Wednesday, April 29, 2009

MSCE April Days 28 & 29 - Finished Cupcake Invitations!

I wrapped up the cupcake invitations last night... (MSCE April Day 28)

Today I ran around to find envelopes to fit them (note to self - next time buy envelopes FIRST so that I can make sure the invitation I create fits within in!) and then added a little embellishment to the envelopes (MSCE April Day 29). Here's the front...

And the back...

I used cupcake stamps stamped with black ink, then colored them in roughly with sharpies. I love the little cupcakes especially, I got a set of four for a dollar at Michael's. What a steal!

That's all for now!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

MSCE April Day 27 - Cupcake Party

I'm helping my dear friend Heather with my niece Lily's first birthday party. We're a little behind with the planning, but I'm confident we'll get it all done! Here's the soon-to-be birthday girl...

Heather has decided on a cupcake theme. She had e-mailed me a couple of invitations she'd found that she liked, so I took my own spin on them last night and here's what I came up with...

More cupcake fun to come!

Monday, April 27, 2009

MSCE April Day 25 - Alison's Wedding

So my photo taking abilities aren't great. Unfortunately I don't yet have an SLR. Well, that's not true, I have a film SLR (remember that stuff, when we got photos developed with negatives??!) but haven't sucked it up and purchased a digital one yet. And while my point and shoot digital is great for what it is, I just can't take great photos with it.

BUT, I try my best. Here are some candid shots from Alison's wedding weekend, my MSCE April for Saturday April 25...

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I was so tired from the big wedding weekend on Sunday (MSCE April Day 26) that the only crafty thing I did was work on Heather's never-ending scarf. Ha! And it's still not done... : )

Shout Out for Ideas!

Just a quick note for now... I'll have some projects and photos coming tonight so check back!

Special thanks to Dot for posting my pinata to the Dabbled Facebook group, and a special "Hi, Howdy, Hello!" to those of you that have surfed over here after seeing it there. I'll be working on a tutorial for it very soon, and I hope you'll stop back by!

And now I need to pick your brains! (isn't that phrase so gross sounding?!) A colleague of mine is teaching two five-week "Recycled Art" classes over the summer for boys and girls ages 7-12. She's pregnant and has a lot of other things on her plate as well, so I said I'd help research some project ideas. That's where YOU ALL come in! Leave me a link, photo, or comment with your ideas for green projects for kids (I'll need 10 total) that can be done in hour class periods. We'd both appreciate your help!

Happy Monday - I hope it's sunnier where you are than it is here!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

MSCE April Days 20-25

This past weekend was Alison's wedding. I've been posting about crafty projects revolving around her wedding for some time now, and it's hard to believe it's all over! It was a whirlwind weekend, a lot of fun, and I was honored to not only stand up in her wedding, but also to share some of my handmade love with her as well.

MSCE April Day's 20-24 were spent working diligently on the pinata. Making this from scratch was such an interesting experience that I'll be posting a tutorial sometime soon. I learned so much while doing this and want to share my tips and tricks with you all. I should have started on the final product more than a week out, but I managed to get it done on time. Hubby was a huge help, he rigged a drying station upstairs in our office where we hung the pinata directly above two fans pointed upward. This meant that I could get two layers dry in about half a day. Genius!

First layers of paper mache are on balloon, then the points were added.

The finished "body" spray-painted pink...

Tissue paper flowers cut and ready to affix...

The completed pinata, ready to hang...

I should also note, that although he may not admit it if you asked, Hubby helped assemble the tissue paper flowers when I was stressing the day before the wedding. What a trooper!

In the evening of MSCE April Day 24, which was the day before the wedding, I had to finish up some last minute gifts for the lovely bride. Mum and I made her a tote bag with her new initial. We made it in the wedding colors, in the same way we made the Spring Tote Bag.

I also made her a mini-scrapbook with photos from all of the events leading up to the wedding.

Check back throughout the week for MSCE Days 25 and 26 (wedding wrap up) and for a boatload of new projects now that the wedding is over, and MSCE April is coming to a close! Oh, and don't forget that I'm looking for folks to participate in the Jump In! Challenge with me. Go HERE to see the original post, and sign up! I'd love to make something for you, and for you to pass the homemade love to some other folks as well...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Linky Dink Dink!

I've been swamped this week, and will have SO MUCH to share with you next week, including a catch up on MSCE April (can you believe the month is almost OVER?!), Alison's wedding fun, and a very special book I received in the mail last week...

In the meantime, I thought I'd pass along some inspiration of all sorts from fellow bloggers. Check them out and enjoy! (click on mosaic to enlarge...)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Jump In!

I got this from Dot at who got it from artist (and Blog friend to Dabbled) Diana Evans who posted this idea on her blog. I'm definitely jumping in! How cool!

The first five (5) people to respond to this post will get something made by me.

