Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Painting with Vinyl

You know when you get an idea in your head of what you want to make....but you're never really sure if you can make it come to life - or have it turn out like what you're picturing??  I've had my fair share of "fails" on craft projects...but I just LOVE when something turns out JUST like I had imagined!!

I've known that I wanted to make this little project for my Mom (Mary Rogers) for a while...I just wasn't sure how it would all come together.  I knew I wanted a warm-fuzzy-lovey Grandma quote (because she's an AWESOME Grandma), and I knew the materials I wanted to work with:  a piece of wood, my cricut machine, adhesive-backed vinyl, and spary paint!  Sound crazy???'s how it turned out...

(Sorry for such a dark indoor picture) wanna know how I did it??!!!  It took me a little while - but I finally got the design all layed out in my "Sure Cuts A Lot" software that I use with my Cricut machine.  But then - I had to call my brother in a panic because I did NOT have the right size of wood that I needed to make it work!!!  Thankfully, he came over with an old shelf....that's right....I think it's from a bookcase or something??  Anyway, it worked PERFECTLY.  I cut out the design with my Cricut on sticky vinyl, and peeled away the unused sections.  Then I applied the transfer paper on the front, peeled off the back, and applied it to the wood.  The quote was in olive green vinyl and the bird designs were in brown.  My husband didn't know what I was doing....and he said "those colors don't look so good together..."  Oh, just wait and see...LOL  Next I spray painted over the WHOLE thing with my favorite Heirloom White from Rustoleum (available at Town & Country in Concordia....or I also love stocking up at Menards whenever I'm in Salina).

Can't even see the vinyl can you?!!

After two coats of spray paint, I brought it back in from my cold garage and began the process of gently peeling off the vinyl to expose the natural wood.  I LOVE how nicely it peeled bleeding paint, no touch-ups, just AWESOME. 

I also LOVE how the wood grain shows through, and makes a beautiful "stenciled" design.

Here's the "Grandma" Bird

There are currently four Grandchildren on my Mom's side....with one baby boy on the way (YAY for my brother and his wife!!)  I was SO in love with the 5 little birdies on the "string" that was on one of my Cricut cartridges...

And here is the proud Grandma with her Christmas present from her Grandkids:

It's kind of hard to see all the words...the quote says:
"Grandmas are like a piece of string,
handy to have around, and easily wrapped
around the fingers of their Grandchildren"

It describes her I said, she's an AWESOME Grandma.  :)

...even when not all of her Grandkids want their picture taken ;)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Braxton's Gift Part 2

Round 2 of the Braxton's Gift Project has definitely been my favorite.  We shopped for two different families that had no idea what was about to happen!!  :)  The first family is one that I know, but not all that well.  They are a good sized family, ranging from adult parents and adult children, to young children and young grandchildren.  They are a very close-knit family, with strong family values and faith.  Sounds pretty great, right?'re probably wondering why we thought they needed our help. 

Have you ever meant a person that you've thought "If they didn't have bad luck, they wouldn't have any at all!"?  Well, in some ways, that has described this whole family over the past several months.  They are hard-working, they do not receive state assistance (as far as I know...?...I really link they wouldn't ask for it), they rely on each other, and they would do anything for each other.  This family has experienced devastating loss recently.  Loss of a child, loss of belongings, loss of a home....but one thing they haven't lost is their faith. 

When I told Braxton of some of the struggles that this family has been facing, he absolutely wanted to help.  So, we made our list of supplies we thought they needed, and also bought one Christmas gift for each person in the family.  Here is the picture of everything we bought for them.

I also made some metal stamp jewelry for the family, and threw in some other jewelry that I had in inventory from my "Make It Yours" collection.  We wrapped the gifts, boxed up the goodies, and prepared to make the big delivery.  Being new at this whole "Saint Nicholas" thing (you know, where you provide for others without them knowing who it came from), I was a nervous wreck.  What if no one was home and the stuff got damaged/ruined/stolen from their front porch??!!!  So, I called and left them a voicemail to let them know that my son was working on a little project - and to check their front porch later that day. 

