Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A is for apple...

Hi dear friends, I hope you are having a wonderful week.  For the most part, our week has been spent getting things ready for school and trying to get our summer 'to do' list all checked off.  We still need to make rootbeer floats, go to a drive-in  theatre and enjoy some horse riding. I think we can get it done by Monday.

In our spare time, Bella and I enjoy 'claying'. She is going to be an amazing sculptor one day, I just know it. She molds the clay and shapes it with such ease. We made this cute little brooch for her new teacher.

Have you ever wondered where the apple and teacher link came from?  There is really not a lot of information out there but one of the theories is that teachers were poorly paid, so families would help support teachers by giving them apples, which was a fairly common crop.

As time progressed and teachers earned more, baskets of apples were narrowed down to just one apple. Huh!

Here is a little tutorial I put together for this apple brooch. We used cold porcelain, which I will talk about at a later post, but you can use polymer clay, self drying clay or even Crayola Model Magic clay, which I've talked about here.

1. Make a basic round ball shape
2. Flatten down and slightly pinch the bottom to make it thinner than the top
3. With a toothpick, make an indentation at the bottom
4. With a pencil or pen, make a larger indentation on the top
5. Your apple should start to take shape
6. Pinch a little bit of clay off the side of the apple
7. Fill the hole back with white clay (this will be the flesh)
8. With a straw, pierce little 'teeth marks'
9.  It should look like a bite has been taken
10. Make a little green leaf
11. Wrap some craft wire around a toothpick leaving a straight bit at the bottom and a little one on top
12. Stick the straight part of the wire into the apple and then attach the leaf to it as well (I recommend adding some glue once it is dry for extra support)
If you want a little critter friend, continue at step 13; if not, jump to step 15

13. With a toothpick, pierce a little hole as shown
14. Make a little noodle shape worm and stick it in the hole
15. Allow apple to dry over night or if using polymer clay bake as per instructions
16. Use crazy glue or strong adherent to attach pin. I  like to use an overlay of clay on top for extra support

Draw a little face if you wish on the little critter
And that's that!

While the clay was out I also made...
A cute little pencil topper.
Bella's favourite animal is a penguin
and this little gal is ready for school.

Over the summer, we made these
little gnomes for the garden...

The kids made these little guys.
Isn't the guy mowing the lawn just perfect?

Sad ending: The kids gave these as presents to their Nan for her garden and as we had used a self drying clay that did not endure the outdoors, these poor little guys melted after the first rainfall....They now rest in peace in gnome heaven. 

I attached this little guy to a piece of chalk board paper and used a white pencil to write the words.

Well friends, just another little peak into our days of creating.  I hope you enjoyed it.

As usual, thank you so much for stopping by.  Hubby is off today so I'm off to enjoy his company.

I hope you have a wonderful day!

much love,

And the winner is....

Please allow me to thank everyone who entered the giveaway,
 I truly appreciate your continued visits and this small yet beautiful gift is just a small way to say thank you. I also wanted to say thank you for your kind words towards A Cup of Sparkle, Melike wanted me to pass this message on to all of you

" I wanted to thank each and every one of you for your wonderful comments and the positive feedback you gave to A Cup of Sparkle. It was a pleasure for me to read your lovely comments every day. I really appreciate you taking the time to check out my creations and let me know your thoughts. Thanks again and many congratulations to the winner. I am looking forward to working on your custom design"

Thank you Melike for sharing your talent with us.

So without further adieu the winner is .....

Comment number 44 from Melanie at Whimsical Creations

Congratulations Melanie, I know that you are going to love whatever piece you choose. So happy for you !

Well my dear friends, thank you once again for your wonderful company, I love having you over.  

Have a wonderful day,
much love,

Saturday, August 27, 2011

'Like finding Moses' is a bit of an exaggeration....

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
- William Arthur Ward

Yesterday morning - while still in my PJ's - I heard the door bell ring.  I hesitated a little, but decided to run downstairs and answer the door. To my surprise, there was no one there but right before my eyes was a big box with my name written all over it.

Like Pharaoh's daughter discovering Moses in the river, I gently picked up the package and brought it into our safe haven, our home.  When I opened the box, there were other boxes and within those boxes were....

 A rainbow of paints from DecoArt....

 And products galore...

