Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Cinnamon Gingerbread

When you are reading this blog, please put your cursor on the image and press your left button on your computer. You will see several images of my gingerbread and items you will need to make them. On the recipe card, there are two recipes, one on the left and one on the right. I made the one on the right. I thought I would have a chance to make the other one but I didn't. I am always curious which recipes work better than others.
Your hands can get quite cinnamony when you are working with rolling the dough out to make your cinnamon ornaments. I have included the handwritten recipe for you to see that I have included with my Christmas cookie recipes. If you want to make alot of gingerbread, and larger ones than you see that I made, you will need at least 3 containers of cinnamon. But what is nice is you can buy it at the Dollar Tree. You can also buy your apple sauce at the Dollar Tree and don't be afraid to buy the strawberry kind if that is all they have. The dough still comes out. I let my gingerbread dry naturally rather than the oven. After they dry, you can always sprinkle them with more cinnamon. Ideas to do with the gingerbread or other shaped ornaments: Make a garland Make ornaments for the tree Make ornaments for your wreaths Put into home-made potpourri Put into a wooden bowl with some greens Put into a nice pewter or silver bowl with greens Make large ginger bread and line up on your mantle Put on a gift with a bow Place them in your bathroom in a decorative container to add a pleasant smell Don't eat them!

Shabby Chic Folk Art Christmas Trees

Well I really did it this time. I wanted to do something different with the little inexpensive Christmas trees and I wanted them to look like folk art. After browsing many recipes to find out what I would like to do, I made the darkest coffee recipe I could with instant coffee and hot water. The tree soaked up the color alot as you can see. I mixed the coffee with cinammon, vanilla and nutmeg. I rubbed that on the tree too. Don't go crazy like I did if you don't want them as dark. Then the combo of putting the tree in a vintage bottle with white snow and a white candle on top with the silver garland brought it from the folk period to the shabby period. I want to try cool aid also, and time is running out with all the things I have to make. I also love just spraying the trees with glue, and then adding glitter. I may make some of those for my mom's gift.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Shabby Chic Paint Job

You know, painting a piece of furniture may not be as hard as you think. I love different types of decorating like folk art which is alot of black, burgundy, cream, dark green and grunge. There is the beach/ocean theme with star fish, navy blue, aqua, mint green, white, fisherman's net, sea shells and glass, chipped painted shutters. There is the garden theme with metal table and chairs (bistro type) geraniums, terra cotta flower pots. Industrial Chic-so cool, railroad type coffee table with sheels to move it around, large posters of names of cities, metal covers for overhead lights. Then there is shabby chic; white, pink, light yellow, mint green, aqua or baby blue/robins egg blue, cream, chipped everything, lace banged up furniture or furniture with loose covers, pillows made of burlap, fur, mantles with all kinds of decorations including deer head the big thing that is in. Shabby Chic is kind of country and there are mahy kinds of country that I have learned about like French, Swedish, Italian... Ecclectic which is a bit of everything, different colors like reds, yellows, oranges, crochet and knitted items, stuffed little animals, paper cut out items, rugs that don't match the mismatch chair. The ecclectic look reminds me of the 1970's with the wild patterns and the olive, orange, and gold colors. If yo ulook at Tupperware containers, you will see how style has changed by the colors and shape of the Tupperware. Oh yea, and there is Retro: the metal table and chairs, black and white square tiled floor, maybe a pink round cornered fridgerator, owls for decorations, gold lamps with huge lamp shades... Well, I have enjoyed the shabby chiclook for quite awhile. And while I am ecclectic which alot of people declare me to be, I am a bit Industrial with my metal covered light in the kitchen and huge antique wooden sign hangingin my living room, folk art by some of the American Folk Art I have painted, ocean themed with vintage sailor statues and boat and ocean art work hanging, and French country with my huge wall unit for my tv that is painted a greenish grey with brown and hand-painted design, but oh my I love "shabby chic". A few years ago, I admired a hutch in a store. The lady made all of her furniture. It was either painted bright colors or light colors. She made furniture out of other furniture pieces; crib rails to make a bench. She was willing to trade with me her hutch for a sideboard. I was in my glory. A white flat painted hutch with a robins egg blue on accents of the hutch. I love cream and white and robins egg blue, and with a border up in my dining room of nests, eggs and feathers, with alot of cream and off white accents of crochet doilies and a pastel yellow desk, I decided I was going to shabby chic up the hutch. How, well, a little bit of paint here and there, another color of paint here and there, and rubbingit in with my brush and fingers. I didn't have to worry about over doing it because most shabby chic furniture is layers and layers of paint, chipped and banged up. So I just went to town with an umber mixed with glaze, these were my art paints I use all of the time in my collages. I didn't go out and buy anything. I used a cream color Americana bottle of paint. And just rubbed one color into the other, left some color showing more in certain spots and left it that way on purpose. I have not yet added any wax to the wood to preserve it more. After I do a project, I like to keep it that way to see if I really like it, if I want to change it and if I don't have the money to buy an item, it will just have to wait. My shabby chic pedestle table in the kitchen is like that. I know it would be good to put the wax on the table to purposely protect it from water and food. I can always sand it in the spots it gets stained and then add a bit of paint if need be and then the wax. So here are some photo samples of the hutch.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Cookies

