Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Flowers and Wooden Beads

I have been seeing necklaces all over the place with fabric flowers on them, so I decided to make one of my own for a Christmas gift for someone.  I learned how to make the flowers from a tutorial on Tea Rose Home, one of my fav blogs, and I have been making them into pins for gifts, and hair ornaments, but I decided I wanted to try a wooden bead and  flower necklace.  I got the pretty, blue enameled, wooden beads on an old necklace I got in a box at a yard sale.  The necklace was far from pretty, but I saved the beads to be re-purposed, and I got the gray organdy ribbon on clearance at  Michaels for twenty-five cents.  So all in all, it probably only cost me about $1.00 to make it.

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Wee Babe in Diaper

Back View

Night Gown and Bonnet

Dressy  Outfit and Bonnet

My little grand daughter, Avery is nine years old, and she and I were looking through some magazines one day, and she saw a miniature baby doll, made for collecting, that you can order and then you get a new one every month.  They were quite pricey, so we decided she might not want that for her birthday, because it would have to be her only gift.  Avery loved it so much, it had been on my mind off and on trying to think of how I could get her one.  I am making many of my Christmas gifts, and I suddenly thought about making a miniature soft-sculptured doll for her.  I had made some full sized ones years ago for my daughters when Cabbage Patch dolls were all the rage, and were in shortage.  I got out paper and set about making a pattern for the wee, six inch little babe.  I ended up having to hand sew it, because of it's tiny size, but when I finished sewing and sculpting it, I fell in love.  She's kind of silly looking, but I think she's sweet.  I made her some little clothes also.  I think Avery will love her.  At least I hope so.  Now I have to make another one for my other little two year old grand daughter, Gracie.  She loves babies, and I think this one will be just her size. 

What Can You Make From Cardboard, Old Book Pages, and Coffee Filters???

First Book Wreath

Close-up of Center

Second Book Wreath, a little different

Side View of Second Wreath
I found a wreath made from book pages that I was impressed with on "Living With Lindsay".  I loved her idea, but wanted to put my own twist on it.  I also saw some paper flowers, no tutorial, just a picture, on "Style Me Pretty", that I liked, so I went to work.  I figured out how to make the center flower, and got a circle of cardboard, actually out from under a frozen pizza.  I cut the book pages from the book with an exacto knife, rolled them into cones, taped the ends, and began to hot glue them around the outer half of the cardboard, and when I made an entire row, I placed another row between those of the first row.  When that was done I applied my two toned, bleached, and unbleached, coffee filters by hot gluing them to the back of my cardstock flower.  Then, I cut a small square of burlap and fringed it a little, and applied it to the center of the flower and topped it off with a vintage button.  I then glued the flower to the center of the wreath.  At first it sat too far down in the middle, so I found a small box, a jello box to be honest, and covered it in white paper, and glued it in the middle and glued the flower to that, so it wouldn't sink down too far in the center.  It's about 2 1/2 ft. across when finished. 

I love this project because it has a very organic look, it is reusing items that might normally be thrown away, and it is very inexpensive, yet looks beautiful.

Monday, November 29, 2010

I am Finally Back!

I must apologize for my lack of blog posts lately,  I have had some problems arise and have not had the time nor the heart to write anything.  It started with the news that my husband's heart is getting weaker (he has a congenital heart problem and has a pacemaker and defibrillator) , and the Dr. put him on blood thinners to help. He has bad veins in his leg, and one of the veins ruptured and he bled profusely.  We ended up in the emergency room, and they are having to find a balance between the thinner blood needed for his heart not to create clots, and not so thin for bleeding if a vein ruptures.  That was very scary.  

Then of course, I had my fall house cleaning to do before Thanksgiving and Christmas. We had two Thanksgivings so that we could get together with everyone.  One on Thurs. and the other on Fri. and then the unthinkable happened Friday morning....my oldest daughter came over to pick up her girls, and had gotten out of her car and was standing in the driveway, and my little chihuahua, Dexter, ran out in the road and was ran over right in front of my her!  She was so upset, she had to come in and act like nothing happened until she could get me in another room to tell me and she was just sick.  We didn't want her little girls to know yet, they love him so much it would break their hearts.  My husband had to go and get him and bury him.  I managed to hold it in until Katie could get the girls out of here and then I cried my eyes out.  He was my best little friend.  A lot of chihuahuas are snippy, and not very friendly, but he loved everyone, and everyone loved him.  He was a little deer- type, and he looked like a little baby deer when he was curled up sleeping.  He sat on my lap while I did all my crafting, he rode in the car with me, and slept on my bed right next to me every night.  He was terrified of storms and would always run to me or someone to hold him and make him feel safe' til it was over.  He may have been very tiny, but he left a giant hole in my heart when he left.  I guess it is silly to care so much for an animal, but he was just special.  I have other dogs that I love too, but he had a special place in my heart.  I do have his daughter, Lulu,  She is quite a bit bigger, as she is part rat terrier, from her mom, Madeline, but she is sweet too, and seems to sense  my sadness, and is trying to move in to the position of constant companion.  She follows me everywhere now.Needless to say, it was hard to have the Friday Thanksgiving celebration, and entertain a houseful of guests with my heart so broken, but I figured it would be better to stay busy.

