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Re-purposing Nature

Pine cones 10After seeing friends paint pine cones to look like Zinnia’s I was inspired and intrigued. A box full of old wooden picture frames seemed to be calling for a craft project as well.

Pine cones 1We picked up pine cones, large and small and baked them in the oven at 250 for about an hour (to kill and bugs or critters, and to help the pine cones open up).

Pine cones 2The pine cones were then cut (since we only used the bottoms)

Pine cones 4We thought we could use the tops as well, but when they were pained, they became very distorted. So only the bottoms were used.

Pine cones 5We used acrylic paint (rather than spray paint) dipping the pine cones into the paint and letting them drain and dry.

Pine cones 6We used red, yellow, pink and orange colored paint.

Pine cones 8Then we took an old wooden 8″x10″ frame and wrapped it with burlap ribbon.

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A strip of ribbon was added so that the “flowers” could be glued across the corner of the frame.

Pine cones 10A fabric bow was attached and a saw tooth hanger (on the back) We also added a few silk leaves (from another project back in the fall) and there it is! Nature at it’s best!

 

 

 

 

 

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A few crates, some carpet, rope & nails = Crazy Cat Crate

Using a few crates, carpet samples, rope and some nails, these items were all re-purposed into a crazy Cat Crate in a few hours. 20170204_175213_1486257646387_resized

 

We were going to recycle the blue tube as the scratching pole, but it wasn’t tall enough. We substituted the tube with tomato stakes. 20170204_115146_1486258151618_resizedFirst we stained the crates with a pet friendly stain, and covered the flat board with a carpet sample (using a staple gun).

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20170204_164254_1486258074722_resizedThen it was time to assemble. Nailing one crate to the carpeted piece, and the top crate in place.

20170204_172234_1486258030367_resizedWe cut tomato stakes to fit as the scratching posts and covered them with rope, using a hot glue gun to hold the rope in place.

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20170204_170707_1486258034010_resizedThe scratching posts were nailed in place, and another carpet scrap was placed in the bottom….hopefully the cats will like it!

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Do You Want To Build a Snowman?

20170106_153445_resizedSorry, but I just had to do it, as it is actually snowing in North Carolina as this post is being written. So with that in mind, I thought the door needed a snowman wreath. I started with 2 metal wreat forms, a 6″ and a 12″, and two spools of tulle. 20170105_183444_1483734987844_resized

I wrapped the wreaths with baby blue ribbon, but white would have worked just as well. Then cut 60-18″ pieces of tulle for the large wreath, and about 40- 16″ pieces of tulle for the smaller wreath.

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Using a half lark knot, I then started attaching the tulle to the two wreaths.

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After finishing the larger wreath, then I started on the smaller wreath.

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After both wreaths were finished, then I used a piece of white coverd wire to atttach the two wreaths together.

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And with that I had a Snowman! I first tried adding a ribbon bow tie and a “hair” bow, but wasn’t that thrilled with the outcome. So then I found one of my daughters hat and scarf sets from MANY years ago, and pinned them on instead.20170105_202156_1483735035198_resized

A little wire to attach it to the door, and there it is, a Snowman!

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Weddings and Wedding Flowers!

It is so exciting when a couple gets married, but even more exciting when you can do all of the decorations, including the flowers! 20161211_073804-1_resized The brides bouquet was simple yet full of memories since it contained the words from her friends and family. 20161123_230319_1481631688652_resizedOur Bride did not want cut flowers, so we searched the internet and found some flowers made out of old books. Knowing how much she loves books, we wouldn’t dream of cutting up any, so we did the next best thing. The wedding attendants, bride and groom all sent in “words” which were complied in a document, then printed on pale blue and grey paper. 20161123_230328_1481631685234_resizedThe words were cut into petals , shaped a curled. 20161123_230505_1481631682474_resized Then slowly shaped into flowers for the wedding party. 20161130_210321_resized This was one of the bridesmaids bouquets.

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And the brides bouquet!

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Keep on Creating!

During this time of the year, I find it hard to keep a balance between filling orders, and staying creative. While the ordered are what allows me to have the resources to obtain supplies and projects, it is a fine line.

I has honored to spend time in China recently on an educational trip, and learned from the students and people of the areas that we visited, that being creative feeds your soul.

Students in China spend time every day not only learning Chinese arts and crafts, but also learning to cook, sew, dance, and play music. This along with their daily studies of math, science, learning to speak English and study Chinese history keeps their educational system strong.

The children of China were just like the children if the United States, joyful, happy, inquisitive and eager to learn.  We have more in common than we are different. Students working together to create art

Collaberation is just as important for Chinese students as it is for American students. These students mixed a water based liquid, then dropped paint in it. The paint floated as they swirled and moved it around the pan.

Painting together

They then placed paper on top of the paint, and this was the result of theit work. (I was invited to help too!)

Plate designs

This picture was made by scoring china plates with an engraving tool. It is made up of thousands of dots.

