Friday, July 29, 2011

"Here for you" -- Unity Stamps

Well, we've come to the end of my week-long Unity Stamps party!  I hope you've enjoyed the projects you've seen, and that you're inspired to get stampin' yourself!  I am not a fancy-pants stamper by any means, but these Unity Stamps make me feel like a pro!

My last card is a really sweet, not too fussy or serious way to tell someone you are there for them.  I just love that yo-yo image, and the baker's twine seemed like the perfect way to bring it to life.  I also added a touch of color with Prisma watercolor pencils and little bit of Stickles glitter.

Thanks for coming by!  I really enjoyed playing with my Unity Stamps this week, and I'm excited to be able to give away a set to one lucky reader.  All you have to do is leave a comment on any of this week's posts, and I'll pick a random winner this weekend.  Make sure you leave a way for me to contact you!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

"You are out of this world!" with Unity Stamps

It's Day 4 of my Growing with Unity fun with Unity Stamps!  Today I'm sharing a thank you card I made with this adorable little stamp set.  This is another set that is just so versatile!  Depending on how you colored it and what papers you paired it with, you could make this for a man or woman, adult or child.  I think it would also be a great congratulations-on-you-achievement card.  This particular one was for my sister, who kindly took charge of my kiddos so I could go to Cub Scout Day Camp. :)  This included packing them all to swim lessons and doing the Mommy-and-Me class with Eliza, so she truly is out of this world!

Materials: Stamps by Unity Stamp Company, Papers by Basic Grey, Die Cuts by Cricut (George cartridge), colored with Prisma watercolor pencils, Glitter -- Stickles in Fruit Punch

Thanks for stopping by!  Don't forget to leave a comment to be entered to win some awesome Unity Stamps of your own at the end of the week!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

"Make every day the best day!" -- Mixed Media Canvas for Growing in Unity

Hello again, friends!  Today is my favorite project in this week's "Growing in Unity" series with Unity Stamps.  I created this 4x6 mixed media canvas to really showcase this great quote from the "It's All Worth It" kit by Melody Ross, and used other stamps from the set to create added depth and texture. I made the tree by rolling and crinkling strips of kraft paper.

Materials: Unity Stamps, We R rub-ons, Scenic Route and Sassafrass Lass scraps

Here are a few more details from the canvas:

A little "you + me" carving in the tree

I'm not sure how well you can tell in the picture, but I used the pretty floral corner stamp first in brown.  Then I stamped just one of the big flowers with red paint, and went back in with a black pen to accent it when it was dry.  Such a nice pop of color!

This little birdie is a Stampin Up punch, distressed with acrylic inks.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win some Unity stamps of your own!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"Look on the Bright Side" - a simple, versatile card

For my second day of "Growing in Unity" posts, I thought I'd share the very first card I ever made with Unity Stamps.  I fell in love with this cute little lamp as well as the sentiment that went with it -- a little bit vintage, but with a clean modern feel.  As soon as I bought them (at a crop at Archivers), I had to rip open the package and make a simple card with the scraps I had on hand.  One of the great things about these stamps is that they lend themselves really well to a simple style that would work for men or women -- nice to have this kind of thing on hand!

Materials -- Stamps by Unity Stamp Company, paper by Scribble Scrabble, scallop border punch by Stampin Up.

Thanks for stopping by -- make sure you leave a comment to be entered to win a sweet Unity Stamp set at the end of the week!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Queen Bee with Unity Stamps!

Hey, y'all! I'm just tickled to be the "Growing in Unity" girl over on the Unity Stamp Company blog this week. Make sure you leave a comment on this post, because I'll be giving away a fantastic Unity set to a random commenter at the end of the week!

I also wanted to show you a birthday card I made with the "It's All Worth It" set by Melody Ross.  

My fabulous sister's birthday was this month, and I wanted to create a card that showed she is the queen bee!

Materials: Unity Stamps, 7Gypsies paper, Clearsnap chalk ink, tiny "4You" stamp from Stampin Up, Jewels set with the iRock tool by Imaginisce, body colored with shimmer chalks from Pebbles, Inc.
Inside it said "Happy Bee-Day!"  Get it?  I know, I'm hilariously clever...

