Monday, May 28, 2012

Vanessa + Burton: IN LOVE

Vanessa is my cousin and I adore her.  Burton ADORES Vanessa, so I'm a fan of him, as well.  

Vanessa and I spent every weekend and summer together when we were kids.  As adults, we don't often get to see each other so the time I spend with her is just precious.  She recently finished up with med school and came home for a visit en route to start her clinical rotations in NEW YORK CITY!!  She even brought her adorable boyfriend, Burton.  I just HAD to get these two together for a session....I mean, look how gorgeous and in love they are!  A photographer's dream.  Vanessa missed her true calling of supermodel, but I guess Doctor isn't a bad gig either. :)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sweet Faith

Little girls are so much fun.  I should know, J and I have FIVE of them. :)  This is our second L (2L).  She is as girly as they come.  A true mothering kind with a flair for wild fashion.  For her eighth birthday session, we dolled her all up and spent the day snapping away.  Every time I took a picture and showed it to her, she lit up while peeking at the screen.  With five girls, I don't always get to spend as much one-on-one time with them as I would like so these little moments are a true joy.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Girl's Camping Birthday Party Invitation

This invitation is available for purchase for $15.  Please email me at christiehaggard@yahoo.com to purchase or to ask questions.  Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Our Baby's Nursery

The way I see it, I'm only going to get one chance to decorate Lila's room in full pink...and that's when she's a baby.  So, I went overboard with this room in all soft pinks, creams, and greens.  I made everything in her room, with the exception of the furniture, of course.  I loved doing it and love seeing her play in the space that I dreamed of creating for her years before she was ever conceived.  Enjoy and be inspired.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Handmade flower wedding bouquet

My dear friend Tess called me to tell me that she was getting married!  But they were doing a very small ceremony under a tree in their hometown of Clarksville, Tennessee.  She told me she wanted my help in planning her small event.  Well, that's RIGHT up my alley.  I was so thrilled for my friend and so thrilled to be in on the helping!  She mentioned to me that she wanted to have a bouquet made of paper flowers, something sweet and different and that she could keep forever.

Paper flowers?
That wasn't my vision for her lovely day.

She told me what colors she wanted and I asked her if I could just run with it.  She trusts me and I love her enough not to mess it up.

When I got to Tennessee, the first thing I did was bust out all of the flowers I'd been working on over the past few weeks.  She was thrilled.  We spend that night arranging them into this beautiful bouquet.  That was such a lovely evening of food and crafts with my dear friend.  This is the end result.  I adore it.  If it hadn't taken me 3000 years to make, I would put them in my Etsy shop.  Since it is so time consuming, my gorgeous friend has a one-of-a-kind creation to cherish forever.

We also made her necklace and her headpiece, and I photographed the whole event, but more on those later. :)

Head band hair bow tutorial

Today, I am showing a tutorial for how to make this sweet bow.  I am using several different techniques that I have found on the web.  Whereas the individual layer ideas are not my own, I have styled the layers together and that is my own creation.  Here is where I found some info on the layers: folded flowers, satin layered flower.

Start with a small circle of felt fabric.  This will be your backing for the entire bow.  I use the felt fabric squares from Hobby Lobby that are 4 for $1.  I can get dozens of cuts from one of these sheets.  The circle is about 1 1/2 inches wide.

Next, cut three small stair step circles out of poly satin.  (I have not tried this effect with real satin so I'm not sure how it would work.)  My circles here are 3 1/2 inches, 3 inches and 2 1/2 inches.

While you have the satin out, go ahead and cut four 5 inch circles.  These all need to be the same size (approximately).  I'm not a perfectionist so I don't measure.  I just go for it.  Of course, I'm a live-on-the-edge kind of gal.  As you can see, my circle isn't exactly perfect, but it all works out great anyway.

With your 5 inch satin circle, fold it in half and place a dob of glue on the two pieces you are joining together.  (In this picture, it is to the right of my thumb along the edge.)

With the same piece of fabric, fold it in half again and place another dob of glue where the two ends meet.  It should look like this.

Here is another image from a different angle of what your piece should look like.

