Saturday, December 25, 2010

Stockings and Stars

Little bits of felt and vintage sequins to make a memory. This year my sister asked me to make her boy friend a Christmas stocking. Our stockings are a tradition that my Great Grandmama started. When My Grandmama died I took over being the stocking maker for the family.Our 1950's stockings all look the same but have tiny differences. The first one is mine, made by my Grandmama 30 years ago, the second is the one I am hoping is finished by today for my sister's boy friend, and the last one is Bear's. I made it for him on our first Christmas and there were tears misting his eyes when he saw it. My Bear is such a softy. This is one tradition I will not let fade away.This star is the last of my ornaments I will post this year. I thought it was fitting that I should show it today. Layers of felt in alternating colors. So simple, yet so lovely.
I hope you are with family this day. To snuggle and to sip coco, to reminisce and make new memories. To laugh and to love. Merry Christmas everyone. Take care and Have Fun!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Hearts and Doves

These two ornament patterns just might be my favorites out of all the ornaments I made this year. The hearts are made with a heart template and embroidery floss for the lettering. The doves are made out of sparkly felt and their olive branches are embroidered with embroidery floss using a running stitch for the stem and daisy chain loops for the leaves. There is something about these that makes them so much fun to make. I hooked them into the garlands and lights around my windows and they looked so pretty. I liked them so much that I had a hard time taking some away from the windows to put onto the tree. My beautiful flock of Peace. Only one ornament left to post. I hope that you have finished all of your Christmas crafts and can just relax now. Take care and have fun!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Snowflake Ornaments and Friends

" Snowflakes swirl to the ground,
Softly to not make a sound"

Today's ornaments are made with a simple round template. The snowflakes are then stitched on with embroidery floss and then embellished with sequins and clear seed beads. They add that extra sparkle that was missing to our tree. Since I missed posting an ornament last week, I've added in a few that I helped my friend Elsa J make this past weekend.

Elsa J was worried because some pieces were cut uneven and the stitching is not evenly placed. She does not craft much and was worried that they were not good enough to give as gifts. They all turned out so whimsical that I love them all. They are all unique and beautiful. Just like people and snowflakes. What a boring world this would be if we were all identical.Yes I helped a little, but ' Elkie', your friends are going to love them. They are adorable, and personal, but most importantly they were made by you. The love and work that you put into them will be cherished. You are becoming quite the little crafter and I look forward to making many MANY more crafts with you. Take care.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

No Sew Ornaments

I thought it would be fun to do a few whimsical no sew gingerbread ornaments this year. Using a cookie cutter as a template cut out two sides of felt for every ginger bread man you will make. Tie a ribbon for a hanging loop and hot glue around the edges of the pattern. Sandwich the two cut out pieces of felt and ribbon together, and use fabric paint to decorate. It's a simple and fast project sure to make anyone smile.
Remember to have fun. The secret to making fun ornaments is having fun while making them. This year I made my sister a firefighter gingerbread man ornament. Every year she asks me to make her gingerbread men that look like firefighters so it seemed fitting to make her an ornament. I hope she does not eat it. It looks like someone already took a bight out of one of my gingerbread men ;) Take care and Have fun!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ornament : Holly Leaves

First. Have a Happy Thanksgiving wherever you are. I had plans for a Thanksgiving craft but time and a nasty bug hit me hard this year. Christmas is coming and there are so many things to make still. This year we will be using handmade ornaments to keep breakage at a minimum with the new puppy. Over the next few weeks I will be posting the ornaments that we've made. The first ornament is Holly Berries and leaves.
For these ornaments you will need buttons, embroidery floss, felt, and a filling of your choice.
Using the green felt cut out 2 holly leaves and use a round template to cut 2 circles out of red felt.
Place the leaves on the red circle and stitch a vein down the middle of each leaf.
Sew on three red buttons for berries. They do not need to match; not matching gives it more character.
Stitch half way around and fill with stuffing of your choice. Cotton, milk weed silk, and the left over scraps of felt all work great for this. Then finish stitching around and cut a pretty ribbon to make a loop for hanging and your done. Give Thanks this and every week and Have Fun!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

No Sew Comfort Blankets

Lately we have been helping a local day care make comfort blankets for children in crisis shelters. Comfort blankets are inexpensive and easy to make. They make a beautiful donation and also a thoughtful gift. You will need polar fleece, a tape measure, and scissors.
To begin, cut off any salvage edges and then cut your polar fleece to the size you want. Then cut 4" X 4" squares out of each corner. Using a tape measure cut 1" X 4" strips along all 4 sides. Finally, tie a knot in each fringe piece as close to the blanked edge as possible and you are done.
I sit this morning watching the first snow fall of the season come down. So beautiful and quiet from where I sit in front of the fire; yet I can't stop thinking of the little ones who have no warmth and no home this morning. I think of their families and I hope that the love and warmth that was tied into each fringe is felt by the children that receive these blankets. God bless and keep us all as we head into this winter. In the holiday rush please do not forget to share the blessing that you have with those less fortunate. Take care.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Easy Halloween Costume

I'm a day late, but this was such a fun craft, I had to post about it. Who knows, it may come handy next year for you all. Bear and I wanted to be comfortable and still be in costume so Bear, Muse, and I dressed up as pumpkins. It was fast, fun, and most importantly comfortable. All you need are a couple of T-shirts and some fabric paints. We were able to get all of our supplies at the craft store fairly inexpensively. The best part is that the yellow paint is glow in the dark. Bear's shirt was a techno jack o'lantern, Jake would not wear a pumpkin, and the police got a good laugh when they saw me on the sidewalk putting Muse in her 'matching' costume as they drove by. It took about 4 hours for them to dry (we left ours to dry over night). T-shirts are wonderfully comfortable costumes. The kids seemed to get a kick out of Bear's glowing techno pumpkin and we were comfortable all night long. Happy Halloween from the pumpkin patch family ;) Wherever you are Have fun!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Candy Garland

I'm back!!! Autumn is my favorite season. I took some time off to be with our new puppy and to just enjoy the crisp air and crunching leaves; but I'm back now. Actually I'm playing hookie tonight from Puppy training school. Bear took her so that I can have an evening devoted to crafts. Today's craft is a simple candy garland shown here on my mantel. It turned out so well that I think I will make another one in red and green for Christmas.1. You will need yarn, scissors, ribbon or thread, tape, tissue paper in the color of your choice, and cardboard tubes. You can use any size or shape.

2. Cut the ribbon to the length that you want your garland to be and then slide on the cardboard tubes.

3. Cut the tissue paper to be at least twice the length of the cardboard tube. These pieces are two and a half times the size of the tube.

4. Using tape, secure the tissue paper to the cardboard tube.

5. Tie the ends of the tissue paper down using the thread or ribbon.

6. Continue adding tissue paper of your color choice and pattern till you have completed the garland. Paperclips attached to either end are helpful with hanging the garland.
I used some extra tubes and tissue paper to make a matching grapevine wreath. I made the wreath in an earlier post. I hope that you enjoyed this fast, easy, and fun tutorial. Have a safe, blessed and fun Autumn!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Autumn Nature Table

It's Autumn, my favorite time of year. It's time for hot apple cider, bonfires in the cool brisk evenings, apple crisp, strolling through the crunching leaves, apple butter, fall colors, apple bread, and changing out the nature table (and putting an apple on it *wink*)
The deer family is getting ready for winter. I sure hope there aren't any late fawns around. The Gnomes are making apple cider outside their stone cottage, and even my corn husk mother and child have come out for a fall stroll.
It's time for the harvest and this side of the nature table has a bountiful harvest. The needle felted pumpkin is made my Marie from Softearth's World. I love her felt sculptures so very much. This pumpkin was a wonderful surprise she tucked in to a package with some of her winter snow birds I bought from her Etsy store. It is incredibly well hand crafted, but then again, everything she does is. Thank you so much Marie. I will put the birds up once I have settled on the wreath I am making with them.This is Bear's favorite part of the table. The pumpkin patch. Would it really be an Autumn table without one? These pumpkins are about the size of a quarter. I had so much fun making them. Wherever you are, heading into the flowers of spring or turning to the crisp air of fall we wish you a wonderful season filled with all the blessings and bounty this earth may hold. Take care and Have fun.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sweetie Pie and Teeny Wee

Sweetie Pie arrived in the mail at the beginning of the weekend. She is the one on the left with the blue hat. Teeny Wee I bought a few months ago, she is the one with the orange hat. They are both made by Beth Curtin from Acorn Pies. She makes the sweetest Waldorf dolls. The are exquisitely made and have love and warmth stitched into every inch of them. Recently she announced that she will no longer be making dolls. She wants to pursue her other arts and we wish her the best. However, I wanted very much to have another of her patchy dolls for my future child so I snatched up Sweetie Pie. There were a few dolls left in her etsy store last time I looked. If you want one you will have to act fast. These dolls are so beautifully made that I doubt they will be without homes for very long.
The two dolls were so happy to meet each other. Beth Warned me that Sweetie Pie can be mischievous. I should have listened to her warning, but she looked so sweet reading to her new little sister Teeny Wee..... Until.....Sweetie Pie closed the book on Teeny Wee!!!Oh! It looks like they were just teasing me after all. Sweetie Pie gave Teeny Wee a big hug. Sweetie Pie loves having a partner in mischief and Teeny Wee loves having a big sister. They are so happy to have each other to play with until our little baby comes... Whenever that may be. Thank you Beth for these little girls. I'm so glad that Teeny Wee has a friend to keep her company in the baby hope chest. Hopefully our wait will only be another 2 years. While we are waiting our new puppy came home. There is a link in the side bar if you would like to see her. Have fun and take care!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

How to make Grapevine Wreaths

This past weekend I made grapevine wreaths with vines from my parent's yard. When they are dry I will decorate them like this one. This wreath I made for Mum's birthday.
First you must collect the vines. It's a lot of hard work to untangle them and pull them free. Then you take the leaves off, but leave the little squiggly vines. Once the leaves are all off you can start. You can leave them a few days and then soak them in water or you can make the wreaths while the vines are still green. I like to make them right away. If a vine bends or brakes I think it gives the wreaths a tiny bit of character.
Twist the vine into a circle. I let the vines tell me what size the wreath should be. Keep twisting and weaving the vine till you have a complete circle. The little squiggly vines become invaluable during this part. Once you have a circle you can keep adding more vines to it to fill it out. This time I was able to make 8 wreaths. I made them using all of the vines you saw in that first pile. Wreaths are fairly simple but they take a lot of vines, a lot of time, and a lot of patience to make. Have fun!

Monday, August 23, 2010

How to Crochet in a Circle

Click on the picture for a short cut to a tutorial I did on how to crochet in a circle round.
The world is full of circles. From beginning to end. Tomorrow I am going in for emergency oral surgery and it's hard for me to keep reminding myself that this is just part of my path and circle. You, my friends where ever you may be this day are also part of my circle and I am part of yours. Today I ask for a little bit of your strength. I am very scared for tomorrow. I have an infection three inches away from my brain that is worse than we had previously thought... To keep my cool tonight I am blogging and asking you all to be with me in spirit, warmth, and prayer tomorrow. I will keep you all posted but I will be unable to respond tomorrow. Now on to the tutorial. This is something that I had a hard time finding easy instructions on how to do when I first started crocheting. I am no master at this by any means but I do find it enjoyable and hope that it is useful to someone out here in blog land. Hopefully I will be able to start making more elaborate doilies at some time but a simple circle can be used for many things such as; a pot holder, mug rugs, tea cozy, and doll wigs. As you progress you can used it to make balls, hats and bowls. I hope this helps. Have fun and please keep me in your thoughts. Appleshoe-
Update: I am home and recovering. More is posted on my Teacup Blog. Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Winter Birds Art Swap

Starting from the top left: Chickadee , Cardinal, Titmouse (the one with a blue background in an ornamental crab apple tree), Nuthatch, and Blue Jay.
@ I have been spending every spare moment between working on a garage sale with Mum, a vacation, and getting the house ready for a puppy, trying to finish these squares. At last they are Done! The theme was Winter or Christmas related. I chose to make Winter Birds of Minnesota. They are made with beads, embroidery floss, felt, and wool rovings. The squares measure 5"x5". Each square will go to a different person, and five squares from five different people will be sent back. There are metal eyelets in each of their four corners. These will be used to string them together to make a wall hanging. It has been a lot of fun to participate in this art swap. I do hope whoever gets one of my squares likes them. I've had to get them back from my Mum a few times now. Maybe I will make her a set for Christmas. They were a lot of fun to make and I want to try to make other pictures in this style. Now I'm off to the post office. Where ever you are and what ever you are doing today have fun!

A special congratulations (long over due) to Beth for winning my first give away. I hope she enjoys them. She asked me to wait a week before sending them and I accidentally waited two. They are in the mail and hopefully will arrive before this weekend. Take care.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Cork Dolls

Soon Bear and I will be going to a family reunion at the beach. Last year Beth from did a fabulous blog on how to make acorn people for the beach. If you have not visited her Blog before you may just want to pop in. She is a wonderful artist with a heart of gold especially when it comes to the little ones. I'm so happy to call her a friend. I fell in love with the acorn people she made and wanted to take them to the beach for the kids to play with this year. Acorns, however, are out of season right now. Here is my variation on how to make cork people. They are incredibly fast and easy to make. Because of their size they can still present a choking hazard, so I would not recommend giving them to anyone under the age of 4.

1. The supplies needed for this craft include, little straw hats, wooden beads for heads (Michael's sells pre-painted faces on wood beads in the doll making section). Screws that are long enough to go through the head and most of the body, but not long enough to go all the way through the body and leave a sharp point, high temp hot glue or waterproof wood glue, and a cork. I was able to get everything here at Michael's Craft Store except the screws (well and the corks, but you can buy corks at Michael's).

