Hortense’ Crafty Corner

Blessings Fine Folks! Hortense They here...

You all know I'm an accomplished fast talker, former seamstress, fashion designer...  as well as a designer of lot's and tons of  clever artistic creations of many kinds,  in many fields of operation from cooking to giving wise advice, matchmaking, & so much more amongst numerous other  talents allowed to me from God, such as  acting. Humility  keeps me from listing all of my finer points, however, one of my outstanding skill aptitudes is I’m a “Creative Crafter"! Every week I’ll be sharing fun and valuable tips and ideas by offering you personal further  expression outlets so that you can add to your very own special creative abilities!  I LOVE to utilize unwanted or disregarded materials that would otherwise go to waste and turn them into useful and  decorative  objects!  Just look at my hat; made from, OH HOW I LOVE TO SHOP!!!... garage sale finds!

Come back as often as  you like and let's get our artistic  juices flowing together!


12/28/2015 No...NO! Don't toss that beautiful calendar you're done using for this year. Those pictures can fit perfectly into an old frame and make a wonderful gift for Christmas next year! It's never too early to get ahead of the holidays.

12/21/2015 MERRY CHRISTMAS WEEK! Absolutely no time for crafting this week, but put a special place aside to collect some of those things that might otherwise get discarded;like pieces of wrapping paper and bows, even tags from presents and unused holiday napkins, etc. You'll find a crafty use for them as you assemble them all together for next year as hanging ornaments. After Christmas you'll find something you can glue it all on to like a jar lid with the year painted on top. What fantastic memories! You can work on the project right after Christmas and pack it all away with the ornaments as you take the tree down this year.

12/14/2015 Garland can be expensive so we've got to get super crafty creative ! Get out the cheerios, popcorn, styrofoam packaging peanuts, buttons, beads or whatever you might have tons of and string them up. Mix and match , spray paint or glitter and you've got your garland.

12/7/2015 Time to start thinking of inexpensive decorations for Christmas. Assemble the pine cones and hot glue them into little trees. Get the strands of old jewelry beads and string them up or simply use glitter and glue for here and there decor.

11/30/2015 Christmas is on it's way and you might need a special handmade something for someone. Get former years pictures out and put some of those nostalgic memories together in a collage. Quick, easy and the perfect gift that will make them say AWE... When they open it!

11/23/ 2015 HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! Save that wish bone and gold foil it. Makes a nice hanging for the Christmas tree!

11/16/2015 Getting ready for the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday? Want to add some festive decor to your home? There's a ton of wonderful crafts but let's start with a bit of ribbon and some easily accessible pine cones. All sizes welcome to drill a hole in the bottom and hot glue strands of different sizes into . Arrange long pieces of ribbon with a pine cone on both ends. Find the middle and attach a bow. The easy quick simple hanging ornament can be large or small or make a bunch to string all around the house.

11/9/2015 Have some leftover yarn ? It's not enough to make much out of but what about a headband or ankle warmers? It's easy to knit or crochet circles and even if you sew sever with different colors you can knot or crochet them together to lengthen those leg warmers. Who cares if the colors match!Adorn your headbands with tiny cabbage roses or petal flowers .

11/2/2015 Have you ever seen “Reflective yarn? It's FABULOUS! You can get it on line or in most fabric stores. Any how... When the children are out at night or you're walking it provides some extra benefits. Just a few strands sewn onto a piece of clothing, attached to the top of a hat or gloves or even the earmuffs will identify where you are. The yarn reflects light aiding in night visibility. Great for playing in the snow or even making a scarf for that soon to come snowman to adorn your yard with.

10/26/2015 It's time for a craft swap meet! We crafters always end up with things we will probably never use. We bought it all with good intent but discovered for some reason or another we had no time or use or interest in it. Why not gather the crafties and all their unused stuff see what you can swap?

10/19/2015 Crafties always need art supplies and that can drain your budget and put a damper on your pocketbook. Get the word out to family and friends that you're collecting anything they might not have use for like, paint crayons, or whatever they might not be using.

