Dec 31, 2013

All that Glitter

Lillian the Domestic Engineer
All that Glitter is Embossing Powder!
Make your own Cards shine
 Available in a multitude of colors, Embossing Powder is a home made Card finishing must.

 Used with Gel Pens, Rubber Stamps, Lino Cuts and even white glue it does add a wow factor to all that you do.

Embossing Powder
The Powder requires a wet surface to stick to before heat setting. Do not delay with the application of the embossing powder after you have written with pen, made your rubber stamp impression or lightly painted with white glue.

 The powder is then "set" with the heat of a house hold iron or a hot hair blow dryer
When you are ready to set simply hold the embossed area as close to the heat as possible. Almost instantly you will see the powder begin to swish and liquify as a result of the heat. Once all of the powder has been heated  and melted the area is "set".

All that glitters is like gold to me so I apply my powder carefully and sparingly.. it does tend to be a little pricey...
I sprinkle and shake over top of a piece of clean card stock, ensuring that every grain of "over shake" will be gathered on the card stock and recovered by gently folding the paper in half and finally funneling the powder back into the original container.

Handmade Card bits

 Dig out the envelopes you have collected through out the year (keep your eyes peeled... envelopes can be bought in all sizes, usually fastened together in bunches) I then cut and construct my cards according to the envelope sizes that I have available.
 Gather together your paper bits and stickers, scissors and glittery bits, your pictures and embellishments.. set up your iron in a clean work space and craft away.


 Valentines Card 
I have been creating Greeting Cards for as long as I can remember.
Costing up to $6.00 each for some of the beautiful cards out there, it now makes more economic sense than ever before to create your own  personalized GREETING CARD !

I look for inspiration and ideas everywhere. I see all small things as having opportunity for attachment!
From shoe laces and ticket stubs, to photo snips and things of love..

Christmas Cards

 I only purchase retail accessories that I find on sale. The full cost otherwise is terribly overpriced ( in my frugal and humble opinion) Recently while looking for key chains in Walmart, I stumbled across a sale on a small selection of ribboned flowers with a flat glass bead at center. Although I didn't have anything in mind when I purchased them, I knew they held great potential.The sparkle and shine over took me and the price allowed me to take them home.

sI store all of my nicks and knacks in a clear plastic zip up freezer bag.
The contents are then further organized within the bag into baggies or small boxes.
I also keep corrugated cardboard pieces that I removed from many a prepackaged food product (cookies)

 Brightly colored gum and candy wrappers, used copper or colored wires that you often find LITTER- ally laying in the street, and broken or mismatched jewel pieces all add personality to your card.
  Never a shiny item passes  my way without my first giving it careful scrutiny and a Crafters consideration.. You know, where there is a will there is a way!

                                        This is a POP UP card
                                              that I created for my Aunt and Uncle.
                                          POP UP cards are a great brain workout.
         I like the challenge of having to think outside the box while working within one!

 As the card opens the table pops out and the wine bottles and the Birthday Cake are viewed on the table.

Although it be better to give..I do love to receive
 Hand Made Cards addressed to me!

I fondly recall the many years I wandered up the railway tracks which made their way through the little town that I lived in, passing along side a beautiful lake and curving through a half mile stretch of wild flowers (which had apparently been tossed about 30 years earlier by a railway worker) before arriving at the local Post Office.
 There I would greet the Post Master, run into my neighbors and pick up my mail.  
 "Catching Up" required getting up. If I didn't make the journey up the road one way or another I wouldn't discover what happened down the road nor what await me in the shiny little box that I liked to check daily and so religiously. Only opened with a special key my little Post Box still captivates me ...

         Oh JOY

I will attempt to dig up some old Pictures of a few more of the many Cards I have created in my day.

Dec 24, 2013

Sugar Cube House

Raising the roof
One Cube at a time.
 Create a

A sweet twist on the
traditional Gingerbread House

Christmas Sugar Cube House

Cereal was used to create the sod surrounding the castle, coke candy balls create the column top at front and the turrets at top. The wreath on the right, the Soldier in the front and the Snowman on the top are all miniature wooden ornaments that I cut the hanging string off of.

