Saturday, January 31, 2015

12 Months of Christmas January Update

Hello there! It's the last day of January 2015. I told you I would be back with an update on how I met the January challenge to get ready for Christmas 2015, and here I am. The challenge for January was to Start putting together a notebook, whether it be paper or digital, put together a list of gift recipients, and make 10 cards. 

Let's start with the notebook. As I mentioned in the challenge post, I am using OneNote to organize all my thoughts and ideas for Christmas. It's still in the process, but this is what I have so far:

  1. Gift Recipient List
    1. Family
    2. Friends
  2. Emma Ideas (This is our "elf" that helps out around Christmas)
  3. Gifts
    1. Ornaments (I make ornaments for my niece and nephews every year)
    2. Ideas
    3. Inventory
    4. Recipes
    5. Supplies
  4. Menu
    1. Recipes
    2. Ingredients
I filled out what I could for Gift Recipient List and I started adding recipes to the Menu tab. These are things that pretty much stay the same every year, but I hope to add in at least one or two new recipes each year. 

I am really liking the idea of having a notebook like this. I can continue to add to it, and if I'm good at keeping notes, I can see what I sent to who and not repeat myself. I wish I'd thought of this years ago. It would be nice to have a record of the handmade items I've sent people over the years, especially the ornaments. One of the things I like about using OneNote is that I can drag and drop things directly to the pages and it adds links to websites for me automatically. I can also use Pinterest to help me remember ideas, but some of my gift recipients see my Pinterest boards and I don't want to give things away. ;o) Of course, I could probably make a private board that no one can see but me. 

I also made my 10 cards. Actually, I made 12 just because it's usually easier to make cards in groups of 4. Wanna see? 

I even stamped a sentiment on the inside. :o)
That's it for now. I will be back later with the challenge for February, but right now I'm going to go finish up a cake for church fellowship tomorrow, and then play with my new Occasions Catalog and Sale-a-Bration stuff that came in. Yay! Play time!!

till next time...
God's love and blessings!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Best Things In Life...

Hello there. I'm super busy this week, but I wanted to make a quick post to share this super sweet frame we made at our Team Meeting last weekend.

Isn't it super cute? I love the new Bow Builder Punch, and the Chalkboard Paper, and of course, I love me some sparkly! :o) This Stacked With Love Paper Stack has some really awesome prints in it. We only used some of the black and white prints for this project, but the other side has cute pops of red and pink in them. Hmm, looks like I may need to do a class for this. What do you think?

Here's one of the other projects we got to make.
Yep, gonna have to get the Berry Basket Die too. Just gotta. I can see so many cute gift projects to make with this, and so many fun ways to decorate it. I mean, there's Valentine's Day coming up, and Resurrection Sunday, of course, birthday gifts and Mother's Day. Lots of possibilities with this one.

Well, I need to finish getting ready for a class tonight so I will close here. Hope you have a fun day and get some time to be crafty this week.

till next time...
God's love and blessings!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Technique Tuesday-2, 4, 6, 8 Bag

Hello there! I'm here to share a quick tutorial with you. This is one of the first 3D items I learned as a new demonstrator many years ago. With Valentine's day coming up next month, I thought you might like a quick project to hold some little chocolates in. I made this one to give as a birthday gift.

