Pick Your Plum Announcement!

I'm so excited to tell you all that Pick Your Plum is having a super-big-crazy cyber Monday sale! There will be multiple steals and deals and there will be one flat rate for shipping for everything all day! So LOTS OF AWESOME PRODUCTS and ONE SHIPPING COST! The madness starts at 6am MST (or 8am EST) so get ready!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, ladies!

candy turkey, from delish here

As you read this, I'll probably be making these (while watching some football!)... Somehow these have become a family tradition and my mom gets all the ingredients and someone or someones are tasked with putting them together and it'll be me this year. Obviously the challenge for me will be not eating all of the candy! (We talked about making the fancier version with Reese's peanut butter cups, but I think we're all okay with the simpler version.)

After the holiday, I have one more Christmas guest post coming up and I'll be able to share some fun tutorials/projects I've worked on too because I'll be delivering a lot of presents I've made for various birthdays (that I haven't posted about because I want them to be surprises).

For now, I hope you all are having a marvelous Thanksgiving!

Pick Your Plum Giveaway WINNER!

Congratulations to one of my favorite blogging friends - Coley (of Coley's Corner)! (I promise I didn't rig this... here's the proof!)

There were 43 comments or entries and I used random.org like all the "fancy" bloggers do and Coley was the winner with comment #22!


Hopefully she'll share the details of her awesome Pick Your Plum prize package with all of us! Congrats, Coley! And thank you to everyone who entered - I was a little nervous there wouldn't be too many entries in my first giveaway, but you guys blew me away!

Happy almost Thanksgiving!

Kick Off to Christmas at Imprintalish!

I'm sure you all remember Lish of Imprintalish who shared her amazing DIY Yarn Light tutorial here... well, today is the start of her Kick Off to Christmas series... and she asked me to share a tutorial over there! If you go check it out, you'll get to learn how to make 4 different kinds of ornaments (that turned out pretty cute, if you ask me)! So go check out Imprintalish and my little tutorial here!

Painted Mason Jars


I haven't had much time for crafting recently, but before some of the chaos started, the boyfriend and I were working on re-doing my little crafty space so I wanted pretty storage containers for my newly done craft area!

There are a couple of methods for this and talented ladies that have made some GORGEOUS jars (some of my favorites are these from momtastic, these from the life of a sippy cup mom, and these from not just a housewife) but I went with the thrifty Mod Podge + food coloring method because I already owned all of these things (so the project was FREE for me)!


  • Glass (mason) jars
  • Food coloring
  • Paint brush
  • Mod Podge (Glossy)
  • Newspaper to cover your work space!
  • Disposable cup for mixing


After you gather your supplies, you want to mix up your Mod Podge and food coloring. I played around a bit and used maybe a tablespoon of Mod Podge and then put two drops of the neon green into the Mod Podge and stirred it up in my Solo cup (yup, I'm sophisticated like that).

The food coloring was actually leftover from when we really needed to make pink for the boyfriend's grandmother's pig cupcakes and cake (for her birthday)... so it was all neon and that's how I ended up with these colors (that look pretty different from those I've seen elsewhere)! (And I totally wanted a little baby whale cookie... so cute!)

Anyways, everything I read said to take your brush and just paint the mixture on the inside of the glass (it's no longer a jar you can put food into and drink out of, but that was fine for me) and then just turn the jar upside down to dry...

The jar looks pretty dark and not translucent at all when it's still wet like this, but as it dries, it turns more translucent. I played with my colors a bit and was trying to get more of a sour apple color so I tried one jar with two drops of green/yellow food coloring and another with three drops...

You can see how different they turn out (much darker color with more food coloring). Somehow I don't have a picture of the 2 drops of green jar once it dried, but they look different, I promise.

I eventually turned my jars right side up so they could dry because after about 24 hours, they were still wet and everyone else's online seemed to be dry in an hour or two. After I turned mine around, they dried within an hour or so and I excitedly put some supplies into some of them...

I made some blue jars and then added some green to the blue food coloring mixture to get the more aqua-ish color you see here (on the left).