I will back to posting now and I am making many Christmas gifts, as money is a little tight around here this year, so I will have some things to show you, and hopefully, a couple of giveaways and maybe a tutorial, or two.  I don't have very many people reading my blog, but at least I would like for it to be interesting for those who do. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Anthro Knockoff

My version
I was looking on Anthropolgie at jewelry a couple of days ago, and I saw a necklace that I liked the shape and look of, but was appalled at how sloppy it was made and they wanted $168.00 dollars for it!  It was paperclips with contact paper or tape wrapped around each one.  When I looked at it closely it wasn't even neatly done!  I have a necklace from paper clips that I made in a different style, long ago, and I like they way they look, so I decided to try my own version of theirs.  I wanted a more organic look to mine, so I cut one inch squares of decorative paper, and glued them and wrapped them around the paperclips, I need to mention though, that you cannot wrap the paper clips until you are done connecting them, or you wouldn't be able to hook them to each other.  Then I wanted to make them more sturdy, so I took a small paintbrush and coated each one with two coats of Triple Thick glaze. Then, I found in my bead stash some shells that I thought looked good with the colors, and embellished the necklace with a few of them.  The great thing is even though it did probably take about 6 hours to make, it only cost me about a dollar in supplies.  The possibilities are endless,  if you use paper, the designs and colors are limitless.  I also would like to try making one with some of the Japanese printed masking tapes that are out on the market now.   If you try this, come on back here and post a pic of your work, I would love to see it.! 
Have a great day, and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 8, 2010

When and Where do You Get Your Ideas?

I get my ideas in the strangest places and the strangest times sometimes. I was wondering if anyone else would like to share what and how and when they are inspired?  I truly believe our talents are a gift from God, and we are meant to use them to somehow encourage or inspire others.  I also believe we are ambassadors for God in this world, it makes me so happy to see how many of us who have crafting and cooking blogs are Christians.  Many are home schoolers, and such good family oriented people.  I feel sorry, I think a lot of children are being raised by babysitters, and when mom and dad come home they have so much to do in the evenings, there isn't much time for family activities and individual attention.  My daughter works, and has three girls, and by the time they get all the chores done and homework, it's time for bed.  I know with the economy the way it is a lot of women have to work, and I feel a lot of compassion for them, because it is so hard and it puts a lot of pressure on the familyThat's where grandmas and grandpas come in handy.  I try to help my daughter a lot. Trying to keep her spirits up, and not to let her get overcome, while she is trying to support her family.  My other two daughters are lucky enough to be stay at home moms.

That all said, I need to get back to the subject of inspiration.  I get mine in some strange ways.  I stayed up very late working on a tutorial project a couple of nights ago, and decided I needed at  least a little sleep, so I laid down in bed, and I was thinking about the tube watercolors my son had gifted me with two years ago, that I hadn't even tried yetSuddenly I got a picture in my mind, at three a.m., and thought, "Oh that's cute, I will have to draw that up, TOMORROW."  Well, the image and excitement about it kept bugging me, until I had to get up, get a piece of paper and a magazine to use for support to draw on, and some colored pencils to draw with, and laid back down in bed and proceeded to draw this picture that was on my mind. Then when I woke up, I had the image I liked for a second  pic, and had to draw it when I woke up. I get a lot of fresh ideas in the shower too, maybe the water tapping on my head stimulates my brain!lol  Sometimes I will be driving, or sitting down to eat dinner, and an idea will pop in my head, too.  If I try to think of something, I usually can't, it has to be when I am not thinking about it.  How does it work for you?  Well, the next day, I tried out the watercolors, and these are the pictures that I painted.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Repurposing a Curtain Valence

