Monday, November 19, 2012

December Daily Product Preview: Video Post!!

I tried to upload video to my blog today with no luck...I don't know if the video was too long or if somewhere there is a little download elf who laughed so hard at my first pitiful attempt to film a video that he wouldn't allow it to post.  Whatever the case may be, I managed to upload it to YouTube.  During the month of December I am embarking on a journey of telling the story of our family through the December Daily, a project I have been stalking for the past few years on Ali Edwards blog  (yes, I said stalking...I'm not too proud to admit it!)  and thought I'd post some of the product I'm using.  And primarily it's a way to keep me accountable to the project...the big, wide world now knows I'm doing this project and expects updates on my progress! :)  I encourage you to check out Ali's site if you're interested in this project.  So feel free to sit back, laugh, yawn in boredom, and/or enjoy my first video


Letter Wreath Tutorial

Today has been a good day to post pics of various projects I've been working on so up next is a Letter Wreath Tutorial.  I was originally inspired by a project and tutorial I saw on Pinterest (of course!) by Living with Lindsay.  The original link with pictures is far superior than what I put together but at least it'll be a journey of the wreath I ACTUALLY made and not the fantasy of what I'd like to make.  That's the danger with Pinterest...constantly lurking and stalking the creations of others and never experiencing that creative rush for yourself.  Here goes!

Since I now live in a house with a real front door instead of my previous flaming yellow and white glass/metal/plastic door, I've become obsessed with making pretty things to go on it.  I'm already plotting a wreath for Valentine's Day!  After leaving my Umbrella Wreath up through Easter, I wanted something that could last for several months but be neutral holiday/season wise.  I also wanted to try and utilize some of the greenery and resources I already had to make it more economical.  This wreath fit both of those stipulations!
You'll need a 24 inch grapevine wreath, glue gun, and greenery of your liking.  I purchased the wreath and some additional greenery at Michael's (Can't let my employee discount go to waste, right?!) and used a 40% off regular price coupon on the wreath.  Dollar Tree also has a 24 inch wreath for a dollar but it's the thin
twisted reed type wreath so you may need more greenery to cover the wreath.

I started with the ferns, using both Boston and asparagus fern (I feel so smart that I actually know
what kind of fern it is!), then added ivy and green proteas. 
Once the greenery was in place, I went ahead and hung the wreath on my door so I could place everything
the way it would be seen from a distance...and mostly because I'm short and couldn't get a proper view
of where I was putting stuff on the wreath when it was laying on the table...but we'll pretend it's a critical
step for properly putting your wreath together.  The letter is pretty heavy but I was able to hot
glue it in place with no problem.  I'm sure my neighbors thought I was crazy standing in front of my door, holding the letter in place for several minutes but at least I gave them something fun to talk about
over dinner, right?
A little close up...
And we're done!  Once I stuffed in all the greenery and hot glued my ginormous letter N to the
center, I added the flowers and a bit more greenery to fill out any naked areas.  I've gotten
lots of compliments on the wreath and I think the only thing I would change would be the
letter...I'm thinking of pulling it off and wrapping it with twine or burlap so the letter
isn't quite so WHITE.  
So there you have it, my Letter Wreath Tutorial.  Enjoy!


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Candy Lei Tutorial

Still working on the Money Lei tutorial so I thought I'd at least post my Candy Lei tutorial first.  There are SOOOOO many possibilities for making this much cuter than what I have posted a search on Pinterest and you'll see what I mean.  However, this lei was made for my 12 year old son who will rip into it about 10 minutes after I give it to him so I held back on adding any frou-frou embellishments.

