Showing posts with label crafty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label crafty. Show all posts

smash journal

My friend Rene told me about this video on stacyjulian's blog. It's a new product, and I would imagine the person who thought of this smash journal and pen/glue stick is going to make a lot of money. It's not really that complicated or revolutionary of a product, but it seems so novel in this video! And so fun.

Enjoy. It got my creative juices flowing today.

my weekend creative: color crayon abc's

I saw these molds used on another blog, and I loved the idea. They are Sillycone brand. I ordered them a week ago after realizing I had missed yet another 3 year-old's birthday...this time my niece, Ruby. It seems I have a lot of 3-year-olds in my life right now, all of them the kiddo of someone very dear to me which makes me want to give a gift to all of them...

I figured I could get the molds and then have this be my creative, thoughtful and inexpensive gift to be given to every kid for their birthday for ages to come. Paired with a blank art tablet, I think it's a pretty fun idea.

Craziest thing was that I have no old crayons in my life. I find this worthy to note, because within four years my guess is that I will have an abundance of old crayons surrounding me. But in this season I had to go out and purchase BRAND NEW crayons to be peeled and broken. There was no re in this recycling...

And here's the thing. Taking the paper off of brand new crayons is ridiculously hard. Crayola wants their paper wrapping to stay put. I had to use a knife on every single crayon, peeling the paper off. And then I used that knife to cut up the crayons into tiny pieces because if I broke them by hand, I could usually only get four parts per crayon.

All this to say: I thought this was going to be a quick project, but it took a lot of time. Thankfully I had the time today, but I way underestimated the prep work involved in this one.

Once I had the crayons peeled and broken into their letters, I placed them in the oven on a cookie sheet for 10 minutes at 275 degrees. This was a complete guess, and maybe there is an exact science to this, but it worked for me, and it just might work for you too.

When I took them out of the oven, it was obvious that the letters where I used two contrasting colors ended up more vivid and bright than the letters where I used two similar colors. I liked the letter I, because both colors were still so bright. I'll keep this in mind for next time...

I read on one site that the fumes from melted crayon wax aren't very good to inhale. I was mindful of this, and had fans running everywhere and I tried not to breathe too deeply. I have no idea if this is actually true, but I figured I would be careful anyway. I left them in the freezer for 15 minutes and then let them come to room temperature before taking them out.

The Sillycone molds were awesome...I popped most letters out without a whole lot of heartache. The letter N and S both broke on me, so they went back into the oven. The N came out the second time with no problems and the S broke again...and it is just going to be broken. S is for sorry, as in, 'Ruby, I am sorry I sent you a broken S.'

I packaged them up and am super excited to get them in the mail.

Happy May Day!

I made this little bouquet a few weeks ago, knowing that it would be the May basket I would give to my neighbor friend. Rory and I delivered it this morning and we ended up sitting down for a while and reconnecting. People, this is why I love May Day. It's just a good reason to get out there and see people you haven't seen in a while.

I used the same jar I used for my fabric flowers, but filled it with coffee beans this time, instead of jellybeans. The bonus? This bouquet of paper flowers smells divine.

I found the instructions on how to make these super simple flowers here. They were really fun to make, and an easy project to do in an evening.

baby, meet your family:

I have had this project on our kitchen table for six weeks now. And yesterday, I decided to finish this bad boy. The idea is from Ali Edwards, taking an old type case and turning it into a picture frame. I found this type case a full year ago at a garage sale, and my sweet husband even hung it on the wall then. But no pictures filled it up until today.

When I first purchased it, I wanted to fill it with my personal cloud of witnesses...all of the people who have who shaped me in significant ways. I thought it would be cool to fill it with old, old pictures of my grandparents, church friends and family, just to always have a tangible place to find my favorite supporters.

But when we got pregnant, I knew immediately that I wanted to fill this things with our baby's cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and great grandparents (and me and Rory!). I think we'll probably hang it over the changing table (up high...I've been warned that is a very dangerous place to hang anything if our baby is a boy...)

I started this project a month and a half ago, first by using a pliers to pull out almost half of the dividing sections. I had to do this, because I wanted bigger pictures, and my type case was divided into lots of tiny rectangles.
Then I used photoshop to resize all of my pictures to fit specific squares on my type case. I measured with a ruler, resized each picture and then tried to keep track of which picture was to go where.
It helped, but in the end, my measuring skills must be off, because each picture was just a tinsy bit too big, and needed recropping all around.
At one point, the pictures were gentle resting above their designated places, but I didn't have time to crop the whole thing before we went to California, so I layed a towel over it for when I could get back to this project. While we were in California, Toonces, our big boned cat found the towel to be a great place to sleep all day.

