Recently we were invited to a robot themed birthday party for a 2 year old named Quinn. Never one to let a good theme pass me by, I decided to wrap my gift accordingly. Save up your old boxes, cans and toilet paper rolls and you can make your own.
1 Large box for body and to put gift inside
1 Small box for the head
Aleene's Tacky Glue
Crafty Chica Silver Glitter
Tulip Fashion Glitter Shimmer Transfer Sheets
3 Wooden Knobs
2 Empty Tin Cans
Tulip Glam it Up Crystals
2 Paper Towel rolls (or toilet paper rolls) for arms
1 Small roll (mine came from a package of cinnamon rolls) for the neck
Aleene's Tacky Tape
First you want to get all your robot parts ready for assembly. I wrapped the arms, body, legs and neck in tin foil. You can use tape or glue to fasten it. Be sure to put your gift inside the large box before you wrap it in foil.
I also got my wooden knobs ready by covering them in Tacky Glue and sprinkling with Crafty Chica glitter while the glue was wet. You can find these random sized knobs in the wood aisle at your craft store. Allow them to dry completely.
Using black construction paper, Tulip Glam it Up Crystals (which are already sticky backed) and Tulip Fashion Glitter Shimmer Sheets decorate your robot body. I cut out one large piece of purple glitter, several small black paper rectangles and then attached to my body and adorned with crystals.
Making the face is the same as the body. The design you choose is totally up to you. Once you have your face on the box using Tacky Glue add your glittered wooden knobs. I added one to each side of my robots head and one on top for good measure.
All that was left to do was glue everything in place. I used a hot glue gun/tacky glue combo. The hot glue allowed everything like arms and tin can legs to adhere quickly. Once the glue cooled I went over it with Tacky Glue to make sure it would all stay in place.
Our wrapped up robot fit right in with all the other bots about. Tune in next week for Robot Party Part2. Also want to make more recycled robots? Check out this project. Looking for more wrapping paper options? How about a wrapped lamp shade, cassette tape gift bow, customized ice cream carton, wrapagami, gift wrap trends, vintage wrapping paper and wrapped gift hula hoop wreath.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Have you been out doing any bird watching this summer? Spotted anything cute? How about this Your so Tweet Necklace. You can score your very own in my Etsy store or you can read my tutorial from Crafts n' Things Magazine and make your own. I keep seeing Cardinals and Blue Jays hopping around on my fence, it's put me in the mood for some bird jewelry.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Many o' times have I thumbed through a home decor book, blog or magazine and seen a collection of vintage globes that tempted my impulsive collector tummy with the taste of their nuts and honey. I have always resisted (well mostly resisted I have two, but one is a vintage Fisher-Price Globe), but lately I keep coming across new and exciting ways to revamp globes that are making me consider expanding my collection. Just look at all these clever globe lights by Moxie Girl, a cluster of cuteness who's origin I can not seem to figure out and Ready Made.
I'm fresh out of shelf space around these parts, but I have plenty of ceiling to hang things from. Thanks Birch and Bird for the idea. Love the matching map wallpaper.
With my sister's fast approaching nuptials I have been eyeballing various wedding pictures and themes. I loved this spread from Project Wedding with a gaggle of globes.
I love the ceiling full of globes, but the rest of this Parisian apartment on Designer Pad is even more amazing.
I've made records and knitting needles into clocks and even clocks into picture frames - converting a globe to tell time seems like no hill for a stepper. I think the map pins are a clever touch by Tomi, but my heart belongs to the giant wall clock on Woman's Day.
Have you done anything crafty and clever with a globe? I'm digging the look of these decoupaged numbers. Got your collection displayed a nifty way? I'm just looking for another push to officially start my collection.
Monday, June 27, 2011
It's the last Monday in June which means today we are giving away our last book of the month. Up for grabs today is a copy of 1, 2, 3 Sew: Build Your Skills with 33 Simple Sewing Projectsby Ellen Luckett Baker. I have been a long time fan of Ellen's blog The Long Thread so it only makes sense that I would enjoy her book.
The title says it all with Bags, Accessories, Home Accents and More. There are step by step instructions on how to make everything from a coaster for your cocktail to a burp cloth for your baby. Plus everything in-between. The projects are divided by themed chapters like Organizers, Pillows and even Blockhead Animals.
