Sunday, January 30, 2011

May I show you some ribbon?

7 spools of fabulous ribbons!  all mine!
Where Women Create had a fantastic giveaway back in December called the "Twelve Days Of Christmas".  It was a fabulous twelve day run on artsy-craftsy ladies, with three giveaways a day. I won one of the days, which was a huge box filled with wonderful ribbon from May Arts.  This is not your cheap 3 for $1 rolls of ribbon, no, no...  These rolls are intended to be sold in fine arts and crafts stores.    And if I had to pick a favorite I'd have to say the red satin pleat, which I'm using now for various Valentine's arts and crafts.  It's so soft and pliable, perfect for small projects. 

With such exclusive ribbon on hand I wanted to start a few special ribbon projects.  I pulled out a cool ribbon book I have called "Ribbonrie", a Making Memories book.  When I flip through this book I want to just run to my craft room to get started! 

On my way to my craft room I tripped over a board I had set aside to paint.  I'm painting a set of these for a wedding but had a few extra.  I needed to go grocery put all that together and you have, "GROCERIES".  (I listed it in my blog store if you are interested.) I've seen so many "groceries" signs around the web, I wanted to try my hand at one!

Another wonderful win!  I won Heidi's (Birds of a Feather) drawing for the new publication, "Where Women Create".  Heidi sent it off to me so fast!  I've been drooling over it all weekend.  When Mark saw it he said, "wow, that looks like your kind of magazine!"  So true.  The publication's creator and editor-in-chief is Jo Packham.  I don't personally know Jo, but I feel as though I do!  I have several of her books and I always love any publication she works on. 

Back to the brown paper bag scrapbooks are the perfect place to start using my new ribbons!

Have fun creating! Hugs, Heidi

(linked to Between Naps on the Porch's 106 Metamorphosis Monday)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Altered Spoons {Vintage Silverware}

Vintage spoons and forks are so fun to collect!  I'm always on the lookout for them at thrift stores, garage sales and flea markets.  But I won't pay more than 25 cents a piece, at the VERY most!  I've made so many projects from them but my favorite continues to be the refrigerator magnet.  This year for Christmas I asked for a metal alphabet stamp set (like this) , in hopes of starting a few new projects, like stamping words for jewerly on spoons, garden markers and more.  So far I'm still trying to learn how to stamp with them. If I have hardened steel I'm finding they don't stamp well.  Also, I just figured out I have a SMALL sized set, I might need a larger sized set!  I'll let you know how that project goes, but it might be a while.

Meanwhile back to the spoon magnet.  Just start with a spoon.  First glue on heavy duty magnet with E6000 glue on the back.  This is the only glue that I found was strong enough to hold the magnet and spoon.  When you do this, just set the magnet on the table, dab some glue on, then set the spoon on top and let it dry.  If you do it any other way the spoon slides. Decoupage a pretty bird or two, adding a phrase or word on top of that. Add some moss, which you just wrap around your thumb a few times to make a "nest".  Then glue on a few pearls. Use pretty and soft seam binding to match and tie a bow to finish it off.  Fast and easy and fun.

Here's one I made a while back...

Have a beautiful day!  Blessings, Heidi

(Linked to  Between Naps on the Porch 105th Metamorphosis Monday and Cindy's Show & Tell Friday and Beyond the Picket Fence Under $100 Linky Party)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Creating Birthday and Wedding Gifts

One thing about being a crafter is I never am short of ideas for gifts.  In fact, I usually have too many ideas, then take too long deciding, and am late with my gift.  Can you relate?  This year there are 4 weddings that are planned (so far) of friends and family.  I'm going to stay on top of these by beginning to make gifts now!  My favorite wedding gift to make and give is my custom wedding sign.  I'm often not sure about the new couple's color plans but usually a black lettered wording on a cottage white background will fit in most homes.  Here are some examples:

I have done various color combinations, as shown here, white on black, cream on brown, etc.:

 (By the way, I offer these custom family signs for sale in my Etsy store here, or click on the "Always Kiss Me Goodnight" sign on the right side.)

