Tuesday, December 3, 2013

woodworking adventures part 1, overcoming the fear.

This is a tad embarrassing, mostly because I finished this veggie bin stacking toy box this past spring and I'm only now getting around to posting about it. I look back on this project now and almost laugh at my fear of my own power tools, only because I've done so much more than this fairly simple build since then... but baby steps have gotten me to where I am now, so step along with me ;)

It was about a year ago that I became slightly interested totally obsessed with woodworking and learning how to build things, it started off "small" with a scroll saw (which I still haven't really learned to use, oh the irony in that) and quickly escalated to me discovering Ana White's site and wanting to build everything I find plans for... which meant my crafty woodworking aspirations turned into great big build plan aspirations and that meant I needed more tools. So I ordered more tools... a miter saw, router, kreg jig, and the biggest bad boy... a table saw. One slight issue. I was TERRIFIED of these new tools. A few google searches on tool safety will lead you to staring and lots of experienced builders who had accidents resulting in lost fingers, multiple fingers, bruised body parts, even severed arteries and death. Um.. I wanted to build stuff, not die. So I left those tools in their boxes and remember writing my best friend worried that I wasted a ton of money because I was too afraid to use my tools. They stayed in their boxes for a couple months while I read up on building, found some amazing women builders to follow and watched A LOT of safety videos.

I then tried out my miter saw, the rush was crazy... sounds silly but it was so empowering to use that tool and cut some simple wood. I LOVED IT and was hooked. I did a few small projects (that I might some day get around to posting... framing mirrors, etc).

However the first project I really wanted to build was a much needed toy bin for our livingroom/entrance... and that required not only using the tablesaw, but doing angled cuts. I was NOT up for that. Luckily my dad was visiting from CA and has experience building, so my plan was to have him help me.... which still turned into me being too afraid to use the table saw, so I simply watched him. He cut all the lumber for this piece for me. I then used my kreg jig (best tool EVER) to put it all together, my miter saw (who I was no longer afraid of by this point) to trim it out, and my beloved General Finishes Java Gel to stain. I highly recommend if you're new to building that you find someone to watch first, observing how my tool would work without actually being the one to work it at first really helped me learn to respect it, and not fear it.

So this piece of furniture (and it really is, it's not a junky fiberboard box that will collapse, it's made with 3/4" Purebond and is so sturdy I could easily sit up there with my kids) is a collaboration from myself and my dad... and we LOVE it!

I don't have plans for this since we sort of winged it looking at my inspiration from Land of Nod (which for the record would have cost me over $400 not even counting shipping, I assure you I didn't spend anywhere near that price to build this, mine was under $100 and customized to fit my space)

prior to staining, you can see the pocket holes that hold this together. I opted to make it all one piece instead of stacking 2, saved me a piece of wood not having to have a separate bottom/top like 2 pieces would have required too.
 Java Gel is AWESOME! You just rub it on with an old sock!
my little impatient helper, she wanted to fill it up as soon as it was built!
 1st coat on, I ended up using 2 coats of the Java and then 2 of the clear satin sealer
 All filled up in it's spot! Not only does it store a ton of toys, but it's easy to see and find them now!
 There are no words to express how great it feels looking at this everyday, knowing that I saved a ton of money, made a lasting piece of furniture, and learned to overcome my fears of building!

Next time I'll show you my first solo project, I made my 9yr old a full sized loft bed with platform! 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Personalized Shower Gifts

First off... it's been about 2 months since I posted, I figured that was about enough time for most of you to totally forget I even existed, so you'll be totally thrilled to "re-find" me :) If I posted all the time you'd just become bored, and so I do this for you really... I'm thoughtful like that!

I also have SO MUCH stuff to share, eventually. But really... not only did I make a stacking veggie bin style toy chest, I also made this totally awesome (if I do say so myself) full sized loft bed with huge play platform for my oldest daughter, and then an approx. 8' x 8' entertainment center which totally freaking rocks (and I do say so myself, I LOVE it) so I'm going to get off my butt and get those all photographed and posted soon, really, well... probably.

Anyways... my photos today aren't great since I snapped them quickly before we ran out the door (it didn't occur to me to make a gift bag until about 1/2 an hour before we had to leave, opps) but I think you'll get the idea.

My favorite BIL (I'm safe saying that, I don't think any of DH's family reads my blog and if they do then it's likely only said BIL and his future wife so I'm safe either way LOL) is getting married next spring to a super sweet (girl/woman/lady sheesh I'm so bad at this... um... we'll just refer to her as future SIL). They live in NYC in a small apartment, and simply don't need a lot of stuff... so I wanted to give what anyone in their position would want, money. However I wanted to do it in a cute way, and include a couple little more personal touches. I saw this idea first on Pinterest and I couldn't decide if it was so cheesy that it was cute, or so cheesy that it was just cheesy but decided that with a few changes I could make it super cute.
Get it, showering her with love & good fortune? The examples I saw online were using boring umbrellas and just hanging money, I found out her favorite color and found this adorable umbrella, then I learned how to fold cash into hearts by following these directions: http://www.easyorigamicrafts.com/blog/2010/03/money-origami-folded-dollar-bill-heart/ which I found way easier then even the vidoes I tried following along with, best tip is to use really crisp bills. You'll also want to hang your hearts securely (I used clips from Ikea & tried them on with Twisted Teal Trendy Twine which was so cute with the umbrella color... you need it) and keep your strings short, otherwise they will tangle when you close/open the umbrella. Mine was a button open one that REALLY opened forcefully so it was important to make sure the money hearts were really secure.

I realized I wanted a cute personalized gift bag and svgcuts.com came to the rescue, I used the gift bag from their Acorn Autumn Kit and it was so easy and perfect that I might never buy another gift bag, besides being huge but only using 3 sheets of apper, it even folds up for storage (plus the 3d acorn in this kit is one of my all time favorites)! The flower is from the silhouette online store. 
One of my personalized gifts is a wedding countdown block set. I used a 2x2 cut to size, painted dark brown and distressed with some sand paper, and then simply cut my text out of vinyl. The other side of the bottom block says "our anniversary" so that they can continue to use it past the wedding. I bought this great burlap ribbon at M's earlier this year and cut it thinner to wrap the blocks up. 

I also got this idea from online and thought it was super cute, so I made my future SIL a personalized (her name is on the other side) cup and filled it with her favorite candy, sour gummies.

Lastly, I had to make a card. I CASEd this one and changed up the colors. the umbrella top is pop-dotted and I added stickles to some of the hearts and also pop-dotted them... the card was too cute to hide in an envelope so I made one using a sheet of acetate and sealed it shut with some washi & a custom sticker I made. 

I wish my BIL & future SIL a lifetime of happiness and can't wait for their wedding in the spring (my girls get to be flower girls and are over the moon happy about that) Only 30 more weeks away, crap I better start exercising now!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Trick or Treat with Trendy Twine

Are you ready for some BOOtiful twine? I'm normally very into neutrals but I love going all out with bright fun decorations at Halloween... I honestly didn't think anything could top all the great colors Trendy Twine released last Halloween but I was wrong. Just look at the amazing new release colors, and even better... look how great they match last years releases too! Eeeekkk :::swoon:::

Don't you love them? I can't pick a favorite... neither should you... get all of them! 

To show just how well the new colors go with the old I used the super fun new Trick or Treat along with all of last year's releases on my project. 

heheheee don't you love these adorable little treat boxes? They are from the Silhouette store and as soon as I saw them I knew what they were missing, some Trendy Twine of course! OMG it makes the cutest hair ever!!!

I realized my treat boxes would look super cute in the cauldron I made last year and that it was missing something.. why a giant bow of Trick or Treat twine of course! I love how it ties the whole thing together (literally hehee)

These little boxes are super fast to put together and the twine holds them perfectly, I told my girls they would have to untie the ends because if anyone tears these up I might cry. 

After you get back from your online shopping to snag all these great colors don't forget that you still have plenty of time to enter this month's  Disney inspired Trendy Twine Challenge, winner gets a $10 store credit!

