Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday Snaps #8 {Photography}


All images copyright © B.Erin Photography/Sugar and Snaps Blog 2011
Do not use for your personal use or claim photography as your own.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Paper Pumpkins

I said last week when I posted my tea stained pumpkin that I would be sharing more about the pumpkins I have been making. The paper pumpkins that I have been making is how I did my Tea Stained one and I will be sharing that tutorial.
Back in elementary school we made these pumpkins in art so when I saw Mom on Timeout's post floating around in different link parties and things I said "HEY! I remember making those and I can do that without spending money."
That has been my main goal while decorating for fall, money. We really don't have it to spend and I have been lucky enough to have scrap booking paper and things laying around that I don't use to often. So I gathered my items and off I went.

Paper Pumpkins

You can find Mom on Timeout's tutorial here. Mine are a little different but the same overall idea.

You need..
Scrapbook paper (I cut most of mine down so any size should work.)
Cardboard rolls (Toilet paper, paper towels, even gift wrap. I used the roll from redoing our cabinets)
Optional: If you want to tea stain you will need material for that.

For this pumpkin in the tutorial I used a toilet paper roll. Cut down a piece of scrap book paper to wrap around the roll and glue it on. I got a little ahead of myself and forgot to take photos for this.
The taller your roll the longer your pumpkin, the shorter the rounder. Also play with the paper lengths to get what you want.

Next cut your paper into strips. This pumpkin I used 21  1/4 inch strips, my others I used somewhere between 30 and 40  1/2 - 3/4 inch strips. 

Around the inside of your roll you want to glue the strips. Because I was using Tacky glue I made a line of glue and spread it out before adding my paper. This let the glue start to dry a little so the paper didn't move ad much. Also the weight didn't make them fall off.

Once finished let the paper dry for a minute or two. At this point I added another row of paper strips for a bit of a fuller pumpkin. I didn't on this one but all the others you see above I did. Just all them in between the other strips. After I was happy with everything I glued a ring of paper on the inside as kind of a safe extra. If you want a finished look you can also add a circle to the bottom so you can see though the roll.

Flip your project over and glue the other side of the paper to the inside of the roll. If you want the top to be rounded try not to push down on the paper to much. If you added another row of paper strips to the bottom, make sure you glue the top layer down first, then the second.

For the stem I rolled a piece of brown-ish scrap book paper and glue it inside the roll. While that glue was still wet I took green strips, that I curled around a pencil, and stuck the tips between the roll and stem. 
And that is pretty much it. 

These are fun to make and don't take very long. I watched TV while doing them so it maybe took me an hour per pumpkin since my ADHA kept kicking in.

- Brit

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Unpacking and Our Kitchen Cabinets {Part 1}

Last week I finally got around to trying to unpack our Kitchen. I hit a snag...

All 4 of these cabinets are basically useless, they are all connected and under the sink. I am not very happy about this since we don't have that much storage in our kitchen in the first place. That left me with 7 (2 of which are veryvery small and 1 that is pretty unusable on a everyday scale.) cabinets and 4 drawers. I have no pantry or even really a closet I can turn into one. So I am going to have to get creative while we are living in this house. We are renting so adding things really isn't an option no matter how awesome our landlord is about things, we wouldn't have the money too anyway.

First things first though I needed to clean the cabinets before I put anything in them since no one had lived here in almost a year. I ripped out all the gross non slip stuff they had in the cabinets when we moved in and scrubbed like I have never done in my life... well that is kinda a lie if you knew what our home in Japan was like. But that is a story for another time. Anyway, the stuff that was in there was sticky and grossly discolored. Way beyond saving.

I would have loved to put down contact paper but I couldn't find anything I liked so grip bottom easy line became my best friend. I had 3 best friends during this journey, to 2 you see above and my mom's Shark Steamer that we bought her for this past Mother's Day. She let me borrow it the week after we moved in when I told her the house really needed cleaned. She only used it twice so far anyway and those 2 times it was really me using it to help her clean.
Simple Green is really a gift from heaven. I use this stuff to clean EVERYTHING. It is amazing and if I ever had to go without it I would probably cry. We have had Simple Green in my house as long as I can remember. I used it to clean our cats litter box, then our hamsters cages, and even our rabbits cage and litter box when I was younger. It was used to clean just about everything. When I move to Japan with the hubby and we had our own place I used it to clean floors, cabinets, dog cage, and most of all our Ferrets cage. It smells amazing and takes animal odor down so well. I even use it in our pets laundry if I run out of Arm & Hammer Detergent and Oxi Clean. (Which I must note is on sale at Walgreens for buy one get one free this week! The Arm & Hammer that is,) I swear by those 2 to get the stinky pet smell out of bedding, blankets, and toys. But I digress...

After I removed the ekk and scrubbed down everything I took the steamer to it for one last punch. It took the smell of old out of the cabinets and made it smell like fresh wood! Oh I can't wait to buy my own soon! After everything dried I laid the liner... then hit a snag. I didn't have enough to finish the one main cabinet and the 2 smaller ones. So my kitchen looks like this..

