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Harry Potter Party – Cauldron DIY

Today is the day for some, bubble, bubble, toil and trouble! If you saw my porch photos you might have noticed my little cauldron. When I started on this particular project I knew that I wanted something different. I found lots of “regular” plastic cauldrons but wanted something with a different shape. I did lots of research on cauldrons. The cast iron cauldrons were very expensive and then there is the issue of what do you do with it afterward? I couldn’t find a plastic cauldron that I liked. The cauldrons in the movie have a unique shape and I wanted something more like the film version. I didn’t really get the shape I wanted but I got close and I was very happy with the end result.

Harry Potter Party Decorations – Cauldron

While I was on my research walkabout, I came across some amazing Halloween prop makers sites. These people are incredible. They make me want to go over the top on Halloween. I discover this tutorial. This was for a huge cauldron but I thought that I could apply this to my little project. Later I found this slightly easier tutorial over at Epbot. Well, I was convinced and I was ready to rock and roll.

It started life as a pot

To begin, I purchased 10″ plastic garden pot locally for under $5.  I created a “rib” template to create the shape I wanted for my cauldron. Then, I used my Silhouette Design Software to create my template. I printed this out and was ready to trace and cut.

Template

I traced about 30 ribs onto cardboard and then cut these out. Next, I applied these around my pot (nearly evenly) using duct tape. If you were making a big or a biiiiiiiig cauldron you would want to use more ribs.

Cut from cardboard
Ribbing the pot
As you can see, mostly straight on the ribs

Once my ribs were on and fairly straight I applied more duct tape over my newly shaped cauldron. I made sure to cover all of the ribs and leave no holes.

More ribs!!
Duct tapped
Paper Mache

Now it was onto paper mache! I used a very basic mixture of flour and water along with torn newspaper to cover my cauldron. It is important to tear your newspaper versus cut it. I forgot about this and had terrible lines later that I had to deal with. On my Snitch Pinata, I learned my lesson and only used torn newspaper and the result was much better.

Drying
Drying completed
After a few coats of paper mache

I did a few coats of paper mache, making sure to let each layer dry before I started on the next.

Covered with Paper Clay

Next, I added a layer of paper clay. You can find the recipe here. My clay turned out a little bumpier than I really was hoping for but I think that was owing to the fact that I didn’t use a mixer and that I used nicer toilet paper. I added handles by fashioning circles using air dry clay and then for the fasteners I used toilet paper rolls that I cut up to size. I glued these to my cauldron using high temp hot glue.

So, after this, I gave my cauldron a light coat of just joint compound. Once everything was dry, I gave my cauldron two coats of flat black spray paint.

Custom Harry Potter Cauldron

It was at this point that I forgot that I was supposed to be taking photos as I went along. Once I got my cauldron painted, I added the potion remenants. For this, I used plain old white glue mixed with decorative sand and then a mixture of the sand with raw oatmeal. I just kind of dribbled around the top edge. I was channeling my inner messy witch. This detail sat for 24 hours to fully dry. Then I added the paint. I used slightly watered down craft acrylic paint and painted over my glue dribbles.

Handles made with air dry clay & toilet paper rolls

What a messy potion maker!

I am very pleased with my little cauldron and am toying with the idea of making a big one for Halloween. The additional layer of joint compound makes the little guy a little heavy but that also keeps it from blowing away, which is always a good thing.

This started life as a flower pot
Close up view of the glue, sand and oatmeal mixture
Finishing touches

As always, thanks for stopping by!

 

 

 

 

Harry Potter Party (Part Two)

Welcome back! In our last post, we had just reached the Defense Against the Dark Arts Class. If you replicate this class you might use shapes that don’t have too much sticking out. When the balloons pop there is a fair bit of force and a few of our Patronus lost body parts.

The nearly dressed porch. Harry Potter Party

Once we were done with Defense Against the Dark Arts we move on to the Golden Snitch Pinata and Gringotts. The Birthday Girl was adamant that she wanted a pinata at her party. Her one concern was that everyone wouldn’t get candy. So, we bounced a could of ideas around and came up with the following. I made the pinata and instead of filling it with candy, I put keys with vault numbers attached into the pinata. Once the pinata was broken open each guest picked up one key. Each key had the number of a vault. I create the Gringotts Vault and each vault had tissue paper over the front. Each key holder came up as I called their number and “opened” their vault. The vaults were filled with either a stick of rock candy, a ring pop, or chocolate coins.

Golden Snitch Pinata
Gringotts Bank Vault

Each vault also had a bookmark. I downloaded these bookmarks from Artsy Fartsy Mama (here). These were awesome and the kids seemed to really like them. Also, it was nice to have something that I didn’t have to create from scratch.

