putz Christmas tree lot

I am still tweaking the Putz “Christmas Tree Lot” that I’ve been working on the past few days, but it is almost done. In my last post, I explained how I made the base for the Christmas Tree Lot. It had to be larger than those I usually make to have room for the trees, a mail box, wreaths, etc. You can see that post here: putz Christmas tree lot…making the base

Today, I’ll show you the progress I’ve made on this little cutie.

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

Painting and glittering the base was the first step. This picture shows the texture the paint adds when it has a little sand mixed in.

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

In the last post, I showed how I made the base for the Christmas Tree Lot, and also how I added a Christmas card picture to the bottom. I didn’t think about being careful as I painted until I had marked up a few places on the green frame.

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

I have found that I can remove acrylic craft paint by gently wiping it down with a baby wipe. The kind I use are Pampers Sensitive wipes. I just have to be careful not to saturate the paper or it will tear, even with gentle scrubbing.

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

I took this picture to show how the base absorbs moisture and warps a bit while wet. Not to worry. Most, if not all of that, will flatten when it dries.

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

I made the fence rails and the fence posts from cinnamon sticks. A nail file makes quick work of leveling the ends of the posts. That smelled good, by the way!

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

All the lengths were checked and adjusted before gluing the fence to the base.

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

I found that my small wire cutters worked well to cut the cinnamon sticks, if I just cut into them a little at a time rather than trying to cut the whole thing with one cut. That tended to shatter the stick.

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

The fence is glued on, snowed and glittered. The shack is also glued to the base and I’ve applied “snow” and glitter all the way around it.

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

And now the porch posts are glued in place. The posts are made from bamboo skewers. They are about 1/8″ in diameter. I cut them with wire cutters.

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

I have a package of miniature icicles that my sister found in a thrift shop and I cut a few off for each side of the porch. The white glue (Crafter’s Pick) dries clear and has a great hold.

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

These are the icicles I am using. Genny found this package for $1.70 in a thrift store. You can google < "village acrylic icicles" > with the quotes to find buying options and a wide range of prices, if you are interested. Amazon sells them through third-party sellers. As you can see, I have a nice supply that should last a while.

Acrylic icicles

Acrylic icicles

I am liking the way it is turning out. It has been more work than some of my other houses, and I am finding my way as I go along. The next one I make will be easier. I’ll know how much room I need and how I can add some other features I wasn’t able to add to this one.

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

Yesterday, I made tiny wreaths to decorate the Tree Lot.

Untitled

Wreath

I also made two mailboxes. Both are too large for the Christmas Tree Lot. I’m going to attempt to make an even smaller one this afternoon. Not sure I can manage it but we’ll see!

Mini mailboxes

Christmas Tree Farm

I hope to get this posted to my Etsy shop in the next day or two. ChristmasNotebook

~~Rhonda

putz Christmas tree lot…making the base

This past Friday, I made the base for my new Putz / little glitter house, the Christmas Tree Lot. This is the bottom of the base. I like to add a Christmas card surprise on the bottom.

Putz house base

Because I want to add trees and a sign and wreaths and roping, etc., the base needed to be larger than I usually make. It turned out to be eight inches by five and a half inches. That’s the largest base I’ve made for my Putz houses.

Putz house base

I did find a Christmas card I liked for the bottom of the base, but I had to frame it because it was smaller than the base.

Putz house base

I used deckle patterned scissors to trim the edge.

Putz house base

I used a five inch square ruler that has 45° angle lines on it to miter the corners. The X in the middle of the ruler are the 45° angle lines.

5" square

I lined the edge of the paper with the straight line on the ruler, then cut the angled edge with a craft knife.

Putz house base

Putz house base

Putz house base

After making sure the miter fit well, I marked the other end of the frame piece.

Putz house base

Putz house base

I put a pencil mark at the point where the mitered cut should meet the corner of the base.

Putz house base

Then I made another pencil mark to show me the angle I should cut the paper, to the left of the frame piece. Just a reminder to me of how the cut should be made, so I don’t cut it at the wrong angle.

Putz house base

The glue should completely cover the back of the frame piece.

Putz house base

Applied, edges matched, and pressed well.

Putz house base

All the way around. Looks good! When I paint the base, I will put a couple of coats of clear sealer over the Christmas card and the frame just for a little added protection.

