Monday, April 22, 2013

Leather Bag Makeover – Steampunk?

Remember this bag?


Remember I didn’t like the color or the front flap, or the strap. Now it looks like this -


Much MUCH BETTER! I dyed the bag with some antique colored leather dye I had laying around. I added the strap onto the front using rivets and punched in eyelets to hold whatever accessory I want to use.


After I got this all wired on my kids and hubbie told me it looks like a Sherriff badge…and they’re right…it does! It’s kinda  western Steampunk.The perforated metal piece is something I got from a clearance bin at JoAnn’s – it’s supposed to be a necklace part. I guess people would embroider a design on it or something.

The darker leather piece under the main strap is held on with heavy-duty snaps. I can change it out whenever I want and put something else there…like maybe needle felted flowers on felt or something like that. We’ll see. It took me years to get it to this point so I think it’ll stay this way for awhile.



I added this vintage key to use as a zipper pull on the back pocket – and a larger one for the main inside pocket. I also cut the straps off and used a long heavy duty belt as a handle.


The plan is to use snaps but I ran out so I sewed it in place this time…will add snaps later…this works fine for now. I really love how this turned out – I like the mix of different colored leathers and metals. It’s definitely better than it was! So now I’m on the hunt for another ugly old leather purse to redo for the bazaar – keep your eyes open for me!

Today I’m repainting my living room. I let the boys pick the color. It turns out what was supposed to be a putty color is actually a mauve/purple color. I hate it. I’m going to consider it priming the walls and get something else. Darn it!

002 006

And here is another polymer clay pendant I made using a big stone cabochon as the base. It’s heavy and I love how it turned out – think it looks like petrified wood?


And lastly, one more polymer clay pendant. Julie likes this one – I think I do too. It isn’t what I had in my head when I started out so I’m not sure how much I like it…


Happy Crafting!!!!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Painting tips … and crafts


(Picture taken by my husband…sorry for the blur)

I think this has to be my favorite polymer clay piece I’ve made so far! I love how the leaf turned out and the color of the pendent. I tried to recreate that color the next day (the brown)…and spent at least two hours blending clay until I got it close enough! I have to take notes when blending clay from now on. I’ve actually started taking a picture of the clay with my phone camera and emailing it to myself with the list of colors used. Sheesh! I hope that saves some serious time in the future!!


(Picture taken by my youngest son…)

Do you have a favorite pair of socks? I have a few and this is one of them! I’d worn them so much there was small holes and the sock was getting very thin…so I darned them. I think I’ve talked about darning before…I’m acquiring quite a collection of darning yarn from thrift shops and my granny! I darned this pair as we were driving “home” for Easter. It took the entire trip there and most of the trip home to finish them…about 3 hours total. I wouldn’t do this for a regular pair of cotton socks, but if it is a pair of socks that fit nice and don’t sag and bag around my ankles I’ll give it a try. Someday I’ll buy a pair of beautiful knitted socks…someday…(I can’t knit!)


(Picture taken by me – look at all that stitching!)

Since I’m out of certain polymer clay supplies, and don’t have plans to get them this week, I’ve decided to tackle a problem…this is the problem -


(Handle is stretched around the chair)


(Purse is hanging properly but picture is too dark…color in the first picture is the true color)

The problem is I like the inside of this bag but have never liked the outside of this bag. The main problems are the color of the bag and the flap. Hate that flap. I’ve had this bag for a few years now and used it for a few months. My neighbor gave it to me…when you’re a hoarder crafter people give you stuff. Some stuff works out and some stuff has to be modified, and some stuff has to just go into the recycle/donate bin. I’ve had different ideas over the years about how to fix this bag but never “got around to it”. Well, the day has come. The bag is currently on my kitchen table getting a make-over. It already looks better and if I can’t find the supplies to do anything else it’s better than it was. If it doesn’t turn out it will get recycled into something else. It wasn’t doing anyone any good to be sitting on my shelf for the past few years. You’ll have to wait for the big reveal until next week.

Oh – and here’s your #1 painting tip! When you are going to paint a room DON’T clean it first! As a matter of fact, wait until it’s plenty dirty and dusty! That way the paint spatter sits on the fuzz and cleans up easily. I was telling my mom this and it blew her mind. I thought everyone painted this way lol! I finished the living room ceiling this week and will be off to the paint store soon to get the wall paint. I let my family pick out the color because I couldn’t stop dithering…green? no gray!…no YELLOW!…no sage!…no GRAY! I drove myself nuts.

