Sunday, October 14, 2018

Soaps For Holiday Gift Giving

 If you've been to HM Ben Franklin Crafts recently, you probably noticed all the wonderful supplies for making beauty products. It really is super easy to melt a soap base in the microwave, add some fragrance and colorant, then pour the mixture into a mold.  Voila! You have beautiful handmade soap bars to give to your lucky friends. In the photo above, the pink is a citrusy grapefruit, the yellow is a refreshing lemon (I added finely grated lemon peel for texture and scent.), and the green is a yummy melon scent.
For a Thanksgiving dinner favor, you might want to wrap the soap in unbleached wax paper,burlap cloth and fiber ribbons, then embellish with a pine cone, a cinnamon stick and a feather.  All of these items can be purchased at HM Ben Franklin Crafts.  The soap under the burlap has a sweet almond fragrance to which I added some raw oatmeal for texture and its skin-soothing quality.
 For the soaps in the first photo, I used these items.  The soap blocks are available in goat milk, avocado and shea butter.  There are many scents and colorants to choose from at HM BFC.  I truly enjoyed the ease of making these soaps and I'm very pleased with the quality of the finished product.  I hope you will try your hand at soapmaking. It will leave you bubbling over with joy!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Halloween Monster Cards

 The Sizzix 'Birch Trees' die was the start and inspiration for these Halloween cards.  I visualized the idea of monsters in the forest during Halloween.  The Bo Bunny monsters were stamped on watercolor paper with Momento black ink. Then they were sprayed with water before applying Ken Oliver powder colors. More water was sprayed on and blotted off to get the desired color effect. After the monsters were dry, they were cut out and color pencils were used to highlight the details.
 I like the randomness of the splotches on the monsters and how they remind me of the creatures in the Wild Things book.  Both cards are similar but the background papers (from a 6x6 Halloween paper pad) give them a different appearance.
 Another Sizzix die was used for the words which were cut out from silver sparkle paper.  The monsters also have a bit of sparkle due to the application of silver metallic ink.  I will be using the birch tree die in the future to make autumn and Christmas cards.  Please stop by this site again to see how easy it is to change up the paper and die cut a different seasonal scene.  Trick or Treat! Don't get caught by monsters with smelly feet!

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Halloween Finger Puppet Cards

While shopping at HM Ben Franklin Crafts, I purchased the cutest Darice Halloween Finger Puppet kit.  This kit makes 3 adorable felt finger puppets. These peel and stick puppets are so easy to make that even a young child could make them.  If you have a far away child or one that can't eat sugar, these puppets are a 'sweet' Halloween gift.  I simply added some printed paper to a solid card and die cut labels for the sentiments.
 Aren't the puppets awesome even on my old fingers?  I love the googly eyes that come in the kit too!
 Here is a view of how I placed Darice Velcro dots on the card and puppet so that the puppet can be worn and wiggled.  For extra strength, I put a dab of glue under the dot on the felt side as the dot sometimes comes off the felt. I hope you'll go to HM Ben Franklin Crafts and see all the spooky, cute Halloween items for sale there.  Happy Halloween shopping!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Hello Kitty with Bear Balloons Birthday Card

 Recently, I saw a card in blogland that had a really great cloud background. Simple instructions explained how to achieve the look using Distress Oxide Ink (Ranger), a cloud die and a water spray bottle.  After one non-cloud try, my second attempt was acceptable enough to make into a card.  Because my daughter-in-law and I are Hello Kitty fans, I decided to dig up my old Hello Kitty dies to make her a birthday card.  The dress and bow were paper pieced and rather than deal with the tiny eye, nose and whisker pieces, I glued a piece of black paper behind the face and penciled in the whiskers.  The dies for the bear balloons came from a different die set and I used two die cut pieces to represent my newborn identical twin grandsons. For the balloon strings I glued on Nipoly wire that used to be sold at HM Ben Franklin Crafts.  If you don't have any colored, flexible wire in your stash, you can substitute twine.  The sentiment was stamped with a very old Stampendous wooden handled stamp and Kaleidacolor ink.  Also in the photo are packages of 3D foam squares (my favorite brand from BFC) and Lawn Fawn 'Just For You' stamp set (to fancy up the back of your handmade cards). I hope this card encourages you to try your hand at making cloud backgrounds. If you need a detailed explanation, write to me at lsakami@aol .com and I will be happy to answer you.

