My New Shoes – Feet Shoes!

Every once in a while, you finally find some time to do the project that you’ve been wanting to do for a very long time. And that’s good, because we, crafters & artists, are often swamped with all these craft/art supplies that we’ve hoarded because we want to do something someday. Bwahaha!

So some aeons ago, I bought a pair of plain white canvas shoes. The inexpensive pair – probably between $5 to $10 at Big W. I had wanted to create some sort of art work on them. But, of course, I procrastinated. And procrastinated. Over. And over. Again.

Till one glorious late afternoon when I finally thought, “Let’s do it! Now!”

So I took out the pair, which thankfully, I had managed to keep out of dust and dirt. I took a pencil, sat on the couch, and traced my feet on the shoes while watching a good action film with the hubby.

Then I took some of hubby’s acrylic paints. And painted the shoes. Nice and neat.

This is how they looked in the morning, after I had let the paint dry overnight:


After taking this photo with my phone and being super excited about my little accomplishment, I got some paints again, spread layers of old newspaper on the carpeted floor (so the landlord doesn’t kill us in case of accidents… lol!), and did my toenails… on the shoes, I mean.


At first, hubby said they look quite flat and needed some shading to look more 3D. I skipped shading on purpose because I didn’t want to put too much layers of paints on them and risk cracking the paints when dry. But hubby admitted later that my feet shoes didn’t look so bad after all, because when they’re worn, natural shadows appear here and there, thus making the painting more 3-dimensional. When I was happy with my paint job, I sprayed varnish on them to protect the paint.


I wore them to the Girls Cancer Night Out activity at church some nights later and, yep, everyone laughed at my shoes in amusement!

How To Assemble A Paper Bunting

A few TQB customers sometimes need a bit of help on how to make a bunting from the printables they bought from the shop. Today, in between lunch, doing the laundry, folding and putting away clothes, and watching Daniel Radcliffe’s thriller movie “A Woman In Black” (because the less scary way of watching a scary movie is during the bright day time), I took a few snapshots of the process of assembling a bunting.

Basically, you can print your printable bunting file on letter size or A4 size white paper or white cardstock.  You can print it easily at home, if you have your own printer, or take the file to the local print shop such as Officeworks (here in Australia).

There are at least two options of cutting out and assembling the flags for your bunting.  Let’s  discuss one option at a time. I’ll start with the no-hole option.

For the ‘no-hole’ option (as I’m calling it), when you cut out the flags, leave approximately 1 inch of extra white space on the top part of each flag, like this:

Fold to form the flap.  Do this to all the flags for your bunting.

 Arrange the flags face down. Place your ribbon behind flags, tucked under the flap.  You can do this to one flag at a time.

 Put an adhesive at the bottom end of the 1″ flap to secure it.  You can use paste or glue or double sided adhesive tape.  I often use double sided adhesive tape as I find it less messy to use. When you are doing this part of the process, please check every now and then that the flags you are adding to the ribbon are in correct order in forming your bunting’s message.

 If you have chosen to print your flags on a normal thickness white paper, this option of assembling the bunting would work well.

Now, the next option is the one where you punch a couple of holes on the top of each flag. For this option, you can cut out the flags right round the edges, without adding any margins or extra white space around it.  Then, with a pencil, mark the center of the top portion of each flag.

Using a double hole puncher, punch out holes on the top of your flags. Use the pencil mark as a guide to center the holes.

Take your ribbon through the holes of each flag.  I recommend using a ribbon that is, at least, as wide as the diameter of the holes. Slightly wider than that is also okay. This helps the flags stay on the part of the ribbon where you want it to stay when you hang the bunting up. If your ribbon is too skinny, it can make the flags move a lot on the ribbon.

Your finished bunting would look like this.  Remember to leave enough length of ribbon at each end of your bunting, for hanging purposes.

If you have chosen to print your bunting flags on a thicker cardstock, this option of assembly would work well.

Visiting Teaching – June 2014

Visiting teaching is something that I have not always enjoyed, I confess that. My mum was a hardworking visiting teacher and always dragged me along, being her partner in that calling.

Fortunately, years later, I discovered the creative way of magnifying this blessed calling. Days ago, I admitted to our Relief Society president (who’s my visiting teacher) that I now enjoy it and look forward to making little presents for the sisters assigned to me.