Be sure to check out all the other great Halloween treat box projects the amazing design team created, then get out there and create some of your own! 

You can find all of the great colors I used, and more HERE!

Colors I used in today's project:
  • Trick or Treat
  • Lime Licorice
  • Orange Licorice
  • Grape Licorice
  • Gray Licorice
  • Grape Limeade

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Celebration Time (come on... let's celebrate)

No seriously, what is with me and the flashback song references lately when posting? Oh well... just go with it because that's what we're having over at Trendy Twine today... a huge party to celebrate color number fifty, accurately named... Celebration!

This Disney themed twine is gorgeous, such a perfect twist for all your theme park projects, and beyond!

For my project today I wanted to really show this twine in all it's glory and I had some fun making a little jewelry gift set in a matching gift bag.
Did any of you ever make friendship bracelets when you were younger? They seem to be making a come back and my 9yr old was interested in them recently so I bought her a book (since I had absolutely no idea how to make one anymore, this isn't like riding a bike folks). Turns out they are really easy and fun to make, and what could be more fun then using Trendy Twine to make one?!?!

I used the Celebration twine to make my bracelet and then I made a Mickey charm from shrink plastic which I actually used my Gelish nail polish to color and sparkle up... the shine is gorgeous in person!

Of course, I immediately thought of what else I could make with the shrink plastic, and matching earrings were the perfect choice! I also used my Gelish polish to color & glitter these, then just a little dot of glue to attach them to some earring post backings you can buy at your local craft store or online. I see many more custom earrings in my daughters' futures!

What's cuter then a Trendy Twine Celebration pom pom? Not much I assure you... I decorated my earring box (from the Silhouette store) with one and I love it!

 I couldn't leave my gift bag out, so my Minnie Mouse gift bag also got some Celebration twine on her bow and a braid along the handle. 

I hope you've enjoyed viewing my projects, & that the song has now left your brain... time to get your butt over to the Trendy Twine blog <~~~ (click that, right there) and go check out all of the other awesome projects showcasing this fab new twine! Then head over to the Trendy Twine store and get yourself some... there might even be some other great new color releases <wink> 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Sting Like a Bee - Trendy Twine's Bumblebee Release

Happy 4th of July everyone! Time to take a break from the BBQ & potato salad to hop along with Trendy Twine for the release of the awesome Bumblebee twine, and to offer a huge warm welcome to two VERY talented ladies I'm sure you're all familiar with. Trendy Twine welcomes Brigit from Brigit's Scraps and Candace (hey great name <wink>) from Scrappin' 2 Little Princesses as the two newest design team members! 

Before I go any further can I just say... 

I said a hip hop,
Hippie to the hippie,
The hip, hip a hop, and you don't stop, a rock it
To the bang bang boogie, say, up jump the boogie,
To the rhythm of the boogie, the beat.

Sorry, Don't know what came over me there... it's like I can't do a blog post w/o referring to some random weird songs LOL but I swear when I went to post about this great blog hop that dang song kept playing in my head... and I had to share the misery ;) Now that we've gotten that out of the way it's time to check out my projects. 

I made a card & a tea light holder. For the card I used an embossing folder from Darice. After running it through my Big Shot I used my craft knife to remove a few of the hexagons. I then lined the back with packing tape and sprinkled on some glitter. To get the adorable twirls in the new Bumblebee Trendy Twine to stay put I ran a piece through a bit of perfect paper adhesive and then shaped it, it dries perfectly clear and yet holds the shape so all I had to do was put a bit more adhesive on the bottom in a few spots to hold it to my card. I used a fork to make my perfect little bow, such a quick and easy way to get tiny perfect bows don't you think?
 For the tea light holder (battery only please!) I did the same technique for the glitter, placing packing tape sticky side out on the panels and covering them with some glitter, the twine was easily wrapped around the base & top and held in place with some double sided tape. 

