Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Sweet Life Summer Card

This hot summer is quickly drawing to a close, but I couldn't resist squeezing in just a few more refreshing summer crafts.  Here is a really easy card that took just a few minutes to put together because Doodlebug Designs (available at HM Ben Franklin Crafts) has cleverly made all the parts coordinating (papers, card blanks,  epoxy stickers and washi tape). 
The words " You're So Sweet" were stamped (Avery Elle) in turquoise ink and embossed with Nuvo turquoise embossing powder.
For that added 'extra' I used the matching washi tape on the envelope.  There it is, an under 30-minute card to put in my emergency card stash! It truly is satisfying to have a handmade card ready for any occasion.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Wedding Cake Card

 When I first started imagining this card for my family friend who is getting married for the first time at age 62, I had an entirely different look in mind.  As I looked through my drawer of wedding stuff, I discovered a stamped wedding cake image (Stampendous) to which I had added some frosting stickers and colored a bit.  Maybe this was my back up image for another card but for some unremembered reason I didn't use it.  The frosting is sort of rubbery but looks quite real so I like the effect.  If you cannot find frosting stickers, perhaps you can make some from Hearty Clay or the cake decorating resin.  The 'Congratulations' was die cut ( Avery Elle) from silver foil card stock and glued to a Japanese card blank with silver specks. (Check Celebrations store in Mapunapuna for a selection of pretty washi paper to use.) The cake was colored with Copic pens and some glitter. I tried heat embossing the bells on the top of the image like I did the platter, but the delicate design melted into blobs so I cut out the bells and replaced them with a silver heart charm (from HM Ben Franklin Crafts)with the loop cut off.  BFC also has embossing pens which were used to color in the platter so that the embossing powder would stick before heating. I added the feathers to the birds just to add more interest and balance off the bottom heavy design.

 The inside of this card was hard to photograph because of the shiny bird sticker and adhesive strips of silver foil.  It really does look quite lovely with the embossed corner pieces.  I especially love the saying on the K and Co. sticker, " The heart that LOVES is always young".  Isn't that appropriate for the man who at 62 finally found his happily ever after lady love?
 Of course the finishing touch was to add a sealing wax to the envelope. (I melt my wax on a silicon sheet before stamping and glue the finished seal. This ensures that I can place it perfectly on the envelope after writing my greeting in the card. In case you missed my previous post, the supplies for making the heat gun wax seals are now available at HM Ben Franklin Crafts, the best local store for all your crafting needs. Happy shopping and crafting!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Fan and Cherry Blossom Gatefold Card with Resin Charm

This card was made in a hurry because I just returned from Japan and realized I needed a birthday card and something to post.  As you can see, I am still in a Japanese frame of mind.  I started by impressing the 6x6 Paper Accents gatefold card (from HM Ben Franklin Crafts) with a geometric design TCW stencil (also from BFC), Then I dusted the impressed design with pink chalk and die cut the Inspire fan.
I cut a panel of Photo Play cherry blossom card stock to fit inside of the card and used double stick tape to attach it.  I used the Avery Elle girl and cherry blossom branch stamps with the matching dies. The girl was cut from pink card stock and her face was stamped and colored in. The kimono and obi were paper pieced from origami paper and her hair was enhanced with Glossy Accent. The cherry blossom branch was added behind the girl to give some dimension.  The lavender 'happy birthday' label was made with an old stamp from my stash.  To make the large pink vellum cherry blossom (for writing my birthday greeting)I punched out a circle and then folded it into six triangles (like making a snowflake) and hand cut the petal shape through all the folds.
Here is a close up of the resin charm (sorry poor photo) I made using a cherry blossom mold.  There are assorted inclusions including a pearl, metal flowers, mica glitter and a printed acetate flower.  The charm is attached to the die cut fan which with Velcro tabs on the right side is the closure for the card. I wanted to give the card recipient a small gift of a purse charm with the card to let her know that I wish her a very special "Happy Birthday"!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Oceans of Fun Mermaid Card

