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Monthly Archives: November 2013

Coaster Reuse Take 2 – Christmas Ornaments

As the holiday season begins, the onslaught of catalogs also begins.  I was thumbing through a “Land of Nod” catalog and came across these cute ornaments.

inspiration

The inspiration

It made me think about those cardboard coasters that I have lying around.  So I set to work assembling Christmas-looking papers and accents.  I dug into my button supply (I have thousands of buttons that I have inherited through the years from grandmothers and great aunts).  Then I started assembling the ornaments.  I used glue to set the papers to each side – one side at a time in order to trim the edges neatly around the coaster.  And the embellishments followed.  Here are the results:

supplies ready to go

Assembling the supplies

painted wooden pieces

Painted wooden pieces

buttons

One of my 10 button drawers (the metallics)

setting one side

Setting paper to the first side

side one cut

First side cut out

setting side two

Setting the second side

both sides ready

Both sides finished- ready for embellishments

20 19 18 17 16 15 14frt 14bk 13 11frt 11bk 10 9frt 9bk 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

The finished ornaments

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Sunny Thanksgiving Day Photos

As I took a walk this morning, I realized how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful place.  The weather today is perfect – most definitely not what we Portlanders are used to on Thanksgiving day.  The intense sun created some interesting shadows and light that provided the perfect opportunity to snap some photos.

The Thanksgiving bit…….Grateful for technology- who knew a little iPhone could capture such fantastic images.  Grateful for my family and friends.  Grateful for the endless opportunities ahead.  Happy Thanksgiving!

trees

stairs

cement shadow

rocks

sign shadow

sun trails

The sun with a plane trail (there is a weird sunspot that happened, but I like it!)

First Holiday Bazaar

For those in the Portland area, I will be participating in my first Holiday Bazaar on December 14th & 15th at Earth & Sky Farm.  You can come and cut your own Christmas tree, sample some food and drink, and peruse the offerings from different artisans.  I will be selling most of the items that I’ve made and shown on this very blog.  Stop by and say hello!

 ESF2013HolidayPostcard-frnt-page-001

The Holiday Bazaar flyer

And as a continuation of yesterday’s post – the latest felt animal is…….a giraffe!     (He may be my favorite so far!)

finished giraffe

Completed giraffe

Felt art animals

After making the animal frames a few posts ago, I looked at these small wood pieces that I have and wondered if I could do something similar following the animal theme.  I decided to investigate making felt animals.  By using the scrap wood as the backdrop and frame combined, I thought it could be interesting to play around with different whimsical animals for the centerpiece.  It was fun designing the different animal looks and playing with felt and embroidery floss colors.  They can be displayed individually or used in a cluster for a cute art piece in a children’s room.  I have completed 3 so far and have a few more up my sleeve-  maybe a giraffe, or an owl, or a whale……

sketch ideas wood backers

sketching out ideas and the wood backer blocks

turquiose octopus

selecting the color palette for the octopus

sewing and stuffing pencil stuff

sewing and stuffing the octopus

octopus ready to mount

octopus with details added and ready to mount onto the wood

finished octopus

Completed octopus

finished hippo

Completed hippo

finished monkey

Completed monkey

And the lesson is….drink more wine!

While wine tasting in the Dundee area, my friend Dana and I noticed these candles made from cut wine bottles.  I figured there must be an easy DIY approach to the project, so I set out to peruse Pinterest.  I pinned a link for DIY bottle cutting that used simple things from home – yarn, nail polish remover, and a candle.  After many, many, many unsuccessful tries using this method, we gave up and took to the internet to find a solution.  That solution was the Generation Green Bottle cutter.  With a few clicks on Amazon, we ordered the bottle cutter and set out on a different path.  After reading the reviews, we knew that there would be some failures and it would take some practice, but we moved forward optimistically.  The process starts with scoring the bottle and then alternately dunking it into boiling water and ice water until the bottle breaks along the score.  We triumphantly cut the first test bottle and set forth with the actual wine bottles.  We had success with 3 wine bottles and then it was downhill from there.  We suspect that the thickness of the bottles may have had an effect on the success rate.  After 9 subsequent failures, we decided to move on to candle making.  We bought a block of wax because it was a good value.  However this created a lot of work for us because we had to break it up into smaller pieces.  Using a hammer, we took turns smacking the block of wax until we had small enough pieces to melt.  Once the hard work was complete, the act of melting wax, adding scent, and pouring was a snap.  Lessons learned – 1.  use jars that are already the size you want (you can always decorate them)   2.  Purchase wax that is already chipped into smaller pieces   3.  And finally, DRINK MORE WINE!  If you are going to cut your own bottles, you will need a lot of them with a failure rate of 75%!

bottles ready to go

Bottles ready to go

soaking yarn in remover string and candle

Yarn soaking in nail polish remover and string/candle ready to go

generation green bottle cutter

The Generation Green Bottle Cutter

scored bottle

First bottle scored

hot and cold dunk

The boiling water/ ice water dunking set-up

success

Successful break along the score

the thicker the glass

Unsuccessful break of one of the thicker bottles

getting wicks in place wicks ready

Setting and prepping the wicks

melting the wax

Melting the wax to the exact temperature

first pour

First pour of the hot wax

let the set begin

Wax setting

finished finished 2

The finished candles

drink up

So drink more wine!  Cheers!

Decorative Letters

While exploring Pinterest, I came across a lot of different ideas for making decorative letters .  Michael’s Crafts has wooden finished and unfinished versions for a few dollars, so I picked up some letters to try my hand at making my own.  I decided to wrap them in variegated yarn and decorate with felt and buttons.

button letter twine letter

The original inspiration pins

letter c prep letter o prep

Letter prep with materials

letter c ends letter c yarn wrap start letter o yarn wrap start

First, I covered the exposed ends of the letter “C” and then began the wrap.  With “O”, wrapping presented its own challenges- pushing the yarn length through the tiny center opening

letter c yarn wrap complete letter o yarn wrap complete

The completed yarn wrapped letters

letter c ready for bow letter o ready for bow

After adding the decorative buttons and felt

letter c complete letter o complete

The completed letters “C” and “O” – the decorative bow acts as the hanger

Animal Frames

Friends of mine are having a baby very soon.  I wanted to make something special for them.  I looked through my arsenal of crafty supplies and decided to make some framed artwork.  I had a metal giraffe and turtle that I wanted to integrate into the design.  Using 2 frames, I selected some wood laminate scraps to use for the backdrop.  I painted the frames – the one for the giraffe got a coat of metallic copper and the turtle’s got a coat of dark espresso brown.  From there, I selected fabrics from my decorator sample books from SCRAP (still keeping me crafty!).  Cutting them into squares, I placed them around the frame and started gluing.  I added yarn around some of the pieces on the giraffe frame to accent the colors.  After trimming all the excess edges around the frame, I glued the animals in place.  I really like how they turned out.  I only wish I had a few more animals so I could make some more!

giraffe comboturtle combo

Giraffe and turtle materials ready to go

painting frames

Painting the frames

measuring and cutting squares

Measuring and cutting the fabric squares

laying out the giraffe laying out the turtle

Laying out the fabric on frames

giraffe frame ready turtle frame ready

Frames complete – ready for their animals

finished giraffe finished turtle

The final products