Thursday, January 31, 2013

Knight Renaissance Faire Mussie Tussie with Sword and Crowns

My son was not very impressed with my first Mussie Tussie.  Can't blame him considering the pink lace and foo foo embellies.  The challenge was on! Had to make a Mussie Tussie even a teen boy would say, "Ya, it's kinda kewl mom." I SUCCEEDED!  I'm trying to convince him and his father (manly men at best description) to consider doing Renaissance Faire activities with me this summer.  My nerdrage kicked in when they thought the idea was less than amazing, so I'm trying my best to give them little spikes of emotional attachment to the idea without overwhelming them with the idea ... a slight win with the Mussie Tussie.  I only have about 3 more months to manipulate them into capitulating to my ideas of family fun. I must convince them that Renaissance Faires are not LARPing - so they can maintain their cool-factor.

...there's the explanation of why I just cut up the Knight costume I made for my son about 7 Halloweens ago.
The cone part is about 5-6 inches long, sorta skinny, only about 1 3/4" round at the top.

The crown dangle is an earring that made my ears itch - decided to put it to good use.

I used part of a dog chain that I got at the local dollar store :) -- that's "manly" isn't it?
No pattern for the chipboard.  I simply cut a huge circle out of a 12x12-inch piece of thin chipboard then quartered it.  1/4 of the circle makes for a nice size Mussie Tussie.  Always roll the chipboard into the shape you want your Mussie Tussie in before decorating it so you can have the chipboard easily roll into place when it's time to put it together.

These 2 photos show how I sewed the material on the thin chipboard, only covered the part that would be shown. I later trimmed off most of the excess brown chipboard, leaving just enough to hot glue the cone together.

I trimmed the material to where I could just flip it over the edge that would be seen on the outside of the cone to give it a little more of a finished egdge.

For the inside I used ScorPal tape and my ATC to attach some "knightly" paper from DCWV Tattered Time collection.

 I didn't have any big eyelets in a metallic colour left, so I just used the Copper Leafing Pen by Krylon.  I should have worked a little harder to color inside the hole, but since it's going to be stuffed with Hershey Kisses and given to a teen boy for Valentine's Day, there's a good chance I'll find it on the floor under a pile of clothes anywayz.
OH! and the black material is part of his old costume as well.  It's cheap vinyl.  The top is trimmed by running it through the BigShot with Tim Holtz Postage edge die.
Thanks for looking!  Have fun NOT Putting The Glue Down!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Well, I haven't done much to get this blog rolling so I might as well start now - and just in time for Valentine's Day!

 I'm going to give the Tussie Mussie shown below and a little surprise baggy of 20 random charms to one person in my Follower's list on February 14th.

and maybe another:

If you want to be included in the drawing just click join!  I'll put all the names in a box and let my son draw -- I don't have any friends on the site (well everybody's a "friend" if they've been nice to ya :)" but I mean nobody I hang out with or even talked on the phone to, so I promise it will be fair - on Feb. 14th I'll post who the winner is as a blog post and message the winner for their address.  Right now I have 3 followers, if it gets to 9, I'll do two drawings and make another Mussie Tussie (maybe different themed-like Steampunk or a Holiday).  If it's my 3 followers I'll draw from you three :).

Monday, January 28, 2013

Upcycling -- Vintage Shabby Chic Victorian Tussie Mussie Cone with Stick Pins

This is my first ever Tussie Mussie!  Until Trudi (an amazing hostess on Life on the Scrapbeach) put up a swap for Tussie Mussies, I had no idea that TUSSIE MUSSIE was the name of those AMAZING cones I'd seen out there in the craft world, generally decorated in a Victorian theme ... so again, I apologize for the title but I figure there are a lot of old, out-of-touch ladies in the world like me who type in a blur of words when searching for stuff and just cross their fingers that they pick up something... at least I hope there are cuz I don't want to be alone!!

Below are a few photos on how I made this, don't want to bore you with them, but if you want me to do a tutorial or need more info just message me and I'll try to help the best I can.

By the way, does anybody besides me think the words "TUSSIE MUSSIE" sound a tad bit ... shall we say ... NAUGHTY?

