Wednesday, December 31, 2008
While I was looking for craft ideas for my Christmas projects I came across a lot of
"handmade is better" sentiments. Well I happen to agree! To promote the idea I made special tags for all my gifts to let the recipients know their gift was "made with love" - which it was, let me tell you. There is nothing like a ton of thought and effort to show someone that you care.
Thankfully, my cousin Dawn had loaned me an enormous amount of stamping supplies (a friend asked when seeing it, if she owned her own store!) to play with while she took a break from the hobby. Stamps, ink and even stacks of paper all at my disposal. Well of course I had plans to make Christmas cards, but I think we all know how far I went with that idea. Instead I used those supplies to make my tags.
For the tags pictured above I used only two sheets of paper, two colors of ink, one stamp, some glue and a gel pen.
What I wanted from the paper was a subtle yet elegant look so I chose ink that was the same color, but different tone and a stamp that was a beautiful swirly kind of pattern. Once you start stamping on one sheet, cover the whole paper with design - it doesn't take too long. Be sure to clean your stamp well before moving on to the next sheet! Then do as before.
Using a set of graduated heart-shaped mini cookie-cutters (from one of those kitchen gadget stores) I traced small hearts all over the paper. Then I went to cutting. Doing the project in steps like an assembly line makes the work a little smoother, but that doesn't mean your hands will forgive you for all the monotony of tracing and cutting.
Once they were all cut I used a little glue to affix the red to the green and let them dry thoroughly before writing on them. I considered printing the words on the paper but I thought that kind of defeated the whole idea so I used a black gel pen and hand wrote my message.
Some I taped to packages, others I punched a hole through and strung them on jute string.
Out of just two sheets of paper I got a large stack of tags - more than I even needed for Christmas - so I have leftovers for Valentine's Day! (Or St. Patricks Day or May Day or...etc.) Not to mention that all my friends and family know that their gifts were extra special.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
I dabbed tacky glue around the edges and coated them with pumpkin pie spice just to add a yummy little scent to them.
Then hot glued them together in two's so that when I was finished I had two little stacks that look like mini layered cakes. Remember that you have four of each shape so there should be two of each size in each of your stacks.
(you're right, they aren't the same size - I made only one large and two slightly smaller orbs by simply leaving out the largest circle size)
And no, you didn't miss a step, those twigs in the photo are leftovers from the Pretty Ditty woodland snowflake project from the last post.
I made three since I like groupings in odd numbers and I also made one of them with a different color moss just to mix it up a little. Now I have a yummy-smelling bit of textural decor to give as a gift with no cost involved since I used all found materials and supplies I already had.
Just think what you'd have to pay for something like that in a store? But better than any store these are made with love!
Friday, December 19, 2008
I made six of these hand-sized (well, my hand anyway) snowflakes to give to some friends to go with their cabin-like, woodsy decor - just right! (said Goldilocks).
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
My hands are all dried out
from knitting and gluing,
So many projects - wait! -
which one am I doing?
Ribbon and moss,
wire, twigs and beads,
Can I figure in time
what everyone needs?
This is what you get when a writer and crafter has to wait for the glue in projects to dry.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
These three containers once held chocolate, spreadable Swiss cheese (SO YUMMY) and humuus and are now ready to hold gifts thanks to some scrapbook paper and scrap items from around the house.
2. Using the container itself as a guide, I traced around the top, bottom and side (to measure width) on the backside of scrapbook paper. Then I cut and glued them to whichever side they were intended for. I did, however, pencil in the words "top, bottom, top side, bottom side" on the backs since they were all slightly different. Then I took some jute string and wrapped it around and tied it in a bow, using a dried leaf from an old floral arrangement as an embellishment.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Last year I used copper-colored paper and gold-colored paper and used flatback faux jewels, jewel-toned curling ribbon and even peacock feathers to dress up the tops of packages (thanks to my neighbor Liana who gave me a grocery bag full of feathers when her peacocks molted). The packages looked rich (in color, not necessarily cost) and sparkly and became a decoration themselves as they sat under the tree.
This year my color scheme is coming from nature. I have plain brown paper for wrapping (I already had some, but I also found some in the gift wrap/card aisle at K-Mart) and a spool of 1"green grosgrain ribbon bought for just over a dollar at Joann Fabric and Crafts. Now for gift tags! I've been buying the sticker kind since they are easy, pretty affordable and have some cute patterns - but that doesn't go with the creative and hand-made spirit! What I looked for was something I had available to me in quantity. Now what do I have available to me in quantity in fall....
I'm not sure why but the oak leaves stuck out to me from all the other leaf choices as the most Christmassy. I tried to gather them before too much rainfall to make sure the leaves I had were as whole as possible. Then I took my leftover spray paint cans from another project (I am the spray paint queen) and did two batches: one in gold, the other in copper. The gold leaves really stand out, which was good when I forgot to bring them in one night and there was a wind storm and I spent the next day hunting gold leaves out of the yard. The copper leaves simply look like a darker, shinier version of their natural selves. I could have left the leaves alone but I was actually hoping that the paint would act as a sealant and prevent any more decay. And don't worry about time, mine dried very quickly and I was able to get both sides done in under 20 minutes.
When it comes time for Christmas wrapping, I will affix the leaves with small ribbon or maybe a jute or cotton string. Using a dark ink pen, or paint pen I can write the recipients name on the leaf. So there you have a sparkly Christmas embellishment and gift tag all in one - and it didn't cost a thing!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I ended up keeping this last necklace for myself! Partly because I needed it to wear at Halloween and partly because I knew I could do a better job next time. I do have your best interest at heart!
What was fun about Halloween (I mean besides the adorable kids that came to the door) was that I got to wear my great uncle Heinz's top hat from wayyyyyy back when. He was a magician and I'm not sure if he used this particular hat in any routines but there are a few clues that lead me to believe so.
The Steampunk Workshop will provide you with some steampunk inspiration of your own. JLH Jewelry sells some great steampunk pieces as well as plenty of other beautifully crafted wearable art. I've bought a couple of things from Jen that I just love!
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
You don't have to ponder whether my name is something to arouse concern. No references to raiding, pillaging, plundering, pilfering weaselly black guts out or any other unsavory behavior. We're all clean pirates here. :)
Now when you get a thought, idea, epiphany it's like a sparkle, a glimmer, a lightbulb, a...shine.
Or maybe I'm just going to blab about some shiny jewelry...or...bit o' shine that I made. You just never know.