Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Tomorrow we flip the calendars, and it's October (where oh where has this year gone !!!!) .... it's haunting month !!!!
Time to exhume my little Zombie Doll Collection, and put them on display for all to see. This was the 7th Annual Halloween Swap, that my lovely friend Val has hosted ..... that girl is the Queen of Halloween for sure.
My partner this year was Debbie ....... she is a doll maker extraordinaire, and all round crafting genius !!! Now you see, I can do cute ..... I love cute ...... not a problem :-) Debbie, on the other hand doesn't do cute ..... she prefers scary .... cute would not be happy in her home !!! This to me is the beauty of Swaps, we are pushed outside of our comfort zones, made to take our blinkers off, and see things from a different angle .... and Oh Boy, was this a different angle !!!
Our theme this year was Primitive Zombies (made in the primitive style) ... if you've read my blog for a while, you'll know I love that style, and have done quite a bit with it. At first I wondered how Prim and Scary could possibly marry up ..... but I discovered they can, and they can do it well !!!

So, without further addo, let me show you the Prim Zombie I made Debbie .......

He kind of reminds me of Gene Simmons from Kiss !!! He has the usual fabric body that Prim dolls have, but in order to get scary, I felt I needed to make him a sculpey face (a mask). I was SO happy with how he turned out ... I mean bolts in his head ... how could I go wrong :-) He turned out better than I could have imagined .... I was quite sad to see him go !!! I just hope he was scary enough for her.

What's a swap without tuck ins ? The challenge was to send 3 tuck ins. These are possibly my favorite part of any swap ... time to try something totally out of the box !!! And I did that this time, for sure .... and learned some new techniques along the way :-)

This turned out awesome !!!! It was an old vitamin bottle (guess who'll NEVER throw another one of those out again !!!).
I found THIS TUTORIAL on Pinterest. This was SO much fun to make !!! I added some spanish moss and a drawer pull to the lid, to give it the perfect finishing touch. I did go ahead and finish the bottle off with a coat of matte sealant, and I'm glad I did - that paint job wasn't going anywhere with it on.
I filled the bottle with some dark chocolates - Debbie's favorite treat.

Next up, the super spooky journal that I chatted about in my previous post.

And lastly, a hand towel that clips over the handle of your oven ... not the best photo, but it was the best of the bunch. 
THIS TUTORIAL, is the one I used to make this hanging towel. It's a great scrap buster, as it uses such a small piece of fabric and half of a dishtowel.

Here the package is, all together ..... Oops, I forgot to show you the card I made to go with it .....

This was a new technique for me too ... masking off an area (the moon), while I sponged different layers of color onto the cardstock, to achieve that spooky looking sky :-)

I hope Debbie liked the package, as I had a ton of fun making the goodies and putting it together. Tomorrow I'll share with you, the goodies Debbie sent me ...... Oh, you wont want to miss it ...... it is cuteness overload ...... it was amazing !!!!

Monday, September 21, 2015


Journals and journaling ...... it's one of those things that I think you either love or hate, there's not much middle ground. I love them, but I will admit to struggling to put my thoughts into words sometimes (for fear of sounding silly, I think), yet when I do, I find it very cathartic.
I'm drawn to "special" journals (a bit like I'm drawn to stationary ......... Man, I just LOVE it !!!) - no plain composition books for this girl !!!!

I came upon a new technique, while browsing through Pinterest, looking for some useful, non candy Halloween Gift ideas ... there are some extremely clever, and talented people out there, and I'm so glad that the internet has afforded us the ability to share our ideas :-)

THIS IS THE TUTORIAL that I used ..... lucky for me, I even manged to find the exact same spooky toys she had !!!! I used a cheap hard cover journal that I picked up at Walmart. Are these not brilliant .... Brittany tried to claim this one !!! She settled for me making her an exact replica ...... that sweet girl of mine :-)
I love the old leather look ..... who knew that good old kitchen paper towel could look so awesome !!!!

Have any of you heard of Bible Journaling ...... it was new to me, until a few weeks ago .... what an awesome form of worship !!!! There are Journaling Bibles that you can buy, they're quite pricey though, and I find the print a little too tiny for my 40+ year old eyes !!! I take plenty of notes in my Bible during sermons and Bible Study, but I'm not an artist, by any stretch of the imagination, and illustrating in it, just makes me nervous. I also find a lot of encouragement in the words of some of the songs we sing at Church, and I'd like to include those too.  So I thought that a spiral bound, hard cover sketchbook,might do the trick ..... remember - no plain books for me .....

I used the same technique, but used wooden elements instead of the plastic toys ... I love the metallic effect :-) The wooden elements give you a much more raised edge - they're thicker. I'm not sure about the strip along the side, and may still replace that with a plain purple strip.

I'd love to make more of these journals - I'd like to try "drawing" with my glue gun to give the raised edge, I think that could be fun too.

Fall is upon us, and it's time to start thinking pumpkins and things ..... the ideas are whirring around in my head. I think a mantel of sweet forest creatures may be on the cards for this year ..... what do you have planned ?

Friday, September 4, 2015


Summer certainly flew by ....... Our kids have returned to school, and a routine has fallen over our day to day. I do like having a little more structure to our days, but man, I miss having the kids around. Everything is just so quiet when they're not here.
The weather is also changing .... although the change is subtle. We're still having daytime temperatures in the upper 90's !!! However, I've noticed a shift in the behavior of the birds .....

The hawks were prolific around here in the Winter and Spring. They then disappeared for the Summer ..... early this week, look who I found sitting on the back fence - this gorgeous Broad Winged Hawk.

We have had a wonderful Summer of Hummingbirds - more so than any Summer before. On Monday the weirdest shift happened .... we were literally inundated with them trying to feed at the feeders. A bully boy Red Throat Hummingbird appeared, and he started chasing the other birds away .... fast forward to yesterday, and the Hummingbirds have all gone. It seems that the feeding frenzy was just that ...... they were feeding madly before they started their migration South !!! Until next Summer little Hummingbirds - you have brought us so much joy over the past few months :-)

The Summer had bursts of creativity in it, but not as much as usual. I completed some items that I entered into The State Fair Of Texas (can you believe, that I forgot to take any photos of my entries before I handed them in) ....The results came out on Tuesday ......
The sweet little elephant that I shared with you in my previous post, won a First Place Ribbon !!!!
I got 3 other Honorable Mentions for a sewn tote bag, a child's outfit, and a crochet shoulder bag ..... it's so exciting. Hubby and I have decided to make Fair Day a date day for us this year ....... it's less crowded during the week, and overall a much better experience.

I had a little play around the other day ..... I had a few things I needed to send to a friend, and wanted to include a little surprise for her in the package.

Jill is a teacher, so I figured she could always use a notebook .... and what's nicer than a plain, old notebook ...... Why a pretty notebook of course :-)
I  followed THIS TUTORIAL - it was a well written tutorial. The only change I'd make next time, is to add a full inch to each of the measurements .... my notebook needed the slightest little trim to fit nicely.
I really like black, wonky stitching around appliques at the moment !!!!
I stamped her name on some twill tape, using my alphabet stamps and Staz On ink.

The cover is removable, so once she has filled up the notebook, she can just take it out, and replace it with a new one :-)

As the seasons change, so does my crafting ........ That time of year is upon us ...... Zombie Making Season !!!! Val's 7th Annual Zombie Doll Swap is in full swing, and oh boy, am I having SO much fun !!!! In a couple of weeks I'll be able to reveal it all ....
Until then ...Happy Crafting !!!!!