Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Handmade Spotlight -- Americana

Today I am spotlighting some Americana handmades I found while browsing on Etsy and Artfire.

The Patriotic prim  pillows on the left are from BriarRidgeFarmhouse's shop on Etsy.

The Primitive Americana Star arrangement in a vintage sifter is from ImAProudCarfter's shop on Etsy.

The Primitive Americana Folk Art Doll on the left is from PieCakePrimitive's shop on Etsy.

The Crocheted Red, White and Blue Throw is from MyCraftyCorner's shop on Etsy.

The Americana Star Handpainted Soap on the left is from PrimGal'sPrimitivePalette's shop of Artfire.

The Americana Footstool on the right is from PeriwinkleGift's shop on Artfire.

The Americana Flag Rag Quilted Pillow pattern on the left is from HomespunHandcrafts shop on Artfire.

The Americana Quilted Denim Purse on the right is from CathyTrott's Studio on Artfire.

I hope you have enjoyed visiting these shops with me today.
Bette Shaw

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bottlecap Crafting Tutorial

Things you’ll need:
unused bottle caps
coffee maker with warming plate or a hotplate
butter knife or tweezers to remove the rubber liner
rubber mallet and a piece of scrap wood
permanent markers (sharpie)
1” circle punch
double sided tape or a glue stick
color printer
white card stock
3-D Crystal Laquer
optional - pin backs, magnets, pendant bails etc.

The frst step in bottlecap crafting is to remove the rubber liners from the inside of the bottlecap. There’s many ways to achieve this, but the easiest way that I have found is to lay them on the warming plate of my coffee maker. (Use caution in doing this as they get hot quick!)

I usually lay 4 or 5 bottlecaps (with the rubber part facing up) on the warming plate and let them sit for 15 seconds or so.

Carefully remove one cap at a time from the warming plate, THEY ARE HOT so use a potholder or towel. With a butter knife lift the edge of the liner and begin peeling it away from the cap.

Start on an outiside edge and peel towards the center until it comes off. If it doesn’t peel off easily put it back on the warming plate for a few more seconds. If it peels off but seems “gummy” you’ve probably left it on too long, so let it cool a bit and try again.

Once you do a few, you’ll get the hang of it. But do USE CAUTION. I don’t want you to get burned.

Once your liners have been removed the next step is to flatten the caps. This is the fun part! Get your rubber mallet and piece of scrap wood. Place the wood on a hard surface, however, I DO NOT recommend your countertop, table or furniture. It’s probably best to do them on your porch, garage floor or on a workbench.

Place the bottlecap on your scrap wood and center the rubber mallet over the cap and hit it a few times. Use some pressure, but don’t try to “kill it”. LOL The goal is to flatten out the edges so they look like the photo.

Once your caps are flattened to your liking, you can leave them as is, or color the edges with permanent markers. I?use a Sharpie marker and have had good results. Sharpie markers come it lots of neat colors too.

Color the outside, top and inside edges of your cap. Also color a little bit inside of the cap where your image will go, so there isn’t any uncolored part showing when you add your image. It’s not necessary to color the back side of the cap.

Print the images on white cardstock and punch them out with your 1” circle punch. I find it easier to align the image on the back side of the 1” punch doing this takes away the guess work of whether you’ll get a good punch or not.

Once your image is punched add some double sided tape to the back of the image. You can also use a glue stick.

Adhere the image to the inside of your bottlecap.

Now, we’ll add the lacquer to the bottlecap...

I use 3-D Crystal Lacquer and have had great results. Read the directions on the bottle before you start.

Make sure your image is centered on the bottlecap and that the bottlecap is free of lint or debris. Begin squeezing the lacquer onto the center of the image and fill up the bottlecap. Add the lacquer slowly and smooth it out in a circular motion until the bottlecap is filled. Pop any bubbles you may have with the tip of the bottle or pin.
Note: if you have problems with the ink smearing/running, try using a very light coat of lacquer first, then add more layers once it is dry.

When your first add the lacquer, it will appear cloudy, but rest assured, it will dry clear.

The next step is the most crucial in the entire process and I find it the hardest too. LOL - Let it dry for 24 hours! You’ll be tempted to touch it, but don’t. Once you cap is dry, you can add a magnet to the back, add a pin back or simply add it to your projects.

Content & Photos ©2007 Deena Davis,

Monday, June 28, 2010

Organize It --- Buttons

I confess,  I love buttons!    I probably have more buttons than I will ever use but I still continue to buy them.

For a long time when I needed a button for a project I was searching through a jumble of buttons and it took forever to find just the right one to fit what I was making.    

I eventually decided to divide them up into like sizes of buttons but that didn't work either because I was wading through every color to find a specific color.

A few years ago I acquired a bunch of vintage blue ball jars and last year I decided to use them for my button collection.   I now have them separated by color and I have found this the easiest way to find the right button for my project.    The jars didn't have lids but I happened to have some rusty tin lids that fit.    I keep them lined along the edge of my sewing table.    This is just a short section of them.   I counted and I have 19 jars of buttons.   Some colors that I have a lot of,  like white,  are separated into large and small buttons.

