Friday, March 30, 2012

Quickie Easter treat box

Easter is only a few days away, so if you don't have your treat boxes constructed, here's a quickie solution. Visit our Celebrations store (just a few doors down from our Mapunapuna Ben Franklin Crafts store) and purchase some pretty see-through boxes. I chose these rectangular ones with cherry blossom designs printed on them. (The one in front of the photo is how the box looks flattened.) I think the cherry blossoms work well with the Sister Stamps images which I colored with Copic pens. (Click on the image to see details.) Both the stamps and pens are available at Ben Franklin Crafts. Rather than struggling with coloring the kimonos, I paper pieced them by stamping the kimono portion of the stamp onto printed origami paper and then cutting and pasting the kimonos onto the original stamped image. I found the cutest bunny shaped graham cookies at Whole Foods and decided that they would be the perfect treat to put in my Easter boxes. Easy yeah? You can do it too! Thanks for stopping by for a looky-look at my easy Easter treat boxes. See you again...okay?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Quiet Cards

With the recent passing of two family members and seeing some lovely sympathy cards posted on blogs, I decided to re-evaluate my reluctance to make grief cards. Usually my cards have too much bling and too many embellishments to be dignified cards. I decided to challenge myself and create a 'quiet card'. Here's what I made. I thought the calming colors of lavender and white would be suitable for a sympathy card so I used paper from a pack of Japanese stationery (from the new Celebrations store) and a pearlized white blank card. The new Hero Arts set (sold at Ben Franklin Crafts) with stamps and matching embossing folder seemed perfect for a background. I stamped the floral design in white ink and heat embossed it with white opaque embossing powder. Next I dry embossed the design using the folder that comes in the set. Then I stamped in lavender ink a floral spray and blank label (from another Hero Arts set) onto white card stock. I heat embossed the stamped designs with clear embossing powder. The words were stamped in the label with gold ink and embossed with gold embossing powder. The label and floral spray were die cut using the thin Sizzix die that comes with the stamp set. Using Merikan tape and pop dots under the floral spray the card was assembled as shown in the photo. (Sorry that the photos have so much glare; I couldn't seem to cut it down.) As a final touch and due to my inability to omit a teensy bit of bling, I added the tiny sparkly flower. I hope you enjoy seeing my attempt at making a 'quiet card'. Please visit again to see more of how I try to live a creative life.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

What is Daba doing?

I just love the expression on the Daba rabbit stamp (Sisters Stamp) because it reminds me of how my youngest son looks when he's up to something. Originally, I cut out the birdhouse using the Eclips machine and the new boxes and bags cartridge and planned to decorate it for Easter treats. However, Daba just begged to be put on the birdhouses. I think he is exchanging the bird eggs with chocolate candy eggs LOL! That's why the chick (from BFC), who really wouldn't live in a birdhouse, seems so surprised. These little birdhouses would make great place cards/party favors if you attached a name to the roof. (Oh, tape the last half of the roof after you fill the treats in the box.) It might be worth it to have an Easter garden party just so you can make these birdhouses. Watch out for Daba....he's mischievious!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Gift Wrapping

If you are attracted to the approximately 20"x 30" printed paper at the Celebrations store, you might be wondering what you can do with it. I would usually use it to simply wrap gifts as it is, priced right and very attractive. However, I wanted to give some thank you gifts and thought that the wrapping paper might make good gift bags. (The Celebrations store has similarly printed gift bags but some are too small and others too fancy for what I had in mind.) By cutting a sheet of paper in half, I was able to fold and tape together two large paper (lunch) bags. I cut another sheet into four pieces and formed four giant snack pouches. By sealing the ends of the pouches with Merikan tape and crimping them with a crimper tool (see bottom photo), I was able to create a clever pouch for individually-wrapped shortbread cookies. (Be sure to make the pouches narrow enough to fit through your crimper tool.) I saw the idea of making small snack pouches on someone else's blog....sorry I can't remember whose. I decorated the pouches with Copic colored Dandelion Design images and a printed 'Thank You' tape on the top. The big lunch bag is sealed with a Sister Stamps image that I colored and made into a label. The 20" x 30" printed sheets could also be used to make small economical favor pouches for a classroom or party. Isn't the rabbit print just perfect for Easter? I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at the selection of printed wrapping paper and don't forget you'll get a stamp on your Celebrations card for every $10 of merchandise you purchase. A filled card entitles you to $10 of free merchandise....sweet deal! Thanks for reading this blog post; please visit again..... soon!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Shopping Celebrations!

