Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Too Old for Candles

Every year just before my birthday my hubby asks me what kind of cake I want. My reply is always the same..."I don't know. I haven't found it yet!" Truthfully, I'm a very picky dessert person especially now that I'm trying to eat healthier; every calorie must be worth it. This year I decided to make my own whole wheat Red Velvet Splenda cupcakes. As you can see they turned out very well and they tasted delicious too. I was pleased with my cake choice from 'Lynn's Home Bakery' LOL! Did you notice that the cake decorations are the little bento picks that I bought at the Celebrations store? In my next post I'll show you how I packaged the cupcakes to give away. Even though they were low-sugar and high fiber, sharing is always better for MY waistline....(smile). Share your smiles today!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Celebrating 'Celebrations'

Yes, Ben Franklin Crafts is celebrating the opening of a new store called 'Celebrations' located two shops away from the Mapunapuna Ben Franklin Crafts. While on a day trip to Honolulu I had the time to peek into the store which had a quiet opening this past Saturday. I was allowed to be the second customer even though it was only Thursday. Here are some photos of the shop which is a mini version of a gigantic stationery store, Shimojima, in Japan. As you can see there are lots of unique products with Japanese flavor. I didn't have carry-on luggage or a suitcase with me so I could only purchase a few items, but believe me I intend to go back to Celebrations soon. What I did find utterly irresistible were the ribbons. I loved the thin ones with the gold trim especially the red, white, and blue one. It's hard to see in the photo but I purchased a brown and green woven raffia-like ribbon which has a very special rustic look. There were lots of beautiful three color raffia strand spools like the pink one on the right in the photo. I can't wait to use these ribbons on my cards and other projects. Even though I don't have a little one to make home lunches for, I still got a cute 'bento' (lunch) box for my snacks. Now I'm regretting that I didn't buy one of the musubi shaped boxes, too. Althought the cute animal pick are for children to use to eat their lunch, I plan to use the picks for decorating cupcakes. The plastic animal strips are for separating and decorating bento lunches, but I see a use for them as bookmarks.

I'm always attracted to the Japanese tapes and the Celebration store had lots to choose from. The two on the left are the plastic type used for decorating packages, envelopes, etc. They are cute and useful. The four on the left are the tearable repositional type that crafters find useful in scrapbooking and card making. There were lots of designs to choose from so it took me awhile to pick just a few favorites. I wish that I had a suitcase with me.

This photo shows three unique items which I managed to squeeze into my rather small plastic bag. The first item on the left is a small scissors which can be attached to a purse, making it really convenient for traveling. The middle two items are a mini eraser dispenser and refills. The eraser is easily dispensed like a lipstick. On the right side of the photo are package closures which come in a bag (I took them out for a clearer photo). These flower shaped closure tabs will make fastening clear cellophane bags more attractive especially if you add crystals or stickers. The closure tabs come in different shapes and colors. Now I wish I had picked up a few more bags.

This last photo features some stationery and bags. I really like the Paris themed bags which come with matching stickers. Of course I couldn't leave without some new gift enclosure cards and the pastry designed ones are so cute. The purple and green packages contain sheets of paper for writing letters, but I love the texture and shiny specks on them and I know they will be great for many paper projects.

Well, I hope I've been able to intrigue you with all these new items and that you'll check out our new store, Celebrations. Whether you are having a celebration or not, I'm sure that you'll have something to celebrate after you shop at 'Celebrations'!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Still Learning

Yes, I'm still playing with and learning from my Eclips machine. So far, I've only completed this wedding card, but I have a Ziploc full of cut out pieces ready to be assembled. I have learned how to use the laser light on the Eclips to cut exactly where and what I want. This is such a paper-saving feature of the machine. Also the machine can tell me if I can cut multiple pieces in the size of paper I inserted. The Eclips machine is smarter than me! For this card, I simply ran the cut pieces into a Xyron machine to add adhesive. I used a Martha Stewart glue pen and Beacon 3 in 1 glue to attach the embellishments. Probably the hardest part of making this card was gluing the little pearls along the curve of the cake. The papers used were from a S.E.I. pack and the card base is an American Crafts product. Okay, that's it for today. No time to craft tomorrow, but I'll work on finishing some projects this weekend...... so come back for a visit.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Trying Out the Eclips Machine

Yes, I finally broke down and invested in an Eclips machine. After seeing guest crafter Cheryl Miyashiro (on the Joy of Crafting) cut out really neat paper projects on the Eclips machine, I knew I NEEDED one. At first I didn't set it up right, but through the kind help from the crew at the Hilo Ben Franklin Crafts, my Eclips is up and running. I just had to show you a few of the items I cut out in a matter of a few minutes. I haven't glued down the parts or decorated the items, but I was excited to tell you how easy it all was to do even for a very technically handicapped crafter. I usually hate figuring out technical stuff but this machine is not that difficult, if you read the manual. I have the Cricut too, but I think the Eclips is a little easier and I don't have to keep refering to the manual as the Eclips tells you when you need to make some adjustments to the size or pressure. The best part is that the Eclips machine scores really well, making boxes and cards a breeze. I'm a happy crafter tonight and I plan to decorate some of the stuff I cut out and I have an idea for two wedding cards I need to mail. I know that the Eclips machine is going to save me lots of time. Thanks for reading this post. I hope it has given you some feedback about the Eclips machine. Please stop by again to see my upcoming Eclips creations.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Sausalito Rock Sculpture

While visiting one of our favorite spots, Sausalito, we happened upon an Asian man doing some rock scuptures at the edge of the water. It was such a beautiful day that even the sea gulls flocked around to enjoy the sunshine and scuptures. My husband took this very beautiful picture of one of the best natural art pieces. I thought you would enjoy the magnificent elegance of the rocks which were just balanced carefully and not fastened down in any way......truly amazing!

