Friday Favorites–St. Patrick’s Day

I’ve spent my entire life thinking I had some Irish ancestry, even on days other than St. Patrick’s.  As it turns out, I’m more likely Scottish.  I even have a family castle and a once-every-seven-year reunion in the homeland.  I’m also a distant relative of Sean Connery.  As exciting as all that is, it’s a little disappointing too.  I liked being able to claim a little legitimacy in my Kiss Me, I’m Irish pin.  But aren’t we all just a little bit Irish this time of year?

First of all, just for fun, here’s the castle:

Duart Castle

I don’t think they’re going to let me move in anytime soon, but I might be lucky enough to visit one day.

10 St. Patrick's Day DIYs - Crafty Staci

Corned beef and cabbage is really an American version of Irish food, but dishes like this Authentic Irish Colcannon from Boulder Locavore are much more traditional.

Authentic Irish Colcannon by Boulder Locavore

I love the simplicity of this St. Patrick’s Day Clover Canvas Art from Lovely Clusters.  I actually think this would work outside of the holiday as well.

St Patrick's Clover Canvas Art by Lovely Clusters

How fun are these Leprechaun Hat S’mores from Hostess with the Mostess?

Sometimes basic and inexpensive projects wind up being the most impressive, like these Thrifty Hurricanes from Two Twenty One.

Thrifty Hurricanes by Two Twenty One

This Leprechaun Crunch from Yesterday on Tuesday looks fun and tasty, but what I want to know is, who has to eat all of the Lucky Charms with no marshmallows?!?

Leprechaun Crunch by Yesterday on Tuesday

Again, so simple, but this Leafy Spring Wreath from Dollar Store Crafts would be perfect for a subtle St. Patrick’s Day decoration.

Leafy Spring Wreath by Dollar Store Crafts

I know some kids who would enjoy this St. Patrick’s Day Coin Dig from The Pleasantest Thing.  And I know one who hates getting messy and really, really wouldn’t.

St Patrick's Day Gold Dig by Pleasantest Thing

These Shamrock Cupcakes from Easy Cake Decorating are just brilliant.

I think the hardest part of this felt St. Patrick’s Day Garland from A Subtle Revelry would be cutting out all those shamrocks.

Easy St Patrick's Day Garland by A Subtle Revelry

I think the photo says it all when it comes to this Pistachio Pound Cake from The Candid Appetite.

Pistachio Pound Cake by The Candid Appetite

Go find someone to pinch (on Monday!)

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Stained Glass

Have I ever told you guys I work with stained glass?  After four years, it’s getting a little difficult to remember what I’ve brought up and what I haven’t.  I can’t even remember what I ate for breakfast, so there’s not much hope of that changing.  Anyway, let me tell you about my glass work.

It all started many years ago when I was a loan officer for a credit union.  I had a long drive to work, and on the way was a stained glass shop.  I would always admire the projects hanging in the windows and I thought to myself that one day I’d take a class and learn how it was done.  That went on for a few years, then I quit my job to stay home with the kidlets.  I never lost my interest in glass, but honestly the idea of having sharp glass around the little ones was a little too terrifying.

Ten years ago, I happened to skim through our local community college’s list of non-credit classes, and there it was – Stained Glass for Beginners.  I showed up for the first class to find only eight students, including myself.  By the second session we were down to six.  One of the girls said she was only there because her grandmother had bequeathed some glass tools to her, and her friend came along because her boyfriend worked for a window company.  I was the the lone student on the last day.  Ours was the second-to-last time the class was ever offered, so I’m glad I took the opportunity when I did.

Our instructor was a guy who looked like he belonged on a beach somewhere.   He started class by telling us a story of dropping a piece of glass and splitting his foot between his toes, as a warning to wear sturdy shoes.  He stood in front of us in flip-flops.  However, he was an excellent teacher.  In contrast to my fear that my kids would get within 100 yards of anything sharp, he was teaching his 7-year-old twin boys how to cut and solder.

My first project was this sun, which is still hanging in my dining room.  I love that beautiful, swirly glass…

Stained Glass - Crafty Staci 1

The next thing I tackled in class was this coffee cup.

