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!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Autumn Leaf Gift Card Holder

I found more seldom (never?) used dies. ..sort of switched over to the thinner dies...and had a great idea to use up paper scraps.
I used the Brenda Walton leaf die to cut out the large leaves and glued on the words die cut from foil card stock (DCWV 6x6 pad).
Next, I tied on some fancy yarns and rustic Heiko ribbon (from Celebrations).
Finally,  I stamped the sentiment onto the label (cut with the die) and rubbed on Viva metallic paste/Distress ink on the edges of the labels.
At first, I was just going to use these leaf cards as Thanksgiving greetings or perhaps as place cards for the turkey feast. Gratitude notes can be written on the backs of the leaves.  One of the die cut leaves was too wide to fit in the pocket envelope so I turned it into a tag.  That reminded me of how grateful I am to have so many blogland friends who leave me lovely comments.  As a thank you, I am rewarding one of them with a $25 gift card from HM Ben Franklin Crafts.  The recipient will be chosen randomly from the comments left for me in the month of October. Please visit this site again to see if the lucky person is you.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Easy Druzy Quartz Pendant

When I saw the strands of druzy quartz at HM Ben Franklin Crafts, I knew that the sparkly drilled stones would make eye-catching, one-of-a-kind jewelry.  With a simple wire wrapping technique, I was able to string 22 gauge sterling wire through the stones and attach them to 17 inch pieces of sterling chains and then add a clasps to complete the necklaces.

 The photos do not really show how stunning these simple pieces are and what perfect Christmas gifts they will make for many of your friends. The total cost of the piece is affordable and the time involved in construction is minimal so you could easily please all the women on your gift list.

This druzy pendant has a fancy beaded chain which I feel really compliments the stone.  To me it is worth the extra cost of the chain as it will make the gift more spectacular.  I wish the photos were of a better quality so that you could see the beauty of the druzy quartz...I tried really hard but could not capture the sparkle, so you will just have to visit the Ben Franklin Crafts bead department...wink*wink* to see them.

There are two sizes of druzy stones sold at BFC.  The larger strand is more expensive but there are more stones on the smaller strand which could be used for earrings or in combination with other stones.
You don't need to spend a lot on tools to do basic jewelry work.  This mini set is from HM Ben Franklin Crafts and really includes everything I use for most of my jewelry projects.  That's all for now....going to make more gifts....Christmas is coming soon!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Autumn Sticky Note Holder with Calendar

For me, finding a tool that somehow got lost in my my craft room is like winning the lottery! I was so excited to find a never-used die for a matchbook notebook (part of the Where Women Cook Sizzix series).  I grabbed a Lawn Fawn 12x12 double sided card stock and cut out three matchbooks. The die also cuts the little paper circles for the closure that was made with the addition of Making Memories mini button brads and Lawn Fawn twine.
Certainly you could use regular Post It tabs, but I had these really cute ones from Japan so I had to use them.
Here's a close up of the autumn leaves that I purchased from Ben Franklin Crafts.  The mini calendar is a Vippies product (ordered online).
The rustic ribbon used for the hanging strap is a Heiko item that I bought at Celebrations.
This side view shows how the holder is constructed and that it seemed designed to contain sticky notes even though the die does cut small cards to fit into the matchbook.
I think that these little sticky note holders will be attractive attached to cello bags of homemade cookies.  Sometimes it is nice to give early holiday gifts to co-workers before everyone is tired of goodies and you are worn out by Xmas gift crafting.  I hope this post has been helpful to you and perhaps inspired you to find a new use for that tool that has been tucked away and forgotten.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Hibiscus Die Cut Birthday Card

Here is another die cut card made with a Little B set.  Besides wanting to highlight this wonderful 'Happy Birthday To You' die, I wanted to ink up a new Hero Arts stamp set (Color Layering Hibiscus) that I just obtained.  I thought the combination of the two would make a good 'guy' birthday card. (In this photo the 'BIRTHDAY' looks darker but that is due to the angle of the word.)
With the stamps I was able to print the hibiscus to simulate a vintage Hawaiian fabric look.  The card base was cut from watercolor paper using the technique explained on the previous post which makes the card taller.  At first I was going to spritz the paper with water to give the inks a chance to spread, but straight Versa Magic ink (from a pad) gave the look I wanted.  The words were also colored with the Versa Magic  to give the card an old fabric look.
Like the Little B die set in the previous post, this 'Happy Birthday To You' die set would make a terrific gift for a paper crafter and/or yourself. I hope that you will go shopping at a HM Ben Franklin Crafts to see all the wonderful gift possibilities.  I'm sure that you will find something outstanding for everyone on your shopping list.  Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Folding Jellybean Balloon Thank You Card

After the holiday season there are always lots of thank you notes to send out so I thought this was a good time to introduce this Little B die set that cuts out a folding note with 'thank you' cut three times. This die set would make a great Christmas present for any card maker.
I was told that the Taj images were jellybeans, but I thought they would make cute balloons so I drew in the part to tie the twine onto. Luckily, I found the perfect jellybean two-sided card stock in the clearance area of the Hilo Ben Franklin Crafts store.
A little Crystal Accents on the balloons added a slick sheen.  The die set comes with dies to cut the words 'thank you' so I used them to cut out some gold foil card stock (from a DCWV 6x6 pack) and adhered the words to the middle 'thank you'.

When you use the die, the cut piece will be shorter than this card. To get the longer card, I placed a long, thin cutting pad (see last photo) over just the part of the die that I wanted to use so that the paper would not be cut through and a longer card could be formed.

It is also easy to elongate the card if you don't have a long cutting pad by adding an extra piece of card stock.  In this version I used a Paper Smooches die to cut the scallop part but you could use a decorative scissors.

This back view shows the scalloped edge better.
I hope this post has shown you a way to use the LIttle B die set and made you decide that this dies set would be a perfect Christmas gift for a crafty friend ....or yourself!  Happy Holidays!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Autumn Leaf Necklace

Years ago I purchased a bunch of leaf pendants from Fire Mountain Gems.  I think they are real electroplated leaves because each one is different.  I wasn't inspired because they were rather flat in color so I put them aside for years.  Because they were in my autumn box of stuff, they emerged again and this year I had an idea.  I decided to rub on some Viva Inka Gold paint to the front of the leaf.  It added just the right touch of autumnal color to match with the yarns I thought would work together to make a soft fall necklace. I picked antiqued copper findings for the closure and glued the yarn tails into the part that had to be crimped to form the end.

I wish my photos gave you a better picture of the subtle colors that glow from this necklace, especially the leaf pendant.  I really love the way this piece captured the essence of autumn to me.

Whenever I see an interesting yarn I buy it and put it in my seasonal color groupings. This makes it easy to choose just the right yarn when the project takes shape.  In the front of this photo are two electroplated leaves. The one on the left is the one I added color to and the one on the right is the original color. I'm not sure if the electroplated leaves are available anymore, but you can probably find a suitable substitute is you hunt around.  Even though we don't really have a fall season, I think it is a beautiful time of the year.  This autumn necklace helps me to celebrate the glory of nature.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

There is No Place Like Home Autumn Card

The Paper Smooches stamp set and the Viva Las Vegas Stamp sentiment were the inspiration for this card.  I thought that this would make a touching card for my son in school on the east coast who hasn't been home for Thanksgiving in five years. I colored the toadstool house and squirrel with Chameleon pens.  The tree and leaves were stamped in colored ink.  A black Chameleon detail pen was used to add lines to the tree. The printed circle was cut from My Little Shoebox DP with a Spellbinder die. Okay, that's it for this post....onward to more fall projects.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Autumn Photo Box Wall Decoration

I am a saver (hoarder) and can't bear to throw away good boxes.  I somehow (*wink*) managed to build up a pile of Big Island cookie boxes.  What shall I do with them?  Seeing some old Thanksgiving photos gave me a 'light bulb' moment. (Keeping photos in computer files is a waste of memories because who looks through old files?)  I decided to change the cookie boxes into photo keepers.
First I covered the lid and the bottom of the box with burlap fabric (Paper Accent 12x12 sheet), leaving the side uncovered so that the lid would still fit.
Next, using a brush, I applied UV resin (available at HM Ben Franklin Crafts) to a few sprigs of dried flowers (also from BFC).  To cure the resin I placed the flowers on a piece of parchment paper before setting it under a UV light for about 10 minutes.  I brushed on two coats of resin  to the front of the flowers and one coat to the back, leaving it under the UV light between each coat.  The resin makes the flowers less brittle but still pliable.
After attaching the sprigs to the box with Beacon 3 in 1 glue, I tied on a ribbon and added the copper foil die cut, 'grateful,' that I cut from DCWV paper (foil paper pack) using a Dienamics die from the set shown below.
Because the ribbon is removable, the box can be filled with photos printed out from your computer. Then by hanging the box on an accessible wall, you can peruse the photos whenever your heart desires.  On the top two photos you can see that I have a squirrel clip (from Celebrations?) attached to the ribbon.  I put it there so I could clip on the photo I wanted to highlight for awhile.  You could put a decorated clothespin, push pin or even a corsage pin on your photo box. Leaving the box simple is also a good option.  I hope this post has inspired you to make your own photo box wall decoration. Okay, I am going to search my files for more 'too cute for words'photos to add to my box.  Think I'll make a Halloween photo box next. O-o-o-o spooky fun!