Final Giveaway

December 5, 2010

This is my final Martha giveaway of the year. 10 lucky winners will get a Martha Stewart Holidays double-edged snowflake trim punch (this creates a strip of die-cut paper to use as a decorative strip) AND a set of Martha Stewart Holidays treat bags (each package includes 8 bags, 8 paper boxes/trays that go at the bottom, 8 tags, 8 pieces of ribbon, and 16 adhesive strips). The paper cutter is super fun to use and makes such pretty strips of snowflakes. It’s perfect for scrapbooking, crafts or making cards. The treat bags are a great way to package candy or small cookies. It’s hard to see in the photo, but the bags have tiny white dots on them which are really cute.  The prizes are courtesy of MSLO and they will mail them out. Previous winners of my other contests have written to tell me how much they liked the punches and treat boxes they received, so I know you’ll love them!

Here’s how to win. Follow me on Twitter. Then leave a comment here with your Twitter handle, so I can match you up. If you are already following me on Twitter, just leave a comment here with your Twitter handle. You must enter by midnight ET on Friday December 10, 2010. I’ll randomly and blindly select ten winners by random number drawing (numbers assigned in order of comments here). Sorry, offer limited to U.S. addresses only and entrants age 18 and up only. One entry per person. Winners notified by email given when entering, not responsible for email transmission problems. You are responsible for notifying me of your correct  address if you are selected as a winner. Contest closes at midnight Eastern time on 12/10/10. Prize is nontransferable and may not be redeemed for cash. MarthaAndMe reserves the right to announce the name of the winners on the blog. Prizes will be sent by MSLO to winners and MarthaAndMe is not liable for any failure of MSLO to deliver.


Martha Mondays: Thanksgiving Table

November 15, 2010

Thanks to Karen at Karen and Charlie’s Kitchen for choosing this week’s pick-your-own project  – Thanksgiving tablescapes. I liked the one where you make a small pumpkin into a candleholder, so I did a trial run with that, which looks sort of lame since it’s crooked. I guess you need a straighter pumpkin to get it to work! I just hacked away at it with a knife to make the hole, then pushed the candle in. I like this idea a lot, even if mine wasn’t the greatest in execution!

Here’s a photo of a centerpiece I bought a few years ago (I think I got it at the grocery store to be honest!) and which I really still love a lot.


Martha’s Greatest Hits: Crafts Edition

October 26, 2010

I recently posted my list of Martha’s best recipes. I have done some Martha crafts (more in the first year of the blog, but I still do some from time to time). I’m not a big crafter and so I didn’t think I would have any craft greatest hits, but in looking back through the blog, there were a couple that really stood out for me as being beautiful and easy to do, so I want to share the craft version of Martha’s Greatest Hits with you!

Map Coasters I still love the concept of this

Scarf Dyed Eggs Possibly the best craft EVER

Nut Wreath I still get a lot of comments on this post from last fall. The wreath hangs in my kitchen in fall and is gorgeous!

Glitter Eggs As frustrating as they were to make, they did turn out pretty well and are very impressive looking.

Fish Print This was one of my more controversial posts. The prints I made hang at the family lake house and are gorgeous.

Do you have any favorite Martha crafts?

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Martha Mondays: Map Coasters

August 18, 2009

mondaysMartha Mondays is here again. This time, the scheduled Martha project was map coasters. If you made this project (or if you haven’t yet, post when you do), post a link to your blog or just leave a comment saying how it went for you.

For this project, I splurged and purchased a Martha Stewart craft knife. This project was very inexpensive I thought. I already had ModPodge and so in addition to the $10 craft knife, I just had to buy some round cork coasters, which were about $1.60.

I used a plastic cutting board to cut on and I printed my maps online. I had mapcoaster2some trouble cutting the maps out. Martha says to use the knife to trace around the edge of the coaster. Mine didn’t come out perfectly even and in some places it was still attached to the paper, so I used scissors to cut it and trim it. They weren’t perfectly round. And once I even sliced away some of the cork! I am a menace with craft knife in hand.

mapcoaster3Dude Martha assisted on this project. We painted ModPodge on the coaster, placed the map on top and smoothed it out. Then we applied more ModPodge and also did the edges. We left them to dry.