Now, grab the piece of felt you cut in the beginning and glue one tip of the satin pieces you just made.  Continue going around the felt until you have all four pieces glued down.

It should look like this.

Let's move on to the smaller satin circles.  Hold one in your hand and with a lighter, barely singe the edges.  This will cause the fabric to do a sort of ruffle.  That is the look we are going for.  (Shout out to my Annie for holding the satin circle so I could take a pic and do the lighter part.) :)

When you have singed all the edges of the smaller satin circles, they should look something like this.  The more close you get with the fire, the more ruffled your pieces will look.  Also, I have seen people actually burn the edges.  It gives a dark edge to your flower.  That look probably wouldn't work very well with white but it looks nice on the darker colors.

You will take your three ruffled satin pieces and stack them nice and even, one on top of the other.  Put a small dot of glue in the middle of each one.  It will look like this.

Now for the tulle ruffle.  Go to your sewing machine.  Choose the longest stitch lengths possible on your machine.

Then, find your tension setting and choose the tightest tension your machine offers.

Begin sewing.  As you sew the tulle, you will see that it begins to ruffle.  This is what we are looking for.

When you are finished sewing your tulle, it will resemble a misshapen ball. :)

Grab the ends and use a small amount of hot glue to bind them.  This should make something that resembles the above picture.  Now, it's time to assemble the hair bow!  For this step, you simply layer the tulle on top of the four satin folded pieces.  Then, glue the three stacked circles on top of the glue.

Personally, I like to use small elastic for my band.  I like the way it looks and it's super cheap.  I believe this elastic was 29 cents a yard at Hancock.  Once I'm done gluing down the elastic, I usually go back and lay another piece of felt on top of the elastic to make it have a finished look.
And here is the finished result.  I add some sort of embellishment to the center of my pieces to give them a little more texture.  You could use a brooch, rhinestones, buttons, or any other little doodad you have laying around.

Can I help you plan your next party?

I love planning parties.  My husband says I get carried away and can we just have a few friends over and have cake.  He's crazy.  These are pictures from our oldest middle daughter's ninth birthday party last summer.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Love Canvas...Just in time for Valentine's decorating

I love to decorate my front door for every season.  I actually love to decorate my entire front porch for each holiday or each season but if I'm being completely honest, my front porch decor is only changed about twice a year.  (My pumpkins from October JUST made it to the trash can.  Any one relate?) :)  But, I can usually make the door decorations without any delay.  Here's my door decor for Valentine's Day.

I started with chipboard letters that I found at Hobby Lobby for $1.99 each (plus 50% off!!).

Since I was going to glue paper on top of these letters, I painted the edges.  I didn't want the brown color to show from the side.

I traced the letters with this fun paper I found in the Christmas clearance at Michael's over the weekend.  Tip: be sure that you are tracing with the paper facing up and the letter facing up or you will have a backwards letter to glue on...not that I've ever done anything like that....three times in a row.  Then, I used a foam brush and Mod Podge to glue the paper to the letter.  This particular paper is thin and metallic so it went on incredibly smoothly.  Love that.

This is my canvas before I glued my letters on.  I initially painted the whole think hot pink.  Then, I attempted to crackle it with little luck.  I've got to keep practicing my crackling skills because I've only gotten it right once.  This was not one of those times.  I messed it up and it created a texture more than a crackle.  So, I painted over it with three more coats of white and used a one step crackly.  This is the end result.  Not too bad, eh?  I live in the school of "keep going until you get what you want or until your project is completely ruined." :)

Here is the final project.  I used E6000 to glue my letters to my canvas.  I have a couple of tips on doing that.  First, I put two 8x10 canvases under my 16x20 to make a hard surface.  Then, I put a couple of wood blocks on top of my letters so they would adhere nicely.  Worked great.  I also added a bow to the bottom of my canvas for an extra little embellishment.  (My darling husband got me the most precious blanket from Pottery Barn for Christmas and he had it wrapped in the store.  They used this ribbon on the package and I salvaged it out of the trash on Christmas morning because I just KNEW that I would be able to find a project to use it for.)  Enjoy!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Reverse Vinyl Wall Art

I have a black and white wall in my bedroom.  It is full of stuff that I have made that represent my husband and myself.  I had a space that I needed to fill and I had a frame that fit the space perfectly.  I didn't want to use a frame, though.  I already have several frames in the area.  I had an idea to use my Cricut and print something on a canvas.
I went to my craft closet to grab a canvas but I didn't have one.  I did, however, have this piece of mdf that was once the backing of a frame that I used in a different project.  It fit my space perfectly.  So exciting!  I love using otherwise useless stuff.

