Saturday, December 31, 2011

Finally! An art wall!

My oldest son is an excellent artist. He's displayed talent since he was just a tot.


{I'm a proud mama... Can you tell?}

I've never had a good way to showcase his masterpieces. I always intend to frame them or scan them for some massive future display project. But there's just never enough time (or money) for that.

One of my major problems is our refrigerator. It's big and beautiful and stainless steel. Not magnet friendly.

So, during my break, I was determined to complete an art wall.

Here's the before.


My first step was the magnetic board. I picked up a basic board at IKEA and covered it with fabric, using Mod Podge. I used the same technique to apply the fabric as my pizza pan project.



The corners were a little tricky.


Once the board was finished, I turned my attention to cutting a wall decal with my Silhouette. I found this saying on Pinterest and thought it would be perfect for the wall.



{Okay. I was going from memory and I accidentally changed the order of the words. I also forgot to include a comma. That is forthcoming. Promise!}

Here's the end result!



Whatcha think? It's simple, but I absolutely love it. And the magnets that I made last week are just right!

I can't wait to use it in the year to come. Here's to a happy 2012!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Makin' up for lost time!

Today was such a productive day!

If you've been following my Facebook feed, you may remember that I posted this brilliant, inspirational project a couple of weeks ago.


I am so grateful to Sew4Home.com for posting this tutorial for a microwavable neck/muscle warmer. Filled with rice, these warmers stay hot for an hour after only 2 minutes in the microwave!!

This is one of those handmade gifts that everyone can use. So... I made them for everyone in my immediate family - husband, mother, father, and both brothers.


I used pre-washed flannel for the front and super soft minky for the back. I opted to omit the rick-rack that you see in the Sew4Home examples.


My brothers are adults, but kids at heart, thus the fun monkey and monster flannel prints. Totally perfect for their personalities.

Because I was unable to finish them in time for Christmas, I completed and delivered them today. Yay!

{My husband claims it is his favorite Christmas gift. He may have learned a thing or two in 10 years of marriage.}

And, speaking of the husband, he was busy, stretching his creative muscles today, too... mending fences.

Well, just one fence. Ours.



I couldn't handle country livin' without him!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Things Rarely Go As Planned

Happy Tuesday after Christmas!!

I'm smack in the middle of a ten-day vacay! I started my break with a looooong list of creative to-do's.

Then, illness struck.

I was so, so sick on Christmas day. It was a feat to make it couch to watch my littles open their presents.

Here are a couple of photos from the morning. {I think I took 5 in total.}




I am fully recovered, but a bit behind on my projects.

I hope to have something to share by the end of the week!

Monday, December 19, 2011

More Handmade Love

Just a continuation of the fun that I had with my glass tiles this weekend...

Happy magnets!!!

{These are for me. :)}

For this project, I used 1.5" domed tiles, scrapbook paper, and dimensional stickers that look like typewriter keys.



I made this set as a gift for a colleague. She and her husband are world travelers so I knew this sheet of stamps would be perfect! 

I started by using a 1.5" hole punch to cut my rounds for the back of the tiles. Just as with my previous project, I coated the backside of each tile with Sun and Moon glaze and placed it directly on top of my punched circles. 

{Lesson Learned}
I wouldn't recommend punching your shapes in advance. The glaze causes the tiles to slide around a bit so they required a bit of "babysitting" until the solution begins to set. It is very easy to trim around the tiles so having precut circles is not necessary.


Once the glaze dried, I still needed to trim some excess card stock from around the edges. I coated the back of the tile with more glaze and allowed it to dry overnight.

Once dry, I adhered my magnets to the back of the tiles.


So pretty and so personal! I've already gifted them to my colleague and she loved them.


My fun with glass tiles doesn't end here! I have more projects ready to go and the time to make them happen! Stay tuned, friends!

I hope your week is off to a lovely start! Thanks for visiting with me today!

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Handmade for Christmas

Hello, friends!!!

I survived my first semester of grad school! I finished class this past Thursday and I couldn't run fast enough back to my studio... just to sit there... and sigh with relief.

Actually, first, I ran to Michael's. No kidding. I needed retail therapy.

Here are a few of my fun finds.


Needless to say, my creativity was overflowing this weekend!

As usual, I've been planning to make a few of my Christmas gifts for friends this year. In preparation, I ordered a substantial collection of glass tiles and findings from Sun and Moon Craft Kits a few weeks ago. It's been taunting me ever since.



So, yesterday, I wasted no time in getting started with my gift-making merriment!

First on the list: JEWELRY!!!

I used a sheet of glittered card stock for a very glamorous set of earrings with a matching pendant for the most glamorous person I know, Megan of Maison.


I used the glaze that I purchased from Sun and Moon to coat the back of my glass tiles. I then laid the tiles directly on top of the sheet of card stock and let them dry for several hours.

For my second set of jewelry, I wanted to use some vintage fabric from my collection. Before adhering my tiles, I ironed some applique interfacing to the back of the fabric to ensure the edges wouldn't fray.


Once dry, I cut around the tiles and trimmed the excess card stock (and fabric) from around the perimeter of each tile.



I then added another layer of glaze to seal the back of the tiles and allowed it to dry overnight.

Once dry, I added my findings.


I absolutely love, love, love the way these turned out! I especially love the vintage fabric. I can't wait to make more!

Come back tomorrow to see more fun with glass tiles!


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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Vignettes of Christmas

So, I discovered this week that many of my ornaments did not survive the move. I didn't know they could break into so many pieces! It's almost as though they disintegrated. 

I now clearly remember one of the movers dropping my ornament boxes and scrambling to put everything back together. There were so many things going on at that moment that I filed it away, under "Let It Go."

Really. It's disappointing, but it's no big deal.

It may {or may not} surprise you to know that there is no real rhyme or reason to my decorating for Christmas.

I decorate with things that I like. And, I realize that is okay. There is nothing wrong with keeping it simple and surrounding yourself with things that inspire you, even if they don't coordinate. 

I call my strategy, "Vignette Design." {Because that almost makes it seem legit.}



{Great Target finds!}

I did, however, want to decorate my staircase this year. It is one of my favorite features of the house.

I started with a new wreath for the landing.


I added some simple ribbon flowers to a grapevine form. They were so simple to make. I purchased wired ribbon, which made manipulating the shapes of the flowers even easier.

Here's the "How To."


Cut your length of ribbon. The longer the ribbon, the bigger the flower.

Begin gathering one side of your ribbon by pulling the wire. You will want to pull the wire on both ends so you can gather your ribbon in the middle. This will give you enough wire on both ends to tie the flower into place.



Coil your ribbon into a spiral.


And tie both ends together underneath the flower.


I tied some of my flowers to the wreath with wire. I used hot glue for others to get them in a tight bunch on the form. There is no wrong way to do this. Use whatever method is most comfortable for you.


I added a few more ribbon details to my wreath.


The hardest part about making this wreath was stopping myself from going overboard.

For the banister, I wrapped 8" straw wreath forms with the same ribbon.

{I just love this flannel ribbon that I found at Michaels!}

Here's one way to create a simple ribbon hanger for a wreath.

Take a long length of ribbon and fold it in half.

Bring the loop around front the wreath like this:


Take the tails of the ribbon and tie in front of the loop.


Tie a simple bow and you're done!


Here's how my stairs turned out.




It's simple, but it makes me smile. That's what it's all about, right?

**smile**

How are your Christmas preparations going? Are you doing anything special or new this year to celebrate the holidays?

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