"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."
Philippians 4:8

Friday, December 31, 2010

Gold Crochet Bracelet

I decided to try making a gold crocheted bracelet like my silver ones you have seen. The crochet string cost a little over two dollars and I purchased a remnant piece of gold braid ( which I crocheted around).

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Economic Gift Wrapping

When my daughter taught 2nd. grade, she always had theme parties for her students. When Valentines Day came around, I covered twenty-some shoe boxes with white butcher paper; which were then given to her students to decorate. That one $20.00 roll of white butcher paper has lined my drawers, covered my kitchen table when I do craft projects, and I even used it to make my own pattern for the dress I wore to my daughter's wedding. I have also wrapped well over 100 gifts with it. There is still 1/2 of a roll left. I purchased it at the Smart & Final store. This Christmas I didn't buy any decorations or wrapping paper, or bags, ribbons or tissue paper. I recycled bags (beautiful ones I saved from last year) and some striped paper also. I want to show you some packages wrapped from the butcher paper. I embellished them with old bobbles and greenery from my Italian cypress tree. I had some old pipe cleaners from my daughter's class projects. I wrapped the pipe cleaners around a pen to coil them for a nice bouncy look!

Notice my snowman! He is made from a garbanzo bean can and from a tomato sauce can. I sprayed the cans high gloss white. They fit inside each other, so I filled him with chocolates. His head was an old ornament which I glued to the bottom of the bean can. I made 20 of these. They were used instead of boxes for smaller gifts!
I have a bag in my garage filled with old stuffed toys that belonged to my daughter when she was little. Many of them were Beanie Babies and some from Hallmark toys. I hot-glued them to beautiful boxes instead of  using bows. They made appealing gift packages for Christmas .
Notice my gingerbread man. He was made from a Trader Joe's shopping bag. My daughter needed 25 exchange presents in a hurry. I got 2 Trader Joe's good, thick brown bags and placed cotton quilting batting from Joann's fabric store in between layers of the bags. I got my gingerbread cookie cutter and out-lined it with a brown crayon on to the bag. I then sewed the layers together I hole punched at the top of his head and strung red ribbon through. I glued on buttons, puff-painted all around them to look like frosting, and voila! Ornaments accomplished for just pennies each and I still had enough batting to make
4 Christmas pillows!
Using odd ornaments makes beautiful packages! My daughter is expecting a little boy in May. When I was expecting my little boy, my mother presented me with this little statue of Mary and baby Jesus. I thought it would be appropriate to pass it on to Sarah. I couldn't find a box at the last minute, so I glued it on to a recycled Christmas card. I used baby yarn from a blanket I had crocheted for a friend's baby, and some booties from the Dollar Tree store. The card had a silver glittery snowflake on it. The package was beautiful. That good old faithful butcher paper is a new best friend!


Monday, December 27, 2010

Decorative Chalkboard Trays

I love to hunt for old silver trays, large plates or platters at different garage sales and thrift stores. I bring them home, sand them with metal sandpaper and then I use a blackboard paint to create the chalkboard. This paint can be purchased at Home Depot or Michael's Craft Store. I use these trays for almost every event and holiday. It is also nice to have small trays to use for table numbers at weddings.

               This is one tray that I have on display in my bathroom. This one was three dollars.
This tray has silver molded roses all around the outer edges. I use it for tea parties, showers and weddings. Most of the time I write out the event's menu on it. This particular tray was a bit difficult to make because it had engraving on it. I had to put four layers of paint to make the blackboard surface smooth. Well worth it! The tray was eight dollars and is silver plated. What a buy!

Here is another three dollar silver plated tray. This one has found it's home in my dining room.

This is an old picture frame I found in my garage. Unfortunately or fortunately the glass in it had broken. I created the blackboard by painting over the hard cardboard surface that was behind the glass.

