Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Wrapping Up Birthday Party "Week"

My last two projects for Birthday Party Week.
First, a crazy balloon wreath. I'm not going to lie. There were a lot of times when I was making this wreath that it reminded me of nothing more than a sad clown. Then I started blowing a little air into the balloons before I pinned them on to the wreath form. It fixed their shape a little. Then I washed my hands halfway through and they were filthy and I couldn't believe I was putting the balloons in my mouth! The things I do for you and this blog...

Anyway, this is the brainchild of Shannon from Sew Sweet Cottage. She put a letter in the middle but I didn't want the wreath to be so specific to one person. I did look around for a birthday sign that I could add, but I couldn't find anything. (I could probably have made something, but I wanted to move this party along.) I kind of feel like if scrapbooking was now where it was two or three years ago even, I could have found something no problem.

The last project is a Sundae Bar. Bars are definitely the rage on Pinterest, and I think that's what made me decide it was a craft, as opposed to just entertaining. I do think that one of the things that makes bars work--a uniformity of presentation--does rely on craft. In my case, I decided to do a sort of chalkboard look with my labels. 

I used my favorite "font"--do you still call it a font if you are writing it?--I don't have a name for it but I put a little ball on the ends of letters. This helps you even out your letters if you, like me, have a tendency to write some letters smaller than others.

You can tell I went all Pinterest perfect when I covered the whipped cream can with grey paper. You can choose crushed (homemade!) cookies, toffee, sprinkles, berries, nuts, M&Ms, or maraschino cherries. Caramel or chocolate sauce. Whipped cream or not.

What are you having?

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Power Went Out So I Went on Vacation

Dear Loyal Followers, I am sorry for this pitiful start to Craft Month. It seems something has come up at every turn! We got our power back on Monday night so we were able to sleep in our own (rock hard) Tempurpedic bed. And then on Tuesday we started our drive down to Asheville.

The way this was going to work out in my head was that I'd make all the crafts on the weekend, and then share them with you during the week. And then I couldn't make the crafts because my fingers were blue. But I want to do Craft Month. And since this is my Craft Month project, I decided I'd do 31 crafts and I'd show them to you when I could. So I went to Asheville and had a good-ish time (complicated story but a four day vacation where you spend three days driving is no sort of vacation at all). When we got back, it was to the realization that our power might be back but our internet was still out. And my Google phone doesn't play well with the Blogger app. Go figure.

So let me quit bitching and tell you about the four crafts I have for you today.

What's a birthday without a birthday card? I used my all-time favorite Stampin' Up! set, Flower Shop, with the matching punch. I paired it with a DSP I don't remember the name of (oops). Not sure if you can tell, but the green top is embossed with small dots.

For Day 3 of Birthday Week, I made a matching gift bag. I gave this to my sister for her (belated) birthday when I saw her Saturday. She liked the bag, but was a little disappointed she couldn't throw it out. (We were going to see the Peking Acrobats right after I gave this to her.) I love making gift bags.

Continuing with papercrafts, I made this cake topper. I had thought about adding "birthday" but  with a word so long, I wasn't sure I'd be able to do the engineering to get the "happy" to hang nicely. While photographing it, I did think that one could make each letter of birthday a separate pick (using toothpicks) and you could have those letters closer to the cake. You could then also use this for an anniversary cake or any other happy occasion!

The good part of taking a vacation where you drive three out four days is that you can get some stitching done! (When you're the passenger.) I was trying to come up with another craft for birthdays, and remembered this freebie from Erica Michaels for Rainbow Gallery threads. The pattern is 14 years old (and considering how little I remember these days, the fact I remembered a 14 year old pattern festering in my freebies file is a miracle. Although they do say you lose short term memory first!) but is also still on the web. You can find it here (see June).

I didn't use Rainbow Gallery threads for this; I used DMC. Here's my conversion:

  • Flame: 3078
  • Candles: 3042
  • Chocolate: 840
  • Bottom layer of cake: 316
  • Top layer: 778
  • Bottom icing swirl: white
  • Top icing swirl: 316
  • Stand: 3042 for one symbol and silver cable for the other
  • beads: 00123 and one I stole from a Mill Hill Celtic Santa kit (watch me be nine beads short)

Okay two more Birthday Week crafts to photograph and tell you about. Then I'll turn to Valentine's Day. I hope to be caught up by the weekend, but that's all up to Verizon. And Skylar*.

*They say this isn't hitting Philly. But with my track record you can't be too sure!

