Guest Blogger: Craftastical

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** Did you know Kara and I grew up together? Yup, we did. She moved away a long time ago, but thanks to this awesome thing called blogging we’ve been able to get back in touch. Take it away Kara! **

Hi, I’m Kara Henry from Craftastical! I’ve been crafting since I was a little girl; one of my childhood friends still has a jewelry box I made from Popsicle sticks! I also devour books–if I start reading, I cannot do anything else until I finish, including hear or sleep. I love junk food, especially chocolate and hate to cook. I’m verbose, passionate, a bit wacky and a little mental (literally, I’m bipolar II).

Ack! I’m not sure how to describe my blog. Take digital scrapbooking freebies, a lot of sewing (but my sewing machine is not working right now–this is rivaling the time my camera broke–I am hand sewing everything right now), some home decor, tutorials and four kids and one amazing husband and my accident-prone self and you’d pretty much have it.

I love the challenge of learning something new, so I’ve tried all sorts of crafts–knitting, beading, cake decorating, crochet, quilting, scrapbooking, quilling. I’m also very, very cheap and I love to up-cycle or re-purpose. I haunt thrift stores, garage sales and antique stores like they are the source of all cocoa beans or Henry Cavill look-alikes.

This is me:

Ok, now to the good stuff–the projects!

This is probably the project that has traveled the farthest in blogland. It’s inspired by an amazing paper artist named Yulia Brodskaya. Seriously, if you have not seen her work, go to her website (after you finish reading this post of course). It’s like “Woah, I did NOT know that paper could do THAT” and also, “Dude, I wish I had thought of doing that first and I really really wish I was Yulia right now.” I often think that when I see other people’s amazing work. Not in a jealous way, but in I-really-admire-their-talent way.

So, inspired by her, I created this monogram for my entry way. I also created a tutorial, so you can try it too. A lot of people have emailed me photos of their finished projects, and it’s a bit of a fussy thing to do, but you can totally do this! I’ve yet to see one that wasn’t absolutely beautiful.

And the whole arrangement on my wall (this is the wall in my entry and above the stairs that leads down to my basement. You can read more about the whole creation of this wall here).

Ok, next project. This is a baby clothes quilt I made for my daughter. We have three boys and then a daughter. I confess, I went a wee bit overboard (as in we did not have enough drawers to contain) on the clothing. So, once she grew out of them, I had do something darling with them. Lest you worry that I’m showing favoritism, I am planning a quilt for my boys’ clothes too. It’s just that my sister had two boys after my three and we are still in the hand-them-down-through-the-cousins process.

So, here’s the finished quilt. I also did a tutorial on this project, which you can find here.

Once I was finished, I went through my photos and tried to find photos of Aubriana (Ah-BREE-ah-nah–all the A’s make the same sound, we call her Aubrey or BreeBree for short) in clothes that made it into the quilt. Here’s one of my favorites. She just turned four and she’s my youngest, so this is giving me a serious case of the squeezy heart. (You can see my celebratory “I can’t believe I finally finished this quilt” post here).

Ackyity ack ack! I want to kiss her baby cheeks again.

Ok, last project is my kitchen make over. It’s still a work in progress and I’d really like to overhaul the whole thing sometime, but for now, it’s about 100 times better than when we moved in last year. You can see the whole process from beginning to end here. “End” being a very loose term meaning “the last thing I did which was knock a big hole in the wall which I haven’t fixed yet.”

Here’s a few before/after shots (don’t mind the kids in the before, I was in a rush and I neglected to make them move):

Don’t you love (that’s sarcastic love) the orangish-yellow countertops? For about $50 in paint (and I didn’t use it all either; my bathroom got painted with one of those colors), I was able to paint the countertops. When the husband component of the previous owners stopped by, he was all like, “Wait, do not let my wife see how easily you changed those countertops, because I will be in big trouble.” But, he was kidding. Mostly. And, a year later, they still look amazing! And I am not easy on my countertops.

My husband and I built these shelves together. He also built our table which has bamboo flooring as its top. Still need to replace the light fixture though. That one. . . let’s just say, it’s not my taste (I’ve replaced two light fixtures in my house since we moved in last year, only nine or ten more to go?).

And there’s a more direct view of the shelves and the frames (almost all of the artwork I made myself or is free vintage clip art, and a few are available as freebie downloads on my site–if you see one you like that isn’t available, ask and you just might get it). You might notice that I have a blank spot right now. That’s because for some reason, that frame really, really, really likes to fall off the wall. My kids have knocked it off and I’ve replaced the glass three times. Finally, I gave up and I’m going to get some acrylic to put in that frame, but it hasn’t happened yet. By the way, all of the frames in my house were either dollar store or thrifted and then spray painted.

The chairs we bought off of KLS (what Utah likes to use instead of Craigslist). We bought them for $8 a piece, but they were not exactly pretty. They used to be green metal with orange seats (they used to match the counters really well). A little spray paint and some fabric (with some plastic vinyl, I have destructo-children, fabric would last about 1.2 seconds before being decimated by a peanut butter and jam bomb), and they were transformed.

So, there you have it! I told you I was verbose (I can’t help wanting to spill my internal organs all over every blog post). Come visit my blog! Right now I’m working on my master bedroom, which is more modern and a lot less eclectic than my kitchen.

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Comments

  1. Ahhh, those were the days! We are so darn old now. 🙂 Thanks so much for having me, Allison!

  2. Kara, wow I am very impressed! I did not even know you could paint countertops!! Very talented!!

    xoxo
    Karena

    Art by Karena

    Come and enter my New Giveaway!

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