First Craft Show

First Craft Show

I recently did a small Make &/or Bake Sale for Alzheimer’s research. It was the first time I’d ever done something like that. I didn’t have a lot of props and I used sticky notes to show prices, but it went really really well.
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So First ever show a success! Aaaaannndd a friend asked me to share a booth with her in October, so second show here I come! I’m very excited! I have to make some more items and look around the house for some props. If you live in Tennessee, or want to visit, it’s the Grundy County Craft Show on October 1st. Come and see me!

Some items that will be with me in Grundy County:
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Also, I’m taking orders for custom jewelry for gifts or upcoming holiday party gatherings and for custom bags. Get your orders in early for a special surprise!

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Just playing around with the computer…

Thought I would share some current graphic and web design projects I’m currently working on.

I did a few things around here,  a new banner and social profile image.  I also made a cover image for a new series that starts Monday!

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I also have been playing around with a logo/car design for a friend. I’m still conceptualizing, but here are his favorite concepts so far.

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How I got started with Graphic & Web Design:

I’ve always been a bit of a graphic designer. Sadly I used to play around with the basic paint program, changing and building images, sometimes pixel by pixel. At some point I discovered a wonderful and free program called GIMP. It was my favorite program, although, Inkscape is pretty fantastic itself. GIMP is able to do everything from photo editing to from scratch creation, although Inkscape is probably a better choice for from scratch designs and creating vector images. GIMP is for anyone, Inkscape is bit more hardcore, but you can find help all over the net.

And then I discovered web design. I got into web design, because I worked in a church office and they needed some one to do their website. I volunteered and, having only been exposed to the amount of html it takes to change the color on your myspace page, I picked up a book called Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML. If you want to learn, it’s a fantastic book to start with. Also, another thing I did was to download free templates and play around with the code. I’ve made quite a few websites now.

I’m always very excited and humbled when I get to use all of my skills and knowledge to create all the components, not just for the website, but the whole brand or business, everything from the logo, letterhead, postcards, t-shirts, etc. to helping build the entire marketing plan and campaign. And then create a unique showcase for it on the web. I love the process and creativity involved in that sort of thing.  Over the past year, I’ve been switching to Adobe Creative Suite! I love it. The tutorials were very helpful at first, as it’s very different than GIMP. There are a few functions that are easier in GIMP than Adobe, but there are also many more functions available across the adobe platform.

Check out some other things on my portfolio.

Wall of Inspiration

Wall of Inspiration

I’m a huge fan of using inspiration, idea/goal boards. I think they are a beautiful way to keep your goals and inspiration ever at the front of our minds.

Since I don’t have an office, my desk sits against a wall in a hybrid hallway that open to the living room, and so I wanted to create a beautiful and simple way to display my ideas, to do lists, goals, and things that inspire me. But I also want the area to have it’s own feel since it’s my workspace.
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Want to make your own wall of inspiration? Follow along below!

MATERIALS:
Staple gun with 6mm staples
Four 12×12 squares of cork board
Four 13×13 squares of fabric (depending on the thickness of your boards, you may need more than an extra inch all the way around)
Four picture hangers and screws
Screw driver
Scissors

I started with a 4 pack of 12×12 cork boards. Then I selected fabric that matched my living room enough not to clash, but is also different enough to give the area it’s own feeling. I decided to use only two colors, but another great idea would be to use four different fabrics.
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I cut 13×13 squares out of the fabric. I made three from the light color and one from the darker charcoal color.

To start attaching the fabric to the board, I placed the fabric face down and the cork board down in the middle with at least an inch of fabric showing all the way around.

Using the staple gun, fold the fabric over the cork board and staple once in the middle. (I was working on a carpeted floor, so I placed a piece of board under where I stapled for support.) Then do the same thing to the opposite side pulling the fabric gently to make sure it will lie flat in the front.
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Now repeat on the two remaining sides, so that your piece looks like the one below.
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Now working from the center staple on each side, fold and pull the fabric down and place another staple in between the center one and the corner. Repeat on each side of the board. Now you have three staples on each side.
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Now to tackle the corner. Take a pair of scissors and cut a square out, to look like the second image below.
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Now, fold one side over holding the fabric taught, but not too tightly. Then fold the other fabric over and put one staple in the corner. Repeat for the other three corners.
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Now, how to hang them on the wall. Eventually I hope to find and up-cycle some decorative frames, but until then, I took some tooth hangers off of picture frames that I have standing. You could buy some at a craft or hardware store, but it’s always awesome to use the opportunity to reuse/repurpose something!
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To attach them, simply measure to the middle of side, place the piece and screw in.
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Now the fun part! Hang them up and start pinning inspiration, to do lists, special quotes and phrases, and anything else that inspires you!
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Need more space to pin? I took an old picture I was given, painted the frame and covered cardboard in fabric to match. I’m upswing it for my home study course.
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I also made a pretty little paper pocket to hold study materials. X-)
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So what do you think? How do you keep inspiration and to do lists present in your mind?

A Necklace to Envy, The Key to My Heat, Tear Drop, and Recycling!

