Monday, December 31, 2012


I’ve seen a number of book page wreaths all over the net. Just one of the ways to use an old book.

I still had my tablescape props and so I decided to use the 2013 book as the focal point to my door decoration. I gathered the items I needed.

Since I wasn’t making a wreath (by now you know I use what I have on hand) I went to my tried and true base product, CARDBOARD. I strengthened the cardboard foundation by taping then hot gluing two pieces of cardboard together.
TIP: Hot Gluing large flat areas
If you know like I know, hot glue dries fast and when you're trying to cover a large area that can be tedious. So what I did was to spread the hot glue over the area, sandwich it together and then reheat the glue by placing a press cloth over the cardboard ironing over the cardboard back and front and letting it cool .

The pages started out rolled and long.
 Rolling and stapling the paper tubes was the most time consuming part. The first set of tubes I rolled lengthwise and the second set width wise

Since I was working in an off center way my tubes went a little array.

Since I'm a lazy crafter I folded and flattened the tubes so
that they would fill in more space.

Here you can see the acrylic and glitter paints along
 with the alcohol and spray bottle
 After gluing everything on I wanted more color so I took a small amount of turquoise acrylic paint and put it in a spray bottle along with some rubbing alcohol and sprayed the rolled book pages. (So much for alcohol ink)

I wanted more shine so I dabbed turquoise and blue glitter paint here and there with my fingers.

After it all dried I hot glued the book in the center such as it was.

TIP: Hot Glue Tip #2   Got this tip fromYou Tube

I placed the glue on the back of one side of the book. I knew it would harden  before I could finish the areas that needed gluing so to reheat the glue, I held  a blow dryer(low heat) about two inches above the glue waving it back and forth until I felt the glue was heated sufficiently and evenly. I quickly pressed one side of the book in place. I did the same for the other side.

There were gaps between the hardback book and the glued on pages so I took a piece of fabric I’d bought at a thrift store and knotted it in various places and glued it around the book to fill in the gaps.

I had bronze colored glass beads that I felt would add to the “glamour” so I placed those around the margins of the open book.

To hang the piece I used the rest of the left over fabric  to make an adequate loop. I sewed and glued the fabric loop to the cardboard and tubes. It is now hanging on my front door. 

It’s not perfect and it has flaws but so do I and I’m still functional.
That's It *** 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

DIY Necklaces or Copycat 3

:? Once again I can't remember where I found this image. I often copy and
 paste pics on an inspiration page w/o copying the url.
The inspiration for the necklace below came from these brooches made from eyeglass lenses. As usual I used what I had on hand.
closeup of necklace
The lens is from a cheap pair of dollar store reading glasses. I have several pair . As they break, I save them for crafts. I painted it green with a Sharpie marker. The glass looking baubles are actually plastic and come from the Dollar store. I bought a roll of gold chain a while back and used that for the necklace drop. It is too long so I will be cutting off a portion of it. I will still make it long enough to slip over the head.


courtesy of

I had seashells in my stash and shells that had been given to me. When I saw the anthro necklace I searched about the NET on a way to color the shells with the marbled distinction as the inspiration. I came across several nail tutorials on how to do fancy nail colors with polishes and a cup of water.
I had to practice a few times but I finally got it to my liking. I ended up doing the gold and yellow wooden bead the same way. The pink , white and black bead, I rolled through paint.  I chose pink, yellow, gold nail polish which I already had. After coloring the shells and allowing them to dry, I gave shells and beads 3 coats of finish. I dilled a small hole in the shells and threaded a thin silver cord through everything tying it in a knot at the back.
NOTE: The twirling of the shells in the polish and water is addictive. I tried using acrylic paints in the water but they only sank to the bottom. Without changing the water I put nail polish on top.

WARNING: Don't use a foam cup. The reaction of the polish with the acrylic paint caused it to eat a hole in the bottom of the cup in the exact spots where the paint had sunk to the bottom. All of a sudden you have water everywhere.  This happened twice. That's why I know it was a chemical reaction.

