Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I can't believe it's here. As some of us are still scurrying to get all the presents wrapped and tucked away, I just wanted to send everyone a Merry Christmas!
May your homes be filled with love, laughter, & good health!
Happy Trails to welcoming the New Year!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Snapshot Ornaments!

Pinterest did it again! I came across this great idea (from Shannon Berrey's Design Blog) to make some really beautiful rustic looking Christmas ornaments. While Shannon painted gorgeous images on her pieces, I decided to use some snapshots taken from our trip to Colorado. Wow, do I love the way these came out!

To make these, you will need:
~ some thin slices of firewood (must be dried) - pre-drill the holes prior to adhering the photos
~ a glass or circle stencil that fits inside of the wood slice
~ some photos
~ mod podge
~ triple thick
~ two paintbrushes, one for mod podge and one for triple thick
~ twine or ribbon
~ scissors 
~ a needle and small nail

My handy man, aka hubby, cut and pre-drilled my wood slices. Brush off any excess wood shavings so that the piece is pretty clean. If it's not clean, your pics will have a tough time sticking. But... do not get the wood wet & do not try to wash it. If you do, you'll have to wait for it to dry out. Thin, wet wood will result in splitting. 

Using a glass as a stencil, trace around the portion of the picture you want to use as an ornament. Cut it out.

Mod podge the back side of the photo and wood. Press them together.

 Now from the back, lightly push a needle through to the front just enough to poke a small hole.

After you see the tiny dot, use a nail to poke a hole from the front of the picture towards the back. This will leave a nice finish where the picture won't look torn or sloppy.

Next, thread the ornament.

Now apply that triple thick, which is a gloss that gives a coating so thick, you will not be able to feel the edges of your photos. I love this stuff! (A ton of jewelry makers use this to set their beads.) You definitely do not want to overwork this stuff. Once it's applied, you should let it sit for about 4 hours before applying the second coat. But I doubt you'll need it... Hence, 'triple' thick.

You can even use a bigger piece of wood as a free standing picture display.

They came out beautiful! Wouldn't they make great gifts too?

Happy Trails till next time!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Creative Christmas ornaments

This time of year, I love to show my girls how you can make Christmas ornaments from almost anything.
For example take the following two projects! The first is a twig & birds nest which requires a couple sticks, glue, glitter, wire and beads.

(If you're going to do this project with little ones, replace the wire with twine.)
 Start by creating a small bundle of equally sized twigs. Wrap them with wire (or twine) to secure them together.

Grab the glue and start applying a thin coat to the stick ends. You really won't want to get glue in the center for a couple reasons. The glue won't adhere to the wire and if you use it one twine, you risk having it loosen from being wet. (Unless you want to make this into a two day project & have it dry overnight.)

Stick the glitter in a small Ziploc bag an throw the bundle of twigs inside. 
Give it a shake.

 Next you'll want to make the bird's nest.
I make these by threading the beads, or 'eggs', on the end of a wire & then continue by wrapping one string around them in a circular pattern. Towards the end, when my desired size/shape comes to be, I start to wire in opposing directions to secure it. There's a great YouTube video here in case you're looking for a more natural shaped nest.

Once complete, take the nest and hot glue it onto the glitter frosted branches.
That's it! You got yourself one more pretty ornament to add to the tree:)

Project #2 The glittered wooden spool.
All you need are a couple different sized beads, wire, one spool, glue and glitter.

Start by threading the smallest of the beads to the center of a 10 inch piece of wire.
Fold it in half & re-thread both pieces through a bigger bead.
Thread the beads through the center of the spool and add another one. The beads closest to the spool should be large enough to cover the hole.

Looking at this now, I totally could've made this into a butterfly or some type of bug
just by adding silk flower petals to one side for wings! Somebody better run
with that idea;)

Spread the two wires and add smaller beads on each end.
When complete, wrap the ends around each other and carefully tuck them into the opposing bead holes.

Add some glitter! Paint the spool with a thin coat of glue and drop it into that bag of glitter!

That's it! Isn't that just adorable?
Two creative projects to try when you're feeling crafty!
Happy Trails till next time!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

A Christmas Story

While at Joann's, looking for 'triple thick', (you'll hear about that in a different post), I came across this adorable panel for a fabric book. I mean, who can say 'no' to Mary Engelbreit?  I fell in love with the little mice, bright colors, & Christmas spirit. It was something I've never done so why not give it a try?

After all my panels were cut, I pinned each section prior to stitching because I wasn't so sure how the batting would be 'sew-able' through all those layers. A pleasant surprise, it worked!

Just remember to leave a descent size opening so that you can flip it right side out.
You can see in the picture below that I left an opening, about 4 inches wide.

