Showing posts with label Crafts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Crafts. Show all posts

Friday, July 3, 2020

Just CrossStitch Magazine in Print, on Kindle, & DVD Reviewed

Just CrossStitch Reviewed
Very few magazines are interesting enough for me to pay for a subscription, especially since just about everything can found on the internet.  However, I do subscribe to Just CrossStitch.  Every time a new issue arrives, I drop whatever I am doing and browse the pages.  Then I set it aside for later, when I have time to really examine the patterns and mark what I might want to stitch.

Just CrossStitch includes beautiful pictures of each finished project, plus easy to read full patterns.

I have saved years of back subscriptions of Just CrossStitch!  I never know when I will feel the itch to stitch and I do love having a variety of patterns available.  

Long before I started my subscription, I would buy the issues every time I visited Barnes & Noble, which used to be quite often before I was gifted with a Kindle.  It was our favorite date night to dine out and then head over to B&N.   
 


Just CrossStitch Magazines


 Just CrossStitch Magazine -Single Issue
December 2017
Check Price
Unlike books, a magazine is very lightweight, which makes it easy to carry when we travel. I always carry either a cross stitch project or a crochet project with me in the car or on a plane.

I well remember cross stitching a bookmark from a Just CrossStitch magazine pattern for my son in the airport on a layover with a flight delay.  It was such a restful way for me to wait.  I didn't stress at all over the delay.  As a matter of fact, I remember thinking how I wished I had time to make a bookmark for our daughter too.

Every time I see my son using that bookmark, I think how glad I am that I used that layover time to make something special for him.  I am also glad the magazine had just the right pattern within its pages.  Of course, that was probably why I selected that particular issue to carry with me.  

Tip:  Patterns for bookmarks only require being small single images pulled from any cross stitch design.  They don't have to be titled "bookmark" for the pattern to work well on a bookmark.

You can purchase the individual issue that you want like I did in years past, or you can subscribe to receive your issue in the mail.  An annual subscription includes 6 issues, plus the Christmas Ornament special edition.

Surprisingly, the Just CrossStitch magazine is now available on Kindle!  I haven't personally tried viewing the magazine on my Kindle since I have the print issue subscription, but I can see how it would be awesome to get them on my Kindle Fire.  (The Kindle Fire will provide color pictures.)



Just CrossStitch DVD's

Just CrossStitch Collection 1983-–1990Just CrossStitch Collection 1983-–1990Check Price
Don't stress if you wish you had discovered this wonderful magazine years ago!  You can purchase DVD's that have the back issue patterns for multiple past years. 

The DVD's contain every issue of the years noted of the Just CrossStitch magazine.  They consist of PDFs that are searchable, plus provide printer-friendly charts. Therefore, you can print out a pattern and carry it with you wherever you go.  Even though I have the magazines, I like having the convenience of the DVD for searching out a pattern of choice.  

When you insert the DVD into your computer's DVD-ROM drive, it will open a list of file names. Simply select the year, then the month you wish to view and open using the free version of Adobe Reader. You can print the patterns by clicking on the print icon of the Adobe Reader.




I Prefer to View On Full Screen and click my mouse to click through the pages. 
 (use the ESC key on your keyboard to close the full screen viewing) 


There are also Halloween or Christmas patterns from the Just CrossStitch magazine available on DVD.








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Friday, May 1, 2020

How to Make a Very Easy Afghan with Loop Yarn

Almost anyone can make a loop yarn afghan! No needles or hooks are required. All you need are your fingers and small scissors.
Almost anyone can make a loop yarn afghan!   

Even someone with arthritis who can no longer grip a crochet hook or knitting needles can make a loop yarn afghan that is beautiful.  This would also be the perfect afghan project for those who don't know how to knit or crochet.

Loop yarn is not a normal string of yarn, it is made with loops.  Most of the patterns either say knit or crochet, but you really are not doing either.  No needles or hooks are required.  You only use your fingers to weave the yarn.

