Friday, June 29, 2012

Crafty Blogs - I can never get enough of them!




 As the title says, I can never get enough of Crafty blogs! I have a super-long list of blogs that I follow, and I end up pinning so many fun tutorials and projects from each to my Pinterest boards. Well, my friend Courtney, from Sweet C's Designs, is hosting a link party today on her blog specifically for us to share our crafty blogs with each other. So click on the "Friend Me Friday" logo above or below this post, check out some new blogs, add your own blog, and get inspired to create!

  ~Laura


 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mod Podge Rocks! Book Review & Giveaway, courtesy of Lark Crafts



Today is my birthday. This is the perfect day for me to share my thoughts about the new Mod Podge Rocks! Decoupage Your World book by Amy Anderson. And the perfect day to host a giveaway for a free copy of Amy's book too.

Why?

Because I'm as old as Mod Podge.

You think I'm kidding?

Not kidding! Mod Podge just turned 45.

And actually I turn 46 years young today. That makes me older than Mod Podge. Hah!

Thankfully I don't look my age, and very often don't act my age either! Last year when I turned 45, it felt like such a cool age to me. The past few months, thinking about turning 46... well, I was dreading it. It felt like the beginnings of a sad march towards 50. But when Mod Podge turned 45 recently, and many people were surprised that the product was that old, my entire mindset about my age became hilarious to me. You see, people are always surprised that I'm "that old" - same reaction people have to Mod Podge's age. This isn't me being cocky about my looks, this is me admitting that I still look like someone way younger than  apparently what some stereotype out there tells people that 45, er um...now 46, should look like. And that's pretty sweet! 

My first time playing with Mod Podge - because that's how it always feels to me - was back in the 90s, when I used to watch so many fun crafty shows on cable. Remember those days? Back then, I used it strictly as a traditional decoupage medium. A few years ago, I came across a blog called Mod Podge Rocks!, and began to see just how handy Mod Podge can be when making so many different types of crafty projects, not just for decoupage crafts. I was amazed! And I was even more amazed by the woman behind the blog, Amy Anderson. This gal loved Mod Podge so much, she began a blog about it. Plain and simple reason. And the projects she shared - things she made, as well as things other crafters made - were so much fun. 

First I began to bookmark the projects that I wanted to do. Fairly quickly, that became unmanageable. Next, I decided to subscribe to Amy's blog, thinking that the daily emails would be a much better way to keep tabs on the projects I want to try. Well as of today, I have 146 emails "saved" from the Mod Podge Rocks! blog of projects I want to try. And now that there's Pinterest? Well, there's projects saved on there too. So yes, full disclosure? I'm a huge fan of Mod Podge and of the Mod Podge Rocks! blog. 

When I took a job as the editor of a handmade blog, I reached out to Amy as one of the first people who I wanted to guest post. She agreed, and not only was I thrilled, but so were our blog's readers! You see, Amy's blog posts aren't just tutorials, they are also quite often hilariously funny as she shares her own trials and errors with new products while she Mod Podges away. When Amy isn't sharing a project of her own, she shares projects from around the crafty interwebs by other equally impressive crafters. Seriously, you need to put Mod Podge Rocks! on your blog reading list.

That's why I was so excited to receive a copy of Amy's book from her publisher, Lark Crafts, to review.  Lark Crafts is an awesome publisher of craft and design book, so it made total sense to me that Lark would be the publisher of Mod Podge Rocks! 



611 words into this post, and what is my review of this book?

The book begins with what is called a Mod Podge Primer, where Amy not only gives you the background on the various Mod Podge formulas, but also gives you tips and helpful full-color pictures to demonstrate her pointers. This is a soft-cover book, 128 pages with over 40 fun projects. I like that it is a soft cover, as it makes it easy to keep open while working on one of the projects in the book.

As with so many of Lark's crafty how-to publications, Mod Podge Rocks! features projects by Amy as well as nine other well-known crafters who contributed fun tutorials for this book. The projects are split into three distinct sections:  Wearables, Home D├ęcor, and Holiday. Each project includes full-color photos with clear step-by-step instructions, written in Amy's wonderfully engaging writing style. This is a year-round resource book in my opinion, as you can make . . .

