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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Inking Wooden Bingo Balls {or: When You've Lost All Your Marbles}

I recently realized I'd lost all my marbles -- actually, that's not entirely correct. You see my husband's mother passed away a couple of years ago and we inherited her lost marbles. So, really, my mother-in-law lost her marbles, and I never had them to begin with.

My husband grew up with a marble solitaire game that his parents picked up on a trip to Thailand in the late sixties or early seventies. When his mother passed away, he got the wooden game board, but the marbles were long gone. 

After much unsuccessful searching for "special" marbles that were small enough to fit the game board, I had almost resigned myself to buying a bag of cat's eyes, when I remembered we had a stash of wooden bingo balls. I decided to try my hand at dyeing the wooden balls, using stamp pads.

I grabbed an assortment of colors and ink types, and rolled the balls around on the pads -- use gloves for this, or hold a paper towel, and use that to roll the balls around. Once you have them covered, let them sit for a few minutes, then wipe off any excess ink, using a paper towel.

The process is highly addictive! I used both dye inks and pigment inks. I thought they both performed well, and I'm curious to see how well the dye inked pieces hold their color. I also experimented with some metallic inks, and they worked very well.

I intentionally wiped enough of the ink off the pieces to show the bingo numbers, because I like that the pieces had another life before this, and leaving the markings tells a story and adds a layer of interest.

We have played quite a few games with the new game pieces, and I have not had any issues with ink coming off on my hands. I also haven't had one winning game. Does anyone know the winning secret to marble solitaire?

This technique will also work with wooden beads, for jewelry and crafts!  You might also try using your stamps on wood pieces. Experiment with inks and whatever wood pieces you have on hand -- you might even try some of the popular ink sprays available now.

To see how to make your own DIY ink spray, click here.

To read about another Vietnam era family treasure, click here.

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to House Revivals in the sidebar, so you won't miss the fun projects we have planned. Find us on Facebook, too, so you can catch all the "in between" stuff, and see what I'm working on throughout week on Instagram. Feel free to link today's project to all your favorite social media sites.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Easy Birthday Easel Card

I recently wanted to make a special birthday card that had a little bit of extra dimension. Easel cards are perfect for this, as they fold flat to fit an envelope, but then stand up nicely on a mantel or desk.

To save time, I used a pre-made card base. You can usually find these on sale for around five dollars for a pack of fifty at craft stores.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

El Nacimiento {the Creche} at Tucson Museum of Art

Around this time last year, my husband and I were on vacation in Arizona. We both love Arizona -- for it's incredible beauty and history, as well as for the lovely people who live there. We met and fell in love while attending college in Arizona, and it was really special to revisit some of the places that were important to us.

I love handmade, human scaled architecture, so we visited La Casa Cordova, part of the Tucson Museum of Art complex. What a delightful surprise to find El Nacimiento (the creche) on display in La Casa Cordova. La Casa Cordova is a very old adobe house in what had once been the walled presidio area of the city.

The interior of the house was simply and humbly decorated for the holiday with tinsel and understated tissue paper flowers.

Then we stepped into the room that housed El Nacimiento, and wow! This was one of the largest nativity scenes I have ever seen. How I lived all those years in Arizona, and never once visited El Nacimiento is beyond me.

This nativity is the creation of Mexican American folk artist Maria Luisa Tena. Over many years, Maria created the display in memory of her mother, who taught her the Mexican tradition of creating nativity scenes.

The diorama depicts typical Mexican village scenes, Old Testament scenes, and, of course, the Nativity.

The detail of El Nacimiento are simply delightful, ranging from street market scenes to kitchen scenes to swan swimming in a waterfall fed pool.

There are pretty lights, foliage, wise men, and adobe houses.

There are farm animals, children, Bible characters, and villagers.

In the starry night sky, there are herald angels and puffy clouds.

Everywhere, there is whimsy. El Nacimiento tells the story of the hope of the Christ child throughout the ages in a way that delights the eye.

If you travel to Tucson, at any time of year, I recommend the Tucson Art Museum and La Casa Cordova. If you travel to Tucson during the holidays, El Nacimiento is not to be missed.

If you enjoyed learning about this Mexicn folk art custom, you might also enjoy this post about a Swedish woven star folk art tradition.

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to House Revivals in the sidebar, so you won't miss the fun projects we have planned. Find us on Facebook, too, so you can catch all the "in between" stuff, and see what I'm working on throughout the week on Instagram. Feel free to link today's project to all your favorite social media sites.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Easy Washi Tape Cards or Tags

Here is an easy last minute card or gift tag idea that helps bust your stash of decorative tapes and paper scraps, and diverts old book pages from the landfill.

The use of classic holiday ornament shapes, allows you to successfully use non-holiday papers and tapes to create lovely Christmas cards.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Paper Mache Father Christmas Tutorial

Don't you just love old fashioned Father Christmas decor?  Father Christmas ornaments always seemed a bit intimidating to me, so I never tried making them myself, until I discovered how easy this papier mache method is.

I was watching some of my favorite YouTube bloggers last year, and found that Emi, at Hectanooga1, has several papier mache tutorials.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Make These {Easy} Snowman Hat Ornaments!

These adorable little snowman hat ornaments are easy and fun to make, using recycled cardboard tubes and boxes.

Last year, on a trip to Arizona to visit family, I wanted to bring my sister-in-law a set of handmade ornaments with her kids' names on them. Of course, they weren't finished when it was time to travel, so I brought supplies and finished them when I got there.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Upcycled Altoids Tin Travel Spicy Farkel

A good friend was recently visiting from Colorado, and she gifted me with a Spicy Farkel game. This was the same friend who gifted me with a regular Farkel game a few months ago. I loved that game, and decided to alter a little round mint tin to make a travel Farkel game.

When my friend gifted me with the Spicy version of the game, I knew it needed it's own travel tin, as well.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Make This Scrappy Christmas Tree Card!

Do you need to send out some last minute Christmas cards? Did you run out of cards before you made it through your mailing list? Here is a simple card idea that does not require special Christmas papers or dies or stamps. Making these cards couldn't be easier!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Gift Card Holder From Paper Towel Tube!

Do you love making cute stuff, and love upcycling, too? If so, you will love learning how to make gift card holders from paper towel tubes.

Start by gathering some decorative paper (I used pages from an old music book), a paper towel tube, adhesive, ribbon or twine, and embellishments.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Make This Easy Pumpkin Card!

I don't seem to own any pumpkin or harvest related dies, but I wanted to make a pumpkin card the other day.  

Turns out, it's not too hard to make a cute pumpkin card for Thanksgiving, using just a few scraps of decorative paper and a card base.