Creativity is messy. Most of the time, it’s worth the mess.
Creativity is messy. Most of the time, it’s worth the mess.
My friend, Tony, makes beautiful, rustic needlework creations.
Blogging is a funny thing. It’s a good thing, but it’s kind of strange. Blogging has turned into a career for many people, it has garnered international attention and bloggers are seen as a force to be reckoned with. Companies seek blogger’s opinions, endorsements and appearances. I think this is all great and definitely opening up the world to differing viewpoints, points of connection and dialog. For me, this has been a bit intimidating of late. There are so many voices, saying truly profound and meaningful things. There are bloggers posting amazing handmade crafts and gorgeous people showing such talent in putting interesting and innovative outfits together. Where do I fit in?
Blogging for me is a creative outlet, a place for me to share my thoughts, my outfits, my crafts. I definitely want to connect with people, otherwise I’m shouting into a vacuum. I am stepping back into the blogging world with joy and trepidation.
I hope my friends and family will stop by my blog and check out what is there. I hope to connect with other fashiony, crafty, wordy people. I hope to learn new skills both technically and creatively.
My boys are both in school now (sigh) so my schedule is a bit freer to explore some creative things. I need to keep my mind and creative energy engaged. And don’t ever let anyone tell you that blogging is easy – time, effort, thought and action. I’m excited to be back at it. I’m also disciplining myself to take time each week to write. I love to write, but if I don’t set the time aside it doesn’t happen.
Here’s to crafting, creating, style and sharing the journey!
You know when you are expecting something in the post and that just seems to make it take forever? So much anticipation!
As a Christmas present for myself and my sister, I signed up for Whimseybox. Whimseybox is a monthly subscription box that comes with everything you need to complete a craft project. And they’re cool craft projects – modern and hip. We both got a year-long subscription and our first box arrived at the end of January. You have no idea what’s coming so there’s a lot of excitement when your box arrives and you open it and see what’s inside. My sister and I actually opened ours together over the phone.
The January Whimseybox was a wire wrapped bead necklace. The packaging was lovely and it was fun to open.
Now I can’t wait to see what’s in the February box.
My friend A’Leah over at A Chic Twist, recently hosted a Pinterest Party. It was so fun. She offered two crafts and provided all the supplies and instruction, attendees just paid for however many of each craft they wanted to make. The two options were a mason jar pump dispenser and a photo to canvas transfer. I opted to do two of the photo to canvas transfers.
Before the party I copied two photos onto paper using my ink jet printer. The canvases were 8×10. The first step was to trim the photos down to the appropriate size – I did a rough tear because I didn’t want to have a smooth edge.
The next step was to put a generous coat of gel medium onto the canvas as evenly as possible and then lay the photo face-side down onto the gel medium. Then you start from the middle and, with your fingers, smooth outward, pressing the photo into the canvas to ensure that there are no bubbles.
After that it was a matter of waiting for the gel medium to dry which of course meant lovely drinks and treats and chatting. It still took a bit longer than we wanted for it to dry so we used a blow dryer to speed up the process. Once the gel medium is completely dry, you take a paint brush dipped in water and brush it over the paper – you can either do a small bit at a time or coat the whole canvas. I chose to do a small section at a time. Then you start rubbing gently at the paper with your fingers. It was like magic! So much fun as the top layer of the paper started to come away and reveal the brighter colors of the lower layer.
After you have taken away all the paper that you want to and the canvas has dried once again, you can add another layer of gel medium to seal the deal.
I was so pleased with the results. I chose to do one photo with lots of color and one photo that was mostly black and white. You get a lovely rustic, aged feel to the canvas and photo.
If you choose to do text, make sure that you print a mirror image as the photo will transfer as a mirror image onto the canvas.
Different types of paper and different types of ink will give you different results. It’s fun to experiment.
It’s good to share crafting time with friends. Lots of time to talk and catch up while feeling super productive and creative at the same time. Thanks A’Leah!
I wanted to share a few things that I’ve made over the last couple of months – mostly things that were made in preparation for Christmas.
I didn’t do as many handmade gifts for Christmas this year as I usually like to, but I enjoyed making the few things that I did. As always, I hope to be more prepared this coming year and start making things sooner. We shall see.
Anytime I get craft supplies out, my boys want to join in and start creating. In November I did a big craft clear out and got rid of heaps of stuff that wasn’t being used and organized the rest. All of my crafting supplies are stored in the garage since I don’t have a craft room. While I was organizing, the boys saw my jewelry making supplies and were asking repeatedly to make jewelry with me. So one evening while Colin was out, we set to it. It is so fun creating with my boys – I love to see what they come up with.
I also made a new crop of my repurposed vintage earring rings. My church has an annual Christmas Tea and Boutique and I make rings to sell at the boutique. I love making these rings. The designs are so beautiful and interesting.
For Jude’s first grade teacher, I had Jude making a drawing with a note and then I traced it on to fabric and then embroidered it for her. I think it’s a fun, simple and meaningful gift.
For my sons and my nephew, I created silhouettes along with the meanings of their names and then printed onto book pages. I framed them and I love how they turned out.
I did another printing on book pages project for some friends. They are fox fans so I printed a simple fox onto a book page and then hand painted it with watercolors. Then I wrote their name in calligraphy.
That’s my post-Christmas creation round-up. Here’s to a creative and more handmade 2014!
I said I would post some pictures of my own correspondence kit when I got it put together. I had so much fun gathering cards, paper, fancy pens, stamps and other supplies. This was all stuff I had at home, I didn’t go out and buy anything, but I wasn’t utilizing it because it was all scattered in different places around the house. Now it’s all easy to hand and I can write as inspiration strikes.
