Tag Archives: craft

OVERLOAD

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Do you ever feel overwhelmed with all the awesomeness on the internet?  I have a huge list of blogs I love, Pinterest has me expanding my “to make” list and Facebook keeps me entertained.  I’m having total overload!  There are just too many cool things out there!

I feel good though because amidst all this fun, I managed to make paper pirate hats out of newspaper with Bubba today.  We went a step further and added pirate logos to his milk glass and make a little hat for First Mate (aka Pork Chop).  As long as I balance, it should all be ok…

Simple Screen Printing

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I’m always trying to find a new (inexpensive) way to craft, and I have fallen in love with the art of screen printing!  I was really intimidated at first… it seemed there were so many materials to buy, so many steps… but then I stumbled upon this post on Instructables.com showing a simple way you can screen print at home with just a few inexpensive items.  Here’s an example of how I made it work for me:

Materials

Materials

Materials:           

Pre-washed tee-shirt, onesie, fabric bag whatever!

Mod Podge Glue (find it at craft stores)

Embroidery Hoop

Fine mesh fabric (gauzy curtain fabric or nylons both work)

A pencil

A small paint brush

Fabric paint

Painter’s tape or masking tape

Small piece of folded cardboard (box tops work well for this)

 

1.  Doodle Time!  Some of you may want to print out an image from your computer, but I love doing little drawings.  In this case I took one of my favorite nicknames for my son (Booger) and drew it out on paper.  For this version of screen printing, you don’t want anything to intricate; clean simple lines work best.  I just drew out the word in block print on a piece of white paper. 

2.  Using an embroidery hoop and some cheap curtain fabric, I created a screen.  You can get embroidery hoops at your local craft or fabric store.  make sure you get a size large enough to contain your image, but not too huge.  While you’re getting your embroidery hoop, go back to the clearance fabric section and pick up a yard of gauzy window curtain fabric (this will be enough to make a few screens).  Some people use nylons for this step and that’s fine too, just make sure you have a small mesh fabric.  Stretch your fabric over the inner hoop and then put the outer  hoop on top, secure, tighten and stretch the fabric REALLY TIGHT!  You want it to be really taut. 

3.  Next it’s time to trace the image.  Put your screen face down on the paper, directly on top of the image.  Trace the outline of your image with a pencil.  When I initally wrote out the word Booger, I used thick lines and traced around these.

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4.  Get out your Mod Podge!  Turn your screen face up (your image will be backwards) and paint in and around your image, filling up all the negative space (the parts you don’t want the paint to go).  Take your time and make sure you cover it well.  It’s really important to make sure you cover everything you don’t want paint!  If you don’t, you’ll get little dots of paint in places you don’t want and you can’t remove the paint from the shirt.  In my case, I chose to have some tiny spots uncovered because I was going for kind of a “sneezed on”  look.  If you get glue inside your image lines, don’t worry… you can spot fix those areas later. 

5.  Drying time!  If you’ve got other things to do, just set your screen face up somewhere or even hang it on the wall!  If you have no patience (like me) you can use a hair dryer to speed up the process.

6.  After your screen is completely dry, get out your pre-washed tee-shirt and lay it on a table.  Make sure to put newspaper or cardboard inside to prevent paint from leaking through.  Place your screen, fabric side down, on your image (your image should be right side up now).  Double check that you have it right where you want it.  Tape around the image with painter’s tape or masking tape.  This will help keep the paint where you want it.  Weight down your screen if you need to (sometimes I just use the mod podge bottle and a water bottle laying against opposing sides).  Squirt some fabric paint onto the image.  You won’t need a whole lot of paint.  Using a small piece of folded cardboard like a squeegie, spread the paint around the image, making sure to get full coverage!  CAREFULLY lift the screen to reveal the image below!  Remember when I said not to worry if you painted glue where you didn’t want it?  Take a second to dip your paintbrush into the fabric paint and do some spot fixing if you need or want it.