 "I've looked at clouds from both sides now, from up and down and still somehow, it's cloud illusions I recall,  I really don't know clouds at all"....Joni Mitchell.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Life Is A Rollercoaster

While magazine perusing at Barnes and Noble, I spied some really cool dies that came FREE with a magazine. I snapped them up and intended to use them this summer, but alas the summer is over. Before I put away my summer craft supplies, I just had to use this set.  For me, summer fairs mean eating gobs of goodies, so the background paper for this card seemed appropriate.  It was super simple to die cut the pieces from red and yellow striped card stock.  The words took the longest to apply because I had to write away to England for the sentiment stamp set. As soon as it arrived, I used my MISTI tool (purchased at HM Ben Franklin Crafts) to guarantee that I stamped the words exactly where I wanted them to be.  This finished card makes me very happy because to me it captures the excitement of a fair and the sentiment is something I feel almost everyday!

Monday, September 24, 2018

Halloween Treat Box Tree

Even though we don't get many trick-o-treaters stopping at our house, I still like to make treat boxes to pass out to friends and family.  This year I found a new treat box Sizzix die at HM Ben Franklin Crafts.  It has a cute shape and is small so you don't need to go overboard on the sweets.  

I was very happy that the small size of the box allowed me to use up scrap Halloween papers from previous years.  Also I have lots of leftover Halloween ribbons, stickers and other decorations so it was satisfying to add them to the boxes.
If you don't have a stash of Halloween stuff, HM Ben Franklin Crafts has many delightful items to satisfy your crafting sweet tooth.  This year I will put homemade lip balm in some of the boxes because it is a no-calorie treat many friends would like more than candy. Hope you have spooky fun decorating and giving treat boxes this year.  Happy Halloween! 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Lip Balm Madness!

 I was extremely excited to see the lip balm, bath bomb, and soap making supplies at HM Ben Franklin Crafts.  I used to make soaps years ago when the stores carried the ingredients but making lip balm is something new for me.  Before adding the lip balm to the containers, I decorated them with washi tape or dried flowers.  With my finger I rubbed on liquid LED resin over the washi tape or flowers and set it with a LED light. Then, it was actually super easy to melt the lip balm mixture in the microwave (just a small amount in a paper cup) for about a minute. Next, you just need to add a tiny amount of colorant and few drops of scent. Stir and pour the fragrant liquid into the tube or small round container. My favorite flavors of lip balm are yummy strawberry and  refreshing mint.
 This lip balm container has mint scented lip balm so I opted not to add a colorant.  I found it very satisfying to make lip balm for myself and to give away as gifts.  They will be great alternatives for candy in my Halloween treat bags.  Please visit again to see some of the cool treat bags I will be passing out this year. Leave a sweet comment to this post if you want to make me smile. ;)

Sunday, September 16, 2018

You Are Fabulous Thank You Card

 When we were younger, my sister and I would joke about my mother's flamboyant clothing and jewelry style, but now I find I am morphing into her. LOL! I have to resist choosing outrageous 'costumes' to just go shopping at the mall.  Anyway, this Penny Black image kind of embodies the inner me. (I've never owned frou-frou dogs though, as I am a former owner and trainer of German Shepherds.) I had fun making this card and stuck to my favorite colors pink, purple and aqua blue. It was simple to stamp the image on marker paper using the Misti stamping tool (purchased from HM Ben Franklin Crafts) to keep it positioned just right.  I colored the image with Copic markers and colored in the finer spaces with colored pencils.  For the background I used some grey blue lavender shades of Copic pens.  Then I covered the image with paper masks while I flicked my brush( dipped in Ken Olive silver metallic ink) over everything. For even more bling, I added some tiny pink/purple sequins and an eye-catching feather.  Making this card made me feel like I was strutting down Fifth Avenue! Hahaha!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Washi Paper Heart-shaped Resin Pendants with Pearls

