After my first attempt at making a chalkboard for my sister's baby back in May (Capturing the Moments - Wooden Chalkboard Frame) I had a second chance to perfect this project for the much anticipated Baby Stella. I didn't plan on making one for her, mostly because I don't like to force my projects onto people, but after my sister-in-law saw the frame for Maya, I received increasing pressure, which started simply as, "I want one!" and escalated to sending a text message from "Baby Stella," wanting to know where is her chalkboard. I got the hint and, after a lot of thinking and trial and error, eventually came up with this little beauty (sorry for the horrible photos).
I was unable to make the same chalkboard as last time because Michael's didn't have the frame I used, or anything close to it that I liked. It also didn't help that I was being trailed though the store by my husband who typically likes to hurry through the store and my son who really wanted to buy a toy that his behavior did not merit. I do have to say that my husband was quite helpful during this trip and his input was valuable. He was the one who found the wooden letters and the tags that I put them on, plus they were on clearance. I love the style of these letters, much more so than the dot letters I used on the first chalkboard.
So, we got home and this is what I had first put together.
As much as I love the laser cut frames (Recovery is a Slow Process), I wasn't in love with the idea of using one for this purpose, but as I got further into the project I really loved the extra decoration that it added, which also meant that I didn't need further embellishment. I'd also purchased another frame, but the shape of it just did not work well with the letters. The best part about this frame was that I was able to use the leg and back piece that would allow it to stand up, which the laser frames do not have.
***Side Note*** I HATE, HATE, HATE when glitter rubs off of projects. It is bad enough that my husband has to go around sparkling for days because I've created a seemingly endless haze of glitter dust, but crumbling glitter means that the quality of the project is diminishing. Not cool! To combat this, I pulled out Mod Podge Dimensional Magic and coated over the glitter on each letter . I couldn't have asked for better results. The finish was smooth and hard and the glitter was completely covered. Success!
Next, were the tags. The shapes were super cute, but I didn't love the holes. I know, I know, they are tags, and tags have holes, but the holes were just not right for this project. So, I traced the rectanglar-ish tags and covered them with my coveted October Afternoon papers. The scalloped circles were a little more challenging; I didn't feel like I could trace and cut and end up with nice looking scallops. My solution was to paint the wood and then heat emboss a stamped pattern to it. These are actually my favorite tags. I love the glossiness of the embossing against the matte paint.
After gluing the letters to the tags, my last decision was to either glue the tags down straight or slant them. I really liked them slanted, but wasn't sure if that would be a little too much with everything else going on with the patterns and colors and letter and tags... But after some input from my sister, I decided to just go with it.
To finish it off, I put the chalkboard vinyl onto the rectangular piece that was attached to the leg stand and my husband helped me attach it to the frame by creating wooden holders to keep the back piece in place.
***LINKING UP TO:***
Looking at my phone, I can see that I already have enough pictures to fill up my mini album, particularly from yesterday's excursion. Noah and I visited a local nature center and participated in their Wild Wednesday program. We went on a hike, learned about owls, and saw some local wildlife that made my five year old so excited that he can't wait to go back next week.
So now the challenge is on. I need to make sure that my photos get into the album, and I also need to make sure that I have pages on which to put the photos.
So far I have these:
I cut three out of the four pages from maps; two of them came from an atlas, the other two are from a great map from our trip to Minnesota last fall. The fifth page is simply a piece of cardstock that fit well with my color scheme. I think these will work with a bunch of the pictures. We are going to downtown Chicago this afternoon, so the cityscape could work for those pictures. Although perhaps a little weird that it isn't the Chicago skyline. I'm thinking it would work because the buildings won't be identifiable by the time pictures and captions are added. The Minnesota map has such great graphics, I'd hate to not use it, and I don't want to become such a pack rat that I try and wait until I make the trip up there again to take photos that may or may not want to use with the map.
Any thoughts? Do you think it is a bad idea to use location-specific backgrounds with photos and items from a different location? I think if it is done in a subtle way, then it is ok.
***Side Note*** I LOVE Minnesota. Beside having beautiful scenery, the people are very nice, and Minneapolis and St. Paul are fun cities. Plus, it is the home of October Afternoon!
My birthday is (all too) rapidly approaching, so to help ease the pain, the big guy has ordered me the Silhouette CAMEO that I've requested. Now I just have to wait. I suppose we could have bought one at a physical store, but the only store that I could find that sells them is Paper Source. Oh, my beloved Paper Source! I really, truly wanted to purchase this magical machine from you, but your $299.99 price tag was too steep, especially since it didn't come with the packaged perks that many online stores offer. But I will purchase the sketch pens from you until the day I die (or until I find another, cooler machine). I have to give credit to Overstock.com for selling the CAMEO for $279.99, which included the $10 card to buy designs at the Silhouette online store AND one for $25, and free shipping. What a bargain!
So, again, now I just have to wait. If you need me, I will be sitting at my new craft desk twiddling my thumbs for the next five to ten business days.
