Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The 2014 Fru Fru Pumpkin Reveal!

Each year, I make a "Fru Fru" pumpkin for the office and when it's time to send it on its way, I undecorate it and toss it into the back of the flower bed.  Finally, it took root and came back this year! So exciting!

Let me catch you up on the progression of this pumpkin - the plant (which for the longest time we had NO idea what was growing in this flower bed), then the pumpkin started showing up but was dangling outside of the flower bed!! We moved it into the bed and it really ripened quickly.  The bottom two pics were taken with 24 hours of each other. 

So back to the fru fru pumpkin - I hit Hobby Lobby last night (man, I love that store) and picked out what I wanted to do this year. And I'm in love with it. It cost considerably more than the dollar store finds I usually use in making these pumpkins, but it was SO WORTH IT when you see the difference. (By the way, I did a post earlier all about making Fru Fru Pumpkins, feel free to check it out for other ideas!)

TA DA!! I love the chevron and the blue/orange/burgundy combo.  The rustic colors and burlap just bring the look up a few notches compared to the dollar store glitter ribbon I've been using.  

This is last year's pumpkin with all items coming from the dollar store.  So this in total (not including the hot glue and stick pins) cost about $8-9 and will last several months. It will carry you through the entire fall season.  

I also did one a little tamer last year, still using dollar store items.  I bought a dish towel at the dollar store and ripped it into strips, fraying the edges for a more rustic look.  The fabric was too floppy on its on, so I used wide packaging tape along the back of one strip to form the bow shape.  I really liked this one, too. 

For today, I'm enjoying our new pumpkin in blue.  :)  AND I have enough decor left over to do another one for my house and I can't WAIT! We even have another pumpkin in our flower bed, so I may get two pumpkins for free! :)  If so, I'll show you how that one turns out, too. 

Ya'll have a lovely hump day! Thanks for joining me in my crazy fru fru pumpkin excitement!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

{Tutorial} Pinned It Did It - LOVE Canvas + Toddler Art

I have finally finished this project that I've been working on for a while now.  Here is a former post where I was in the middle of it - and it includes the inspiration pin where I got the initial idea.  I cannot possibly tell you how much I LOVE this artwork! It's so special to me and makes me glow every time I see it. I'd call that a serious #success!

Let's start from the beginning of the project and you can see how easy it is for you to do with your own toddler. :)

4 cheap canvases - I used 8 x 10 that came in 2-pks
4 cheap acrylic paints (you can really use whatever number you'd like)
small paint brushes for the lettering
computer/printer to print letters
Scissors to cut letters out
pencil to trace letters onto canvas
1 enthusiastic toddler

As I tell you how I did it, I'll give you advice on what I'd do different.  The inspiration photo had the word LOVE taped out on one large canvas.  I wanted four individual ones AND I wanted more definition in the font than tape would allow, so I decided to come back after the toddler painting and paint on my letters.

I let Sweet Niece #2, who is barely 2-years-old, enjoy finger painting the canvases.  She would call out which color she'd want and I'd squeeze it directly on a canvas and she'd smear like crazy.  What happened, however, is she over smeared and I have large patches of brown/grey.  I think if I did a redo, I'd leave out the orange OR only use one color per canvas.  It didn't really matter to me, though, she had fun and it still turned out cute.

I pulled this picture above into a photo editing program to see what it would look like with letters painted on top, to get an idea of fonts and colors.  This is what I ended up with to work from:

Using this as a guide, I found a font that was very similar and printed single letters that would fit in the 8 x 10 canvas.  I cut them out and traced them very lightly onto the canvas.  Thankfully, I have smaller brushes and was able to do a decent job of keeping everything neat while painting the letters (see photos at the end for the actual letters on canvas.  Remember the one above is typed on with a computer program).  As I was doing this, I kept thinking Cricut letters would probably work just as well. I did measure the distance from the top of the canvas to keep everything even. I eyeballed to get them centered from the sides.

I used the original four colors of acrylic paint and thought by adding black, I could achieve this slightly darker color that would stand out from the background.  THAT DID NOT WORK.  Every time I would end up with a grey color that blocked all the pretty color out... not good. Like a Grey Pink, Grey Green - not a darker version of the original color.

This looks like DUSTY ROSE, not my favorite color! 
See what I mean about the grey colors in this pink and the green above it? It didn't really darken it like I was thinking it would do.  So instead I used a base that was darker than the original, then added some of the original color to it - like hunter green and added the lime color to it.  That seemed to work out perfectly!  In the photo below, I used the top green, and the bottom three colors of blue, pink/red, and orange.

By making them several shades darker than the background, you could really see the letters.  This pink below wasn't quite dark enough - I ended up going back over it with the darker pink/red and I liked it much better.

Original pink 

Darker pink  Don't you think it looks better?

So here are the side-by-side views.  The left I typed onto of the photo just to get an idea of what it would look like.  The right I painted on after tracing the letters to the canvas.  Not bad! 

And here is the finished product on my wall in my bedroom! LLLLLOOOOOVVVVEEEE it!!! Having my baby sweet niece's artwork as the background makes this so precious to me.  I think I may do another smaller version of this for Christmas gifts this year... what do you think?

I hope you'll try it and please share with me! You can email me at I'd love to see your own masterpiece! :)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Pinned it... Working on it.

Ya'll know how much I love Pintrest and I actually attempt some of the things I pin.  I know, what a crazy idea, right?  Anyway - If you have seen the pin where the toddler finger paints on a canvas and then you turn that into the beautiful LOVE picture, I thought surely I could do that.

Here is the inspiration pin:

I wanted my letters separated with different canvases for each letter. So I bought my four canvases and four colors of paint.  I wanted to paint my letters on afterwards for a more defined letter with serifs. So I thought I'd just let Sweet Niece #2 go at it with some paint.

Um... unfortunately, four colors all mixed together by an energetic 2-year-old turns grey/brown.  No more pretty colors.  So yeah, I needed to do this project when she was younger.

Here is where I'm at today.  Hopefully over the weekend, I'll get the letters painted on and will have an update for you next week.

What do you think? Can I make this something worthy of hanging on my wall? Hmm... I'm not so sure. Will update you ASAP! :)