Monday, February 28, 2011

This is for the birds

I have a thing for nests...and birds...and lots of other things.  But lately my mind and crafting keeps going back to birds and nest.

Yesterday I knew I needed to get some crafting done for my first craft show, that's only a month away now.   
                                  {beads of sweat forming at the brow with anxiety}
My daughter was under the weather for a couple of days, she then passed it onto me so I was out of commission for a while.  I was definitely starting to feel the urgency to make a dent in all those "some day" projects.  Well, yesterday was the day.  My daughter was in a very agreeable and happy mood so I took advantage and worked while she played. 

I pulled out some vintage baking tins I had snagged this summer.  I altered some early  in the year into Christmas ornaments but wanted to make something out of the rest that I could use or sell for Spring.  Well, birds and bird's nest got stuck in my head. 

The crazy thing is the following actually went through my head:  "If I were a bird, what would I want in my nest."  Yep, now I am imagining myself as a bird.  That makes me officially crazy doesn't it?  Oh well, my husband's been telling me I'm crazy for years.  Anywho, I decided that if I were I bird I would love a nest make of vintage tea-stained lace, strings of pearls and bits of ribbon.

I then got out my trusty (but dwindling sheet music) and cut out some "Song Birds".  I used my Tim Holtz tea stain distress ink and inked the edges of the bird.  I hot glued her onto a twig and perched her in her nest.

I really have nests on the brain.  Next up on the list of "one day" crafts is burlap nests.  I also altered some mason jars and made some postcard pillows yesterday.  I'll share those soon.

Have a great day!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chalkboard Madness---my new obsession

I can't seem to get enough of chalkboards and chalkboard paint lately.  I have several chalkboards in my home and have just listed several that I've made over the last few weeks to my Etsy shop.  There is just something about them.  They have SO many uses in SO many places.  Some in the office, one in the kitchen for a menu board, one in punk's room, some on the walls as instant wall art, weddings, parties, and baby/bridal showers.  I am waiting (not so patiently) for some warm, wind/rain free weather so I can get out the chalkboard spray paint to make some chalkboard tags! 

Okay, enough talk.  Here is how I've been spending these cold winter's days.  These are just some of them.  Really!

This is my first chalkboard in a faux zinc frame (ala Freckled Laundry) you can see more here

Ahh, vintage milk glass!

Friday, February 18, 2011

crafting is a lot of work

I have been a busy girl.  Truthfully, I feel a bit overwhelmed but I do love being busy.  I signed up for my first craft show and it's in just over a month away so I've been trying to craft during the day {normally I only work on stuff during punk's nap time and after she goes to bed at night}.  I'm exhausted.  Punk's not thrilled with it either, she's used to me being able to play with her non-stop all day long.  My Etsy shop is also suffering, I only have a few items left and I need to restock this weekend...if I can take a break from the craft show crafting that is.  Boy is crafting for a business a lot of work, but it's also a lot of fun!

Last weekend I attended an all day scrapbook crop.  I don't scrapbook, but I thought it would be a great way of getting a lot of crafting done all at one time.  Well, I had fun but really didn't get much accomplished.  It was like I didn't know where to start.  I did make my first coffee filter wreath though.  I think I'm the only decor/craft blogger around who hadn't made one yet.  Wowsa, it took a long time but I think it turned out beautifully.  I share photos of it later. 

I also made some altered peat pots.  I got the inspiration from similar ones I found in a magazine {of course now I can't remember which magazine it was}.  Truthfully I wasn't totally thrilled with the way they turned out at first.  But while at the crop a friend was looking at them and said something about them being Easter Baskets.  I had originally intended them as flower pots...for fake flowers.  After all, they are peat pots and will breakdown if wet.  Kinda like a twist on a May Day basket.  But that Easter Basket thing stuck with me.  Then the other day I sat down and brainstormed. 

I had a conversation with myself, it went something like this: 

{"Okay, Aaron.  Easter Baskets, Easter Baskets, Easter Baskets.  Stop saying Easter Baskets over and over again, it's obviously not helping.  Okay, I can do this.  What is an Easter Basket...a basket that has goodies in it.  What kind of goodies?  Chocolate!  Man, I wish I had some chocolate right now.  Okay, focus Aaron, for the love of God, focus!  Chocolate and jelly beans and sometimes money, all  inside of little plastic eggs.  EGGS!  Easter Baskets have eggs in them!  Okay, that's good but I need more than eggs.  Hmm.  What lays eggs...birds!  Birds!   Brillant!"  }

Yep, I had a full blown conversation with myself.  Embarassing, but true.  My two year old punk was in the room with me playing with her blocks.  She heard all of this.  She then went on to ask me for an Easter Basket and chocolate for the rest of the day.  But, that is how this was born:

Some basket have lace, some pearls, some vintage buttons, some vintage Easter images from The Graphics Fairy.  