Putz house base

The next step is to paint and glitter the base. I’m going to clear my craft counter first. It amazes me how quickly my counter gets too cluttered to work at!

And later this evening, we get to FaceTime with Youngest Daughter who went off to college yesterday. I’m looking forward to that!

Moving in.

If you’re interested in making bases for Putz houses, here’s the link to my tutorial. tutorial for making putz house bases

~~Rhonda

drafting a new putz design

I wanted to add a Christmas Tree Lot to my collection of Putz patterns so I drew up a pattern for the sales shack. This is as far as I got with the project today.

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

I will make a base for it tomorrow and, once I have it glued to a base, I can start decorating! Can’t wait! I started by making a rough sketch of what I wanted. I googled < Christmas tree lot > and took some ideas from the pictures that popped up.

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

Free drawing a pattern on graph paper was next. I drew it in pencil, didn’t use a ruler, and made adjustments as I drew the pattern out and mulled over it.

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

After it was the way I wanted it, I drew the MASTER on another sheet of graph paper, using a ruler, and added the window frames, the door frame, and directions for the roof. I made a copy and assembled a model from the paper just to be sure it all fit.

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

A few details changed, even after this pattern was made. And for just that reason, I used an erasable ink pen to draw the MASTER. I always write MASTER on the master pattern sheet in highlighter. I copy the pattern in black and white. That helps me know right away which sheet is the MASTER and which sheet is the copy.

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

This is the MASTER after I had tweaked it a few times.

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

A wooden skewer provided perfect posts for the front porch overhanging roof.

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

Time to make a copy of the MASTER and cut it from poster board. I always cut the windows, doors and any other openings first, including the hole on the back of the house for a little light to fit through. If you look closely at this picture, you will see that I had forgotten to add that little hole, but I realized my mistake later and fixed the pattern.

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

House, door and window frames are cut and ready to assemble.

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

Time to cut the roof.

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

And fold it…

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

Now it’s time to paint.

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

And glitter…

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

Though the roof is curved while wet, it will straighten out when dry.

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

I mixed acrylic craft paint and white glue half and half to paint the first coat on the house.

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

The second coat has a bit of clean sand added to the paint and glue mixture. The glitter is added one side of the house at a time, while the paint is still wet. I don’t usually paint the inside, but since the service window is so large, I did paint the inside green and glittered it, too.

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

Clothes pins serve as clamps for gluing on the window frames and the door.

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

Ta-da! How cute is that??

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

I think I will add a little ledge on the window sill. And I need to add the chimney. I’m sure they’ll have a pot belly stove inside the shack, aren’t you?

Here’s a link to my more detailed tutorial for making a Putz house from scratch. Building a Putz House

~~Rhonda

menu plan monday ~ august 15, 2016

We have had a very busy week with a couple of big events going on. First of all, my Dad has been in the hospital for eight days. He is now doing better and may go home tomorrow, but it has been a hard week and he has gone through a lot. My sister and her husband live with Dad and she has stayed at the hospital with him 24/7. They are both weary of being there! We are praying he will indeed be able to go home tomorrow. Here is a picture, taken a few years ago, of my Dad and my children and two dear-daughters-in-law.

my dad and our kids

Secondly, our church is seeking a pastor, as our long time pastor is retiring. Saturday evening, we hosted a dinner at our home for the pastoral candidate, his family, the elders, deacons, the search committee and their spouses. That adds up to 26 people. We were busy during the week preparing for the event. It turned out to be a wonderful evening, as we had hoped it would be. Lots of laughter and lots of talking. The pastoral candidate preached on Sunday and after church there was a church dinner so everyone had a chance to visit with them. It was great to meet the candidate and his family and we look forward to their next visit in September.

So we’ve had a week of two big, but entirely different, kinds of events. I am looking forward to this week, which should be much more relaxed…until Friday when my baby goes off to college! That may be a tough day…

At the end of the week before last, I was working on more spool ornaments.

Spool ornaments

I hope to finish those off this week and get them listed in my Etsy shop ChristmasNotebook.

Saturday, DH spotted a box turtle in the yard. We keep pictures of the box turtles we find and it’s always fun to see if ones we find in the current year have been spotted before. This big boy looks like a new one.