2. Screw the head and cork together. Right before the screw is all the way in put a dab of hot glue under the head to make it a little harder for little fingers to unscrew. Though it will be pretty tight without the glue.

3. Glue the straw hat on.

4. You are done! Wasn't that cheep, fast, and fun? They float face up. Bear and I put one in a bowl of water and had a blast poking it and watching it bob along. I can't wait to hand these out to the littles at the beach and see what wonderful games they have with these dolls. From sandcastles to shell tea parties whatever you are doing this week Have fun!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Match Sitck Rockets!

In honor of the Fourth of July I thought it would be fun to make Match Stick Rockets. I made these when I was little and had a blast (if you will excuse the pun). First you will need to make a launch pad. They can be made of just about anything that wont burn and will hold a match stick at a slight angle. One of these is made with a block of scrap wood and the metal part of a curtain hanger, one used a paper clip that is duct-taped down to a piece of wood for stability. and one is just a door stop covered in aluminum foil. The launch I used as a child had a hinge nailed to a piece of wood and a small metal tube soldered to the hinge. The scrap wood raises the launch up so that you can get under the rocket to ignite it, but I'm getting ahead of myself.1. For the rockets you will need a wooden match stick, pins, and a small piece of aluminum foil.
2. Take a small piece of aluminum foil and lay the match head on an edge. Place a pin on either side of the match head.
3. Be careful not to punch a hole though the aluminum foil and wrap the match head tightly. Slowly pull out the pins. There should be tiny tunnels where the pins were. These are the exhaust ports for your rocket. Be careful when handling the rockets to not crimp the small exhaust ports the pins have made.We noticed that regular kitchen matches are now bigger and have less phosphorus on the match head then when we were children. If you can find the regular smaller boxed matched the first rockets will work, if not you can cut the kitchen match in half and continue use the first set of instructions. I've also heard that you can scrape the phosphorus off of one match and put the powder in the aluminum cover and double the strength of your rocket.Take your rockets and launch pad outside. I recommend using your driveway as a launch sight. place the rocket on the launch pad with the match head overhanging the edge slightly. Use a lighter to ignite the rocket. Hold the lighter under the aluminum tip for a few seconds. The heat from the lighter will ignite the rocket. Be careful not to burn yourself and have a happy and safe Fourth of July...
Some safe tips if you are lighting your own fireworks are:
Don't cut the wicks smaller unless the instructions say to.
Do not stand directly over a firework as you are lighting it.
Once lit, step away!
Use ear protection for small children. The loud noises can harm their little ears.
Use bug spray.. Really.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Store Opening and Give Away!!!

It's open! Bear and I have spent all weekend photographing and cataloging all of my crafts; today a dream has been fulfilled. Today I open my online craft store. There is a link in my side bar. There are many more things that I still have to post, but at long last my store is up and running. A special thank you to everyone who has encouraged me along the way. As a special Thank you and to celebrate this milestone I am having my first Give Away. A lot of people seemed to like my mushroom pincushions. As a special thank you I am giving away one of my test pincushions and also one of my sets of two gnomes. A drawing will be held July 31st and the winner will be announced August 1st. The rules of the drawing are as follows:

1. Leave me a comment if you would like to be entered into this drawing on any of my blogs and you will be entered once.
2. Follow number 1 and become a friend and be entered twice into the drawing (people who are already following me and wish to be part of the drawing will be automatically entered twice).
3. Follow number 1 and 2 and help me spread the word of my store opening in your blog (send me the link) and you will be entered three times.

Thank you again for all of your support and encouragement.

Monday, June 21, 2010

How to cut a Love Apple

I hope that you all had a Happy Father's day. I'm happy to have my Father as a guest artist on my blog again today. I thought that it was fitting; AND it also has to do with apples. I do love apples. This "craft" is how to cut a love apple. A love apple is a special apple that is cut so that the two halves fit together like puzzle pieces. The love apple is meant to be shared with someone you love. My Father made these for my sister and I to share when we were little girls. I mangled several hundred apples trying to figure this out as a child. It does take practice to get it right.1. First you will need an apple and a sharp knife. 2. Cut straight down from the top of the apple. 3. Stop when you are about half way though the apple. Turn the apple 90 degrees and cut from the bottom up halfway through the apple.4. Then cut straight through the side of the apple. Stop when you are about half way through.
5. Here's the trick, you cut right at the corner of one of the cuts you made on the bottom, push the knife in about half way in (to the middle of the apple). Turn the knife as you turn the apple from the cut you just made to connect to the first cut you made from the top down on step #2. Count one more line over and then repeat that last step, connecting the bottom cut to the top cut on the opposite side. Use the photos, it will help
6. If it was cut right the apple should come apart with a slight tugging.
This is what is looks like when you are done. I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial. Share an apple with someone you love and Have Fun!