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