Well I think I have survived the winter

After a long snowy cold winter I am so looking forward to Spring.  I will bet I am not the only one……..

Spring is the season of new beginnings so in that spirit I have been teaching myself something new….I have become fascinated with Miniatures. Mostly mini food, maybe that’s because I have been on a Damn diet for the last 50 years.  I am loving learning new techniques and putting them to use.  My goal is to make so mini Gingerbread houses and maybe some miniature Christmas shadow boxes.

Here are some examples of my experiment’s so far.

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This is my first cake..It is about 2 inches big.  I am happy with it overall except the cake texture needs work; I have gotten better.

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How about some gooey chocolate cake this one is about 1 inch [see the crumb is looking better].

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So now I have made little cake slice charms, they make sweet earrings.

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How about blueberry pies ..these are 1 inch .  I made a couple into cute refrigerator magnets and turned the others into pendants.

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I made the plate 3/4 of an inch so you can imagine how small the sugar cookies are.

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and this is my last piece…I think the hat is sweet.    So now I am off to work on some mini Christmas cookies

How I make a beaded eyeglasses case part 2

Ok here we go lets finish this puppy up.

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Go ahead and complete your design on the top and trim bead backing.

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Cut2 pieces of lining material and 1 piece of backing..lay out backing stack lining right sides together and then the top.

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Because  I can’t use pins to hold fabric together I use tiny clips that won’t put marks or creases on fabric…Now it’s time to put it together.

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Go around the 3 closed sides with a cool edging stitch sewing the case together at the same time….On the open edges I used another edging stitch and sewed the lining together at  the opening at the same time.

100_7459and there ya have it a finished functional way to use bead work.

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I sure hope you enjoyed my mini DIY…if you have any questions I am happy to help.

I’m Back……..

Things have been busy in the Gonzalez household so I have neglected my blog a little….

Today I would love to introduce you to a wonderful glass bead maker I have found….The other day I was browsing Etsy looking for some new and beautiful beads to make earrings with and I came across a wonderful bead maker from Pennsylvania named Catherine Steele her Etsy shop is http://www.artwithheart.etsy.com

I bought 2 pairs of her awesome sea shell beads and made earrings with them.

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I like these Aqua ones I added some moonstone beads and some pearls and crystals to finish them off.

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I LOVE these purple ones I put them on rose gold ear wires made by my friend Moe added some chalcedony and moonstone beads to make these beautiful earrings.

 

So if you are looking for some beautiful well made glass beads I highly recommend her shop.

Fall in Indiana

Fall in the mid-west is a beautiful time of year…as the days and nights get cooler the trees began to change to colors of orange,red,yellow and blend with the green.  It is my favorite time of year.  The photo above is the view from my front porch.  The trees are starting to put on a good show and stand out lovely behind the yellow soy bean field.

Yesterday was a beautiful day so my husband Jose and I decided to take a ride on the back country roads and enjoy the fall colors.  This photo looks like a Bob Ross painting to me.  In another week it will be even prettier.

Indiana is famous for it’s many covered bridges that are found tucked away on the back roads….Every October we have a 10 day county wide festival.  People come from all over to tour the back roads enjoying the fall colors and covered bridges.  As they tour they stop in the small communities where Art and craft vendors set up to sell their items.  The festival is called The Parke County Covered Bridge Festival this year it runs from October 14-24th.  I will have a booth in the lovely little town of Rosedale this will be my 5th. year and I look forward to this every year.

I think one of the best things about living in Indiana is the change of seasons each one beautiful in it’s own way.

I taught myself something new

When I feel uninspired or unfocused I find the best cure is to teach myself something new to spark my creative energy.

I have been wondering what new thing I wanted to learn and I thought why not take an old skill and use it in a new way.  Ages ago I used to do basket weaving like a lot of other people in the 70’s [yes I’m old} and remembered I really enjoyed it but quit because I was a young single Mom and to broke and tired to keep up with it.  So yesterday I was wondering how it would look if I took a basic weave pattern and used wire instead of  reeds.  And after working out in my head some of the ways to go about it I gave it a try.  Guess what it worked and my first try doesn’t look 1/2 bad.  The weave needs to be tighter and more even but with a better vice and a little practice that should be easy  to do.

The pattern is pretty and it’s a very sturdy bracelet I wore it last night and so did my 3yr old granddaughter and it held it’s shape really well.  And the most important thing is that it was fun and something new to help my creativity.

If you want to see a closer image of the bracelet so you can see how pretty the pattern is just click on the photo to enlarge.

 

I would really like to know what you do when you are in a creative slump.

Soy kitchen candles, or what I did with my Saturday.

Yesterday my house smelled wonderful.  Why? Because I was making soy kitchen candles all day long.

I call them kitchen candles because they are foody scents.  I thought it would be cute to put them in mason jars.  I am also making candles in other types of containers ; now all I need to do is make labels and decorate them.

These are 8 oz  soy candles in Iced cappuccino  and White chocolate creme brulee.  These are my favorites of the ones I made yesterday.  I think I’ll decorate them simply with a raffia bow and a niece label.

The jar candles are Apple crisp delight and Harvest scents and I think I’ll decorate them like the other jars. The tall glass and the goblet are Apple crisp delight and I’m going to decorate them with a Holiday theme.  The square ones are wax melts for tart warmer.

Soy wax is nice to work with and produces a slow clean burn and cleans up easily.  I also like to make candles with palm wax.  Both a vegetable based waxes and I like that.

The sweet smell of soap in my house

One of my favorite things to do is to make soap.

Besides it being pretty and it smelling good it is one of the best things I can do for my families skin.  The soaps from the stores are loaded with detergents and things that strip the skin and age it quicker.  I make my soaps the old fashion way with skin loving oils and butters.  I have been using handmade soap for many years now and would never use a detergent bar again.

I use the Hot Process method to make my soap=making soap this way produces a rich creamy rustic looking soap.  After cooking the soap in a crock pot I put it into a wooden loaf mold to harden and when it’s done I am left with a “loaf ” of soap that weighs about 2 1/2 lbs. of finished soap

Next I cut the loaf of soap into 8 bars and put them on a drying racks to cure for a month or so.  After curing they are ready to be used and boxed up for sale.

Above is Manuka Lavender and Victorian Black Rose olive oil soap.  When I make soap I make about 20 lbs because that’s all my racks will hold, usually 8 different scents.  In addition to these I also made Chestnuts and brown sugar,Bamboo Sugarcane,White Chocolate Karibu,Japanese Pear and Ginseng{my fave},Satara sandalwood and Cinnamon Apple Berry.  My curing room smells awesome.

Next week end I will be making soy candles………