Buttons & Ladybugs, We are DONE!!!!!

20190324_170159 (2)All the pear snowmen have their buttons now and they are DONE!!!!! YEAH!!!! I’ll let them dry for several days, then I’ll wrap them carefully in tissue paper and put them away for Christmas.20190324_170234 (2)This paper-mache’ winter sweater is ready for it’s wire clothes hanger and then the varnish!20190324_170252 (2)The wood ladybugs are ready for varnish, and when it’s dry, I’ll glue on their magnets. I’ll be using the template that I used for the two with the big eyes when I do the feltie ladybug, so it will look similar to them.20190324_170311 (2)The rock M & M has it’s “M” and is ready for varnish. Sharky has his teeth now and looks properly menacing and he also is ready for varnish. The two rock zombies have their patches and stitches finished and they are ready to be varnished. Two Oxford Sandy & Black air dry clay pig ornaments (the brown ones with black spots) and a Gloucestershire Old Spot pig ornament (the white one with black spots) are ready to be varnished, YEAH!!!!20190324_170610 (3)These ladybug rocks are ready for varnish, YEAH!!!!20190324_170223 (2)Here they are again, lined up drying, so you can see their happy little smiles. The girly cat, behind them, is a permanent resident.

So, there you go! Some done objects, and a bunch of objects ready to be varnished, YEAH!!!! I will edit the Great Ladybug Challenge post to add how-to’s for the wood ladybug magnets and the ladybug rocks. And when I get the ladybug feltie and the cross stitch ladybug done I’ll add them to it also. So, I’m not the fastest crafter in the world, but slowly but surely, I do get things done. I hope you all have a GREAT rest of the weekend! And I hope your week to come is SUPER AWESOME!!!!! HAPPY CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING!!!! HAPPY LADYBUG MAKING!!!! HAPPY CRAFTING!!!!!

Happy Spring!!!!


Ladybug crawling

yellow flower petals

gentle Spring wind


A sort of not completely strict to the rules Spring haiku by me. Or, in other words, me torturing poetry!


Paraphrased from, “Seeds from a Birch Tree”, by Clark Strand: “A haiku is a seventeen-syllable poem about the season. Arranged in three lines of five, seven, and five syllables, and balanced on a pause, a haiku presents one event from life happening now. However much we may say about haiku, its history or its various schools, it is difficult to go beyond these three simple rules: form, season, and present mind.”

As you can see from my little poem  and my sort of spread out structure, I’m not super great at forming these up on a computer. But it works well enough, I wasn’t trying for perfection, just some space between the poem and my sentence about it. At least it was easier than hunting for the words I wanted to use in my various magnetic poetry kits. It always seems like the words I want to use are not among the words on the tiles included in the kits. So, writing on paper or printing on the computer is less aggravating, and more conducive to getting the thought down before it disappears from my brain. You know, a strike while the iron is hot kind of thing. So, every once in a while I’ll be torturing some more poetry. Creative exercise for the right and the left brain!

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“Seeds from a Birch Tree”, by Clark Strand, is available on amazon.com. It is a very nice little book about writing haiku poetry as a Zen meditative exercise, as in, writing these little poems is supposed to be relaxing and centering of the mind. There are lots of poems to peruse, to help you get a feel for the how-to’s of this poetry form. I enjoy this book very much and highly recommend it to anyone who likes haiku and maybe wants to try their hand at writing it.

So, according to my calendar, today is the Spring Equinox, so… Happy Spring!!!! I hope you all have a SUPER GREAT DAY!!!! Go outside and look at the Spring flowers! HAPPY CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING!!!! HAPPY LADYBUG CREATING!!!! HAPPY CRAFTING!!!!!

The Wood Ladybugs are almost done!

