Monday, September 11, 2017

Dollar Store Fall Leaf Handcrafted Pumpkin

It's that time again for our Monthly Challenge Blog Hop!
I've joined a group of creative bloggers to bring you a monthly challenge blog hop. On the 2nd Monday of each month we share our themed creations for the month, be it Upcycling, Family Recipes or Dollar Store Crafts.  This month, it's Dollar Store Crafts, new or old and it's one of my favorites! Who doesn't love creating dollar store crafts???  

It's amazing what can be created with items from the dollar store!  For this month's theme, I created a handcrafted leaf covered pumpkin out of items from the dollar store that included punch balloons, faux fall leaves, brown craft paper and even mod podge. 
While looking around the store for ideas, I didn't realize the dollar store carried punch balloons until I saw them near the regular balloons. Yes, 3 for $1.They're so much larger and stronger than regular balloons and very easy to blow up! But did you know they make great faux pumpkins, too!!!!  Here's how:
Gather the following -
  • punch ball
  • twine
  • newspaper
  • mod podge
  • foam brush
  • brown craft paper
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • stem wire
  • acrylic paint or stain
To make the pumpkin, after blowing up a punch balloon to around 12 inches, knot and push the blow up end into the balloon to grab the opposite end, pulling it up and tying both ends together with twine into a .  .  .
pumpkin shape. 
This might be a bit tricky to do for some, but keep trying until you've pulled the balloon together and tied it off. I've done it before here, when I made a paper mache vase.
Then take four strips of twine - more than enough to cover the entire balloon and wrapped each one evenly spaced around the balloon, tying and knotting as tightly as you can to make grooves similar to a pumpkin. Knot all the twine ends together at the top and cut off excess. 
Next, paper mache (just like you did as a kid, except we're using mod podge instead of homemade flour, salt and water glue) the balloon by tearing small strips of newspapers and applying mod podge using a sponge brush over the entire balloon. Apply four or more layers of newspapers for strength, allowing each layer to dry before adding the next. Be sure to paper mache over the twine, and to rub between the grooves, too!
Once dry, paint the pumpkin in a color to match the leaves. I didn't care that the print from the newspaper showed through since I was covering it with leaves, but painting on a primer first would have covered the print, if you prefer. 

Next, turn the pumpkin upside down (it's so much easier to glue on the leaves this way) to begin hot gluing the leaves on, one row around at a time. I just added a dab of hot glue to the center of the back of the leaves for a fluffy look. Start each new row by overlapping above and between the previous  leaves. 
Continue adding leaves, row by row until the pumpkin is completely covered. 
To make the pumpkin stem, crumple small pieces (the length you want) of dampen brown craft paper together and then smooth them out.  You can also use a brown paper bag to make this.  Lay a shorten stem wire on top and roll up the paper - adding more to thicken the stem.
Twist and bend the stem into shape with one end wider as the base. Add mod podge to the twisted paper and any open areas to seal and allow to dry. 

Place the wider stem base on top of a piece of brown paper and draw around the base for a cover pattern. Cut out and glue on cover to the stem base.   Paint stem and let dry. 
And finally, hot glue the twisted paper stem to the center top of the leafy pumpkin and Ta Da!
What a beauty!
So adorable!!!
This is such a great and inexpensive way to make your own decorative pumpkins for just a few dollars!!!!  Have you noticed how much the larger faux pumpkins are? Even with a discount? So, why not make your own!

Be sure to visit all of the ladies' blogs for their awesome Dollar Store Crafts:

And don't forget to come back next month for our Upcycle Challenge using clothing!  What a fabulous challenge that will be!
Thanks for stopping by, and
Happy Fall Crafting!

Create Colors of the Season Bows to Decorate

Hi everybody! This is Gail @Purple Hues and Me, and I'm over on Bowdabrablog today where I'm showing you how to create stacked bows using colors of the season to decorate for Fall!   I love creating Bows for any occasion using the Bowdabra You won't believe how easy it is to make professional looking bows!

So, please stop by and get all the details in my easy to follow tutorial!

Thanks for stopping by, 
Have Fun & Keep Crafting!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Quick Way to Preserve Your Summer Blooms

Summer will be over soon and so will those beautiful blooms you've enjoyed.  Why not save a little piece of summer and that wonderful memory of pretty flowers by pressing some of those blooms and capturing the last bit of summer .  .  .  perhaps a stunning zinnia that caught your eye, or a few impatiens that exploded with cheerfulness and color, or a group of geraniums that's so perfect for framing! And the easiest and quickest way to preserve those memories is by pressing your own flowers in the microwave, using absorbent paper, two ceramic tiles and rubber bands.  Can you believe it? Normally, it takes several days or maybe weeks to press those lovely beauties in heavy-weighted books, but by using a microwave, it can take less than five minutes!   Here's how:  

It's best to start with fresh flowers.  When picking flowers from your garden, select flowers that are either new blooms or buds about to burst open. Do this in late morning or early afternoon, after the dew has evaporated and no moisture is seen.

Next, place a continuous sheet of two paper towels on top of the smooth side of a ceramic tile.  Then place a sheet of parchment paper on top of the paper towels - enough to fold over and cover the flowers.  Arrange the flowers down on the parchment paper, making sure none of the flowers touch unless you want them to, otherwise they will be stuck together. 

Gently fold over the papers on top of the flowers .  .  .
 and place the smooth side of the second ceramic tile on top.  Secure with two rubber bands .  .  .
 and place in the microwave.  Set at 50% power level for 40 seconds intervals.
When the time ends, turn the tile press over and let it cool off, then microwave again for an additional 40 seconds at 50% power level.

Once done, open the tile press and check to see if there is any moisture on the papers.  You can still see moisture stains on the picture below.

Continue this process again and again - making sure you let the ceramic tiles cool off between times, until you don't see any moisture on the papers and your flowers are dry. It took me less than four minutes to dry these impatiens.

After allowing the flowers to cool off and completely dry, it might be a bit tricky to remove them from the parchment paper, especially if they're impatiens, without pulling or tearing them apart. They are quite delicate, so you'll have to be careful. To do this, lift the paper up and with your fingers, scratch the back of the paper where the flowers are to release them from the paper.  And I seriously don't recommend using wax paper.  The seal was just too strong to remove the delicate petals from the wax paper after drying. 

 The impatiens are so fragile - almost translucent like.
But the zinnias were quite easy to remove  .  .  .
 and the details and colors of the flowers were really fascinating up close.
The colors and hues seem to be a bit more intense and enriched!
 but the geraniums were a bit tricky, too, with a few coming apart.

Once all the flowers are removed from the papers, it's time to frame them.

You can use whatever type of frames you like, but I got three black frames from the dollar store that looked too formal or business like .  .  .
 so I decided to painted them with white chalk paint and let dry.  Not liking the plain looking finish .  .  .

 used the closed blade of scissors, and scratched the edges of the frame to reveal the straight black trim.

Next, placed the flowers on 8"x10" cardstock and once satisfied with the design,

added a dab of tacky glue to the back of the flowers to secure and placed the glass over the design.  Then added the backing and placed in the frame.

Enjoy preserving your beautiful blooms quickly by pressing flowers in the microwave for an everlasting effect .  .  . for so many craft projects!

Thanks for stopping by

and take a little time to enjoy -
Happy Crafting!

Monday, August 21, 2017

How to Make a Ribbon Wrap Bottle

Hey everybody! I'm over on Bowdabrablog showing you how to wrap a bottle using ribbon. This is a very interesting way to use ribbon to decorate a bottle - especially one that's  recycled.  I was inspired by the popular nautical twine netted bottles you see in coastal or beachy displays. Only I'm using ribbon!

And with Labor Day just around the corner and the last big celebration of the summer, why not make one of these adorable ribbon wrap bottles that's perfect as a centerpiece, vase or decorative accent at any cookout, barbeque or get-together!

So please join me at Bowdabrablog where I'm on the design team, sharing with you this cool technique.

Thanks for stopping by
and take a little time to enjoy -
Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Crayon Inspired Back To School Hair Bow

Hi everyone!   It's Back to School time and today I'm over on  Bowdabrablog where I'm on the design team, sharing how I made this adorable crayon inspiredhair bow!  So cool!  Why not get  your little girl excited about going back to school with this precious hair bow.  It's a fun addition to any outfit, sporting a variety of bold colors that's perfect for the first day of school!  And the best part, it's sure to color any little girl's world!

Please stop by  Bowdabrablog and get all the details in my easy to follow tutorial

Have fun and keep crafting!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Strawberries and Whipped Cream CakeRoll - Family Favorite Recipe

Welcome Friends to our Monthly Challenge Blog Hop!

 On the second Monday of each month, our group of talented bloggers share their themed creations of either  UPCYCLING,   FAVORITE FAMILY RECIPES  or  DOLLAR STORE CRAFTS  for the month.   The theme for August is Old or New Favorite Family Recipes. 

Unfortunately,  I don't have any recipes that were passed down in the family, but I do remember my mom making some of the best  comfort food dishes while I was growing up, although she wasn't a very good cook. But my Dad loved her cooking and was always praising her - the kids, not so much.   As a result, I've started  collecting a few of my own family favorites that I love.  

If you know anything about me, you know that I love strawberries and I love whipped cream! Discovering a scrumptious recipe that includes both of them together is a form of euphoria for me!  Ahhhh!  I found this recipe, "Strawberry Shortcake Cake Roll" awhile back from Crazy for Crust and it has become a family favorite! Most cake rolls give off the look of being delicate and classy with a degree of difficulty to make and this one is no exception.   But you won't believe how easy this lip-smacking strawberries and cream cake roll is to put together.  And the best part I love about discovering this recipe is the awesome frosting that covers the cake roll and that's mixed with strawberries for the filling!  It's to die for!!!!  The frosting is made with cream cheese and is very light and creamy and not at all too sweet - but oh, so delicious!  And the mixture of strawberries and cream is absolutely divine!!!   I've often made the whipped cream frosting separately  just as an added touch to many desserts!

So let's get started with gathering the ingredients:

For the Cake  
     3 Large Eggs
     3/4 C Sugar
     1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
     1 Teaspoon baking powder
     1/4 Teaspoon salt
     1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
     3/4 Cup All purpose flour
     Powdered sugar

For the Filling and Frosting
     8 Ounces softened cream cheese
     1/2 Cup sugar
     1 Teaspoon vanilla
     2 Cups cold heavy whipping cream
     1 Pound Fresh Strawberries

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 10×15” jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Spray the paper with baking spray with flour.
  • Place eggs in a large bowl and beat at medium mixture speed for 5 minutes until foamy. Add sugar and mix for 2 more minutes, until the mixture is slightly thickened.  Mix in oil, baking powder, salt, and vanilla, then add flour and mix slowly until just combined. Pour into prepared pan, spreading with a spatula. Tap the pan on the counter to release air bubbles, then bake for 10-15 minutes (depending on your oven) or until the top is browned and the cake springs back when touched lightly.
  • While the cake is baking, place a clean, dry kitchen towel on the counter. Spread about 1/4 cup powdered sugar on top of the towel to prevent the towel from sticking to the cake.

  • Remove the hot cake from the oven. and using oven mitts, turn the cake onto the towel, removing the pan and carefully peeling the paper from the cake.

  • Carefully roll the towel and cake together, moving slowly, rolling as tightly as possible without cracking. The towel will end up rolled inside the cake. 
  • Cool the cake on a wire rack, seam side down.   
  • For the filling: place cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Use mixer to beat the cream cheese and sugar until it’s smooth and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Slowly add the cold heavy whipping cream, then turn the mixer up to high and beat until stiff peaks form.
  • To fill cake: wash and dry the berries. Slice about 3/4 of the berries into small pieces, then pat the pieces dry. The rest will be used on the topping.  Carefully unroll the cake, removing the towel. Spread some of the whipped cream mixture on top and sprinkle with the chopped strawberries. Carefully roll the cake back up as tight as possible. Wrap the cake roll in plastic wrap and chill until ready to top and serve.
  • To serve: frost the cake roll with remaining whipped cream and remaining berries. 

This awesome cake is best eaten within a few days because of the fresh berries.  But trust me, you'll have no problem doing just that!

And I'm sure, if you love strawberries like I do, you will want to try this easy to follow recipe real soon!

Be sure to stop by and visit my co-hosts for their delicious favorite family recipes, too! You won't be disappointed!
And don't for get to come back next month for our
Dollar Store Craft Challenge Blog  Hop!
Thank's for stopping by,