Custom Keepsake Ornament

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With the loss of my little Cocoa this past summer and being stuck in bed this entire holiday season, my thoughts were on her a lot. She was quite a character and loved to rip our presents open. You can see her ears flying madly as she shredded the paper on this gift. This was serious business for Cocoa, she made us all laugh πŸ˜‚

So to keep a reminder of Cocoa at Christmas, I made this ornament. It’s a beautiful way to remember those we’ve lost whether our furry kids or family and friends. It’s also a great way to create a custom keepsake for special moments. This started as a simple paper mache circle ornament, but wood would work just as well.

Round Paper Mache Ornament - Christmas Ornaments ...
Paper Mache Ornament

Supplies

  • 3.75″ Paper Mache Circle Ornament or Wood Ornament
  • Gesso
  • Acrylic paint in coordinating color to match photos
  • 3.5″ circle photograph of your loved one
  • 3.25″ x 2.5″ rectangular/freeform photograph of your love one
  • Golden Matte Medium
  • Posca Paint Marker .7mm
  • Sakura Pen .005 or other Waterproof Fine Tip Marker
  • 14″ Trim of your choice
  • Stickles – Star Dust
  • Aleene’s Tacky Glue

Instructions

  1. Paint your paper mache ornament with gesso and let dry.
  2. Paint your entire ornament, including the edges with the acrylic paint using a 3/4″ flat brush. Let dry. Give it a second coat if needed.
  3. Print and cut your photographs to fit the ornament. The approximate sizes are listed above.
  4. Using the matte medium, adhere your photograph to one side of the ornament. Apply a coat of matte medium over your photograph to seal and protect it. Let dry. {Note: depending on the ink you use to print your photo, you may want to test the matte medium on a sample photo to make sure the ink doesn’t bleed.}
  5. Follow step 4 with the 2nd photo on the other side. Let dry.
  6. Add any names, dates or sentiments with your Sakura pen.
  7. Using the your Posca pen, add little stars and doodles. Let dry.
  8. Accent one side of your ornament with Stickles and let dry. Then repeat on the other side if desired. Let dry.
  9. Last, using Aleene’s Tacky Glue, adhere your trim to the edge of the ornament and cut off any excess. Now you have a beautiful keepsake of your loved one or that special moment.

I hope you enjoy creating your custom keepsake. Keep in mind, these would also make great gifts too 😊

Thanks for stopping by!!

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Thoughtful Thursday Halloween Decor

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I wanted to share with you some fun Halloween decorations that you can easily make. I love vintage images and had purchased these at a show I was at, but you can find tons online. Please read the instructions first before beginning so you have an idea of what you will be doing. The supply list is at the bottom of this post.

Instructions

  1. Decide how you want to hang your plaques. Based on the type of plaque you have you may want to attach a picture hook to the back or you can drill 2 small holes in the top corners and sand them if needed.
  2. Apply a good coat of gesso to each plaque, front and back.
  3. Find images online and print them on cardstock. Cut them out and set aside.
  4. Paint each plaque in a coordinating color. Let dry overnight. Sand edges for a worn look and wipe off dust.
  5. Steps 6, 7 and 8 are the instructions for hanging with wire. If you used a picture hook in the back of your plaque, skip steps 6, 7 and 8. Another alternative to the wire is to use a piece of fabric or yarn which you would also skip these 3 next steps.
  6. Cut 11 inches of the jewelry wire. From the back of the plaque, put one end through the hole, coming out of the front of the plaque and coil the end with the pliers to knot it.
  7. Slightly off center at the top of the wire, wrap the wire around a pencil, 3 times and slide the pencil out.
  8. Feed the other end of the wire through the second hole from the back of the plaque, coming out in the front. Cut off any excess wire and coil the end as in step 6.
  9. Glue your images on to the plaque with Aleene’s Tacky Glue.
  10. Add a piece of torn autumn fabric to the top of the wire and that’s it!

Supplies:

  • 3 Vintage Halloween Images
  • 3 Wood Plaques fitting your images
  • Gesso
  • Acrylic Paint: Black, Orange, Red or any of your choice
  • Black Copper Jewelry Wire
  • Drill for hanging
  • Picture hanging hook/bracket (optional)
  • Needle nose jewelry pliers
  • Harvest Fabric scraps
  • Aleene’s Tacky Glue

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial!

