Thursday, January 28, 2010

Scrap Wood + Mod Podge = Super Cute Idea!

Love this idea from HowDoesShe?.com ...and wait, YES! it uses Mod Podge!!! I have 2x4's. Lot's of 'em. I have Mod Podge - gallons of it. I definitely have a few favorite things that need spotlighting. Gonna have to try this!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mod Podge Project #17

So the #17 is completely random. I've lost track of how many different ways I've used Mod Podge over the years. I am amazed at ALL the creative people out there and how they are using Mod Podge.

Check out Somewhat Simple's tutorial on a Lost Sock board. I SO need one of these. I love the thought of those sad, mate-less little socks flapping right in front of my family's faces. (I used to get away offering a nickel for every match my kids could come up with. Sadly, a quarter or two isn't much incentive for a bunch of teenagers.)

I was at Suni's house today admiring their handwork on a kitchen remodel. The walls are now painted and all that's left is some trim work and final grouting. It won't be long before the appliances are moved back into place and life can return to normal. While I'm sure that Suni will just be thrilled to move the refrigerator out of its temporary living room location, she really, really would LOVE a brand-spanking new fridge to complement her new kitchen space. With all the great ideas we've come across reminding us of Mod Podge's versatility, I think Suni needs to experiment on her giant sunflower-yellow refrigerator. She did promise to take lots of pictures if she decides to tackle the project. I wonder if a gallon of Mod Podge will cover it?!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mod Podge Wonders

It seems that my radar is tuned to anything Mod Podged. It helps that we have bottles and bottles of the white stuff all over the place. I should be updating my QuickBooks (bookkeeper, I am NOT). Surfing the internet is much more fun!

Lindsey over at That's So Cuegly has come up with some darling ways to recycle old into new. Just had to share another use for your bottle of Mod Podge!

How about turning hardly-worn old earnings into a brand-new pair!

how to's here

I also loved what she did to an old plate. Mind you, I wouldn't suggest eating off it, but it would make a fantastic display. Of course, I'm now dreaming of ways to incorporate family faces into the design. I share the picture of her tree plate, but you'll want to see her other inspirational designs here.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Love Those Family Faces Winner!

And the winner is... bethmoscreations! Just sent you an email, Beth. Thanks to everyone who left such nice comments.

We've finally got the instructional video for making the ornaments onto the website. See it here. It's much too long, but it does go into fabulous detail of exactly how to get the Stories by Me vintage look, so bear with the rambling.

'M', you are right about Brooke's misguided approach to gluing her pictures to the block. I cracked up when I watched the Studio 5 segment later and realized that the teacher (that was supposed to me) wasn't doing a very good job of teaching. It helped that Suni had already finished a copy of the ornament for Brooke just before we went on air. You will find that putting a thin layer of glue ON THE BLOCK is much easier than trying to add the glue to the piece of paper. We didn't have enough time to share all of our helpful hints on air, so be sure to watch the video.

Our Love display is now hanging near the back door of our family room. Yesterday I overheard two of my children discussing some of the memories that have been preserved on these blocks. Just think of it, 36 more stories to tell!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

More Family Face Blocks Ideas

Did you catch our Family Face Blocks segment on KSL, Studio 5? It was fun sharing our block ornament ideas...even if I couldn't find half of my supplies. (Turns out that Brooke had already glued the missing paper to the block she was working on... Next time, I'll have EXTRA paper scraps!) Never have five minutes flown by so quickly. We completely ran out of time to share some of the clever ways to display the finished work... so here they are, in their limited glory!

5. Another Wire Family Tree option:
This idea goes along with the fabulous tree that got so much attention on Studio 5. We were a little worried about sharing such a costly, time-consuming project (turns out that we were in the minority!) so we looked around for another option that would be easy on the wallet and easy to finish! We found this metal tree stand at Rod Works. I think it cost around $10.00. You might have something similar at home already.

With Valentines Day right around the corner, I thought I'd feature wedding pictures of various family members. I finished the ornaments with fabulous-looking vintage paper and go-with-everything black ribbon, but some bright red and pink colors would also work great.

I love these pictures! We're not sure if the pictures on the left records my husband's grandparents wedding, but the time period and elegant dress are clues that it might. The couple on the right are celebrating an 1868 wedding. If you could see the detail in their clothing, you might notice that his suit is made out of same checkered fabric as her dress.