When I first spotted Yarnspirations loop yarn, I knew I wanted to make something with it.  Normally, I would find a pattern and want to make a specific item.  However, in this case, it was the yarn that called to me.  I bought the yarn, then went on a search for a pattern.  I knew exactly what I would make when I discovered this afghan pattern that resembles a cable stitch. 

The Bernat Alize loop yarn is the softest yarn I have ever touched.  When my son first touched my afghan while I was making it, he said if felt like a chinchilla.  He is absolutely right!  I had been saying it felt like petting a baby rabbit, but it really is softer than a bunny.  This yarn truly is a joy to work with and to touch.


Loop Yarn Easy Afghan Pattern


I discovered this fabulous video that taught me how to make the pattern I love.  Instead of trying to write out instructions, I'll share the video.  It is very easy to follow and makes a lovely design.  

I do have a few tips to share before you begin.  

  1. Have a pair of small scissors available.  You start the project by cutting a few of the loops open.  You will also need them each time you start a new skein of yarn.
  2.  Decide how wide you want your afghan before you start.  I opted for a throw size afghan (100 loops - 60" wide), which is approximately half the size of a standard throw. 
  3. I originally purchased 10 skeins of yarn, but that was not quite enough for my desired length.  I actually needed 12 skeins.
  4. After you have completed the first few rows, the pattern design is easy to see, which makes continuing each row very easy.
  5. Instead of sitting at a table, I use a lap desk that sits on the arms of my recliner.  That allows me to watch a movie while making my afghan.

As you can see in my photos, I used a variegated denim blue & white colored yarn.  This yarn is available in 10 - 12 different colors (see below).  I highly recommend using the Yarnspirations Bernat Alize Loop Yarn.

 



My Lap Desk


In case you are interested, you can purchase a lap desk just like mine on Etsy.  Clearly, you can use the lap desk for a lot of other things as well as crafts.  It even has a groove on each side for pens, pencils, markers, craft tools, etc.   

Click my image below to see the actual Etsy listing and shop where I purchased mine. 

 Lap Desk Available on Etsy

To See Several Colors Available, Click Here!





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House of Sylvestermouse




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Friday, January 3, 2020

How to Make a Quilt Magic Kit Wall Hanging Reviewed

Last year I made a Quilt Magic wall hanging for each of my children for Christmas.  They turned out to be really beautiful gifts and a surprise that I hope my children will treasure.  

How to Make a Quilt Magic Kit Wall Hanging Reviewed
Quilt Magic Kits are awesome! They make a great beginner craft, as well as a unique project for more experienced crafters.  The kits take more time than you might expect, but that is part of the value of a finished project. 

I am well accustomed to working with fabric.  After all, I have been sewing since my early teens.  As an experienced crafter, I enjoy taking on new crafting challenges.  I tend to consider any new craft technique a call to action.  The Quilt Magic kits caught my attention immediately and seemed to beckon me.  Needless to say, I answered the call.

I immediately purchased a fabulous Quilt Magic wall hanging to make for our son.  However, I needed one for our daughter.  It took me two years to find the right kit for her, but as soon as I laid eyes on the elephant Quilt Magic Kit, I knew I had finally found the right one.  Then the fun began!


Quilt Magic Kits


The kits include almost everything you need.  You will also need scissors, an iron, and a punch tool for pushing the fabric into the form.  You can use a dull kitchen knife, but I highly recommend purchasing the Quilt Magic punch tool separately.  A standard kitchen knife doesn't have a pointed end, which you need for some corners.


How to Make a Quilt Magic Kit Wall Hanging Reviewed
Kits Include:  Pre-cut Form, Easy to Follow Pattern, & Fabric Pieces (to cut)


How to Make a Quilt Magic Kit Picture


How to Make a Quilt Magic Kit Wall Hanging
I know you will be excited to get started on the project, but you need to iron the fabric first.  This is extremely important!  You will not want the fabric to be creased.  You need it to lay flat when "punching" it into the form. 

