Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas Cards

Along with the other two cards I posted, I sent these out.  I think I mailed off 87 cards this year.  These can be found on Pinterest.

Cheerful Christmas
 Endless Wishes
 Festival of Trees
 Festival of Trees/Frosty
 Festival of Trees
 More Merry Messages
 Ornamental Pine
 Paper Pumpkin
 White Christmas
 White Christmas
 Wondrous Wreath
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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas Bauble

I liked this stamp because it reminded me of the vintage ornaments that hung on our tree when I was a kid.  Of all the ornaments that hung the ones I thought were prettiest had the circle in the center that indented and shined with gold and perhaps had some glitter for sparkle.

This picture doesn't show it, but I stamped the ornament twice, cutting out the center on the second.  I stamped an extra holly portion from the ornament as well.  The holly is in 3 layers and the ornament in 2.

Stamps:  Christmas Bauble, Ornamental Pine
CS:  Crumb Cake, Old Olive
Ink:  Tuxedo Black, Old Olive
Blendabilities:  Old Olive, Coastal Cabana, Rich Razzleberry, Daffodil Delight, Cherry Cobbler
Markers:  Old Olive, Soft Suede
Misc.:  Filigree Frame EF, Dazzling Diamonds, dimensionals, white pen, sponge

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Friday, December 12, 2014

VC Rocks Blog Hop

This weekend is the first time VC Rocks has held a blog hop in December!  So happy to have a chance to share one of the cards I've made for Christmas. I'll share another card later but this is my favorite of the two I plan to put on my blog.  I've made 80 cards out of 14 designs.  The card above is the 1 and only I'm making of this style.

Stamps:  Wondrous Wreath
Framelit:  Wonderful Wreath
Embossing Folder:  Stylish Stripes
CS:  Pool Party, WW, Island Indigo, Crumb Cake, Silver Foil, Silver Fancy Foil Vellum, All is Calm DP, Quatrefancy DP
Ink:  Crumb Cake, Pool Party, Island Indigo
Misc.:  Multipurpose Adhesive Sheets (for "Noel"), banner punch

I stamped off the Crumb Cake before stamping on the CS for a lighter shade.  I did the same thing for the bow using Island Indigo.  I put a piece of Pool Party CS under the vellum banner strip.

Now to clean up my stamp room and start addressing envelopes. :)

This isn't a formal hop.  When people want to link up, they can.  You can check HERE throughout the weekend to see what has been shared.
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Thursday, November 20, 2014

White Christmas Ornament

This ornament is one of the things I made to give the Young Women at church an idea.  I had a lot of these ornament halves and offered that they could make ornaments along with the cards and the baby hats they were knitting.  The cards and ornaments are going to go to an assisted living facility when they go caroling next month.  The baby hats are going to be an ongoing project to donated to a hospital later.

I used Crystal Effects to attach the ornament to the background.

Stamps:  Holiday Home, White Christmas
CS:  Soft Sky, WW
Ink:  Tuxedo Black
Misc.:  Markers, 2-way glue pen, dazzling diamonds, crystal effects, dimensionals, snowflakes (from craft store)

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Christmas Tree

This seems to be the year for me to re-create crafts that I did with my mom or that she made.  In the early 80's, a friend of my mother's had us over and we sat at her kitchen table each making a tree like this.  I always liked that tree and decided this would be the year I would make it again.

All you need to make it is 30 feet of plush garland.  6 wire hangers.  Zip ties or twist ties.  A strand of lights.  I think we used a strand of 100 mini lights so many years ago.  I've been debating this in my mind though.  50 seemed like it would be enough and 100 perhaps too much.  I was at the hardware store today and saw a box of 70 lights and figured it was middle of the road . . . perfect.  The bulbs were a little bigger than the typical strand of lights, this could work too.  Having made the tree I have mixed thoughts on the lights.  I would opt for the 100 bulb strand to have more lights, but then, I like lights.  I like the bulbs of what I used today because they stand out more when the tree isn't lit.  You decide which is better if you choose to make it.
It is so worth it to buy quality garland instead of the flat cheap stuff.  You can use the flat garland, but you will need more of it.  I used 2 - 15 foot strands for this tree.
First off, you need to make 3 sets of the hangers.  You can see I used zip ties at the top and on the sides.  It doesn't matter if the hook part of the hanger is up or down, it's all the same in the end.
I didn't take pictures of the part where I put them together, just the end result.  Simply put the leg of one set through the middle of the other, matching the top point at the center.  Repeat the step with the third set of hangers.  Secure them together with zip ties.  Do your best to have the base of the tree evenly spaced between hangers. Trim the zip ties.
Put the flat plug down the center of the hanger and start attaching the lights with the zip ties.
It is important to keep the wire tight toward the bottom.  At the top, you are able to tuck the wire in toward the center because the hangers are so close together.  I had to re-attach a couple of rows on the bottom because it was too loose.  If it is too loose, you use more garland to cover up the wires and it will look off with bulk and lights being hidden.   BE SURE THE PLUG IS AT THE BOTTOM SO YOU CAN PLUG IT IN WHEN YOU ARE DONE.
Start the garland the same way you did the lights with the end down the center.
Wrap it tightly around the wire frame.  No need to secure with glue, etc.  It will be fine.
When you finish the strand, you can wrap it around a wire from the frame or the center, leaving a little loop so you can feed the end through the center and pull it tight.  This will keep it from unraveling.
My tree with the 30 feet of garland and 70 lights.
Lit up.  I still need to make a star for the top but I'm happy to have it made.

