Saturday, June 30, 2012

One More Crafty Contest

 As if I needed ANYTHING else on my plate this week!  I mentioned in my Craft Overload post that in addition to the Craft Wars Premier Party on Tuesday and Lydia's Four and Fabulous birthday party on Saturday, there was this DIY Nursery contest and entries were also due on Saturday.  I couldn't resist entering my Vintage Circus themed nursery, but it meant kicking everything into high gear and finishing several baby items in time to film, edit, and submit a video.   So, I spent a little less time on the birthday preparations on Friday than I had planned in favor of getting the nursery stuff taken care of.  I have submitted my video and am just waiting for it to appear on the JoAnn's Pinterest page for the contest.  I don't get the idea that it is a popularity thing.  I understand that judges will review the videos and select a winner.  However, I certainly looked more at the videos that had lots of "likes" and comments and "re-pins".  My video was not up on Friday and it could take longer because it is the weekend, but if you happened by the contest website and you saw my Vintage Circus video (I'm Cheryl Burchett on Pinterest) I would welcome some internet love!
 In case it can't be found, and also because I love it so, here is a peak at all the baby projects in Joshua's nursery and in the video that I entered in the contest.  There is the inspiration piece, the circus wagon crib that my dad crafted in the 1970's for me and my siblings.  It used to be a plain orangish red color.  I added stenciled details and fancy hardware.  I also made all the bedding.
 Here is a view of my favorite thing on the crib.  The sides originally had that diamond shaped molding and it was painted white when I slept in it.  I was at a thrift store one day and saw these plastic medallion wall art things.  I thought I could make something out of them and they were a PERFECT fit for the space inside the diamonds!  I painted them white and gold and added a B for Burchett, but ALSO for my maiden name (Bohlken).  I LOVE that it reflects both the monogram of the original builder and of my little family as well.  Those knobs on the end are both decorative and functional.  They are drawer pulls and the top ones are holding the mattress support in place. When it's time to lower the mattress, we will switch and use those lower drawer pulls and screws for support.
 Here is the inside of the crib.  You can see the quilt that my mom made from my extra fabric and the pillow, bumper, and crib sheet that I made.
 I had enough fabric left over to cover a piece of foam for a cushion on our old rocking chair.
 I made a few boppy covers to coordinate with the decor, but managed to leave it out of the video. Oh well!
 Then I showed a few items in the nursery that are specifically for baby and not just decoration.  Here are some of the outfits that I up-cycled from old t-shirts.
 Here are the bibs and burp cloths that I make from flannel and towels.  These are my favorite baby shower gift and I have a tutorial coming soon.
 I posted about these gauze swaddling blankets, but still need to show off the binding that I did on the edges.
 And finally, here is the old car seat, that now has a spiffy new cover.  I hope to post about that project soon.  For now, I am tired and have a big day of party decorating ahead of me.  Check out that Pinterest page and if you see my video, show me some LOVE!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Cupcake Wrapper Awards!

I saw this idea on Pinterest, via a Michael's Crafts tutorial for making layered award ribbons out of cupcake liners. I didn't think up the idea or change much about it, so don't be too impressed. However, I would like to point out that some of the negative comments about the premier of Craft Wars centered around the idea that we were challenged to make one item out of a perfectly good other item. I agree that it would be a rare day when I cut up a really expensive backpack just to make a door handle. However, the spirit of "making do" is what I think was the point. Could I have made this project out of something else, sure! But I am making cupcakes for Lydia's party so I already have tons of cute wrappers that match my theme. I do not have to
search for the perfect paper or to cut a bunch of shapes. So I am making do and enjoying the creative challenge of making it work. OK, sermon done! Here's what I did, it is seriously SO easy, you can definitely do this too!

Flatten one cupcake liner.

Fold a second liner in half.

Twist the bottom of the liner a little. This will squish it up (getting technical, I know) and make it a little smaller than the first liner.

Open it up and flatten down the squished center. Glue it in place. You can keep going as long as you twist more each time so that the circles get even smaller. Or you can switch to the mini cupcake liners like I did.

The mini liners didn't need to be twisted or smushed, just glued in place.

Make as many round layers as you want. I decided to make mine girly by adding a flower in the middle. Buttons, printed words, bottle caps, etc. would all make nice centers.

The Michael's directions mention using paper to make a ribbon. I wanted mine to match, do I figured out a way to use the cup cake liner for that too! First fold a liner and cut out the center.

Then own up the outer ring and cut it into two rounded strips. Attach those to the back of your award and you are done!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

One Hour Onsie

Last week, while I was posting about the Super Why Giveaway, I was hard at work on several handmade gifts for a dear friend's baby shower. I had to wait until the gift was given or I would spoil the surprise. I had several projects in mind and when they were finally all finished, the night before the party, I got an idea for ONE MORE item. The problem was it was late and I only had about an hour to spend on it.

Now that the show has aired, many of you will be familiar with the upsetting results of the LAST thing I made when I only had an hour! Ouch! Let me say that an hour in your own studio is WAY different than an hour on a set with a giant clock ticking and producers yelling and Tori Spelling stopping you to chat. Besides, if I REALLY needed more time I knew I could just stay up extra late and burn the midnight oil.