I decided to face the monster yesterday, and resort and organize my linen closetUghhh!  I don't think anyone looks forward to that job, am I right?  In doing so, I did find curtains that I have been hanging onto for years, some were even from my mom's house.   I looked at them with a repurposing eye, and I thought what could I do with these, there is a lot of good material here, ruffles, lace, there should be something.  I took some of the valences to my sewing room and I took a teal one with a ruffle at the bottom, cut the middle out, made a contrasting strip of fabric to go across the top, hemmed the sides, and ran a decorative ribbon across the top, with extra on each end for ties.  Then I got into my stash of fabric yo-yos circles, remembering I had a red plaid one with scotty dogs that would make a good pocket.  I had just enough of a strip of the contrasting fabric to make a cute little flower to embellish it with, and I have an apronI am putting together a tutorial (my first, wish me luck!), I should have it ready in a couple of days.  I also have a couple more ideas for curtains, that I think you will like.  I find cute curtain valences at thrift shops and never thought of what I could do with them.  For instance, if nothing else, if there is a nice wide gathered ruffle at the bottom, why not carefully cut it off, leaving a bit of the fabric it's sewn to, and apply it to the bottom of a little girls skirt?  If you wanted an apron in a hurry, you could just run a ribbon through the rod casing adjust the gathers, stitch across to keep the gathers from shifting, and tie it on!  I see a lot of possibilitiesMaybe from a fancy, flouffy set of cutains, a little girls play dress- up outfit?

close-up of pocket and trim details
apron made from curtain valence
I may have single-handedly defeated the linen closet monster! Now maybe if we look at it's contents with a different eye to repurpose something good from it, we won't dread confronting it so badly.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Stand-up,Stuffable Halloween Card

Standing up, not stuffed

Laying flat

Standing up, stuffed with goodies!
I thought you might enjoy  seeing my Halloween cards I made for my grandkids. I like the fact that you can stuff them with goodies, and then they will stand up to look pretty, (or should I say....creepy?)  They are sooo simple to make each one only takes a few minutes.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tea Wreath


Tea wreath, a wreath for any season!

I saw a Tea Wreath over on kojodesigns, and thought it was a stroke of genius, so I had to try it for myself.( kojodesigns is a great blog, they have many creative ideas, and a cute new baby too, you should check it out.)   I have so many  different kinds of teas that I have to keep them out on a shelf, in a tub, in my utility room.  Not very convenient, rightI followed their tutorial, using colors of paper to compliment my kitchen, and it turned out really nice.  Mine holds about 30 teabags of my choosing.  It's nice when family and friends come over and I don't  have to go digging out the "Tub O Tea" for them to select their favorite, I can just put out a variety on the  wreath, and They can push a clothespin and take the one they want, then when it starts to get a little empty, I can refill it.
Hand painted pumpkin
Wire cross I designed
Hand painted Oriental Lady
Pretty in Purple

Hand Painted Roses

I also worked on some jewelry this week and took pics of some I had made a couple of months ago, I will put a few of them on for you to see. 
Crazy Cat

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bandanna Skirt for $2.00

I haven't  had much time for blogging this week, I spent it with my Sister-in-law and her husband and little girl who came  up to visit.  We don't get to see them nearly often enough, only about once a year.  She is just like my own sister, as I never had one, only a brother.  My  brother was wonderful, but I still missed having a sister.  When I married my husband, I got a sister too, as a package deal.  Dolores is great, and we have so much fun together.  We went to an antique mall, and saw all kinds of things we wanted, but really don't have room for. They left this morning, and it always makes me sad to see them go.  Fortunately, my daughter came with her little girl, and one of my other granddaughters to visit, so I didn't get a chance to be too sad. 

Before they got here, last week, I tried one of the bandanna skirts that V and Co. had a tutorial on, which inspired me to try one.  I found this cute bandanna in the Halloween section, with owls, which I love.  I noticed that the right and wrong sides of the bandanna looked very much the same, so instead of cutting the two bandannas off shorter for the proper length needed for my little granddaughter, age 5, I folded it over so it would make another layer of the skirt.  I simply sewed the two bandannas together, right sides together only on one side to start with, then folded it over and then sewed about an eighth of an inch from the top edge, and then an inch  down from there, to form the casing for the elastic. I cut the elastic 22 1/2 inches long to fit her waist, worked it through the casing by attaching a safety pin and pulling it through, then I closed up the second seam, right sides together, back-stitching at the elastic to reinforce it.  In the front where the top layer was folded over, you could see the seam allowance from where I sewed the sides together, so I sewed wide, black rickrack over the seam on the top layer only, and put a black and white striped fabric flower at the end of it.  I also added a gathered strip of netting on the bottom of the skirt to dress it up a bit.  My little granddaughter tried it on and began twirling around, so I knew it met her approval. Thank you V and Co. for a great and economical Idea. This was so much fun I can't wait to make more, and I will have to, because I have four more granddaughters.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Purse Week

