Category Archives: Mixed Media

Be a Band Geek!

Happy 28th Birthday, Ashley!

So, my bestie from college, Ashley, could give Pippa Middleton a run for her money at party planning. For her 28th birthday, she hosted a High School Reunion themed party – in honor of 28 being 10 years past high school. She asked that all attendees dress in their favorite high school stereotype. [You might remember Ashley from The Rubiks Cube Cake]

I was really torn as to how I should dress. Should I just show up in clothes I wore in high school? Na, that doesn’t really scream anything other than “Ginny!” (which doesn’t work when attending a party with people you hardly know and see once a year). Cheerleader was out, that was Ashley’s thing. Football player, sure I’ve got the jerseys, but that’s not creative. Finally, the night before I was leaving to go out of town, I decided on my costume: A Band Geek.

Now, we aren’t spending $ this year. So my costume had to be stuff I already have, or stuff I could fasten out of stuff I already have. I had two inspirations.
1. Ken, who has taken a liking to wearing bowls and plastic containers as hats.
2. The Waukee Warrior Regiment, and their beautiful hat plumes

Let’s get started.

What you’ll need:

Band Hat Ingredients

1. Plastic Container. I chose Country Crock, CoolWhip would also work great
2. Hot Glue Gun
3. Fabric scraps, solid colors work great. I used t-shirt sleeves.
4. Scissors
5. Pen, Paper
6. Sequins, beads, stringed embellishments
7. Feathers. Lots and lots of feathers.
8. [not pictured] A brooch or giant button

First things first, plug in that hot glue gun. Make sure you have it in an outlet that works. Just a little tip from me to you, this alone will save you a half hour of frantic “OMG MY HOT GLUE GUN DOESNT WORK!”

Next, trace around the bottom of the butter container. Cut yourself a piece of fabric to this size. Set it aside. If you’re using a knit fabric, cut a piece to use as a strap under your chin. Cut it so that it’s stretchy enough to get on and off – this isn’t an exact science. Cut a piece that is like 15 inches long also set it aside for later.

Take a larger piece of fabric and wrap the container. I used a t-shirt sleeve, and it was large enough to just fit the size of the container with minimal extra. I folded the extra and glued it to itself. Fold excess fabric into the hat and have fun gluing. No one will see this part, so do what you need to do to get it to stick.

Next, turn the hat over and glue down the top. I didn’t get an exact photo of this. Just fold and glue it down. Then, take your round piece of fabric, and glue it OVER the ugly part. I got excited and also glued on my embellishments, but you get the idea. See, no uglyness! Now is also the time to glue on any other stringed embellishments you want around your hat. Do it now, before you glue the feathers on.

Up next is my favorite part: The Plume

So, there should be a seam on the side of your hat. We’re going to cover it with feathers. Starting at the top of the hat, glue your feathers on one by one, from the top of the hat, down to the middle. Be generous. You want your plume to shine.

Once you get your feathers on, pin on your ugly brooch. I used this nice gold one. Pin it at the bottom of the feathers, to cover up the uglyness that comes along with hot glue and feathers. You know what I’m talking about.

I’ve also glued on a neck strap. Just more t-shirt scraps. Once I had the hat all decorated, I glued on one end of the strap. Once the glue was set, I held the hat on my head with one hand, and played around until I figured out where to glue the other side of the strap – the catch is being able to get the hat on and off WITH the strap glued on. It’s totally doable. Don’t make it too tight or too loose.

The rest of my costume consisted of black pants and a blazer (Thanx Lindsay!!!), a recorder, black socks and graduation tassels. I was going to wear white socks in spite of my old band director, but I decided to make him proud instead.

I also made cake balls for the party, which didn’t really fit the theme, but did fit my budget and cleaned out my freezer.

That's a lot of balls!

We also ate School Lunch Pizza and Jello shots.

There were also some extra costumes just in case you didn’t bring one. Here I am as a science nerd:

Let's go do science stuff!

Cupcake Wall Hanging

I love cupcakes. I know they are kinda cliche now and way overexposed, but I still love them. You cannot deny how delicious they are.

So, I was on a mission to make something cupcake themed to hang on a wall. I don’t have any canvas, or giant pieces of wood, so painting was out. I also didn’t want to sew fabric on fabric and expect it to hold it’s shape. The final idea was to sew on fabric, attach to cardboard and frame.

Here goes!

Step 1: Assemble the necessary items.
A. Find a frame.
B. Cut cardboard to fit in the frame
C. Print/draw your design (cupcakes)
D. Pick out the fabric (for design and background)

The important about this project for me, was to use stuff I already have on hand.  I spent some time in my scrap box trying to find top and bottom cupcake pieces that all matched, but weren’t too matchy matchy.

Step 2: Start working 
A. Cut out pattern.
B. Pin to background fabric.

Note: there are only three pieces in this photo, not four. I decided to try and tackle the hardest fabric last – so I took this photo before I sewed that one on. And then of course I switched fabrics to something easier to work with.