I cut out the pieces from each fabric, pinned their numbered pattern piece to the cut fabric, and placed them in a baggy until I was ready to add the piece.  I had a separate baggy for each fabric.

Start with the border & back.  The back piece is one large piece that you attach to the form by folding the ends over the front side and pressing the edges in the border grooves.  You will need to trim the fabric at the corners twice to make the fabric slip into the cut corner grooves.  Be careful not to cut too much off.  There is no extra fabric included for mistakes.

Note:  The corners of the form are not pre-cut deep enough to hold the fabric.  You will need to cut the corner form groove with a sharp knife per the enclosed instructions.  Otherwise, all of the grooves are pre-cut for you.

   

From here on, it is pretty smooth sailing.  You simply match the number on the piece to the number on the pattern and push the fabric into the pre-cut grooves for each section.


How to Make a Quilt Magic Kit Wall Hanging


I opted to add the the pieces cut from each fabric all at one time.  However, you may prefer to add the pieces section by section, left to right, or whatever type of layout organization works best for you.  I have friends who would rather see the project come to life one area at a time.





 
The Quilt Magic no-sew kits are easy, but they do take longer than advertised to make.  Each picture kit took several days to cut and assemble, but the end results were definitely worth the time.

How to Make a Quilt Magic Kit Wall Hanging Tutorial
Quilt Magic Wall Hanging Gift for My Son
 
How to Make a Quilt Magic Kit Wall Hanging Tutorial
Quilt Magic Wall Hanging Gift for My Daughter

You may or may not wish to frame your finished Quilt Magic wall hanging.  Both of my children opted for a Quilt Magic Frame for easy hanging.  But, they are not necessary.




A Variety of Quilt Magic Kits Are Available


Quilt Magic Kits are available in many different styles, colors and themes. There are even holiday Quilt Magic Kits for those who enjoy holiday wall decor.

See More Quilt Magic Kits by Clicking Here!

 

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Monday, September 16, 2019

Book Review: Hello, Crochet Friends! by Jonah Larson

This little book packs a powerful punch! Hello, Crochet Friends: Making Art, Being Mindful, Giving Back: Do What Makes You Happy written by young Jonah Larson and his mother Jennifer Larson is the most uplifting and motivational book I've read in years.

Hello, Crochet Friends! written by Jonah Larson


Hello Crochet Friends!: Making Art, Being Mindful, Giving Back: Do What Makes You Happy is one part autobiography, one part inspirational, and one part crafts. It includes topics of international adoption, school behavioral problems, and the importance of finding one's passion. 

Jonah Larson is an 11 year old crocheting phenom. I came to know about him from looking for crochet patterns and tutorials on the internet. This young man has a gift with crochet. His talent is nearly unbelievable. Watching his little hands fly as he works on his current projects is mesmerizing to me.  And all the more impressive when I learned a bit more about him.

Jonah was adopted by the Larsons when he was a baby. He began crocheting at age 5 by accident - when a single crochet hook was found in a bag of items. It became clear very quickly that crochet was his thing.

I work with children in a school that is focused on addressing their behavioral and learning difficulties. I run a small crochet club, teaching them just the basics (sharing my limited skills), because I know that crochet is a wonderful coping skill for some children. I ordered Jonah's book so that our students could read about a child who loves crochet. 

I was moved to tears when I received the book and read how Jonah also struggled with significant disruptive behaviors in school and how crochet helped him. And not only has crochet helped him manage his behaviors in school, he is using his art to give back to those in need in the country he was born. An astounding story and life lesson for all of us.

