Category Archives: Crafts

Chalk It Up to Love

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I have this new friend who is kinda awesome… And by kinda I mean Really Really, so you should go see her.

Lauren over at The Thinking Closet recently did a chalkboard round-up. It was full of really fantastic ideas, and one in particular jumped out at me.

Chalkboard Coasters!

I’m excited! Can you see my excitement?!!! { !!! }

I had some ugly not my style coasters with an Italian landscape print on them. So I fixed them, not knowing at the time what I wanted to do with them. I love what a good coat of white paint can do!

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The not-as-ugly coasters waited patiently in my craft room until a time should come when I had a purpose for them. That time arrived about a week ago {give or take} when I saw Lauren’s chalkboard round-up. I have so many different chalkboard things floating around our house, so I have extra chalkboard paint that was also waiting patiently for a purpose. It’s always nice when you can use up two {or more} supplies in one project.

Now, without further ado, I present my finished coasters…

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Now, I just need to make my pallet coffee table so I’ll have a place for my new coasters in the living room where everyone can see.

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Then She Was Hooked…

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I’m supposed to be cleaning. I didn’t make it very far, but I did at least clean up our breakfast dishes. That just leaves… everything else. But I’ve been meaning to write this post for weeks now. So here it is {finally}

In high school, I decided I wanted to learn how to crochet. Well, at the ripe old age of 17 or 18, I didn’t have the patience for it… or any concept of gauge. I still have the “scarf” I started & I have a craft/inspiration project waiting for it.
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When I found this, I was attempting to clean my craft room {the new nursery} and all progress was halted. In the box where I found this, I also found my “I Taught Myself To Crochet” kit… and a partial skein of yarn. Nothing else was accomplished that day… except that I re-learned how to crochet, and went to the store to buy some pretty yarn. When I got back, I hit Pinterest {if anything productive was going to happen the rest of the day, now any chance was shot} and found this amazing scarf pattern from Jenn Ozkan. It works a half double crochet the length of the scarf for a ribbed look that you would get from knitting. The scarf was eventually dubbed “The Scarf That Never Ends” because the project felt like it took forever. My younger sister had her baby, and my older sister and I were sitting together “yarning”… I looked at her work, then at mine, then back at hers… well, poo! I’m doing it wrong. I don’t know how else to explain it, but there was NO slack in my work. I held everything tightly, and as a result I got very stiff, dense results. So  “The Scarf That Never Ends” got a little longer… because I pulled the entire thing and started over.

Luckily, I had been working half double crochets for so long it was like muscle memory. I focused on keeping my stitches loose and soft, and was able to make the same scarf with a skein and a half versus needing a third skein. I added a little fringe to the ends and put it on…. {face-palm }it was too short. My mom just happened to be with me, and she bought it as a Christmas gift for my 7-year old niece. I also made her a matching hat {that I didn’t take a picture of}

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Back to the craft store for more yarn… I have fallen deeply in love with Lion Brand Homespun Yarns. They’re extremely soft, chunky, and the colors are mind blowing! Take a look!

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I’m working on several scarves and other goodies for the {long neglected}etsy shop. That’s another resolution, in conjunction with getting my craft area moved to the garage & in some semblance of order, I need to get the stuff I’ve made out of totes & onto the interwebs. Now, I leave you with a cuteness factor of 11! My partner in crime…

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A Quilt for My {not a} Baby – Part 1

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I’ve been saying for a little over 2 years now that I want to make a quilt for my little bud. Well, since hubby dearest & I now agree that we will indeed try for a second child {this was an epic battle, btw} I have decided I need to make bud’s quilt before said baby arrives. I am going to use mostly blue and green, but possibly red and yellow should the notion strike me. The next dilemma was finding a pattern that doesn’t scream TWO-YEAR OLD so that he can continue to use it well into his youth {let’s be real, I’m probably only ever making him one quilt}so I began my search several weeks ago. Today, I found it…

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Thank you sooo much to Helping Little Hands for the idea. I played around with some pieces of paper until I got the pattern down. Once again, I was over thinking the whole thing. It’s actually going to be rather simple. Time consuming, but simple. Here’s the gist of it:

You will start out with a square. Cut the square into 3 equal strips. {I plan to use a 15 x 15 square, so each strip will be 5″ wide.}

From the center strip, you will cut 2 small pieces from either end. I think 1/4 of the strip would be reasonable, but I am still playing with the pattern.

The layout may be better shown in a picture.