Because I liked the assortment and summer colors of the Doodlebug Designs envelope and cards package set, I again chose to use a card from it.  This aqua one reminded me that I needed to use my mermaid and ocean themed stamp sets.    I don't normally use white embossing powder for my stamping but on this card it worked.  Tip: Stamp with ink of the same color as the card so that mistakes won't show.  The white embossing powder will stick to the ink and when heated leave a raised white design.
 Both the mermaid and merman were stamped, colored, and fussy cut before adhering to the card with foam dots.  I will need to get the dies for this stamp set because it was tedious to hand cut the seaweeds. For added interest, I glued on some acrylic dots and added a sticker pearl. Oh yes, I watercolored the background with Ken Oliver Colorburst inks.
 Since this card unfolded into such a large blank space, I decided to add some decoration to the inside panel.  I chose a Doodlebug Design paper and added some of the sea creatures (dressing them up with glitter and Glossy Accents). I'm not sure who will receive this card so I left the option of covering the stamped sentiment with a banner saying 'Happy Birthday' or perhaps ' Congratulations'.  It's always satisfying to have some basic cards ready in a stash for emergencies. Don't you agree?

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Wax Seal Tags

 Wax seals are not new.  In fact, they were used way back in the days when people actually sent handwritten letters and needed to seal documents. However, the seals shown here were made in a new way with the use of a wax melting gun, wax sticks, and a metal stamper.
 Rather than melting the wax directly onto the tags, I chose to melt the wax into a blob on a silicone, heat resistant sheet (the kind crafters use to keep their work surface clean).  Then I carefully pressed the metal stamper into the wax and let it cool.  Once cool, the hardened wax discs were used like medallions on my tags.
 By varying the ribbons and twine many different looks were achieved from a single piece of scrap paper plus the Lawn Fawn stamp and die sets (from HM Ben Franklin Crafts).
 There are lots of wax colors and sealing coin designs available at HM Ben Franklin Crafts.  Since I only have a few types, I know I will be back shopping at BFC to get more colors and seal designs.  Oh, this is a good tip:  If some of the pressed wax seals are less than attractive, they can be remelted with the use of a heat gun and re-pressed with the metal seal. This is a good way to make multi-colored wax coins which are very attractive. Okay...go shopping and create something pretty!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Ice Cream Truck Birthday Card

 I wanted to make a 'cool' card because it's just so-o-o hot!  I decided that an ice cream truck card would at least give me sweet small-kid-time memories. I started with an Avery Elle stamp and die sets.  The images were easy to color and the dies cut out the shapes perfectly.  I love, love, love the cute Doodlebug Designs printed papers from the 6x6 paper pad...so many sweet, refreshing designs. For added realism I applied Glossy Accents and sprinkles (from the resin dept. in BFC) to the frozen treats. Doodlebug Designs stickers and dots livened up the card (and covered up a couple of smudges)...LOL! 
 This card base was from a Doodlebug Designs set of assorted cards in pretty summer colors that I purchased at HM Ben Franklin Crafts.  The dog and ice cream man were raised on foam dots and add to interest inside the card. To soften the words, I curved them on the acrylic block before stamping.
 I like that this card has a neat closure and lots of room to write a message.  Please check out all the summer crafting goodies at HM Ben Franklin Crafts.  They are sure to help you make some 'cool' projects this summer.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Hand Bound Washi Paper Booklet and Matching Card

