Monday, March 30, 2009


This is my new desk decoration for work - I call it my "happy place". I saw photos put in jars on Photojojo and it inspired this project.


Item bought from Dollar Tree:
  • Blue Star Shaped Glass Stones (to represent water from all the spring rain - we have a lot of flooding in the Spring where I live).
  • Scrapbook Stickers (I chose these because they reminded more more of things my son does and things we see - our local zoo opens in the Spring and they have train that we always would ride, my son uses his skateboard on the sidewalk, the net for when he used to go fishing with his Grandpa before he passed away, and bugs).
  • Easter Grass (to represent the grass getting greener and growing).
  • Flowers (to represent the flowers that start to grow).
COST: $4 Things I already had on hand:
  • Old candle jar.
  • Photo of my son at Air Zoo in Battlecreek, MI that I took on a field trip for his school in Spring when he was in the 8th grade.
  • Components to make "Shaun The Sheep" (made out of cotton from an asprin bottle, googly eyes that had come off of other project and scraps of black fabric) - I was going for more the look of the animals with suction cups that you stick on a car window - as a user commented on my blog, he does sort of look like pickled sheep).

I cropped the photo then put it in the jar, then put the blue star stones in the bottom, put in some pieces off the flower and Shaun the Sheep (yep, have to agree with one comment I received where he sort of does look like pickled sheep here), then added the Easter grass in the center.

To top it off, I pulled more flowers off and stuck them in the center so they stuck up outside of the jar, then put the lid on the jar. I then put the stickers on the outside of the jar to make it even more 3-D. ***UPDATE*** This was submitted as an idea at as part of a challenge on what to do with an empty jar and it was one of the three items featured.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Shaun the Sheep

He is a component in another project I am making with a Spring theme and I decided to use Shaun the Sheep as a "window decoration" kind of like the critters you see suction cupped to car windows. Shaun is almost entirely made out of upcycled items - the cotton is from an asprin bottle, the black fabric is scraps and the googly eyes were ones that had come off of other projects - just the fabric paint for the nostril and the hot glue from the glue I used to glue him together was not. Items used to make:
  • Cotton (from an asprin bottle)
  • Black fabric, scraps for face and legs (I used polyester, but any stiffer black fabric, felt or fleece would do, If you wanted to make him so he could stand, you could use twist ties off painted black or pipe cleaners instead).
  • Googly eyes (these were ones fallen off of other projects)
  • Glue Gun and glue sticks
  • Fabric paint (used to make the nostrils on his face).

To make him, I looked at pictures at his website as inspiration and winged it from there (If you have a printer you could probably download his picture and use that as template - I don't own a printer and anything I want to print out I go to the library and pay 5 cents a sheet to print, so I rarely do print anything off - beside that, it was 4 in the morning and the library was closed).

The face shape is sort of oval with the bottom being wee bit wider than the top.

The legs are made out of strip of fabric about 1/2 inch wide and about 5 inches long, then folded in half and knots tied at about an inch in between, then cut off below he knot - the knot makes his feet and the skinny part is his legs.

His ears are from two strips of fabric about 1/4 inch wide and an inch long and rounded and the outer edged, then tapered in slightly on each side going towards his head.

Cut about a 1/2 inch of the cotton off and use the glue gun to attach it to the back of his head. Glue the ears on each side below the fluff of cotton. Glue the eyes onto his face, then two dots of fabric paint to make his nostrils.

Fluff up the cotton body. To make the tail, take a bit of the cotton and twist is several times. Glue the head to the body, then legs, with the hot glue gun.

Here he is finished.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


This is a present for my son's Dad as he is in the hospital and I made this for him as he used to be a Trekkie - when we were married he had the "no talking during Star Trek" rule. I think he get a kick out of this and I could put in on an elastic cord and put it in his truck to hang of the rearview mirror, but I will see if he wants to do with after I give it to him. Items needed:
  • 3 1/2 inc floppy disc
  • Glue gun
  • Silver metallic paint (the kind used on model cars)
  • Kitchen Scissors (I bought mine at the Dollar store)
This based on the following project, except that I left the metal media in the center it is painted.
  • First, pry the metal part off of the bottom of the disc - if comes off fairly easy. This will be the bottom part of your space ship.