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If you look at the black pieces, the two “male” ends of the piece were cut from the center piece. Each “puzzle piece” will alternate directions, and will be interlocked. And then I hit a wall trying to figure out how they did it. I looked and looked… and looked. I kept seeing the puzzle piece as a whole instead of looking at it from a quilting perspective. Guess what?! It’s a bunch of squares!

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It’s going to be crucial that I lay everything out before I piece together a single square, but that’s all it is! I can’t wait to get started! Unfortunately, It will be at least January before I can have a go at it, because the holidays just wipe me out.

Keep Calm and SPARKLE!

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As you venture into the uncertain world of motherhood, you find yourself overwhelmed by feelings. One of those feelings is back pain from carrying SO MUCH STUFF! I didn’t realize how much I put into my satchel purse to cut down on the number of bags I carry. I have the monster’s diaper bag {Praise God for potty training! This bag will be gone soon!} plus my purse. That doesn’t sound too terrible until you take a look at my purse and all the stuff I think I need to carry with me at all times. Take a peek…

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So I decided to bite the bullet and get another bag. I’ve set a goal recently to read at least one chapter of my Bible everyday. Some days that is easier said than done… but I’m working on it. That being said, Bibles are heavy… and bulky… and I don’t like the verision I downloaded to my Kindle {still searching for a better version} So I decided that I need a bag specifically for my Bible, devotionals, and journal/notebook. Just those three or four books would be a huge weight-loss for my purse {and the back carrying it } so it was decided. One Bible bag coming up. Only… the ones I saw {in my price range}kind of reminded me of a grandma… and not the “new” trendy grandmas that are sporting their Vera bags and matching accessories… I mean the way grandmas used to be with lace and floral and cross-stitched kittens.

There was a split second where I didn’t know what to do… and when I snapped out of it, my body had teleported to the Clearance aisle at Wal-Mart. Not a lot going on there, but my store is set up brilliantly with the clearance right next to the crafts {it’s like they know me}so I popped over to see what caught my eye. A 3-pack of canvas totes. Pink, grey, and turquoise. $6 for three bags… that’s a no-brainer. So I took them home and raided my art supplies. GLITTER!!!Oh, yes, this will do nicely. Now I just have to figure out what it is I want it to be doing…

To make a rather long process into a shorter, easier to follow process, I will just line up a bunch of photos of the different stages. I had two inspirations when I started; bubbles, and ombre.

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I really liked it… but it was not actually my style. It was a lot of fun to make, but not something I would carry. So it was donated to a good cause… my little sister.

Fortunately, while I had been waiting for all that glitter to dry, I had been playing with the grey tote. And through a little trial and error, came up with a bag that was much more “me”.

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I also added one of my favorite verses to the back side. “Trust the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6”

It is a lesson I struggle with daily, but I am also finding it easier to let God have it. There’s little I hate worse than feeling helpless, and for a long time that’s what I thought of when people said “Give it to God.” It felt like giving up. Like I was too weak to push through it, and expected someone to do it for me… and in a sense, that’s exactly what I’m doing. I am constantly saying “I need Your help. I don’t understand, and I can’t do this on my own.” And do you know what He says? In John 15:4-5, he says, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”

That last part is where I find comfort, oddly enough, because in those words – apart from me you can do nothing – He is telling me that it’s ok. I can’t carry my burdens alone, and I shouldn’t try. He is prepared to handle any and everything, but he’s also prepared to wait until I ask for help. I have to give up that ego, that pride that says I’m a big girl & I’ll handle it. Just a hint, for those who also struggle with this, it really is much easier to let Him handle it. {He can also do a much better job. Just sayin’.}

Well, I wasn’t planning a sermon, but sometimes they just come. I hope that means that one of you needed these words, and I hope they find you.

I shall call her Cupcake

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My sister is having a baby {like, any day now she could pop} and with the new addition comes clothes. Lots and lots and lots of clothes. So a dresser was needed. She found this really nice, white dresser at a yard sale for $25. A little steep, but it’s solid wood, and more important it was needed. 1022122255

“London, can you make this pretty? Ooh! and sparkly!!”

“Of course, I can!” {Because never have I turned down the chance to paint a piece of furniture… and I hope I never will.}

So, I started with color choices. I had just bought her a pink and blue baby blanket with cupcakes all over it. Chocolate cupcake with pink sprinkles!!! That was the easy part… After several days, I was able to narrow down to one brown, and two pinks. A 9-year old girl made the final pink decision for me.
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Who wouldn’t love a dresser in their room that was a “Fudge Celebration”?!! I mean, really.

