Getting Back to Normal

 

I always find it difficult to get back to “normal” after the Holidays, does everyone else?  We haven’t had Handmade Monday for the past 2 weeks since Mondays have fallen on the BIG Holidays (Christmas and New Years Day) and so, I have been pretty lazy.  Not that I didn’t do anything, but I didn’t write about it.  🙂  However, here is something I did do, and I thought I would share it.  I didn’t exactly reinvent the wheel here, but I thought I came up with a fairly clever way to mount this glass piece simply and economically, with the additional advantage that it will also be easy to remove and change if the recipient later decides they want it mounted in a different way.

This little frog “tile” is one of the very first fused glass pieces I did –if not the first–I think it probably was, but my memory is about as old as I am.   It was simply slumped into a mold at a glass shop where I went to take classes, but it came out pretty cute.  The problem, of course, is that I was always afraid it would get broken, and I wasn’t really sure how to display it easily.  When I found out I was going to have a new GrandSON I thought, Boys/Frogs, PERFECT!  So, my husband and I (he’s so good to bounce ideas off of for this sort of project) came up with a way to frame and mount this little amphibian that I think will be really stable and cost very little.

The frame was on sale (and frankly, I think most of us have frames around the house we could reuse, OR I see them at thrift stores really cheap all the time too).  The napkin I used for backing was from an after Thanksgiving sale.  I had to buy a set of 4, but the others actually are ones I can use as they go with my “decor” at least until I cannibalize them for another project!  The art board was a couple of dollars.  And the Super 77 adhesive was a little pricey, I admit (I think about $12.00) HOWEVER, I still have a nearly full can and it is AWESOME!  I will use it for a lot of things.

Well, lets get on with this.  Oh, and please, don’t tell my son and daughter in law, this is a gift for their baby.  Let’s just quietly go see How to Frame a Frog, shall we?

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.

Starting Christmas

I am still cleaning out and organizing my craft room.  One thing I ran across was some Christmas ornaments I made before we moved to Florida that I put away and never did anything with.  I don’t need to take up that much space, and honestly, someone needs to enjoy them, so I finished them up with some ribbons and will get them into the mail to my sons and their wives.

They are very simple to make, so I thought I would share them here.  Obviously I didn’t take photos of the process.  However, it’s just torn tissue paper and Mod Podge on glass Christmas balls.  You can use either the clear ones, or the colored ones you buy to decorate a tree.  I actually used gold balls I bought a box of because they were cheaper.

Buy pretty Christmas tissue paper and tear it into manageable pieces (about 1 or 2 inches, random sizes).  Brush Mod Podge onto the ball and smooth the tissue onto the ball and brush more Mod Podge over the paper.   I like to buy cheap one inch paint brushes from the hardware store to use.    This is messy, by the way.  I don’t know if I do many things that aren’t.  You will have to do one side and set it on something like a small glass jar to let it dry and then do the other side.

Overlap the paper as you go, and just keep working it until you like the effect you get.  On some of them I wrapped gold thread for an interesting effect and on some I sprayed gold glitter spray.  I’m sure there are other things you could come up with.  Add a few coats of Mod Podge and let it dry thoroughly.  Add a nice little ribbon and that’s it!  These cost next to nothing.

When my boys were growing up I gave them an ornament every year so that when they left home they would have at least 20 or so ornaments for their tree.  Some years I bought them something if I found one that was perfect, like the year I found Santas with various sport’s themes.  Other years I made something.  Do any of you do this for your kids?  I think it’s such a nice tradition.  I even have a few ornaments made by my Mother in Law that will pass down too.

Oh, and don’t forget to also go check out Handmade Monday.  I’m sure everyone has done some really amazing things!  They always do.  🙂  Thanks for stopping by.

Recycle Love

I love Yankee Candle jars. They’re pretty and it always seems a shame to get rid of them.  I generally put them into the recycle bin though, because I can’t think of anything to do with them.  I had wanted to etch them, but I really thought they were made of some sort of Pyrex and couldn’t be etched.  However, I discovered I was wrong!  I can’t tell you how happy I am about this.  I feel like dancing!  Now I wish I had all of those I put in the recycle bin back! Oh well, it gives me a great excuse to burn more candles.

So, check this out before you head off to the other Handmade Monday blogs.  It’s fun, it’s easy and you can surely think of something  you need to store! I thought this one turned out fun because I was recycling jars for recycled crayons and recycling ideas from my other projects!  It was sort of a recyclorama!  🙂

I think this particular jar with the heart crayons would be an awesome Valentine’s Day gift.  Check it out at Reusing Candle Jars.

 

 

 

Mixed Media

I have not felt very creative lately, I completely missed last weeks Handmade Monday not because I forgot but because I didn’t make anything, and this weeks first project idea was a complete disaster (read it just didn’t come out very interesting or well so I’m not even blogging about it).  But then I got another idea, and I not only liked it, I kind of love it!

