Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
This year I resolve to tidy up my craft room (and the WHOLE house) before starting on Valentine projects. (I love hearts so I can't wait to use all the new Valentine items coming to the stores.) I wish you the best in 2010 and hope that crafting will prosper in your life this year! Stay healthy and you will be happy!
Monday, December 21, 2009
Thank you to all who visited this blog site in 2009. I've enjoyed all your comments and hope that you will return often in 2010. It is my blog goal to give a personal connection to our loyal Ben Franklin Crafts customers and craft club members, as well as sharing freely my tips and projects. Crafting adds beauty to the world; it is a productive way to maintain good mental health. Sharing your crafts will spread good cheer throughout the world, throughout the year......maybe for infinity. (Who knows where our cyber blogs go?) Love to the universe, Lynn
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
This year I decided to try making some treats other than cookies. Martha Stewart demonstrated making marshmallows on her TV show and it looked easy. They came out great and taste marvelous. I mixed in Wilton red food color paste at the end before putting the batch in the pan because I thought the plain white was boring. This treat is perfect for those watching their cholesterol because it has 0 fat calories! Another recipe I tried was the MS mini fruitcakes and they were so tasty and easy. The recipe did use a whole bottle (a small one) of apricot brandy. I'm not a drinker, so I was surprised that I liked it. You can find both recipes on the Martha Stewart website. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the fruitcake and now they have been given away or eaten. The bottom photo shows how I packaged the marshmallows in MS boxes.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
For the last three Christmases I have been trying to perfect a Springerle cookie recipe for my neighbor. This year he said I got it almost perfect except this recipe didn't have the anise seeds in it. The hardest part was getting the crunchy outside texture but keeping the cookie chewy inside. Another difficulty I had in previous years was finding the mold and a dough that wouldn't stick to it. A company called House on the Hill sold the molds and provided a recipe. Next year I plan to make the cookies thinner and add more anise flavoring and seeds. It's fun doing this project each year and it helps my elderly neighbor remember the taste of his childhood favorite Xmas cookie. Isn't it interesting that many of our holiday memories revolve around food? That's why it's so important to keep traditions alive. Bake something good today...make a memory!
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Sharilyn Miller's book, Contemporary Copper Jewelry, is a super book for jewelry artists who are thrilled by the recent popularity of copper in jewelry making. Copper's malleability and warm color make it a beautiful wire working medium alone or with gemstones and other metals. I especially liked the projects Miller designed with brass, silver and copper and I thought she did an exceptional job of showing how to wire wrap gemstones so that the wire is also part of the design.
Enchanted Adornments by Cynthia Thornton is truly an enchanted book that is filled with lovely drawings, captivating stories, and multi-media projects that seem to have been made by an artistic fairy. I love this book so much. This is definitely the book that I wish I had written and I fantasize writing a book similar to this one sometime in the future. If you want to learn new techniques and be enchanted by a creative mind you must obtain and read this book.
I am often asked where my inspiration for my jewelry projects come from and I honestly can say my best ideas are initiated by looking at the work of others. I scrutinize books and magazines to determine what designs appeal to me and which ones won't be too tedious. I am also drawn to certain shapes and colors. Many times a new purchase or rummaging through my bead stash will give rise to a unique idea. Even TV shows have provided me with current jewelry style ideas. (Ugly Betty and Bones are two series in which the actresses wear eye-catching jewelry.) Anyway, even though you may not find these three books on the BFC book shelf, I think that you will be wise to buy them if you do see them for sale.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
The autumn card was made simply by folding an 8-1/2x11 neutral cardstock into four parts and cutting off the upper right quadrant. Then I cut a window in the two layers of the card front. A Mountain Idea skeleton leaf was lightly glued between a slightly translucent vellum paper (back) and a translucent vellum paper (front). The vellum sandwich was then taped into the card window. The word autumn was then stamped on the front of the card.
