Crafts: Meltable art

8/29/2011 09:27:00 AM Ashley 6 Comments

As stated a few weeks ago, Nate and I started a craft project together. That project was the very popular melted crayon art. It was something that I found on Pinterest and when I showed it to Nate we somehow magically ended up with boxes of crayons and canvas. Nate's always looking for something crafty that he can do, because sometimes he feels that being an awesome baker isn't enough.

I set to work, gluing on the crayons.


A lot of the DIYs I found were using hot glue...and while I do LOVE me some hot glue, I decided to go with super glue. It didn't seem logical to use a glue that melts with heat on a project that gets melted with...heat.


I lined up all of the crayons with the logo up in my best attempt at ROYGBIV.


We then headed outside with my blowdryer.


Nate was super excited...

Especially when it started working.

We worked on the crayons for awhile, but while a hairdryer gets hot, it doesn't get hot enough to make the melting process happen quickly. We also didn't like that the force of the air was pushing around the wax. It was making for a splatter-y look that nether of us liked. Nate kept saying that a heat gun would be perfect for this job and that's when the light bulb went off in my head. I went and grabbed my embossing gun.

It was perfect. A little too perfect. Lets just say that if you let the embossing gun stay in one spot for too long...the paper wrappers would start smoking. Once we figured out the prime distance and sweeping motion we were golden. We were really able to start get the look we were looking for. Melted, layered wax.

After we had a good look going on, we decided that we didn't love all of the white space left at the bottom of the canvas. We didn't want to lose the layered look we had going, so we decided to add crayons to the other side of the canvas.


Seeing as I had glued the other row with the label up, I had no idea what colors what the colors were and I wanted to line them up the same on both sides. So I set to work laying the fresh crayons on top of the melted.


Again, I glued them down with super glue. I glued this row with the color name up, so you can see which color is which. At this point I totally took over. Nate had his fun and it was my turn!


Watching the wax melt, drip and pool was beyond entertaining. I kind of want to do 20 more just so I can play with the wax. Though with as anal as I am...I did melt and remelt the wax a lot. I like finding perfection in chaos.


I must say, it was an easy craft...unless you are me. I did, after all, say that I like things to be perfect (or what is perfect to me) and it was easy for me to get carried away. I wanted to add my personal touch, which was the super layered look. We also love that we can hang the art a few different ways. Though having it sideways so that the crayon drips look like they are fighting gravity is our favorite way to hang it.


Anyone who knows me, knows I am a sucker for texture. And once I figured out that you could layer the wax...I went to town. Hello texture!

Honestly, this was one of the easiest crafts I have done recently. It's even easier if you aren't crazy anal like I am. I mean if I weren't so crazed I probably could have had this done in hours instead of 4 days of messing around. What can I say...I find ways to make simple things harder than they should be!

Edit: I forgot to mention some things...

...Use Crayola Crayons because the cheap ones just won't cut it (we didn't test this, but we have seen self admitted fails from other people that used brands like Roseart). Also, while the canvas was good it wasn't perfect. With the canvas having an open back the wax had a tendency to crack or pop off if disturbed too much. You can fix this by placing something solid (like cardboard) in the opening. Or you could just attach the crayons to foam board and then place the foam board in a frame. It's really personal preference. And last thing, seal your wax with a clear coat. It should help lock the wax in place and hopefully keep it from melting (not that our house would ever get that hot).

So what do you think!?


Decor: The baby shower in detail

8/24/2011 12:09:00 PM Ashley 0 Comments

The baby shower I threw came together because of a lot of ideas I found on Pinterest and through out the internet. I found my decor ideas, the shower invites, gift ideas, food and games and was then able to keep them in one spot (Pinterest). It was a great source, especially for me wanting to DIY so much stuff.

I wanted the colors to be a little more gender neutral, even though we all knew the sex of the baby. After I settled on the color combo or melon and gray with hints of peach and light airy green I knew the I had to peg down the invites. I had thrown around the idea of making them myself but then I found the perfect print your own invite from Fresh Chick Design Studio.


