DIY Ornaments & Home for the Holidays pt.3

One: This one is for kids depending upon supervision and age.

Two: I don’t have great photos because these are particularly difficult to photograph. You are going to have to use your imagination.

Frosted/Etched Ornaments

O.K. Yes. Get some of these

…and some of this. This brand is called Armour Etch and it’s glass etching cream and unless you live in a sketchy neighborhood, you should be able to get it at your local craft store.
Yours will also look better than this as it won’t be 50 years old.
I actually keep this on hand because it’s awesome for personalizing gifts. I like to buy plain wine glasses and use this to personalize them for gifts and such. That way, you can put nicknames or dirty messages or whatever on them.
You’ll also want a paintbrush and maybe also some stickers and gloves are only needed if you have extra sensitive skin.

Paint (with your Armour Etch) incredibly sweet and romantic things on your ornament all by yourself so that your wife goes, “Awwww. Oh my gawd, I love you, you’re so sweet! Let’s make out.”

Or you could use your stickers or stencils or pretty handwriting and do initials and monograms and whatnot. Those little white stickers that you can buy at the office supply place for your holes in your notebook paper…Yeah. Those make great polka dots. Just look around. If you use stickers, say you have a bunch of stars, you’ll be using them to mask the glass so you will end up with a frosty ornament with clear stars. This uses more cream so decide ahead of time what you will prefer to make sure you buy the right size. Also, don’t spread the cream thinly. I recommend painting it on generously.

Then, read the directions and let it sit. It’s only a few minutes or so.

Then you will rinse off the cream and you will have some beautiful fancy ornaments! IF your etching is not as evenly frosted as you would like, you can simply go over it again. Make sure to wash your hands and brushes as well.


November 16, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Art and Neat stuff. 2 comments.

In the Works

Well, in my head anyway. It’s a bit too early to put the babe’s room together but while going easy on pinched sciatic nerves, aching hips and a sprained neck muscle, I’ve got some time to (internet) window shop, find inspiration in a billion places, and plan lots of little oohs and aahhs. Here’s inspiring pretties, whether it be the colors, textures or projects, that will eventually be thrown in the blender that is my brain and come out jumbled in a baby room.

One more thing: In case you’re wondering, I’m not planning on turning my focus to raising kids on this here, blog. Just going to try and keep with crafts and things that may be nice for all, whether you be the child rearin’ type or not. I mean, I would totally still be making these things for myself anyway.


Go visit this site! You will adore it.


from Mini-Eco


and pretty much all the garland/pennants in this post over at Poppytalk. Instant happy is right!

(My brief Flickr rant: I actually found this over on Flickr (but I’m linking it to another post featuring the whole nursery [which Jennifer did an amazing job on]) but Flickr has now made it impossible to post photos if someone has disabled their downloading. Totally understandable but it just means I would have to write every single person and ask them to send me a jpeg of the picture I want. Kind of annoying for honest folks who would give credit anyway and it makes blogging with visuals especially difficult. SO, if you are the crafty type but like your stuff to be shared with others, you might want to reconsider allowing the public access to your pictures. Just so you know. O.K. I’m done.)


I LOVE these mirrors!


Area rug from The Land of Nod

Adorable flashcards illustrated by Julie Mostad

I’d also love to get her books:

I’m also really looking forward to making a lot of Sunprints. I have always loved these but I think they will really look fantastic against our grey/blue wall and I have done so many in my life, I’m looking forward to the challenge of being more creative with them. If you’ve never done these…well, why not?! They are so fun and you don’t have to be interested in photography to have fun with them. They are great fun for kids too.

Go get creative!








November 1, 2010. Tags: , , , , , . Art and Neat stuff, Me and Mine. 8 comments.


So pretty!

More like….EASY-nators!…

O.K. That was awful but really, you don’t need much instruction. I think you may just need someone to say, “Don’t buy that! You can make it!” Here are couple pointers!

you will need:

hot glue gun
good thread (or dental floss!)
plastic or metal hair combs
some pretty thingies (flowers, lace, broken jewelry, feathers, seashells, beads, etc..)
netting or tulle
felt squares

First, lay out the items you want to use. Practice putting them together and layering them. I usually start by putting down the feathers I want to use. Then I fill in any gaps with my other items. Think of it like flower arranging. Look at pictures online and try to mimic ones you like.

Play with your feathers. Try shaping and trimming them.