I started with a 7x7 square of thin chipboard (as you can see I used 20-24pk soda boxes to save $ and feel like I upcycled something) - Sand the glossy printed side so it can take paint/glue better.  Paint the inside unless you plan on decoupaging it also.  In this case I painted it white, used a crackled medium, then topped the crackled with a pink paint.  Fold the square at an angle so that you have a tip on one end.  You can either leave the angle top or cut it off after you hotglue it together -- DON'T HOT GLUE YET! See that little wire loop at the bottom? If you plan on adding a dangle, it's easier to add the loop now.  These I just made out of some wire from Home Depot and hotglued that baby in the corner before I glued the side down.
HINT:  To make the chipboard roll easier, spend a minute or two making it flexible around your hand and getting it into the shape you want it to be.  Don't worry too much about little creases and dents as these add personality to your piece and if you decoupage it, mostly they will be unnoticed. 
You could easily staple the cone closed as long as you remember where your staples are and just put an embellishment over it so the staple isn't obvious.

After I painted the outside a coat of white I realized the pink was too bright for my embellishments so I watered down some of the acrylic white with a little water and did a wash over it.  The one on the far left is already white washed and I just did a tiny spot on the one on the right so you can see the difference.

After the paint dries, it's time to decoupage!

I was reminded on Pinterest of a trick my mom used to do by watering down regular school glue, such as Elmer's (about 1/2 water 1/2 glue - if you use a lidded jar you can save the rest for a later project.  (Just a note - if you ink the edges of the paper you tear for decouping, you will end up tinting the glue a bit but I liked the colour).  Start by adding a piece of paper by putting a light coat of glue on the paper and a light coat on the cone.  Press it smooth.  After a couple it might get a little messy so it's a good idea to have a wet cloth ready to wipe up messes and your fingers.

Decorate with strips from the theme you wish, or newspapers, or sheet music, or just use paint and use the glue as a sealant -- even draw your own!!

 Decorate the cone in whatever theme and embellies you have.  This pink flower was a scrap of pink organza material that I used the make several circles out of (crudely cut - I didn't measure anything), lightly heat the edges over a candle till the material curls and glue the curled petals together - slit a hole in the middle and stuff the stamens throught the hole and hot glue the back. I added some white ribbon roses, faux pearl strands, a leaf from an old plant.  The big pink lace around the top is placed over some cream Tule and then a piece of decorative lace/pearl trim over the large pink lace (I attached everything with hot glue).

Don't forget to DECORATE THE BACK! Remember when someone looks at your TUSSIE MUSSIE they'll check out your rear too.  .... .... Told you TUSSIE MUSSIE sounded naughty! :)

Under my pink flower are a couple layers of lace (bottom layer is a ribbon with pink beads) and some Muslin that I lightly dyed with Tim Holtz' Vintage Photo Distress Ink.  I put a few drops of the refill ink in some water.   Put in some strips of torn muslin (some 1/2" some 1/4" just varied) -- and let soak a little, I'm impatient so I wringed the water out, rubbed the material briskly on the ink pad all over and rubbed the wet material together and it gave a nice effect you can't see in the pictures.

Photo with a ruler so you can get an idea of the width.

Added a dangle that I made out of a lot of pastel pearls.
And a fun crown adjacent to a very large acrylic crystal.  I took off the crystal from a votive chandlier I found at a craft store closing sale.


Counting the handle the entire TUSSIE MUSSIE is about 18 inches or so. For the handle I knotted together each end three pieces the length I desired for a handle.  The handled should be big enough to go over door handles and to let the tussie mussie lay nicely on the wall if it is hung there.  This particular handle is made of lace intertwind with faux pearl string, a thin piece of the dyed muslin, and another faux pearl string. Hotgluing the knots where I knotted all three pieces together onto the sides (glue them a little toward the back, to me it looked ackward with the handle glued exactly on the sides) -- If you wanted you could glue the handles on the inside OR even better would probably be to make holes in the locations you wanted the handles before you started decorating.
And then I made some seriously BLINGED Stick Pins for this cone.  Initially I had some minkie fur in pastel pink filling the Tussie Mussie but found this satin material and lined it with polyfill.  I  didn't want it to be hard to remove in case the recipient wanted to make a SECRET HIDING PLACE, so I made the filler and satin into a little pillow that pulls right out and you have a nice place for a secret treasure or take it completely out for some cute flowers or some other items ... my nieces would probably store their Sharpies in there /sigh.
I haven't tried to get many members to join, maybe my first give-away will be a tussie mussie and stick pins ... hmmm hmmm ...

