My 3 Monsters: June 2012

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Mod Podge Photo Transfer Canvas Project

Here's another inexpensive, cute art project I have put together for the "eclectic gallery wall of randomness" in my kids' bathroom.

I loved this awesome vintage puppy image I found a while back on Just Something I Made and knew I wanted to incorporate it into the gallery wall.  The puppy in the bath tub seemed appropriate somehow.  I printed out the image and held onto it, not sure exactly what I was going to do.  If all else failed, I knew I could just frame it and call it good, but I hoped maybe I could get a little more creative.

Enter Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium.

I had an 8x10 canvas in my craft closet that was just begging to have a puppy on it.  The first thing I had to do was make a color copy of the picture.  You need a laser-printed image, NOT an ink jet version.  When I made my copy I used the mirror image setting so that the lettering would turn out right on the finished project.

Next I cut out my image and brushed a pretty thick layer {about 1/16"} of the photo transfer medium on the FRONT of the copy.  The layer should be thick enough that you can't really see the image underneath.  I placed the paper face-down in the center of my canvas and pressed it down really well, removing all air bubbles and creases.  I used a damp cloth to remove any excess medium that came out around the edges.  {There wasn't much.}

Now comes the hardest part of this entire project -- wait 24 hours for the photo transfer medium to cure.  I'm not a patient crafter.  Like, not at all.  It was torture.  I actually only waited about 18 hours because it was killing me.  I followed the directions on the back of the card to remove the paper.  Basically, I just used a wet cloth to scrub it off.  The paper comes right off and the cute puppy magically stays put.  It's pretty cool!  You can see how there are a few imperfections where the color didn't transfer as well.

That may have been because I didn't wait long enough or because I didn't press the image on well enough in the beginning.  I don't know, but I kind of like the aged look of it.  It adds to the vintage character.  To finish it off I stuck some washi tape that looks like a ruler around the edges {that will tie in with another element of the gallery wall -- you'll see soon!} and used a pencil to dirty up the edges of the canvas a little bit.

I finished the whole thing off by painting on a couple more coats of Mod Podge.  I love the way it turned out!

Stayed tuned for more bathroom and gallery wall projects.  Have a great weekend!


Paper Pinwheel Art {and a Bathroom Update}

I continue to plug away at the kids' bathroom this week.  Honestly, I thought I'd have it all done to show you by now, but then, as house projects so often do, it grew from just a paint job and a new shower curtain to a small-scale renovation.  I found the coolest {half-price!}mirror at Hobby Lobby on Monday when I went to get some new knobs for the vanity which led to the decision to take down the giant builder's grade mirror in the room.  I have wanted to do that for as long as we've owned the house and I figured I might as well do it now since I was painting anyway and the PERFECT mirror was HALF PRICE!!  Then, because of the new mirror, the old mirrored recessed medicine cabinet was going to look atrocious and RUIN EVERYTHING.  So obviously that had to come out, too.  Easily done, but then we were into patching the gaping hole in the drywall.  Luckily for me we had all the supplies for that in the garage or I might have been in major trouble with my husband.  

I'm also {don't tell Brent yet} probably going to take down the ugly light fixture in there and replace it with a chandelier I've had in the garage for a while patiently waiting for a home.  But after that it's just a paint job and a new shower curtain, I promise!  If I had my druthers, we'd rip out the tile in the shower and replace it with white subway tile, too, but even I can see how that would cross the line of good sense in our situation.  So, after 3 days of patching and sanding drywall, I think I'm just about ready to break out the paint.  Yay!

While I have been waiting for coats of joint compound and orange peel texture to dry the past couple of days, I have been working on some fun art for the "eclectic gallery wall of randomness" in there.  My children are most excited about having an eclectic gallery wall of randomness in their bathroom.  They're easily impressed, thank goodness.  

Today I'm going to show you the most inexpensive project on the planet -- Paper Pinwheel Art!

All you need is some hot glue, decorative brads, and a stack  of scrapbook paper scraps.  

