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31 August 2010

Hello, Goodbye!

Hello, Pumpkin Spice Latte...did you know they're back? I had my first on Saturday, right before I went to get my haircut. What a treat! If I closed my eyes and turned the a.c. way up in my car, I could almost fool myself into thinking it was fall, and not the 80 degree day it was in actuality. Please note: I did not close my eyes while driving. I actually didn't close my eyes at all. But if I would have, I might have been able to pretend autumn was making an appearance!
Please don't hate me for willing autumn to arrive. I will be singing a different tune come February, but for now I say...bring on the sweater weather, pumpkins, crunchy leaves and comfort foods.

This weekend I will say goodbye to my summer decor and I'll begin to invite touches of autumn into our home, starting here:
Ha! Yes, we do indeed have rabbit ears, and there they are right in the picture. This is how we live, folks!

I loved the way the summer mantel came together. Some of my favorite things are on display. The vintage hat was my grandma's and the glass milk bottle was from the dairy where she grew up. I know it doesn't show much, but the baby picture on the front of the bottle is fashioned after my great-uncle. Such a sweet heirloom!

I've loved having this funky vintage box-purse on display through the summer. With it's warm tones, I might try to incorporate it into the autumn mantel...we'll see.

Incidentally, my grandma also painted the watercolor. The yellow frame was original to the piece, and I love it!

30 August 2010

Fruity Art

I love this project. It might just be my favorite thing that I've shared on the blog, to date.

Do you have kids in your home? We have one small person living in our house, and I've made it somewhat of a quest to make our home fun, quirky, and child-friendly without having it look like an explosion of Toys 'R Us clutter.

As a baby gift, my incredibly talented and creative cousin, Jodi, painted a kid-sized table for us. Now that Maren is old enough to sit at this pint-sized table, it's become a semi-permanent fixture of our kitchen. There was a perfect blank space above the table for a kid-friendly piece of art. I love fruit, and this idea quickly popped into my mind.

*QUESTION: I typically don't reveal any 'finished' pictures until the end of the post...would you prefer to see one up front instead? Do tell...

My husband picked up some large scrap shelving pieces a while back, and I had him cut me four 6 1/4 in. squares. Since he's handy, I also had him add a little border using his router. {I know there are ladies out there who can handle power tools with the best of 'em. I tip my hat to you, and thank the Lord for a husband who is willing to do my sawing. Ha!} This wood is nothing fancy, people. It's just a heavier-duty press board of some type. No need for anything pricey for this project.

Next, I applied two coats of black spray paint, being sure to get the edges extra-good. You can see that the middle of the boards get a little faint. Since that part will be covered with paper, there's no great need to have it perfectly painted.

I cut 5 in. squares out of some funky scrapbook paper I had on hand. It looks like dictionary pages. I only had enough to do 2 each of the black and white backgrounds, but I didn't mind the contrast at all on the finished product. I wanted to keep this project free, so I used what I had on hand. I applied the dictionary paper to the dry black boards with a thin coat of Mod Podge, being careful to smooth out all the bubbles.

Next, I cut out fruit shapes from paper I had in my scrap box. I knew what colors I wanted, and I chose my fruits accordingly. I also picked fruit that I like and that my daughter likes and would recognize. This art is for her, after all!

I arranged my fruit on the boards after the first coat of Mod Podge was completely dry. Don't skip the completely dry part, or you'll be sorry!

Since my fruits were all assembled in a layered way, I stripped them down to the first layer, and applied that layer with another thin coat of Mod Podge. Here's what they looked like as they were drying:

When that coat was dry, I applied another coat and stuck on the second layer of detail for the fruit. When that layer was dry, I applied 2 more good coats of Mod Podge to the entire piece. The pictures are hanging over a kid table, and I wanted them to stand a chance at survival against various inevitable spills and splatters.

Here's the fruit in it's new home:

I get so many compliments on these little pieces, and I love how they look over the table. Isn't that the most amazing table? I've got the best cousin. Someday I'll tell you more about her. We've had some fun together. (Hi, Jodi!) P.S. Please ignore the phone jack smack dab in the middle of the wall...who's idea was it to put that there anyways, and how on earth can I disguise it? Argh...
Do you have any child-level art in your home? This is my first installment, but I plan to implement more in the coming months.

