Tag Archives: crafting

Upcycled Denim Roads

I have some of the most darling little nephews. One of them happened to turn two recently. I stumbled across this project shortly after he was born and I’ve been anxiously waiting for him to get old enough to actually play with them.

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Missy from How Does She shared a tutorial on how to make roads from old denim jeans.

Thankfully, we’ve been on a cleaning spree and I had a handful of my husband’s jeans available to be chopped into road sized pieces. A quick trip to Wal-mart provided a roll of kitchen drawer liner. I had mod podge and yellow paint on hand.

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To begin, I created pattern pieces for the 4 shapes I wanted to make.

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Using the patterns, I traced and cut out road pieces from 2 pairs of jeans and the kitchen drawer liner. Making certain that I had the same pieces cut from both materials.

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To join the jeans and liner, I spread mod podge on the liner and carefully placed the denim pieces over the liner.

 

For added durability, I zigzag stitched around the outside of each road piece. The original tutorial used hot glue to secure the edges. I couldn’t find my glue gun or I would have tried that method too.

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Finally, I painted yellow lines down the center of each piece.

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Of course, I couldn’t send it off without testing it.

 

 

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T.S.N.E.M – Paper Piecing

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No lie, when I first hear about paper piecing or English Paper piecing, I thought it was putting paper together to make a picture, like a puzzle. Which sounds neat in itself (and I may still try that out as an idea), but when I learned that it was actually a quilting method, I was intrigued and put off a little.

This month’s challenge was a heavy craft. However, I wasn’t really inspired by anything I found. And, I didn’t really have the proper supplies on hand and I’m still sticking with my resolution to use supplies I already have on hand. I opted to try out a project I’ve been researching for a couple of summers now: paper piecing.

Paper piecing is a method of quilting where small or complex pieces of paper are used to form a quilt block. You take a printed copy of the design you are making and working in numerical order, sew each piece together. This post is in no way going to be a tutorial, I have much more to learn about the process.

Most people print out the pattern with a printer, however, we don’t have a home printer. I used my Silhouette to draw out the pattern for me!

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The best part of paper piecing is that you use up all those fabric scraps saved from previous projects. I’m sure I used more fabric that necessary when sewing my block together. As I learn, I’m sure I’ll become a better judge of what sized fabric pieces to use.

I chose the easiest pattern (that was still cute) to make for this project. I found a spool of thread. This block also happened to be all one square rather than done in sections (I’ll try one of those next). I’m also quite proud that I only had to rip out one seam!

Once you finish sewing all the pieces together, they will be sewn to your pattern paper. This means you get to start the best part, pulling the paper off. It was very satisfying to pull all those pieces off.

While I enjoyed that paper piecing, I think I need some practice on the actual quilting of the block. I certainly need to work on the binding. Overall, I am pleased with the project and can’t wait to try out more paper pieced blocks.

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To check out other projects submitted for this month, check here: TSNEM June

To join in for July, check out the suggested project here: TSNEM Projects

 

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T.S.N.E.M – Honeymoon Edition

We just arrived home from our honeymoon. As in we haven’t even unpacked yet. I’m relaxing after our arduous 36 hour span of driving. And I just couldn’t wait to share the projects we did on our honeymoon (There will be more posts, don’t worry).

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We stayed at Massanutten Resort in Virginia. Everything we tried out at the resort was wonderful. We were both delighted to discover the art/craft classes. We were most excited to find a stained glass class and waited anxiously all week to attend the class.

Our first class was 3-D Decorative Window Frame. We were given a frame with glass and told to choose a design to fill in on the glass. There were designs provided, but were given the option to come up with your own design as well. Which we did. Then you choose from a selection of shells, rocks, and beads how to fill in your design on the glass.

Since we are avid garden failures, we also decided to join the Garden Miniature Figures class. We were mostly sold when we discovered painting a dragon was an option! Following brief instructions, everyone in the class was given free rein (with a supervising eye) to select paint and brushes or sponges to complete their selected figure.

Our last class was Stained Glass. We were probably most excited about this class since it’s been our intention to learn this art form. This was probably the most structured class we attended (and also not kid friendly; hot tools are included). You walked in and choose which project you wanted to complete from a group of prepackaged options. We were then walked through each step of creating a small stained glass piece. This is a project I can’t wait to work on more at home now that I know the steps.

I am counting these as my TSNEM projects for the months I missed. I have another project that I should (fingers crossed) be sharing with you Wednesday for my June TSNEM project.

I will also have a couple more posts about our further adventures during our honeymoon.

TSNEM means Try Something New Every Month.

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Magical Water Bottle

Sometimes, I have a difficult time choosing a gift for my friends and family. I want the gift to feel special and thoughtful. I know I could give a gift card, but that feels impersonal.

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This particular gift managed to combine my friend’s love of Harry Potter and her determination to be healthier. A person like that needs a magical water bottle.

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The hardest part of this search was finding an appropriate bottle. Her daily goal is to drink a gallon of water, so I needed a container that held a gallon of water. I also wanted it to be good quality and lightweight. With daily use, it was going to get bumped around. Water itself is heavy, I didn’t want the bottle to be a hindrance.

