Thursday, March 31, 2011

Easter or Spring Time Centerpiece....

A few years back, I saw this idea (can't for the life of me remember where), about using asparagus and tulips to make an Easter table centerpiece. I tried it and it was so simple, yet made such a pretty statement. I liked it so much, I made 2 extras and put them on each of the counters at our two businesses. It received so many comments. So, in hopes that Spring will soon show it's face here in New England, I am posting the how to's:

You Will Need:

A tall circular glass vase with straight lines. (the one I used was a clear glass cylinder about 8-10" tall)
A bunch of asparagus
A Ribbon
A bunch of tulips
A rubber band

Place the rubber band around the vase.
Cut all the asparagus so it is the same size. Slide each stem of asparagus under the rubber band continuing until the entire vase is covered with the asparagus.
Tie a pretty bow around to cover the rubber band.
Fill with tulips - and Voila! A beautiful spring time decoration.
It will last for a week or more.
Enjoy!


Monday, March 28, 2011

So Exciting...

A friend of mine sent me a text, yesterday, that said "Hey, did you know about the $1.99 fabric store in Auburn?"
I was like...whoa....hold the phone (literally)......a fabric store that all fabric is $1.99 per yard???.....and I don't know about it? .....
Well, I was there this morning bright and early. What a find!!! They had a great selection, lots of notions too. I will definitely be back....but not too often because I have a bit of a problem with a fabric addiction. :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Glow Stick Costume Tutorial......

This past Halloween, my 10 year old son and his best friend, dressed as glow stick figures for their costumes. They had so much fun as soon as it got dark. I cannot even begin to tell you how many people were in awe of their costumes. They looked so cool out walking around the neighborhood...truly like a couple of stick figures. Well, now it is March and the boys (along with a 3rd buddy) are going to participate in the 4th Grade Annual Lip Sync Soiree at their school. They are going to resurrect the costumes and do a dance on the stage with the lights out (no actual lip syncing for them). I decided to see if  I could come up with a better way to attach the glow sticks to the costume. During their trick or treating in October - the sticks came disconnected a few times - and had to be repaired. Don't want this to happen in the show...so...here is what I came up with....
First you will need:
Black Sweat Pants
Black Hooded Sweatshirt
Clear Vinyl (I bought the thinnest they had at Joann's)
Black Binding (Double Fold)
Sewing Machine and Needle and Thread Too
and of course...Glow Sticks (the 22" necklace glow sticks work great...you get alot of coverage)
How To Make The Costume:
Here is the sweatsuit I started with. When you attach the vinyl to the suit, make sure to lay it out like it is on a person. This way the glow sticks will go on the front of the person and not off to the sides (if you followed the seams).

I cut the vinyl into about 2" wide strips. The length doesn't matter - the longer the better though.

Next, I took the black binding and placed the vinyl in the fold of the binding (like a sandwich) and then sewed using my sewing machine all the way down the length of the strip, being sure to catch the vinyl inside. I used a zig zag stitch to get more coverage.

When I was done, I had about 8 of these strips with binding sewn on either side.

For the hood, I sewed 3 shorter pieces (1 at each side of bottom of hood and 1 at top). Making like a straw/tube for the glow stick to slide through.
I sewed a long strip down each arm and a long strip right down the center of the sweatshirt. Some I sewed by hand as I couldn't get it into the machine without sewing through some unwanted layers. But it went fast. For the pants I sewed a long strip down the front of each leg - slanting in toward the crotch area to make an upside down "V" shape.

After you have sewn on all your vinyl strips to the sweatsuit, you can easily slide the glow sticks into place. Depending on the size of  the person wearing it, you may need to use clear packing tape to overlap the two glow sticks to make them shorter. Don't try to cut them or the "glow" will leak out.
You will need to tape the ones that meet at the joints (like that legs to the body, and the head to the body, arms to the body) so that you don't have a gap in the stick figure - so it will look all connected.