Lillian the Domestic

The Sugar Cube House is a great Family project. Fun for all age. No more crumbling, cracking or breaking gingerbread.
The Santa that can be seen inside the front door was cut from a card of seasons past and pasted onto the foam core wall before being installed.
Sugar Cube House
Foam Core or other hard cardboard for bottom base.
Sugar Cubes.
Royal Icing
I make and then store the Royal Icing in little baggies. The corner of the baggie can be clipped for use and squeezed out as needed. Don't make the hole too big.
  The Royal Icing will harden if it is not re-sealed so make sure to put the opened baggie into another that can be sealed until needed again.

 Royal Icing
  Beat 3 egg whites till fluffy. Gradually add about 700 grams of icing sugar. Mix to a smooth finish and divide into baggies.

Sugar Cube House

DIY Craft Blog
MORE Things I do for love HERE

Dec 23, 2013

Check it out

Lillian the Domestic Engineer
 It's always inspirational to flip through the pages..
   BOOK yourself time out today!
Trying to decide whether to purchase that book?
  CHECK it OUT first and see.

Call for it and pick it up at your Local Library

It is FREE in many Cities and Towns to obtain a Library Card. The best investment you could make in time today.

 Become a PATRON at your local Library.

 It is almost unimaginable what you can search for,

watch, read, request and receive all at your local Library!

The Online Resources are Extraordinary!

 An Alberta Library Card holder can access a combined catalog of over 170 libraries

with holdings of nearly 3 million books, DVDs and other material!

You can borrow and return to any Alberta Library.

Libraries really are a whole lot more than they used to be!

Summer Program

 TS Summer Reading Program INFO HERE
This is a wonderful Free Program that runs at most Libraries over the Summer, encouraging youngsters to enjoy reading. Check it out!

My involvement HERE

Dec 10, 2013

Merry Christmas to all..

 Lillian the Domestic Engineer  Click for more

I've had this beautiful poem (author unknown) for a long time and every year at Christmas time I go and take a look...
Please feel free to share this poem with those you are indebted to.
Merry Christmas! May the spirit of the Season be with you.
I have a list of names I know,
All written in a book,
And every year when Christmas comes,
I go and take a look,
And that is when I realize
That these names are a part
Not of the book they're written in
But of my very heart. 
For each name stands for SOMEONE
who has crossed my path sometime,
And in that meeting they've become
the rhythm in each rhyme.
And while you may not be aware 
Of any special link
Just meeting you has changed my life
Alot more than you think.
For once I've met somebody,
The years cannot erase the memory
of a pleasant word or a friendly face.
So never think my Christmas Cards
are just a mere routine
Of names upon a Christmas List,
Forgotten in between.
For when I send a Christmas Card
That is addressed to you
It's because your on the list
Of folks whom I'm indebted to,
For I am but the total 
Of the many folks I've met
And you happen to be one of those
I prefer not to forget,
And whether I have known you
For many years or few,
In some way you have had a part
In shaping things I do,
And every year when Christmas comes,
I realize anew, The best things life can offer
Is meeting folks like YOU,
And may the spirit of Christmas,
That forever endures,
leave its richest blessings
In the heart of you and yours.

Dec 3, 2013

Second hand, second time around

 I recently found these vine hangers
 (I'm guessing)
 at our local second hand store.

 The romantic,Victorian look to these simple but sturdy frames, 
    complete with free formed metal flowers and leaves 
    with an over coat of antique white paint intrigued me!
    For a grand investment of $7.00 I had to take them home.

Jewelry Hanger
 When I got them home I set them on the ground against the wall to ponder their purpose. 

All that glitters is just gorgeous to me! I was giddy. The frame was perfect to be used as a Hanger for my collection of shiny things.