What this book is:

  • an age-appropriate picture book about an 11 year old who was adopted from an Ethiopian orphanage
  • a book that is written in a gentle, uplifting, honest and encouraging voice
  • an inspirational book - encouraging everyone to find their passion and do it
  • a helpful book for teachers and school staff - showing the positive results of thinking outside the box and helping students identify what calms and encourages them
  • an encouraging book for children who struggle with behaviors - helping them to feel as though they are not alone and that something can change
What this book is not:
  • this is not a book of crochet patterns
  • this is not a crochet tutorial
I'd like to express my gratitude to Jonah and his mother for writing this book and sharing this story. It has touched me and has been well-received by the students in my little crochet club. You are inspiring to so many others.


From the Amazon listing: "Hello, Crochet Friends! is the first title in the KWiL Publishing's Rock Star Kids series of books about young people doing incredible things in the world". Personally, I am looking forward to future books in the series!

Related Links:

While I am not as talented as young Jonah, I do love crochet. I am able to do beginning and easy intermediate patterns. I have written about a few of the easier patterns. If you are thinking about beginning crochet, look for one of the many online tutorials, find someone that matches your style, and just begin.

My review of Dabbles & Babbles Done in a Day pattern. This pattern is pretty, more interesting than just straight crocheted rows, and is versatile. I've made several different sized blankets with several different types of  yarns with this pattern. I have also used this pattern to create a long, rectangular piece that was used as a type of shawl for an elderly gentleman. 

Although loom knitting is not the same as crochet, it is an easy way to make interesting and beautiful hats. If you can't quite enjoy crochet, you could create your own treasures with loom knitting. The flower applique is crocheted and from the only flower pattern I've ever been able to complete successfully. This pattern is Flowers by The Dozen by Yarnspirations and I review it here






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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Flower Art For Kids Reviewed

Kids Making Flower Art

I found some flower art for kids to give to my youngest granddaughter for her birthday this year. She enjoys doing all sorts of crafty things so after reviewing some options, the kit that I purchased just seemed like a perfect match for her age and her personality.

flower-art
Flower art by mother nature
image courtesy of pixabay.com

The kit is called Random Acts of Flowers and fits my little sweet pea (pun intended) to a "t". I can see her making a small bunch of flowers to give to someone in a random act of kindness. She is so in tune with the emotions people are experiencing around her and would delight in making someone smile with a little gift.


Teaching Kindness With Crafts


The kit includes 75 sheets of tissue paper, 12 floral stems, 12 gift tags, a hanging vase and a bandit mask. Why the mask? This is supposed to be random and anonymous...besides kids love it. What is not included is a pair of scissors and you will also have to supply the kind soul of a child or adult. It is the most important ingredient in the mix!

So, making these flowers and then finding a place to hang them so that people can smile as they take one from the hanging bouquet is only part of the fun. Those gift tags that can be attached to a flower are supposed to have a message on them. The encouraged message is that whoever takes the flower is supposed to go do something nice for someone else. Don't you just love that?

Added to the benefit of spreading kindness one little action at a time is the fact that every purchase of one of these kits pays it forward a little more. A donation is made to a charity that takes re-cycled flowers along with words of encouragement to health care facilities to promote the emotional well-being to residents. I love that!


A Gift that Keeps Giving


Another thing I loved about this flower art for kids kit is that it plants that seed of kindness but it doesn't have to stop once the original supplies are used up. It is so very easy to buy more tissue paper. The children can make their own little gift tags and flower stems can be replenished. The hanging vase might be taken away but they can use their imagination to make another one. 

What do you think? Would you give a child a gift like this?





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Monday, November 5, 2018

Reviewing the Teamoy Tunisian Crochet Hook Case

The Teamoy Tunisian Crochet Hook Case
Organization is not my strong suit. So I'm really happy when I find something that helps me to be more organized. I have found the Teamoy Tunisian Crochet Hook Case and I'm thrilled about how roomy, well-made, and helpful this little case is. Not only does it hold my brand new Tunisian Crochet Hooks, there is plenty of room for my other crochet hooks and other small supplies. 


Teamoy Tunisian Crochet Hook Case


This case is tall and thin; made to hold Tunisian crochet hooks (crochet hooks that are very similar in length and size to a single knitting needle). 