The bottom photo is of some Valentine treats simply wrapped in double sided cardstock (they were the same paper sheet) and fancied up with stamped and cut out images. The 'HUG' stamp was from a Hero Arts set and the 'ours is a fine Romance' is a G Studio stamp. The words and labels were inked with G studio chalk ink in the round containers. The ink pads are juicy, convenient, space-saving, deliver a soft distressable color, and the screw on lids make them quite air-tight, plus they cost only $1.25! Woot woot what a bargain! Oh yes, the labels were cut out with a Cuttlebug embossing folder. Decorating a chocolate bar is a quick way to make a simple gift special. Have a crafty weekend!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Asian Valentine Card

As promised, I finished this card just in time for Valentine's Day. Happy Valentine's Day everyone in blogland! This card was inspired by the Valentine Sister Stamps and some cards sent to us by friends in Japan. I started to notice that many of the Japanese greeting cards had a piece of printed washi paper or Japanese print that extended from the front of the card to the back. I really liked this effect so I stamped the Hero Arts background stamp in black on the red card. (The texture of the red paper gives the stamped design a fabric-like appearance.) Then it was easy work to stamp and heat emboss the G-Studio 'Be Mine' stamp in gold. The Copic colored Sister Stamp images were attached to the card with coils of wire (like the one shown on the last posted card). Oh, here's a tip that I discovered while working on this card: If you have trouble coloring black Asian hair try coloring the hair completely black with Copic ink then going back with a slightly moistened white watercolor pencil to add the highlights.

The big Inkadinkado plastic square is a handle for extra large stamps like the Hero Arts background Clings stamp. The grid on the piece makes it easy to align stamp designs and the tray-like shape allows for easy holding and pressing. If you cannot find this product in the rubber stamp area of Ben Franklin Crafts, it maybe in the printable fabrics and inks aisle, alongside the selection of super Inkadinkado design sets. Well, I hope you learned something from this post and enjoyed the special Valentine card I made for all of you. Thank you for visiting my blog and please return often. If you have the time I would love it if you left a comment. Enjoy a day of LOVE!

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Bobble Bear Valentine Card

I thought today was Valentine's Day but I was one day off so I still have time to make the one more V-Day card I had planned. Here is the second to last Valentine that I am making before putting away my pretty heart-shaped supplies. I used the cute Dandelion Design fuzzy bear stamp set with the candy box. To give the card a little more movement I mounted the bear on a spring made from wire. (I got this idea from the CHA show where one booth was showing a product that looked like a plastic spring for scrapbooking animation.) My hand shaped wire spring was cheaper and very easy to adhere with Fabri-Tac glue. The colorful strips of paper in the background are adhesive border strips from Martha Stewart. I cut them in a block and used the edge to hold down the ribbon. The bear was colored with watercolor pencils and the rest of the stamped images were colored with Copic pens. Doodlebug glitter was added to the candy box for a little bling. Well, I hope you are all set for the big LOVE day. I'll try to finish my last card tomorrow and post it too! Happy Valentine's day!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Ah, it's so nice to be home again. I was on a long two-week trip to California which was relaxing and interesting. The main focus of my trip was attending the Craft and Hobby Association show in Anaheim. The show was somewhat quieter than previous ones, but that allowed me to see more and try out some of the new products. I particularly liked Tim Holtz's new line as I am a fan of the steampunk look. There were some new products that I think caught the eyes of the Ben Franklin Crafts team and I will be eagerly awaiting the appearance of the crafty goodies in the BFC stores. The photo below shows the hard-working BFC group taking a break.....I asked them to put their beers under the table.....just joking. The other photos are some CHA displays that I loved. I plan to take some of the basic sketches and incoporate them in my future craft projects. I'm such a copy cat.....meeeeoow! Well, I'll write more later about our trip but first I need to nap and try to get rid of my cold.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Beading Magazines at Ben Franklin Crafts

Without Borders to supply me with new beading books and magazines I am grateful that Ben Franklin Crafts is starting to stock an even greater assortment of craft books. A quick glance at the book rack at the back of the Hilo BFC store yielded the three publications in this photo. These were new to me and contained interesting new beaded designs for me to try. I am a novice knitter but I think I'll give the knitted bracelets a try as they are beautiful and seem easy. The projects in the Bead Chic softcover book are very fashionable and should be a cinch to create from the photos and instructions. Although we don't have real seasons in Hawaii, most women will admit to having a preference for a certain seasonal palette. This book is a good one to consider as it will show you how to design jewelry with seasonal colors in mind for your gifts or customers. I hope you will take time to browse the book and magazine racks at the Ben Franklin Crafts stores as I'm sure you'll find some great publications to spark your creativity. Hope you're having a marvelous day. Thanks for stopping to read this post!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Perfumed Valentine Box

The Sizzix die-cut heart box is one of my favorite easy-to-assemble Valentine treat boxes. This year to change it up I decided to cover the box with scented drawer liner paper. My liner paper was from my hoarded stash but I'm sure you can find scented drawer liners at many fancy perfume/soap stores or online. I started the box by cutting two boxes, one of lavendar card stock and one of drawer liner paper. Then I applied Alene's quick dry Tacky glue to the card stock and carefully matched the liner paper on top. While the glue was still damp, I folded the box on the score lines. Once the glue was really dry, I assembled the box, added the satin ribbon, and perfume label. The label was easily made by stamping the Hero Arts design (from the Make You Happy set available at Ben Franklin Crafts) on the leftover card stock, using a purple pigment ink and embossing it with crystal powder. (I cut the bottom corners of the label so that the label would fit better on the box.) I think I will fill my boxes this year with perfume and mini soaps. Have a sweet day!