Small Steampunk Hats

I've committed myself to do a holiday craft sale in the month of November so I thought I'd get busy making some fun things to sell.
I used some felt top hats that my friend gave me as the base for these little steampunk hats.
I fiddled with some thin chipboard to make a hat band for each hat which I then covered with some metal tape embossed with gear shapes. On the bottom of each hat I covered the hole with some more chipboard covered with black felt and then added a hair clip.
 For the feathers on each hat I pulled out my stash of peacock feathers...
 I gave each one a little hair cut. The feathers are true works of art aren't they?
They came together pretty fast once all the components were found and piled up.
 I used old earrings to add some bling to the sides of each top hat.
 I think these would be fun to wear to ring in the new year...
 I'll give one to my grandaughter for one of her dolls--- I should make a steampunk outfit to go with it! Scratch off one thing completed on my to do list...add another thing I want to make... 
big hugs,


Summer Fun

When I'm inside my house, my puppy Akira gets lonely... she often tries to peek inside the house -through the shutters to see where I'm at... awe, what a sweetie.

She is really enjoying the summer playing in our pool, well sitting with her feet in the pool with her rump on the pool deck. I'm afraid she picked this up from me--- as I'm not a big fan of swimming. *wink* She has grown a lot since this photo was taken.
Actually, Akira prefers her little pool over the big pool-- something she can run in-through-and-out-of as she runs laps in the yard.
Often I find her trying to grab the plastic molded fish at the bottom of the pool... She is really good at holding her breath under water. Then she stops and calmly waits for them to taunt her again, then she goes all crazy to get them....
When she realizes that they are not coming up for air, she resorts to hauling a number of toys into her pool. This little gray stuffed dog almost met an untimely death.....
 Akira brought it to the edge of the pool and then flung it out. I was concerned it would no longer makes the farting noise when squeezed.... it still works.
I tell ya, nothing will scare the ba-gee-bees out of you faster than that farting noise at 1:00 in the morning when your waiting for your dog to go potty so you can bring her back inside...
Here is a picture of Akira and her beloved plastic chicken. She will fling that chicken left and right, and heaven help you if your close by--- it hurts when it connects with your legs! The good news is that the chicken, thanks to Akira, is now legless-- so it isn't as far reaching when she starts flinging it around!
I don't know what to expect this upcoming winter with this huge moose of a dog, but I'm sure an adventure is right around the corner with this one!
big hugs,


Bedazzled Abalone Shells

I recently bought this shoe box full of random bits of jewelry for a mere $5.00. It has been awhile since I've bought any substantial amount of jewelry-- so I was jazzed to go through it.
I would say the container had about 50% usable items and the other 50% will get tossed into a plastic bag to be sold at a later date. One persons "junk" is always someone else's treasure. I was surprised at all the strands of rhinestones that were in the container.... sparkly... I always find uses for strands of rhinestones (a.k.a. rhinestone bracelets) Here is one of two drawers I have some of my stash of rhinestones in....

Along with the shoe box full of jewelry I also purchased a few small abalone shells a for $1.00 (for the lot)

Even if the edges are jagged, I still buy them. I can easily fix any jagged bits with small snips from a pair of wire cutters.
I bought these little shells with the sole purpose of "bedazzling" them... I pulled out some rhinestone bracelets to use and got busy.
They are super easy to make. Firstly, I make one cut on the bracelets to create a strand instead of a continuous circle. Next, I use a pin to pull up the loop of the elastic in the bracelet so that I can pull it out completely. Once that is done, it is ready to be glued to the shell. I use E6000 glue to adhere the rhinestones to the abalone shell. I run a line of glue around the entire shell where I want the rhinestones to be set. I find that doing this allows the E6000 glue to set up ever so slightly to make it a thicker glue. If you don't, the E6000 glue is a runny consistency, and makes it harder to keep what your gluing from sliding around.
Its just a matter of placing the rhinestones into the glue and adding a bit of bling to the shell and setting it aside to dry.
 These abalone shells are very small, I've placed rings inside of them to give you an idea of just how tiny they are. I also added small pearl halves to the bottoms of the abalone shells to act as feet. Abalone shells don't sit very flat and without the little feet they are wobbly~
 The littlest abalone shell is the one in the bottom left corner. It is even to small to hold a ring.
Some of these I will use as containers to gift some necklaces to some of my friends....
I've got a lot more rhinestones that I'm wanting to play with-- I guess a little visit to Pinterest is in order :-)
big hugs,


Steampunk Top Hat

I just finished whipping up a steampunk top hat... 
I repurposed a cardboard hat I used as a prop for a Mad Hatter party for my grandson to wear. Very basic.... very boring. Blah.
It had seen better days and was needing a makeover.

I pulled off all of the fabric, which made it a little wobbly at first. 
The whole reason I started this makeover on this hat was because I bought a stack of foam sheets at a yard sale for .50¢ I crack myself up. Anywho, I got out my paper cutter and started randomly cutting up some of the foam sheets into squares and rectangles. No rhyme or reason, I just cut them up. I used my glue gun and covered the entire hat with several layers of the foam core. I then got out some two part epoxy to create little dots to resemble rivets along the edges of each square of foam. I used a toothpick to dab the little dots of glue along each edge. I did this over several hours letting areas dry in between.
Once that was all finished-- I painted the hat with brown acrylic paint. The photo below shows what one coat of paint looked like covering the multi colors of foam sheets. All in all it took three coats to get full coverage.

