Monday, July 8, 2013

Copper cold-forged flower bracelet

copper cold-forged flower bracelet

It must be summer cause we are crazy-busy. There is not much crafting going on around here! I did manage to get this bracelet done though. I had a lot of fun hammering the flower into shape. I just wish I could get down to the basement more often to make more!!! I’ve been busy doing other things. Really really fun things…like spending three (three!) hours cleaning under a counter. And reorganizing my filing cabinet…again! And getting ready for the 4th of July. And getting kids ready to go to camp. And a million other things that crop up to wipe out my day. Then there is the “down time” – I don’t know about you but when it is so busy, and there is a spare minute (or hour), I sleep. Usually. So if I wanted to cut out some sleep time I suppose I’d have time to cut more metal…but I usually just can’t help myself. This week kid three is at the first camp of the summer and I have PLANS! MAJOR PLANS! You take just one kid out of the equation and we have an entirely different household. It doesn’t matter which kid…it just seems calmer and more manageable. I’m going to finish organizing the filing cabinet, make soap, decorate a tin Steampunk Style, and my brain tells me I have to cut some wood with my scroll saw. Wish me luck! Hope your summer is going well!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Refinished cutting board and trying to keep up…

You know, “back in the day” I could get so much more accomplished…I’d run around here and complete this or that task in mere minutes. Now I drag my sorry self around and push myself through the tasks and it seems as if I never get anything accomplished! Maybe that’s why I love crafting so much. You can see your results – you can show other people your results! It’s not like yesterday – I worked in the yard for hours – and it still looks pretty much the same! Here is one craft I did this week -


My mother-in-law and I went to a garage sale this past Saturday and I brought home this cutting board. It was in pretty rough shape but I wanted to see if I could make it better. I think it was around fifty cents or a buck. I got out my hand sander and started sanding. I started with a 60 grit paper and it got all gunked up right away. There was either a funky finish on this board or years of grease build-up. (ewwww!) Then I went to a 100 grit and finished with a 150 grit. I did all of this at the kitchen table because A – we had 40 days and 40 nights of rain and it was still raining & B – the kitchen already needed a good cleaning. I had to wipe down every surface anyways. Then I rubbed on some wood butter and here it is!


and the other side -


If I had been sanding outside I would have sanded longer. Even though the kitchen needed to be cleaned this made a BIG MESS lol! I sanded for a half an hour and called it “good enough”. I can sand longer when it needs to be refinished some other day.

Did you notice that odd assortment of things in the first picture? Well, that is part of a project that is on my kitchen table right now. Almost done. Just waiting for the paint to dry. I’m trying really really hard to tackle each new project I bring into the house RIGHT AWAY. My “someday I’ll fix this up” pile got a little out of control lol.

I also worked on a needle felting project in the evenings this week.


I’m starting a little woodland play-set.


There is still a lot to do but it’s always fun!


And here is the lazy woman’s way to clean a fleece. Let the rain pound some of the vegetable matter out of it! This is a meat sheep fleece and pretty dirty. I cleaned some of it a few months ago and it took around 5 bathtub refills…and the water was still dirty. Bummer. But it felts up really fast and works well for your foundation felting. Sooo…I’m going to experiment a bit. I got the fleece for free from a lady I met at last year’s Bazaar. She is a teacher and invited me to her classroom to teach her students how to wash the wool. They did a great job! Way better than I’ve done lol!

In other news I think I accidentally deleted all my old blog posts pictures. Oops! I just went back to try to link up wood butter and the picture is gone…all the pictures are gone! I had gone into my Google account and Windows Live Writer account checked out some settings…it seemed as if I was opening all  my pictures in Windows Live Writer and they were public! All my pictures…so I freaked out a little and started deleting things. Maybe I should have thought about it a little longer…cause I remember clicking a button that said “this delete option is permanent”. Aaaannnndddd – I’ve been cleaning out the photos in my computer and have been deleting all the craft photos…figuring they were on my blog anyways…so…a huge chunk of my life is deleted. And a huge chunk of this blog is without pictures. sigh. That’s just the way it goes. You’d think I’d be more upset about this…

Happy Crafting!!!