 Step 1:  Cut your roll of cellophane the length you want your lei to be:  I cut this one at about 55 inches long. 
A few tips:  If you're using bulky pieces like I did here, I recommend you lay your candy out before cutting your cellophane to gauge how long you need your cellophane to be.  Also take into consideration who you're making the lei for:  obviously this length would be too much for little people but you may want something longer for an adult. 
Most cellophane is fairly wide so I fold it over lengthwise and split it in half so I can get two leis out of one piece. 
Step 2:  (shown above)  Lay out your candy down the length of the cellophane, leaving a small space in between each piece so you'll have room to tie your ribbon.  I've seen leis made with individual pieces of candy as well as bulky packs like what is depicted above but the concept is still the same.
 Step 3:  Fold over each side of the cellophane until you've got one long tube around the candy.  It doesn't have to be really tight to the candy so don't worry if the cellophane looks loose (see below).
 Here's what it looks like when both sides are folded over.
Step 4:  Begin tying in between the candy, starting at the center of the lei and working toward one side, then starting back at the center and work toward the end of the opposite unfinished side.  That way if your candy shifts and you need to remove a candy at the end to make room to tape the lei shut, you can do that more easily than if you randomly start tying.  I like to make my ribbon about 18 inches long or longer so that I can have curled ends.  I used curling ribbon here in my son's school colors but you can use baker's twine, gardening twine, ribbon, raffia...the cuteness level and cost of resources is completely up to you.
 Here's what it looks like before I tape the ends together. 
 Step 5:  Overlap your ends and wrap a piece of heavy duty clear tape around it to hold the lei in place.  The candy lei can end up heavy and I've never had to worry about them falling apart whenever I've used this tape. 
 Step 6:  Tie a bow around the taped end.  I usually like to add lots of curling ribbon here to mask the taped end.  I also like to add a cute tag here to dangle with the ribbon. 
And here are my kiddos at the end of my son's band concert, with my son proudly displaying his lei.  (I know I'm prejudiced but aren't my kids adorable?!) I always give my daughter flowers at the end of each of her concerts so the candy lei is our tradition with Jordan.  I hope you enjoyed the tutorial!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Stuff I Made: Flower and Candy Leis

2011 was a busy year for the Nigg Family, between Senior Year and subsequent graduation of said senior, Jordan being the lead in his school play, lots of travel to see Europe before moving back to the States, moving from Germany to Savannah, Georgia...the list goes on!  During all those fun moments, I kept forgetting to post pics of the leis I made for the kids.  Unfortunately I didn't take step by step photos of how to make them but I thought I'd at least post the pics so you could see them and post some sort of tutorial later.  You may be asking yourself, why leis?  My dad grew up in Hawaii and the lei is a huge part of any celebration.  If you see graduation photos in Hawaii, the graduates are usually so covered with leis, you can barely see the graduate!  When my dad graduated from USF, our family came from Hawaii with a huge box of leis to put on my dad when the graduation was over and my mom handmade carnation leis for my high school graduation many moons ago, so of course I had to carry on the tradition. 

Here's George Washington aka Jordan, post school play and sans wig, showing off his candy lei.  This is super easy to make:  measure out the cellophane to the length you want the lei, lay out your candy along the length of the cellophane, roll the cellophane around the candy and tie off in between.  I use clear packaging tape to secure the end and a bunch of curling ribbon to hide the tape at the back.  My mother-in-law helped me make a boat-load of these as a farewell gift to Jordan's class at the end of the school year...she'll probably think twice about coming to visit now :)

I made three leis for Alex's high school graduation:  two from carnations and one made with dollar bills.  You can find plenty of tutorials on how to make flower leis online.  The money lei was a bit more complicated and tedious but worth it in the end.  The lei shown here has $100 worth of ones attached, which makes for a pretty long lei.

And as you can see here, the graduate is sure to love the gift!
Hopefully I'll get my act together and post some step-by-step tutorials soon. 


Monday, April 9, 2012

Alex's Room Project: Part 1

I'm new to the whole concept of  "painting a room/adding color/matching a color scheme" thing...partly because the few forays I've made in the past have been horrible but mostly because everywhere we've lived as a military family we have been verboten to paint.  The house we are currently in is RIFE with colors and we were encouraged to paint with abandon when we moved in, which evoked both a squee and a frisson of nervousness.  Well, we've officially painted one wall in the joint (in Alex's room) and it wasn't a huge success.  Not horrible, just slightly frustrating because the color we picked darkened to a shade very different from what the sample came out to when we painted a sample patch.  But you know, I'm probably the only person who will really notice so we're going to leave the wall alone for the time being.  In the meantime, I've been working on various projects with Alex to remodel her room.  Again we're limited since we're renting, with another move due in 2 years and said child will be staying in Georgia when we move so it doesn't pay to go overboard.  Anyway, I digress.  The point being, her room remodel has been an excuse for me to get crafty!!  I know, I know, when do I ever need an excuse to get crafty?!  Well, this has been crafty on a whole new level for me.  Like, home decor BIG crafty with fabric and paint and furniture remodeling kind of crafty!  So fun and so exciting!  Unfortunately I haven't taken pics of the bigger projects yet so I'll tantalize you with a small scale project that I managed to get pics of today.


