Monthly Archives: July 2012

Wands

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We all know of the series about the young kid who gets whisked away from his horrid aunt and uncle into a wonderful world of witch craft and wizardry. Recently, my nieces discovered the book. And they love them. Being the “Crafty Aunt” that I am, when the youngest one asked for a wand, I couldn’t say no.

 

I searched for ways to make the wands online. The best tutorial that I found was one where you make the wand from paper. Somehow, this just didn’t seem like enough. So, I began experimenting with polymer clay. Each of the three wands turned out completely different. There as LOTS of trial and error, and I have no step by step pictures. But, I will share the final ones, and how I got there.

 

I rolled the clay out as flat as I could make it, without it sticking to the table.

Then, I cut out a piece about 1 inch wide, and equal to the length of the dowel that I was using. (Each one is a different length, from 8 – 11 inches.)

I sprayed the dowel with spray adhesive to make it a little tacky.

Then, I started rolling the clay around the dowel.

And rolled.

And rolled. Trimming extra from the ends as it built up.

I did the same thing for 4 or 5 layers of clay.

Then, I embellished. The first one has only twists in the clay. The other two have long, thin rolls of clay to act as vines and texture in the “wood” of the wand. I hope you like them. If you have any questions, let me know! J.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Craft Space

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I finished the new craft room a couple of months ago. But, as my life is settling back down, and as I have decided to try to blog again, I figured it was time to share it.

When we first moved into our house, my craft room was the FROG. There were some pros and cons to that being the craft room. There was definitely more floor space. Almost twice as much!  I had finally worked the room into work zones. I had 4 different work surfaces. It was nice. But it was HOT. Our garage is not fully insulated. So, it did not matter how low the AC was set. Even adding a window unit did not help on the hottest days of summer. And it was COLD in the winter. Though, I liked it that way…so that was OK. The worst part of that room was the 5 foot high walls. Virtually no vertical storage.

Then, Hubs and I traded rooms. Our computer modem is wired in that room. And he wanted it. So… we traded. I got a smaller room, but with lots of tall shelving. Loved it. Even though I lost my zones, and had only my desk and one drafting table. Then, I took on babysitting 3 kids in my home every day. 3 kids and I can not really do art, or anything else, around my small drafting table. So, I set to begging Hubs to be OK with me swapping the art room and guest room. The guest room was a little bigger. I could get a bigger table in there. He said yes… but he wasn’t helping. Ha. I did negotiate him helping me move one shelf. It isn’t heavy. But it is awkward to move alone.

Then, I headed to a county school auction (my second one-  I love them!)  and bought this AWESOME table. For about $25.  That price included the tax and the 10% premium. It is a 4′ X 4′ folding cafeteria table. Which means three things- 1- folded up, it takes up very little space (1′ X 4′.)  2- It is a cafeteria table. It is STURDY.  3- It is super easy to clean.

 

That fabric on the wall behind the table is my most loved owl fabric. I got about 5 yards of it from the clearance table at Hancock Fabrics for $6.  I LOVE it!!! I covered my drafting chair in it. It is also on a couple of places of the wall in the art room now. And the blue was the inspiration color for the desk.

I love this chair for many reasons. The most is that recovering it is about a 20 minute project. So, whenever my ADHD kicks in, and I need a change of scenery, the chair usually gets changed too.

 

 

 

 

So, here is the new craft space. Things do get moved around, from time to time. But, this is basically it. There is now a shelf above that TV, and the owl fabric is on that wall. This shelf on the left holds: Photo albums that have not been disassembled into new photo storage, my Dremel, and collage materials (read that scraps and miscellaneous pieces of other stuff.)

 

 

 

 

Shelf on the right is all sewing, all the time. I had to get rid of a lot of my fabric to make this shelf work. I gave away two trash bags full of fabric. It was hard to take a realistic look at all of that great stock, and just keep those I was most likely to use. The rest went to a daycare center and a church.

 

 

 

Here is the table open. I also bought four lab stools at the auction, for $2.50 each. The entire purchase was just under $40.  Can I just say again how much I love auction!

 

The desk wall. Left side- The boxes hold craft supplies, glues, tapes, glitter, sealers, Mod Podge, etc. The baskets all hold Disney VHS movies.

The right side is computer tower, printers, etc.

The desk- This is the secretary desk that I got at Goodwill. I absolutely LOVE IT!!!