I'm going to assume y'all know how to make a pinwheel, right?  I cut 3 inch squares of my paper to get the size that I wanted for my frame.  I first tried 4 inch squares, but they just felt too big. If you can find 2-sided paper that you like, that would be ideal for this project..  I couldn't so I had to double up my paper.  The only problem with that is that it makes the center of the pinwheel too thick to just poke a brad through to keep it in place.  Just hot glut the tips of the pinwheel in the center then cut the prongs off of your decorative brad and glue that on, too. 

I took an old frame and painted it white,  then, since my frame didn't have a backing, I cut a piece of thick cardboard to fit the opening and painted that with the same white paint.  You could also cover your background with decorative paper or fabric -- whatever works for you.  Here's an example of a similar project I did using burlap for the background.  This time I was going for a clean, simple look, so white it was!  Space your pinwheels evenly on the background and stick them on with a dab of hot glue.  Easy enough, right?  To give you a little perspective as a jumping off point for your own project, the opening of my frame is 10-1/2 inches by 14-1/2 inches and I used 6 of the 3 inch pinwheels.  I liked the way that looked.

My boys took one look at it and said, "Cool!  Mom made ninja stars for our bathroom!".  Their father quickly corrected them, "Guys, come on.  Obviously those are flowers."  Men!  Ya' gotta' love 'em.

Stop by tomorrow for another random eclectic art project using new Photo Transfer Mod Podge!


Just Can't Sleep

I have struggled off and on with getting a good night's sleep for most of my adult life.  It gets to be super annoying, being tired all day long and wide awake at night. Actually I'm hardly ever "wide awake" at night.  Usually I'm super tired, I just can't stop thinking.

Just last night I laid in bed for several hours thinking about writing this post and the projects I have going on in my kids' bathroom.  I didn't want to think about those things, I just couldn't help it.  Sometimes in the dark quiet of the night my brain just spins out of control. 


Also, my husband snores.  I'm told that I do, too.  I can neither confirm nor deny those rumors.  It's like a race between my husband and I every night to fall asleep first.  The loser gets to lay there and stew while the winner saws logs.  Or go watch TV, which is what I usually do after about an hour of fruitless sheep counting.


Did you know that DishNetwork automatically powers down your receiver at 3 a.m. to install "important updates" to your system?  I did.   I hate that I know that.  I've tried lots of different things to help me sleep.  Some have horrible leg-twitching side-effects, but others work moderately well.  I'm just afraid of becoming dependent on something.  The one sure cure I've found?  Daylight.  I can always sleep when it's time to get up.


I am a little ashamed to admit that I secretly get a little happy inside when I get a cold because it means that I can take NyQuil.  I love that warm, sleepy feeling that comes on a little while after I take NyQuil.  If you know what I'm talking about, then I have good news for you!  Now there is ZzzQuil!!  "It's not for colds.  It's not for pain.  It's just for sleep," says the ad.  Blessed, lovely sleep. I'm heading out today to get some to have on hand just in case.  If you live in the Phoenix area, you can download a coupon here to use at Fry's grocery stores.

Happy Sleeping, friends!

I was compensated for this post as a member of Clever Girls Collective. All the opinions expressed here are my own.


How Cool is This?!

The video for Vintage Rose Wraps that Sis "modeled" for last week is finished!

Adorable video. Adorable girls. Adorable product. An all-around wonderful experience!! You can buy Vintage Rose Wraps here.  They're our new favorite thing!


Most Excited Girl Ever!!

If any of you know my daughter, you know that she is happiest when she is busy.  Often she'll be busy planning her next activity while we are on the way to the current one.  If any of you are friends with her on Facebook, you know what a BORING summer she is having.  She posts about it daily.

Let me show you just how "boring" her summer has been . . . 

First we went to Girls Camp.  Among her many adventures there, she won $1 at archery for hitting the bill that was taped to the target.

Most excited girl ever!!  Shortly after returning home from camp she celebrated her 14th birthday, which just happened to be her golden birthday {she turned 14 on the 14th}.  As tradition dictates, she got 14 gifts from her family, all wrapped in pretty gold paper.  That was super fun, but all of our gifts paled in comparison to having two of her best friends stop by with gifts . . . and flowers.

