Thursday, April 28, 2011

Butterfly Wings :)

I live 2 hours away from my family. I don't get home as often as I like so once in awhile I like to send my nieces and nephews surprises via UPS. This year I sent them all Easter baskets and I asked my sister what my little niece might like in hers. My sis said that she likes to play dress up. How fun is that?? Well, I could not find much for playing dress up here in the town I live in. I found a cute little netted skirt with butterflies on it so I bought that thinking I could make some butterfly wings for her to wear with the skirt. I went to the fabric store to buy a pattern for wings, but they were sold out! I'm not sure why- but I figured...how hard could it really be? So, here is my version of butterfly wings for a toddler :) I bought 6 pieces of lavander fun foam sheets and 8 pieces of a fun glittered pink.  I then made a simple pattern for wings and cut out the lavander sheets. I cut out 2 upper wings and 2 lower wings and then I cut out 2 body parts.  I cut 8 pieces of the glittered pink just a touch smaller and glued them on top of the lavander on both sides- making each wing seperately.  Then I took the 2 oval shaped lavander pieces and glued the wings sandwiched between them to end up with wings that look like this:

 There is pink on the front and back of the wings.  Next I took some elastic I had bought and cut off 2 pieces about 5 inches long. 
I cut a small slit in the wings about 4 inches over from the center of the body and brought the elastic through to the back- leaving a loop on the front of the wings big enough for a little girls arms.  I used embroidery floss and sewed the loops down securely- using very large stitches so you don't tear the foam.  I did a lot of stitches so it would be pretty strong.  Be careful not to sew the loop for the arm on the front shut.
Now- of course I sent off the basket without taking enough pictures- but here is a drawing to explain better:

 
Here is Miko modeling the wings for me since I didn't have a toddler to help me see if the size was okay.  He only had them on for about 5 minutes tops- he doesn't care for being a butterfly .  You can see Poopie cat's tail in the picture because Poopie cat is Miko's best friend :)   My sister said that my niece loved her basket but my nephew liked wearing the wings more. I think that is so cute! 


Monday, April 25, 2011

The Sunroom

Well friends- I was so excited to show you some progress on this project.  I have been working on secret items and  I finally was able to do work that I could put on the blog!  A little too excited I guess- because I broke it!  Here is what the sunroom used to look like:
I painted the wood on the front  brown and then I did a crackle coat like Katie does. When the crackle was still tacky I added a gray paint to the top of that.  I let it dry overnight (you are right Katie- waiting for it to dry is the hardest part) and the next day I sanded the gray just a little bit.  I was in love with it!  I proudly showed it to my hubby and he liked it too.  While setting it down after we had been admiring my handiwork I slipped and broke the glass on the front.   So.......after much prying (tacky glue sticks really well to glass!) Here is the front now-I had to start all over with a new piece of glass.  My hubby says that maybe I was meant to break it because he thinks you would be able to see into the room better if there was only one post in the middle instead of two.  I think he might be right, but I'm still trying to decide.  Anyhow, this gray paint treatment is what all the wood will eventually look like- what do you think?
Disregard the brown strip in the picture- I had to do a bit of repair and didn't add gray there yet.  I also did more work with the brick wall in back and painted the door leading into the room. 


My hubby made a cool little framework that drops right down onto the top of the box for some hanging plants to hang from.  I can take the grid off if I really want to get my hands into the box for rearranging things. 
So....this project is one step forward and two steps back I guess :)  What do you think so far??

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Artsy Bloggers Sunday!!

It's time for me to share some links from some artsy bloggers! Each week we share with each other what we have been up to- and post to our blogs to share with our readers too. Please take a look at what these talented gals have been up to this week  :)

Taz's Corner
Laura has an announcement and an exciting opportunity!

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi has been sharing a travelog of her most recent trip to Guatemala!

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Easter Eggs
It's fun to make, fun to give these delicious handmade Easter treats.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Learn how to dye Easter eggs naturally. Not everything needs to come from a kit or a mix.

Made By Nicole
Learn how to make graffiti backgrounds using materials you have on hand.

Creative Dreamer
All of those altered books June has been doing has left her with lots of pages she has to do something with. Here's her first project... a frame!

Moore (Gourd)Whimsies
100th Follower Giveaway Winner!!

Peep Flower Centerpiece
Cherie makes a table decoration using what else? Peeps!


