The craftings of a shadowy figure...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Nothing of Note

I've been staying busy it's just that nothing has quite seemed blog-worthy.

I've been doing a lot of trial and error...

I've been firmly encamped in Wedding land.  I've got 2 weddings coming up, of course one they're only a week apart.  I've been helping one commitment-phobe bride decide on decor while gently directing another bride's cabal of helpers with planning.

I have a sneaking suspicion this stamp won't make the final cut as part of a favor idea...

I've added a crafty touch to a baby gift.

Yea, I realize that a bib with a tie isn't very practical...but it's cute damn-it!

A birthday gift has received a Royal make-over.

Then there are the work related projects that I seem to find.

I'm the company's Blood Drive sponsor which means I coordinate getting people signed up and keeping track.  So I've decided to use themes for each drive.

I send out a quirky e-mail so the employees at least look at it before deleting it...
And then I create thank you gifts for the employees that donate as a way to keep them coming back!  The theme helps keep me on track ... and makes someone realize why there is an egg cookie and a rubber chicken on their desk!

This month's theme was 'I'm No Chicken, I Donated!' which I pulled from the Blood Alliance's Newsletter celebrating their 70th year in operation.  
The thank-you gift was an egg-shaped sugar cookie adorned with a tiny rubber chicken.

 I'll be off for a few days so hopefully I'll have something fun to report soon!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Dollar Store = True Love

So Iron Craft Challenge #4 has continued to escape me since it has rained or been ridiculously windy every weekend and I have to spray paint as part of my project.

But with challenge # 5 I knew exactly what I wanted to do!

I had just come across these sparklies at the Dollar Tree.

A friend of mine gave me a little owl plaque for a wedding gift.  For Valentine's I hung that on my front door.
It also gave me the idea for Iron Craft Challenge #5.  St. Paddy's day decidedly needed some dressing up too. 

I did not just want to slap those shamrocks on a wreath, it needed something a little different.  I dug around for some ideas and then it hit me.  A claddagh ring seemed like a nice fit for my St. Patrick's day wreath.  Those fancy shamrocks would give my ring some bling!

Here Is What I used:

1 willow wreath - from the dollar store
1-2 spools of wide white ribbon - from the dollar store or on hand (Amount depends on the size of your wreath)
2 packages of foam shamrocks - from the dollar store (more if you have a large wreath)
1 package of foam sheets - from the dollar store

1 Sheet of Yellow Foam, 1 Sheet of Tan or Brown Foam, 1 Sheet of Green
Glue - either on hand or from the dollar store

Tape (optional) to help hold the small pieces together
Ribbon to hang the wreath (I used curling ribbon) - on hand or from the dollar store
An overhead projector sheet or a piece of cardboard/cardstock

How I Built the Claddagh Wreath:

I wrapped my wreath in the white ribbon.  I cut pieces for the Claddagh itself from the foam after drawing out a template on paper.  Which ended up being a good plan as I had to finesse some of the sizes to make sure the pieces fit each other.

Once I fitted the Claddagh foam pieces together, I realized I couldn't just attach each piece and expect it to hold shape.  I taped them in the configuration I was looking for with masking tape first.  That wasn't gonna do it on it's own.

So after some brainstorming I decided to glue the pieces in the configuration to an overhead transparency.  If you cannot find a transparency (try a copy store or a college bookstore to buy individual transparency sheets), then you can use cardstock or cardboard and cut around the foam pieces leaving a backing to give it support.

While the Claddagh piece was drying, I laid out my shamrocks in a few posible layouts.  Now that my wreath is done, I liked an earlier layout more because I used more shamrocks.  But it was pointed out that the shamrocks lost their shape when there were too many layered together.  So lay everything out first before you break out the glue!

I used sticky back velcro to stick the shamrocks and the claddagh to the wreath just in case I want to use the plain white wreath for something else.  After I lined everything up I tied on the green curling ribbon to hang the wreath by.

There you have it a St. Patrick's Day Claddagh Wreath 'ala the Dollar Store!

Monday, December 5, 2011


Honestly I've been overwhelmed for a little while.

A lot has gone on:

I moved into my first home.  

I failed on a costume that I promised to someone.  I succeeded on a different costume.

I eloped.

(Yes, this is a real picture of where you apply for the marriage license...please note the Mental Health office is directly across from the license counter.)
I started an entirely new job.

I just haven't been able to catch up.  

I've tried to do the last 3 Iron Craft challenges without success.  So while I try gain my footing please let me know if you have any tips for getting me going in a creative direction again!    

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Halloween Challenge

This week's Iron Craft Challenge was a Halloween theme.

Eeeekkkk!!!!   I LOVE Halloween.

But I'm a bit sad because I'm not starting a new project for this challenge.  I'm in the middle of conquering some costume requests.