Selecting a wand

Now it was time for our visit to Ollivander’s Wand Shop. I had whipped up our storefront, more on that later, to hold the wands that I had made. Since my daughter had been around for the creation of the wands, she had her eye on one in particular. We had the kids go one at a time by asking them Harry Potter questions. The wands were really fun to create and a few were based on wands from the movies and many were just from my imagination.

A collection of wands

Whew, are you tired yet? We were! At this point, we got out the chocolate cake and Butterbeer. I had purchased glasses at IKEA and using my Silhouette Cameo and glass etching cream etched a special message. The kids enjoyed the cake, I was really surprised with just how much they ate and the kids that tried the Butterbeer seemed to enjoy it. At this point, things were winding down. As each guest was collected we sent them home with a Harry Potter gift bag with Beanie Boo Owl, a box of Bertie Botts and a Chocolate Frog. Then we collapsed on the floor in a heap! Okay, maybe not totally but this was a huge undertaking and I could have never done it without the help of my family.

Harry Potter Party

That is the overview of the party activities. The next series of posts will detail some of the individual projects and activities that went into creating the magical event!

 

Broncos Thank You – Part 2

Happy Fall! Today’s post is pretty short and sweet. I have been fighting with my computer all morning and I have sadly lost that battle. I hope that I am able to get things fixed up this weekend, and if not I should be able to get ahold of tech support on Monday. Grrr – technology! It is great when it all works and this was all kicked off by an automatic update. I am sure that I’ll be able to get it straightened out, I guess it is just a matter of when.

Today’s card is a variation on my Bronco card I made around the time of the Super Bowl. Our friends let us use their Broncos tickets recently and so I needed another Bronco themed thank you card.

Bronco Themed Thank You
Bronco Themed Thank You

I started with all white cardstock. I created the Bronco logo on my computer and then used my Silhouette Cameo to cut it out.

bronco-2

I then used my Distress Inks to color each section. I threw a little Old Paper on the white portion to set it apart, a little.

bronco-3

I then used an old QuicKutz Font called Venus to cut out the “Thanks.” I used the Distress Inks to color it again. I was trying for a graffiti look.  I also used the ink to color my orange mat behind.

bronco-4

Next, I assembled everything. I applied my “thanks” first. I used regular adhesives and two different heights of foam tape for the letters.  I then added my horse head with the fatter foam tape.

bronco-5

Per usual, I had to add a little glitter. I gave the horse head a very light application of Crystal stickles. This was a really quick project but fun!

bronco-6

Materials

Paper: Neenah Solar White

Ink: Dried Marigold, Spiced Marmalade, Tumbled Glass, Blueprint Sketch, Old Paper

Other: Crystal Stickles, QuicKutz Venus Alphabet, Foam Tape

Thank you for stopping by today!

Paper Mermaid Crown

Birthday Crown for a Mermaid Birthday

Hiya!

In June, we helped celebrated a 3rd Birthday. The theme was “Mermaids” and since we had already done a mermaid party at our house we were able to lend decorations that I had made for our party. I had made a party crown for my daughter and while I still had it; I decided to create a new one for the birthday girl. I found a darling paper crown on Pinterest and thought, “I can do that.” Enter my handy dandy Silhouette machine.

Close-up of the glitter seahorse
Close-up of the glitter seahorse

I started by creating the purple crown base. For this I purchased the crown shape in the Silhouette Store. I tweaked the crown in my software because I wanted a slightly different shape. I cut this as large as I could on a piece of 12×12 glitter cardstock. While glitter cardstock can be a challenge to cut this wasn’t very sturdy so I cut another copy in plain cardstock. I used my QuickDry glue to adhere these together (as seen below).

Mermaid Crown - backside
Mermaid Crown – backside

My next step was to cut my little starfish. I basically did the same thing as the crown; one layer in glitter cardstock another in plain cardstock. I went ahead and glued these to my crown. You can see from the above photo that I sandwiched the crown between the two layers. This was just to give a little additional support.

Mermaid Crown - Created with Silhouette Cameo
Mermaid Crown – Created with Silhouette Cameo

Next, I cut out the rosette, this was another Silhouette Store purchase. this was cut out from Pearlescent  cardstock. Next I used my Tim Holtz Sand and Sea die to cut out the seahorse. I used glitter adhesive to cover it with teal glitter. In the photo the glitter seahorse is really close to the color of the rosette but in person they weren’t quiet as close. If I’d had a little more time I would have made it again in a different color.

