Sunday, January 30, 2011

Happy Year of the Rabbit!

This is my husband's Year of the Rabbit so I was pleased to find some colorful Chinese New Year products in Ben Franklin Crafts. I also discovered a great Sizzix die for a Chinese take-out box. The die is for the Pro machine so it takes a 12x12 cardstock sheet for each box. I chose paper from a K and Co. cardstock designer specialty pad which seemed to have just the right Asian look and colors. If you need to make lots of boxes for party favors, I would suggest cutting them from plain red cardstock and then hand stamping an Asian design all over with gold ink. I put some raffia in the box ( fake noodles) added the pencils for chopsticks and the other items as the food. (See packaged products in bottom photo.) You could include some real fortune cookies. Even if you're not having a Chinese New Year party, this simple favor would be great for a retirement or birthday party. Remember, if you don't own a Sizzix Pro Machine, you can borrow the Ben Franklin Crafts die cutting machine if you buy your paper from the store. Happy Chinese New Year!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Valentine Pearl and Garnet Jewelry

It's been awhile since I posted a jewelry project, so I thought I would make something for Valentine's Day. Because January's birthstone is garnet and it is red; it seemed like an appropriate stone to use for both January and February. I searched through my stash of red gemstones and found a strand of small faceted teardrop/heart-shaped garnets. For the earrings and pendant you only need four garnets so it might be more economical to buy just four individual stones. Actually, the inspiration for this project was a strand of biwa stick pearls with holes drilled in the middle, which I purchased at Ben Franklin Crafts. The strand had about 30 pearls in graduated sizes with a gorgeous pinkish luster and was selling for under twenty dollars (less than $1 per pearl). The bead department often has single pearls so you may not have to buy a whole strand or perhaps the store would be willing to sell you half a strand. I personally wanted the whole strand because the pearls were so beautiful that I knew I wanted extras for future projects. Anyway, I used three long decorative sterling head pins to string on the pearls and garnets. (Make sure that the gemstone holes are large enough to accomodate the pins.) Wire wrap the ends of the pins to form a neat loop large enough to hang them from a bail and earring hoops. This is such an easy project that I'm sure even a beginning jewelry crafter will have success. If not for yourself, I know that any mother or girlfriend will be thrilled to receive a jewelry set of pearls and garnets for Valentine's Day. Happy Valentine's Day to all my blogland readers! Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sweet Cards

Since I had all my new Valentine papers and embellishment out, I decided to make my last thank you note using some of the new sweetheart stuff. I cut a 12x12 pink cardstock in half to make two 6x6 blank cards. On the left side of each card I adhered a wide strip of printed Little Yellow Bicycle paper. Next I embossed a piece of red cardstock with a Valentine embossing folder (see bottom photo). Cut panels of this embossed cardstock were taped to the right side of the card. With a heart shaped thin Spellbinder die I cut hearts from pink cardstock with glitter dots. For the thank you card a TAJ cupcake bear stamp was used to create the cut-out and a Tim Holtz On the Edge Sizzix die was used to cut a scroll edge from white glittered cardstock. The character on the Valentine card was made by coloring and cutting out a CC design stamp called Cuppie. The embellishments with words on both cards were from the K and Co. packages of die cut papers. The frosting on the bear's cupcake is Flower Soft and the metallic 'candies' are a new smaller size of Sierra Pacific crystals found in the Ben Franklin Crafts floral department. The bottom photo shows most of the products used on these cards. I am happy that I finally finished and mailed off my last thank you note. Because the gift given to me included a Coach cupcake key ring I thought that the thank you card was appropriate even though it had Valentine images. I was very pleased with my first Valentine card of 2011 because it seems to convey my feelings about Valentine's Day...the hope that someone will tell you that you are special. Make a card today for someone you love. It will make both of you happy.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Valentine Products

This is just a sampling of the new Martha Stewart Valentine products. My favorite items are the anywhere punches which are magnetized to be movable and able to punch wherever positioned.

The 12x12 papers are very attractive and many of the embellishments coordinate with the papers.

