Jan 30, 2011

It's Cookie Sheet Calendar time!

You've been very patiently waiting for this tutorial and I'm happy to say, it's finally time!

These calendars are not hard to make but because there are a lot of pieces to cut and decorate they do take some time.  I'm going to break the steps down into 4 tutorials which I will share in order over the next couple of days.  This will make the process much more manageable for you and for me!  Plus, if you want to make one as we go, this will give you time to complete each step.

Supplies Needed for Part 1
1 - 10x15 cookie sheet
chipboard (optional, see below)
scrapbook papers (3 to 5 coordinating patterns)
cardstock (3 to 5 colors that match your other papers)
Paper trimmer & scissors
ruler (if you don't have one attached to your trimmer)

To start you need to determine what size you will need all your number squares.  If you have a 10x15 cookie sheet than I've already figured those measurements out for you and you can skip down to step 2.  However, if your cookie sheet is larger, smaller, or you'd like to do a vertical arrangement than you need to start here:

Step 1:  Start by cutting 11 or so squares out of regular paper.  You are trying to determine if the size of the squares will fill the space.  Lay them out on the back of your cookie sheet (like below) and determine if they look like the right size.  You need to leave a small space at the top for the days of the week strip and a space to the left for the months.  The squares I will be using for this calendar ended up being 1.1/2 x 1.1/2 inches.


NOTE:  If you are using a different size of cookie sheet you will need to determine the correct measurements.  For the calendar shown below I changed the orientation and made it vertical instead of horizontal and ended up using rectangles instead of squares.  To determine the size of those rectangles, I followed this process.  cutting a few rectangles, laying them out, and then adjusting, re-cutting, etc... until I got the right size.  Be sure to use regular paper for this step.  That way you can save your decorative papers for when you know the right size to cut.

Step 2:  Once you know the measurements of the number squares, you need to cut 50 of them.  35 will go on the front for the number grid and 15 will be on the back that will be swapped out for holidays.

So, cut out 50 chipboard pieces that measure 1-1/2 inches x 1-1/2 inches,  Set aside

NOTE:  I decided that I wanted my pieces to be pretty firm so I am putting chipboard on the back of all of my pieces.  This does mean extra work for me but it's worth it.  If you have really thick papers you are probably fine to just use the papers.  However, if you are using thin papers or have kids at home that will be using your calendar, I highly suggest using chipboard too.  And, not to worry, if you don't have chipboard, just cut up a cereal box or something like that. 

Step 3:  Next you need to cut the other chipboard pieces that will be part of your calendar.

The days of the week strip should be cut to:  11-1/2 inch x 1/2 inch, you need only one.
Month pieces need to be cut to:  8-3/4 inches x 2-1/4 inches, you will need 12 of them

Once you have all your pieces cut, lay them out on the back of your cookie sheet and make sure they create the grid and will fit properly.  You should have something like what is shown below when you are done.

If your layout looks right, take your days of the week strip and your month strips off and set aside.  We will work with them again in part 3

Step 4:  .It's time to get out your decorative papers.  When selecting papers it is wise to choose 3 to 5 patterns and some solid colors that coordinate.  Also, keep your patterns fairly simple.  You don't want them too busy or you won't be able to see the numbers for the dates when it is all decorated.

Taking your papers, cut about 5 to 10 squares of each.  These squares should measure the same as the chipboard squares you cut in step 2.  (1-1/2 inches x 1-1/2 inches)  You will have more paper than you need but hang onto your left overs because you will use them again later.

Step 5:  After your papers are cut, lay out 35 of your chipboard pieces.  You need 5 rows with 7 pieces in each row.  Then, start laying your paper squares on top of the chipboard pieces.  For me, the best way to do this, is to start with just one pattern and put a few pieces in place (see the orange polka dot below).  Make sure they are spread out well throughout the grid so that none are in the same row or column.

After you get one pattern paper in place, continue with the next until you have completely filled up the grid like shown below.  There really isn't a science to this, just make sure it looks good to you.

Step 6:  Finally, our last step for this part, Mod Podge the paper squares to your chipboard pieces.  Please note, only put the mod podge on the chipboard square to adhere to the back of the paper.  DO NOT put mod podge on the top of the paper.  If you do it will make it a little more difficult to decorate when we start part 2.