Last month, this is what I gave away to my sisters:

The Quirky Briars_Creative VT 2014_01

Inspired by President Monson’s quote saying, “We are the Lord’s hands here upon the earth, with the mandate to serve and to lift His children.” Hands we are, and a little hand-care set it is!

I told my sisters that because we are the Lord’s hands, we need to care for our hands so that they’re always ready to serve others.  Each pack contained a soap, a small towel, a hand sanitizer, and a copy of the quote.

Being a procrastinator that I am, of course I ended up not having enough time to think how to dress up the soap and towel a lot better, so I left them as they were.  But with the hand sanitizer, ooh! That probably was the most exciting piece in the pack…at least for me. Here’s a better look at it, showing the coordinating sticker I made for each side:

The Quirky Briars_Creative VT 2014_02

I love creative visiting teaching because it’s just a lot more exciting for me. I really get excited preparing these little gifts and I love how thrilled they get the moment I present these to them.  Love, love, love my VT sisters and I’m gonna miss giving little gifts like these to them next month, when I get new sisters on my list.  But I know I’ll always love them and I do look forward to sharing little creative things to a new group of sisters.

Now… what to do, what to do for this month? This is what I least like about this process – that lengthy time when inspiration does not come to me yet and the creative juices aren’t flowing and I just can’t think of how to turn this month’s message into a lovely creative little gift

Thinking…. thinking… thinking….

Perhaps if I’d go sleep, I’d dream of something creative?

Hmmm…. worth a try. 😀

Visiting Teaching – April 2014

The best thing about April that has to do with creative visiting teaching is that there’s the Holy Week, wherein I’ve got a few days off work. Yeah, let’s put those days into good use and work on stuff for the lovely ladies on my VT list.

I wondered, how can I present this month’s Visiting Teaching message in a creative manner?

A-ha! Enter these cardboard boxes I’ve had in my crafts cupboard for several months…and they look like they can be transformed into little “water wells” kinda thingy…which sort of connects to the ‘woman at the well’ part of the message.


First of all, I used texturing paste to create the ‘stones’ texture on the sides of the ‘well’. I had to work on this days in advance, so there would be enough time to let them dry thoroughly and if necessary, I could apply more texture to them.



Forgive me, I had been too excited that I had forgotten to take more photos of each step of the way. When I finally remembered, I was done with each of the four boxes, so here are the final products:


Of course,when they finish eating all the lollies, they could always turn the boxes into jewelry boxes or a desk decor, or a container for any of their beloved little treasures. As you can see, I tried to paint the ‘stones’ in various colours, so they’d look more realistic. The experience I gained in making my wedding wishing well (in papier mache form) from scratch has helped in this process.


I wanted to have a ‘water’ thingy on top, in the middle. Various ideas and options had crossed my mind before I settled with this – the VT message printed on light blue paper (to resemble water in the well) and I had transparent glue over it, so it would have more of the ‘water’ effect. The beads and resin flower cabochon are just for added cuteness.



To complete it, I decided to print more of the VT message on thick coloured paper and embellish it. Fortunately, I’ve got only 4 sisters on my list, so it’s not hard or costly to pamper them. 🙂


And I just love their reactions upon receiving these…the excitement and delight – just priceless!

Holiday Gift Wrapping

We are having a Christmas dinner for 30+ ladies this weekend and I’ve been tasked to decorate the hall!

Oh dear!

A lot of people at the ladies’ organization know that I’m crafty and artistic…. or want to be.

The theme is “Gifts of Christmas”, which refer to Hope, Love, Faith, Gratitude, Peace and Joy… the gifts, that is. My tasks have been listed on the A4 paper and include using my magical powers to provide a Christmas tree for the stage, Nativity scenes, themed centerpiece for each of the six (at least) round tables, and so on. Somebody’s providing the Christmas tree and the nativity scenes, so I’m not worrying about them. That also means, I’ll have the six centerpieces to worry about.

Flowers? Fruits? A flower vase?

Nah… too common. As someone who just got married not a very long time ago and planned her own wedding reception, I know a centerpiece does not have to be a bunch of flowers… and I would like it to be NOT a bunch of flowers. That way, people will think I have an imagination and am artistic. 😀

So, here come’s the research and brainstorming and research again….

I’m thinking of a nice gift-wrapped box with over-the-top bows & baubles on it…

(image source)

Like these maybe?

