Crafty Bonds

Improving Relationships in Crafty Ways

The Best of Fall Round Up

Mackenzie Smith1 Comment

I love Autumn (or Fall if you’re Southern). The warmth of the sun can truly be appreciated during this time of the year since the humidity has finally subsided, and the brisk mornings give you that needed jolt to wake up without needing that extra cup of coffee. Not to mention the beauty of the changing leaves. Football games, pumpkins, leggings, boots, comfy sweatshirts and pants… Ahhh, what’s not to love about Fall?!? Seeing as I am a Fall baby, I may be a little biased BUT I do think I can sway your opinion!

The Best of Fall Round Up

Since today is the first official day of Fall 2015, I thought it was fitting to do a round-up of all the best blog posts celebrating all things Fall. I swear there is a little something for everyone.

Without further ado, let’s celebrate Fall y’all!

Home Decor / DIY

Family Activites / Kids Crafts

Recipes

Since I love Fall so much and my birthday is right around the corner, I thought I would give you a small token of my love and appreciation!!! As usual, this is for personal use only. Feel free to share this post with your friends so they can download their own copy of this printable but please do not pass this off as your own work.

Need even more inspiration? Check out my group Pinterest board dedicated to the Best Season of the Year! If you are a blogger that would like to contribute to the Fall group board, send me an email with your Pinterest name or email address.

The Best Of Fall

As always, show me what you are up to with #GetCrafty!

Star Wars Inspired Daddy-Daughter Shirts

Silhouette TutorialsMackenzie Smith2 Comments

My Hubby is of the Star Wars Generation. I am not. I do not get his borderline obsession and love of the movies (the Original 3 films, with the Empire Strikes Back as his absolute favorite). I am sure A LOT of you are huge fans also (or possibly know a fan of the Star Wars Series) and have seen the trailers for the new Star Wars film a bagillion times also.

Star Wars Inspired Daddy-Daughter Shirts

His passion and excitement for Star Wars is contagious (apparently, my parents had me vaccinated) and has started to spill over onto my daughter, who is a Daddy’s Girl through and through. So when I realized his birthday was coming up, but that he didn’t “want” anything for his birthday, I set to work looking for something that would be unique and different and that I knew he would absolutely love!

My husband is a big Darth Vader fan (I still haven’t figured out that one yet. Guess everyone has a bit of the dark side in them...), so I set to work perusing Pinterest (my favorite search engine by the way) to find the best inspiration for an EPIC birthday present. That is when I happened upon a link to a t-shirt with Darth Vader saying “Greatest Dad Ever” (it took me a minute to get it…) and I thought, I could make something like that and it would be awesome! A little more digging and I came across a TON of Star War Stencils by Bonnie Burton of Grrl.com (who is super awesome and is letting me share the cut file I made with one of her stencils with you guys!! EEK! Details below!)

Anyway, as I was designing my husband’s shirt I realized that I had a SUPER plain t-shirt that I had picked up for my daughter that really needed a cool design on it. That is when it hit me! Why not make coordinating DADDY/DAUGHTER SHIRTS for them to wear for his birthday?

Ahem... Sorry folks. Sometimes I get a little excited about things.

Anyway, after a lot of frustration with a few technical difficulties with my silhouette machine, I was able to get the vinyl cut and in place without too many curse words said. All’s well that ends well, right? I must say the shirts turned out pretty awesome!

So since Ms. Burton from Grrl.com was so generous to share her stencil with you, I am going to give you access to my ENTIRE library of designs where you can get this and SO MUCH MORE!

Just enter your email address here and I will send you the link!!

I also came across this really cool Boba Fett stencil but the website is now defunct so I was unable to contact the illustrator to see if I could share my design for the hubby’s birthday card. That stencil combined with the Star Jedi Font from Da-Font.com (which happens to be 100% free) and you are well on your way to having a Star Wars experience befitting of a galaxy far, far away! (Just make sure you don’t let your son near your Death Star. I hear bad things happen!)

Star Wars Inspired Daddy Daughter Shirt

A "Green" Mailbox Make-Over

Silhouette TutorialsMackenzie Smith8 Comments

Recently this summer, I got an itching to repaint my mailbox. It was one of those inexpensive plastic ones that my husband put up in frustration of it constantly getting hit (funnily enough, it hasn’t been hit since…) a few years ago and it had begun to fade and the house numbers were fading off.

A Green Mailbox Make Over

So, I jumped on the chance to redo my old mailbox when I saw that one of the Silhouette Challenge projects had to be GREEN!

But, I began to question what exactly was meant by GREEN. Did the group admins mean green, as in recycled materials, or the color green? Inquiring minds had to know and the response was it was up to the crafter!

I decided that refurbishing the mailbox was technically green by way of not throwing out the current one to get a shiny new one. BUT just to make sure I had it covered on “both” green fronts.

So I hit up Pinterest for some pinspiration and found this pin, and set off to find out all I could about the easiest way to go about doing this. Easiest way I learned to do this was with spray paint, and the hunt was on for THE perfect color combo!

