Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hero Arts Clings Silhouette Rubber Stamps

Last week I had the opportunity to shop at the Mapunapuna Ben Franklin Crafts and happily found some new Hero Arts rubber stamps. I could hardly wait to get home to ink them up. Since I have many people to write thank you notes to, it seemed to be a perfect time to try out these new stamps with old-fashioned graphics. The ornate frames and buckle style tags were cut using Spellbinder dies. It may not be apparent in the photo, but both die cuts have embossed designs. The black and white background papers came from the La Creme DCWV paper pack. The only problem I had was that the solid areas of the stamped image sometimes did not leave an even black color so I had to do touch-ups with a black small tip marker. Ben Franklin Crafts has lots of new silhouette stamps so you should pick some up. I'm sure they'll make writing thank you notes more enjoyable. Don't forget 40% coupon day is coming up. Thanks for stopping by today and I hope you'll visit again soon to see what other projects I come up with in the new year. Happy 2011!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Little Yellow Bicycle Products

Isn't the name, 'Little Yellow Bicycle ' a weird name for a craft line? I guess the name does help consumers to remember the company. Anyway, this new company has the yummiest line of papers, stickers, embellishments, mini albums, etc. For those of you who can't ever get enough cupcake and other sweet designs, you're going to love these products. Because many of the papers have hearts on them, they would be perfect to use for a jumpstart on Valentine's Day. I can also see using these fresh and cute items on the thank you cards you are probably working on right now. You are making them aren't you?

Hello Kitty is in my photo dressed up as a rabbit to welcome in the New Year. 2011 is the year of the rabbit. I was lucky enough to win the Hello Kitty doll at a game arcade in Japan. I love the arcades there because you can actually win without putting in a ton of money. I hope that 2011 is a lucky rabbit year for you too!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Snow Globe Shaker Card

I know it's Christmas Eve and probably no one is reading blogs, but I still wanted to post the last Christmas card I made for 2010. I was inspired by watching Cheryl Miyashiro (Life is Sweet) on the Joy of Crafting (OC16 Sundays at 6:30 pm) this week. She demonstrated a cute tea bag or candy holder with a shaker element on the front. Then as I was starting to put away my stamps and punches for next Christmas, I discovered a neat Penny Black snow globe cling stamp that I didn't get around to using. I couldn't resist making just one more card. I also found a word stamp that came with the gingerbread house clear stamp (Our Craft Lounge). It was the perfect sentiment for my final card of 2010. Cheryl's tip on cutting the foam tape really thinly worked well for the snowglobe. I think using the Sizzix scallop card die (the one that comes with the cupcake die) gave the card a gingerbread shingled roof appearance. I really love snowglobes and my favorite one was given to me by my oldest son who bought it all by himself with his own money from Woolworths when he was about 7 or 8 years old. The two figures in the globe are a mother and son shopping.....sweet huh? I also love gingerbread houses and one year stayed up for hours holding onto the gingerbread roof waiting for the icing to dry. The overhang of the roof was really too long which made it heavy, but I persisted and with a ton of icing I achieved success! I hope Santa will be visiting your home tomorrow morning because you've been GOOD.... haven't you ? If not, try harder next year! LOL! Thanks for taking the time to read this post especially if you are here on Christmas really must be a devoted blog surfer. Go to bed now or Santa won't come. Do you hear the reindeer hooves and jingle bells?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Potpourri Filled Compote

To me part of the feeling of Christmas is revealed in the scents wafting through your home. When I walked through Ben Franklin Crafts I was not planning to buy a bag of cinnamon scented potpourri pine cones, but the smell just said, "Holiday" ! I purchased a bag of the natural ones and one of unscented gold colored pinecones. At home I found my favorite compote dish ($10 from a thrift store) and mixed the pinecones with some artificial miniature fruit from my Thanksgiving arrangement. I was left with lots of extra scented pinecones so I decided to deocrate them with bits of extra decoration/wrapping trimmings and felting wool. The heads of the pinecone people are made from Hearty Clay (with a mini Santa cap and pipecleaner snowman cap). The pinecone Christmas elf/figures don't need to be in a compote and they are fun to place around the house where you want to add the sweet smell of Christmas. (Oh a flashback memory..."The Sweet Smell of Christmas" was a book that my children loved during the holidays because it had scratch and sniff stickers. We scratched and sniffed the book so much that I had to buy replacement books. If you have young children in your home this book makes a great pre-Christmas gift.) Have the sweetest Christmas ever!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Gingerbread Boy Tag and Card

