Sunday, December 21, 2014

Santa Micro-beaded Tag

One day while moving around my Martha Stewart vials of glitters and beads, I had a light bulb moment!  I think this is a new idea, but some other crafter has probably used this technique before. I wanted the finished beaded panel to have the look of the little flicker (I think that was the name) plastic cards we played with in the OLD days.  The flicker cards were images under corrugated plastic which changed from one picture to another when you moved the card.  While my beaded panels don't have changing pictures, they do have a weird iridescence that I love. To make this panel I stamped the Recollections Santa image in dark brown ink on white card stock and then colored it with color pencils.  Next I ran the panel image side down into a Xyron machine with a permanent adhesive cartridge.  After peeling off the backing I poured on some Martha Stewart clear micro beads (purchased in a set from Ben Franklin Crafts). If you work in a little box you will be able to keep your work surface neater.
The tag base was cut with a wine bottle label die and embossed with a star embossing folder (Xcut) from Ben Franklin Crafts.  A scrap of white mesh ribbon (wedding dept. of BFC) added some textural interest (looks like whiskers) and some scrap reindeer card stock contributed more color.  Because I thought that this tag might not be used as a wine bottle tag, I added the chip board words (Echo Park) so that the recipient might use this tag as a door knob/handle decoration.  I used this same beaded technique to make a panel for a vintage Xmas card which will be featured on my next post. Hope you will visit this blog again to see it!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Foiled Die-Cut Star Ornament/Tag

Don't these ornament/tags look extremely time-consuming to make?  Surprise, because of the Spellbinders die that I purchased from HM Ben Franklin Crafts, I was able to whip these up in minutes.  It's super easy to make them festive if you use cardstock with glitter and/foil (the DCWV 6x6 pads are perfect for these ornaments.  I would recommend using the glitter cardstock for the backing only because it is a tougher cardstock which makes the intricate cuts difficult.  I like the plain foil in the front because the little impressed dots show up well.  Somehow the blue ornament looks smaller than the red and green one....perhaps because I was trying to angle the photo to avoid a glare....they are really exactly the same size.  I chose to make the largest pinwheel-like star in the die set because there is room on the back to write a message.  I put just a drop of 3 in 1 Beacon glue at the tip of each point to fasten the two parts and attach the ribbon hanger.  I really, really love this pop-up die cut because it can be sent flat and the recipient can fluff it up .....better than a's a bow and tag in one!  Although I am finished wrapping gifts for this year, I'm going to make a batch of these for next year (great to have some things done early) and hang some on my tree for this year.  Oh, I just thought of something neat....these would make great fancy Christmas cards.....wonder how they would look with printed glitter or flocked cardstock.....gotta go and try this idea out!  See ya later!


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Bumper Crop = Jam Time!

Funny Story:  Years ago my son gave us a starfruit tree for a Xmas gift, but sadly it never produced a single fruit in over 7 years.  In frustration we decided to chop it down and buy a new tree, but first we went to the garden shop and asked a few questions.  We were told that all we needed to do was add a little lime to the soil. Like a miracle this year we had an abundance of starfruit! Of course we couldn't give away or eat all the fruit so I turned this bumper crop into jam and li hing mui!  The crafter in me had to jazz up the jam jars with pretty paper toppers.  I applied some Little B washi tape to vellum paper (thinner paper works better) and cut them into rounds with scalloped or pinking (zigzag) shears. Next I fastened the paper toppers with either pipe cleaners, gold elastic, or wire star garlands.  To the star jar (clever huh...matches the starfruit) I added a star label (cut with a Sizzix die).  For the candy cane jar I attached a jingle bell (sounds like Xmas!), glued on a silver snowflake and wrote directly on the topper. All of this takes just a few minutes but really adds to the holiday feel of a simple homemade gift.  Of course these decorating craft items came from HM Ben Franklin Crafts where you can find so many things that will help turn your Christmas gifts into something special.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Under the Mistletoe with a Cat Lover

Don't you just love this C.C. Designs image?  I think it is so sweet and perfect for my cat-loving friends who own cats who are not particularly into hugging.  I used two different Spellbinder dies and one Paper Smooches one for the banner.  (Hint: You can cut a second smaller scalloped oval by placing the smaller die inside the big one before cutting.  The cut out part will be covered by the white oval and you will have a small blue scalloped oval for another project.)  I used gold embossing powder to heat emboss the Hero Arts sentiment and the edges of the banner. (Tip: Use a small piece of paper towel wrapped around a needle tool to ink in the smaller parts of the banner edge before applying embossing powder.)
The card blank with printed front and back came from the 'Snow Day' American Crafts boxed set of 40 cards.  The background for the image was achieved with a Copic cool shadow pen and a sprinkling of Stampendous blue and white Fran-tage from BFC.  (Hint: Apply a little stick glue to keep the powder from blowing around when heat embossing the Fran-tage.) The iridescent (not visible in photo) white snowflakes are from a BFC miniature garland and the mistletoe berries are made with Doodlebug sticker pearls.  I am pleased with this card and plan to use the image on other non-holiday cards by masking off the mistletoe part. I think it will make  a delightful Valentine's Day card.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Xmas Gift Bags for Baked Goods

