BYU Museum of Art

Yesterday I found that I had a few free hours while I was up in Provo.  I decided to go to the BYU Museum of Art .  I'm so glad that I took the time to go.

Right now the main exhibit is of costumes from movies.  They had Jack Sparrow's pirate costume, Marianne Dashwood's dress from their lunch outside, Jane Eyre's wedding dress, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson's outfits, Christine's dress from Phantom of the Opera, and many more.  Most of the costumes were from period pieces.  They had information that described the process the designers and creators went through to make the costumes as authentic as possible, detail about what social status the wearer had depending on the type of fabric used or how it was embellished, and how anything that is on the outer layer (seen by the audience) has to be created by hand to make it as authentic to the period as possible.  The costumes are so close that you can see the extensive bead work and embroidery on many of the outfits.  Unfortunately they did not allow photography in that section.  Some of the embroidery was amazingly beautiful.  I would imagine that people interested in fashion would love to view that exhibit.  They did not allow photography in that area, so I don't have any pictures of the beautiful costumes to share with you.

The rest of the museum has rotating smaller exhibits. There was one about personal history and family history. One person had created a unique family history chart to keep track of their ancestors.  They used rice paper and put names on each little piece.  Then they started with one piece representing themself, then added two next to it representing their parents, then added more back for each generation.  This picture was the finished product.

Another interesting exhibit they had was about the Hindu religion and Vishnu.  They had quite a few art pieces with a history of the area, the art, and the religion.  They even had an interactive section with a video of their ritual of morning prayers, you could smell the incense they use, ring a bell, and see pictures of people in their culture.  It was a neat exhibit.


Choose Happiness sign Giveaway! - CLOSED

I've decided to do a giveaway of my latest craft!  I made this cute "Choose Happiness" sign because I love the saying.  There are so many things in life that can drag us down and we need to make the choice to be happy as much as possible.  The sign is hand painted with a nice cheery yellow background.  It measures 3.5 inches tall and 8 inches long.  This giveaway starts today and runs until next Friday.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fall Wreath

I made this cute Fall wreath as a demonstration for a group of ladies.  From start to finish it took me about 5 minutes to put the decorations on the wreath.  To make the bow, well I did that beforehand and it took an additional 10 minutes because I am not great at bows yet.  I also talked with them about shopping the sales at craft stores, especially the holiday items.  You can get those on sale for at least 40% off....even two months before the holiday.   I told them that I like to look at the local thrift store in their craft section to see what wreaths they have. I inspect them to see how they are made, then I will buy one (for about $1.00) and take the decorations off and then start over with my own decorations.  That cuts down on the cost of making the wreaths.

There are many bases for the wreath: styrofoam, floral foam, straw, wire wreath form, grapevine, willow ring, cardboard cut into a circle, twig wreath, a pool noodle (cut to shape), fresh greenery, fake greenery, and more.

For this one, I used a grapevine wreath.  I think these are my favorite for fall because they go so well with the orange, brown, and yellow colors.

When making a wreath, you have the option of using hot glue and keeping that wreath that way for the season, then you can store the whole thing until next year.  The great part about that is you have a ready made wreath waiting for you.  The other option is to buy floral wire and attach all your cute decorations with that instead.  The great part about that is you only have to buy one base wreath you can use all year and just change out the decorations.  Now for me, I'm a little forgetful (okay, a lot!) so I would probably forget where I put the box that contained all the cute decorations for each different season or holiday.  It is less hard for me to forget which plastic storage bin I put a whole wreath in when I can see into them in our garage.  So, I use the hot glue method.  You can make yours whichever way is easiest or most convenient for you.

Materials needed:
grapevine wreath ($1 at thrift store, about $4 at craft store)
decorative berry picks (.75 after holiday discount)
silk leaves (taken from a different wreath I bought)
burlap decorative flowers (originally plain brown - $1.20 for package of 8)
wood saying ($1.50 for package of 6)
wired wide ribbon ($3.00 after holiday discount)
hot glue gun
glue sticks
paint & paintbrush

Before I took the supplies to the activity, I painted the burlap flowers and the wooden saying, and I tied the bow (more on that after the directions). At the activity, I started out by hot gluing the largest piece, or the berry pick, to my wreath.  Then I cover up the stem of the pick with the silk leaves.  After they are glued on, I added the decorative flowers.  Then it was time to add the bow.  I like my bow to be across from the decorations on the wreath.  Many people like the bow to be at the top.  You can do whatever is pleasing to your eyes. After adding the bow, I could have stopped there but decided that including the wooden word "fall" would add a little color.

The last thing to decide is the best way to hang your wreath.  Many people attach their bow to the top, then add additional ribbon they use to hang it.  When I use a grapevine wreath, I usually wrap a piece of ribbon through a small bunch of vines and hang it that way.  This wreath already had a small wire attached to the top.  I threaded my ribbon through that and hung it.

Okay, now to bows.  They are very hard for me.  Thankfully I was able to find a few different tutorials.  You can check YouTube if watching a video works best for you.  Here are links to a few tutorials I found that have helped me.  This one has a list of different bows and shows drawings of step-by-step directions.  This one has photographs of each step.  This one links to a pinterest multiple picture display of step-by-step directions, if you click the link that it goes to, there is just a smaller sized picture, it doesn't take you to a website where the person describes in detail.  I hope one of those can help you!


