1.30.2010

Sweet Fairytale Shadowbox- dollar store craft!

Can you believe this sweet little shadow box project only cost me one dollar!
 
One catch, I did have the sweet little red paper house from Marialunate on Etsy already so I didn't count that in my cost,  but don't worry, I have some free options for you......  (This one's well worth it though, go check her out.). 

The shadow box is 4X6 and found at the Dollar Tree.  Other than that you will need-
Scissors
Printables
Glue
Glitter (optional)
  
One very eager assistant (optional)

First gather your supplies.  So I mentioned some free printable options.... you can find them here, don't worry that you can't read a lick of it, all you need to do is click on the one you want to use then click the two buttons below the image to download the PDF.  You could even grab a magazine and cut some images you like to create your scene. 

Fold an edge on the bottom of each of your pieces so you have a surface to glue them down.
Cut your background image to fit the back of the frame.  I use the people that came in the frame as my template, they won't mind.

If you have anything your going to glue directly to the back scene, in my case the house, glue it on now making sure to leave enough room around the edge for the ledge of the shadow box.  Test to make sure it fits.

Start gluing your pieces to the bottom edge working your way from the glass back.  Remember your working backwards, so what you put closest to the glass will be in the front of your finished scene.  I glittered a few of my images as well so if you would like to add glitter do it before you start gluing things in..  Apply glue, what ever kind you like, I used a Martha Stewart glue pen, to the flap you made for your images to stand then press them firmly to the frame.

Add things until your happy then put your back scene in and insert the back of the frame.  Voila! A cute little shadow box for you desk or wall.
 

If your curious, this is what the doll house set looks like when you assemble it as it's meant to be.  
It comes with a LOT more options than the ones I show, the little girl comes with three different hair colors, there are lots of mushrooms, birds, and did you notice the window flower boxes!  I got this to put on top of my niece's birthday present, but now I think I may look for one of those glass boxes, like they have for keepsakes, and make her a whole little world, like a paper terrarium! 

Oh, and I cut the house down to just the front with enough of the sides to make a glue flap for my shadow box.

1.29.2010

Goals

I've never been a "goals" person.  Sure I made the required goals in school for assignments or whatever, maybe the occasional new years resolution, but I've never really had a personal, meaningful goal.  I guess I don't make resolutions because, although they are meant to have good intentions, everyone knows they are rarely kept and it's almost accepted that you may only last a month or two with your resolution. 

This year, without even any intention to, I started to set goals for myself.  I think it started because of being asked my least favorite question "what do you do?".  Seems like a harmless question, but to someone who does a little of this and a little of that it's hard to answer and feel like you actually sound professional.  My goal for myself is create an identity for myself, figure out who I am, finally!  Give myself a definition, not for everyone else, but so that I can feel proud and accomplished for myself.  My ultimate goals? I really want to have a successful illustration print business.  You will see more about that here as we get to know each other, but it's what lead to starting this blog.  So today I thought I would think about some goals for the blog and what I'm really wanting to do here.  And what better way to do this than share it with all of you? 

Official goals of Maryjanes and Galoshes-
1. Grow a large following of people who are genuinely interested in what I post here.  I don't want pity follows, I don't trade follows "you follow me, I'll follow you", no that's definitely NOT happening.  I don't care if it takes years and I never have more followers than I have today, this blog is for me and if you happen to enjoy it as well that makes it even more rewarding.

2. Be featured on one, or all, of my favorite blogs.  The blogs that got me inspired to be here.  Not because I've hounded them, but because they want to support me in what I'm doing here and feel I'm worth sharing. 

3. Be asked to guest post on someone's blog, or maybe even swap blogs for a day.  I think that would be the highest compliment, if someone actually wanted me to come write on their blog.

4. Create happy childhood memories for my kids through the projects you see here.  Being accountable to my blog means I have motivation to do the projects I've been wanting to do and have excused myself from actually doing them.  So many times I see something cute I want to make for my daughter, but tell myself by the time I finish it she will grow out of it in a week.  That's not true, and usually it doesn't take nearly as long to make as I think. 

5. Post things worthy of comments.  I hope someday I look back at these goals and think "gosh, I remember the time when I was thrilled to get a comment a week, and now I get many positive comments per day".  It's not about the comments, but I know how easy it is to skim over an entry and bookmark it for later.  In order to leave a comment you have to be really inspired.  I want to inspire. 

