Friday, June 24, 2011

Fourth of July Decor

So my local craft store closed for good in May--which was very sad on one hand, but on the other, Hobby Lobby opened a store not too much further away--and it has better selection anyway.  Of course, I had to snatch up a lot of great stuff at the closing store sale.  One of those things was a metallic gold plastic barn star.  Well, it was metallic gold--I'm so mad I didn't take a before picture.

First I spray painted it red, like so:

Then I gathered some red & blue scrapbook paper, scissors, & Mod Podge. 

I used a paper grocery bag to make a pattern, which you can see in the picture above.  I traced it on my scrapbook papers, cut them out, & mod podged them on, alternating  blue & red papers.  After all of that, I applied a glaze all over.  BTW, the red chevron stripe is from the Chevron striped pattern free printable on Sprik Space that I also used on the Chevron Striped State Map

To be honest, after I was done, I wasn't thrilled.  I thought maybe it was too patriotic & maybe I should have done something more subtle.  I had it hanging over the mirror w/ my summer mantle, but after I moved it to my front door, I like it better. 

Okay, so I want to share a couple other patriotic craft ideas in this post.  Then I'll do another separate post on my flags. 

Looking at this picture, I realize how bad these little stars are looking.  I need to fix them so the fabric isn't coming loose.  I made these stars from cereal boxes--just cut out 3 stars--I printed one off the internet for a pattern, then I wrapped them w/ narrow strips of fabric.  I have the fabric attached w/ masking tape--it is all over the back, & as you can see, the fabric just keeps coming loose.  You may ask, "Why not just cover them w/ one piece of fabric?"  The reason I did it this way was because these strips were left over from my patriotic fabric balls:

These balls are made from plastic grocery bags.  I wadded some together into a ball shape, then I used masking tape to secure it & make the ball shape a little more firm.  Then I wrapped narrow strips of fabric around them.  I think they are pretty cute.  I know that lots of people cover balls w/ fabric, but I don't know if anyone has made balls out of plastic bags!  I'm trying to use what I have, people!  I need to make some more to fill up the container better, so when/if I do, I'll take pictures of the process.

Um, okay, so if I want to have a good blog, I really need to work on the picture thing, don't I?  The glare is from the glass vase the balls are in.  The red shredded paper at the bottom is there because I don't have enough balls to fill the vase.  It does look kind of funny.  I could go take better pictures, but I can't because I've been dealing w/ squealing/crying baby for the last half of writing this post, & she can't take it anymore!

Linking to

Holiday Banners

A few years ago, I made a bunch of holiday banners, which I gave away as a Christmas present.  I've always planned to make more for myself, but of course that hasn't happened yet.  I do have a "Happy Birthday" & 2 "Celebrate" banners which were kind of trial runs, but I still use them.  Oh, and I have a "Merry Christmas" one that I don't really like that much--which is why I made another one for the Christmas gift.  I was much cuter, but of course I don't have a picture of that one!

So it was really easy, & I know there are many ideas for banners & buntings out there.  All I did was cut out triangles of fabric w/ pinking shears to help prevent fraying.  Then I printed out letters from the computer & used them as patterns to cut out letters from fabric as well.  On some banners I kept the triangles solid & the letters various patterns and on others I kept the letters solid & the triangles patterns.  Then I used double wide bias tape to put it all together.  I've seen others use ribbon, which is so cute.

So I made one for July 4th, Halloween, Valentine's, Christmas, birthdays, & a generic "Celebrate".  My "liberty" banner (above) was made from an old bed sheet for the background fabric.

This Valentine's banner I actually sold to someone in Australia in my short-lived Etsy shop.  It was very cute.

I'll do another post w/ the other "Celebrate" & "Happy Birthday" banners.  I also have a cute & easy garland that I put up w/ the birthday banner that I want to show.

Linking to

Someday Crafts 4th of July party:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Mantle

 This was supposed to be one of my first posts, but because it took much longer to get my paint stick flag made than I thought it would, I didn't get to it.

Over at The Lettered Cottage they were having a Summer Mantle Link Party, so I made plans to join up, even though I actually hate my mantle (not the decor, then actual mantle).  It's is 90s orangey oak, as you can see in the pic.  I have plans to redo, of course.  I think we are going to go dark.  I keep going back and forth between dark and light. 

