Sunday, February 3, 2013

Fabulous String Art

 
I must admit that I have become a Pinterest addict. I mean who hasn't? There are so many ideas pinned that I could literally spend weeks or even months trying to do everything I pin.
 
Ok, realistically--everything I pin could never be made in a single year lol. I am a bonafide pinaholic. Is there a 12-step program available for us yet---I am sure someone will pin it when there is hehehe.
 
Nail string art is not a new technique--I remember doing it in grade school, but as often as it has been pinned lately you would think that it was the newest technique discovered. I went to the mall the other day and saw an Owl String Art for $40!! I about fainted. Then I looked on Etsy and Ebay and was shocked to find prices just as crazy.
 
It is so EASY to make your own and I will show you how!
 
 Here is what you need:
1)- Printed image of what you want to do
2) a hammer
3) nails (i used 5/8" flat head wire nails)
4) floss or embroidery string
5) board for your canvas
and that is it
 
Paint your board any color you want. I am using MDF for my canvas and it is a scrap 10x10 piece I had laying around. You can use pine or whatever you have. My plan for this board is to make it school themed to show my Bobcat Pride!

You can tape your image to the board with painter's tape, but I didnt. I centered where I wanted it and put the first nail in place and it didnt move.
 
Hammer your nails evenly spaced around your image. I highly recommend that you take the time to mark dots around your image where you want the nails to go. I did not do this and later when I was putting on the string, I wish i had.
 
Here is what it will look like when all of your nails are in. You do not need to hammer them way down but you definitely want to make sure they are snug. I did go once around the entire batch of nails and made sure they were even heights.
 
I used over 100 nails in this design!

 Peel away the paper. Just rip it off and then you will be left with your board and whole bunch of nails.

Board with nails. Enough said. Looks pretty plain!


 Now you are ready to start stringing. I wanted to do a 2-color art board. I started with Maroon since it would be my dominant color. I started in the top left corner of the panhandle of Texas.
 
Tie your floss or embroidery string on one nail. Don't worry about the tail, you will cut it off later. Pick 2-3 nails on the heart and begin wrapping the string nail to nail until you have filled in the amount you want.
 
Tie off the end. and begin the next color. Tying the ends is not easy. I struggled with this for a bit and finally got it. You only end up with one end that you have to basically tie to itself around a nail. Give yourself a long tail, make a loop and feed it through the loop around the nail. pull it snug and keep moving your loop closer to the base of the nail until it tightens. I tried to get a picture of this but it just wasnt cooperating.

 Above is my failed attempt to show you the tail and loop tie technique but all ya got is scissors--sorry!
 

The panhandle was a bit tricky. Once I got to the far left corner nail, I literally just decided to weave the string along the right side nails until I got to the last nail of the panhandle. It was the easiest thing to do. When I first tried to pull the string to the heart from that right side, it was quite a mess. Weaving it was definitely much better!
 
 
Viola! here is my finished product:
I added the vinyl letters:
God Bless {Texas} & the Bobcats!
 
Let's Break it down:
Paint---Free
Board---Free
Nails---$1.44
Floss---5 for $1.00
Vinyl letters---Free
Total Cost--$2.44
SCORE!!
 
I know many of you may not have stuff lying around like I do but you could buy a ready to use board piece at hobby lobby or Michaels for around $3.00. Paint in small bottles for $.99 so add that to my total and you can still make your own for $6.43!!
 
 


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Recapping 2012 and planning for 2013!

Wow! I cant believe we are already in 2013!!
 
How did this year get away from me so fast?!! I had so many goals for 2012 with this little blog but there just wasnt enough time in the year to make it all happen. I made a list of 9 goals and committments for 2012 and while I scored big on most, I also failed miserably on a few others.
 
I had planned on going through a whole list of recap but then this would make for a super wordy post so instead here is what I accomplished in 2012:
 
I paid more attention to family and put the phone down a lot more often! I had far less "what did you just say" moments because I actually detached from the phone to listen!
 
