sorry I don't have more pictures of the process here. I accidentally deleted all 1100 or so pictures from my camera a couple of days ago aargh! and these were some that I hadn't yet downloaded.

Anyway, I loved the XOXO in red vinyl right off. I cut it out, and mounted it on the glass, framed it and tied some ribbon on and hung it on my wall. Quick and easy, just my kind of craft,
I was planning to make several for gifts and for my etsy shop.

I looked at it a few times in passing and decided to add some little half-back pearls as accents. Cute, but they didn't stand out enough. I figured that if I added some more white to the design it would tie in better.

I added a white vinyl layer to the first O and it lasted like that for about an hour.
It looked way too bullseye target-ish.
I tried adding more ribbon, but it just wasn't working for me.

Then I added a cute white scalloped background, it was a nice background for the XOXO but I lost the fun transparency of the glass, so off it came.

I finally stumbled upon the idea of matting the entire design with white, and I love it.

I would love to be talented like a lot of you are and able to visualize the end result without actually putting it together. It would be nice not to waste all that vinyl. ;)

Have a great day! I hope all your projects turn out just like you imagine, or maybe even better!

BTW if you are interested, I would be happy to cut some of this vinyl for you for a reasonable price, just contact me at swells154@gmail.com

Linking to:
Craftaholics Annonymous Valentines Party

Friday, January 22, 2010

Thank you for the blog award!

A great big thank you to Michelle at My Craft Happiness for sending this award my way.

  • To accept you must post it on your blog along with the name of the person who granted you the award and link back to them.
  •  Pass the award on to approximately 15 other bloggers that you have recently discovered and think are great.
  • Contact the bloggers and let them know that they have been chosen for the award.
  • List 3 things that you would like to learn how to do.
I would like to learn to:
  • take really good pictures
  • paint
  • use photo editing software
I am passing this award on to:

Thank you Michelle.

I'm Finished! My Girls Names

Don't forget to enter the Wha-Cha-Ma-Call-Ems give away!

Do you ever have those projects that are supposed to be so simple, but go on and on and on.......?

This is one of those, I started making these with my friend, Carrie, last spring. I had just finished my very first set of blocks and I had blocks on the brain. They were supposed to be a two afternoon project. Cut, sand, stain wood one day and then mod podge and embellish the second.

About 9 months later, we both finally have ours done. The funny thing is, in the meantime, my girls were given bedding that they love and it actually coordinates better than they did before!

My favorite part is the flowers, I mod podged regular silk flowers. I only put a light coat on so they would keep their shape. Alexis thinks that hers looks like it is made out of wax. The flowers are so pretty.

We realized as we worked on these, that in order to not have screws showing; we would need to modpodge the bottom layer of paper on and then screw the blocks together and then embellish the tops to cover the screws...as I write this I realize that we could have just screwed them together from the back, duh! Oh well, I rarely do things the easiest way first.
I am planning to put some shelves in their room after it is repainted, but for now, these will hang on the wall. Happy Finishing Day!

I am linking to: 

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cargo Purse-sewing with Lexi

Don't forget to enter the Wha-Cha-Ma-Call-Ems give-away (ends Saturday)

I love doing crafty projects with my daughter. This is the purse/bag that Alexis made, she and I worked on ours at the same time. If you missed mine you will find it here.I was surprised that she didn't go a little more "girlie" that is her usual style, but she loved the camo paired with the khaki.

She did a great job on her sewing. She even added an inside pocket. She wants to add a zipper flower on the front, I think it will look great.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cargo Pocket Bag

Don't forget to enter the Wha-Cha-Ma-Call-Ems Give Away 

My daughter, Alexis and I saw this great tutorial here on noodleheads and I loved the idea. Since we have 3 boys who love cargo pants, we had plenty of supplies.

We tried it this weekend, without looking back at the tutorial. Our bags didn't turn out quite like hers, but we like them a lot. This bag will be a birthday gift for one of Lexi's friends. I will post Lexi's bag tomorrow.

Since we didn't bother to look back at the tutorial, we kind of made ours up as we went along, they really weren't difficult. Lexi (age 11) did most of her own sewing.

