Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hanging Bath Sign for Guests

     Happy Halloween, everyone, a day late!  I hope you all had a blessed day and stayed safe last night.  We attended our church's Fall Festival, so we were safe from traffic.  I pray you and yours were safe as well.  With the way people drive on Halloween, you'd think people were handing out five dollar bills, right?
  Today's post isn't about Halloween or any other season but something I thought I'd share that will help your new friends and forgetful friends (like me) when they come to visit and need to, well, visit the potty.  I don't know about you but we people ask where my bathroom is, I forget to count the hallway closets and always say the second door on the right, hence the very messy linen closet, scary in its own right. :-)

     Now I have a sign hanging right over the doorway into the bathroom, so no worries.  Maybe my messy closet will stay our little secret.
      I found a tutorial for one of these cute signs, but changed the aging/distressing process a bit.  The one I found on pinterest used the process of spray painting over multiple colors and layers to produce an antique look.  I love it, but I am more comfortable with knicking up the second layer of paint with duck tape.    We love duck tape, and any chance to use it, I'll take it.

The materials you need for this project are:
a plant hanger            ( I bought this one from Lowe's a few years ago on clearance)
an oval plaque           ( I bought mine at Wal-Mart for $.97  It's double sided,so you can letter both sides.)
stencil letters, scrapbooking stickers, or cricut-cut letters
                                 ( I used storybook and cut the letters on cheap white vinyl from Lowe's)
two colors of paint     ( You might want to coordinate with the walls in your hallway or room in which the
                                    sign will hang)
a cup hook                 You will use this to attach the plaque to your plant hanger

The first step is to paint your plaque on both sides so it will look even on both sides and people can find it from either direction.  This will be the color of your letters, so think about what color you want for your letters.  I wanted my letters the same color as the hallway so I chose Valspar's London Coach.  This is a pic before I finished the sides so it really looks better than this. I am an impatient photographer in process. :-)

Below is the cricut I used to cut the vinyl.  I just used the cheap white vinyl like you find at Wal-Mart and Lowe's to cover your shelves, so it was around
 $4.00 for a very long roll.  I used the storybook cartridge for the lettering, but you could use scrapbook stickers, stencils or another cartridge and make yours unique.

Below is a picture of how the vinyl looked before I painted over the whole thing with white paint.  This protects the paint underneath the letters so that you get a great layered look.  Make sure you press vinyl or stickers down well so that you will get a clean look.

Next, just stick on your letters.  Remember to cover both sides so that people can read it from both sides and it's even. If you're not a tad OCD, this probably doesn't bother you.

 Next, I painted the whole thing white.  I know it looks dark, but it's my photography skills (or lack thereof) and not the paint.  I also added the cup hook to the top before I painted.  You can wait until it's dry to add yours.
BEFORE YOUR PAINT DRIES COMPLETELY, about 10 minutes after you have covered it, you will take painter's tape or duck tape, whatever you have, and stick it down around the outside of the letters.  It will peel the white off giving it a distressed, weathered look.  Stay away from the letters or they will not be crisp and clean when you peel the stickers free.

 Next, after the paint has dried, completely peel off the vinyl or stickers.  This is what you get.

Complete the other side and hang it and VIOLA!

 I hope you all have a blessed weekend!
Courtney C.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Crafting: Meditations

