STRING ART

This little lovely was created for my friend Nicole. Earlier this year Nicole and husband Scott were visiting, and Scott noticed the string art hanging in our office. Not long after their visit we began talking about a commissioned piece for Nicole’s birthday.  I made some preliminary sketches for how I wanted it to look, but first I needed to find a piece of wood so I knew the dimensions of my canvas. I found this piece at our local salvage store. After a little trim, wood glue, and sanding, it was ready. Then I began finalizing my design. I admit I was glad when Scott chose a small word :) Though string art is lot of fun, it is also a lot of work. I remember after doing it before, I didn’t think I would do this kind of project again. But who knows, when I look back at this, it makes me want to do another!

 

*TIPS
When we began our string art for Easter earlier this year, my friend gave me a couple of tips and I’ve added some of my own: First, create a guide for the distance you want between nails. For me, this was a piece of paper with a few drawn dots. You aren’t using this for every nail you pound in, but it is helpful to hold it up to your nails every so often to make sure you are still on target. Secondly, use pointed-nose pliers to hold your nail in place. I used small nails (5/8″ on my first pieces and 3/4″ on this one). You can use different length nails depending on the thickness of your piece of wood, but regardless, they are small. Next, outline the letters first and last. Wrap the string around the letter (or image) before you fill it in. Outlining at the completion of a letter/color will give it a crisp look. As you wrap the nails, you need to put a lot of tension on the string so it doesn’t unravel behind you. You could use a small screw-driver to hold the string down, or I preferred to use both hands and keep a finger on it. You can also play with how you wrap a nail. You may wrap inside or outside depending on the line you wish to achieve. I find this especially helpful on interior or exterior corners. Lastly, SUPER GLUE! Super glue your knots before trimming the string.

If any of you have made string art projects of your own, I would love to see them!

ANNIVERSARY PARTY | PART FOUR

(You can catch up on parts one, two, or three here.)

I hope you have enjoyed these photos! It was such a beautiful night. Emotionally, I was a mess days before the party and constantly on the verge of tears. There was so much love that went into this, from Josh of course, but also from all of the other hands preparing for the day. We’re looking forward to sharing in the next 10 with this crew.

10 YEAR VOW RENEWAL AND ANNIVERSARY PARTY

I’m really excited to finally share these photos with you. I’ve broken it into four posts, so you’ll have to stop back by to catch them all.

Let me just say that it was a huge honor being asked to handle the decor for the night. Josh married Dave and I just shy of three years ago. From what I hear, Carrie raved about our wedding so much, Josh asked me to decorate her/their special night. I was able to reuse some things from our wedding, but I dreamed this up just for her. Dave spent the evening snapping photos.

 

 

SECRET PARTY

Here are just a few snippets of the preparations for the party I mentioned. I maybe went a little overboard, but it all made for a magical night. We couldn’t have pulled it off without some amazing friends and family: Andrea, Bri, Adam, Todd, Christina, Jay, my parents, and younger brother. Thank you all so much! If I get in to this kind of thing for a living, you may want to change your phone numbers ;-)

I’ll have the good stuff for you soon.

 

EASTER 2012

Better late than never? :) I just wanted to share a few photos of some fun we had this spring planning and creating our church’s Easter service. There are so many components to a special service like this, but I was able to be a part of planning the decor. A few of us made string art featuring “un” words that only begin to describe the awesome Man, Christ Jesus. Originally this started as an idea for the event invitation, but when I saw how cool “unbroken” turned out by my friend Carrie, I had to get in on the fun! By about the third letter on my first piece, I couldn’t believe what I was doing. If I hadn’t committed to doing this, I probably would have stopped right there. I love how they turned out, but it was a lot of work :) (If you are thinking of creating some string art, I’d be happy to share a few pointers I learned a long the way.) We displayed the string art on easels throughout the school where we meet.

Next, our visual arts team came up with this incredible idea for a back drop. We started by ombre dying over 100 yards of fabric. We used the fabric to create a backdrop but we also hung it in the trees outside the school and on a drift wood cross made by another team member. I wish I had pictures of this to share with you. It was truly breathtaking blowing in the morning air.

I could gush about how amazing this service was but it wouldn’t do it justice. You had to have been there :) (You can head here for bits and pieces of the morning. Search for “Easter”)

Well, friends, tomorrow I’ll have an ambient video for you, shot and filmed Dave. Stop back by to check it out!

CHRISTMAS WRAP UP

I finally put away the few Christmas decorations we had out and am enjoying a little more space in our apartment. Still, it is kind of sad to put away our sparkly tree before we’ve even had an abundance of snow. Dave and I were talking today about how as soon as we have some snow that sticks, it will feel like it is time for Christmas.
So when February rolls around, I’ll be ready.