Clay art

The students are allowed to choose which “Clubs” they would like to participate in. This girl showed me how to make a clay cat (which was not near as good as the Panda she gave me).

Primary Cooking Club

These primary school students made yummy chocolate chip cookies in their cooking club.

High School Cooking Club

While these High School students made Cream Puffs in their cooking club.

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And yes, they taught me how to use a sewing machine! I did not let on that I have been sewing since I was their age. I let them “teach ” me how to sew a straight line and make a casing for a bag they were working on.

Yes, we are all the same. Creativity has no limits or boundries.

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For the Dogs (again)

As many of you know, we also have a business making dog treats, Megan’s Mutt Munchies (www.megansmuttmunchies.com). As the holiday’s near, we are always looking for some new ideas and products that enhance both, our love of creating, and healthy wholesome dog treats!

This week, we recycled some candle jars and mason jars into treat jars!

Treat jar - Ruff

All of the jar bands are available in many colors and attach with velcro at the back. Seen here – Ruff Day….Jar, band and treats retail – $12.00

Treat Jar - Paws

Paws Off shown in khaki with black stitching. Jar, band and treats retail – $12.00

Treat jar - Good Dog

Good Dog – Jar, band and treats retail – $12.00

Treat JarsEnjoy – oh and share with your favorite four legged friends!

 

 

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Bandana and Fabric Wreaths

After seeing a “pin” on Pinterest of a Red, White and Blue Bandana Wreath, I thought it might be fun to make one! Then to take it a step further, I thought, why not use pieces of fabric to do wreath instead of the bandanas. Here are the results:

Bandana Wreath on door

Using 7 Red, 7 White and 7 Blue bandanas. Each bandana was cut in half, so the 21 bandanas actually make 2 wreaths.

20160516_160711_resizedUsing 11 Fat quarters that I purchased and cut each in half, I was able to get the same effect with this dog paw wreath.

Bandana Wreath 1

Here are the supplies. 21 Bandanas, and a wire wreath. Bandana Wreath 2

The bandanas were cut in half and attached to the wire wreath with a half lark knot. Bandana Wreath 3

THe 7 Blue Bandanas were tied together, then alternating red and white, using the remaining 7 red and 7 white pieces. Glitter stars were glued in place to complete the flag look. Bandana Wreath and Vega 2

Vega really wanted to wear a bandana too and pose for a photo!20160516_141215_resized

Using fat quarters – 4 of the dark and 7 of the white. Each piece was cut in half with the salvage on the ends. 20160516_151327_resizedThey were then tied to the wire wreath with the half lark knot as well. alternating w=two white and one black print.

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Then a bow was added made of dog print ribbon.

 

 

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Happy GFWC Federation Day!

GFWC – The General Federation of Women’s Clubs is an international women’s organization  dedicated to community improvement by enhancing the lives of other through volunteer service.

I have been honored to be a member of GFWC through my local clubs since 1985. Each April 24th we celebration the founding of our national organization which began in 1890.

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Our motto is “Living the Volunter Spirit” which I have embroidered and used inside the cover of these notebooks.

GFWC clubs and clubwomen are the fabric that binds not only the Federation, but the communities in which they live and work. By Living the Volunteer Spirit, GFWC clubwomen transform lives each day, not simply with monetary donations, but with hands-on tangible projects that provide immediate impact.

GFWC Headquarters Jan. 2016

Over the years I have been allowed to make items incorporating the GFWC logo. In honor of of Federation Day here are a few, starting with the GFWC Yard flag, displayed at the GFWC Headquarters in Washinton, DC after a snow storm.

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GFWC Girlfriends are just the best! I have made lifelong frends locally, across North Carolina and the nation!DSC00174DSC00175

Using GFWC T-shirts, these wall hangings and pillows were used as fundraising items at the GFWC International Convention in Memphis in 2015

This year at the 126th Annual Convention a basket of GFWC goodies will be donated once again for the silent auction.

To learn more about this amazing organization check out our web site: www.gfwc.org

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Welcome – Flower Pot Style

Welcome – Flower Pot Style!

20160401_173514_resizedWaiting for Spring (my favorite season) is so hard! The birds are chirping, Dogwoods starting to bloom, and stores are starting to get in their bedding plants. 20160331_124502_resizedAfter seeing something like this on Pinterest, I decided to try my own. Having a “few” clay pots around, I found three pots in graduated sizes. Made numbers out of paper to trace on the largest pot. 20160331_125054_resized

Wanting to keep as much of the clay pot showing as possible. I outlined the design with Slick Paint.

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Then filled in the background with black acrylic paint. 20160331_190446_resized

I placed the largest pot, on a pot (to been seen behind the bushes on the porch). Then started planting with assorted bedding plants.

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Then added the second pot, more plants….20160331_191132_resized

And finally the top pot and a beautiful and unusual geranium.

I then added smaller pots to cover the “base”, and there you have it!20160401_173514_resizedIt took about an hour to paint the pot, and another hour to assemble. Total cost was around $30.00-40.00 including pots and potting soil.