I’m gearing up for winter, starting with a crochet shawl. Currently it is 57 inches long and I hope to reach at least reach 60 inches. Nothing fancy, but I had this really thick wool yarn (3 skeins) just sitting around and I decided to make something with it. Alternating 2 rows of double crochet and 2 rows of single crochet worked just fine. The one unique thing about it is my handmade crochet hook, fashioned from a simple dowel. It works well with the extra thick yarn. I am sure to be warm and cozy when I wrap myself in this shawl. I can wear it inside or outside over a winter coat. It will be long enough to cover my head, neck, and shoulders.
I’ve always wanted to try nail polish art. I tried it on glass votive holders. The one on the left is hand painted on; the one on the right is dipped (using a bowl of water, drop in the polish, swirl, and dip the glass). Neither was difficult, although I did use glitter polish along with the regular nail polish. I think the darker the polish color the better. Both took putting on several layers of polish, allowing each layer to dry before adding another. Not sure what I will use them for, or how they will react to adding a votive, but the more I look at them, the more I like them.
ART BY FAITH is rolling again. One of the many projects I have loved doing was making candles. I have been saving all my used jar candles for reuse; and in the last few days, I gathered all my apparatus together and got started.
What I did first was lined a pan with foil, put all my jar candles on it and put it in the oven on 200 degrees. This melted all the used wax, which I poured through a strainer into my candle melting pot (one of the things I paid full price for, because they never seem to go on sale). Then I thoroughly wiped out the jars with paper towel and washed in hot sudsy water. I also gathered all the little wick holders from the bottom of the jars for use later.
I purchased an inexpensive, single, hot plate for $12.00, and with a double boiler from a pot set (which I dedicated solely to candle making), I put the wax pot (with the melted wax in it and added whatever other partly used chunks of candle was, in the double boiler and then on the hot plate. (You can use the stove for this, just remember to check the water level in the double boiler often, and keep it at a medium boil.) I also added crayons in the color I wanted. One hint: if you start with a light color, and then gradually add darker colors, you can continuously change the color of the wax as you go along. If you have a lot of a specific color like blue, you can add red crayons to make it purple. You get the point.
In this manner I was able to make a lot of candles of different colors, adding more wax chunks and crayons as I went along. It is a good thing if you add the scent just before you pour the wax into the jars. I used several scents and mixed and matched. As long the scents smelled great together I was fine. Also, when reusing the wick holders: I took a nail and hammer through the bottom to both remove the burnt wick and open up the spout through which to put the new wick, and remember to pinch it closed with pliers. I used a glue gun to secure the wick to the bottom of the jar to hold in place, and a rolled the wick around a skewer to secure to the top of the jar to keep the wick straight while pouring the wax. Another hint: save a little color (or use a different color), maybe in another jar, because most likely the wax will cool and leave a dent around the wick. When the candle hardens a little, you can use the extra wax, or another color wax, to fill in the hole.
I have added some pics: 1) Picture of the utensils I used, 2) my 16 jar candles, and 3) a closeup of 2 of the jars with labels I made (print on inkjet and glue with Mod Podge, add another coat over the top).
I know it looks like Art By Faith has not posted any new creations of late, but I have been preoccupied with other things. I did make a scarf hanger out of shower curtain rings as a gift to a relative who has many scarves and no way to hang them. Check it out. I used hot glue, some pipe cleaners, and finished the inset of the hanger with some tiny flowers and resin. I haven’t heard anything more from her, but I hope she is using it. I think this type of hanger works best as it curves at the shoulder and the hanger part is metal, the rest is heavy plastic. Shower rings me $1.00!
My kitchen has very, very limited space and spices are taking over my cabinet, falling out everytime I open the door to reach for one. I’ve been looking for a “cheap” solution and I found it. At the dollar store, I came across a set of 3 mini-baskets for $1.00. I found a piece of acrylic I had at home, gorilla glued the baskets to it, and voila, a spice rack for all those small spice containers and seasoning packets. LOVE IT!
I love working with paper and glue, aka paper machete. This time I went bigger. Using an old wicker basket as a mold, I taped on plastic, slathered it with vasoline, and then layered it with cut up paper bags and glue. After many, many layers, I let it dry and painted it with a faux leather-look paint kit. I call it a trough. Not sure what I’ll use it for, but I like it.
I am looking forward to attending a few Open-Air Fair events this summer. I love to get out and mingle with people, especially other crafters, it’s great fun. To that end, I need to prepare something myself to show. I have a few ideas I am working on. One is an inexpensive item I’ve done before: Paperclip Earrings. I have some large and some small colorful, plastic-coated clips to work with. I pray to God that all the crafters out this year are safe and successful. Who doesn’t like homemade? See pics below.
I am also working on bags, totes, etc. My latest offering is a crocheted bag using a specialty yarn. I’ve had the crocheted panels around for a while, but just decided to crochet them together into a shoulder bag using waxed cording. I crocheted the entire bag around as one piece, including the strap. It is different and the pocketed lining makes it very usable.
Calendars are great things. They have beautiful pictures, worthy of saving and using in many artful projects. Lately, I have endeavored to do a large collage. With two medium large canvasses that I secured together, I used a great calendar of large flowers with inspirational words to produce a 3-D like floral effect by enhancing each flower with artificial flowers, ribbons, glitter, ink, fabric, clear wrap, even shoestrings. I think it came out very well.
Now I haven’t done a collage for more than 20 years. I had no idea where to start. I was stumped many times. But, where faith always comes in to play: I called upon the Holy Spirit for direction. It never fails when I called upon the Lord, he always presents ideas as to where to go next with any project. Whether it is cooking, cleaning, art, computers, my music, finding a place to live, anything, I find that if you have faith to believe, the Spirit of the Lord will always show you what to do. Now, what to do with it?
A component of Gospel Music Ministry is Art by Faith. This explores my more crafty side, which I use as a conversation starter, as unique, handmade items for personal use or as gifts, at craft fairs, flea markets, etc. I started out making acrylic suncatchers, using glass paints. The particular item featured below was inspired by a dream I had which I have never forgotten. I entered into a arena, a circus tent of sorts. There was a man sitting at a table whose figure looked a lot like Jesus, although I had to clear image. He handed me a ticket and told me to give it to the man at the entrance to the tent.
At the entrance a smiling, happy figure ushered me inside. There was a large auditorium, with people I couldn’t see because it was dark. We climbed a ladder to a platform above (like the kind a trapedist uses). There I sang and danced before the Lord (at least I believed it to be God), and he danced, smiling, with me. I looked down at the people and I did not feel any response, from them, but I knew it was enough to sing and dance before the Lord God, he was happy and so was I. After a time, I was on a balcony and looked down. Far below was traffic moving fast, like people in cars going about their business. I supposed I was to leave and return to the rigors of life, but I didn’t know how I would get back. The Lord God provided a vehicle, a car, which floated down and merged into traffic. What I gleamed from this is that for a time, I sang and danced on high with the Lord, just he and I. But, that it was more needful for me to return to the routines of life, and to carry that experience with me and witness to the world that God is true. (Ephesians 1)