Wednesday, July 30, 2014

DIY dog teepee

I've seen teepee pins around for kids and loved the idea. Since we have no kids yet, I wanted to try making a smaller version of one for my fur baby to enjoy because she loves to hide under coffee tables and small areas. She likes her privacy.

  • Power drill and 1/8" bit (I started off with a smaller 7/64 bit and moved up to the 1/8 but it's not essential)
  • Clamps (to clamp down the dowel to a table while you drill)
  • 5 wooden dowels (I used a 3' dowel with a 1/4" diameter. In hindsight I may have gone with 1/2" or 3/4" because my 20lb dog can easily move the dowels around when she gets happy.)
  • Sandpaper or sanding block (medium and fine grit)
  • Jute rope (mine was from the craft jute and I used a couple of yards)
  • Fabric of your choice
  • Masking tape
  • With a pencil, place a mark approx 4-5" from the top. This is where you will drill your holes.
  • Clamp down your dowel to your work surface (I clamped on both ends so the dowels have no chance of moving)
  • Using your 1/8" (or in my case the 7/64) bit and drill your hole. I initially used the 7/64 but it was way too small to feed the rope through so I sent back and used the 1/8".

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  • After you drill the holes, sand all sides with a medium then fine grit sandpaper to smooth it out

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  • Tape the end of the rope with masking tape to help you feed them through the hole. Try wrapping the tape so it very tight and even where at the end where there is no rope. This makes it easy to thread through and for you to pull hard to get the rope through.

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  • After threading through all of the dowels, pull them together like the picture below then begin spreading them apart to create a neat spiral top.
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  • Once you have legs spread out to your liking, begin wrapping the rope around the dowels tightly. Make sure to wrap around each dowel, then at the end, around the entire perimeter of the joint.

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  • Now it should resemble something like the picture below!

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  • I already had white fabric around so I just draped it over the tent to check the size and arbitrarily sewed it to fit. I didn't want to spend an inordinate amount of time in case she didn't like it...but turns out..she loves it! You can see her little head peaking out below!

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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Cross stitch family portrait

After seeing this cute idea from Martha Stewart living, I decided to set out and make my very own little cross stitch family to hang on our walls.  I don't have any experience, at all, with embroidery stuff (that's how little I know).  So I dug up my little craft needles and found a blunt needle that had a large eye that looked like it was for embroider and just used that.  I read somewhere that you can also use tapestry needles (they also share the blunt tip).  I don't have those nifty cross stitch programs I read while trying to figure out how to get started, instead I just used excel and made the cells into squares and colored the square to draw out my plan.  In my opinion, this is far easier than coloring in graph paper. I was able to make about 10 different iterations of each person and outfits really quickly. This is extremely convenient for my type-a personality. 

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For this project, I chose to go with DMC's Charles Craft 14 count Aida in Natural because I have a little white dog I needed to stitch.  She would have been a ghost on a white Aida cloth.  She is still hard to see, but it's not bad and I wouldn't have done it differently.  I followed these directions to teach myself how to make the basic X but I did not separate the strands.  I just used the whole floss and I think it turned out pretty great.  I think real cross stitchers would scoff at this, but I liked it looking more full.  It's subjective.  Yes they look less like X's but they have this pearl look that I liked when I researched around the web.  I also did not follow the instruction to stitch a row in the link above because I read somewhere that it may give you uneven stitching.  I have no idea if that is true, I just picked one advice and followed it. 

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For my hubby, I stitched all the black first, then went back and stitched color by color.  In hindsight, I would have just switched colors as I went because the back got insanely messy and difficult to navigate. It was very frustrating. When I moved on to work on myself, it was a lot easier to just switch colors.  This is really hard to explain, but once you get working, you will know exactly what I'm talking about. Or maybe not...this is my first project after all!

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There he is, in all his glory...with no arms of legs!

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You can sort of start seeing what I mean by just working from top to bottom and not doing all of one color first on the girl above.

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Nearly finished!

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Finished! I wanted to stitch our family name at the bottom but I wanted to wait till I could fill in the rest of our growing family before adding the finishing touches. I can still frame it as it is.  I cut this off into a square then zig zag stitched the borders to keep the edges from fraying. 

Note on back stitching:
  • I back stitched around our dog to help bring her out a little more with a very light gray. It doesn't show up in pictures but it did make a noticeable difference.
  • I also back stitched the red sandals.  I used 2 strands of plain ol' red to make it nice and thin so it doesn't just look like I'm wearing red shoes.

For your reference, here are some of the colors I used.  All are DMC floss.
Skin = 948
Black = 310
White dog = B5200 (snow white)
Female mouth = 3328
Male mouth = 778 (but this ended up way too light and blended in with the skin color. I rectified this by ever so slightly coloring it with my benetint definitely go brighter or something)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

DIY diamond tufted headboard

I made this headboard awhile ago but never had a chance to post it. I have the step by step photos somewhere on my DSLR but if I am ever going to put a picture of it here on the blog, it's going to have to be the poor quality from my phone! For detailed instructions, follow the tutorial from Addicted to Decorating. Her blog was my HG for this project and I nearly followed it 100% of the way.  The only changes I made was the length of the board.  I also plan to stick some 2 x 4 wood legs on this baby ("I" = my husband) rather than using the hanging contraption that is described on her blog.

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Since I don't have workhorses, I used to chairs to help me prop up the entire board. This project is much more digestible when you have a helper (aka husband) to help with the heavy lifting. Here I have already made my holes in the board and cut out the foam above the hole.

