Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Still Tagging It

Yes, I'm still playing with my Xmas supplies.  Never too early to start making tags for Christmas 2016 right?  wink*wink*  Actually I couldn't resist using the Penny Black stamps that I purchased too late for this year and to try out a new resist product with a fine line tip.  After stamping the images on watercolor paper ( inks won't bleed through the back) and coloring them with Kuretake brush pens (love the fine brush tip), I drew the masking fluid onto the image to protect it from watercoloring.      (This method avoids tedious image fussy cutting.) Once the masking fluid was dry, I randomly painted splotches or vague suns and trees using the Kuretake watercolor set.  (If you haven't treated yourself to an after Xmas gift, this watercolor set is a beauty and the colors are intense.)
Finally, I rubbed off the rubbery mask and added Wink of Stella white, Mister Huey white or Frantage white embossing powder to give the effect of snow.  The Martha Stewart sparkling yarn (snapped up from the clearance area in Hilo BFC store) was used for the ties.  A Let It Snow Paper Smooches die cut was added to the hedgehog tag.  Experimenting on tags with new products is a great way to build up a stash of Xmas tags before the next season comes rolling on....it will be here in a heartbeat....really!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas and theTen-Minute Xmas Table Decoration


It's Christmas!  I decided to leave you with one last quickie craft as a Xmas gift.  I simply pulled a wooden log slice, bear ornament and a package of miniature trees off the shelves of HM Ben Franklin Crafts.  Then with a hot glue gun I affixed the bear and tree to the base and voila instant table decoration.  The stores have several ornaments which would work and you could make several for your holiday table.  By leaving the ornament screw eye in place, a name tag or message could be tied on.  Since this idea is probably too late for this year, I think the after Xmas sales at BFC would be a good time to get the parts for next year's holiday table. (This decoration idea was inspired by a craft shown on the Ideas and Inspiration BFC blog site....a toy car was used instead of a bear.)  I like the natural wood base but maybe next year I will add some glitter so it looks like it's snowing.  Anyway, I hope all of you will enjoy a bountiful and safe Christmas. Thank you for being my blogland friends; I've enjoyed sharing my holiday crafts with you.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Cocoa or Tea Treat Box

I haven't used my Big Pro pillow box die for ages, but I was inspired to do so because of this Echo Park Xmas mug double-sided DP.  Many holiday craft/cooking shows have been showing simple co-worker gifts with cocoa mixes, candy canes or cinnamon sticks, and marshmallows in a box or mug.
I thought this large pillow box could even hold a few cookies.  If you don't have the die or a machine, did you know that you can use the Big Pro machine and pillow die for free at Ben Franklin Crafts if you buy the card stock there?
There are lots of Xmas DP to chose from but I like this print because it matches the Paper Smooches mug die.  Both the mug and 'Let it Snow' cuts were made from the reverse of the paper.  I used fleece yarn as a ribbon and a miniature Darice gingerbread ornament for decoration on the mug tag.
Ben Franklin Crafts has many paper designs to choose from including some with cookies that would make great pouches for holiday cookies. Someone suggested that instead of cocoa I could fill the box with fancy tea bags and perhaps a vintage teaspoon for an extra special gift.  I am done with party favors and office gifts for this year, but I will definitely keep this sample in my idea box for next year.  I think you can do something like this for Valentine's Day co-worker gifts.  Give it a try!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Resin Purse Charms

If you've recently visited our HM Ben Franklin Crafts in Mapunapuna, I'm sure you've seen our big area devoted to Japan crafts.  I finally found some time to try out some of the purse charm resin kits I bought a few months ago.  I love the kits because they come complete with all the findings and little embellishments.  Also the kits have full instructions in English.
Although I've been told that you can set the resin with sunshine, I am too impatient and prefer the speed of a UV light (available at BFC).  These bracelet style purse charms are the rage in Japan because additional charms can be added to the chain.  The one on the right can actually be worn as a bracelet if your wrist is small enough.  The cookie-like bird charm on the left is my favorite but the ice cream charm is the most realistic.
To make these charms you will need UV resin and  jewelry glue plus a UV lamp.  These kits would make fine gifts for someone who has a UV lamp, but you could make the lamp part of the gift.  Making these charms was exciting and I know that I'll make more because I purchased lots of molds, colorants, and embellishments.  Since I am giving lots of small purses for Xmas this year, I plan to attach charms to them.  I hope you have a chance to see and buy these unique resin crafts at the Mapunapuna BFC store.  Happy Holiday Crafting!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Oh! Fudge!

