Category Archives: Craft

Haunted Manor Purple & Black

We are getting very close to Halloween and you know what that means. . . . tiny haunted houses! I have been going a little crazy over the Tim Holtz Halloween Houses, again. If you haven’t seen Lucy’s work over at her blog With Glue and Glitter you are missing out.  I was heavily influenced by her amazing work. Loved this house she made that had a teal roof, make take on it has a purple roof. I loved how makes bases for her houses and so I gave that a whirl too.

Haunted Manor

As with my other two houses (here) and (here), I used the Tim Holtz Dies as my starting place. I used the Village Dwelling, Village Manor, and Village Rooftops.

Haunted Manor – Front View

I started by cutting my bases out of heavyweight cardstock. Then I began creating my siding by spritzing a piece of cardstock with Glimmer Mist and Distress Ink Spray in Autumn Nights and Black Soot. Once dry I then cut the cardstock into thin strips and applied a little white chalk ink to the edges. This is not an exact science, I ended up making several batches of siding and so there was a little variation in color but I think that this adds to the overall weathered look of the house.

Side View

For the roof, I cut the pieces out first and the sprayed with Fully Purple Glimmer Mist and then edged with Black Soot Distress Ink. The window frames were created in the same manner.

Tiny Door

To create the door I stamped a copy of the door with the Woodgrain Stamp from Stampin’ Up and then added color with Distress Inks. I colored a few thin strips of cardstock with Distress Stain and added a little Distress Embossing Powder, then attached to the house. The doorknobs are tiny brads. I was really happy to find these little guys.

View from the back

Each window and the front door have a small piece of acetate behind. I just used scraps I had lying around and colored them with alcohol ink in Butterscotch.

Additional roof edging

I added trim pieces on the roofline using the front trim piece as a guide for the angle and then coloring in the same manner as the roof. My edges were a little rough and this certainly smartened up the whole house.

Base with the battery operated candle

The base was created in the manner that Lucy has described over on her blog (here). I used smaller layers between mine (little strips of cardboard) to give it a little more height without a full piece of cardboard. In addition, I also added a little hole in the center to hold my battery operated light. Once the cardboard was dry I added about three coats of tissue paper adhered with glue. I left that to dry overnight. In the morning I gave it a few coats of grey and black acrylic paint.  I painted a few fence lengths and glued them to my base.

Base without the candle

I feel like my house might be a little plain and so there may be an addition or two down the road, i.e. polymer clay pumpkins or a ghost. For now, this little house sits ready for Halloween. I really would love to get another house done before Halloween but I am simply buried with projects (in a good way).  Thank you for stopping by and I hope that this inspires you to create your own tiny Halloween Dwelling!

House with the light on

Bling Flamingos!

As we are winding down our summer we have been trying to squeeze a few special days and projects in.  Last week we did glass fusing, which was a blast. I think I might be hooked. This sparked a whole interest in glass work in general; stain glass, mosaics, and fused glass. Then there was a moment when the little person was looking at Pinterest with me and we saw a blinged flamingo. Sold, done this was going to happen.

A Blingo in its natural environment

On Monday, we set out to find our flamingos. I was pleasantly surprised to find a pair at the local party store. We had some gems left over from previous projects but decided that we needed more. In the end, we actually ended up getting two boxes of acrylic gems in addition to what we already had on hand. Thus the Blingos, Rhinegos, Flaminglows, Bling Flamingos were born.

This Blingo is after the tomatoes

The boxes of gems we purchased came with more than one color so we had to sort or gems before we could glue them. I would say that it took about four sessions with dry time between to finish my flamingo. I started with E6000 but reading the back of the tube freaked me out, the warnings have gotten more serious since I had purchased a tube. We picked up some outdoor silicon and that worked like a charm. We worked outside and the silicone was nearly odor free with the breeze. I thought about grouting my flamingo but decided that might be overkill, although I always reserve the right to change my mind.

I love our Blingos, and I think that they look fantastically kitschy! These bedazzled birds were a great mother/daughter project. These were easy and you are rewarded with instant shimmer and shine.

A little adhesive and a lot of rhinestones

You have about 30 minutes working time with the adhesive so I would gloop out a bit in the area I was working then add me presorted gems. I found that if I laid out my gems flat side down and then used a Pick-Me-Up/Quickstik I could work pretty quickly.