Together, I think they look GORGEOUS! In real life, you can't see the brush strokes - I'm just so close with the camera lens and so focused, have so many lamps on so that you can see the detail, that they look a little more "imperfect" in these pictures.
A little mini neon rainbow!



Once I put supplies in them, labeled them with washi tape and Sharpie, they looked perfect!

I just LOVE them. They took so little time to make (WAY less than an hour if we don't count the drying time) and not even much Mod Podge or food coloring... all three of these aqua-ish ones were made with barely a tablespoon of Mod Podge and maybe 2 drops of green food coloring and 2 drops of blue and I know I still had more left over to make more jars if I wanted!

I definitely encourage you to try these out - so easy and I just love the result! It makes me so happy to look up and see my little painted jars!

I'll be linking these up to some of my favorite conferences and you should be sure to check out the Pick Your Plum giveaway and enter if you haven't already - entries close Tuesday 11/22 at 11:59pm EST!

Pick Your Plum GIVEAWAY!

I'm SOOO excited to announce that I've got a fabulously wonderful GIVEAWAY from Pick Your Plum starting NOW!

The PRIZE:

A mystery box from Pick Your Plum worth $25! It will include foam brushes, Mod Podge, and other crafting necessities!



HOW to ENTER:

To enter, you MUST be a follower of The Crafty Scientist! Look over on the sidebar to join (and refresh a few times if the GFC widget where you can follow isn't showing up). You can get your first entry by leaving a comment on THIS POST telling me that you're a follower (it doesn't matter if you're a longtime follower or just started following)!

Then, you can get ONE (1) additional entry for following Pick Your Plum on Facebook here. Leave a comment on THIS POST telling me that you followed on Facebook.

Then, you can get ONE (1) more additional entry by signing up for the Pick Your Plum email list by visiting the Pick Your Plum homepage here.

(So you can get up to THREE entries total - all of them require you to leave a comment on this entry though to let me know what you did.)



More DETAILS:

The giveaway will end NEXT WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 23, 2011 (the day before Thanksgiving)! I'll use random.org to pick a comment number from this entry and select the winner. If you win, I'll try to contact you if I can find an email address (so you probably want to LEAVE AN EMAIL ADDRESS WITH ALL OF YOUR ENTRIES), but you should check back here just in case I can't find it. (Just to clarify, that means that no one can enter the giveaway AFTER 11:59pm on Tuesday November 22, 2011.)




Remember that even if you don't win, you can still check out Pick Your Plum and the AMAZING daily deals on craft supplies (and their ideas for every day's supplies) at Pick Your Plum!

(And a HUGE thank you to Pick Your Plum for letting me do this giveaway!)

Guest Post: Vanessa of Home Sweet Butterfly

I feel so lucky to continue to get so many positive comments and feedback from you guys after a rough week and one of the awesome people to help me out is Vanessa from Home Sweet Butterfly. You got to see her answers to the crafty interview yesterday and now she's sharing an awesome tutorial with us... seriously, it's another project that I totally want to make and I'm crazy jealous she found something so gorgeous!


Hi, Everyone. My name is Vanessa from Home Sweet Butterfly. I love to create and decorate my home with beautiful things. However, I don't like to pay a lot of money for something I know I can make and make it better. Plus I have fun doing it as well. Mel going through a rough time and I wanted to be a blessing to her. Thank you Mel for having me here today. Today, I wanted to share with you one of my latest yard sale finds. This beauty only cost me a dollar and I knew I wanted to turn this dull piece and give it a vintage look.
Plain!
I took the gold paint and I brushed along the edges.
This is the frame with just the coat of gold paint only.  
In this step I used black paint and using a dry brushing method I painted along the top of the curvy part of the frame. I also used my finger to rub the black paint in all the nooks and cranny. 
Close up where I applied the black paint.  
The finish product! 
I just love how the frame turned out and I hope you are inspired to create a frame with the same faux vintage look. Come on over to Home Sweet Butterfly to see some of my other vintage faux finish projects. I would love to have you. Have a great week and keep on creating!

 Vanessa
 

Thank you so much, Vanessa! You guys should head on over to Home Sweet Butterfly to see more of Vanessa's awesome projects... she totally makes me want to take up thrifting and vintage treasuring hunting because of her amazing projects like this one. And thank you so much for putting together this guest post for me right now, Vanessa!

Crafty Interview: Vanessa of Home Sweet Butterfly

I'm really excited to tell you guys that Vanessa of Home Sweet Butterfly (isn't that such a super-cute blog name?! I LOVE it!) was also wonderful enough to help me out on super-short notice and complete the crafty interview and share a tutorial with us! So today we have Vanessa's crafty interview and tomorrow we'll have an awesome tutorial so get excited!



When and how did you start being crafty?
I started crafting in my late twenty's when I bought my first home. I did a few projects here and there, but I really got serious about crafting two years ago. A couple of my girlfriends are into crafting and we would get together once a week and do different craft projects. I decided I was going to stop wasting my money on store bought stuff and make my own one of kind home décor and sewing projects. My friends laugh at me now because I have changed my thinking about crafting and I am no longer a yard sale or thrift store snob. LOL!
I haven't bought anything new in the store in the last two years and if I see something I love at the store I challenge myself to replicate it. These past two years have been a stretch for me, because I had this mentality that it is just easier to buy everything, I don't have time to make it, it will cost me more to try to make it myself or I can't do it. I now know I have it in me to create anything and I challenge myself to move out of my comfort zone everyday. 

When did you start blogging about your craftiness and why?
In August 2011 I started blogging about craft projects and recipes. I first learned about blogging from my best friend. She had mentioned to me one day how she uses blogging to record events with her children. I thought that is just crazy. However, months later I had this sense that I should be blogging full time. I wasn't sure how or what direction I was going in, but I knew blogging was right for me. As I looked around at other blogs I realized I was doing some of the things other bloggers were doing and I was also learning a lot of other things I didn't know how to make. Since I have been blogging I have met (not in person yet) some amazing ladies and they have been such a blessing to me.  

What's your favorite project (of everything you've made)?
My favorite project is when I redid a vintage ottoman. It was my first time ever tackling a small furniture piece. I have bought two antique chairs and these are my next challenge. I love it!

What's your favorite crafty material or medium?
My favorite crafty material at this moment is canvas. I have been coming up with some different wall art projects and canvas is so cheap to buy and a great way to add more décor to your home. 


What's the biggest challenge you face(d) in blogging?
The biggest challenge I faced with blogging was to balance with keeping up with my family, my home and keeping my post fresh and new. I have found my balance with my family and home. I am also learning to think outside of the box and trust my instinct.  


When you don't feel particularly crafty, what do you do to find inspiration?
I have not always felt crafty and when I do feel this way, I love to go to this antique store out in the middle of nowhere. This place is called "The Stable". This place always does it for me, it’s so relaxing and peaceful. By the time I leave there, I am ready to craft again.  

How do you organize your craft supplies?
I organize all my crafts supplies in bins with labels and those bins are stored in my laundry room closets and office. I make it a rule not to store any craft supplies in any other part of my home.    

How do you organize (remember, find) tutorials and posts online that you like?
This one in the beginning was a bit of challenge for me, I would write them on my note pad on my iphone, then I would write them down on a notebook. But now, I have a three step processes to keep the tutorials and posts I like to go back too in a spreadsheet document. I know it sounds crazy, right, but its easy and less stressful then to look on my iphone or notebook. What I do is copy the actual link of the tutorials or post I want to go back too and paste it to the spreadsheet, next I type next to the link what the tutorials or post is about. Lastly, I make sure I categorize the tutorials or post in the similar groupings. For example I have a sewing project, art project and a home décor project spreadsheet. I can also add on other categorizes as time goes on. This way it makes sense to me and it's easy to find a project as well.   

