Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy New Year Everyone!

I hope you all enjoyed Christmas and had a wonderful time with family and friends! I wish to thank each and everyone of you for the Christmas cards you sent. They are absolutely beautiful and I'm making a special board to keep them on!

After our power outage was restored it only lasted a couple of days till we lost it again, LOL! But I'm glad it's back on again and hope all others have theirs restored also. Seems people everywhere were hit pretty bad with that storm and we have yet another one coming this week end. Just hope it isn't as bad as the last. I've been very busy with several things now that Christmas is over. I decided to post all my tutorials on my site (since I have plenty space there) and link to them from here. So far I have 12 of them finished and instead of giving individual links, the link I place here will take you to one page (Tutorials) where you can browse them. I'm making it like an everyday web page with a menu on the left side listing all the tutorials. I think this way it will make things much easier for me to add newer ones as I go along. Like many of you I've also been cleaning, rearranging my crafting rooms. This morning I've been busy washing silicone molds and I didn't realize I had collected sooooo many of them, LOL! (But I LOVE those designer tart molds!) I think I'll take the next month or two off from crafting so I can get things as I want them around here. But of course I already have Valentine's Day and Easter things in the making. I also want to take that time for my blog and website. I have several things planned and hope I can get them all rolling for the new year. I do have to get busy again and will say to keep watch for the link, hopefully to be posted in a couple days. I wish you all a very happy and prosperous New Year! Warm hugs and blessing sent your way, Libby.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Very Bad Storm

I know you've all heard by now that the east coast was hit with a very heavy snow storm. To some of you 18+ inches of snow may seem like nothing, but for us, that was a pretty big one so early in the year. It put down trees on power lines everywhere, knocked out our cable, phones and even caused problems with water lines. Our power went out Friday evening and they finally got it back on yesterday. I know the crews worked very hard during this time (and still are) to get everyone's power back on and I applaud each and every one of them. While some are still without and more restored today, we need to remember these people in our prayers. I've heard of a lot of elderly needing oxygen, dialysis patients needing treatments, plus countless others with health problems needing help. They've set up help centers all around to give a place to stay with heat, food, and water but there has been many not able to travel out for that help, literally stuck at their homes. The areas have ran out of kerosene while people stood in long lines trying to get some for heat. But I think the biggest problem was on our part of not being prepared for such a storm despite the warnings. As for me and my family, I thank God we were able to keep warm, cook, and have water through it all. And let me tell you....it's amazing what you can do when a situation like this happens. We are all so used to having things so modern, we sometimes forget how to survive without all the comforts we can take for granted everyday. From the last report I heard yesterday it would be Christmas day before all the power was expected to be restored. That's a long time to do without certain things or having no way out, being confined to your home. I also saw where we have yet another heavy snow storm heading our way for Sunday and Monday. I haven't watched the update on that one today so I have no idea of what they're talking about for our area. I can only pray that it somehow passes us instead of being hit again so quickly. Please remember to take some time out during the day and pray for all those that are in these badly hit areas and states.

I'd also like to say with all the unexpected snowfall and problems, I haven't been able to post the tutorials as I was hoping. I will try to get to them as soon as possible. I want to thank each and everyone of you that is/has been following my blog and wish you a very Merry Christmas and blessed New Year! 

Saturday, December 12, 2009


I'll start by saying it is soooooo good to be back online, and I truly appreciate everyone's help and well wishes! Still having sinus problems but much better, thanks to all. After posting the "Tutorials - What To Do?," I shut down for the nite and turned off my system, (something I seldom do). To my surprise, the next morning it wouldn't start at all. Turns out I had a bad crash and it ruined my computer. But my sweet, wonderful hubs got me a new one last night! Yeah! (I'm doing my Happy Dance!) So I'm thanking God and my hubby for it! It's very sad that people do things to cause others problems like this, but guess that's just life on the net, lol. I would hate to be in their shoes when it all comes back around, and really feel sorry for them. That must be a really sad and pitiful life to have nothing better to do? 

Luckily, (and thanking God again!), I had just saved all those tuts on a cd before shutting down and was able to save my hard work! So now that I'm back online I'll be getting those listed for you. Please note these were my older tuts, tips & techniques and I haven't started on the newer ones yet, but hope someone will get some use from them. They are mixed tuts and some are candle making while others are general crafts. And please note that some of these tuts have been posted on APJ, (A Primitive Journey Community). As we post our tuts in the forum everyone can make comments, ask questions, and add suggestions/ideas. So it's great to see them on the forum and read all the replies to the post to see what we're doing and coming up with. The girls on there are awesome and such creative minds! I have a banner link to the forum on the right side, so be sure to check it out!

I have lots of work to get done and will post an update when I get the tutorials available. Thanks again to all for your patience and well wishes, you girls are the best!

Big Warm Prim Hugs, Libby

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tutorials - What to do?

Hi everyone!

I just finished completing 27 tutorials and making them into PDF files! That's taken me 2 days but I'm glad I got those finished. I have more but I wanted to get the older ones completed first. Now the question is, how do I need to list them? Do I put them on my blog or put them on my web server giving links from my blog? I know that my share box will only hold a certain limit and don't want to over load it, so I'm puzzled with this one. If any of you have any suggestions of how I should work this, please leave me comments. I would greatly appreciate it as I'm new to this blogging thing, lol!

