Monday, September 29, 2014

Recycled Pink Feathered Owls

 I recently did this post on Tuula's blog, The Thrifty Rebel  for "Think Pink Mondays."  I am one of the Pink Ladies!

For the post, I wanted to make something fun and whimsical.  You know I love making owls, as seen herehere, and here. And I've had on my mind to make an owl using feathers.   So why not use pink feathers.   How cute would that be.  It was so easy.  I keep empty plastic bottles in my stash.  You never know when and what you can make with them.  Using empty salad dressing bottles,
 I cut off the tops, and replaced the opening with v shaped cardboard.
I lightly painted everything pink since the plastic was so shiny.
And then added tacky glue to attach the feathers. 
I cut four stem wire strips for each foot and wrapped wire around to hold in place and then painted them pink also.
I got so carried away with applying the feathers and eyes that I forgot to take pictures.  You can see how I actually added the eyes in the above links.
My hands were a mess from the glue and feathers.  But I'm loving these cuties!


Whoo! Whoo!



Pink is the word . . .



is the word . . . that you heard!

What's the word, Birds?
What a HOOT!!!
Thank you so much, Tuula for inviting me to guest blog!


Linking To:

What's Scarier Linky Party for Halloween and Breast Cancer Awareness by

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Decorative Wine Bottle Chain Covers

One of my favorite pastimes is to surf the net for inspiration.  At Jo-Ann's Idea Center I came across a tutorial for a beaded wine bottle drape.  I've always wanted to make one of these and was excited to find a tutorial on how to do it.  The picture of the drape was just the type I was looking for, the only problem I had was understanding the directions. They seemed backwards and some of the supplies unnecessary.  The first few steps sounded ok but the fourth step talked about forming the bottom of the design. And the seventh step was about attaching jump rings to the chain around the neck.  How can you start at the top and then jump to the bottom and then back to the top?  Hmmm.  You can take a look at their directions and see if you understand them but I was so confused that I decided to make my own step by step instructions.

I used the following (purchased at Jo-Ann's):

1 chain (silver tone 70 inches long) Used about 45 inches for this wine bottle.
1 pkg. silver metal connectors
1 pkg. 7.25 mm silver jump rings
Needle-nose pliers


1.  Remove a 5 inch section of the chain and place around the neck of the bottle and close by connecting the links together (no jump ring needed).

2.  Attach 4 jump rings equally spaced around the chain.  Add one link, a jump ring and connector (in that order) to each jump ring.

 (I switched bottles to see the parts better)

3.   Add a jump ring to the center bottom of each connector and attach two - 7 link chains. Counting links here is more accurate than measuring.

4.  Attach one left chain and one right chain to a jump ring and add to the top of opposite connectors.

5.  Add jump rings to bottom center of each connector, attaching two - 8 link chains, left and right to each, as before. (I added an eight link for the wider portion of the bottle to hang better).

6.  Repeat step 5, attaching left, right chains to jump rings and connector for completion.

I added flat back rhinestones to the connectors for a more decorative look.

This is exactly how I imagined it would look.  Super cool!
The wine bottle chain cover can be dressed up or down depending on the look of the chains and connectors.  They really enhance the appearance of any wine bottle. 
It's a wonderful gift to make and give to wine lovers .  .  .  especially with the coming holidays!


Take a little time to enjoy


Happy Crafting!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Norwegian Getaway Anniversary Cruise

We had a fun time celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary on Norwegian's new ship the Getaway. We've sailed many times with Norwegian, are Lattitude Rewards Members, staying in the Haven section of the ship and really reaped many wonderful onboard benefits by traveling with this cruiseline.  It was like a fantasy vacation. 

Gerald & Gail

The Haven is a collection of luxurious staterooms located on the top levels of the ship.  We experienced personalized service that included having a butler and concierge 24 hours a day. We had our own courtyard including a private pool, sundeck, hot tub and fitness room, a private dining room and bar lounge.   Our cruise package included free drinks but all Haven dwellers received free champagne, flowers, chocolate covered strawberries (my favorite), fruit platters, Godiva chocolates and so much more. Once I mentioned not seeing any gummi bears in the courtyard like I had seen on another cruise and later that day a bowl of gummi bears showed up in our cabin.  My hubby mentioned he couldn't find any oatmeal raisin cookies for snacking and a plateful was delivered each day. 

