Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Thank You Cards

I needed an excuse to play with my newest craft toys and supplies so I hid in my craftroom for a few hours saying, " I'm working on my thank you cards". This first thank you card has the head of the girl sticking up because I realized that if I centered the figure the flowers would block the words. The words couldn't be moved because I started with a pre-made plain thank you card. (I bought the cards in bulk when they were on sale.) Anyway, after coloring the girl with markers the back of the paper showed the marker ink so I couldn't just glue her down. I decided to trace the top of her head on the back of the card and use a craft knife to cut it out. Next I folded up the head top, glued the girl to it and put some pop dots behind the rest of her body. On the original rubber stamp the girl was holding roses but didn't like them or the way that I colored them so I covered the flowers with stickers that I found at Craft in the City. The lace border was made using a new Martha Stewart punch. The butterfly was also made using a MS punch and a sprinkling of glitter.

This second card also started with a rather plain pre-made card that had some glittered accents. I liked the sassy girl image. I put her on pop dots so she would stand out even more The Spellbinder dies were used to frame the rub-on words. Silver Stickles (sorry the camera didn't catch the sparkle) and flower brads were added for more bling. Both of these cards were simple to make, but more importantly they were fun to create. If you make your own thank you cards you can tailor them to the recipient and it makes writing thank you notes more enjoyable. A handmade thank you card says, "THANK YOU" loudly so it won't even matter if you are not an eloquent writer. Now, get going with those thank you notes.....don't put it off.....MOM said so!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Bubble Card

Most cardmakers have seen the dewdrop or water droplet acrylic bubbles for sale in little bottles or containers. I purchased some awhile ago and so I was surprised to find giant bags of the stuff in the Craft in the City store (Bishop St.). It was there that I learned that the Hilo store also just got a supply. The bags are so large that I decided to repackage them (for the Hilo store) into smalller bags of two colors so that paper crafters can afford to get several colors. I love these fun little bubble dots because they come in juicy colors that seem to glow. Be sure to get some to make champagne bubbles on your New Year's Day cards.
This year I resolve to tidy up my craft room (and the WHOLE house) before starting on Valentine projects. (I love hearts so I can't wait to use all the new Valentine items coming to the stores.) I wish you the best in 2010 and hope that crafting will prosper in your life this year! Stay healthy and you will be happy!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Snowmen and Thank yous

I realized that I didn't use this jumbo snowman clear stamp set (Stampendous) that I purchased from Craft in the City (Bishop St.) and Christmas is this week! Since I needed one more Christmas card and wanted to give out another cookie bag, I decided to see what I could create with this fun stamp set. First of all, I want to caution you to carefully remove the stamps from the acetate sheet because I broke the thin outer line of the snowman......not to worry, it can still be used. Anyway, the fun technique of piecing (shown by Cheryl on the Joy of Crafting) was used on the snowman with the red scarf. I had a scrap of flocked ribbon lying on my desk and stamped the scarf on it. The ribbon scarf added lots of texture and color to the card.....easier and better than coloring. I added a real jingle bell to the cap and glued on a shiny plastic candy cane. The other card has a snippet of a mini garland and 'Let It Snow' ribbon for texture and movement. Finally, the cookie bag used a MS corner punch to accomodate the ribbon handle and the blue gauzy snowflake ribbon scarf was used to close the bag (through holes made with a bookbinder screw punch). All the snowmen were colored minimally with markers and then glittered..

Thank you to all who visited this blog site in 2009. I've enjoyed all your comments and hope that you will return often in 2010. It is my blog goal to give a personal connection to our loyal Ben Franklin Crafts customers and craft club members, as well as sharing freely my tips and projects. Crafting adds beauty to the world; it is a productive way to maintain good mental health. Sharing your crafts will spread good cheer throughout the world, throughout the year......maybe for infinity. (Who knows where our cyber blogs go?) Love to the universe, Lynn