Haven't been feeling up to par today, have head congestion and sinuses acting up, grrrrrr! Just hoping this doesn't turn into a nasty flu bug! And hoping I feel much better tomorrow. I'd like to get all my tutorials done and ready for sharing before Christmas. I should have already had these completed and saved, then as I made new ones it wouldn't be hard to keep up with. I did have a start on them before but having to reinstall my OS recently caused me to lose a lot of things, including those. But I am thankful I was able to salvage my pics, lol! I hope you all are doing well and excited about Christmas. I'll await to hear everyone's suggestions on how to post those tutorials and will thank you in advance. Be blessed and enjoy your day, hugs, Libby.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

More graphics in share box...

Hi everyone, just wanted to let you all know I've added some more freebie graphics in my share box. I have a Santa graphic sheet that has a color Santa, an outline Santa, and outline Santa face, a sheet of 4 cute spice cabinets, outline fixin's sheet, outline fixin's pans sheet, and a sheet of coffee stain tags. Play around with these and use them however you wish, just don't claim them as your own. These graphics can be used in so many ways; on websites, blogs, stitcheries, tags, cards, and so on. Also the coffee stain tags would look cute with some of Colleen's Christmas graphics on them! Just resize the graphics and paste on the tags, then print them out! Use the fixins & fixin pans graphics to color yourself and mix together for your own pan of fixins graphic. Have fun in what ever you use them for!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Winter Wood Staining Tutuorial

Most of us crafters have a certain area where we like to stain our wood. Some have their own wood shops, others use their garage, storage building, tool sheds, or just outside for this project. In the summer I like working outside in the open, but when Winter's here I use hubby's work shop. I had got some nice new wood boxes made and wanted to stain them for making Christmas box lamps one year, but didn't want to go pre-heat hub's shed. (Yes, I was being lazy, LOL!) No way I could use wood stain inside the house so I had to think of another way that I could stain the wood. Below are my results and it worked beautifully! So if you're having a day as I did and a little lazy, or maybe you don't have an area during the Winter, give this a try....

What you'll need:
Your wood item to be stained (of course)
Instant coffee
Hot water
Sponge brush painter

First if you have new wood items (as I did) but want them to look aged/antiqued, you can do that by using a hammer, screwdriver, meat hammer, small chain, and other items. Make some knicks and bangs on the wood here and there to make it look aged/used. (I did not do that to my boxes in the pics.) Now spread some newspapers out over your work area. Next you'll need to mix up some coffee stain mix. I suggest trying a small spot to see if the mix is dark enough before painting the item. If your mix isn't as dark as you'd like, add more instant coffee till you get the desired shade. If painting objects like my boxes, you'll want to paint the inside first and allow that to dry.

Once dry paint the outside and allow to dry again.

Once it's completely dry, usually overnite, you can seal the coffee stain with a coat of clear Arcylic spray paint, Mod Podge, or your favorite sealer. Now you have a nice alternative to staining wood items inside, without the mess of wood staining products!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Free Blog Backgrounds

As I'm learning more about blogging I've started creating some "freebie" backgrounds and headers. These were made and intended to use with the "Minima" template. I'm showing a sample of the background with matching header but you'll need to click on the individual background and header graphics to view full size, then save those to your computer/hard drive. All I ask is that you don't claim my graphics as your own. You can alter the headers to add your own blog name and/or information but no other alterations are allowed without my prior approval. I've added categories for the Backgrounds on the top right side menu. I currently have sets in the New Year's, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's, Christmas, and Everyday Prim links. I'll be making more new sets and posting them in the links so keep check on those. I LOVE using Colleen's (Harvest House Primitives) graphics in these sets so you'll be seeing a lot of vintage style backgrounds, enjoy!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

2 New Simple Crafts

I hope everyone has enjoyed their Thanksgiving holiday and had a wonderful time with family and friends!  I'm posting previews of 2 new simple crafts! To get these and other freebies download the latest Prim Sisters Gazette.  This is an awesome new issue and I'm sure you'll enjoy every page and article! Be sure to read "Bring Our Memories"...pg 3 by Dawn Pitzer, "Christmas Tradition"...pg 4 by Nancy DeRosa, and "Artist Interview"...pg 9 on Diane Bowling! This is packed with so many wonderful goodies you'll want to grab a nice cup of java and take your time to browse through to end!
The first craft is my latest Christmas Story Book which is so very simple and easy to make. And as stated in the tutorial you can get the free graphics for it from Colleen at: Harvest House Primitives. These books can be made for any holiday/occasion so let your imagination go!

Next is a Chenille Heart for Valentine's Day. This is made using a graphic sheet that I've posted in previous post, and also comes from Colleen's graphics. Again, this heart door hanger can be made for various holidays/occasions. As always I encourage you to use your imagination!

That's it for now but I'm working on some new graphics for blog backgrounds and I'll try to post them soon. (All free, of course!)  Sending prim hugs till next post, Libby

Friday, November 27, 2009

Another Couple Graphic Sheets

Here I'm posting two more graphic sheets you might find useful. Both are Christmas but are different from the previous two.

Christmas 3

Christmas 4

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Added Two Graphic Sheets!

I'm posting these two new graphic sheets to use with the project below, "I've Discovered Something Awesome!"

Christmas 1
Christmas 2


Monday, November 23, 2009

I've Discovered Something Awesome!

Hi everyone, sorry I've been silent so long. I've been working on some new Christmas and New Year's projects. I'll discuss the new projects later but I wanted to mention that I got my inspiration for them from Colleen at Harvest House Primitives! Colleen has been posting free vintage holiday graphics on her blog and I'm loving every one! You can get them on her blog: Harvest House Primitives Blogspot, and on her website: Harvest House Primitives.