It took less than 2 hours to make this.  I walked the dog during that time and had to rewrap the bottom part of my lights.  Overall, a quick easy craft that is nice for Christmas in your home, office, a gift, for a child away from home to snazz up their space.  

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What Do I Do With These Kids

About 10 years ago I attended a training either at a Pow Wow or a University of Scouting.  I've attended and taught at many of these over the years and have files of handouts.

I had one of my handouts out before the move to generate some ideas for a Roundtable meeting.  I never put the papers back in my file but they moved with my office.  All is good, right?  It was until we got a puppy.  My papers fell off a pile I needed to take to another room and it ended up wrecked by the puppy.  I saved it and just typed it up so I can still reference it in the future.  I am not the author of this document, nor do I recall who taught the class.  I have verified the links and omitted things that were applicable to the area I was living in at the time.  Still a lot of good information for you.

You can access the file HERE.

Good thing she is cute!
(The day we brought her home.)

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Thursday, October 2, 2014


In 1985 my Aunt Beth taught my mom how to make a witch like this.  We were talking recently and I mentioned how much I liked that witch.  She told me she still had the directions and would be willing to teach me.  I was excited but knew it may be a challenge to find the witch face needed.  Google to the rescue.  After many different searches, I was able to find the masks.  They are 2-1/2" wide and 3-1/2" long.  The back is open so it is more of a half mask.  The face itself is the same as what they used in 1985 but this one was a harder plastic.  The face they used before was more of a rubber than plastic.

You can see from the next picture a bit more of the mask and how we secured it.  We put 2 styrofoam balls in the back of the mask and taped them with masking tape to secure them.  A 14" (1/4") dowel went through the styrofoam to help support it while we shaped the dress.  

We made a cone shape that would fit over a 2 liter bottle (flush with the top of the bottle) and stapled it to hold its shape.  The dowel will go into the 2 liter bottle to help hold it up while the dress dries.  The dowel and bottle will not be needed once the dress is dried.

Then I cut the black burlap.  The directions say you need 1-1/2 yards for each witch.  I cut 2 - 7x10" pieces for the sleeves.  Then I cut a 15" square, which I cut in half to make 2 triangles.  These were used for the hat and to tie on the head (scarf).  We then trimmed the burlap to length we wanted her dress to be.  My aunt didn't want a flowing dress, you can see a few pictures down that my mom had a lot of material in the front and back.  I had mine shorter in the front and flowing in the back.  A small "+" cut in the material at the neck allowed for the dowel to go through.  (My aunt and mom cut theirs bigger to go over her head but I didn't want any neck showing.)
We dipped the material in fabric stiffener and shaped the dresses how we wanted them.  Super messy job.  Disposable gloves are better to work with because it is hard to clean off of the rubber gloves.

The hands were made by cutting the wire into 8 - 2" strips (fingers) and 2 - 3" strips (thumbs).  I didn't really know what to do with the thumb so I used it to form a palm.  We covered each piece of wire with masking tape, forming a point at one end.  Once we formed a hand and attached them to the arms, we painted the tips with red nail polish. (see next picture for arms)
We made the arms with the remaining wire.  My aunt wrapped her wire around the witches neck (2 pictures above on right side of picture).  I followed my mother and poked a hole in the material and had it a little lower.  Which you would choose would depend on how long you want the arms.  We wrapped the wire with masking tape, which you don't see once the sleeves are on.
Once the dress was done, we dipped the sleeves and placed them on the witch, having a point hang down in the back and fold in on the front.  We then dipped on of the triangles in fabric stiffener and tied it around her head.  This covers her neck so nothing is showing.

