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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Still Snowing

So it is still snowing and has been since I got out of bed this morning.  So what better time to work on more Christmas crafts than a snowy afternoon in the Rockies???  So I finished up four more of my Frosty hats. I really love these.  I know that they will sell like hotcakes this fall.
I also worked on some tea lites....they take a while to coat and dry.....and some little metal rimmed tags.  The picture is pretty crummy.

Well tomorrow is my birthday, my friends.  Even though I don't have any grandiose plans.....take the dogs to the groomers....go to the hospital for my sis who is undergoing surgery....I don't think I will be home much.  I will try to blog some more later in the week.  Until then, stay warm and have fun.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Let it snow!

More snow this weekend.....No wonder I am having a hard time thinking about Spring.  We celebrated my grandson's 16 birthday yesterday.  He is such a sweet boy.
Today, since I just can't seem to get going on my spring stuff, I finished up some candy canes....yes, candy canes.  Another dollar store find, these plastic candy canes come six in a package.  But they are that ugly cheap looking plastic.
I wrap them with whatever I have on hand.  The red and black check is an old flannel shirt of my husband's that I cut into strips.  You can see old ribbon and homespun.  I like the primitive look, but you can use what ever you like.  If its bright colors that you like, use those.  You can even wrap with muslin scraps and then add a colored ribbon to simulate the stripes.
I like to start on the bottom or straight end.  Put a little dab of hot glue and hold a corner of the fabric over the end.

Wrap the fabric or ribbon on the diagonal, being careful to overlap each wrap so the plastic cane doesn't show through.  When you get to the end, put a little hot glue on the tip and fold in the fabric.  Trim as needed.

Here are several that I finished up earlier today.
I used fabric, wired ribbon, paper ribbon, etc for these.  Experiment with them.  This is also a great craft for your kids or grandkids.  Just make sure you substitute the hot glue for a white glue (it'll take longer to dry) or you do the gluing.  And just a little Martha Stewart tip, keep some cold water in a cup or small bowl when you are using the glue gun.  It really helps to dip your fingers in it if you get some hot glue stuck to the tips.

Now, if you didn't stock up on the candy canes during the holidays like I did, just be patient.  Put this little tutorial on your pin board, or bookmark it for later.  If you can't find candy canes on line right now, the dollar store will start selling them again in October.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday already....

It seems like since hubby has been home, I don't get alot accomplished.  On Tuesday we spent the day in Denver running errands, paying bills, shopping.  When we got home, we found out that our furnace had gone out.  So we spent Wednesday doing the home improvement store rounds until we found a replacement.  Just what we needed right now....

 Thursday was a cold and snowy day.  I spent the afternoon in the studio, just organizing, cleaning, finishing things up.  I also spent time printing off coupons, making a shopping list, catching up on laundry.  Last night, we attended my granddaughter Skylar's induction into the National Junior Honor Society.  I am very proud of her.

Today we went to the grocery store and a department store.  I saved $66 at the supermarket using coupons and shopping sales.  I have built up quite a little stash. 
I'm really not a hoader.  This is my freezer.  I buy frozen entrees on sale and use coupons.  For example, I bought 10 of the Weight Watchers Smart Ones for $1.88 each plus I had a coupon for an additional $3 off.  So I got 10 meals for $15.88 or $1.59 each.
This is my overflow from my kitchen.  Of course some of the items are my home canned items, but I also purchase items at deep discounts that I know I will use.  This week Cheerios were on sale for $1.99 a box.  I had a coupon for $.50 off which my supermarket doubled.  So I got a full sized box for $.99.  Since I had searched the ads before I went, I printed off an additional coupon so I could get two boxes. 
Coffee was also on sale.  Starbucks was $7.99 each (normally $9.99) and I had a coupon for $3 off two.  So I got two packages of coffee for $12.98.  It really doesn't take alot of time to coupon effectively. gives you the weekly specials and you can even print off the coupons right from the site.  And its free!
If you have seen the show Extreme Couponing, that is not me.  I do not go out and get 100 packs of toilet paper or baby wipes.  I buy only what we can use, and attempt to get the best price possible.  I shop markdowns especially on things like bakery items (you can freeze them) and some meats.  I purchase seasonal produce and in the summer, I shop farmer's markets and fruit stands and buy in bulk.  I garden as well, so I have a supply of potatoes, onions, rhubarb, greens on hand.  I freeze and can tomatoes, herbs, pickles, relishes, salsas, beans, cauliflower, etc so I can use at a later time.  I also give some canned goods as gifts over the holidays.  And I use coupons....but selectively.  Take a list and a calculator with you.  If the coupons do not reduce the cost of an item to less than the sale price of a like item...keep it until the item goes on sale. 
I know this isn't a great how-to craft, but maybe you can get a few ideas on saving some money.  Until then.....

