Point of View: Pinterest | Intersecting Circle Art

So, today is the Point of View reveal! Don't know what Point of View is? You're missing out! POV is a monthly themed creative collaboration between a handful of "regulars", one guest (that's me, this month!), and, if you'd like, you. Each creative blogger shares a project based on a theme, and then anyone can link up a project relating to their view of that theme. Think of it as one of those craft competitions, minus the competition. :)

I'm so excited to be part of Point of View and share with you one of my *favorite* projects EVER. Our theme this month is Pinterest. If you've made something inspired by a pin, we want to see! (Scroll down to link up.) We have some great projects to share this month:

Keep reading to get the scoop on my Pinterest-inspired project (and link up your own), and please take a minute to check out the other fantastic projects by these amazing ladies:

Ashlee from I'm Topsy Turvy
Gwen from Gwenny Penny

My project this month is this gorgeous (if I do say so myself) intersecting circle art:

In true Pinterest and knock-off fashion, this project is inspired by this paint chip intersecting circle art by Two Girls Being Crafty, which was inspired by a piece from World Market.
World Market: $129 | Two Girls $3 | just Lu $17*

*only because I inadvertently grabbed the wrong type of wood (the $15 expensive-ish type)

The tutorial was one of my first pinned projects. I started it back in October, and being a guest here for POV gave me the proper motivation to get it all finished up.

Those Two Girls have done a great job with the tutorial, I followed it closely and made two separate pieces, mounted on wood planks instead of on a canvas.

I am completely in love with the depth that the wood background gives to the pieces. I used Minwax Dark Walnut stain and it's my new favorite (I'm planning to use it for this shelf next). I bought a 3-foot 1x12 board and had them cut it in half for me at the hardware store, so each plank measures 1x12x18 inches... almost. I will never understand why wood dimensions aren't actually the same as their names.

Anyway, after pulling out my hair figuring out the common denominator of 11.5 and 18 (give or take a 1/4 inch), I used Photoshop to help me draw a circle that was exactly the crazy-right size, and I created my football-ish template from there. (This won't make any sense until you read the tutorial over at Two Girls Being Crafty :)

After hours of tracing and cutting, I adhered each piece semi-permanently to the plank using double-stick tape, so that I could reposition the pieces as needed to make sure that they were arranged how I would like and fit properly to reach the edges of the planks. Once the pieces were where I wanted them, I used a gluestick to adhere each piece permanently, and then sealed the whole shebang (or, I guess, both shebangs) with a matte spray sealant (Krylon Low Odor Clear Finish). The tutorial uses ModPodge, but I do not have a good track record with ModPodge as a sealant for paper that needs to stay flat, so spray was the way to go!

I added a sawtooth hanger to the back of each plank, and up on the wall they went! They brighten my entryway, and I'm sure it will be even better once I choose a family picture to enlarge and hang in between them like this:
one of my favorite photos ever!

or maybe like this:
our Christmas card photo... for the cards we never sent :)

Currently it actually looks like this:
that blue painter's tape is class-y, right?

Gotta love Photoshop for its abilities to twist reality :)

Now, what have you been pinning? Come link up your Pinterest-inspired projects!

Hand-Stamped Scrunchy Tote

I am so in love with my latest creation that I had to forego the normal waiting period (of waaaay too long) to share it with you right away:

My niece turned eight yesterday. Her favorite color is purple and she has been begging for a scrunchy-style bag since I made one for myself in June and another for Debra in July (neither of which I have shared yet... but I will round up some pictures to share soon).

I put off starting this project until yesterday, thinking that I had some great purple fabric in my stash. And... I didn't. Just plain ol' purple. Rather than spend the time and money to run to the store, I decided to exercise my creative muscle that has been getting soft lately. ;)

craft paint + egg carton cups + bottle caps
 (plus a lid from a tub of frosting as a paint tray)
a fantastic stamped fabric that I couldn't be more pleased with. 