 

 

This is the awkward shelf. It is another auction find, though, my Dad picked it up years ago. For $3.   🙂 What better place to organize all of these craft supplies? Tons of paper, markers, crayons, and everything else under the sun! On top is sorters and a small wood shelf that my Mom built when we were kids. I display stuff I made and love on that shelf. The shelf across the top is actually the side and bottom of another book-case that fell apart. It makes great extra storage. School supplies are in the boxes up there.

 

The closet is almost entirely dedicated to the kids that I babysit. Sadly, they will be leaving me soon, and I will have to go back to looking for a “real job.” Some of that stuff is mine, and will get boxed up until I am either teaching again, or until I have my own kids to use it. The rest of it will go home on their last day.  Closet also holds all of my paint, photos, and everything else that I keep, but rarely use. It will get an overhaul in a couple of weeks, and stuff will get spread out a little.

My craft room is super crowded, but there is very little in here that does not get used on a regular basis. My crafty inspiration bug left me for a while. But it has come back. And brought friends. (Thank you Pinterest!)  I look forward to sharing the wonderful creations that happen in this room!

 

Thanks for stopping by.

J.

 

My First Pinterest Try

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For many months now I have, like so many others, been building my Pinterest boards, and gathering ideas for projects.

So, as much as I am looking forward to trying so many of these fabulous projects, I had to pick one where I truly had every single supply on hand already. I chose to make a paper tree.

You can click on the photo for the tutorial. I had to change mine some, based on the materials that I had handy. Also, based on the fact that I seriously have trouble cutting on a line, even when it is so nicely drawn out.

1. I gathered all of my supplies.

Mini stack of scrapbook paper

Multiple pairs of pliers (Seriously, you only need one. I am just picky.)

Scissors

White glue

Wire (I had a ton of different wire, none of it green floral wire. This particular wire is the kind used to hang a drop ceiling.)

2. I cut out my leaves. 

Rather than tracing and trying to match up leaves that were close, as the original tutorial suggested, I folded my paper in half, and cut both pieces of one leaf at one time. It was totally free hand, and I think most of them turned out just great! In total, I used around 165 leaves. I would have done more, if I had not used all of the paper I had in my color scheme!

3. I cut my wire pieces.

I cut the wire in pieces 12 – 16 inches long. 8 inches would have been more than enough!

4. I glued the leaves to the wire.

I opened my leaf so the back sides were up.

Use a line of white glue.

Put a piece of wire in the glue.

Cover with the other piece of the leaf.

After it dries, trim the edges, if you can not glue straight, like me! (I did get better through the process.)

5. Gather the sticks. (I had them before, they were just not included in the supply picture. Oops!)

My sticks came from the front yard.

6. Start wrapping those wires around the branches.

And wrap….

And wrap…

And wrap…

And wrap.

Since my wire was silver, instead of green, I covered the entire branch (well, the part that shows from the vase.)

7. Display in the vase of your choice!

The vase matches the colors in my living room perfectly (instead of my craft room!) I love it!

Now. What would I change?

I would use a much thinner wire. I had some serious calluses after all of this wire. I imagine I would have still had one or two, anyway, but these were ridiculous!

As a trial, after I was done, I tried gluing the wire into folded paper, and cutting the leaves with the wire already glued in place. This would have eliminated the need to trim my crooked gluing.

Happy crafting!!!

Don’t Be That Guy

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When we were headed to my parents’ house on Friday, we ran into a bit of a traffic back up. There was an accident ahead, and the right 2 (of 3) lanes were blocked. As I began to merge over, as the sign instructed me to, people were barreling past in the lanes that were blocked ahead. It made me think of this. 

 

Please don’t be that guy. We are all trying to get somewhere. We all want to get home, or out of town, or to the office, or wherever it is we are headed. Doing that might get him to his destination faster than I will get to mine. But, getting there faster does not make him less of an ass.

Back to Blogging

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When I started this blog, it was supposed to be a way for me to channel all of the stuff in my life while my Husband was preparing for, and then going to, Afghanistan. He did go, but then he got sick, and came home. He was so miserable, and it took a couple of months before he was really healthy again. But, he was home. And, when major, unexpected things change… well, the blog suffered. 

I would love to get back to the habit of blogging, at least, a couple of times a week. In the mean time, I will hunt down the pictures of the desk job. It did finally get finished, and I love it! 

I have tried a couple of new projects that I will share. I will also share some more about our home, and the 3 awesome kids that I have been a nanny for this year. 

So, if you will give me the chance, I would love to give BradyLife another go. 

J.