Monday, February 18, 2013

Raggedy Monday

I've had these little babies cut out for a while, but it wasn't until today that they started to speak to me.  I made two, but since one isn't quite done and I haven't named them yet, I am just going to show you the one that is complete:

This fabric was in my 'stash' and was just enough for two little dresses.  It has a black and white check with little watermelon slices on it so I made slices for the babies to hold.  The slice is made from red cotton with green blanket binding.  I put a little white rick rack and black buttons just to accent.  She has red loons and they are trimmed in the same lace that is around her neck.  I did not tea stain these dolls.  I guess they just looked "fresher" in the light color.  She has small button eyes and her face is blushed and hand embroidered.  I will be listing them both on Etsy today.

It has been a really pretty day out today but the pets (or is it pests) were laid back taking it easy.
Can you tell that between the white furry dogs is a fuzzy grey cat???  That's all for today, bloggie friends.  More later!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Freaky Friday...

I say freaky, because, believe it or not, I have been working on Christmas decor.  So here is what happened.  I was in Michael's last month and they were clearancing what little was left for 75% off.  I found five paper mache' top hats and I snatched them up for less than $1 each.  They have been sitting around for a while and then when I was painting my candlestick holders with black paint, I just kept going.  They turned out so flipping cute!

So after painting the hats inside and out, I splattered some light buttermilk paint, added a homespun hat band, some floral, a bell, and a tag that reads "I'll be back again someday!"  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What 'ch workin' on Wednesday???

Candles!  This is what they looked like before the makeover:

These are the cheapo plastic candlesticks and tea light that you can pick up for next to nothing.  I got the tea lights at the dollar store and the candlesticks (they came with the light bulbs) in the package at Goodwill, two candlesticks for $1. 

Look how they turned out!

You can do this too.  Here is what I did.  I dipped the bulbs in tinted silicone and let dry overnight.  (see prior post for how-to)  Then I took apart the base and the candlestick.  The white candlestick part was coated with ModPodge.  Then I rolled it in cinnamon.  I put about three coats on.  Then I finished it up with a light coat of modpodge.  Don't put it on too heavily or it may not dry clear.
The metallic base was painted with flat black.  I used an acrylic craft paint, but you could spray it on if you want.  I gave it about two coats and then I mixed some cinnamon in with the black paint so it adds some texture.  Some people might use coffee grounds for this, but I love the cinnamon smell and it is easy to work with. 
Once everything is dry (try to let it set overnight....I know, I know...I was anxious too) and then assemble.  I finished it off with a homespun bow and a little rusty star.
The tea lights are easy too.  Here is a how to:
First, and this is really important:  Cover the little light on the top with tape.  I couldn't find my painter's tape.....tho hubby says he didn't take I used cellophane tape.  It was a little hard to get off, so next time, I will press a bit harder on the location of the tape.  The tea lights were about the same procedure, though I added cinnamon to the modpodge for the last coat to get some wax-like clumps.  Finish with a light coat of modpodge just to seal it.  I did not do this on the bottom because you have to turn it on and off there.
When they are all dry trim in whatever you have on hand.  I used ribbon on a couple, raffia on one.  Then I used a bell, a button, and a rusty star to finish them off.

I love the way these turned out so I will be making so many more.  These will sell really well at shows!  Hope you like them too!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Happy Tuesday!

I know I haven't been great at posting lately but sometimes life just gets in the way, doesn't it?  While I was out shopping on Friday, hubby got laid off, so it has been a bit solemn around here lately.  But what is more theraputic than crafting???  So on Saturday, my granddaughter Skylar, came over to craft with me.
She loves my kitty.  She painted and I worked on candles.

