Kitschdesigns

Making and Crafts : Monogram Door Decor and Greeting

March 14, 2013 08:53 by ehouston

Spring seems to have finally arrived here in Richmond, VA and it was time to move on from our Valentine’s Day Heart wreath to something a little less holiday inspired.  Since Easter moves between the months of March and April I thought it would be nice to have something generic to welcome the season. 

With the popularity of monograms, I have noticed a lot of photos out there of large letters being used in various decorations throughout the home and I had been toying with the idea of adding a large “H” some where in our home.  Then I ran across the Jo-ann’s Fabric and Crafts Create With 8 contest and decided the time had come.

The contest requires you to choose 8 items from a list of 20 to create some kind of craft.  I thought what a fun little challenge and way to come up with something new for our front door.  I used the following items from the list:

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1. Styrofoam

2. Acrylic Paint

3. Yarn

4. Scrapbook Embellishments/Stickers

5. Wooden Shape Cut-outs

6. Floral Stems

7. Wooden Beads

8. Ribbon

I cut the Styrofoam block into the shape of an “H”, being sure to cut it a little smaller so that the bulk of the wrapped yarn would not make it look clunky.  Note: do this outside.  It’s a mess that keeps on giving if you know what I mean.

Then I began the process of wrapping the “H” form with the yarn.  I got lucky with this part of the process.  First, the yarn was on sale- score!  It also had a base of green with light to dark purple running through it, along with a bluish gray in an ombre effect.  The green is nearly identical to the green of the foam, so I did not have to paint the base or double up on the yarn wrapping to get good coverage. 

If interested in how I wrapped the letter read on, otherwise skip on down.  Starting with the left long side I went from top to bottom the long way.  Then went back and ran the yarn sideways from top to bottom, going all the way across to the other long side when I got to the middle section.  After completing the left long side I wrapped the right long side from top to bottom the long way. The middle section was next and I wrapped top to bottom and left to right.  Last, I wrapped the right long section, going side to side and from top to bottom, skipping the area that connected to the middle section.  That meant I was left with a weird area that did not match up to the rest of the yarn pattern, but it was in the area that would be covered with the flower arrangement.  I secured the corners at the back with pins and then used Aleene’s Tacky Craft glue to permanently hold the yarn ends and any other areas that were trying to come undone.  I also ran a thick line of craft glue all the way down and along each section on the back side to prevent the yarn from coming apart.

After painting the wooden beads pale blue and white I used hot glue to add them around the back border of the “H” form.  Once the glue was dry I went back and blobbed paint into and over any open bead holes to give them a more solid sphere look.

Then I just arranged the floral stems, a purple thistle type flower and a willow branch, and secured them with a huge glob of hot glue.  To make it look like the flowers are attached with the blue burlap ribbon I cut a section and crisscrossed it over the area where I blobbed the glue.  It helped to cover up the mess.  Then I cut another section to create a tied bow and glued that in place. 

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For the “ello” part of the “Hello” greeting I painted a flower wood shape pale blue and a large circle wood shape white, gluing the circle on top of the flower when the paint was dry.  Then I hand painted the “ello” message.  Once it was all dry I used hot glue to fasten the whole thing to the ribbon. For a little more springtime inspiration I added some embossed metal butterfly scrapbook stickers that I touched up with some white paint.  The paint was just to give them more dimension from farther away.  The last thing was to add the bit of leftover burlap ribbon for a hanger and I cinched some pale brown satin ribbon into a bow with streamers at the hanging point to add a little more color.

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IMG_4459If you feel so inclined, I would love to get your vote over at the contest site.  Just click on the link below to go to my entry.  You can vote every day until the end of the month. 

http://apps.facebook.com/contestshq/contests/313849/voteable_entries/65864486?wfrefid=48a3e54ca11a

Thanks in advance if you have a chance to help me out!

So, have you all created any fun spring time decorations?  Do you go all out for Easter every year, or do you keep a more general theme?

