pyrography spoons

Kitchen Gift Set w Pyrography Spoons
I like to make handmade gifts.  Each year, I try to think of a theme to center my efforts around.  This helps keep costs down and I can make things prescheduled chunks of time.  In years past I have made chutney, jellies, jams and cookies in a jar, knitted hats and scarves.  This year I am doing flavor infused olive oils, vinegars and soups in a jar.  My added bonus is a cool technique of wood burning.  The technical name for it is Pyrography.  I came across this post by Chris Wallace at Walnut Hollow – Wood Burning on Spoons.  Immediately I knew what I was going to use to enhance my gifts since there is always a crafty aspect to them too.  You can get most of the supplies to make the gift sets on Amazon or in your local big box store.

The content below may have been sponsored, contain affiliate links or free items for use. Know that this will not sway the opinion no matter what. (Even though they may want to!) This costs you nothing and helps pay for this blog's overhead. Click Diclosures to learn more.Materials for Pyrography Spoons gift set:

I cannot say enough wonderful things about the quality and durability about the Dunroven House Products.  Not getting paid to say it either.  The items are made in the USA and are really great quality.

Instructions for the pyrography spoons:

I used a pattern Hot Stamp from the Creative Versa-Tool to add the circles on the back and the front of the spoon. ( not used on the spoons in the gift set)
wood burning spoonsOn the ends of each spoon I stamped an image.
wood burning craftsI thought it would be sweet to stamp hearts.  Like a little bit of love.
how to stamp wood burn

You can draw images or stamp images and the follow the lines with the wood burning tool.

draw pattern on spoon before wood burning

To see more spoons using the wood burning technique and a few other wood surfaces too you can check out the links below.

HO HO HO Christmas Ornament or gift tag   ultimate veggie soup mix in a jar





Owl Pyrography Spoon and gift from the kitchen  The ultimate Christmas Gift from the kitchen 2





Ranch Crackers and Flower Wood Burning Spoon
Ranch Crackers in a jar with wood burn pyrography spoon


Minky fabric Pumpkins

minky cuddle fabric pumpkin pillows Minky fabric Pumpkins

Minky Fabric pumpkins, another No Sew pumpkin technique?  Yes, I am on a kick.  I was so inspired by all the  awesome pumpkins out there I had to try another style myself.  This time I tried the gathering technique and again used my cheater method of a rubber band.  I also used some Minky Cuddle Dimple Dot Orange fabric left over from a project that I made for a manufacturer.  I will show you that later.  I totally fell in love with the Minky Cuddle fabric and did not want to let any of it go to waste.  Plus I thought the fabric looked like the warty pumpkins carried by our local farms.
The content below may have been sponsored, contain affiliate links or free items for use. Know that this will not sway the opinion no matter what. (Even though they may want to!) This costs you nothing and helps pay for this blog's overhead. Click Diclosures to learn more.

Supplies needed for Minky fabric Pumpkins :

Instructions for Minky fabric Pumpkins:

1.Cut fabric  and place flat on a table and add a ball of Poly-fil to the center of the fabric.

add polyfill to fabric

2.  Gather the fabric and place a rubber band around.

no sew pumpkin

3. Trim off any excess and add a dollop of hot glue.  Add  jute to the dollop and start wrapping around.

fabric pumpkins
4. This will form the base of your no sew pumpkin stem.

no sew pumpkin stem


5.  Add ribbon scraps for embellishments.

Single cuddle fabric pumpkin Minky fabric Pumpkins
6.  Add other ribbons and embellishments

junk bow pumpkin Minky fabric Pumpkins
Add you your Minky fabric Pumpkins  to your collection of handmade pumpkins.

Minky fabric Pumpkins no sew collection

Click on the links below to purchase either item.

