I Create Stuff Sometimes… and sometimes that includes creating a person

Through all the starts and stops of this blog, this is definitely the most dramatic!  But there’s nothing like pregnancy and the impending arrival of a little person joining the family to encourage you to dust off your keyboard and get back to chronicling your life and creations. I have some pretty high expectations that this particular creation will be one of my better ones, but we’ll just have to wait and see!

 

Pregnancy

Ah, pregnancy.  There’s not much I can say about you that hasn’t already been said.  You’re making me tired, hungry, anxious, scared, excited, lazy, light-headed.  I’m almost to 23 weeks and I still can’t decided if I enjoy being pregnant or not.  It felt like it took forever to get to the point where I had a bump and could feel the baby moving, but I still have months to go, and yet I feel nowhere near ready for the arrival of the baby.

I do like the planning, though!  Pinterest is my current best friend and there are lists galore to make!  A baby registry, hospital bag checklist, to-do list, possible names, etc.  And all of the things to create.  Which brings me to the actual start of this post…

 

Starting a Pregnancy/Baby Book

Are you pregnant?  Or even just trying to get pregnant at this point?  Then I’d highly recommend starting a baby book!  Let that kiddo-in-making know your thoughts and emotions around them and how much they’re loved even just as an idea.

Your book could take many different forms.  You could make a physical scrap book or journal, or you might go the online route.  Use whatever media feels right to you.  I’m personally using Shutterfly (no affiliate link from me, I trust in your Google abilities), because it’s so much faster and easier for me to be able to just head to a website and make quick updates.  I don’t have to drag out a bunch of supplies and worry about cutting paper and pictures, etc.  I like that Shutterfly also has pre-built themes and pages with ideas already included, but I wanted to suggest some more that I plan on doing that weren’t part of the pre-made pregnancy book theme that I’m using:

  • Nicknames: Before knowing the sex of your baby, you probably won’t know the baby’s name and you and those around you will come up with a whole bunch of nicknames.  Let your baby know who’s calling them what!  I got pretty married to “Creeper.”  If you’ve had an ultra-sound yet, you’ll know exactly where this name came from (I’m telling you, pregnancy is the same beginning to many horror movie plotlines).
  • Movies/Books/Other things that you’re excited to see them experience: My wife and I watch a lot of kids movies already, and have started talking about which ones we think our son will end up enjoying the most.  Make some guesses about which things your kid will like and why!  Going to the zoo for the first time is another one we’re both really excited about.
  • What an awesome parent your spouse/SO/etc will be: Are you planning on raising your kid with a partner?  Tell your child all about what kind of parent that you think your partner will be.  I think it’s important that your kid knows what a healthy relationship looks like, and part of that is showing them the appreciation you have for your partner and the support they show to you.  Will you be a single parent?  That’s okay too!  Talk about the people in your life that will act as those pillars of support.  There’s no correct way to raise a baby and you got this!
  • Text conversations about the baby: I have had some pretty funny text conversations about the baby with friends and family.  Take some screen caps on  your phone and add those in!  Here’s a gem between my best friend and I that’s already made it in:

Hopefully that helps you get some ideas flowing!  I’d love to hear your ideas as well!  What did you end up putting in your pregnancy book?

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Goat Girls

I like goats.  They’re super adorable and they have these super funky eyes.  I decided to draw some goat girls, hopefully more to come.  Both pen on paper.

Goat Girl 1

This was the first one I drew and didn’t use any kind of reference so it’s a little bit more exaggerated.  I think she turned out cute!

Goat Girl 2

This is the second one I did and I did use a reference picture of a face to go off of, so it ended up looking a little bit more realistic.  I really like how it turned out and I would like to do a painting of it.  That is, if I can convince myself to do it.

Creating a Mini Vase from a Double Shotglass

 

I love having flowers in the home!  I especially love being able to just grab flowers from the yard or from walks.  Generally though, when I’m grabbing flowers from the “wild” I end up with pretty petite bouquet and struggle figuring out what to put them in.  (I’m told a small bouquet of flowers is actually called a “nosegay,” go figure!)  Today I found a solution for how to house them!