Step 3: Sew
Carefully sew your design onto your fabric. Take your time. Small corners are fun 🙂

Not much to explain here!

 Step 4: Embellish
As you’ll see in the final photos, I have sewed one button to the top of each cupcake. No cupcake is complete without something on top – a cherry, coffee beans, sprinkles, SOMETHING!

Step 5: Attach
I opted to hot glue my fabric right to the cardboard. To be honest, I was going to staple it out of sheer laziness, but the cardboard was too thin. This was much trickier than I thought it would be.

Once I got my fabric centered, I clipped the fabric to the cardboard on one side, so that I could pull the other side kinda sorta tight, but not too tight. Also tricky with giant buttons.
This step also includes attaching the photo to the frame, if you chose to. I went the route of more cardboard, but attached it so that it could be removed with minimal damage to the frame if necessary.

Step 6: Hang on wall and enjoy

Trunky Decorating

My parents used to have a beautiful tree in their backyard. He was just a generic tree, but absolutely perfect. The perfect climbing tree, which would have been awesome if I had any upper body strength. His name was Trunky.

This was Trunky, a few years before his untimely death in 2010.

We loved Trunky. Well, most of us anyways. But eventually he got old, and my parents made the tough decision to end his poor life by chopping him down, into small pieces.

Here is Trunky today:

Bye, Trunky!

What does this have to do with a craft blog? Is this just some sappy dedication to your childhood tree?

It has everything to do with crafting! You might remember last year, the Ray Family Christmas Extravaganza had The Rocks Glass Invitational (which I won, of course) . I wanted to keep the competitive crafting tradition alive, and with the help of my sister, I suggested that we decorate Trunky disks as a family, as a competition. The idea was well accepted by all parties. You see, my dad had left a bunch of the branches in the driveway for firewood (or for decoration, not sure). My sister wanted to take a log to have on display in her living room. And that’s when the idea struck – we can cut up a log, then everyone can decorate a piece of this family history.

[a big THANK YOU to Leah, for getting these action shots!]

Everyone worked really hard! You could decorate any way you wished – we had three wood burners, paints and glitter glue. I am pretty sure all of us went the wood burning route, except some of the kids. And on a positive note, no one got injured.

Adult Division

Kids Division

The winner of the RFXX2011 Trunky Decorating Contest:

Congratulations, Andrew! This is the family crest he created for us.

If you’d like to check out the other contestants, here are links to all of their images:
Iowa (Ginny)
Playboy Bunny (Leah)
Ray Iowa (Ginny)
Drunk Face (Dan)
Ray Crest (Andrew, Winner)
Impatient Face (Brian)
Butterfly (Penny)
RIP (Becky)
Sun Star (Tim)

Have your (cup)Cake and eat it too! Part 1.

There is a small business credit card commercial that I used to hear all the time. About a woman who started a cupcake and wine bar. I thought the concept was genius, and on the spot decided I wanted to do the same in the form of a party. So this has been on my mind for like 6 months.

What better way to drown the winter blues than with 7 different types of cupcakes?

First of all, I needed some decor. I didn’t want to go all out, but found a super cute idea online that took cupcake papers and styrofoam balls and made cupcakes. So I did just that!

As I was buying the ingredients, I found out how expensive styrofoam was. So I only bought a 6-pack and hoped that I would find something else of the same size to use for more. I’m cheap.

I stopped at Michaels later and they had some leftover Christmas decor – including plan, 3 inch not-heavy, not-sure-what-they-are-made-of Christmas balls (bulbs). On clearance for like a quarter each.

They were great for painting. Also glued sequins to a bunch as well. The original idea called for these to be made into Christmas ornaments, but I wanted garland. So I secured the loop under the pom-pom, and tied that on another piece of string.

Here’s a better shot of most of the styrofoam garland,

If I had to do-over, I think I’d stick to styrofoam. It was so much faster to slap on some glue (ok, I used ModPodge for the glitter) rather than hot glue individual sequins. I think I just liked the styrofoam ones better. I love these, but can’t help but think that they look more like ice cream cones than cupcakes.


  • Styrofoam Balls (3inch)
  • Cupcake Papers
  • Pom-Poms
  • Glitter
  • Paint brush
  • Paint (optional)
  • Sequins (optional)
  • Glue (Hot, Tacky, Modpodge, whatever you want)
  • Ribbon (optional)


  1. Glue the ball to the bottom of the cupcake wrapper. I used hot glue.
  2. Decorate the ball. I brushed on the glue, then poured the glitter over. I was kinda leery about glitter on Styrofoam, but the excess shakes right off.
  3. Cut your ribbon, if you want it to hang. Like 5 inches? Fold in half, glue to top of ball, add a dab of more glue and add the pom-pom.
  4. Hang.
  5. Don’t eat.

I don’t want this post to get TOO long, so I’ll leave you with a glimpse of the edible cupcakes. I’ll post recipes and more detailed pics soon.