Adhere all your grid pieces and then once that is done, repeat the process for the remaining 15 squares that will be stored for Holidays.

Okay, email me if you have any questions about these steps and stay tuned for part two! 


Jan 28, 2011

Pink, Pink You Stink....


Edited 1/9/2012:  I've gotten lots of questions about the Ribbon Rosettes.  People want to know where I bought them.  I didn't.  I just made them.  You can find the tutorial for them on another post here:  Ribbon Rosettes

Well, I might have done it this time.  I may have made a craft that I don't actually love.  (Can I admit that publicly?)  

I should say that I do love the idea of this craft and that's why I'm going to share it anyway.  And, more than anything, it's the color that is getting to me.  I explained on another post that red and pink, specifically pink, clashes with my home decor so I don't decorate for Valentine's day with it.  However, I thought since this project would be on my front door that it wouldn't matter.  


I'm just not a pink person. I should be, I have three daughters but I've never been one for pink - or lace - or frilly, and the end result of this project is, well, too girlie for my taste.

My idea for this project came from another cool crafter named Amy.  (are all Amy's crafters?)  You can see her fabulous creation here:  Framed Heart Valentine  (she was smart and did her's in red)

Anyway, Here's what I did in case you like it and want to make your own.

Gather your supplies:
1 - 11x14 canvas
a boat load of ribbon rosettes
Dark pink paint
White paint
Crackle Paint
Alphabet rub-ons
Paint brish
Glue gun
Optional: sand paper

Step 1:  Paint your canvas with the dark pink paint and let dry.

Step 2:  Paint on your Crackle medium.  If you haven't worked with crackle before, it's really easy.  You just paint it on over your base coat and let dry.  It's wise to paint it all in the same direction too.  And, because it is clear, once it is dry you can't see it so be sure your base coat is completely covered.

Step 3:  Paint on your top coat.  Be consistent and paint all in the same direction.  Most likely your paint will start to crackle instantly and if you go back and forth with your paint brush you will cover up some of those cracks.  So just paint in one direction.


When you are done and your top coat has dried, you'll have something like the image above.


Step 4:  Now, very lightly sketch the outline of a heart onto your canvas.  You need this outline because it will help guide your placement of the rosettes.

Step 5:  Start positioning your rosettes in place.  It is wise to lay them all out before you glue them down.  This will help make sure your final design has a good balance.  I used various sizes of rosettes so I laid my biggest ones down first and worked biggest to smallest.  The very smallest rosettes I used to fill in any gaps.

Step 6:  Add your rub-ons.  Now, I know vinyl is the latest and greatest but I don't have a fancy-dancy vinyl machine so I still use the tried and true rub-ons.  Use what works for you.

Here's my rub-ons, well, rubbed on.   

Step 7:  Attach ribbon to the back and hang up.  (I attached my ribbon by stapling it to the canvas frame)

Also, one more thing you can do is lightly sand the edges of the canvas.  For me, this gave the canvas a very subtle frame by allowing a line of the dark pink paint to show from underneath. 

And there you have it, the craft that I can appreciate and will use for two weeks but don't love.  I think after Valentine's day I will find a new mom who loves pink and could use this in her baby girl's room or something.  If you're local and know someone that could use it, let me know.


Jan 27, 2011

Lovely little find

So I was standing in the line at the grocery store and the person in front of me was taking an awfully loooonnnggg time.  I quickly realized though that the delay was for my benefit because my mind went into crafty over-drive when I spied this ....

(I bought 3 and I'm not even a gum chewer)

When I got them home I unwrapped them.  Can you tell yet why I was so excited? 
This container, with the labels off of course, makes the perfect snowman.  

I still had socks and everything else left over from my last snowman craft.  so I was all set to start crafting.
And, to make it even better, I knew I could turn then into little Valentine's gifts, too and so I did.

So, just like the sock snowmen from a few weeks ago, I just cut up socks for the hat and scarf.  Then I glued on some buttons for the eyes.  The nose is the end of a BBQ stick painted orange.

Easy, right?!

Blog Updates

Hey There!  Just a quick post before I get back to the line up of projects that are coming.

I did some blog updates and you can now sign up to receive email updates.  Check out the side bar on the right.

Also, the cookie sheet calendars are coming, we'll kick off our little creating party on Sunday.  That means you still have time to go get your cookie sheet.