20190318_051311 (4)They just need their spots, the pupils in their eyes, and their antennas. I’m going to do their antennas like my ladybug rock’s ones, dots back over their backs. Sharky is ready for his teeth.  I put another coat of white on Ladybug Boy and Girl’s “eyes”. Ladybug Boy and Ladybug Girl, themselves, are both ready to have their eye sockets made and for the matte medium and the gesso now, YEAH!!!!20190318_051331 (2)Some more paper-mache’ Easter eggs in the works. These are plastic “Legg’s” eggs, that I have been saving. Another one of the paper-mache’ winter sweaters is ready to embellish, the red one. I think I’ll put a Christmas tree on this one. And another sweater is ready for the matte medium and the gesso. This one I experimented on, I wrapped it with the floral tape, it actually wasn’t super hard to do and it helped to make a smoother surface.20190318_051341 (3)These two shapes, up front, are going to be backup ladybugs for the magnets, just in case the wood ones are too heavy. And if I don’t use them for that, I’m working on a pincushion that looks like a flower, with the base part being a tuna can. They can hang out on the flower and look like they are hunting aphids. I haven’t decided yet if I want to crochet the yellow flower middle or make it like from fleece or felt. I’m still in the design stage with the flower.

So, there you go! Some things almost done, some things closer to being done, and some things in the works and in the design stage. I’m still pondering how to do the Hawaiian shirt ornaments, I want them to have actual realistic looking collars and button bands down their fronts. The collars are the part I’m still ruminating on. I’m thinking of using watercolor paper cut and shaped like a collar and then glued to the shirt shape. Then I’ll lightly paper-mache’ it to lock the “collar” in place. It is a creative problem to solve! So. I hope you all have a SUPER GREAT DAY!!!! HAPPY LADYBUG MAKING!!!! HAPPY CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING!!!! HAPPY CRAFTING!!!!!

The Pear Snowmen are up in arms!

20190312_021332 (2)These guys are now ready for their buttons! At long last, these guys are just about done. Through freezing rain, regular rain and even some actual snow, I have been working on these guys, bit by bit.20190312_021353 (2)Spider Girl has her first batch of spots, in interference metallic purple. I’m thinking of putting a contrasting color of spots between her purple ones. I also need to add her actual eye color around her pupils, probably pink to match Spider Boy’s eyes. And as you can see towards the left corner of the picture, I have got a paper-mache’ Easter egg in the works. This is just refurbishing a plastic egg from last year that got cracked. I repaired it and masking taped it, floral tape wrapped it, and got a first layer of paper-mache’ on it. 20190312_021407 (2)Spider Junior looks kind of like he is taking a selfie. He has his first batch of dots in metallic emerald green. I think I’ll either put purple dots between his green ones or metallic turquoise blue dots.  He also needs the color around the pupils of his eyes, his will probably also be pink so he looks like he is kind of related to Spider Boy and Spider Girl.20190312_021459 (2)And in this picture, there is all kinds of crafting action that has been going on. The wood ladybug bodies have been assembled, their wings are now ready to be glued to the body sections and have the dots painted on. Their “eyes” are now ready to be glued in place and have the pupils painted on, and then have the whole shebang glued to the magnets.  Moving along, counter-clock-wise in the picture, the rock M&M just needs the chocolate center to be touched up and have the “M” painted on and it will be ready for varnish. The future ladybug rocks are now finally ready to be embellished, as in, have their faces painted on and their black spots added to their backs. The rock zombies are ready for their “patches” and “stitches”. Behind the zombies, Ladybug Girl has had her shoes floral tape wrapped and glued on her legs. When the glue is dry, I’ll paper-mache’ her shoes. Still moving counter-clock-wise, Ladybug Boy is on his back cause his shoes have been paper-mache’ed  and their glue is drying. And, on the green winter sweater, I’ve repaired and finished the touch-up painting of the place where the repair was made, so it will blend in and not show where the handling stick was.

So, slowly but surely, things are getting done and closer to getting done. I hope you all have a SUPER GREAT DAY!!! HAPPY CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING!!! HAPPY LADYBUG CREATING!!! And HAPPY CRAFTING!!!!!