I found this AWESOME Citris Green in Krylon Brand ColorMaxx Paints which allegedly could be used on plastics WITHOUT using primer like most tutorials on the subject suggest.

Even though the ColorMaxx Paints said that I didn’t need primer I picked some up JUST IN CASE and tweeted @KrylonBrand asking if this was truly a one step process! I love it when large companies respond fairly quickly to questions via social media. Makes me feel <3! (By the way, they confirmed that it was not needed. Oh and they did not pay me or provide me with free product to play with… maybe next time though. ;-))

First of all, spray paint is awesome but it has its setbacks… like you should probably not have your phone, laptop, camera, or any other valuable item within a 5 yard radius of what you are painting. Two words: Over Spray! I would also recommend keeping your feet or other body part you wished to not be painted 5 yards away but since you are likely to be using them I suggest painting with spray paint in old cheap tennis shoes.

If you should not heed my advice, I know that the mystical substance that is coconut oil (I highly doubt it has to be organic or virgin or any other over priced version) is VERY effective in removing spray paint from skin… and Otterbox Cases that may or may not have been left on a phone that was mistakenly left within the spray zone. (Te he he… Oops). It works! Check out this before and after shot!

A "Green" Mailbox Make-Over

This is likely the reason my hubby decided to “supervise”/ toddler wrangle my repainting of the mailbox.

What you will need:

  • A mailbox (preferably old, worn out, and looking for love)
  • Spray Paint in your favorite color (Seriously recommend Kryon ColorMaxx)
  • 150 grit Sandpaper (you want enough grit to remove any grime and scuff it up a bit but not so much grit it leaves streaks)
  • Painters Tape (If your flag isn’t removable)
  • 651 Permanent Outdoor Vinyl
  • Silhouette Machine (Or other craft cutter)

How I did it:

Prep and wash the surface according to directions on spray paint can.

Lightly scuff the areas to be covered by spray paint to increase adhesion.

A Green Mailbox Makeover

Paint surface being sure to maintain steady sweeping strokes to ensure even coverage.

A Green Mailbox Makeover

Now you have to let the paint dry so it’s time to break out the old Craft Cutter and cut out your new design for your mailbox. I used PicMonkey to create my design (because Silhouette Studio isn’t quite mobile yet) so I had to trace the design in Silhouette Studio and proceeded to cut out the design in the desired color. One thing about tracing images not made in Silhouette Studio, you will want make sure you trace it in it’s original size to avoid pixelization. Once it is traced you can resize the image without losing image quality.

After your paint is dry and your vinyl cut, place your vinyl on your mailbox and then attach the mailbox back to its post.

Step back and admire your hard work and lack of spray painted feet!

A Green Mailbox Makeover

Oh, before I forget, if you live in a humid client you really do need to pay attention to the temperature and humidity requirements because it will cause the paint to run.

A Green Mailbox Make Over

Have you guys ever worked with spray paint before? What are your tips and tricks?

The Silhouette Challenge

Want even MORE ideas to spruce up your outdoor living area? I got together with my blogging friends to provide you a TON of projects! Peruse through, leave a little comment love (because WE LOVE WHEN YOU SAY HI!) and share what you are doing on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Make sure you use #GetCrafty so I will be sure to see it!

A Silhouette Tutorial: Using HTV on Stretched Canvas

Silhouette TutorialsMackenzie SmithComment

Last week, I was brainstorming ideas for my mom’s birthday, and I happened upon this cute little camper from the Silhouette Design Store that I knew I just HAD to use.  (When I was a kid, we would go on weekend vacations to FAR AWAY lands (that turned out to only be 30 minutes away) and would stay in the "woods" with other people in campers and tents. It was the BEST TIME EVER!) Mom had recently told me that she had gotten a new camper so she OBVIOUSLY needed some cutesy art for it!

After discussing the possibilities with my mom (she requested a decal for the camper AND a canvas to hang inside), I got to work brainstorming the possible ways to execute the project.

htv on canvas

There are many ways to use your Silhouette Machine (or other craft cutters) to create an awesome stencil to use. Most common being Indoor Adhesive Vinyl, Freezer Paper, Contact Paper, or putting the vinyl directly on the canvas if you don’t feel like painting.

Out of those methods, I began to wonder if Heat Transfer Vinyl (forever forward known as HTV in this post) could be added to the canvas. I mean, it is after all fabric, It’s just on a frame, right?

How could this not work?

So, I posed the question to the Silhouette Challenge Facebook Group, the one that brings the awesome blog hop to you each month, and the feedback I got from the group was that NO ONE had tried it yet… Off I went to test my theory in the hopes of success!

After gathering my supplies, I set to work to create my design and get it all cut out. Since I had early on decided I didn’t want just a plain white background for my project, the night before I was set to test my theory I went ahead and painted my canvas with acrylic paint to make sure it had ample amount of time to dry.

HTV on Canvas

This particular project required multiple layers of HTV so I knew I would need to be careful with the placement of my iron because if HTV gets too hot it will peel off again, and that would be NO BUENO! I had to use my iron for this project well because I don't have a heat press. (If you want to use your heat press, Melissa over at Silhouette School posted a similar tutorial you can refer to. Great minds think alike, right!)