And last but not least, I can't wait to show you my little Valentine creation.  It's one of those clever little things that my husband said, "awwww" and then rolled his eyes.  (He sometimes doesn't get my craftiness but I love him anyway)  He might not appreciate it but I'm hoping you all will.

See you later this afternoon....

Jan 25, 2011

Drum Roll Please.....

Look what I bought 
last week!

 Do you know what this means?

Nope,  I'm not going to be baking any cookies, although that does sound good.  Instead, we are going to have a little blog party!

Remember when I posted about these???

Well, I've been getting lots and lots of emails about them.

Once upon a time I posted the first steps but I never continued on.  I was using old images and didn't have a calendar on hand to give you sizes and such and just found the information wasn't flowing into a very good tutorial.  It was always my intention to get back to it but then there were fall crafts, and the holidays, and kids - can't ignore them, oh you know how it goes.  There was always something else taking up my time.

Anyway, thanks to all your emails, your kind comments, and because I need a calendar - it's time we tackle this!

I'll be creating a new calendar which I will keep for myself (something I've never done - I always give them away) and will be documenting the process step-by-step to share with all of you.

So, are you ready?  Want to make a cookie sheet calendar with me?

Your first step is to go buy a cookie sheet.  Make sure it's metal and will hold a magnet.  Also, I will be sharing exact measurements so to make it easy on yourself, you may want to buy the same size cookie sheet.

Mine is a ....

Picked it up at Walmart for $4.  And, if you want to get the exact one, and you shop at a Super Walmart, don't look for it in the housewares.  I actually found mine in with the food by the baking items.

So, go get your cookie sheet and check back in a few days and we will get this party started.  These aren't hard to make but because there are so many parts and steps, I'll be breaking the process down into several posts to make it more manageable.  

And, if you are following along and making one too, I think we should have a linking party to share all the visual goodness when we are done.  

So, what do you think?  Are you in?

Also, I've got a few more Valentine's post planned for the next couple of days so stay with me.

P.S. - I'm in the process of updating this here blog, watch for changes and let me know if there is anything special you'd like to see.  I'll be adding an email updater as well as some other things that have already been requested.  

P.S.S - Thanks to all my loyal followers.  I'm almost at 200 and I tell you what, my blog-esteem is through the roof right now.  Thanks for reading and encouraging my craft obsession.  It's been fun to share!

Jan 23, 2011

Quick little tip: Brads

So, I'm sure you all already know this, but just in case you don't I thought I'd share this quick tip.

If you use brads a lot in your crafting than you've probably found yourself once or twice searching for just the right color.  I know I've been there.  I have orange but not red.  Or silver but not pink.  You've been there too, right?

If that has happened to you, did you know you can paint them?  It's true, you can.  Regular acrylic craft paints don't stick too well and will scratch but FINGER NAIL polish works really great.

Next time you are searching for a matching brad just pull out your finger nail polish stash and paint your own to match.  It works great and will save you a trip to the store.


Jan 21, 2011

"Brown Paper Hearts Hanging From String..."

I believe we are programmed to recognize red and pink as Valentine colors.  You agree, right?  I like those colors, really I do.  However, I was looking for something a little different to hang around my house.  My decor colors are muted and earthy and well, pink was just not quite right.

So, looking for an alternative, I decided to pull out my shipping paper and put my printer to work to create some custom hanging hearts.


You should know, just because it might happen to you, the whole time I was making them I kept singing (in my head of course - no need to scare the kiddos) "brown paper packages tied up in string.  These are a few of my favorite things."  Except I was super creative and inserted "brown paper hearts hanging from string...."  Clever, right?

Ok, anyway, if you want to make your own, here's how....

Supplies Needed:
Brown Shipping Paper
Plan computer paper
String, floss or ribbon
Strong adhesive (I used double sided tape)
Batting & Scissors

Step 1:  Open your computer program of choice.  Adobe Illustrator or something similar will work.  (I did mine in Corel Draw)  Set your paper size to standard, 8.5 x 11 and then divide your page in half.  Draw a heart in one side of your paper and change your line color to gray.  Then drop in some text where you'd like it on your heart.  Repeat the steps in the second half of your paper so when you are done you will have two hearts ready to be printed.