Next, cut a piece of felt into a shape that resembles your layout. I usually use a closed “V” shape like the black one below. That shape is particularly good on headbands as well. When it has everything on top of it, it lays very well. You can also use a rectangle. This is going to depend on how you want the comb to sit in your hair. Keep in mind you can trim it after all your pretties are in place.

To glue feathers in place, I squeeze a drop of glue from the hot glue gun onto a paper sack and then dip one side of the shaft down into the glue. If you have fabric flowers or beads you may want to sew them to the felt instead of glue.
When you have everything on your felt, you can glue it down onto your comb. If you decide you’d rather sew your felt to your comb, you will have to do that first, then add your decor.

Keep in mind, no one but you will be able to see the side that will be against your hair. Also keep in mind that it really just takes practice and experience to make them look clean underneath.

After one day and just a few pointers from me, my friend went home and was on a roll!

She immediately had a knack for this don’t you think?

This is my favorite one!

She also made these adorable little bobby pins while she was at it!

eek! So cute!

Don’t forget the tulle or netting! Play with different sizes and shapes and try gathering it and glue rhinestones to it! Hell, bust out that bedazzler!

Here are some inspiring examples to get your juices flowing or to buy from if you just don’t have the time to take on another project.

Stay tuned for a real step by step on how to craft fabric flowers.

May 3, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Art and Neat stuff. Leave a comment.

Busy Body

Things have been pretty crazy around my house lately. My fiancé is on the job market and has been traveling all over the country for interviews. He’s home for one day and then off somewhere for the next 2 or 3 and then home again and over and over. Lots of shirt pressing and driving to the airport. In the midst of it all, I have somehow managed to accumulate a couple of finished projects and numerous works in progress. Here are a few of them.

These are the third pair of scissors I am embroidering for a trio I will turn into pillows for my future work room.

I think these are so pretty.

I think they will look so neat on pillows side by side.

Here is a project I actually completed.
I really needed a better way of keeping all my circular knitting needles in order. This one is specifically for me and I have a slightly different design for ones I would like to produce for future sale. I am hoping to sell these along with my original apron designs and pillows and whatnot at some point in the near future.

Love this Alexander Henry print!

On top of this, I am also working on my first pair of socks. They seem to be taking forever although that simply may be because I have never done it before. Every sock knitter says it is easy to become a knitted sock fan but I only see this happening to me if I can speed it up a bit. I’ve always had a little problem with my need for immediate gratification.

for Richard

January 28, 2010. Tags: , , , . Knitting. 2 comments.

Handmade Fever

Chances are you’ve noticed the handmade arts and crafts movement that seems to be taking over the world right now. I can’t tell you how much I love this. For as long as I can remember, I have preferred making something I wanted over buying it. I should probably thank my frugal father for this as that is what led to me being determined to copy something we couldn’t afford to buy. I learned at a very young age that making something yourself is typically more affordable AND you could personalize it with different colors, textures and designs.

So there starts my journey. I was doodling at a very young age and then I saw something with calligraphy on it. This caught my eye and I decided I wanted to do it myself. One day I came home and my stepmother had purchased a lovely little beginner calligraphy set for me. I dove right in. I wasn’t very good at it BUT I learned how to do it and I realized just knowing how was the most important thing for me. I could say, “I know how to do that“! I decided right then, I wanted to know how to do EVERYTHING!

I saw some beaded jewelry being sold in a little market. Lovely loomed beaded bracelets with designs. I went to the store and spent my allowance on a tiny loom, graph paper, thread, and a million seed beads and got to work. I went through my jewelry making phase which consisted of knotted and braided hemp with beads, loomed bracelets with seed beads, and moved into assembling earrings and necklaces with gems. I found a little pouch on a necklace made from beads, asked enough questions to know that what I needed to learn to do was called a peyote stitch. So I did. I believe I could remember how and still do it today if I wanted.

I have fixed cars, tiled bathrooms and kitchens, developed film and photographs in a darkroom, baked, embroidered, cross stitched, done paper filigree and more, simply by reading books, asking A LOT of questions, and just trying. I even made bamboo wind chimes at one point!

So, enough about me! Go learn about all the other people trying to make your life more beautiful because they can not deny what seems to be in their blood. There is a wonderful film out now called Handmade Nation and it is full of interviews with artists, creators and innovators involved in this movement to find out what inspires and drives them to do what they love to do. I am hoping to catch it tomorrow at Craftland here in Providence.

Later today, I will introduce any beginners to some basics about embroidery and how it can make your home more beautiful!

January 14, 2010. Tags: , , . Art and Neat stuff. Leave a comment.

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