I went from not digging them at all to loving them!  I will definitely be making more to sell.  Well, my "break" is over, time to get back to work.

Have a great weekend! 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How to make a 2 year old happy.

I hope that title didn't imply that I was going to be giving some sort of parenting advice, because I'm not.  I'm far from an expert in the rearing of children. 
                       {Side note:  Rearing...that word always makes me giggle.  I'm not sure why.}

 I only have one and she is { as my Mom would say} full of piss and vinegar.  Any given day you will find me beating my head against the wall.  But truth be told, I wouldn't have it any other way.  Case in Point:  my daughter (who is almost 2 1/2 yrs. old) got it into her head that she needed a jewelry box.  What that really means is that she has been harassing me about it for about a week now!  She has NO jewelry...she's 2!  But, when on a trip to good ol' Goodwill I saw a very sad and dated looking little jewelry box.  It was $3.00.  I actually thought that was a little high but I saw what it could be so I bought it.  I knew it would make a certain little 2 year old girl happy.

This is what it looks like now:

This is how it started out:

It didn't take much time or effort to transform this little guy which is good because my daughter was not in the mood to wait.

It require only a few supplies, all of which I already had on hand.

Gorilla glue, America brand glaze, white paint, antiquing glaze and paint color of choice a cheap brush and a detail brush.  I also used Modge Podge but it somehow escaped from the photo.
 First I painted the entire jewelry box in my paint color of choice.  I picked this lovely blue Martha Stewart test pot that was a mistint so it only cost 50 cents.  I applied two coats since I did not prime first. {Mainly because I was feeling lazy, it was cold and well, I just didn't want to bother with it.}
* But, I feel it's my duty to tell you that you should always prime the pieces that you paint because it just makes everything that much more pretty.

Next, I added a white wash effect.  I mixed a 3:1 ratio of Americana Glazing Medium and white craft paint.  I used an el' cheapo brush for this because I wanted it to look worn and uneven.  I also worked with a nearly dry brush to keep the coating light.

After the paint dried completely I used Modge Podge to apply a paper accent which says "Happily Ever After" onto the top of the box.

I also picked out some broken vintage jewelry pieces and used the Gorilla glue to secure them to the top.  I didn't want my 2 year old to be able to rip them off and Gorilla glue is the BEST!

After this my toddler was getting antsy so I let her have a look before I moved on to my final step.

I think she likes it!
 I wanted to add some more depth and a little more of a distressed look so I mixed a couple of drops of Valspar Antiquing Glaze with an equal amount of Americana Glaze Medium .  I used my detail brush to lightly coat the drawer pulls and the edges of the jewelry box.  I used a wet wipe to LIGHTLY wipe away the excess glaze.

I love the way it turned out and so does my little punk.  She keeps talking about needing to have necklaces, earings and bracelets to put in the top and how she wants to put her treasures in the bottom drawer.  Great!  Now I have to go get her some dang dress-up jewelry.  I obviously did not think this thing through.

Monday, February 7, 2011

I'm NOT a jewelry maker

Having said that, I did  make some jewelry.  It kind of happened by accident.  Well, as much as you can make something on accident.  It happened when I was cleaning my craft room/guest room (which you can see here).  It was a disaster.  On a side note, I am sad to say it is a disaster again.  Ugh.  Anyway, as I was cleaning I came across this cool old little box of vintage scientific slides that I bought for $1 at a yard sale this past summer. 

the now empty box

I had no idea what I was going to do with them when I bought them but they were too cool to pass up.  But when I came across them this time it hit me.  Glass Pendants.  I've seen those long glass tiles that they sell at the craft store  (24 for around $6) that you decorate with paper or photos and then slide into the metal frames with built in hoop (3 for $6) for an instant pendant necklace.  I thought there must be a way to make a pendant necklace from these vintage scientific slides.  I would have just bought the metal frames but my slides were about 1/4 inch too long.  Drats!  So I played around and did some jewelry research. I definitely stepped out of my crafting comfort zone on this one but I'm glad I did.


These were a little time consuming but I like the way they turned I'm going to sell them ( I really don't need around 80 glass pendants).  Of course I'll keep some for myself and I already gave one to my mom.

