Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Subway Art

Yesterday my Mother-In-Law came to visit for two weeks. The kiddos are so happy to have Nana here! Bedtime was hard last night, no one wants to go to bed when Nana Claus is here! But, this is not a post about Nana. Today is the start of my first series: Things I've Seen On Pinterest And Decided To Try Myself. (Too long of a title?)
So today I decided to try some subway art. I don't usually like subway art, but this one caught my eye. Today, while Bubba was working on his school work and Nana was keeping The Little Princess occupied, I decided to whip one up.
All in all this project was FREE and took less than a half hour (not including drying time).
I used a picture frame that was not being used, some spray paint, and my computer.
I began at the computer in Open Office. Any word processing software would work.

First, I typed the dates and saying. Then, I fiddled with fonts and colors and sizes. I decided upon MS Gothic. The dates are size 94 and the saying is 24. Everything is centered. The colors I chose were standard black and green 2. The first two dates are Hubby and my birthdays, then green date is our anniversary, then the dates of Bubba and The Little Princess's birthdays. The saying has no spaces between words but key words are written in green.

The frame was a dusty brown one that was lying around the house with absolutely nothing in it. Tragedy resolved because I have just the thing for you!

Bring on the white spray paint that I happen to have from another project. Thankfully, the rain has left the area so it was nice and sunny today so outside I went to give the frame a once over.

While it was drying, I printed and trimmed down the page to fit the frame. Once it was dry, I put it all back together and hung it up in my bathroom. YOUR BATHROOM? You say? Well, it's on a little wall entering the bathroom. There is about a two foot hall like space when you first enter my bathroom (to go around the laundry area). And it's a nice surprised. Who would expect a piece of art like this in the bathroom?

That is also where the light switch plate I made is located. I have to say I absolutely love it! And the fact that it cost nothing is even better!
And just because I can, here are a few more angles.

Pretty isn't it?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Olympic Spirit

Tonight is the night. The opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Bubba and I are very excited about it. In fact I made a deal with him that if he had absolutely perfect behavior today I would let him stay up and hour past bedtime to watch the first hour of the ceremonies. (So far so good!)

While researching the Olympics to put together a guide for Bubba while we watch the next two weeks, I discovered this year's mascots. Which got me thinking. I can make those guys. Because I am sure they are under a copyright I am not going to give you a tutorial on how to make them. This is purely a brag post. 

Bubba decided he wanted Mandeville. I think he was attracted to his more pointy figure. He chose his Mandeville to be red (his favorite color) with dark blue.

While making this little guy I kept thinking two things. The first was he chose very Patriotic colors. The second was this color scheme makes him look a lot like Muno from Yo! Gabba Gabba.

I embroidered his name and London 2012 on the back so years from now we will remember who this little guy is. (Because, let's face it. We all have things we find in our homes that we know at one time held meaning for us that now we just can't remember why.)

Since Bubba chose Mandeville, that left The Little Princess with Wenlock. She chose her colors, and I have to say, these were my favorite colors when I was a little girl.

Did you notice the "2012" logo in the center? It is hard to see in the picture, but I also embroidered the word London on the top "2" and the Olympic Rings on the "0".

I also embroidered his name and "London 2012" on his name.

I had a lot of fun making them. And the kids love them. In fact Bubba took his to bed with him last night. I hadn't finished The Little Princess's yet. Today they have been fighting over who gets to play with them. They both want both mascots. I may have to make two more.

Once more, here they are together.

Now I can't wait for 7:30 to watch the ceremonies! I have nothing more to say than "GO Team USA!"

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A-B-C Fun

For the past few months The Little Princess has been in love with Leap Frog's Phonics Farm. In fact as I am typing this she is watching it. Again. (sigh)

It has been all about letters in our house. She loves looking at letters, telling us what the letters are and even some of their sounds! (I'm in trouble!)

So, I decided to make The Little Princess her own alphabet to play with. To Pinterest! I found a bunch of ideas that I liked.

This one from Fowl Single File will be great for
her to do in a year or two!
This one from Nic and Kate is great, but I
don't have a place to put it.
I love the idea of a sensory bin like this one from
Playing House.
But what I finally decided to do was to make plush letters similar to these ones from Chez Beeper Bebe.

I loved her idea, but I wanted them to be bigger.