I learned new camera skills, took better care of my car, had more date nights with hubby--and they were fabulous---I kept my work area much neater, and accomplished a lot with my sign business As Unique As U!
 
I failed to lose 15lbs, didnt quite use that calendar the way I wanted to, and I did not make the one post a month I had committed to doing.
 
2012 was a great year and I just didnt have the time I would have liked to do everything I wanted. I created this blog because I love to make things and show others how they can make it too, but on a budget. It takes a lot of time to create a single post and the only way I can truly make it happen is to plan it into my day.
 
with that said, here is my 2013 plan:
 

1. Make time for me!!
I am always so busy doing for everyone else that I dont ever make time for me and what I love. Crafting is something I love! This year I am making the effort to be creative and make the things that I love to make and want to have in my house!!

2. Blog about it!
I am a bonafide pinaholic!! I pin, pin, pin away but rarely make anything that I pin. There is so much cuteness out there that I want and must have but I dont want to spend a fortune to get it. I will choose a list of my favorite pinterest finds and I will recreate them. I will document the process so I can share with you my trials and tribulations during the process. AND I have already started the year off right with Nail String Art. I made one and it is fabulous!
It will be my featured post next week with all of the how to's that go along with it. Also to come:
1. Mugs with sharpie art
2. Very cool love sign
3. Chalkboard menu board
4. small bench made with 2x4s
5. Valentine card box
and more!!!

3. Reduce my blood AIC down to 6.0. I learned I was diabetic several years ago. I was able to get my A1C under control really quickly but have since gotten lazy and it lapsed to a 7.1. I need it to be a 5 or better but this year my goal is simply to get it to a 6 and get back on the right track. I have several plans in motion to make this happen and I will chronicle my journey and share it on here in a future post about DIY exercise. I am old schooling it and I will give you the details on how after I see how I do lol.
 
4. keep growing that little business of mine.
 
I am keeping my list short and manageable because tomorrow I start a new job in corporate america managing a mulit-million dollar manufacturing facility in the high tech industry. It is an exciting opportunity for me and it will take a lot of my time. Balancing everything will be my biggest obstacle but I will do it!!!
 
I hope you have a very prosperous new year and I look forward to showing you my pinterest successes and hopefully no failures---but lets face it they do happen!!




Saturday, June 2, 2012

Cabinet door Repurposed to Wall Art!!


Hubby and I attended the famous Wimberley Market Days in Wimberley, TX.
After hours of shopping and scanning the marketplace for cool to repurpose items, I found this beauty!
I knew I HAD to have it.
Hubby with his infinite wisdom says
"what on earth do we need a cabinet door for? It doesnt even fit on our cabinets or match the color."
Oh how I wish he could see my vision!!!
So, I created super fabulous DIY art for our wall!

And...with these easy instructions, now you can too in six simple steps!!

What you'll need
- Cabinet door any shape, color, or size
- Spray primer (preferred for those nooks and crannys)
- Base paint color
- Black acrylic paint
- Elmers glue
- Gloves
- Damp cloth
Step 1
Lightly sand the door and give it a nice coat of spray primer. We used Kilz but you can use any brand you like.
Step 2
Paint your base color. I used vintage white.
Perfect!

Step 3
Glaze the surface.
I went to home depot to buy some glaze and I was SHOCKED to find that a quart was $16!!!
There was no way I was paying that much for glaze.
It was experiment time and I found a solution that worked.
I mixed black acrylic paint with school glue and smeared it on. I wiped it off immediately!
Use a damp cloth to wipe the "glaze" off and rub gently. Some of the paint will wipe away exposing your primer underneath. It looks fabulous!!
I did not use gloves...big MISTAKE!!! So, make sure you do!!
This stuff was so messy lol!! It got in my hair, on my face, my hands were black, and I got it on my shirt too!!

Step 4
Choose your quote.
Now it helps to have a vinyl cutter on hand, but if you do not there are great resources on the web. I make my own. You can email me and I will be glad to supply you with your vinyl needs.