GUESS WHAT?!?!

It worked PERFECTLY!!!! No more fighting with mod podge to get normal vinyl to adhere, no more trying to gently coax freezer paper off a mat that just doesn’t want to let go like a toddler being dropped off at daycare (oh, that’s just my kid… AWK-WARD…), no more worrying about the paint bleeding and not having clean crisp lines!!!!

Can you hear the Hallelujah Chorus? Just me... Oh... Any who...

Some takeaway tips when putting HTV on Canvas?

  1. Use an old pillowcase (the smooth ones that stay cooler on the underside. You know what I am talking about) because it will end up looking like this as the heat draws any remaining moisture from the canvas.
  2. Make sure your iron is on it’s hottest setting without steam. Moisture + HTV = No Good!
  3. The rules for applying multiple layers of HTV still apply as they do with any other kind of surface.
  4. The easiest way to get counter pressure in the middle of the canvas is to put something beneath it. (Don’t tell my husband, but I used his Comic Book Preview book and it survived. That thing is like the old JC Penney Holiday Catalog I remember looking through as a kid.)

Can you think of all the possibilities given the various types of HTV on the Market?... Like glow in the dark, or reflective, or glitter, and the list goes on and on. This was a SUPER easy task and it the longest part was waiting for it to finish cutting out.

If you liked it feel free to share it on Pinterest!

HTV on canvas

Have you guys tried putting HTV on Canvas yet? Love it? Hate it? Post your projects on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with the #GetCrafty!

What NOT To Use When Stenciling on Wood

Silhouette TutorialsMackenzie Smith4 Comments

Silhouette Challenge time!! Are you ready for this? (Cue Jock Jams)

This month’s challenge was home decor with virtual bonus points and high fives for those who aim to complete the bonus challenge of tackling wood!!

The Silhouette Challenge Logo

There is a reason wood was the BONUS challenge...

What NOT to Use When Stenciling on Wood

This venture was a… ummm… learning experience.

This is what NOT to do in order to have a successful project:

  1. Contact Paper does not stick well to the wood (even after being painted first)
  2. Stencil Vinyl did not stick well to the wood either, but it was better than the contact paper.
  3. Do NOT use old paints. I am trying to diminish my stash of paints, but the 8-month-old paint didn't quite work. It was rather lumpy and bumpy.
  4. Do not try to paint Matte Acrylic and then Metalic Acrylic on top with the final layer Matte Acrylic.

I am a firm believer that you learn more from mistakes and failures than you do successes. If I only told  you about my successful projects that wouldn't be NEARLY as fun. Maybe what I am really looking for is some awesome tips and ideas to be left in the comment section below so that I can have more success next time!

<Insert Click to Tweet Image with quote " At the bottom of every mountain is a valley you must go through first.">

Here is how it all went down!

Materials I Used:

  • Assorted Acrylic Paints
  • Wooden Sign (This method can be used with any base really)
  • Stencil Vinyl (Or Oracal 631 Vinyl to get a better seal)
  • Silhouette Machine (or other Craft/Die Cutter)
  • Spray Acrylic or Other sealants
  • Jute Twine
  • Staple gun and staples

Prep and paint your surface.

Prep Work 39.JPG

While that is drying, cut your design out and prep that for transfer. I made my design using Picmonkey. It's a really great free photo editing program that is web based.

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 2.30.38 PM.png

Once your base surface is dry, transfer your stencil to your base. Make sure to paint a thin layer of your base coat around the edges of your stencil so that if bleeding occurs it will be minimal.

Prep Work 24.JPG

Remove the pieces as you are ready to paint them to reduce the chance of accidentally painting in the wrong part with the wrong color. Allow to dry partially and then carefully peel off (you can wait until it is completely dry, but you may see some pulling of the paint). After removing all of your stencils, allow your sign to dry completely.

What NOT To Use When Stenciling on Wood
What NOT to Use When Stenciling on Wood

Since my sign is actually a 10 x 10 wooden “canvas” and not an actual sign, I had to add the additional hanging piece which was easy peasy. Cut the twine to the length you want your sign to hang (I just eyeballed it) and then tie a knot in one end. Staple right above the knot. I did this to help prevent the twine from sliding out. Repeat this step on the other end of the twine

What NOT to Use When Stenciling on Wood

Seal with spray acrylic to prevent the paint from chipping, unless you are going for a distressed matte look. Hang and enjoy!

What NOT to Use When Stenciling on Wood

Personally, I think my door sign turned out quite nice even if there was a little bit of bleeding.

Have you ever tried using a stencil on wood? What tips do you have that made your project go smoothly?

Hit me up on Twitter or Instagram and show me your work. Be sure to use #GetCrafty!

Want even more Silhouette Inspiration? Check out these projects from my friends in the Silhouette Challenge Facebook Group! If you have any spare wood lying around (for those of you who keep random pallets in your backyard), a total of 12 of us tackled the wooden bonus this month!!! So without further ado...

