I am currently looking for anyone who would like to be a guest blogger on Crafting With Training Wheels. Please contact me via E-mail which can be found on my "Contact" page if you are interested. Thank you!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Easy Paper Banner

Today's post is short, sweet and simple. So simple, I don't even have process pictures for you! In preparation for the craft show I will be attending on April 9th and 10th, I wanted to make a banner for my booth. I grabbed my trusty Silhouette and got to work. As with most Silhouette crafts, this can also be done using a scissors or craft knife.

I chose the pennant shape from the Silhouette library and moved it to the size I wanted. I then used the Copy function so that I would have two pennants the same size. I then grabbed my DCWV scrap book paper that I got for a steal at JoAnn's this weekend. There is something about a fresh scrap book page that makes me just want to stare at it and not cut it. Its so clean and pretty in the book!

I chose the colors I wanted and went to work cutting out pennats, one for each letter in my business' name. I then chose a font and cut the letters for the words "Life's Expressions" out of a black patterned piece of scrap paper. Once I had them all cut out, I used Elmers No-Wringle Rubber Cement to adhere the letters to the pennants.

I love this stuff! It gives a nice clean finish since it dries clear and is super easy to use.

Once I had all the letters on and dried, I grabbed a 1/2 gross grain ribbon that I got from Wal-Mart for $.97 and used my glue gun to keep the pennats in place on the ribbon. 

Here's how it looks completed. (Pardon the glarey picture in the background) This will go up in my craft space once I have my desk in place (a whole separate post in itself!)

Here is a close up of  one of the pennants. This was such an easy and fun project, keep your eyes out for more of these to appear in my house!

Yours In Craft,

I'm Linking this post Here:
A Little Knick Knack

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

Join  us Saturdays at tatertotsandjello.com for the weekend wrap 
 up           party!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Monogram Wood Block with A Little Knick Knack

Hello all!

I'm so happy to be here at Crafting with Training Wheels today! Isn't the name alone just wonderful? I love seeing all the variety of crafts, tutorials, recipes and furniture re-do's here! There are so many beautiful things to see, I can spend pretty much all of chore-time looking at this site!

Well, let me introduce myself. My name is Meg and I live over at A Little Knick Knack. I've been blogging for about a year and a half, and started partly to keep my sanity (3 kids under 5 - enough said) and partly to brag a little bit about what I've been working on! I realized my husband was tired of me going, "honey, what do you think about this? But do you like it? WHY??? " So, here I am! I love to have wonderful giveaways, product reviews and guest bloggers! I just finished a "SEW Basic" sewing series with another blog-friend, where we showed the step-by-step, BASIC (like, how to thread a needle) instructions and sewed a pillowcase. I also have a weekly link party every Friday called Everything but the Kitchen Sink, where the rules are--there are no rules. I'd love for you to come join!

Today, I'm going to show you how to make a monogram wood block. Catchy title, right? I found a nice 2" thick, 4' long board in the remnants bin at Home Depot for $.50. They cut it for me for free, into pieces about 5 1/2" long.

I took those pieces home and spray painted them various colors. These decorative finials I found in the furniture aisle at LOWE'S (they do NOT sell these guys at Home Depot...grrrr.....). They come 2 to a package for approximately $3/package. They are wonderful because they have screws in the bottom and are very easy to secure to your block.

I use floral form to stabalize them while I paint.

Of course, I realized I couldn't paint them all at the same time if I used different colors. Duh. So, they got painted in shifts.

While I waited for them to dry, I used my drill to  make a hole in the top and then simply screwed my finials into the hole.

Get your sandpaper (I use a really rough grain, from 100 - 150) and sand the edges and corners.

Here's the fun part. Grab some burlap, your craft bond adhesive spray, and your stayz-on ink...

Use the Stayz-on ink to lightly distress the sides, corners and top of the finial.

Cut a piece of burlap slightly smaller than the front of your block. Start to peel away the first 2-3 strings of burlap from each side, as shown below.

