Category Archives: Projects

Button B on Made It Monday!

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A few years ago I worked at the consignment shop on our Air Force Base. We had an entire room dedicated to uniforms that were donated to the store. The room was filled to capacity, and we had to get rid of some of the older or worn out pieces. We were directed to destroy the uniforms, so no one could grab them and impersonate a member of the Military. Before dumping them, I removed the buttons.

I just knew that eventually the right idea would jump into my head. I used a few buttons on a few projects… a pony tail holder, necklace and earrings, etc.

Finally, that big project jumped at me! I used the buttons to make a “B” for our wall! I LOVE it! I want to paint (maybe a dry rub) around the border, but B likes it the way it is. I am sure I will win, in the end!

 


I painted a board (leftover piece of shelving) in a blue that was as close as I could get to the uniform color.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While the paint was drying (and for the next couple of hours) I pulled, poked, cut, beat up, and anything else I had to do, to remove the shanks from the back of the buttons. Some snapped of very easily, and others took 20 minutes or more. I have no idea what those were made of.

To be brutally honest, the next day, my hand was killing me. I could barely close my hand, and I could not grip anything for a few days. Luckily, I cut with my right hand, and write with my left!

I printed a B that I liked, and traced it onto the board.

Finally, I hot glued he buttons into the outline of the B.

 

And… for your viewing enjoyment-

 

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Thinking About Christmas

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I know! I know! It is still September! Though, in fairness, it is almost October. And, to be honest, around the first of July, I start thinking of Christmas. It dawns on me around that point that we are officially closer to the next Christmas, than the previous one. That is an exciting time for me! I love Christmas. I love what it stands for. I love the music. I love the lights. I love the presents. Getting them is great, but I LOVE finding, or making, the perfect gift for someone. I love that our family figures out how to get together and celebrate, even if we have to do it in shifts, because it is the In-Law’s year to have Christmas day. I love decorations. I love decorating. The only thing I don’t love about Christmas is having to take it all down!

A few years ago, when B was preparing to retire from the Air Force, we were planning to move to NC to build our dream house on the family farm. While we waited for that to happen, we were going to live with my parents. Part of that was that we were going to have to get rid of a lot of our extraneous stuff. In the end, we did not move. We realized just how bad the housing market was, and we decided to stay put for a few more years. However, in that preparation, one of the sacrifices made was about 1/2 of my Christmas decorations. Because, honestly, if I was going to be living with my parents for a few years, I could certainly merge my decorations with theirs, and get rid of a lot of the duplicates. I sold or gave away a ton of stuff. You know those giant plastic bins? I emptied 3 of those! Aghghg!!!

However, last year, I started rebuilding the stash. I started with lights. Lots of lights. Because I am not kidding when I say that last year, the tree had wads of lights, that did not work, shoved in the back, because I did not have enough complete working strands. We were broke, and B was not down with spending money of Christmas decorations.  This year, there will be working lights.

This year will also see participation from B. He is typically not into Christmas. Sure, he likes opening gifts, but that is about it. He has no use for the songs, or the decorations, or the shopping. However, last year, we struck a deal, and I held up my end. So, his end was that he would start participating in Christmas.  I feel certain that if he will just participate, he will have fun!

Thanks to Pinterest, here are some of the things I have on the brain to make or decorate with.

 

From A Diamond In The Stuff.

I am not sure either of my dogs would sit for this, but it would be so cute for a Christmas card!                                 This picture is  from Natural Pet Shampoo on Etsy.

 

 

I want these iced branches all over my house!

Thanks to Make Them Wonder for showing us how to make them!

I am looking forward to spending a couple of days making my house all warm and cheery this Christmas. And, I will probably take them down  before spring!

Happy Christmas planning!

J.

Hanging File Folders on Made It Monday

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Like so many other people, I am perpetually on a search for a way to keep my life organized.  When I saw this project at The Silver Lining I thought I could tweak it for myself.

So, I set off to try it myself. Aren’t you lucky!!!??!!  I even took pictures along the way! First, I gathered materials. Well, I gathered everything I thought I would need, and almost every material changed throughout the process!

I used:

5 File Folders

4 pieces of scrapbook paper

White Glue

Hot Glue

Ribbon

Duct tape

A Curtain Ring

I started by cutting the tabs off of the folders. To be perfectly honest, it would be more than OK to leave them on there. I was having a OCD moment, and the staggered tabs were driving me nuts! I did keep the center tab on one folder, for hanging.

 

 

 

 

I Measured 4 inches down from the cut edge (on the inside of the folder) on each folder. And drew a line.  From that line up is where each folder was glued to the next.

 

 

I traced the outline of the tab onto a piece of scrapbook paper, cut it out, and glued it to the top folder.

 

Now, I began gluing the folders together. Each folder is nested into the one below it. So, the lower half of the back of folder 1 is glued to the upper half of the inside back of the next folder. Once the folders are covered in paper, the nesting is a little easier to see in my pictures!

 

 

 

Once all of the folders were glued together, and dried, I flipped the whole thing over, and added a strip of duct tape at each folder, for some added strength. Let’s be honest, those folders are not going to budge now!!!

 

 

Using alternating papers, I then covered the fronts of the folders. Since I removed the tabs, the alternating papers made it obvious where the openings were. This picture shows the nesting a little better!

 

 

 

 

 

On the bottom folder, I papered around the bottom for a cleaner look.