Box turtle

Sunday afternoon was definitely a day of rest. Even for Clark and Winston, who joined us in the library where we visited with Older Daughter who was home for the afternoon to give her best to Youngest Daughter who leaves for school at the end of the week. Clark had to be shaved earlier this summer because of fur mats. His coat is finally beginning to grow back in. Normally, he would have longer fur than Winston.

Clark and Winston

Down to business…here’s the menu for the week.

Monday
Marinated Chicken (leftovers from Saturday evening)
Corn on the Cob
Sliced Garden Tomatoes

Tuesday
Chicken Tacos

Wednesday
Mongolian Beef in the Crock Pot
Brown Rice

Thursday / Requests from Youngest Daughter before going to college on Friday.
Fried Chicken
Mashed Potatoes
Corn on the Cob
Green Beans
Baking Powder Biscuits
Gravy
Chocolate Cake / Ice Cream

Friday
Fridge Food

Saturday
Turkey Sandwiches
Sliced Tomatoes
Pretzels

Sunday
Spaghetti
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
Garlic Bread
Sweet Corn
Steamed Sugar Snap Peas

You can find more menus and ideas at Menu Plan Monday.

~~Rhonda

glitter test

I’ve been emailing back and forth with an online friend who is making her own little glitter houses. She is having a problem with glitter loss after the houses are done.

My friend did some experimenting with different kinds of glues and glitter, but hasn’t found a solution yet. I decided to do a glitter test on my own Putz houses to see if they would lose glitter, too. My houses aren’t sprayed with any kind of fixative, clear coat, hair spray, etc.

The little yellow house before testing.

glitter test

I held the house and faced it down toward the black paper. I gave it a gently thump on the paper. It didn’t lose very much at all.

glitter test

This is what it looked like after two heavier thumps. Not bad.

glitter test

I tried another house and got similar results.

Before any thumping.

glitter test

After a gentle thump.

glitter test

After two heavier thumps.

glitter test

Not bad. It lost a very small amount of the larger glitter that I use on the “snowed” areas, like the roof, the tops of fence posts, etc. It didn’t seem to lose much of the fine glitter that is used on the house and those portions of the roof without snow.

Here’s a shot of the roof of the yellow house. The pink roof has been glittered with Martha Stewart Fine Glitter. The snow has been glittered with Sulyn Crystal Glitter.

glitter test

These are the results of rubbing my finger along the roof of the house. Some glitter loss, but not much.

Yellow house…

Glitter test

Blue house…even less loss from rubbing the roof with my finger than on the yellow house.

Glitter test

To paint my Putz houses, I use a mixture of acrylic paint and white glue, equal parts, more or less…I don’t measure, just pour and stir together. Then I add a sprinkle of clean white sand to add some texture. After I paint the house, and while the paint is still wet, I sprinkle on the glitter. Perhaps the glue in the paint helps it adhere well.

I was happy with the way the tests turned out. The houses didn’t lose much glitter, which is good to know. And nothing else fell off, either, which is good! LOL!

These houses are two of the thirty little glitter / Putz houses available in my Etsy shop. Stop by and see what else is in the shop. As always, all proceeds benefit ministry to those who live in one of the largest slums in Africa. Thank you for your support! ChristmasNotebook

~~Rhonda

menu plan monday ~ august 8, 2016

It has been a busy few weeks! We had the grands here the last week of July for Bible School. It was structured as an art camp. On Sunday evening, VBS hosted an art show so the children could show their parents the work they had done. Everyone was asked to bring snacks, so we made “art cookies.” We dipped graham and Ritz crackers in white candy coating and, when they had hardened, the girls drew pictures on them with food markers. Fun! And a hit at VBS!

art cookies

art cookies

art cookies

Our church’s youth camp was last week. DH is the director and he was very busy there. I put together a twenty page “yearbook” for the campers each year, using pictures Middle Daughter takes during the first three days of camp. So those days were pretty much yearbook, day and night. By the time I had that done, my eyes were very tired of looking at the computer screen! I could have used a quiet day at camp overlooking the lake! The campers weren’t there for quiet, though! DH came home tired, but grateful for another wonderful week of youth camp.