Monday, May 20, 2013


A few months ago Ann from All Things Paper contacted me and asked me if I’d be willing to do a quilling commission – I have to admit…I was scared! But I said yes. The client and I “talked” a bit via email and I sent her some ideas and this is what I came up with!


She wanted the word “love” and she wanted it in purples, pinks, and blues…hydrangea colors. I’d have to say the scariest part of this project was keeping it clean lol! I was terrified I’d touch it with smudged fingers or get a glop of glue in the wrong place…I like how it turned out! She framed it and sent me a picture -


Doesn’t it look pretty in the frame? It tickles me to no end to know a piece of artwork I created is hanging and loved by someone on the other side of the country!

Speaking of artwork – I attended a benefit a couple weeks ago and bid on a painting in a silent auction…and won!

This watercolor was created by an 85 year old woman – who has obviously honed her craft! I am so happy to know you can be 85 and still crafting!!!!


Hmmmm…in other news I finally tried a little digital scrapbooking. I don’t have many “supplies” but I came up with this -

Copy of 2013MomandDogs

There is a lot to learn…this was a ten minute try and all elements were free. :) I love free! Shoot! I bet I should link to the free elements but honestly…I have no idea whom they belong to…I kinda went nuts on National Scrapbook Day downloading all the freebies out there…I’ll try to do better next time… This is going to be so cool! Someday I’ll have everything scrapbooked and then I can upload/download them to Walmart or whatever and have a book printed out for each kid! They could even have the same pages!!!! I have around a hundred scrapbooked pages in VERY HEAVY and BULKY albums and if a kid even breathes on them wrong I have a fit. The digital versions are replaceable…

Happy Crafting!!!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Copper and Brass jewelery


So I recently ordered a jewelers saw so I could try my hand at some metal jewelry. I find cutting out the shapes are a fairly easy task – but soldering…that is going to take some practice! You can see in the bottom right (inside of the frame) there is a little solder peeking out. I don’t want that. This is actually the second piece I made just like this. On the first piece I really had solder leakage. (BTW – hate that word…leakage…ewwwww) So I scrubbed at it with some wire brushes and ended up copper-plating my brass! Oh – and the black part is patina’d copper and the gold part is brass. So…I now have two almost good enough pendants…one I’ll wear and this one I’ll keep scrubbing at and then dontate to the Cuyuna Range Whitetails banquet next year. (My hubbie is the VP and I’m the Secretary – lot’s of meetings…but FUN!) I have a couple more designs planned  but haven’t gotten to them yet. This may seem like a total random craft for me to try but it isn’t. I actually bought a coping saw about ten years ago to give this a whirl and it didn’t work very well – lol. Now I was gifted with some large pieces of copper and brass and decided it was time to tackle it again. I had an old work bench in the shed and I begged and bugged my 16 year old to get some friends together and get it to the basement – they did – yay! It’s ugly as all get-out but STURDY and it has a VICE and DRAWERS! And I can leave my mess down there – and start and stop whenever I want.



Here’s another one I did finish. I made the heart out of polymer clay – I have to take pictures of the backs of these don’t I. After I cut out the wings I realized they were very pointy and dangerous. I mean, if I fell wrong while wearing it I could puncture my jugular! But – they made a perfect way to hang it. I used thin copper wire to attach them to the chain. The copper should patina as time goes on. Next step in these projects is to etch the copper. I have all the supplies but now need the time…

I went to a garage sale yesterday and picked up a couple things. Just a couple. I got a pizza pizzazz for $5.00 and a couple skeins of yarn. I crocheted up the yarn last night into a scarf -


It’s a rather short scarf so I’ll have to figure out some kind of closure/toggle/thingy – I think. I’ll probably just wear it as it is for now. (Well, next winter…unless we get more snow!) The scarf is the background for the necklace pictures if you want to relook and see close-ups. I can’t donate this project cause I totally forgot how to single crochet and my edges are all wonky – I figured it out in the end – but this yarn does NOT unravel. It’ll break before it will come undone. So darn…I have to keep a wonky soffffttttt alpaca and mohair and acrylic scarf for myself. lol. (I’m so proud of myself – the yarn didn’t get put into the “someday” pile!)