 You will get a nice frayed edge. Lightly spray the burlap with your adhesive spray and secure to the block.

Get your trusty hammer and your steel tacks (found at my local Jo-Ann's in the furniture rehupolster section, for less than $2.00 a package),

And simply nail a tack into each corner.

I printed off a monogram that I liked and used a small paintbrush to free-hand this onto the burlap. You could use freezer paper or make your own stencil and use any font you choose.

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial! Thanks so much for having me, Kristen! Have a wonderful day!


Exciting news! Today I am being featured on A Little Knick Knack! Head over to her blog to check out my ceremic tile coaster tutorial and how you can win some of your own!

A Little Knick Knack

Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring Can Come, Any Time Now!

It is a blazing 10 degrees here in North Central Wisconsin today and I don't know how much more I can handle! Not only is my poor puppy Bentley getting a little cabin fever, but my spray paint projects are suffering!

I may have tried to spray paint in our basement, which may have given me a case of the giggles. I learned my lesson and am only doing that for small projects, with a mask.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Table Refinish In Progress

**Disclaimer** I totally and completely apologize for terrible photo quality in the photos of this post. Most of them were taken at night and apparently back in the day when this house was built, they didn't believe in ceiling light fixtures. Also, my dinky digital camera is probably not appropriate for this but I'm working on a new one :). Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Happy Friday everyone! I have a progress post for you today! Remember this little beauty?

Well today I'd like to show you its progress. If you look back at this post when I first picked up this great Craigslist find, I was debating the color. All of my furniture is black but I happened to really love this piece white. I finally decided to go halfway and paint the top of the table gray (one of my accent colors) with a stencil on the top.

Above is the stencil that I purchased from the Silhouette online store and applied to the table. I cleaned the table and taped the edges with some painters tape and sprayed it with its first coat of gray spray paint.

I know that it is difficult to see the gray in this picture since it was taken in my dungeon basement. You will notice that you can no longer see the stencil as I have painted over it. Tonight it will get a second coat and the stencil will be removed. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to reveal it to you!

I also wanted to share another spray paint project ( I am the spray paint queen).

This wall is directly across from my front door and is the first thing you see after coming in through the entry way. The shelf was my parents' that they purchased for a project that never happened. It was originally white and had a few scratches on it. It got a few coats of spray paint and it was brand new again. It may look like it is not hanging straight but that is because our entire house is slanting (yes, you read that correctly). The electric candles you see will soon be getting some ribbon and a monogram.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Yours In Craft,

I'm Linking Up Here Today!

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

A Little Knick Knack

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Things I Heart

Today I will be sharing with you a wishlist of sorts of things that I would LOVE to have right now. Some are from blogs, some are from other places. Enjoy!

Find it Here

Nikon D3100 14.2MP Digital SLR:  I have been looking for a camera with a better picture then my simple point and shoot. As I have essentially no knowledge in photography this one seems like it would be a good beginner camera. It had good reveiws and is reasonably priced. Certainly on my wish list!

*Shelly* [B] Cotton Candy Camera Strap: These things are beautiful! Of course if I purchased a new camera, I would need a strap cover. Theses straps are removable and machine washable. It would make me feel so professional instead of looking like a crazy tourist who didn't know how to use a camera! Shelly has a great blog that you can visit here.

Craft Storage Containers: I am working on organizing my craft space (and getting one for that matter) and both of these items would be super helpful. Look at how pretty those boxes are! I heart black and white!

These are only SOME of the things that I currently heart. I'll be sharing more in the next few days!

Yours in Craft,

EPIC Giveaway!

I promise to have crafts to post about tomorrow. I had a few fails in craft world last night so they aren't completed.

For today please head over to {Less Cake More Frosting} for an awesome giveaway! You can enter to win an Epic Letterpress!

You can learn about the Epic at Lifestyle Crafts blog here.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Canvas Wall Art

Happy Monday Bloggers!