This is how I did it:

1. Clean the slides with soapy water.

2.  Decorate:  I went the fast and easy route with this step so I used some tissue tape by Tim Holt.  It runs about $9 (but of course I used my 40% off coupon).  It came with two rolls.  One was dictionary like page writing and the other sheet music.  Just right for me.  This stuff is great. It sticks right to the slide and easily tears off and looks great overlapped.  And you get a lot...I have plenty left over.

3.  Seal the pendant.  You can use Diamond jewelry sealer that you can get at the craft store or just use Modge Podge like me.

4.  Warning:  This is the step that takes time, at least when you are making 80 of them!  You will need to get some Aluminum foil tape wrap (found at the craft store).  It has adhesive on one side so you can stick it right to the tile.  The hard part is getting the tape to line up just right so that it wraps around the front and back of your tile evenly and stays straight. 

5.  After your slide dries you need to attach your bail so you can actually use it as a pendant.  This is where my research helped.  You need to get some Aanraku style bails.  I went to Amazon (because I had a gift card) but Etsy also carries them.  You will also need E 6000 glue (this stuff can easily be found in a craft store or even Walmart).    Just put a THIN amount of glue on the flat part of the bail and a THIN amount on the glass tile where you will be attaching the hook.  Wait about 2 minutes then press the bail and slide together. 
Aanraku style bail

6.  Wait, wait and wait some more. 
      You need to let the glue cure about 48 hours before you can wear the pendant.  But, I think the wait was worth it.

You may not have vintage scientific slides but you can buy the 24 slides for $6 at the craft store and make some for yourself.  They were easy and the possibilities are endless with how you can design them.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

free business cards

I recently started selling on Etsy and I decided that it was probably time to get business cards.  I needed something cute, cheap and easily attachable to my products.  But I wanted something that was different than the typical old run-of-the-mill business card.  I am already a member of Picnik which is a photo editing site online.  It is free to use most of the tools on the site.  I though that if I could come up with a picture I like I could edit it to have my business name and site written right over the top.

So the first place I went was The Graphics Fairy.  She has hundreds of vintage images and they are all free. Isn't that amazing!

You can do it too!  It was so simple, all you need is card stock, computer, printer. 

So here is your business card tutorial:

1.  Pick an image and save it to your computer.

I choose this cute little princess

2.  Go to Picnik and upload the saved image. 

3.  Resize the image so it will function as a business card. {I set my image to 80% }

4.  Then go to the "create" section of Picnik's site and choose a font .  Add your business name and Etsy website name to the image. 

5.  Save it to your computer.

6.  Open up word and insert the edited image.  Copy and paste until the page is filled up.

7.  That's it!  Just copy onto card stock and cut out.

I'm also going to use these as price tags for craft shows!

Now go over to The Graphics's Fairy and make your own business cards.

Linking to Brag Mondays at the Graphic's Fairy

Saturday, February 5, 2011

My new favorite wreath

I really, REALLY want to keep this wreath.  I mean really want to keep it.  I think it's my favorite wreath.  It's simple, sweet with just the right amount of shabbiness.  But...I'm supposed to be making thing to sell.          {Sigh}

This wreath isn't too bad either. 

Can you tell that I have a thing for burlap?  Have a great day!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

altered clipboards

I have had  two clipboard in my craft room for a while and I had always meant to alter them so they would be photo display worthy.  They were your standard looking clipboards.  Like this one:

One is legal size and one is like a mini-clipboard.  Well, we are having a bit of a winter storm here in St. Louis.  We arlready have about 1" on ice on the ground (and it's still falling as I type) and the ever reliable weather guys are calling for buckets of snow as well.  So, I decided that this was the time to finally do something with them. 

Like ususal, I started with sheet music.  I simply Modge Podged the sheet music right onto the clipboards and allowed them to dry.  Once dry I applied a thin layer of Modge Podge to the front of both clipboards in order to seal the sheet music. 

I then used stamping ink to distress the edges of the clipboards.  I dug out my ribbon and lace and played around until I like the way it looked and simply hot glued it right onto the clipboards.  I finished with some scrapbooking typrography stickers that I applied with Gorilla Glue.  I love that they look like old typwriter keys.  I didn't want those stickers to pop off.  Finally I added some hand distressed, stained and altered tags and a couple of paper scrapbook accents. 

I thought "vintage love" was perfect for me.  All this sleet and snow we're having has me thinking about last year when I took (my then 1 year old) little punk outside to play in the snow for the first time.  I dug out a couple of black and white photos of that first snow playdate and clipped them on.  Perfect.

 I'm really crushing on them now.  I want to hang them on the wall but I need to find just the right spot.

I'm linking up to The CSI Project's typography contest.


I hope you all stay nice and warm.