I found this lovely book while on vacation in Mustang Island, Texas.  It was in a souvenir shop on the beach and it was old, old, old.  I knew it would be perfect for a project someday and snagged it up for only a quarter!  Bonus!!

I used my decopage medium and glued the pages down in a random fashion.  Then, I used my Cricut and cut out our wedding date and stuck it to my board.
Then, I painted over the entire thing.  Once it was dry, I peeled the vinyl off and had my lovely piece of art.  I lightly sanded the entire thing and sanded a little rougher on the edges to give it more of a distressed look.

I love the final result.

Friday, January 13, 2012

A new twist on mosaic DIY art

I have recently been looking for some kind of art piece for my bedroom that would bring all of the colors of the room together in one place.  I decided to do a mosaic but I just was not in love with the square ones.  Then, I had an idea.  I LOVE that glass tile that people use on their kitchen back splashes.  And I love the long, log shaped ones.  So, I decided to to a mosaic using that pattern, except I kept mine aligned for a cleaner look.  I thought that would look better since I was using such a wide variety of colors.  I love the way it turned out.

 I should have done a step by step and I seriously thought about it, but then I figured everyone knows how to do this.  If not, I will briefly explain.  If you need a more detailed explanation, you can search Google or Pinterest for mosaic art and find some really great tutes.

1.  Purchase MDF in size and thickness you desire.  TIP: MDF is heavy so make sure you are able to anchor it properly to the wall if you are going to hang it.

2.  Prime MDF.  Necessary step.  You could also use canvas but MDF is much cheaper and you can really press down on it when you are mounting your pieces.  Plus, you can have it cut down to any size you want at Home Depot or Lowe's for only .25 per cut.  Bonus! 

3.  Paint MDF.  I used spray paint because I'm impatient and it dries in no time. :)

4.  Assemble color chips.  I used paint chips because I have never thrown one away and had a trillion.  You could also use scrapbooking paper, or paint your own water colors and use those.

5.  Cut chips to desired size.  My canvas is 24x30 and I knew I wanted to have a 2x2 inch border all the way around so I cut my strips 1x4 inches and used 26 rows of 5.  FYI: this took me quite a while.  It's tedious, but you MUST make sure that all of your pieces are EXACTLY the same size.  If not, it will cause trouble in the end.

6.  You could lay your chips out, but I just went for it.  I wanted a really random look so I put the same colors together sometimes...makes it seem more accidental.  I used a glue/water mixture.  50% school glue and 50% water.  I brushed the back of each of the rectangles with my mixture and stuck it down to the board.  I went in rows across until I reached 5 and then went to the next one.

7.  Once I had all of the pieces down, I used my homemade Mod Podge mixture and coated the entire thing.

8.  When that had dried, I wiped the whole thing down with a small bit of stain to give it a little more of an aged look.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Cold outside? Here's a fun, indoor activity.

I recently saw an idea like this on our favorite website ever, Pinterest.  Here’s a link: http://aidenandmaya.blogspot.com/2011/11/aidens-name-in-painters-tape.html to the original idea.  This brave Mama gave her young child paint.  That ain’t happening in this house or in this life. :)  So, instead, we went with crayons and painter’s tape.  I gave them all watercolor paper (because I like the texture and it’s what I had) and I taped their initials off for them.  Then, I let them go to town. 

This is the hard part for me. 
I want all of their crafts to be perfect. 
I need to get over it.

Afterwards, we gently peeled off the tape and had these fun letters to hang in the girls’ playroom.  I love them and best of all, they kept my kids busy on a cooped up, winter day.