The One Thing That Almost Destroyed My Marriage

Romantic RelationshipsMackenzie SmithComment
Image courtesy Dollar Photo Club

Image courtesy Dollar Photo Club

This post has been weighing on my mind/heart pretty much since I started Crafty Bonds. My aversion to being completely transparent in my relationship with you is most of the reason I have posted either crafty things or parent things but no ROMANTIC relationship things. Frankly, I am terrified of opening up this part of me to the internet, for it to possibly rip apart. After impromptu guest post at Women You Should Know (you can read it here) that received SO MUCH positive feedback, along with a lot of introspection and reflection in celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary, and of course a discussion with my husband for his blessing, I have decided to come clean and share how I almost destroyed my marriage before it started. (PS: Hubby was given editing rights to this article so you may see some notes from him.) I mean this is a RELATIONSHIP BLOG!!!

Six months into my marriage, after the fun (aka: pulling your hair out stress) of planning a wedding was over, I wanted out of my marriage. It was not what I thought it was going to be. Looking back at it now, I have no idea what I thought it was supposed to be like, I guess maybe like Hollywood presents it on the sitcoms? Unfortunately for me, there was no laugh track to lighten the mood of an argument. For me, there was anger, frustration and sadness over various things, like the division of labor around the house (for the record, I still do not believe cutting the grass 8 times in the summer on a .25 acre lot equals cleaning the entire house weekly), how money is spent, and the fact that I had been uprooted from my home of 7 years to a place where I knew NO ONE because he had already established his career there. (Note from the Hubby: It is probably more like 16 times [mowing the grass in the summer]. With just a push mower. But the rest I'll concur. -- Hubby)

I had a decision to make that would change the course of my life for ever! Image courtesy of Dollar Photo Club

I had a decision to make that would change the course of my life for ever! Image courtesy of Dollar Photo Club

If you were to talk to my husband now, or back then, he would tell you that he knew SOMETHING was going on with me but just not what exactly or to what degree. He didn't realize how close I was to throwing in the towel until a few years ago and remembering the look of pain and fear on his face, now, brings tears to my eyes and ties my stomach in knots.

You see, six months into our marriage, I was completely and utterly DONE! I was tired of arguing over who did more chores around the house when we both felt as though we were doing the lion’s share. I was tired of feeling like we were broke every time we got paid, and I blamed him for it because I was no longer managing my money completely. (Note from Hubby: There was a lot of student loan debt that she hadn’t accounted for, and it ate into our finances/budget greatly. -- Hubby) But mostly, I was tired of being tired and feeling unloved or cared for by him. Or at least, that’s what I thought I felt.

I will never forget the conversation I had with my mom on one of my long treks back for supervision for my license. I was complaining how frustrated I was and like a good mom does she listened intently but what she said after I finished ranting made all the difference. She told me that all marriages have their troubles, especially in the beginning, but once you put DIVORCE on the table it’s VERY hard to come back from and that I should think LONG and HARD before I bring it up. So that’s what I did. 

I thought about all of the reasons I decided to marry my husband in the first place, for example, how he was willing to drive an hour to meet me for dinner for our first date (without complaint), how he always put my needs first and above his, how he is practical and money conscious (all though sometimes to a fault… I mean who takes 5 years to decide on a TV), he let me have the remote to watch what I wanted to, HE COULD COOK and many more other reasons. After realizing the pros FAR outweighed the cons, I decided to take DIVORCE so far off the table that it was out of my vocabulary (Disclaimer: It is important to note that not all relationships are safe and in those cases obtaining safety - even if it means ending the relationship - is of the utmost importance). I decided that an honest conversation about how him not helping me keep the house clean and organized made me feel uncared for since it triggered my anxiety or feeling as though our finances were not transparent enough for me to feel secure, was much better (and more cost effective) than divorce could ever be.

Now I cannot sit here and look you in the eye and tell you that the “d-word” doesn’t creep into my mind from time to time. When it does, I can tell you that it has stemmed from MY OWN insecurities as a wife, mother, and provider than anything within the bounds of our marriage. I take those times to look deeper into my own problems and explore what I may or may not be bringing to the table, and if in exploring those issues, I still find the word divorce lingering in the back reaches of my mind, I go to him to discuss the problem and tell him how it is making me feel (and not just “I am angry because…” but delving deeper beneath the anger).

There was an article the other day on the Huffington Post, putting Ben Affleck on blast because he had claimed his marriage with Jennifer was work and she did not feel her marriage was that way. I hope that is true for her but for myself, and apparently the rest of the married people on the internet, being married IS work and IS an active choice that I make on a daily basis to continue to be married. Marriage maybe work (which isn’t a bad thing) but making the active decision not to get divorced makes it A LOT easier!

Man, that was a lot harder than what I thought! Tell me what you thought. Have you ever thought about ending your relationship? What made you change your mind?

PS: I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU AND I LOVE YOU to the hubby who was willing to read this and understand what I meant. That is why we are in this thing together.

Scarf Week Day 5: Inexpensive Framed Scarf Art

Silhouette TutorialsMackenzie Smith5 Comments

As we draw to the close of an awesome Shark Scarf Week, let us take a moment to reflect back on all that was this week at Crafty Bonds.

