3.28.2009

Winners, earth hours, preview, oh my!



Happy Weekend everyone! The winners in the U Create/ Brassy Apple e-book giveaway have been posted! Skip on over to see if you are a lucky winner!

On another note, did you know that today is Earth Hours day? Join millions across the globe as everyone "powers down" for 1 hour. Between 8:30pm - 9:30 pm turn off all your non essential lights and appliances. They have some beautiful photos posted from last year and a few from this year in parts of the world where the Earth hour has already come and gone. A great teaching opp. for you and your kiddos - and it could be really fun to "camp" out in the house tonight for 1 hour. Hmmmm......maybe we will break out the marshmellows and roast them over candlelight. *snicker*

Also, is it getting "Haute" in here??? I will post more about my new pattern on Monday! If you are a retailer and interested in more information on how to order, please visit here.

Oh and if you didn't win in the giveaway this go 'round, in about a week I will be having another one giveaway - HERE on my blog. It's Perfect for Mother's day and worth $50.00!!! Don't miss out! shhhhh!!!


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3.21.2009

"U Create" a project giveaway!

Happy Monday Morning! It is Spring Break time here and we are hoping for a week of great weather! If you stopped by my blog this weekend then you saw the sneak peek post about a giveaway coming up TODAY! You may have noticed that I am now "tweeting" on twitter! I'd love to tweet with you!

Kari from U Create has teamed up with me for a "creative" giveaway this week! (just love her blog!!!) 4 lucky winners will receive a Brassy Apple ebook! Simply visit Kari's giveaway post on U Create HERE and follow the instructions! It's easy peasy.


U Create


Make it a great day!

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I'm Tweeting!!!


Ok I'm slow to jump on the tweeting bandwagon..........but I'm riding it now! I'm still new and navigating myself around but I'd love to tweet with you! Help me find you :)

Plus I have a twitter widget on my right sidebar that will give my most recent updates. So in between blogging you can see what I'm up to!

Can't wait to tweet with you!!

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3.20.2009

want to know a secret?.......

Hello my "Brassy" weekend blog readers! I'm am so thrilled that Spring has arrived! There is nothing like Spring sunlight, warm wind and things starting to green up to put me in a good mood!

If you are surfing around this weekend and happened to stop by - welcome and hello! I'll let you in a secret since you are here :)

(typed in my best whisper voice)...........On monday I will be announcing a giveaway!

So if your interest has been peaked - see you back here then! Ta ta for now..........back to work for me! xo ~Meg

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3.19.2009

Are you a little "brassy"?


Introducing my Miss Brassy" Applique Pattern ebook!

Just added to my website and ready to come flying into your inbox and be created into something GREAT!

These are my FAVORITE designs that I have sketched up - mainly for women - but the ebook gives you some examples and photos of how to use them in little girls fashion and for your home too! I know there are lots of "brassy" women out there! Add some punch and character with these applique patterns!

Don't forget to upload and share what you create using these patterns in the Brassy Apple Flickr Group!

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3.18.2009

Calling all "mod podgers..."

Hey this contest is for you! If you are familiar at all with my blog then you know I've done a fair amount of "decoupageing" with Mod Podge. Well.................now you could put those good skills to work and love of all this mod podged and win!




Plaid is holding a Spring Craft Contest! They want to see your Spring inspired projects using Mod Podge. So break out a bottle and craft up something fun! Let me know what you create and if you enter!!! Have fun and good luck!

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3.17.2009

DIY Fridge magnets and pushpins

(Be sure to upload your photos from trying this project into the Brassy Apple Projects Flickr group!)

I love taking fabric and using it on other fun crafting projects besides just sewing or what you would typically expect. I have several projects I have done over the last couple of months and thought I would share them with you! So if you - or your kids - are itching for a little DIY project, here's a great one for the whole family!



Fridge magnets and pushpins



step 1: gathering the supplies - you will need largecrafting "bubbles" with one side that is flat. You can use any size you like. Magnets - make sure your magnets are large enough to support the size of your bubbles. If they are too small the finished magnet will slowly slide down your refrigerator when you try to use it to actually hold any papers. Small pushpins with a flat head if possible. Craft glue - I prefer E600 - it's great for many projects, is clear and dries fast too. And then of course your fabrics or patterned scrapbooking type papers if you don't have fabrics on hand. Scissors, and something to trace with - I like using a fabric marker. Fusible interfacing or fusible fleece - optional.

Step 2: Layout your fabrics and place your bubbles
over top moving it around until you find a pattern that you like. Cut around the pattern in a small square and continue with as many fabrics and patterns for the magnets that you want to make. Optional step: Fuse interfacing or fleece to the back of your precut squares on the wrong side of the fabric. This will give the back of your magnets a finished look and keep the fabric from fraying when you cut it and use your magnets.



Step 3: Trace around your bubble and cut out your circle. Repeat with all your cut squares.















Step 4: Using a toothpick, squeeze out some glue and use the toothpick to apply it to the right side of your fabric. Place a nice medium sized glop in the center of the circle. Take your bubble and place it on top of the glue and press firmly and evenly down. The glue will race for the outside edges - be sure to push out any or as many glue bubbles as you can. Set aside to dry and repeat until finished.