Stained Glass - Crafty Staci 2

Starting a third project was a little ambitious, but I was hooked and I didn’t have any of the big tools of my own yet, so doing it at home wasn’t an option.  I finished this candleholder just as my instructor was packing up his stuff.

Stained Glass - Crafty Staci 3

By the time Christmas came that year, my sweet husband had made sure I had the tools I needed to work with glass at home.  I made this hummingbird for my daughter.

Stained Glass - Crafty Staci 4

And Spiderman for my son.  This was a tough one because of all those skinny fingers.  Of course, later the kids both decided they had outgrown these and gave them back to me, but Spidey hangs above my craft room door.  All that work was NOT getting stored away in a box somewhere.

Stained Glass - Crafty Staci 5

I made this fairy for my grandma.  I was so happy with the way she turned out.

Stained Glass - Crafty Staci 6

I made a few more things from patterns I had found in books or online, like this brown bear who is an all-time favorite of mine.

Stained Glass - Crafty Staci 7

But then I got brave and started creating my own designs.  I started with fairly simple projects, like this mountain.

Stained Glass - Crafty Staci 8

I really love making things that are three-dimensional, so these flowers sit on top of the fan, as does the tree on the mountain above.

Stained Glass - Crafty Staci 9

Another design feature I really like to use is curled wire, like this pumpkin’s tendrils, so I use that one quite often.

Stained Glass - Crafty Staci 10

I started to get brave, and made my daughter this flip-flop Zen garden.  She’s held onto this one so far.

Stained Glass - Crafty Staci 11

You wouldn’t know it by looking at it, but the light shade over my dining room table is probably the most difficult glass project I’ve ever made.  It looks simple, but the beautiful red glass that had me under its spell wanted to break everywhere except where I meant for it to.  These were supposed to be solid panels, but if you look closely you can see that I had to add some seams to fit some pieces back together.  Fortunately, it’s much more interesting this way.

Stained Glass - Crafty Staci 12

In addition to everything here, I’ve made lots of gifts, jewelry and Christmas ornaments.  My most recent project was this candle holder for an Etsy teammate in a gift exchange I participated in…

Stained Glass - Crafty Staci 13

…two years ago.  That’s right.  All my glass supplies have been sitting collecting dust for over two years.  Glass is like fabric – it’s pretty, so I would buy it without a thought to what I might do with it.  I have a large box of glass and everything I need to make something.  Or several somethings. 

Now for the big question:  Have I cut myself?  Oh, yes.  More times than I can count, although never so badly I’ve needed stitches.  I’ve also burned myself and probably added a little extra lead to my system.  But I keep coming back.  I think it’s time to break out the glass again.

Friday Favorites–DIY Recipe Storage

Since two of my more recent projects have involved finding ways to store my crazy recipe collection, this seemed like a good day to find out what other people are doing about it.  There are so many ideas out there that at least I know I’m not the only one with a recipe hoarding issue.

Friday Favorites - DIY Recipe Storage - Crafty Staci

A recipe box is a pretty traditional method of storage, but I loved the added personality of the spoon on this Bent-Spoon Recipe Box from Country Living.

Bent Spoon Recipe Box from Country Living

What I really love about this one are the chipboard tabs inside this recipe box from Paper Vine.

Recipe Box from Paper Vine

This Turn-Style Recipe Holder from Debbie Hodge is pretty enough to double as kitchen décor.

Turning Recipe Holder from Debbie Hodge

This Easy Recipe Card Holder from Make and Takes is perfect for those times you just need to focus on the one card.

Easy Recipe Card Holder from Make and Takes

If you want to be able to plan your recipes for the week, this hanging recipe holder from Shivaya Naturals will come in handy.

Meal Time Organizing from Shivaya Naturals

This recipe binder from Food Storage Made Easy is simple and smart.  The recipes are color-coded on cardstock!

How to Organize Your Recipes from Food Storage Made Easy

If you don’t have a dedicated cookbook shelf in your kitchen who says you can’t add one?  Check out this Easy Kitchen Island Addition from The Endearing Home.

