Thursday, December 30, 2010
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Hello Kitty is in my photo dressed up as a rabbit to welcome in the New Year. 2011 is the year of the rabbit. I was lucky enough to win the Hello Kitty doll at a game arcade in Japan. I love the arcades there because you can actually win without putting in a ton of money. I hope that 2011 is a lucky rabbit year for you too!
Friday, December 24, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
To me part of the feeling of Christmas is revealed in the scents wafting through your home. When I walked through Ben Franklin Crafts I was not planning to buy a bag of cinnamon scented potpourri pine cones, but the smell just said, "Holiday" ! I purchased a bag of the natural ones and one of unscented gold colored pinecones. At home I found my favorite compote dish ($10 from a thrift store) and mixed the pinecones with some artificial miniature fruit from my Thanksgiving arrangement. I was left with lots of extra scented pinecones so I decided to deocrate them with bits of extra decoration/wrapping trimmings and felting wool. The heads of the pinecone people are made from Hearty Clay (with a mini Santa cap and pipecleaner snowman cap). The pinecone Christmas elf/figures don't need to be in a compote and they are fun to place around the house where you want to add the sweet smell of Christmas. (Oh a flashback memory..."The Sweet Smell of Christmas" was a book that my children loved during the holidays because it had scratch and sniff stickers. We scratched and sniffed the book so much that I had to buy replacement books. If you have young children in your home this book makes a great pre-Christmas gift.) Have the sweetest Christmas ever!
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Actually, I purchased the tool tote last spring when I spied it in Ben Franklin Crafts. (Never pass up a good item that will come in handy for gift giving at Christmas.) I'm sure a similar tote can be discovered at a hardware or gardening store. I included flower seeds, a flower shaped sponge, flower embellishments and cookies in the tote. I'm really proud of how perfectly this idea worked out. It looked great wrapped in cellophane and tied with a fancy pink and green bow. Half the fun of giving is finding the perfect gift and presenting it uniquely. Keep your mind and eyes open for special things all year long as you shop at Ben Franklin Crafts, of course!
Monday, December 20, 2010
I like memo holders because I always need reminders. This one was a quickie that was whipped up from some wire and leftover candy decorations. I simply coiled the wire for the base, strung on the plastic gumdrop beads and made a couple of loops to hold the message paper or cocoa packet. I wired on some plastic candy charms using a thin wire and covered the wire with a bow. This is a sweet present to make as a last minute gift for a teacher or office co-worker. The gumdrop beads came in a large box (from BFC) so you can even make these for Valentine's Day or a birthday if you switched out the ribbon and charms with something more appropriate. Well, thanks for stopping by and I hope I helped you figure out what to give when time/money is in short supply. I'll have a few more ideas to share before taking a break for Christmas. Happy Holidays!
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Wrapping gifts always leaves me with strips of paper too pretty to toss in the trash. I've discovered two ways to use them up and make something useful. I used the Sizzix bow die to cut 5 of each size strip. The instructions that came with the die shows exactly how to assemble the bow. Because the die can cut several sheets of paper at a time, I only had to run five small sheets of leftover wrapping paper once through the die. Rather than using a brad to hold the bow together, I used a gold pipecleaner (make a small coil at one end) so that the bow could easily be attached to the ribbon on the gift. In the photo I also show how you could glue a small star or other embellishment to anchor the bow. It would be better if you had scraps of two sided wrapping paper because some of the backside of the paper does show (but that doesn't bother me).
Friday, December 17, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
I'm sorry that I haven't commented on your blog sites for a while because I was on a trip in Japan. The photo above shows a gigantic tree that was in the shopping mall of the Sunshine City Prince Hotel where we stayed. Japan becomes more Christmasy every time we visit around the holidays. There are artificial trees in all the major stores and lots of ornaments and cards. I guess everyone wants occasions to celebrate and give gifts. I tried leaving comments on your blogs sites while in Japan, but they all appeared only in Japanese so I just did some blog surfing.
The photo below is of a card and some new HA stamps that Cheryl (Life is Sweet) sent me. Isn't her card so sweet? You can't see it clearly in the picture but the background is charmingly embossed with flowers. As with all of Cheryl's work, the card is well crafted and beautifully simple....much like the artistic craft work in Japan. Thanks again, Cheryl.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Look what I discovered at Ben Franklin Crafts! These American Girl product will surely bring a smile to someone special this Christmas. Shown here are a sparkly watercolor set, a creative card-making pad, a kit for making 12 funky felt pins, sweet treat dimensional stickers, and a bracelet kit which makes 10 paper chain items. Although these products are for young girls, I found them irresistible. I just know that I can incorporate them into some of my craft projects. If you want something fresh to give as a gift or for yourself, come to BFC and check out these (there are lots more not included in this photo) American Girl cool stuff. Oh, I almost forgot that I had a second photo on this post. I wanted to show you one of the many 'science' related gifts we have at Ben Franklin Crafts for your budding genius at home. These boxed kits range from the usual chemistry sets to unique ones to make sour candy, perfume, or other fun products. If you know someone who enjoys creating things and learning the science behind it (not only kids love this stuff), BFC is the place to go this Christmas for your shopping needs.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
When I was a little girl one of my fondest Christmas memories was receiving a container of ribbon candy in the mail. I don't know who sent this gift to my parents every year but I was enthralled by the colors and shapes of sugar candy (some filled with peanut butter cream). When I spied the plastic ribbon candy ornaments at Ben Franklin Crafts, I knew that I had to buy a set (6 for $7.99) of the sugary looking replicas made by Sierra Pacific. Originally I had planned to hang them on our tree but then I realized that they looked like a letter or toast holder. I decorated some mini notecards w/envelopes by applying stickers to some pre-made ones. (You can easily make them from leftover cardstock cut to fit mini envelopes.) Then I filled the spaces of the ornament with the cards and I plan to wrap the whole set in a clear cellophane bag tied with a ribbon. I think a set like this would make a perfect early Christmas gift for a co-worker or teacher because after using the cards he/she can hang the ornament on his/her tree. The candy ornaments also come in a red and white version. If you don't want to make cards or tags, you can fill the ornament with sticky note pads. The ones in the bottom photo are from G Studio and come two in a package for only $1.25! (I just cut the cardboard between the two notepads.) Now that's an inexpensive, easy gift to prepare for someone who needs a thank you. Hey, you could wrap individual cookies and place them in the ornament for a unique presentation! Well, I hope this post has given you some new ideas for gift giving. Come and visit again for a peek at what goes on in my brain during the holidays.