Closeup of shell necklace

DIY seashell and bead necklace


Composed of wooden cut outs, glitter paint, acrylic paint, cardboard, colored gift tissue paper, chain, self made jump rings.

DIY anthro necklace. No purple stones so I used glitter paint as a  temporary fix.

I haven't placed a clasp on this necklace. I plan to change the purple and orange areas to something more substantial.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Drapery Finials From Foam Balls

Trying to glue the lace on was tedious especially avoiding getting burned by the glue.

Present finials and curtain rod. As you can see after falling the one in the middle lacks its tip.

Drapery finials are pretty expensive. The ones that came with my curtain rods were large for the area but since they weren't being moved on a regular basis it was okay. I had foam balls left over from a project and didn't want to throw them away. By now if you've read any of my previous posts you know that I am a frugal person who doesn't like to throw anything away. BUT! I hasten to say I AM NOT A HOARDER. I tried hot gluing lace onto a foam ball with the idea of  painting lace and ball with a metallic acylic paint. I wasn't pleased with the outcome. I ended up throwing those 2 balls away. See, I'm not a hoarder. 

 After painting one of the balls weith the sage green metallic paint, I noticed that the paint wasn't really grabbing. There were six balls in the package so I had enough for a do over since I only needed 4. This time I roughed up the balls a little with sandpaper. Here you have to be careful or you'll end up sanding away the whole ball or getting it uneven. I decided on a bronze mettallic paint. I painted it with two coats of the bronze but it could have stood a couple more coats.

 I used wooden cutouts, hot glue and permanent markers for the embellishments
The third ball from the right shows where I made the indentation for the curtain rod.

Before I did any painting I skewered each ball with the curtain rod so that it would fit after I finished it and also to use as a guide for gluing on the embellishments.  I removed the foam stuck inside the curtain rod with a disjointed wire hanger (the kind Joan Crawford allegedly would go bonkers about)
This is a photo of the finials at the end of a valance. I ended up putting a little double sided tape on the inside of each finial so there would be more grab to keep them on.

Here is a closeup of the finial.

Right now I'm satisfied with the results and that's all that matters.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Copycat 2 or Inspiration necklace
 More flattery through imitation. I saw this necklace at  JLK Jewelry. It's made from silver and semiprecious stones. Her website  describes her work in the quote below .
"Jennie Lorette Keatts creates handmade pottery cabochons, using Jugtown Pottery glazes. She then sets the stones into her own hand fabricated silver designs."

Here's my DIY
I used:

flat glass beads (Dollar Store)
Floral wire (Dollar Store)
Cardboard (free)
hot glue
white school glue
 jump rings (in my stash )
paper clip

I began with prepping the cardboard the way I explained in my previous post titled Copycat. I made a freehand drawing of a triangle with curved angles and used it as a template. After cutting out the number of triangles I needed, I painted them with Dark Patina, a metallic acrylic paint by DecoArt.  I went around the edges with a silver Sharpie pen. The pieces were sealed with a matte water based sealer.

After the pieces were completely dry, I used my drill to place the holes for the jump rings and to join the pieces together.

The inspirational necklace has  earthy  semiprecious stones.  I didn’t have those so I used flat glass beads that are often used in flower vases and other decorations. If you go to my Tablescape post you’ll see where I used them as a decorative accent.

I didn’t have any silver wire so I decided to use blue floral wire which matches the flat glass beads. I could have painted the wire after gluing it to the triangle but I would have to sand it first to rough it up so that it would accept the paint.
I have yet to figure out a cheap, free, creative way to make a bezel for the settings. In this case I used a silver Sharpie( see yellow arrow) and colored around the flat bead to give the appearance of a bevel before gluing it on.
The hooked end of the clasp I made from a paper clip (see blue arrow). I need more practice on this.   

