Friday, November 30, 2012

Pop-Up Christmas Tree Card

The new Sizzix pop-up card die (available from Ben Franklin Crafts) is so cool!  I just love how intricate it makes the card look but how easy it makes the construction.  Basically, I just placed a double-sided Imaginisce card stock onto the pop-up tree die (that was placed in the card base die) and rolled it through my Sizzix machine.  Next I adhered two panels (one on each side of the card) of cardstock over the cut out triangular openings (the perfect spots for some hand written sentiments). It is important to chose the right card stock to compliment the inside and outside of the card.
The rubber stamp Santa was made by Stampendous and can be purchased from Ben Franklin Crafts. The stamped image was colored with Copic pens and embellished with glitter. The ribbon pack and acrylic crystals are great BFC bargain  purchases for your holiday crafting.  I especially like the crystal package (from the wedding department) because you can cut off strips and simply apply and tear off the individual crystals. I guarantee that your friends and family will be impressed by your crafting skills if you use one or more of the new Sizzix Xmas dies.  At this busy time of the year, craft easy and send someone a smile.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas Money or Gift Card Holders

To simplify holiday gift giving we sometimes resort to giving cash or gift cards, so I usually need to make some festive holders to show that at least some thought went into the gift.  These were a cinch to make because of the Sizzix die, A2 card with flap.  Included in this set is the card die plus two different embossing folders which were used to make the vellum inner pockets. Vellum allows the money or gift card to show through the pocket and it embosses well.  The pockets were taped on with Merikan double sided tape and decorated with Martha Stewart adhesive borders. The printed double sided cardstock used for these cards are from Imaginisce.
After tying a wide ribbon around the closed card, embellishments from Ben Franklin Crafts (MS gingerbread sticker, Sizzix die cut tag, Tim Holtz die cut words, and snowflake plus acrylic crystal) were added.  The combinations of cardstock and embellishments are endless so you should be able to make a different one for each of your gifts. Ben Franklin Crafts also sells a Sizzix die to create just gift card holders (hmmm...... wouldn't everyone love a gift card from BFC?) and like the other holiday dies, it comes with a talking tag.  Go check out all the new Christmas products at BFC and simplify your gift giving this year. Happy Holiday Crafting!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Angel Necklace

Funny how some things just work out and some don't.  On a shopping trip to the Ben Franklin Crafts in Mapunapuna I discovered (in the bead department) cute strands of crystal angels with metal wings and halos.  I thought they would be good for card embellishments. The next time I shopped at the Hilo BFC, I picked up some word impressed metal rings that could be strung with beads in the center.  I thought that with a bit of luck the angels would fit inside the ring.  When I put the two purchases side by side in my craftroom, I noticed that they were both made by Darice and called Enchanted Angels. Duh!  They WERE supposed to be used together.  I quickly set to work but soon discovered that the white crystal angel strand had wings that were too big to fit inside the rings. The green angels fit perfectly but the ruby ones were just too tight so I had to replace the angel head bead for a smaller one.  My observant husband noticed that one angel had the wings uplifted as if in flight and the other one had wings in a resting position.  Maybe that's why the ruby angel didn't fit. I'll have to check that out and turn the wings around if that is the problem. A head pin was used to wire wrap the angel into the ring and onto a Beadalon bail. (I used the bail upside down so it could accommodate the cord/ribbon, but I will hopefully find some tube bails which I think will look better.)  Anyway, I think the finished necklaces would make great girlfriend gifts. Each one could be different because there are lots of different impressed rings with words like: mother, grandmother, peace, hope, dreams, etc.  You could also turn the ringed angels into purse pulls, key chains or phone ornaments.  This is a very easy project so give it a try if you want to impress your friends and not have to spend a lot of time or money. Happy Turkey Day!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Harvesting Happiness

