From the “I’m so far behind that I’m a year ahead” file.

Been working on a few Christmas things the last few weeks.  Intended to have gotten them done in time for THIS Christmas, but, oh well!  Now I’ve got a head start on next Christmas!

Here are some of the ‘almost finished’ stuffed homespun stars that I started on a while ago:

They’ve been stuffed and stitched closed and stained; and could really be used ‘as they are’, but I plan to embellish them a little by tying on some of the little round metal rimmed tags, or pinning on a stained strip of muslin with words stamped on them.

Got a whole bunch of rag ball ornaments done too.  These still need to be stained.  (Since I don’t need these till next Christmas; I’ll wait until summer to stain them so I can set them out in the hot sun to dry) They have a string hanger attached so they can be hung on a tree.  I want to do a ‘homespun holiday’ theme tree next year.

Here are the rag garlands I did for the homespun tree.

First I picked out five fabrics that I wanted to use, and cut 1″ wide strips.

Then I cut each strip into 8″ pieces, and placed them in rows according to the order I wanted to tie them together.

Of course now I can’t remember how long I ended up making the finished garlands!  (and they are at the store and my computer is at home!)  They went together pretty quick and easy.  Cutting the fabric into strips and then pieces actually took longer than it did to assemble the garlands.

I still need to think of a couple more coordinating decorations to round out the tree.  Any ideas?????

OUR WEBSITE:   http://www.cscrafts.com/aj.html

Monogram tags

I made up several batches of these simple ‘monogram’ tags last week.  Fun to use to tie onto gift packages.  And they sell for just $1.00 each!  (I did add strings to them after I took the pictures)

These are VERY easy to make!  I used coordinating scrap paper sets (which we sell in the store) that have four pages of paper and one page of the alphabet cutouts.

Cut out all the letters.  Glue cardboard to the back of the sheets of paper you choose to use.  I recycled the cardboard that comes in the inserts of picture frames!  Six, 4×6 inserts fit just right onto a 12×12 paper page. 

In the photo, I’m showing the recycled cardboard inserts FACE UPand on the patterned side of the paper, just so you can see how they fit onto the paper.  But I actually glued them FACE DOWN to the BACK SIDE of the paper, so the back of the tags  is just the gray cardboard side.  I used glue sticks to adhere the cardboard to the paper.  Let it cure overnight.  Cut each 12×12 sheet (with six, 4×6 cards on it) into 12 tags.  Then I glued on the cut out letters with tacky glue.

They are fun to display in wire photo holders.

I also made some using chipboard letters that I purchased.  On these, the letters are more dimensional and some are glittered.

Happy Thanksgiving!

When we think about what we are thankful for, I’d imagine our freedom living in America is at the top of the list for most of us. 

Michael likes those ‘car window flags’ that flap in the wind as you drive along.  It doesn’t take long for them to get quite ripped up.  And of course I CAN’T let him just toss them out when he buys a new one.  But what to do with them?!?!? 

Well, first I ‘stained’ it with my secret recipe stain.  Had to spray it with the stain several times before it was ‘grubbied to my satisfaction’.  These flags are made of synthetic fabric, so the stain doesn’t take as well as it does on natural fibers.

I had five or six flags.  Put the first one in an 8×10 frame (which I had distressed) with a grubby tag added.

But I could only get ONE use per flag this way, and I had some scraps left from this one and wanted a way to use those.  So, I found some smaller frames. 7×7 frames with a 4×6 mat included.  I tea stained the mats, printed up some Americana sayings (using my computer) on tea stained paper, then started cutting, tearing and gluing!

Some of the ‘flags’ I pieced together by just gluing (Alene’s tacky glue, which is what I almost always use!) a square of the star fabric onto a strip of the stripes fabric.  Glued the flag to the back of the mat; then glued the torn saying to the front of the mat.

Here’s a close up of some of the smaller ones.

Little inspirations

I bought these little 2×3 unfinished frames at the craft store AGES ago.  One of those things that sat and sat until I could figure out how to make use of them.  So, finally I just decided to paint them black and distress them, thinking that an idea would come to me.  Nope.  They went back to sitting in a pile for a while longer!

