Teeny Tiny Baked Pies

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If only baking pies were this easy, my hubby would be a happy camper for sure. I spent the afternoon making these for the infamous fairy garden I haven’t completed yet. Saw some inspiration on Pinterest, and decided she should have a picnic in her future forest home. You know me well enough by now, I can never make just one, that would be a sin.

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Items needed:

polymer clay, I used tan, medium brown, cherry red, blueberry, lemon yellow, and white

bottle caps

fondant roller and a sharp knife

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So I started with the crust, just like the edible kind, knead the clay until its soft, and roll with the fondant roller to 1/8″ thick. Using the bottle caps to cut, press into the clay and turn them over.

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I pushed the clay up the sides and into the bottom. Then pinched off tiny amounts of red clay and rolled into tiny balls (for the cherries and blue for the blueberries) and filled each “pie” to a heaping amount.

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They almost look real, right? Next, the top crust. You can roll out traditional lattice, or use a small cutout. One of the ‘pies” I rolled the edges of the crust and applied to the edge.

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Pop them in the oven according to package directions. (265 degrees for 30 mins) They don’t smell as good as real pies, but they look good!!  I also did a couple of Lemon Meringue pies, Just use a darker color for the crust, fill the middle with yellow, and top with white “meringue”. I cut a slice out so you could see the middle of these ones.

Enjoy!

Debbie

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Twenty Dollar Whiskey Bottle Lamp

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What game room isn’t complete without a whiskey bottle lamp, I ask you? And if you could make it for under twenty bucks, even better! So last week at work, (I work in a major grocery store) I was holding a rather large bottle of whiskey for a customer, and while admiring the size, shape and price, thought to myself; self, you could make a nice lamp out of that. But since I’m more of a vodka drinker, and hubby is a beer chugger, I had to find a willing whiskey drinker to go halfsies on that bottle. No shortage there, in fact, he had a smaller one empty to boot! You could certainly use any bottle, once you’ve emptied it. Perhaps a favorite wine, spirit, or reminder from the trip to Vegas?

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Items you will need:

Empty bottle, washed and dry

Bottle lamp kit

Lampshade (if you’re still not wearing it)

electrical tape

screwdriver

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You can see by my receipt, I paid about 15 bucks total on the shade and bottle kit. (no drilling necessary if you use one of these) and the bottle could be from the trash. I’m sure if you ask around there’s a whiskey drinker in every circle of friends, as well as the local pub.

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Follow the directions in the package to assemble the socket. Pull the cord through the bottom hole, separate it and tie a knot so it won’t pull back down. Attach to the side screws and tighten with a screwdriver.

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Place the socket into the casing and tighten the fittings so they’re secure. I used the pour spout to hold it in place, just snipped the bottom out so the screw would fit all the way down. Most of the kits come with different size stoppers, but the neck on this bottle was too big for them.

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I decided to tape around the connection, for two reasons. First, to make the socket super stable, and secondly to continue the black up like the original bottle neck was sealed. Since my lampshade wasn’t going to cover it entirely, seemed like the best way to “finish” it off.

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The shade had a harp inside that just rests on the socket, snugged it down, put in a lightbulb, plugged it in……..

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Taa Daa!!! instant Man Cave worthy lighting!! I think I’m going to do a solar version for the patio, and I guess you noticed the soap/lotion dispenser too. Well that took about 30 seconds to make. Just wash out the bottle, and insert a pump. The screw threads are universal, and I found the black pumps online at about a dollar a piece.

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So, I’ved added a solar option, gotta take one camping right? Solar light, $5 bucks, bottle free, and some small river stones from the dollar store a buck! Think it’ll get a lot of use this year!

As always never let your imagination go stale, keep on creating.

Enjoy,

Debbie

Fabulous Fairy Gardens

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Meet Giselle, she’s my muse. I’m currently obsessed with fairies and fairy gardens. She’s my inspiration for a looong blog about her home, and the future homes for her friends. Brace yourself, this is gonna be a long one, with more cuteness than you can stand. Lots of teeny tiny, pretty magical things.