Step 2:  Take your 8.5 x 11 piece of standard printing paper and using it as a guide, trim a piece of brown paper to size.  Tape the brown paper to the top of the white paper.  (Tip:  Be careful where you put the tape.  If you put it too far down on the brown paper you will print onto the tape instead of the paper and it will mess up your final project.) 

Step 3:  Put your paper into your printer paper tray and print your design. 

 Ok, right about now you are wondering why I just didn't use brown card stock.  The reason is because the shipping paper has more give and is thinner which helps later on when we stuff them.

(When you're done printing you'll have something that looks like the photo shown above.)

Step 4:  Remove the brown paper from the white paper and carefully cut along the gray lines and cut out your two hearts.

Step 5:  (Unfortunately, I forgot to photograph this step) Next you put the two cut out hearts back to back. Then using double stick tape, or you could even sew them (I did some of both), adhere the two hearts together.  Make sure you leave a small opening.  Then, add in a little bit of batting, you don't need much.  This just makes the hearts poof out slightly.  After you have your desired poofy-ness (nice word!) then close up the opening.

(I stitched this one together and I must say, I quite like it)

Step 6:  Now you are ready to add your string.  Poke a small hole in the top of your heart, then tie on your string.  I used floss but you could use string, ribbon, fishing line, anything will work.

Step 7:  Hang up your hearts!  You could make just a few or you could make many.  You could also hook them together like a banner and decorate a mantle.  Lots of options here.

Oh, and, one more thing.... since you are creating your own design on each heart, why not add in personal statements, quirky little family quotes and custom love notes.  Yup!  What's better than a valentine made just for your family?  Not much!


(P.S. I really don't have 11 toes, it's just something silly I say  to express my love to my husband.) 

Jan 20, 2011

Valentine Card Ideas

I've got a fun tutorial in the works that will post soon but in the meantime, here's two more Valentine card ideas...

The inside read:

(Card on left) - "Valentine you're the ONE."
(Card on Right) - "...that beat as one!"

Both card were made just by folding a piece of white cardstock in half and decorating the front with stamps.  Pretty easy!

Ok, stayed tuned! I've got a fun Valentine decor project that uses brown shipping paper lined up for tomorrow's tutorial.


Jan 18, 2011

Easy Valentine Card

Here is the easiest Valentine card you will ever make...


You will need:

A card (or a red piece of cardstock, cut to size and folded in half)

Alphabet stickers (I used chipboard alphas to give it some depth)
x-acto knife
Small heart punch

What you'll do:
Step one:  Place your alphabet stickers on the card to spell out the word "love".

Step two:  open card and lay it flat on an area that is safe to cut into.  Then, using your x-acto knife, carefully cut out the opening of the "O".  This will allow you to see a little part of the inside of the card... like a window.

Step three:  Close card and place small heart in the center of the "O".  The heart will be inside the card but will show from the outside.

Step four:  Write out a nice, heartful message expressing all your love to your Valentine.

So easy!

Jan 16, 2011

Valentine Car Air Fresheners

If you've followed my little craft blog for awhile, you'll remember the cinnamon-applesauce ornaments I made at Christmas time. When I posted them I got a few comments on Facebook that someone used to make these and use them as air fresheners in their car.  Brilliant idea! Just brilliant.

So, using the recipe from my previous post on Christmas ornaments, I made the following heart shaped air freshener for my car.  Perfect for Valentine's and they'd even make great gifts for friends.

I made these very similar to my previous post but I did do a few things differently, here's the process....

Make your dough... recipe can be found HERE.

Scoop out some dough and flatten it into a small patty.  Just like your making hamburgers.


Using a sharp knife, cut out a heart shape and remove excess dough


Then, take a ribbon, fold it in half and tie a knot on the end.  Place your ribbon in the center of your heart with the knot laying just below the point of the heart.  Very slightly press the ribbon into the dough.

(TIP:  I used a white ribbon, however, I will use a different ribbon next time. The cinnamon color leaked onto the white ribbon, not a big deal but a different colored ribbon would have avoided this)

Next, make another patty and very carefully turn your other heart over and place it on top of the new patty.  This will sandwich the ribbon in between the patties.


Then, using your sharp knife, cut around the heart, remove the excess dough and slightly press the two pieces together.

Very carefully pick it up and smooth around the outer edges so that there is no seam showing where the two patties meet.  

Then bake as directed.

There you have it, a cute little Valentine air freshener for your home or car.