The color and overall look was perfect, because I had wanted an elephant and was trying to figure out a way to incorporate a book theme (the guest of honor is a book lover). I also worked with the seller to make me "wishes for baby" cards and book plate stickers. The stickers were included with the invitation and asked for everyone to bring their favorite childhood book instead of a card. That way we could start a library for the baby and guests could write something inside, making the book a permanent card.

After settling on the invite I was off to Pinterest to look for ideas. I knew that we'd end up doing a dessert bar for the party because it was being held after dinner. This also meant that Nate would be stepping in as baker extraordinaire (so lucky and fat from having an amazing baker husband)! This of course meant I knew the cake that HAD to be made...the Campfire Delight from the amazing Sweetapolita!


My husband's beautiful take on the cake.

Seriously...this cake is AMAZING. I have dreams of it and how could you not when one of the layers is toasted marshmallow!? He's made this cake about 5 times and this was easily the best one he ever made! We also made Vanilla Chai Cupcakes for the non chocolate lovers and while I love that Campfire Delight I also love the chai cupcakes. They are moist and taste like you are biting into a chai latte.


Our take on the vanilla chai cupcakes.

We decided to make them mini cupcakes...because really how fun are mini cupcake. Plus I need to use all of the little cupcake toppers that I made (at first we were going to make the campfire delight cake into cupcakes). Along with all of the cake I also had fresh fruit, just so you could feel better about the cake that was just devoured.

For drinks I had the basic water, but I also wanted to have a fun drink/cocktail. With peach/melon being the colors I knew that a Peach Bellini was perfect. Again Nate's handy work came to play when we used his homemade canned peaches and peach juice. I made two Bellini's, one with sparkling wine and one with sparkling grape juice (this was a baby shower after all).

Homemade Peach Bellini's

I set up all of the food and drinks on our dinning table, which was pushed against the back wall to make more room for people to gather. I wanted to hang something above and quickly knew that it had to be poms, poofs, balloons and lanterns.



My take on poof, pom, lanterns and balloons.

I decided to once again try to tackle the Martha Stewart poofs, even after my last very failed attempt. Amazingly this time they came out perfectly. I also got to discover that gray tissue paper and lanterns was a no go...silver is what you get. So while I used silver tissue for the poof, I took the white paper lanterns and paint them with water color. Instant gray lanterns!

I also found the idea to cut paint swatch samples into letters. When I saw it I knew instantly that I had to find a way to use them, which I did with the "Hello Baby".


Gift table.

"Take Me" table (gifts for guests).

Along with the "Hello Baby" banner I also made "Take Me", "Eat", "Drink" and "Gift" banners. All of which I hand cut from coordinating paint swatch samples.

Around the house I decorated with my milk glass collection, succulents and Maison jars with with floating candles.


Maison jars sitting on our coffee table.

Small Maison jars sitting on candle holders.

I placed small peach colored marbles in the bottom of the of the jars and instead of using raffia around the top, I used the white/gray bakers twine. baby showers. Yeah I hate them. I don't want to guess what chocolate is melted in a dipper and I don't want to pin the sperm on the egg. But I know games are expected. So I went with something I found online. A game that tied together the book theme by making the guests figure out what the book titles are based on a give alternative title.


"Wishes For Baby" and Alternative Name game.

Along with the book naming game I also had a "Wishes For Baby" card made that everyone filled out for the baby. I then collected them and put them in a book.

The last major part of the baby shower was the gift for the guests. I thought about it long and hard and my new found love of succulents won out.



Thank you gifts for the guest.

I collected glass votive candle holders to use as the pot and then hit up my local Home Depot. They sell tiny little succulents for $2 which is a great price, so great that I had to get a gaggle of my own. I also made little tags that said "Watch me grow while the parents watch their baby grow" (I did use the actually parents and baby's name on the tags).

There were a few other ideas that I used, like painting pots to hold the silverware. I also came up with the brilliant idea to used bed sheets for table cloths. I was a lucky happenstance that I had peach sheets, which meant not having to buy a table cloth. Score!


Everything came together and looked great. My favorite parts were probably the color combo, the invites and the succulents. But really I loved it all and how well it came out. Plus I loved that so much of it was hand made by Nate and I. It was also a lot of fun to get back into crafting again.

So there is the baby shower I threw. Maybe you will get a few ideas for any parties you might be planning. As for me...I'm taking a break from planning/decorating for parties because I have a tenancy to get a little too involved. Such is the life of a crafter.