This year, since I had a very late start on Christmas because of traveling, I only made one batch of gingerbread cookies. I thought that a cute tag using Sizzix dies (gingerbread boy and loop edge tag) would be perfect to accompany the homebaked gifts. When I found a 'Got Milk' clear stamp in a set with gingerbread images, I knew I had to use it on the tag. I liked the tags so much I made a large card too. To hold the gingerbread cocoa mix on the card, I cut two horizontal slits (about and inch apart) in the green print paper and slipped the mix into the opening before taping down the printed paper to the red card. I embellished the tags and card further by gluing on some mini holly garlands, plastic charms, red acrylic dewdrops, and glitter (use white drying glue to make it look like icing). I know that this project is very late for Christmas 2010, but maybe you can keep this tag/card idea in your head and make gingerbread cookies next year. I know that I need to get an earlier start on crafting for the holidays (begin in July?) but then I say this at the end of every year will be the one that will be organized!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gift for Flower Lover

If you've visited Ben Franklin Crafts recently, I'm sure you've noticed that there are lots of very attractive artificial flowers and flower related items for crafting. Because spring is just around the corner, I'm sure that your crafting friends would love to have some. Rather that just putting the flower embellishments in a box, I found a garden mini tool tote that I knew would be the perfect gift basket for my gardener/crafter friend.

Actually, I purchased the tool tote last spring when I spied it in Ben Franklin Crafts. (Never pass up a good item that will come in handy for gift giving at Christmas.) I'm sure a similar tote can be discovered at a hardware or gardening store. I included flower seeds, a flower shaped sponge, flower embellishments and cookies in the tote. I'm really proud of how perfectly this idea worked out. It looked great wrapped in cellophane and tied with a fancy pink and green bow. Half the fun of giving is finding the perfect gift and presenting it uniquely. Keep your mind and eyes open for special things all year long as you shop at Ben Franklin Crafts, of course!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sweet Candy Memo Holder

I like memo holders because I always need reminders. This one was a quickie that was whipped up from some wire and leftover candy decorations. I simply coiled the wire for the base, strung on the plastic gumdrop beads and made a couple of loops to hold the message paper or cocoa packet. I wired on some plastic candy charms using a thin wire and covered the wire with a bow. This is a sweet present to make as a last minute gift for a teacher or office co-worker. The gumdrop beads came in a large box (from BFC) so you can even make these for Valentine's Day or a birthday if you switched out the ribbon and charms with something more appropriate. Well, thanks for stopping by and I hope I helped you figure out what to give when time/money is in short supply. I'll have a few more ideas to share before taking a break for Christmas. Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Making Bows with Leftover Wrapping Paper

Wrapping gifts always leaves me with strips of paper too pretty to toss in the trash. I've discovered two ways to use them up and make something useful. I used the Sizzix bow die to cut 5 of each size strip. The instructions that came with the die shows exactly how to assemble the bow. Because the die can cut several sheets of paper at a time, I only had to run five small sheets of leftover wrapping paper once through the die. Rather than using a brad to hold the bow together, I used a gold pipecleaner (make a small coil at one end) so that the bow could easily be attached to the ribbon on the gift. In the photo I also show how you could glue a small star or other embellishment to anchor the bow. It would be better if you had scraps of two sided wrapping paper because some of the backside of the paper does show (but that doesn't bother me).

Using the Martha Stewart border punch (shown in the photo without the matching corner punch), you can also use wrapping paper scraps to make a medallion bow. Simply cut 1-3/4" strips about 20" long and use the punch along the edge. Accordian pleat the punched strip and glue (Fabri-Tac) the ends and center to form the medallion. Embellish the bow with plastic or glittered paper punched snowflakes and acrylic crystals.
Besides using my leftover wrapping paper, I also use giftwrapping paper that I save from gifts given to me. Sometimes the paper that friends and family use are so beautiful that it seems only fitting to recycle them by cutting around the folds and tape. Making these bows is a pleasant in-front-of-the-TV project after Christmas. You'll be SO happy next Christmas when you discover your stash of ready-to-go bows. Don't forget to make extra tags too! Make the world a better place...please recycle.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Tree Box Table Decorations