1-2-3 Sew is not your run of the mill sewing book. Sure you will be using your sewing machine for these projects, but you are also inspired to use fruit as a stamp, bust out the embroidery hoop and even make some quilting yo-yo's.
There are 33 projects in all that build on each other. Say you start with the simple glasses case that even I could make. From there you build on what you just learned to make a zippered pouch. Once you have mastered those two projects you are ready to graduate to the cosmetic bag which incorporates skills you learned making the previous projects. 1-2-3 Sew - get it?
There are easy to follow instructions, 12 patterns, gorgeous pictures and helpful how-to illustrations inside. A gem of a sewing guide for intermediate and beginner seamsters.
Sounds like something you might like? How could it not. You have one week to leave me a comment and I'll pick one lucky winner. Sorry US residents only.
Friday, June 24, 2011
Did you think I forgot about my promise to give away a book a week on the blog since there was nothing new on Monday? Don't call me a fibber just yet, I rearranged the days on you. Why you ask? Because today I am part of a super fab blog tour celebrating the release of Make Stuff Together: 24 Simple Projects to Create as a Family. I have been obsessed lately with pinning activities that I can do with my kids so it was like fate when this book arrived on my door step. Given I am a bit partial since the authors are Austinites (Bernadette Noll and Kathie Sever) but even if they were from Buffalo I'd think this was a swell book. Any crafty families with bored kids home for the summer need to race out and get this book.
The book is laid out by cute little themes. Library Time has projects like a library card wallet and a button bookmark. Tallulah is headed off to camp in a couple of weeks so perhaps she and I will try our hands at the lunch tote in the Into the Woods Chapter. I had a onesie making party for Tallulah's baby shower it seems only fitting that one day we have a Birthday T-Shirt Party like the one laid out in the Happy Birthday to You chapter. There is also a Commemorate and Celebrate, Fun and Games and Dinner Time chapter with corresponding crafts.
What sets Make Stuff Together apart from other kids crafts books is exactly what the name implies. The book encourages you to make stuff with your kids, not just for your kids. There is a whole chapter called The Ways and Whys of Making Stuff Together. Sure it might only take you an hour during nap time to make a table runner, but the 3 hours you might spend with your kid picking fabrics and stamping words onto that table runner will make it so much more special. Not to mention a great crafty time filler for those too hot to go outside afternoons this summer.
Authors Kathie and Bernadette suggest people slow down, reconnect and get back to basics. Most of the projects in the book ask you to look around your own home for recyclable options that are beckoning to find a new life. There is a whole chapter about Acquiring Materials with a guide to helping you locate items such as neoprene, linens, inner tubes and more.
Most of these projects are for children older than mine, but I am setting my copy up on the shelf in eager anticipation of when we will be able to make some of this stuff together.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Diane Gilleland has her finger on the pulse of all things crafty, and I mean ALL things. She is the Editor in Chief of Craft Zine, She has authored several E-books, runs the successful blog and podcast Crafty Pod (check out mine on marketing online), is known to some as Sister Diane from her days running the Portland Church of Craft and anytime you see the hash tag #craftsocial on Twitter she is behind the scenes running the show.
Needless to say I was pretty excited to get a chance to chat with her about crafty matters like Kanzashi flowers and plastic canvas. She is also a wealth of knowledge about social networking and running a successful blog. All this and she is cute as a button and a heck of a nice person, what's not to love!
So how are you liking your new gig as head honcho over at Craftzine? Are you going to continue to write your fabulous business column for CRAFT? How did your new gig as Editor in Chief come about?
It was a big surprise! Natalie Zee Drieu, who many of us know and love, made the difficult decision in April to step down from her position at CRAFT and focus on her family. She suggested me as her replacement. Within about 14 days, I was Editor in Chief! I'm still working to get my feet fully under me, but thoroughly enjoying the process. It feels in many ways like what I've always done with my personal blog, but about 500% larger.
Explain Craft Social. I keep hearing about it and seeing the hashtags on Twitter, but to be honest I am not sure how it works.
Craft Social is a monthly Twitter chat that I've co-organized with Barbara Forbes Lyons for a little over a year now. It's open to the public. Each month, we have a different crafty discussion topic, and we have a big, freewheeling conversation about it. It's really fun to hear all the different points of view, and it's a great way to meet interesting new people to follow. Anyone who wants to join us needs only to follow the #craftsocial hashtag on Twitter, and add that hashtag to any tweets they want to contribute to the discussion. A really good place to join in is TweetChat.