And guess what – I won a give-a-way! That is RARE! I won this awesome tote from Nestle and Soar.

It’s a great tote – I used it yesterday :) Thank you!!!

In other news I’ve reorganized the back entry and still have to repaint. Grrrr. I took down all the old mismatched racks and added one longer rack. It took me about THREE HOURS to hang it! I don’t know why. It just did. It was a pain. It took two trips to the hardware store to get the correct wall anchors. The back entry is full of clean hanging laundry right now because it was supposed to rain yesterday – so everything had to be dried inside. Maybe…maybe I’ll paint today. I moved down and started cleaning the basement yesterday instead. Why and HOW does it get to be such a mess! Well, I know one way it gets so messy…KIDS! They had arranged all my totes into a pen for a puppy last summer…after I’d just sorted them out…and I lost heart for the project after that. This time there will be blood-shed and tears if anyone so much as moves a tote an inch! (Probably my blood and tears – cause I’ll probably throw myself onto the concrete floor and have a world-class tantrum!) And yes, my crafts are messy. But it’s a moving mess…it’s changing all the time – that’s gotta count for something right?

Happy Crafting!!!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Polymer clay covered Altoid’s tin

tin 004

Been having a bit of fun with polymer clay again. I decided to try some sculpting. After I finished this I decided it just isn’t quite right – now that I’m looking at it in the photograph I can see what I’d like to change. Note to self – take a picture of a project that isn’t exactly what you’d like it to be and then critique. You get an entirely different perspective. (I don’t know how I’m going to finish it yet – should the bottom be more polymer clay or paper?)

tin 005

Each of those “feathers” were created individually. I kept track of my time and it took me about two hours to make this. (I painted all day and made this from 8-10 PM one evening.)

I’m still painting in my house. Grrr. This week I focused on the front entry and painted the ceiling and walls. Two coats on the walls. Wow – does it look brighter and cleaner in there! We need to replace the closet doors and the flooring. We’ll have to wait for some summer paychecks before we do that though. What I can do is to sand down the woodwork and reseal it – maybe next week…although next week I plan to focus on the back entry (but that is such a mess) four walls and four doors, yet it’s a biggish space. It seems like such a waste of space. I’ve also started a new craft lol. I’m hopeless. There is always something new to try! I’ll show you next week. I’ve completed one piece and would like to made another one trying to do some things better. The first piece was a learning piece…

When I left my job in St. Cloud to move up here I got asked all the time what was I going to do now? Well, the plan was to be a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) Then I’d get asked what else I was going to do – as if that wasn’t enough! I’d reply that I really liked crafting. One very elegant lady gave me the advice to “do one thing and do it exquisitely”. I think she cursed me. It was very good advice…but advice I just can’t seem to apply to my crafts. I want to do it all! All crafts I tell you! One thing I’ve done right with my latest adventure is to set up a “station” in my basement. I love that I can leave the mess out and access it whenever the mood strikes. The bad news is that it’s in the basement…I feel as if I’m cut off from the world. There is about one day a month where that would be perfect lol – but not every day.

Happy Crafting!!!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Leather Bag Makeover – Steampunk?

Remember this bag?


Remember I didn’t like the color or the front flap, or the strap. Now it looks like this -


Much MUCH BETTER! I dyed the bag with some antique colored leather dye I had laying around. I added the strap onto the front using rivets and punched in eyelets to hold whatever accessory I want to use.


After I got this all wired on my kids and hubbie told me it looks like a Sherriff badge…and they’re right…it does! It’s kinda  western Steampunk.The perforated metal piece is something I got from a clearance bin at JoAnn’s – it’s supposed to be a necklace part. I guess people would embroider a design on it or something.

The darker leather piece under the main strap is held on with heavy-duty snaps. I can change it out whenever I want and put something else there…like maybe needle felted flowers on felt or something like that. We’ll see. It took me years to get it to this point so I think it’ll stay this way for awhile.