A Necklace to Envy, The Key to My Heat, Tear Drop, and Recycling!

I was very busy last month with social and family commitments, as we’ll as trying to get my shop ready, but I still managed to create a few fun pieces of jewelry.
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I stayed up late more than a few nights to get things just right, but it’s always worth the lost sleep. Lulu came up a few times to stick her nose in my work saying, “hey, it’s time to play with me!!!” That’s always a good indicator it’s time to take a break.
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I was excited that I was able to add those and few other new items to my shop! I’m in a building and creating mood, and so I went through and sorted through old jewelry friends and family have given me to recycle. Some of them are broken and others they were just tired of. I love that instead of throwing it away they gave them to me! I can’t wait to use it all!
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A Strip of Roses

I have been meaning to make myself a laptop bag for my Mac book since I bought it. And I finally made it!! Well almost I haven’t decided about the strap yet, so I’m using a temporary one. But I’m very pleased with the rest of it.

I used an old felted sweater as padding were the computer is held. a good way to recycle an old sweater.
20130510-154816.jpgorange fabric is the sweater and the natural, tan color is the inside.

To close it I used a zipper framed it with the rose fabric. On the inside, I added an expandable pocket for all the cords and extra electronics.
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On the side, I made a small pocket to hold pencils and pens for easy access.
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The bag came out a little larger than I had intended, but I love it! And that just means there’s room for when I upgrade to a larger laptop. 😛
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Frame your Paint

Frame your Paint

Originally to store my paints I hung them on some small hooks I attached to a shelf. It worked very well for a while, but as I collected more paints, it began to sag in the middle as you can see below. So I had to come with a new plan.
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I had an old canvas frame that I had planned to recover, but as I looked at it leaning against the wall, I had a much better idea. So I painted it with a watered down brown paint… More like a stain.
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Materials I used:

  • 16 hooks
  • One screw about the same size as the hook screws
  • Screw diver
  • Tape measure
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    Using the tape measure I evenly spaced the hooks and marked it.
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    Then I used the screw to make the hole for the hook screw.
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    There you have it! X-) I’m super happy with it. I will add one more row at some point but for now its nice way to house my fabric baskets.

    Alice in Wonder Land Birthday Dress

    Alice in Wonder Land Birthday Dress

    My friend Malinda called me up two weeks ago to see if I could help her make a dress out of playing cards for her little sister to wear for her birthday party. I accepted right away with a million ideas floating through my head! After talking a little to get a feel for what her sister might want, I drew a couple sketches and planned a meeting. Between work and life, I ended up with about 48 hours to get it done.
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    Fortunately I have a wonderful dress making partner named Ella. She is flexible enough to help me with many sizes and never complains when I stick her with a pin.
    20130128-085350.jpg (Ella is an antique Acme adjustable dress form. I bought her from a lovely shop on etsy, DesertBlossomVintage.)

    So after Ella got adjusted, I went to work making the dress. I don’t usually get nervous making dresses, but this one felt different. It’s for a 12 year old’s birthday. So it had to be perfect!
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    I got started making the skirt and top. Once those were sewn together, I added the zipper, lace around the top, and the bubble hem with tulle. Sewing the cards on was the hardest part.
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    The result! I think it turned out pretty well for the project runway time frame I was on. 😛 (please ignore the fold lines on the fabric… they were fixed.)
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    My friend said her sister loved it!!! They had a wonderful time at her Alice in Wonderland party, painting tea sets. Best of all no one lost their head!

    A Very Spidey Christmas Project

    A Very Spidey Christmas Project

    I picked up a bunch of Spider-Man comics at an antique mall a while back for my Dad’s Christmas present. I also snagged a vintage style Spider-Man poster off Amazon. My original plan to house these was to pick up some old picture frames from goodwill or some other thrift store. But I decided to go for a different look that makes much more of a statement. I decided to make the “frames.”

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    My Dad loved them!! I think he was a little shocked by them, but he absolutely loved them. I know he couldn’t wait to get them hung up in his media room. I’ll be sure to post a picture once he hangs them up.

    For those of you who would like to see how I built them, continue reading. For those of you who just wanted to see them, there you have it. I hope you enjoyed it!!

    To Build
    First I bought all the materials from Lowes online and they had them ready for pick up in 20 mins! I bought:

    • 5- 8ft x 2 inch x 1/4 inch wood slats
    • 3- 24 x 36 inch metal sheets
    • 3- 18 x 24 inch clear acrylic sheets
    • 12 socket hd cap screws & 18 hex nuts & 12 6×3/8 screws

    I also used some black acrylic paint, black and red spray paint, poster board, wood glue, staple gun, and hand saw that I already had.

    I used poster board to create my spray paint template. First I drew the spiderweb with a marker and then used a utility knife to cut the web out, keeping all the pieces. I used the web itself as a template for placing each piece on the metal. I used painters tape to attach them. Covered large areas with magazine pages. I used black low voc spray paint. While that dried, I created the Spider-man mask template and painted it on the metal as well.
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    After painting the metal pieces I began measuring for the holes to be drilled into the metal and plexiglass. To do this I worked from the back of the metal so that I could write on it. The plexiglass has a protective film that I wrote on. I suggest keeping it on until you attach it with the bolts to the metal.

