Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easter Pillow Boxes

One of my family's Easter traditions is to set out small treats (preferably chocolate!) at each family member's place setting at the main meal. My parents will be joining us for Easter dinner this year so I thought I would continue the tradition but also create some cute packaging for my sweet offerings. 

I used the Essential Pillow Box die by Papertrey Ink to create my packaging. These were so easy to make! If you are like me and have waited until the last minute to make Easter favors, these work up in no time.

I made the happy discovery that this pillow box die will just barely fit on a 6x6 piece of pattern paper. So I looked through my stash of 6x6 pattern paper stacks and picked an assortment of fun spring colors and patterns.

Here are my assembled boxes, now they just need decorating!

I tied each box with ribbon and tucked a banner die stamped with the sentiment underneath. You could also write the recipient's name on the tag and use these as place cards.

I think they turned out pretty cute!

I filled each pillow box with a few Cadbury caramel eggs. Yum!

Wishing you a happy Easter! He is risen!

Stamps: Teeny Tiny Wishes (SU!)
Paper: Stamper's Select White (PTI), Assorted pattern paper
Ink: Only Orange, Kiwi Kiss, Tempting Turquoise (SU!)
Tools: Essential Pillow Box die, Double Ended Banner die (PTI)
Embellishments: Assorted ribbon

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A New Venture


I have some exciting news to share today. My card designs and handmade soap are going to be sold at a new store opening up here in Atlanta! The store is called Crafted / Westside and will feature the work of primarily local artisans and designers. I am flattered to have my work shown alongside some awesomely talented artists!

Things have been happening pretty fast behind the scenes here and I have been working furiously during my son's nap time and after hours to get everything ready. A big thank you to my husband for watching our little man for me so that I could have some dedicated time to work! On Monday I dropped off my work and the owners are hoping to open their doors this week. Here are my cards displayed in a cute tabletop carousel.

If you are local, please be sure to check them out next time you are in Midtown! They are located across the street from Octane Coffee in the old Whipstitch Fabric space.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Chicken Wire Frame & DIY Vintage Clothespins

I have been wanting to try making one of these chicken wire frame display boards for ages. The push that finally got me to complete the project was wanting to use it for displaying photos at my son's first birthday party. After acquiring all of the materials, it was actually fairly easy to put together.

I started with this large open frame I picked up cheaply at a local art supply store. Originally I was looking for a used frame at thrift shops, but when I saw this it was perfect! It was the right size (23" x 27"), I loved the rustic wood finish it already had, and it was no more expensive than ones I had seen at the thrift shops. Hurray!

The chicken wire is from Home Depot, found in the gardening section. It is a standard 1" hex, galvanized chicken wire, that comes in a large roll. I laid my frame on the floor, right side down, and unrolled the chicken wire across the back. I then used wire snips to trim the wire to the same width as the back of my frame. Using my new staple gun (thanks, sis!) I began securing the edges down while holding the wire taut. I sort of worked my way around, and when it was fairly secure, snipped the final edge to fit. Any staples that didn't sink all the way in, I went back over with a hammer so they sat flush.

Here is a close up of the finished frame. I love it so much! I can envisage all sorts of uses for it, from displaying photos or Christmas cards, to using it as a memo board or card display if I do another craft show.

I also wanted to talk about these clothespins, because they make me happy. These are what I used to clip on photos at the birthday party. See that lovely patina on the wood? It looks like it could be an old, vintage clothespin.

Only it's brand new. I bought a pack of regular wooden clothespins at Target and doctored them up. I thought they looked too new and lacking in character. :)

So I stained them! I used a foam brush and Minwax wood finish in Special Walnut to give them a gloriously aged look.

When they aren't in use on my new chicken wire frame, they have a home in a wire basket. I love how they look all grouped together.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Burlap Banners

If you follow my blog, you know my son just had his first birthday last month and that we celebrated with a farm themed birthday party. For the occasion I made several banners out of burlap for some rustic and festive decorations.

They were fairly easy and straightforward to make. Here is how I did it!

I cut my burlap into 5"w x 6"h triangles. I used a rotary cutter quilter's ruler, but scissors would work fine, too. After all of my triangles were cut out, I went around the edges with Fray Check so they wouldn't, well, fray. With burlap's open weave, the threads were very prone to pulling out. I wanted these banners to last for future parties, so sealing the edges gave them added durability.

I found this set of plastic stencils at Michael's. They weren't intended for use with paint per se, but they certainly did the job. I laid the stencil over the triangle I was ready to paint, the used painter's tape to secure it down and make sure the paint didn't spill over onto the neighboring letters. Then I simply used a stipple brush and acrylic paint to stencil the letters on. I put scrap cardboard under the burlap to catch any paint that bled through. 

Once all of my triangles were painted and dry, I used jute twine and a tapestry needle to string them together. This was so simple because of the loose weave of the burlap. I made sure to leave the tails long enough to tie them in the places I wanted them to hang. Again, because burlap has such a loose weave to it, the triangles easily slide along the twine, making adjustments in placement very easy. When I was ready to hang the finished banners, I tied up the two ends, then slid the triangles along to get them centered after it was hung. No need to get them centered beforehand!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Farm Animal 1st Birthday Card

Happy Monday!

This is the card I made for my son's first birthday. I pulled a lot of elements from the invitation to his birthday party, but changed it into a birthday card. 

The sky and grass elements are images from Papertrey Ink's set On the Farm. The 1 is die cut with my set of By the Numbers dies. I love how the sun rays appear to be radiating from the 1!

The sentiment, also from On the Farm, is stamped on a Doubled Ended Banner die. The red checks are from the same set, and the horse is die cut from the coordinating dies. The red mat layer is impressed with the Chicken Wire impression plate.

Thanks so much for taking a look! You can see more details from my son's farm animal birthday party here.

Stamps: On the Farm (PTI)
Paper: Kraft (PTI), Real Red, Basic Black (SU!), white
Ink: Real Red, Basic Black, Summer Sunrise, Old Olive (SU!)
Tools: Double Ended Banner die, On the Farm die, By the Numbers die, Chicken Wire impression plate (PTI), corner rounder punch

Friday, February 28, 2014

Farm Animal 1st Birthday Party

Howdy, partners! Hang on to yer hats, because I have a full post today! For our son's first birthday, we recently celebrated with a farm animal themed party. I went a little crazy with the crafting (it was just so fun!) so I'd like to walk you through our home to show off the details that made the day so special. 

I was on a budget, so I tried to use things we already had on hand. It was fun going through the house and gathering together all of the items with a rustic or country flair to use in decorating. For the crafts, I tried to use materials I already had as well, or knew would get used again after the party.

Starting in the living room, this is the mantel display. On the left are a framed picture and a photo cube with pictures of our son. On the right is a chalkboard frame I made a over the holidays (I actually made quite a few, as you'll see) that I drew a large number 1 on. The small candle next to the frame is in a mini mason jar. The focal piece is a large frame backed with chicken wire, which I clipped 12 photos of our son to. Each month after he was born we took a photo of him in the same chair so that you could see the progression of his growth over his first year. Hence the 12 photos. :)

Here you can see the chicken wire better, and our happy boy on his first birthday!

Hung from the mantel is a burlap banner that I made and stenciled the word "howdy" on. The burlap and paint I already had, and the stencils were purchased at Michael's with a coupon.

I also decorated with toys and books that went along with the farm theme. I sorted through our son's stuffed animals and collected all of the farm animals (with some liberties) for a "petting farm".

All of his farm board books!

Our dining table was covered in our usual table cloth, but dressed up with a red bandana, some white mums in a galvanized flower bucket, and more candles in mini mason jars.

I turned our rolling kitchen island into the drink station, AKA the Watering Hole! There was both water and raspberry lemonade.

I used pint sized mason jars for drinking glasses, topped with cute little daisy lids. So fun! The blue and white stripe straws I already had on hand from another party.

These French doors are off our dining room. More stenciled banners!

I'll be sharing more details on how I made these banners next week. Stay tuned!

Now on to the food! I realized as I was going through my photos of the party that I apparently only took pictures of the desserts. Oops! This is the smash cake I made for the birthday boy. It is a double layer 6" chocolate cake with butter cream frosting. I didn't trust my cake decorating skills, so I decided not to try and attempt a fancy barn cake or cow print fondant, as cool as those would have been. Instead, since our boy loves his pinwheel mobile so much, I decided to top his cake with paper pinwheels.


The largest pinwheel in the center also had a number 1 on it. Each pinwheel was hot glued to a bamboo skewer and cut to a different height, with the main pinwheel being the tallest.


These cupcakes may have been my favorite part of the party. I made farm animal cupcake toppers! There were horses, pigs, cows, roosters, chickens and ducks.

I used Papertrey Ink's On the Farm dies to die cut farm animals out of black card stock. I then sandwiched a toothpick between two die cuts to create the toppers. Easy and cute! The red gingham liners were a score from the Michael's $1 bin. I initially baked the cupcakes in white liners, and then set them in the red liners after they had cooled. That way the red gingham pattern remained vibrant rather than getting dulled by grease, which usually seems to happen when I use pretty liners to bake with. I used a 1M star tip to frost the cupcakes and did a happy dance that they turned out so well. Thank you Wilton for this step by step tutorial!

And finally, here are the napkins. These are actually leftover from our wedding reception! They are paper, but so thick they are almost like cloth. They measure approximately 16" square, so I folded them into quarters and rolled them like I would have if they were real linen. I used jute twine as napkin rings and set them in a wire basket.

Whew! That was a lot and if you are still with me thank you so much for sticking to the end! I hope something I shared inspired you. It was a very special day for our family, thank you for letting me share some of it with you!

Happy Birthday, Titus!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Farm Animal 1st Birthday Invitation

My sweet boy had his first birthday earlier this month. I can't believe my baby is now a toddler! To celebrate this huge milestone (believe me, my husband and I felt like it was a huge accomplishment to have kept a person alive for a whole year!) we threw him a farm animal themed birthday party. Most of his favorite books center around a farm theme, so it was a perfect fit. I had so much fun planning all the details and especially making the decorations!

Of course I had to make the invitations. So many invitations are sent online these days, which is fine, and I have been known to do, too. But for this one, with a small guest list of close family, I wanted to introduce the theme of the party with some special handmade invitations.

The black text was created in Word on my computer and printed on some lightweight white card stock. I then went in with various stamp sets and dies to add some fun.

The banner across the top was stamped with images from PTI's Banner Builder set.  The row of dots are from A Little Argyle, also PTI.

The red stars are from Banner Builder as well. To create the number 1, I used my By the Numbers dies. I like the scale of it in relation to the rest of the card. It's not every day your young man turns 1, let's make it big! The chicken was die cut with my set of On the Farm dies. I rounded the corners of the white text block, as well as the red mat. The red mat was also impressed with my Chicken Wire impression plate. Inside, I printed all of the pertinent party info, with similar embellishments as the front.

I'll be back later this week with more details from the party!

Stamps: A Little Argyle, Banner Builder (PTI)
Paper: Kraft (PTI), Real Red, Pacific Point, Basic Black (SU!), white
Ink: Real Red, Pacific Point, Summer Sunrise, Basic Black (SU!)
Tools: On the Farm die, By the Numbers die, Chicken Wire impression plate (PTI), corner rounder punch