Homemade Wand

What does every witch need?  A wand of course!  
Here's the finished product.
My daughter is being Hermione from "Harry Potter" and we wanted to have an accessory for her.  I didn't think that carrying around a broom would be much fun....besides, Hermione isn't great at flying and avoids brooms anyway so this is more authentic.  This past week I have been searching for chopsticks at every store within a 15 mile radius.  Thanks to Bed Bath & Beyond (and my 20% off coupon) we were able to get a package of chopsticks.  Here is what I used to make the wand.

You take a chopstick and add hot glue to it.  You can add hot glue to one section and make it really knobby there, or you can add small amounts all over the chopstick to make a bumpy wand.  That is what I did.  Then I used three different shades of brown to paint the wand.  I also put a coat of Aleen's acrylic sealer.  It made it shiny and the colors come through better.  Also it will keep it from getting ruined if wet.  The above picture is from before I added the sealant to it.

  My daughter wanted a little gold at the end so it looks like magic is coming out of it.  This was good practice for the 10 or more wands I will have to make as party favors for her birthday in March!


Decorated Wooden Letters

Over the past few months I had been trying to think of a way to start decorating my girls' rooms.  We have been here for 2 years and haven't done much decorating.  I wanted to personalize their decorations to what they are interested in right now.  I decided to start small and build around the first piece.  Directions for making the craft yourself are below the pictures.

My oldest daughter (9) has been in love with all things Paris and France for the past year.  She has a city street map of Paris that she loves and has planned our future visit.  I decided to have her decoration focus on Paris.

My youngest daughter (6) loves the ocean and sea animals.  I decided to go with a beach theme and some sea animals.

 For the background you can use fabric, scrapbook paper, newspaper, tissue paper, felt, or just paint the letter and then add the embellishments.  I chose to decorate my letters with scrapbook paper, so that is what I put for supplies and in the directions.  The great thing about this project is you can tailor it to what works best for you!

To make these cute letters you will need:
Wooden letter (available at most craft stores)
scrapbook paper of your choice
stickers, pictures, buttons, silk flowers, or other decorative embellishments
Mod Podge (or other crafting glue/adhesive)
sponge brush
ribbon (optional)
hanging hardware

For my letters, I went to Jo-Ann's.  You can get them at other craft stores and sometimes they even have them at the crafting area at the local Walmart.  I tend to shop at Jo-Ann's and Hobby Lobby most often.  We do have a Michael's nearby, but I always seem to forget it is there.  My scrapbook paper was bought at Hobby Lobby.  I bought two different theme pads because I will be able to use the other papers for crafts in the future.  Jo-Ann's is where I bought my paints.

1. The first thing I did to prepare my wood was a light sanding of the letters.
2. Then I painted 2 layers on the wood.  I painted the sides of the letters and also the area that was going to be covered with scrapbook paper.  I didn't paint the back since it will be against the wall.
3. Next I put the letters down on the back of the scrapbook paper I chose for the background and traced it, then cut the paper out.
4. I used the sponge brush to add a light layer of Mod Podge (Matte finish for this part) on the wooden letter and placed the paper on top.
5. For the decorative embellishments, I used different sections of scrapbook paper I had cut out. I put a small amount of Mod Podge on the back of the papers and placed them on top of the wooden letter that had the background paper on it.
6. I spread a thin layer of Mod Podge (Gloss this time) over the whole top of the project.  I let that layer dry, then repeated adding layers of Mod Podge two more times.

 That is it for the crafting portion of this project.  It was fun to make and my girls love having them in their rooms.

The only other thing to do is to hang your letters.  We decided to put in screw eye hooks so then I could tie the ribbon to the open part at the top.  You can try hot gluing the ribbon to the back and hanging it that way, or you can attach picture hanger hardware to the back, you can use mounting double side tape, you can tie ribbon directly onto the letter and hang it that way, or you can use a staple to attach the ribbon (depending on what type of material the letter is made of).

Reasonably priced crafts

For the women's group at my church, we generally have a yearly activity where someone looks for reasonably priced crafts to do (either as home decor or ideas for Christmas gifts), then the ladies sign up for what they would like to do and pay for it.  Then we have a fun Saturday in the fall when we work on the crafts together, eat some yummy food, and socialize.  This year our group decided to do something different, so we had a separate activity where we did a few demos of Halloween crafts, jewelry making, and making wreaths.  I was asked to make a wreath that night and also to create a display of crafts that the ladies might be interested in.  I made up some crafts this past week and took some crafts that I had already worked on in the past and used as gifts or decor.

Crafts shown are:
Decorated Wooden Letter
Simple Wooden Nativity
Temple Block
Christmas Wreath
Homemade Rice cool/heat bags
Fall Wreath
Decopaged Votive Holder
Star Wars Pillowcase
Colorful Tile Coasters

Let your FAITH be bigger than your fear - painting

A few weeks ago I helped teach a group of 8-11 year old girls at my church about how they can have their faith grow.  I made this painting the night before as a visual aid.  The girls loved it and a few said they wanted to take it home with them.  I'm thinking that I will make a smaller version for them for Christmas.  They are such great girls!
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