Friday, November 30, 2012

The Official Start...

... of the Christmas Season, in my book, is December 1. So tomorrow is the day and we can start to wish people "Merry Christmas!"  I realize that the retail world started the Christmas season wayyyyyy before I did ( liike my fav craft store was putting out Christmas ribbon in August before they actually rolled out the Halloween stuff!!)
Anyway, I went to grab a fish taco last night at my fav place for those things and pass off some Mod Podge  to a friend that her daughter needed for a school project!

I took her one of my long, skinny signs! She said, "When do you make this stuff?!?" I told her the middle of the night as you can tell from the awful middle-of-the-night pictures. :)   This one even has a cardboard box in the foreground.... My kitchen island is stacked with boxes of sweatshirts to be delivered to my fav Chi Omega's.

I paint these signs on long, skinny repurposed wood. They are actually bed slats from an IKEA bed. Someone left them behind in a rental house, (I KNOW!!!??!!) and my husband brought them home to me. They are awesome. They are connected together with a canvas strip and when you buy them for the real purpose they just roll up to move from place to place. Like everything else from IKEA they have a nice finish. They are sanded smooth. The edges are slightly rounded. With the price of wood and the poor quality I am finding at HD this may be the way to buy wood for signs anyway. I haven't done the math because they left behind two twin bed sets so I am set for a while!!

 These have been delivered so now I can show you this fun and easy project! I made these no crimp hair ties for all the girls at Chi O for Christmas. College Girl and I try to come up with a fun little goodie each Christmas. The girls were loving these hair ties but they are pretty expensive in the stores. I experimented a little, googled a little  and found out these are cute, inexpensive and super fun.  I wanted them to be Chi O-ish and not just red and yellow. I love my Staz-On stamp pads so I gave stamping a try and it worked like a charm. I ordered FOE in Chi O colors and bought red and yellow Staz-On stamp pads and went to town.
FOE is Fold Over Elastic and is what the hair ties are made from. It is from the lingerie industry and is very inexpensive. I found it from this super nice company in a zillion colors and great prices. They shipped it right out and I took it to the beach for Thanksgiving and made 190 hair ties in no time flat!!

I simply stamped them, cut them to length, knotted them and then used a lighter to lightly heat them so they don't fray. These would be a great girls birthday party activity. They could make a bunch - they love to wear them on their arms bracelet style and they could make them for gifts as well. The FOE is not expensive!! They could stamp their names or designs on them. The little stamp sets are in the dollar bins at Michael's. The only thing they couldn't do would be using the lighter.
I wanted each girl to get two so I bagged them up in small cello treat bags from another great company,Nashville Wraps, and put a little To/From sticker on them.
 In Atlanta they are $5-6 each!! Crazy!

As I mentioned, we went to the beach for Thanksgiving to see my parents and while I do not Black Friday shop (College Girl and I hit King Street in Charleston 3 times before Thanksgiving!! She is now hooked on shopping in the preppiest town ever and would move in and live at Dumas and Sons. ) I did have a black moment on Friday morning....

... my beloved iphone was in my hand one moment and on the concrete at my feet the next moment. UGH!!! Again! But I love my phone so off to the repair shop I go!
I did rescue the day by having oysters at The Noisy Oyster in Charleston so all was not lost!!

Painting Peppermints...

Several people have asked how to paint the peppermint part of this guy, a cute Gingerbread Man! *
It was giving them trouble and I have a few heading out the door tomorrow so I took some pictures while I was painting this week. 
This is how I do it...
I use Krylon Dual Spraypaint and paint the pizza pan white. I cut triangles from repositionable vinyl that I use on my Cricut. You could use painters tape as well.

Then I use a flat paintbrush and paint the edge of each of the triangles. This keeps the red from seeping under and gives a nice clean edge.
This step is well worth the time - it makes all the difference!

Then you can spray paint the red triangles or brush the red paint. Either way works well.
Carefully peel up the vinyl triangles. You should be left with nice, clean edges!
( Check out that messy work table - crazy!
 I cleaned it up today so I could actually do some work!)

Then I use a thin flat brush and lightly paint a highlight about an inch in from the edge.

The last step is spatter painting the whole thing with white paint.

It's pretty simple and if you remember to paint the edges with white before painting the red then you will have a perfect peppermint pinwheel when you finish!

* According to my Google stats the original post on this guy has been viewed over 24,000 times. I think that is amazing - that he has drawn that much attention and that Google keeps track and I can know this. And I am fascinated by the fact that people who are thousands of miles away look at blog posts about Gingerbread Men!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Let's do the Twist...

... the Peppermint Twist. It's all about the peppermint stripe around here at Christmas time. I love candy canes and the iconic, traditional red and white stripe. I love peppermint tea and College Girl texted me from campus yesterday to just tell me she was having a Peppermint Hot Chocolate with whipped cream from Starbucks!! We did the happy dance when the Peppermint Mocha signs went up there at the beginning of November and we'll have a treat one day soon at Chic Fil A because the Peppermint Choc Chip shake is back!!!!
But right now I am all about filling the orders for these candy cane name signs!!! I can only show you a couple - the ones people ordered for themselves. The rest are gifts and I don't want to blow the surprise!

It's cold and windy so we have to settle for a picture taken inside on my kitchen cabinets in poor lighting. ( Every tip I read about being a good blogger says that excellent pictures are super important - oops!)

Someone asked about painting the peppermint look so I'll show you how I do it - I'm sure there is a right way, too. Haha !

I painted the letters in white on a black board.

Next I use a flat brush to make the red stripes. I curve them slightly to help with the illusion of the rounded candy cane. I brush fairly quickly and not too precisely. You have to give a little thought to where you are placing the stripes so that they mimic the shape of the letter and then I try to stay consistent with that if a letter is in a name multiple times. It makes it easier to read.

The key to the whole look is the little white highlight. I use a very small ( I call it a two hair brush!!! It's small!) and a little bit of slightly thinned paint and run a highlight over the red stripes. Make it fairly "loose" and quick. You can see the highlighted letter next to the unhighlighted letter above. It changes the whole look.

I'm not too worried about making sure the highlights look like the light source is from the same direction, etc the way you would for something more realistic. This is just cute and fun but the highlight adds a lot. Feel free to go there but I'm just cranking these babies out.

The other thing that I think changes the whole look and "makes" the Christmas items I make is the spatter painted "snow."

So, I give everything a light "dusting" of "snow" spatterpaint at the end.

... with.
 I think it makes a difference!  Happy painting... gotta go... it's time for hot Peppermint Tea.

Friday, November 9, 2012

From spooky to something sweet....

... this 75 % off paper mache spooky house is changing holidays.
No pumpkins, bats or ghosts for this house. Can you guess where I am going with this one??

This will be a bit of an expirement and I'll show you how it turns out - if it's cute :)
But before we move on from Halloween - does it make it things look spookier if it's in B/W mode ?? :)