Sorry I haven't posted for a while, I have been very busy making a purse for the Purse Week contest at a lemon squeezy home.  I have never made a purse without a pattern to go by.  I made 3  purses with a pattern a couple of years ago to give to my daughters for Christmas.  They were all  the same pattern, but different fabrics.  They turned out all right, but this is another story.  I made it up as I went along, and kept adding more and more embellishments, many of which I opted to sew on by hand, rather than machine.  I just feel like I have more precise control when I hand sew.  The main part of the front was a picture that I drew myself, (that was actually the inspiration for the whole purse), and then I layered cotton batting and another piece of fabric on the back and embroidered her face.  Then I adorned her hat and necklace with red and black seed beads.  This was quite an adventure, but one I am glad  I took.  I will be back soon with some new jewelry pieces, and who knows what else?  I am dying to try the Teabag Wreath over at Kojo Designs, If you are a tea drinker, or need a cute gift for someone who is, or maybe a teacher gift, check it out.  I bought some of the supplies, I may tackle that next!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Convertable Baby Bonnet/Bib

i am so excited to show you this baby bonnet!  I used to make these for my little girls when they were babies.  I love them because they are dual purpose.  You can unbutton the side  buttons and tie the ties around the baby's neck and viola!  You have a bib!  So many baby bonnets you get in the store, if you can even find one, have either so many ruffles, and fancy delicate trims, or some type of stiffening in the brim, that they aren't very washable.  These are so simple you can just throw them in the washer, and pop them out, and with little or no ironing, depending on the fabric used, it's ready to go again.  It also takes very little fabric.  The bonnet/bib takes about an hour to make the first one, and after that i would say about a half an hour once you have gotten familiar with the instructions.  I will have pics of the different views.  If enough people are interested, I could do a tutorial on these.  I will also show you in my next project a larger bonnet to fit all the way up to about a 3 to 4 year old, and it turns into a pinafore apron!  Very cute. Just about any fabric would work, also, from eyelet, gingham, cottons, for summer, and for a heavier bonnet for winter you could use corduroy, velvet, denim, etc.  I hope you love these as much as I do.  It's been about two years since we have had a little baby in the family, I miss sewing those tiny sweet little baby clothes.  I will have to make  them for the girl's dolls now!  I have some little granddaughters who would love some pretties for their dolls.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

More examples of combining techniques on cards

I wanted to add a few more cards that I made using other techniques.  This first one is tea bag folding, it looks complicated as a whole, but the motif is broken down into very simple folded sections held together with the tiniest bit of glue.  This gives your cards a lot of dimension.  you can find paper specially made for tea bag folding, with the designs placed optimally for the best result when folded.  You can actually save your pretty teabag envelopes, if you are a tea drinker, as you can tell my my title, I am, and cut those up to be used. 

The next one is embossed.  I feel it adds a simple elegant touch to cards and tags, and I have used them to decorate packages and gift bags.  You can buy the brass stencils  and a light table at most craft stores.  They are very reasonably priced.  I used this technique on my daughter's wedding invitations, adding a glaze pen with l light tough of glitter to highlight some of the areas, and they were beautiful. 

 The last is a baby card, I used my cricket for this sweet little baby and tucked it inside of a little  blankie made of folded paper.  After I made it I decided the next time I make these, I am going to use flannel, with a pinked edge, to add texture and softness to the card.

I hope maybe I have inspired some of you to try something new.  It's always fun to add different techniques to your projects, it keeps them fresh and uniquely yours.  Have fun, and if you have any questions feel free to comment, or email me, I would love to hear from you!   

Some different techniques to take your cards to another level

Hello everyone, I have been working on cards this last week.  I need to replenish my stock at a cute little store in town where I sell my cards, so I thought I would share some of them with you.  I wan t to give credit to a book that I have fallen in love with, also.  I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I had to order it on line, and wait for it to come, but it was everything I anticipated, and more.  I bet you are wishing I would just get on with it....what is the name of this wonderful book??? Origami Card Craft, by Karen Elaine Thomas.  I know, some of you may be saying, "Origami, I tried that once and it is too complicated for me",  but trust me, these are fairly simple and very well explained and illustrated.  I have some examples of my favorite one, and there are many more.

30 cards and envelopes that will add a third dimension to your cards, along with places to tuck in small gifts, pictures, and lots of space to stamp and embellish.  I think you will fall in love as I have.  You can visit Karen at www.karenelaine.com and www.origamicardcraft.com.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I need some Help!!!!

