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Showing posts from December, 2010

New Years Centerpiece

Happy New Year!  I am happy to see 2010 go it has been a trying year to say the least.  This year, my hubby and I stayed home for financial reasons, but it has been great with just the two of us.  We have been having great conversations and bonding time.  I made a chicken stir fry for dinner and we enjoyed a great bottle of Rombauer 2005 Cabernet - very yummy, a gift from last year that we were saving for a special occasion. 
My project for the day is a centerpiece.  I got this deer candy dish for 2.00 a week or so ago, actually I got two because they were broken.  The antlers were fragile and snapped off, so Hancock Fabrics had to mark them down and I got the benefit of it.  I removed the lid and decided that it would make a great base for a centerpiece.  With the addition of some discounted flowers and greenery from Mitchael's, all I had to do was assemble it.

Inspiration from many sources

The project for today came from a few places.  In my youth, I remember going to a friend's house and her Grandmother showed me a Christmas decoration that she had made, it was in a small frame.  It was red velvet fabric and old jewelry and was in the shape of a Christmas tree.  Then, a month or so ago I was watching the Nate Berkus Show.  He has great ideas and is from Minnesota like me!  He was showing what to do with things that you think are trash or not useful.  Kind of like the things I do in my blog.  So anyways, he had old jewelry and frames.  Here is where the light bulb went off in my head.  I had purchased a painted canvas at the Goodwill for a few dollars and was going to paint on it, but the canvas was torn.  I ended up removing the canvas and using the frame.  I stapled on some muslin and topped it off with an old shear embroidered curtain.  Then dug through all of my jewelry and buttons and started to decorate it.  I consider it a work in progress because new things …

Donated table

This table was 4.99 at the Goodwill.  It was so cute, but I didn't know what to do with it.  It sat for a while in the garage until something came to me. 

One of my friends holds a fundraiser every year in honor of his brother that past away.   The money goes to an orphanage in Jamaica that he volunteered at.  This is what I painted and donated this year.  You can see the smaller size because it is pictured next to a blender box.  Floral designs are appealing to a lot of people, so I thought it would bring more bids in the silent auction.  My friends charity is called Robin's Nest and is a great charity if anyone is interested in checking it out.  Doing things like this is a great outlet for me.  I get to use my talent and the profits are for a good cause. 

The website is:

One cup of coffee

I figured that three days of coffee would be a good thing.  Day one was sewing, day two was drawing and today is painting.  I had a small wooden piece of bread shape that would be perfect for one cup of coffee.  It was .99 at the Goodwill.  I made a small stencil and then went to work on a fun design.  Hooray for coffee!

More coffee please!

I have been working on this picture on and off for about a week or so, but after last nights post, I decided to finish it.  Collage style frames are fun to work with and are not only for photographs.  I did various mugs in different designs and sizes for this frame.  The only thing that may change is the color.  Black would bring out the drawings a bit better I think, so that might be a quick future project.

Quilted wall hangings

I got a beautiful wall hanging from my sister in law for Christmas.  She is a quilter and does awesome work, so here is what she made for me. 

 I also quilt on occasion when the time permits.  This kitchen wall hanging I made for myself, it is coffee cups.  Look for another coffee themed project soon, I have warm beverages on the brain at this snowy and cold time of year.  Quilting is fun, but the large quilts are sooo time consuming, so a small project is much easier to handle and a great way to use scraps.  The coffee one is all different colors, basically whatever was leftover from other projects.  Potholders are also a great small project for scraps and only take an hour or so.  Reminder, don't throw those odd and ends away, there is always a use for them.  Check out future posts for scrap projects.

Merry Christmas!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas! 

Today's post is kind of a stolen idea from my Mother in law.  A few years ago, she started giving all of us crocheted hangers and I have made a few for myself because they are great for nice blouses and sweaters.  It's also a great quick project for those nights when you are just vegging out in front of the TV.  There really isn't a pattern, it's just simple crocheting around a plastic hanger.   Here are a few pictures of people enjoying their new gifts.  The happiness of giving a great personal gift is truly the best present that I get every year.      

Do it yourself calender

I got this at Joann Fabrics for a dollar and am giving it to my husbands grandmother.  She turned 80 this year and most of the pictures I used are from that celebration.  She is spry and a sweetie and what else do you get a senior for Christmas?  Well, besides the potato bag that was last minute.  She had a great Bday and was surprised by family and friends.  They did get her good, the party was in August at the family cabin, but her Birthday was a few weeks ago. 

