Sunday, April 29, 2012

My Favorite Things - May Guest Designer Challenge

Greetings friends!!  I'm posting today to bring you my entry into this month's MFT Guest Designer Challenge!  The theme?  Be A Teacher's Pet!  So fun!!  It's hard to believe that it's almost THAT time of year again but indeed we are almost at the end of the school year and that means thoughtful gifts for those most important and fabulous teachers in our children's lives.  I've made a very special chalkboard frame for a teacher in our lives that is extremely special.  Our children were very lucky to be able to attend the most amazing pre-school ever.  It's warm, nurturing, loving, and extremely special.  It's hard to even put it into words but my son only has a few days left and at the end of his three years there he has grown into a wonderfully confident, loving, artistic, bright and kind boy.  Large in part due to the amazing lessons that he has learned from his teachers at FCF Preschool.  And I don't mean pen to paper lessons...I mean life lessons.  Sharing, caring, nurturing, friendship, love and support.  It's just the best school...ever.  So...with all of that said, I have made this chalkboard frame for his amazing teacher, Lois.
I started with a raw, 12x12", MDF frame purchased at Michaels.  I sanded the frame down and painted it with black acrylic paint.  I then painted four coats of chalkboard paint.  It's a bit laborious as you paint in one direction and then let it set for 24 hours.  Then you paint in the opposite direction the next time you paint, and so on and so forth.  The painting itself took four days to complete.  I then sanded it very lightly to get the surface chalk ready and then I started doodling on it with chalk to condition it further.
 The thought behind the chalkboard paint as opposed to regular paint is that each year, Lois can swap out the class photo for that current year's picture and doodle in chalk (her handwriting, as opposed to mine, is BEAUTIFUL!!) the year and any other information she feels like writing.  And, I've created a small, soft chalk holder that you see in the upper left hand side of the frame.
(I told you my handwriting is terrible!)  The chalk holder is made from yellow felt that I cut with MFT's Layered Heart Die-namics.  I used the larger of the two hearts, cut it out and zig zag stitched the edges together.  I tied a bow using my recent favorite May Arts chevron striped ribbon and snuggled the end of the heart holder into the tied bow.  It holds two pieces of chalk nicely so that it's always on hand when needed.  I also added one box of white and one box of colored chalk.  Both boxes are decorated to coordinate with this fun gift pack.
I used both ALM set "You Rule" and PI set "You Make The Grade" to embellish the boxes of chalk.  I used my fabulous Oval STAX Set 1 and Set 2 to create the focal point in order to house the sentiments.  I have to say that I really love the colors and design of the Crayola boxes so for the white chalk box, I left a tiny bit of the box peeking out on the bottom while on the box of color chalk, I used the Solid Bracket Border Die-namics to embellish.  Just keeping things interesting and fun! I added a few rhinestones to bling up the front in order to coordinate with the bling on the card.  I used awesome Jody Boosters to attach the sentiment panels to the front of the chalk boxes. 

I had SUCH a great time creating the decorative grouping that you see on the lower left hand side of the 12"x12" frame.  All of the pieces were done by hand.  I only have a small die in order to make rosettes from so for this, knowing I wanted a large version, I cut and scored everything by hand.  I started with my red cardstock, cutting it at 2" wide by 24" long (made by adhereing two 12" pieces together).  I scored at every inch, folded, adhered the two 12" strips together, and hot glued into a jumbo rosette.
I did the same with the notebook paper which is from Recollections (Michaels) but trimmed the paper to 1.5' wide so it would fit within the borders of the large red rosette leaving room for me to add more details in between the two.  I added loops of the red chevron ribbon along with natural twill, twisting each one and hot gluing it into place.  I had a huge chipboard star that was begging to be used!  I covered it with the same alphabet paper used on my card, ink distressed the edges and layered it on top of the ribbon.  After sponging the edges with Vintage Photo Distress Ink, I then added the notebook rosette on top of the star.  My next layers include a chipboard circle which I coated in Brilliance Aqua ink and then coated with UTEE (hard to see the shine in the pic) and the Swiss Dot yellow paper, also from Bazzill.

Layered on top of the entire grouping, I used the adorable ALM Talk Nerdy To Me sweetie.  I inked her with Momento ink onto Xpress cardstock and I colored her with my Copics.  I used silver Sakura pen to coat the metal top of the pencil as well as the graphite.  I coated the pencil wood with Versamark pen then in clear embossing powder and heat set.  It has a super fabulous shine!  I trimmed her out intentionally leaving a 1/8" border of white as I really, really love this look with certain images.  I adhered her down and then as a final touch added the smallest Hearts A Plenty Die-namics cut in red felt to the top. 

 I must say, I LOVE the wonderful dimension this jumbo element adds to this creation.
I wanted to do something impactful but didn't want to cover the entire frame so instead of covering the frame in design elements, I decided go to with a more three dimensional effect.  To the right of the huge rosette, I have added a large chipboard bracket that I coated with white craft ink and heat set with white embossing powder to sort of anchor the grouping and divide the space between the embellishments and the doodling area.  I also added two Royal Roses cut from yellow and aqua felt. 
I used my newest addiction, ahem, I mean my new favorite Fishtail Flags STAX Die-namics to add the PERFECT sentiment for a picture frame gift from the WTG set - Teacher's Pet

I also created a coordinating card using this week's MFT sketch as my muse.
 All of my papers are Bazzill and Recollections (Michaels).  The small black and white alphabet script is digital paper that I was sent a long time ago that I simply print out as needed.

I stamped my image once onto Xpress cardstock (for the hands and books) then again on the blue dotted paper(body), tan cardstock (pants), red cardstock (apple) and for the body, I only inked the main image not the surrounding frame.
 I then paper pieced in this order:  pants, shirt, books, hands, and apple.  I trimmed out my apple from the red cardstock and coated it with Glossy Accents and set it aside overnight to dry. 
Once dry, I added the apple to the image and then trimmed it out with my circle nesties.  I used one of the sentiments from the Teacher's Pet set, stamped, trimmed apart, matted and layered in between the WTG main layer and it's red matting.  I stitched the edges to keep everything together and to add more texture then I added a fun blingy circle.  Once this main piece was done I set it aside to complete the rest of my card.  I used the fun chevron ribbon, baby brads and a fun teeny, tiny paper clip to the top right.  As you can see I used my Vertical Greetings Die-namics layered on top of the Fishtail STAX to hold the digital paper. 

I finished off the interior keeping it bright and sweet with some Crate Paper ledger paper as the main focal  point. 
I have to, once again, thank Jody and Joanne for the wonderful challenge as well as the wonderful Design Team at MFT for the constant inspiration through weekly challenges and each and every spectacular release!  

If you are interested in seeing all of the amazing entries this month please pop by the gallery HERE at SCS!

Thanks so much for popping by to see my entry!

Crafty Hugs!

Fabulous MFT products used in this project:


nwilliams6 said...

Wow - you are doing this right! That teacher will feel unbelievably special. These are some fo the best ideas I have seen in awhile!

zehra said...

beautiful project Meredith, loved reading all the details.

Maria Matter said...

Wow, Meredith, gorgeous creations!! so many great elements!!

Leah's Crafty Life said...

I don't think I've ever seen a more thoughtful gift. It's AMAZING!!!!!!! I love it.

Sparkly Engineer said...

OMG! This is incredible. I think this is the kewlest teachers gift and card I have ever seen.