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I finally stumbled across the perfect bottle on Amazon. It looks like a miniature version of the water cooler jugs. And it has a handle.

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To make it magical, I used my Silhouette and some permanent vinyl. I love my Silhouette and really do believe it is magical. It has made many projects so much easier. I had the permanent vinyl hanging around from back when Pick Your Plum still sold craft supplies.

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I made the design using a Harry Potter font I found online. For those that don’t know, Aguamenti is the spell to fill a container with water.

 

After cutting, I used transfer paper to help get the placement just right on the bottle. Transfer paper is a life saver when it comes to positioning vinyl. Transfer paper is essentially a giant sticker to help you position stickers. My version has a one inch grid that helps keep the design straight. After weeding your design, you place the transfer paper over the design. You then pull the backing of your vinyl off, leaving the sticky part exposed but still in the correct position. Using the grid to keep things straight, stick everything into its final place. Slowly peel back the transfer paper leaving the vinyl in place.

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Paper Flower Wreath

For our wedding nearly 2 years ago, I created many, many things. This includes the flowers for the bouquets and boutonnieres. We also created a flower covered stand to place one of our cakes on to make it higher than the other cakes.

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Photo Credit: Holden Memories

Since the stand wasn’t of any use for me after the wedding, I decided to reuse the paper flowers to make a wreath. I had picked up the styrofoam wreath not long after the wedding. The ribbon was left over from making my bouquets.

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I started by removing the flowers from the stand and straightening the wires. I then trimmed the wires so they wouldn’t poke all the way through the foam.

I then stuck the flowers into the styrofoam wreath using the 12, 6, 9, 3 pattern. I then filled in between the flowers.

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To finish the wreath, I wrapped the ivory ribbon around the exposed styrofoam. As I wrapped the ribbon, I pulled up the flowers and re-stabbed them through the ribbon.

The wreath is now hanging on our mantle with a few of our other wedding mementos.

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For the Birds

I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of birds. They tend to like to poop on my head. Though if they were to start delivering my mail, I may change my mind. And my dislike isn’t going to stop me from feeding birds at zoos.

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I bring up birds because because the DIY Challenge from Adventures in Making is Birds of a Feather. I went through a vast spectrum of ideas before settling on a variation of an idea I didn’t get to try last month.

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I dug out my origami book and a few pieces of paper. I started by practicing with a 4 x 4-inch piece of paper to make sure I knew the steps. After a few practices, I settled on using a 1..5 inch square to make the crane.

I used scrapbooking paper to make the birds since I have a rather large supply of scrapbook paper. This helps with sticking to my resolution of using supplies I have on hand.

I painted on a coat of Mod Podge to give a little water proofing.

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To turn the cranes into beads, I took a silver head pin and seed beads. The seed beads were to provide a larger  area in case the holes in the paper stretches any.

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I used some 8mm pearl beads and jump rings to dangle the paper cranes.

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Yeti for my Yeti

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I am not cool. Simple things make me laugh. Like really dumb jokes. Like this one:

Q: Why don’t you ever see elephants hiding in trees?
A: They’re very good at it.

I laughed for like five minutes about this joke. I love the jokes on the bazooka gum.

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I received a Yeti for my birthday last year.  Before I was allowed to open the present with the cup. I opened a gift that contained a stuffed Yeti. Because I asked for a Yeti. Apparently I needed to be more specific.

I intended to personalise it immediately, but was at a loss for which design to use. I’m not a fan of monograms. I also considered a collage of all my hobbies, but that would have been a lot of work.

During Christmas break, I was watching Rudolph (because I watch all the Christmas movies) and had the best idea ever. My Yeti needed its own Yeti!

Of course, it took me another month to actually commence with the project. My first hurdle, was finding the right Yeti. I spent hours looking through images. I needed a simple version that would translate well into a single colour. I finally found an image that only needed a little editing to be just right.

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Conveniently, I have a stash of vinyl from the early days of pickyourplum.com. This stash includes permanent outdoor vinyl in white.

Of course, I have my trusty Silhouette to do the cutting for me. I highly recommend using gridded transfer paper to make sure your design is placed straight.

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Now I get to giggle about my Yeti Yeti every day. I love it! I told you I wasn’t cool.

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Merry Christmas?!

Christmas Photo 2014

Yes, I know, I’m a few days weeks behind. I decided to relax and enjoy my holiday time. Without realising it, my husband and I kept up a hectic pace from early summer until now. We needed rest. I got a little more rest than he did as I get Christmas off (Yay! for being a teacher.) I did my best to keep activities to a minimum when I knew he would be home so we could relax. I think I did okay.

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This decision to relax even seeped into our yearly Christmas card. For the past few years, our cards have involved photo shoots, designing and constructing of the cards, and then the addressing and mailing of said cards. This year, we wimped out a little.