Like mini-pinatas, these treat boxes can be filled with candy and used as party favors or class treat boxes. The trick to making this project quickly is the fantastic Martha Stewart fringing scissors. Cut long pieces of tissue paper 3" wide fold them in half so that they become 1-1/2" wide. With the fringe scissors cut the folded edge halfway through the width of the strip. One sheet of tissue paper is more than enought to cover one pyramid box. The box was made from cardstock cut with a Sizzix triangle box die. Starting at the bottom of the assembled box, glue the fringed tissue strips (pleat a bit as you glue) around the box and layer them so that you only see the fringes. For the topper, I glued small Sizzix die cut and glittered snowflakes onto large snowflake Sizzix die cut glittered ornaments and glued the two large snowflakes back to back on the gold tree. For the red tissue tree I made a medallion tree topper using a border punch and last year's recycled wrapping paper. I will explain the procedure in the next post. Well, I hope that you will try making these easy tree treat boxes. Wouldn't they look grand down the center of your Christmas dinner table? Fill the tree boxes with treats and perhaps attach a name; you will have the perfect party favor/placecard. I hope this post has been informative and that you'll stop by again for another holiday crafting idea.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sled Card

Living in Hawaii for most of my life, I never experienced the fun of winter activities like sledding. Perhaps that is the reason I gravitated to this Penny Black clear stamp (from a set). When I saw a penguin skating card in a magazine, I knew what I wanted to do with the cute little girl image. The trick to the card is the slit in the snow through which the sledding girl moves. It is made by punching two holes (regular-size hole punch) and joining them with two cuts made with an craft knife and ruler. (There is a punch or die which makes this whole cut out slit but I don't own one.) Behind the girl are three foam pop-dots (two large and one small). The small foam pop dot is between the two larger ones and is the part that slides along the opening. If you have trouble with the pop dots sticking to the card, just sprinkle on some cornstarch after the dots are stuck together. The papers used on this card are from the Martha Stewart Christmas pad of two-sided printed card stock (available at Ben Franklin Crafts). If time permits, I will submit instructions for this card to the projects section of our website ( Thanks for taking the time to read this post during this very busy time of the year. Wishing you happy, stress-free crafting!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sweet Potato Chips

When trying to decide on edible gifts to give for Christmas I wondered what to do about the health conscious people on my gift list. Since I know that sweet potatoes are full of vitamins, I decided to try making chips using olive oil (another healthy ingredient). Rather than frying them which wastes a lot of oil I simply rubbed the thinly sliced sweet potatoes (use a mandolin) with the olive oil, sprinkled them with KTA coarse chili salt and baked the chips until crispy (about 20 min. depending on the thickness of chips) in a 400 degree oven.

From the photo you can see that I put on too much salt (which is not healthy) so watch that you don't go overboard. Anyway, this simple treat will please even a healthy eater. Be sure to package the chips attractively in a cellophane bag. The Martha Stewart package of Christmas designed bags in the photo are very festive and available at Ben Franklin Crafts. Many holiday MS products are now 25% off at BFC (craft club members get an additional 10% off) so check it out and get some good deals.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Night Light

When my children were little, there was a favorite book that we read and reread. It was called, "The Night Light Kids".......I think....I can't remember the author but I do remember that the pictures of the animals and the sweet story was soothing.....a great bedtime story. Anyway, the Penny Black Christmas clear stamp sets have the same sweet innocent look. This one with the three mice and a lantern made me decide that I just had to make it into a night light. I started by stamping the image on vellum (with sparkles) using black Staz-On ink. Next I colored the back of the image with markers. Inside the 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" x 3" clear acrylic box (available at Ben Franklin Crafts) I placed a flickering tea light (battery operated) (also available at Ben Franklin Crafts). To make the light appear behind the lantern I inserted a large lump of Hearty Clay and pressed the light into it until it was in the right position. Snowflake stickers (Martha Stewart) were positioned around the sides and top. Ribbon and a mini garland (both from BFC) were a glued to the lid being careful not to glue the lid to the base of the box because the switch of the tea light needs to be accessible. This simple project can easily be adapted to other rubber stamp designs. I really think your favorite little one will be delighted to have a night light like this. Come to think of it even an adult would be charmed by this project. Full instructions for this night light will be on our BFC website ( as soon as possible.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pink Christmas Tree

I'm sorry that I haven't commented on your blog sites for a while because I was on a trip in Japan. The photo above shows a gigantic tree that was in the shopping mall of the Sunshine City Prince Hotel where we stayed. Japan becomes more Christmasy every time we visit around the holidays. There are artificial trees in all the major stores and lots of ornaments and cards. I guess everyone wants occasions to celebrate and give gifts. I tried leaving comments on your blogs sites while in Japan, but they all appeared only in Japanese so I just did some blog surfing.

