Mar 31, 2012

Duct Tape & Trash


Hmmm!  The title of this post doesn't sound so good.  However, stick with me because out of duct tape and trash I've made a fun little treasure.  I know, weird, right?!

A few weeks ago I picked up a few chicken sandwiches from Wendy's for me and the hubs.  It's been awhile since I've eaten at Wendy's and they've made some changes.  Like, did you know their sandwiches, at least the ones I ordered, now come in little boxes like these...


I'm a little warped in the head but I was so delighted by this packaging.  I thought the over all design of it, the curved sides, the lower front, the higher back, the size ... well, I just saw potential in this little piece of trash. I'm easily pleased.

And, to add to the delight, my kids have been playing with Duct tape lately.  Did you know Duct tape now comes in all sorts of designs, colors and styles.  Umm, ya - it's awesome.


Aren't these polka-dots so cute?

So, I decided to combine the two items and make a quick little craft.  Here's what I did.


Step1:  Take two strips of tape and hook them together, face down.  Then, place the container in the center of the tape.


Step 2: Wrap the tape up around the edges of the box.  (The photos above are in the wrong order - oops!)  I started with the long sides and then I folded up the side edges kind of like I was wrapping a gift.


Step 3:  Next, working on the back, take a piece of tape and attach it to the top of the back of the package.  The tape is not wide enough to cover it all so I just applied a piece to the top.  Then, trim off the excess like shown so you can see the rounded corners.



Step 4:  Take your tape and attach it, wrapping it all the way around the box.  This will completely cover all the outsides of the package.


Step 5:  With scissors, trim off the excess tape following the edge of the box so that the curved sides now show.


Step 6:  Using a hole punch, poke a hole in each side of the container.


Step 7:  Cut a small amount of ribbon and thread it through the holes on each side.  Tie a knot to hold the ribbon in place.


Step 8:  Add some cute little Easter grass


Step 9:  And, finally, add in your treat and give it away!  You could fill the whole thing with jelly beans or chocolate eggs.  Or mix it up and do something like below.


And, just an FYI, don't take your peeps out of their package and leave them out all night.  They actually start to shrivel up.  My poor purple peep chick didn't look so good this morning when I took my photo.  So either he was out partying all night or being out of his package made him age really, really fast.  Poor guy!  My daughter quickly put him out of his misery though.... she said "Yum!"

Also, this isn't the first time I've been inspired by packaging - remember my fascination with the Fry Box?http://www.thenshemade.com/2011/01/fry-box-valentine.html

Mar 29, 2012

Gum Bunny!

Does "Gum Bunny" kind of sound like "Some bunny?" or  "Somebody"?

Ya, probably not.

However, let's just pretend it does. Here's a fun little project that you can make from a pack of gum that "Gum Bunny" out there might love. I mean, somebody out there.

So, here's what you do, go buy this...


Then, pull off all the labeling so it's naked (gasp!)


Then, grab some scraps of paper and cut some shapes that look kind of like the ones below


I used white cardstock and cut out the mouth, eyes, and ears.  Then I used a small dark pink scrap and cut a nose that kind of looks like a guitar pick.  And, finally, two gray pieces that go in the ears.

Not Shown:  Next, I grabbed my black ink pad and inked around all the edges of the paper pieces.  This just helps them stand out more and gives it a more finished look.


Then, take your gum package and turn it upside down so that the opening is on the bottom and then glue on all your pieces.  I used glue dots.  After I put on all the main pieces I also added googly eyes and some gray whiskers.  I thought about teeth but stopped with the whiskers.


And, finally I added a small little bow because, well, everything looks better with a bow.  Then I bent one ear down just for good measure.  Seriously, don't you think that "Gum Bunny" out there would love to find this waiting for them in their Easter Basket?

Plus, it was super easy.  I made it in less than 15 minutes and if the girls had been home, it would have been a fun little project to do together so they could give them to friends.

And, before I close this post - don't forget about the drawing over at McHoot in Chicago you could win one of my necklaces but hurry and enter because the contest ends April 2nd.

Mar 26, 2012

Interview and a Giveaway

Hey all, this is just a quick little update.  I've been interviewed by Alyssa over at McHoot in Chicago.  Pop on over to her site for the deets and a chance to win one of my necklaces.  This necklace in fact...


Thanks McHoot In Chicago for the interview!

Mar 25, 2012

Easter Project Review

I've got two little Easter projects in the works, they aren't done yet so while I'm finishing them up I thought I'd do a little recap of some past Easter projects.  Here are my favorites...


He's like the sock snowman, but not.


The $1 store Animal Basket
Total expense was $1.20 - It's cute, easy and low cost!


The Paper Basket
Made from one 12x12 piece of scrapbook paper and ribbon


Cookie Flowers
Easy to make, Yummy to eat!
(these aren't really Easter themed but they could be  They are at last springy!)

