Friday, December 27, 2013

Wreath gone wrong

I wanted to make my own wreath using ribbon I found. It was a nice wide wire rim ribbon. I see tons of them on Pinterest. I never actually read the directions.
I started by folding the ribbon back and forth in equal lengths. Then I decided I wanted a less uniform look so I started over making the lengths a little uneven. I then took floral wire and wove it through the sections.
Since I wanted good support, I actually ran two pieces of wire through. In this photo you can see the bottom wire already woven as I am running the top wire through. My theory was that at the end I would form the two wires in to loop that met each other, thus making the wreath shape.
After I wove all the ribbon and pulled the wire tight, I realized I had grossly underestimated how much ribbon this project would take. I ended up with a flat wreath that looked nothing like a wreath at all. At this point I decided I needed a plan "B".
Hanging Loop
I decided to fluff up all the loops I had made and see what happened. I kept fluffing and reworking, again and again until I was reasonably happy with the result.
"wreath" bow
In the end I had made what my supportive family referred to as the "world's prettiest bow". I am not convinced. And I still don't have my wreath. On the bright side, I didn't use my favorite of the ribbons I bought. And I did go back and read the directions on Pinterest, so perhaps this next time I will get it right. Stay tuned.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Employee Gifts

Every year I make a little something to give to my husband's employees as a "Thank You" at Christmas time for all their hard work. I try to change it up and make something different each year.
This year I decided to do little spice jars. Here is a collection of the spices I collected. I worked from a recipe that my mom gave me a couple of years ago. We refer to it as "Bam Bam" as it is an all purpose spice recipe from Emeril Lagasse that she found online somewhere. My copy of the recipe is on a little scrap of paper in faded pencil from my mom. It took me three batches of the recipe to fill 18 jars.

Here they are all lined up on the counter. They are actually from the wedding favor department at Michael's and were on sale. They worked out to be $0.70 per jar before filling. 
Not sure why this rotated?
Here are all the jars with their tags on them. I cut out the tags on my Cricut machine and then embossed them with red embossing powder and my heat gun to make them nice and sparkly. On the back of the tags I added a printed note saying that it was Bam-Bam and an all purpose seasoning. Everyone loved them. I didn't think to calculate the total cost once the spices were mixed, but I do have quite a bit of left over spices. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

31 Days of Pics: Day 01

Today's Assignment: Music

This one was pretty easy for her to come up with something since both she and the hubby have musical talent. She is learning to play the keyboard so this book is usually in her room on the stand. Currently though, the keyboard came down to make way for her Christmas tree.

Christmas Blocks

I saw these for sale online, but I didn't want to pay the prices the website wanted. So, I thought...I can do that. I do love the lumber department at my local Home Depot.
Cut & Painted
I went with the traditional red and green, adding a generic white, from my paint collection. Then came the fun part. Once again, using my overly out of control scrapbook paper collection I pulled out some fun prints. Deciding on which words to use was a joint effort - I got the kiddo to help. We used my Cricut machine to cut out all the letters. 

To adhere the letters we used our trusty Modge Podge. I do love that stuff and it is so easy to use. The best part is that it only takes a few minutes to use and apply. Once that step was done, I used an outdoor spray sealant over the whole thing to make sure it was relatively weather proof. I live in the desert, so no snow....but we do get the occasional rain. 
All done. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Froggy Fun - Snacks

Still continuing the frog theme for the party, I decided to make a couple fun snacks. These were really more about table decoration than actually thinking they would get eaten. They were fun to make. We happen to have one of those "every old fashioned candy you forget ever existed" stores near our house, so that made things easier.
I should mention that other than the actual snacks, and one $1 spool of ribbon from Michael's craft store, this project was made out of stuff I already had here.
First was this easy tag:

Why is my photo rotating??? Grrr....
 Which I put on to this jar and filled it with green grapes. Healthy snacks are important at a party too! Now lets get on to the tasty treats!!

The frog eyes were little green and white sour gummy circles and the pucker up label was on these cute little "kissing frog" gummies - both of which I put in some extra canning jars I had on hand. I will say that being able to screw the lid on and take it with me to the party was super handy!

Froggy Fun - Banner

Throwing a surprise party is fun. A friend is a huge fan of frogs. Her BF, and the official party planner told me to take the theme and run with it. So I did.

First I cut out some "tags" using my Cricut.
Again, referencing my out of control paper collection, I added green patterned paper mats to each tag.

