12/30/15

Paper Wreath

I have wanted to make a paper cone wreath for a long-long time.. no time like the present right? I didn't really overthink this project and just used the materials I had on hand. The book pages I used for each cone were a smidge on the brittle side but in the end it all worked out. I like the yellowed color of the books pages and didn't want something pure white as I was planning on hanging it on a stark white wall. (if it turned out) I like to address a new craft endeavor with the attitude, "If it doesn't work out, I'm just going to toss it out." No pressure... just give something new a try. Actually the book I used was my glue pad for my hot glue gun. I pull off the front and back covers of a book and then I place my hot glue gun on the book--- and as the hot glue gets a page messy, I just tear it off and toss the hot glue mess in the trash. Works like a charm.
I premade a lot of cones ahead of time and then just glued them on one at a time in place. I thought I made enough cones... nope, it took a bazillion, a bazillion and one actually.

The first round of cones went down easily enough. I not only glued it to the round of cardboard base but I also put a spot of glue between each cone to help keep them uniform in shape.
The next row of cones were placed on the wreath while being mindful not to cover up each opening of the previous cones. It took a little bit of fiddling with the first two cones, but after that I figured out where to hot glue it so it was uniform. I kept adding cones to each round of the wreath...
 
The center was a little harder as the cones didn't want to fit so nicely together. I used the same size cones as the previous rows, but the remaining rows I squeezed the cones at the base to create an almost boxed end which actually made the cones a little narrower while keeping the same cone shape.

As you can see the wreath turned out, so it is hanging on my fireplace and not in the trash. I love it. The only down side is it is fragile and I suspect a dust magnet....
big hugs,

12/22/15

Crochet Projects

It has been steadily raining recently which of course just makes me camp out in front of my little space heater (swoon) and crochet. I love that little heater. My six year old grand daughter requested some crocheted slipper boots last month. I had been searching online for what seemed like for-ever to find a boot pattern to no avail. I had to actually buy an ankle- boot pattern off of someone on Etsy and then modify it to create the tallness to make a boot. Now that I've worked that pattern I am pretty sure I can whip up my own boot patterns in the future.

After finishing up the boots I turned my attention to a few granny squares that I had previously made and had stashed away in one of my many bins of yarn. This particular granny square has a three dimensional daisy in the center. It was fun to create, but once the pattern was no longer a challenge, I lost interest in it.  
 I only had to make three more to create this crocheted tote. It was like pulling teeth to do it though, and when I finished the three, I realized I had made one with the wrong color. Poo-- I had to rip that out and remake it.
 I thought it was going to be an "easy whip up"... but it was actually very time consuming to add another row of white around each square and then join them together... and then of course make the two straps. I must say though, seeing the bag finished felt great. Miss Chloe is the recipient of that too.... a perfect bag to hold some stuffies.
 Here is my grand daughter Chloe creating some art at my house the other day wearing her new crochet boots. I was delighted to see her using a pencil when she was coloring. Not so long ago, I told her that a pencils color is a great color to use in art.... I'm glad she listens to me about important stuff like that *wink*
I found a cute crochet owl pattern that I'll probably whip up next. I should clean off my work table so I can start making some jewelry. I have several projects that I am wanting to try my hand at for my silversmithing class... but alas, a messy desk just doesn't bode well for working on silver.
big hugs,
http://signatures.mylivesignature.com/54488/171/9C572FF360380B27D90B7E7250D9B36B.png

12/17/15

Treasure

The weather forecast for this weekend is rain. Hooray. Although I'll be missing out on my weekly trip to the swap meet... I must say, I won't be bored. I went to a few thrift stores today and came home with a lot of treasures. I bought six bags of crafting stuff. Each bag was $9.95.... a smidgen pricey for a thrift store. Whatev- You know how much these items are when you buy them one at a time.. so I figured it was worth the gamble.
 
On Amazon just these two items shown below sell for.... the Scraparatus $24.99 and the Craft-lite Cutter $44.49.  The combined total would have been $69.48. The combined total on the six bags was a little over $60.00.... so, everything else was "free."
 