This little soft-sided case has two main zippered sections, Within each of those sections there is a variety of pockets and elastic bands that can organize longer crochet hooks (or knitting needles), traditional crochet hooks, as well as smaller supplies such as my locking stitch markers.

Not only are the crochet hooks held in by elasticized straps, the ends tuck in under flaps. This awesome design is going to prevent my clumsy self from accidentally dumping the contents out onto the floor each time I open the case. At this point, I can't imagine anything falling out accidentally. The zippers seem like quality zippers; not those cheapo zippers that are on many items.

This case is made from a "high quality and durable material, water-resistant and easy to clean up". There are also several colors/prints to choose from. I chose the cute cat print. 

The BEST feature about this case was the small price tag. It cost only $16.99 ! 

The only small complaint I have about this case, and it may be a complaint specifically to me, is the smell of the case when it arrived. It was wrapped in a sealed plastic bag. The smell of the "durable material" was strong when I opened that sealed packaging. It had an oily, "plastic" smell that bothered me (I am very sensitive to some chemical smells). I wiped off the case with a damp, slightly soapy cloth and then let the case air out before I spent time checking out all of the little pockets. There is no lingering odor.

If you crochet (or knit) and are in need of some organization, Teamoy may have a case for you.



If you'd like to see my first Tunisian crochet project (with gorgeous DK Colors yarn) check out my post here

my first Tunisian Crochet on Treasures, Travel, and Tales 




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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Cool Nights, Crafty Nights, How to Get Through the Fall

When Summer gives way to Fall, all of a sudden we find ourselves looking for ways to keep busy indoors instead of outdoors.  It seems the older I get the more I like the idea of hunkering down in the quiet comfort of my home.  Let's Review some ways to make this time productive and fun!

Looking back over the last few months I realize that I did not want to come indoors at all.  Summer was glorious this year, with warm sunny days and warm evenings too!  Alas, all good things must come to an end, especially when you live in the north!

Fall is a great time to get cracking on all those things you wanted to do but didn't.  Fall is also that gateway to all kinds of Holidays that require your time and talents. It's a wonderful time to try your hand at making something crafty too.  Decorating your space was never easier, with themes provided by the Holidays.  So to that end, we will start getting all our crafts in order! Or we will try something new!

hobbies, crafts, learn how to draw




Crafting gives our hands a chance to make something unique and beautiful.  It lets us express some of our hidden talents.  We see something we like and we just know that we could do that too!  So when we are indoors instead of running around outside, we can sit and give our hands a chance to make something that we have never done before.

Halloween and Thanksgiving are great times to try our hands at crafty ideas. We could start by  making special goodie bags for the children that visit our door on Halloween night.  If you have a little more time, maybe we could make something a little more personalized for our family who will visit during Thanksgiving.
Both of these holidays can launch us onto a new hobby.

Now unless you are reviving a hobby that you once invested in, I would not suggest that you go all out and purchase all the items you might be needing for a new hobby.  Head to your nearest  Dollar Tree! It's a great place to start a new hobby and you can do it on-line.  You just never know what you will find there that will twig an idea!  There are hundreds of items available that you might be able to use to fuel your creative genius.  From yarns, to paints, beads, canvases and findings, you know you will have a great time picking out the things that will be transformed under your hands.  Don't spend a lot of money on a craft or hobby until you are sure it is something that you will continue to do.  

There are a great number of "How To" books that will walk you through all stages of a new hobby.  Knitting, crocheting, leatherwork, macrame, rug hooking, drawing and so many more hobbies can be learned through the pages of a great How To book!  I've chosen just  a few to get you started.  There are also many You Tube videos that will give you a "working" look at how to make some things.  I guess what I'm saying is that your indoor time during these upcoming cold months can be productive and fun.  You just might find that you have a talent for a certain hobby. 



