Spider Web Plate – Martha Stewart Glitter Paint

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A couple of weeks ago, I was asked if I’d be interested in checking out the new Martha Stewart Crafts Decorative Paint Line, brought to you exclusively by Plaid Crafts.  And, because I’m smarter than I look, I said YES.

And shortly after that a box containing all of this (crappy cell phone picture alert)

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showed up at my door.

Delightful, right???

You can find the entire line exclusively at Michael’s stores in the US and Canada starting NOW!

So, why do we need another line of craft paints?  Because this is the big daddy of all craft paint lines!  It works on all crafting surfaces including wood, metal, glass, ceramic, terra-cotta and fabric.  It is indoor/outdoor safe and dishwasher-safe on glass.  And, there are 160 paint colors in five finishes (Satin, High Gloss, Glitter, Pearl, Metallic).  All come in 2 oz. bottles and are non-toxic!

And the tools?  AMAZING.  The attachments all screw directly on to your paint bottle and come with a separate bottle for cleaning.  That spongy roller thing?  Genius.  Let’s get on with my project…

Disclaimer: Because I adore Martha’s glitter (totally have the variety pack), I went straight for the glitter paints. The glitter paint is not “paint” like you’re thinking. It’s kind of clear with glitter suspended in it.  I found this paint is best used with the Fine Top Tips attachments or as an accent as opposed to being brushed on your entire project.

Supplies:

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Martha Stewart Crafts Multi-Surface Glitter Acrylic Paint (I used Obsidian)
Martha Stewart Crafts Fine Top Tips (pictured below)

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The tips come in 3 different sizes.  The large size is the one recommended for the glitter paint.  They appear pretty close to the same size, so look carefully before you put one on.

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They screw directly onto your paint bottle…fabulous, right?

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Mark a point on your plate for the center of the web.  I wanted mine off center.

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Take your squeeze bottle and draw a line from that point to the edge of your plate.

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Do the same thing 9 more times or so.

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Now fill in the cross webs (that’s totally a technical term).

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And a couple more rows of those…

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Now set it aside and let it dry.  It will darken up as it dries.

I cut off the ring part of a spider ring and stuck that on the plate as well.

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You’ll be seeing more of Martha’s paints ‘round these parts for sure.  Maybe even next week.  Winking smile

Full post disclosure here.

Sewing A to Z with Nancy Zieman

True confession:  Back when I was newly married and I hadn’t sewed in years, I used to watch Sewing With Nancy on PBS on Saturdays.  And by “watch”, I mean that if BC even looked like he was going to try to talk to me, he got shushed.  So, when I was given the opportunity to review here new book, Sewing A to Z, I jumped at the chance.

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Thing #1 that I loved straight out of the box?  The book is spiral bound and lays flat (and stays open) on your work space.

Thing #2 I loved?  The alphabetical table of contents.  In other sewing books I’ve used, things have been grouped in ways that didn’t make sense to me.  The fact that in this book I look under V if I want to know about sewing vinyl makes me really happy.  Guess where you’ll find the section on sewing with a double needle?  Under D.  Nice, right?

Thing #3 I loved?  The diagrams and illustrations.  Sometimes when you’re sewing, you just really need to see it, right?  I think it’s why we all read blogs and love tutorials so much…the visual aids turn previously scary techniques into something you know you can do!

Are you brand new to sewing?  This book would be a FABULOUS reference.  It has basics on everything from garment making to quilting.  It even talks about sharpening your shears and being organized in your sewing space.  (I should probably re-read that section another 4 or 5 times.)

Are you a not so beginning sewist?  I took my first sewing class in 9th grade.  We’re not going to get all mathematical here, but let’s just say I’ve been sewing for more than 20 years.  Surprised smile  I’d still recommend this book as a reference when you need a little refresher (because if you’ve been sewing for 20 years, you’re old enough that you might be losing your mind just a little Winking smile).

If you’d like a sneak peek into the book, Sew Mama Sew is offering a free download of the ENTIRE Seam Finishes section.  You can click on over here to check that out.

AND, to celebrate the release of her new book, Nancy has put together a prize package worth over $450!  Nice!

Book Tour Grand Prize

You can enter to win that here on Nancy’s blog.

