- Keep the design simple.
- Sketch out your design first lightly with a pencil.
- Use a decent quality wood burning kit that has numerous attachments.
- Make sure you are relaxed and have at least an hour to yourself to create
- Keep the tools out of reach of kids and animals. The burning is extremely hot.
- Use a woodburning rest, to hold the tool when not in use.
- Rest your hand if you get tired.
- You may feel like you need an iron grip on the tool but a lighter touch tends to work better for most designs.
- Don't expect great results the first time. I've thrown some spoons in the firepit that didn't come up to snuff.
I have made woodburned spoons for a few years now. My hubby bought me a good quality wood burning kit when we lived up north. The spoons you can buy at the Dollar Store or at Walmart. They make for a customized and thoughtful gift. PLUS they are also useful! I want my friends who receive them to actually use them.
These were a recent gift for a friend of mine. She bakes quite a bit so these were fitting.
Simple designs work best I've found. The less intricate the better. The bits on the end of the wood burner can be quite cumbersome to work with. One of my favorites spoons was the bee spoon. My twin sister had a business, called Bee Creative Designs. When she died, I found myself thinking of her whenever I saw bees! Some people see cardinals...I see bees.
I like spoons that have a pattern on the front as well as the back.
Tips for Successful Wood Burning
I've even done rolling pins, bear claws and custom wood swords!
Well, it decided to finally snow and blow a lot last night. The roads were a mess. Woke up early to find the school buses were cancelled. My kid did the happy dance of joy. The snow was wet, which makes AMAZING packing snow. So we decided to get creative and go outside first thing.
The snowman turned into a bear, which then turned into a pig. I mean, honestly, we aren't in bear country anymore. The pink pig in a bikini is getting quite the looks with our neighbours driving by.
To change the colour of the snow, you just mix a bottle of water with liquid food colouring. It took about 10 drops of red colouring in a spray bottle to achieve the pink. Keep in mind that the snow acts like a giant snowcone, the colour begins to seep in and fade. My hubby came ou with some black spray paint to give the piggy some definition. With the smile on his face...I'm pretty sure he's okay with his wife being kinda crazy. The world can be a negative place so it's good to have some family fun. Spread the joy!
I have way too much fun when planning gatherings for the kids. I'm truly a kid at heart. Alex, our youngest says he likes it when I get creative and that I'm a pretty cool mom. Kudo's to me!
The area that we live in is pretty much all farmland. That being said you would think John Deere supplies would be easier to find. No such luck. We live in the middle of no where. Time to think outside the box. We made a refueling station for the kids. An old water jug filled with gingerale for "gas".
Balloons are simple for extra decor. Nothing too fancy here. Couldn't find any real "cow" balloons, so we just bought some white ones and used permanent black magic marker to add the cow spots. Instant farm theme without gobs of money spent.
I find that store bought cakes are way too sweet and have too much icing EVERY SINGLE TIME. Not that I've ever bought one. I make my boys their cakes or cupcakes. However, I'm just speaking from experience of other cakes I've eaten elsewhere. Takes me less time to make it than it would be to buy it. The animal figurines from the Dollar Store add a little farm detail and the kids were happy enough with them.
Pigs in Blankets aka Hot Dogs wrapped in Crescent Rolls was a quick and easy lunch. What I do to make sure they aren't under cooked is to heat up the hot dogs first. Cut them in half and wrap the dough around them. Once the bottoms of the crescent rolls start to brown, flip them with tongs. This allows them to be browned all over and it's not doughy near the hotdog.
Hay Bales aka Rice Krispy Squares. Sorry for the bad picture, I was multi-tasking at the time. Just make Rice Krispy Squares how you normally would. Cut them into "bales" and pile high!
A farm scavenger hunt is always fun. They go in pairs to find the items and get extra points for coming back first or with a more difficult item. We played a minute to win it games to warm up inside and tallied points. The winner? They just get bragging rights. Man Hunt is also a great game for tweens, that keeps them occupied and the loudness out of the house.
Most kids don't need more "stuff", so for party favours we made maple flavoured popcorn. Using a medium sized freezer bag, fill the bag with popcorn about 2/3 of the way. Force the popcorn into a top corner and make it into a corn cob shape. Tape the back of the bag so it keeps its shape. Wrap with green tissue paper. I didn't really have any technique. Just make it look pretty was my motto. The kids thought it was pretty cool idea.
