Tag: craft project

Felt Flower How To + A Little Lady’s First Birthday

Flower themed first birthday party

November 21, 2018 approached more quickly than I could ever image. I believe I was part in denial, part consumed with my little man’s third birthday party (which we threw a week before Kennedy’s birthday), but regardless of my state of mind her big day was almost here, baby girl was almost one.

Cooper had a playground birthday party decked out in his requested Super Wings theme. For Kennedy, I wanted to keep it simple. Less theme focused, more pretty focused. After all, if I am being honest, this was a party for adults not kids. The only kids in attendance were my two sweeties plus my two adorable nieces, and these four were far outnumbered by those 30 and above.

After brainstorming ideas I decided to do a Fall color scheme with flowers as the decoration. I found an adorable headband on Etsy that I had every intention to have Kennedy wear all day, but she sported it for exactly 1.75 seconds, not even enough time for me to pull out my camera. Although the headband didn’t make an appearance on the big day, it did inspire the party decor.

Watercolor flowers for a birthday card invitation.

As is typical with me, I started to lay out my plans for the party decoration with the invitation design. I am old school, I love the mail. Whenever possible I always try to print and send out cards, invitations, and the like. Time was tight this go around, so I had to use electronic means to get her invitation in the inboxes of our family, but I still made the card part by hand, part on the computer.

Watercolor flower invitation border.

I had a solid plan in my head, I wanted to create a floral boarder, painting loose flowers, and using the colors navy, mustard, off white, and muted pink. However, When I finished the painting, I wasn’t satisfied with the end result. I uploaded it to my computer, cut out each individual flower painting, and began layering them together.

Flower themed first birthday invitation.

In the end I was very happy with the final invitation design. It was just the look I was going for, it just took a few extra steps to get there. The invitations went out, it was official. I now had to plan for her party.

Once the craziness of Cooper’s party died down (you can read about his party decor here), I had a week to pull everything together for Kennedy. Side note, if at all possible try to space out the birth of your children by more than two weeks. I had the design laid out in the invitation, now it was time to translate it into decorations.

Felt flower bouquet in navy, off white, mustard, and dusty pink.

From the minute I found that adorable, felt flower headband, I had an idea to make my own felt flowers to decorate for the party. After all this was an adult party and I wanted to make party favors that adults and kids would enjoy. I decided I would make a bouquet of felt flowers that would serve as a centerpiece and favor. Each guest got to take a flower home with them. Since this was a family only function, my hope was that this little flower would serve as a reminder of our sweet little girl to our loved ones.

SUPPLIES:

  • Felt in a variety of colors
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun/glue sticks
  • Green floral wire (similar to this)

I wanted a variety of flower styles, so I picked a range of colors, that tied in with the invitation, and tested out different ways to put the flowers together.

One of the first flowers I tried out was a rose. I started by cutting a circle out of a piece of felt, and starting in the center of the circle I cut a wiggly spiral moving to the outer edge.

How to create a rose felt flower.

I then tacked the enter of the flower down with hot glue, and carefully wrapped the spiral around the center, standing the wiggle line on end, until it created a solid flower. Next, I took the green floral wire, twisted the end to create a flat spiral at the top, and hot glued the bottom of the rose to the wire. I then cut out teardrop shape pieces from the same color felt and glued them to the wire, overlapping the bottom of the rose. This helped hide the glue and wire connection point at the base of the flower.

Felt flower dahlia.

Next, I wanted to create a more round style flower, like a Dahlia or similar. For this style I cut strips of felt, folded each strip in half, and hot glued the two ends together. I then hot glued the loops together to create a half dome top. Next, I bent the wire at the top to create a flat spiral and glued it to the base of the flower. Then, holding the flower upside down, I glued additional felt loops into place to cover where the wire attached to the flower and to complete the sphere.

Felt flower how to.

To add variety to the bouquet, I made a few flowers with multiple shades of one color. To create this peony or camellia style flower I cut different size circles from different felt colors. I then cut a slit about halfway through each circle.

