Saturday, March 21, 2015

Red Heart Yarn-Contest!

Do you remember the first "yarn craft" you made? I do! I was 4 years old and just read the book Charlotte's Web. I wanted to be like Charlotte and so I decided to make my own "web" in my bedroom. I found a skein of yarn (it was orange)  and started tying it to every imaginable surface. The idea was to make my "web" all over my bedroom and then be able to crawl on it. I worked hard on it, so imagine my disappointment when my mom came in and wasn't as pleased with me as I thought she would be. (Apparently it took almost 2 hours to cut down my "web".)
Image from "String Fling"

As I have grown, naturally  my yarn crafting abilities have grown too.  From the humble beginnings of web making, I progressed to "god's eyes," and finger weaving, to knitting. My skill level knitting wise is basic, but that doesn't stop me from appreciating the gorgeous creations of my mother-in-law and friends. I love seeing what they create and then learning about the creative process and what supplies they used. I then use those recommendations to guide my purchasing decisions.

Apparently I'm not alone what influences my purchasing decisions. In a 2012 Fleishmen Hillard Survey.  Women value the opinion of others very highly when it comes to making a purchasing decision, and half of all women consider it their role to help others make smart decisions when it comes to purchasing product.

 The "Women's Choice Award" has a goal of helping women make better purchasing decisions. This product seal is awarded to companies and products, that are most recommended in a poll of thousands of women across the united states. For 2015 that seal was awarded to Red Heart Yarn. It's important to know this isn't just the brand used by women, it signifies that women are are willing to recommend it to others. As Delia Passi  CEO and Founder of the Women's Choice Awards states:
“When a woman is willing to recommend a brand or service to others, it means that business has earned her loyalty. Those are the businesses we wish to recognize for their efforts and commitment to the No. 1consumer – women." 

To celebrate their achievement. Red Heart Yarn is sponsoring a giveaway right here! One lucky reader will win a $50 prize packages sent directly to them by Red Heart! The prize includes:



Approximate Retail Value $50 
3 Red Heart Sizzle
2 Red Heart Medley
2 Red Heart Boutique Swanky
2 Red Heart Boutique Sashay Boho
1 Red Heart Boutique Treasure
1 Red Heart Tote Bag
 
What do you have to do to win???
Leave ONE comment telling me how about what influences your purchasing decision.  How important are "friends' recommendations" to you when buying a product?  Do you solely listen to friends? Do you research and also get recommendations? What influences your purchasing decisions?

Comment by Midnight March 26th, 2015 CST. One winner will be chosen at random from all eligible commenters. As a special 'thank-you' to my followers I'm awarding all followers that comment an extra entry. (Indicate in your comment if you follow my blog.) This contest is open GLOBALLY...yes you red that correctly. Red Heart has generously agreed to ship the prize anywhere in the world.

A HUGE thank you to Red Heart for generosity in sponsoring this contest!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

2nd Place!

Remember my shelf turned pie safe??



 The talent in this contest was amazing! It was an honor to be a part of it and even more so to see my name and project up on the Winner's List! Thank you to everyone that voted for me! Plus a special thanks to Fave Crafts, for sponsoring the contest and to  Plaid Crafts and MD Hobby and Craft for having amazing products to work with.


For the full announcement http://www.favecrafts.com/contest/Blogger-Contest

and for instructions on my project: http://www.favecrafts.com/Painting-on-Wood/Restyled-Red-Shelf-Home-Decor-Craft

Be sure to look for the blogger ebook featuring projects from the contest coming April 1st!

Friday, March 6, 2015

New Product SNEAK PEEK Mod Podge Mod Melter!

The last two weeks or so I have been have loads of fun playing with a new tool from Plaid, the Mod Podge Mod Melter. Now everyone knows I LOVE my glue gun, but let me be one of the first to say the Mod Melter, takes traditional glue guns to a whole new level.



For starters the Mod Melter, can be used as a traditional glue gun with mini high temp glue sticks, but what makes it unique is that the Mod Melter is designed to use vertically.  Traditional glue guns are hard to see around when gluing your project, the Mod Melter is designed to be used above project with the glue flowing downward, meaning you can see exactly where you need to glue.  If the vertically design wasn't enough, Plaid added a longer cord (6ft.)  an on/off switch, a silicone safe tip, and to make holding the tool more comfortable an even a larger trigger, and silicone grip. In addition to it's gluing abilities, the Mod Melter is designed to use Plaid's Mini Mod Melts to create a whole array of embellishments for your crafting projects. Mini Mod Melts, look like a traditional hot glue stick and come in a variety of colors and finishes.

Once I practiced with the melter a couple of times getting used to the trigger, I was ready to attempt filling some Mod Melt Molds, these detailed silicone molds are designed to create resin looking embellishments with the melts.

My first attempt wasn't too bad. After they cooled (recommended time is about 10 minutes.) I found them to pop easily out of the mold, any "extra" hardened mod melt was easily removed with a pair of sharp scissors.