And because you can't have a post without a picture, something inspiring.....LOL I'm not the only one with plans to go somewhere!

Refrigerator Art Gallery

After one of my three toddlers had been sick and clingy for three days he was back to normal yesterday, YAY! So it was time for me to get a breather and get out of the house.  I only have a few hours a day I can do this, from the time my husband gets home from work (about five) to the time everything closes (about 9) which seems like a lot of time, unless you live in a rural area like we do.  So last night I packed up my 1 year old daughter, to give my husband at least a fighting chance at sanity leaving him with just two kids, and headed for the nearest dollar store and good will, because that's where we get all the best supplies right?

Exciting find number 1- Chalk board vinyl decal at the dollar store!!!  We are all obsessed with vinyl decals and chalkboards right now so image my surprise when I stumbled across a combination of the two at the dollar store of all places. 
 
I chose the fancy black version, but they had a classic green as well.  (There are also non-chalboard options available too) Mine came two to a pack and 8 of those little round ones.  I didn't know at the time what I was going to do with it, but I had a few ideas.

Obviously the title gives away what I decided on.... a refrigerator art gallery for the budding 2 1/2 year old artist, Hudson.  I wish I would have picked up some magnetic frames while I was there, I wonder if they have big ones..... Anyway, I cleaned off the fridge door and stuck one of the decals on, then used chalk to officially declare it's new purpose.  

 
I still had one that I had kind of wanted to put on my craft cabinet to list supplies to buy, but Hudson was so excited about drawing on it and couldn't quite reach the fridge one comfortably.  He also couldn't seem to decide if he's right handed or left handed.
 
So I decided to put the second chalkboard somewhere a bit more child friendly.  The decals are removable and don't damage the surface so you can stick them where ever you like, but once they are removed they won't stick again (nicely) so make sure you want it there before you apply.
The second one was put on the side of a cupboard on a little boy level. 
So we will be spending our day creating masterpieces to fill our new gallery.  You spend yours running to the dollar store and join in on the fun.

1.28.2010

My first blog award!

I received and award!  I was tickled this morning when I heard I had received my very first blog away from Magpie's Nest.  We have been working together for the supplies and tutorials swap from Totally Tutorials, she has some pretty amazing collage sheets at her Etsy shop.  You will be hearing her name here a bit in the upcoming weeks as I continue to play with some of the images I got from her.  

So what's the award?  

Thanks Maggie!



Rules for accepting the Sunshine award are

~ Put the logo on your blog or within your post  
~ Pass the award onto 12 bloggers ~  
~ Link the nominees within your post ~ 
~ Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog. 
~ Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.

So now it's my turn to pass it on....  here are some of the blogs that bring sunshine to my life, in no particular order-

Crafterhours
Everyday Chaos
Ruffles and Stuff
Fireflies and Jellybeans
How about Orange
ISLY
Just Something I Made
Noodlehead
Not so idle hands
Pink Penguin
Raindrops on Roses
The How-To Gal



WHEW!

Pint Size Gift Bag in a Snap



When I found the tutorial for making a gift bag from all my mismatched envelopes I have to admit, I didn't think they would turn out as cute as How about Orange's.... but they did!  Now I fear I may be addicted!!!

The best part, the options are endless.  I have a ton of those decorative scissors we all got when scarpbooking was really hot (I happen to pick up a set of 20 at a garage sale).  I'm going to have to dig them out now, but even if you don't have any a simple pinking shear or free hand cut is just as cute.  I'm also going to try my lace edge paper punch from the Martha Stewart collection, that would be great for valentines day! 

So for mine.... I downloaded this free pdf of the library card.  There are four to a page so you will need to open your editing software to crop it down to one.  


I am a big print shop user  so I opened print shop and a blank envelope worksheet (choose a template close to your envelope size).  Then I imported the single library card and printed it right on my envelope, before I did anything else.

Follow the directions from How about Orange  , stick in some bookplates from Taylored Arts and you have the perfect gift for your favorite bookworm.  You could even fill in the library card by hand with your to and from information, get creative!

