Sunday, July 29, 2018

Wax Seal Tags

 Wax seals are not new.  In fact, they were used way back in the days when people actually sent handwritten letters and needed to seal documents. However, the seals shown here were made in a new way with the use of a wax melting gun, wax sticks, and a metal stamper.
 Rather than melting the wax directly onto the tags, I chose to melt the wax into a blob on a silicone, heat resistant sheet (the kind crafters use to keep their work surface clean).  Then I carefully pressed the metal stamper into the wax and let it cool.  Once cool, the hardened wax discs were used like medallions on my tags.
 By varying the ribbons and twine many different looks were achieved from a single piece of scrap paper plus the Lawn Fawn stamp and die sets (from HM Ben Franklin Crafts).
 There are lots of wax colors and sealing coin designs available at HM Ben Franklin Crafts.  Since I only have a few types, I know I will be back shopping at BFC to get more colors and seal designs.  Oh, this is a good tip:  If some of the pressed wax seals are less than attractive, they can be remelted with the use of a heat gun and re-pressed with the metal seal. This is a good way to make multi-colored wax coins which are very attractive. Okay...go shopping and create something pretty!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Ice Cream Truck Birthday Card

 I wanted to make a 'cool' card because it's just so-o-o hot!  I decided that an ice cream truck card would at least give me sweet small-kid-time memories. I started with an Avery Elle stamp and die sets.  The images were easy to color and the dies cut out the shapes perfectly.  I love, love, love the cute Doodlebug Designs printed papers from the 6x6 paper many sweet, refreshing designs. For added realism I applied Glossy Accents and sprinkles (from the resin dept. in BFC) to the frozen treats. Doodlebug Designs stickers and dots livened up the card (and covered up a couple of smudges)...LOL! 
 This card base was from a Doodlebug Designs set of assorted cards in pretty summer colors that I purchased at HM Ben Franklin Crafts.  The dog and ice cream man were raised on foam dots and add to interest inside the card. To soften the words, I curved them on the acrylic block before stamping.
 I like that this card has a neat closure and lots of room to write a message.  Please check out all the summer crafting goodies at HM Ben Franklin Crafts.  They are sure to help you make some 'cool' projects this summer.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Hand Bound Washi Paper Booklet and Matching Card

 I have a girlfriend who is a wonderful watercolor artist. I wanted to make her some thing unique for her upcoming birthday.  I thought that perhaps I could make her a watercolor paper booklet to paint in during outdoor adventures.  I made some hand bound Japanese booklets a long time ago but forgot how to stitch them so I looked it up on the internet....voila!...I found complete instructions for four hole stab bound books.
I used a conical shaped book binding hole punch but it made large holes so I had to find a thicker wax cord normally used for leather sewing. For my future booklets I will use a simple awl and linen thread like the traditional Japanese bookbinders do.
 For the cover, I adhered the printed washi paper to some thicker, stiffer solid colored paper using double stick tape (Heiko)  Inside the booklet, I alternated watercolor paper with plain card stock so my friend could paint and not worry that it would seep through to the next page. The finished booklet is 4-1/4" x 6-1/4",
 The matching cherry blossom birthday card was easily made with a die that came with a magazine purchased at Barnes and Noble.  Using the die on a DCWV shimmer paper (from a 6x6 pack), I was easily able to cut the intricate design.  To make adhesion simple, I ran the die cut piece through my Xyron machine. By rubbing the piece firmly before separating the layers you can minimize the  adhesive strings and lay down the die cut piece easily onto your card blank. Dust the card with cornstarch if the surface is still sticky.  I used the second part of the die to cut the printed paper to fit the other side of the card.  A Spellbinders die set and an old 'happy birthday' Japanese stamp was used to make the character label. Pink Distress Ink was rubbed around the label to soften the edges. A few artificial cherry blossoms and pieces of mizuhiki were added to complete the card. I plan to purchase (from HM Ben Franklin Crafts) a water brush (the kind you fill with water for portable painting) and a set of Kuretake watercolor cake-style paints to add to my gift.  I hope my friend will be surprised and pleased with the birthday gifts.  Thanks for stopping at my blog site today. Hope you enjoyed your visit enough to return often.  I would appreciate a feedback comment if you have time to leave one. Mahalo!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

What Is It? Is It Ready Yet?

No dear, the prune mui is not ready to eat yet.  It needs to age for a few days at least. This is a practice batch which has lots of other dried fruit (lemons, apricots, cherries, guava peel, ginger, etc.) mixed in with the prunes. I substituted rum for the whiskey recommended in the recipe that I found on the internet. If this prune mui batch is good, I will make more during the holidays. In attractive containers I think they will make wonderful gifts.