So, here is the thing.  I mentioned to my awesome neighbor Pam that if she had some extra jars I needed them for projects.  I was thinking the odd throwaway mayo jar or pickle jar.  Well, she gave me 2 cases of Ball Jars that she had.  They have been sitting in my kitchen waiting for inspiration to hit me.  I couldn’t etch them, obviously since they have embossed writing on them, and I wasn’t yet up for doing Christmas things in jars.

But, todays project was PERFECT for Ball Jars. I hope you’ll agree.  And I still have more of those jars to play with.  🙂

So, for now, head over to Make It and let’s make some Glittery Mod Podge Jar Candles.
And don’t forget to head over to Handmade Monday, I’m so very late today, but that’s where I’m going right now!

Finished candle

Dress Up an Old Bottle

I had to find a way to put two of my favorite things together, paper mache and used glass jars. I always have liked the shape of salad dressing bottles, but they invariably look like salad dressing bottles. However, the other day, I had an idea. I wasn’t exactly sure where it would go (if you follow my blog at all, I think that might sound a little familiar to you!) but I thought I would just go with it and see where it led.

It was a little more time consuming than I had expected, because it took a LOT longer to dry than I thought it would, but I am REALLY pleased with the result AND I can see other possibilities. I’m sure I’m not the first to do something like this, but, so what? Maybe someone reading this hasn’t thought of it either. So, let’s go on over to Make It and you can also make your own Paper Mache Bottle.

Mod Podge to the Rescue

It’s Handmade Monday and I’m running late as usual.  I actually had this ready  but I had an errand to run this morning so I didn’t get it written and posted as early as I planned.  Well, it’s a quick one, so here goes.  And don’t forget to pop over using the link above and look at all the wonderful things everyone else has done!  🙂

This is the continuing saga of the glass stars I worked on last week.  If you want to go see why I had two glass stars to salvage you can go here for the rest of the story.  I had to do something to cover up the slight etching you could see on the glass, and what better than one of my favorite things, Mod Podge?  I used Christmas tissue wrapping paper that wasn’t really very Christmasy, but I love the colors.  I’ve used it for other projects before, but I still have some left.  I will hate when I use the last of it.

First I covered the stars with the paper and Mod Podged it on with several coats.  On a whim I covered one with some gold tulle I happened to have, and Mod Podged over that too.  Wow, nice sparkle!Mod Podge Stars I needed to trim the tulle as close as I could to the edge of the star and build up the edges with Mod Podge until it was smooth. This took several coats, and time as it had to dry between coats.  But I think it was worth it as it came out really sparkly!

Then I printed photos of my 2 Grandchildren the right size to fit in the center of the stars on photo paper.  I

affixed those with Mod Podge and then decided it would be fun to have their names on the back. That wasn’t my original plan, but hey, if something seems right I like to go with it!  So, I found an old catalogue with nice colors on the front.

Using my Cricut, I cut out their names with paper from the catalogue cover and put those on the other side of the star, not trying to get them straight but just sort of erratic.  Mostly because if I tried to do them neatly and evenly they would still look erratic!   This way maybe it looks like I tried to do it that way.  I hope so.  🙂

Stars with names

As a last touch, I put ribbons through the holes in the top so they an hang them on their door knobs (or somewhere else if they choose).  I think they came out pretty well, considering they were rescued.  I still think the etched stars would have been far superior, but when life hands you lemons, I think you just have to use Mod Podge!

When You Etch Upon a Star

Don’t you hate when you have a really cool thing planned and you get all of your materials, and you do everything, and it’s working out so nicely.  You go through all of the steps, and you even get awesome photos, and spend a lot of time doing exacting work.  Then, you get to the end, and you say to your husband, “Well, etching never looks like it’s etched while it’s wet, but when it’s dry, the pattern always emerges!”  ?

But…no….not this time!

I did discover something.  I had actually read it at some point, but never thought I had to check what my cute little star ornaments were made of.  Let me go to the beginning, as you are probably a little confused.  I had these glass star ornaments I bought before Christmas last year, thinking I would put my Granddaughter and Grandson’s names or initials on them.  But I never got them done and so I put them away.

Last week I had an inspiration.  I would etch their initials in the middle and decorate them using my Cricut.  It would be a great project for Handmade Monday and a nice little gift they could hang on their doors with a ribbon.  Great!

So, I cut out the pieces of sticky vinyl on my Cricut, arranged them ever so artistically, and took amazing photos!  I slathered on the etching medium and waited the requisite time and a little longer.  Then I rinsed and dried them.  Disappointment! Nothing. Oh, you could see just a very slight and vague shadow in a few spots, but no, really nothing!  I was crushed.  What had gone wrong?

Materials

Materials

Ready to etch

Ready to etch!

Disaster!

Disaster!

I googled, and it appears that my beautiful little stars must be made of pyrex or something similar, which does not etch. Oh sorrow and despair! Well, I do have lovely images to share, and I’m salvaging the little stars with another project, which I will share maybe next week. The lesson, I suppose is, know your materials. Or, always be ready to do something else. 🙂