I love that these images have so much personality, but they're still so versatile.  On Wednesday I'll be showing you another special project that uses stamps from the same set in a totally different way.

Thanks for stopping by!  I'll be posting new projects featuring Unity Stamps each day this week.  Unity Stamps are AMAZING -- you get incredible image quality, thanks to the deep-etched rubber, but most are available with cling mount so you can use any acrylic block to stamp with. And the ART! Oh, they have such beautiful, really meaningful art, much of it co-branded with the most popular scrapbook paper lines.  If you're a fan of the cool vintage look, these are the stamps for you!

I'll be giving away a great Unity Stamp set at the end of the week to one lucky commenter, so leave a comment for a chance to win!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The World's Ugliest Dresser

When Eliza was officially potty trained enough that I felt confident getting rid of the changing table, I went in search of an awesome dresser to make over.  Now, I have a serious love affair with yard sales, and I envisioned finding the perfect vintage dresser, something with great lines or fun details that just needed sprucing up.  But I was striking out in a major way, in spite of the insane multitude of yard sales that sunny Saturday morning.

Then I pulled up to a yard sale and saw this:

Cue horror movie music now...
I thought, 'That has got to be the world's ugliest dresser.'  I had to check it out.  It was a rock solid dresser in very nice condition, but man was it ugly!  No details, no pretty girly lines, just laminate, not anything that I had envisioned.  But the owner did say he'd let me have it for $10.  I told him I'd pass and went along my merry way.  Further searching yielded no results, however, and I could not get the Ugly Dresser off my mind.  It was like a challenge, calling out for me to try to turn it into something beautiful.  Plus I'm really cheap, and the thought of getting such a nice quality (you know, for laminate) piece for so cheap, which I then wouldn't feel too bad if I totally ruined, was just too enticing to resist.

So I brought it home and started mulling over ways to make it awesome.  I had a few different ideas, but nothing really clicked until I thought "STRIPES!"  (It was actually surprising that wasn't my first idea, since I have a major obsession with stripes right now.)  A few coats of paint and some hardware later, here is the new dresser!

This project took a little time, but was not complicated.  Here is how I did it:

1.  Clean all surfaces really well.  Give them a light sanding (just to rough up the laminate surface a little bit).  Wipe down to remove dust from sanding.

2.  Apply a coat of Zinsser 1-2-3 Bullseye Primer.  *This is the key for painting laminate furniture!*  This primer is made specifically to coat slick surfaces like laminate and give the paint something to hold on to.  It is seriously awesome stuff.  An important thing to remember, though, is to not overload your brush or roller -- the primer is really thick and sticky but dries fast, so if you get globs of it on your piece it will be hard to smooth them out.  Let dry for a minimum of 1 hour.

Don't mind that little nightstand -- I just decided to paint that as long as I had my supplies out.

3.  Paint base color.  Mine is Behr Bleached Linen, because I had nearly an entire can leftover from doing my kitchen.

4.  This is the only tricky part.  Decide how many stripes you want, and divide the width of your drawer by that many.  I wanted 13 stripes (7 pink, 6 white).  Try not to bang your head on the driveway in frustration as you try to figure out how to equally divide 31 1/8" by 13.  Well, that's not difficult -- the answer is 2.394230.  But they don't make a mark for that on most rulers.  I probably marked and remarked the stripes on the first drawer 10 times trying to get it worked out.  I finally figured out that if I made the two pink outside stripes 1/8" wider, the rest could all be the same.  Unfortunately, unless you're some kind of crazy math-or-measuring genius, it's probably a matter of trial and error.  Once I finally did figure it out, it was very simple and fast to do the rest of the drawers (it took me the better part of an hour to figure it out, but only about 15 minutes to mark and tape).  I used a pencil to mark where the stripes should be at the top and bottom of each drawer, then rolled painter's tape for each stripe.

5.  Put all drawers back into the dresser to see if they actually line up.  Do a little happy dance when they do. Then be glad it's 6 in the morning and none of your neighbors are out to see you.  Wonder if it's so cute with the green stripes that maybe you should just leave it that way...

Just a note -- when I went to paint the stripes, I ended up putting another piece of tape in between each set so that the white stripes were completely covered.  It saved my sanity because I didn't have to worry about pink paint getting onto the white stripes.