We'll be on hiatus for July and August, but you can keep up on the dates of our future Socials at CraftSocial.net.
You recently had a book come out called Kanzashi in Bloom: 20 Simple Fold-and-Sew Projects to Wear and Give. How did you get started making Kanzashi flowers?
I stumbled onto this iconic post on Craftster, and that whet my appetite. I then did a ton of searches and trial and error to figure out how to do a simplifed version of the traditional Japanese method. And then I taught a few Kanzashi classes here in Portland. There's nothing like teaching to help you learn a whole bunch! My students helped me see all the places my process needed refining.
Interestingly, Clover took the process in my book and refined it even more. They just came out with these cool Kanzashi Maker templates, which make the process unbelievably simple.
You have written several Ebooks on your website Crafty Pod. Why the decision to write an Ebook rather than talk to a publisher about a physical book? Which one is your best seller?
Well, as much as I love my Kanzashi book, there are some downsides to traditional print publishing. For one thing, it takes about 18 months to get a book from contract to bookstores. And I wanted to write about blogging and social media, and let's face it, in those 18 months, everything can change!
I also wanted to experiment with self-publishing because I wanted to be able to write about subjects that might be too niche for a print publisher. Because print books cost so much to produce, a mainstream publisher very understandably needs to make books that will appeal to the widest possible audience. But I don't easily think mainstream. I think in niches.
My ebook Making a Great Blog: a Guide for Creative People is my best-seller. It's written from a crafter's perspective, and it covers the aspects of blogging I don't see covered in other blogging guides – namely, exactly how you go about creating interesting, valuable blog content. Good posts and beautiful images are really the foundation of any successful blog.
How did you get started podcasting? What kind of set up would an aspiring podcaster need? You collection of interviews is vast, who are few of you and your listeners faves?
My partner Katin first introduced me to podcasts, way back in 2005 when they were first coming on the scene. I immediately started a little show called SpinsterSpin, which was about being a woman who's chosen not to marry or have children. And within a couple months, I had the idea to start up a crafty podcast. And that one quickly took over a big chunk of my life!
To start a podcast, for the most part you just need these things: a microphone that plugs into your computer (or, is built into your computer). Some kind of audio recording and editing software (like Audacity. A place to host your finished podcast files. (Libsyn or Podbean are good.) The real magic is in how you adjust the settings of all these things to get the best sound quality. So, make a lot of test recordings, try various setting combinations, and keep good notes.
I have way too many favorite interviews to list here! Really, every show taught me something new, and gave me new things to think about. I really miss making podcasts!
Do people refer to you more as Sister Diane rather than just Diane? I find in certain situations I get referred to as “the Naughty Secretary” more than I do Jennifer. What ever happened to that branch of the Church of Craft? Have you ever preformed a wedding ceremony since you are ordained and all?
HAHAHA! It actually sounds pretty cool to be referred to as The Naughty Secretary! And yes, I'm referred to as Sister Diane all over the place. I always joke (perhaps mobidly) that it'll be on my tombstone.
The Portland Church of Craft closed down in 2007. I think two things happened: first, Portland is blessed with an amazing bounty of crafty-event resources. This is great, but then any event that happens regularly, like Church of Craft, seems to sooner or later fall victim. People start thinking, "Oh, I can go to that any month, but this weekend, I should go to this new event instead." Our Church of Craft just dwindled in attendance over time. And frankly, after 5 1/2 years of organizing it, I got pretty burned out.
I did perform one wedding, which was lovely! I officiated the ceremony for my dear friend Susan Beal and her husband Andrew Dickson.
What do you think it is about Portland and Austin being such crafty hot beds of activity? I have heard them called sister cities and in the craft department this especially seems to be true.
I've heard that, too! I've visited Austin, and loved everything about it except the heat. (Should've come out in October instead of July!) I think both cities have a wonderful creative vibe - not just for crafting but for all kinds of making, including food and technology and robotics. I think they're places where a creative person can go and live fairly inexpensively while they persue their dream projects. And since there are so many other creative folks around, all kinds of interesting cross-pollination happens.
Both cities also seem to embrace their "weirdness." There don't seem to be a lot of constricting social conventions – if you're original, then rock on!
