Sunday, January 31, 2010

Check This Out- Easy Border

Napkin Art

This is my minister's living room. He (Dave) and his wife (Becky) amazingly creative people. Becky was thinking about painting something over that window. Before investing time and energy into painting, she stuck some paper napkins from Target up there just to see how it would look. It looks amazing. Maybe you're looking for a pop of color or some sort of temporary artwork. Try paper napkins!

A few other things:

By the way, I am having so much fun looking at everyone's guesses for yesterdays giant Obama picture contest. I will pick a winner Monday night 2-1.

I did paint the crock-pot! Tune in later this week for the reveal.

Also, I have more prizes and goodies from the Craft Convention.

Hope you have a great week!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Fun *Little* Contest!

This is not a political post! Fret not! (Frankly, I am totally disgusted by political discourse on both sides right now.) What this is, is a huge craft project made by kids!

Giant Obama Picture

This huge picture was on display at the Crafts Convention last weekend. It was made by thousands of fourth graders from around the country. (My class did not participate. Somehow we missed out on this in the Crayonbox  and that is just sad!)

You know I have a real soft spot for fourth graders and cool craft projects. So, I thought I would have a little contest. Can you guess what this is made of? That's the contest. Just guess what the big presidential picture is made of.

I picked up a bunch of craft magazines including Crafts'n things and Pack 'O Fun. My students are loving the copy of Pack 'O Fun I got for them. What a cool magazine for kids! I will send the winner a package of crafty magazines. If there are several correct guessers, I will randomly select the winner.

So what do you think? Go ahead and click on the picture to see it larger. I was right there and couldn't believe it. 

On another note, I never did hear from the winner of the Citra-Solv contest. She has a private profile. So, if you have a private profile, please leave an email with your comment. And, I guess I will draw another winner for the Citra-Solv.  Updated: After picking several other private profile people with the random number generator, I finally picked cneaglefan to be the winner because she left her email right in the comment!

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Gift from Plum

Cute overload huh? This was made by one of my students at a birthday party and I am the lucky recipient. Everything about this bun just kills me. The tongue, the green bow, the foam heart- I love all of it. Most of all the generosity. My students have so little and yet have such jumbo sized hearts.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Beautiful Stuff

While at the Craft Convention I saw maybe a bazillion booths selling scrapbook paper. To say it was a bit overwhelming was an understatement. While I don't scrapbook, I do love some pretty paper! The Melissa Frances booth stood out. Pure eye candy. I took a bunch of pictures. Enjoy!

Melissa Frances Booth at the Craft Convention
By all means, click on this to see the bolts of pom pom trim and other goodies up close.
Spring Collage
She had a whole line of vintage recipe cards. There were lots of fun embellishments. It would have been perfect for a bridal shower. Too cute!
Vintage Recipe Kit
I couldn't find it on her website, so it must be new.
Altered Shoe
Here's another idea for bridal showers-I love this embellished shoe. I think these would be so pretty with papers that match the bride's colors. Heels like that are fairly easy to find at Goodwill. Scrapbook paper, glitter and some flowers and you have a pretty decoration.
Queen of Spring

Pin wheel
I think I am going to have to make pin wheels for spring.

SPring Pin Wheels

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Few Scenes from The CHA Craft Convention

I haven't had time to sort through my goodies from the CHA Craft Convention, but I did get some of my pictures downloaded and I thought I would share a few random images with you.

Great MottoI can't remember what booth this was at, but I just loved the quote. Might have to make my own framed creativity motto.

One of the biggest displays was for a new product called the "Cricut Cake." It's a food safe version of the regular Cricut Expression that is made for gum paste frosting!
Cricut for Cakes
This butterfly is frosting!

Aleene's (Tacky Glue) Daughter
I had a lovely discussion with the daughter of Aleene- of Aleene's Tacky Glue fame!
Martha'S New Stickers
I got to look at all of  Martha's new products. I especially liked these gnome stickers.
Button MOnkey
Button MOnkeyYou know I had to get a picture or two of this amazing button monkey! He is stuffed with recycled water bottles.

That's just a brief peek. I have many more photos and some prizes coming!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

This Just In!

I have lots of really exciting things to share this week!

This year through Facebook I reconnected with one of my high school friends- Ali. Turns out Ali has her own craft business! She and her husband, Dave, run Quilled Creations. As luck would have it the big craft convention, was held this past weekend in Anaheim and Ali invited me to go!

I was completely bowled over by the bazzillion things to see. I have so much to share and even a few giveaways.

