Tuesday, May 31, 2011

~Good Things for May~

Now Playing: California Girls, by The Beach Boys

Yeah, I know it's June.  Nonetheless, I managed to tackle the "Good Things" from the May issue of Martha Stewart Living few days ago.  Here's a post about how that went.

May 2011 MSL pg 51

I've seen the "Good Things" column for quite some time now. Unfortunately, I'm usually flipping through that section rather quickly.  Most often I see it when I'm on one of my five second "me-time mini-breaks".  When I come to that section of the magazine, I think, "Great idea!  I should totally do that!  Oh, what's this?" And then you've lost me.  Can you feel me on this?  Come on, don't leave me hangin'! 

So here it is.  I finally picked three "Good Things" for the month that seemed to be applicable.  Don't be afraid to put your own spin on them.  That's what I did, especially when it came to the scrap wrap.  I started out trying to get the double sided tape to cling to the fabric (it was a great idea) but then my mind started getting some ideas about other ways to do it.  Just like that, I was off in a totally new direction. 

For me, that's where the fun is waiting.  Contrary to my left-brained-nature and at times my over-scheduled mind, crafts provide me with a creative outlet.  I get to be free.  Random.  Unorganized.  Fun and unique.  It's not like I never read the directions because I do.  Often I can tell if a project has room for expansion.  And sometimes I cannot.  In a project that offers room for alterations, I  find peace in deviating from the directions for I know that no serious consequences shall arise from my lack of structure.   

When it comes to craft projects (and even in cooking too) Martha Stewart provides the canvas upon which you can build your own work of art.  Put your own spin on it.  Have FUN with it.  Really, who cares if you "mess up".  You see, this is where mistakes can be made without the risk of broken hearts, emptied bank accounts, or visits to the hospital.  

For instance, the "clear winners" idea cleverly displays edible flowers frozen in ice cubes.  Lavender, among many other flowers are also edible and can be added to the trays.  For a list of other edible flowers, check out this link:

Edible Flowers
picture from marthastewart.com

I also experimented with the swatch sticks and the scrap wrap on page 52 in the "Good Things" section.  The swatch sticks were such a great idea!  If you come to my house you'll notice that every room is NOT white.  My walls include colors ranging from sunshine yellow, to pastel lavender and even some shades of turquoise.  I've managed to keep the paint buckets around for reference and for touch-ups.  However, in a few more years I might not have them around for reference.  The swatch sticks are a wonderful way to keep the paint details about each room handy and organized.  I even thought it would be a nice housewarming gift for future residents to have as a reference.
As far as the scrap wrap goes, I've been accumulating a ton of scrap material ever since Sarah stopped wearing onesies.  She gets the most adorable dresses that are outgrown at an incredible rate.  Sometimes I can't bear to part with them because they are just so cute.  Consequently, I have a closet full of "scrap crap  material" and finding a use for some of it was a very good thing!

Photo Gallery

Clear Winners
I ventured out to the garden to collect some edible floral specimens.  I collected pansies, snapdragons and some lavender to freeze in the ice cube trays.  If you don't have these flowers at home, I did notice that Whole Foods carries a package of edible flowers in the produce section.
I gently pressed the flowers under the water and placed them into the freezer for a few hours.
The ice cubes are so charming!  Even Ben enjoyed having a cool glass of water with pretty flowers floating on top. 

Scrap Wrap

Snore, snore snore.... Oh!  Hi, sorry I fell asleep.  Shown below is the double sided tape stuck to the fabric (actually, I used biased tape instead).  As stated in the magazine, this is a great decorative touch for packages, cellophane bags of treats and stationary.  But I wanted to change it up.  So I starting spinning in order to put my own creative spin on things.  You know, a "creative spin".  Not funny? Oh, OK.   
I have tons of milk containers that accumulate very quickly.  I like to use recycled milk containers to hold my seedlings until the plant makes its debut in my garden.  It occurred to me that I could use some of the double sided tape to attach bits of fabric and even oilcloth to the milk cartons. 
Once it was all wrapped up, I made a hole for drainage in the bottom of the container. 
And then I went a little more crazy (or you could ideally say creative) with some "decorative" items that I found around the house.
Here is another recycled milk container in a "patchwork quilt" pattern.  The words are decoupaged onto the box so that they remain waterproof. 
As you can see, you can decorate these recycled boxes with anything that you already have at home.  For example you could use an old shirt with a cute pattern, parts of an old dress, fabric remnants, magazine clippings, quotes and more.  Some of these items may have to be glued or decoupaged onto the box and then the double sided tape could be used to affix the finishing touches.  I think I'll do one with a laced edge next time.

Swatch Sticks

I started out with regular paint stirrers.  These can be picked up for free at any paint store or home improvement center.  You should have seen the employees face when I grabbed this many. It was really funny.
After painting the swatch sticks, I wrote the specs on the back of the stick.  I also included the location in which the paint was applied.  So there you have it.  Three "Good Things" for May have been completed.  Take it from me; this section of the magazine is worth pausing for.  The ideas that can be found here are indeed easy and elegant.

~It's a good thing!~

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