 

I am not sure that I love the purple, but I had it on hand, and I did not want to spend money on this project! I hot glued the ribbon down the sides, folding it over, to close the folders. I folded the ends of the ribbon over and glued them down.

 

 

 

I clipped a drapery ring to the top tab, and hung my folders on a hook.

 

With the sides closed, you obviously can not put a lot of paper in each folder. This is fine for me. Mine currently holds my jump off lists. My jump off lists are starters. The things that I start every list with. The grocery jump off has about 50 things on it! I have to drive a little ways to get to my commissary. So, I buy about 6 weeks worth of food at one time. We fill in basics and fresh foods at a store closer to us.  I add to the jump off list as I think (or plan for) other things I want.  I have 5 jump off lists, and will share them in a later blog.

 

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What would I change? I would have duct taped the sides before adding the ribbon. When my budget allows for purchasing more craft items, I will probably put a grommet in the top, so I can put the drapery ring back into the curtain bin! However, for now, I already had those!

 

Happy Crafting!

J.

Sticking With the Owl Theme

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While my nieces were here for a week, we were burdened with some bad weather, and spent a lot of our time crafting. They went home with a gallery (literally, they created a gallery to tour their parents through) of projects.  Some I did with them, others I just helped them with.

One of the ones I did was this owl. We purchased $3 picture frames, and painted on the glass. We used acrylic paint. We printed drawings that we liked, and taped them to the frame. The hardest part of this project is making sure that you paint things in the right order. Think of it like layers of color, making sure that you paint the outlines and details first, then do the backgrounds and bigger spaces later.

If I had better color walls in my house, I would have left the glass clear, and let the wall be the back drop. However, we have very dull color walls, and my owl looked bad in front of all of them!  So, I painted it blue, and hung my owl in front of my owl fabric on the wall.

 

So, enjoy. 🙂

If you have questions, I can try to answer them!

Craft on!

J.

 

New Owls

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I have said it before. I do not generally jump all over trendy things. But I just can not let go of these totally cute little owls. I love them! I have them all over my craft room. On the walls, the chair, and in multiple art projects.

Today, I am sharing my (formerly) ugly brass owls.

I got 2 of these guys at a thrift store for 50 cents each!

 

I cleaned them up with some soap and water, and picked out my pink and turquoise acrylic paints.  I pretty much just got going.  I started with paint strokes, but discovered quickly that a pounce was way better on the brass.

 

 

The turquoise looked really good pretty quickly. The pink was just too light for the brass, without some kind of primer, which, I did not have.

 

So, I mixed some red in, to get a darker pink. In the end, it took 2 coats of turquoise and 4 coats of pink. I did 3 layers of spray acrylic sealer. And put those babies on the shelf!  I love them!!!

 

Next time, I will remember to take a true “after” picture, without all of the paint paraphernalia in the picture!

 

Happy Crafting!

J.

Change Is In The Air

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Well, our life is full of changes. For the last year I have been taking care of 3 kids, but my time with them has come to an end. I am sad to not see them every day. But, I am looking forward to reclaiming my art room as a space for me, rather than a shared space for them.

Another change is that after a fabulous year of pretty much being on my own schedule with those kids, I now have to go find a “real job” again. Again, sad.  But, on the up side, I am looking forward to getting back to a job that will let me be around adults again!

I am trying to quit caffeine. I have been a Diet Dr. Pepper drinker for years. It has been primarily the only thing I would drink on any given day. And while caffeine free DDP does exist, it is hit or miss whether I will find it in a store.  So, I have gone to water and decaf tea.  I think I was a witch the first 2 weeks of this process! The mood has finally stabilized!

Hubs has started college. After 20 years in the Air Force, B is returning to school to complete his bachelor’s degree. This is, by far, the biggest change. Schedules are wonky. We are waking up early. Eating at crazy times. Hopefully, we will get used to this new schedule!

But, amid all of this change, I am embracing the “Keep Calm and Craft On” mentality. I don’t think the cell phone camera does this color justice.  I altered the look of the original “Keep Calm” to fit the materials I had on hand, and the decor scheme in my room. The sign, added to the craft room wall will help me to remember to relax, amid the chaos, and to do what I love best!

 

Craft on, Friends!

Wands

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We all know of the series about the young kid who gets whisked away from his horrid aunt and uncle into a wonderful world of witch craft and wizardry. Recently, my nieces discovered the book. And they love them. Being the “Crafty Aunt” that I am, when the youngest one asked for a wand, I couldn’t say no.

 

I searched for ways to make the wands online. The best tutorial that I found was one where you make the wand from paper. Somehow, this just didn’t seem like enough. So, I began experimenting with polymer clay. Each of the three wands turned out completely different. There as LOTS of trial and error, and I have no step by step pictures. But, I will share the final ones, and how I got there.

 

I rolled the clay out as flat as I could make it, without it sticking to the table.

Then, I cut out a piece about 1 inch wide, and equal to the length of the dowel that I was using. (Each one is a different length, from 8 – 11 inches.)

I sprayed the dowel with spray adhesive to make it a little tacky.

Then, I started rolling the clay around the dowel.

And rolled.

And rolled. Trimming extra from the ends as it built up.

I did the same thing for 4 or 5 layers of clay.

Then, I embellished. The first one has only twists in the clay. The other two have long, thin rolls of clay to act as vines and texture in the “wood” of the wand. I hope you like them. If you have any questions, let me know! J.