Thursday, December 29, 2011

Necklace Assortment

I bought an entire strand of these rust colored round stone beads. Not sure why - the challenge has been to come up with different ways to use them. For this one, I jazzed it up by gluing on a little silvery piece that has a tiny crystal in it.

My favorite new key necklace. I love the square earring that I epoxied onto a skeleton key. This picture really doesn't show much sparkle the earring has! The top is the perfect shape to hang for a necklace.

This is a blank gold frame I purchased somewhere online, but I have seen similar things at Lobby Hobby. I punched a round piece from scrapbook paper and then covered it with a round clear bubble sticker. Very easy! On top I epoxied an golden flower charm upside down and hung an old teardrop earring to dangle down.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Wishing you a most blessed Christmas!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Christmas Eve 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Reese's Peanut Butter Banana Bread

This is a recipe that I found via Pinterest. I started using Pinterest to look for art projects for school, but recently I am finding many other fun and distracting items on it. (Here is my Pinterest page if you are interested in checking it out or following me. But please do not blame me if you become addicted - I have given you fair warning!) Anyway, when I saw this recipe from the Cookies & Cups blog, I knew it would be a great recipe for a Christmas gift!

My first problem when making this recipe was that my bananas weren't ripe! So I googled it, and found the hint to stick the bananas in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes to blacken them. Worked like a charm!

My twist on this recipe from the original was to bake it into cute little ceramic pans! I bought the ones that I used here at Michaels a few years ago, but they had them this year as well. They are on sale this week for 49 cents each, but a lot of stores are sold out of them, I discovered.

I must confess, that I started sampling the bread warm from the oven, and before I knew it, I almost had one mini loaf devoured. I did save the other 3 loafs for gifts and plan to make another batch tomorrow.

Reese's Peanut Butter Banana Bread


3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 oz bag of Reese's Mini Peanut Butter Cups


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spray 4 ceramic mini loaf pans (or one regular sized loaf pan) with cooking spray.
3. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium sized bowl.
4. In a large bowl, blend together the ripe bananas, peanut butter, oil, eggs, and brown and white sugar.
5. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. The batter will be lumpy.
6. Fold the peanut butter cups gently into the batter.
7. Divide the batter between the 4 mini pans. Set the pans on a cookie sheet to make it easier to put into the oven.
8. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until a toothpick stuck into the center comes out clean. (A individual large loaf may take up to an hour.)
9. Let cool completely, then cover in plastic wrap. I added a ribbon around the center to make it extra festive as a gift!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Faux Mercury Glass Candlesticks

I like the look of mercury glass - for the past few years I have been looking for some mercury glass candlesticks in the half off sales after Christmas with no luck. So I decided to do some googling on how to create faux mercury glass to see if I could create my own. I wasn't able to find the Krylon Looking Glass spray paint that most of the tutorials recommended. So here's the method that I came up with. I did some trial and error first on some glass jars before I made the actual candle sticks.

First I purchased a few clear glass pieces (a couple of goblets, a glass, a candy tray, and something that might be an ashtray) at the goodwill store for a dollar or two, as well as a couple of clear glass votives at Michaels for 99 cents. (Way too many trips to Michaels this week!)

I used Valspar silver brilliant metal (found at Lowes) as well as a bit of Krylon paint in antique bronze (which you really don't need). You also need a spray bottle with water. Rubber gloves are also helpful!
I lightly sprayed the inside of the glass with a bit of water. Then a very, very light spritz of the antique bronze on the inside. And then a light spray of the Valspar brilliant silver metal paint on the inside. I let that dry for a bit, but I wasn't happy with the look, so I did a very light spray of the Valspar silver on the outside as well. Hold the can at least 12 inches away for best effect. If you spray it too heavily the candlelight will not shine through the glass. Let dry completely overnight.

Once dried, I hot glued two pieces together to create a base and a stand. I know the hot glue is just temporary - what I need to do is use epoxy, but I was in a hurry.

I'm pretty happy with the end result, especially when the candlelight shines though! Not bad for $10 worth of glass and the cost of the spray paint.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Silver Glitter Snowflakes

Last year I had a lot of fun making these white snowflakes with vintage earrings. This year I took some of the same plastic snowflakes from Michaels and sprayed them silver. While still wet, I sprinkled them with a bit of Martha Stewart antique silver glitter.