Then we cut thin gray yarn and placed it on top of her head.  You could dip it in the fabric stiffener or not.  I like my mom's hair 2 pictures down because she had varying lengths, which seems more witch-like than one that just had her hair cut.

Then we made another cone (10" tall) for the hat and stapled it to hold its cone shape.  We wrapped the black burlap triangle around that and trimmed it.  Once it seemed right, we dipped it in fabric stiffener.  It was much easier to work with at that point (the fabric stiffener kept it from sliding around).  Then we cut a circle out of black felt and cut a "+" in the center and pulled it down over the cone to form a brim.

(All of the white on the dresses is the fabric stiffener.  We let it dry overnight and ended up putting them on a table in the sun the next day so they could finish drying.)
The next day we tied a ribbon and put it through the front of her dress.  Added a felt orange moon to the hat and put in some flowers.  My mom's witch from 1985 had some small wheat-like branch but they didn't have anything like that at the store.  My mom mentioned this looks like fire.  It works.  Flowers just don't seem fitting for a witch.
We got a branch from outside and secured raffia to it to for the broom.
We spent about 7-8 hours total on this.  So worth it!

My aunt's directions:
1-1/2 yards black burlap
Fabric Stiffener
Black construction paper
3 - 1-1/2" styrofoam balls (we used 1.8")
1 8" square of black felt (for hat)
orange felt (moon on hat)
3 - 18" wires (may need a 4th)
masking tape
witch's face
yarn or kite string (for hair)
yarn or ribbon (for dress)
flowers (for hat)
red nail polish

From construction paper or cardboard, form body to shape of cone.  Staple.  Styrofoam ball for neck.  Secure with masking tape.  Cut material to drape body.  Dip material in  fabric stiffener.  Wring well and drape and form over body.  Fold 2 18" wires in half for the arms.  Wrap the two arms from bend to 1/3 up with masking tape.  Cut 2 pieces of 7" x 10" material for arms and 1 triangle for shawl.  Dip all three pieces in fabric stiffener.  Drape and form arms and tie shawl. Let all the burlap dry.  Put orange yarn through waist and tie.  Cut 8 2" pieces of wire for fingers and cut 2 3" pieces of wire for thumbs.  Wrap all in masking tape.  With masking tape, connect fingers and thumbs to hand and form.  Polish "nails" with red nail polish.  Cut triangle from material and cut the same size from construction paper for hat and glue together.  Form cone to make hat and staple or glue together.  Cut circle from black felt and make "4 witch's points" for brim of hat.  Glue on flowers, etc.  Put styrofoam ball behind face and wire through face and body to secure.  Cut and glue "hair" on and glue hat on head.  Make broom with stick and raffia.
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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

VC Rocks Bookmark Swap

I hosted a swap called "Save That Page" a couple of months ago for VC Rocks.  I took pictures of all of the bookmarks are received thinking I would get the pictures posted while I was in a hotel room with nothing to do at night.  It was quite late by the time I we were settled in hotel rooms and getting on my laptop was not on my list of things to do.  We spent a week with my mom and by the time we got to where we were moving, we explored the area we would be living in, cleaned and painted the house waiting for our things to arrive.  It was a busy time.  I still need to finish my sewing/stamping area.  I'm missing a couple of boxes, one being my cardstock.  I need to go through our storage area to be sure it didn't get put there with the Christmas boxes.

This first bookmark is by Brenda Hugar.  I took a picture of it closed and opened.

Catie Palmer made a bookmark that has magnets on the other side of the circle.  I love that type of bookmark because you don't have to worry about the bookmark falling out if you drop the book.
This next one is by Debbie Peterson.  I never would have thought to use that sentiment for a bookmark.  Happy colors too.
I like this one by Elizabeth Kratzer with the layers of the flower and the ribbon at the bottom.
Ellen Boyle caught my attention with the red glitter paper she used for the heart on the owl.
Jamie Adcock made this ribbon butterfly.  Super cute!
Jane Starr made this one.  The colors are calm and relaxing.  Nicely done!
I like this one by Karen Gibson because it opens up.  I envision using it to write what books I read and who the author was.  You could always use it to list books you'd like to read too, or perhaps a favorite quote from a book.  So many possibilities . . .
Laura McGee made a corner bookmark.  The shiny piece in the corner is washi tape.  Starfish to remind me of the Florida I left.
Shirley Northey made several bookmarks for the corner page or a paperclip.
As a side note, I just finished "The Dressmaker of Khair Khana" by Gayle Lemmon.  I found the Kamila to be a person to admire for her perseverance and love of family and community.  The book is simply written but worth reading.
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