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Disclosure:  I was provided a copy of Sewing A to Z to review.  Opinions are my own.  And yes…that confession is 100% true.

If you’re so inclined, you can check out the rest of the book tour as follows:

15-Aug          Nancy Zieman’s blog
16-Aug          Whipstitch
17-Aug          Sew Mama Sew
18-Aug          Diary of a Quilter
20-Aug          Amy’s Creative Side
22-Aug          Quiltville
23-Aug          Crap I’ve Made
24-Aug          Eileen Roche’s blog
25-Aug          I’m Just a Guy Who Quilts
26-Aug          The Free Motion Quilting Project
27-Aug         
Sew Serendipity
29-Aug          Lazy Girls Designs
30-Aug          Pat Sloan Blog
31-Aug          Tallgrass Prairie Studio
1-Sep          True Up
2-Sep          Sew News
6-Sep          Off the Cuff Sewing Style
7-Sep          V and Co.
8-Sep         
The Cottage Home
9-Sep          Colette Patterns 

Review & Giveaway: CanOrganizer

Are you familiar with CanOrganizer?

I’ll admit that I was not, until they contacted me about reviewing their products. I do, however, own 2 other brands/types of can rotation systems, and they were WAY more expensive than CanOrganizer’s. So, I was interested to see how their stuff compared.

The organizers arrived flat and wrapped in plastic. I was a little nervous about assembling them so I turned that job over to Macy. Plus, if a 10 year old can assemble them, anyone can…right?

Here’s what your CanOrganizer will look like straight out of the package:

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I liked the fact that it was clearly labeled with which parts to remove and discard. One of my organizers was not labeled, which I’m guessing was a fluke thing, but it wasn’t a big deal. We used one of the others for reference.

There were also printed instructions. We had a little incident with ours getting cut in half by an over zealous kid with scissors:

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No worries, though, because there’s also an assembly video online.

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And then she got to work.

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Success!

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I got the cupboard size, because my pantry is RIDICULOUSLY small. It might be my least favorite thing about this house.

The cupboard size held 7 cans, in my highly scientific experimentation.

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What I liked:

Both of the other can rotation systems that I own have tracks, making it so that you can only use very specific can sizes. The CanOrganizer boxes have “ramps” (for lack of a better term), so you can use a a variety of can heights. See how the mandarin oranges are way shorter than the rest? They rotated just as smoothly.

The different size options. My pantry is so shallow that the other systems I have don’t work in the pantry and are relegated to a storage room in the basement.

The fact that they could be easily labeled or even craftily embellished. Winking smile

What I’m not so sure about:

I’ll admit that I’m a little worried about durability, with them being cardboard. However, the cost is low enough that I’m willing to take the chance and I’ll definitely be getting some more.

And, we definitely could not have put them together using just the diagram. We for sure needed the video.

What’s in it for you?

A chance to give your own pantry/cupboard/storage room a CanOrganizer style makeover!

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CanOrganizer is giving one lucky reader a 4 pack of organizers in the size of her (I mean it *could* be “his”, but I’m pretty sure there are no dudes reading this) choice.

TO ENTER:

Click on over to CanOrganizer and look at the sizes. Come back and leave a comment ON THIS POST (on the blog, not on Facebook or in response to your email subscription) saying which size you’d choose.

Get a second entry for leaving an additional comment telling me what food item you stockpile (for me it’s totally brownie mix).

I’ll leave the contest open through noon on Monday.

How to paint a wall mural if you’re not artistic, Part 1

Find or borrow some sort of projector or overhead projector. I bought the Tracer Jr. from Artograph.

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Image from Artograph

It’s available at Michael’s and sells for $50. I used a coupon and got mine for $30. Tangent: It was obvious that someone else had used and returned the one that I bought and then taped the plastic shut again on the bottom. Don’t do that! Come borrow mine if you’re desperate, but let’s keep it honest.

First of all, let’s talk about the limitations of this projector. The size image you can project maxes out at about 3.5” X 3.5”. It’s really best if you can reduce your image to that size and then move the projector further away from the wall. Trying to project the image in sections (even after drawing an elaborate grid system) will make you curse. Because of the mirrors and stuff inside, you can’t just slide the projector over and have the image cooperate.