Hello Everyone,
     I just want to take a few moments to jot down my thoughts about my life and where my head is right now.  I have been meditating, processing and just really thinking lately about where crafting plays a part of my life and why I do it.  In the craziness of life, sometimes I think, "Am I being wasteful with my time when I craft?"  In my walk with God, I always question why He has given me certain talents and how I can use them to bless others.  I have been pondering this in relation to crafting.  My intention is not to brag about what I can do, because I know that without God I could do nothing.  "I can do all things through Christ, Jesus who strengthens me."
     This has been my mantra this week.  This has been a really tough week, you know the kind that really puts things into perspective and helps me appreciate all the little and large blessings I tend to take for granted.  Today I am blessed to spend a day at home with my family.  We have spent time together already and will spend more time together, but I will also take some time to craft.
     Some people think crafting is silly, wasteful, expensive, frivolous, but if God has given me a passion for it and a joy when I do it, it is a blessing.  I can't let others' opinions influence my love and enjoyment of it.  Accepting this, I have begun to ask myself: Why do I craft? How does this bring glory to God instead of me?
     Crafting is a joy for me.  While crafting you must focus and in this process of focus, it gives me time to really think.  I don't know about you but it takes me a while to process things and during this time, my mind can process scripture I've read, problems I am facing, blessings in my life, changes in others' lives as well as mine, ministry opportunities, and just life in general.  It brings to mind the Casting Crowns song, "I Will Praise You in this Storm".  There is joy in crafting as I face or process the storms of life, flurries of excitement and happy times,or tempests of trials and temptations.  Crafting is a meditation for me, a way to just slow down and listen to God.
     Crafting is also a great way for me to give to others.  I love making things for my family and they love receiving them.  This is a wonderful way to show love to others.  Crafting makes gift giving affordable and fun.  I always thing of Jesus answer to what are the greatest commandments and His answer to Love others as you love yourself.  Spreading a little love is a wonderful thing.
     Crafting also instills a huge appreciation in me for the greatest Creator, God.  Nothing I make can hold a candle to what he has created in this world.  My crafts incorporate what he has perfected, leaves, pictures of my family He crafted, shells He formed, paints in all the colors of His rainbow, and wood from the trees He grew from seed.
     This may seem simple and silly to you, but those are my thoughts.  This post is just a way for me to journal about it.  The blessing of crafting is something I thank God for and I will continue to love it as long God doesn't convict me otherwise.  I love crafting and I know there are many out there who love it like I do.  Feel free to share with me why you craft!  Have a blessed day! Courtney

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Halloween-y Hair Bow

Hi! Well, the harvest season is in full swing and now is the time for our cuties to sport costumes.  This year, both my cuties dressed up as ghosts.  Our ghost pillowcase dress just needed a cute, coordinating hair bow, so here it is.  I love the way the zebra ribbon ties the orange and black together.  The zebra ribbon was only $1.97 for the roll, the black and orange were I think $2.97 for each.  You will have plenty left over of each for other projects.  I actually used the zebra fabric for ties on a pillowcase dress and had plenty left over for this bow.  I love using what I already have on hand!  The middle I go from a pack of buttons like this:

 I believe there were a little under $2. You will have plenty to use for other projects!  I also use the French barrette clips like the ones below.
 The items you need for this project are:
A wide ribbon for the bottom
A bit narrower for the middle ribbon
A narrow ribbon for the top ribbon
a clip
thread and needle

The first thing you do is cut the wide ribbon into three 4" pieces and lay them out like you see below.  You will then stabilize them by sewing the three pieces together just in the center.  

Next, measure your middle ribbon and cut three 6" pieces.  They need to be longer because they are loops.  Make sure your needle is on top of your first layer of your middle ribbon and then make a loop on each end with the ends in the center.  Push your needle up through all three layers and 
 push it down to rest on top of the wide ribbons you've already sewn together.  Continue to attach the other two pieces of your middle color group. 

Next, situate them the way you want them to look and 
sew all the way through the bottom ribbons and back 
up through all the layers so that they won't move around.
You will see how it should look, below.

 Now you are ready for your third and last layer of ribbon for your hair bow.  This is the narrowest of the three ribbon groups.  Measure three 4" lengths of ribbon and cut them.  You will loop these just like you did the middle color group of ribbon.
 Now you are ready to sew all the way through to stabilize this group once you have it situated the way you want.  Now you are ready to sew on the botton on top.  It will take some finger muscles to sew all the way through a few times, but it's not very hard to do this.

 Now, you're ready to cut a v in each edge of the widest, bottom ribbon.  This makes it look nice and will keep it from fraying.  I always just run a light along the edges of the v.  Do this very quickly or you will singe it and it will look black.  If you quickly run the lighter along the edge the little frays will disappear and you'll know it's ready!

 Now, just hot glue the clip onto the bottom of the hair bow, let it dry.  Finally, some little cutie pie has a new hair bow!

Have fun crafting.  I love to share the joy of creating and crafting with you. Have a blessed day! 
Courtney C.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Ghost Pillowcase Dress for our American Girl

 Hello, all.  I promised the next post would include instructions for the matching dress for, Lindsey, our resident American girl doll.  I am much too frugal to pay for the matching clothing, so I just made our own, and it turned out well.  Here are the dresses together.  Notice the matching hair bows, easy as well.