I really want this blog to be seen by someone!  I don't know how to get it out out there.  I want to do my first tutorial on a baby bonnet that turns into a bib for little babies, and then I have one that can go all the way up to a three to four year old, and it can be turned into a pinafore apron.  They are  so adorable, and the thing I like about them is they are simple and easy to wash and wear.  I feel like  i am talking to myself, and wasting my time because no one will come to my blog.  How do I get people to come to me?  I even want to have give away contests, like for a couple of my convertable bibs, but I just don't know how to get anyone to see this.  If anyone out there can help, please do leave me a comment with some advice.  I'm all alone here and lonely.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I have to recommend this blog!

If any of you have a daughter whose hair you fix, you MUST check this out.  The link is in my sidebar.  I found it on Totally Tutorials.  Princess Hairstyles is amazing.  The braids, weaving and hairdos that are on here are shear genius!  If you have run out of ideas for your daughter's hair, check this out.  Sooooo cute.  I can't begin to do it justice by describing it, you have to see for yourself.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

New crochet book

i am so excited!  My sweet daughter gave me a gift card to Michaels for babysitting so she could have a "Girl's weekend"(She knows Michaels and Hobby Lobby are dear to my heart.  My DD's know, once I go in...it could be a while before they see me again).  After much perusing of the craft books I found, " Crocheting on the Edge" , by Nicky Epstein.  I would recommend this book for anyone who loves to crochet, it has many, beautiful fringes, edgings, bobbles, projects, and so much more.  For those of you who like to add beautiful elements to your already purchased garments, some of these edgings would be so pretty added on to a t-shirt or sweater neckline, or sleeve edge. 

Don't pay attention to the date on my photo, I apologize for that, my camera is doing something goofy and putting old dates on my photos.  I have yet to figure out why.  I will show a couple of examples of projects I like.  Nicky also has a book on crochet flowers, also.  It's on my wish list....hmm..I wonder if my daughter needs another "Girl's Weekend!!??!!

I tried my hand at making a bib necklace, I have been seeing them everywhere and like the soft, feminine look of them.  I saw several cute ones on Lollychops blog, who,  by the way, I love.  She made one and now she can't stop, but mine didn't turn out so well.  I will show a pic, but don't laugh too hard.  I think I should have curved it more, and maybe added more elements to it.  I like the colors and the fabrics have a nice feel to them, so I guess there is something positive.  If anyone has any suggestions, please comment. 
I did manage to squeeze in a couple of crafty projects this weekend, after everyone went to bed.  I have been seeing owls everywhere lately, and I really wanted a piece of jewelry with a cute little owl.  What really attracts me to owls are mainly their eyes, so I decided to feature their eyes on my ,"Who gives a hoot" bracelet.  It was a lot of fun to paint, and then i designed a beaded bracelet to go with my painted piece. I love it, and think I may make a necklace to match soon, but maybe with the whole owl on it.

I have been busy!

Well, we had a birthday, and the holiday weekend, so it's been a little while since I have posted.  My little granddaughter Avery has been planning her birthday for months.  She turned nine, and was getting an Ipod touch like her big sisters, and she was so excited.  Her big sister, Cierra is dabbling in photography, and this is a photo she took of Avery.  She is doing pretty well with her photos.
Isn't she a cutie?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Just got a new rescue puppy , and more pictures

Here's probably an interesting insight to my personality....I love animals and have raised some interesting ones, and I have a soft spot for any animal without a mother, or a home.  I have raised 5 baby opossums, bottle feeding and all.  My sister-in-law found them in the mother's pouch after her aged father-in-law killed her for getting in with his chickens.  An unfortunate incident, but they needed a new mommy, and that was....guess who?  Me!  They were adorable and very gentile and sweet.  We turned 3 loose in a reserve, and kept Sophie, and Cosmo.  They were some of the best pets we ever had.  Gentle as could be, litter box trained, loved getting baths, and would follow us around, and would get up and sleep in our laps.  Amazing to how I thought they would be.  We kept them until they passed away at about 3 years old, which is a normal life span for them.

Anyway, today my son brought me a big old lab puppy appeared to be dumped near where he was working, and almost got hit by cars a couple of times.  She's adorable, and seems to be bright and gentle.  I will be posting a pic soon.

Here's a list of some of the more interesting animals I have  raised:  Many wild rabbits, tree frog tadpoles, 2 skunks, 4 robins, a black bird,  2 blue jays, and of course many baby domesticated animals.  It's definitely been a learning and very rewarding experience. 

Back to one of my other favorite subjects, crafts!  I am adding  pictures of jewelry I have designed.  I hand painted the ladies faces and the flowers on the wood pieces (which were off a place mat that I took apart), and then strung them on a plastic cording with bead accents top and bottom. 
Front view

back View

Flowered bracelet
a necklace and earrings set I made