10/12/2015 It's getting close to harvest time and that means Thanksgiving will be arriving soon. Save those little gourds and smaller squashes, coat them with some clear spray after they've dried and use them to create a centerpiece for the holiday table.

10/5/2015 There's a chill in the air and soon those pine cones will be scattered all over the ground. Take a coconut basket liner and get the hot glue gun out. Hot glue those pine cones on the outside and you've just created a beautiful pot to make a fall centerpiece in.

9/28/2015 Take a walk outdoors and a gander at all the flowers that are forming seed pods and drying to lovely fall colors. You'll find mostly shades of lovely browns, but interesting contrasting shades as well. Even some weeds dry out to act as lovely accents to make wreaths or indoor arrangements! Go outdoors and get some free decor for your home.

9/21/2015 Let's revisit those old photographs! Many people keep personal journals. Some even keep prayer journals. Why not create a special journal for someone you love and include some of those photos. Be sure to add pictures of yourself and perhaps a few more prayers will be tossed your way! We can all use prayer!

9/14/2015 It's harvest time and any day now the wheat in the fields will be ripe for the picking. When it is gather a bunch and soak it for an hour or so in a tub of water . Braid it together and you've just made yourself a beautiful wall decoration! Consider braiding dozens of stems and make a wall wreath. Tie with a ribbon and there ya go, another wonderful piece for the wall!

9/7/2015 Time to peruse the garden and start looking for dry seed pods. It's that time of year when flowers are starting to put forth their best for next years crops. Get outdoors and hunt down any of those precious buds that are ready to preform for you next year and save them for the upcoming spring or plant them over winter months indoors! Keep them in airtight packets in a cool dry place until they're ready to come out and grow for you!

8/31/2015 Everybody's got them. Old picture frames laying around collecting dust. Some are ideal to start making those Christmas presents with. Ya, I know...It's August and the Holiday's are a ways off, but it's never too early to start hacking away at the Christmas list. Anyway a fresh coat of paint and a new print on the inside can make someone's wall delightful.

8/24/2015 Who doesn't bring home treasures from the beach? Sea shells of course are a favorite but don't just bring them home and loose track of them! They can prove to add an amazing focal point to a picture frame especially if you've got a picture of yourself and a loved one at the beach! Hot glue your treasures into a flower petal ornament and stick it on the frame!

8/17/2015  Here's a thrifty-nifty way to give your home some warmth with crafty candles! Take another trip down to the second hand store and pick up those half burnt candles. I'm sure you can find an interesting container to melt them into as well while you're cruising the isles. Remelt your wax after picking up some new wicks to insert and think about those who have birthday's upcoming! They make wonderful gifts!

8/10/ 2015 We all need packaging material; not only to ship but protect delicate items. The cardboard egg carton can serve these dual purposes. If you need to protect something small and fragile and store it until it's going to be used for one of your projects you don't have to go out , spend an arm and a leg to protect it; use the egg carton.

8/3/2015 That nail polish you'll never wear again on your nails can serve as a wonderful craft item. Paint an old chain and wear it with a new flair. Or think about that pair of sunglasses whose rims need a new look! How about sprucing up an old pair of seashells and hang them for earrings!

7/27/2015 You can cut beautiful leaf and flower designs out of the aluminum can and create gorgeous hanging ornaments and even make jewelry from them.

7/20/2015 Got any little kiddies in the neighborhood? Summer is a great time to get all those bits and pieces of things you've been saving and will never use and share them with the youngin's. Call the children of the neighborhood together and give Mom and Dad a little summer snooze relaxation. Encourage them to make a loving card for their parents. You don't need a special occasion but all the more special if one is coning up. Some stiff colored paper and some glue and help them use up those scraps while you contribute to their creativity!

7/13/2015 Use those old tin cans to make a measuring cup. Paint and bend a spoon, fork or knife to the side. You can mark the outside and inside of the can with a food grade paint. Accurately mark by using old measuring cups.

7/6/2015 So many beautiful flowers are popping up all over the land. Ever consider air drying them and using them in wreaths or simply hanging them upside down on a wall for decor? It's easy. All you do is pick them at the prime of their color display and hang them upside down tied with rubber bands , florist wire, or string in a dry place out of direct light. The upper floor of a barn is usually perfect.

