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Spring Birds and Bees Tassels

I have three new birds and bees ornaments in my shop. To celebrate spring, I designed this Tassel DIY to go along with them. Here in California, we didn't get a single day of rain in January, so it's hard to tell what season it is. But they're fun to make and decorate anytime.


And the ornaments make lovely valentines gift wrap.


There are three different sets of birds and bees.

To make the two larger tassels you'll need

SUPPLIES: A 12" x 12" piece of mulberry or other fibrous "rice" paper that holds up when wet, twine,  Elmers glue, and a cup of water.

 1. Fold the paper in half. Crease 1" down from the folded side. Cut into two pieces and cut fringe.


 Open each piece and roll it up.

 Twist the center to tighten it up a little. Tie the twine on one end and then wrap it around the center for two inches.

Fold the tassel in half and wrap a little more at the base of the loop. Tie it off.

 Mix about two TBS of glue with one cup water, stir well.

 Give the tassel a dip.

Here's the labor intensive part –  separate all the fringe and twist each piece between your fingers. Hang it up to dry then tie on any ornament.

Here is another slightly more complicated version that I made with the evil eye charms. 


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Wrapping Presents

It's present season and my gift wrapping cart is ready to go.  I'm taking it out to craft fairs and stores. Here it is all folded up and ready to shove in the back of my car.


Unfold everything and it fluffs up quite a bit. This is the cart decorated for christmas.  It will get a new look for Valentine's day.  I'm peddling gift tags and craft kits to make locks and keys tags with golden chain.

Here it is at the Etsy craft fair at pier 35 in San Francisco.

Most of the gift tags are available in my Etsy shop.  This little reindeer book is a free download and DIY instructions from my Tiny Paintings Project.  Just click on the Tab in the upper right - it's #45.


If you give a gift to someone who will be walking around in the woods, hang a bear bell (or two) on it.

Bigfoot was the most popular monster at the show, even though he probably doesn't think of himself as popular.


I decorated a small tree with the jewels.  And the tree tags were popular gifts for brothers.


Bakery boxes with wash tape edges and sweet treats.


If you want to make your own version of the locks and keys the free download is week #21

The bells and whistles are also a free download from the Tiny Paintings Project. Look for #46.


I like to hang an evil eye here and there for protection.  This one is in the middle of a prize ribbon.  Stay tuned for an announcement about my upcoming instructional video on how to make fancy ribbons with Castle in the Air.

If you don't have a chimney, leave a key out for santa... and the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny too.


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Nature Collection Slides

Here is another summer art project that I posted on the CreativeBug blog. I couldn't stop thinking of the endless possibilities of things I wanted to collect and display: definitely pressed flowers, all the little beads and shiny things my littlest collected in preschool, dirt or sand from all the places I went on vacation, oh and a button collection. It goes on and on. Jump over to the CreativeBug blog to find the free printable download and instructions.


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This summer I'll be posting craft projects with printable downloads on Creativebug.  I'll show up on the blog at Camp Creativebug once a month with a new kid's activity. My first project is these cute little baitfish. They all fit in an Altoids tin for easy travel. Kids can find all kinds of fishing holes in the back seat of the car.  

Here's the full post and printable.

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Week 46 {tiny paintings project}



YAY! A year of craft posts accomplished. Nearly one a week. Looking at my progress on Pinterest, I can see a style developing and my projects are cleaner and simpler.  So I’m celebrating with bells and whistles.



Or, get the artwork in the "artwork downloads" column to the right. Print it out on 4" x 6" photo paper, and make sure the print size is 100%. You might need to save the file and print using a photo application.

This art is only for your personal use, and may not be reproduced.  And please, if you use my artwork, send me a picture of what you made, so I can pin it to my pinterest board.


FIG. 1 Supplies: Two pipe cleaners, wide and thin ribbon, chipboard and metallic poster board, bells and whistles*, awl, tacky glue, printout, scissors, and a mat knife if your cardboard is thick.

 * I painted the red whistle with gold paint so it would match the others. Don’t do this if kids are going to be putting it in their mouth.

 FIG. 2 Tie ribbon around the any whistles that don’t have loops.

FIG. 3 Tie the bells and whistles into a cluster with a loop at the top.

FIG. 4 Measure enough wide ribbon to fit over your head. Fold it in half and then into a point. Put a dot of glue under the fold.

FIG. 5 Measure the same amount of thin ribbon. Thread the thin ribbon through the loop in the cluster of bells and whistles. At the half-way point, tie an overhand knot with both pieces of the thin ribbon together. Place the knot over the point in the wide ribbon. Glue the thin ribbon to the top of the wide ribbon.

FIG. 6 Cut out the art. Place it on top of the chipboard and draw around it. Cut out the chipboard.

FIG. 7 Glue the art on top of the metallic board. Let it dry. Cut just outside the art to make a gold border around it.

FIG. 8 Punch two holes in the chipboard circle.

FIG. 9 Cut a pipe cleaner in half and make two loops through the circle.

FIG. 10 Glue the badge to the messy side of the chipboard, so the loops are on the back. Wrap the edge with a pipe cleaner and glue it in place. Press the whole stack  between sheets of wax paper or something non-stick.  When it is dry, thread the ends of the ribbon through the loops, and slide the badge down until it covers the knots.  Tie the ends of the ribbon together, slip it over your head, and you’re ready for spontaneous celebration.



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week 45 {tiny paintings project}




These books are about the size of a matchbox. Decorate a new one everyday for an advent calendar fleet of reindeer pulling a sleigh. They can also be used as gift toppers or ornaments.



Or, get the artwork in the "artwork downloads" column to the right. Print it out on 4" x 6" photo paper, and make sure the print size is 100%. You might need to save the file and print using a photo application.

This art is only for your personal use, and may not be reproduced.  And please, if you use my artwork, send me a picture of what you made, so I can pin it to my pinterest board.



FIG. 1 Supplies: Printout, ruler, pencil, heavyweight chipboard, letterweight paper, baker’s twine, washi tape, glue brush, X-acto knife, Tacky glue, detail scissors, stapler.

FIG. 2 Cut twelve pages 1 7/8” x 1 7/8.” Stack two signatures of six pages each. Fold them in half and staple the centers.

FIG. 3 Cut two 1” x 2” pieces of chipboard, and one piece 3/8” x 2.”

FIG. 4 Cut out the artwork. Don’t cut between the hooves. Fold the legs in half and glue the sides together.

FIG. 5 Glue the legs to the cover pieces. Make sure the legs are walking toward each other.

FIG. 6 Glue the last page of the signatures to the covers, on top of the legs.

FIG. 7 Put a deer body face-down underneath the top page. Line up the lower back corner of the deer to the page. Put glue on the deer body, but not the head and tail.

FIG. 8 Fold the page down to stick it to the glue.

FIG. 9 Glue the top pages of both signatures together.

FIG. 10 Apply glue all over the remaining deer body and sandwich it to the first.  So the stack should be: face-down deer body, two pages, face-up deer body.

FIG. 11 Close the book. It’s ok if it wants to open.

FIG. 12 Put two strips of washi tape along the spine chipboard.

FIG. 13 Apply the spine to the closed book. I like to leave a tiny gap between boards.

FIG. 14 Tape a piece of twine inside the cover. Wrap it loosely around the book to keep it closed when the deer stands up.


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