I was really pleased with my results. One coaster has a stray hair from the brush stuck on it, but that’s because I did not buy top of the line Martha brushes.  You can’t really tell my maps were not cut out perfectly. The coasters bowed just a little bit. If I had thicker coasters, that would not have been an issue.  I’m taking these coastersmapcoaster1 to the family lake house (since I used a map of the lake) and I think they will be a fun thing to have there. This project was easy (if *I* can get good results, it must be easy) and fun. You could do lots of other things other than maps with this. Photos, patterned paper, print outs of famous paintings, all sorts of neat things.

How did this work for you? Did anyone use something other than maps? Can’t mapcoasterwait to see your results!!

I’m putting together a Martha Mondays blogroll that I will post. If you want to be on it, please let me know the name of the blog to list. Once I have the list, we’ll start going through it so everyone can have a turn picking the projects. Look for another post today with the next Martha Mondays project!

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No-Knit Scarf

December 1, 2008

Welcome to December! If there ever was a month that screamed Martha Stewart, it’s December. I have lots of Martha projects planned for this month, so I thought I would dive right in with a craft!

I don’t know how to knit (although I can crochet a little) so I was intrigued with the no-knit scarf, page 73 of the Handmade Holidays special issue. You make the scarf with bulky yarn and tie knots instead of knitting. This, I thought, I could actually do.

My first task was the yarn. I ended up with yarn that may not be as bulky as it is supposed to be, but I liked the color and texture. I got the yarn for about $2.60 at Joann’s, using a 40% off coupon, so that was a deal.

First, you cut 12 lengths of yarn that are about 140 inches long. I made my a little longer in case of mistake. Then you divide the yarn into 4 groups with three strands in each. I recommend setting yourself up at a dining room table for this since they are very long.

I had to look up how to tie a square knot, since I had no idea what that meant. Basically it’s just a double knot.

If you want to use yarn that is not giant and bulky, then I would say to add more strands to each of your four groups. If I did this again with the yarn I used I would have doubled it I think.

Getting set up

Getting set up

Once you’ve got it all ready to go, you tie two bunches together then tie the other two bunches together. Imagine your yarn groups are labelled ABCD. Tie A and B together and C and D togther. Then you tie the inside groups together – B and C. Then you start over and do the outside groups, then the inside, over and over.

Not difficult to do, but it takes a little concentration. It also really helps to

Tying

Tying

have someone else helping you pull the yarn through and straightening it out. The instructions say to pin the end to a piece of foam board. I didn’t have any foam board, but I tried to pin it to a towel. It kept coming off. Instead, I recommend putting something heavy, like a book on the end of it.

I did fine until I got close to the end. Here’s the problem. Because you’re tying the inside B and C strands to each and also to the outside A and D strands, the B and C strands get shorter faster, since you’re using them more. I ended up with those strands done and two feet left on the other ones. I think there must be a way to flip the strands over at some point while tying so that you distribute them more evenly. If I ever do this again, I will try that.

The finished product

The finished product

Because of this, my scarf is a lot shorter than I would have liked, so I’m pretty disappointed with it.


Oak-Leaf Bowl

November 20, 2008

It was time to buckle down and do some crafting with Martha. I decided to make the oak-leaf bowl from p. 95-96 of Nov. Living, which Martha also made on the show. It looked not too complicated.

First off, I hit the craft store. This was actually a cheap project for me. I bought a piece of felt for 79 cents and got a remnant of some tweed for $2.17. The fusing material was  $3.99 (I think there are 3 or 5 in the bag and I used only one).

Come fuse with me

Come fuse with me

Ok, so I started off

Totally fusionary

Totally fusionary

fusing the two fabrics together. This was easy. The hardest part was finding the iron! We never use it and it was stuffed away somewhere.

Next I cut out the leaf template that Mr. MarthaAndMe brilliantly enlarged for me on the computer. I’m not sure who has a copier at home that will enlarge things, but I sure don’t have one. Martha was pretty casual about this – “Now just blow it up on your printer or copier”. Umm, ok.

