Archive for the 'Crafts' Category

Pumpkin Carving Contest

If you’ve been a reader for a little while, you might know that Sean and I compete every year in our annual pumpkin carving competition.  There are two competitors: Sean and me.  And there are two judges: Sean and me.  So it’s not really a competition per se, but we both treat it like one.  This year I stalked Pinterest hoping for something creative but easy enough to do.  I found some really beautiful ideas, but some of them were a little too intricate for me.  I’ve learned that I don’t have the patience (or skill) to do those things, though I’m always tempted.  So, instead I opted for something pretty traditional, but a little vamped up. 

Sean on the other hand had to rethink his whole original idea.  Why you ask?  Well, because his original idea was related to the Texas Rangers and after they lost this past weekend, he didn’t want to think about the Rangers at all.  Actually, we’re still not talking about them at my house. 

So here are our pumpkins:

Can you guess who each belongs to?  Mine is the awesome one with terrifying teeth, while Sean’s is the one crying over the Rangers’ loss.   We decided that we both did a great job this year and that we were both winners (honestly, Sean couldn’t handle another loss even if mine was better).   As a bonus and because there are a lot of baby thoughts at our house, we decided to make a little pumpkin to0:

I wanted  fangs instead, but trying to find them a couple of days before Halloween is impossible, apparently. 

Do you all carve pumpkins?

September Craft Club

This past weekend we had our most recent craft club.  As you might remember, we were making terrariums!   The craft club was hosted by Morgana from Fellow Creatives and it was a huge success.

Here were the instructions for what to bring:

I went to Hobby Lobby to stock up on supplies, and also stopped by Salvation Army just to see if I came across any interesting glass vessels.  I ended up showing up to craft club with 3 glass jars (one a former light bulb), animal figurines, moss, fake/dried plants (to avoid having to water), balsa wood, and some baked brie.  I was ready to chow down and start building my terrarium.

I started on my larger one, which was a glass jar I found at Hobby Lobby for $4.

To the jar, I added sand, rocks and moss.  You can also see some of the dried plants, animal figurines and wood to the right there. :)  Slowly I started adding more and more of the elements I’d brought…

Until it looked just right:

After I finished that one, I moved on to my light bulb.  This one was a little trickier because I was working with such a small surface area.  To prep the bulb and get an opening to put all my treasures in, I followed the tutorial I found here .  Later I learned that Hobby Lobby has fake light bulbs that don’t require you to bust out the tools.  Oh well.  It was an experience, and I was happy with the outcome.

To the light bulb I added sand, a few rocks, moss, a piece of wood, and a little deer.  Morgana had a great idea to add a wine cork to the end to seal it off:

My third vessel didn’t turn out so great because I was running out of ideas, so I took it home for Sean to work on.   But, I am so happy with how the 2 I worked on turned out.  They are now adding some much needed decor in my living room.

And, if craft club wasn’t fun enough on its own, Morgana also gave each of us a parting gift:

If you want your very own terrarium print, head to Satchel and Sage.

And, since I wasn’t the only one at craft club, here are what some of the other creative girls came up with:

I loved this month’s craft club and can’t wait for the next one!

*Thanks to Gerren for taking all the pictures!

Terrariums

I know that terrariums are everywhere.  And they have been for a little while, but I’m still loving them.  I’ve been wanting to make one of my very own for a while now, but just hadn’t gotten around to it.  BUT this week my craft club is getting together and we are going to make them.  Finally!

I really love the idea of gravel, air plants and some sort of animal/creature to give it some character. 

Here are some I’m loving right now:

 

Are you kidding me with the dinos? Love it!!  And the unexpected billy balls are great too.  I also love the mix of soil and rocks. 

This one is great because the glass mixed with the rope is gorgeous to me. I also love the unique shape of the glass and the simpleness of it all.  I think even I could make it!

I love the little tree! 

Succulents. Sigh.  And the gnomes are adorable too.  I think I prefer gravel to dirt, so maybe an air plant would be the better way for me to go.

This one is so tiny and precious!! And creative!  It would be something so unexpected on the shelf. 

Are you loving terrariums too?  If you were going to make one, what elements would you include?

Cork bathmat

I recently subscribed to some new magazines.  I’ve been receiving the same 4 for a while now (Glamour, Marie Claire, Lucky and Real Simple), but I wanted to add some more home decor and food magazines to my collection.  In one of my new magazines (Fresh Home ), I saw the perfect DIY project.  Perfect because as you know, I want cork flooring, the issue is that I cannot afford it.  Why is it so expensive??

Anyway, what is the project?

Daily Danny

A cork mat!

Here’s what you need:

  • Shadow box (use the glass for another project)
  • Real wine corks (get them from a local restaurant or wine bar if you don’t have your own collection.)

Danny recommends that you use a shadow box to hold the corks together. After a quick search, I found a perfect shadowbox  for this project.  I thought 16X20 was a good size because one of the people in my family wears a size 14 shoe (it’s not me).  :)  But, if you’re crafty enough, you could make your own frame from scrap wood.