20190305_072859 (2)20190305_072826 (2)20190305_072932 (2)20190305_072944 (2)20190305_073216 (2)20190305_072843 (2)This is very unusual for here! Bleck!!!! As you can see from the above pictures, I had a big surprise when I peered outside just as it was getting light this morning! Fortunately, it’s not freezing, so I went out and brushed the rosemary off, blotted it dry as well as I could with paper towels and covered it up to wait until the temps go up some. A weather rock is more accurate than our weather forecasters around here, they said in the forties and rain. Yeah right! As I was standing outside brushing off the rosemary, the snow was still coming down in big hand-sized clumps. Our thermometer on the patio said the temperature was 34 degrees, so I’m thinking the air higher up is much colder than it is down here on the ground. So the snow formed higher up and didn’t melt as it fell but made the big clumps or something like that. All I know for sure is;  there is a lot of “not rain” all over the area. The bluebirds were looking less than thrilled as they were going to and fro from their house. I imagine they can still find some bugs hiding in the nooks and crannies on the bark of the pine trees. As they made the return trips to their box, they had wiggly somethings in their beaks, so they were still finding creepy crawlers to eat of some sort.20190305_074427 (3)Last night was a cleaning, laundry, sheet changing, and quinoa cooking time, so I didn’t get a whole lot done craft-wise. Though, I did squeeze in some work on my zombie rocks, muddied them up some. I got another coat of black paint on the first wood ladybug’s body section and some white paint on the wood ladybugs’ eyes. So, there you go! An unforeseen weather event and a tiny bit of crafting activity. I hope you all have a nice day! Stay warm, try to stay dry and HAPPY CRAFTING!!!!

The Rosemary is still trying to make flowers! And some more work on the ladybug figures…

20190303_174715 (2)A few more flowers have appeared and some definite growth is happening over the whole plant. As you can probably see behind the rosemary, the grass out in the yard hasn’t really greened up yet, except for a few clumps of clover and some dandelions. I’m wondering, since the rosemary is trying to bloom now, what’s it going to do in June when it is supposed to bloom? I guess I’ll have to wait and see.20190303_174801 (2)The violas are still growing really well and the ornamental kale is… still not doing a whole lot. I’m getting the two pots at the end of the row ready for spring planting, mixing in organic matter and fluffing the soil up.

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I’ve done the masking tape on the girl ladybug…20190303_175155 (3)And I’ve done the floral tape wrap on her and the first layer of paper-mache’ on her body. Next, to do the floral tape on her shoes.  Under the pile of rocks (the future rock ladybugs, shark, pig and girly bug) and under that ceramic tile they are sitting on, is one of the wood lady bugs. I’ve glued the main body parts together and the rocks are weighting everything down while it all dries. I’ve got the other two wood ladybugs also under piles of rocks while the glue is drying on them too. The ladybug rocks need about one more coat of the red paint and then they’ll be ready to embellish. The red paint seems to be pretty skimpy with the actual pigment in it, so it does not really cover in one coat, or even two or three coats. Very annoying! So, slowly but surely, the ladybugs are all coming along.The weather hasn’t been helping the drying process, it is raining, yet again. I wouldn’t be surprised if this last winter will go down as the wettest we’ve had here in North Carolina in quite awhile. It has been raining more days than it has been sunny or not raining. So, it is what it is. I hope you all have a very nice Monday and an even better rest of the week! Happy Ladybug Creating! Happy Creative Problem Solving! Happy Crafting!!!!

Some Ladybug Action & Another Winter Sweater ready for the matte medium & gesso…

20190227_201540 (2)Some black paint on the wood ladybug body sections.  Another coat of the red paint on the ladybug rocks. Another coat of red on the wings of the wood ladybugs, and as you can probably tell from the picture, I’ve carved out another wood ladybug shape. I have three big magnets, so there is a ladybug shape for each magnet now. I’ve got another ladybug figure in the works and this one will be a girl, so far she is able to stand upright without any support. I guess I got the balance just right. I have some bits of pretty lace that I’ll use to make her a little skirt. I decided the boy one needed a friend.20190227_201505 (2)This paper-mache’ winter sweater is now ready for the matte medium and the gesso! I’ll paint this one a dark blue and embellish it with white iridescent snowflake sequins and silver seed beads.

