Sunday, June 19, 2016


Today is one of those days to honor and celebrate those special guys in our lives.  I sit at the computer writing this before making a trip to visit with those "special guys" that have left us - a grandfather, a father, a father-in-law and most importantly the father of my three children.  In the five years since we had so say good-bye, he is thought of daily and missed more than imagined.

He would have enjoyed seeing his grandson becoming a wonderful young man, wondering where did those years go from that little guy we used to watch to heading into his Senior year of high school with thoughts of the future waiting for him.  He would love seeing the sweet, quiet Maddie becoming  a strong young lady who is finding herself and will spark and delight!  He would have been delighted to see Tess loving school and seeing in her maybe a future teacher.  He would love having a conversation with this very wise eight year old.  He would love having the chance to play and enjoy Zoe and see how she is blossoming into a fun-packed little dynamo.

I see so much of him in each of the children and grandchildren - he has truly left his mark on on of us and we love him for it.

This is a post I made to my blog 5 years ago on the very same date about those special guys!


Today is their day - well their "Special" calendar day.  So to dad's everywhere, I hope that they will enjoy the day.  Some will be golfing, some lounging, some grilling,  some even working and many sharing some time with those they love and love them back.

For my husband and I, we will be remembering.  Both of our fathers are gone, but we will have memories to think of and share.  Those photos of "family" that are many in our house,  are filled with thoughts of them and how their  "fatherhood" shaped us.
Dad with baby daughter long ago

Dad with sons (future dads)-David was only a gleam.

Then there is our oldest son (father of two sweet little girls, Tess and Zoe) and our son-in-law (father of two tweens, Joseph and Maddie), they are both spending their day working.  Both are firemen/paramedics and today is their shift day.  Both are great daddy's to their children.

A very young father

The rest of us will gather here with another special dad.  He has much to be proud of in his three children and the family additions.  We honor him for the wonderful teacher, worker, friend, neighbor, son, brother, sweetheart, husband and loving Dad he is!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

ETI Resin Project For New Bathroom

This post will show the project that was created for a bathroom edition in my basement near my workroom.  It was a much-needed addition to the workspace.  The purpose of the room was mostly for a source for water and clean up space. When planning this room I knew that I wanted to use resin from ETI somehow.

I knew that I wanted something different but functional.  At first, I wanted something like an old farm sink but that just wasn't in my budget.  After searching for sinks online I came across the rectangular vessel sink.  Faucets were my next concern and I wanted an old-fashioned look and found just the right ones.  The next thing to create was a unique base to capture the look I wanted.  The best place to look for something unique was our area, Flea Market.  At first, I was looking for old planks of wood but then I found some old barn doors and chose one to use.

All the old, original hardware was removed first.  After deciding on the size needed for the vanity top, some of the boards were removed to get the correct width for the top.  Next, the remaining piece was cut to the correct length of the top.  A piece of particle board was cut to fit under the barn door for added support.  It was attached to the base before the process of adding the resin began.

I have worked with ETI resin in smaller projects but this was my first attempt to do something so large.  It was a learning experience for sure! I did make a few errors in prepping for the project. To cover the door to the thickness I wanted, I had to do several pours of the resin.

Close-up of the first pour to fill the grooves between boards
Once the top was completed, it was decided where the sink would be placed and a hole for the drain was drilled through the layers.

Two of the pieces that were removed from the door were used as the backsplash along the back and right side of the vanity.  To coat these with the resin I elevated them with  small cans on a plastic covered table and prepared the resin.  Using a utility, bristle brush the resin was just brushed onto the boards.  Two coats of the resin were added to the boards.  They were then attached to the wall to finish the vanity top.

I love the results!  The resin brought out all the interesting imperfections of the wood to give the top its very unique look.

Now go to the other designers blogs and see what they have come up with using ETI products!

