Friday, December 31, 2010

Crafting By Candlelight !

The power went off several times last night, starting at 6:15 in the evening. Dark enough to not be able to see, early enough to not want to go to sleep. I would no sooner get things reset and it would go off again. It's not like I was going to use the computer or TV or anything like that, I was simply going to work in the craft dungeon while listening to the radio. I had given up on that idea and decided I'd to catch up on some reading when an idea hit : why not strap a lightweight flashlight onto my desk lamp and try to finish one project ? I decided I could at least glitter some snowflake die cuts for a project I was working on. Surely that could be accomplished in low light !

So by candlelight and flashlight I glittered the snowflakes and faux shimmer brads. 8:41 PM the power was back on for good, hooray !


Thursday, December 30, 2010

White Christmas - My Digital Studio scrapbook pages

I created these quick 12 x 12 scrapbook pages with
My Digital Studio from Stampin' Up!    

My Digital Studio Supplies:

Whisper White, Old Olive and Real Red card stock

Snowflake punch

Silver Hodge Podge Hardware

Old Olive satin ribbon was an extra that I purchased. It comes with straight pieces of ribbon, a knot and a bow in several colors    item #121063     $3.95

The snowflakes are a sort of a stenciled look.  I was playing around with the software and decided I liked this look, which is really easy to do.

You simply add punches in the same color as your background card stock color then add a drop shadow. In this case, after much playing around, I decided to use 100% opacity and Medium blur with a Going Gray drop shadow. I also moved the shadow to be centered over the punch. Change the opacity to make it much lighter and the effect is almost like a dry embossed image. You can also change the colors of your drop shadow for interesting effects ! At one point I had Real Red drop shadows which looked nice, but I decided it was too much for this project.

The snowflake punch is one size, but it can easily be resized and turned.

Be sure to come back in a few days - I have three more My Digital Studio projects that I submitted to a contest I have been anxious to share with you. I never received a call to let me know that I won, so I can now share them with you. The winners of the contest will be announced on the Stampin' Up! web site January 4th. I can not wait to see all of the awesome entries customers and demonstrators submitted to this contest back in November ! I am hoping that their projects will inspire me to scrapbook more, putting the My Digital Studio program to more use.

Thanks for looking =)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Ornaments Personalized

One of my aunts asked me to customize these gorgeous ornaments that she bought for her children. She thought I'd use a permanent marker on them, simply write the dogs names on the bottom of them.
I did use a permanent marker to change Labrador to Labradoodle, but was not happy with how it turned out. After that result, I knew I needed to do something else - so I raided my scraps and created these tags complete with organdy bows. So much better than written with a marker and hung with a little metal hook !


Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas !

May the Joy
of the Christmas Season
Linger in your Heart
Throughout the New Year !

We had a perfectly gorgeous white Christmas this year !!!!!!!!!
The snow started falling about 8 AM Friday morning, finishing up with light flurries Christmas morning, totalling 3" of the beautiful white stuff =)

Card created with  My Digital Studio  from  Stampin' Up!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Creative Packaging - go green !

I like to use hand towels to wrap small items, then the recipient has two gifts !  Pillow cases, fabric napkins, place mats, etc  work well, too. I used a rubber band to hold the towel in place then attached the gold ribbon - than came on the towels when I bought them!

This is a large utility towel that I doubled up and made a simple envelope out of. It is closed with a snowflake brooch that I made.

These are old hankies, folded to the perfect size to give hand stamped cards in and closed with a pretty wire edge ribbon or a hand made rosette brooch.

Stash a gift card or nail polish in a new pair of gloves or mittens. Similar idea using super cozy socks or slippers instead !

Reuse cookie and candy tins. The paper twist ribbon can be reused on another project.

 This is a nice wooden box that a car care kit came in originally. This box contained blank discs with cases so the recipient could record their photos and home movies onto the discs then store them in the box.

Use paper mache boxes for gift giving. A crafty person would really appreciate this since she (or he) can create something out of the boxes afterwards !

Of course reusable paper gift bags are always popular. How about making one out of fabric that can be taken shopping for bringing home purchases ? Use an old pair of jeans to make a simple tote bag! Different sizes and styles of blue jeans are going to give you different tote bag shapes/sizes. Cut off the legs, straight across through the crotch. Turn inside out and sew a seam to create the bottom. Make simple straps from the fabric of the legs (use the side seams if you'd like), old belts or webbed strap material that you may have leftover from another tote bag. You can add a fabric lining, too, but this takes a little more sewing know how. Embellish the outside of the blue jeans tote bag if you'd like.

Any number of containers that once held food or other items, so long as it is washed out well and safe for reuse, can be used for gift giving. This particular container held shower curtain hooks originally. The ribbon is from another gift received - I never throw away ribbon !

These are just a few ideas of gift baskets that don't require wrapping:

Maybe you know a child that needs a new backpack - fill it with art and craft supplies, puzzles books. Perhaps you have a special little one that spends weekends with family members/friends frequently. Pack a tote bag or suitcase with new pajamas and slippers, maybe a special new cuddly toy or story book to be read to them at bed time.

