Thursday, February 28, 2013

For the Love of Reading!

Here soon, very soon (not soon enough!) I will be on vacation.  Sunny beaches, southern sweet tea, relaxing without a care in the world.... oh, sorry- back to reality for now.  As I am eagerly awaiting my upcoming vacation, I am making a mental list of things to pack.  Top of the list (besides a swim suit)... books!  I love reading but I sort of forget that I love reading.  Vacation is the only time it seems that I am able to settle down, relax and enjoy a good book.  What is necessary when reading good books?  Good bookmarks of course!  That is why I have been fiddling around this week to create a few options for my vacation reading:

They are all sort of different, come check out each one:

{Every Book is an Adventure}
{It doesn't need to be an adventure book to find yourself on a new adventure when reading it}

{A Touch of Stitching}

{Have you ever cross stitched on paper before? I love this look!}

{Put Your Heart into it}
{I found that quote online and it said it is "attributed" to Mark Twain- do you know?  My favorite part about this?  When it's lying on the page you can see the text through the heart!}

It's so hard to pick a favorite... although that heart one sure steals my heart!

{Upcoming News!}
Before we end this post, let me tell you about an exciting event coming up- "I can make that" March!

How many of you are like me and get a little pin-crazy on Pinterest?  I have more things pinned than I have time to do.  After having another pinning "episode" the other day I realized that I have never, no NEVER made anything from my "Clothing/Accessories" album.  Some of the pins are of tutorials on how to make such and such item, but many are just things that I liked and thought "I could make that".  Well my friends, the time is here for me to call in the tabs on myself.  The entire month of March, my posts will be of this journey.

I am doing this for 2 reasons:
{1} I want to finally make some of these cute items! Being responsible to you all keeps me from putting
this off even more (thanks in advance).
{2} I want to inspire you all to work on your pins as well. Think of this as a group journey. We can
encourage each other to keep working! This means of course that I want to hear about your
progress as well, so keep me updated!

Along this journey I will show the original pin that inspired me and tips on how I achieved the look.  I have pinned a lot of expensive items, so hopefully I will be able to save both you and myself money by making our own version.  Interested?  I would be honored for you to follow along and to give me feedback along the way.  This is the first time I have ever done a month long series like this, so let me know how you like it (or don't like it) and of course, show me your progress too!

{Your Turn}
Okay, I am finally done talking... for now. What did you think of the bookmarks? Do you have a favorite? What about the upcoming "I could make that" March? Will you be sharing in this journey with me? I hope you will! See you all again soon.

Happy Crafting,
Kelsie Ann

Monday, February 25, 2013

Baked Clay {Easter} Place Card Holders

I have said it before and I will say it again:  I love Easter.  I love it for its true meaning and I love it for all the sweetness that comes from the pastels, the bunnies and the colored eggs.  I love going to the Sunrise Service at church and seeing little girls in their Easter dresses.  It all seems so quaint and (at least for myself), it makes the world slow down a little bit.  It gives us a chance to look at what is important, what is real and what is good.  In the spirit of Easter, I have decided to make a little something that is quaint and fun at the same time...

"Peeps" are those famous marshmallow bunnies, chicks (and now about any other holiday shape) covered in brightly colored sugar.  You know the ones.  You either love them or you hate them.  I got burnt out on them after years of gorging myself, but deep down I still love those adorable little sugar bunnies!

I think the idea of using place card holders at home is so quaint in and of itself.  We often see them in restaurants or at weddings, but rarely are they found at small gatherings with friends in our own homes.  I believe this to be another one of those "lost treasures" like written correspondence or reading the newspaper.

{We had a little accident with his eye- oops!  Nothing a little drop of paint wont fix!)

{Easy to Make}
The instructions are simple. Get yourself a block of baked clay (I use Sculpey Brand "Bake Shop") and mold to your desired shape. Don't forget to make a "slice" in the back of your shape for the place cards to fit (this must be done before baking). Four bunnies take less than 3/4 of the block to make. Follow the baking instructions listed on the packaging. Once your shapes are done baking, let cool and then color with acrylic paint.

That's it! Set up and enjoy!

{Your Turn}
I was going to make some realistic looking bunnies as well but then realized that I have zero sculpting abilities (one of those artistic talents that I never quite grasped!) What do you think of the "Peeps" theme? Have I inspired you to make your own place card holders? If you do- I would love to see pictures, so link up your posts!

Happy Crafting,
Kelsie Ann

Thursday, February 21, 2013

NEVER Pay for Canvas Again!

