Thursday, September 30, 2010

We’re All A Little Batty Sometimes

We are all a little batty sometimes, but as for me, it is more times than not!  That is why I wanted to try bat cupcake toppers. 
You remember these… the butterflies I made for  my sister’s wedding cake?  I will show you how I made them.
I bought this rice paper for $0.25 a sheet from my local cake supply store.    I was going to trace the butterflies onto the paper, then cut them out, but I remembered I had a butterfly die cut just about the right size.  “Do I dare!?!  Cut edible paper on my Sizzix Bigshot?  Why, of course I do!!!”
The rice paper is thicker than tissue paper and thinner than computer paper.  It would probably work great with a Cricut or other similar machine.

Cut the paper down to size… 
run it through the machine… 
  Ta-Dah!  Three magical butterflies.   That means that you could probably get 12 butterflies out of a sheet, all for only $0.25!   
Next step, the luster dust.  It is a very small container of pixi-like dust. 
You simply dip a dry brush into the jar of very fine powder. Tap it on the side of the jar to brush off any extras, then brush onto the paper cutout.
Rub a light layer of piping gel over the top.  Piping gel can be bought everywhere Wilton is sold, including Walmart. 
 Finally, take white/clear edible glitter (which I am out of so I skipped this step this time) and crush it in the palm of your hand.  Sprinkle on the butterflies.  Set them aside and let dry overnight. 
 It is that easy!
Now for the bats, I went to Michaels to buy a bat punch.  I am going to make a million of these for a Halloween party and thought the punch would make that quite easy.  Only problem, Micheals didn’t have a big bat punch like the one I saw at Joann’s.  It was 5 min. to closing time and I couldn’t get across town to Joann’s in time.  That meant I had to do things the hard way :0{  Never fear, I still was able to finish this whole project in less than one hour.  Trace a bat image on the rice paper with a edible marker.   
  Cut out on the line.  Take a very small amount of piping gel into a separate bowl.  Add black icing color.  Stir that up and paint it on the bat cutout.   
Take black cake sprinkles, crush them in the palm of your hand, and sprinkle the bats.  Set them aside until dry.  
When you are ready to place the bats, you can bend their wings so they look more like a bat.  There, how easy was that?  Not to mention cheep!!!  What a great way to add a little excitement to your next Halloween party!  Now I want to try this technique for holly at Christmas.  Wouldn’t that be gorgeous!?!  

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Meet Sofie

This darling dangler is Sofie, the world's most cuddly spider.  Once you make one, you just won't be able to resist making another!  We put them on hair clippies and give them to everyone we know.  I have even been tempted to make huge ones to hang from the trees outside. 
Here is what you need:  One homemade pompom, two googly eyes, a scrap of black felt to glue the eyes to, and one very darling bow...

What's that?  You have never made your own pompom before?  Well, welcome to the Halloween rendition of ...
For these particular arachnids, I went with a thicker eyelash yarn.  It is like "worsted weight meets eyelash" all rolled in one convenient package.  This puppy runs about $7.50 a skein without a coupon (Hobby Lobby).  I have to say I think it is worth it.  It made a much fuller body for my little lady and I got over 25 out of the skein.  I even have a pile of it left over :0)
To get started, grab your yarn and find the loose end.  You will use your three middle fingers as a spool. 

Here is what three times around looks like.  Keep Going!
I usually go between 21 and 25 times around my fingers for this particular size.  Using my three fingers I get a pompom that measures about 2 1/2".  When you have gone around enough times, snip off the extra yarn strand and slip the wad off of your fingers.  Be sure to keep a finger in the center so you don't loose it.  Grab some thread (I always use button/craft thread-it is TONS stronger).
Once you have the thread tied through the center and around one side of the yarn, go ahead and wrap it around the whole wad a couple times.  You don't necessarily have to tie through the center, but I like to do it to be sure the the yarn is really secure. 
It looks something like this...
Knot the button thread a couple times to make sure it is really staying there, then snip those thread tails!
The next step is to cut all the loops of yarn.  Jab your scissors in there and start snipping.  Black is a hard color to see exactly where to snip.  You are simply looking for loops and cutting them into individual strands.  Don't forget to do the other end :0)
Fluff your pompom a little and don't be afraid to give the little guy a hair cut.  You will have some strands that are way longer than others.  Don't let your perfectionism get out of control.  You don't need to snip him away to nothing, just smooth out the rough edges :0)
Here is my puffy pompom accompanied by his lovely debris.  You end up with more to cut off when an eyelash yarn is involved.
Here is a side-by-side comparison of last years spider and this years spider.  Last year we used regular eyelash yarn.  See how much fuller Sofie is with the thicker yarn.  She doesn't look so anorexic.  In fact, she may just want to stay way from the Trick-or-Treat bag this year :0)

