DIY Hot Cocoa Chocolate Spoons

I just finished up making a batch of these hot cocoa chocolate spoons that I plan on gifting this holiday season! They came out so cute and make an amazingly rich, chocolatey cup of hot cocoa. They would make great stocking stuffers or party favors, and are relatively inexpensive to make. Here are the instructions! ๐Ÿ™‚

I used a mini muffin tin to create my chocolates, and it worked great. Just the right amount of chocolate!

The supplies you will need are melting chocolates of your choice, spoons, and toppings to decorate them with. I splurged and got Ghirardelli milk chocolate melting wafers. I do recommend using chocolates specifically designed for melting, because they melt easily, are less likely to burn, and pour smoothly. For toppings, I chose crushed peppermints, holiday sprinkles, and mini M&M’s. Mini marshmallows would be great too. The white chocolate was going to be for drizzling, but I ended up skipping it.

Melt your chocolates according to the instructions on the packaging.

Pour the melted chocolate into your mold and tap it on the counter to even it out and remove air bubbles.

Add your decorative toppings and let it set for a few minutes. If you try to put the spoons in right away, they will not stand up. After you see the chocolate starting to set, push the spoons down into the chocolate.

Let them continue to set for a few minutes so the spoons are secure. Then place in the refridgerator for 10 minutes or so to harden.

Use small sandwich baggies or treat bags to individually wrap them. You can use ribbon or string to close them up. I used this cute bakers twine found at the Dollar Tree.

If they chocolates don’t pop out of your mold with a little banging on the counter top, use a small knife to loosen them up. A little knick in the back of the chocolate will hardly be noticeable once they are packaged!

Place each spoon in a baggie.

Tie off with the string or ribbon of your choice.

Use a Christmas gift tag to write a note, or print out little tags of your own. I printed out instructions on holiday stationary.

You can give them as is, or package up with hot chocolate packets!

They were super fun to make and I hope the recipients enjoy these delectable chocolatey treats!

Apologies if this post is formatted a little differently. WordPress changed up their platform and I am not loving it. The pictures are showing up a little bit wonky on my end. Oh well. Have a great weekend and hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season so far! ๐Ÿ™‚

Dollar Store Gnome

I’ve been seeing a lot of gnomes on various dollar store craft pages and thought I would give one a try! They are so cute and can be customized for any holiday or occasion. I got all the supplies at the Dollar Tree except for the nose and the tin heart, both of which I had on hand. There are certainly a ton of items at the DT you could use you accent the hat, but the wooden balls for the nose may need to be bought at a craft store. Here’s the how-to!

First, I wanted to share my little hack for keeping your working surface clean. I use Dollar Tree wrapping paper when working on my dining room table. The edges curl and hold the paper in place on the table. When you’re done, toss it!

A lot of tutorials have you using the DT foam cones for the gnome’s hat. All my DT’s have been out of the foam cones lately, so I improvised and went with plastic funnels that are roughly the same shape. You can find these in the car/tool section.

Grab yourself a mop and cut off the strings. Don’t worry about the length because you can always trim his beard later. Start gluing them on the funnel or foam cone. If you’re using foam, beware that the hot glue gun may melt the foam, and you might have to use a cold glue of some kind.

Once they are all secured in place, unravel the mop strings to give your beard more volume. It’s a bit tedious but I think the end result is worth it. Twist the strings in the opposite direction that they are curled and they will unravel pretty easily.

After I was done un-twisting the strings, I could still see the black cone underneath and wanted to hide it more. I did a second layer of strings underneath the original beard. In hindsight I realized I could have just painted the bottom of the funnel white to camouflage it. Something to experiment with if you use these dark funnels.

Comb out the beard with your fingers and trim it if necessary. I started out with this flat round nose but you’ll see in the next few pics I switched to a round ball nose. I like the round ball much better.

