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1  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Easter / Lamb Place Name Holder - Tutorial on: March 05, 2008 08:55:16 AM
Hi Everyone,

If you happen to be one of the "lucky" ones that gets to entertain for Easter this year, you may like this craft. This lamb is a place name holder for the dinner table. The body is made out of cotton swabs, and the legs are made from two clothespins.  The clothespins can hold a name tag or a little note.  

The tutorial is below.  For more step by step photos of the process, please visit:  http://www.crafts-for-all-seasons.com/lamb-craft.html

Things Needed:

white card stock
cotton swabs
two wooden clothespin
markers to add the face
small ribbon to make a bow for the head

1.  Cut out a oval and circle from white cardstock (or visit my website for the pattern templates).

2.  Next, cut off the heads of cotton swabs.  If a child is making this craft, be sure an adult does this part.  Make each cotton swab end about 1/2 inch long.

3. Begin gluing the cotton swab tips to the card stock body of the sheep, beginning at the back of the body.  Then, layer more cotton swabs across the body.  

4.  Next, glue two cotton swab tips to the side of the head to be the ears.

5.  To make the lamb's "hair", cut three cotton swab tips off right at the head of the swab; they will be about 1/4 long.  Layer and glue these to the top of the head as shown in the finished photo.

6.  Use some markers to add on some cute facial features for the lamb.

7.  Tie the ribbon in a small bow, and glue it to the top of the lamb's head.

8.  Glue two wooden clothespins to the back of the lamb's body.  Check for balance and levelness when the glue is tacky, by standing the lamb up. Readjust the legs as necessary.  Then allow them to dry completely.

Thanks for looking!

2  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Forest of Trees Decoration: TUTORIAL on: February 05, 2008 12:39:50 PM

Do any of you own a band saw? If so here's a cute wood craft that makes a beautiful table top decoration for Christmas. I need to do a few more posts before I can add in photos, but the complete tutorial and completed photo can be found here:

Below are the step by step instructions.

Things Needed:

1/2 inch scrap pieces of wood
1/4 inch scrap pieces of wood
paints and paintbrush
3 tea lights (or as many as desired)
wood glue
band saw

1.  Begin this Christmas wood craft by cutting out a base with the band saw, using the 1/2 inch thich wood.  Make the base any size you choose.  Oval, irregular shapes work best.  Then, paint the base white like snow and allow it to dry.

2.  Next, cut out triangles for the trees, using the 1/2 inch thick wood. Once you have the triangles cut, work with each one, cutting out notches for the branches. Make a few different sizes, then paint them green.  They came be decorated by splattering white paint on them, to look like snow, as shown here.  Some could also be decorated with ornaments.  This can easily be done by dipping the blunt end of a paint brush (or a cotton swab) into colorful paints and making "dots" on the tree.  Trees could also be decorated using glitter or sequins.  Get creative!  This is the fun part.

3.  The 1/4 inch thick wood can be used to make accessories to the winter scene.  Try cutting out a snowman and a little sign, and paint them.

4.  Next, assemble all the trees on top of the wooden base, and secure with wood glue.  Allow this to dry well overnight.  Place a few tea lights around the base for a beautiful effect.

Thanks for looking!

3  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Valentine's Day / Beaded Heart Pin : TUTORIAL on: February 05, 2008 12:32:22 PM

Hello Friends,

I would like to share a tutorial on how to make a beaded heart pin, using tri-beads, a pipecleaner, and some lace ribbon.  

Below are the step by step instructions.

Things Needed:

8 inch red pipe cleaner
lacy ribbon, approximately 3/4 inch wide
red tri-beads
small length of ribbon for the bow
fine wire
pin backing of choice

1.  Begin the pin by threading a red tri-bead on to the pipe cleaner.  Next, thread the ribbon on to the pipe cleaner, through one of the lacy holes.  Follow with another red tri-bead.  Work near the end of the pipe cleaner, for easier threading. Continue by threading the ribbon on again.

2.  Continue threading until you have most of the pipe cleaner covered.

3.  When most of the pipe cleaner is threaded, wrap the remaining pipe cleaner tightly around the last tri-bead to secure it.

4.  Bend the pipe cleaner in the shape of a heart, and secure the ends by wrapping the last tri-beads together with a thin piece of wire.

5.  Add a small bow to the pin. This can be secured with a fine wire or some glue.  Add on the pin back and the beaded heart pin is ready to wear!

If you would like to see more step by step photos of how this is done, feel free to visit the complete tutorial by clicking here:  http://www.crafts-for-all-seasons.com/Valentine-heart-pin.html

4  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Spider Web Earrings - Tutorial on: October 25, 2007 12:27:33 PM
I recently made some Halloween earrings that look like little spider webs with a little spider dangling from them.  

If you are interested in knowing how I made them, I posted the tutorial below.  I'm too new here to post photos but I have a bunch of photos of each step in at my website:  http://www.crafts-for-all-seasons.com/spider-web-earrings.html
which may help you visualize things better.

Things Needed:
-Two wine charm rings - (These are sold in craft stores, usually by the jewelry and bead section.  They are sold usually in a four pack and are meant to be used to make your own wine charms.  If you can't find them, you can use any wire loop, or make your own by bending wire)
- Black seed beads
- Black embroidery floss or strong black thread
- Glitter spray paint (optional)
- 2 jewelry jump rings (little loops sold in the jewelry section of your craft store)
- 2 French hook earring findings
- 4 small black pom poms (I used the 5 mM size)
- 8 regular staples (yes, from your stapler, these will be the spiders legs!)
- Tiny piece of black card stock
- White paint and pin or toothpick (to make the spider's eyes)
- White glue that dries clear
- Scissors
- Needle
- Jewelry pliers and/or tweezers (optional, but they can help out)
- Wax paper or parchment paper

1.  Begin the spider web earrings by opening up the wine charm rings. Thread on black seed beads all the way around the ring.  At the end, add on a jump ring.  Then, close up the wine charm ring.  The charm rings I bought required you to bend up the one end of the loop slightly with jewelry pliers and insert it into a tiny hole on the other end to secure.