So, here's the details:
The majority of my supplies were purchased at Michaels:  the 12 x 12 expresso frame, the K&Company background scrapbook paper, Making Memories trims (brown and blue), mini burlap canvas (on clearance), chipboard embossed butterfly and adhesive pearls (package in the impulse aisle for only $1.00!), Martha Stewart brown glitter, and the Recollections blue butterfly.  I also used the iTop to create the brown paper brad in the center of the paper medallion.  The rest is from various locations:  Ghent, Belgium for the cream lace trims and buttons (at a flea market notions vendor), Toom Baumarkt in Germany for the brown crochet flower, cream twine from Listmann's in Germany, and Joann Fabrics for the brown damask fabric.  You can't see it very well but the silver button in the center of the ruffled flower shows the head of Athena, Goddess of War and Wisdom, which is Alex's favorite Greek goddess.  The project was inspired by a combination of two projects featured in the latest Cricut Home Decor magazine.  I hope this inspires you to get crafty!


Monday, March 12, 2012

Something to Make You Smile

Anyone who has known me for any length of time knows that I have a sense of humor that veers to the quirky.  Just look at my blog design and total strangers can figure that out!  Recently I was doing some shopping in Marshall's when I came across this beat up little notebook that gave me a laugh-out-loud belly laugh that caused heads to turn.  The cartoon pictured on the front is funny all by itself but when coupled with a story about my mom, you'll see why I not only laughed so hard but why I just had to buy this for her.  My mom worked for KKNU radio station in Fresno for several years as the secretary to the owner and the first building they were located in had all the announcer's booths located down one long hallway, with the office cubicles and entrance at one end and the restrooms, copy machine, and rear exit at the other end.  So every time you went to and from the restroom, you walked past the announcers who you could see through glass half walls that separated the booths from the hall.  I remember running back and forth down that hallway as a kid, waving at the announcers each time I ran past, which they always good naturedly endured.  My mom is a very attractive woman and I was always so proud of how detailed she was about her appearance, especially when going to church or work.  And she always made sure everything was in place when going to the restroom:  lipstick, hair, outfit...all were perused before walking out.  Well, one day she didn't quite check her appearance well enough before walking out of the restroom at work, down the hallway past all the announcers, who all got quite a show as she walked past with the back of her full skirt tucked up into her pantyhose!!  If my mom reads this, she's going to kill me!  I don't remember all the details of the story but I know my mom was mortified.  I've said all that as the intro to show you this picture of the journal I got for her:

You're probably asking yourself why I'm publicly sharing this with the whole world?  First, I hope the story and journal pic make you laugh out loud and bring a smile to your face.  Second, the story should be a reminder to us to not take ourselves too seriously.  There are so many things in life that are challenges...a death in the family, dealing with health problems, a teetering economy...the list could go on and on...but I hope you take a moment each day to find a little humor in life.  And learn to laugh at yourself! 


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Spring Umbrella Wreath Project

I haven't blogged in FOREVER and it feels good to be back in The Land of the Blogger.  Pinterest has become my new crack...I'm lurking on there daily, looking for new ideas and project inspiration but I'm determined to be a doer and not just a lurker!  Sounds sordid, I know.  Anyhoo, I thought I'd post a pic of a project I recently finished that was based off something I saw on Pinterest.  If you follow my boards, the original umbrella idea is pinned on my "Crafty Stuff I Wanna Make" board.  Okay, are you ready?!

I think it turned out AWESOME, even if I do say so myself ;)  I'm not a floral designer by nature...that would be my awesome mommy...but this was something I could do.  I didn't take any step by step photos of putting it together but here's some tips if you're interested.

Tip 1:  I divided the umbrella into three sections using mini clothespins and left them there.  Once the greenery is added, you can't even see the clothespins.  That way if I want to take it apart and do something else with it, I have that option.
Tip 2:  With the exception of the umbrella, which I purchased at The Paris Market in downtown Savannah, everything in the arrangement came from Michael's.  (Thanks to Gene at the Savannah Michael's who helped me pick everything out!)
Tip 3:  If you use a plastic vs. cloth umbrella, match your stuffing to the plastic.  Looks much better and hides any craft foam used.
Tip 4:  Make sure everything is well secured to withstand wind and the door opening and closing frequently...I had a feather chickie fly off the first day because I didn't secure it well enough!  Thankfully the package I purchased had two chickies in it so all is well.

Hope you enjoy my latest project and that it inspires you to make your own!


Number of cows visiting my pasture...


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