Saturday, April 28, 2018

Boy's Day Koi Tray

 I was immediately attracted to this 17" wooden tray which I saw in HM Ben Franklin Crafts. In my mind it reminded me of lacquer trays I admired in Japan.  It was simple work (my husband did it...LOL!) to spray paint the tray with Design Master glossy black spray paint (from BFC).  Hubby said he sprayed, sanded and then sprayed it again. (Is it no wonder that I keep him around?) I traced the tray bottom onto the Photo Play 'Paper Crane' Koi Pond 12x12 card stock.  I carefully kept trimming until the paper fit perfectly in the tray. Because the tray is so long I had to cut two strips and align the fish design.  Don't overlap the strips or they will show up as a lump.  I recommend that you either spray the backs of the strips with Elmer's Spray Adhesive or run them through a Xyron Adhesive Machine.  After adhering the koi design paper to the tray I applied Glossy Accents medium to the top adding a sheet of lacy blue Japanese paper and covering with more Glossy Accents.  Crumpled tissue paper would give a similar effect of textural interest.
The koi design seems perfect for Boy's Day, but there are many Japanese patterned papers available at HM Ben Franklin Crafts which would make gorgeous trays.  These decorated trays are good for holding keys, wallets, pens, etc. but would be lovely as a centerpiece holding multiple globe vases of gardenias or goldfish.  Party favor snack bags of goldfish crackers or Swedish fish candy would be fun to offer from this tray at the end of your Boy's Day party.  Hooray, for boys!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Happy Bird-Day Card

 Here is the third of a series of birthday cards I made using the Sizzix happy birthday words die.  As with the previous two cards it was super simple to make because the die cut words occupy most of the card front.  I chose a printed feather pattern paper from a 6x6 paper pad and used a Xyron Adhesive machine to apply a sticky film to the back of the die cut words. Tip: Dust the card front with cornstarch to remove unwanted tackiness.)  I stamped the Santoro girl on a bird and used Copic pens to color the image. HM Ben Franklin Crafts has a good selection of Santoro're sure to find one that you love.  I used the We R Memory Keepers Crop-a-dile corner clipper to round the card base (Paper Accents) corners.  Ben Franklin Crafts also has lots of different colored feathers so it was easy to find some to match my card. I pulled out some of the down feathers and glued them to the bird.
 Since I had a bit of the patterned paper leftover, I glued it into the envelope to fancy it up.  Funny how the little touches go a long way to make a greeting card extra special.  I hope my last three posts have demonstrated how easy it is to make many beautiful birthday cards using just one basic die. Give it a try!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Happy Unicorns Birthday Card

 Since unicorns are making a comeback (from the 70's), I decided that it would be fun to make my next birthday card (using the same die as in the last post) with the cute unicorn images from Mama Elephant.  For the 'Happy Birthday' die cut background, I chose a rainbow heart patterned card stock from the Doodlebug Designs 'fairytale' 6x6 pad (purchased at HM Ben Franklin Crafts).  Although you can't see the sheen of the pearlized card base (Paper Accents from BFC), I think it adds a lot to the overall 'shimmeriness' of the card. The unicorns required very little coloring (yay!), just some gold on the horns and silver on the hooves (I used Uniball Signo metallic pens which are available at HM Ben Franklin Crafts). For more unicorn beauty, I added sparkly crystal glitter and yarn tails (they have sparkly pieces in the yarn which don't show up in the photo).
 The Mama Elephant stamp and die set had  a good sentiment and other images so I applied them to the inside of the card. As with the unicorns, I adhered the images with foam dots.  As a final pretty touch, I decorated the envelope with Doodlebug Design washi easy to just wrap it around. I am pleased by how easily this card came together and I know just which birthday girl will enjoy it. Please visit this site again to see another very different birthday card made with the same wonderful Sizzix die.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Happy Hedgehog Birthday Card

In the coming months, I have a few birthday cards to make for friends and relatives.  Since I really love the Sizzix Happy Birthday word die that I purchased from HM Ben Franklin Crafts, I will try to use it in different ways for all the birthday cards I make in the coming weeks.  This die cuts very cleanly and when layered over a solid or moderately printed card stock (DCWV, Celebrations 12x12 pad) it makes an attractive backdrop for a stamped image (Penny Black). The finishing touches were Glossy Accents and crystal glitter added to the cupcake, foam dots under the hedgehog image, and a printed grossgrain ribbon.
I have a few funny stamps that I like to add to envelopes or the backs of my cards, like this one from Las Vegas Stamps (I think). Oh, this photo shows the Mama Elephant die set that I used to cut a panel for the inside (not shown) of the card. This die set is very useful for cutting pieces to cover up mistakes***wink***wink***!!! Since Sizzix also makes word dies for thank you and friendship cards, I may make some too, after I finish this series of birthday cards. Please come back for a lookie look at my future projects. Thank you for leaving your kind comments.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Planning for a Good Year

About this time last year I began my first planner.  As promised, I am reporting on the result of a year of writing down thoughts, expressing daily hopes, the success of finished projects, etc.  I am proud to say that I kept at it for a full year and I still enjoy filling out the pages, arranging a schedule and decorating with stickers.  Now I can truly endorse the planner products especially the 365 Create line by Me and My Big Ideas and the Life Organized 'emoji style' by Paper House. I know these happy planner items will encourage me to keep my life in order and plan for the days ahead this year. For a disorganized person like me, a planner is definitely an enjoyable solution for setting goals and accomplishing them. Give a planner a'll find everything you need at HM Ben Franklin Crafts including a complete line of beautiful, colorful erasable pens.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Hummus Hack

My husband suggested that I include recipes and cooking hacks in my blog since I'm always inventing and tweeking my home cooking.  Here is a recent shortcut (hack) for making hummus that I created because I love the taste of Thai peanut sauce but find peanut butter to be messy in a blender.  Peanut butter powder from the supermarket is a quick add in to give hummus flavor without stickiness.  I placed a can of garbanzo beans, 2-3 T. of peanut butter powder, a splash of white vinegar, a few dashes of sriracha sauce, 1-2 T of sesame oil, and 1- 2 T. of honey in a Bullet blender.  Mix until hummus is smooth. (Add a bit of water if the mixture is too thick and add salt to taste.) There you have it.....a simple, tasty hummus. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Fancy Die Cut Gatefold Wedding Card

Our family is at that stage of life when all the young cousins seem to be getting married.  I liked the last wedding card that I made so I decided to make a similar one for an upcoming nuptial. It was simple to use the Sizzix dies to cut the gatefold card and the intricate front piece.
For the inside of the card, I used another Sizzix die to cut the piece for the stamped words. Stamping the (Studio G) words on the die cut label was probably the hardest part of making this card.  After several tries, I finally decided not to ink the word 'and' so that all the words would fit before heat embossing with Nuvo (silver moonlight) embossing powder.
I found some Martha Stewart parchment and foil butterfly stickers in my stash which I thought made the perfect add-on.  As a finishing touch, I applied some Little B wedding words washi tape to the silver envelope. card done and ready to take to the happy occasion!