This is an indoor picture of my son wearing his costume on Halloween - so you are able to see the person in the costume, but when they go out into the dark.....

....it is a real life stick figure. Here he is dancing around in the yard.

And here he is with his buddy heading out to trick or treat!
(they had some kind of glow in the dark mouth thingy in their mouths in this pic)
I will post some pics when they do their show next month, but I hope this has been helpful. There are alot of sites that will tell you to hot glue the glow sticks to the clothes or just tape them and it probably would work, but you will be repairing all night long. I think this is the sturdiest way to do it. Makes the costume reusable also. Just replace with new glowsticks. Our glow sticks glowed for  hours! So, don't worry about that.

Oh, and I should mention...in order to take pictures of these awesome costumes, you must turn off your flash! Otherwise, you will see the person in the picture.
You can go here to see the actual performance of their act with the finished costumes:

Please leave a comment if you visit this tutorial....I love to hear back. :)

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Monday, March 21, 2011

My Version of the Car Play Mat.....

A couple of years ago, I made this Car Play Mat out of scrap pieces of fabric that I had left over from making puppet theaters. I, originally, made it with the intent to add it into my product line at craft shows.....but after making just the one, I realized that it would be too time consuming to produce in bulk...This is what I came up with....
This is the inside of the Mat

This is the outside fabric of the play mat - with a pocket for storing the cars - when on the go!

When it is all folded up....it's a little bag!
Sadly, this will be a one of a kind for me. Too time consuming, but I did enjoy making it. The little boy that received this LOVED IT! So it was all worth it in the end!



Thanks for stopping by....please leave comments!




Sunday, March 13, 2011

Magnet Boards.....

Last week I blogged about the bottle cap magnetic jewelry I have been making. Mostly I have been making these as gifts for the young girls in my life. I wanted to make something for them to keep all their bottle caps on when they weren't wearing them so I went to the Dollar Store to see what I could find that would be magnetic and I could alter.
I found these really ugly metal room decoration signs. The best part was when I got to the register they were only .25 cents!!! I bought them all. :)
I went though my scrap booking paper and picked out some nice coordinating sheets as well as some letter stickers and got out the trusty Mod Podge. I cut the metal sheet in half, so one would now give me two rectangular magnet boards.
I decoupaged the metal signs with the scrap book paper and some ribbon and personalized them with the letter stickers.  And here is what I ended up with:


...With the bottle caps on it!
A Close Up!
The best thing about this project is it was so inexpensive to do.
 I think the girls are going to LOVE it!
Please Leave Comments....love to know someone is actually reading my posts. :)
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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Bottle Cap Crafts...

As promised, I am posting some pictures of my bottle cap magnets. I made these with my girl friends last Friday night and we had a blast.
First, I purchased some adorable sock monkey bottle cap images from Revi1001 on Etsy. I cut them out using my 1" circle punch.
Next I glued my image on the bottle cap with Mod Podge. I like to glue the image to the outside of the cap so it is raised up a bit. I find it dries better that way too.


Then I painted some Mod Podge on top of the image to seal it well. I let it dry completely and then I...


...added the glaze on top. I used a glaze by Sun and Moon on Etsy. It dries fairly fast.
This is what it looks like while drying. Since this picture, I have switched to :


Envirotex Lite.  I really like how the piece comes out. It looks more like glass. It's a little more work, but completely worth it. I found it very easy to use.
When it was all dry I glued a magnet (rare earth magnet) on the back.
 I wanted to make it into an interchangeable bracelet so I took a pair of
brown tights and...
...cut a piece off (yes it's crooked, but it won't matter)!
Just roll it up. You will need two for a bracelet or just one for a choker necklace.
Next I attached a 1/4 inch steel washer (from hardware store) to nylon pieces and then you have a base to stick your magnetic bottle caps to.
Here is a finished bottle cap bracelet!!
So much fun and anyone can do it!
COMING SOON...I will post pics of the adorable magnetic boards I made to keep the bottle caps on.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Addictions....

