Sunday, January 30, 2011

Giving Old Windows New Life

This is a pet project I've been toying with and working with for over a year now. I've been hesitant to share it here in blogland for a number of reasons...but one of them is because I fully intended to put these in my Etsy shop and just...haven't.

I know there have been many awesome projects pertaining to windows floating around...this particular idea was all my own although I've seen similar variations and they're beautiful!

Forgive my lack of 'before' pictures on this one...I just wasn't thinking about it at the time! This particular window's purpose was to be a jewelry holder for my sister-in-law. I picked a pretty purple paint from Lowe's (I used a Valspar sample size) and added black and white knobs. Here it is after it was finished...

I added a few things from my own collection just to get an idea of how it would look, and to be sure everything held properly.

And here it is in all it's glory, hanging up at my sister-in-law's apartment! As you can see, she's had no trouble filling it up...she's a bit of an accessories fiend! :)

Shannon (my sis-in-law) loved it so much she wanted one to give as a gift to a this one ended up finding a new home as well (picture is from a show I did this fall)...Originally a 6 pane window, finished in chocolate brown with turquoise and brown knobs.

I have many more projects in store for my collection of old windows...including one for my kitchen renovation...assuming I can get that finished before baby boy arrives! *fingers crossed*


Creations by Kara

Link up your latest project every Wednesday on the Elle Belle Creative Your Way Wednesday link party!

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

6 things about me for VWB's slumber party! :)

It's time for Miss Nichelle's bloggy slumber party! If you haven't joined in, what are you waiting for? Link up, lovies!

I thought this week I would depart from crafts and tell y'all 6 little things about me...just for fun :) Read on, enjoy, and don't forget to join the fun at VWB!

(1) I've had the same real-life BFF for about...24 years now. She's sarcastic, slightly-ADD, type A, and a lefty like me.

She's also known for her oddball sense of humor, and giving me cards with her 'artwork' inside, like this:

(2) Charleston, SC, about a 3.5 hour drive from where I've lived my whole life, is one of my favorite places in the world. This is the Cooper River Bridge and I like to drive over it just for fun...'cause it's pretty :)

(3) I have a love for Edgar Allan Poe and his works. If you're ever in Charleston, head over to Sullivan's Island and visit Poe's Tavern...the entire menu (and restaurant) is based around images of him and his works. I adore it.

(4) I love owls.

(5) I taught K3 for a full year, which included a full session of summer camp with about a dozen 3's. Several Disney princesses met an unfortunate demise at the hands (actually, feet) of my girls cried.

(6) Exactly one year ago, I was lucky enough to accompany my hubby on a business trip to Hawaii...for two weeks. It was the most beautiful place I've ever seen, the friendliest I've ever visited, and I would LOVE to go back.

The Blog Guidebook!

I'm always looking for ways to spread the word about my blog. Linky parties, mentions on my Facebook page, Etsy shop, etc. Today I discovered Blog Guidebook. You can list your blog for free, and they're sorted into neat little categories :) It's a great way to get your blog out there and discover new blogs to follow! Go check it out, it's free!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Upcycled Tie Rosette Necklace

I have a minor obsession with men's ties...It all started when I was browsing Etsy a few years ago and noticed people making all sorts of things with them...tree skirts, bags, prom dresses even! The ideas and the talent were astounding...So off to thrift stores I went, in search of some ties to make who-knows-what with. One of the local Miracle Hill stores had theirs on special for a few weeks in a row--$1 each! I went every Saturday for ummm...a few too many Saturdays. Whoops.

Fast forward to late 2010 and I had amassed a large Rubbermaid tote full of men's, cotton, polyester plaid, stripes, polka dots, music notes, paisley...and let's be honest. Some of them are *really* ugly. I decided to start with the ugly ducklings first...and made several bobby pins and a couple of brooches...but nothing for myself. So I picked out two obscenely ugly blue and yellow ties that I figured hey, if I do this, and it's absolutely horrific (because the ties were amazingly awful) or a complete mess (because I'd never made a necklace this way before), then who cares!