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This is when the tufting fun began...not. This was probably the hardest part. Not the assembly of 60 covered buttons...but the installation of them!

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Half of the rows completed. Now we go back and tuft the center of each of the pucked areas to make the diamond shape!

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...and here it is completed in all its glory. Too bad it is still laying against a wall in the guestroom waiting for the legs to be installed. I'm guessing by the time that happens, we will have already replaced our bed.  We've been dying to get a King sized bed to fit our need to sprawl out when we sleep.  It is on the list to get for our 3rd anniversary. We wanted to celebrate our 3 yr anniversary by happily having more space in between our sleeping bodies. The irony. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Needle felted cake toppers

I was asked to make a pair of elephant wedding cake toppers for a friend's wedding. I've never made any other animal than an owl so I was definitely a little hesitant but agreed I would try my best. I'll have to admit that I am in love with the way they turned out!

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Here is the body and head when I got started.

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Here is the pair without their color on, but the foundation is all done!

...and without further adieu, here is the final product!



Can't wait to see them on their cake this Sept!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Papercut deer in the woods card

Our friends were getting married up in Trinity Alps, so it seemed fitting to make a papercut of two loving deers in the woods.

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I wish I had a picture of my sketch, but I didn't have enough foresight to take a photo of it. Anyhow, I just looked at a photo online and sketched it then cut it out using my exacto knife. Here I used 32lb cotton paper by Southworth. Love their paper for paper cutting!

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Just the inside, nothing fancy. Ran out of time making the front to get fancy on the inside!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Paint chip art

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Paint chips. Everytime I go to the hardware store, I can't manage to leave without a couple of paint chip samples.  At some point, I had enough to make this fellah.

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I used an exacto knife to cut these. You have to be careful with these paint chips because...well...they can chip while you are cutting it. You can sort of see if around the beak.

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I used a hole puncher for the smallest yellow circles. The rest were cut using a pair of small pointy scissor. I used both glue and double sided adhesive to mount all the pieces onto an acid free 12 x 12 scrapbooking cardstock and framed it using Ikea's ever-so-popular Ribba Frame. The glue was used for the small circular punch outs and the double sided adhesive was used on the rest. I found that the glue made the paper a bit wrinkly. But that could also be attributed to the fact that I was craft glue with a high water content because I was too lazy to find my fabri-tac.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Freezer paper Star Wars stormtrooper tshirt

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I made this stormtrooper tshirt for my star wars loving husband using the freezer paper method.

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First, I cut up freezer paper to 8.5" x 11" and flattened it out so I can feed it through my printer. I found this image online and resized it to make it larger for the t-shirt. I was pleased to find it successfully printed instead of seriously jammed into my printer. IMPORTANT: Print on the matte side, NOT the shiny side.

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Next, I cut it out using an exacto knife. Save the little white cut out from the orb part of this cut out. you'll need to iron the little pieces in place.

Which reminds me, I really really really want to get the silhouette cameo!  If you don't know what it is, google it. You won't regret it.

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I ironed this on using a low setting. Make sure you iron the shiny side down. That has the wax that adheres to the t-shirt. And apparently, no this is not the same as wax paper. I did my research :)

Iron it down as best as you can. Test all the edges with your finger.

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I used a brush and brushed it on using ...well a brushing motion. Later, I learned that it's best to use a stippling motion with a stiff brush. Or use a foam brush. I used whatever I had on hand. 

I used scribbles paint from JoAnn. It's permanent fabric paint, and it's supposed to be used as puffy paint but the store associate says you can use it as regular paint with a brush. The only thing that makes it puffy is the way it squeezes out. Who knew? And it was the only thing available at the particular store I was I just went with it.  I found that it was very wet and thin. Not as viscous as I was expecting but this is the first time using fabric paint so I don't know what it is supposed to be like. The larger stores have a bigger and better selection. Next time...

Diaper Cake

One of my good friends is pregnant and I finally had the opportunity to make a diaper cake! I looked around online for directions, and there are so many different ways to make them.  There really is no cookie cutter method for making diaper cakes, especially with the decor.  I found out her baby shower was during the time my husband and I were going to be in Portland so I had to rush and get this diaper cake done with very little time and direction.

We bought a box of diapers at Costco (size 1-2) and used one entire half of the packaged diapers with about 4 left over. I didn't have rubber bands so I hand tied each rolled diaper with twine.  For the middle, I unrolled a half used paper towel roll and used the center as...the center for the cake! Some people used baby shampoo. I would have done that if I wanted to run to the store for the 4th time for the cake, but I was strapped for time.

Her baby shower theme was pink and gray. I'd say I did a pretty good job with the time and resources I had!

2014-03-23 15.22.46  2014-03-23 15.23.15

Back from unplanned hiatus...maybe?

So life happened. Quit my job to take prereq classes to apply to grad school. Successfully got into grad school. Now that is my life and there's hardly any time. Still, there is still somehow some traffic coming in on this site. Not much, but it's better than a big fat zero! I initially stopped posting because it was taking too much of my time and I just don't have that luxury during this time anymore. Now, I've resolved to posting pictures I've taken on my phone (read: poor quality) versus taking them on my dslr, then post processing the photos. It cut outs a lot of time and I will be able to share in the little crafts I do on the off chance I have this thing called "leisure time."  I'll be posting more frequently to catch up and share many crafts I've done in the past year or so.  

Oh, and there will be less tutorial-like posts unless I am asked to explain or share for the sake of time. This also means I won't be editing or proof reading my posts as I once did before, so please excuse all typos! 

Thank you all for following along!

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