Candy Cane Duck Tape Wreath

A Candy Cane Duck Tape Wreath By Anna

Candy Cane Inspired Duck Tape Wreath

A giant thank you to The Duck Brand for providing the awesome supplies used in these videos!   My mom had a great time working with them.  My mom recently moved in with us and I have been working hard at bringing her over to the crafty side.  It did not take much to drag her over as she loves to decorate, paint and put together rooms for her friends and coordinate outfits.  She has the creative flair but has never really “crafted”.  When my box of Duck Tape arrived she confiscated it and told me she had a crafty plan.  Naturally I encouraged her.  When she found out I need to do a Crafty Hang Out she was even more excited.  I let her do the video and she is ready to become a You Tube sensation.  LOL  I may have created a monster.  She has plans for more so stay tuned.  🙂

Watch the YOUTUBE Video for instructions 

Go to Crafty to see all the other awesome videos throughout the week.  They have  partnered up with Duck Tape this week for an awesome series of holiday crafting videos using Duck Tape! That’s right – we’re using Duck Tape for our Holiday crafting and did you know that it comes in more than just grey and it comes in sheets? For the holidays, we’re using red, green, and white Duck Tape. We’ve also decked the halls with silver Duck Tape and even Glitter Duck Tape!  And have you seen the fun patterned Duck Tape this year?  Check out our videos all week long, and you’ll be scouring your local craft stores for all this awesome Holiday Duck Tape goodness.

Enter the Duck Tape Prize Pack Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rustic Dyed Floral Wreath

rustic floral wreath Rustic Dyed Floral WreathCreate a colorful yet rustic dyed floral wreath with liquid dye, flowers and a hot glue gun. DIY any color combination and make it in an afternoon. Wreathes are a great way to add personality and color to your home.

SUPPLIES for Rustic Dyed Floral Wreath:

•Liquid or Powder Dyes, Green Apple,Tangerine, Violet, Wine
• 100% cotton, torn into three 2×18 strips
• 1 wreath Dried white flowers
• Measuring cup
• 3 Plastic shallow containers (8-cup size)
• Plastic disposable spoons
• Plastic wrap
• Paper towels
• Rubber gloves
• Plastic cover to protect table
• Microwave oven
• Ad Tech Glue Gun with Glue Sticks
wreath niki meiners

INSTRUCTIONS for Dyed Floral Wreath:

Cover table with plastic sheet or tablecloth. Keep paper towels at hand. Note: When preparing dye, wear rubber gloves, mix well and heat water to at least 140º F.
For best results, prewash and cotton to remove any finishes that may interfere with dye absorption.
1. Dip material in water and squeeze out excess water. Set aside.

2. Prepare dye: Measure and mix ½ cup Violet liquid dye or 1 box powder dye with 4 cups very hot water.

3. Pour dye into shallow plastic container or bowl. Twist material around itself and bunch up. Secure bunch with rubberbands or string. stripa Immerse material in dye bath for 2 minutes. Wearing rubber gloves, move top of shirt around in dye bath and push down on tied area to help dye penetrate the fabric. Then remove shirt and squeeze out excess dye and place in shallow plastic container.

4. Cover container with plastic wrap. Cover bottom of microwave with paper towels. Microwave plastic-wrapped dish in oven on High for 2 minutes. Remove container and plastic wrap carefully – items will be hot. Allow to cool.

5. Carefully cut rubber bands or string. Rinse material under cool running water until water runs clear. Wash with warm water and detergent; rinse and dry.

6. Wrap strips around wreath. Note: For extra security, add a dab of Hot Glue  at the beginning and end of the strips.

Flowers for wreath
1. Prepare flowers in the same manner, by preparing dye bath and placing flowers in shallow containers. Allow flowers to soak and absorb dye.

3. Rinse flowers and allow them to dry to dry. Adhere with Hot Glue Gun


Herb Infused Oils for a Ryobi Christmas Blog Hop

Ryobi Hop Infused Olive Oils

Herb Infused Oils for a Ryobi Christmas Blog Hop

While thrifting I came across a tiny pre-made crate. I know it would be the perfect way to package some of the food gifts I am making this year for Christmas. All I would need to do was chop off the giant handle. Not a problem for me since I have a Ryobi Miter Saw and I happen to love any excuse I can find to use a power tool. The herb infused oils below are on the hot side. If you do not like hot – you can leave out the crushed peppers. I love to give handmade gifts from my kitchen and a few blogger friends have also made Christmas items. So be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to find their links.


The content below may have been sponsored, contain affiliate links or free items for use. Know that this will not sway the opinion no matter what. (Even though they may want to!) This costs you nothing and helps pay for this blog's overhead. Click Diclosures to learn more.