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations so please read carefully:
1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make. Whatcha get is whatcha get.
2. What I create will be just for you, with love.
3. It’ll be done this year (2009).
4. I will not give you any clue what it’s going to be. It will be something made in the real world and not something cyber. It may be weird or beautiful. Or it may be monstrous and annoying. Heck, I might bake something for you and mail it to you. Who knows? Not you, that’s for sure!
5. I reserve the right to do something strange.
6. In return, all you need to do is post this text on your blog and make 5 things for the first 5 to respond to your blog post.
7. Send your mailing address - after I contact you. (Be sure to leave a working email!)

IMPORTANT: This offer is null and void if I do not see you post your own blog to pay this forward. This text was used from

So pass on the fun, folks! And enjoy the beauty of handmade love.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Catching Up: MSCE April Days 15-19

So I may be a bit behind on the posting side of things, but I'm certainly not behind with all things MSCE April. I've been doing surprisingly well with the challenge - even though I may not be COMPLETING projects everyday, I'm certainly working on something daily. I'll show you!

(Click on photo to enlarge and see projects a little clearer...)

MSCE April Days 15 & 16: Heather's purple scarf!
Heather's birthday was LAST MONTH - and it's taken me this long to get it even close to being done. Another six inches or so should do it. It's made from really interesting yarn with fuzzies and pieces of fabric woven in. You can hardly see the actual stitches once it's knitted up. Good thing Heather is patient! : )

MSCE April Day 17: Black beaded necklace
All of these beads came from a store bought necklace that broke - months and months ago. I salvaged everything I could, bought some extra seed beads, and have started putting it back together - my way. I'm being ridiculously picky about it, and have started over numerous times already. Plus I know next-to-nothing about jewelry making, so I'm working on he fly. It's less than a quarter of the way finished...

MSCE April Day 18: Sidewalk Chalk Flood!
There was a phenomenal event downtown on Saturday - one in a series of "urban experiments." Essentially, the Sidewalk Chalk Flood was organized by a college guy, promoted by the media but mostly through Facebook. Hundreds upon hundreds of people showed up, received free sidewalk chalk, and went to town! We went with friends and had a blast - it was a BEAUTIFUL day.

The local newspaper did an article on the event the next day and amongst several quotes from participants was this one... "It's both kid friendly and artist driven. In the current economic climate, it's almost as if you're seeing people embrace life and play. It's not about consumerism. It's about people." -- Boy, I just LOVE that. I'm not sure if anyone could have wrapped it up better.

For more about the event click HERE.

MSCE April Day 19: The Pinata
Remember my friend Alison? Remember her wedding? Remember the pinata I was making for her wedding reception? Weeelllll.... her wedding is this coming Saturday! So, after the prototypes earlier this year, it's time to get down to it for real. I got the first two layers done today, and rigged it so it's hanging from the ceiling in my studio to dry. I also cut out and scored the cones to make the points of the pinata - but I forgot to take photos of those. You'll see them in a later post I'm sure, there will be a lot of pinata-ing this week!

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Metallic Transfer Magnets - MSCE April Day 14

Here they are - in all their magnetic, metallic glory! Do you love them? I'll admit to being a little bit in love with them. Plus - they are QUICK and EASY to make - which we all know by now is my kind of project!

What's that? You want to learn how to make them? Okay, okay! Here goes...

You will need:

Round adhesive magnets, smaller than your glass stones

The aforementioned glass stones

Acrylic or tempera hobby paint (in whatever colors you like! I just happened to have bronze and gold on hand)

And some of those nifty scrapbooking rub-ons. Just make sure the shapes you plan on using are smaller than your glass stones.

Take one stone, flip it upside done, and rub a shape onto the underside of it. My rub-ons came with a nifty circlular rubbing tool - nice!

Paint over the rub-on with a color, or colors, of paint of your choice.

Be patient while it drys. It may need multiple coats to create good coverage.

When it's dry, adhere a magnet to it. You may want to use a glue gun to reinforce, but I didn't.

And TA DA! That's it!

Wouldn't a set of these make a nice gift?

Easy Frame Cards - MSCE April Day 13

Working in the non-profit sector, we find ourselves constantly juggling projects and trying to be superwomen, all while working on a tight budget. It can be stressful for even the most organized of folks! This week I'm lending a hand to our Cook Library Center Director by helping her create some quick and easy, multi-use, "thank-you" card templates.

Often we like to send out personalized thank you cards from the kids that we serve to donors, community partners, etc. It really makes a statement to get something in the mail that was made by a child. Unfortunately, card-making is time consuming, and let's be real -- sometimes kids are big into wanting to help with things like this, and sometimes they are not interested at all!

So what I am trying to come up with is a template on cardstock that can be mass-produced in which a photo can be slipped into, and kids can add decoration to. I'm thinking along the lines of those insert-a-photo greeting cards you can get from Hallmark and such around Christmas-time. Here's what I came up with...

Of course it needs backing behind the window so that a photo will slide in.

Then the photo would go inside.

And children can write "Thank You" or "Gracias" and the decorate it as much or as little as they like.