Last week we were in Honolulu again and so I couldn't resist a short stop at the new Celebrations store near the Mapunapuna Ben Franklin Crafts. Some of the displays were not up the last time I visited. I purchased more of the neat print design plastic boxes which come flattened. They were on sale and I always seem to need quick gift wrapping. I like that the boxes are so sturdy and I'm sure that the recipients of my gifts will recycle the boxes. I chose a cylindrical box which had a polka dot design and a flower petal top. This box came with the orange ribbon.....a bonus! I found that the box nicely accommodated a dispenser bottle of hand washing soap from Bath and Body Works. The space on the side of the bottle could have been filled in with tissue, but I chose to include some small individually wrapped shortbread cookie squares. For the thank you label I used a Hero Arts stamp (from a set) and decorated the label with polka dot washi tape which matched the box and came from the Celebrations store too. The printed washi tape sold out at the Grand Opening but they will get more in very soon. In the lower photo are some of the goodies I bought at Celebrations......animal paper clips (bunny ones for Easter), dessert design Post It-type pads, and brush tipped markers that work like sumi ink brushes. I hope that you will check out the Celebrations store if you can. I'm sure that you will find something that will make your day a smiley one!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

New Hero Arts Stamps

Taking a break from playing with my Eclips machine, I decided to ink up some of the new Hero Arts stamps that I purchased from Ben Franklin Crafts. Really, the store has a marvelous collection of unique clear, rubber and wooden handled stamps. I particularly like the new Hero Arts sets that have words that can be changed out and into other stamps. You get more variety for your money. Also as time saver, I love the sets that have Sizzix thin dies that can be used to cut out the stamped image.....such a time saver and you get perfect cut-out images. I made this card with the intent to use up some of my paper scraps so perhaps I should have used another color for the newsprint background or used a brighter printed cardstock. I added glitter over the dress and headband, but paper piecing could have been done instead. My favorite part of the card is the ticket stub that is held down by the hand and opens to reveal a message. Well, that's all for today.....gotta get going on Easter projects. Please stop by again...make it soon. Have a springy Spring Day!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Presto Change-O!

I was asked to convert a peridot/apatite bracelet into earrings because the owner rarely wears bracelets. It was a fairly easy conversion requiring only a few extra supplies. First I found two closed sterling silver rings and pounded them on a jewelry anvil with the ball end of a jewelry hammer to give the rings more interest and shine. Next I strung each pearl (I'm not sure what kind of pearls they are but I call them granola.) on a ball end S.S.head pin. I cut the pins to varying lengths and looped them onto the rings. Then using 30 gauge SS wire I wrapped the briolettes (faceted tear drop gemstones) onto either side of the pearl wires. Finally, earwires were added and voila! The earrings were done. I hope this post inspires you to discover how easy it is to change jewelry you already have (or find at a vintage store) into a more wearable, stylish, handmade creation. Have a creative week!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Child's Play

I've gone crazy for Eclips card cutting. There are just so many cute cards to cut and envelopes are a breeze too. Shown here are just two of the cards I whipped up and embellished. To the ladybug card I added flower brads so the wings would be movable. Pipecleaners and googly eyes added more dimension. The strawberry card was brightened by a glittered 'Thank You' and the Eclips cut the dimples on the fruit. By making a matching envelope or lining one with matching paper you can really jazz up a card. If you have children who always seem to need birthday, thank you, etc. cards, having an Eclips means that you can make a box of card parts for them so they can create a handmade card whenever they need one. A bottle of glue, some stickers, flowers, and other embellishments will be all you need to get their creative juices flowing. You'll save time and money too. Even my husband got creative for my birthday and made an 'interesting' card for me using pieces from my card parts box. Card making is satisfying and useful. If my husband can do it, so can you and your children!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cupcake Card with Bookmark

After making the cupcake boxes I was still playing around with the Eclips machine and discovered the cupcake card on the cartridge. I love extra large cards and cupcake designs. The card I created seemed to need a candle, flower or cherry on top. Because I had the items from the Celebrations store out, I decided that maybe the plastic food dividers could be converted into a bookmark and clipped onto the card. By simply cutting off one of the animals from the strip and gluing it to a paper clip (Office Max product) I had an instant bookmark. I didn't glue the top of the polka dot paper so that the bookmark could be attached without the clip showing. Thank you for reading this post. Please visit again and leave a comment if you have the time. I enjoy hearing from you.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Cupcake Boxes

The trouble with baking is that I am tempted to eat too much. Cupcakes seem to solve that problem because they are portable and easy to share. Who doesn't like a little baby cake? The Eclips machine has a cartridge that allows you to turn a 12x12 piece of cardstock into a box that perfectly fits a regular size cupcake. I used printed glitter cardstock from a DCWV stack for the bottom of the box. For the top I used colored cardstock and trimmed the lid with repositional tape (from the Celebrations store). To finish the box I taped acetate to the inside of the lid. Because the little cupcake decoration (food pick) was too high for the box I cut a slit in the acetate to allow the animal pick to peek out. This cupcake box is available as a die for the Big Pro machine too. Go ahead.....make some cupcakes and make some cute boxes too so you can share the sweet things in life.