January 27, 2011

KitchenAid Vinyl Subway Art

I finally did it!  This is one of my first projects with my brand new Silhouette machine! 
A HUGE Thank you to my dear husband who got the machine for me (aka, let me choose my own gift) for Christmas!!
I was inspired by the House of Smiths blog, who also put subway art on her mixer...
I picked my favorite words, a few fun fonts, arranged them just so, and voila! 
My words filled about an 8" x 6" space - and were pretty easy to smooth right over the top of the mixer.
I love the way it looks in the kitchen!  I'm pretty proud of it - even though I still have a lot to learn on this fancy Silhouette machine:)

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January 22, 2011

Hip and Modern - Family Name Wall Hanging

I love these collages of letters!
I have spent time taking some of my own pictures - and created things like this:
I saw this post over at Under the Table and Dreaming and went to take a look at These Photo Collections - and let me tell you, they are overwhelmingly amazing!
I picked out letters to spell our family name, and it looks great in a frame on the bookshelf.

For a quick how-to on making your own - here you go:
1) Go to the photo collection, and pick out the images you like - letters spelling your name, etc.  When you find one you want, right click on it, and select "save picture as..".  Save the images in a file, under names you will recognize.

2) Open a Power Point document, and insert each of the images that spell whatever you are spelling, one by one.  Resize them by dragging the in the corner (see below) - and make them a small manageable size. 

3) Arrange all the letters/images next to each other nicely.  Some overlap, and you have to move them around until you are satisfied.
Just as I did, seen here:

4) Select all the images and then right click.  Chose "Save as Picture".
Save it in a folder you can find, under a name you will recognize, and depending on what kind of file you want to make, change the selection dropdown menu.  I often choose .jpg. 

5) Your block of letters is now its own single image, and it can be uploaded to your favorite photo printing site and printed!

There are so many images available - it is definitely hard to choose!  It would be fun to make one for each of your children, with their names, or write the word "KITCHEN" and hang in above the stove...really, anything spelled this way would look cool!
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Thumbprint Hanging Clay Charms

I love my kids, in case you couldn't tell:)  When I saw this post over at A Girl and a Glue Gun, I thought it was so adorable!
I know people who keep their kid's handprints hanging up in their house, and this is kind of a spoof on that...
I rolled some fimo/sculpey clay out to about 1/4", and cut out a star with cookie cutters, and had my 2 girls press their thumbs into the middle.  The clay needs to be really warm and soft for this!
Then, I decorated their little thumbprints to look like them...with their initials, and with a skewer, punched a hole in the top.  Then I baked them, and strung them - and now they will make cute little decorations to hang on my car's rear veiw mirror!

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January 21, 2011

100 Followers and a Free Printable Giveaway!

Hurray!  Diary of a Crafty Lady hit 100 Followers Today!
Thank you all for your wonderful comments, and the inspiration you give me everyday! To celebrate 100 followers - I have a fun giveaway - for everyone!! 
My wonderful little sister, Ashley, actually did the work on this one, and she said she was willing to share her hard work with my readers - so here you go...

Ashley painstakingly researched what multitudes of all sorts of animals are called, and compiled them into this great list, with little pictures to match:)
It looks so cool, and everyone loves reading through them.

This is really fun for a little boy's or girl's room, or a playroom or mudroom...
And you can have it just for being one of my devoted followers:)
Click on the link below to access a .pdf file of

You can save this to your computer -- Then print it off on a regular sheet of paper, and trim it down to fit into an 8x10 frame, or you can send it to a print shop to have it printed on 11x17 paper, trim it down and put it into an 11x14 frame!  Just like the one pictured here. 
It is best if it is printed onto nicer, thicker paper (The 11x14 pictured here was printed on paper slightly thinner than cardstock) - and I personally think the black mat and black frame really make it pop!
Hope you all enjoy - and THANK YOU for following along with my crafting adventures!

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January 18, 2011

Burner Cover Wall Hangings with Custom Magnets

Burner Covers are magnetic!  Did you know? :)
This means, that they make GREAT, portable message boards, and they are completely customizable. 
I found this pack of two at the dollar store - and actually that is the only place I could find them.
I have a little space on the wall near my craft table, where previously I had been taping up notes and patterns when I was crafting.  I knew I needed a small, quick, easy (and easy on the eyes) solution.
Originally I saw this post here, which gave me the idea!

I covered the top of the burner cover in mod-podge, put my fabric over it, and mod-podged on top of the fabric as well.  There was overhanging fabric all the way around, and once the mod-podge was dry, I trimmed it to the edge.  I left the sides of the burner covers white - just as they came. 
I wanted my burner cover to look pretty, whether it had pictures or notes on it or I decided to add fabric "stems" and make bottle cap magnets to look like flowers.
The stems are mod-podged on as well.
I had extra bottle caps left over from this project.  I cut 1" circles of fabric to fit inside my bottle caps, and mod-podged them down on the inside. 
I added a super strong magnet to the back of each bottle cap with amazing goop glue.  (The upper left of the picture above shows what the magnet looks like). 

And you can see how the magnets become the flowers when put on the top of the stems:)
They look cute on my wall, and will be very handy for notes and pictures. 
This would be a great idea for the kitchen as well - to hold a recipe while you are using it!

UPDATED - How to hang these

 I decided to hang these a little differently.
Originally I stuck nail in the wall, and hung them from a nail - but that wasn't feeling very secure.  They wobbled a lot, and could easily fall off.

So, I decided to add a little piece of ribbon, like so:

Cut about a 3" piece, and glue it to the inside rim - so that the middle is hanging out a bit.  See picture below...ends are glued about 2" apart.
 Hang the ribbon from the nail!  This makes it much more secure, and less wobbly.

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January 15, 2011

Valentines Day Chairback Mail Pouch

My daughter is just starting to get old enough to really "get into" holidays with - and it is really fun to celebrate with her:)
When I saw this tutorial over at At Second Street, I immediately grabbed some fabric scraps, and threw one of these Valentines mail pouches together.  It took a couple of hours, and I was very pleased with the result! 
 My daughter has already enjoyed putting "love notes" inside for me:)
And I look forward to filling it with little treats for both my daughters as well.  Happy Valentines Day season:)

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January 10, 2011

Quiet Book

Long before I had a blog, I made this quiet book for my daughter.  It took me a very long time:) but I think it turned out great - and so far it has held up! 
I recently took pictures of each of the pages that I made - since I love to document all my crafts, past and present!
Each page is about 10" square - finished.  So, I started out with 11" square pieces of fabric. 
The base square is cotton fabric, and the shapes sewn on are all made from felt. 
I made each page front and back, before I sewed them together, so that the sewing lines would be hidden.  The only thing I did after the pages were sewn together (front to back) was add the grommets for the book rings. 

For the letters on the cover, I took foam sticky letters, laid them out, and sewed through them to hold them was a long time ago - so I don't remember - but I probably gummed up my needle a bit doing that:) 

Page 1 & 2: Hang the Laundry & Chicken and Chicks

For this page, I cut out a tree shape from green felt, and sewed it onto my square of fabric. 
I cut out a basket shape, sewed decorative lines on it, and sewed it along 3 sides to create a pocket for the "clothes."
The clothes are also made out of felt. 
I punched 2 small grommets (kits can be found at the fabric store) to string the "clothes line".  Before stringing the clothes line, I glued on mini clothes pins.  I used glue to secure the string to the back of the square of fabric after I had put the ends through the holes. 

For the chicken, I cut a chicken shape from white felt, cut and sewed on the red parts, cut and sewed on the beak (you could also use fabric glue to put these parts on the chicken).  I also glued on a googly eye.  I sewed the chicken to the fabric, all around the TOP half of the chicken.  I left the BOTTOM half unsewn so that it could be flipped up to reveal the eggs!
The eggs I cut jagged 2/3rds of the way up the egg, placed them under the chicken, and sewed them only along the outside of the egg - not along the jagged edge.  This created a pocket for the chicks!
The chicks are 2 pieces of felt, sewn together EXCEPT at the bottom of the chicks, so that they make finger puppets.  The beak and googly eyes are glued on with fabric glue. 

Page 3 & 4: Tie the Shoe & Fish Tank

The words "Tie the Shoe" are again foam sticky letters that I sewed down.  The shoe is made from a black shape on the bottom, an orange shape sewn onto that, and 2 half circl-y things made out of blue felt, sewn onto that.  The blue pieces have 3 small grommets punched into each, in order to thread the shoe lace.  These grommets are the same size as the ones used on the "Hang the Laundry" page - and were put on before the blue pieces were sewn to the shoe. 

One thing I would say about this page - is that it might be a little out of place.  I know that tons of quiet books have a "Tie the Shoe" page, but really - my kids are not even close to being able to tie their shoes, and compared to the other pages, this one might be a bit advanced.

This page is a little more complicated, but still pretty cute:)
1) The blue bowl is made from felt.  I cut the top of the blue piece to look like waves, and then glued it onto a small piece of fabric (the same color as the background) to make a nice straight edge at the top.  I also folded over and sewed the top edge of the fabric to make a clean top edge. 
2) Over the blue felt is clear vinyl - which I got off the roll at the fabric store.  I cut it the same shape as the "bowl", but included an extra notch at the bottom to sew the velcro to.  I sewed 1 side of the velcro to the bottom part of the vinyl.  Then I sewed this vinyl piece to the blue bowl, only along the top. 
3) I sewed the blue bowl (NOT INCLUDING THE VINYL) down to the fabric square.  I sewed only along the sides and the bottom - not along the top, so that it created a pocket.   
4) I sewed the opposite side of the velcro down where it met the velcro on the vinyl.
5) Finally, the pieces to fill the fish bowl... I found clipart that I liked, and using my inkjet color printer, printed the pictures onto iron-on transfer/t-shirt paper.  I then cut the pieces out and traced them onto white felt, twice.  I sewed the 2 coordinating pieces of felt together, sewed the hook side of the velcro onto the back, and ironed on my printed picture. 
The hook side of the velcro sticks to the blue felt, and allows you to place the pictures wherever you want. 

