April 2011Occasionally Crafty: April 2011

Friday, April 29

In Case You Missed it: Pottery Barn Cottage Frame KNOCK-OFF

Don't forget to enter the Piece of Cupcake giveaway!  I know you want some!
Click here or scroll down to enter.

*This was originally my guest post at Funky Polkdot Giraffe- but since we've grown since then, I thought I'd share it again here.

 I was browsing the Pottery Barn online catalog for some ideas.  I love their stuff, but I am way too cheap frugal to pay for it.  When I saw the "Cottage Frames", I figured I could make a version of my own.

Here's a picture of theirs:
Cottage Frames
Photo:  Pottery Barn Website

And here's mine:

I made mine a little more 3-D, and I have more little pieces in mine than in the original.  That's just personal preference.  I like how it has kind of a driftwood, beach-y feel.  It would look great in a room with that kind of theme.  

Want to make one of your own?  Here's how:

Supplies Needed:
Wooden Shims or other scrap wood
White or off-white paint and paintbrush
Brown/Black paint or distressing gel
Wood glue
Fine-tipped marker (like a Sharpie pen)

1.  Gather your supplies.  I used a document frame from the dollar store.  You need something fairly narrow, and if you want to match the original, it needs to be flat and square.  I'm not patient enough to scour the racks of thrift stores and yard sales, so I just went with this one.

For the wood pieces, I used wooden shims we had from constructing  a doorway.  These come in a bundle at the hardware store and are very rough. 

I only used six or seven pieces from a bundle. You could use all sorts of scrap wood to create this.  You're just going to have to cut it, so make sure the wood you choose won't splinter and break when cut.

2.  Take the back off the frame and take out any thing inside, leaving only the glass and the frame.  Secure your glass  (temporarily- you need to remove it later) to the frame so it won't move around.  Mine was already pretty still, but some cheap frames move around a lot when taken apart.
3.  Measure your opening.  I used the fake "document" in the frame to mark where I wanted my photo opening to be.  I made mine to fit a 4x6, down from the 8x10 frame.  That means I had to measure 2 inches from the top and bottom, and 2 inches in from each side.  I taped my 4x6 paper to the backside of the glass so I could build around it on the front.

4.  Lay out your wood pieces to fit around your photo opening, cutting as necessary.  I found that with standard wooden shims, if I cut them in half lengthwise, I needed three pieces on each long side of the frame.  I then measured the length I would need on the short sides, and just cut a bunch of pieces to fit.  Then I cut THOSE smaller pieces into the acutal assorted pieces I wanted on the frame.  Use the picture as your guide, and adjust as desired.

5.  Sand and paint your wooden pieces.  If you want them to lie flush with the frame, you'll have to sand them quite a bit.  This is another reason mine are more 3-D- I do tend towards the "lazy" crafting.

6.  Remove the glass from your frame and paint the frame.  Allow frame and wood to dry.

7.  Distress frame and wood pieces as desired.  I used a squirt each of black and brown paint in a cup of water to form sort of a wash.  I then used a sponge brush to wash all my pieces and frame, then used a paper towel to blot most of it off.  Allow to dry again.

8.  Put the glass back into your frame and secure it again.  Using wood glue, adhere your wooden pieces directly to the glass and let set a few hours or overnight.

9.  Remove your "photo opening guide", print out your favorite photo, attach it to the back side of the glass, and replace the frame back.  Congratulations-- you have a striking new frame!

Oh- I almost forgot!  The original has "real nails" in the small pieces of wood.  I could not manage this without splitting the wood, so I simply put small black dots in random pieces of wood with a marker.  If you try this and have success with the nails, let me know how you did it!

Cost of original:  $29 for this version.
Cost of mine:  $1 !!!!
(I had everything but the frame)

If you give it a try, let me know.  I'd love to see your version!  Have a great weekend, all!

I am linking up to some of my favorite parties here- go check them out!

Visit thecsiproject.com

*Update*- thanks for featuring me!  



