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Friday, March 30, 2012

shoe love


I don't usually go around snapping photos of my husband and my shoes. But I was struck by this particular image, late at night. I just thought it was a perfect testament to how intertwined our lives our. Even our shoes are kind of in love and flirty! 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

creative chess



Mr. P. has a very logical and mathematical brain so when I told him about chess he was totally on board. We had a homemade checkerboard (tutorial here) but the problem was, we didn't own any chess pieces. Mr. P. didn't care. He said, "We can make our own!" So here was our hodgepodge chess game! We used army men, projector pieces, legos and corks. And you know what? First game in....he beat me!!!


Now we have made the move to regular chess pieces, I don't want the poor kid to think the game is actually played with corks. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

fun bunnies


How fun are these guys?
I got the tutorial from Lil Blue Boo
I got the socks at Target.
The whole project took about two hours.


They're a little lumpy in parts! But hey, it's my first sock stuffie!

They'll be hopping into the boys' Easter baskets very soon!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

tutorial buttons

In an ongoing effort to make this blog more easily navigable, I've created sidebar buttons for the various categories of tutorials I offer! I'll be updated these with each new project! Happy crafting!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

and that's a wrap: so long Pet Month!!!

Well, pet month has come to an end. I hope you've had as much fun as I have! I think I'll keep this as an annual event! A huge thank you to all of the guest bloggers and sponsors who participated! I couldn't have done it without you!


This Petco giveaway was my most successful giveaway to date! Thanks for all the enthusiasm and participation! The winner of the $30 Petco gift card is:








#46 - Carol! Congratulations and I will email you shortly for your mailing information. 


Everyone else, don't forget about the "Imperfect" book giveaway happening now through March 28th!


Thanks again for sharing these past few weeks with me!!!


There's a lot coming your way on Meremade including, Stamp Week, Earth Week and more!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Silhouette Art

I've been wanting to experiment with silhouettes for quite some time, but doing Pet Month finally gave me the excuse to do so! 


I thought it would be a fun way to commemorate our dog Reba as well as create some new art to hang on the wall! 



materials needed:

Wood Block
black cardstock (or other color of choice)
Background cardstock or scrapbooking paper
glue
camera
printer
scissors

Step 1) Take photos of your pet: I took lots and lots waiting for the perfect profile....


I decided on this one:

Step 2) upload to your computer:

Step 3) print

Step 4) outline your subject (I used a Sharpie)

Step 5) using scissors or an xacto knife, carefully cut out outline of your pet. This takes some patience and a steady hand. 

Step 6) using a market, place your cut out photo over your piece of cardstock and trace the image onto the cardstock.

Step 7) take a moment to admire your hard work

Step 8) cut out this cardstock image carefully! The more details you leave in, the more realistic the silhouette will look. 

Step 9) sand any rough edges on your wood block.

step 10) cut your background material. In my case I chose patterned scrapbook paper. I wanted to evoke the outdoors as Reba loves to be outside. If you are more ambitious, then do lots of layers! More layers adds more depth and makes the art more interesting to look at. 

Step 11) glue your patterned paper to the wood block.

step11) glue image of dog to pattern.


The edges were curling so....step 12) place them under some heavy books for a few hours to get them to behave appropriately. 


step 13) eh, voila! New art!


I love the details specific to Reba here - her uncut back nails, the ridge on her nose, her shaggy tail.....

If you do decide to make one of these, please email me with a photo of the finished product! I will feature it on my blog with a link to your blog! (I'll post something in around 2 weeks if anyone sends me anything)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Imperfect: Giveaway

Meet my wonderful and talented sister, Melissa. 




She is a writer and college instructor. Sound familiar? Oh, and she also has a blog about her life called Connections Clark


In addition to being an incredible sister and auntie to my two sons, she has also just published her second novel, Imperfect!


Here is a blurb about the book: 


"Betsy Wheat purrs - a soft, gentle, seductive hum that manifests in pleasure. But the only problem is she’s horrified by it. Her frenemy Alison was there the first time it happened and exposed this private experience to the entire 7th grade. When Betsy wasn’t being hissed at, she was dodging toy mice and stepping through kitty litter scattered by her classmates. Twelve years later and the scars of childhood remain, leaving Betsy feeling isolated, shamed and imperfect.

Also struggling with these feelings is Ruth Tichner, a hoarder of flea market nick- nacks, making it virtually impossible to get from her living room to the bathroom. At the age of 29, Ruth is on the verge of cracking.

Both women stumble through life doing their best to hide their secrets, every social interaction, career move and boyfriend a potential landmine. But when a second chance of love with Austin Miller presents itself to Betsy, and a weekend getaway goes awry for Ruth, each must face their truths and find healing in unexpected ways."



Here's a photo of her rescue kitty, Percy:


See how we're coming full circle back to Pet Month!!! 


If you are an animal lover, you'll love this book. 
If you have a sense of humor, you'll love this book. 
If you like stories with heart, you'll love this book. 
In fact, I say with much confidence....you will love this book!!!


Melissa is generously giving away two e-copies of her book to two of my follwers!(retail value $4.99) The winners will receive their choice of format: Kindle, Nook, Sony or iBook. With Spring Break on the horizon, what's more exciting then a good read!


All you have to do to win is become a follower and leave a comment at the end of this post.This giveaway closes on March 28th at 11:59 pm et.  


