Crafty Crafty: Pinterest Challenge! Monogrammed Pumpkin

I spend hours on Pinterest. Let’s be honest, anyone who has an account spends hours on Pinterest. It’s not hard to do. Even my technophobic Mom has been sucked in! If I had the money and time to create all the things I find, I would.

Today, I created one piece for freeeeeeeee.

We had a pumpkin (yes, one solitary pumpkin) that grew in the garden this year and turned ripe too quickly. So here is it, the middle of September, and it was picked almost a month ago. It’s too early to carve it, but I didn’t want it to go to waste, so I drew on it.

Yes, drew on it. I took a wide black permanent marker and made a basic cursive monogram B (because that’s the letter for my parents’ last name) then filled in different areas until I was satisfied with the outcome. But it was still a little plain (and it looked almost chocolate brown instead of black) so I dove into my box o’goodies. I pulled out a gold paint calligraphy marker and went to town. The end result? Not professional looking, but not bad, either! Check it out:

Again, sorry about the crappy cell phone pics – I still have no solution for my Nikon. But not too bad, eh?

Crafty Crafty: Reusable Birthday Banner

It’s about time I posted pictures of the birthday banner I made for Clark! I see all the cute banners that Katie Bower and Sherry Petersik make and I wish I had their ability to transform my visions to reality, but I kind of like the cute quirkyness and homemade look of the banner that came together. Without further ado, here is the banner series.

First, I cut all the pieces I’d need in advance. I used pre-packaged quilting squares cut into fours for the penants (because I could make around thirty pretty quickly) and some remnant fabric for the letters. I tried a couple of times to make a template for the letters, but I ended up freehanding them. I used Sharpie, but next time, I’d use a lighter color and washable markers.

As you can see, I now can’t get the Sharpie out of the letters. But that’s okay, because hanging high in the air, you won’t be able to see it unless you look reeeeeeaaaaallllly hard. (So if you’re coming to the party, don’t look!)

I picked out an array of funky patterns in bold primary and secondary colors (with the addition of the most masculine pink I could find to match the Yo Gabba Gabba theme).

Can’t you just see DJ Lance in this fabric???

The “Brobee” fabric is my favorite, though. Even though it’s a geometric pattern, you can still see the colors of his stripes.

Next came the arduous task of gluing all the letters on the penants and sewing all the exposed edges. If you look above, you can see that my Allene’s Glue had some issues and left stains that look wet all the time 😦 Note to anyone trying to recreate this: DON’T sew over the letters until you are absolutely sure the glue is dry. I spent an hour digging glue out of the little feet and levers on my sewing machine. Needless to say, the letters haven’t been sewn for the time being, and I don’t think it will ever happen, to be honest.

After all that hard work getting everything ready, the assembly goes fairly quickly. I bought three 12 foot rolls of white 1 inch grosgrain ribbon from the Dollar Tree and did a straight stitch across the top of all the penants. It took all of ten minutes to assemble the three banners from here.

I think they’re pretty darn cute, don’t you? These pictures were taken during the same low-light dusk period that I posted about previously, but without the sky to balance the colors, so that’s why they look funny.

One final note: our “big” birthday present to Clark is going to be his toddler bed. We’re not sure that we’ll actually move him to the bed on his birthday, but he’s getting awfully close to climbing out of his crib, so we know it’s going to be soon. And since I just can’t help myself, a clearance bedding pack at Target got me started on redecorating his room to be more “little boyish” instead of “babyish”. The theme?

The Star Trek/Stargate fan in me is giggling right now!

Supporting Other Crafters

As someone who enjoys the artistic energy from creating things, I love to support other crafters, but sometimes it’s hard to find what you are looking for. Most of you know about Etsy, a place to buy handmade artistic wears, and if you don’t, this is a great place to find really neat and unique items. I thought I’d highlight some of our upcoming purchases for the nursery from Etsy.

Closet Dividers

I wish I could take credit for finding these, but my friend G over at Life on the Terrace found them first, and I fell in love! They are dividers for hanging clothes up in the closet, and these are personalized to correspond with baby sizes, but you can customize them to say anything. Super cute! Click on the image to go to PotatoPatch’s Etsy site.

Birth Announcement Print

Since I had good luck finding woodland-themed creatures that matched our theme from PotatoPatch, I took a look at her other wares and found this awesome birth announcement print! Everything is customized, including the clip art, so we’ll pick the owl and the hedgehog to match our stuff. I can’t wait to get this one after Clark is born!

Here’s a picture of all the cliparts she can add to it:

Onesie Stickers

Our last Etsy splurge to add to the nursery actually has very little to do with it. You see, it’s always cute to take a picture on the baby’s monthly birthdays to chart growth, but monthly onesies are expensive, and it’s hard to tell what size baby will actually be in at each month. Enter onesie stickers. You just peel these stickers off and place on a onesie and voila, you have a customized-looking outfit that tells everyone who looks at it exactly how old baby is! No more wondering, “Was that the third month pic or the fourth?” And of course, I found them in woodland creatures again 🙂 Although, she has 20 designs in boy, girl, and gender neutral, and with the great price ($9 for a set of 12!) these make a really unique shower gift if you know someone who is pregnant.

Because I respect individual property rights, I’ve linked all of these images back to the sellers so you can easily find their respective shops. Even though I don’t know these sellers personally, I encourage you to use Etsy to help support artisans from all over the world if you can instead of heading to corporate big-box stores. Plus, this stuff is way cuter, anyway! 🙂

Quick Tip: Making Templates

After last night’s post, my head is swimming with hundreds of ideas to make crafty fun projects, but I thought I’d share a quick tip to make templates for those fun projects.

If you have ever had to make more than one item from a pattern (whether the pattern is your own or something you found), it gets tedious to trace or cut because you don’t want to damage the pattern, and you often end up with less-than-perfect lines.

The solution? Dollar-store flexible cutting mats. You probably have a few of these translucent cutting boards laying around the house (which are great for chopping things and then bending the mat into a spout to make cooking easy), but grab a few new ones. Then, trace the pattern onto the board (translucency is key here!) and cut with a pair of nice-and-sharp scissors. You now have a much more durable template for your projects, and the cost is minimal.

Happy crafting 🙂 !

Reader Weigh-In: Craft Shows

This one is short and sweet: What kind of items do you like to buy at craft shows (assuming that they are reasonably priced)? I’m getting started with my crafting business after a lifetime of being asked to make all kinds of crafty things for friends and family and I’d like to make as much as possible while the summer is here and life is uncomplicated.

I can make a broad range of products (honestly, I can mimic just about anything I see) and here’s what I’m planning to sell so far:

  • Hand-embossed stationery – I love stationery and I love to buy it as often as possible, but people usually charge around $20 for a set of 8-10 notecards! I plan on charging $8 a set. Each set is embossed with a monogram and either comes with flat or folded notecards and envelopes, tied together with a ribbon.
  • Prints – I’m now up to 70 sell-worthy shots, so I’d like to pick about 10-15 to print as 8x10s and put in white mattes. These would sell for $5.
  • Puppets – Yes, I can make hand puppets. A family friend commissioned me to make puppets for her grandchildren two years ago and I have to say that they turned out pretty well 🙂 In fact, I saw them being used the other day and even after being thrown around (which I witnessed lol) they have held up pretty well. I would sell at set of 3 (boy, girl, and animal) for $20 with accessories and clothing for an additional $3 each (they would come with one outfit each). I also have a great idea for a tabletop puppet theater, but I need to do a sample piece before I decide to sell those, which would be $20-25 depending on the materials cost.

So, what do you think? Leave me a comment or question to help get the ideas rolling!