Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Paper Box or Origami?

Another project, another a) not so great finished product, b) even worse set of directions!

Since I was busy with Peaches McGee's first birthday, I thought I would tackle an easy project: paper boxes.  The directions were pretty straightforward (and yes I read through all of them before starting the project), and the picture made it look like I'd have a useful set of cute boxes when I was done.

I started with the first box (there are seven total) which is the smallest.  Probably not the smartest thing I've ever done, but the picture in the book (here's a link to it which I can't post due to copyright issues, blah blah blah), didn't appear to be too small.  Maybe one in which you could put paperclips or something in it.

Try one earring, and a stud earring at that.  The thing is frickin' tiny.  And the measurements DO NOT WORK.  The lid would not fit onto the box no matter what I did.  For a tiny box like that, I went through an entire sheet of 12" x 12" scrapbook paper.

However, I outsmarted that woman.  I went online and searched for origami box instructions with a lid and found AWESOME step-by-step instructions (check them out here).  

I used these instructions for the next three sizes of boxes and they turned out great!

I then decided to try the instructions for a bigger-sized box since I wouldn't have to use tweezers to fold the paper or a magnifying glass to see what I was doing.

Still lame.  While I was able to get the measurements to work, it wasn't sturdy and the lid would not stay on the box.

So here are the pictures which totally glorify the project because of the cool "Hipstamatic" app for the iPhone.  I'm just tired of looking at all the other craft blogs and seeing these GORGEOUS photos of their projects and mine looks totally heinous in comparison. 

Now, can you tell which one used Martha's directions and which used the origami ones?

p.s. It is very annoying to learn that most (if not every) project in the book that I purchased is online.  Thanks Martha.  I really love spending $35 (okay, I got it through Amazon for less than that, but it's the price on the back of the book) on something that I can get for free!!!

p.p.s.  I also am a little irritated that in the book she calls them "Paper Boxes," but on, they're "Origami Nesting Boxes."  According to Wikipedia (which is never wrong) ;), "The goal of this art (Origami) is to transform a flat sheet of material into a finished sculpture through folding and sculpting techniques, and as such the use of cuts or glue are not considered to be origami."  YOU CALL FOR GLUE MARTHA, so it is NOT origami.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Whale of a Step Stool and Ribbons o' Plenty

And, I'm done!

Just put a coat of polyurethane and I'm about ready to set it on fire.  Because I like it?  Nope.  Because I hate it.

Ms. Martha has only one whale on her stool and I'm trying to figure out how the template that she provides, enlarged by 113% (per instructions that, yup, I read), covers the stool.  I'm guessing that either she found a stool from a dollhouse, or maybe one that she uses for her dogs.  

A refresher of what I began with

Then, I sanded down the paint drips, added two coats of primer, two coats of a sky blue satin paint, then three coats each of a light and dark blue acrylic craft paint to the top - all because I wanted to make things as difficult as I could for myself so that I could complain about it. 

I then painstakingly cut out the whale template using two different pieces of blue scrapbook paper and "decoupaged" them to the stool.  I didn't like how it was looking (a little plain if you ask me), so I cut out Milla's name using "Sorority" lettering - as my husband likes to call it.  You know, the letters with the dots on the ends.  Cute, but cheesy, yes! 

Lastly, I put on a coat of polyurethane just for good measure!

One last thing that I had to share... I have a tendency to buy a lot of spools of ribbons.  They're always in those bins at the front of the craft store and they're so cheap!

They were starting to take up some precious real estate and were getting messy, and then all of the sudden, I had an epiphany.  I was looking at a shoe rack that I had purchased a couple of years ago that used to hang on the back of our bedroom door.  Nick HATED that thing because if you shut the door a little too forcefully, the entire rack of shoes would come crashing down.  Let's be honest.  I was typically the one closing it a little too forcefully, but those are just details.

Wellllll.  Those spools fit perfectly on the wiry dowel-like shoe racks - and for those that didn't, I made them fit (with a little elbow grease).  This is what it looks like, and the best news is that I now have TONS of space to put a bunch of new ribbon because there are three more racks just like this one (with a tier in front and back!). 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

By the way...

Just an update on the projects... I'm at a stall with the dresser.  That usually happens when there isn't a dresser to actually decoupage.  I found one on Craigslist but obviously they're in a hurry to sell it because they still haven't gotten back to me.

I've put the third and final coat on the Whale Step Stool, and plan to decoupage it tonight! Once again Martha, you make it look so easy, but your directions are for Shih Tzus.  I'll post pics as soon as it's done.

I haven't been getting much sleep lately due to mastitis and Miss. Peaches McGee deciding that she'd rather eat at night rather than during the day.  Evidence that I'm not getting enough sleep... I was trying to turn down the television and silently cursed my husband for taking the batteries out of the remote (so that the little one can play with it), when I realized that I was adjusting the volume on the video monitor.