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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, how can I make you the cutest one of all?

If you're like me, plain just won't do.  Especially when it comes to decorating for my girls.  On a recent trip to IKEA, I found a mirror I saw so much promise in.  So, with a little money (maybe $5?) and even less effort, I created a beautiful mirror, for my youngest beauty!

I gathered my supplies, 2 paintbrushes, Mod Podge, paint, 1 piece of printed paper, the mirror, paper cutter, an exacto knife, a cutting mat, and a ruler.

First, I painted the sides and an inch border on the frame of the mirror.

Then I cut the paper to size (10x10").  I carefully measured the square, for the mirror, and cut it out with an exacto knife.

I Mod Podged the paper on. I forgot to take a picture.  Woops.  Just remember a smooth coat of Mod Podge.  Make sure you completely cover the surface to be Mod Podged.  Not too much, but not skimpy either.  The area should look white.  Carefully place your paper on top of the Mod Podged surface and rub the paper on to the surface.  You can use a rolling pin, if you'd like.  I did this one with my fingers.  The thicker the paper, the less bubbles.  The smaller the area being Mod Podged, the fewer bubbles.  No matter how many times I've done this, I still get a few bubbles sometimes.  Let the Mod Podge dry before doing the top coat!  I let this dry about 30 minutes.

This is before I put the top layer of Mod Podge on. There are very few bubbles, or creases in this project!

I Mod Podged the top.  I used glossy Mod Podge for this project.

In about 30 minutes, it's dry!

I wanted to add a fabric rosette to the mirror.  I used a piece of fabric that coordinates with Mariella's bedding.  It's about 22x4".  The only other things I needed were thread, a needle, and scissors.

I folded the fabric in half (right side up).

I hemmed the ends.

I stitched the entire length of the fabric.

...and stitched... and gathered as I was stitching.

I gathered it tightly and then began to roll it together.

I stitched the back to keep the flower together.

Tada!  This is the finished flower.

I stapled a ribbon to the back as a decorative hanger.

I hot glued the fabric flower in place. 

I hung it on Mariella's green wall.  So... pretty and she LOVES her mirror!
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A Valentine's Day Craft I Created. No Copycatting Involved!-A Tutorial

I am proud.  This is by no means a perfect project and there are a few things I'd do differently, (no worries, I'll let you know what they are) but I made this without cheating off someone else's creativity.  There's hope!

I started with a white canvas, a paintbrush, white, pink, and red acrylic paint.

I squirted the white paint on the acrylic canvas...

and got some help spreading it out evenly.

I lightly dry brushed the canvas with the light pink and red paints. (If I had to do it again, I wouldn't have used pink. I decided to do the accent pieces in red so the red dry brushing alone would have probably looked better.

Here's the prepared canvas. I really like the dimension/texture or whatever you call the hint of color.

I printed words on my computer. I knew I wanted "Love is" but struggled for the last word.  I liked magical.  But, then I asked my four year old, GraciAnn.  With her big blue eyes opened wide, she said, "Love is AMAZING!"  Amazing was perfect for our sign! "Love" is in AR DECODE font at 300 pt. "Is Amazing" is Monster Papparazzi font in 100 pt. I cut the words out and positioned them on the canvas.  At the end, I didn't like the placement because it made it difficult to decorate the rest of the sign. Next time, I'll think through the entire project before making it permanent.

I took a pencil and scribbled on the back of the words to make it easily to transfer them onto the canvas.

I then traced the outline of the letters, with a sharp pencil.

If you look closely, you can see the letters on the canvas, ready to fill in.

I took a black, glossy, acrylic paint and carefully filled in the words.

Here's what it looks like all painted.

Now, for the embellishments. I  made 4 flowers out of red felt (the same felt I used on the amazing wreath) and black burlap. I also needed a needle and thread. I used 9 3" circles for each flower. Five black circles and four red circles per flower.  Between this project and the wreath project I am so over cutting circles!

For each flower, I took a black burlap circle as a base.  I folded the remaining circles in quarters and sewed them on one at a time at the pointed part of the circle.

I sewed the second one directly across from the first.

I filled in the third...

and fourth ones to complete the base.

Then, I added the red felt circles.  I folded them in quarters too.  I overlapped two of the black pieces.

I sewed the second one right across from the first.

Fill in with the third....

and fourth circles. This is what it looks like prior to being "fluffed".

Then I kind of unfolded and fluffed the circles and this was my flower.

Here's my finished piece.  I took black grosgrain ribbon and hot glued it around the edges to give it a finished look.  I also added a bow, from the same ribbon.  I was trying to balance everything out.  It wasn't easy.  I definitely should have planned ahead.  That's the benefits of copy crafting.  You learn from others' mistakes.  Oh well!  I really like how it turned out and it was another inexpensive addition to my Valentine's Day crafts!
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Fun Crystallized Hearts Tutorial

I recently saw Martha make crystallized snowflakes and thought it would fun to make some hearts for Valentine's Day decorations.

Here are the supplies you will need:

Large glass with wide opening (I used a small wide vase) (about 1 quart)
Popsicle sticks
Yarn or wire
Red Pipe Cleaners
Borax laundry booster (found in laundry detergent aisle)
Measuring cup and measuring spoon
Coffee filter or Paper towel

I had never heard of Borax so I took a picture for those of you like me.

1.  Measure 3 to 4 cups of water.  You'll want enough water to cover your heart completely in your glass dish. You don't want your heart to touch the bottom or it will get stuck as the mixture starts solidifying.
2.  Put your dish in microwave and boil the water. 
3.  Measure out 9 tablespoons of Borax and put it in your glass container. 
4. While the water is heating up, grab two pipe cleaners or however many will fit in your glass.  You don't want them to touch at all.
5.  Fold your pipe cleaner in half and separate to make a V.
6.  Bring both ends together and twist a few times.
7.  Mold the heart to your desired shape.
8.  Wrap a piece of yarn or wire through the twisted part as an anchor to your heart.  Make sure it is the color you want as you can't remove it later.
9.  Cut the yarn to a fairly long length (8 to 10 inches).  Tie it to your popsicle stick.
10.  Pour your boiling water into your glass container.  Stir well and allow the Borax to fully dissolve.
11.  Wrap the yarn around your popsicle stick so that it is at a good length in your glass container.  Once again make sure your heart doesn't touch the bottom (lesson I learned).  It should be floating.  It can touch the sides, but it will definitely solidify at the bottom.  I could fit two hearts in my vase.
12.  Cover with a coffee filter or paper towel.  This will keep any dust or other items from falling in. 
13.  Place in an area where it will not be touched, moved or messed with.  It needs to sit overnight.
14.  The next morning you should have a heart that is covered in crystals.  Pull each out and allow to dry on your counter.  You can use the water mixture again if you wish.  Just re-heat the water in the microwave and dissolve any crystal build-up.
15.  Once your heart has dried, hang it from your yarn or wire wherever you like.  You can now cut the wire or yarn to the size you need it.
This would be a fun craft to do with your kids.  You can tell them that magic occurs overnight and creates the crystals. 

You can find pipe cleaners in a variety of colors.  If you purchase white, you can color the crystals by adding food coloring to the water.  Play around with different shapes and colors.  Most of all, have fun crafting!

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