Easy Stained Glass Drawings

Today my son and I made some Stained-Glass drawings. They were easy, fun, clean, and relatively quick. We used a Halloween theme of a spider web and a pumpkin but you could adapt this to any drawing. The effect is spectacular and very satisfying.

Materials:
Black Construction Paper
Clear drying glue
Oil Pastels

Process:
We used Elmers clear glue for this project. (We tried Elmers white glue first, but it did not dry 100% clear.)

With your glue, draw on the black construction paper any design you have in mind. Do the outline and add some details as well.

Let it dry! You might need to let it dry overnight. I had to do this but it’s been very rainy here lately.

Once dry, choose your oil pastel colors and fill in the areas. Try not to go over the glue lines – if you do, just wipe it off. You can smudge your pastel effects by using your fingers or a tissue to smooth out lines or blend colors.

Sit back and enjoy your masterpiece!

Pumpkin at Night
Pumpkin at Night
Spider Web
Spider Web
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Falling Leaves Craft

Autumn has finally arrived here – for a while it seemed like summer would last forever. I adore Autumn – it is most definitely my favourite season: the crisp air, the beautiful, changing scenery and swirling leaves. It’s also a time that I get in gear and do more crafts to celebrate the season.

The other day, my son and I made our own Autumn leaves that we proudly hung over the kitchen window.

These are so easy to do and the best part is that you can change things up to suit any holiday or season.

Materials you need:

Wax Paper

Crayons in appropriate colors (we used a dark red, orange, and yellow for this project)

Grater

String (if you want to hang them up)

Iron and Ironing board

How to:

First and foremost – Protect your ironing board and your iron! You don’t want to get wax on them.

Choose your crayon colours and peel the paper off each one.

Grate your crayons (carefully – don’t want to cut your fingers) into separate piles (it’s way easier to clean up if you grate directly on some extra waxed paper or a plate.

Set up your ironing board and plug in the iron (medium to high heat, no steam)

Cover your ironing board with either a cloth or parchment or more waxed paper to protect it.

Lay down (on the ironing board) a sheet of waxed paper – sprinkle your crayon shavings all over, keeping areas of colours separate. Cover with a new sheet of waxed paper the same size so no crayon shavings are exposed. Cover with a cloth and lightly press with your iron to melt the crayon. Keep checking to make sure it’s all melted.

After you let it cool for a minute, draw leaf shapes on your waxed paper and cut out.

I put a string through mine and hung them on a small curtain rod over my kitchen window.

We make these every year for many different occasions – we make hearts during Valentines, four leaf clovers for St. Patrick’s Day, eggs for Easter, and stars and candy canes for Christmas. It’s easy, cheap, and a fun way to decorate and use up all those broken crayons you probably have laying around.

Enjoy!

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking successive autumns.” George Eliot

Pumpkin Painting Faux Pas

While trying to come up with some cute, yet cheap, Halloween decorations, I happened across a blog showing how to paint on windows. The instructions were great and her painting looked absolutely perfect! Plus – I happened to have all the supplies on hand – well, except for the straight edge razor needed for removing the painting. You can check out her post here: Glory’s Mischief

First of all, you have to understand, I am NOT an artist – I am horrible at Pictionary – I just like trying new things. So I got all my supplies together and went to town. I drew on the window with dry erase markers, painted my black outlines and then filled everything in. Afterwards I sat down to enjoy my handiwork and have a cup of coffee. As I am staring at the painting, I slowly realize that my giant pumpkins look less like pumpkins and more like huge lady parts! Dear Lord help me! I began feeling frantic, hoping the neighbours don’t see it (honestly, how could they miss it even if they just glanced at my house!) I sent a photo of it to my daughter who is at school in Montana right now to get her opinion. She busted a gut laughing first and then wondered why I painted huge “hoo hoo’s” on my window and hoped that no one had taken a photo and posted it on Pinterest! *hangs head in shame* Seriously, it could have been a Hustler photo shoot!

Now remember, I said I had all the supplies minus the straight edge razor in order to take off the paint. So I grabbed the next best thing – my stainless steel bench scraper! Thank the Lord it worked like a charm! After about 15 minutes I got it all off. I was sweating bullets!

Finally, after catching my breathe, I downloaded a picture of pumpkins (see, I learned!) and used that as a template to start painting a new set of pumpkins. And I think they turned out pretty cute! In fact, I think I’ll keep decorating this window for all sorts of holidays — once I find pictures I can use as a template!

Lesson Learned: Always use a pattern!

DIY Projects Need Honest Reviews

I love trying new and inspiring DYI crafts and recipes that I haven’t seen before. I’m a crafty (in a good way), culinary minded girl so I’ve seen and tried a lot of different things in my day. Now with the advent of Pinterest and other sites where you can visually categorize and share your favorite things, DIY pinboards and recipe boards are through the roof! It’s incredibly inspiring!

One of the things I appreciate about Food Network or Martha Stewart Living website or Instructables or any big commercial website, is that their recipes and DIY crafts are all reviewed and rated; sometimes rather harshly. Honestly, I want to know if a product or a recipe is going to come out as intended or not. I’ve seen some beautiful photos of DIY projects on Pinterest. A lot of times the picture is presented as a lovely diffused photo. Call me crazy, but I’m always suspicious of these. When you arrive at the comment section you get glowing reviews on how the craft or recipe looks but, suspiciously, none that have comments from people who’ve tried it and it either worked or didn’t. Honest reviews! That’s what I am looking for! Not from people who want to try it but from people who HAVE tried it.