I used various punches to cut shapes out of vintage dictionary paper. I stained the edges with a brown stamp and added a bit more brown color to the edges to age the paper. Then I dug into my stash to find some interesting things to decorate the centers.

Plastic swan with a button. I think I got this swan in a package from a family that I stayed with in Russia on a church choir tour. It had a vintage look, even though it was plastic, so I have kept it in my stash. I think it works perfect on this ornament!

Silver button on top of a mother of pearl button.

Giant pearly clip on earring on top of silver jewelry filigree.

Small silver key with button on top. (Bland key and plastic button, but looks cute combined together!)

Plastic crown - I think this came in a bag of junk jewelry!

All of these are now on my Christmas tree, but I think they would make great decorations for packages, too!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas 2011

My tree - lots of silvery ornaments, vintage postcards.

Moved the olive wood nativity to the piano with the crazy quilt tree in back.

And a virtual fireplace via Comcast!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Felted Flower Fun

Here's a few more felted flowers that I've made this week:

From a heathered blue sweater.

Burgundy, blue, and ivory - with an earring with unique chunky beads.

Found a pair of these most unusual vintage earrings last month. Huge - who could actually stand to have these clipped to their ears? Owww! But the flowers all had cute sparkles in the center and the price was right.

So one of them has become the center on this pin. This pin is from a forest green wool topped with a beige wool (that for some reason, didn't felt when I washed it, even though it said it was 100% wool.) Just circles for this, no petals, and a crocheted flower under the earring.

I think I may even make a few of these to use in place of ribbons on some Christmas presents. Hope this gives you some new inspiration for an easy project!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Felted Wool Flower Tutorial 2

I have been a little obsessed with making these felted wool flower pins! It is such an easy way to take an ordinary cheap sweater and make it look spiffy and pricey! Here is another slightly different way to make the flower - totally easy! (Here is a link to the first tutorial).

First, you need to purchase 100% wool sweaters from a resale store. Wash them on the gentle setting in hot water and then dry them in the dryer. Only dry them for short time - sometimes the wool breaks and you will get holes (which you can cut around). Wool should shrink up and tighten into a teeny tiny sweater!

Cut a flower and a smaller circle pattern out of newspaper. (I cut a circle out of paper, folded it in thirds, cut the petals, then unfolded.) Cut the pieces out of the wool. Since the wool is felted, it shouldn't fray.

Use hot glue to glue them together. Then glue a bit of scrunched-up lace and top it with an awesome vintage earring.

Hot glue a pin backing toward the top of the pin. (If you put it in the center, the pin will sag - I know this from experience.)

The red pin looks pretty cute on this cheap red sweater from Target.

The color really pops on the same style sweater in ivory.

And for the holidays, I've been wearing it on this heather green v-neck along with an off white scarf. Spiffy, I think!

In my next post, I show a few more pins I've put together!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Felted Wool Sweater Flower Tutorial

Step 1: Purchase men's 100% wool pants from resale shop for $1. Wash in hot water and dry in high heat dryer to shrink the fabric.

Step 2 - Cut circle pattern from newspaper or cardstock. Fold into sixths. Cut curved edges to make flower pattern (doesn't need to be perfect).

Step 3 - Cut 5 flowers from wool pants.

Step 4 - Lay one flower down as base for flower. Fold another flower in half (doesn't need to be precise) and lay down on base.

Step 5 - Fold another flower in half. Rotate by one quarter and layer on top.

Step 6 - Turn another quarter and layer the third folded flower on top.

Step 7 - Another quarter turn. Add last folded flower. Tuck the end of this flower under the first folded flower.

Step 8 - Put a large dab of glue in the center where the flowers meet. Also a few more dabs of glue underneath the folded flowers to attach them securely to the base.

Step 9 - Glue on a crocheted flower or other piece of lace on top of the flowers. (I purchased these off white crocheted flowers eons ago at the craft store. Omit this step if you wish!)

Step 10 - Hot glue a vintage pin, button, or earring to the center. Best if it has a bit of sparkle or bling!

Step 11 - Hot glue a pin backing to the back of the base. Works better if you put it towards the top rather than in the middle of the flower to avoid having the flower sag when you pin it! (Yes this picture is upside down - I rotated it, but Blogger isn't acting nice today!)

Step 12 - Attach pin to bland Kohls cardigan sweater. Cute factor improved 200 %!!!


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