Tutorial: Wine Glass Coasters!

These coasters put the FUN in functional! 

What to do with all those Christmas cards?

I really enjoy seeing everyone's Christmas cards. I just don't enjoy the way they constantly fall off the fridge when someone brushes against the magnets. Or when the pile on the coffee table spills onto the floor. This year I found the perfect way to showcase everyone's gorgeous cards!

This is how my windows usually look:

Add some wire-edged ribbon (check the clearance areas in Michael's and Joanne's right now!) and clothespins. Hang up the cards! Now all your house guests will enjoy the cards without inadvertently dropping them all over the place! 

Frozen Balloon Decorations

Did you see the photo tutorial of how to make colored ice balloons on Pinterest? The picture doesn't lead to a web address :-(.

It worked!!

Fringed Table Runner Tutorial

Do you have two hours to waste and a neck + back you'd like to put a few knots into? Well, this project was tailor-made for you!

I've fringed a few table runners. Every single time, about half-way through, I wonder why the heck I decided to fringe the darn thing instead using a simple (fast!) folded hem. 

But the fringe is so pretty!

Pine Cone Clumps

Pine Cone Clumps. 

Fancy name, right? I aim to please. 

These will add a bit of holiday flare to wreaths, ornaments, presents, cards or napkin rings

Cinnamon Stick Stars

Mmmm . . . this craft smells heavenly! It was inspired by the Bachman's Birch Branch Stars that appeared in the Ideas House a couple of years ago.

Chalkboard Fun!

They're everywhere--pinterest, craft fairs, flea markets. Everything is getting a coat of chalk paint! I wanted some chalkboards but didn't feel like shopping for the perfect frame and glass/wood insert. Big mistake! Huge!

Chalkboard paint over canvases. Probably not the smartest idea ever. The canvas was a sponge! Three coats of paint were barely enough.

The canvases were hanging out in the basement, waiting for a wave of acrylic artistic inspiration. They had been there for a while . . . maybe three years? It was time to give up on artistic inspiration. I apologize to the spiders in the basement for taking their cobweb-building toys.

The chalkboards are great to have around. They're easy to add to any decorative scheme! 

If you decide to make one, find a frame with a glass insert or fit a piece of plywood into the frame. Paint the glass/wood with Zinsser primer (it sticks to any surface), then three or more coats of chalkboard paint, lightly sanding between coats. This way, you'll be able to use chalkboard markers instead of actual chalk. You'll have much neater lettering and much less chalk dust in your lungs. Learn from my mistakes!

Bachman's Ideas House: Winter 2013


The weather outside was kinda frightful. Trucks and cars were scattered in multiple ditches. Mike wanted to watch the football game(s). These concerns seemed merely trifles compared to my all-consuming need to see the Bachman's Holiday House.

A few years ago, my bonus sister told me about the Bachman's Ideas House. It's the old house next to Bachman's Floral off Lyndale Avenue. All of the rooms are fabulously decorated three times a year and everything is for sale. Some items are sold en mass inside the store, others are one-of-a-kind upcycle treasures! Here is a sampling of the things we saw today. If you'd like to see the house for yourself, I highly recommend buying tickets ahead of time. They sell out quickly.

My Advent Calendar

I grew up in a smallish town. JC Penney and Herberger's were the extent of our shopping choices. 

Oh, wait. There was also a Maurice's. I miss Maurice's. I bought a sweater there 12 years ago that I still regularly wear.

It's comfortable. Don't judge :-).

We always referred to Minneapolis/St. Paul as The Cities. Capitalized, obviously.  As in, "We're going down to The Cities for the weekend." Every other town had a name, The Cities needed no name.

When Mike and I  moved to a suburb of The Cities, he was just starting his career and we were saving up for a house. We budgeted down to the dollar. That's why I made my own advent calendar. Every day I see so many great advent calendar ideas on Pinterest but I'm awfully attached to this one.

For the tree, I used an old piece of plywood, painted the background, then the trunk  and the tree (freehand, that's why it looks so sloppy!). I hammered 24 nails into that sucker and managed not to accidentally hit myself with the hammer. That was a Christmas Miracle in itself.

I used a clay extruder and multiple colors of polymer clay to create the ornaments. 

With a Michael's 40% off coupon (love those!), I bought an unfinished candy-holder advent calendar to hold the clay ornaments.

I painted the sides and numbered doors in a variety of shades, then accented with gold paint.

Hopefully it will last for many years to come!

Wrapping Paper from Amazon Rubbish!

Remember this picture of rubbish, courtesy of my Amazon shopping addiction?

Amazon Rubbish

I ironed it! And painted it. And wrapped it around a present. 

I may have too much time on my hands. 

Treat Bag Tutorial

A standing treat bag and place card all in one!

Petal Cloud Tutorial

A few years ago I made a wreath following this tutorial at MaryJanes and Galoshes. While making decorations for a baby shower, I scrounged around one of my (sadly, many) miscellaneous craft boxes and found some 4x4 canvases. Why not use the wreath technique to make something else--something I already had the materials for? And that's how Petal Clouds were born!