Denim Cat


This whole project just fell together by itself without any planning, really.  I was actually just trying to see if my ink stamps would stamp onto denim scraps for something else, but I loved the way the cat looked in that blue ink on the blue denim and I wanted to do something with her.

I thought for awhile and decided to go ahead and cut the piece smaller (and yes, it’s cut not really square on purpose) and sew it to a piece of muslin (or it might be linen, I can’t recall) that I had in my scrap box.  I still wasn’t sure what I was going to make.  Sometimes it’s fun to surprise yourself.  I stitched all the way around using a little zig zag stitch –really fun!  I have to say I’m enjoying how confident I’m getting when using the sewing machine.  I am pretty good at making bobbins and changing thread, both things that used to sometimes put me into tears.  I can also change the feet (altho sometimes I still struggle with that, surely the machine moves on it’s own!)

Anyway, the fabric set her off nicely, but the denim was a little frayed (I forgot to mention I washed the scrap after I the stamping had dried because part of my experiment was to see if the stamp dye was really colorfast.  It was, it faded just slightly, and to a pleasing effect).  But the fabric did fray slightly, so I pulled them a little more until I liked the result.   I also gave her a golden eye with some gold metallic thread I have, using a french knot or a close approximation.

It was then that I decided she would look charming in a frame!

And I have frames.  I don’t know why, but I just have a collection of frames that I plan to use.  I can never get rid of a frame or turn one down if offered.  I looked through them and found one I thought was perfect.  I cut the muslin (or linen) to fit, put it in place with double sticky tape, put the frame back on (it was one of those with those little devilish spikes so my husband had to help me so I didn’t poke holes in my fingers).

And the result, I think, really is charming.  Blue on blue.  She will be off in the mail in a day or two. As the project emerged I also realized who the perfect recipient was.  I know she’s going to a wonderful home.  🙂

Now, time to head to Handmade Monday.  A little late, but I have to see what everyone else has done.  Come on, there are always amazing things!

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. 🙂

It’s a New Year!

I guess the first thing I need to do is apologize for not posting more regularly the past several (as in maybe 6 or so) months.  I was out of town for quite a bit of the second half of 2012, helping with my new grandson (oh what a joy!) and then visiting and helping with my 2 step grandchildren (who are older but every bit as much fun).  Then I went and spent some time with my Dad in New Mexico after a few days (not long enough) with my brother and his family.  When I finally got home for good it seems like it was time to prepare for a Thanksgiving visit by my new grandson (he brought his parents along too) and then it was time to get ready for Christmas.

Of course I could have blogged in the meantime but somehow I just got out of the habit –for some reason good habits break far more easily than bad ones.  But, my only New Years Resolution is to get back in the saddle and start blogging again.  I really HAVE  missed it.  It’s not that I haven’t crafted or cooked at all, it’s just that I haven’t done all of the work involved in getting things onto the blog, that is photos and writing.

Now, for today, I will share some of the few Christmas cards I made this year.  Like last year I made them, but I didn’t send out nearly as many.  I got such a late start I used more stickers and stamps than I did before, but I discovered that there are so many beautiful choices that I still liked the way they came out.  You can be really creative and still add your own touches.  And because I was so late getting started most of the items were already on sale!

If you see something you like and have any questions about how I did it, please ask, I will be glad to share.  I’m not going to blog any instructions since they weren’t all that special.  For almost all of them I used prefolded card stock that I already had and sticky dots for most of the gluing (to make things go faster).  I wanted them to go out before Valentines Day!

Now, I’m going to go over to Handmade Harbour  and see what everyone else is up to.  I’ve been away so long, I hope they remember me!  You should go too, I know everyone has been busy.  I really need to check back and see what they were busy with for the holidays, I can’t believe I missed all of that!  See you soon.  I want to share the Moose Blanket I made for my nephew!

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!

A Cup of Hearts

I got this idea from a blog friend of mine and of course I changed it a little bit, but I never would have gotten the idea without Penny!  So, all kudus to Planet Penny (besides, she does such wonderful stuff over there anyway, it’s well worth your time to check her out if you don’t already make it a habit).

I wanted to use some leftover bits from 2 favorite scented candles of mine.  I love the Clean Cotton candle, and always there is some wax left at the end when the candle refuses to burn anymore.  So I scraped the leftover wax out of 2 candle jars (which I will use for other projects, by the way) and put them into this cute little heart shaped cup I had that I wasn’t using for anything else.  It is an adorable cup a friend gave me a long time ago, and says “Butterfly Kisses” around the edges of the saucer and has a little butterfly on the side of the cup.  It’s just perfectly sweet and Valentiney.