Felt flower how to.

Next, I overlapped the slit and glued the two sides together. This gave the circles a three dimensional look.

Felt flower peony or camellia

I then stacked and slightly overlapped the circles until I had a full looking flower. I cut small strips of white felt and hot glued them standing on end in the center of the flower. This helped cover up the layering in the middle and provided a nice decoration in the center. I then bent the wire to a flat spiral at the top and glued it to the base of the flower. I took additional circles and hot glued them to the base of the flower to cover the wire connection point.

Felt flower peonies

My favorite flowers of the bunch were the mustard yellow camellias, they went beautifully with my East Lake sign and Kennedy’s yellow birthday shoes (we like yellow at my house).

Felt flower bouquet how to.

I loved the end result of the bouquet, and so did our guests. My sister-in-law ended up requesting her own bouquet of felt flowers as a Christmas gift that same year.

Felt flower garland how to.

Creating the felt flower bouquet wasn’t enough hot gluing for me. I was so happy with the final product I decided to create a felt flower garland to hang on our fireplace. To help hide where the flowers were glued to the string, I cut out green leaf shapes and overlapped them on the backside of the flowers. TIP: make sure you glue flowers on all sides of the string, it will twist when you hang it and you don’t want to have a backside showing.

Felt flower garland and name banner for a birthday party.

In addition to the floral garland I also cut the letters of Kennedy’s name out of white felt, mounted them on brown butcher block paper, and cut them again. I also hot glued this to twine. If you have followed along on my blogging journey you know I can’t have a party without a name banner. You can check out more tutorials on my past projects here and here.

First birthday cake

The day was a success, little girl turned one, and everyone had an amazing time. There were only a few tears the night before when I accidentally burnt Kennedy’s birthday cake. Nick had to run out, find an appropriately sized cake, which I scraped all the decor off of and added my own icing and topper. Luckily my husband can think on his feet when I am in crisis mode.

This sweet little girl is tied with two others for the best thing that has ever happened to me. Nick is more than I could ask for in a partner in this whole life thing and because of him I have my perfect little boy, perfect little girl, and perfect little family. I couldn’t ask for anything more, because I have it all.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog and read about my crafty projects! Help me spread the word by sharing my blog with others or on your social media outlet of choice. Thanks for stopping by!

Visual Journal Page 40: A Part of Me

A visual journal page about using a hot glue gun so much it became an extension of myself.

While in college I began creating large scale paintings of women in fancy dresses. I would paint the figures and background in oil paint, then construct intricate dresses out of fabric. I would often take these very high class, traditional looking ladies and place them into an unpredictable scene. A glass might be smashed, someone may have fallen down the stairs, chaos was ensuing. Not a typical scene for a lady.

While on this “clash of two worlds” journey I was struck with inspiration to create a dress completely out of beer bottle caps. Something about the juxtaposition of a traditional woman in a dress made entirely out of beer caps, not very lady like, was very appealing to me. I enlisted help from friends, family, and friend who worked at a bar to start collecting bottle caps and the project was underway.

It tok a few years of planning here and there before I finally took the plunge to put it all together. I had recently reached out to a local restaurant, Carroll Street Cafe, to inquire about displaying my work at their establishment. When I was added to their monthly rotation this became my motivation to finish the monstrous work of art.

It felt like every hour I wasn’t at work I was at home hot gluing bottle caps to fabric. My hands started to ache and clench after bending and cutting cap after cap after cap. My glue gun in one hand, pliers in the other, I felt like a machine. For a time it felt like the glue gun became an extension of myself.

A mixed media work of art constructed from oil paint, encaustic, fabric, mat board, and beer bottle caps.

I was very happy with the end result and the piece was well received at my mini art opening. It felt good to take on such a large project and see it through to the end. For years she lived in our back bedroom, stored away until I could find her forever home. When push came to shove, with Cooper on the way and a need to clear out the room, I practically gave her away to a couple who lived in my area.