Back to business...
For the legs you can use either straight ribbon or curl your ribbon.  HERE is a good tutorial for curling the ribbon.  I used very thin ribbon (1/8") and curled it on BBQ skewers to get that tight of a curl. 
Lay 4 as shown above and stitch together with a needle and thread, then sew to the pompom.  You can just hot glue, but you won't get the long wear out of your spider and the bottom ends up looking like a mess.
Next, take that scrap of black felt and hot glue the googly eyes to it.  I used to glue the eyes directly to the spider, but they always ended up facing two different directions when the pompom moved around.  I found by gluing the eyes to the felt I could keep them in place better.  Hot glue the eye piece and the bow in place. 
Keep that glue gun plugged in and glue our little lady to a lined alligator clip.
Here is a shot of the under-side...How embarrassing!  No one wants a picture of their underside, right?
My little Sophie measures about 2 1/2", not counting the legs.  She is puffy and soft, so cute perched up on top of my girl's heads-no webs necessary!  Isn't that great!?!
Now that is one spider I will allow in my house!
This project was linked up HERE:
Show and Tell Green

Make it Yours @ My Backyard Eden

Fine Craft Guild

Monday, September 27, 2010

Wahoo!!! We Did It!

Wahoo!  Super Saturday can finally be checked off
the "to-do" list for this year!!!

In typical Vanessa style I spent and entire 7 hours at the darn event and did not get a picture!  I did get one picture, a picture of Madison's reindeer brownie she made as a treat sample...then I deleted it by accident!  The one picture I had
I deleted!!!

That was what lead to my drive by "shooting" (camera-style) of a few of my friends with their fabulous projects they made.  Please enjoy the following photos of amazingly stunning Super Saturday projects modeled by the beautiful beauties that made them...

All time best seamstress for Super Saturday 2010 goes to....  Crystal!!!!
This darling lady sewed together each and every piece of the I Spy bags for me so I could run around like a chicken with a freshly severed head :0)  A million thanks to Crystal!

Bobbi and her daughter Aleah worked at amazing speeds to get all of this done.  I cannot believe that Bobbi was able to finish her felt food!!!  I really don't think I could have done it that fast myself!  Many, many thanks to Bobbi also for cutting out all of our hundreds of vinyl lettering for the Home Sign and the Happy Birthday Banners!!!  It is so lovely having such helpful and talented friends.  Bobbi worked all that vinyl while homeschooling her 3 school-aged kids and entertaining her two not in school yet!  Wow!!! 

Whitney, sporting her one of her I Spy bags and one of her temple blocks she did.  Whitney was one of the many that took some of the painting off my hands in preparation.  What a blessing!

Kim with her felt food in the works.  I really can't believe how far she got either.  I was thinking everyone would take them home and work on them over the next month.  I guess the promise of a free piece of felt food for those who finished by Christmas really did work as a motivator :0)  Now to finally decide what felt food I want to make for them..hmmm....

Fabulous Jennifer sports her Home Sign with October's candy corn and one of her black magnet boards.  Amazingly enough, Jennifer was able to get through all her projects even though I sent her to the store to pick up her own picture I was missing :0)  That is what friends are for, right?

Season made 10 of these temple blocks, among other things.  Her blocks turned out so well I really had to get a picture of them.  She picked black and white photos, black blocks and black and white papers.  The blocks came out so sophisticated and stunning!

My friend Julie, bless her heart, was sick and asleep in bed when I called asking to come take a picture.  Since I already woke her, she pulled her banner out just for the picture.  I loved the way she did her banner.  She used the die-cutted paper letters and put circles behind the letters.  It turned out so cute I just loved it! 

I also realized I never got an up-close picture of the table decorations either :0)  I gave them away to my helpers, those amazing ladies that came time after time, into the night, to help organize the event or those ladies who taught my mini classes during the event.  Crystal picked the Bats and "Boo" sign.  I didn't get to keep a set so I snagged a picture of hers. 

The witch's boot!!!  I loved the way this turned out.  Of course I could not find the orange ribbon I bought to lace the boot.  I ran to the store to buy more, but could not find what I was looking for.  Finally I found this roll of eyelash yarn in orange.  The fuzzyness was perfect.  I made the "Shoe Fits" sign with my digital scrapbook program, sent it over as a picture to Costco, then modge podged it on the block.  It made a spooky second centerpiece.

My third centerpiece was this trio Ghostly Family.  They were painted white, glittered, then spruced up with gems and tulle.  This family was such a big hit we are making them for our craft club project this month!!!
  Look out ladies, We Aren't
Done Crafting Yet!!!

Oh yeah, here are the stats from Super Saturday:
Birthday Box (no picture)-8
Birthday banner-16
Felt Food-8
FHE kits-12
Magnet Boards-32
Home Signs-36
I Spy Bags-50
Temple Blocks-120!!!!

4 mini classes:
Photo Basics
Digital Scrapbooking
Closet Organization
Preschool Fun

4 Treat Demonstrations:
Reindeer Brownies-we will show you later, I promise :0)

Now that was a lot of crafting!!!
Whew!  I need a nap!

Novelty Print Quilt Pattern

I have had a hard time finding good quilt patterns for novelty prints the past couple times I purchased them.  I made up this pattern so tha...