Friday, December 28, 2012

Belated Christmas Gift

My mom is a great person. She goes above and beyond to take care of everyone, but she doesn't really have anyone to take care of her. I wanted to get her something really special this Christmas: an Eden bracelet.

You might know them as "Cape Cod" bracelets...they're pretty widespread across the Cape, where we've lived for 20 years. The original ones, however, are handmade at a local jeweler's shop called Eden Hand Arts. I could have bought her one of the copycats but my mom is a very special person, and she deserves the best.

The only downside was that I didn't have enough money this Christmas as I originally planned. I was heartbroken because I've wanted to get her one for years...I REALLY thought this was the Christmas I'd be able to do it since I've been working my bum off with two jobs. Then I got an idea. I decided I would get her one as soon as I could after Christmas. I wrote her a letter from "Santa" and, well...I'll just let you read it :)

*Names omitted for privacy

I got so choked up writing that! I wanted to include a picture of the bracelet too, so here it is with the letter. She should be back from lunch any minute...I'm waiting on my sister, Courtney, to call or text me so I can find out her reaction!

This gift was my very favorite thing to give this Christmas, even though it was late. My mom deserves it more than anyone. I can't wait to hear from Courtney!

The main reason I wanted to post this was because it was a really fun surprise. For the record, I did get my mom a Christmas gift, so the best part is, she has NO IDEA what's coming!! Feel free to use this idea and any wording in my letter, I don't mind. I just want people to be happy, so if you could use something like this, USE IT! Happy Holidays! Don't forget to Follow me on Pinterest

xo Christie

UPDATE: Mom loved it :)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Make Up Magnet Board: Tutorial with Pictures!

Hello Friends! I haven't posted in almost a year :( But I'm really going to try to post more of my crafting adventures now that the holidays are over.

This year for Christmas, I made my sister, Courtney, a magnetic make up board. I couldn't post it until now because I didn't want the surprise to be ruined! Now that I'm sitting here with my feet soaking in my new foot massager, I feel it's a perfect time to write this tutorial. This one's for you, Jo!

First, here are the materials you'll need. A frame, fabric, a sheet of magnetic sheet metal (I got mine for $5 at Home Depot), some spray adhesive (make sure it works on metal!),  and magnets. Not pictured are scissors, an iron (optional), and your make up, of course!
I noticed my fabric had creases EVERY WHERE when I started, so I went back to my craft closet and dug out my iron. I'm really glad I didn't skip this step, wait till you see how smooth it turned out! ;) 
Next comes the glue! Just follow the directions on whatever glue you get. I highly recommend the spray adhesive because it doesn't get all gloopy and thick. It sprays a nice, even coat which is really important if you want any magnets to stick right. What I did was lay the fabric over the sheet metal and then fold it back (I hope you can see from the picture) so all I had to do was lift the fabric back up and over onto the sprayed metal.
Working quickly and still trying to hold my phone to take pictures (;-P) I smoothed out any wrinkles in the fabric over the metal. This was pretty easy and I attribute that to my method of "Up and Over" before gluing. 
See?? All glued :)
Next, I trimmed off the excess fabric. You should have seen it before...I had a whole YARD for this 12x18 piece of metal. Silly. As you can tell, the edges don't have to be pretty. No one will see them.
Fold and glue the sides over...
And again...
TA-DA! Pretty, clean, smooth Metal-Wrapped-in-Fabric.
If you're like me and get cheap frames to save a little cash, you might want to touch up yours. I left the glass on because, guess what, Genius? We're not using it! After you TAKE THE GLASS OUT, put your Metal-Wrapped-in-Fabric in the frame, and put the backing on, you end up with....
A BEAUTIFUL magnetic make-up (or whatever you want it to be) board! Yippee! It was super easy and probably only took a half an hour from start to finish.
I even went a little fancy and added my own picture hanging hardware. I'd always been really intimidated by it but trust me, it's SO easy! and it's easier to hang with a wire than with those stupid metal teeth things or the puny, dinky triangles that always smoosh back into the frame...ahhh yes. Definitely take the extra time and $5 to put the hardware on. If you're not sure which one to get, just ask the person in the frame shop at your local craft store.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my tutorial! I definitely had fun making this and Courtney loved it! Please feel free to add any comments or questions about this. I will do my best to reply ASAP! I hope you and yours have a very Happy New Year!

xo Christie

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Homemade Temporary Tattoo

How to Make a Custom Temporary Tattoo

The reason I'm posting this is because almost all of the "How-To"s I found involved either Temporary Tattoo Paper (very expensive) or sharpies. The reason I didn't like the sharpies is I wanted to test the tattoo out on my back (yes, the picture is on my arm, but that was because I wanted a quick test, I didn't think this method would actually work!) Needless to say, I don't trust my so very mature (yeah, right) boyfriend, Tom, drawing with sharpies on my back. This is the method I'll be sharing with you today. Just making sure to give proper credit. I'd appreciate you reading mine as well, though! :)

Here is what you will need:

-Your image
-Backside of a used sheet of stickers (where the stickers stick to)
-Glue stick
-Fine point sharpie (optional)

1. My original design was one I drew, see!

As you can see, that's a dime for perspective purposes.