 MagiKote, one of  DecoArt's newest products,
makes painting styrofoam much easier.

Glass paint markers...

SoSoft fabric paint...


Sealer and so much more...

 I am so grateful and humbled by the people at DecoArt for considering me as their newest 'ambassador'.  My mind has been racing with the amount of projects to be done and shared.  In expectation of these products, my 'to do' list has grown immensely and I cannot wait to share the projects with you.  It's a great symbiotic relationship, don't you think?

Needless to say, as soon as I finished drooling over my treasure, I got to work.  Like a child at Christmas, I just could not wait to start playing with my new found toys...

I am currently working on a project that will require a faux grain sack.  I am sure you have seen these faux grain sacks around, but I've been experimenting with various methods so to make them look a little more realistic and less faux.  I will give you the details on that sometime next week.

But for now, here is a mini faux grain sack with a faux cross stitched 'A'.  I painted it free hand but used this as a guide.  I remember clearly my Grandmother and then my Mom trying to teach me how to cross stich.  I was tempted to try, but I've said it before - a paint brush is my favourite tool and where I find my comfort.

I used my brand new liner brush and of course, the SoSoft fabric paint, mixing 3 parts blue to 1 one part black to acquire the right colour combination.

What I love about this paint is that it dries soft and pliable which adds to the authenticity of the grain sack.

I painted the lines  free hand so forgive the unevenness.  A charming little tag that would be a great addition to a present, but dont you think this would also look beautiful attached to a journal? 

I hope to find some time in the coming days to complete my project.  And you?  Do you have any projects on the go for this weekend, or is your weekend booked with family and friends?

Well friends, it's early Saturday morning and the house is beginning to stir, which means it's time to say bye for now.  I hope you have a wonderful and relaxing, yet productive weekend.

much love,

Please don't forget to enter my gorgeous giveaway. There are only 3 days left to enter.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hanging on...

This is what I'm currently working on, but in the mean time....

I feel like I'm nearing the end of a great book.  One that I cannot put down, yet want to because I don't want the end to come.  A book that has filled my mind and days with vivid pictures and I have imagined every detail of the characters well enough to recognize them if I saw them walking down the street.

As we near the last week of summer break, I am trying to hang on to those warm summer days that welcome fantastic adventures.  Nights that are too warm and keep you from sleeping. The innocence of melting ice cream down our children's arms and the frequent requests to fill balloons with water and trips to the freezer for sugary Popsicles.

I am slowly turning the pages so I may hang on to the brightness of ferns in the fields and the mossy rocks near the streams.  I read my summer story and hesitate getting to the end.

And amongst that hesitation, I also want to know how the story ends and start reading a brand new book.  One where I will be the main character and I get my body - which is now 10lbs heavier - back into shape.  Selfish, I know....

But not having those little voices around will leave an empty note in my music sheet, so I'm choosing to hang on instead...

Yet the pages keep turning with each passing day.  With the cooler nights and the early sunsets; with the fleeting geese as they announce their long journey towards an everlasting summer...

It's inevitable that the season will end and our carefree summer days will long be gone, yet I ignore all the signs and hang on.....

This coming week is our last week of the summer break and there are still a couple of things on our summer 'to do' list that need to be checked off.

We still have to buy new shoes and outfits and wander into the sea of parents and children buying brand new school supplies, but I procrastinate and hang on...

I am not naive of what needs to be done and as I procrastinate, I also worry a little about running out of time, yet I can't let go.

How about you friends?  Are you ready for fall to arrive?  Or like me, do you wish for an everlasting summer?

I wish you a beautiful weekend of hanging on to what's dearest to you.

much love,

If you have not entered this gorgeous GIVEAWAY yet, please go here to enter.  Entries close at the end of August. Thank you so much.

Take advantage of the lush greenery of summer by putting together an extremely easy display of bottles and greenery. The bottles were dyed using the method found here. They are simply soda bottles varying in size and colour.  So easy and environmentally friendly.

Monday, August 22, 2011

A gorgeous GIVEAWAY ....

 Happy Monday to you!!  I do realize that for most of us Mondays and happy don't usually fit in the same sentence. And that's why today I'm excited to share something with you that I hope will bring a little more happiness to your Monday.

 Are these not beautiful? 

My key chain definitely does not look as gorgeous as this one...