Slip your sock over the tip of the cone and adjust it so the end hangs over a bit. I stuffed the hat with some cotton balls to puff it out and give it some volume. Tuck up the opening of the sock to create the kind of hat rim you’d like, and secure in place with a few dabs of hot glue.

I tied the end of the hat with a little piece of red twine and hot glued the tin heart on his hat as an accent.ย For hat accents you could use faux flowers or berries, little seasonal ornaments (a heart, a shamrock, etc.), a little bow, or whatever you feel like. I’m sure he’d look cute just plain too!

He kinda has a Valentine’s day vibe, don’t ya think? I love him but am going to give them another try a different tutorial, with rice-filled socks for the base. I will be sure to post them too. Have a great day my crafty friends! ๐Ÿ™‚

Halloween Nutcracker

HALLOWEEN IS LIFE!!! So incase you didn’t know, I’m obsessed with Halloween and all things spooky! I saw these unfinished nutcrackers on clearance and immediately knew I could create some kind of cool Halloween man! I was debating between a skeleton and pumpkin and decided on pumpkin.

I got him for a couple bucks at Michael’s since they’re trying to move the Christmas stuff! I didn’t use the paint that came with him. I used my stash of acrylic paints that I had on hand.

I peeled off the hair and beard that he came with. I felt like a pumpkin man didn’t really need the traditional nutcracker hair. lol…

I just started painting him whatever colors I was feeling. I love the teal with the orange. It just pops!

For the polka dots, I used the end of an old paint brush. It’s a great tool to easily create perfect little dots!

As you can see he has a “distressed” look. I did this by just dry brushing over the whole thing with black and brown paint. I just kind of winged it and dry brushed him all over. I used a light purple dry brush on his boots.

So…I kinda forgot one of the main features of the nutcracker is the hinged mouth. Initially I just painted a mouth right on the face, but quickly realized it looked kinda weird with the little bottom mouth part just sitting there empty….

So I painted over the original mouth and used the nutcracker part to create a mouth that “opens”! I think it looks so much better.

I’m planning on sealing him with this spray once it stops snowing!

I have a few more and might try a skeleton man next. What do you think of the mouth? Should I have stuck with the first one and just added a traditional nutcracker beard to the bottom portion of the mouth? TIA for your thoughts and happy crafting! ๐Ÿ™‚

Country Themed Dollar Store Crafts

While the selection is better, large craft stores prices can be a little rough on the wallet. There are tons of supplies for general crafting at the dollar store; i.e. tacky foam shapes, pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, etc. Those can be great for kids, but it gets a little tougher when looking to do primitive/country crafts.

Here are a few projects that I have done that involve dollar store supplies. A lot of these have been featured in previous posts, so the pictures may look familiar! All of the photos with a white background were found at

Salt Dough Ornies & Cinnamon Applesauce Ornies

Salt, flour, cinnamon, and applesauce, wax paper – all of your main ingredients for both salt dough and cinnamon applesauce ornaments – can be found at the dollar store. The recipes can be found all over the web, I don’t feel like typing it out…hehe. I make cinnamon applesauce ornies in bulk – usually stars, hearts, and gingerbread men for the holidays.

A wonderful salt dough tutorial can be found at

This “snowman pop” I picked up at a craft show looks like salt dough. I definitely want to try this. A cute stocking stuffer perhaps?

Primitive Electric Tea Lights and Jar Candles

My best seller and favorite dollar store craft: electric tea lights! I recently found the tea lights on the right at a local Dollar Tree…. 3 for $1! I have found that they are as good the ones at the craft store, and last just as long!

These particular ones have been coated with gold and brown texture fierro, a textured paste made by DecoArt (found at the craft store for about $6 a jar). I have however used plain cinnamon which I get at the dollar store. First I put a piece of tape around the base of the little silicone flame, so my cinnamon doesn’t get on it. Then, paint them with regular glue or modge podge, roll in cinnamon, and let dry. Once dry, re-paint with glue/modge podge to seal! The cinnamon technique works great, but I prefer the look of the texture fierro.

