Saturday, August 13, 2011

Crafty Time: Josephine's Party (part 1 of 2)

I'm not gonna lie:  I was going to spread this all out over a bunch of Making An Effort Mondays, but then it seemed a little lame.  Also, I have been doing more crafting and trying new recipes, so I have stuff to share anyway.  I didn't think I would have the energy, but what can I say?  I kinda rock.  SO, today is part one of my weekend-long recap of the craftstravaganza that led up to Josephine's birthday. 

Today:  Gifts.

PROJECT #1:  Painting
Okay, I'm not gonna lie:  I was planning on making this BEFORE she was even BORN.  I was in the aisles of Joann Fabrics picking out a canvas, paints, and brushes when I was a lovely and rotund 7.5 months pregnant, but then I got scared and kept putting it off and putting it off.

Let me just say, it is NOT easy to make things (I was going to say be creative, but I thought people might think *I* think what I am about to show you is this major work of art, and I don't want people to think I am being uppity or something ... dear God, Veronica, just GET ON WITH IT!) when you are SUCH. A. PERFECTIONIST.  Seriously.  I would lean over this canvas and hyperventilate, imagining a stray drop of paint ruining the whole thing.  It only took me 14 months to tell Jeremy, "I'm not afraid anymore!!" (in a Kevin McAllister voice, a la Home Alone when he tries to not be afraid of his basement anymore).

This is what has been in my head for over a year, and I am very happy with it.
Like I said, I know it's not anything people will gasp over, and it is nothing compared to what my artist sister could make, but it turned out exactly like I imagined it, so I am happy.

I got a canvas 50% off, acrylics at 98 cents a bottle, used a big old foam craft brush to make the background, then teeny tiny brushes to do everything else.  This is totally a project you could do.  I love the mod birds, and this has a lot of personal meaning to me.  I love it.

PROJECT #2:  Framed monogram
My mom got me Josephine an AMAZING frame for Christmas, and all the little tabs on the back that hold the picture in promptly broke off, causing me a level of rage I don't care to remember.  THEN, I duct taped the back cardboard on and stood it back up (ever the resourceful one), and was pretty proud of myself ... until it tipped over and the glass broke.  So, I cried and packed it away until I came across THIS on Pinterest:
And I was like, dude, you can totally do that.  And I DID.

Pretty paper
Craft brushes

What I did:
1.  Since I lost the back of the frame in one of my rages, I traced the opening onto a piece of cardboard (the back of my trusty legal pad/glue gun resting place), cut it out, then traced the same shape onto the piece of scrapbook paper and cut it out.  Halfway done!
2.  Next, I painted the "J."  What I did not think about when purchasing a cardboard letter was how much g-d acrylic paint it would soak up, and I ended up having to paint like eight coats, but the color came out PERFECTLY.
3.  I glued the paper to the inside ridge of the frame, then glued the cardboard on the back (which you can likely skip), and glued the letter on.  Done!

Josie approved!

PROJECT 3:  Blanket
So, I definitely thought this would be easy-peasy and saved it for last.  Of course, it gave me the most trouble.  I bought two lovely fabrics, one a fuzzy light pink in a rosebud pattern and one darker pink satin. Then I bought some blanket binding and matching thread.  I planned on just cutting the fabric so it was the same size, pinning on the blanket binding, sewing it, and BAM -- ten-minute project.  It turns out the satin fabric does NOT STAY STILL, so it was rather intense to get the pieces to match up.  Plus, there was pink fluff EVERYWHERE from the rosebud fabric, so my mom and I (yeah, I had to call in reinforcements) were rubbing our noses and eyes and sneezing.  Gross.

After lots of swearing and crying, I got the pieces the same size and squared.  Then I realized the blanket binding was satin too.  Eff.  It took a long time to pin and sew, considering it moved non-stop.  But, aside from the difficulties, I just lined it up and sewed, like I planned.  If not for my poor choice in fabrics, this would be a simple project, but I LOVE the fabrics, and how one side is warm and one is cool.

Josephine likes it, too.

PROJECT 4:  Doll with matching dress
I found the pattern for this doll on Bit of Whimsy Dolls, and was so excited to make it for Josephine (especially because her name is "Jo"!).  The pattern was very reasonable, and the instructions are good.

I only made a few changes.  I turned the doll's feet out instead of making her pigeon-toed like the pattern called for.  I just couldn't do it!  I also used invisible thread to sew on the hair, and it turned out AWESOME.  I also decided not to embroider her face on, after the difficulties in embroidering the dinosaur's eyes, and I just drew it on, and I love it.
Once I made her, I just knew I had to make Josephine a dress out of the same material.  I went back and bought more material (for an insane $3 a yard), and followed the instructions on Prudent Baby for making a pillowcase dress.  The only problems I came across were that I hem much larger than the instructions call for (due to my beginner sewing skills), so if you have the same problem, be sure to compensate.  I also couldn't quite understand the instructions regarding the bias tape around the arm holes, but once I zoomed in on the picture and actually did it once, it made perfect sense.  Finally, the measurements for the arm holes seemed a little big for how the pattern came out.  I would suggest following the pictures and eyeball it instead of following the arm hole measurements.

At any rate, I was very pleased, considering it was my first piece of clothing (Tim Gunn would say I made it work).

I also did a lot of crafting to decorate the party, but the only project I am very very proud of was my month-by-month picture display.  It was the very first project I dreamed up and carried out, and it actually ended up inspiring the colors and a (very loose) theme for the party.

Foam sheets (two colors)
Foam numbers
Glue (I used Tacky glue and hot glue)
Flower cookie cutter (or a flower template of some sort)
Some type of string
Pictures of your beautiful baby

Here's what I did:
1.  Got a two different colors of foam sheets.  I chose purple and pink with glitter because DUH. :) (this could easily also be done with felt, cardstock, or some other material that will hold its shape)
2.  I bought a cheap flower-shaped cookie cutter and jammed it into the foam to make an outline. (You could also make a template using cardboard and trace it or buy a puncher, but I needed the cookie cutter anyway, and I didn't like the shape of any of the punchers I found.  Also, those things are not as cheap as I imagined, and the punch I bought to make more decorations only fits paper, nothing thicker.)  
3.  Then I cut out a million flowers (or 26, but it felt like a million), glued the smaller flower to the center of the larger flower (I used fabric glue because I was scared of melting and whatnot), and the numbers 0 through 12 to the centers of the layered flowers.
4.  I let those dry overnight, and then glued small clothes pins to the back of each flower (I used hot glue this time to make sure it would hold, but I tested it first to make sure it wouldn't melt the foam or make it bubble).  To make sure the numbers were straight up and down, I lined the clothespin up on the back and outlined it in pencil first.  Then I let them dry again.
5.  I chose my pictures, changed them all to black and white so they looked a little uniform, strung the string, and clipped them up!  Viola!

That's it for today.  If you make any of these yourself, send me a picture and I will post it!

Tomorrow:  The attire!


  1. Delina Soumis-RoehmAugust 13, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    Cute crafts! The painting is good, if the Soumis Family were to see it they'd say "you should be a painter". Melissa will verify that this is true. haha

  2. Thanks, Delina! Maybe I WILL be a painter! haha! :)


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