What's your best tip for new bloggers?
I still feel like a newbie blogger myself, but once I started blogging I live by these tips -  
1) I don't just follow craft blogs, I follow different types of bloggers. I learn a lot from all bloggers.  
2) Don't be afraid to ask questions from season bloggers, they are the best and are open to answering any questions you my have.  
3) I have not experienced this, but I have read from a few bloggers’ posts, there are haters out there, but don't pay any attention to them. I don't get this, but I am not like that. I genuinely care and appreciate reading other bloggers tutorials, post and advices. I love to be an encouragement to others and I show my appreciation to my fellow bloggers by leaving a comment thanking them for taking there time in posting. Bottom line, don't hate, enjoy blogging, be an encourager and show your appreciation to your fellow bloggers by leaving comments.  

What are some things you're loving right now (crafty or not)?
At this time, I love furniture transformation. This is a stretch for me, especially the painting part, but I love a great challenge. : )

What question do you wish I asked (and please answer it)?!
What is your favorite color? 

Mel, thanks for asking about my favorite color. My favorite color is Red. A boss once gave me this lovely red pen for Christmas and he told me he picked this red pen out for me, because I am very much like red. I radiate energy and I am a shaker and a mover. : )





I feel so lucky to have another blogger who was willing to pretty much interview herself this week AND do all this on such short notice! Thank you so much, Vanessa! (And I totally want a boss like yours one day!) We're lucky enough to get a tutorial from Vanessa here tomorrow, but check her out at Home Sweet Butterfly while you wait! 


Guest Post: Anna from Directions Not Included

I called for guest posters and I'm so incredibly lucky that someone as awesome as Anna volunteered and got this tutorial ready so fast... seriously, I LOVE Anna's projects and I'm so excited that she's sharing this one with all of us because I feel like it's something I definitely wish I made and could see making at some point... not to mention that the sentiment is just freaking perfect for right now. I couldn't have dreamed up a better post and gal to provide it! : )





Hi everyone. I'm Anna from Directions Not Included. I'm so excited to be here! Mel is a sweetheart and an animal lover like me so she instantly became a favorite of mine. Directions Not Included is my attempt to document our full house renovation (DIY!) and all my crafty projects.


Mel and her friends are going through a rough time right now so I wanted to bring a cheerful craft to share with you guys to try and help brighten everyone's day. Best part of this little number? You don't need a fancy cutting machine to make some custom artwork.

Here is the final product of my "Awesome Stencil Painting"
This is an easy and super customizable craft. Any quote, color and size will work. Pick something that makes you smile or means something special to you.


All you have to do is print out your quote in the size and font that works for your style. I have found that straighter fonts work best when using a good craft knife and ruler. 
After you have made your stencil, you can use a spray adhesive (the removable kind) to help hold down your stencil while you paint in the color of your choice.
Making sure your paper stencil is tight against the canvas will help prevent bleeding of the paint. You want to make sure you don't glop the paint around the edges of the stencil. If you use regular weight printer paper, it has the tendency to warp if you put too much paint on it.
After you finish up, you have a totally custom and awesome piece of artwork for your home. This was inspired by an Etsy listing that no longer exists here: Original Awesome
I hope I inspired you to make something to make you smile. Stop by Directions Not Included to hang around for our adventure. We would love to have you.

See you soon! 
Anna




Totally awesome, right guys? I thought you'd LOVE it because I really do! I totally want one and am going to have to get on that some time soon! Thank you SOOOOOO much, Anna - you're amazing! Go check out more of Anna's gorgeous blog at Directions Not Included - you'll see how she quickly became one of my most favorite bloggers! 

Crafty Interview: Anna of Directions Not Included

I know I said earlier I was taking a break this week, but I feel so lucky to not only have gotten amazing feedback from everyone, but also because the AMAZING Anna of Directions Not Included actually got the crafty interview done and created an awesome tutorial for us... so today I'm sharing Anna's crafty interview and check back tomorrow for her awesome tutorial! And you must check out Anna's blog in the mean time because it's awesome - she just got the cutest blog makeover you've ever seen too!




When and how did you start being crafty?
To be honest, I think I have always been crafty. I was surrounded by it since I was a child on both sides of my family so it came out pretty early. I put my craftiness on the back burner for many years while I was building my corporate career but I found that side of me again as a way to center myself. It is something I missed tremendously and really makes me happy.


