Sunday, December 7, 2014

Handmade Holiday Mantle Display

Ta-da!  The holiday mantle is complete... for now.  The wreath you've seen before, but this is the first time I've put everything together on the mantle - including this new project (which I just love):

I've listed the links to all of these items on my Hometalk page.  I hope you check it out and enjoy!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Polymer Clay "Knit Stitch" Box and Brooch

I just posted this tutorial on how to make a polymer clay notions or trinket box with a knit stitch design on my Hubpages.

I used the same technique to make a "knit" brooch.  I trimmed my clay design to fit in a brooch blank.  Then I added the "fuzzy" saying by rolling a small egg of clay, flattening it with a dowel, then using alphabet stamps to add the lettering.  I made this little word oval separately and didn't stick it over my knit stitches until I had it right.  I'm not going to lie - it took several tries to get the lettering lined up and centered on my oval.

Why I chose the word "fuzzy"?  I couldn't say.  It kinda refers to knitting and seemed funny at the time :)

Once my clay piece was baked and cooled, I glued it into a wooden brooch blank from artbase on etsy.  Their pieces are lovely.  I made another pin with one of their brooch pieces here.

Check out my knitting polymer clay tutorial and make your own!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

17 Repurposed, Recycled, & Upcycled Christmas Craft Ideas
The good people at Hometalk were kind enough to ask me to put together a clipboard of some of my favorite Repurposed Christmas Crafts off of their site.  I was THRILLED to do so and found SO MANY great repurposed/recycled/upcycled holiday craft ideas!

Where to begin...driftwood, rusted springs, bottle caps, bits and pieces of random stuff - just amazing!  I especially love the Christmas Tree crafts, some of which (admittedly) are mine:

But there are a lot of wonderful, creative, exciting projects to explore.  Check out my board here, and start pinning and crafting for the holidays!  Enjoy!!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Getting My Holiday Season Started: Christmas Display Made from Tomato Cage

After a bit of a hiatus from crafting, I'm getting an early start on some of my Christmas projects.

First up:  a festive display for Christmas ornaments, favorite holiday cards, or fun family photos (I've used all three!).   This charming display would make a wonderful table centerpiece.  And your friends and family will be amazed that it's made from a basic tomato cage from the garden.

Find more pics and instructions on my Hubpages.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Latest Project: Anthro-Inspired Handmade Tree with Paper Flowers

I love to mix different colors and textures from different materials in a lot of my craft projects.  For this handmade tree decoration, I combined the rustic quality of twine with the charm and color of little paper flowers with button centers, then added just a little more interest with a little felt applique bird.

I really love the finished result.  I think this charming tree has a little bit of vintage inspiration that you often find in the home accessories sold at stores like Anthropologie and Pottery Barn.

And this tree decoration could be used in so many ways.  It would be beautiful as part of a wedding centerpiece, made with only white flowers and details.  Or with more pastels colors for a bridal lunch or baby shower.  So many options!  You can find the directions and more photos on my Hubpages!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Quilting for Non Quilters

I really love quilts.  I love the use of color to create beautiful designs.  But sadly, I just don't have the sewing skills y'all.  But I just came up with a cool way to make a quilt block using rolls of paper from catalogs, magazines, and gift wrap.  You can get all the details and instructions here on my Hubpages!

I wanted to share some simple ideas for basic quilt blocks that would be great for this project.  These are just simple sketches - I didn't measure anything out or make sure my lines were straight, but hopefully it will give you some ideas if you want to make your own rolled paper quilt block.  Each space or area could be filled with a different color of paper rolls to create a design like a quilt block.

This is just a simple 9 block square.  Each block could be filled with a different color.  The arrows can give you an idea of which direction to lay out your rolls of paper.

I'm not a quilting expert, but I think this design is called "Courthouse Stairs."

My lines aren't straight here, but this is a basic "Log Cabin" block design.

Or, you can use multiple blocks, and trace a letter on each to fill in with paper, and spell out words like "baby", "love", "peace", or "noel".

I even made a festive holiday wreath decorated with little gold beads.  This would be great as a holiday card or cut out and hung with ribbon on a Christmas tree.  Check out the tutorial for more ideas!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

{Friday Favorites}: Handmade Baskets

Handmade Basket by Eunice M. Hatley of Norwood, NC.

When my husband and I were dating, we'd often find arts & crafts fairs in the tri-state area and make a day of visiting a new town to see their arts festival.  It's a great way to check out a new place, see what's going on, try new restaurants, and see some wonderful handmade crafts.