Turns out, the result is pretty darn cute!

Since it was for me, I didn't bother with a clasp or closure...just measured the chain according to where I wanted it to sit and voila! Or...wa-laaa! :)

I have since played around with an astronomically horrid looking Tommy tie and have found that it made a super cute rosette...the bold colors and mini-paisley print on a tie? Ew. But twist that silk into a flower and it really pops!

What have you made or transformed that started out so ugly you had your doubts??? Anything? Just me?

I'm linking up here:

Link up you latest project every Wednesday on the Elle Belle Creative Your Way Wednesday link party!



my first linky feature!

Even though I started this blog some time ago, I knew *nothing*...not that I know a lot now, mind you! But I knew nothing of labels or tags for posts; how to add or use 'buttons'; how to add pictures; and linky parties? What the heck was a linky party? Psssh. No clue.

My first linky ever was an Upcycled Awesome and I was so clueless and nervous that I actually emailed Robin and said "I hope I did this right, and I don't get booted" hehehe. When it actually showed up I was pretty pumped.

I finally got brave enough to try buttons after Melanie at Lucky 7 Design did a feature on my blog and crafting...

But *today* I received word from Dominique at Craft Couture that she had featured my necklace as one of her 3 picks from her linky party!!! I am so excited and it just made my day!

So to all you bloggers out there that do these linky parties, and features...please know how much it means to us newbies to get a feature, a shout out, an invitation to a linky party from you in your corner of blogland! Thank you!


I miss blogging...and crafting...
I have a very good reason for my absence...
(or so I *think*)
Some of you may have read that I'm expecting at the end of hubby works from home (software developer) and his "office" is in what will be Baby Boy's room (still no name, sorry folks) we decided to close in our screened porch to give Mr. his 'office space' and me a reading nook...
We are {thisclose} to having the new room done and I have been cleaning like crazy to help Mr. get it ready...thus blogging and crafty time have suffered a LOT...
Here is a peek from the day we started to close in the room...I forgot to take one before everything got started, but I'm *so excited* and it's going to add about 200 square feet for us to live, work and play!

There is *so* much more now--walls, floors, windows, blinds, PAINT...My husband, daddy, and father-in-law are awesome guys...they've done all the work! I can't wait to have everything finished and do an awesome "make over" post...I hope you'll come see it!

Monday, January 24, 2011

let's be friends...and followers :)

I'm not even sure where, but I saw a post about this awesome idea for a 'swap following' linky party at Homemaker on a Dime. The general concept reminds me of the saying "to have a friend you must be a friend"...and we all know in blogland it can be hard to find friends because there's just so many blogs to explore!

So I'm going to link up and find some crafty new people to follow, hopefully find a few friends in the meant time...and I hope you'll join me! If you're new to my blog, please take a look around, and comment away on posts! We all love comments!!!

Meet My Furry Crew!

Debbie over at Debbiedoos is having a fun par-tay to meet our furry friends...and I'm warning you--I have a lot of them! :) I've always had a love affair with animals...from the time I was tiny, even though my parents were less than willing hehehehe. Now that I'm grown and have my own home, it's over-run with dogs...and a bunny. If I *could* have more, I would! Lizards, fish, a monkey...I could start a zoo. Yes...but I digress. Let me introduce you to my brood!!!

I spent my years from age 9 up in the company of a pretentious, feisty, fabulous miniature Schnauzer named Nick. He was a hoot and a half, and infamous...even my friends who proclaimed to "dislike dogs" couldn't help but adore him. He passed away just a month or two into 2006, quietly and at home with us. I think about him all the time; he was really my first 'true' pet (I had a hamster named Lucky; he had a short life, hated me, and well...he was just grumpy, RIP little guy). So not wanting to be without furry friends (much to my parents dismay, as I was living at home and single then) I headed to the humane society where I intended to adopt perhaps one small-ish doggie to bring home and love.

I ended up with these two rascals.