When did you start blogging about your craftiness and why?
I started blogging in December 2011 just after we purchased our first home. I never intended to start showing my crafts on the blog, it sort of just happened and I’m loving every moment of it. Our house is a major fixer-upper of the really ugly kind so crafting helps keep me sane during the renovation.


What's your favorite project (of everything you've made)?
That is a tough one. I really love my paper decorated tile coasters. They are simple but so easy that you can really make them for any occasion. All you need is cheap tiles, cute paper and some Mod Podge and you can have as much fun as you want.


What's your favorite crafty material or medium?
Paint and paper are tied for my favorite. You can do so much with either of them.


What's the biggest challenge you face(d) in blogging?
Time, time, time. Working a full time job, being in graduate school and juggling a blog can be a lot of work. Mel, I bet you can relate to that. ;)


When you don't feel particularly crafty, what do you do to find inspiration?
I check out Pinterest and my bloggy friends. It is amazing how much talent is out there and seeing what others are making gets me motivated again. 


How do you organize your craft supplies?
I’m quite lucky that our new house has the space for a fantastic craft room for me. I’ve spent a lot of time fine tuning it over the last few months. It makes me smile and more productive too!


How do you organize (remember, find) tutorials and posts online that you like?
Since I was introduced to Pinterest this summer that is all I use. I am so addicted.
   

What's your best tip for new bloggers?
Don’t get discouraged and try not to focus on the numbers. I haven’t been doing this for very long but I know how hard it is to see all the big blogs with thousands of followers and feel like no one is reading yours. If you touch at least one person with your post by motivating them, making them laugh or smile, that is all the really matters. Do it for yourself and it will be worth it in the end.


What are some things you're loving right now (crafty or not)?
The amazing sunny weather in South Florida this time of year and the fact that I only have a few more weeks until I am done with my MBA!


What question do you wish I asked (and please answer it)?!
Who are those adorable little creatures that are always making cameo appearances in your posts?

Oh Mel, I’m so happy you asked about my crazy crew! I have five rescued pets – three dogs and two cats – and a husband too…can’t leave him out ;) 

[Looks like it's a good thing that Anna can basically interview herself because I'm a little out of it this week! I love it, Anna!}

Remember to check out Anna's tutorial here tomorrow and check out her super-cute blog - Directions Not Included - while you wait! Thank you again for sharing with us here, Anna!


Sponsor: Pick Your Plum!

So I thought I'd mostly avoid the blog this week, but it's turned out to be an awesome little escape for me and I have to say thank you to all of you guys who left comments and sent prayers and good thoughts my way. It means so much to me! It's definitely not something I thought about or could have imagined when I started blogging this year, but it's an incredible side effect and I feel so lucky to have found such an awesome little community...



But enough sappy stuff! I was going to wait and post this, but I'm genuinely too excited to wait.... so, it's with lots of excitement that I get to tell you guys that I'm now an affiliate for Pick Your Plum! They have daily deals of crafting supplies and usually have links or inboards to show you a lot of uses of what they're selling each day. I'm seriously SOOO excited to tell you guys about this because I genuinely LOOOOOVE the site! I contacted them because I just genuinely love the deals and the stuff I've bought from them. So now there's going to be a small Pick Your Plum widget on my sidebar and if you click it to buy something from the site, I'll get a very small percentage of that.

Plus, you guys are going to be the big winners because I'm going to get to do a Pick Your Plum giveaway next week! I know I've never gotten my act together to do one before, but this was just too awesome to pass up! So next Wednesday, I'll be telling you what the prize is and how to enter! In the mean time, if you haven't explored the Pick Your Plum, you really should - it's legitimately one of my favorites!

A Break This Week...

I have no idea how to actually say this, but a friend of mine and a best friend to some of my friends and neighbors passed away yesterday. It was an awful freak accident and something that shouldn't have happened and that's dramatic and terrible in a lot of ways, but I'm obviously preoccupied with a lot of things that aren't crafting related and so I won't be posting a tutorial for at least a few days or linking up to any link parties (or knowing if anything gets featured - if anything does and anyone let me know, I'd really appreciate it), or responding to comments and emails (which I normally pride myself on being at least somewhat quick to respond to)!