summer camp

We slid through last week without a menu plan. I don’t really want to do that again! So here’s what we’re looking at:

Monday
Fridge Food

Tuesday
Chicken Quesadillas with Avocado Sour Cream
Mexican Chopped Salad

Wednesday
Hamburgers
Homemade Buns
Honey Mustard Pretzels
Sliced Tomatoes

Thursday
Crock Pot Mongolian Beef with Broccoli
Brown Rice

Friday
Ham or Turkey Sandwiches

Saturday
Dinner for Twenty
We’re making the meat. Our guests are bringing sides and desserts. Thank you, all!
Alton Brown’s Pot Roast
Delicious Marinated Chicken

Sunday
Fridge Food

You can find more menus and ideas at Menu Plan Monday.

~~Rhonda

new spool ornaments

I finished a few more spool ornaments. I plan to take proper pictures and post the ornaments to Etsy today.

spool ornaments

spool ornaments

How do you feel about snow like the red one has? Yes, please? Or, no, I like them better without?

spool ornaments

The bead stars I used on my previous spool ornaments were blue like on the spool of blue thread below. The blue star didn’t look good with the colors I was using this time around. I looked through my bead collection and found little flower beads that work well as stars. The silver looks good with the spool colors.

spool ornaments

I use miniature ornaments, bells, and charms to dangle from the bottom of the ornament. Most get a bead of some kind to add a little bling.

spool ornaments

Purple, anyone?

spool ornaments

I trimmed this spool with a little wired chenille. Extra sparkle.

spool ornaments

I’m working on more of them today, though I need more bottle brush trees. I have those ordered and they should be here on Tuesday. More soon!

~~Rhonda

menu plan monday ~ july 25, 2016

Just for fun, I thought I’d show you my spool jars since I mentioned them in this post – spool ornaments. All this stuff came from my mom’s stash. I am happy to have it and to use it to carry on her creative efforts. I got my artsy genes from her. Thanks, Mom!

Spool jars

Spool jars

After I uploaded the pictures to flickr.com, I noticed one of the jars had a little slip of newspaper in it. Had to fish it out, of course. It was obviously saved for this little poem. BTW, Carlinville is where I grew up.

May 1041

I took a look at the back to try to date it. It says “Lanius to Be Interviewed By McNamee” which dates this to May 1941. That little slip of paper took me on an interesting journey. I found out that Charles Lanius was a news journalist during World War 2. I also tried to find Garet Sten, the author of the poem, but had no luck tracking him down. I did find one more poem by him, though. I also learned about the Helen Hayes Theater and about radio station WBBM, which was founded in 1911 and is still on the air. Probably more than you want to know…but it was fun solving the mystery.

May 1041

I’m a day late with my menu post, but better late than never. Especially for me and a menu plan. I hope you will give menu planning a try. I find it SO helpful to have an idea of what we’ll be eating for the week ahead. I can have all the ingredients on hand and meals ready to go, no stress, no fuss. A lot of times the menu is juggled and doesn’t come out the way I plan it, but that doesn’t matter. We can adjust it to suit our needs.

Monday
Fridge Food

Tuesday
Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken and Veggies
Garden Salad

Wednesday
Hamburgers
Homemade Buns
Corn on the Cob
Tomato and Cucumber Slices

Thursday
Slow Cooker Broccoli Beef
Brown Rice

Friday
BBQ Pork Steaks in the Oven
Caprese Salad with Fresh Corn

Saturday
Zucchini and Herbed Ricotta Flatbread

Sunday
Spaghetti
Quick and Easy Spaghetti Sauce
Garlic Bread
Sugar Snap Peas
Garden Salad

Afternoon Snack
Crock Pot Apples over Ice Cream

~~Rhonda

spool ornaments

I noticed on Pinterest that my spool ornaments, and the tutorial for the same, get a lot of pins. Since they are popular, I decided to make some for my Etsy shop ChristmasNotebook.

BTW, here’s the link to the tutorial:

ornament tutorial: bottle brush tree on a wooden spool

If you make any, I’d love to see some pictures! This is what I made.

spool ornament

You can’t see it in this picture, but the blue thread is embellished with fine silver glitter. Very pretty!

Christmas tree and spool ornaments

I also made this one with some snow on it.