Then, just take the cork shelf liner and apply it to the bottom.  Apply enough of it so that your corks standing up reach the top of the shadow box.  Then, start lining your corks up.  Make sure to put them close enough together that they don’t wiggle around too much.  Easy peasy.  And such a cute mat!  I think this would feel so comfy and soft right out of the shower.  And, it’s non-slip so it is really safe too.  I want to make one of my very own.

DIY curtain FAIL

So, remember when I talked about painting curtains and how easy it looked?  Well, how wrong I was.

I went to Joann’s and bought some fabric paint.  I opted for yellow since I’m thinking of changing up the color scheme in our living room (I want a grey couch, possible grey wall), so I figured I needed some color.  The fabric paint colors are pretty limited, and even more limiting are the ones that come in a spray paint.  So, I went ahead and bought the brush kind with a new roller brush.

I brought all my supplies home:

And, I started taping off the horizontal stripes I wanted to paint.  My curtains are 92 inches, so I opted for 10 inch stripes, minus the top 2 inches where the grommets are.   The tape didn’t really stick on to the fabric, so I thought rather than taping it all and then painting, I should tape, paint, tape, paint, etc.  I set everything up on my dining table with a piece of cardboard underneath in case there was any bleed through.

Things were still going well at this point.  The fabric paint and roller were a slow process, but I had time, so not a big deal.  Then, as I looked at my curtain all painted pretty, I was super happy with how everything was turning out.  I asked Sean to help me hang the first panel so I could admire all our work.  That’s where things went haywire.

So, in the blinding sun, every stroke and thin layer of paint  was now so visible.  But not just that, the yellow color that I had so carefully chosen was now a blinding orange color in the sunlight.  Definitely not what I thought matched my color scheme.  Want to see?

Yep, pretty terrible.  Sean tried to say that he liked it, that it had a sort of “patina” look to it.  I told him that it looked like we DIY’d curtains and that we did a crappy job.  The one saving grace?  At night (or when the sun starts setting), things actually look pretty good.

So for now, one panel is up so that we don’t have peeping toms, but clearly I’m going to have to get some new curtains stat.  Either that, or get to work on adding a second and third coat.  But, by that time at $4/each for a bottle of paint, it seems like new curtains are probably the better way to go.  Have you had a DIY fail?

Craft Club

Damn I took a long hiatus.  But, I’m back with some Fellow Creatives craft club fun.  A couple weeks ago we each met with the goal of re-purposing a household item into a chalkboard.  Some of us came with frames, others with trays, and still others with cutting boards.  What did I come with?  Um…nothing.  I was somewhat of a delinquent this craft club.  You know, kind of like the girl in your book club that shows up and monopolizes the conversation because she didn’t read the book and she’s trying to steer you guys away from talking about it?  Yeah, I was afraid I was going to be like that.  But, actually since Morgana and I had recently gone thrifting, we had a chalkboard/corkboard that needed a facelift.  I made that guy my project.

We had both spray and brush paint.  I opted for the spray paint for the chalkboard, and then used the brush paint for the white trim.  Although my project looks pretty easy because it was already a chalkboard, it actually took a little bit of time because I had to sand first.  And, I had to pry off some decorative stars and an eagle.  Now we plan to either loop rope or ribbon through the holes and hang it.  Super cute!

But, overall this can be a super easy project and a lot of fun.  If you haven’t turned anything into a chalkboard recently, I really recommend it.  If you’re interested in seeing a little more about this project, check out Monica’s post at Nona’s Market.  She was fancy and used a stencil to decorate her chalkboard tray and it turned out so cute!  And, check out Morgana’s post at Fellow Creatives.  She has a lot more of the before and process pics!

From Corks to Barrels

So, I just talked about my obsession with cork flooring, and in keeping with that theme, I thought I’d talk about wine barrels.  A couple of weeks ago, Sean and I were out on a double date with Morgana and her husband.  As we were heading back to their house after a delicious dinner (crab claws, parmesan mashed potatoes and  green bean amandine) we spotted an abandoned wine barrel in front of one of her neighbors house.  Both Morgana and I gasped and got excited as our husbands hung their heads and I’m sure thought, “Ugh, another curb-side find?”

We parked their car at their house and walked over to where the barrel was.  So there we all were, all dressed up from our date.  The girls both in heels and the boys in nice pants and shirts.  We stared at the barrel for a while trying to figure out what to do with it.  We knew we had to get it home, but couldn’t figure out the best way to do that.  I sent Sean down the street to grab his car to see if it would fit.  As soon as he brought it over, we could tell there was no way it was going to fit.  I knew we’d have to bring back my car because it’s bigger, but if I left it here someone else was going to take it.  So, Morgana’s husband, Gerren, took matters into his own hands and just decided to roll the barrel to their house.  We all looked on and laughed and were semi-embarrassed when cars passed, but I was also so excited that we were getting a wine barrel!

Okay, so fast forward to today, the wine barrel is at our house.  Yay!

But, now the question is, what do we do with it?  I was so excited to get it back here and had a million ideas for what to do with it, but now that it’s here I’m just not sure what to do.  The two main things I thought about were using it as a side table, or as a rain barrel.  But I can’t commit to either.  Sean keeps saying that we should just sell it.  So, I don’t know.  If you scored a free wine barrel what would you do with it?

 

Re-purposed Corks

I’ve never been one of those people that saves wine corks.  I never knew what I would use them for, and if they didn’t have a purpose they weren’t going to clutter up my house.  But then, oh but then I stumbled on some really creative ways to re-purpose them.  One of them I’m so in love with, I think I’ve told anyone who will listen about it.  Sorry to those of you that had to hear me ramble about cork flooring, but it is awesome.

Source

I’m in love.  But, I did have a lot of questions about cork flooring.  I mean, is it durable?  Can you clean it?  Will it get damaged with heels?  (yes, yes and no if you’re interested).  Only downside to me is the cost.  I mean, it’s re-purposed cork, how expensive could it be?  Apparently, pretty expensive.  $20/ sq foot actually.  But I still love it.

And, Anthropologie has recently used corks in an lot of their window displays.

Green Wedding Shoes

But, if using corks in a big way isn’t really your thing, you can also use them for small projects like this cork succulent magnet:

Source

Or, a trivet and coaster set:

Design Sponge

Or, maybe even a cheap way to make cute stamps:

Lil Blue Boo

Have you ever re-purposed wine corks?  What did you make?  And, how awesome is that cork flooring?

Easter Round-up

I’ve always loved Easter.  When I was a young kid, I looked forward to waking up on Easter morning and running into the dining room to see what the Easter bunny brought.  One year I was lucky enough to get a colored baby chick; my sister got one too.  We named them Dorothy and Anna and had them as they grew into adults.  Only, Dorothy turned out to be a rooster.  So that was interesting.  I also remember the first time there was no Easter basket waiting for me.  I was in high school, and too old to still get a basket, but I crept out of my room to peek just in case.   um…there was nothing waiting for me and I was sad.

So in honor of my love for Easter, I thought I’d do a round-up of some Easter crafts I’m loving around the blog-o-sphere.

Not Martha

So cute!  You pull open these paper mache eggs and find a sweet surprise inside.  Or, if you’re lucky enough a cute little chick (hopefully he won’t turn into a rooster).  See the tutorial from Not Martha, here.

Martha Stewart

A cute bunny egg and a carrot egg?  Sign me up.  See the tutorial from Martha Stewart, here.

Elizabeth Anne Designs

I know I’m too old for Easter baskets now, but if someone made me one of those pretty baskets I wouldn’t mind. :) Another cute idea from this same brunch are these mini cadbury eggs:

Elizabeth Anne Designs

So cute, right?  Did you see them in their little egg container?  I die.

Not Martha

We used to make eggs just like this growing up, only instead of filling them with yummy treats, we would fill them with confetti and crack them on each other’s heads.  It’s a Mexican tradition called cascarones.  But, those fillings look a lot better than confetti.  Maybe I need to try them.  See how to make them here.

What Easter crafts and traditions do you like?

Baby Shower Part II

Well, I talked about this previously, but the baby shower for my sister is really soon!  The last time I chatted about this, I was wavering between tricycles and elephants as the theme for the shower.  Most of you all chose the elephant route, and I agreed!  But, I am obsessed with bunting flags too so I knew I needed to figure out a way to incorporate them.  Well, my friend Morgana offered to design the invites for me.  I sent her some information and a few samples of what I was going for and she got to work.  I loved the way they turned out.  What do you think?

So, keeping with the theme, we’ll have an elephant cake from Dallas Affairs.  And then to throw in some of the bunting, I’m making signs for each of the different food items with these bunting flags:

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For those of you planning a wedding, it’s actually from a wedding invite, and there are a lot of other cute free downloadables too. 

Ok, so now that you know how I’ll label the food, what will we actually be eating?  Well, I’m still deciding, but I have some ideas.

Prosciutto and Fig-Spread Sandwiches (cut in cut bite-size pieces):

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Endive with crab and avocado:

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Artichoke-Parmesean Crostini:

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Veggies and dip:

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Goat Cheese-Stuffed Mushrooms:

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And for drinks, I’m thinking lemonade for the non-alcoholic drink and Prosecco Sangria for the ladies that want to have a good time:

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It’s not blue though, does that matter?  I tried to find a tasty blue drink and I came up empty-handed.  Pink ones are a lot easier to come by. 

And, for a parting favor for the guests, I’m thinking about elephant cookies:

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I think I want to package them in little bags sealed with a mini clothespins.  Sort of like this, but smaller and for a boy baby shower:

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And, I would love to put them out on display in one of these adorable little suitcases:

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So, what do you think?  Any suggestions?