Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Crafts (and a guest blog post)!

You know the saying, "A day late and a dollar short"?  That is how I feel about this blog post.  All last week I kept saying, sit down and write the new post.  And then the next day I would say, Crap, I didn't write that yet.  So a week later...I am finally sitting down to get this done!  Irony in this is that I will be featuring my first guest blog spot with this post, and I gave Jamie a deadline (which she met despite being sick and having a sick little one).  

After seeing the back seat of my tiny Sophia (VW Beatle convertible) as I had to pack all of my crafting supplies, we decided that I was a traveling crafter...which is how we landed on our title for this blog post! :)

You may remember reading my last post where I described my upcoming weekend with Jamie G! We spent our Saturday night craft and kid free! We went out to eat, visited the local Walmart (it is a Jamie and Jessi tradition), and stayed in a hotel to get geared up for our crafting day.  

We were very busy crafting for almost 8 hours (phew, I was exhausted!).  We decided to re-do some crafts that I had previously tried.  So I wanted to share the finished photos of these products (before we get to the new craft post).  

First up, the backless earring holder for Jamie.  See this post for directions!  Jamie's turned out great.  The only change we had to make during crafting was using thumbtacks.  Her frame didn't have a backing, it was hollow.  So in order to get the wire to stay in place, we had to use the hot glue gun to build an area where we could secure each end of the hanging wire.  So far, I believe this worked!  Her's definitely turned out great!

Next we made some more magnetic make up boards!  This still remains as my favorite craft to date.  My mom finally liked something that I made and wanted one of her own as well.  She and Jamie both decided that they wanted a smaller board, so we used document frames from Walmart ($3)!  They both turned out nicely!  Jamie's has the paisley print (teal and brown color combo) and of course my mom went with daisies (if you know her at all, you should not be surprised by this decision!).

So now what you all have been waiting first guest blog post!  For those of you who have not had the pleasure of meeting my dearest friend from OU...Jamie is originally from Akron, Ohio.  We have been friends since 2001 (roughly) where we were in the same student organization at OU.  We have had crazy times, awesome times, and the best times.  As we have gotten older, we have definitely gotten extremely close.  I am Aunt Jessi unofficially with her kiddos too!  

We decided to make Pom Pom Pens.  I originally found this idea on Pinterest.  That pin took us to a blog post by Sew Sarah, but her directions called for some sewing action.  I do not have any skill in that department, although Jamie was not scared!  We decided to search on the world wide web...and we found some directions that just required our basic crafting skills.  

So without further adieu---Take it over Jamie G!

Here’s what supplies we needed: fabric, scissors, hot glue gun, pens.
Note from Jessi: Fabric was purchased at Hobby Lobby in the scrap bin for a little over $1 for each roll.  Jamie purchased the Bic pens from Walmart for $3!

First we cut the fabric into approximately ¼ inch by 18 inch strips. 
Size is approximate and doesn't have to perfect.

We found the easiest way for us was to fold the fabric in half (therefore we were only cutting 9 inch strips).  The fabric was from the bargain bin and was already 18 inches and we almost immediately quit measuring the quarter inch and just estimated. The size isn’t a big deal at all. The cutting was sort of tedious and we each stopped after getting through one piece of fabric so we only had two pieces to work with, which made a whopping total of 4 pens!

Next we separated the fabric strips into piles of 40 with 20 of one pattern and 20 of the other. 
Piles of the fabric strips.

And we started to make the poms.  This part was a little tricky and there was one blogger who made a cheat device with popsicle sticks but we used our fingers.  Start with one strip and hold in by pinching it between your middle finger and thumb.  Hold your pointer finger as far up as you can and wrap the fabric up and around your pointer finger then down and around your middle finger lifting your thumb just enough to pinch the fabric and hold it in place as your wrap as many times as possible. The end won’t match up or end in the right place. Just let it hang where it ends and start the next fabric strip exactly as the last. We alternated fabrics with each strip. This doesn’t have to be perfect either just as long as your wrap about 40 strips around as if you were wrapping a string of Christmas lights. 

Please note… we tried a smaller pom with 20 strips of fabric and even made a smaller one when we got down to a pile of extras. Also, we tried wrapping them pattern face up and pattern face down. My personal opinion would be to alternate face up and face down somehow but, we didn’t try that.