Ready to get your own spool of Bumblebee Trendy Twine? Now is the prefect chance since it's on sale! Head on over to get some (and check out some of the other amazing colors while you're there!), click right here: Trendy Twine Bumblebee Twine

Lastly, you should have arrived here from Sukie's Blog, if not please check above for the order and start at the beginning. You want to win some blog candy and you can't if you don't comment on everyone's posts, the giveaway ends on 7/5 at 11:59pm Central Time. Just look how cute it is: http://jadedblossom.bigcartel.com/product/love-stings-4x4

Next up on the hop is a great project from the amazing Brigit, head on over and leave her some love! http://www.brigitsscraps.com/

Saturday, June 29, 2013

So I'm Back... From Outer Space....

Did you survive? (catch that there, the little play on the lyrics? Yeah I'm hilarious like that).

Raise of hands please, anyone notice I've been MIA for months? I know a few of you follow me on Facebook (the rest of you should, I can't promise I'll do any better at blogging this go around either and you'd hate to miss my wittiness (side note, that is one weird looking/sounding word, am I right?)) anyways those of you that follow me have seen that I'm still alive, still obsessed with getting every new crafty or woodworking thing out there, but not doing much with them.

I've thought of you often dear readers, meant to actually finish a project and find the time to photograph it and post it so we could reconnect... but it never happened... then so much time lapsed that I felt all weird and awkward about posting again since it had been so long, felt that I needed some great impressive project to post with my "I'm back" post... but never actually had anything that seemed worthy, oh and I still don't... so don't go getting your hopes up or anything.

Back to my Gloria Gaynor song reference, every time I thought of blogging again that song would play in my head, it's gotten pretty damn annoying if I'm being honest with you... so I simply had to make something themed and post.

It's almost the 4th of July... fireworks, rockets red glare... rockets... hey... outer space... it sort of goes right? Work with me here. So I have for you... an Independence Day themed rocket & card!
ohhhh ahhhhh look at it all sparkly & with the perfect touch of Berries Jubilee Trendy Twine, actually I think it needs a cute little button or something, but if I waited to make one I might never get this posted LOL 

I made a quick PNC card to go with it, I used my glitter pens to add some sparkle to the fireworks and then stickles for the banners. Hard to tell but I did cut the 4th of July section as a separate layer and it's pop-dotted up. 

Here they are together, did I mention the rocket was tiny? LOL it's so cute I can't stand it. 
All files used are from Silhouette & were cut with my Cameo. 

Oh and I need to tell you guys about one of my newest obsessions. Gelish gel nail polish!!! I have Tamara from Happy Life Crafty Wife to thank for introducing me to this awesome product, I haven't had nice nails in... well ever. Now I actually have to trim and file them down and the polish lasts until I remove it, which is normally about every 10 days as I get bored and want a new color. So far turquoise has been my favorite but I went with a more patriotic look this week. I highly recommend it, you can find lots of info & videos if you google Gelish & check youtube :)

That's all for now, though don't dispare... I'll be back by next week at the latest. The "buzz" is that I've been pulled out of DT retirement for a special hop with Trendy Twine!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day (what, it's still Feb at least!)

Well hello there strangers! Anyone remember me? This is when I suggest anyone who is on facebook follows me there too, I'm much better about posting photos and chatting then I am at writing up posts.

I realize Valentine's Day was a couple weeks ago, however it's still Feb. so I say I can still post some of my cards (especially since I didn't even mail them out until this week OPPS LOL)

I've been keeping busy working on other projects too, I've built a table (no really I did, with my almost 9yr old daughters help!), have a canopy bed for her American Girl doll almost finished, am refurbing my dining room chairs (new stain & covering the cushions), and even made some cute wall art. See I've been busy, just not busying posting.

