Monday, May 28, 2012

How to make a miniature bird cage from bottlecaps and wire + Free Video and Instructiosn


Packrat am I - self proclaimed Craftahaulic, Craft hoarder, Craft Junkie...yep that's me! 

My momma always taught me to be savvy and to make something for nothing!  

Bottlecap crafts seem to be hip and popular these days, combining that with making things in miniature and my love of birds, I came up with an easy way to make a little vintage style bird cage.

Wouldn't this be a cute place card holder for your next event?  Maybe a country themed wedding, tea party or just create one for someone special and place a little handwritten note or photo in side the heart

Upcycling junk that you would normally throw away is not only fun, it’s great for the environment to, keeping loads of unwanted objects out of landfills.  May we should start a "TRASHION" craze! 

 20 gauge annealed steel wire (from hardware store) 
26 gauge wire black
 Wooden block
 Permanent marker - black
 Needle tool or nail
 Wire cutters

 Miscellaneous beads and broken jewelry bits 
Bird charm
 Duct tape
 Glitter glue 

 Color bottlecap black with permanent marker

 Punch eight holes with a hammer and needle tool, evenly spaced into bottle cap. Start with 12 O’clock position, then punch a hole directly opposite at 6, 3 and 9 then 2, 4, 8 and 10. Use a wooden block to protect your work surface


 Cut 4 pieces of annealed wire approximately 2 ½ to 3” long. Bend into a U shape

At the 12 o’clock position insert the end of the wire. Bend end of wire under bottle cap. Place opposite end into the 6 o’clock position and bend wire to secure. Repeat this with remaining wires


 Cut a piece of 26 gauge black wire to 4”. Wrap around top, securing the wires at the top.  

 Add floral moss and flower, beads, charms and additional wire embellishments as desired.

If you liked this tutorial, please leave a comment below and feel free to share it with three of your best friends!! They'll want to make one right along with you!!

We love Crafts - so here's more videos and tutorials to keep you crafting your way to happiness!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

How to make beads with Friendly Plastic - Pillow Shapes - New VIDEO

For quite sometime, I've wanted to make beads in Friendly Plastic.  I've made a few and they were okay...but, they were very time consuming and somewhat frustrating to make because you had to get the temperature just right so that you could create the hole thru the center.

I knew there had to be a better way!!  I'm also a spokesperson for Cloud Clay - a new air dry clay from AMACO.  It's primarily geared towards kids, but I'm determined to make it much more than a kid clay.

When experimenting with textural effects on the Friendly Plastic sticks, it occurred to me that the Cloud Clay would be the perfect core for the inside of the beads.  While it takes a full 24 hours to "cure", the beads can be used as soon as the Friendly Plastic cools.  This is instant gratification and just my style since I happen to be somewhat impatient and don't like to wait for the final results.

This video is part one in a two part series.  I split it into two because you will need some practice in wrapping  and shaping the beads.  This technique works great for plain strips as well as those you've patterned using the Fracture and Fusion technique.

To help you source the Friendly Plastic and the Cloud Clay together, I've put together this kit

Postage of $5.00 is included.  This offer is limited to US Addresses only.  If you are outside the US, please contact me for additional shipping costs.

    click the "BUY NOW" button to purchase this kit now.

**please note:  please allow two weeks for delivery - items shipped from the manufacturer **
 So have fun, experiment and PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE share what you do.

You can connect with us on facebook - just search Friendly Plastic (product/manufacturer)

Linda Peterson is compensated and endorsed by AMACO. The guests features may or may not have any affiliation with AMACO.

How to make Duct Tape Earrings - Safari Style - New Video - Creative Life TV

In this episode of Creative Life TV, Host Linda Peterson shows you how to create safari themed earrings from Duct Tape and other materials you might normally throw away.

For the kids.................

By now I'm feeling very overwhelmed.  We've been on Safari for a week now and have just visited the bush school. (see my earlier blog post for the complete tour)

The whole idea of the hunting safari has just taken on new meaning for me.  It is so much more than running around chasing animals all week long.  The trophy is only a small fraction of the whole hunting picture. It's the providing food for all sorts of things, food for the kids, food for the community, food for the animals and food for us.  It's the conservation to make sure that these resources remain viable resources and protect the population of the animals.