The super embellished card is gaudy but cheerful. My favorite part is the gingerbread man that was made by stamping the image onto a piece of cork sheet and decorated with glitter (use white drying glue) and Stickles. I also think the glittered punched loops really give the card a feel of icing on a gingerbread house. I found that punching one loop corner first and then doing the edges and then another corner is easier than doing the corners first and trying to line up the in-between loops. The scalloped felt ribbon (Martha Stewart) was embellished with Stickles and a mini ornament with the hanger snipped off. Right now in Ben Franklin Crafts there are lots of mini candy ornaments that can work well on a card like this. The American Crafts company has designed a glorious array of 'sweet ' papers (available at BFC) with foil and glitter accents which should inspire you to craft, craft, craft! Click on the photo if you want to see the details on the cards. Thank you for visiting and I hope you'll come back soon!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Shopping at Ben Franklin Crafts is always fun because you never know what goodies.you'll find. On Monday I happened to pop into the Mapunapuna store and found a great McGill cupcake punch. The punch is much larger than the Martha Stewart one and punches out additional pieces ( a little star, heart and candle) to decorate the punched out cupcake. This punch will make a great gift for a cupcake loving crafter. I also purchased two Martha Stewart felt ribbon packages. The white snowflake one is so delicate and will add beautiful texture to cards, tags or scrapbook pages. I think the red, white, and green scalloped felt ribbons match well with the vintage-looking Christmas decorative paper that are in the stores now. The other items in the photo are what I term stocking stuffers, but actually I bought them to put in gift baskets of home baked goodies and other small items. The magnetic shopping list pads are invaluable at this time of the year and the small Hello Kitty items are mini calendars that I picked up by the Hilo BFC cash register. The small size of the calendars makes them perfect to put in a purse or set up near your computer. I'm trying to think of a way to incorporate the calendars into Xmas cards as a small appreciation gift. I hope you'll visit the Ben Franklin Crafts stores often this season to find unexpected decorating and crafting goodies.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
My husband returned from Japan and he brought back a bunch of Copic pens with a storage case. I'm so-o-o-o lucky! Maybe you'll see an improvement in my coloring. In any case, you know I'll be having fun playing with my new pens.
The photo below shows a shaker ornament attached to a card. Slipping the hanging cord through the center of the bow allows the recipient to remove the ornament from the card and hang it on a tree or wreath. I used wire that I sometimes remove from wired ribbon and used it to tie the bow. Another skinnier ribbon is tied over the center of the bow and the entire bow is taped to the card. The little cookies and cookie cutters in the shaker box are from Dress It Up. The Santa's Cookies sticker is from American Crafts as are the gingerbread men and cookie decorative paper. I plan to make lots of cards similar to this one for those friends with whom I don't exchange gifts, but to whom I still want to send something special to let them know their friendship is apprcciated.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
The photo shows a quickie napkin ring made with a disassembled autumn pick glued onto a ribbon that is tied around the napkin. The utensils don't look like the normal ones because they are from my collection of antique oddities. The three pronged fork is a lemon fork (I originally thought it was an olive fork). The knife is an engraved fish knife and the spoon is probably for nuts (or possibly a spoon for something that needs to be drained because the spoon has holes). I do believe all of these utensils are from the Victorian era (1890-1920) because it was a time when there were separate utensils for serving or eating every single food item. I find it interesting and challenging to discover strange silverware and learn their usage. With the BIG feast coming up I need to start polishing and find recipes that allow me to use all the wacky utensils I've collected.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
This is not a very good photo of the mini album but it really is quite attractive .....if I do say so myself...LOL! The directions for this project are on our website (email@example.com). Because we don't have a fall season in Hawaii, I always envy those who see the beauty of autumn leaves in their yard, except when I think of the raking. I guess I should be happy to be able to purchase beautiful artificial fall folliage from Ben Franklin Crafts. In this photo you can see two examples of leaf picks and wired leaves available at the store. Click on the photo to enlarge it. I had the coil of wired leaves on my craft table and it inspired me to make the cover of the mini album. These days I am too lazy to make a whole large sized album but I do want to freeze some memories in time. This year for the first time in ages (since he went off to college) my older son will be joining us for Thanksgiving dinner. Now that is definitely a reason to take millions pictures, so I made an expandable (yet mini) album. If I decide I need to do some journaling, I'll put some pockets on a few pages to hold my words. Don't let the holiday season pass without at least a mini collection of memories.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Here is the first of my projects made using the Symbolize jewelry line and the multi-colored pearls from Ben Franklin Crafts Bead Shoppe. This necklace was whipped up in about an hour so it would be a great one to make for Christmas gifts and to sell at craft fairs. I think the pearl strands are going to be on sale soon but even at the regular price they are a bargain. I am happy with the way that this necklace turned out because it conveys a message and has a hippie, free spirit feel to it. The instructions for this project will appear on our website (firstname.lastname@example.org) by next week. Click on the photo to see a close-up view. Thanks for visiting and come back again to see my autumn mini album.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
The items that made my heart beat faster during this shopping trip were the new 'Symbolize' line of jewelry parts from Cousins (see top photo). I absolutely love the components and I see so many possibilities for making beautiful gifts for the women and girls on my Xmas list. Also new to the store were millifiore glass bead strands and mixed pearl strands. Both of these types of bead strands were very inexpensive and seemed to match well with the Symbolize line. BFC Bead Shoppes have brought in new Beyond Beautiful bead strands. The variety and colors of these beads makes me so excited to get started with my Christmas creations. Thanks for visiting this blog site. Please come again to see what I've produced from these supplies.