The items in the bottom photo are from the K and Co. line. There are lots of packages with an enormous amount of die cuts. My favorite die cuts are the ones with old fashion vintage-look designs. I plan to make some Valentine cards to imitate the fancy stand-up ones that I've seen in antique stores. The package of sticker embellishments that I particularly love is the one which has mini-snow globes with Valentine designs inside. I hope that these photos entice you to shop at Ben Franklin Crafts for the best choice of Valentine craft products.....but hurry because lots of them are selling out. Valentine's Day is such a sweet occasion to craft something to let that special someone know that you are thinking of him/her. Candy is nice, but a handcrafted gift or card will be treasured for years.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Just a quick reminder that tomorrow, Friday Jan. 21st, is the 50% off red tag sale day at Ben Franklin Crafts. I saw some of the red tag items and they were already great buys last week so I bought lots, but I'm going back to get some washi and yuzen paper at the 50% off price. There are also some great buys on Mountain Idea bronze(?) charms and books...many will be only 50 cents.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pushpin Note Pad Holder

I spotted the sets of Darice push pins (thumbtacks) at Ben Franklin Crafts (see bottom photo) and I knew they were going in home with me. I had no idea what I was going to do with them but they were so cute and colorful I knew I would think of something. This is what came out of my never-turned-off craft mind. I've made Post-It pad holders before using an acrylic picture frame turned upside down and know that they make quick office, teacher,or hostess gifts. I thought that the square of foam that comes with the push pins would fit well on a 4x6 frame along with the note pad and pen; they did but that left very little of the decorative paper visible. By using the Tim Holtz On the Edge paper die, I was able to add a little interest and height to the background paper. The added height of the paper didn't allow it to slip into the picture frame, but it does leave room for embellishing which makes the notepapd holder more attractive. A little adhesive backed Velcro piece (cut from a long roll) added to the pen and just above the foam square is a neat way to keep the pen handy. Oh, the background paper came from a K and Co. paper pad and was chosen because of the design and the fact that it was double sided paper so the back of the note pad holder would be attractive too. Finally, the tie-dyed flowers were chosen because they match the 'Age of Aquarius' paisley print paper. The possibilities of notepad holders you can make using these Darice pushpins and your imagination are endless, and because of the low price of the materials they would make terrific craft fair items. Hope you like this idea. Happy Crafting!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

'You're Sew Nice' Vintage-Look Cards

In a previous post I showed you some vintage-looking products by Melody Ross that I found at the Mapunapuna Ben Franklin Crafts. Well, they started me on a whole new craft search for products which have that 40's, 50's, or 60's look. I found some really great Hero Arts clear stamp sets with sewing themes that made me nostalgic for the 'old days' when we actually sewed our own clothes. These stamps together with the other products shown below helped me to make the two versions of basically the same card. I think the use of the muslin cards (Paper Arts) really added to the sewing theme because the paper has a texture like fabric. The background papers were from DCWV (I think) paper pads and chosen for their old fashion look and colors. The Melody Ross chipboard labels were the perfect match with the Hero Arts stamp words. I stamped the fashion lady on thin tissue-like Japanese washi paper so that it would look like the paper patterns that we, old-timers used to cut out fabric pieces for sewing garments. For a pop of color I stamped the tape measure stamp on bright yellow paper because tape measures of 'olden days' were always yellow. Textural interest was added with Hero Arts fabric lace ribbon (just came out with the Valentine items) plus a button on one card and a flower head pin (K and Co. Valentine line) on the other. Although I used the Sizzix die to make the polka dot paper rick rack, you could glue on real rickrack to get the same effect. The stamped image of the sewing machine was colored and then antiqued with Distress Ink. I'm really happy with the outcome of the cards perhaps because they stir up so many happy memories of my childhood. It seems that I've been crafting something all my life.....we didn't have many TV shows, cell phones, or computers to occupy our time. I wonder what memories the future generations will have to hold in their hands and fill their hearts with pride. Teach someone to craft; give them a lifetime of beautiful memories.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Butterfly Punch and Card

Some of my friends who are new to papercrafting remarked that many of the projects in blogland are too difficult for a newbie or require too many supplies. This thank you card project is for them. I wanted to show them that with just a few supplies, you can create a card quickly and be proud of your efforts. I started with a plain folded blank card and used white ink (the pigment type that dries slower) to stamp the leafy foliage. Next I sprinkled white embossing powder over the wet ink. Using a heat gun, I melted the powder to form a more finished look. (You could just stamp with the ink and not emboss.) Also for a bit of sparkle I sprayed a little Shimmer over the card but this is also optional. Next I used the new Martha Stewart magnet butterfly punch that allowed me to punch out any place on my card. Finally, I made a mask from a small piece of scrap paper (punch out a butterfly on it) and alligned it under the buttlerfly punched in the card. Holding the mask in place on the inside of the card, I stamped the words 'thank you' multiple times in blue ink so that the buttlerfly image appears inside and outside of the card. Making cards like this one is the perfect beginning for those of you who are just learning to enjoy papercrafting. The new products like the MS magnetic punches keeps crafting exciting for even the pros. If you haven't started writing your thank you notes yet (like me) a card like this one can be produced by the dozens and yet each one will be slightly different because they are handmade with love. Send some love today!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Blog Award from Cami