From our PH, Etienne, I've learned so much about the lifestyle of the animals, their breeding patterns, their environment, their sleeping patterns, their feeding patterns, how to help conserve their environment, breed management, seen birds I've never seen and the list goes on and on.

Up until now, I've just been an observer and photographer for Dana's hunts.  While I went on stalks and tracks, he was the one doing the providing.....and I was along for the walk and the ride....

All week long, I was told I should try hunting and up until now I refused.  Part of it was the lack of self confidence I have with a gun.   I don't shoot much, and I've never shot a rifle.  My biggest concern was the animal.  I didn't want to wound it and have it suffer.  It's a lot of stress to think about all of that...

But after going to the school, I felt a real sense of needing to be a full participant of the whole picture.

So, I finally said YES to hunting, I wanted to be one who could say that I provided some food for the school...not just in words only...

We were looking for a blesbuk or an impala....

Dana had already "tagged" out his hunting package and that left a free day for me.  Friday was my day.  No pressure, just your husband who has a track record of 100%, his best friend, a camera guy, your PH (professional hunter) and me who has never shot before.  I was a nervous wreck, but I was definately determined to go outside my comfort zone and concur the fears of self doubt.

I only got three practice shots at the shooting range before Etienne said..."YOUR READY!"  And with lots of confidence boosting from Dana and Larry, we started the hunt....

They were pretty elusive, we would see some Impala, but they were in no mood to stick around.  It took about 2 hours before we finally tracked this one down and he actually stood still about a 110 yard shot.....

I took a big deep my sights through the scope.  Etienne whispered, do you have the cross hairs?  Then squeeze the trigger.........and I did and to my surprise, DOWN instantly down, he went.  I had held up Dana's track record of 100%.  That impala never knew what hit him.

This particular impala had a thorn stuck in his eye and was about to go blind.  
I have to say, that while I don't like killing an animal, it felt good to know that I could hunt to provide food if ever the need be.  I know what it takes to fully appreciate the full circle of hunting and of life and that built inside me a greater respect for the dignity of these animals.

Thanks to my team of confidence boosters!...

Front:  Dana, Me, Etienne  
Back:   Larry and our tracker Franz

Last Monday the meat was taken to the school...

When I look at this my trophy picture, I don't just see my  impala, I see a group of smiling faces, with big white smiles, beautiful happy kids and the memory that will be with me forever. :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

How to make Rock Star Earrings with Duct Tape

The possibilities are endless with the variety of Duct Tape® patterns and colors available. Linda Peterson, host of Creative Life TV shows you how to create fashion “rock star” earrings inspired by guitar picks. Add a words or other icons, sprinkle with a little glitter and you’re good to go! PS - your TWEENS are gonna love this! Materials: Duct tape (zebra print and silver) Plastic container such as from a peanut butter jar or cup Non-stick scissors Puffy Paint (we used neon pink) Glitter Glue silver Hole punch (1/16”) Earring wire Jump ring Create a guitar pick template on a piece of paper. (a triangle shape with rounded corners) 1. Apply duct tape to outside of jar. Cut out and apply to back side 2. Cut shape from template 3. Apply glitter glue and let dry. Punch hole for earring wire 4. Add any extra lettering or paint as desired and let dry. Attach earring wire.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mystery lies around every out there's lions!...

I think the most fascinating part of the safari was really not knowing what to expect.  Mystery really lie behind every corner....what will we see.?  What will we hear??? And what will we do if we encounter something we don't want to encounter???......

I certainly didn't expect what happened next. 
We made a little detour before we headed back to the campfire at the Tsavo Lion Camp.

Natacha is waiting here for us with drinks in hand :)  What a nice surprise....but it gets better....

I really didn't think about this area being much more than a "sign".  Until I looked behind me - down that path and saw a lion walk across!  I got actually....  REALLY..... BIG .......GOOSEBUMPS!  Maybe I needed that drink to calm my nerves huh??

Natacha told us that they wanted to add some atmosphere to the camp, so they bought three lions...

If you come to my house and I tell you I added atmosphere...that means you're gonna get a candle at your place at the lions!!!