I have a plethora of scrap fabric and I loved the idea of The Little Princess being able to hold and manipulate the letters.  I also wanted to make lower case letters, since in the video she loves ~ oh so much ~ always shows the letters together. As I was making them, I decided to go all out. I made the numbers 0-9 as well. Bubba kept insisting that I make the numbers through 20, but I had to remind him that I can't make double digit numbers. Now to turn on the thinking cap.

I began by pulling out my tub tote of fabric. After careful consideration I picked thirty different fabrics. Why thirty you ask? Twenty six letters each got their own fabric. Upper and lower case letters shared fabric so The Little Princess could recognize which letter goes with which. I also chose one fabric for all of the numbers, so that she can tell the difference between the letters and numbers at a glance. That makes twenty seven fabrics. I also chose three more solid fabrics for the backs of the letters and numbers. That makes a grand total of thirty fabrics. Lucky for me I have a HUGE stash of scraps!

I began at my computer. after fiddling around with the fonts I found that "Century Gothic" had the correct type of lower case letters I wanted. I wanted a font with the "a" and "g" looking like handwriting and not type. After more fiddling I decided to use the font in bold and in 400 points. This only allows one set of letters per page and sometimes not even that because the letters are too wide. (I'm looking at you Ww!)

After printing all the letters and numbers onto printer paper I cut them out and traced them onto freezer paper and then cut them from the freezer paper.

Then, using a hot, dry iron I fused the freezer paper onto the fabrics I chose for the letters. I tried to match the letters to the fabrics when I could. For example the w's are on watermelon fabric. If I couldn't get a match though, I didn't worry about it. (I am using scraps after all. I could have gone out and bought new fabric to match every letter. And don't think I didn't consider it, but I wanted to spend as little as possible on this project.)

Next, I sandwiched the solid fabric, high loft batting and the fused fabric together and trimmed it down to a manageable size.

After pinning all three pieces together, I headed to my sewing machine and stitched around the freezer paper.
After removing the pins and freezer paper I took out (and dusted off) my pinking sheers and cut all around the stitching. On the reverse side of the letters and numbers is a solid fabric. The numbers have blue on the back and the letters have purple. This way The Little Princess knows which way the letter faces. The final step was to send Hubby to the store to pick up some Fabric Fray Stop. I covered the edges with the fray stop so they won't fray and get all nasty looking.

Here are the final products.

Happy crafting!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Mail Boxes Are Fun!

My son LOVES to get mail. Luckily he has a Nana who loves to send him mail. My son also HATES to write. Let me clarify, he hates to write correctly. HiS SentenCeS uSuALLY Look LiKe tHiS. Add to that the "s" is usually backwards. Now, last year, that was fine. In Kindergarten, I was just happy that he was actually writing. However, (another fancy word for "but," hehe. See this post if you don't get the joke.) As a first grader, he needs to be writing his letters correctly and using the correct cases. To help encourage him to practice outside of his school work I decided to make a mailbox for our house so we can "mail" each other letters of encouragement. Two birds with one stone. He gets to practice writing and learn how to encourage others at the same time. Once a week we designate a "mailman" to deliver the letters to our individual mail boxes outside our bedroom doors.

Now let me tell you the best part, this project was done for FREE! All I used was a box, glue, tape, and ribbon. All of these I had in my house and therefore cost nothing! If you don't have these items on hand the entire project will only cost a few dollars.

Before we begin, let me show you the final project.
Pretty, isn't it. Now let me show you how I did it. There may be an easier way, but this is what I did.
First I found a heavy cardboard box in the size I wanted. Luckily, Bubba's school supplies had come in a few days prior and it was the perfect size.

After playing around with the box, I decided that I didn't like the tape on the outside of the box and pulling it off pulled too much of the box with it. (Darn you industrial strength packing tape!) So, I decided to turn the box inside out. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of this, but I trust that you know what I am talking about. I started by finding the seam, where the box was glued together by the box makers. I carefully pulled this apart and turn the box inside out. Then glued the seam back and reinforce with packing tape. I used plain old Elmer's Glue which is why I reinforced it with tape. If you use a stronger glue you may not need to use the tape.
Next, I glued the bottom of the box together, as if I were going to ship it, not closed together like in the picture above. I used two very good and very heavy books to press the flaps together until the glue was dry.