Why am I so excited about this? After grabbing some of Colleen's awesome graphics my mind was flooded with prim creations! Of course I'll be sharing these things, thanks to Colleen! But I wanted to say if you haven't visited Colleen's blog or site, go take a peek. I'm not affiliated with her in any way, I just discovered her wonderful blog/site/products and wanted to share them, she's a sweetheart. I'm crazy for her creations, she has so many wonderful things. Besides keeping you up to date on her creations and posting graphics, I saw her mention "Bear Bears Best Biscuits." Having a fur baby of my own I had to check that out: Bear Bears Best Biscuits. I was so sad for her loss of her fur baby but I'm so glad I found that she's making his favorite biscuits. I've been looking for some natural healthy treats for my fur baby, so thanks Colleen for sharing those with us! And while I'm raving over her creations I might as well mention her adorable wreaths, santa and snowmen ornies that are 2 cute! You'll just have to browse around at all of her wonderful creations yourself to see what I mean.

Okay, now that I've shared a wonderful blog/site with you, let's get onto some holiday crafting treats using Colleens graphics! One thing I've been itching to make are these simple yet so prim Christmas stockings. Tutorial found here: Skinny Christmas Stocking. I wanted to do these in a different twist from the everyday holiday fabric prints so the graphics were the perfect answer! I'll make my own holiday prints using the graphics and this "printing on fabric" tutorial:  How to Print on Fabric. I must say I was soooo afraid to try this tut in fear of messing up my printer, but once I tried it I absolutely LOVE it! It was so easy and printing directly on the fabric feels and looks so much better than the iron on transfer sheets that I always used before. To make my own fabric print designs I opened my graphics editing software and started a new project in the 8-1/2" x 11" sheet size. I then started resizing and pasting the vintage graphics in it, mixing and turning them how ever I desired. And here are a couple results for that, one for Valentine's and the other for New Year's, you can use them in your projects if you wish:

Valentine's Day
New Year's Day

Next I'll take the printed out fabric sheets and use them for the stocking pattern. Remember you can mix n match, twist n turn these fabric sheets to make your stocking completely adorable! And how about saving and using the scrap pieces for making ornies? You could piece them together using the rag quilt technique making them even more interesting! Once you finish the stocking pattern with these fabric printed graphic sheets you can make them glitter and shine with your other embellishments, and don't forget to add a cute prim tag!

And here's another reason I'm so excited about using the graphics....I'll be using them on projects including wood shelves, prim wood boxes, prim tags, candle sleeves and mats, and signs, just to name a few. Of course I'll be sharing these projects with you as I complete them. I hope I've got your creative juices stirred up and you're running to get pen and paper, lol! Please share your ideas with us by posting a comment! PS- I just heard from Colleen that she'll be posting more graphics today!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Good Thursday Morning!

I FINALLY got my system fixed and will take my time restoring my needed files! Thank God for that, I hate having computer problems, LOL! I spent most of the day/evening yesterday installing my work programs and that was a job in itself. I'm hoping I can get back to working on my Christmas book so I can share it shortly. Today I'll need to catch up on things around here before getting back into crafting. I have a crock pot going since yesterday evening and will make some cornbread muffins to go with it for supper. (So quick and easy, LOL!) And speaking of crock pot dishes....take a look over at Prim Sisters Talk Radio site and check some of their awesome shared recipes! They have tons of recipes here: http://www.primsisterstalkradio.com/crockpot.htm. I think you'll find something for every taste preference, lol! And thanks to all the girls there for sharing their creations as well, they always inspire me!

Thanksgiving is almost here and I'll be working on a new Christmas background for my blog. I'm hoping to have it done so I can change it Thanksgiving day. It has always been a tradition here at my house to put up Christmas decor on Thanksgiving day after a nice dinner. Although I must admit, sometimes I've got anxious and put them up earlier, LOL! I've seen so many wonderful pics of how others decorate and love them all. It never ceases to amaze me of the creations others make! If you have something you'd like to share, one of your favorite ornies, displays, or maybe a pic of your tree, please contact me or leave a comment. I love seeing what others create and do for the holidays as I'm sure you do too! Well I need to get busy again but hope you all have a wonderful day and looking forward to hearing from you.
Hugs to all, Libby

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Create Your Own Basic PDF Files

I've been having computer problems the past 2 days and haven't been able to finish my new project. So, I'm posting this tutorial for today in hopes that it will help some that are looking to create their own PDF files. I know it isn't a crafting tutorial but it is craft-related. Please note I have no affiliation with the makers/developers of the programs mentioned in any way. They are just free programs I found, have tried, and enjoy using for their simplicity.   

Create Your Own Basic PDF Files - Tutorial
by Libby Bryant copyright *2009

This tutorial may seem lengthy but read through it completely before starting to familiarize yourself with the steps. I've included steps for creating an entire PDF file including working with your patterns or graphics. It is pretty quick and easy to create a PDF file so don't let the length of this tutorial worry you.

What you'll need:

Download and install the FREE "PrimoPDF" program. PrimoPDF is compatible with Adobe Reader and Adobe PDF. If you have Adobe software on your system and make a Primo PDF file, when saved it will automatically open in your default Adobe program.

If you do not have a graphics program that you work with to re-size photos and graphics then download the FREE "Photo-Re-sizer" program. This is easy to use and you can also watermark your photos/graphics with this program.

Create a new folder on your desktop and name it after your tutorial or PDF file you're making. Keep the name short as this folder is only for holding the files you will be making. (To create a new folder: Right mouse click on a clear area with no icons on your desktop, go down to "New" over to "Folder" and click. Name the folder then hit "Enter" on your keyboard.)