The intimidating thing is that at first you don't see the fence....just the lions.  The thought of walking about with lions, rhino's, cape buffalo in the area brings a whole new level to the hiking experience.  Natacha and staff have set up a beautiful area for us to enjoy our appetizers while watching these beautiful animals.  (Unfortunately I don't remember what we had for appetizers...I was too busy with the lions)

Look at the glare in this lions eyes. If you look really close you'll notice that the hair on his back is standing up.  He is hunting us............If there were no fence...we would be dead...they haven't eaten in two days...

They eat once every three to four days.  This is to ensure proper health and also that they don't get too fat.  Their enclosure is approximately 2 acres and the surrounding fence is electric.  Below the ground are concrete walls 20 feet deep to ensure that the lions can not dig their way out.

These lions have never been handled by humans, but they were born in captivity.  They are fed only dead carcasses.  This helps them distiguish between food and moving people when they are fed.  If they were fed live animals, this would pose a risk for those that maintain their enclosure and those that feed them as they would not distinguish between moving animal food source and moving human.


This was an experience really beyond words and I new that I wanted to go back and get some more pictures of them and tape some video.

So a couple of days later, I stayed back at camp while the guys went hunting and strolled off to the enclosure.

I shot some video and took these photographs.......................but remember when I said - there's mystery around every corner?  Sometimes ignorance is bliss.....

I dilly dallied around the cage, feeling totally safe....I even walked the perimeter and the lions followed me.  They call this "walking the lions"  - it gives them exercise because they'll follow you...totally cool....
What I didn't know was that while all this was happening, Marlet and Natacha had just rescued lion cubs that had walked into camp....and we didn't know where their mother was.

So after, I found out about the lion cubs, not knowing where the lioness thoughts were racing...Can you just imagine how protective a lioness with cubs would be...and I was with the lions?? I really laid awake all night thinking about what could have happened ...and it gave me bigger goosebumps!

We would hear the lions roar every night and about 4:30 am on the dot every morning.  It's loud...and its DEEP!...They were more predictable than roosters....
But the morning that all this happened, we all mentioned how loud the lions were roaring and that it was much louder and they seemed much more rowdy.  Little did we know...

It's hard to say exactly what happened or just why the cubs found their way into camp.  But, we suspect that, since the cubs were skinny, they were not being fed because the mother hadn't made a kill in some time.     She can only nurse so long if she doesn't make a kill and afterwards she will wean them early.

At this point we didn't know if she was on the property or not.

The next morning Trackers were sent out to look for tracks.  Fortunately for me, and unfortunately for the cubs, they didn't find fresh tracks.

Either the mother abandoned them and sent them on their way, or something happened to her and left the cubs orphaned.  Either way, the roar of the lions brought them into camp.

However it was that they found themselves without their mother, they wouldn't have made it a week.  They were too young to hunt and so they would have been hunted. It's the circle of life....

Thank goodness though, they were rescued and  given to a local breeding project where they will be cared for and given a good quality lion life.  One day, they'll have cubs of their own ensuring the continuation of these gorgeous and magestic Kings of the Wild.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Getting settled in and getting Ant'sy

Inside our Chalet was a welcome package for us laying on the bed.  I really felt like I was on a "land cruise" with the elephant towels.

We also received welcome gifts and hats.  No detail was left undone!

The view on the other side of the chalet.  It's a huge KUDU...duh..I just noticed that I'm standing in the mirror..

The view outside our chalet was amazing.  It may look like just a bunch of dried up weeds, but when we arrived into camp, monkeys were running about the yard.  There are several watering holes here too which invite animals in for viewing.   It's also teaming with all sorts of birds who love love love to sing!

A panoramic view looking towards the lodge from our chalet.  It was just gorgeous!

and from the other side back towards the chalet....

And a look inside the pool room and social area.  I loved this open air thatched roof hut...I think I need one of these in my backyard.....
By this time, Dana is itchin' to get out into the field.  Technically the hunt doesn't start until tomorrow, but he isn't going to waste time.  So .....
We hop aboard our safari mobile and head to the shooting range to site in their rifles....

Hold your ears....IT'S LOUD!!!  - But Dana is a great shot and hits his target every time!

The area around the bush camp is reserved for bow hunters.  It has a variety of animals, lots of impala...tons of birds, kudu, gemsbok and more.....but we live for danger....We head to the next property over....DID YOU READ THE SIGN????  BUFFALO, RHINO, and LEOPARD! OH MY!

