Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Spring Break Project on a Wintry Day!!

This is my Spring Break week from school and today the temperature will be lucky to reach 40!! Uggh!! Go Away Winter!!  I was supposed to spend this week weeding my flower beds and getting them ready for new planting, but I guess Mother Nature had other ideas.  Today, after some much needed spring cleaning,  I created this little card.  I actually saw the idea on Pinterest and found that I had all of the "ingredients"!!  I used my Cricut Freshly Picked cartridge to cut the flower pot.  The paper is from DCWV and K&Company.  The floral embellishments are from Recollections.  I had picked those up from Michael's a while back and using them reminded me of the very generous store clerk that gave me wonderful coupon discounts!!   The brad is one from my stash...I believe I picked those up at Big Lots, back when they were really selling lots of scrapbook items!  I wish those days would come back!  I love a great deal!  The ribbon for the bow is from Martha Stewart and the ribbon embellishment on the pot is from the dollar bin at Michael's.  I was pleased to see that they had brought the dollar bins back.  The last time I was in my local store they had increased the price to $1.50.  I have left the inside of this card blank.  I figure I will save it for a last minute birthday, get well, or even thinking of you card.   Have a great week and I hope its warmer where you are!!
Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The New Cricut Mountain Man Cartridge Meets Etching Cream!!

I've been surfing Pinterest again!! Recently I've come across lots of projects using glass etching cream and yard sale/ thrift store glass dishes.  This weekend I paid a visit to Hobby Lobby and used my 40% off coupon on the large container of Armour Etch glass etching cream.  I also stopped by the dollar store and picked up some latex gloves and a $1 candle holder to practice on!  While perusing the aisles of Hobby Lobby with my hubby, I was pleased to find the Cricut accessories at 30% off and they had my "wished for" cartridge!  With just a little encouragement from my husband, I picked up the Mountain Man cartridge and departed the store with Cricut cartridge and etching cream in hand.  This afternoon I took advantage of some time to craft.  I used my Cricut Expression 2 to cut some small wildlife images from the Mountain Man cartridge.  I used white contact paper to create my stencil and the "kiss cut" for vinyl.  I normally would use the animal cut-out, but not for this project, you use, I suppose what is called, the negative.  I etched one side of the candle holder at a time, leaving the etching cream on anywhere from five to ten minutes.  I made sure to wear my rubber gloves while applying the etching cream and while rinsing it off. I read that the etching cream can create some nasty chemical burns!!  I also made sure to clean each side of the candle holder really good with rubbing alcohol, then drying it with a paper towel, before applying my vinyl stencil and etching cream.  I rinsed the cream off with tap water and then dried thoroughly.  I repeated the process for each animal stencil.   I was really proud of my first attempt at glass etching and can't wait to try it on some more projects!! Have a great week and thanks for stopping by!!  Patty

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Papercrafting, Jewelry Making, and Embroidery in One Craft Project

I just love browsing Pinterest for new ideas.  This week I came across one using pendant frames and fabric embroidery work.  The poster had basically cut some embroidery work out of some old fabric, slid it between the two pieces of glass, inserted into the pendant frame and voila a beautiful jewelry project!  My wheels began to turn, so Friday afternoon I paid a visit to my local Hobby Lobby.  Does browsing Hobby Lobby instantly relieve stress for anyone else?  After a rough work week, the craft aisles just melt my stress away.  I picked up several packages of these glass frames.  There's two to a pack and the pendant has two precut glass pieces to encase your project.  I bought some square and circular shaped ones!  I fired up my Bernina embroidery machine and quickly stitched out a little bouquet of redwork flowers.  I tried to encase them between the circular glass, but couldn't get the frame to screw closed.  After several attempts, I gave up.  I then used Modge Podge to glue the embroidery to a piece of the circular glass.  On top of the embroidery I then applied Glossy Accents.  I must say, I wasn't too impressed with the opacity of the finished project.  I then decided to try the project with just paper.  I cut out a glitzy pansy, a deer, a pinecone, and a butterfly from my scrapbook paper stash.  These simple cutouts made beautiful pendants!!  I haven't give up on the embroidery yet though!  My husband suggested iron the embroidery work extra flat so that it may fit better between the two pieces of glass.  I'm going to give that a shot and let you know how it turns out!! I'll string these pendants on some beautiful ribbon or cord to finish them up. 

Thanks for visiting!!