I have quite the treat for you all today.  No, it is not a giveaway or some new craft that I think will change the world (although it is pretty cute if I do say so myself).  It is however, an idea that could save you money... and who doesn't like that?  My husband always calls me a frugal Hoosier (we're from Indiana and that name came from the t.v. show The Middle) because I will figure out a way to save money any way I can.  I don't really coupon but I re-use like it is going out of style!  Anyways, I was at work one day (I work at a fabric store) and as I was moving empty fabric bolts it hit me- use these instead of canvas boards!  They are light, sturdy and FREE!  Hear me out...

There are 2 kinds of boards that a bolt of fabric will come on.  One has flaps on each end that the fabric falls between, the other is a solid piece (as seen above) with closed ends.  Go to your local fabric store and ask for the latter kind.  This option is more sturdy and has the same type of dimension from the wall that a canvas would have.  I can't guarantee that they will have any (or that they will give them away) but I bet that they will.  When our customer's ask for some to hold their fabric on at home, we will fill their carts up for them!

Once you get home, decide if you want the end pieces to show.  Since it sticks up a little bit, I decided to remove the front part of it so that I had a smooth top.

Carefully pull the end piece off as far as you wish.  I kept it attached on the back and re-glued the "top" so that the end was finished.  So that the front piece didn't show, I simply cut off that strip before gluing the middle section back down (this will make more sense once you have it in front of you)

See how the end piece is 2 sided and not 3 sided anymore?  This makes for a nice finished end cap and still removes the unwanted bump on the front of your board.

{Want to see what I made with it?}
I couldn't leave this post with this great idea and no craft to go with it, could I?! Of course not! As I said last week, I LOVE Easter and am slowly getting the house ready for it. Here is my newest Easter addition:

I absolutely love this.  It turned out even better than I had imagined!

I covered the board with a pale yellow paint and then finished each end with some green paint.

The "Easter Greetings" is cut from vinyl on the Silhouette.  I then trimmed each section where the green & yellow paint meet with some twine (of course!)

For the design, I used the shape "bunny" by Lori Whitlock, which can be found in the Silhouette Store.  Instead of cutting out the tail with paper, I attached a fluffy cotton tail!

{Vintage floral print, 3-D fluffy cotton tail... just darling!}

Please excuse the terrible lighting and glare that all pictures seem to have in our house, but I also wanted to show you where we hung it up.  Right as you walk in the door into the kitchen, there is a small corner where we hang pictures.  I thought this would be the perfect "Welcome" for friends and family.

{Your Turn}
What do you think? Would you consider using these boards as a free substitute for canvas? I bet they can be shaped or cut down to any size you needed and they are so light that they can be hung anywhere! The only problem would be if you wanted that "waffled" canvas feel. Otherwise, this seems like a GREAT money saver to me. If you agree, what decorative ideas do you have for these boards? I would love to hear them!

Happy Crafting,
Kelsie Ann

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Monday, February 18, 2013

EXTRA! EXTRA! Read All About It!

I love newspaper.  I love the feel of newspaper, I love the look of newspaper, I even love the smell of newspaper.  The same goes for old books (e-books may be convenient but if they can't have that musky old smell and crisp feel of a real book then half the worth in reading is lost to me)  Call me crazy, but that is what I think.  Now you all may love your e-books and newspaper websites, but I bet that you still appreciate that typed newspaper look.  Am I right?  If so, then come see what I made for Easter decorations:

This is yet another quick and easy craft (who doesn't like that?!) 

{1} First, cut strips of newspaper.  I found it was easiest to just cut down each side of a column and then shorten that strip up as needed.  I actually prefer the longer strips of paper because they required more smooshing, folding and creasing to shape around the egg (which created that crinkled look).  I then used shorter pieces to fill in bare spots.

{2} To color the paper, lightly paint over the strips of newspaper.  If you find that the color is too dark, take an empty sponge brush over the top to get some of the paint off.  Using pastels works best (especially for Easter colors) but even the darker purple worked fine for me.

{3} To apply, cover the back of the newspaper with Mod Podge and stick to one of those plastic eggs from the store (the ones you can put candy inside)  A whole package of these costs about a dollar. 

It dries quickly and looks really neat when it is all done!  I put mine in the vase that sits on our dining room table.  This vase always gets filled for the holidays, but has been sitting empty since we took Christmas down (well, except for a short stint of door knobs- which were kind of neat!)

I loooooove the newspaper print- so darling!  I could seriously decorate with this stuff all day.

Although my husband usually stays out of the decorating scene all together, I think he is not-so cracked up about this project.  When I was saying how much I loved that crinkled look, I could see the need to smooth it out in his eyes! Isn't that funny?  I crinkle, he smooths... it's what we do.