Large bowl with popcorn, soda, candy and movie rental coupon.

Pack a plastic bucket with car cleaning supplies.

Laundry supplies in a laundry basket would be great for the recently moved out young adult.

Thanks for looking and Happy Holidays !

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Memories of Ornaments I Made As A Child

I've parted with several of the handmade ornaments I made as a child over the years, never even thought to take pictures of them.  The few I will post here are what I have left - and sadly, I think they are ready to be discarded, too (sniffle !).

How many of your remember making ornaments out of small empty tin cans, the size of tuna or cat food ? I do !!! Mom still has that one with the tiny plastic deer in it. I recall digging through the magazine pictures and old holiday cards we had to choose from to try to find just the right background picture for my deer to lay in front of.

I also remember my sister and I picking out a special ornament each year at a local store with my parents. Most of them are still at mom and dads house, but I did bring this one with me when I moved away from home. It was one of my all time favorites since I was always a horse lover.

The first plaster ornament that I ever painted. It was not the proper paint for painting on plaster and it was not sealed, it rubs off easily.

Isn't it funny how you can remember certain things so clearly and yet forget more important details from your life ?  This is one of thsoe things: the teacher had a tree with different wooden ornaments on it in the classroom. Our last day of school before break we had a class party. One of the activities was a game (I'm not sure, I think she just drew names out of a bag ?) where we each got to choose the ornament that we wanted off of the tree. I had my eye on this deer the entire month it was in the classroom. It looked the most "realistic" out of the other wooden things, plus I was (am!) an animal lover, I just had to get that deer............ my turn finally came around and it was still there =)

This was a plastic drinking cup turned upside down.

This poor little angel has fallen apart so much. I am not even sure what the wings were originally made of , they are long gone. It is some sort of metal mesh for the body. I remember some of the kids getting pricked by it !

This was a foam ball that we used straight pins to stick on sequins and rick rack. I remember that I wanted all of the sequins to be perfectly spaced.

A clear plastic ball that opens at the center. We got to choose an image to cut out to glue inside (once again, I had to have the perfect image suitable for the project, centered just so). We stuck our photograph on the back  - I'm not posting that side ! We used double stick tape around the seam on the outside and adhered gold rick rack

Thanks for looking and Happy Holidays !

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Terra Cotta Pot Decorations

There are probably thousands of different ideas for using terra cotta pots other than gardening. I used to like to paint them and donate them to the school holiday bazaar. I also made some to use as decorations at my home. They haven't been used for a while since I no longer have a place to hang them up . I haven't brought myself to part with them yet, like many of the other hand made items I have. I think maybe this year I will photograph them all before putting them away - or donating them.

a reindeer "wind chime" with hanging jingle bells

Santa "wind chime" with hanging wooden stars

The hat brim is missing from the snowman; it was made out of black fun foam.

This is a large pot that I had fake poinsettias in on my front porch. It was stamped with household sponges that I cut and acrylic craft paint. The splatters of paintare made by using and old toothbrush lightly dipped in paint then rubbing your thumb along the bristles to fling the paint.



Here are two earlier posts I shared on my blog for terra cotta pots:

Thanks for looking and Happy Holidays !

Monday, December 20, 2010

Various Hand Crafted Ornaments

an old spoon that I painted and bent

I've decided to take pictures of my old hand made ornaments this year before packing them away. I've had ornaments break or otherwise become not worthy of being used on the tree any longer so I thought I ought to photograph those that are still in good shape to remember them.

Here are a just few of the different ornaments that I've made over the years, several of which are repurposed items:

"Test tube" that beads came in. I made one of these years ago, but painted the face. I can't find that one so I made another using paper punches with the 2 step Owl punch from Stampin' Up. Signo white gel pen and fine Sharpie marker for details

Little unfinished wood snowman cut out bought from a tole painting shop years ago

                      Mini tin party favor that can be bought at dollar stores

                                                         paper cast

Made from a simple jingle bell ornament and wood bead. The fabric is a fleece blanket that I cut up. The face was painted with acrylic craft paints.

Unfinished wooden ornament that I painted then stamped with a retired rubber stamp image from Stampin' Up! and acrylic craft paint. Added a bow to finish it off.

This is a leftover magnetic frame (I made several to sell at a craft fair) that I decided to make into an ornament years ago. Stamped with a retired rubber stamp image from Stampin' up! with Stazon Ink on the glass. I sprinkled glitter on a piece of white heavyweight posterboard that had been coated with Modge Podge. Once it was dry, I inserted it into the frame then added a piece of organdy ribbon.

Project from 2003: CD that no longer worked. I stamped and painted it, added some greenery and a tiny photograph . The back had card stock that I stamped and wrote the kids names, ages, year on it.

Thanks for looking and Happy Holidays !

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Old Glass and Foam Ball Ornaments - reuse them !

Don't throw away old glass ball or foam ball ornaments ! You can make them into new ornaments or decorations with a few basic craft supplies and techniques. These are a few tha I havecreated over the years - but the ideas for reusing / redecorating glass ball and foam ball ornaments is endless !

Paint, fabric, doilies, lace, ribbons, fabric trims, fabric/ribbon roses, scrapbook papers, die cuts and punched pieces of paper, stickers, glitter, sticky jewels, beads, wire, strands of craft pearls, air dry clay, creative use of paper, images from magazines, decoupage glue, greenery, dried florals and naturals, even old game pieces/miniature toys and oh so much more can be used to bring new life to old ornaments ! The ideas are endless. Even the glass type that are painted but now have scratches and cracks in the paint can be reused rather than thrown away. Look through books and magazines at your local library or search online for thousands of ideas to decorate plain old ornaments into stunning new decorations for the tree or home decor. 

The red ornament above was so easy to make using printer paper, two snowflake punches (Martha Stewart), Modge Podge, a small paintbrush and ribbon. Punch out your desired shapes (or use a die cut machine). Brush a light coat of Modge Podge to the back then stick on place on the ornament. Tie on ribbon for a super easy , updated ornament. Take it a step further by adding sticky jewels, pearls,  glitter.

Same paper punch as the red ornament only I punched silver card stock then just glued the center of the snowflake to the ornament, added a few "rhinestones"

White acrylic craft paint brushed on with wide, quick strokes. Sprinkle glitter on while the paint is still wet. Once completely dry, brush off excess glitter and tie on a pretty ribbon.

If a painted glass ball ornament looks too bad with scratched and cracked paint, don't throw it away. It can be repainted with spray paint, decoupaged or covered with fabric. The paint can even be removed if you want to deal with the mess ! Some household cleaners are strong enough to remove the paint from some painted ornaments.  I found that bleach works best on the ornaments I wanted to remove paint from (very smelly and messy so do this outdoors and wear gloves, old clothing). Normally I wouldn't waste my time removing the old paint, I would do another technique to cover it up.

Wrapped with a circle of fabric, this works great with styrofoam balls.

Wrapped with a tatted doily

Frosted glass ornament that had several scratches on it so I painted it with "Jack Frost" window spray then sealed it.

Trim from my sewing stash wrapped around the middle, adhered with a strong double stick tape. The little pearls were created with pearlescent fabric glue.

Stamped with Versamark ink and a retired rubber stamp image from Stampin' Up! on one side then I hand wrote the year on the other side with a Versamarker. I then heat embossed with gold embossing powder; be very careful if you choose to try this !

This is a pine cone made from paper and an old styrofoam ornament. You can find hundreds of references to this project online and in craft books. I remember seeing this type of project, and quilted styrofoam ball ornaments, many years ago in craft magazines and books.



 I used straight pins to attach fabric yo yos to an old styrofoam ball ornament above. You could use straight pins or low temp hot glue to stick all sorts of fun things to styrofoam !

Attach to wreaths, display in clear glass containers as centerpieces, hang from light fixtures and many more great ideas for decorating around the home with simple glass ball ornaments can be found in books, magazines and online.

Thanks for looking and Happy Holidays !

Friday, December 17, 2010

Partridge In A Pear Tree

So this is sort of how my mind works; I imagine many of you can relate:

I see a neat idea (stamped tea light candles in a hand made, hand stamped gift box).

I have been wanting to repurpose something in particular (cardboard tube from a roll of toilet tissue)

"What a fun idea, but I wouldn't make it, no use for it......... ooooooo, I bet the little candles will fit in a cardboard tube from toilet paper!"  

*running down to my craft dungeon to grab a tea light candle, empty tube from the recycle bin in hand*

"They do fit ! Ok, great idea, stamp a stack of them, then wrap the tube to give them in, but once again no use for the idea. . . could share it as a repurposing idea on the blog.... "  

*light bulb goes off*   

"Ah ha, wouldn't it be neat to make it into a tree like I thought about doing for Halloween with the owl punch, yeah a partridge in a pear tree. I wonder what a partridge looks like ?. . . . ."  and so it goes.

I have no use for this project whatsoever, but made it anyway. Maybe I ought to make a few tiny pears

SUPPLIES, most from Stampin' Up!

Styrofoam ball
toilet paper tube
olive green mulberry paper
2 step bird punch
shimmer spray
Soft Suede card stock
Early Espresso classic ink
Antique Cracking background stamp
clear drying glue

1 Push the styrofoam ball onto the cardboard tube, you will probably need to cut parts of it out to make it work. The ball I used came with a hollowed out portion that fit perfectly over the end of the tube.
2 Cut dozens of 2" squares of mulberry paper or tissue paper.
3 Use a skewer, stylus (something small and skinny) to poke each piece of paper into the foam ball. It is best to center the skewer in the paper square, wrap it up around the skewer and dip it into clear drying glue.
4 Cover the foam ball, except the bottom portion, with paper squares.
5 Spray the tree with shimmer spray.
6 Punch and decorate a bird; glue to the tree.
7 Cut and stamp a piece of card stock to create the tree bark; adhere.

Thanks for looking and Happy Holidays !