8/25/16

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,
Cheryl

8/14/16

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,
Cheryl


8/4/16

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,
Cheryl


8/1/16

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,
Cheryl

7/26/16

Straw Beach Bag For An 18" Doll

One of my girlfriends had been given boxes and boxes of fabulous craft supplies given to her by the son of a women who recently passed away. My friend was super generous and let me come over to help myself to the massive amounts of crafting loot. I came home with boxes and boxes! One of the many things I came home with was some small straw hats.
I've have had some of these before and I never really found a use for them-- but that didn't stop me from hauling these ones home. *wink* I plunked one of the straw hats on the head of an 18" doll.... Way. To. Small....

What to do with them, what to do with them... My first thought was to pull them apart and then glue them back together making the straw hats bigger so that they would fit the head of an 18 inch doll or a Disney Animator doll. I snipped a piece of the thread holding the long woven strips together then gave the strip a pull and up popped the threads. I thought I could do this all around the hat... I pulled again, the woven straw strip broke off the hat. Nuts. I began to fold the hat in half to stuff it in my little trash can when I had an "a-ha moment" That is when I realized it looked like a little straw beach bag! Duh. I filled up a plastic shoe box with some hot water and submerged all of the straw hats in the water for about fifteen minutes. I gently stretched and pulled each hat to create what hopefully looks like a straw beach bag. I then laid the newly created straw beach bags in the hot sun and they dried thoroughly in about 30 minutes.
I pulled some random colors of fabric to line each bag and got to work. For the straps I cut two long strips that measured 2" x 9" I simply folded the strip in half and then folded the edges into the center to create each strap, then it was just a matter of stitching up both sides of each strap to finish them off. Next, I made a paper pattern for the fabric liner of the straw bags. I stitched up around the bottom seam leaving the top open for the opening of the straw bag.
I used hot glue to attach the straps to the inside of each the straw bag... easy peasy.
 I ran a small amount of glue along the bottom of the straw bag to help hold the bags liner in place while I fiddled with the next step of attaching the fabric around the top curve. I cut little snips into the fabric to help ease it around the curved shape of the top of the straw bag.

To help hold the liner against the bag I load the bag with a heavy sack of pirate treasure.... then I just folded and tucked the cut pieces trying my best to line up the fabric along the edge.
I used clothespins to help hold it in place until I was ready to hot glue it permanently in place.
Once the straps and the liners were attached to the straw bags, I embellished each one with a ribbon flower.
I am pretty happy with how they turned out...

My favorite one was made using darker fabric, I'm going to keep this one for my grandaughter's Disney Animator doll.
Here you can see my 18" pattern doll modeling one of the straw purses.
 Here is Anna with a straw bag too. She likes little stuffed animals, so this bag will be perfect for her to carry around her toys. 
Big thanks to my pal Diannia for the craft loot. Your so very generous :-)
big hugs,
Cheryl

7/13/16

Backyard happenings....

We extended our outdoor buffet table in our pirate backyard--- although this was finished about a month ago-- I'm just now getting around to sharing it. I have so many projects going on at once...it just seems like I finish up one project and then just transition into finishing up something else like it is just one ginormous project. When I finally do sit down to blog about "something" I'm at a loss as what to share because everything just seems like it is all one big project and all a work in progress!  Any-who... here it is... Taaaaaa~daaaaaaaaaa! We have added another 30' of buffet/counter space to the already existing 25' we had previously made.
 The bottom of each section is open to showcase pirate treasure~
When creating these sections we added plywood sheets to the top/back of each section so I could have another place to decorate with odds and ends of pirate treasure.
 Today I added some rope to the boxed posts to use as a gentle reminder not to fall into the pool. We have only had ONE person fall into the pool--- it still makes me laugh when I remember that!
So, now the entire length of the back of our house is a usable space with a l-o-n-g counter along it. The space is perfect for when we have large B.B.Q. parties in our backyard. We have even added several power strips along the buffet table to plug in crock pots or anything needing electricity.
 I have a lot of fun jewelry tucked inside these little shadow boxes. My friend stained and sealed these for me... sweet huh.
 Sometimes I randomly pluck a blingy-ring from these boxes and wear it while I goof around in my pirate yard....
 The bottoms are looking a little bare, but before you know it, they will be bursting at the seams with treasure.
 Occasionally, my dog will be running around with a gold doubloon in her mouth, but for the most part she is an angel considering all there is in the backyard that I'm sure tempts her daily. At six months old, she now weighs in at 45 pounds...
I finally found a fun place to hang one of the many pirate flags I have...
 It is wonderful having a pirate themed backyard, it is great when I'm tired of something inside my house to be able to put it in my backyard and still enjoy it. (Silver champagne bucket with the Ivory colored Roses)
 Here is a shot of the entire length of the back of our house showing 55' of buffet-table-space. We generally use the 25' of buffet table way at the other end of this photo. This new area will be perfect for an upcoming Halloween party or two..or three.... where everyone brings a bag of candy and we have a "candy exchange" party.
 At the very end of this buffet table I had to stop short because of the cement sloping down and of course the gate opens inwards-- so I added some netting and sea shells to this area to cover up the wall.
While treasure hunting this past weekend I found a few fun pirate treasures to stash in my backyard.... A few more pirate hooks and some silver items to play around with.

I was looking for another round table for my backyard... I have five already, why on earth do I need another one?.... The asking price on this table created using one of the rounds off of a wooden cable spool was $50... I got it for $25.00. I think it is pretty darn cute! I am planning on staining it with a nice oak stain to help seal the wood and give it a nice aged appearance.
I am getting ready to host a few more parties this month, I've just got a few tiny projects to get completed before hand. I only wish my shoulder wasn't acting up... blah. I've got Adhesive Capsulitis... a.k.a. Frozen Shoulder. Hurts like a sun-of-a-gun...
Oh well... could be worse right? Could be better... but it could be worse.
big hugs,
Cheryl