OK, I'm stumped as to why this picture keeps loading upside down.
But, you get the point, right?
In this picture, you can see how the box is now inside out. (Side note, these are both very good books! I can't wait until my kids are old enough to read them! Also, I just love the image of Aslan on the Narnia book!) After the glue dried I needed to figure out how to do the same thing to the other side. Thank you God for cameras, because I don't think I could explain this next part accurately for you!

 First, I propped Harry on his side (because he was the hard cover book and would stand up better. Then, I glued the two side flaps down onto ONE end flap. This is important if you would like to get the mail out of your mail box!

I then put Narnia on top of the flaps to secure the flaps together while the glue dried. (Remember, Harry is under there so Aslan is safe and won't fall through!)

Once the glue was dry, I cut out sections of the side flaps so that you can reach into the box. Think of a Post Office Box on the side of the road. This is the part the mailman opens to retrieve the letter you placed in there.

Once the glue was completely dry I removed the two books and puncture holes into the bottom flap and the back of the box (the side flaps) so I could insert a ribbon to hold the box closed.
I also made two little cardboard buttons to keep the ribbon from pulling through the holes. First I strung the ribbon through the button holes and tied a huge, ugly knot. Then, I strung the ribbon through the bottom flap of the box. Next, I strung the ribbon through the big hole that I cut out in the previous picture and back through the other punctured hole. I did the same on the other side and tied a pretty little bow.

Now to the front of the mailbox. I decided how big and where I wanted the mail slot to be. Using a pencil and ruler for a guide I marked a long rectangle. Then used an exacto knife to cut three sides of the rectangle to make the slot.

I wanted Bubba to help me with the next step, but as you can see from his head in the background of the previous two pictures, he was busy with his own project, so I continued on my own. I painted the whole thing blue. It took two coats and a lot of drying time, but when it was done it looked like this.

 I did remove the ribbons when I painted the box and buttons. I also used a light pink ribbon which I may change later to whit so that it matches better, but I had pink already.

Finally, I decorated the front of the box to look like a typical mail box. So, once again, the finished project.

I am rather happy with the result. It sits on one of my kitchen counters with paper and pens nearby.

Now you may be thinking, "This is great! But, what about the individual mailboxes?" Or did you already forget I mentioned those? Don't worry, They'll be featured in an upcoming post. So check back soon. Or better yet, subscribe!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

New Year, New Look

Hello to all of my wonderful readers! After taking some time off from blogging for the Holidays, potty training The Little Princess, and then battling pneumonia, I'M BACK!

Santa was good to us this year!

That's a drum she's sitting on.
I'll spare you a photo of me sick. Instead, here's a picture of Bubba.

He just lost his first tooth!
I realize it's January 26th and it's quite a bit late to start talking about New Year's resolutions, but (and as my father says, "but" means forget everything I just said) I'm going to give you my two cents about New Year's resolutions. Personally, I never make them. Perhaps it the passive aggressiveness in me, but I'm not going to make a plan to change my life just because everyone else is. Besides, from what I've seen people who change their life based on the date on the calendar rarely hold to those goals. If you are one of the few who are still following through with your resolution, Great Job! You have more will power than most of the world. I prefer to wait until I am ready for a change, then I actually follow through. (I'll get off my soap box now.)
That being said (isn't that a fancy way of saying "but" and we've already discussed what "but" means), I did  a lot of research while I was sick on blogs and decided it was time to update my look. What do you think? I like it.

Now earlier I did say that today was January 26th, right? That means today is a very special day. After all January is a very special month. It is National Mentoring Month, National Thyroid Disease Awareness Month, National Birth Defects Prevention Month, National Stalking Awareness Month, Geek Appreciation Month, and many, many more. But most importantly, it is the month I chose to get married. Today just happens to be my husband and my tenth anniversary! Ten years being married to the most wonderful man in the world.

Ten years ago today.
I knew he truely loved me when I picked our wedding date and we booked everything before he told me that the weekend I chose happened to be Super Bowl Sunday! Then, his Pats were in the the Big Game! He didn't even ask to watch the game! (To all other football widows out there, you know that is love!) In ten years, while I haven't learned to love football, I have watched many games and this year the Pats are once again are going to the Super Bowl. Perhaps this means they will win again?
Wow! What a post, New Year's resolutions, the definition of "but," my wedding anniversary and the Super Bowl all in one post. Wait ~ no crafts? I thought you were the Crafty Princess? Well, yes, I am. BUT, occasionally I hope you will indulge me in a run on sentence, tangent filled blog post! More crafts to come, I promise!