I’m Back!

Oh my goodness, I’ve been gone.  I had thought I might blog while out of town but I didn’t.  I am still not really back into the swing of regular life yet, so I’m going to share something I made while I was at my Dad’s house.  I actually made 3 of these, one for each grandchild, but didn’t take photos of the process and in fact only took shots of the last one because I didn’t get it mailed off yet.

First, I had a wonderful 2 months visiting family in Texas and New Mexico.  I got to remember what it was like to take kids to school and activities (oh yes, you do get right back into the swing of that!) and cook for a family etc.  It was hard to leave them but I then went on to visit my Dad and we had a great time eating all of the Mexican food we could hold and I got to meet some family from that area I had never met and see some I had not seen in a long time.  All in all very fun and satisfying.  However, now, back to regular life and my very neglected blog.  🙂  I will likely post some of the many MANY photos I took while traveling, too.  But not today.

So, the project is made from the paper mache mash you can find here.  I used that and just free-hand shaped it into Christmas tree shapes.  I cut a little piece of wire, made a loop and stuck it in the paper mache at the top and made sure it was anchored in there.  I also made sure the ends of the wire stuck out to the sides (not out of the paper mache) instead of down as I thought this would make it more secure.  This made a nice sturdy hanger (I put a piece of ribbon but you could use those ornament hangers). Oh, and being made of paper, this ornament is really really light.

You can see the wire loop at the top.

You can see the wire look at the top.

I let them dry at least overnight and then finished drying in the oven (about 200 or so degrees F –I think my Dad’s oven runs a little hot tho –keep an eye so they don’t burn or get too crispy).  They didn’t take long since they were fairly dry after sitting out and being partially dry.  I just wanted them to be thoroughly dried before I painted them.

Then I painted them green.  I had to mix blue and yellow since the green I had bought was dried out!  Yes I took it back but later and yes, they gave me my money back, but I had already painted my trees, so I didn’t need more paint.  The color was great but I was glad I had bought a few colors when I was at the craft store.  Anyway, I put on 2 coats to make sure it had a nice strong color. I did put a coat of Mod Podge over it too, just to give it some protection and shine.

I had bought all of these cute little buttons at Hobby Lobby (we don’t have one here so I really kind of went crazy in there!).  You can see in the picture some of the cute ones they had. I really like the glittery stars. For my Granddaughter’s I had ones that looked like flipflops and I forget some of the others, but they had such a great selection I bought quite a few different sorts.  Some of them had loops on the back and wouldn’t lay flat but I just nipped those off and they worked just fine.  I glued it all on with just regular white glue.  Since they are just ornaments and not toys I think it will hold.

If the holes in the buttons bother you you could find other items to decorate with.

I forgot to take a photo of the back, but I put their names and the year and Christmas and who it’s from on the back too (Sharpie!).  I always did ornaments for my kids and now for my Grandchildren, every year.  This way they will be able to remember when they pull them out (hopefully) every year.

These were SO easy and fun to make.  You could easily make them WITH kids too.

Now, I’m off to check on Handmade Monday, which I have sadly neglected for way too long.  I hope the rest of you will check them out because they have some amazing things and I KNOW they are all making beautiful things for Christmas by now.

And I hope that you all will be back soon, I promise to get right back into my normal routine (and post some fabulous vacation photos).

Oh and recipes!





Raining and Cats and Dogs

First I’m tired of rain.  I know it has a job to do, but it also brings headaches and too much time indoors.  However, I have managed to make a couple of things, so maybe being confined inside has an upside.

The tutorial is about a sweater cat but I also made her a little friend because there was so much fabric left over.  I seem to be obsessed with these little creatures.  The funny thing is, I get an idea in my head and I just have to get it out, and the only way to do it is to make it.

I’m a little late getting this posted.  I actually have a good excuse, as we went down to get dinner out and the car battery was dead when we were ready to leave.  So, we went and had a coffee while we waited for AAA and by the time we got home it was too late to get started.  The truth is, it was fun sitting outside (under cover of course) watching the rain, playing on our IPads, drinking coffee.  We don’t do that very often, and it felt very, oh, I don’t know, vacationish or something.  But, that’s my excuse.

Anyway, also don’t forget it’s Handmade Monday and you know good and well they have very cool and interesting things to check out, so please go there and see what’s going on.  But before you do that, click on the Sweater Cat and Template and see how you can make one of your own.  And if you do, send me a photo.  I’ll even post it if you give me permission.  Wouldn’t it be fun to have a whole page of them?  🙂

A Horse of a Different Fabric

Another stuffed critter.  I made this little horse for my oldest friend.  We met the first day of 7th grade and have been friends since.  She always was better at any sort of artistic stuff than I, and in fact I made her this horse because I remembered one she made when we were probably in Junior High School.  It also had a yarn tail.  I also made it for her because we used to go ride my horse together, so she can look at this silly little creation and it will remind her of all of those wonderful times we had together.  🙂

Anyway, it’s Handmade Monday and I’ve really been remiss (sick is more like it) but I’m back!  So, after you check out the little Sweater Pony, go on over to Handmade Monday and see what everyone else is doing.  I know they are doing wonderful things!