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Five Unclaimed Gift Cards

In an earlier post I announced that Lorna was the winner of our Christmas giveaway. I also announced (in the same post) that we decided to award five extra $10 gift card prizes. So far none of these five winners have sent us their mailing address. Without your mailing address we cannot send you your prize. Scroll down to the Dec. 12th post to see if you were one of the gift card winners and to learn where to send your address.Today I realized I had not used a the 'Three Penguins' Hero Arts rubber stamp that I bought at the start of the holiday season. Since I needed two special cards to announce gift magazine subscriptions, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to use the stamp. Also, I finally discovered why I was having such a hard time getting the MS border snowflake punch and corner punch to line up........there are specific dimensions for the paper (listed on the instructions included with the punches).......duh! That's what happens when you automatically throw away any instructions before reading them. I stamped the penguins and embossed them with black embossing powder to give them a wet look. The Spellbinder oval die and scalloped oval were used to cut out just one penguin and the red frame. A part of the other penguin showed so it was covered with the Hero Arts felt poinsettia and Darice snowflake. Imaginisce decorative paper was used for the background and the Dandelion Design word stamp was used with red Staz-on red ink (because the blue snowflake paper had glossy snowflakes which would not accept regular ink). I liked the peppermint flocked ribbon because it matched well with the poinsettia.

This second card was also made with the HA penguin stamp, the MS snowflake punches, wide garland ribbon, and leftover paper. A Making Memories glitter foam tree sticker was used to cover an ink smudge. Another ink smudge on a penguin front was disguised with white Stampendous Fun Flock. I almost never throw away a less than perfect image or card. There is always a way to cleverly hide the 'happy mistake' or re-purpose the parts. If you're done with all your Christmas shopping and wrapping......hurray for you! Start making your cards and decorations for next year before putting away all your pretty, sparkling holiday craft supplies. Thanks for reading this loooooong post and if you are one of the $10 gift card winners please contact us.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Peppermint Marshmallows

This year I decided to try making some treats other than cookies. Martha Stewart demonstrated making marshmallows on her TV show and it looked easy. They came out great and taste marvelous. I mixed in Wilton red food color paste at the end before putting the batch in the pan because I thought the plain white was boring. This treat is perfect for those watching their cholesterol because it has 0 fat calories! Another recipe I tried was the MS mini fruitcakes and they were so tasty and easy. The recipe did use a whole bottle (a small one) of apricot brandy. I'm not a drinker, so I was surprised that I liked it. You can find both recipes on the Martha Stewart website. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the fruitcake and now they have been given away or eaten. The bottom photo shows how I packaged the marshmallows in MS boxes.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Ribbon Stocking Ornament

I can never resist buying the wide ribbons from Ben Franklin Crafts. Each wide roll has so much yardage (to use as a garland on your tree) at a fabulous price. I think they are a bargain for crafters, particularly if you need to make multiples of a card or decoration. Anyway, after vowing not to buy more ribbon rolls this year, I broke down and bought some. This stocking ornament uses three ribbons, a crocheted doily (a stained donation from an aunt), a Hero Arts felt poinsettia, and a plastic cameo charm (a freebie from a collectible shop). Besides the fact that this ornament can hold a small gift, I like that I made use of Xmas ribbons in a different way and recycled what others were going to throw away. Ornaments are perfect ways to preserve a memory because they are cherished and put on display once a year. Be sure to tell your children the story behind the ornaments so they will pass them on to the next generation. (Instructions and a template for this ornament will be on our craft club website,, as soon as possible.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

And the winner is........

Drum roll please............the winner of our Christmas giveaway is.........LORNA!!!!!!!!! Thank you to all who entered. We appreciated all the informative comments. Because so many of you entered this contest and because it's the holiday season, we pulled 5 more names......Bel Adcock, faithatuabc, scrapnhawaii, JanBond, and tracizuni. These five winners will receive a $10 BFC gift card. Lorna and the five other winners you need to send us your mailing address so we can mail you your prizes. Send your address to (
For the last three Christmases I have been trying to perfect a Springerle cookie recipe for my neighbor. This year he said I got it almost perfect except this recipe didn't have the anise seeds in it. The hardest part was getting the crunchy outside texture but keeping the cookie chewy inside. Another difficulty I had in previous years was finding the mold and a dough that wouldn't stick to it. A company called House on the Hill sold the molds and provided a recipe. Next year I plan to make the cookies thinner and add more anise flavoring and seeds. It's fun doing this project each year and it helps my elderly neighbor remember the taste of his childhood favorite Xmas cookie. Isn't it interesting that many of our holiday memories revolve around food? That's why it's so important to keep traditions alive. Bake something good today...make a memory!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Polar Bears.....Last Day to Enter Contest

