Ice Skate Door Wreath Hanger

One of the Pinterest ideas I loved is the Ice Skate Door Hanger.  Ironically, I found the ice skates at a Florida garage sale.  I stored them for the 2 years while we moved, and luckily I remembered I had them to make this gorgeous door hanger.  Almost all of the materials are from the Dollar Store. 

I carved out a small brick of floral foam in the shape of a foot, and put it in the skate.  I then cut red 3/8″ grosgrain ribbon and laced up the skate.  I then used about 5 springs of holiday flowers in the arrangement, and a poinsettia that clipped onto the front of the boot.  I hung it with a 1″ wide of red satin ribbon which is strung through a hole I sliced into the top of the boot.

In order for the boot not to slam around the door as people are coming in and out, I used a tiny bit of Insta-tac on the heel and toe of the boot and stuck it firmly to the door.  It worked great.  That will come off the door cleanly when it is time to take down the decorations.

I love it when my craft worked out nicer than the one I saw on Pinterest! Woo Hoo!

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Posted in Christmas, Holidays, In General, Tutorials | Leave a comment

Drying and Painting Pinecones: Door Hanger and Basket Display

DRYING PINECONES

Our new home has tonnes of pine trees in our neighborhood.  I have been collecting only the largest and perfectly shaped ones, but the landscapers tend to pick them up before I can get them.  So the other day, I got a tonne of wet closed pinecones, then researched how to get them to open up.  I ended up drying them in my oven.  I put my oven at the lowest setting (170F).  I put them on a tin foil sheet on a cookie sheet to prevent sap from ruining my cookie pans, however this variety of pinecone didn’t drip any sap during the process.  I didn’t know how long to dry them for, so just kept monitoring them.

They started like this…

 

and ended like this 7 hours later.

It had just rained for 4 straight days (in Vegas!  Yes, Odd!) so these cones were wet, and closed tight.  In the first hour, only one started to open.  By 4 hours, about half were starting to open, by 7 hours, all of them were open!  Now some turned out gorgeous and perfect.  They were a nice wood brown colour, spines were tough and solid.  Many others had a whitish haze on them, and those ones ended up being more brittle.  Some just ended up too dry and brittle, and almost fell apart when I grabbed them.  I threw them out.  So baking does work, but my wet batch took a very long time. In hindsight, I would have checked them hourly, and removed the ones that had opened up, and left the stubborn ones in for as long as they needed. Or in an even more perfect world, only collected perfect, open pinecones from the ground in the first place!

PAINTING PINECONES

I have seen Pinterest pins with people dipping pinecones in paint.  I tried it.  Not good.  I purchased a sample size latex paint tester from Lowes to paint them.  It is way too thick and globby, and pinecones will drip for hours, wasting all of your paint.  I am sure craft paint will be the same result, and won’t have as nearly as nice of a sheen or endurance as the sample latex paints.  I REALLY liked the finish of the latex paint on the pinecones.

Next I tried thinning the paint with Floetrol.  It is a paint additive used to reduce paint strokes on your pieces.  This didn’t have as much globbing and drip time, but it did now require two coats, as I could see the brown pinecone colour too much.

Next I tried manually painting them.  I used a cheap $1.00  2″ paintbrush from Lowes.  The long bristles got deep into the pinecone core nicely.  I used circular motions to get all surfaces in the interior of the pinecone, and methodically went into each layer of the “tongues”.  This worked very well.  The paint didn’t take too long to dry. The paint still dripped out as it was drying on newspaper.  Some areas did need a second light brushing to make a deep solid red colour.  I let them dry overnight (turning occasionally as to not stick to the newspaper).  Each pinecone took about 5 minutes for a coat.

I spray painted one.  It turned out ok.  It required a few coats to get deep into the centre of the pinecone from all angles.  But with all the fumes, and overspray all over the garage, and long wait times for each coat to dry, it wasn’t worth it compared to painting them.

So, don’t dip them.  Use a paint brush.

So here are what I did with my pinecones.

DOORHANGER/WALL DECORATION

The painted pinecones went for a doorhangar.  I cut out red felt hearts.  Sewed a green interlock stitch around the edges, and stuffed them a bit.  I glued ribbon to the pinecones and hearts, and added a few extra ornaments in there, and voila!

PINECONE BASKET

The rest I just used to fill a giant metal tub, and placed a preformed bouquet of Christmas flowers into the centre.