To me nothing says Christmas like fudge and cookies so that's what I like to make and give to friends and family.  This year I tried a new recipe for Coffee Shop Fudge that I found online (Food.com).  It was really easy because it was made in the microwave.  It was too soft in the beginning but after a few days it hardened up to a perfect consistency.
The taste is very rich but it doesn't have a strong coffee flavor so I may add more espresso powder the next time I make this fudge.  I like to line my containers with parchment paper to make it easy for the recipient to lift out the slab and slice.
I bought the container from Ben Franklin Crafts last year but I think this type is available at Celebrations (next to Mapunapuna BFC).  I love the click down side clamps.  The ribbon for the bow was discovered in a sale bin at HM Ben Franklin Crafts.  It makes me happy to know that after eating the fudge the container can be reused as a food container.  Just thinking about fudge makes me giddy....think I'll have a piece now!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

More Elves Not On Shelves

Here are two more elf Xmas crafts.  The first is a mini bag made with a Lawn Fawn die.  I like that the handle opening allows for a bow and makes it possible to tie it to another gift.  I added jingle bells to the ends of the Heiko ombre ribbon (from the Celebrations store).

This side view shows the depth of the bag and that it could easily hold gift card(s), specialty chocolates or maybe even jewelry(?).

Elves in boxes (made with a Neat and Tangled die) are my favorite elf tags.  The 'packing' in the boxes is made from fake snow glued onto cotton batting (both from BFC).  The card stock papers are Doodlebug, Echo Park or American Crafts. As with the elf projects from my last post, the images were colored with Copics and Kuretake brush markers.  The caps were embellished with Fun Flock (Stampendous).

I hope that you will think of new shapes for tags/cards and decorate them with happy elves.  They are lots of fun to do and with the dies most of the work is done for you.  If you are running out of crafting time, think about making tags/cards for next year.  After New Year's Eve, I usually make a bunch of tags and cards before putting away my Xmas stuff.  This really gives me a jump start for next year.... Xmas comes around really fast...yeah?

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Xmas Elf Banner Tags

I still needed a few more tags and wanted to use the Hero Arts elf stamp and die set that I purchased from HM Ben Franklin Crafts.  Rather than use the traditional tag shape, I chose a Lawn Fawn banner die.  It was simple work to cut the tags from my scraps of printed Xmas card stock.  The elves took a bit of time to color but they were a snap to cut using the die.  I added Wink of Stella to give some sparkle and Fun Flock to create fuzzy embellishments on the caps. The loops were made with ribbon, pipe cleaners or pine tree sprigs. I also added jingle bells and holly berries   All the embellishments were from BFC too.
For those office goodie bag tags, I went with a mock clipboard tag.  The banner shape was cut from the reverse side of the double sided Xmas cardstock.  I cut the faux metal clip from DCWV shimmer paper (in 6x6 paper pad).  Oh, I forgot to show the Paper Smooches stamp set that goes with the clip dies.  I left room on the tag front to write the to and from names and you could add the name of the treat in the bag on the faux metal clip.
Here's a look at the back of the clipboard tags.
I think you will really have fun with the HA elf stamp and die set.  There are so many applications and all three elf images are really adorable.  Come back and see my next post where I will show you two more elf projects...my favorites!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Santa Is Watching

 Children are often tormented by the lyrics of the song 'Santa Claus Is Coming To Town'.  You know the one with the threats of  "better not cry or pout " etc.  I  wanted this card to show the mythical flying Santa and the mystery of gifts in stockings.  The Darice embossing folder and Sizzix stocking die just seemed to go together to me.  I found both products in the Xmas aisle at Ben Franklin Crafts.  After die cutting the stocking square from DCWV foil, I backed the piece with a snowflake print card stock by Echo Park.  This was attached to the sanded embossed blue card stock (the type with a white core).  To emphasize my 'be good or else' theme, I stamped the Paper Smooches sentiment 'Santa Is Watching' in silver ink and heat embossed it with silver powder.  The stars that were die cut out of the middle stocking were glued on the sides of the words.

