Category Archives: Crafts/Tutorials

162 – A Christmas Wreath

So last night we stopped in at Canadian Tire so that Bryan could get some new shoelaces and so that we could buy some skates for Ginny. Sadly, they did not have the skates we needed. But! Bryan did find his shoelaces, and also snagged an AMAZING deal on a hockey helmet. And best of all, while he was trying on helmets, Ginny and I got to peruse the Christmas stock and oh boy. I was so excited. SO MANY THINGS ON CLEARANCE. GAH! I picked up a few goodies, including a cool geometric/gold tree, a festive table cloth, and some stocking stuffers, but the most significant item I found was a wreath.

The wreath was plain, just green branches and pinecones. Nothing special about it at all really, other than the fact that it was only $7. I found some adorable twine-ball lights (battery operated and $3) and wrapped them around the wreath. I LOVED the look of it immediately. This was how it looked set up and lit last night.

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You may think I was being creative, hanging it on the curtain but it was the only place available. I tried hanging it on the front door but that made it so the door wouldn’t shut and we’re not the type of folks who like to just leave our door open. In the end, however, I really really love how this looks. SO MUCH.

This morning I was so pleased to walk out into a tidy living room and see this hanging up. However, I felt like it needed just one more element. We’re not putting up a tree this year, as we won’t be home for Christmas and honestly I didn’t want the hassle of putting it up and feeling disappointed once again that it’s so small (but there’s no point in getting a bigger one until we get a bigger place – or find an amazing deal). Anyways, because there’s no tree, that meant I have a bin of ornaments just collecting dust, so I decided to utilize some.

Growing up, my mom would purchase each of us a new ornament each year, and when the season ended she would tuck them away in individual bins labelled with our names. She also supplemented each bin with some older, random decorations that had accumulated over the years, all so when we grew up and left home we would have a homey start to our Christmas decorating. I love my little bin (minus the year I FOUND A DEAD CENTIPEDE IN IT – we called it Santapede), but I especially love that my mom put in a bunch of vintage wooden ornaments because they were some of my favourites growing up and I think they are just the cutest.

Obviously, since I’m rambling about them, the vintage ornaments are what I stuck in my wreath.

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I love the look of it. It went from looking acceptably nice to, in my opinion, delightfully whimsical. It’s a perfect way to display these ornaments which are so special to me!

In other news, I did another DIY! I’ve been busy, apparently. So back in like…April, I bought a canvas (like painting canvas not just fabric) letter J to decorate as a wedding gift for some friends. I then promptly forgot about it forever. Yesterday I noticed it in the corner, watching me, and decided that it was time to do something. I had leftover spray paint from the wedding shower Quidditch hoops, so I sprayed the J.

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This is my spraying set up. It is 100% less than ideal, but whatever. Also, I forgot about these other things I sprayed and they spent the night out there. Oops. Fortunately they’re scrap anyways that I’m just trying to revamp. I used a Rustoleum spray, by the way, which I can’t recommend more.

Next, and I didn’t take any photos of the progress because I was in a hurry, I painstakingly hot glued sequins to the J, and then used a toothpick to individually apply little tiny stars. It was really fun!! Here’s the finished product.

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Coming up in a week or so, I’m hoping to do a Christmas craft featuring pennies, so stay tuned for that!

Also, here’s Ginny wearing a tree skirt. Just because.

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136 – Cross Stitch

Soooo…a few weeks ago my sister bought me a cross stitching kit. It was a really cute one that I had been wanting because A) cross stitch/embroidery has fascinated me for a while now and B) it was a pattern that reminds me of my Grandma. So anyways, I completed the pattern, framed it, and hung it on my wall.

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I immediately took a keen liking to this craft. There have been other hobbies I’ve attempted to take up – crochet for instance – that I failed miserably at. But this? This was so natural. I LOVE IT. And so, I hit up Michael’s and picked up some supplies. I also purchased a nerdy Super Nintendo pattern at a craft fair. Oh, and I pilfered all of my mother-in-law’s old cross stitching thread, needles, and pattern books (which are oh-so-’80s) since she didn’t need them anymore. Then…I got to work. I think I prefer to do stuff out of my head, so that’s what I’ve been doing over the past week. Here’s my first creation:

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This is one of my favourite quotes from the movie American Hustle. Look up the scene on youtube, it’s pretty good. This piece is not perfect BY FAR. So many easy-to-see mistakes. But it was my first attempt and I’m proud – especially of the flame.

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Next up, is this one that I made for my sister. This quote is from the show Parks and Recreation, which we both love. She’s my bud. So I wanted to make her something in honour of that. Have ovaries (and a uterus) ever looked so cute? No. No they haven’t.

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This one is special for two reasons. First, it’s Sebastian and Sebastian is the bomb and he is so cute with his lil’ smile and googly eyes. Second, it was my first attempt at free-handing something more fluid in style. I looked up a screenshot from The Little Mermaid, and then just worked off of that – no pencils first, just following my heart. I was really proud of how it turned out, even with the one glaring error that stares me right in the face (do you see it?)

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Finally, I made this one this afternoon. A very famous quote from my favourite husband’s favourite show. You have no idea how frustrating this was at some points. I kept making boneheaded spelling mistakes, which involved tedious picking-out of those tiny stitches and it drove me insane. I am not that dumb! I KNOW that NOTHING is not spelled NOTHIG. Arrrgh. But anyways, I’m happy with the result and I think Bryan will like it too.

ANYWAYS I LOVE CROSS STITCHING AND EMBROIDERY OKAY BYE!