At this point, I'm thinking (the great photographer that I am) I'm going to get some really AWESOME photos of animals.  Beautiful portraits...the animals are going to smile...stand still and have their photo taken...WELL... NOT!  I don't know what the heck I was thinking....the animals have their colors for a reason...they're camoflauged perfectly...and they don't stand still....and so...I got a little wake up call that this wildlife photography high I was on, was not going to be a breeze...

Yes, I know this is a HUGE RHINO....and you would in the world could you not see something so huge?  Their color suits them.  We stopped the safari mobile for this photo and it took me a while to find the animal.  It's was like playing "Where's Waldo" with dangerous animals.

There are roads throughout the property as you will see in more photos as we go along.  The drive is slow and our PH Etienne, sits on the back bars scoping the landscape for animals and looking for fresh tracks....

Along the road's you will see alot of these active ant mounds.  They are huge!!! And I'm told that this one is about 25-30 years old.  Ants amaze me......Inside these mounds the temperature remains a constant temperature.  They have a way to vent the hot air out and bring the cool air in and they do it all naturally.....fascinating!!

Dana is so giddy about now........I think I pinched him to make sure he wasn't dreaming...

In South Africa, everything is on survival mode....everything is out to get you...whether its the bushes with 2" long needles, poisonous snakes, spiders or animals....while you are are being hunted as well....

Etienne and the tracker Joe - are following some fresh Impala tracks.  Unfortunately the animals ran, so I think this is Dana's first wake up call as to how fast these animals react and that this hunt is not going to be a walk in the park.....

I remember at one point, we stopped the truck.  Etienne whispered "Kudu" and pointed....I looked and KUDU!  I really thought he was playing with my mind until I caught the slightest twinkle in the sun...ever so slight...looked like a tiny piece of glitter....and there it was...the very TIP of a Kudu horn.  We couldn't see the animal, but thru all the brush Etienne saw the twinkle of the tip of the horn....MAN THESE GUYS ARE GOOD!!!

So, we came out ZERO on our practice run, but it was a good warm up to know just how fast everything reacts.

We ended each day with gorgeous scenery and sunsets! I've never seen such beautiful colors in all my life.....
BTW - the photo below is not edited.  The sky was rich with purples, pinks flowing into oranges and bright yellows....

Tomorrow....we will hunt...................................and be hunted!....

Thursday, May 17, 2012

If you're having a crappy day at work, you should watch this video...

I was bored to tears sitting in a blind waiting for warthogs, that is, until I realized I could have had it much worse....I could be at work and dealing with a bunch of crap!

 Now aren't you glad not a dung beetle? These things are HUGE...well I think they're huge - they're about 2" big, but they are so useful to the environment as natures pooper scoopers! And....they work for FREE!
Waste not...want not....sorry...couldn't help myself...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I'm taking you to Africa...........

It's hard to believe a guy who's pick up line is "I'm taking you to Africa, I'm going to make you a zebra skirt and I'm going to marry you..."....but that's what I heard 10 years ago.....

Dana's dream ever since he was a little boy and hunted his first pheasant at age 12 on the family's Iowa farm was to someday go to Africa....but little did he know then, he was taking me with him.

Through the years, he would re-iterate his promise.  I always believed him.  I knew he was a great hunter and I know that most every hunter's dream is to hunt Africa.  I knew he would somehow find a way to fulfill his dream.  

This past January, he and a buddy, Larry went to the SCI show....I suppose you could somewhat relate it to our CHA (craft and hobby show) only on a guy level.  There's seminars, lots of booths, lots of taxidermy, wildlife art and lots of outfitters all there trying to convince you that they are the best at what they do.

I didn't go, but we talked alot over the phone about all the people he met, all the outfitters he met and showed me the two different outfitters he was considering. 

Then the call came.....I BOUGHT A SAFARI! AND WE'RE GOING TO AFRICA!  He sounded like a little boy really, he was so excited, he almost squealed on the phone.  He chose Quagga safari's.  

Well...I didn't know really anything about this whole hunting safari thing.  I knew we would go to Africa, chase animals around all day...big animals ....and he would hunt them...I'm still not sure to this day what I imagined or expected.  But I can tell you that looking back over the last two weeks...It changed my life forever....