Ann Butler Designs – ETI Blog Hop March 31, 2016

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Shiny Travel Accessories With Metallic Oly-Fun

It was a couple of years ago that I became aware of Oly-Fun by Fairfield. It comes in a nice variety of colors and is easy to work with.  It can be sewn, painted, glued, die-cut and manipulated.  When I became aware of the newest editions of Metallic Oly-Fun I looked forward to working with it.

With three of the four new color samples, I decided to create some easy travel accessories.  Each of these are made by layering the metallic Oly-Fun with cotton batting and a printed fabric.

Shoe Bad with Brass Oly-Fun

Curling Iron Bag with Silver Oly-Fun
Zippered Pouch with Gold Oly-Fun
There is a giveaway with this blog hop.  One bolt of Oly-Fun Metallic of your color choice will be the prize (US and Canada only).  Readers enter to win via Rafflecopter on the Designer Craft Connection blog.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

ETI Blog Hop

Creating with interesting products can be challenging but it is always fun and interesting.  I have experimented with some of the products from ETI.

What I created used EasySculpt®, which is a epoxy sculpting clay from ETI.   I should note that I could have also used EnviroTex Jewelry Clay® with the same results.  Since I had not used the EasyScuplt® before this gave me the opportunity to learn how to work with this product.

Please read all the instructions that are included in the package.  When using any of these products that need to be mixed I always use latex gloves.

Once the clay was mixed well I began to create the pieces.  For the focal piece, I used a flexible mold. For the triangular pieces, the clay was rolled out on a silicone mat to approximately 1/8" thickness.  Using a texture sheet, press it onto the rolled clay to make the impression.  Use a metal clay cutter to form the pieces.  Use a toothpick or a piercing tool to form a hole near the top of each piece.
*NOTE: The clay can become sticky while working with it, and can stick to the gloves, molds, and other tools.  It is best to use either talc or vegetable oil to eliminate this issue.

Roll beads from the clay.  My beads are not perfectly round or the same size on purpose; I wanted them to have an organic look.  Immediately pierce them with a wire or piercing tool.  Make the hole large enough for stringing onto string or wire.
*NOTE: Coat a length of wire with vaseline and string the beads onto the wire till they dry.  Hang the wire between two cups or glasses so the beads do not flatten.  Twist them from time to time through the drying process.   

When all the clay pieces are hard they can be painted.  I gave them one coat of black acrylic paint.  The next color was a thinned coat of copper metallic. It was lightly brushed onto each of the pieces.  The last color was a metallic green that is very lightly brushed on for an accent.

I completed the necklace by adding some other accent beads along with all the pieces formed using the EasyScuplt® clay.


Clay molds
Texture sheet
Acrylic paints: black, copper, metallic green
Beading wire
Jewelry tools
Jewelry findings, crimp beads, closures
Assorted coordinating beads

*** Today, February 25 there will be this ETI blog hop for Resin Crafts - check out all the posts for creative ideas.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Show Some Love

Start with this booklet filled with a nice variety of techniques and add some Fabric Elements™ by Rebekah Meier and you can end up with something fun and pretty to display in your home or give to a friend.

This burlap banner combines several techniques found in the booklet.  I used a number of the products in the Fabric Elemens™ collection developed by Rebekah for Fabric Editions.

Materials used for this project include - Burlap Banners, Pink Dot, Waffle Muslin, Wool Felt, Tissue Pack, Stencils and Lace Trims, plus paints and gel medium.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Designer Craft Connection - Show Some Love

February arrives and with it comes a special day to show and express LOVE.   Why not show it and express it every day!

There is an easel with a blackboard,  that I recently restyled from a plain wood finish with a crackle finish.  It is located near the front door in the entryway of the house.  It is the perfect addition to make a statement to anyone entering.

Recently I created a banner made from materials of the Fabric Elements™ line by Rebekah Meier and wanted to share it with everyone.

To make the hearts, I die-cut a base from white poster board.  After surface painting a white-on-white fabric and the waffle muslin fabric from the collection, they were also die-cut in the same size.  Two pieces of iron-on, fusible interfacing were cut to match and used to apply the fabrics to both sides of the poster board base.  (The decorative fabric on the front, waffle fabric on the back.)