Oh the glitter; a little girl's dream
Oh the glitter; a little girl’s dream

Next, I added the extra large eyelets for the ribbon. I had these in my stash but I really wanted to find silver and I absolutely no luck. I guess that they aren’t in vogue right now. I guess I should be glad that I had these.

Close-up of the gem border
Close-up of the gem border

Next, came the gems!! Thesecame straight from my craft stash. You can find big boxes of these coordinated by color at your local craft store. I used the QuickDry glue and also added some little pearls. I tied the crown about head size as I applied the gems and let them dry this way. The glue is pretty flexible but it made me feel better.

Large starfish detail
Large starfish detail

I also added a few silver details using my Stickles. My last step was to add the ribbon and that was it.  This was so much fun and I was happy to be taking on only a very small part of the party.

Have a wonderful Friday!

 

Octopus Painted Rock

Acrylic Painted Rock – Pointillist Octopus

Good Morning!

As you may remember from my post about the heart rock I painted, I had a request for a new rock for my daughter.  She really wanted me to paint a t-rex  on her rock  but I explained that a t-rex is perhaps beyond my skill set. So, she selected an octopus, which is much more conducive to a rock painting. Well, here is our octopus: I went with a pointillist style for this project and in the requested colors of pink, teal and purple.

Acrylics on rock - Pointillist Octopus
Acrylics on rock – Pointillist Octopus

This is by far the largest rock that I have painted; and this presented a few challenges. It can be hard to hold a heavy rock and paint with a steady hand. I used an empty cup to hold it which worked better then me trying to hold in my left hand and paint with my right. However, it still cause so issues since it would only sit in a few ways without falling over.

To begin, I painted the top 2/3 of the rock with several coats of black paint. I then created an oval template for the central image. I traced this onto the top of the rock and gave that a few coats of white paint. I lightly sketched my octopus and then I started painting on my dots. The hardest part for me is not smudging the dots I have already painted. I started with the larger dots and then simply filled in with  smaller and then smaller dots. Once that was completely dry I erased the sketch lines. That was much more difficult then I was expecting. I will take care on my next rock to sketch with a lighter hand.

Who doesn't need a pink octopus rock
Who doesn’t need a pink octopus rock

I added the purple boarder and added the rows polka dots. There were lot of missteps  with my dots which caused me to repaint the black areas a few times but in the end I think that they turned out alright. I mention that I had a few difficulties with this little rock owing to it’s weight and size. Next time, I think that I will work on setting up a little platform with a towel to hold it in place. My biggest issue, however, stems from lack of patience. I just need to walk away sometimes and let the paint dry!

Lots of dots - side of the octopus Rock
Lots of dots – side of the octopus Rock

Once this baby was totally painted and dry I added the three coats of varnish so she can live outside if necessary. If I keep painting rocks this size I will have to find a new source outside of my yard. I find myself wondering if our local rock yard will sell me rocks one at a time, versus by the ton!

Painted by Jennifer Miner
Painted by Jennifer Miner

All in all, I am happy with how this little (not little) baby turned out and my daughter is pretty happy with it. I can see that I still have room to improve on the size consistency and placement on my polka dots but I can also see improvement.

Pointillist Octopus Rock - Painted by Jennifer Miner
Pointillist Octopus Rock – Painted by Jennifer Miner

Thank you for visiting today!

Just Because Card

Good evening! I hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day Weekend. we rolled back into town this afternoon from an absolutely wonderful trip to visit my in-laws.

I have a very quick post for tonight. I dug this card out from the archives. I made it quiet sometime ago and as a result I do not have all of the product details. I have done my best but I am having trouble determining the inks I used.

Just Because Card created by Jennifer Miner. Stamps from Fancy Pants Designs
Just Because Card created by Jennifer Miner. Stamps from Fancy Pants Designs & Papertrey Ink

I think that it is nice to send people handmade cards for no particular reason. In this age of Facebook and e-mail handmade communication is rare, but I find that it is much appreciated. This is a card that I made to send out when I need to tell someone that they are on my mind.

Just Because Card created by Jennifer Miner
Just Because Card created by Jennifer Miner

I started by stamping the rust background paper with stamps from Fancy Pants Design. They are from the In My Words and Delight sets.  I then stamps the wrought iron element in Vintage Photo Distress Ink on the die cut shape. I then stamped the sentiment from Papertrey Ink in two shade of brown ink.

Up-close on the sentiment
p-close on the sentiment

I added the sentiment and rust background to dark brown card stock. All the edges were distressed with my Tonic Distress Edge Tool. I added antique brads to the sentiment which was colored with Antique Linen and Vintage Photo Distress Ink .