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Sixty Six

Well…after several years of toying with the idea of business cards – I don’t really have a business, after all, and all my pals know who I am – I finally made some! I had an idea, quickly made it happen, and I’m beyond thrilled with the results. I’m in love with these cards!!! I hope you enjoy them too!

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Fifty

I can’t believe I made it to post numero fifty!! To celebrate (I guess…haha. When I came here to write this post I didn’t realize it was number 50) here is a re-purposing project I whipped up real quick this morning.

Our bathroom is massive. It’s also laid out in a non-functional way. The toilet paper is too far from the toilet, the linen closet is tucked into an almost un-reachable hidey hole, and there are not enough towel racks despite the acres of wall space. The biggest issue I have with our bathroom though, is the fact that there is no space for next-to-the-toilet storage which, as a woman, I find important at certain times of the month (although every one of us suffers from the fact that there’s nowhere to keep extra toilet paper where it’s the most useful).

For a long time, I kept my lady products in an old Winnie-the-Pooh wipey container on the back of the toilet. This is problematic for a couple reasons. A) what if some poor guy thinks there’s wipies in there, opens up to take one, and then BAM! TAMPONS! PADS! Oh, the horror. And reason B) it’s awkward to open, and I can’t fit too many items at a time.

So here is my solution:
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I took an empty dishwasher soap container, simply taped some fun scrapbook paper around it, and then voila! A handy-dandy place to keep all of my feminine hygiene products. The lid is easy to open, there’s enough space to keep a bit of everything, and it will look cute sitting on the back of the toilet (I would have snapped a photo of the container in its new home, but I just didn’t feel like cleaning the bathroom this morning).
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So that’s my teeny project of the day, and hopefully it will make my life in our ridiculous bathroom just that much better.

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Forty Three

Well I haven’t posted in a while, and I’m fairly positive that I won’t be posting again for a while after this either. I’m exhausted lately, getting over some weird…I don’t even know what it was! Honestly I thought I was pregnant, but there are no buns in this oven. I’m hoping to do a Christmas post (after Christmas) but I think as my blog posts have been growing farther apart lately, that is a trend that will continue for the time being. I used to be absolutely glued to my computer screen, but since starting original pieces of art (aka not portraits) I’ve spent way more time out in the living room in the sunlight, and my desire to write has gone way down. So anyways, thanks for sticking with me, and hopefully we’ll chat again soon about the Christmas festivities!

Some art:

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Thirty Nine

Well! I’ve been slow with the posting lately but I have a very good reason. I’ve gotten my art groove back! I’ve been drawing like CRAZY and it’s all I want to do and that’s a-okay with me. I love drawing and in recent years my passion disappeared but it’s back right now (I have no idea for how long) and I’m taking full advantage of it. The only problem is I have extremely diminished supplies! So here and there I’m finding loose pencils and pens in boxes and picking up what i need when we hit Walmart and I’m excited to make it to Michael’s soon because I’m running on scrap paper at this point. It’s so fun though, and I’m so excited. So if posts are still few and far between…this is why.

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Oh…and Ginny has hit the terrible twos. I’m exhausted. Who wants to blog when they’re exhausted? Not this girl. Hopefully I’ll write again soon though! Now…back to drawing.

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Twenty Two

Tutorial Number One

What you need:
Scrapbook paper
Exacto knife and/or scissors
Pencil
Fine tip markers
Straight edge
Frame
Glue – white or hot

Step One

Choose your paper and assemble your materials! I went nuts and bought a pack of 360 sheets. It’s not the highest quality, but it had so really pretty designs and will last me quite a while. It was about $28 @ Wal Mart. The knife and glue were also purchsed there for fairly cheap. You don’t have to use a clipboard as shown in the photo. I use that just to make sure my paper doesn’t move when I’m writing or drawing.
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Step Two

Cut your page to size. I just used the fake picture insert thing that came with the frame to make sure I had the right measurements.

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Step Three

Using a fairly plain piece of paper, I chose how large I wanted my lettering and then played around with fonts. You may just want to print your lettering, but one of my hobbies is writing and I have a lot of fonts just buzzing around in my head. I tried a few different ideas before settling on a simple and bold one. I then outlined in a purple pen, and coloured it in and carefully cut each letter out, leaving a small border.

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Step Four

Decide where your lettering will go on the page, and then glue it on. Make sure to lay it all out BEFORE gluing, to avoid off-sided placement or something that just isn’t right. I also chose at the last second to add a little “Est 2010” because I thought it would add a bit o’ charm.

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Final Product

 

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As you can see, my letters aren’t all exactly the same size, but I really liked the look of imperfection it gave. I’ll probably swap it out at some point anyways because as I said, I have 360 sheets of paper to use up so why not change the decor a bit every once in a while?

This is a ridiculously simple project and you should try it because it turns out cute, and it’s a fun way to spend some time on your own. In my case, I worked on this after my daughter and husband went to bed for the night and it was such a peaceful activity. If you try it, let me know how it goes – I’d love to see a picture, and it’s so fun to share ideas.

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Twenty

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The above picture is the gift I made for a friend’s bridal shower recently. I will soon be making one for myself, and so look forward to a tutorial in the next few weeks (that is, if I actually go out and get the supplies I need…). It’s a really simple project that turns out pretty cute and pretty fun.

I’m hoping to present a series of craft tutorials in the near future, hopefully as a regular feature of my blog. It will be the first time I’ve ever done something like this really, so please be patient with me as I figure things out! Hopefully I can find my camera cord so that it’s not crappy cell photos all the time.

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