Step 5
Apply your decal.

My quote choice:
Live well, Laugh often, and Love much!
 here is a close up of the weathered look
This quote sums up our life so well!!!

Step 6
Spray sealer across the top surface, let dry, then enjoy the beauty!!

Let's break down the cost for this project:
Cabinet door.....$5.00
Primer....Free (left over from another project)
Paint.....Free (already had)
Glaze....Free (already had supplies)
Total Cost....$5.00

I love how it looks and I am so happy with my quote choice, but the best part was when hubby saw it and said
"wow is that the door we bought in Wimberley?"
um..yeah


      

Friday, March 30, 2012

Chalkboard Wine Bottles

Photo Credit: Ruthi Auda

Aren't these the most genius things you have ever seen for a wine themed kitchen or dinner party decor!!

First, let me apologize but life has once again become a little overwhelming. This month of march went by so quickly and I realized today that I have not done a single craft for a post on the blog like I committed to in my 2012 Goals and Commitments post.

So many things are going on over here and our little business  is doing so well that I just have not had time for much else. So today's post is not much of a tutorial but I promise I will have the how to photos for this soon.

I was surfing the net for some unique ways to add decor to my wine themed kitchen. I stumbled across a blog called Ruthi Adua and these awesome chalkboard wine bottles

These are super easy to make and I have lots of bottles to makeover. Here is my plan:
1. Spray primer on the glass to give it a nice surface for paint adhesion
2. paint the chalkboard paint on
3. create the coolness
4. put them in my kitchen!!

and the best part---I have all of the materials in stock so I dont have to pay a single penny for any supplies. Pictures to come for the reveal.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

We Met, We Married Subway sign

I have been working on bedroom decor signs for our master bedroom. I don't have a tutorial for you today---but---I had to share how this turned out. It looks fabulous!!

Subway art is quite the decor rage these days and I have to admit I am super addicted to creating it. I sell lots of different types of subway art in my Etsy shop and I make it as gifts as often as I can.

If you have a Cricut or Sihlouette machine you could easily cut the words out and line them up on the board. I used several different fonts in mine and kept the words and phrases specific to hubby and me.

I also made one for the Places we have lived

People always ask me "how did you do that?"
I use Microsoft Publisher A LOT! In fact, all of my design work is in Publisher.
Then I create a jpg image from the Publisher file, convert the image to a cut file and cut vinyl out using my plotter cutter.

Adhering vinyl is actually quite simple with transfer tape. Simply peel the paper backing from the back of the vinyl decal. Align the decal on the board, then press firmly with a straight edge. Peel off the transfer tape and viola--->finished sign.

I am working on our bedroom decor over the coming weeks so I hope to post the finished decor soon!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Valentine Wreath

I am addicted to Pinterest!!
I just can't get enough of it. Valentine's day is right around the bend and of course my mantle needed a Love makeover, so, I was searching for some great ideas to add to my Valentine decor.
I found a fabulous wreath over at the Idea Room and I knew I had to make it.

It was really easy to make but a bit time consuming!! I finished it while watching 2 of my favorite one-hour length shows!! Here goes:

I bought a heart foam form at Hobby Lobby for $2.47. I even paid full price---gah--- because my phone would not load the coupon fast enough and it was my turn in line.
I already had red fleece from a few Christmas projects that never got done and I decided to try to cut the circles with my sizzix machine. I have never cut anything but paper on the sizzix but I knew I needed a lot of circles so I gave it a shot AND IT WORKED!!

You will need:
heart foam form
red fleece or felt
push pins
scissors or die cutter

Cut circles out---a lot of them---I stopped counting after 75 and each circle was 2" in diameter. I am pretty sure I used at least 100 circles so cut,cut, cut away.
Fold the circle in half, then fold it in half again. Stick the push pin through the bottom corner and insert it into the foam.


