Friday, February 16, 2018

Jute Leaf Tree DIY

The following tutorial is a re-posting from a few years ago. Besides being a great craft to create, it's also a fun way to spend your confined winter and snow days !

You've seen those Inspirational Project Brochures hanging around Hobby Lobby haven't you?  They are loaded with wonderful ideas that will get your creative juices flowing. I believe there's one on every craft subject you can imagine.  There is even one titled, "Playing with Purple" that caught my attention!  You know how I love purple!

 But I was really intrigued with, "Just Jute," in which anyone can create sophisticated home accents using jute and bleach twine.

"Tree Glee Leaf the artwork to jute! This whimsical yet contemporary display shows the artsy side of Hobby Lobby earthy jute twines. They painted a trio of canvases to coordinate with the wall before penciling in their branched-out designs. Then, they carefully filled in the design with twine, securing with hot glue as they worked."

This description was so inspiring!

 I saw the most unique looking jute leaves/tree and thought this would be a great craft project to try.

It wouldn't take much to make and I had everything I needed on hand.  Some jute twine,  canvas board and hot glue. The original project featured a tree and small canvas boards painted the same color as the wall.  My walls are white for now, so I made my jute leaf tree on plain white canvas. No color - maybe later.

I am not artistic and am not very good at drawing.  I used a pencil and lightly drew a tree onto the canvas.  After several attempts drawing a tree, I was finally satisfied with the look.  Using jute twine and hot glue, I followed the lines very carefully.

I thought it would be easier for me to make the leaves separately instead of drawing them on the tree and filling in with jute.  I made several leaf patterns, nearly thirty,  to fill with twine and place on the tree.

Making the leaves was quite easy.  First, make a little oval shape with the twine and put a dollop of hot glue in the center of the leaf pattern. Follow the shape around, pinching the twine at the points until your leaf is formed.

After making all the leaves, I started placing them on the "twine branches."
                    I loved how the tree turned out with the jute leaves.

I'm trying out different areas where I might hang the Jute Tree.
                                  In the hallway or .  .   .

                 Breakfast area?

Where there's lots of morning light.

Either way, displaying this whimsical creation is sure to start a cheerful conversation!  Thanks Hobby Lobby for the inspiration!

Thanks for stopping by

and take a little time to enjoy,

Happy Crafting!

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Valentine's Handmade Cards Link Party Features

We greatly appreciate all of you who shared your wonderful Valentine's Handmade Cards with us at our link party!  And we hope you found lots of ideas and inspiration from this party!   We are thrilled to feature some of our  favorites.   

Thanks to everyone who answered my call to join us in the party!  I wish I could feature each and everyone of you! You all gave us some delightfully awesome handmade cards!  Here are a few that I'd like to highlight:

#1 - Scrappin' with Deedee showed us how to turn junk mail into a pretty awesome card! How wonderful is this! I love recycling projects and this card is a sure winner!

#2 - Darla from Scrap Happens hosted a 14 Days of Love event - be still my heart - and on day 8th, shared her treat holder, which just happened to be a decorated mini pizza box! What a perfect way to include a sentimental card with a special treat!

#3 - Heather from a Touch of That created this totally unique card for Valentines!  It's a cut-out of an adorable sloth, holding a stick of candy, as if the sloth is hanging on to it! Isn't this the cutest card ever? And, oh so trendy!
#4  And finally, Janet @ Try It-Like It showed us how to make an adorable Swirly Heart using her Cricut Maker - so cool and quite unique with an intricate look!

 All of the handmade Valentine cards submitted were truly amazing! Thank you so much for joining our link party and sharing your cards with us! 

Be sure to stop by all of the co-hosts blogs to have a look at their favorite features posts, too! 

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Chocolate Covered Strawberries - Favorite Family Recipe Blog Hop

Welcome Friends to our Monthly Challenge Blog Hop!

On the second Monday of each month, this group of talented and creative bloggers share their themed creations of either Upcycling, Favorite Family Recipes or Dollar Store Crafts. 

The theme for February is  Favorite Family Recipes!    So today I'm sharing with you how to make one of my favorite comfort treats: Chocolate Covered Strawberries! 

Two things I want to mention first -
I love, love, love strawberries and it's almost Valentine's Day!  But regardless of the occasion, sometimes when I need a "pick me up" - I buy strawberries and dark chocolate morsels to make my very own Chocolate Covered Strawberries! My family actually goes crazy for these whenever I make them, too!
Did you know that chocolate and strawberries are an aphrodisiac?  Yes, yes, yes! A feel good treat! But why, oh why, are they so expensive? The ingredients certainly don't cost much! And, you rarely are able to buy them freely, except on special occasions. That's why I make my own.  And so can you!  It's quite easy to do! Here's how:

This post contains links to products, if you purchase something after clicking on the link I may earn a small commission to help with my craft expenses(at no extra cost to you). Thank you!

Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Fresh Strawberries (2 lbs)
1 bag (10 oz) Dark Chocolate Morsels
1 bag (11 oz) White Chocolate Chips (Ghirardelli)

Paper towels

Microwave safe bowls and spatulas

Parchment or wax paper

 Baking sheet

Small resealable plastic bag/scissors

Red gel (tube for decorating - optional)

     1.  Rinse the strawberries under cool water and gently pat dry with paper towels. The strawberries must be completely dry before dipping in the chocolate.  So spread them out on paper towels and let them dry.

2.  Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.

3.  In a small microwave safe bowl, microwave the dark chocolate morsels at 30-45 second intervals at 50% power. Stir until completely melted and smooth with no lumps.

4.  Pick up a strawberry by the top leaves and dip into the melted chocolate, swirly gently to cover strawberry three quarters in chocolate, just below the leaves. You might have to tilt the bowl if the chocolate isn't deep enough.  Then, lift the strawberry out, gently shaking to remove excess chocolate that's dripping.

5. Place strawberry on lined baking sheet.

6. Repeat dipping for half of the remaining strawberries.

7. In another small microwave safe bowl, microwave *white chocolate chips for 45-60 seconds at 50% power intervals. Stir until melted and smooth.

8.  Continue dipping remaining strawberries in the melted white chocolate, as before, gently shaking to remove excess chocolate and placing on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

*White Chocolate Covered Strawberries are perfect in appearance for Valentine’s Day but white chocolate is not as beneficial or rich and seductive as the dark chocolate, and neither is the flavor, lol!

To drizzle strawberries: Add melted chocolate (or candy melts of any color) to a small ziplock bag, pushing chocolate down to one corner of bag. Snip corner of bag with scissors and then, squeezing the bag gently, drizzle the chocolate over the strawberries using a zig-zag motion. I tried out a red decorative gel that comes in a tube for the white chocolate strawberries, thinking it would be easier to use than a plastic bag - but it wasn't, and the gel didn't set either, but remained sticky.

And finally, place the chocolate covered strawberries in the refrigerator until the chocolate sets, then, ENJOY!

Store in an airtight container, in a single layer on parchment paper, in the refrigerator up to 3 days. But I don't think they'll last that long!

Oh, and if you have any melted chocolate left over, drop by the spoonfuls onto  parchment paper or in small silicone molds (couldn't find mine in time) and let set in refrigerator. What another wonderful treat!

Be sure to visit all of the Blog Hop Co-Hosts for their Favorite Family Recipes!

And thanks for stopping by,


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