Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Quick Last-Minute Decor for Fall/Thanksgiving

I know it’s a little late for a new Thanksgiving/Fall project, but this one was so quick and so cute, I just had to share.  I’ll admit that I did not come up with this project on my own.  I was scrolling through Instagram one day and Hobby Lobby had posted an ad with these cute papier-mâché pumpkins and I just had to give it a try!

I found the paper I wanted and two sizes of papier-mâché pumpkins at Hobby Lobby, but for balance, I wanted a size in-between as well. 

That’s when I decided it didn’t really have to be a papier-mâché pumpkin; this technique would work on plastic or other materials as well.  So I found a couple of Styrofoam pumpkins at Dollar Tree in the perfect size.  I also like that all three sizes are slightly different shapes, so it gives it a bit of interest.

The first step in creating these beauties is to cut your paper into long strips.  I started with 1 inch, but quickly found that was a little too wide for the medium pumpkin, so as I worked on it, I cut some of the strips in half.  

On the second pumpkin, I went to ¾” strips.  The 1” strips worked just fine for the large pumpkin. 

Why does it make a difference? The pumpkin curves—not only up and down, but side to side – and the paper is flat.  If the paper is too wide it will pucker and wrinkle as you lay it down.  The thinner the strips, the less it has to curve, and therefore, the less it will wrinkle.

The length of the strips will vary depending on the size of the pumpkin.  I found that my medium pumpkin was about 8” from the stem down to the middle of the underside, including a bit of overlap.  I cut all my pieces into 8” strips and was left with an equal number of 4” strips.  The easiest way to decide what length you need is to take one of your strips and hold it next to the stem while you wrap it down the side and across the bottom.  Let it cross over the center and then fold it back the direction it came.  That’s where you’ll cut it.  They don’t have to be exact, either, because they are all going to overlap each other on the bottom.  So as long as it covers the bottom center of the pumpkin, you should be good.

Unfortunately, the 12" strips weren't long enough to go all the way to the middle of the large pumpkin.  So when I finished wrapping all the strips around the pumpkin, I covered the spot with a scalloped circle punched from the same paper.

I used Mod-Podge because it’s my go-to collage medium, but you can probably use other glues.  I painted a wide strip of glue onto the pumpkin and also on the back of the strip, that way you know you have good coverage. Start at the stem and wrap the strip down the pumpkin to end at the middle of the bottom.  I worked on the “valleys” first, because it’s easier to cover the curved parts if you don’t have to worry about getting down into the creases.

After I did all the valleys, I made my way around the pumpkin again, this time overlapping the paper where it came out of the valley.  If the wide curved part is too wide for your strip of paper, just cover one side of it.  The main point is to overlap the valley strips.  You might have to go around the pumpkin a third, fourth or even fifth time, depending on how wide those curved parts are, and how big the pumpkin is.

Once I covered the body of the pumpkin, I let it dry overnight and then covered the stem with hemp.  I covered the entire stem with redline tape and then started winding the hemp around.  Start at the top of the stem and stick the twine down to the middle.  Wrap it tightly around the stem, leaving no gaps.  When you get to the bottom of the stem, find a good spot to cut it and tack it down so that it’s tucked up close to the base of the stem.

I also gave my pumpkins a spray of polyurethane to finish them off and protect the glue from getting sticky in humid weather.  You can add to the pumpkins by attaching silk or paper leaves, or even bling.

And here is another view of the finished project.

I hope you enjoyed my fun little project – I sure had fun making it!

Until next time, go do something crafty!


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Think Pink Crop for a Cure Post-Crop

Hey there Crafty Neighbors!  I think I'm finally recovered from our Think Pink crop this weekend.  We had such a great time and we raised a lot of money to help in the fight against breast cancer.  You can see more pictures from the event on our Facebook page.  Now we're busy getting ready to head down to Houston for the Creating Keepsakes Convention there.  I'm really looking forward to networking with a new bunch of crafters from that area and making some cute projects at the crops.  It's going to be so much fun -- if the hurricane doesn't drown us! Looks like Harvey is set to make landfall in Corpus Christi, but we'll still be getting lots of rain in The Woodlands.  So say a little prayer that we stay high and dry!

One of the reasons we are heading to Houston is to promote our Crafty Neighbor cruises.  Sadly, we've had to cancel the September cruise for lack of interest, but we are still working on our February Brush Strokes in the Bahamas painting cruise (think "paint and wine parties"!) and our May Scrapbooking cruise to Jamaica and Grand Cayman.  Both of these are 7-night cruises and they are going to be so much fun!  We'd love to have you join us!  Just send us an email.

So now that I've gotten all that out of the way, how about some cut projects?  I have two for you today, to make up for my absenteeism of the last few months (did I mention I had a few surgeries?).