Easy Kitchen Island Addition from The Endearing Home

In addition to all the recipes I’ve printed and written on cards, I also use my tablet in the kitchen.  Based on the food splatter in some of my more often-used cookbooks, I try to keep it off the counter and protected.  This Swing Down Cookbook Rack from Family Handy Man would probably save my screen.

Swing-down Cookbook Rack from Family Handyman

This Kitchen Tablet Holder from Mamie Jane’s is made from a cutting board and Scrabble tile holder.  Love this.

Kitchen Tablet Holder from Mamie Jane's

This Cookbook Chair from Thistlewood Farms definitely wins for most unique storage idea.

Cookbook Chair from Thistlewood Farms

Now I kinda want to go cook something.

Friday Favorites–Nautical

Today’s Friday Favorite topic was inspired by my lunch yesterday.  As I was enjoying a tasty bowl of salmon chowder, I started thinking about all the nautically influenced crafts and fashions I’ve noticed lately.  It’s a trend I really like, and I’m always happy to see it come around again. 

Friday Favorites - 10 Nautical Crafts - Crafty Staci

Until I read it, I never would have guessed that these Decorative Nautical Pilings from Miss Kopy Kat began as foam pool noodles.

Nautical Pilings from Pool Noodles from Miss Kopy Kat

I can’t even imagine the amount of patience required to make this Herringbone Driftwood Table from Sarah M. Dorsey Designs, but totally worth it.

Herringbone Driftwood Table from Sarah M Dorsey Designs

This adorable Pocket Sized Magnetic Fishing Set from Doodlecraft would be a great activity to keep in the car to entertain the little ones on their way to school.  Fish…school…

Pocket Sized Magnetic Fishing Set from DoodleCraft

Out there in cyberland, this quote is attributed to a number of people and places, but I love it, regardless of its origin.  Get this Smooth Sea Printable from Sumo’s Sweet Stuff.

Smooth Sea Skillful Sailor Printable from Sumos Sweet Stuff

This Kaleidoscope Mariner’s Compass Quilt Block from Trillium Design on Craftsy would be a great way to add a little nautical feel to a room without necessarily using traditional colors.

Kaleidoscope Mariners Compass from Craftsy

This DIY Shelf from My Home Ideas would perfectly in a seaside cottage.

DIY Shelves from My Home Ideas

This Seashell Sailboat from Spoonful is easy to make and combines two nautical favorites – shells and boats.

Seashell Sailboat from Spoonful

These Wire Work Anchor Necklaces from RefreshingDesigns on Etsy are just beautiful, and there are tons of color options.

Wirework Anchor Necklaces from RefreshingDesigns on Etsy

I’m not sure from the instructions, but I think this Life Saver from Traveling with JC is made from a foam wreath base.  Great idea!

Nautical Life Saver from Traveling with JC

These Lighthouses from My Insanity are a great recycling craft, and any of the components could be substituted with whatever you have available that fits.

Lighthouse from Me and my Insanity

If you have any doubt about the popularity of nautical décor right now, a quick search on Etsy turns up nearly 200,000 items.  That’s a lot of rope and anchors.

The Best Time to Celebrate Printable

Last month I showed you a recipe box I had painted and embellished with my new vinyl cutter.  I don’t know if you noticed the color, but it was a turquoise leaning toward green. 

Clear Vinyl Shelf Liner to Tranfer Vinyl - Crafty Staci  13

It wasn’t a shade I had in my paint arsenal, but one I mixed myself.  I combine paint often to get the color I want, but the problem is that there is always too much of it by the time I’m done.  I don’t want to run out because it’s impossible to replicate exactly, and as I add more paint to get the color I want I end up with a lot.  I hate to waste it, so I usually go find something else to slap it on.  That’s how this frame happened.

The Best Time to Celebrate Printable - Crafty Staci 1

I started out with this.  Pretty uninspiring and a little beat up, but I kept it because it was wood and I liked the shape.

The Best Time to Celebrate Printable - Crafty Staci 2

After a couple of coats of paint and a vinyl cut design, I coated it with Mod Podge.  All it needed was something to go inside, so I made this printable.  I love the look of chalkboard, but really hate the chalk dust, so this was perfect.  If you click on the picture below the PDF should open.