Decor: A baby shower

8/23/2011 09:44:00 PM Ashley 2 Comments

A couple weeks ago I threw a baby shower for a friend. I, of course, threw myself head first into the planning. For me the planning all started when I found amazing baby shower invites and the perfect color combo (melon and gray). After that I turned to Pinterest to look for ideas on how to decorate. Seeing as it was an evening party, I decided on doing a dessert spread. This of course meant that I had to lovingly pester Nate to make the very yummy camp fire cake, which wasn't that hard to do. He really loves making that cake and I really love eating it.

With all of the planning and baking (thanks sweetie), everything came together very nicely.





In the next few days I hope to have a post about the the details and where I got the ideas from. Also I'll share some of my brilliant ideas (or idea).


Nails: Nail of the week

8/18/2011 12:52:00 PM Ashley 0 Comments

I went on a crazed nail polish buying binge recently. I blame fall and all of the colors I love so very much for this new haul. With all of these new polishes it meant it was time to paint my been bare for too long nails.

I did just that with a new color I got from OPI by Sephora's new Garden of Good and Evil line. I of course went straight for the glitter of the line and I am glad I did.




"So What's Your Poision?" is an amazing red and pink glitter set in a cranberry colored jelly base. In three coats I was able to get prefect coverage, which is really good for a glitter if you ask me. This is definitely going to be a nail polish I wear a lot, just for the simple fact that it looks so amazing!


Life: Running in place

8/15/2011 06:00:00 AM Ashley 2 Comments

Sometimes your body just isn't willing to keep up with the rest of you.

Such is the case for me and my ankles. A week and a half ago they decided they wanted to stop playing nice and wanted to take the lime light away from my always grouchy knees. It happened with something simple...high heels. Torture devices that I have worn for years without ill effect. But this time just putting them on was enough to seal the deal for my demise. The next day I could barely walk. Since then I have been hobbling along, not fully willing to let them get the best of me. But really they have, because I can't currently run.

Right now I am back to square one while I wait for them to heal.

Funny how I was just starting to not loathe running. Well, not so much funny as much as anger inducing. But it is what it is.

Seeing as I've had a lot of time to sit, I've been working on projects and a blog about my life long issues with making friends. It's not something I talk about a lot, but it's something I've been thinking about touching on, because I know I am not the only one who has felt the way I do. I hope to get that posted sometime this week. I'm putting my finishing touches on it and working on my brave face for when it posts.

I hope everyone had a good weekend and far more eventful than mine was.


Life: Facebook

8/13/2011 07:12:00 AM Ashley 0 Comments

Nowadays pretty much everyone and their dog (hello DogBook) has Facebook, myself included. I first joined back in the day, when I felt that it was a good way to keep in contact with friends, and while it still can be used for that, it's grown into something more. Instead of keeping up with friends, I feel that it's slowly making friendship lazier. With all of your personal information, status updates and photos in one space, it's very easy for someone to learn a lot about you...without really having to talk to you. Instead of being endearing that someone looked through your profile, it's gotten creepier and creepier. Conversations start with "I saw you posted..." more and more.

All of this has lead me to realize that I am stuck in a vicious cycle. I am feeding this monster, which in turn is leaving me feeling more and more detached from people. I for one am tired of it and ready for a change. I want to be able to meet a friend and talk for hours, never once bringing up Facebook. I want to not feel the urge to update every. little. thing I do. So, I am challenging myself to step away from Facebook. Maybe one day I'll even be able to delete it fully.

This will be interesting seeing as it's such a huge part of our culture, but I am up for the challenge.


Crafts: Melting

8/09/2011 03:37:00 PM Ashley 0 Comments


By now...if you spend any time on Pinterest or really just on the internet you've seen this artwork from Etsy seller JKCreate. They take crayons and melt them onto canvas. This has quickly turned into a huge DIY across the internet and I jumped on board when Nate saw it. As he put it, "it's a craft even I can do!".

So last week we set out to make it. We're not quite done yet, but here is a sneak peak at what it looked like when we started.

Once we're done, I will get more pictures posted and let you all know what worked best for us to make it.


