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.

Homemade is Always More Fun

I know there are wonderful cards out there to buy and some of them are amazing (I love looking through the cards when I have a chance and I always think what a fun job it would be to come up with them –but not have to make them!).  But I have to admit, I also enjoy making them, even tho I always seem to be doing it at the last minute and they are sometimes late.  I like to think the recipients appreciate the work and thought that goes into them (they seem to).  I do get a few home made cards and they always mean a lot to me.  I keep them and I keep thinking one day I’ll make an album to make it easier to enjoy them.  My Dad makes wonderful birthday cards for the family.  I think I have every one he’s sent me through the years.  I always look forward to them.

Anyway, enough chatter.  Here are my Valentine’s Day Cards that I made.  I didn’t make many.  One of these days I will actually be ahead and maybe make up some, but I usually end up making them especially for each person.  Maybe that’s better anyway.   These were fun, although the photos aren’t great.  The lens I used doesn’t auto-focus on my D60 so I had to focus and a few of them were a little out of focus (they looked ok when I took them).  By the time I realized it the cards were in the mail and gone.  Oh well. 🙂

You can see what I did at Valentine’s From This and That.  You still have time to make some before tomorrow.

Hearts Around the Corner

A little late for Handmade Monday myself, altho everyone should still go check it out. But it’s still not too late to make a last minute Valentine’s gift for someone. I actually made this over the weekend, and should have gotten it up on the blog sooner. However, I didn’t. It’s very simple and I was able to make it completely from things I had in my craft stash. Some of you might not have everything on hand, but I bet many of you do. If not, you might be able to substitute something else.

Now, if you really want to get this done in time for Valentine’s Day I really need to stop talking about it and tell you how to make a Valentine’s Day Frame. Just click the link. 🙂

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!





Chalk Up Another Handmade Monday!

Running very late this Handmade Monday!  I actually did spend the weekend relaxing but also made a little something for a special little boy.  It’s an upcycle/recycle project.  I have been wanting to try using that chalkboard paint everyone else has already done a million things with, and I have had a jar of it on my shelf for, well, I don’t know how long.

I had a little clipboard that I used to use for school (for something, I don’t even remember what) that was too cute to get rid of, but I haven’t used it in forever.  I got the idea to paint one side with chalkboard paint and personalize it and give it to my grandson (my son’s stepson who is 8 and I think just the right age to love writing on things with chalk –plus he’s very into sports, I think he could keep score or something with it, but mostly, I just remember thinking writing with chalk was very cool when I was a kid).

It turned out to be really easy to work with.  The hardest part?  Finding chalk!  But I found a nice box that included white and some colors too at Target, after checking the office supply place first.

You can see what I did, with photos at Paint a Chalkboard.  Then you can go and check out Handmade Monday, which I understand is also going to be moving very soon.  But don’t worry, I will be sure to give you a good link when that happens, I wouldn’t leave you high and dry!

It’s a Wrap

I love little boxes. And that means there are always some around, so I have to think of things to do with them. I needed something to put the little Valentine necklace in because I think presentation of a gift is almost as important as the gift. I had thought of making a bag, but I’m still in the middle of reorganizing my craft room (let’s just leave it there) and so it was easier not to try to get my sewing machine out.

But, I did have this cute little box some bit of jewelry or other came in, so…

I simply painted it with an acrylic paint called Metallic Bright Red, but it looked for all the world like red fingernail polish to me. Perfect! It took a couple of coats to cover the box, which was black. Then I glued on a wooden heart which I got at a craft store ages ago –one of those things I saw and thought, “This would be cute on something.” I have a metal tin with various hearts, buttons and wooden, just for this sort of thing. Don’t you? I just glued it with regular white glue.

I waited until the next morning so everything would be nice and dry, put the necklace in with the filling that was already in there (I always save that too, but you could use tissue paper or batting or whatever) and then tied it up with a thin little ribbon and voilà! Now it’s sort of a dual gift, since I think the little box could be used to keep something in too. Oh, and if you don’t have a little stash of hearts to glue on top, just cut one out of cardboard, I think that would look just as cute –paint it a slightly different red so it will stand out. 🙂 OK. Now, go make something pretty, Valentine’s Day is almost upon us!

Snips and Snails and New Tools


I did a few small things this week, no big projects.  But it’s Handmade Monday again and there is only one more before Valentine’s Day! Plus it’s the 52nd one, which means we’ve been doing this for an entire year. I got in almost at the beginning of it, so I’ve been doing this for just short of a year too. I’m sure everyone has made all sorts of cute things with hearts and things, and I can’t wait to go see what they’re doing.  Click the link and check it out after you’re done here.  🙂

I posted a candle in a cup I did using Penny’s method, so if that interests you, please check it out here.  It turned out so well, as you can see from the photo here (I did finally light it!) I’ll share it again!

I get so many good ideas from other bloggers.  Penny, at Planet Penny has such a fun blog, and in addition to good ideas and beautiful things to look at, it’s always fun to read.