I loved the look of the "milk glass" sticks, the detail shown in the pieces reminded me of a cameo, so my first project I took a ring tray and made a faux cameo ring. To start i created my "shell piece" out of the white milk glass, I allowed this to thoroughly cool. Then I filled the tray of the ring with pink mod melt. I left a bit of space around the edges to allow for spreading. Then I embedded the white piece into the pink. As I carefully pushed the white piece into the tray, the pink mod melt spread out to fill the tray completely because it was still in it's molten stage.

The result a "faux cameo"ring. I can't wait to try this with different shapes and base colors.




 From the ring, I moved onto a project near and dear to my heart, embellishments for hair pretties. I pack shoebox gifts for Operation Christmas Child, and we love putting hair accessories into the girls boxes. I was given a bunch of plain clips that needed something extra. After creating some bows out of ribbon and hot gluing them into place, I added Mod Melt decorations to the centers of the hair bows. The shapes added a perfect finishing touch.


Even though the Mod Melts come in a variety of colors, you can paint and ink them to the color of your choosing. Here I simply rubbed some alcohol based ink over the owl with my finger. The color collected on the raised edges showing the detail of the piece.






My favorite project of my Mod Melter adventure, is this 8 x 10 canvas. I loved the mini frame molds, and thought mini "gilded" frames showcasing my family would be fun. So taking the frames, I simply painted them with gold acrylic paint. When finished I used them to frame mini prints of my family as the focal point of my "family canvas"



The Mod Melter will be available Mid March on Plaid Online and on Amazon.com and HSN.com March 9th. Be sure to check out my blog next week for more on the Mod Melter!




Thursday, February 26, 2015

Vintage Pie Safe Inspired Shelf Restyle


My kitchen is getting a "makeover" but unlike the TV show...I'm on a very limited budget! This being the case imaging my excitement when I was at the Craft and Hobby Association trade show this past January and was given some amazing supplies to create with at the Fave Crafts/Prime Publishing Blogger Event and they "just so happened" to be perfect for this project.

Twenty years ago, my husband made me this wood shelf for my canned goods. It has served us well, never complaining as we double stacked soup, or fit more on the shelf by turning cans on their side so they would fit. It's time though had passed and it's new home was the basement. It was stained, and a back piece was loose, the side was even splitting a bit and needed repair. The shelf was good enough for the basement cause no one looked there.



But then inspiration hit! I wondered if I could spruce it up with some paint, and add doors, maybe with some tin panel and make a pie safe? After cleaning it up, repairing some parts, and using some 1"x 2" pieces to create a frame I started to think this just might work!  I collect red and white enamelware and thought it would be fun to have a RED cabinet as a focal point in the kitchen.

I talked to my friends from Plaid Crafts and asked about their Folk Art Home Decor Chalk Ultra Matte Paint. I had worked with this at the show and loved the finish it gave, they were good enough to send me some to use. This paint has a nice creamy texture and is super easy to work with. I started with a base coat of Cottage White, and then allowed that to cure and topped with Imperial Red. I then sanded the top coat, to reveal some of the white underneath. I used the Folk Art Home Decor Clear Wax to seal the surface.

Then it was time to add "metal to the doors." Most pie safes have tin punched metal covering the front, this allowed for the pies to cool, while keeping bugs and other creatures away from the baked goods. I didn't want another heavy closed piece of furniture so decided chicken wire was the way to go! My friends over at MD Hobby and Craft had some chicken wire designed for crafting. It came in smaller more manageable pieces. After grabbing my electric staple gun and suiting up with metal working gloves, I attached a double layer of chicken wire to the door frames, I offset the second layer from the first to give me a "3-D" look with the honeycombs of the wire.

All that was left was to install the hinges and handles. These I easily picked up at a local hardware store.


I LOVED the look of the finished piece and it looks even more adorable FILLED

Fave Crafts, challenged Bloggers at their event to come up with a craft from the goodie box items we were sent. These crafts could then be submitted to their "Fave Crafts, Best Blogger Craft Contest." I am entered, and would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE,  your vote! But there are lots of amazing entries! The top prize is $1000 cash!!!  
 
My entry is called "Restyled Red Shelf " by Betsy Burnett.

To vote in the contest and find further instructions....please visit -----> http://www.favecrafts.com/contest/Blogger-Contest















Sunday, February 8, 2015

Adorn It Blog Hop!

Hello! Welcome to the ADORN it, blog hop!



If you have been following along the hop, you should have joined us from Susan's blog, if you are new and want to start at the beginning, please visit ADORNit's Blog to start from the beginning.

The wonderful gals from ADORNit sent me a huge box of goodies to play with to feature their new Art Play Paintables line. The Paintable line features wonderful drawings for you to fill in with paint, marker, or even leave as is. The designs are printed on a nice heavy art paper (#80 cardstock weight), to help prevent curling when (if) it gets wet with your chosen medium.