TheBlingos should hold up to the weather, we hope, but I might bring them in before it snows.

Lots of sparkle!
End of the summer mother/daughter project

I loved this project! this was a pretty easy project, so don’t be afraid and bling up a flamboyance of flamingos yourself. (That is really what a group of flamingos is called, and it is awesome). Every time I let the dogs out these little guys bring a smile to my face.

Enjoy the end of your summer! We are gearing up for the eclipse here. They are saying we should have about 92-93% complete eclipse, we have our glasses and are very excited.

It’s a Blingo

Fairy Toothpick Doll


Today, I am sharing the latest creation to find her way out of my studio. This is a little toothpick doll fairy. She was so much fun to make. As with the other toothpick dolls, she was created using toothpicks, glue, and embroidery floss. I tried out a new technique to create the wings and overall they turned out pretty good. This is something that I will have to keep experimenting with.

Toothpick Fairy

I started her creation with the tiered skirt. This took lots of time and patience. Once that was complete, I added her two-tone bodice.

Left-Side View

I added a tiny braid to the top and bottom. Embroidery floss is made of six smaller strands and I used to individual strands to create the braid.

Right-Side View

Next, I started creating the roses. These are created by wrapping small amounts of floss in the tip of a toothpick. The vines are created by wrapping dampened floss around a toothpick and allowing the floss to dry.

By Jennifer Miner

I also added tiny knots as accents. I used the same pallet of colors as the skirt.

Next came the arms, which included pink upper arm braces and more vines.

A Back View

Next, it was time for the hair! Thanks to Pinterest I knew that I wanted to create a faux-hawk braid. I used two shades of pink. I split each strand into individual pieces before bringing them back together for the hair. Again I added some more roses for the hair.

Tiny Fairy

I created the wings using individual strands of floss and regular glue. As I mentioned this was a new technique and needs a little more finesse, but pretty good for a first attempt.

View from the underside

Above you can see a view from the underside. This shows all the many layers of floss that go into creating the skirt. The little void in the middle is here her toothpick legs are.

This little doll was so much fun and it was really nice just working from my own imagination. This is my first doll with pink hair and I think that this might be a little trend in the doll studio.

I am still working on slowing down and taking my time and I am really trying to enjoy the process.  This is certainly one of my favorite creations. Thanks for visiting – off to the studio!


Crochet Baby Blanket & Bunny

Today’s project is a crochet baby blanket and bunny stuffie. I love making baby gifts. These two projects are for a new addition to our extended family. I was a little late getting them done, a certain Harry Potter Party got me a little behind, okay a lot behind, on my other projects. However, I was happy with how they turned out and while a little late the baby in questions hasn’t started college yet.

Granny Square Baby Blanket

Let’s start with the baby blanket. I made this blanket with one ball of Lion Brand Ice Cream Big Scoop in Tutti Fruiti. This was a simple jumbo granny square. The one difference was that when you start a new row you change direction. This gives the neat color pooling that you can see in the blanket. This was a very simple project and in fact, the first 2/3 of this blanket were done while I was waiting in the carpool. I just can’t sit and not do something with my hands. You could easily use any yarn for this and make it any size. You can find the pattern over on Lion Brand’s site here.

Now, on to the bunny! This little crochet darling was made using Bernat PipSqueak in Pixie Pow. The pattern I used is from One Dog Woof and can be found here. My favorite thing about the yarn/pattern combo was how forgiving it was.

Crochet bunny in a flower pot.

I did make a few alterations to the pattern as I went along. In fact, I think that the head was the only piece that I didn’t alter. I made the abdomen a little larger and the legs, arms, and ear a little longer. I didn’t really keep track of what I did but I just worked until I was happy with the shape of length and then moved on to the next part.

My daughter loved this bunny and I was only able to send it along with the promise that I would make another for her.

I added a pom-pom tail with basic acrylic yarn out of my stash. I loved the tail, it also helps this little bunny sit-up.  I trimmed a lot off my original pom-pom which is why the end result is a tight dense ball.

Pom pom bunny tail

The pattern gives directions for an embroidered nose and I really went back and forth on whether to add one or not, but in the end, I just left the nose off and I think that this bunny looks fine without one.  The eyes are plastic safety eyes and she was stuffed with basic polyfill. I hope that she will be loved.