I was able to finish most of my projects I was working on for gifts. My first SIL asked for warm blush colored gloves. I came up with the mitten(s) you see below. Mitten number two was finished Christmas morning. I got up early and sat on the floor in my old bedroom at my parent’s house with the closet light on, and knitted and purled and cabled as quickly as I could. Then, I stitched in a fleece lining I had already sewn to size. I joked with my mom that it reminded me oh so much of sewing on Peter Pan’s shadow. “Only you, Mariah,” she said.

These mittens are sisters, not twins. I messed up somewhere along the way, and the cables on the second mitten were smaller and therefore had more. I’ve known in theory how to do cables for a couple of years, but these are my first. I still think they were pretty great. I made a quicker pair of mittens for McKenzie. I like how they turned out so much, I might have to make similar pairs for Dave or me :) I don’t think she will mind. I didn’t remember to take a picture of them before giving them to  her though, oops.

I always find the Christmas sleepover at home so fun. Everyone in my immediate family lives about 30-45 minutes of each other. We see one another quite a bit, but it doesn’t feel like enough. I told my mom we needed to plan sleepover more often; once a month ok?

This year my goal was to dust off the old Atari and have a Super Breakout Tournament (that I would have inevitably won). Sadly, it didn’t happen, but we are ready for next time!

What kind of family traditions did you participate in over the holidays?

MORE MAKING

I’ve been working hard this week to finish up and hopefully wrap some Christmas gifts! I saw this little tutorial for a fabric headband over on Meg’s blog. We’ve never met, but she is my friend Joey’s fiance. I’ll be meeting her at their wedding in May! From what I can tell, we will get along just fine. She is all sorts of crafty and as cute as can be. Go look at their engagement photos: she made her dress, her hair piece, the quilt (GORGEOUS!) and revamped the chandelier. Wow! I wish two things: one, that I was that awesome, and two, that when Dave and I take photos for couples, that they are that awesome too. So far everyone we have photographed has been awesome, just to clarify ;-) I love that she planned some props for the day. That makes it personal and heart-felt to boot.

Anyway, when I saw how simple the hairpiece was, I knew it would be a great project and gift for my nieces. I was tempted to buy new fabric, but tried to convince myself otherwise to save time and money. Upon digging, I came up with a few forgotten fabric pieces I really liked, and I think the girls will too. They are almost 6 and 4 but aren’t really into the sparkly, frilly girl things. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a rhinestone on either of them. So I knew I could get away with a possibly more sophisticated color palette. In one of them, I even snuck in a couple of clippings from one of the fabrics from my wedding dress. She might not be interested in wearing it long enough for that to matter to her, but it still felt special to me :)

OFF THE NEEDLES

I have been busy knitting since about my second month on crutches. Before I started any new projects, I made myself finish two I had been neglecting. One is kind of a weird hat for Dave (not pictured) and the other is the circular scarf below. I’m really happy with how it turned out, but let’s be honest, it was kind of a boring project. This might actually be the first time I intended to make something for myself and kept it. It was such a dull project, I knew I wouldn’t want to make myself another if I gave this one away, haha. Also pictured is a tiny baby beanie for my friends’ son, arriving in February. I had never made anything for an infant, so I had to visualize (and google) dimensions. Otherwise it’s just an adaptation of the hat next to it for my older brother’s birthday. Here is the original pattern for these hats, but let me warn you, I had to significantly reduce the number of cast on stitches.

There are still some mittens sitting on my coffee tables, whining to be finished. Then, I’m going to attempt a slouchy hat for my younger brother’s girlfriend, and maybe a crocheted circle scarf like this one for a gift exchange (if you don’t follow Lindsi on People Webs you should! She makes the most beautiful crocheted pieces, has awesome hair, and has sweet vintage taste all-around). And just to remind myself of the other projects I may not finish for a while, I need to work on mitten #2 for myself and mittens for Dave. Whew! Hopefully I’ll be able to get most of it done in time for this gift-giving holiday fast approaching.

GIFT TAG DIY

I made these little guys a couple of weeks ago and have been wanting to share! Since Dave is at a lunch meeting and the mouse is here…

I’m not one to worry too much about gift wrapping. I love the look of craft paper which is fortunate because I’ve always been keeping it around since about middle school when I had to cover my textbooks. It can be spruced up just about anyway. I usually grab some pretty ribbon and skip the gift tags, but this year I decided tags might be a nice step up from the usual penned name on the bottom of packages. I saw these tags on Etsy a while back and made a mental note to make some myself. Simple!

The listed gift tags are very affordable, but why not make your own if you already have the supplies? Oh, because it’s really tedious. I used my mother-in-law’s punch to make the brown paper gift tags. Then I cut triangles from assorted paper, arranged pieces, sewed, and voila!

I didn’t fuss with making them Christmas-y. That’s not really my thing, and this way I can have a stock to use throughout the year. But, go ahead! There are even sparkly papers at the craft stores, so these could get all dolled up.