Monday, November 2, 2009
This is another craft book you might be interested in purchasing. Elegant Scarves and Wraps by Jill Denton is a very creative instructional book that shows you how to make the most beautiful, luscious scarves and delicate, unique cozy wraps for evening or day wear. The techniques of felting these nature inspired art pieces are fully explained and illustrated in this book. Most of the projects in this book are suitable for Hawaii's climate because many designs are extremely lightweight. Also in this photo is another book mark I made to celebrate the fall season. I used a sheer ribbon (with the wire removed) and glued (with Fabri Tac) an artificial autumn leaf (wish I had the real thing) to the top. On the back I glued a paper oval with a rubber stamped gratitude saying. Take time to rest and read before the craziness of Christmas crafting begins.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Yes, there is still time to enter my blog candy giveaway. Look at my Oct. 23rd post for information about it. Someone lucky is going to win that Ben Franklin Crafts gift card!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Why not pass out non-edible treats to your Halloween party guests? This bracelet is super simple to make, using beading wire and a magnetic clasp. (All supplies are from Ben Franklin Crafts.) Just string two 7" lengths of fire polished beads (one orange and one black with skull beads) and attach them to the clasp with crimps. Wrap the finished bracelet with gauzy ribbon to give it a spooky shrouded mummy look. Placed in a halloween treat bag, this bracelet will surely please young and old trick o' treaters alike. I plan to wear this bracelet on the 31st as my costume...... just this bracelet! Oh my! That would be a horrible trick to play and certainly no treat for anyone. Heh-heh-heh!
Friday, October 23, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
I designed this project to hide secret Halloween candy stashes. Click on the photo to see the details. It looks like a Post-it holder with a pen, but it is really a box for candy so no one will find and eat your personal office supply. I had to back the American Crafts Halloween design cardstock with another plain cardstock sheet so that it would support the Post-it pad. If you glue the two cardstocks together before cutting, you won't have to struggle to position them later. I will try to post the pattern for the box and the instructions for the project onto our website (http://www.bfcraftclub.com/) at least before Halloween. This same project can be adapted to other occasions simply by changing the cardstock and using different Dress It Up buttons. Delight a favorite teacher with one of these treat boxes. For a party favor/place card, you can place extra Post-it pads in the box instead of candy and write a guest's name on the first sheet. Happy Halloween Crafting!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
For some students, October is the month when school photos get distributed. Because it is also the month for Halloween fun, I wanted to make a project to combine the two events. The new Hero Arts clear stamp set with an Owl-ween theme was a too-cute-to-pass-up item I purchased at Ben Franklin Crafts. Not feeling like coloring, I stamped the pirate design on a printed paper. I couldn't find a brad that matched the ribbon so I copper glittered some orange brads. You can either hang the frame up or put a magnet behind it to display on a refrigerator. I think the torn opening for the photo is the best part of the project. Complete directions for this Owl-ween photo frame will be posted at (http://www.bfcraftclub.com/) . Thank you for visiting this blog site. Please stop by again for more crafting ideas.