Pages 5 & 6: Count the Sheep & Vegetable Garden

The sheep were made in the same method that I described making the fish bowl pieces, except instead of putting velcro on the back, I put snaps.  I found a sheep in clip art, added a number 1-6 over the picture, and printed all 6 out on the t-shirt iron-on paper.
I sewed one side of the snap onto the fabric square, and the other side of the snap onto the doubled up felt sheep-shape before ironing on the actual sheep picture. 
The green and white felt are cut and sewn together to make grass and a fence, and then sewed to the bottom of the page along the 2 sides and the bottom to make a pocket to hold the sheep when they aren't jumping:)
Garden Vegetables is pretty simple.  I found a bunch of veggie clip art that I liked, and made the pieces using the same method described above in the "Fish Bowl" page.  The only difference is that there is no velcro on the back of these pieces.  They simply live in the pocket, underground, until they are harvested, and the kids get to try to remember what each vegetable is called. 

Pages 7 & 8: Piano Music & Jonah & The Whale

This one was a doozy - that's all I'll say about that:)  I totally made this one up, because I love music, and thought it was original and cute...but it was hard to get the piano shape to look like a piano - and make the keys on such a small piece of felt!!
Anyways...the piano is black felt with white thread lines to add definition, and the piano keys are black thread on white felt, painstakingly sewn in tiny lines and zig zags. 
I made another bit of black felt the same shape as the top, to put underneath the flap - otherwise the base fabric square would show through when you lift up the flap. 
You can sew or glue this extra black piece down, and then place the piano over it.  I sewed the piano down along all the edges, leaving the top unsewn to create a pocket.  If you look closely, you will see that the piano has a top rhombus piece that is completely separate.  This rhombus is sewn ONLY along the top, so that it can be lifted to allow easy access to the pocket. 

Jonah and the Whale - pretty simple again:)  In fact, this is another one I would probably forgo if I did it again.  It is a little boring:)  Whale shape, zipper added, googly eye glued, whale sewn around the edges, with yarn sewn into the top for a spout.  Jonah finger puppet made for hiding inside the whale. Done. 
The words are foam sticky letters, sewn down again - except for the "& the" which is fabric I cut and ironed on with heat n' bond, because sticky letters wouldn't fit;)

Page 9: Noah and the Ark
The ark is 2 different shades of brown felt, sewn together in the pattern I liked best.  In the "windows" are clip art pictures that I printed on the heat transfer/t-shirt paper and ironed down to a back piece before laying the pieces with holes over the pictures and sewing right near the edges.  This page has many layers! 
The bottom of the boat is sewn to the page along the bottom to create a pocket.  It also has another brown piece the same shape sewn underneath, so that you don't see the fabric underneath when you open the pocket. 
I filled the pocket with finger puppets that I got from Ikea. 
Page 10: American Flag
For some reason, I primarily glued this page instead of sewing it.  I glued the red lines onto white piece.  I glued the blue square on as well.  I did sew the squares of velcro where the stars get attached. 
Finally, I glued the flag to the fabric square - leaving a square section at the top unglued to create a pocket!
I cut stars out of felt and sewed tiny pieces of coordinating velcro to the backs. 
Page 11: Puzzle Page
I found an image I liked, and made it into a puzzle.  Again, the image was printed onto iron-on t-shirt paper.  I traced the image onto my fabric square and sewed the outline in a dark/contrasting thread to give a guide for the puzzle. 
I arbitrarily cut the image into pieces of relative equal size, with bumps and divots, to make puzzle pieces. 
I ironed those pieces onto doubled up felt (just as I did in the "fish bowl" page), with velcro on the back of the puzzle pieces. 
I sewed the opposite side of the velcro into the proper position for each puzzle piece. 
The pocket opening was made with a cut in the fabric, and the edges folded down and sewn.  A square of fabric in the same pattern was cut and glued all along the edges on the back of the fabric, over the hole, to create a pocket. 

After the pages were finished, I decided which order I wanted them in. 
Then, I was able to sew them together.
For example, the front cover, and first page, were placed right sides together. 
For the FRONT AND BACK COVERS: I also placed half of a shoelace facing in, along the outer edge, so that it would be sewn in and become the tie closure for the book. Make sure to sew over this shoelace many times to reinforce it. 
I then sewed them along THREE edges - leaving the 4th edge unsewn.  The unsewn edge is the side that I wanted to become the inside edge of the book - where the grommets would end up.
Then, turn the pages right side out, fold and iron in the 4th edge, and sew it closed on the outside.  You could make a smaller hole for turning and hand sew if you wanted - but I don't mind the look of the inside edge being sewn on the outside.
Finally, add the grommets along the inside edge, a couple of inches from the top and bottom (but the same on each page), according the directions, and insert onto the book rings. 
Now, because of all the things I have in pockets - this is a very fat book.  The Noah's Ark page is particularly fat with the finger puppets.  But it is all very cute, and the girls really like to play with it! 

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