Looking forward to getting some snail mail into the post!
Jude is so excited. He finally has a loose tooth. It’s not very loose, but it’s not in there so solid anymore either.
I’ve been thinking for a while about what we would use for him to put his teeth in when he lost them and wanted to exchange them for cash. I definitely wanted a container or a pillow so that the teeth wouldn’t get lost under the pillow. I remember my own tooth pillow clearly. It was a small, circular pillow – pink gingham on one side and green gingham on the other. It had eyelet lace around the edge and a little pocket for the tooth. I’m pretty sure my Mom or a relative made it for me – I’ll have to check with her. I always got a silver dollar in exchange for my teeth – I actually still have most of those silver dollars. We haven’t decided what the tooth exchange rate will be yet for our kids.
So I had this idea for a little box. I basically knew what I wanted, but wasn’t sure it would work until I just started into it.
I began with a metal mint box, spray painted it red – Jude’s favorite color.
I found a fabric remnant that I had lying around and set out to make a little cushion. I traced the shape of the box onto the back of the fabric and cut it out.
As I was making it, I had the bright idea to add a pocket for the tooth to go in so it won’t rattle around. This will be helpful in the middle of the night I am sure. I simply made one side longer than the other and made a fold in the fabric. I pinned it together with the right side of the fabric facing inward.
I also cut out some batting to make it cushiony.
I stitched around the edges leaving one side unstitched, turned it right side out and stuffed it with the batting. I did a stitch along the open side. I thought about hand stitching this edge and making it super neat, but I wasn’t patient enough and just did a machine stitch.
I wanted a way to keep track of when Jude lost his teeth as well so I made up a sheet that has his name on it and a tooth chart with places to fill in the dates that he loses his teeth. My first thought was to glue the cushion to the bottom of the box, but as I was going along, I liked the idea of the cushion being removable and being able to store the chart underneath.
To personalize it, I used a stencil and put a big “J” on the lid. I just used a Sharpie pen to color it in, but you could use paint, add stickers or embellishments.
I am super excited about this project. I am so happy it came out how I envisioned it. Jude loves his box and is excited to use it for the first time. I’ll definitely be making one for Zane too, but I thought we’d try Jude’s out for a while first and see if I need to make any changes to the design.
I love the idea of my boys being letter and card writers. It’s not easy in these instant, electronic days. I love giving and receiving snail mail, but I sure don’t make the time for it like I’d like to. I want to help to instill gratitude in the boys as well and not only gratitude, but expressing gratitude. So we work at writing thank you cards for things the boys receive – it takes us a while sometimes, but we get there eventually. I also like them to send things to their relatives overseas and in other cities.
Like I said, it’s not always easy to make the time, but I figure let’s make it as easy as possible when inspiration strikes and when it’s time for a thank you. So I came up with the idea of a Correspondence Kit for each boy. I purchased a small plastic container with a handle for each of them. I printed out their initials on label paper and added it to the outside.
To stock the kits, I’ve kept a look out for monogram stationery that suited them, along with monogram stamps. I included writing paper, envelopes, blank notecards and, of course, plenty of thank you cards. I added a pen and some stickers. We have lots of art and craft supplies available to add to the mix as the boys get inspired.
I had a lot of fun with this super simple project and I’m inspired to make one for myself. I have heaps of notecards and writing supplies, but I want to get them all together in one simple kit so that I, too, can correspond at the drop of a hat! I’ll be sure to post photos when I get my kit together!
We got to spend the Easter holiday with my sister and her family in Tacoma, Washington. We used the Spring Break time to go to the Pacific Science Center in Seattle – riding public transportation which is one of the boys favorite things. Colin took them to the Tacoma Children’s Museum one day while my sister and I had a day out shopping – he’s a great husband and Daddy!
My sister’s church had services on Saturday and Sunday. We attended as a family on Saturday evening so that my Mom and I could work on the Easter Feast on Sunday morning while my sister and her husband could do the singing and sound engineering thing at church. This meant that I got to wear two Easter outfits! Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that. Both of my Easter outfits were brought to you this year by eShakti. I love this place/online store. I could just sing their praises. They have super cute clothes in so many sizes and they have the option to completely customize to your own measurements. I bought two dresses and because of a promotion they were having and an additional promo code I got from blogger Pieces of My Earth – I got both dresses with customization for less than the price of one dress originally. I will say to drop at least one inch on your measurements as they do tend to run a bit big.
On to the looks.
This dress is so comfortable and has a retro vibe. Very easy to wear and did I mention comfortable? Oh, and it was a gorgeous, Spring day.
I jazzed it up with some coral tights and for both my Saturday and Sunday outfits I wanted bows in my hair. I looked around in stores and couldn’t find what I was looking for so I raided my sister’s ribbon stash, found an easy tutorial online and whipped myself up a couple of bows.
My ring is a cheap plastic thing, but I love it. Colin got creative taking pictures.
Sparkly crystal earrings to match my ring.
Outfit Details: Dress – eShakti, Tights – Forever 21, Ring and Earrings – ?, Shoes – Blowfish, bow – Made by Me.
On to Sunday…
This dress! There’s not just a retro vibe with this dress – it’s full on retro. The pattern is amazing. This dress is also very comfortable – I suppose that comes from having a dress made to measure.
My homemade bow.
Jude and I kind of rocked in the shoe department.
Outfit Details: Dress – eShakti, Cardigan – Ross, Ring and Earrings – ?, bow – Made by Me, Shoes – Ross
There are so many reasons I love Easter – the first and foremost being Jesus – thank You! Other reasons include Spring, Easter egg hunts, Cadbury Mini Eggs, family, and Easter outfits!