Everyone was so friendly.  We went to the Captain's Meet and Greet on the second night where you get to know the ship's officers and are treated with free drinks and hors d'oeuvres. There we met a very nice officer by the name of Marites (Tek) Sonza, the Executive Housekeeper. She told us she spent a few months in Germany helping to get the ship ready for launching.   Tek asked if we were celebrating anything while on the ship and we casually mention our 45th wedding anniversary.  When we got back to our room, it had been decorated wishing us a Happy Anniversary, including another bottle of champagne and more hors d'oeuvres.  It was beyond belief!  How wonderful and so thoughtful of Tek and her staff!

The cruise lasted seven days and stopped in Philipsburg, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Nassau.  We've been to those places many times over the years and always enjoy re-visiting such interesting spots.  I'm not going into any details about the islands .  .  . I'll just say one word .  .  . Paradise!

This is a view from our balcony of the hotel where we spent our honeymoon in Nassau some forty-five years ago.  It was a Sheraton back then and has changed ownership many times since. Nice to see it still looking good and inviting.

Besides sunning on deck, going to shows, listening to bands, drinking and eating, during one of the days at sea, I had time to attend a cake decorating class.  Based on Buddy Valastro, the "Cake Boss," method of decorating cakes, I had a fun time learning some of the tricks of the trade in cake decorating, using fondant on an actual cake. 

First the chef gave us a lesson on how to work the fondant to decorate the cake and then we tried it on our own.

It wasn't as easy as it looked!



The cake was suppose to be decorated with a beachy theme. 
I had sand (graham cracker crumbs), an umbrella, bridge, ocean (gel), a shark, surfboard, and octopus . . . can you tell I got carried away with making cute little objects out of fondant?

And actually got a certificate for taking the class!

We got to take our cakes back to our cabins.  It was chocolate and raspberry flavored cake which was so delicious and very, very sweet!

All the participants had a picture taken holding their cakes.  The finished pic had an image of the Cake Boss inserted.  

So Cool!
 In all, it was a very relaxing and wonderful celebration. I highly recommend cruising!


Monday, September 15, 2014

Burlap Accordion Pumpkin

I've just really started thinking about decorating for fall.  One idea that I've come across is accordion paper pumpkins.    I think they are so adorable for fall d├ęcor.  They are actually different sizes of paper medallions stacked together to form a pumpkin.  Making them out of burlap would be a different twist on a cute idea don't you think!   

Here's how I put one together.

Gather the following items:
Orange burlap
mod podge
paint brush
tacky glue/ hot glue
circle template
small piece of brown burlap for stem
stem wire
small piece of green burlap for leaves
small piece of foam noodle (optional)

The first thing you need to do is coat the orange burlap with mod podge and allow to dry.

Next, cut out   2 - 5 1/2 inch x 12 inch strips
             2 - 5 inch x 12 inch strips
             2 - 4 3/4 inch x 12 inch strips
             2 - 4 1/2 inch x 12 inch strips
             2 - 4 inch x 12 inch strips
             1 -  2 1/2 inch 12 inch strip

Fold the burlap strips back and forth like an accordion, using the handle of the scissors to make crisp edges.

Glue the two strips together using tacky glue to create one large piece and then glue the ends together to create a pleated circle.

Cut out 2 small circles for each layer, top and bottom, to hold the accordion shape together.

Take the enclosed accordion circle and push down on the pleats until it flattens and push the edges toward the center, as close as possible, to create a medallion or rosette.

Add hot glue around the center and place a burlap circle on top and allow to dry. Once dry, turn over and glue another burlap circle to the center of the medallion.

Do the same for all the strips of burlap, creating six layers.

Stack the layers on top of each other beginning with the widest accordion piece, creating a pumpkin shape.

I used a piece of foam noodle between each layer to add a bit of "body" to the pumpkin and make it look a bit fuller.

To create the stem,  I rolled a piece of brown burlap ribbon using a skewer and glued the end, then inserted a wire stem and wrapped it around a pencil to shape and hot glued it to the top layer.

Adding green burlap leaves to the top:


Love how cute this burlap accordion pumpkin turned out.  Wouldn't it be great to use this as a centerpiece or to decorate throughout your home for Autumn, Fall or Thanksgiving?

Take a little time to enjoy


Happy Crafting!