Wine Cork Ornaments

I needed to come up with two wine themed ornaments for a holiday party we were attending.  One for the hostess and one for the ornament exchange.

A quick Google search yielded the perfect idea.  Wine cork snowflakes!  And I had all the materials on hand.  The original idea used satin ribbon, but I liked the look of the sheer ribbon much better.

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I cut the corks in half and then painted tacky glue on the uncut ends and dipped them in iridescent glitter.  Once they were dry, I hot glued them together.  The ribbon going around the outside was cut to 21 inches.  I used a dab of hot glue on the bottom to hold the ribbon in place while I tied it around the outside of the corks and knotted it at both the top of the corks and at the very end creating the hanger for the ornament.  A second length of ribbon was tied in a bow over the first knot.  The finishing touch was to hot glue the silver plastic snow flakes in place.

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I was thrilled with how they came out!  I made two more.  One for me and one for my daughter.  Once I locate more snowflake embellishments I plan to make more for gifts and craft shows.

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The ornament I received in the exchange was a bunch of grapes also created from wine corks.  I have another new idea!  You can bet I’m now on the look out for purple glitter!

Home Sweet Home

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In March, my daughter moved to a new apartment. Her new place has a much better layout and as a result has a cozy small house feel to it. Her front door is recessed with a small alcove that protects it from the elements.  As cute as the red door was, it was just begging for a little something extra.

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A wreath!  The traditional sign of welcome!  What could be more perfect for her new home?

She selected a grape vine wreath and then left the rest up to me.  Even though the wreath was somewhat protected by the alcove, it still would be exposed to the elements so to find materials I made my first stop Dollar Tree.  It was my lucky day.  I found grasses, pretty flowers, little birds, and a butterfly.

I had found a small birds nest that had fallen out of a tree outside my office a few weeks earlier.  It was just the right size for the little birds.  As a naturalist, my daughter adores birds and I knew she would be thrilled with them and the small nest.

Many years ago at church camp, she had been dubbed “The Highly Carbonated Butterfly”. Ever since, butterflies have been very special and symbolic to her.  Much like the little yellow birds, the bright yellow butterfly stood out.  Besides, I knew there was no way I could make her any arrangement without including a butterfly.

Once I had all the materials, it was just a matter of some scissors, wire cutters, and hot glue to put it all together.

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She’s actually had her wreath since April. It has taken me a while to post this project as I neglected to take photos before I gave it to her.  I also kept forgetting to ask her to send me a photo.

It was just what her door needed and I was so pleased with how happy she was with it.

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This  was a project from a number of years ago when I was a member of Ink or Dye.

The post for this technique can be found here.

The materials for this project included ordinary white ceramic tiles purchased from Lowes or Home Depot, alcohol inks, and applicator tools.

It was so much fun to create these beautiful tiles and the results were spectacular.

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I had chosen not to stamp an image and unfortunately set my tiles aside in a safe place to finish later.  And then I forgot them!  I know it had been at least four years as that was when I left the Ink Or Dye group to become a Band Mom.  Now that my trombone playing son is headed off to college, I am rediscovering and revisiting a number of things in my craft room.

I found the tiles and my can of acrylic sealant and was quite proud of myself for actually finding closer to this project.

I learned quite quickly that if I sprayed too close to the tiles, the inks started to dissolve and I lost some of the definition in my creations.  I then backed off and things went much better.  I was careful not to touch the inked surfaces and allowed the sealant to dry completely before handling them.

Even dry, the surfaces seemed rather fragile so I decided not to move them but to carefully carry them from my back patio down to my craft room on the very same cardboard I had used when I sprayed them.  Corrugated isn’t always as strong as it looks.  Sadly I lost three of them to gravity.

Once the surviving tiles were safe on my work table in my craft room, I let them rest another few days.

I’d like to say there was a happy ending, but unfortunately there was not.  While the sealant may have done trick in preserving the ink patterns, it resulted in another issue.  It made the ink surface brittle and enabled the color to scrape off with very little effort at all.

I was very disappointed that there was no way for me to preserve my creations let along encorporate them into some other project.  But since I began blogging, I resolved that I would post my failures as well as my successes.

Initially I was frustrated that this did not appear to be a project with any lasting benefits.  Then, while preparing this article, I reread the original instructions.  What did I learn?

  • Acrylic sealant was NOT the way to go.
  • Don’t carry fragile items on a piece of cardboard.
  • If you’ve left a project, be sure to go back a reread the instructions BEFORE picking it up again.

