Silk Tie and Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

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Wow! Was I tired when I finished the last egg last night. It seems I have been doing nothing but decorating eggs since Thursday afternoon. But, that’s okay, I really enjoy doing it. I love looking at the completed tablescape and seeing all the decorated eggs. But, maybe the best part of this was that it cost me virtually nothing. I was able to re-purpose two ancient under shirts, one badly stained white school shirt, a host of silk ties, left over accumulated “bling”, and onion skins that had collected in my dry goods drawer.

When Spane was a little, little guy, the counter of the corner store had lovely Easter eggs on it. I had never seen eggs like that, and when I asked the owner how they were made, she said, in halting English that the eggs were dyed with onion skin. I was hooked, and finally took pictures of my creations in 2010.
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French Barrettes Back to School Teacher’s Gift

Crafts in this PostFrench Barrettes

They’re Going Baaack….It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Seriously, even though summer vacations seem be getting shorter, kids are eager to go back to school. They miss their friends and social interactions, they miss learning, and they miss school shenanigans. They want to have their schedule back, and even though they love their parents, they really are tired of them by this time.

A Tradition – Teacher’s Gift

For the past few years, I have been making gifts for Spane’s teachers. In the past it was something edible, but with schools outlawing homemade items for insurance reasons of possible allergic reactions, I now have to make non-edible things. I made Apple Napkin Rings for Spane’s 4th grade teacher, and a Decorated Trinket Box for Spane’s 5th grade teacher, and this year, when Spane told me he has a female teacher for 6th grade, I decided to make matching French Barrettes for her. I have included a coupon for an additional ribbon barrette, since I don’t know if she even wears ribbons at all.

Making the French Barrettes

You can pick up packs of French Barrettes at any good crafting store. The ones I get usually come with 4 large ones, and 6 small ones. Since I usually only use the large ones, I always have small ones left over. They are actually perfect for putting on strung beads.French Barettes on Black Velvet

Recipe: White Bead Strung French Barrettes

Summary: Make these for a simple gift, or for yourself

Ingredients

  • French Barrettes
  • Florist Wire
  • Medium Size Beads

Instructions

  1. Pull a length of florist wire about 4 times the length of the barrette. Don’t cut it yet.
  2. String enough beads to be the length of the barrette. Make sure there is about a 4th of the wire at one end of the barrette, and cut the wire. There should be a hole at the end of the barrette, so string the wire in that hole, loop it around, and tie it off.
  3. Lay the wire with the beads down, and put the other end of the wire through the hole at the other end.
  4. Bring the wire up through the bottom of the barrette, and wrap it around the middle, so the beads in the middle of the barrette will not be able to move around.
  5. Tie off that piece of wire, and cut off any remaining bits, being sure that they are not sitting up where someone could stick themselves.

Variations

You can use whatever beading you want, just make sure that the beads are about the same width as the barrette is long.

Preparation time: 30 minute(s)

Number of barrettes (yield): 2

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Copyright © The Good Plate.
Barrettes by Adrienne Boswell.
Microformatting by hRecipe.

Make a Pretty School Color Bowdabra Bow

I think it’s important to use the school colors, and I’m lucky because our school colors are navy blue and gold.French Barrett Gift Box

Recipe: School Colors Bowdabra Bow

Ingredients

  • 1 Bowdabra
  • Main School Color Ribbon – Wide
  • Secondary School Color Ribbon – Narrow

Instructions

  1. Cut the narrow ribbon about 6 inches and lay it at the bottom of the Bowdabra vertically.
  2. Cut about a foot of the wide ribbon, and lay one end of it on top of the narrow ribbon horizontally. Then make a loop, push it down, make another loop on the other side, push it down, until you have made enough loops to use up the ribbon, or have a nice bow, which ever comes first.
  3. Do not try to tie off the ribbon yet!
  4. Use the Bowdabra wand to push the ribbon down as much as it will go.
  5. Slowly bring the narrow ribbon up to face you, and as you as slowly pulling the bow out, tie the narrow ribbon off.
  6. Fluff the wide ribbon, attach the bow to your gift box, and arrange the narrow ribbon to suit.