ShotglassVase

I was searching through our cupboards trying to find a glass that they wouldn’t look lost in.  Too small for a wine glass, definitely too small for a drinking glass.  Then I saw it and a light went off!  A Buffalo Bills double shot glass… it was the perfect size!  But c’mon, I don’t want my flowers to be seen living in some sports memorabilia, that’s not my thing (unless maybe it was a Portland Thorns shotglass).

Mini Vase Materials

I found a super easy and quick solution.  I can never figure out how to keep the bouquet together, but I had the genius idea of using masking tape.  Way easier than trying to use a rubber band and I knew it wouldn’t bee seen as long as it was low enough on the bouquet.  Then I covered the shotglass with some pretty scrapbook paper.

Mini Vase In Progress

Again, I turned to my good friend Ms. Masking Tape.  I put some on the inside edge of the paper, sticky side down in the above image, that way all I had to do was roll up the shotglass and laid the overlapping paper over the tape.

Mini Vase In Progress

Mini Vase In Progress

Once it was taped down, I just trimmed the excess.  For funsies I added a black ribbon to it too.  It probably would have looked better with some twine, but I couldn’t find any and the black ribbon was handy…  I never said I wasn’t lazy.

Cat Approved Mini VaseMini VaseShotglass Mini Vase

Dinosaur Tree!

Hi Internet, how were your holidays? I don’t really care so much what you celebrate, but I hope you do celebrate something so you can make time to get together with your family and loved ones.

My Christmas was pretty awesome, and I used it as an excuse to bring glitter into the house (literally), despite Tawyna’s loathing of it. She swears that it multiplies and gets everywhere and that you can never get rid of it, like fleas. Now, I’m not claiming that it’s not true… but I don’t see it as such a negative.

You know what else is really cool? Dinosaurs.

Put them together and you get…
Glitter Dinosaur Tree Ornaments

Nothing shows Christmas spirit like sparkly dinosaurs hanging from your Christmas tree!  They were such a hit that different relatives kept requesting to take one home for their own tree.  The herd may have dwindled, but the individuals are staking out new territory.

The recipe for fab dinosaurs is pretty simple.

Step 1: Acquire dinosaurs from dollar store
Step 2: Acquire glitter (the finer the better)
Step 3: Paint a thin layer of glue on dinos.
Step 4: Give them a glitter shower (or bath, if you have enough glitter, which would probably make the process a lot faster)
Step 5: After drying, rinse (tap/shake) and repeat until fully covered in glitter
Step 6: Use a hot glue gun to attach an ornament hook (or why not use a paper clip?)

The cats absolutely loved having a tree in the house too, they were our first presents under the tree.

IMAG0192(1) IMAG0202

Presenting Presents

Presenting Presents

With Christmas right around the corner I thought it would be a good time to explore the art of gift giving, or, more specifically, the art of presenting your gifts.  I’m one of those people who feel it necessary to put at least as much time wrapping the gift as I do in figuring out what to get my person, especially because I generally don’t spend a lot (if any) money on the actual present.  Hey, it’s the thought that counts, so make that thought golden!  Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

    1. Make their card!  Nothing says “I care about you” like making a card specifically for them.  There are so many ways to make  cards (see my Christmas card from last year or consider drawing them a card like I did for my MIL above) that you can always give them something completely unique.
    2. How about a cool gift tag?  They’re quick and easy and super cute.  The one I made above was created cutting out a gift tag shape from card stock with scissors, hole punched for the ribbon and punched on the corners with a cute corner punch, and drawn on with pen and marker.  You could also create one using an awesome stamp, or find some to download and print, like these crazy cute freebies.
    3. Make unwrapping the presents into a game!  I pretty much get the same presents for my wife Tawnya every year.  That makes her both really easy and really hard to shop for.  For her birthday this year, since she already knew she was getting movies like she always does, I wanted to make it more fun for her by giving her hints as to what movie was inside the wrapping.  I wrapped them using brown paper bags so that I could easily draw on them and just taped little flaps over the drawings of her clues.  Everyone had a lot of fun trying to guess what movies she got!  It also made me feel like less of a loser.  Getting the love of your life the same present all the time (even though it’s what she asks for and really does want) is kind of lame, but this definitely made it more unique and gave me more of an opportunity to put effort and love into it!