Bunny Face

That is it for today! Thank you for stopping by.

The end

Belle Part 2 – Toothpick Doll

Hello, World!

Well, it has been a little while since I have posted here. I just hate it when the “real” world gets in the way of this little blog. Oh well, I have been working on lots of projects and will try to share them as I can. I haven’t forgotten about sharing the rest of the Harry Potter party decorations. They are in the works, but on to today’s project!

I have a new toothpick doll to share with you. It is another Belle, this one inspired by the 1991 animated movie version of Belle. She is just a little different from my historically inspired Belle.

Belle Toothpick Doll

This doll took around four hours of working time to create. I have to let my dolls dry between layers. If I don’t I end up pulling my doll totally apart. I have also lost heads owing to my impatience. It is sort of unsettling to have a head in your hands, maybe not really when it is a doll but when you aren’t expecting it, it is a surprise. I created a video of my process. I compressed four hours into 13 minutes. Clearly, I am a little out of practice staying in frame, but I thought you all might get a kick out seeing it start to finish.


A view of the hair

This doll was a lot of fun to make. I used a variety of yellow embroidery floss for her dress and accents.

Back Detail – Belle toothpick Doll

Even though her hair covers it, I created a bodice lacing up the back of the dress.

Created by Jennifer Miner

I am really trying to slow down and work on being more accurate with my work. This isn’t easy for me, I always feel like I am in a hurry, which I think hurts my finished product. I think that this doll is neater and overall tidier than some of the previous girls but I will have to keep at it.

Just under 3″

I have a few new ideas for things to try on upcoming dolls so stay tuned. I hope you are all having a wonderful summer! Stay safe.


Happy Birthday Banner – Harry Potter Party

Good Morning,

Things are in full swing here. Preparation for our party is plugging right along. As usual, everything is taking longer than expected but that is how it goes. Yesterday I spent what felt like half the day running around getting more project supplies and the other half fighting with my sewing machine. In spite of the challenges and nearly no time to blog, projects are getting completed and checked off the master list. So, on to today project!

Cardstock Happy Birthday Banner

Today I will be sharing more of a “preview” since I wasn’t able to hang the full Happy Birthday Banner yet. There are a ton of options when it comes to creating a banner and a quick internet search will net you plenty of ideas. I really wanted something that looked like shields with the Harry Potter Font for the lettering. I, once again, used my Silhouette Design Software and Silhouette Cameo to create the project.

Step 1

To begin, I created tracked down a shield shape that I liked and brought that into my program. Next, used the Offset tool to create an Internal Offset of .25 inches. This will be the shape I use to create the thin frame that holds the shield design in place.  Before I created a compound path with my two shield shapes I copied the larger shape, this will be the background for the shield. I then created a compound shape with the frame.

Step 2
Step 3

At this stage, I added color to my shapes. This helps me view the design and make sure that I don’t delete or forget if I am working in the foreground or background.

Step 4

Now, to add the shield details. For the Gryffindor shield, I added to blocks of color. I started by copying my background and changing the color to match my foreground. Then I used the Knife Tool I cut the shape into quarters. If you hold the Shift-Key while you drag the Knife it will draw a perfectly straight line. This is super helpful, if like me straight lines are a challenge for you.

Step 5

Now, I had four blocks of shield, but I only needed two so I deleted the other two. Now to join these to my frame. I used my Align tools to get everything lined up and then merged it together. I made the Slytherin and Ravenclaw shields in a very similar manner but I used rectangles of different sizes.

Step 6

The one that was different was the Hufflepuff shield. This one was created using a diamond background. I’ll admit it is my favorite. I really wanted to make on with fleur-de-lys but they are a little tricky to have only two shield parts. For the diamonds, I a basic diamond background I had in my library that I purchased from the Silhouette Online Store. I added this to my design, resized to fit and used the Merge Tool to create the design.

Hufflepuff – Adding the diamonds
Resized and merged

Now I was ready to create the lettering. I started by typing the first letter, “H” using the Harry P font and resizing to fit my shield. Then I used the Offset tool to create the shadow. Then it was just a matter of replicating this for each of the letters that I would use for the banner.

