Monday, December 5, 2011

My Beautiful Birdie - Gift Exchange 2011

This was the first year I participated in the Craftaholics Anonymous Christmas Gift Exchange. My exchange partner was Kimberley Sminkey. She has an absolutely wonderful blog, is an amazing artist, mom and my new friend. I am absolutely tickled "pink" with my gift.

She knew I loved black and pink, but didn't know I had just recently started collecting birds. How weird is that? About two months ago, I found a couple of pretty little tile bird plaques at a thrift store. All of the sudden, I was in love with birds. I have found a couple of other items since then and now I have this beauty to add to the collection.

In my rush and excitement to send out her gift, I forgot to take a picture, so I am borrowing Kim's pic. Thanks Kim!

For her gift, she told me that she loved bling and animal prints, both Cheetah and Zebra. I wasn't sure what to make. I thought about a fancy wreath and actually started on it, but as I looked around my craft room I had a last minute idea.

I took a black shadow box purchased from Michaels, covered the inside backing with silky cheetah print material. Then I cut out a circle from gold glittered scrapbook paper from Joann's. Then with the clock parts, I painted the hands gold and used the already painted gold numbers that came with the kit and applied them to the gold paper. I cut a hole in the back of the shadow box frame and inserted the clock. Then I added some gold fringe to the top and bottom of the clock. It was great fun to make it for her and I had so much fun just anticipating both giving and receiving these exchange gifts. A big thanks to Linda at craftaholicsanonymous.

I would encouarage you to sign up for one of these gift exchange programs if you have the chance. It was great fun.

Happy Holidays!

Craft Show Ideas

I did my first craft show in 13 years. It was Saturday at Living Word Bible Church in Mesa, AZ. It rained, it was cold and windy and we didn't have a super turnout, however, I did okay and made some great friends in the process.

As, I have mentioned in many of my previous posts, my budget is very limited this year, since I am no longer working and depending only on my "allowance".  My poor husband, I am always asking for an increase. It doesn't go over well, at times. Anyway...

Here are some pictures of what I sold: Above are my clay pot angels. I made these many years ago and they sold well at that time, so I thought I would try them again. They sold very well at this event too. Not all the supplies are available 13 years later, so I had to improvise a bit, but they still turned out cute enough.

My snowman and gingerbread man magnets and ornaments also sold very well. I painted bottle caps, water bottle caps etc white, added a cute snowman face, then sprayed them with a clear coat to keep them from getting scratched. I did the same with the gingerbread men. I wrapped a few of the snowmen caps that were wider with a fleece scarf. The ornaments were made from some foam marshmallows I had purchased on clearance at Michaels earlier in the year. I added a face, a hat and a string. I made a few of them into rings and necklaces as well.
You can see them clearer in this picture...I also used some of them to make clocks (see the previous blog "Clock Making 101)

These little angel pins, also sold well. I made them in different colors to reflect the world around us, and that seemed to appeal to a few people. They were super easy to make.

They are in the middle of the picture. I used a macrame type bead with a larger opening. Then ruffled up a 6 inch piece of lace and stuffed it into the bead. I added a little dab of glue at the top to secure it, but deep enough into the hole so it wouldn't be visible. Then I used another 6 inch piece of lace, folded it in half and made a bow for wings. I glued it to the back of the angel. I added a small wire to make a halo and finished them off with a pretty little coordinated bead on the front.

My husband made me some marshmallow shooters and they also sold well. You can kind of see them in this picture. They cost about 1.75 to make and I sold them for $5 each. Once someone started to play with them, other people came over and wanted to buy them. Next time, I will bring my kids and let them shoot marshmallows at each other...for marketing purposes only, of course.
I sold a few of my clay pot snowmen and both the the Capri Sun bags I made sold as well.

All in all, it was a good day for me. I learned a few things and will definitely change the way I display and set up next time, but this was kind of a trial run and helped me get my feet wet again. I had a great time and can't wait to do it again.

