Tag Archives: letters

Whatever Weekend: In The Works

As I worked on finishing the letters for my friend’s little girl, I realized that we haven’t listed much in our shops lately! So, finished and listed a hair clip in our JuJu Eyeball store:

Click on the image to view the listing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As my hubby would say, it’s made with my two favorite colors: sparkly and shiny! I covered a plastic skeleton hand in blue glitter, made a couple of pinwheels from green tulle and black lace, and cut/formed shapes with patent leather ribbon and added an ostrich feather. Viola! Super lightweight and super fun to wear.Now, back to the letters, here’s what the progress looks like so far:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apologies for the crummy images – I’m definitely a fan of natural light as opposed to flash. Anyway, a fairytale princess theme with lots of pink and a dash of sparkle equals four year old heaven (I hope!) I’ve said before that I’ve never considered myself a painter, but I think I’d like to take a class to beef up my unexistent knowledge of mixing, highlighting, shadowing … because I’m just making it up as I go along. Although I am pretty happy with the results as is; it’s hard not to be proud of completing something of which you have little to no history or skill.

Finally, happy Father’s Day to all you dads and single moms out there! (Single moms wear the dad hat, too, you know.) I hope it’s been a wonderful day, and I wish everyone a fantastic week!

Share the Love,

Chelsea

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Whatever Weekend

Make It Monday – Puppet Shows and Superheroes

Life is funny when you’re a professional “crafter.” After painting a couple of nursery name sets as baby shower gifts, a friend from church asked if I would paint letters for her son and daughter as a custom order! I’ve never thought of myself as a painter, even though I love to dabble, so it’s flattering and exciting to have someone pay me to do it. I have thought of myself as a draw-er (is that a word, other than one of a “chest of …?”) so I sketch the layout of the design on the letters to give me a little more confidence when painting. It’s kind of like paint by number. I lucked out with these kids in particular, besides the fact that they’re both precious, because the girl is in love with all things Disney princess, and the boy is a superhero buff! I get the best of both worlds; one set will be pink and sparkly with Disney fairytale characters and pink organza ribbon, and the other will be black and superhero colors (and hopefully glow-in-the-dark paint) with emblems and old-school onomatopoeia bubbles like “bam!” and “pow!” It’s a challenge, but I’m so up to it.

Meanwhile, I was asked by another friend to help with our new children’s ministry, which is going to include regularly featured puppets and skits with zany characters. Right up my alley. We brainstormed, going down the list of lesson topics that our children’s minister smartly listed from A-Z. So far, we’ve come up with ideas for a time machine, a few characters and puppets, and what props and costumes we’ll need to use over and over again. I really feel like this is God’s answer to so many prayers to involve the congregation with what the kids are doing, and really get the kids excited about learning what the Bible has to teach! I was so excited that I stayed up until 2 o’clock in the morning working on my first project, a snake puppet:

Tom and Mr. Snake meet for the first time.
 
Now, we don’t have any kids yet, but we have lots of nieces and nephews, kids of friends, and, let’s face it, we’re just big kids, too. Every kid that saw the puppet, or saw pictures of the puppet got so excited! Puppets are relatively easy to make, and there are so many different ways to make them. Mr. Snake is made from a shirt sleeve, cardboard, felt, and google eyes, but you can make puppets from socks or paper, and make them little enough to fit on fingers or big enough to fit on both hands. I encourage you to try it out, even host a puppet workshop with your kids and their friends, because it’s so much fun, and can be catered to any skill level. First, I’ll attempt to give you the step-by-step for Mr. Snake, then I’ll share some helpful links with tutorials on other kinds of puppets so you can find your favorite flavor.
 
How To Make Mr. Snake
 
What you’ll need:
 
A sock or long sleeve made from stretchy material (stripes or solids are snake-y, but you can go with any pattern you like)
Black felt
Red felt
Yellow felt
White felt
Two google eyes
Cardboard scraps
Pencil
Scissors
Your preferred glue (hot, tacky, E6000 …)
 
How to make it:
 
1. Cut off the end of your sock, or cut off the desired length of the sleeve. I used a shirt a friend gave me that suffered a DIY project gone wrong. Oops.
 
2. Fold the edges of the end you just cut inward, as if you’re going to hem the raw edge. Use an iron to press the edges if you’d like help keeping things even. I folded my edge inward about 1/2 inch.
 
3. Fold your piece of cardboard in half. Place your hand on the fold so that your thumb is on the bottom, and your other four fingers are on top, sandwiching the folded piece in your hand. With a pencil, trace an oval about 1/4 inch out around your four fingers on top. This will create the mouth of your puppet.
 
4. Keeping the cardboard folded, cut out the oval shape.
 
5. Unfold the cardboard (which should look kind of like a giant hot dog now) or open the mouth, and place it on your black felt. Cut out the felt in the shape of the cardboard mouth, and repeat to create two identical felt ovals.
 
6. Glue the felt to each side of your cardboard. This will be the black inside of the snake’s mouth, and will give you a nice, soft but easy-to-grip surface on the inside of the puppet.
 
7. Once the glue dries, take your sleeve or sock and begin stretching the folded end over the edge of your felt-covered cardboard, keeping the oval unfolded (or the mouth open.) This is the tricky part. I stretched the fabric over the mouth so that the folded edge lay flat on the cardboard, creating a 1/2 inch border around the oval. Then I lifted up the fabric in small sections and glued them down to the felt-covered cardboard mouth. Once you’ve glued all the way around the fabric opening, you’ve made the snake’s mouth!
 
8. Once the glue has dried, slip your hand inside the puppet and fold the cardboard mouth in half with your hand. Open and close your hand a few times to open and close the mouth, and re-establish the fold in the cardboard.
 
9. Cut a long tongue with a forked end from your red felt and glue it to the bottom half of the mouth.
 
10. Cut two fang shapes from your white felt and glue them to the top half of the mouth.
 
11. Cut two nostrils from your leftover black felt. Set them aside.
 
12. Place your google eyes on top of your yellow felt, and cut around them, leaving a border of at least 1/4 inch. Glue the eyes onto the yellow circles.
 
13. You can stop here if you want, glue the eyes and nostrils to the top of the snake’s head and be done.  The result will be a cool sock-puppet snake. If you’d like to add more dimension to the snake’s head, read on.
 
I’m not going to number these steps, because I’ll have a hard time explaining exactly what I did to creat the snake’s head. I’m going to try! Take a look at a house slipper, and you’ll see where I got the idea. I cut a half-circle the length of the top of the mouth from cardboard and cut two triangular notches (like darts in a blouse) on the rounded side. I carefully curved the shape by folding it like the bill of a baseball cap. Then I pulled the edges of each notch toward each other, overlapping them and gluing them down. Once they were glued, each notch created the space for the nostrils of the snake. I turned the puppet inside out, gluing my new cardboard snout to the top half of the mouth piece. While the glue was drying, I created a brow by tracing the yellow eyes on the cardboard, about 1/4 inch apart, then drew a brow shape on top of the eyes. I drew several tabs around the edges of the brow shape, and cut the whole shape out. I folded the tabs back to create a kind of easel for the eyes to stand on, then glued those tabs to the snout. I turned the puppet right side out, then glued the yellow eyes and black nostrils onto the fabric on top of the new head structure.
 
If you’re having a hard time making heads or tails of my snake tutorial, and I don’t blame you if you are, here are some other puppet tutorial links:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Have a picture of a puppet you’ve made? Share in the comments below!
 
Share the Love,
Chelsea

Leave a comment

Filed under Make It Monday

Make It Monday – I’m Not A Painter But I Play One On TV

I finally finished my second set of painted nursery letters for a friend. Her little man was just born a few days ago, and I can’t wait for them to hang his letters! She told me she even dreamed that I finished them after his birth, and that she was holding him while her husband hung them in the nursery. 🙂 I thought that was sweet. The other set is completely painted but without hangers, and the mommy to be hasn’t had her little one yet.

My very first set of letters! 3 letters aren't so bad. The second set is 6 letters, which was considerably more time consuming, even though the design isn't as complicated.

If you’re wanting to customize your own letters, whether it’s a monogram or a full name, I’ll share some things I’ve learned so far:

1. I wish I had taken a painting class somewhere along the way. I’m fine with basic shapes and shading, but anything more complicated is challenging for me. If you have painting skills, right on! If not, just pick a basic design, or try to replicate a print from a piece of fabric, paper, etc. It’s helpful to have a visual. Sketch your design lightly with pencil before you paint it.

2. Pick your paint. For the second set of letters, I used leftover latex wall paint from another project the couple did in the nursery. There were no worries about matching paint colors, but the paint has a much different consistency than acrylics and, for me, was harder to work with around the details of the designs. It’s less likely to scuff, though, so a topcoat isn’t needed.

3.  I still don’t know which hangers are best to use. The little nails/tacks that come in the packages of hangers are too long to use. I’m experimenting with which glue to use, making sure I find one that won’t result in the letters to falling from the wall! If anyone has suggestions, I’m open to them.

4. I understand why these letters can get so expensive when shopping online for them. They are time consuming, can be tedious, and, if you’re like me, you want to be sure to get every aspect right. Weigh your options – if you dislike the idea of spending lots of money on something you think you can make yourself, consider the time you’ll invest DIYing. Sometimes it’s worth it to pay a few extra dollars.

All in all, I’m proud of the way both sets of letters turned out. I can’t wait for them to be hung proudly in the babies’ rooms! Congrats to all of our friends who are beginning and adding to their families!

Share the Love,
Chelsea

Leave a comment

Filed under Make It Monday

Whatever Weekend – New Blog! And Other Random Stuff We’re Doing.

Hi everyone! It’s a beautiful, sunny Saturday here in Texas, and I have plenty to keep me busy.

First is a new blog: http://patientsvoicewhocares.blogspot.com/. It’s a combined effort between my aunt, my mom and me. We’re writing about our (and others’) experiences in healthcare: what went wrong, what went right, and things you can do as a patient, friend, or caregiver to make a situation a little easier. When you visit, be sure to take part in our survey to the right of the page – “How do you feel about your current doctor/specialist?”

Next, I’ve been trying my hand at painting, which I’ve always enjoyed, but it’s never been my art of choice. I was asked by a pregnant friend if I would paint letters (that spell out her baby’s name) to match the nursery. He has a vintage sports themed nursery, so I copied the style of the bedding to match:

Letter painting attempt numero uno!

After posting this picture on Facebook, two more of my pregnant friends asked if I would paint some for them! I figured the letters could be my baby gifts to them, so I’m working on a Texas Rangers themed set (6 letters) for a friend who’s due any day now. The other couple decided to wait on letters until their little girl can decide what she wants on her own. The momma got an IOU and a nursing necklace at her baby shower. 🙂

In other news, I have some housecleaning to do. Boring.

I’ve also been working on our costumes for the ren faire next weekend! The base of my fairy costume is complete, and the wings are halfway done. I’ve still yet to find cello wrap for a decent price. I may have to suck it up and go back for the $5 roll. Tom’s pirate costume is complete! (Unless we find something that will work as a cool vest.) I found unlined khaki color linen pants for about $4 at a thrift store, and a large women’s matching linen tunic for $3 at another thrift store. I cut the pants legs jaggedly just under the knee, and I’m going to muddy/stain them and the shirt. We added his black and white checkered bandana (it’s huge – turban sized – he got it in Afghanistan,) his own worn leather belt, a sash made from dark grey Halloween netting, and various pieces of jewelry like shell necklaces wrapped around his wrists, hoop earrings, extra rings, and a feather in his hair (made by – who else? Mom!) Plus, we have a fake “bottle o’ rum,” with a skull on it, and he has a wooden waster (sword.) It’s all about the details. Here’s what it all looks like now:

Things you'll find in a fairy's closet.

I don't think most pirates have closets ...

Oh! One more thing – this is a cool site to check out the walkability of your city/neighborhood: walkscore.com  Our city doesn’t rank very high, but our neighborhood is 80% walkable!

Hope you have a fatastic, safe, and relaxing weekend!

Share the Love,

Chelsea

Leave a comment

Filed under Whatever Weekend