                                           Twice as nice the second time around!

                                         The earrings are hung on the frame with care..

Lillian the Domestic

Jewel display

                              Frame Jewelry display HERE


  For the Love of Crafting Page.
 More creative ideas HERE

Check out this link to a great gift
   Mothers Day Pen Pot
Add caption

Dec 1, 2013

Harry Potter House Elf Costumes

                              HARRY POTTER
                               House Elf Costumes, Completed
Harry Potters'  Costume

The clothing for the costumes were created from 2 queen size bed sheet that I had  purchased second hand. After cutting the dresses out I stained the garments in a black tea bath before stitching them together at the shoulders and sides. I also cut the belts from the sheets. The long johns and the shirts that were worn underneath were purchased second hand. The slippers they both had on hand.

I found the glasses at the dollar store and initially thought to use them for the eyes. Too dark to be worn in the evening the kids decided to use body paint on their faces and other exposed skin. I think they did a wonderful job of completing their costumes.
Dobby and Winky Costume
  The bulk of the work for these costumes was most definitely in the creation of the head gear.
I used an old white t shirt for the head gear which was also stained with tea to create the aged effect. 
 I cut and stitched together two caps from each of two shirts, to create the two head pieces.
The stretch in the T-material allows for more maneuverability with the fabric when it is wet with the fabric stiffener.
(see pic below)

 The first cap was put onto the head and secured with a small knot at back. The second cap was then put over the first and brushed with fabric stiffener as as I worked my way around from front to back, tucking, stretching and folded as needed.
The excess material on the outer cap was folded up and manipulated into wrinkles on the forehead and the upper face area.
 Two ties for each headpiece were cut from the T-shirts, stained and stitched at back to the outside cap, allowing the finished head piece to be pulled to the back and tightened with a knot.

  The ears were also cut from the t shirt pieces, stained, stuffed,stitched and attached to the head gear.

Harry Potter Costume

 I formed two Elf  Nose forms out of Polymer clay (different on each elf) and then baked them to a hardened finish. Strips of tea stained T- shirt fabric were then brushed with fabric stiffener and wrapped around the Polymer nose forms. After leaving them dry and harden overnight I then removing the polymer nose from the basic hardened shell of a nose. Several more layers of stained, stiffened cloth were applied to the nose to add bulk and durability before stitching it to the cap, between the two layers.
 The cap should be put on before securing the nose to the head piece, to ensure that it will hang down and sit properly on the wearers nose bridge. Because the nose is hollow it will lay down onto the real nose BUT they complained that the hardened fabric ends rubbed their noses the wrong way so I rectified the problem by gluing a brown piece of felt onto the inside end of the nose, leaving enough slack that the nose rested up inside the soft fabric while sitting comfortably over the bridge of their noses. Finally I used an  awl to poke nostrils holes into the noses.

Dobby and Winky Costume
Harry Potter Elf Costume
The knot at the back of the outer cap is seen at bottom here.

              Inside the caps

See More Home Made Costumes on my For the Love of Crafting Page

Nov 30, 2013

From Out Dated to Up Dated

 Second Hand Shopper

I prefer Bag Fridays over Black Fridays....
Filling a bag for $2.00 is ample excitement for me!!

  The thrill of finding a treasure in the corner of a little second hand store is as much a part of me as getting a steal of a deal on a family pack at the grocery store.

I thrive on the excitement of uncovering the unknown and feast on the opportunities that challenge me!

With the second hand store almost next door to the grocery store that I shop at, a pop in just to see has become some what of a tradition for me.

Conveniently, my shopping day is on Thursday which also happens to be Fill a bag for $2.00 day at the second hand store.
 I wait in no line there to pay for the purchase of the day and my fellow shoppers have a care and the time to say,
"Did you see this, it might fit you and it's only a dollar today" !

 The ladies and gentlemen, the volunteers at the store are a joy to know and a pleasure to visit with. The money I spend in town  works locally at growing the community and the possibility of finding treasures within continue to ignite me.
What is there not to love about second hand shopping?

