Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fire and Lightbulbs and Unity

I know, that is one amazing discovery I have made eh?  Being a mom of three little boys means that I am going to have shed any ideas about hours of crafty endeavors, shopping, and such, and be willing to get my hands a little dirty from time to time. I can't leave it all to Micah. And...


Here is the thing... I hate smelling like smoke. There, I said it. Right now I have friends scratching their heads as they have listened to me moan about my fireplaceless house, and how much I miss summer bonfires. (it is way too hot here to even think of a fire in the summer) And I do. I love a good fire, I just don't want to smell like it. I know, that is weird and picky and odd. See what my Micah is up against? (yes, i want eggs to eat, but i don't want them to smell "eggy". see... tricky stuff.)
Anyhoo, Sunday afternoon my Micah was gone, and there were copious amounts of leaves in our yard. I looked at my boys and knew... we needed to do some raking, and jumping, and yes... even burning. Plus, I really didn't want to have to hear another sports commentator go on and on and on about the Bills game.

So... out we went. Those boys, all three, picked up rakes and went to town.
we raked
and raked
and raked

We had a ginormous pile of leaves, though our yard still looked like a fallen leaves carpet, so I said, "Nobody move!" and grabbed my phone/camera. Then, they jumped happily until they saw the matches. "A fire! A fire! let's start them on FIRE!!!!"
Photo op over.

I made a water circle with the hose around the edge of our pile. I figured that was a Smokey the Bear approved move. We burned happily, and as the smoke billowed through my freshly straightened hair, (tragedy folks. tra-ge-dy. getting only one day out of freshly coiffed locks. ) I let the boys ignite sticks, poke at the pile, etc. and we were all enjoying the fire until, the wind switched directions. All of the sudden I had a blazing inferno and was having garden flashbacks.

I felt like a doofus for not thinking about the wind, but then I looked at how quickly and cooperatively my kiddos were getting along in the midst of the fire crisis and... you know that scene in Despicable Me where he says "Lightbulb!". Yeah, I had that moment.
I declared, "Hurry with the hose! We don't want to lose the house!!!

Hey, you breed unity your way, I'll breed it mine...


Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Home-Made Photo Canvas by crafty gal

I spied this idea last year on the internets. I have been waiting until I had some good photos of us to make them. When we went on a trip to the mountains in October, I got a chance to snap some photos of us. Here is what I made:

Here is how you do it:

Step 1: Gather Supplies.

 This will include modge podge (matte), 8x10 canvas, 8x10 photo, wax paper, strips of patterned paper, black paint, brushes, a clean towel.

Step 2: Modge Podge the canvas, even the sides.

 Step 3: While that is drying (about 20 min) take you paper and cut it into 10in and 8in strips. Keep the width a tad smaller than the actual canvas. (You will cover the white parts up later with paint anyway.) You re-modge podge each side, and I also did the actual papers too, based on one tutorial's advice.  Attach them to the sides, smoothing as you go.

Step 4: Trim about an 1/8 in off each side of the photo so it won't overlap the canvas. I forgot on my second and third ones, and it was a pain to correct later!  Then, place the photo face down on the wax paper, and modge podge the back. Place it on the canvas, using your towel to smooth it. Let dry. (about 20 min.)

Step 5: Cover your photo with modge podge. It will feel weird at first, and you will think you are ruining the photo. You aren't. It will look milky white until it dries.(about 20 min)

Step 5: Paint the edges. I dabbed the paint on pretty thick, then went back over it with a dry brush to blur the paint into the photo's edge. Keep that brush DRY so it blends better!  Let all this dry, and guess what... YOU ARE DONE!  Here is the finished result:

Here is how they look all finished up :)

and I made some smaller 4x4s for My Micah's office, my mom and my mother in law as Christmas gifts.

Happy Crafting :)

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Crafty Gal and the Old Window...

So, I have this old window. It may not have been obtained under the most honest of circumstances. I shant go into detail, but suffice to say, when you are going to burn down an old homestead, especially one that holds so many childhood memories for me, I feel no guilt at "lifting" an old window. Yep. E-mail all your complaints to judewon' .

Above you will see the old window. I hesitated greatly about what to do with it for months. Paint it? Sand it down? In the end, I realized that I wanted it the way I got it. Chipped up paint and all from the house I loved. I also realized this method was of great benefit to my being a lazy crafty gal. So, I just got out the Murphy's Oil Soap and went to cleaning. I love me some Murphy's Oil Soap. The minute we ripped up the carpet I went out and got some to use on the wood floor.
Anyway, the next debate was which side to use? I decided on the wood, for now. In part because I love the old rusted latch and bits of green paint that you can see on it.

