10.29.2010

My first giveaway!

I have such exciting news! A representative from CSN Stores contacted me with a giveaway offer to a lucky reader! Can you believe that?! My little ol' blog hosting a giveaway? I was shocked and had to read it about five times to make sure my eyes weren't playing tricks on me.

So, I'm sure you are wondering what the giveaway is exactly. It is a $35 gift code to purchase just about ANYTHING at any of their 200+ online stores! There is no doubt you will find something you love with so many options.

I, for one, am digging their barstools.

How cute are these Carolina Cottage ones! :)

There are thousands of other options, though, as CSN Stores has a broad range of products in their 200+ online stores. Got to love options, right!


Here is how to enter the contest:
1. Become a follower (unless you are already following -- thanks, friends!)
2. Leave a comment on this post with your email address, so that I can contact you with the gift code if you win. However, if you know that I can definitely find your contact info by clicking on your name, then no need to bother with an email address.

For an extra 2 entries, simply add my button in the sidebar of your blog, and then leave me a second comment letting me know that you did so. Thanks!! :)





P.S. I think it's sort of annoying when people host giveaways and then make you come back to their blog to see if you have won (I always forget!). So, that is why I promise that you can enter the giveaway contest and then not have to think about it again, because I will seek you out to give you the prize if you've won rather than make you check back here (although I would love to have you). I will post the name and comment of the person who wins, though, in case you're wondering.

Here are a couple of other details:
○ Contest is open from 10/29 through 11/7 (ends at 12:00pm EST)
○ Only US and Canadian residents are eligible (sorry! Has to do with shipping…)
○ Also, I would really appreciate it if the winner would write a quick post linking back here and letting everyone know he/she has won. No worries, though, if you don't have a blog. :)

Okay, ready..set..go!

Thanks so much!

UPDATE: I randomly drew a winner on 11/7. Here is the info. Thanks for entering!

In order to get the word out, I'm linking to 





The Weekend Wrap Up

10.26.2010

I've been featured at Polly Want A Crafter!

I am thrilled to let you all know that Cassity is featuring my dog silhouette pumpkins today over at Polly Want A Crafter!  I am so unbelievably honored! If you haven't been by her blog before, you should definitely check it out for some great craft tips and inspiration. She also has a blog about home design and remodeling projects - have you heard of it? Duh! Of course you have! It's the one and only Remodelaholic! So, to reiterate, I am so happy and grateful that she featured my project! It just keeps me motivated, ya know? 
Thanks for stopping by! :)

10.24.2010

Dollar Tree Dog Costumes {Tutorial}

I wanted to make my girls dog costumes this year, but I didn't want to break the bank in the process. As you know, sometimes it truly is cheaper to buy something already made than to buy the supplies and make it from scratch. Still, the cheapest fully made dog costume I found was around 8 bucks. I can do better than that! 

So, off to Dollar Tree I went. I found a couple items that gave the costumes a base that I could work around, and therefore made them much easier to make. (Given that the girls were only going to wear their costumes for maybe 2 or 3 hrs max, I wasn't looking to spend hours and hours making these.) During my shopping trip, I found two items: a cute baby windbreaker jacket and a short sleeve dog jacket for, you guessed it, $2 altogether. 

With a few modifications and added pieces, I came up with these costumes:

Heidi was dressed as an Olympic athlete. 

Jini was dressed as a young woman from the '50s wearing a poodle skirt. 

These pics were taken at Dogtoberfest yesterday where Heidi and Jini got treats and attention and competed in a costume competition. (Jini's poodle skirt won 2nd place!)

I was so happy with the way they turned out! :) It took barely any time or money to put the looks together. 

If you're looking for a costume for your dog, read on and I'll tell you how I created mine.