The Star of the Show

Another day, another ornament!  I keep having these ideas pop into my head while I’m doing something else and I just have to try them.  This one is another gift for someone and it turned out to be pretty easy.  Well, sewing a circle that you’re going to stuff is not really that easy, unless you’re satisfied if it doesn’t turn out perfectly round.  However, to be honest, this doesn’t really have to be round, it could be square, or randomly shaped, or if you’re creative it could be shaped like *something*.  But I wanted this to be quick and easy.

I used some of the leftover fabric from the gift bags I’m making and decided to make the opposite sides different, just to make it more interesting (this ornament is going to a boy and altho it’s not classically boyish, I think it’s *interesting* enough and not girlie).  I used a big ribbon spool to draw a circle on one piece of the fabric and cut both pieces at the same time (cutting them about a quarter inch larger than the circle I drew).

Next I simply placed the “right” sides facing each other and sewed around, leaving an opening about half an inch so I could turn it and stuff it.  THIS is the hard part as I’m not that good yet at sewing where I intend to sew and turning in a circle is a little tricky for me, but it was mostly roundish.  I stuffed it with some leftover batting from another project (and you know, if you have any old pillows you want to just get rid of, wash them first and save that batting and reuse it for other things, batting is kind of pricey!).

Then, I turned the edges under and hand stitched.  This was also a little tough, as it tends to want to be a bit flat there.  I just did my best, and maybe someone has some good advice for how to do this better.  As you can see from the photo mine isn’t perfect, but then again, it’s sort of how I roll.  If someone criticizes your home made stuff say, “Oh, I like the organic, home made look –it’s how I roll!” And then don’t make them anything.  🙂

Last, I took some cording that I’ve had forever that’s really pretty. I bought it for wrapping gifts but hardly use it anymore because It usually end up buying things online these days.  I just stitched it around the edge (not nearly as difficult as it sounds and it took about 10 minutes tops, I promise).   Just be sure to leave enough on what you are going to use as the top to tie once (not a knot, just one over and under) and then make a loop for a hanger and tie a knot at the top.  If you have a twisted cord like I did you will have to cut it close because it will unwind.

If you want to put a dangly thing at the bottom (do it, it looks cool!) here is what I did:

It’s 2 star shaped buttons hot glued together with a piece of metallic gold thread sandwiched between them.  Be careful when you do it that you get the thread where you want it so the buttons will hang the direction you want them to (just put a little thought into it).  Then I took those little glass drop things that you find at craft stores in the jewelry section (I think–I’m sorry I have all this stuff that I can’t recall where it came from anymore!) and hot glued them over the button holes.  You could use beads or something else.  Whatever floats your boat.

Then I put that thread on a needle and sewed it into the bottom of the ornament, and there you go. It was kind of funny because I was ready to put it in the mail this morning before I added the dangly star, but I thought….  “It needs something.”  And it hit me.  I’m glad I didn’t mail it yesterday.  I think that last addition is sort of the star of the show!  🙂

Silly Sweater Snake

I have been really busy organizing my craft room after the roof leak and still cleaning out the stuff from the attic and garage.  BUT I did think that a sleeve from one of my old sweaters looked a little like a snake, so I wanted to try making it into one.  It is quite silly looking.

Because everything is still in disarray I didn’t take photos of the process, but I learned a few more things during the task, so hopefully when things are back together here and I have time to really get back to it I will sort of know what I’m doing.

This little fellow is made completely from recycled items.  The sleeve from an old sweater, the stuffing from an old throw pillow and some buttons from my button jar.  Does everyone save buttons that come with blouses and things they buy (or ones that come off or they find etc?)  I sure do and have for years.  Oh, I guess the thread I used to stitch him up was new.  Otherwise, he’s really something old!

I admit, he’s pretty silly looking ,but I think my grandson will get a kick out of him.  Oh, his tongue is part of the sweater.  I took one of the red stripes, rolled it, zig zag stitched it and sewed it in!  🙂

Now onto Handmade Monday.  I’m very very late!  🙂  Please go check them out.  It’s always great fun!

Buttons Buttons Buttons

I made buttons the last time I made beads, but I didn’t really blog about them.  I actually made the purse because I wanted something to do with the buttons I made.  A friend asked me if I sold buttons, but no, I don’t.  However, I told her I would make her some as a gift.  And if I’m going to make some, I need to post it.

So, I’ll share this quick tutorial on making paper mache buttons. By the way, don’t use them on anything you will ever want to wash, unless you want to take them off every time and put them back on!  But I think they would be fine on purses, or something decorative.  And, no two are very much alike.  I made them round(ish!) but you could make them another shape.

Paper Mache Buttons –lets go!

Finished buttons