Bottle Cap Coasters {Craft Tutorial}

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Do you want an easy craft for the men with bars in your life?  I have a super fun and easy one for you all!  

Bottle Cap Coasters

Now I made my coasters for an adult friend, so I used alcoholic beverage caps, but you could use any soda caps that you fancy!

You will just need a few supplies:
Cheap wooden coasters
A wall to surround your coasters (I used a piece of PVC pipe)
Grout (I used a light colored hard grout, but you can use any color)
Bottle caps

Read the instructions on your grout.  Make sure you know the volumes to mix and your set times.  Go ahead and mix some up.

I glued my bottle caps onto my cheap coasters so they wouldn't move around.

Then I placed the walled PVC around the coaster (it was the perfect size), and started spooning in the grout.

Once it was all filled, I used my finger to spread the grout evenly and clear off the tops.

I let that set to where it was firm but not fully set and took it out of the mold, then I used a damp towel to wipe off the excess grout from the top of the caps.

Once they fully dried, they had this awesome textured look and the caps were secure inside the grout.  I handed these out at Christmas time with a pack of Reinbeers and my guy friends loved it!

New Art Gallery Shop for Steffens Photography

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 The last year seems to have gone by so quickly.  My "day job" had me helping facilitate the opening of a brand new building, and even with all the restrictions due to covid, I just couldn't get to everything on my to-do list.  But that's ok - part of life is balancing the things that need done with the things that you want to get done.  What have I done over the last year?  

I worked really hard on my crafting room - painted the walls, installed shelves, organized all my craft supplies and finally consolidated my gigantic yarn collection.  Just a few weeks ago, I finished sorting all the items that I have that will be going up for sale very soon. I'm so excited that I finally feel like I have a nice space to create my art!  (So is my husband because he thinks that means it won't appear in other parts of the house... ha!)

I added a few new patterns to my Etsy shop, Crafted By Life Designs.  This is your one stop shop for all of my knit, crochet and graph patterns for all sorts of yarn crafting.  Crafted By Life Designs

We re-did the kids rooms, made a giant Audrey II (more on her to be shared soon!), went totally Clark Griswold on the house for Christmas, and played a ton of Minecraft and board games as a family.

Lastly, I opened a brand new Art Gallery online which will be the new home for my photography.  From here you can buy amazing prints and have them shipped directly to you.  They'll even frame them if you want!  Please check me out, and consider buying something if you're looking for a new piece for your home.  I specialize in abstract and manipulated photography, but do also dabble in nature photography. 

Steffens Photography Art Gallery

What else is in store for me this year?

Well, one thing that anyone who knows me knows, is that I love coffee.  And now, you can buy me one!!  Visit me at and help me support all of my artistic endeavors.  Right now, all you can do is buy me a coffee (not a real coffee, silly, I'll buy my own!), but in the very near future, I'll be offering recurring support memberships that will give you exclusive rewards, request commissions and more! 

You'll be seeing one more new shop go live as I catalog and price out shipping on all of my yarn items, jewelry, resin work and more!  I'm moving away from Etsy for all of my physical items, as my new platform doesn't charge me fees on anything that I ship myself, but provides me with a free platform to sell my art.  This, in turn, saves me money, which I can then use to make more art!!!  

My Pattern Experience: Roll Up Armadillo Crochet Pattern

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Hello all!  
Welcome to another edition of My Pattern Experience - where I write about a pattern that someone else designed and I tried it out.  I always try to be completely honest about the pattern and how it worked up.  

This week, I'm writing about a totally adorable amigurumi.  My daughter has always been obsessed with small animals.  Especially of the stuffie variety.  I decided to make her this little armadillo because I thought she would love the way it rolled up.

The pattern is Roll Up Armadillo by Kati Galusz

To make this adorable little guy, I used Red Heart Super Soft in wine as well as Red Heart Super Soft in Cream.  Let me start by saying that I am not an expert in amigurumi.  I have made a few pieces, but nothing too crazy - and this guy was surprisingly easy!  The body works up very quickly, and the shell even quicker.  I think the only part that gave me a little difficulty was the feet, but even that wasn't too hard.  I sewed on the eyes using embroidery thread to give it a little bit of texture and a nice blue pop.  The most magical part of this pattern is after you get it all completed and can roll it up!  It's amazing that the simple shell can do that!


Overall, this was a great pattern.  I think it would be great for an advanced beginner or intermediate crocheter to give a try!

New Items in the Shop - This time it's not crochet, it's....

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Hello all!

I have been crafting up a storm ever since I've been in the new house - for multiple reasons -

  1.  I have an actual designated craft storage area!!!
  2. I have an actual designated craft working space!!!
  3. I've been unpacking all of my wonderful crafting supplies into previously mentioned storage area and work space and it has sparked some crazy creativity streaks!

Needless to say, I've been my eclectic self and have been crafting in a ton of different mediums.  Some have been successful and others.... we'll just say they're a work in progress.

I have had some great successes though and this means there's going to be a ton of new listings coming to my shop in the next month!  The first things that I'm going to share with you that have just gone live in my shop are 5 new pairs of hand crafted earrings!  They have been designed with the inner nerd in mind and I hope you love them as much as I do!!!

I hope you love my nerdy jewelry as much as I do!  Please feel free to leave me a comment and let me know what you think!!!

Snowman Play Doh Gifts {Craft Tutorial}

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My FAVORITE play doh recipe!

I'm not much a fan of the stuff that makes irreparable messes in my home, such as slime, gum, glitter and play doh,  but this is seriously the best dough!  It's super soft, smells amazing and will leave your hands feeling silky smooth!   We enjoy making large batches and sharing it with family and friends, especially around the holidays!  

Here is a quick how to for the best play doh ever and these adorable snowman play doh gifts you will want to share with all the favorite children in your life!

Materials Needed:

For the dough:

For the containers:


To make the dough:

Mix 1 part Conditioner to 2 parts corn starch until you have a smooth doughy consistency.  

That's it!  

Marvel at your wonderful two ingredient, barely any effort dough!  It is literally that easy!

Next, make your jars:

Paint the lids of the jars black and set aside.  

Use the acrylic paint to paint one side of the jar to look like a snowman - just a few dots and you'll be done!

Note:  Acrylic paint will scratch off over time.  If you would like to protect your craft, I would recommend using a spray sealant like the one listed above.

Now you can optionally dress up your snowman with a bit of ribbon and a cookie cutter if you want to provide one as a gift.

Now gift and enjoy!