Kitsch Krafts


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DIY–The Nursery–A Vintage Modern Girl’s Nursery

October 1, 2012 07:01 by ehouston

As many of you know we have a 3 year-old little boy and just welcomed a sweet baby girl.  So now you know where I have been lately.  Our Little Guy has made the transition to a “Big Boy” room and at the same time he reluctantly gave up his nursery to his new little sis.  What that meant for me was a chance to girlie-up the décor of the nursery before her arrival.  For those of you that don’t remember, the room had been painted and decorated in blue, white and brown.  These colors were actually what I had used in my office at our old Nashville, TN home, so I could see them being used for a girl, but decided I wanted some softer touches and a new look. 

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(The Little Guy’s space before softer shades took over.)

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(The wall colors played well with his vintage globes and teddy bears.)

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(As you can see most of the furniture is very simple and modern in design.)

Plus, after nearly three years of looking at all those circles I was ready to stare at something different for a while.

This project began like most of mine, lots of ideas and no budget.  Literally I was tasked with making something from nothing.  I decided the easiest way to neutralize the blue would be to tape off the center blue band along the walls and paint it out, which would also eliminate the circles and dots, but spare me the need to redo the entire room.  In our paint stash I had a can of Oops paint from Home Depot that appeared to be a really pale misty blue-green, which although it may sound masculine, had a softness to it that seemed feminine and perfect to me. 

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(The furniture arrangement stayed the same- it’s the best layout for the space.)

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Unfortunately after taking the time to add the first coat it became abundantly clear that the color was more sage green in the room’s lighting and against the dark brown of the lower band.  I was disappointed to say the least.  Not only because the color looked so drastically different on the walls, but that this was the second or third time I had made this mistake recently and I no longer had the time to start playing the “find the perfect color” game.  Originally I had intended to paint or stamp a pattern along the middle band, so in my mind I figured that might tone down the color, but no luck.  So, in the end I sucked it up and realized I could not waste any more time worrying about the color and I just needed to move forward and learn to love it.

It was a only a couple of days later, while rummaging through my fabric stash that I realized I had some pretty cute fabrics tucked away that could play well with the shade that ended up on the walls.  So, I set to making curtains, covering pillows and creating some unique artwork.  You can find more details about how I created the fabric pieces over at my sewing and craft site, Chic Tweaks

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It was fun digging through my supplies to find vintage pieces to bring out and finally use and enjoy.

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(Vintage fabric filled embroidery hoop art.)IMG_3110(Vintage Flower Pin Art.)

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(Vintage Reproduction Fabric Quilt and Pillow Covers.)

Although, I am not a fan of making nurseries super gender specific I did have some favorite fabrics in a nice shade of pink that I thought I could make work with the otherwise neutral space.  Even though the furniture is all quite modern I feel like the reproduction fabric prints (from the 1920’s- 1940’s) fit in just fine without being too over the top and cutesy.

Just like in my son’s nursery, I personalized a wall mounted plaque with hooks by adding the new baby’s initials.

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(Initial wall plaque from my son’s nursery.)

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(The new version for our little girl, made with a patchwork of vintage fabrics.)

As you can see from the shots above, we kept the placement of the shelf above the dresser/changing table, along with all the teddy bears.  The bears were gifts from relatives to me and my brother when we were young.  Now they have been sitting watch over my little ones.  This time around I brought out a couple of the more girlie bears that didn’t seem right for my son’s nursery, but that I think our little girl will enjoy as she gets older.  My aunt also sent us my mother’s Madame Alexander doll, which she had been keeping for all these years (at the very end of the teddy bear shelf above).

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The doll has been tucked in with the loyal teddies and I think goes well with a couple other vintage pieces in the space; namely the tan bear above which wears the dress my mom wore home from the hospital and the big brown bear who is wearing my mom’s Brownie Uniform from when she was just a girl.  It’s fun to see all these sweet vintage mementos coming out from the attic to be enjoyed all over again.  The little white rocker was a gift to my son from his Great Grandma and has since been confiscated back to his room.  Jealous?  Well, maybe just a bit.  ;o)  The sweet corduroy lion was my son’s gift to his baby sister.  He likes to make sure she has it where ever she goes.  So, I guess it’s not all hate around here.

I will admit to having trouble bringing all my ideas together in this space. I finally decided to add everything I had in mind and just go from there. That is how the space ended up with a mix of vintage and modern, both in furniture and fabrics.  Taking this attitude helped me find a better home for my sweet mounted butterfly picture from the ‘60’s, along with some metal flower hooks I have lugging around for years.