Jasper is the reddish little fiend, Doc is the plump hound that spent most of his puppy hood asleep or eating. Or falling asleep eating. They loved to play together, and Jasper would promptly take any toy Doc got from him...he amassed a collection, as Doc was (and still is) far too docile to really care what anyone else is doing.

My "small-ish" puppies grew into much larger dogs, and I made their home in my parent's huge back yard. When James and I got married, we did the same...until Jasper, with his Christopher Columbus mentality, continued to dig out every opportunity he got (and there were many). Doc is a sucker for peer pressure so if he could fit his fat hiney in the hole, he went along too. Jasper is now an inside pup, and Doc has absolutely zero gumption about himself to leave. He knows where the food bowl is and he's content...and not alone (but I'll get to that in a moment).

James and I were married in May, 2007, and we each really missed having an inside dog. So off we went to the humane society (they love me there hehehe). We intended to get this sweet little female terrier mutt, as her brother was away at an adoption drive. He was returned just a few moments before closing, and we got a glimpse of his hiney as he dove into his food bowl. We decided to return the next day to get HER. The next day came and a woman in line behind us whispered to her grandson (they hadn't unlocked the doors yet) to "run ahead of those people" (that'd be us) and "make sure to grab her" (that'd be the puppy we'd looked at). So the doors open and he did exactly as he ended up with the female and we ended up with this little troublemaker (her brother)...

We took him to a 'bonding room' and he promptly flexed and pounced onto James' hand like a tiger...or...Tigger. I immediately said "we have to have him and his name is Tigger." He went from a sweet, smooth-coated little 2.5 lb. puppy to a wire-haired, obscenely long-bodied dog of about 20 lbs. He's my entertainment. Tigger sits, shakes, high-fives, jumps, speaks, and his favorite--bang! (shoot him with your finger...he falls over)

That didn't seem too the time both Doc and Jasper were outside, Tig was inside...and then James started to travel for work and I said, "I want a big loud dog to have indoors with me, like a guard dog." (giggle*snort) We ended up with this little dude from a rescue group...his name is Bear.

Bless his heart...his is not very bright. He is very clumsy and he's scared of his own tail. No, I mean it. He really is scared of it. And as you can see, he did not get nearly as large as the 'guard dog' I had envisioned...but I love him nonetheless. He even crosses his paws.

"That's it, Leighann, no more dogs!" James told me over and over. And I was okay with that. I mean, 4 dogs? That's a lot for anyone right? So one day, I'm driving down the road and I almost hit this gorgeous white dog in the road...I turn around and go back to check on him and to see if he has a collar. He's sweet, but without a collar, and it's summer and he is HOT. So what do I do? I put him in the backseat of my car and home we go. I think...oh someone HAS to be looking for him. He looks purebred. He's beautiful. "You are NOT naming him, Leighann because we can NOT keep him" James says...yes, yes, I know. We put up fliers, we put up ads on CL, I mentioned him on one seemed to be looking and before I realized...he'd been with us 3 months and learned his "name"--White Dog. That was two and a half years he is playing in the snow we recently had. He enjoys his time outdoors keeping Doc company and generally harassing him--he loves to play.

When I was teaching preschool, the K4-K5 teacher adopted a mini-rex rabbit for her classroom. Towards the end of the year she decided to relocate, and change jobs, and just couldn't care for him as she wanted...So Marble (that's his 'official' name) was in need of a home. She asked if I would be willing to take him in...We had kept him on the weekends for her before, when she was traveling for job interviews, and James and I both thought he was an awesome little guy...So in the spring of 2010, Marble came to live with us.

I had never owned anything like a rabbit before, but he's super easy to care for. If you've never owned one (and I say one, but my experience thus far is just with the mini-rex), they are hilarious. He has a very distinct personality and he is MOODY. When his cage is changed he promptly and huffily sets to rearranging EVERYTHING, no matter where we put it. Food, hay, shavings, etc. Then he gets lazy and does things like you see below :)

And funny enough, he and Tigger get along really well. Tigger just doesn't quite grasp that Bunny Bunny (as we tend to call him) is NOT a puppy for him to play with...Tigger barks at him and jukes around trying to get him to play and of course...Bunny just looks at him like, yeah so? It's comical. Here they are hanging out on my bed one afternoon.