Jars seem to be the most popular way to store buttons.    This collection has mine beat.   It is so pretty to look at,  too.

This small collection of buttons is separated by color in a vintage print drawer.   It makes a very pretty accent to your sewing room.

This is another great way to store buttons from Mrs. Kwitty.   This is one of those nuts and bolts organizers.

So do you have a unique way to store buttons?    We would love to hear about it if you do.

Thanks for visiting today.
Bette Shaw

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Blog Party Sunday, Show Something Americana

Welcome to another Blog Party Sunday.  The fourth of July is almost here and that means Americana to me.   So let's show off something red, white and blue!     With all the problems in government today we need to celebrate America more than ever.

I will start it off by showing one of the entries from one of our previous blog parties.   This is a banner from the Etsy shop Farmer's Attic.   This would be nice to hang outside for the fourth.

So now it is your turn.   Show us something you made that is red, white and blue.

Our guidelines:

1. Just click on the Add Your Link button below, and add your Etsy, Artfire, Blog, or website url  for the link.

2. Add a picture of your item.

3. If you are a blogger, please add our button to your blog and invite your readers back to join the party.

4. Family friendly items only, please.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Trash to Treasure ---- Magnetic Memo Board

                Today's Trash to Treasure is a magnetic memo board I made from an old metal lap tray.


Metal Tray
Scraps of Fabric
Fabric Mod Podge
Foam Brush
Bits and pieces of lace, ribbon, roses, etc
Wide ribbon for hanging
2 metal D-rings
E-600 glue

I used an old lap tray but any metal tray will work.   Now mine had legs attached to it and I had to cut them off with a bolt cutter.   There are little holes in the corners of my tray but they are not a problem.   But it is best if you use a serving type tray if available.    This is trash to treasure so I worked with what I had.

 First I scrubbed the tray real good and then let it dry.      I cut my pieces of fabric as I went along.    There is no set way to cut your fabric.    This is similar to making a crazy quilt.    Use  whatever appeals to you.
Keep a wet paper towel close by because your hands will get messy.

I cut my starting piece of fabric to the shape I wanted to start with.   Then I painted on a layer of mod podge with a foam brush in the area I wanted to start in.

Lay the piece of fabric on the mod podged area and smooth it down with your fingers.   Paint a layer of mod podge on top of the fabric.    Smooth any bubbles out with your fingers.   Make sure your fabric is saturated.

Cut your next piece of fabric to match a side of the first piece.   Coat the next area with a layer of mod podge overlappin the first piece slightly.   Lay the fabric where you want it and smooth it out.   Mod podge the top of the fabric.

Continue to add your pieces of fabric until the whole tray is covered.   Use your fingers to smooth the fabric over the curves.   Cut the fabric along the edges of the tray and mod podge them down.

Here is the tray with all the fabric glued down.

Let it dry thoroughly.   This may take overnight to dry.     Then glue the d-rings to the back of the tray. I glued mine 4 inches in from the sides.  This took overnight to dry.

   Now that the fabric is all mod podged to the tray and dry,   I am ready to add some embellishments.      I cut pieces of lace, rick rack and ribbon to fit over some of the seams between the fabric.     Mod podge the area where your lace,  rick rack or ribbon is going and then smooth it down where you want it with your fingers.    Then add a layer of mod podge over the top.

It is up to you what embellishments you add to it.   I added a fabric butterfly in one corner.

I cut a piece of wired ribbon  the length I wanted it and tied it to the d-rings.   Then I added some magnets and it is ready to hang up.    There are limitless ideas for magnets you can make yourself.    I am using some bottle cap and scrabble tile magnets that Deena gave me.   They have pictures of cupcakes on them.

I hope you enjoyed your visit and this trash to treasure idea.
Bette Shaw

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Trend Spotting ---- Ruffles

Today's hot trend is all about ruffles.   Ruffles first hit the runway in 2008.

By 2009 they were on bridal gowns.

This year I am seeing them on pillows, purses, skirts, blouses.

Would you like to learn how to try your hand at making something with ruffles?

This seems to be really hot right now.    Ruffled purses.

Here is a tutorial to make a ruffle shoulder bag at Mama Lusco.

Or and oversized ruffle tote at  Parasol Co.

Here is an easy ruffled pillow made with ruffled lace at All Things Thrifty.

And here is a really unique use of ruffles.   Add them to your shoes.

The tutorial for these is found on Love Maegan.

I hope you enjoyed reading about ruffles today.
Bette Shaw

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Handmade Spotlight - Some Things I found on Zibbet

While browsing today, I found a few items to share for today's spotlight.

There's no rhyme or reason to the items I've chosen. I just picked out a few that caught my eye.

There a lot of handmade listings on and I encourage you to stop over there and take a peek for yourself.
Links to the items above:

Thanks again for visiting!
Deena Davis

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tuesday Tutorial - Make a Scented Sachet

Bethany of has shared a great tutorial on her blog on how to make scented sachets.