The Best Time to Celebrate Printable - Crafty Staci 3

I’m so glad I hung onto this little frame, and it matches my new recipe box.  It also matches this tray that I had previously painted with chalkboard paint.  And something else before that.  There may even be another layer – I’ve forgotten how many times I’ve repainted this poor thing.

Ampersand Tray - Crafty Staci

I didn’t manage to use up all the paint, but decided to quit while I was ahead.  I have three projects I love, and that’s something to celebrate.

The Best Time to Celebrate Printable - Crafty Staci 4

Friday Favorites–Radiant Orchid

Say goodbye to Emerald and hello to Radiant Orchid.  Pantone, the standard for all things color, has selected the light shade of purple as their color of the year for 2014.  I’m pretty happy about this one, because I love a little purple once in a while.  And in the case of Radiant Orchid, a little goes a long way.

I will admit, I did take a little creative license in choosing my favorites today.  They’re definitely all purple, but I interpreted the orchid part a little loosely.  Don’t hold it against them.

Friday Favorites - Radiant Orchid Crafts - Crafty Staci

There’s something so adorable about a macaroon.  I’m going to have to try making some one of these days.  I’m keeping this recipe for Lavender Macaroons with Honey Earl Grey Buttercream from The Cottage Diaries for when that day arrives.

Lavender Macaroons from The Cottage Diaries

This Purple Three-Strand Necklace from My Girlish Whims would be a great way to add just a little bit of orchid into your wardrobe.

Purple Three Strand Necklace from My Girlish Whims

This gathered skirt from Cook Clean Craft makes great use of the color by mixing it with a little white to keep it bright and fun.

Tiered Gathered Skirt from Cook Clean Craft

Get the kids in on the fun with this Lavender Cloud Dough from Growing a Jeweled Rose.

Lavender Cloud Dough from Growing a Jeweled Rose

What Else Michelle brings a little orchid into a room with her Yarn Wrapped Lamp Shade.

Yarn Wrapped Shade from What Else Michelle

Granted, I might have a little wedding on the brain right now, but I could totally see these DIY Lavender Bubbles from Smart School House making great wedding favors.

DIY Lavender Bubbles from Smart School House

These Purple Ombre Mini Cakes from Glorious Treats make good use of orchid’s ability to coordinate well with other colors.

Purple Ombre Mini Cakes from Glorious Treats

There’s no shortage of orchid yard out there, so this All the Glamour Shawl from Red Heart would be easy to add to your closet.  If you’re a crochetist, that is.

All Glamour Shawl from Red Heart

If you said yes to the last one, you’d probably also like this Easy Tote Bag from Hopeful Honey.  I know I do.

Easy Crochet Tote from Hopeful Honey

Would you just look at these Purple Candy Apples from Rose Bakes?!?

Purple Candied Apples from Rose Bakes

For even more inspiration, check out Pantone’s own Radiant Orchid Pinterest board!

Changing the Background on a Built-in Cabinet

In the years we’ve lived in our house, we’ve completed a lot of home improvement.  In fact, there isn’t much that’s the same as it was when we moved in.  That’s a good thing, considering it had been vacant for a couple of years and forest animals were beginning to make it their own.  In spite of our progress, there’s still more to do, like updating this built-in cabinet.

Changing the Background on a Built-in Cabinet - Crafty Staci 1

It’s one of those things we don’t want to do anything drastic with, because we haven’t decided what that will be yet.  But it was getting harder and harder to look at, and since it’s in a prominent part of the house it couldn’t be ignored.  The holes in the back are a nice touch, right?

Changing the Background on a Built-in Cabinet - Crafty Staci 2

I finally got brave and asked my husband if he’d help me cover the back with some burlap fabric.  By help me, it pretty much meant me standing back and taking photos.

He decided to use some spray adhesive to hold it in place, because by the time we’re ready to remove it this thing will probably be getting pulled out completely.

Changing the Background on a Built-in Cabinet - Crafty Staci 3

I cut the fabric to fit the space (see, I helped!), then he sprayed the top four inches of the back of the fabric.  He also sprayed the top four inches of the back of the cabinet.  As soon as it started to develop a sheen like it was starting to dry, he stuck the fabric to the cabinet.