So if you've read this far, I thank you, and I hope you've enjoyed meeting my crew :) I love having my dogs and my grumpy bunny and while they can be quite a handful (and eat a LOT), I don't know what I'd do without them. Ironically enough, when James and I started dating, I had Doc and Jasper. His parents also had two dogs, Nahla and Camden. To date, James and I have amassed 5 dogs and a bunny...his parents have 5 dogs and a guinea pig...I promise it wasn't planned, but our vet (we use the same one) just looooves us hehehe :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Bloggy Slumber Par-tay

Miss Nichelle over at Vintage Wanna Bee is having a bloggy slumber party! She seems like a cool chick and I really like her style. If you want to join in take a peek and let's find some new friends!

So a fair-skinned redhead like myself...did you get picked on at all? It was more about my ghostly complexion than my red hair...and finding makeup is always hard!

Anyway, check her out, you'll love her!!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Glass Marble Pendant Tutorial

I've been wanting to make something like this with my anniversary date on it for a while now. I just couldn't decide how I wanted to make it, and I had kind of put off the project...but my cousin is due with her second baby next month, and I thought it might be a cute idea to make her something similar in honor of her kids as well (so Candice, if you're reading this, avert your eyes! You'll see it soon enough!)...

You'll need some sort of paper or cardstock to print your name, date, graphic, etc. onto; clear glass, flat-back marbles; felt or something similar for backing; Mod Podge and brush; eye pins; wire snippers; tweezers; and a hot glue gun. Each of these marbles tend to vary slightly so make sure to pick one that will show your text. Trace around it lightly with a pencil and cut it out, along with a piece of felt or backing about the same size.

Next, spread a thin, even coat of Mod Podge onto the back of your glass marble as well as onto the text side of your piece of paper. I find that using a pair of tweezers is super helpful for can hold on to the tiniest edge of the paper and get the Mod Podge on evenly. Line the paper up accordingly to the marble, and press firmly. If you need to adjust it at all, now is the time! :) Don't worry if it looks a bit cloudy at first; it will dry clear.

While those are drying, use your wire snippers to cut your eye pins. You'll want enough to cover the majority of the back of the marble but not so much that any will stick out or hang off the bottom.

Here's a shot of my 3 after drying...One with my anniversary date, the other two are the initials of my cousin's kiddos. I really loved this font for some reason, it was a little fancy-pants but still appropriate for a boy and a girl (Gigi, it's called, in case you're interested).

Flip your marble over, and apply a little bit of glue, and press your eye pin down into the glue. Again, I used tweezers for this part to keep from burning my fingers. It also helps in making sure the pin is lined up appropriately to the front.

Then apply more hot glue to the back, and press your felt or fabric backing onto it firmly. Not only will it hide the eye pin, it creates a smooth feel and finished look.

Now that the marbles have their pins and backing, you're ready to turn it into a necklace if you wish.

For Candice, I wanted the pendants with the kid's initials to be far enough apart that they wouldn't flip around and hide one another. I dug this connector piece out of my jewelry stash. I opened the 'loop', or eye, of the eye pin and simply hung one pendant from each end of the connector and then closed them up.

To embellish the middle a bit and add a feminine touch, I wire wrapped a single fresh water pearl and two small bicone crystals together, and hung them from the middle hole of the connector and...voila!

All that was left to finish it up was attaching a jump ring through the top hole of the connector and sliding it on to a black leather choker I had on hand in my jewelry stash...I'm so thrilled with the final product! I love love love it and I cannot wait for her to see it! (excuse my t-shirt as I model the necklace)

Have you made these before? If you have, or if you do after reading my post please let me know! I would love to see your take on this fun project! Now I want to make one for everyone I know...I think it would be super cute on a bobby pin as well, or the center of a brooch, a ponytail elastic...lots of possibilities!

I'm linking up here:

Creations by Kara

Craft Couture