I have several writer friends right here on the REVIEW THIS team, that are so talented they have their own ETSY  shops, where they turn their hobbies into a small business.  All the contributors here are passionate about some form of hobby!  Greeting Cards, knitting, crocheting, photography it's all covered by our contributors.

If you don't feel inclined to make things yourself,  I would suggest that shopping at the Etsy Mall will help you find something beautiful, hand made and will help to support someone who is working hard to make things beautiful.   

crafts, hobbies, learn how to make anything





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Saturday, July 28, 2018

How To Make The Easiest Cuticle Oil Ever

How to make the easiest cuticle oil ever
Photo's by Lou16
Today I'm going to review how to make the easiest cuticle oil ever. Once you see how easy it is you'll wonder why you haven't always made your own DIY cuticle oil!

Don't use a cuticle oil? You're not alone, it's a step many people miss out when they do their nails at home. I must admit, but cuticles were in pretty bad shape and I would just rub my hand cream into them and think 'oh well, that's just my cuticles!'

This year I've decided to treat myself my getting my nails done once a month (well it's about every three weeks, but my husband thinks it's a monthly thing LOL!) and I do love it when they pop on the cuticle oil at the end. My cuticles are looking much better, but they would look even better if I used it a little bit more often.

Now I like the idea of using natural products and not having some of the additives that you find in some skincare/personal care products being present. I also know that lemon oil is great for softening cuticles, I just had to look for some cuticle oil recipes ...

There are so many recipes for DIY cuticle oil that they would make your head spin, but many of them used so many ingredients that it just seem such an effort. Using sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, vitamin E oil and about 5 different essential oils just seemed a lot for me to recommend to people, after all we don't have all these ingredients just lying around the house do we?

Well I found a recipe that used olive oil and just two essential oils and I changed the essential oils (based on my own aromatherapy knowledge, and on what I had on hand) and I've come up with the easiest cuticle oil ever -

How to make the easiest DIY cuticle oil ever - every thing ready to begin - olive oil, lemon oil, lavender oil, bottle and funnel

Easy DIY Cuticle Oil That Your Nails Will Love!


4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 drops pure lemon essential oil
2 drops pure lavender essential oil.

Simply mix the ingredients together and keep in a bottle, I recommend seeing if you can find a nail polish style of bottle with a nail polish brush to keep it in (they didn't have any at my local store) or even a roller bottle.

These type of bottles will made it easier to apply, but aren't essential.   As you can see from my photo I just used a test tube style bottle (as I had it on hand) and I use a Q-tip to add the oil around my nails. I will let you know, however, that I have some roller bottles on order.

Lemon oil is fantastic for softening hard skin which is why it's a perfect addition to a cuticle oil. Lavender oil is a very nourishing oil, softening and just great for skin. The combination of these two oils works fantastically to help keep your cuticles looking fabulous and as an added bonus, using a cuticle oil after a manicure actually helps it stay looking beautiful for longer something I've only just found out!

                                                                                                                                                              
EXTRA TIP - if you take vitamin E capsules then simple pierce one of them and squeeze the contents into the cuticle oil.  It will make the oil even more moisturizing and rich (a much cheaper alternative to adding vitamin E oil!).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
It's very important that you use pure essential oils and not synthetic ones when making your own skincare as each essential oil brings it's own benefits and fragrant oils don't have these benefits.

I love to use Arbonne's essential oils when available, if I'm after an oil that they don't have then I make sure that the one I buy is 100% pure essential oil.

Aromatherapy Isn't Just About DIY Skincare!


You can use essential oils for lots of different things, here's a few articles that you might find interesting ...

How Aromatherapy can Help StressHow Aromatherapy Can Help Stress
Aromatherapy has proven to be very successful at helping to relieve stress, simply by using certain essential oils stress and conditions caused by stress can be alleveiated.

Essential Oil Room Humidifier and DiffuserEssential Oil Room Humidifier and Diffuser
Using essential oils in a humidifier or diffuser can add a lovely atmosphere to a room as essential oils can really help to work on your emotions from relaxing you or making you more upbeat.