Flowers from Prima & stamps from Fancy Pants Designs
Flowers from Prima & stamps from Fancy Pants Designs

I added the adhesive lace on the left edge of the card. This is a really neat product because it already has adhesive on the back so you don’t have to fiddle with gluing it down. Now, of course this means that you don’t really get a second chance at putting it down but I clearly like to live dangerously. I then glued on my flowers from Prima and added assorted rhinestones.

Created by Jennifer Miner
Created by Jennifer Miner

Materials

Stamps: Delight & In My Words – Fancy Pants Design, Giga Guide Lines – Papertrey Ink

Ink: Antique Linen, Vintage Photo,  Walnut Stain &  Rusty Hinge Distress Ink – Ranger &VersaMark

Other: Flowers – Prima, Label 4 Die Cut – Spellbinders, Adhesive Lace – Recollections, Eyelet – Memory Keepers, Rhinestone – Hero Arts & Mark Richards.

I hope you all have a great week and enjoy all of those pumpkin spice products rolling out!

Woodland Baby Shower Menu

Good Afternoon!

When I plan a party I start collecting ideas for decorations and menu and pin these ideas to my Pinterest board I create for that event. I try to create a menu that fits the party and I usually I add a few easy things and a few things I haven’t made before. I like to experiment in the kitchen and parties give me a good excuse to try something new.

For the baby shower I had planned to photograph all the food and have stunning photos to share with you. However, the day before the shower my hand mixer died, in spectacular fashion. To be honest it had been limping along for at least six months. Something was broken inside it and was rattling around in it and it finally worked its way into the motor. Naturally it died right in the middle of mixing the royal icing for the sugar cookies. It jettisoned a blade and the motor started whirring at a high pitch. I wasn’t going to be able to get a new one that day so I asked one of the guests to bring hers which pushed my time table back and left me with no time to get photos. I will try at the next party, so we have no photos but I will link to the recipes I used, where there are awesome photos.

Acorn Candy Cookies – These were very easy and quick to make. I was able to throw these together earlier in the week. I used Almond Hershey’s Kiss versus plain, because they were on sale and just store bought frosting to assemble.

Recipe

Almond Dip – A few of the guests are vegetarians so I left out the bacon for this recipe, I was also out of green onions so I made it with onion powder instead. Toasting the almonds gave them a great flavor and I served it with Trader Joes Assortment Crackers. I actually made this again without the almonds for Easter and it was a hit.

Recipe

Blueberry Muffins –I used frozen berries since that was what I had and these were great!

Recipe

Meringue Mushrooms – Huge impact on these puppies. They were actually way easier then I was expecting. Even though I forgot to add the cocoa powder on top they still looked real. This was another item that I was able to make earlier in the week since they can last a long time.

Recipe

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes – I made the cupcakes the day before and assembled them the morning of, I didn’t think that the meringue would last 24-hours. Great flavor! The lemon curd was just the right amount of tart.

Recipe

Amanita Mushroom (Red with White Spots) Cupcakes – So these should have been my easiest project and they ended up being a huge pain. The melted frosting was sticky and made a huge mess and I tried to make my own dots with candy melt which was a disaster, so I ended up using White Sugar Pearls from Wilton. Primarily because I had them on hand. I just used a box mix (shudder) for the cupcakes and store bought frosting. I had thought about adding a cream filling but that got nixed once I discovered how sticky they were. They were sticking to eachother and pulling parts of each other’s cupcake off so there was red frosting and cake stuck to the outside of the tops and sides. People did like them and they were cute I just think that I would do something different next time, maybe a royal icing or a homemade buttercream.

Directions/Recipe

Sugar Cookies –  This is my go-to sugar cookie with royal icing recipe. I do these all the time and this is the best recipe I have found. I picked up some woodland animal cookie cutters at IKEA. They had a bear, fox, moose, snail and hedgehog. I am so sad that I didn’t get a photo of these because they turned out pretty cute. Next time I make these I’ll be sure to get lots of photos. my one suggestion would be that if you are tired when you make these you run the risk of making uni-brow snails, not saying that I did that but it could have happened.

Recipe

Coffee Cake – Quick and easy. I actually added this last minute. Easy and quick.

Recipe

Cran-Cherry Almond Scones – I was really happy with how these turned out. They were moist and flavorful. I could only find cran-cherries so I went with that versus the dried cherries suggested in the recipe. I also added an almond glaze on the top.