I wish I could say that this was my idea, but I got the project from Martha Stewart. The large needle-felted polar bear was on her website (12/3/09) and possibly in her magazine. The baby cub was my creation using a single pipecleaner and wool fleece (available at some BFC stores). The large glass pebbles and the felting tools are at Ben Franklin Crafts too. These felt animals are lightweight so they would make good ornaments. I'm thinking of making some sheep using black pipecleaners as the base so that the legs would not need to be felted. I will try to get some directions on the craft club website ( ...... I know, I know, I haven't posted the instructions for the shaker card holder yet....I will.....soon. I'm into my cookie baking mode and that's time consuming. I'm excited because my Springerle cookies may actually come out right this year. Don't forget to enter our BFC craft club blog contest giveaway. (See earlier post for information.) The deadline is midnight TONIGHT!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Girly Gift Tags.....Still Time to Enter Xmas Giveaway

I just had to play with my new nestible Spellbinder dies. Although I could cut only one cardstock tag at a time, I had fun making these tags. The rubber stamp images are by Penny Black. I used Copic pens to color them but watercolor pencils would be good too. To add some sparkle I used the Martha Stewart glue pen and glitter. Plus for more texture I added white fun flock and rhinestone sticker stars. I think it's the little touches that make the tag fun and since these are really big they'll stand out on Xmas wrapping paper. After I finish all my wrapping and before I put away my supplies, I hope to make more tags and cards to prepare for next year. Since many of the gifts I give need to be mailed, it never hurts to work ahead.....Christmas seems to roll around faster and faster every year. I'll start crafting earlier next year.....yeah right.....oooooh, there goes a flying pig!!!!! (Scroll down to find out how to enter the drawing to win our Christmas giveaway prizes.)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

December Blog Contest

!!!!!! CONTEST TIME! !!!!!! To win the items pictured above, leave me a comment (by midnight of December 10, 2009) telling me your most useful crafting tool or favorite craft item from Ben Franklin Crafts. You may enter only one time. The winner will be selected by a random drawing of the names of those who left a comment on THIS blog post. It is important that your comment include some way of identifying you so we can contact you. We have the e-mail addresses of craft club members. I will try to announce the winner by the 12th of December. Oh, if you click on the photo you can see the prizes more clearly. Besides the $25 gift card, there are embellishments (including an assortment of red,green, and white dew drops), a hot/cold insulated Hawaiian print bag, rubber stamps, and a pack of red cards with envelopes. Good luck to all! Enter NOW!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Contest Starting Soon

Please be patient if you are waiting for the contest to begin. I need to get a couple more prize items and photograph them. I will try to get the information about the contest posted by tomorrow. In the meantime, think about what your favorite crafting tool is or the best craft item you've purchased from Ben Franklin Crafts. To enter the contest you will need to submit this information to the comment box on my blog.

Yesterday I was in Honolulu and had a chance to do a little shopping at our Craft in the City store on Bishop St. Pictured below are some of the goodies I found there. The store had the latest Spellbinder's Nestibles, a system that works with the Big Shot machine to cut and emboss basic and fancy edge shapes. Also shown from the store are some of the great K and Co. and Colorbok rub-on and sticker sets. I was impressed with the neatness and organization of the store. For a tiny store there is a great assortment of our most popular craft items including a terrific selection of Christmas items. (I bought a blinking snowflake necklace and penguin Xmas socks for me.) Well, please check back to learn how to enter our Christmas giveaway contest (includes a $25 gift card).