Saturday, March 24, 2012

Decoupage Easter Eggs

These decoupage eggs are just perfect for decorating!!  I saw this idea on Martha Stewart's website and just had to try it. 

The only wood eggs I was able to find at our local craft stores were chicken eggs - but they did the trick!  In the future, I will definitely be searching for larger eggs on the internet so I can use designs on a bigger scale.  I knew I wanted to use these specifically for Easter, so I painted the eggs in bright spring colors.  With a total of 15 eggs, I painted them in series of three (3 pink, 3 purple, 3 yellow, 3 blue, 3 green).  Easy part done!

Hardest part - deciding what to put on the eggs!  I used scrapbook paper already in my stash and most of the paper had large patterns - not right for chicken eggs!  Once I had a plan, I just started cutting and pasting the paper onto the painted eggs.  Sticky and fun - this would be a blast for older children.  As my last step, I decided to apply a top coat of clear acrylic matte medium - it made the eggs shiny and appear like glass rather than wood.  Very cool!!!

Here are my happy and springy finished eggs:

Happy Crafting!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Celtic Name Art & the Book of Kells

Instead of doing another post about St. Patrick, I decided to do one on Celtic art - specifically the Book of Kells.  Not many people have heared of the Book of Kells, but it is one of Irelands prized possessions.  It is believed the book was created in a monastery during the Medieval period and it contains the Four Gospels.  In the 9th Century the book was moved to Ireland from Scotland; where it was eventually stolen and later found - minus the cover.  The book was returned to Ireland in the 17th Century and has remained in the Trinity College since.

What sets this book apart from any other is the immense decoration and illustration throughout the entire collection.  Each page contains elaborate letter articulations and some take up entire pages - which could include figures of humans, animals, mythical creatures, and Celtic knots. The illustrations contain a broad range of colors, with purple, lilac, red, pink, green and yellow being the most dominant. In the book there are ten full-page illustrations and throughout there are numerous decorated initials and small figures of animals and people twisted into designs and knots.

I took inspiration from the letter M found in the Book of Kells and painted name art for my oldest daughter - Madailein.  I also found the letter C in the book and will do a painting for my baby, Caitlyn, as well! 

I began my penciling out the letter M and played with the color a bit.

Time to start painting!  I selected brown, green and purple - and love how they look together.

I was going to stop with just the letter M, but thought it would look cute to have the rest of her name painted after the decorated initial.
Love how it turned out!  Next step - adding more decoration around her name and then on to Caitlyn's! 

Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Legend of the Shamrock

With St. Patrick's Day around the corner, I decided to share the legend of the shamrock with you!  This will give you something to think about while drinking beer and eating eggs and cornbeef!

May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow
 And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.
Irish Blessing

For Irish-Catholics, the shamrock represents the Holy Trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Legend states that St. Patrick used this local clover to illustrate the Trinity to the pagan people of Ireland.  Ancient Celtics believed the shamrock had mythical powers and held it to be a sacred plant.  St. Patrick likely selected the shamrock to show the concepts of Christianity using a symbol they could relate to.  This proved to be an extremely effective method, as many of the Druid High Priests coverted to Christianity. 

As with all legends, there is debate over the validity.  Whether this legend is fact or fiction, there is no argument that the shamrock has become a widely recognized symbol of the Emerald Isle! 

While on the topic of Ireland, I wanted to share with you a tapestry I made as a final in college.  This tapesty showcases various Irish symbols, mainly variations of Celtic knots.  As far as my weavings and tapestries go - this is by far my favorite piece!  I just can't seem to find the right spot for it in my home; it's quite large!

Ádh na nÉireannach and Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March Crafting Goals

If you're like me, I plan on preparing for Spring this month!  With the unusual warm weather we have been experiencing I feel so motivated to get started with spring cleaning inside, spring cleaning outside in the flower beds, decorating the house for Spring / Easter and working on Spring crafts.

February was a very productive crafty month even though I did not get all the projects done that I expected.  I spent a lot of time working on the fabric hoops since I was loving how they looked.  The hoops should all be completed in the next week or two. 

Communion  Veils - did not get a chance to work on these since I was focused on the fabric hoops.  This project will be a top priority for March since the craft show is in a Catholic church.  :)

Valentine's Wreath - completed first with Madailein and turned out super cute!! 

Projects that were completed but not on the original plan - Thumbprint Trees for the Mommy & Me art class (which was so fun!!) and a new flower arrangement for the tv room, which I will share in a later post.  Overall, February was a success!

March goals
- Communion Veils
- Nursery painting for friend expecting first baby!
- Decoupage eggs (idea from
Happy Crafting!  What are your goals for March?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Embroidered Fabric Hoop Art

Second project of the month is in full force!!  I was so excited about how these were turning out that I spent a good portion of February working on them.  Pat Catan's had the best price on fabric hoops, and they seem to be better quality than the other hoops I was finding.  Fabric scraps are in abundance between my mom and I - so that was the easiest part of the project!

After selecting my fabric scraps, I used my Brother embroidery machine to embroider various designs and pictures onto the fabric.  Some designs definitely turned out better than others, and I quickly learned which ones would I preferred. While the machine was doing it's job, I painted the hoops to coordinate with the fabric and designs.

I love how they look!  Right now I have about 12 made and a handful ready for hoops.  My goal is to make about 15 more for the spring craft show.  Simple and thrifty art - can't beat that!!

Happy Crafting!

Come join me at Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays and Penny Pinching Wednesdays!