    I measured the metal and plexiglass pieces in pairs and numbered them to match. I did this because even though I’m using the same measurements on each piece, most likely the metal and plexiglass have subtle inaccuracies. So numbering them to match ensures that they will fit together.

    Because of the size pieces I bought, I already knew I wanted the plexiglass 6 inches from the top and bottom of the metal and 3 inches on each of the sides. Once I had the glass positioned to those measurements, I traced the corners of the plexiglass onto the metal for reference later.

    After tracing the corners, I broke out my ruler and from the plexiglass corner measured 1 inch on either side. I made little tick marks on the metal to match the ones on the glass. Then lining up the side of my ruler to the side edge of the metal, to ensure a straight line, I drew a line across the glass slightly longer than an inch. I repeated this from the top edge, so that the two lines crossed. That is the point to drill your bolt hole. I drew a small circle around this point. Repeat this process for the other three plexiglass corners. Then remove the plexiglass and using the tick marks already there and the metal edge, continue using the ruler to draw the crossed lines and circle the intersections. (To test your measurements place the plexiglass back over the metal. Your circles will be visible through the plexiglass glass. Make sure all the circles line up.)

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    The plexiglass doesn’t need any prep work before drilling, but be careful not to go too fast or you make crack it.

    The metal I used was very thin, and when drilling the hole, it will bend the edges of the hole down. So I didn’t want to drill from the back and have the holes cause space between the metal and plexiglass later. To avoid this, I took a nail and hammer and made a pin hole through my drill point from the back and wah-lah! I can drill from the front of the metal.
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    I made frames from wood to act as a base for my project. To do this so that the metal actually sits on top of the frame, I measured and cut the wood at a 45 degree angle so that the interior of the frames were to be 34.5 inches for the long side and 22.5 inches for the short sides. I don’t have any cool power tools so I used a hand saw and guide to cut my pieces.

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    After all the pieces were cut I painted them mostly black, sparing the area that will be covered by the metal. Once that dried, I glued the corners together with gorilla wood glue and let it set over night.
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    I used a staple gun to re-in force the corners after the glue dried.
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    I attached the metal to the frame making sure each metal corner lined up with the frame seams. I then used a hammer and nail to make 4 guide holes through each metal and frame for the screws. I pulled the nail out and screwed in the 6×3/8 screws

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    Next it was time to attach the plexiglass to the metal. I took the film off each side and put the bolts through each hole. I laid it down on the table with the bolt faces and front of the plexiglass towards the table. I positioned the poster/comics on the plexiglass, also face down, and then laid the metal over it face down with the bolts going through the holes. I then tightened nuts over the bolts to hold in place.

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    I then measured across the frames in order to cut a support for the frame. I made the pieces 1 inch longer on each side to over lap the back of the frame. The bolts will travel from the plexiglass all the way through this support across the top two bolts. I measured where the bolt holes should be by placing the piece across the frame right under the bolts. Then I drew a line from the bolt to the bottom of the board. With my ruler, I then measured to the middle of the line, creating a kind of t shape. That intersection is the drill point. After I drilled them, I slipped two nuts over the bolts to secure in place.

    20130109-085600.jpgMy dad is going to hang them with picture wire attached to the two bolts across the top. I learned so much by building these and I can’t wait to share my next project with you!! X)

    Paintings for Christmas!

    Paintings for Christmas!

    A friend of mine gave me some pictures she didn’t want any more. I took one of them apart this weekend, and painted the frame.

    Adler’s mother loves pigs, and so I painted her a Christmas pig. I cut the mat from the original picture to fit the new one, and added some ribbon to the top for it to hang from.

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    I have two more pictures, to transform into Christmas presents. Not to mention I promised to post about my dad’s very Spidey Christmas present… Its all coming very, very soon.

    Triangle Box

    Triangle Box

    IMG_0441You start with old magazines or any paper material sturdy enough and cut squares out of it. I use Adler’s old car magazines, but I have to be careful that there are no potentially offensive images.

     

     

     

     

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    1: I use a ruler and a box cutter to make my squares. The more perfect the square the more clean cut the finished product turns out. Traditionally I would use a hard ruler. The hard edge works better for this, but Lulu recently ate mine. Silly puppy. 2: For this box, you will need three squares. 3: Take square one and fold it corner to corner to form the triangle in 4.

     

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    5: Fold one outside corner to the center corner. 6: Fold the other outside corner to the center. 7: Open the corners back up and fold the center corner to the top and then re-open. 8: Repeat until you have three pieces.

     

     

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    9: Slide the corner of one piece into the corner of another and so on until it looks like 10. 11: Shows a close up of the last corner opening. 12: Slide the last corner into place. I tack the bottom together with just a bit of glue on each side.

     

     

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                                                      13: The finished little box. And a few other boxes I’ve made with this pattern. You can use more than three pieces. And I created some lids for mine also. X-)