1.27.2010

Creating an E-mail me button for your blog



You don't have to be a graphic artist, or web designer, to have a good looking blog.  If you can follow directions, you can make an email me button.  I used some awesome images I got at MagpieMine on etsy.  She has a lot of different styles so you can find something that suits your style.

All you will need is an image and a photo editing program.  I use Photoshop Elements, but there are lots of great free programs out there.  Usually your computer comes with something, even if it's basic.

1. Open the file containing the image you want to use

I wanted to use the crown from the top left, so if your image has more than you need crop it down.




Step 2- Go to File and New.  For a blog button I recommend a size of 150 pixels by 150 pixels.  Fell free to make it as tall as you like, it doesn't have to be square, but I wouldn't go any wider than that for a standard blog layout.


If your using a high resolution (high quality) image like mine from MagpieMine, set your resolution at 300 pixels/inch.

Step 3- Cut and paste or drag and drop your crown image onto your new blank workspace.  Resize the crown image until it fits onto your square making sure the image you use isn't distorted.  Photoshop has a lock button you can use to keep your proportions, it looks like a figure 8.

Step 4- Add text

What ever you want it to say.

Now save your image as a jpeg.

Your half way there!  The rest is easy peasy.

Step 5- Open the internet and go to photobucket.com if you don't have an account, make one, it only takes a minute and it's free.  Once your ready hit the Upload image button.


Find the image you just created and upload it.  Once it's done you save and get links.

Step 6- Look for the "direct link" and copy it.  Put it in a safe place and go to your blog.

Step 7- Go to layout, add widget (I'm using blogger, so if your not you will have to adjust, sorry!) Click the add HTML widget.

Now you need to copy this from here:
[a href="mailto:maryjanesandgaloshes@hotmail.com">]
[img src="http://i836.photobucket.com/albums/zz290/tballweg/test-1.jpg"/][/a]

IMPORTANT- anywhere you see [ or ] you need to replace it with < or > I couldn't post it with the correct brackets, blogger wanted to convert it to an image and you wouldn't have been able to copy it.

Replace the red text with your email address and the direct link address from your image.

Step 8- Your done!  Save and check your blog to make sure it looks right, then click on it to make sure it works and you changed the code correctly.  As much as I love email, you don't want your emails coming to me!


If you would like to use this button as it has been shown here, just change the email address portion and leave the image link alone. 






1.26.2010

Scarf Tutorials

I had about 5 yards of jersey fabric to recycle from a baby sling I had for the twins.  You know that crazy one that makes you look like a monk or something.  Anyway, when I saw this ruffle scarf  tutorial I really wanted to try it, it looked so cute and simple.  Well it was, but it looked TERRIBLE on me.

Not a complete loss.  I had also been wanting to make this gathered scarf   from Make it and Love it.  Which as you can see uses a section like the one I had just made!  So I cut the original scarf up and made this one (again, I was using jersey and the tutorial uses flannel, I think it turned out just as cute, jut a bit harder to work with the jersey as it stretches).



I still had fabric left over, and now a lot of scraps.  No worries, I had my eye on yet another scarf I had seen.  Again, from Make it and Love it.... Jersey scarf tutorial. She calls it Knit scarf, but that confuses me because then I think knit with yarn. Although I have to admit, I didn't read a single word in the tutorial, just glanced at the pictures, so my version is not exact, and mine is only one layer thick, although I would have liked to do two, I didn't have quite enough fabric.  But I will make this one again with a more fun color when I find some more jersey.



Just check pandora bracelets, buy beautiful credit card debt & freestyle watches from our store which also contains a lot of variety of watches, women’s watches is a wonderful way to get loans.

1.25.2010

I couldn't stop

So after playing with the photos yesterday I just couldn't stop.  I'm definitely going to print some out in poster size for large canvas prints of the kids.  If you would like me to alter one (or more) of your photos, I put a listing up in the shop for the service.  Here are a few more of the before and afters, okay, more than a few. 

1.24.2010

Work in Progress

One of my etsy shops is sadly neglected.  I would really like to expand it a bit and "breath some life back into it" (as my mother would say).  So I've been working on some examples for new listings, thought I would share a few with you.  Introducing Hudson..... my first born.

 




And for a touch of color.....



Hayden and Nadia, my twins.

Exciting News!