Recipe

French Macaroons – This was my very first attempt at making French Macaroons. I made these two days before the party and whipped up a buttercream frosting the morning of for the filling. I had planned to have a coconut buttercream but it just wasn’t happening so I left out the coconut and was pretty happy with the result. It took me four attempts to get these to turn out correctly. I dyed mine teal and they were so cute. I pretty much followed the recipe as written. I am looking at macaroon pans so I could make the size more consistent, but I may try it one more time before making that commitment. I found the almond flour at Trader Joes.

Recipe

Berry & Feta Salad – Recipe

Ranch Dressing – I am not sure if I missed something in this or if my garlic was just extremely pungent but this was very heavy on the garlic. Still good but way strong. I served this with the veggie tray.

Recipe

Non-baked items

  • Veggie Tray – carrots, celery, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, snap peas & mushrooms
  • Bagels with cream cheese
  • Quiche (two vegetarian varieties)
  • Greek yogurt with mixed berries & granola
  • Honey Smoked Salmon
  • Mimosa bar – Cranberry, Paradise Blend, & Orange Juices with champagne and sparkling cider

So as I read this I realize just how much food there really was. If you were a normal person you could certainly purchase most of these items or pare it down to be less variety and I think you would still be fine. I always struggle with wanting to start too early and most things just cannot be prepared more then 24 hours in advance, but overall this menu went together pretty well and aside from the hand mixer incident was pretty smooth.

As always, thank you for visiting!

 

 

 

 

Baratheon – Part Two

Goodness, where does the time go? We had a wonderful Saint Patrick’s Day. My in-laws stayed with us and my husband made a great Irish stew. I made traditional Irish Soda bread and an Irish cake which had a cream cheese frosting and butterscotch sauce in between the layers. We’ve been having issues with our internet and I am guessing it is related to the basketball tournament.

Today’s card is the next in my Game of Thrones series. I decided to redo my House of Baratheon card with a different stag and change to a yellow background. I created the stag to look more like the one that is featured in the series. I added another handmade rose.

Second House of Baratheon. Crowned stag on yellow background.
House of Baratheon Card
Second House of Baratheon Card featuring medium rose and crowned stage.
Second House of Baratheon Card featuring medium rose and crowned stage.
Card close-up
Card close-up

The background of this card was a piece of white cardstock that I sprayed with Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist in Gold and Heidi Swapp Color Shine in Mustard. Then I added depth by sponging on Yo-yo Yellow, Marigold Morning, Crushed Curry inks from Stampin’ Up and Wild Honey Distress Ink. I stamped the damask images from the Stampers Anonymous’ Distress Damask in Wild Honey. I  then added additional distress with images from the Gorgeous Grunge and Bitty Grunge stamp sets.

I created the stag in my Silhouette Software and cut that image. The ovals, rose parts and crown were also cut using the Silhouette Cameo. The stag was covered with Versamark ink and heat embossed using American Crafts Black Glitter Zing. I sponged the crown with the same ink from the background. The back oval was created using Tim Holtz’s rust method. He showcased this technique on his 12 Tags of 2014 in August. You can view the tutorial here. I added Evergreen Bough, Stormy Sky, Rusty Hinge and Frayed Burlap Distress Stains to the piece and once dry added Distress Embossing Powder in Vintage Photo using Versamark and heating. The rose was created by cutting the pear shaped petals from my Silhouette then the base and leaves were punched using the McGill Paper Blossoms.

Materials 

Paper: Neenah Solar White, Black Cardstock Stampin’ Up, Green Cardstock

Embossing Powder: Black Glitter Zing! from American Crafts & Vintage Photo Distress Embossing Powder – Ranger

Ink: Yo-yo Yellow, Marigold Morning, Crushed Curry – Stampin’ Up, Versamark, Wild Honey Distress Ink – Ranger

Spray: Gold – Tattered Angels, Mustard Color Shine – Heidi Swapp

Distress Stain: Evergreen Bough, Stormy Sky, Rusty Hinge and Frayed Burlap Distress Stains – Ranger

Stamps: Distress Damask & Bitty Grunge – Stampers Anonymous, Gorgeous Grunge – Stampin’ Up

Ribbon: 5/8 inch Black Grosgrain & 1 1/2 inch Sheer Antique Gold Ribbon- Celebrate It (Michaels brand)

Punches: Alpine snowflake & Birch Leaf – McGill Paper Blossoms

Other: Brads – Impression Obsession, Gems – Hero Arts

 

 

 

 

Welcome!

Good Morning World! Welcome to my new site! I’ll admit I don’t know a ton about websites and URLs etc., but I do know about crafting. I am so excited to begin to share my crazy, crafty life with you all. Expect posts on stamping, paper crafting, quilting, sewing, baking and home DIY projects. Thank you for stopping by and I hope you’ll return once things get cranking here.