This candle was grubbied up using the cinnamon/glue technique.

These candles were found at the Dollar Tree. I used the same technique as the electric tea lights. This can be done to any glass item or jar candle. Same thing goes for these – dollar store cinnamon works great for a more rusty look!

Wooden Spoon Kitchen Decoration

You can get packages of wooden kitchen spoons at the dollar store (usually 4 per pkg) that can easily be painted and made into very cute country kitchen decorations. I spray painted them black, sanded the edges,ย  and finished off with a homespun tie and dollar store faux berries!

Silicone Dipped Bulbs – Christmas Lights and Country Night Lights

Hand dipping silicone bulbs looks like a daunting task, but is actually quite easy. I do this with night lights found at the dollar store and also with strands of Christmas lights. I scooped up a huge supply of plain white Christmas lights at the dollar store during the holidays to use all year round! The silicone must be bought elsewhere, but I found it real cheap at Walmart. To see how to dip silicone bulbs, view my previous tutorial here.

Turn these…

into THESE! ๐Ÿ™‚

Christmas lights for Everyday Country Decor

As I said, I stock up on these after the holidays to use for a variety of projects. One simple idea (not a “craft” per say, but cute nonetheless) is to look for old bottles at yard sales or thrift stores, and put a strand of lights down inside to illuminate the colored glass. I got this blue house shaped bottle at a yard sale for 10 cents, added a string of white Christmas lights, and it looks so darn cute! This picture doesn’t do it justice, but I swear it looks awesome up on a shelf!

Another idea is to take small strips of homespun and knot them on the strand of lights in between each bulb. I have seen it/done it before but can’t seem to find a picture! Cute idea and super-duper easy!

Brown Craft Paper

The Dollar Tree has a surprising selection of brown crafting/wrapping paper that can be used for numerous craft purposes. The one on the far right has little gold stars, and is super cute – one of my favorites.

They also sell plain (without patterns) brown craft paper by the roll. I use this to make labels for my products like the one seen below. I use a paper cutter to cut 8.5 x 11 sheets that can be run through the copier. The Dollar Tree also sells a really great red gingham craft paper – the one that the snowmen are clipped to!

I use it to cover my craft table too, so I can make a mess and then replace it as necessary!

Brown craft paper gift bags are great for stamping.

Homespun Wrapped Candy Cane Ornaments

You get 6 plastic candy cane forms for $1…you can’t beat it! Simply wrap in homespun. I used hot glue to dab on the ends. Another one of my FAVORITE crafts of all time. This could be done with the large candy canes also found at the dollar store!

I haven’t tried these LARGE Dollar Tree candy canes, but I bet they’d look great!

Jingle Bells – As Bowl Fillers and Accents for Other Crafts

Dollar Tree sells all kinds of little jingle bells at Christmas time. I typically spray paint them barn red, navy blue, and forest green, tie a bit of homespun on the top for a little country flair.ย  I use them as bowl/jar fillers and tree ornaments.

This cute holiday candle decorated with these same (spray painted) jingle bells was found at

Scatter around candles or mix in with your potpourri. Heck, plop a big wooden bowl on your table and fill it up with these suckers for a nice holiday center piece! A nice silver candle and bell display is shown here, by

A list of other craft supplies I have found at the dollar store:

  • Small round magnets & clear gems/marbles (marble magnets)
  • Styrofoam cone forms and balls (rag ball ornaments)
  • Basic floral supplies (wire, moss)
  • Baskets
  • Mini terra cotta pots & spanish moss (country witch head)
  • Jute
  • Large Christmas bulbs (the old-fashioned looking ones)
  • Small glass jars (use to hold potpourri, putka pods, cinnamon sticks, buttons, etc!)
  • Buttons
  • Glitter
  • Wooden frames (to paint and distress)
  • Wooden shapes for all kinds of crafting
  • Super glue/basic craft glue

Visit The Dollar Diva for more great dollar store craft ideas!

