Friday, December 28, 2018

Upcycled Xmas Cookie Box

 A few years ago I discovered panettone bread in a box at Ross,  It was a huge loaf that made excellent bread pudding. Amazingly, the bread stays fresh for a very long time and can be frozen.  This year I found mini panettone bread in the cutest boxes.  I couldn't bear to toss the boxes after devouring the contents so in defense of my hoarding gene, I  decided to upcycled them. (That's a fancy way to say decorate and repurpose.)
I found some striped card stock in my overflowing stash of Xmas papers and used it around the sides.  I added stickers, die-cut sentiments, sequins, and ribbons. 
It was so easy to turn a throw-away to a keeper, usable for holding my baked goods.
 I even decorated the bottom with the reverse side of the striped card stock.  Most of the supplies used were from my seemingly bottomless Xmas crafting stash.  The scalloped felt ribbon is a Martha Stewart product and the green ribbon with gold edging is a Heiko item from Celebrations.  I really like the gold glitter snowflakes from Sierra Pacific (sold at HM BFC)...there are so many snowflakes in that small vial! I hope that you will try upcycling your empty food boxes while you still have your Xmas supplies out. The holiday season will be rolling around again before you know it, so start decorating now. You'll be so happy next year when you find finished boxes, cards, and tags!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Multi-Colored Holly Christmas Card

I love playing with dyes on watercolor paper.  It's fun to sprinkle Color Burst powder pigments (from HM Ben Franklin Crafts) on damp paper and then spray on more water to see what amazing color blends appear.  I thought it would be fun to use my new Darice Holly die (purchased at HM Ben Franklin Crafts) to cut out some colorful holly.  Layered on some softly glittered silver paper, I think that the holly has a very festive look. (Sorry, I was not able to capture the special effect because of the camera flash on the card.)  
I used the Hero Arts die to cut the 'Christmas' out of green foil card stock (DCWV). For the inside of the card (not shown) I stamped the Lawn Fawn 'merry' in silver ink and heat embossed it with NUVO embossing powder.  This card was fairly easy to execute except for applying the sticky adhesive to the back of the holly.  I used the Xyron machine and it was a bit tricky to position the holly exactly.  Maybe next time I will use a spray adhesive. This card is for all of you in blogland.  I want all of you to know how much I appreciate your visits and comments. I wish the best to you this holiday season and hope that 'Santa' is generous to you because I know you've been 'GOOD' all year!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Lavender Soap for Holiday Gifts

 This past July we traveled to Hokkaido with some of our relatives.  The tour bus stopped at a well-known lavender farm.  Since I love the scent of lavender, I purchased some lavender oil, dried buds, and sprigs of  real lavender.  Way back in July, I was already planning to make soap to give to relatives at our annual holiday meal.  I was so pleased to discover that HM Ben Franklin Crafts now carries a complete line of soap making supplies including the large loaf mold.  I had to put approximately 40-50 drops of lavender oil and 30-40 drops of colorant in a batch (one tray) of microwavable goat soap base.  Before the soap hardened in the mold, I sprinkled on some lavender buds. First, I cut the cooled soap and then wrapped the soap bars in parchment paper. Next, I wrapped, glued and tied on burlap, Heiko ribbon and the lavender sprigs. (HM BFC has artificial lavender sprigs if you don't want to travel to Hokkaido to get real ones and there are lavender fields on Maui, too!  This project turned out just as I imagined it would...a rarity in my world...AND I have weeks to spare before passing them out. Now that's a first for me!  Hope your crafting is going merrily along!

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Special Gifts from the HM BFC Locker Boxes

 Several years ago I placed a jade pendant similar to this one in my locker box at HM Ben Franklin Crafts.  My son and his girlfriend admired it, but before I could take it out from my locker box to give it to her... it sold!  I search long and hard to find another jade pendant and finally found an even better quality one at an antique show. Next I needed to find the cording in my jumble of jewelry supplies. The corded necklace was purchased from HM Ben Franklin Crafts (or maybe Fire Mountain Gems) and just required tying (and gluing the knots) to affix the pendant.  It was a simple project but with all the searching it took several years to complete. Finally, I can give it to the girl who is now my son's fiancee.  Hope you'll search the HM Ben Franklin Crafts locker boxes to find the perfect gift for that special person. Happy Christmas Shopping!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Scented Baked Goods Tags

 Its almost time to start baking my cookies for gift giving, but first I needed to make a stash of tags so I can quickly assemble the baked goodie bags. This year I discovered a really adorable Neat and Tangled stamp set which I used on the front of the tag before daubing Ranger Distress Oxide around the words and bear image.  A little water was sprayed on before flicking (with a brush) on silver Liquitex ink.  The bear image was colored with Copic pens  This gave the look of light snow falling. Glossy Accents was added to the bowl and Bo Bunny Pearlescents white to the frosting.
 Because I always end up with a lot of extra Vippie mini calendars, I decided this year I would stick them onto everything, even tags....LOL! Recipients can always tie them to drawer knobs or hang them in the car ...much easier to find a date than searching on your phone.  I added more cute images on foam dots to the tag backs. To give the tags a sweet fragrance, I rubbed some scented Honey Almond oil (from the HM Ben Franklin Crafts soap and candle making aisle) onto the red and white twine.  After using the snowflake paper on the calendar side of some of the tags, I decided since the calendar would be used all year I should put a non-holiday card stock on the back (like the one I found in the 6x6 Kaiser Craft paper pad). Too bad you can't smell my tags but I think you'd agree that scented tags really add to the excitement of Xmas goodie bags. Hope you make some scented tags and of course bake up some yummy treats for everyone!