Oodles and oodles of ribbons and flower pieces... All. Brand. New. 

Card maker's paper, blank cards and envelopes, foam sheets, stickers, fabric stickers, patches... All. Brand. New.

Stamps with the clear placement block. Yep, brand new. I love these :-)

Packets of rub on letters... new.

Lots and lots of rub on letters... 
 
Chipboard kits

and random embellishments.

My absolute favorite out of everything in the bags is the Scraparatus. This little jewel I never knew I needed - it sets eyelets, punches holes and even DIE CUTS. Swoon~ in the photo below you can see the die cuts on the key chain. They are called "Dinky dies." Adorable. There are a lot of youtube videos showing all the wonderful things you can do with it... so  I'm stoked.
 
In the bags were several K & Company items, these are always fun to pop on packages and cards. There is also some paper from this company somewhere in one of the piles.

Tons and tons of brads...  all brand new in the packages. There is even a little case to house them once I rip into the little bags.

A paper tagger with all the plastic attaching thingies...
 Paper piercing items...

These embellishments made using painters stir sticks. I would have never bought them intentionally-- but I'm sure I'll find some gift or card to attach them to in the future.
 
Santa came early... bring on the rain.... I'm reading to play indoors this weekend.
big hugs,
 

12/14/15

Outdoor Cat Bed For Winter

It has been getting so cold and rainy lately that I wanted a warm place for my outside kitties to hang out if they got caught in the rain. I ended up making two cat beds.... although one won't use it at all! At least it is there if ever he decides to.
They were super easy to make, and super cheap too. I just cut a good size hole in the side of a plastic tub and lined the entire thing with some Styrofoam. You can buy different thicknesses of Styrofoam from Home Depot. This particular sheet ran around $8.00. If I remember correctly, it was about 4' x 6' in size... and gave me enough to create two with a lot left over.  After I cut the opening, I thought it was a little to big. Luckily, I had an extra foam pipe cover in the garage so I used that to adhere to the opening to make it smaller. The two edges of the foam pipe cover had adhesive on it so it attached firmly to the plastic tub easily.

The next thing I did was to measure the inside of the tub and cut the Styrofoam to fit.

 I joined the seams of the Styrofoam using wood skewers. I just pushed the skewer in about 3 inches and snipped off the excess.
I used a blanket that one of the cats had been sleeping on so it was familiar to her...
I laid a piece of Styrofoam on top so it would be easy to access the inside at a later date for cleaning. Lastly, I popped on the plastic tub lid and it was finished.
Puss-Puss took to it right away.
Bear was insulted...
I put my hand inside the one my cat Puss-Puss was sleeping in... it was like a sauna, like a sweat box. Nice and toasty :-)
big hugs,
 

12/12/15

Vintage Cards at Christmas

It isn't a secret that I adore vintage cards. I've been collecting vintage ephemera for years and years. I love old vintage documents, vintage books, but I have a soft spot for greeting cards. Some with vibrant colors, some with glitter and then of course the pastels... swoon~

At some point in your life, you've got to stop collecting and start using the good stuff. What are you saving it for? If you don't use now, you know what is going to happen to all your fabulous treasure? When your dead and buried all your wonderful junk treasures will all be sold at a yard sale for .25¢ each or $1.00 a bag. How many estate sales have you gone to and bought treasure for .25¢ each or fill a bag of stuff for a dollar? I know, I know.... *insert the circle of life music here*

I have several totes of unused vintage cards, you could say I've been hoarding them. Its true. I even have them sorted by events such as Christmas, anniversaries, birthdays etc. I also have several totes of used cards too that I'm going to use... eventually~

 I DO however like to send vintage cards to people for the holidays and birthdays. Some people love them... some I am sure are offended. You just can't live your life trying to please some people- so I don't even try. *wink* On the backside of each card I adhere an address label stating that the card is a "Vintage Rescued Card" with my blog name and the web link.
I used the Avery.com website were they give you free templates to use to print out return labels. They have other free templates on their site as well so you can print all kinds of super neat things.