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Happy Holidays!

Christmas Gifts for Mom

We just had an early Christmas during our Thanksgiving trip to Utah with my parents. My budget this year, I really struggled trying to make some nice gifts. My previous post shows the clock I made for my Dad. Men are super hard to make a gift for.

My Mom loves blue and white, Delft, Victorian, fancy etc. type items. Here is what I ended up with.

First, was a teacup pin cushion. She collects these little cups and saucers, but really...she has tons of them and so I wanted to change it up a bit. She also loves to sew. I glued the cup to the saucer with E6000 glue, added lace to the bottom of the plate, then surrounded the bottom of the cup with pearls, well pearl like beads. For the cushion I used a handful of stuffing wrapped in a piece of a nylon type book cover I had lying around. I tested it first to make sure the pins wouldn't cause it to tear easily. It worked well. I stitched it at the bottom to get the tight round effect, then stuffed it into the cup. I did add a dab of glue at the bottom. Then finished it off with a ribbon around the rim of the cup and a little pearl bead.

Next, was an altered Delft candle holder. Mom collects these too. When my husband and I were in Amsterdam last year, we brought her back a few authentic Delft items, but they are much harder to find in the US. However, my local Goodwill just happened to have this little guy on the shelf a couple of months ago. I grabbed it for 2.99 and knew I was going to do something with it for her Christmas gift.
I attached a spaghetti jar lid that I had painted metallic silver. Surrounded it with silver ribbon then glued a votive cup to the lid. I surrounded it with blue and silver lace I found at the dollar store and added in the glass beads. It was a little different, but I think she liked it anyway.

This was my favorite. When I was a little girl....a long time ago...yikes...I used to get into my mom's jewelery box. She didn't have much and most of it was the costume type, but I loved her cameo. It was dark red and just beautiful. So, when I saw this cameo on clearance at Wal-mart for $1.88 I grabbed it. I didn't know what to do with it at the time, but it fit her blue and white decor.

Well, a few days before we left for our trip to Utah, I finished off my French Vanilla Cappuccino and had this cute little tin that I had to do something with. I wrapped it in this Victorian style ribbon I had on hand. I think I bought it at Michaels in the fall sometime. Then glued the cameo on the front, added some pearls and then finished off the top with a fan of lace and a blue newspaper flower.

Finally, I gave her on of the Newspaper wreaths we made. The gold and red looked so pretty together and I found a cute gold and glittery Merry Christmas sign at the Dollar Tree and hung it in the middle of the wreath.

We had a nice visit and the Handmade gifts meant a lot more to my parents than anything I could have purchased.

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Clock Making 101–using recycled items, of course!!

Save those bottle caps, you never know when they might come in handy. My husband brought home about 20  thick cardboard 12 x 12 squares from a recent tile job he completed. (Note the tile frame on the Starbucks clock.) He also had some leftover tile. I wasn’t sure what to do with it at first. I have wanted to make a clock for my sister-in-law aka Starbucks addict, for quite some time. I saved about 30 of the Starbucks caps for the past year and finally found a use for them.

After I made the Starbucks clock, I realized I could do the same with the other bottle caps I had been saving. I made a bunch of little snowman and gingerbread man magnets for a craft show I was doing and just took off the magnets and added them to the clock.

The great part was it didn’t cost much at all. Instead of buying the clock parts from Michaels, which would have cost about 5 bucks even with my coupon, I found a bunch of clocks at Wal-Mart on clearance for 2 bucks. I took them apart poked a hole through the cardboard and used the overlay from the Wal-Mart clocks to arrange the caps accordingly. I did have to trim down the hands a couple of mm in order to keep them from hitting the caps.

I placed a felt cover with a flap over the timepiece in the back to change the batteries.
I also made one for my Dad for Christmas. He is a computer lover and so I took some keys off of an old keyboard and used some old CD’s to construct the clock. He loved it…maybe cause he’s my Daddy, but that’s okay.