Tools and supplies for decorative crate:

Affiliate links- I earn a very small commission if you purchase.

Instructions for decorative crate:

ryobi compound miter saw

I placed the crate with the handle as close to the yellow cut line as I could get it and chopped it right off.

ryobi crate before
A perfect clean cut and in under a minute.  I have a great crate for $1.  Next sand the edges.  Wipe off dust.

ryobi crate
Now to paint the crate in your favorite color and the caps of the bottles to match.  Cover the crate and caps completely.  Allow to dry.   Sand the edges of the crate to create distressed spots.
ryobi crate painted

Tools and supplies for Herb Infused Cooking Oil- Hot Italian Blend:

1.  Clean and sterilize bottles.
2.  Slip spices into  bottle.   Use a funnel to pour in olive oil. Add the cork, and set in a cool place or even refrigerate.
3.  After filling and corking bottles, wash and dry them well.
4.  Apply label to front of bottle.
5.  Wrap twine around the neck of the bottle.

spices added then olive oil

Instructions to make Herb Infused Olive Oil:

1.  Clean and sterilize bottles.
2.  Slip spices into each bottle.   Use a funnel to pour in olive oil. Add the cork, and set in a cool place or even refrigerate.
3.  After filling and corking bottles, wash and dry them well.
4.  Apply label to front of bottle.
5.  Wrap twine around the neck of the bottle.

To prolong the life of the oil, refrigerate bottles. The Garlic and Rosemary should be used within a month of making. If you are using fresh herbs and spices make sure you wash and dry them.  If you are using dried spices the shelf life is 3 months.   I add a label on the back of each bottle so the recipient knows what they are getting.

Ingredients for Indian Spice Infused Cooking Oil:

  • 1 tablespoons whole cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
  • 1 two inch piece cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 5 whole green cardamom pods
  • bay leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground tumeric
  • 1 roasted whole chili
  • 1 cups grape seed oil or olive oil, warmed to 150 degrees
  1. In a medium sized heavy bottom pan over medium heat, combine the spices and heat to toast about two minutes. Stir to make sure they do not stick or burn.
  2. Remove from the heat and cool. Place them in the bottle
  3. Leave the oil in a cool, dark place to infuse for at least two weeks.
  4. Extra oil may be saved in refrigerator for later use.  (no more than 3 months with dried spices)

Use desired amount to garnish individual servings of chilled soup, sauté meat and veggies or as a marinade.

Check back on Wednesday to see what I did with my Ryobi Drill and a hot glue gun.  It will be another handmade gift with a homemade recipe from my kitchen.  I love the DIY aspect of the holidays.

ryobi christmas crafts


If you are looking for other homemade food gifts, gifts from the kitchen or gifts in a jar try these links.

Rosemary Infused Olive Oil
Sewing kit in a Jar

Potato Soup in  jar



Rosemary Infused Olive Oil

Rosemary Infused olive Oil handmade gift

Rosemary infused Olive Oil Trio

These tasty handmade gifts of rosemary infused olive oil are very easy to make and the ingredients could already be in your Kitchen.  If you plan on making these for Christmas or as Hostess gifts during the upcoming festive season make them two weeks in advance to allow the flavors to infuse. Make a delicious oil infused with the scent and flavor of fresh rosemary and other spice ingredients by following the instructions below.  I made all three of these in less than 15 minutes.  I also found the bottles at the thrift store for .15 a piece.  I would have purchased a dozen more if I could.  These little bottles are the perfect size for this gift. The stickers came in a pack of 40 for a $1 and I had the twine left over from another project.

Tools and supplies to make Rosemary Infused Olive Oil:

  • Olive Oil
  • Rosemary sprigs
  • Garlic Cloves
  • Funnel
  • Corks
  • Bottles
  • Twine
  • Buttons
  • AdTech Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
  • Scissors
  • Handmade with love stickers

empty bottles for infusing
Instructions to make Rosemary Infused Olive Oil:

1.  Clean and sterilize bottles.
2.  Slip rosemary sprigs into each bottle. I added sliced garlic cloves to one and crushed red peppers to the other.  Use a funnel to pour in olive oil. Add the cork, and set in a cool place or even refrigerate.
3.  After filling and corking bottles, wash and dry them well.
4.  Apply label to front of bottle.
5.  Wrap twine around the neck of the bottle.  Tie in place and hot glue on a button.