So while I am on this topic, let me tell you how to make these easy, peasy, lemon squeezy candles.  First go to your dollar store or Wally world.  The small jar candles are $1.  I like the ones at Walmart a little better....just a better selection of scents.  (and the labels come off easier)  Take the labels off and tear strips of homespun a little over an inch wide and about seven inches long.  Use hot glue to adhere to jar.  Wrap raffia (the ones I saw online had jute instead of raffia) around the jars two or three times.  Tie in a knot and cut ends off to about an inch in length.  Just be gentle here because the raffia will break if you tie too tightly.  Then glue on an adornment.  I used rusty stars.  The hot glue will hold the knot in place too.  I used some of the small stained labels that I showed you how to make a while back and used my single letter stamps to stamp on the words.  I made up some of the names:  Like the one I called Clean Sheets was originally called Fresh Cotton.  Just use your imagination.  I also put a little spot of hot glue on the jar where I knotted the tag on.  I was just afraid that when I take these to a craft show, the tags will slide off when people open them to smell them.  I think these are so freakin' cute, don't you?!?!

I also picked up more of the little night lights.  I have been practicing at dipping them in the silicone and through trial and error, I have found that for me, adding a tiny bit of oil paint in brown gives it the desired color.  And it seemed like my silicone was too thick so I added some mineral spirits.  They turned out so much better than my first batch!
I guess practice does make perfect.  I also found some battery operated candles at GoodWill.  They look really cheap (they were!) so I am working on grunging them up.  When I get them finished I will let you in on how I did it....I am trying a couple of different things.
You can see a couple of the tea lights that I am also trying to grunge. 
The dollar store is such a great place to get craft supplies.  Just don't limit your search to the craft aisle.  I found some great little favor buckets in the bridal area.  I plan to paint them and use them for ornaments.  And at just three buckets for $1, how could you go wrong? 
Well, off now for a little more crafting, my friends.  Talk to you soon!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Bears, bears, and more bears....

I managed to finish up these little bears....or at least finish them as far as I can.  I ran out of glasses, so I'll pick some up tomorrow and finish them up with tags, and ties, and of course, the specs. 
I also used up all my eyes and noses.  But tomorrow, I plan to do my weekly errands so I will pick up some more.

Do you have a smart phone?  If you do, and if you are as unorganized as I sometimes can be, download the free aps to all your craft stores and fabric stores.  Now, when I go to Michaels, Hobby Lobby or JoAnn's, I simply touch the app and the coupon comes up.  And you can use it over and over. You can also pull up the sales items. 

And make sure you stop in periodically at the dollar store.  I go to Dollar Tree and every time I go in there, I find some great bargains.  There are entire websites devoted to dollar store crafts, so if you are having an idea slump, google it and I know you will find some great ideas.  There are great buys on candles, shipping supplies, office supplies, and seasonal items.  I buy raffia, moss, safety pins, bells, ribbon, etc.  Check it out!  I can't wait to show you what I find tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

What 'cha workin' on Wednesday????

Where does the time go????  I stopped by my storage unit yesterday and picked up a box of fabric that I had stored there.  There was this woolen fabric that I thought would make the perfect teddy bears.....So I cut out several....
So this is a messy pile of two doll carcasses, their clothes and five bear carcasses.   I am trying to get them all sewn so I can stuff them while I'm watching law and order tonight.  I have been doing laundry all day too but Mr. Smoky is not the help that he thinks he is:

I also put together some tags for the last two dolls that I finished and listed them on Etsy.

I kinda like the idea of putting these tags on my dolls.  I have always named them, so now, the purchaser will have the names when they buy them.  tags were distressed (see earlier post how-to) and then I just stamped the names on.  I found these little single letter stamps at Michaels for like $1.  They are impossible to get the letters all exactly straight, so if you are a perfectionist, pass on this.  But I love the primitive way they look. 

Hopefully, I will get some of my bears put together tonight and if I do, there will be pics tomorrow.  And then you won't have to read the word carcass anymore!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tuesday Tips....and Raggedies....

I try to do a tutorial on Tuesday, but today, I thought I would give a few tips, and answer some of the questions that I get.  But first....dadah....I did get my little Raggedies done.  The first one, I will call her Sunflower Suzanne, turned out so great!

