Sunday, January 31, 2016

A whole new (crafting) world!

It all started (as it often does) with a YouTube video wandering session...

The Beginning:

I have always had a passion for pretty nail art. The idea that you could have tiny pops of art/color/design literally at the tips of your fingers makes me smile inside. It is both subtle and dramatic at the same time and I love the juxtaposition of it.

My downfall is that I'm usually to lazy to do most of it myself and sometimes it can be a little costly to get all of the different types of supplies for a all of the different techniques that I am always wanting to test out so I will often just live vicariously through YouTube. I often pick a subject that's caught my interest that day and start to wander through videos to learn what other people are saying/doing about it and more often than not, it's art related for me. I had already wandered through acrylic painting ( I love Robin Moses) and nail art stamping (too many to list) and even liked water marbling so much I created my own tutorial (on this blog).

Enter: Nail Art Vinyls!


This time, while looking for something new, I found nail vinyls. My nail vinyl hero is Cristine from SimplyNailogical. This seemed easier than free hand painting, less costly and time consuming than stamping and far less messy than water marbling and still produced some really amazing results.

Crafty Brain:

Here's where I went a little overboard. I wouldn't be satisfied with ordering generic designs and waiting on shipping, I had to figure out how to do them on my own. I wanted custom designs, immediate gratification, and, of course, the sense of accomplishment that comes with finishing DIY projects (right...finishing a project...).

I started learning about how nail vinyls were made and learned about at home plotter/cutter machines that would use computer software to guide a small blade to cut the designs for you. I researched the different styles available in my budget and decided, after another YouTube wandering session to purchase a Silhouette Cameo.

Levels on Levels:

The Silhouette software has it's own learning curve but with the help of YouTube and some amazing facebook groups, I am getting the hang of it and have already created some cool designs. More recently, this pretty look I did for fall:




The more I learned about what this machine and the software could do, the more I learned that I had opened up a new level of crafting. Something that made projects like custom etched mirrors and one of a kind gifts totally doable. Heck, it even inspired me to jump back on here and write this up for you guys to tell you all how excited I am!

Going Forward:

Hopefully, I'll take the time to write up a few more of the fun projects I've been working on. 

Hopefully, I'll be moving into a new house soon where I plan to have a craft room with studio space so I can start doing more fun "show and tell" and sharing more of the tips and tricks I'm learning along the way. 

Hopefully, I'll have the time and resources to always keep learning and sharing with you guys. 

Hopefully, I'll always have awesome readers like you to keep giving me someone to share this info with.

Happy Crafting!

  

Friday, January 17, 2014

Can I get back into this?

Hello all!

Just a quick pop in to see how things have been going in blog-land. I've never really been very good at these things but I like to do them and that's something right?

My original aim in the creation of the CraftHow blog was to give me an outlet to share cool things I've learned about with you and even though I haven't added any real new content in over a year, I'm still getting the occasional visitor. I'm not being flooded but it's awesome to know that some of my work has been cool enough to pique your interest and get you to click through into my humble little site.

I've been through a lot in the last few months. And I'm still working through a lot of things including a move to the opposite coast from where I grew up. Once I get settled in here, I hope to jump back into the DIY frame of mind and bring you all up to speed with things I've been learning.

Hold me accountable! If you like what I do, ask for more of it! I love seeing new subscribers on my YouTube channel and seeing new hits on my blog page. I even have a twitter account. Yeah, me, on twitter. How weird is that! On a side note, can someone teach me how this Twitter thing works?

Keep crafting and share your ideas. Hope to re-join you all soon!

-Pam

Friday, August 2, 2013

It's been over a year!

O-My-Gosh everyone!

It has been over a year since I've posted to this blog but I promise you I've been thinking about you!

I can't believe how much activity my poor neglected page has had. Granted, I'm not topping any charts as far as viewership is concerned but I am impressed by the traffic I have gotten.

I have gone through a lot of changes in the last 2 years. I left a job I'd been at for almost 5 years in October of 2011 and spent 6 months working for a local company doing contract work for phone systems. That wasn't a great fit for me and I transitioned into my first ever commission sales job in July of 2012. One year later and I am happy to report that still happy and hard working in that position. Unfortunately, it hasn't left a lot of time for tutorials.

We were also hurled into another impromptu renovation when our washer and hot water heater decided to give out within the same week. This led to many-a-night after work spent pulling up the old flooring, scraping down to bare concrete, installing a new hot water heater (with lots of help from Bobby L Greene Plumbing who did an amazing job!) trimming tile, re-painting, and our first experience doing an epoxy floor. The before and after video is below.