Hmmm…. I think I want something more over-the-top.. like over-the-over-the-top kind of design (yup, that’s not a typo, I really mean OVER the over-the-top! The most sacrilegious, wicked bows-and-baubles decoration for a gift ever!)

(Dear me, you might think I’m possessed going wild like that… I’m possessed with the Christmas spirit, that’s what. Lol!)

So what’s a girl gotta do?

Went to Lincraft and bought a bunch of ribbons, baubles, beads, and other stuff, ‘coz they’re having a 50%-off sale on most of their Christmas items now.

Gotta get back to work now… will report about the Gifts-of-Christmas deck-the-halls tasks result soon. 🙂

Cute Usher Tags

Here’s another simple project that you can do for your wedding:

It’s not really a bridezilla-ish project. It’s just another little nice treat to make your big day a little more fun and special. Besides, if you are one of the ushers, wouldn’t you love it that the bride cared enough to take an extra mile to prepare something like this for you, so you’ll look extra special at the wedding?

Here’s how you can do it:

1. Depending on how many ushers you want to have, layout that number of the word “USHER” on MS Word. Experiment with the types and sizes of the font, to see which one you prefer. You might want to print a sample page first on plain paper, before finally printing on your chosen special paper. The paper this bride used is just plain colored A4 paper.

2. Cut up the words evenly. Glue a smaller size of felt behind each, to make them more 3D-ish.

3. Glue them again to a larger size special paper. Set aside.

4. Tie together a small bunch of small artificial flowers, using one of the wire stems of the flowers. Then, tie a nice ribbon around the bunch.

5. Glue the flower bunch to the back of the tag, using the glue gun and glue stick combination. Let dry.

6. Lastly, glue a safety pin at the back at a nice and comfortable angle.

That’s it, and now your usher tag is ready to be pinned on your usher’s blouse/shirt. It’s a project that’s very easy to do, yet can make your ushers feel special and recognized at your wedding.

Table Numbers For A Fairytale Wedding

For a more organized wedding reception, where you prefer some kind of order and formality, labeling your tables would be a very good idea. In this reception, you can either assign your guests specific seats or just tables, and they can choose which seat to take.

In choosing the labels for your guest tables, you also have many options. There’s the basic idea of numbering them from one to twenty, or you can name the tables instead of numbering them. Your table names may depend on your theme. It may be name of cities you’ve been to, street names, flower names, etc.

If your chosen names for your tables are not very well known to your guests, it may be wise to assign a number to each name too. This would help just in case your guests might have difficulty pronouncing your chosen table names.

For instance, your wedding theme is fairytale, your colors are shades of blue and silver, and you prefer a mildly three-dimensional label. Here is what your table labels might look like:

Lovely, aren’t they? This project is very easy to do. Here is how you can make it for your wedding too:

1. On Microsoft Word, layout the numbers such that each would fit into one fourth of an A4 paper. Choose a suitable font, according to your taste. Position the numbers on the slightly on the upper part, so that there would be room at the bottom for the names later. Print the numbers on a nice specialty board. Cut them separately and trim the sides, taking off about 1-2 centimeters.

2. Cut up some silver doilies. (You can buy these from the party supply section of some stores.) Trim the small flower-shaped designs and cut up each flower into four pieces.

3. Glue one 1/4 flower piece to each of the upper corners of the card.

4. Glue each card to a plain colored card, which had also been cut into 1/4 of an A4-sized paper. Using special craft scissors, trim the edge of the colored card for a nice lacy look.

5. Get some A4-sized blue parchment papers and also cut each of them into four parts. Neatly glue this behind the trimmed colored card. See to it that the number card is centered on the parchment paper.

6. Cut a smaller parchment paper, about 3.5cm high, and neatly glue it in front of your project, at the bottom part.

7. Glue a thin satin ribbon on the upper edge of the parchment, so it covers the part where the parchment meets the white board.

8. Meanwhile, print out the names you have chosen on smaller strips of board. Cut them up. Behind each strip, attach a smaller piece of thick material, such as a thicker cardboard. This will allow the name to “float” in front of the parchment, when you stick it on.

9. Finally, glue the name over the parchment. Now you have your beautiful handcrafted table labels in a fairytale theme. You may opt to add other embellishments as you wish. You may then place this on a card holder or a picture frame (without the glass) and display them on the guest tables at your wedding reception.