You will need to get your pants ready by cutting them open on the inseam. This will open up the legs so you can decide where it will be best to cut the pieces for your bag.

I cut the piece for the messenger bag "flap" with the cargo pocket first. I just cut it out in as large of a rectangle as possible, I figured that I would cut it out completely once I knew how big of a bag I could make.

Next, I cut out rectangles for the front and back of my bag. After I had the rough shapes cut out, I pressed them as well as I could before cutting the pieces. You will want the front and back pieces of your bag to match. Since I was using kids' pants my bag isn't as big as I would like. If only my husband liked cargo pants...then I could have a large bag.

I didn't cut out the front pocket section until after I sewed the basic bag together.

The next step is to sew the basic bag together. I used 1/4" seam allowances. With the right sides of your pieces together, sew down one side, across the bottom, and up the other side.

You will need to "box the corners" of your bag. I don't know if that is actually a sewing term or not, I have just always said it. This is hard to explain, but hopefully you can figure it out. Match the bottom seam together with the side seam, it will form a triangle, and then sew across it.

This step allows you to have a bottom for your bag. If you skip it, you will have more of a pouch, which would work, but is not as finished looking. Do this to both sides of the bottom.

Turn your bag right side out.

Press all seams open, and press the corners and edges of the bottom of the bag.

Now we get to do the "fun" stuff. Using the size of your bag as a guide, you need to cut out a flap with the cargo pocket centered on it. I rounded the corners and cut it out with the pocket at the bottom of the flap. Since the flap will actually be sewn onto the back of the bag and go up and over the bag, I knew that I didn't want my pocket to end up on the top of my bag.

Cut a piece of cute fabric the same shape as the "flap". This will line your pocket flap. You will need some type of bias tape to sew these pieces together.

Purchased bias tape would give you a nice edge, but there aren't as many options as making your own. I chose to use 1" wide grosgrain ribbon to coordinate with the strap on my bag. The corners don't look as good as if I had used bias tape, but I do like the texture of the ribbon.

With wrong sides together, sew the bias tape around the side, bottom and side edges of the pocket flap.

This is what the inside of the flap looks like with the lining fabric sewn in. Press your flap well.

The next step is to sew the flap onto the back section of the bag. Just put right sides together and sew straight.

Our bag was starting to take shape. You could skip this next step if you don't want to line your bag, but I like the way it finishes everything off.

You will make another bag to go inside. This one will be "inside out" so the finished edge is showing. Cut a large rectangle approximately double the size of your bag. You could cut two and sew them together just like the khaki fabric, but I chose to just cut it twice as long and fold it up. It saved a step.

Then sew up both sides of the lining bag.

Box your corners just like before.

Don't turn your lining right side out. Just slip it inside your khaki bag.

Once the lining is inside, you will need to attach your strap. I forgot to take pictures of this part. I made a tube of fabric to match my lining, and sewed the same grosgrain ribbon down the middle of it for my strap.

Pin ends of the strap on both sides of the bag, slip them between the bag and the lining.

Fold the edges of the bag and the lining in 1/4" inch and sew around the top edge of the bag. I sewed all around the bag with my machine, but missed a little section of the lining on the back, so I went back and sewed the section where the flap meets the bag by hand. I think it worked better.

Your bag should be finished. Enjoy.

I would love to see any bag that you might decide to make.

I am linking to: 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I "heart" u stacking cubes

don't forget to enter the wha-cha-ma-call-ums give away

I "heart" stacking blocks. These are simply 4x4 posts cut into blocks, sanded, stained and decopauged with cute valentine paper and embellished with vinyl. They really should not have caused stress...unfortunately my stress level right now is really high so it doesn't take much to send me over the edge.

I did finally finish these, and I really like them. They are also for our Relief Society craft mini class.

I would love suggestions that any of you have for preventing bubbles from forming under the paper. I generally don't have a problem with this, but it was harder with this project than others I have made. I did finally come out with a nice result, but I am sure there must be a better (easier) way.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Wha-cha-ma-call-ums? give-away

What would you call these? I am open to suggestions. I really like this creation. Would you like a kit to make your own? This was a collaboration between me and my friend, Rachelle. Most of the credit belongs to her. I just did the decorating part.