Notepad - This editor comes standard on Windows systems.

Word Pad - This editor is also standard on Windows systems.

Now that you have those steps completed you're ready to start working on your tutorial PDF file. We'll start by getting the pattern or graphics ready. I have steps for working in a graphics program and steps for using a hand drawn pattern or graphic. Follow the one you need for your tutorial. I do both types and you probably do also.

IF you are working with a hand drawn pattern or graphic (doodle) trace the original so you can save it. Work with the traced copy going over the lines with a black marker. (Scanners don't pick up pencil lines very well.) Scan your pattern or graphic to your computer and save it. If your system closed the scanned file after saving it, open it up again. Now save the scanned file as a ".jpg" (or .jpeg) file in your tutorial folder. If you do not have or use a graphics program to work with resizing your pics and graphics, open the Photo-Re-sizer program and open your .jpg file in it. For a full page pattern re-size the pattern .jpg file to 612 x 792 pixels (8-1/2 x 11 paper size). Only re-size your patterns to this size as you want them in full standard page size. For your cover page picture and other step-by-step pictures you'll need to re-size them no larger than 400 x 400 pixels (or 5.50 inches). You'll want a picture of your finished item for your cover page even if you do not use any other step-by-step pics in your tutorial. People want to see what the finished item will look like. Now save your re-sized pattern and other pics in your tut folder.

IF you work in a graphics program with for patterns and graphics open the original file in your program and duplicate it, close the original file. Working with your duplicate, re-size a pattern to 612 x 792 pixels, or a pic no larger than 400 x 400 pixels. Save the re-sized pattern or pics as .jpg files in your tut folder. If your graphics program does not do the resizing then you can use the Photo-Re-sizer program for this. Follow the steps above to re-size the pattern and graphics.

The hardest part is over and now you can work on your tutorial instructions! Open Notepad and type in all the step-by-step instructions for your tutorial. If you're showing step-by-step pics with your instructions, make pic comment lines where you'll need to insert your pics. Once finished go back over your instructions to make sure you haven't left anything out or forgotten a step. When all is as you want it, save the file in your tutorial folder.
Creating your cover page:
If you open some PDF tutorials you already have you'll notice there are two styles of cover pages. One being a page in Landscape with the material list with copyright and other information on the left (or bottom) side and a finished item pic on the right (or top) side of the page. The other being a standard Portrait style page listing the tutorial name and author, then showing the finished item pic, and sometimes the material list with copyright information. Please note sometimes the material list and copyright info is too long for the standard cover page and is put on the second page before the instructions start. We'll discuss creating both types of cover pages then you can choose which one you will need.

Landscape style - This type page can easily be created in your graphics program. Open your program and create a new image in 792 x 612 pixel size. (This is a standard landscape page size.) In the left half side of that page add your tutorial name, author, material list, copyright and any other information you want added. On the right half side of that page, copy & paste your finished item picture (from your tutorial folder). Now you'll need to rotate your whole page to the left 90 degrees to make it a Portrait page. Your finished item pic should now be at the top part of the page when in this position. If not, you have rotated it wrong, so undo and correct it. Save this file as a .jpg file in your tutorial folder. Open Word Pad and insert the .jpg cover page file on your first page. Now you're ready to start adding your instructions.

Portrait style - This page is created in your Word Pad program. To make this standard style page open Word Pad and type in your tutorial name, author and copyright info, copy & paste or drag n drop your finished item pic (from your tutorial folder) in the page. If your material list is long you will probably need to start it on the next page. View what you have using the Print Preview in Word Pad. If you have room on your cover page for the material list then go ahead and add it. Otherwise put this information on the second page by itself. Now you're ready to start adding your instructions.

Adding your instructions - IF you used the Landscape style cover page you can start adding your instructions on the second page in your Word Pad. IF you used the Portrait style page in Word Pad then you'll need to start your instructions on the next page after your material list. In either style remember to preview the Print Preview page as you work to see how the pages look as you create them. Add your instructions by opening the Notepad file you saved in your tutorial folder and coping all of it. Paste it in the Word Pad program. IF you're using step-by-step pics in your instructions go back over the instructions where you inserted pic comments, backspace that comment out and add your pic there. Repeat this for every pic comment you have. When finished adding your instructions and/or pics, go back over your whole tutorial proof reading and making sure all pics are in place as you want them. Save this Word Pad in your tutorial folder, naming it after your tutorial.

Last step - making your PDF file! Turn the power to your printer on if it is off, then open your Word Pad tutorial file. Click on the word "File" up top left, go down to "Print" and click. Your print window pops up and in the "Select Printer" section click on "PrimoPDF" to select it then click the "Print" button at bottom of window. Give Primo a few seconds to load and a Primo window will pop up. You can make any changes to options you desire, I always leave mine on "Custom" for regular PDF files. Then select your tutorial folder for the "Save As:" location, I leave the "Post Process" to the "Open PDF," then click the "Create PDF" button on bottom and you're done!

PrimoPDF collects the information from your Word Pad file and creates a PDF file with it. You can now view your new PDF file in your tutorial folder! Since PrimoPDF is compatible with Adobe software it will show as an Adobe PDF file in your folder, if the Adobe software is on your system. (Adobe is the default PDF reader.) Of course you can always explore the features of PrimoPDF later and adjust your tutorials for more personalization.

Note: These same basic steps can be used to create PDF files for sharing graphics like tags and such. Be creative and start making/sharing/selling those tutorials!   