So, I had an hour and I was inspired by this purple tulle curtain that I bought at a thrift store a while back. The mom-to-be LOVES purple, so when I caught a glimpse of it, I thought PURPLE TUTU PERFECTION! I discovered an extra plain onsie from the brother and sister outfits I made a while back and just knew I could make a cute, quick outfit.

First, the curtain was too long. It also needed to be gathered more to make a proper tutu. I folded the purple curtain at the one gathered seem so that I could sew a waist band pocket into which I could later insert elastic. Then I trimmed both layers to an appropriate length before I gathered it.

I used the onsie as a guide for the size of the elastic and sewed it into a loop. Then I sewed the layers of tulle together so it wouldn't be open in the back.

With the tutu finished, I used fabric pens and fabric paint to make false necklaces at the neckline. It still needed a little something, so I pulled a few silk flower petals off of a larger flower and sewed them on with a button for the center. I hope the new mama enjoys seeing her little lady in this One Hour Onsie as much as I enjoyed actually finishing in the allotted time!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I Found Pictures....And My People!

I stayed up WAY to late last night! I had this HUGE adrenaline rush from watching (and seeing our friends react to) our episode of Craft Wars. The show started past my usual pregnant mom bedtime, so I was already setting myself up. Then I spent the little free time I had on Tuesday making stuff for the premier party and NOT taking a nap. Then after the show my email, phone, blog and Facebook blew up! I couldn't stand not looking at all the comments and reviews.
Today has been a little more manageable, but still tons of info to process. Today, I began to run into other crafters who are on later episodes. I feel like I just found my people! They found each other and were tweeting during the show. I don't think I could have focused on it last night but today I had so much fun reading the tweets of people who have been through what I was going through. When Tori asked me to turn my unfinished bag around, I knew this group understood that my heart fractured in despair as the last hope that maybe they wouldn't see the bad stuff vanished. I can now think of so many ways that I could have gotten the look that I wanted in such a short amount of time, but at the moment, you are NOT a rational being (cue scene of me with the spray glue) and this group understands that!
That brings us to the other fun find of the day. Someone has these still shots on their blog today! I did not get to take any pictures of our projects and it has really bothered me! You can't see a lot of what we did, but it is SO nice to get a good long look at this much of our projects. You get just a hint of the chalk board on the one side. We draw a picture (in child like stick people) of our family on it and labeled Mommy, Daddy, and Liddy. The other side had an identically sized bulletin board with child like drawings of our dog. We got our assistants to each make a piece of art for the bulletin board and to sign the chalkboard! On the inside of the house, they showed the backpack monsters, but not the melted crayon map that took WAY to long (peeling, then chopping and then melting crayons) but turned our SO cute! Oh well. At least I have one picture... And a group of Craft War Veterans to commiserate with from now on! See you all on Twitter next Tuesday!

Our Craft Wars Premier Party

So, (or should I say SEW) last night was the premier episode of Craft Wars on TLC, our episode! My husband and I started this journey months ago. Six or seven months ago actually because I had JUST found out I was expecting when I saw an announcement on Craftzine asking for crafty people who could think on their feet.

I didn't really think about it, but I was having "one of THOSE kind of days" where my students were really forcing me to act fast to keep up, do I fired off an email with a few links to a wide range of projects on this blog. I had that momentary thought that I am about to be big and pregnant and have no business signing up for any long term reality TV possibilities. ButI have this friend who is ALWAYS saying I should be on Project Runway. I am always explaining to her that I am no where NEAR that level (obviously if you saw my duffle bag on the show!) Mostly I thought, well.... this should shut her up!

A short time later, I had forgotten all about the email submission that I sent in, when my phone showed I had an incoming call from LA. I was hanging out with my mom and I think I even said "I don't know anyone in LA!"....... And then I remembered the show and I had this adrenaline rush and disappeared to do a phone interview while my hands shook and my mom alternated between keeping my daughter busy and wondering what the heck was going on. I hadn't even mentioned it yet, to her or my husband. Imagine that conversation; " So I kind of entered us in a reality TV show and I sort of just did a phone interview and they sound really interested in us!"

Fortunately, I am married to an amazing man who doesn't bat an eyelash when I ask for a trapeze for Mother's Day or when our daughter asks for a life-sized Little Einsteins rocket ship for Christmas. I know that I could NOT have had this little adventure without him. Early on in the phone interview when they were asking about BIG projects, I joked that maybe they should get my husband for the show instead of me. I was giddy when the interviewer informed me that it was a team thing and I would choose an assistant to go with me.

I was worried that at some point the stress would get the better of us and we would be arguing on national television, but it never went that direction. It was SO stressful that we both kind of knew we couldn't get through it without the other. I was so appreciative to have PJ there with me. I think we worked really well together!

So, that gets us to last night and the premier of the show. We don't get cable at our house, so we were going to have to watch it SOMEWHERE. As more and more friends offered their homes it became apparent that we had a BIG cheering section who thought it would be fun to watch it WITH us. We also have a friend with connections to a restaurant that has a big lower level with a really big TV and a full bar! Suddenly we weren't just planning to watch the show, we were hosting a Craft Wars premier party! I got into "party planning mode", which was WAY more comfortable for me than "thinking about being on TV mode!"

