Saturday, April 29, 2023

Kokeshi Doll Boxes

Awhile ago I bought some printed Japanese paper boxes from Daiso and for a long time wondered what to do with them. Inspiration came when I looked at the I-crafter Kokeshi Dress up dies that I bought from HM Ben Franklin Crafts. They were a perfect match both in style and size.
Using the dies didn't present any problems except for the tiny eye and sandal parts. It is hard to keep track of them and hard not to get messy when gluing.  In future uses of these dies I think I will draw in the tiny parts especially since the pieces have impressed marks where the parts should be drawn.  Both Daiso and HM Ben Franklin Crafts have many packs of printed origami paper to choose from for the kimonos.
For the fans, I used the fan die from the set to cut out fans that were printed on one of my pieces of origami was a cool find!  To save time, I used stickers from my stash to make the floral hair decorations for the kokeshi dolls. It was super simple to create these decorated boxes which can be used for small gifts. Daiso had smaller square printed paper covered boxes too; I know they would make sweet candy or mochi table favors.  I suppose I should have been inspired to make these boxes for Girl's Day (March 3rd)  but May 5th is Boy's Day /Children's Day so these still can make someone happy...your mother (Mother's Day, May 13th)?


Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Stenciled Bunnies and Easter Eggs Card

Yes, I know that it is time to move on to other non-Easter projects, but I LOVE bunnies, dyeing Easter eggs, marshmallow peeps, the thrill of the egg hunt and all things Easter (my favorite holiday).  I was determined to use the Taylored Expressions bunny stencil (purchased last year). Usually, when I stencil a design I use a stencil brush and some type of paint or ink.  This time I wanted to see if I could make a raised surface design so I pressed a Versa Mark clear ink pad onto the stencil that was laid over an Easter egg design Echo Park printed card stock.  Next I sprinkled some Hero Arts puffy white embossing powder and heat embossed the paper. 

Since this was my first attempt at this self-invented technique, I was quite pleased that it worked just as I imagined it would.  The only drawback was that the stencil became a bit tacky from the ink.  I tried washing it off and was able to diminish the stickiness a bit with cornstarch.  The plastic stencil is still in great condition for future projects. This second photo shows the card at a slight angle which makes it easier to see the bunny designs.  For the words, I chose some words from another Echo Park 12x12 sheet.  I cut it down a bit, ink dyed the edges, splattered on gold ink and traced the words with a purple watercolor pencil so they would be more visible. I really am pleased with the look of this card and definitely will try another version perhaps with glue stenciled on and white flocking sprinkled on top of it.  What do you think?


Friday, April 21, 2023

Bunny Button Bottle

I've had the mini stuffed bunny for years, tucked in a craft drawer.  Actually, I bought several from HM Ben Franklin Crafts (50 cents each) as well as a giant bag of mini teddy bears.  A small recycled jar (that held a Japanese condiment)inspired me to put together this project.  I started by hot gluing the yarn around the jar lid and then gluing down the bunny. 

A floral sprig and light brown pom pom were glued on next.  Yes, I did have all the parts for this project in my overflowing craft area....years of hoarding...hahaha!

I think this  Bunny Button Bottle goes well with this Hallmark Xmas ornament that I've had on my bedside table for years. His name is 'Thread-bear'. Isn't he adorable with his spool body and thimble hat?  I know that these two will be friends forever.  This project only took minutes to make. What shall I create next? Maybe I'll make a Bunny Bottle for jelly beans!


Monday, April 17, 2023

Exhausted Easter Bunny Shaker Card

I happily 'discovered' the Lawn Fawn grassy hill frame die and the rabbit /egg confetti in my stash.  They were the inspiration for this shaker card.  It was easy crafting a shaker base with the use of an acetate sheet glued behind the die cut hills.  I used Scrapbook Adhesive foam tape under the frame. (It had to be cut in half length-wise to fit, perhaps an Exacto knife would have been the better tool than the scissors I used.)  I put an excess of confetti in the card because they always seem to disappear somewhere in the hidden parts of the card....hey, I should have taped off the cavity behind the grass so the confetti wouldn't have so much space to hide...LOL! Anyway, the images were stamped and colored with Copic pens before Glossy Accents and fine glitter were added to the giant egg. Foam dot adhesives were added to adhere the Whimsy images to the card.  Finally, the Doodle Arts die cut banner was glued in place.  Although it looks complicated, this card came together easily and the result was an always amusing, interactive card.  Shake It Up!