Friday, November 13, 2009

Christmas Sack Ornies

Christmas Sack Ornies
copyright *2007 by Libby Bryant
Rusty Shed Primitives

Things you will need:
9 - muslin drawstring sacks (size 3" by 4")
graphic sheet (in my share box)
1 - sheet iron on transfer paper
polyester fiberfil

These muslin Christmas Sack Ornies are cute and easy to make. Print out the graphics on the iron on transfer sheet, cut out the little squares leaving 1/4" space around the pic borders. You can coffee stain the muslin sack or leave them plain as I did. Heat your iron and start ironing the squares on the sacks, according to instructions for the iron on transfer paper you're using. Once you have all sacks with the images ironed on them, start filling them with polyester fiberfil. Pull the drawstrings and tie so they won't come open again. Use the drawstrings to hang the ornies on tree or use them as bowl fillers. You can add other embellishments to the tops of the sacks if desired; green moss, homespun bows, use your imagination and have fun!

My tutorial may not be distributed, reproduced or copied in any way. You can make this for yourself or for sale, but you MUST give me credit as the designer.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Handmade Christmas Cake Candle

I've decided to post my handmade Christmas Cake Candle tutorial today and hope to get onto fabric things later. This cake candle is so cute and attracts every eye during the holiday season. Do not distribute, reproduce or copy this tutorial in any way. You can make these for yourself or for sale, but you MUST give me credit as the designer. With that said, now go have some fun playing with wax!

Forewords: My tutorial may seem lengthy but please read through entirely before starting this project so you'll be familiar with each step. Also, use this tutorial at your own risk! I cannot be responsible for the outcome during or after following this project, the supplies you use or candle handling safety. Candle making and saftey usage is YOUR responsibility, not mine! If you do not agree with this DO NOT use my tutorial. Please read up on the net or at your local library about candle making before trying any candle making project to educate yourself. Candle wax and fragrance oils each have a flash point and can catch fire! Read and follow instructions for the wax and fragrance oil you're using. This information varies between suppliers and can be very different so be sure to read those instructions! NEVER heat wax directly on heat source or in a microwave. ALWAYS use a double boiler method.

Things you'll need:
Two old pots with handles, one larger than the other to use as double boiler, or wax melting pot if you have one.
Thermometer, candy thermometer is fine.
2 pre-tabbed wicks, (wicks with metal tabs on bottom)
Wax paper
Old oblong baking pan at least 1" deep, oblong brownie pan is fine.
2 wax embed Holly Leaves (can get the mold at link below)
3 wax embed cherries (can get them at link below)
Old electric mixer
Old deep plastic bowl
Electric or battery operated drill
1/8" drill bit
4" putty trowel or old sharp knife
Old large wood or plastic spoon
2-3 pound of paraffin blend wax for pillar candles
4 ounces of your favorite holiday Fragrance oil (Sparkling Snowflakes is awesome!)
Red dye block (if making your own cherry embeds)
Hunter Green dye block (if making your own holly leaf embeds)
Disposable or latex gloves
2 old ice cream or crafting sticks
Several old thick plastic deli containers or something similar (for weighing Fragrance oil and mixing red and green wax for embeds)
Kitchen scales
Old measuring cup with spout

Link for Holly Leaf mold:
*Scottcrew Candle Supply Store

Link for purchasing Cherry embeds (or you can get them elsewhere online):
*Tropical Breeze Candles

Start by gathering all your supplies needed together and clearing your work space of children or pets. Add water to your largest pot (for double boiler) and place your wax in the smaller one. (Weigh wax on kitchen scale before adding to pot for melting so you know how much wax you have for adding scent later.) Read and heat wax according to supplier's recommendations. While wax is melting spread out wax paper (or newspapers) on your counter top, table, or work area. Place your old brownie or other pan on the wax paper leaving room on the side. Place your molds (if making the embeds) on wax paper with extra room on sides also. You'll need space for a piece of wax paper large enough to rest your wood or plastic spoon and to sample the wax color (if making embeds). Once wax has melted follow your Fragrance oil supplier's recommendations for adding the scent oil and add to your wax now. Weigh Fragrance oil (according to how much wax you melted) using plastic container on kitchen scales. Remember to weigh the empty container first so you'll get the correct amount of fragrance oil. Properly dispose of scent container after pouring fragrance oil in wax. If making your own embeds pour about 1/2 - 1 cup of wax in each of two plastic containers. (I always allow my wax to cool to 150 degree before pouring and especially when using the plastic containers.) Keep your main pot of wax at about 150 degree so it stays warm for later use.

IF making embeds: Add a few shaving off color block to your plastic container of wax, stir with ice cream or crafting stick, then drop a few drops on wax paper and allow to cool so you can check color. This just takes about a minute. If the shade of red or green isn't dark enough add a few more shaving off color block, stir, then drop more wax on another spot on wax paper. Repeat this till you have achieved the color shade you need then pour wax into your embed molds. (Note: If mold supplier recommends using a release spray you can use regular cooking spray for them, but spray the molds very lightly.) If not using a release for molds and you have problems with release, place mold in freezer for about 5 minutes and wax embeds will pop out easily. Now go to the next step of making the cake squares.

Not making embeds - making the cake squares: After scenting your pot of wax pour slowly and carefully into pan so that wax is 3/4" to 1" deep and let cool. While wax has cooled but still a little warm, use your putty trowel or knife to cut out 2 - 3" squares from center of pan and allow wax to finish cooling completely. This is for your cake squares. You don't want to wait till wax is completely cooled before cutting out the squares or they may crack. So cut once while wax is still just a little warm then go back over them after completely cooled to release and separate from other wax in pan. Before removing your cake squares you should use the putty trowel or knife to cut out pieces of the other wax, placing it back into melting pot. After clearing all surrounding wax from squares carefully slide your putty trowel or knife under the squares and lift them out. Set these aside on wax paper. If you've messed up along the way, know that you can remelt the wax and repeat this process. You haven't ruined your creation.

