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.

Some Things Seem So Easy

Do you ever think of things that seem so easy, but when you try them they thwart you at every turn?  Yeah, me too. I had seen this recipe for making marshmallow peeps awhile back and wanted to try them –I think I was going to try Halloween ghosts but never got around to it. So, later I thought, “Oh, Valentine hearts, that will be cute and easy!” Oh, I’m so misguided sometimes!

Maybe if you’re a pastry chef.

I’ll just cut to the chase.  I made it work but if you’re going to follow my directions you don’t need the pastry bag and tip.  Unless you just want to try it that way.  Or you’re a pastry chef.

Anyway, it’s Handmade Monday again!  Yay, now THERE is something that works right every time.  🙂  So, after you check out my Heartmallows go check out what everyone’s doing for Handmade Monday! See you there. 🙂

 

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!

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.

Pink Heart and Soul

More Sculpey, more hearts, more glass etching.  I did this little jar as a gift for my Great Niece.  I thought it would be perfect for holding jewelry or other small trinkets, but I put a few Sculpey beads in there for her when I mailed it because she does make things.

This was a little face cream jar.  I simply removed the label and cleaned it. Then I used my Cricut to make the letters of her name and put them where I wanted it.  I am not the best at getting things all lined up, but I managed to get it pretty straight this time.  🙂

Then I used my etching cream.  If you haven’t done that before you can find more info and tutorial here.  As always, be careful with the etching cream, remember, it’s strong enough to etch glass.

I made a heart out of Sculpey and painted it pink with acrylic paint. I am not much of a Sculpey expert, I’m just following the directions on the box.  It says to bake in the oven at 275 F for 15 minutes for each 1/4 inch of thickness. I am finding that it seems to need longer, but I also know from experience that you can burn it, so keep an eye on it.  I set the timer and check it every 10 minutes or so.

I used a lighter pink on the lid and sprayed both that and the heart with a couple of coats of Folk Art Lacquer to help seal and give them a little nicer finish.  I used hot glue to attach the heart.

Lastly, I finished the edge of the lid with organza ribbon wrapped around twice (glued with plain white glue) and then a thin white sparkly ribbon over that also affixed with white glue.  Threading the little beads on the small ribbon was difficult!  But I like the way it gave it a more finished look.  I always have a problem figuring out what to do with jar lid edges.

Oh, and I etched a little unicorn on the other side of the jar.  Just because.  

 

 

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.  🙂

 

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.

 

 

 

Color With Your Heart

Handmade Monday again!  And I’m ready.  🙂  Go check it out, but first, check out this fun project.  It uses things that you probably already have around; crayons, cooking spray, muffin pans (hopefully you have a heart shaped one, but you can buy the silicone ones online or I think I actually got mine for about $10.00 at Target), cookie sheet, and oh yeah, an oven.

If you have kids, let them help by having them bring you all of their broken crayons.  Let them get off whatever paper is still on the crayons, break them into smaller pieces and help sort the colors.  However adults need to deal with ovens and hot melted crayons.

This was so much fun and came out much prettier than I thought.  I am envisioning heart shaped crayons for little girls for Valentine’s Day or for party favors.  Of course you can do other shapes too.  But the hearts were just so awesome!

Easy directions, try this out just to recycle those used crayons or to do something fun for your next kid’s party or even if you don’t have kids but want to make a special surprise for one. You can find the directions at Crayon Hearts.  Check it out!

A Different Twist on the Blue Jar

Last night I decided to try making a Tinted Blue Jar in red.  But what I really had been thinking about was if there was a way to put a decoration on it.  Was there a way to make something (hearts?) clear, with the rest of the jar red?  Hmmm.  I had discussed this with my very smart husband previously, and I had suggested using my Cricut to leave voids in shapes and then peeling them off.  But he wisely said, “Yes, but won’t they be embedded in the Mod Podge after it dries?  And when you try to peel them off, won’t you risk peeling the color off too?”

OK, yes, I expect so.  But, I thought I would do a little experiment anyway.  I had an extra jar just sitting around waiting for a new life, and I really wanted to see what red looked like, so I went ahead!  Well, it actually turned into something a little different.  I like when that happens.  I guess I will have to call it a Tinted Red Heart Jar.