This weekend I told my husband that I would like to put a desk in our third bedroom to use for crafting, instead of constantly cluttering the dining room table or working on the living room floor. I've mentioned this previously but got a bad look and the suggestion of taking over the basement, instead (Yay! Who doesn't love being in a dark NOT refinished basement?). So, I continued to make the living room and dining room my own personal craft studio, and I don't think it has bothered my husband, but it started to drive me nuts, so I spoke up, again. And it worked.
We bought me a simple white desk from Ikea that has a sliding side table. The space is everything I've wanted and it has already started to inspire me. My only issue is that there isn't enough storage to allow me to make it look Martha Stewart-worthy, but I'm working on that. I've relegated myself to the thought that I may have to store some things in the big, bad basement, but that isn't the end of the world, especially since I have a really cool book shelf and a cabinet with glass doors already down there, which were purchased in anticipation of me taking the unchartered territory of the basement by storm.
I'd like to hang a simple shelf above the desk, but I thought I should give myself some time to figure out how I will actually use the space... I'll post pictures of my little haven once I've gotten to that point. For now, I will just share my first creation made on the new desk. I'm crazy about the fun little collage magnets that I've seen on Pinterest, so I made one of my own. It was a simple little Sunday night project that I could easily start and complete, and didn't keep me up until two in the morning.
One thing I should probably mention is that the dog sleeps in this room each night (better for him to have his own bed than to sleep in mine, he likes to spoon), so I have to share it with him...and unlike my husband, I think he's a little more particular about keeping things neat and in order. Maybe I should have married the dog.
I did it!
I told my sister that I'd make my niece an Olympics dress if she ordered the adorable fabric that she found on fabric.com. It was a half selfish agreement on my part because I really love the London icons fabric but didn't have an excuse to buy it for myself.
It was quite amazing that I received the fabric last Thursday and had the dress completed by the following Tuesday; I never get through a project that quickly.
Since this was the first dress I've EVER made, there were some bumps. Maybe I should have used a pattern, but what's the fun in that?
The plan was for me to make a skirt and then attach it to a tank top that my sister already had. Unfortunately, my sister was out of town the weekend I was putting this together, so I had to buy one myself, and let me tell you, it wasn't easy to find a solid colored tank top when all the stores I went to have already shifted to fall clothes. My tank top radar was finally able to locate a single red tank top mixed in with some Forth of July straggler tanks at Walmart, so I jumped on it. It was made out of thin, ribbed cotton; I didn't want ribbed, but at that point I just wanted to get it done before the Olympics were over.
The ribbing did end up being my arch nemesis. When attached and stretched, it swallowed up more of the skirt than I created. So, what resulted was what I call a "quirky" vertical stripe. The other craps shoot was the size. My niece is 12 months old, but is a little peanut, so I wasn't sure if the dress would be too big, and of course I didn't take any measurements.
In the end I heart my I Heart London dress, quirks and all! But what will my sister think? She can be a tough crowd. And will it fit the baby? More to come on her reaction...
Last weekend I put in a mad effort to try and complete, in two days, the beach bag that I have been planning in my head for at least two months. Ha! What I forgot to take into consideration was my lack of a solid plan and my sub-par sewing skills (I employ the figure-it-out-as-you-go-along technique). What resulted was a semi-planned first side and a "what the heck was I thinking?" flip side.
Below, I have displayed some very graphic and raw photos that may scar you for life...CONSIDER YOURSELF WARNED!
This is where I'm at with my tote. It's a little all over the place, a little wrong, and a little whimsical, I guess that's what makes it so perfect for me. When I look at any of my creations I ask myself, "If I saw someone with this on the street would I think it's cute?" Well, the jury is still out for me, but I'm not even close to being done. I still have to replace the handles, attach the ruffles, and sew on the patches that go onto the striped side.
One thing that I can say for sure is that I've had a blast using my mermaid stamp from Paper Source. For this project, I've been stamping the image on fabric with both a fabric-friendly ink pad and fabric paint. By using the stamp pad, I reliably produced a clear image almost every time, but the thrill of using the paint was awesome! I never knew if she would end up looking like an retro print or come out looking like she had a beard!
I've deamed this "Beach Tote Weekend!"
It's also Block Party Weekend and Clean the House Weekend, but I'm most excited about the tote.
My family and I will be going on a little trip to the beach with my in-laws, and, to put my own personal spin on it, I'm making my own beach bag.
I'm really loving the Salt Air line by Cosmo Cricket for Moda Fabrics (whale tails, bubbles, and scales). It has this really cool retro-under-the-sea vibe that makes me want to watch Frankie and Annette movies. Here's a small glimpse into where this project is going:
I'm a part-time-on-the-weekends-during-the-wee-small-hours-of-the-morning-when-the-stars-align crafter. There are so many projects that I want to get to, but not enough time to. My husband is my voice of reason when it comes to making craft supply purchases and he always lets me know when I've been holed up in my craft room for too long. My son is my biggest critic, nothing gets shown to the public until I get his, "That's cool," stamp of approval. At times I have craft-induced insomnia where I cannot sleep until I finish what I'm working on. Occasionally, my end result is exactly what I was going for, but usually I find myself creating something totally different that what I'd intended. No matter what, it's an adventure!