Penny had mentioned a much easier way to make candles than the difficult way that I don’t really like –yes, I know candle making is some people’s cup of tea, but it’s not really mine.  So, I did basically what she did, almost.  I poured hot water into a pan and set the cup in there and stirred until the wax was melted.  By the way, I use wooden chopsticks that I get when we eat out or take home Chinese to stir things like this.  Recycle/reuse!

However, the wax was white and I thought, for valentines day I wanted a pink or red candle, so I got a partially used up red taper that was in my candle drawer and added a few pieces of that.  It melted at a different rate, but that’s ok, it finally did melt and I kept stirring until it was blended.

Penny used a wick from another candle, I think, but I had an idea.  I had a little heart shaped tart (or tea light) candle.  I thought maybe it would look cute to use as a “wick”.  So, after the wax dried just a little, I stuck that down into the wax, carefully.  I know that it won’t burn for a long time, since the wick doesn’t go very deep, so I will have to address that, but to be honest, I don’t think I will burn this often.  It’s just really pretty.

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?

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!  🙂

A Bit of This and That

Another day, another quick ornament.  It’s one of my favorite things about the Christmas season.  I used to make this sort of thing by the dozen, and so I still have a box of odds and ends with which to put something together in short order.  I thought I would share the process, briefly, since it’s not so much a step by step thing, but really more like, “Here are the things I have, what can I make them into that will be pretty/cute/nice.”

I started out with a mini blue twig wreath.  I didn’t want a blue and red ornament though, and I happened to have a nice green wreath I had just bought to decorate for the front door, so I clipped 2 pieces of greenery from the back (I often recycle artificial greenery that way).  A dab of hot glue to anchor each piece to the wreath, and wound it around the wreath until it pleased me and then a couple more dabs of hot glue (be careful, the hot glue gun can melt the greenery).

Next, I took some pretty mini red ribbon with silver edging and wrapped the top (the part that wasn’t covered by the greenery) and also hot glued that in place.  The red berries came from a little sprig that was in my old wreath box.  I cut several off and kept adding until they looked good to me (odd numbers always look better).  The middle looked bare, so I tied a little bow and hot glued it down.

I already knew I was going to use the little red bird.  He’s been sitting in my craft things for many years, and I have never found the perfect thing to use him on.  This ornament is going to my niece, and so I think he will have a wonderful home.  I had first intended to position him facing out and his tail going through the wreath, but when it came to placement I liked him flying across better.

Lastly, I added a ribbon hanger.

I suppose it’s too late to be brief.  However, these are very simple.  If you want to make a quick gift/ornament, you can do something similar with things you may have around the house or a quick trip to the craft store.  None of the items are expensive. Great for teachers, Moms, Grandmas, friends, to have on hand, even to decorate gifts.

Christmas Cards

I am closing in on the cards, and hopefully by the time you read this they will be in the mail –at least most of them.  But I am writing this a little early so that I can get it posted and get back to work.  I have most of them finished, so I thought I would do a few photos before I put them into envelopes and realized I was short a few (or maybe not a few!)

I won’t go into details about the making of them, since eat one was different.  I will just admit to using my Cricut (and I will post a photo of it soon for those who don’t know what it is) to cut the cards and the words and some of the shapes.  I also cut out things from wrapping paper, and leftover Christmas cards from other years, ribbon, and fancy pens, colored pencils (altho sadly I cannot find my good artists colored pencils, they have managed to hide themselves somewhere in the craft room mess, but I know they will turn up).

I wrote the messages on vellum paper that I had from another project because I was afraid if I tried to write directly onto the cards I would mess up and have to throw away cards I spent a lot of time on.  I spent a great deal of time deciding how to affix the vellum into the card, but finally settled on the little corners you can buy to put photos into scrap books.  This has the added advantage of not only looking nice (they basically disappear on the page if you use the clear ones) but the recipient could recycle the card if they wanted to by removing the greeting and putting their own in there! Or, even replacing it with a photo.  It was an accidental idea, and I have to give my husband credit for pointing it out to me.  I should also mention that he’s the one who cut out all the vellum for the messages too.  He’s a wonderful partner because he never seems to mind those mundane tasks that make me crazy!

I’m pleased with the cards.  Some of them look a little whimsical (that means they look like a small child made them!) but hopefully the people who get them will enjoy them.  I know I had fun making them.  I would have had more fun if I had started them in August.  🙂

Now, go and check out the other Handmade Monday crafts.  I am going to, and then I hopefully will post a few other things over the next week.  I have done a few other Christmas Crafts.  Once the cards are in the mail, and I have my Christmas shopping done (closing in on it!) my only other big project is little kitchen thing that is going to disrupt the entire house, I’m afraid.  So, I will either have lots of time to blog, or I will be nowhere to be seen.  I’m not sure which.