Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Handmade Christmas Paper Straw Wreath

paper straw wreath
Paper Straw Wreath
This year,  I actually got to make sheet music decoupage ornaments and this easy paper wreath before Christmas! Being a jeweler, I don't get a whole lot of extra time for the fun stuff just before Christmas.   I was lucky to be able to fit some crafts in this year!

See my earlier post about making a fun flower burst wreath or paper straw wreath tutorial for directions.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Recycle, Reuse, Remake, Repurpose... Upcycle!

upcycled wall art
The original upcycled bottle cap mosaic

A repurposed blog post about upcycling upcycled art!  I just had some fun with photos of my upcycled bottle cap mosaic. See directions on my original post about  bottle cap art to make one of these yourself!

I took a bunch of photos and got this blurred one that is perfect for the background on my Tumblr blog! I am lucky I have a mac and just used iphoto to increase the saturation and reduce the noise to get an interesting effect.

repurposed art

The cool thing about 3-d art  you can take pictures at different angles that can be reused for various things or you can just frame it and hang it!

upcycling bottle caps

This one I used Gimp, a free photo editing program similar to photoshop, to posterize and play with the hues.  I really like how it looks but I am not sure where I'm going to use it yet!


So, whether it is a blog post, art or photo it is okay to upcycle or repurpose! How do you reuse or repurpose? Please share you ideas here!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Decoupage Christmas Ornaments DIY

decoupage ornaments

I kept seeing these fun decoupaged ornaments on Pinterest. Since I had some sheet music left over from my decoupaged mannequin project,  I thought I would give a try even though I still have an ocean themed tree this year.

Christmas craft ideas

 I used  styrofoam balls; these are kind of expensive at $5 a bag!  Be sure to bring your Joann's coupon to save a bit or better yet,  find some super cheap plastic ornaments with the hangers already on them at a dollar store. You can find sheet music super cheap at thrift store. Some papers tear easily and others you may want to cut; about 3/4 to 1" strips.

Christmas crafting
I diluted some decoupage glue; 2 parts water to 1 part glue in a bowl then dipped strips of sheet music and wrapped them around the ball, it wasn't easy at first but when the ball is almost all covered you can smooth it with your hands.

decoupaged ornament

 Or stick it in a plastic bag to smooth:

DIY ornaments

 Or roll it on a cutting plastic board:

handmade Christmas ornaments

Once they are almost dry you can smooth them more; rub the bumps with your fingernail  or roll on the board.  I added customized names I printed our on white paper ( you might want to test to see if your ink runs. If it does, you could seal it first with a light coat of clear acrylic spray.) Then paint a coat of the decoupage glue to seal them and sprinkle some glitter on and let dry.

sheet music decoupage

For the hangers, I glued ribbon with a hot glue gun and stuck a few pins in to hold.

musical ornaments

Right now they look great in a bowl but may have to get a second tree!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

DIY Decoupage Mannequins for Jewelry or Accessories Display

decoupaged bust

DIY Decoupage Bust for Jewelry or Accessories Display.  I just love this vintage sheet music bust I saw on the blog, The Polka Dot Closet. Since I make both vintage and modern jewelry I decided to use just regular sheet music I found super cheap at a thrift store. The form including shipping was under $30,  I ordered from Barr Display. For more details and how to make it go to  The Polka Dot Closet

decoupage manniquin
And here she is modeling my modern upcycled jewelry!

 I have a lot of sheet music left over! You only need about 1/2 of  book so I think I will be making some customized Christmas ornaments, so stay tuned!

earring display
My mannequin head modeling some of my fun earrings

 This mannequin head was my first. I got the form from Sally's Beauty Supply for under $5 and just used the crossword puzzle and comic section of the newspaper. Being the crazy artist I am,  I got a few more of these heads to decorate just for fun for another project!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Holiday Gift Ideas Under $25, Handmade Gift Guide

Etsy gift Ideas

This year, why not support your favorite artisans by purchasing handmade gifts on Etsy!  From pet lovers, gardeners to the eclectic, there is something here for everyone with the convenience of handmade shopping online. You won't have to break your budget either.  Everything here is under $25!    See my Etsy Gift Ideas, Handmade gift guide for the 2012 Holidays.