Although I hated to see her go, and not earn the amount of time I put into back, I am glad she is on display, not stuck in a back room.

You can read about this piece in a post I wrote shortly after making it here. You can also check out more from my ladies in dresses series here. Although I have moved on from this focus, I still incorporate so much collage, layering, and mixed media in my artwork. My focus is now on encaustic, I have plans to post about my massive encaustic carving undertaking in the near future.

SUPPLIES

  • Visual journal
  • Rubber cement, Elmer’s glue, or similar
  • White paper
  • Watercolor
  • Sharpie
  • Pastels
  • Charcoal
  • Spray fixative

HOW TO

When planning this visual journal page I wanted to emphasize the repetition and the overwhelming feeling I had somewhere in the middle of this big undertaking. I decided to create abstract looking bottle cap shapes to layer in the background. I started by painting loose color circles in the main colors I used in the dress: blue, green, black, and yellow. Once they dried I outlined them in sharpie and added a wiggly line around the outer edge to reference the look of a bottle cap.

After the bottle caps were complete, I cut them out and glued them down using rubber cement. Next, I started on the hot glue gun hand. I had a rough image in my head of how I wanted this to look. I sketched out an arm and hand, then started working the glue gun shape into the fingers. I used pastel to fill the color of the arm and the hot glue gun, then blended them together. Once this was cut out I glued it on top of the background.

After layering all my pieces together I decided the overall image was just too bright and colorful. It looked silly, as opposed to exhausted, overwhelmed, and in joint pain. I decided to darken the entire image by coloring over the background with charcoal, then smearing it, thinning it out in areas, and rubbing it over the hot glue gun hand. I added charcoal details back into the hot glue gun to sharpen it back up after smearing it.

Once I was satisfied with the overall feel of the page I began planning out the placement of the text. I ended up erasing a line out of the charcoal to create a spot where text would show up. I then added the text with sharpie. The final step was spraying the page with fixative to prevent it from smearing.

CHALLENGE

Create a visual journal page about a challenging time in your life. Incorporate charcoal somewhere in the image.

Interested in more visual journal stories, tips, and how tos? Check out my visual journal blog page here and my visual journal bundle on TPT here. Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! Help spread the word and get involved with visual journaling by following, sharing, and commenting!

My first girl in dress painting, the dress looks a bit like a mattress. Made in 2007.

My first girl in dress painting, the dress looks a bit like a mattress. Made in 2007.

Mixed media painting created in 2008.

Created in 2008.

Created in 2010. This was the start of my transition into encaustic. The birch trees were layered with encaustic, carved, dripped, and painting into. 

Created in 2010. This was the start of my transition into encaustic. The birch trees were layered with encaustic, carved, dripped, and painting into.

TPT Cyber Monday Sale

Don't miss the TPT cyber Monday sale!

I just want to drop a quick note to let everyone know about the Teachers Pay Teachers Cyber Monday sale, starting tomorrow, November 26th (2018) and running through Tuesday, November 27th (2018).

My entire store will be marked 20% off, plus you get an extra 5% off at checkout with the code cyber18. I only discount products in my store during TPT promotions, and this will be the last one for awhile. If you have been eyeing any of my products, especially my larger bundles, this is a great chance to get them for a steal!

Learn how to incorporate color into zendoodle designs.

The most recent products I have been working on are a series of zentangle based art handouts. These step by step printables show students how to create design based doodles. The most recent one I created (shown above) gives examples and tips on incorporating color into zendoodle designs.

You can check out my other zentangle worksheets below:

➢Check out my zentangle how to worksheethere.

➢Check out my zentangle pattern example worksheet here.

➢Check out my zentdoodle organic patterns example worksheet here.

➢Check out my zentangle line pattern how to printable here.

➢Check out my zentangle checkerboard pattern how to worksheet here.

➢Check out my zendoodle nature inspired handout here.

