Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Simple Blessings - UPDATE !

I've had a few inquiries if "Simple Blessings" would be sold in MY ETSY SHOP.   I'm happy to report that the flock has multiplied and I now have three pairs of sheep listed.

Each pair of lambs have unique facial expressions and distressing.  Made of Osnaburg Linen, coffee and cinnamon dyed and then hand painted and distressed, they'll make charming shelf sitters and/or bowl fillers for the holiday season and all of the year through.

Loving handmade my ME I've interpreted Stacey Meade of Raven's Haven pattern for Simple Blessings.  You can now find them HERE.


I'm linking to these parties:

Common Ground
At The Picket Fence Inspiration Friday

Meet Noel: A Primitive, Folk Art Canada Goose

With sewing machine humming, paint brushes applying paint, distressing tools being used, I've been busy hatching a gaggle of Primitive - Rustic Canadian Geese shelf sitters, just in time for the holiday season.

Each Canada Goose has been lovingly made by ME in Osnaburg linen, coffee and cinnamon dyed and then hand painted and distress. The pattern is designed by Stacey Meade of Raven's Haven. These darling geese wear a rusty bell hung around their necks with twine.
These three geese are ready and waiting for a new winter home and are currently listed for sale in MY ETSY SHOP HERE.
Until next time,

Linking to:


Monday, November 26, 2012

Bird seed ornaments

The  Mister and I have begun decorating for Christmas, both indoors and outdoors.  This year, I wanted to decorate the trees in the yard with a few festive goodies for the wild birds that are looking for a snack.  What could be better than making simple birdseed ornaments?

These wild birdseed ornaments require very few ingredients from your kitchen, whatever cookie cutters you'd like to use, some string or ribbon and you've soon created something to share with nature.

I think these are such fun to make with young ones as well as the young at heart.  An advantage to this "recipe" is that they don't require peanut butter so they won't adversely affect those who have nut allergies.

Have you figured out what the shape of this one (above) is?  Yep!  It is a rooster.  I'm sending this one over to the lady from whom we buy our fresh eggs.  I think she'll get a giggle out of the rooster.
See how few and simple the ingredients are? 

Do you want to make some?  Here is the recipe and easy instructions:
Bird Seed Ornaments
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of birdseed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 packets of Knox gelatin
  • cookie cutters or even a canning jar rim for a simple circle
  • string or ribbon for the hanger
  • parchment paper or waxed paper to work on and let the ornaments dry
  1. Mix the water and gelatin in a small saucepan and heat to dissolve.  STIR CONSTANTLY until all of the geletin has dissolved.  Then remove the pan from the heat and cool it for a minute or two.  Don't wait too long, though because the gelatin will begin to set.
  2. Next, stir in the  1 1/2 cups of birdseed into the water/gelatin mixture.  If you see that it is still a little "syrupy" or water/gel at the bottom then add a little more birdseed to soak up the extra moisture.
  3. Now the fun begins.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or waxed paper.  This will be your work surface.  Press the birdseed into the cookie cutters but filling only to half full.  Cut a piece of string, bakers twine, ribbon (whatever you want to hang your ornaments on) and tie a knot in the end.
  4. Lay the string in the middle of the ornament.  I spread my string out as much as possible in the center and pulled the top up to where it will be exposed giving a more sturdy hanger.  I was fearful that if the string is only at the top that it would pull out of the ornament too quickly before the birds have a chance to eat the whole thing.
  5. Now press more birdseed on top of the string to cover it completely.  If you notice a tiny scrap of parchment paper at the top of the photo below, I used that bit of paper to help me press the birdseed in.  The mixture is sticky and will stick to your fingers, otherwise.  You'll want a nice, smooth surface.
  6. Once you've filled your cookie cutters allow them to dry overnight.  Be sure to turn them over occasionally so they'll dry evenly all the way through and on both sides.
  7. Once the ornaments are dry, carefully removed them from the cookies cutters by pressing them through the cutter.
This recipe made 4 ornaments.  My cookie cutters are large so you could, perhaps get one or two more if using smaller cutters.

Pressing the birdseed/water/gelatin mixture into the cookie cutters and layout out the string:

Voila!  A finished set of ornaments ready to be taken outside for the birds.

I'll be watching my ornaments to see if I can capture some photos of birds enjoying their treat.  Be sure you place your bird seed ornaments in a place where you can enjoy the birds feasting.  This is a fun idea I found on Pinterest HERE.
Let Heaven and Nature Sing!
Until next time,

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Quilted Fabric Ornaments

Over the past couple of years when I've attended holiday craft fairs, I've seen many beautiful quilted fabric ornaments for sale on crafter's tables. These beautiful ornaments, that will run you a pretty penny to purchase, are actually very simple to create at home. The beauty is, THEY ARE NO SEW ORNAMENTS! Yep! You don't have to know anything at all about quilting or sewing to create them.

Each ornament is unique to your own style and color preferences and combinations. They require very little fabric and you can make them as elaborate in design as you'd like. I've created the basic three color/layer star design, but if you were so inclined you could add more layers.

The supply list is not extensive either and very inexpensive. To make these quilted ornaments you'll need:
  • 3" styrofoam ball
  • fabric
  • lots and lots and lots of straight pins with a small flat head (also called sequin pins)
  • hot glue
  • ribbon
  • embellishments of your choosing if you care to decorate further

I had planned to create a tutorial how I made my quilted fabric ornaments but there are so many very good ones already created that I encourage you to Google "Quilted Fabric Ornaments" and you'll find many, MANY sites with instructions. If you enjoy watching it done via a video, here is an excellent video on youtube

These are the first ones I've made and I am pleased with how they turned out.  They take a bit of time and repetitous pinning and folding and pinning and folding.  This is a great project to work on whilst watching television or put a video in to watch.  Holiday movies are my first preference to keep me in the spirit of the project.  *smiles*

My tree will be filled with an eclectic variety of handmade ornaments but I'm having a great time trying out some old and new crafts.

Until next time,

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments

Remember the cinnamon-applesauce ornaments you or your children made in preschool, girl/boy scouts or as a fun activity at home with the family?   I sure do and since I'm in the process of making handmade decorations for our Christmas tree, I wanted to give this age old technique for making ornaments another try.

The house (and my hands) smell cinnamon-y wonderful! This is probably the best recipe I've used to make these ornaments. And, depending upon the size of the cookie cutter or template you use, you can get anywhere from a dozen to a dozen and a half ornaments from one batch.

One thing to remember is, you can't be in a hurry with these. Of course they are very simple to mix and cut out, but then you must be very patient to let them dry COMPLETELY. You should carefully turn them over during the drying process to insure they are well dried on both sides. I also stuck them in a warm oven at 150 degrees for a couple of hours to speed drying and setting...just be sure to watch them carefully! You aren't baking them! You are merely drying them.

After they are completely dry you can decide if you want to decorate and/or paint them or leave them natural. I really like the brown color and grainy texture of them left plain, but did pull out a couple tubes of Liquid Pearls in red and white to decorate my gingerbread men and a jar of beads and some wire for the stars.

Really a very easy project! They smell wonderful and it is a fun project to involve the kids in...whether youngsters or young-at-heart.

Here is the recipe. I hope you'll give it a try.

Cinnamon-Applesauce Ornaments

  • 1 cup of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup of warm applesauce (I warmed the applesauce in the microwave for a few seconds. Be sure to drain excess water)
  • 2 tablespoons of white "school glue".  Elmers works fine
  1. Warm up the applesauce in the microwave oven or on the stove top just until warm (not hot!)
  2. Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and knead to a stiff dough.  You can also put all of the ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer (I used my kitchenade with a dough hook).
  3. If the "dough" appears too dry, add small amounts more of applesauce just a little at a time.  You don't want the dough to be sticky though.  It should just hold together enough to allow it to keep from falling apart.
  4. Roll out the dough between sheets of foil or parchment paper.  By rolling between the layers of foil or paper you'll get a smooth piece of dough to work with.
  5. Roll it out to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.  Do NOT roll too thin.  The ornaments will be delicate and while the thinner you roll them will allow them to dry more quickly, they also will break much easier.
  6. Be patient and allow your ornaments to dry completely.  It may take 24 to 48 hours but you'll be so happy you waited patiently.
Until next time,

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Simple Blessings

What can I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
if I were a wise man, I would do my part.
Yet what I can I give him--give my heart.

For the past couple of years I've been working on Christmas decorations for the home and tree that are handmade and meaningful.  I love primitive artwork in all mediums and have gotten very interested in primitive soft sculptures.  "Simple Blessings" is one of several different primitive soft sculptures that I've been sewing, stuffing, staining and painting.

Each lamb has a heat set message on one side and the opposite side I left blank.

I can dress them up with a scarf or bell or leave them plain.

I purchased the pattern to make these "Simple Blessings" from Stacey Meade of Raven's Haven.

I have several more primitive soft sculptures in the works and will be adding to this flock as well.

I'm honored to say that I was featured on Carolyn's website HOMEWORK:


and on Angie's website KNICK OF TIME

and on Jann's website SHARE YOUR CUP THURSDAY