Friday, November 11, 2011

Evolution of a craft and what I learned

I love Thanksgiving and think it get's shoved aside with all the fuss of  Halloween and then overlooked in the excitement of Christmas.  That's why I loved this cartoon when I saw it on Facebook.  I'm always on the lookout for a cute Thanksgiving craft, so today I'm sharing with you my first Thanksgiving craft of the year.

A couple of months ago, our group of ladies at our church had what's called a "Super Saturday" - a day full of crafts and fun, usually once a year.  I was so excited to attend! It had been YEARS since we'd had one. I was also asked to teach a class how to etch glass, something I love to do.  So because I was teaching, I only got one of my 4 projects started, well 3/4 of the way done until I got picky.  If you read this post and learned a little about me, you'll know that I can be a bit of a perfectionist and then I procrastinate - the reasons I don't finish my projects at times.  There sat my really cute "Give Thanks", my husband growling more each day at why there was such a mess on the table (my craft room is also the exercise room, play room, and more.)  So this week I decided to tackle the project and just get it finished.  Thus the evolution of a craft and what I learned along the way.

So as I said, I started this at the church.  Got all the pieces painted and picked out my paper which was being mod podged on top.  As I looked at all the cute paper to choose from, I realized I had the same pack of paper at home.  No wonder I was having such a hard time deciding, there were so many I liked. :)  I finally settled on a few and got to work gluing them on.  First tip I learned - when mod podging, brush the glue on the wood AND on the paper.  It eliminated a lot of the bubbling up that I usually got when I just put it on the wood.  As that was drying, I went to work on my pumpkin, to which I stressed and fretted over for a long time.  It just wasn't coming out like I wanted.  I finally gave up on that and decided we'd see how it looked later; I could always paint over it and start over.  So as I was cleaning up my stuff and getting ready to go home, I looked at my now, paper covered letters.  Two of them were looking really pink.  I don't know if it was changes in lighting, me just looking more closely, or the mod podge changing the color a little, but my 2 red letters were now pinkish. You can't have pink letters in a Thanksgiving craft.  I decided to hurry (since the glue wasn't completely dry yet) and rip the paper off those letters.  Yup, I did it, as some of my friends watched as this crazy woman frantically undid what I had so carefully done in the first place.  I went home a little frustrated with the mess I'd made (still not liking my pumpkin at all) and wondering if I'd be able to fix it all.
Not positive this was the red (turned pink) paper.  See, there it looks okay so maybe it was the mod podge.  But that is the blue paper.

My mess of a craft sat and sat waiting for me to take pity on it and just finish the darn thing.  Procrastination set in and my mind said, "You have a whole 1 1/2 months until November, no worries."  September finished, October flew by, and now November is here.  Bill's grumbling over my "mess" was getting louder so I finally took some action. As I pondered over it, I realized the blue stripe was not so great either (it had the pink color in it, too, and just wasn't giving me a Thanksgiving vibe.)  Now this one was good and dry, thus I discovered tip number two - when you want to remove something mod podged spray it with water and let it soak in. I sprayed the whole letter and let it sit about five or ten minutes and the paper came off fairly easily - well, at least the top layer.
After I got the top layer off, I sprayed it again with water and let it soak in for a few minutes.  Then using a little dish scraper, I easily scraped off the rest.  This actually came off MUCH cleaner than the paper I ripped off before it was fully dry.  I didn't even need to sand it.
Not a great picture of the scraper, but those things are amazing - for dishes and crafts! :)
 On the first set of letters I had to do a bit of sanding to smooth out the rest of the paper left on the wood.  As I said, I had this same pack of paper, so I flipped through and found the perfect pieces!  I quickly traced the letters on, cut inside the lines, and glued them on.  Tip number three - I had a little brayer to roll out the bubbles with, worked great! I also thought, later, I could have used the little scraper tool, that would have worked just as well, I think.  Something more than just hands was a lot easier to get all the wrinkles and bubbles out.  As I was waiting for that to dry, I decided to tackle the pumpkin again.  It was now not looking as hideous as it had been, but it still needed something.  Tip number four - if you think your craft, whatever it is, is awful and ruined, give it some time and some space and then take another look.  It might not be so bad. :)  I finally just added some jute and a leaf and viola! I liked it.

So that's it, my "Give Thanks" is now proudly displayed in my home; my craft table is almost cleaned off (today's project is to finish :) ); and I learned some valuable lessons and patience in my crafting.  Have you ever had a craft project teach you a thing or two?

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Linking up with:
Bacon Time With the Hungry Hypo
Creation Corner
Fingerprints on the Fridge
Fun to Craft
Lovely Crafty Home
Making Lemonade
Simply Designing
Simply Sweet Home
Delicate Construction
Naptime Crafters
Blissful and Domestic
One Artsy Mama
Serenity You 
I Heart Naptime 
Nifty Thrifty Things 
Sisters of the Wild West 
The Gunny Sack
So Very Creative
DIY Home Sweet Home
You Are Talking Too Much
Ask Anna
Project Queen
Crafty Confessions
Making the World Cuter


Anonymous said...

Very nice! I love it! Where did you get your letters?

Laura @ Our Prairie Home said...

That turned out fabulous! My husband grumbles about my "mess" too, which I have now confined to my office - but I still get grumbles. LOL! And I'm glad I'm not the only one who gets frustrated and walks away from stuff for a while. I've got this sheet music wreath... Yeah. Can't get it perfectly round. Driving me nuts!

Kimberly T. said...

@Rebekah - They were cut specifically for this craft day we had. I think it was a local store called "Traditions" that did it.

Shiloh said...

I've definitely learned from a craft, but usually, the craft is not salvageable by the time I learn.:) Your project turned out really nicely.:)

Blissful & Domestic said...

first of all I love the turkey and santa picture above. Cracks me up! and I love the letters!! so fun and cute! your blog rocks!

Unknown said...

Love your letters! And I'm crazy about that cartoon! So glad you shared at One Artsy Mama for Shine On Fridays!

Alecia @ ChickenScratch NY said...

I love every part of this. I can really sympathize with the 'I have three months to get it done, oh, wait that was yesterday?'

I'm also feeling some guilt for neglecting Tday!

Carrie said...

Fantastic Mod Podge tip! I did a project awhile ago with no bubbles, then the same one later and it bubbled. I bet that's what the issue was, the first time I put it on both sides. Thanks for linking up to Refresh Your Nest Friday and expanding my crafting knowledge!

Natasha Mairs - Serenity You said...

such a fantastic idea!! love this

Thanks for linking up to Serenity Saturday.
Hope to see you there again tomorrow

Natasha xxx

Brooke @ Spruce Your Nest said...

Very cute! By the way, I have awarded you the Liebster Blog Award on my blog today :-)

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