➢Check out my zentangle triangles and arrows example worksheet here.

➢Check out my handdrawn Zentangle worksheet here.

➢Check out a way to apply this technique to an art project here.

➢Interested in more drawing based projects? Check out my semester long drawing curriculum here.

➢Check out my other products here.

Learn how to create a photo journal.

I have also been working on a number of digital photography lessons with my amazing coworker Meagan Brooker. We are currently working on our first semester long Photo I bundle. Check out one of the first lessons of the future bundle, creating a photo journal, here. I will be sure to post more information about that product once it’s complete.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving week and are getting into the holiday spirit! Don’t forget to spoil yourself with teaching products to help make your life easier in your classroom. Check out my last sale post for more details on the many bundles I created over the summer.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! Help spread the word by sharing with others. Thanks for stopping by!

Its a Monster Mash: Planning a Themed First Birthday Party

Cooper's monster mash first birthday party. Eating cake.

Today my sweet little man turns three. I have no idea where the time has gone. I have heard the saying, “The days are long but the years are short,” so many times I roll my eyes a little more every time I hear it. But, today it just rings so true.

Two years ago Nick and I planned Cooper’s first birthday party. The weeks leading up I had a schedule and plan for completing the decorations, sending out invites, and getting the food ready,. It had to be perfect. Two years ago I also took pictures as I went through the process and finally I am sharing what I did to throw his party.

The adorable monster plush that inspired the monster mash first birthday.

The entire event was inspired by this sweet monster. I was brainstorming birthday present ideas and thought a handmade plush would be fun. When I ran across this fella, from Adrian Rae Studio, I suddenly found myself planning an entire monster themed birthday party centered around him.

His first appearance was on Cooper’s invitation. Over the years I have practiced more and more with graphic design and at this point, I always design my own cards for get togethers. I often create pieces by hand, scan them in, and rearrange them, but this one was completely digitally designed.

Cooper's monster mash first birthday party, making monster decorations.

After sending out the invitations, it was official, I had to start planning decorations for the big day. I am such a sucker for banners at parties (check out posts on making a tassel banner, photo banner, and paper banner.) and I obviously had to create a banner for Cooper’s birthday. Once again, focusing on the monster, I decided to create a monster banner with the green striped monster in the center. I purchased cheap fabric in blue, green, white, and gray from Hobby Lobby. For the larger monster I cut the base out of white. Next, I cut strips from two different shades of green, then used a hot glue gun to stripe the monster shape base. Monster decor for Cooper's monster mash first birthday party.

I continue to glue the fabric until the entire shape was filled up. I didn’t worry about cutting every piece perfectly to match the monster shape. Instead, I glued the strips down then used scissors to trim the excess after. Next, I added circles for the eyes and white fabric for the teeth.

Cooper's monster mash first birthday party.

As I gathered my pictures to prepare for this post I realized I had a lot of holes. I never took a final picture of the completed monster banner up close, so this is as good as it gets. I promise, it was adorable

The monster plush party favors for Cooper's first birthday.

The next piece of inspiration for Cooper’s party decorations were these adorable felt monsters by Littles by Bella. I fell in love with them as soon as I saw them and immediately placed an order for a batch as party favors. I requested navy blue, dark green, light green, turquoise, and gray, to match his color scheme.

Monster banner for Cooper's monster mash first birthday party.

These little guys also inspired more monster banners that I hung throughout the house for the party. I sketched the monster shapes out on a sheet of paper, referencing the felt monsters for the design. I used the outside edge as a guide to cut the fabric out in the monster shape. Next, I cut out medium size white circles for the eye base, and slightly smaller circles from the rest of the colored fabric, for the iris of the eye. I used sharpie to add the pupil and cut up jagged pieces of white for the teeth.

Cooper's monster mash first birthday party.

I used a hot glue gun to add the details to the monster bodies. Sharpie was used to add the pupils and thin mouth lines.

Cooper's monster mash first birthday party.