I found a beautiful pomander (although I hesitate to call it that as it had no aroma – but for lack of a better term, it’s a “pretty hangy ball”) made with just a Styrofoam ball, waxed paper, string and some glue. The photo looked beautiful but I don’t know if I want to use my time making it until I see at least one review of “Yay, it worked.”

My daughter made some “cake pops” that she had found on Pinterest and many people had commented on how incredibly cute they were. Indeed they were very cute – however, no one told the truth in saying they taste like ABC cake (that’s Already Been Chewed for those of you who don’t know). They were horrid. In fact, we threw out the batch. Another similar fail was the “homemade detergent” made with borax and washing soda and Fels Naptha.  You were only supposed to have to use 1 tablespoon per load. It had tons of rave reviews on how cheap and clever was – but no one said, “you know, it’s ok for a laundry booster or some cheaper laundry detergents, but there is no way it could take the place of Tide”.  It’s usable, but not for long. I used it for a month and after the first few loads my poor clothes looked pretty dingy. It’s so disappointing to spend time and money doing things that are, in the end, a fail. C’est la vie! On to another project!

I have tried several recipes and projects and I’ve found that all but a few of them have been great! I love adding new crafts and recipes to my weekly arsenal! So it’s not like everything is bad – in fact, I would think that most of the stuff posted is actually useful, if only for some people. What I would love to see is that when bloggers post recipes or DIY projects, they tell their readers, “try it and when you’re done, come back and tell me your honest opinion”. That alone would lend so much credibility to the project or recipe!

I look forward to trying and reviewing as many things as I can. It makes life fun and interesting to try new things – especially when those new things actually work!

 

A Penchant for Pinterest

I am a Pinterest afficionado. It’s all about creating a scrapbook for yourself – a repository for your thoughts, ideas, and dreams – it’s a lot more than just posting pictures.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s not all sunshine and lollipops in this lovely, easy to navigate site that exudes simplicity at it’s finest. Sometimes people repin haphazardly and when you go to look at it, there is no source. That’s just darn annoying. Pinterest also has their fair share of scammers, phishers, people trying to push a business, and seedy content – but any website with over 10 million unique visitors per month is bound to have “some” issues; you just have to learn how to avoid that junk so you can get to the heart of Pinterest.

Sometimes pins are just darn hilarious. I mean, why on earth would someone crochet eggs, bacon, and toast – or knit an apple cozy? Leaves me scratching my head sometimes. There are several sites dedicated to Pinterest “fails” and some of them are crazy funny. To be sure, sometimes people post and repin things that really don’t work and if they did initially, then they must have some magic fairy in their closet or something. I have personally tried some of these failures (much to my chagrin). 🙂 And then, these same fail pins keep getting posted over and over and I just want to scream – don’t waste your time – it doesn’t work! LOL But that’s not how I roll.

In the long run though, I find new pins every day that I find useful, helpful, or just inspiring  And who couldn’t use a little of that in their life?

  Follow Me on Pinterest

Easy, Cute, and Fun Snowman Craft

In December, my son and I go into “make it” mode. We have a great time trying out all sorts of crafts. Some are successful and some are, well, fun to try but that’s about as far as it goes. One of our successes was our Snowguy Doorstop. We made one for ourselves and a few for other people. Of course we used ours as a decoration, not a doorstop. But they turned out so cute I thought I’d share it.

This is a really easy craft that can be done, with a little help, by all ages.

Gather your supplies:

Keystone Paver

Pick up a few keystone pavers at the hardware store: opt for the pewter color ones
White acrylic paint and a paintbrush (a 1 inch should do)
Black Sharpie or black acrylic paint
A wee bit of orange acrylic paint and maybe some pinkish color for the cheeks if you like.
Glitter (optional)
Glue
Small felt piece for the bottom of your snowguy
Small piece of polar fleece or whatever type of material you like for a scarf
2 puffs for the earmuffs (for each snowguy you are making)
1 Chenille stem (pipe cleaner) for each snowguy

*optional – some type of sealer
hot glue

Lay out some newspaper or something to protect your work surface. Paint each paver using the white acrylic paint – one surface at a time – allowing for drying time in between (only about 20 minutes). I found it took about 3-4 coats of paint for complete coverage.

*You may want to seal your paver before you paint it — it would probably help so you wouldn’t have to paint so many coats of white. The pavers just suck up the paint. But it’s a good painting experience for little hands.
Let it dry.

Next comes the fun part. Get out your Sharpie or black paint and go to town. Outline or don’t outline – whatever you like. You can have any words you like or none at all. Color in some eyes and some coal pieces for a mouth. We drew the outline for the nose. Use your orange paint and paint in the nose. If you want cheek color, use a spot of pinkish acrylic paint. I didn’t have any so I used a dab of my Benefit Benetint rose colored cheek and lip stain. :o) Whatever works, right?

After all the painting and designing is done, get your glue out and just smear (I hate that word) a little bit where you want your glitter – and then let your little ones glitter to their hearts content. Let dry.

Time for some hot glue now – so this is a mommy job. Cut your pipe cleaner to a good length that goes over the head of your snowman and down to the ears. Hot glue in place at the ears. Glue a puff ball (ear muffs) over this. He’s looking pretty snappy already! Now get your fabric or knit something to a good length to make a scarf for your handsome snowguy! Tie it on.

Last, but not least, cut a square of felt to fit the bottom and glue it on. This is just to protect any surface he will sit on.

Sit back and enjoy your creation without having to actually go out in the cold snow!

~ Of course your snow guy can be a snow girl as well. I would just add some cute “hair” and maybe a cute little tutu!

Enjoy!

* I saw this craft a few years ago on Family.com and just changed things to make it my own.