Luckily, the boyfriend and I are okay - we're just sort of hosting lots of friends and family (of our friends) and insanely busy, but feeling very, very lucky to be okay after this reminder that life is fragile and much too short.

In other news, if anyone would like to do a guest post here on the blog (and relatively quickly), I'd LOVE to have you! We can do the crafty interview too and I'll email you those questions and those can go up with a tutorial.

Thanks again for understanding and maybe I'll escape to crafting soon, but for now, I'm occupied and glad to have craft blogs to escape to if needed!

Q&A: Where to Buy Cabochons


Q: Where did you get those little colorful flowers you used in making jewelry?



A: After I shared both my filigree + cabochon necklace and the microbead pendants I made that also included cabochons, I got quite a few people asking me wear I got those cabochons (the little flowers made of clay or resin, usually) and you can't really find them at Hobby Lobby or Michael's. I've actually managed to get mine through several sellers on Etsy and I've been really happy with all of them, so I figured I'd share what I bought where...


  • I got a few little variety packs of several colors of cabochons from Hennytj's shop here.
  • I got the small/medium sized purple, white, and green cabochons from PomegranateSeeds here.
  • I got the pack of the small roses as well as the bright pink, teal, and sour apple green cabochons from AllEarringsandSuppli here.  
  • I got the translucent, multicolored cabochons, some other tiny roses, and some two tone cabochons with the darker center from luv4dixie/Raine and Me's shop here
Just in case you were wondering, I'm not getting paid by anyone - these really are places I bought cabochons from and had a great experience so I wanted to tell you all about them!


Create Craft Room Sign


The boyfriend and I have been working to re-do my little craft area. Basically, my crafting has taken on a life of its own and I've ended up devoting a lot more time to it and bought a lot more crafty supplies over the last year than I have in the past 10 years combined... so a lot of the supplies and projects were ending up on the floor in our second bedroom/my office/craft corner. But not anymore! However, we're taking our time and I made this little sign to go in my newly renovated/organized half-craft room/wall and I'm absolutely loving it!

Here's how I made it....

  • Canvas
  • (Acrylic) paint and brushes
  • Glue gun and gluesticks
  • Printed out letters (to use as template, you can download the one I used here)
  • Yarn (I used scraps in different colors for each letter, but that's just because I had those...)
  • Glitter
  • Scissors, X-acto knife
  • Pencil
  • Cardstock
First, I just printed out the letters in the rough size I wanted. I used the font "Museo" (you can download it for free - just google it! I think I used the 300 version) or you can download the one that I used from Box.net here) and printed out the word (remember that you only need one "e" in your template, but then you want to make two of them from the cardstock). Then, I just cut out the letters and traced them onto stiffer card stock, which I then cut out with my X-acto knife.

Then, I simply glued the start of my yarn scrap to the back of the first letter and started wrapping. I put little dots of the hot glue on the back of the letter in a couple of places just to make sure that the yarn would stay put... it's just a little more difficult to get it to stay put on some of the letters, especially if you don't have particularly thick cardstock.

Unfortunately, there wasn't much of a craft space at this point so there aren't pictures because I was too much of a mess, but I don't think you need them...

While you wrap your yarn letters (or before, or after, haha!), you want to paint your canvas. I went with a sort of green ombre effect type thing. I just love green and that's more or less the dominant color of the craft area and so this is what I came up with...

Then I just hot glued my letters on to the front of the canvas. I somehow didn't get the letters centered correctly so I was annoyed with that, but then inspiration hit... I literally just took my glue gun and made a little heart on the left side. I dumped some glitter on it, but the heart sort of deflated... so I did the same thing and added more hot glue and glitter and now there's this awesome little 3-D glittery heart that's my favorite part! Seriously, I just love it...

Mistake turned super-cute awesomeness, right? Well, I love it! And then I was done... well, I kind of propped it against a wall to take some pictures, but then it was complete!

I'll be linking up to some of my most favorite conferences.

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