Once the brown paint had dried, I added some watered down black paint to add even more dimension to the look of the hat. Lastly, I took some silver metallic paint and added a little bit of silver color to the rivets on the hat. Looking awesome!

I lined the inside of the steampunk hat with pages from an old Sears Roebuck catalog. I sealed the paper with Mod Podge. Lastly, I added a sweat-band to the hat using black felt. I originally was going to add pages from a super-cool old metal hardware book--- think I could find it? Um, no.

I really like how the foam sheets ended up looking like leather. I am in the thinking stages of what kind of hat band I want on this hat... I would also like to make some steampunk goggles to add around the hat as well. I have a lot of foam sheets left over, so I'll probably make a few more steampunk hats in the near future. Maybe I'll even whip up some small top hats for my grandaughter's Disney Animator dolls.
big hugs,


Day of the Dead Jewelry

It is getting to be that time of the year again... November the first is fast approaching.

This year, I am ready...
I've made a lot of little skull pendents... all of which are wearing crowns of gold...
For now they are all resting comfortable in a little box.
Each skull started off beige in color. I had to paint and distress each one then add the rhinestone eyes and create the pendent pins to string everything together. It was a fun although time consuming little project.
I'm needing to find a fun way to display these now that I've finished them. I may just have them in little boxes and attach the necklace separately if purchased... I guess a few hours on Pinterest should help me figure out what I'm going to do.
big hugs,


Bookmarks Made From Vintage Books

I pulled out a bunch of book jackets that I've been hoarding saving for a project I've been wanting to work on for quite awhile... as I was cutting off the book jacket spines... the thought of tossing them in the garbage didn't seem right...
So, I decided to make them into bookmarks! I used wood glue to adhere the pieces to some thin chipboard a.k.a. cereal boxes. I prefer wood glue over tacky glue, it has the same "tackiness" and in my opinion it dries faster and stronger. I then used spray adhesive to cover the backside of the chipboard with old sheet music.
I then used my paper cutter to trim off the excess chipboard.....oh they are looking sooooooo good!
I watered down brown and black paint to fill in a lot of the spots where there were huge chunks of missing pieces. Then I ran a black ink pad along the sides to age the newness of the chipboard and the sheet music. I used an eyelet punch to punch holes into the tops of each bookmark then I set a metal eyelet in place. Lastly, I added a ribbon and ta-da! Beautiful bookmarks!
Weeks ago, I bought a vintage Readers Digest book that someone had glued open and had glued a poem to one page, and a flowery picture on the other. Before photo not shown. I thought I'd give it a little make over to better suit my needs. I'm thinking about doing two upcoming events this October to sell some of the items I've been making.... I have never had a Halloween display so I was thinking I'd go that route. I glued some Halloween paper over the pages and a few old black and white photos which I added some color to.... I then watered down some black paint and washed it over the existing white and gold paint the original book had.
What a fun way to display the bookmarks I've just made. I think I'll add witches hats to the photo of the two girls on the left... and I was also thinking about drilling tiny holes into the book and add itsy bitsy rhinestones to the eyes of the crows.....
That was .50¢ well spent.
I never did get to work on what I was intending to work on.... 
big hugs,


Treasures In Bulk

Even though the temperatures have steadily been over the 100 degree mark, the treasures to be found are out there--- only harder to come by.  I found a tin of buttons and other odds and ends in a dollar box. After sorting through the container, I was happily rewarded with a handful of mother of pearl buttons.
 I also scored on some leather embossing tools. I paid $35.00 for 45 punches....
 Along with boxed sets of the alphabet, animals and a number set.
I also got a LOT of pre-cut leather pieces to start playing around with. There are crosses, stars, bracelets in different sizes, flowers and a huge bag of assorted pieces too. I have never played around with leather.... but I will be shortly!
 I picked up some foam heads for $1.00 that are all dye stained but soon will be sporting a new metal tape covering.
 I got a plastic tote with molds and rubber embossing mats for casting silver clay for $3.00. In total there are over eighty pieces. Now, I just need to send it out into the universe that I am needing to find a steal of a deal on a shoe box full of that very expensive silver clay....
I always gravitate towards old photos.... oh my gosh, these ones are beauts. The box of ephemera and old photos were commingled... while sorting out the two, I discovered this was a ranching family full of cowboys. I got all of this and...
a huge lot of vintage greeting cards for only $3.00.
 I also picked up this new in the package Envelope punch board for $3.00. A lot of the envelopes with the vintage cards have been so discolored over time that they are no longer usable, so finding this was kismit. I've already tried making some envelopes with this product, and I'm smitten~
 I've always wanted a Washi tape dispenser... The dispenser and all of this tape, another $3.00 score.
I think it takes me just as long to find a place to house all of these treasures in my home, as it does in hunting them down.
The struggle is real.
big hugs,