Noir Halloween

I just love the black and white Halloween decor I've been seeing throughout the blogosphere for the last few years.  I have a little black bench in my entry way and this is how I added my own Noir Halloween touch to it. I taught a class today about the french artist, Henri Mattisse and have french on the brain.My favorite part is the lovely iron scroll tied on with ribbon.  Those scroll handles are impossible to find in Texas.  Fortunately "Pick your Plum" hooked me up!  I made one available on my Etsy shop today.  It's a little late in the season to sell Halloween decor, I know.  But, just getting a jump on next year...or something.

Story Book Baby Shower

Two of my adorable friends are having babies any day now.  In honor of their hard work, I hosted a story book baby shower for them last Saturday.
The event was so much fun to put together.  I had a blast living vicariously through them for a few days!  Most of the decor was made up from found items in my own house.
For example, an old paperback became this wreath.
I never really did like that book anyway.  I won't share which one I mutilated at risk of ticking someone off!
A little close-up!
The same book made its way into my pinwheels.
Obviously, I was going for a grey and yellow theme.  One of the moms to be wanted to keep the gender of her baby a surprise, so things needed to be androgynous.  Beside, yellow and grey just look so chic together!
These bins may have been my favorite part of the whole shebang!
Found them at Lowes near the paint section and then spruced them up with some vinyl and ribbon.

More book pages were used to make the fanned circles for the garland 

and of course, some more pinwheels.
You can't have a baby shower without delicious munchies.  I started by brainstorming some nursery rhyme themed treats (Martha Stewarts web site helped out a bit here).  Several sweet friends of my contributed by offering to bring some of the dishes.  I never could have pulled it off without them!  Seriously, I never could have made multiple dishes by myself, and have them taste good, and have a clean house for every one to party in.  
We had Little Miss Muffets Tuffits.
Little Boy Blueberry Muffins
Humpty Dumpty Deviled Eggs
Mary Quite Contrary's Garden Salad
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Parmesan Stars
Little Bo Peep's Punch
Jack and Jill's Water
And you can't forget...the Dish ran away with the spoon
Another Book wreath acted as a center piece
And mini books and stars were strung as a backdrop
I wanted all the serving trays to be silver but, only had a few.  Thus, I supplemented with a couple  $1.99 plastic ones from Hobby Lobby.  They blended in perfectly.
I loved the flowery table runner down the center.  I saw it at Home Goods and had to take it home.  I'm thinking it might find its way onto my Easter Table next year as well.  The mini star tea light holders added a touch of sparkle.  I found them a couple of years ago at Walmart of all places.

Before my guest left, I made sure each received a bookmark to take home
I made them using bottle caps and jumbo paper clips
That's pretty much a wrap.  We just added some lovely ladies and some terribly fine books and had ourselves a great time.
It was scrumdidillyumptious!


I wanted to share a snazzy new decal added just this morning to my Etsy Shop.

Isn't she cute?

Up close and personal

I'm loving the wreath hanging above.  Just a little something from Desert Book store to remind me of my trip to Salt Lake last year.

Playing catch-up

Just wanted to give my blogger friends a peek at what I've been up to lately.  O.k. lets be honest, it's been A WHILE and these projects took place over a couple of months.  Needless to say, I didn't take any pictures of what I've really been up to.  A.K.A. running after three boys who don't like to wear clothes but do like to make messes.  Anyways, it's nice to post a little progress every once in a while.  So, here it goes.

I revamped my office with some Roman numerals. 

Made a birthday cookie for a cute 2 year old.

Made some fun baby shower gifts.  

Gave our Young Women's Easter lesson at church.  I made these blocks using 1"x2"x7" wood and vinyl.

And showered some teachers with appreciation.  These are some bottle cap magnets packaged on an upside down metal lid.

We love our Momma's

We love our momma's don't we!  Sure, sometimes they drive us crazy.  But, most of the time they're knock-your-socks-off amazing.  This saying pretty much sums up how I feel about my own mom.  She's such a sweet Grandma. 

 Just last week she surprised my boys through Easter Cards in the mail.  They came complete with stickers tucked inside.  She does so many little things that make life special.  

