Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sewing Machines

What kind of sewing machine do you have? What do you like/dislike about it? Do you have any other suggestions? I typically use mine every couple of days to sew clothes, toys (including small machine quilted items), blankets and anything else that strikes my fancy.

And while we are asking questions, how often should they be serviced?

I'm sort of, in - the - market for a new one. That really just means that they are on sale at JoAnn's and I have a 50% off coupon that is just burning a hole in my pocket.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Wall Art

There's a lot of art happening around here these days. I made these at a church social. They are just textured wall paper wrapped around stretcher bars (available at craft and hobby stores) and stapled in place.

Then I painted mine Intense Teal by Behr! I thought the color might be a little too intense, but I loved it so much I decided just to go for it. It took about 3/4 of the little sample jars you can get at Home Depot. After the paint dried, I glazed over it with copper.

I love them! The copper glaze took some of the brightness out of the teal, but it is still very bold - which I like. Kind of funny since I don't consider myself a very bold person. Hmm...maybe that's why I like the color so much. And they also have a worn, kind of vintage quality about them.

And, yes, that is snow outside the sliding glass door. We are getting pounded with our first snow storm of the season here in the Western United States. I've been super grumpy - I think I need some cookies and a cup of coco! And a healthy dose of sunshine. And maybe a little Castle, too.

Salt Art

Want to make these nifty, colored bottles with your kiddies? Or maybe, for yourself! The possibilities are endless, and since they are so cheap and easy, you'll want to make a dozen.

1 c. salt for each color
1 quart size zip-top baggie for each color
assorted food coloring
empty glass bottles (the ones pictured above are IBC)

Measure salt into individual baggies, add a few drops of food coloring. Seal baggies, and massage until color is distributed. For darker, more intense color add more food coloring. Prop open the baggies and allow to dry overnight.

To fill bottles: Use a funnel and layer colors. A small measuring cup or those plastic medicine cups that come with childrens medicine work really well for little hands. Make sure to tap the bottles on the table/counter a few times to make sure they get nice and full. We "plug" the tops with hot glue.

To make paper art (similar to this one that uses contact paper - good idea!). Water down some glue (or make your own). Use a paint brush to "paint" the glue onto paper, then shake on the colored salt. Allow to dry. Gently tap any excess salt off the paper art. The art can be made more stable by applying a thin layer of fabric starch, but too much will cause the salt to dissolve and make it look all smeary. We use leftover spice bottles with the slotted tops for shaking.

I also found The Mother Huddle blog with a great photo tutorial for salt art!