Jini's Poodle Skirt Costume

Materials - Dollar Tree dog jacket ($1), felt for the skirt (on hand), fabric for the poodle decal and fabric for the fashion scarf (on hand), sticky-sided no-sew velcro (on hand, but I think it's around $3), scissors (on hand), stitch witchery and iron (on hand)
Since the jacket was already made, I just had to make her skirt. I simply cut out a large circle of felt. I eyeballed the measurements, and cut out a smaller circle in the center of the felt piece. Then, I cut a slit in the fabric and attached sticky velcro to the skirt. (I only took this one picture of the process, but I wrote in some instructions and shapes to give you an idea of what I mean.)
Then I wrapped the skirt around her waist. Where the jacket met the fabric of the skirt, which was around the middle of her back, I attached another piece of velcro. This helped hold up the skirt while she was wearing it.
Then I cut a poodle silhouette out of some light pink fabric. If you Google 'poodle skirt', you can get an idea of the shape to draw. I then used stitch witchery and ironed the decal onto the skirt. For the neck scarf, I simply cut out strips of fabric, stitch witchery-ed them together, and loosely tied it around her neck.   

Heidi's Olympic Athlete Costume

Materials - (12 - 18 month sized) Baby windbreaker jacket from the Dollar Tree ($1), white or clear contact paper (on hand), markers (on hand), scissors (on hand), stitch witchery and iron (on hand), and US flag fabric or flag decal for the arm ($1)
This baby jacket only needed one little thing to make it fit my Heidz. I cut about 2 inches off the sleeves. I didn't bother hemming the edges. I also added a bit of flag fabric to the sleeve with some stitch witchery. Contact paper came into the picture when I was looking for something to make the Olympic symbol. I didn't have all of the fabric colors I needed (i.e., blue, yellow, red, green, and black), so I simply  drew 5 rings on the contact paper and filled them in with markers. Then I cut them out and stuck them to the back of the jacket. I already had the medal on hand from the Dog Olympics last  month when Jini won best howler - she didn't mind if her sister borrowed it.
Some people at Dogtoberfest didn't "get it," but others did get the look that I was going for. One guy came up to take Heidi's picture and called her a Michael Phelps lookalike. Haha! :) Heidi is scared to death of water and she's not much of a pot smoker, but hey, at least he understood she was supposed to be an Olympian.  ;)

Good luck with your dog costume! Here is 1 more pic of the girls.

Disclaimer:
I also just want to mention that you should only make your dog a costume if you know he/she is comfortable wearing it. My girls are used to dressing up occasionally and tolerate it really well (actually, Heidi seems to enjoy wearing clothes). Also, be aware of hazards on your costume, like small accessories that, if eaten, could hurt your dog. Also, make sure that your dog is able to go to the bathroom while wearing the outfit. And if you live in a warm part of the country, ensure that your dog does not get overheated and has access to plenty of water. We all want our furry babies to be happy and comfortable, right! :)
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10.19.2010

Tissue Box Cover {tutorial}

Do you ever find yourself at the store in the tissue box aisle trying (albeit unsuccessfully) to pick out the box that best matches with your d├ęcor?  But then it never seems to match when you bring it home? You try so hard to make everything else pretty, but somehow this unsightly yet necessary item has slipped through the cracks. Well, my friends, it is time to take back your room. Let's make this box fit in with all of your other beautiful things. But let's do so without resorting to bulky cheap-looking plastic covers. Maybe if it is in your budget, you can buy a sleeker and more attractive cover. But on my student-sized budget, I needed to look for another solution.

How about a cute fabric tissue box cover?  Yes please!
So, I have seen fabric box covers before, but honestly the ones I have seen have looked a little sloppy. (Trust me, though, I know mine is faaaar from perfect.) I'm pretty happy with the way my turned out. At least to me, it does not look sloppy, and here is why: (1) I used clasps on the bottom to give the box a nice tucked-in look, and (2) I used Heat 'N Bond light to line the fabric.

Thanks so much for looking! Stick around in case you are interested in making one  yourself.