Hasn’t it been so fun hanging out together all week and just being crafty!?! I truly have enjoyed collaborating with my fellow DIY bloggers and the creative juices participating in #ScarfWeek2015  got flowing. Day 5 is no exception, and this time inspiration hit while walking around Walmart Express shopping with my son. I have had this sheer scarf that have had for forever. It has kind of followed me all through college, but I have never worn it (Fun Fact: I take issue with things being tight around my neck. Can’t wear turtlenecks either.) So there it sat in my unmentionable drawer taking up space, so when I saw that Day 5 was about repurposing an old scarf the ol’ lightbulb went off.

How to Make Inexpensive Framed Art

And now for my last trick, a cheap an inexpensive framed art using a scarf!!! Since I have a policy of full disclosure with you guys, I must admit that mine was indeed cheap. As in the stand part of the frame broke under the weight of the frame… with NOTHING IN IT… (No, seriously. There was nothing in the frame.) So, I am recommending springing for the $8.00 frame instead of the $3.00.

Exhibit A:

Broken frame

What You Will Need:

  • An old scarf (I would recommend a lightweight material.)
  • A piece of CardStock (I got mine at Sam’s Club so it is just the lowest weight before you get to regular paper)
  • A Frame (either new or used)
  • Silhouette Cameo or Portrait
  • Permanent Vinyl (651)

How To:

  1. Take the back off the frame (not the stand like gravity did for me.)
  2. Wrap scarf around card stock but do not overlap (this step is not needed if your fabric is not sheer).
  3. Put into frame....
  4. Break out the Silhouette Machine and go to town designing a cut file. For this project, I simply did "To Do" in permanent vinyl. (This step is optional but does make the project a little more fun)
  5. Attach vinyl and Viola... A cheap, easy and quick (literally 10 minutes but would have been less if I hadn't tried to fix the blessed thing)!

Out of the four projects I created this week, this one was by far the easiest to do. I am all for easy. I would love to see it in an awesome tribal or geometric patterns. The beauty of this project is it can be done with virtually any fabric!

Before you check out all of the other wonderful ideas head over to the newest post for the #ETHANproject... It got a little dirty! 

Want More Scarf Week Inspiration?

The scarf refashion fun has only just begun! Be sure to chomp those shark scarf teeth into each of these inspirational D.I.Y. projects hitting the blog-o-sphere today.
13 Creative Scarf Refashions: Learn how to transform a scarf into everything from home decor to bags to camera straps...and how to use an item you already have to create a scarf! Oh the upcycling possibilities.  Just 1 of 5 themed days during Scarf Week 2015!
From Childhood Memorabilia to Wall Art by It Was Weekend A Vintage Boho Reading Nook: The Ceiling by The Gathered Home Pom Pom Tassel Bag Charm by Ciburbanity DIY Scarf Tray by Confessions of a Serial Do-It-Yourselfer How to Turn Your Scarf into a Vest by Burlap & Babies Turn a Vintage Scarf into a Lumbar Pillow by The Silly Pearl Inexpensive Framed Scarf Art by Crafty Bonds The Scarf: A Necessary Item in Every Child's Dress-Up Box by Apron Strings & Other Things Upcycled Scarf Planter by Upcycled Treasures DIY Sparkling Infinity Scarf Refashion by The Crafting Nook PJ Pants to Scarf Upcycle by Southern State of Mind Furoshiki Book Bag by Tried & True DIY Scarf Camera Strap by The Thinking Closet Image Map

Click the images above or links below to check ’em out.

1. From Childhood Memorabilia to Wall Art by It Was Weekend

2. A Vintage Boho Reading Nook: The Ceiling by The Gathered Home

3. Pom Pom Tassel Bag Charm by Ciburbanity

4. DIY Scarf Tray by Confessions of a Serial Do-It-Yourselfer

5. How to Turn Your Scarf into a Vest by Burlap & Babies

6. Turn a Vintage Scarf into a Lumbar Pillow by The Silly Pearl

7. Inexpensive Framed Scarf Art by Crafty Bonds

8. The Scarf: A Necessary Item in Every Child's Dress-Up Box by Apron Strings & Other Things

9. Upcycled Scarf Planter by Upcycled Treasures

10. DIY Sparkling Infinity Scarf Refashion by The Crafting Nook

11. PJ Pants to Scarf Upcycle by Southern State of Mind

12. Furoshiki Book Bag by Tried & True

13. DIY Scarf Camera Strap by The Thinking Closet

Scarf Week-at-a-Glance

Well, we've reached the grand finale of Scarf Week with today's theme of Scarf Refashions, and grand it most certainly was! If you're just tuning in, this was just one of five inspirational themes from this week. And you can check 'em all out by visiting our co-coordinators, Lauren from The Thinking Closet and Vanessa from Tried & True. And you can also explore all of the creative projects we've been sharing on social media by checking out our hashtag, #ScarfWeek2015.

This week has just been wave after wave of killer inspiration, no fish-bones about it! Thanks for coming along for the ride. It has been JAW-some.

