Lamppostings

Finding and creating adventures in everyday life.


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Make It Monday – Wire Wrapped Bead Necklace

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. January 2014 171

The January Whimseybox was a wire wrapped bead necklace. The packaging was lovely and it was fun to open. January 2014 172 January 2014 174

They truly include everything you need to complete the project. Beads, two pairs of pliers, head pins, fasteners and the necklace. January 2014 175

The printed instructions were excellent. They actually have video instructions as well, but the printed instructions were so clear that I didn’t need to access the videos. January 2014 173

It took me a few tries, but I got the hang of the wire wrapping and it was fun. I liked that I could customize how I put the beads on the chain – the pattern. January 2014 208 January 2014 210

The whole project took me about an hour and half. I love that the box is complete with everything you need to be crafty. No excuses!January 2014 218 January 2014 216

The completed necklace is pretty and I really like it. I’m also pleased that I have a new skill – wire wrapped beads!January 2014 177 February 2014 087 February 2014 085

Now I can’t wait to see what’s in the February box.

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Make it Monday – Photo to Canvas Transfer

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.January 2014 144 January 2014 143

Our fearless leader, A'Leah, guiding us through the process and being silly so that I could take a photo.

Our fearless leader, A’Leah, guiding us through the process and being silly so that I could take a photo.

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.January 2014 155

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. January 2014 154

January 2014 157 January 2014 159After 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.January 2014 160 January 2014 162 January 2014 164 January 2014 163 January 2014 166

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.

Additional points:
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!


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Make It Monday – Post-Christmas Wrap Up

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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That’s my post-Christmas creation round-up. Here’s to a creative and more handmade 2014!


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Make it Monday – Grown Up Correspondence Kit

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.

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Looking forward to getting some snail mail into the post!


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Make it Monday – Tooth Box

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.

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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.

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I also cut out some batting to make it cushiony.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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Make It Monday – Correspondence Kits

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.

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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.

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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!


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Make It Monday – Colored Pasta

This is a super fun, super easy DIY. My kids love it. (So do I!)

We keep jars of colored pasta on hand at home for when crafty inspiration strikes. The boys use it to make necklaces and pictures.

The process is so easy.

What you need:

  • Dry pasta – any shape or size. Tubes are good for making jewelry.
  • Rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer.
  • Food coloring.
  • Paper towels
  • Cookie sheets.
  • Ziplock bags.

All you need to do is add some dry pasta to a ziplock bag along with a few squirts or splashes of either rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer and several drops of food coloring. Seal the bag and agitate enough to get color on all the pasta. You can blend colors, add more or less for deeper or lighter color.

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Next, tip the pasta out on cookie sheets covered in paper towels and allow to dry.

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That’s it, you’re done. Ready for crafting fun.

This process also works great for dry, white rice. I did a bunch of colors in rice and kept it in a sealed tub when my boys were younger, it was great for sensory play (for kids and adults, alike!)