Monday, July 30, 2012

Craft Wars

Hey kids! Don't forget the all new episode of Craft Wars, Bedknobs and Gluesticks, on TLC tomorrow night at 8/7c!!
In the meantime, check out this link to the show's website!

Keep Calm and Craft


DIY Anytime Centerpieces

As most of you know, for the past month or so my mom and I have been planning my sister-in-law's baby shower. One of my favorite things in the world is flowers. Any flowers. No matter where I am I simply must have a vase of flowers. So when thinking about centerpieces I knew that I had to go floral. When planning a party on a budget, it is important to use as many reusable items as possible. For this reason, I chose these Mason Jar centerpieces. These easy centerpieces incorporated my love of all things floral without breaking the bank. Mason Jars are pretty much a universal item and can be used in innumerable ways. To bring together the centerpiece look I added clear glass stones to the bottom of the jar, a raffia bow, and some simple flowers. These centerpieces are simple, elegant, and can be fitted to virtually any motif. Here is a short tutorial on how to put them together. At the bottom you will find a few variation ideas to create some different looks. Enjoy!

1) Gather needed Mason Jars.
        * Because they would be the focal point of the table, we used 1qt jars to create the presence needed.
        * You can make as many or as few of these as you would like. They will brighten up any table or bar.
        * We made a couple extra for take home gifts and prizes for my sister-in-law and the game winners.

2) Choose glass stones.
        * We used clear glass stones to catch the natural light and add a little sparkle to the jar.
        * The color of the stones can be changed according to your color scheme/motif.

3) Put approximately 3/4 cup of stones in the bottom of each jar.

4) Tie a few strings of raffia under the rim of the jar.
        * You can use as much or as little raffia as you like.
        * A few thicker strands will look cleaner and fray less. More fine strands will add volume.

5) Choose flowers.
        * We used baby pink and antique white roses. The color/flower can vary depending on your motif.

6) Cut and arrange flowers.
        * The height of your flowers will depend on the look you want to achieve.
        * To make a few flowers look like more, cut the stems shorter and plant them together in the stones.
        * For a more breezy, open look, make the stems a little taller and allow the flowers to fall away.
        * Remember to stagger the height of your stems to add depth and visual interest to your centerpiece.

There are many variations on this centerpiece that will completely change the look while keeping the same idea. For example, instead of raffia you could use ribbon. Ribbon will add a bit more elegance and sophistication whereas the raffia is a bit more rustic. Also, the different types of flowers will change the look drastically. One of the great things about these jars is that they can handle pretty much any kind of flower you could want to use. Finally, your choice of stones will complete the look you are going for. Places like Walmart will generally have the clear glass and a couple other color choices. However, you are more likely to find a larger selection at a craft store (i.e. Michael's or Hobby Lobby) if you prefer something more unique. I have used clear glass and colored glass stones as well as some river rock in these jars and each of them looked fabulous. Go crazy and let your creativity go wild. Don't be afraid to bring a Mason Jar with you and try different kinds of rock to get a feel for what you want. You may get some funny looks but hey, you are a crafter! Go for it!!!

As always I would LOVE to hear what kind of wonderful things y'all have come up with. Let me know how amazing your centerpieces looked and any other cool ideas you discovered!

Keep Calm and DIY


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Coming Soon...

DIY Anytime Centerpieces

Homemade Lemon Bath Salts

My mom and I are planning a baby shower and were absolutely stumped for favor ideas. Until, that is, we found a recipe for homemade bath salts. Genius! Turning this insanely easy recipe into a beautiful favor was a snap. Whether you use this idea for party favors or as holiday gifts, you are guaranteed to please! Enjoy!

                3 cups Epsom salts (any brand will do)
                1 tsp. lemon juice
                1 tsp. sugar
                Add food coloring for desired color

1) Select container. For an elegant vintage look we decided on Mason Jars.
                * The size of jar will depend on the use of the gift. We used 1/2 pint jars for the favors.
                * Glass canisters, bottles, vials, or pretty much any kind of sealed container will work fine.

2) Select candles. We used unscented white tealights.
                 * The type of candle will depend on the size of your container.
                 * Consider fragrance and color of both the candle and the salts. Be sure they blend well.
    Caution: If you decide on a scented candle be sure it will not clash with the scent of the salts.

2) Wash out containers and dry well.
                * Be sure the containers are completely dry to avoid the salts clumping.

3) Mix up the salts.
                * Because of the lemon fragrance we used yellow coloring
                * The salts pictured have one drop of coloring in them. For darker color add more drops.
    Caution: Coloring drops go a long way. Add one drop at a time to avoid a darker color than you want.

4) Spoon salts into container.
                * Fill to just under the ledge.

5a) For tealight candles:
      Gently press the candle into the middle of the salts until they come even with the rim of the candle.
                * Lightly blowing on the top of the candle will remove any stray salts.

5b) For taller candles:
      Gently press candle into the middle of the salts until the candle can stand steadily when you jiggle the jar.

6) Replace the lid.

7) Finish off with a few strands of raffia tied in a bow.

