Swedish Tomte

I am in the process of moving some things over to this blog from a very old blog of mine. These are photos of some of my past work. Their hair and beards are all made of Llama fleece. 

 Fishing Tomte, approx. 5" tall. (SOLD) 

Fishing Tomte, approx. 5" tall. (SOLD) 

 Tomte with bundle of wood (SOLD)

Tomte with bundle of wood (SOLD)

 Swedish girl cooking on fire (SOLD)

Swedish girl cooking on fire (SOLD)

 Swedish tomte girl with basket of traditional Swedish breads (Cardamon braid and Limpa)  (SOLD)

Swedish tomte girl with basket of traditional Swedish breads (Cardamon braid and Limpa)  (SOLD)

 Swedish girl with mixing bowl (SOLD)

Swedish girl with mixing bowl (SOLD)

 Candle Dipping Swedish Girl (SOLD

Candle Dipping Swedish Girl (SOLD

 Tomte with ax (SOLD)

Tomte with ax (SOLD)

 Here is a photo of two I recently did for a special order. They were ordered by a male nurse to add to his collection.  (SOLD)

Here is a photo of two I recently did for a special order. They were ordered by a male nurse to add to his collection.  (SOLD)

 Swedish Girl with Broom, approx. 5" tall (SOLD)

Swedish Girl with Broom, approx. 5" tall (SOLD)

More Photos from the Current Ongoing Journaling Class

We're in the final stretch of the current journaling class and what a delight it has been getting to know these lovely ladies. We've laughed, we've created, we've eaten delicious goodies, made new friends and grown in the Lord. 

It has been wonderful to see the creativity poured out on the journal pages as these ladies think through the things which the Lord put in each of them to make them awesome and unique individuals. 

Every one of us has a unique story to tell. We all have things in our pasts, whether hurts, trials or victories which have added to the person we are. We all have unique gifts and talents which blossom when we are being the authentic person we were meant to be. In this class participants are able to think through all these things and more and get them onto a journal page in a creative fashion.

If you have interest in attending a class, learning more about upcoming classes, or having Shelley come to teach any of the classes to your ladies group, please contact us at becauseliada@gmail.com. 

Here are some more photos from the current class.

Delicious and beautiful fall cookies





And He saved them out of their distresses

Psalm 107:19-21

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
And He saved them out of their distresses.
He sent His word and healed them,
And delivered them from their destructions.
Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!

Life can be hard....really hard. We've all been there. We've all had times when the entire world seemed to be crashing down around us. Maybe you're in the midst of one of those times right now. One thing I know for sure, life on this side of Heaven is never going to be pain free. But another thing I know for sure is...God heals. He really does. When we cry out to the Lord, He listens. He's there. He holds us, lifts us up, and loves us as no other can. I have been seeing evidence of this as I teach the Because Liada Art Journaling Adventure Class.

The Because Liada Journaling Adventure is a mixed media art journaling class. During this class participants create a personalized art journal as they work through the lessons. As I lead the current group of lovely ladies through the class, it has been wonderful to see how the Lord has worked in their lives to bring about healing. This group of ladies come from various backgrounds and just like most of us, they are backgrounds full of pain and regrets. During the class there have been times of both laughter and tears, and yes, both have been healing. We've talked about forgiveness of others and ourselves. We've explored our pasts and in an upcoming lesson we'll talk about our futures. But best of all, these ladies are learning to see how very much God loves them. They are learning they can live life with passion and purpose knowing God has a plan for their lives and that they too can live out their own daring adventure. 

If you are interested in having Shelley come teach this class or any of the other classes at your church or to a group of your friends, please send an email to becauseliada@gmail.com.

 

 

Make Your Own Carpet Stair Treads

DIY carpet stair treads 2

A few years ago we purchased a fixer upper (and that's putting it nicely). It actually was completely not habitable. Although most of it is finished, there are still a couple projects I've been wanting to get around to. One of them was to put a runner carpet down the front stairs. I priced the runner carpets and at minimum it was going to run us a few hundred dollars. If we wanted anything other than the basic run of the mill variety it was going to cost even more money. 

Not being willing to spend that much, I put my thinking cap on. My daughter and I took a trip to our local salvage store, Mardens. They have upholstery fabric for unbelievable prices. I figured there has got to be a way to use that to make my own DIY stair carpet treads. So in taking a walk around the store, I found these:

DIY Carpet Stair Treads

These little rugs were selling for $1.00 each. I measured them and they were the perfect length, but they were too wide. Each little rug cut in half the long way however would give me two perfect sized pieces to make my own Carpet Tread Rugs.  I then headed to the fabric department to see if they had a fabric I would like. I found this lovely fabric for $4.99 per yard. I needed three yards. I think I actually could have done with two and a half but felt safer going with three.