Hope you found this post helpful in saving a few bucks while working on your country/prim crafting endeavors. I don’t think I could survive without my local Dollar Tree. If you have any great dollar store ideas and/or crafts, I’d love to hear! Have a great week ya’ll! ๐Ÿ™‚

The Perfect Grubby, Grungy Hang Tags: A Tutorial

Ok, so I think I finally have it down! The batch of hang tags I recently made came out so deliciously grubby!

Here we go! So start by getting basic hang tags at your local craft store. I don’t make any fancy mixtures – I use straight (very strong) coffee. The coffee was really hot so I put it outside in the snow to cool for a bit, so it’s a little easier to work with.

Tip: Seriously, wear rubber gloves! My hands were in the coffee for a very short time and it still stained my nails brown. I usually get down and dirty with my crafts, but for this project, I will definitely wear gloves next time!

Drop in a few tags and mix them around until the are completely submerged in the coffee. Leave them in for only a minute or two.ย  Leaving them in for a long time makes the little red enforcers fall off. One thing I have learned is that this process is not about how long you soak them, but about how long you bake them in the oven!

Once the tags are completely saturated, lay them out on a cookie sheet so they are not touching. Tip: Don’t shake off the excess coffee. I am convinced that leaving them really wet and saturated (see pic below) is the key to making them grubby. That excess coffee soaks right into the tags as they bake!

Cook at 200 degrees for about 15 minutes. The excess coffee should be absorbed by now and the tags mostly dry.

You’ll notice that one side is pretty grubby, while the other side isn’t. SO, the next step is to RE-DIP all of the tags in the coffee mixture and flip them over to bake on the other side. Bake another 15 minutes. Yes, this is time-consuming, but it works really well and creates a really great over-all grubbified effect! ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy the winter scenery while you wait…

Then…VOILA! Perfectly grubby, grungy hanging tags!

Use them for all your prim country projects, scrap booking, gift wrapping, or whatever else you can think of! The possibilities are endless! I think I might start by stamping a few with a great new skeleton key stamp I recently found!

That’s all for now. I am leaving going to Arizona for a week so I won’t be posting for a while. I hope to have some fun pictures to share when I get back. Happy crafting to all! ๐Ÿ™‚

My Attempt at Marble Magnets…How FUN!!!

After two weeks of dog sitting, I am happy to be home and get my hands on some craft supplies and go to work. I haven’t done a whole lot since the New Year, so I was itching to play around with some new ideas, as seen in my last post. I decided to try the marble magnets first. They are SO much fun, but I must say they are going to take a little experimenting to get them just right.ย  I like the way they came out, but the perfectionist in me feels there could be some improvement. I used the tutorial found at Not Martha, but here is my experience!

You’ll need:

Clear decorative marbles – make sure they are not the iridescent ones. I found these at Michael’s.

Silicone Sealant – I could not find this at the craft store, so I went to Home Depot and found this DAP brand adhesive. It worked great! I do want to try super glue gel, as recommended on another random site. It think it would dry quicker, which would be nice.

Magazines or scrapbooking paper for your designs – I had bad luck finding little pictures in magazines so I turned to some scrapbooking paper that I had lying around. It worked great because of it’s heavier stock.

Magnets – I found these at the Dollar Tree.

Scissors – for obvious reasons. As stated at Not Martha, a large hole punch would save a ton of time!!!

Toothpick – to apply small amounts of silicone sealer to the top of the magnet.

A tip: Don’t bother using the large marbles. They are not as clear as the small marbles. It is hard to see in this picture, but images appear tinted brown through the marble. Look closely at the whites behind each marble and you can see the difference. It’s very obvious in person. Also, all of the big marbles had major defects on the back and would not create a clear image. Oh well…lesson learned!

I was going to use a small button to trace a circle around the image I wanted to cut out, but found it’s just as easy to use the magnet itself to trace. The edges of the pictures seem to stick out a lot once the marble is in place, and I don’t like that look. It helps to cut the picture slightly smaller in diameter than the magnet, as seen above. I applied a small amount of silicone sealant right smack on the top of the image and pressed on the marble. Oh I LOVE that part! Seeing the glue spread out under the marble is most satisfying. I had NO problems with bubbles at all.