Prune Mui (my altered version)

6 pkg. pitted dried prunes (cut)
2 pkg. dried apricots (cut)
1 pkg. Li Hing Mui bits (or other li hing seeds)
1 pkg. lemon peel (dried guava peel or li hing ginger pieces can be used)
1 1/2 cup lemon juice
3 T. Hawaiian salt (Himalayan salt can be used instead)
1 T. Chinese five spice
1 box brown sugar
3 T. whiskey

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and pack in large containers. Stir mixture several time a day and then pack in small gift jars.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Musical Mice Reveal Wheel Birthday Card

 Here is another birthday card I made using the Lawn Fawn reveal wheel die set and the additional word bubble die,  I love the way this card turned out mostly because I love the House Mouse image and playing with the spinning wheel that reveals four possible word choices.  This time the brad that holds the wheel together is a flower brad which just by chance landed on the mouse harpist's head. The enamel dots helped to make the card even more lively.
 The dot banner (which is a mini garland from Doodlebug Designs) was adhered with foam dots to add some dimension. The mice were colored with Copic pens and the background was pigmented with Distress inks.
 On the inside of the card I attached a Doodlebug Designs treat bag with an oval window cut out with a Spellbinders die. This allowed me to slip several old birthday photos into the bag. For more decoration I added a die cut (Avery Elle) 'celebrate'  and some fake label Sticko stickers.  I used a Pebbles Happy Birthday gold seal to further enhance the stamped music sheet (Hero Arts). I plan to write my birthday message in red ink on the music sheet. Hope you enjoyed learning about the creation of this card and that you will return to this site again to see more crafty projects. Have a Mice Day!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Reveal Wheel Hedgehog Birthday Card

 After buying the Lawn Fawn Reveal Wheel die set, I couldn't wait to try it out.  I wanted to keep the image simple so I could concentrate on assembling the mechanical parts. It was surprisingly simple to put the turning wheel into action with the use of a mini brad (hidden under the flower).
Here's a close up of the wheel, that when turned reveals four adjectives. I used Kuretake watercolors to paint the background and Copic pens for the main image.  The Misti stamping tool helped to position the words so they would fit in the window.  The floral print paper came from a Doodlebug Designs pack (sold at HM BFC) which has many lovely designs for summer.  I hope you'll check out all the inspiring summer craft products at HM Ben Franklin Crafts and see what you can create. Happy Summer Crafting!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Mini Banana Bread Loaves with Chocolate Filling

We always seem to have overripe bananas, so my mom's banana bread recipe is a favorite go-to one for me.  Sometimes I make muffins because a loaf is really too much to consume at one time.  When I found a Wilton mini loaf pan at HM Ben Franklin Crafts, I knew it would be perfect to make more-than-a-muffin portions.
 There are nine loaf-shaped cavities which can be lined with paper liners (also from HM BFC).  After mixing up the batter, I filled each mini loaf pan half-way, placed pieces of a chocolate bar on top and then added more batter to cover.  One recipe made just the right amount for the nine mini loaves.
The finished pecan chocolate loaves look and smell wonderful.  I think variations of these loaves would make a good three loaf set for Christmas gift giving.  Chocolate cherry, pistachio cranberry or apricot chocolate loaves could be pretty and tasty.
 I have posted my mother's banana bread recipe before but if you missed it, you can leave your email address with your comment and I will send it to you.
Thanks for stopping by to read this it's time for me to enjoy my baking! Yummo!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Garden Diary and Seed File

My son, the budding gardener, loves to try new seeds in his small garden.  To encourage this healthy hobby, I made him a garden diary/seed holder as a gift.  I hope that he will use it to jot down plant growth, dates, results, and future plans.
For the cover, I used some corrugated cardboard from my stash and both typewritter and scrabble letters that I found way back in my 'letters' drawer.  Sizzix die cut wildflower images completed the natural look.
On the inside front page, I added some burlap and stamped a favorite saying (used on his birthday card) along with some wildflowers.
The diary was put together with the use of the WeR Memory Keepers punch board system and the Me and My Big Ideas binder rings. With these tools more pages can be added and others removed.

Some of the pages were made from envelopes...great way to use up all those 'extra' envelopes that seem to accumulate. I used a Spellbinders rectangle die to cut out the windows for the pockets. I hope this post has given you some great ideas of what you can create with your punch board system. I purchased this tool (available at HM Ben Franklin Crafts) to make extra pages for my purchased planners but I think I will be making many more envelope pocket journals in the future.