Family faces aren't the only thing to feature on these blocks. I thought the wedding announcement made a nice addition and it's a great way to document the actual event.

6. Gift Tags:
Here's another one of Erica's clever ideas... turn the ornament into a gift tag.
A dear, dear friend is celebrating the 21st anniversary of her 29th birthday. (Notice that I did NOT call her 50 years old!) We've had some fabulous memories along the way and I used the ornament to record a few of our highlights. (The sundae is in remembrance of a weekend get-away to San Francisco and death by chocolate!) This is the perfect eco-friendly gift tag... who could throw away the memories?

So that's what we've done with our blocks. What are you going to do with yours?

Remember that you have two more days to enter our drawing for your own Love Those Family Faces kit.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Love Those Family Faces, Give Away!

What's not to love about family faces? Ok, maybe some days are better than others to answer that question! Our Family Face project will help you preserve your special memories of those faces important in your life. Tomorrow we'll be sharing how easy it is to make the family face blocks on KSL, Studio 5. (Tune in at 11:00.)
Here's a sneak peak of what we're bringing...
1. Hanging Wall Decor - Scroll to the bottom of this posting for information on how to win your very own LOVE Those Family Faces kit.

For this project, I used 5 medium and 4 small block ornaments. All together, 36 pictures document those moments near and dear to my heart! I thought the metal hanger was perfect for completing the sentiment, but the blocks would look equally great hanging from a light fixture or curtain rod.

(We attached the metal plate to a floor easle for easy setup, but soon after the segment it'll be featured on a prominent wall in my family room.)

2. Wreaths and Garland -
We loved our holiday garland so much that we decided to continue the idea into the new year and create something Valentines'y'. Super easy and if you look carefully, you'll see just how verstile these ornaments are. Some of the decorative paper in this display say "Merry Christmas." Because the display space was minimal, I decided to use all black/white pictures. I changed out previously used green ribbon for red and voila ~ I'm now ready for Valentine's Day.

3. Say it with Blocks -
Let's not forget the stacking options. If there's time, we'll show off our Say it With blocks. Since we're so close to Valentines Day, we'll display the "All Because Two People Fell in Love" side.

4. Wire Family Tree -
This is the project that got Studio 5's attention. All together our wire tree holds 40 block ornaments...that's 160 pictures when the project is completed! We're not going to pretend that this tree is fast or easy on the wallet. Coming up with 160 pictures can seem daunting for some. Our kit costs 100 big ones, but it comes with everything ...you just come up with the pictures! Don't let our disclaimer discourage you from creating your own family tree. We think our tree branch version is just as meaningful and it's a great way to get your own family face ornament collection started.
So that's what we're bringing tomorrow for our brief moment in the spotlight. Who knows what will actually make it onto the segement. Believe it or not, this is just a portion of the list of ideas that Erica came up with. We'll work on getting pictures on these other projects and get them posted at a later date.
Are you ready to start making family face blocks? Instructions for making your the ornaments start here. We've created a video that shows you each step of the process. Last time we checked, the file was 858MB. The file is SOOooo big that we can't get it off our computer and on to the internet. We'll keep trying, so check back!
As we mentioned earlier, one lucky reader will get a complete Love Those Family Faces kit. It comes with 9 wood blocks (assorted sizes), glue, foam brush, sand paper/sanding block, distress ink/chalk, decorative end papers and ribbon, metal eye screws and the fabulous LOVE metal wall hooks for displaying your finished project. Just remember, you can't win if you don't COMMENT! Leave a brief comment about this project and we'll pick a random name on Friday, January 22.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Easy to Make Block Ornaments

Celebrate the faces of loved-ones all year long! Each block ornament displays four pictures - think of it as a mini book with four pages to tell each story!

The process is simple. (Coming soon, a video clip showing each step of the process.) Check your local craft store for supplies. We also offer ornament kits on our website.