2.  Next, cut off about one foot of embroidery floss and unravel it until you have single strands.  Thread a single strand of black floss through your needle. Then, wrap this thread around the loop ring, in between two of the seed beads.  Tie a knot to secure the thread, and cut off the excess as close as you can to the loop ring.

3.  Begin to make the spider web by pulling the thread across the ring loop, in various patterns.  Try not to always go directly across the middle, or the spider web will look too "perfect".  When the thread reaches the other side, wrap it between the seed beads, and around once to secure.  The seed beads keep the floss in place nicely.  When you are finished threading, tie the the floss off in a knot between two seed beads, and cut off the excess and close as you can to the ring loop to make it look nice and neat.

4.  The next step for the spider web earrings is optional, but I really recommend it.  Give the front and back of the spider web loop earrings a coat of silver glitter spray paint.  Let it dry between doing the front and back sides.  It really gives it some extra sparkle!

5.  Making the spider:  First, gather up your parts.  The two pom poms will be the spider's body.  Cut a tiny piece of black card stock in a small rectangle. You don't want the length to be any longer than the width of the two pom pom's side by side (in my case, slightly smaller than 1 cm).  The card stock's purpose is to be the base of the spider to glue the parts to, but you don't want to see it in the final product. Then, using your tweezers or jewelry pliers, pry off four staples from a length of standard staples you would load into your desk stapler.  These will be the legs.

6.  Make your spider on top of a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper, so if the glue oozes, you can carefully peel him off safely.  Begin by adding a drop of glue to the card stock.  You may want to use tweezers here to hold down the tiny card stock so it doesn't stick to your glue tip!  Then, glue on two staples across this card stock, in an "x" pattern.  Use your tweezers to help place the staples.

7.  Add another drop of glue on top of the staples, where they meet at an "x". Then, place another two staples on top of the previous two.

8.  Add another drop of glue on top of all the staples, and then place the two black pom poms on top of everything to be the spider's body.  Use your tweezers for help.  Allow this to dry very well.  When dry, you can use the head of a pin or a toothpick, dipped in some white paint, to add two tiny eyes, if desired.

9.  When you are sure the spider is nice and dry, thread your needle with another length of one ply black embroidery floss.  At the top of the spider's head, insert your needle through the head width wise.  Try to get deep enough in the pom pom so the thread will be secure and will not pull out. Then pull your thread through, and make a knot.  Cut off the trailing end of the floss as close as possible to the spider's head.

10.  To attach the spider to the spider web earrings, wrap the floss around the bottom of the loop, in between two seed beads.  Determine how far you want the spider to dangle from the loop and adjust the floss length as necessary (for my earrings the spider hangs 1 cm below the loop).  Once the length is determined, secure this by wrapping the thread around the ring loop one more time (in between the seed beads again) to secure it well, then bring the thread back down towards the spider.  As you bring the tread back down to the spider, wrap it around the floss a few times.  This is done to make it look like only one thread holding the spider instead of two.  

11.  Finally, to secure to the spider, you want to thread your needle through the spider head once again.  Then make a square knot and cut off any excess.

12.  Add a second jump loop to the first jump loop, using some jewelry pliers or tweezers if necessary.  Then add on the French hook earrings.  

Thanks for looking!

5  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Re: Are there any candle making tuts?? on: October 23, 2007 11:33:16 AM

I like to work with gel wax, it is a easy wax to work with for beginners since clean up is so easy.  Below I've posted links to two different tutorials that explain, step by step, how to make two different candle projects.  The first is how to make gel candles that look like glasses of champagne.  The second is how to layer three different colors of gel wax in a votive candle to a decorative accent.  Have fun!


6  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Re: Costume for a Preggo? on: October 18, 2007 12:05:25 PM
I'm also pregnant and I was planning on going as a hippie, they were all about free love so I think the big belly will look appropriate with the costume.  But oh my gosh I just laughed so hard at the picture that meowari posted, I may change my costume now!

7  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Re: Kitchen Decoration Help on: October 18, 2007 11:05:48 AM
Hhhmmm... that is a good question.  If you buy them from a lab supply place, like my company does, they are expensive.  I did a quick google search and found the following link: http://www.hometrainingtools.com/catalog/chemistry/glassware-plasticware/cat_beakers-flasks.html which seems a little more reasonable but they also are a bit pricey for your purpose ($4 to $5 a flask).  Or do you know anyone that works at a hospital? They would have that stuff too.  I guess you have to have an inside source.... sorry I can't help you out more.
8  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Re: Kitchen Decoration Help on: October 17, 2007 11:12:34 AM
Hi there,

When I had my Halloween party, I decorated my kitchen like a haunted laboratory.  On all the countertops, I placed beakers (I work in a scientific lab, so they were easy to come by for me) filled with different colored solutions.  I placed spider webs over all of these with fake spiders.  I also had a test tube rack full of test tubes out, that were filled with tomato juice to look like blood.  I put the biohazard symbol on the refridgerator.  It might be cool to put something scary in the fridge too, for your guests to notice.  I found window cling ons that looked like bloody handprints for the fridge door too.  On the shelves on my kitchen that were visible I took mason jars and baby food jars and made things out of polymer clay to put inside.  I made a baby alien, an eyeball, etc. and then filled it with water that had a tea bag in it, to look like formaldehyde. 

Good luck with the decorating!
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