 I have a girlfriend who is a wonderful watercolor artist. I wanted to make her some thing unique for her upcoming birthday.  I thought that perhaps I could make her a watercolor paper booklet to paint in during outdoor adventures.  I made some hand bound Japanese booklets a long time ago but forgot how to stitch them so I looked it up on the internet....voila!...I found complete instructions for four hole stab bound books.
I used a conical shaped book binding hole punch but it made large holes so I had to find a thicker wax cord normally used for leather sewing. For my future booklets I will use a simple awl and linen thread like the traditional Japanese bookbinders do.
 For the cover, I adhered the printed washi paper to some thicker, stiffer solid colored paper using double stick tape (Heiko)  Inside the booklet, I alternated watercolor paper with plain card stock so my friend could paint and not worry that it would seep through to the next page. The finished booklet is 4-1/4" x 6-1/4",
 The matching cherry blossom birthday card was easily made with a die that came with a magazine purchased at Barnes and Noble.  Using the die on a DCWV shimmer paper (from a 6x6 pack), I was easily able to cut the intricate design.  To make adhesion simple, I ran the die cut piece through my Xyron machine. By rubbing the piece firmly before separating the layers you can minimize the  adhesive strings and lay down the die cut piece easily onto your card blank. Dust the card with cornstarch if the surface is still sticky.  I used the second part of the die to cut the printed paper to fit the other side of the card.  A Spellbinders die set and an old 'happy birthday' Japanese stamp was used to make the character label. Pink Distress Ink was rubbed around the label to soften the edges. A few artificial cherry blossoms and pieces of mizuhiki were added to complete the card. I plan to purchase (from HM Ben Franklin Crafts) a water brush (the kind you fill with water for portable painting) and a set of Kuretake watercolor cake-style paints to add to my gift.  I hope my friend will be surprised and pleased with the birthday gifts.  Thanks for stopping at my blog site today. Hope you enjoyed your visit enough to return often.  I would appreciate a feedback comment if you have time to leave one. Mahalo!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

What Is It? Is It Ready Yet?

No dear, the prune mui is not ready to eat yet.  It needs to age for a few days at least. This is a practice batch which has lots of other dried fruit (lemons, apricots, cherries, guava peel, ginger, etc.) mixed in with the prunes. I substituted rum for the whiskey recommended in the recipe that I found on the internet. If this prune mui batch is good, I will make more during the holidays. In attractive containers I think they will make wonderful gifts.

Prune Mui (my altered version)

6 pkg. pitted dried prunes (cut)
2 pkg. dried apricots (cut)
1 pkg. Li Hing Mui bits (or other li hing seeds)
1 pkg. lemon peel (dried guava peel or li hing ginger pieces can be used)
1 1/2 cup lemon juice
3 T. Hawaiian salt (Himalayan salt can be used instead)
1 T. Chinese five spice
1 box brown sugar
3 T. whiskey

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and pack in large containers. Stir mixture several time a day and then pack in small gift jars.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Musical Mice Reveal Wheel Birthday Card

 Here is another birthday card I made using the Lawn Fawn reveal wheel die set and the additional word bubble die,  I love the way this card turned out mostly because I love the House Mouse image and playing with the spinning wheel that reveals four possible word choices.  This time the brad that holds the wheel together is a flower brad which just by chance landed on the mouse harpist's head. The enamel dots helped to make the card even more lively.
 The dot banner (which is a mini garland from Doodlebug Designs) was adhered with foam dots to add some dimension. The mice were colored with Copic pens and the background was pigmented with Distress inks.
 On the inside of the card I attached a Doodlebug Designs treat bag with an oval window cut out with a Spellbinders die. This allowed me to slip several old birthday photos into the bag. For more decoration I added a die cut (Avery Elle) 'celebrate'  and some fake label Sticko stickers.  I used a Pebbles Happy Birthday gold seal to further enhance the stamped music sheet (Hero Arts). I plan to write my birthday message in red ink on the music sheet. Hope you enjoyed learning about the creation of this card and that you will return to this site again to see more crafty projects. Have a Mice Day!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Reveal Wheel Hedgehog Birthday Card