On a previous post, I said I would try to make resin pendants using washi paper.  I think these were successful experiments.  I used the new LED resin and LED light. I was very pleased with the way the resin released from the mold and the smooth glassy feeling of the finished pieces. 
I placed a layer of colored resin in first and hardened it before adding the layer of clear with the washi paper that was cut to fit the heart mold.  It is hard to know how the resin will affect the washi paper color.  The upper left portion of the washi paper heart was pink but as you can see when it was encased in the resin it became a light grey (which actually looks better than the original color).
This green resin heart pendant was enhanced with three pearls which are only half way in the resin.  A whole strand of colorful drilled baroque pearls was purchased from HM Ben Franklin Crafts for under $10....a real bargain!  (The drilled holes are not visible in the finished piece.) I love the way the gold ink on the washi paper shimmers from within the resin pieces.The gold filled bails (from BFC) were affixed with resin and hardened under the LED light.  (Tip: I used Fun-Tak to hold the bail in place while hardening the resin.) Of the resins I've tried, I like this one the best because it hardens very quickly to a super clear, smooth finish.  Please continue to visit my blog site to see my latest creations and experiments. I would appreciate feedback too if you have time to leave a comment. Mahalo!

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Double Monkey Thank You Card

Two very dear friends of ours recently sent us a sweet 'grandparents' gift. Yes, my husband and I are finally GRANDPARENTS!  Our identical twin grandsons arrived two months early so it's been a tenuous five weeks but I am happy to say that they are doing very well and may even go home soon.  I designed this card to convey the cuteness of my grandsons...hopefully they won't be double-trouble monkeys!  To make the 'thank you' stand out, I die cut it from pink shimmer paper (DCVW available from HM Ben Franklin Crafts) but it was too light colored so I enhanced the pink with a Copic pen....yes, the shimmer still remains even after coloring.  The blue plaid card stock cut with the Lawn Fawn scallop square is supposed to represent a baby blanket.  To make the monkeys seem furry I stamped the image on watercolor paper and colored it in with Copic markers.  Because watercolor paper is very absorbent the ink bleeds making the edges fuzzy.  A final touch was the addition of Amy Tangerine blue epoxy hearts.  This was a very simple card but I hope it conveys my sincere thanks to our very thoughtful friends.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Kimono Silk Fabric and Pearls In Resin Pendants

 I've been experimenting with embedding antique silk kimono fabric in resin.  I started with a plain square silicon mold and the original UV light liquid resin.  Both of these supplies can be purchased at HM Ben Franklin Crafts.  First a thin layer of resin was put into the mold and hardened. Next a tiny swatch of kimono silk was laid on top and more resin was added. After hardening, the pearl(s) were place strategically  and more resin was dripped in to fill the mold before setting under the UV light.
 The top pendant photographed better than the bottom one but I think the bottom pendant looks more attractive in real life.  I used silk cording on the first resin pendant and like the way it blends in with the pendant.
 For this pendant, I decided to attach a silver plated chain.  It gives the resin jewelry a clean, more modern look.  All the metal findings were purchased at HM Ben Franklin Crafts.  I would have used sterling silver findings but the bails that were attached to both sides of the pendants (with resin) were not sterling so I decided to use silver plate metal findings to match. 

