Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Robert Bradford gives new meaning to "TOY Poodle!"

Artist Robert Bradford from the UK creates pets and other cool sculptures out of small toys and other plastic items.  I love how colorful his sculptures are!  Almost makes me want to raid the free bins at garage sales just to give this stuff a new life.  Be sure to check out his website, where you can see a lot more photos of his work!

(via Stylecouch's Blog)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Homemade Christmas 2012

I always end up doing at least a few homemade Christmas gifts each year and 2012 was no exception. I didn't make as much as I have some other years, but enjoyed the few that I did make! Here are a few pictures from this year...

I had so much fun making all this miniature food for my niece's dollhouse out of Sculpey clay! The tiny metal picture frame I found at a thrift store and added a photo of her new American Girl Doll, Molly.

I made homemade vanilla extract and mint extract this year.  I'll do a separate post on how I did it soon! Super easy and a really fun gift to give and great to use yourself!
I found some cute smaller baskets at thrift stores to give the little bottles of extract.  The tags are made out of recycled greeting cards.
Of course, I did give a lot of my canned items this year, including salsa, relish, tomato soup, pasta sauce and applesauce.  I picked up baskets at the thrift stores, and even found unopened bags of the paper grass to put in each one at thrift stores too.  I printed my own round labels for everything.

My son's preschool teachers got a little basket of goodies....homemade chai tea mix, mint extract, vanilla extract, some of Sammy's artwork turned into a magnet from Shutterfly, my Junk Mail Gems magnets in the letters of their last names, and a junk mail necklace. The large rectangular thing is a magnet I had made out of a note Sammy wrote thanking his teacher for helping him with writing his "Y's."  :-)
This was an idea found on Pinterest.  I had the boys make hand prints by dipping their hands in white acrylic paint and then grabbing ahold of a blue glass ornament.  Then I used paint pens to add the faces, hats, buttons, etc to turn their fingers into snowmen.  We gave these to grandparents.  A really fun twist on the old hand print ornament! I bought the ornaments for 75% off after Christmas last year and hung on to them until this winter.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Mason Jar Roundup!

I know, I know!  It's been WAAAAY too long since I've posted something!  And I haven't made an e-newsletter in F-O-R-E-V-E-R.  I apologize, faithful followers!  Life has certainly gotten crazy but I wanted you to know I am still alive.  And I'll try my best to keep posting fun stuff for you in 2013!
My homemade salsa!

Last summer/fall I took up home canning, as a response to our new overflowing little garden.  (You can read about my first attempt on my IDMommy blog, complete with a great salsa recipe and free download) We only had two tomato plants and one grape tomato plant.  But, boy were they fruitful!!  I made a ton of salsa, pasta sauce, and tomato soup.  I am now really enjoying all of these goodies this winter and loved giving some as gifts too. 

So, with my stash of salsa dwindling and my pile of empty jars growing, it got me thinking about ways to use mason jars.  Of course, I'll be using them this fall to fill up with more delicious homemade salsa....but in the meantime, here are a few fun ways you can use mason jars!

SEWING KIT! What a fun little project.  I can totally see my great grandma's sewing stuff displayed in jars like this.  I was lucky enough to inherit her old machine and supplies! From the talented Traci...check out her blog!

SPRING PLANTERS! What a sweet centerpiece for Easter brunch! Totally putting these on my to-do list! Check it out over at The CSI Project!

SOAP DISPENSER! I need to do this.  My kids keep breaking our soap dispensers! From Liz Marie

SNOW GLOBES! How sweet! This would make such a fun homemade Christmas gift. Wonderful tutorial by The Lemonista!

CROCHET! What a cool idea to crochet a cover for a mason jar and use it to hold your hooks.  Love it! Fabulous idea from "Love the Blue Bird."

LUMINARIES! I already posted this idea on my doily post but thought it was fitting to use again!    

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