These are so cute, I just love the fabrics she's chosen. To me, look pretty simple to make, but I think it's mainly because of her thorough instructions and photos she's shared.

She has a lot of other cute tutorials on her blog, so be sure to poke around there when you visit.

Deena Davis

Monday, June 21, 2010

Organizing with Marilyn Bohn

While doing research for another post here at, I stumbled across a lady who seems to have it all together when it comes to organizing and keeping down the clutter.

Marilyn Bohn has a full website and blog, but one of the most favorite things I found on her website are her videos. Marilyn explains various techniques for de-cluttering and organizing and shows us step by step how to do it.

Not only does she have videos on her website, but she also has a channel called CreativeOrganizer.

Below you'll find a great video about Organizing Fabric. Watch how easy she makes it look to fold fabric!

There's a wealth of information to be found at I hope you like the link as much as I do.

Thanks for stopping by!
Deena Davis

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

What Makes a Dad

God took the strength of a mountain, 

The majesty of a tree,

The warmth of a summer sun, 

The calm of a quiet sea,

The generous soul of nature, 

The comforting arm of night,

The wisdom of the ages,

The power of the eagle's flight,

The joy of a morning in spring, 

The faith of a mustard seed,

The patience of eternity, 

The depth of a family need,

Then God combined these qualities,

When there was nothing more to add,

He knew His masterpiece was complete,

And so, 

He called it ... Dad

~~Author Unknown.~~

Happy Father's Day to all of the Dad's out there.

Deena and Bette

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Handmade Sampler Giveaway ---Motherload Toad Factory --DONE

Welcome to another handmade sampler giveaway. This giveaway is sponsored by the Motherload Toad Factory.

Robyn is an artist both in paint and fabric. You can find her pattern designs on Etsy.

Win this Metal Scoop with Wooden Handle w/ 6 Mushyroom Toadstools inside....made from the Motherload Toad pattern: Mushyroom Toadstools.

This will make a charming addition to your summer decorating.

You can earn up to four entries by doing the following...

1. Visit and come back here and post a comment with your favorite item on the website. Be sure and leave your email address so we can contact you if you win.

2. Earn one extra entry by becoming a follower of this blog. Already a follower? Just let us know so we can give you credit.

3. and 4. Earn TWO extra entries by posting this giveaway on your blog along with a link to this blog. Be sure and let us know you have done this.

(USA entries only, please)

The giveaway will start today, Saturday, June 19, and the winner will be announced on Friday, July 2. We will announce it here and contact you by the email address you have left. Final day to enter is Thursday, July 1, 2010.

Have fun and good luck!

Friday, June 18, 2010

We Have a Winner for the Wood Soap Stand

Congratulations to Patti on winning the Wooden Soap Stand from Firecracker Primitives.

Get to know Patti on her blog,  Raspberry Lane

The winner was picked using the true generator on We want to thank all of you who took the time to enter and for all the wonderful comments.

Be sure and come back again tomorrow as we will have a new giveaway starting that you won't want to miss.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Today's Featured Artist - Country Crocks By Susan/Burd In Hand Designs

Our featured artist this week is Susan Burd of Country Crocks by Susan and Burd in Hand Designs

Susan has been painting for over 20 years. She started doing craft shows in New Jersey while she was still working as an office manager for an accounting firm. Upon moving to Pennsylvania in 1995, she decided to devote as much time as she could to her painting.

She discovered Prim Mart about 6 years ago, and started her first website – Country Crocks by Susan. She is now working on a new website called Burd in Hand Designs which will feature her prints and will have a wholesale area. Country Crocks features all of her hand painted items, as well as some patterns and supplies.

She got started in ceramics and found that she loved doing that. As she developed her painting skills, she moved on to painting on different surfaces, but with ceramic bisque still being her surface of choice. She especially loved the reproduction crocks and would buy up as many of the old crock molds as she could get her hands on. She was lucky to find a mold maker who was able to reproduce some of these old molds for her.

She doesn’t really have any set hours to work.  As many of you know, working at home takes a lot of discipline, which Susan claims she doesn’t have! She has always been a “night owl” and so tends to work best late at night.

In the past 5 years, she gathered up her self-confidence and began to work on her own designs. It was the best decision she ever made.

In 2005, she had 8 projects accepted by the magazine, Create and Decorate. She has continued to work with them since that time and is frequently featured in their magazine.
  She recently began working with two painting magazines – Quick and Easy Painting and Paintworks which she is very excited about.
 Then  in 2009, she signed a licensing agreement with Capitol Earth Rugs and they feature several of her designs on their braided rugs.

She is  now also working with a candle company (Herbal Star Candles) and they are featuring her artwork on their primitive candle jars. She was also recently featured on the cover of the New York edition of The Country Register.

Susan says, " I feel so blessed that I am able to be doing what I love. Although I am busy with magazine articles and the licensing, I still love to handpaint a one-of-a-kind creation for my website. It still gives me a great deal of satisfaction. I hope to be doing that for many more years to come."

Susan's work can be found here:
Lititz Artisan’s Porchwalk – held in Lititz, PA in October
Keystone Wholesale Market in Lancaster, PA