I've been working on the sunroom roombox this past weekend.  I'll be back tomorrow to share some progress :)  Happy Easter everyone!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Monoprints

  I  have LOADS of books and old craft magazines and they have lots and lots of projects in them.  I tend to read them and think "someday I will try that out".  Well- what am I waiting for??  While I was doing the never ending cleaning of the craft room this week I found some re-inkers for the colorsnap ink pads and I decided to try out mono-printing.  Mono printing is a form of printmaking that produces one unique image.  Even if I do a second attempt at the print- it is not exactly the same as the first print.  The type of monoprinting I tried out involves putting the ink on a surface- etching into the ink and then transferring the ink to the paper to make the print.  These are the re-inkers that I used for this project.  If I try this again I might see how using acrylic paint from tubes works-maybe if I use a thicker medium I would get a stronger print?
So you start off with a piece of glass or plexiglass.  I put a few pea sized drops of ink down right onto the surface of the glass.
Then you take a sponge (I used make up sponges from the dollar store) and spread the ink out a bit- using a separate sponge for each color.
Here is the fun part.  I used a rubber stamp and stamped right into the ink.  I cleaned off the stamp and stamped into the ink a second time with the clean stamp.  Then I took a wooden stick and drew some squiggles right into the ink.  The article stopped here- but I thought...I wonder what would happen if I put some paper shapes down in a couple of places too?  (those are the pink flowers)
Now you carefully lay your piece of paper onto the ink and take a brayer and roll over the back of the page- being careful to keep the page in place and not letting it slide around.  I did this 3 times because I was curious how many times the ink would last.  The yellow page is my first print- the lavander is the second print and the green is the third. 
I thought this was pretty fun and could be used in so many different ways. I wanted to make something right away with one of the prints so I took the strongest print on the yellow paper and I cut it out and layered over some other papers to make a quick card. I think I'll go write a note to a sweet friend in it and pop it in the mail :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011



Well- today we are at 163.6.  Still a loss- and that's okay with me today.  Today I am feeling good with my body.  I know I still need weight to come off- but the energy...that's what is important to me.  I feel a little stronger each week.  I feel excited to get up and start the day.  I feel excited to work on new projects and finish up old ones and more than anything that is what I wanted to get back.  I know that my struggle with the weight will be a slow one- and one I might have for the rest of my life.  I am okay with that.  I think I would rather only lose .4 pound and have a couple of reeses peanut butter eggs (omg- thank goodness they are only once a year!) than not have any peanut butter eggs and gain 1 pound because I freaked out and ate a package of 6 by myself.  I know I need to be more disciplined about the exercise and tracking my food- but you know what- I think I am okay with simply trying.  When I get crazy and only concentrate on exercise and tracking---when it's all about the weight---then I start to lose control of everything else.  If my journey is slower because I am not being as strict as I should be- but I am still managing to keep up with the rest of my life- then I guess I am okay with a really slow journey.  I think I am going to start to do this post as a bi-weekly post.  I know there are folks out there with no interest in reading this and wondering why I keep posting it.  I've thought about stopping the posts more than once. After thinking about it for a few weeks now I have decided the reason why I keep doing these posts  is that it is my blog- my place to share my heart and life and to write what I desire.   Writing this out keeps me from spiraling out of control.  It keeps me accountable- even if I'm not doing as well as someone else on the same journey would be doing. Even though I yo-yo and I have good weeks and then right behind them come bad weeks- well---that's just me.  This last week I have come to realize that I am okay with "me".  I actually like me :)  If you would like to visit  my friend who is also trying to get healthy or you would like to work at it along with us please visit  Marsha for Wednesday Weigh Ins at http://sassyminidolls.blogspot.com   
See you in a couple of weeks :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Artsy Bloggers Sunday!!

It's time for me to share some links from some artsy bloggers! Each week we share with each other what we have been up to- and post to our blogs to share with our readers too.  There are some great post this week- please take a look!!

Made By Nicole
Nicole shares a mixed-media art piece that is filled with love for family and friends.

Affirmations Page - Art Journal Background
Check out this easy journal background!

Moore (Gourd)Whimsies
Last Day for the Giveaway!

Beading Arts
The final chapter of Cyndi's e-book is now available! "Fibers, Fabrics, and Beads" challenges you to integrate all the fiber arts that you already love with your bead embroidery!

Make a Fish Cake
If you have a fisherman in the family they'll love this fun cake idea!

Homemade Mirrors With Poetry
It's National Poetry Month! In honor of that, Cherie is showing off a mirror she made using lines from one of her poems.

Creative Dreamer
Just a reminder that the visual journal June created all through March is going to given away to one lucky follower! But you have to hurry... the give away ends at midnight on Saturday!

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Make these darling lamb place card holders for Easter or any special spring dinner. So cute! 
  

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pay It Forward



I signed up for something called Pay It Forward on my sweet friend Julia's blog.  I think this will be fun-here's the rules:

 
 The first five people who leave a comment on this post will receive a gift  handmade by me for you. 
There is an important catch, First you must create a post explaining Pay it Forward 2011 on your blog.
Then for the best part, make and send a gift to the first five visitors who comment on your post and who agree to do the same. 
Don't worry you don't have to send these gifts out tomorrow, your gifts from the heart will take a little time. 
 This should be a fun way to make new friends and share your creativity. 
Pay it Forward is about friendship and sharing.
 
