Thursday, March 31, 2016

Saying "Hello" to Spring ~ Bee's Knees Wreath Tutorial

I wasn't planning to make a new wreath this spring, but as the weather got nicer, I decided I needed to celebrate with some fresh flowers to welcome visitors to our door.

 So I went to the store and bought some artificial pansies,some burlap and lace ribbon, and made this wreath.  (You can find a tutorial to make a similar wreath on my Hubpages.)

This flower wreath was fine, but I wanted to add some more color and fun. So I headed to my craft supplies for some paint and bubble wrap.

And ta-da!  I made this fun bee-friendly sign to hang in the middle of my wreath.  This sign was easy to make.  I have posted all the directions with photos on Hometalk.

I love how the finished sign came out and I smile every time I see my spring wreath hanging on my door :)  Check it out on Hometalk!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Crafting Crossover: Free Knitting Pattern for Confetti Cup Cozy

Many of you may not know that I also have a knitting blog called Fiber For Thought.  Well, I do.  There, I share information on all things knitting and yarn-y, including free knitting patterns.

And I just posted my latest free knitting pattern for my Confetti Fringe Cup Cozy, along with a similar pattern for the Confetti Fringe Pillow Cover.  I love these two patterns, particularly this cute and colorful cup cozy.  It's a quick and easy pattern and oh so satisfying :)  I think it's the perfect spring pick me up to brighten up your table, desk, or day! 

Check out these patterns and more on my knitting blog!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Recycled Birdhouse Planter or Flower Vase - Celebrating Spring with a New Tutorial and a Blog Hop!

Spring is on its way and I'm thrilled to celebrate its arrival with a new tutorial and a DIY My Spring Blog Hop!  #DIYMySpring

A new season is great inspiration for a new craft project, like this Recycled Birdhouse Planter or Flower Vase.

We're starting to have more sunny days than not, and I've noticed the soft sunlight coming through our front windows now.  I realized that this window area might be the perfect place to put some pretty African violet plants.  My mom always had African violets growing in her windows and I love their little blooms and soft colors.  But, alas, I'm not very good with houseplants.  I have more of an orange thumb than a green thumb (sad face).

So I thought if I made a pretty planter, maybe no one would notice that my plant was dying (LOL)  I came upon the idea to reuse a birdhouse as a vessel that could serve as a planter or a flower vase.

I "crafted" my recycled birdhouse out of household items, but you could also use a pre-made birdhouse as the base for your planter or flower vase.  I have all the directions with photos for making either a planter or flower vase on on my Hubpages!

Once you have your basic birdhouse, there's lots of fun ways to add details and personality.  I decorated my birdhouse with stencils and a sweet little bird made from clay.  You can find a full tutorial to make your own here on my Hubpages.  These cute birds are so fun to decorate with stamps and buttons.

This spring project is only one of many featured on Hometalk, as part of their DIY My Spring Blog Hop!  Please take a moment and check out all the other wonderful home decorating and craft ideas and watch for the hashtag #DIYMySpring!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

{Tutorial} How to Make Decorative Birds with Clay

I've been having a lot of fun making these clay birds from Sculpey and some items from around the house.  You can find the full tutorial on my Hubpages.

My favorite part is creating the designs on the wings.  I used various items I had hanging around, like vintage buttons and beads.  I made these birds to sit on a natural branch, but you can also use them to decorate a mantle, a flower pot or planter, a wreath, or as a Christmas ornament.

You can also add more decoration and color to these birds after they've hardened with colored pencils or paint.  You can find this easy step-by-step tutorial on my Hubpages!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Trying My Hand at Basketmaking

I've posted before about my love with handmade baskets, so I was thrilled to take my first basketmaking class this past weekend.

We made a woven market basket with a wooden handle.  The basket measures about 12 inches long and 8 inches wide.  The design included darker reed detailing and we got to choose our contrasting color.  I chose a wine color for this detail, which is hard to see in these photos.

Basket making isn't really easy, but the process is pretty straight forward.  It took us about 5 hours to make our baskets.  And it was a lot of fun once you get the hang of it.

I really love my finished basket.  It isn't perfect, but I'm very pleased with my first attempt.  I'm already scheduled to take another class and learn to make a different style of basket.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

A New Necklace Made with Recycled Charms

I just finished this new beaded necklace, featuring some handmade charms made from recycled pet id tags.

I had made a few of these charms with images of birds on them, to make up a bracelet.  The tutorial for making these charms from various recycled materials is on my Hubpages.  Unfortunately, I'm not much  of a bracelet wearer, so my charm bracelet got very little use.

So instead, I chose a few of my favorite charms and strung them with some beads to make a new necklace.  It may not be everyone's style, but I really love how it came out.  I used a mix of my random beads, and tied them together by repeating black beads throughout the pattern.  I think the colors look great with my charms.

Friday, January 22, 2016

{Quick & Easy Craft Project}: Peacock Covered Notebook or Journal

So this project isn't groundbreaking, but I'm pretty pleased with it.  My husband brought home this notebook from work, about 6" by 8".  It had a dark blue cover with his company's name and logo on it.  He asked me if I wanted it.  It wasn't pretty, but I can always use more notebooks.  And I thought I could make something out of it, like this woven paper journal cover I made.

I had seen other projects where people covered things with these decorative paper towels/napkins.  I bought this package months ago at the Christmas Tree Shop for crafting.  I think I paid $1 for the package.  I wish I had bought more of them because they had a bunch in so many great designs.

I think my mother would call these "paper guest towels".  They're larger than napkins, unfolded they're about 11 inches by 15 inches.  The towel is made up of a couple layers of paper.  There's an inner layer of thicker paper, then the decorative layer is actually made of two very thin layers of tissue paper, one plain and one with the image on it.

These towels are great for d├ęcoupaging.  This is such a quick and easy way to transform a lot of items.  I didn't take any photos pf the process because I didn't plan on sharing this project.  But the end result is so pretty, I just had to post it. 

Generally, you remove all the layers and just work with the thin outer decorative layer of paper and modge podge or glue.  But since my notebook had a dark cover with lettering, I first used the inner white thick paper to glue down a base layer over my cover.  Once that was dry, I brushed on more glue and laid down my thin decorative paper.  When that dried, I trimmed my paper down to the edge of the notebook.  Done!

You should put your glue on kind of thick and make sure you spread it all the way to your edges.  Your paper is going to wrinkle when you put it down in the glue, so just accept it as part of your design.  But you should press down on your paper to get out any bubbles.

The back of my notebook was easier to cover, because it was white with just a logo.  I just used the thin outer decorative layer of my towel to cover the back, but you can see where the company logo shows through my paper.  It's ok though, happily it kind of works with the peacock design.

I can take no credit for this project.  The end result is really pretty, but that's because of the towel design.  I'm not really a peacock person, but this image is really stunning (even prettier in person).  I've made a few other things with these decorative towels and plan to make more.