Saturday, April 2, 2016

Easter decor made complicated....

So I've had these paper mache letters and bunny in the closet for about 2 years waiting to be finished. We don't have a lot of spring or Easter decor so I bought them with good intentions. Well, in the process of cleaning out the craft room closet I found them again for the umpteenth time and I took it as a sign. I didn't get everything 100% finished until the day before Easter but who cares, right?  Here's what I did.

First was the bunny. I had this idea to decoupage him with fabric but was a little nervous how he would turn out. I used some scrap fabric laying around and did it in layers until the surface was covered
Modge podge.....add fabric....more modge podge
I used Modge Podge to apply the fabric and then I sprayed it with a clear coat just in case. I like the extra shine the clear coat adds too. Bunny, check. 

I put them right side down on the backside of some awesome glitter paper that I had also been holding for this project for two years, traced the letter and cut it out.  Then I painted them a base yellow color, I glued the glitter paper to the front with good old Elmer's glue and added a plain blue paper to the back for a finished look.

Done, right?  NO!  The H and O would stand on their own but that pesky P was not balanced. It was right heavy unlike its letter cousin the R. What to do?!

Luckily I had a bunch of spare metallic plastic eggs laying around like any good crafty border.  Eureka!  I hot glued them in a little mound to support the right side of the P so it wouldn't fall over. Then I also added the remaining eggs to the H and O so it would look intentional and to add some standing support. Nothing like crafting under pressure to get your creative juices flowing. 

I'm pretty happy how the whole thing turned out. What do you think, Mr Biscuit?

Monday, March 28, 2016

Happy Easter!

We hope everyone enjoyed hunting eggs and eating chocolate bunnies yesterday. Gidget is really excited for spring and we know you are too. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Dog on a bike

Who doesn't love the idea of taking your pooch on a bike ride?  NOONE!  Yes I'm that kind of dog mom.  I've rode my bike a ton before I got pregnant but going somewhere is boring by yourself.  Since Dan and I had very different schedules going with him is almost impossible so it was up to Gidget to step in as my cycling buddy.
I did a bunch of snooping around the internet and on Pinterest to see how to safely take her on a ride. I wasn't going to spend tons of money on this either so the choices were limited.  (There are custom dog trailers you can get for hundreds of dollars.  Yep there are dog people crazier than me.)  I finally decided on the standard milk crate because I knew I wanted to put her on the back of the bike.  At 17 lbs she's just a bit too big for the front.  The milk crate is great cuz it's pretty deep so she sits down inside it really well.  This is the first one my mom gave me which was a little snug so I opted to go with a rectangular one to give her some extra room.  I found mine at sears super cheap.  
I made her a little license plate with reflective tape for extra safety.
Next I strapped it to the rack of the back of my bike using a ton of zip ties until I was comfortable that it wasn't going to come off or shift while riding.  I also cut a piece of acrylic to fit the bottom so her little dog toes wouldn't get stuck in the grate of the milk crate.  Then came the cushion.

I had bought this embroidery pattern for my sewing machine a little while back and wanted to try it on something....anything.  So I whipped up this cover for a cushion to soften the bumps on her little tush.

I got the cushion insert from Joann's and cut it to fit the crate.  It's an outdoor cushion that is meant for boat seats so its OK to be outside or get wet and the cover is made from outdoor canvas.  I put grippy fabric on the bottom so it wouldn't slide as we were riding and the cover has an envelope closure on the back so it can be washed too.  It fits great!

Last but not least I wanted to secure her in the basket somehow just in case she wanted to jump out or I hit a rogue bump.  This was easier than I thought.  I had originally planned to make a overly complex strap system with a heavy duty buckle but at the last minute I tried her 4 foot leash instead. I loop the leash over itself on one of the long sides of the crate and run it under a little harness I got her.  Then I loop it over the other side of the crate and double back to where I started where I clamp the clasp back onto the leash.   It sounds really complicated but its not.

There was no better way to test out our new outfit than to take a ride.