Dont' you just love them all? They are hand crafted by my friend Melike over at a Cup of Sparkle.   She has had a passion for jewelry making  ever since she was very young and you can definitely see it by her meticulous work.

 But here is the happy Monday part:  Melike was sweet enough to contact me and offer one lucky reader the opportunity to win their own personalized bird's nest.

Not only is she going to award one of you with a gorgeous piece of art work, she is also going to customize it as you wish.
You can choose a beautiful necklace, a brooch, a pin or a key chain. You can pick the colour, the amount of eggs, whether you want it to be silver or bronze etc.
 Malike prides herself in customer service and will go above and beyond to have a satisfied customer.

She even includes this little hand sewn felt pouch. Nice touch huh?

These would make such beautiful gifts for any occasion, whether it's for a baby shower or birthday gift, bridal party etc and because they are handmade no two pieces are ever alike.

In order to enter this beautiful giveaway :

1. Simply leave a comment letting me know which item  from above you would choose but remember the pictures above are only a few of my favourite ones.

 For additional entries

2. Become a follower of a Cup of Sparkle and let me know you did on a separate message.
3. Visit a Cup of Sparkle Etsy shop and leave a comment letting me know what item you love on a separate message. ( each message will count as an entry )

4. If this is your first visit to Craftberry Bush and are not yet part of the creative team, take a look around and if you like what you see, I would be honoured if you chose to come along with me on my creative journey by joining. Thank you in advanced.

Entries will close on Tuesday August 30th at 11:00pm and I will announce the winner during the morning of Wednesday August 31st. I will be using to choose a winner.

Good luck friends, I'm so excited for you, I only wish I could enter !

Hope you have a great week !

much love,


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Humble beginnings....

Hi my sweet friends, I hope you had a great week.  I have been filling my days with picnics, walks along the pier and trips to the zoo.  I can't believe the kiddies will head off to school in two short weeks.  Where has summer gone?

It seems to me, summer is the season that goes by the fastest.  Perhaps it's because one becomes a little more carefree and the warm days melt together like the horizon of the pink sunsets over the ocean.

I want to show you a little project that hubby started for me a while back, but only recently found the time to finish....

I didn't take pictures of the process (but would be happy to provide you with a diagram and measurements), but this was its humble beginning.   It was once a pallet we found on the side of the road...

...and turned into this, oh so sweet, farm bench.

I can only take credit for the sanding, painting and perhaps holding it in place for some of the sawing and hammering, but hubby made it and I am so in love with it!

I love its ruggedness and its perfectly imperfect edges and slivery planks.

These are some of last year's Hydrangeas from my mom's garden...

Her Hydrangeas are in full bloom again. Last year she had blue ones, but this year they are a beautiful pink colour.  I am not much of a gardener, but apparently they change colour according to the soil composition and type of nutrients. -huh-

My sweet friends, I can honestly and humbly say that I think I have finally mastered the glass staining technique. 

I decided not to sand this particular
plank because I enjoy its imperfection....

I added a little patina to the nails
to make them look well loved....

Have you tried staining your own bottles?
Such a simple display and so easy...

I think for now I want to enjoy the greens of summer;
I am not ready to make that transition to fall yet, are you?

Today, we took a long walk along the pier, our picnic table was a giant rock nestled perfectly under a tree.   We watched families enjoy each other's company and we laughed at the bravery of a little dog barking at another dog twice its size. The kiddies collected yet more 'cool' rocks for their never ending rock collection; their pockets filled with these heavy treasures making it hard for their shorts to remain put.  I watched them skip rocks across the mirrored water and follow a makeshift driftwood boat along the shore.  I tried to breathe in that carefree air and snap a picture in my head of every movement they made.  As we were heading back, I told them how much I miss them when they go back to school and that I wish we had an everlasting summer.  They agreed.

Thank you for spending some of your time with me; I appreciate your company and look forward to hearing your thoughts.  Please know that even though I have not been able to respond to all of your sweet messages, they bring me joy and encouragement.  It would not be the same if you were not here.

I wish you a peaceful and calm weekend.

much love,

I have been so inspired of late and have so many ideas.  Some I have started, while others are written on my long 'to do' list.  I look forward to sharing with you.

I also have a great giveaway next week that I think you are going to love, so please make sure to come back and take a look. 



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...