Until next time...stay scarfy,

Mackenzie


#ETHANproject: Enjoy the Dirt

#ETHANprojectMackenzie Smith2 Comments

One of the good things about growing up in rural Eastern NC is that there are fields near about as far as the eye can see. Cotton, sage, peanuts, soybeans and tobacco were in constant rotation around my house back home. I remember playing with my best friend in the cotton fields and pretending to “cook dinner” with the cotton bulbs before they broke open. It just doesn’t quite feel like fall yet until you can smell the freshly turned dirt from the peanut harvest. That dark, rich dirt does more than stain your feet; it stains the heart as well. 

ETHANproject Enjoy the Dirt

Apparently, my great-grandmother LOVED to be in the garden and had a keen eye for landscape design, to which my grandmother developed and she passed it down to my mama, and now she to me and my daughter, Nat. My mama took Nat for an entire weekend so that Nat could learn how to plant seeds and transplant seedlings. So, the love of the land runs deep in my family. So, now I am working to teach my children about how awe-inspiring gardening can be.

Over the Fourth of July Holiday, I stole asked my Mother In Law if I could have a few of her “Chicks” off of her “Hens and Chicks” plant (for more information check out this page). Once I got home and glanced at my computer, I knew I had to use them for the #ETHANproject but what I didn’t realize was the catalyst they would become for a pretty interesting conversation with my daughter.

Simple conversations like this one will be the memories I hold the tightest when I am questioning and doubting my ability to parent my children effectively or if I find that nasty little voice in the back of my head chanting (like kids on a school yard) “You Suck”. I hope that as she grows up times like these will be what she leans on to remind her that I am always right there to listen to what ever she has to say… even to pretend to be a firework!

Now it’s your turn! Show me how you and your’s like to get down and dirty (literally)!

ETHANproject Enjoy the Dirt Reader Prompt

Don’t forget to share it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with #ETHANproject and @CraftyBonds (or @Crafty_Bonds for Twitter) so I can see.

Also, It has been #ScarfWeek2015 this week here and there has been some pretty EPIC ideas for scarves! I see some handmade gifts in the future! Be sure to also check out here to see my tutorial for Inexpensive Framed Art!

So now tell me, do you love gardening or do you absolutely hate it! Click the pic below to tell me on Twitter or leave it in the comments below!

Oh, before you head out and on your way... you may want to sink your teeth into #ScarfWeek2015!

Scarf Week Day 3: Scrap-Busting Children's Scarf With Pockets

Silhouette TutorialsMackenzie Smith1 Comment

Welcome back to day three of #ScarfWeek2015. I don’t know about you guys, but I have found some serious inspiration… like Graffiti Bicycle Scarf by Tried & True, or DIY Linen Scarf by H2O Bungalow, or DIY Pink And Gold Elephant Scarf by Practically Functional! (As an FYI to all my friends and family, don’t be surprised if you get some kind of scarf as a gift!)

It has been a seriously busy week in the Living Room/Craft Room! In fact, I am pretty sure a bomb full of craft goodies went off in the living room. Well, actually, my husband decided he would speak my LUVVVV Language and got a craft cabinet that expands to be 5-foot long table! It’s BEAUTIFUL! I can sew and have my Cameo going all at once, but it has prompted a MAJOR reorganization and purging of craft supplies. You know when your supplies are randomly scattered throughout your house it is easy to forget just how much you have…

Scrap-Busting Childrens Scarf with Pockets

So when I was thinking about today’s project I was in the middle of my purge (I still am actually) and felt it was time to use up some of the fabric I had accumulated. What better scarf to make than a nice cozy Minky and Flannel scarf with pockets and a monogram done on the Cameo.

Let’s get to the How To:

What You Need:

  • Sewing Machine (I use a Janome Magnolia)
  • Scrap Fabric
  • Coordinating Thread
  • HTV
  • Silhouette Cameo (or Cricut Explore)
  • Monogram Cut File (I used this Vine Monogram I purchased from Etsy)
  • Iron

How to do it:

1) Prepare your fabric. Since this scarf is for my daughter, I didn’t want it to be too wide or long. The flannel and minky were cut to both be 6 inches wide. I don’t believe the flannel was the typical width of most fabrics and since the minky I had was double the size double the size of the flannel, I simply doubled the length of the minky. Pre-Sew dimensions of Flannel was 6” by 22” and Minky was 6" by 44".

Scarf Measurements

2) If using two coordinating fabrics like I did you will want to sew the ends of the fabric pieces right sides together with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Then sew the sides, again with a 1/4 inch seam allowance, making sure to leave enough room open to turn the tube.

3) Top stitch the scarf, taking care to make sure the hole that was used to turn the scarf is tucked in enough to be caught by the top stitch. For this project, I did not top stitch the ends that would become the tops of the pocket because I thought it would look odd having the top stitched and not the bottom.

4) Fold the bottom 6 inches up to create a pocket and stitch the sides closed being careful to go over the top stitching again.

5) Design and perfect your cut file. **Remember to ALWAYS mirror any lettering when using HTV, unless you are looking to create a secret code that can only be read with a reflective surface.