6/29/2015  Potpourri! Even though it's the peak of summer's start some of your flowers will already be done for the season. Think about saving some of those lovely leftovers for your potpourri. Like those lily pods that turn a lovely brown after they've gone to seed. Just hunt around the garden and surprise yourself with discoveries!

6/22/2015 Time for those lightning bugs to start coming out and delighting your nights. Here's a fun craft for all the little children you'll be entertaining these summer nights. And what's great is that they can play with it both in and out of doors. Get a few glow sticks from the dollar store along with some glitter. Use those empty jars by cutting the glow sticks up, adding some clear diamond glitter and then close them up and hand them over to the children for hours of fun shaking them and watching them illuminate the darkness.

6/15/2015 You'll probably been picnicking outdoors with dad for Father's Day so I hope you painted some tin cans to make a “Picnic Caddy” and strung them all together with wire and a handle at the top for the occasion. You've saved yourself a of trouble carrying all the necessaries out and in again not only for the special day but the rest of the picnic season! Let's see... 1. One large can for the basting tool, a large fork and that oil you'll need to prime the cook out with. 2. A can for serving spoons and and forks. 3. Napkins. 4. Condiments; those pickles, hot peppers and even dips can be loaded into snap top plastic containers and carried right in this can. 5. Can for ketchup and mustard squeezers. 6. Trash bag and towelettes . 7. A can for dirty utensils 8. Another can for things you might have not afore mentioned. Sorry, things like paper plates, meats , deserts and so on will not fit in cans but a large picnic basket can serve for that dilemma!

6/8/2015 Next week we celebrate our father's on Father's Day, so what can we make them that's crafty? Dad's got some old shirts and even sweatshirts he's messed up with stains working in the shop but they're still good for something. WHAT you ask? Turn them into shop aprons by simply cutting the arms off and using them to make ties. Using the back of the shirt for the front, cut the front off too, using that to make handy pockets. Cut the neck off too, stitch up the seams and you've got some great aprons so dad wont be messing up more of his good shirts. Get creative with loving sayings by using a washable permanent pen so dad thinks of you every time he's in the shop.

6/1/2015 Little glass gem stones; You can buy them at the dollar store! And you can do tons of stuff with the clear ones! Start with patterned paper and hot glue on the bottom. A small magnet on the back can be useful on the refrigerator or make a variety and get yourself a pair of old fashioned clips for earrings and by gluing a magnet on them as well you can change them to match your outfits!

5/25/2015 Last week's craft was a table runner. How's about doing the same thing this week for “Father's Day” with all those photos of dad and the kids. It can be any size you choose. Decoupage his loving memories in the same way on cardboard but tie a ribbon at the top and hang it on the wall

5/18/2015 The family and friend photo album; It's jam-packed with wonderful memories you'd like to enjoy but you just never seem to get around to opening that album as often as you'd like. Here's a fun way to enjoy and display all those favorite people in your life. Take the photos and make them into a table runner. Decoupage those friendly faces on to a piece of cardboard cut to the size of your tabletop and when you're done, back it with a piece of felt.

5/11/2015  Retrieve and save those little pop tops off your pop top pop cans! Never ever toss them aside. They can be used as hangers for pictures and all sorts of items! String them together and make a necklace or bracelet. Paint if you like and even add colorful stones.

5/4/2015 What to do with those old coffee grounds? Get crafty and get clean with using them to make your own soap. Yes... soap! Not only will you scrub up the temple but you'll get a pleasant morning wake up in the shower before you drink your first cup of Java! All you need is 16 oz. Of glycerin soap, ½ cup of coffee grounds, 2 tsp. Of powdered milk and 2 tsp. Of vanilla. Lightly grease 8 rounds of a muffin tin or what ever you might want to use for soap forms and place 1 tablespoon of the coffee grinds in the bottom of each form. No need to spread them out. Use a double boiler filling the bottom with 1 cup water and place over medium heat being mindful to stir. It won't take long to melt and once it does remove from heat and let cool a bit then add 2 teaspoons of coffee grounds and your vanilla and milk to the liquid mixture giving it all a stir . Pour into tins, allow to dry for several hours and enjoy! These make great gifts, wrapped in an old coffee bag and tied with a ribbon!