2. I sent the image from my phone to my computer. I cut out the dime and edited the picture as best I could to make the paper as white as possible and the pencil as black as possible. I did this by experimenting with the brightness and contrast settings in plain ol' Microsoft Word.

3. Unless your image is perfectly symmetrical, you need to flip your it so it's a mirror image of the original. I hope that's not confusing.

4. Take your sticker paper, make sure this is NOTHING on it. No stickers, or that annoying outline of sticker that no one ever uses. This should be a glossy sheet of thin paper.

5. Load it into the printer making sure it will print on the GLOSSY side. Fortunately the backs of stickers are so easy and cheap to come by, it's no big deal if you mess up. I did, three times! :)

6. Who can guess what's next? Print!

7. Spread some glue from your glue stick on your skin where you want the tattoo to be.

8. Cut out your printed image, making sure not to smudge it, it will be wet for a while.

9. Place your image printed-side-down on top of the glued patch of skin. 

10. Hold it there for a good 10-20 seconds and carefully peel off.

There you go! Your own temporary tattoo without all the waterslide paper nonsense. (It was funny to see people's faces when asking for this at Staples or AC Moore). I did notice that mine came out more grey than black so since my test spot was on my arm, I could easily go over the design with a sharpie fine point marker and darken it up, but it's up to you. Play around with the length of time holding it on your skin, if the ink is dry or wet, and maybe even wiggling it around to get more of the ink from the sheet to your skin.

Thanks for reading! If you like my posts, I definitely suggest that you...

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Mason Jar PIggy Bank

This is a mason jar piggy bank I made for Molly, my boyfriend (Tom's) daughter for those of you who don't know me. Got a mason jar, etched it, dyed it purple, added some ribbon, and a cute top with a slot for the coins (you can't see it in this picture). Now I expect Molly will be filling it up with all of Daddy's change ;)

I'm thinking about making a tutorial for this, if you'd like to see one, leave me a comment and follow me on Pinterest! :) Thanks for viewing!!

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Watercolor and Freezer Paper

Home is where the "heart" is

Materials: Tape, freezer paper, an image printed of your "home," mine is Cape Cod, an iron, Watercolor paper, watercolors, an exacto knife, a fine tip pen, and a white crayon. Also not shown are cotton swabs or paper towel, paint brushes, small stack of newspaper, and a cup of water.

1. Take your printed image and tape it to the PLASTIC side (very important) of the freezer paper.

2. Begin tracing with your fine tip pen the outline of your image. 

Side note: If I could do this again, I'd go on Google Maps, take an image from there, and pinpoint my actual address. 

3. Put your freezer paper tracing on the newspaper (to protect surfaces) and begin cutting out with your exacto knife. This took me about 20 minutes.

4. Cut out a little heart where you live. Like I said, I wish I'd printed an image from Google with an exact mark. This is just an estimation. Accurate, but still an estimation.

5. I'm sorry if this is hard to see, but I placed Cape Cod where I wanted it on the paper and ironed it down WITHOUT STEAM!!! The iron was set on cotton (just about the highest setting) and I made sure not to stay in one spot too long. You don't want to burn all your hard work!

6. I apologize, the next two steps are not shown because my phone started malfunctioning. Anyway, write out whatever you want, (I chose Home is where the heart is) in your white crayon. I made sure to make it a little thicker than the width of a regular crayon line. Do whatever you want, however you want! This is YOUR beautiful piece of art. I only hope to be mere inspiration :) 

7. Working fairly quickly, outline your cut-out with your watercolor(s) of choice. I noticed that the freezer paper didn't hold for very long and started to bubble in some spots. If this happens, just begin your brush strokes on the freezer paper going toward the watercolor paper. Hopefully, it won't get under the stencil. But hey, if it does, whatever. Handmade goodies are never perfect, and that's what gives them character! :)

8. With a cotton swab or piece of paper towel, wipe away the excess paint over the letters. 

9. I'd say wait a few minutes for it to dry, maybe you could try blotting it with a paper towel, all I know is, I think I took my freezer paper Cape Cod off a little too soon. But it's up to you. Take the freezer paper off and....


I hope my tutorial was sufficient, it was the first one I've ever made. I'd love to see your creations as well! Find me on Pinterest to show me your versions! Thanks for reading!

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