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The Paddle Challenge

Do you know someone in the Navy or Marines? If so, then you have seen one of those cool paddles. Well, I was challenged with getting one for someone that is separating from the Navy. Man are those things pricey! They range between $75 and $200. I just knew that there must be a less expensive paddle out there some where. After some research, the answer is NO! So, you know what that means…time to get my craft on!!!

During my research, I looked at several pictures of paddles online. Some were very intricate with words within the paracord wrapping, and others were very simple. I also noticed that some of the paracord wrapping was nothing more than friendship bracelet making. Do you remember making those in school? I do.

Supply List:

  • 3 ft Wooden Paddle
  • Parachute 550 Cord (Navy Blue and Gold)
  • E6000 Clear Flexible Industrial Strength Adhesive
  • Krylon UV-Resistant Clear Acrylic Coating
  • random orbital palm sander
  • adornments (i.e. pins, coins, ribbons, etc.)

First, I came up with a design for the neck of the paddle. I went with the traditional Navy

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The paddle before

colors of Navy Blue and Gold. I wanted something a little fancy for the wrapping. I went with a two-colored, double spiral and two 5×4 Turks Head knots. Secondly, I had to come up with a design for the face of the paddle. I collected some items to adorn the face of the paddle–pins, coins and ribbons. I also had a little plague engraved with the Sailor’s name, rank and a nice sentiment.

 

The face of a paddle is curved. So, to start, I had to sand down the places for

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Sanded down areas

the adornments to go. You definitely can NOT put a FLAT object neatly on a CURVED surface–trust me. I surely gave it a try. 🙂 While, I had the sander out I smoothed out a few rough spots on the handle, sides and back. This is also a necessary step in order to properly adhere the objects to the face of the paddle.

 

The paracord wrapping was rather easy for me. I guess all those years of making friendship bracelets really paid off! Now, that 5×4

Turks Head knot?! I must have tried to tie that knot about 11 times before I was finally successful at it. So, of course the second Turks Head knot was no problem at all.

Now time for the gluing process. I used some E6000 Industrial Strength adhesive to adhere the adornments to the face of the paddle. This was a little tricky. I have never personally used E6000 before. I had no idea of how slick it was! I thought it would be tacky, like most adhesive. I was wrong. So, what I had to do was to apply some heat–a blow dryer. I glued the pieces down and then turned on the blow dryer. I positioned it to where it would be able to blow heat on the pieces while I held them in place. I held them in place with the

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Some weights added to hold down

heat for about a minute and a half. I let the pieces finished curing overnight. I had to place a 10 pound kettlebell weight on top of it overnight. This was to ensure that the pieces did not pop up or off during the curing process. The curing time for the E6000 adhesive is at least 24 hours–72 hours for maximum hold/curing. Oh, I also put a little of the adhesive on the Turks Head knot to secure them in place. Don’t need them moving all over the place. 🙂

 

Once everything was done, I added my logo (advertising and marketing :-)) to the back of

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Back view of paddle

the paddle. I sprayed the handle and paddle face with about five coats of clear, glossy acrylic coating. VoilĂ  –one awesome Navy

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Finished Paddle

paddle!! Can’t wait to see the Sailor’s face when he lays eyes on this.

 

Until next time…keep crafting!

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Engraving Sensation

February is now coming to a close. Is anyone else a little excited for Spring?! Unless you suffer from allergies-which sucks. Time to open up the windows and invite in new, fresh ideas. It’s a time for Easter celebrations and Spring season sports-that’s soccer for my household. (Soccer moms unite! :-))

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My EK Tool engraver

How about engraving for new and fresh? I received an EK Tools cordless engraver as a Christmas gift from my husband. How cool is that? I have never engraved anything in my life. He just saw it in the crafting tools aisle and grabbed one for me. So, like a kid, I

 

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Always Coca-Cola

immediately started grabbing any and every thing to see if it was engravable. I tried it out on rocks, plastic tupperware, a ceramic mug, a pencil, a glass and a key. I have not used it since…until recently.

When you put it out there in the Universe that you want to try something or refrain from something; it seems that you are given several opportunities to try and excel in that arena. So, I put out there that I want to do more crafting and opportunities galore showed up. Engraving happened to be one of the many arenas.