Changing the Background on a Built-in Cabinet - Crafty Staci 4

After he had that first four inches in place, he pulled the fabric back and sprayed the rest of it and the cabinet.  He pulled the fabric taut and stuck the bottom corners in place.  Starting from the middle, he smoothed everything with his hands until it had all adhered.

Changing the Background on a Built-in Cabinet - Crafty Staci 5

We slipped the shelves back into place and it was finished.

Changing the Background on a Built-in Cabinet - Crafty Staci 6

Except, of course, for adding some things back onto those shelves!

Changing the Background on a Built-in Cabinet - Crafty Staci 7

This made such a huge difference for me.  If I would have realized how much better it would be, it would have happened years ago.

Changing the Background on a Built-in Cabinet - Crafty Staci 8

Just to get the full effect:

Before and After - Built-in background - Crafty Staci

Hmm, what next?  Maybe bedroom flooring?  New doors?  The salamanders are really going to want this place back when we’re done.

Friday Favorites–Craft Room Ideas

I had a plan.  After the first of January I was going to work on cleaning out some old supplies from my craft room, make some new items to restock my Etsy shop and get some fresh tutorials up and running for you.  Have you heard the phrase “Man plans, God laughs”?  I gave Him a good chuckle this week.  Thanks to an unexpected (but welcome) post-holiday rush on my Etsy shop, I’ve had my nose to the grindstone all week.  Did everybody get a camera for Christmas or something?

Anyway, back to my craft room.  We did a big reorganization three years ago, but in that time I’ve managed to accumulate more stuff and it feels overcrowded again.  Oh yeah, and a big section of it is full of wedding stuff right now.  Needless to say, I’ve been drooling over craft room eye candy lately, so it only seems fair to share.

Friday Favorites - Craft Room Ideas - Crafty Staci

Not only would I like to purge and straighten up my creative space, but it could use a bit more décor.  I love these Giant Buttons from No Biggie, made from Styrofoam so you could hang them just about anywhere.

DIY Giant Buttons by No Biggie

I’ve also had my eye on this Dress Up Wall Canvas from Positively Splendid for a while now.  Wouldn’t it be fun to make these like paper dolls where you could change out the dresses?  I’d never get anything else done.

I really love how the color theme was carried through on this sewing-themed specimen art from Living with Punks.

Sewing Specimen Art by Living with Punks

How about this Large Wall Scissor Art from Morena’s Corner?  If I ever find scissors like this at the dollar store, this is happening.

Scissor Wall Art from Dollar Tree by Morenas Corner

Storage is always an issue in a craft room, but fortunately there are lots of great ideas out there to make it not only functional, but pretty.  This Gathered Round Basket from A Spoonful of Sugar would be a great way to use up smaller pieces of fabric.

Gathered Round Basket by A Spoonful of Sugar Designs

I use mason jars for storage, but they just aren’t the same without this lovely metal rack, as shown on Traveling at the Speed of Life.  Check out her other ideas too.

Mason Jar Button Storage by Traveling at the Speed of Life

I have fabric cutting rulers in about three different places, which means I really need this Yard Stick Organizing Rack from Sew Many Ways.

Quilt Ruler Rack by Sew Many Ways

Patty from Patty’s Stamping Spot needed a countertop raised, so she took advantage of the opportunity and added some storage in the new space.  Brilliant!

Raised Countertop by Patty Stamps

I just did battle with my paint this week (more on that next week) and found my current throw-them-in-a-box method of organization a little frustrating.  Check out the DIY Hanging Paint Storage from Mad in Crafts.  Functional and decorative.

DIY Hanging Paint Storage by Mad in Crafts

I don’t have a chair in my craft room, but only because my sewing machine is in my office and the chair stays with it, along with two others.  I’m saving this chair makeover from Finding Sunday for the inevitable day when I’ll need it.

Chair Makeover by Finding Sunday

Friday Favorites–DIY Christmas Decor

In my house, the day after Thanksgiving is reserved for eating leftovers, listening to the Christmas music my daughter complains about until one second after turkey day is over and doing a little shopping online.  The biggest, most important part of the day, though, is getting out the Christmas decorations.  I look forward to it all month, and it usually takes us a couple of days to get everything in its place.  That doesn’t even include the tree, which usually comes a week or so later.  When it comes to Christmas, I’m kind of a big kid.

