Monthly Archives: November 2010

Crafting For Christmas

Traditionally, I make a few things around the holidays.  Most are for people that made it onto my Christmas list.   But I have learned the hard way to be prepared. I prefer to avoid that “Oh Crap” moment which happens when someone unexpectedly stops by (especially when they have brought YOU a gift) or you get a last minute invitation and have no time to shop.  So, while you are making the gifts for the ones that made the cut….make a few extra for back-up.  I like to force Paper White bulbs.  (I sound so brutal)  My old house had a yard that blessed me with forced bulbs from the past.  After the paper white bulbs have bloomed and grown, their leaves turn brown and it’s time to put them in the ground…. and forget about them.  Two years later, they are popping up, on their own schedule and blooming fragrantly!
Paperwhite Bloom
Paper whites are wonderful to give in small glass vases (I get them cheap at yard sales).  Fill the vases with rocks, glass beads or decorative sand.  Position the bulbs so that they will stay secure on the top and add some water just to the bottom of the bulb.  Their little roots will sense the water and start growing, and green stalks will be sprouting outward!

Everyone loves scented candles and you can have a blast making them with your kids.  Last year, my daughter and I had fun making candy cane candles.  Using two wax forms from ye local craft store we first filled the center candle form and scented it with the closest scent we could to peppermint (in this case vanilla, I couldn’t find peppermint oil for candles).  Once this set up, we removed it from it’s form and then placed it in the larger form.  This leaves a gap that we filled with peppermint sticks.  Fill in the remaining void with wax.  GORGEOUS!
Peppermint Candle
Get creative!   We also used cinnamon sticks, cranberries & mistle toe.  The most popular version was inspired by a friend who gave me a bag of coffee beans deemed “not worthy of drinking”.  I had coffee scented oil and you could almost burn one instead of drinking your morning latte….ALMOST.   These were very popular last year and I think we’ll have to make some more.

This year, as you know, chalkboard paint is all the rage.  Have you seen those wine glasses in the stores with the mini chalkboard on them?  You can write your guests name on them (or some other  nonsense).  They’re kind of expensive.  Besides, I prefer the stemless kind.  All the “real classy” wine drinkers (like my friends) use these because they’re easier to hold when drunk and less likely to spill.
Enlisting the help of Thing 2, we got started making sets of these for gifts and to use at home.  Here’s what we did…

I wanted the edges of the chalked area of the glass to look distressed so I took blue painters tape and applied it to a Fiskars paper edger.  Trust me when I tell you its best to put more of the tape on the ruler and tear off the part you aren’t going to use.   The thinner strip tends to tear into pieces too small to be usable (but if you got skills… you might be able to use them…)

Then we applied the edged tape to the glasses lining up the straight side of the tape to the top rim so the “distressed” part creates the frame.Photobucket


Thing 2 busy with the chalk paint

PhotobucketNext we shook up our can of chalk paint, and painted the taped off section.  Let it dry – and re-coat.  When it’s all dry – peel off the tape.  Any “oops” areas can be scraped off with a fingernail or xacto knife.  Easy!


Chalked Wine Glasses with a message from Thing 2


Taped Vases of Paper Whites

I got a lot of satisfaction from this project but it was almost a little too quick… hmmm, what else could I paint?  Spying the bulbs I’ve already started to force I found my answer!  The vases were quickly taped and painted before you could say Narcissus!  Cute!


Forced Paper White Bulbs in customized Vases

DIY MIX Channel

So – Mr. Malibu watches a lot of sports… He loves that fact that certain games show up on my TV since I’ve got satellite and he’s got cable.  While he was downloading his daily dose of all things sports… I noticed a channel that the crafting, home design and DIY channels seem to be lacking….  It’s called Sports Mix.  It shows you like six games on one screen.  Why isn’t there a DIY Mix channel?   You would be able to see bathrooms being remodeled, perhaps a knitting show (long live Knitty Gritty) and a backyard make over all at one time!  Wouldn’t you just love that?

Ribbon Rose Picture Frame

Buying Ribbon Roses in bulk (for my rock clothing line) and a broken picture frame led to this little jewel.  (necessity leads to invention)

Ribbon Rose Picture Frame in Peach

I had a favorite picture in a little porcelain frame….. I forget what the picture was… but this was back in the day when you had to get your pictures developed and printed by the professionals at your local drug store.  Somehow the picture stuck onto the glass of the frame… so when the frame cracked… I couldn’t remove the picture without destroying it.  Meanwhile (back at the ranch..)  I had all these ribbon roses lying around… and well, it was just a natural crafting progression.  The results turned out fabulous so I made some more.  After taking a few orders, I started selling them at a booth at the Studio City Farmers Market.  I sold a ton of those things there.  Picture frames make great presents (especially with the long awaited wedding photo, baby photo inserted)!

For those of you who still love all things Shabby Chic, girly or diva…. this little project is just right for you.


  • Sandpaper
  • Paint
  • Glue Sticks
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Ribbon Roses (Sewing craft stores carry these)
    For a 3 1/2 X 5 frame you’ll  need approx.
    46 Larger Ribbon Roses
    56 Small Ribbon Roses
  1. Find a picture frame.  Find a GOOD one.  One with a nice backing.  One with a flat smooth detail free front (mine actually are softly rounded and that works great).
  2. Photobucket

    Back Removed

  3. Remove the backing and glass from the picture frame.
  4. Lightly sand the picture frame to remove any coating and apply thin coat of primer to the wood frame.  Dry and paint with two coats of main color.  I actually had a paint color made to match the color of the little leaves that come attached on the ribbon roses.  Green is a neutral color and the eye is going to dismiss this color, picking up the color of the ribbon roses instead.  But do what you want.Photobucket
  5. Starting at the inside corner, apply hot glue to the back of the ribbon rose and quickly set on the wood frame.   Keep repeating this step, placing each ribbon rose close but not squished up to the next one and work your way around the frame.  Keep in mind that you don’t want the roses to extend over the edges, especially at the bottom where they will cause the frame to become wonky and unstable (like my crazy aunt Helen)
  6. Replace the glass, ad a fabulous photo and fasten the backing.  Gorgeous!

They make excellent frames for wedding photos or babies rooms.  I once whipped out 25 of these as wedding favors for a bridal party.  I’ve even made mini ones and attached little eye-hooks to adorn the Christmas tree!

Me Time

This weekend, I was faced with 3 days of me time.  ME TIME!  A minor procedure prompted me to stay home, do nothing.  The only schedule was do a little clean up and catch up on Dexter and Martha on the Tivo!  Good times!  But I am so not your chill and relax girl…. oh no, projects beckoned to me, tempting me with their siren call!  And there I was, on lock down.  How could I resist?

Now, I was a good girl, I did my clean up.  I organized items in need of order, put away things that hadn’t seen their homes in months.  But it was the presents that did me in.  With  Thing 1 and Thing 2 away, I was able to safely wrap some Christmas presents and, hell, while I had the paper out, wrap some other presents that I had got an early start on for the Holidays…. That led me to thinking of other people on my list… and a couple of projects I meant to finish for them….   There’s the can of worms!   The pulled loose thread that unravels the sweater!   You see, there’s a REASON projects don’t get finished… kinda like writers block… and sometimes…whatever that block is… projects just have to set aside and until the answer reveals itself to you.  And damn if those answers didn’t make themselves clear this past weekend!

Out came the glitter and the glue… and the copper tape and beads.  And soon enough (s00n=alien abduction time) I had some pretty, funky necklaces all ready to be wrapped up and put under the still pending tree…. By the end of “me time” my home looked like it was hit by an earthquake…