Tuesday, December 6, 2016

When you have a box of colors

This past Sunday I took a "Prophetic Art Class" with a bunch of friends. The class was taught by Janice VanChronhite of JVC Artworks. The purpose was to release the artist in you to be able to portray what the Lord was speaking to you.

After sharing her story with us, Janice encouraged us to write/draw on a piece of paper the things that hindered us in being creative. I never "drew" growing up. That was where mom and sis came in. Both of them could draw what they saw. This being the case, I never thought I was artistic. So I never did much with anything artistically. Knowing this about me, you can understand why painting parties, art classes and the like kind of intimidate me. ( Ask my friend Ashani about the meltdown I almost had at the last one we went to.) 

Strangely I didn't feel that here. The class was a mix of children, teens, and adults. Writing on paper the things that kept me from drawing or painting was kind of freeing. Everything from lack of time, lack of talent, and harsh criticism and even clutter went down on that sheet of paper. I then covered them with Jesus. It was so freeing. 

She gave us another assignment in class and then challenged us before we left to just spend time everyday creating.  

So today I finally did. I was left along with my box of colors and just had fun creating and putting them out here is a big step for me but I'm trying to overcome that whole "being scared of what others think" thing. They are simple, and that's ok. It was fun, it was freeing, I enjoyed the process.

The first piece was kind of what I picture in my mind during worship,  it's titled "When glory falls" I got new Faber Castell "Gelatos" so I played with some of the metallics for this.
When glory falls 

For the second one I was playing with soft pastels, I love the way they blend, but they are so messy (and the chalky feel drives me crazy) but I had them so I tried them out. No real rhyme or reason to my drawing. I just loved drawing trees as a child...so I drew them, and then some mountains, and they needed grass and flowers :)

The final one is just simply a rainbow (representing God's promises) and the word "believe" it was just a reminder to believe His promises. I was again playing with gelatos, and using a wide damp brush to blend. Super simple but a good reminder.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

All that Glitters!

For the past couple of years I have been collecting old jewelry. Pieces from thrift stores and garage sales, antique stores and things given to me by family, have all found their way into my collection. The goal of the collection was to make a wall hanging out of the jewelry.

This project has been sitting in bits and pieces on my desk for about 2 years, and since I had some extra time the last few days so I  decided to finish it and just in time for Christmas!

After cleaning the pieces, I removed the pin backs and post if necessary, some of the pieces came to broken, so a little E-6000 was used to replace the gems. 

Try to remove pins and backings as close to the piece as possible, this will help the jewelry to adhere flat to the fabric.

Using a piece of black velvet for the background, I outlined a basic shape with masking tape on the velvet. I also used masking tape to secure the fabric to my cutting mat, because the fabric was slippery this just helped keep things in place. After figuring out the basic placement, I used hot glue to attach the jewelry to the fabric. 

Looking at all the pieces is like a game of "i-spy" 

The fabric was then attached to a board. I originally wanted to add lights to the piece, tucking them in from behind, but due to my Facebook opinion poll, decided against it. (26 to 11 in favor of no lights and three suggestions of gallery lights and one vote for a disco ball from my daughter. )  After the fabric was attached I used glazier points from MD Hobby and Craft to secure the wood into the frame. 

Insert the points parallel to the piece using a flathead screwdriver to wiggle into place, if you are having trouble a slight tap with the hammer helps. 
Because of the weight of not only the jewelry but the wood I attached the fabric too, I didn't want the frame to carry all the weight, so I attached a simple wood support frame to the decorative frame. 

You can see the holes originally drilled for lighting.

I love the finished project!

 I do agree it needs light to bounce off the jewelry to give it some added sparkle, but am glad I didn't embed lights as I think it might detract from the beauty of the jewelry itself. I still might add some type of gallery light but probably not the disco ball my daughter had in mind ;)

I pray all of you have a wonderful holiday season, and a very Merry Christmas!!!

Supplies used: Vintage jewelry, Velvet fabric, wood,  E-6000, MD Hobby and Craft Glaizer Points, Screwdriver, Hammer, Drill, Screws, AdTech multi temp glue gun, pliers, cutters, button shank remover

Friday, November 25, 2016

Just playing around!

One of the benefits to having friends that make jewelry, and working in the craft industry, you get people to teach you things, and product to work with! I recently found some old jewelry and decided to try my hand at a "remake" this pearl drop necklace was the result. I had received the original chain in a pile of "junk" jewelry, taking it apart and remaking it to off set, I added the number, key, and pearl drop! I love the way it turned out! The daughter modeling the necklace didn't really want to give it back!

This next project was thanks to Prima Beads, I received an assortment of beads from them last year and never really played with them. This was my first attempt at stringing the Swarovski crystal. I love the sparkle of he crystals.

That's what's on my craft table this week...what is on yours?

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Shoebox 1K-2016 Registration Time

On November 5th 2016,  join members of the community as we come together at the Christian Youth Center of Morris, IL to attempt to pack 3000 shoebox gifts for Operation Christmas Child.

During your 2 hour shift, you will fill your shoebox gift(s)with; school supplies, personal care items, small toys, clothing items and even a personal letter from you. Shoebox gifts are then distributed through Operation Christmas Child, to children in need all over the world with the good news of God's love!

The event is free, but donations will be accepted to help cover the cost of the $7 per box shipping expense. To register, click on the "Sign Up" button below.

Click to View Volunteer Opportunities on SignUp.com

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Wheel Top-Shoebox Crafts

This week Crafts Paper Scissors is featuring some of my favorite shoebox crafts for Operation Christmas Child. 