So- anyone interested?  As far as I can tell there really isn't a time limit to send out so no stress attached :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Bashed Chandelier

Recently I purchase one of the new battery powered LED lights for The Candy House. I thought it would be perfect for that house since the place where I will eventually keep the house is not close to any electrical plug-ins. Here is what the lamp looked like when I received it.
Nice, but not what I had in mind.  I wanted to use this lamp in the bathroom of the dollhouse and I wanted it to be more girly than this.  I painted the gold white and then I cut small paper petals to add to the globes.  Still not girly enough, so I added some tiny crystal beads from my stash.  I think it's perfect now- what do you think?

Here is the chandelier hanging in the half finished bathroom:


A shot with the flash off and the light on:


Last, here is my little helper very curious about what I am doing and wanting to help me take my pictures. Can't leave you without a little shot of cute, right? Who knew Miko would like miniatures too??

Wednesday Weigh In

It's time again for Wednesday Weigh In.  I had a good week last week.  I didn't manage to exercise, but I was continuing on with spring cleaning and I know that counts for some exercise.  I can barely wait till it gets warm enough to really start cleaning things up outside.  I weigh in today at 164- and that's a little over a half a pound weight loss.  I tried to watch my weight watchers points values a lot this last week.  I'm feeling so excited about everything lately- spring coming, projects just pouring out of my brain, cleaning up my house and yard, moving my body is slowly getting easier- I am just feeling plain happy and I hope that will start to show in my battle to be healthy.  I'm going to try really hard this week for another loss next week.  If you would like to visit  my friend who is also trying to get healthy or you would like to work at it along with us please visit  Marsha for Wednesday Weigh Ins at http://sassyminidolls.blogspot.com   
See you next week :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sunroom Progress

Well, I have made some slow progress on the sunroom. I really have the itch to work on this project, but I have a wedding present and 2 swaps to finish so I only allowed myself a couple of hours last weekend for this. Remember where we started with 4 picture frames glued together with a floor?


Here is where I am at now. I am adding half walls to each side and separating the windows a bit with posts. I still have a long way to go- I need to add the walls on the inside still- and I want to have a weathered gray type of finish on the outside but I have no idea how to do this, so lots of paint experimenting is coming up in the future.



I decided the back wall will be brick and the floor will be navy tile- this should look really nice with the cushions on the chair Casey made for me. What do you think so far?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Artsy Bloggers Sunday!!




It's time for me to share some links from some artsy bloggers! Each week we share with each other what we have been up to- and post to our blogs to share with our readers too. Please take a look at what these talented gals have been up to this week  :)

Made By Nicole
If Nothing Ever Changed, There'd Be No Butterflies - this mixed-media art piece was made using the bits of paper trash acquired during the weekend. 

Beading Arts
Cyndi has a copy of the wonderful new book "Endless Sparkle" that she is just dying to give away!

Creative Dreamer
June is sharing a recipe for Spicy Thai Peanut Noodles...yum! 

Taz's Corner - Free-Mixed Media Tips and Techniques! Art Journals and More...
Laura shares tips from her secret stash of techniques and tricks!

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Eileen made a necklace and earring set using shells gathered on vacation and shares the directions.

Barbara-MooreWhimsies
Weekly thoughts and Goings On

Canvas Paper House - Part 2
Second part of the canvas paper house Cherie is making for her aunt. 

Egg Carton Easter Bunny Craft
A quick and easy Easter for the kids (and it uses up those extra egg cartons).  

Lots of great things going on this week- have a visit! 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Finishing the Felted Bracelet

Last week I needlefelted a "journal bracelet".  This week I am finishing the bracelet. I found this project in one of my newsletters from the magazine "Cloth, Paper, Scissors" and the author's bracelet was centered around a memory from her childhood.  I did not have a memory I wanted to journal- so I went with a theme of flowers instead because I love gardening.  First I needle felted some green wool roving into little balls- the color reminds me of the first greens of spring.  I wanted to use supplies I already had on hand, so I found these round wood shapes and drilled a hole in each one.  Then I added some green paper on each side and painted the edges gold.  To finish these up I drew a flower on each circle.