LIfe: As I know it

8/08/2011 06:00:00 AM Ashley 3 Comments

I've been gone. You'll get no long sob story about how I should have kept up with my blog, because honestly I just didn't want to (this may have also crossed over into returning emails, I'm sorry if I didn't get back to you, but please know I have read everyone that was sent to me). I've been busy with life and other things and I just didn't feel like sitting in front of blank screen trying to force something out that just wasn't there. But here I am. Seeing as I was gone for almost a good month, I figure I'd do a little recap of what I have been doing, thinking and going through. So sit back, this could get interesting.

The weight of it all: I'm back to trying to lose weight. It's hard and it sucks, but not as much as is sucks when I am miserable. I hate how I look, I hate how I feel, I hate how I have to dress. That's just too much hate for me.

The promotion party: At the beginning of June, Nate promoted to Captain. While we were happy about the promotion, it wasn't the end all be all for us (a Major promotion would be far more exciting, if Nate even stays in that long). We ended up helping throw a joint promotion party after we got back from our Antigua trip. There wasn't much to be done for the party, we used our side yard and got BBQ from a local restaurant. Pretty simple.

The guest: After the promotion party we had a friend come visit for a week. We did the normal sightseeing and lots of digging at our local Goodwill Outlet (seriously that place is crazy, but you can find amazing stuff). We do wish it would have been more into "pick your own" season so we could have taken her to the amazing farms we have around here.

The year mark: A week ago last year is when we officially move here. It's hard to believe that we've been here for a year and that we have less time left here. 18 months is not a long time to be somewhere, but I am learning just how fast that time really moves. Honestly, while I really love it here, I am happy and excited that we will be moving onto our next chapter so soon.

The running: I've never been a fact I have more than once said that I would never run. This all changed when I had my mental break about my weight. I wanted to look better for the trip to Antigua and that just wasn't happening. With the indoor pool on base being close, only to reopen with wonky hours and me not willing to swim in the gross outdoor pool...the only real option was to start running. Yeah...major fail. After three days I was in such immense amounts of pain, I stopped. I then went on vacation only to put on the 10lbs I works so hard to take off. Enter mental break #2. That's when I decided to throw on my Vibram Five Fingers and give running yet another try. Hello night and day change. Who knew that a shoe could change my life that much. I was running more often, better and further than I ever had in my life. I actually almost enjoy going out at night to run, though I still don't love it.

The baby shower: I've been amazingly busy planning a baby shower that finally took place last Wednesday. Being the crazed planner that I am, I fell head first into the design and feel of the party. It was a month long process. And while not everything went as planned (much to my chagrin), I am beyond happy with how it turned out.

The re-evaluation of life and all that comes with it: For the past month I have been thinking a lot about my life and what I want from it. It's hard to think about, when at almost 30 years of age I still haven't a clue. I'm stuck. That's all I know. I'm not happy with who I am, what I have become or who I might become. I feel boring and I hate boring. Somehow I am that 3rd wheel who gets overlooked, probably both knowingly and unknowingly. It's annoying and I don't know which is worse. I'm tired of being fat. But trying to be skinny sucks, especially when I never had a weight problem up until a few years ago. So what do I do!? I work my ass lose weight. I will look better damnit, because I know I can. I will look forward to moving in less than a year, so I can start fresh. I will stop allowing myself to be forgotten and only acknowledged when it's useful. I am not this person and I will be damned if I keep going on like this.

The projects: There's about 80 different things that I want to be working on, but I am really trying to focus on a few things. I need to finish my tee shirt rug. It keeps getting pushed to the side. I need to finish painting my chairs and reupholstering the seat cushions. Nate and I are almost done making melting crayon art. And of course, I have a great project that I need to get done before August, but I can't share it yet. I feel I will be having a very busy crafting month.

There's my month long follow up. I'm trying to keep myself busy. It makes the time pass and gets me closer to finished projects and another crazy move back across the country. In that time I will have another friend come visit, a birthday, some holidays and a very busy husband working on his thesis. It's a lot to do in what is turning out to be a short amount of time. It should be exciting and crazy, but then crazy is always involved when I am around!

I hope you all have been well and I look forward to hearing from you...and this time you'll hear back from me!