Here’s my first set…not too bad for a first try!

And my second set! See how the paper sticks out a bit on the edges? This really annoys me. It can’t really be avoided because the magnets are almost the exact size of the marble. Maybe finding some smaller magnets would help? Also, once they are up on the fridge, it’s not noticeable at all.

I think I will go out and get some new scrapbooking paper and try some more soon. I want to make these as gifts for a bunch of people…the themes and ideas are really flowing!!

That’s all for now. Hope everyone had a great weekend. We are covered in snow here in western New York, and it just keeps on coming! Stay warm! Oh, and if you decide to try these, I’d love to hear about them!!!

Oreo Ball Deliciousness

I had some of these delicious Oreo balls at our family Christmas gathering (thanks Carol!) and ever since, I have been craving more! So since one of my New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight, the first thing I did on New Years Day was run out to Wegmans and buy Oreos and the rest of the supplies to make them! Not off to a great start…oops…

You’ll need:

1 pkg of regular Oreos

1 8 oz. pkg of cream cheese

Melting chocolate of your choice

Wax paper

Since I am such a classy baker, I smashed up the Oreos in a ziplock bag using this wine bottle. Hey…it worked, didn’t it??

Then add the cream cheese and mix in using a blender or by hand, until smooth. I used this handy-dandy NINJA blender thing that Greg’s mom got us for Christmas and it worked GREAT! I suppose a food processor or regular blender would yield the same results.

Roll into small balls and place on a cookie sheet.I LOVE recipes that are inexpensive yet make such a large quantity! Place in fridge to chill for 15-20 minutes so the balls are a little more solid and easier to dip.

Microwave the chocolate melting chips for 30 sec intervals, stirring in between, until melted..or use a double boiler if you wanna get all fancy. Dip Oreo balls in melted chocolate using a fork to drain the excess, and place on wax paper to harden.

I drizzled blue/milk chocolate on top for decoration. Just put the melted chocolate into a ziplock bag, cut the corner off (very tiny bit, to make a thin line) and drizzle away! They look like a hot mess right now…but once you put them on a plate and break off all the little excess pieces of chocolate drizzle, they look gourmet! ๐Ÿ™‚

YUM! ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope everyone has a FABULOUS New Year’s weekend!!!

Craft, Food and Wine Show 2010

The craft show went GREAT! With the help of my trusty friend/accountant/maintainance woman Christine, we sold about ยพ of the items and made about 20% more money than last year! There was a record 4000+ people who went through the show this year, thanks to the addition of food and wine, which drew in many more customers than previous years! Here are some pictures from the show! ๐Ÿ™‚ (be preparedโ€ฆI went a little overboard with the picturesโ€ฆ)

Grubby tea lights and mini snowman clips…sold out!

All cinnamon shapes…sold out on the first day!

Sold ALL but 5 or 6 candles! They were hit!

Signs…not so much. The same thing happened last year. I only sold a few. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I do have a few people who want to buy some for Christmas gifts, so that’ll be good. ๐Ÿ™‚

All 3 wooden ironing board displays…gone!

The antiques sold very well. There were other craft booths, but none with antiques. Both vintage scales sold the first day! I love them for kitchen decor.

Christine and our mascot Melanie! Mel sure did draw in the people to our booth…I learned babies are a good marketing technique!

No one bought any of the little candles I enhanced with the texture fierro (brown and green ones along the bottom). I was surprised, because I thought they were really cute! Oh well.

Sold all but one of the country night lights.

I am an antique bottle junkie, and probably sold 1/3 of ’em.

The vintage reindeer and santa went too…wasn’t sure about those guys. I love vintage Christmas ornies! Probably do more of those next year, if I can find them. I got those at the Amvet!

