Tag Archives: homemade gifts

Dyed Tights

DIY Colorful dyed tights


Hand dyed tights are one of my daughters favorite fall accessories.  The more colorful the better.  If she can pair them with a tutu then she is even more excited.  Yes, I have a girly girl.  It is a good thing her mother is an artist and loves to play with dye.  Last year I purchase a ton of white clothes from the clearance rack at Target.  I think the most I paid for any one item was $2.49 and with prices like that I can afford to customize them to suit her taste.    If you want to see they other dyed pieces check out the category Hand DYED PROJECTSDyed Tights



Directions for colorful dyed tights:

Rinse white cotton tight.  Squeeze out excess water.


Place tights over a raised covered surface or in a stainless steel sink on a drying rack. Do not place them directly on the colored surface the colors will blend together.

Tights in the Sink


Use a squirt bottle or purchase dye that comes in a bottle.  Mix the dye according to manufacturers direction.  If you are using a dye that requires heat to work, you can microwave the mixture for faster results.   Allow they dye to dry according to directions.  Rinse at the tights one color at a time starting with the lightest color.  Rinse until the water comes clear and then wash.

I personally recommend that you wash them separately.  Do not wash them with whites.


Halloween brooches

Halloween brooches and a Giveaway

Halloween brooches are perfect for those of us who love to get in the haunting season early.  Check out this project made By Melony Bradley.  It is easy to make with left over stash.   Be sure to scroll to the bottom and find your chance to win a $200 Amazon Gift Card.

Halloween brooches

Material and Tools for Halloween brooches:

  • Fabric and black wool felt scraps
  • Buttons Galore and More Buttons (flat backed)
  • Laser Cut Wood Bird Shapes
  • Black acrylic paint
  • Pin backs
  • Inkjet fabric sheets
  • Beacon Adhesives Fabri-Tac
  • Tracing pencil (white), fabric marking pen, sewing machine and thread, hand sewing needle, paintbrushes, computer and printer, scalloped edged scissors

Halloween brooches

Cut fabric shapes






To create your own Halloween brooches, use a circle and square template and the fabric marker to trace shapes measuring approximately 2 1/2″ to the wrong side of the fabric. Cut out the shapes with scissors.






Trace 3″ shapes onto the black wool felt with the white tracing pencil. Cut the circles and squares out with the smooth edged or scalloped edged scissors.


Pin the shapes together. Use the sewing machine and thread to sew the shapes together.


Stitch circles together
Now comes the fun part! Embellishing your Halloween Drink Stirrers. I used inkjet fabric sheet to print out various Halloween sentiments.



Cut the sentiments out and fork the ends, then glue them under a button sewn or glued to the center of the shapes.

Embellish with sentiment. As an option, machine stitch the edges of your fabric sentiment. Embellish the shapes for the Halloween Drink Stirrers with painted black laser cut bird shapes and more buttons.

Halloween brooches

Welcome to the $200 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!


We’ve joined forces with an amazing group of bloggers to bring you this fabulous giveaway. One lucky person will win a $200 Amazon Gift Card.

Continue reading

party favors, printable, dr suess

Dr. Seuss party favors

party favors, printable, dr suessDr.  Seuss party favors are quick and easy to make with printable party pieces.    I found these printables for FREE on www.wanessacarolinacreations.blogspot.com  I used the pattern paper as the base and a drink label as a wrap for the jar.  The jar is filled with l Swedish fish to go along with the One  Fish Two Fish theme.  The jar is from peanut butter.  I asked a few friends to save them and before long we had what we needed for the party.  The jars were washed thoroughly and dried.  If you have any kids with peanut  allergies you might want to use a different container.  

Click the link below to find other Dr. Seuss craft ideas for fun or for a party.

food gifts

Gift packaging for food

food giftsPretty gift packaging for food makes it taste even better.  Okay, not really but I like to pretend it does.  When you use scrapbooking paper and pre-made gift tags a boring container is instantly prettier.  Do you like to bake or make candies during during the holidays?  I know I sure do and I love to give them in reusable containers.

Directions for Gift Packaging:

I bought a dozen of these little round wooden $1 containers from Michael’s when they were  forty percent off.  I dipped them all in bright red dye from Tulip and let them dry.

doodlebig showflake tags


The next day I added paper to the lid, around the edges and to the top.  I used a tag punch to create the base for the tag.  I thought the tag could use a little more so I added another layer to it and trimmed it to size by hand. I then added the pre-made snowflake sticker and added a little ink around the edges of the lid and the tag.