Here is my latest handmade gift collection for dog lovers; all under $25 :

'Gift Ideas for Dog Lovers, Gifts Under 25' by BluKatDesign

Gifts under $25 for dog lovers

Dachshund Wiener Dog art print black and tan - custom dog wall art - chevron puppy pictures custom dog portrait art for boys - PaperLlamas
Paw Print Keychain - jimclift
Dog Magnets,  Pop Art Dog, Shih Tzu - BluKatDesign
Wiener Dog Dachshund Pillow - Doxie Chartreuse Dot Delight - persnicketypelican
Poodle Earrings -  Dog Earrings -  French Poodles - Vintage  Retro Inspired Dog Jewelry - Pink Poodle Earrings - Dog Lovers - koolstuff2
8x8 Cute Terrier pop art photo on watercolor paper for home decor and pet lovers - susansphotoart
pet leash hooks, personalized, dog lovers leash hanger, with pups' names and double hook - riricreations
Dog Paw Stud Earrings - Paw Print Earring Posts - Black and White Earring Posts - Free Shipping Etsy - Cyber Monday Etsy - MistyAurora
Scrabble Tile Necklace - Woof Dog Print - Red and White Pendant - Innocinch
Personalized Custom Dog Silhouette with Name/Birthdate (optional) - 5"x7" - karimachal
POP ART PRINT- Pug Dog- Yellow Background- Signed by Artist A.V.Apostle- 8"x10" - AVApostleDesign
Colorful Dog Art Gift Magnet Your Choice 2 x 3 Heavy Duty Magnet - GoingPlaces2
Dalmation Dog Pillow Black White Spots Dottie - Treasury - WillowTreasures
Brooch resin Black greyhound dog - Bunnys
Boxer No. 2 - Magnet 2x3" - ursuladodge
Hand stamped brass dog tag bone  with name and phone number 19x32mm - beadsoul

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Costume Jewelry Storage Tip

Costume Jewelry Storage Tip:

To prevent your costume jewelry, sterling silver or handmade costume jewelry from tarnishing, keep in Ziploc baggies! It is difficult to tell just by looking at a costume piece if it is going to tarnish or not so to be safe, I keep almost everything in plastic bags!

storing costume jewelry

Be sure to see these tips on cleaning rhinestone jewelry.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hunting for Mushrooms

wild mushrooms
Wild Lobster Mushrooms and Chanterelles

It is the time of year for fall mushrooms! I love hunting for chanterelles, hedgehogs, matsutake, bear's head coral, boletes or whatever I can find! Here is a painting I did a few years ago. It reminds me of searching for chanterelles in the vine maple.

hunting for chanterelles
1999 Acrylic "Hunting for Chanterelles"

Wild mushrooms are a little more difficult to cook; the high water content plus butter can turn them into slime! Here are some cooking methods and tips for wild mushrooms.

For information on cooking wild mushrooms please see my Squidoo article.

I was also hunting for mushrooms on Etsy but not a single matsutake found! I love the aroma of the piney cinnamon; totally reminds me of fall!


'On the Hunt for the Matsutake Mushroom' by BluKatDesign

Not a single one found here on Etsy but I can sure smell them!

White mushroom necklace, White Ombre - bettula
Cinnamon & Sugar Buski Stubble with Button Closure - BuskiBeard
Pine forest Autumn photography Bright green and orange fall Photo 20x20cm (8x8inches) - peraboom
White Mushrooms - Pink Spots Nature Scene Pincushion Made To Order Home Decor - FoxtailCreekStudio
Organic soap with cinnamon - elsaba
PINE - Incense sticks - nikkicandles
Hot Cinnamon White Chocolate Candy - NicolesTreats
Oatmeal Cinnamon Soap Set of Four 4 oz Bars - aprilshowerssoaps
FIRESIDE POTPOURRI - Red hot cinnamon scent,  comes with bottle of refresher oil - NHWoodscreations
Set Of Six Red and White Mushroom Ornaments - WanderingLydia
Cinnamon sticks decorated Candle unscented - ready to ship - BlackParrotCreations
Fall Pine Cone Teacup and Saucer - PEAKaBooVintage
1962 Abruptly-bulbous Agaricus Vintage Offset Mushroom Lithograph to Frame - CabinetOfTreasures
Lacy Fingerless Mittens // CHOOSE YOUR COLOR // Shown in Mushroom Brown - yarncrazygirl
5 White with Cinnamon spice Frit Lampwork Bead Set SRAF34 - ferrarioriginalbeads
White Mushroom Garden Statue - Glazed Ceramic - vintage style - EnchantdMushroomLand