    This is the same chalkboard made from the picture frame above. My daughter enjoys using it as a message board.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Handmade Crocheted Cuff Bracelets

I spent Thanksgiving weekend in San Clemente with my daughter. San Clemente is a beautiful beach town in Southern California. We strolled through Old Town. What a quaint little town! We learned that cuff bracelets are the rage! Sarah spotted a knit shop that had bracelets made out of wool. I decided to come home and crochet my own dazzled up version out of sparkle string.

These are some of the bracelets I made for Christmas gifts this year. The bracelets cost about six dollars to make. It is the time invested that is the value. Each bracelet takes 2 1/2 hours to make. I used antique rhinestones that I found at various estate sales. Boy do they sparkle! No two are alike. I hope my friends enjoy them! :) I have had such a great response, that I have now decided to sell these bracelets. I am now taking requests. Please leave a comment with your contact info if you are interested. :)

I am loving making these bracelets. Each time I make a new one it immediately gets claimed!
I think I will keep this one because the rhinestone came off of a pair of shoes I had when I was little. I used to pretend I was a princess and my mother bought me beautiful gowns and shoes from our church thrift store that she volunteered at. I was thrilled to find this shoe buckle.

The DIY Show Off

Boogieboard Cottage

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas At My House

 This is the tree that my daughter bought for me years ago. It has remote control lights, so I can choose between colored or white lights in an instant or even have both!
 For years I had a small Italian manger. I recenty inherited this Hummel manger. We love to sit and look at all the little details on every figurine each Christmas. Check out the Hummel company which originally started with one Nun's sculptures.

These are some of the Santas from my collection. My love of Santa all started when I was two and a half years old. I was in the hospital during Christmas time that year having my tonsils removed. Santa came to my bedside with a toy and a candy cane. It was love at first sight! I was in a Catholic hospital and asked the nurses if Santa was an angel or an apostle. Well, it gave the nurses a good laugh! That is how it started....

 I purchased this great buy about six years ago. All twelve Christmas plates for only twelve dollars! The snowmen mugs were a gift  from Williams Sonoma. As for the centerpiece, I used a cake plate ( which I made from a crystal dish and a glass lamp shade as a pedestal.) On top of the cake plate I threw on some greenery from my yard as well as a few tiny little snowmen that I found at a church rummage sale. The whole table setting was under twenty dollars. This including the table cloth and the chargers.
Red is my FAVORITE color! I just purchased these beautiful red lamps two weeks ago at a garage sale. The lamps were ten dollars for the pair. I just painted them with some glittery gold paint, tied a red bow around them with a dangling bell on each. I took some greenery from my yard and threw it around my sideboard table. I then hooked on some Christmas balls and twinkle lights. The vases are filled with crushed glass prisms I have found through the years. The scarf is a buy from the 99 Cent store. At that price I bought five! You should see it all glow!!! The total price to decorate this sideboard was once again under twenty dollars!

A view of my living room at Christmas. Notice the gold curtains. Before these, I had lace curtains in their place. However, they brought in way too much light. I found the material for these beautiful gold curtains at a thrift store. The entire bolt had fifteen yards of 100 % raw silk material. The bolt cost me twenty three dollars. Needless to say I ran home and got to sewing that night! The leaded glass in the room including the lamps were all made by my husband and I. The iron coffee table was from a friends garage sale over twenty years ago. I paid twenty five dollars for it.

I inherited this Bru Ju doll. My Mother In-Law was an avid doll enthusiast, also a published author on books and toys. So I cherish this little doll. I created this Christmas scene with just Christmas trinkets I had around the house. The quilt was made for a baby doll crib. The basket was from a rummage sale for a steal of 50 cents.
These are my famous cupcakes! LOL! I cannot tell you how many people have bitten into these. I hope I don't get sued for dental bills! :)
I make them out of bread dough, and then decorated and varnish them. They make the house seem warm and cheerful any time of year. One bag of flour will make around twenty of these sweet little cupcakes.