With your left hand full of a fabric loop take a fabric strip and wrap it around the middle tying a tight knot.  This should make your loop look more like a bow. Remove your fingers and slide the scissors in their place cutting the fabric loop on each side and voila, the pom is finished.

To cover the pen, just take fabric and wrap it around and around securing with hot glue every so often.

Then, add the pom to the pen. I turned my pom on the side and opened it up around the knotted strip then  put hot glue into the crevice and stuck the pen in as far as I could.

So there you have it--pom pom pens!  I have to admit that I became very frustrated with this craft.  I think I will give it another shot, but if not I do plan on sending Jamie all of the other fabrics I bought!  She can make more pens and then just share the love.  I mean that is what friends are for, right?

I also have to send her a huge thank you.  Despite my whining and pouting, she still let me keep the two best pens that we made (cough cough, she made!).  All in all we had a great weekend, and we already are cooking up ideas for next time!

That's....just what jess (and jamie too) is up to! :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Weekend Anticipation :)

Hello all! I hope I do not find you disappointed but this is not a craft post!  It is a planning of an entire craft weekend post!  On Saturday I am traveling three hours away to see my friend, whom I love to call, Jamie G!  
We like to have a little fun if you can't tell! :)
We are meeting at her fiance's parents' house and hope to find some girl time and craft time.  We have been planning and planning what kind of crafts we will create.  You know the feeling when you are starving and you want a little bit of everything off the menu.  Right when it arrives, you have drank one Diet Coke and nibbled on an appetizer and BOOM you are not hungry anymore... Well I really hope that does not happen to us!

We are planning on making my mom and Jamie Magnetic Make-up Boards, creating Jamie the earring display, t-shirt scarves (with the help of Chayson's mom and her sewing machine), pom-pom pens, and more polymer clay bracelets.  I hope that our eyes are not bigger than our energy levels because I find all of this crafting pretty therapeutic and think this can GUARANTEE a relaxing weekend.

This time last week I was worried I was going to fail my NYE resolution yet again this year.  I had not yet crafted and wasn't sure I had it in me...and because Jamie is my unofficial PR person and my biggest supporter, I think I will just be fine.  So definitely check back in and read about our weekend--it will probably be a LONG post...with perhaps, just perhaps a guest blog entry! (Whoop Whoop!)

Also I had been asked to keep my friends posted on my finds on Etsy.  If you have not discovered Etsy...seriously GO! Right now! Go! You should not wait any longer. I have now ordered from four different shops and have not been let down yet.  So I wanted to give a shout out! I have already shared my leg warmers and boot socks from Grace and Lace.  I even shared my head wrap from The Yarnival.  But I did not share my wool cowl from The Yarnival that I adore!

It fits perfectly, yet slouchy and has the most adorable flower accent.  This mother and daughter duo will definitely be getting my return business.

Next up you ask? Boot buffers?  What is that?  Like I said before I had ordered the leg warmers and boot socks, but because it has not been the coldest winter, I would be pretty warm wearing them under my boots.  Well this little shop has the answer for you!  They are boot cuffs essentially...they just peek out of the top of your boot.  Very cute and do not make your legs sweat! I ordered charcoal grey! Check out these super cute red ones!
Last but NOT least is the Three Birds Nest! Alicia makes super cute headbands, head wraps, scarves, earrings, leg warmers, etc.  I decided on a head wrap to order and received a really cute product. I do not have a picture of myself in it yet, but here is a picture of her wearing it!

It looked super cute on too! It is no longer for sale, but go check out her items in the shop!

That's....just what jess is up to! :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hey, I love that...but where do I put it?

When I sit around my friends, I often find myself not being able to add to the conversation.  Not in a bad, oh look at me I am miserable way.  But when you do not have  husband or children to add to the like conversation it can get (sorry to say) a tad boring.  I mean there is only so much I can say about my chubby, wrinkly, cuter than anything dog Henry! Haha, so what did I find myself talking on and on about on Friday at dinner with the crafts! :)
Henry turned ONE last weekend! :)

So anyway, I realized on Friday night that a) I am a tad lame because I found myself talking about crafts but also b) I had not crafted yet in February. I was on a roll in January and then I hit a I didn't have anything on my plate this weekend (other than to clean out my closet, which didn't happen) so I made the decision, I was going to create the magnetic make-up board that I had found on, no guesses needed here, PINTEREST!