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First let’s pick out her a home. Hmmmmm? perhaps a pretty birdcage. Think she would be happy “caught” in a nice white Victorian style. Found this white wire one with a lovely crystal birdie on top at Michael’s, the top opens completely up making working inside easy. Since the bottom had a rather dense border around it, I decided to cut a cardboard circle the width of it to lift her “floor” up to the level of the open bars. This also gave me room to poke items through the bottom, and later the battery pack for something magical….

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I’ve already been working on items for her place, including a table and some lovely wire chairs. Purchased flower pots and a “pickle” barrel. I’ve been secretly collecting some decor items, as well as crafting items too. I laid them roughly out to figure out how big a patio and path I wanted on her “floor”.

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I applied some tacky glue with a paintbrush, and used decorative sand from the dollar store to create the path and patio. Probably could have used sandpaper if I had any, but this was just as easy. Next I added dried moss to the sides, and lined the path with tiny polished stones.

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A wonderful friend of mine, makes tiny chairs out of wire. She did these two “peacock” style green wire chairs from a pin I had pinned for inspiration. She originally made the seats of moss, but they didn’t show up well in the space. I toyed with both a flattened acrylic stone, still too light and finally decided to “upholster” two large button covers with a micro rose print for the seat cushions.

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 The table was crafted using 20 gauge wire table base, and an oval piece of balsa wood. You could also make a nice one from a small slice of wood from a branch. Just watch your scale.

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I decided to stain the tabletop a dark walnut. Also used the same stain on the pickle barrels, but top coated them with a gold paint and rubbed off the excess. Using outdoor expoy glue, attached the base to the top after staining. You could paint, stain, mosaic, or leave natural your table top. Whatever you and your muse decide

Since its early morning, I gave her a cup of coffee, some purchased gardening tools, and a teeny tiny pot to plant. You can glue these on or use miniature wax to stick them to the table.

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Thought she needed some “friends” so I took a few seashells, and a little “transparent” Fimo clay to create a bunch of snails to live with her. I made a slimy body with antenna, pushed the shell into the back, and baked according to package directions.

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So many great ideas on pinterest, saw this cutie. Wire shepherds hook, with a teeny tiny birds nest made out of an acorn top. I got this, acorns, check, moss, check, teeny tiny eggs made with clay (baked with the snails) check….

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How ’bout some mushrooms? of course! Just out of the oven as well, baked escargot,  Mushrooms and eggs….Hubby thought I was talking about dinner. Imagine his surprise when he peeked in the oven!

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I put the mushrooms on toothpicks. that way I could poke them into the ground. I have several red & white glitter clay, and pink and white marbled. (In already planning a second outdoor home).

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Golf tee plus marble…equals gazing ball!  Mushroom, rocks and moss….

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Final touch, lights!! set of 20 super tiny battery-powered lights! Magical!!! Pushed up from the bottom, batteries not included, but worth the last-minute revamp of her floor.

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You can find some fabulous miniatures online, and the craft stores and some garden centers are now carrying many super cute items for fairy gardens, but follow my motto: don’t buy what you can make! She has a friend waiting for an outdoor home. I have a leaky bird bath perfect for her future home. This is going to be a group craft with my friends, so well post as soon as we get them done!

Enjoy,

Debbie

The “Rock” Bird Retreat

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So I saw these darling little rustic birdhouses on Pinterest, and thought to myself: Self, you can do that. So I did, several of them, and more to come. I do have a handy hubby, and he could totally “rock out” some custom birdhouses for me to jazz up, but I opted for getting them done this year.

IMG_0723So I went to my “not so local” craft store and loaded up a cart of inspiration, and here they are.