I would take her with me at least a couple times a week.  We went to the bike store, coffee shop, ice cream, or to go get more bird seed for the feeders.  She's a hit at the local gardening store.  I can't wait for the weather to warm up so we can head out again.

I get a lot of people pointing and smiling and little kids giggling when I ride by.  It's nice to know we are helping to make more smiles.

Ride on!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

MLP messenger bags

So I managed to do some crafting for Christmas before my whole life was tossed upside down by the arrival of my son in January.  My favorite items were for a couple craft clubbers equally addicted to My Little Pony as I am.  Its an inside thing that we each have our own pony personalities, I'm AppleJack.  Kelly adopted PinkyPie and Laura has Fluttershy so when trying to think of presents I decided to personalize them a couple MLP bags.  But not just any bags.  They are replicas of their pony's saddlebag, complete with embroidered cutie marks.  I won't lie.... I'm hoping Kelly will use hers with her Pinky Pie cosplay outfit.  Wink wink, Kelly.

I purchased the files off a vendor on Etsy but I did the embroidering and manipulating of the files to get them just right.

Side note, I love my mac but apparently no one in the embroidery software development field feels the same.  The only software my dealer sold was TruEmbroidery.  Mac applications have a reputation for being intuitive and easy to use.  This program is the exception to that in my experience.  It is the first time I've had to read the manual that came with software.  Oh and did I mention there are like 5 manuals!  Yea I had to to a fair amount of reading to figure out what I needed to do and still have a ways to go.

Thankfully I had Gidget with me as tech support.  OK thats enough ranting.

I'm pretty happy with how they came out.  I made them from a heavier canvas so they should be fairly durable.  They've got amply pockets inside for stashing fun bits and bobs too.

Now I just have to find the time to make one for myself.  Add it to the ever growing list of to-dos.

Craft on!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

An immeasurable loss...

It's taken me a while to write this post.  I knew it was coming a while ago and have dreaded it.  We said goodbye to my closest and dearest friend, Sadie, last month.  There are no words that can explain the loss we feel but I'm so grateful she was able to meet my son before crossing to the rainbow bridge.  I met Sadie when she was only 10 weeks old in a dingy Missouri kill shelter.  I always said she was the best $25 dollar investment I ever made as that was the total of her adoption fee.  She lived with me in 5 states and was by my side through countless adventures.  I love all my dogs but this was one of those once in a lifetime friendships.  I wouldn't be the woman I am today without having her with me for the last 15 and a half years teaching me patience, strength and immeasurable love.  She will always be in my heart.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Turkey day from the whole Rhinestone Beagle family. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Let the wonder begin....

The homemade holiday gift giving has already begun in my household and it makes me so happy.  I had a friend of mine ask for a classic sock reindeer for her birthday present this year.  Her birthday is at the end of November and she wanted the reindeer to put up for Christmas so it was a better call as a birthday gift than an actual Christmas gift.
I have made four of these guys so far.  I found the pattern at a thrift store in Montana and I carried it around with me for for over a decade before I finally made it.  I started out with one for me and loved it so much I made one to share with my work office, then a friend in the office wanted one and offered to pay for one so I made her one for Christmas last year as a gift instead.  Another office friend loved hers so much she wanted one too! And so it goes.....  I know of at least one more I will make this year alone.

The pattern is amazingly fun and the instructions are easy to follow.  I was able to master sewing a curve after all the sewing of the leaves.  You can find copies of this exact pattern for sale on Etsy or maybe eBay.  The company that manufactured the original pattern in the 1980's has a website, and though I did not see that specific pattern for sale they had many really cute animal themed craft patterns!  I would recommend any Cotton Ginny  pattern, the end result is fantastic!   

I will be putting up more Christmas gifts as I finish them, I have a great Dr. Who cross stitch that I am almost done with and I am insanely proud of it!  I also have some quick dinner recipes to share to keep you warm and well fed during these busy weeks.

May your days be Merry and Bright!