Using embroidery thread I sewed these pieces to the bracelet.  I didn't think it really looked finished, so I went back to the supply stash and found some plastic flower buttons.  I painted these gold and added them to the bracelet.
I think it's finished now!  This was a really fun project and I think if I do it again I would make the actual bracelet a lot wider so I had more room to embellish.  Here's the finished bracelet:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wednesday Weigh In



This is a short post today.  I told you last week about feeling like giving up but not allowing myself to.  I am slowly getting back on track.  I am still trying to balance my exercise with everything else going on in life.  I did get exercise this week- but it was mainly in spring cleaning and walks outside with the dog.  I know I need to do more than that to really make the weight fall off- but I'm still unable to find that balance of job, house upkeep, blogging, crafting and weight loss.  I'm going to get there- already this year I feel so much better than last year and I am slowly catching up to the many things I let fall through the cracks.  I weigh in today at 164.6- which is a step backwards from last weigh in- but I'm okay with it.  It could have been worse- I feared it would be.  I've decided to really get cracking in hopes of wearing dresses this summer that used to fit me.  I put pictures of the old me on the fridge and a big "stick to it" sign that will stare me in the face as I choose what to eat.  I got out my old size 10 jeans and left only 2 of the larger size in the closet in the hopes of having to wash them so often will spur me on (silly, right?-- but these tricks really help me).  I filled my fridge once again with veggies and put a "NO" sign on my hubby's snack cupboard  (he really loves that-lol--he knows it's for me, not him).  Spring is finally  here- my attitude improves daily and I'm getting outside and moving- so I just know these posts will soon be filled with the excitement of a woman succeeding and changing her life.  So- I'll see you again next week.  Thank you to everyone that continues to read these posts and supports me- it is so helpful to me.  If you would like to visit  my friend who is also trying to get healthy or you would like to work at it along with us please visit  Marsha for Wednesday Weigh Ins at http://sassyminidolls.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A New Art Journal=March's Creativity Invitation


After 30 days of journaling my journal is getting close to being full.  I decided to make a new one and I thought I would share with you how I make them.  The last journal I was working in was 8 x 10 inches, but I wanted a new challenge, so I decided to try out a smaller size of 5 x 7 inches.  I start out with large sheets of 140 lb hot press watercolor paper.  I like this paper because it's nice and thick for collage or painting but the surface is smooth for writing or drawing.  Since my journal covers will be 5 x 7 I will be making my inside pages 8 x 6 for pages resulting in 4 x 6 after the sheets are folded into signatures.  After cutting the paper into the smaller size I fold each sheet in half.  I then nestle 5 of those folded sheets inside each other for one group of 5 folded pages.  This is one signature.  This journal will have 6 signatures of 5 folded pages each. 


Now I'll need a cover.  I used the actual cover of an old book that I cut the cover off of- but I've also used canvas board and once I even used plexiglass.  Cut your covers to the correct size.  I am going to sew the signatures into the journal, so I use muslin for the spine of the book.  Glue one side of a strip of muslin to the front cover of the journal.








Now you will take the group of signatures you made and measure the thickness.  That measurement is the space you want between the two covers.  Glue the muslin to the edge of the second cover, making sure you match up  with the bottom of the first cover.  Flip the journal over and glue the top and bottom of the muslin over so that it is even with the bottom of your journal covers.



I decorate my cover before I sew the signatures in- so now I did some collage on the covers and I painted the muslin with a wash of green paint.  I also glued a piece of pink paper on the inside of the covers so the inside looks nice too.


Finally it's time to add those pages!  There are many different ways you can sew your pages in- this is usually how I do mine.  I measure spaces for 8 holes on the edge of one of the folded pages.  I like to make them a little uneven, but you can space them all out exactly the same measurement from each other- just make sure to go about a half inch or inch in from the bottom and top of the page.
Take an awl and make a hole at each of these measurements so you have 8 holes.  Now, using this as a template poke holes in all of the signatures.  I take this same template and make a small mark on the outside spine  where the page should sit inside the journal.  This will help with putting the first signature in so you don't have to guess where the holes are.

I'm going to sew this journal with a linen bookbinding thread, but I've also used cording and twine and the journal didn't fall apart.  Starting on the outside of the journal I am going to go into the bottom mark on the outside of the journal and into the first hole of the bottom of the first signature.


Be sure to leave a tail of thread still hanging out of the spine.  After coming up through the hole of the first signature go back down through the next hole and into the spine with the needle coming back out to the outside of the spine. I tie a knot here with the tail we still have hanging out of the first hole.


Now we keep going back and forth this way until we come to the end hole where we should end up back on the outside of the spine.  Moving over a small space we go back into the spine and into the first hole of the next signature.  Keep the thread nice and snug in between each hole so that the pages are firmly attached to the muslin spine.

Keep sewing this way, moving over a small space at the end of each signature before starting the next one.  At the end of the last signature I make sure everything is nice and taut and then I sew under the threads to get over to the tail we started with and I tie another knot and put a drop of super glue on the knot.




We have a journal!  I painted my thread the same color as the spine, but you could leave the thread color as an accent too.   Now I better get to work filling it!  (sorry about the glare- the girl is a packing tape transfer and I couldn't get a good photo)  This is my entry for March's Creativity Invitation held each month by June from http://acreativedreamer.blogspot.com  - if you'd like to play too please visit June's blog to find out more!