      Make it a game

    4. Bows and stuff!  Seriously, there are so many many things you can do!  How about using some live plants?

      Wreath Wrapping

      Wreath from Odessamay Society

      DIY-Fresh-Flower-Gift-Tag

      Live flowers from Sugar & Cloth

      I bet they smell wonderful! You could use cinnamon sticks, fresh pine, holly berry twigs, mistletoe or pine cones for a nice winter holiday touch.

      Felt Dahlia

      Beautiful felt dahlia from NotMartha

      crochet star

      Adorable Twinkler Stars from Cherry Heart.

      Or how about putting some of your crafting to use to create a cute ornament like a felt flower, crochet star or let’s not forget about our paper flowers!

I’m getting pretty excited about making things for Christmas and winter decorating in general.  My newest find that I want to try out today?  These crazy paper woven ornaments. 

Bridal Party Painting 3 of 4

Mermaid Painting

My absolutely favoritest sister requested a mermaid for her painting.  She’s convinced mermaids exist, so let’s not talk about it too much lest we disillusion her.  It was really fun playing with all the colors and I kind of want blue hair now, not gonna lie.  Only one more left!

10×10 Acrylic on Canvas (again)

American Flag

American Flag from a mini pallet

We celebrated my sister’s birthday last night.  It was a super fun get together out in the country, which was the perfect setting for giving Tina her gift!

A little bit ago Tina sent me a picture from Dishfunctional Designs of an American Flag made out of a pallet saying she would love something like it.

The link to the original post was broken, so I decided I would wing it and make it my own way.

I made a bit of a smaller version, using a miniature pallet which my local grocery store was nice enough to give to me (the bigger pallets have to go back to the vendor I guess, but the smaller ones they are happy to give away).

Materials:

  • Mini pallet
  • Hammer
  • Sand paper
  • Paint
  • Paint brushes (bristle and foam)
  • Wood sealer
  • Short nails (1/4 in in length should be good)
  • Mending plates (Example here)
  • Thick string or wire to hang

I tore up the pallet gathering 5 of the boards, doing a light sanding just to get the biggest rough spots out.  I probably looked like a crazy person spreading all of this out on the sidewalk in front of our house.  We live on a really busy street, and don’t have a yard at all (one of the downfalls to renting a townhouse).  It’s really fun to take a hammer and go to town, though.  Just HULK OUT and pry those boards apart with your hammer (wait a second… Thor’s the one with the hammer)!  I brought my phone out with me and was listening to the show “Once Upon a Time” on Netflix while I was working.  Wearing ear phones makes it easier to ignore people walking by 🙂

Tear pallet apart

Line up the boards how you would want them to look.  I particularly went for the boards with character because I wanted a rustic and weathered look.

Align boards in prep for painting

You really only need the three paint colors.   (Ignore the white, I decided not to use it).  I used a light beige color instead of the white so it wouldn’t look so new.

Paint stripes

I watered down my brush quite a bit and did one layer of really watered down paint to sort of act as a stain.  Then I dry brushed on top of it.

Tape off corner for blue square

Make sure to tape off the blue square.

Blue square painted

I created my own stencil of a star using a note card and used a foam brush to apply the paint.

Star stencil

Almost there!

Hold your horses, I know you’re excited, but you are not done yet!  You’ll reallllly want to make sure you put some kind of finish on your wood, especially since we used a pallet.  That pallet has probably gone through all sorts of nasty stuff, and you want to protect your home from it.  I used a spray-on finish.  Next time, I would use a paint-on one instead, just because I inhaled way too much of that crap and I want to be able to control where it’s going better.  Use whatever method you are comfortable with.

Here’s where you’ll have to use a bit of your imagination.  I realized after finishing all of this, I had no way to hold the boards together.  Basically, I used thumb tacks and some finagled metal pieces and a huge dose of luck to hold it together.  I will fix it for Tina as soon as I get the right supplies.

What you will want to do is, on the backside of the boards, connect them together using mending plates and nails.  I bet you could find one long mending plate… ?  You will also want to attach a string to the back with nails to hang the flag with.  Here’s my fancy diagram.

American Flag back diagram