Mar 23, 2012

Just The Facts

So, I've been getting a little slack about my last post.  I can't please everyone but I thought it might be a good idea to set the record straight and state a few quick facts....

Fact #1:  This man - this one right here....


he is actually my one true love!  My statement about Coke being my true love was a little hard for some to understand.  My post was written with a hint of sarcasm.  Most people picked up on that but some didn't, so, just in case you think I love Coke more than him - I don't.  Plus he bought be a Giraffe head today for Mother's Day how could I not love him!

Fact #2 - I wasn't being sarcastic or stretching the truth about my previous self.


aaah!  It was nice having only one chin. The first photo was taken in 1994, the second was taken just before Christmas in 2011.  I've changed a bit.  It's ok.  It's just time to change again.

Fact #3 -  Yes, I'm a Mormon.  Yes, if I choose to, I can drink caffeine.  I think I was judged a bit by admitting my favorite drink was Coke.  People, mostly people of my faith, can sometimes act a little funny, even a little self righteous, about the idea of other people drinking Coke.  It's kind of silly.  So, here's the facts.  As Mormons, we do agree, by our own choice, to follow what we call the Word of Wisdom.  It means that we don't drink coffee, tea or alcohol and we don't smoke.  There are other things too but those three types of drinks have been specifically outlined as beverages we agree to go without.  It does not state anything about caffeinated sodas. HOWEVER, before anyone bashes me, the purpose of the Word of Wisdom is for healthy living so in the spirit of it all, is Coke healthy?  No. Neither is Sprite, or rootbeer, or Seirra Mist.  But it is a personal choice.  I've chosen to drink sodas - my favorite being Coke - in the past.  I'm choosing not to drink it in the future.

Fact #4 - I did share a personal post about making a positive change for my health.  It was ONE post.  I lost a few readers with that post.  I think they left because they thought I was starting a health blog.  Not so.  My blog is about the things I make. Hence the name "Then She MADE".  So in addition to the crafty things I make I'm also trying to make a healthy body. You may see a post here and there about my progress but they will just be occasional.  And, speaking of progress, I survived day 2!  So far, it's not that bad.  I do have to have ice in my water or I have a hard time but that's just a small hiccup.

Fact #5 - I have AWESOME readers.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your words of encouragement, your personal stories and your faith in me.  I don't know you personally but I felt your love and friendship in the comments and emails I received and I really, truly appreciate that.

And, just for fun.  I'll leave you with one of my favorite pics of me and my truest, one true love....

(2010)

I hope you all have a great weekend.  Mine will be filled with crafty goodness.  I'm making curtains and a little Easter project. See you on Monday.

Mar 22, 2012

Goodbye My Love!

This week I've had two shocks that left me feeling like a deer caught in the headlights.  And, frankly, it sucks.  Can I say that here?  It sounds so un-lady like but it's a fitting word for how I feel. Because of this, I have been prompted to take action.

I'm cutting ties with my one true love.
I'm saying good-bye.
I'm letting go.

It's going to be hard but it will be worth it.

So here's what happened.  Growing up, I was always a string bean.  In fact, in Junior High I was given the nick-name Ethopian Chicken.  It was not a nice nick-name.  The name came about because in the mid-80's there was a horrible famine in Ethopia.  The media was filled with devastating images of people, skin sagging off of their bones, dying.  Starving to death. I still have images in my head of children with arms as thin as toothpicks and bloated bellies.  The emptiness in their eyes that showed in those photographs was heartbreaking.  It was a horrible thing to see and news about Ethopia was everywhere.  Even as self-absorbed teens we were aware.  During this time, I went to school one day wearing tight fitting, gray, 501 jeans with a yellow stripped sweater.  My friends, seeing my skinny legs and associating the colors of my outfit with a farm fowl, decided that I looked like a chicken and one that had not been fed.  I became known as the Ethopian Chicken.

High School wasn't much better.  Girls are mean and I often heard cruel comments about my weight, my bird legs and about my hip bones that protruded out.  In my early years of high school people were convinced I had an eating disorder.  I didn't.  I was just thin.  College helped though, that freshman 15 hit and I finally looked normal.  I held onto a good weight until my twins were born and then, poof, that natural, easy, no-work slenderness went away.

Now, 10 years later, I find my self in an unknown area and I know I need to make some changes.

Shock number one came when I was helping some friends out this week and saw an episode of the Biggest Loser while at their house.  I don't usually connect to shows like that but as I watched I realized that one of the show's contestants had a starting weight that is what I weigh now.  My mind raced with questions.  Is that what I look like?  Am I that big?  I justified it, I'm taller than her so I hold my weight better.  That was a lie.  I knew it but it made me feel better.