Drill and bit time: Now that you have your embed and cake pieces, it's time to use the drill. First drill a hole in the center of the cake pieces for the wick. Next, using the bit only (no drill) in your hands, place the tip of the bit in the center top of one cherry embed and slowly twist the bit with fingers to drill a hole in the cherry. If you mess up and crack your cherry, get another one making sure you're getting the largest size cherry embeds. (The smaller ones seem to crack easily.) You only need one drilled cherry.

Dipping your cake squares: You don't want your cake squares looking as they do now, so take a pre-tabbed wick and insert in hole of cake square. Dip your cake squares in your wax melting pot by holding to the top of the wick. You can repeat this process till your cake square looks to your liking. Place the square on some wax paper to cool a minute or two, then remove wick from bottom and use on the other cake square, repeating the same process.

Assembly: Pour some wax from your pot in an old deep plastic bowl and let cool so it's forming a film on top. While wax is cooling start gathering your cake squares, pre-tabbed wick, 2 holly leaves, and 3 cherries in your wax pan or on a piece of wax paper. Insert wick up through bottom of one cake square. Using old electric mixer on low speed, whip wax a few seconds then stop. Stir wax with wood or plastic spoon to help it cool faster and start to clump. Use the mixer and spoon again till the wax looks somewhat like mashed potatoes. When wax is at this stage, spoon out globs of the wax on top of your cake square with wick in it. You'll want to cover the top of the square till it's about 3/4" thick. This is the filling in-between the cake square layers. Now add other cake square on top, feeding the wick through the hole and press down slightly for a good bond. Do the same with this top cake square but only add wax so it's about 1/2" thick and smooth with spoon to even the cake top. Pour some wax from melting pot into an old measuring cup with spout and let cool till it's forming a film on top. Start pouring the wax over the complete cake top allowing it to run down all sides. Now quickly add the holly leaves and 2 cherries on either side of the wick. (See pic for details.) Press slightly to help bond. Next add your drilled cherry feeding the wick up through bottom side of cherry. You should have some left over wick so you'll want to curl that by wrapping around a pencil or skewer. This also helps hold the top cherry in place. Allow candle to set for about 30 minutes before moving into a candle pan. Now stand back and admire your creation!
Tips: Depending on how much wax you used you may want to make another candle. You can save the wax in a plastic tub type container with lid. Write name of scent used in wax on the tub with a marker for later use. Or you can use it up now by pouring wax in an old cookie baking sheet to about 1/2" thickness. When wax has cooled yet still slightly warm, use cookie cutters to cut out shapes in the wax. These shapes can be used for tarts. Store the tart shapes in plastic zip lock bags till used. Keep them in a cool dark place like a cabinet, and of course out of the reach of children or pets. These (and your candle) will have a shelf life of anywhere between 6-9 months. Now you can save those left over wax scraps in a zip lock bag. (These also can be used later in your tart warmer, lol, or save/mix them with other wax scraps for some scent twists!) Save your left over embed pieces for another project or use them as tarts. Do not reuse pots for melting wax, baking pans or baking sheets, spoons, bowls, or measuring cups for food. Keep these items for wax use only. You can find these old/used items at yard sales, flea markets and various like places very cheap.

I'm placing this tutorial as a .pdf file in my share box so you can print it out for easy reference while working on the project.    

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fun Grubby Candle Shells

I love working with different crafts from time to time but I always have to get my hands in some wax. Wax is so much fun to play with and the feel of warm wax in your hands is just something you have to experience. So today I'm going to talk about making some fun Flameless Electric Candle Shells like the ones shown in pics below! Please read through the complete tutorial before starting.

And here's a close up....

These simple and easy shells are a blast and you're only limited to your imagination! To start with, I'm assuming you have the basic wax melting/handling knowledge. If not, download my free Basic Candle Making Instructions (for tarts) from my share box. Please note you will need a Paraffin Blend type of wax made for Pillar candles for these shells, and 2 pounds of wax should give you plenty to play with for this project. As for the mold used in this project, you'll need a cleaned plastic frosting container like the Betty Crocker frostings come in. For the purpose of this tut I've made the shells with plain white unscented wax and you may wish to do the same for the first time making a shell. Actually, this is what I recommend on your first try. You can always reheat the wax adding color and scent later. Please refer to the Basic Candle Making Instructions for standard items needed. With that said, let's melt that wax!

When melted wax has cooled to 150 degree you're ready to pour into your fronting container. No, don't worry, it won't melt the container, lol! If plastic container is microwavable safe, then it's usually safe for wax projects. Remember, I NEVER pour my wax hotter than 150 degree for several reasons and this being one of them. Let the wax in the container cool till it has a good thick frosting over the top but is still warm. Using an X-acto knife, cut a circle about 1/2" from sides of container and pour excess wax back in melting pot. You can see from pic below how I cut my circle. Next, use a straight edge stick or ruler to scrape excess wax from sides and bottom of the shell inside the container. This smooths out the shell inside but watch and keep the bottom at least 1/2" thick. Carefully scoop excess wax back into melting pot and let shell finish cooling. I call this hulling out the shell, so your hulled out shell should look like this on the inside....