Unfortunately, I also have a day job and 29 Crayons who would appreciate a teacher who wasn't crabby from blogging way past her bed time. So alas, I must retire. Tomorrow night I have a church meeting, but I hope to get at least one post in. There is so much cool stuff to share!

In the meantime, head over to Quilled Creations to all of Ali's beautiful designs. After just one brief "make and take" I can tell you quilling is addictive! (Bonus points for being affordable and not taking up too much space either.) I am crazy for this kit. Love me some monkeys. Seriously, check it out!

Citra-Solv Winner!

Citra-Solv Package
True Random Number Generator Min: Max: Result: 34 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

How about that! There were 34 comments and number 34 won! Just goes to show that it's better late than never!


deanneking said...

How have I never heard of this? I'd love to have some.

I have no idea why it's all caps when I publish. Sorry everyone! I am not trying to shout.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Vogue- Hardly!

Don't just stand there, let's get to it
Strike a pose, there's nothing to it...

Your So Vain

Actually, there's a lot to getting a decent picture. If there is one thing I have learned being married to a movie guy it's the importance of good lighting. Thus the crazy bathroom sink studio going on here. That floor lamp is on a stool!

OK, so what is all this silly business about?

No, I am not updating my Facebook profile. (Although, these shenanagans remind me of my teen Facebook friends.)

This is actually a sneak peek at my Valentine project for the Crayons. Rarely would I go through this much trouble for anyone else.

For a better look, check out page 60 of  February's Family Fun Magazine. If you are a parent or a teacher, this magazine is worth consideration. I packed half my classroom and moved it across country to LA. I gave away my old issues of Family Fun. I should have left my file cabinet and kept the magazines! Family Fun delivers doable awesomeness every month!

I'll be sure to post the finished project soon.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Entertaining in the Apartment

This year Cliff and I finally hit just the right balance for holiday entertaining. We decided to have a Sunday open house the second weekend in January. Everyone was back from their assorted holiday travels and far less busy than in December. We did an e-vite and just said come anytime between 2-5. This way we weren't throwing a full meal- just snacks. It was a great way to get rid of some of the candy and cookies that pile up around the holidays! I made my friend Kates famous Wasail and served Ikea Swedish meatballs in the crock-pot. They were super easy and a big hit. I also served veggies and dip and some cheese, sausage and crackers that we had gotten in a holiday basket. Throughout the afternoon about 12 people came. Since they came and left at different times everyone fit! That can be tricky when you only have one room for entertaining.

Here's something I have been thinking about-spray painting my crock-pot! I'd love for it to be red, but the ceramic part is peach colored. Maybe black or silver? I'd don't know, maybe I should leave well enough alone. Thoughts?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I Heart Valentines

First off, my Great Grandmother's last name was Valentine.So I guess you could say, Valentines is in my blood. My grandmother was Mary Valentine. I think that is just the cutest name ever. Of course when she married my Grandpaw her last name changed. Still Valentines Day was always very special to my mother. We usually got presents at our seat at the breakfast table. Something nice like a red shirt or a book. My mom would wrap them in red and white paper. For dinner she often made a meal out of red and white foods. She always made the day very special.
Loot From My Students
As I teacher I am beyond blessed on Valentines Day. In all my many...many...many...single years I never felt sad on Valentines Day because to me it has always been about family and of course my students.No matter how poor my students are they shower me with love on Valentines Day.

Here are some cupcakes I made for them. It's a mutual admiration society we have going in The Crayon Box. These were so simple. Just place two mini candy canes in the frosting to form a heart. I got these at the Target 90% off sale after Christmas sale. They were "tropical flavor" thus the bright colors.
love letter
I always have my students write conversation heart letters to their parents too. It's super fun to read what they come up with. This is one I made for my hubby. You can click on it to enlarge it.
Seasonal Shelf: Valentines Day
Around the apartment I display pictures of my loves and put out my heart shaped rock collection.

heart shaped rocks from Malibu

 Valentines Day Love
I also have fun with my salt and pepper shakers. These are couples and symbols of  love.

For the past three years I have participated in the Heart to Heart Swap over at Sarah's blog.
Red Work Valentines
The first year I made these red work hearts. I used handkerchiefs from the dollar store and images from google images. These took a long time but I love how they turned out.

