September Project of the Month – MacKenzie-Childs inspired pumpkin

This has been a crazy month with all the hurricane activity (Harvey, Irma, Maria).  Fortunately we were extremely lucky (with Hurricane Irma in eastern Florida) and only lost power for a couple of days.  And the only damage was to our fence.  My heart goes out to those in Texas, Florida and the Caribbean who continue to battle for the basic necessities.

So needless to say this has been a month of limited projects.  I did knit several hats during the storm and the ensuing power outage.  And I was able to keep up with Etsy jewelry orders – at least the filling of the orders – even though the mail was knocked out for over a week.

But now that things are returning to normal I am trying to get into the holiday spirit – at least a little.  I have always been a fan of MacKenzie-Childs so when I saw their pumpkins I knew I wanted to have one.  And by have one, I mean make one.  So I bought an antiqued white pumpkin at Michael’s, along with some black paint and some gold paint and gave it a try.

 

I am please with the results and look forward to enjoying my pumpkin during the Halloween and Thanksgiving seasons.  And NO MORE HURRICANES!!!!

UPDATE:  Encouraged by my first pumpkin success (and a sale at Michael’s) I decided to make a second pumpkin for my mother.  I hope she likes it.

 

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August Project of the Month – Embroidery, Knitting, Cross Stitch

For some curious reason this month has rekindled my desire to revisit some old crafting methods. I guess it started with seeing all the cute embroidery hoop art on Instagram and wanting to give it a try.

I started by ordering a kit on Etsy from SarahKBenning@etsy.com and making these cacti.  I highly recommend her kit. The instructions were just what I needed to refresh my memory and they were super easy to follow.

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Then I tried a couple on my own.

My last attempt was a pumpkin for a Halloween card.

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About that time I saw Jennifer McGuire’s video on cross stitch cards. I ordered the die from Paper Smooches and when it arrived I CASed her rainbow card and did another pumpkin card.

I will definitely try more of the cross stitch cards but with the random color blocking and no designs. I think they are so much more effective and easier to do.

Lastly I got on a knitting kick. My mother has been making hats and mittens for generations of our family. She also donates dozens to different agencies around the country. So I have joined in. I’m not happy with my mittens and will have to wait to get together with her one on one for some lessons. But the hats are off and running.

Here is my first set.

Obviously I am a novice at all of these crafts and probably will never do another embroidery project. But how do you know what you like and what you’re good at until you try?

August Project of the Month: Back to School Cards and Halloween

Trying to stay cool in the Florida heat by making some cards.

First up is a back to school card I made for my niece and nephews.  I used the Stampin’ Up Jar of Love stamp set to stamp and cut the jars and the fish.  I used Ranger Glossy Accents on the fish to make them look wet.  And I embossed part of the background with Woodgrain by Darice.  A big thank you to Sandra Collett, a Stampin’ Up demonstrator, for the idea and inspiration (http://www.stampinup.net/esuite/home/sandracollett/blog?directBlogUrl=%2Fblog%2F4000578%2Fentry%2Fa_troubling_of_goldfish).  I wish I were as creative as she.

 

I printed the inside sentiment on my computer and the fish stamp on the envelope.

I also made a few Halloween cards on my Silhouette Cameo with die cuts from Silhouette Studio.

 

Here are a couple more Halloween Cards.  The first was made with Stampin’ Up Jar of Love, patterned paper and Washi tape.  I also used the double pierced rectangular die from Avery Elle.  I used the Silhouette Cameo to print and cut the candy corn for the shaker portion.  The second card was made entirely on the Silhouette Cameo – well, okay I used a circle die for the moon – but everything else was Silhouette.

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Stampin’ Up Jar of Love

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Using Silhouette Cameo

Now onto Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Painted Wood Signs with the Silhouette Cameo

DSCN3618Valentine’s Day is on the way and I wanted a sign for my front entrance so that is my February Project Of The Month.  There are lots of people doing pretty wood painted signs on Pinterest and I wanted to give it a try.  I found a piece of scrap pine in my garage, cut it in half lengthwise and figured I could get four signs out of it (using front and back of each half).DSCN3617 DSCN3615

First I spray painted a couple of coats of white paint on each side of both boards.  Next I cut out my lettering using the Silhouette Cameo (I’m slightly addicted) and contact paper.  (I thought I was being wise to use the contact paper rather than waste my vinyl, but I have since wondered if some of the problems I encountered might have been eliminated if I had used vinyl instead.)  Following advise from Pinterest posts I then applied Modge Podge (actually it was an old jar of Royal Coat).  This seemed wise since the contact paper wasn’t a tight fit on the wood even though I had sanded it after painting it.

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Once the Modge Podge dried, I painted the boards with two coats of beige paint to match my house.  Here is where the trouble started.  Some posts said to peel off the lettering before the paint completely dried.  Some said to wait.  Waiting is not my strong point so I went ahead and peeled.

(Actually I waited on the Christmas “NOEL” sign and that was even worse.)  The paint wanted to come up with the lettering and I had to work very slowly and carefully to get it off.  My intention was to “distress” the signs by sanding them at the end, but when I started sanding the Easter bunnies the paint started to come right off so I quit and decided not to distress anything.

In fact, for the Halloween witches I just applied black vinyl directly on the painted wood.  Mostly I just wanted the black color for the witches, but as it turned out I liked the crisper lines of the vinyl and it was WAY EASIER than the whole paint and peel routine.

Here are some great resources of more successful sign makers:

http://www.sugarbeecrafts.com/2012/06/pledge-allegiance-sign.html#_a5y_p=1224324

http://www.bystephanielynn.com/2011/11/marshmallow-wonderland-vignette-featuring-janet-from-todays-fabulous-finds-handmade-holidays-project-no-4.html

http://www.houseofhepworths.com/2012/03/29/you-me-custom-artwork-tutorial/