Trouble is I can't figure out how to easily create the template, and make it easy to slide a photo in. I had to glue these in! Do you see the general direction I'm going in, though? In a perfect world it would be great to create something that was one piece that didn't need gluing, so the Library Director could just copy and cut out the templates and then fold and be ready to go with a photo and some decoration by kids.

I'm by no means stuck to this specific design - can anyone offer a suggestion?! Help, crafty friends, help! : )

PS) Happy Hump Day!

PPS) I swear the fabulous magnet tutorial is heading your way SOON! So much to do, so little time! Check back SOON!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I just had to share... that this morning I ordered...


I'm all giggly with anticipation! You can bet your bottom dollar you'll be seeing some Martha crafts on this blog soon. I just can't wait to get it!

I'll be back later this evening with an MSCE April update and a FAB magnet tutorial, but I couldn't resist sharing my excitement -- and no one can understand my excitement better than YOU, fellow crafters!

Have a SUPER day!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Tons of Tulle & Happy Easter - MSCE April Days 11 & 12

Happy belated Easter! I hope that everyone enjoyed good food, and great times with family and friends. We had a great weekend - and now it's over I definitely have a case of the Monday's!

On Saturday I worked on costume designs for the preschool ballet students in the June dance recital. There are five classes of preschoolers, and each class is going to be representing a flower (the ballet portion of the recital theme, if you remember, is "Secret Garden.") All of the preschool classes will be wearing pink leotards, with this skirt...

(far left)

The petals will be made from satin and the bottom layers of the skirt from tulle. Since tulle was on sale this weekend I had to make some quick decisions about which flowers which class would be, and what colors they needed. Mum and I got to work, and off I went to JoAnn's to pick up the tulle!

JoAnn's was QUITE the experience. I was at the cutting center for over a half hour, and everyone else in the store thought I was INSANE. I purchased more than 100 yards of tulle!

Here's what we came up with...




Cherry Blossoms

and Bluebells

Now we have to pick out matching satins for the petals. I know for sure that the daffodils are going to have orange petals to represent the trumpet of the daffodil.

While Mum will be doing the sewing (I'll be doing the cutting!) my project will be hairpieces for each class. For the preschool flower classes I'm thinking something like these...

Only trouble is I have zero experience making anything like this - and I have a feeling they could be tougher than they look. Has anyone made anything like this before? Or do you have other ideas for flower pieces I could make for their hair with faux flowers? I am absolutely taking suggestions! (Keep in mind I have to make 50 for the preschoolers alone, so they need to be relatively easy to mass produce!)

On Sunday we dyed eggs : ) Better late than never, right? This was my FIRST TIME EVER. I grew up in England, and we don't really get down with dying eggs there, so this was a first for me. I had aspirations of doing lots of cool dyed eggs using different techniques but time got away from me and Trav and I had fun with a cheapo boxed kit from the store, and some paint tape! I have big plans for next year though... and will get an early start!

The hubby isn't a huge egg dying fan, but he was a good sport and after showing me HOW to do it (remember, it was my first time!) he dyed one egg himself. Can you guess which one is his?

Happy Monday, folks!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Basket Roundup & Flower Pen Tutorial: MSCE April Days 9 & 10

Yesterday I finished what will be my final Easter basket for this year. It was my first attempt using felt - and didn't turn out badly for a first go around. I modeled it off a $1 tulip felt basket I saw once at Target.

If I were to do this again, I'd use thicker felt, and bigger petals. I'd make the petals all the same color too so that it looks more obviously like a tulip. The only reason I used two colors of pink, actually, was because I didn't have enough of one color in my stash and didn't want to go buy any more! Ha!

Here's a little round up of the four baskets I've made over the past few weeks, with the new tulip basket taking center stage...

For today's project (MSCE April Day 10!) I'm happy to share the Flower Pen Tutorial with you. I used the supplies I had left over from the workshop I did last week to make a handful of pens for my office. It took me all of ten minutes, seriously!

(click on photos to view larger)

1. Supplies: Floral tape, faux flowers (cut them off from the "stem" leaving about 2 inches,) and ballpoint pens.

2. Hold the flower stem next to the pen so that the base of the flower is lined up with the top of the pen.

3. Begin wrapping tape about a 1/2 inch below the top of pen. BE SURE TO PULL THE TAPE TIGHT AS YOU WRAP! The tape will only stick if you pull it as you go, so wrap tightly!

4. Wrap all the way down. No worries if the tape rips, just stick back on where you left off and keep pulling and wrapping.

5. Tear off a small piece to cover the top 1/2 inch of pen. Get as close to the base of the flower as possible so that no pen is showing.

6. TA DA! Beautiful flower pens to brighten up the office, or give as gifts! ENJOY!

I finally have a weekend without much structure to it, so I'm taking advantage and heading down to my craft studio to do some more creating! Oh, and stay tuned for my adventures in egg-dying, with a special guest appearance by my hubby!