You can also purchase the book on Amazon, on Smashwords (type in "Imperfect")


To read more about the book, click here.
To visit her website, click here.


And here is a link to her first novel, Swimming Upstream Slowly!


This will be my last Pet Month Giveaway.....so be sure and enter! 

dog bed tutorial

Reba's old bed has been loved to death. So I made her a new one! 


Materials Needed:
main color (cut two circles each with a 24" diameter)
contrasting color (cut a long strip 50" long, about 6" wide. If you're material isn't long enough, you can cut two 25" strips and then sew them together to make one long 50" strip)
 The bone (I chose to use the same color for the  bone as my contrasting color. Reba likes to coordinate)
double sided fusible webbing for your bone.
stuffing polyfill or other

I needed to make a perfect circle, but I don't own any tools to do that, so I had to make do at the Urban Craft Center by dumping out their yarn and turning this bin upside down to trace my circle.  



Once you've traced your circle along the back side of your main material, cut out two circles.



Using your contrasting material (or whatever you picked for the bone applique) draw and then cut out a bone that will fit inside your circle. Mine turned out fairly phallic, perhaps you'll have more luck. 


Cut out your double-sided fusible webbing to the back side of the bone and cut to fit. 



Iron on to the right side of one of the main color circles. Pin in place and sew. I used a small zig-zag stitch around the perimeter. This not only affixed my bone, but it also gave it a nice texture. 


Cut 50" x 6" of your contrasting color. This will serve as the band that connects the two big circles together. It's better to veer on the side of too long so you don't run out of fabric when it comes time to sew it all together. 


With right sides together, pin the color band to one main circle fabric...all the way around. Then sew.


Sew the band right sides faces where it comes full circle and meets again. 


Now, with right sides of the two main circles facing....pin the band around that second or bottom circle. Then sew. remember to leave yourself about 6 inches at the end unsewn so you can turn the whole thing rightside out. 


You're almost there!


Once you've turned it rightside out, stuff with stuffing to your dog's preference. Then hand stitch the open gap. 


And get ready for a nap with your grateful dog!




Tuesday, March 20, 2012

catnip filled fabric fish: tutorial

Today, we are lucky to have Tara of Sew Tara with us! She has been here before during Back to School Month with this DIY clipboard makeover:



I love how organized she is! Check out how she keeps her Washi tape in check!


Here's an awesome tutorial for an Owl plushie:




Here's Tara with her creative (and tongue and cheek) take on a catnip filled plushie for your cat!


__________________________________



Hello I'm Tara from SewTara and with loads of crafty supplies and some cats in the house I thought up this fun DIY craft that the feline in your life will appreciate. This project can be hand-stitched or made with a sewing machine. It's also very scrap friendly and you should be able to find all these supplies in your crafty cupboard.




You'll need:
- fabric scraps
- ribbon (cut in 4 pieces, one 6 inch and 3 3 inch pieces)
- stuffing (polyfill or scraps cut up really tiny)
optional
- 2 buttons
- catnip


First cut out a head and tail shape from your scrap. Sew around leaving a small opening for stuffing.




I cut up a small scrap of flannel into tiny squares to act as filling. Stuff the head with filling and add your catnip. Tuck one end of the long ribbon piece into the opening and securely attach it with hand stitches or using your zig zag stitch.


Sew the tail piece leaving a small hole for stuffing. Stuff it and attach the ribbon just like you did for the head.


Tie the smaller pieces of ribbon to the fish 'body' so they look like little bones.


Sew the buttons on the head for little x'ed out dead eyes.




Ta Da! All finished. Now toss the toy to your favourite kitty and sit back to enjoy the silliness.

Monday, March 19, 2012

glass etched pet jar

Remember these delectable dog treats I posted about last week?


Well, I need a place to store them:




Glass Etched Pet Jar: Tutorial


Materials Needed:




A glass jar in any size
adhesive backed vinyl
xacto knife or Silhouette machine or other cutting tool
Etch-all
squeegee


1. Prepare the lettering




You can do this either by designing it on your silhouette machine or printing out the words on computer paper. I went or a simple message: "dog."


2. Cut out letters
Again, do this either using adhesive-backed vinyl in  a silhouette machine or freehand on vinyl with an exacto knife. Don't worry if you mess up the letters themselves, it's the outline of the letters that you're aiming for.






3. Cut down vinyl if it's too bulky and stick to glass jar




Don't forget, if you have letters like "o" or "d" you'll also need to stick the center circles of these letters to the glass in the appropriate place.






4. Apply Etch-All
Using a steady hand, squeeze a good amount of etch all onto the glass lettering. It's okay if it looks like a hot mess. use the squeegee to make sure the entire are you want etched is covered.




5. Set the time for 15 minutes and find something to do.




The etch all is busy at working eating away at the glass.


6. Remove Etch all from glass




Using your squeegee, gather up all the etch-all from the glass and return it to the etch-all contained (yes! It's reusable!) Once it looks relatively Etch-all free, run the glass under water and using your fingers, a paper towel or a wash cloth be sure to get every last bit off. **remember, etch-all works on porcelain as well, so before you run any down your sink, coat it in water first to keep the etch-all from etching your sink!




7. Remove Vinyl 




Rinse glass with water again if necessary.


8. Dry

9. Fill with favorite pet treat and show it off!