10 DIY Christmas Decor Projects - Crafty Staci

For many years we had an artificial tree, so we put it up at the same time as everything else.  Now we’re back to a real one.  We have a beautiful red, swirly cast iron tree stand, so I kind of hate covering it up with a tree skirt.  However, this black and white beauty from Project Run and Play could make me change my mind.

Tree Skirt - Project Run Play

With a little planning ahead, this year’s tree could be used to make this Wood Slice and Burlap Christmas Wreath from Finding Home for next year.

WoodSliceandBurlapChristmasWreath - Finding Home Online

Do you remember the days when America Online used to send a CD in the mail about twice a month advertising their service?  I saved those for a craft project and ended up making ornaments with my nieces and nephews.  Extra CDs are less of a problem these days, but I’m going to have to scrounge up a few to make these ornaments from Crème de la Craft.

CD Ornaments - Creme de la Craft

Pillow covers are an easy, temporary way to decorate for the holidays, like this Holly Wreath Pillow on Skip to my Lou.

Holly Wreath Pillow - Skip to my Lou

I’d love to try making this Wire Wrapped Joy Ornament from The Crafty Sisters.

Wire Ornament - The Crafty Sisters

Makedo shares a template for making this cardboard tree on Instructables.

Cardboard Christmas Tree - Makedo on Instructables

I have a plastic mistletoe kissing ball, but this felt version from Apartment Therapy is so much prettier.

Mistletoe Kissing Ball - Apartment Therapy

These Quick and Easy M&M and Mike and Ike Christmas Lights from Hungry Happenings would be cute on so many Christmas goodies.

The Zipper Ornament from A Creative Princess is super easy to make and would be a fun gift tag.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

There is nothing sweeter than a felt ornament, and this Nativity Stable from Wild Olive is just perfect.

Felt Nativity - Wild Olive

If you’re shopping in between your decorating today, don’t forget about my Black Friday Weekend Sale on Etsy and Zibbet!

Friday Favorites–Menorahs

Hanukkah starts pretty early this year, so the crafting window is quickly closing.  I’m not Jewish, but many people who are important to me are, so while there’s still a little time left I’d like to visit what I know would be one of my favorite aspects of the holiday:  the menorah.

Friday Favorites - 10 Menorahs - Crafty Staci

This Candle Stand from Lowe’s looks like it would be pretty easy to make, providing you have the right tools laying around.

Lowe's Candle Stand

While I don’t have experience with menorahs, I have lots of experience with little kids and they like to play with stuff.  That goes double for pretty holiday stuff.  Baby’s First Hanukkah Menorah from StoryBlox on Etsy would be a great gift for a new kidlet.

Baby's First Hanukkah StoryBlox

This simple menorah from Make: Craft is great for someone who doesn’t want to have to store it after Hanukkah is over, since it can be spread out and used throughout the house.

Make Simple Menorah

This Electric Tea Light Menorah from Dollar Store Crafts looks really easy to make, and as the blog name suggests, inexpensive as well.

Dollar Store Crafts Tea Light Menorah

I love all the candles, but this Edible Menorah from Cook Kosher is pretty tempting.

Cook Kosher Edible Menorah

I loved making those black construction and tissue paper crafts in grade school and, as Upper West Side Mom shows, it’s the perfect way to make a pretty menorah.

Upper West Side Mom Stained Glass Menorah

I know kids need to learn how to be safe around candles, but there was a point when my boy would have burned down most of Oregon, so this popsicle stick menorah from BabbaCo would be a good solution.  I can’t be the only one with a danger kid.

DIY My Own Menorah Babbaco

This Glittery Menorah from Creative Jewish Mom looks fun to make and is satisfyingly beautiful for those little crafters.

Lowe’s estimates the cost of this Mantel Top Menorah at $125, but I feel like with a little careful shopping it could be done for less. 

Lowe's Hanukkah Projects

I love this Lego minifigure Menorah from Bible Belt Balabusta so much.

Bible Belt Balabusta Lego Menorah

Happy Hanukkah!