Here's Lindsey by herself.  She is quite the model. :-)

Here's what you need:
an old pillow, zebra print cotton fabric, zebra ribbon and black cotton fabric for the ghostie face.  I bought the ribbon and fabric at Wal-Mart.  I had the pillowcase and black fabric on hand, so it was a very inexpensive project, about $12.00 for both dresses.  You will not find that bargain at the store!  The doll dress really only took about thirty minutes to make, once I had learned the process from making the dress for my cutie pie.

     The first thing you do is cut a pillowcase down to doll size, about 12" long and 10" across.  Make sure the two long edges are sewn closed and the top and bottom are open.
     Next, cut out the arm holes like in the original tutorial: ghostie with the mostie.  Then just follow that tutorial.  The only difference is the length of the zebra print.  I only cut a 2" length for the bottom of the doll dress and the face pieces are smaller.  I hope this will help you.  If you have questions, ask away.  Have a blessed day! Courtney C.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Revamped End Table: From 70's to Now

Hola, all!  I hope you're all having a blessed day.  I would like to share one of my larger projects I've been working over the past week and a half.  I am very excited about this little end table.  It is the perfect size to hold all of my scrapbooks.  My kids are excited, too.  I know they're going to drag them out twice as much and that's just fine.  It's a great way to count your blessings when you look back on all those great times and not so great times we've had as a family.
  I found this little beauty at a local church's yard sale and was excited about the $10 price tag.  My husband was not so much,  just because he thought it would sit in the garage for a year or more. NOT! It was only in there for three months, thank you very much.  However, I can understand his hesitation.

This is how it started out:
We have all played around these at a neighbor's house or a grandparent's house in the seventies or early 80's.  I know I did. BLAST FROM THE PAST!!

Anyways, this one was very sturdy and wasn't very knicked up, so I took it.  The first order of business was cleaning it.  I just washed it with soap and water, inside and out, top to bottom.  Then I took all the hardware ( hinges and handles) off and laid them and the screws aside.  Place your screws in a safe place. (I lost one, just FYI.  My ADD is tough when it comes to long projects.)

 Next, it's time to prime! Here's the primer I use.  My littlest helper is holding it up so you can see the label.  You will want to prime everything: table, inside and outside, top and bottom, doors and hardware.  I always just use one thin coat.  Make sure it doesn't pool or drip or your paint will look drippy and sloppy.

Next it is time to paint. It will take two good coats of paint on top of the primer.  Just take your time and watch for drips.
 Make sure to use painters tape when you want to paint colors that will be side by side so that you get crisp lines.  I painted  the table white and taped off where the gray inlay on top would go.   I taped the doors around the inside frame where the gray would be painted. Now paint!

 It looks pretty messy right now, but once you remove the tape it looks one hundred times better.  Let it dry completely, several hours.  I did use two coats so that it will be even and smooth.

VIOLA!!!  Now ain't that purty!

Next, I stenciled the damask pattern on four sides of the hexagonal table, leaving the two sides with the doors as they were after adding the inlay of gray.  I battled with the question of whether to stencil or not.  I like simple, but I wanted to try my hand at damask, so my need to craft won out.

The stenciling process was simple.  I used a tape measure to find the center of each side.  Measure sideways, mark the middle.  Measure from top to bottom, mark the middle.  I then place the middle mark in the center of my stencil and worked from the center out to make sure the pattern was uniform and nice-looking.  After I completed the center stencil, I made one above it, then below it, then diagonally.

After all the painting and stenciling is complete, I painted the hardware white and used the clear stain on everything.  I add a clear satin coat by Minwax.  It is a water-based polycrylic finish that works great on indoor furniture upon which you will set picture frames, lamps, etc.  It makes all that hard work worth it, not to have it messed up so quickly.

Here's the finished product, once again.  I hope  you enjoyed the post.  Drop me a line.  Any questions and followers are welcome. Happy crafting!!

