Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Reminder

From one of my favorite songs

{painted with acrylic paint and a makeup brush}
Sometimes I need to have this on repeat in my head.  

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Everyday I'm Stenciling

Hello!  I thought I'd put up a quick post to show what I just recently made.  Remember the basket I made for this chandlo?  Well, my friend's brother is now having his chai pani (engagement) next month.  My friend's family has somewhat adpoted Mr. Bean and I, so I do what I can and in turn reap the benefits of awesome homemade Gujarati food.  It's a win for the Beans for sure.

My friend's mom shares my same affection for jute bags.  She received a small gift sized jute bag as part of a favor at a wedding and loves it.  It had a pretty red jacquard ribbon on it and an ohm painted on it.  Really, really cute.  She asked me to find some like it for her for the chai pani but with a Ganesh on them.  I just knew it'd be easy to find, but after about 4 days of many internet searches and a million different combinations of keywords, the only thing I came up with were vendors that sold with a minimum of 1000 pieces.  We couldn't really justify buying 1000 since we only needed 11 of them.  I did find some mini jute bags that were blank, so I made a promise I wasn't sure I could keep.  I told her I'd put the Ganesh on them myself. When I hung up the phone, I asked myself out loud, "Now, why'd you go and say a thing like that??" 

My friend sent me an image of the Ganesh she wanted and I pretended I knew what I was doing.  Since the image was so small and somewhat intricate (for it's size), I didn't want to hand cut it.  Instead, I used the Silhouette's trace feature to trace the outline of the image.  I say this very nonchalantly, but the trace feature was a discovery I made at about 1:00 am when I was desperate for a solution to the problem I volunteered myself for.  It is probably the most awesome discovery known to man.  Or at least to me.  I should go down in some crafty wall of fame somewhere.  Seriously.  It's that awesome.  I even woke up Mr. Bean to tell him. He didn't find it quite as awesome at the time, but once I finished everything, he was sure to pat himself on the back for getting me the Silhouette. 

I stole borrowed some transparencies from work, closed my eyes, and hit "cut" on the Silhouette.  And it worked.

I placed cardboard inside the bags and placed my stencil on top.  I taped the stencil down with painter's tape and just used a cheap sponge brush to dab the paint over the stencil.

We wanted to keep the bags simple, but you know my obsession with rhinestones by now, so it won't surprise you that I decided the bags needed some bling.

So, I added a rhinestone as the bindi.  Just stayin' classy, my friends.  

And here they are!  My friend's mom will see them tomorrow.  I hope she likes them.  I'm kind of hoping she doesn't because I kind of want to keep them.... A girl can never have enough small jute bags with a Ganesh painted on them, can she? 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Old School

This one is old school, but I figured since everyone was back to school this month, I could legitimately post it.  That and I am procrastinating.  I have an audit at work on Thursday and I don't quite feel the pressure yet. Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?  That's my motto.

A cousin got married a little while ago - back in 2009!  OMG, time flies! - and I co-hosted the bridal shower along with her two sisters. She answered her calling to be a teacher.  And she loves it.  So, we figured we'd throw her a school themed shower.  So fun. 

The color scheme was chalkboard black, chalk white, and Granny Smith Apple green - aka chartreuse. Humor me here.  I wanted to do a modern take on the teacher-apple concept so instead of a red apple we went with green. 

The envelopes were black to resemble a chalkboard. I addressed them in my best old school penmanship using a white pen.  I remember when I was in elementary, penmanship was actually my worst subject.  I would get marks against me because I wouldn't slant enough.  Or I slanted too much. Annoying.  The ironic thing?  Now, I get soooooo many comments about my handwriting.  Ha.  Take that, Mrs. Denniston!!!! 

The invitations were file folders much like a teacher might assign a student to take home. I couldn't resist adding a black label on the front to write A + P, her and her (now) husband's first initials. 

The invitation was inside the mini file folder.   I designed it so that it looked like a loose sheet of paper filed away.  For the RSVP, I added "remember to do your homework by the due date" at the bottom of the invitation.   

I've seen my nephews' take home folders from school many times, so I knew there was always some sort of spreadsheet that teachers include to show the students - and parents - what their homework assignment was.  Usually it is handwritten by the student.  So, I included "homework" for each guest to RSVP and gave all the information they would need to RSVP as well as the registry information.  I then paper clipped it to the file folder to prevent anyone from losing their homework.  :) 

Here is a full shot of the invitation.  I started out writing each guests name on the file folder tab to personalize it a bit more, but I didn't like how I wrote some names so I left it off for the majority of the invites. 

Andrea's sister's took pics, so you'll have to trust me when I say the shower was really cute.  We made a ton of decorations.  I had to throw in a penant banner, of course.  We played charades - an aunty favorite in our family - with wedding words.  Then, we surprised the guests with a true or false "pop quiz" about weddings. 

Andrea has her students do an "All About Me" posterboard so they can all get to know each other, so her sister created an "All About Me" for Andrea with pictures of Andrea growing up.  She can now use it in her classroom for her students to get to know more about her!