For a birthday gift I'm working on I decided to make a small drawstring tote, to hold some special gifts inside.  The sewing up of the tote was a cinch, but the CINCH (drawstring) was not.  Let's just say, I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed!  I didn't want the recipient to have to scrunch up the fabric, I wanted the ribbons ("draws") to actually draw!  When you pull on both side, it cinches up (or draws up).  It took me several tries until I got it to work.  The secret is to cut two lengths, then feed them in on opposite sides of the cassing.  I'd show pictures, but I'll spare you the details. Plus, I somehow messed up my camera card, as the camera is now not reading my card....grrr.

(image from BH&G)
Here's BH&G's site, explaining how to make one, "Easy Cotton Drawstring Bag".

I'll try to post drawstring totes when I get a pile made.  They are wonderful to make ahead of time and stock up for gifts.

Have a HAPPY weekend!  Hugs, Heidi

(Linked to Cindy's Romantic Home Friday Show & Tell)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tuesday Tip for Painting Texture Tool

When I was a little girl my grandma made me OH SO HAPPY:

(This is my big sister in the swing, but it's my grandma pushing her,
as she may have pushed me, I just don't have a photo of it!
Can you pretend this is me?  Sallie, can I pretend this is me?)

(Now this is me, on the right, and my sister Sallie on the left.
We are standing in front of our grandparent's house;
I have so many good memories of our visit to grandma and grandpa's house.
In the online class I'm taking I've spent a little time going back in time...
to my childhood...)

As a student in Melody Ross's "Soul Restoration" I'm finding out there are some pretty cool things about myself that I didn't even realize.  I'm also learning new art techniques.  (You can't see any of the class projects or techniques, but you can go to the Brave Girl's blog here and see some fun artsy stuff!) I'm inspired to continue to create.  I can't quite figure out how many "student" are in this online class, but there seems to be a lot.  It's actually my first online class experience, and I'm really having fun.  There are parts that actually bring me to tears, but it is part of the growing process.  Before I began I asked God to lead, guide and direct me through this class.  He's been awesome in showing me that the attitude I began with was right:  give Him glory and honor what who I am and what He has made me.  He's shown me some truths that have been in plan sight all my life, but I never SAW them!  The Word opens up to me daily in new ways, with new Truths!

There are weekly projects, journaling, classes, lessons, encouragement and oh- so much more!  I had almost all the tools and supplies needed for the projects, and if I didn't have anything I could have done without, as it's all sort of free that way.  The teacher, Melody is the 6th of 9 children. I love that about her, as I am the 5th of 9 children.  So when she talks about her childhood I can really relate!  One thing she is is very resourceful.  I think that comes from growing up with very little and having to MAKE DO with what you have.  Necessity is the the mother of invention right?

In one of her classes about art techniques she shows a tool that painters use (I guess they use!) that is a small square with each of the four sides having a different edge to make various textures in paint.  When I was in town yesterday I looked for this tool in a few stores without success in finding it. When I got home I had an "ah ha" moment.  Duh, I could MAKE this tool!

(this is the first one I made, using a Cool Whip lid!)

I found a plastic lid and used my various shape edged scissors (like scallped, zig-zag, etc.) to cut the edges simple as that!  For the fourth edge I just cut out little pieces to leave open spaces.   Then I painted on my project and used one of the edges to "drag" back and forth through the paint. 

Here's one of the pages I made:

So, how easy is this?

One other photo I wanted to post is the RED plate stand I painted on Friday.  When I put my "Be Happy" plate on the red stand all the RED in the plate just popped out.  (Look at my previous entry and see how the green in the plate popped out with the green stand.).  Anyway, that was just a quick project...

Are you still happy?  Can you find a blessing in your life? Count your blessings and name them!
   Hugs, Heidi

Friday, January 14, 2011

Be Happy Friday!

Just for today...Be Happy!

Sitting in the center of our kitchen table is this pretty Mary Engelbreit plate.  One of my sisters gave it to me years ago and whenever I look at it I smile.  I think of my sister and how cheerful she always is.  It is our choice to see things through *a smile*, so to speak, and that is one major thing this sister and I have in common: our outlook on daily life as seen through a *smile*.  We choose to be happy, and this choice is easy because of the joy in our hearts.

