Monthly Archives: December 2011

Oh Ice Skate Tree, Oh Ice Skate tree…

December 20th 2011
I have more room now, but not enough tables or surfaces. I want to deck the halls with boughs of holly, and the rooms with mini Christmas trees but it is slow in coming!  December has gone by so fast!!! Last year, I bought this 18 inch tree and put it on one of those round side tables that costs about five bucks in Kmart or Walmart. So I made this Ice Skate tree in winter colors. It’s decorated with shimmery snowflake ribbon for the topper, white lights—20 count, and ice skates made of felt, the blades are paper clips! This idea is from the featured magazine below. Once I made the original red pair of ice skates, I went to town making them in different blues and white and varied the embellishments. Now, I am on the hunt for ice skate décor, watch, that’ll be the new trend for next year. Pier 1 has a knitted pair but they’ll be cuter when they are 75% off! 
Picture of Holiday Crafts Magazine - 2010
Ice Skate craft idea
from this 2010 issue

What did I add for this year?  I added some wool snowmen around the bottom branches of the tree, sorry no pics of those! I hung a mistletoe ball with a shiny red bow from the lamp in the foyer and displayed a wooden manger scene about 3ft. tall from a Harvest Fair and of course, more new ornaments from this year’s vacation. I tell you, I have had to stop myself from getting more ornaments the tree is full, but there is always a little room for one more : ). And one of my BFFs got me this folksy card holder that is really warm and fuzzy, it’s great. She also thought I could quilt one and use that one as an example for size and style. Good idea! Here are more pics of the ice skate tree.
Here is the full look.

Close up of a pair of felt skakes.
Close up of Peanuts characters ice skating, made by me!
It add’s a little festivity to that room in the house where we always are.

So Many Crafts, So Little Time

December 19th 2011
I really didn’t think I had done so much craft supply shopping this season.  I have so many “backed up” crafts to make from Christmases past and my crafting “Hope Closet.” Originally, one of the reasons I started the blog was to “make” myself craft more often because the blog would kind of “keep me accountable.”  After all, potentially, I would have all these readers depending on my crafty posts, right? : ) Anyway, in my zeal, I think that I over-estimated, even with the craft blogging, how much I could actually get done!

Well, December is not over yet!! And I am really itching to make some quilts–no, not bedsized quilts, the anxiety that churns over the time it takes to make somthing of that magnitude is too much.  But I have resorted to a do-able compromise. I have seen them in loads of mags. Mini quilts.   They are perfect in the form of banners, place mats, rectangles & squares for small spaces and gifts.  You get to enjoy the process, use your skills and use up some of the stash which grows, from being a Fabric-o-holic.  I would like to add, however, that the fabric purchasing has been under control since last Christmas, or so. Well, at least the last 6 months.  So, let’s see how many more Christmas Crafts I can make before Santa slides down the Chimney, as for the mini quilts. I am planning a few already for summer.

As far as these craft supplies go, the forseen crafts (and where the idea is from) are:

*Hooped cloth with whimsical embroidery to hang for holidays
 ( floss & New embroidery book not shown) MAG
*Foam wreaths wrapped in felt strips, winter colors with silver accents. MAG
*Foam wreath wrapped in red yarn for gifts for family MAG ( 1 down 1 to go)
*Wooden letters BELIEVE to decorate for verticle hanging or for another idea brewing MINE
*Green tree sprigs for “Charlie Brown” Tree and Crafted Sled MINE
*Acrylic and Glass paint treatment for painting INSIDE ornaments by “swirling” the paint. BLOG
*Very fine glitter to coat mini white berries in “cool” colors MINE
*Very fine glitter for “inner glittering” glass ornaments shown in “mini size” BLOG

I just MAY have to Christmas Craft the whole year!