Thanks for stopping by!!

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Thoughtful Thursday Homegrown Alfalfa Sprouts

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Photo by Maria Vidaurre

Alfalfa sprouts are mild flavored and very nutritious to eat. Studies have shown they are a high anti-oxidant, anti-aging food source. These little sprouts can help fight cancer, lower cholesterol and diabetes, prevent osteoporosis and more.

I used to buy fresh living alfalfa sprouts at my local grocery store but sadly they stopped carrying them. So I decided the freshest and safest way to get them was to grow them myself. I’ve tried several sprouting trays and they don’t always produce the best results.

Getting frustrated, I decided to go back to basics and try using a large, wide mouth mason jar with a sprouting lid. This is working beautifully and is very easy. I only need 1 Tbsp of seeds and in about 4 days, I have fresh organic alfalfa sprouts that are delicious and crisp. The sprouts can be stored in the fridge for about 4-6 days.

Alfalfa Sprouts taste great on salads, sandwiches, in smoothies and anything else you can think of. Below are instructions to grow your own spouts and links to Amazon.com for the supplies.

Instructions to Grow your own Sprouts:

  1. Fill a wide mouth mason jar with 2 cups of cool, fresh water and add 1 Tbsp of High Mowing Organic Alfalfa Seeds (I’ve had good results with this brand, the seeds are sourced in the United States). Cap the jar with a sprouting lid and soak the seeds for 8 hours. Then drain and rinse the seeds keeping the lid on. Store the jar upside down, in a bowl, at an angle so water can continue to drain.
  2. Rinse and drain the seeds with the lid on once in the morning and once at night. And again store the jar upside down, in a bowl, at an angle.
  3. Repeat step 2, everyday for about 4 days until your sprouts are ready.
  4. On the last day, depending on the light in your kitchen, you may want to move the grown sprouts to a window where they can get indirect sunlight to make them a little more green. You only need to keep them there for a few hours and then store them in fridge until you’re ready to eat them (also, I rinse the seeds before eating to remove the hulls).

I hope this inspires you in some way!

Thanks for stopping by!!

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Below are links to Amazon.com for the supplies:

High Mowing Organic Alfalfa Seeds

High Mowing Seed Sprouting Jar Lid

Wide Mouth Mason Jar

“Those who think they have not time for healthy eating, will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” ~Unknown

Save Our Oceans and Turtles Journal Pages (Part 2)

The other week I posted Page 1 of this journal spread. For my focal point on the second page I used a tag that I made a while ago and stashed away for later use. I love this tag because it was embossed with a stamp that reads “My heart is at home by the Sea” which really resonates with me.

I made the little turtles using the same stamp as in the tag, colored them, cut them out and glued them into the journal. I wanted a little texture for the turtle shells so I used Inkssentials Glossy Accents.

I had a lot of fun creating this journal layout and hope you will too!

Supplies

  • 9″ x 12″ Journal
  • Torn pieces of tissue paper or pages from a book
  • Gesso
  • Mod Podge or Gel Matte Medium
  • Acrylic Paint: Aqua and Royal Blue
  • Fiber Paste
  • Wave Stencil
  • Palette Knife
  • Assorted ocean themed stamps
  • Staz On Black Ink
  • Inkssentials Glossy Accents
  • Assorted ephemera and embellishments
  • Ranger Distress Ink – Black Soot
  • Glue
  • Scissors

Instructions

  1. Paint your pages with gesso. Let dry.
  2. Tear small pieces of paper and glue them to the journal pages with Mod Podge or Gel Matte Medium. Let dry.
  3. Paint your background in your favorite acrylic paint. Allow the torn pieces of paper to show through the paint a little. Let dry.
  4. Mix fiber paste with a darker contrasting acrylic paint and apply using a palette knife and wave stencil. Let dry.
  5. Stamp sea life images to the pages with the Staz On Ink and add ephemera you have that will go with the ocean theme. You can also stamp or draw images, color them with paint, cut them out and glue them to the pages like I did with the little turtles. I also added a little Glossy Accents for more texture.
  6. Distress the edges with Ranger Black Soot.
  7. Add your quote.
  8. Add any shading and highlights where needed. Add a little sparkly glitter and that’s it!

Thanks for stopping by!

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