They are one of the projects available for our craft mini class for Relief Society in February. The ladies that sign up get to choose their paper, word and the color (black or cream). I am really happy with the end result, I just need a name...framed word thingy just doesn't sound quite right.

Post your name suggestions, my favorite one will win a kit to make their own. (You provide your favorite paper and ribbon) I will send you the frame, plaque and vinyl.

How to enter: Leave a comment with your name suggestion, the vinyl word you would like, and the color of vinyl (cream or black). The give-away will be open until Saturday morning-since I need to get my sign-up sheet ready for church on Sunday.

I am linking to:  giveaways

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

DIY Custom Storage Cubes

When we moved into our house it didn't have any closets, not one! We have gradually added closets and cupboards as we have remodeled but there is still a serious storage issue in our house. I love the storage cubes that can double as ottomans and be set together for a type of coffee table; but I haven't ever seen any that I like for my house, and are affordable.

What's a girl to do? Make my own, of course. I used the same fabric and milk crates from this post and they look suspiciously similar. I originally took pictures to put a tutorial together, but with all my picture re-organization this last month, these are the only two that survived.

I started with this:

I wrapped the crate with thin batting, it is just hot glued onto the basket. After the batting was on the crate, I set it in the middle of the upholstery fabric and wrapped the basket like a present. I didn't worry too much about the edges on the inside, because I planned to line the basket. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of starting to use them right away because I had run out of fabric; and now I have never gotten around to lining them.

After the outside was covered and the corners were folded in nicely (just like making a bed), I cut a piece of 3/4" plywood just a bit larger than the top of the crate for the lid. Using a piece of 1"seat cushion foam, and more fabric I covered the top of the plywood lid just like you would cover a seat cushion for a chair.

I used two hinges screwed directly into the plywood and the top edge of the crate to attach the lid. I was nervous that the screws would work out of the crate since it is just plastic but I couldn't think of another way to attach them.

After the lid was on, I folded the edges under on and lined the lid with another piece of fabric, this edge does show a lot so it was important to make sure it was lined well.

We have enjoyed these boxes, they are used for extra seating, particularly for playing video games, I store magazines and toys in them. And amazingly enough, they have held up to my crazy crew. Now that we have lived with them for a while, the only thing that I will change when I make some for my kids' rooms is to add small wooden feet. I lift and carry them, but of course, my kids scoot them across the floor, and the fabric on the bottom is beginning to wear.

What do you think? I would love to see any ideas you have for storage issues, especially in small spaces.

I am linking to:
Shanty 2 Chic

Monday, January 4, 2010

My life is "sort of" mine again.

My kids and husband went back to school today. Back to our regular schedule. I loved having my husband home for the Christmas break, I loved the time with my kids and I was very sad to see them all go back this morning. My little ones were lost without the "big kids".

I want to share a couple of projects that I put together during the break (but didn't have time to share).

First off, after about 5 million ideas, this is what we finally put together for neighbor gifts. Monogram Plaques. I love them. Simple and pretty classic. Black and cream is one of my favorite color combinations. Now I need to make one for myself. I am also planning to make some for upcoming weddings. I think they would be great in the center of a family picture collage or in an easel.

(As a note, you can remove sharpie marker from the vinyl with a tiny bit of nail polish remover, Thank you Addy! our little marker girl for initiating this little experiment.)

Linking to:

Second project, have you seen these snowflakes? Who knew that paper snowflakes could be so cool? Check out this tutorial. We made some for my sister's 20 something foot tree, I love them with glitter and double sided scrapbook paper. My sister-in-law, Keli suggests cutting the strips very narrow, they are gorgeous.

Just a note, use scotch tape instead of staples, it works so much better for the center section and is prettier over all.

Third project, chargers. This is what I made for the favors for my husband's family Christmas party. It is just vinyl on the plate, and I love it. Inexpensive with just a little glitz. Try a piece of metal glued on the back and it becomes mini magnet board.

What do you think? What was your favorite project this Christmas break?

The monogram plaques and vinyl only options are in my etsy shop.