I was ready to start cutting. I cut all of the backgrounds first, from each appropriate color and then I cut the foreground shapes. Each shield fit on one piece of cardstock. The I cut all the letter shadows out of white cardstock and the main letters from black cardstock. At this point, there were little triangles just strewn about my workspace. Once everything was cut, I set to work with my adhesive and glued everything together. I used pop dots on the letters.

The four houses represented

Since this will be a focal point, I wanted to be sure that the shields tear away from the ribbon holding them so  I added eyelets to the corners of each shield. I then strung my banners together with black ribbon. I am still thinking about adding a little glitter to the banners but that may be an “if I have time” project.

While this is a pretty simple project it did take a bit of time but I think that it was totally worth it! There are still potion bottles and directional signs in progress and I just completed sewing my daughter’s robe yesterday, so more to share. The invitations will be going out this week, barring any unforeseen mishaps! We are also anxiously awaiting the delivery of our very own Bentwood Steamer Trunk which should be arriving from England next week.

Created by Jennifer Miner

Thanks for stopping by!

Hogwarts House Banners

Hi Everyone!

Back again today with more Harry Potter love. Today I will be sharing our latest creation, Hogwarts House Banners! My plan is to have these hanging in our hallway as the kiddos enter. These were pretty easy to create using my Silhouette Cameo and some felt. So, let’s get started!

Harry Potter House Banners

To begin, I purchase felt from my local craft store. This is not from the precut squares but by the roll. I purchased half of a yard of each of my colors, burgundy, yellow, green, and blue, this gave me a little more than I needed but I will use the extra for another project. In addition, I also bought three spools of 1/4 in. ribbon in silver, yellow, and black.

“Felt glorious felt”
1/4 Ribbon

I trimmed by felt into 15 in. by 19 in. squares and trimmed the bottom by cutting out a 3.5-inch tall triangle.

Black cut felt

To do this, I measured to the center of the banner and then up 3.5 inches and folded my rectangle in half and cut the points. Once I had the first one done I used it as a guide for the others. Since I am using felt for these there is no need to seam!

Cutting the bottom – Measure

Once I had the first one done I used it as a guide for the others. Since I am using felt for these there is no need to seam!

Cutting the bottom
Bottom cut

Now on to the design portion of our banners. This was really the hardest and most time-consuming part. I really wanted to used printable heat transfer material to print our house logos and then iron that onto my banner. However, I was unable to find what I was looking for in a high enough resolution to print at 12 inches tall. I looked and looked and looked and I couldn’t find what I was wanting.  I finally gave in and realized that I need to go simpler. So, I decided to create a shield and cut out the animal sigil for each house out of the center. It was back to the internet where I found just the right shapes. I will confess that the Hufflepuff is my favorite!

Gryffindor design in Silhouette Software

Now that I had my designs created it was time to cut these out. I made sure to reverse my designs so the would be the way I designed when ironed on. Really for these designs, it wouldn’t really matter which way the animals faced, but it is always good to remember to flip.

Be sure to flip that design prior to cutting

I used Cricut iron-on material for this project. This was my first time using that particular brand and I have to say I was impressed. It was easy to cut and I had no trouble cutting it with my Silhouette Cameo, even without a cutting mat. At this point, I had my sigils all cut-out and ready to go.

Ribbon glued in place (I actually ironed on the sigil first, just pretend it isn’t there)

I broke out the sewing machine and sewed the double ribbon edgings to my banners. I used Aleene’s Tack Glue to glue them in place and once they were dry I just ran a stitch down the edges. This was a little trickier than I had thought but I think that they are okay.

Back of the iron-on transfer – after weeding

Next, I ironed on my shields. This Cricut Iron-On Vinyl was so easy to work with and adhered like a charm. One word of caution when using an iron on felt, be very careful as high temps can melt the felt. This is eco-felt and it seemed to be a little more sensitive to heat. As long as I kept moving my iron everything seemed fine and the iron on went down very easily.

Ready for ironing
After ironing and removing the carrier sheet

Almost complete! To complete the banners, I folded over the top edge of my banner and sewed a little tube. This created a pocket for my  .3 inch dowel rod, which was cut to 16 inches.