Then one day I was exploring my paper craft supply pile (I forget what all I have in there!) and found these tiny little word embellishments with raised borders.  Decided to put those in the frames, backed with some tea stained (using my special recipe; not actual tea) paper. 

Small and simple, but very sweet!

Couldn’t get a clear enough picture for you to be able to read the words in the photo.  They were things like, wish, dream, believe, play, explore etc.  Had to leave the glass out to accommodate the raised borders of the words.  NOW I just have to figure out what I can do with a bunch of 2×3 pieces of glass!

Happy crafting!

OUR WEBSITE:  www.cscrafts.com/aj.html

Pumpkin topiary ‘how to’

Kind of combining two of the ideas shown previously in our blog; the pumpkin topiary and the pretty glittery pumpkins and gourds.

This is really a ‘make-do’ project.  I just used whatever materials I had on hand.  I started with white styro pumpkins:

And a styro filled plastic flower pot (leftover from some other project)!

Painted the three pumpkins different shades of turquoise.  Had two ‘pearlized paints’ that I used, which I liked best.  The top pumpkin was regular craft paint, so I varnished it with fairy dust to give it some sparkle.

Glued the largest pumpkin to the flower pot base with tacky glue.  Hadn’t yet decided how I was going to ‘build’ the topiary.  Ended up cutting off the stems of the two bigger pumpkins and connecting them with a dowel and more tacky glue.

The top pumpkin I just glued on.  Between the two bottom pumpkins, you could see a gap, so I dug out some little blue berry picks I had.  Glazed them with glitter.   And added some sprigs of glittered wire edged ribbon between them.

Decided to also glitter the middle pumpkin with white glitter.  Put blue glitter in the creases of the larger pumpkin, and glued on tiny confetti stars on the top pumpkin.

Decided the flower pot ‘needed a little something’ so I glued several rows of that stringy frayed looking yarn stuff (I have no idea what it’s called!) and then when that dried, tied on several strips and let them dangle down.

Then a glittery pick like the one I had used on the little white Christmas tree on top!

OUR WEBSITE:  www.cscrafts.com/aj.html

Wishes & dreams . . . .

These little jars of ‘wishes & dreams’ are a nice little ‘generic gift’ for a holiday gift exchange when you don’t know the person you are giving to very well.  A simple sentiment suitable for anyone.

I used jars purchased at the craft supply store, but the idea could be adapted to use with any jar, new or recycled.  Mix glitter or confetti with artificial snow to fill your jar with.  Bigger jars with larger openings could have themed trinkets added to the mix. 

OUR WEBSITE: www.cscrafts.com/aj.html

Pumpkin topiary

Came across this cute idea for a pumpkin topiary:

This is a big one used on the front porch.  But you could do some cute smaller ones for a table centerpiece!

Published in: on October 14, 2007 at 9:45 am  Leave a Comment  

PINK PUMPKINS!!!

So, in y browsing of the web recently I saw a picture of a sweet little pink pumpkin.  Don’t know if it was a real one (I’ve heard they come in all kinds of designer colors these days!) or a fake one that was painted.  BUT I WANTED SOME PINK PUMPKINS! 

 I have lots of white and ivory pumpkins that I’ve brought in for fall, so I selected three of them for a ‘Sophie make-over’!

Aren’t they just too cute!!!  Don’t ask me WHY anyone would need pink pumpkins???  But I guess that’s the whole point.  They are ‘just for fun’.

After looking at them for a day I decided they needed a little ‘dressing up’.  So I took this pink berry candle ring, and clipped off a few little sprigs.

Now that’s better!

Literally MINUTES after I added the berry sprigs, a customer bought all three!

OUR WEBSITE:  http://www.cscrafts.com/aj.html

Vintage glass Christmas balls

Love the look of them, but hate to use them on my trees because they break so easily!  Here’s what I did with a bunch of them I got at a recent estate sale, using inexpensive glass jars purchased at the craft store:

Creative Times Magazine

New issue of Creative Times e-magazine is now out.  Lots of decorating ideas and several free pattern downloads!  http://www.creativetimesmagazine.com/   You can also subscribe to it and have it sent directly to your email box.

Published in: on September 1, 2007 at 6:58 pm  Leave a Comment