To prolong the life of the oil, refrigerate bottles. The Garlic and Rosemary should be used within a month of making. If you are using fresh herbs and spices make sure you wash and dry them.  If you are using dried spices the shelf life is 3 months.   I add a label on the back of each bottle so the recipient knows what they are getting.

Check out the other participants in the Holiday Edition of Craft Lightning

Upcycled Jewelry ideas you can make and a book review

Upcycled Jewelry  Book review.  Recently I was asked by friend and fellow designer to review her new book. I love recycling and upcycling so I knew that I would be game for checking out the book. Well, before I could even review the book my mother took the book and fell in love with it. That for me was exciting. I create almost everyday and I am always trying to get my mom to create with me. When I told her why the book was sent to me – she decided she wanted to do a project and make post on my website.   So without further adieu – My mothers upcycled jewelry project and book review.

Anna's upcycled jewelry Owls

From Anna – As I was flipping throughout the book I came across owl earrings on page 54.  I love owls and the earrings were totally adorable. I have a ton of the pull tabs since I save them for my grandson’s school. Not sure what they do with them, but I save them because he asked me to.

I did not have any old jeans to make the eyes of the owls so I used somethings I found out in the garage.  The items I used might be called rivets.  I followed the instructions in the book and used an Adtech Hot Glue gun to hold it all together.
The book has large clear pictures which are easy to follow.  I did not have enough of anything that coordinates to make a pair of earrings so I made a necklace pendant.   This is me wearing it.

Upcycled Jewelry ideas you can make:

Anna Collins Upcycled owl pendant jewelry from junk idea

These are the items I used to make the upcycled jewelry owl.

misc pieces to make jewelry owl IMG_4044

This is an up close picture of the owl

handmade owl necklace

Check out what the other designers thought of the book and what projects they made from it.  If you are into up upcycling or recycling this is great craft for you.

Turn junk into jewelry with upcycled owl necklace

Linda’s blog:

Youtube playlist for Upcycled Jewelry:


Cico Books –

Button and rosette frame

button and rosette frame shabby chic

Looking for a holiday gift or a for a fun decoration? Why not make a frame embellished with buttons and rosettes?  I love the blank wood frames from Michael’s.  I usually purchase a dozen or so when they go on sale for $1.  They are great, low-cost  homemade gift and you  make them in any style you want.  A little paint and a few embellishments and you are good to go

Tools and Materials for button rosette frame:

  • Blank wood frame
  • paint brushes,
  • 3 colors of paint ( similar colors work best),
  • Hot Glue Gun and hot glue-sticks
  • Scissors
  • dyed fabric strips ( scraps or old sheets)
  • buttons greenwaterfall, and bittersweet.
  • Ink in colors similar to fabric strips
  • Water mister ( spray bottle)

Instructions for Button and rosette frame:

  1. Paint wood frame with base paint color of choice.  Allow to dry.
  2. Dry brush on other colors.
  3. To make rosettes –  cut or tear a strip of fabric 1-2 inches wide and  44″ long.  Tie a knot at one end.  Twist the fabric around the knot and hot glue as you go.  Wrap until you reach the end and hot glue tail to back.
  4. Mist  flowers and run an ink pad across to create a multi tonal effect.
  5. Glue on rosettes and buttons as shown.

Happy Harvest pillow cover

Can you believe it is already November?  Time to think about refreshing your indoor decor with all things fall, spicy and harvest. One of the easiest ways to have found to give my decor a facelift is with pillows. Still easier pillow wraps!

harvest pillow-cover and button wrap- happy harvest

This easy to make pumpkin harvest pillow cover will have whet your appetite for making pillow wraps for every season.  With an all seasons color like green, you can make pillow wraps for Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Here is my Autumnal version.  Creating the pillow cover from scratch requires basic sewing experience but you can use a purchased pillow already covered and add your Pumpkin Pillow Wrap to it.

