Hey, it's what I do! Welcome to my creative arts blog!

Welcome to my Maker's blog, where I feature my own unique creative projects. I'm six years out from breast cancer and counting my blessings.

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Friday, February 26, 2016

Wax Paper Capiz Shells and a Tabletop Chandelier

Pin ItI've been seeing lots of chandeliers made of faux capiz shells out in blogland with some made out of wax paper, plastic cups, laminated rice paper, even wax paper mod podged onto parchment paper.

I figured I can do that and so, I did!

 I chose a tall brass tabletop lamp for the bookcase at the corner of our hallway.


I like it! I like it alot!!




It has a soft glow, great texture and a bit of movement when you walk by. Even The Welding Man likes it, he says it reminds him of a wedding dress. :o)


I took two lamp shades from my stash and removed the old covers. I knew I wanted the rings to be larger at the top and smaller at the bottom. So I wired them together and even added another ring with craft wire secured with florist wire.

 What is needed is a sturdy shape with at least two different sized rings to hold your fake shells in layers.

After a coat of white spray paint I flipped it over and got all my fake capiz shell circles ready.



Dollar Store wax paper, baby!!

Next I made the wax paper "shells." I used a dry iron on cotton and put parchment paper on the bottom between the ironing board and wax paper.

Four sheets torn off close to the same size melt together nicely and make a good, stiff 4 ply sheet. Let the wax paper cool then start punching. I found my punches did best with 4 sheets of 4 ply wax paper, your punch might do better with more or less.

I used a 2" and an 1 3/4" circle punch. I figured I needed about 400 circles total, plus I cut a few extra in case of mistakes or design changes.



I sewed my circles together using my machine's longest stitch and placed 9 circles on each "run."
I sewed several sets of nine together in a single sitting with about three inches of thread between each set. I cut them apart into sets of nine and started assembling.



I wound the thread from one set of circles twice around the middle ring and put a dab of hot glue over the thread. I placed each string of circles about 1" apart.


For the top ring I let six of the circles on a string hang down outside and folded the other three over inside the frame, using a dab of hot glue on the thread at the top. This gave the upper half of the lamp a fluffier look and more visual "weight."


Extra circles folded in half and hot glued around the upper ring give the lamp a finished look.



As you can see, the stitched circles diffuse the light and overlap nicely, giving a nice soft glow to the evening. During the day they give that corner a bit of reflected light and nice texture.


I am already thinking ahead to doing this with my dining room light. Maybe with a little color and a bit of glitter? When I figure it out and make it I'll be posting right here.

Come join these linky parties!

http://www.flamingotoes.com/2016/02/show-and-tell-link-party-50/

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Vase Repair with Wallpaper? Yes!

THIS is what happens when you drop glass marbles into an empty vase.


It was a gift and I wanted to save it but I certainly couldn't use it with that ugly Gorilla Glue
 repair job.


 So I dug into my craft stash for some textured wallpaper and a bottle of Mod Podge.



The Mod Podge worked very well to stick the wallpaper in place. The paper is thick and heavily textured as you can see.



Voila!

 Here is what the rescued and repaired vase looks like today!


Here she is in her place of honor. She holds dried arrangements very well. I don't want to risk filling her with water and ruin that pretty textured paper.

Wallpaper made this a quick fix and a pretty one.



That's a win win in my book!

Felt Bird Pillows...and More


I made these bird pillows for my sister for this last Christmas. I like them alot. And most importantly, she likes them, too!


I make them using felt appliques and loads of freestyle sewing machine embroidery stitching on cotton canvas.


I've been making felt applique pillows for a while now as gifts for new brides, housewarmings and birthdays.
Once I decide on a design and the shapes I cut the pieces from brightly colored felt and sew them on the cotton canvas pillow tops.

 I've also made a few for my own living room, since I LOVE bright colors in my house.


These are the first pillows I've made with bird shapes and the design and execution were challenging but also fun!


This fat chickadee is made of white, cream, grey and black felt with loads of machine stitching in shades of yellow, gold, a little orange, white, grey, black and cream. His bright eye is a glossy black metal snap.

The leaves and tree branches are all sewn with black thread.


This handsome goldfinch is made of layered felt in yellow and black with machine stitching in yellow, gold and white. His eye is also a black metal snap. I've embroidered the leaves and branches with black thread.


I was so pleased with the bird designs that I tried out a brand new fox pillow. I LOVE the way he came out!

So with the bird pillows, fox pillow, wreath pillows and tree pillows I completed gifts for my parents, sisters and niece and I had fun doing them.

Now the fam insists I list some of these designs in my Etsy shop and you know what? I guess I will.

Have an idea for a design with felt? Try it out yourself or even message me. I'd love to see if I could make a new design in felt appliques!

Dollar Store Toy Gun to Steam Punk Halloween Pistol



For Halloween I made a complete Steam Punk outfit for myself and had a lot of fun at our family party.