Oh, the PRECIOUS baby is Claira, at age 3 months.  What a doll! (She's our third grandchild!)

So the plate sits in a plate holder that I've painted a coordinating green to sort of match the plate.  I love to use these plate holders, as well as small "easels" all around our home.  I put plates in them, photos in them, homemade chalkboards in them, books and more.  But when you buy them from the store you usually only have two choices, unfinished wood or white. 

So just select a bottle of craft paint the color you like and paint away. 

FAST and EASY craft! 

I've got one out right now I'll paint RED today, for my Valentine's Day decor! I'll show that soon!

But for today, be happy...  Blessings, Heidi

Monday, January 10, 2011

Creating and Restoring

Back in December on Where Women Create blog I won something.  I won a scholarship to a Brave Girls Club online class!  (The two sisters who created the Brave Girls Club come from a family of nine children, just like me--I have 8 siblings!) I had no idea what this club was, or what I actually really even won, but I was so busy with Christmas preparations I didn't have time to even out!  Then about a week ago my mail lady drives up to my door and toots her horn:  a package!  (You'd come to love this toot, too, if you had a chance! Don't you love surprise packages?)

The package was the initial kit for the Brave Girls Club "Soul Restoration" online camp!  "Oh ya", I thought, what was that?  Well, this package is really nice!  Starting off with a yummy chocolate mint (immediately eaten), to an office recipe (making today), to all the wonderful kit items, as you see in this photo.

Back to the internet to find out more...  The "Soul Restoration" is a 6 week online workshop taught by Melody Ross.  From what I read this is usually taught in actual "in person" camps!  You can read all about it hereI think you can still register for the online class, even today, but you just don't receive a kit, but you can make your own kit, they have a great supply kit list here.

The online course starts tomorrow.  I'll keep you posted how I'm doing.  My objective is to use the creative tools Melody teaches to God's glory in my creative life.  (That has been one of my 2011 themes, in all I do want to glorify and honor God). I know there are a lot of hurting girls out there, either the result of what you've done or of what someone has done to you. Sometimes choices we (or other's make "for or to" us) make have lifelong consequences that we can never erase.  However we don't have to wear the hurt and pain on a chain daily. There is a way to restore your soul, and that is to go straight to the Maker of your life and soul: God.  He is able and wanting to restore souls.  He has already done something for you, and that is when He sent His son, Jesus, to die on the cross to bear your burden. All you do is accept the Gift.

I was created in God's image!  He is the MASTER Creator, so I don't take it lightly to be created like Him!  To know and understand this tidbit of information is going to make going through the online Brave Girls Camp, "Soul Restoration", a time of refreshing for me. To know "it is well" with my soul is a joy.  I may not always be happy, but I always have joy in my heart.  I am a child of God and anytime I need to restore my soul I go to Him.

Late yesterday afternoon Mark suddenly said, "Grab a coat, grab your camera, get in the Jeep!"  Off to an adventure with Mark.  He drove us out onto the beach to view the sunset on the ocean!  I think I took a hundred photos.  He was hoping we'd get to capture on camera a red-sky sunset, which didn't appear.  But I do love the photos I took, there were so many shades and layers of blues, mixed with the shine of the sunset, it was beautiful.  It reminded me that my soul was well with the my Master Creator.

(Please, please, please click to enlarge and see the full beauty of the sunset!...)

Psalm 49:15 says, "But God will redeem my soul from the power of death, for He will receive me."  My prayer is that you know the power of God through His love.  Blessings, Heidi

(Linked to "Between Naps on the Porch 103rd Metamorphosis Monday")

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Scottie Dog Cookie Cutter Project #3: Easy Felt Coasters

What's on my table today? My Scottie Dog coasters!   (Click any photo to enlarge to see details!)

This is the third of what will be over 30 craft or cooking projects, all using cookie cutters! Every project will use a cookie cutter in one way or another. For most of them I've selected my favorite cookie cutter, the Scottie Dog! I hope you will be able to join in the fun and make some (or all) of the projects. And my desire to inspire you to think like a cookie cutter, making a "cookie" daily in a fast and fun way. Many of the projects are easy enough to do with children, though various precautions should be taken (ie: scissors, pins or hot glue guns).