Once wax is completely cooled you can carefully remove it from the frosting container. If shell doesn't want to release easily, place container in freezer for about 5 minutes then carefully pull wax shell out as you're pushing down on container. Your shell should look like one in pic.  Place shell on old baking sheet or wax paper.

Now for the fun grubbing part! Pour some wax in a deep old plastic bowl (you won't use again for anything else) and let wax cool. As wax starts getting a film stir with wooden spoon or stick to start it clumping. After it cools a little more, use an old electric hand mixer to whip wax. This will make the wax clumpy and while it's still warm, start spooning out on the candle shell. Go all around your shell spooning the wax on then get the top edges. You may wish to work the wax on shell with your hands to get desired texture and remove any excess. Your shell should now look like a plain grubby shell as in pic below. With the orange color wax you can see how the grubby wax was applied to the white shell. Using fingers you can edge off any excess wax inside top rim of shell.

Attach your printed out facial design and gently attach on shell with tacks as shown in pic below. Using a darning needle, start punching around the design, one facial piece at at time till you have the whole face punched with needle. Careful with the needle punching as you can tell when the needle has gone through the grubby wax and into the shell underneath. You only want to needle punch the grubby wax and not the shell.  You may also wish to use a metal cookie cutter for the design. If so, make sure your cutter will fit properly and isn't too large for the shell. Since the shell is round you'll need to press the cookie cutter starting on one side then roll the cutter to the other side while pressing. Careful not to press too hard and cut into the base shell. Then remove any wax from the cutter design and smooth out the outlines of the shape with your X-acto knife. I've made several from cookie cutters including the star and Sun Bonnet Sue shown in above pics. The cutters are a lot easier than needle punching the face or other design. But if you want detailed design I suggest using the needle punching method.

Carefully remove the face paper and start carving out the features with your X-acto knife. This is kind of like doing a connect the dots kind of thing, lol. The snowman facial graphic was created by Brenda of Creations For Ewe and she's a very talented artist! After you have your face features carved out you'll need to drill a 1" hole in the center bottom of the shell for the clip light. Now you'll need to cut a 1/4" deep by 1/4" wide slot for the clip light cord on the bottom so your shell will set evenly. Looking at the bottom of the shell, and making sure it's on the back side of candle (not face side), cut 2 straight lines with your X-acto knife from center hole to outer shell edge. Cut and carve out in-between those lines for the slot for your cord. Should look like this...

Now you can insert your clip light in the bottom of the shell, and insert silicone dipped bulb. You may also want to display your shell in a candle plate with fixins around the shell. When making an actual shell with color and scent, be sure to color and scent the wax before starting with the shell. As the clip light bulb warms the shell slightly, it releases the scent. I don't recommend using above a 5 watt bulb clip light in any shell rather it's homemade or purchased. The 3 watt bulbs make a nice glow but won't warm the wax enough to release scent. It's also good to only use your shells for 3 hours at a time, again, rather it's homemade or purchased. Use this tutorial at your own risk. I cannot be responsible for anything you use or do resulting from this tutorial. Candle making and usage is your responsibility, not mine. I'm just merely sharing my techniques with everyone. With that said your finished shell should look like this (IF making a snowman), LOL!


Please note you can use your crafting paints to paint in the face if desired. I've left this unpainted so you can see the nice glow effect. I will be posting more on candles so keep watch to see what's next.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Scarecrow Head & Candy Corn Ornies

Sorry I didn't get these patterns listed sooner! (Patterns are in share box.) But you still have time to whip up some for your holiday enjoyment.

Let's start with the Scarecrow Head ornie. I like working with pre-stained muslin for these instead of staining and then baking dry. So cut 2 pieces of the head ornie and sew together using 1/4" inseam, snip edges so it won't pucker and turn. Stuff head but not too firm then stitch together the opening. Next using black thread sew on the black glass bead eyes. Now stitch the eyebrows and lashes. Pin on homespun nose in place then stitch mouth. Use any expression for the mouth as these add cute character. Using real blush, brush on blush for cheek areas. See mine for example. Last, stitch on homespun nose. Decide how long you want the yarn hair and find a book or cut a piece of cardboard to wrap the yarn around. Note, the book or cardboard needs to be as long as you want the hair. Wrap yarn to thickness desired and cut both ends. Gather yarn in center and stitch on top center of head. Next cut a 7" circle from burlap for the hat. Fold circle and cut in half. Wrap the circle around top of head joining in back with a little overlap, (should be kind of cone shaped now), and flip the front up in center for hat brim. Stitch from back to front to back in center of front brim to secure hat on head. Hot glue any berries, leaves, or other embellishments to hat and you're done! These head ornies measure 5-1/4" long by 4" wide, not including the hat.

Next are the Candy Corn ornies. These are 2 simple and easy to make. Cut 2 pieces from muslin for each size pattern, the large & medium. Stitch together with 1/4" inseam, snip curves so it won't pucker and turn. Stuff as firm as desired and stitch opening closed. If you want your candy corn slighty grungy looking, add instant coffee to your paint mix. Go easy with the coffee till you get your desired shade. Note: I add very little water to paint for these. Paint one color at a time, (I started with the white tops), and dry in oven. Keep painting/drying till you have all your sections painted. Wrap with piece of homespun and attach prim tag! The large one measure 6" tall by 4" wide at bottom and the medium one measures 4-1/2" tall by 3-1/2" wide at bottom. 

If you have any questions or problems feel free to contact me.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Time For Playing With Dough!