I think these will make great gifts for some of my other friends and family too. They are super easy to make and very unique.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

T-Shirt Pumpkins

These are easy to make and you can re-use the materials once the season is over. I found one brown and one orange t-shirt at the dollar store last week and brought them home with the full intention of using them for the “garland” I had planned to make. Change of plans…they turned into pumpkins instead.
orange pumpkin complete
Supply List:
  • One fall colored t-shirt
  • One bed sheet (for stuffing)
  • 10 Rubber bands
  • Fall Leaves
  • Ribbon / Embellishments

supplies (2)
Turn the t-shirt inside out. Place a rubber band just under the area where the sleeves begin and tighten it as many times as you can.

step 1_
Turn the t-shirt right side out again. You will now have a puckered area that will be the bottom of your pumpkin. If you do not want to re-use the t-shirt, you can always trim the excess off, but I found that the excess helped to stuff the pumpkin.

step 2 (2)
Now, stuff the pumpkin with the sheet. You will have to fluff it a bit to get a nice even shape.

step 3 (2)
Gather the open end of the t-shirt tightly and wrap a rubber band around it as tightly as possible. You will end up with a nice pleated pumpkin form

step 4
Then I wrapped the stem into a nice round ball and secured it with yet another rubber band.

step 5
Next, you will use your rubber-bands to wrap around the pumpkin to get as many even segments as you would like to get the perfect  “pumpkin effect”. step 6
Start adding your embellishments; they will hide the area where the rubber bands cross paths under the stem. step 7 (2)
That is it. Fluff it up a bit and add it to your Thanksgiving display. It only takes about 15 minutes to put together. No hot glue, no sewing, no cutting, very easy project! brown pumpkin complete
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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Newspaper Wreath

I realized that we barely have any Thanksgiving D├ęcor and figured we needed a wreath, doesn’t everyone?  I have been collecting newspapers for a while and went to work. Here is what I ended up with. I did learn a few things while doing these and am working on a couple more at the moment.

Eventually, I will find the perfect process, but if you have made these in the past and have any pointers please send them my way! Here is a TUTORIAL if you want to try this.


·         Make sure you glue or tape each strip when you apply it.

·         Do not use glossy spray paint

·         Shake your wreath as you paint it

·        Be patient and spray from a distance swiping the can back and forth or in a circular motion being careful not to concentrate on one location for very long or the papers will stick together.

Most of all have fun!! Please let me know you stopped by. We all love comments!!

Roll up your shirt sleeves- or just cut them off!

I found a couple of nice shirts/sweaters at a yard sale a couple of weeks ago and have been staring at them wondering what I can turn them into. Yesterday morning I slipped the sleeves over the top of some mason jars and realized I wouldn’t have to sew much and could have some pretty containers for my stuff.
I had one wide mouth jar and one standard size jar that had been staring at me from the cupboard for months now. I didn’t get to can anything this year since I was working during what would have been our harvest season, so I have extras this year. I didn’t want to paint them or alter them so much that I couldn’t use them in the future if I wanted to, so I figured a little glue on the outside wouldn’t hurt too much. 
This sweater was $1.00 and it has knitted lace over the top of regular sweater knit material. At first I put the lace over the jar by itself and although I liked it, I felt like it needed something else. I also found a cute flower print dress at another yard sale for $.25 so I cut a piece from that to place under the lace. It really added to the effect, I think. Then I just slipped the sleeve over the jar from the bottom and trimmed and glued the ends in tightly so it would sit evenly on the shelf.

I gathered the two fabrics together at the mouth and added some embellishments.

I will probably make a match soon, but you know how crafting goes…you get on one project and it takes you off in another direction.

So, I wanted something a bit bolder for the other jar and used yet another garage sale shirt $.50 which I had already cut into for something else. I realized the sleeve on this shirt was still intact and had a cuff at the end which would look great on the jar.