Today I'd like to share with you part of a project that is in progress at my house. We have a wall that is essentially the focal point in our living room (outside of the T.V. that is) and I had an idea for some art that I wanted to do for it. My initial plan did not work out so I adapted.

My inspiration for my adaptation came from this idea from one of my most favorite blogs, Less Cake More Frosting. She used a canvas, her Silhouette and some freezer paper to make a great gift. Please check out her blog because not only is she an amazing crafter, she is a fabulous person as well!

I used instead "canvas boards" (I don't know their real name so that is going to be it for now). At Michael's, I purchased a pack of what I would call canvas poster board. These are flatly wrapped canvases instead of the wood framed ones.

I found an image that I liked and cut it with my Silhouette on some freezer paper. *Remember when cutting freezer paper to always place the waxy side down on the cutting mat. Then I used some acrylic paint and a stencil sponge to fill it in.

Here is how it ended up!

At first I was mad that the paint bled under my stencil a bit but once I finished it, I changed my mind. I also stenciled our last name at the bottom and put three birds in the tree; one for me, my husband and my son.

This will be one of three pieces that I plan to hang on our living room wall. 

Today I will be picking up a beautiful Craigslist find! Here are the pictures below:

Here is my dilemma, all of the furniture in my house is black but I happen to love this piece white. Do I change it to match or let it stay white? I have been browsing Anthropologie to see if there is a knob that stands out to me but I don't think I'll be able to decide until I see the piece in person.

I scored a ton of great stuff at Michael's this weekend that I can't wait to share with you all!

Yours in Craft,

Friday, March 18, 2011

Mirror Frame Turned Serving Tray/Table Decor

Good Morning Craft World! Last night I was sucked into the black hole. That's right, I went to Good Will. Since some of the projects I have been working on (shown in the Sneak Peak) have been taking a little longer than expected, I was looking for a quick project and something to jazz up my dining room table.
Check out the all these great items I scored for $11!

Pitcher, Mirror Frame, Wall Hanging Candle Holder, Apothecary Jar. (Pardon the clutter in the background. Still working on cleaning this room)

After scooping up all these great deals, I headed over to W*l-M*art (this is a curse word in our house so I go there sparingly) to pick up some spray paint. Generally I go to Home Depot but I was right down the road so I made an exception. I grabbed some cheap flat and glossy white paint for the pitcher and the tray but for the candle holder I bought some Krylon spray paint in Ballet Slipper.

Of course since I have the patience of a two year old when it comes to crafting, I started in on all of them right away but today I'd like to focus on how I repurposed the mirror frame.

Here is how it looked when I got it

There are a few things a could have done with this but I decided to turn it into a serving tray that I can use to decorate my dining room table.

I spray painted this with a flat white color. It took about 3-4 coats to achieve the look I wanted. I wanted to be able to see some of the wood grain through the bottom of the tray and antique the edges. I used a paper towel on the wet paint to streak the edges to get a "worn" look. I forgot to take a close up picture but I can add that later.

Here is what I ended up with

It turned out pretty well. I already had these crystal candle holders that the Mister and I got as a wedding gift. You can still see the opening where originally you would use to hang the mirror. I plan on adding some other decor to the tray to dress it up as well as adding something to the bottom to cover the hole. For now, it looks pretty great and is a nice addition to the room. Now I just have to keep it clean!

Keep your eyes out for my next post using this gem from Good Will:

This craft was inspired by an amazing blog. Cleverly Inspired is an amazing blog that covers a whole spectrum of DIY-ness. She turned an ordinary candle holder like the one above into this beautiful Tiffany inspired wall hanging. So when I saw this treasure at GW, I knew I had to try it!

Please go check out this blog for great crafts, recipes, home renovations and much more!

Cleverly Inspired

Happy Friday!

Yours in Craft,

PS- I'm linking this post here today!

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

Join  us Saturdays at tatertotsandjello.com for the weekend wrap up

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My Irish Roots

My maiden name is Barr so I asked my uncle who is somewhat of the family historian for a tidbit about our family and here is what he gave me. Enjoy!