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And, for a couple more fun elements I hung a framed alphabet picture that ties in with the flowery garden theme and I strung up several paper lanterns left over from my son’s “big boy” room to act as a mobile above the crib.  The lanterns were meant to be used for a shower (baby or bridal) and came with a bunch of paper butterflies to tape into place.  I used all 24 of the butterflies to add interest to just three of the circles and I think they work pretty well for a mobile*.  

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(Garden Themed Alphabet Picture.)IMG_3111

When I originally set out to write this post we were still playing the waiting game and I was sure she would be late.  The pink frames are still awaiting shots of baby and grandparents and the hand-me-down toys and books are on high alert for their second chance at life outside the toy box.  However, we have already worked our way through several boxes of the stocked up diapers, the dresser that was stuffed to the brim with pink, ruffles and lace has already undergone a weeding out of the too-small newborn items.  After nearly two months of use I have to say that the look is growing on me just as fast as the closet is filling up with pretty little dresses all in a row.

Now, if I could just get some sleep…..

Kitsch Krafts

*For those of you wondering, no, the paper lanterns are not meant to be used as a mobile over a baby’s crib.  In order to avoid a possible choking hazard if the butterflies were to somehow fall off, I hung them at the bottom end of the crib.  This way, if something should come down it will land below my daughter’s feet, and she still has a great view as they twirl around.

PS – Here is the cost breakdown for you DIY nerds out there.

Many items were reused from the original nursery and/or my vintage stash. Here is the list of those items.

All furniture – bed, dresser, rocker, shelving, bookshelf, side table/stool and hamper

Bedding – quilt, bed skirt and bumper (not pictured) These items are pale blue on one side and white on the other.  I choose to feature the white side for both the quilt and bumper, when it was in place.  The bed skirt is neutral in brown and white.

Accessories – Lamp, Weather and Temperature Center Clock, Books and Toys, Teddy Bears, Wall Plaque with Hooks, Curtain Rod and Finials

Purchases, Creations and Additions:

Two Fitted Sheets- From Target                       $15.00/two with special purchase

     One is pink and green polka-dots and the other is a geometric pattern in pink.

Pink Frames – From Target                             $8.99/three

Paper Lantern Mobiles – From Party City          Free/leftover from Son’s room makeover

Flower Pin Art – Supplies from Hobby Lobby & Joann’s          $7.33 for the fabric and two pins

     The vintage pins were from my stash, along with the mini canvas boards and ribbon.

Embroidery Hoop Art – From Joann’s               $16.00 for the hoops

      All fabric was from my vintage stash.

ABC Art – Frame w/Matt from Target               $16.99

      Art was printed at home on cardstock I already owned.

Curtains, Pillow Covers and Quilt – From my stash             Free- Already owned all the fabric

Metal Flower Hooks – From my vintage stash                    Free

Initial Art on Wall Plaque – Fabric from my stash               Free

Wall Color – Oops Paint from Home Depot         $7.00/ gallon

Grand Total:                                                   $72.30

Not bad for a quick reworking of the original space and I think there is a lot of change in there for such a small amount of spending.  Tell me what you think.  I’d love to hear from you guys.


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Etsy Treasury–Super Brights!

June 6, 2011 05:25 by ehouston

My shop items have been getting a lot of love lately in Etsy Treasuries.  I decided just to share these couple that popped up over the week because they are sooooo bright and fun for summer!  Enjoy!

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The Brightness of Summer by Vintiques & Company, featuring my Vintage Trippy Mushroom Tray.

EtsyTreasury-DaisiesInTheSun-FlowerTray

Daisies in the Mix by With Love, Ruby and featuring my Vintage Flower Tray.

Kitsch Krafts


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Etsy Treasury–Peaches And Green

May 19, 2011 05:30 by ehouston

Today there was another feature in an Etsy Treasury.  This one was curated by the owner of the cutest vintage shop, Little Red Polka Dots!

The fun Vintage Hawaiian Dress is from my shop.  This Treasury has me seriously jonesing for a peach!