PROJECT #3: Scottie Dog Felt Coaster

The ease of working with felt makes this project fun for novices and experts. A set can be crafted in just an hour, making it the perfect craft to make for gifts when you are short on time. As always my Scottie Dog cookie cutter jumped front and center to my craft table and offered his services as my pattern.

I first traced the cookie cutter onto a piece of cardboard. This way I could turn the cutter back and forth to fit in the most cuts per piece of felt. If your cookie cutter doesn’t have a “handle” as my Scottie Dog cutter does, you can just use the cutter to trace back and forth, skipping the cardboard pattern cutout.

Select your contrasting colors, I used red and white. I figured these could be used all year long, but especially at Christmas and quickly again for Valentine’s Day. Plan to make sets of four (or six), as coasters usually come in those size sets. I used a thicker white felt for the coaster, and a thinner red felt for the appliqué cutout. To trace on the red felt you could use a pencil, but I used a white Dress Maker Pencil so that it would show up nicely for my cutting. Cut 4 Scottie Dogs (or your chosen pattern) from the red felt.

If you use a pencil for tracing, plan to turn the pattern over to use on the coast so there is no evidence of pencil led. Also, if you mark your best pair of scissors for “Fabric Only” it helps keep them sharper long. Unfortunately I break my own rule and use these for everything. I was good at first….

Next cut 4 squares of the thicker white felt. I cut mine to 4 ½ inch squares. You can adjust your size as desired to fit your chosen pattern. Use a pair of Fiskars’ Scallop scissors for the squares, which makes a fun edge. If you don’t have a pair of these, maybe you have a zig-zag pair? Or, just cut them out with a flat edge. If you cut with a flat edge you could add red embroidery thread as a trim later. But, do put the Fiskar Scallop scissors on your “wish list”, they are load so fun and cut fabric, paper and more.

Now place your cut red felt pieces on your cut white felt coasters. Put a small dab of felt glue on the back of the red piece and set on the white coaster, centering and placing the pattern in the direction you want it to be. You can use a fabric glue or even a tacky craft glue as well. Let this set about ten minutes to hold the pattern in place. You can skip this step, but it makes it easier to sew on if attached somewhat.

Next, pull out a contrasting thread color. I used a red and white bakers’ string. Sew on your pattern using a running stitch and then you are finished!

If you feel like doing a little more stitching you could stitch around the perimeter of the white coaster, too.  Now tie up the set in a sweet little bundle and go to the kitchen for some White Hot Chocolate.

Heidi’s White Hot Chocolate Recipe

(Makes 4 cups)
2 cups whipping cream
3 cups milk
6 ounces white chocolate, shaved or chopped for easier melting
½ tsp. vanilla extract

In sauce pan on stove top mix all ingredients on medium high until white chocolate melts. Bring to near boil, but do not boil. Pour into four mugs and top with a dab of whipped cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon.


Here is another hot white chocolate recipe I found at “”:
White Hot Chocolate Mix by Linda Larsen
• 2 cups grated white chocolate
• 1 (3-ounce) package white chocolate pudding mix
• 2 teaspoons vanilla powder
• 1-2 teaspoons dried orange peel, finely ground, if desired

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Store in an airtight container in a cool dark place.

To make White Hot Chocolate for Two:
 1-1/2 cups milk 1/4 cup White Hot Chocolate Mix
 In a small saucepan, heat the milk until bubbles form around edges. Add the White Hot Chocolate Mix and whisk until the chocolate is melted and beverage is blended. 2 servings

 As an additional gift to give along with the coast you could mix up a batch of White Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix, put in pretty bags. Be sure to give a tag with directions, too.

Here's another mix recipe:

Heidi’s White Hot Chocolate Cocoa Mix

2 cups instant nonfat dry powdered milk
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup nondairy powdered cream (one with your favorite flavor is a bonus!)
8 ounces cup shaved or shredded white chocolate

Mix first three ingredients and place in a plastic bag. Put the shaved white chocolate in a smaller bag; place that bag in with the powdered mix, to keep it fresher longer. Seal the bag, attaching the instructions for making the hot white chocolate drink.