{Your Turn}
Are you on team Tyler or team Kelsie in the battle of smooth vs. crinkled?  How do you get your house ready for Easter?  I know it's a ways away but I just love this holiday so much, I couldn't hold back!  I would love to hear what you have to say, so please let me know what you are thinking.

Happy Crafting,
Kelsie Ann


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Metal & Clay Earrings

Good morning (or whatever time it is for you right now).  I am going to make today's post short and sweet because our craft today is simple and sweet... okay, and because I have to leave for work in 20 minutes.  If you've been following us lately, you know that I am on a jewelry kick.  First I did  a metal stamped necklace, then I made a bracelet from baked clay.  Well today, I used metal AND clay... check it out:

Neat, huh?

All I did was make teeny tiny little hearts from baked clay, bake for about 10 minutes (follow instructions on the packaging), let cool then paint.  I actually painted the bottom white and the top purple just because.

After the paint dried, I simply glued the hearts onto small metal circles and attached them to an earring finding with a jump ring.  I would suggest E-6000 glue.  I was all out and tried hot glue and it is just not sticking.  I'll be reapplying E-6000 after I pick some more up!

What do you think?  It's a pretty easy craft to make and it only takes 20 minutes, start to finish!  Next time, I might make my hearts even more flat and see if that looks any different.  I love having the tiny heart sitting at the bottom corner.  So dainty and pretty.  Let me know what you think, I would love to hear from you!

Happy Crafting,
Kelsie Ann

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

And the WINNER is...

I hope everyone had a GREAT time following Saturday's blog hop, I know I did.  There were so many neat crafts out there, don't you think?  I am humbled to be inlcuded in a hop with such gifted women!  Anyways, down to the reason that you are all here... to find out the winner of our giveaway. 

To recap, here's what the winner will recieve:

Okay, okay, I wont keep you waiting any longer.  Plus, if you've been to the facebook page you already know.  And the winner is....

Congrats Margaret! I will be contacting you shortly for your mailing information. 

I LOVED doing a giveaway and so enjoyed seeing everyone's comments!  I can guarantee that we will be doing another giveaway before long.  Thank you all for being so great.  See you all Thursday!

Happy Crafting,
Kelsie Ann

Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Lovely Blog Hop {Heart Shaped Pincushion}

Hello!  Welcome to A Lovely Blog Hop! If you have just stumbled upon this blog hop, then you are in for a treat!  To start at the beginning, head over to Every Day is an Occasion (don't worry, you'll be coming back here). If you have been following along you should have come from My Paper Love.
The idea behind this blog hop is to make something Valentine's themed.  I decided to make a heart shaped pincushion.  The perfect way to steal the heart of your crafty friends!

It's actually really easy to make.  Since you have places to go (there's lots of talented bloggers ahead!) I will make my directions quick.  If you have any questions, just ask!

Here's what you will need:

- Small flat wood heart (found in the wood section of craft stores)
- Fabric
- Batting
- Felt
- Ribbon/Trim

To begin, lay your fabric face down then lay the batting on top of it.  Place the wood heart on top of that.  Begin on a side of the heart and pull the fabric to the backside of the heart, sticking it down with hot glue.  Continue this process all the way around the heart, making sure to stuff the batting in enough to make the center plump.  You also want to make sure that the middle of the heart (where it dips down) is nice and tight so that the shape of the heart shows.

When you have it all glued down, cut a piece of felt in a heart shape, just slightly smaller than your wood piece.  Place this over the back where your rough edges of fabric are glued.  This makes the back look more finished.

The last step is to glue the ribbon along the edge.  I would suggest finding a trim like the one pictured above.  It fit perfectly along the edges and really made the shape of the heart stand out.  The perfect "final touch"!

Here's a view from the top:

Want to know who I made it for?  My very favorite crafty person in the world... the person who is responsible for my craftiness... my mom!  She LOVES birds, so when I saw this bird/heart fabric, I knew it was perfect!

I hope you have enjoyed today's craft and are having a fun time with the blog hop.  Thanks so much for following along!  Did I mention that I am doing a giveaway for today?  Here's what you can win:

1- Shrink Film.  Laurie (the sponsor for these prizes) has made some really neat stuff from this.  Check out the necklaces she made during a guest blog she did for us.  I love those!

2- Three (3) Mini Spools of Ribbon- Exact ones pictured.  Aren't those darling?

3- Dimensional "To/From" Stickers- Exact ones pictured.  Beautiful detail along the edges.

4- Two (2) Love Themed Stamps- Exact ones pictured.  Perfect for those last minute Valentine projects!

Thanks again Laurie for donating these awesome items!

You have THREE ways to enter (and you can enter for each of the three)'s how:

Earn 1 entry for commenting on this post.  Let me know what you like, what you don't, or any thoughts.  Really, share anything for this one!  Limit is one entry per person.