Kitsch Krafts


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Scrap Crafts : Barkcloth Bookmarks

March 15, 2010 01:57 by ehouston

I don’t know about you guys, but I not only have a ton of textiles I also have a ton of scraps.  You may think, well why don’t you just toss them away?  For some reason when it comes to vintage fabrics (especially) I just cannot get rid of even the little bitty bits.  I have been known to save scraps so small they cannot hardly be considered for sewing.  However, a while back I gathered some of those little pieces together and created these…

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…little bookmarks.  There is something about vintage barkcloth.  I just love the texture and the fun patterns.

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Don’t you think the selvedge makes for a neat border?  (Maybe that’s just the textile junky in me)  As you can see I also had some fun with my sewing machine’s different stitches.

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This last version is my favorite because I am total fan of the really mod, atomic type patterns of barkcloth from the 1950’s. 

This craft project was almost a total “Green” project.  I say ‘almost’ because the backing fabric used was newer cotton canvas, however it was just the scraps left over from another project.  I used cardstock I had gathered from the recycling bin at work to create an inner piece to add some stiffness and stability.  The ribbons and rickrack were all vintage bits purchased from estate sales and thrift shops.  Basically all the pieces were to be discarded, but I was able to bring them together into something useful…and pretty cute, I might add!

So, do you have any projects created from what you swept up off your craft room floor after another project?  Do you have TONS of bits and bobs laying around and waiting for a way to be used?  Are you really just a Hoarder?   Come on, you can tell us…  Do we need to call TLC for an intervention?  ;o)

Kitsch Krafts

PS- I have sold all but one of these bookmarks.  Here is the lone survivor in case you are interested.  I hope to create some new ones soon!


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March Treasuries Begin!

March 9, 2009 02:22 by ehouston

I have been working hard to help promote the Retro Handmade Etsy Team with themed Treasuries.  Of course, right now we are working with the upcoming St. Patty's Day holiday and looking for all things lucky and green!  Check out the latest Team Treasury.  It's green in more ways than one!

http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list.php?room_id=44832

LuckyGreen,EcoAndRetroToo-Treasury


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Ahhhhh, now that's Better!

August 25, 2008 07:46 by ehouston

I did some thrifting on Friday after searching for an item I had decided to pass up the week before. It was a toy and I knew it would not be there a week later, but I just had to go back and look. I have never been so disappointed to lose out on something while thrifting. Well, that's probably an overstatement, but this was a more of a collectable than a toy and I had always wanted it growing up. I found it for a fraction of the original price and passed it up when I heard my husband's voice in my head saying, "you bought what? Really, a toy? Come on, really?". You see, he is just way more practical than me and that is saying a lot. So, I passed it up to regret it forever. Oh well, it was not meant to be.

On my way back out of the store I was trying really hard not to look at ANYTHING. You know how it is, once you start it all goes down hill so quickly. Suddenly you start to see all kinds of things that you think will fill the void of the one that got away and this is when you end up buying a bunch of true junk. Well, I broke my own thrifting rule and I looked. Of course one thing led to another and I ended up with a nice little grouping of stuff. In fact, I found a pretty good wooden cigar box that my husband promptly scooped up to claim as his own. Sorry, Charlie, but that one is mine, all mine!

I did come across a couple of those old plastic Lazy Susan's and decided to grab them just for the heck of it. They were only $1.99 each and it seems you can always find a good spot for them. After scrubbing the vintage gunk off of them I decided the Avocado Green and Harvest Gold needed some sprucing up. So, I used some self-adhesive shelf paper to line the center circles of each. The green one got a shot of gray wood-grain (thank you Martha Stewart for your fabulous KMart selection!) and the gold one is still a work in progress as I add some vintage, atomic starburst paper. The vintage paper is so old the backing was pretty much stuck to the front and is in the process of being glued down the old fashioned way. As soon as it comes together I will find a good spot for it too, and I will share that later. I thought about it for a while and here is what I ended up doing with the little green and wood grain number:

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Below, our messy spice cupboard (we like a lot of spice in our life-hee!)

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Whoola!  I am now Sleeping with the Enemy!

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...everything is lined up, I swear....  All the labels are facing forward, I promise....

Ahhh, organization.  It is rare in my home and I love it while it lasts.

-E


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