This is the original inspiration, found on Laura Thoughts!
A few weeks ago, I was at a friend's wedding reception open house and I was talking, yet again, about my crafting ventures. I had mentioned that I was on the hunt for a larger, older picture frame that I was going to turn into a magnetic board.  With a blink of an eye, she appears from her garage with not one, but two of said frames that had not been a top seller in her garage sale last summer!  I was lucky because the ones I was finding on-line that caught my eye were around $30-40.  So she said I could have them, if I would make her one too! Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!

I did experience some minor anxiety with this craft though because it required me going to...Lowe's!  I have an abnormal hatred towards to the store.  I do not know why really.  I mean once I am there and get an employee to help me, I am fine.  Not to mention that I have survived many, many trips into the store.  But I always feel the same way.  My mom and I went there yesterday and I had decided to bring the cardboard backing from the frames to help show what I needed.  It measured 16x20 and I needed a magnetic base.  At first, my trusty Lowe's employee, Josh tried to talk me into using magnetic paint.  I understand the idea behind this, but when I asked how strong it was...he did not have an answer.  So as a little trio, we decided that I did need a sheet of metal.  Which is where the scary part was too big and they were not allowed to cut it for me.  So I am now a proud owner of a pair of metal sheers, whoop whoop!  Because I am making two of these boards, my grand total at Lowe's was $18.  

On to my favorite store, Hobby Lobby!  Jamie, my friend, had decided that she wanted a color combo of black and teal. For me, I was keeping with the melon colors...both of our decisions were made to match our bathrooms!  I found the perfect acrylic paints (Calypso Sky for her and Summer Peach for me), fabric pieces for both of us, spray adhesive for the fabric and I left HL ready to go!  Until I remembered, I needed magnets for my make-up so I ran into JoAnn Fabrics and grabbed "super strong" magnets to use!  Between HL and JF I spent another $15 (the magnets were the most expensive).  

I started with one coat of the white color that I had from the earring holder I had made before.  
I used one coat of FolkArt Vintage White acrylic paint, number 515.

See below for pictures of both sets of colors, fabrics, and paints!

For Jamie's board.

For my board.
Next step? You need to apply two coats of the paint color you have chosen!  I chose to do these last night so they had plenty of time to dry. And of course, because when I put them together I wanted all parts to be done and ready to go!

 Next up?  To use those pretty intimidating metal sheers!  Which I have to admit, it did not turn out to be hard at all.  It was like using scissors, pliers, and shrub sheers all in one! :)
This was the best size that they could sell me.  I ended up having a 1/3 of it leftover, for future projects!

I used the cardboard backing from the frame to measure it out perfectly!

Intimidating right? haha I just traced a line with a pencil and then cut away!

How do you get the fabric to cover the metal nicely and effectively? I chose to use Tacky Spray, an all-purpose permanent spray adhesive.
From here on out, everything was easy! I sprayed each piece of metal with the Tacky Spray and then cautiously placed the fabric on top of it.  It required 30 minutes of drying time, so after it was set, I then used a hot glue gun and secured the remaining fabric to the back of the metal.

While that was drying, I then used the magnets and hot glue gun and secured my make up to the magnets so they could eventually be placed on the board. 

Squeeze a small amount of hot glue on the bottom of the make up container.

Small amount of hot glue.

Place the magnet on top of the hot glue.

And you are ready to go!
I put more magnets on the back of my make up containers that were bigger in size, or heavier in weight so they would not fall off the board.

Time to put the final products together. 
I just used the brackets on the back of the frame to hold the metal/fabric in place.  The peach frame only had two brackets so I did have to reinforce it with some tape.  But for now (fingers crossed) it seemed to have worked!  
Jamie's board.

My board.
Last but not least, add your make up and hang it up in your bathroom! I love it.

The only thing I plan to add is a make up brush holder.  Laura Thoughts used an old pill bottle which she spray painted and magnetized.  So I think that will be coming soon! I will add a picture or two when I get that accomplished!

If you decide to embark on this craft, please send me a picture. I would love to see some more finished products.  I know I will be making at least two more! I finally caught my mom's attention and she wants one.  I am also spending next weekend with my friend Jamie (not who I already made one for) and we are planning on crafting the weekend up! So I definitely can say this was worth the time, money and I cannot wait to make more!

That's....just what jess is up to! :)