The photo below is of a card and some new HA stamps that Cheryl (Life is Sweet) sent me. Isn't her card so sweet? You can't see it clearly in the picture but the background is charmingly embossed with flowers. As with all of Cheryl's work, the card is well crafted and beautifully simple....much like the artistic craft work in Japan. Thanks again, Cheryl.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

American Girl Products

Look what I discovered at Ben Franklin Crafts! These American Girl product will surely bring a smile to someone special this Christmas. Shown here are a sparkly watercolor set, a creative card-making pad, a kit for making 12 funky felt pins, sweet treat dimensional stickers, and a bracelet kit which makes 10 paper chain items. Although these products are for young girls, I found them irresistible. I just know that I can incorporate them into some of my craft projects. If you want something fresh to give as a gift or for yourself, come to BFC and check out these (there are lots more not included in this photo) American Girl cool stuff. Oh, I almost forgot that I had a second photo on this post. I wanted to show you one of the many 'science' related gifts we have at Ben Franklin Crafts for your budding genius at home. These boxed kits range from the usual chemistry sets to unique ones to make sour candy, perfume, or other fun products. If you know someone who enjoys creating things and learning the science behind it (not only kids love this stuff), BFC is the place to go this Christmas for your shopping needs.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Martha Stewart Christmas

At the end of every holiday season I think, "How can Martha Stewart top her Christmas craft line next year?" Then when I see the new holiday line the next year I say, "Wow! She did it again. " I like this year's assortment of stickers, papers, punches, and embellishments even more than last year's. Ben Franklin Crafts has a copious supply of Martha Stewart craft goodies this year but I know that they will go fast. I especially love her line of Scandinavian inspired graphic and timeless. The amount of stickers in the border sticker packages from Martha Stewart are somewhat hard to determine because they are layered to save space, but some of them have a huge amount of product especially if you cut the adhesive backed borders into individual stickers. The glittery MS paper pads are so special; I know you'll buy at least one when you see them. Finally you have to check out the Martha Stewart treat bags/boxes because if you bake your own goodies you'll want to have something really great to showcase your homemade gift. I know you want to make your own decorated die cut bags, but it's good to have some pretty pre-made ones around in case baking takes more time than you anticipated. Afterall, try as we may we really can't do it all.... so don't stress out. Be good to yourself this holiday season and enjoy making your crafts/bake goods but take some shortcuts with no craft guilt by using some of the beautiful products available at Ben Franklin Crafts.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Ribbon Candy Ornament Gift Sets

When I was a little girl one of my fondest Christmas memories was receiving a container of ribbon candy in the mail. I don't know who sent this gift to my parents every year but I was enthralled by the colors and shapes of sugar candy (some filled with peanut butter cream). When I spied the plastic ribbon candy ornaments at Ben Franklin Crafts, I knew that I had to buy a set (6 for $7.99) of the sugary looking replicas made by Sierra Pacific. Originally I had planned to hang them on our tree but then I realized that they looked like a letter or toast holder. I decorated some mini notecards w/envelopes by applying stickers to some pre-made ones. (You can easily make them from leftover cardstock cut to fit mini envelopes.) Then I filled the spaces of the ornament with the cards and I plan to wrap the whole set in a clear cellophane bag tied with a ribbon. I think a set like this would make a perfect early Christmas gift for a co-worker or teacher because after using the cards he/she can hang the ornament on his/her tree. The candy ornaments also come in a red and white version. If you don't want to make cards or tags, you can fill the ornament with sticky note pads. The ones in the bottom photo are from G Studio and come two in a package for only $1.25! (I just cut the cardboard between the two notepads.) Now that's an inexpensive, easy gift to prepare for someone who needs a thank you. Hey, you could wrap individual cookies and place them in the ornament for a unique presentation! Well, I hope this post has given you some new ideas for gift giving. Come and visit again for a peek at what goes on in my brain during the holidays.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Shaker Ice Cube Ornament /Tag