  • Pry open the disc (I was able to do it with my hands, but if it is sealed well, you could use the tip of the scissors to pry it open at the bottom) and remove the shiny plastic disc from the middle as is will the top part of the starship. (I kept the out plastic part and will use it to make a Christmas Tree Ornament - here is the link to it that I posted at CO+K You could go ahead and paint the disc now and it would be probably be easier than trying cover over where you have glued down parts.
  • Use the scissor to make a cut at the bottom of the skinny metal strip on each side.
  • Bend the skinny metal strips to away from each other.
  • Bend down the wide part of the metal on each side.
  • Make a small cut into in the metal part between the bottom part the the "wings" that you created by bending back the skinny strips at the top (in the photo I have the wide part in my hand and the skinny strips are on the left hand side of the picture - I photographed it backwards by mistake). I made the cut halfway down, but if I had it to do over, I would make the cut closer to the top of the skinny metal part.
  • Temporarily bend the skinny strips back together to insert them through the wide hole in the metal disc and insert the disc into the area where you have made the small cut. Apply hot glue to both sides of the skinny metal and the top part of above where you inserted the disc into the center.
  • Firmly press the parts down on opposite sides,
  • Paint the disc with the silver metallic paint (if you didn't do so right after taking the disc out of the floppy disc case.
As this was a get well gift, I am linking this up at A Little Tipsy today as she is featuring "show a little love" links. Be sure to check out all of the other crafty creations by clicking below.


I couldn't find any of the many paintbrushes that I had purchased for a project I was working on this morning when I came across a popsicle stick and decided to do a DIY and it worked out pretty well.
Items used:
  • Popsicle Stick
  • Old sock
  • Glue Gun

Cut a strip off of the old sock. I made mine about an inch wide.

Apply Glue to the stick and attach one end of the sock strip then continue to wrap around the stick until you come to the end.

Attach glue to the end of the strip and glue it down and you are done!

Monday, March 23, 2009


This is a retro flashback as I haven't had time to craft lately with Kyle's Dad being in the hospital and working and running around to let the dog out twice a day at his house.
I found this when I putting away laundry at Marv's house, it is t-shirt that I did for Kyle's Grandpa's first Father's Day (he has since passed away and the shirt was given to Marv as a keepsake - it may ended up being crafted into a pillow or a panel of a quilt).
To make it, I put chocolate pudding on Kyle's hand then pressed his hand against a paper plate (after several attempts) to make a template, then I filled in fabric paint where the pudding was on the template and pressed the template against the fabric to make the "handprints" on the back of the shirt. I then used fabric paint to write Kyle's name, age, height and weight, along with Father's Day 1994. I used a letter stencil and red fabric paint to stencil in "Kyle's Grandpa" on the front.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


This is a keyring that I made for myself. It is a cross between my Thumbprint Heart Necklace (as it is made by the same method and same materials and I had plenty left over from that project, except that I did not put a thumbprint in it) and barbed wire heart necklace at CO+K by Cat Morely
The heart charm is connected via a piece of silver elastic threa tied in knots to a safety pin and the safey pin is attached to a light up keyring with a foil heart glued to the top.

Monday, March 16, 2009


I made this to try to make St. Patrick's Day cheery and it was a pleasant surprise for Marv when I took a plastic container with two rainbows into the hospital in a clear plastic container and he said they were really good. Kyle liked them too, so double bonus points and this will be something I will make again in the future. This is not project that can be done at the last minute - you need to start at least a day in advance due to the 3 hour setting time between layers in the fridge. The basic recipe for Jigglers from the back of the box of Jello is: Stir 2 1/2 cups of boiling water (DO NOT ADD COLD WATER)into a 4 - 4 serving each size (3 oz box) and stir until dissolved. As these are being layered, and depending on the width you want the finished rainbows to be you could cut the recipe:

  • In half: 1 1/4 cup of boiling water and 2 small boxes or 1 large box for each layer
  • Into 1/4: Use 5/8 cup of boiling water and 1 small box for each layer
At Walgreens, I was able to get Royal Gelatin in Red, Green and Orange for 3 small boxes for $1. However, they didn't have yellow, blue or orange nor did the store brand. I ended up buying a small box each of yellow and blue Jello gelatin. For the purple I mixed a red box with a green box of Royal gelatin and added 10 drops of blue food coloring.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Work in Progress notes: I wanted to make something festive and different for St. Patrick's Day and put Rainbow Jello on my "Stuff to Make" list and I decided to go with Jelly Jigglers instead of regular Jello Rainbow. The actual mixing the boiled water takes less than a minute - it is the set time of 3 hrs between layers which is what takes so long. As they had Royal Gelatin on sale a Walgreens this week 5/$1 with coupon, I am going to try to make due with the flavors/colors available, which was red, green and orange and use food coloring to tint the rest of the colors.
I started out with a box of Jello that I had and a box of Royal gelatin and reduced the water on each by 1/2 cup, boiled the water and added it to the gelatin.
I used the cake topper from the cake that I bought and ate this weekend as I was depressed Kyle's Dad was in ICU at the hospital (don't judge me - Kyle did get one small piece) as a mold and poured the red gelatin in the mold.
I then placed it in the fridge overnight.
As I want the jigglers to be bite sized, it seems like two packages of each layer is going to make it too thick, so from here on out, decided to just make one package for each layer.
Mixed 1 1/2 cups boiling water in with the orange gelatin. Poured the orange gelatin in the mold on top of the red layer.
I next tried making the yellow layer with orange gelatin and yellow food coloring, but uh-oh - it turned it more of a darker orange than it did make it yellow.
Pour into the tray and put back in the fridge to chill for a few hours
If I leave it as is, my rainbow will be out of whack, or I could invest a few more dollars and go to the store and call what I have the red and orange layer and then add yellow, green, blue and purple (2 small or 1 large box) to make it look right, but still concerned it will be too thick for finger foods.
As I will not have time to mess around with this until after coming back from the hospital this evening, I will think about this a bit.
I ended up on a compromise and bought a small pkg of yellow (lemon) and one of blue (berry) Jello and will mix the green and red that I have on hand to make some shade of purple. I checking at my local grocery I have found that while many brands offer red, orange and green gelatin, only Jello carries blue, yellow and purple.
Add boiling water into 1 sm. pkg lemon jello.
Pour the mixture into the pan. After seeing this I was glad I went ahead and invested in the lemon Jello as the contrast is greater and it does look better. Put it in the fridge and forgot about it for a few hours.
Next was the lime green layer. Pour the mixture into the pan and let set for a few hours.
Next was the blue layer.
Pour the blue jello on top of the existing layers and put in the fridge for a few hours.
Now for the final layer - purple. I mixed 1 pkg of the Royal Strawberry with the 1 pkg of the Royal Lime, then added 10 drops of blue food coloring.
Pour into tray and let set for a few hours.
In reviewing the package of Jello, I may have added to much water for these to be jigglers as it indicated 2 1/2 cup boiling water to 4 small pkgs Jello and reducing the water by 1/2 cup might not be enough - and they may need to be refrigerated after all.
After last layer is firm, take out and cut the layers into circles with a cookie cutter or a cup (run the cup under warm water first). If you use a cup, this part would be super fun for kids as it makes a "thwack" when you pull the cup out and the layers slide back down in the pan.
Next, remove the circle of layers from the pan an put it on a plate, then cut it in two with a knife.
Set each piece upright and you have a rainbow!
Below are two rainbows side by side.

I am linking this up to
Click on the button to check out more St. Patrick's Day projects

Friday, March 13, 2009

Jellyfish Necklace

This was made from a decorative tassel found at the Dollar store and 24 inches of ribbon 1/8th inch wide ribbon.

Russian Style Tea

Over at CO+K Michelle G posted a how-to on making Russian Style Tea It is just brewed black tea that you add a spoonful of jam or fresh fruit.
I used the coffee maker to make a pot of black tea then spooned a heaping tablespoon of the ginger spread into the cup and it had a crisp flavor with sweet undertones (I did not add any additional sugar to mine).
I think I will try strawberry jam next time, but I don't forsee putting actual fruit into my tea - feel the same way about that as I did the bolla (wine with fruit in it) in Germany - it too confusing to try remember to drink or chew and seems like a heimlich manuever waiting to happen if I forget to do the latter.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

CUTTING CORNERS 2.0 - Decorated Durable Bookmark

This was inspired by "Cutting Corners" by Anna the Ewok here on CO+K but takes it to the next level.
I didn't take pictures of the process as I was going along as this was more of a trial run, but when I make another one I will add them. Based on an original project in a book available here
Items needed:

Estimated cost to make: Under 5 cents

Cut the corners off of the envelope. Prior to cutting, I lined mine up with the edge of the book, folded it up and cut along the fold.
Pick out the images that you want to put on the corner, cut them out and set them aside. I used pictures and description from a sales flier on mine.
Pick out the background you want for the images. I flipped through a magazine until I found what I wanted then put the cut corner over the edge of the magazine page, then cut along the edge. Do this twice I you will need a background for each side of the bookmark.
Glue the background pieces to the envelope corners.Then glue the images cut out that you selected and glue them on top of the background pieces.Allow to dry for a few minutes.
Straighten up any stray edges or uneven edges with the scissors.
Apply packing tape to the images on both side to protect them for smearing, smudges, wear and tear. One tape is applied to both side, you are done!