This part was pretty easy, using scraps from my collection. I made sure that one side of the mats was a perfect 3" to give me even cuts across a 12" paper, which a lot of mine are. I thought about rounding the corners but that seemed like unnecessary extra work.
Next came the letters. Since it was a frog theme, I went with "Hoppy Birthday". I used more scrap and just played mix and match. I also went through all of the fonts on my Cricut and played mix and match with those too.
On either end of "Hoppy" and her name I added this cute little guy.....taken from a Google search for "frog clipart".
I originally knotted the ribbon on the tags, but then they didn't lay right when I was hanging it. So I decided on this little double loop pattern.
It worked out much better. I alternated feeding the first loop from the front, then from the back. The banner laid perfectly after that. I left it in three separate strips since I wasn't sure how big a space I had to hang it at the party location.
And of course I forgot to take a nice photo of it after I hung it up.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sending Sunshine

My BFF (who is amazing!) has been having a run of rough luck as of late. With a quick search around Pinterest, I found that lots of people had ideas on "sending sunshine" in a box. No one of them really fit my needs, but I did get inspired.

First I had to make the box pretty. Thank you overly large scrapbook paper collection and Cricut machine that I don't use often enough.

Then came the shopping! Torture, of tortures - shopping! Ok, that was a fib. I actually LOVE shopping. :)
I went to a couple of different places, to get more of a variety. I hit Target, Wal-mart, Fry's grocery, and Total Wine. I came away with this haul:

Crystal Lite, flowers, banana, bath puff, Milk Duds, Juicy Fruit, lemon tea, Lays Chips, Vanilla Cookies, candle, ducky, Post-its, scarf, nail polish, and an assortment of mini bottles from the liquor store. The intention was for the banana to yellow on the way there. It was still partially green, but since my bestie prefers them that way, it worked out. The scarf was not the only yellow choice but she is also just a little on the rocker side of style, so I thought she would like the studs. The yellow polish was a given, but when I found the more muted gold/yellow I couldn't pass it up since the color name was "Best Friend". I even put it in a little cello bag with a card stock topper telling her to read the color name.

I had some left over ribbon from another project that I used to tie up the flowers and a cute yellow printed ribbon that I tied on the small bottles. I wrote a note on the top page of the Post-It pad. Then I shredded some yellow paper (again thank you way-too-large paper collection) and used it to pack the whole thing up and ship it off.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Getting the hang of it......

Still new to the whole concept of blogging. Randi has been essential in my current small successes. And my family is being super supportive as well. Adam just commented that he was happy for me since I found another creative outlet - I should pause here to note that my scrapbook hobby currently consists of hundreds of dollars of unused "stuff".

I am hoping that Becky does not include "craft or hobby space" in her current 31 days of organizing challenge. I may be in trouble if she does. But I am loving having someone to give me inspiration and ideas as well as an outlet to share my ideas.

I have my own idea for a challenge coming up. I was going to start in January but I may need a warm up possibly December. After all, it's not like I am busy with anything during Christmas.

 I must be crazy.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Not So Green Thumb.....

Well, ok maybe a light shade of almost mint green thumb. I started this summer with high hopes for a garden. As the weather is turning colder I will be constructing an actual outdoor raised bed garden. (Ambitious, I know)

For now, since I wanted to get started I used coffee mugs in my kitchen window as starter pots. Why coffee mugs? Because my brother - the TRUCKER - brings me one from every place he visits. Needless to say I am always on the lookout for uses for coffee mugs - but that's a different story.

Cucumber & Jalapeno
So, here are my babies. You will note they have outgrown their mugs. (I guess I will have to plant more in those!) The cucumber vine got so long it needed a trellis so my hubby, Adam , built this one for me out of paint sticks!!

Mind you I have NO idea when (if ever) any harvesting should be done since this is the first plant life I have kept alive more than a week. But I am determined. Wish me luck!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Nail Polish Storage

I have a problem.... If I wear open toe shoes, my toe nail color has to "go" with my outfit. It's an obsession. I know that it is ridiculous. For those of you who get mani/pedis, I can see how this would become an expensive obsession. Luckily, I can't stand to have my feet touched and thus have only had one pedi in my entire life. It. Was. Agony.

That being said, I spend a lot of time and money on nail polish. Until recently I kept it in a bin that was a pain to dig through. Then I came up with this....

Inexpensive shower bins - remove suction cups from the back. Then just simply screw them to the wall. Fill with polishes and you have a quick easy way to see all your lovely colors.

Why make a blog?

So, my friend Randi (who is AMAZING!) has a blog of her very own. She is super crafty and I love her ideas. She inspired me to try and get my crafty life together. I came up with a game plan, and I think now she will be keeping tabs on me. So... here I first attempt at blogging. Please be kind.