Homemade Lip Gloss

My mom whipped up a batch of homemade lip gloss and gave it to all of us girls as a Christmas treat.  Her recipe involved mixing petroleum jelly and pomegranate drink mix.  She doesn't melt her petroleum jelly and simply adds one pack of drink mix and whips it all together.  I was browsing Pinterest this week, and discovered a similar project.  With the cold weather we've been having her, my lips have gotten bitterly chapped.  I decided to try some soothing peppermint lip balm/gloss.  I simply melted my petroleum jelly in the microwave.  Here's my recipe:
                                                    1 cup of petroleum jelly-unscented or fresh scent
                                                    5-6 drops of Peppermint Oil/Flavoring
Watch out when purchasing petroleum jelly.  It's hard just to find the plain stuff anymore and you definitely don't want the baby powder scent for your lips!!  I put my petroleum jelly in a Pyrex bowl.  It took about five minutes in my microwave to completely turn it to liquid.  I stirred at least every 30 seconds.  The dish will be hot so make sure to have a hot pad and pot holders handy. Once completely melted, I added my peppermint oil.  I found mine in the candy and cake baking section at my local WalMart.  It is safe for human consumption, so I assume its safe for lip gloss.  Peppermint oil can be pretty strong, so I added only a few drops.  Don't want it burning the lips!!  I stirred the two together and quickly poured it into these wonderful little paint cups I found at my Hobby Lobby.  These are the perfect sized containers.  I got 12 for 2.99 and this recipe filled them all with a little bit left for me to use as a test.  The lip gloss is marvelous.  At first you don't really taste the peppermint, but after a few seconds, it is there...but just enough to allow you to smell and taste...not to strong...just right!!  I'm going to try this project again using maybe some instant grape drink mix.  I'm sure you could also add a drop of food color to this recipe to give it just a little color in the container. 
Have a great week and thanks for visiting!!

Learning to Knit Sashay Scarves!!

I teach an enrichment class after school Monday through Thursday.  On average, I have about seven girls who stay regularly and recently we have been making Valentines for our local nursing home residents.  Thursday, we had a special treat. One of my former students stopped by to show us how to make the beautiful Sashay scarves that are really popular right now.  When it comes to knitting with needles, I tend to be all thumbs.  But after our forty-five minute lesson, I brought home my yarn and my number 5 crochet hook and began to work.  Saturday morning required a trip to the tax preparers, so as I waited in line to hand the government a few more tax dollars, I concentrated on my scarf.  It's now midway through Sunday afternoon and I almost have two completed!!  These are so simple to make and actually the Red Heart Yarn company has a tutorial for them on their website:  http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/royally-ruffled-scarf

It's pretty simple a matter of rotating between ten stitches and two stitches....do you call them stitches in crochet???   Just be extra careful, your yarn coming off the hook accidentally can result in the whole scarf unraveling!! Sounds like I know from experience huh??!!   Anyway, a group of faculty and students are going to get together next week to teach others!! Really easy and results really fast.  If you haven't tried this project, it is a simple way to create a quick and beautiful gift in an hour's time!!  Thanks for visiting!!


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Free Standing Lace on Bernina Embroidery Machine

I feel so relieved to have my Bernina embroidery machine back in business.  My old laptop was having too many issues in order to run the software program successfully.  My new laptop carries the program just fine and has allowed me to create some wonderful projects in this new year.  One simple project was this free standing lace necklace.  I just love doing free standing lace projects on my embroidery machine.  If you aren't familiar with free standing lace, this type of embroidery uses water-soluble stabilizer as the foundation.  You are not embroidering into a fabric, only the stabilizer.  I like to layer my water-soluble stabilizer into two or three hooped layers, depending on the number of stitches in the design.  After the design is complete, you simply wash away the stabilizer.  It dissolves in luke warm water, leaving the design behind.   I lay my designs out on a paper towel to dry.  I created this little heart for Valentine's Day.  I used a metal loop to attach it to a strand of black cord.  I'm going to increase the size of the heart, just a tad, in the next project, just to show the details of the embroidery work.  Thanks for visiting!! Have a great MLK holiday!


Testing the Silhouette Cameo With A Roll of Indoor Vinyl.

As mentioned in an earlier post, I recently became the owner of the Silhouette Cameo machine.  I love my Cricuts, but was anxious to see if the Silhouette could live up to all the hype I've heard.  So far, the machine cuts card stock and paper with very little difficulty.  The software program has a learning curve, but I've figured out most aspects of the program.  My next test for this cutter was rolled vinyl.  I've seen the videos and read reports that this machine can cut the vinyl straight from the roll, no cutting mat needed.  I followed the instructions and adjusted my rollers to fit the width of the vinyl.  I found a simple Valentine's heart project within the software library.  After adjusting the size on my computer screen, I fed the roll of vinyl into the machine.  The Silhouette pulled it in just as if it were a cutting mat.  Through the design program, I programmed the machine to the vinyl settings.  The machine pulled the vinyl in and cut the design.  I removed the roll and the design from the backing material.  Using clear contact paper, I then transferred the design to a ceramic tile.  Voila! The Silhouette Cameo cut the vinyl smoothly, no miscuts, and no cutting mat needed!!  I was very impressed with how quickly and smoothly the machine cut the vinyl. I used to cut my vinyl to fit the cutting mat. I would even use tape to hold the vinyl in place on the mat.  I can see that using the Silhouette Came will definitely keep me from wasting a lot of vinyl.  More projects to come! Thanks for visiting!!