Just when I was ready to pass my ceramic tiles on to another crafter, this information has me wanting to revisit this project and do it the right way.  There is hope!  I will be adding Diamond Glaze to my shopping list.  (I already have the tissue paper.)

Shaker Cards

Shaker cards are fun cards with movement.  Usually there is some sort of confetti sandwiched between a window of clear acetate and a base layer of card stock.  When you shake the card, the confetti moves.

In all three of these examples, and image was stamped on the base of the card stock.  A second piece of card stock was cut to create a frame and the acetate was fastened to the underside of the frame.  To create space for the confetti to move, foam tape was used to attach the frame to the base.  So that the confetti does not escape, the foam tape must be used completely around the frame.  And don’t forget to add the confetti before pressing the frame down on the base!

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I usually just post photos of my creations, but this particular card was quite spectacular.  I had received it in a swap and the artist had actually found tiny candy pig sprinkles that she used as the confetti.  It was just perfect to go with the image and a great example of looking at ordinary things in different ways.  Until I received this, I would have never thought to look in amongst the cake decorating materials.

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For this card, I found some tiny clear seed beads that reminded me of bubbles.  They coordinate quite nicely with the little gold fish.  Rather than just using a rectangular frame, I used my Nestibilities dies to create a round scalloped frame.

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In this example, I used small beads for the confetti.  The possibilities are endless.  Sequinned confetti can be found in any number of stores with the party supplies, but don’t limit yourself to the traditional.  Be on the lookout for other tiny materials that will move freely inside the raised frames.  These really are fantastic cards that will bring a smile to anybody receiving one.

Paper Packs

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This was an idea I saw on a Kiwi Lane video.

With my huge paper stash, I thought I would give it a try.

As advised, I sorted my papers into piles by colors. Then I started building my paper packs. I got quite a number of them put together. Some came together quite easily, other required more thought.

Because my immediate need was to scrapbook my son’s band photos, I concentrated on building packs in his school colors for marching band and more neutral colors for concert band.

This seemed like the perfect plan to have everything ready to go when I went to friends’ houses to scrapbook with them.

It sort of worked for me.

I’ve found that I didn’t always use all the papers in the packs. I’ve also discovered, sometimes my layouts require reworking the papers that were chosen in the packs so I end up “cannibalizing” two or more packs to get the look I really want.

While this didn’t work out as a perfect plan for me in my scrapbooking, it did help me get groups of coordinating paper for a themed project all together in one place. That made the selection process much easier.

I haven’t given up. I plan to continue making use of the other paper packs that I have already put together. But for now, I am not building more packs just yet. I still like this idea as I do like sets of coordinating papers. I just think I may need to do this on a larger scale to give myself even more flexibility when it comes down to actually creating my pages.

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A few years ago, everyone was playing The Narwhal Song.  It was one of those songs that would just get stuck in your head.

Listen if you dare.

You’re welcome!

One of my daughter’s college friends delighted in torturing me with it any chance he got. So when I found this ridiculously sequined embellishment in the clearance aisle, I knew it would make the perfect birthday card for him.  I changed the wording of the song for the inside of the card, “Singing Happy Birthday because you are so awesome!”

Then I happened to run across Shark Bites fruit snacks in the grocery and I knew I had to take it a step further.

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I scanned the front and back of the box and then got busy with photo editing software.

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I masked over the “Shark” portion of the title.

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Then I used Print Shop Pro to create the new “Narwhal” title matching it as best I could to the existing curve and remaining logo.

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The final step was to print out the new pictures and attach them to the front and back of the original box.  It wasn’t perfect, but it was close enough.  Both my card and gift were a definite hit and brought lot of laughs.

Cat Toys

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Strangely enough, this idea came from a dog training classes for our latest rescue baby.  We had been working on training the dogs to ignore distractions and used some similar cat toys.  They were so much fun, I just knew my feline granddaughter would love them.

I already had everything I needed to make some at home – feathers, dowel rods, and tape.  I chose to use electrical tape as it was sturdy and flexible.  I wrapped the tape around the ends of the dowel rods adding feathers as I went and finishing with an additional length of tape.

As expected, they were a hit!  Little Miss Meggie’s delight was difficult to capture on camera, so my daughter posed her with her new toy.

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She looks like she thinking, “Ok Momma, enough of this photo nonsense.  Let’s play some more!”

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