Redwork Valentine
I made one for me on a dishtowel.
The next year both my parents and my inlaws went to Russia. In honor of their trips I made these Matrioshka Valentines.
Matryoshka Valentine
This year my Valentines for the swap are already done and mailed, and I am dying to share them with you!
Seriously. Dying.
Dozens of Paper Rolls
Here's a behind the scenes peek. :)
Anyway, Someday Crafts is having a Valentines Craft show and tell today and I had to join in. Now I am off to check out everyone's great ideas.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Trash To Treasure: Burlap Pool Noodle Wreath

My pool noodle wreath is done!

But friends, we need to have a talk...

All across blogland there are a plethora beautiful burlap projects. For the longest time I resisted this trend because for the most part burlap doesn't mesh with my vintage stuff. Plus I like a lot of color.

But the great projects kept coming and I was seduced by these ornaments, chair covers, pillows...

I caved and bought some burlap at one of the Joanne's before Christmas sales.

It was an impulse buy. It smelled funny and was kinda rough. I had no real plans for it. So I tucked it away for a rainy day.

It rained when I saw this wreath! Friends, burlap actually goes with my poopy door! All was right with my crafty world... until I started cutting!

Why have none of you burlap lovers posted of the tremendous fuzz? You have made burlap seem dreamy!

Look I am covered in burlap fur! It's so much worse than cat fur. At least cat fur comes from a soft loveable kitty! This stuff clings to everything! It makes me itch. Oh, and when first I started, I was sitting on my bed cutting away. Let's not talk about how many lint roller sheets it took to clean up that mess.

So is there something I am missing?  Can you prewash this stuff for a less fuzzy experience? Or is this the price for burlap beauty?
Burlap Wreath
Ok, now I am done with that rant. Trash to treasure!

This wreath was made using a pool noodle! I also used lots of scraps that were clothes in their former lives.If you look closely you can see bits of Cliff's jeans. Not too long ago he brought me a holey pair and asked me if I wanted to make something of them. Then when I pulled them out for this project he said, "Oh that's where my good ripped jeans went." I guess he wanted to wear them to the Sonic Youth Concert last week, but forgot that he had already donated them to me. I am just proud of him for thinking of crafty potential before chucking his ripped jeans.

I used a simplified version of this flower tutorial and secured the flowers to the wreath with regular sewing straight pins. When I tire of this look I can pull them all out and start fresh with something else.

One more thing! *My Citra-Solv giveaway is here!

More trash to treasure inspiration at Reinvented!
Lots of DIY at ASPTL !


Have You Heard of Citra Solv Concentrate? Give Away!

Thrifty Chick is having a Fresh and Clean Party today! I had to join in because I have a fresh product that lots of people have never heard of! And when I say, "have" I mean I have a bottle of this golden stuff to give away! 

Citra-Solv Concentrate really works for me and until about three months ago, I had never heard of it. Now, I can't imagine what I would do without it. That's a pretty strong sentiment.

I became interested in Citra-Solv when I read about it's ability to transfer photocopies on to fabric. I tried in vain to find it around town and complained here on my blog. That very same day a customer service rep for Citra-Solv wrote to me apologizing that I couldn't find their product and sent me some! How's that for customer service?!

Anyway, I love using Citra-Solv for photocopy transfer and have made these projects with it so far.
Citra-Solv 09

Citra- Solv transfer stocking, 2. White Stocking, 3. Citra-Solv Skeleton, 4. I Spy Patch, 5. For A Fresh Faced Girl, 6. Citra-Solv Package

Just yesterday, one of my favorite blogs, The Graphics Fairy, featured her own Citra-Solv project too. Be sure to check out her beautiful tea towels when you get a chance.

So, that's cool, but that's not something I can't live without.  Remember, this year I am all about defining what is really a want vs. a need.

I can't live without it's cleaning properties!

I have recently discovered the joy of spray painting! Love it! Now, I don't usually use paint that's not acrylic because of the clean up factor. I live in an apartment and have to clean up in my kitchen sink. I live on the fifth floor and once I learned the hard way that what I do in my sink has the potential to effect the people on all the floors below me.

Also, ventilation is a problem for apartment dwellers. I do not have any windows in my kitchen. Fumes are hard to get rid of. You'd be amazed by how some fumes travel through the building too.

Citra Solv is made from orange oil and it smells wonderful.

Here's the big news: Citra-Solv washes spray paint off my hands instantly! It washes off over spray effortlessly! I paint out on my balcony. It's a tight space so I always end up getting paint on an elbow or the back of my arm. Citra-Solv takes it off no problem. Now, the label says that it can be a skin irritant. It feels like fresh orange juice- which can irritate, but no worse. I do make an effort to fully wash with soap after the Citra-Solv and I am really careful not to touch my face while I am using it. Still, it's so much safer than paint solvent or turpentine. For goodness sakes, my father used to use gasoline to clean up! On his hands!