A couple of tips for making a doll like this, first of all, go for heavy a nice thick rug yarn.  It gives her this great 'touseled' look and is so thick, she doesn't even need a ribbon.  And blush your dollies with blush, real makeup.  A few people may use paint, but I think this is alot easier to control.  I used a small flower pot and put in a couple of sunflowers.  To make the flowers stand up in the pots, hot glue a styrofoam ball in the botton and then just glue in enough moss to cover the exposed balls.  Another tip:  shop at the dollar store.  You can get moss, silk flowers, ribbon, and so much more there.  The styrofoam balls were 6 in a bag for a dollar.  They were over $4 at the craft store.
My other raggedy I am calling Candy.  She is dressed in all red and white.  Notice that I gave her bright red hair instead of the barn red on Suzanne.  Since her costume colors are so bright, it just wouldn't look right to give her any other color.

I decided that Candy needed some Mary Janes so I just painted them on.  For the ties, I simply used embroidery thread.  She has on white eyelet loons and has a little red and white bear in her arms.  The little bear may look familiar.  He is not handmade.  I bought a bunch of these several years ago for next to nothing and did not know what to use them for.....well, now you know. 

I tea stain all of my dolls.....well, actually, coffee stain.  Since we are HUGE coffee drinkers, I keep the end of the pot remnants in a spray bottle in the refrigerator.  Just spray on as much as you like and dry.  You can put the parts in a very low oven (I set it to 200 and then shut it off), hang on a line, or throw in the dryer.  You kind of have to experiment to see which way you like best.  You can also add vanilla and/or cinnamon to your stain.  Your babies will smell so good!

I use the same mixture to stain tags.  And when I stain tags, I do a big batch of them. I use pie plates, filling them up with the mixture.  See how the tags start to curl when they get wet???  Well, you cannot very easily stamp curly tags and besides, you want them to be stained all over, right?
I get a plastic lid (I think this is off of a whipped topping container), place it on top of the tags, and weight it down with something heavy.  I used a whisk here, or you can use a spatula, spoon, etc.

Then lay them on a cookie sheet and place in an oven that is about 200 degrees.  But, a word of caution, STAY IN THE KITCHEN!  These things will burn easily, so if you are easily distracted like me, stay close.

Sometimes, you will want to turn the tags, especially if you got them really wet.  It just keeps the moisture from pooling.   If your tags get too wavy, and some will, you can press with a warm iron.  I put a piece of brown kraft paper between the iron and the tag.  If you use waxed paper, you might get some of the wax on the tag and your stamping may not turn out so well. 

And since we are talking about coffee.....did I tell you that I am absolutely addicted to fat free french vanilla creamer????  Well, I am.  But I am such a cheap skate, I hated throwing away all of those, I found they make excellent canisters.  You could use them in the kitchen, but I have found a dozen uses for them in my studio. 
The label simply peels right off.  This one, I use for filling sachets.  I mix the lavender in with the pellets, and there is a handy, dandy pour spout.  And the red cap goes so well with my studio!  I also store bells, pompoms, buttons, etc.  You can always see what is inside!

So, I thought this was going to be a short post but alas....again I am long winded.  One last tip:  When you are painting, make sure the cat doesn't jump up on the table.....need I say more????

Monday, February 4, 2013

Good Morning!

Well, I had a busy weekend, and didn't get alot of crafting done.  I did work on these sweet little night lights.  I found the tutorial on the internet and decided to give it a try.  I absolutely love them.
This is simply a dollar store night light with the shade removed.  The bulbs were dipped in silicone and left to dry for 24 hours.  I really struggled with this step and this just happens to be my second attempt.  I put a little brown oil paint in the silicone to get the brownish color.  I added some homespun and a little wooden star.  I tied all of it on a distressed and handstamped tag.  What 'cha think think they are so freeeeeeekin' cute!  I made up five of them and as soon as I can get back to the dollar store, I will make up some more.

I did 20 more of the little jar candles as well.  My two newest raggedies are almost done....just need to finish the faces. 
Some people put the faces on first.  I wait until they have hair and clothing....I kind of think they tell me what they should look like. 
Today is cutting day.  Time to cut out more items.  I was notified this weekend that I was accepted into Little High School Performing Arts craft show.  Details below.

Littleton High School
199 E. Littleton Blvd.

Littleton, Colorado
Performing Arts Music &Craft Fair
Saturday, March 16, 2013
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
LHS Cafeteria & South Gym$1 Admission Fee (age 5 & under FREE)Information available at
Time to get busy, y'all.