Well, that silly lady didn't check her voicemail, she just saw that I had called from the shop.  So, she called the shop - and they gave her my cell phone, and then she called me....and I was like "uhhh...."  LOL.  I told her that I just wanted to give her a heads up to check her front, of course she was like "what??" and walks to her front porch WHILE she's on the phone with me!  Then there was some disbelief, and some crying, and a lot of thanking.  I told her it wasn't me, it was my son - and that there was a letter to explain why he did it.  I told her Merry Christmas, and we said our goodbyes.   .....and then she called me back a little while later - with some more thanking, and crying, and a lot of appreciation.

Here is the picture I snapped of my kids right after we quickly and quietly unloaded the back of my car and loaded up their front porch.  It was SO MUCH FUN!!!  My little boy is by no means perfect.  He was whiney towards the end of our shopping trip, whiney about having to load up the car....but when we jumped back into our car, honked the horn and took off - I looked back and saw the biggest grin on his face.  I said "that was pretty fun wasn't it?!", and he said "YEAH, we need to do that AGAIN!"

So we did it AGAIN!  We dropped these items off on Friday morning, December 23rd.  That afternoon I met a family for one of my "other jobs" while Braxton hung out at the shop with his Dad.  It was 2 days before Christmas, so of course I naturally asked "Are you all ready for Christmas?".  Now, picture me pulling my foot out of my mouth when they informed me that the Dad had lost his job a while back, they were barely making ends meet, and would not be celebrating Christmas this year!!!  I was heart-broken.  When I left that meeting, I picked up Braxton and told him what happened.  He said "let's go shopping for them!"  So we DID! 

I forgot to take pics before I wrapped up all their goodies, but we bought them some food items, and a gift for the Dad, Mom, and three children.  We wrapped them all the next morning, December 24th.  Then we went to church as a family, and afterwards we ALL (Daddy too!) dropped off the gifts at their home.  It was exhilarating....I really can't describe how good it makes you feel.

This time, I thought we had REALLY gotten away with it without being caught.  I was still a little nervous about not knowing whether or not they would see the items - so that was kind of nerve-racking.  The next morning (CHRISTMAS!), we had a wonderful time at home.  Then I packed up our kiddos (and my splitting headache) and headed to Clay Center for lunch with my parents, Grandparents, and Aunt/Uncle/cousins from Dallas.  I was in tears before I even got to Miltonvale because my head hurt so bad I thought I'd puke, I realized I had forgotten the gifts, and I was really tempted to just turn around and go home.  I decided to press on, and then my cell phone rang.  It was that family.  They said THANK YOU for the gifts.....and I was like "what...??"  I'm not good at lying - so I finally said "HOW DID YOU KNOW??!!!!".  She said they figured it out because I had asked questions about their kids, and they recognized my handwriting from all the paperwork I had done with them the day before (Darn it!).  It was a lovely phone call - full of thank you's and appreciation.  I told her about Braxton, and then I told Braxton all the nice things they had said.  My headache was feeling better by the time we got to Clay Center.  And my heart felt pretty great too.

We still have Part 3 and Part 4 left to I'll be posting those either this weekend or next week.  :)  They will involve Braxton's school, and at least one other service organization.  :)  Thanks for reading!  :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Braxton's Gift Part 1

If you didn't have a chance to read my last might want to read it before this one to get a little background info on our "Braxton's Gift" project.  :)  I meant to get this first post done last week...but, such is life.  :)

We started on Wednesday, December 21, 2011 with a couple special lists.

We marked off the lists as we went shopping along...

Keely was a good helper, and it was a lot of work to shop for others in need.

Braxton paid for the items that he is donating with his $500 Wal-Mart Gift card.

This is the picture of the items he purchased for "Hope's Place" in Concordia, KS.  Here is a link to their website to find out more about what they do:  He purchased everyone they asked for on their list.

This is the picture of the items he bought for NCK CASA.  It is located in the same facility as Hope's Place.  Here is a link to their website: Braxton also bought everything on their list.  :)

And here he is getting ready to deliver the first two recipients of the Braxton's Gift Project!  :)  Our first delivery was made on Friday, December 23, 2011.

This is one of the little cards that we attached to the gifts so they would know where it was coming from, and why they were receiving it.

Jennifer Kindel, one of the employees of Hope's Place and CASA, accepted the gifts for both programs.

She finally got him to loosen up a little and SMILE!  :)

All these pictures take FOREVER to load on blogger!  We basically split the project up into about 4 parts.  I'll be posting part 2 soon (we are all done with it), and we're planning to do parts 3 and 4 in the next week.  :)