The bottle lids were from a water bottle, a gallon of milk (which is now just sitting lidless in the fridge... small sacrifice for awesome fabric ;), and one of the small bottles of juice. I cut out three individual cups from an egg carton (already empty and in the recycling... I only rob so much from the fridge!) and hot-glued the lids on, two right side up to make the solid circles and one upside down to make the circle outline. You could do without the egg carton cups, but it was SO helpful to have a little more grip on the "stamp".

I watered the craft paint down a little bit as I stamped (maybe 5 drops per medium dollop of paint?). Once the paint was dry, I ironed the fabric to heat-set the paint (since I didn't use fabric paint -- I've never bothered and it doesn't seem to make a huge difference until it's been washed a LOT).

To make the bag, I followed the basics of this tutorial from Nae of Nae Chic. (I followed the tutorial exactly for my first scrunchy bag -- it's a great tutorial for a great bag!). My outer pieces (that I stamped) were about 13"x22", and the interior pieces ended up being 13" square. I also stamped fabric for 3 interior rectangular flat pockets, which I neglected to take a photo of.  The finished bag is just the right size for the Highlights puzzle books I had picked up for her -- or another magazine, notebook, coloring book, text book, etc.

The handle is an old necktie I had in my stash. It was part of a tie skirt I made in high school that I had started to dismantle to remake in an, er, mom size (hips! who knew?) so I had already cut it down to about 16" long and undone the stitching to remove the stabilizer inside.

To make it suitable for a bag handle, I ironed in some fusible fleece (because I had a scrap that fit just right) and sewed a straight stitch down the middle to re-secure the tie in proper shape. I sewed the cut edge into the seam when I sewed the interior and exterior of the bag together, and then I attached the other end (the triangle end) by hand, using a big purple button and purple embroidery floss.

I love it, and my niece was thrilled with it! I can't wait until my own kiddos give such glowing approval of my handiwork :)

I know I've been mostly absent lately, but I am still here and doing all sorts of fun things to share with you. First and foremost, I am SO excited for next week - I am the guest for Point of View this month. The theme is Pinterest, so I finally got around to finishing one of my first Pinterest projects. I hope you'll love it! Tune back in next Friday for the reveal :)

Thanks for reading!

Photo-a-day 2012

Hello, friends! Life is busy, as always, but I wanted to be sure to say hello, share some photos, and let you know about my most recent post over at Housewife Eclectic as part of my Wednesdays on (or off) the Web.

Item #1: Hello! Thank you all for reading :)

Item #3: Pop over to Housewife Eclectic for this week's challenge: to capture the everyday moments.

Item #4: Yes, I can count, but no, I don't care to put these in the proper numerical order...

Item #2: The photos. I've been trying to take more photos lately, inspired by the 356 (or 366, this year) photo projects I see around (like Debra's... check out her AWESOME calendar, and be sure to click on a blank day to see some nerdy goodness :). So, here are some to share:

Combine quiet time with a 2-year-old who loves Spam... the result is uncanny
(ha! I crack myself up!)

All bundled up!

After no nap, Shaun the Sheep is all it takes to put him to sleep, sitting up...
and to keep him asleep as he falls over.

This poor girl puts up with so many things being put on top of her, like a kid-sized plastic lawn chair. No injuries yet....

My sleepy cowboy :)

my first homemade tortillas! they're a little thick, but tasty :)

You know the expiration date on the pop tubes of biscuits? They need to call it an EXPLOSION date. One tube exploded in the fridge, and when I tried to open these, one exploded all over the kitchen, nearly taking my thumb with it. The other one exploded on the front porch when my husband went out to try to open it...

a very happy Valentine's day :)

Polo jammies... the newest layering trend. When you see it hit Hollywood, it started here!

"Why do they make running shoes in all these crazy colors?" he asks.
"Ooh, pretty shoes!" she says with a glint in her eyes...

