Camp Buckets

I guess bringing a bucket to a kids camp is the new "thing?" You get to store your stuff inside of the bucket and have a quick seat to sit upon too. Pretty durn-smart. My two grandkids brought over their buckets to work on them.... yep, I ended up making one for each of them. I just couldn't help myself.
Here you can see the before buckets. My grandson's is the one with the blue duct tape on it, that was his bucket last year.  My grandaughter's is the new orange bucket.
I used wrapping paper to create a pattern piece to fit around both buckets.
When you wrap anything around a bucket it is going to have a slight curve to it, almost like covering a lampshade.
I cut off all the clipped pieces of paper to get a more exact piece that would fit around the bucket...
Once the paper piece was created, it was just a matter of laying it on some fabric and cutting it out. I folded the paper in half and placed that along the fold in the fabric and drew a line along the edge. I added about 1/4 of a seam allowance which I turned under with some iron on hem tape. I used spray adhesive to adhere the fabric to each bucket. I also used hot glue to the top and bottom edges of the fabric to make sure it was really good and attached. I hot glued the seam of fabric where the fabric overlapped on the backside as well.

I used the lid to mark a circle on the fabric pieces and also the batting used to make the seat comfy.
I created the cushion for the buckets by sewing the fabric with wrongs sides together and putting the seam allowance on the outside. I stitched about half way around, then laid in the batting and continued to stitch the cushion closed. I created a long band of fabric to go around the bucket with a casing in it so that I could feed ribbon through it to attach the seats cushion to the bucket.
Here you can see the strip with the casing in it pinned to the seats cushion.
Once it was stitched together, it was just a matter of feeding the ribbon through the casing.
Pulling the ribbon snugly against the bucket helped keep the bucket lid "locked" on the bucket.
I gave my grandaughter a bunch of rhinestones and some fabric glue and let her bedazzle her bucket.
I had wanted my grandson to add wiggly eyes to Yoda... but nooooooo--- he didn't think that was funny. I thought, and still think-- that would have been hysterical.
(@ @) wiggly/jiggly eyes on Yoda... Would.Have.Been.Hysterical.
big hugs,



Here are the latest and greatest treasures I've found. I found another ship in a bottle...I've now got a collection of three. All of this below was only $5.00.
 After coming home from a trip to Six Flags Amusement park, I found two pots of doubloons waiting for me at my front door. Aren't friends the best?
 I had a good laugh at the guy who was selling all of this skull stuff. He told me it was in his "man cave." O....k..... not a pirate man cave mind you, just as "manly decor.".....O.....k...... He was asking $10.00 for the lot. I offered him $3.00~ 
 I also scored on a bazillion fat quarters from Wal Mart. One hundred and thirty seven to be exact. At .25¢ each, I just couldn't pass them up!
I also came across a yard sale with an old-old man selling all kinds of brand new craft items. He told me he bought a storage locker full of boxes of new craft stuff.... man, some people have all the luck. Anywho, I got all of this for $10.00. I've wanted to play around with that hot melt Mod Podge stuff for a few years now, those bags alone are around $9 bucks each at the craft stores. *score*
One of my sweet friends who sells out at the swap meet sold me all of these seed beads for only $5.00. Purdy huh? The beads will come in handy when my wire wrapping classes begin again.
 Of course, no treasure hunt would be complete without some jewelry. I got all of this pictured below for $3.00.
The weather had been pretty fabulous lately, causing me to spend a lot of time outdoors... but now that the heat is upon us, I'll be spending a lot more of my time indoors with the air conditioner on! Oh well, I can actually make something with this fabulous stuff I've found! The struggle is real!
big hugs,


Chocolate Maple Bars

I was needing to make some treats to take to a little get-together recently, and thought I'd whip up these Chocolate Maple bars. They are so yummy!

The chocolate maple bars are made using a boxed brownie mix as the base, then you just add the maple frosting and of course, a layer of chocolate to finish them off.
Here is the recipe and the directions if your wanting to make your own~
Maple layer:
1/4 cup of light corn syrup
1/4 cup margarine or butter, softened
1 to 2 tablespoon of HOT water
2 teaspoons of maple flavoring
3 cups of powdered sugar
Optional: 1 cup of lightly salted dry roasted peanuts

Chocolate Topping:
One bag of chocolate chips, milk or semi-sweet (11.5 ounces)
1 tsp. of oil
Make the brownies as directed on the box. I used a large pan, size 9 x 13--- I wanted a thin brownie base. While the brownies are cooling, mix up the maple frosting layer. You'll want to spread the maple layer on a warm brownie base to help the thick mixture spread evenly.

