Tuesday, July 05, 2011

A cute baby shower craft

My friends threw me the loveliest baby shower recently. I am one lucky girl! There was delicious food (a sugar free dirt cake = YUM), tons of adorable presents, and a lots of love shared for Mr. Max.

My sweet friend and I brainstormed this baby shower craft after pouring over lots of images on Pinterest. My main desire was to have a craft that everyone could participate in (regardless of crafting level/confidence). I also wanted something that could be used a decoration in the nursery ... something that would remind me (and Max) of this lovely occassion and all the people who helped to celebrate it. This is what we ended up with ... a name plate.

(sorry for the poor lighting, but I just couldn't get a solid shot of the entire thing)

My friend covered a piece of thin foam core with the coolest fabric ever (it looks like the texture of wood). She then pre-cut blocks of paper, placed small grommets in each corner of the block, and wrote a letter on the back of each. And, in a stroke of pure brilliance, she made the first letter ("M") to provide a model of what to create. Then, each of my friends sat down to a gorgeous pile of crafting supplies (paper, stickers, glitter, glue) all matching the nursery theme of woodland creatures, and fashioned a letter of Max's name. After each letter was finished, we pressed small scrap-booking brads through the grommets and into the foam core. INSTANT LOVE.

I was overwhelmed with how crafty my friends are!! Each letter is adorable and unique. Here are a few close ups ...

I absolutely ADORE this little name plate. It hangs on the door to the nursery, and it makes me smile every time I look at (and TRUST, I have stared at this thing). Here's one final shot of me holding the finished sign at my shower. See that glow? Yeah, it's sheer happiness over how awesome this craft turned out!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A love catalog

Have you guys joined Pinterest yet? This site is awesome. I had a billion and one bookmarks and google reader tags. Now I have it all combined in one glorious place. MY PINTEREST. If you need an invite, please message me and I'll be happy to share the love.

Friday, June 03, 2011

No Sew Toadstool

The theme for Max's nursery is woodland nature -- think owls, toadstools, forest creatures, etc. In my search for inspiration from the internet, I found this tutorial for an adorable toadstool made from small step stools. Then, I remembered that I had a small white step stool that I scored from a thrift store long ago. Bingo! Game on.

I started by cutting some red fabric (corduroy in this case because that's what I had in my stash). I'm going to be honest -- I totally winged this part. I used the stool as my guide and cut the fabric a few inches larger than the stool. You can see how I was very delicate and precise in my cutting.

Next, I began gluing the edges of the fabric to the bottom of the stool. I decided to use hot glue so that I could manipulate the fabric later if I wanted to (which I did so I could get nicer pleats in some areas). After gluing a good portion of the fabric, stuff that toadstool like a turkey on Thanksgiving. Keep stuffing and gluing until you've created your desired shape.

Next, cut circles of white fabric/felt to form the spots of the toadstool. Play around with the placement of these. Decide if you want a more uniform look, or if you prefer various shapes/sizes. Once you've got the pattern down, glue the spots in place.

Once complete, sit back and enjoy your handy work! I still haven't figured out the final placement for this little guy in the nursery, but I know he will make a for a bright and cheery addition no matter where he goes.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Glitter, glitter ... everywhere!

I've always been a fan of glitter, which is kind of odd being that I'm not a total girly girl. I have been coveting Martha Stewart's glitter collection for a long time. While visiting the craft store the other day to get supplies for my friend's chair, I decided to indulge in a glitter kit. Seriously, I cannot express my sheer joy and delight in holding all this fabulous glitter!

I had specific plans for one glitter project. Awhile ago, I picked up this silver picture clip thingy from a thrift store. I love stars, and I am always immediately drawn to them. However, I felt like this little gem could use some pizazz -- a pop of color, the sparkle of glitter, something more ...

So with a dab of mod podge and some colorful glitter ... BAM! I looooove it. I especially adore the glitter I used on the bottom piece. I believe it's called hematite - a sparkly black and silver color.

After this little creation, I was totally hooked. I wanted to glitter EVERYTHING! Seriously. So here are a few more things that landed under the glitter wand.