Quick notes

Of course, you can do this by hand, and you can even have your child help you by placing his or her finger to hold the ribbon while you tie it off. I don’t know about you, but I hated gift wrapping as a child because invariably my mother would catch my finger in the ribbon, and either would sting me, or she wouldn’t be able to get it off. Trust me, go for the Bowdabra.

Variations

You can use any colors you want, add as many embellishments as you want, flowers, feathers, stones, the possibilities are endless.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Number of bows (yield): 1

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Copyright © The Good Plate.
Ribbon by Adrienne Boswell.
Microformatting by hRecipe.

Free Coupon!

Since I don’t know if Spane’s new teacher wears larger bows in her hair, I gave her a coupon for a free ribbon in the color or her choice. I hope she takes me up on it, and I’ll post here if she does.
French Barrets in Gift Box

California Mission 4th Grade Project – Misión de la Imaginación

California Mission 4th Grade Project

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Spane is going into 6th grade this fall, so his California Mission project is long over. When I took pictures of the project, I took them on an ancient “dumb” phone, hoping that some day I would be able to retrieve them. When my computer went to the hospital for a new motherboard, it also came back with better bluetooth, and I was able to finally get the pictures off the phone.

If you are a parent with a child going into 4th grade this fall, and you live in California, this is something you are going to have to deal with. California Missions are part of the California State Common Core 4th grade curriculum. There is no getting out of it. But, for crafty parents, that’s a good thing! You might have so much fun that your child may find himself or herself on the sidelines, wishing to take part in the great project. Don’t do that – it’s a great time to spend time with your child, and learn together. You can even take a trip to your closest mission!

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Jeweled Vampire Pumpkin for Halloween

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I got inspiration from my friend Shem Walker, of Kobelin By Shem, who does amazing things with Swarovski crystals. Talk about Bling, and you talk about Shem. If only I were as talented as she is. I was also inspired by pictures I saw of decorated pumpkins in Pinterest, including on black one with lots of jewels. But, I wanted my pumpkin to be different.

When I was a teenager, my friends and I went to see the live production of The Rocky Horror Show at the Roxy Theater in West Hollywood. I even dressed up as Frankenfurter in my senior year in high school. A red lipped vampire pumpkin was the only way to go.

Spane’s school has a pumpkin contest every year, for those students who want to pay the school money to be in the contest. It’s not real money, it’s the school’s money that they print with a picture of the school’s name sake on it. But even so, Spane is just too frugal to spend his hard-earned money on contests, he prefers useful things like pencils, pencil sharpeners, notebooks, etc. It’s a good thing, too, because with all the other stuff I have had to get done, the pumpkin sat unadorned until tonight. The pumpkin found itself in the pictures of our Halloween costumes, Spane’s Tarantula costume, and my Well Dressed Black Cat costume. I wanted to serve my Mocha Fudge Pie with a completed pumpkin.

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Cat Costume – the Well Dressed Black Cat

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I believe that accessories are everything when wanting to look well dressed. Accessories should coordinate by color, and sometimes texture. There is no point getting overdressed, and just a few things can make a simple dress look fantastic.

When I was young and svelte, I dressed up as a cat for Halloween. I looked good. It was an easy costume because I always had a leotard top and bottom, and I only had to add ears and a tail. I was a lot of different things, but this year, 2013, came back as The Well Dressed Black Cat.

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Tarantula Costume for Halloween

Tarantula Costume

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  • Tarantula Costume
  • Spane decided that he wanted to be a tarantula for Halloween. His school has a policy of no violent costumes, and no masks. Well, that’s okay, I made his spider as realistic as I can, and used makeup on his face. He was scary!

    Some of you may have noticed that things have been a little slow around here. It’s not that we haven’t been eating, it’s just that I have been extremely busy getting client’s web sites up and running. Last night, I was so tired I didn’t know what to do with myself, and the Monster Mash at the school was today, and I didn’t have Spane’s costume ready. I also thought I needed more stuff, but after a few hours sleep, I thought about it and realized I already had everything I needed to make his costume.

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