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Tile Coasters - Guest Blogger Teena Stewart

I'd like to thank my guest blogger, Teena Stewart from serendipitini.blogspot.com, for contributing today's tutorial.
Teena manages two handmade businesses. Serendipitini features handmade gifts such as wine bottle candles, sun catchers, jewelry and artwork incorporating recycling and creative reuse. Serendipitni Pet is dedicated to products for pet lovers including tile pet silhouette coasters, pet silhouette necklaces and pet silhouette prints.
Today Teena will show you how to make your own pet silhouette coaster.

Make You Own Coasters Tutorial by Teena Stewart

If you have ever had left over tiles from refurbishing a bathroom or kitchen and wondered what to do with them, this is a great opportunity for creative reuse. For this project you will need ceramic tile with non-glossy finish. Avoid natural stone tile that has no finish as you will have difficulty removing any botched images and these types of tiles tend to absorb ink more.
I hand stamp my coasters and make my own stamps.   I you wish to make your own stamps the Martronics Corporation is a good source. They sell a variety of things including stamp making supplies, stencil making and etching equipment. 
Ready made stamps can be found at most crafts store. For this project you will need:
  • A stamp pad with permanent ink. I use StazOn timber brown ink.
  • Matt or satin finish tiles smooth or semi-rough tiles.  I use 4" x 4" size from Lowes Home Improvement.
  • Rubbing alcohol, cotton balls and swabs
  • A stamp dauber and a small flat end paint brush
  • Stick on bumpers (four for each tile) (Found at hardware stores)
  • Clear acrylic spray (optional)

Clean and dry your tiles. Ink your stamp pad then tamp the stamp on the pad. Make sure the stamp is fully covered with ink. Center your stamp over the tile and press firmly. Wait a minute for that to dry. Take your dauber and daub ink in any blank places large enough for your dauber to fit in. Wait a minute for this to dry. For fine details you can use a small brush dipped in the ink. The ink is permanent and is also heat and cold resistant.
If you mess up, use a cotton ball and rubbing alcohol and, if necessary, remove the image. Wait for this to dry, then start over. You can use a Brillo pad if it is stubborn. The ink is permanent when it dries, but if you want to be extra sure of permanency, spraying with the acrylic spray will make it nearly impossible to take the ink off. Keep the spray a good distance from your stamped coasters and spray lightly. If you hold it too close the ink will blur and run. Once this is dry, add bumper feet to each coaster.

I sell my coasters in sets of four for $16.50. They are available in a variety of designs at
Serendipitni Pet on Etsy and SerendipitiniPet.com. 

For new releases, tips, specials, and product giveaways connect with Teena Stewart on her website at http://serendipitini.com and on her blog at http://serendipitini.blogspot.com.




Fun Find Friday - Crafty Kid Stuff

'Gifts for the crafty, creative child: summertime' by OhCanada


Storybook Cottage Playhouse - MonsterCityStudios
Storybook Cottage Playh...
$9750
Wooden Ribbon Wand - Impandfairydesigns
Wooden Ribbon Wand
$7
Play Silks - Waldorf Toy, The ORIGINAL Variegated Landscape Playsilk Set (11") / (3) Earth, Water, Sand -  Landscape Play - TheEnchantedCupboard
Play Silks - Waldorf To...
$15
Oilcloth Children Polka Dot/Cartoon Bicycle Handlebar Bag - SWEETPASSIONPRODUCTS
Oilcloth Children Polka...
$14
Blue Yellow Green Beanbags - nova0325
Blue Yellow Green Beanb...
$15
Beach Bucket - BlankSlateSavannah
Beach Bucket
$8
Sail Boat Building Kit - Piedpipercrafts
Sail Boat Building Kit
$24.98
Beach Ball Color Puzzle - CreatingAWruckus
Beach Ball Color Puzzle
$8
Personalized Authentic Radio Flyer "Little Red Wagon" (MADE TO ORDER) - ToysWithHeart
Personalized Authentic ...
$45
My Eclectic Family Quilt / full size coverlet/ throw/PICNIC blanket - EnchantedBirk
My Eclectic Family Quil...
$100
Sidewalk Chalk - Craie de Trottoir - Gift Sets and Party Favors - TruthKnocks
Sidewalk Chalk - Craie ...
$8.5
Superhero Cape PERSONALIZED Waldorf Gift - Boy Birthday present by pip and bean gift - pipandbean
Superhero Cape PERSONAL...
$25
Waldorf Inspired Kids Wooden Pretty Moth Play Toy - YoureInspired
Waldorf Inspired Kids W...
$7.25
Eco-Friendly Recycled Tire Horse Swings - (99 dollars) - Handcrafted, Safe, Strong, Kids, Family, Gift, Multiple Colors Available - TireUpCycles
Eco-Friendly Recycled T...
$99
Deluxe Sunnyseed Garden Kit - RaspberryPrairie
Deluxe Sunnyseed Garden...
$30
Kids Play Tent - Forest Animals - MaxnMiaFabrics
Kids Play Tent - Forest...
$85



Upcycled Wire Bracelet

A few weeks ago my husband needed a usb cable. Lucky for him, I am a pack rat about some things and have a giant bag filled with miscellaneous cables and cords. We found a cable that would work for him along with a bunch of cables for things we no longer need and for electronics we no longer own.

Among these obsolete treasures were a number of ethernet and telephone cords. We haven't had a land line phone for years and all of our computers and electronic devices connect to our network wirelessly. So, it would make sense that these cords are just junk and can be thrown away.

Or... Maybe there's a project here. Each of these cables are filled with brightly colored copper wires that would be wonderful for crafting. I'm sure they could be used for loads of different projects. I decided to make some festive braided bracelets.

Materials


  • ethernet or phone cable
  • wire cutters
  • scissors
  • safety pin
  • super glue (optional)

Directions


Find your perfect cord in the tangle of old cables stashed somewhere in a closet. I'm going to use the yellow one.








Use wire cutters to cut the plug off each end. Use scissors to remove a couple inches of the plastic outer cover. Inside you will find four beautiful strands of copper wire.







Pull the copper wires from the outer plastic tube. Don't throw the outer tube away quite yet. You will be using it later in the project.

Cut each wire so that it is at least 26-28 inches long. Depending on how long your original cord was, you may be able to just cut each wire in half and make multiple bracelets.




If you look closely, you will notice that each of the copper wires is actually two wires wrapped together. Gently pull apart each wire.

I used the orange, orange and white, brown, and brown and white wires for my bracelet, but you can use whatever combination of four wires that you like.





Fold each of the wires in half. Insert a safety pin in the middle of the wires and secure the safety pin to something. I usually just pin it to my pant leg while I work.

Now you are going to do some 4-strand braiding with your four colors of wire.






Start with the color on the right. Working from right to left, weave it over, under, then over the other three colors of wire.








Weave the new color on the right, over, under and over the other colors.









Repeat with the third color.









Repeat with the final color.









Keep braiding in this manner until you reach the end of the wire. The pattern will look like this.








Once you reach the end of the wire you can unpin your work and remove the safety pin.








Cut a piece of the tubing that is about an inch long. This is what you will use to secure the ends of your bracelet.

Roll the tubing in your hands to soften the plastic a little.






Pull the ends of the wires through the tube.









Use one of the excess lengths of wire to guide the looped end of your bracelet through the tube. Pull the guide wire through the looped end of the bracelet.








Run the guide wires through the tube.









Use the guide wire to pull the looped end through the tube.This takes a little bit of muscle.

Adjust the length of your bracelet. Mine is nine inches around but you can make it smaller to fit a child's wrist or larger if necessary.

Once your bracelet if the desired size, remove the guide wire and unbraid both ends of the bracelet as far as you can.


Trim the excess wires as closely to the tube as possible. Carefully slide the tube slightly so that the wires that will be touching your wrist are completely concealed by the tube.

If desired, you can put a drop of super glue inside each end of the tube to secure the bracelet and ensure that it won't accidentally be pulled apart.




Once the glue has completely dried you can slip on your new bangle to add a little color to your day and be proud that you gave something old a new life.







Expect Excellence - Striped Knit Afghan

If you have been keeping up with my Facebook page, you already know that I am in the process of creating a knit afghan to go with a new throw pillow I bought for our living room. I love the colors and the playful design of the pillow. So, I want the coordinating afghan to incorporate those features. Even though I plan on keeping the actual afghan for my home, I am writing down the pattern so I can sell it in my Etsy shop when my finished product is complete.

While I have done a lot of knitting over the years, I have never knit an entire afghan, I have only crocheted them. In knitting, the stitches are smaller, so projects just take longer to complete. That thought has always been enough to stop me from tackling a knit afghan. But, it's time for a change. I love the delicate patterns you can create with knitting, and I already had the perfect stitch in mind for this project.

I decided to work my afghan in striped sections for three reasons. First, it would be easy to see my progress. I can knit a scarf in a day or two, so I should be able to complete each section relatively quickly.  Second, even thought this project will take a few weeks to complete, if I work each strip in different colors I won't get bored with the pattern. Third, it's a lot more portable to work an afghan in sections instead of an entire piece.

After just a few days of work, I had completed the first three sections. I decided to stitch them together before starting the next stripe.


I am a firm believer that any project worth doing is worth doing well and that the back of a project should look as neat as the front. I have very high standards for myself and I expect excellence in each item I create.

That's why I was so thrilled at the way I was able to join these pieces together. On the front of the afghan, the seams are nearly invisible. You can barely see the strand of yarn that holds each section together.




On the back of the afghan, the seams are just as invisible.

I am very proud about how nicely this afghan is coming together. Although, my family probably thinks I am a little crazy because I keep making them look at the back of the project as I rant about how happy I am with it's appearance.

At least they still love and support me through all my obsessive pursuit of excellence through my crafts!




Nifty and Swifty - Water Bottle Vases

Create some “Wow” right now with a quick and easy project that can be crafted in 20 minutes or less!


Every year people use millions, maybe billions of disposable, plastic water bottles. Chances are you have one in your refrigerator, back pack, purse or gym bag right now. You'll feel a little bit better about using one of these disposable bottles if you recycle it when it's empty. Better yet, give it new life by turning it into a vase.

This project is very similar to my post about wine bottle vases, but easier to make. In fact, even the kids may enjoy this project. It's a simple and fun way to repurpose an empty plastic sports bottle.

Materials


  • plastic water bottle with a sports top
  • scissors or small utility knife
  • aquarium gravel
  • soil
  • small house plant or herbs
  • dried moss (optional)

Directions


Before you begin, remove the bottle label. If any adhesive remains on the bottle, rub a couple drops of cooking oil on it. Wash the bottle and top with soap and warm water.

Using scissors or a small utility knife, remove the flip top. Replace the rest of the top back on the bottle.






Carefully cut around the one of the grooves in the plastic about halfway down the bottle. Younger kids may need help with this part.







Turn the top of the bottle upside down and place it into the bottom of the bottle.











Fill the neck of the bottle with aquarium gravel.











Add a couple spoonfuls of soil.











Place your plant and finish filling the top with soil. I used a zebra plant, but just about any kind of small houseplant would work. You could also plant small herbs if you like.









I topped my vase with a bit of dried moss to help hold the moisture in the soil and just look pretty.

Add water to the bottom of the bottle and refill as necessary.

Enjoy your tiny, earth friendly garden!









Fun Find Friday - Feeling Blue

'Its Blue & for you ' by cindysue5

All types of lovely blue items that are eye catching, heart warming & inspiring.

Royal Blue Fascinator - "Penny" Mesh Hat Fascinator with Mesh Ribbons and Royal Blue Feathers - EyeHeartMe
Royal Blue Fascinator -...
$54
TARDIS Doctor Who Blue LED Glow Lights Hair Flower Rose Fascinator - LittleAsianSweatshop
TARDIS Doctor Who Blue ...
$36
Wedding pomanders White Ivory Royal blue Wedding flower balls Flower girl Kissing ball Ceremony decorations - BrideinBloomWeddings
Wedding pomanders White...
$18
My Big Blue Balls Cat Toy - WraptCats
My Big Blue Balls Cat T...
$6
Blue Butterfly Friendship Necklace, Blue Morpho, 16 inch chains - PeachesandPebbles
Blue Butterfly Friendsh...
$22
NEW- Cobalt Blue Scarf  Shawl - DIDUCI
NEW- Cobalt Blue Scarf ...
$19.9
Infinity Headband - Ear Warmer - Evening Sky Blue - READY TO SHIP - GrandmasCrochetCotta
Infinity Headband - Ear...
$6
Malibu Blue Spandex Bandeau - Twisted Swimsuit Top - endoriwear
Malibu Blue Spandex Ban...
$20
Stained Glass Deep Blue & Beveled Diamond Window Panel - TheGlassShire
Stained Glass Deep Blue...
$57
Vortex Fused Glass Dichroic Blue Pendant - ShinyandWeird
Vortex Fused Glass Dich...
$14
Set of 4 Cobalt Blue Recycled Riesling Wine Bottle Drinking Glasses - jellyBgreen
Set of 4 Cobalt Blue Re...
$34
Police Officer Wedding Garters Blue Crystal Badge Blue Thin Line Royal Blue and Black Garter Set - ElegantGarterShop
Police Officer Wedding ...
$48
Yarn Bowl or Knitting Bowl in Cobalt Blue - bluegreenartisan
Yarn Bowl or Knitting B...
$28
crochet hoop earring, crochet earrings, blue crochet earrings, blue earrings, crocht circle earrings, crochet jewelry - DaniJewls
crochet hoop earring, c...
$5.99
WOW Blue Sequin Fabulous GLITZ Cheerleading Bow - FunBows
WOW Blue Sequin Fabulou...
$14
BLUE SPRUCE Quilt Kit with Hand Dyed Fabrics - HandDyedFabrics
BLUE SPRUCE Quilt Kit w...
$74.49