Imagine my surprise when Cami (Capture a Heart) sent me this blog award. This is the first award I've received for my blog, so naturally I am very honored. I am supposed to tell you eight things about myself and then pass the award on to eight other bloggers who have sites that I enjoy. I know that most of you don't know much about me because haven't dressed up my blog at all or even submitted a profile. I'm not sure that many of you are really interested, but here are eight facts about me:

1) I was the editor of the Ben Franklin Crafts Club Newsletter but changed to the writer of this blog when publishing and mailing costs became too high.

2) I have two grown sons (one working, one in college) so now I have more time to craft!

3) My college diploma says I have a degree in fine arts (ceramics) but I haven't made a pot in years.

4) I love shopping, especially for craft supplies. (You didn't know that did you?)

5) My husband supports (financially) my craft addiction and is an enabler who built shelves all over my craftroom when I couldn't fit anymore Iris rolling bins.

6) Rose pink and sage green are my favorite colors but I do love lavender, aqua and apricot too.

7) I've collected rubber stamps for more than half my life (no, I'm not telling you how many years) long that some of the stamps have melted or crumbled from old age.

8) Papercrafting, jewelry making and antique collecting are my favorite hobbies....can shopping be a hobby?

The following eight crafters (in no particular order) have sites that I read often both for their content and the fact that they update often. I hope they will accept this award and pass it on to someone deserving. I'll understand if you don't have the time to do the 'chain letter' part of the award because you are all busy people but please accept the award anyway. You deserve it for writing a great blog and inspiring all of your blogland readers.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Christmas Gift from Kris

This surprise Christmas gift came in the mail from Kris (K-lusive Kreations). She did such a neat job on the note pad set and matching paper clips I just had to show them to you. I think she probably made the decorative head pins, too. I'm saving them to make some extra special birthday cards. I'm sure many of you are regular visitors to Kris' blog site, but if not; you should check it out because she is a fabulous blogger and crafter. Although I have never met Kris in person, she is a wonderful blogland friend and one of the reasons I am happy I started to write this blog. Thanks Kris for both the sweet gift and your blogland friendship!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Flowery Thank You Cards

Finding all the Hero Arts stamps on sale (20% OFF) at the Hilo Ben Franklin Crafts store made me obsessed (as you can see from the upper photo) with making felt flowers. After making a bunch of them (simply stamp flower design on felt with craft ink, cut out and use green floss to sew felt flower together with the Hero Arts packaged art flowers and a flower shaped button), I decided to use some of them on my thank you notes. Can you believe I'm not done making my thank you cards and still have to make and send out my yearly family newsletter?

These products (in bottom photo) are what I used to make my cards. (The blue pearl head pin was from my sewing kit.) Don't you just love the K and Co. Valentine head pins? That reminds me: You need to go now to check out the Valentine products (by Jolee's, K and Co., Martha Stewart, and others) that have arrived at Ben Franklin Crafts. They came in early and are going fast. When you go to use your 40% off coupon this weekend, take a look at the new Martha Stewart Valentine punches with a magnetic bottom which allows you to punch out designs any place and angle on your paper. Well gotta go and write more thank you notes. Please stop by again to see more crafting ideas for 2011.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Melody Ross Products

Another great find at the Mapunapuna Ben Franklin Crafts was the line of Melody Ross products. I'm not sure if the other BFC stores will carry this line or if it is on sale one time only at the Mapunapuna store. In any case, I love these vintage-look embellishments and I think they will pair well with the new rubber stamp designs we are carrying. As I look through card making, scrapbooking, and other paper craft publications, I think it is safe to say that, "everything old is new again". The colors and graphics of the 40's and 50's suddenly look fresh. For older crafters the images are a walk down memory lane and for the younger ones a chance to glimpse their parents' past. I think perhaps the reason these vintage craft items are popular is because we are all looking wistfully at a time when life was simple and innocent. I don't know how much longer these Melody Ross products will be at Mapunapuna BFC or if they are at our other BFC stores, but I know that you really should take a look at them before they sell out because they are already on sale at a greatly reduced price. (Oh, the 12x12 sheet with the oven mitt design is a K and Co. product that seemed to fit perfectly with the other vintage designs.) May your new year be filled with shopping bargains and crafty creations!