4/27/2015 It's “Mother's Day” next week and what can you get her she doesn't already have? Memories are always something that touches the heart and are appreciated. Why not consider digging up an old photo. Perhaps just of mom when she was younger or maybe the two of you when you we're both younger and turn it into a small painting that can be set under resin and placed into a jewelry setting for a necklace? The custom made one of a kind custom made gift will become a treasure. Mom doesn't wear jewelry? Well then, give it to her in a small frame or make a paper weight for her to enjoy.

4/20/2015 Forget those dangerous plug-in air fresheners and make your own! Those you purchase from the store contain something called “volatile organic compounds” VOC and are highly toxic, containing chemicals which have a low boiling point. VOC can affect your temple by causing things like infertility, headaches, nervous system disorders, memory loss and cancer. It can also harm the pets you have around the house. So take a fancy little jar with a thin neck and fill 1/3 with safe essential oils and add a little water. Leave enough room to insert a candle wick or very tight roping well down into the jar. Tie a small wire around the top of the neck so yo can hang it upside down and embellish with a small ribbon.

4/13/2015: Just found all those stray clip earrings. No matches for them anymore. They've been either lost or misplaced. Only one from each pair left so I think I'll whip up some necklaces, string them together for bracelets and even rings. Wha-la!

4/6/2015 Get thrifty with making your own fudge! Cheaper than buying it and simple! 1 1/2 bags White Chocolate Chips, (18 oz total) 1- 8oz can Sweetened Condensed Milk and1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla. A variation on the theme...Add a couple of tablespoons peanut butter if you're into the smooth nutty taste! 

3/30/2015  EASTER is on its way. So it's time to decorate the house . I like to display special resurrection scriptures so I print them on my hard boiled eggs. I decorate some of them with cotton to look like sheep and place them all over the house with scriptures rolled up in little pieces of paper being held in their mouths. SOOOOO cute! And handy for my Thaddeus when he needs a little pro tine instead of a sugary desert!  

3/23/2015  Easter's coming next week and once again a holiday gathering will cut into your time as you prepare for the family to gather round the table. Here's a thought to consider. Why not have all the cooks that cook attend a cooking gala pre the holiday? The relatives and friends can gather in the kitchen with all their little aprons, help set the table and get all the dishes ready for the oven the day before. Appetizers and everything can be pre-prepared. And staying after to help with the clean-up everything can be transferred into doggie-bags for less of a clean-up. Remember; Many hands make light work!

3/16/2015 I've been clumsy with the butter dish. Had to buy several new ones this past year because my fumbling fingers slipped on those little bits of butter that made their way to the edge of the top cover. Problem solved! I glued an old drawer handle to the top and now I've got something to grip on to. And not only is my butter dish now more convenient to top and un-top but the charming handle also added some real charm and a more expensive look to my household item. I'm giving some serious thought to using this on some of my other difficult kitchen items.

3/9/2015 You know those old beat up serving trays you've had hanging around the house? How about painting them with chalk paint and hanging them on the wall. So many of the older ones especially have beautiful shapes and provide the perfect pallet to compliment your walls with some fresh decor. These days the paint come in multi colors to match your home and the project will keep you thinking as to what you might add to the center or embellish with.

3/2/2015  Been scratchin the noggin as to what you can give as a creative gift to hubby for his birthday? Just a little something to consider if he's a craftsman in the garage, barn shop or round the house. At some time or another most men have to swing a hammer for something or another. Why not get the wood burning tool out and personalize a new hammer for your loved one. Write something on it like; “Loving thanks for building our lives!” A little bit of love and thanks will go al long way to make those household tasks a bit more enjoyable.