I hope this gives you some ideas for a farm party! We had plenty more things...like bobbing for apples and ping pong races. The skies the limit. Just have fun.
The tulips and forsythia make this arrangement super cheerful. You can either choose one specific colour palate, a mix of colours in the same colour family or the complete opposite. Orange mixed with dark purple would be striking. The rule of 3 or 5 works well. Uneven numbers of main flowers are visually more appealing. Larger flowers in the middle with smaller sprigs around them for filler creates an easy floral arrangement that you can't go wrong with. The vase is actually a vintage honey jar.
Sometimes you love a vase but a full blown arrangement would make absolutely no sense. These Zinnia's were the perfect mini size for this tiny blue mouth blown vase. I found the vase at a flea market in St. Thomas, ON. Blue antique glass can be rare to find so I scooped it up but had no idea what I would do with it.
My zinnia's in the garden were fading fast, so 4 small blooms in the tiny jar placed in the windowsill made me happy!
Keep it simple! These small vases are suited for a small spray of flowers. A single white tulip with a long stem bending over would look fabulous as well.
A glass milk pitcher in light green made the base for this arrangement. Purple Coneflower to make this arrangement POP mixed with stunning white hydrangea softens the look visually.
The tiny purple flowers you see? They are oregano that has gone to flower from my herb garden. Truly, I love creating with flowers that no one would think of doing or what you would find at the florest. Get creative! I "steal weeds" for my arrangements all the time. Queen Anne's Lace, Goldenrod, Aster and Wild BeeBalm are just a few. I don't consider them weeds at all. They are wonderful pollinators and make whimsical displays. I'm honestly not an orchid kind of girl.
So once again I have to whine and shake my fist at the retail stores.....why oh why do the wreath forms have to be so expensive? It's more cost effective to buy a finished one, rip it apart and start over, than to purchase the form and filler and make one yourself.
Lucky me, I have wild grapevines here at the farm. The grapes are extremely sour (just ask my 9 year old) and are really only suitable for the birds. Plus they were taking over my mulberry tree so a trim was in over. By trim, I mean cut the vine at the base and start pulling the 10 foot grapevine tentacles that cling for dear life to the limbs of the tree. I felt like Jane a wee bit this morning....looked around for my Tarzan....darn...nowhere to be found. I admit it, I kinda wanted to swing on it.
For this project you will need a large arm full of grapevines or you could also use Virginia Creeper. You can find both usually along railway tracks in the city. Remember to leave the grapes or berries off the vines for the critters.
A good pair of garden shears or very strong scissors.
2 lengths of autumn swag from the Dollar Store
Set aside the fall swag and focus on the grapevines. It's almost time for the kids to go back to school so I know it's difficult to focus but we can do this!
For this to be successful you will need to make sure most of the vines are pliable and somewhat green. Do not cut off pieces of vines that are bigger around than your pinky finger or are brittle. You'll just be asking for problems if you do.
It's not rocket science to make the wreath. You create the form by twisting the vines around each other and tucking in the ends. Since the vines are still green you can squish it to the shape you want it to be. Cut off any ends that are sticking out and wrap the Dollar Store Fall Swag around the form. It's all about tucking and filling. If you use a swag I have found more is better. You don't want the wreath to look spindly. I love simple wreaths but I also like full wreaths too. YUP! this wreath cost a grand total of $5. Make sure you tell your hubby that you saved a good $40 or more by doing it yourself.
This is a fun project for you and the kids. Simple ingredients that aren't toxic and are easily found at the grocery store. I don't ever remember making these as kids but I really wish I had! The house smells wonderful. To make these ornaments you will need:
1 cup cinnamon
1 Tablespoon ground cloves
1 Tablespoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup applesauce
3 Tablespoons white glue
You will also need:
twine or ribbon for hanging
Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. The dough will be at first crumbly then become sticky as you work the mixture together. The dough will eventually turn into ball.
Roll out the dough on the counter using wax paper underneath of it to keep clean up easy. You need to work pretty quickly so as not to allow the dough to dry out.
Once rolled out to the desired thickness (not to thick but not to thin or they will crumble) cut out shapes with cookie cutters. I used hearts, stars and gingerbread men.
Using a small straw poke a hole in the top of the cutouts. If the straw gets clogged, just snip off the end and keep going. Place on a cookie sheet in a safe place and allow to dry overnight.
