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Mass Production

Do you remember that post I did for a secret Santa, where I made an earring display hangar. I’ll link here it if you don’t. 

You should check that blog out first because this is me refining that process. Mr. Smith’s Aunt makes jewelry and owns a shop where all the goods are hand made. You can find out more about it on their Facebook page here


I thought it would be fun to get involved by making some fun ear ring cards. I’ve got a few different styles I’m working on, but the most involved ones are a variation on the one I did for my secret Santa. 

I started off by doing a color wash on the laser cut frames in green and purple; they are the primary colors of the store.


I then cut out appropriately sized sections of lace for each frame.


Then my favorite part…experimentation. I used some diluted paint to dye the lace. 


I soaked the lace in a paint and water mixture and then just gave it time to “cook”. By that I mean I zapped it for about 1 minute in the microwave and then just let it sit.


After 10 minutes or so I pulled the lace out of the paint mixture, doused it with lots of salt,  and gave it a good toss. Yup just plain old salt. It acts as a fix for most dyeing projects.


After a very good rinse in cold water I  lay the pieces out to dry. 


In my original hangar I used a second, identical frame to sandwich the lace between. This time around,to cut costs, and because the double frame was a bit hard to situate, I chose to use long slender craft sticks. 


I simply cut them in half and sanded the raw edge round to match its opposite. 


After a coat of paint on the sticks I used wood glue to sandwich the lace between the frame and the craft sticks, and clamped them with clothes pins


After a good drying period and an exact-o knife to clean up any overhanging lace on the back, the finished product is ready for the shop. 

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Secret Santa-ed

‘What did you get for Christmas?’ ‘A house’ ‘Well merry Christmas to you indeed’ am I right?

It’s a little scattered here 

  
How did we get so many chairs, all the furniture we own consists of chairs  

 luckily I planned ahead a little bit so I’ve got a few posts I can share with you 

So lots of people are likely doing their secret this coming week and I thought I would show you what I did for my secret Santa. 

My secret Santa wanted gift cards (boring) or ear rings (I can work with that) 
Most secret Santa gifts are limited to around $10 to $20. You can’t get much for that anymore. And to me small presents are all about the presentation so along with some $8 earnings from H&M I got $2 worth of craft supplies to make a little ear ring holder/ornament. 

You’ll need two laser cut frames like I used in one of my very first posts found here. 

  
Some paint, lace and some ribbon or twine for hanging.

  
First I painted my frames using a stippling technique to give them some texture. 

  
Then I just used hot glue to glue lace to the back side of one of the frames. I also layered some tulle in there simply because my lace had very large holes and the tulle would secure ear rings better.

  
Then I spot glued a small length of ribbon onto the back of the frame to serve as a hangar. 

  
Finally I coated the back of both frames with wood glue and sandwiched the lace and ribbon in between the two by gluing the frames back to back and carefully lining them up.

  
I clamped the layers together with clothes pins while it dried 

  
After about one hour I had a lovely way to gift ear rings and money left over in my Santa budget for other goodies. 

  
  

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Broken Glass

I got an early Christmas present. It’s called a kinkajou, and no I’m not referring to the furry forest dwelling creature. It’s a handy little mechanism for cutting glass bottles. 

  
It’s a pretty simple thing when you get down to it. It’s just two sets of rollers that clamp together around the bottle with a small scoring blade attached to one. 

  
The rollers then allow you to turn the bottle scoring it all the way around. The tricky part is getting the start and end points to line up. 

  
You then attach the included bands around the bottle and alternate hot and cold water along the score line to expand and crack the bottle along the score. 

  
It took my first bottle a long time to finally break all the way through. That’s partly because my score lines ended about 1/4 inch away from one another. Partly because it turns out the glass was incredibly thick.

  
Luckily even if your score lines are a little off (like mine were) they include a tool to snap off any jagged pieces. Unfortunately my glass was so thick this little tool wouldn’t even fit over it so I had to improvise a bit. 

  
They also include sand paper to get rid of any sharp areas. 

  
It was surprisingly easy even having picked the seemingly thickest bottle ever, I have a feeling Mr. Smith has created a monster with this one.