You know I couldn't leave out the classic old school lunch bags. These held the favors, which were personalized for each guest.

Inside the bags we included goodies like erasures and pencil sharpeners as well as these pencils which I had custom made to say A + P = 12.19.09, their wedding date. 

The shower was a big hit and so much fun.  It was a good mix of friends and family so we partied for a good 6 hours.  It was probably the most fun I've ever had putting a shower together.  My girl cousins are pretty awesome, so the planning process was just about as much fun as the shower itself.  I can't wait for the next one....

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I like big books....

I love books and I love a cute bookmark.  I started a tradition with our book club back in 2007 when I brought back bookmarks from the Sydney Opera House for all my book club friends.  Since then, everyone has brought us bookmarks from all of their travels.  So, I've got a really cute collection of bookmarks from India, China, Turkey and even Marfa, Texas.  Since my book club was celebrating it's 6th anniversary, Anita and I wanted to do something small for everyone.  If you remember the totes we made for our 5th anniversary, you'll know Anita is a magician with the silkscreen.  Recently, she dug into her magic hat and pulled out a pretty awesome idea for our 6th anniversary gifts.

I saw a t-shirt online that I wanted to steal the quote from so I basically threatened to hold my breath until Anita came up with an idea on how to incorporate it in our gifts.  It's a good thing she's so crafty because I wouldn't have lasted long, but we'll just keep that between us.

She came up with the idea to make to make some button pins, but that didn't pan out because it required us to buy or rent a machine.  She then discovered that you can make fabric buttons with just a simple cover button kit and refills available at Hancock Fabrics. And suddenly all of my dreams were fulfilled.  Making fabric buttons has sort of been a dream of mine for a while now.  I have weird dreams, I know.  Then, I was stumped as to what we would do with these fabric buttons and she came up with the ingenious idea of a book band.  And that, my friends, is how the bookband was born.  

We decided to silkscreen the quote onto some fabric I have in my stash.  I designed the button with the quote and Anita worked her magic with the screen and got it ready for us. You can see the quote here.... "I like big books and I cannot lie."  In case you don't get it, it is a play on Sir Mix-a-lot's song "Baby Got Back."  Cracks. Me. Up.  Needless to say, I had this song in my head for a few weeks.....

We originally went with a yellow paint on linen so this pic is from our first couple of trials.  It didn't show up well on the fabric - and linen is not the best fabric to use when silkscreening such a small surface area because the weave is so large - so we ended up going with black ink and another fabric.  It actually looked better that way anyway. 

We cut up all the quotes according to the size specified on the cover button.  Our buttons were going to be 1 1/2", so it was maybe an additional 3/4" of fabric that is required to wrap around the button. 

Our first good button!!!   The kit was easy to use and push the back onto on the front but the "refills" aren't.  We had to coax them with a couple of taps of a hammer.  One thing: The "refills" aren't refills.  They don't require the kit.  I want to write Hancock a letter to tell them to get familiar with what they are selling but I'll let it go this time since the box on the "refills" say 'no extra tools required'. 

Our pile of buttons!!!!  We took those and strung 3/8" elastic thru the back and sewed the edges together to create a loop.  Then, we burned the edges to ensure they wouldn't fray. 

Our book bands!!  This is them in action on my Kindle.  Trust me.  The irony was not lost on us.....

And here they are all wrapped up!!  Our fellow book club members loved them.  We figure this will be the beginning of our bookband empire.  :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

September Obsessions

Hello, Friends!  Sorry I've been neglecting you.  Work has been really busy.  Every year I have the same audit and every year I let it bite me in the butt.  In my defense, I usually delay the audit for a couple of months, but this time I decided to get it over with. And I am paying for it now.  Anyway, enough work talk.  Because that is just boring.

My September Obsessions will be short.  I haven't had time to obsess over much so I am kind of in an obsession slump.  But here we go....

{image via Lifetime}
Project Runway.   This is a yearly obsession for me.  I've been watching Project Runway since Season 3 after having caught a marathon of seasons 1 and 2.  As soon as PR is over for the year, I honestly feel a void in my week....until it returns. Love Nina. Love Heidi. Love Tim.  His "Make it Work" is something I tell myself probably twice a day.  Love Michael Kors.  Sometimes I have to rewind the DVR because I'm laughing so hard at his comments, I can't hear what happened next..  Some of my MK favs......
  • “Next thing you know, it’s big button earrings and you’re on ‘The Facts of Life.’”
  • “She looks like a Pole dancer in Dubai.”
  • “She looks like an Amish Cocktail Waitress.”
  • “She looks like a transvestite flamenco dancer at a funeral.”
Oh, MK.  You make me laugh.  My favorite designer this season?  Anya

{image via Helen Musselwhite}

Helen Musselwhite.  Totally inspired by her work.  There isn't much else to say other than she's kind of my idol.  Every time I look at her work, it makes me happy. 

Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johansson's Relator.  I love everything about this song.  I heard it the other day on my iPod. I'd forgotten I bought it.  Love when I rediscover a song on my iPod.