Tuesday, September 27, 2011

my first subway art; more of a how-not than a how-to

Hey y'all!

Who has noticed the uber-popular-trendy-fun subway art? It's everywhere! Blogs, Etsy, Pinterest, Facebook...and I love it! A couple of weeks ago I finally got a new laptop and a brand new color printer. I've never had my own laptop that I picked out, let alone a new one (always hand-me-downs) so I was thrilled. And the printer meant I could finally try out subway art!

But leave it to me to want to be different. I couldn't just print one someone else graciously offered up for free. Nooo. I got it in my head that I wanted to make my own, darn it. Specifically, I wanted to make one for Clemson football, which is pretty much what we live for in this house! :) Enter a barrage of problems. First I couldn't think of enough items to use, then I had too many. Then I was thrilled to find this tutorial which uses Picasa. Score! I already have Picasa and use it nearly daily so I thought, psssh I got this. Or not.

Then I couldn't find the right orange. For you non-Clemson peeps, the colors are a particular orange and a particular purple. Go too light, and you have Tennessee Vols orange and we can't have that crap. And Picasa, God love it, doesn't have your little squares of color to pick from. Noooo. They give you a teeny tiny square with the entire color spectrum, and a dropper and let you find it your own flippin' self. Which I couldn't. Then the original printer--COLOR printer--we bought wouldn't print purples. Of any shade. At all. So we returned printer numero uno and got the one I wanted to start with (nicer, pricier, but highly recommended by the gentleman at Best Buy). Come home, and start again with trying to find the right orange and the right purple. Trial and error, lots of fussing (maybe a lot of little cussing), and finally I decided on an orange.

Re-enter this tutorial. I wanted to print it on tissue paper so I could Mod Podge it to a canvas. I wanted it to look printed directly on the canvas as opposed to on plain paper. Again, with the problems. The tissue paper was picking up (black) ink residue as it ran through the printer. Over and over again. My super awesome hubby stepped in and helped me by running the printer through it's cleaning processes and finally...after I think 8 or 9 failed attempts, 2 printed out that didn't have black splotches all over. YAY!!!

Finally...I had my subway art...my precious, been-wanting-to-make-it-for-a-month Clemson football subway art. Hallelujah.

The first time, I only did a small section of the canvas with Mod Podge, and laid the tissue down. It looked good, but I was worried about lifting the remaining dry section to paint the Mod Podge on the rest so hubs suggesting just painting it on top. This failed. Epic fail. It smeared the ink, wrinkled the paper way too much, and worst of all, it didn't stick to the canvas. One canvas, down for the count.

On the second attempt, I painted half the canvas, laid the tissue down, then the rest. Now, this worked for sure, but had I had the inclination, time, patience, etc., I would have done a third. And what I would do differently would be this:

--Have a large blob of Mod Podge poured, readily accessible, along with a sponge to paint it with and a totally dry, round sponge (I'll get to this in a minute).
--Tape the excess tissue paper to the top, back of your canvas to keep it in place. Trust me.
--Quickly paint the entire canvas with Mod Podge. Don't leave drips, blobs or pools of it, but do it quickly and make sure it is thick.
--Lay your tissue paper down, and using your dry, round, sponge paint thing, lightly press it over the surface to make sure the paper adheres.

Here it is, still drying. I went ahead and hung it up because I 100% lack patience. In the pictures, it looks as though the orange is in different shades, but it isn't. Blame my photography, or that it's still wet.
I have to say, even though it was a complete and total hassle, I do love the way it turned out, and I'm thrilled to cross it off my crafty to-do list!

*If you'd like to know about how some of these traditions came about and just what they are, you read here about the stadium, the Scroll of Honor, The Hill, and The Rock. Here is more about Clemson's other traditions and if nothing else, watch this!!!*

Monday, September 26, 2011

peacock inspired felt wreath

Hey, y'all!

Guess what?

My wreath obsession continues. I know, I know. You're astounded. So I was perusing the crack site--oh, I'm sorry--is it called "Pinterest"?! Oopsie. I was there, like always, and I ran across this lovely happy wreath. I was also loving all of the peacock-colored projects I've been seeing, so I sort of combined the two ideas and this is what I came up with.

I didn't flip the tips of my felt pieces out because, well, I just didn't. I sort of like that it looks all one piece from a distance, but then up close, you see the texture of each "leaf" or "feather".

When I began pinning the pieces on the wreath form, it looked like a hot mess, to be honest. I started out going top to bottom, then over (repeat, repeat). Then I pulled them out and realized it was easier (for me, anyway) to pin pieces starting in the center and going concentrically out until it didn't show the form any more. What do you think? Have you made a wreath this way, or like this?

Those of you not on Pinterest, I'll be glad to send you an invite if you need one :) And those of you who are, you can find me here--and please do! I need more people to stalk follow on there.

Monogram Wreaths

Hey y'all!

Have you noticed I'm on a wee bit of a wreath bender? It's like I can't control myself! I was a self-proclaimed wreath-hater when I was younger. I've mentioned it before, I think, how my mom was always making wreaths and I thought...ugh. Why? Yeah. I'm eating my words now! (you're welcome, Mom!)

So I was browsing Pinterest and found lots of awesome ideas and inspiration. I decided to make "monogram" wreaths for myself and one for my mom, too!