I had a tentative plan to just flat out copy whatever Layla did w/ hers.  When I saw it, I loved it, but I thought it would be way too hard to copy.  I just didn't have anything close to the same as hers.  So I scrolled through the link party to get some ideas for my own summer mantle.  I do have some patriotic, red, white, & blue stuff, so I decided to go that route instead. 

One idea I saw there was the paint stick flag from dreamingincolor.  Here is hers:

Here is my version:

It took me forever to get this little guy made because apparantly paint sticks are a little harder to come by than you might think.  I needed 7, and I had 1 already.  I ran into Home Depot and was told I could have 2, because they were running low on paint sticks.  Then I went back the next morning and no one was at the paint counter, there were no paint sticks in sight, & KR was impatiently waiting in the car.  I actually had a few times like that--I'd go in to get some paint sticks & come up with nothing.  One time it was the same guy who had given me 2 before, & I was embarrassed to ask for more.  I went to the paint counter at Walmart twice, no one was there & I was in a hurry, so I didn't persist.  Finally KR got me 2 at Home Depot on his way home from work or something, then we were at Walmart together one night, no employees in sight, KR reached over the paint counter and grabbed like 5 or something!  I guess he was tired of me complaining about needing paint sticks!  Well now I know that when I buy paint I need to load up because I've seen some super cute things made w/ them!

BTW, I used book paper for the star because I love all the book page projects people are doing (like wreaths & such).  But, if you see it close up, it's kind of funny because it came from a medical book & you can see the word "overdosage" on it.

I also have some awesome stuff I picked up when Roberts Crafts closed their Sandy store in May.  Namely, the stars, big & little, and the red board thing.  I popped in 3 of my small stars, and put the big one over the mirror.  I got all of the stars, plus 3 more little ones for like $15 total I think.  They are fabric covered tin.  I've wanted big barn stars forever.

Here are the small stars--they fit perfectly!

Here is the big one--a little crooked :)

The bigger flag at the other end is from the DI Thrift Store, and the smaller one I made last summer just with scrapbook paper.  The red lantern came is from IKEA, but I got it from DI.  I think I paid $3, & at IKEA it was $3.99, I think.  Not much of a deal that time, I guess. 

Okay, there are a few other things, but I have written enough!  #5 is begging me to find her Dora doll right now. 

P.S. I missed the Summer Mantle Party.  Oh well.  I'll be linking up here:


The Shabby Nest


Catch a Glimpse Button

Tip Junkie handmade projects

On blogging . . .

Remember the Seinfeld storyline about Kramer writing a coffee table book about coffee tables?  Here is a blog post about blogging.

I thinking blogging (my 3 weeks experience of it anyway) is totally fun.  I really want to share what I do, especially w/ all of the crafty/DIY/decorator bloggers out there.  It is really fun to be able to show projects that were inspired by (or copied from) someone else's blog.  The problem is I am really having trouble finding
the time to actually do it.  How do you experienced bloggers manage to find the time?

I think the interaction between blogs is fascinating, actually.  There is this whole interconnected web of blogs out there.  I was a history major, & I remember learning about female society at various time periods.  For example, in pre-Civil War America, women began forming "benevolent societies" like the "Ladies Aid Society" where they would do charitable work.  They also formed literary & music clubs, I think.  This info is just from memory.  I read a book for a class once about women in Pennsylvania in Colonial America.  It went into all this detail about the economy of women--meaning what kind of work they did to help support their families.  There was this whole women's economy where women traded & worked with and for each other that was separate from men's economy.  It is really interesting. 

I bring that up because I think 50 years from now (or sooner) I can see historians describing women's blogs as a place for women to interact, share ideas, earn money, etc., etc.  Link parties are genius, in my opinion, as is blog swapping and giveaways.  It is amazing to me how good women can be at marketing and promotion.  And, it is all so much fun.

I should say, I have no idea if there is the same kind of world w/ men's blogs.  And, of course, I know that there are many, many women who care nothing for home decor/crafting blogs.  But these blogs are mainly women's domain, and I think it's amazing how women have built up a whole little world here.