The good news is that, now that all that is out of the way, I am almost done renovating my spare bedroom. I have my walls all painted, some furniture pieces re-finished and my wall to wall storage cabinets are on their way. The last thing left to do is to re-finish the floor to match the other two rooms we completed in our earlier re-modeling projects. This room is going to be my tutorial room/craft room/guest room/quiet place. I am super excited!

Sorry to be so lengthy but hopefully, it's the beginning of my return to the blogging/DIY scene. If there is anything that you guys want to see, give me a shout out and I'll try my hand at it!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

DIY Topsy Tail Styling Tool Tutorial

I've been growing my hair out for almost a year and it's starting to get long enough to actually try to style now.

One of the first things I wanted was a styling tool called a Topsy Tail or a Style Weaver. This is a simple tool that can help make a variety of hair styles. I looked at a few of the local stores that would carry something like that and I couldn't find one.

YouTube had a few videos showing how people used a metal hangar and tape to create theirs and I did try that. It worked alright but it was stiff and hard to use. My second attempt was made with some heavy gauge trimmer line and masking tape and it worked a little better than the original but I still had to deal with the sticky tape and my hair is too thin and fine for me to risk much of it breaking off.

My third attempt was with a much thinner gauge trimmer line and a piece of heat shrink tubing for a handle. This created a smooth handle and a flexible tool that worked perfectly for my hair. This method is a bit more expensive than the coat hanger method but I am MUCH more satisfied with the result and I still only used materials that I already had on hand.

I made a video showing the process in more detail (below) but it is pretty simple:

Materials:

  1. Scissors.
  2. Heat source (I used a candle but you can use a heat gun or something similar).
  3. Trimmer Line.
  4. Heat Shrink Tubing. 
Steps:
  1. Cut a piece of trimmer line approximately 12" long.
  2. Select a piece of heat shrink tubing large enough to fit both ends of the piece of trimmer line snugly. 
  3. Insert the two ends of the trimmer line into the heat shrink tubing making sure to stagger the ends slightly so that you have a finer point on the end of the tool for styling. 
  4. Gently heat the heat shrink tubing by passing it over the flame so that it shrinks down and holds both ends of the trimmer line. 
  5. Enjoy your finished piece!

Enjoy!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Yikes!

It's been a little stretch since my last post and sadly, this will just be a space filler to thank those of you who keep checking back.

My awesome husband got me this new camera after the one I was using before jumped off of my kitchen island...
(Photo from Amazon listing linked above)

I've got two or three tutorials filmed already and I'm working on editing them. I'm still getting used to the new software and file formats of these videos but I hope to have at least one of them up this week.

If you have any tips regarding my new camera or editing advice, please let me know. Also, if there is something you've been interested in learning I'll be happy to show you what I know about it and if it's something I haven't done before, we'll learn together!

Thanks so much for looking! Check back soon!


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Random Tips and Tricks # 2

The Amazing Lemon!

Photo from: www.adimagephotos.com
There are so many uses for lemons that I would like to share but for now we'll focus on one you might not have heard about: effortlessly cleaning your microwave.

Whenever I use lemon zest or lemon juice in a recipe, I always end up with a peel or a few small slices left over. I usually toss them in my sink to send them down the garbage disposal after I've done the dishes for that day but I try to squeeze one more use out of it first.

I use my lemon peel to clean the microwave. This method is so easy you can set it up during a commercial break, let it run, and then finish during the next commercial! How's that for a quick clean up?

All you need is a small microwave safe bowl, some water, your lemon, and a few paper towels or a clean rag.

  • Squeeze as much juice as you can out of the lemon into the microwave safe bowl.
  • Add the peel and 1/3rd to 1/2 a cup of plain water. 
  • Microwave on high for about 3 minutes. (the first time you do this, please watch to make sure it doesn't burn as microwaves all heat differently!)
  • Watch the next segment of your TV show or finish whatever awesome thing you're working on while the liquid bubbles and boils filling your microwave with lemony steam.
  • After a few minutes of resting, simply wipe out your microwave. The steam will have done all the hard work for you! 
  • Carefully dump the lemon/liquid in your sink to send down the disposal later. 
Three uses out of one humble lemon! I will share more as we go along but in the mean time, I would love you to comment with your favorite uses for this versatile fruit.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Cakes Past

When I first moved to Louisiana a few years ago, I wanted to do something that would allow me to get to know a few people and try to get some formal training for a craft that I knew very little about.

I decided to try my hand at cake decorating. I had been obsessed with the different cake decorating competition shows and I thought that it looked like a lot of fun. I took the first two Wilton courses and watched a number of tutorials online and I ended up making a few cakes that I was pretty pleased with.

A few of the cakes below were made a long as 6 years ago and my most recent was the Lady Bug cake that I made for a coworkers birthday.

Let me know what you think! Please let me know if you would like more information on any of the cakes below. I currently have my tutorial up for the Mommy's Belly baby shower cake below.