We then had to figure out a way to adhere the upholstery fabric to the rubber backed carpet pieces. In looking around the store my daughter and I found two things, glue and tape...crazy strong tape. I don't know what the tape is used for but the stickiness of it makes duct tape seem like a wimp. Sorry duct tape, I still love you and was going to use you if I had not come across your bigger, stronger, super hero cousin. I know someone will ask but I have no idea what this tape is.  Mardens is a salvage store, this role had no packaging and looked just like this when we bought it. But it was huge and the price was right at $3.49. 

Make Your Own Carpet Stair Treads

We purchased two bottles of this glue which said it worked on fabric at $5.99 per bottle, it was not enough glue. We ended up running to the hardware store which of course did not carry it, so we purchased a bottle of Weldbond which also said it worked on fabric. It also was $5.99 per bottle. 

DIY Stair Carpet Tread Pads

First we cut all the carpet pieces we had in half. We then cut fabric pieces for each piece of rubber backed carpet. You'll need to cut your fabric just a bit larger than your carpet piece on each side. I didn't measure but I'd say it was about an inch or so on each side. If you decide to use this technique to make your own, you may need to center the fabric, it will depend on the overall print you choose. If possible, I would suggest choosing a fabric where centering the design will not matter. It will just be easier all around and will probably save you money as you won't have to figure on getting the repeat in the pattern right when you measure for fabric. I chose to center my fabric left to right but not front to back.

We spread glue all over the top (the carpeted side) of the carpet pieces

We spread out the glue.

We then flipped the carpet over so the glue side was down on the backside of the fabric. Then we cut a piece of tape the length of the long side of the carpet square. Unrolling the tape proved to be the most challenging aspect of this entire project. The tape was so sticky it took tons of strength just to unroll it. 

We then gently lifted up the fabric and placed it down on the tape so the tape was just about but not quite up to the edge of the carpet piece. After we pressed on the fabric a bit to make sure it was sticking to the tape (like there was any doubt of that!), we folded it over the back side of the carpet square and pressed down to stick it. (I hope that makes sense...see the picture)

We did the same on each side. Oh, I almost forgot, we did run a bead of glue down the edge of each side right before folding the fabric and tape over the back. 

Stairway Makeover

That's basically it. For each step repeat the same process. To attach these to the stair treads we used Scotch indoor carpet tape. We ran it down each short end, in the center and along the front edge. 

This is what the set looks like on the stairs.

Stairway Makeover 2
Make Your own Carpet Stair Treads 3

There are still a few details to take care of in the front hall but it's come a long way from what it looked like the day we bought it which was this

  1. So here are my suggestions if you should decide to make your own carpet stair treads. 
  2. Make sure the fabric you choose to use is a sturdy, heavy duty fabric such as an upholstery fabric. It also should be think enough that the glue won't ooze through because that would make a hard stiff top on your DIY carpet stair treads, and that would feel awful if you were barefoot. 
  3. Use a sticky tape like duct tape
  4. Use plenty of glue. 

Over all this project took my daughter and I two and a half hours. Here is a break down of what we spent. 

  • Fabric $14.97
  • Glue $17.97
  • Carpet pieces $7.00
  • Tape $3.49
  • Carpet Tape $3.50
  • Total:  $46.93    I think we may have been able to do this for a bit less if we had shopped around for a larger bottle or different glue. But overall I'm happy to not have spent a few hundred. Another thing which I considered using and you may want to try is, to use burlap to cover the carpet pieces and then use some geometric shape and acrylic paints to put maybe stars or stripes or some other design on the pieces.

Let me know if you try this project. I'd love to see pictures.

Blessings,

Shelley

UPDATE:  

I have had soooo many questions asked about these carpeted stairtreads so I thought I would add an update. Just over a year after I made these, we sold the house. So, unfortunately I can't tell you much beyond 1 years wear. However, I can tell you how they held up through that year with a family of 6 and 3 large dogs. They held up AMAZINGLY well! I did not think to take a photograph of them before we moved. However, I do have the realtor photo. Unfortunately it isn't the clearest photo for zooming in. But I can tell you they looked good enough that I didn't feel a need to do anything with them except vacuum in order to show and sell the house, I think they made the front hall look very pretty. The realtor photo is below. To answer some of the specific questions I have been asked:

  1. No I did not use scotchguard. I used an upholstery grade fabric to make them and it may or may not have had it already...I don't know. 
  2. No, the fabric did not pull up when I vacuumed, they just stayed put. Others who make these may have a different experience than I did however as I can think of a couple things which may or may not change the outcome (type of fabric used, how well it is glued down, type of glue used, type of rug being covered).
  3. No my vacuum did not pull up the threads. Again, I can imagine some people having a different experience based on the chosen fabric. If you decide to make these, make sure your fabric is not made up of many "threads" being sewn down onto another piece of fabric. Many chenile type fabrics are made this way, they appear durable but they are not. 
  4. They stayed in place perfectly!  That carpet tape stuff is pretty great stuff. In the year we used them, I didn't have to redo the tape on any of them. 
  5. Yes, I would make them again and may possibly do so in my new home. 
Make your own carpeted stair treads

DIY Valentine Cards

diy valentine cards

Valentine's Day will be here before you know it. I'm sure you've seen the aisles at the stores filling up with all the pretty red and pink Valentine's Day decor and goodies for the kiddos to give to their friends. Let me start by saying, I know those little valentines which are sold in all the stores are very inexpensive. Some of you may be thinking you can't be bothered making something when you can get those for about a buck. However, if you are looking for something a bit more creative this year, and with a touch of recycling thrown in, this may be just what you are looking for.

diy valentines

I use old greeting cards regularly for various creative purposes and always end up with a stack leftover, you know the ones with the big cute critter or creature on the front. They are adorable but limited as far as creative purposes go. 

If you do not have little children at home, you may not have many of these cards coming into your house. But if word gets out that you are seeking old greeting cards for creating, you will get plenty passed on to you. You'll want to make sure no one wrote inside the front of the card because that's where your kiddos are going to sign their names. 

In addition to cards like these you will also need,

  • this printed PDF of hearts (also available on our freebies page)
  • colored paper if you want to make your own hearts
  • glue
  • lollipops
  • scissor (including a pair with a fine tip if you want to cut little areas out) 
  • a hand held hole punch if you have one. 

The first step is to cut out the part of the image which you want to use. Like this:

 

Then using an exacto knife or very sharp scissors like fingernail scissors, cut out the part of the image you want to put the heart under. Like this:

Then glue in place any hearts or other pieces you want to add. You could include little bows, glitter, gems, etc. 

diy valentines day

Carefully cut little slits in the image with your sharp scissors, then slide the lollipop in. If your hand held hole punch will reach to the location where you want the lollipop holes then you can use it for making them. You may have to put a piece of tape over the lollipop stick on the back to keep it from sliding out.

That's it, sign the back and have the kids hand them out. Easy, repurposed, DIY valentine cards for the kiddos. 

 

 

 

homemade valentine cards

I didn't like how this guys foot was cut off at the edge of the card so I just put the heart over it. 

DIY Party Favors

I wear many hats and admit that some days, it's a few hats too many. Our family owns a few business and one of the hats I wear is Marketing Director for a homecare agency our family owns (Abundant Blessings Homecare). So you will probably from time to time see things around this blog with tags on them which read "Abundant Blessings Homecare" because my creative juices overflow from one area of my life to another and sometimes the lines get blurred. As long as the overflowing and blurring create pretty colors, I'm good.

I had to come up with a few things for Christmas activities we are involved in and here's one of them:

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This is a favor made using coin envelopes. Each one has four Andes Mints in it. Two Ghirardelli Chocolate squares also fit perfectly inside. 

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I also made up some of these for other purposes....see I told you things overflow from one area to another. 

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These would make great stocking stuffers, or DIY party favors for any party or event. They also make great DIY Marketing or Guerrilla Marketing ideas. In addition, they might be a perfect item to hand out at a trade show or other type of event. Just be forwarned... as with anything, if you have to make hundreds of them, you are probably going to get very sick of doing them, trust me, I know. I am so grateful for office help!

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Here's a photo of them with a ruler so you can see the size

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Make Your Own Paperwhite Bulb Kit - Win One Too!

There is a give-away at the end of this post to win one of these lovely Paperwhite bulb Kits. There is also a link to a PDF of the tags for these gifts.  Enjoy.

Twice a month a bunch of us ladies (both older and younger) get together. We share from Scripture and have bit of devotional time and then we get down to some serious creating! Last nights projects turned out BEAUTIFUL!!!

With Christmas fast approaching I planned the project to be something which could double as a gift. We made Paperwhite Bulb Kits. 

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To make these here's what you will need:

  • Plain terra cotta pots (I paid about $1 each for mine at Home Depot)
  • Acrylic Paints
  • Misc. papers to cut up if you want to use any of the images such as magazines, wrapping paper, etc.(greeting cards may be too thick). 
  • Glue (regular old Elmers or school glue)
  • Paint Brushes
  • Potting Soil and bags to put it in
  • Bag of Paperwhite (Narcissus) Bulbs and smaller bags to put them in. The regular price on these was $14.98 for 15 bulbs but they were on 50% off clearance at Home Depot, it's late in the season for bulbs so you might be able to find them discounted at your local store as well).
  • Lacquer or other sealer (I used a spray, quick drying lacquer)
  • Cellophane to wrap it all up or a gift bag to put it in and, ribbon

First, paint the pots with a coat of acrylic paint. You can either paint the entire pot one color or paint the top rim a second color or even paint stripes, whatever you wish. 

flower pots 1.jpg

Then when the coat of paint is dry (it dries very quickly) put on a second coat if it is needed. If it isn't needed, you can just start decorating. You can add decoration with other colors of acrylics painting with reckless abandon, or if you are more of a reluctant creative, you can use pictures cut from magazines. Either way they turn out lovely. In the above photo, the flowers on the front pot are from magazines and the black and white scroll type design on the pink pot is from wrapping paper, see how easy this is? Cut your pictures out, trimming very closely. Then on a paper plate put some glue and add water to it to water it down. Using a paint brush, put the watered down glue on the back of the image and put it in place on the pot. Then brush the watered down glue all over the image (decoupage like). Don't worry, it will dry clear. You can also use Mod Podge for this but if you don't have any on hand, don't go spending money you don't have to, the glue works just fine.  For the polka-dots we used pencil erasers or q-tips, either works.

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For the words, we used rubber stamps dipped in acrylics or we just painted the words on with a paint brush.

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After you have your pot looking like you want it to, put on a coat of some sort of sealer. If you only used acrylics on your pot, you may not need to do this step, but if you used any paper embellishments, definitely put on a coat of sealer. This is what we used:

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While the sealer is drying you can bag up your potting soil. We used 1 Gallon Zip Lock Bags. Scoop in enough to just about fill the pot and seal the bag. 

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Then put your bulbs in a bag and print the tags. I made a PDF for you to print the tags which we used. The first two pages are the header tags for the bags of bulbs. There are two versions because I had small zip lock type bags on hand and they measure 4" wide by 7" tall (header card for these is on page 1 of PDF). Because most of you probably don't have those bags on hand, I made a header card which fits on a quart size zipper bag (pg.2 of PDF). The other two pages of the PDF are the planting instructions for you to include in the pot and the tag for you to tie on the outside of the gift. Print everything on cardstock if you have it.  Paperwhite Bulb Kit PDF here.

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After the pot is completely dry you can put everything together. Put the potting soil bag in the pot, set the bag of bulbs on top of that,  and put the card with the instructions in the pot. If you have cellophane on hand cut a long strip about twice as wide as the pot and long enough to tie together above it. Tie on a bow and the tag and then tape the edges. That's it, you have a lovely handmade gift.

If you have never grown paperwhites, you should give it a try this winter. It is just lovely to have beautiful blooms filling up the house in the dead of winter, they take 4-6 weeks to bloom so get them started now, come January you'll be so glad you did.

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Now for the give-away...I made this lovely one so one of you lucky folks can enjoy your very own paperwhites come January.

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The pot is a lovely bright red painted with glittery snowflakes. It comes complete with potting soil, bulbs, and instructions. It's all wrapped up in cellophane with a bow ready for you to enjoy yourself or give as a gift. 

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There are two ways to enter the giveaway, first, you can leave a comment below stating if you plan to grow these yourself or give the kit as a gift if you win. The second way to enter is to "like" the new Because Liada facebook page at www.facebook.com/becauseliada.  All commenters and facebook "likes" will be entered into a hat and one winner will be drawn on December 10th, 2013.  I will pay shipping for the Paperwhite Kit to anywhere within the continental United States. I will ship it elsewhere but the winner will have to pay shipping (via paypal) for locations outside the continental United States. Winner will be drawn on December 10th, 2013.

UPDATE:  We drew a winner late last night and the winner has been notified. Once, they respond, we will announce the winner. Comments are being left on for this post in case anyone wants to comment on the tutorial, however, no additional comments will be entered in a drawing for the set. Thank you to all who entered. 

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