Tuesday, September 1, 2015

#MichaelsMakers: Harvest Inspired Tablescape Using Craft Pumpkins

I'm not even going to acknowledge the fact that summer is over.  I love fall, but, this year, I feel like I need a little more summer in my life.  This challenge of using craft pumpkins seriously was a challenge, just because I had to break out of the summer mentality to get the autumnal feeling in order to find proper inspiration for this.  I cheated a little, though.  I kept things green and did away with the traditional red and orange colors that find their way into most fall decor.  I really really really love the look I came up with for my mom and dad's dining room table.  They always host our gigantic family Thanksgiving dinner, so I figured it was the perfect place for this.  

For my craft pumpkin DIY I kept it simple.  I drilled a pattern of holes all around them.  Then one bigger hole in the bottom.  I stuffed a bunch of twinkle lights inside and voila.  I think it adds the perfect amount of shimmer to the table without being too obnoxious.  

I also made this adorable little bunting with doo-dads I found near all the scrapbooking supplies.

These little flags that I used for place cards were also near the scrapbooking supplies.

I grabbed a few hay bunches and log slices and a bunch of eucalyptus, as well.  I placed the eucalyptus into pottery I had made in high school that my mother, so lovingly, still keeps displayed all over her house. (Do you see the little unicorn that photobombed my shoot???)

For the big centerpiece, I picked a bunch of fake flowers from Michaels that I thought would give this the perfect rustic-ish, harvest-ish, fall-ish feeling... there are even some feathers in there, too.  Oh, and a little wooden owl hiding in there for the kids to find.  This was so much fun to put together with my mom!  She's definitely the one I get my craftiness from.  

Here's my project from last year, that I still adore!

Now go check out all the other incredible craft pumpkin projects from the rest of the Michaels Makers team and GET INSPIRED!

Friday, August 7, 2015

DIY Lunch Notes with Cricut Explore One

As I'm sure a lot of you already know, Michaels recently released a brand new Cricut - the Cricut Explore One.  I had the opportunity to try out the machine to create these adorable Frozen Lunch Notes!

This Cricut comes with the free Cricut Design Space software that allows you to cut printable images, upload your own images and fonts, and has 25+ free 1-click projects and 50+ free images built in.

I decided to make these little lunch notes for my sisters-in-law to put in my nieces and nephews lunches.  My mom always used to put little Suzy Zoo notes in my lunches for me and I adored it.  I still have some of them!  These are most definitely more extravagant than what we had back in the day, but so worth it if you have the Cricut!

I decided to do the multi-layer images because... well, they're fun.  I cut down on the number of colors in them, though... one feature I love about the Design Space software.  You can sort and group the coloreds pieces for cutting.

I also love that the software is cloud-based.  So you can work on your ipad, then finish up on your computer.  It's SO convenient!

Another thing that I find AMAZING about this machine is that it can cut felt AND leather! Whaaaaat?  I will for sure be utilizing that feature in the future.  I have some very cute leather cuff ideas floating around in my head.

 Now of course, I chose some of the most intricately detailed designs available in the Frozen cartridge... just a word to the wise.. don't use these ones unless you're doing them on a large scale.  I did them WAY too small and had to leave some of the details out.  I'm still happy with the result, fortunately... you can still tell it's Elsa and Anna!  What are your favorite projects to use your Cricut for?

Monday, August 3, 2015

Michaels Makers Summit + Free Workshops w/ Creativebug!

I'm sure most, if not all of you are aware that Eat+Sleep+Make was invited, along with the other Michaels Makers, to attend the Michaels Makers Summit in Santa Rosa, California last weekend.

Holy moly you guys.  I had no idea what to expect.  What was waiting for us all, was breath taking!  All of the events took place at The Ranch Above St. Helena.  Look at the photo below for the views.  Crazy, right??  We were perched atop a mountain, a beautiful, curvy, lush mountain in the middle of wine country.  The house where we took all of the workshops was a dream!  Check out the photos, because words cannot do it justice.

They honestly had every last detail planned, down to the throw pillows on the sofas.  Upon arrival we received goodie bags, filled with snacks and random items we might need during the trip, including a Michaels branded portable battery charger and a coloring book and colored pencils!

Even the pool was celebrating with us!

The whole group!  Too bad we couldn't bottle all of the creative energy floating around there and share some of it with all of you.  It was almost tangible.

Yeah, we totally drank an absurd amount of champagne.

The workshops we took with instructors from Creativebug were so far above anything I expected.  We had an absolute blast. 

And GREAT NEWS - Each of the four classes we took are available online for FREE on Michaels.com until 8/22!  You can re-create one or all of our summit projects!