This first one is a card we made in our 3rd Wednesday Stamp Club meeting.  Denise is our Stampin' Up! demonstrator and she always has the cutest projects!  This one uses the new In Colors and the Eastern Beauty stamp set.  I just love the Lemon-Lime Twist, and I'm so happy they finally have my favorite color!

This second project is a page I did in my Bible after watching the video from Tracey Pounds of The Little Blue House.  You can watch the video here.  After she made the video, Tracey hosted a napkin swap, and this was one of the napkin I received.  In case you wonder about the verse or the prayer on the left page, my sister has been very ill since late June after she had open-heart surgery to repair her mitral heart valve, which was damaged by Rheumatic Fever when she was a child.  

That's it for today.  I'm working on some fun videos to show you very soon!  Until then, keep crafting!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Think Pink Crop for a Cure!

If you’ve been reading this blog, you probably know that my name is Cindy Murray, and most people know me as the owner and organizer of Crafty Neighbor, a Texas-based scrap and craft events company.  We are best known for our craft cruises, retreats, scrapbook garage sales, and, of course, our annual “Think Pink Crop for the Cure.”  What most people don’t know about me is that I am now a 1-year breast cancer survivor, and I would like to share my story with you.
In 2008, my company hosted our first ever fundraiser crop to help Pam Wilemon, a local scrapbook instructor who had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer.  Pam had lost her job, had no insurance, and had a lot of medical bills to pay.  So we hosted “Pam’s Pals Crop” to help her out.  The response was tremendous, so we did it again in 2009 while she was still undergoing treatment.  Eventually, Pam got better, so we decided to focus our giving to the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure in which Pam and several of our Crafty Neighbor instructors and organizers were walking.  We hosted a 3-Day walk team every year, sometimes walking, sometimes volunteering for the 3-Day Crew, but always involved in some way.  We have continued this tradition year after year because we feel the cause is so very important and our message of hope needs to be shared with all women. 
Then, last year, it happened to me – I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
The American Cancer Society estimates that about 1 in every 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer of some type.  About 1 in 35 women will die from it – that's one every 69 seconds. 
Friends and family have commented on how ironic it is that I had breast cancer after I’ve been such a staunch supporter of this cause, but I look at those statistics and I know that it was bound to happen to me or to someone I love.  This disease is pervasive, and it’s not going to go away until we MAKE it go away.  We must fund the research to find better treatment that doesn’t involve disfiguring our bodies, and hopefully some day we will be able to prevent it entirely.  We must continue to encourage women to get annual mammograms, and we must insist that insurance companies pay for screening.
This is where you come in.  I can’t do this alone.
On August 19, 2017, Crafty Neighbor will be hosting our annual Think Pink Crop for the Cure at the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas Council, JoAnn Fogg Service Center, at 6001 Summerside Drive, Dallas, Texas 75252. All proceeds from this event will be donated to the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization.
We would love to have you join us!  Registration will remain open through Monday, August 14.  You can sign up online at CraftyNeighbor.com.  The event costs $50, but includes lunch, dinner, and lots of prizes and surprises throughout the day. 
If you’d like more information about the 3-Day or simply want to make a cash donation, please visit our team page at:  http://www.the3day.org/goto/walkerstexasrangers

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Grapevine Stamp Convention - July 2017

I spent part of the afternoon at the Grapevine Stamp Show (aka Heirloom Pro Stamp Show).  I was very disappointed at how few vendors they had.  I am wondering if the market is just over-saturated with conventions, or maybe they just charge too much for their booths for such a small show.  I know that Shelley and I considered getting a booth to do make-n-takes and promote our craft cruises, but the rates were WAY too high for a booth that would have no monetary returns.  

Whatever the cause, this convention is definitely in decline, so I hope it is not a sign of the times for the rest of this industry.  We are looking forward to seeing how healthy the CKC Houston show is next month!  I hear that it is going to be bigger than last year!

Until then, go do something crafty!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Bible Journal Like a Pro

Yep, I'm still playing with videos.  This time I actually have a project to share!  Sunday I was doing some journalling in my Bible, and I thought, "Hey, my blog readers might like to know how I did that!"  So here it is:

I think for my next video, I might demonstrate the techniques I was talking about.  I'm just having too much fun!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Goodies in the Mail!

Okay, I'm having too much fun making videos!  I had to do another one!  While I was away at Scrapbook Expo, I got some goodies in the mail.  Here is the Illustrated Faith "A Heart that Receives" devotional kit I ordered last week.  I can't wait to play with it!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Fun Finds at Scrapbook Expo

Hi there!  I know it's been a while since I posted, but I just got back from Scrapbook Expo and I couldn't wait to share some of the fun stuff I found there!  So rather than spend a lot of time taking pictures and typing up paragraphs of descriptions, I thought I'd make a quick video!

Please bear with me.  This is the first video blog I've ever done, and it has a few issues! But if you don't mind my hemming and hawing, or the camera falling over, then please enjoy!