Okay, I also think there is a bad side.  That is the addictive nature of blog hopping.  There is just so much out there and so many people doing so many awesome things!  It can be so overwhelming!  I kind of feel guilty adding to the chaos of blogland.  I think it is all to easy to neglect more important aspects of my family life by getting caught up in blogs.  I have issues with figuring out how to best spend my time.  I really want to be a blogger.  I want to be part of the interaction and conversation out there.  But, in the 3 or so weeks since I started, I am finding it extremely difficult to figure out how much of my time should be spent on blogging.  Seriously, you have family to care for.  For some reason, every. single. day. kids want to be fed-- three times!!  Then you have to try to keep the house semi-neat--which in a family of nine is a HUGE job--I feel like it takes everything I have just to keep up!  (BTW, I don't give it everything I have, so I don't keep up.)  That's because I have to have to have to spend some time doing crafts, cross stitch, home improvement type stuff.  After all, that's what's fun about homemaking.  So . . . I spend time on the computer seeing everyone else's ideas, which as I said before is addictive.  You can spend hours going from blog to blog to blog.  I've done some cute things, but had no blog to show it to people.  So I started a blog.  Now I'm discovering how much time blogging takes!  Writing up posts, choosing pictures, editing pictures, linking up to parties. 

7 Reasons Not to Blog??
 Is it worth it???  I mean the time it takes (which honestly, could be spent doing more projects rather than writing about them.).

Right now the plan is to see.  I keep telling myself, "No pressure.  It's all about having fun."  But I do want to continue to do it even if it isn't always fun because I feel like I should give it at least 6 months before I bail.  Then, how much effort to I expend for promoting?  Do I really care if I get followers or comments or if I'm featured? 

I think that every few weeks maybe I'll post about my blogging experience.  Just to keep track of my evolution or progress on this new adventure.  If any other bloggers actually read this post, I would love any insight you have about blogging.  Any tips on balancing it all?  Is it really worth it?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Photo Booth Pictures

I had a long narrow frame w/ an Anne Gedes print in it, here:

I thought it would look cute placed vertically w/ 8 x 10 photos in it.  I couldn't decide if I should do some kind of burlap backing or chicken wire with closepins holding the pictures.  I wanted it to be something easy and casual, really because the pictures were not awesome.  I also considered painting the frame, but KR put his foot down on that one.  Apparently he really likes this frame.  Who knew?  I'm glad I didn't though because it made the project so much faster & easier. 

I ordered some 8 x 10 prints of the kids.  These pictures are from our extended family Memorial Day trip.  Every year we go to visit the graves of KR's grandparents and other family members in Logan, UT.  It is an hour & a half drive so it ends up being a day trip.   Every year we eat lunch at an awesome steak house called Maddox's (in Brigham City, UT).  Then we head up to Logan to the cemetary.  Afterwards, we go to the Utah State Aggie Creamery & get ice cream.  It is really fun. 

Soooo, I ended up realizing that I could just turn the print already in the frame around, & I would have a nice white background:

Then I attached the 4 pictures (I just used masking tape. I hope that's okay).  I tried to space them evenly, but of course didn't measure or anything.

Then I put it all back together!  I think it looks so cute--like a photo booth strip!  Don't you love #4's annoyance??  I was trying to get him to smile, but holding still for a picture was just too much, I guess!  I used them anyway because I decided it was cute.  

The thing is, I think this is totally cute, but the pictures are not really that great.  My #3 boy's face is so dark, for one thing.  It's okay though.  I already kind of had the idea of making this an often-changing display--like for the seasons or whatever. 

Linking up:


The Shabby Nest

Monday, June 6, 2011

Fun Framed Flower

Here's a very easy spring/summer craft for you.  I have this cute oversize faux flower that I love.  I popped it off its stem & hot glued it to some scrapbook paper & then put it in a red frame that I already had.  The scrapbook paper was some in my stash, & I liked how the stripes include red & orange which ties the orange flower & the red frame together.  Simple, super easy, but also super cute!

BTW, the flower was originally given to me standing in a glass vase that was filled with Starburst.  There was also a ribbon around the vase.  It was a fun little gift, and it looked so cute.  I wish I had a picture of it.

Linking up at these parties:

The Shabby Nest


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Mod Podged Playroom Table

The little playroom table wasn't looking too hot lately.  It had been scribbled on and it was so plain anyway:

I mod podged a map I got from Walmart a while back on top, with colorful scrapbook paper as a frame surrounding it. 

I think it looks much better now.

Linking up here: