Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Guest Post at Peek Into My Paradise

Hi everyone! 
Today I'm over at Cathy's blog, Peek Into My Paradise, as a guest host while she's moving and settling in to her new home. 

Hope you enjoy reading about another recycling tutorial.  This one is on  " Corrugated Cardboard Jewelry."   It's gorgeous, believe it or not, and it was so quick and easy to make.  Just take a look at the picture:

See you at Cathy's!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Inspirational Quote

Good Sunday Morning!

I was invited by Rhonda Gales  to join her linky party,  "Quote Me Sunday"   . . . . a collection of your favorite inspirational quotes.

I really don't have any favorite quotes off hand, but I did recently do a guest post (coming Wednesday) where I shared this about me.

I love the idea of expressing one's favorite quote, especially on a Sunday.

If you have a favorite quote, please stop by Rhonda's and join the party!


Friday, July 18, 2014

How to Cut a Book Into a Vase

I've been wanting to make a vase from a book for quite some time.  I first saw this idea on Country Living magazine's website a long time ago.  I love that magazine and have a subscription.  It features really unique craft projects with each issue.  But before I get started with the tutorial, I must apologize to my sister, Sandra, who was a librarian and my son, Adam, who is a freelance writer and anyone else with a love for books for basically destroying this book.  No harm to a good book happened here.  I purposely bought the book for this craft at the dollar store and stained the edges with black tea to give it a worn look, although I do regret not reading it first.  I'm all about recycling.

To make the vase, I found that the easiest way to shape a book into a vase is to cut it by hand using an xacto knife. Someone suggested using a band saw.  Can't imagine doing that. 

Anyway, let's get started.  

I use one of my vases as a pattern and drew around the side of the vase onto a white piece of paper the size of my book and then traced it onto a piece of cardboard.

The design of the vase should fit the height of the book. Too bad I couldn't find a really tall book to capture the lovely curves of my vase.   Keep in mind that the width of the vase will be twice as wide when finished so your template should be narrower when drawing the overall shape. 

Next, cut your pattern you just drew out of the cardboard.  Tape or clamp the cardboard template to the front portion of the book against the binding and around the back cover to prevent movement of the cardboard while you are cutting.

With a sharp xacto knife, cut along the template, slicing though several pages at a time, removing as many cut out pages as you can until all are done. 

Apparently I can't cut straight even though I was following the template.  I had slivers of paper all over the place.  I suggest having a trash bag beside you for clean up.  It was easier for me to cut and see the pages by turning the book upside down. Midway through cutting, I repositioned the template on the remaining sheets which made it easier to finish cutting them out. 

Once you've finished cutting out the vase pattern, remove the outside hardcovers leaving the spine binding intact. 

Next, take the front page and the last page and fold them with the rest of the book backward. It helps to crease along the spine to help with gluing the pages together and making the shaped pages more flexible.  Place glue on the first and last pages and along the binding and press together.  Hold or clamp for a few minutes until dry and secure.

As I mentioned before, I dabbed tea on the pages to give it an aged look.  The tea also helped to swell the pages a bit. 

Now step back and admire your work!     What an adorable book vase!

I just had to make spiral flowers out of some of the left over pages to go in the vase!  More recycling, folks!

I guess the glue was still drying because once I put the stems in between the binding, I couldn't pull them out

Don't know which view I like best.

The possibilities are unlimited for designing and cutting out a book vase.

And the best part is that it's quite simple, cheap, and easy to do in no time!

You just have to make one!

Take a little time to enjoy


Happy Crafting!


Friday, July 11, 2014

DIY Faux Coral Glass Candleholder

During a aha moment .  .  .  .  you know the one you have while perusing through a magazine or shopping at a favorite store where you say, oh, I love it, but I can probably make that, and after much thinking and sleepless nights you actually find a way to put it all together.  Yay, man!  That's what happened to me when I saw pictures of a coral hurricane on Frontgates' website.  So pretty, but too, too expensive for me at $175.

The details on the white one are hard to see  . . .

and I'm so tempted to paint mine in a shade of purple after seeing it in red! There are some purple coral, you know!

Oh how I wanted to re-create this faux coral accent piece!  I don't sleep well and wake up quite often during the night.  Usually I just go back to sleep after awhile, but with this, all I could think about was how I could make it. I had made a starfish bowl here and also a wired candleholder here and remembering how I did those two helped me put the coral candleholder together.

Using 16 gauge white cloth wrapped stem wire as the foundation, I wrapped four stems around a glue bottle to get spiral shapes.  

I gently pulled the spiral rings apart and connected the ends forming a circle.

I inserted the glass candleholder I would be using to make sure of the sizing.  

I closed the loops with needle nose pliers and made "feet" by squeezing the loops tightly together to hold the glass container.  I also inserted another stem wire forming a circle through the loops for added support.

Next, I added different lengths of individual stems in random patterns to mimic the shape of coral and tying the connections with floral wire.

I wrapped the connections with masking tape to avoid wire rust through the clay. 

 One thing I didn't want to do was make a pulp out of toilet paper and flour.  That was too messy when I used it before and would make a tedious project even longer.  I saw a YouTube tutorial for a simple, inexpensive homemade flour, glue and water clay that said it dried hard as a rock and lasted for years, so I decided to try that.
I made about five small batches .  .  .

rolling the clay .  .  .

and applying it to the stems, one section at a time, with water and a paint brush. The clay was very stretchy and easy to work with.  I could rough it up a bit and added pock marks and lumps.

It took me about three days, off and on, to cover the stems inside and out and letting it dry overnight.  I could add additional clay by wetting it and smoothing it over the dried clay with a wet brush.

In between, I would try the glass candleholder on to make sure it was still fitting and that the "faux coral" could hold the glass in place.
After I was satisfied with the overall look, I painted mod podge over the entire surface, outside and inside to seal and let dry.
Then I decided to coat all of the faux coral with a sample of pure white chalk paint that I had. You can spray on a primer and paint with another type of paint at this point, if you want.
I absolutely love how the faux glass candleholder turned out.
And it fits in perfectly anywhere on my patio.

 Have you had a aha moment lately?

Take a little time to enjoy


Happy Crafting!

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