I loved this line. I have always wanted to be able to draw but never inherited the skill of my mom or my sister, this allowed me to be an artist by simply coloring (painting) in the lines ;) Two of the images from the Home Paintable line just spoke to me, I had the perfect people to give them to! I decided to simply paint and frame them. 



After using watercolor pencils and crayons to fill in the images,  I softened the lines with water. I accented the drawings here and there with stickles, glitter glue and smooch inks just to give the piece a bit of shimmer and sparkle. Loosely cutting them out,  I mounted the images on paper from the ADORNit!  Blender Basics collection pack. After framing the pieces I still thought there was something missing,  so to make the images "pop-out" of the frames,  I accented them with some jute twine and matching buttons I had on hand from my stash. I loved how quick these gifts came together!

Next, I created a couple of cards using images from the "Be Awesome" collection.

Again I used watercolor pencils and crayons to fill in the images and softened them with water. To get some of the brighter accents on the piece, I dipped my watercolor pencil directly into the water then dabbed the drips off on paper towel. The wet pencil allowed for a precise line burst of color as seen on the "Be Happy" and the frame around the 2nd card. I mounted the images again using paper from the Blender Basics collection pack, this time punching out a lacy border with a Little B "honeycomb" border punch that was inked with Ranger distress ink in "Vintage Photo".

My final project is a wall hanging.  I used an image from the "Life's Journey" Paintable.


Here the image served as the focal piece for a 12' x 12' canvas. The canvas itself was edged in blue, green and gold Faber Castell gelatos then I off set the background paper ("Chapter Two" from ADORNit's Storybook Collection.) Before mounting, my background paper was zigzag stitched along the edges and stenciled with the gold lines with some watered down gelatos using the Crafter's Workshop "Swirls and Flowers" template. My house paintable was colored with watercolor pencils, and accented with candy red stickles, then framed with an inked paper doily.  The larger hearts were created freehand with some scrap cardstock that were inked and heat embossed. The title consists of random chipboard letters from my stash that were also inked and then accented with white pen stitching. A simple double length of grosgrain ribbon was used as a decorative hanger.

I can't wait to play more with the Paintables line. It was relaxing to put on an old movie,  pull out the watercolor pencils and crayons and color and paint and have something fun to create with when finished. To see the full Paintables line visit the ADORNit!  store. Thanks ADORNit! for allowing me the chance to play with the collection.

Before heading to the next stop on the blog hop...

How would you like to win a complete set of the ADORN it Art Play Paintables collection and an original piece from the artist behind Paintables,  Linsey Ostrom? Well to do so you'll need to collect the all of the clues along the hop and my clue is:
Collect all of the clues along the way and then email your answer to  janet@adornit.com, to be entered to win the prize.

The next stop along the blog hop is my friend, the uber talented Michelle Cummings at Faire Dust Dreams. (http://faeriedustdreams-michelle.blogspot.com/2015/02/craft-room-decorative-wall-plaque.html)

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you will subscribe using the box to the right to keep up on all my adventures!
                     and remember...you'll drive towards what you focus on, so AIM HAPPY!




Saturday, February 7, 2015

Be My Valentine!

Volunteering at the local youth center I get to work with some amazing teens! When I get to bring my love of crafting to the youth center....it's like the best of both worlds!



Yesterday, I brought colored cardstock, some Fiskars Squeeze punches, doilies, Hampton Art Washi Tape and markers and let the teens go to town creating Valentines cards for our local nursing home and the local homeless shelter. Twenty-four teens and nine adults had a blast creating cards and talking about their "Valentine's Days" when they were kids.

They did an amazing job! I'm sure the residents will love them!





Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Necessity is the mother of invention

So I went to use my trusty Marvy Echida heat embossing gun this morning. I innocently plugged it in and then it went "poof," sparked, caught on fire and melted the cord. Now I'm not an electrician, but I'm smart enough to know I probably shouldn't use that embossing gun again...
R.I.P. 1999-2015
 Yet I had hearts covered in embossing powder waiting to be heat set...then I remembered!!! Back in the days "BG" (before heat gun) now we are talking ohhh 16-17-18 years ago or so, we played with embossing powder  and melted it using the heat from the toaster. So off I trekked my powered covered hearts to the kitchen to see if I could get it to work.

I had to be careful not to burn my hand. I used a piece of scrap cardstock, but though one toaster cycle (on level two, or lightly browned toast) I was able to heat set all 9 of the hearts I made. I made sure to keep the cardstock about 2 -3 inches away from the toaster (It looks closer in the photo) I also made sure to check the back side occasionally for scorching.

But as you can see, it worked!!
 Now the only question remains...anyone have recommendations on a new heat gun??

*Author only used this method as she was in a bind. She does not endorse said method, and advises anyone reading this to try so at their own risk!