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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Thread Spool Ornaments - A Repost

Another Post from the Past, but it's a good one so I hope you don't mind.
This post has been very popular around the net for 2 solid years, so I thought I'd freshen it up and repost just in time for those Christmas craft sessions.

I spent several hours making these charming little tree ornaments last night. I was so pleased with the way they turned out that I wanted to share with you how to make some of your own.
These would be great for most anybody on your list, the seamstress, the crafter, or even yourself.
I happened upon a bundle of vintage wooden spools in an antique store a while back and have been saving them for the perfect project. So, taking a cue from a photo I once saw of some paper covered spools, and adding my own spin, I fashioned these great little ornaments for the tree. I suppose these could also be used as a tassel. Ohhh, imagine these hanging off the knobs on the cabinets in your work space!

Anyhoo, Here's how to make your own:
First you'll need to gather all of your supplies. Don't be caught needing something in the middle of your project.
Start by gathering your spools and some pretty papers. (When choosing papers, select some that contrast. If you choose ones that are too matchy, your ornaments won't pop as much when they are all together.)
If you can't find vintage wooden spools, you can buy some smaller wooden ones in the unfinished wood section of your craft local store.
Then rally up the rest of your goodies. You'll need the following:
Beads in multiple sizes, shapes, and colors
Jewelry wire or heavy thread
Needles in various sizes:
 One to fit inside the beads, one to fit the length of the spools, and one to sew through the ribbon
Double Stick Tape, heavy duty, thick width, or Mod Podge
Paints in various colors, Apple Barrel or Ceramacoat work great for these small projects
Small paint brushes, you'll need several so you won't have to wash them in between color changes
Small Ribbons, various colors or patterns, 1/8" works best
Drill and a very small bit, about 1/8"
Clear Drying Craft Glue, be sure that it's a good one, and it MUST dry clear. For those of you that use E6000, it will yellow over time. Don't use hot glue for this project, not even high melt. It will separate over time also. The wood is not pourous enough to support it well.
Dowel Caps, small (you can find these in the unfinished wood section of the craft store)
Pliers and Tweezers
A Scrap piece of wood

Ok, let's get started!!

Part 1
Measure all of your spools for the width and length you'll be covering up. Lay out your papers, mark your measurements, and start cutting. Since your spools will most likely be different sizes, you'll want to number them. Put your number in the middle of the spool since you won't be painting over that part.

Cut your papers and number them as well. This way you won't get confused as to which paper goes to which spool.
Once you have all of your papers cut, and your spools and papers numbered, set the papers aside.

It's time to paint your spools and dowel caps. Gather a few colors that match your fabrics. You only need to paint the ends and a little way into edge. Hold the middle while you paint both ends. After you paint each one, thread it onto a small wire so that the paint isn't touching anything while it dries. I use one of those 24" needles for things like this.
Before you paint your dowel caps, you'll need to drill a small hole in the top. Turn them upside down, grip them in the circular part of a pair of pliers, and drill softly through them into a piece of wood.
Since these are a bit tricky to paint, I put my tweezers through the hole from the top and paint them while holding that way. Makes it much easier!

Part 2
While your spools and caps are drying, lay out all of your paper strips and start planning how you want to attach your beads. For the biggest impact, use varying sizes, shapes, and colors on each one. I used a lot of the same beads on most of mine, but mixed them into different drop patterns.

Once all the paint is dry you can start putting the papers on the spools. I use heavy duty double stick tape for this, but you can use Mod Podge if you want.
When you have the paper on, your spools should look like the one in the last picture.

Now, glue a dowel cap to one end of each spool and set aside to dry while you thread the beads. This end will be the bottom of your ornament.

Part 3
Take your jewelry wire or heavy thread (I use upholstery thread), and begin to thread your beads. When you get to the last bead, wrap the thread on the outside of the last bead and start to pull your needle back through the others, all the way to the top.
Leave enough thread or wire that you can go back to these later and pull them through the spools.

Set all of your prepared bead drops aside. Take the rest of the dowel caps, prepare a hanging ribbon and push it though the small hole. Knot the ends several times until you have a knot big enough to hold without pulling through.

Part 4
It's time to start threading the bead drops into  the spools. Use the needle that has a thick enough eye for the thread, but thin enough shaft to push through all those knots in the ribbons. I use my pliers to pull them through.
Once you've threaded the beads through the spool, grab one of your hanging ribbons, and push the thread through the knot in the ribbon.
Next, remove your needle and pull the thread (one in each hand) until the knot is sitting right at the top of the spool. Then tie a few knots in the thread. Cut it off, leaving about 1/8" tip on the threads.

Now that your knot is secure, put glue on the end as shown in the picture. Cover the ribbon knot, which will in turn cover the thread knot. Hang your ornament up and then push the dowel cap all the way down. Let it hang until it dries.

When you're all done with that, you're all done!
Here's what you'll have:

Aren't these just darling?!
 These are great little tree ornaments, but they can also be used as tassels around your workshop, on your kitchen cabinets, even on your rearview mirror in the car. (which I just happen to have in my own car!)

Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Merry Almost Christmas!

I'm pulling this out from last year to repost for several reasons.
1, because it is all still true, and 2, because I still can't find time to create a brand new original post, and 3, because I've been absent from blogland for way too long and thought I needed to get back here before you all completely forget me.
I hope you enjoy it.

Merry almost Christmas!

Not the shopping, not the gifts, not the crowds, not the family demands,
but the FEELING that Christmas brings.

A Few of the Things I Love about Christmastime:

~ I love the settling in of heightened emotions ~

~ The increased awareness of others life situations, both good and bad ~

~ The heart tug to do something for someone else without them knowing ~

~ The need to see a miracle or make one happen in someone else's life ~

~ The choir singing Christmas songs at church ~

~ The early morning Christmas service at church where there's nothing but candlelight lighting a path to the end of the aisleway where there stands a large, lonely cross holding a crown of thorns, draped in a robust purple cloth ~

~  The song Oh Holy Night, particularly, sung by David Phelps ~
(be prepared to cry your heart out)

~ I love that people start to recognize and acknowledge the presence of angels, miracles, and Jesus ~

~ Standing in the window at mom's with a mug of hot chocolate, looking out at the woods waiting for deer to appear ~

~ Cardinals sitting on the branches of holly bushes ~
(has a very special meaning to my family)

~ Decorating the Christmas Tree. Pulling out each ornament and remembering when it was added to our collection, and the memory attached to it. A lot of crying happens while I decorate our tree. ~

~ Seeing my mother's tree for the first time each year ~
(It's always full of memories)

~ Talking with my mom or my husband over coffee in the early hours of Christmas morning about our loved ones that have passed away ~ 

~ Sitting on the porch watching and listening to the birds sing ~

~ Gathering with family in the kitchen to make Christmas dinner ~

~ ........and mama's Japanese Fruit Pie! ~

Oh, I just love so many things about Christmas!

So tell me, what do you love about Christmas?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Working in the Yard

One would think I've disappeared I suppose.
Truth is, I've been busy working when what I really want to do is get settled into our new home.
We officially moved in on the 11th of this month, and I still haven't found my silverware, cooking pans, bath towels, etc, etc.

And lest you think I'm kidding, here's the proof.....
I took this today.

Don't worry though, I did what any normal person would do in my situation -
I took a few days off work so I can find all of our necessities.
I plan to make a huge dent in this mess this week.
I've had my feel of tripping over boxes in the dark - and in the daylight too for that matter.


However, some things just can't wait.
For me, that includes the yard.
We all know, curb appeal is everything to a house, and quite frankly, I've been itching to plant a flower or two so I can stake claim to this here land. :)

I'm not finished yet, but I'm off to a good start (and hired help sure makes it move faster).

After a short meeting of the minds, my yard guy and I decided we'd remove the black (molded) mulch, pull up a lot of the excess bushes (whose roots seemed to be growing together in the ground), and thin out the monkey grass.

Once that project was well on the way, I had to stand and stare at the yard for a while to decide how I wanted to proceed. Decisions had to be made quickly, so red mulch and anything that looked remotely like a wild flower was what I went on the hunt for.

I only had one day to get this done because I was trying to surprise the hubster, so time was criticial.

Thank goodness for my patient yard guy, Kevin. I only changed my mind 14 times before I headed to the local nurseries.

So now, if you'll remember back a few weeks, here's how the yard looked when we took the house.

(Not that bad, but definitely way too green, and too many bushes.)


Here it is after the black mulch was removed,
the excess bushes, and all the monkey grass.

Ready for all of my new color!

And here's where we are tonight.
A few more things left to do of course, but I'm very pleased with how it's turning out.


My to-do list still includes:
-Paint the shutters to match the newly painted door- (did you spot that?)
-Pot my annuals and place around the porch-
-Make pillows for the rocking chair and bench-
-Find new solar lights that actually work for the landscape bed-
-Find morning glorys (already growing) to weave into my trellis-
-Get a small birdbath-
-Find all of last year's painted cans to fill and scatter along my bench for color-


Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you, YES, the hubster was surprised, and impressed.


I'll be sure to srop back in and let you know how it turns out, and the specific plants I used for my color.
I'm excited to see them start growing and flowering.

For all of you green thumbs out there, how about a few tips on what I can do or use  to jazz up my little area?

Linking Up over at my buddy Gina's (The Shabby Creek Cottage), so I can prove I've actually been working!  :)
She's quite familiar with my yard. She's tripped on my porch and ripped her toe open on my steps. I'd show the pic to prove it, but she's threatened my life, so I guess I'll hold off on that! :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What's Pink and White and Blessed All Over?

An Awesome Makeover for a 12 Year Old Sweetheart, that's what!

Whew, I'm tired!

That's the first thing I want to say.

And the second is..................

Move over Pottery Barn Teen, DIY bloggers are on the loose, and you've got nothing on us!

Well folks, the makeovers at The Shabby Creek Cottage are finally over, and I'm tickled pink to show you how they turned out.
I don't think there is any one DIY thing we did NOT do in the few days we converged on the cottage down in the boondocks at Gina's.

We painted, thrifted (in the shop), built, designed, decorated, sewed, fluffed, staged, messed up, cleaned up, ate, laughed, and got injured.
All part of the DIY process I suppose.

Now let's hop to it!
What do you get when you turn this:

into this:

and this:

into this:

You get this!

.....and it makes all the hard work worth it.

"It takes a village", or so they say, "to raise a child".
Well let me tell you something, it also takes a village to recreate their rooms in the blink of an eye!

Our village consisted of

From left to right:
and the back of Jeremy, the Mr. ChaCha
and Deneen of Living in Color, who was there the day before I got there.


There's so much to cover in this one little room that all of us are breaking it down into parts.
I'll be telling you a little about the pillows we created for Doodlebug's room in a minute,but before I do, here's where you can find all of the other project discussions.

Cha Cha had her hands in a bit of everything, but she's going to be telling you all about how to make couture clothing from curtains and lamps.

                                                      Seriously, she'll be telling you about the curtains, AND she's included a tutorial. 
And might I add, Cha Cha is about the cutest thing you ever will meet.
Give that woman a pile of scrap fabrics and you never know what brilliant creation you're going to end up with. She went on a flower making frenzy that impressed us all.
And the curtain tiebacks (that you haven't seen yet) were SUPER!

Lisa will be telling you about the abso-tootalutely fantabolous headboard wall.

"That gal has tools and she knows how to use them."
(Sung to the tune of 'She's got Legs')

The brainchild of a group of us us gals, Lisa took the reins and came up with this:

Now I dare you to tell me WHO in all of blogland has a cuter, more fabulous headboard than this.
Go ahead, I dare you.
It is very dramatic in person.
Lisa is a quick thinking, problem solving, picture in your head bringer to life kinda DIYer.

Cha Cha's husband Jeremy did his own fair share of work.
He moved from one thing to the next every single day.

Angie did a lot of the grunt work, like painting and caulking, and message board making.
She's a hard worker. No doubt about that.
She'll tell you about the message boards and bench in her first post.

Sweeter than sweet should be allowed to be, she's a red headed smiley face beauty with a daughter that is her exact double. Darling family.
Oh yeah, she has lots of thrifting stash too, and she came bearing some great loot that I'm sure will be showing in the form of projects on all our blogs.

Leslie, who won the contest to come to the cottage, was my partner in crime.
She painted, painted, and painted some more. And then I drug her to the kitchen to help me sew. Little did she know what she was getting into. lol

I don't think she saw daylight again.......but I think she's still talking to me anyway.

She'll tell you about the bookshelves and other stuff over on her blog.

(I'll tell you more about her in a post next week. We spent a lot of time together in the wee hours of the morning getting to know one another. And, I just found out the kitchen in my new house is exactly like hers!)

Then of course there's Gina and Mr. SCC, who did just about everything else.
The pre-planning, floors, walls, cutting, sanding, building, painting, execution of projects, feeding everybody, etc, etc.

Mr. SCC is about the quickest builder I have ever seen.
I told him he should consider opening a roadside furniture shop where customers could put in their orders, go get lunch, and then come back and pick it up.
He's in the wrong business for sure. He needs to be selling "furniture while you wait".

Where's Gina you ask?
It was hard to get pics of her because she was busy going from one project to another, all day, every day. I'm still searching everybody's uploads to find some pics of her doing her thang.


And that brings me to me. I did work, pinkie swear.
Just ask Leslie. She may tell you I wouldn't let her up from her sewing chair though, so maybe you shouldn't ask her after all.
They say proof is in the picture............., truth is, I think I've might've gotten her a wee bit stressed! :)

Leslie and I decided to do all the sewing, except for the curtains because Cha Cha wanted to tackle that. Glad she did because they turned out awesome.

Leslie and I both understand the delicacies of working with a child when it comes to decor. They want what they want, problem is, they often don't know what that is until they see it.
And, they often want change, but fear it at the same time. It's the fear of the unknown.

Kids are visual, so we knew we had to keep Hannah included in the decisions.
We layed out every pillow and let her decide if she liked it or didn't before we sewed anyting together, and I'm glad we did because she ended p with exactly what she wanted.
And, we discovered, she's pretty cotton-picking good at selecting fabric combinations.

First, I took her shopping for fabrics:

We came up with a few from Gina's craft cabinet, but we also raided my car.
Funny thing is, I keep a lot of fabric in my car for emergencies. Yes I do.

We found some great selections to work with.

Theses fabrics ended up in her pillows, tiebacks, Cha Cha's flower pins, on her bench, and on her wall.
Good thing I'm prepared for emergencies. :)

After a lot of selection, planning, prepping, and sewing, here's what we ended up with.

Since Hannah's bedding was already colorful, and had plenty of aqua in it, we thought pulling a selection of primarily pink fabrics in the pillows was the way to go.
In the beginning, Hannah didn't really want a lot of pink. However, after laying them out one at a time and letting her move the fabrics around, she discovered she liked it afterall.
The large pink check she didn't really care for initially, ended up being a bit hit after the fact.
Lisa jazzed it up with a Doodlebug design that's too cute for words, and she'll tell you about that on her blog.

Making great pillows is all about your fabric selection, not necessarily all about the design.
You can make a fantastic pillow with a few scraps.
And when you're making a collection of pillows, keeping them simple but different ususally makes for a winning combination.

When deciding on Hannah's color and fabric combinations, we knew she would be flipping her comforter over to the gray side for everyday use. The pink definitely had more drama on the gray than the aqua fabrics we had, so pink it was.

She wanted simple pillows without a lot of busy color.
I think we came up some good ones. What do you think?
They're simple, neutral yet colorful, and blend nicely with the comforter and shams, as well as the other colors and elements in the room.

They stand out against the headboard and shams, yet they don't make it appear busier than it should.
She loves them and that's all that mattered to us.

Gina found this pillow at The Artsy Chick Show a few weeks back.
I'm not sure of the vendor, but I'll find out and let you know.
Isn't it darling? It was the icing on the pillow cake.


All in all, we had a wonderful time getting these rooms completed.
There was a lot of "Let's do this". "how about this", "what if we change it up this way", kinda stuff going on with every one of us gals and guys, but it's all that brainstorming and bouncing of ideas that made it such a success.

Scroll back a up and visit all the other blogs for the complete synopsis of the Hannah's room.

Up next..................Lauren's Room.
It's hard to pick a favorite room because they're both so perfect.
But just to give you an idea of Lauren's room, we wanted her to feel like she was living in her own art studio - and she does!
Wait till you see it!

Linking up at the following:
Get Your Craft On at Today's Creative Blog

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Sneak Peek of the Makeover at the Shabby Creek Cottage

The makeover is complete!
As per my previous post, I've been down in the boondocks at The Shabby Creek Cottage helping my new friends do a makeover for Gina's two daughters.

I have a long post in the works for tomorrow, but for now, I just wanted to pop in and show you a sneak peek of the results.
A teaser of sorts.
Believe me when I say that the makeovers were AWESOME!

I'll be back tomorrow with a lot more pictures, so enjoy this teaser for today......mkay?

All pics are compliments of Angie at The Country Chic Cottage........cause I forgot to take very many

I'm so excited to tell you all about it!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A DIY Bloggers Weekend at The Shabby Chic Cottage

It's time for some real fun!
I'm heading over to Gina's this weekend to help out with a fabulous project.

Ever the master of the project list, Gina has a whole bunch of them planned this weekend.
A "gaggle" of bloggers are meeting up at THE cottage to make over 2 rooms in 3 days.
Lauren and Hannah, hereinafter known as Lala and Bre, will be getting their bedrooms made over by this team of diy gals.

There's Lisa of The Pennington Point
Leslie (the winner of the "Come to the Cottage" contest) of  goodbye house, Hello Home

And of course Gina herself!

I hear a few husbands are joining the team too.
They do not know what they're getting themselves in to with all us women around!

I cannot tell you how excited I am to get this opportunity to work with all these great gals this weekend.
Now Gina and I have been buddies for a while now, and she's been buddies with a few of these other gals for a while too. It's going to be SO MUCH FUN to finally meet all the gals we talk about all the time. Putting a name to a face is one thing, but putting a personality to a blog face is what I'm looking forward to. I think we all have the potential to get in a bit of trouble. :)

Now I must confess, I'm a day late and a dollar usual.
My commitment to work has me running a day behind everyone else.
They're going to be well into their projects by the time I get there, so I may just show up and put the seal of approval on it like the Good Housekeeping folks do.  :)

There's going to be building and sewing and painting and decorating and laughing and eating, and I...CAN'T.....WAIT!  squeal!

We'll all be blogging from the cottage to let you in on the transformation over there, and I think someone has threatened to whip out a videocam.

I'll be back tomorrow night to show you some transformation magic already in progress.


Oh, OH, guess what??
We found a house!
Yep, we did. Yesterday.
I'll tell you more about that later, but let's just say I'll be doing a bunch of painting next week getting ready to move in next weekend. 
I'm trying to con Gina and Mr. SCC into driving over to help me.
I'll let you know how that goes after the weekend.

Here's a sneak peek.
(Yes, I know it's smaller than we're used to, but we're committed to downsizing so this is a major first step in that direction.)
It's a charming little house with a lot of potential...........and 3 bonus rooms! woohoo!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Repurposed Coat Valet - Easy Peasy Project Alert

I've always wanted one of those antique coat valets.
No real reason - I just thought they were pretty cool looking.

One day while at my favorite thrift store, I lucked up on this baby....

.........rickety, time worn perfection.....and only $8!
Had to have it!

Being clueless as to what I would actually do with it, it sat in the garage for a while.
One day I was unloading my car and sat a stack of baskets on the bottom of this to get them out of the way -
and that's when the inspiration struck!

I knew right that minute that this would become my new guest bathroom organizer.
You heard me right. I say it was destined to hold soap, not coats.

So, I gathered my baskets,

...and a few loads of toiletry items,

...put it all together,

....and came up with this!

And here she is in place.

Purdy Spiffy, eh?
I thought so too.


And before you ask......NO, I have not found a new house yet. This is from our last house, I just never got around to posting about it.

Where am I now?
Still hanging out in extended stay housing, keeping my fingers crossed that a house will fall in my lap before I get all crazy being cooped up in one room.
When it does, I'll let you know.

So tell me, what have you been repurposing lately?

Linking up over at Funky Junk this week.


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