Here is another version of this card.  It uses a DCWV glitter paper instead of foil and the snowflake print paper was replaced with a piece of dye spattered watercolor paper.
When my son was young I tortured him with the song just as my father did to me.  Even worse as a joke, we actually left some black candy coal in his stocking one year.  He cried buckets until we brought out the real gifts.  We were unknowingly cruel parents even though he was a near perfect child.  Our prank backfired on us and to this day we feel guilty....wonder if he remembers the coal in his stocking?

Friday, December 11, 2015

Simple Die-Cut Snowflake Tags

These delicate snowflake tags were made using a Stampendous stamp and die.  I folded white smooth card stock in half before die cutting being careful to place the fold slightly under the cutting edge of one of the snowflake tips.
After stamping the image, I sprinkled on some glitter embossing powder and melting it with a heat gun. This photo clearly shows how the ribbon is glued inside the fold. The glue helps to strengthen the hanging loop of the tag.
Although the tags look fine with only embossing powder, the addition of crystals or half pearls do add extra bling
Here you can see that the folded die cut snowflake tag gives you lots of room to write a message.  You can of course make a non-folded tag and loop the ribbon through one of the snowflake openings.
I really enjoyed making these tags because it was so simple to do and the results were elegant. These Stampendous sets can be used for many other projects because there are several snowflakes of different sizes which can be layered.  I can imagine a whole garland of snowflakes around my windows.  What would you do with pretty paper snowflakes?

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Xmas Chalkboard Tags

 When my kids were younger and didn't appreciate handmade tags (they probably still don't), I recycled our family Xmas tags...they didn't notice or care. Hahaha!  The blank chalkboard tags that I found at HM Ben Franklin Crafts seemed like a clever solution to reuse tags.
I used ready made Feltie (Darice) decorations and mini garlands to decorate these card stock tags.
Here is a close -up of the way I used a pipe cleaner to attach the chalk (half a stick) to the tag so that the recipient would have it handy to rewrite a name or message.
Even the penguins were totally finished except for gluing on the cap....so easy!
 These wooden chalkboard tags cost more than the paper ones, but they are sturdier and easier to erase.
This one has a simple decoration of a miniature holly pick with the stem removed.
BFC has loads of miniature ornaments (Darice and Cousins) which look sweet on a tag.
I made a chalk holder on the back of the tag by gluing on a pipe cleaner coil.
These chalkboard tags could also make charming tree decorations.  I think teachers could make these as projects for the students to take home.  I recommend using Beacon 3 in 1 glue instead of a hot glue gun for safety reasons.  This glue dries very quickly and remains clear.  Even at Xmas time it's good to remember recycling. Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Snowman Snowglobe Tag Ornament

 When I  saw the Snowman stamp set and matching dies, it was a no-brainer that I had to buy them.  I knew the large snowman image would make a fantastic shaker card or tag.  By using an oval die from a Spellbinder set, I was able to cut out the window in the snowman body.  I cut the same shapes from two foam sheets (didn't have one thick one).  I glued (Beacon 3 in 1) a piece of acetate under the body that was stamped on watercolor paper (nice texture and thickness). Then I glued the foam pieces beneath the acetate and trimmed as needed.  A pile of MS snow glitter, Stampendous glass glitter, and WOW! iridescent glitter was placed under the body that was glued into place on the Echo Park printed card stock tag (cut with a Little B die).  All the other pieces for the tag were stamped on watercolor paper with Memento ink, die cut and colored with Zig Kuretake marker brush pens (Wouldn't a set make a great Xmas gift?) before they were attached to the tag with foam squares.  For extra texture and glimmer I colored the snowman with Wink of Stella clear and glued (MS glue pen) on white Fun Flock on the hat and sweater. Because of the dies, this tag was put together quickly and could easily be mass produced.  The dies in this set cut the images very precisely (with very little white borders) so you may want to stamp first then die cut. This tag would also make a pretty tree ornament for the recipient.  All of the products used on this project were purchased at HM Ben Franklin Crafts....the place where you will find all the crafting supplies you desire!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Like Snowflakes, Each One Is Unique

