Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Holiday Desserts Using Up Leftover Pumpkin Puree and Cranberries

Whenever I ask my husband to pick up ingredients at the market, he almost certainly will bring home two of everything or EXTRA large portions.  I'm always challenged to make something from the leftovers and so I spend hours pouring over recipes and tweaking them.  The top photo shows a tart that was supposed to be made from sweet potato puree but I decided to use the pumpkin puree leftover from the LARGE can of pumpkin that hubby got for our traditional Thanksgiving pumpkin pie.  (The leftover puree can be stored in the refrigerator until you are ready to repurpose it.)  We decided that this tart tastes better than our regular delicious pumpkin pie because it has a tasty, easy-to-make graham cracker crust and mini marshmallows melted on top.

 I had half a GIGANTIC bag of fresh cranberries leftover from our Thanksgiving feast so I decided to add some of them to my usual chocolate bread pudding.  It made a delicious bread pudding into a WINNER dessert! I don't have a regular recipe but I just do a ratio of eggs to milk to panettone bread to produce how much I want to make.  I can tell you the basics though if you want to try to make your own bread pudding creation....just send me a comment with your email address and I'll email you the simple directions.  Also if you want the recipe that I started with for the pumpkin tart; you can ask for it too.  Well, Happy Holiday eating (of repurposed leftover ingredients)!

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Thanks for Being There

Merry Christmas Everyone!  I hope Santa was good to you.  I wanted to use this post to send a grateful 'Thank You' to all of my faithful and supportive blog readers.  I really enjoy and appreciate all of your comments and the fact that you actually take the time to read my posts.  Before I put away my holiday crafting supplies, I decided to make a few thank you cards using the Hero Arts and IO dies.  They made construction a coloring too!
Hopefully, this photo shows the card to a better visual advantage. I really like the subtle effect made by the Hero Arts window dies.  I started with a 13-1/2" x 3" piece of watercolor paper. I folded the strip at 3" and 6" before cutting the reindeer on the front and the birch trees on the panel beneath it. Be careful to face the dies the right way so they both cut  front views. (You will have to reverse the birch tree die.)  
I didn't want to cut the Christmas trees through the card because I wanted to have lots of room to write my thank you note on the back, so I just glued the Xmas trees behind the birch trees.  The 'Thanks' were cut from colored foil paper (DCWV) and run through a Xyron adhesive machine before attaching to the card.
As I was cleaning up my desk, I found my 'tester' piece and decided not to throw it away but to turn it into a simple tag. If you turn the scraps on your craft desk into tags, you'll always have one handy for that last minute holiday or hostess gift.  Besides being thankful for your readership, I am also grateful for your continued support of our HM stores (Ace Hardware, Ben Franklin Crafts and Daiso). Thanks for helping to keep us in business.  The best to you in 2022!


Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Holiday Hugs Doggie Gift Card Holder

This gift card holder was made just like the last one posted using the Lawn Fawn flippy flappy die. It was a little easier to construct probably because I anticipated the sticky parts and watched the UTube Lawn Fawn video a bunch of times. I followed the color scheme of the Lawn Fawn example because I loved the color and pattern choices.  Again, I used the LF snowflake pattern card stock (in blue this time).  The little doggies are adorable and I can envision them on many other Xmas cards and tags.

Again, the flip down feature of the gift card makes this card holder very unique and fun. A message can be written in the white space on the pull up tab as well as in the card.  Now that I've successfully made two of these cards, I think I am prepared to use this LF die set on gift card holders for any season. You may be seeing a Valentine's Day flippy flappy gift card holder very soon. Holiday Hugs!

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Christmas Mice Flip Flap Gift Card Holder

I give a lot of gift cards during the holiday season so of course I was attracted to the Lawn Fawn Flippy Flappy die set.  When finished the hidden gift card flips down when the tab is pulled cool! I had fun making the card front with the Lawn Fawn merry mice stamp and die sets. The red snowflake background card stock is also from Lawn Fawn. I love the silver snowflakes and was pleased to coordinate them with the 'Believe'  silver foil word that was cut with a Whimsy die.  The little red ornaments are actually tiny stickers that sparkle like crystals.
To make this card holder I needed to follow the Lawn Fawn UTube video because the die set did not have any instructions. I guess I am paper engineering challenged because I had a difficult time putting together the paper parts. I did eventually (many tries) did get the card to work and look good. Making a fancy holder for a gift card will show that you did take effort to make the presentation special.  I do think that giving a gift card will please most recipients and if it is a Ben Franklin Crafts gift card, they'll be extremely happy! 


Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Reindeer Wearing Xmas Lights Tag

This is the prototype of a a cute reindeer tag that I plan to replicate...uh, next year.  I got the Lawn Fawn die set too late to make more than one tag. The die had lots of little parts that had to be pieced together, but I discovered that if I cut the large piece out of white card stock and ran it through the Xyron sticker maker, all the little parts and the black outline could be stuck on.  To undo the sticky white parts of the reindeer I applied some fine crystal glitter.  Also to cut down on more work, I filled in the bulb colors with Stickles which added color and sparkle.  The tag tie was made from a wire snowflake garland (HM BFC).  As you can see, this tag does take a bit of time to cut out all the parts and assemble the reindeer so I'll mass produce it next year....long before the middle of December....hahaha!