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Reindeer Hugs Tags

When I spied the Lawn Fawn 'Woodland Critters Huggers' die set I immediately thought of many uses for it.  This set suggests three different animals you can make: 1) a reindeer 2) a raccoon and 3) a fox.  I think you can create others....this reindeer could be a chipmunk if you eliminated the antlers.
To make my reindeer a little different I added a red sequin for the his nose (Rudolph has always been my favorite.),  the  green die cut Sizzix ' Hugs' and a  red and white twine loop. I  die cut a second brown body and cut off the arms so that the second body could be glued on to neaten up the back of the tag.  Oh yes, a light pink Copic pen was used to add some cheek blush.  I think this die set could also be adapted to make shaker tags or cards.  I think I'll try that when I'm not so bogged down with holiday crafting. Keep's almost Xmas!
P.S.  Did you know that Santa must have used female reindeer for his flight from the North Pole because the male reindeer don't have antlers during the winter?

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Snowglobe Shaker Ornament

 I've always love snowglobes so it was a no-brainer  that I had to purchase the Lawn Fawn 'Ready, Set, Snow' stamp and die sets.  Lawn Fawn has an easy to follow video of how to put the snowglobe ornament together so I won't go into details here.  I used printed card stock from a Kaiser Craft 6x6 pad that I purchased from HM Ben Franklin Crafts.
 I didn't like the way the side of the ornament looked because I didn't align the pieces neatly so I wrapped Heiko ribbon around the ornament and tied a knot at the top. The ends of the ribbon were glued together to make the ornament hanging loop. Snowflakes were plucked from a Darice Snowflake garland (HM BFC) and glued over the knot and on the back. The Merry Christmas label was heat embossed with Nuvo powder and cut out before attaching it to the ornament.  I filled the snowglobe with tiny snowflake sequins, micro-beads, and glitter. The back of the ornament was stamped with a Hero Arts stamp (purchased in a set from HM BFC) and room was left for names if I decide to use the shaker snowglobe for a gift tag.  Well, that's it for now....gotta make more tags, cards, and thank you notes. Happy Holidays!

Friday, November 30, 2018

Welcome Baby Double Slider Card

I wanted to make a fancy gift card holder to send to new parents of a much anticipated baby boy.  I decided to use the Lawn Fawn double slider die set because I had two funny Taylored Expression images I wanted to use. I started by die cutting the pieces from stork print Pebbles (I think) card stock.
 The panels for the images were cut from watercolor paper and  stamped with waterproof black ink.   Distress Oxide Ink was smudged around the images and sprayed with water.  After the panels were dry, I colored them in with watercolor pencils.  (If you use markers they will bleed through to the back of the panel.)
 To finish off the card, I added the banner stamped with the 'Welcome Baby' (Paper Smooches), a die cut (Lawn Fawn) pocket  in the back for the gift card, and the pull tabs (Lawn Fawn die).
The die cut 'hugs' was cut from DCWV pearl sheen paper. The LF pocket die set comes with the words and a cute heart die.

 This is the second double slider card I've made and I enjoy playing with the paper mechanics. I like the surprise element and I think it will amuse the first time parents.  I think a double slider panel like this would make a cool  hanging calendar/ gift tag with some hidden greetings inside.  What do you think? I know you are busy crafting, wrapping and cooking but drop me a line if you have time to spare.   Your comments always make me smile. Season's Greetings!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Kitten and Puppy Christmas Gift Tags

As promised, I've begun making Xmas gift tags.  This year I was going for a different look, something fancy that would mean that I could attach it to a simple ribbon and forgo a bow.  Since I had purchased some great new Xmas dies and stamps from HM Ben Franklin Crafts, I decided to use them in combination.
The 6x6 Kaiser Craft Xmas paper pads provided the perfect papers for die cutting the snowflake base for the kitten and the holly base for the puppy tag.  To add a little sparkle I glued on some Martha Stewart clear crystal glitter to the snowflakes and gold sparkle glitter to the holly berry sprigs. (Look at the tags close up.)  The Kaiser Craft paper pads also had some foil papers which were used to die cut the Lawn Fawn 'celebrate'.
The animals were colored in with Copic pens and the stockings were paper pieced by die cutting them out of a second piece of printed card stock.  Final touches were added by Fun Flocking the stocking cuffs and tying on some red and green twine. You can (as I did) make a bunch of these to dress up your wrapped gifts.  Hope this post has given you a new take on the traditional Xmas gift tags. Leave me a comment if you aren't too busy with holiday preparations. Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Thanksgiving Double Slider Card