I've always romanticized about fruit picking but I've never had the opportunity.  When I learned that my girlfriend does yearly apple and peach picking in San Francisco, I was so jealous.  Of course here in Hawaii, we do raise and pick papayas, pineapples, and lillikoi, but I still would love to one day visit a real orchard.  The best I can do for now is to create a card depicting the fall harvesting of apples.  I purchased the CC Design stamp of the girl with the apples last year but didn't use it.  This year I got the Imaginisce apple stamp ($1,25?) from Ben Franklin Crafts and felt the two images would look good on a Sierra Pacific Kraft paper card (in a set from BFC). Using white chalk ink, I stamped the cut apple image on the kraft paper card and added a bit of color with color pencils.  The CC Design image was colored with Copic pens, cut out, and adhered to the card with foam dots.  The edge of the card was embellished with thin washi tape and raffia was used for the bow.  Since I had the Sizzix thin leaf die, I used it for the tag upon which I wrote the 'For You' with gold ink.  You could just hand cut the leaf if you don't have the die.  For a final touch, I added some 'shine' to the apples with Judi Kin Diamond Glaze. Oh, while I was gathering together all my papers with apple designs, I came upon one in a cheap $1 assorted package. I couldn't figure out how to use it on the card so I used it to line the envelope.  I always think a lined envelope turns a plain card into a spiffy one.  It is a simple card but I think it captures the desire I have to someday go apple picking.  I wonder though, "Will I be able to climb a ladder as I get older?" LOL!  Oh well, at least we all can enjoy the bountiful apple harvest available to us now in our local markets. Enjoy the sweet life!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Fall Forest Fox Card

This foxy card began with the cute Imaginisce clear fox stamp ($1.25? anyway, very inexpensive) from Ben Franklin Crafts.  Since it was so small, coloring it with Copic pens was super easy and fast.  Next, to make the fox stand out, I used a scallop circle and a plain circle punch to cut out some glittery cardstock from the DCWV Autumn pack. For the card base I chose a brown and orange color core cardstock and ran it through the Tim Holtz impression folder that looks like tree bark. The impressed surface of the card was lightly sanded to bring out the orange color underneath and the bottom edge was trimmed and the corners rounded. For the maple (?) leaves I used an EK Success punch which was on sale at BFC for 50% off because it was considered a Halloween product (so maybe the punch is a pumpkin leaf).  It pays to check all the clearance items everywhere in Ben Franklin Crafts. I creased the leaves (punched from leftover piece of the double color cardstock) to look realistic and then sprayed them with green and gold Glimmer Mist (Tattered Angels). Finally, the card was assembled with foam dots and Merikan double-sided tape.  The burlap and autumn word ribbon were both from BFC too and added the perfect finishing touch. No, wait, the final addition was the skinny raffia-like three-toned bow which was made from one of my favorite go-to embellishment and gift wrapping items (comes in a large roll from the  Somehow fall, to me, is the season of forest animals and autumnal foliage.  This card is dedicated to all the creatures of the woods who hopefully have prepared a safe place to weather out the winter.  Be kind to the animals and to one another during this season of giving.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Embellishments Galore

Ribbons and washi tapes oh my!  Crystals and roses and twine hooray!  As you can see from these photos, Ben Franklin Crafts is stuffed with delightful embellishments for giving and hoarding.  I absolutely adore the Hello Kitty and angry Birds ribbons (top photo) and will use them for wrapping and crafting.  Also in the top photo are more gorgeous washi tapes and gift wrapping add-ons from our Celebrations store (near the Mapunapuna BFC).  The tapes and the Asian pick decorations should be perfect for wrapping gifts for mailing as they won't get crushed. If you can't get to the Celebrations store, our BFC stores now have Darice brand washi tapes in solid colors and cute prints.
I found the mega bag of Xmas ribbons (in the bottom photo) at Ben Frankloin Crafts and they made my crafty mind explode with delight.  There are other mega bag assortments for non-seasonal crafting including a giant package of various colored twine...a gold mine for crafters!  I picked up the red roses, crystals and pearls from the Mapunapuna Ben Franklin Crafts wedding department and thought they were a super deal and would come in handy for Christmas and Valentine crafting. I also purchased the large roll of red and white twine from BFC because I know that I'll use lots of it on my cards and gift wrapping this holiday season.  I hope seeing all these embellishments gets your creative juices flowing and you'll stop by any of our locally owned Ben Franklin Craft Stores to do some fun shopping.  Thanks for visiting and I hope you'll make this site one of your regular blog stops.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thanksgiving Hope and Christmas Wishes