After purchasing the Martha Stewart acetate border stickers, I wondered what the best use would be for the adorable snowmen, trees, snowflakes, and words. I happened to have some clear acrylic 2" boxes that I was planning to use for Hearty clay shaker ornaments. What if I put the stickers in the boxes and added snow? Eureka! I started by putting flattened balls of white Hearty clay behind the snowman. I let this dry completely (moldy snowmen just wouldn't be right). Next I cut out a piece of double-sided snowflake printed paper to fit inside the box and tacked it down with tiny dots of Fabri-Tac glue in the corners. Next I put a tree sticker in the background and a snowflake on the outside of the box cover. I trimmed around the words and adhered it to the cover also. The dried Hearty clay snowman was glued inside the box and white Flower Soft and some MS snow glitter was added before closing the shaker box. I glued 3/8" ribbon around the box sides and formed a loop on top. The ornament was finished off with a bit of miniature holly garland. The cap on the snowman with ear muffs was made by curling a piece of pipecleaner and gluing a teeny jingle bell to the tip. I discovered that the Martha Stewart border strip package also contained a piece of adhesive backed light blue paper but when I placed it in the box the adhesive showed through the clear box so I covered the back with another decorative paper. This actually makes it easier to write on if you want to give this ornament as a gift tag. Well, I hope this explanation was clear enough for you to try to make these simple ice cube tag /ornaments. If time permits I will write up the instructions and post it on our Ben Franklin Crafts website (

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Hilo Christmas Craft Fair

If you didn't get to the Hilo Christmas Craft Fair at the stadium yesterday, you still have a chance to get some wonderful handmade crafts today. In the photo above, Margaret from the Hilo Ben Franklin Crafts store proudly displays her handcrafted items for sale. She is selling beautiful jewelry and paper crafts for very reasonable prices. The topiary below is one made by Donna who always does the beautiful wreaths and Christmas decorations at the store. Sorry folks the one in the photo is mine, but she has lots of other gorgeous decorations. The etched goblet is from a set made by Denise (also a BFC employee). I couldn't resist getting the set because it was such a bargain and I know someone who will love it. Don't worry Denise has lots of other sets and etched glassware for sale. Besides the crafts made and sold by the Hilo Ben Franklin Crafts employees, there is a great variety of merchandise available for smart shoppers who know that a handcrafted item makes a great one-of-a-kind gift. You won't be disappointed if you hurry down to the Hilo Christmas Craft Fair today!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Smiles

Are you wearing your after Thanksgiving smile? Satisfied? Glad all the cooking and cleaning are done? Caught up with all the family news? Okay then, get a good night's sleep and prepare for the best shopping day of the year! In a few hours the Early Bird specials at Ben Franklin Crafts will begin. Not only is there a 40% off coupon for one item (make it a big one), there are unbelievable savings on Sizzix dies and Martha Stewart Christmas punches. They're 35% off!!! Don't forget to go to the Annual Christmas Craft Fair at the stadium in Hilo tomorrow and Saturday. It's sponsored by Ben Franklin Crafts and sure to be a big one with a sell-out of booths.....71 vendors! If you still have energy for shopping Friday night, you can go back to Ben Franklin Crafts to use the late bird 40% off coupon and purchase all the other sale items.
As usual, I feel grateful this year for the health of my family and friends. I am glad that life has given me connections with so many kind-hearted people and that these relationships continue to grow stronger. Recently, through the marvelous beauty of blogland I met a new friend Shirley N. ( She is one of the thoughtful readers of my blog who recently sent me a lovely thank you gift. It was a surprise and a joy especially because it was accompanied by a handmade card. Shirley is really a talented card artist and I am so honored to have one of her creations. (See the photo of her card and the sweet gifts she sent.) Thank you Shirley for being so generous. Thank you also to all of you in blogland who support my blog and so thoughtfully take the time to send me a comment. I appreciate each and every one of you!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hello Kitty and other Pretties for Christmas