It balanced off my front door display.

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Yarn Ball Snowman

Since my return to crafting, I have decided to go slowly.  I made this craft, however, I did not photograph each step of the project.  Photographing and Photoshopping every picture was just to overwhelming for me last week, so here is a photo of the last step, and directions on how to get there!

Materials:

  • 3 different sizes of Styrofoam balls
  • skein of white yarn
  • bamboo skewers or toothpicks
  • beads for eyes, buttons and mouth
  • 14 gauge wire
  • brown floral tape
  • scarf fabric
  • hot glue gun

 Tutorial:

I began with making a knot in the yarn, and using a straight pin to attach it to the syrofoam ball.  I wrapped it until I could not see any Styrofoam anymore.  Again, I made a knot, and pinned it to the Styrofoam.  Make three sizes of these balls.  You can also hot glue the start and end of the yarn.

I broke the bamboo skewers into 2″-3″ pieces and sanded the broken edges into a point with sandpaper.  I then pre-poked each of the skewers into the balls.  I then put a tiny bit of hot glue onto the tip of each skewer before I put it into place for the last time.  This will make them stay together permanently.  I used 2 pieces of skewer between each of the balls.  This way the balls can’t rotate around one skewer.  It is the same technique I used on the Jute Pears Styrofoam ball project except I used toothpicks there. 

I then make the wire hat for the snowman.  I just used my jewellery bead tools to help me make concentric circles of the top of the hat, then down the sides, then got larger for the brim of the hat.   I then hot-glued it to the head.

For the carrot nose, I used a short bamboo skewer, and used hot glue to make a carrot shape with.  I made a hot glue bead half way up the skewer, where the carrot is the thickest, and kept spinning the skewer between my fingers to keep the glue rounded, and not droop as it cooled and hardened completely.  I then continued to add hot glue to the end of the skewer (turning the skewer constantly to keep an even carrot shape).  I let it all cool completely.  I then dipped it into orange craft paint, and let it dry.  I glued the end tip with hot glue as I put it into his head to keep it secure.

I used straight pins through black round beads for the eyes.  I used hot glue on the edge of the tips of the pins before I put them into place into the styrofoam.  This way, they won’t fall out.  I did that for the eyes, and buttons, and mouth beads.  Put the smallest amount of glue there, so your project won’t be messy with globs of hot glue everywhere.

I had an red knit thrifted sweater that was cut up from my stocking project, and used that for the scarf.   I used dots of hot glue to keep that in place too.

The arms are made from 14 gauge wire.  I made them have hands on the end too.  It hens wrapped brown floral tape around them.  This gives them a branch look, but they are still posable.  I used a bit of hot glue to insert them into the body too.  Insert at least 1″-2″ of wire into the body.

You can either add a wire loop on the back of the snowman to hang them from a nail on your wall, or I had 4″ metal disks on hand (excess packaging from Canada’s Dollarama craft magnets I buy).  I glued the bottom to the metal disks so I could stand them on a shelf or table.

The whole project took about half an hour to make (aside from waiting for the orange paint on the carrot nose drying time).  These are very easy  to make, and with low cost materials.  It is a great hostess gift to bring to parties this season!

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Lampwork Bracelets

Just as my necklaces that I wanted to show off, here are some of my handmade lampwork glass bracelets I have made.  They range from $30 to $80 in price.  For anyone who knows the price of artist handmade lampwork beads, properly kiln-annealed, you know this is an excellent price for a finished piece.  I will ship worldwide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2013 Grey Cup Betting Sheet-Roughriders and Tigercats

Ok, I am not a fan of sports at all, however, each year, my mother hosts a Grey Cup party and I always have to make up a Betting Sheet for the guests.  This year, I would like to share it with you.

This is a betting sheet for the 2013 Saskatchewan Roughriders and Hamilton Tigercats Grey Cup in Canada.

Now my husband designed this board.  How it works is you sell each square to your guests.  Once all 25 squares are sold, then print numbers 0-9 on separate pieces of paper, and randomly draw them from a hat.  As you draw them, fill in the small squares with that order at the top.  Then re-draw all 10 and write the order of drawing in the small squares at the side. 

Whatever the score ends up being, take the last digit of the score, and cross reference the grid to whomever purchased that square.  You can take score at the end of each quarter, and have 4 winners.  Divide up the pot into 4 equal winnings.