I restyled a plastic water gun from The Dollar Store into this steam punk gem and had a good time doing it!


I knew I wanted something that looked authentic in the Steam Punk style, so I started out with this orange plastic water gun on the left.

Then I spray painted it with metallic silver then gold.


The plastic is easy to cut, so I removed the curved trigger guard with a pair of wire cutters.
Next I used  Rub 'n Buff in gold and silver, plus the two Folk Art craft paints in metallic copper and burnt umber. 




I dug into my craft room stash for all kinds of fun additions like sewing snaps, curlicue scrapbook embellishments and a piece of faux leather fabric for the handles. I kept adding the metallic accents as I went along to make the whole thing look vintage and used.


 I painted a necklace chain with the metallic paints and rubbed on burnt umber to age it, then wrapped it around the end of the barrel. I used hot glue to attach most of the embellishments and Tacky Glue for the paper items. 


In the end it was a fun grown up prop for the party and didn't look anything like the orange toy I started out with. I'm thinking I could do this with other Dollar Store items for a cool Steam Punk look. I'll post about those projects when I do them.

This would even be neat for a costume for Comic Con...perhaps with a nifty looking fake holster?

We'll see.




DIY Zen Stone Stacks



Whenever we go on vacation I make these zen stone stacks and take photos for some pretty memories.


Pin It
The trick is to find compatible stones that have flat surfaces and balance. This is a fun project to do with the grand kids!


None of these stacks are permanent and probably are knocked over as soon as we leave.



So when I get home I wanted to preserve that vacation vibe with some zen stone stacks for my own master bath.


I brought home a whole bag of flat rocks in different sizes and stacked them up. Here they are next to a succulent terrarium made for me by Insanely Creative Christy.

 So pretty!


So zen.

But I wanted these stone stacks to be PERMANENT. 

Well, that's so easy to do with stacking stones and a tube of E6000 adhesive!


This glue is specially made for glass, stone, metal and jewelry items. It is strong and easy to use but it is really smelly. Be sure to use it in a well ventilated place, like outdoors.




This year I'm going to make some of these stacks for my deck garden.

I'm trying out some miniature bonsai trees and they would go perfectly together.

I'll post about it here when I do!

DIY Gift - A Coffee Bean Photo Holder

I try to make almost every gift I give throughout the year, whether for birthdays, weddings, showers or Christmas. I am always on the lookout for items I can use and things I can make. 


Like this cute photo/note holder that I made for a "Coffee Lover's" basket this last Christmas. And unlike other cute, crafty gift items, this one will actually get used to hold a photo or a note every day, either on a desk or next to the coffee pot.



When I am browsing my favorite thrift stores I always have a list of ideas and supplies in my hand so I can make some unique items.

Fortune favors the prepared mind. Look at all the good stuff!

Ahem.



On this trip I found several white espresso cups. They are thick and have a bit of weight so they were perfect for this little project.

I bought a scant 2 ounces of loose coffee beans and made sure to discard the broken or cracked ones.



In my stash at home I used florist foam cut to fill the little cup to the brim and used hot glue to secure it at the bottom and sides.


Here is one of the staples of my supplies stash - plain old black wire from the hardware store. It is listed as "rebar wire" for securing metal rebar rods for strength in concrete projects. It is inexpensive, pliable and very versatile. It does have a dark powderish coating so I usually spray paint the pieces black when I use it.


For this simple project I cut a piece about 12" long and made one end into a flat curl. This will be the photo holder. I "eyeballed" the curl to get the right proportion to the cup.  I left about 2" straight at the other end to stick down into the florist foam inside the cup. I secured that wire with lots of hot glue.



Now comes the deliciously fragrant and satisfying part of this project. Start gluing your coffee beans around the top of the cup and onto the florist foam. You can overlap the top edges as I did or keep it all inside like a "real" cup of joe. Keep on piling and gluing until you have a satisfactory heap of beans in your little cup.

You can melt the stray strings of hot glue with a heat gun or even a hair dryer. 

As a final detail paint some white glue (like Elmer's school glue) inside the nooks and crannies between the coffee beans. Set your cup on a piece of paper and sprinkle the beans generously with fine black glitter.


After the white glue dries, brush the excess glitter off onto the paper so you can save it for another project.

In this photo the blue areas are actually the black glitter reflecting the light. 
This looks awesome in real life and it smells wonderful!


I put this with a gift tag in the wire curl to the gift basket. I added flavored creamers and syrups, plus biscotti and a pair of cute mugs. It was a perfect themed gift basket!

Now my mind is working...what if I did the same thing but with a cupcake holder? I could use little glass beads for the sprinkles and clear glass glitter in between. Maybe make the "frosting" of something white and fluffy?

I'll have to think about that one a bit then try it out. I'll be sure to post about it when I do!