I have made I think 14 types of Christmas cookies this year. I have two more to go and a ton more I would love to make that I thought I would have the time. These are capaccino flats which are a favorite of my family. They have instant coffee in them. The others are a sugar/butter cookie from my daughter in laws parents whose dad was a baker. So the recipe and frosting are from them. I was excited to create a cookie that her dad made for years. I will post the others as I get more pictures. This year I did things a bit different. Usually I will make a recipe, let the cookies cool and then frost them. This year, I just kept making them, and frosted them with all their fabulous types of frostings and drizzles today. One frosting was cream cheese, butter, milk and lemon juice. Another was melted semi sweet chocolate chips and a bit of crisco. Another was confectioners sugar, milk, and almond extract. Tomorrow I will do my peanut butter balls and then I will have made: apricot chews, potatoe chip cookies, a pepper German cookie, a lemon cookie with lemon cream cheese frosting, apricot jam twists, boysenberry pastries, toffee and cranberry cookies, soft mollasses, chocolate macadamian, and I just know I am missing a couple of others. Oh well, next time!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Giveaway Monday – JyARz

Giveaway Monday – JyARz

Love the colors of these little jars.  Can't wait to see all of the uses in my studio and kitchen.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Stack It Up

I love stacking and adding to my decorations. Wht is all this you may ask? It is a white sofa table,with a singer sewing machine on top and then an antique shelf on top of that. No, it will not fall over:) Other things in my house do though. I get kind of carried away.

Thanksgiving and Decorating

Friday, November 2, 2012

Go to MoonlightJourney Go to this blog. Contest and free papers if you post their site on your blog:) That is why I am doing it! All creative juices are flowing today along with painting a table I have a shabby white and lettering a scripture on top. Check it out soon.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

WOYWW at Stamping Ground

I found out about this great daybew at Stamping Ground and heard about it from Kylie Fowler at Blissful Pumpkin. Daybew is a funny word, and I didn't know how to spell it:) Many people have signed up to show what their desk in their art studio looks like when they are working hard at their creativity. So I thought, "Why not"! My pictures are from cleaning up though. I am artist of the month for Artbundance. I am becoming a life coach at Artellaland and I use art and writing with my clients. So when I was asked to be the artist of the month for November, I was so excited. So I did a cleanup job just for the pictures. My room is quite small I'd say 12x12 or so, but I have two huge doorways that enter into the kitchen and the other into the dining room. My house is a small what they called "colonial" on the closing papers. I think it is a cape, but it was built in 1900 and is nothing fancy, very plain with small windows. I need to keep up a small curtain or a sheer, so I have up lace right now and painted my oak cabinet a shabby chic white to brighten up the room. I also have a growth light next to my plants which gives a nice feel to the room of life and greenery, knowing that winter is coming, and having the bright light, along with my other lights at my desk, make a room feel a bit more welcoming.
I have been trying to incorporate sewing into my collage, so I figured I would put out my little vintage sewing machine that should not go to waste in its case, but be displayed as a hard working machine. I need alot of light. Not that I am that old yet, but my glasses broke, so I have to wear cheapies from the Dollar Store and I can't see well, so I have two lights, one cute little pink one and then one that has a magnifier on it also. The pieces on my desk/table are pieces I am working on or have finished.

Journal Pages-New and Different

I am changing my blog look like the way I like to change my hair color or redecorate my mantels in my home. Over and over. I had a white background, then I wanted it to look warmer for the fall and Christmas and made an awesome red, but then I noticed people were not coming to my blog as much, kind of odd, maybe my writing or photos aren't attracting anyones interest, so I am back to a white background, with my photos all displayed, and you just touch a picture with your cursor and up comes my details in writing. It is kind of cool how it works. We will see I guess. I love seeing people from all over the world come to my sight.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fall and Decorating