All the lil snowman magnets…sold out!

The penalty box was directly behind my booth space…SCORE! We used it as our little nook…or ‘office’…hehehe! The ledge made for a great transaction area, plus being a few inches off the ice made a HUGE difference in us not freezing out @$$’s off like last year! I am going to request the same space again for next year…it was SO awesome!

There’s one of my Craigslist scores…the tea cart used as a display.

Homespun candy canes and pins…sold out!

The drool queen!

I thought Christine was going to beat me because I sold all of my ironing board display pieces! In place of them are Christine’s little TV trays drapped with fabric.

The trip home was pretty funny. Even though we sold a ton, the truck was full of all the display stuff. Christine took one for the team and was wedged into the front seat with the boxes that wouldn’t fit in the back, along with my brown bag full of wine I bought. lol. Thanks Teeny…I luv ya!

Hope everyone is weathering this snow alright. It’s coming down like crazy here in western NY. Hope everyone had a great weekend! Thanks for looking…I’ll be back soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

Christmas Wagon Wheel

Well, it’s that time! I leave for Potsdam tomorrow and set up for the show at 3pm. I have the truck packed and am ready to go! Of course it’s snowing like the dickens…just my luck!

I wanted to share this last-minute project with ya’ll…this wagon wheel decorated with silicone-dipped christmas lights. I got the wagon wheel at the Christmas Tree Shop of all places! It’s a wooden reproduction obviously, but still just as cool as the originals and for projects like this. For the bulbs, I mixed silicone with cinnamon – to make it warmer and rustic looking, and dipped each little bulb individually…and yes, it took forever. I did this while they were hung up along a clothesline in my basement so they wouldn’t touch or get messed up while curing.

Cool, huh!?

The lights are tied on with jute, because I didn’t want them to be permanent, just incase the lights stopped working at some point and needed to be replaced. I was gonna use staples originally, but I didn’t want those ugly metal staples all over it…yuck.

I thought this would be an eye catcher set up in front of my booth. If no one buys it, I will happily set it out in front of my house for Christmas time…because I love it!

Well I will be out of town for a few days at the show so there will be crickets on the blog front until I get back. Then I will flood the blog with pictures from the show! Hope everyone has a great weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

Tying Up Loose Ends: Ragball Ornies, Snowman Pins & Scrap Wood Signs

The clock is a tickin! With the show less than a week away, I’m trying to finish up all the half-finished projects I have lying around my disaster of a craft area, which by now has taken over the entire basement…sorry Greg. Hehehe…

I’ve had a huge bowl full of these homespun ragballs sitting around that I was going to sell as bowl fillers. I’ve recently seen them hanging on Christmas trees which looks awesome, so I added a hanger to each one so they can be sold as ornaments. Even the huge ones are very light weight and would hang just fine. Can’t wait to display them hanging up on the tree. ๐Ÿ™‚

Remember how I said I was going to make snowman pins next year? Well…I had made a bunch of these snowman faces to make more magnets, but at the last minute, I decided toย make em into pins instead! I love the way they came out, and you can even sort of see the sparkle in this picture!

I use this “Dazzle Tac” glue whenever I am making pins, because it secures the metal pin backs. They will NOT move or fall off. I have used hot glue for this in the past that the metal part pops off with even the slightest pressure…no good.

The little signs were made with scrap wood and a sharpie paint markers. I saw this saying once and always loved it…because it’s TRUE! hahaha. I am generally not a fan of hand-written signs; I prefer stencils or stamps. But with the black wire to hang it and a little homespun tie, I think they are kind of cute!

Remember this guy from the thrift store?

Here it is painted and distressed! ๐Ÿ™‚ Love it!

Well that’s all for now. Hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend…I know I am! ๐Ÿ˜›




Happy Belated Button Day!