I'm very excited.  I was selected to make a tutorial for Totally Tutorials by Magpiemine .  That means I get to choose a few supplies from Magpiemine, then allow them to speak to me in creating something brilliant!  After it's all complete, I will post the tutorial here for all of you, and it will be featured on Totally Tutorials.  It will be my first feature as a blog so I'm pretty giddy about it.

My etsy shop has been featured by many wonderful bloggers, thank you!  Maybe someday I will be the one people want to be featured on.

1.23.2010

Free Printable- Chocolate Box

A while back I found these irresistible little boxes at IS LY.  I think they are the perfect way to put a little smile in someone's day. 

The best part..... they're FREE!  Download, print, cut, fold and fill!  Delightful.
You won't believe all the little goodies I have found scattered around the internet.  Don't worry, I'll share them all with you here as we get to know each other.

1.22.2010

Flower Tutorial- Roses or Peonys



Depending on the color you use these flowers look like either a big open rose or a peony.  Want one, or a hundred!  Well let's get started.

Materials needed-
Ten or so petals, learn how to make the petals here.
Needle and thread
That's it!


Step 1- Lay out your petals large to small.  I used ten petals in this flower.

Step 2- Lay your two largest petals on top of each other.  This will be the size of your overall flower so you can use that as a guide.  Take a third petal and fold it in half.  Stack on one side of the baste petals and run a needle and thread through all layers from the bottom to top and back down again.

Step 3- Repeat the folded petal portion of step 2 on the opposite side.

Step 4- With your needle and thread still attached, turn your flower over and pinch the base where your thread is coming out.


Step 5- Run a couple stitches through the pinched section to give the flower some body.

Step 6- Fluff the flower out a bit and look for the bare spots.  Tuck full petals in these spots and tack down with a stitch or two.

Step 7- When you only have one petal left, fold the flower in half and in half again until it looks like triangle.  Find the center of your flower from the top, tuck the triangle petal in the center and tack down.  Knot and cut your thread from the bottom.

Step 8-  Fluff!

Attach a barrette, alligator clip, pin, whatever suits your fancy. Enjoy!

I like to put them on these super easy headbands.

1.21.2010

Flower Tutorial- The Poppy





I love poppies.  They are so popular lately too.  So how can you join in on the fun?  I'll show you.



Materials needed:
First you will need to make a few petals, find out how here.  Which makes this tutorial Part 2
Needle and thread, or fabric glue
Beads, sparkly what nots, buttons, anything small and pretty
Optional- Bobby pin, hair comb, barrette, alligator clip, broach pin, what ever you want to use to attach the flower to your item or hair.  



Here we go!


Step 1- Divide your petals into piles by size.

Step 2- For a small poppy, stack three to five petals on top of each other by size.  I tend to use the same size for the bottom two petals to puff it up a bit.  Once you like the look take your needle and thread and run through all the layers a couple times.  If you don't want to sew, or if your doing thing with kids to small to use a needle, you can use a dot of fabric glue between each layer to assemble rather than sewing.

Step 3- Place what ever you are putting in the center of your flower and sew through all layers and your center piece a few times until you feel it's secure.  If your center doesn't have a hole you can use some glue to secure it after your finished with step 4.

Step 4- This step is optional depending on what your using your poppy for.  I chose to make this one for my hair.  I could have sewn on a bobby pin but I decided to try some new alligator clips I got.  Glue or sew your clip, comb, or pin to the back of your flower.


The more petals you stack up the fuller your poppy will be.

1.20.2010

Flower Tutorial- petals



As I was creating the flower tutorial I realized there were so many options it's really three tutorials.  One to show you the basic technique of how to create those beautiful curled edge petals (when I wanted to learn how to do it myself  I had to wait for an etsy class! Can you believe I couldn't find it through my BFF Google?  Not you, you can see how right here.

So without further ado- Part 1 Petals

What you will need:
Synthetic material.  I emphasize SYNTHETIC, natural fibers (like silk) will NOT work.  I made that mistake when trying to figure it out for myself, so don't waste your money.
A candle
A glass of water
Scissors

For my material I like to go to the thrift shop and find 100% polyester shirts.  Don't be fooled though, at $3.99 a shirt I'm sure buying by the yard would be a cheaper option, I just happen to live closer to the thrift store than the fabric store.  I know, I'm sad about that too.


Step 1. Cut your material up in to round pieces.  Notice I say round and not circles.  It doesn't matter how exact or round they are, being a bit obscure makes them all the more interesting and natural looking.

Step 2. Light the candle, with glass of water near by just in case.  Hold each of your round pieces NEAR the flame, not IN the flame.  As you get close the fabric edge will melt and curl.  Turn your fabric until all the edges are sealed and curled.

Step 3. This is what happens when you get your material IN the flame.  Synthetic material is extremely flammable.  If it starts on fire don't panic, drop the material into your glass of water, that's what it's there for.

Step 4. Admire your new creative skill.








So what are you going to do with all these petals?  Well that's why this is part 1!  Coming soon.....

Part 2- Poppies








Part 3- Roses

This is the same rose technique used to make this rose too!

Don't forget the lights!

While your out there grabbing the holiday clearance deals, don't forget to pick up some el cheapo christmas lights for these beauties.


Although I prefer the soft glow of a standard christmas light, LED would be perfect for this project as they come with fewer bulbs to a strand.  They remind me of both dandelions and fireworks.  I think I'm going to make on as a night light in the kiddo's room.  Check out how on CasaSugar.



This was my birthday present from my carpenter husband, but you don't have to be a carpenter to make it!  We got the idea, and you can find the tutorial, here at design sponge.  I must admit, she took much better pictures of hers than I did of mine.  But otherwise you couldn't even tell this wasn't the original!


1.19.2010

Holiday Clearance

All of the stores have their holiday on major clearance by this point.  I have a few projects in mind for next year that I'm picking up clearance supplies for now. 







I'm always drooling over the ornament wreaths every holiday season but they are to much for me to justify spending.  Well with this tutorial from Eddie Ross I'm going to make my own.  You will not believe what he uses, so clever! My dollar store had a lot of really cute glitter bulbs this year, between that and walmart clearance I should be able to pull it off on the cheap. 











Reserve a few of those bulbs to make this!  it was love at first sight when I saw this tutorial on Blue Cricket Design.  She actually leaves the frame up all the time gut this was the first picture I saw of the project so I thought it was one piece.  Don't worry, she tells you how to do the frame too! 



Those cheap molded plastic ornaments would be great for both these projects, they look awesome and on clearance I'm sure they are a steal!

1.18.2010

Sweet Bird and Branch Mobile

When I found out that one of my twins was a girl I couldn't wait to make all the cute girly things I had been bookmarking on the internet.  One of which was this adorable Branch with birds mobile from Martha Stewart of course.  Here's Martha's



And here's mine!

 
 

A couple things I did to save money, as although I have Martha's talent (insert giggle) I do not have her bank account!

1. Armature wire is expensive, it's in the paint and drawing supplies at your local Michaels craft store if your not familiar with it as we all know the employees there will have no clue what your talking about, seriously do those people actually do crafts?  Maybe your Michaels has higher standards, but I'm getting off topic.  Instead of armature wire I went over to the floral department and found a cheap package of brown paper (like paper bag paper) wrapped wire sticks.  They came like 6 in a package.  I started this mobile a year ago so I'm sorry I don't have the exact name or package of the product anymore.  Anything with a decent thickness to it that's bendable will work, even pipe cleaners!  Your going to cover it all with brown floral tape anyway so it really doesn't matter.

2. I used white card stock for the birds rather than the pink, because that's what I had on hand.

3. Use regular glue rather than hot glue.  No hot glue isn't expensive, but for the tiny amount you need I found white glue to work just fine and you don't waste all the glue that runs out over you paper that the hot glue gun oozes in between uses.  

So why did it take me over a year to complete this project?  Because I'm a perfectionist and I kept feeling like I didn't have enough flowers on it or my floral tape wasn't perfect.  So I put it up on a shelf and there it sat.  Until I decided it was time to clean off that shelf and when I pulled it down it looked nearly complete!  I hung the birds, which were already assembled and waiting, put the last couple flowers on and it was good to go!  So don't worry if you feel yours isn't perfect at first, my floral tape skills leave something to be desired, once you hang it up it will look perfect!

You can make yours any size, but in case your wondering mine is about 2 and a half feet wide and the lowest bird hangs about 15 inches down.