You need to start with a half sheet of paper (8 1/2 x 5 1/2) and score it at the 2", 4", 6", and 8" marks across the 8 1/2" side. Can you guess why it's called a 2, 4, 6, 8 Bag? Now turn it sideways and score again on the 2" mark. Cut along the scores as you see below.
You could decorate this in LOTS of different ways. I chose to do a simple watercolor technique directly on the bag, so I did that before assembling the bag. I used our Stampin' Write Markers to ink up one of the flower stamps from our hostess Bloom With Hope set.
Then I held the stamp away from my project and spritzed it with water.
I stamped directly on the square that would be the front of my box. I didn't want the flower to be too high on the box, so some of the stem extends across the bottom. (The flaps weren't trimmed on this paper yet.) See how the water makes the color bleed a little, giving you a watercolor look? I did do a couple of test stamps on some scrap paper to see how far away to hold the spritzer so I wasn't getting too much or too little water. 
Use a little Sticky Strip across the tab on the side and the backside of the flap below the flowers. 
This has the bottom side up. 
If you push in the sides on the top, you can squeeze it together. 
This is hard to take pictures of with one hand.
To hold the top together, I punched two holes in the top, through all the layers, threaded a piece of Seam Binding Ribbon through and tied a bow. I like this box because it uses a half sheet of paper with very little waste, it comes together quickly, and it is the right size to hold several pieces of chocolate. You can't go wrong with chocolate. :o) 
till next time...
God's love and blessings!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Blendabilities Chalkboard Effect

Hello there! I said I would be back with a sneak peak of a project for this month's Tips, Tools and Technique class and here I am. What do you think?

I made this card by embossing the images in white and then coloring them in with our Blendabilities Markers.  I love how the colors just pop off the background, and it was super easy and quick. :o)

Here's a quick storage tip for you. My friend Georgia posted this great tip a while back, and I'm just now getting around to implementing it. I was already using our Wood Mount Stamp Cases to store my Blendabilities, but this tip helps to hold them on either side. Bonus, it uses up something I would normally have thrown away--broken hair ties. I suppose you could use new ones and cut them, or just some elastic, but since we always seem to have broken hair ties around, that's the route I took.

Use the Paper Piercing Tool to poke a hole about half way down on all 4 of the longer sides. 
My daughter and I have very thick hair, so the hair ties we have are pretty thick and I needed my holes to be quite large, so I poked a pair of tweezers I had in the holes and wriggled it back and forth. If your ties are smaller, you could probably get away with just wriggling the Paper Piercer around. 
Then thread a broken hair tie through the hole. This may take a bit of wriggling. If my ties had been thinner, I would have used a floss threader to pull it through. Instead, I just wriggled and poked till it went through. (This project really would have been easier with smaller hair ties)
Tie a knot in the hair tie on the outside of your box. Stretch it across the inside to the opposite hole, poke it in, pull it tight and tie another knot.
You can store your markers in one of two ways; either in the original box, or out. You can see here that if you take them out of the box, you can fit 3 sets on one side. I think I'm going to go with that method. It will also make it easier to see what colors are in which box.
Keep in mind you do not want to store these in a typical upright position. Markers are best stored on their side. 

I guess that's about it for today. Hope you have a super crafty day and I will be back next week with some more fun projects. Oh, and if you'd like to see another project for this month's Tips, Tools and Techniques class, check out my Facebook page. 

Till next time...
God's love and blessings!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Technique Tuesday-Dry Erase Shaker Board

Hello there! I am trying to get back into the blogging groove (not that I was ever really in it very well before). The new year always finds me revamping the schedule and trying to figure out a way to do it all. It does get better each year as I realize what the "all" is that I really want to do and cutting out things I don't need to do. I would like to be better at posting fun tutorials on here. Sharing what I do is my favorite part of crafting. 