So, there you go! Some of the various ladybug projects are moving along and another paper-mache’ winter sweater is closer to being finished. I’ll be posting tutorials for the ladybug projects as I finish each of them. None of them are very difficult to make, they just take some time to do, mainly drying time for paint and glue. All the rain we’ve been having does not help things to dry as fast as I would like, but at least it wasn’t snow, at least not yet. Hope not, don’t really need to see snow up close and personal, especially since I saw yesterday morning that my bluebirds already have a new batch of babies and they have already made their first venture outside of their house! Can you believe it?! I guess the parent bluebirds have decided that Spring has sprung, or at least enough to be able to find enough bugs to feed the new babies. I want to say, “Hello!” to my new followers! I’ve been looking at your blogs and you are some very clever and creative folks! Thank you to all my followers for looking at my blog! I work at making it look nice and try to make my posts understandable, as well as I can. I hope you all had a GREAT DAY! and that tomorrow will be even better for you!!!  So, HAPPY CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING!!!! HAPPY CRAFTING!!!!!

A Tutorial for the Paper-Mache’ Winter Sweaters…

20190226_130503 (3)This is the first one that I’m declaring finished. The sequins are shiny so the camera had trouble with the sparkly-ness.20190226_130407 (2)I’ve repaired the hole in the bottom edge of the white one where the handling stick was placed. The green one needs some more work, the hole on the bottom edge has to be repaired. I haven’t decided yet what else I might do to the green one, but it is very close to being done, plus I have to make a little wire clothes hanger for it with that red wire in the above picture. So, for these I used:

  • Elmer’s Foam Board  which is what I cut the shapes from, two pieces for each sweater. It comes in 20 x 30 x 3/16 inch pieces, in various colors and can usually be found in the office supply section of stores like Walmart, Target, Staples, etc. It is also available from Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, A.C.Moore, etc., and is usually near the poster board and the art paper section. I used white for this project.
  • Aleene’s Original Clear Gel Tacky Glue  which I used to glue the shapes together and also for attaching the sequins, beads, the gift images, and for attaching the wire clothes hanger.
  • Elmer’s Glue-All Multi-Purpose Glue Extra Strong Formula   which I used  thinned a little with water for the glue part of the paper mache’-ing.
  • Package insert tissue and phone book paper  torn into small pieces for the paper part of the paper-mache’-ing
  • Crayola Kids disposable paint brushes for adding the glue for the paper-mache’-ing and for smoothing the glue out with.
  • Liquitex Matte Medium Fluid Medium  which I used to seal the paper-mache’ after it was dry to protect it from the wetness of the gesso and paint I used on the sweaters to get them ready to be embellished.
  • Liquitex Acrylic Gesso  in white, to help smooth the surface of the sweaters and get them ready to be painted.
  • FolkArt Outdoor Acrylic Paint in : 6240E Cotton   which I used for the white sweater, for the prime coat and the base coat and the final coat.
  • Apple Barrel Matte Acrylic Paint in : 21479E New Shamrock  which I used for the prime coat, the base coat and the final coat on the green sweater.
  • Fashion Trim Snowflake Sequins in shades of blue and iridescent white, which I found at Michael’s.
  • Rocaille Seed Beads, size 11, in silver, from Create-A-Craft, which I found at Walmart, which I used to add a bit of shiny to the middle of the snowflake sequins I put on the white sweater.
  • To and from gift stickers from which I fussy cut those two wrapped gift images I glued on the green sweater. I found these stickers at Walmart.
  • Various colors of vinyl coated automotive wiring  which I found at Dollar Tree,  from which I made the wire clothes hanger bits I used for the hangers for the sweater ornaments
  • Odds and ends: Scissors, toothpicks, bamboo skewers, small round nose pliers with side wire cutter, X-acto craft knife extra sharp and extra blades, cardboard for the templates, a self-healing cutting mat, a large bread board, a # 2 pencil, a small magnifying glass, masking tape, sponge brushes, a straight pin or a really thin,  small nail, an airtight container to hold the water thinned glue, tweezers to help with placing the beads on the sequins.
  • Krylon Colormaster Clear Satin Crystal Clear  Indoor/Outdoor Spray   as a Varnish/Sealer  several coats 20190224_193022 (2).jpg

Instruction how-to’s:

  1. Referring to my picture above, for the white and for the green sweater, I used the cardboard sweater template with the sleeves more close to the body. I sketched out the general sweater shape on the cardboard and then cut it out with scissors. From side to side across the bottom of the sweater is 2 3/4 inches wide. From the collar to the bottom hem of the sweater is 3 1/2 inches. From the collar to the end of the sleeve is 3 1/2 inches. At the widest point measured across from one sleeve edge across the body section and to the far edge of the other sleeve is 4 inches.
  2. I put my self-healing cutting mat on my kitchen floor with a large bread board under it for added protection for the floor. I then placed the template on the foam board, on top of the cutting mat. I then traced around the template, two sweater shapes for each sweater.
  3. With the first template I traced and cut out enough shapes for five sweaters, which adds up to ten shapes. And, as you can see in the above picture, I traced out and cut some shapes with the wider spread arm sweater template, I ended up cutting six of those shapes, enough for three sweaters. Now, a word about cutting foam board, I have a love/hate relationship with foam board, also called foam-core board. The love part: Foam board comes in a lot of colors, it is very light weight and is very inexpensive. For small-ish projects you can use it in place of wood, like in making small picture frames, doll houses, it lends itself very well to making fake gingerbread houses, etc. But, and this is a very important but, this is the hate part: foam board can be difficult to cut.20190224_200042 (2)That is a piece of the foam board in the bottom, of the above picture. See the edges, they are very rough and ragged. Even with a brand new cutting blade, it can be difficult to get a clean cut edge, and scissors just crush the foam board. With much experimentation, I have found that if you do a very light score cut, just barely cutting the surface of the board and then go back over that to make your final cut, you’ll get a much cleaner cut edge. It won’t be perfect looking, but it won’t be crushed and ragged to the max like scissors would do. You can tidy and clean the edges up with a good sharp craft knife.
  4. Referring to the above picture, in the top left corner area, I glued the sweater pieces together, two for each sweater shape, using the Aleene’s Clear Gel Tacky Glue and before the glue dried, I stuck a bamboo skewer between the two pieces to aid in handling the sweater shapes while I did various things to them. Then I set the shapes aside to let the glue dry.
  5. Moving down in an counter clock wise direction, in the picture above. I placed bits of masking tape in an even layer all over the sweater shapes to prepare the surface for the paper-mache’-ing process.
  6. Still going counter clock wise, in the above picture, moving to the next sweater shape. I’ve been gluing the tissue paper and the phone book paper all over the sweater shape. I used the tissue for the sleeves and the phone book pages for the body section. Then I set it aside to dry. I then, using sponge brushes, painted matte medium all over the dry sweater shape to seal the glue and protect it from the wet-ness of the gesso and paint, two coats  Then, once the matte medium is dry, I painted gesso all over the sweater shape to help cover surface imperfections and to smooth the surface more for the paint. (Not in the picture, but the sweater shapes look like the white sweater without it’s sequins, after they have been matte medium-ed and gesso-ed. They’ll look very white.) 20190224_193137 (2)
  7. Now, referring to the above picture, the green sweater shape. Using sponge brushes, it has been prime coated, base coated and final coated with Apple Barrel Matte Acrylic Paint in : 21479E New Shamrock. The white sweater shape has been prime coated, base coated and final coated with FolkArt Outdoor Acrylic Paint in : 6240E Cotton. I have removed the bamboo skewer handling sticks from these two because they can dry flat from now on. I’ve repaired the hole left by the skewer on the white sweater by gluing a bit of tissue paper over the hole and then when that was dry, I painted over it with the same paint I used for the over all color. I cut a bit of the green vinyl coated wire and started shaping it like the hanger part of a clothes hanger. I used a straight pin to make holes in the top of the white sweater shape and after slathering glue on the wire ends, I slide them in the holes to make the hook look like the top part of a clothes hanger.20190226_130503 (3)It turned out looking the way I was trying for. 20190226_130407 (3)
  8. Then I used the Clear Gel Tacky Glue to glue the snowflake sequins on the white sweater and then glued a silver rocaille bead in the center of each snowflake.20190226_130407 (4)
  9. Then, for the green sweater, I fussy cut the package images from the Christmas to and from sticky labels I had and glued them on with the Clear Gel Tacky Glue. I haven’t decided yet if I want to maybe use puffy paint to put maybe dots along the edge of the collar. I’ll make a sketch of it and decide on how it looks.
  10. When the sweater shapes are done with the embellishing process and dry, dry, dry, I’ll take them outside on a nice dry, not windy day and spray them with the Krylon Colormaster Clear Satin Crystal Clear Indoor/Outdoor spray Varnish/Sealer. At least three coats. Front, back and edges to seal them and protect the paint from nicks and scratches and moisture. And hopefully, the varnish will help keep my embellishments from falling off.