I wanted to stick with the school theme to add a few festive touches to the buffet area at our venue. I found this old bulletin board at a thrift store, but it had ugly paint all over the front. Eventually, I will cover it with fabric to use in our house. For the party I found a piece of black poster board provided a quick fix and NO waiting for paint or glue to dry.

Then I just used a paint pen to add lines and lettering to make a vintage feeling sign. My sister came up with the brilliant idea to make a bingo game for our guests to enjoy during the show. We brainstormed a bunch of things that may happen on the show (someone gets hurt, someone cries, someone gets bleeped for cursing... That's ME) and things that may happen during the premier party (someone cries, someone hides their face in shame, someone goes into labor... Hopefully NOT ME)! It was amazing! Even before the show started people were laughing and speculating over what happens on the show!

The prize for the bingo game was the flower arrangement which had some gift cards for Michael's and for the restaurant that was hosting our party. The idea for a pencil covered flower base is ALL over Pinterest so I get zero points for creativity. It fit the theme SO well, who cares if it's been done already!

I did learn that it would have been MUCH easier on a round vase! I should have just found a tin can, but I had an extra square shaped vase so I used that. The corners (much like the spray glue on the show) became an issue.

I found it easier to fill the center of the vase and work my way out to the corners. Unfortunately, the rubber bands in the centers ended up being loose and I had to add a second rubber band at the top to keep it together. It still wanted to fall apart when it was carried, so a hand had to stay under it. It looked good, a round can would have solved everything.

I coveted the center rubber band with a ribbon and used the extra rubber band to hold the gift cards so it wasn't all bad. There is a picture of the finished flower arrangement/prize package.

Next, I pulled out some school themed toys and accents to decorate the buffet table. We were ordering all our food as appetizers from the restaurant, so no cute themed food to worry about like I often do for parties.

I brought a globe from my studio, some apples, and scattered around dominoes lime confetti. The one food item I did bring were letter and number shaped animal crackers. They were sort of a decoration you could eat. We even had a few guests spelling things with the cookies, so I think they were a hit.

The Fischer Price school house was a lucky Goodwill find a while back. I was just thinking of it as decoration, but I set out the people figuring guests might want to play with them. They did!

I had some books and my much loved black and white composition notebook (also known as the roofing for our playhouse) to scatter around as decorations. At the last minute, I added a few pens and made the notebook into a guest book. The pencils were the remains of the pack that I bought for the flower arrangement. They became a fun party favor to hand out to guests.

I found a free school themed printable and just adjusted the size and added some lettering specific to our event. I cut them in strips, added glue, and wrapped it around the top of the pencil.

I had more strips than pencils, so I added them to some drinking straws too. I learned during PJs mustache bash that straws are a great way to dress up a party at a venue that won't go for standard decorations.

And there is one of the Craft Wars themed pencils being waved during the show. If you've seen it, you know the outcome. If you haven't I dont think it will spoil much to admit that it came down to a really close judgement call very early on. I had no idea what went on for the other teams, but I knew that my duffle bag did NOT represent my ideas or my best work and that still hurts. It also really sucked that anyone had to leave after such a short amount of time and such a small glimpse at a pretty specifics skill set. I remain grateful for even being given the opportunity to try in the first place. Everything else was a wild adventure!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Crafting Overload!

Are you sick of me talking about Craft Wars yet? To tell you the truth I am kind of sick of the adrenaline rush crazy going on in my head! I am more nervous than I want to admit about what they are going to show and how they are going to make us look!

I am still wearing the leather bracelet that I made for the weekend we filmed the show. I am still trying to remind myself to relax and enjoy this fun experience. This should be fun, right? Good, bad, or ugly I will be surrounded by friends tonight to watch the product of a heck of a lot of hard work, right?

Of course I can't just focus on calming my nerves because, well because I'm me! Hi, have we met? I don't really DO calm, do I! My head is SWIMING with all the things I want to do and make in the next few days. First there is the Craft Wars premier. I can't be content to watch it quietly, now can I? Nope, there is a party and by god I plan to do a little party planning!

Then there is the "four and fabulous" party coming up. I am being WAY less stressed about this year's party, but that is beginning to stress me out! I only have a few days to focus on the details that I usually obsess over for weeks.

And then, because I don't have enough to think about, I heard an announcement while shopping that JoAnn's is having a DIY baby nursery contest. I crafted EVERYTHING in my nursery and am desperately trying to finish it all up I the next week or so. So, of course the contest deadline is the same day as Lydia's party! I just need to take some video and pictures to submit and it would be a shame not to at least try.

Deep down I wonder if the universe isn't getting me to focus on finishing baby stuff because time IS getting short. I'm 34 weeks today and I had Lydia at the end of 35! Hmm maybe I should focus on relaxing a little while I still can! Anyways, wish me luck on either getting everything done or getting over the idea that do much needs to get done. Updates soon on all the projects that are in the works and, of course, on whatever happens tonight on the show!