Friday, October 23, 2015

Labors Of Love

I have been busy the last 10 days, making everything but jewelry. Before I show you what I made, I want to show you what came in the mail. Nope, not jewelry-making supplies this time. What came in the mail was my contributor's copy of Willow & Sage. This is one of my very favorite magazines. I have all the back-issues, and I pour over them again and again, looking for fun gifts to make. I was fortunate enough to have had two articles published in this issue.

First of all, I made these garden herb salt soak vials:

Garden Herb Salt Soak Vials

They are really easy to make... basically you just fill the vials with bath herbs and the salt of your choice, seal the top with string and wax, and make the little copper tags. I explain how to do it in the article. They make great gifts, as do these rice and lavender filled microwavable heat packs:

Rice and Lavender-Filled Microwavable Heat Packs

As I mentioned, both articles are in the autumn issue of Willow & Sage magazine. Up until about 6 months ago, I didn't think I could make anything but jewelry. My good friend Brooke Bock encouraged me to expand my horizons. Now I'm making soaps, doing woodworking projects, making table linens... all kinds of new things. I feel like the whole world of creating has really opened up for me.

Last weekend I did a show at my friend Tracy's new art space in Conway WA, called The Artists' Clubhouse. It was such a pretty little show. I sold some things, and had a really nice time.

Even with the show prep I somehow managed to make some new things, including this jar for my dogs' treats. I have two big spotted dogs, Max and Sparta. Max is a Dalmatian/German Shorthaired Pointer cross, and Sparta is a Catahoula Leopard dog. Sparta hasn't been feeling well. She has some food sensitivities and gets hot spots. I wanted to make her some soothing brown rice pumpkin dog treats, and I thought it would also be nice to make a cute jar to keep them in. I started with a thrift store ginger jar. Because both my dogs are both spotted, I made their treat jar spotted too. 

Hand-Painted Ginger Jar, With Spots

One Side Has Bones Too!

Another View Of My Hand-Painted Dog Treat Jar

Homemade Peanut butter Pumpkin Dog Treats

I filled the jar with homemade peanut butter pumpkin dog treats. I made up the recipe, using other recipes that had worked for me in the past. Here's my version:


2 1/2 Cups Brown Rice Flour
2 Eggs
3/4 Cup Pumpkin
2 Tablespoons Peanut Butter
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
Rice Bran

Mix all ingredients together. Chill in refrigerator for an hour. Preheat oven to 350. Roll out dough onto a cutting board, 1/4: thick. Cut out circles with a jelly jar. Sprinkle with rice bran, then press the bran into the tops. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.

I'm just going to admit this... they looked really good, so I tasted them. They actually do taste pretty good. My dogs think they are delicious. My husband asked for one in his lunch. No, I didn't give him a dog treat, but I did make him his very own batch of actual cookies, another labor of love.

Inspired by Somerset Home magazine, I also made these jewelry organizers. they hang on the wall and hold about a dozen pairs of earring each.

Jewelry Organizer Made From  A Shadowbox Frame

This One Has Polka Dot Paper Behind The Screening

The Glass From The Frames Has Been Replaced With Screen Material

I had never done a woodworking project before. Lots of faux finishing, but never woodworking, so this was fun. It turns out that I love the tools and the work itself. From there I moved on to making a little shelf, completely from scratch. It looks more like a bathroom shelf, but I like the way the copper tubing worked for the front of it, so I want to make more of these, without the paper and knobs, and use them for spice racks in my kitchen.

Duck Egg Blue Shelf With Graphic 45 Paper And Copper Tubing

Shelf Detail: Right Side

Shelf Detail: Left Side

Shelf Detail: Knobs

Shelf Detail: Copper Tubing

I think the  thing I liked best about this project is that it started with nothing but my imagination. I took some scrap wood that Mr. Bees had in his shop, and used a hand saw to cut the wood to the right dimensions. I drilled the holes, sanded the edges. cut the copper tubing, did the faux-finish, cut the paper to fit the back, and sealed it in place with Mod Podge. There's something really satisfying about using raw materials instead of pre-made components. I experienced that feeling again yesterday when I made a table runner and some place mats from scratch.

Silk Table Runner With Hand-Painted Gold Polka Dots

Silk Place mat With Hand-Painted Gold Polka Dots

The jewelry organizers, shelf, and polka dot table linens are all going to be submitted to Somerset Home magazine. 


This week I received some little vintage Japanese putz houses that I won on eBay. Here's one of them:

White Putz House

We had a whole village of these houses when I was growing up. My Mom would set all of them up on the fireplace mantle every Christmas. I've been feeling nostalgic lately. I'm going to use this one as a template. I saved some cardboard from a box of crackers. Hopefully I'll have a little village of my own by the next time I blog!

Until then! Leaving you with this quote:

"Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do... but how much love we put in that action."
-Mother Teresa

1 comment:

  1. You make me smile.... Your creativity is boundless and inspiring....It has always been in you.