Oh – and here’s a note…I sometimes get asked why I don’t do many tutorials. Well, it’s because a lot of what I make goes to the Bazaar at our church and I don’t want anyone else in the area making and selling the same things. We do good things with the money we raise (heat share, buy chickens for a community in Africa, help the soup kitchen…just to name a few). So, if you live outside of my area and want to know how I did something just contact me via email and I’ll tell you. I don’t mind sharing!

Happy Crafting!!!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Playing with Polymer Clay


I’ve been having a grand ol’time playing with polymer clay.


Then “painting” them with pigment powders.


I’m not 100% sure about the beads here, but the leaf is awesome… It’s ridiculously hard to photograph the metallic sheen these pieces have! I can see I have some work to do with my edges…they are kind of raggedy, maybe time to change out the blade in my craft knife…you wouldn’t think you’d need a sharp one for soft polymer clay but you do!

In other news I’ve finished painting my kitchen ceiling – woot woot!!! And am heading “to town” today, if we can get out, for more ceiling paint for the living room. One. Room. At. A. Time. I’ve found it’s best for me not to just go buy all the paint at one time. I’d rather get it one gallon at a time. Smaller reachable goals. We are still dithering about what color to paint the living room. It shouldn’t be so hard to pick a color! But it is…with a North facing room any color too dark will make it even more cave-like and my husband doesn’t like yellow, or light blue…we are looking at taupe right now. Kind of a putty color. Kind of BORING…but hopefully soothing. And we need soothing…this -



THIS DAMN WEATHER is putting us all in a bad mood!!! Julie and I went for a walk yesterday and it wasn’t snowing when we left, just cold and windy. A mile and a half into our walk the storm broke loose and it was “game-on/every-woman/dog-for-themselves" to get home! Got some cardio in trying to hustle home without slipping on the ice. BTW, Edith and newly renamed Peanut are getting along great! Phew! We just love our new dog, she’s very sweet and calm. Ahhhh….

Thank Goodness it’s Friday…

Happy Crafting!!!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Welcome Pea Brain…


“Pea Brain”

Meet “Pea Brain” the newest member of our household. We are all debating on new names for her, so far the leading names are Phoebe, PB, and Peanut. Now we just have to see which one sticks. We needed something that sounds at least a bit like “Pea Brain” lol! She is the half sister of our other dog Edith.

gabe&haylee 060


We brought her home on Easter Sunday…she’s fitting in pretty well. Edith is an alpha dog and packs a lot of attitude into her small size. Luckily Pea Brain is very submissive and while they aren’t best friends (yet) Edith tolerates her, smells her a lot, and has to know what she’s doing all the time, lol! I think it’s going to work out! They are both mutts with Chihuahua, King Charles Spaniel, and Jack Russell in common. They are also very FAST!!! I found out Pea Brain is very fast today when Julie and I took them for a walk. The leash holding Pea Brain got fumbled and she took off like a bat out of hell. There was no way I was going to catch her but I tried anyways, luckily she stuck to the sidewalk and was headed for home. Julie managed to get in front of her while I distracted her by basically almost crying… on the ground…on the sidewalk. PHEW! I got my cardio in for the day…didn’t know I was in such poor physical shape…and I don’t want run/jog to change that thank you very much. Running sucks! Note to self: train Pea Brain to come when called by bribing her with hot dogs until she does it instinctively!

Today I started painting the kitchen ceiling. It makes such a difference!!!! One coat on in one part and I’ve just started the, I don’t know what you’d call it…coffered ceiling part? I decided to paint the edge of the wood – have a look -


You can see in this picture where I’ve caulked and need to re-caulk. Caulking is why I’m painting the wood. I couldn’t get the seams caulked without getting caulk on the wood. And the seams were/are big! I think when it’s all done it will be a much cleaner look. I know I should have re-caulked and then started painting but since I had all the stuff out and full of wet paint from the first part of the kitchen I decided to give it a first coat, then caulk, then a second coat, then see if it needs a third (please NO!). My neck is getting sore from being cranked up all day lol!

Happy Crafting!!!