Thursday, April 13, 2023

Happy Spring Treat Bag

I 'found' a stash of Hawaiian Airlines snack bags (given on flights to the mainland) amongst my collection of things to recycle.  It was an exciting find because the bags are a cute size and have a neutral colored surface.  Since I still had my set of Art Impressions stamps with dies Easter Chicks set out, I decided to use the adorable images again.  I also used Lawn Fawn dies for the words and grassy hills. The chick images were stamped, colored with Copic pens, and die cut before adhering them to the die cut grass. Sticker eggs were also applied before the words glued down. Because the Hawaiian Airlines logo still showed above the 'Happy Spring', I camouflaged it with some mini artificial flowers.  Usually, I leave the sturdy woven handles on the bags I decorate, but this time I wanted to give the bag a more festive look so I changed out the brown woven ribbons for gauzy floral ones. I left the wires in the ribbon because I wanted to be able to shape the handles for the photos, but normally I would remove the wire to make the handles softer for the recipient to hold.  The back of the bag was decorated too, using the stickers that were leftover from the package that held the egg stickers (old, inexpensive set).  I had a lot of fun making this bag which was a good break from card making. Well, onward to make more treat bags and of course buy marshmallow peeps and chocolate bunnies!


Sunday, April 9, 2023

Easter Chick with Rabbit Ears

As soon as I saw the Ai stamp set, I knew I HAD to have many cute possibilities!  It was a little pricey but then I noticed that the set included the DIES!  That made it a bargain!  Anyway, I started with a Paper Arts card blank (sold at HM BFC in packs of 8) and an Echo Park 6x6  Easter paper pad (also sold at HM Ben Franklin Crafts).  After trying to foil (with the Heidi Swapp foiling system) the words, I gave up and returned to my trusty embossing powder (purple) and heat gun.  Is anyone getting good results with the Heidi Swapp foiling system and products?  The Lawn Fawn grassy hills die made the background super easy to set up.  The cross hatched orange papers were scraps from another sheet in the Echo Park paper pack.  I was going to stamp and die cut the eggs but I got lazy and found a bunch of old stickers that were just the right colors.  Anyway, I need to use up my sticker 'collection' because it is getting so old that the adhesive is getting gummy on some of the stickers ...oh dear!  This card makes me smile because the chick is so darn cute. I'm looking forward to using the other chicky images from the Ai stamp set.  Please come back and take a look at my future blog posts. Happy Easter!


Wednesday, April 5, 2023

3-D Easter Bunny Delivering Eggs

After finding the Hero Arts 3-D bunny die in my stash of Easter stuff, I knew I had to use it again this cute! I die cut the bunny from DCWV pearlized light lavender card stock. The eyes were colored in with a lavender Copic pen and the inner ears were colored with a pink Copic color.  A light blue color was used around the edges of the bunny and its cheeks were blushed with a light pink.  Echo Park Easter 12x12 card stock was used for the background of the card.  An Impression Obsession 'Easter Greetings' was used to cut the words from copper foil card stock ( DCWV) . Both the bunny and words were adhered with Fabri-tac Beacon glue as were the eggs die cut with the Spellbinders set.  Some extra  Easter egg stickers were added and the 3-D parts of the bunny were lifted up from the card.


I made a second card using different colors and words (Lawn Fawn die). The words on this card were cut from  pearlized pink card stock (DCWV).  At an angle the the 'Happy Spring' shows up better and looks good with the bunny who also was cut from pearlized paper.  The 3-D effect of the bunny makes the cards look complicated but they were put together very quickly. TIP: Be careful to only glue the edges of the bunny so that the main parts of the bunny can be lifted to give the 3-D effect. It was fun to create cute cards like these because they make me feel like Hippity Hopping into Spring!


Saturday, April 1, 2023

Tucson Rock and Gem Show


In February I was lucky enough to attend the Tucson Rock and Gem Show.  It was great to again peruse the vast displays of fossils, gemstones, minerals and other rockhound treasures.  (The gem show had a set back during Covid just like everyone else.)  The above photo shows an assorted display of fossils mostly from Oregon. I bought a few specimens for myself and for gifts.  The display below is of dinosaur bones. It's hard to believe that fossilized dinosaur bones are so beautiful and reasonably priced.  Too bad my suitcases were too heavy to take on any more than the smallest pieces.

There were also large crystal displays with affordable specimens and some that were beyond my pocketbook.  They were nice to look at though but definitely too big and heavy to fit into my suitcase.

I really admired this small crystal cluster and knew that I had room for it in my carry on bag, but my husband convinced me that there was no way that we'd get it home unbroken. Next time I'm bringing lots of tissue, bubble wrap, and more MONEY!

I did buy some gemstone strands like these turquoise, chrysoprase, and larimar (center strand).  My plans are to find a pendant for the larimar beads and make some jewelry with the other pieces.  This is just a very small portion of what I came home with....I didn't want visual proof of my addiction. There were a lot of great bargains in finished jewelry, beads and specimens.  The HM Ben Franklin employees who attended the Tucson Rock and Gem Show were assigned the difficult task of purchasing items.  The new items will be appearing soon in the Rock Locker Box and the bead department in some of the BFC stores.  I hope you'll go and check out the gorgeous displays and maybe purchase something for your own collection. Be aware that rock collecting is addictive.... believe me, I know!