My grandaughter has me smitten with the Disney Animator dolls. I see a lot of them at yard sales and the swap meet--  I try my darn-est not to buy them... but every now and then, I get weak and pick one up. This Aurora doll was only $2.00 and will clean up as good as new (when I get around to it!)  The printed painting of the fat cat was .25¢ I couldn't resist it! The silver painted urn, jewelry and book were only $4.00... such bargains~
 The little book was printed in 1923 and has fabulous photos on every page illustrating carpentry and how to construct buildings with "modern construction."...and it smells like an old book... *swoon*
My backyard is getting quite full of pirate treasure, but that doesn't stop me from hauling more home. I imagine pirates had a lot of stuff--- that's my story and I'm sticking with it. The fabulous tin box was only $1.00... how could I pass that up? I am always on the look out for skulls and skeletons all year long. I think it just adds a little bit of spookiness to my backyard, especially at night time. I got all of this for $5.00 for the lot. *score*

I also found five super large lanterns for only $2.50 each. They were originally solar powered lanterns with faux candles inside-- obviously, they no longer work. I'm going to take them apart, give them all a new coat of black paint and put them back together and place either a real candle in each one or a large battery operated candle in each one.
 Small, inexpensive odds and ends...
 Ah, pulleys... I love me some pulleys! The two small pulleys were only $2.50 each! The large pulley was $5.00. Score.
 I got these two heavy plaster planters for $5.00 for the pair. They will look fabulous sporting a new color of either silver or gold.
 I also got another table... what are we at now?....seven? eight... This wooden table and benches was only $30.00. Had. To. Have. It. I think it really finishes off this little area next to the pirate bar. Cute.
 At a church rummage sale I bought two carved wooden birds. How cute are these! Only six bucks for the two.... I also bought two more urns and a pile of pirate treasure. 
A treasure filled weekend for sure!
big hugs,


D.I.Y. Glass Floats

I love-love-love glass netting floats. With that said, I own just ONE glass float-- and even that one is not an authentic one, but a badly made reproduction. I was wanting a lot of them to place amongst all of the fishing nets I have in my pirate backyard.... Whats a girl to do? Why make them yourself of course. Here is the end results:
The faux glass floats were super easy to make. I purchased a bag of plastic Christmas balls for .50¢ and a gray cargo net for $1.00 from our local swap meet. For $1.50 I had all the supplies I was needing to get to work creating the glass floats. 
I pulled the cargo net tightly around each plastic Christmas ball and hot glued it in place and then simply cut away the extra netting.
Around the area where the netting was hot glued to each ball, I covered it with some gray felt circles. This serves two purposes, to cover the hot mess of the glued area and to help keep the area intact as it sits in my backyard in extreme heat.
Here you can see where I've added a few of the newly made netting floats to one small area in my backyard. I could have used clear glass balls-- but I wanted to have little pops of color that will really show up, especially at night time.
My grandaughter's Girl Scout troop is again going to be having a Halloween party in my pirate backyard this year. I'm having fun tweaking areas in my yard to make things extra special for her party.
big hugs,


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,