This hobby of our's fell by the wayside when we bought our house and were working on our home and yard each weekend.  So last weekend, we were excited to go to the Mt. Mitchell Arts Festival in Burnsville, NC.

We had a great time, and while we were there I picked up this beautiful handmade basket by Eunice M. Hatley from Norwood, NC.  I particularly like the woven colored crosses in the pattern that remind me of knitting.  I'm just amazed at her craft and skill.

I had wanted to buy a basket for the bottom of our console table for a long time.  I picked up this beauty at the Goodwill store for $1.50.  The price was right and I love the basket, but it wasn't exactly what I wanted.  I assume it's handmade, but probably imported.

Goodwill bargin
Someday, I'd love to buy one of Clay Burnette's baskets.  I used to work with Clay and have seen a number of his woven baskets in person.  They are amazing!  More than baskets, they really are abstract sculptures.  I love his use of color and the fantastic shapes he's able to create using pine needles.  Check out Clay's blog to see more of his amazing baskets.

basket by Clay Burnette from

Sunday, August 3, 2014

{Favorites}: Building A Better Brooch

Sadly, I've been away from my crafting lately.  I started a full-time job a couple of months ago after a couple of years of working at home.  It's been a bit of a transition, and my crafting has suffered the worst of it (sad face).

But, I'm getting used to a new routine and have found time in my schedule to do a few craft projects here and there (though not as many as I'd like). Here's one of my latest projects:

I found these wonderful wooden shaped brooch and pendant bezels on Etsy at a store called artbase.  Marcos and Betty make these lovely bases that you can fill with whatever you want to make your own personal piece of jewelry.

You can see with this simple bird pin that I stacked some vintage buttons in the opening to make a colorful and cute little brooch.

To make this pin:  I found some of my favorite buttons that worked well together.  First, I chose a button that filled the entire opening as my first layer.  I superglued that large button into the circular opening.  Then I ran out of superglue.  I let that dry and used just basic white craft glue to adhere the dark purple button on the next layer.  Then as that dried, I just ran a few stitches through my littlest button in a complimentary thread color, tied it off, and glued it to the top of my button stack.

Once all my buttons were dry, I glued the pinback to the back of my brooch (artbase sends a pinback along with the brooch bezel).

I've bought a few of these empty bezels and have other plans for them.  I hope to share these ideas in the coming weeks:)


Sunday, July 6, 2014

{Too} Long Time Coming: Anniversary Collages

Months ago, I posted about putting my nose to the grindstone and getting some much-procrastined (is this a word?) craft projects done.  I planned to finish these projects in March, but these collages have taken MUCH longer.  Ugh.

But they are finally done!  Conceived as an anniversary present for my husband in 2013 (!!!), there are four separate collages.  For each one, I've taken a photo of someplace we've visited, and then expanded the photo using collage materials, mainly images torn from magazines.

Each one includes a little snippet of a map image, showing the name of the place in the photo.

I originally planned for these collages to hang in a row, but now I wonder if they would look better grouped in a square?  I'll post (hopefully) better photos when we've decided how to arrange them and hung them in place.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Meet One of the Craftys Award Finalists - ME!

The Craftys Awards are an online contest for some of the best craft submissions.  This was the first year of the awards and submissions were accepted in a number of categories:  knitting and crochet, sewing and quilting, edible crafts, jewelry-making, and many other craft categories.

I submitted a few of my craft tutorials and was thrilled when my Field of Flowers Tote Bag was chosen as one of the ten finalists in the knitting and crochet category!!!

Ultimately, my tote bag was not chosen as the winner, but that's okay.  I'm over the moon that my tote bag was chosen as a finalist.  The knitting and crochet winner was a knit wedding dress that's just amazing!  I congratulate Stephanie Klose on her well-deserved win!  Great job!!

Check out all the winning crafters and projects on the Craftys website.  A big round of applause to all the winners!  Can't wait until next year :)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Ombré Necklace Tutorial

I really love the ombré color trend right now and I couldn't resist making an ombré necklace out of my favorite materials - VINTAGE BUTTONS!!!  My finished necklace took a whopping 95 buttons, but you could also make a beautiful necklace using fewer buttons as just a central detail, maybe using just one color and some neutral white and gray buttons.  You can find all the details and directions on my HubPages.  

Love it!

And if this wasn't enough jewelry excitement, my local library held a bead-stringing class this past weekend, where I made another beautiful necklace!  Gotta love your local library :)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Gardening for Dummies (and Journaling too)

photo after frost :(
Now that the weather is warming up, we're turning a bit of our attention to our backyard garden.  My husband and I don't really do much in this area - just stick some flowers in the ground and hope for the best (which, this year, was freezing temperatures and frost a few days after we planted).