For you to Gather:
Wood Blocks (We use 2" and 3.25" blocks)
Decorative Paper
Metal Eye Screws
Decoupage Glue - We like ModPodge's Matte Glue
Foam Brush
Pictures (We recommend that you print these on regular paper using a laser printer.)
Sandpaper / Sanding block
Distress ink / chalk (optional)
Finishing Spray

Step 1:
Prepare your pictures. You have two options. Either print each picture to be at least as large as your blocks. Use the edge of the block to trace around each picture and cut away the excess. Or, you can use the Photo Wizard to get your picture to the exact size that is needed for this project. [Use the Block/Box - ORNAMENT option for the 2" block. Use the Block/Box - LETTER BLOCK option for the 3.25" block.] Need help using the Photo Wizard. See our demo. Still need help? We're only a mouse click away. Just email us at www.mythoughts@storiesbyme.com. Cut each picture to size.

Be sure to print your pictures using a LASER printer! Ink jet colors tend to smear when they get wet!!

Step 2:
The cut ends of the wood absorb more glue than the grained ends. Before beginning this step, apply a thin layer of glue of glue to the ends with the rougher (cut) surfaces. Let glue dry.

Apply a thin layer of glue to the first side of one block. Place picture over glue and press in to place. Remove any air bubbles.
Check for overhanging paper edges. It is important to WAIT for the glue to dry before attempting to remove any excess paper.

Once all of the picture are in place, add decorative paper to the top and bottom of each block. Don't worry about matching sides. A random look is great!

Step 3:
Depending on your personal taste, your ornament might be ready for finishing. If you like the vintage look shown in our example, sand all the corners of the block being careful not to sand across the picture.
This step gives the block a worn look, like it's been around for ages. We like to darken the exposed wood to make the project look even older!

Step 4:
Protect the pictures by adding several layers of decoupage glue over the top of the photos. This process is time consuming because you must wait for the glue to dry. Instead of glue, we simply add several light coats of a matte acrylic spray.

All that's left to do is screw in the eye bolt and attach a piece of ribbon!

That's all that's to it. Your first ornament might take a bit of time as you become comfortable with the process, but it won't be long before you can crank through the steps in a matter of minutes! Made a mistake? Simply sand down the offending picture and add another layer!

More to come. Next we'll share pictures of some of our ways to display the finished project.

This fun, easy idea has been shared at:

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mark your Calendars, 1-19-2010!

Out of the blue, we received a phone call from one of the producers at Studio 5, KSL inviting us to come on their show to share a project. Imagine our excitement! We've been trying to make the connection for over a year...and they call us! We figured that it's the perfect time to share our fun and easy block ornaments. (We didn't quite get time to share these when we were on Good Things Utah last month.)

We've heard from many of you that really, really wanted display a Family Christmas tree during the holiday season, but never found the time to get these made. Well, we're going to inspire you! Our dear friend Erica spent most of her day yesterday coming up with unique ways that we can display these ornaments 11 months of the year. THANK YOU Erica!!

Check back in the next couple of days. We plan to share our instructions for making the ornaments here on the blog, along with Erica's wonderful ideas for displaying them. Then tune in next Tuesday to Channel 5 at 11:00am. (We'll provide a link for those outside of our viewing area.) Our challenge is to NOT call these cute ornaments, ornaments. The producer thought that sounded too Christmas'y'. We're trying to train our brains to call them Family Face Blocks! Count how many times we mess us!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

How to display a SbM Magnet Board

We've had several requests for a review on ways to display our magnet boards. These different options work equally well with our 8x8 or 12x12 boards.

1. Easel
Probably the easiest and fastest way to get the project out and in front of your face. If you're using the easel with a Memory Tree, look for something that won't collapse while your kids are playing with the set. We offer our own version...which beautifully displays either board size.2. Ribbon
Not much to this option. The holes have been predrilled, you just need to push through the paper design. We recommend holding the board up to a light and pushing from the front to back of board. Use a thumbtack...a toothpick...a paperclip...or whatever is handy! The holes are purposely small. If you're considering thick, chunky ribbon, you might want also use a couple of metal book rings.
3. Magnets
Here's a great option for displaying your project on a filing cabinet, refrigerator front or other metal object. Just make sure to use several super-strong magnets on the back of your board.
4. Frames
We LOVE the customized look that these unfinished frames give to our different projects. We purposely sized our metal boards small enough to fit into most standard frames. Click on the links to learn how to make your own.

Collage Frame Instructions:
Fabric Frame Instructions:
There are our ideas. Hope it inspires you. Be sure to share your own creations!