Sunday, August 25, 2013

Thrift Store Finds

Jerry basically kicked me out of the house in terms of melting pony beads (because of the toxic fumes) even though I opened windows and doors and ran the fans. So, after breakfast yesterday he took me to a thrift store he knew about in search of a toaster oven I could use outside. Didn't find the oven at that store but did find a couple of other treasures ;)
First was one of those "wave" afghans from the 70's. This one is very sturdy or else it was never used because it is in perfect condition. The colors match my living room so well and as you can see, it is Declan approved. Seems to me these types of afghans are so far out they are back in!

Next, I found a Judy Severson embossed quilt print in a horrible frame and mat job. I love her stuff and have one already. Mine needed reframing anyway so I removed both from their captives frames and will soon take them to Michael's. Got a great bargain.

Finally we went to "my" thrift store where we found a fabulous toaster oven that will fit taller stuff and a couple molds that I used in the project as well. :)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

More Pony Bead Creations

I made this bowl by first melting beads in a cake pan, cooling it, and then remelting the disc over an upside down copper mold.

Made this suncatcher by melting beads in a cake pan but with three cookie cutters to create negative space. Not easy to remove. Then I used the cookie cutters to make three dragonflies to hang; however, two of them are still stuck in the molds and broken. So, then I laid beads out individually in a dragonfly pattern and melted those. I broke one of those while trying to drill a hole in it. Luckily the one I broke and the one I was able to remove from the mold were the same color so I still ended up with one of each color.

*Additional info - I purchased a tall Betty Crocker toaster oven from Friends of Strays thrift shop for $20 so I could melt the beads outside and avoid fumes in the house. Now hubby says the toaster oven is too nice to use as a craft oven ????

Monday, August 19, 2013

Cousin Sarah's 8th Birthday

My cousin Erica planned another fabulous birthday event for her daughter Sarah's birthday - three hours at McGough Nature Park. We started with snacks and punch and looking around the desplays. Next, the park rangers brought in animals, both alive and taxidermy, and gave a presentation. The aniamls included snakes, owls, raccoon, fox, and alligator. Next we had birthday cake and opened presents. Then the park ranger led the kids in a craft project of turning pine cones into bird feeders. The day ended with feeding the turtles in the pond. Both adults and kids enjoyed the afternoon.

 Our brave birthday girl

A clos eup of the albino corn snake Sarah was holding

Cute little screech owls

Mom and me in front of a taxidermy sand hill crane

The family - Sarah in front, Erica, Lea, and Don in middle, Sonja in the back. Lea is my first cousin, Erica & Sonja are my first cousins once removed, leaving Sarah as my first cousin twice removed. Don is husband, dad, and grandpa.

The craft project - peanut butter and seed covered pine cones

The turtle pond held 8 species of turtles

Saturday, August 17, 2013

My Mom Got A New Car

Here's mama with her new car is my cousin Lea's driveway in Atlanta. Yup, mom and I flew to Atlanta for her to pick up her new car. Then we drove as far as Inverness, spent the night, and then home. She's had her car a couple weeks now and is still learning it but loving it. Oh, it's a Chevrolet SUV.

Guess who else got a new car? Well, new to me. This was mom's car - a 2000 Dodge caravan. It's 3 years newer than my Buick but with about 60,000 less miles. I am donating the Buick.

When my dad was here one New Years Day we went to a bowl game in Orlando where Arkansas was playing Wisconsin. He brought all sorts of Razorback stuff and I came across these while cleaning out the guest room (cleaning it out to make a CRAFT ROOM!)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Pony Beads

So, I joined the latest internet crafting craze and tried my hand at melting pony beads. It's an inexpensive and easy project so I do recommend it. It does have one downfall - melting plastic in your oven will give off a fume. Either open the windows and turn on a fan or do it outside in a toaster oven or BBQ.

I bought a 1lb tub of these beads in assorted transparent colors at Michael's for about $6. It made 3 projects. First, I placed a cookie cutter in the middle of a non-stick cake pan. Then I fished out the red and orange beads because they were just too intense for the other mellow colors. I used the cookie cutter to create a heart shape hope in the center. Popped it in a 400 degree oven for what the instructions said was 20 minutes; however, I preferred the effect at about 30 minutes.

After you remove from oven let it cool about thirty minutes. If it's cooled it will pop right out of the cake pan with no problem; however, the cookie cutter was not non stick so it took a bit of prying. My sun catcher is pretty sturdy because I added at least a double layer of beads but some folks who carefully place a single layer of beads say theirs is delicate. So, removing a cookie cutter without breaking the piece might be a challenge if you use a single layer of beads. Also, I did take a box cutter to the edges to smooth it a bit.

Next Jerry drilled a hole for me and I used green floral wire to create a hanger.

For second project, I filled a large cookie cutter placed on a cookie with the red and orange beads. The cookie cutter was not perfectly flat so you can see a little "run" by the tail. I will need to trim that off. I also tried to lift off the cookie cutter too early, thinking I would avoid the slight difficulty of removing the heart shaped cutter in first piece, and that caused the edges of the fish to have a slightly raised edge (which I liked :). By the way, it wasn't at all difficult to remove the cooled fish from the cookie cutter - must be the difference in removing a cutter from the melted beads versus removing the melted beads from the cookie cutter.

Finally for third piece, I dumped all the remaining beads, which included all colors, into a smaller cake pan and made an 8" disk. While it cooled I placed a stainless steel bowl on a cookie sheet then placed the cooled disk on top of the bowl and returned it to the oven. As it heated up it soften and took the shape of the bowl. That took about 10 minutes. Let it cool and then popped it off.  Lesson learned - if you use a cake pan with "Ecko Baker's Secret" relief on the bottom, it will show up on your project. Can you see it on the bottom of the bowl?

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy

Lately all of our time has been centered around work, taking care of the dogs, and Marge. Long story short, she is in rehab probably until October 28th. Oh! And I flew to Atlanta last Friday so my mom could buy a new car! We drove it home last weekend.

This weekend is cousin Sarah's 8th birthday so I'll go to her party tomorrow. Today, however, was for crafting. One I will share.

I bought this baroque frame from Michael's (on sale for 40% off), a white double mat, rhinestone stickers and fancy paper from the scrapbooking area, ribbon, and paper flowers with "pearl" centers. I found a place online where you can insert your pedigree information and then print it off for free. So I created a pedigree chart for Sarah, added the corner decos to the mat, then hot glued ribbon and flowers to the outside of the frame. I don't know if she will appreciate her family tree at 8 years old but I do believe she will like the frame.

Earlier this week I got a good start on a fund-raiser wreath for Ratbone. I like to take my time and think about what will look good and what will look overdone. I found this cool red burlap ribbon with buttons on it at Hobby Lobby. My first time in one of those stores and I got there as they were making the "we are closing in 5 minutes" announcements. I was determined to find something in 5 minutes.

Neighborhood Muscovy

Broke Wing So, back in March a mama Muscovy showed up with 14 ducklings in the pond across the street. These ponds are retention pond...