But this year, I thought I would try to be a bit more responsible in our gardening.  So I've started a garden journal.  I read this interesting article about garden journals and thought it might be helpful to keep track of the types of plants we put in, how many plants we bought, when we planted them, and then the results.  Then we would know what worked and what didn't work for next year.  Smart, huh?

So I dug out this cheap but pretty spiral notebook that I bought at Big Lots for a $1 and the alphabet stamps my husband bought me for Christmas.  Using a larger mailing label, I started to make a decorative title block for my garden journal.  I soon realized that:

1.  The ink pad I had bought to use with the stamps is crap
2.  Stamping takes a bit of practice and preparation

You can see from the photo above that I need to work on getting the right pressure on the stamps and figure out how to get them to line up.  Instead of worrying about it, I decided to just go with it.

I continued to stamp my title is a jumblely kind of way, intentionally setting the letters unevenly and pressing the edge of the stamp down to create a block.  Then I took my color pencils and colored in the blocks and letters in different tones to match my notebook.

I actually quite pleased with the result.  And I was a good girl and immediately wrote down some notes about our plants and garden.  I think I might be getting the hang of this gardening thing ;)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bright and Cheerful Welcome Wreath

I've been having some fun making handy home decorations from this rusty fence from our backyard.  And I simply couldn't resist making a door decoration with a piece of this fence and a little bird house.

This Spring wreath is surprisingly easy (you can get all the directions on my Hubpages), and can be adapted for any season, decor, or your personal taste.  I love this purple and yellow combination for Spring, but you could use different colors and flowers for autumn or winter.

Do you have any special ways to welcome Spring?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Garden Recycling - Old is New Again

I've been inspired by the warmer weather to make some new projects, like this jewelry display which uses some old wire garden fencing that we removed from our yard.  I love the rusted surface and the shape of this fence piece (I also LOVE this ikat fabric - so modern and pretty!!).  This charming and handy display can be used as a jewelry organizer or as a bulletin board.  The full directions can be found on my Hubpages where I show another way to use garden items like fencing or a trellis to make a display board.  Check it out!

I've enjoyed recycling this garden fencing and have another project to post soon!!!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday Favorites: Worry Dolls

I came across this great article by Phyllis Doyle about the history and tradition of Worry Dolls.  Phyllis's article also includes a wonderful tutorial on how to make your own Worry Dolls - a great learning experience for children and a fun activity to recycle some scrap paper and fabric.

Reading this article reminded me that I had a set of dolls which I had made into a brooch.  This was very simple - I just cut a small piece of cardboard, and glued the dolls to it in a line.  Once the glue was dry, I added a pin back.  Easy.

I haven't worn this pin in a while, but after rediscovering it in my jewelry box, I'm going to start wearing it again.  Go check out Phyllis's article and make your own set of Worry Dolls!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Friday Favorites: More Great Craft Sites

(I'm using this photo because I want people to check out my Field of Flowers Recycled Tote Tutorial here.)  

Now, on to business:  I've come across a couple of fun craft sites I wanted to share: is a great site full of FREE craft tutorial and resources.  Each day, new ideas and projects are posted.  This is a particularly fun site if you are looking for holiday project ideas.  Craftown has a whole section broken down by holiday and season - they even have a free newsletter that you can sign up for! is another craft site that shares wonderful free projects and ideas.This site has separate sections for sewing & quilting, knitting $ crochet, and holiday projects.  This site is really easy to navigate and has great photos of all the projects!

Both of these websites are wonderful finds.  Check them out!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

One Down, One to Go: Painted Lamp Shade

DIY - geometric modern painted lampshade
Yea to me for keeping up with my project schedule!  As promised, I finished painting my bedroom lampshade from boring white to funky geometric modern-ish...something.

You may remember, this lampshade looked like this:
I went to the trouble of making a drawing/stencil on graph paper of the diamond design, tracing them with black marker, then taping it carefully inside my lampshade.  Problem was - I could barely see my drawn lines through the lampshade.  So I ended up pretty much freehanding the painting of the design.  This was fine because I didn't want manufactured perfection, I wanted a more loose application of the shapes and colors.

I do wish I had spent more time mixing my colors.  I wish the green had a bit more blue in it.  I wish the yellow was a bit deeper, etc.  I think the finished colors look a little too kiddie pastel when I really wanted richer colors.  But I was rushing it and didn't take the time to mix in other colors to add a little interest to them. Alas, what's done is done.

