Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Laundry Sign Inspired by Ballard Designs

I finally finished a project that I started about six months ago.  Have you ever done that?  Started a project then for some reason or another it sits there forever, unfinished?  I hate that.  Back in December I decided to make a piece of art for my laundry room.  I used this beautiful sign that I saw in the Ballard Designs catalog as inspiration:

Ballard Designs

Here are the materials I used:

  • 16x20 wrapped canvas from Michaels
  • Martha Stewart Crafts Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Craft Paint in the following colors:
    • Putty
    • Vanilla Bean
    • Acorn
  • Martha Stewart Crafts Weather Crackle Effect
  • Adhesive Vinyl and my Silhouette machine

I started by painting two coats of the "Putty" paint color on the canvas front and sides.  Then I created the wording in my Silhouette program.  I used Times New Roman font for all of the words.  The word "Laundry" is 200.0 point, the second line is 93.6 point and the rest of the wording is 63.0 point.  And THIS is when my project stalled.

Canvas with 2 coats of "putty" paint
I have used my Silhouette many times for cutting paper, but not often to cut vinyl.  I wanted to cut the letters onto vinyl so that I could stick them to the canvas and use them as stencils.  I could not get the smaller letters to cut without them pulling up and getting all tangled and mangled in the machine.  I spent hours working on this.  Finally, in frustration, I put the whole project away until last week.

I got the vinyl loaded into the Silhouette and tried again.  Same problem.  Yeah, I'm not sure why I thought time would solve this issue.  :)  I sent Silhouette Customer Service an e-mail describing my problem and asking them if I was trying to cut letters that were too small.  They responded in ten (!!!!) minutes - awesome!  Their suggestion was that I slow down the cutting speed to 1 and decrease the cutting thickness to the lowest level.  WHADDYA KNOW?  It worked!   

Using transfer tape, I transferred the wording to the canvas.  Then I put one coat of "Putty"-colored paint over the words to kind of seal them onto the canvas in preparation for the darker color.  I let this coat of paint dry.

Once the coat of "Putty"-colored paint was dry, I put one coat of "Vanilla Bean" on the canvas.  When this coat was dry, I applied a coat of the Weather Crackle Effect.  The photo below shows the canvas at this point in the process (while the Weather Crackle was still wet):

I let the crackle effect dry overnight and this is what the canvas looked like in the morning:

At this point, I worked quickly and didn't take photos of the process, but here's what I did:  I covered the entire front of the canvas in "Acorn"-colored paint.  While it was still wet, I removed all of the vinyl letters using the weeding tool that came with my Silhouette.  Once the letters were removed, I used my hand to get the canvas wet with a bit of water and I scraped the acorn paint off with my fingernails and with a paper towel.  I wanted the sign to look like weathered wood.  I just scraped and rubbed until I liked how it looked.  If the paint started to dry too much then I just lightly wet it again so that it would scrape off.

So now, in retrospect, it wasn't a difficult project.  I couldn't be happier with the customer service department over at Silhouette America - they were so quick to respond and their suggestions were right on target.  Now, if you've got a project that you've set aside, I encourage you to pick it back up and finish it!  It's a wonderful feeling!


I'm linking up to these parties:

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tuesdays with Matt - Being Present

Today's tip from Matt hits close to home.  I struggle with this constantly: being present.  I get so distracted by what's coming next or what I have to do tomorrow that I often forget to enjoy and savor today.

That's one of the reasons that I LOVE Fat Mum Slim's Photo-a-Day Challenge - it helps me to STOP every day at least for a moment and think about my surroundings and just everyday stuff.
It's easy to remember to photograph a child's birthday party or a special occasion, but taking pictures of everyday things like the grass outside or something you wore today is not usually what we think of when we photograph.  Capturing everyday moments and subjects is such a fun, creative outlet for me.  And it helps me to be present.

Check out Matt's video for his suggestions on how to live in the now:

Thanks for stopping by - have a wonderful day!

Disclosure –  All opinions stated in this post are entirely my own opinion.  See my full disclosure statement here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tulle Ballet Wreath - Dance Teacher Gift Idea

I adore my daughter's ballet teacher.  Jennifer is the owner of the dance studio and the director of the Ensemble Dance Company for which my daughter dances.  She has been a role model and teacher to Emma for five years now.

With another dance year coming to an end, we wanted to give Jennifer a gift to show our appreciation for her and all of her hard work.  You can't see these tulle wreaths that are everywhere in bloggyville without thinking of a dance tutu.  And when I found some miniature pointe shoes at my local dance shop, I knew that I wanted to make a Tulle Ballet Wreath for Jennifer.

It was a quick project that you can make for your favorite dance teacher or even for your favorite dancer!

Here's what you'll need:
  • 8" metal macrame ring (I got mine at Joann Fabric & Craft store, but you can also find them here on Amazon.com)
  • Light pink tulle - (2) 6" wide spools (again, I found mine at Joann's in the wedding section.  I used a little more than one spool for the wreath.)
  • 2 pointe shoe keychains (I got mine at a local dance store but I also found them here on Amazon.com)
  • scissors
  • decorative ribbon for hanging (I used a 16" piece of pink ribbon with brown polka-dots)
  • white craft paint (if you want to cover the label inside the shoes)
  • needle and thread   

8" Metal Macrame Ring

Minishooz Pointe Shoe Keychain

Cut the tulle into 12" strips and tie a lark's head knot around the ring with each strip of tulle.  This is what a lark's head knot looks like:
If you need instructions on how to tie this type of knot, you can find them here.

Once you've gone all the way around the ring with the strips of tulle, take the ribbon that you're going to use for hanging, and loop it around the ring.  I then hand-stitched the ribbon ends together  at the point where it meets the ring.

Next, if you'd like, you can paint over the wording on the inside of the shoes.  I simply used basic white craft paint and just put a couple of coats to cover the inside.

Then I tied the two shoes together and hand-stitched them to the back of the ribbon so that they hung the way that I wanted them to.

Easy, right?  And such a beautiful gift for a dance teacher or dancer.  Thank you for stopping by today!


I'm linking to these fun parties:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...