The gift of music

Every year I have trouble trying to figure out what to get for my brother for Christmas.  This year I had originally planned to give this to him for his 40th birthday, but I ran out of time.  Since it still is the year of this milestone birthday, the present is going to be for Christmas instead.  Through a lot of Internet time and with the help of my husband, we compiled 40 songs starting with 1970 to make a 3 disc set for him.  A song for every year.  My brother enjoys more of the hard rock and metal genre of music, so that is what we did for much of the Cd's.  Metallica, Led Zepplin and AC/DC to name just a few of the artists that we used.  I also gave a similar gift to my sister in law a few years ago for her birthday, but her CD was more pop music and top songs from the various years.  This is a great idea for the people on your list that are a bit more difficult, but it is still creative and personal.  Another idea would be to compile a list of top headlines from each year or…

Baked Potato Bag

This is a last minute addition to my gift list.  I had made these for gifts two years ago, but was asked to make another one for my husbands grandmother.  The bag is made with cotton batting and fabric.  I kind of eyeball the size, when it is finished it measures about 8 1/2 x 10.  Then I add the instructions tucked inside the bag.  My mom, mother in law and sister in law all use their bags quite often.  It is an economical gift and if you sew at all, is very quick to put together.  The fabric can be chosen according to the recipient so that it goes with their decor.  Here is the finished bag and the microwave directions. BAKED POTATO BAG This simple bag creates a “just right” baked potato in your microwave. 
The inside is well done, yet moist, and the skin remains tender. The bag will cook one to four medium sized potatoes at once. Simply wash & dry your potatoes. DO NOT PRICK! Wrap the potatoes in a paper towel & place in the bag. Microwave as instructed by manufacturer. T…


At one point in my life, I worked at a craft store and we had a Christmas potluck.  I decided to make candy for the first time ever.  After grabbing my trusty Betty Crocker cookbook, I found a recipe for truffle cups.  They were easy and yummy.  But, I like a challenge and instead of just keeping that recipe, I decided to go one better and make the actual truffles that were also listed in the cookbook and they used flavored liqueurs.  They were more tedious to make, but the results were awesome.  After that, my friends and family started to expect them every year. 

The first few years, Chambord was the only flavor that I did, but as the years went on, I started to experiment with other liqueurs.  Bailey's, Kahlua, Grand Marnier and many many more.  Every year, I try a new flavor, which is very easy because in the alcohol industry they are constantly coming up with something new and interesting.  Last year I used Malibu and while they were great, not everyone liked the coconut flav…

This years Christmas card

Merry Christmas to all!  Very little money this year and no budget for stamps.  I am posting this on FB and emailing to friends and family this year.  I know it's not as personal as a hand signed and addressed card, but that's how it has to be.  To anyone reading this, if anyone is actually reading this, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and much love from Creative Dawn!

Mugs holders

Minnesota winters are cold!  But, a cup of tea or hot cocoa makes everything seem warmer.  The only drawback is whenever you microwave water in a mug, the handle can get really hot.  Normal hot pads and oven mitts are too bulky.  So, last night after burning my fingers once again, I decided to do something about it. 

I dug out some fabrics scraps, a little bit of quilt batting and some embroidery floss.  Using a rotary cutter and board, I proceeded to cut out a few rectangles of fabric measuring 3 1/2 x 6 1/2.  I sandwiched the batting between two pieces of fabric and then blanket stitched it all together to make a hot pad that can be gripped around the handle of a mug.  My husband laughed at me, but now I won't burn my fingers and the project quick and simple.

Final calender page!!!

I did it!  Twelve songs about food or beverages, mission accomplished.  My final song is a catchy pop tune by The Archies, Sugar Sugar.  At first I wasn't sure about the design, but it grew on me.  Now it's time to make copies and assemble it for Christmas gifts.

Candy Tree

This unfinished tree was purchased at Joann Fabrics for .90, it was a brown fall tree, but now, it is a Christmas decoration.  It was originally 6.99 and after Halloween, it went on clearance.  There are actually two, but the second one might end up being used for a spring holiday.  Just because it is labelled for a specific holiday or season doesn't mean it has to be used for it.  That is part of being creative, finding a use or making something out of odd and ends.
The burlap on the base was replaced with holiday fabric.  The red metallic curling ribbon was a dollar and the starlight mints were 1.99 for a good sized package.  The leftovers are now in a candy dish.  The tree was kind of mushed so after fluffing it out, the ribbon was attached to one end of the wrapped candies and then tied to the branches and then the ribbon was curled using a butter knife.  Something like this would probably be at least 20.00 if purchased already finished.  A great deal and a great look for less …

Wine cork ornament

It's amazing what you can make out of a few odds and ends.  I always have ribbon on hand and the red jingle bells were in my miscellaneous box.  The corks were gotten from a past restaurant job.  Put them together and you get a charming wreath ornament that cost next to nothing.  I used the end of a ribbon spool for the circle background, just cutting out enough of the middle for the wreath shape.  The cardboard was also sturdy enough to support the corks.  Then I wrapped the silver ribbon around the circle hot gluing it in various spots on the back.  Next the corks were glued on and then I attached the red ribbon for a hanger on top.  The bells were tied onto another length of ribbon and then attached to the bottom.
FYI:  If you need corks, any restaurant that serves wine would be glad to save them for you and they are free.