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Pet Saving Elixer of Life

Ok so this is a noncrafting post but it's something I've used my entire life when my family or friends have a cat or dog that is severely ill and will not eat so at their advice, I thought I'd pass it along.  Even a couple of puppies with parvo made it through after not moving for a couple days or eating and drinking. Let me start by first stating:
That being said, I've been in the heartbreaking positions where I've found a kitten or two (on more than one occassion) that was sick, eyes covered with scabs, and so far, I haven't lost one, I don't guarantee this will work, just that it's always worked for me and 3 of my family members dogs, dozens of friends and acquaintenances pets,  as well as everything my mom kept in our West Va. forest home that found its way to our doorstep. If you disagree with this - simply DON'T DO IT, PROBLEM SOLVED -- AND AGAIN, PLEASE TAKE YOUR PET TO THE VET IF YOU CAN (and yes I understand there are times when it's just not possible but there are some kind vets willing to work on payments when emergencies occur-just call and ask before you drive there)

PET ELIXER OF LIFE (for kitties and puppies):
  • 1 small container or 1/2 c. plain yogurt with ACTIVE LIVE CULTURES (Yoplait is what I always use)
  • 1/2 c. Goats Milk, warmed -- (you can find cans of this in most grocery stores, WalMart usually has it near the evaporated milk in the flour/nuts isle (at least in my store))
  • 1/2 tsp. unsulfered molasses (if you can't find it I have used honey)
  • 1/3 small can of higher quality kitten or puppy food such as IAMS or better
  • (if you have a syringe (obviously needleLESS) it's a great tool to administer the elixer and water with - CalRanch usually carries small ones for less than 25 cents)
Mix thoroughly and keep in a lidded container.

This needs to be runny.  Not thick. If it's not runny add a little more goat's milk.

WASH YOUR HANDS WELL - Start by giving a tiny taste. Just wet the end of your PINKY finger with the elixer and wipe it on the animal's tongue, they will hate you by the way. Do this every 15-25 minutes till they start to act like they like it, for several hours if necessary-- then start giving a little more but still not more than 1/8th of a teaspoon. Follow up with just wetting the tongue with a little clean water.  No matter how well they get that first day, don't give more than 1/4 teaspoon, every 30-40 minutes and always follow with a tiny sip of clean water - no more than 1/4 teaspoon cool water for 2-3 hours at a time. Then let them rest for a couple hours and start again. Since they're sick you don't want to put much on their tummies.  Give constant attention, lightly petting and massaging as well. Stay up through the night if you have too, afterall, they are our furkids.
Once they start to seem more alert, up the elixer and water to 1/2 teaspoon every 30-40 minutes.
Say some prayers to God or whatever you conceive your higher power to be and blessed be you and your furkid.

Dinky and JuJuBeanz (last picture) two Elixer of Life Recipients
by the way, JuJuBeanz is not sick in that picture, he just sleeps with a smile on his face most of the time :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Valentine Chunky Charm Dangle with Tag

Just so much fun to make, I used a wire to pull the the fibers and strips of material up into the bead cap.  Added a monster size rhinestone spacer bead, felted heart bead, faux green pearl, small crown, then an acrylic elongated bead.  On the bottom I also threaded about a  5 inch chain to the wire before pulling through the bead cap.  Then, made several little "arms" with a variety of beads and charms.  The large acrylic "crystal" I took off a tea candle chandelier and the leaves are from an artifical plant that I used to keep on my desk at work but the pot broke and I pulled off all the leaves before pitching the pot.  (Shattered Terra Cotta pot so I decided I "might" not use those left overs) -- Don't forget to look at everything you get ready to throw in the trash to see if there's some salvage, just don't save to the point you end up on one of the Hoarder shows. 
The Cupid, is a Bo-Bunny Stamp coloured in with Spectrum Noir markers.  The flower is red and burgundy organza circles that I cut with scissors into circles and burned around the edges.  After they looked ok to me, I glued them together and stuck the green resin flower center inside all with hot glue.  Definitely put me in the Valentine's Day mode.

Problems with Blogger Photo Inserting

hmmm I can not seem to get any photos on this blog anymore ... not sure if it's user error (i.e. me :P ) or if something has happened to my site :( anyways-worse case I'll have to start a different blog, I did put in a note to Blogger so hopefully it can get resolved.

UPDATE: what worked for me was to install Google Chrome, upload my photos into the Picassa Photo Album then to the blog from there.