 With my family, I have always found my boys harder to shop for than my girls. The same is true for my shoebox gift packing. While I always have tons of ideas of things I could make or buy for girls shoebox gifts, boys were more difficult, and then I saw a simple top made from a wooden wheel. I knew this would be a perfect toy for either gender! It’s fun to see a child’s face light up when they finally perfect spinning a top. 

Supplies used: 
  • Wood wheel 
  • Dowel that fits snugly into center of wheel
  • Wood Glue
  • Pencil Sharpener
  • Sand paper
  • Paint and brushes-I used Apple Barrel Multi Surface by Plaid in Wild Grape, Primary Blue, True Green and Candy Apple

To Create Top:
  • Cut dowel rods to create handles, for ease of spinning I found cutting length no longer than diameter of the wheel worked well
  • Using pencil sharpener “sharpen” one side of the dowel rod. Sand down the point to keep it from being “too sharp” 
  • Paint pieces as desired
  • Insert dowel into middle of the wheel, adjust dowel to have a 1/3-2/3 ratio above and below the top.
  • Glue into place

Special Thanks to Plaid Crafts for providing materials to help with this project! 

For more information on Operation Christmas Child, visit:

Jump Ropes and "Koosh Balls" -Shoebox Crafts

This week over at Craft Paper Scissors they are featuring some of my favorite shoebox crafts for Operation Christmas Child. 

Packing a shoebox gift for Operation Christmas Child can be a personal experience. As you are choosing what gifts to put inside you want your gift to reflect the giver.  As a child my “claim to fame” was beating our principal in a Jump rope contest. I jumped 98 times compared to his 4. Who needs a gold medal? I felt like pretty big stuff for beating the principal of our school!!! This childhood memory finds me putting jumping ropes into shoebox gifts frequently.

You could easily go buy a jumprope, but why when you can make one for free with items from around your house and better yet, you can toss in an extra ball as well. 

Supplies needed:

Jump rope: 
  • Old t-shirts 3-5 shirts depending on the size
  • Good strong scissors-I find Fiskars Titanium Shop Shears work great for this project

Optional: image printed from computer.

Koosh ball:

  • Left over loops from jump rope project
  • Zip tie
  • Pliers
  • 5 “ piece of heavy cardboard
  • scissors
  • sandpaper

  • On flat surface, lay out t-shirt and smooth out the wrinkles
  • Fold shirt in half sleeve to sleeve
  • Cut off bottom hem.
  • Cut loops approximately 1- 1 1/2 “ in size from shirt by starting at folded end and cutting across to the open end of the shirt.
  • repeat with other shirt.
  • Stretch out loops running your hand along entire length of loop while pulling

To create jump rope:
  • Tie three strips together, place your knot about 3-4 inches down. This becomes the handle.
  • Braid your strips together
  • When you get to the end of the strip loop another one to the bottom and continue braiding.
  • Repeat until jumprope is desired length (7 feet is ideal for most children)
  • Tie a knot at the end leaving 3-4 inches for a handle.
  • Cut open loops at the end of the knots to create fringe. 

I love making sure my jump ropes all color coordinate, and would find myself with extra loops from the project. So I did some experimenting and found I could create a “koosh ball” out of my leftover strips and a zip tie! These balls are fun and super easy for little ones to catch.

To create “Koosh Ball”

  • Take your loops and wrap loosely around cardboard like a “rubber band” 
  • Continue wrapping loops around cardboard until your ball is full enough for your liking. I found 7 loops wrapped around  6-8 times (depending on loop size)  gave me  approximately 50 loops around to make a decent size ball.
  • Take loops off of cardboard. Squeeze pile together and wrap a zip-tie  around the middle and tighten as much as possible. I find the pliers help to get a good grip which helps me tighten the tie more than with just my hands alone. Trim the zip tie to remove the tail and sand if sharp
  • Cut open your loops
  • Tie two of those open pieces around the zip-tie as an extra measure of protection

For more information on Operation Christmas Child, visit:

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Boo Boo Bunnies!

So this week over at Craft Paper Scissors. they are featuring the #CrazyShoeboxLady and some of my favorite crafts to put into shoebox gifts! First up is our ever popular "Boo-Boo Bunnies"

The bunnies are one of those "comfort items" I love putting into a shoebox. Operation Christmas Child encourages people to put soap and a washcloth into each shoebox gift, and I don't like sending a plain washcloth, and I can't knit well (or crochet for that matter) so I turn my washcloths into bunnies!

Supplies needed: 

  • 1 flat square washcloth, washcloths with a woven or solid raised border, do not work as well, because your bunny turns out bulky.
  • 1 elastic hairtie.

Optional-ribbon,google eyes, and or mini pompoms and fabric glue. 

  • On a flat surface, lay your washcloth down flat, smoothing out wrinkles, If desired you may cut the tag off. 
  • Fold in half diagonally creating a triangle.
  • Starting with the point across from the fold, roll the point towards the fold. 
  • Take the rolled washcloth, and fold in half. creating a long “U”
  • Fold this in half again.
  • Add a rubber band and adjust the ears.

Because the purpose of these is for cleaning, I normally leave them “as is” at this point. The fun is in the shape of the washcloth and it can be made flat again, when unfolded. For those wanted to take an extra step and keep them as a “boo-boo” bunny you may embellish with ribbon, googley eyes and or mini pompoms to keep it looking like a bunny. You can wet these and toss them into the freezer they get cold in 5-10 minutes and many times a child will keep a bunny on a bump longer than an icepack. If you wish to use an ice cube, you can slip the ice cube into the body of the bunny, and the wash cloth will absorb the drips as it melts.

For more information on Operation Christmas Child, visit: