Friday, July 21, 2017

"Cotton" 2nd Anniversary Gift

  
For my son and daughter-in-law's 2nd wedding anniversary I created this Cotton-themed gift.  Did you know there are specific 'gifts' for each anniversary? There are actually different lists but I went with the most basic/original list and I found a great site that gives the history of the "list" itself.  Anniversary-ideas-step-by-step.com tells how this list came about and gives the traditional gift and the meaning behind each gift which I love (and added to my gift box).
I started with Prosecco and created a 'recipe' card telling how to make a Cotton Candy Prosecco Cocktail.  Get it . . . "Cotton" candy . . .  I tied the recipe to the bottle.
I wanted to find a "Cotton" scented candle but of course when I wanted one, I couldn't find one.  But I thought "Linen" was close enough to cotton!
I wrapped the candle in a vintage "cotton" tea table cloth that I had in my vintage linen stash.
I thought we better TRY this to see how it tasted haha! So hubby and I broke open a bottle and made our own Cotton Candy Prosecco Cocktails.  It WAS yummy and fun to watch the cotton candy melt.  It definitely added a sweetness to the drink which was very tasty.  
I was afraid to mail my own cotton candy because I thought it might 'melt' or be gross by the time it arrived to them in the mail.  So on Etsy, I found this WONDERFUL seller, County Fair Foods who sells the cotton candy in your choice of flavors/colors in favor-type bags.  The best part is that Melissa creates custom labels for the bags!  I told her what it was for and she created these ADORABLE labels for the bags.
Look how she added the cotton boll border!!  The package shipped quickly and my kids were thrilled with it and loved the personalized labels!
I created this card using the anniversary site information and tucked it inside the box.  
Doesn't this look festive and fun?!  I packed the box with colored tissue paper and threw in lots of cotton balls and the kids had such fun with it.
Last year for their first anniversary (paper), I created an album using pictures I had taken of my son from Kindergarten to 12th Grade.  I will be posting details on that project soon but basically I took pictures of each of my kids on the first day of school WALKING AWAY from me.  The final picture was always intended to be of them WALKING AWAY with their spouse on their wedding day.
Have you ever used the 'anniversary' gift list?  It's a fun way to celebrate those milestone years!
On any given week (depending on how busy I am!) I love to participate in Link Parties.  These gals put a lot of time and effort into hosting these parties so I always want to show my appreciation by directing my readers to these blogs. 

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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Dementia Games & Activities DIY

  
Many of you know that my mom has dementia.  She is in the later stages now where she is finding it nearly impossible to communicate verbally and doesn't often recognize most of us.  She lives about 8 hours from me so I try to get to see her as often as possible.  Recently I made some activities to try with her so I thought I'd share them with you.  The first one is simple and any cloth bag will do.  I made a lot of things pink because that's her favorite color.  

Just fill with simple items they will recognize by feel.  I did just one item at a time.  Many items she couldn't find the word for so we kind of gestured and pointed so I knew she KNEW what was in the bag, she just couldn't find the word for it. I added things like sunglasses/glasses; comb; hairbrush; toothbrush; balloon; ball - things that again are easily recognizable by feel.
This next one was simple to make from paint sample chips and clothespins.  

All you do is gather TWO chips of each color; one for the card and one to punch a shape and attach to the clothespin. Again, since my mom is in the later stages, I had to only put out TWO color cards and the TWO matching clothespins so it narrowed her choices.  I would pick up a card and ask 'which clothespin goes with this card?' and she could then point to the correct one.  She cannot clip the pin to the card so I did that part.
I put it all in a tin box I had that I decorated in yes, pink.
Fabric matching/sorting is a fun, easy game as well to make and play.  I cut 4-5 pieces of each fabric and put them in a box that I decorated.
To play, you simply lay out all of the pieces and try to group all of one kind in piles.  Again, because my mom's disease is more advanced, I had to just put out TWO different types of fabric and we both worked on gathering them.
Finally, we did some 'flower arranging'.  My mom has always loved flowers so I thought this would be fun for her.  She was "amaaaazed" at all the pretty flowers!

 I covered soup cans with paper and took a bunch of stickers.  I helped her decorate the cans with the stickers.  Then we arranged the flowers in the cans.  This is an activity that the person can do over and over.  Just remove the flowers, put them on the table and make new arrangements.
While all of these activities were great -- I think they are best suited for someone who's disease is not as advanced.  BUT, I still think they are beneficial, even if YOU are doing most of the work because it provides a diversion, stimulation, interaction and I do believe some pleasure for the person.  I'm hoping these ideas help someone and I'll continue to try to come up with more things to help my mom.
On any given week (depending on how busy I am!) I love to participate in Link Parties.  These gals put a lot of time and effort into hosting these parties so I always want to show my appreciation by directing my readers to these blogs. 

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Vintage Caster Wheel Photo Bookends

This is my husband's Father's Day present. 
I've been looking for some vintage caster wheels for awhile for this project and last week while driving home from a visit to my parent's, I spotted a "Barn Sale" sign and of course told my husband we HAVE to go check it out! It was an experience to say the least (more to come about the sale in another post!).  But while digging through the piles of stuff I spotted these wheels . . . covered in gunk, dirt and grease.  For 5.00 . . . they were mine!  I did some research on how to clean these.  Do you know there was actually an article on cleaning vintage steel caster wheels??

After first cleaning as much as I could with a wire brush, they went into a white vinegar bath for 24 hours.  Isn't that a pretty sight? Just look at all that crud that floated away.  Per the instructions, I rinsed them thoroughly and dried them.
I love that the vinegar bath even removed all of the crud in the nooks and crannies that I would have never been able to get to.  I also had to stabilize the 'swivel' of these.  If you are just making them for photo display, it wouldn't matter and you could skip this step. I just wound some thin wire around to disrupt the 'swivel'.
For the base I bought these moulding pieces from Home Depot for under 2.00 each.  I drilled the holes for the screws and then painted them black.  I added a piece of cork onto the bottoms to finish the base off.
All of this was the easy part.  The photos . . . that was another story.  I started by measuring the diameter of the wheels with a strip of paper to see how many/what size photos I needed for each wheel.
Then I printed a few sample strips, adjusted the photos and finally printed them on matte photo paper.  I cut them to fit the width of the wheel.  
  Then came my first "fail".  I tried using double stick tape to attach them to the wheels.  It didn't stick.  At all.  Toss that set out.  Print second set.
Go with good, old Mod Podge (I used the matte finish).  I applied a thick layer directly to the metal wheel, then to the back of the photo strip, then another layer on top of the photos.  I smoothed it out with my finger and set them aside to dry . . . until I realized I had applied the photos UPSIDE DOWN.  Because these are being used as bookends, I need the photos to be 'viewable' from a distinct direction.  Sigh.
After much peeling and scraping, I got most of the photo paper off and started all over again.
I did add a second coat of Mod Podge to seal them extra well and then they were finished!  The steel will continue to rust and age which I like.
I also did some research on the value of these . . . they are selling online for as much as 50.00 each so I think my $5.00 was well spent!
If you can't find two of these wheels, I think it makes a great photo display as a single wheel too.
Men are SO hard to buy/craft for!  What ideas do you have or have you made for the men in your life? I'd sure love more ideas!

On any given week (depending on how busy I am!) I love to participate in Link Parties.  These gals put a lot of time and effort into hosting these parties so I always want to show my appreciation by directing my readers to these blogs. 

Monday

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I'VE BEEN FEATURED!