Sunday, October 26, 2014

Breakfast Worms


I promised to make these with the grandkids last month. Last night, we finally found time to create these slimy worms to celebrate Halloween. The kids are so excied to take take a baggie full of these worms in their lunch on Monday to share with friends.

For those interested, here is the delicious recipe.



INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pkg. (6 ox) purple gelatin/jello
  • 3/4 ounce (3 envelops) unflavored gelatin
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • green and red food coloring
  • 100 plastic straws with bendable necks



HOW TO:

  1. You will need a container that holds at least 4 cups of liquid and is as tall as it wide (so that the jello mixture will fill all the straws). 
  2. Make sure straws are flush with the bottom of the container. The bendable part of the straw should be fully extended and facing toward the bottom of the container.
  3. I used rubber bands to help hold the straws together.
  4. Combine the flavored and unflavored gelatin in a bowl. Stir in the boiling water and stir until completely dissolved. Set aside for about 20 minutes before stirring in the whipping cream.
  5. Add 20 drops of green food coloring and 10 drops of red.
  6. Place the container of straws in another container to catch any overflow.
  7. Slowly pour the jello mixture into the straws. There will be jello that seeps up the sides of the container. That is OK. As long as the straws are tightly packed, the jello will fill the straws.
  8. Chill the jello filled straws overnight. This is where it gets messy.
  9. Run warm water the sides of the container that holds the straw. Wiggle the straws around until you are able to remove them.
  10. There will be plenty of jello blob that follows this removal process. You don't want any of that mess.
  11. Gently extract the jello worm from each straw by tightly holding the top of the straw and applying pressure down the entire length of the straw with your thumb and forefinger.
  12. The straws will be slippery, so you may need to wipe them with a paper towel before you extract the worm.
  13. Place extracted worms in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.



Thursday, October 09, 2014

Oh the Things You Can Do With a Drawer!



This idea started with a small dresser I purchased at a garage sale for $30. At the time, I was clueless what I would do with this piece of furniture until yesterday when I learned a good friend's father had passed away suddenly. I wanted to gift something more than the usual florist arrangements. I surveyed what I had on hand and pick up additional items at the local farmer's market to make a Bountiful Blessings basket.

I started by spray painting the drawer in contrasting fall colors. The local farm down the road donated a garbage bag full of  unbundled straw which I used to fill the drawer.

Holes were drilled in the sides of the drawer to create faux handles. I used the straw rope that was attached to the dried vines I purchased at the market.

The drawer knobs were reattached for decoration and the Bountiful Blessings lettering was applied.

 I played around with the arrangement to get a feel for item placement and balance. The Osage Oranges were a great addition and freely drop from the trees that line my property.



Osage Oranges


Green and orange ribbon was casually woven throughout the arrangement and hot glued in place.

There were faux autumn leaves leftover from a Halloween costume I made for my granddaughter. They were a perfect fit for my Bountiful Blessings basket. With a few snips of my garden clippers I added some colorful oak leaf branches.




Once the funeral is over, this arrangement will make a wonderful addition to the front porch as a memorial to a special dad.

The total cost of this DIY arrangement was $30 and it will have more meaning to my friend than any florist arrangement I could have sent.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

The Birthday Chair



I recently attended a birthday party the the daughter of a close friend. I wanted to do something extra special and decided to re-purpose a desk chair for her bedroom. Upon seeing the chair, Chloe exclaimed, "Yay, now I can get rid of the boring chair that I have!"  I took that as affirmation that she loved the chair as much as I did.

Since then, I was commissioned to do another chair identical to this one and I'm quite happy to be dipping my paint brush in colors into the midnight hour.

My Crying Chairs are made for the outdoors, but this birthday chair is for indoor use only. It can be personalized with or without a name or date and is perfect for a sun room or enclosed pool or patio area.




My grandkids were invited to the party and I placed their gift on the chair seat and attached a couple of balloons. They loved it!

The chairs I repurpose are labor intensive, but when I see the gratitude in the face of the receiver, it's worth every minute of the time invested.

As with my Crying Chairs, a personalized poem that fits the occasion is attached to each uniquely designed chair.



Monday, August 04, 2014

Tea Cup Lampshade Transformation








I snagged this pink lampshade at a garage sale this weekend for $2. After a quick trip to the Goodwill store to scour for old jewelry and lace, this was the result. Total project cost was under $10.





Lace was re-purposed from a second-hand top. I cut around the lace to use on the lampshade and will use the remaining material for a future project. A hot glue gun was used to secure the lace to the top edge of the lampshade.







Old jewelry found at yard sales is perfect for adding ornate features to DIY projects.





Safety pins were used to temporarily position the jewelry where I wanted it. Once everything was in place, I secured the pieces with a needle and thread.

The lamp base is still a work in progress as I am waiting for the arrival of my diamond drill bit kit ordered from Amazon. Holes will be drilled in the bottom of each China piece. The lamp cord and rod will be threaded through the drilled holes.

Once assembled, the China pieces will be spray painted an antique cream color. I'll post later on the drilling process and show the finished lamp.

FYI: Picked up the china pieces at Goodwill for 30 cents each. It was 1/2 off all blue tags. I can make the teacup/saucer base for around $3. Makes me giddy thinking about it.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

The Crying Chair Project





Last fall, a dear friend of mine lost her son to an accidental overdose of a prescription drug. As you can imagine, she is overwhelmed with grief daily. Long after the sympathy cards, phone calls and visits have ceased, the loneliness consumes the heart and mind.

I gifted this crying chair to my friend on her birthday. It's a quiet place where she can kneel and let her tears water the soil of her buried grief. It was a labor of love and the pictures below show the progress.

I started with a $5 chair purchased at Goodwill and stripped off the tattered caning. Assorted mosaic pieces were used to cover the caning holes. Although, time consuming, the end result was quite stunning (at least I think so).

I lightly sanded the chair before applying a base coat of spray paint. My plan was to spray paint all the different colors, but that proved to be a bad idea. There is no way to control the direction of the spray. I resorted to hand brushing and it worked well.


 
As you can see (right), the results from the spray paint idea failed miserably. It was a live and learn experience.

Elmer's All-Purpose glue was used to secure the mosaic pieces to the chair. Natural color grout was then applied according the the direction provided on the container. I purchased premixed craft grout online at Dick Blick's. A coat of Krylon Brand clear coat was sprayed over the tiles to help protect them from the elements.





Mosaic tiles pieces were purchased online from Oriental Trading. They offer many different color assortments and reasonable prices.

The crying chair and poem were attached to the finished chair and secretly left on my friend's deck porch. The time and energy put into this project was worth it.









Wednesday, July 09, 2014

ITALY TRIP, PRICE INCREASES & MORE



It has taken a year of planning to get this Italy trip on the calendar and I can't believe it is happening this month (July 19 - July 29). Jenni, my A.T.I director, will handle "All Things Important"while I am away. I have total confidence in her ability to run business operations as usual. Nichelle and Chelsea will oversee warehouse operations to ensure orders are processed timely.



The Italy trip will encompass travels to Milano, Venice, Tuscany, Siena, Florence and Lake Garda. With my husband being in the fine wine business, there are many travel perks which we will enjoy; including 5-star hotels and a 3-night stay at Castle Vicchiomaggio in Tuscany.

ON THE BUSINESS END:

There are currently a number of business changes in the works which includes a 15-cent price increase on Mold Market molds. Our last price increase was over 3 years ago and we are no longer able to  absorb the continued price increase of plastic materials.

The updated prices go into effect September 1, 2014, and will appear on both Mold Market, Amazon and GoPlanetEarth web sites.



At the same time, order fulfillment for Mold Market customers (both retail, Amazon and wholesale distributors) will shift to our facility in Washington state. I am now determining the best way to make this transition as smooth as possible in both shipping costs and time in transit.


In January 2015 all Mold Market mold productions will be done at our Washington plant. This added benefit guarantees you will consistently receive the best product and materials in the market as we personally implement quality-control checks on every production.

There are so many new, exciting things going on in the background that I can't share yet; but stay tuned.

video

Here is a brief video clip of our recent trip to Washington. It shows how Mold Market molds are formed by one of the top USA mold makers in the industry. Lucky us (and you), to have an exclusive contract with the best of the best.

I look forward to sharing my wonderful Italy trip as well as all the exciting things in the works at Mold Market and GoPlanetEarth.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Under $2 Victorian Centerpieces





I've been on a Goodwill store craft craze the past month. There are so many wonderful finds that can be re-purposed for just a few dollars. I spotted six clear glass vases for 49 cents each. My mind whirred as I imagined all the things I could do with these vases. This pictures shows my final results.

I printed Scott's Rose pictures and sized them to fit the vases. Using a foam brush, apply Modge Pod to the back side of the pictures and carefully position in place. Let dry for about 15 minutes and apply a coat of Modge Pod to fronts of pictures. I used an antique Modge Pod for a vintage look.

The faux rose flowers stems were purchased at the local Dollar Store. The entire bunch cost $6 and filled six small vases and one large drain tile vase (pictured in the middle). The grand kids picked mini apples from the fruit trees in the yard and a wooden skewer was inserted to showcase them in the vases.

I had a couple of foam blocks leftover from another craft project and cut to fit inside the vases to hold the faux roses in place. Water was added to the vase to keep the greenery fresh (I snipped branches from trees in the yard).

Each vase cost less than $2 to make, and as you can see, the finished results were quite striking.