Here is a look at the closures for the jewelry.  I think the pearls on the end of the chains add a pretty, dainty touch.  Next, I plan to experiment with enclosing washi paper in resin pendants....imagine the possibilities!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Flower Planter Box Cards

 As soon as I saw the Sizzix rectangle box die set at HM Ben Franklin Crafts, I knew it would make a beautiful planter box card.  By using a 12x12 card stock sheet that looked like whitewashed wood, I thought I could imitate a real planter box.  I cut off the flaps so that the box looked more like a planter and less like a package.  I added the sentiment (Impression Obsession) die cut from blue card stock before 'planting the paper flowers'.  The colorful flowers were cut from all the scraps I had scattered on my craft desk....great way to use up scraps! The die set has lots of flower shapes so an assortment was created and I added a few enamel dots for accents.
 Here is another version that I made using woodgrain cardstock.  Flattened, the cards fit easily in envelopes for mailing. Your personal message can be scripted on the back of the planter box.
 The supplies for these cards are minimal because all you really need are the dies, faux wood cardstock and LOTS of colorful scraps.  Hope you'll have fun planting a paper flower box!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Fun With Stickers and Resin

I love the Doodlebug Designs stickers.  They've inspired me to create some cute resin items.  Using the UV resin available at HM Ben Franklin Crafts and small silicon molds (also sold at BFC), I put a thin layer of colored resin into the bottom of the mold and hardened it before inserting a sticker. Next, I added a layer of clear resin to fill the mold.  After setting the resin under UV light, I glued or attached with more resin the encased sticker onto a clip for hair or paper.
Here are a few more samples of the pieces I've made.  (Sorry the photo is not too clear.) I am excited to try other mold shapes and Doodlebug Designs stickers.  Oh, the file card is from the Doodlebug Designs card set and with the addition of the die cut (Lawn Fawn) 'hugs' seems like the perfect vehicle for sending a greeting and small gift. It's so nice to get 'happy mail' !!!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Upcycled Airline Snack Bag

I was so happy with the transformation of the Hawaiian Airlines snack bag shown in my last blog post, that I decided to upcycle the other bag that I squirreled away in my tote during our recent trip to Japan.  Like with the last bag, I covered the bottom of the bag (below the fold) with printed card stock.  The pretty floral print I used was 'Hope' from Simple Stories.  I cut the 'Hooray' (using a Sizzix cake topper die) from silver foil paper (DCWV).  To cover the airline logo on the front and back of the bag I cut solid paper with Kaisercrafts floral dies. 
For the back of the bag, I popped out the flower petals and replaced them with a contrasting pink paper.  For the very tiny pieces I simply glued some extra pink paper behind the cut out parts.  On both the front and back of the bag, I applied dark pink Bo Bunny pearlescent paint dots to the center of the flowers.  I am extremely pleased to have two new recycled bags to add to my stash of gift bags and to be able to smile when I show them off to my husband!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Hawaiian Airlines Snack Bag Decorated for Reuse

Much to the consternation of my husband, I often save bit and pieces of ephemera from our trips.  He was frowning big time when I declared that I was bringing home the Hawaiian Airlines snack bags from our Japan trip.  I knew these sturdy printed brown bags with woven ribbons handles could easily be fashioned into a usable gift bag so I ignored my husband's doubtful glances.
It was simple and quick work to measure the bag and cut strips of paper from the Sizzix long tropical print paper pad to fit the bottom portion of the bag (below the fold). Then I used the dies from the Sizzix die set (with the gecko) to cut the plumeria flowers (watercolored the yellow centers) and leaves that matched the decorative paper.  The 'For You' label (on the front of the bag) was cut using one of the dies also from the set.  A backing paper was attached to make the words more visible and the corners were rounded.  The flowers, leaves and label all help to cover up the airline logos on the front and back of the bag. I love both the paper pad and the die set because they are so usable for Hawaii crafting projects.  The die set actually makes an adorable little party favor box which I'm sure would be perfect for an outdoor wedding. Everything for this recycling project was purchased from HM Ben Franklin Crafts except for the brown'll have to go to Japan on Hawaiian Airlines to get that!

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.