Did you know that November 16th is National Button Day? Yes, apparently this is a real day, and I thought a tribute to buttons was in order. I love buttons! I use them in all sorts of craft projects and have a tendency to fill up random jars with buttons just for decoration. Growing up, my mom had a beautiful old vase filled with antique buttons that I have always admired (you know which one I am talking about mom!). I found this little guy years ago and this is what started my button hoarding:

Isn’t it so cute with the little hand-written tag? Ever since then I have been collecting buttons at garage sales. I never pay full price for buttons at craft stores…the prices are outrageous. I picked up a giant coffee that was overflowing with vintage buttons for 25 cents at a garage sale last year which has lasted me all year long!

As I said, there are random decorative jars all over my house filled with buttons…

My favorite button decoration is this lamp. I made it for my craft show but decided to keep it!

A great little idea I picked up from another show is using a mason jar to hold this small glass candle holder – it fits perfectly in the mouth of the jar. Those particular glass candle holders can often be found at the dollar store or at the craft store…you really need that exact shape for them to fit just right. You can then fill the mason jar with whatever seasonal decorations you’d like…and guess what I filled em with….

…BUTTONS! I also have others filled with cinnamon sticks, old Christmas bulbs, pine cones, and old vintage earrings. The possibilities are endless!

Here are a few interesting facts about buttons in honor of National Button Day!

  • The word button is from the French word “bouton”, meaning bud or knob – buttons, as ornaments, date back several thousand years.
  • Until the introduction of the “button hole”, buttons were generally ornamental. Some believe the crusaders introduced the button hole to Europe from the middle east.
  • Until the 19th century, most buttons were used for men’s clothing. Hooks and lacing were the norm for women’s clothes. After the mid 1800s, women became the primary consumers.
  • In earlier times, buttons provided social commentary on the era and often defined social status and wealth. The French King, Francis I (1515 to 1547), is reported to have had thousands of gold buttons on a single coat.
  • Buttons have been produced from almost every known manmade and natural material.

These facts were found at

Until next time, have a fabulous Wednesday! ๐Ÿ™‚

Mini Clothespin Snowmen

Christmas crafts are in full swing…and only 18 days until my craft show at Clarkson U! The store shelves are lined with holiday goodies…face it people…Christmas time is HERE!

So I wanted to share this fun little project that I recently finished, that came out super cute. My friend Christine gave me these mini wooden clothespins because she knew I could “use them for my crafts somehow.” I have been on a big snowman kick lately so this is what I came up with! Like I said…I LOVE things in miniature!!!

These were SOOO easy and fun to make! Here’s how:

First off, make sure to get the right clothespins. These are 1 and 1/4 inch long and 1/4 inch wide. There are many mini clothespins out there are really narrow and wouldn’t work for this project, so make sure they are wide enough to paint a face!

These are the exact ones I used – they are the Walmart brand and can be found in the office supplies section.

First, spray paint the mini clothespins white or off-white. I used American Accents “Ivory Silk.”ย  I spray painted versus hand painting because I wanted to cover all the nooks and crannies. It’s so much quicker and easier if you ask me. Dot on the eyes, mouth and buttons and freehand the little nose with a small paint brush…even the sharpie paint markers were a little too big to use on these tiny clothespins!

A side profile showing placement of the scarf. It’s not glued in, just held in place by the inside part of the clothespin.

They can be clipped to anything! I love the idea of clipping small decorations or Christmas cards on a ribbon, like on this picture below. I see here they used regular sized clothespins covered in glitter…another easy project to try!

(Picture from


What else could these little snowmen clips be used for?? Any ideas??

A HUGE Thank You to WordPress and all my Fellow Bloggers!

I want to give a shout out to the great people at WordPress for “Freshly Pressing” my post about Ophthalmic Photography yesterday and say THANK YOU!!!! What an honor. I am new to this, and I went from 8 views on Tuesday to over 22oo views yesterday! Also thank you SOOO much to everyone who left a great comment on my post, and for all the support, encouragement, and kind words. What an great bunch of people there are in the blogging world…I had no idea.

