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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Quotable Canvas

I do have a giveaway going on right now.  Click HERE to get in on it!

"A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer.  It sings because it has a song." -Maya Angelou

I love quotes.  I can find an inspirational quote to go with just about any feeling I'm having or any motivation I require.  I have them posted on post-it's and index cards all over my bedroom and bathroom.  I've been fiddling around with making quotes on canvas for a little over a year.  I've tried acrylics under spray paint, paint-by-number under acrylic, and everything in between.  I finally figured out one that I love enough to share with you, so here it is, quotes on canvas.  There's just one other thing you should know.  I love bird silhouettes.  Owl, sparrow, crow, whatever... I love the way they look and I'm sort of making that a theme in my room.

NOTE: you do NOT need the spray paint.  as I said, I've done it with spray paint before so I had it on hand because I wasn't sure how the acrylic was going to come out.
The pictures of the first few steps show a different piece that I haven't even finished yet, but I didn't take pics of the first steps on the finished product for this tutorial.  To start, I bought two canvases from Michael's.  The day I went, the 2-packs were buy one get one free, so I now have 2 bonus canvases to play with next time.  I took some scrapbook paper and pasted it to the canvas with mod podge and made a pretty background.   I let this dry for a couple of hours because you're going to be putting stickers on and you don't want to peel off the mod podge with them.   So once it's dry, get some foam stickers you like the shape of.  They have these EVERYWHERE.  Michael's, Walmart, you name it... I found these at Dollar Tree, but when I went back to get more last week they were gone.  :(  So if you find some you love at a good deal, BUY THEM ALL!  haha.  I use them for a lot of projects.  At this point, lay them out and then stick them on where you want them.

So once you have all your stickers stuck you can start painting.  To clarify,  your letters are going to be in the pattern of the scrapbook paper while your background is solid.  So you paint a pretty solid layer of acrylic paint over the canvas.  My layer was pretty thick and I could still almost see through it in some spots, so let it dry completely and if you need a second layer, go for it.  I did.
I would caution you not to "overload" with paint.  I made sure and spread mine out  with the brush pretty good to avoid pools of paint.  You're going to get "walls" of paint when you peel the stickers if you make it super thick.  Let it dry.  I have timed my peel pretty good and get the best results if I peel it riiiiight before it's completely dry all the way down.  I know that's confusing, but if you can time it to where the top layer is dry, but it's still a little gooey in the middle, you're golden.  This project is pretty hard to really mess up.  You can pretty much peel stickers whenever you want.  Fair warning:  you're going to smudge it if you do it right after you paint.  How do you peel those stickers off when they're covered in paint?  Get creative!  I have used a pencil, a steak knife, a screwdriver, a pointy-nail-file-thing.  You can really use anything you can get under the sticker.  I did discover that with this project, it was nice to have the steak-knife on hand to nab any little bits of paint that went where they weren't supposed to.  They came off very nicely.
Peeling the stickers is my favorite part because you can really start to see how it's going to come out.  When they're all peeled and you've dealt with any "whoopsies" you can seal in your end result with another two good layers of mod podge.  Your paint needs to be completely, honestly, you-would-press-your-face-to-it-in-public dry before you mod podge or it's going to stay soft.  You want this to be a sealing layer. This will keep your little paint ledges from scratching or peeling off.  It also gives that flat acrylic a nice glossy look if you use glossy mod podge.  It will stay flat but look more uniform and sealed if you use the flat mod podge. 

When you're done with this step, you could be done.  I took mine a step further.  I sketched a little silhouette of a bird that could be sitting on a wire, and cut it out, I then traced that shape to make a mirror image on another contrasting color.  Stick 'em down with a thin layer of mod podge and do another layer to seal 'em in and TADA!    This step literally took less than 10 minutes and I'm not very good at cutting along the lines.  I think it added a whole new level of awesome to them.  What do you think?

I'm going away this weekend for Christmas, but I would like to do a post this weekend that shows how all these crazy things I'm making look together on my wall.  At this point, I'm thinking aloud, because my blog schedule is PACKED.  Keep your eyes peeled for my next few blogs and give me all the feedback you've got.

Want something for free?  GIVEAWAY!!!

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Delish Breakfast in 3 Minutes

This is what you'll get to make if you make it to the bottom of the post, but first I get to talk at you!   Let the mouth watering commence.

Okay, blog pals.  I am so far behind, but I'm about to get all kinds of caught up.  Finals were nuttier than squirrel poop, but I'm past all that and I'm ready to get on a crafting binge.  I already have about 8 crafts finished and with pictures, but I need to write up the blogs in addition, I am taking on a couple of HUGE projects this week (we're talking 12 feet across, huge... if everything goes according to my plan...which it never does) so keep on the lookout for that.  And now, the big one!   So, let's kick off this craft-mania with a super speedy recipe that every single person should have on hand for breakfast in a pinch!

Now, on to the yummies...

I don't know about you, but my roommates and I are starving in the morning, but it's not worth getting up 20 minutes early to make a good breakfast.  I was inspired to try this one morning after seeing my roommate "Struggles" leave in a frenzy for the doctor.  See, she had a doctor's appointment, so she had gotten up about an hour before she had to leave.  That's plenty of time, right?  Well, she had to get ready, which doesn't take too long, but she decided to have a "good" breakfast of cinnamon rolls as well.  They were just your typical unwrap the can, put 'em in a pan kind.  You know the name brand... with the little ticklish fellow... but they take 30 MINUTES to prepare!  20 to cook, then they need to cool enough to ice (another 5) and it takes at least 7 minutes for our oven to heat up.  Needless to say, I had just come in the kitchen sniffing around for breakfast when Struggles took one bite and realized she was going to be late for the Doctor.  So she ran out the door, leaving her two sad cinnamon rolls with only one bite missing, sitting on the counter.  I was sad for Struggles.  Thus was born my greatest yummy to date!

What you need:
A waffle iron
A can of cinnamon rolls
Some non-stick spray
3-5 minutes

What you do:
Crack open the can of cinnamon rolls.  4 can fit on the iron at a time, and the rest will keep in a tupperware in the fridge (but I don't recommend leaving them for more than a week.) so only use as many as you plan to eat right that second.  Heat up the waffle iron (which takes less than a minute in my house).   Spray that hot waffle iron with the non-stick spray of your choice and plop your cinnamon rolls on the iron and close it.  Now, don't use the waffle-iron timer, just time it yourself.  Caution:  there's usually one side of the iron that gets done faster than the other.  The half on the "opening" side takes 2 1/2 minutes to cook and the closed side takes 3.  If you leave them too long, you've got yourself some burnt cinnamon rolls, which are still quite edible given enough of the icing. 

Once your rolls are done, fork them onto a plate (WATCH OUT, THOSE PUPPIES ARE HOT!) and ice 'em.  Possible the best part of this is that the waffle iron has created cups for the icing to sit in, so you don't have to worry about all of it running off the roll like it does on traditional cinnamon rolls.  They cool pretty fast, too.  I usually take a bite as soon as it's iced without burning my mouth.  So there it is:  a super yummy cinnamon roll breakfast in less than 5 minutes from the time you crack the can open.  I'm calling them "Cinn-fully Delicious Waffle Rolls"  or... "Waffled Cinnamon Rolls"  or... "Yummy in my Tummy".  What do you think I should call 'em?   Have a great Saturday!  I know what's for breakfast tomorrow!  ;)

Oh, and I read this last week in Women's Health Magazine, and thought you'd like to know... Check out this month's issue for more about it! [Sorry about the quality of the pic, I was riding the bus and snapped it on my phone.]

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