Materials used for gift packaging:

homemade gift box


Bead Soup Peaches and Cream - Niki Meiners

Handmade Jewelry Ideas abound – Peaches and Cream Bead Soup 6

Beaded Jewelry Inspiration

Yes, I will admit  I have a weakness.  That weakness is handmade bead swaps. I simply love working with items I know were lovingly handmade and picked just for me.  Opening the package is the adult equivalent of opening the first present on Christmas day.  Yes, I get that excited every time.  The thought of someone taking their precious time and dedicated a small portion of it to create and select beads purely for my creative pleasure.  My special partner for this bead soup is Pamela Gangler of Pamela Lynn Jewelry.

Copper findings with Peaches and Cream Beads














This necklace literally designed itself. The beads poured out of the baggies in such a way that I moved a few pieces around and it came to me.









If you stopped at her blog you will notice the pictures of what she sent me are her pictures too. If you read the opening paragraph you might notice my reference to Christmas. Well, I was also the kid who snuck a peek at all of her presents and upon opening them would still be delighted. I also would have played with them all by noon. This package was not much different. Not only did I open them but I created with them too. A little to quickly to even take pictures. Yes, I was that excited.










The clasp is delicate and lovely.







The focal is Raku. I was not familiar with the material or the process used to make it. After watching several videos and articles online, I am eager to try the technique. I did not use the focal for the piece I made in this post. I am waiting until my order of Sari Silk comes in. I feel that is what it is calling for.

Back of Raku Focal Bead








Handmade jewelry is one of my many crafty passions. I love making pieces and giving them as gifts. Sometimes when I am making a piece I know who it is going to and others. I make because I feel the need to create. The earrings I made pictured below were of the – I simply need to create variety. I make a ton of earrings. I find it humorous that I love making earrings when my ears are not even pierced.  I usually give earrings as thank you gifts. A small gift that is homemade is the best.  I hope I have given you a few ideas on how you can make your own pieces of jewelry.

   Leave a comment to win the earrings.  Comments must be made by Aug 5th, 11:59 pm est, 2012.