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! Phillipians 4:13  Courtney C.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Ghostie with the Mostie

Happy Thursday, everyone!  I would just like to say, "How about those leaves!!"  I absolutely love the fall with all the bright colors and this year God is showing out in the Volunteer State.  With fall, comes one of our favorite holidays, Halloween. Who doesn't love candy and pretend??  I would hate to know.  Here are my little ghosties dressed up in the spook-ta-cu-lor pillowcase dress and matching ghostie t-shirt.  (Here is a little secret. Don't tell my son, but he asked me to make a t-shirt for him once he saw sissy's dress.  At his age, I know it isn't going to be long before mom-made isn't going to be quite so cool, so, of course, I said, "Absolutely!"  You see the matching dress, Lindsey, our resident American girl doll is wearing.  It was easy!

I will share my pics and tutorial because I am a cheap skate and cannot pay the price for matching clothes for cutie pie and her doll.  Now, you can do the same without breaking the bank!  You can make these dresses if I can.  I am no seamstress maven.  (I will share a secret.  This is the first time I ever tried zigzagging with the sewing machine.  So you can absolutely do this, too!

Here's what you need for the pillowcase dress:
1 pillowcase
1 spool zebra 3/4 inch wide ribbon (I got mine at Wal Mart)
Black cotton fabric or fleece for the eyes and mouth
Zebra fabric (Creative Cuts sells it at Wal Mart but I am sure Joann's or Hobby Lobby will have it.)

First, you cut the closed end of the pillow off. When you cut, both ends will be open.  I used an old pillowcase that I found in the closet.  If you have one around the house, it will save you money.

 Just hold it up to your model to see how much you need to cut off.
I made sure to place it above the shoulders since that is where it will be tied and remember you will use at least 1" for the tube through which the ribbon will run.  If you hem under the unfinished edges !/4" remember it will be that much shorter. However you will add the fabric to the bottom, so don't forget that when judging how long you want the pillowcase at this point.  I prefer it right at knee length, but that's just me.  Do what works best for you. (I cut off the bottom where the thick part is at the opening, just because I wanted it to look like a dress not a hacked up pillowcase.)

     Next, just mark where you want the arm holes to go.  I just mark one side.  Fold it in half lengthwise and cute the holes at the same time to save time and keep the arm holes uniform.  Remember, the tube for the straps/ribbons will be used here.  So when you measure your child's arm to see how big you need to cut, add an inch for the ribbon tube or 1 1/4" if you hem the unfinished edges of the tube.  After you, cut the desired arm hole, hem the semi-circular area so that it won't unravel after washing your dress.

 Here's how it looks with the arm holes cut out.  Now you want to iron and sew a 1" tube at the top.  One tube will run across the front and one will run across the back. I used a metal ruler to measure and then just ironed on top of it.  Pin the sections to be sewn and then just sew a straight stitch along each edge to form the tubes that hold the ribbon or fabric ties.  I apologize the poor

quality of the pics.  The lighting is not the best and my camera is cheap.  I hope you can see them well enough.
I sew the straight line as close to the edge as possible since the ribbon I chose was 7/8" wide and the tube is only 1" wide.
 Now, just run the ribbons through the front and the back.  Make sure to leave plenty of ribbon on the ends so that you can tie pretty bows and have some play room.  Next came the fun part, modeling the dress.

Then you just free hand an eye.  Fold your fabric and cut so that you have two identically shaped eyes and draw and cut an oval for the mouth.  I made the mouth and eyes around the same size, about 3 inches and it worked just fine.  Make them however large or small you prefer.

Cutie Pie thought I was finished, but now it was time to sew on the face and add the trim fabric at the bottom. I pinned the eyes and mouth on well because this was the first time I have ever use the zigzag stitch on my sewing machine.  I know I am a big chicken when it comes to trying new things!  Next you just want to zigzag all around the eyes and the mouth.

Next, you just add the zebra trim.  Just lay your fabric and dress right sides together. Pin it together.  Sew a straight stitch.  Unpin and then hem the bottom of the zebra fabric.  Viola! You are finished and ready to make a matching dress for her favorite doll.

The matching doll dress and the hair bows will be my next posts.  Please follow my blog to see more!  I would love to hear your comments and thoughts about your own Halloween projects.  Don't forget to follow my blog! Have a blessed day.
Courtney C.
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ghostie pillowcase dress