  

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Clothes Pin-terest 

As you saw in my last blog I’ve been scouring Pinterest for DIY Christmas ornament ideas so Mr. Smith and I can have some memories for our first Christmas as husband and wife (maybe even in our first house if everything goes to plan) 

I came across a few involving clothes pins the other day that looked pretty easy so I thought I would give them a go.

  
Start by taking apart some (by some I mean 8) wooden clothes pins.

    
Then glue the flat sides together like so

  
I followed that up by staining them  along with a lot of other Christmas ornament supplies by using diluted paint. That’s completely optional though

  
This is also completely optional. I wrapped the edges of the pins with washi tape. 

  
Next lay out your pins in a star/snowflake pattern. It’s easiest to first do four at 90* angles from each other and four in between those

  
  
Then find a bauble to glue to the middle on each side.

   
I chose to use a small fabric flower topped by a wooden snowflake

   
Just string some twine or ribbon through one of the small holes in the pins or glue one on and you’re all set

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Like Tiny Snowflakes 

Mr. Smith and I are getting ready to buy a house and we get to move our hodge podge of stuff into it. Unfortunately that hodge podge does not include any Christmas decorations. 

  
So we are going to make some of our own this year. Here is a quick one I did over the weekend.

  
I started with one of these laser cut wooden snow flakes. Similar to my laser cut frames I painted a while ago and just as cheap.

  
Then I actually used washi tape to decorate something instead of as makeshift painters tape like I usually do. 

  
After covering the whole thing I just used an exacto knife to cut out the holes. 

  
So when I said quick that was a relative statement.

  
 It was something interesting to do while Mr. Smith played Fallout 4 in the background though. 

  
When it was all done I used some of the guilding wax that made an appearance last week to jazz it up a bit. 

  
Repeat on the other side, seal with clear acrylic, tie a ribbon to hang and you’re all set. 

  

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Free!

I am going to attempt the impossible. I set out to make a completely free diy project.

  
And by free I mean by using leftover “junk” around the house.

  
Let’s start with some bottle caps, 10 to be exact. Grab my trustee nail polish and pick out a couple of contrasting colors. Paint 5 bottle caps one color 5 another.

  
A couple more colors and some Xs and Os, you can probably see where this is headed.

  
Next grab a little linen sack or something similar. This one came from some novelty gum Mr. Smith just had to have. Use a fabric pen or paint or just a sharpie to put on the grid.

  
Once everything is dry you can toss it all in the bag and voila you have an on the go conflict resolution implement for the kiddos, or frustration for the adults when they figure out how to always end up in a draw. 

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Lemon aid 

When life gives me lemons…. I remind myself how much I love lemonade, seriously it’s an addiction. Know what else I love 

Put it this way, when life gives me scraps, I make bows.

  
When we were visiting Mr. Smith’s Aunt she kindly gave me a ton of amazing (adorable, wonderful, darling, “OMG I need this in my life!”) scrap material 

One stipulation… I had to make bow ties for her new yorkie… 

  
Oh what a hassle that would be (can I just inform anyone unfamiliar with tinybows that statement was dripping with sarcasm) 

I got started right away

  
Just use the same template found on this blog post for my felt hair bows and cut two pieces of the bow loop part of the template. 

  
Cut them at the same time with right sides facing towards one another and take into account seam allowance

   
Sew the two pieces together (still with outsides facing towards one another)

  
Then turn the piece right side out and flatten your seams. If needed (or wanted) you can iron it to get the seams to cooperate, I didn’t because the bows tend to be a little fluffier if you don’t flatten the seams with an iron.

  
Then cut a small rectangle of fabric about 1 inch by 2 inches and sew the long sides together with right sides facing together and again turn right side out

As a tip I had to use a pencil or sometimes a crochet hook to turn the pieces.

  
Then sew the two ends of the bow loop together.

  
Sew the center piece to the side of the back seam of the bow loop.

(Optional if you plan on attaching it to a collar) Sew a small strip of elastic on top of the  center piece

  
Wrap the center piece around the bow loop and sew it on the same seam as it started

  
Here comes the hard part, you have to stretch the elastic and sew it to the remaining centerpiece so that it rouches the fabric and allows the elastic to stretch

  
Trim any excess fabric and elastic and sew the end to the opposite side of the back of the bow 

  
You can of course adjust the size of the pattern based on how big you want the bow for your fur baby but the elastic allows it to easily stretch over the latch of a collar.