Friday, April 12, 2024

Heshi Gemstone Beaded Bracelets

Heshi gemstone beads are not new. Tribal cultures have used them in their jewelry for centuries.  They are inexpensive beads that are easily incorporated into modern day designs. I purchased some heshi bead strands from the Tucson Bead and Gem Show and from HM Ben Franklin Crafts locally.  These are just two bracelet designs I created recently.  The bracelet on the left is made from Amazonite and sterling silver.  Amethyst heshi beads and sterling findings were used on the other bracelet.  Not many tools were needed to fashion these bracelets: two needle nose pliers, one wire cutter, and a crimping tool.  I used Beadalon silver colored 7 strand beading wire for the flexibility and look (matches the sterling silver findings).  With just some simple techniques (easily learned online or from a jewelry class), you also can be creating heshi gemstone bracelets to wear, give as gifts, or sell.  Give it a try!


Monday, April 8, 2024

Floral Bouquet Cards

It's surprising sometimes where inspirations come from.  This bouquet card idea came from a card I purchased in a Japan 100 yen store.  It was a simple design that was easy to copy.  
I started by choosing two 12x12 sheets of card stock, one from the Crafter's Companion ombre sparkle pad and the other from the Crafter's Companion Nature's Garden pad.  Each sheet can be used to make four bouquet cards.
The shape for the cone part of the bouquet is approximately 8" wide by 7" high.  It's a simple fan shape with two folds that form the overlapping sides.
Inside each card is lots of space to write a message  or greeting.  The artificial flowers (purchased over the years from HM Ben Franklin Crafts and hoarded in storage boxes) were glued to the top of the center portion of the fan.  HM BFC has a vast supply of artificial flowers throughout the store.
From the back view of the cards you can see the shape of the flattened cone better.  Also the beautiful ombre sparkle and gorgeous floral print papers can be appreciated.  Small bows made from Heiko ribbon were glued on and worded die cut pieces (from another Crafter's Companion 12x12 pad seen in the previous post) were affixed as well.  I really had fun arranging the blossoms and leaves in the bouquets...just like a floral designer..LOL! To close the flaps into a cone shape I attached one small piece of Velcro tape fastener to the upper edge.  (This can be seen in some of the photos.)  These bouquet cards are perfect for so many occasions...graduations, weddings, birthdays, Mother's Day, etc.  I hope that you will try to make bouquet cards because they are so easy to put together and require so few supplies that you can economically make dozens in no time at all.  Everyone loves floral bouquets...Don't you? 


Thursday, April 4, 2024

Floral Pocket Pal Shaker Cards

These two cards were inspired by three products that I couldn't resist while shopping at HM Ben Franklin Crafts.  The first item which landed into my shopping basket was the Sizzix Pocket Pal die set...must be the cute animals just jumped in!  
The next item(s) to catch my eye were packets of colorful confetti for making shaker card elements.  For these cards I chose Easter egg and flower confetti but I did purchase many others for future projects (wink*wink*).  
To make the shaker pocket, I cut two pockets and used a heart die to cut a window.  I attached a clear piece of acetate to the back of the heart window and lined the window heart with double stick adhesive foam tape (cut into thin strips). Next the confetti was added and the back of the pocket adhered.  The pocket pal animals were constructed  and joined to the confetti pockets.  Since I didn't want to fiddle with the tiny pieces for the eyes, I just drew them in with a black marker.  

The third fantastic craft item I discovered in HM Ben Franklin Crafts was a 12x12 Crafter's Companion card making pad.  This is a beautiful assortment of gorgeous floral prints with cutting and folding marks to turn the pages into cards, envelopes, die cut sayings, and even pages for the interior of the cards.
I love how the envelopes are decorated on the outside AND the inside.  There are endless color combinations and designs you can use to make cards for graduations, birthdays, and other special occasions.
I love the lavender pages but all the pastel colors in the pad have floral prints and combine well with each other.
The sentiments on the die cut sayings page are very inspirational and usable.  I will definitely be returning back to this  paper pad to make future projects.
I am so happy that I went shopping at HM Ben Franklin Crafts because not only did I pick up these three fantastic products, I acquired ideas for many future projects.  Oh yes, I did buy many, many more craft items which I will showcase in future blog posts. Everything was irresistible...LOL!!!!


Sunday, March 31, 2024

Egg Shaped Spring Cards

Even though Easter is almost over, the spring season is still here and I was compelled to use the new Ai stamp set I purchased.  The images were so cute and full of the spirit of Spring.  I started by using one of my favorite Spellbinders die set, the egg shape in assorted sizes.
By folding a piece of white card stock and aligning the top of the die just above the fold, I was able to cut out some egg shaped card blanks.  Then I die cut in an egg shape some printed card stock to match the stamp images I was planning to use on the front.  I glued the printed egg shape onto the egg shaped card blank.
After stamping the super cute images, I colored them with Copic pens and used the matching Ai dies. For a little shine, I added Glossy Accents and Stickles crystal before adhering them to the card fronts with foam adhesives.
I also stamped 'Happy Spring' inside the cards and added some matching stickers.  The smaller dies were used to make egg tags with scrap papers that threaten to overtake my craft area. LOL!  I hope you're having fun this spring season, crafting some adorable items to give to friends and family. Happy Spring!


Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Carrot Candy Boxes with Bunny Tags

When I saw the Lawn Fawn carrot box die, I knew I had to have it.  The finished boxes are so cute and perfect for a few sweet treats.  They are really easy to construct from colored card stock and can be formed without glue so they can be opened and closed for easy access to the candy.  However, I found that a bit of glue is useful to make the tabs more secure. I love the way that the dies also impress marks to make the box more 'carrot-like'.
For the bunny tags, I stamped each bunny front and die cut them out.  Next, I folded a piece of white card stock and placed the ear of the bunny just above the fold so that when run through my Big Shot a folded bunny tag would emerge.  I glued the stamped die cut bunny onto the folded bunny tag blank. Then die cut pink felt inner ears were glued on as well as a hand cut pink felt nose and pom pom tails. Finally, the 'to' , 'from:', and 'Happy Easter' words were stamped onto the tags before they were attached to the carrot boxes with Heiko rainbow ribbon (from Celebrations or HM Ben Franklin Crafts).  Of course the tags can be simplified by just cutting one layer and stamping on the words. These carrot boxes are so easy to make that a 'bunch' of them can quickly be made for any gathering or as little Easter gifts for the office or classroom.  Hurry to HM Ben Franklin Crafts so you'll be able buy the LF die to make these adorable carrot candy boxes before Easter hops by. Happy Easter!


Saturday, March 23, 2024

Chocolate Rabbit Candy Box Card

When I think of Easter, chocolate candy rabbits instantly pop into my mind.  This may be due to the trauma I suffered as a young girl when I left my 'never tasted' chocolate Easter rabbit in a warm car only to discover it later as a puddle of liquid chocolate.  BOO HOO! Today I still have mixed feelings of joy and sadness when I see or receive a chocolate bunny. In homage to this Easter memory and because the rabbit embossed (with a Simon Says folder) on gold vellum paper looks like the liner inside an expensive box of chocolates, I created this card.  It was super easy to glue a ribbon bow around the embossed vellum and glue the vellum down to a basic white card blank. The Tim Holtz rabbit and bow dies were used to cut the 'chocolate rabbit' from brown card stock and the bow from blue card stock. The die cut pieces were both glued down to the embossed vellum before they were coated with Glossy Accents to make the rabbit look like 'real' chocolate. As a final touch, I  added a word label made with a stamp from an Ai Easter stamp set and a die from a Sizzix set.  (A scrap of printed floral card stock made the label look more Easterly.)  I am pleased with the outcome of this card because of the memories it evokes and the hope it brings of sweet Easters yet to come.  Hope your Easter is filled with happy, yummy treats and good memories that will last a lifetime!


Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Easter Shaker Confetti Card with Embossed Bunny Background

After receiving the Simon Says bunny embossing folder, I just HAD to make something with it.  I chose to emboss a piece of pearlescent vellum paper. Even though it doesn't show up well in these photographs it turned out really lovely.  Anyway, I also found some Easter confetti in my stash of goodies so I decided it would be fun to  make another shaker card and let the confetti cascade over the bunny bumps.  As I did on previous shaker cards, I chose to make a full front shaker using a Heiko cello bag (from HM Ben Franklin Crafts, sold in packs of 50?).  I filled a bag with the embossed vellum sheet and confetti.  After taping down the excess of the cello bag, I glued the packet to my printed card stock card blank. (I think the floral print card stock is an Echo Park product.)  Finally, I glued down some ephemera from Doodlebug Designs  and the card was complete. Even though it is a subtle effect, I like how the embossed bunnies cause the confetti to fall gradually. I hope this card encourages you to try embossing folders (HM BFC lots of lovely ones.) to add some interest to your craft projects.