Follow Livia on Instagram @thegreenvase

Follow Yao on Instagram @yaochengdesign

Follow Courtney on Instagram @ccerruti

Follow Annabel on Instagram @littlepincushionstudio

The views from The Ranch were breathtaking... and we were also lucky enough to be able to stop at an overlook of the Golden Gate Bridge before we flew out.  It's so hard to believe that man built that... It's incredible.

If you follow ESM on Instagram, you probably have seen most of the pix below, but I figured I'd share them again here for those that have not seen them.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with Michaels and all the blessings that come along with it.  I made some great friends this past weekend, learned a lot, and left feeling so inspired and rejuvenated.  

Thank you Michaels, Creativebug and SPM for such an amazing experience!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Cacti Cupcakes & Cake Boss #MichaelsMakers

Hey friends!  I don't know about you, but it's been oppressively hot here in Pittsburgh lately. Yesterday when I got in my car after work, it told me it was 99 degrees outside.  I live in Pennsylvania... it is NOT supposed to be that hot here!

When Michaels offered the chance to try out some Cake Boss products, I knew exactly what I'd do... Cacti!  Because right now, I feel like I live in the desert.  Only worse.  Because... humidity. Anyway, I decided to fashion my own little desert scene using Cake Boss fondant.

I've never used fondant before, in fact, I was slightly terrified of it.  But, once I started working with it, I realized how much FUN it is!  Seriously, it's like edible playdough.  I got my niece, Lena, in on the action, too.  She's five and had an absolute blast.  If you want to avoid the sloppy mess of traditional frosting while baking with your kids... throw them a lump of fondant and let them sculpt something fabulous.

Michaels offers an amazing variety of Cake Boss products including the actual cake mix!  I was able to get everything I needed to create these little delicious treats in one trip.  (well, aside from the eggs and oil.)  My favorite purchase of all this was the Fondant Decorating Tool Kit.  I mean, you can use this for countless other things... So, don't be surprised if you see those popping up in a few other posts that have nothing to do with baking!

After baking the cupcakes and allowing them to cool, we frosted them with chocolate icing so the fondant had something to stick to.  Next, we used this neat vintage cookie cutter I found hidden in the back of my mom's cabinet.  It was the perfect size and shape!  After they were cut, we pressed them lightly onto the frosting.

Next, we molded our little cacti.  This was kind of a "wing it" sort of thing.  The neon green decorating icing in a bag was perfect for adding texture to our cacti, and also perfect for using as the "glue" to keep the cacti in place.  We also used it as a sort of "paint" to coat the white fondant.

Then we made little flowers to stick on top of our cacti...

And TA-DA!  I looooooooooooooove the final result.  Aren't these colors fantastic?  They're so bright and saturated.  I love that you can buy tiny packets of the bright colors so you can use it just for accents.  Definitely smart packaging, Cake Boss!

The best part of these products is how great they are to use when working with kids.  Clean up was quick and there was little frustration in the process because everything is prepared so well.

I absolutely adored getting to share some creative time with this little bug.  I love watching her mind work and her artistic side growing as she gets older.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

DIY Entertainment Shelf

For the longest time, our TV in the bedroom lived on top of a cheap, ugly, Ikea dresser.  The Blu-ray player and cable box were stacked on top of each other and it was just... unpleasant.  The before is at left... it's wretched, I know!  I couldn't stand the empty space above the tv, the harsh lines of the dresser completely clashed with the rest of the room.  I just hated it.  So, we made a change.  It started with mounting the TV and concealing the cables.  We found a strip to hide the cables in that you can paint so it blends in with your wall.  But, then I had to solve the problem of where to put the Blu-ray player and cable box.  I had found these rustic brackets at an estate sale for $10 for the pair.  I had been hanging onto them, kind of unsure what to do with them when I realized they would be a perfect solution for this project.  I bought some wood at the local hardware store, stained all the pieces and screwed them together to make a shelf.  To allow the cords to be concealed within the strip, I fixed the shelf to the brackets leaving a one inch gap between the shelf and the wall.  It worked beautifully!  

Then I was frustrated with the empty space below the shelf, between the brackets.  Simple.  I got some screw in hooks and some baskets with handles... and instant storage!  I didn't even need to drill holes for the hooks, they screwed right into the wood by hand.  

Just a note... make sure your hooks are both facing the same direction so you can lift the basket and slide off the hooks.  Removing the baskets could get tricky if your hooks are both facing inward toward each other.  You can see how I did it below.

Of course, Skilo always has to get in on the photo shoots. That's okay, though.  He only makes them cuter!  I could not be more pleased with that corner, now.  I added a sweet little wicker chair from Ikea, a Nate Berkus blanket from Target, some storage boxes from Target for random documents and a basket for all the magazines I still need to read.  The drawings on the wall were done by my mom when she was a teenager.  I adore them. 

I think this corner looks infinitely better than it did before.  It doesn't make me want to close the door and never look in my bedroom again anymore.  

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