Reviewing Uses for Tea Tree OilReviewing Uses for Tea Tree Oil
The herbaceous fragrance of tea tree doesn't begin to hint at how many uses there are for this essential oil from medicinal to beauty to household uses this is one very versatile essential oil.


How to make the easiest cuticle oil with only 4 ingredients
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Thursday, June 21, 2018

DIY Mercury Glass



It's time for a DIY project for the true romantics out there.  Is there anything lovelier than fresh cut flowers in an antiqued mercury glass vase?  Perhaps the reason mercury glass is such a popular centerpiece at weddings is the nostalgic effect it has on us.  I absolutely love the understated beauty and elegance of silvered glass.  The look, and the effect, is way too wonderful to save only for special occasions.  

I invite you to follow along with me and transform your own gorgeous flower vessels.  It takes very little time and money to create the beautiful mercury glass effect presented here.  In less than an hour, you can be enjoying your own timeless centerpiece.  If you're like me, you'll get hooked and create any number of these mercury glass vases for yourself and for gifting to friends and family.  This is a gift you can be sure will be used and appreciated.


What You Will Need
* Glass vase
* White vinegar
* Water
* Misting pump bottle
* Paper towels

Optional
* Tarp or plastic drop cloth
* Wooden dowel rod
* Gloves

Steps 1-5
  1. Mix one cup of white vinegar with one cup of water.  Pour into misting bottle.
  2. Use a paper towel or soft cloth to wipe your glass clean.
  3. Protect work surfaces with a tarp, newspapers, or a drop cloth.  
  4. Test mister to ensure you will get a very fine spray.
  5. Shake up your spray paint for two minutes.

Step 6
Depending on the type of glass container you are painting, you may find it very helpful to use a dowel rod.  Supporting your vase with a dowel makes it easy to mist and spray all of the surfaces at the same time (without getting paint on your hands or fingerprints on your vase).  It also enables you to spray the bottom of the vase without waiting for the paint to dry on the sides of the container.

When I was painting the test tube vases, I used short dowel rods that I stood on end in an old piece of wood.  All I did was drill some holes in a two-by-four.  Then, I stacked each test tube on a dowel, leaving enough space in between to give me room to maneuver with the mister and spray paint.



Steps 7-8
Spray a very fine mist of the vinegar water on your vase.  The key to success is to start with a very light coating of the mist.  If you get large, running droplets, go ahead and wipe it down with a paper towel and start again.

Immediately spray over the mist with a light coat of the Looking Glass spray paint.  You will repeat these steps two to three times, so it is important not to try to get all of the silvering done all at once.  Light layering is essential to getting the desired vintage look of mercury glass.






Step 9
Very gently dab all over the misted and painted surface of the glass with a clean and dry paper towel. You want to blot up all spots of water and any larger droplets of paint.  This step creates the aged look of the silvered glass.











Step 10
Repeat the misting, painting, and blotting process until you are happy with the final effect.  I repeated the process three times on the vases pictured in this tutorial.


Step 11
Once the paint is dry, experiment with arranging your favorite flowers in your gorgeous mercury glass vases.  They look really nice in groupings of various sizes and shapes.

In this example, I placed three mercury glass test tubes in an antique bed spring.  The addition of a beveled mirror base created stability and an interesting reflective quality.  Peonies seemed just right for this type of vintage floral arrangement.















Mercury glass centerpieces don't have to be expensive to look like you spent big bucks at a floral shop.  Use the glass you already have at home.  It is so easy to upcycle any ordinary jar or cheap vase into something extraordinary.  There is something incredibly satisfying about giving a face-lift to a common, plain item.

We all hold the power of transformation in our hands.  Let's go create and share some beauty today.



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Saturday, June 9, 2018

A Review of Creativity on Review This!

(c) Kimberly Austin Daly, Artist*
Creativity Lives in Everyone!