6.  Using your base coat paint, paint over the edges of the tape.  This will seal the edges of your tape, making sure that you won't get any bleed when you do your stripe color.

7.  Paint your stripes!

8.  Remove tape.  Do a HUGE happy dance (complete with fist pump and "Whoohoo!") when you see how awesome your stripes look.  Then realize that it is now the afternoon and several neighbors are out in their yards, but hey -- they already knew you were weird.

9.  Add hardware.  I forgot to take a picture of this step, but it was very simple.  I made myself a cardstock template the exact size of the pink stripe, then found the center of it by folding it in half both ways (super scientific, I know).  I laid that template on the pink stripe, then drilled a hole through the center.  Repeat for all drawers, then screw in hardware.  Easy peasy.

Voila!  The World's Ugliest Dresser turned super fabulous on the cheap.  My cost for this was:
Dresser: $10
Paint and brush: $10 (Thanks to a Groupon for Kwal paint), with TONS of paint leftover for other projects.
Hardware: $12 (I got these at Hobby Lobby -- they have knobs 50% off very frequently)

So don't pass up a good deal just because it looks ugly -- a little creativity and elbow grease can transform anything!

To see the rest of the room, check out this post.

I'll be linking up to these great parties!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Eliza's Big Girl Room

Goodbye, sweet baby nursery...
This summer keeps getting busier and busier, but for some reason I have recently been overcome by an unquenchable desire to re-do Eliza's room.  Do any of you suffer from the same problem -- no matter how much is on the to-do list, if you get an idea in your head you can't let it go until it's done?

I've actually been wanting to do something cute and girly since she was born and I've done bits and pieces of it over the past couple of years, but something about getting her potty training and her approaching 3rd birthday made it imperative to give her the room she never knew she always wanted...  (Click to enlarge pictures.)

Hello, big girl room!
It began with that banner over the window, which I made for her first birthday party using the Girl Friday collection from Cosmo Cricket.  I knew that would be my color inspiration for the whole room -- turquoise and pink with little hints of green.  I completely splurged (for me) on the bedding, and had such buyer's remorse after about it after that I was determined to do the rest of her room on as small a budget as possible.  I'm going to show you the whole room today, and then over the next couple of posts I'll show you the blow by blow of a few of my favorite elements.

I think the most eye catching element is the tree mural:

I wanted something to break up and lighten up all that turquoise.  My first thought was big wide vertical stripes, because I'm kinda obsessed with stripes at the moment.  But since I had already done stripes on the dresser (and didn't want the room to look like a circus tent), I opted for a large-as-life tree.  I wanted something graphic but still organic -- what do you think?  I'll post details on my tree-painting saga in another post. (You can check out that post here.)

My favorite little bit about the tree is this little "carving" I put in:

And also the pretty pink bird cage and birdie (which you may recognize from my blog header -- yeah, it's pretty much my favorite graphic I've ever created.  And it's available in my etsy shop if you're interested!)

The other big eye-catcher in the room is this dresser:

Which I bought at a yard sale for $10 when it was officially The World's Ugliest Dresser.  A little paint and voila -- fabulousness!  I will be doing a complete tutorial with pictures for this one in my very next post.  You have to come back just to see how ugly this puppy started out.  The round mirror was another ugly yard sale find, made much happier with a few coats of white spray paint.  The cute pink flowery thing on top is a felt flower ball, for which you can check out a great tutorial here.

Other happy details:

Some friends of ours kindly gave us the pretty girly bed, which was in good shape except for the brass knobs, which were pretty beat up.  I painted them with the same pink from the dress re-do.  My husband thought I was insane, but I LOVE the little bit of whimsy they add:

And every girl needs some big puffy flowers over her bed, right?

And here's a close-up of the banner, which I blogged about in greater detail here:

Eliza may not have ever told me she wanted a new room, but she love love loves it.  Her favorite part is the birdie on the wall, and she really loves the hanging poof balls.  Plus, there is plenty of room for dancing:

And jumping on the bed:

A big girl room for a suddenly so big girl!  (If you know any way to stop her getting big so fast, please let me know!)

A few notes:  The color on the wall is Behr Eucalyptus Leaf, mixed at 3/4 strength by the nice man at Kwal.  If you'd like to get a better look at the cute little table and chairs, I blogged about them here.