This was a little "E" that I picked up from the flea market a while ago. The finish was a brushed aluminum. It had some scratches, so I felt like glitter would only improve things. And I was right.

These earrings were a steal from Target clearance. They were a muted gold finish, but had a few spots of tarnish that could not be removed. Thank you glitter for making that an issue no more. I can't wait for a reason to wear these new sparklies out.

My advice for the week -- go and get your glitter on!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Before and After

Here's a recent creation I made for a friend's baby shower. The nursery is a "Cat in the Hat" theme, so I painted a little chair to match. The directions are pretty straight forward -- find a little chair at a thrift or antique store, sand it (or do a happy dance that you scored a chair that someone else already sanded it!!), paint, mod podge desired image, finish with sealer.



My friend loved her little chair, and I had a great time making something for her and her little one to enjoy for years to come. I cherish the times when I am able to create something for someone I love.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Art for the Nursery

A main goal in the nursery has been to keep things thrifty -- especially given that we are now a single income household (THANK YOU sweet husband for making this possible). I feel like artwork is always a place where people can easily save money by getting creative with things they have on hand.

Enter the amazing Charley Harper.

Several years ago, I found these gorgeous flashcards at the ol' Tarjay (yes, I was immediately drawn to them because of the ladybug on the front!). I didn't have any kids at the time, but sometimes when you see something beautiful ... just get it! And so when it came time to fill some wall space in the nursery, I immediately thought of these.

I wanted them to be spaced out to maximize the awkward wall space I was hoping to fill. Here's an idea of how I hoped it would look. I used poster putty to stick them on the wall without damaging anything.

The next dilemma was figuring out how to hang them on the wall. I wasn't too keen on the idea of placing a billion tiny holes all over the wall. I also felt that the poster putty would not hold them exactly in place. I was hoping for more movement and a way that I could easily pull them down to use when little man gets old enough to start reading. The hubs is actually the one who came up with the idea for using grommets to hang them in some way. The idea stuck, I grabbed the needed supplies, and I was off to make it happen.

The hardest part of this process was the very first hole punch. I didn't want to damage the cards in any way, much less punch FOUR holes in it. Finally, after carefully measuring where I wanted to place the grommet, I worked up enough courage to make the first hole ... and then it was easy as pie to punch 103 more.

The next step was to carefully press the grommet into place. I was careful to use even pressure to make the best compression possible, as there are images on both sides of the cards and I wanted to be able to display either side.

I used the original card as a template for all the other cards to ensure that they would match up as close as possible. Here are a few cards all grommetted up and ready to go! I feel like the grommets make things look so classy ... like a great handbag or hair accessory.

The next step was to figure out a way to connect the cards together. Remember, I'm trying to stay thrifty and also trying to not make a million holes in the wall. My first thought was to buy small "S" hooks, but there had to be a more thrifty way. That's when I thought of making "S" hooks out of colored paperclips that I already had on hand. I must admit that it was slightly time consuming to make all of these hooks, but as my dear husband stated ... I've got the time. I used needle-nose pliers to fashion the hooks from the paper clips. Overall, I was very happy with how they turned out.

Here are a few shots of the final product. I really like the way it turned out. I love the movement, I love the how they hang, I love that I can easily remove/move them as needed.

Oh - sorry that I am not showing a full shot of cards hanging on either side of the window, but I don't want to spoil any nursery surprises. I *promise* I will provide a nursery tour once everything is complete!

And now to return to our regularly scheduled program ...

I'm back. It's been a while, I know. My "real" job took a lot of time and energy which meant the blog was pushed to the bottom of a long list of things to do. However, some things have changed and for the next bit of time I *should* have more time to devote to all things lovely and crafty.

What are these changes, you ask? Well, for starters -- A BABY! Yes, we are expecting our first little one (a boy) in August. I am a high risk pregnancy (for various reasons), so given this, I have closed my private practice to focus on having a health pregnancy. So far, things have been FANTASTIC. Max (yes, we've decided on a name) is growing perfectly and I am also doing well.

These changes also mean that I have a bit more time and motivation to make and do. So, hopefully I'll be sharing some lovely creations and, of course, the marvelous nursery once complete. I look forward to sharing this time with everyone ...