It also took me a bit to figure out that you didn’t turn the black part to focus…you slide it in or out. I’m sure none of you would have that issue, though. Winking smile

Are there nicer projectors out there? You bet. Was it worth $30? Absolutely.

So, I printed out a Utah Jazz logo and projected it onto the wall and traced the whole thing directly onto the wall in pencil.

And then I started painting and realized that I am way too uncoordinated to just PAINT something like that.

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See those edges on the right side of the ball part? That was the problem. I’d taped off the straight line over on the right and liked how it looked, but I didn’t know what to do about the curves.

So, I had to come up with a plan. A plan which you will hear more about tomorrow.

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Part 2

Review: Photo By You Workshop

I mentioned yesterday that my goal for the year was to learn how to work my camera. Here’s part 2 of accomplishing that and making this blog easier on the eyes.

Remember Emilie from Photo by Emilie?

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I’ve sung her praises before, when she worked her magic on Campbell last Halloween. And remember how I wanted to sign up for her class at Oh Sweet Sadie Academy? I had a church commitment that day and I couldn’t. And then I asked BC to sign me up for one of her Photo By You workshops for Christmas. He didn’t.

I pouted. After all, I DID get him a stupid Xbox. With Kinect.

So, when Emilie emailed me and asked if I wanted to attend her workshop last weekend, I jumped at the chance. No, really…I jumped. And squealed. And maybe even danced a little.

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I attended the Photo By You workshop. She does have other options for those of you who are more advanced or even for folks who aren’t local. Take a look at her classes page for more info on that. You can also pick up her Photoshop action sets and get photography tips. I’m loving the most recent one about white balance!

First of all, I need to tell you about quite possibly the best part of the workshop. This information is hidden way down at the bottom of “Things You Will Leave With” when in reality it should be in capital letters across the top of the page: Emilie’s husband is a chef and your workshop includes breakfast AND lunch, including Diet Coke, if you’re so inclined (and I always am). I’m still thinking about the salad with the fresh mozzarella. And the blueberry scones.

The other best part? The workshops are small, as in 6 people or less. This means that you can (and will) get all your questions answered as well as plenty of help when you’re practicing and taking actual pictures. Like the part where Emilie pointed out that the reason all my action shots were blurry was because I’d bumped the dial on my camera out of manual mode. Oops. Go check out Shelley’s action shots, if you want to see what I missed….like this one, for example.

Let’s look at a couple of pics that *I* actually took, shall we?

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How pretty are the baby’s eyes???

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Totally unprovoked, moving in to plant one on her brother…

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Oh look…there’s Emilie!

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The sweet little girl had WAY more personality than should be allowed in a tiny little body!

And, although the kids were done (I mean who wouldn’t be after being outside in the cold with 4 random strangers pointing cameras at them for half an hour?), look! I did that thing where the kids are in focus and the parents in the background are not!

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You’ll also learn top secret tricks that up until now have only been known by professional photographers. Like this:

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Are you a Utah local who now NEEDS to take this class? Great news! Emilie’s next Salt Lake workshop is scheduled for March 26th from 9-1. Even better news? There’s a discount available through March 1st. Use code “CRAP” and book the workshop for $189 (a savings of $36)! Included in your tuition: BREAKFAST AND LUNCH, a 60 page workbook, and Emilie’s Photoshop action set!

If you don’t live in the Salt Lake area & still want to learn from Emilie, you’re in luck. She offers a 1-on-1 online workshop, too.

I also heard a rumor that Emilie might be offering a class specifically for bloggers in the next little while… If/When that happens, you know I’ll make sure you hear!

Review: Say NO! to Auto by Kristen Duke

So, I got a DSLR for Christmas in 2007. As in, when I only had 3 kids. And (here’s the pathetic part), I’ve mostly used it as an expensive point and shoot. So, one of my goals for this year is to learn how to use my darn camera. (And then get a nicer one. Kidding…mostly.) So, this week we’re going to talk about a couple of things I’ve done so far to improve your viewing pleasure ‘round these parts.