Every year I am thrilled by the sweet Christmas ornaments and decorations available at Ben Franklin Crafts. I purchased the Hello Kitty ornament awhile ago and so I can't guarantee that the store still has them in stock. It is so adorable and seems to match well with the luscious, good-enough-to-eat artificial pastries and candies. This year again we have a fabulous collection of holiday ribbons and magical fairies. Although not pictured here, the store does carry a fantastic assortment of glittery foliage and wreath-making supplies. I really must take a photo of the beautiful decorations at the Hilo store.....Oh gosh, the trees belong in a fantasy world or at least at the White House. Go take a look at the stores to get inspiration and add to the glamour of your home this holiday season.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Shopping for Christmas Craft Goodies

Most of the hard working staff at the Ben Franklin Crafts Hilo store will tell you that my hobby is not's shopping! I don't think I've ever shopped at BFC and left empty handed. Sometimes the cashiers will be surprised that I didn't buy too much but I laugh and say that it's the third time through the checkout line that day LOL! Especially at this time of the year the stores are humming and there are so many fantastic products at Ben Frankllin Crafts. In the photo above are just a handful of the beautiful 12x12 two-sided papers from Imaginisce, new Christmas border punches from EK Success and G Studio stamps (large Xmas designs) for an amazing $1.25 each! Awhile ago I bought some terrific Penny Black clear stamp Christmas sets.
I debated about which ones to buy but now I'm glad I didn't wait because there are just a few left in the stores....better hurry if you want to purchase some of the cutest stamps of the season. Now would be a good time to become a Ben Franklin Craft club member if you aren't one already because you'll save 10% on every purchase even items on sale! Okay, enough blog surfing.....go shopping and then craft something special for someone special.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Relax and Give Thanks

I was fiddling with the leaves and acorns that were the punched out pieces from my border punch. I thought that they would be cute in a shaker card. With a stamped and colored image of 'Cocoa Emma' and a forest stump with mushrooms, I created a card which to me represents the calm before the storm of Christmas festivities. Some artificial leaves, raffia, and a message stamped tag finished off the autumnal card. (Oh yes, a Martha Stewart glue pen and white Fun Flock helped to dress up Emma's snowsuit.) Although you can't really see it, there is also some (autumn) Flower Soft in the shaker for a crispy leaf sound and texture. Make a card like this and include a packet of cocoa mix (from Ben Franklin Crafts). There are lots of pretty packages and tasty flavors to choose from....even a sugarless one! They would also be perfect for tucking into stockings and Christmas cards or for party favors. I wish all of you a calm, safe, yummy, friendship-filled Thanksgiving holiday. Relax this Thanksgiving....... here come's Christmas!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Easy Thank You Gifts

I've always felt that when the Christmas season rolls around we all go into a frenzy making or buying little gifts for all those who do service for us all year and the recipients are overwhelmed by all the treats and knickknacks. Why not give Thanksgiving gifts to those teachers, secretaries, mailmen, etc.? Afterall the gifts are meant as a way to say thank you. Presented here are simple gifts that won't break a tight budget. They start with the plain Sierra Pacific journal with pen or undecorated swivel note pad (an amazing $1.00 each).

While tidying up my craftroom I came across two pieces of handmade paper that were too good to throw out but had foxing spots and bug holes (from hoarding them too long LOL). The marbled paper is of good thick quality so it is forgiving when adhering it to the snap-closed book. I used wide pieces of Merikan tape to stick the paper to the cover. If you trim the paper with just a margin as thick as the cover you can use Fabri-Tac to glue the paper over the edge and you can further embellish by rubbing ink on the finished edge. At first I was going to stamp or write in a title on the oval label but I decided to leave that for the recipient to decide.

This swivel note pad is really cute and easy to cover. If you start with an interesting fiberous paper you really don't have to do any more embellishing but you can. To cover the aging flaws of this once beige washi paper with plant inclusions, I sprayed it with some autumn ink colors. Simply hand cutting the paper leaving a slight margin and gluing with Fabri-Tac made the project an under 10 minutes quickie. I tried using the Merikan tape but the fiberous nature of the paper made it peel off too easily. Fabri-Tac glue works perfectly for this project because it dries quickly without warping the paper. You might want to make a deccorated pen to go with the note pad. Ben Franklin Crafts sells all of these Sierra Pacific products for your ' Thanks for Giving' gifts. Thanks for reading this post. Please come back soon for other holiday ideas.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Autumn Placecards...What for?