My daughter is an artist.  She studied art in college, graduating with a degree in Fine Arts. But her creativity in this field has been present since she was old enough to hold a crayon.  All her life she has been compelled to draw & paint.  I've always admired her artistic ability because I can't draw a straight line with a ruler! :-)

*Artwork is the property of Kimberly Daly, Artist/Illustrator.  Copyright: Do not copy.  Permission granted for display in this story.






My hubby was a fine musician, having studied the violin for 14 years, then played the guitar for many more years and even had his own 'trio' during the 'folk music' era of our college days.
Today my son plays guitar and several other instruments and has his own local band with a group of fellow musicians.  I can't play any instrument and have no musical ability.

My brother sings and plays guitar.  My mother and sister could sing up a storm. I can't carry a tune in a bucket!  

Coastal Crochet Crafts on Etsy

I used to say to my talented family that I had no 'talent' for anything, until they reminded me that my crochet and needlework crafting was MY creative ability.  






Creative Talent is in Everyone


You don't have to be able to sing or dance, play an instrument or draw to be talented.  Creativity in ANY area is a talent all its own.  It was a nice reminder that we all have some form of creative talent, whether its in the arts & crafts field, music or dance, or simply being a wonderful cook.  Being able to express ourselves in writing is also a creative endeavor.  


Highlighting a Few Reviews Written by Our Talented Contributors on Review This!


Our team of contributors who write for Review This! review many products and do music, book and movie reviews, in addition to a wide range of other topics.  They are also very creative, sharing a variety of crafts, tutorials of DIY projects, cooking and baking recipes, and photography and gardening tips.  The following are a few examples of this team's creative talents.


Crafts Reviews



(c) Dawn Rae
How to Make Easy Christmas Tree Ornaments by Dawn Rae.  Dawn gives us easy step-by-step instructions on how to create with your children these simple, yet lovely, ornaments for your holiday tree.







(c) Bev Owens

For crochet crafters, Bev Owens tells us about this easy pattern you can use to create your own handmade poncho in her review titled Reviewing A Crochet Poncho Pattern.






(c) Wednesday-Elf

Wednesday-Elf loves to crochet, particularly stuffed animals.  Handmade crafts are her favorite, as shown in this A Bird in the Hand-i-Craft article.  In addition to her own crochet crafting, she enjoys sharing the creative talents of many other fiber art creators on Etsy.










DIY Projects


(c) RenaisanceWoman2010)
Clever & creative Diana (RenaissanceWoman2010) gives us a tutorial for a DIY Mason Jar Bird Feeder using a regular canning jar, a pretty plate or bowl, and a few other simple supplies (glue, wire, and a chick feeder base). Then just add bird seed and watch the local feathered friends in your area flock to your new bird feeder. 







Photography Tips



(c) mbgphoto
Several of the Review This contributors are photographers, but Mary Beth Granger (mbgphoto) goes one step further with sharing her fabulous photography tips for all of us to learn to take even better photographs. She shares the tips she's learned from taking photography classes and doing LOTS of practice. I would imagine Mary Beth seldom goes anywhere without a camera. Her favorite subjects are lighthouses! Check out her Review of Photography Tips for some helpful advice for your own photographs. 





Recipe Reviews



(c) Sylvestermouse

Sylvestermouse is our creative baker here on Review This! She loves to put together fancy cakes and cupcakes.  A quick look at one of her favorite cookbooks for baking (the Cupcake Cakes Cookbook) will give you an idea of some of the fun and clever ideas she often incorporates into her baking.








Gardening Tips



Olivia Morris is one of our resident gardeners.  In her How to Grow Your Way to Happiness and a Great Garden, she shares some tips for your spring planting. 




Articles on Creativity


For more articles on these creative reviews, click on each subject below:






What do you consider your 'creative' talent?  







(c) Review of Creativity by Wednesday Elf


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Review This is Dedicated to the Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor
We may be apart, but You Are Not Forgotten

Susan DeppnerSusan Deppner

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