First, let me apologize--the colors aren't quite showing up as true or pretty as I had hoped. No matter the light, editing, position, etc., it just wasn't working! So here is the wreath for my mom. It's wrapped in turquoise felt, and the ruffles are also felt, in brown, yellow, orange and taupe.

I really love the 'P' on this wreath. I wanted the 'M' like this for mine, but there weren't any left...and I'm not exactly one to wait around :) So the P was painted in a chocolate color to match the felt, and then I dotted some orange and yellow polka dots on it before finishing it with varnish.

And here is mine! Same base, fabric, colors, etc. although I like the placement of my "ruffles" a little better.

The 'M' was painted in the same brown and then I used a giraffe-pattern stencil to add orange as well. I have to say, the varnish really "makes" the letters. The colors pop more and a little shine is never a bad thing, right?

Be sure to stop by through the next week! I have one more wreath to share, inspired by...peacocks! And, a couple of super cute Halloween crafts perfect for doing with your kiddos!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Baby Girl Wreath

Hey y'all!

I've been on a major wreath kick lately. I made a mummy wreath for Halloween, monogrammed wreaths for myself and my mom (post of that to come!), and yesterday I finished up a wreath for one of my lifelong BFFs. Baby #2, a girl, will be arriving Monday!

Since Casie is girlie and frou-fy like me, I decided Baby-Girl-to-be needed a frou-frou girlie wreath to welcome her home!

I used baby pink feather boas (thank you, Hobby Lobby) to wrap around the majority of the wreath.

I got an unfinished, curly-script 'B' and painted it hot pink. Then I did two thin coats of Mod Podge silver shimmer, and two thin coats of varnish just to give it a nice finish. It was far too matte for my taste without it.

Finally, to finish it off, I looped black and white damask print grosgrain around it and tied a bow to create a hanging 'loop'. I absolutely love the way it turned out! I hope Casie and Baby Brooklyn will love it!


Friday, September 23, 2011

hi there


Hi y'all...anyone remember me?

I'm alive. It's true. I keep saying that and then I simply do not have time to post. I've all but given up this blog...I don't know that I have the time...but I do enjoy sharing things with those of you kind enough to hang around!

I've made lots of wreaths this week!

How do you feel about...mummies???

This one with 4 sets of mondo-googly eyes was gifted to my mom! She thinks mummies are hilarious, I don't know why.

And this little cutie is mine!

I had tons of these colorful googly eyes laying around, so add a little hot glue and some white felt, and ta-da!

I think they're pretty cute! More to come, hope you'll stay tuned!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

an update & help wanted...

Hey, y'all!

So in my last post I mentioned how frustrating it's been adjusting to being a new mom and trying to get back in the swing of things.

I'm sad that I haven't been able to blog, create, and craft pretty much at all. A couple of you reached out to me with kind comments and I can't tell you how much that meant to me!

Baby C went to the doctor this week for his 4 month check-up. I had a convo with the pediatrician that went a little like this:

Dr.: So how is he sleeping? Does he sleep through the night?
Me: Oh yeah, he's sleeping through the night great! Down around 11 pm and then wakes between 6:30-7:30 to eat, and right back to sleep until 10 or 11 am.
Dr.: Great! What about his naps during the day? How much is he sleeping then?
Me: (exchanging hysterical glances with hubby) Uh, he doesn't.
(at this point the pediatrician looks as though she either heard me wrong, or worse, heard me correctly and is going to faint)
Dr.: He...he isn't napping? Like...at all?!
Me: About 3 times a day, he'll power nap for maybe 20-30 minutes but not at the same times and he's VERY grumpy.
Dr.: Well...YEAH. Wow. Um, he should be getting 2-3 naps a day, at around 1.5-2 hours EACH.
(the hubby and I mentally jump for joy)
Me: Okay...soooo...how do we make this happen?!

So we've been implementing some new techniques and I am beyond thrilled that baby boy is falling into a schedule of regular napping. We've still got a ways to go, but man oh man...is it so nice that he is not only happier, but I can say, cook dinner without him screaming. Wowza.

That being said, I really want to ease back in to creating, blogging, etc...but it's going to be a slow process! So that's why I am asking for help! This is an open invitation to guest post here on my little blog. I realize I'm just a small blog, and I can't really promise any grand rewards for offering to post. But I assure you that you will receive much gratitude from this super tired momma!

Now I know that I am asking for your help, and I shouldn't be picky...but I do have to ask a few things of you in order for me to consider your offers! They are as follows:

--Please email me if you are interested! If you'd like to leave a comment, by all means I appreciate it, but I would like your details emailed to me :) Easier to keep track of! My email is enabled but if you aren't sure where to find it: etsyshenanagains@gmail.com
--In your email, please make sure to include your name, your blog and/or shop, and what you'd like to post about.
--In regards to the posts I'd like to see? Pretty much anything family friendly goes! It can be tutorials for anything from food to hair & make-up to crafts. I only ask that when you contact me you have a topic in mind so that if I receive several offers, I can try to pick a variety of content to post for my readers!

I hope that a couple of you--or lots!--will be willing to help me out! I would be SO very happy and appreciative. Please know that I will also gladly plug your blog and/or shop, Facebook page, etc. in the post so everyone knows where to find you! I look forward to (hopefully) hearing from y'all!