7.  Set the shirt somewhere to dry (check the instructions of the fabric paint… most say 24 hours, but I found 12 is just as effective) and then go rinse off your screen in the sink… give it a good rinse to get all the paint off… and you can use it again!

8.  When you’re done watching paint dry (teehee!) place a piece of paper (paper bags work good) over your image and set your iron to medium-low.  Iron over the image for three to five minutes to heat set it. 

9.  Wear your one-of-a-kind tee-shirt and for pete’s sake… have someone physically restrain you from covering everything in your house with your D.I.Y. screenprints!

"booger" shirt for my son

"booger" shirt for my son

 

"Ponytail Girl" shirt for my daughter

"Ponytail Girl" shirt for my daughter

check out http://www.instructables.com/id/D.I.Y.-Screen-Printing/ for their version of the instructions (plus lots of other cool projects and ideas!)

Put your booty in a box!

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Need somewhere to store your booty (pirate or otherwise?)  Check out booty boxes available at The Paper Bluebird.  These little boxes are the perfect paper storage container for beads, buttons, hair ties, rings, small jewelry, anything you can think of.  I’ve done custom orders for Etsy shops (they make great gift boxes for scrabble tile pendants and other small doo-dads) and did an order for a wedding party (the bride was giving earrings to her maid of honor and bridesmaids).

Itty Bitty Booty Boxes in "Box of Chocolates"

Itty Bitty Booty Boxes in

These little boxes come in two sizes, Original (4.25 inches or 11cm  on each side and 2 inches or 5.1cm deep) and Itty Bitty which are half the size of the original (2 inches or 5.1cm on each side, 1 inch or 2.5cm deep).  You could use these at dinner parties, filling the boxes with your favorite candy or treat and placing them at each guests place.  Or how about setting them on your reception tables filled with birdseed ready to toss when the happy couple make their exit?  If you’ve got small stocking stuffers, these would be a quick and cute way of wrapping.  Although I only have a limited number of sets currently listed at my shop, most of my orders have been custom made to coordinate with a certain color pallet.  Just contact me and I’d be happy to help you come up with something special!

Perfect Pink

Perfect Pink

Original Sized Booty Boxes

Original Sized Booty Boxes

Now you may be wondering why in the heck I call these things Booty Boxes… well, I started making them to package the baby booties I was making for my other shop My Bluebird Gifts.  The original size were just perfect for this, and I had so much fun making them, that I started doing the smaller ones as well.  Each box consists of two pieces of hand folded quality paper (all acid and lignen free).

Are there any colors you would like to see?  What do you think about these little gift boxes?  I’d love to hear from you!  -Liz

p.s.  I just tried a batch of butterscotch marshmallows… I’ll let you know how they turn out!!)

Homemade Marshmallows Part 2

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So, I finished making my first batch of homemade marshmallows last night… drumroll please…

They turned out FANTASTIC!!! I am totally obsessed now with tweaking and perfecting the recipe, really making it my own.  I made plain jane vanilla marshmallows and split the batch in half.  One half I coated with powdered sugar, but the other half I coated in a combination of cinnimon sugar and pumpkin pie spice.  Let me just say, these taste amazing in hot cocoa!  My daughter tested them out over the grill for a yummy roasted marshmallow treat- well, you can see the picture!

 

We like to call these mmmmmmmmmmmMarshmallows!

We like to call these mmmmmmmmmmmMarshmallows!

 

 

These luscious vanilla marshmallows are just waiting for a hot cup of cocoa to dunk in!

These luscious vanilla marshmallows are just waiting for a hot cup of cocoa to dunk in!

 

So at the end of the day, I was really pleased with the results.  I’m looking forward to trying some different flavoring options.  My next big project will be to create a hot cocoa mix to go with them.  Christmas presents anyone?  I’m super excited!!!