The ornaments will shrink as they dry and it can take anywhere from 1 day to 3 days to completely dry. This will depend on the thickness of your ornaments. Once dry, use twine or ribbon and tie to the ornaments. Hang on your tree.
If you have extra dough that seems to crumbly to work with you can make them into Cinnamon Closet Deodorizers. Enjoy!
So my hubby has an old stocking that needed replacing. My Grandma Howarth handmade all of our stocking for us. She wasn't a knitter but she loved to be crafty. Ohhhhh how she would have loved Pinterest. So while my husband was away I decided to whip up a stocking for him to surprise him this year. He never looks at my website so you will be able to see his gift before he does!
The first thing I did was buy an old wool sweater from the local used clothing store. It had seen much better days but was perfect for this project. Using a Dollar Store stocking as a template (which can be used over and over again) I used a marker to outline the stocking about 1/2 inch away from the edge. This will allow you plenty of room for your seam while stitching it.
Notice how I used the bottom part of the sweater as the top of the stocking. This created a natural ribbing for folding down later. I lugged out my grandmothers sewing machine.
Now turn your stocking so that both sides that are the "pretty" sides face each other. Using the edge of the sewing machine "foot" as a guide, stitch the two pieces together using the regular setting. Just remember not to stitch up the top hole! Hahahah.....that could be the naughty stocking version. No presents for you!
When stitching leave the sides at the top unstitched. This will allow you to turn the stocking inside right (because remember you are stitching it inside out) then stitch the top edge pieces. This looks funny now but once you flip the edging down the stitching is then correct.
I choose 3 large buttons from my button jar that I've collected over the years. I didn't want to just have all grey and black for the stocking so I grabbed some of my red embroidery yarn to add in later. Sewing the three buttons on straight took some work. You'd think I had gotten into the adult eggnog or something!
I used a basic hand stitch to attach the folded over rim to the main part of the stocking. Heaven forbid if I use too much colour! My hubby is a black, grey or navy blue kind of guy. All in all it turned out pretty good! Sssshhhhhhhhhhhhh don't anyone tell him his surprise!
So what do you do with all those old Christmas cards that family and friends send you that you don't want to just recycle or throw out? Why upcycle them and send them back!
Look for cards that are made from sturdy card stock with simple or bright designs. I didn't use all of the cards I've been sent as some just didn't work well. Using either scissors or a cutter for scrapbooking, cut the cards into strips. Once cut use a paper hole punch and punch a hole in the top of the bookmark but not too far down.
I used burlap twine as decoration but you could also use fun ribbon.
They are light enough to put into your new Christmas Cards as a small gift and not be charged extra by Canada Post when you send them out.
So scrounge up your old cards and get crafting away!
These huge wreaths I see in stores are absolutely stunning. I flip over the price tag and continue to be stunned. I am sure they are worth the $200 price tag however I choose to spend my money in a different way. It's taken me two years to find the deals to make this wreath but it's been well worth the wait.
I was able to find the metal wreath form for (get this) 25 cents!!! There was this very sad looking metal form with 1/8 of it covered in small pine cones that I saw at a summer garage sale. A project someone started then finally just gave up as it was too tedious. I asked the price and when she said a quarter.....I said SOLD! I took off the dusty little pine cones and set the wreath form aside. A year later I found a massive bag of ornaments at Canadian Tire (usually $69 on for $12). Eureka! I found my decorations finally for that wreath.
A $1 for metal hangers for the balls and a large bag of burlap wrap ($9) for your outdoor trees. Then I set to work.
Start by wiring a few of the ornaments to the wire wreath, making sure that they are well secured. Attached the burlap by tying it onto the metal form. Work the burlap in between the plastic balls to give them support. Make sure the wire you use for the ornaments are about 2 inches long. The small hooks are too difficult to work with for this project. I cut the burlap into foot wide strips, the full length of what came in the bag so that it makes one really long piece of fabric. By tucking the burlap between the balls and placing the ornaments how you feel look good is how I roll. The project took about 2 hours from start to finish depending on my hot chocolate consumption.
Once done, tie pieces of ribbon onto the back and hang from your wall hooks (I used screws attached to the house. Voila! A beautiful wreath for under $30. This one is MASSIVE! I love the outdoor bling it provides for our home!