This morning shock number two came with a phone call from my Doctor.  Nobody wants a 7am phone call from a doctor.  My blood test results showed some areas of concern. Concerns that I've just been pushing to the back of my mind.  I knew about them.  I didn't need a test to tell me.  I've just been really good about ignoring them.

I can't any more.

Today is my day to make some changes.  I will never be an Ethopian Chicken again.  Bird legs aren't in my future and I won't be seeing my hip bones any time soon.  As an almost 40 year old woman, I will never have it easy where my weight is concerned again but I can make some changes that will last a lifetime and that's what I will be working on.

So, today, I publicly say good-bye (if I say it publicly, it makes it more real) to my one true love ....

 
I've loved you since 1993.  You've been in my life for as long as I've been married and I've never betrayed you.  I stayed loyal to our union even when I've been so thirsty I could die and the only thirst quenching option given was Pepsi - I declined, I waited for you.  Only you.  I avoided restaurants that didn't serve you.  I'd meet you at Sonic for Happy Hour, you were best with crushed ice and vanilla.  I liked you caffeine-free and sometimes with cherry too.  I used to tell people you solved all my problems.  Like some people need a cigarette I would say, "I just need a coke!"  You comforted me when I was stressed and you joined me on long drives and picnics in the park.  You've been my go-to companion and I've so enjoyed your company.  So, it is with sadness that I break up with you today.

Thanks for being with me with through the thick and the thin.  But truth is, you've just been making me thick and that's just not working for me anymore.

And, in case you are wondering, and I don't mean to make you jealous, but you have been replaced.

 

A tall drink of water has been waiting for its time with me.  I've flirted with this relationship before but couldn't turn on you.  It's time though.  Water has offered me things that you can not give me; a thinner waist line, more energy, healthier skin, a lower bill at the dentist office and a comforting shield against diabetes.

So, goodbye my love, Water is now the one for me.

P.S. - While this was a personal post, thanks for letting me take a break from my usual crafty posts.  If anyone out there has been successful at giving up soda, I'd love to hear from you.  Chocolate and candy don't really tempt me.  My difficulties will be in giving up my ice cold cokes and cutting down my carbs,  I'm not going completely without the carbs, just cutting them back.  Anyway, I'd love to hear your success stories.  Please share.

Mar 21, 2012

Nativity Tutorial - Wiseman 3

Do you know how hard it was to do Wiseman #3?  I feel like I'm done with the Wisemen and I almost rearranged the schedule and made him wait for his debut until summer.  But, I was good, I pushed through, stayed focused and now all three Wisemen are together.  I must say, it feels good knowing we've completed 1/4 of our set.


So, are you ready for Wiseman #3?  Oh, hey, first, for those of you making these, how is it going?  Any areas you are having trouble with?  Anything that I need to focus on or explain better?  If so, let me know.  And, just as a reminder, if you are just starting to follow these tutorials or make these guys, our first tutorial has several tips and important info on using clay that you may find helpful.  Be sure to check it out here:  Nativity Tutorial - Wiseman 1

Mar 16, 2012

Cake Boss We Are Not


So, this week has been spring break for my oldest daughter.  My younger ones are in a different school district so they won't have spring break for a few more weeks.  This schedule is good and bad.  It's bad because it means no big family vacation but the good is that I get to set aside time with my kids that is very individual and I really love our time together.  Miss M and I have had a great week and have done quite a bit.

Last night she and I were watching back episodes of Cake Boss together.  Ummm, that was probably a bad  idea because we started  thinking we could conquer the world with our mad cake decorating skillz.  If they can do it on t.v. how hard can it be, right?!

Mar 13, 2012

Prom, A Shocking Admission


Ok, are you ready for it?  I'm not sure I should admit this publicly but what the hay, here goes....  I loved the movie Prom.  What?  Were you expecting something really juicy?

Have you seen that movie?  I'm almost 40 so I should be liking movies that are for my age group, not teen flicks.  I think I liked it because it reminded me of all those 80's John Hughes films that I grew up with.  Pretty In Pink and Some Kind of Wonderful and then you can mix in a little Say Anything and basically you almost have Disney's Prom.  Anyway, I admit it, I liked it and it got me thinking about a post I never wrote but intended to that may come in handy now that it is Prom season.

Mar 12, 2012

Shamrock Art

The girls and I had a little art session yesterday.  Usually it starts with me pulling out something to work on and pretty soon they are right by me crafting away.  I had all three of them side by side yesterday and it was a lot of fun.  We were playing with a crayon wax resist paired with water color.

I made a St. Patty's theme piece and while I like it, I'm not in love.  Sometimes things just don't look like you think they will in your head.  It's life.  It's ok.  However, it was fun to make and I think with some tweaking I could make something that I would love.  I think the idea has potential.