So, here's the details:  I used acrylic paint, testing it first on the inside of my shade to make sure it wouldn't run or bead up on the material.  After drawing my design on graph paper with black sharpie, I attached it to the inside of the shade using double-stick tape.  Then I mixed up my paint colors in separate jars with lids so they wouldn't dry up as I painted my shade.  I only added a little bit of water to my paint as I worked so my colors wouldn't bleed.

I was careful not to apply to much pressure to the lampshade while painting.  I laid the shade down on its side on top of a towel for painting, and used more rolled up towels on each side of the shade to keep it from moving.  I painted one section, let it dry completely, then moved to the next section.

I might call this a test run and look for another shade to paint with the colors I really want.  But for now, it's fine. (Well, just okay.)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

March is the Month for Getting Things DONE

The month of March supposedly comes in like a lion.  And hopefully, I will have that aggressive energy to get a few projects completed that have been on my  To-Do list for way too long:

1.  I've wanted to paint this lampshade since I bought this lamp ALMOST TWO YEARS AGO!  Although I love the ceramic base, I think the shade is kind of blah.  I've had my plan to paint the shade set out for a long time.  I just need to get to it!  This is first on my list to do, so hopefully I will have some finished photos to post soon, soon, soon.

2.  This one's rather embarrassing:  last year, I had this great idea to create a series of small paintings for my husband for our wedding anniversary.  There were to be four paintings, each one based on a place we've lived or visited.  Great idea!

I started in plenty of time, a few months before our anniversary in May.  But...I never finished them.  Not sure why - I didn't really like they way they were coming along and I think I lost my groove.  So I'm going to try again this year :)  I have a new plan and renewed commitment for finishing them in time of our anni this year!

Wish me luck!  I may need it :)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Paper Bead Bib Necklace Tutorial

Once again, I was craving some new jewelry.  And once again, I dug into my craft supplies and came up with something I really love :)

This bib necklace is flirty and fun, and great for Spring!  The necklace features two rows of beaded fringe made from paper beads.  If you've never made paper beads, you're in for a real treat.  Paper beads are easy to make (I've included a full tutorial with my directions) and can be made from any paper item - magazines, letters, catalogs, and even maps!

I chose some colorful images from my stash of Anthropologie catalogs to get some deep blues and greens to make my necklace.  This is a great recycling project!!

Check out my Hubpages for all the details!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Just in Time for Valentine's Day...

I've put together a list of the Top 40 Love Songs - perfect if you are planning a special date or romantic dinner, or if you're just looking for some great songs to add to your ipod or workout playlists!  Find it here on my Hubpages!

And while you're there, check out my tutorial for making this Button Heart Pin or Pendant.  A sweet accessory for this time of the year - or any day :)

Monday, February 3, 2014

{Food} Blog Envy (Again): Haniela's - from my kitchen to yours

I recently came across another wonderfully creative blog I wanted to share, Haniela's - from my kitchen to yours.


What first caught my attention what her recipe for homemade Valentine's Day S'mores.  Aren't they gorgeous?  So pretty - elegant even.

Her recipe includes directions for making homemade graham crackers AND your own marshmallow!  YIKES!  I must admit, I can't ever imagine making my own graham crackers and marshmallow.  However, this recipe has given me an idea for a simpler treat.  Using this same design, cut out sugar cookies, dip them part way in chocolate, and spread strawberry jam in between the top and bottom cookie.  This idea would make a very pretty cookie for a tea party, bridal or baby shower, or any special event!

Haniela's website is loaded with wonderful recipes.  I'm going to go see what else I can find there!  :)

Monday, January 20, 2014

A Handmade Heart

So going into yesterday, my husband and I had a little bet on.  If my team won a certain football game, my husband would take me out to lunch during the week.  If his team won, he wouldn't.  I know this doesn't sound like much of a bet, and it isn't, but we rarely go out during the work week so this would be a silly special treat.

And I was so sure my team was going to win that I decided to make a sweet little heart-shaped pin/brooch to wear on my victory lunch date.  I grabbed a bunch of things I had on hand and came up with this button collage pin (or can be used as a pendant).  Romantic/funky/vintage/eclectic - it's all these things and I really like it.

But then, in the late afternoon, my team lost and my lunch date plans were dashed.  Sadness - for both my Patriots and my dream date.

But the story has a happy ending (I hope):  my hubby, being the great guy that he is, announced that he would honor our lunch date!  He's going to take me and my heart-shaped button pin out to lunch this week!

In celebration, I've put this pin/pendant tutorial up on my Hubpages for everyone to enjoy!