Let it snow, mixed medium picture

10-14-2016-snowmanI’ve been in the mood to try my hand at painting a picture. Painting pictures isn’t something I ever spent much time on. I planned to make an all-painted 8×10 picture of looking out of a window and seeing a snowman. Simple, right?…
By-the-time I got the snowman and tree painted, my creative instincts took over and got out of hand. This picture became a mixed medium piece of art; canvas, acrylic paints, gold trim, wood and polymer clay charms.

My husband thinks my picture is pretty and cheerful. I’m so happy that it turned out so well.

Happy crafting!

Wishing you a creative week.

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Fishing Lures & Fingernail Polish the New Paint

My Husband is a fisherman. He was in search of a spinner bait with a purple blade. He couldn’t find one in our area and decided to buy one with a shiny silver blade and paint the blade purple.1-fishSounds an easy enough task. He needed enough paint for only the one blade. In the old-days we would’ve bought a small bottle of model paint for him to use. However, in our modern times, model paint is sold at specialty stores not in our area. Buying a bottle of paint online wasn’t an option because of shipping.  Short of purchasing a large can of spray paint, the only other option was auto touch up paint. Seems a great idea, the touch up paint comes in little bottles and many colors. That option was nixed with the $15.00 price tag per little bottle.

Standing there in the auto department, I had an idea… What about fingernail polish? I posed this to my husband and he thought it might just work. So, we were off to the cosmetics department and found oodles of polish in every shade and sparkle under the sun. It took only a few minutes for my husband to find a perfect shade of purple and it was just a couple dollars for the bottle. Thankfully, it’s a brand I’m familiar with and am fairly sure of it’s quality and longevity. Cool! 2-fishpolishI took several coats over a couple of days. My husband says the color is perfect. He said, “It may even catch a big enough fish to win a tournament.”
The color is vibrant and shiny.  Thankfully, it has time to ‘cure out’ and for the layers to be dried and sealed before his next fishing trip. I’m curious to see how long it’ll hold up being cast oodles of times and many fish hits. 3fishSo, there you go, if you need only a bit of paint and don’t want to spend a fortune, try the fingernail polish department, You may find the perfect color at a better price.

Wishing you all a colorful day of sunshine & smiles.

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Ready for Rain

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For a while now, I’ve wanted to make a rain chain. I think it’s a quaint and cheerful decoration.
I found a website that has helpful directions on how to make a rain chain.

There was a few things I needed to do differently from the directions.
I didn’t want to hang a chain under a gutter spout because if we decide to move, it’s something that we’d need to fix.
I toyed with the idea of hanging the chain from a shepherd’s hook and let it dangle over a container. It took me a day or two to think of a bird bath.
The chain would have to be shorter over a birdbath, but I decided a few small buckets might be quite charming.
I finally had it all worked out in my mind, I just needed to get my supplies together. It took a few weeks, but finally I had them all gathered up.

 

We worked on the flower bed off and all during last week and set up the bird bath. The weather Sunday was a bit chilly, but nice enough for us to stay outside and make my rain chain. It was quite late in the afternoon when we got started on it and after dark when we finished.

 

The stone dangling from the bottom of the chain is a small garden stone I bought last year. It set on my patio table because it was too small to put in my garden. I was delighted when I discovered it was the right weight and size to use with my rain chain. Pretty neat huh?4-4-2016-rc00

I plan to plant annual flowers around the birdbath and also I might even plant some chard for tasty color. Oh and I plan to put my garden flag hanger there too… as soon as I make a flag for it…

I can hardly wait for the next rain so I can see how my rain chain is going to do. I hope I can get a clear photo of it in action to share.

Wishing you all cheerful days of sunshine.ec-sunny

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Red Heart Laptop Knit and Loom

IMAG0224_1When I first saw a photo of a ‘Red Heart Laptop Knit and Loom’ posted on a loom forum, I knew I had to have one. I had high hopes for this loom.  It’s rated for children ages 6+.  I figured since it’s rated for young children that the quality would be better than average.

I ordered The ‘Red Heart Laptop Knit and Loom’ online because it wasn’t available in my area yet. Coincidentally, a week after I ordered it, our local WalMart got them in. The shelf price was $24.97. I got mine for $19.97 and I didn’t have to pay for shipping since I had some other stuff to order that totaled their minimum for free shipping. I was surprised when I received my order a week before it’s predicted arrival date. ~happy dance~

IMG_6106What’s in the box:
Instruction Booklet
3 soft skeins of yarn
Collapsible storage bag
Loom set – outer case, loom circles and rectangle loom
52 pegs
Knitting Hook
Large plastic needle

*I like that The ‘Red Heart Laptop Knit and Loom’ is bigger than I thought it’d be, it’s about 15″x12″.
*The instruction booklet is adequate for learning the basics. In my opinion the Comprehension level of the booklet is more for older than 6.
*The yarn is soft and lovely. (I haven’t used it yet)
*The rings of pegs rotate and makes handling the project easier.
IMG_6178-0*The collapsible storage bag falls off the 4 rectangle-side-pegs too easily, but even so, it’s a good idea to use it to help keep the project cleaner and neater. Or use it like a basket to hold extra yarn and things.
*The side compartments of the loom case doesn’t always open smoothly.

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*My number one issue with the ‘Red Heart Laptop Knit and Loom’ is the pegs fall out of the holes on their own. I declare it’s worse than using a Martha Stewart loom. Even if you’re skilled in loom knitting and are careful, the pegs continually fall out. It’s frustrating and disappointing.
The pegs falling out  slows down progress because of having to take time to stop and replace the peg. Also, if you’re not careful it could cause drop stitches.
This is a very sad flaw in an otherwise potential fun creative experience for a child.
I don’t know what the inventors/manufacturers were thinking to allow such an important part of the set to be so low quality.

IMG_6153*The pegs falling out can be managed to an extent by using tape, painters tape or denture grip and I’ve read some folks use a piece of yarn to help secure the pegs.

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IMG_6136-2I made a hat using the inner 36 pegs of the green ring and double strands of Red Heart 4ply yarn.
It fits my head snugly. If I make another one, I’ll probably use the next size up.
I free-handed it and my basic pattern is:
Drawstring Cast On
45 rows of e-wrap
6 alternating rows of e-wrap and purl stitch
Chain 1 Bind Off

I hope this review helps if you’re thinking about purchasing a loom like this.

Happy Looming!

smileywreath

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Recycle a plastic cola bottle – scouring pad bowl & bell jar

IMG_5517-1bottlebottomsI originally was going to make a post about using the scalloped shaped bottoms of plastic bottles as a holder for a scouring pad. I discovered that the scalloped design helped the scouring pad dry better.
It’s not 100% fool proof, occasionally I’ll find a bit of rust in the bowl from steel wool scouring pads.
It’s only a temporary holder for the yarn scrubbies because they’re so thick they won’t dry out before souring.
None-the-less this is something I wanted to share on my blog.
The other day when I was washing out a plastic bottle, it occurred to me that I should also post something to recycle the upper portion of the cut off bottle.
A bell-jar was my first choice because it’s simple and useful,but I needed to think of something handy to use as a base. After thinking on it awhile I decided to use a bowl lid, cardboard and contact paper to make a base.
So, now, this post is about more than a scouring pad bowl, it’s also about recycling a bottle and a couple other things as well.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.spring-017

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Click on photo to open a larger image

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Shades of Purple Finished Project

IMG_99204-24-2014 I made a post “Shades of Purple“, in it I posted a photo of some purple yarn that I was planning on making a project out of.
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IMG_1319My next update on the yarn was 5-16-2014 in my post “Blackberry Winter & Misc” I posted a photo of a blanket I had started crocheting using the crazy crochet stitch. It was pretty, but I wasn’t happy with the blanket. I unraveled the yarn and balled it up and decided to wait until I found a pattern I liked.
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IMG_4510I found a pattern called corner-to-corner crochet on RedHeart.com. It’s basically the crazy crochet stitch only it’s diagonal. I absolutely love this stitch with my purple yarns and the way it worked up. It was fun to make too.IMG_4472(shhh this is a secret right now) I loved it so much that not only did I make the 5 feet x 5 feet blanket for my son & dil, I also made my Grandkitten a 2 feet x 2 feet blanket.  (okay, the Grandkitten is a full grown cat, but still as cute as a kitten) I’m in the process of finding a box to send the surprise blankets in. I’m not worried about mentioning the blankets here because I doubt my son or dil or their beautiful kitty-cat visits my blog. So, until I send it off, it’s a secret between you and me. 😉 IMG_4470Before I washed and blocked the blankets, I took a couple photos of Shelibean posing with the them. Unfortunately, his dark eyes didn’t show up in the photos, but I think he looks fairly cute anyhow.

I’m glad to finally have this project finished. I hope my son & dil & my grandkitten likes their surprise blankets.

Here’s wishing you all much success in finishing projects
and many happy surprises along the way.
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