Step 5: Using craft or hot glue adhere
your magnets to the back and place them right side up to dry. Remember to use a large enough magnet for the size of your craft bubble.







Step 6: Once dry they can dot your fridge, metal file cabinet, etc. Another great idea is to place them in a small container like an altoids tin, wrap it up with some ribbon and you have a great personalized gift to give away! Enjoy!







Push pins




To make push pins for your bulletin board simple
use the smaller size craft bubbles and follow steps 1 - 4 as outlined above. Then, instead of gluing a magnet to the back glue a flat headed push pin. Set pin side up to dry.



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3.15.2009

DIY - Coloring pages

I have recently seen a few spotlights on sites that create custom coloring pages and even a tutorial on how to do your own in photoshop on the Craft Magazine blog. I don't have photoshop but I still wanted to be able to create some fun coloring pages using pictures of my kids and other shots we have captured so I started tinkering around in irfranview which is a program I use to quickly resize pictures, fix the color, etc. I use it all the time and it was is free to download too. I discovered it was very quick and easy to create my own coloring pages using this program and I wanted to share a short HOW-TO tutorial with you.

Custom coloring pages

Step 1: open up your photo in irfanview and resize the photo if necessary. Click on the "image" botton at the top and then click on the "convert to greyscale" button. This makes your photo black and white.

Step 2: Click the image button again and put your mouse on the word "effects". This will bring up a pop up box off to the side. You will then want to click on "edge detection."
Step 3: Back to the image button - (we are quite familiar with this one now - LOL) and click on the word "negative" to apply that effect to your picture.
Step 4: You now have a custom personalized coloring page! It can easily be copied (ctrl button + the "c" button) and pasted into word. There you can resize it if necessary and print! If you would like your coloring lines to be darker please follow the next steps.
Step 5: To darken the coloring outlines Ist click on the image button and click on "enhance colors" This will bring up a box. You can darken your lines but dragging the tab in the gamma correction section to the left. (pictured as 2nd) This will darken your lines but may also add some shadow or graying to your coloring page. To lighten this shadowy color drag the tab in the contrast section to the right until you achieve the look you want. (pictured as 3rd) click the OK button to apply these changes to your page Step 6: You now have darker coloring lines and can copy, paste and print your coloring page! (see the coloring page in step 4 to contrast the look of the lighter lines and darker lines) Now break out those crayons and get to coloring!




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3.13.2009

DIY - custom fabric party crowns

(Be sure to upload your photos from trying this project into the Brassy Apple Projects Flickr group!)

1. Start by gathering your "royal" supplies:
fabric of choice
buttons
bias tape
rick rack
lace
extra fabric scraps
rhinestones
and other fun embelishments
You will need: fusible fleece or heavy fusible interfacing


2. Create a pattern for your crown shape using a piece of paper. If you like winging it just skip this step.


3. Fuse your fleece or interfacing to the wrong side of your fabric per the manufacturers instructions. You may want to use 2 layers for a more stiff effect/feel. Play around with what works best for you.



4. Place your crown pattern on top of the fuse area, trace and cut.


5. Now the fun begins! Embellishing! Get your children involved! they'll love it! I added complimentary double folded bias tape to the bottom edge. Just place, pin and sew. Cut out other fun fabric shapes to put on your crown too. Using craft glue, hot glue, thread, heat n' bond, etc attach your embelishments. The skies the limit so go for it!





5. Measure the crown around your childs head to find a good fit. Pin and sew your crown closed. I folded under my edge for a nice clean finished look.




6. Hold an royal coronation ceremony and crown your newest King and Queen!







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3.11.2009

The Magic of the Mary Poppins Bag

Who Doesn't love the "Practically Perfect in Everyway" Nanny with her fair complexion, beautiful voice and magical touch or spin on the everyday task or chores? With Spring Break and Summer Road trips looming on the horizon, this is a "practically perfect" idea.


The Mary Poppins Bag is a fun way to help your kids when you travel. It helps make the trip magical and fun with surprises all along the way! We rode in my Sisters car and this was an idea she had just learned about and was eager to try. I am anxious to put my own Magical Bag together and give it a whirl with my kids too!


Her Mary Poppins Bag was complied for my neice age 2 and my little guy age 3. But before you start to collect your fun items for your bag you need to create your "travel time line".


1. Your Travel Time line will hang between the windows of your back seat and be a visual ROAD MAP from your beginning point to your final destination. Find a piece of string, yarn, ribbon, etc. She used Bias Tape and it
worked great!!!! Measure the width of your car - giving yourself a some extra slack room on each side and cut. Round up some clothespins, papers, markers, tape or glue. Pick out cities, monuments, large landmarks, etc along the route of your trip - evenly spaced away from each other if you can. Cut small pieces of paper or cardstock out and write these places on them. Tape or glue the paper to the clothespin. The amount of places you pick along the way depends on the length of your trip and the age of your children. Smaller children may need more while older ones may be able to wait longer inbetween. When you are ready to go you will roll down the windows a bit and slip in your string/ribbon on each side, pulling it tight so it will be straight and out of the way off passengers.