I have a huge collection of Christmas cards to pull from every year. The cards are little works of art in my opinion. The envelopes are a bit ratty though....

I am in the process of making a LOT of red envelopes using red card stock so I can send out my Christmas cards this year.

Seriously, I should just go to the dollar store and buy 20 cards for a buck. *wink*
I've linked up to My Salvaged Treasures "Vintage Inspiration Party." 
big hugs,

12/10/15

Candy Cane Reindeer

Every year I like to make something using Candy canes, this goes way back to when my daughter was little... I would make cute little candy cane crafts for her classmates every year. Now that I'm a grandmother of two, I still like to send them to the kids classrooms... but now I find myself having to make double! In years past I've made candy cane mice, cats, poinsettias and last year I made some elves. This year? I'm making Reindeer.
 
I made sixty reindeer for the grand kids to take to school.
I modified the pattern that I had made last year for the elf candy canes..
If your wanting to make some yourself, I've included in this post a printable pattern along with some pointers on how I constructed the reindeer candy canes.
I like to cut all the pieces that I'll need- all at once and have everything in piles and then glue all the paper pieces together. I then construct the candy cane bodies,  and after those two piles are constructed, it is just a matter of attaching the paper to the candy cane and it is finished.
For the heads/faces of each reindeer-- your needing one head piece cut on the fold of some brown card stock. I used white glue to attach the pinks of each ear along with the beige fur piece between the ears. I used hot glue to attach the 5mm red pom pom and the wiggly eyes. I also glued about 2/3 of the front and back of the reindeer's head together, I'd say from the nose up- use glue, nose down-- no glue. Don't glue it completely together as you'll be needing to slip a piece of a Popsicle stick in between the paper to act as the reindeer's neck. Once the features on the reindeer's face are finished, I attach a brown pipe cleaner bent to look like an antler to the backside of the head, beside each ear.
Once the antlers are in place, I used white glue to attach one of the two red Santa hats needed for each reindeer to the front of the head.
The second red hat will be glued on the backside to cover the edges of the pipe cleaners so it looks nice. You will need to use hot glue to get a good seal over the pipe cleaners. I used a white yarn called "Fluffy Chunky" to create the look of white fur on the hats brim and pom pom. I again used hot glue to attach that. Lastly, to finish up each head, I cut a popsicle stick into thirds and covered the stick using the same brown colored paper as the head and body. I then hot glued each neck into place between the unglued portions of the head.

For each reindeer's body I traced the bodies onto a folded piece of brown paper and cut them out. The beige tummy-fur was glued on with white glue. Lastly, I cut a small sliver out of the papers fold in the center to create an opening to slide the neck/popsicle stick into. Below is a photo of the cut created. Shown with the paper opened to showcase it better.
With the cuts in the bodies fold, it was easy to slip the neck into place and hot glue in place to one side of the body.  To create the candy cane body... I cut out four reindeer hooves out of brown felt. I then glued a hoof to the bottom of each candy cane and then another one to the other end. One will be the foot and the other the hand. Once all the hooves were attached, I hot glued two candy canes together.

Once the glued dried I wrapped some masking tape over the glued area for added strength.
 
Once the bodies were completed, it was just a matter of taking the paper reindeer that I had previously put together and gluing it to the candy cane arms and legs. I put a dab of hot glue on the tape in the front--- and glued the paper torso in place. I put some glue on the backside on the tape along with some glue on each side of the body to hold it together.
Then I pulled the paper taut as I held the pieces in the glue until it set.
Easy peasy... Lastly, I added a white bow to the reindeer to finish it off. He is a handsome fella' isn't he?

Once you get the hang of creating the reindeer, it is very easy to mass produce them once all the pieces are cut out.
 
I've already got two ideas for next year... a ballerina and a toy solider.
big hugs,