So, there you go! These sweaters are actually quite easy to do and you can decorate them in many, many ways. It just takes some explaining to …well… explain how I made them. I was inspired by looking at the feltie versions of Ugly Christmas Sweaters on Pinterest.com to try my hand at designing my version of what I’m calling “Paper-Mache’ Winter Sweater Ornaments”. I was trying for cute not ugly. If, you want to be kind of amazed and dazzled, go on Pinterest.com  and type in Ugly Christmas Sweaters in the search bar. You will see all kinds of sweaters that people have really put some major effort into, to try to make them look… I don’t want to say ugly cause a lot of them aren’t ugly, but are… I’ll say… really interesting and unique looking sweater creations. And there are hoards of cute feltie Christmas Sweater Ornament pictures and how-to’s on Pinterest to look at and be inspired by. You don’t have to use the exact products I used to make these, you could make the sweater shapes from several pieces of watercolor paper glued together or several pieces of cardboard glued together. I used the foam board because I had some on hand and it is very light weight and relatively easy to use. Mainly, I use products that are easy for me to find, or I already have and number one: inexpensive. The big thing about making these is they take a lot of drying time, if you rush the process and they aren’t completely dry, they can start to fall apart in some really spectacular ways, bits can literally shoot off across the room. So, allow for lots of drying time. Work on other projects while you are doing these that use the same general products, and that way something will always be ready to have something done to it.  And about the two sweater shapes that are glued together but I haven’t paper-mache’-ed them yet, they are going to morph into Hawaiian Shirt Ornaments. I’m going to trim the sleeves to give them short sleeves, then paper mache’ them and decorate them to look like Hawaiian Shirt Ornaments. I’ve seen those on Pinterest.com and really like them, too. I hope you all have a SUPER GREAT DAY!!!!! And a GREAT REST OF THIS WEEK!!!! HAPPY CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING and HAPPY CRAFTING!!!!!

Not as much progress as I would have liked…but some.

20190219_021559 (2)From the ninth, through the sixteenth, of this month, my husband was on vacation, you would think that was a good thing and in one way it was. Unfortunately, he came down with a bad cold on the ninth and was sick for almost all the time he had off. Booooo! We only got out and about for one day, I had a dental appointment, then we got some more Puffs tissues, some vitamins and then went home. The one good thing was: at least he didn’t have to work while he was sick. He’s much better now, and now I have his cold. I have to go back to the dentist on March 7, to fix a cracked tooth. Hopefully, by then the cold will be gone and I won’t be coughing my brains out. Here’s hoping. At least the weather is getting warmer here. No more down in the twenty’s for the rest of this month predicted. Yeah!!!!

But, I did get a little bit done and am still plugging away on the ladybugs. As you can see towards the back of the picture, I got my ladybug guy’s shoes wrapped and some more paper mache’ done on his body. I’ve got him leaning his head against the catchall pot while his midsection dries. I’ve got some paint on the first wood ladybug’s wings and a prime coat on the body section. I’ve made a template for the feltie ladybug I’m going to make and used it to carve out another partial wood ladybug, the wings are cut out from several pieces of watercolor paper glued together, and I carved some back up eyes in case the first pair I carved break. And slowly but surely, I’ve been building up the red base color on the ladybug rocks I’m working on. The paint is very thin, so it takes a few layers to get good solid coverage. I’ve also made a new template for the winter sweater ornaments. The close armed one made the arms too tight space wise to work with easily, so I made the new one with the arms out more. I used it to cut out enough pieces from the foam core board to make three more of the sweater ornaments.

So, slowly but surely, things are getting done. I’ve been sucking on Cold-eeze drops and Ricola drops and gargling with salt water and drinking lots of tea to help ease the cold symptoms. The cold’s not as bad as it could be, but I could have done without it.  So, I hope all of you have a VERY NICE DAY! Stay warm, stay dry, and  try to stay healthy as well as you can. HAPPY LADYBUG CREATING!!!! HAPPY CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING!!!!! HAPPY CRAFTING!!!!!