6) Adhere the HTV per the directions of the fabric and HTV. Always use either a Teflon mat or a pillow case/sheet/another piece of fabric to prevent the transfer paper from melting to your project.

Important to note: When working with Minky, you may want to consider turning down the heat setting slightly when applying the HTV and make sure you have your steam setting turned off. I attached the HTV to my Minky DOT fabric and it’s not so Polka Dotty anymore.

Man, THREE craft projects in THREE DAYS is a lot so I am taking tomorrow off to relax and spend time digging in the dirt with the kids! Be sure to check back here on Friday for not one but TWO posts (one #ScarfWeek2015 and one #ETHANproject) that you won’t want to miss!

Do You Want More Scarf Week Inspiration?

The sewing fun has only just begun! Be sure to chomp those shark scarf teeth into each of these inspirational D.I.Y. projects hitting the blog-o-sphere today.
10 D.I.Y. Scarves for Sewists  |  Here are 10 do-able projects, many of which are beginner level, where you can stitch your way to your own D.I.Y. scarf!  We've got neck scarves, head scarves, scarves for kiddos and babies...and and this is just one of FIVE inspirational themes during the Second Annual Scarf Week. Let's get scarfy!
Quick and Easy Knit Infinity Scarf by It Happens in a Blink Simplest DIY Lace Infinity Scarf by The Southern Couture Sewing a Patchwork Loop Scarf by It Was Weekend How to Make a Bandana Scarf for Baby by Burlap & Babies Upcycled Scrappy Scarf by Lucky Scarf Lace Trimmed Jersey Knit Scarf by One Dog Woof Scrap-Busting Children's Scarf With Pockets by Crafty Bonds Easy to Sew DIY Two-Sided Scarf by Apron Strings & Other Things Kids Infinity Scarf by The Crafting Nook Wire Head Scarf Tutorial for the Beginner Sewist by The Thinking Closet Image Map Click the images above or links below to check ’em out.

1. Quick and Easy Knit Infinity Scarf by It Happens in a Blink

2. Simplest DIY Lace Infinity Scarf by The Southern Couture

3. Sewing a Patchwork Loop Scarf by It Was Weekend

4. How to Make a Bandana Scarf for Baby by Burlap & Babies

5. Upcycled Scrappy Scarf by Lucky Scarf

6. Lace Trimmed Jersey Knit Scarf by One Dog Woof

7. Scrap-Busting Children's Scarf With Pockets by Crafty Bonds

8. Easy to Sew DIY Two-Sided Scarf by Apron Strings & Other Things

9. Kids Infinity Scarf by The Crafting Nook

10. Wire Head Scarf Tutorial for the Beginner Sewist by The Thinking Closet

Coming Soon....

Here's a glimpse at what's coming up next!

Scarf Week 2015

To access all 5 days of Scarf Week, visit our co-coordinators, Lauren from The Thinking Closet and Vanessa from Tried & True. They'll be updating their posts with the clickable collages as they go live this week. And you can also follow along with our hashtag, #ScarfWeek2015.

It'll be wave after wave of killer inspiration, no fish-bones about it!

And be sure to stop back here on Friday to see my next scarf tutorial!

Stay scarfy,

Mackenzie

Koala Crate &gt;&gt;


Scarf Week Day 2: Creating a Butterfly Infinity Scarf

Silhouette TutorialsMackenzie Smith7 Comments

So, what did you think of yesterday's awesome scarf tutorials? Don't forget to keep track on here or on social media by searching #ScarfWeek2015. I am dying to try Happy Hour's DIY Braided Scarf or this really neat Celtic Knot Braided Scarf by The Crafting Nook (P.S. SHE IS AWESOME AT TUTORIAL CONSTRUCTION... Lots of PICTURES!). Oh, Elena's Wrist Scarf from It Was Weekend was adorable and something I could see Nat and I working on in the future. I am also FAIRLY certain that Nat and Bubs would get a kick out of pulling and stretching the fringe on The Thinking Closet's Fringe Infinity Scarf. That is just a sampling of all the neat ideas from yesterday. To see them all, you can head here. Now, on with our show!

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Creating a Butterfly Infinity Scarf

The actual title of this tutorial should be "How To Destroy Six Feet of Freezer Paper in Five Minutes or Less"! When I saw that today's Scarf Tutorial was to be dyed, painted, or stamped I got super excited because I had been wanting to try the Freezer Paper Method for stenciling. So, I got out my freezer paper and my Silhouette Cameo and decided to dive head first into uncharted waters. Sometimes throwing caution to the wind and winging it works out great... At first I was not sure this was going to be one of those times... Let's kick off this tutorial first with WHAT NOT TO DO.

How to NOT do this Project: 

  1. I recommend NOT having your cutting mat anywhere near the freezer paper you plan to use... unless, you know, you want it mangled beyond recognition.
  2. Also, it's a good idea to measure out your freezer paper lengthwise prior to putting in on the mat... because it's easier that way than to try to cut it while already on the mat.
  3. Along the lines of number 2, it's really NOT a good idea to have any freezer paper hanging over the sides of the sticky cut area... unless your goal is to have your mat sliding like it's a Slippin' Slide (which I seriously need to get for me, I mean my kids). 
  4. I don't recommend cutting out teeny tiny pieces... unless you are really patient and have a lot of time on your hands.
  5. Lastly, you really should follow all directions on the Fabric Dye box… For example, the one that says to pre-dissolve the dye in hot water before adding to the rest of the water. Again, if the splotchy look is what you are after then HAVE AT IT but… 

Now on to how to actually complete the project.