How do you think Etsy has changed the Indie craft scene?
Well, on the one hand, Etsy has made it very easy to start a small craft business. This is a good thing, because I think a taste of entrepreneurship can be very beneficial for most of us.
I do see a certain downside, and it's not really Etsy's fault. Since so many crafters have turned to starting small businesses, I've seen the general conversation in the online craft community turn from excited sharing to marketing. I see so many crafters trying to market handmade things to other crafters – instead of reaching into the vast markets of non-crafters (who might actually be much better customers). I just see a lot of us smearing the communities we reach out to for support with the markets we reach out to for income. It's all a tricky balance, but I do feel like, when I wander in the crafty community anymore, I'm hit with so many more marketing messages than genuine attempts at conversation. I suppose all that will balance out over time.
You write a lot about Social Networking. If someone only had the time to focus on one social networking outlet to promote their craft business or blog would you tell them to pick Facebook, Flickr, Twitter or Pinterest?
I would tell anyone to try them all out, and pick the one they enjoy using the most. Any social marketing tool will work well if you're taking the time to actually talk with people instead of endlessly telling them to check out your online store. Twitter and Facebook are engagement marketing tools, not broadcasting tools. It's really about the conversations you have with individuals.
So, the magic ingredient here is time. Make sure whatever tool you use, you're able to enjoy the time you're putting into it.
All that said, I don't necessarily see Pinterest as a marketing tool so much as a very good organizing and archiving tool. Look at how your profile page is constructed there - your website is a very tiny presence. And I think Pinterest users are there for the eye candy more than the conversation.
I have heard through the crafty grapevine that you have a real soft spot for plastic canvas. Are the rumors true? I too see the brightly colored plastic sheets at the craft store and rack my brain for crafty possibilities.
Plastic canvas is the Rodney Dangerfield of craft supplies. And by that I mean, it doesn't get respect, AND it's capable of wearing loud plaid pants and starring in Caddyshack.
But it's a medium with amazing structural possibilities, and you don't have to do needlepoint on it! You can put it inside fabric or felt. You can adhere thick paper to both sides. You can wire buttons and beads to it. And you can construct so many interesting shapes! Just look at the work of Nicole Gastonguay. She's my total plastic canvas hero.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us Diane! I can't wait to play along with the next Craft Social, I need to read one of those E-books on blogging and maybe just maybe I'll pick up some plastic canvas next time I am at the craft store.
Check out more interviews here.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
One of my most prized home decor possessions is a large print called Balinese Girl by Vladimir Tretchikoff. I brought it back to Austin from Peoria, IL. Tretchikoff is one of many artists who gained popularity in the 50's and 60's with their mass produced art. You have probably seen his green faced girl paintings at the thrift store, local tiki bar or above the mantel at the home of your friend with kitschy taste in home decor. I personally think nothing says chic and tasteful like a Tretchikoff print, but then again I have a naked picture of Burt Reynolds on a bear skin rug hanging in my living room. Check out a few of these prints in action and let me know what you think.
It's rooms like this one from Glamour Damaged that make me dream of painting my red living room white. I love all the pops of color and the Tretchikoff print fits in perfectly.
I'd do very bad things for one of these amazing Tretchikoff murals. Come on you have to admit in mural form the prints look pretty penthouse sleek.
Tretchikoff even looks good up against a bold print wallpaper and when paired with Ikea as Frille Designs shows us. Russian artist, Asian girls and Scandinavian home decor - how very continental.
I wonder if this room was designed around the colors in these two Tretchikoff prints?
Whether you like your Tretchikoff in total theme with the rest of your retro decor like Tiki_Kiliki or juxtaposed with a more modern feel green ladies go with everything.
Pretty much everything in this room is bad ass, like whoa that turntable. However, look closely on the wall - I spy a Tretchikoff. Photo by Sarah Kramer.
This is an interesting collection of prints desperately trying to deflect attention from a flatscreen TV. I feel their pain.
Are you a believer now? Are you dying to have your own mass produced green tinted exotic woman hanging in your home? Check out this amazing book called Just Above the Mantelpiece: Mass-Market Masterpieces with not only oodles of info on Tretchikoff (and free pull out prints to frame) but also several other artists of the time. I also have a small JH Lynch collection hanging in my bedroom. Maybe next post will be a round-up of his topless ladies gracing a few walls.