As you can see, I love to decorate and I consider that Crystals Creations. I am an artist, but I absolutely have a passion for beauty and incorporate texture, color, light, furniture, house accessories and pictures and art work to be my surroundings that comfort my soul. I am one of those ladies that perhaps puts too many things around, but because I love vignettes or little areas where there are things next to things upon things, I feel like I am doing a 3 Dimensional collage of house decorations. Freecycle, yard sale giveaways, thrift stores, sales in stores and cheap stores like the dollar store keep my inventing. Blogging is another way along with Pinterest for ideas that just keep coming, thanks to many others that are like minded. To be a decorator, you don't have to be like me though. Yesterday, while at the bookstore, I was parusing through many magazines. Boy what great ideas this fall. Endless do I want to say. I keep a notebook and jot down ideas and I draw quick little sketches of ideas, color combos, items that I know I can find free, recipes, crafts and on and on. Overwhelming, but I enjoy it. When my husband sits down on the free leather couch I got and looks around the living room at the trunk I got free at an antique shop that was closing and moving, and the pumpkins I made out of sparkles and sweaters and says, "I really like it in here. It looks really nice" there is just something about that that cheers me up and makes me want to please him more. My living room mantle consists of an antique sailor that I got free from that same antique shop that closed. His hand was off and I glued it. I went to a yard sale and an elderly couple were getting rid of their treasures and were narrowing things down to live in a mobile trailer; I was able to buy a large brown antique bottle from them. I am going to make one of those labels on the computer that is a french label and apply it to the surface. I have my grapevine balls filling little spaces around the old world ocean vignette. Those grapevine balls have been in a box to give away a few times, when I grab them out thinking "What am I thinking" I can use those over and over and even cover them with moss or decorative paper. I can hang them up in a window, fill a bowl with potpourri, fill a basket with the balls and pinecones. Why would I want to get rid of such an item to only buy something like them again. I collected chinese lanterns from my garden and have them in a basket with a lighthouse in the basket. Behind the antique free trunk, I have a white wicker mirror inside the fireplace. On freecycle, someone was giving away fireplace tools. I do not have a working fireplace yet, but I do have a pellet stove and two faux mantles so I received them and put them in front of the fireplace. Next to the mentle, I have a peddle from a singer sewing machine. I got a free square black frame with a print in it. The print is autumn colors. I placed that picture on top of the trendle peddle of the machine to make a table. Place a victorian style lamp and two awesome fall colored/metalic plates on it, I have another little vignette. The plates have seated on them two votive candles. I keep a list of what I am always looking for, whether it be burlap, ribbon, candles, a certain idea to make a pillow and I need the filler, I keep a look out. I collect grasses and dried flowers and pods to make little arrangements and just fillers into those areas that need texture or color. Yesterday, I listed all the various styles I like for decorating, and truly am having a very very hard time deciding. When I look at folk art, I want to paint everything black, gold, burgundy, cream. Then I see a room that is shabby chic or a Swedish country, and I want all my chairs covered in white, white walls, only white dishes and sparse. Now there is a bohemian country, that is very different. The decorative items are brightly colored, various colors, items from different countries, little things hanging here and there, different chairs made of metal and bright colored seats, stripes, polka dots. Then there is the beach look; shells, comfy big furniture usually covered with white and or striped fabric for pillows, ships and sailboats, navy and or red stripes. Oh then the mint green and red with polka dots and burlap and canvas...I want a room of each style. The vintage 50's looks is awesome too. Oh boy, what do you think? What do you like? How do you determine what you are going to do.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Mixed Media and Collage Artists I love

These have been some of the sites I have gone to for three years or so now. Check them out. I will be posting more as I can remember and check my address book. Milliande-nothing new lately, but love to check SuziBlu-havn't received emails from her for awhile but check up for new updates Hands and Heart-Love her accent and site MotleySoulMixedMedia- I am doing a class from her Roses On My Table-I stay tuned daily Willowing-I am doing classes for the year 2012 from her, includes many artists

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals

Everyone has got to get this book.  It is so worth the money.  it is by an artist Named carla Sonheim, the author of Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists.
I found her online a couple of weeks ago and found her book today as I am at Barnes and Noble with my husband and two children.  We had our internet shut off at home, so we have to go out now to work.  I checked out the craft section to see if there were new books.  Low and behold, her new book out on imaginary animals was on the shelf.

I am having a ball.  I am not an artist that has used creativity to this ultimate way ever before.  When I began drawing from my imagination a couple of weeks ago, my 17-22 year old kiddos thought they were cool.  I thought they would have laughed at me instead they seemed to have enjoyed them.  I want to continue this idea, especially for my grandkids.  I will post soon some of my drawings.

Fall Decorating

This fall decorating season, I decided to color my living room with black, and orange, keeping to an ocean theme, old world look, and added black and orange pumpkins to my decor, little pumpkin and goard men intermingled the regular decorations.  I just didn't want to put away my new decorations, so decided to just add into them.  I may do the same for Christmas where I will keep it simple and just add greens and berries over frames and on the mantle.
If you are going through things in your life, and don't have the time or the same season you have in the past where you took everything down, and redid every spot in the house, just impliment the fall colors:  beige, tan, cream, off white, peach, orange, black, grey, reds, purple, gold, and silver.