7/11/17

Treasures....

Treasures, treasures... treasures! I spotted an ad for a yard sale located about 45 minutes away from my house that advertised that they had "beads and jewelry making supplies" for sale, which peeked my interest to say the least. Even though I was not the first person there-- I did manage to get a lot of the items that she was selling. Here is the bounty I came away with:
Let me unpack it for you.... Tons and tons of little baggies with great stuff in each one! The bottom left of the photo is a baggie full of ready to wear druzy pendents.

Here is a little closer look...

You know how much these things cost when you go to any hobby store....
Bags of wire, beading thread, cords, chains, and strands of beads all brand new...

Lots and lots of bezels for doing ice resin and also shadow box pendents...
I also got several plastic containers with beads and clasps...
Inside the wicker basket there was a lot of seashells. I added a triangle shaped filler piece to the inside of this glass jar my mother gave me and added the seashells to the jar. It will eventually be filled to the brim.
I also got a bag full of beautiful paper embellishments. Also a full set of "Artist Loft" water color pencils and "Rikota" Brush markers. What did I pay for all of this crafty goodness? Twenty five bucker~roos. At first I thought, blah... I overpaid for all this stuff. I always second guess myself! Then I saw a pair of new Fisker easy action bent scissors which retail for $22.99 all by themselves... and that "righted my sails" about the money I spent.

After driving away, I thought to myself, "Where on earth am I going to put all this stuff in my studio? I drove up to another yard sale and found this beautiful Ethan Allen four drawer night stand for only $10.00. It is going to serve double duty in my studio as a side table next to my comfy chair along with storage that the drawers are going to provide.
 
I got all of this jewelry for $5.00. The ring is 10k gold, the two box charms, the onyx pendent and the two bracelets are stamped 925 (silver)
I also got this pearl necklace for .50¢... Yep, real pearls. The necklace strands do not belong attached to the choker, those were added by someone at some point. An easy fix to unhook them. It would be garish to wear it this way, I guess that is why they didn't even give them a second look at the yard sale I bought them from. I can tell real pearls a mile away. Even without giving them a look with an eye loop, the weight of them gives you a good indication that they are real.

I bought six strands of drift wood for $5.00... Why do I need it? I dunno, but it all--> Had.To.Come.Home.With.Me. The metal basket was only $4.00.
Now comes the fun part of going through all of those baggies and playing with it ALL. Happy-happy-joy-joy~
big hugs,
Cheryl

7/3/17

Barney Rubble

This is my newest cat, Barney.
Barney is a Feral Cat, no hugs and kisses from this little fella. *sigh*

I purchased a large animal trap to catch Barney so I could get him neutered, but Barney was to smart and wouldn't go inside the trap. So, every day for about three months, I've been working with this wild cat to get him to the point where I can pet him, pick him up (if only briefly)... and ultimately get him into a cat carrier and get him neutered. Food is a good motivator when your trying to befriend a wild/feral cat. While the cat was eating, I would sneak up on Barney and pet him. The first few times were merely a touch, but over time I've been able to pet Barney the whole entire time it takes him to finish a can of food. Recently, I've been able to pick up Barney, for short periods of time without getting mauled. Success!

 So, I bought a large cat carrier thinking that would be easier than the trap. I set the cat carrier standing up with the door open and quickly picked him up and tried to put him in. Yup, I got scratched up. Undeterred, I tried several more times.  Finally, I picked him up and held him over the opening of the cat carrier back feet first, and just "let him go" and he dropped right into the carrier... which he then proceeded to go round and around like he was inside a washing machine... poor scared cat. But it had to be done..... Had.To.Be.Done. *sniffle*
Here is Barney at home the day after having been neutered... giving me the ol' stink eye for sure.... You can see they cut the tip off of his right ear. So, from a distance anyone who knows about feral cats will know this one is "shooting blanks" and to let him be.

Here is some information about ear-tipping or notching of feral cats.
Also, some info about the trap-neuter-return theory.
We have a great Spay and Neuter facility called, Hope. They do the "Trap Neuter Release" for feral cats but you have to bring the cat in-in a trap. I explained to them what I did, and that the cat is indeed feral--- and if they didn't believe me to stick their hand in the carrier.  Wouldn't you know it? They believed me. So, for $60.00 they neutered Barney, gave him a rabies shot, cut his ear tip and gave him an antibiotic shot to boost his health.
I had recently done some "artsy-fartsy" stuff for a friend of mine, and he had given me some money for my artistic endeavors. I really appreciate those that realize that your time is valuable and don't take you for granted. Anywho--- I told him that I was going to put that money towards getting a feral cat neutered. Well, of course I needed to make him a "Thank you" card right? Here is the card:

Sometimes simplicity is best, right?
Barney still isn't to happy with me, but he'll come around I'm sure. I think I'll speed up the forgiving process and give him some tuna fish, that should do the trick!

Trap, Neuter and return because every life matters!
big hugs,
Cheryl

6/28/17

Quilty Cats

I had bought several old full size quilts a few weeks back for $4.00 each... Being that they are so old and fragile with some small minor worn fabric areas I decided to use them as "cutter quilts" and create something with them. What to make....
Cats of course! I created a slender cat pattern and traced it onto one of the quilts. I made one, thought it was to skinny... then made two more each a little chubbier than the first. It was after all of that work that I realized I liked the first pattern I used to make the skinny cat the best. I managed to get a total of 22 cats out of one quilt. I finished up a total of four so far.
I love the little faces of these cats...
 I am going to use different colored buttons for the cats eyes. Vintage buttons of course.
 I think these quilts are from the 1940's, which would make them about seventy-seven years old.
 I stitched around the cats with my sewing machine and then did a running stitch with some embroidery floss to add to the vintage look of each cat.
 I've got a stack of cut out quilty-cats that are still needing to be stitched together. This will be a nice "go-to" project when I'm wanting something to work on.
I've also got a lot of scraps left over. I just couldn't toss out the lovely looking little bits and bobs of hand sewn goodness. I'm sure this is how hoarding begins... bags full of cut up pieces of an old-old quilt.
big hugs,
Cheryl

6/24/17

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,
Cheryl

6/17/17

Treasures...

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,
Cheryl

5/26/17

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
Directions:
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,
Cheryl