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_

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Pumpkin Carving 2014

 Pumpkin Carving 2014 has come and gone and I could not be more proud of how the pumpkins turned out this year.  In true Jen-fashion, I called an audible at the last minute and ditched my football pumpkin idea for a second iconic symbol.  I love Ghostbusters.  The movie is a classic!  Even more classic are Slimer and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.  I found two templates from Zombie Pumpkins and set right to work.

Thankfully, we started earlier this year, so I was able to squeeze both pumpkins into one night.  Yay!

 I can't wait to add these to the gallery.

Need help with your pumpkin carving skills?  Check out my tutorials here.
Or maybe you just need some ideas?  My Pinterest Pumpkin Carving Board is loaded with them.  Check it out!

Happy Pumpkin Carving!

Monday, October 13, 2014

It's That Time of Year Again...

The weather is getting cooler.  Pumpkin spice everything is in stores.  In some parts of the world, leaves are changing colors.  It all only means one thing to this girl.

Pumpkin Carving is coming.

My days are being taken up by scouring the internet for my pumpkin carving inspiration.  Do I want to go scary?  Pop culture reference?  Make my own template?  The possibilities are endless!

I've decided this year that I will be carving two pumpkins.  One to show my team spirit.  One is a classic movie monster (at least for my generation).  Two weeks before carving day I've made my decision - that may be a record. You'll just have to come back to see the finished results!  You can also follow The Creative Cubby on Facebook or Instagram (jen_evans_) for a sneak peek.

In honor of my love of pumpkin carving, I've gathered photos of all my previous carvings and put them in a gallery.  You'll notice not only the improvement in my technique but also my picture taking skills - ha!  You can see the gallery here or at anytime under Features.

Don't forget - if you need some inspiration or need to brush up on your skills, my Pumpkin Carving Tutorials are always here for your reference!

Happy Carving!

Monday, July 14, 2014

{In The Shop} - Hocus Pocus Halloween Cross Stitch Pattern

If you love the movie Hocus Pocus as much as I do {doubt it!}, then you recognize the line:

It's just a bunch of Hocus Pocus.

First said by an overconfident teenage boy, it is delivered by Bette Midler in the most mocking, condescending fashion ever to grace the big screen. Truly outstanding!  So I thought to myself, "Self, why wouldn't you want to have this in your house for the Halloween season?"  Thus, this pattern was born.

 At only $5.00 for the pattern, it's a steal.  Also - it's not a huge investment for a beginner.  This is an easy counted cross stitch pattern so if you're just starting out, don't be afraid!  You'll master it in no time!
The finish project measures 8" x 10", making it the perfect pattern to turn into a pillow or simply frame.  I haven't decided what mine is going to grow up to be yet, but I love that I have options.  Plus, nothing beats a little Hocus Pocus at Halloween time.

 Get it today!

Halloween Hocus Pocus Cauldron Cross Stitch Pattern .PDF

Check out my other Halloween cross stitch pattern, the Double Double Toil and Trouble Witch here.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Adult Golf Party

For years, I've known that I wanted to throw a golf themed party for my husband's 30th birthday and for years, I struggled to find decorations or ideas that were fitting for someone turning 30.  Not 3... not 60.  30.  A little shopping at Party City, Walmart and Home Depot and I was able to come up with an age appropriate and still very festive birthday party for my old man.  Check it out!

Guests were greeted at the door with a 1st Hole flag pin {wooden dowel from Home Depot with a paper flag and Cricut cut number attached} and an astroturf rug.  You have set the mood, right?!
 Thank goodness the hubs made this cute chalkboard for me so I can do festive drawings!
 My husband has golfed his entire life - it is a huge part of our lives and I wanted to showcase that.  I collected pictures from his mom of his golf adventures through the years and then added in a few more of my own.  Guests loved looking at old pictures of him!
 Of course, our front entry "tree" had to be decorated.  Duh!
 I printed off golf movie quotes and posted them around the house.  Everyone felt challenged to name the movies!  Here is the list of quotes I posted:
"Dead heat after one hole.  This is turning into quite the rivalry." - Swingers
"I never slice." - Caddyshack
"See it. Feel it. Trust it." - Seven Days in Utopia
"Doing the bull dance.  Feelin' the flow.  Workin' it. Workin' it." - Happy Gilmore
"A tuning fork goes off in your heart and your balls." - Tin Cup
and just for fun.... "Shoot Straight!" hung over the toilet in the Guest Bathroom.  I actually yell this to my husband every time he's walking out the door to go play golf with his friends, but I thought it was funny to put over the toilet.  :)
Decorations galore!  Streamers! Balloons!  It's not a birthday party without them!  Party City also had White Honeycomb Tissue Balls that look like golf balls when expanded and hung.
 We put astroturf on flat surfaces all over the house, including the mantle.
 I'm not much for baking.  I don't have the patience for it.  So much to my surprise, these golf cupcakes turned out really well!  Thank goodness for Betty Crocker Icing Sprays - they come in a can a la Cheez Whiz with piping tips so you don't have to battle with a bag.  They are a little pricey at $5 a can but my piece of mind was worth it!
 For those who don't know... the 19th Hole... is the bar.

 And of course there was food!!!
The Menu:
The Green - Salad {used: premade salad}
Putter Poppers - Jalepeno Poppers {get the AMAZING recipe here!}
Chip Shot - Chips and Dip
A La Carte - Veggie Tray
Birdies - Chicken Wings {used: Tyson Anytizers, hot wings and Honey BBQ wings}
 We got all our plates, napkins, streamers, balloons, green table clothes, utensils, cups, etc from Party City - all for under $50!

I bought golf tees and plastic practice golf balls from Walmart.  Find them in the sporting goods section!

I got an 8' x 6' roll of astroturf at Home Depot for only $20!

The golf pin flags and food flags were made using a Cricut.  The golf flags were glued to skewers.  The food flags were taped to upside down golf tees.

For entertainment, we had a beautiful putting green set up in the front room for people to practice their swings.  You can find the exact one here...
I also bought an unputtable ball for kicks and it drove my husband crazy!  You can get it here:
Thanks for checking out my party!

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