...a Retro Floral Outdoor Chair for the Summer . . .



...some Fall Painted Acorns in August . . .



...a Halloween Countdown Calendar in the Fall . . . 



...Patchwork Christmas Ornaments for the holidays . . .



...and all sorts of gift ideas for your friends and family members year-round! 

Nothing is left out, as there's even a tutorial for a Screen-Printed Dog Coat:


Or how about a stunning Moroccan End Table?


Toward the end of the book is an image gallery of 18 additional projects created with Mod Podge. Each project includes the name of the artist and a link to their blog where you can learn more. After the gallery, you get two pages of templates needed for some of the projects within the book, and then a page with bios on each featured designer, as well as some background on Amy as well.

In conclusion: I give the book two Mod Podged thumbs up. It's got a good beat and you can dance to it! 


Honestly? Anyone reading this is already interested in the book. My review is simply telling you that you're correct in being interested, as this is a must-have resource for your craft bookshelf.

So who wants to win a copy of this book? You do, right? All you have to do is enter below.

~Laura

Disclosure:  I was provided with a free review copy of the book, and was given an additional copy to give away, courtesy of Lark Crafts. The opinions about the book are entirely my own.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~



7-3-12 Update - Winner Chosen:  

"Terumi" was the random winner chosen via Rafflecopter! Congratulations Terumi!

For those that didn't win, I appreciate your awesome comments (answering the question) big-time! Thanks so much for participating with your tweets, likes, and comments! 

Click here to visit another crafty blog currently giving away a copy of Amy's book + a fun array of supplies too! 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~


GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.

Giveaway Terms:



I use Rafflecopter for my giveaways. If you aren't familiar with Rafflecopter, you can click here to see how it works.

You have a minimum of 8 chances to win:

A) The required entry is the first one. Complete this sentence: "I want to win the "Mod Podge Rocks!" book so badly, that I_______." Leave your answer in the comments section of this post. (Worth 3 entries!)

B) You can "like" Pet Scribbles - The Shed blog on Facebook for an additional entry.

C) You can follow me on Twitter for an additional entry.

D) You can tweet about the giveaway - text already provided for you in the entry form below. (Also worth 3 entries!) 

E) If you're really motivated to win this book, come back once a day and tweet about the giveaway again. Each time you do, you receive 3 more entries. 

Open to US residents only.

You can view the Terms and Conditions below. Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Saturday, Crafty Day

Pink Strawflowers, June 2012 
Happy Saturday!

This morning is a project day for some crafts I'll be sharing with you soon, but I'm also mapping out many upcoming topics too!

The image of the strawflowers above reminds me that I have many plants and flowers that I still want to tell you about! I also haven't finished my container garden "mini-series" though I can't believe a month has passed already since we left that topic. I've been doing way more gardening than actual blogging about gardening, and I hope you have also been enjoying some garden time too!

Painting a paper mache heart box for a fun project!
I have also been working on several fun tutorials, most of them in some degree of "in process" as I type this. I will admit that it is harder to craft indoors when all I want to do is be outdoors!

New card design in my Etsy shop: The Birthday Song, © Pet Scribbles

My birthday is next week, and to celebrate I will be giving away a copy of Mod Podge Rocks! - Decoupage Your World by Amy Anderson. This book has only been out for a few weeks and already it is one of the top-selling craft books on Amazon! Next week, I'll explain why you should buy this book and how fun and easy it is to craft with Mod Podge.

Until then, I hope you have a fabulous weekend, and that you will stop back in for all the upcoming fun!

~Laura


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Easy Off-Center Stripe Tie Dye Tutorial



Hi everyone! Last week, I showed you my fun tie dye project where I used a resist to make some fun designs using Tulip's Tie Dye Kits. You can see the entire tutorial of the cute pale pinkish lavender top here. I was asked to try out the Tulip tie dye products by ILoveToCreate, and was having so much fun with them that I ended up creating 3 different Summer tank tops for me. And just in time for the heat wave headed our way later this week, too! 