Friday, December 10, 2021

Winter Scene Xmas Card

I am so pleased that I was really able to create a card that I imagined using only one Hero Arts stamp set and the matching die set.  It is super simple to stamp the scene using different shades of green and blue inks (Versa Magic).  Even the word stamp was in this set.  I heat embossed the 'Merry Christmas' with gold powder (Hero Arts).  Initially, I stamped the reindeer and rabbit in black in but it seemed too severe so I stamped them again in brown ink and die cut them before adhering them with foam dots.  This little change added to the dimension of the card.  There are so many possibilities with this stamp set!  I am already planning my next card perhaps using some clear ink to heat emboss on some clear glitter powder.  I think this will add a glistening snow effect to the card. Well, gotta go...more holiday crafting to do before the 25th!


Monday, December 6, 2021

Xmas Tags from Paper Scraps and Bits & Pieces

I get satisfaction from cranking out tags from my collection of Xmas paper scraps.  I love large tags because they have room on the back to write a special message.  Be sure to choose card stock that is blank or light colored on the back so your message will  be readable.
I used the Hero Arts Infinity tag die set and my Big Shot machine to easily mass produce a stack of tags. With the die sets (Sizzix and Little B) I was easily able to die cut words from solid colored papers.  There are two ways I like to adhere the words to the tags. If they can fit in the Xyron sticker maker, I use this clever tool (sold at HM BFC) to apply a sticky back to the words.  After pressing them onto the tags, I dusted the words with cornstarch to counter act the sticky residue. (A light wipe with a damp paper towel will remove the excess cornstarch.)  To glue down the words that wouldn't fit in the Xyron sticker maker, I used a glue pen.  Again I dusted with cornstarch and wiped down with a damp paper towel.
I had fun digging through my boxes of Xmas bits and pieces to find embellishments for the tags.  My favorite finds were the real jingle bells on the reindeer tags and the miniature Santa hats for the HO HO HOs.  Because I know that most tags will be tossed in the trash with the wrapping paper, I try not to spend a good deal of time on each tag.  Occasionally, I make a super fancy tag and hope that the recipient will at least hang it on the Xmas tree for a little while.  I guess that's just a tag fantasy...LOL!


Thursday, December 2, 2021

Upcycled Reindeer Xmas Gift Box

It was my goal to repurpose a shallow box (that once held Asian treats) into a gift box suitable for a small treasure or gift card.  I was very pleased that I was able to accomplish what I set out to do.  
Using only one 12x12 piece of Authentic card stock (from an old Xmas tablet), I was able to cover the top, and insides of the box.  The cute SPC (Sierra Pacific Crafts) felt reindeer was purchased in a pack of 5 from HM Ben Franklin Crafts.  The chipboard Xmas tree and holly are Echo Park products. 
On the inside of the box and on the top are vintage-looking card stock words from Authentic.  
I adhered plaid ribbon to the sides of the box top with double stick Heiko tape. Originally, I used glue but that showed through so tape is definitely the way to go.  The inside of the box top was red and black like the original box cover so it already looked somewhat Christmasy.  Covering with the matching card stock and adding the chip board holly really finished off the total look.  I plan to just tie a red ribbon around the box to give the gift and hopefully the recipient will think of using the box next year for gift giving.  This will really make it a recycled-recycled Xmas box and save even more trash from going into the landfill. Yay, for recycling! 


Sunday, November 28, 2021

New Xmas Stamps and Paper Scrap Cards

These two cards were inspired by the Whimsy clear stamp set called, ATC Sleigh Rides.  I really liked the vintage look of the signage-like stamps.  I had fun finding just the right color and print of paper scraps to add to and compliment the main images.  The Xmas printed blank cards were from a boxed Xmas set  I bought (last year?) at HM Ben Franklin Crafts. There will probably be boxed cards again this year at the store.
Of the two cards, I like this one the best because of the reindeer image and the 5 cents.  I was happy to find a small strip of leaping reindeer paper to add to this card.  In my paper scrap pile I found an old foxed card with a gold rimmed blank panel.  I'm so glad that I didn't throw it away because it was perfect for the vintage look of my new card.
This angle shows the Christmas tree stamp in a better light. I heat embossed the words with Hero Arts brass embossing powder from HM BFC.  I used the Misti stamping tool to ensure I could re-stamp the image if it wasn't clear enough.  Actually, I originally stamped the image in dark green but it looked too dull so I re-did it by stamping again and heat embossing the brass colored powder.  I was pleased that one of the printed card blanks had Xmas trees on the front that matched the stamped message. These cards really reflect who I am.... a lover of vintage/antiques stuff and an anti-waster/hoarder of paper scraps. LOL!



Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Gnome for the Holidays

I love this Whimsy gnome stamp set because the gnomes look like shrunken Santas.  I usually get matching die sets but the dies for this set did not cut out the intricate parts so I decided since I would have to do so much fussy cutting I really didn't need the dies anyway.  For the slimline card I started with Lawn Fawn snowflake card the silver foil snowflakes!  The moon was cut from DCWV pearlized cardstock and the 'Believe' was cut from silver DCWV foil card stock.  The dot on the 'i' was replaced with a crystal rhinestone which is not really red but multicolored.
Of course, I had to make a tag with the leftover paper and cut out gnome image.  The words were heat embossed with Ranger Distress sparkling campfire embossing powder.  Candy cane twine from HM Ben Franklin Crafts added the finishing touch.  I know exactly who will have this tag tied on his Xmas gift...LOL!


Saturday, November 20, 2021

Christmas Kittens Flip Card

I really, really liked the Art Impressions stamp and die sets.  The kittens are so cute and Christmasy in their winter sweaters.  I was also fascinated by the way the card opened to reveal the rest of the message and the backs of the kittens. How clever is that!  The instructions for the card were on the packaging but either the Ai instructions were misinterpreted by me or they gave the wrong measurements.  In any case, I had to a resize the card to make it work.  To fill in the unbalanced spaces, I added some do-dads from my Xmas stash.  Oh yes, to add to the Christmas sweater look, I ran the Whimsy embossing plate over the striped card stock. The texture is super looks and feels like something knitted.

The flip side of the card with the kitten backs turned out fine and they really look like they are holding up the sign.  I know that I will make use of the kitten stamps again because I can see all kinds of possibilities for them even without the die cut flip part.  Although this card did not turn out as I had hoped, it still was interesting to work on it and I have lots of new ideas for cards.  Isn't that what creative crafting is all about?  So what are you making today? 

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Holiday Cards with an Old Japanese Print Look

When I saw these two Hero Arts Bold Print stamps, I was immediately drawn to them because they reminded me of old Japanese block prints. With that in mind, I experimented with colors, inks and stamping techniques and came up with these three cards. The looks are really limitless.  Mostly, I used Ranger Distress Oxide inks, Memento Permanent Inks, and flicked on silver Liquitex ink. The words on this card are actually readable but the glare on the sparkly silver embossing powder distorts the letters when photographed. It says, 'Have a magical holiday season.'
This card with Nuvo platinum embossed words is more subdued like the old style Japanese prints.
For this one I used a strip printed with the words to cover up the 'too bright' white heat embossed words.  Nothing gets wasted in my craft room!  Even the 'less than perfect' stamped papers get turned into tags or small cards. Keep holiday crafting and repurpose/recycle everything!


Friday, November 12, 2021

Pumpkin Spice Gift Card Holders

Here are the front and backs of two gift card holders I made for two coffee loving friends.  I used an Art Impressions die to cut out the cups and all their parts.  I think the take out cup gift card holder was supposed to be attached to a greeting card because the set only included dies for front parts.
It wasn't hard to use the dies to cut parts for the back of the card holder.  For the bands, I just wrapped  strips of coordinating card stock around each cup and glued them in the back covering the seam with a fussy cut character.  
The Whimsy stamp set called the creatures pandas, but I don't think they look like panda bears at all. They are cute though so I colored them like tail-less lemurs? grey gophers? or maybe they are a hybrid of animals in my fantasy brain. LOL!  

For some texture and color I glued on some fake candy sprinkles to the doughnut using Bo Bunny pearlescent white paint which comes in a tube with a small tip.  

I  die cut two cup lids to go over the white die cut inside card and glued them on either side of the card.  This card has room for writing a message and two slits for holding the gift card (to a coffee shop, of course).  Two die cut sides glued together to form the cup, snuggly hold the card.  The Ai stamp set has several stamps and dies to create card holders for other occasions.  I like the realistic list check-off stamps and medallion dies.

I know that I'll make good use of The Ai set because I like giving gift cards...easy and useable for coffee loving friends. Next time I think I'll try just attaching it to a card...maybe for Valentine's Day....gotta plan ahead right?


Monday, November 8, 2021

Autumn Card - 'Change Can Be Beautiful'

When I first spied the Hero Arts branch frame die, I loved it!  I didn't know what I would create with it but I wanted to accent the graceful lines. I decided that simply using the die to cut foil card stock DCWV (copper) would have the effect I desired.  By layering the die cut piece over a leaf print card stock, I was able to achieve a pleasing floating leaves illusion.  Hero Arts also had a stamp set of fall sayings from which I chose my favorite and heat embossed it with Hero Arts bronze embossing powder. 

I had a boo-boo on the inside of the card so I covered it up with extra card stock and some HA die cut pieces. Saved!  I hope this simple card encourages you to try the gorgeous Hero Arts autumnal designed products. Celebrate the season of change, gathering and giving!