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Mug before

I went out to the mall to pick up a nice going away gift. I decided on a couple of Contigo travel mugs in blue. I had them engraved with a Navy emblem. I asked about having some words added. At $10 per word that sent the price of the mug up to almost $60! There was no way I was going to pay almost $120 for two travel mugs. So, DIY to the rescue!

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Final Engraving

 

First, I found a picture of the saying that I wanted in a brush lettering style-Fair Winds and Following Seas. Next, I penciled it onto the mugs and added an anchor to either side. Finally, I traced it with my engraving tool. It turned out rather nice. Hopefully, the recipients enjoy their custom travel mug.

Until next time…Keep Crafting!

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Frozen Inspired Birthday Card

My oldest son was recently invited to a birthday party for one of his classmates. The little girl was turning 6. We received a Disney Frozen themed invitation. So, what better way to work on your card making skills than to make cards for your children’s classmates/friends. I mean advertising, networking and marketing has to start somewhere, right?! 🙂

Frozen has some great characters to work with–Elsa, Ana, Olaf, Kristoff and Sven. Not sure which character is this little girl’s favorite. So, I will be choosing Olaf. I mean who doesn’t love Olaf?! He’s so funny and cute. “In Summmeerrrr!” in my Olaf singing voice.

Since the classmate is a little girl; I will be sure to sparkle it up! What girl doesn’t love a little sparkle? I know I do.

I start off by finding a cute picture of Olaf. I am going with the iconic leaping Olaf. I decided to have him wearing a birthday hat and have balloons and snowflakes around him. On the outside, I will write my sentiment and have “Happy Birthday” on the inside.

Here is my supply list. Shout out to:

  • Bazzill Basic cardstock- heavyweight, textured paper for card base (PetalSoft) and lighter, smooth cardstock for Olaf (I love their cardstock. They have so many colors and textures to choose from.)
  • Marvy Brush Marker primary set
  • Crayola colored pencils (I love Crayola stuff.)
  • Close To My Heart
    • My Legacy Writer Set-Black, 0.1mm and 0.5mm
    • Exclusive Inks-Pink Carnation and Orchid Bouquet
  • Mod Podge gloss (This is some amazing stuff. Love it.)
  • Acrylic paints: Apple Barrel (Red Apple, Pumpkin Orange) , Americana (Snow Titanium White), CraftSmart (Bright Yellow, Blue)
  • 3M double sided mounting tape (The tape that makes things “pop.”)
  • Glitter (white/iridescent)
  • Disney’s Frozen…Thanks Disney for making this amazingly cute snowman, Olaf.
Here are a few progression pictures:

 

Drum roll please……The Final Product!!

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Final Olaf Birthday Card

 

 

Amazingly Cute! I hope she loves it….I do.

Until the next project…keep crafting!

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Finding My Me

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Just Me

Crafty Lotus. Finding my me through crafting. What does that even mean? Well as a mother and a wife, my life changed tremendously! It revolved solely around my children and my husband. I was slowly being phased out and had no idea that it was even occurring. I looked up and my children were no longer babies! They are now 13, 6 and 4. They no longer needed their mother for everything. My husband always had his thing and his fellas. But me….I am mommy and wife. I needed to find myself. I needed to find my me!

 

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Parks Half Marathon Sept 2015

So, I took to the trails again…running! I joined my local running club, MCRRC. It was great! I felt like I had a purpose. It was fulfilling. I had set some running goals…complete a Half Marathon by the end of a year. I smashed it! I completed my first half marathon, Parks Half Marathon, in just under 2 hours and 30 minutes. But there was still something missing. A void that I needed to fill.

Every since I could remember, I always had a passion for crafts of all kinds. So, during the holiday season, I decided to make a few

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A Few of My Cards

Christmas cards to mail out to friends and family. It was great! They were so cute. Then in a short time span of a month, I had created more cards for people: sympathy cards, going away cards and birthday cards. All this card making had really ignited something within. And. I. Loved It!  The next thing I know…I had a few orders for Valentine’s Day cards. What?! People want to buy my creations? Well alright!

 

This feels right. This is my lane. And so Crafty Lotus was born…and now my journey begins. Thanks for coming along on this exciting journey with me!