Friday, May 27, 2011

bloempjes giveaway!

Ok, since Facebook recently re-did their guidelines on giveaways, I have to conduct all contest related stuff here on my blog. Of course, the main reason for a giveaway is some free promotion, right? So get out there and help me promote!

As most of you know, bloempjes is my second shop on Etsy. :) I just love creating these flowers so I thought I would give one of them away to you! Sound good?

One lucky winner (open to everyone regardless of where you live) will receive a custom made bloempjes flower! Your flower can be one of the 14 colors that I have available. Next, you'll choose the type: fluffy or modern (round). Then, what you'd like in the center of your flower. And finally, what you'd like on the back, be it an alligator clip or stretchy black headband.

The contest will end on Friday, June 1st June 3rd at 9 PM, US central & a winner will be chosen using

** Please, PLEASE make sure to include your email address so that I have a way of contacting you if you win! **

You have up to 5 chances to win, please post separate comments for each one.

1. Simply write a comment. It can be witty, it can be serious. It can just be "enter me". Whatever you'd like. Just write something.

2. Go on over to my bloempjes fan page on Facebook & "like" me, then come back here and leave a comment.

3. Go to my bloempjes Etsy store and then come back here and leave a comment with one of your favorite items.

4. Write about this giveaway on your blog (or on your Facebook page if you don't have a blog) & then come back here and post the link.

5. Become a follower of Valerie Paperie blog & leave a comment that you're a follower.

Again, please remember to include your email address with each entry. Thanks & good luck!

**Someone pointed out that June 1st is Wednesday, not Friday! :) I've corrected it above, thank you, Ashley!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Just Breathe...

A few months ago I made some letter banner garlands for some friends, for their booths at craft fairs. I thought it would be fun to make them again, but to use affirmations or inspiring phrases. Here's my first one, "Just Breathe". So many times, I think we don't breathe correctly. Often times during the day I notice that I'm breathing shallow. It's nice to take a deep breath sometimes and re-focus. Come on, do it right now. Breathe in slowly....ok, now breathe out. Feel better, don't you?

I'll be making more of these and listing them in my shop soon. Is there a special mantra or saying that you like to say to yourself throughout the day? What phrase would you like to see in lovely, glittery letters?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Adventures in doily ball making

Have you heard of Pinterest yet? It's becoming the most talked about site on blogs lately. It basically organizes all those bookmarks you have saved into a visual pin board. You can categorize them all into different sections. It's highly addictive. I have pinned 560 items so far. Wow. I'm impressed with myself. :)

Anyway. In my early pinnings, I came across this amazing DIY for a doily ball. I was determined to replicate it. I started collecting doilies from Etsy, eBay & my mom got a few for me in Germany. If you're thinking of making one of your own, I have a few tips for you.

Make sure the doilies you use are thin and light.
This makes them adhere better - all that glue really makes them heavy and you'll be cursing the laws of gravity when they start dropping like flies.

Use the right glue to avoid hours of frustration.
Plain old regular wallpaper paste works best. I didn't realize that there were so many different types of wallpaper paste. I made the mistake of buying "activator" wallpaper paste. Which is not the same- this stuff is for hanging wallpaper that has been pre-pasted and simply activates the glue. My doilies adhered ok to the balloon, but they didn't dry hard.
I wasn't able to find regular wallpaper paste here in a small quantity, so I had to improvise. I found some fabric stiffener at my local craft store and used that with the activator. The kind I used was called 'stiffy' you can buy it here. It worked, but because I had to use a lot of glue to get them to stick, there was some glue residue that dried in the doily "windows" that I had to poke out.

Buy more doilies than you think you'll need
During my first try, I ran out of doilies and had to buy more. In the mean time, my balloon started to deflate and (because I used the wrong type of glue) the doilies fell off.

So here's my finished result! It ended up being 4 feet in circumference (though I wish I had made it even larger) and weighing just under a pound. Since I did it in sections, (top part of the balloon first) it took a total of 3 days to complete. For the underside, it was a lot easier to cut it down and turn it upside down resting in a bowl to complete the bottom. I waited an extra day just to make sure it was completely dry and hard before I popped the balloon.

I would love to hear if you have tried making one of these too! Oh, and you can follow my Pinterest pins here. :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Butterfly Monogram's only been 5 months since my last post. Whew. Just totally lost my blogging mojo. Hopefully I'll get better at it.

Just wanted to let you know of a new project that I'm working on. I recently made a special present for a sweet little girl who just turned one year old. Her name is Phoenix and she is seriously adorable. I punched a whole bunch of butterflies in three different sizes out of black glitter paper and arranged them in a 'P' using three dimensional foam dots. The butterflies are great, visually, because you can bend the wings up for an interesting overall texture. The edge of the canvas is wrapped in a black silk ribbon. (click the picture to zoom in so you can see every little butterfly)

I just ordered a bunch of new canvases in various sizes and will soon start to offer these monogram collages on Valerie Paperie! I will be punching shapes like crazy over the next couple days. I'll probably be sticking with butterflies and hearts for the mean time. Would love to hear your input on how much you would be willing to spend on a custom monogram! The one above for Phoenix is 16" x 20", so quite large. I'll probably start small, I have four 12" x 12" canvases and a few others in other sizes.

Please do let me know what you think!