Saturday, December 27, 2014

Holidays Interrupted :: My Night with the Vinyl Application from Hell

Ah, bless the holidays!  Everyone's bustling around planning for celebrations, going to parties, wrapping gifts.  It's the best time of the year.  To add to the excitement this year, my best friend was nine months pregnant and looking like she was going to pop at any moment.  Much to our surprise, she actually did!  Four weeks early!  She delivered a beautiful, healthy baby girl and joy was shared by all.

In my friend awesomeness, I offered to take care of their household affairs while my best friend and her husband were in the hospital with their bundle of joy.  Just the usual - feed the cat, baby-ready the home, pick up a little.  While I was straightening up, I found a tube lying by the front door from Surface Inspired.

Back Story: My best friend was sweet enough to let her husband plan the nursery.  He was all about this vinyl tree to put on the wall.  He found it online (on Etsy, I believe) and it was the centerpiece of his design.  He picked out all the colors and was really excited about it - super cute.

So, seeing this tube sitting on the floor made me a little sad.  Being four weeks early, naturally, the nursery wasn't exactly ready for Baby's arrival.  I figured I'd offer my vinyl application services as a surprise to my two closest friends and took on the task of putting up the precious tree.  This decision was made around 8:00PM.  Plenty of time to get it done before bed!

Then I opened the tube...

Why were there so many sheets?  That doesn't look like a tree.  What's with the sheet full of flowers of the same color?

I've never done a vinyl decal of this magnitude.  The finished product was to look like this.
Now, I thought those lovely flowers and butterflies would be mapped out on a single sheet.  You know, peel back the paper, put it up, *swipe, swipe* with the application tool - bing, bang, boom!  Done.


Each flower and butterfly had to be CUT OUT of a sheet and applied INDIVIDUALLY on the wall.  Whaaaaaaat?  Not at all what I expected.  But the product was out of the box.  I had committed.

Putting up the tree trunk wasn't so bad.  Being about 8 feet tall, the trunk and branches came in multiple pieces, thankfully and thoughtfully numbered.  The company also included an amazing tutorial on how to hang longer pieces using a tape hinge technique.  GENIUS!
That's where the genius of the design ended for me.

I still had a bagrillion flowers and butterflies to get on the wall in some arty-fartsy manner.  At this point, I had put up the tree and cut out the flowers and butterflies from the sheets - an hour or so into the project.

I hung the inspiration photo on the wall and got creative.  By "creative", I mean, copied it exactly.  I got this much on the wall... and I needed a break.
Here were the elements at play:
It was late on a Sunday.
The tree was about 2+ feet taller than me.
So. Many. Small. Pieces.
Holy Arm Workout.
See that crib?  Unmovable.
Oh, did I mention the textured walls?

Dear Baby,
This is why Aunt Jenni drinks.
In fact, I took this picture just so Baby could fully appreciate my pain.  Thank God for wine.  

After four hours of placing flowers and butterflies on the wall, straining over a huge crib, drinking a bottle of wine and destroying my hand with an application tool, I finally finished.
 Not too shabby, if I must say so myself.

Now, to be clear, the product from Surface Inspired was amazing!  The vinyl was so easy to apply and has held up beautifully on the textured walls.  Highly recommended!  Check out their shop on Etsy here.

I just don't think I'll be putting up any more vinyl designs anytime soon.  :)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Perler Bead Snowflakes

Every time I pass perler beads in the craft store, I want to buy them.  They bring back memories of the little plastic beads frustratingly sticking to my little fingers and my mom reminding me every five minutes not to touch the hot iron.  Ah - those were the days!

So, when the mere thought of making perler bead snowflakes crossed my mind, I immediately added them to my list of "must-do's" for this White Christmas.  

I used a few patterns from this website to create my snowflakes, but a simple Google image search for "perler bead snowflake patterns" will yield more results than you'll know what to do with.

I used ornament hooks to adorn various parts of my decor, including my Lighted Garland Tree and my front door wreaths.  They are so simple and inexpensive to make... and perfect.
Remember to follow the instructions on the pattern and for goodness sake, don't touch the iron!  It's hot!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Lighted Garland Christmas Tree for Small Spaces

 I wouldn't say I have a small apartment, but it's not the most spacious of places.  Especially when you consider the hoard of craft supplies I have shoved into every corner and cubby {ha, see what I did there?}.  When the time came to start considering a Christmas tree, I panicked a little bit.  I legitimately do not have the floor space to squeeze in a tree... anywhere.  Well, maybe smack dab in the middle of my living room, but that simply won't do.

While lamenting about my dilemma with my bestie {yes, I just used that word}, she made the most amazing suggestion ever.  Why not hang tree garland on the wall?

Even better, I have an awkward corner in my living room that would be perfect to make it 3D-ish!!

Over the past few years, I had acquired quite a few feet yards miles of lighted tree garland.  This was certainly a very useful and plausible idea.  However, I need to figure out the geometry and that was a bit of a challenge.  How do I hang it continuously and keep the tree shape?

Lucky for you, I've done all the hard thinking for you!

First, I drew out my diagram, figuring out the exact measurements so the garland didn't take over my entire living room.  Also... making sure I understood how to hang the hooks so they were in a helpful/useful position.
Command Hooks = Your Best Friend.  Seriously, one of the best inventions of the past 50 years.

Once I had my tree mapped out, it was time to start putting hooks on the walls.  This took a lot of sticking.... unsticking... adding some for extra support.  There's no perfect pattern.  Start with your general layout and then use common sense to figure out where you may need a little more strength.
 Then came time to hang the garland.  Unfortunately, I should have filmed this because it would be easier to demonstrate, but alas, I didn't.  So you get a funky diagram instead.

To make a continuous strand, start with green arrows at the top, in the middle, pointing down.

  1. Run your strand South, then West!
  2. Turn your garland and head Northeast.
  3. At the peak, turn your garland and then head Southeast.
  4. Sharp left to the West and you should have a triangle.  

At every juncture, give your garland a good bend.  Most garlands have a wire running through it for structure, so you'll need to boss it around a little to get the right shape.

Repeat the steps above.  Your tree will start to grow and spread out.

After all the garland was hung, I fluffed the branches and did some twisting to get a pointy tree shape.  Then it was time to decorate!

Not a bad solution, if you ask me.  Give it a shot and let me know how it goes!

Monday, December 1, 2014

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

This year, I'm decking the halls with white and more white.  I'm not sure if you've heard, but we don't get much snow here in Arizona - so I'm filling my home with flurries!  Now, I won't be turning my apartment into a scene from Elf but I will certainly be using some classic crafting supplies to bring the spirit.

Stay tuned for crafty fun!  Don't forget to follow me on Facebook or on Instagram at jen_evans_

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