If you want to tweak the idea and play around with a fun project, here's what I did.  It was pretty easy.

Mar 9, 2012

Lucky Book

So, I knew it was March but, sheesh, this month is flying by already.  I best get out my St. Patty's stuff soon or there will be no point.  One of my most favorite things that I like to get out this time of year is my "Lucky" book. It's a handmade waterfall book about some of the reasons I feel lucky.  Check it out...


Here is the cover.  It's just vellum folded over and sewn around the edges.  If you aren't familiar with a waterfall book.  Actually, I don't know if that is really the right term but hey, I'm goin' with it.  Basically, it is a book that each page is a different size starting with the smallest and then leading up to the largest.  Make sense?

Mar 8, 2012

Busy Me and a Happy R.A.K.

I've been a busy gal lately and I wanted to show some quick visuals that I've been working on and share a cool little R.A.K. that has me smiling.  


If you've been reading for awhile you may remember the "Courage" pendant.  I did a tutorial on it last summer and made it in honor of my dear friend and my mother-in-law.  Both women were courageously fighting breast cancer at the time.

I love the pendant.

I love the message.

I love that many of you have tried your hand at making them.  (successfully, I hope!)

And, to top it off, I love that a very kind woman, who also has fought the cancer fight, order several of these to hand out to others who are courageously fighting.  I've been so touched by the thought of this random act of kindness that I smile every time I think about it.  She wants to lift others and spread encouragement.  I can not even express how much I love that.  It touches my heart and I'm thrilled that she chose my design to be apart of her kind deed.


I started working on these last Friday and have made 21 in total.  15 for her and a few extra for good measure.   I love them and am so excited for her to receive them.  She also ordered a couple of other pendant design.  One of them was the green pendant below, the one in the middle.


You may remember that I introduced these "Hope" pendants last week when I rolled out my Etsy shop.  I first showed the one on the right, it has copper findings.  It sold quickly but I also had a request for it done in hemp with a texture bead and the word "believe" instead of the word "hope".   I also had a request to make it with silver findings, see the one on the left.  I love the custom finishes and seeing the three different pieces all together before they got shipped out to their new homes was kind of cool.  If you are trying your hand at making some of these clay pendants, this a good visual on how you can take the basic design and make it more personal to you by customizing the findings.

So, anyway, it's been a busy week but an awesome one at that!
I hope you all have a fantastic Friday.

Mar 7, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie - a favorite


I'm not really a good cook.  I could be if I wanted to be but most of the time, when it comes to cooking, I do the bare minimum.  Me and the kitchen, we are acquaintances but not really life long friends, if you know what I mean.  However, every once in awhile I get the urge to reacquaint myself with that place and when that happens I can usually produce some pretty yummy food.  For instance, my Chicken Pot Pie.  It's a family favorite.  It's something that all 5 of us will eat, and usually want more of.  So, since I made it this week, I thought I'd share this successful recipe.  You know, just in case you are like me and occasionally want to make something yummy.

Mar 2, 2012

Hope


Thank you all for the kind words about my little one.  Time has passed and we've been hoping she is ok.  She will be but is still struggling a bit.  The tests all came back normal and it was determined that her symptoms and pain are just a virus.  "Just"- isn't that a horrible word sometimes?  Just a virus.  She's in extreme pain - it's just a virus. There is nothing we can do - it's just a virus.  I just HOPE that it will go away quickly and the little Jet will be back to normal soon.

As time has been passing I've been working on a few new pieces and re-stocking my Etsy shop.  I know that I share a lot of tutorials and such.  I know that a lot of really creative and capable people read my blog and even re-create my ideas.  That is why I share.  I like to share.  However, I also know there are some who read my blog and like my creations but don't have the desire or time to make them for themselves.  For this reason, I'm officially offering some of my designs for purchase.  And, it's not just my jewelry.  You can even do custom orders of my word art too.

Check it out:  Then She Made on Etsy

Don't worry though, I will continue to share tutorials and encourage crafting.  Here's a few new necklaces that I've been working on and were the first to be posted in my shop.

To make them I used stamps that I fell in love with and purchased when I was doing a blog give away for Elizabeth Mindemann/Close to My Heart.


This is from the a background set called Diverse Backgrounds. Doesn't the pattern look like a rich brocade fabric?  I'm in love with it and I love how once painted and glazed, it almost looks antique.  If you'd like to know, to make this I followed the same steps as I do on the word pendants.  You just use the stamp to cover the whole area of the clay instead of just part of it.


For this one I used the set called A Garden.  Again, another favorite.  I love the little tree and what do you think of the rectangle shape?  This green color is one of my favorites too.

Anyway, I'm off.  I hope you are all enjoying the first couple of days of March.  Green things are coming stay tuned!