I had "the ladies" over Friday night for a craft night...every Friday night is ladies night for my friends and I. Usually, we go out for dinner and drinks and LOTS of laughs, but I had this craft I wanted to try and knew that, although, some of them aren't terribly crafty - they would enjoy making this too. So...we tried our hands at bottlecap jewelry. We made some cool ones for the "tweens" in our lives as Easter gifts. That was Friday....I am officially addicted. I love making these. So much fun to see how they turn out. I will post some pics soon.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Goodbye To A Friend....

Yesterday was a BAD day. I had to say goodbye to my friend and family member for the past 16 years. My kitty, Samantha, became suddenly ill and had to be put to sleep. She was the sweetest little kitty and brought me so much love over the years. She will be missed. RIP Sammie.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Upcycled Juice Pouch Extravaganza...

Small Juice Pouch Tote

So... A few years ago (well, I guess if I think about it, it was 6 years ago), I saw one of these upcycled juice pouch bags and could not wait to try my hand at it. I made soooo many of these at first. I use them still. I keep one in the cabinet that has all my son's asthmas inhalers in it. I keep junk stuff in another. They are great clutter keepers. I gave one to my God child - she loved it!
Then the ideas kept expanding.....
JUICE POUCH PENCIL HOLDER
I have given these to many teachers along the way. They are always a conversation piece. Oh and they hold a ton of pens and pencils!
Then there was the:

The JUICE POUCH KEY FOB
These are just FUN!
So, after a while I got tired of making them and stopped, but my best friend picked up where I left off and she has made some fantastic upcyled juice pouch items. She even started her own Etsy Shop under the name: ReBaggingIT.
 She made me this:

JUICE POUCH DOG LEASH
(That's Larry, my dog)
And she makes the most AWESOME tote bags out of juice pouches EVER! Her craftmanship is superb!!
LOOK:

Tote Bag

Over The Shoulder Lunch Bag

Recorder Case

So, there is so much more to see in her Etsy Shop. Go take a look:
Tell her CountingBunnies sent you! :)





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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Recycled "Catch All" Box Mini-Tutorial...

I made this "clutter keeper" a few years ago to hold all those papers and things that end up on my counter.
Supplies Needed:
Heavy duty Cardboard Box
Scrapbook Papers
Scrap Magazines or Catalogs
Rub -on Letters
Photos
Mod Podge
Knife

I made this one from a Juice Pouch Box.


These are great to use for this project because it is is such a heavy duty cardboard. I just used a knife to cut the box to my desired size. I cut down the front a little more to make it easy to see in the box.
Next all you need is some decorative paper. I actually used large sheets of scrapbooking paper. I glued down using Mod Podge. (cover each section completely with Mod Podge and then smooth paper over it). Works like wrapping a gift.
Then the fun part - making it special to you.
I began by gathering some phrases that remind me of my son. I cut some from magazines and catalogs and I also used some rub -on letters to say exactly what I wanted it to say. (Like "Fred" and "the Jay Man" as these are nicknames we call my son). I also took some photos and cut out the image that I wanted to use.
This is the other side of the box!
When you have mod podged your personalizations on and they have dried a bit...now mod podge the entire box. I used a shiny finish for mine. I did a light sanding in between coats and I did TONS of coats just because I like to. One or two coats would be just fine. :)
So when you are all done, you can leave this out on your counter for all those things that need a place.
 I have made these for my son's grandparents and even made one for my son's first grade teacher for his desk with pictures of the kids and events throughout the year.
It was a hit!

If you make one, would love to see a pic of it.
I love comments ....so please feel free to leave some. :)


Tip Junkie handmade projects
http://todayscreativeblog.net/get-your-craft-on-tuesday-22/get-your-craft-on-24-2/
Craft Link parties

The Thrifty Home Refinished Furniture Party
Linked up on: http://www.skiptomylou.org/ (Made by You Monday)


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