Thursday, April 28

Three Things Thursday

One of my favorite things to do is browse through the linky parties at all the craft blogs.  So much of my inspiration comes from the things people are willing to share.  I also try to contribute a few projects a month to linky parties.

I've decided to start something new on my blog.  Though my blog isn't big enough to host my own linky party, I would like to share some of my favorite finds with you.  So, each Thursday, I'm going to feature three projects I've found in blog-land.  I've even got a button for you to display if you're featured.  I hope it will give you some inspiration and help you find some new bloggy friends!

So, without further ado, here are Three Things I'm loving this week:

1.  This Vintage Airplane Bedroom from Too Much Time On My Hands is just amazing!  I especially love her wall art and the luggage tag lampshade.

2.  I love unique accessories, so this Crochet Chain Necklace from Love City caught my eye.  I'm not skilled at crochet, but I could probably make this.  (not the flower- someone help me!)

3.  These Fabric Chargers from Two Shades of Pink are just gorgeous!  I especially love the fabric- perfect for Spring- Mother's Day Brunch?   I could see these for all different holidays and season.

Thanks for the inspiration.  Grab a button below if you were featured today!


Wednesday, April 27

Scrappin' Wednesday no. 16

Don't forget to enter the giveaway from Piece of Cupcake!
Scroll down or click HERE to enter!

I'm so close I can see the end of the scrapbook tunnel!  Thanks to your indulgence, I've almost finished my pages for 2009!  I think if I work hard this week, I can MAYBE be done by next week!  I may not be getting much closer to being current, but at least I'm not falling further behind!

This week, I am posting the first of my holiday pictures.  Every year we make sugar cookies with the kids.  This is something my mom did with us, and I am continuing the tradition.  However, she let us cut the dough and everything.  Maybe I will do that when my children get older, but for now, I cut out the dough and bake the cookies ahead of time, then keep them in the freezer until we are ready to decorate.  

My kids love to choose the frosting colors, heap on the sprinkles, and of course, lick the frosting off the knife!  Gross!  This page captures all those fun moments.

What's your favorite holiday tradition?  (Any holiday.....)


Tuesday, April 26

Giveaway! Introducing Piece of Cupcake

Welcome to my new friends and followers, and welcome back to everyone who's been with me since I started this little blog!  Every milestone deserves a giveaway, and this time, our giveaway is sponsored by Piece of Cupcake.

Meet Christina- the owner!  She writes "I started the shop because I love cupcakes and the toppers are really fun to make! I love using them at family parties or any dinner we have.  My husband just rolls his eye-he always says, "it's just family-who cares!'  But I think they're adorable!  We're having our first baby in the end of May and I just thought it would be a good way to make a little extra cash!"

I think these wrappers and toppers are just adorable!  And, her products are made to order, so they are customizable!  Wouldn't these be perfect for your next birthday party, baby shower, or girl's night?

I am in love with all of them, but I'll show you some of my favorites.  I just had a pirate party, and these would have been perfect!

Customized Pirate Birthday party-cupcake wrappers and toppers

These next ones would be so sweet for a baby shower!

rubber duck cupcake topper with matching wrapper

This one is just perfect for spring, or maybe that Mother's Day brunch!

flower cupcake topper with matching wrapper
And these sweet bees.... I just love them!

bumble bee & beehive cupcake toppers with matching wrapper

She also has some really cute garland.  This would be beautiful at a bridal shower.

Black Damask and hot pink paper garland strand

How about a DIY craft for the kids?  This would be a fun party activity.  End of year class party anyone?

kids DIY butterfly

I could go on and on!  So let's just get to the giveaway!  Christina is giving away one set of cupcake wrappers and toppers of your choice!  Here's how to enter:

Please leave a separate comment for each entry!   (And make sure your email is on at least one entry, or enabled in your profile!)

1.  Mandatory Entry- visit Piece of Cupcake on Etsy and tell me which set of cupcake wrappers is your favorite!
2.  Extra Entries (1 entry for each of the following:)
     a.  Follow Occasionally Crafty on GFC, or remind me that you already do!
     b.  "Like"  Occasionally Crafty on Facebook, or remind me that you already do!
     c.  Share this giveaway on your blog, Facebook status, or Twitter and tell me you did it.