A New iPod Accessory

A few weeks ago I bought some new headbands from an Indie craft sale. One of them has half a teal zipper made into a flower. It looks really cool, and I was really inspired to create my own! Then I opened the latest edition of SewStylish and what was the first project? “Feather Fascinator: Create a headband adorned with colorful feathers” A sign? Obviously.  

I bought some headbands from the D-Tree and started digging through my stash. I had three headbands to work with, and for the focus pieces I choose buttons, Worry-People dolls and my first edition iPod Shuffle. The shuffle died a few years ago and is all rusty on the USB end, obviously I wasn’t going to get rid of it. I was planning on making it into a brooch, so this seemed like a much better project. 


Ingredients: felt, feather boa, rick rack, headbands, buttons, iPod, Worry-People, ribbon. You also need hot glue, I also used mod podge.

The Final Products

The Final Products


Button Headband: Lots and lots of white, cream, black, brown and gray buttons - so it can be worn with anything. Used lots and lots of glue. I may regret that later, but I made a good attempt to clean it up.

Worry People Headband: Cut a strip of purple linen fabric from a dress I made last week, mod-podged it to the headband, then added yellow and green rick rack. Then hot glued on the Worry-People

Worry People Headband: Cut a strip of purple linen fabric from a dress I made last week, mod-podged it to the headband, then added yellow and green rick rack. Then hot glued on the Worry-People


iPod Shuffle Headband: Headband is covered with a piece of white ribbon, then added a layer of leather-like sequins, then the felt/feather/tool/springy things and the iPod. I scratched the back of the iPod with a pin so that the glue would hold better than it would on the smooth surface. This one is my favorite.

iPod Shuffle Headband: Headband is covered with a piece of white ribbon, then added a layer of leather-like sequins, then the felt/feather/tool/springy things and the iPod. I scratched the back of the iPod with a pin so that the glue would hold better than it would on the smooth surface. This one is my favorite.

What would be some other fun things to put on headbands? Sometimes I just pin a brooch on for a one-time wear. Maybe other specialty buttons, old earrings…

Chop Top Frock

More recycled men’s shirts! 

“Chop Top Frock” comes from a pattern in Sew Stylish Magazine, by Kathy Cano-Murillo (featured in her new book The Crafty Chica’s Guide to Artful Sewing). 

The directions were pretty simple.


Cutting the shirt.

Cutting the shirt.

I didn’t cut the arms off, I seam-rippered them off. That particular seam was reinforced with interfacing, and I used that as the perfect guideline for finishing the edges of the shirt. 

Confession: I got going on this project and forgot to take detailed photos of what I did next. 

  • Make casting. Turned the front and back edges under, pressed and sewed.
  • I measured around my rib cage and cut elastic according. Sew elastic to shirt where you want it to gather. Shirt now gathers. 
  • The instructions called for twill tape for the straps. I made my own straps from a piece of flowered fabric that I really love out of Mom’s Fat Quarter Reject Pile. The instructions have the straps tying over the shoulder, I don’t really care for shoulder ties, so instead, I made one long tube and buttoned it together.
  • Paint a flower. I painted my flower on the pocket, and tried to make it really similar to the flowers on the strap fabric, you can see this in the below photos. The flower has a bit of gold around the edge. 
  • Last step: replace the buttons! Pick something that matches well and fits your button hole.


I made a practice flower before painting the real deal. I think the practice flower turned out better, but oh well.

I made a practice flower before painting the real deal. I think the practice flower turned out better, but oh well.

Strap fabric. Has glint of gold around flower edges, so I used a little gold on the painted flower as well.

Strap fabric. Has glint of gold around flower edges, so I used a little gold on the painted flower as well.




Ruffly Coin-Purse

It’s too small to be a clutch… but too big for Barbie’s luggage. 

I bought a couple of coin purses just like the a few years ago on clearance at Forever 21. Originally, I was planning on covering them in beads and sequins, but when I came across one this weekend, I decided I’d just make my own.

The fabrics are from my Mom’s Fat Quarter Reject pile (I had used part of them on a previous shirt), there’s two (the main part and flap, and the ruffle). The inside is fully lined with a thin layer of fused plastic. It needed to be a little sturdier than just a piece of cotton if I was going to throw in coins, forks, cell phones, Carmex, scissors etc. 

Why is there ribbon lining the top flap? Because this was my first attempt at ruffles and I sewed that part together 3 times. Do I even have to mention that all three times were uneven? Not to mention that in the three times I sewed it, I still managed to NOT get all the ruffles sewn in, requiring me to hand sew a few areas. So the ribbon… it’s hot glued on. I know, that sounds incredibly tacky, but I promise you can’t see the glue. 

Also, the button is just for decoration and covers up a small snafu. 🙂 The flap and body connect with a snap.

I plan on making more of these, more detailed instructions coming!

Go Green! Recycled Plastic Bags

When it comes to arts and crafts, I love to try new ideas! I’m also an avid recycler. 

A few weeks ago I came across instructions to fuse plastic bags together and had to try it for myself.

How can I fuse plastic bags together?

The tote bag and clutch are just the beginning. I have another one thats about halfway done, and today I bought two zippers to work in my next bag.