For the maple layer: Mix the corn syrup, butter and maple flavoring until well blended. Next, beat in the powdered sugar one cup at a time. The last cup of powdered sugar makes the mixture close to impossible to stir together!  The filling will be thick! This is where you add 1 to 2 tablespoons of very hot tap water to help loosen up the frosting. Spread the maple frosting evenly over the still warm (not hot-hot from the oven) brownie layer, this too will help the thick maple frosting spread over the brownie.  If your wanting to add the peanuts, do so at this point. Sprinkle the peanuts over the maple frosting and pat them into the frosting using the backside of a fork.
At this point, I place the maple/nut covered brownie pan into the fridge to speed up the cooling time. When the pan of brownies has cooled add the chocolate!

 I placed the chocolate chips and oil in a glass bowl and then sat it in a pot of bowling water stirring until melted.  Once the chocolate has melted, spread the chocolate evenly over the peanuts. While the chocolate is cooling, I like to create little peaks in the chocolate by using the side of a spatula, you could also make a smooth chocolate surface....  Refrigerate until the chocolate is firm, this takes at least an hour.  Lastly, cut the brownies into squares. I like to cut off the edges so that each piece has a uniform edge.... This isn't a necessary step, it is just something I prefer to do.... and for the extra effort to make your tray of treats look extra special your rewarded with all the crunchy bits of left overs. Score!
I also like to use paper bakery sheets to hold each little treat.  It is especially useful when the treats you've made are a smidgen sticky. Yummy!
big hugs,



It has been a fun-few-weeks of treasure hunting recently. I found two more American Girl dolls for $2.00 each. I already have the one standing in the back, but for $2.00... I didn't even hesitate to buy another one. Messy hair, don't care! I think I have about nine AG dolls now... I'm not sure of the exact count because they are all boxed up in the rafters of my garage!

Two lovely quilts for $4.00 each. The bottom one I got for fa-ree. The Ficus was only $4.00...of course the new pot and potting soil I bought at the nursery turned my $4.00 score into a heck of a lot more money!
 Old books, a card game and some vintage fabric and a small quilt, all of this for $2.00.
 A vintage Samovar Coffee urn for $1.00. Sure, its missing a handle and the lid---- but pushed up against something in my pirate yard and strands of pearls draped out of the top and it will be something to behold!
 This next item was something that I have been wanting FOR-EVER! A price gun. I know right? How fun is this??? Not only does it stamp a price on the little stickers, but... it also could stamp a little saying or a design. It only cost me $5.00! It came with everything included in the original box. Oh my gosh, everything is going to get a little sticker stuck to it!
 I bought 14 rolls of duct tape for only $5 bucks... you just never know when your going to need some right?
 Some jewelry I bought a long time ago, but forgot to share... a strand of what I think is Rhodonite Kunzite. I paid $1.00 for those. I am going to use these to do some wire wrapping and possibly creating some rings with as well. The handmade sterling silver blue stoned necklace was only $2.00. There is one small stone/gem missing.
 I knew at first glance that this piece was sterling silver... and handmade. I am going to hit it with a little heat and take it apart and create individual pieces with it. I have no idea what the blue stones are, but once I take the piece to my lapidary class, I'll find out fast. I am hopeful that the faceted blue stones are gems and not just cut glass-- fingers crossed!
The best thing I bought recently, -in my opinion- was these large wooden angel wings. I lurve them! I talked the price down and only had to pay $20.00. I wanted to hang them above my fireplace but they weigh a TON, so I opted to use drywall anchors and just hang them on my wall.

It is so much fun hunting for treasure!
big hugs,


Cat House on the Kings

This Saturday, May 6th, is "The Cat House on the Kings" open house. I am lucky to be a vendor at this event! If your a cat lover, like me, it is a little slice of heaven here on earth.

Here is the mission statement from the facility:
The Cat House on the Kings is California's largest no-cage, no-kill, lifetime cat sanctuary and adoption center. Our mission is to place rescued cats and kittens into loving, permanent homes; to provide a safe, happy and healthy home for unwanted cats and kittens in a unique, no-cage facility; to prevent pet overpopulation through spaying and neutering; and to educate the public about responsible pet ownership.

There are around 700ish cats and kittens on her 6 acres of fenced in land.... if you click on this link: Cat House on the Kings... it will take you to the website so you can read more about this place... and possibly donate to support her efforts to care for these cats! 
I've got my own little cat house, although my total cat count is only six.

I tried to come up with a few cat themed things to sell at this event. I had some cat eye marbles that I was wanting to turn into some necklaces, so I pulled out my wire wrapping supplies and got to work.
I haven't wire wrapped in about two years, it was time to get back to it! There is a great group of people that get together for about two hours each week and everyone brings in their own wire wrapping project to work on. It is just a fun-filled time of getting to see new techniques and learning and sharing things. I'm glad I rejoined the group :-)
 I had one of the necklace displays I recently made with nothing to hang from it, so it worked out perfectly for these cat eye necklaces. I pulled off the topper of this display piece as it continued to be wonky...
 I used shiny brass-square-wire for these cat eye marble necklaces.
Part of the reason I stopped wire wrapping was because of the swirls you see on the top of these necklaces. That is what you do with the extra wire. I hate it.... I HATE THE SWIRLS.... but... I figure, it I don't do them and think-think-think while I'm creating these wire wrapped pieces, I'll never come up with a better way to do it! So, I'm back at it--those swirls are going to be history, mark my words. Okokok, the swirls look fine on these necklaces, but if I was doing wire wrapping on a beautiful stone cabochon the swirls (in my opinion) make the piece look cheap. 
I guess it is like everything else. Learn how to do it, then expand upon that and make it your own. Challenge accepted.

I'm looking forward to spending the day with all those cats/kittens and like minded cat loving people! Check out the "Cat House on the Kings" and maybe even friend them on Facebook.... and possibly consider making a donation to help feed, spay and neuter the cats she takes care of.
big hugs,


Baby Shower Diaper gift...

I went to a baby shower this past weekend. The mother-to-be requested baby diapers as a gift.... I thought I could pop onto Pinterest and find a quick cute idea to follow to do a diaper cake or something like that. Wrong. I couldn't find anything that I thought was cute.... so I came up with something on my own. A diaper bath! Now this is caute! 
I used a plastic laundry hamper as the base of the baby tub. I pulled curling ribbon between the hampers slats using a crochet hook and then wrapped the curling ribbon around each little diaper to hold it in place. Just for the base alone it took eighty diapers....
 I used Sesame Street diapers around the rim....
 For the top of the baby tub, I cut a cardboard circle to fit inside the hamper so I could stand some diapers inside the bathtub as well. I lost count after 40ish... I also cut a hole in the cardboard for the little baby dolls feet to fit through so it sat a little lower in the tub.
 Lastly, I added some iridescent gift shred to the top and a little rubber ducky to finish off the bathtub look. Ahhhhhh.....
I had bought a little light up/musical Seahorse to give the new baby too. These are my favorite little toys for babies. Instead of decorating the gift bag-- I used double sided tape and taped the baby themed stickers to the bag itself. This way the new Momma can use them however she wants.
I also made gift tags to put on the gifts. I pulled out my paint and made what I hope looked like bubbles... Once the paint had dried, I went to Avery.com and used the free templates they provide and printed onto the painted cardstock the sentiment...
 I cut and glued the painted/printed card stock onto some blue card stock and added some curling ribbon to finish them up. Easy peasy.
I am happy to report the new mom-to-be liked the gifts I gifted her with....
It has been a fun-filled day~
big hugs,


New Jewelry Displays

I created two new spinning jewelry displays today. The majority of these pieces have been in my pirate backyard for a few years... the vintage wheel, the two wooden spools and the metal light cap were all in my yard.
I covered the two spools with some burlap that I simply stitched in place.

These spinning necklace displays were easy to make. I bought two four dollar ball-bearing-spinny-things from the hardware store and screwed each one to a circle of plywood. I drilled a hole in the center of the plywood circles and fed a threaded rod through the wood with a nut on the underside to keep it in place.

 Then it was just a matter of feeding the wooden spool onto the threaded rod....

Next, I put the vintage wheel onto the rod...
 Then added another screw and tightened that to keep everything together.

I kept the threaded rod long on purpose to help hold the finial on each piece. This finial is my favorite....
This one, not so much, but it does the job for now. I want to replace it once I find a better looking finial.
Here are my two new spinning display pieces.
 I had made a bunch of lucky penny necklaces recently so I added them to one of the spinny displays. *Technical term*

I like to tie a ribbon around each spool to keep the necklaces from getting unruly while being transported.
 I recently bought a little spool for .25¢ I'm sure sooner or later it will peek my interest and be transformed into a smaller version of the larger spinny displays.
But for now, it will sit in my studio to gently remind me not to forget about it!
big hugs,