Earn another (1) entry if you LIKE us on Facebook AND comment on our wall.  Again, say anything you would like, we just love to hear from you.  Limit is one entry per person.

Earn one (1) more entry if you SHARE this post on facebook.  Make sure that you share the picture from our facebook page, so that we know who has done this one (I'll make it clear which one it is).  Limit is one entry per person.

Easy right?  The contest will end on Tuesday, February 12 at 9:00 AM EST.  The winner will be announced that afternoon at 3:00 EST.  The contest is open to everyone and the winner will be chosen by a random drawing.

Ready to move on to the next blog?  Head on over to A Piece of Life's Pie and see what Arin has to share!

Happy Crafting,
Kelsie Ann

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Free Facebook Covers!

Well, hello there.  How is everyone doing today?  I woke up on the right side of the bed this morning and am feeling GREAT!  I am really glad that you stopped by today and because you are such loyal followers (or new followers, or someone who just stumbled across us by accident) I have a little gift for you.

Did you remember that I am not actually doing a post today because of Saturday's blog hop?  Here's some information about it if you missed it.  I apparently can't just leave the day alone however, so I figured I'd make some printables for you all.  Actually, they are facebook covers.  Everyone has facebook now and I thought you might want to share a little love on your cover photo.

See the links below the pictures for access.

{Love those floating dots}
Get it here

{I've got this one on my facebook right now}
Get it here

{Simple.  Beautiful.}
Get it here

{For all you old- school lovers out there}
Get it here

{See you Saturday}
Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you like these printables/facebook covers, I know I do! Don't forget to stop by this Saturday, February 9th starting at 9:00am EST for the blog hop! It's going to be so much fun and there will be prizes!

Happy Crafting,
Kelsie Ann

Monday, February 4, 2013

To Our Sweet Little Valentine

Crafting is always fun but crafting for a little one is a mix of adorable patterns, cutesy sayings and sweetness galore!  If you haven't noticed, I am a fan of making things for babies.  I LOVE making burp cloths and iron-on onesies.  If you are wanting a personalized or hand made gift for a loved one, these are two super easy ways to go.  Check out a few of my creations here and here.

Last year around this time, our sweet little nephew was born.  Now he is a year old and we just love him to pieces.  I thought that while I was shipping his birthday present, I might as well include a valentine to the little boy that stole our heart.  Here is what I came up with:

{Loving those decorated clothes pins?  Check out more ideas and how to make them here}

Kellan (our little nephew) has monkey stuff everywhere.  From the nursery to towels... it is a good theme for a baby.  It also makes for an adorable valentine's shirt!

{It is SUPER DUPER easy to make!}
Really.  All you need to do is choose an image on the Silhouette, cut it out with heat transfer vinyl and attach it to the shirt (just remember that your image needs to be reversed when cutting!)  Who knew that a personalized shirt could be so easy to make?  

  {You can find this monkey in the Silhouette Store.  He is in a set of images called "animal set" by Rivka Wilkins .  There are a few "animal sets" (all adorable) so just look for the one with the monkey}

Please Note: I did alter the monkey image by taking out his round belly cutout and replacing it with a heart shape.  I did this to make it look more valentine's themed.  If you want an image exactly like the one you see above, remember that the original needs to be changed.

{Want to see the back?}
 {Maybe it's because I spell my name unusually (Kelsie not Kelsey) and could never find anything at the store with my spelling on it, but I LOVE the idea of having his name across the back.  At least he wont get confused at daycare, right?}

{That's not all}
I couldn't resist but to throw in a little card just to say "Happy Valentine's Day" and that we miss him.  As I've mentioned before, I am not a card maker.  It is not something that comes naturally to me.  However, I am in LOVE with this sweet and simple card:

 {Cheesy Line?  Check.  Baker's Twine?  Check.  Adorable little button?  Check.}

Did you notice that the monkeys matched?  Nice touch, don't you think?

{Your Turn}
What do you think about this easy-to-do Valentine? Have I hooked some of you into never buying another personalized shirt again?  What are some sweet crafts that you have sent to the little valentines in your life?  I would love to hear your responses and more, so please- tell me all about it!
{One more thing}
Cut, Craft, Create is going to be participating in another blog hop this weekend (yay!) Myself and nine other really crafty women are ready to hop you from place to place, showing you tons of really cute Valentine's crafts (never before seen). This hop will take place February 9th starting at 9:00am EST. Please note that this will take the place of my Thursday post. Stop by for directions on where to start. Oh, and I'll be giving away prizes this time so you will definitely want to be stopping by.

Happy Crafting,
Kelsie Ann