When it came to finishing, I just pinned through all the layers and stitched the book together.

This is such a quick project to make!

After completed, I realized how you can really have fun creating your own, unique one of a kind books.
And.... you can even embellish the store bought panels by adding sparkles, beads, or ribbon to the images.
Two things I learned. The book panel covers should always be larger and felt or fleece makes a great filler in case you don't have batting on hand:)

Happy trails till next time!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Hello December

"The first fall of snow is not only an event, but it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of world and wake up to find yourself in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment, where is it to be found?"
~ J.B. Priestley

Sunday, November 30, 2014

diy clutch

Looking for a really simple project? Well, look no further! This quick and chic clutch is perfect for everyone & it's a cinch to make!

Here's what you'll need:
2 coordinating fabrics ~ (cut 2) 8 x 16 inches; (cut 2) 6 x 16 inches
13 inch zipper
1 large button
7 inch piece of twill (or ribbon for extra closure)
Lining fabric ~ (cut 2) 16 x 13 inches

Start by sewing the 6" x 16" piece to the 8" x 16" piece. (Keep face sides together.)

Open the connected fabric and top stitch the hem. (This part isn't necessary, but I love to do it when making bags because it minimizes a crease and bulging.)

Center & place the twill cord at the base of one panel and stitch it in place. 

You can replace the twill cord with a couple of other items like piping, ribbon, or stitched bias tape.
If you're going to use the ribbon, I would triple it up and braid it. Especially if it's going to be a frequently used bag.

Center that zipper and stitch it in place!
(I like to work one side at a time.) Sew the lining in place after.

Press to flatten the fabric so that it doesn't crowd the zipper. If it does, you can do a quick top stitch next to the zipper so that the fabric won't move. Just be sure to pin before you sew because lining loves to move!

Stitch both ends (where the zipper stops).

Then, making sure you LEAVE THE ZIPPER OPEN, face to face and lining to lining, stitch the bag complete. Don't forget to leave a few inches open in the lining so that you can reverse it and tuck it into the bag shape:)

I love this bag! It's versatile for so many things! I'm using mine to hold a couple art supplies since it's a pretty generous size! (Those paint brushes were looking a little cliche in the mason jar with knitting and crochet needles:)

Happy Trails till next time!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

America's Most Fun Small Town

Hello readers! Guess what? We returned from one of the most enlightening vacations I've ever been on. And of course, I want to tell you all about it!

Founded in the 1880's, Glenwood Springs, Colorado is literally known as ~ "America's Most Fun Small Town" and I can totally see why! With a population of only 9,620, in between colossal mountains, one really gets to see what a small town feels like. But it's still packed with soooo many things to do!

Let me start by saying that this has given whole new meaning to the word 'vacation'. This trip, which involved snow capped mountains, history, tons of sightseeing, hot springs, amusement parks, and some 'stepping out of my comfort zone', will go down in our family history as one of the funnest places we have ever been. Seriously, how often do you get say you saw bison and bighorn sheep while driving or that you went swimming in the snow?

Random note ~ Did you know that Glenwood Springs was one of the first American cities to have electricity?

The hot springs are an amazing experience, but even more so when you're surrounded by snow! Be prepared to smell the sulfur as the bottom of the therapy pool is lined with the softest stone packed with quarter size holes to let out the natural warm water.

This 4,800 foot long tram takes you up the mountain to The Glenwood Springs Adventure Park where rides, cave tours, shopping, & dining awaits!

The Fairy Caves, which were discovered by Charles W. Darrow, were originally purchased in hopes of finding gold. Instead, Darrow gave life to one of the most amazing cave tours in the Colorado. The Fairy Caves take you a quarter mile into the mountain where you get to see amazing images of fairies on the rocks while walking through turns and twists with the original light bulbs that were used to light the cave in the 1890's.

How many fairies can you spot?

 The Fairy Cave ends at the amazing Exclamation Point where you can see panoramic views of the whole town. It was breathtaking! King's Row Cave takes you on a descent of 150 feet to view the most amazing den of stalagmites and stalactite's. The tour guides were phenomenal with educating the tourists. And we especially enjoyed the stories of water drops being fairy kisses & the dragon who chased the giant out of the cave, as a huge ash footprint proves it's authenticity;)

I love the pictures above, because you get to see Darrow standing with two women at Exclamation Point & the girls in the exact same spot.

I can't believe we got a chance to see these beauties in their natural elements.
This was just a glimpse of some of the things you can do in town. 
If you're interested in learning a little more about taking this unique and amazing trip for yourself, here are a couple great sites to check out!

And ..... of course I had to make a stop at the local quilting store.
Check out these pretty fabrics that had to make it home!

Happy Trails to great places!