The next layer was a smaller heart cut from batting and then trimmed with pinking shears around the edges.

The top layer is made using painted lutradur and finishing with stamped letters from Ann Butler's collection of stamps.  This heart shape is cut one size smaller than the batting layer.  This layer is sewn with a zig-zag stitch to the batting layer before being glued onto the larger hearts.

Decorative trim is glued to around each of the hearts.  Punch holes on the sides of each heart to add strips of fabric for tying them together and for end ties.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Designer Craft Connection - Handmade Holiday Decor Ideas

It is truly beginning to look a lot like Christmas!  Each year I tell myself there is no need to add anything new to the large collection of holiday decorations I already have.  Then inspiration strikes or I see something I would like to try and find a reason to create new decorations.  This year I have a couple of new additions.  I will also share some that have been around for a number of years and are family favorites.

The newest are the holly painted white burlap runner and the square glass candle holder with holly & berry embellishments.  NOTE: I also use handmade gifts from friends (the snowman) and a simple chalkboard to add more holiday flair.

My holiday decorations always begin with lights.  I have changed over to all clear lights.  The bulbs can vary but the remain clear.  They are wrapped on garlands that are hung over doorways  and windows or for stairway railings.

Handmade wooden reindeer, vintage glass ornaments in a vintage sleigh.

Handmade stacked benches hold a basket of vintage cookie cutters and other holiday-related items.

An old slate board gets a special holiday message and simple, tiny brush trees add a holiday touch.
I use elements that I already have as part of my decor and just add or change them up to show-off a holiday theme.
A tiny mitten banner made from handmade paper hangs on a vintage coat rack in the front hall.
A fabric and paper JOY banner on the guest room door.

One of my favorite decorations to use around the house anytime are banners and during the Christmas holiday season they are definitely utilized.  I have made several different kind through the years.  Many are used at home and many have been given away.
Assorted jars, epsom salt, ribbons, embellishments, and tealights
Here are candle jars made from an assortment of glass jars.  They can be used anywhere, alone or clustered together for a warm festive glow.  I instructed a group of ladies from our community on how to create them and each one was so unique.

I could go on and on with photos of handmade decorations that I made or received from others, but I end with one that was made several years ago from a small doll house kit.

Normally I begin the process of decorating the house the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  Unfortunately that was not the case this year.  I'm still putting things in place here and there around the house.  I hope that the few visuals I shared here will give you some inspiration to create your own versions of handmade decorations of you own.  Make something for yourself or someone else - Enjoy the Holidays!!!  Please check out the Designer Craft Connection Blog and Facebook page for more ideas from several others - DCC Link - Facebook Page Link

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Fabric Elements™ Travel Tags

When it comes to traveling and baggage, why not add something special.  Here I created two tie-on tags to make my luggage stand out and easier to locate.

For the tags, I used two of the techniques found in the "Techniques for Mixed Media" booklet that is available with this line of Fabric Elements™by Fabric Editions.

One used the patchwork technique with several of the fabrics and the other was using the fabric fusion process.  With both techniques, paints were added and muslin fabric was applied to the backside to create the tags.  Some machine stitching was also added to each, along with a fabric tie.  NOTE: Refer to the photo below for marking and cutting the opening for the tag information. Finishing the tags can be done with sewing or glueing. To add protection to the name and address, insert a piece of clear plastic to the inside opening.

There is a challenge going on for anyone to enter.  Details can be found on the  Fabric Editions Blog. A very nice prize awaits the winner!

For more information about Fabric Elements™ from Fabric Editions here are links to the Blog, Facebook Page, Pinterest Boards, Rebekah Meier's Facebook Page, a link to my Fabric Elements™pouch project, another Fabric Elements™ project

Fabric Elements™ can be found at JoAnn Fabrics stores.

Projects made using Fabric Elements™ Kits

Thanks again to Rebekah for the opportunity to create and have fun with this wonderful new line!