I was fortunate enough to have my post featured in a few other blogs, as well as a “Freshly Pressed Focus” article written by the editor at WordPress! The links are below. Thanks to those who passed along the word!!!

Though the focus of my blog is my crafting, I will be sure to post an occasional update and showcase some more of my ophthalmic images. Our body is an incredible work of art, and these images are a small, interesting glimpse into that mystery world.

Once again, THANK YOU ALL for stopping by!!!!!!!

(For your viewing pleasure, a retinal image during a fluorescein angiogram with a membrane on the surface that is tugging at the blood vessels and causing swelling.)

A Fun-Filled Fall Day

It was a picture perfect Fall day yesterday! I started off with a little K-9 Fall photo shoot. This is Paco, our retired police/narcotics dog. He is 14, but thinks he is a puppy. He loves posing for pictures. There’s that great rusted milk can I found the other day for $2 at a barn sale down the road, isn’t it perfect with the pumpkin on top??


This is Brico, Greg’s current working dog. He is full of life and loves to cuddle…but when it’s time to work, he’s all business!

This is our back yard. Usually there are deer lining the far field. What a gorgeous day. It inspires me…wish there was more time in the day to work on some crafts.


Next, it’s off to my friend’s daughter’s Halloween party to help out as the official face painter. This is Miss Klaire, the party supervisor. She LOVES the camera!

Kim and Kasi pinning the nose on the pumpkin!

This is me hard at work, face-painting away. We did both cheeks on all the girls. Face painting is a lot harder than it looks, but they seemed pretty pleased with the results!

There are no words for how cute this kid is…

My co-worker Mindy and her daughter Emily…with some awesome face painting I might add…

A close up of the popular purple spider…

And what is a party without CUPCAKES! The girls decorated them themselves! ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope everyone had as great of a weekend as I did!!

Prim/Country Crafting Must-Have’s!

There are many supplies and materialsย  that seem to come up over and over in all my crafting endeavors. Here are some of the things I could not live without.

HOMESPUN – usually mini checks, gingham, plaid, striped, etc. All colors and patterns, but I steer away from bright colors and pastels. It’s a fortune at the local craft stores, but sometimes I can’t resist. I got a ton of great homespun fabric from a recent estate sale (thanks to my friend Melanie and her grandmother’s hoarding of craft supplies) that I use ALL the time, for ALL kinds of projects!

RUSTY TIN SHAPES – for accents mostly. Candles, nightlights, decorations/figurines, mason jars…the list goes on and on of items that can be spruced up with the addition of a great rusty star or heart. I also use these to make pins for the holidays (below). I get these in bulk at since they are really hard to find in stores.

SPRAY PAINT – I am loyal to my brand American Accents by Rustoleum, usually in satin or matte depending on the project. I have used a ton of other crappy spray paint and nothing seems to get the great coverage and color that AA provides. Pricey…yes. Worth it…definitely. I use spray paint for everything…especially for refurbishing thrift store finds. Shelves, stools, wooden bowls, the base for my signs, and various other projects all begin with a fresh coat of spray paint.

My favorite colors to use are Fossil (below, it’s my fav), nutmeg, london gray, oregeno, ivory silk, colonial red, and of course canyon black. Another favorite that’s not pictured is a great mustard yellow. I tend to steer away from blues…I don’t find much use for it. When I do, it’s usually a dark navy or muted “americana” blue.MASON JARS – I make a ton of items for my craft show with mason jars. Use them to hold wax tarts, putka pods (mini pumpkins), rosehips and/or potpourri mixtures, use as candle holders, or even as the base for a great lamp, which then can be customized to hold and display whatever you’d like. I use one for my toothbrushes. A vase for my wild flowers. A paintbrush holder, soap dispenser, the list is endless!

Also, couldn’t live without my ACRYLIC PAINT, TWINE, HEAVY GAUGE BLACK WIRE, and HOT GLUE GUN!

Those are the main supplies I find myself using over and over. What do YOU use, and what are YOUR favorite materials to work with?

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