When I came back, each picture had been forced down by his paws, and I had to use a tweezer to individually pry each one back up before recropping, using double sided tape and sticking them back down. Annoying, double the work, but worth it. I love it.

If you ever do a project similar to this one, I'd recommend using matte finish photos. Mine are glossy, and it means that the whole display is a bit shiny. But that's minor, I suppose.

Mostly, it's just a super fun way to showcase all of my all-time favorite pictures of the families this baby is joining.

PISH. en. ski.

That's how you say Pysanky, the art of Ukrainian Easter Egg Dying. I hosted 28 women here at camp on Friday night for an evening of candles, enya-type music, low lighting and calm conversation. It honestly was one of my favorite events I've led at camp because it was just so relaxed.

My friend Gina and I set up all afternoon so that when the women arrived they each had a place setting with instructions, bee's wax, a candle, two washed eggs and a kiska (the tool you use to apply the wax to your egg).
I had three stations for dying the eggs. And our host Grant (on staff here) made 33 wire egg dippers for me! He's a good guy. The colors of the egg dye are astounding. It's my favorite part of pysanky...the dye is so bright and saturated that the eggs turn brilliantly bright. It's what I always wanted my PAWS to do growing up...but those colors always ended up so muted unless you left your egg in there overnight....

The women all came with a close friend or sister or family member and it was so fun to watch close friends laugh and giggle as they tried something new. I love girlfriends like this.

I began our time together with a flipchart full of instructions. The very first thing listed was: Someones egg will break. It might be yours. It will be sad. And then I warned that these little eggs can become quite precious, but to please remember, it is just an egg.

Thankfully, we only had three eggs break, and they were all the practice eggs. Special thanks to Lisa Groves, my lovely sister-in-law, for sharing Pysanky with me three years ago. Who knew I'd become such an enthusiast?!! If you're interested in learning more, go to:

Canvas Art

The first class I took with Donna Downey was called, "Elegant Garden." This class was full of new techniques and I can't wait to start making my own creations based on her stunning ideas. I mapped out the basic steps of how we created this layout below. And for the record, I am in LOVE with the fabric flowers. I have many ideas of ways I want to use these...

I used the picture of me and my niece, Mara, working hard at the balloon toss at the last Bredberg family reunion. I love this pictures because we are working so hard just handing the balloon back and forth and everyone else was ten feet apart at this point :)

my happy place...

My friend Jenn emailed me a month ago and said, "heads up. Donna Downey is coming to Nebraska to teach a few classes."

Honest to goodness, Donna Downey?!! As in, I read her blog everyday, love her stuff and feel indebted for how she has inspired me, Donna Downey?!! So I signed myself up and got my school supply list. I had to buy some new toys for the classes I signed up for, and today I am off to learn how to play with them! I can't wait to show you what I learn! I'll post pictures on Monday.

And be sure to stay tuned for tomorrow's post. It's a love story that will kick off your Valentine's Day perfectly.

pink hearts

I am getting excited for February and thought I'd make us a door decoration.

I made this innocent little wreath while Rory and I watched No Country for Old Men. He convinced me that the acting, writing and cinematography was worth watching a psychopath blow up everything and everyone who gets in his way. The movie was interesting, (though not worth the utter violence) but just try to imagine the contrast of this horror movie to my sweet snipping of pretty ribbons. It just would have made more sense to have been watching the Love Boat or something...

***edited: Rory read this post and begged me to add a head shot of Javier Bardem. And since this post was about Valentine's and since marriage is all about give and take, I will humor him with a teeny-tiny picture of this freaky man.

the favorite gift I gave

digi paper and supplies from Crystal Wilkerson

For Christmas, my two-year-old niece asked for princess stuff. Now I know a tutu isn't really princess attire, but it is immediately what I thought of because princess' are pink and fluffy and so are tutu's. So I went online and found this no-sew tutorial. Super easy, and SUPER fun to make. I made Ruby's tutu and then another for my 1-year-old niece, Penny. And then I decided that since I had Sara's name for christmas, there might need to be matching mama-daughter tutu's this Christmas. When Ruby opened her gift she started yelling, "Cool Princess! Cool Princess!" Then she put her tutu on and continued, "I'm a cool princess! Look, I'm a cool princess!" She kept her tutu on for the next five hours. So did her good-sport mama. :)

crafty christmas

These sweet snowmen are at my sistah Lisa's house. Made out of old socks and beans, each snowman represents one person in their family. So stinkin' cute.

A coworker of mine brought these in today. Her kids made them and she was boxing them up to send them to relatives out of state. They crack me up. And are pretty cute too. They're made out of pop bottles, styrofoam balls, googlie eyes, old socks for hats and fun foam.

a lovely gift

Back in October I posted about a new favorite blog that inspires my socks off. Her name is Donna, and I love her stuff. I showed her work to my friend Gina, the graphic design artist at Carol Joy Holling Camp. Gina is amazing at what she does...a true artist. When I showed her the project Donna had done, she didn't seem intimidated and said, "we can do that." And so we did!

Our marketing director, Casey, had her last day at Carol Joy yesterday. She is moving to Minnesota and will still work for camp, just via skype and lots of emails. So we made her a going away present. Casey doesn't like butterflies, which cracks us up. I never even thought it was an option to not like butterflies. So we decided to make her an art piece centered on a butterfly with a cheesy butterfly quote: Casey, it's like you always say, "Love is like a butterfly: It goes where it pleases and it pleases where it goes." (please groan here.) Ha!

Gina got a frame for it, and honestly, it turned out stunning. And Casey loved it. And plans to hang it in her brand new house in Minnesota! We were honored and I am inspired to make a few more of these just with flowers. I LOVE the bright colors.

This is Gina and her daughter Evalyn showing off our materpiece.

And finally, we made Casey her own NLOM (Nebraska Lutheran Outdoor Ministries) sweatpants. She has joked many times that if she is working from home and skyping in to meetings, she really will never have to put on a full outfit. Just a nice shirt and sweats will do. And now she's set.

an advent sucker tree.

A year ago I took my first Jessica Sprague class teaching me the basics of digital scrapbooking. That class empowered me in ways I never could imagine. There is something so thrilling about learning something completely new. I remember moments in that class when I would yell at my computer asking it boldly why it wouldn't do what I wanted it to do. But then, when I figured things out, and when I really was learning, I would hoot and holler at my computer while doing a happy dance, so proud of what I had learned.

This whole experience of trying and then trying again and then trying some more until I finally 'got it' has led me to other things that I want to try. Like sewing.

Last month there was a quilting retreat at Camp and I was inspired. There was a woman there named Mary, and we talked for a bit and she insisted that I borrow her Bernina machine sometime. I thought she was just being kind and generous. She was, but she was also very serious. So I borrowed her machine...but I couldn't remember how to thread a bobbin from my 7th grade home economics class. I called her to return the machine and as soon as she heard I hadn't sewed anything yet she invited me over to her house for a special lesson. She showed me how to load my bobbin and thread my machine and I went back home with her Bernina and a bit of sewing confidence.

The project I had in my head to sew was an advent sucker tree, counting down the days until Christmas. I had an advent sucker angel growing up, eating one sucker each day until Christmas. It was my own personal decoration and filling it up with suckers was my own special tradition each year.

I made my own pattern out of a grocery bag, cut my felt with kitchen scissors (I now have sewing scissors) and sewed the ribbon on, picking my foot up every once in a while to leave a gap to tuck the sucker in later. (How impressive is my use of "foot" back there?!! I'm learning sewing lingo!)

When I finished my tree I was so stinkin' proud! I called my mom immediately to tell her the happy news. And then I decided to make four more trees while home over thanksgiving so I could give one to each family in Rory and my families. I gave a tree to my niece Ruby when we were home over Thanksgiving. I told her, "Ruby, I have something for you." And she responded, "For me? For me?" "Yep. It's right here behind my back." She peeked and I announced, "It is a sucker tree for Christmas!" And she began jumping up and down, arms flailing, "FOR ME! FOR ME! IT'S FOR ME, MAMA!!!" I turned to her her mom and said, "This is why I learned how to sew."

And tonight I got a call from Mara and Sonna, my nieces in Montana who just got their tree in the mail today. I told them I sewed the tree myself and Mara asked, "with a machine?!!" And I was so proud to say, "Yep. With a machine. I just cut out the green fabric, sewed on the red ribbon, sewed it up like a pillow and stuffed it with fluff. And then I put suckers on it." Sonna then asked, "you make the suckers?" And I told her no. But it made me think, if I can sew, surely I can make a sucker. Add that one to the list.