2. The fun begins! Prepping your Mary Poppins Bag!!!! You will need to find a large "carpet" bag. Not really, but a good large bag is Key. It would be nice if this bag was specifically reserved for this purpose as well. This bag needs to be filled with fun snacks, toys, games, books and other items that your kids will get to discover along their trip! As you reach each clothespin destination something else gets brought out of the Mary Poppins bag! The more excited you are about it the more your kids will be too! Make sure you are the one pulling the items out of the bag. We don't want to ruin the surprise of the next item for the kids. **PLUS, you also take down that clothespin and your children can "SEE" how far you have already gone on your travel timeline.**

She stocked her bag with a few key items. The first one was she took 2 pillowcases and a plastic serving tray and hot glued the tray to the pillowcase. When we hit our first destination the trays emerged from the bag and she stuff a pillow into the pillow case. Now the kids had a lap tray for other fun activities through the rest of the trip. We also gave them from fruit snacks on their trays as this time and engaged them in a color sorting game and counting too. They loved it! The next clothespin destination they received a coloring page and some crayons. The trays worked great for this because the raised edge kept the crayons from rolling off the end and getting lost in the car.



Here's a few more ideas for your Mary Poppins Bag:



Snacks - crackers, cheese sticks, etc

treats - sweet ones like candy, suckers, etc

juice boxes

books

coloring book - with tear away pages b/c they don't really need the whole book to themselves

crayons

book on tape/CD

file folder games

small toys like dolls, cars, action figures

dry erase board - you can easily create a dry erase surface with some contact paper and cardstock

some sing-a-long CD's - get the family involved in singing, actions to the words, etc

movie

puzzles

crosswords/word search

handheld electronic game

binoculars - my kids love playing with these

travel bingo game

etc

etc

etc



the possibilites are endless! Tailor your bag to the age and preference of your Children! You can add to the excitement of your snacks too by placing them in a
brown paper sack and not allowing your child to look into the bag - just reach in and pick out one item. We did this with our "sucker treats" bag. What you get is what you get! Then we challenged them to see who could suck on it the longest and make it last. Little things for little ones can be sooo exciting and fun! And they will surprise you with their creativity of the items you give them. Plain ole' suckers became a fun game of "CHEERS" between the two of them which produced lots of giggles, smiles and good memories.


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3.09.2009

DIY - Picture This Tutorial

(Be sure to upload your photos from trying this project into the Brassy Apple Projects Flickr group!)

I'm not sure if anything is faster than this quick DIY project. If you want to add a some color or something unique to your home decor try this!

1. Pop some fabric that you love behind a frame and you are done!
2. Group several frames together, each with a different fabric, for a more dramatic display.
3. AND these are sooo quick and easy to make a quick change when the seasons change, holiday time, etc.


Many of you have seen photos of my entryway. Don't stop at just frames! There are several options of "objects" to place fabric behind besides just picture frames - how about windows?



Here's some ideas for picture frames too! They can go anywhere in your house including the bathroom like these:




*newly edited to add these photos*






You can check out more about the photos above here.


You should always surround yourself with things that you love. These are great ways to pops of color, design and pattern anywhere in your house. Now if you want to get a bit more crafty, break out the supplies and lets get started!



Framed silhouettes -



Supplies needed:

Fabrics - or patterned scrapbooking papers
fusible fleece or interfacing (optional)
iron
picture frame
fabric marker
silhouette pattern
fun things to embellish with - ribbons, etc

Step 1: Pick your fabrics. (or papers. in this project I will be referring to fabrics) You will need one for the background and one for the silhouette.

Step 2: Apply the interfacing or fusible fleece to the back of your silhouette fabric per manufacturers instructions. This step is optional but if you want to add dimension to your silhouette use the fusible fleece. If you want to keep the edges neat, crisp, clean and free from fraying without any dimension use the interfacing.



Step 3: Using your Fabric Marker, trace your silhouette on the back side of your fused fabric and backwards too. This will ensure when you flip it over it's not facing the wrong way in the case of an alphabet letter, etc. ** Your Silhouette can be of ANYTHING - an initial letter, your child, favorite animal, favorite shape. Look to magazines, books, die cut shapes, stencils, etc to help you find a pattern.



Step 4: Cut out your silhouette and place it on your background fabric. Place the glass from the picture frame on top of your design and trace around it with a fabric marker. Set the glass aside and cut out the background fabric.



Step 5: Your design might look complete now but if it doesn't and you feel it still needs alittle something - now's the time to embellish! I used black ribbon to set it off from the frame. I simply cut 4 lengths and placed them in the pattern I liked. I used a bit of a glue stick to keep the pieces in place too. You don't have to use a lot. It's just a quick easy technique to keep it together before you place it in the frame.



Step 6: Cut any ribbon, fabrics or other embellishments that are hanging over the edges and place it in your frame. Polish the glass and display!







U Create
Thank you!

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