Just because I am awesome

... and you all need more proof ;)

Andi from Jane of All Crafts tagged me in a post asking random questions. I, like Amy (who was also tagged), am a rule breaker, so I'm just going to answer Andi's questions. If you'd like to join in and pick up my slack to move the tagging chain along, consider yourself tagged. :)

1. If you had to eat the same thing everyday for the rest of your life what would it be?

Mashed potatoes and gravy. Or the sweet pork burrito from Costa Vida. Okay, definitely the sweet pork burrito. I could eat it every day and never get sick of it. So, Costa Vida for lunch and mashed potatoes for dinner and... homemade wheat bread and strawberry jam for breakfast. Delicious!

2. If you woke up one day and were an animal, what type would you be?
If nature was judging from my current everyday activities, I'd probably be a cat -- I love to sleep and sit around all day and I think I'm pretty superior to all other creatures. ;) Also, agile and flexible... yup, that's me...

3. If you could pick any profession other then your current one, what would it be?
I would go back to being a technical writer. It's not for everyone, but I love it and still miss it often!

4. How many states have you visited?
Umm... 6? I clearly don't get out much... I'd love to visit more, and have plans to visit Montana (hopefully soon) and Maine (to prove that it exists) someday.

5. Ever been overseas? If not where do you dream of going?
Nope. I would love to! I would truly love to go just about anywhere. Tops on my list are Germany (thanks to Tera), Italy, and England, plus Russia (where my husband spent two years as an LDS missionary). Also Prague, while we're dreaming :)

6. If you had to choose, would you rather be an awesome dancer or an amazing singer?
Tough question... I'm going to say singer so that I would fit more with my husband's amazingly talented family. Seriously, they all have great voices. Also, I would love to be able to sing beautiful songs and lullabies to my kids and actually have them still sound beautiful instead of just a little (or a lot) off-key...

7. What is your favorite beverage? (alcoholic or non)
Strawberry limeade. Add that to the list in #1 because I could drink it non-stop.

8. What would your dream home look like?
Wrap-around porch. Big, amazing craft room. Big laundry room (so that I can hide it all in there ;). Big kitchen/dining/entertaining area for all the people I want to gather there. But the actual home itself can't be that big because I don't want to clean it all ;)

Wait, scratch the craft room and add the craft barn that Debra and I dream of. It has a limeade bar (see #7) and a photo studio, among other awesome features.

9. What trait about yourself do you value most?

Hmm... that is a good question. I am going to say that I have never seen something that I didn't think I could do. Not sure what you'd call that -- maybe hubris? ;) There are things in life that I don't want to do, and there are things I know that I won't do, but I don't know that I've ever encountered anything that I thought was impossible for me to do, if I really tried and made it a priority. I've always been more afraid of not being my best (of not doing my very best) than of failing altogether. Do I sound completely self-important yet? :)

10. Have you ever tasted the rainbow? ;)
Are we talking Skittles here...? Because in that case, yes.

11. Mac or PC?
Currently, PC. But I love Macs. I'm great with either so long as it has internet access ;)

Also... I have been seriously slacking and forgot to share my last few Wednesday posts over at Housewife Eclectic. So, if you feel so inclined, pop on over.

And, since you've read this far, a gratuitous picture of my adorable baby girl -- 6 months old! How time flies.

Photo by my awesome sister-in-law, Dusty, who will very soon have a website of her own that I can link you to :)

Thanks for reading!

Kid's Sewing Kit [Land of Nod knock-off]

It was my niece's birthday back in October, and as I was thinking of what to do for her, I came across this Land of Nod kids sewing kit, featured over at Gwenny Penny. Lightbulb! (Thanks for the inspiration, Gwen!)

As cute as it was, $31 was out of my budget... not to mention that I have no idea if there is a physical Land of Nod location in my state. I've only ever browsed online for inspiration. :) (If you're interested, theirs is on sale right now for only $17.)

A trip to JoAnn's and a visit to my stash produced...

My out-of-pocket cost was around $13:
  • snap n' stack organizer, $6
  • scissors, $2
  • embroidery floss, $2
  • measuring tape, $1
  • small spool of ribbon, $1
  • googly eyes, $1
  • needles, on-hand (I ended up including one darning needle and one sharper needle, in a simple felt needlebook)
  • felt, on-hand
From my felt, I cut out some fun animal shapes for her to sew together:

The elephant was from this Taffy Talk pattern, and the other shapes were from coloring pages I found various places online.

