Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year !

I discovered blogland a few years ago.  One of my favorite discoveries was the mother daughter blogging duo of Two Crazy Crafters, and I thank you for the above image.  Another discovery was Paula from Paula Palace of Altered Art (miss her smiling face)  Last NYE she held an all night "craft along".  I joined her live chat group and what fun it was, crafty girls partying together until about 3A (my usual bedtime). 
Whether your plans are crazy wild or calm I hope you have a great time. 

Best wishes to all my blogland friends for a Happy New Year !      Elaine

Friday, December 7, 2012

Visit Imagimeri for a giveaway

Meri is giving away Christmas pretties so stop by for a visit ! 
Anyone have the bug?  Everyone I know is sick or recovering ... I'm in the group "recovering".  TN is a mess we have several school systems closed across the state ... get your flu shot !    
Happy Christmas crafting see you soon, E 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Blog learning curve

I'm playing with my blog ... I'm trying to center the header !!  I am sure this is not a complex manuver but after about 2 hrs I've yet to figure it out ... any and all input appreciated   Thanks :) !!!

So after a bit of searching it appears I need to add a "Snippet"  whatever that is !!!  I think I will rethink this !!!  E
Here is the snippet ...  To center view sourceprint?1 #header-inner {background-position: center !important; width: 100% !important;}

Its this kind of thing that drives me nuts !! NUTS ... Why is such magic required to simply center a picture .... errrrrrr 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Spooky !!

 No doubt you've seen this on pinterest ...  I had to try it
 You put it in the crockpot for 8 hrs, cool, and it's caramel ! 
Now that's spooky (in an Alton Brown sort'a way)
and it's good !  

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Santa's "Barn"

(Christmas 2011 )
I had a request for a tutorial for this project so here we go ... it's long but not difficult ...
I bought a bird house from the $1 bin at Michael's (of course I couldn’t buy a single house I bought 12).  Next carve the “window” (my house already had the "half door"),  I carved with exacto and utility knives; sanded to smooth the rough edges.

The base is a flat, 3.5 inch paper mache ornament, I get these at Hobby Lobby
(I can't find these year 'round, only in the fall)

I paint the barn (inside and out) and base with White Acrylic paint, let it dry

I paint the barn’s red areas, and let them dry. 
Then I cover the entire surface with Sparkle Modge Podge
here's some of the supplies used
Now the fence …
well ... on this project it was a challenge, I couldn’t find the fence I previously used ... so after making a big mess I came up with this … 

I used 2.5 inch “craft sticks” or Popsicle sticks cut to fit.  My fence has four pieces vertical and a single horizontal length.  Paint the fence, let it dry, then glue it onto the barn. 

I add a deer under the fence on the back of my barns

When the fencing is in place then glue the barn to the base ... I use a glue gun for pretty much all my gluing.  

Side note here ... days later :) ... I found the fence I wanted at Joann's ... so  you can see  the fencing options and how they compare 
(please forgive my out of focus pic) 

Now you’re ready to embellish your “Barn” 
I add tinsel garland to the base, used 3 tiny trees (the one to the left is decorated with a tiny snowflake garland), all are glued in place, given a coat of Modge Podge Glitter, and then Snowtex.

The rain barrel is a tiny wooden spool covered with flat tooth pics, and painted with brown acrylic, the “band” is picture hanging wire.  The “downspout” is a mini candy cane.

The paper images are from various internet sources, I altered the Santa’s head, because I liked the chubby face of this Santa vs the original.  I alter the size of the images to the desired size using Microsoft Word; Picmonkey comes in handy to improve clarity and color. 
All the paper images are painted with Modge Podge (I will abbreviate MP) … 
MP Sparkle on the bag, Santa’s clothing, the deer; MP glossy on Santa’s belt and boots.
I use Puffy Paint on Santa’s beard and fur trim for dimension, I glitter the edges of Santa’s fur trim.  I finish Santa’s back and toy bag by covering with contrasting paper.  
In adding my paper images, I start with both deer, then Santa, and his bag.  The tricky-est part of this project is getting the deer inside the barn !!!  
(top of barn looking inside toward floor)
Sorry but you’re on your own here … I have been known to curse during this step …anyway it’s just a matter of twisting and turning and squirting glue blindly toward the barn floor ... whew now moving on ...
Next add a chenille stem around the “door" .... then let it snow and glitter …
I use Snowtex (all this from Hobby Lobby) and cover the fence, roof, base, trees, and barrel/downspout … just smear it on to look like drifted snow.  Let it dry.
Finally, when the Snowtex is dry, I dab MP Sparkle over the roof, base, fence and sprinkle on Buffalo Snow (Hobby Lobby).  Let it dry …

add the bow, bells and tag, etc.

And there you have it !!  it’s not difficult to do but is a bit time consuming because of the steps that require drying.  If any part of this is confusing or you have a question please let me know.
Merry Christmas 2012 

I love little shadow boxes and Putz villages, they whisk me into a land of make believe; I love La La land J.  If you build a Santa Barn I’d love to see yours so  please share your pics with me !! 

Thanks for stopping by, 

House (wood or make you own with cardboard)
Base (mine is 3 inch paper mache)
Fence (mine is made from 2.5 inch craft sticks, cut to fit)
Modge Podge Sparkle, Matte, Glossy
Buffalo Snow
Paper images
Embellishments – I used tinsel trim for base, chenille stem around “door”, ribbon, bells, plastic holly, barrel (made from wooden spool and flat toothpicks), mini candy cane
Deer - Free Pretty Things for You (Thanks Keren !)
Santa and bag I think I found these on Flickr, couldn't find the link, but did find this one, the book is for sale.   
Santa face (Thanks Meri !)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The elves are busy

The elves and I have been busy.  We (me and my make believe elves) made a little gift for someone special from blogland who has been "there" for me through some really tough times.  I found her blog in the winter of 2009, I had nothing to do but sit and worry, struggling with daughter issues, a struggle I learned she could understand.  Isn't it funny how we "find" people?   I have faithfully followed her since.  I love her stories, drool over her projects, and so admire her giving nature.  She has no idea what a nice "get-a-way", her world of cuteness brings to me.  I can never repay the favor, but have, for a long time, wanted to send her a little thank you.  

A while back she commented on something I made and so "a little something" is headed her way.  Sometime soon I will post a tutorial (she asked me to), so of course I will (!!) but I'm pretty sure she could make this little creation without my tutorial, and do a killer job.  So E listen for the door bell, because the mailman will soon be delivering a little package, and here's a sneak peek.  

With gratitude and a hug, Elaine (E in TN)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A twist on Christmas cards

I'd love to leave my Christmas decorations up all year, I never get tired of Christmas.  I'm not an early Christmas shopper, and don't like stores decorated for Christmas before Halloween, but always have Christmas on my mind.  Today Elizabeth posted a fabulous Christmas themed shadow box tutorial, and this reminded me of a shadow box gift I made for a co-worker last year and thought I'd share my idea with you.  

I love receiving the family photo type of Christmas cards and hate to throw them out.  Last year I ran across  photo cards that I had received the previous year and thought ... hummm I bet these would make a cute shadow box.  So I bought a small shadow box from Michael's, some elements, and paper, and put this little gift together for one of my co-workers, she was thrilled.  
The photo card I received was a collage; I cut the pics out, then embellished
(please excuse the weird edit)


Today I'm having a "barn raising" for someone special ... although I doubt she believes me (I've been telling her it was coming for months)  ... I promise it's really really coming  :) !!!

As always, thanks for stopping by, E

Friday, October 5, 2012

Little Lamb

Hope you guys had a great summer; my summer was busy, busy.  If you had told me this time last year that I would help friends with 4 - FOUR - baby showers I would have said WHAT??!!  But last week there was, I hope, the last one for a while.  The parents did not want to know the gender, so Momma-to-be wanted a "gender neutral" baby shower.  Her dad raises sheep, so we decided this shower would be themed around “Little Lamb”.  We found this darling birthday party, and thought we might be able to make a similar cake. 

Let me say I DON’T cook, so I told my cousin having the shower that I would do the lamb, but she had to buy a cake … so she did.  
I played with fondant last year when I did my nieces shower so had about 15 minutes of experience and jumped in but do let me say that without my friend AMANDA I would never I attempted this ... thank heaven for Amanda :).  This recipe is so easy, and if I can do this, anyone can. You basically microwave marshmallows and add powdered sugar, knead into a ball, and you have  white fondant !!   To add color, I used the Wilton dyes found at Wal Mart.  Lesson learned here is that once a color is on your hands it sneaks into the next ball of color.  I used red dye for my pink fondant and holy cow what a mess I made !!

To form the body I made rice crispy treats and formed them into the shape.  For the head I put the RCT’s in a small baggy and formed into the shape of a head.  For the legs I made a log shape and once cooled, cut into legs.  

Then you ice over the RCT form with regular cake icing, (I think Duff Goldman calls this "dirty icing"), then cover the form with your sheet of fondant.  To roll fondant into a sheet, simply roll out like dough, using powdered sugar to prevent sticking.   

So here he is, and for the record, this guy looks huge, but actually fits on top of a 10 inch cake.  I don't like his pink muzzle, it's too thick.  I molded it into the white a bit by wetting my finger, also the curls are little rolls of fondant, fixed into place with a dab of water.  

So here he is all finished, perched on his “minky” pedestal 

And here are the two that started all this baby shower madness last October.  
These are my nieces twins, hard to believe it’s been almost a year !  He's thinking, "lets change the pistons in this thing", and she is thinking "these colors match my outfit nicely".  I have been absent for months, but read your blogs faithfully, life has been on hold, but what a joy these two are !!  

 Now it's time to do some Christmas crafting !!!   Thanks for stopping by, E

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Today I'm thinking about snow

I am in the house and  I refuse to leave !  Yesterday 109, same forecast for today. I prefer to think snow.  I am sorting and playing and found this card and thought you might enjoy seeing it.  

The little toys lift and the card unfolds

And  is the "Night Before Christmas" with the cutest images

I love all the folding cards I see around blogland don't you?   
Stay cool in this wicked heat, and thanks for stopping by,  E 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Let's sit in the shade !

We’re having a heat wave here in TN, but I can’t complain given the horrific events in Colorado !  Prayers and more prayers to those folks and people with family and friends there. 

I'm still here and thank you to those who have checked in on me.  I am NOT, or ever will be a prolific blogger, but I am a prolific blog reader.  I subscribe to several blogs (embarrassed to tell you how many) and read my blog “subscriptions” like people used to read the daily newspaper.  I love my blog friends and all the fabulous-ness out there.  

So here is the scoop ...
I spend most of my time working, have a great job but have to drive a several hundred miles a week.  Wears these tired old bones out !!  There was the KY Derby, and while no one I know cares to go (it's a free for all), we do play dress up (yeah with our shorts and pearls), sing "My Old KY Home", have a cocktail, place our bets, and watch the race.
My best friend from grade school, me, and her mom (if she ever finds out I posted this I'm dead !)
My extra time has been spent in southern Indiana doing this (front porch sitting). I love to stare at the nothing-ness.  But  most of all I have been spending my time with these guys.
They'll soon to be 6 months, chubby little cherubs (I call them), slobbering, teeth about to pop through, sitting up, and think they will soon be crawling. They are really good babies. It's hard to believe that this time last year I was working on their baby shower.  Momma (my niece) has done really well working full time and caring for these sweeties.  She just started a new job as a CNA, and is resuming school in the fall working toward her nursing degree.  
Daughter update:
on set with BG

My daughter has been blessed to have "worked" (for actors a paid gig is a big deal)  with a number of really talented artists, and was cast a while back in a (recently released) music video with Brantley Gilbert. But while I loved her being able to "live her dream" of acting, one of the "job hazards" for her seemed to be musician co-workers, the “bad boy” drummer types, and Nashville TN seems to have an over abundance of bad boy drummers.  But about a year ago along came Graham (sorry no pics of Graham).   She and Graham will be moving in a couple weeks to Birmingham AL for his new job.  They are pretty much total opposites (right brain vs. left brain).  While I am not necessarily thrilled about the arrangement, I am thrilled she has a great guy, who plays music only for fun, and has a real job; this mother’s dream. 

So if I ever get around to crafting I will probably jump right into Christmas.  I did a couple of these for a swap last year, and they were fun to make, so I think I am going to make a few more.   

So thanks for stopping by, I love visitors.  Stay Cool, see you in a few weeks.  E