Every year my sister starts off strong, beginning her shopping early.  She tries to get going before Thanksgiving because lots of her gifts need to be mailed to Hawaii.  However, as the Christmas crunch really  sets in, she falters and eventually gives up.  This year I decided to send her a Thanksgiving gift to nudge her to the finish line.  To accompany this gift, I've made an autumn-ish card to encourage her.  I thought the Sister Stamps, BFF's,  would be the perfect image to use because it reminds me of the small-kid times with my sister.  I combined the stamped image (colored with Copic pens) with Bo Bunny double sided 12x12  card stock sheets from the Collection Pack. (One card stock sheet will make two 6x6 cards,) The fancy label was cut from one of the sheets and the largest lantern is a stamped image made from a Bo Bunny clear stamp set.  For embellishments, I added a  Coin Collection tassel (purchased from Ben Franklin Crafts) and tiny pearls from the Bridal Collection (also from BFC).  (If you cannot find the pre-made tassels, you can easily make one from embroidery floss or thin cording,)  Oh yes, the 'thinking of you' came from a Hero
Arts Clear Design set.  My favorite part of the card is the large lantern which is free hanging from the black cord (attached to the back of the panel) so it provides some interesting movement. All the pieces were attached to the card base with foam dots. I am sending the card with a Xmas tag making kit (purchased from Ben Franklin Crafts) because I hope it will cheer my sister on to the finish of the season with a smile on her face.  Happy Crafting, Shopping, Wrapping and Mailing Sis!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

THANKSgiving Card

I was just sitting in my craft room thinking that I would like to make a Thanksgiving card.  I've always loved the word 'Thanksgiving' because it is a perfect word for the spirit of the season  For some reason the Sizzix die with the pop-up THANKS 'popped' into my head.  I just knew it would make a good base for my card with the addition of the stamped words 'happy' and 'giving'.  The words came from a Hero Arts clear set     (I only inked the part of the phrase that I needed). It was simple work to follow the directions on the dies (you'll need the card base and the insert THANKS die.  Using the die I cut out just the word 'thanks' from green paper and glued it onto the card.  The 12x12 double-sided  printed cardstock and owl sticker I used were from My Little Shoebox.  For the front of the card I added thin washi tapes and skinny colored raffia ribbon (found at the Celebrations store in Mapunapuna) and a lightweight plastic leaf dangle from BFC, (Oh, I put thin pop-dots behind the owl sticker to make it stand out more.)  Well, that's it for today.  I hope you enjoyed your visit and will return often.  Give thanks for your many blessings!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Autumn Home Decorations at Ben Franklin Crafts

Perhaps it's because Hawaii does not have an autumn in the traditional sense, I feel the need to gather together fall items and colors in my home.  Thank goodness Ben Franklin Crafts has an ample supply of lovely autumnal  decorations to use as is or build upon.  This year I chose a metal plaque with the word, 'Welcome' printed on it.  It was rather plain so in 10 minutes, using Fabri-Tac glue, I added some autumn leaves, acorns, raffia (there was already a small raffia bow but I wanted a thicker one) and a scarecrow head.  The packages of decorations have enough to make several door welcome signs so you can hang one on your house and give away the extras.
The second decorative item is one that happened because of a purchase of an overly powerful hand sanitizer from Bath and Body Shop.  I didn't like going around smelling like something edible so I decided to apply some of the sanitizer to the scarecrow doll I purchased at Ben Franklin Crafts.  Now the scarecrow is a room or car freshener and I didn't waste the sanitizer.  Hope you always think of ways to turn your lemons into lemonade or maybe lemon curd!  Happy Autumn Blessings!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Christmas Products Arriving Daily at BFC

Yahoo!  The Christmas craft goodies are rolling into Ben Franklin Crafts and the decorated trees are going up.  This year the Martha Stewart line of stickers, paper pads, labels, rubber stamps, paper tape, border pads, etc. is really fabulous. I love the happy themed products which really have the feel of an old fashioned Christmas.  I think they pair really well with the Imaginisce double sided card stock which have arrived at BFC too.

Also at the store are cute elf-themed rubber stamps by Stampendous.  I especially love the clear stamp set which has interchangable heads. I'm planning to make some Victorian style cards using rubber stamps from Inkadinkado embellishing them with some of the new glitter card stock (K and Co. pack) and  crushed glass glitter (Stampendous).

After picking up way too many 12x12 sheets (there are so many new lines at BFC) and drooling over the Christmas stuff, I made one last swoop at the Bo Bunny line called, Serenity Collection. Lots here for scrappers and card makers including stamps, die cuts, stickers, 12x12 paper packs and card-sized paper pads.  Items from this Bo Bunny line would make great gifts for a local crafter who likes to create Asian themed crafts.  Happy Crafty Shopping!