The fall season is probably my favorite one because the weather gets cooler and the traditional colors are such a pleasing palette.  This double slider card (Lawn Fawn die set) is my first attempt so I am really proud that it actually works!  I kept the decorations and sentiments simple so I could concentrate on the mechanics of the card.
After watching the Lawn Fawn video a few times, it wasn't difficult to assemble the double slider card.  I am so pleased by this card form that I will definitely be making more perhaps as gift card holders or calendars.  Please stop by again to see what I create with this unique die set. Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends in blogland!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Japanese Scenery Hanging Calendars

 As you can see I am still making hanging calendars except this set was made using some Japanese scenery stamps I purchases ages ago from HM Ben Franklin Crafts.  (I just received my order of 2019 Vippies calendars and haven't changed out the 2018 ones I used for these photos.)
Basically, these calendars were made using the same process and supplies described in my last post.
 Although time consuming, I enjoy heat embossing the stamped  image and applying the free flowing  Oxide Distress Inks which pair well with Copic pens that I use to add in extra filler color.
 Not all of the stamp image has to be used as seen with this cropped design which allows more of the Oxide Distress ink watercolors and gold flecked ink to show.  The  images on these calendars have been heat embossed with copper ink and Nuvo brilliant gold powder so they really have a nice sparkle.  Unfortunately, these photos don't show this aspect but you can see in the previous post what a nice effect results from this technique.
 This last one does not match the others because the whip cream kitty in the cup (Hero Arts stamp and die set) was an add on to cover up a 'boo-boo'. LOL!  I like that what I almost threw away turned out quite attractive and perfect for a coffee-loving cat person.  I hope I haven't bored you with yet another set of hanging calendars. I promise the next post will be something different....maybe it's time to start some Christmas crafting!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Fairy Hanging Calendars

 After making the wine bottle tags featured on my last post, I felt that the hanging tag die could be used to make hanging calendars.  The images from the Penny Black 'missing you' set seemed perfect for this project.  I wanted the hanging calendars to be one layer (except for the calendar part) and I wanted the backgrounds to be a flowing blend of colors.
 I started by stamping the images on die cut watercolor paper using Brilliance copper ink and sprinkling on Nuvo Gold Enchantment embossing powder before setting with a heat gun.
 Next I used a sponge dauber to apply and blend some Distress Oxide Inks (Ranger) around the main image. After spraying water and blotting, I applied more color and some Ken Oliver pigment powder and sprayed again until I was satisfied with the look.  Then, I colored in the images with Copic pens.Using my finger and a stiff paint brush, I flicked gold ink (Liquitex) over the whole surface.
Finally, I die cut a printed card stock to adhere to the back of the hanging calendar.  It was easy to find a matching card stock in my sky high pile of scraps LOL! Oh yes, I rubbed some Inka-Gold paste to the edges of the calendar to give it a more finished look. If the recipient of the calendar needs to fit it over a doorknob, a slit can be made through the lower side of the ring.  These calendars are so easy to make that I plan to make a few more to accommodate the many 2019 Vippies I just ordered.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Autumn Wine Bottle Tags

The holiday season means lots of delicious feasting. As a guest it is customary to bring a side dish or even better a bottle of wine.  To dress up the naked bottle (especially if it is under $100 LOL!) I think these wine bottle tags are the perfect way to show that you put some thought into your gift.  With the Avery Elle die it is a simple task to turn an autumn print card stock into a festive decoration.
For this bottle tag, I used the cute Lawn Fawn stamp and die sets (Forest Feast).  I really like the tree stump table (trimmed to fit the tag) which was easily made by stamping black ink onto brown card stock. The animals and food were colored with Copic pens before die cutting. The 'cheers' label was cut with the Spellbinders Ribbon Tags Trio and the word was cut with the die from the Avery Elle set.
For both tags the ribbon was strung through the tag which made the words stand out.  I tied the ribbon on one side to give the tags an asymmetric jaunty look. The gnome image (Viva Las Vegas Stamps) is one of my favorite images....maybe I should get a lawn gnome decoration...LOL!  I cut some burlap (large sheet purchased from HM Ben Franklin Crafts) to fit under the gnome after I colored the image with Copic pens and fussy cut it.  Both bottle tags are similar but equally attractive to dress up a wine bottle.  If the dinner host is not a fan of wine, you can use these tags on a gift of Balsamic vinegar or a specialty bottle of olive oil.  I have another idea for using these tags so please visit this blog site again and leave a comment if you have some time to spare.  I love hearing from you!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Recycled Autumn Container #2

 Just a short post today.  I have a bunch of these empty cookie containers....hmmm where'd the cookies go? They are sturdy and just the right size for recycling into homemade cookie, soap or bath fizzy bomb hostess gifts. It was so simple to use double stick tape to attach printed stripe autumn paper to the outside of the cylinder and add a strip of burlap, ribbon, leaves and a dried baby's breath sprig. You can find a large supply of these autumn items at HM Ben Franklin Crafts. As with the box on my previous post, this decorated container can be useful after the contents are used up.  With a calendar on the back, this tall box can hold scissors, pens, pencils, etc. and look attractive on an office desk.  Enjoy the season of giving!