The only close up picture I took of these were in my classroom with terribly busy posters in the background. Sorry for the bad final pictures! Don’t judge… I had a one year old at the time.

Cooper's monster mash first birthday party.

Although at this point I had already created 4 banners, I couldn’t skip the name banner. I decided to use the extra fabric to cut his letters out and strung it up using twine. After many years of doing this I have found the easiest way is to draw the letters on the fabric with pencil and cut them out. Then glue them onto the next color fabric, to create a pretty edge, then cut them out again. Keep repeating until you have the look you want. I ended up doing three colors for each letter.

Cooper's monster mash first birthday party.

The night before Cooper’s big day I was baking up a storm. I made cupcakes for the guests and found a cupcake cake pan on amazon for Cooper’s smash cake. I added icing to the top to look like the stripes on his monster plush. I also made cake pops for another party favor and made them look like monsters using edible eyes from Hobby Lobby. This was my first attempt at cakes pops, and although they were time consuming, they were easier than I expected. It helps when you are creating monster pops that don’t require a perfectly smooth icing application.

Cooper's monster mash first birthday party.

The day of the party was complete chaos, but little man had the time of his life. I can’t believe today he is three. He is talking, walking, running, riding a bike, and periodically talking back. And I love every second of it.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my crafty project post. I had so much fun planning for his first birthday and I am now in the midst of planning his third birthday party, which is on Saturday. I hope to post about that in the next couple of weeks, hopefully it won’t actually take a couple of years.

Fall Decoration: Painted Pumpkins Tutorial

A tutorial on how to artistically paint pumpkins.

After drooling over Alisa Burke’s pumpkins this season I decided it was time to make my own. I thought it would be a fun Saturday morning activity with my little man, but it ended up inspiring a lesson plan.

I wanted to test a range of supplies so I could troubleshoot any issues that could come up before my students jumped in. I ended up getting:

  • Mini pumpkins
  • Acrylic paint, a range of colors
  • A range of paint pen colors
  • Metallic paint pens
  • Black paint pens (these work much better than Sharpies)
  • White paint pens
  • Glow in the dark puff paint
  • Paint brushes

I started the process by spreading out all of the supplies and letting my little man play.

I first fell in love with Alisa Burke’s white lace on black pumpkin design, so that was the first one that I tackled. 

I started by painting my entire pumpkin with black acrylic paint, including the stem. Once it dried, which took overnight, I doodled on top with a white paint pen. It was easy and had a ton of impact.

The next pumpkin I did was a white, black, and metallic design. I started by painting the entire pumpkin white, then adding the geometric design with black paint pens and deatils with metallic and white paint pens. I struggled with this design before finally settling on a more symmetrical, mandala-esk design. The original more polka dot themed design was covered up with the big black triangle shapes.

The final pumpkin I created was my acrylic paint pour one, which turned out to be my favorite. I started by doodling about halfway up the pumpkin, starting at the bottom. I wanted it to look like the paint was covering a design. I then poured thinned down acrylic paint (use just a little bit of water) on top until it dripped down the sides. I started with white as a base, then alternated colors. For this design I used hot pink, teal, green, and white. For this to be successful I believe white is key. It helps to have a neutral that mixes well with any color. The white helps the colors pop against each other.

Once I finished the pour I let my pumpkin dry overnight. I then outlined the drips and finished the doodles where it was needed with a black paint pen.

I am so happy with how these little babies turned out. I plan to  keep them on my front porch through Thanksgiving, or until they rot. I surprised two of my classes with the project and they are having so much fun! If you are interested in the lesson plan, stay tuned, it will be hitting TPT in the next 24 hours. I planned two days for the project, one for paint, one for paint pen decorating.

Have a wonderful holiday season and don’t forget to add a little art into it. Even Captain America does it.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! Interested in pushing your artistic pumpkin making even further? Check out my artist inspired relief pumpkin project here. Interested in other weekend crafts? Check out my craft posts here. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and other social media outlets, links to the right!