2/23/2015 It's great to give gifts and a perhaps perfect offering for all the employee's you'll be honoring next week on “EMPLOYEE APPRECIATION DAY” are personalized coffee cups along with that new cappuccino machine and coffee of course to help keep the workers stirred and awake. No don't go out and have their names printed on the cups, I've got a better idea. Paint your cups with chalk paint. You can use different colors and paint their names on one side, leaving the other side blank. Be sure to provide a large box of chalk that will be available to everyone to use. Then encourage all the workers to be crafty by writing nice messages for others on the blank side. A larger chalkboard can be used to hang all the cups on the bottom and the boss can use this to write inspiring messages for the employees. I think it's a great idea to draw the boss and employees into a friendly environment. Happy Employees Day to all those who work diligently at their jobs!!!

2/16/2015 You've unfortunately over bleached that lace treasure or some other piece of intricate hand made tablecloth or something or other your grandmother  or somebody put such valuable  time into creating and now there are only small pieces of the original  left in tact. You don't want to throw the prized possession out, so let's talk about what you can do with what is left. You can clip some of the design out and make earrings by starching and simply hanging on clips or hooks. Larger pieces can be used for photo backgrounds or decor on other items such as purses. It doesn't have to be a total loss when you feel you've ruined a beautiful piece. Just give it some imagination.

2/9/2015 It's valentines day and time ripe for expressing your deepest sentiments to those you cherish. A card is always nice and usually necessary for the nearest and dearest to your heart, but how about going a step further. You can do oodles of things with Conversation hearts. You know, the little hearts that say things like my Dr. They who says all the time... Except the messages are more brief, because they're smaller. They say things like “BE MINE, LOVE YOU, OX OX , HUGS, KISSES” and so on. Batter up a cake and completely cover the outside with every warm loving heart . Or perhaps you prefer to fill a clear glass jar and place a candle in the center for a romantic evening. Oh when you make your cake use a square and also round pan. Cut the round in half and place on to sides of the square next to each other and you'll have a heart shape! My Thaddeus will yum this one right down and the love will flow!

2/2/2015  It's always fun to make personalized place settings for those special guests that will be coming for dinner. This is a cute winter one they can take home as a wonderful reminder of that special evening you spent together. You know those miniature clay pots you can acquire at most any craft center? Well paint them to match your dining colors, place a name on each one and since it's winter place a snowman made of pom-poms with a little hats on their toppers inside of each little pot. Oh go ahead dress your little snow people in sweaters too and dab some eyelashes on for the ladies. Here's the best part; attach a little string so they can keep the keepsake and hang it on their Christmas tree next year or elsewhere in their home for the remainder of the winter season.

1/26/2015   Let's tin can again this week. If you have a heated shop it's ready for you to take a larger can (like Tomato Juice Can) out and dafter putting a design on it with crayon, drill some holes in it. Something cherry like a sunflower is always nice. Then spray paint it and you can use it for a lampshade . A smaller can (like a tomato paste can ) makes a lovely night light cover. Perhaps a smaller design like a little bumblebee or birdie with a tiny flower would work well. This can should have a hole in the back to fit over the night light.

1/18/2015 Make cutters from tin cans! Crimp into place with pliers. Being sure to buff up and sand the rough edges so they're not sharp you can bend them into all sorts of shapes and let your creativity extend to the cookie, muffin and even other craft projects you'll need special shapes for!

1/12/2015  Ah the winter months. They're full of locked indoors time to get to those crafts you've been a itchin to do. There's LOT”S of things you can do with those empty tin cans but why not turn them into lovely vases for some flowers to be brought in and add some spring and summer warmth to your home? You wallpapered some rooms recently and have some leftover paper from the project so cover those cans to match the rooms you've done and embellish with a ribbon tied around it. If you haven't re wallpapered use some fabric scraps. Or you could spray paint or get the Decalogue out.

1/5/2015  Snow globes are so much fun! Now that there's time after recouping from the holiday rush why not make one. Try a tiny cardboard house. Make it look like your very own if you like! Cover it with pictures of loved ones with those precious holiday together shots but... before assembly cover with weatherproof decoupage. Glue the decoration to the inside of the lid. Fill the jar with boiled water and a teaspoon of glycerin, add some glitter and or snow, glue lid on nice and tight, add a ribbon round the edge with a couple of pine cones and you've got another of those precious memory treasures!



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