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I have been busy with kid stuff over the past week or so. With Halloween came the annual pumpkin contest at school. My daughter Meagan always comes up with some kind of character. One year was a mouse, last year was Garfield and this year it was Angry Birds. She did all the work herself. She has become quite crafty.
The following day she brought home a blank turkey to decorate. We figured out something together with what we had around the house and then she finished it off with a balloon for the “wattle”.  We used our over abundant supply of shopping bags once again, for the “feathers” and added in some fall leaves for extra color.  My friends and family are always donating extra bags and craft goodies to me so we try to put them to good use. I do try to use the cloth bags when we go to the store...really I do.
Pardon my mixer in the background…lol…sometimes my counter is the only place I have to craft.
We also had a birthday party for my youngest over the weekend and my in-laws surprised me with cake and ice cream as well. Our birthdays are only a week apart and I always try my best to avoid being the center of attention...ugh...especially since this is my 40th coming up. I guess it is inevitable.
On to other things..... 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tin Can Topiary

Tin Can Topiary
(Made with shopping bags, newspaper, a pencil and a tin can)

I wanted something "fancy" to place in my hall bathroom but just couldn't come up with the right thing. I was looking at all the tin cans and shopping bags I have accumulated and came up with this idea. Here is a Tutorial if you would like to try it.

I went to a yard sale over the weekend and bought a necklace and some clip on earrings for 10 cents. So, I added them along with an old metal heart I found years ago. I have used and re-used it on all kinds of projects over the years.

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Let it Snow

While many of you are getting snow, we are craving it here in Arizona. Yesterday, we sat down and made these fun little snowmen to make up for that loss. They were super easy.

I almost had 6 of them, but the dog ran off with one of their heads and my 3 year old ran off with the other.  Now we have to make more, I think these would be great holiday gifts.  

Next time, I am going to make a “girlie” snow lady and pair her up with a mate. I might add mittens and even some paint or decoration of some sort on the bottom rim of the snowman. Oh, I also placed felt on the bottom of the snowman.

Supply List:
2 inch terra cotta pot
2 inch wooden ball knob (found a 6 pack at Goodwill for $1.50)
1 Sleeve from an old knit tee-shirt (for the stocking caps)
1 Piece of Black Felt (for the top hats)
1 TP or Paper towel roll (for the top hat form)
Twigs (HARD to find in my backyard) cactus needles just didn’t work.
Misc. buttons, ribbon embellishments
Foam paint brush
Old non-working ball point pen or mechanical pencil (used to make the dots)
Blush (color of your choice)
White Paint
Orange Paint

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Christmas Tree - Made from Recycled Items

Here is a TUTORIAL if you would like to make one of these. It takes a bit of time and some basic supplies, you may already have lying around

Halloween went well last night and my thoughts are already on to Christmas. Yesterday while grabbing my last minute bags of candy, I spied one of those spiral type Christmas trees. I came home inspired and tried to recreate it. It didn't work.

I pondered on it all night, then this morning I had another idea. I still couldn't get the spiral like the Walgreens tree, but I came up with this alternative instead. As usual, my projects have to be made with whatever I have lying around and if you click the tutorial link you will see what I pulled from my recycling stash to make this.
*** See the link below for the inspiration for the tree topper.****

I wish I had a better camera...or...maybe could learn how to use mine. : ) One more thing to add to the

Here is my supply list:
·         20 -25 (16 oz.) Plastic Water Bottles - Empty
·         1 (44 oz.) Styrofoam cup
·         1 (1 qt. carton) I used a Silk Milk Carton
·         1 Empty Soda Box or Similar thickness cardboard
·         Sand or Rocks
·         Scissors
·         1 can of spray paint
·         1 piece of metallic tissue paper
·         1 Tall/Wide Drinking Straw
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