Making placecards for the big Thanksgiving feast seems like just one more thing to do at an already hectic time, especially when everyone nowadays grabs a paper plate and gathers around the T.V. to watch the game. However, I have found that guests really like seeing their name in print on a pretty keepsake arranged around the table. It doesn't take more that a few minutes to do simple ones like the top two shown here. They are just a folded pieces of cardstock with a label and leaf sticker (left) or die-cut labels glued onto wide decorative ribbon. The bottom two placecards have room for a photo and a name. They were made fancier by cutting a half circle on the back of the card next to the fold. I used the Coluzzle system but you could just trace a jar cover with an craft knife to make the cut. Stickers/artificial leaves and embossed sayings complete the placecard. Rubbing the edges with gold or copper ink gave them an antique look. After Thanksgiving you or the guests can use the placecard to embellish a scrapbook page...hey that could be an activity for non-sports-watching guests. In fact, making the placecards could be a good way to keep the kids busy while you are cooking. I hope this entry has given you thoughts about why it is an excellent idea to invest some time in making placecards for Thanksgiving this year. Have a good Gobble Gobble Day!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

And the Winners Are..............

Wait! Was there a contest? Well, yes and no. No , there wasn't an official contest but yes, there was a secret contest going on all year. As usual at this time of the year I start thinking about all the things for which I am grateful. I thought about how thankful I am for all of you who take the time to read and comment on my blog and decided to make a contest for you. I went over all the past year's comments and counted each one to determine who were the most helpful by giving me feedback. Okay, enough already....... who won? Cheryl (Life is Sweet) is the big winner. I will be contacting you, Cheryl for a mailing address so I can send you a Ben Franklin Crafts gift card and some craft goodies. Three other winning blog visitors who left lots of terrific comments are Kris (K-Lusive Kreations), Janis Kamimura (Creative Expressions), and Shirley N. (Stamping for the Fun of It). I will write you a blog comment to obtain your mailing name and address so I can get prizes to you too. Thank you to everyone who took the time to visit my blog. I am very thankful for your interest and hope that I've given you something interesting to read in return.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Simple Earrings for Gifts and Craft Fairs

Now is the time for crafters to crank out those gifts and craft sale items. To me the easiest and most economical ladies' items to make are earrings. In comparison to necklaces and bracelets, earrings require a minimal amount of supplies and time. Here are three examples (click on the photo to enlarge the image) that I whipped out in one sitting (1-2 hrs.). The eliptical pair on the left simply required jump rings to link together the two components. The earrings with the green peridot beads were a bit more work and used 26 gauge gold filled wire to attach the bead to the square wire frames and teardrop filigree dangle. In the center is the earring that took the longest to assemble. Finding just the right size of garnet to fit in the triangle sterling silver frame and wiring it on with wire added a perfect touch of color. (For earrings try to use sparkly or bright colored stones, which although small will catch the eye.) Of course the silver earrings could have been left plain or just adorned with a teardrop pearl. For gifts and craft fairs I think that you should make your earrings with gold filled or sterling silver components because for just a bit more cost you will upgrade your work tremendously. Remember Christmas is a time when everyone likes to splurge and give the best that they can afford. Okay, get crafting!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Autumn Blessings Card

I was just planning to test out my new EK Success leaf border punch, but somehow I ended up making a card. It started with the punched border which didn't stand out on the card so I taped an autumn leaf glittered gauzy ribbon on the inside of the card so that it would show through the punched design. Next I used some metallic inks and stamped leaf designs above the punched border. That didn't get the effect that I wanted even after I added the gold stamped and heat embossed words 'Autumn Blessings'. When I glued on the piece of mini autumn leaf garland, the card looked more complete, but it still needed something. Because I had just purchased the Penny Black wood handled Christmas hedgehog stamp, it was on my desk and for some reason I could visualize it on the card. After stamping the image on white cardstock, coloring and cutting it out (removing the holly branch), I glued it on to the card with Fabri-Tac. I'm really pleased at how this card evolved and became something better than I imagined....and to think it all started with just testing out a paper punch. Playing with your craft tools and supplies is probably the best way to create something new and unique. (The photo below shows the stamp and punch that I used.) I hope that you've enjoyed reading this post and will return to this blog site often for inspiration and ideas. Thank you for visiting!