Most excited girl ever!!  She's grown up with these two boys, Colt and Hunter.  In fact, their birthday is just two days before hers and they were baptized on the same day.  This year they had a joint birthday party -- swimming and a movie projected on a screen in their back yard.  Roger's {the boys' dad}delicious grilled burgers, three cakes, the whole nine yards.  Super fun!

She sang a solo in church last Sunday for Father's day.  No pictures of that, obviously, but it was really sweet.  She did a great job.  Just this past week, she got to "model" headbands for Vintage Rose Wraps, a really cool local company that makes the world's cutest handmade head bands.  Katie, the lady behind the wraps, could not have been nicer!  Sis and the two other girls were adorable in their headbands:

Those are just a couple of cell phone shots I snapped while the real folks were working.  You can catch a glimpse of Sis here, too.   Most excited girl ever!!

Last night she went to her very first stake dance with her friend Xenia.  She got all dolled up in some new birthday clothes and a cute new Vintage Rose headwrap and was ready to take on the world.  Most excited girl ever!!

In between these major events, she has been swimming and babysitting tons.  She bought herself a new iPod Touch with her birthday and babysitting money, and we're getting geared up to go to Colorado in a couple of weeks.  So, you can clearly see how this has been a super boring summer, right?  I will never be able to keep up with this child, but we just love her to pieces!  She's truly the BEST teenager a mom could ask for.

I'm hoping to get my kids' bathroom made over this week.  Wish me luck!


Mixer gets a Makeover

I love my Kitchen Aid mixer.  I really, really do.  Together we've made countless birthday cakes, learned to make perfect homemade bread, and so much more.  She was just a plain old white mixer when I brought her home.  I was a little afraid to get a trendy color in case I ended up hating it one day.  Because these babies last forever!

I was excited a few years ago to get this awesome subway art style vinyl lettering from the House of Smiths shop to jazz her up a bit.  She was cute, all white with black lettering like that.

The vinyl has really held up well through several major scrubdowns, but I got to thinking that I might be ready to take it to the next level.  Maybe a new color or an all-over painted pattern -- I've seen several really cute ideas online like polka dots or zebra.  While the polka dots were really tempting, I decided to stick with the subway art design and just spray a different color over it.  

This is probably the easiest, scariest project I have ever done.  I was so afraid I was going to mess it up and make it look terrible.  I'm soooo glad that I did it though because I LOVE the results.

You can see in the picture above that I undid a couple of screws -- one to remove the piece at the back that covers the wires and motor and stuff, two that held the metal band that says KitchenAid on, and two that held the bowl clip on the front.  Then I cleaned the mixer really, really well, removing cake better splashes from several years ago, I'm sure.  I also taped up the areas that I didn't want to get painted.  I used a ziploc bag to cover the cord and then taped it up to cover the wires and motor and stuff.  Before I started spraying, I also made sure all the corners of the vinyl letters were pressed down really good.

Using a really good Rustoleum spray paint, I sprayed several light coats of gray over the entire mixer.  If you have the same model I do with the bowl that raises up, make sure you spray it with the bowl in the up AND down positions or else you'll be sad later when you use it.  I let the paint dry for about an hour before peeling off the vinyl lettering.  Despite my prepping, some of the letters were a tiny bit peel-y so I had a bit of overspray (or is it underspray) on a few letters.  I was able to use my fingernail to gently scrape it off so the design looked perfect.

To finish it, I sprayed the entire mixer again with several coats of clear sealer.  I'm hoping this will give the paint a little extra protection, but it also gave it  a super smooth, shiny finish that I like.  Here she is, in all her new, gray glory:

I adore her new look!  I'm going to give the paint a few days to really cure before I get back to baking.  I can't wait to work with her again!!  Have a great weekend, friends!


Nikon D3100 Giveaway!!!

I'm working on a couple new projects today.  I hate being in the middle of projects, with nothing pretty to show yet.  Just a big ol' mess in my house because I really need more than just a craft closet to contain my crafting obsession.  Someday I'm going to buy the house next door and make it my crafting/guest house, but that is neither here nor there today.