What You Need:

How To:

  1. Cut the bottom of an old t-shirt off. Width is up to you. I originally did 6 inches across because this was SUPPOSED to again be for my daughter BUT… well, I will get to that. (Side Note: I also cut the bottom hem off.)
  2. Using Fabric Dye, dye your t-shirt material as written on the dye box (Trust me on this one…).
  3. While your freshly dyed fabric is washing away (without fabric softener rinse or a dryer sheet), design your cut file either using a purchased file or an original design (I decided to use Fluttering Butterflies because I thought it would be AWESOME to have the butterflies fluttering around the entire scarf… Then reality set in and at almost 11 pm with only one side painted I realized that WAS NOT happening) Then cut accordingly, remembering to measure and trim your freezer. paper BEFORE you place it on your mat. Also, cut your freezer paper shiny side down. This will make it easier to remove from the mat.
  4. After you scarf is all clean and dry, using an HOT iron WITHOUT steam and iron the freezer paper shiny side down to the scarf.
  5. Prep your acrylic paint per the instructions on the Acrylic Paint Fabric Medium. 
  6. Grab your dauber and GO. TO. TOWN. using straight up and down dabbing motions, of course. You definitely don't want any excess paint running under your stencil.
  7. Once your paint is pretty much dry, you will need to CAREFULLY remove the stencil and admire your handy work.

One thing that I am learning in doing all of these tutorials is that I am TERRIBLE at taking progress pictures. I get in my usual one track craft mind zone and like a freight train just keep going until it’s finished. It’s a perfectly reasonable justification for petitioning the husband for a Go-Pro Camera, right?

Want More Scarf Week Inspiration?

The dyed, painted, and stamped scarf fun has only just begun! Be sure to chomp those shark scarf teeth into each of these inspirational D.I.Y. projects hitting the blog-o-sphere today.
13 Dyed, Painted, & Stamped Scarves | Just 1 of 5 inspirational themed days of tutorials during Scarf Week 2015.  Whether it's tie-dye or painting with stencils or stamping it up, you'll have no shortage of creative ideas for ways to create your own scarves and dress up the ones you already have!
Tie Dye Infinity Scarf Using Super Soaker Water Gun by The Southern Couture From Drab to Fab: Stenciled Scarf Makeover by Creative Savings Flower Embellished Ice-Dyed T-Shirt Infinity Scarf by Architecture of a Mom Tie Dyed Scarf {tutorial} by Ginger Snap Crafts DIY Pink And Gold Elephant Scarf by Practically Functional How To Create A Brush Stroke Scarf by The Small Stuff Counts Abstract Ink Blot Black and White Scarf Dyed with the Sun by Where the Smiles Have Been Creating a Butterfly Infinity Scarf by Crafty Bonds Rorschach Inspired Art with Yarn by It Was Weekend D.I.Y. Galaxy Print Infinity Scarf by The Thinking Closet Graffiti Bicycle Scarf by Tried & True DIY Gold Polka Dots Scarf by The Crafting Nook DIY Linen Scarf by H2O Bungalow Image Map

Click the images above or links below to check ’em out.

1. Tie Dye Infinity Scarf Using Super Soaker Water Gun by The Southern Couture

2. From Drab to Fab: Stenciled Scarf Makeover by Creative Savings

3. Flower Embellished Ice-Dyed T-Shirt Infinity Scarf by Architecture of a Mom

4. Tie Dyed Scarf {tutorial} by Ginger Snap Crafts

5. DIY Pink And Gold Elephant Scarf by Practically Functional

6. How To Create A Brush Stroke Scarf by The Small Stuff Counts

7. Abstract Ink Blot Black and White Scarf Dyed with the Sun by Where the Smiles Have Been

8. Creating a Butterfly Infinity Scarf by Crafty Bonds

9. Rorschach Inspired Art with Yarn by It Was Weekend

10. D.I.Y. Galaxy Print Infinity Scarf by The Thinking Closet

11. Graffiti Bicycle Scarf by Tried & True

12. DIY Gold Polka Dots Scarf by The Crafting Nook

13. DIY Linen Scarf by H2O Bungalow

Coming Soon....

Here's a glimpse at what's coming up later this week!

Scarf Week 2015 Summary

To access all 5 days of Scarf Week, visit our co-coordinators, Lauren from The Thinking Closet and Vanessa from Tried & True. They'll be updating their posts with the clickable collages as they go live this week. And you can also follow along with our hashtag, #ScarfWeek2015.

It'll be wave after wave of killer inspiration, no fish-bones about it!

And be sure to stop back here tomorrow to see my next scarf tutorial!

Stay scarfy,

Mackenzie

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