Christmas tree and spool ornaments

I used some of the spools of thread that I brought back from my parents’ home after my mother passed away. I have three one-gallon jars full of wooden spools from Mom’s stash. Some empty, some with thread on them.

Christmas tree and spool ornaments

Some even have the price on the label. When’s the last time you found a spool of thread for 15¢?

Christmas tree and spool ornaments

The tutorial covers the process, but I thought I’d point out a few things. In the tutorial, I used empty spools and wrapped them with paper.

tree and spool ornament

This time, I used glitter glue to glam up the thread and the spool.

Christmas tree and spool ornaments

Christmas tree and spool ornaments

Christmas tree and spool ornaments

This is the glue I use. Sargent Silver Glitter Glue.

glitter glue

I noticed on amazon.com that it doesn’t get great reviews from some people, but I have never had any trouble or complaints about it. It’s a fine glitter in a clear glue. It can be spread over something without obliterating what it’s covering. I think I’m on my third bottle of the silver. It has always been more “clumpy” than the other colors, and it doesn’t squeeze from the bottle very well, but I just take the lid off and squeeze a clump into a small dish and spread it with my fingers. Works for me. The other colors I’ve used come out easily through the nozzle (gold, blue, opalescent, red and green).

When spreading it over the spool, take time to clean out any that gets inside the holes. They need to be open so a thread can be placed through the holes to hold a dangling miniature ornament. Or a bell. Or a charm. Whatever floats your boat.

Christmas tree and spool ornaments

The next step is to add the dangle. I use these kinds of miniature ornaments. They can be found at stores like Hobby Lobby, Walmart stores with a large craft department, Michaels, etc. Hobby Lobby has an aisle dedicated to miniature Christmas trees and items to decorate them.

Christmas tree and spool ornaments

A bead added to the string before pulling the gold cord through the spool adds a little extra bling.

Christmas tree and spool ornaments

A dab of hot glue holds the cord down to the top of the spool. When the glue hardens, the cord can be trimmed close to the glue.

Christmas tree and spool ornaments

Time to decorate the tree. I like to use the small strand beads. They come in many colors and are a nice size for the little bottle brush trees. I dot a little hot glue where I want to start the strand, wind the beads around and fix them with a dot of hot glue half way up and again at the top.

Christmas tree and spool ornaments

Next comes the star for the top of the tree. I used a bead with a hole large enough to pass the wire through the bead twice. The tutorial shows how to make the tree topper.

Christmas tree and spool ornaments

The tree is glued to the spool and we’re almost done.

Christmas tree and spool ornaments

I used my fine point tweezers to add some silver beads to the tree. They do a good job of covering up a little blob of glue or filling a hole in the branches.

Christmas tree and spool ornaments

A sprinkle of glitter over the tree and it’s done.

Christmas tree and spool ornaments

I added red beads to this tree.

Christmas tree and spool ornaments

They are a lot of fun to make. I’ll be adding more to my Etsy shop soon.

~~Rhonda

putz houses and making tiny tinsel trees

I have finished the second set of Putz houses for this week. The first one is a two-tier house in blue and green, which is my favorite color combination for these little houses.

Putz house

For this house, I made silver “trees” from 3/4″ wide, wired, silver tinsel roping.

Tinsel tree

I cut the wired tinsel to the length that I wanted the tree to be.

Tinsel tree

I cut the tip into a point.

Tinsel tree

Instant tiny tinsel tree.

Tinsel tree

Tinsel tree

I topped off each little tree with a vintage mercury bead, using a dot of hot glue.

Tinsel tree

A little hot glue held them in place. I propped them until the glue set, so they wouldn’t lean.

Tinsel tree

I’ve done the same kind of trimming on individual stems from artificial Christmas trees and other artificial greenery. An easy way to make little trees for Putz houses.

Tiny tree

Tiny tree

Tiny tree

Tiny tree

I added an iridescent tinsel tree in front of the two silver ones. I like the way they look.

Putz house

I also finished this little blue and brown “ski slope” house today.

Putz house

I kept it fairly simple. This house is one of my favorite designs.

Putz house

I hope you have enjoyed the little glitter houses. I will be working on a custom order this next week. I also plan to put together a tutorial on making picket fences for the Putz houses.

~~Rhonda