I love baking cookies and packaging them attractively for gift giving.  I'm always scouring the shelves at HM Ben Franklin Crafts for cute Xmas bags or boxes.  This year I found an economical set of 8 handled bags that were just the right size for amount of cookies I am giving to friends.  The bags were rather plain but attractive because of their rustic look.
There are lots of thin dies that you can find at BFC to cut the windows.  You will need to insert a small cutting platform into the bag and probably add a few shims to cut out the desired shape.  After die cutting, I backed the windows with clear acetate and adhered it with double stick Merikan/Heiko tape.
 The most fun part for me is adding the embellishments to the bags.  I found Martha Stewart felt snowflake ribbon, checkered American Craft ribbon and 'Let It Snow' Darice ribbon in my stash. I know that you can find lots of decorations in your collection of Xmas stuff because all crafters are hoarders too.
The new ribbon that I purchased this year from Ben Franklin Crafts is the printed burlap wide ribbon. I love it and plan to use it on many projects this year and for years to come *wink* (lots of yardage). For a closure to the bags, I clipped on tiny clothes pins (Canvas Home Basics) which I feel are the perfect finishing touch.
The holly garland with pips were also in my collection of Xmas trimmings but I'm sure that it is a staple in BFC. The pack of printed tags (Canvas Home Basics) was another new item I bought this year because it has lots of food related sentiments and saves me the trouble of stamping my own tags.  At this point in time I am looking for shortcuts so I have more time to bake.
You may be wondering why I'm showing the Santa monkey 10 bag set.  Well, when I totally run out of crafting time, I will resort to pre-made packages like this cute monkey one with the window mouth. I am telling you this just so you will get some for your back up plan, too. LOL! Okay, it's time for me to get back to crafting and baking.  Come back for another visit, soon!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Peanut Butter Fudge

Who wouldn't want a slab of fudgey sweetness?  This peanut butter fudge was made from Alton Brown's recipe and is super easy to make.  The taste is fabulous, like the inside of a Reese's peanut butter cup.  Wrap up a hunk of this fudge in festive holiday packaging and you will have the perfect gift for anyone.  I found these sweet containers at Ben Franklin Crafts and I think they will be even sweeter when filled with a block of fudge and tied with a fancy bow. This solves the problem of grab bag, co-worker, and unexpected holiday gifts.  Have a stress-free season of gift giving!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Lawn Fawn Gift Card Holder

 I had a few more gift card holders to decorate, so I decided to make a scenic one using the Lawn Fawn 'Snow Day' stamp and die sets.  When my husband first saw the front of the gift card holder, he said, "Oh, an Easter card?"  When I showed him the inside he said, "Rabbits in the snow?'  Okay, rabbits are not the traditional Christmas animal, but they do frolic in the snow because it provides good camouflage.  I liked this Lawn Fawn stamp set (from Ben Franklin Crafts) and matching die set because it has lots of images which can be used for other occasions.  For example, the 'You Warm My Heart' stamp could be used for Valentine's Day.  The sentiments were stamped in gold (Delicata ink pad from BFC) and then heat embossed with gold embossing powder.  I used a Paper Smooches curved border die to cut the glitter paper in hill shapes but you could cut it freehand.  The moon was cut from shimmer paper  (DCWV from Ben Franklin Crafts) and has a subtle glow that I really love.  To add some interest to the trees, I stamped them in green ink and painted them with a green Wink of Stella pen (available at BFC).  The 'snow bunnies' were given fur by gluing on some Martha Stewart white glitter flocking (sold in a set at BFC).
I don't know why the blue is so bright in this photo and not the real color that shows in the first photo.  In this photo one of the half (I cut it) Velcro dots shows a lot but in normal lighting it barely shows (like the one on the left side).  I didn't put the Velcro closure dot in the center because it looked like a planet next to the moon...LOL!  You can faintly see the opening (for the gift card) in the stand up part of the holder.  The felt snowflakes are from my stash but I know that I originally bought the pack from BFC. The Doodlebug sequins in a combo of white, silver and clear are perfect for embellishing Xmas projects. Finally, the printed tree 12x12 is a Bella BLVD product which you can find at HM Ben Franklin Crafts along with many other lovely two-sided sheets.
I hope that you will try to make your own gift card holders so your friends and family members will know that even though you had no idea what to get them for Christmas, you did want to give them something homemade from your heart.  Hugs and thanks for stopping by!