Supplies needed for the “Rockhouse”

Unfinished birdhouses (I opted for the plain ones, more space to apply decorative items)

Small polished river stones (you can purchase a mesh bag, or collect your own)

Mastic (pre-made tile glue from the home improvement store)

Copper paint

small paintbrush

plastic knife and fork (for applying the mastic)

Clear Gloss Sealer

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That’s all for this basic one, but the possibilities are unlimited. I also purchased tiny seashells, seashell chips, sand and granite landscape rocks. You can also use “found” items like pennies, wine corks, pinecone pieces, moss, twigs, bottle caps, (I was even thinking of coffee beans for my favorite Barista). but for now lets keep it simple.

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These little pre made houses are so cute, you could just paint and be done but where’s the fun in that? I started by painting the roof metallic copper. I just used my craft paint stash. These are purely decorate at this point so you might want to keep them out of the weather if possible. On this one, I opted to paint the perch too. *tip: I should have painted the bottom ledge before I applied the rocks.  Now on to the fun part.

The mastic is pre-made and super easy to work with. I used a plastic knife to spread out 1/2″ layer to the side of the house. I took the fork and made “trowel” lines through the mastic. I figured since this stuff is water-resistant, its made for floor tile, it should hold these tiny rocks and hold up to some garden water. Working around each side, I applied the tiny stones in a random pattern until all of the surface was covered. I did pick out some longish ones to place around the birdie hole, in a starburst shape, and tried to keep too many matching ones touching (Yes, OCD again) but you gotta go with the flow! I’m a sucker for a gloss finish, so I decided to spray the entire thing with clear gloss sealer, plus I intend to put these in the  flower planter hubby hasn’t built yet.

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Just like potato chips, you can’t have just one….

left to right: the Rock, Beach Bungalow, Mossy Oak, the Mint, Chateau Chablis, the White House and City Lights.

Now accepting applications for new tenants they’re ready to go!

 

Enjoy!

Debbie

Summer cooling bandanas

Cooling bandanas are super easy to make. If you can sew a straight or almost straight line you can do it! It might be snowing outside today, but summer will be here soon enough and you want to be ready.

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Here’s all you’ll need:
Inexpensive bandanas
Thread to match or contrast  (I used white for contrast)
Water storing crystals  (in the garden center)
A sewing machine
Scissors
Measuring spoon

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I found my bandanas for a dollar each, and since you only need 1-1 1/2 tsp. crystals per bandana, these are super budget friendly. I’ve seen these sold at summer fairs for up to ten bucks each. But, on a hot day in August at the rib cook off, I almost paid it to cool off!

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Start by folding your bandana in half crosswise. Right sides facing each other. Mark a spot 6 inches back from each point. This is where you will make the casing for the crystals. I used a pin on each end to mark.

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You want to sew from the folded side down 1 1/2 inches from the edge, stop with your needle down in the fabric. Lift the pressure foot and turn the fabric to sew along the long side. Sew down to your second mark but don’t turn. You need to leave this open to put in the crystals. Remove from your machine, and clip your threads. You’ve just made a pocket (tube) to hold the “magic” crystals.

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Use a measuring spoon to scoop 1/4- 1/2 tsp. of crystals and pour into the opening you just created. Be sure to keep the crystals away from children and pets, they’re highly toxic! Shake them down to the end of the tube. I suggest you split up this tube into four sections so all the crystals don’t bunch into one clump. Sew a line across the pocket about 3-4 inches from the end to keep those crystals there. Repeat this 3 more times for a total of four pockets. They only need to be measured if your OCD is acting up, otherwise just eyeball it. When you close the final pocket, double stitch it, and continue down the long side and finish a double line at the other end.

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Now flip the bandana open, right sides out, crystal pockets inside, and stitch along the edge of the pockets over again. This puts a double layer of fabric over the crystals, and hides any boo boos.

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You can get fancy with your sewing machine and use a decorative top stitch.  I was working on quantity, so plain straight stitch for these.

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To use them, just soak in cold water 2-3 hours (try it overnight in the fridge). They can be stored wet in a ziplock bag, or let them dry out completely when not in use. Good to keep a couple in your vehicle or RV. Great for hiking, biking or anytime the heat is on!

Enjoy!
Debbie