Plaster of Paris

Dixie Cup CraftsSometimes you stumble on things that bring back such fond memories.

Mine are Dixie Cups filled with wet Plaster of Paris.

It’s fun reliving moments of childhood, especially the idea of crafting with my brother.

Come to think of it, we argued over the blue Dixie cups, all the time.

We would slip between the houses and borrow flowers from the neighbors side yard, to complete our project.

Now I need to figure out why my mother even had Plaster of Paris. I think she knitted once.

Plaster of Paris is out there … had to check it out.

History seems to indicate that, despite the name, Plaster of Paris was invented by the Egyptians.

If my family is reading this, Plaster of Paris will be joining us at our holiday party:)

Cheers!

Handmade Thanksgiving Crafts Part II

easy craft projects
Thanksgiving dinners take 18 hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take 12 minutes. This is not coincidence. ~Erma Bombeck

If you ask my kids, they will tell you that there were two Thanksgiving craft projects that we never missed.  (My grand kids will have to endure at least one!)

  1. The hand print paper plate Turkey – kept them busy for at least an hour.
  2. “Oh You Turkey” coloring contest – this Thanksgiving tradition involves cutting out the black-and-white drawing of a turkey from the Variety section of the Star & Tribune newspaper.

If your local newspaper doesn’t have a Turkey coloring contest…here’s a template for a Harvest Turkey to print and color …prizes not included.

I guess I was a little  surprised that Martha didn’t make the last handmade craft post … but she does have some really cool Thanksgiving Clip Art and Templates.  Some of these printable Thanksgiving decorations will keep the kids busy, for a least a few minutes.

You have to admit that getting ready for Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without scouring Better Homes & Gardens for their Easy Thanksgiving Crafts and Treats and Easy Centerpieces for Thanksgiving.
Have Fun!

Handmade Gifts Part I

piggy bank
Step away from the kids piggy bank! Really.

If your pockets have more lint than dollars, this holiday season … handmade gifts are the way to go!

While surfing around looking for some fun handmade craft projects to do with the grand kids … I found some really cool handmade craft sites that you might want to check out.

With so many “easy” recycled craft projects to choose from …  there’s got to be one that inspires you to get your creative cap out of the closet!

Here are our Top 10 Handmade Craft sites with very easy handmade craft projects:

and finally…it’s all about the packaging!

So many cool handmade craft projects … so little time. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Cheers!

Anticipation, anticipation.

Our blog is inching towards 20,000 visitors!

Still a small fish, in a very large pond, but hey, we’re doing the work!

We are so grateful for all of the well wishers, supportive comments and even those annoying people that think we need Viagra:)

A celebration is truly in order… so we are posting a fun little giveaway to mark the occasion!

With that being said…our 20,000th visitor will win a FREE Mosaic Tile Class (3hrs) your project or mine…or if you can’t make it to a mosaic tile class in Jordan, Minnesota…you’ll win our “NEW” Mosaic Tile book, once it’s available. Hopefully, late fall!

To qualify the winning visitor must comment to qualify…if the winner doesn’t comment…someone you has commented, along the way,  will be chosen at random to win!

Good luck!

Gluing Stuff To Other Stuff

Going in a million different directions makes it difficult to get back to creating. A few days ago, I was rummaging through my stuff and found two bowls that needed a new look.

It’s been awhile since I have had the opportunity to sit down and mosaic tile in private.  Maybe it’s a good idea to take some time off,  for creative inspiration to fuel up. This one turned out quite beautiful…if I do say so myself.

Thrift Store Wooden Salad Bowl BEFOREThrift Store Wooden Salad Bowl BEFORE

The History of Mosaic Tile

Watt Tower Mosaic Tile
Watt Tower Mosaic Tile

If you’re trying to figure out unique and inexpensive ways to create great gifts…you might not have to look very far! Take a few minutes to walk through your house and check out the treasures hidden in your cupboards, basement and garage. I’m almost positive that most of you have bits and pieces, chipped dishes and a slew of can’t throw away cast-offs just waiting to be glued onto something! Shard art is a traditional mosaic tile technique that became popular during the Victorian Era.

People of that time began turning their broken heirloom china into treasured decorative pieces for their homes. These pieces were often called “Putty Pots” because the bits and pieces were embedded into putty on various shapes and vessels. Shard Art also took on the name “Memory Ware” because the shards often carried sentimental value or family history.

The contemporary name of “Pique Assiette” came into view in 1938 when Raymond Eduard Isidore began gluing found objects of glass shards and bits of pottery to his home and gardens near Paris, France. The townspeople referred to him as picassiette, translated meaning is “stealer of plates.” Isidore devoted the rest of his life to gluing shards, eventually covering every square inch of his home, furniture and gardens. Visit http://www.art-insolite.com/pageinsolites/insopicassiette.htm Which brings us to Holiday Gift Giving…Everyone will absolutely love a personalized mosaic tile piece created especially for them. It doesn’t have to be very big and the whimsical nature of the piece will prove to be a perfect gift that will be cherished forever. If you’re hesitant to try it yourself, we offer Basic Mosaic Tile Classes to help you learn all you’ll need to know to get started in this amazing artform.

Tips, Tricks & Techniques

1. How do you know whether your shards are small enough? Make sure they’ll lie flat on the surface or match the curve of a rounded one. Practice makes perfect! Experiment.

2. Choose the object you want to decorate carefully. Most surfaces have to be roughed up or sealed before pieces will stick.

3. If the object you choose to create will be used to serve drinks or will otherwise encounter liquids, protect the grout with an application of grout sealer (available at 225 Water Street Creative Arts).

WARNING: Be careful when handling the broken pieces, they have sharp edges and most importantly ALWAYS wear safety glasses when breaking up shards. Children should always be supervised when working with sharp and toxic materials.

225 Water Street Creative Arts & Holding Company, Inc.
225 Water Street • Jordan • 952.492.6442
http://www.225waterstreet.com

Decoupage Photo Frames

Unique Photo Gifts Are Cherished Forever!
Unique Photo Gifts Are Cherished Forever!

Decoupage photo frames are an old stand by in the craft world and are the perfect photo gift for your favorite faces! Best of all, you can purchase inexpensive frames at the thrift store and make these wonderful unique photo gifts in an evening.

Important tip: Don’t use inkjet images to glue onto your picture frame as they will smear when you brush the decoupage medium on top of them!

Materials:

  1. Simple frames with flat, wide surfaces.
  2. Acrylic Paint of your favorite colors
  3. Ephemera, gift wrap, stickers,cut outs from magazines etc.
  4. Mod Podge or decoupage medium
  5. Gel Medium
  6. Spray Varnish or Poly
  7. Tacky Glue
  8. Painters Tape
  9. Small/Medium flat paint brushes
  10. Small sharp scissors
  11. Assorted embellishments: rhinestones,studs,buttons etc.

DIRECTIONS

  1. Mask off areas of the frame which are not to be painted.
  2. Paint two light coats with medium brush. Let dry between coats.
  3. Cut out motifs from materials you’ve collected. Tip: Place similar shapes in each corner and the top and bottom of the frame, to balance the piece. You can overlap motifs or leave spaces. It’s a personal choice.
  4. With the smaller brush, apply decoupage medium to the back of each image. Reposition it on the frame, gently pressing and smoothing with your finger. Don’t fuss to much! Let dry according to directions.
  5. Once images have dried, spray frame in well ventilated area with 2 coats of spray varnish, let dry after each coat.
  6. Once the frame is completely dry you can use Tacky Glue or Weldbond to add additional embellishments.
  7. Remove masking tape and insert picture.