We waited 3 months for this day...okay technically I waited 10 years and 9 months and Dana waited most of his life...but since booking the trip we waited three months.  The night before we left, I couldn't sleep - I could have - except someone - who shall remain nameless - wiggled the covers all nights saying "I'm too excited to sleep" in his little boy voice.  Five in the morning couldn't have come too soon for him as he popped out of bed and said "IT'S HERE BABY - WE'RE GOING TO AFRICA!"...

So here we are....all settled in for our enormously looonnnnggggg 16 hour flight to Johannesburg, SA....
The guy poppin in the photo is Larry.....Dana's friend who came with us.  He's a lot of fun too and I think he was really excited....I knick named him MuFasa, since he was going on a lion hunt.

I don't watch many movies, but I did watch "WE BOUGHT A ZOO!" on the plane...I loved it.  That little Rosie captured my heart.  It's a really cute movie if you haven't seen it...great family movie...

The flight was miserably long...and I couldn't get off the plane fast enough.
Dana's proudly showing you his first stamp in his first passport....I think we should call it his "Dream Stamp!" Welcome to South Africa Baby!!!!

We left home on May 1 at 6am.  Caught our flight to Atlanta at10:30 am.  The flight to Johannesburg was at 8 pm that night and it is now Wednesday evening at 6:30 pm when we got off the plane...exhausted....

We spent the night here at the Afton Guest House.  An older couple own it and it is a really sweet and comfortable bed and breakfast.  It will set you back about R1300 which is equivalent to about $89 US dollars.  They grilled steaks for us and once our tummy's were filled, the food coma set in and we went beddy-bye......

Love- love- love- waking up to the smell of breakfast....except I didn't get to...Dana woke me up LONG before breakfast with the "too excited to sleep routine" I think he might have slept in his safari clothes.
Breakfast was delicious...a little steak from last night...couple of eggs, and that sprinkly stuff on the potato round...which I "thought might be lemon pepper" wasn't's Aromat...a South African spice that they like to put on just about everything....and now I put it on just about everything....

We still haven't reached our final destination...the Limpopo area and more specifically, Laphalele, is still four hours north of  Johannesburg.

I always find traveling in foreign countries fascinating - even in the smallest of things.  In the US we have stop signs....and they do too...  Some of theirs are for tall people? I dunno!?!?!?!

but they also have DON'T stop signs.......

And beware of the warthog signs................................. how cute is this? They did run out in front of us several times.  They are ugly they're cute!...

the landscape ranges from flat bushveld areas to mountains.  It's beautiful!

But I do have to warn you - I think they drive fast, so getting any significant pictures while in the car was impossible....

We did go thru several villages along with way.  I was amazed to see the poverty of these places.

Structures like this are common and the person living in this had set up camp near some roadwork and was trying to sell candy to the cars that were stopped due to road construction. least he saw an opportunity to make some money!

Thru the villages we saw similar structures - one had even set up a barber shop inside.

Despite the lack of money these people have, the ladies were dressed in dresses and the gentlemen were dressed up too.  You would think they were going to a special occassion.  You don't see holes in their jeans - that is - if they even wear jeans.  They may live in a shack, but you'll never know it by the way they dress.

This is pretty typical of the government housing.  It is merely shacks in rows.  Sometimes not this fancy.  Most of them have no running water, no electricity and that means public privy's.....
rent on these types of structures is about R80 per month or around $10 US.  Minimum wage per month is R250 or around  $31.25.  We spend more than that eating you a real perspective doesn't it?

Pick N Pay - also known as P N P is their local grocery store chain.  They are open till the "hoo" hours of the morning....... :)

Being that it is a long 4 hour might get maybe you'd like to stop at a roadside shack for some Biltong?  It's their word for jerky...and it's actually pretty good!  I love the word's fun to :)

And you might have to stop for gas too. The price here is 93cents (rand).  Everything is on the metric system.  It's a little over 3L of gas to our Gallon and will set you back about $3.50 US.  About these same as it is here at home, with the exception that gasoline prices only rise once per month.

If you gotta pee......well..that will cost you! A whole RAND...about 12.5 cents...

Eventually though we arrive at Quagga Safaris.  That's our chalet behind us.  We were greeted by the entire staff when we got out of the shuttle.  Natacha was waiting with drinks in hand, Etienne our PH and all the trackers were in uniform.  

Technically...the hunt doesn't start till tomorrow...but do you think Dana is going to wait that long?  I think not!

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