 

For some great homemade marshmallow resources, try these:

Alton Brown’s Marshmallows

Marshmallow Recipe on Sugar Plum

How Stuff Works- How do they make marshmallows

The Marshmallow Experiment

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Okay… just a little tidbit… 

I am trying my hand at making homemade marshmallows!  They are sitting here, setting right this very moment!!  The entire time I was making them, I kept getting visions of delicious variations,  using butterscotch candies to flavor them, toasting coconut to roll them it, adding espresso… the possibilities are endless.  Obviously I love a good marshmallow.  

Stay tuned for the results!!!

New New New!

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I’ve been in a fall funk lately, and just not inspired to make anything new for my shop… well, the other night I sat down and forced myself to start doodling – I happened to be listening to James Taylor at the time (one of my favorites!) and was humming along to “Shower the People”.  The cards came out kind of cutesy but whimsical.

Happy Little Rain Cloud Note Card

Happy Little Rain Cloud Note Card

Shower the People with Love Note Card

Shower the People with Love Note Card

I’m also going to be adding a Happy Veggie line of cards to my shop… here’s a preview of one of the cards… it’s not even listed yet!  I just love carrots and I’ll be adding more not only to The Paper Bluebird, but to my other shop Bluebird Gifts.  There’s just something so fun and happy about the orange and green together.

The Smiling Carrot Note Card

The Smiling Carrot Note Card

I’d love to hear what you think… do you like the new cards?  Hate them?  What do you want to see?  I’m really excited to hear from you all!

Till next time 🙂

Etsy Feature : An Interview with Spoiled Rockin

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I adore jewelry, but with a young son who loves tugging on things, I’ve had to limit myself to almost nothing lately…  but that hasn’t stopped me from drooling over the amazing pieces at Spoiled Rockin.  The combination of colors, materials and style give each piece a graceful drama.  Suitable for day or evening wear, you’ll find something to match your style at this lovely little shop.  

 

Evening Shade Shell Necklace by Spoiled Rockin

Evening Shade Shell Necklace by Spoiled Rockin

 

 

 

What are your favorite methods or materials to use when creating? 
I love anything blue. My favorite right now is Shell, or anything else that is natural. I also love beads with patterns on them. I recognize that my jewelry designs are rather indulgent, and I love that!

What brought you to Etsy? Do you sell locally in your community as well? 
I was selling on ebay for a bit, but the fees were so outragous, it was’nt really worth it for me. I found etsy when I was reading through the artist community page in craigslist. I’d seen the etsy name several times, and finally decided to check it out. I’ve been hooked ever since. As for selling locally, I’m really just getting started. I have two events scheduled here locally for Nov. They will be my first, and I’m so excited!

How long have you been crafting? Do you try to create something new every day, or just when the mood strikes?
I’ve been drawing and painting since high school. I got into making jewelry about 13 years ago, when cool beads were hard to find. I don’t create something everyday, I go in spurts. I don’t like to keep making the same design, so when I think of something new, I get excited and will go two or three days straight. Then I’ll take a week break.

What is your favorite piece in your shop right now?
My favorite piece in my shop right now is an asymmetrical necklace titled “Relax in a Hammock”. The “Beach/Ocean” theme is my favorite, and you will find that reflected in many of my pieces.

 

Relax in a Hammock Necklace by Spoiled Rockin

Relax in a Hammock Necklace by Spoiled Rockin

If you could give one piece of advice to someone considering turning their crafting into a business, what would it be? 
Do it now, and start on Etsy. Etsy has really helped me feel more confidence in my designs. I’ve learned that no matter what you make, everyone likes something different.

Who has been your biggest fan/support?
Mom and Dad of course, and my best friend Chrissy. I have great friends who want me to succeed. They often advertise for me more than I do.

Biggest goal for next six months?
As many craft shows as I can get into. Network, network, network. And of course make more fabulous jewelry!

Favorites:
FoodMexican
MusicMaroon 5
Book-(Author) Michael Connelly
MovieMoulin Rouge (fabulous jewelry)

 

More amazing pieces by Spoiled Rockin

More amazing pieces by Spoiled Rockin

Want to see more?  Just visit Spoiled Rockin on Etsy!