We're already well into the busy season with Thanksgiving coming soon then Christmas following shortly after. So let's get busy making some nice Cinnamon Dough ornies and Dirty Fruits! Remember, you can use the Prim Shapes for making prim dough ornies and these are adorable any time of year! First, we'll start with the basic Cinnamon Dough recipe....you'll need:

1/2 cup of ground cinnamon
1/3 cup of applesauce
1 tablespoon of  Tacky glue
wax paper
extra ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves
rolling pin
cookie cutters or shapes
drinking straw
small sticks (real ones)

Mix it all up well and form into a ball. Mix up the extra spices in a zip lock bag and sprinkle some on a piece of wax paper. Place your cinn dough ball on top and sprinkle a little on top of dough ball. Using your rolling pin roll out dough to about 1/4 thickness. If using cookie cutters start cutting out your pieces. If using shapes, trace around shapes with a knife. When done getting all the shapes you can from your rolled out dough, carefully lift them up and place on a piece of wax paper. Use your drinking straw to make holes in the shapes for hanging ornies after they're dried. You can dry your cinn dough ornies in an oven at 225-250 degree with door ajar or leave them lay on the wax paper for a couple days. Either drying method you must turn the shapes about every 5-15 minutes for the first 2 hrs to prevent curling. After the first 2 hrs continue to turn but not that frequent, about every hour or 2. These smell awesome, don't they! Now let's make another batch of cinn dough using the same method and roll it out. Using small sticks for stems, start wrapping foil around the stick and shape into pears or apples, (your choice here). You can refer to the pics below. With a plastic knife, cut out a piece of cinn dough, enough to cover the foil pear or apple. Place foil pear or apple on center of cinn dough piece and start wrapping the dough around the shape from bottom up to stem. As the top on the pears get more narrow you can pinch off the extra dough and put back with your batch. Cover them well enough so no foil is showing. When finished making all your pears or apples you can dry them the same as the ornies above. As you can see in the pic I baked mine and you have to turn them too so you'll have even drying on all sides and bottom. Once dry you can use the spice mix you made to grungy them up. You can display as is or you have the option of dipping them in wax. Sorry, but wax dipping will have to be in another tut at a later time.


In My Share Box.....

I've added a Box.net to share some doodle graphics, recipes, and patterns with you. I currently have some Raggedy Ann & Andy faces, Chickens & Chickens2,  Jar of Goodies (jogs), Prim Shapes, and a pattern of my Peace Dove. For the line art, (graphics without color, just line drawings), you can color these in yourself and use as graphics for prim tags, in e-mails, on website/blog, or even use for stitchery's. You'll find a few are already colored. For the Prim Shapes, use them for stitchery's, cut out and use as patterns for applique, or even cut out on cardboard for cookie cutter shapes. I encourage you to create your own ideas for their use and have fun! And as for the Peace Dove pattern these are wonderful to use at Christmas and Easter. Use the pattern to make tree ornies, bowl fillers, or cute make-do's/nodders. I made a make-do with one and placed it on a tall bobbin, took a large darning needle through mouth area to make a small hole and inserted a small sprig of Sweet Annie. It was so cute. If making tree ornies you could stitch the words "Peace," "Love," or "Hope" on the body. I encourage you to be creative and use them in a variety of ways. And of course they would look awesome added in a Christmas box or sifter lamp! I offer these things freely so please remember to give me credit for my graphics and patterns.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Creations for November!

I love Thanksgiving and making cute prims for the holiday was soooo much fun! To start with I made these Pilgrim Shelf Sitters, pattern by Chestnut Junction. Aren't these 2 cute!

Next I made these wonderful Indian Sitters, pattern also by Chestnut Junction. Please note mine varies a little from the original pattern, had to use what I had on hand.

To make my display complete I had to add some Fall Pumpkins! I made the White & Orange in various sizes, shown below. The leaves added to my pumpkins are from Brenda @ Creations For Ewe, and I LOVE those!

And what would any Fall display be without some cute little Scarecrows! These are my own pattern as well as the pumpkins above.

To go with my Harvest Feast I had to add some fruits. I started with some grungy fruits made of cinnamon dough, (next pic) then made some grungy apple candles (bottom pics). Both are also my own recipes that I share.

Haven't had time to add my little Turkeys but hope to get them posted soon!

These items will be listed on my website opening soon, Rusty Shed Primitives. If you're interested in any of these items beforehand you may contact me using my e-mail button listed on the sidebar.
Prim hugs, Libby 

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


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Coming Soon!


Here's the sample blog backgrounds and headers. Please click on the individual background and header files to view full size then save to your computer/hard drive.

Coming Soon!


Here's the sample blog backgrounds and headers. Please click on the individual background and header files to view full size then save to your computer/hard drive.

Coming Soon!


Here's the sample blog backgrounds and headers. Please click on the individual background and header files to view full size then save to your computer/hard drive.

Coming Soon!


Here's the sample blog backgrounds and headers. Please click on the individual background and header files to view full size then save to your computer/hard drive.

Coming Soon!

Shabby Chic

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Everyday Prim

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Here's the sample blog backgrounds and headers. Please click on the individual background and header files to view full size then save to your computer/hard drive.

Click on the bg to get full size and save to your computer.

Click on the header to get full size and save to your computer.


 Click on the bg to get full size and save to your computer.

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Click on the bg to get full size and save to your computer.

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More to come shortly! 


Here's the sample blog backgrounds and headers. Please click on the individual background and header files to view full size then save to your computer/hard drive.

Coming Shortly!


Here's the sample blog backgrounds and headers. Please click on the individual background and header files to view full size then save to your computer/hard drive.

Coming Shortly!

4th of July

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St. Patrick's Day

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Valentine's Day

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New Year's

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