This page has 25 spots to purchase.  If you fill up this form, you can do another one, as long as you have purchasers for all of the spots.

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Lampwork Necklaces

I got quite into Lampwork/Glass bead making before our travelling all over the country deal.  I haven’t posted much of my premium line of jewellery with my handmade beads.  So here are some of the necklaces I have done recently.

Please forgive my horrid photography.  I wanted to get them photographed quickly before I put them into storage during our move.  I shall rephotograph them as I work on my eStore.

Hard Ice


Wild Creatures


Desert Water


Fire and Ice


Flowing Water


Air and Sea

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Posted in Beading, Etsy Items, For Sale, Jewellery, Lampwork | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Craft Addiction Meetup Group Class – Yarn Snowman and Ornament Wreath

I am ready to host my first CRAFT ADDICTION class in Las Vegas on Saturday, November 23rd, 2013!  We will be making a Yarn Snowman and an Ornament Wreath.

Class is open to all in Las Vegas.  Just email me to say you would like to book a spot.  Class cost is $20, plus materials ($25 for snowman and wreath).  Address will be emailed to registered students.  Cheyenne Ave and Buffalo area (north Summerlin) of Las Vegas.

Please see our Meetup.com group at Craft Addiction

 

Yarn Snowman Materials: (cost of materials: $5)

  • Styrofoam Balls, 3 sizes
  • White Yarn Skein
  • Black Beads for eyes, mouth and buttons
  • 1 yard of 14 gauge crafting wire for arms, and hat
  • Material for scarf
  • BRING YOUR OWN GLUE GUN, or one is available to share in class.

The Wreath we will make will look similar to the styles on my Wreaths Board from my Pinterest.

 Ornament Wreath: materials cost: $20

  • 50 tree ornaments (Colour option of: Fushia, Lime Green and Silver; or Red and Silver; or light Blue, Purple and Silver balls)
  • 1 roll holiday ribbon gauze, optional
  • 1 wire hangar

Payment for class and materials can be made though PayPal, or cash or VISA at the class.  I prefer materials to be paid for up front to prevent “no shows” and me being on the hook for their materials costs.

Please email me: canadianblonde (at) tuscanydesign (dot) net. to reserve your spot, or ask any questions.

 

RSVP

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Pinterest Addict

One of the things that has gotten me through my “non crafting” times is Pinterest.  I have amassed a lot of pins of my future crafts to do, and Pinterest is almost solely responsible for rekindling my fire for creating, and wanting to blog about it.

When you have a new baby, getting a few hours free to complete a craft is almost impossible, but getting 5 minutes free to browse Pinterest isn’t too hard!

Please click this button to follow me on Pinterest.   CanadianBlonde

 

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Life and Death

It had been a very long time since my last post.  I have tried writing many times, but felt my absence needed an explanation.  But in essence, we all know life happens, and sometimes lifes events can cause complete lack of crafting inspiration and opportunity.  I have been coping with unexpected deaths of a pet, and a parent, moving clear across the country TWICE (once while 6 months pregnant!), getting pregnant and having/raising our first baby, buying and settling into a new home, and city!  All that over a two year period!  But now is the time to look to the bright future! 

I now live in Las Vegas!  Appropriate for someone with an “addiction” to move to Las Vegas, I know, no irony there!  Our family came here for a 4 months contract, and within 2 weeks, decided this is a great city to call home.  I had our first child, a daughter, whom is now one year old!  What crafter isn’t elated to have a baby to sew for and craft with!!  In fact, that was my very first words when I found out at the ultrasound that we were having a girl… “YAY!  Someone to craft with!!” 

I digress.  I have been getting back into my crafting slowly, and hope to share all of my photos and tutorials here.  I also am in the progress of starting a Meetup.com crafting group here in Las Vegas, so you will be seeing lots of posts about that too.  I hope to inspire others to start a Meetup in your area too.

CanadianBlonde

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Stained Glass Pyramid

Here is a blast from my past.  In high school, I took advanced art classes every year.  In my final year, my final project was a stained glass fish pyramid sculpture.  I was working with my cousin at her custom fountain and aquarium business, so I was very into fishkeeping.

I designed the pattern, and drew the fish freehand.  As well as all the cutting, foiling, and soldering too.  It is still one of my favorite pieces I have done.

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