Thursday, October 29, 2009

last minute halloween project

I am helping out with the Halloween party at the preschool and saw a few games I thought would work out great for these little guys. But, then I had to go and see this online at 2 nights ago and changed my direction. I thought it might take a little more time than I wanted to spend, but knew it would be worth the effort because I can use it in the future. What I didn't count on was how much paint the canvas fabric soaked up. It took forever to get enough layers to make it look black enough and that was a bit hard with the tiny lines of the skeleton and between the letters. Would gesso have helped? I am no expert, but maybe. I sewed a pocket up top for a dowel rod and today made some bowties out of ribbon. So, we are ready to get this party started.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

we just got back from

the happiest place on earth. We spent 8 days there and now we are recovering from all the fun. I am originally from California and grew up going to Disneyland 4 or 5 times a year. I didn't think we were DisneyWorld people since I have a love for Disneyland, but it turns out that we are. And, since I have issues with big crowds, this was the perfect time of the year to go. Plus, it didn't hurt that my kids had a week off of school for Fall Break and the weather was amazing. I think we are hooked. We spent time over lunch today talking about when we thought we would go again. Yeah, we are definitely hooked. So, this week I need to figure out costumes, plan for a preschool Halloween party, and get back in the groove. Exciting!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

a new print

I am still getting my photo wall put together. I will post a picture of it when I fill in the last few frames. As I was deciding what else I wanted for the wall, the one thing I did know was that I really wanted a personalized print with our family name on it. I found some amazing ones on etsy, but the designer that stood out to me the most was grace hester designs because her prints had great colors, a modern style, and were also a fantastic price. I am so grateful for talented designers and for etsy. Grace was able to make us a personalized print in one of my favorite colors, light aqua blue, and put all of our names under the sweet little birds. Don't you love it? I do. Her other prints in her etsy shop are awesome and I will be saving my pretty pennies to add a few more to our home soon.

Friday, October 9, 2009

two more pendants

Each soldered pendant I make, I see slight improvement. Here are two more pendants I made this week, each with vintage Halloween postcard images. They are two sided - one postcard on each side. I have been wearing the one on the left for the last few days and since I rarely keep anything i make, it feels good to be wearing this.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

add this to the all time pumpkin recipe list

i always have to have a photo - this is the pumpkin my 2 year old picked out at the pumpkin patch last week. love the bumps.

I have had a few people mention that they have great pumpkin recipes too when I posted my pumpkin cookie recipe. Sandra over at Crazy Mom Tats was kind enough to email me her favorite pumpkin bread recipe. I made some last weekend while my husband and kids were out and I was glad they came home when they did. Let's just say, I was about to eat an entire loaf by myself if they hadn't come to help me eat all the rest of this lovely bread. It makes 3 loaves and I am not quite sure what makes it different than other pumpkin breads, but it just is. I can taste more of the pumpkin spices without tasting all the sugary fluff. Although it is dang sweet. I also made cream cheese frosting to go with it. Can you say "sugar high?" Head over to her blog and check out the recipe. Well worth the time. Thanks Sandra.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

folksy pumpkin wall hanging tutorial

This is the pumpkin from my giveaway a few weeks ago. I originally a saw similar project at an art festival several years ago and then two years ago attempted my version of it to give to my friends for Halloween. My photos didn't turn out the best for this tutorial and I can't seem to find time to do them again, so hopefully you can look past the blur to see what you need to see!
What you will need:
1/2 yard orange burlap fabric
1/2 yard black cotton fabric
1 piece of black felt
1 piece of sage green felt
1 piece of mustard yellow felt
thick craft wire or bailing wire
short stick for stump of pumpkin
black embroidery floss
patterns for pumpkin, eyes, nose, mouth, and leaves available to print here. very roughly drawn!
oh, and hot glue gun and glue

1. Cut out all the pattern pieces. You will need one pumpkin body out of orange burlap, one pumpkin body out of black cotton, two pieces of each eye part (one color for each), one nose, one mouth, and two leaves.
*At this point you can paint a taupe color paint on the orange burlap using a dry brush method to give it a more primitive look. This is what I did because my burlap was too bright of an orange, but just an option. Let dry before continuing on to step 2.
2. Using the sewing machine straight stitch the mouth and nose on to the front of the orange burlap pumpkin body. I sew as close to the edge of the black felt as possible - like a 1/8"seam.

3. Layer the circles on top of each other with the largest on the bottom, medium sized in the middle and the small one on the top. Using a running stitch, stitch 1/8"in from the edge of the smallest circle all the way around attaching it to the burlap. Using a blanket stitch (great tutorial via future girl - check half way down the tutorial and there is one specifically for circles), stitch around the middle and largest circle attaching it to the burlap. *I set the eyes off center and one a bit higher than the other. The funkier, the better.
4. Now put the burlap pumpkin piece and the black cotton pumpkin piece together right sides together. The burlap is a little stretchy so don't be surprised if it is a little bigger than the black fabric. Starting at the top, stitch all the way around using a 1/2" seam and leaving a 4"opening at the top for turning.
5. Before turning right side in, cut notches out of the the bottom curves and upper curves of the pumpkin.
6. Turn the pumpkin right side in.
7. Take the stick for the stump of the pumpkin and put it in the opening at the top, folding in the opening to match the seam.
8. Using a hot glue gun, glue all around the stick where the fabric touches it and press the fabric around it to close up the seam. If there is any open space on each side of the stick, glue that together as well with the seams folded in so it is nice and clean.

9. It should look like this now.
10. Take the two leave and pinch in half. Sew 1/4" seam starting and the base and getting narrower until you get about 3/4 way down and it should reach the edge. Like a long triangle. Like in the photo.
11. With the hot glue gun, glue the leaves on - one in the front touch the stick and one in the back. You can also do both in the front or whatever looks best to you.
12. Cut a 10-12 inch piece of wire and starting at the base of the stick, wrap it around several times tightly. Then, take the ends and curl them by wrapping them around a pencil several times as well.
13. Take another piece of wire about 16-18 inches long and stick one end through the burlap and black fabric about 5-6"to the left of the stick. Curl the end of the wire on the back side so it won't come back through. Twist a loop at the top and then go back through on the right hand side and curl the wire on the back.
14. You are finished!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

new bracelet

I am not a fancy person, so when my five year old son came down stairs from craft room with this for me, I fell in love.  I wore it all day.  He said it was because he, "loved, loved, loved me." Seriously, with a reason like that, I think I will even wear it tomorrow too.  Later he sang a song he recorded on my husband's iphone that was a tune about loving me too.  You have to know this child to know that this behavior is a bit unusual and I am wondering what I can do to make it stay.  Any ideas?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

i always make a few of these

A few years ago I made stencils of sayings, words, etc. for each holiday and I find myself turning to these each year for a few blocks and signs . Here's what I do: 1. go to the garage. 2. look for wood in wood pile.* 3. grab a few. 4. paint them. 5. leave them for a few days. 6. find my stencils (made from over head projector screen that I have printed directly on and used an exacto knife to cut out the letters). 7. stipple (proper term, I'm told) the paint on the board using the stencil. 8. check and see if I remember how to use the drill press. 9. drill holes in the corners. 9. sand the edges crazily using my husband's (now mine, I think) electric hand sander. 10. stain. 11. add wire, ribbon etc.

*another option is to find 2x4's and make blocks with holiday phrases and words.

I know these are a bit country, but the fact of the matter is, it's a lot of bang for your buck. The wood is usually free (from friends or left over from my husband's job sites) and I have all the stuff laying around.

These are the two that I got done the other day. Fun to add to existing wreaths or whatever!