A little honey

I enjoy the music of Van Morrison, but two of his songs really stand out to me.  The first is Into the Mystic, the second one is Tupelo Honey.  It is also perfect for my 2011 calender of food and drink.  I couldn't decide on a honey bottle or a honey bear and then finally I came up with a pot kind of like in Winnie the Pooh.  The design is simple and cute with the bees scattered throughout.  One more page to go and the calender is finished!  That is a good thing since Christmas is nearing and I need to start making copies soon.  Now that song is buzzing in my head!  LOL!

Inspirational Drawing

This is a frame that I bought at the Goodwill for a few dollars.  It was never used and is very sturdy and made for a 4 x 6 picture.  Brand new, someone probably paid ten to fifteen dollars for it.  I got it a while ago and it has been sitting in my stack of projects waiting for an idea.  Finally something came to me.  With the arch of the frame, I thought a butterfly would look nice and then added the saying to the bottom.  It was a really quick project and now I can check another gift off of my Christmas list.  Present like this are always great, they are never the wrong size and everyone can use a little inspiration in their lives. 

A finished chair

Here is the finished Adirondack chair.  I think it turned out great, hopefully my mother in law with think so too.  Just a quick write up today, holidays, lots going on.  Craziness!

A work in progress

Today, my project isn't entirely finished.  This one has taken longer because it is/was and unfinished Adirondack chair and it needs to be put together.  The chair is going to be a gift for my mother-in-law.  She loves to garden, so I thought it would be appropriate to paint flowers all over it.  The base coat took almost as long as the actual design.  It took three coats for a good background and needed to dry in between coats.  I like to use either American Accents or Painters Touch both by Rustoleum for Adirondack chairs.  The paint is latex and easy to clean up and the finish is really great.  Tomorrow, it will be finished and I will post the final product.  This chair was purchased last summer for 19.97 on clearance at Jo Ann Fabrics.  More money than I usually spend, but that is a great price for an item like this.

Husband's Chair

My husband is a huge Vikings fan.  He a lot of different shirts and memorabilia and an awesome chair.  It was a Goodwill find once again.  I love wooden chairs, there is so many things that you can do with them.  Sanding the chair was the first order of business.  Once that was done, I painted it in white, purple and gold.  My husband is also an AP so, I put that on the chair too.  It is something that could be done with any sport or team and it is a great personalized gift.

I Like Beer!

OK, two days of calender pages in row, but I was on a roll.  Today we have the classic country song by Tom T. Hall, I like beer.  My husband introduced me to this song a long time ago when we were first dating.  I really hadn't listened to much country music before then.  Actually he introduced me to a good variety of music from heavy metal to country.  His tastes are eclectic.  So another page done, two more to go.  He better help me with the last two, I am kinda stuck right now.

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Another calender page done!  This one actually has two songs, but they go together well.  Both are by Dee Dee Sharp.  Mashed Potato Time and Gravy are the songs and were also dances.  You gotta love a good sixties dance song.  Can you mashed potato?  Check out old footage sometime it is really fun and funny.

SW Pillow

I have an embroidery pattern of southwestern designs.  The one I chose to make was the Indian for two reasons.  The first is that I am part native American and so is my mom the recipient of this pillow.  The second is that the decor of her home is southwestern.  So, I embroidered the design on muslin and bought a remnant of fabric to coordinate with it.  Using a rotary cutter I trimmed the fabric and sewed together the pillow.  The project was budget friendly and also very appropriate for my mom's home.

For my nieces

I have two young nieces, Kyra and Jessica around the nine and ten age group.  They can be difficult to buy for.  This year, I painted small name plaques for each of them.  I posted Kyra's a while ago, now here is Jessica's.  This one cost .97 at Walmart.  Besides the name plaques, I will probably buy them each a gift card of some sort to wrap with it and also a small candy treat.  Simple and pocketbook friendly and also a little more than just a gift card.

Mosaic Circle

A thrift store find for less than a dollar.  I think it was a display of some sort at one time possibly with a glass top.  It is smaller so maybe for a cheese display, I'm not sure.  It's about seven inches around and has a ridge that had something that fit into it, your guess is as good as mine.  

The first thing I did was flip it over to the smooth side and paint it black, then painted small pebbles shapes all over it in white.  The color scheme was random, first I added the green, then the blue.  I was going to leave it at that, but it needed more.  The gray and pearl paint were last minute decisions.  After the 'pebbles' were dry, they were outlined in the white.  It kind of has a mosaic effect, but it is all paint.  It's a new addition to my big wall of art projects.  
Wow, three months down, nine to go.  I have doubted myself lately, but I know that I can achieve my 365 goal, almost a hundred days done.  WOO HOO!!! I just hope to get more followers soon! 

Guilty Pleasure

I have another addition to my 2011 calender and it is definitely a song that many would call a guilty pleasure.  It is Milkshake by Kelis.  Whenever I here this song, it reminds me of the movie Dodge ball and it makes my laugh.  Because I am doing a food and beverage calender, it fits with my theme no matter how cheesy it is.  Lollipop might be a guilty pleasure for someone else.  So, here it is page number eight...Milkshake.