For almost 4 days it looked like that. I still haven't gotten around to the store to pick up more but the narrow cabinet by the window was finished and I put most things away in there and the drawers. I made the decision that we are not going to unpack our old dishes since I bought that brown set at Ikea. We don't have the room and I have wanted new ones for awhile. We might even sell one of the old set, still deciding.

I have a temporary pantry too! My old armor that I used and planed on using for a linen closet has a new job for now. Happily it fits perfectly in the hallway and covers up a nasty patch job on the wall.

I can't wait to re-organize this soon too...

Until later!

- Brit

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Snaps #7 {Photography}


All images copyright © B.Erin Photography/Sugar and Snaps Blog 2011
Do not use for your personal use or claim photography as your own.

Every year the Pittsburgh Zoo has its annual KDKA ZooBoo. We are hoping to visit next weekend, just 1 of the last trips before the end of the year. We hope to go on the winter too, though not much will probably be active. On the website they have some fun facts...

  • Owls are often associated with Halloween because they were once thought to be witches.
  • It is common to believe a black cat crossing your path is unlucky, but in Belgium, it is also unlucky if the cat enters a home or ship.

I thought these 2 were interesting. the owl one I knew but the cat one I didn't. If you are in the area take a visit next week. What a nice trip it will be, I would love to see that cats with pumpkins!

More info here.

- Brit

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tea Staining and a Tea stained Pumpkin.

I have stained paper for years with many different things. From making my own color tints, coffee staining, tea, even berries. I have tried almost everything, but using coffee and tea are still my favorites.
There are many different ways to stain paper. Blotting with tea bags is one on the easiest. But for this project I wanted to soak my paper. I didn't want to use the only thing of coffee I had so I used some Lipton tea bags I had. So here is a quick tutorial on Tea Staining.

You Need...
Tea (any kind) or Coffee  {I used 3 Lipton tea bags}
Hot Water
What ever you are staining {This works on paper, card stock, even fabric.)

Because of the project I was doing I cut my paper into strips first. I typically prep my paper first depending on what I am doing. When you soak the paper it can make it weaker sometimes and can rip easily if you are cutting after stained.

Put your tea in a pan and fill with hot water. I didn't boil my water because I was planing on doing other things while I let the tea soak I also didn't want very dark staining. If you are trying to make the staining go faster make sure you use boiling water. The hotter the water, the faster and more tea comes out which make the staining darker.

Add your paper once you are happy with your tea. If you wanted to blot stain you would take the tea bags out of the water and simple squeeze a little while blotting the bags onto your paper. I opened my 3rd tea bag and poured the grains into the water. The lose tea will leave darker spots in some places (this method works better with coffee if you are wanting quick results.)

The Hubby came home earlier then expected so I had to speed up my staining a little. I fill a glass with water and pulled my tea bags, microwaved them to get some boiling water and pored it into my soaking paper. It left more tea seep and made things move a little faster. If you find yourself not very patient then try this to get all the color you can out of the bags.

I was happy with my stains after about 2 hours of soaking. I was planing on doing a light soak for most of the day, but the hubby changed the plans. Remove your paper from the water.
At this point you have 3 options for drying. You can place it out flat to dry, hang it, or as I did bake the paper in the oven.
Set your oven to 400°, place paper on a cookie sheet or baking pan and bake for about 5 minutes. For a darker color leave in and watch that no burning takes place.

The reason I baked my paper dry is because it browns the paper more, is a lot faster, and give a nice wrinkly effect that holds better then hanging and flat drying.

I flatten some of my pieces under a book for about an hour, some came out a little to wrinkled. After I brushed off all the lose tea I started my project.

I must say it is my favorite!

My little tea stained paper pumpkin. 

I have been crafting every free hour for the past couple days. Made 3 different types of pumpkins and only spent $5 on one type. I will share more on those later. ;)

How about a close up.

I cut the paper so I would have a nice pattern around the stem of my pumpkin. I am so happy with him. I have about 4 other of these pumpkins made, and I am so happy I thought about doing this. I will be staining some more paper tomorrow. :D

What do you think?

- Brit

I linked up at..

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday Snaps #6 {Photography}

Sea + Sun = Smiles

All images copyright © B.Erin Photography/Sugar and Snaps Blog 2011
Do not use for your personal use or claim photography as your own.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Say hello..

to my ugly couch.

I know but hey it works for now.

This guy was passed to my parents a few years back for the basement. Now its mine, its better then none.
But I think I have a fix.

Yea! That is better. At least its a temporary fix. The nice none messed up cover lasted for a whole 20 mins before the dogs found out their was a couch again.

One thing I hate are slip covers that don't fix, and this lady doesn't fit real well. She is a little big...

I know its been quite. Just been busy with the move and then starting a new job. Hadn't had much time. But in the little time I have had I made a few new pieces of jewelry! Also you can see a little peek of my favorite lamp on that side table. Its shade is getting a make over. I have 2 days off after tomorrow and I plan on digging though boxes and trying to decorate at least for fall. Don't have very much for Halloween. The front porch might get a little if I get time, since there is a school less then a block from us I expect a lot of kids to live around here. That means a lot of trick-or-treaters. If my hubby will pass out candy that is, I have to work. ):

Anyway, I didn't get to put up Sunday Snaps the past two week. Next week I will get back on track.