I have also been working on a little jar for a young boy for Valentine’s Day.  It’s a little difficult to make things for boys for this particular holiday.  Girls are easy, jewelry and well, everything just fits.  I ended up making something not all that Valentine-like but it came out cute enough to share anyway.  I didn’t take photos as I went, but it wasn’t rocket science so, I’m really just going to share a photo of the best part.  The jar is a plastic jar that shaving cream comes in, then Mod Podged with green tissue paper.  I put the boys name on one side and “Stuff” on the other –both cut with the Cricut of course because I could never cut letters out by hand.

I then made a little snail with Sculpy and made him some antennae with copper wire I had in my jewelry making box.  I used 2 little beads for eyes.  I made the shell and body separate so I could paint them different colors easily, using acrylic paint.

I attached him to the lid with hot glue, but he came off once, so I cleaned the hot glue off of everything and reattached him using hot glue and then put white glue around the edges.  Hopefully he will stay put.

He is so cute, I’m thinking of making some more and maybe painting a little smile on his face!

I also made a Valentine’s Day card.  I’m not going to mention who it’s for in case they see this (and this person does sometimes read my blog!).  I’m not quite done with it, but I wanted to share what I have done so far because I thought it turned out not too bad.  I really didn’t have much in mind when I started except that I had a bag full of red hearts of various sizes I had cut with my Cricut and I had a new tool (which I will tell you about in a minute) and some red ribbon.

I started with a precut white cardstock (the kind that comes in sheets with 2 cards per sheet and you feed them through a printer–I have a package of them for making cards on the printer).  I used my cool new tool and cut out a heart “window” toward the bottom.  I had a piece of red woven something that is, well, I don’t really know what it is.  It feels like something between paper and fabric.  I can’t remember where I got it, but it’s been in my “stash” for a long time.  I glued it behind the heart “window” and then decided to try cutting a heart out of it with my new tool.  That worked, altho it left the edges fuzzy and I had to trim it a little.

Then I just added hearts until I liked the way it looked.  I put the heart from the “window” inside one of the bigger red hearts, and let everything dry.  Then I made a bow with some organdy ribbon and sewed it on.  I hope I can mail this without crushing the bow too badly.

Oh, my new toy, er, tool is a Fiskar’s Squeeze Punch.  They are a little pricey, but they were on sale so I bought a couple of different ones.  I love them because you can cut “windows” OR you can cut shapes.  Just one more fun thing, and very, very easy to use.

Only one more week until Valentine’s Day, so I had better get these things in the mail!

I Got a Sculpey Heart


I have been having such fun with my big box of Sculpey so of course this week’s Handmade Monday involves that. I have been making beads among other things. Only the beads are really useful, the other things are just fun little silly things that I might eventually think of a use for. But beads can always be used for something.

Since Valentine’s Day is coming up I ended up making a necklace as a gift with one of the heart beads I made. I’m not the best jewelry maker, but I have quite a bit of jewelry fittings since I do occasionally make things, so I didn’t have to buy anything. I got to use some of my acrylic paint, some pretty ribbon, a magnetic clasp, hot glue, wire, metallic thread and some other beads that I have collected over time.

I think if you look at the images it will be easy to see how I put it together. Pretty simple. I used the cube shaped beads with letters on them to cover the ends of the ribbon where I tied it (there is probably a better way to do that –as I said, I’m not the best jewelry maker) but I like the way it turned out actually. I also had a hard time deciding how to attach the heart because it has the hole in the middle instead of thru the side (a thing I will think about when I make beads again). I ended up using wire through the hole in the bead, covering it with glass beads, and then attaching that to the ribbon by sewing it on with some gold metallic thread. That way it would hang (dangle) correctly.  I tried a few other things first, but the heart kept hanging sideways which was not what I wanted.

The only other problem was how to make the word-beads stay in place.  So I poked some hot glue down into the hole of the last bead with a toothpick.  That seemed to work.  This is just a simple little thing, but it was fun to make.  Hopefully the recipient will enjoy it.  🙂

I have a few more Valentine’s Day things to show and will share some photos of more heart beads I made too.  I was thinking of making some Valentine cards to send out but if I don’t get started really soon it will be too late!  Now, go check out this weeks Handmade Monday by clicking on that link and see what wonderful creations everyone else has produced.  That’s what I’m going to do!  Thanks for stopping by.  🙂


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

Waste Not…

More fun with things you would probably just throw away for Handmade Monday. Even before it was cool to recycle and reuse I always saved things and did other things with them. No really. I don’t know why, I just always hated to throw things away if they might possibly be useful. Of course, that probably also gets into the realm of pack rattedness. But, we really do just toss things into the trash in far too cavalier a manner. I’m not making a political statement, just a statement of fact. And I’m as guilty as the next person. But I do love to make something from “trash”.

This is another project from that really wonderful paper mache recipe. I decided it would be great to make something without having to buy a form to put it over, so I imagined using throwaway cardboard from packaging. I used a box that I retrieved from the recycling bin. The most difficult part was cutting the hole in the middle, however I did a pretty fair job.

But, it’s boring to sit here and read about that, let’s get on with it. Head to Make it and read how to make your own Little Gold Frame. And don’t forget to check out all of the awesome things everyone is doing for Handmade Monday. It’s such a great and diverse crew of crafters, there’s pretty much something for everyone!Finished Frame