I knew when I found this cute summer tank that I would never wear it (as a shirt) but felt that I could certainly find a clever use for the beaded band that adorned the front of the shirt. I had to have it
 in the bag!

 The REDO 
I carefully removed the beaded trim from the shirt and cut the shoulder straps off.  I then folded the shirt up from the bottom and down a couple of inches at the top to create the flap. The top and the sides are then stitched together. A perfect fit! 
I hand stitched the beaded trim onto the front flap and stitched the black beaded trim (leftovers) to the bottom of the bag
The black cotton layer inside the shirt is also stitched right sides together becoming the liner in the cute (beach?) bag itself. 
 I have now created the need for a handle on my bag! I will add its presence to the back of my mind as another treasure to be found. 

Lillian the Domestic Engineer
     Click HERE for more great ideas

Nov 25, 2013

Look what you can make from toilet rolls

 You'll never see an empty toilet tissue roll the same way again
These Marvelous Marionettes 
are just one of a multitude of magical things that
you can make with empty toilet rolls.

Toilet Roll Crafts

Toilet roll craft

These Marionettes were created using empty toilet paper rolls, acrylic paint, fish line, feathers, black wool and a little extra patience.

 They evolved over the duration of a day into these two little characters that danced and dangled their way into the hearts of many! 

 Detailed instructions for constructing the Marionettes can be found in a wonderful Book I discovered at our local Library.

 Look what you can make from hundreds of household items.  

Originally published in 1998. Dewey #745.54

Check it out today.
Speaking of Libraries...
The TD Summer Reading Program

brings libraries across the country abuzz with activity.
Click the link above for more info.
Check with your local library about enrolling your kids today.
It's fun and it's free.

This book is filled with clever and ingenious uses for Boxes, Paper Bags, Tubes, Paper Plates, Egg Cartons, Craft Sticks, Newspapers and Magazines and finally Plastic Bottles and Tubs.
Check for it at your local Library today.

Toilet Roll Crafts

..more at the end of the roll

How totally terrific and wonderfully appealing

Not to mention Ingenious. 

This is the awesome effect of placing slices of empty toilet tube rolls into a pleasing shape on the wall!
These flowers are a simple sample.
Elaborate patterns can be created by increasing the number of flowers used.

I also created individual flowers from toilet rolls that I spray painted silver, strung on fish line and hung from the ceiling. 
They all dangled delightfully!

 I hung a total of about 40 flowers from the ceiling. 
They really were beautiful in all of their simplicity. 
I'm sorry I did not capturing a photographic memory to share with you here. They were used in a public display that has long since gone away.

I used one toilet roll slice for a center circle and then with a tip of glue, attached the petal slices all the way around the outside, pinching them gently in place so as to create the oval effect of the petals. 
Make sure to cut the slices all approximately the same width.
The flowers could also be spray painted prior to hanging,
 matching them to your color scheme.

Craft On! More HERE

Paper Mache The Super Bowl

               Paper Mache'
Paper Mache Bowl
NEED: Newspaper strips, magazine strip pics and words, Paste, Paint, Acrylic Spray...Imagination

The paste is made like you make gravy.
 Mix 3 parts water with 1 part flour. Shake content in a lidded container until smooth. 
Pour into pot on medium heat and stir continuously until mixture thickens to that of a yogurt like consistency. 
Remove from heat.
Pour into container and let cool. Mixture will thicken as it cools.
Not necessary to let it cool completely as the feel of  the warm paste in your hands is actually sort of soothing!

The bowl is formed by applying pasted paper strips directly onto the outside of an upside down, stainless steel bowl. 