The proof is in the pudding -behold.
When I made this snack tower I coated it with spray primer to hide the various prints on the tins.
Pottery Barn Inspired Serving Trays

As I was assembling it, I discovered that some primer had gotten inside the tins. I could have cried because I plan to fill it with food.

Spray Paint Primer Oops

No worries! Citra Solv got it all out!!
Citra Solv Gets It All Off!

Whoo hoo! That's not all!

Have you ever been disgusted by the liberal use of packing tape all over glassware at the Goodwill? I understand that they are trying to keep things together and prevent breakage, but my goodness! That sticky stuff is hard to get off. I used to use Goo Gone, but frankly the greasiness bugged me. Citra-Solv works much better to dissolve that adhesive. One cotton ball and it's all off. Now you do have to be careful with plastics. Some cheap plastics will get cloudy with Citra-Solv. It's powerful stuff.

In our mad Christmas cleaning we used a ton of Citra-Solv. Cliff used it for the stove and I used it (diluted) in my classroom. We cleaned our tubs and the faucets and basically anything that couldn't run away from us. The apartment smelled divine and my first bottle is not completely gone!

After blogging all about my Citra-Solv crafts, Melissa from Citra-Sov sent me a Christmas card and a box with a few bottles of Citra-Solv!  What a cool company!

Now I am going to share the love! I have a 16 oz. bottle of orange Citra-Solv Concentrate to giveaway! Leave a comment here and on Sunday I will pick a winner.

The best part- when you are done cleaning, you can use some of this liquid gold to craft. Or maybe it's the other way around.

In the comments section Erica left this tip:
Whoever doesn't win can get $10 in coupons for Citra Solv:
Here's where to find them locally or online:
Citra Solv is an awesome product, but Steve and Melissa (the owners) are great people who genuinely care about their customers & the environment. And they have a section of their website devoted to Citra Solv art!!

And Turbo Family left this comment about using it for ants!
I love citra solv as a cleaner and ant killer (diluted in a spray bottle it essentially smothers ants & other insects, works quickly, no unpleasant smell & non-toxic.

This contest is now closed. deanneking you are the winner!

Sorry, Deanneking, I couldn't get in touch with you. So I picked a new winner.

I am also linking up to Works for Me Wednesday.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

WIP- A Burlap Wreath

Burlap Wreath

I have been playing around with a burlap wreath tonight. None of it's glued down.
Burlap Wreath
I really love this wreath on Tatertots and Jello.
Burlap Wreath

Fabric flowers are fun to make too!

I have no idea where I am going to end up with this wreath, but I'd like to show you where I started.
Pool Noodle Meet Gorilla Tape

Pool noodle meet Gorilla tape!

Necessity isn't the only mother of invention. Being deeply cheap is a pretty great foundation for creativity. There were no wreath forms of any kind at my dollar stores. I don't have a Walmart or Hobby Lobby and Joannes wanted more than $3 for something I know everyone else can get for a buck! So I procrastinated knowing that I could come up with something using the stuff I had at home. Turns out all I needed to do was use my noodle!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Easy & Fun Custom Door Mat

This is a project I was so excited about. I loved the concept so much, but the execution was a bit off.
New Years Door Mat

I made freezer paper stencils by printing right onto freezer paper.
Freezer Paper Stencils
I used a marker to simplify the font a bit and then I cut out the black text. I was careful to save the inside circles for the a's and e's.  The three stencils got ironed onto the rug. This worked out great. It stuck on really well.

Iron on the Freezer Paper Stencil

This is where I made my mistake though. I should have ironed on more freezer paper to cover the rug. Instead I laid newspaper over the rug. The force of the spray paint moved the papers and you can see some overspray on the finished rug. Alternately, I could have just used a brush and regular craft paint. That actually would have been neater and even easier. Lessons learned.

I also wish I had made the font even bigger. Especially the 2010. (Twenty-ten! Can you believe it. I am still in a bit of denial.)

One of my crafty goals this year is to decorate my door more. I am tired of cringing each time I see that barfy brown paint and the ugly orange carpet.

This project was so easy and thrifty I can see making custom birthday mats, housewarming mats, sports team mats. There really is no limit. Updated: The mat is from the 99 Cent Only Store, but I have seen them at other dollar stores too.