I also cut out some felt puppets, from She Wears Flowers, and tossed in a few random scraps for her to make her own embellishments.

Just toss the supplies in the tote (or other container), snap it together, and toss a bow on top. Or, if you're like me, skip the bow and make up for it by saying "Happy Birthday!" extra enthusiastically. :)

Diamonds for Piña: a quilting adventure

Looking over my pictures from the last year, I realized that I have a rather large backlog of projects that have never shown up here! And even a few more than I never actually took pictures of... So, it's time to start sharing! Today I want to show off the quilt I made for my daughter, who we (sometimes) affectionately call Piña (since her name, if you slur a little bit, translates into the word for pineapple :)

When I was pregnant with my son, I decided to make him a baby quilt. Something small and easy, and something that wouldn't be too incredibly difficult to also make for future children. As the youngest of 8 children, I am always telling myself not to do something special for one kid if I wouldn't want to do it for 8... even though I have no intention of having 8 children. ;)

I decided to make this Sweet Divinity Diamond Quilt by the Quilted Fish for my daughter. The tutorial is great, and, even though I am an impatient when I sew, the quilt top still turned out great!

And then... my anxiety overwhelmed my impatience with just wanting the quilt finished. So, the quilt top sat neatly folded until my daughter was almost 3 months old. I loved the 3-month photos that Debra did of my son with his quilt, and I wanted similar photos of my daughter with her quilt. But I was terrified of machine quilting!

I had hand-quilted my son's quilt, but I didn't have the time or the patience or the free hands for that now. Thankfully, I have a friend who makes fantastic quilts and she agreed to give me a crash course on machine quilting (thanks, Heidi!). In 45 minutes, she gave me the courage that I needed to dive in to machine quilting... even if I wasn't good at it, I was confident enough that I wouldn't totally ruin the quilt, at least. :)

And you know what? It turned out great. Far from perfect, since my stitching that is supposed to be "in the ditch" actually moseys from one side of the ditch to the other and then back... but a labor of love that I'm happy with. 

I followed these steps from the Aesthetic Nest for making the bias tape (the tube construction makes it so easy!) and then I followed this tutorial for ZigZag Binding from Stitched in Color -- it was fast and easy, even if it's still not perfect since I'm too impatient. :)

It's hard to see, but I love that light blue paisley fabric (like the diamond that I embroidered with her name), and the backing fabric makes me smile every time I see it...

especially when it's accompanied by these sweet cheeks :)

Do you have traditions that you do for each of your children? Or am I the only one with the youngest-child complex? :)

Friday Confessional: Dejunking

I confess that, as I was dejunking this week, I found SEVEN tubes of chapstick in the same drawer. And later added another one so that I always know where to find my chapstick. :)

I confess that dejunking was rather profitable for me. In addition to the several dollars of loose change I found floating around, I also re-found a couple of checks I had forgotten about and my son's birthday money for his last two birthdays.

I confess that my son is a bit addicted to technology. His first words when waking up are either "Play Mario when Daddy comes home" or "Daddy take iPad to work?" Apparently my husband is a little addicted to technology too. :)

I confess that dejunking with my toddler was... interesting. At least as he was pulling things back out of donation boxes, he was entertaining: he pulled out the jumbo calculator and said, "Wow, Mom, cool iPod!" Kids these days... ;)

I confess that one day this week ended in a load of laundry with a pair of poopy pants for every member of my family except me. In my husband's defense, his pants suffered at the hands of my daughter's diaper blowout, not of his own issues. :)

I confess that I know the regular schedule of the UPS delivery truck and I get excited every time it stops in front of my house.

I confess that the UPS truck has stopped by every day this week.