So I only have process pics to contribute this week.

You see I am firmly in that spot where you start trying to figure out why it worked in your head because your hands don't seem to be able to comply.

I am making a Jake costume & a Skully costume from Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

First, finding the correct colors has been a trick on it's own.
It has always happened that when I need cobalt colored pants, they don't exist.  At least not until the next month when I am bombarded with them everywhere I go.

Secondly, the Skully costume is proving to be a challenge that continues to send me back to the drawing board repeatedly.

For instance:  when I placed the feathers I cut, I realized that the chest feathers really ought to be smaller.
So I tried four different kinds (the orange feathers are the test feathers) and got back to cutting.

No matter what, I have to make these costumes work.  I'll just pretend Tim Gunn is standing over my shoulder.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Shear Style

This past week Iron Craft posted the challenge to come up with something that could be entered into a State Fair craft competition.

Have I mentioned that I'm in my sister's spare room...I sure as hell am not in a position to make jam.
Ok, I have no idea how to make jam, but that's besides the point.

I also have no idea how to cross-stitch, knit or crochet.

So I was at a loss.  A serious loss.

Between consulting one of my crafty cousins, drawing 2 pages of ideas and a couple of days research online, I came up with this...

Why City Slickers Shouldn't Shear Sheep...

I know, I'm not right...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

All Grown Up

I am a mommy.  The fact that I don't have any children yet is just a technicality.

My youngest sister was born when I was 12.  And I doted on her.  If I held her in public, people gave me ugly looks since they thought I was a 12 year old with a baby. Ha, when she got a little older she thought it was funny to call me Mommy in public.  Punk.  My Grandmother used to laugh at me and call me 'Little Mama'.

When I started college she started kindergarten.  And when I left something my Mom told me haunted me. My Mom was the second oldest of seven kids and she said that the youngest kids don't really remember her being around.  I couldn't have that.  I never wanted my baby sister to feel like I wasn't there.

I sent her notes occasionally and would come up with random little gifts for occasions like 'back to school'. I helped to throw a murder-mystery birthday party.  I came up with crazy Christmas and Birthday gifts.

Yesterday she started college.

Of course I gave her a little bag full of cute and useful could I not?

I packed a tote bag with a few books that I found helpful in the maze of being on my own.  You could say it's a little road map for the inevitable twists and turns.  This 'Map Journal' was tucked in with the other books to help keep track of her travels.

I gave her the little 'flat tire' road side assistance card holder that I made in one of the Iron Craft Challenges.


You know, for the bumps in the road.

I threw in a little bottle of sparkling apple cider to celebrate her new beginning.  And I made her a Passport cover so she can travel in style.

I guess this gift was kind of a carry on bag for her journey.  Ahh, corny...I know.

To be honest, I'm a little lost.  She isn't a tiny little thing that looks forward to my crazy gifts anymore, but I think she may still get a few crazy care packages anyway...

Good Luck Mantha, have a great 'trip'!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Last Leg

Staying with my sister while I wait for a house has been both a blessing and a challenge.  Craft space and my internet connection not to mention my sister's sanity have suffered heavily.

She has been a saint for not throwing me out yet.

In the meantime, however, I have neglected my poor Craft Noir.  I am fighting on though!  The guilt from missing any week at Iron Craft KILLS I cut out cute amuguri food from chibi wrapping paper on breaks at work for memory cards...

and iced a QR code on a brownie amid a sea of 3 circling dogs.  And while Craft Noir has suffered, I've at least chronicled those forays on my Flickr page.

I admit, I'm not super impressed with most of these efforts but I still have felt the need to try each one.  It is shocking when someone likes one of my handicapped attempts.  It's a good lesson that I can't prejudge my projects before they're presented.  But that is it's own catch-22.  I wouldn't be 'done' with a project unless I thought it was good.

It's interesting when you have something mapped out in your head and it ends up NOTHING like you matter how many attempts were made.  I recently had one of those weeks.  Everything that I touched rebelled.  Even though I've been slinging art projects together that were perched on the back of the toilet tank and blinked through waterfalls of sweat on the back porch as I tied up finishing touches I've genuinely been so determined to attempt the craft that none of that mattered.  Yet after the week of rebellion, I needed a break.  I pondered the Iron Craft and not even a last minute 'Hail Mary Pass' appeared.  The tank was out of gas.

I regrouped and reassured myself it was ok to temporarily flunk out.  Not that I believed that.  I am still trying to think of my make-up project!  But nothing seemed suitable, so I cleaned and read and didn't craft.

I am happy to report this week I was able to jump back in; this week's challenge was Sculpture.

But I am definitely hitting that last stretch.  I am supposed to find out about the house soon.  I really pray that this house doesn't  prove to be just a mirage.  I am already fantasizing about my craft room.