October 17, 2011

Kithen Backsplash

Because of work and family obligations, I haven’t had much time to spend on my hobbies and even less to post about them. I recently finished a project that had me pretty excited and determined to post. I've been thinking about installing a kitchen backsplash for quite some time. Everything I’ve read and heard about this type of project convinced me that it was something that I could handle. During a stop at Home Depot to pick up paint, I decided to browse the tile section. This glass and slate mosaic tile caught my eye and motivated me to finally go ahead with the backsplash.

Before purchasing, the tile my husband and I decided to see if we could find it, or something similar, at a tile  outlet for less. We didn’t find anything that we liked and decided to leave. As we were about to walk out the door, we stopped to take a closer look at this slate tile.

For several reasons – it suited our décor, a better price, it was in stock – we decided to go with the slate tile. At the time I realized that the difference in the pattern was going to make the project more challenging but I felt that it was still within my skill level. It certainly was going to involve more cutting but I was looking forward to learning how to do that. Here’s the wet saw I bought for the project.

Well, as I suspected, the project was harder than I initially thought. I ran into a few obstacles and it took longer than I planned – five days instead of three. Here are my before and after pictures.

I’m really happy with the results. I learned alot and would definitely attempt another tile project again.

June 28, 2010

Pillows and Cushions

I decided to replace my outdoor furniture cushions this year. The cost to replace them, even for the low end and least expensive cushions, was going to add up fast. I wanted to keep the cost down so I decided to make them myself. I found some outdoor (fabric vs. vinyl) tablecloths in some bright prints that I thought would work well. I struggled a bit with some of the details like getting the measurements right and what to use for inserts. I didn’t want this to be one of those projects that never gets completed so I allowed myself to make mistakes and rip out some seams if I had to.

Here are the dining table cushions:


Here are a couple of the pillows…



…and the swing cushions:


I used the old foam from the old cushion, washed it and put snaps in the back seam so that it can be easily removed and washed. The pillow insert is an inexpensive queen size bed pillow.

For the pillows, I cut out felt appliqués and embroidered them into place. I was inspired by throw pillows I’ve seen in the stores and catalogues recently and this project idea from Jo-Ann. Since I was on a pillow-making roll, I had to make this pillow using Ruffles and Stuff’s tutorial. Here’s my version:


I used my die cutter for the butterflies and some of the flowers that I used in the other pillows. I used templates that I found online for the rest of the flowers and for the birds. Also, for the bird pillows, I used a stencil and fabric paint that I already had for the branches. The inserts are from throw pillows that I wasn’t using.

Once I got the measurements right, the sewing was easy and I enjoyed doing the embroidery in the evenings while watching TV.

May 12, 2010

My Garden and a Visit from the Tooth Fairy

Life has been pretty crazy lately and I haven’t had any time to write about my projects. I want this blog to be something I enjoy rather than a source of guilt so I won’t apologize but hope to get caught up on what we’ve been up to around here.

This time of year, my obsession is my garden. The little spare time I’ve had lately, I’ve been working on various things out there. This season began with me wanting to grow strawberries. I bought one of those upside down things but in  my opinion, they are not the prettiest garden ornaments, so I did a little research and came up with my own strawberry planter.

I found the little buckets in the dollar bin at Target awhile ago and I bought the chain from the hardware section at Wal-mart. Here’s the strawberries ready to be moved out to the garden…or back in the house if the weather is a little frosty or too windy.

Here’s one of the reasons I haven’t had much time to write lately.

Also, Pookie who is soon to turn 7, lost her first tooth.

As soon as I got home from work, I put together her tooth fairy pillow. I’ve been planning this project for quite some time but like so many other things, I procrastinated. I did succeed in finishing it by bedtime though – in plenty of time for the tooth fairy’s arrival.

March 17, 2010

Polymer Clay Necklace

I finally finished the polymer clay necklace that I started awhile ago.


I made a cylinder bead from the same black clay and lined up eye pins to link it to the square flower piece I made before. The pendant is strung on a mix of glass luster beads and knotted black leather lace. I’ve seen quite a bit of jewelry pieces made with organic material like leather that really appeals to me.

March 4, 2010

Display Shelf

My youngest daughter has started collecting the dolls her Dad and I have purchased for her from places we’ve visited. She and I decided that she needs a shelf to display them. We’ve been keeping our eyes open for something that will look nice in her room. When I saw this I thought, that’s it! So, the other day when I was at Wal-Mart, I purchased a shelf kit and pink ribbon.

Since I was installing it myself, I didn’t follow the directions exactly. My shelf was 8” rather than 6” so I cut the two ribbon pieces a bit longer and I stapled them to the bottom of the shelf before attempting to hang it on the wall. I used thumb tacks to temporarily attach it to the wall so that I could make adjustments before permanently attaching it with screws.

I removed shanks from some pretty buttons and glued them to the screws to hide them. I didn’t like how the staples looked on the bottom of the shelf, so I covered them with a bit of acrylic paint.

So far, she only has two dolls in her collection – one from Mexico and one from Hawaii. I like the way it looks and it was almost as easy as I thought it would be. I think I’ll use this idea again. It’s definitely more of a display rather than storage solution.

February 17, 2010

More Polymer Clay

I’m still fascinated with polymer clay and Pookie and I have been having more fun playing with it. Here is a batch of hearts we made for Valentine’s Day.

I was at Wal-Mart the other day and couldn’t help stopping by the craft section. Although I am a frequent visitor, I didn’t realize that they stock polymer clay. I purchased a variety pack of Sculpy III. I read a tip that different clays should be used for different uses and that Sculpy III may not be strong enough for some jewelry pieces but it seems to be more kid-friendly.
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Pookie made the red and white spirals and the face with the Sculpy III and I made the flower pendant and some beads using Studio clay (also by Sculpy) in Midnight and Sedona from Hobby Lobby. I used a clay cutter for the flower which I placed on a square base that I cut out with my Exacto knife. I strung a glass bead and bead cup on a head pin and pushed it into the center of the flower. I added two eye pins to the top so that the pendant can be strung. Studio glossy glaze was used to give everything a shiny finish. The cured clay has a matte finish before polishing which is also nice.

I’m still considering a few design options for completing the jewelry for these pieces as well as plans for some more jewelry projects.

February 9, 2010

Valentine Hearts

Several years ago when my older girls were little, I discovered Polymer Clay and was intrigued by how it could be used in jewelry making. I read about it on some discussion boards – there were no blogs then – and promptly went out and got some supplies so that I could begin to play with it. The girls and I spent a fun day creating and baking. I moved on to other projects and haven’t given it much thought until I saw this post on Firefly Hill Style. It’s such a simple and cute project. Here is how mine turned out:
I used two shades of pink and red cord. I like the color combination. Now, Pookie is intrigued. I think I’ll pick up some more clay so that she and I can have some fun creating and baking.