I knew I wanted to use the window for photos, and again, went back and forth over the use of clips, magnets, etc. In the end, my inner lazy-crafty gal came to the rescue again and whispered to my weary soul "Glue Dots. Use the Glue Dots you dummy!" So I did.

Just like that, I was done. Bam. I love it. More for the place it represents in my heart and the memories I have of where it is from more than anything else. I can't wait until we get our walls painted and get it up for good somewhere.(click photos to enlarge)

Monday, November 07, 2011

Overheard No. 43,256

The "Overheards". AKA things I am forced blessed to hear from my offspring...

Scene: Hadji wants to light his jack o' lantern. I give him two new votive candles. Yes, TWO. Moms, for the love of pete, you sprang for the pumpkin, let that sucker shine bright for a few days. Give the kiddos two votives. He then asks if he can light them. I contemplate this situation, and decide to allow it. Why not? We buzzed off his hair, so its not like its going to catch on fire, and technically the inside of a pumpkin is wet, so...
Yes, I handed over a small book of matches to Hadji. Several of you who know Hadji are now questioning my sanity. You should be.  About ten minutes later, in walks Hadji.

Me: Pumpkin lit? 
Hadji: Yes, but there are no matches left.
Me: Emerson! That box of matches was FULL!!! What did you do?
H: proceeds to tell me in great detail how he and Lincoln burnt some dead leaves, but did so on top of wet leaves, and on the table... "Ya' know, just to be safe."
Me: (shaking head ) We do NOT play with matches Em.
H: Oh I wasn't playing with them. I was very, very serious.

Holy Hannah. This is my life...

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Crafty Gal and the Teeny Tiny Shelf

Whilst home in the B-lo this summer, my mother insisted I go look in her yard sale piles for anything I might want. (My mom has a propensity to yard sale cherished items, and save old tupperware bought from other people's yard sales. Yep, true story.) So, I was looking for my childhood photos amongst the piles, and spied this shelf. Sorry, I only snapped a phone pic of the total "before". You get the idea... old, stained brown, and really really really tiny openings. Apparently it was made to hold thimbles. I decided to take it home, and my mind started swirling with a plan for photos and the Teeny Tiny Brown Shelf.

** click on photos to enlarge
Last week, I finally got my idea going. Here are the photos of what I did, which was really quite simple.
First I removed the shelves, which just slid in and out, or I would never have done so. I also cleaned the shelf off at this point, as it was covered in dust and yard sale grime. I numbered the shelves so that I wouldn't be playing shelf puzzle later. 

I also laid them out and numbered my fancy dollar store tablecloth drop cloth. See my set up? I had 260 popsicle sticks to spray paint for Hadji's class too, so I was doubling up on the crafty gal time. Crafty gal mulit-tasker.

Next up I spray painted a bit of aqua blue paint on the pieces. What?!!? yes, I wanted to have a wee bit of that blue peeking through later on when I sanded the shelf.

Next step: Spray paint that baby white. I did two good coats, since I didn't sand it before hand. What? Don't judge, I said I was a lazy crafter, and its not like this is a piece of furniture. 

After that, you get busy sanding. I used a lighter grit paper, just to be careful. I just wanted to knock the "I just got spray painted shiny white!" look off, and give it more of a vintage vibe.

 Onto the photos... I just resized photos to a teeny tiny 1in x 1.375 in. Yes, that is the measurement I used. I dropped them onto a 4x6 document and printed them up. Then, get your sharp scissors out and get cutting. I left a wee bit o' white border, since I knew it would blend with the white of the shelf. I just free-hand cut these.

Then take your lovely pile of teeny tiny photos, and a glue stick, decide where you want to place them, and get busy. I realized too, at this point, that I should have vacuumed out the shelf after sanding. The wipe down didn't quite get all the grit out, but I only got a little light headed blowing it out, so no big deal.

I staggered the photos, just placing them where I liked them, putting an object shot amongst the portrait ones. I decided the shelf looked a little bare, so I gathered some little "5's" from my collection. (that idea is from my pal Chrissy. I now seek out anything with the number 5 to add to my collection. Feel free to contribute at any time :) )  Here are the finished results. I am pretty pleased with them, as was my mom when I told her. So glad some thimble collector didn't find the shelf at her yard sale before I did.

Bonus, it already had a hook, and I had an empty nail. Welcome to your new home shelf. Project Teeny Tiny Shelf... Done.