AFTERTHOUGHTS    The metallic paint was not the color I expected. Under store lights and in the bottle it appeared to be what I wanted but it was too dark.   The glue gun gave me fits with strings going everywhere.  It would make huge globs when I didn't need it to and not enough glue when I needed it. It made the project not as neat as I would have liked it. I have since learned that cleaning the nozzle and freezing the glue sticks is supposed to help with that problem. I'll try it and see. Using the silver Sharpie to imitate a bezel didn't work.
This is me wearing the necklace.
It has more of a medieval look to me.


Monday, December 10, 2012


It's been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

I saw this necklace at a site that I don't remember (I must get better at writing it down to give the proper people credit) and felt that I could create something similar.

Using two pieces of cardboard which can be gotten for free pretty much anywhere, I glued them together using regular school glue. Make sure the glue is spread over the entire piece of cardboard. I wanted firmness but not heaviness around my neck. Cereal box and shirt board cardboard work well.

 I used the paper clips to hold the two pieces in place and then stuck it in the oven on 200 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Make sure you don't burn your fingers on the paper clips when you remove it from the oven. It would be best to use a pot holder and allow the clips to cool before removing them. 

Using acrylic paints in chartreuse,cobalt,purple,burnt orange and a little bit of brown I painted the cardboard in the colored tiers as in the photo. Imitating what was in the original necklace I used a comb dipped in brown to get the striated lines in the chartreuse. I used an opened paper clip to pull the wet burnt orange drops to create the splotches in the blue The same was done to the layer of purple and then sponged a little bit. I then placed it back in the 200 degree oven to dry for ten minutes. I repeated this same method on the opposite side in the same manner so that the colors would be the same on both sides when cut out. I brushed a matte coat of decoupage glaze on both sides.

I'd forgotten about the crude hearts on the smaller discs of the necklace so I took another piece of cardboard  prepping it the same as the tri-colored piece and painted it metallic sage green. After it came from the oven it had this beautiful blistered paint. I really like this  texture and will use it in future projects.
THE PROBLEM came in when I got ready to cut out the discs. I had planned to use my circular craft puncher but the cardboard was too thick so I resorted to cutting 1 1/2 in. squares of the tri-colored cardboard.

The metallic I cut into 1" squares.
I used my drill to make the holes for the jump rings. I might add here that I made my own jump rings from beading wire using the tutorial by Hectanooga1 

My version of the disc necklace

The original designers necklace.

I'd bought a roll of chain at Hobby Lobby some time ago. I used a length of it to attach the jump rings and squares. This was my first attempt attaching jump rings onto a chain. I also made the closure for the necklace. I'll admit I didn't have the right tool for this part and will have to practice a bit more. I'll also make the necklace a little shorter removing some of the links. Overall I am very pleased.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


I was asked to do a Tablescape at the local library for their annual seasonal Open House. I've never done a tablescape before but since I've been trying a lot of new things I decided to add this to the list. I let it be known that I would not be making purchases for the tablescape but that I'd be using what I had at home, found objects and crafted items. It would be a shabby chic tablescape. I looked through a few sites on the web to get ideas and decided on a New Year's theme. I assumed that there would be a number of tables with a Christmas theme.

Dress rehearsal for table. Making sure I have everything before I pack it.
 Included in my tablescape were:
*3 table coverings-turquoise sheet, bottom, white lace tablecloth top, powder blue damask overlay
*painted white magnolia leaves
*2 cerulean blue vases from the 1950's belonged to Mom
*flatware with the initial "S"-over 20 years old bought from Fingerhut
*square plates-from over 20 years ago bought at a knockoff store
*Napkins made from home decor  fabric- The only purchase @ $14.98 a yd. (It was an impulse buy)
 *turquoise and gray organza ribbon
*blue stemmed glasses
*large canning jars
*old watches- thrift store purchase already in my stash
*Old books painted with glitter paint
*Riesling wine bottle relabeled to imitate champagne
*glass flat beads
*old keys painted blue
*Paper clock cut outs
*A computer