Pinned dowel pocket
Completed banner on dowels with caps

Now, I really liked them at this point but they needed something more! I found some wooden dowel caps and using wood glue added them to the ends. They were just the look the banners were calling for. I really think that these are going to look great and I had enough felt left over that I will have plenty to make my bunting! I may still paint the dowel caps but for now, they will stay plain.

Ravenclaw Banner – Harry Potter Party
Hufflepuff Banner – Harry Potter Party

Harry Potter Party – Slytherin Banner

You can totally whip these babies up! For a sewing project, they are pretty forgiving and you could always use glue for the ribbons and top closure if you really didn’t want to sew. I hope you enjoyed today’s tutorial!


  • Felt (9×15 per banner)
  • 1/4 inch ribbon
  • Cricut Iron-on material (I used Foil Gold, Foil Chrome, and Black)
  • Silhouette Cameo
  • .3 Dowel Rod (1/2 per banner)
  • 1 inch 3/8 inch Dowel Cap (2 per banner)
  • Thread
  • Wood Glue
  • Aleene’s Tacky Glue
  • Iron
  • Scissors
  • String/Thread to hang



Harry Potter Always Stag Canvas

Things are cracking along here at Harry Potter Central! I think that at first, I was a little nervous because I really wasn’t sure if I would be able to pull some of these projects off. Now, I know that I have a long way to go I have been having a blast with everything.

Today’s project is a canvas. I wanted to create some HP inspired art projects for the house, most things will be inspired by props in the books/movies but I wanted a few pieces of “fan art. ” I love Harry’s stag Patronus image and Always hold a special place for me. While my daughter is a Harry Potter fan, her mom might be the bigger fan.

Harry Potter inspired Always Canvas

This project began with an11 in. x 14 in. white canvas. I painted the galaxy background first, I used black, blue, purple, and pink craft acrylics. I applied the paint kind of randomly and then used a sea sponge to blend the colors. This technique requires working in small areas, this way none of my paint dries before blending. Once I was happy with the first coat, I let it dry. Then I came back with more of the same colors and added white. I tried to keep the white in a “path.” Again each paint application was blended with the sponge and then allowed to dry. I took my canvas outside and splattered some white acrylic paint to simulate stars. Now, I let the paint fully dry.

Created by Jennifer Miner

While my paint was drying, I create the stencil I used for the stag. I started with this deer and the used the Silhouette Design Studio® to create the Deathly Hallows symbol.  I then added the “Always.”

“Always” created with Silhouette Cameo, Double-Sided Adhesive, and glitter

Have you ever purchase a tool or supply and then sort of forgotten it, well maybe not totally forgot but perhaps let it sit in a drawer for just the right project? The “Always” was created with a tool I sort of forgot that I had, Double-Sided Adhesive from Silhouette America. I bought this knowing that I would totally use it and then didn’t have the right project for it; until today! I cut the word from the adhesive and applied it to my canvas. The adhesive went on the canvas like a champ. I then added the gold glitter. This stuff worked way better than I could have imagined. The glitter is even and really stuck on there.

Stag Patronus with Deathly Hallows

Now, it was time to add my stag. To begin, I cut out a stencil using adhesive vinyl.

Harry Potter Inspired Fan Art

When I went to apply my stencil to the canvas, it was a total wrestling match. It wouldn’t stick at all, well except to itself. I finally got it on, part of the shape had stretched and warped. I used a few little scraps of vinyl to get it down and back into the shape I needed. I used the Modge Podge Technique that is normally used on wood to apply my paint. This means that I gave the stencil a coat of Modge Podge prior to painting. This helps get the stencil to stick down and if there is any seepage it should be the clear Modge Podge and not the paint. This helped a ton, although a little paint did still get through, it could have been much worse.  I used a round sponge brush to add the silver acrylic paint.

HP Party Art

When I pulled up the stencil I could see a little paint seepage. It wasn’t terrible but I knew that it would bother me if I left it. I used black and blue acrylic paint to touch up the stag. I did a couple light coats of the paint to try and match the background.

Harry Potter Always Canvas

Overall, I am happy with the way this turned out. This was really fun to create. Thank you for joining me today and I hope that you are inspired to take on your own Patronus!