Hostess, Lori Anderson, PrettyThingsBlog.com
Alice Craddick,  Alice’s Beads and Baubles
Alicia Marinache,  All The Pretty Things
Amanda Tibbetts,  Amanda Made
Amber Dawn Goldish, Inventive Soul
Annita Wilson,  AW Jewelry
Beti Horvath, Stringing Fool
Birgitta Lejonklou,  Create With Spirit
Candida Castleberry,    Spinning Spun Sugar
Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn’s Creations
Cassie Donlen, Glass Beadle
Cheryl McCloud,  One Thing Leads to Another
Cheryl Roe, BeadRoe
Christina Hickman, Vintage Treasures Jewelry
Christine Hendrickson,  Clamworks
Cilla Watkins, Tell Your Girlfriends
Cindy Wilson, Mommy’s Dream
Cindy Wimmer, Sweet Bead Studio
Cory Celaya, Art With Moxie
Cory Tompkins, Tealwater Designs
Cris Peacock, Cris’ Page
Cynthia Deis, Shiny Little Things
Cynthia Machata, Antiquity Travelers
Cynthia Wainscott, Exotic Peru
Dana Hickey, Magpie Approved
Denielle Hagerman, Some Beads and Other Things
Diane Valasek, Dragonfly Close
Doris Stumpf, Glaszwerg
Dyanne Everett-Cantrell, Dee-Liteful Jewelry Creations
Elaine Robitaille, Too Aquarius
Eleanor Burian-Mohr, The Charmed Life
Enikö Fabian, Perl-eni
Erin Prais-Hintz, Treasures Found
Heather Davis, Blissful Garden Beads
Hilary Frye, FryeStyle
Inge von Roos, Inge’s Blog
Jami Shipp, Celebrating Life
Jennifer Cameron, Glass Addictions
Jennifer Pottner, Rock Candy Beads
Jennifer VanBenschoten,  Jewelry, Art and Life
Jenny Davies-Reazor, Jenny Davies-Reazor
Jenny Vidberg, Shyme Design
Jessica Dickens, My Jewelry, My Life, Me
Jessica Klaaren, Beadful-Things by Jessica
Joan Williams, Lilruby Jewelry
Judith Johnston, Judith Johnston
Judy Riggs, Rigglettes
Judy Turner, Silver Rains
Julie Anne Leggett, The Peaceful Bead
K Hutchinson, Jumbled Hutch
Karen Meador, Dreamcatcher Ranch
Karyn Bonfiglio, Plus Size Bangles
Katherine Gale, Terra Beadworks
Kathleen Lange Klik, Modern Nature Studio
Katja Benevol Gabrijelcic, Slovonske Technobe
Kelli Jacobson, Creative Moon
Kelly Ramstack, Adventures with Kelly
Keri Lee Sereika, Pink Lemonade
Kim Bender-Hora, KimmyKat
Kirsi Luostarinen, Kirsi Luo Korut
Kitty Bozzini, Kitty Lampwork
Laura Demoya, The Bead Therapist
Laurie Hanna, Laurie’s Jewelbox
Leah Curtis, Beady Eyed Bunny
Lesley Watt, The Gossiping Goddess
Linda Inhelder, Must-Haves Jewelry
Lisa Liddy, Metal Me This
Mallory Hoffman, For the Love of Beads
Marge Beebe, Rock Creek Creations
Marianna Boylan, Pretty Shiny Things
Marion Simmons, Shade Tree Studio
Marla Gibson, Spice Box Design
Marta Weaver, Marta Weaver Jewelry
Marti Conrad, Marti C’s Clay Blog
Maryse Fritzsch-Thillens, GlassBeadArt, Lampwork Beads
Melanie Brooks, Earthenwood Studio
Michelle Hardy, Firefly Visions
Mikala Coates, Maybe Just Perhaps
Mowse Doyle, HoCArt
Nancy Boylan, Snazzy Doodle Designs
Nancy Peterson, Beading From the Heart
Nicole Rennell, Nicole Rennell Designs
Niki Meiners, 365 Days of Craft
Niky Sayers, Silver Nik Nats
Norma Turvey, Moonlit Fantaseas
Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs
Pamela Gangler, She Always Loved Pink
Perri Jackson, Shaktipaj Designs
Raida Disbrow, Havana Beads
Renetha Stanziano, Lamplight Crafts
Shannon Hicks, Falling Into the Sky
Shannon LeVart, Miss Fickle Media
Sharon Driscoll, Right Turn Art Werks
Shelley Graham Turner, Fabric of My Life
Sherri Stokey, Knot Just Macrame
Shirley Moore, Beads and Bread
Skylar Bre’z, Brising Beads
Stacie Florer, Soul to Substance
Stacie Stamper, Park Avenue
Stacy Alderson, Iridal’s Attic
Stephanie Haussler, Pixybug Designs
Stephanie Stamper, Rainy Day Designs
Suzette Bentley, Ellie’s Bijoux
Tammy Jones, Jewelry Making Daily
Tanty Sri Hartanti, TJewellicious by Tanti
Terry Matuszyk, Pink Chapeau


Vonna Maslanka, Just Vonna

August 6th, 2012 Comments Closed and the Winner is:

Author: CraftyHope (CraftyHope@gmail.com)
Website: http://www.craftyhope.blogspot.com
Comment: permalink
Your necklace turned out really lovely. It’s so simple as well as simply beautiful!!
Stamped Baby Girl Necklace - Niki Meiners

Stamped Metal Pendant and SteamPunk Pin

 ImpressArt Metal Stamps sponsored the Designer Crafts Connection blog hop this month.  If you are not familiar with the company or what metal stamping is – then you have come to the right place. I have two pieces for the hop.  I did not get wild and crazy and stamp in other material, I used the blanks, ImpressArt  sent an a few extra pieces.  I know the stamps work great in woos, leather, suede, plastic and clay.  The first piece is a necklace for my baby girl.  The second is a pin for your jacket and lastly, ImpressArt is doing a giveaway.  Scroll to the bottom for details
Stamped Baby Girl Necklace - Niki Meiners
Tools and materials
-ImpressArt Alphabet Stamp Set – Jeannie, uppercase, lowercase and numbers
-ImpressArt Design Stamp, Heart
-ImpressArt Metal Stamping Blanks
-ImpressArt Metal Stamping Hammer
-ImpressArt Steel Stamping Block
-ImpressArt Stamp Straight Tape
- Metal Chain
Time Stamped Pin - Niki Meiners
Tools and materials
-ImpressArt Alphabet Stamp Set – Jeannie, uppercase, lowercase
-ImpressArt Metal Stamping Blanks – flower
-ImpressArt Metal Stamping Hammer
-ImpressArt Steel Stamping Block
-ImpressArt Stamp Straight Tape

The Grand Prize is valued at up to $120.00 and contains:

1- ImpressArt alphabet set of the winner’s choice
1- ImpressArt Steel Stamping Block, small
1- ImpressArt Metal Stamping Hammer
1- ImpressArt Stamp Straight Tape
An Assortment of metal discs
To enter the contest, you must go to the following link and follow the directions:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/ImpressArt/155664424487844?sk=app_194975693850063
Quick Easter Bunny Basket

Quick Easter Basket Idea

Quick Easter Bunny Basket

Quick Easter Bunny Basket

Bunny basket - bunny tail

Bunny basket -bunny tail

You can easily make a personalized bunny basket with a few quick additions like bunny ears cut out of fun foam, google eyes, pipe cleaners and pom poms. Pick an all-purpose glue that will hold various materials to plastic and you could make this in less than a half hour.

Spring Hats Fabric Flowers

I’ve tried another new technique: (that’s new as in, New To Me)
and it was definitely NOT a Craft Fail!!!  I ‘ve had several of those lately.
There are two or three big reasons this
new technique was not another
Craft Fail …
Reason Number One:
Crafty Dance Mom Girlfriend, Laura
Reason Number Two:
Crafty Dance Mom Girlfriend, Jen
Umm … Reason Number Three …
 the brains behind this particular creative
project … and not pictured
per her own stern request:
Crafty Dance Instructor, Miss Sherry.
We started with the vision
in Miss Sherry’s head, and this amazing
compilation of fabrics, trims, buttons, beads, and bling.
And pin backs.  And hot glue.
Lots and lots and lots and lots and LOTS
of hot glue.
I’m not even kidding about that.
I have to say, I didn’t get as many pics as
I would have liked.
Mainly because I was so excited every
time we got a new flower together it became
my new favorite – but also because
every time I picked up the camera I heard a
small groan.  That could
have been the roaring of blood in my ears
from the excitement of creating all day -
I can’t be sure.
Hours and hours of fun crafty business later,
we had enough unique fabric flowers
to make twenty-four hats.
Or twenty-six.  I forget.
We used cotton fabrics, upholstery fabrics,
felt, a satin fabric ~ we burned the
edges with a lighter to curl them
(photo of this would have been nice)
tulle, laces, beads, trims,
feathers, a black cotton rope fabric
(the edges did NOT burn well, btw)
antique jewelry, and even the threads
removed when we frayed the edges of the
fabrics to make these.
Oh ~ and we don’t recommend
burning the edges of the fabric after
the materials have been put together ~
only before.
I’m not telling you why we recommend this,
just trust us.  ;)
Oh, what a happy baby!
He had a whole happy conversation
with the owl on this canvas!
And what a good listener the owl was!!
It was a crafty kind of girl day, for sure!
These happy girls were covered
in decoupage, bits of tissue, paint, hot glue,
feathers, and a fine sprinkling of glitter.
Creating memories is hard work!
Peek a boo, sweet baby!
Please note: he was a wonderful
and absolutely pleasant Valentines Dinner
Date the other night!
He has my heart.  What a doll!!
Lunch was super supreme nachos ~
here’s a ginormous THANK YOU to my crafty
dance mom girlfriends for bringing
all the fixins for said nachos!
At one point, we actually lost our girls.
Unthinkable, I know.
But they were only lost for a moment.
And then we found them.
Inside the swagger wagon – in the third seat -
and …
I’m thinking maybe I should have
asked my Amelia what in the world she was
introducing these girls to,
because they look rather … serious.
Troubled, even.
I love these girls!
Next Generation Crafty Girlfriends,
in the making!!!

Hand Dying with Indigo- Bird Themed Pillow

Hand dyed indigo pillow 2Indigo dying dates back to the ancient societies of Greece and Rome when India supplied this form of hand dying to the early Europeans. It is believed to be the oldest form of hand dying and arguably the most beautiful.

Jacquard’s Indigo Tie Dye kit comes with everything you will need to produce beautiful results. The one pound package is enough to dye 15 t-shirts and can be reserved by storing in a 5 gallon bucket with a tight fitting lid, easily found at many home improvement centers.

Indigo Dying KitSo it was with excitement that I set out to produce some hand dyed muslin to use in several projects one fun Saturday afternoon. The kit comes with the dying agent, packets of soda ash and thiox in addition to all the accessories you will need including latex gloves and items to help you produce various results such as wooden blocks and rubber bands. All I needed to gather was the 5 gallon bucket (of course, this would not fit into the kit), a small container for removing the flower (explained later) a shallow pan to store my dyed fabrics while oxidizing (explained later) and a mixing stick (I used a long 1″ thick round dowel I had on hand).