You can see above that I inserted the folded circle flat into the foam and the head of the pin is showing. Simply turn the circle inward so that the head of the pin is facing away from you and fan the circle--like this:

Continue inserting folded circles into the foam.
It quickly begins to take shape. the back of the heart will remain flat. It will look like this when you are finished:

and here is a closeup

Once I was done, I added the heart to my mantle:
I just love it. I had been complaining about having too much red on the bottom half of the mantle and not enough on the top. well the heart helped to balance the color and now I love my valentine decor.
Here are a few closeups of my goodies:
 I love this ribbon garland. I bought it at Michael's with a 40% off coupon and cut it in half so that I could string a portion of it onto each candle holder.

 I am a sucker for all things crafty. The love sign was handcrafted by a local crafter and he did a fabulous job and the cupid cutie below was also done by a local crafter. She does some crazy cool things with clay!!

I hope you decide to try your own wreath. It was easy to make and it looks sooooo good.

Let's break it down:
Foam form ---> $2.47
Push Pins ----> $1.27
Fleece -----> I had it from another project but I originaly bought it as a remnant for $2.25
Total---> $5.99!!!


Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 Goals & Committments


Welcome 2012!!
I can't believe another year has raced by. Time seems to be flying faster than I want it to but I am dealing with it in stride!! 2011 was a great year for me and my family--so much has happened and we have surely been blessed day after day, year after year!!

Many of my friends are posting resolutions on Facebook. I enjoy reading them for sure but I dont dare proclaim any myself for one simple reason:
I NEVER follow them through!!

So...If I never carry out a single resolution I make, why make them???
This year I am starting something new. Instead of resolutions, I am making a Goals & Committments list. I believe in goals and when I set them, I commit to finishing them, so, my hope is that with goals in place, I have a better chance at completing them.
1. Pay more attention to family- I think everyone has this as a goal but not everyone has the crazy busy life I do. I work full time outside of the home in a very demanding job and on top of that I have an online business which has been steadily growing into a busy, busy part time job. I also coach my daughter's volleyball team, am active in the school PTO, volunteer for my son's baseball boosters, and stay involved in the kids activities as much as I can. What I dont do is sit down and LISTEN to my kids. I am always so busy that I often forget to listen to what they have to say about what is important to them. My commitment this year is to spend more time listening to them!!

2. Lose 15 lbs- This is not your typical i need to lose weight resolution. I really need to drop 15lbs this year. I am a diabetic and weight control is very important. The more weight I lose, the more in control I am of my diabetes. I have lost 40lbs so far and the last 15 is the most difficult and requires the most commitment!
3. Learn new camera skills- I want to be a better photographer. I have a DSLR camera and have begun using it in manual mode. I would like to take a class this year and learn more skills and settings to improve the quality of my photos!
4. Take better care of my car- This may sound silly but my car quickly becomes a disaster area. I will devote one saturday a month to washing my car and cleaning the inside of it. I even have a plan to make a very snazzy car organizer for my daughter to keep all of her stuff that seems to be a necessity

5. Make better use of a calendar- enough said!

6. Create a date night plan with my husband- Hubby and I are always so busy with the kiddos that we never make time for each other. This year, I am planning one date night a month for he and I to go and do anything we want without the kiddos.

7. Create at least one blog post a month on this blog-I make so many things and yet I dont sit down and create the posts to share with all of you. Well with that snazzy new calendar system that I implement, I am going to make it happen. I will make at least one blog post a month and hopefully more but for now I want to commit to at least one---so---be ready for some cool projects including:
a. tablet hardcover case
b. valentine photo holder
c. laundry room drying rack
and more...

8. Organize my craft area more often-Creativity is messy indeed and this is why I plan on organizing the area once a week to keep it from getting in too much of a disarray.

9. Grow my online business- this is actually a lifelong goal. I have been working on this forever and I do plan on continuing but this year I have some big plans for my business and so I have to keep it on my list for sure!!

Wow! This is the quite the list!! I wish everyone a healthy, properous, and happy new year! I hope 2012 is the year of many new beginnings and continued success for everyone.



 
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