1.The title on the spine reads, In a Darker Time. It was painted with turquoise glitter paint. A computer generated 2012 is on the cover. 2.Menu 3.Wine bottle turned champagne bottle 4.  napkins

Father Time and Baby New Year were a last minute thought.
Father Time is made from a paper towel roll covered in silver fabric. If you enlarge the photo you'll see he has a watch across his left arm. The hair is a cotton ball, The scythe is a drinking straw covered with foil. The head is a wooden bead covered in blue chiffon. Baby New Year is made from silver fabric. His top hat is a toilet tissue roll cut to size and painted. His diaper is off the sleeve of an old tee shirt.

The finished table before being viewed by the public
 Here's what was on the southern style faux menu

Black-eyed peas slow cooked in a seasoned bouquet

Freshly picked collards with a hint of banana peppers prepared in a cast iron pot

Alabama raised free range golden crusted fried chicken

Tender, grilled barbecue ribs dipped in brown sugar barbecue sauce

Savory buttermilk and garlic cornbread

Deep dish sweet potato pie topped with homemade whipped cream and southern pecans

Old-fashioned banana pudding made with vanilla wafers crowned with a toasted meringue

Sweetened iced tea with lemon and mint

Louisiana style coffee and chicory


This is a close up of one of the place settings.
The canning jars are for the iced tea. It is adorned with two magnolia leaves that have been painted white which have New Years wishes on them. The stemmed glass is decorated with a blue key that has either, "faith, hope or charity" written on it. The iridescent napkin holds the menu and is tied with a gray organdy ribbon with blue baubles tied on the ends.

Close the book on the past. Open the book to the future.

Update: 12-02-2012, 6:46 pm.
I have returned from the library. Third place received a colorful live potted ponsettia. Second place received a trio of gift wrapped chocolates in beautiful boxes. First place was awarded a $25 Walmart gift card.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

 A neighbor gave me a bunch of collards the day before Thanksgiving. I'd recently cooked fresh turnip greens but didn't want the collards to go to waste. I'd heard of kale chips so I thought I'd scout the NET for collard chips. It didn't take long until I found a recipe. One person had described how delicious these vegetable chips are and so I decided to find out for myself.

2-4 collard leaves
1 tsp olive oil (or use olive Misto sprayer)
pinch salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Prepare collard leaves by washing, patting dry, and removing leaves from stem. Tear leaves with hands into 3-4 inch pieces.

3.Lay in a single layer on parchment paper.  BTW Use of the olive oil was never mentioned anywhere in the recipe. I consulted another recipe which told me to pour and toss the oil over the greens which I did.

4. Bake for seven minutes, then flip leaves. Bake for 5 minutes more, then check leaves. Remove any that are crispy, return any that are limp to the oven. Be careful not to overcook or they will turn brown and bitter.

This is what happens when you put the leaves back in for the addtional 5 minutes.


The second batch turned a little brown around the edges but none cooked evenly. I removed them from the oven at this point.

5. Sprinkle collard chips with salt or other preferred seasonings.
6. Serve immediately.

This recipe was a bust. I didn't like the flavor of the"chips" at all. The crisp part mingled with the not so crisp part made for an unpleasant culinary experience. There could have been a mixup with me and the instructions. I disliked this recipe so much that the chance of me trying it again are size zero slim. I am not willing to try an alternative recipe either. There was no real way to evenly cook the leaves. A lower oven temp and placing another sheet of parchment on top of the leaves and flattening them with an ovenproof heavy object to keep them flat might have helped.

I have had good success baking root vegetables such as turnip bottoms,carrots and rutabagas.   Though collards appear thick in their raw form, I think they are too delicate to hold up to the heat in an oven.
I didn't use the entire bunch of collards. Instead I finished cleaning the rest and prepared them in the traditional manner.