As I mentioned in my previous tie dye post, each Tulip kit includes an awesome two-sided poster filled with tips and techniques:



And "folding" is one of the techniques explained on the poster:



Once I read the instructions, I did some internet surfing and found a helpful folding technique how-to video from Tulip here. After seeing the video, I definitely wanted to try this technique, and thought it would be fun to create an off-center stripe down the front and back of my top.

For materials and supplies needed for tie dying, definitely check out my previous tie dye post to see pictures and a list of everything you will need. As well, I used garment blanks that I purchased here.

For this technique, you want to start with a damp surface. And if your garment is new, make sure to wash it first before dying, with just a small amount of laundry detergent, to remove any sizing.


STEP ONE

First, I turned in the sides, and turned down the top, to make more of a square-ish shape to begin folding.


STEP TWO

Next, I folded the top in an accordian style - think of those paper fans you made as a child. You did make those, right?



Extreme close-up view of the accordian-style folds, as shown with the green lines.


STEP THREE

Decide how many sections you want - I chose 7 sections as I purposely wanted an odd number - and rubberband every few inches.


STEP FOUR

Choose which sections will be dyed with which color, and apply the dyes to the garment. I wanted my vertical "stripe" to be on the side seam, as well as off-center on the shirt. I applied teal first, then the orange. Next, I wrapped it in the plastic and set it aside for 6 hours.

STEP FIVE

Time to rinse! I kept the rubberbands on during the initial phase of rinsing, and then removed them and continued rinsing until the water ran clear.


STEP SIX


Time to wash! As you Set your machine to a large load setting, and use the hottest water appropriate for your garment with just a bit of laundry detergent. I actually used cold water, because that's just what I usually do with my Summer tops, and the top came out just fine. Pop the top into the dryer, again on whatever setting is appropriate, or just hang it up to dry.


That's it!

the front...
...and the back

I'm really happy with how this top turned out, and again - I am amazed at how easy it is to create some fun Summer tops in the trendy tie dye styles so popular right now!

For more tie dye inspiration, check out some fun projects and tutorials from some of my crafty blog friends, below.

Disclosure: I wrote a previous tie dye post (you can see it here) as part of a paid campaign with ILoveToCreate.com and Blueprint Social. This post is just me playing with the Tulip Tie Dye Kits a bit more as it was just that much fun!

~Laura


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

© Pet Scribbles
Happy Father's Day Weekend!

We are looking forward to spending tomorrow with my parents, who are coming to visit, and we have been busy cleaning, cooking (my husband), and making everything be as comfy and relaxed as possible. My parents will both turn 81 this Summer, though you'd never know it by how great they both look. Yes, I'm biased!

I'm looking forward to showing them around our gardens, as I got the gardening bug from both of them starting when I was a little girl. And my husband is going to grill up a great meal for us to enjoy together. The weather is supposed to be sunny, blue skies, and in the low 70s - how in the world did we luck out with such a picture perfect weather weekend? My husband and I are looking forward to a wonderful time. I think even our cats are excited - they always gets great gifts from "Grandma!"

It is a bit bittersweet, coming upon Father's Day. My father-in-law passed away a year ago in February. He was an incredible man, and honestly the best father-in-law I could have ever imagined. One of the things he always wanted all us kids, in-laws, grandkids, etc. to do together was take a trip somewhere. Sadly, we never got the chance while he was alive. But last year, on Father's Day, all 13 of us - from ages 92 down to 2 years old - embarked upon a one-week cruise to Bermuda. It was great, it was difficult, it was happy, it was sad. The important thing was this: we were all together and that made missing him on Father's Day a bit easier to handle. Still, one year later, and there's a hole - something not quite complete - by not having my father-in-law here. I miss him so much . . .

I hope that everyone has a good Father's Day. It can be so darn difficult when the one we want to share the day with is no longer with us. And if that is the case with you, I hope you can find some peace in loving memories shared and remembered.

