Sunday, February 17, 2013

For the birds...

Sometimes the moms of the world get all the credit... but some of my girls' most fun crafts are ones they do with their dad.

For The Birds

A few weeks ago, in the midst of a cold spell and a bout of cabin fever, I started mining the internet in search of a Daddy Craft.  Not only do I know that my kids and my boy like to spend time together in creative pursuits, but sometimes when that happens, I can sneak in a bubble bath and read a good book.

With a recent bed-building project under his belt, Chad had some spare ends and pieces of wood.  I found a link to a nice tutorial and taking scrap wood and making them in to a birdfeeder.  Mission Accomplished:  we found our craft.  After assembling the necessary materials, they got started.


board segments (pine boards worked well)
1inch drill bit/drill
sticks (for the perch/roost)
eye hooks
Gorilla Glue
peanut butter
heavy cord for hanging

Chad began by having each girl paint their board segment the color of their choosing.  He helped them screw an eye hook in to the top after that.  They then used a 1inch drill bit to create six, 1inch cavity in the board segment.  They drilled a smaller hole to accomodate a stick segement under the six cavities to provide a perch for the birds.  Next, they wedged in the stick into the perch hole (which was brushed with a small amount of gorilla glue).  After allowing the sticks to dry, the helpers could pack the food source in the holes.  Suet would work, but for this project the girls stirred several tablespoons of cornmeal in to peanut butter and then spooned that into the holes.   It was a fun, simple project and the chickadees have already been by to check them out! Enjoy!


And here's a link to the original blog:

Friday, February 15, 2013

Chandelier Papier du Papillons

Our Butterfly Effect 

Last weekend Chad and I spent many an hour carting whole loads of c-rap, oh, I mean dear, dear toys, from the smaller bedroom upstairs to the larger one.  We are creating a 'sleeping room' which will be complete with three twin beds in the near future, and the larger room will serve as the toy room/guest room.  Taking apart the bunk beds,  and re-assembling them in the other room was no mean feat, but they fit nicely and it all looks pretty good, too.

The room is bursting with DIY projects from the art on the walls (a painting by me and a needlepoint by Great Grandma Dorothy which was Chad's growing up!), to the valences I sewed from an old chenille bedspread, to the beautiful quilts on the beds lovingly stitched by Grandma Reenie.  In a room mostly filled with beauty, there remained one ugly wart.  The light fixture.  It is the prototypical glass convex disc.  In searching for something more whimsical, I came across a couple images of a 'no longer available' paper chandelier/mobile from Pottery Barn! I searched for a DIY idea on Pinterest....found what I was looking for and I was off to Michaels!

I purchased a small package of white card stock, a 1.5 inch Martha Stewart butterfly paper punch (...used my 40% off coupon on that!), a bottle of white paint and a wire wreath form.  I spent about 20 dollars on this project. 

I began by having my helper monkey paint the wire wreath form with white acrylic craft paint, as it comes in green.  She enjoyed the process, and though the results weren't perfect and would have looked nicer if it had been spray painted, this way allowed for an assistant and was much less stinky. 

In place of spending money on vellum paper, I used another Pinterest technique that involved ironing together three layers of wax paper.  Place your three sheets between two sheets of parchment, pass a warm iron over it and voilá, you have a very nice, sturdy vellum-like paper.  I used my newly acquired paper punch and cut out one hundred or so vellum butterflies and a similar quantity of  white card stock butterflies as well.

Several years ago, Mauren and Zoe received very fun dress-up items from Auntie Suzy and Uncle Phil.   They've gotten many a 'how do you do?' out of the Fancy Nancy dresses and ballet slippers, but have never been convinced that feather boas were fun to wear.  This being the case, I hot-glued one of the boas to the wreath form after I had run a taut fishing line 'X' across the middle of the form.  The 'X' provided interior locations for some of my strands of butterflies.

Next, I made 17 strands of butterflies.  I cut each strand of fishing line at a random length between 20 and 30 inches.  I tied a square knot at the base of each strand, looped a 10mm pearl seed bead to the bottom of the strand.  From there, I layered two butterflies together and stitched one stitch in each to rest upon the bead.  I created some butterflies with two vellum cutouts, some with one vellum, one card stock and some with both card stock.  On some of the strands I  looped a bead in between each butterfly on the strand as well.  I tried to stick with the 'odd number' aesthetic and made strands of three, five and seven butterflies.  After sewing the butterflies on the strand, I folded the butterflies away from the fishing line and placed a small bead of hot glue on each side of the stitches to keep the butterflies looking more three-dimensional.

After securing one butterfly to the center, and one mid-way on each radius, I attached the remaining 12 strands round the circumference of the circle using double square knots.  Chad twisted three cup-hook screws in to the ceiling around the in-place light fixture and then hung fishing line down to keep the chandelier about an inch below the glass plate. (Here's to husbands willing to assist in their wive's crazy DIY ideas! :)  The whole project took about 4 hours--not too shabby for such a metamorphosis!

The result is lovely!  It softens the lighting in the girls' room and adds just the right touch of whimsy for my fairy n' butterfly loving ladies!

Supplies Needed:

14 inch wreath form (or other wire ring)
Spray paint/acrylic paint
paint brush
fishing line
butterfly craft punch
card stock
vellum (or wax paper)
feather boa
hot glue/glue gun
darning needle

The offending light fixture!

Wreath form

Helps to have a helper! We painted the wire wreath form white.

Supplies gathered!

I hot glued the boa to the form.

String a bead, and stitch a double-layer of butterflies on to the fishing line.
Using a dot of glue on either side of the stitching helps to hold the butterflies 'open'.

A close-up of the butterflies, post hot-glue. 

Pretty sweet, right?

 Done.  And done!

Oh....and here are some links that I used for inspiration (and dare I say, Pinspiration?)

The original butterfly chandelier I found from Pottery Barn Kids:

A DIY butterfly chandelier I saw on Pinterest:


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