Wreath idea from a Magazine

December 17th 2011
The Better Homes and Gardens publishers have some great magazines. For some reason, I really like their layout and although I have seen others, these are still my favorite, and the ones I buy repeatedly. This one featured [Holiday Crafts] is a great magazine that comes out every year before the Holidays. It’s supposed to come out in August but I never find it until October!   It has great ideas that are very doable and easy to modify to your own tastes or supplies. Naturally, after  I browse through and mark the pages (with tons of sticky notes), I make a list of things I don’t already have, which are few, but nevertheless, a trip to the craft store is necessary!! List? check. Coupons? check. Sales fyer? check.  If I come out with ONLY the items on my list, it’s quite an accomplishment and a rare occasion, although it has happened before. : )

The trend I have seen a lot of this year is wreaths made of yarn. I found them in this magazine and I have seen some images of other beatifully yarned sensations at ornament girl. They are certainly easy enough, though tedious according to my sister, but the possibilities are endless. Sometimes finding a theme,or style for a craft is the hardest part, that’s why making them for others can prompt so many ideas!  My first go at it, as with many of my crafts, will be a Mary Engelbreit style; it’s an easy theme for me to start with.   Here is my first yarned wreath with classic ME black and white check with her FEF flowers. Very Mary and bright.  I made this for the door to the hallway. The next one will be a classic design for my mom, let’s see what else occurs to me.

Tip: Wrap yarn around your hand so you have about 2-3 layers overlapping, this is how much you’ll need for a 2 or so inch section. I did it in sections.

How to:  I held the wreath with my knees (vertically) and went around and around grabbing the yarn with each hand, over and under. Wrap the yarn snug, but not too tightly or the foam will start crumbling. After the third or fourth section, I got the hang of it. Then I went back and fix the parts I had already done.When you do the second layer, look closer so you can fill in the gaps where the styrofoam shows through. This wreath is the most inexpensive about $2.99 the “square” kind at the craft store. I did get the rounded one just in case but this did the trick and weighs nothing. The rounded one I am saving for the felted wreath, also featured in the magazine. Be back later with than one.

Hanging on the hall door.

Detail close up. Flowers are sewn and stuffed slightly.

Crafting a Sled, Part 2

December 15th 2011
My daughter wants to take the Christmas Card Photo with the sled… this year?

So, Summercrafter meets sled.  Upon closer examination, apart from the broken board I thought I needed the plumber’s strap for, all the nails in it are rusted. No problem, pull those suckers out and replace with shiny new nails; I’ve got some of those and I have my very own hammer!

Uh, not so fast,  if I am going to do it right, I should take it apart to sand it properly and after a coat of primer get a nice solid coat of “red colonial” paint on it.  How do you remove rivets? Ok, call in the professionals. My husband, Handyman, Jack, of all trades.  I was so excited to do a craft with my husband –then I saw the look on his face….

Me: “Well, what do I have to do that depends, as little as possible, on you?”

Handyman:  “Well first, blah blah blah blah blah, DRILL, blah blah BLAST, blah blah blah, JIGSAW, blah blah blah, RUST, blah blah blah, METAL, blah blah blah, PAINT, blah blah PUT IT BACK TOGETHER.”
Me: “Ok I’d love to do all that, but I don’t have all that “know-how”, what can you do for me today so I don’t have to bother you anymore? I’d like for this project to be finished this year, not next.”  : )

See photos below.

WARNING: This job is not for the feeble minded: Where do I start? nor the faint hearted: How long will this take? or the Manicured: I have to sand, prime, paint and assemble with my own hands?!?!

Well, we needed a few more tools.

Wood planks to be replaced after inspection.
“T”  Metal steering part, to keep or eliminate? 
Below you can see that the front part is sanded, back part is NOT.  After much manual sanding on my part, with paper, much difficulty and even my left hand, I asked about 21st century tools. Then he, Jack of all trades, tells me there’s a little metal brush you can attach to the drill that will ease the sanding process. I can try that next time….  still needs a lot of work!!
See I have started working already!
The next Sled Craft Update might be coming in several months. I think this just might turn into one of my Summer crafts…..

More Glass Beaded Christmas Ornaments

December 13th 2011
Back by popular demand! I wanted to play a little more with these little ornaments using different designs, in addition to the teeny, tiny glass beads, I also added some tiny pearls and bugle beads. The apple and the Scotty are new and the flip flops I had done before. I wanted to give some as gifts and, a friend asked me to make some for her to give as gifts too.   They look real pretty when they are all in a box, like a gift set. I have some smaller balls I want to do too and another technique I want to try, painting the inside. I saw that idea in a craft magazine and on a blog several months ago. Let’s see how those turn out!

Summercrafter Designs
I wonder how they’ll look on the tree?