I got slightly carried away, and didn’t take “during” pics. So, above was the Before… and here is the After.
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However, I did not get the “sprinkles” made until after I had returned the dresser to her rightful home. With baby coming any day now, her momma needed to start loading all those clothes into her dresser. These will be added to the “Cupcake” next time I’m over to the house.
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I’m linking up at these great parties…
See Vanessa Craft

I’m sorry, did you say glitter shoes?!!

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I’ve been sucked in to the glitter-everything-in-sight bandwagon. It’s so sparkly I’m not sure how I avoided it for so long. Several of my beautiful bloggy buddies {say that five times fast } have done some spectacular tutorials for all kinds of glittered goodies. Check out Vanessa’s Mod Christmas Art or her Glitter Snake Wreath. Both are adorable and easy! Another blog mom is Jenilyn, and I absolutely adore all of her fashion adventures. She makes the cutest clothes for her little girl, and I’m really excited to see what she whips up for the baby boy on his way. Anyway, she also has big girl projects like her Glitter Shoes. I just had to do some of my own.

Here’s a very quick how-to for my shoes.

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I told you it was quick! I only used one coat because I liked the subtle sparkle in the black.

Here’s a sneak peek at my next sparkly project…

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See Vanessa Craft

{almost} Free Ironing Board Bookshelf

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As I’ve been {finally} getting my craft room together, I was ready to get to work on a project I pinned forever ago. Unfortunately, I do not know the source of my inspiration thanks to all of the pinning and re-pinning that goes on. Here is the photo. If anyone know the source, I will most definitely link back properly.

PhotobucketI’m a huge fan of organization, and grouping things together by their purpose. When I saw this combination ironing board and fabric storage a few months ago, I was instantly in love. I began keeping my eye out for similar shelving units so I could incorporate this into my new craft room. My search proved a more difficult task that I thought.

But one day, I came home to find a perfect foundation for my project. Just sitting in my garage as if by magic. A little better than magic, maybe. It was free! Turns out, hubby dearest’s father was getting new goodies for his tool shed. He no longer needed this shelf, so he brought it to us. He suggested finding a good spot in the garage to help get things organized… HA! There’s been no organization in there since we moved in. Why start now? Besides, I knew exactly where this shelf was going. My Room!
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 It was a very heavy piece of furniture to carry up the stairs… by myself… while my toddler was napping….           but I got it.

First step was to take stock of what kind of shape he was in. This piece is definitely a he. Too bulky and rough to be feminine at all. I got out a dust rag, and wiped away the dirt, grime, and cobwebs. Underneath, I found another layer of grime, so I got some warm water and wiped him down again. As you can see below, some things were going to take a little more time to get really clean… I didn’t want have that kind of time.

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So I did what all lazy cheap crafty mommas do. I covered up the mess. Dollar Tree had rolls of contact paper that were 18″x 1.5 yds… for a dollar. That was my only expense for this project. $4 worth of contact paper. Everything else was stuck somewhere in my stash of goodies. Crud. That’s not actually true. I bought a staple gun and staples because I was tired of always having to borrow my mom’s. So my project total was actually $14. Still that’s pretty sweet.

Here’s where that new staple gun comes in.

What you’ll need:

  • Your shelf (obviously)
  • Batting
  • Fabric (and trim if you want)
  • Staples & Staple gun
  • Measuring tape (this was an afterthought and I’m glad I thought of it before I cut)
  • Scissors
  • Patience (especially important when your two-year old wants to “help”)

Measure the length and width of the shelf top. I added two inches to make sure there was enough material to cover the edge of the shelf. Cut your batting {I used two layers}and lay it flat across the top shelf. I wish now that I would’ve taken pictures along the way of where to staple first. I stapled the middle of one long side, then did the same for the other long side. Repeat for shorter sides. After that, I wrapped and stapled the corners so that they laid flat {}again wishing I had taken a picture to show what I’m talking about and stapled the “middles” from where I had already stapled, working all the way around the shelf. { You use a LOT of staples. Just FYI.} And tah-dah the batting is done!

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The only things different about stapling the fabric is that I only used one layer {it seemed silly to use two, but I guess if you used a thinner cotton you might} and I folded the raw edges under so there were no frays showing when I stapled them to the edge of the shelf. The rest was exactly the same.

I’m in love with how it has turned out, and got to work on a few sewing projects immediately. I am still, however, sorting my fabric. I’m in desperate need of a “system” if anyone knows where to find a tutorial of sorts on such a thing.

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