~Laura

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tie Dye Summer Top DIY, Using Tulip Tie Dye Kits



As our Summers are hot and humid, my clothes during the Summer months are made of either linen or cotton. And I basically live in sleeveless tops. So when I was asked to try out the Tulip Tie Dye kits from ILoveToCreate, I couldn't wait to try tie dying a fun Summer top. Tie dye is hot right now in fashion, and I found inspiration and fun styles easily on the interwebs. I chose an A-line tank with a double V-neck (back and front) in 100% cotton, purchased here. I was eager to adapt a technique that I had found via Pinterest using a tie dye resist, in which the dye will "resist" coloring anywhere that the resist is applied.




Prior to this, I had never tie dyed anything ever in my entire life. No big deal, you say? Au contraire! Tulip Tie Dye is not your mother's tie dye! These kits made it so easy, that I ended up making 3 different Summer tops using 3 different tie dye techniques - it was just that much fun! (Today I'm sharing just one technique, but I promise to share my other two creations here soon!)




I received a fun box of goodies from ILoveToCreate, including:


Tulip Tie-Dye Kits, Surface Cover, and gloves

  • Tulip Tie-Dye Kit in Tropical Twist, featuring the colors fuchsia, lime, and orange
  • Tulip Tie-Dye Kit in Paradise Punch, featuring the colors teal, purple, and fuchsia
  • Tulip Surface Cover to not only protect your craft area, but also to cover your project while it dyes
  • Extra rubber gloves
(For this technique, I didn't need to use the plastic to cover my project while it dyed, but I did use it for my other two tops that I also tie dyed.)


Awesome project and technique guide included in each kit

Included in each tie dye kit is an awesome project and technique guide with clear, easy-to-understand directions and tips, to help make sure your tie dye creations are a success!

Get your materials together and set out everything you will need before you begin.

Also included in each tie dye kit are 3 squeeze bottles with the powdered dye already inside, 20 rubber bands, and 2 sets of protective gloves. (I used the rubber bands on another Summer top, but you won't need to use them for this particular project.)

Additional supplies I used: paper towels, standard blue gel glue, wax paper, a storage bin lid, and an all-purpose bucket. (I've read that regular white glue will not work for this technique, but I can't personally confirm or disagree.)

Note: I initially wanted to do this technique with Tulip Fashion Art Resist, but it wasn't available at my local stores. I think this technique would work even better using the Art Resist, as it is a product specifically made for fabric dying and tie dying.


All set? Let's begin!

An important first step - if using a new garment - is to wash it in order to remove the sizing. Just use a tiny bit of laundry detergent. I didn't bother to dry the top, as for this technique you want a damp surface to start with.

I stretched my tank top around a storage bin lid to prevent glue from seeping through.

I stretched my top around a storage bin lid so that the glue I was using wouldn't seep through to the other side. I wasn't concerned about the tank top stretching out too much, but if you don't want to stretch your top, you could use a sheet of plastic in between the front and back layers.

My attempt at writing with the glue looked more like those irritating
word verification letters used on certain websites and blogs!


I had previously experimented writing words with the blue gel glue. It wasn't working to my liking, so I decided upon a simple dot design all over the tank top instead.

Making dots with the glue was just my speed!

Tip: when using the glue, make sure to space out your dots (or letters for those more adventurous than I), far enough apart so that they don't end up running together. You can see in the image below a few places where the dots began to merge together.

All done "dotting" up the front. Time to let both the top and the glue completely dry.

Once I was satisfied with my design, I set it aside to dry overnight.

The next morning ....

Do not adjust your monitor or your glasses, this picture is not blurry!

 ... this is what I saw!

No, your eyesight isn't blurry, nor is this picture. This is how the glue looks when it - and the top - are completely dry, so no need to panic...like I did just a little bit. Micro-panic is what I did.

Extreme close-up view of the dried dots of glue!

Now it's time to repeat the process for the other side of the top. First, however, I wanted to add one more dot of glue to each of the straps, right at the top, so I stood the storage bin lid up against a chair and carefully applied one drop of glue on each strap. I let the 2 dots dry for about an hour, just to make sure they wouldn't start migrating north or south.

Wax paper underneath the project, to protect the dots of glue on the front.

Put wax paper underneath the front of your garment - the side you have already decorated with the glue - so that nothing will stick to the glue or ruin your artwork. Dampen your shirt with a spray bottle and repeat the glue application to the other side of the top. I was very careful this time around with spacing my dots just a bit farther apart to avoid any dots merging with each other.