Martha says to trace the template on the material using a disappearing ink pen. I don’t have one of those (or if I did, it must have disappeared). Mr. MarthaAndMe suggested I trace it with chalk. He’s just as cute

Template time

Template time

as he is smart, folks! This worked well. Next, I cut out the material. This was hard on the hands, but doable.

Martha then wanted me to “create darts” by sewing closed the V-shaped notches on the fabric with a “zigzag stitch”. First problem, I don’t have a sewing machine. Second problem, I really am not sure what a dart is. Third problem – no clue what a zigzag stitch is. Those are some big problems, gang.

Chalk it up

Chalk it up

The cut out

The cut out

I hand sewed this and did it so that I stuck the needle in one side and pulled it out the other. Instead of making it go back in the side it just came out of, I looped it over the top of the seam so it went back in the first side (I’m you sewing geniuses know what this is called, but I don’t). This kind of covered up the bare edges of the fabric. It took a while and my fingers are pretty mangled.

Once it was done, I was pretty impressed by it. It really looks like a leaf. Not sure what I would put in it though.  And I’m not really a big lover of fall type colors. Mr. MarthaAndMe suggested I give it as a gift and maybe I’ll end up doing that. I’m not sure it’s exactly perfect enough to do that with though (some of the edges are a tiny bit frayed).

Ta-dah!

Ta-dah!

So now for the deeper questions. How did this project make me feel? I have to say that I have always somewhat enjoyed hand sewing. I once hand sewed a cushioned seat and back for a child’s rocking chair and I also hand sewed some doll house things – curtains, tablecloths, sheets, blankets, and pillows. I’m not too bad at mending holes and I can sew a button on, so I’m not a total loser. There is something very relaxing about sitting still and doing something like this with your hands. It’s a nice brain-free activity – something that does not require higher thought. I don’t like messing things up though and get frustrated when the needle goes the wrong way,  the thread gets knotted or I sew it crooked. This one was pretty idiot proof though I have to say, if I was able to make it turn out looking this good.

This project took me a couple of hours. I don’t know if the time put into it equals the result. I know it is supposed to be about the process and the joy of creating something with your own hands. I get that, but I think I might rather go shopping and buy something I like that is really well-made.


Paper Wreath

October 28, 2008
My first Martha project

My first Martha project

May I have a trumpet sound please? (doo-doo-doo!) I am proud to announce and reveal my very first Martha craft, from the November issue of Living (Martha doesn’t have it up on her site yet, but once she does I’ll put a link in here). I am quite shocked at how well (almost) it turned out. Of course, it looks nothing like the one in the magazine, but I would say it’s not half bad.

First please allow me to vent about Martha’s craft projects. While it’s nice that she has a guide in the magazine that tells you where to order all the supplies, there’s no way I’m about to do that. First of all, the prices are ridiculous. Secondly, by the time I order it all and it arrives, it will be next month. Not practical. So off I went to Micheal’s. They only had one kind of wreath form and it’s much wider than the one Martha uses in her directions. I also chose one with a smaller diameter. They also did not have any “metallic papers” so I bought gold wrapping paper and used that.

I honestly thought there was no way this was going to work. The instructions are very vague and not very detailed. Martha left it up to me to design the leaf shape. Eeek. Deep breathing.

I did not understand how to staple paper onto a metal wreath, but shockingly, it actually worked. I guess I stapled paper to paper which held it on. My leaf sizes are not uniform and the gold ones stand out a bit, but really, for a first effort, I’m pretty pleased with myself.

Ok, so my bow is totally dorky. I know. And she didn’t say how to attach it, so I stapled that sucker on too.

Would I proudly display this on my front door for the entire month of November. Um, no. Not a chance. But it’s not as hideously embarrassing as I expected.

Now for the real question – did crafting relax me? I guess maybe a little, when I wasn’t shouting at it “Come on, Martha!” I do think that I can see the pleasure is making things yourself. The whole project took about 50 minutes from start to finish and I did it while my son was doing his homework.

Have you attempted this project? Let me know how it went.


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