On Grandma Barr's side, I am descended from the Murphy's in County Wexford, there are a lot of them but Rose Murphy is my great great, etc Grandmother and she married a Robert Hampton who was an English soldier oppressing the Irish and they moved to Canada, and then to Wisconsin. On Grandpa Barr's side, I am descended from the Barr's who were originally Scottish and moved to northern Ireland 400 years ago. Lots of Barrs still in northern Ireland and County Donegal.

Steal of a Deal!

I will have a project update for you all tomorrow once I have completed the one I'm currently working on.

Today I wanted to bring you one of my favorite websites www.groopdealz.com. Every day they have a new offer and today's offer is a fabulous Spring Vinyl decal.

Outside of the millions of craft projects that I have in mind, one of my 2011 resolutions (outside of losing my baby weight of course) is to be a better holiday and season decorator and this is a great start. It is on sale for only $5 DOLLARS!

Jump over to their site and grab it!

On another note, Happy St. Patrick's Day! I'm hoping to pull together a post with a little about my Irish heritage for you later today!

Yours in Craft,

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sneak Peek!

Here are some photos that are sneak peeks into projects I'm currently working on!

Keep reading and watch these projects come to life!

Zippered Pouch from Make It and Love It

In the next few days I will be adding some pictures of small home decor projects that I have done previous to the launch of my blog but today I wanted to explore one that was inspired by a FABULOUS blog: Make It and Love It! She made these amazing zippered pouches that she personalized with her Silhouette machine. I am still learning the ins and outs of my Silhouette so I decided to make a similar version. I followed the steps in her tutorial which can be found here. This is the first time I've ever sewn a zipper so I was pretty excited about it. It didn't come out flawless but it doesn't look bad and I learned some things!

Here is the pouch front after I finished sewing. As you can see by the crease, I should have done a better job ironing my fabric first. (I forgot to upload the picture of the pink fabric on the inside but I'll add that later.)

The zipper isn't perfect. I left too much of the outer edge out and the ends weren't tucked in all the way. I was happy with it for the first time trying.

I decided to add a little flower at the corner made from the pink fabric I used on the inside.

In the end I was pretty happy with my first attempt at a zipper. Since it isn't perfect and I have fabric to do another one, I will probably use this as a make-up case for traveling.

Please be sure to jump over to Ashley's blog: Make It and Love It and check out all of the other cool projects she has. This lady is a pro with a sewing machine!

Happy Crafting!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Introducing Me!

Hello fellow crafters! I very excited to introduce myself to you! My name is Kristen and I am a working wife and mother. I have a fabulous husband and adorable 6 month old son. We recently moved back to our home town in Wisconsin and are currently renting a quaint 1840's house. This house was the inspiration to start this blog. I have been a loyal craft blog reader and novice crafter for some time now. What I realized from reading most of the craft blogs was that a number of the crafts and decorating projects weren't aplicable to me since I rent my home and cannot make major structural and cosmetic changes to the house. Thus, Crafting With Training Wheels was born.

An explaination on the name... I am by no means an expert crafter. I am self taught and am a try, fail and adjust learner. I will make mistakes and most likely completely screw up a number of the crafts I do until I get them right and I plan on sharing that with all of you.

What I love about crafting... I feel like crafting allows you to express your creative side in a functional way. For me, it has allowed me to bring a part of myself to my home and those I share it with. Have you ever been in a store and found a great home decor item but it wasn't exactly perfect? Maybe it was the wrong color or size. Why not make it yourself? That is the attitude that I have come to adopt when crafting.

What you will see on my blog... When viewing my blog you can plan to see crafts inspired by other crafters, my own ideas, things people have asked me to make for them and a number of furniture restorations. Eventually I will add guest bloggers, contests and features. My overall goal is to inspire people not to let anything get in the way of their ideal home.

Thanks for joining me and stay tuned for crafts!


*my site is currently under construction so please excuse its primitive state*