 After buying the Lawn Fawn Reveal Wheel die set, I couldn't wait to try it out.  I wanted to keep the image simple so I could concentrate on assembling the mechanical parts. It was surprisingly simple to put the turning wheel into action with the use of a mini brad (hidden under the flower).
Here's a close up of the wheel, that when turned reveals four adjectives. I used Kuretake watercolors to paint the background and Copic pens for the main image.  The Misti stamping tool helped to position the words so they would fit in the window.  The floral print paper came from a Doodlebug Designs pack (sold at HM BFC) which has many lovely designs for summer.  I hope you'll check out all the inspiring summer craft products at HM Ben Franklin Crafts and see what you can create. Happy Summer Crafting!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Mini Banana Bread Loaves with Chocolate Filling

We always seem to have overripe bananas, so my mom's banana bread recipe is a favorite go-to one for me.  Sometimes I make muffins because a loaf is really too much to consume at one time.  When I found a Wilton mini loaf pan at HM Ben Franklin Crafts, I knew it would be perfect to make more-than-a-muffin portions.
 There are nine loaf-shaped cavities which can be lined with paper liners (also from HM BFC).  After mixing up the batter, I filled each mini loaf pan half-way, placed pieces of a chocolate bar on top and then added more batter to cover.  One recipe made just the right amount for the nine mini loaves.
The finished pecan chocolate loaves look and smell wonderful.  I think variations of these loaves would make a good three loaf set for Christmas gift giving.  Chocolate cherry, pistachio cranberry or apricot chocolate loaves could be pretty and tasty.
 I have posted my mother's banana bread recipe before but if you missed it, you can leave your email address with your comment and I will send it to you.
Thanks for stopping by to read this post....now it's time for me to enjoy my baking! Yummo!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Garden Diary and Seed File

My son, the budding gardener, loves to try new seeds in his small garden.  To encourage this healthy hobby, I made him a garden diary/seed holder as a gift.  I hope that he will use it to jot down plant growth, dates, results, and future plans.
For the cover, I used some corrugated cardboard from my stash and both typewritter and scrabble letters that I found way back in my 'letters' drawer.  Sizzix die cut wildflower images completed the natural look.
On the inside front page, I added some burlap and stamped a favorite saying (used on his birthday card) along with some wildflowers.
The diary was put together with the use of the WeR Memory Keepers punch board system and the Me and My Big Ideas binder rings. With these tools more pages can be added and others removed.

Some of the pages were made from envelopes...great way to use up all those 'extra' envelopes that seem to accumulate. I used a Spellbinders rectangle die to cut out the windows for the pockets. I hope this post has given you some great ideas of what you can create with your punch board system. I purchased this tool (available at HM Ben Franklin Crafts) to make extra pages for my purchased planners but I think I will be making many more envelope pocket journals in the future.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Bunny Gardeners Birthday Card

This is a birthday card for my son who is a newbie gardener.  Since I had a Hero Arts stamp and die set of gardening bunnies that I having been itching to use, I incorporated the images into my son's card even though they are a little cutesy for an adult male.  Trying to not get frilly, I simply watercolored the background using my favorite cake-style watercolor set by Kuretake (available at HM Ben Franklin Crafts). I love the colors in the set straight from the pan!
I did a little Copic pen coloring on the images and then foam dot mounted them onto the Mama Elephant die cut piece of  watercolor paper. This gave it a nice stitched edge to compliment the scalloped die cut edge of the Studio G dark blue paper (from HM BFC).  All of this was then mounted with Heiko double stick tape onto a burlap colored note card (Paper Accents).
 Here is the whimsical inside of the card.....my son will get the humor of this scene.  Lawn Fawn cardstock was cut with the Mama Elephant scallop rectangle die before impressing with the Lawn Fawn cloud die. (Click on the image to see a close up of the impressed clouds.) The balloon bunnies were mounted on foam dots and black thread was wrapped around their noses and the die cut, foam dot mounted carrots. A little Glossy Accents was added here and there to insure that the thread would not come undone. I am pleased with the outcome of this card. Please leave me a comment if it made you smile. It would make me smile to hear from you!