Memorial Day Printables

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

I hope everyone has great plans for grilling and spending time with family.    But we don’t want to forget what Memorial Day is all about, remembering our heroes in the military.  In honor of that I made a quick printable. 

Well after that I was on a bit of an Americana printable roll so inspired by an image I found here, I made this printable.  Hopefully the original artist thinks that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!

And then because all good things come in threes, I rounded it out with another of my favorite patriotic songs 

Hope you are having a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend!

–Martta

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Top Posts of the Year

Happy Blog-iversary!  It’s hard to believe we’ve been up to it for a year already.  We’ve loved sharing our projects and culinary adventures with you.  But which ones have been the most interesting?  Well, as voted by you, with the most number of hits, here’s our top ten parade:

10. Fabric Flower Hair Clip

7. Little Girl’s Tank Dress

6. Amy Butler Cosmo Bag

And last, but not least, running away with the top prize is………….

1. Gold Dusted Mini Chocolate Oscar Statues 

 What will the next year on the blog bring?  Who knows?  But I can’t wait to find out!

— Martta & Heather

Virginia Tech Football Printable

When is it too early to start talking about college football?  My beloved Hokies don’t kick off the season until September 3rd!  That’s so far away.  On the upside, we’re playing Appalachian State and I’m sincerely hoping we can avoid a Michigan and start the year off with out spotting the rest of the division a lead as we have since 2008! Ai yi yi.  Good thoughts, good thoughts, sending positive energy.

I must not be the only one with football on the mind since the the Big 12 preseason media poll was announced this week causing all local sports news to be about college football AND I received my Virginia Tech “Hokie Collection” catalog in the mail.  Apparently the Virginia Tech bookstore wants me to be READY for football season with the purchase of all new gear.  But one of the new shirts did catch my eye:

I like the way they’ve got the word art mixed in with the helmet.  It inspired me to make a little word art of my own.  So here it is, my printable ode to Virginia Tech football!  Can’t wait to rock it this season – Let’s go Hokies!

4th of July Subway Art

Just when you though this blog was spiraling down into bag sewing and granita making only, I thought I’d let you in on the the other craftiness I’ve been working on.

It is ri-dunk-ulously hot here in central Texas – it was 106 degrees in Austin yesterday – and it hasn’t rained in 29 days.  My yard looks like kindling, and it’s not even Summer yet!  The lake is down 25 feet and there’s really no relief in sight.  These dry, hot, windy conditions have put the brakes on celebrations that involve fire of any kind – the city and surrounding municipalities have all already canceled 4th of July fireworks.

It seems to me that everyone is trying extra hard to make up for missing the the big celebration by bringing out the fourth of July decorations early.  So I thought I’d join in the fun too with a bit of 4th of July subway art.  A mix of my favorite quotes and patriotic songs – I hope it gets you in the spirit too!

fourth of July Subway Art

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Austin Avenues, Part II: A Catalog of Crafting Failures

Look, I screw up stuff all the time.

When I first made my Austin Avenues subway art piece, I just made it any ole size I wanted.  Then I went to the store to pick up a frame and found that frames really only seem to come in a few key sizes.  Since I’m not going to bust out the wood working skills and create my own custom frame, I decided to bust out the digital art skills and make my art piece work with something off the shelf.  I found a canvas at Hobby Lobby that was 10×20.  I simply added a few more streets and squeezed the fonts down a bit to fit in a narrower canvas and presto!  My new art piece was born.  Ain’t she pretty?

I sized it to have a one inch board all around the art piece.  I wanted to give the impression of a “mat” and then paint the sides as a “frame”.  So I carefully masked off the canvas and painted the edges brown.

It all seems to be going so well and then I took off the masking tape and realized that I didn’t do such a hot job of getting the edge of the tape down securely.

Yup, that brown paint bled all into the white section of the canvas 😦  After a few choice curse words, I decided to bag the idea of the white “mat” and just cover up this problem with more paint!  Perfect!  Just like I planed it all along….

