Butterflies in Winter

I like butterflies all the time.  It’s especially nice to see them in the winter.  So, I made some butterfly suncatchers to share.  I think especially with the snow we’ve been having in parts of the country, this might cheer people up.  It’s an easy craft, however it requires a few things that you might not have at a home.

Transparency film can be found at office supply stores.  It’s pricey but you will probably not have to buy it again for a long time.  If you don’t bead (or fish!) you might not have the monofilament on hand either.  I think I bought mine at Michaels.  Any craft store should carry that.  I think everything else most crafters either have or know where to get.

I have been working on these for quite awhile, not because they were so hard to do but because things kept getting in the way like Christmas and other things.  Each one really only took an hour or so (not including drying time for the paint).  Kids could make these with adult supervision.  OK a LOT of adult supervision.  🙂  Well, whatever, I think they’re really pretty and they make nice gifts.

Stay tuned for the other crafts I came up with using the butterflies.  But for now go and take a look at instructions for making these Butterfly Suncatchers.

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!





Impress Your Friends With –Marshmallows!

Seriously, I never thought about actually making homemade marshmallows until someone gave us some handmade ones for Christmas a few years ago.  They were peppermint flavored and they came from a boutique shop and they were awesome!  From that moment on I thought, “If they don’t only come in a bag from the grocery store, and they can be flavored, and they can taste this much better than the ones I grew up eating, why can’t I make them?!”  So, I finally got serious about finding a recipe that seemed simple enough and getting brave enough to try it.

And guess what?  They’re EASY.  Yes, you heard me right.  EASY.  There are a number of recipes out there on the web, so I picked one from someone who usually makes things that work for me and went from there.  I wanted to add flavors, but I started out with the original basic recipe and didn’t change anything the first time, so that if anything went wrong later I would know that the change was the problem (yes, I am a former science teacher).

However, not to worry.  No problems, easy and impressive.  Messy, but really, nothing really worth doing isn’t messy.  You still have time to make some for a last minute gift that will please virtually anyone, or to serve at your own Christmas or New Years party, or just to make to indulge yourself.  My husband gives them a big thumbs up.  I’ve made at least 4 batches so far.  OK, enough chit chat.  The recipe is at Peppermint and Cinnamon Marshmallows.  Check it out!


Quick Christmas Ornament

I’m going to do a more in depth tutorial on making colored glass balls, but wanted to share something I made that I had to package and send, and I just never can wait, so here is a quick explanation with a photo.  This is a clear pink glass ball that I simply pushed some thin white ribbon into –the sort that is edged with shiny silver so it sparkles!

Don’t trim the ribbon until you have finished shoving it into the ball and just keep shoving it in until you like the effect.  If it bunches up and you don’t like it, pull it out and try again.  Leave enough out on both ends to tie a bow (if you can’t guestimate be safe and leave several inches).  Then pop the top back on, tie a bow around the hanger ring thingie and you are DONE!  You could jazz it up a little more if you wanted to put a little ribbon around the neck but I just left it just like that.  Quick, easy and I thought really charming.  I think this would make a great craft for kids too.