Christmas Cards 2014

Thankfully, we have this collection of wedding photos that only a select few have seen. (They will be released to the public soon, if they haven’t already by the time this is published.) We agreed to do something we have never done. We (oh, it hurts to even type it) added doodles to a photo. I feel slightly ashamed. It did turn out rather nicely.

Christmas Cards 2014

Even the cards this year, while homemade, were less elaborate. My first plan was to cut an opening in the front of the cards so you could see the photo. This plan was thwarted when I couldn’t find a pack of green cardstock. Red, yes. Black, yes. White, yes. Green, nope! We did come across one measly pack of solid green cards. It did not contain enough cards. We did find pre-made plaid cards and went for those.

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Rather than cut shapes out of the cards, I used my silhouette to make ornament shapes to attach to the front of the cards. I used a bright gold-yellow to make the ornament toppers. Had there been more time, I would have included a little wire hanger. The ornaments were cut in red, green, and blue.

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To spice them up a little, I added an embossed Merry Christmas to the front of each stamp.

Christmas Cards 2014

 

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Will you be my…

Will you be my...

There are any number of ways to ask someone to join your bridal party. I wanted to set the tone for the wedding from the beginning. I toyed with loads of options before settling on how our wedding ultimately looked. I wanted to pull into the mix many of the things that were important to us and play into a large portion of our lives. We have many varied interests, I managed to narrow it down to sewing, video games, and reading. While I tried really hard to work in photography, I never found a way to get it in. There were also many ideas I didn’t manage to make happen. Nevertheless, the day turned out amazingly! If anything went wrong, I have no idea. I managed to surround myself with people who kept everything going without needing to consult with me.

Back to the topic at hand, bridal party invites. I hadn’t planned on making my own, but I just couldn’t find the perfect invite to use. I found many parts and pieces of invites that I liked (Etsy.com is an amazing source), so I decided to cobble them together and create my own.

I started out wanting to copy a few ideas I had found, but no one had quite the right supplies. I had about given up, when inspiration struck. I was in the midst of making my wedding dress. Why not use wooden spools (sewing) as the base? I could then wrap the message around the middle like a secret message.

Supplies:

  • wooden spool
  • book pages
  • washi tape
  • paint
  • card stock
  • silhouette
  • baker’s twine

Steps:

First, paint your spools in your desired color. I used a wine color.

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Second, while the paint is drying, cut strips from the book pages that are just wide enough to fit on the flat part of the spool. I had to glue a couple strips together to make them long enough.

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Third,  using your silhouette, create a design to print your “Will you be my bridesmaid/maid of honor/bridesman?” strips. Using the pen option, trace the design onto your card stock. Alternatively, you can also hand write your message or print them on a printer. Cut out the strips.

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Fourth,  carefully glue the card stock onto the book page stripes. Give them a minute to dry.

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Fifth, using washi tape, cover the outside end of the paper strips and punch a hole into the middle. This will give you a place to secure your string to keep the paper wrapped tightly. Tie a length of baker’s twine through the hole.

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Sixth, using another piece of washi tape, attach the beginning end of your paper strips to the middle of the painted spools. You may need to use a little glue to keep the tape secure.

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Seventh, wrap the paper around the spool. Use the baker’s twine to secure it in place.

They are ready to be sent or hand delivered. I shipped mine out in a padded envelope since most of my bridal party lived a considerable distance away. If everyone lives close, this would be a great reason for a small party!

Will you be my...

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Luck for the Front Door

Like many, I’m addicted to purchasing craft supplies from Pick Your Plum. I enjoy the excitement of the entire process. Sometimes, I get something and then it sits for a few months (or in this case, a year or more). Since I am working on following through with projects and ideas this year, I am getting better at not buying supplies I don’t need and rather using supplies I already have.

This could be a tutorial if you can find all of these supplies. It may be possible. I’ve honestly not looked around. I bought the wooden pieces from pickyourplum.com a year or so ago. I found the fabric at JoAnn Fabrics. I always have a jar or two of Modge Podge on hand. You never know when you are going to need some.

     

I started by attaching the first fabric to the background board with Modge Podge. I painted the glue with a foam brush (I keep a large supplies of those on hand as well). To attach the fabric, I carefully smoothed it over the painted board. I did my best not to stretch the fabric, but just smooth it over the top of the board. I then painted the edges and smoothed the fabric around the edges and then to the back.

While that dried, I glued the second fabric to the clover. I did this slightly differently (if my fingers hadn’t been a sticky mess, there would be photos of this). I first cut a piece of fabric slightly larger than the clover. Then spread the glue over the clover. Next, I smoothed the fabric over then glue. To finish, I used small scissors to trim around the edges of the clover. 

I painted a coat of Modge Podge over all pieces to seal the fabric and wood. I may even add a layer of spray sealer when I take it down, just to add a little more protection from the humidity here.

Before assembling the layers, I had my fiance drill holes in the top corners. I used 4 finishing nails to secure the 3 layers of wood together. To finish, I tied green ribbon through the prepared holes and knotted the ends.

   

Our bright blue door came with a nail. It’s even painted the same colour!

Make It and Love It

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