I confess that most days this week I had to think reeeeally hard about what I had ordered for the UPS man to deliver. It's like a surprise every day! :) And probably also the reason that I had so much junk to get rid of. :)


Anxiously Engaged: The List

I've decided to borrow an idea from Amy at Increasingly Domestic and use Wednesdays as my "word" day, to update how I'm doing with my one(ish) little word for the year. Hopefully this will keep me going strong all year!

And I'm also still doing Wednesdays on (and off) the Web over at Housewife Eclectic. This year I'm adding in more fun and good things on and off the web, so it's not just online tips anymore. :) Come on over! Today we're exfoliating digitally...

When I introduced my word(s) for 2012, I told you that I set a LOT of goals. That is true. Most of my goals this year are residual from my before-25 list that I made on my last birthday, but I've added a few more and divided them up into 5 categories: to be anxiously engaged in...

living a healthy(er) life
growing spiritually
using my brain more
developing relationships
doing new and fun things

So, if you really want to know the nitty gritty of what my goals are... read on. :)

I confess... it's good to be back!

I confess that it's good to be back to blogging, even in small doses like I have been. :)
I confess that, last week, I curled my eyelashes for the first time in my life. I'm still partly convinced that the eyelash curler was first created as a form of medieval torture, but I do like the improvement in my lashes.

image source

I confess that I've gotten my kids to nap at the same time THREE days this week and that makes me feel like Wonder Woman. Of course, I spend most of that hour of both kids being asleep on Pinterest, but, hey, Wonder Woman's gotta do what WonderWoman's gotta do. And Wonder Woman's gotta pin.

I confess that I am having a lot of fun getting rid of 50 things, but that I refuse to touch my craft supplies as part of the dejunking process.

I confess that the universe is working against me -- as I get rid of things, new things keep showing up. First my recently retired dad handed down a bunch of neckties to my husband, and then this showed up:

It's a corner shelf (the bottom part of this piece by Ana White) that the young men from our church built for us as part of their scouting program. Now I just have to decide how to finish it. What do you think -- wood stain or paint?

I confess that all of these things showing up would bother me more if I didn't love getting new things... :)

Have a great weekend!


An exfoliation of stuff

Hi friends! I'm over at Housewife Eclectic today issuing a challenge: get rid of 50 things. Come on over to get the details about why and how.

Thanks for reading!

Anxiously Engaged

I'm back! It's been far too long, and I have missed you all so much. Thanks for sticking with me, friends!

Are you familiar with Ali Edwards' one little word idea?

(You can read more about it here. I'm not familiar with the class that she offers there, so I'm not endorsing that, or her, or anything. I just like the concept. :)

The idea is to select one word to guide your life for the year, to "focus on, meditate on, and reflect upon" as you go about whatever else is going on in your life.

I prefer to think of it as my rallying cry, the energy behind all of the other goals that I make for myself in a year.

Because I set a LOT of goals.

But we'll get to those in a minute. First, my word. Actually, it's two words. I'm a rule-bender that way. :)

For 2012, I am striving to be
anxiously engaged.

Nope, it's not a sob coming from a desperate-to-be-married single girl (or guy). :) It's a scripture:
27 Verily I say, men should be aanxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness (Doctrine and Covenants 58:27)
image source

I look over the things that I do in a day and I think, Wow. I am seriously unproductive. And I'm not setting the productivity bar very high, trust me.

So, for 2012, I'm working on being anxiously engaged in a good cause. Emphasis on the engagement, not on the anxiety. :)

I want to be 
engaged in loving my kids
engaged in cherishing my husband
engaged in living a healthy life
engaged in enjoying the day-to-day awesomeness
engaged in doing the things I need to do and not just the things I want to do

As I mentioned, this one word (ish) is my rallying point for my other goals this year. I'm sharing one goal over at Housewife Eclectic today as part of the new year of Wednesdays on (and off) the Web. The rest of my list will have to wait because, hallelujah, both of my sick and cranky kids are asleep at the same time, and I have better causes to be engaged in than boring all of you with my list of ways to become the perfect Lu...

Instead, tell me... what are your goals? or your one word?
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