I added this vintage key to use as a zipper pull on the back pocket – and a larger one for the main inside pocket. I also cut the straps off and used a long heavy duty belt as a handle.


The plan is to use snaps but I ran out so I sewed it in place this time…will add snaps later…this works fine for now. I really love how this turned out – I like the mix of different colored leathers and metals. It’s definitely better than it was! So now I’m on the hunt for another ugly old leather purse to redo for the bazaar – keep your eyes open for me!

Today I’m repainting my living room. I let the boys pick the color. It turns out what was supposed to be a putty color is actually a mauve/purple color. I hate it. I’m going to consider it priming the walls and get something else. Darn it!

002 006

And here is another polymer clay pendant I made using a big stone cabochon as the base. It’s heavy and I love how it turned out – think it looks like petrified wood?


And lastly, one more polymer clay pendant. Julie likes this one – I think I do too. It isn’t what I had in my head when I started out so I’m not sure how much I like it…


Happy Crafting!!!!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Painting tips … and crafts


(Picture taken by my husband…sorry for the blur)

I think this has to be my favorite polymer clay piece I’ve made so far! I love how the leaf turned out and the color of the pendent. I tried to recreate that color the next day (the brown)…and spent at least two hours blending clay until I got it close enough! I have to take notes when blending clay from now on. I’ve actually started taking a picture of the clay with my phone camera and emailing it to myself with the list of colors used. Sheesh! I hope that saves some serious time in the future!!


(Picture taken by my youngest son…)

Do you have a favorite pair of socks? I have a few and this is one of them! I’d worn them so much there was small holes and the sock was getting very thin…so I darned them. I think I’ve talked about darning before…I’m acquiring quite a collection of darning yarn from thrift shops and my granny! I darned this pair as we were driving “home” for Easter. It took the entire trip there and most of the trip home to finish them…about 3 hours total. I wouldn’t do this for a regular pair of cotton socks, but if it is a pair of socks that fit nice and don’t sag and bag around my ankles I’ll give it a try. Someday I’ll buy a pair of beautiful knitted socks…someday…(I can’t knit!)


(Picture taken by me – look at all that stitching!)

Since I’m out of certain polymer clay supplies, and don’t have plans to get them this week, I’ve decided to tackle a problem…this is the problem -


(Handle is stretched around the chair)


(Purse is hanging properly but picture is too dark…color in the first picture is the true color)

The problem is I like the inside of this bag but have never liked the outside of this bag. The main problems are the color of the bag and the flap. Hate that flap. I’ve had this bag for a few years now and used it for a few months. My neighbor gave it to me…when you’re a hoarder crafter people give you stuff. Some stuff works out and some stuff has to be modified, and some stuff has to just go into the recycle/donate bin. I’ve had different ideas over the years about how to fix this bag but never “got around to it”. Well, the day has come. The bag is currently on my kitchen table getting a make-over. It already looks better and if I can’t find the supplies to do anything else it’s better than it was. If it doesn’t turn out it will get recycled into something else. It wasn’t doing anyone any good to be sitting on my shelf for the past few years. You’ll have to wait for the big reveal until next week.

Oh – and here’s your #1 painting tip! When you are going to paint a room DON’T clean it first! As a matter of fact, wait until it’s plenty dirty and dusty! That way the paint spatter sits on the fuzz and cleans up easily. I was telling my mom this and it blew her mind. I thought everyone painted this way lol! I finished the living room ceiling this week and will be off to the paint store soon to get the wall paint. I let my family pick out the color because I couldn’t stop dithering…green? no gray!…no YELLOW!…no sage!…no GRAY! I drove myself nuts.

Oh – and here’s a note…I sometimes get asked why I don’t do many tutorials. Well, it’s because a lot of what I make goes to the Bazaar at our church and I don’t want anyone else in the area making and selling the same things. We do good things with the money we raise (heat share, buy chickens for a community in Africa, help the soup kitchen…just to name a few). So, if you live outside of my area and want to know how I did something just contact me via email and I’ll tell you. I don’t mind sharing!

Happy Crafting!!!