I may not have anything of mine to show you, but here is something really cool!

Do you know Groop Dealz?  

They offer daily boutique deals, delivered to your email in box.  I've bought some of my favorite jewelry and accessories there for a fraction of the retail price.  They also sell really stylish home decor, party goods and childrens goods.  It's something new every day!!  I love getting my Groop Dealz emails.  Check out Groop Dealz here and click on the image above to enter the camera giveaway!!

Have a great day!


3-Dimensional Firecracker Art

Here's another fun Mod Podge project, as promised.  It really couldn't be any easier.  I started with one of the large Podgeable Shapes {available at Michael's Craft Stores}and used Matte finish Mod Podge to attach strips of scrapbook to the back side of the acrylic piece.  Then I cut the quote out of an old book of famous quotations that I had in my craft closet and glued that to the front of the acrylic piece, using Gloss finish Mod Podge.  Once all of that was dry, I gave it one more coat all-over with the Super Gloss Mod Podge.

To give it a fun. "firecracker-y", "explode-y" look, I attached a bunch of pieces of red, white and turquoise ribbon at the top.  Cut each piece of ribbon 2-3 inches long.  Since the hole in the Podgeable Shape is too small to feed all that ribbon through, gather up all your ribbon pieces into a bundle and tie a piece of coordinating embroidery floss around the center.  Feed the ends of the piece of floss through the hole and secure on the back side with a dab of hot glue or E6000 craft glue.  Arrange your ribbon so it looks like it's exploding from the top.  A couple of my pieces of ribbon had wired edges so I wrapped those around a pencil for a spiral effect.  Then trim the ends of the ribbon if they look too long to you.

To finish it all off, I cut a piece of coordinating scrapbook paper to fit my frame and attached my firecracker to that with 3-D adhesive mounts so that it stood off the background a little bit.  Easy, cheesy!  It's the perfect little accent piece for my little patriotic display next to the front door.  

As a side note, I did some research to find out who "Johnson" is.  It was bugging me to not know who exactly that name referred to.  Was it Andrew Johnson, former US president?  Michael Johnson, renouned Olympic athlete?  {OK, I knew it wasn't him.}  A couple of sources attributed this quote to Lord Byron {Byron Johnson?}, but most of the info I found lead me to the poet, Samuel Johnson.  Mystery solved.  If you cared. 


3 Dimensional Pendant Necklaces featuring NEW Podgeable Shapes from Mod Podge

Good Monday Morning to all my crafty friends!!  I am so excited about today's project.  I have been working on this one for a while now and REALLY struggling to keep it under wraps until today.  I was selected by Blueprint Social to participate in a campaign sponsored by Mod Podge and Plaid Crafts{the makers of Mod Podge} to introduce some really cool new Mod Podge products.  You cannot imagine my excitement when all of this beautiful crafting goodness arrived on my doorstep:

Seriously.  I mean . . . SERIOUSLY!  And all they asked in return was that I create something with those cool products and teach y'all how to make it, too.  Ummmm, OK.  Twist my arm, right?!  Before we get into the project I came up with, let me point out a few of the things that got me most excited.

Look at all these different formulas of Mod Podge.  I have only ever worked with the Matte and Gloss varieties.  I'm super intrigued by the Antique Matte variety.  Hello Awesome, where have you been all my life?   And the washout one for kids?!  Oh, that will be a hit with my 3 monsters.  I'm also really liking the Super Gloss finishing formula.  It's really more of a sealer than an adhesive, but it lives up to its name.  Shiny, shiny.

These Podgeable Papers and Shapes are also really cool.  Sooooo many things to do with those!  I'm told you can find all of this great stuff at your local Michael's craft store.  Sweet!

What did I make with these delicious new products, you ask?  After kicking several ideas around, I finally decided on 3 Dimensional Pendants using the Podgeable shapes and papers.  In the pack of smaller Podgeable shapes there are three each of six different sizes and shapes.  One of the three in each shape set has a little loop at the top, making it perfect for hanging from a necklace.