I'll be linking to these places throughout the week:

Visit thecsiproject.com
The DIY Show Off
Join us Saturdays at tatertotsandjello.com for the weekend wrap up party!UndertheTableandDreaming

27 August 2010

Friday Finds

I'm sure most of you know that I sell a few fun things on Etsy. Now that I'm committed to this world of public blogging and creating, I find myself nurturing a desire to support other creative folks. With the holidays right around the corner, I thought it would be fun to feature some crafty people each Friday, maybe even host a giveaway or two.

Today's finds are all things I encountered via the 'pounce' feature at Etsy. All of these lovelies are from brand-new shops that have yet to experience the thrill of the first sale. I think they're off to a great start, don't you?

26 August 2010

Come visit me!

*I'm pulling this little lovely from the archives for the CSI Project: Fall! I love this little autumn flower for this time of year!

Visit thecsiproject.com

I'm guest posting over at Tatertots and Jello today!

{***If you're visiting from there, welcome!}

Want to make one of these?

My version! *wink*

Come on over to Jen's to learn how!

19 August 2010

Funky Little Headband: A Tutorial

The summer is starting to feel a little warm and long to me. I typically feel ready to bid goodbye to summer upon our return home from the yearly Michigan vacation. Unfortunately for me, August and September have potential to be the hottest months of the year here in Colorado. At least our heat doesn't bring it's ugly mid-western cousin, humidity, along for the stay. That would make me grumpy.

After trying out a compulsory post-baby short haircut, I've been working hard at growing it back these past few months. I can't explain why I made this decision as the hot summer was approaching, but I did, and now I wear a lot of ponytails. Yesterday, I whipped up a fun little headband to dress-up my daily pony. I can now rest assured that I'll make it through the remainder of these summer days feeling stylish and keeping cool.

Here's what you'll need to make your own:
  • Ponytail Holders (I used the larger, skinny ones)
  • Ribbon (1/8" wide)
  • Chain: make sure the links are wide enough to pass the ribbon through (I used 2 17-inch lengths)
  • Jump Rings

1. Slip 2 ponytail holders together to form a longer elastic like this:

When you pull them tight, they'll look like this:

2. Cut 2 pieces of ribbon and 2 lengths of chain. I prefer my headbands to fit a little loosely, and my chains were 17 inches long. (I admit to having a big head...you might want to measure to see how long your chains should be!) I cut 2 pieces of 22-inch ribbon.You'll trim this down at the end. It's just important to not run short on the ribbon!

3. Singe one end of the ribbon to keep it from fraying.

4. Weave the end of the ribbon through 2 links on the chain. I left a link open on each end of the chain to allow for later adjustment.

5. Apply glue to the end of the ribbon and fold it across the 2 links you've woven through to secure.

It should look like this:

6. After the glue has had time to dry, begin to weave the ribbon back and forth through the links of the chain. I found it to be most efficient to hold the chain like this in one hand, while weaving with the other.

This is what the chain and ribbon will look like as you weave:

Continue until you've completed the entire chain like this:

7. To secure the end, trim off excess ribbon to leave just a little tail and singe the end again.

Carefully pull a loop of ribbon away from the chain and glue the end to the loop. Once the glue has dried, you should be able to pull the chain back tight over the ribbon.

After you have completed the weaving of both chains, you'll be ready to secure them to the elastic.

8. Using a needle-nosed pliers, open the jump ring. Thread it onto the ends of both chains, as well as one side of the elastic.

Close the ring tightly. It should look like this:

9. Repeat step 8 with the other ends of the chain and the opposite side of the elastic.

Your finished headband should look like this:

Doesn't my plain ponytail look funkier with the new headband?
I'm looking forward to making these in a couple different colors. Wouldn't thin strips of fabric look cool woven through the chain? That might be what I try next!

I'm sharing my idea with these fine parties this week:

Join us Saturdays at tatertotsandjello.com for the weekend wrap up party!
The DIY Show Off