Let me start by saying that I’ve taken a couple of classes at blogging conferences and learned a lot of new words, but actually taking my camera out of auto? I still didn’t dare! I’ve also ordered a book or two, but to actually sit down and read said books? Not happening. In fact, I think one of them is still in the Amazon packaging. Maybe I should open it and make sure it’s what I think it is…

So, when Kristen contacted me a few weeks back and asked if I’d be interested in checking out her new e-book, Say NO! to Auto, I jumped at the chance. (You might remember her from Season 1 of CWTS…crafty AND she takes a mean picture. And we have the same couches.)

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For $10, available for purchase in her sidebar, you get her 18 page booklet (in jpg format, scaled to 4 X 6 size for cheap and easy printing) FULL of stuff you’ll need to know to stop using auto. I love the fact that it’s a size that is easily portable!

I also loved that she included a glossary (because when you’re a noob, all those terms get confusing) and a handy ISO reference chart. I’m a math dork that likes very specific instructions, so the ISO chart was totally might have been my favorite part. Not super anal and codependent? Don’t worry! There are dozens of pictures notated with the camera settings used and other tidbits, too!

So, am I saying no to auto?

I’m getting there…

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(Someone’s getting a new room of his very own. This picture’s your hint of what’s to come.)

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(I took this when it was dark enough that I usually would have just given up and used a flash. Stay tuned to see what I turned that hideous Easter basket into later this week!)

Review & Giveaway: Impel Clothing

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Are you familiar with Impel Clothing?

Impel is a modest women’s boutique. They specialize in high quality layering tees and trendy vintage inspired clothing. Take a peek at some of the looks they love for Spring…

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Impel sent me a shirt to review, their Ribbed Henley Tee.

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Here’s where you’d expect some pics of me wearing the shirt, but that would imply that the individual taking the pics (I’m not naming any names here) would have realized that the beeping sound meant there was not actually a memory card in the camera and no pictures were being taken.

Where was I?

Oh yeah…the shirt.

Despite not initially loving the color (it grew on me), I decided to wear it right away. I wanted to have the chance to wear and wash it a few times before my review. My first impression? The fabric was really, really nice and thick. And, the sleeves were nice and long. You know how sometimes you have to tug your long sleeves back to their proper location repeatedly throughout the day? You sure don’t with this shirt, which I enjoyed A LOT.

I’ve washed the shirt 4 or 5 times now. (Hey…I have 4 kids. We do massive amounts of laundry around here, like a minimum of 2 loads a day.) The fabric is still nice and thick and hasn’t lost its stretch or shape. There was no noticeable shrinkage, which means those nice and long sleeves are still nice and long. Winking smile And, the color is as dark as the day it arrived.

I live in Utah, aka the home of modest layering tees, so I’ve experienced at least 3 other similar brands. The quality of this shirt from Impel Clothing is by far the best.

So, what’s in it for you?

Impel is offering one lucky reader a $25 e-gift certificate!

TO ENTER:

Click on over to Impel Clothing. Have a look around. Come back and leave a comment ON THIS POST (on the blog, not on Facebook or in reply to your email subscription) saying what you’d spend your $25 on.

That’s it…keeping it simple.

Ready? GO!

***Giveaway closes Friday, February 25th at midnight MST***

YCMT Discount Code

The sick around here has reached epic proportions. 2 kids have puked repeatedly (including the one who can’t get to the toilet reliably). 1 kid has strep for the second time in 19 days. The healthiest kid is the one that had impetigo (don’t Google it…the pictures are DISGUSTING). We’ve got a chart to keep track of who had what medication when.

So, to thank you for hanging around and being patient wit me, I’ve got something for you. And it’s not even contagious!

I recently had the opportunity to test sew Carla’s (aka The Scientific Seamstress) latest pattern, Reversible Rompers.

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You can make it any length (short, capri, pant) and you can ruffle it up for girls. Plus, reversible = 2 outfits for the work of one!

I chose a madras plaid and a navy solid for mine. I’m not kidding when I tell you that my actual sewing time was about an hour. SO fast and SO easy.

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And SO cute!

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I think he looks like he’s up to no good.

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He may also be sick of pictures.

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Want to try this or any other YouCanMakeThis.com pattern yourself?

How about 15% off through the end of the month?

Use code “YouCanMakeThis” at check out to take advantage of the deal through 2/28/11!


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