Monday, March 05, 2018

Birthday Party Hats

I know I ended that last post, all, "I am a crafter, hear me roar! Nothing's gonna stop me." But it turns out sleeping in a house that is 49°F makes you really flapping cranky. And stoppable.

I couldn't bring myself to make anything on Sunday. I would have had to pack everything to bring somewhere else where there was heat and light and power and I couldn't. {Sad trombone.}

However, when I was planning craft month last year, I was also planning my 50th birthday party. And I made a craft for that day and was planning to show you in March. In the end, I know it was a craft I did 18 months ago, but it fits the birthday theme. And it is awesome.

Called "Party Hats for Grown Ups" they are super simple. You paint paper mache cones (4" x 2") with acrylic paint. (My party had a pink and gold theme, and I used two pinks, gray, and metallic gold paint.) When they are dry, decorate. I used scrapbooking supplies, pearls, paper flowers, pom poms, ribbons, and metallic pipe cleaners. 

Then you hot glue them to a head band. I used headbands that were wrapped in ribbon. They cost a bit more, but I think hot gluing to ribbon was easier and more secure than hot gluing to metal.

Then bring them to the party and make people wear them!
This is Nicole without whom I would have frozen to death.

Everyone wore them from 3-73 years old! (Somewhere there is a picture of my dad wearing his as a beak.)

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Craft Month Hiatus

You may have heard about a little storm we had round these parts yesterday. I got home from work to learn we had no power. (PECO's latest estimate is that it will be restored late Monday.)

When I got home, I started crafting JABC's Seymour the Otter felted pincushion. When the last of the daylight extinguished, I cozied up to the candles and tried to continue. Do not believe the myth that ladies of yore stitched by candlelight. They would have been blind by 20. I finally had to admit defeat and after the dude and I cobbled together a dinner (yogurt and bread and butter) we got into bed.

This morning, I finished the otter (well, not until Nicole took us in because you cannot hot glue without power).

And then I spent the day stitching a leather cuff. This is a Subversive Stitch pattern, and to be honest, I bought a second cuff so I can wear one on each wrist and fight crime. 

I shall persist in making crafts. Heat or no. Electricity or no. No bomb cyclone shall deter me!

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Knotted Necklace

A while back, I took a knotting class. I only made that one necklace, initially, but I saw these knotted bead necklaces with tassels all over and thought, I can make that for a Christmas present. (You remember them from November?) Except for the time part. I got halfway round and stopped.

Well, I finished it tonight.

The beads are hot pink dyed jade with a layer of gold on them. The necklace is continuously knotted (no clasp). I needed a refresher on tying it off. You can find one here.

Well, here it is night one and I'm up past my bedtime blogging. I hope this isn't a long month. 😉

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Craft Month 2.0

That 2.0 refers to the fact that this was the plan for last year, which did not happen, since, you know:

A couple of years ago, I asked what you'd like to see. But I made the poll a sidebar poll, and it has ceased to exist. So I can't remember exactly what I asked, or what you said, but that's unsurprising because half the time I can't remember my own damn name (thank you, perimenopause). I did come up with four themes at that time, and that was in my bullet journal so I went back to it. Four themes goes so nicely with the four full weeks of March. And then there's three more days. Let's ignore those for now. These are the themes I've been planning:

Week 1: Birthday! 🎂
Week 2: Valentine's Day 💗
Week 3: Halloween 🎃
Week 4: Christmas 🎄

As usual many of my crafts will come from Pinterest. (Seriously, where did we get ideas before?) I've chosen a few things I'm going to make each week, like cards and an entertaining segment...because why not? The dude and I used to entertain all the time in L.A. but now we have a crazy dog who makes that so much harder. Each week won't have the same crafts reinterpreted mostly because I do not need another damn Halloween wreath, and I can't necessarily interpret each craft for each theme. (Plus I'd get bored, won't you?)

So tomorrow and Friday and Saturday, I'm just going to try to get something done. No themes. Winging it. Not as prepared as I hoped, but more prepared than some years. Whee!

Stop back tomorrow to see what I've made!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Goodbye, Linda

You can see my life is filled with good intentions. This was my plan from the beginning, and you can see that I have failed you, (I should be on blog post #5.)

But I'm here with the sad news that Lizzie * Kate is retiring. Below is a little retrospective of the pieces I've stitched of hers. I know there are some I am missing. I've always loved her simple stuff. Fortunately, we can start hoarding.

The Ho Ho Ho (Santa) is one I stitched at the beginning of my stitching career, at the point where I started going to specialty stores for patterns and supplies. It is pattern #22. (She's going out on #190.) Have I been stitching so long? As long as a career?