The difficult part of this project is deciding which images to use from the Podgeable paper sets.  There are some really beautiful designs to choose from.  Ever since Girls Camp this year, I've been a little obsessed with vintage travel images so that was the first thing I decided to do.  You can pick several different elements because you're going to sandwich them in between the little plastic layers to make a really cool "shadow box effect".

To begin, I laid out all my elements in the order that they would be added and used a thin layer of the Matte finish Mod Podge to attach the images to the plastic shapes.  The Eiffel tower was attached to the back of the first rectangle and the postage stamp got stuck on top, kind-of hanging off the side.  The word travel got Mod Podged to the front of the shape with the loop {the middle piece} and the word dream was stuck to the front of the top piece.  

Once all the layers were dry I painted a thick coat of the Matte Mod Podge in between each of the plastic layers and stacked them up, lining up the bottom and side edges. {Also, trim off that piece of the postage stamp sticking out.  You don't need that.}

Here's what you should NOT do:  use a thick coat of Mod Podge between your layers!  It took nearly a week to dry completely and I was terribly sad for several days thinking I had ruined it.  When it finally did dry, it had a kind of cracked look inside where the layers of glue had dried.

I think that looks cool-ish, since the images I chose are old looking.  If you don't like that look {or you don't have a week to wait} just use a thinner coat of Mod Podge between the layers.  Much thinner.  OR, even though this may not be its intended use, a thin layer of the Super Gloss finishing formula worked the best for me to stick layers together without any distortion.  That's what I used on these vintage seaside pendants and they turned out beautifully.

Super Gloss is not meant to be an adhesive so use it at your own risk, I guess.  Mine are holding up great so far.  The Eiffel tower pendant has 3 layers of Podgeable shapes, but the seaside pendants are a little simpler.  The big one has two of the plastic shapes with one image sandwiched in between and another decorative paper on the back side.  

The smaller pendant is just one plastic piece with the image Mod Podged on the back.  That's what's fun about this project -- you can do just about anything you want!

Once the adhesive between your layers is dry, you're going to want to coat the whole thing with a layer or two of Mod Podge {in whatever finish you want} for protection.  I did a couple layers of Super Gloss on the front, back and sides of each piece.  

You could stop here, but I wanted to hide the seams on the side to make them look more finished.  On the Eiffel tower pendant, I used E6000 glue to attach thin white ribbon around the edges and a tiny bow at the top.  On the larger nautical pendant I used E6000 glue to attach tiny red crystals around the seam between the two plastic pieces.  The small, single layer pendant looked great without any edging.

At this point, you're pretty much done.  Just add jump rings to the loops on top of your Podgeable shapes and they're ready to hang from a chain or a pretty piece of ribbon.  I paired my Eiffel tower pendant with this cool necklace from Tori Spelling's new jewelry line {also available at Michael's} to give it a little different look.

Pretty, right?  I like it a lot.  

For the vintage seaside pendants, I wanted to create a necklace using rope tied in a cool sailor's knot I had seen on Pinterest.  I used some natural clothesline rope I had on hand and followed the tutorial on the link to tie the knot, then laid it out with my pendants to decide how I wanted the finished necklace to look.  

I loved the rope knot with the pendants, but thought it needed an extra "something" to class it up a bit.  I grabbed a couple of pearl necklaces from my jewelry box that I haven't worn in years {I hate chokers} and knew they were just the thing.  Using a jump ring I attached the smaller pendant and one string of pearls to the bottom of the knot by feeding the jump ring through several of the strings of the rope before closing it.

Once that was situated exactly how I like it, I cut the ends of the rope to the length I wanted.  I used a couple of decorative jewelry end clamps to finish the raw edges of the ropes.  Before scrunching all the ends of the rope and pearls in each side, I added a dab of E6000 glue to help things all stay put.

If you like shorter necklaces, you could just add a clasp at this point, but I wanted it to hang a little longer so I attached a length of chain to each end.  I also wanted to add one more layer of fun to the necklace so I strung another old pearl necklace between the two decorative ends of my rope section and hung the larger seaside pendant from that strand using a lobster clasp.  {I was thinking that would make it easy to add or remove the pendant to change up the look of the necklace, but I really don't like the look of it, so I'll probably just use a jump ring to hang the pendant from the pearls "permanently".}

I have to say, this one is my favorite.  Isn't it just dreamy with the pearls and romantic vintage seaside scenes?  I have the perfect nautical striped maxi-skirt to wear it with this summer.