The giveaway is open until Sunday, May 1st at midnight Pacific time.  I'll announce the winner on Monday, May 2nd!  The winner will be chosen by Random.org.  Good luck!


Monday, April 25

Tinkerbell Cake

I realized I never posted the cake I made for my daughter's birthday.  It's been a few weeks, but the amount of time I spent makes it worth it for me to post anyway :)

I made this with marshmallow fondant, and I followed the tutorial found here, both to make the fondant and to cover the cake.  So easy to follow!

I bought the flower at Michaels- I don't know why, but it just said "Tinkerbell" to me when I saw it.  I finished off with a cardstock cutout of Tinkerbell that I made from a jpg image I found online.

I was really happy with how it turned out, and my daughter LOVED it.

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  I also want to say hi to all my new followers!  Thanks for coming by- you've helped me pass 400!  I've got a celebratory giveaway coming for you tomorrow, so make sure to stop by and check it out.  It's darling!  (Here's a little preview!)

red cupcake wrapper with ladybug topper


Friday, April 22

Cupcake Stitchery

A friend of mine is moving away, and I wanted to make her a little something to say goodbye.  She is the famous baker in our circle of friends- known especially for her chocolate peanut butter krispy treats and caramelitas.  So I found this adorable free cupcake pattern online from DMC Threads.

Here's how to make one of your own:

Materials needed:
Muslin or other light, plain fabric
Batting (I use Warm and Natural)
Embroidery floss
Crayons (optional)
Safety pin or small embroidery hoop

Start by gathering your materials together.

Cut your fabric to fit your frame, plus about a 1/2 inch extra around so you can pull the finished stitchery nice and tight.

Print out your patterns.  I added the word "Sweet" in a cute font to my picture.

To trace, tape your pattern to a window, or, if you have one, a light box.

Place your muslin over the pattern where you want it to be.  Use a pencil to lightly trace the pattern onto your muslin.

It will look like this when you're done:

If you want to color in any part of your design, do so with crayons now.  When the colors are the way you want, set them by placing a press cloth over the colored design, and applying a hot iron for several seconds to set the crayon.  I actually did this later (see below) but right here is the preferred time to do so.

I didn't have a small embroidery hoop, so I safety-pinned my muslin to my batting.  You just want it to be fairly taut and stable as you stitch.

Using a backstitch, outline the pattern in embroidery floss with the colors of your own choosing.

The eyes in mine are french knots.

I decided, when it was done, that it needed a little something more, so I colored my frosting and cherry with crayons.  The color isn't perfectly even because of the sprinkles, though, so I definitely should have done it earlier.  I still like it though.

Place the completed stitchery in a frame and finish the back of your frame.  I was using a dollar store frame that I had painted, so I just replaced the original back.  If you are using a stitchery frame, you can cover it the back with craft paper and glue or staple in place.  Add some hanging hardware and you're good to go!

I added a ribbon for a little extra sweetness, and it was ready to be given away.  But it's so sweet I might just have to make one for myself!

Linking up to some of these parties- go join the fun!


Wednesday, April 20

Scrappin' Wednesday no. 15

I'm excited to be one of the featured blogs on the Welcome Wednesday Blog Hop at Take It From Me!  Welcome to anyone new visitors!  I hope you'll take a few minutes and look around!  Be sure to leave a comment and I'll return the blog visit and/or follow!

This week, I chronicle a special event, but nothing really special in the layout.

In our church, we "officially" give our children a name and a special blessing in one of our worship services after they are born.  My son was about a month and a half when we had him blessed.  It was a wonderful day to share with family and friends.

For the layout, I wanted to layer a few photos, and I decided to try to go with the purple in my dress for an accent color. I also included a few words from his blessing for memory's sake.


Monday, April 18

A Tinkerbell/Neverland Birthday Party

We had my daughter's 6th birthday party yesterday.  She really wanted a Tinkerbell party, but then she chose to invite a few boys from church and school.  I thought they wouldn't appreciate being fairies, so we turned the party into a "Neverland" party.  I guess I tried to do too much for the party, though, because even though I worked like mad, I still didn't get everything done I wanted to, and I didn't get pictures before the party started.  My friend Anissa took the pictures we do have, so thanks to her for helping out.  I also want to give a shout-out to How Does She, who listed this cute fairy party that helped inspire me.

As the guests arrived, they entered Pixie Hollow.  I hung a green sheets, a flower and a butterfly garland, tissue pom-pom balls, tulle, etc to try to create that fairy garden feel.  We also included the table for eating as part of Pixie Hollow.  There, the girls decorated a butterfly clip, while the boys made pirate spyglasses.

After the craft, I dressed everyone:  boys got bandannas and pirate eyepatches, and the girls got a fairy halo and fairy wings. 

We made our way to the Mermaid Lagoon (our kiddie pool filled with blue and green balloons- no way was I doing water with 12 kids running around!  I also hung streamers like a waterfall and cut out some pictures of Disney mermaids to hang up).  There we played "Musical Fish"- like musical chairs.  Each child got a Pixie stick for playing, and the winner got some mermaid jewels (Ring Pop).

Then we went to the Pirate Cove (a blue tarp with fish taped on).  There they had to walk the plank- if they made it across they got some pirate booty- a gold chocolate coin.  After everyone had a turn, we put on pirate tattoos.

After that, they jumped around the Lost Boys Cave (trampoline) until lunch was ready.

 For lunch we had Hooks Hamburgers, Tinks Links (hot dogs), grapes, potato chips, strawberries (which were supposed to be cut up and decorated to look like ladybugs, but I ran out of time!), and magic pretzel wands (pretzel rods dipped in vanilla candy coating and covered in sprinkles).  I served Pixie Punch (pink lemondade) for a drink.

After eating and popping all the balloons in Mermaid Lagoon, my husband was the hit of the party by spinning the kids around on our swing.  They loved it! 

 Next, we opened presents!  Emma loved everything from her sweet friends.

We finished up by enjoying some cupcakes, and then the kids ran around until moms and dads picked them up! 
I cut the cake toppers with my Silhouette from a jpg image I found online.  I love my Silhouette!

On the way out, they got their goodie bags.  I made the tags using the print and cut feature on the Silhouette.  The girls got a pencil, an eraser, Tinkerbell stickers, more Pixie sticks, and a ribbon butterfly wand.  The boys got a pirate hook, pirate stickers, a compass, and more Pixie sticks.  Plus, everyone got to keep their dress up gear from the beginning of the party.

I think it went well- everyone seemed to have fun.  It was fun to get to know some of my daughter's new friends from school, as well as enjoy time with some friends we've known for years!  At one point in Musical Fish it was just her and two of her friends (all friends from church).   I realized those three had known each other since they were babies- I remember all of us moms being in THAT STAGE at church, where you can't make it through a class with your squirmy baby, and end up sitting out in the foyer most of the time, talking about who was walking, and how they were growing, etc.  It's fun to see how much they've all grown up!  I'm glad they are still friends.

I am exhausted.  No more parties ever!  And if you believe that.....


Friday, April 15

Temple Picture for the Boys

Man, it's hard to make something that's cute but not "cute-sy" for boys.  I'm still getting the hang of it, but I think the keys are color choice and simplicity.

In case you forgot, I made this dollar store plaque

into this picture for my daughter's room.  (Step-by-step here)

For my son, I did the same thing, only I kept it simple.  I added interest with coordinating, contrasting paper, a sepia-toned print, and buttons for embellishment.

Both of these are hanging right over their little coat racks in their rooms.  I hope they'll see it every day and be reminded to make good choices so they can go to the temple when they are older.  (More about temples here).

Have a great weekend everyone!  I'm hosting my daughter's Tinkerbell/Neverland party on Saturday.  Details next week!