  • 11×14 Stretched Canvas
  • Acrylic Paints
    • Black
    • Purple
    • Pink
    • Blue
    • White
    • Silver
  • Sea Sponge
  • Modge Podge
  • Adhesive Vinyl
  • Double-Sided Adhesive
  • Gold Glitter

Harry Potter Gryffindor Knit Scarf

As I mentioned in my previous post, the preparations for the Harry Potter Party have officially begun. Today’s project is the knit scarf I created for our porch staging. I would really love to knit one for each of the kiddos but I just don’t think that I could whip up 15 of these in time.


  • Vanna’s Choice Yarn
    • Cranberry (2.5 skeins)
    • Mustard (2 skeins)
  • Circular Knitting Needles
    • US 8 – 16″ circular needles
Pattern by Alison Hansel Knit by Jennifer Miner

There are a ton of scarf patterns for the Hogwarts House Scarves but I used the one written by Lauren Kent that is in her book Charmed Knits. Alison recommended Cascade 220 yarn but I don’t have a close yarn store anymore and I know that this will go to my daughter after the party so I decided to go with something washable and inexpensive. I picked withVanna’s Choice by Lion Brand, which I was able to pick up immediately, not to mention it was even on sale.

Hand knit scarf.

I used Cranberry and Mustard and used 2.5 skeins of Cranberry and 2 of the Mustard. The scarf has 19 bands of color and I did make the larger pattern.

1-2 Year Gryffindor Scarf

This is a very simple pattern and is knit in one big tube and then you add the tassels at the end.  I used Knitter’s Pride US 8 – 16″ circular needles. It worked up into a nice tight stitch and being doubled this is one warm scarf. The recommended size for Vanna’s Choice Yarn is a US 9, but this was so nice and snug.

Vanna’s Choice Acrylic Yarn in Cranberry and Mustard

As a side note, the trunk in the photos is one that my mother refinished when she was a little girl. It currently houses some crafty overflow and I am planning on adding it to the porch for the party. It is one of my favorite inherited pieces.

Close-up Gryffindor Scarf

The scarf measures just under 80″ including the tassels. The pattern is well written and easy to follow.

There is so much to do but I am really having a blast! I have more signs in the works and am looking forward to working with my new scroll saw.  In my research, I signed up for an account over on Pottermore and took the test to determine my house, I was put into Ravenclaw. I may need to make one of these for myself in my house colors. It is a little silly but still fun. Thanks for stopping by!


Large Koma Ornament

Happy Sunday Night. I thought that I would share a quick post with you all tonight. I had a request for a large koma ornament. If you missed my previous post about these Japanese ornaments you can view that here.  They are really easy to make and could be any color you want.

When I started making these a few years ago, I made a large one for my parents. Most of my koma are made with a base of 6″x2″ and the previous ornament and the one I am sharing today are made with a base of 9″x3″. The only request for this koma was that it should be the same size as my large one and that the colors feature high contrast. Below I have posted two diagrams, the top diagram shows the size and scoring for a small (my normal size koma) and the bottom diagram shows the same for a large koma, like this one.

Dimensions for a small koma

I should point out that these are not to scale but just to help you if you create your own.

Diagram for a large koma

Here is what I came with. . . .

Created with cardboard, embroidery floss, beads, and glue.

This was so much fun. I was able to get started on this when my daughter’s school had a delayed start; she got to sleep in and I got to craft.

Silver & Blue Koma

I used DMC Embroidery Floss in the following colors:

  • 823 – Dark Navy Blue
  • 995 – Dark Electric Blue
  • 996 – Medium Electric Blue
  • S762 – Silver Cloud (Satin Embroidery Floss)

The Satin Floss can be a bit of a challenge to work with because the strands separate and it is really slippery. I made one tassel with it and it was a fight! It was totally worth it because it looks so great on the ornament. I really like the way the colors work together.

By Jennifer Miner

I purchased a hank of Czech Beads at my local store for the tassels and added iridescent seed beads in between each of the Czech beads. I was pretty surprised how quickly this ornament worked up.

Large & small koma

Above you can see how the two sizes look in comparison. As you can see, the larger one is much larger.

Beading & tassels

I am really looking forward to getting this ornament to its new owner, I think that they will be pleased. I am still hacking away on the same cereal box and I think that I’ll get a few more out of it before it is all said and done. As always, thanks for stopping by!