Materials and Supplies

  • Fairfield Square Pillow Insert  in a size of your choice
  • Two green fabric squares that match your pillow form size plus 1/2″ seam allowance on all sides
  • Enough white felt to wrap around the pillow form snugly
  • Dyed buttons Orange and Brown
  • DMC Color Infusions Memory Thread in Light Green
  • Self adhesive Velcro Brand Strips in White
  • Hand sewing needle and thread in white and light green
  • Brown embroidery thread (6-ply), embroidery needle
  • Scalloped edged scissors, rotary cutter and self-healing mat, scissors, sewing machine and thread, fabric marking pen

Cutting out the felt for the pillow wrapillow wrap (1024x768) - Copy1.  First, cut out the felt using the rotary cutter and mat. Trim the edges with the scalloped edged scissors. This will give your felt nice clean ornate edges that don’t have to be sewn.

Draw a circle on the pillow wrap 2.  Use the fabric marker to trace a circle in the size of your choice. Remember that you will be sewing the hand dyed buttons to fill the entire circle so plan accordingly. Thread your needle and start the sewing the buttons on to create the pumpkin by pulling the thread from the back to the front. Just like you would sew on a button.

Continue sewing pillow wrap3.  Continue to fill in the traced circle, using the traced lines at a guide to make your pumpkin. Use the smaller buttons in the package to fill in the smaller gaps.

completed circle of buttons (1024x768) - Copy4.  Finally, a complete circle of hand dyed buttons on your pillow wrap that we will now add details to resemble a pumpkin!

Add a button stem (768x1024) - Copy4.  Use some brown buttons (2 or 3) depending on the size of your pumpkin to create a stem.

DMC color infusions5.  To create vines, I used Color Infusions Memory Thread by DMC in a light green. This can either can glued down or couched down with coordinating thread and a hand sewing needle. I find the couching down method to yield a neater and less messy result.

Embroidery stitches

6.  Thread your embroidery needle with three strands of the 6-ply brown embroidery thread. Use the fabric marker to write a sentiment onto the Pumpkin Pillow Wrap just under the pumpkin and back-stitch the sentiment.

iron fabric for pillow cover7.  Iron your squares of fabric for the pillow cover front and back. Place the right sides together and machine stitch the left, top and right sides together using a 1″ seam allowance. Leave the bottom of the pillow open for turning and stuffing with the pillow form. Steam the seams open with the iron set on a steam setting and turn right sides out. Iron again and insert the pillow form into the bottom.

insert pillow form8.  Sew the bottom of the pillow closed using a whip stitch, the hand sewing needle and thread.

whip stitch 1

whip stitch 29.  Add a strip of Velcro to the back of your Pumpkin Pillow Wrap as a quick and easy enclosure. I opted for the self adhesive version the sew on version will work as well.

Velcro 10.  Now you have a Pumpkin Pillow Wrap that will not only be adorable for the Fall season, but it can be switched out seasonally very easily. Thanks for letting me share. Happy sewing!

Live Life Creatively,


country chic Christmas wreath

country chic wreath with polymer clay and buttons

Make this country chic Christmas wreath :

Sculpey Polymer Clay Poinsettia

The poinsettias for the country chic Christmas wreath:

The poinsettias are made using the Sculpey Polymer Clay Flower Mold.  I thought yellow buttons made a great center for the flower.  It gives them an extra little pop of color. To make the poinsettias follow the directions in the manufacturers packaging.  If the clay sticks in the mold use a little cornstarch.  It washes off easily.  Once the pieces are dry, paint a coating of white paint on the top.  Then remove excess with a paper towel.  Seal if you would like with Sculpey Glaze in matte or glossy.

Sculpey Polymer clay leaves and berry buttons

The red buttons make perfect buttons and the leaves are made of polymer from the same mold.

To make the country chic Christmas wreath:

Cut the burlap into three inch strips.  Adhere one end to the wreath with a dollop of FabriTac.  Hold it in place with a straight pin until dry.  Repeat this step until your wreath is covered completely.  Wrap the jute cording in one direction and then the other to achieve the diamond pattern.  Secure the ends with FabriTac.  Adhere the buttons and leaves around the wreath and then secure the  poinsettias with a generous amount of FabriTac.  I think this country chic Christmas wreath would look great in other colors too.  If your decor is less earthy and more pastel, you could make the poinsettias in off white and the burlap in natural or blue.