Dots are spaced out just a tad more, to avoid any dots getting together.

Once the back of your top is complete, then let everything dry completely like you did for the front of the top. I let it dry for about 8 hours. (Overnight also works!)

Yep, that's definitely fuchsia dye! 

Take your all-purpose bucket and fill it up with water, approximately 1.5 gallons total. You want to have enough liquid in the bucket to adequately cover your garment. 

Alert! Alert! Alert! You will want to put your protective gloves on before handling any of the dyes, so go ahead and do that now. 

Take the squeeze bottle that contains the fuchsia dye powder and fill it up with water only half-way first. (This is a trick I learned from one of the how-to videos from ILoveToCreate.) Once filled half-way, put your finger over the opening and shake vigorously. This will help any powder that might be stuck to the bottom of the bottle to shake loose. Once the bottom of the bottle looks free of powder, go ahead and fill the bottle up to the fill line, cover the opening, and shake it once again.  

Carry the bottle over to the bucket of water and slowly add it in, stirring with your gloved hand.

Swirling the garment around in the fuchsia dye.

Add your garment into the dye mixture slowly, so you don't splash any dye around. After swirling the top around for a few minutes, making sure the dye liquid has penetrated the entire garment, you can leave it for a few hours.

My Summer tank top hanging out in the fuchsia dye bath!

Actually, how long you leave it sit in the dye is up to you. I chose to leave it in for about 2.5 hours, as I knew I wanted a very pale shade of fuchsia, almost like a lilac-pink. If you want a more vibrant shade, definitely leave it for about 6 hours. What makes this fun is that you get to choose how saturated (in color) you want your garment to be. 

Another little tip: when you pull your protective gloves off, do it slowly - again to prevent dye from going all over the place - and pull them off inside out. This way, the dye stays "inside" the gloves and you can just toss them into the trash, mess-free. Just make sure you have another set ready to go for the next steps.

Rinse your garment until the water runs clear.

Alert! Alert! Put another pair of gloves on before continuing!

Carry the bucket over to your sink, put the edge of the bucket over the sink, and lift out your garment slowly, to avoid drops of dye getting everywhere. Place the garment directly into your sink, turn on the water (cool temp is fine), and rinse your garment until the water runs clear. At this point, I was getting so excited because I could begin to see how the glue resisted the dye!

After the water runs clear, place the garment back into your bucket to transport it to your washing machine. Set your machine to a large load setting, and use the hottest water appropriate for your garment with just a bit of laundry detergent. I actually used cold water, because that's just what I usually do with my summer tops, and the top came out just fine. Pop the top into the dryer, again on whatever setting is appropriate, and  then count just how many times you check to see if it's done yet. Seriously - I was never this impatient doing laundry, but I couldn't wait to see how it turned out!

Ta-daa! Close-up so you can see the dots and dye result!

I was so happy with how this came out! I loved how the dots stayed white and how "soft" the edges of the dots were. And I adored the different lines of darker fuchsia that appeared in random places on the top.

Another close-up, this time of the v-neck.

I tried the top on, instantly loved it, yet felt there was still something missing.

Bling was missing. Using Aleene's Flexible, Stretchable Fabric Glue - also an ILoveToCreate product - I adhered small gems in fuchsia and teal to the front and back of my tank top. 

Bling!
Close-up of bling, dots, and random wavy lines of dye!

Now it was complete. I was beaming! 




the front...
...and the back

Me. Beaming!


Tulip Tie Dye Kits are available at Walmart, Walmart Canada, Michaels, JoAnn, A.C. Moore, Hobby Lobby, Hancock Fabrics, Meijer. Tie dye kit contents and colors may vary by store.

Please visit ILovetoCreate.com online by clicking on the links below:

Twitter:  @ilovetocreate

Facebook:  ILoveToCreate  and also  TulipFashionArt

Pinterest:  ILoveToCreate

Disclosure: I wrote this post as part of a paid campaign with ILoveToCreate.com and Blueprint Social. The opinions in this post are my own.

~Laura


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