And it is just that easy, Folks! I hope you find a million uses for this little project. I'd love to hear about your great ideas! Write me and let me know!

Keep Calm and DIY


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Book Page Canvas

I have seen many posts about the "book page canvas" on blogs, Pinterest, etc. Being a confessed bookworm I LOVED the idea of using book pages in an art piece. I did find some great ideas and how to's on other sites but I found some details lacking. I used the information that I could gather and through a little trial and error found my way through the process. Though I am sure that anyone who creates their own canvas will find better ways of doing some things I would like to share some great things I learned while creating mine.

You will need:
          Large Brush/Sponge
          Modge Podge
          Acryllic paint
          Artist brushes

1) Choose a canvas that is the appropriate size for your choice of artwork.
                 *The canvas shown in the photos is______.
                 * I found Hobby Lobby has the best priced canvases and also has a relatively large selection.

2) Choose a book that you don't mind pulling apart.
                 * The size of the pages doesn't really matter.

3) I began my canvas using a large stencil sponge but found it soaked up more glue than it put on the canvas.    So I switched over to a large paint brush and found that it worked much better.
                 * The brush I used was a 1" (pictured)
                 * These brushes can be found at Walmart, Michael's, Hobby Lobby, etc.

4) For paper on canvas the original Modge Podge works best.
                 * I used Paper Modge Podge first but it will not adhere to the canvas. Use original.
                 * I used the matte because I wanted a soft vintage look but the gloss will look very nice also.
                 * This kind of Modge Podge can generally be found at Walmart.

5) Choose color pallet. Depending on the kind of decoration you intend to use you may need 3-5 different colors. I used 6 colors because I like having an extra neutral color to mix with the others if needed.
                * Be sure to use acrylic paint. Oil paint will take much longer to dry.
                * These paints can be found at Michael's or Walmart for under $1.

6) Choose decoration. You may prefer to do simply text or even try some freehand art. Whatever you decide, plan out your embellishment first.
                  * I made a prototype of my canvas with paper and colored pencils.
                  * Use the correct sizes for your prototype so as to ensure good arrangements for balance.
                  * I chose a medium sized stencil. These can be found at nearly every craft store.

Once you have all of your supplies ready you can begin your project. I generally prefer to cover my craft table with a layer of newspaper before I begin a project like this.This keeps your table free of paint and glue spatters and provides ease in cleanup when you are finished. 

1) Using your brush/sponge, apply a layer of Modge Podge directly to your canvas and place a page over it. Smooth out any wrinkles with your fingers and be sure the edges are secure. Continue this process until the canvas is covered.
                     * Only apply Modge Podge where you are immediately going to place a page.
                     * Pages can be applied in any design you prefer. Straight or collage.

2) Allow finished canvas to dry over night.

3) Apply a good coat of Modge Podge over the entire canvas to seal everything in. Pay special attention to the edges of the pages and the corners of the canvas. Be sure there are no loose edges.

Hint: If you are doing embellishment and text, apply embellishment first. It is easier to work around the art with text than vice versa. 

5)Apply your embellishment. You may use glitter and glue, matte paint, glitter paint, etc. Any kind of color to achieve the look you want. 
                       * Modge Podge can also be used to apply glitter to your canvas.
                       * As stated above, use ACRYLIC paint on your canvas. 

6) Apply your text. You may use a stencil or write freehand.  How you apply your text all depends on the look you are going for. 
                      * Stenciled letters look very neat and precise and give the piece a professional feel.
                      * Freehand letters look free and easy and give the piece a more personal feel.

7) Apply a thin layer of glitter paint in selected areas if you prefer. I lightly dusted my birds with some thin glitter paint. The glitter will catch the light and had some lovely shine to the piece. 

And fin! You are done! This process can be used with any size canvas and nearly any type of page you desire. The canvas is a wonderful place to show off your personality and just have some fun. Add your own touches and really express yourself! I hope this tutorial is helpful to you and gives you some ideas for your own creation! 

Keep Calm and Modge Podge.



P.S. I'd love to see/hear how your book page canvas went! Post some pictures and let me know what awesome ideas and tricks you have discovered!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Conquering the __________

The blank page. The white canvas. The "No Posts" sign on a new blog. That annoying blinking line on the computer screen taunting your very ability to form words. The creator in us must do battle with these monsters every time we attempt to enter the castle of inspiration.

We wonder how to get past these monsters. Where do we begin? Here is the "entirely too simplistic" answer. To conquer a page, write a word. Any word. My personal favorite is supercalafragalisticexpialidotious but use your own judgment. To conquer a canvas, one small stroke of paint. Pick a color, any color. Anything but white. For the new blog, well you can do as I do. Write a ridiculous blog that makes very little sense but is humorous enough to make people chuckle at how little sense it makes...Honestly the way to conquer the blank is the same no matter what your medium of choice. At the risk of sounding like Nike...JUST DO IT. The first stroke of paint does not have to be Monet. Truthfully, it will probably more like Picasso...The consumers you want are those who will stay past the first stroke of paint, past the first sentence, and past the first blog post. The valuable consumers are those who stick with you as you grow in your art.

Keep Calm and Create.