                   Materials
  • Fabric (I got mine on clearance from Jo Ann's for around $3 or $4/half yard. I love it and have used it here and here. )
  • Heat 'N Bond light weight iron-on fusible interfacing (around $2, I think)
  • Scissors (on hand)
  • Ruler or measure tape (on hand)
  • Needle and thread if you're sewing by hand like me (on hand)
  • 2 Clasps (< $1)

                   Time - approx. 2 hrs (less if you own a sewing machine)

Step 1 - Trace one side of your tissue box, adding half an inch to each side. Cut that piece out and make 3 exact copies. Trace the top of the box onto the fabric - that shape is slightly different.

TIP: If you have an empty tissue box, cut the bottom half off, and then use the opening on the top as a template to trace the oval onto your top square of fabric and then cut it out. (Oh and I totally didn't do that part, but it sounds like a good idea. My oval is a little imperfect.)

Step 2 - Iron the Heat N Bond light weight interfacing onto the backs of the fabric rectangles. As I mentioned before, this is part of what I think makes the tissue box cover look sharper and less slouchy. Then cut off the excess like so…

Step 3 - Fold down a half inch on each side of the fabric rectangles and then iron down. (see below)

Step 4 - Simply sew the edges of the rectangles to the top square piece. Until you get something that looks like this…
Jini wanted to get in the pic, too.  :) Heidi, my other dog, was sitting next to her momma. {love them!}

Step 5 - Sew the sides of the rectangles together the same way until you have the basic form. You're almost done! :)

Step 6 - Cut out some strips of fabric and sew one to each side of the bottom of the cover. Now, attach a clasp by sewing it each part of the clasp to the strips of fabric on opposite sides like so…

Insert your tissue box and attach the clasps together on the bottom. There you go! Lovely! Much nicer and classier to display this than a normal boring tissue box. Yay! :)

The final pic once again. 

Here's another angle.

Thanks for checking this tutorial out! If anyone makes their own fabric tissue box cover based on mine, please let me know so that I can show it off here. Thank you!!

I'm linking to...
Weekend Wrapup @ Tatertots and Jello Show & Share Day @ Just a Girl Wordless Wednesdays Spotlight Yourself Blue Cricket Design We Did It Wednesday @ Sew Much Ado Show Us What You're Workin' With @ Me & My Bucket 100 Ideas Under $100 @ Beyond the Picket Fence Hoo's Got Talent @ Night Owl Crafting Look What I Made! @ Creations by Kara Creative Share Wednesday @ The Trendy Treehouse























10.18.2010

Freebie: Desktop Calendar

I have no idea if this is anything anyone would be interested in, but you are welcome to download a desktop calendar that I made yesterday for the month of October (yep, I know the month is half over..haha). Anyway, while it is obviously presumptuous of me to think that anyone would be interested, I still figure it doesn't hurt to share it in case someone out there in blog land stumbles upon this post and thinks to herself, "hey, I could really use new wallpaper for my desktop computer, and oh wouldn't it be just swell if I could tell what today's date is as well." :)


You can get the download from my Picasa album here. Once you save it to your computer, just right click the photo and go to properties, where you can set as desktop background. If you set it to fill the screen, it should work with all screen sizes. 

If anyone likes this idea, please let me know and I can share new ones each month. But if not, no worries!

P.S. When I first started blogging, I also shared another background I created here

10.16.2010

Seasonal Decor

Hi everyone! Just thought I would share with you my seasonal table centerpiece. 


Here it is!

What do you think? Should I rearrange anything? This is the first table centerpiece that I have put together, so it was difficult to know where to put everything or know whether I had too much stuff or not enough...? Anyway, I'm fairly happy with it. :) After Thanksgiving, I'm going to move some of these pieces to other parts of the house. For example, the decor balls are going to fill a beautiful silver bowl that we have in our bedroom. 