In honor of all the amazing moms out there, I designed these little plaques just in time for the Mother of all holidays (ok, it's really late, sorry).

There's a stack in my Etsy shop waiting to be given to some well deserving MOMs.

A chance to Give a little ... and Receive

Hi everyone.  Hope you're having beautiful weekends.  This weekend has two birthday parties in store for my eight year old.  That means two birthday gifts to shop for (insert a little grumbling by me).  So, I decided to use my skills as a crafter and a cheapskate to create them some personalized gifts.

I bought a couple of T-shirts and some of this screen printing paint at Hobby Lobby.  

My son and his friends are really into Pokemon right now, so I decided to paint their favorite Pokemon characters on their shirts.  I did this by using a vinyl decal as a stencil.  I found the graphics online and then weeded out the negative areas of the decals.

I stuffed a little foil inside the shirts to keep the paint from bleeding through.

Once they were dry, I combined them with some dollar store silly string for a couple of extra fun birthday gifts.

Then, I printed out a couple for vinyl decals for the birthday bags ($.50 at Hobby Lobby)

In total, since I was able to get the shirts 50% off, the gifts cost only $4.50 each (and that included the gift bag and silly string).  Not bad considering I've spent almost that much before on a gift bag alone.  And...bonus!  I have lots of screen paint left over to make more shirts.  My husband has already put in several requests involving old punk bands and sports teams.

Now, here's for the serious part of this post.  While making these Pokemon shirts, I kept thinking about the country where Pokemon was created.  A country full of good, honest, kind people who are now in serious need.  While my kids are off to birthday parties this weekend, many kids in Japan are just trying to stay warm and find something to eat.  We have so much, it just doesn't seem fair.  I desperately want to do something to help but, like most people, we live on a budget.  I'd love to just write a fat check, but then what would I do next month when the mortgage is due. 

So... that's how I hatched this little scheme.  I own an Etsy shop called Piccadilly Peddlers.  For the next week, (April 18th through April 24th).  I am going to donate all the proceeds from sales of in-stock items from my shop to the American Red Cross for the aid of individuals of Japan.  Yep, you read that correctly...100% of the proceeds.  Here's where you guys can help.  All you have to do is go to my shop, pick something out and buy it.  It's a win-win situation.  You get something you love for your home or a friend, and you also feel great that the entire price is going to people who need that dough much more than we do.

My job will be to do my best to keep up.  Watch out if you live near me, you might be enlisted.

If you can't afford to buy something right now, I totally understand, but maybe you could just spread the word.  If you love this idea, and want to do something similar on your own, then by all means, do it!  I'd be over the moon to see this idea catch on.

I'll be spreading the word myself by linking up to some of these parties.

I really hope I'll be making a nice donation to the American Red Cross on Easter Sunday!

Teacher appreciation subway tile

Last Friday my son came home with a PTA calendar for the month.  A quick scan revealed that Teacher Appreciation week is only four weeks away.  This year it's being held May 2nd through May 6th.  Every year I tell myself that I'll come up with some adorable and personalized crafts for our beloved teachers.  But, the reality is that I put it off every year until the last minute when I inevitably throw a notepad and candy bar in the back pack instead.  Don't get me wrong, I'm pro notepads and candy bars.  They're both delicious and useful.  But, since I'm a crafter through and through, I feel like I can do a bit better.  
So, this year I'm turning over a new leaf!  Presenting... teacher appreciation subway art!
I made them from 6" wide boards cut into squares.  Then I painted them white, roughed them up with some sandpaper and then added a touch of antiquing glaze. My glaze was found at Lowes in their paint section and I can't praise the product enough!

The vinyl decal was designed by me on my Sign Blazer software, using a few of my favorite fonts.  I stress the word FEW because really there are so many winning fonts out there!

I finished them off with a piece of skinny beading twine. 

I made a few extra and have them in my Etsy shop while they last.
I love linky parties and will participate in a few of these.

Three new designs

I'm taking a little break from all the Girl's camp crafts to share three new designs that were recently added to My Etsy Shop.  First of all, I have to apologize for the spacing of these images.  There was a lot of negative space involved that I can't seem to get rid of.

Now I just have to find a perfect spot for each one :)