After that disappointment, I went to print my fabulous art piece.  I had gotten a special piece of art paper which I’d carefully cut down to the exact size I needed.  I knew it fit into my printer (it’s only 8″ wide) and I knew I could create custom sizes on my printer, so no problem right?  Well my stupid printer was smart enough to know that my extra long piece of paper was hanging out over the edge of the paper tray – it couldn’t possible print under these extreme conditions.

More cursing.

Fine!  I’ll just print it in two pieces and learn to live with the horrible, horrible, what I’m sure will be clearly visible to EVERYONE, line right across the middle of the piece.  Whatever.  So I printed out my two halves.

I carefully pieced them together.  And then marked EXACTLY one inch in from all sides and I moved to the Mod Podging stage of the project.  It’s so pretty right now we should just take a moment to appreciate it as it is….not done, but not totally screwed up even though there is a clear line right down the middle of the piece.  Can we not even talk about the fact that I didn’t notice (until the last second) that the E in Enfield somehow got jacked up during the printing process and decided to look a bit wonky?

Oh yeah, I did fix that, but then I moved on to the true disaster stage of the project (because it’s all been going so smoothly until now, right?).  It’s been a while since I’ve Mod Podge’d anything, but I still remember the basics.  I got this piece down and worked out the bubbles with the assistance of a piece of waxed paper, my favorite fondant rolling pin and the only book in my house that would fit in the frame behind the canvas (Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein).

I let that dry for a good hour and then decided to coat the top of the project.  Here’s where I run into the serious trouble.  The key to Mod Podge is light, even layers.

Tragically, Mod Podge is water based.

Ink Jet printer inks are water soluble.

I think you can see where this is going.

As soon as I put the first brush stroke to the canvas, I knew it was all going to go so wrong.  So, so wrong.  I tried not to work the Mod Podge too much to avoid moving the inks around.  This lead me to really thick coats of Mod Podge….

Oh there is just no smoothing that out.  I tried to lay it down face down on a piece of waxed paper, weighting it down with magazines (and Shel Silverstein!) to see if that would help, but no.  In fact, yes, that DID make it worse.  It came out with some sort of old man wrinkly finish which, in other circumstances, could be an interesting finish.  But not here.  Not tonight.

So I let it complete dry overnight and awoke to find that it was, in fact, still ugly.  But I won’t let this beat me.  I WILL prevail.  I have a dream.

I admit, I did take some of my aggression out on the piece by taking my sander to it….it didn’t help.

There might have been more cursing.

I decided that, really, the best thing to do is just to start again.  With a fresh mind and spirit….or with a fresh canvas and a thirst for conquest.  So that’s just what I did.  It’s only $7.99 at the Hobby Lobby.  With painted canvas in hand, I decided I’d go the photo printing route rather than the card stock printing route.  I carefully printed my two pages and pieced them together (still bitter about that too) and I grabbed a can of spray adhesive.  Way less water, no running of inks and one shot at getting it in the right place on the canvas.

To say that worked out a lot better is a massive understatement.  And it took about 2.5 seconds to complete compared to the other Mod Podge method of failure.  I coated it with a few top coats of clear spray paint and stuck a fork in it because it was DONE.  That’s right.  Mission Accomplished.

See if you can tell the difference between the two pieces:

I’m guessing you can tell the difference.  Here she is all hung up on the wall.  I just need one of those metal stars to make the vignette complete.  I’m sure I can find one of those in this town that is obsessed with stars all over everything.

But what of the sad other canvas?  Don’t worry, I won’t throw him out, he’s going to get recycled.  In fact, I already have an idea of what I want to do with it….I just need the help of someone who lives in the Pacific Northwest and likes to drink wine….you know who you are!

And for those who just pine for an Austin sign in UT colors, that can be arranged:

I’ve got two words for you: Spray Adhesive.

–Martta