Did I mention that I got almost every item you see for around $1? The glass hurricanes were from Dollar Tree. I found this awesome idea at 320 Sycamore. It is crazy simple but so genius! You just hot glue a glass vase and clear candlestick holders together. It took probably 5 seconds and cost $2.

I also dressed up the candles with a bit of yarn spun around the base. You could hot glue the yarn to it, if you're going for a permanent candle makeover. I, on the other hand, like temporary makeovers because you never know when I'm going to get bored with this look and want to try something else. Hehe.

As for the decor balls, I have seen a lot of different looks created by DIYers. All of them are fantastic, but I was too impatient to go look up a tutorial, so I just grabbed some yarn and started covering these styrofoam balls, which are 50 cents at Dollar Tree. It's so easy. You just dab a little hot glue onto one end and then start twisting it around like so.


It becomes more difficult the closer you get to the end, so you might have to use some more hot glue. (Be careful! I burned myself a couple of times.)

In the end, though, it will be worth it because you will have this cute little decor ball. :)

I'm linking to these lovely blog parties:
 Frou Frou DecorRemodelaholic FridayCraftomaniac Monday, You're So Very Creative @ Me making Do, Fall Festival @ DIY Show Off



10.11.2010

Dog Silhouette Pumpkins {tutorial}

J and I have a tradition of painting pumpkins together every October before Halloween. This year, of course, was no different, so last Friday we had a date night where we went out for sushi and then painted pumpkins. Yay!


Here is what I came up with:


Do you recognize those precious silhouettes? That's Heidz and Jin Jin!

It all began with these pictures.
Jini
Heidi
And yes, I did enhance Heidi a bit by adding her tail in, even though in the original image her tail is hidden. *gasp* What kind of dog mother does that make me that I felt the need to alter my girl's already perfect silhouette?! I don't even want to know… She really does have a tail, though. Promise. :)


Also, just want to show off what the husband created - this awesome spider!


Anyway, if you're interested in showing off your own pupster(s), then just follow these simple steps.

First, you need to erase the background of the picture. I used Gimp, the free photo editing program, for Heidi's picture, and then for whatever reason, I used the photo editing program (Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo) that came with my computer for Jini's.

In whatever editing program you use, just look for the eraser button in a pop-out task bar or in the task bar at the top of the screen. This process is sort of time consuming and can be frustrating, but after you get the hang of it, it goes pretty smoothly.


Tip: Make sure to only erase a small amount alongside the dog between mouse clicks. If this doesn’t make sense, just try it out and you'll know what I mean. It has to do with giving yourself some room for error, because when you make a mistake, you will have to press the undo button on the task bar - the more background you erased in between mouse clicks, the more work you will have to redo after a mistake. See where I'm going with this? :)

**As a side note, I just want to mention that the next two steps are not necessary for this project. I only did this because I plan to use the girls' silhouettes in another project. I am showing you here in case you want to do something else with your dog's silhouette, too. **

In Gimp, go to Colors. A drop-down menu will come up - go to Desaturate to change the photo from color to grayscale.




Next, go back to Colors on the task bar at the top. From the drop-down menu, go to Levels to darken the silhouette. Adjust the output and input levels until you get your desired shade of black/gray.




Print the photo and cut out the image.


Place the photo on the pumpkin, and trace around the edges. If you spray paint your pumpkin first like I did with leftover White Krylon Fusion spray paint, you won't really be able to write on the pumpkin with pencil or pen - rather, you simply remove the paint while tracing, so you will be left with something like this.


Next, just fill in the image with acrylic paint, and voila!


You now have a cute silhouette of your furry baby!


The other things I did to get this look were paint the stem with black acrylic paint, paint loosely formed polka dots in a bright color, and wind some matching yarn around the base of the stem. That's it!


Another great thing about this project is that it only cost 5 bucks a pop, and all of that went to these massive pumpkins. The rest of the materials I already had.


Suh-weet! Thanks for checking out my pumpkins!


I'm entering the CSI Project.
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