With that in mind, I put together this quick little tutorial for you. I enjoy making little dry-erase memo boards to give as gifts. They are a quick and inexpensive gift that you can personalize to teh recipient. All you need is some paper and a picture frame. I look for frames every time we stop by the thrift store. This time I decided to do something a bit different. The Paper Pumpkin kit for December makes some cute shaker cards for several different occasions so I used the kit to make my first dry-erase shaker memo board. The confetti adds a fun bit of whimsy to it.
Let's get started. For this project I used the December Paper Pumpkin kit and one of the thrift store frames in my stash.
I did use a sheet of Smoky Slate cardstock for the background instead of the Basic Gray that comes in the kit. I didn't want the background to be so dark you couldn't read the writing on the board. I started by putting the cardstock (cut to fit) in the frame and marking the corners. That way I knew where to put the decorations and where to make my inner frame.
The Paper Pumpkin kit always comes with most of the paper pieces shrink wrapped to a pretty sturdy piece of chipboard. I used this to make an inner frame to hold the background piece away from the glass and make room for the confetti. My cutter wouldn't cut all the way through, but I just made one cut, turned it over and cut in the same place on the other side. Worked perfect.
The small "hello" stamp from the set to made a background behind the photo frame. I wish I had already glued the inner frame on though as it might have helped me to center the photo frame better. Oops. :o( The blue "hello" is a sticker--so nice not to have to glue all those tiny edges down. I used a marker to ink up the word "friend" and stamped it below the "hello".
I used our Tombow multi adhesive to glue the inner frame on, but I could have used Fast Fuse just as well. The kit comes with several sheets of stars to punch out and some sequins to use for confetti. I just placed these in the middle.
I decided to use Fast Fuse to adhere the glass to the front before I slid it into the frame. I didn't want all my shaker pieces to fall out the bottom every time I moved the memo board.
This frame didn't come with a stand, but I wanted the option to be able to sit on a desk, so I cut more of the backing board to make one. More Tombow worked to adhere the top of it to the back.
There you have it. I simple little board to write notes on. I think I'm going to send this to a friend who is far away and every time she sees it she will know I am thinking of her. I might have to make a couple of these.
Hope you enjoyed my little tutorial. I plan to be back later this week with a sneak peak of a project for this month's Tips, Tools and Technique class.

Till next time...
God's love and blessings!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

12 Months of Christmas Challenge for January

Hello there! Happy New Year to you! I hope you had a chance to look back on 2014 and find that you were blessed beyond measure. I know I was. Always am. He never ceases to amaze me.

Anyway, I am back with the first of the 12 Months of Christmas Challenge. So how did you do with the pre-challenge? I did find some of those fuzzy socks I was looking for. Even found some that weren't specifically Christmas, so I can use them throughout the year. Woo hoo! We also picked up some filled stockings for our pets for next year, but not much else. I found a largish box to stash what we bought in, and to keep the craft projects I work on throughout the year. I found a spot in my closet for it, for now, but it may find a new home later.

So, here's my challenge for January. Get organized. Yep, that's it. I plan on making a notebook to keep all those recipes and ideas in one place. Somewhere for all the lists of what to make, what to buy, who to send them to, etc. I went back and forth on how to do this for quite a while. I, personally, love physical notebooks, writing things down and checking them off. However, I know that being able to access this notebook while I'm away from home would really come in handy, but carrying around a 3 ring binder everywhere I go, just isn't going to happen. In the end, I settled on using OneNote for my Christmas organizer. I can organize it the way I need, copy and paste ideas straight into it, and access it on my phone when I'm out and about. I also figured out how to put little "To Do" check boxes in front of my lists so I can check things off when they are finished. :o) Win-win.

I will post more about my notebook at the end of the month and how I decided to organize it, but I will tell you that the first thing I'm going to put in it is a list of who I would like to have gifts for next year.

Oh, and as I mentioned before, I plan on making 10 cards this month to go in my stash.

So, that's this month's challenge. Start putting together a notebook, whether it be paper or digital, put together a list of gift recipients, and make 10 cards. I can do this, and so can you! I hope some of you will play along with me this year. I would love to hear what you are doing and how you plan on making next Christmas a little easier, and more relaxing.

I just can't have a blog post without photos, so I will share with you an idea for an easy gift to make. These were little boxes that held a Hershey chocolate bar. The snowman hats and reindeer antlers were made from gloves, so it was kind of a 2-in-1 gift. I will have to find the template so I can put together a little tutorial for you.

What do you think? Cute and quick to make. You might want to keep your eyes out for inexpensive gloves this season.

Well, I'm off to start taking down the Christmas decorations and get my house cleaned up.

Till next time...
God's love and blessings!