Saturday, February 23, 2013

How Refreshing!!!

Took a few minutes today to update the layout of the blog.

  • Refreshed the color scheme, trying out the "Pantone Color of the Year" - or my version of it.
  • You can easily recommend Created in AWE with a g+ button.
  • Added buttons to follow me on Pinterest and Facebook.
  • Placed links on the sidebar to my most popular posts.
  • And finally, put my lables/tags on the sidebar.

Hoping this helps you navigate with more options and help spread the word about this little blog.

What do you think?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My 1st Attempt at Washi Tape

Not so great. That's my first impression of washi tape, but it might just be me - or the fact that it's designed to stick best to paper, not wood :/   I have seen A LOT of washi tape projects recently, and I really liked a project I recently pinned, a Washi Tape Wall Art project from Living Locurto.  Using large wooden letters (I found some I liked at Hobby Lobby for about $3.50 - before coupon) they created a diagonal stripe design with 3 different washi tapes. I know you will say I'm stingy (I prefer frugal), but I didn't want to buy 3 rolls of tape. I found some 2-packs at Michaels (I think it was $3 for the pack), and thought I'd add a narrow ribbon for a bit of texture and contrast.

As they did, I began placing the tape pieces on the letter, but left a narrow space between each for the ribbon. First problem; The tape did not stick well at the ends, as it wrapped around the sides and back. I hoped finishing with mod podge would fix that, but the ends were finicky and needed a lot of coaxing.  I also planned to use the mod podge as a way to hold the ribbon onto the letter between the tape strips. My next problem; The mod podge puddled on the washi tape. Grrrr. I made sure to allow it to dry after placing the ribbon, then do a second coat in the opposite direction hoping to disguise and obvious puddles. That did look a bit better.

Now for problem number 3, which is my own fault. The ribbon, being so narrow, was a little too stiff to be held down in the back solely with mod podge. So, I needed to secure it with tape while the mod podge set up - all the way around . . . including around the inside holes! Way too tedious! I do not recommend using this type of ribbon.

These only show the finished back. But, imagine trying to tape all of those ribbon ends while the acted like they had wires in them that made them keep popping up!

I do like the finished piece, but take these recommendations to heart: Instead of mod podge, use something like a tacky glue on the ends as they wrap around the letter, it should give you better hold. Also, do not use a narrow ribbon, possibly a wider ribbon or just the tape.

So, let us know if you have tried washi tape - and what is your favorite way to use it? And, if you tried this project, how did it work for you? Hopefully better than for me :)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine Mantle

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

I wish this could have been finished a week ago, but alas Mommyhood prevails. So, I get to unveil this on the Sweetest day of the year! I wish you all love, peace, and happiness!

The wreath was my biggest challenge. I learned Tunisian Crochet just for this project. Mainly, because I was going for a look based on a wreath by Crafts 'n Coffee. I loved the use of the dark dark red (and now I'm wondering if I went a little too dark :/) and the look of the repurposed sweater. Knowing I couldn't recreate the sweater, I thought I'd try Tunisian crochet to have a close-to-knit-look.

I found a great YouTube video by Naztazia. I made a piece approximately 7 inches wide, with a beginning chain of 23 stitches. Somewhere along the way, I dropped 2 stitches, backed up to find one, but By the end, I only had 22. Not bad for my first attempt.

Since it needed to wrap the full circumference of a 12 inch wreath form, and wanted it to stretch a bit to avoid ripples, I made the piece about 34 inches long. I whip stitched the ends together, then stretched it around the wreath. Then I whip stitched the length of the piece on the backside of the wreath. I am thinking about removing the finished crochet piece to reuse the wreath. Then, next year, I can simply stitch it back on.

The hearts were all made from a pattern from Sarahndipities. The one thing I altered in the pattern, is; I started with a magic circle, see this YouTube video, instead of the chain 4, and crocheted all of the first round stitches in the circle. For the wreath, I made one full heart, one heart of only rounds 1 and 2, and one heart of only round 1. I made each in a sport weight white (G hook), and a bulky dark grey (I hook). I layered the matching sizes of two colors and stitched them together, then to the wreath. I finished it off with a chain in the dark gray yarn with a heart pendant and "crystal" gem in the center stitch, attached to the back of the wreath, so the charms hang in the center of the wreath.

The garland was the full heart pattern. I didn't want a bulky chain stretching across, so I simple wove them onto the yarn. They turned out so sweet!

The flowers in the cute little silver bud vase were clearance from Michaels. Talk about sweet - or should I say sweet deal!


Please, let me know what you think. Did you make any decorations for Valentines Day this year? Share with us.

This post has been linked up with: 52 Mantles

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Touch of Vintage Mantle

I'm so excited to share this project with you. I've been working for 3 weeks on this mantle. I have to say for the past 18 years, I haven't had a mantle worth showing anyone. Oh, some Christmas mantles have turned out nice, but I just haven't been inspired to give it a true style. Well that began to change a few moths ago when hubby indulged me with a trip downtown to the antique stores. His patience was amazing, for when I go antiquing, I have to look at EVERYTHING, and SLOWLY!

On that trip, I fell in love with a pair of old paned windows. But, I held back. The budget didn't allow for a purchase like this, I mean they were $40 a piece. So, I was good, and waited . . . and waited . . . and waited. I wouldn't even allow myself in the stores. It nearly killed me.

Then a few weeks ago, I was given some of the most lovely birthday gifts. They were all lovely, and a few allowed me to once again enter these beautiful shops. I was in heaven! I shopped and shopped. Driving to my own downtown area, and a nearby antique hot spot in Jenks. I first found the perfect windows, at the perfect prices! I got all three of these beauties for less than the cost of one of the windows I found back in October. Booyah!

Then I determined the look I wanted and hunted for little treasures to finish it off. Hope you like it. Now that it's done, I'm excited to change it up for different holidays and seasons. I already have Valentines Day planned.

But, let me give you a rundown on what I got and what I made.

The windows came from River City Trading Post in Jenks, America (actually Oklahoma, but we all say Jenks, America). It's a quaint little suburb of Tulsa full of adorable antique stores. This one is more of an antique mall. It's amazing! The lace curtain was mine, so happy I kept it after all these years. I just used thumb tacks to secure it to the back of the window.

This, I made. I purchased the white styrofoam cone, wide ecru lace, and heart buttons from Hobby Lobby. The bird and green gem are brads by Spare Parts, leftover from my Lace Brooches project, along with the dark ecru lace and white lace. I found the silver trim in my stash. Finally, the aged pearl necklace was from my grandmother. I was always afraid to wear it, just sure the strand would break, but now I can feature it for all to see! Everything was secured with small sewing pins.

I started with the cone and lace, then slowly found more and more to add. The buttons needed a piece of string tied through for the pin to go through.

Found these plus all of the pearls at My Papa's Barn in Broken Arrow, OK.

 Both bud vases and this oil lamp came from The Hitching Post also in Broken Arrow.

 These were past gifts. I had them on the mantle before, and I'm so glad they work into the color scheme.

The candle stick came from Hobby Lobby and the candle from Michaels.
The silver trim, again, came from my stash.

It make me so happy to look at this. Hubby just smiles and says he's glad I am happy with it. I've promised him it won't have this romantic look all of the time. After Valentine's Day, it will get a Spring makeover, then move into a simpler look for Summer. Can't wait to share them all with you.

I'd love to hear your thoughts. What treasures have you hunted down? What would you do, or do differently?

This post has been linked up to the following parties: 52 MantlesSix Sisters' StuffShaken Together Life,  One Artsy Mama, Create Craft Love, Uncommon Designs, and Petals to Picots.