So without further delay.... some cards :)

The first is my favorite, I made it for my Dad and when my mom saw it she insisted I make her one too. I have the ever generous Bird from BirdsCards to thank for this card, the free cut files can be found on her DT post here: Cupid Suspension Files
You'll see I did modify it a bit, I really like making 5x7 cards (because I'm too cheap to pay extra to mail square cards LOL) and I added the LOVE to the bottom. I also modified the interior heart so that it hinges up and my sentiment could be written under it so it wasn't visible from the outside. 
I just love how the little cupid can twist and turn on the fishing line I used!
Look at that little belly, eeekkkk so cute (and so much cuter on him then it is on me). I used glimmer cardstock for his wings and metallic for his bow & arrow. I love how perfectly the Cameo cuts even these very small items. The bow string & arrow are hardly any thicker then my thin fishing line!

Next up is a card with a homemade action wobble, you guys know I use those any chance I can get! 
The background was a quick PNC and then I added the layered frog from Lettering Delights

He's all ready to hop right off the card for a hug! 

Lastly was another quick card. Using one of the adorable hedgehog images from Penny Black

Thank you for visiting today, I promise to be back again soon! Right now I have to go dig out some of the snow we got! 

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Dashing By...

I'm squeezing in one last project this month, a cute card for Trendy Twine featuring one of my favorite twists, Watermelon Taffy <~~~ pssttt go buy your spool here!
I did a pnc for the background using my Cameo, I also added a top layer to the tree and coated it with distress stickles in picket fence (one of my favorites) and then cut out the adorable little sledding girl from the Letting Delights set Eskimo Pie as another PNC and pop dotted it.

 I cut out her mittens & the dogs scarf so that I could layer them over the Trendy Twine. Lastly I scribbled some glue on the bottom of the card and sprinkled on some glitter for snow. 

Thanks so much for looking, be sure to check the Trendy Twine blog again tomorrow as a new challenge for Feb. and new DT projects will be listed! I can't wait to see what the ladies came up with! 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Pretty in Pink Blog Hop with Trendy Twine

Welcome to my stop on the Pretty in Pink Blog Hop!!! Are you loving the new Pink Licorice & Pink Midnight twines? The design team has made some adorable projects for you to see & of course there is some blog candy!

Trendy Twine - http://twineitup.com
Candi - http://chaos-n-crafts.blogspot.com/ <~~~ YOU ARE HERE

As those of you who follow me know I've been bitten by a wood working bug, so of course I had to combine two of my favorite things into a project. I did a string (or should I say twine) art project for Valentine's Day decor.
You can skip making your own plaque and just buy one from the craft store but since I now own the tools I wanted to save money and make my own. I started with an inexpensive piece of pine which I trimmed square with my miter saw. Then I added a decorative edge with my router & table
To line up the nails for my heart I simply used the rhinestone feature in Silhouette Studio DE, I sized a heart and then turned the edge into a rhinestone template. I printed this off and stuck it with double sided tape to my painted wood. Then it was as simple as nailing in the nails. 
Don't laugh at my mini hammer, full sized ones can be so hard to control and this little guy is perfect, no more smashed fingers or missed nails, you can find it on Amazon right here for less then $7: perfect little hammer In order to keep the nails close to even in height I first nailed every other hole, then when putting the nail in the middle the hammer head leveled them all out
Then it was just a matter of wrapping my twine around the nails, I had no rhyme or reason with this.. I like things to be symetrical so I went with this look (though it does look a bit like a spider web, my daughter suggested I add a pink glitter love spider LOL) You can try different ways of wrapping to see what you like best. 
Lastly I decided to add some pink stickles to the heads of the nails, rhinestones would have also been really cute. 

I can't decide which of the two new releases I like better, since you probably can't either go ahead and get both <wink>. We have then on special for this weekend only. 
The full spool set is on sale for $16.50 right here: Pink Licorice & Pink Midnight Spools 
The minis are on special for $3.95 for the set right here: Pink Licorice & Pink Midnight Minis
Want to be entered to win one of three prizes? To be entered for the blog candy, make sure you follow the TT blog, comment on each blog in the hop, and like the Trendy Twine Facebook Page.

You must do all three to be eligible. Deadline to enter is 10:00 pm CST, Monday, Jan 28th. Winners will be chosen by Random.org

Thanks so much for looking, next stop on the hop is with Dawn http://dawnsdesignsthatdelight.blogspot.com/