I lightly oil the bowl to aide in removing the Paper Mache Bowl from the form once it has dried
 but you can also use several layers of cellophane wrap instead 
( make them slightly larger and longer than the bowl so the ends can be used as handles to aide in the removal of the bowl from form. )
 At least 10 layers of newspaper (applied over the course of 2 days) were layered on to create the bowl. 
I work in every and any direction with the paper strips but do take time to ensure that all edges and rims are smooth.
 I have used colored and printed word strips, cut from magazines as a final finish with wonderful results.
 Cut out words, quotes or sayings and simply paste them onto your project.

Lillian the Domestic
  The heart handles on the either side of the bowl were formed by bunching a sheet of newspaper into a ball
 and then applying pasted strips over the ball itself, using long strips to paste the ball onto the bowl.
 When wet enough with paste
, the paper can be molded into all kinds of shapes. I made the handles into heart shapes.
After drying for several days the bowl was then carefully removed from the bowl form and the edges were finished with several more strips of pasted paper to ensure a smooth finish and additional reinforcment around the rim. 
After drying for another day, I then applied an acrylic paint to decorate and finally sprayed the bowl with an acrylic spray.

 The bowl is very sturdy but should not be used to serve food.
 Do not submerged in water. 
 I created the bowl for my Niece and her Fiances/ Engagement party which was held on the same Sunday as the Super Bowl that year.

I aptly named the gift The Super Bowl.

 The bowl was stuffed with super things for self and home. 
A group of us individually purchased items for inclusion in the Super Bowl. 
We included love notes and little antidotes, football novelty items and crafty kitchen gadgets, we had candles and scents and chocolates and mints and a whole lot of love in that bowl. 

It was wrapped into a couple full sheet of clear cellophane, bunched at the top and tied with a huge bow.

We enjoyed the party in the garden and the great conversations that stemmed from each and every item they pulled from the basket...

 There is really something to be said for gifting from the heart.

Get your hands dirty all in the name of fun.

Visit my For the Love of Crafting Page for other inspirational ideas

Lillian the Domestic

Crafting the Hockey Hall of Fame

   CRAFTING The Hockey Hall of Fame
Where up-cycling boxes is the name of the game.
                                      Play Paper Mache'
Hockey Hall of Fame
 A fun, easy, functional, effective way to Reduce, Re-use, Recycle!

I made a Hockey Jockey Locker for each of my Sons. (Thankfully it doesn't smell the way that they can)
It featured their Jersey number and their Team Name and colors.
( The Hockey Lockers have been Loved and lugged around for many years as is evident by the wear marks around the perimeter.)
They were each created using a Muffin Box. (The 9 pack from Walmart)
 It's one of those strong, sturdy boxes that enters my domain
 destined for the garbage until it calls out my name... no  kidding!
 I attempt to resist the urge to persist....but the box wouldn't crumble.
Instead I wander it out to the garage to place it on the shelf  beside the bits of Styrofoam and other pieces of packaging that have deemed themselves all useful. I store it until I discover or uncover a use or need for it.
 DIY Paper Mache Instructions here

I started by applying Pasted Paper Strips directly onto the sturdy box form itself. After several layers of newspaper had been applied, I cut out and pasted on the words that are seen.  The Team Name at bottom is created from individual letters that were cut from the newspaper. The words at top were cut in whole from a Hockey Magazine.
After drying overnight I used Acrylic Paint to finish the inside of the Locker in a Team Color. I used a dry, fat brush to apply paint around the words that had been previously pasted on.

I crunched and folded together 2 full sheets to create the basic Jersey Shape. The Jersey arms were created by  loosely rolling 2 full sheets of newspaper up and then folding them in half.
(The ends of the roll become the ends of the sleeve) I pasted the arms to the body at the top and under the arm area. Several more layers of pasted paper were applied around the sleeve to finish the two ends as one sleeve and to add overall durability.
 I then painted the Jersey color, the white stripe, the Name and the Number in acrylic paint. For added pop I outlined in Black felt marker.
The Jersey is then hot glued to the inside of the locker.
 My kids used to hang any Team Metals they collected over the corner of their lockers.

Creating the real Jerseys for Play On Road Hockey HERE