There you have it!  An easy, inexpensive way to make some unique new jewelry that looks like a million bucks!  For more awesome Mod Podge project ideas and information, follow Plaid Crafts on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.

Check out all the other cool projects crafters have made with these new products:

Come back tomorrow for  more details about how I created the 3 Dimensional firecracker art that I created using the larger Podgeable shapes!

I wrote this post as part of a paid campaign with Plaid Crafts and Blueprint Social. The opinions in this post are my own. 

Lil\'LunaThe 36th AVENUE


Patriotic Decor for Independence Day

I'm turning over a new leaf this year and doing a little bit of seasonal decorating.  You see, we have this dresser right next to our front door that tends to become the catch-all for the family's crap if I don't put some intentional, pretty crap there first.  But I'm still a big ol' cheap-o and I refuse to spend any real money on anything that's only going to be up for a month, even if I can use it for several years.  

I dug through some of my craft supplies and grabbed anything that was red, white, and blue.  Turquoise is blue, right?  I also had some black posterboard, striped washi tape, and a cover-less old book of famous quotations that I picked up at Goodwill {because I needed the cover for something else a while ago}.  I know what you're thinking -- those are the makings of a preeeeety classy patriotic display.  Whatever.

First I free-handed the design onto one piece of black posterboard with chalk.  I did lightly trace a dinner plate first so that my laurel wreath would actually turn out round.  I made sure to smudge the design a bit and then go back over it to get a more authentic chalkboard look.  Then I smudged chalk all around the blank areas until it looked just how I wanted it.

Once it was right, I sprayed it with a matte finish sealer so that the chalk would stay put.  Then, I knew I wanted to make a 3 dimensional star with it, just like I made for our Christmas trees in December.  This tutorial explains how to do that beautifully.  My problem was that I didn't have a big enough star to trace, so I had to make my own template.  Cut a perfect circle from another piece of posterboard -- there are lots of ways to do that.  Google it if you're not sure.  
You are going to want to mark 10 points on the circle, equally spaced.  To do that, borrow your kid's protractor and mark every 36 degrees around the center point.  {360 divided by 10 = 36}  I actually marked too many on my template because I tried to make it harder than it needed to be.  Ignore the extra lines.  Use a ruler to draw lines from the center of the circle to the edge, through each of your marks.  Then make a mark at the mid-point of EVERY OTHER line.  Those will be the indented points of your star.  Use your ruler again to connect the lines -- mid-point to tip to mid-point all the way around until you have a big star, like in the picture above.

Cut out your template and trace it onto the posterboard with the chalk design on it and another piece of posterboard {for the backside of the 3 dimensional star}.  Then cut those stars out.  You can follow the star tutorial I linked to above to fold the star and pop it up into 3D form.  

To attach the front and back I used a dab of hot glue at each star point, then I went back and put a dab of hot glue at each indented point, too.  I used striped washi tape to finish connecting the two pieces along each side and give it a nice finished look.  To finish it and improve its durability, I gave it a good coat of matte finish Mod Podge front and back.  

I really like how it turned out.  It really looks a lot classier than you might think a posterboard star would look in person, I promise.  Just in case the "established in 1776" on the star didn't make a strong enough patriotic statement, I whipped up this little firecracker art with a patriotic quote I cute out of the old quote book I had.

I'll share a little more about how that was made {and the cool NEW Mod Podge products I used to make it} next week!  Here's the whole display again:

Not too shabby for how cheap it was, right? I need to find something red and blue to put in that tray with the star -- maybe some candy.  Mmmmm.   Too bad my little cannister doesn't have a 4 on it this month.  Anyway.... we're super excited that it's finally the weekend.  Sis just turned 14, Ri is coming home from diabetes camp, and it's FATHER"S DAY!!  Hope you're all having fun, too!

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