Another even easier way to give out White Hot Chocolate mix with your coasters is to buy the mix premade here. This mix is the Big Train mix (this link is for prepacked individual servings) we use here in the summer for blended iced coffee drinks. It also mixes up great as a hot drink. I buy this in bulk at our local grocery outlet store. Around here we use this all summer long for blended drinks, saving tons of money over going to the coffee shops. Plus, when you live in the country it’s not economical to drive into town for a blended iced coffee at your whim.
Big Train Blended Ice Coffee, White Chocolate Latte, 2.8-Ounce Bags (Pack of 25)


White Hot Chocolate Tags:   Add this to your packaged mix using red rick-rack:
White Hot Chocolate Mix TAGs for Scottie Dog Cookie Cutter Project Number 3

Cut tags out with scalloped scissors and attach to bag of mix. Pre-measure 16 tablespoon per bag, enough for 4 cups of white hot chocolate to go with your Scottie Dog felt coasters.

This felt coast craft can be made with any of your favorite cookie cutters.  For Valentine's Day use a heart:

Here’s a set of coaster I made a few years back for autumn, using a leaf cookie cutter. I doubled up the coaster felt for contrasting colors, and used brown embroidery thread to sew on the leaf appliqué to the first coast layer before attaching the two layers. The coaster layers were attached with felt glue.

So, go sew, create, craft, mix stuff up in the kitchen and enjoy the new year!
   Blessings, Heidi

(Linked with Romantic Home's Show & Tell Friday)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cookie Cutter Project #2: Scottie Dog Brooch

This is the second of over 30 craft or cooking projects, all using cookie cutters! Every project will use a cookie cutter in one way or another. For most of them I've selected my favorite cookie cutter, the Scottie Dog! I hope you will be able to join in the fun and make some (or all) of the projects. And my desire to inspire you to think like a cookie cutter, making a "cookie" daily in a fast and fun way. Many of the projects are easy enough to do with children, though various precautions should be taken (ie: scissors, pins or hot glue guns).

(Remember, you can click on any photo to enlarge...)



As I mentioned before, I selected my favorite cookie cutter, the Scottie Dog, for this project.  (Here's one I found on Amazon you could use, or search for one here. Mine is from my collection of vintage cutters.)Trace your cookie cutter on a piece of thick white felt.  You can turn the cookie cutter felt cut out in the opposite direction once cut out so that any pencil marks won't show up on the front side. Or, if you want your Scottie Dog (or your shape) facing the other direction once pinned on, just trace on the opposite side of the felt.

Sew on a brooch (or bar) pin to the back. I used 1 3/4" pins, but 1" would work fine, too. These are very inexpensive, I've had a package that I've used for years.  I did an Etsy search in case you need to purchase theses, look here. I used extra strong cotton thread to make sure the pin remains secure. One tip for placement is to actually hold it up to your chest to make sure that it hooks into the pin's clasp at the right angle for wearing the brooch.

I've decided to go all white, so I've poured out some white buttons selecting a pile to begin hot-gluing onto my cutout felt piece. 

You could use a thick craft glue for this as well, or if working with children, but for instant gratification use a hot glue gun!  Clean off any hot glue gun strands.

Pin onto your jacket and take your favorite Scottie Dog everywhere you go!

Another variation I made was the Scottie Dog with two red buttons. 

Follow the above directions, but instead of hot gluing the entire front with white buttons, select two red buttons, sewing them on the front, center of the brooch with white thread.  Glue on a little red "bling" for an eye, or even a mini red button.  Then for the sweet collar cut a piece of red and white baker's string, tying in a small bow on front. This brooch is strong enough to stand on it's on once pinned on, however you could cut out a piece of cardboard the same shape.  Glue the cardboard on first, then glue the brooch clasp pin on with strong craft glue instead of sewing it on.

Have fun making these. Remember, use any of your favorite cookie cutter shapes.  For Valentine's Day use a heart, it's so easy!

Have a blessed day!  ~Heidi

(Linked to Between Naps on the Porch 102nd Metamorphis Monday, and
Get Your Craft On Monday, and Hope Studio's "Teach Me Somthing Tuesday" (wonderful tutorials are linked there---check it out!)