I usually send out holiday cards with family newsletters to friends and family who don't live on the islands.  Although I would prefer to make each one individually, time is a silent enemy.  As a compromise I decided to use a watercolor-like technique.  I used an acrylic rectangle (this one happened to have a handle but you can an acrylic stamp block or even a spam musubi maker) to print the Distress Inks.  After applying the inks to the block, I sprayed them with Perfect Pearls (mixed with water) before stamping them on the watercolor paper.  I misted with Mr. Huey's after printing.
This close up shows the mini felt snowflake (purchased in a set from HM Ben Franklin Crafts) that was rubbed with Stickles before gluing onto the card. (I think the felt snowflakes were meant to be used on a miniature tree.  They come in a cool wooden box which could be turned into an earring holder or mini shadow box.)
Oh, almost forgot....I sprinkled some Stampendous Frantage (from BFC) onto the watercolor panel and heated it from the underside with a heat gun before attaching the panel to the Paper Accent blank card base.
After double sticking the sentiment with Merikan tape, I was done.  I am very pleased that each card is slightly different and that the cards came together very quickly.  This 'watercoloring' technique with the acrylic block was very entertaining so I'm sure I will use it again.  I hope that you will give it a try to make your card making faster without abandoning the handmade look. Happy Crafting!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Testing out Chameleon Pens

I was so excited to try out my new set of Chameleon pens that I skipped breakfast to play with them. Hahaha! (I woke up later than usual.)  For once I read the instructions and discovered that using the pens was not that complicated....just like Joy demonstrated on the 'Joy of Crafting'. I totally loved the idea that I had way more than the 20 colors in the set....the unique solution in every pen allows you to create many more shades of the basic colors.  After testing the colors a bit, I decided to try making a tag.  With the help of the Sizzix set shown in the photo below, I was able to put together a simple tag and practice more with the Chameleon pens. I am still not comfortable with the timing of getting the shades of each pen but I'm confident I will get better.  There are different set sizes of Chameleon pens available at Ben Franklin Crafts, but I think your favorite crafter (yes, you can get it for yourself) would be thrilled to find this really big set (that comes with a black outliner, a blender pen and free replacement tips) under her holiday tree. Ho-ho-ho!...Christmas is on its way!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Making Multiples and The Winner Is.........

I am never thrilled about making multiples; but when I need to, I try to think of ways to streamline the process. For these party favors, I started with magnetic closure blank notepads (Sierra Pacific) which I purchased from HM Ben Franklin Crafts.  The flat outside allowed me to simply apply Beacon 3 in 1 glue to the outside of the notepad and adhered it to the crinkle Japanese print paper. (I think I purchased the paper in large sheets from Celebrations.)  Because the paper is thick and wrinkled, it nicely affixes to the notepad.
It is a simple matter to use a good quality scissors (Fiskars) to trim off the excess paper.
 Next, I stamped the sentiments onto the die cut watercolor paper and rubbed Distress Ink onto the edges.  Watercolor paper adds a nice texture to the sentiment panel.
 The last step was to apply the circular stickers (from BFC and Celebrations) and mini calendars (Vippies).  Sorry that the photos have some glare.  The notepads were placed back into their original packaging and will be included in some favor bags with Xmas cookies.  Well, that was simple and almost painless. LOL! 
Okay, drumroll please......the winner of the $25 BFC gift card (chosen randomly from all the comments left on my Oct. posts) is Yvonne, who writes the excellent blog called, Do More With Less! Congrats to Yvonne and thank you to all of you in blogland who support my blog and send me encouragingly sweet comments. Happy Thanksgiving!