Folded fabric for dyingAfter reading the instructional booklet thoroughly, I decided to use the wooden blocks contained in the kit to accordion fold and bind some of my muslin. Rubber bands placed at various points on the fabrics promised to produce circular effects. Since I wanted to experiment with other effects, I randomly folded and bound two more pieces. The instructional booklet provided with the kit gives several ideas for using the rubber bands to produce unique effects, which is good for a beginner like me.

Hand dying resultsOf course showing you the final results is putting the process into fast forward. I found it a little nerve racking to try and photograph the process while wearing gloves and working with wet dye, especially since the dying vat needs to be protected from oxygen to work properly. So here are the highlights of the process, which, in retrospect was very simple.

1. Mix 4 gallons of warm water with the indigo agent in the bucket. Of course, using a large piece of plastic to protect the floor surface is essential unless working outdoors.

2. Mix the thiox and soda ash in hot water in a small container and let dissolve thoroughly.

3. Add the mixture to the vat slowly, taking care not to splash to much as you do not want to introduce too much oxygen to the vat. Let this mixture sit for an hour. A “flower” will form on the surface which will need to be removed. After removal, a yellow green mixture will be visible.

4. Place thoroughly wet fabrics into the vat, being careful not to splash, and making sure the fabrics do not sink to the bottom since residue forms there and can cause undesirable spots on the fabric.

5. Remove fabrics and place in a shallow pan to dry. They will appear yellow green. The air will cause them to oxidize and turn an indigo color.

Hand dying resultsI found the whole process to be fascinating. After I had rinsed and dried my fabrics, I set out to create a fun bird themed pillow.

Cut hand dyed fabricI used a rotary cutter and mat to cut four 9″ squares from my various patterns with the intention of producing a patchwork front. The back of the pillow was cut to the size of my pillow form, using a 1″ seam allowance.

Wool felt circleOnce I had the four pieces for the front sewed together, I fused a large wool felt circle to the center of the squares.

Sizzix bigshotUsing my Sizzix Bigshot Machine and favorite bird die, I cut out a bird from a piece of the indigo dyed muslin.

Hand dyed die cutI pinned the bird to the center of the circle and used the machine and a straight stitch to sew most of the bird, leaving a small area at the bottom open.

Pin on image

Sew on imageI lightly stuffed the bird with polyfil fiber for a three dimensional effect and sewed the bird closed.

Stuff imageThe rest of the process was nothing but fun, fun, fun as I embellished with free form stitching and a cute little stuffed wing.

Stuffed image on pillow

Embellishing imageI used Aleenes Fabric Fusion to adhere most of the fabric pieces to the pillow but Liquid Fusion for a little bird eye, made from a 6/0 pebble bead.

Hand dyed indigo pillow 2Once I had my pillow front and back sewn together, right sides in, I turned inside out, stuffed with a pillow form and whip stitched the bottom closed.

I have plenty of leftover fabric that I am going to use to create some summery accessories so stayed tuned!

Live Life Creatively,



Form Folding Jewelry

Whenever I find I am just mojoless or in a rut I usually end up teaching myself a new skill. Well, I stumbled upon an AWESOME metalsmithing technique called Fold Forming developed by Charlest Lewton – Brain in the 1980’s…I just found it this week  and fell in love it!! This site, Brain Press, has TONS of info if you’d like to see and understand how it’s done.

I decided to go find some copper to work on today. And here’s my first project. It’s not “Over the Top” amazing or anything but I love it! :) I have a second project in the works and a plan to work on some Sterling Silver that I have in the studio either later tonight or early tomorrow morning…


This is the pendant before I applied a black patina. I like it but it was “too shiny” so I decided to add some contrast by using a black patina.

2-10-12 First Form Folded Piece Prior to Patina - Keri Lee Sereika


And here’s the same piece just after I applied a bit of black patina to the top surface. Pretty neat change isn’t it? I like how it really brought out the contrast in the textures on here.

2-10-12 First Form Folded Piece After Patina - Keri Lee Sereika


Now, I only have one style hammer so I can’t get all the textures I would like right now but as I start to build my tool inventory I will be interested to see how this changes the look of the pieces I am making. This pendant is approximately 1 1/2″ x 4″. My second project is more oval/round in style and just about the size of  the bottom of a muffin pan I would guess…I will be sure to post pics of that one once I get it done. :) I am thinking that I may just start an Etsy store and sell these nifty things…my question is this, would you buy one? Would you wear one? Thoughts?